So hi, everyone! This one-shot basically means that I'm going to FAIL my math exam tomorrow, but hey...
I found this somewhere in my documents. I wrote a piece of it before I started Paramnesia, and I decided to finish it (and therefore, stopped studying, SIGH). It's from Scorpius' POV and it happens between Chronicles and Paramnesia. I wanted to give a better insight on Scorpius. He may seem like a prick, but I still love him. Hope you do too.
Disclaimer: no copyright infringement intended. JK Rowling ownsss.
THE MISSING CHAPTER
Vague sounds. Succession of syllables. Extremely familiar.
"Scorpius, wake up."
I know that voice. What I also know is that I don't like the preposition the voice is offering me, and that somewhere during the past hours a few monkeys have wormed their way into my head, happily clapping their cymbals together. Groaning slightly, I recognise this symptom as an all too well-known hangover.
"Seriously, mate. It's two in the afternoon."
With all the willpower in the world I crack one eyelid open, and find my best friend Stephano's face hanging over me. His usually tanned skin looks ashen, and there are purple bags decorating his eyes. His dark hair is in complete disarray, and so is the white oxford shirt he is currently sporting. I take it he is a nice representation of what I must look like.
"Fuck off, Zabini."
I only call him with his family name at moments I cannot stand him.
Exhibit A: today.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," he mumbles dismissively, disappearing from my sight. "Get the fuck up."
I make the world turn black again, and petulantly push my head deeper in my pillow. The blacker, the better. The later, the better. The more night, the better. The less day, the better. I don't like daytime. I never liked daytime. Especially when the sun is shining. That's when children go out to play. That's when Diagon Alley is five times as busy as it is without the sun. That's when couples start strolling through the streets, hand in hand.
I'd like to keep the vomiting for when I'm out of my bed, at least.
There we go again.
"Fuck off," I repeat, my words unintelligible. Then, while moistening my mouth in an attempt to make it taste less like sandpaper, "Or at least get me some water."
I hear him sighing heavily, but a few seconds later he does put a glass on the shelf above my bed. Giving in, I pop myself up my elbows and take the water. Trying to keep myself from falling down again – is there someone stirring my brains with a spoon? – I let the fluid run down my throat. It's the first positive thing I encounter this morning (or should I say afternoon?) and now I can bear to face Stephano again.
"What's the hurry for?"
"The hurry?" He replies with a raised eyebrow, folding his arms and sinking further in his easy chair. "Your father just sent me an Owl."
"What did it say?"
"He wants to have dinner with you tonight, since you haven't been home in a week."
I roll my eyes. "Is that what you had to wake me up for?"
"No, not at all, actually," he says, while scrambling in his pocket. "There's another piece of parchment I've come across."
He leans towards me, his arm stretched and, indeed, a piece of parchment in his hand. I take it from him, curious, and find myself looking at a handwriting I've never seen before.
'Meet me in Diagon Alley, Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour, three o'clock,' it read, 'for a repeat of last night? xxx Caroline.'
"Caroline?" I ask tonelessly, wondering what in Merlin's beard this means. "Do I know a Caroline?"
Stephano laughs mirthlessly. "Apparently you do. One of the lovely ladies who accompanied you home last night, perhaps?"
I brought someone home last night?
"What?" I blink, once, twice, thrice. "What did we do?"
"We didn't do anything," he responds matter-of-factly. "I mean, yeah, we went to a club, and you got so wasted I had to get wasted too, but furthermore I went home alone while you left with a girl on each side."
That's all I remember.
To be honest, I can't say I'm surprised. It's how I spent my entire summer. Day after day. Bar after bar. Girl after girl. Things become a blur after a while. Everything looks the same. Everything fades into the same pattern. I couldn't tell you whether it is Monday or Friday if my life depended on it. They could press a wand against my scalp, ready to Avada me, and I still wouldn't be able to say what the last book is I've read, or the last meal I've digested. My memory has transformed itself into a temple of nothingness. I hardly ever remember anything these days, least of all the faces of the girls I've shagged.
And that's the way I like it best.
"So are you going to show up?" Stephano asks, more for the sake of asking a question than actually wanting to know the answer.
I smirk lifelessly. "Of course not."
I wouldn't like her anyway, sober. That's the thing about being sober. Suddenly people become unattractive, ten times less interesting than they were before. That spark you feel for someone merely turns out to be a product of you being drunk beyond your wits.
Besides, how would I even recognise her?
I can't really walk up to every girl in that stupid ice cream shop and ask, "Oh, hi, do you happen to be the girl I shagged last night?", can I?
"Hooray," Stephano shakes his head lightly. "Another broken heart for the collection."
"She couldn't exactly have been hoping for romance if she went home with me and another girl, could she?" I comment drily.
Stephano shakes his head again. "Point taken, but still. The heart is a fragile thing, mate."
