You are viewing a story from harrypotterfanfiction.com


Some Kind of Beauty by Celestie

Format: Novella
Chapters: 4
Word Count: 23,171
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: General, Angst, Young Adult
Characters: Ron, Hermione, Teddy, Scorpius, Lily (II), Hugo, Rose, Victoire
Pairings: Rose/Scorpius, Ron/Hermione, Teddy/Victoire, Other Pairing

First Published: 08/10/2011
Last Chapter: 08/18/2011
Last Updated: 10/05/2011

Summary:



2011 Dobby Winner: Best Novella

My family was never one for normality nor did we ever try to label ourselves that way. Through the years, we lived through our shares of fights and laughter and chaos. I didn't know much about living, but they taught me all I knew about loving. In the end, there didn't seem to be one without the other.

Heavenly banner by amoretti | September Featured Story at The Golden Snitches


Chapter 3: part iii

 Some Kind of Beauty

“Rose?” My dad’s voice floated over from the other side of the closed door. “Rose, I’m coming in.

“Go away. I’m tired.”

“I’m coming in.”

The door creaked open, streaming in warm, stuffy light and my dad entered, looking exhausted and old, but pitying. He was holding an entire loaf of bread on a plate. Just bread. Not even butter. Typical.

“I don’t want it,” I said automatically.

“Eat.”

“I’m not hungry.”

He grunted in disbelief. “Right. You haven’t eaten anything all day. Your mum will my head if you don’t eat something.”

“I don’t want it.”

He set the plate on my bed and went to open a window.

In the summers, my room was always the most beautiful. It had three windows facing the outside fields and yellow walls that would leave the room swimming in light. It made the small bed and rows of bookshelves look like something worth having.

“As my mum would say, being hungry won’t help anything,” he said, lost in a gaze over the window. “If you’re going to be sad, might as well eat. D’you want some tea?”

“I’ve got no appetite, Dad.”

There was a long silence.

“You’ll still need to eat eventually.” He turned back to look at me as seriously as I’d ever seen him. “I know you miss her.”

It was amazing, really. How somebody could have once been laughter and happiness, but after they’d left, all that was left was a blooming hole, shivering shoulders and coldness to remember them.

“That’s alright, Rose. It’s alright…”

I wanted my mum. She would fix this. She could fix anything.

He took a seat beside me on the floor.

“Am I going to miss her forever?”

He was quiet. “Yeah.”

“Always? That won’t go away?”

“That won’t go away.”

“Then what’ll happen?”

My dad was rarely sentimental in front of me. I knew about Uncle Fred, although my mum had been the one to tell me. He put his arm around my shoulder and we sat on the floor of my room, lost together.

“You’ll…learn to live beyond it,” he said slowly. “And remember that they lived too. The things they wanted for you..and did for you…don’t go away.”

I could almost hear my mum in the background saying as she always did: “It’s difficult because you loved her so much, Rose.”

There was a pounding of footsteps on the staircase as Hugo urgently climbed up. “DAD! Where’d all the bread go?”

He stopped himself as he arrived in my room, clearly at a loss for what to do. “Er – uh – I still have to make lunch – ”

“Go annoy somebody else for a while,” said Dad.

“There’s no other food in the house! What am I supposed to eat? Mum told us you’d be making lunch today, but so far all I’ve found is moldy – ”

“Now’s not the time, you idiot,” said Dad, his ears reddening.

Hugo gave me a nod, before holding out his hand to me. “C’mon Rose. I’ll take care of you, come on.”

I took it and he pulled me up. Dad looked between us, shaking his head in exasperation at the state of his children.

*

The next time I saw Shell Cottage was when Mum and Dad went to visit Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur. I could hear Aunt Fleur’s racketing sobs from outside as Mum hugged her.

Victoire and I walked along the beach, our footsteps indenting in the slate-like sand. A few birds flew through the sky and past us on idle breezes.

For the first time I could remember, she looked tired. Her face was small and red, a long call from her usual windswept perfection.

“How has everything been?” I asked, the answer already in mind.

