Chapter 3 : Chapter Three
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Rose is nervous. She’s told Molly and her other dorm-mates that she’s going to the library. She hopes the Weasley Brigade won’t be there – if Molly were to mention it to one of the others, she would be interrogated and found out. She can always say she just found an empty classroom to study in, realising the library would be crowded. As always, she feels better with an alibi. Carefully, as she goes, she scouts out empty classrooms. Rose is nothing if not methodical.
He’s not there at the tapestry. She stands foolishly in front of it, wondering what to do. She turns, turns again, starts back to the Common Room, decides to wait; and then a door appears in the wall opposite her. Hesitantly, she reaches out and opens it.
She steps inside.
It is a room like a cathedral, vaulted ceilings and stone corbels. The only light comes from a great chandelier, dripping hot wax onto the flags, and the fire. There is a couch in front of the fireplace, and a great four-poster bed with green hangings and bedsheets. Also various pieces of stained-oak medieval furniture; a bookcase, a chest, a standing mirror.
She knows, somehow, without knowing, that the Room of Requirement has reproduced his bedroom.
He’s sitting on the black leather couch, staring into the fire. It plays red and gold in his white hair. When he hears the door close, he looks round, and sees her awestruck.
“Like what you see?” he’s amused. Blushing, she shuts her mouth and tears her gaze away from the bed. “I’m not going to bite.”
She sits down next to him tentatively. “Um,” she begins, wondering how to tell him. She’s playing such a game, here. An adult, glamorous, dark game. The best she can hope for is that it doesn’t go wrong.
“What?” he looks at her, suspicious now, firelight in his grey eyes. She notes the pale freckles on his cheeks and nose.
“I – I – ”
“Spit it out,” he demands, eyes alight with distrust.
“I do have a boyfriend,” she chokes out hoarsely. She’ll only realise in later months how utterly dangerous that sentence was. His face darkens.
“Goddammit, Rose!” he yells. She falls to the floor in front of the fire, shocked. He is on her in a second, eyes blazing. He pins her hands to the floor, leaning the whole weight of his body on her wrists. He glares down at her. “Shut up,” he hisses.
“Please,” she gasps, no idea what she’s pleading for, for more or less, a kiss or…
“I don’t care, Weasley,” he snarls. “I don’t care that you have some skanky boyfriend. I don’t care.”
She shivers at the unadulterated rage in his voice, but then his lips come down on hers and she forgets all else.
His mouth is like bliss on hers, rough and harsh, and when he takes her bottom lip between his teeth and bites, she can barely stop herself shivering. He bites her neck over and over, marking her, making her his. She arches up unconsciously, pushing herself into him, and the sheer amount of need she’s displaying makes him want her with a vicious, sharp ache, worse than anything he’s felt before; he rips her blouse, he can’t wait to take it off, the touch of his fingers on skin makes her gasp and shudder and push into him, and he can’t wait, he can’t wait any longer, so he takes her, fiercely and ungratefully and together they fall again and again into a place where they can be something other than what they are.
Rose can barely look at him. Every time she catches a glimpse of him in class, white-blonde head bent over his work, the knowledge of what they did sweeps over her and causes her to blush while the pit of her stomach coils.
It’s only three days until he corners her again, outside Arithmancy. All her classmates have gone on – Arithmancy is a small class anyway – and she walks slowly down to dinner. She barely makes the end of the corridor, though, before he’s there.
He grasps her by the shoulders, hard enough to bruise again, although she’s been wearing long sleeves to cover the purple finger-marks on her wrists since that first time. He backs her up against the wall and sighs unevenly, lowering his head to nuzzle (yes, that’s what he’s doing, there’s no other word for it) into her neck. Startled, she stares over his head.
“I missed you,” is the only offering he makes before he kisses her and they sink into each other, and he has her with her legs around his waist, lips at her neck, before she can come to her senses, and pull away and flee with her robes mussed and his soft laughter ringing after her.
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