A/N: Happy Halloween, kids!
This is my shot at angst, so consider yourself forewarned.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter.
I feel like shit.
The kind of shit that no one wants to be around, the kind of shit that just feels horrible, from your eyebrows to your toenails. The kind of shit people avoid like the plague.
And yet, he has the audacity to stare at me like that. To stare at me with that cool calculative look, the look that says that he knows I know that he's watching me, and that he also knows that I'm trying not to watch back.
But his eyes are as icy as a tundra, are boring into the side of my face with enough ferocity that I feel a faint frostbite falling over me.
I don't even need to turn to know that his gaze is still on me. It's intense, and I can feelit. It's like an electric shock, subtly buzzing through my system. I have no choice but to look back at him, as I know he'll just keep staring if I don't.
I turn my head to the side, and look at him. I lock onto his eyes, which are the color and consistency of a foggy London morning. For one exhilarating millisecond, I'm free-falling in them. I'm inside-out, upside-down, spinning, twirling, dancing, slipping, crashing...
I shut my eyes closed. This is a sensory overload, just as I knew it would be. Breathe, Rose, breathe.
I open my eyes again and concentrated on his lips instead. They were curved up in a semi-smirk, looking so soft and luscious and...
Okay, bad idea.
I refocused, this time on his hands. His manly, sexy, strong hands, which were slung along the shoulders of his girlfriend. I barely had a second to prepare myself before I felt an explosion of white hot jealousy erupt in me. I tried not to let it show, but I could feel my eyes tightening, my glare intensifying.
Oh good god. Get. A. Grip.
I settled on his alabaster cheeks, which were such a contrast from my fiery red ones. I looked at him, and waited for the signal. I knew it would be coming.
Any second now...
He raised his arms, fingers spread out, in such a casual way that if you didn't know what you were looking for, you wouldn't see it. And then, in the same type of nonchalance, he lowers one, leaving the other palm up in the international raise-the-roof hand gesture.
And I acknowledge this with a half-nod, and with my eyes lowered, I return to eating my breakfast. I try to concentrate on other things. Like my Transfiguration essay. Or my Charms exam. But to no avail.
My thoughts are now consumed with him. His hair, his eyes, his smile, his actions. I know what the gesture means— 5th at 10— but a feeling of paranoia starts nibbling away at me, anyway.
What if he was just stretching?
What if he was trying to say something else?
What if he wasn't talking to me at all?
Relax, Rose, I told myself. There are other things to be worrying about.
This of course, is very true. For example, the fact that he already seeing someone. Hell, the fact that I'm already seeing someone.
My boyfriend. I had forgotten about him. Which is just awful, really. I mean, Oliver is everything you could ever want in a guy. He's smart and cute and athletic and perfect... and so, so predictable.
Every morning, I know what I'm getting from Oliver. A kiss on my cheek before breakfast, a hug between classes, and a wink after he walks me to my dorm in the evening. It's like I'm a regular at a diner. Yes, can I have the usual, please?
I just wish Oliver would venture out of the norm. And be more wild, be more reckless... be more like, well, Scorpius.
Breakfast ends, and students begin to mill out of the room. Oliver ambles down to me from the Hufflepuff table and pecks my cheek. I lock into his eyes and try to make myself love him. Or even like him like I used to. He grins at me sweetly, and I sigh inwardly. Someday, Oliver will make some girl very, very happy.
It's just too bad I'm not that girl.
It's ten o'clock and I'm headed up to my 5th at 10 rendezvous with Scorpius. I push the heavy door of the Ravenclaw common room's door open, James' invisibility cloak under one arm and Albus' map and my wand clutched in the other. I'm barely three steps out when I hear the voice that should be melting my knees. Should be, but isn't.
"Rose! Rosie!" I freeze, and jam my eyes closed like a four-year-old. If I can't see him, he can't see me, right? "Rose!" Ugh, wrong. I turn to him slowly, molding my face into a mask of joy.
"Oliver!" I yell in quasi-excitement. "What are you doing here?"
"I was going to surprise you," he says, and from behind his back he produces a single white rose. "Happy Anniversary, Rose."
Our anniversary. I had forgotten. Had we really been together for a year already? A dull ping in my head reminded me that it would alsomark two whole months with Scorpius. Then I instantaneously felt terrible. I could remember how long I've been having an affair better than how long I had been with my actual boyfriend? I'm a horrible person.
"Happy Anniversary, Oliver. But our anniversary isn't until tomorrow, remember?" He looks at me sheepishly, lowering his chocolate brown eyes.
"But that's really only two more hours," he responds, "and I was begging my brother to let my use the heads' dormitories tonight. I managed to somehow convince him. He even told the Head Girl to get out. I'm doing his chores all summer but it'll be so worth it." He took my hand and started leading me to the fourth floor staircase. An uneasy sensation of guilt was seeping into my system. Was I reallyjust about to go cheat on him with snarky, cynical Scorpius Malfoy?
I mean, Oliver was adorable. Like Hugo. Or a puppy.
And then it struck me how wrong that was. I was comparing Oliver, a guy that I make out with on a regular basis, to my little brother, a guy that I am related to and beat up on a regular basis. I pulled away, disgusted at how incestuous my relationship with Oliver was. He turned to me, confused.
"I...I-I can't Oliver. I have to do rounds. Prefect duties, you know. I can't skip it. McGonagall'll kill me." I saw the confusion and hurt swimming in his eyes, and I saw him trying to mask it for my own sake, which only made me feel more terrible. I couldn't take this anymore. I'm suffocating in my own cowardice.
"Another time, Oliver." Before he could even open his mouth to respond, I turned and ran in the opposite direction, knowing that if I looked back, I would see him breaking. Crumbling into a million pieces. All because of me.
