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I collapsed on the cool, soft grass by the lake, tears streaming down my cheeks.It was so unfair sometimes. Hugo had gotten everything,favoritism with my parents, my father’s approval, and even the fast-running genes. All I had was this grass.

“Rose,” I heard a very quiet voice say. “I’m sorry.”

I propped myself up on my elbows to see my little brother standing in front of me, looking guilty, and tired. I felt my eyes narrow themselves into a half-hearted glare, but my vision was blurred from all my tears and I opened them to normal size again.

“It’s ok,” I responded just as quietly, and feeling more tears build up in my eyes.I didn’t want to cry around Hugo, and choked back most of my emotions.  A strangled sob escaped my throat and I decided to give up trying to stop the tears from flowing. I had learned long ago, that once the floodgates were opened, there was no stopping them.  

“No it’s not okay, Rose,” he sniffled, and I looked up to see that he too was crying. All the anger that I felt towards him rushed out of me and I opened my arms to him. With a quick glance around to make sure that no one was watching us, he threw himself into my arms and sobbed uncontrollably into my shoulder.

“Shhh…” I whispered, running my hand up and down his spine in the way I had seen my mother do when he was younger. “It’s alright Hugo. I promise. Everything is going to be just fine.”  He cried for a few more minutes while I sat there with him in my arms, patting him somewhat awkwardly on the back.

“Rosie,” he said, pulling away suddenly, “I swear, I won’t ever tell Dad what you’re up to again!” He looked very solemn and serious, despite the fact that he had just wiped his running nose on the sleeve of his sweatshirt.

“Ok Hugo,” I deadpanned, “I trust you.”

After checking to make sure that no one was watching he gave me a quick peck on the cheek and scurried off again. Sighing as he ran off towards the castle to finish up his interrupted breakfast, I laid back in the cool grass. He wouldn’t keep his promise, that much I was certain of. I knew he wouldn’t do it intentionally either. But if my father wanted to know something, Hugo was the one to go to.

“I just hope he doesn’t hurt him too,” I mumbled to myself, letting more tears stream down my already raw and red cheeks. 

 






 

I felt myself being rudely shaken awake and I did my best to swat at whoever must have been hovering over me. It had to be Reagan. None of the other girls in my dorm would come within five yards of my bed, especially after the lamp incident.  

“Rose, if you don’t get up, I’m going to kick you!” I heard her say, and I opened my eyes a crack before snapping them back shut. It sure was blindingly bright in our dormitory today. 

“ROSE!”

“Go away,” I mumbled, rolling onto my side. I felt the tickle of something cool and moist on my cheek. That certainly was not my pillow. Sitting bolt upright, I felt my head spin. Reagan stood infront of me, looking incensed and somehow sympathetic at the same time. In the background I could see the glistening water of the Black Lake, and not far beyond that the towering fortress of Hogwarts castle. 

“What am I doing outside? What time is it? No, what day is it? If this is another one of James’s idiotic pranks, I’ll kill him,” I said all in one breath.

“You ran outside while chasing Hugo from the Great Hall, it’s three o’clock in the afternoon on Sunday, and no, this is not one of James moronic pranks, but feel free to kill him anyway,” Reagan answered just as quickly, but much more nonchalantly. 

“Thank Merlin,” I breathed, clutching my breast where my heart was trying to breakout.

“Are you okay?” she asked quietly, squatting down so that she could look me in the eye, as if I was a patient in a hospital that was about to be delivered the news that my illness was terminal.

“Yes, I’m fine,” I replied cautiously. I averted my eyes from hers. I could not stand to look into their icy blue depths; it always made me feel as if they could read my mind. Maybe she was a Legilimens.

“Are you sure,” she asked, her voice shaking this time, with what I could only presume was suppressed anger. “Because I would most definitely not be fine if I received this over my morning toast.”

She held up the crumpled letter from my father. I felt my jaw fall open and the burning of bile rising in my throat. My stomach churned sickeningly with nausea and my mind buzzed with the mass of thoughs flitting through my consciousness.

“Where did you get that,” I whispered in horror.

“It wasn’t too hard to find actually,” she sneered, “it was just sitting there balled up in your had while you slept. You didn’t even notice me take it out.”