“Difficult,” she said baldly. “Everybody’s a mess…I don’t know what to do. My mum’s a wreck. I’ve been staying with her to help around, but I’ve been useless. And Louis doesn’t really understand what’s happened.

“He’s eight now?”

“Yeah. He should understand, but I – I’m having a hard time explaining.” She sounded near tears already. I couldn’t will myself to face her. “Uncle George’s been trying to help him, but he’s still young.”

Her voice cracked slowly. “Rose – Rose – I regret it. I don’t think I was a very good sister.”

“Don’t be silly,” I said immediately.

“No, I – I wasn’t a good sister. I know I wasn’t. I always acted like she was annoying to be around – and I teased her – and she – ”

“Victoire…”

“No, listen – l really wish – I really wish I could take it all back. Sometimes I think that if I regret things hard enough, she’ll come floating back or something. Like if I give up enough, I’ll wake up one day and she’ll be next to me. I wasn’t a good sister, but I still want her back.”

“You can’t say those kinds of things,” I said, echoing what my mum had told me, but not feeling the sincerity in what I said. There wasn’t a day that passed by when I didn’t think the same. “She’s happier at rest.”

She nodded, mopping at her face and breathing in sharply. She no longer looked tall and lean and distant. She and I were here, in this irreconcilable moment – us and the sea.

*

That summer was a lonely one. I had Hugo and my parents and my solitude.

I saw none of my other cousins other than the occasional visit to see Aunt Fleur’s. Victoire had moved back home with Ted and she was fading away in front of us.

There were times when the ceilings seemed to echo, where the wood seemed to rot in its place without ever moving. The chirping of crickets from the fields beyond and the sound of books closing quickly became the only and most comforting company I needed. The loneliness of the day, the solace and peace seemed to give me years and years to think. I sat wrapped in my sheets, facing the open window and thought of her and us and the future. A parched moon rimmed by windowsill and flooded the room with shadows of nonexistence.

The world spun to itself and I watched blues and reds and oranges taper away, slip past me into the cracks of the ancient earth, into dried blood and tombs that rested beneath me.

There was a time to live. But this became a summer of sinking further into myself, forgetting it all and crying. I’d never thought much about death or dying. I’d never needed to. I sat by my windowsill and watched the world pass, watched time decay, watched the stars come and go. It was almost deafening to think that outside the window, there were millions of people living to whom Dominique’s death would never pass in their lives as even a thought.

Questions came and went.

Why her?

I wish I had told her –

She would’ve loved this, she always liked –

Why her?

Why not later?

If she had gotten married, who would she have married?

They never had answers.

My parents waited patiently. Dad dug up an old, rumpled photo of me and Dom, our backs to the sea, our grins huge and unknowing. One morning, I woke up to find it beside my bed, framed in small shells.

Mum told me that some people would wither and some would be strong. Some would hold on to not forget. Others would let go to remember.

*

Like all things, the summer ended.

My moods swang wildly. On nights, I prayed somehow she’d come back. In the morning, I’d be furious she didn’t. In the evenings, I felt the emptiness that confirmed she never would.

*

The return to Hogwarts soon became maddening.

The train ride was the emptiest, loneliest twenty minutes I had ever encountered. Molly said nothing to me the entire time. The empty seat beside me was hot with tension and by the time we had arrived, she and I were both in tears.

The year fared no better; the hallways were filled with gossip. Everybody was quickly willing to stare and to stifle us.

“Did you hear about that Weasley – ”

“Apparently they aren’t taking it so well – ”

“ – and then Molly Weasley actually started crying, if you can believe it – ”

My only solace soon became Lucy, who raged with me in the corridors. “Everybody’s talking about Dom – I can’t stand it – ugh, I really can’t stand those stupid looks they give.”

“How’s Molly?”

“She’s become a complete nut. She’s crying like a maniac these days. I don’t know what to do anymore. Suddenly everybody around me’s a basketcase. She’s avoiding everyone right now.”

It was the first time she and I had been alone in a long time. She looked taller and older after the long summer we had been apart. Her face had matured and she was looking at me with concern. Under her gaze, I felt idiotically fragile.

“Do you miss her?”

