AN: Ha... well... this certainly is awkward... I guess I better start from the beginning, yes? So... HAPPY NEW YEAR'S! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year's and that the new year has been good to you so far, it certainly has been for me! Life's been crazy to say the least, mostly because of APUSH and history fair, and finals! Gah... finals this week... I swear I'm going to be crying myself to sleep for the entire week. I hope you guys are coping better than I am! There is, of course, one thing that has been helping me, and that would be... (drum roll, please!)... THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES. Oh. My. Rowling. Can I just say... wow! Haha, I swear I'm obsessed. I've always loved Pride and Prejudice, and I've always loved the movie as well (the Matthew Macfayden if any of you were wondering), but the LBD takes it to a whole new level! Talk about hyper-mediation! (It doesn't hurt that Darcy's cute). But anyway... on with the story?
Dedication: Happy Birthday Grammy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize.
"But Professor! It's a Saturday! You can't give us detention on a Saturday!"
Amy rolled her eyes from behind the desk and leaned back in her seat. Before her stood two second year Ravenclaws who had been caught trying to release a case full of Weasley Wizard Wheezes fireworks in Filch's office. The caretaker had been the one to stumble upon them, cat in tow, and his cries of anger could be heard throughout the castle. Of course, it was Amy who had to face Filch's wrath as the second years were her students, which also meant that she had to endure his demands that the students be hung up by their toes and left in the dungeon. Though tempting, Amy had decided a night of detention would be better suited for their crime and much more humane.
"And yet, I'm still going to have to give you one," Amy told them. She smiled wanly at them. "I've got to protect my reputation somehow, so I want you in here Wednesday night at seven o'clock."
"Professor! I've got a Gobstones meeting that night!" One of the twelve year olds looked up at Amy woefully, his eyes wide in an attempt to plead for his exemption. Amy, however, wasn't deterred, and she shrugged.
"You should have thought of that before you decided to mess with Filch," Amy reminded him. The boy grumbled under his breath and shoved his hands into the pocket of his jeans. Amy surveyed the two for a moment longer before gesturing towards the door. "Go on now. Enjoy the rest of the weekend." The two boys shuffled towards the door, their heads down and their shoulders slumped. "And don't forget the essay that's due on Locomotion!"
The two boys mumbled under their breath in understanding as they slipped out of the door to her office. Amy sighed and shook her head. She didn't understand why students took so much joy out of messing with Filch, but she really wished they'd stop. It was bad enough that she had to grade piles of papers every night. She didn't want to have to deal with naughty children too. The witch sighed again and turned her attention back to the work at hand, though she had difficulty focusing. She had actually had difficulty focusing the entire night. After the morning's incident with Ron, Amy had found herself having to deal with numerous questions from Pomfrey, Dumbledore, and McGonagall on exactly what had happened; not to mention having to deal with all the questions Molly and Arthur had asked. By the time Amy had been released, the rest of the castle was up and about and Amy could already feel her weekend dwindling away.
Rubbing her forehead wearily, the witch leaned back in her seat. She had hoped that she would be able to relax this weekend. She had purposefully made sure to give a limited amount of homework so that she would be able to take a break over the weekend. March always seemed to give her the blues, and she had thought a little break from the stress and paperwork was due. And then, Ron Weasley went and got himself poisoned, and Amy's weekend of relaxation went down the drain. It was bad enough that he had been poisoned in the first place, but in addition, it was Amy who had to deal with Molly and Arthur. They were nice people, there was no denying that, but a worry-sick Molly was probably the worst thing on the face of the planet.
A sturdy knock resounded from her office door, and Amy looked up with a groan. She hadn't even opened the door yet and already she was not looking forward to whoever was there. With her luck, it would be another set of Ravenclaw students who had done something uncharacteristically stupid, or worse, it would be Molly, demanding to talk to her about Ron, which would inevitably lead to a conversation on her and Charlie's relationship. Nevertheless, the witch got up wearily from her seat and trudged across the room to the door. She took a moment to run her fingers through her hair, attempting to pull out as many knots as she could, before opening the door.
