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Saving a Rose by harrypotterhugefanforever

Format: Novella
Chapters: 9
Word Count: 9,328
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Romance, Angst, Young Adult
Characters: Scorpius, Hugo, Rose, OC
Pairings: Rose/Scorpius

First Published: 09/03/2009
Last Chapter: 01/12/2010
Last Updated: 01/12/2010

Summary:
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I felt alone in the world. Until I was given the one thing that could save me: Rose's diary.


Chapter 1: One
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One



I guess I never thought this would happen; at least not at such a young age. Not to me and defiantly not to my family. My parents went through so much to give us a life we could be happy in. They didn’t deserve this. Then again, no one ever deserves this.

The shrink says there are five stages of grief that you go through after someone dies: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. I never knew there was a something like that, not until last New Year’s Eve. Let alone, that I would be stuck in the first stage, just days before my fourteenth birthday.

But who would expect that? Or that my Uncle Harry would knock on the door, asking to see my parents? You never expect it to happen to you; those stories of women on the news, found murdered, sometimes raped. It wasn’t meant to happen to us; it was meant to be someone else’s life destroyed; someone we didn’t know.

What made it worse was that I was one of the first to know. Well, apart from Uncle Harry and perhaps even Aunt Ginny. Then there was that guy who tore my family apart. And I guess Rose herself, as she watched the man walk towards her, the light turning dark.

It was the way he looked at me, his face blank of any emotion. But his eyes; his such wonderful green eyes, were filled with tears.

Uncle Harry never cried.

It didn’t make any sense.

It had been New Years Day and I was home alone. My parents were doing the usual; spending time with the grandparents. Normally, I would have gone with them, but for once, I couldn’t handle two days in a row with Grandma Molly telling me I need to eat more; that I was far too skinny. I was doing the usual, sitting in front of the TV, watching mindless game shows until my brain hurt, while eating the nutella mum had left for me. (See, who said I didn’t eat enough?).

This never came into my usual routine after a big party the night before, one where I drank way too much coke and slept in really late. When Uncle Harry came, asking for my parents, I didn’t feel my world collapse around me. As soon as my parents came in, distraught, I guess I went into denial. I wouldn’t believe it until there was proof. I blocked it all out.

But now, even after a year and a half, I can say that I have been able to tick off the stage one through to three. By now, they say that I should be on stage five.

There are times, like the early mornings, when I settle down on stage four. This normally happens when the house is quiet and all I can hear is my father’s snoring from the room down the hallway. Depression creeps in as I think about that night, a year ago. The night she walked through my bedroom, in the early hours of New Years Day. I was awake, unable to sleep due to the party still going on downstairs.

She had crept in, as she usually did when she snuck out to spend time with her boyfriend. When she had seen me awake, she pressed her long, red nail, so like her hair, to her mouth and motioned for me to stay quiet. She had then progressed to the glass doors that separated my room from my balcony. With well-formed eased, she pried the doors opened and escaped to the tree by my window. The large oak tree, planted years before my birth, was her way out of this happy family. She was a rebel and needed to spread her wings. I guess dating a man that was almost a year older and a man that my father told her not to get too friendly with was the beginning of her spiral out of control.

I sometimes like to let my mind wander, thinking about all the things that I should have said to her; that I had told her not to go; said something smart or even important. Told her, without any doubt, that I loved and that she was the best thing in my life.

But the truth is, I didn’t tell her. I just rolled back onto my back and watched her disappear.

How was I supposed to know that would be the last time I saw her alive again?


Chapter 2: Two
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Two


Almost two weeks after Uncle Harry came over with the bad news, we went to visit the funeral home. The woman there, the one with the long braid down her back and the flowery dress (I mean, far out, she works in a funeral home!), asked for a picture of Rose. It was the final straw for mum. She had dropped her head into her hands and sobbed so hysterically that my dad was forced to pull her into a tight hug and rock her back and forth. He had clenched his jaw, trying not to cry himself.

They act like it is the first time they have cried. They think I don’t hear them at night, but I do. Or that my mum walks around, head low, hiding her puffy eyes from me.
My dad nods his head; silently saying he will find one.

I tried to block it all out by focusing on the hole in my blue/white volleys. The material was far too stretched and had worn thin in many places. Why would this woman, this woman we had just met, want a picture of my sister?

It was a strange request, considering how much Rose had been in the Daily Prophet lately, asking for anything that could help in the investigation. Then there was the fact that everywhere you went, there was a picture of Rose smiling at you from windows of the shops.

And since the death of my sister, I have seen more of her than I did in the last few years. You could never pin Rose down anywhere; she was so full of life.

Then, as the days ticked by not only did she appear in the Daily Prophet but also the Evening Prophet. More pictures went up in shops; there was at least two in every window. Considering how famous our parents are, everyone wanted to help out in finding Rose.

Sometimes I find it ironic that Rose always wanted to be in the spotlight. England was too small; she needed life and more air to breath.