And I ran down the hall and up two flights of stairs until I was at the big bay window. I saw the back of a head, hishead, the hair so crisply blond and the skin so deathly pale. My heart stopped at his very presence, and I chide myself for not bothering to start it up again. His figure turned and looked at me, glanced over my panting frame, my red cheeks, the tears in my eyes.
"You look awful," Scorpius commented coolly, as if he were talking about the fabric of an armchair rather than me.
"Oliver... he just- and then I-I just...I'm such a bitch," I wailed. Scorpius twisted his lips into a semi-sympathetic scowl. I knew he hated emotions, anything weepy in general, but I couldn't bring myself to shut up.
"It's pure irony that you're cheating on you perfect boyfriend on the eve of your anniversary with me."
"It's not..." I protested, although I didn't really know what I was protesting. I just really needed to yell.
"It's not what?"
"It's not ironic. It's just...it's right. Everything feels right when I'm with you."
"How so?" Scorpius had a troubled look gracing his face. To him, this was probably just a fling. Nothing more, nothing less. I was obviously blowing it way out of proportion. But I couldn't stop myself.
"You're an escape from conformity. With Oliver, I know what I'm getting and I'm so fucking bored with it! With you, it's new, and wild, and unexpected. I don't know what I'm getting myself into, with you, and I needthat!" I'm in hysterics now, and I'm honestly very surprised that no one's come to check what the cacophony is all about.
"You need... me?" Scorpius repeated. He still had a placated expression, psudo-calm-and-carefree, but his eyebrows were creased, right down the center. I knew something was bothering him. "I have- I have a girlfriend, Rose. I can't just..." He trailed off, and stared out of the big window into the glassy waters of the lake. But there was a resentful tone to his voice, and right then I knew that he could just... and he would just..., too. And then I suddenly realized that this might be more that a fling for Scorpius. That this might mean more than I had thought;I might mean more than I had thought.
"I'm sorry, Scorpius. Everything hurts." I took a step toward him. He looked back, and cocked an eyebrow up, his old full-of-it expression slipping back on.
"Would you like me to kiss it and make it better?" he smirked coyly. His thoughtful mood had evaporated and he, once again, looked unperturbed with life.
"Yes," I peeped, and before I knew it I was melting in him, just as I had so many times before.
His lips were on mine, my fingers knotted in his hair. I held him close, I held him for dear life, and his arms tightened around my waist. He pushed me up against this wall, and his lips were everywhere. All of a sudden, Oliver's smiling, naive, face popped into my head. And all of a sudden, I was crying.
It took Scorpius a while to realize the moisture on my cheek wasn't his saliva. He pulled back, his eyes darkened with desire, his expression perplexed.
"Ikntdths," I blubbered. I leaned back against the wall and slid down.
"What, Rose? Calm down. Calm down."
"I can't do this," I managed to repeat, between my sobs. "I-I can't do this to him... to you..."
"You can do whatever you want to me," Scorpius offered, his fingers patting down my hair on one side.
"I can't do this to myself." I raised my eyes to meet his iron-gray orbs and knew there was no way he could argue with that. "I want you, Scorpius. But what I'm doing to Oliver is terrible. It's killing him. It's killing me..." Scorpius frowned at me, and I looked into his eyes. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. If that was true, then his soul was in serious trouble. He seemed to be disintegrating. I couldn't watch this.
"Does this mean...?"
"We're over? We were never together to start with, Scorp." This was met with silence, so I took it as my cue to leave.
I rose, and pulled my bag over my shoulder. I walked away slowly, not looking back.
"Weasley," he said suddenly. His voice, his abrupt use of my last name— all of it, made my hair stand on end. I wanted so badly to forget my morals, to leave them where they had been for the last two months and to just leap back into Scorpius' arms. I wanted to lay there until eternity reversed or forever diminished. Until something epic lured me out.
"Yes?" I stopped walking, but didn't turn; I didn't trust myself to.
"Just know," he said in a voice that sounded much too wise and omniscient for his years, "If it was meant to be, eventually it will be." I didn't respond immediately, but that line hammered a little hope into me. I shook my head sadly.
"I'm so sorry, Scorp," I whispered, before walking away slowly. And I was. For him, for me, for what was, and for what could have been. In fact, sorry didn't even begin to cover it.
I finally did the right thing.
I am such a good person.
I deserve the prefect badge I'm wearing on my chest right now.
Maybe if I repeat these lies to myself enough times, I'll finally start believing them.
Because guess what?
I still feel like shit.
Only even worse than yesterday, if that's at all possible.
He's still staring at me. I turn to meet his gaze, not even trying to set up a self-control barrier. This one pleasure I deserve.
His eyes are grayer than before, his skin whiter, and his hair blonder. He looks at me like he had done all those times before, but this time almost reluctantly. A new gash of pain erupts somewhere within me and I swear to god, I mustbe a masochist, because I don't even attempt to avert my eyes. A part of me hopes he'll throw the signal again, and we can go back to our in-the-closet sexcapades, but the other part of me knows that that isn't happening.
He's smart enough to know that once is enough. He lowers his gaze from mine and stares at the untouched piece of toast on his plate, as if he had suddenly developed eat-vision, and could devour it in one glance.
I continue to stare at him until breakfast ends and Oliver approaches me. He slings his arms around my shoulders.
Wait. What-what is this? Oliver's doing something that wasn't on his romantic schedule of the day. I looked up at him with obvious surprise in my eyes. He grins down and kisses me.
I still don't feel a single spark.
I can't help but look back at Scorpius. He's staring at me with a sullen, depressed smile.
He knows that as long as he's suffering, I am too.
And unfortunately, he's right.
Yup. That's the end. Depressing? Angsty? Completely and utterly terrible?
Reviews would be lovely!