It took her a moment before she realized that she was not looking at the guilty face of a young Ravenclaw or into the face of Molly Weasley. Instead, Amy found herself face to face with a muscled chest. The witch blinked and took a step back in surprise; her forehead furrowed together. Amy looked up, one inch at a time, until her eyes met clear blue irises.
"Charlie!" Amy gasped. "What are you doing here?" The witch's mind was so boggled from lack of sleep that she simply couldn't fathom a single reason that Charlie would be on her doorstep. The only thing she could understand was that her tall, muscled boyfriend was standing in her doorway with his hair a muss and his eyes bright. Amy felt her heart skip a few beats as she took in this lovely sight. It, of course, hadn't been that long since she had seen him, but it had been long enough that the mere sight of him made the witch so incredibly happy that she almost couldn't stand it.
Charlie, in response to her question, smiled softy and cocked his head. "Am I not allowed to visit my witch when my brother's in the hospital wing on his birthday?" His tone was light yet Amy could still hear a strain behind it as he said these words. Of course that was why he was here. Ron was in the infirmary and in his birthday no less. Charlie must have come into town with the twins to celebrate with their brother and now...
"How is he?" Amy asked. She leaned against the doorframe and wrapped her arms around herself; the castle draft was slowly sinking into her room.
Charlie shrugged in response to the witch's question. "Oh he's fine, just being typical Ron. Breaking hearts and taking names."
Amy's forehead crinkled. "Ron?" She asked. "Breaking hearts?" If someone had said that to Amy when she first came to Hogwarts, she would have thought they were crazy. Sweet, naïve, ginger Ron? Breaking hearts? But the more Amy thought about it, the more she began to realize that Ron Weasley wasn't the same boy he had been in his fourth year. He had gotten taller – much taller – and he had certainly started to mature a bit, but he was still very much Ron; abrasive, insensitive, sardonic Ron. He was different from Charlie in that way. He was obviously a very passionate person, anyone could see that, but he didn't quite know how to channel those passionate feelings just yet, and when he did try, well, he usually ended up hurting someone in the process. Of course, Charlie too could act impulsively, especially when it came to those that he truly cared for, but he was also willing to accept the consequences and live up to his end of the deal. This was obviously not something Ron had quite perfected – especially in the past few months with everything that had happened between Ron, Hermione, and Lavender. Amy was pulled from these thoughts as Charlie nodded seriously at her.
"Oh yeah," he said with complete earnest. "You may not have noticed but Ron's got a whole gaggle of girls after him. It must be those Weasley genes." Charlie waggled his eyebrows flirtatiously and winked but Amy took no notice.
"That brother of yours needs to straighten himself up," Amy told Charlie, though it was almost as if she was talking to herself. She was still trying to piece the last few hours together, still trying to figure out why on earth someone would poison the youngest Weasley son. "I don't know what he's doing with Lavender Brown - and quite frankly I don't want to know- but he's been a complete jerk to Hermione, who you may or may not have noticed, is completely in love with him. Not to mention that he's completely in love with her as well, so I don't under-"
Charlie cut the witch off with a sudden kiss. He could practically fell her words die on her lips as he pressed himself closer to her. Throughout Amy's entire spiel, the wizard had been inching closer and closer to the witch, though she had taken no notice. Sure, his brother was laying in the infirmary a couple halls down, and yes he had been poisoned, but Amy was right in front of him, just inches away. She was tangible, she was real, she was his, and the wizard simply couldn't help himself; the crinkle in her forehead, the curls that sprung every which way, the red in her cheeks, and that absolutely adorable way that he loved her, it was all simply too much for him. He had to have her and he had to have her right then.