She didn’t need explanation. “Of course I do. What kind of a question is that? We all miss her. I’m not even going to ask you. I can tell just by looking.”

“Sometimes I don’t know what to do. It feels like the things that are happening aren’t real.”

She put her hand on my shoulder. “I’ll take care of you, Rose. I’ll take care of you and Molly and everyone. I can do it.”

I believed her.

*

Everything became a small obstacle.

Lying with the empty bed beside me. The girls in the dorm watching me, quietly waiting for me to start crying. Breakfast alone. Lunch with just Lucy. Class after class with an empty seat. There were too many things that left me dissolving in tears.

Molly had all but disappeared into herself; the rare times we passed each other, she looked away. I disappeared into my books – into studying all morning, staying quiet in class, into my stars.

I had rows and rows of parchment spread out over several desks every night, columns of books and charts and charts of constellations. I was slowly plotting the sky on my own. Ink spread over my hands, imprinted the paper and my robes and I let it. The deep night broke into silence and somehow – somehow I was going to find her – find us – there in the night sky. Blues and blacks and grays scattered over the skyline and anywhere between it lay an answer. I wrote and scribbled and barely slept. Because Dominique had been here and she was out there somewhere and I was going to find her and anchor her back down to earth and back down to me.

*

When we returned home for our winter holiday, I was worn down to my bones.

Nothing was holding me together.

Lucy, Molly and I sat on the same compartment on the ride home. We watched the snow blanket the hard earth and felt the wind rip through our skin. I looked at Molly properly for the first time in months. Lucy caught on to my gaze and sighed.

“Molly looks awful, doesn’t she?” she said to me, eyeing her sister.

“Um – no – ” I said.

Molly managed a weak smile. Her skin was white and papery and her eyes as red as her hair.

“I do,” said Molly with a watery laugh. “I look so, so horrible. I can’t stand this. I miss her so much, Ian broke it off with me, I’m starting to fail Transfiguration – everything’s going wrong.”

Molly and I stared at each other for a brief moment, before we both diverted our gazes. It was difficult to like at Molly without remembering Dom.

Lucy leaned her head against Molly’s shoulder. “We miss her too, Molls.”

“It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair at all,” said Molly, burying herself into Lucy’s hair. “I hate this. I feel completely useless. I wish I could’ve at least said goodbye. I don’t even remember the last thing I said.”

Lucy sighed and strung her fingers through Molly’s hair. “You can’t torture yourself thinking things like that. Nobody could’ve known.”

Very, very quietly, Molly said in her almost normal sing-song voice. “She helped me a lot and I don’t think I did anything back for her.”

“She loved you,” I said. “That must’ve been enough.”

The snowy hills, like the days before us, rolled and rolled on. We fell into silence like that. Lucy against Molly, Molly against herself and me against the sky.

*

For the first time in years, we all had Christmas dinner together. All of us were crammed into the Burrow and it was like all the time that had come in between us had never passed. James was still on the sofa, arguing with Hugo about Quidditch. Aunt Fleur, Teddy and Victoire were murmuring quietly to each other. Molly and Lucy were eating with Mum and Aunt Audrey. We weren’t eating all together. The sight of the empty chair was still too stark for that to happen, so we ate in turns.

I stared at the chair for a long time. Eventually, somebody would either take it away or somebody new would make it their own. It was an unsettling thought.

A few minutes after we’d arrived, Aunt Angelina, Uncle George and Fred shuffled through the doorway. As Fred and Uncle George parted, Roxanne managed a small, tense smile as she stepped over the threshold into the light of the house. Her half-smile slipped into the shadows without dimming.

Victoire looked up and Roxanne saw her hand intertwined with Teddy’s. She waved at both of them and Victoire smiled back.

After dinner, Roxanne found me wandering the garden and she ran up to me, smiling.

“I’m surprised you came,” I said.

She breathed in deeply, inhaling the freesia, the darkness, the gloom, the night. “I know.”

“Did things change?”

“I suppose you could say that,” she said, beaming to the garden. “Yes, I suppose you could.”

“How?”

There was a long pause. “You know, family is really complicated. People are difficult. You don’t know what you want.”

“And what do you want?”