While we tried to smudge the doubt with hope, I always played a game in my head, pretending that when Rose returned, she would laugh and say it was great exposure for herself. I tried to tell myself that when she came home, her face would be delighted and everything would be forgiven for the hard times.

I kept this all too myself, just bottled up inside.

So, it was this reason that I couldn’t understand the request.

Already that day, my parents had spent at least half of their savings on a luxurious casket, the dozens upon dozens of red roses and even the white doves Rose loved so much. They told me it was for her memory; although I was sure that her memory would something much wilder, possibly a rock band playing songs throughout the ceremony.

I wonder if my mum knows this too. And that is why she is crying.

Then again, there have been too many reasons to cry today.

I knew the woman wouldn’t get a photo. No matter how much my father nodded, as soon as we left, he would return to his silent and grief-stricken mode and become too distracted to remember to give her a photo.

After the arrangements were met and my parents slowly walked out the door after shaking hands with the many people offering their condolences, I turned to the woman. I reached into my back pocket and fished out the photo of Rose I have taken to walking around with. Just to remind me of my sister, the one I loved so much.

My voice cracked as I gave it to the woman. I hadn’t spoken in days and finally, the strain of one word felt like a million. “Here.”

The woman took it in her soft hands. She inhaled a sharp breath of air, holding it for seconds, before releasing. Her hands shook as she looked at it. It was as if it was the first true photo of Rose she had seen. She smiled at me sadly. “Thank you Hugo.”


Chapter 3: Three
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Three


Rose was named after our great-great-grandmother. She was a historian and loved adventure. She was never tied down to one place, preferring to move around and explore. I guess mom always knew that once she named Rose after her great-grandmother, that her daughter would be as carefree. Then, sometimes, I think she didn’t.

It wasn’t like Rose showed the world what she got up to. I didn’t even know the full extent, only snippets here and there.

Then, you have my name. Hugo, just plain Hugo. Mum was reading the Hunchback of Notre Dame’ by Victor Hugo when she was pregnant with me, and I guess the name always stuck. Typical mum though, finding my name in a book. She tells me it means heart or spirit, which I don’t think suits me. I’m nothing like my name. I’m just plain and simple.

Unlike all the Weasley children (minus Albus Potter and Victorie) I have blond hair. Rose may have changed her hair to blond because it suited her (and made her disobey our mum’s order), but she wasn’t born with it. She was born with the typical red hair that is found in our family.

I am different. The only thing I have in common with father is the freckles on my face; I look nothing like him and I act nothing like him. I am my mother’s son through and through. She was big on academics and so am I. I guess that is why my ambition is to become a professor at Hogwarts when I am older.

But Rose, she was different from everyone. If you had to compare her to someone, she would be most like Uncle George: carefree, headstrong and free. She was beautiful, wild and far too busy to let anything brush her. Whereas I loved books, she never had time to even read one page. Yet, you couldn’t hate her. Once she broke my toy broomstick, but one look at her eyes, and I knew she was sorry. She was so sweet about everything and had such enthusiasm; you could never hold a grudge against her.

”You can’t let little things like books keep you from living. Just get out of here and live it!” she would say before sneaking out of my French doors and down the oak tree. I would sit there, just staring after her, my book laying forgotten on my lap.

I was nothing like Rose, but it didn’t bother me.

“Hugo?” my mum calls from just outside my bedroom. She never comes in; I think she’s afraid of what she might find. “Are you sure you don’t want us to come to the station with you? I’m sure your friends wouldn’t mind.”

I pull my bedroom door open and smile at my mother. She looks worn and is worried, I can tell. The last year has caused many strains on her. “No, I’ll be fine.”

She gives me a sad smile, before heading down the stairs. I catch a glimpse of her turning around before she walks out the front door, locking all three dead bolts. This is the way we live now: always afraid of what is around the corner. We are cautious, nearly entering paranoid.

We lock the house, always checking and re-checking. She locked the door, even though I will be leaving in less than five minutes.

I guess that after everything happened, you could expect my parents to be cautious. Mum had decided to take a sabbatical to stay home and look after me. I think that my parents blamed themselves for everything that happened; for not watching Rose more closely. They both worked hard and had successful careers and I guess that they thought they didn’t have enough (in the words of Made Eye-Moody) constant vigilance as they should have.

It took over an hour last night for my mum to agree to let me go out with my friends today. There was only a week before school started and I needed supplies. It was the start of a new year, and my parents decided it was time I returned to school. Over the last year and a half, I had done my schooling via correspondence. I guess after Rose’s death, they decided they needed me near them, to keep an eye on me.

It wasn’t like I was going out alone today. My cousin Lily and my other cousin Louis lived down the street, so it wasn’t like I had to go too far. Lily lived two houses down, in a house larger than our own. I guess Uncle Harry wanted the best for his kids, seeing as he never had anything like they have.

Then, all Lily and I had to do was walk down to the corner and Louis would be there waiting.

