So here's the deal. There've been a whole lot more complaints about Paramnesia than Chronicles in the reviews for the past twenty-one chapters. Apparently the problem is that everyone has his own vision of how a person should react to being completely screwed over (and again; how screwed over exactly seems to be subjective too), probably because of what the reader relates to more. Some find Rose unjustly bitter, some think she'd disrespect herself if she ever forgave Scorpius. Well, okay then, but all these contradictions make it kind of hard for me to please everyone. I tried writing to please readers 21 chapters long, I really did, but I had this plot in my mind from the beginning and I'm not going to alter it because some might find it cliché. If you don't like it – great. Don't review. Don't leave negative comments because things don't go your way. It's unnecessary, infantile, and above all, discouraging.
That said; thanks for all the other nice feedback. Not only for the last chapter, but for all of them. Reviews mean a lot to me, as I might have mentioned before.
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns. Otherwise I'd be significantly richer than I am.
"He never slept with Summer, Rose."
I stop dead in my tracks.
"Summer lied," Eloise says hastily, releasing her grip now that I'm not running away anymore, "Violetta bribed her. She told me yesterday when she was really drunk."
I stare at her, eyes wide in disbelief and a frightening mix of feelings surging through my veins. "You're fucking kidding me."
"Honest to Merlin I'm not, Rose," she says gravely, and looks back at me with a worried expression. "Are you okay?"
Am I okay?
Oh yeah sure, Eloise. You're telling me my life as I've known it for the past five months has been a total lie, but who gives a shit?
A stormy, turbulent rage reddens my sight and a yet unknown fury replaces my earlier melancholy. With a clenched jaw and narrowed eyelids and an overmastering frustration, I grab Eloise's arm just like she grabbed my wrist a second ago, and hiss in a fiery tone, "Where is that whore?"
Eloise seems taken aback and glances at my hand. "Packing her things in her dorm, I think."
"Lead the way," I say in a voice that leaves no space open for discussion.
"Okay," she replies quickly. "You're not going to– ?"
I interrupt her aggressively. "What? Avada her? I would if she was worth going to Azkaban for."
I would murder her.
With my bare hands.
"Okay," she repeats insecurely. "Okay."
And then she leads me the way.
I never knew what hate was until this very moment.
Violetta is completely frozen in shock as I blast her door and immediately take her wand from her. She was indeed packing, as I perceive from the huge trunk lying in the middle of the room. Flabbergasted, she turns from me to Eloise, and it visibly dawns upon her why we're here. A sudden uncomfortable look graces her features, and she's clearly as caught off as I am with the entire situation.
Serves her right.
"If you don't tell me the truth," I say coldly, pointing my wand at her forehead, "I'll hex you into oblivion. And trust me, I don't care whether I'm cleaning halls for three months or five years. Got it?"
She has the nerve to frown and mutters, "What are you talking about?"
"Just tell her about Summer, Violetta," Eloise interferes, uncharacteristically impatient.
"Yeah, and it better be detailed," I sneer, my mouth itching to utter a spell that would ruin her forever.
"Whoa, calm down," Violetta says, eyeing my wand in barely concealed fear, "I get it, alright?"
"I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't," I snap hatefully, "given your hardly functioning brain."
"Look, I understand that you're angry at me for lying about Summer and Scorpius, but do you have any idea what you did to me?" She shrieks, as a reaction to my insult. "Do you?"
Virulently blinded by wrath I yell out, "I didn't ask you what I did, you fucking twat! I asked you to tell what really happened!"
"They kissed, okay!" She yells back loudly. "They kissed and then they went upstairs and then he said he didn't want to shag her because he missed you, and then the pathetic sod passed out! That's what happened!"
I want to take a second to register the words of her outburst, but there are simply too many questions swirling in my head to ignore.
"Then how come he thinks he slept with her as well?"
"Because he asked her and she said yes because of her pride!" Violetta bellows, throwing her hands in the air in annoyance.