“Vic and I aren’t arguing anymore. I don’t think either of us have enough time these days. And I’ve been thinking for a while now switching out of my job and opening a bookshop. I don’t like Apothecaries much, but I love books, you know, Rose.”

I barely knew Roxanne past the silence and the one confession she had given me. She smiled brightly, her even teeth flashing.

“How’d you forget him?” I asked. “I thought – ”

“Didn’t Victoire tell you yet?”

“What?”

“She’s pregnant.” Roxanne brushed a foot against the dirt. “She told my mum a month ago. Well, that did it. That was what it took. Not just dating or getting engaged or married or moving in together. It took a baby to make me see.”

“That?”

“That Teddy’s very happy with his life. And that it isn’t Vic’s fault that she was the one meant to make him happy. And that it isn’t my fault that I couldn’t. Things happened like that. But a baby – I could never – I could never respect myself if I still went after a man with a baby. I see myself as more than that. I told her that. I think a few months ago, she might’ve laughed at me. But we’ve both changed in ways. She said she didn’t want to waste any more time. Things make sense again.”

“Congratulations.”

She sighed happily, inhaling the fresh air. “Thanks for listening. You know, before. It meant something to me, in a way.”

I didn’t ask what; she was smiling so certainly that she already seemed to know the answer and was looking at me as though I did as well.

*

Near the end of our holiday, Victoire gathered us all together to make the formal announcement.

Lucy, Lily, Molly and I were all squashed onto two sofas in her new flat. Roxanne was on the ground.

Victoire sighed deeply. “So, of course I wanted to tell you lot in person. Roxy, Lily, Rose – you can tell your brothers. I thought it might be too awkward if I called them over.”

“What is it?” asked Molly worriedly, scanning over Victoire.

“I’m pregnant,” said Victoire baldly. She studied our faces carefully as silence descended on the room.

Molly bit her lip and immediately looked on the verge of tears. I already knew the news, but I was quiet as well, waiting for someone else to express how we felt.

 “Congratulations!” said Lucy, making the first sound in the room.

“A baby,” gushed Lily, “do you know if it’s a boy or a girl yet? I hope it’s a girl!”

Lily and Lucy shared a look. “We’ve got too many boys in the family already,” said Lucy. “We absolutely do not need any more Jameses around.”

Silent tears were streaming down Molly’s face. I took her hand and she gently squeezed my fingers.

Roxanne frowned at the polar sights of the room: Lily and Lucy with their heads together, almost bouncing with excitement and me and Molly leaning against each other, lost in quiet remembrance. “Would you please let her talk?”

A baby.

I didn’t want one in the family.

It was a selfish thought, but I didn’t want one. I didn’t want another little boy or girl joining us and stealing all the attention and trying to replace Dom. I didn’t want something crying all the time. I had grown up seventeen years in this family with my impressions of my aunts and uncles and cousins embedded into me. Something had already changed, emptied itself when Dominique had left. We didn’t need anything more.

Next to me, Molly’s tears were falling into my upturned palm.

I took a deep breath when Victoire began to talk. At the very least, please be a boy.

“I found out last week. It’s a girl.”

Molly fell into quiet, racking sobs. Victoire stared at her for a long moment, before sighing. “I knew it. I knew I shouldn’t have – ”

“No!” said Lucy anxiously over her, “no, it’s not like that at all! We’re happy for you Vic, we really are!”

“I didn’t time it this way, you know,” said Victoire gravely. “I wanted everyone to be happy about this.”

“We are!”

“Molly and Rose look like they’re attending a funeral.”

Molly’s eyes widened at the sharpness of what she said. “How can you even say that?”

“I miss her,” said Victoire, “I miss her all the time. Every day. I can feel it. I miss her. It’s become more than a feeling. It’s like something I wear all the time. I miss my sister because I loved her. And you loved her too, like she was your sister.”

Lucy rose and stood beside Victoire, staring at us from behind Victoire’s tired face.

“I’ll never forget her. But that doesn’t mean I can love this baby any less.”

“Of course not,” said Lily gently, “when is she due?”

“Summer. June, actually.” She rubbed her eyes. “Teddy’s very excited already. My mum’s horrified, of course, rather like you lot.”