For a couple of months after what happened, I felt like a prisoner in my own house. I couldn’t go anywhere without my parents being there. At first, I thought it would be nice to spend more time with my parents, but there is only so much “happy” stuff you can take. It was fake and it was forced.

Before I would ever leave the house, even to walk a few hundred steps to the Potter’s, I was required to explain: where I was going, how I was getting there, why I was going there and who was going to be there. Then I would have to tell them how long I would be gone and when I would be home. I know they love me, but to go through this every time to just see Lily or Louis was a nightmare.

I wasn’t alone during this. Lily and Louis were there, as well as the rest of my cousins (minus Uncle Percy’s princesses), but they didn’t come over as much as they use to. I mostly think that my Uncles’ and Aunties’ might have told them to give us some space; to grieve.

Then, I also think that they don’t know how to act around us anymore. Rose was their family too, but they didn’t share a house with her. It’s like when someone dies, you don’t know what to say or how to act around the family. They give you looks of sympathy when they think you aren’t looking. It was as if the once cheerful feeling that was felt at our house, was now dark and dreary.

All last year, while my friends were at school, I was pretty much alone.

Mum spent most of her days in her bedroom, in old clothes, crying her eyes out. Occasionally she ventured out, to only sit in front of the TV, switching mindlessly from channel to channel. Then there was my father. He stayed at work later and later every night, only making it home after my bedtime. On the occasional night, he came home early. I guess these were the nights Uncle Harry worked late.

It was even worse on the weekends. Mum couldn’t stay in the bedroom and my father couldn’t go to work. That’s when they argued.

I always hear stories of their childhood, when they argued nearly every day.

This, however, was worse. I was forced to sit in my bedroom, listening to them hurling accusations back and forth at each other.

They each blamed the other for what happened to Rose. I was always told that tragedy brought people closer to each other. I guess my family just doesn't deserve to be happy. My family is being ripped apart and I can’t stop it.

Then, my father left. In the dead of the night, he just packed up and left. Not a word to me.

I was forced from that moment on, to spend one week at my mum’s and the next at my father’s. It was worse than when they were fighting.

Almost a month after he left, my mum began to take her “happy pills”, which was able to get her out of her bedroom, leave the tears behind and return to work. This caused the tension when my father picked me up, even worse. There was a forced politeness and formality whenever they met. It was as if they had just met on vacation.

Although life began to improve on the surface, there was still the reality that my parents had split up, my father still “worked” late even when it was my week to be with him and my mum’s eyes were as vacant as ever.

And as much as I love and miss Rose, as much as I wish she could be alive again, there are times when I really hate her too. She left me with a broken family, where her large hole will never be filled in our hearts. I am left with two hollowed-out shells that call themselves my parents and a world that seems like it will never stop spiralling out of control.


Chapter 4: Four
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Four


Brushing my hair out of my eyes, I grab my backpack on the ground by my door, rush out of my room, down the stairs, unlock the three dead bolts, close the front door, lock the door again, and head off towards the Potter’s.

But before I even reach their gate, Lily is running out of the house. I can hear Aunt Ginny calling out to her, but as per usual, Lily just ignores her mother. Her long red hair is swinging from side to side, her lively brown eyes shining in laughter, as she wraps her arms around me. I know something is wrong, because Lily Potter just doesn’t hug you for no reason.

And as I pull away, I hear an explosion from the house. Then from inside the house, you can hear Aunt Ginny screaming out James’ name. You know it is bad when Aunt Ginny uses full names.

Lily just laughs. “James just blew up the guest room, again. I knew there was something going on from the steam coming from under the door and the smell of rotting eggs. Mum is about to kill him. I think she is...”

Suddenly she stops. Her eyes fill with tears as she looks at me. I know why she has stopped. She is thinking about Rose, and how she just said “kill”. I hate it when she does this. No matter how much I tell her it’s okay to mention Rose and to tell stories of how Aunt Ginny is ready to kill her oldest child (I mean, they are pretty funny and I know they will never come true), but she never listens.

We head off down the street, towards the corner. There is an awkward silence following us, although I know it is her awkward silence. I hate it when all these people feel the need to say sorry for everything they say to me.

“It’s okay Lily,” I say quickly, forcing a smile onto my face. “Aunt Ginny is. . .” I wrap an arm around her shoulder, giving it a quick squeeze, to pull her away from the guilt.

“Louis, hey!” I know she is only this enthusiastic to see Louis to just change the subject. That’s when she stops suddenly, staring at our cousin walking towards us. “Oh My Dear Merlin! What did you do to your hair?”

“Hey you two.”

Unlike Lily, he doesn’t hug me, which I am thankful for. One hug from my cousin is enough for one day. Instead, he shakes my hand.

He goes to hug Lily, but she pushes him away. She is all business that girl. “Come on, tell me. What did you do to your red hair? The symbol of being a Weasley? The very essence of our family? The thing that sets us apart from everyone else? Louis Bilius Weasley, what did you do?”

If you didn’t know already, my cousin Lily Potter is a touch over dramatic.

