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Dedication: To Rachelle, for being precious. Thank you.

Stay

I will let you down,
I will make you hurt.

~ Hurt, Johnny Cash

I don't know how it got this far; I never wanted this. He said everything would change the moment I put on that white dress and walked down the empty aisle. As we said our vows in front of no one but the minster, he promised stability and comfort, to stay by my side forever. He promised things would change.

He lied.

There are some feelings that fill you up; dig roots in your heart and never let go. My love for him was like that: all consuming, embedded deep within me. I couldn’t let him go, even if I wanted to—my love for him was a part of me now and that would never change.

I had isolated myself for him—hadn’t spoken to my parents in years, let alone my cousins. I travelled constantly with him—Italy, China, Russia—to keep out secret safe. I had given up everything in the hopes that one day it would all be worth it…but I was beginning to think it would never be worth it. How could we live our lives in hiding; how could we settle, raise a family, build a life together—how could we do all this if we were living in constant fear?

We couldn’t. And I can’t, not anymore.

~*~


“I’m leaving.”

I watch her stuff her things into her trunk, her red hair flying; it was a scene I had watched a dozen times before and I feel a familiar panic build in my chest. “I didn’t…Rose, let me fix this. One chance—”

The last thing thrown haphazardly into the beaten black trunk, she spins to face me, her face a mask of rage. She has been crying, I knew, judging by her red-rimmed eyes and I resisted the urge to wrap her in my arms and never let go. “I’ve given you a hundred chances to make things better, Scorpius,” she says, her voice filled with distress, “and every time you disappoint me! How do you expect me to want to be with you when—?”

“Rose, please, I’m trying to sort it out—”

“Look at how we’re living!” She gestures around the squalid flat we were currently occupying. My heart sinks and my brows crinkle into a frown as I trailed over the open plan apartment; the filthy, grim encrusted kitchen, which no amount of magic could remove; the moth-eaten lounges; the pealing, cracked and fading wallpaper. It was awful, and we both know it. “Can you really expect me to be happy here?”

I narrow my eyes. “You know we’re skint right now—”

“Because we’re too busy moving from place to bloody place!” she screams, her hands clenching. Bright pink spots blossom her cheeks and I could see in the anger in her eyes. “We can’t save, we can’t invest, we can’t work; all because we’re hiding. If you would just tell your father—”

I cut her off easily. “And then what, Rose? You know perfectly well what would happen—”

“He’d be shitty for a while; oh Merlin, who could stand that?” she mocked, her voice thick with sarcasm. “Bloody hell, Malfoy, grow some balls, would you? Stand up to your—”

“I’ve told you a hundred times, it’s not that simple—he would make our lives a living hell. He wouldn’t rest until you were out of the picture and I’m not willing to risk that—”

“I am,” she said softly, tears welling in her eyes. I froze “Scor, I want to talk to my parents again. I miss them; I miss my family, my friends—they think I’m dead.”

“I-I can’t risk it, Rose,” I said softly, my expression contorting to show the pain I felt. “I’m not willing to risk you—you have no idea what Father is capable of, what he would do to keep us apart. You’ll hate it then even more than you hate me now—you’ll resent me for letting you talk me into this. I couldn’t live with that.”

Her expression softens and the hurt on her face ages her by a decade. “Scorpius, I am your wife. We are married—how can we start a family, build a life when all we are really concerned with is keeping away from the ones we love?”

I feel my heart sink and pain constricts my heart at the despair so evident in her voice. “Rose, I can’t…” I say weakly. “You don’t know what you’re asking for…”

“I do. I’m giving you a choice.” Her voice was strong now, her face a mask of compassion. “One, you can tell your father you’re married and end this madness once and for all. We’ll go back to England, tell my parents we’re together and stick out in there. Or…” She pauses, faltering for a single moment. She regains herself quickly. “Or I leave. Right now, I walk out this door.”

I felt my world threaten to collapse as she delivers her ultimatum. She didn’t know what she was saying—she thought she was saving us but really she had given me two options, both quite unlike what she said: for her to hate me now or to hate me later.

I feel the panic in my chest tenfold as I beg, “Rose, please, don’t do this; you don’t know what you’re asking—”

“Which do you want, Malfoy?” she asks, her voice stubborn. “Me or your daddy’s ignorance that he’s son married a Weasley?”

I close my eyes, trying to ward myself from the pain that was washing over me. I know my choice, and it’s not the right one.

“Rose…I can’t go back there. I’m sorry.”

I watch her face crumple; clearly she had not been expecting that. Hurt and pain sink deep into her skin as she struggles to compose herself, trying to shake it off. “F-Fine,” she stutters, shaky hands fumbling with her wand. With a swish and a flick, the trunk was pocket sized. “If that’s what you want…”

She brushes past me and I can see the tears in her eyes threatening to cascade down her face. I felt my heart break as I plead, “Rose, stay, you don’t have to go—”

She paused from reaching for her cloak—the long red one with a satin-lined hood—and says quietly, “Tell me I wont have to hide anymore. Tell me and I’ll stay with you, forever.”

I feel frustration build in my chest and I struggle not to get down on my knees and beg her to stay. “If I do, Rose, you’ll hate me. My father will make you resent what we have; he will make you hate me.”

A tear finally escaped, sliding down her face. “I could never hate you, Scorpius Malfoy,” she said with a watery smile. “I don’t even hate you now.” Then, with a crack! and a whirl of magic, she was gone.

I didn’t expect her to leave.

I felt a little piece of me go with her that day—I could only hope that one day she would return. And I would be waiting for her, right where we left off.

A/N: I hope you enjoyed. I'm considering a sequel from Rose's POV - what do you think? Either way, a review would be lovely if you have a chance and thank you for reading!

Update: Sequel Lights is now up.

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