“Why? Having a baby is a lovely thing!”

“You’re so optimistic, Lily. My mum’s not much better. You know, last month we had to clean up some of Dom’s room. We hadn’t gone inside at all. It was dusty and Dom had left some food in there and it had gone bad. We could smell it from downstairs, but she wouldn’t go in. I had to do it. Clean it all, make her bed, get rid of the cobwebs.” After a sigh, Victoire said, “I think she wants me to name the baby after Dom.”

“Will you?” asked Molly feebly.

“No, I’m sorry,” said Victoire. “I can’t. I just – I can’t. Dom was a lovely person, an amazing sister. She’ll also be amazing. She just won’t be amazing in the same way. I don’t want to call out the baby’s name and think of missing my sister. My mum thinks I’m horrible.”

 Molly brushed away her tears with a sigh. “Time to buy a baby naming book.”

“I’ve got parchment!” said Lily, reaching into her robes. “You lot can start suggesting right now!”

“How about Lucy?” said Lucy, grinning.

No,” said Victoire with an attempt at a smile.

“You’ve got horrible taste. Fine, let’s try Catherine. Ooh, I also like Lavender.”

“I like Fiona. Fiona, Fiona Victoire,” said Roxanne. She smiled at Victoire, before closing her eyes in peace. “Fiona Lupin.”

They all looked expectantly at me and Molly.

My voice shook slightly as I spat out the first name that came to mind. “Um – Lyra?”

“That’s a name?” pondered Lily, but she wrote it out all the same. “Typical Rose. It sounds like a salt brand.”

“It’s a constellation name!” I said, feeling indignant for the first time in ages. It brought out a warm, angry flush to my face as it colored.

“You’re still a know-it-all,” said Lily, rolling her eyes. “Molly?”

“Dana?” said Molly, still dabbing at her eyes.

“First Fiona, then Lyra, then Dana,” said Lily darkly. “I’m not letting you people anywhere near my first child’s name. Soon we’ll have Dumbledore Potter the Fifth happening.”

“If anybody wants to marry you, that is,” said Lucy.

There was an echo of laughter happening around the room.

*

When Molly returned to Hogwarts, she was more cheerful.

“I think having a little niece might be…nice,” she said breezily on the carriage ride to the castle. “She’ll be lovely. Teddy must be thrilled.”

“He’s scared to death,” said Lily. “Mum said so.”

“What changed your mind?” I asked.

“Victoire did. That baby didn’t do anything to us. I’m happy to have her here. I’m happy. I was just sad that Dom wouldn’t meet her first ever niece or - ” she broke off. “No, I can’t think like that. I’m happy. I’m happy it’s a girl.”

It was an adamant statement, but she seemed almost convinced.

*

January faded into February. All that was left of me were my spellbooks and used quills and astronomy charts. I spent the nights staring through the open window with a telescope, blindly in search of something. Lucy would regularly stop by the library, peering me in the eyes carefully, inspecting me for what it was worth. She sat through a few minutes with me, talking absent-mindedly to the air. Roxanne had started ordering books. Victoire had written to Lily asking for more name suggestions and it became normal for Lily to spend breakfast reading aloud from the list of names that Victoire had been pondering.

“Olea, Anna, Sara, Abilla, Claire, Adrienne, Bluebell…”

Meanwhile, Aunt Fleur had gone to France to visit her parents.

“She’s still completely shaken up,” whispered Lucy as Madame Pince walked past us. “Uncle Bill reckons it might do her some good.”

Life was moving on for everybody else in the only way it could: forward.

But I was still here. I was somehow even quieter than I had been and scared and tired of the world. I wasn’t alone, but I was lonely all the same without Dominique. 

But I had Lucy.

The odd scraps of conversation weren’t much, but they put the first steps of regularity back in my life. By two o’clock every afternoon, I began staring at the seat across from mine, wondering when Lucy would come strolling in, her shoes making the assuring clacking noise with every step.

It wasn’t much, but it was a beginning.