Then Eloise objects, "No, you bribed her!"
I'd almost forgotten she was there – I'm that focused on Violetta.
"Only afterwards because she started to feel guilty!" she replies defensively.
I gaze at her in utter disgust, and with one simple word I try to cover everything that I'm feeling, "Why?"
"Well, I told you!" She shouts, mirroring my enmity. "You're always acting so holier than thou while you're far from innocent in all this!" She shakes her head and seems to have forgotten about my wand altogether. "He was with me, remember? I loved him so much, I thought we were going to spend our lives together, and when suddenly you come along, poof – everything he didn't do for me he did for you!"
"I can't help it that he loves me!" I exclaim indignantly.
"You could've waited until we split up before you got your dirty hands on him!" Violetta retaliates. "You're pissed off because he cheated on you, but did it ever occur to you that he cheated on me too, with you nevertheless?"
I find myself momentarily speechless and realise that those things indeed didn't occur to me. The memory of all the crying I did races through my mind, and then it comes to me that maybe she cried herself to sleep as well, and maybe she didn't want to come out of her bed either, and maybe she thought she'd never love anyone as much as she loved Scorpius too.
"Remember that day at breakfast?" She goes on in that hysterical voice of hers. "I said you took everything from me, and you completely disregarded it! I told you that wasn't the last of it, and you and your stupid smug face wouldn't listen. That's why, Weasley, that's why!"
All traces of sympathy are immediately swept off the table.
"So what?" I cry out in total aversion. "You ruined our relationship out of spite?"
"Well, yeah!" She responds pointedly, shrugging as if it makes all the sense in the world. "Do you know how that feels, Rose? Knowing that the person you love to death will never love you back? I always tried to make him happy! You didn't have to do anything and he loved you for free!"
He loved you for free.
He loved me for free.
He didn't sleep with Summer. He passed out while saying my name. He wanted me and nobody else. He loved me for nothing and I spent two months wanting to stab his eyes out with one of Lily's killer heels, confiding in a lie and in Witch Weekly, sobbing in my pillow whenever I got the chance.
But he still left you, didn't he?
"What do you want me to say, Violetta?" I finally lower my wand and look at her in question. "That I'm sorry he loves me?"
"I don't want you to say anything. You asked me why and I told you."
"You're irreconcilable, Violetta, you know that?"
She looks back at me bitterly. "I'm not irreconcilable. Bitches are made, Rose, you of all people should realise that."
"I never bribed someone into ruining someone else's love life," I remark bitingly.
"No, you settle for leading people on and dump them for Scorpius."
That one hits close to home. "At least I don't purposely try to hurt people."
"Whatever," she says arrogantly, as if deeming my argument unworthy, "as long as you feel good about yourself."
"Rose?" Eloise cuts in suddenly.
"Yeah?" I say distractedly while glaring at Violetta.
"Let's go, okay?" Eloise suggests, ignoring the Asian shrew. "This fight is useless anyway."
"So you've jumped ships now?" Violetta mutters angrily.
"I don't need to know people as vindictive as you," Eloise replies in her typical French accent, reminding me why I liked her in the first place.
"I was right from the beginning," Violetta scowls. "You two deserve each other."
I realise that Eloise has a point. This fight is useless and we're never going to resolve it. There was a time when I could handle Violetta – before the messy love triangle – but that's disappeared for good now. Too much has happened that is unavoidable, even if we did try to evade it.
"Sod off," I therefore say, and gesture to Eloise that I'm set to go.
"I hope he does cheat on you sometime though," Violetta whispers behind us as we walk through the door, "he's too good for you."
"Yeah well," I say, without turning around, "in that case I'll just bribe someone into telling you he didn't."
And then we're off.
Eloise Moreau and Rose Weasley in a newfound yet familiar amalgamation.
"So you and Scorpius will get together again, I assume?"