He pulled away after a moment, though his arms remained around her waist. "Can we stop talking about Ron's love life?" he breathed against her lips. "I'd much prefer to talk about ours." The witch felt her knees go weak at the incredibly intense look that Charlie was giving her. His eyes were dark and filled with longing as he stared down at her, and Amy could only nod her head in response to his question as she was still in shock from Charlie's arrival and that kiss… Oh Merlin that kiss! That was a world-class kiss, and it made Amy's stomach flutter at the thought that Charlie's kisses were completely hers and hers alone.
Amy raised her hand to cup Charlie's face, her fingers gently tracing the curve of his jaw and the sharp feel of stubble beneath the pads of her fingers. "You're one hell of a kisser," Amy said softy, her sweet breath mixing with Charlie's as she spoke. "Did you know that?"
"May have heard it once or twice," Charlie mused before leaning down to capture the witch's lips once more. Slowly but surely, Charlie managed to push Amy back into her office. The door shut behind the couple with a snap and Charlie hands wound themselves into Amy's mess of hair as their lips melded together.
Amy knew how inappropriate this was; she knew that at any moment a student or colleague of hers could come knocking on the door and find her mussed and entangled in the arms of one Charlie Weasley. But the witch also knew that she had not seen the wizard in weeks and she knew that the feel of his lips on hers was so entirely right that it could never be wrong. So instead, Amy pushed herself even closer to the wizard and held onto him even tighter.
Charlie, who seemed to be having the same thoughts as the Witch, pulled away so that he come gaze down at the witch.
"We probably shouldn't be doing this here, should we?" He gasped. "Never know who could walk in."
"Who cares?" She asked. She could feel her lips swelling and his warm breath against her face. Amy gripped Charlie's shirt, her fingernails leaving little crescents in the fabric. She could feel her heart pounding beneath her skin and the warmth of her blood running through her as a passionate flush spread across her body.
"Usually you do," Charlie informed her, blinking owlishly at her. Amy ran her hands up from Charlie's chest to his neck and gripped the hairs at the nape of his neck, pulling him down so that his lips met hers passionately once more. The wizard groaned immediately and his hands cupped her face, the pads of his fingers running gently over her soft skin. Amy kept one hand entangled in Charlie's hair while she pressed the other against the muscled ridges of Charlie's torso, leaning eagerly into his touch. Merlin, she had missed this; the feel of him pressed against her, the rapid beating of his heart beneath her hand, the astounding amount of love that was pouring out of her and into this kiss. Slowly, but surely, Charlie moved Amy further back into her office, stopping only when she stumbled as her knees hit the front of her desk. Amy grabbed Charlie's shirt to steady herself, effectively drawing him even closer to her, and the witch smiled against his lips as he chuckled deep in his throat.
In a moment, Charlie gripped Amy's hips and lifted her onto the front of her desk before moving to stand between her legs, the skirt of her dress riding up her thighs. Amy wrapped an arm around Charlie's neck, forcing his lips to remain pressed against hers while her other hand fell to the hem of his shirt, pulling on it in irritation.
Charlie's hands were moving steadily up her legs, and as he did so, his fingers began to move the hem of her skirt even higher while he continued to kiss and suckle on the sensitive skin of her neck. Amy gasped at the feel of his fingers on the top of her thigh and she immediately put her hand on his shoulders, trying to push him back. His fingers were just on the edge of her scar; an inch more and he would be certain to feel the raised, torn skin.
"Wait, Charlie-" Amy broke off with a groan as the wizard bit down on the spot where her neck met her shoulder, and she could feel him smirk against the agitated skin. He pulled away with a triumphant smile, pleased to have succeeded in distracting the witch. His fingers continued to inch their way up her thigh, and Charlie pressed his lips to Amy's once more. For a moment, the witch forgot her worries, forgot about the scar on her leg, and forgot about all the crap that was going on; all that mattered was the feel of Charlie's lips on hers. That is, of course, until she felt Charlie's fingers brush over the raised scar on her leg and the couple froze, Amy in self-consciousness and Charlie in confusion.