My map of the night sky was filling itself; there were different skies for the different seasons and all the constellations had stories behind them. Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Sirius, Andromeda -

It made my head spin, but at the very least, I felt like I was doing it purposefully. Beside me, the gentle breaths of Emily, Cecilia and Ruth were falling and rising in symphony. The sound of Dominique’s absence never seemed louder than it did in those lonely nights.

*

The strangest part about losing Dominique was that I lost part of myself with her.

I lost the part of my life I walked through the beach in the summers with her, lugging Hugo behind me. I lost being childish with her, laughing through the rides to Hogwarts, having her chastise me, advise me. I missed being envious of her and being angry with her and wishing she would leave me alone. I wanted her back in my life so I could have the privilege of not wanting her. That was a luxury when you loved someone.

I lost her and I lost the azure skies and childhood days and silly retorts.

I lost the person who I was when I was with her.

*

In March, after two years of forgetting, I met Scorpius again.

I hadn’t noticed him much after my idiotic heartbreak in fifth year. He occasionally came to the library around the mid-afternoon and launched himself into the Potions bookshelves.

He looked different and he looked the same. It was the funny thing about time.

He was taller, but had the same round glasses and bird’s nest hair. I still knew about him only what his Ravenclaw robes told me.

He lingered over the neighboring table, then over two bookshelves, then over my table before finally addressing me. He was odd and slightly nervous.

“Hi, d’you remember me by any chance? Rose Weasley, right? I’m -”

I looked up at him exhaustedly. “What do you want?”

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you since – ”

He broke off at my skeptical look, looking still more anxious. I’d heard the condolences by the bucketful: they’d all missed her, they’d loved her so much and she had been so beautiful and -

“Thank you,” I said stiffly. I looked down as a dismissal.

Instead, he took a seat. “I liked her a lot too. But you must get that a lot. Everybody was talking about it.”

“Look, do we have to discuss this right now?”

There was a long pause and he awkwardly inspected my hands, before shifting his gaze to my charts.

“Oh wow, what’s this?”

“Nothing,” I said, placing my hands over the parchment. The last thing I’d wanted was another idiotic, nosy fool trying to pretend he knew how it felt.

He tilted his head. “You’ve got Cygnus in the wrong place.”

“I have not,” I said, yanking my hands away to inspect the parchment. “It’s right where it should be –”

As soon as I moved my hands, he pulled it from under me and held it up. “Wow, this is amazing!”

“Give it back!” I stood up, knocking the chair over.

He held a palm up. “In a minute. Hold on.”

When I made a move to tear it out of his hands, he frowned. “You’ll rip it in two. This is really comprehensive. I’m impressed.”

“Could you please just leave?”

“And look, you’ve got one for different months – ”

“I don’t even know you! Stop taking things that don’t belong to you! You’re horrible, I don’t even know why Dom -”

“I fancied Dom and I miss her,” he said over me. I paused, mid-insult.

“I didn’t know. She never said anything about…”

“She didn’t know either.” He shrugged, before reaching over me to yank Virgo closer to his face. “Funny, isn’t it? I was planning to tell her this year. I almost did last year, before we left. I couldn’t do it. Odd, the things you end up regretting when someone’s gone.”

“How did you know each other?”

“We had Ancient Runes together in third year. I’ve known her since then. Four years it’s been. She was a nice girl, a nice friend to have.”

“A friend?” I said skeptically.

“I fancied her starting fourth year. She was very lovely.”

“I know.”

I didn’t need the usual listing from him of all people.

“Never told her, obviously. She was also ridiculously intimidating. Every time I thought to start, she’d just start staring me down and I’d go blank.”

I nudged my foot against the chair and his eyes snapped out of the worn stare they’d been in.

“Er, you’re wondering why I’m telling you this?”

“Yes, a bit.”

He was a nut, barging into the library, harassing my astronomy charts, going on about some nostalgic encounters when I didn’t know him.

“I didn’t tell her so I suppose I felt like telling somebody. Uh, this wasn’t very well thought out. I hadn’t thought this through much.” He ruffled his hair nervously. “I’ll just be going now…”

What a complete idiot.

He stood up with one of the charts still in hand. “Cygnus’s still in the wrong place.”