She circles around Louis, just staring at him. Trust me, Lily inherited the “dramatic dangerous” stare from Grandma Molly and from her mother. You don’t ever want to be on the receiving end of that stare.

“Well, I guess I just got Dominique to use her wand, seeing as she is a master in changing hairstyles. And, quick as quick, my hair was changed from the horrible red to the black that it now is. So you see darling cousin, I just changed my hair with a spell.”

Lily just stared at him, opened mouth. No-one – and when I say no-one – has ever survived Lily Potter’s stare.

“Jeez Lily, stop staring at me. I haven’t gone crazy. I’m just trying new looks.”

Louis wrapped his arm around Lily’s shoulder; shot me a look, before steering us down the street towards the train station.

It is times like this where everything feels as it did before; as if nothing has happened. Days where I can walk out and be a normal kid, I always expect to come home and see Rose sitting on my bed, just laughing at nothing. Then there are days, where I walk around and people whisper. They talk about her, not to my face, but behind my back. And if it feels like this, in a large town, then I know it will be ten times worse back at Hogwarts, where everyone knew and loved her.

I didn’t want pity. I wanted normality.


Chapter 5: Five
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Five


The day of the first of September was a dull one. It was meant to be sunny, but as usual, on the happy days, it rains.

I know that as I make my way downstairs, mum will be crying, but pretending not to. She will have breakfast set out, making it seem like everything is normal, even though it is far from it. Then there will be the normal politeness she will present, so that I don’t know that she is upset about having to say goodbye.

Even when our family was whole, she acted this way.

But when I entered the room, I was surprised to see my father sitting at the table, eating breakfast. It wasn’t my week to be with him, so it wasn’t like he was picking me up. And when I had asked him if he was coming with me to Platform 9 ¾, he told me he wasn’t. ”I’m giving your mother her space.

So this is space?

I see my father smile at me as I sit down at the table, the normal spread laid upon the table. It wasn’t a forced smile, but it wasn’t happy either. I could see the sadness behind it.

I just hope they hadn’t seen past my plan.

A few weeks ago, I received my letter from Hogwarts, telling me the normal stuff I need to know about Hogwarts. In the letter I received, as usual, the form to visit Hogsmeade. I know mum would never let me go; she barely lets me out the back to fly my broom. So, it only left dad. As usual, mum dropped me off in the car, staying long enough to say bye, before lifting the clutch and driving off. Knowing my father so well, the only way to get him to sign my form was to butter him up.

“Hey Hu.” He wrapped his arms around me, holding on just a little too long as usual. “How you been?”

It was the normal formal welcoming I received at my father’s run down place. It was about thirty minutes away from mum in the car, around an hour by walking. I knew he lived here, because it didn’t remind him of mum. I’m sure that if he had ever been good at decorating (or had a sense of style) he could have fixed the place up.

Instead of replying, I pulled the form out of my pocket. “Can you sign this? Mum says I can’t go.”

Dad looked at it for a minute, before waving his wand. His signature appeared at the bottom. Trust my father to always do the opposite of my mother.

“Hugo, honey, eat up.”

My mother’s voice is sweet, but I know differently. She doesn’t want my father to think she isn’t feeding me properly.

As I tuck into the food laid out in front of me, I catch glimpse of my parents trying to look at each other. They love each other, I know they do, but both are far too stubborn to admit it. I just wish Rose could be here; none of this would have gone so wrong. I wouldn’t have been worried about returning to Hogwarts after being away so long. My friends would know how to act around me and I wouldn’t have to pretend their happy lives don’t affect me.

“Hugo, son. We have to talk to you.”

This time, it is my father’s voice. His was forced into politeness, as if my mother had told him exactly what to say.

“Your mother and I have been talking and...”

I watch, just waiting. I don’t dare hope that he is about to say they are getting back together. It is an uncomfortable few minutes before it becomes too much.

And...”

Dad takes a deep breath. I can see the tears welling behind his eyes. “Your mother and I have decided to get a divorce.”

If it hadn’t already happened, I think my world would have shattered. Living apart for a while was bad enough, but divorce. Divorce was a whole other world. It wasn’t meant to happen to my family; nothing that has happened to my family should have happened.

“As you know, your father and myself haven’t been getting along lately...”

Your father. Your mother. Was this what we had been brought to? Instead of names, they are now calling themselves my mother or father.

“Does it matter?! You love each other! I know you do!”

I don’t wait around for them to reply. I can’t stand to be in the same room with them. I take off out the door, leaving my trunk and my parents behind.

I need to get out of there and I don’t care where I head.

But before I am even halfway down the street, a car pulls up next to me. I know it’s not my parents; it is Uncle Harry.

“Hugo, get in the car. You don’t need to go home; your parents understand. If you want, I’ll take you to the station. Just get in the car and I’ll take you back to our place. You and Lily can just hang out for awhile.”

He opens the car door and I climb in. I don’t really want to go back, but I know Uncle Harry can find ways to get me back. He did, after all, kill Lord Voldemort when he was seventeen.