Eloise asks this when we're outside again, sitting on a bench on the campus with all of my stuff lying in front of us. The fire has been put out and my mind is making peace with everything Violetta has said, fitting the puzzle as it was supposed to be.
"You know," I begin, awakened from my intense thoughts, "he asked me to accompany him to Paris and I said no, thinking I could never trust him again. Do you think I should go?"
She blinks. "Why not?"
"Because I also hated him for not coming to see me after what supposedly happened."
"It's fairly simple, actually," she says, "you just have to ask yourself one question. Are you happy about the revelation? Are you happy that he never slept with Summer?"
Million dollar question.
"I feel... as if the storm inside of me has been calmed, finally," I reply finally, trying to find the right words to describe exactly what's going on, "I feel lighter and enlightened at the same time. Like a huge weight of bitterness, and sadness, and misery... has been lifted. Like magic."
I couldn't have said it better.
It's like magic - inexplicable and illogical and utterly marvellous.
"You need him," Eloise states.
"I love him," I correct.
"So go to Paris with him!"
I smile absent-mindedly, picturing the two us standing in front of the Eiffel tower, gawking at the wonder of what Muggles are capable of without using wands. "I guess I will."
And with that answer a temporary, comfortable silence settles between the two of us.
"My mum was a liar."
Eloise breaks it, changing the subject.
She looks at me with those blue eyes that are so distinctly hers. "She constantly lied to me. Maybe she didn't mean it in a bad way, but still... She used to say etiquettes were the only way to go through life happily, that you wouldn't be respected if you didn't know what fork to use," she snorts at this, "or other times she'd tell me no one would ever like me if I continued to be as sloppy and chaotic as I am... And then there was this time when I asked her if she had an affair with one of her colleagues, which she denied, even though I knew for a fact it was true."
"I'm sorry to hear that," I say, while several pieces are falling into place.
"That's why I became friends with Violetta," she explains further. "I despise liars. I'm always looking for truth, you know? And I felt you didn't live up to that. If I'd known what kind of person Violetta really is..."
"It's okay," I respond softly. "She was right. I'm not innocent either."
"No, you're not," Eloise admits, "but at least you didn't lie just for the sake of it. I guess I never waited to hear the whole story."
I look into the space, watch the trees moving synchronically, and say, "Maybe I didn't know the whole story."
"No one ever knows the whole story," Eloise relents. "Unless you're a Legimens you can't read minds."
I nod. "Fact."
"Anyway," she murmurs, "I have to go. I just wanted to sort it out first, you know? All these miscommunications..."
"Yeah, I know," I kind of smile.
She stands up from her seat and walks away from me, backwards and slowly. "I am sorry, though."
"Yeah," I say again, and wave vaguely just before she turns around. Then, as she calls her last goodbye, I blurt out after her, "I missed you."
From a distance she waves back. "I missed you too!" After which she waves again.
When I can't see her silhouette anymore, I finally allow my thinking to take over. My fury for Violetta has subsided, which enables me to think the subject over in a much clearer manner. It's a lot to progress, after all. I did live a lie, but what's truth in the first place? I mean, it's like Eloise said. We never know the whole story.
We never owned the truth.
Neither of us did. In fact – no one ever does. Not Albus Dumbledore, not Jesus, not you or me or Violetta or Eloise or Matt or Scorpius or Summer. Truth is unattainable, because you never quite grasp it in its whole. I thought it was okay for me and Scorpius to run off together and leave Violetta completely behind, because we would make a better match. Violetta thought it wasn't because she was alone and in her eyes, her love for Scorpius it itself was reason enough to push me off the bandwagon. Eloise thought I lied to her just like her mum had, which made her turn to Violetta for hopefully better support. Summer thought that money and pride outweighed an honest recollection of events, and stopped feeling guilty because she didn't have to face any consequences. Matt thought I should forgive Scorpius because said boy prevented us from being happy, and because he never really knew how fucked up I felt during the summer. Scorpius thought insulting Violetta, Eloise, Matt and Summer was forgivable because of his love for me.