“It is not,” I said hotly, “And what would you know about it anyway?”

He grinned and took his seat beside me again.

*

For the rest of the year, all I had left was Lucy, Scorpius and the stars.

Lucy was Lucy. Every day, she was beginning to shine brighter. She became a stronger Chaser by the day, more popular and well-known and sweet. There was rarely a day that went by that she wasn’t stomping through one hallway or another, swearing loudly and attracting a small crowd wherever she went. She had finally lost the tomboyish edge to her face and clothes; she looked and played the part of a Weasley with ease.

Scorpius was different than I’d imagined him in fifth year.

It took less than that first library conversation to realize that Dom had been right: he was silly, airheaded and slightly more than annoying.

I had the rare deep friendships with people like Lucy and Dom. With Scorpius, I finally understood what a light-hearted friendship was. He didn’t intrinsically understand me the way Lucy or Dom did. He tripped over himself trying to be cautious around me, but the few visits we had in the library came more and more often.

He sat across the table with his Potions book, engrossed in his reading, never looking up as I propped up astronomy books and models of the expanding universe. Despite occasionally correcting me on my stars (he was always wrong), he kept silent. We read and stayed in other worlds because this one had such little to offer us.

I didn’t know much about his family other than that he was rich and the second Malfoy to ever be in Ravenclaw.

Scorpius was twitchy and annoying and nervous – nowhere near as intelligent or mysterious as I’d daydreamed. He was too much like Hugo for anything to come of an us so I let that lie, forgotten.

“Why do you bother coming here?” I asked once.

He looked up without answering. We didn’t know each other much, even then. I didn’t know him like friends knew each other – their hobbies, their families, their pasts. He knew next to nothing about me.

But I understood what the loneliness felt like. What the silence sounded like when only the walls were speaking. On the afternoons where the sun burned the sky into smudged red sunsets, we studied in the slowly expanding heat. The stuffiness of the library mingling with the smell of aged books and old parchment stifled the fragrance of the coming spring and we lived like that – in mutual discontent. We didn’t speak much and on the few occasions we did, he managed to annoy me.

We would never be enough to replace the girl we had lost to each other, but at some point, we both stopped trying.

*

Lucy met Scorpius two weeks after his new position by my table.

She came thundering in as usual, this time still in her Quidditch robes and splattered with mud.

“Rose!”

I was between two bookshelves and turned, already ready for the impatient voice. “I’m here, Lucy.”

When she neared me, the same harried expression in place, I could smell the wafting mud. “You smell horrible.”

“Not now,” she said crossly, “Quidditch practice went terribly, so don’t ask.”

“Anything new happen?”

“Just checking up on you. If you’re alright, I mean.”

I still thought about Dominique several times a day. Everything reminded me of her – her empty seat beside me, her empty bed. The Quidditch pitch, the blue sky, her favorite foods and her favorite books.

Sometimes I would see another blonde-haired girl walk in the hallway, and for one spinning moment, think it was her again. The tears still came. The feeling of something spreading within my chest, trickling through me was still there as well.

But somehow, I was surviving.

 I looked down at my younger cousin. Little invisible Lucy had grown up in front of me and somehow between it, she’d exceeded us all.

“Thank you.” I smiled at her, understanding something nameless.

Her eyes grew wide. “Um – okay then. No problem, Rose.”

From behind the bookshelves came an awkward cough. Lucy stopped half-way and peered through. “Who’s that? You never told me someone sat with you.”

“Oh, it’s – ”

“Isn’t that Scorpius Malfoy?

“Yes, but – ”

“Is Malfoy giving you any trouble?” she said, nostrils flaring. “He’s teasing you or bothering you, right? I’ll take care of this!”

When she began rolling up her sleeves, I pulled her back. “He’s – he’s Dom’s friend. He comes here sometimes. I don’t mind him.”

She stopped and stared, before rolling her sleeves down. She smiled and walked around the bookshelves. I could hear her throaty voice whispering, “Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Lucy Weasley.”






Author's Note: Thanks so much for the reads for the last chapter! I know this story isn't popular, so it means a lot. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this penultimate installation of Rose's story.

Celeste


http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com