The wizard pulled away from Amy, his eyebrows furrowed together as he looked at the witch before down at her legs. Amy bit her lip as he did so, knowing that it would be impossible to hide the scar now. Charlie moved his fingers a bit, just so he could run his fingers over the raised skin again before he gently pushed the hem of her skirt up further, still covering her, but far enough up that he was clearly able to see the words carved into her skin. It took him a moment to figure out, his eyes scanning the word a few times, noting how the letters shone against her skin, white and pale and so cruelly formed.
Amy shivered and felt her muscles tighten as Charlie traced the scar with the pad of his finger. The witch could feel the strain behind the wizard's touch as she saw the muscles in his shoulders tighten as he read the words over and over again.
After several moments of terrible silence, Charlie looked up at the witch; his eyes glazed and his face an ashen white. Amy bit her tongue to withhold the mountain of tears that was building up inside of her. She felt her heart clench tightly at the look of utter despair and pain behind Charlie's eyes as he gazed up at her tearfully.
"Amy," he began softly, his voice just above a whisper, "Amy, what is this?"
Amy's eyes welled up with tears of her own at the heart-wrenching tone of Charlie's voice.
"It's-It's a scar," Amy whispered after a tense moment. Her words were choked and tight as they escaped from her throat with a small gasp. Her words were followed by another moment of terrible silence, broken only by Charlie as he cleared his throat.
"How did you get it?" Charlie's voice was soft and he spoke slowly as though he didn't really want to know the answer to his question, and perhaps he didn't. Maybe the wizard could tell just by looking at the words carved into her skin that this wasn't a pleasant story, that the tale behind the words was long and painful and still gave the witch nightmares.
Amy shivered suddenly as Charlie gently ran the tip of his finger over the raised skin, and she flinched away from him. Immediately, Amy felt guilt rise up inside of her as hurt bloomed over Charlie's face. He pulled his hands away from her immediately and stepped back, leaving the witch on top of her desk with wild hair and wrinkled clothes. She could still feel her pulse beating rapidly, the pounding loud in her ears. She swallowed as she stared hopelessly at the wizard before her, desperate for him to look at her, but he could only stare at the words carved into her flesh.
The witch flushed under Charlie's stare and she rushed to pull her skirt down so that it covered her thighs. Her pale skin disappeared under the floral pattern of her skirt, but Charlie grabbed her hand suddenly, stopping her from covering the word completely. Amy looked up hesitantly, her eyes wide and her cheeks red. Charlie's eyes still remained on Amy's legs, his bright eyes flashing back and forth over the insult.
"Tell me," he said softly, his voice barely spoken above a whisper. Amy furrowed her forehead and eyed the hem of her skirt which did not completely conceal her scars.
"Tell you what?" she murmured, hesitant and scared. Charlie looked up at her sharply and the witch shrunk away from him, her shoulders hunching over with self-consciousness and shame. Immediately, the wizard's eyes softened at the fear written obviously across her face.
"Amy," he whispered, his voice cracking from the emotion building up within him. There was a moment of silence, and though the witch could hear the desperate urging in his voice accompanied with gentle encouragement, Amy felt her throat close tightly as more tears welled up inside of her. Even though he had tried to mask his feelings, not wanting to scare or upset her even more, Amy could hear the pained inflection of his words, and she hated herself for that, hated that she had caused that pain, no matter how inadvertent it was.
This was not what she wanted. She had never wanted him to learn about it like this; she hadn't wanted him to know in the first place. She thought she may have been able to charm it, to cover it, but not for her own vanity, never for that. No, she could deal with a scar or two – Merlin knows she had her fair share of torn up knees that never healed properly. No, she wouldn't have concealed it for herself, but for Charlie – everything she did was for Charlie, after all. She wanted to protect him, and she knew if Charlie truly loved her as she did him that this would hurt him just as much as it was hurting her, if not more. The meaning behind this word would hurt Charlie more than it would hurt her. She had heard the word before, she knew what it meant; it wasn't unfamiliar to her, and it wasn't the first time it had been used describe her, but it had a new meaning this time. Before the term had never really struck her, it had never offended her, and it had never resonated within her, but after Avery, the word had taken on a whole new meaning besides being a derogatory word; it was her weakness, her flaw, the thing that made her unworthy, at least in her eyes, of the man before her.