“That was none of your business,” I growled angrily. “Give it back.”

“None of my business?” she asked incredulously. “Rose, do you know what this is?”

“A letter from my father,” I stated simply, trying to control the animal need to strangle her.

“Rose, this is abuse! This is disgusting! Why didn’t you tell me before that this was happening? How can you put up with this? How can you just sit there and tell me that it’s just ‘a letter from your father’?”

“SHUT UP!” I screamed, covering my face with my hands to disguise the tears that were flowing freely from my eyes again. “You don’t understand anything! How dare you judge me! You don’t know what my home life is like! He’s in a bad place at work is all. He’s got problems. I’m his daughter. I’m supposed to be there for him!”

With that I threw myself bodily to the ground and threw myself a sobbing temper tantrum. I could feel my entire body shaking – from suppressed rage, from sadness, from hurt, from everything. I knew Reagan was still sitting there, but I took my time sitting back up again.

“Rose,” she said after I had a few minutes to collect myself, “that has to be the sickest things I have ever heard another person say. Just because you are someone’s daughter does not give them the right to abuse you. And yes, you’re right maybe I don’t understand, but both you and I agree – you said it yourself – your father has problems. He shouldn’t take them out on you. Nothing every gives anyone the right to abuse someone else.”

“Stop saying that word,” I responded weakly, feeling all the fight that I had been experiencing a minute before go out.

“What word?”

“Abuse.”

“That’s what it is, Rose. Whether it be verbal ,emotional, psychological, or Merlin forbid physical or sexual , what your father is doing to you is abuse.”

I nodded in somewhat understanding, my fingers playing absently with the grass beneath me.

“Has your father ever hit you, Rose?” she asked quietly.

I didn’t respond, instead pretending to be interested in a particularly long blade of grass. I choked back the memories that seemed to be overflowing at her simple question.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” she responded quietly.  “How many times?”

“Only twice,” I responded, and was surprised by my own tone of indifference.

“Only,” she chuckled sadistically and sarcastically.

“Does anyone know about this? Your mom? What about Al and James? I saw them read the letter.”

“My mother travels for work a lot. And yes, Al and James know a bit of what is going on, but I don’t really like to talk about it,” I replied, almost embarrassed.

“I can imagine,” she said. “But I think you need to.”

“I don’t want to. I’m not really for the idea of putting my brain and innermost turmoils out into the open for others to criticize.”

Reagan sighed in frustration. “A counselor wouldn’t criticize you. They do the exact opposite actually. The good ones always tell you you’re right mostly.”

“I still don’t want to,” I said stubbornly, beginning to pull up the grass that I had been fondling in large clumps. 

“Then you have to atleast tell someone. You could tell McGonagall. I’ll come with you if you want.”

“No,” I answered automatically. “I’m not telling anyone.” I glared at her, as if daring her to try to convince me otherwise.

“Fine,” she sighed angrily. “Don’t tell anyone. But at least let me help you figure out what to do with this situation.”

“Okay,” I responded quietly, before mumbling, “thank you.” 

I looked up from the endless green to see her blue eyes gazing at me sympathetically. Her arms were spread wide, as if saying that she would let me hug her if I so chose. I felt my heart swell at the gesture. Reagan didn’t give hugs everday. In fact, I was pretty sure I had never seen her hug anyone. Ever. Even after we won the Quidditch Cup last year she hadn’t really hugged the team. She just stood in the middle and screamed like mad. 

This was big. Without thinking I flung myself into her arms. I felt her arms encircle me awkwardly, but it just felt more endearing.  Reagan, in her own, odd, sticking-her-nose-in-where-it-doesn’t-belong way had shown that yes, she had a heart.  It was more that I could have asked for – out of her or out of anyone. 

Someone out there cared about me.

 









A/N: Wow, another pretty fast update, but again a shorter chapter. As with the last time we had such a short chapter, it just fit better to separate a longer chapter into two bits. Some of you may be wondering when we will get to the Scorpius part of the story - that will come in the next chapter. I'm 99% sure. Or at least our favorite Slytherin will be making an appearance in the next chapter. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this installment. If you want to, leave me a review to tell me what you thought. I enjoy reading them.

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