That's a whole lot of so-called truths.
And alright. You could say, string them together and voila, there you have it. Your oh-so miraculously unreachable truth. But what do you do afterwards? You land yourself into a new situation, in a different context, with maybe other or even the same people, and you can start from zero all over again.
Maybe I was just wrong, you know? Maybe I was wrong to assume I'm always in the right. I never demanded an explanation from Eloise when she went mental on me. Because that's what I thought – that she'd gone mental. She actually had a very sane reason. And maybe, or probably, I shouldn't have completely doubted Scorpius. Maybe I should've put him on a pedestal. And he should've too.
I mean, what I'm trying to say here is that, everything always comes down to what you yourself believe.
The fact that I not only know this but understand it too, makes me think that I have grown from the person I was in Hogwarts. And isn't that what it's all about? Learning new things, expanding your horizons, getting wiser while you get older?
Perhaps that's the essence of truth. And one step closer to owning it.
Because, all you can ever really know, is yourself.
I spent my entire Sunday thinking.
Thinking, desiring, and talking to Louis.
He was ecstatic to see me, I was ecstatic to see him. Albus joined the party and there we were, the three of us, as it used to be, sitting in my room, staring at the ceiling, playfully pinching one another and engaging ourselves into fun banter. As I told Eloise – I felt lighter. Like my old self again. Joking around, smiling every now and then, genuinely laughing, just... being. Not like shell or a lesser version of what I used to be anymore. I'm me again. Happy and content and as always, thinking about the one person that just might've become available yet again.
It was Louis who convinced me to actually go to the train station.
He woke me up this morning, sitting next to my bed Indian-style, smiling at me in a way that made me want to hug him, and said: "I packed your things for Paris."
To which I mumbled in a sleepy voice, "You did not."
"You and Scorpius are the epitome of undeniable," he said persuasively, "don't hurt yourself by not going."
"The fact that he didn't cheat on me," I replied with my face pushed into the pillow, "doesn't change the lack of explanation afterwards."
"So you're just… leaving it at that?" He asked in a baffled tone.
"Maybe," I sighed.
"But, Rose, look at it from this perspective: the root of your issue was his cheating. The fact that he left you in the hospital made the root grow into a plant," Louis tries, kind of amazing me with the metaphor. "Well, what happens when you cut the root of a plant?"
And it was then when I became convinced and this is how I ended up in King's Cross station.
It's currently 12:50 and I find him standing in the middle of the 5 1/4 platform. His near-white hair is blowing in the wind and he's wearing the leather jacket we bought together, with a Slytherin scarf draped around his neck, and bloody hell, I have to catch my breath before I manage to move again. The memory of the same boy standing on platform 9 3/4, seven and a half years ago, vaguely comes to mind – Scorpius Malfoy, an eleven-year-old vision of angelic disguise, next to his parents with an infuriating smirk painted on his face. I muse briefly over how far we've come, and am rendered back in motion when the now eighteen-year-old Scorpius Malfoy finally turns his head and notices me.
At first he looks like he's been hit by a Bludger.
Then he really, really smiles, making my heart do a sudden flip-flop.
"I figured," I say loudly, shrugging as if to say what could I do?, when he saunters over to me with that stupid, huge smile, "a few days of Paris wouldn't hurt, now would they?"
When he's face to face with me he doesn't waste his time on words, but immediately kisses me with such a fiery conviction that I know for sure, in my body, my mind, my instincts, my everything, that I couldn't have let him go even if I tried. This young man is impossible to get off my radar and out of my system. He is the blueprint of my feelings, the embodiment of logic and sentiment combined, my whirlwind and rollercoaster – and oh Merlin, the best kisser in the world.
But then it hits me.
Then I remember that he deserves to know, finally, what I know, and stop feeling about himself what I felt about him for the past few months.
"Scorpius," I mumble against his lips, "you have to listen to me. It's important."