And then he has to go and give me that meaningful look.
That meaningful look that makes me want to jump out of my bed to throttle him.
"The heart, you wanker, is a joke," I say bitterly, restraining myself, tampering down the familiar rage. "So please keep your utter nonsense to yourself."
He has a way of saying my name in a tone extremely worried and reprimanding at the same time. I suppose it's because he's like a brother to me that he's able to do this without me hexing him right on the spot.
"You'll have to talk about it sometime – "
I have to talk about it sometime.
See. That's where he's wrong. He's been pestering me about since the beginning of the Summer – but he's wrong. I don't have to talk about it. I have no obligations whatsoever. I'm a free man, graduated, and I have the perfect capability of making my own choices. Therefore, I won't have to talk about it sometime.
Some things are better left unsaid, for sometimes saying things out loud makes them more real. You can't take it back. It's there – and you cannot pretend that everything is fine because you already admitted it that's it's not. So, no, Stephano, no thanks.
It's real enough as it is.
"Alright, alright," Stephano holds up his hands in defeat. "I'm going down for coffee. Want some?"
He looks at me before he leaves the room, no traces of a smile. "I know."
And then I drop my head in my pillow once again.
I could've positively killed the owners of that restaurant as soon as the hospital had thrown me out. This was our very last day at Hogwarts – and Rose was supposed to be at the party. She was supposed to be there with me, and Stephano, and Lily and all the rest of her idiotic cousins and friends, getting wasted off our faces for the last time in the one castle we spent seven years studying and making fun. To say I was pissed off when I Apparated back to Hogwarts would be an understatement. I stormed into Gryffindor's common room with a face indicating my low point, and Stephano was the first to notice my presence. His eyes were unfocused and he was wearing a goofy grin – a look I'd seen before on the lad. Well, I couldn't have expected him to be sober still, could I?
"How 's it going, mate?" He said happily, throwing an arm around my shoulder.
I shook it off, annoyed, and groaned. "Stupid fucks poisoned my girlfriend."
"Someone poisoned Rose?" His grin immediately vanished.
"Accidentally," I mumbled, not wanting to give those wankers any benefit of the doubt, "and she had an allergic reaction. It's contagious too, so I couldn't stay with her or anything."
He seemed to be slightly relieved at the thought that nobody intentionally tried to murder one of his good friends. "But... She'll be okay, right?"
"Yeah, eventually," I sighed, rubbing my temples." Really sucks though."
He put his arm back where it was and this time I didn't shake it off. "But if she's not dying and you're not allowed to be there, why don't you make the best out of it?"
"I want her to be here," I muttered, realising the truth in this statement and suddenly wondering at which point I'd turned into such a girl.
"Mate," Stephano patted my back, "I know it's rubbish and I want her here too, but come on – it's your last night. I'll get you a Firewhiskey and we'll get you loosened up, yeah?"
I nodded miserably. "Get me ten."
"Alright," and then, just before he went off, "Hey, Scorpius? If you could've stayed with her... Would you have spent the entire night in the hospital and passed up this party?"
"Yeah," I replied without thinking, and when he gives me a look and opens his mouth to make some stupid remark, I cut him off, and drawl, "Just go get me my fucking Firewhiskey, yeah?"
He held up his hands in defeat and walked away. I sighed again, took a deep breath and prepared myself to break the news to Rose's friends and family.
When I've managed my way down to the breakfast table, Stephano is standing behind the coffee machine. I stare at him for a few seconds before I make my presence known. I ponder briefly if he's vexed by my behaviour and constant being in his house, or if he just doesn't really care. I'd put my money on the latter.
"Tell my father I can't meet him tonight," I say casually, strolling through the door.
Stephano looks at me incredulously. "Why not? It's not like you've got anything better to do."
I take the coffee he hands me. "We're going out."
"Sod off, Scorpius," he says, irritated, leaning against the kitchen counter tiredly. "I'm bloody hung-over."
"That's easily fixable," I counter, and he knows it too. "Take a potion or swallow another drink. Either works."
He doesn't reply, ignores me completely, and starts to prepare himself breakfast. This time he doesn't ask me if I want some, just lets me standing there, my head resting against a kitchen cabinet. He's right, of course. He's got a headache and so do I, and we've been having headaches for almost two months now. I'm like a brother to him too, but I guess he's getting fed up by the fact that I'm on a self-destructive path and taking him down with me.
"Perhaps I should take up on Caroline's offer," I don't know why I say this. I assume it's because I'm a prick.
"Yeah, sure," a small smirk forms on his face, "it would help if you'd know what she looks like."
"I thought about that too and then came to the conclusion that everything is life is relative."
He chuckles slightly and I can't help but be bothered by his quite suddenly turned up smugness. "I'll help you out here, mate. Her hair was red. She had freckles. Her eyes were blue."
