“It’s not over,” a soft voice hisses in my ear. “You know that it’s not. Can’t you feel it, Potter?”
I’m in a dark room, unable to see anything. I shift uncomfortably, glancing about and mutter, “Who’s there?”
“You know me,” the voice says in a mocking tone. “Why, I’m the one who will have caused your death quite soon.”
“What does that mean?” I snap, trying to turn towards the voice.
“You’ll figure out soon enough. Now. Enough questions Potter.” I turn some more, but I still can’t see anything. “I’m sure you’re a bit curious, but I can’t stand all the pestering.”
I frown, shifting again.
I can almost hear his smirk as he adds, “Do you want to die, Potter?” There’s a long pause. I manage to turn fully around to see Blaise Zabini smirking at me. “I don’t think so…”
I jerk upright, gasping. It takes a moment of glancing about for me to realize where I am. “Oh, bloody hell,” I groan to myself. Why the dreams? They’re annoying as hell. It won’t get out of my head now. It’s almost like the visions and prophecies (not that I have experience with the latter) but once you see them the never go away. I can still recall what I saw in my first vision. It was a bit childish I suppose, a simple vision when I was eight about my brother breaking his leg, but low and behold it turned out to be true—proved by James just an hour after that. I was scared to death.
But this dream—this vision—seems different, and I don’t really know why. I chew at my lip before reaching under my pillow and bringing out one of Zabini’s books.
Since I can’t fall back asleep I might as well do something useful. I pull my wand of the bedside table, muttering, “Lumos,” as I flip to the first page and scan quickly.
“Beata poena”* makes the subject feel euphoria while their body fights off a vast amount of pain…
“Pugna”** puts the subject into submission unwillingly—more mentally scaring then the Imperius curse…
I shudder as I flip through a few more pages. This man is sick and twisted. How could anybody come up with these things and actually think they were good ideas?
Scorpius shifts in his bed and I glance at him, but he doesn’t open his eyes. I consider waking him up for a moment, but decide against it. He needs the rest. He’s been so worked up over his family…
Sighing, I turn back to the book.
“Conteram”*** will break whatever you point it at, whether that be a person’s bones or a piece of furniture…
“Tenebris Somnia”**** makes the subject have horrible visions and dreams of bad things happening. Can drive a person insane.
I shake my head, as if that will erase the fact that I’m reading about these horrible spells and their uses. I’m about to give up when I glance down and see the entry on the next page.
My breath hitches in my lungs and I freeze, staring at the words. That’s it. It’s right there. A part of me wants to read as much about it as fast as possible while the other part of me wants to shut the book and never look at it again. Working up to find whatever courage I have left in myself, I gulp and nervously trace my eyes down the page to read what the spell means. When I see the words following the spell name I jerk upright, a strangled gasp escaping my mouth, as the book falls out of my now numb hands and to the floor, pulling a few of the sheets of the bed with it.
“Al?” A voice asks drowsily. I whirl around hastily to see Scorpius sitting up in his bed, blinking at me, a worried expression in his blue-grey eyes.
I don’t even know when he woke up, and I suppose I don’t really want to know. I just want to pretend I never read that journal.
“What?” I ask, my voice high and squeaky. I scramble off the bed and grab the book, clutching it to my chest. I won’t let him see it. I won’t let him see what it says. No. It’s too much right now…
“Is something wrong?” He pauses, squinting to see my expression in the bare light from my wand and mutters almost to himself, “Of course something’s wrong. You look upset. What is it? Al?”
I swallow, ignoring my trembling hands and shove the book back under the pillow. “I—I’m fine. Really, S—Scorpius. Everything is alright.” No. Nothing is fine. I know he won’t believe me, but I have to try anyways.
His eyes narrow and he says in response, “Somehow I don’t believe that, Al. Sorry. So why don’t you tell me what’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” I force out desperately. “Scorpius, it’s nothing.”
“It’s not nothing if it’s bothering you this much,” he retorts, glaring a bit at me in irritation.
I stumble for words for a moment. I won’t let him see what I saw. It’s too much to tell him right now—I don’t think he’d be able to handle it, but I don’t know how to do this on my own. It’s like my whole world has crashed down around me and I don’t even know what to do anymore. I don’t even know if there’s a way to fight it. I don’t want to give up, but there were no notes about a counter-spell or anything like that.