“I’m sorry.”

I know what he means. He’s always the one to say sorry. He said it the day he came over with the news of Rose.


Chapter 6: Six
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Six


Everywhere I go, I hear their voices. Feel their stares. I know it would be worse if her friends hadn’t graduated last year. I don’t think I could have handled their stares or voices either.

I’m back at Hogwarts, Lily and Louis by my side everywhere I go. They are protecting me and even though I know I need it, it is annoying at the same time. There are times, when I just want to be alone. When the voices and the stares became too much and I seek refuge by myself at the lake’s edge. I don’t want them to follow, but they do.

Lily has taken it upon herself to make sure we have a schedule. My home away from home over the last few years has been Gryffindor, like my parents before me.

Each morning I am to meet Louis and Lily in the Gryffindor Common Room, before we are to head down at precisely eight o’clock to the Great Hall, where we are to eat breakfast. Breakfast will take half an hour, no longer, no shorter. Then we are to proceed back up to the Gryffindor Tower, grab what we need for class, and then attend class itself. If we are in separate classes, I am to be escorted to my class before they leave for their own. Like I said, they are protecting me.
The one thing they couldn’t protect me from was him.

He who called himself my sister’s boyfriend, but didn’t even come over to see how we are doing. He, the very man my father forbid my sister from getting too friendly with back in her first year. He that no matter what anyone says, is responsible for my sister’s death. He changed her.

And now, here he was, standing up in front of the only class I don’t have Louis and Lily with me. I never wanted to see him again. He who caused my family to be ripped apart.

But Scorpius Malfoy wasn’t the same. He leant against the table, hiding his grey eyes from the class. His shoulders were slumped low, hair falling across his face. Then, as I take in his features, he lifts his head and my eyes meet with his hollow ones. I’ve seen it before, in my mum. The way you might be alive, but your eyes show a different message.

And just as I think I have understood him, what he was silently telling me, he talks to the class. His voice is low, with no passion.

That’s when I realise that perhaps I was wrong. No matter how much I feel hatred towards Scorpius Malfoy, I can't deny that he is as bad as my parents. He didn’t lose a child, but he lost his chance at happiness. I’m not sure if he was telling me of his guilt, or of his pain. But I knew, then and there, he was sorry.

The man standing up in front of the class, teaching, knew how I felt. And he might be the only person that does. But with him standing up in front of me, being my teacher, I feel as if Rose is creeping back in. Her shadow just keeps following me.


Chapter 7: Seven
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Seven


I guess that it gets easier as you go. I still hear the voices and see the stares, but I have learnt to block them out. The only time I can’t is when my professors give me the “stare”. The one where they spend just a couple of more seconds staring at you than they do to anyone else. You can see the pity. It’s the look that says “you poor thing”.

I hate the look. I don’t want to be pitied.

This is probably the reason that my parents, after all this time, have decided that I should see a shrink. Hogwarts has never had one before, but they decided it was time to. In other words, my parents persuaded them with a donation of money, to make sure I am fine. They mean well, but I don’t need a shrink. I think that they might have heard that Scorpius Malfoy is my teacher, although I don’t see how they could. I haven’t even told Lily and Louis yet.

So when someone asks where I am lately, I tell them I was with a shrink.

People aren’t sure how to act around me. They think that by having a shrink, it makes me crazy. I’m not crazy, my parents are. There has still been no news from them. Not even Uncle Harry has owled me to tell me how they are.

The one thing I hate is when people ask me how my session with my shrink was. He isn’t my shrink; I don’t own him. I can’t even stand the guy.

I don’t see how sitting down in an uncomfortable chair in his office, talking about how I am “feeling” is going to help me. He doesn’t know me, so why should he know my feelings. I have never gone into that office and cried. Why should I tell him something I don’t even tell my family?

But, they think he will help me.

Even before I returned to Hogwarts, I was seeing a shrink.

The only useful thing that wanker told me was that it wasn’t my fault my parents split up. Yeah, it was Rose’s.

Now this quack, he acts like Dr. Phil. He takes deep meaningful sighs and holds silences far too long. I know my parents are rich, but is sitting here in silence for an hour, a useful way to spend their money? If they wanted to make it up to me, they could get back together.

He tries to get me to say it. Say the reason why I am in these sessions.

“Are you angry at her?”

His voice is deep, trying to sound like he cares. Truth be told, he doesn’t want to help; he only wants to get payed.

“At who?”

It is my usual response. If I get anything out of these sessions, I want it to be annoying the shrink.

“You know who.”

“I’m sorry, but you know you can say her name. It’s Rose, by the way. If you didn’t know.”

I can hear him groan. Again, it was my normal response. But this time, instead of watching him, I am far more interested in the fraying ends of my jeans. I should really write to mum, so she can send money for a new pair.

“I know what her name is.”

“Then why don’t you use it?”

Again, I hear him groan in frustration. I know I am a pain in the arse and at times like these, I like to use it.