Almost speechless, I understand now where the smugness comes from. "You're kidding me."
"You," he points at me, "have a fetish."
I groan loudly, banging my head against the wall to compensate the sinking pit in my stomach. "I'm a creep."
"You made a mistake."
The familiar rage again. The racing of heart, pumping with adrenaline, ready to fling one of Stephano's mum's fancy Chinese vases to someone's nose. Preferably mine.
"Oh, no, Zabini," I object, seeing right through him, "we're not going to discuss this. We're going out later. Get yourself that potion."
He rolls his eyes. "She once told me you were like a broken record and I'm beginning to see why."
"We. Are. Not. Discussing. This."
"Man, this stuff is smashing," I called out, my mind clouded in a way I knew all too well. "To friendship, Stephano," I raised my seventh glass of Firewhiskey and clanked it against Stephano's. He laughed loudly and downed it all at once.
The place was loaded. I'd never seen the Gryffindor common room so stuffed – and I'd been to a lot of illegitimate parties during my years at Hogwarts. The general mood was also something I'd never encountered before. You couldn't really pinpoint it – it was mixture between sadness and relief, endings and beginnings. Everyone was busy dancing and embracing not only their friends, but random class mates too. I, of course, didn't engage myself in this sort of behaviour, but I was, admittedly, friendlier than usual, and never left Stephano's side. I think I even told him I loved him, but I can't remember properly.
"Cheers to the person who applied the stock," I continued, following Stephano's example.
Suddenly someone popped down next to me in the couch. A perfume that I recognised overwhelmed me, and when I looked sideways I saw it was Violetta Chang – my most prominent ex-girlfriend. She hadn't spoken to me for a long time, nor had I had the desire to catch up with her. The strange thing was that she smiled at me, that moment. She was looking hot as ever – shiny black hair, killer body, stuff like that – and ruffled my hair in a way she used to do when we were... involved. I knew it was the liquor that made me tolerate her, because she hardly appealed to me otherwise.
"Hey, Scorp," she greeted, showing off all of her straight teeth, "How are ya?"
I smirked back at her, taking her hand out of my hair. "Could've been better... But you know, same old, same alcohol-induced daze..."
"That's how we do," she winked, "what's wrong? Where's Rose?"
I should've known then, really. She was so nice. She'd always been a nice girl to me, but that miraculously stopped when I started dating Rose. So the fact that she was being friendly and flirtatiously and even asking about Rose, should've warned me that the bitch was up to something. Yet my brains were a little too intoxicated to have any kind of perceptivity – and therefore I just let her sit there while she was about to ruin my life.
"Long story," I shrugged. "She's in the hospital, basically. Want another drink?"
Something in her eyes grew brighter as she nodded virulently. "Yes, thank you!"
I forced myself out of the couch and walked as straight as I could towards the table with the drinks. When I came back with two refilled cups, another girl had taken my place. I knew who she was – oh, how I knew who she was. The situation was so hilarious I couldn't stop myself from laughing out loud, causing Violetta and the girl to look up and give me strange looks.
"Hi, Roberts," I said, taking a sip from my drink after handing Violetta hers. "Shamelessly stealing my spot, I see?"
I'd shagged Summer Roberts in fifth year.
While I was 'dating' Violetta.
"There's enough space for all of us," she gave me a confident smile, and I couldn't help but oblige.
Stephano, who was talking to a Hufflepuff (Merlin knows why) shot me a warning glance, but I ignored him and let myself fall down besides Summer. It occurred to me that she'd grown up. I saw her every day – she was in my house – but I only noticed it now, while she was sitting so close to me I would've been able to count the freckles on her nose if my vision wouldn't have been so blurred. She smelled like something fresh, her hair was blonde, and she reminded me of a Californian girl, even though I knew she was as English as a girl could be. I caught myself staring at her and so did she, for she turned around and punched my shoulder playfully.
"Is there something wrong with my face?" She giggled, twirling a lock of hair around her finger.
I touched her arm softly. "There's absolutely nothing wrong with your face, love."
"Aww, thanks honey. Another drink?" She suggested with eyebrows raised, pointing at my empty cup.
I'd lost my mind that moment. Because I said yes and she went for another drink and I drank it and my head was spinning so, so, badly, and I started to see her Californian face twice. She obviously didn't mind though, and at one point she somehow ended up on my lap, with her hands under my shirt, and there was this constant hesitation in my mind –
Was there a reason why I shouldn't...?
And when I was finally man enough to remember, I tried to push her off me. "No, no... Summer, I, uh, have a... girlfriend."
"Honey," she whispered in my ear, and then kissed my neck, "it's just a party. She's not here."
And thanks to that very, very flawed logic, I caved.
"You're not reading."