"Please don't ruin the mood by telling me your cat died or something," he replies, voice hoarse. He's so nearby I can count the darker specks in his otherwise even grey eyes.
"Crookshanks would probably survive an atomic bomb, so no," I shake my head and manage a little space between us, "it's about you. And Summer."
An instant worried expression reaches his face.
"You didn't sleep with her," I say calmly, never breaking eye-contact as I want to take in everything he does. "You said you missed me and passed out. That's what happened."
With a dropped jaw, he manages to bring out, "I – what?"
"Summer lied to you. Violetta bribed her into it," I tell him earnestly, taking his hands as if to prevent him from growing incredibly mad.
He's perplexed and I can feel the tremors waving over from him to me.
"She did," I confirm.
"That's – " He doesn't know what to say. "That's... all this suffering... we never had a reason to split up?" He seems to unfreeze slowly. "Pinch me."
"Why?" I ask, puzzled.
"I want to know if I'm dreaming," he shakes his head, "I want to know if you're really standing here."
I cock an eyebrow. "Doesn't this feel real to you?"
And with that I stand on my tiptoes, lift my head back up and kiss him again, sensually and comfortingly, languidly and electrifying.
I missed him.
I missed him more than words could possibly describe.
"Did you kill her for me?" He asks eventually, his hands clasped behind my back now. "Preferably in a painful, torturing manner?"
"Almost," I crack a grin. "I presume there's always time after the break."
"I'm going to hex her so badly she's going to regret ever being born," he mutters darkly. "Maybe I should search some inspiration from the Huns or the Chinese. Or maybe I should just stick with the good old Cruciatus curse. I hear that's quite effective as well..."
"Yeah, I heard that too." Then I channel a somewhat more serious expression. "If you ever, ever leave me like that again though," I squint my eyes, "I'll use it on you."
Because, honestly, it weren't Louis' pretty words that convinced me.
It was the fact that I was waiting to forgive him until I could forgive myself for doing so. I was waiting for the point where I could be with him again without disrespecting myself. Because I would've. I would've disrespected myself if I'd allowed myself to love him after the tricks he pulled on me. But isn't this the point? Isn't this where to let go?
"I'll leave you a note next time," he says, winking, but when he sees my threatening face, he shakes his head, "I promise to make an Unbreakable Vow with you to never do something like that ever again. In fact, I'll agree to do it on the tr – "
Then the whistle of the ticket inspector interrupts him.
"I don't have a ticket!" I gasp in horror.
Trust me to be so ungodly attentive on moments like these.
"Here's mine," he says quickly, taking his ticket from his pocket and giving it to me, "I'll take care of it. Get in and I'll see you in a second, alright?"
He gives me a brief peck on my cheek. I obey his wishes and step in the train with my charmed backpack. As most Wizarding trains look the same, the second wave of nostalgia washes over me when I walk through the passages, trying to find unoccupied seats. I eventually stumble upon a compartment that's empty, put down my luggage, and sit down on one of the soft couches. I open the red curtains and as I watch the passing landscape, drops start to scatter across the window.
It has started to rain.
It has started to rain.
An overwhelming euphoria comes over me, because it's as if even mother nature wants to tell me that I'm not being an idiot for believing in us. For not being a total cynic like I have been. For venturing a new guess. For letting my emotions dominate once again. I almost start laughing, out of nowhere, in a strange fit of joy, but then I hear footsteps and Scorpius' head peeks around the corner, and a huge smirk forms upon his pretty boy features. His arms are folded loosely, he's leaning against the doorframe nonchalantly, and a few platinum strands of hair fall in front of his forehead.
"Well, if it isn't the oh so pretty Rose Weasley!"
This has to be déjà-vu.
Only this time, it is the fun kind.
That's it. I might re-write it, but I think I'll stick with this for a while.
DON'T FAVOURITE WITHOUT REVIEWING BECAUSE I WILL BE DEADLY ANNOYED WITH YOU.