“Are you angry with Rose?”

I sit there in silence. He leans back in his chair, crossing one leg over the other. I catch a glimpse of his well worn, woollen socks. The sad thing, I know he wears these at least three times a week.

“Why would I be angry with Rose? She was my sister and I loved her.”

There is another silence. He is waiting for me to continue, but I don’t want to. I have nothing more to say on the matter. I sometimes might be angry at Rose, but I would never tell him that. In the progress report sent back to my parents, I know it would say: hates his sister. I couldn’t do that to my mother.

I watch the clock slowly tick towards the eight. My hour is nearly up for another week and again, no progress. Just mostly silence. I don’t see how this is helping. All he wants to do is talk about my feelings and other things like girlfriends and sex.

And as the clock reaches eight, I pick up my school bag and attempt to walk out of the room. “Hugo, are you ready to talk about your sister?”

I don’t turn around. I leave my hand on the door handle. “Rose is dead. Nothing I say can change that.”


Chapter 8: Eight
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Eight


When I arrive back at the Common Room, I know something is different. It’s dark and the portrait of my Uncle Fred is smiling. I’m not sure why, but it creeps me out. You see, after Uncle Fred died in the Battle of Hogwarts, he became the portrait of the Gryffindor Tower. On my very first day, when I arrived at the portrait, the first thing I see is my dead Uncle laughing at me and the other first years.

It’s a very large portrait and the only other one I have seen is at Uncle George’s place, hanging in his study.

So to see Uncle Fred smiling, as if he knows a secret (and a delicious secret) can make you suspicious, even at the best of times. “Ah, young Hugo, my favourite nephew of all. How was the quack tonight?”
I laugh. Only Fred (apart from me) would call the shrink a quack.

“You say that to all your nephews Uncle Fred. I believe that about ten minutes ago you said the very same thing to Louis. And the quack was as he usually is. Wanting to talk about my feelings and the imaginary anger I seem to be bottling up inside.”

“Mmmmm, trust me. We Weasley’s can’t keep our anger in for long, so that guy has no idea. And, I never call Louis Weasley my favourite nephew. He is part Veela, and part Veelas are something you don’t mess with. If you were to get technical, James Potter is my favourite nephew. There is just something prankster like about him. Reminds me of myself and George when we were in our seventh year.”

“Uncle Fred, can I ask you a question?”

Uncle Fred looks at me for a minute, before nodding.
“Do you miss Rose?”

I see him turn away for a fraction of a second, as if expecting that question to come up.

“Hugo, why do you bring it up? Today of all days?”

“Because I miss her. There are times when I love her and there are times, like today, when I hate her. I hate her for leaving me with a broken family. And I hate her today, because she is not here to celebrate her own birthday.”

“Have you told the quack this? That you hate her?”

“He suspects, I know he does. Lately, he has been asking me that question a lot. I never give him a set answer.”

Uncle Fred just looks at me. I can tell he wants to cry, but he will wait until I have gone to do so.

“Just go inside Hugo.”

He swings open, not even waiting for the password. He does this most of the time to the Weasley’s. It isn’t like he gives us special treatment or anything; it’s just that he knows who we are. But when we are surrounded by others, he always asks for the password.

I cross over the threshold, the conversation still trying to find a place in my mind.

I had finally voiced what was troubling me. I told someone else that I hated my sister sometimes. I actually told someone that I blamed her for our broken family.

What I didn’t expect was a full blow party taking place inside. I know it was Lily’s idea; every party is her idea. Parties are the only thing (apart from the hair and eyes) that Lily and James have in common. The funny thing: neither Uncle Harry nor Aunt Ginny had parties like this back in their school days. Then again, my generation doesn’t have the threat of war hanging over our shoulders.

Over the last couple of days – and I’m not sure if it was me being paranoid or not – Lily and Louis have been sneaking off and having conversations that happen to stop when I get there.

When this happened, I always thought it was Lily talking about another boy she is intending to shag. Or perhaps Louis has his eye on someone. But, I never saw this coming. Sure there have been parties organized by Lily before (at least three a month), but to celebrate Rose’s birthday; this wasn’t what I was expecting.

“Hugo! You’re here!”

The voice belongs to a very drunk Lily Potter. Typical, it is only eight thirty and she is already pissed. How Uncle Harry doesn’t know of Lily’s activities, I will never know.

“Lily; already hitting the Firewhiskey are you?”

I see her stumble a bit, before strong hands wrap around her waist. Eric Danwin is holding her tightly, looking into her eyes. He is a seventh year and a Slytherin. I don’t have anything against the Slytherins, really. Rose herself was a Slytherin and I loved her, so why would I have something against the rest of them. I only had something against this guy.

When hiding from people you tend to hear a lot of gossip not intended for your ears. Let’s just say that I know for a fact (after seeing it a fair few times) that Danwin was a man-whore, who has already shagged (within my ear shot), about ten girls – this month.