I just want everything to be normal again. I got dad back. Why can’t that be enough? Why does this have to happen now? Why when everything is suddenly right again does this have to come up?
“I… I’ll tell you later,” I finally say softly, closing my eyes. I sit back down on my bed, checking one more time to make sure the book is under the pillow even though I know it seems a bit paranoid. “Just… Get some sleep. ‘Night, Scorpius.”
There’s a long pause. I feel his eyes on me the whole time, as if he’s trying to figure out what’s wrong just by looking at me. Finally, he seems to give up and responds, “Alright. Goodnight, Al.”
I flick my wand, watching its light flicker off as Scorpius rolls over, falling asleep in just a few minutes.
I lay on my bed, staring out the window at the stars twinkling in the night sky. They seem brighter, so much more lit up. More beautiful than I had ever thought before. I close my eyes and then open them again quickly, searching the sky.
I know there’s no way I’m going to fall asleep again. I might as well do something to try and distract myself for the next few hours.
I’m still awake five hours later at nine in the morning when the rest of my family decides to wake up. I can hear footsteps moving through the hall, down the stairs. And, of course, the loud, boisterous voices that could only belong to my family members. I roll a little in bed, turning to look at Scorpius. He’s still asleep, the covers pulled about to about his chin, snoring a little.
I manage a smile at that, but it quickly drops off my face. How I am going to pretend everything’s normal when I get downstairs? Nothing is supposed to be wrong anymore. I have to convince my family of that. But how?
Running a hand through my hair, I stand up and quickly get dressed, making my way downstairs for breakfast.
James greets me at the table and drags me into the seat next to his. “You ready to go back to Hogwarts, seventh year?” His eyes sparkle mischievously.
I raise an eyebrow. “What’s with you? You can’t be planning more pranks. You’re not even going back.”
A smirk lights his face and he leans back in his chair. “Why, Al, you can’t know that?”
“That you’re not going back? Did you fail a class or something? Oh, that’ll be good.” I grin at him. I missed this playful banter with James over the past few years. And besides, it’s keeping my mind off the spell.
He rolls his eyes. “Nah. But I convinced Lou and a few others to come to me when they want a prank idea. I’ve still got some tricks up my sleeve.”
I groan. “Great. Well, I guess I’ll still have to watch my back then, even though you’re not there. Brilliant.”
James grins and I feel my bottom lip tremble a bit. It’s hard to imagine that with the spell this could be… I could be…
“You okay, Al?” James’s voice sounds a little concerned. I look up at him quickly, biting the inside of my cheek to get rid of the tears.
“I’m fine,” I say in a bit of a choked voice. Clearing my throat I add, “It just seems kind of surreal right now, you know?” I’m lying again. Maybe there’s a reason I was put in Slytherin.
James blinks and then mutters, “Yeah.” He smiles softly at me and ruffles my hair, something he used to do when we younger. Normally, I would laugh or glare at him, but now the memories of it all makes me want to start bawling. “You’re pretty amazing. To get dad back like that.” His eyes twinkle at me as he pushes his glasses back up his nose.
I want to bawl again. “I’m not,” I finally force out. “I just wanted dad back.”
“We all did,” James agrees. “But you were the only one smart enough and brave enough to do something about it.”
I glance at James and he smiles at me. I turn away for a second, closing my eyes tightly to stop the tears, and then scoop some food on my plate, pretending that was why I turned away, before looking back at him.
He’s still smiling.
How can the world seem so bright and… good again to everyone else when it’s falling to pieces around me? What did I do wrong? Why does this have to keep happening to me? I just want to go back to normal. I would trade almost anything for everything to go back to the way it was before dad was missing. Even if James and Lily were ignoring me and I didn’t know Scorpius. It’s not that I don’t love them, because I do, more than anything. But it’s just that I… I don’t… I don’t want to…
“Al!” I turn sharply at the other voice to see Rose coming down the stairs followed by Louis. I close my eyes, grimacing a bit. If there’s anyone who can see through me it’s Rose, closely followed by Louis. I don’t know how to keep my act going, but I can’t let them know what’s happening. I open my eyes and force a wide smile at them, hoping they won’t see how fake it is.
“You alright, mate?” Louis asks as he settles down into the chair across from me, ignoring Fred and Roxanne who are yelling at each other on the other side of the room. Rose rolls her eyes in the direction of the two before sitting next to Louis.
“I’m fine,” I say. “Really.”