I look up from my book. Stephano has popped up from out of nowhere and is now standing in front of me with his arms folded. I grant him with a non-smile and flip my page ostentatiously, showing that even though he's got a point, I'm not going to admit it. Wanker.
"You've been sitting here with your eyes transfixed on the fireplace for like ten minutes," he informs me nicely.
I roll my eyes. "Don't tell me you're in love with me too."
"Yeah, that's it," he copies my eye-movements. "Seriously. Do you need me to bring you some vodka, so you drown in your misery and pass out at home?"
Yes, Stephano. I love you too.
"Aren't you going to ask me where I've been?"
Stephano puts a hand on his forehead and scowls exasperatedly, "I've been gone for hours, Scorpius!"
" Oh, I'm sorry. I suppose that I was too indulged in my book," I say lazily. "Guess I was reading after all."
"Remind me how you and I ever became best friends?"
"Our parents forced us to," I smirk, "and we liked the same Quidditch team."
Stephano loses to annoyance, then, and sits down in the easy-chair on the opposite of mine. He doesn't reply, and we end up staring at the flames in the fireplace together. He's an idiot, you know – Stephano. But so am I, and that's why we are where we are. We're idiots together. I wonder if I'll ever be drunk enough again to tell him I love him, but I think we both know that sometimes people don't need words.
Sometimes people don't need words.
Yes, well – a voice inside gnaws in my brain – some people do need words.
"Mate," Stephano speaks up again, "I need to tell you something."
"You're not in love with me for real, are you?" I cock an eyebrow.
I half expect him to either smirk or strangle me, but he's blank. "I ran into Rose today, in Diagon Alley."
Uneasy feeling in my gut. Pressure on my chest. Tightening of my throat.
Funny how I never expected to really feel until I got to know Rose. Funny how I never expected to not wanting to wake up with Rose not being there. I say funny, but what I really mean is terrifying. It's so fucking terrifying that I don't want to talk about it, that I don't even want to think about it (even though, when I'm sober, it's all I ever do), that I want to forget she and I ever existed.
Because I fucked up big time.
And I don't want to have it rubbed in my face every damn second of the day.
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Okay," Stephano ignores my question. "Want some vodka first?"
Know that point in between sleep and waking up?
It took me a long time to get out of that phase the morning after the party. My bed was warm, my sheets soft, and I had a distinct feeling that I wouldn't want to be confronted with reality. I just sank deeper into my mattress, and when I turned, I felt something – or someone – stir besides me.
My body froze up instantly.
I lifted up my eyelids, and then I saw her.
I never got out of bed faster than that excruciating moment. I practically jumped out of it, realised I was even naked, and tried to find my boxers in a frenzy. When I got them on I took a few seconds to progress what was happening to me. First of all – Summer Roberts was lying in my bed. Second of all – I was naked.
That wasn't a very hard conclusion to draw.
I couldn't remember a thing.
Paying no heed to manners whatsoever, I roughly shook Summer awake. Fortunately she opened her eyes almost immediately. I didn't even have to patience to wait until she was properly aware of her surroundings. I didn't offer her a glass of water or a shower of whatever. I wanted her to deny my conclusion and then get the fuck out.
"Tell me I didn't shag you."
I was breathing hard. I'd never prayed, but at that moment I almost went down on my knees to beg the person up there to let this all be a very, very bad dream.
"Of course you did, honey," she smiles sleepily, stretching her naked form like she any right to be there. "Another round?"
And then I really, really lost it.
I started screaming at her. Told her she was a slag and that I had a girlfriend, whom she knew I loved – hell, whom everyone knew I loved – and that this was the biggest mistake of my life, and how I couldn't believe I'd ever considered her, knowing that I had a girl like Rose. I was so angry. I was... beyond my limit. She was a little taken aback, and hastily put on back her clothes that were lying next to the bed, and she didn't interrupt me once while I went on and on in my tirade. When she was fully dressed, carefully walked to the door. I finished my flood of words once her hand touched to doorknob.
"Scorpius," she said gravely before turning it, "you can't blame it all on me. You were there too, you know."
And that's how she left me.
I emptied my stomach for so many times that day, I ended up vomiting blood.
"She got her acceptance letter from the L.W.U."
I nearly choke on my vodka. "What?"
Tell me he's joking. Please tell me he's joking.
"Yeah, this morning," Stephano says. "Looks like you're still stuck with each other."
"No," my eyes grow wide, "no, no, no... Bloody hell!"
And this reminds me of a day Stephano and I spent together in the same circumstances. The Summer before this one, he and I were sitting in the same easy-chairs, at the same fireplace, discussing the same issue. He'd bumped into one of Rose's friends who'd told him she'd gotten the Head Girl position.
I can't believe this.
Stephano looks at me sympathetically. "I'm sorry, mate."
I bury my head in my hands.
This has to be déjà-vu. And not the fun kind either.
It'd probably cheer me up after I failed my exam XD