So, as you could guess, I didn’t want to see his hands on my cousin’s waist. Lily didn’t deserve to become number eleven.

“Oops, watch it there Lily. Don’t want to get hurt now would we?”

He shoots her a smile, teasing her. I see Lily blush. Oh Merlin, someone save her. Where is James or Albus Potter when you need them?

“Thanks Eric.”

She’s batting her eye lashes. Merlin, she knows how to get a man.
I see him release her, ever so slowly. His fingers brush over her arm, before he leans in and whispers something into her ear. As he is leaving, I see Lily giggle. Lily Potter giggling?

“Sorry, Hu.”

“How much have you had Lily?”

I don’t want to be a nag. I never was before, but I don’t want to see someone else I love getting hurt.

“Only about...” I see her stop. She looks down at her hands and starts to count. “Six. No, wait. Maybe nine. Yeah, that’s it, nine.”
She turns pale, swaying slightly to the side. I know what is going to happen next. It always does.

I rush forward and wrap my arms around her, leading her out of the Common Room and into the corridor. I hear Uncle Fred yell out to us, telling us to stay out of sight. Nine o’clock (and curfew) passed without me even knowing. But I had to help Lily, like I have done for Rose many times. I lead her to the Prefect bathroom, knowing that a good bath will help her.

The water rushes out of the taps, while I help Lily undress until she is only in her underwear. Its sounds gross that I’m helping her, but it isn’t like I’m looking. Plus, I’ve had to do this before.

After all the parties that Rose went to, I just got use to having to help her sober up. It wasn’t easy having a sister like Rose, but I loved her so much that I didn’t want her to feel the wrath of our father.

When Ronald Weasley is hungry and tired, it isn’t a smart idea to wake him up by falling over your feet. So, I took it upon myself to help Rose have a bath, wash her hair and then crawl into bed. I never hated her for it; I did it out of love.

I help Lily into the bath. She sits on the edge, the water covering her body. I don’t help her take her underwear off, she does that herself.

She slips slightly into the bath, but I grab her before she can slip beneath the water, into her death sentence. “I’m sorry Hu; I wasn’t thinking.”

I nod, although she can’t see me. There are times when she doesn’t think, just acts.

She reminds me of Rose.

The water brushes over her red hair and I think of the many times I did this for Rose, here and at home. Every simple thing I do now, reminds me of her.


It takes a while to help Lily back to the Common Room. It’s been well over an hour since we had left and the party had grown in size. The word had got out about it.

The staircase to the Girl’s Dormitory is blocked from anyone that is not a female. There are times, in case of an emergency that a male can walk up the stairs. If it isn’t, the stairs will turn into a slide. The only person over the last few years to try this was James Potter, back in his seventh year. Let’s just say, James Potter never tried THAT again.
Lily was murmuring beside me, pushing herself away to re-join the party. I tightened my grip on her waist, leading her closer to the staircase.

One foot after the other – and thankfully without sliding down – I helped Lily into her dorm room. I have never been inside the girl’s dorm before. Whenever Rose got pissed, she always had one of her tarty friends around to help her. I guess, at school, no matter how much Rose might have loved me, I was always the less important child; too below her for her to worry about.

It sounds wrong, but it is usually how things are done at Hogwarts.
Lily’s eyes are closed as I help her into her bed. I brush a strand of red hair out of her eyes and leave the room. I’m half way down the stairs when I see a figure sitting on the steps facing the opposite wall. From here, I can tell it is a male.

His blond hair is hanging over his eyes and he looks as if he doesn’t really want to be here, but has somehow ended up here.

His grey eyes have no emotion, just grey pools of nothing.

I don’t know if I should be surprised at his appearance at the party. Through-out his years at Hogwarts, he was well known for his appearance at parties.

Over the last few days, I have avoided him like a bad smell. I don’t want the memories of Rose following me everywhere. Avoiding him is hard, considering he is my professor. I haven’t even told Lily and Louis that he is here, although I suspect that they know, considering how often they stop talking when I come up to them.

The Scorpius Malfoy that I know, is no more.

My first instinct is to bolt. Just run back up the staircase fast and get as far away as I can, as if my life depends on it. But considering that I am standing on the staircase up to the girl’s dormitory, I have no choice but to head down the stairs. I hesitantly walked towards him, hoping that he won’t notice me.

It doesn’t work. I am mere meters from him, when he speaks. It is barely a whisper, just a croaking whisp, but I still hear it.

“Hugo, we need to talk. Please, sit.”

Not once, has he ever used my real name. It is always Weasel, or lately, Mr Weasley.

I shrug, even though I know he can’t see it. I don’t want to stop and talk, I just want to get out of this hell that I have somehow been placed in.

“Do I need to make it an order? Trust me; I don’t want to be a teacher when I don’t have to be.”

It takes all of my strength to lower myself to the ground. It feels awkward, like something we swore mentally to never talk about, is about to be spoken.