Rose raises an eyebrow, but doesn’t comment so I figure I’m convincing enough. What I really need is for Scorpius to come down, because Rose doesn’t pay any attention to me when he’s around, and then I’d only have to deal with Louis prying, and he’s much easier to fool then Rose.
Louis grins slightly at me. “You should see Hugh, Al. He looks like a zombie again.”
I roll my eyes. “He always does, doesn’t he? He’d wake up at noon everyday if it was possible.”
Rose laughs. “And you don’t have to live with him. The only people who can actually wake him up before lunch and not get screamed at are mum and Aunt Ginny.”
“They’d scream right back,” James mutters dryly, causing Louis and Rose to laugh with him. I join in quickly, hoping they don’t hear how nervous I sound.
I can’t keep this up for too long. I’m already off to a bad start at fooling everyone, and it’s only been about six hours since I found out.
I frown a bit, but before Rose or anyone else can question, Scorpius comes down the stairs, a slight smile on his face. He sits down next to Rose while shooting me a worried glance that reads: You’re going to tell me what happened last night.
I sigh and give him a slight nod, although I don’t plan on telling him anytime soon. He doesn’t need to know that, though.
I glance at Rose, who has turned a bit red, due to the fact that Scorpius reached across the table to grab the fruit and his hand brushed hers. He doesn’t even seem to notice: not that their hands touched, not that she’s red… I roll my eyes a bit at this. How can two people be so blind and clueless?
I turn to look as more footsteps come down the stairs, seeing mum stop and kiss dad quickly, laughing, before darting into the kitchen and asking, “Mum? Do you need any help in there?”
I grin slightly at dad as he settles down at the table next to Uncle Ron, Aunt Hermione, and Uncle George. They strike up a quick conversation as Louis finally says, “So, um, you guys ready for Hogwarts?”
“I’m going to miss it!” James proclaims loudly. “But I’ll come watch your Quidditch games.” He looks at me sternly. “I’m only telling you that you better win because you’re my brother. Just… Don’t kill Gryffindor too bad. They better get second place, Al.”
Scorpius smirks. “My skills as a chaser are better than Al’s seeking skills ever were.”
“Hey!” I protest, turning to him. “That’s not cool! Just because you can fly around and toss the quaffle doesn’t make you better.”
Scorpius grins. “Nah. I’m just a better flier, even though you inherited your father’s genes.”
“Oh, shut up,” I grumble at him, at which James, Louis, and Rose all laugh. I smile a bit, still trying to pretend everything is alright, even though it’s not. Nothing is alright. It can’t be, but I can’t let them know that. The whole family has just gotten my dad back; they don’t need to deal with my mess now. And I don’t want to put that pressure on them.
Scorpius still doesn’t seem fooled. I glance nervously at him but then shake my head. I can’t tell him. It’d be worse for him then it would be for everyone else. I mean, we actually got dad back. He’s lost his whole family. And I can’t just tell him that I’ll be… That I… That I’m… That I’m going to…
I shake my head quickly. I can’t even think it. I can’t think about it. I look down at my hands and notice that they’re trembling.
Mum enters with a smile, saying something about going to Diagon alley for school supplies. I use that as an excuse to take off upstairs and lock myself in my room for a moment, trying to calm myself.
I only catch one thing as I dart up the stairs, which is Rose saying to Scorpius, “Do you have any idea what’s wrong with him?”
Clenching my hand against the railing, I close my eyes tight, willing myself not to cry. They can’t know that anything is wrong.
I won’t let them.
A/N: Sorry for the long wait! :( Anyhow, still confused? Let’s hope so. You find out what the spell does when Scorpius gets it out of Al, so you’ll have to wait a few chapters. Sorry.
James! Yay, yay, yay! I love writing him now that he’s all happy and not grumpy and annoying like he was for the first half of Gone. But, sadly, there won’t be as much of him in this story as he’s not going back to Hogwarts. :(
And now I’m crying. I swipe hastily, almost angrily, at the tears, sniffling a bit. I am not going to cry over this. I’m not going to let it destroy me, because that’s exactly what Zabini would want.
I won’t… I won’t give him what he wants. I won’t.
Transltions: * is good pain. ** literally means fight. *** means break (big surprise there). **** means dark dreams, and ***** means year down.
What’d you think? A review would make my day. :) *Hint, hint, wink, wink…*