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Chapter 21 : Bedlam: Scorpius and Rose POV
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“Scorpius!” Hermione looked up from the book she was reading on the couch, obviously surprised. “Is something wrong?” I don’t regularly visit their house, especially without Rose and especially uninvited.
I tried to keep my voice calm, but I knew my eyes would give it away. Rose always said she could tell how I was really feeling by looking in my eyes. “Have you seen Rose?” I asked bluntly.
“No,” was her shocked reply. “Is she missing?” She stood up and crossed the room to me in a few strides, letting the book fall to the floor. Her voice inflected the panic behind it. In that small moment, Rose’s disappearance became real. It was all too familiar. A replay of the events at Hogwarts nearly three years ago. Rose can’t be found. Everyone is looking everywhere.
“She just left – apparated away. She was angry… with me.” I swallowed hard. No good would come of me padding the events with half-truths. My fists clenched and I pressed them against my forehead to keep the thoughts that were flashing through my mind at bay. Where could she be? I spoke through my hands, “Selenia is checking St. Mungo’s, Dom is at the Burrow, and James went with Albus to Diagon Alley.”
My fists turned to claws and I pawed through my hair across the top of my head and smoothed down the back of my neck. “I was really hoping she came here,” I said, getting a little desperate. “I can’t think of anywhere-”
“Harry’s house,” my head jerked up to see Ron standing in the doorway. He was stiff and seemed bigger than I remembered him. “She would go to Harry’s house,” he repeated. He knew his daughter.
“I didn’t even think of that,” I said as a spark of hope blinked at the possibility. On the inside, I was beating myself up. Why couldn’t I think of that? Of course she would go to Harry. I grabbed the floo powder and was ready to go when Hermione put a gentle hand on my arm.
“Why don’t Ron and I go and check? If she is there, we can let you know. If she is really upset, maybe we can talk to her.” Her voice was calm, but hurried.
“I really need to see if she’s all right,” I didn’t even try to hide the tears brewing in my eyes. “If she wants me to leave, I will, but I... have to see for myself.” Hermione nodded her understanding and, to my surprise, Ron gave a curt nod as well as he moved to put an arm around his wife. “We’ll follow behind you,” he said.
I stood up in the bathroom, splashed water on my face and rinsed the acid taste out of my mouth. Slowly inhaling another deep breath, I stared at my face in the mirror. My cheeks were flushed, but I wasn’t nauseous anymore.
“All right there, love?” Aunt Ginny’s voice was laced with concern.
Fresh anger stirred inside me. I knew I shouldn’t have left, but I had been so angry and – sick of everything. Despite my irritation, guilt stabbed at me. I couldn’t be in that much trouble, could I? If you have to flee your own personal Azkaban, wouldn’t it be best to go to the Head Auror’s house?
“Is Uncle Harry here?” I asked, deliberately avoiding that particular question. I was still staring at the mirror. Another wave of frustration mixed with remorse. I didn’t want Aunt Ginny to think that I was ungrateful for her kindness. I just really wanted to talk to my uncle.
“I’m right here, love,” Uncle Harry appeared behind me in the mirror. He had been outside the door the entire time, letting Ginny take the lead.
Something welled up inside of me. It wasn’t sadness, fear or anger. I couldn’t put my finger on the exact emotion, but it was strong. “Uncle Harry,” I began, twirling around with a confidence I didn’t know was inside me. “I’m done. I cannot continue like this. I feel like I’m the criminal, not the victim. I have to constantly be under protective care and I’m restricted to essentially two buildings. This is enough.” My voice was firm, but I wasn’t shouting.
Harry nodded, understanding brimming on his face as I spoke. “Does anyone know you are here?” he asked me, pressing a little.
“No,” For the first time, the guilt was gone. I didn’t want all of them worrying, but I was still really angry with Scorpius and Albus - and even Dom a little bit. She could’ve come to my defense like Selenia had. “I’m not trying to be rude or ungrateful, but I’m not doing this anymore,” I was repeating myself, but I needed Uncle Harry to know that I was serious about this.
“Alright love,” he nodded at me. His lips were pursed tightly together, but his bright green eyes met mine with honesty. He continued, “but there are a few things you should know first. And we need to make sure everyone knows you’re here - and safe. Are you feeling better?”
I nodded, taking in a deep slow breath. Actually, I felt the best I’d felt in weeks. I don’t think I’d fully realized how much the restrictions were affecting me.
Uncle Harry patted my shoulder and gently eased me out of the bathroom toward the family room, Aunt Ginny following behind. She sat next to me on the scarlet overstuffed sofa and Uncle Harry turned to take a seat in his plush golden armchair. As he was about to sit, the fireplace roared high with green flames and spluttered out a frantic looking Scorpius.
He scrambled to his feet and hurried over to check if I was alright. His silver orbs were a mix of relief and pain, but I folded my arms and stared pointedly at the corner of the room. I was still really pissed that he thought three deaths were insignificant. Plus, I was frustrated that he didn’t even listen to my reasoning. I wanted freedom, some semblance of the normal life of a twenty year old.
It took all of about two minutes after Scorpius sent out his patronuses for Dom, Jax, Al, Selenia, James and Fred to appear in Uncle Harry’s living room. Looks of relief poured over my friends and family, but I was still too angry to even acknowledge them. I set my jaw and stared firmly at Uncle Harry. I had not changed my mind just because they had organized a medium sized search party.