“Rose and I use to always sit here during parties. It was our spot; the one place we couldn’t be disturbed, or even laughed at. Being a Malfoy is more than it is cracked up to be. All the money in the world can’t make you happy; or take away the pain. She understood my world Hugo; and she made me understand hers. We were fire and ice, but we made it work. I loved her with all of my heart; and like you, I lost her.”

I stare at him, wondering if tears will reach his eyes. But, when he turns and smiles at me, I know he is passed all that. He has accepted it quicker than I have.

“How are you?”

The words are barely audible, but I hear them. By far, this is the strangest conversation I have had in a long time.

“I’m okay.”

I know he won’t believe it, but somehow, I know he won’t press the matter any further.

For a long time we just sit in silence. I’m not sure what is keeping me here. Maybe just the comfort of knowing that somehow, apart from family, loved her.

Five minutes passed before I see him stand up. He looks down at me, before reaching into the bag on his shoulder and holding out a red book. It is just a small, leather-bound book, with red roses filling the cover. I immediately think of Rose.

I reach up for the book, unsure of what to think. “What is this?”

He looks down on me, his eyes no longer blinking. “Her diary. It was in the back-pack she left at my house on that, on that – “He stops, shaking his head. “It is hers and it is personal, and I didn’t want the Auror’s to get their hands on it. Nothing in there would have helped them; at least nothing that they didn’t know already. And plus, it wasn’t their business either.”

He is staring at the book in my hands, deep in thought. “Why didn’t you give it to us earlier?”

“I didn’t want your parents to have it; there was stuff in there that she didn’t want them to see. So I kept it. But now, I want you to have it.”

He’s walking away, unable to stare at the book, or me, any longer.

“Wait!”

I watch him turn around, as if he was expecting it.
“Why me?”

He looks at me and smiles. “I think that you should get to know her. Maybe, see deeper into the world that she never let you into for your own protection.”

“But I did know her! I do know her!”

I stand up quickly and try to push passed him. He reaches out and grabs my arm, pulling me back.

“You didn’t know her Hugo! You didn’t know her fully. There are things, in there –“

“Did you read it?” I watch as he nods. “You had no right! It wasn’t yours to read!”

I try harder to push passed him, this time succeeding. Just as I reach the doorway to the Common Room, where the music is much louder, I turn to face him. I look at his faded clothes that hang loosely on his body, and his fading eyes. “You’re not supposed to read other people’s diaries.”

Chapter 9: Nine
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Nine?


By the time I reach my dorm room, I’m not surprised to find the room in darkness. It is just after midnight and my roommates would most likely me downstairs, still partying away.

I place the diary on the bed and change out of my clothes and into my blue and white stripped dressing gown that my mother bought me last Christmas. Before heading into the bathroom, I remove the diary from the bed, lingering for a moment, before I place it under my mattress, where no one will find it. Then I pad into the bathroom on the other side of the room to brush my teeth, and have a shower.

I leave the water to warm up as I brush my teeth. My reflection in the mirror is pale; although this is usual considering how very little I sleep now.

As I step into the shower, I feel the weight from today pushed off my shoulders. I can feel the hot water running down my back, cleaning off the smell of alcohol, and perhaps drugs. Parties like these; you never know what is brought into the Common Room.

The water refreshes me, although it does not take away that nagging feeling that lingers in my soul. I can’t shake it and I don’t understand it.


When I wake up, soaked in sweat at 2:40P.M., feeling panicky, with my throat constricted in desperate need of water, I force myself to just lie there, breathing in and out. I stare up at the plain, wooden ceiling over my bed, picturing Merlin counting jump over a wall. This is what I have been told to do by the shrink, when I accidently let slip that I have nightmares.

I know it won’t work, even though I try it. After changing out of my damp pyjamas and into dry ones, having a drink of water and even reassuring myself that the dream wasn’t real, I can’t seem to fall back to sleep.

To make it worse, I can still hear the party raging on downstairs, even though I am sure one of the professors has come up and told everyone to leave.

The booming of the music is deaf to my ears; the screaming and shouting muted before it reaches my room. Now would be a good time for one of my friends to return to the dorm room and just talk with me. Harry (one of the very many Harry’s running around) is the only one in the dorm, but considering how moody he gets if he doesn’t get precisely ten hours of sleep, I don’t risk waking him for something as simple as my nightmare.

With my body shaking, I climb out of the warm covers and sit in front of the bed on my hands and knees, searching for the one thing that might just save me.

My hand connects with the book, the touch burning my fingers. Leave it to Rose to put some sort of hex on her diary. She’d changed, but even she couldn’t ignore the desire to learn new spells and practice them. I ignore the tingling feeling, knowing full well that the spell wouldn’t have any long lasting damages.

I push aside the look on Rose’s face had she been alive to see me read her diary, as I reach for my wand. A quick Lumos later and I am opening the cover of her diary.

The front page is filled with her familiar, loopy, handwritten print.

This is Rose’s diary.
If you are not Rose; why in Merlin’s name are you reading this?

I know she is right, but I knew she had something to teach me.

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