“Rose, Rose, I am so sorry,” Selenia was sobbing. She ran over and threw her arms around me. “I d-didn’t mean what I said, it just c-came out.” I hugged her back. “It’s okay Sels,” I whispered. “I’m not mad at you. You were trying to make them see my side!” Selenia continued to weep quietly into my shoulder. She settled herself on the other side of me and took my hand in hers.
Scorpius didn’t say anything. He had retreated to the opposite side of the room, not talking to anyone. At least he’s not stupid.
Harry began to speak and the room became awkwardly quiet. “Alright, everyone?” he began, making sure they were all okay from the night’s adventures. The whole lot nodded, even Fred and Jax who sort of just fell into this mess.
“Good,” Uncle Harry continued. “We need to discuss some things that Rose has brought to light. First off, I agree that you need to have some restrictions lifted,” he nodded toward me. Finally! Some sanity!
But it was short lived. He was met with cries of disbelief and a few “What the hell’s?” from Albus and Dom.
“Dad, what about the – you know…” Albus ended in a harsh whisper. All of the Aurors in the room traded serious looks. This secret exchange did not escape Aunt Ginny and Mum.
“What’s going on, Harry?” Aunt Ginny asked pointedly. Normally, she didn’t get involved in the Auror business, but it was obvious that there was a bit more going on here - anyone could see that. This wasn’t business. It was family.
“Harry – don’t.” Dad’s voice matched his sister’s. She immediately took this as a challenge. I sat up, knowing there was a lot more information out there than I had been privy to. Mum squeaked as she walked to the couch and moved to squeeze down next to Aunt Ginny on the end. I was sitting on the other side of Ginny and Selenia was next to me as well. It was a little tight, but we were banded together. The room now appeared divided. All the men were on one side (plus Dom) and the women on the other. Uncle Harry, ever the peacemaker, stood in the middle.
“Don’t what,” Ginny spat back, giving Harry a hard look.
“Uncle Harry,” I was trying to keep my voice respectful, because I really do have the utmost respect for him and feel that he has my best interest at heart. “You said that keeping secrets puts people in danger.”
“Merlin, Rose,” Albus was the first to bite back, and he was pretty worked up. “You make it sound like we are treating you like a criminal. Don’t you realize? This is all for your protection?!”
“Wrong choice of words, Al. You can be a right prat sometimes,” Selenia barked at him. I almost choked, but managed to make it sound like I was angrily clearing my throat. The room was equally shocked. Selenia was always so reserved around the family – and she pretty much worshipped Al. “What would you call it if you were confined to your house and work, with someone constantly keeping guard?!” I put my hand on her arm and rubbed it in encouragement. I knew that Selenia must really be upset and I wanted her to know that I appreciated her efforts.
“I wouldn’t exactly call us lot a group of dementors! You are being completely unreasonable. This doesn’t even concern you,” Albus growled through clenched teeth.
“Albus Severus!” Aunt Ginny beat me to admonishing Al. He could be a right prat. “How dare you speak to a lady like that! I raised you better. Besides, she is right!”
“If we could all just settle down and clear our heads…” Uncle Harry’s voice was drowned out by Dad.
“Ginny, don’t get into this. It’s Auror business. There’s a confidentiality element - you should know that by now!”
“Ron-ald!” Mum’s voice had that dangerous tone - the one she only used for him when he was truly being inconsiderate or particularly clueless.
“What the hell is going on?” James asked. Fred looked over to Dom, who just shook her head. Jax looked utterly bewildered as he witnessed his first Weasley-Potter blow up.
“I think we can clear the air with just a few-” Harry’s voice was louder this time, but not loud enough. Selenia burst into tears all over again and dropped her head into her hands. Albus paced across the room towards us.
“Don’t!” she shrieked, thrusting her hand forward to stop him. “You don’t get to play the hero this time Al!” The viciousness in her voice caused him to halt in his tracks. I grabbed her hand and rubbed to help calm her down.
All hell broke loose. Mum was yelling at Dad, Dad was yelling at Aunt Ginny, who was yelling at Al. Selenia was trying to catch her breath. Dom was arguing with Fred and James, who were getting more demanding by the second. Jax was trying to calm down his girlfriend.
Only Scorpius stood silent, backed against the far wall. One of his arms was folded across his chest and the other one propped up, massaging his forehead. Almost as if he could sense I was looking at him, he lifted his head up and our eyes met.
“EEEEEEnnough!” I jerked my attention to my Uncle standing in the middle of the room. “That is quite enough!” he said, voice still booming. He eyed both sides of the room and slowed his breathing for a few seconds. “Now,” he began again, much quieter. “We’re going to talk about this calmly. Like adults.”
“Talk about what, exactly?” Aunt Ginny asked, staring hard at the Aurors.
Uncle Harry turned to face all of us sitting on the couch. His face softened and he stared directly at me.
“There’s been another prophecy.”
A/N: Ooo! Two cliffhangers in a row... Well, um.. - I'm sorry?
I really need to thank some faithful reviewers. MargaretLane and paddlewaddle religiously review every single chapter within a few says of it being up - Thanks so much, guys! And special thanks to CambAngst - for being the very first reviewer almost every single time. You've pushed me to be a better, more thoughtful writer through this whole process. I know that you actually check every few hours to see if the next chapter is up when I tell you that it's been submitted to the queue, and you always take the time to make special mention of it. Sorry to be all gushing and everything, but Gah! ♥
Of course, none of this would be possible if it weren't for my amazing beta, crestwood. Thanks Joey!
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