Amy jumped as Charlie reached out to her, hesitant and shaking, so as to cup her jaw in his calloused fingers, and she drew her eyes to meet his tentatively. His blue eyes that were usually bright with humor and passion were now dark with pain and sincerity. The pad of his thumb brushed over her face, catching a tear that had managed to slip passed her reserve. She leaned into his touch for a moment and gripped his arm, holding onto it as she tried to gather her thoughts. The muscles beneath her hand were tense, but she took strength from them; she took strength from him.
"It's from the break," she whispered tightly. "From when I was in the basement." She swallowed, trying to pusher tears back into the pit of her stomach. "It was few days before you came to the house. I was alone with A-Avery-" she stumbled over her words, the vicious image of the Death Eater blooming in her mind, "- and he was torturing me."
Charlie made a noise, deep within his throat, and the witch felt his muscles tighten even more beneath her fingers. The pain in his eyes turned to an angry fire and Amy forced herself to look away from him. She shut her eyes as she tried to collect her thoughts but instead found herself being pulled back into her memories. The chill of the castle caused her to shiver, and it was almost as if she was back in that cellar, soaked in sweat and covered in dirt, her body aching that the slightest breath caused her to feel immeasurable pain. Amy kept her eyes shut as she continued on, her heavy breathing loud in the relative silence of the room.
"He had me against the floor and was torturing me," Amy spoke softly, her fingers twisting back and forth in her hands. She remembered the crazed glint in his eyes as he surveyed her broken form, the feel of his cracked nails piercing her skin, and the sharp words that cut her to the bone. "Out of all of them, he was the one that truly wanted to hurt me; he was the one who wanted to make me suffer the most. He was the one who terrified me.
"He was the one that did, well…" Amy trailed off, looking down at her skirt and running her fingers over the fabric that covered the scarring. "This." She fell silent as she stared down at her skirt, awkwardly avoiding Charlie's gaze. She couldn't bring herself to look at him, to see the pain and what was sure to be obvious disgust and disdain for her blatant weakness. He was a Gryffindor; he didn't do weakness. She swallowed and tried to steady her voice, trying to put some semblance of strength back into it.
"He took out a knife and told me he needed to give me my 'brand,'" she explained, still refusing to look the wizard in the eye. "He thought everyone should know what I am: a Mudblood."
There was a hiss of anger, and before she knew it, Amy found herself being pulled up from the desk, Charlie's hands tight on her arms, as he forced her to stand. The witch stumbled a bit before looking up at Charlie, her eyes wide. Her heart was beating rapidly in her chest again, the pounding filling her ears. Every inhalation of breath caught in her throat, and her breathing became rapid. The wizard's eyes were filled with unspoken words of anger, yet behind the fury Amy could see the pain that he was trying to hide from her, a pain that her words had caused. Charlie's gaze roamed over her face, taking in every detail, every unshed tear, every freckle and misplaced strand of hair, before he placed a hand on the nape of the witch's neck, her hair soft beneath his fingers, and pulling her against him so that her face rested in the curve of his throat. Amy was startled at this and placed her hands on his upper arms to push him away, but Charlie held tight.
She didn't want this; she didn't want his sympathy. She didn't want him to see her as weak. She was his companion, his lover, she was supposed be strong; if not for herself than for him. She shook a little as her pent up emotion rattled her soul, and she allowed herself to be pulled deeper into Charlie's arms.
"Amy," Charlie spoke softly, his voice a whisper in the quiet of the room. The witch hummed against his throat but did not pull away, refusing to leave the comfort that his arms were providing her. Knowing she would not move, Charlie turned his head and moved his lips to the edge of her ear. "You told me once that you didn't care whether I was a Weasley, a Malfoy, or a flubberworm. You said all you cared about was that I love you as much as you love me, and I'm telling you right now, that hasn't changed one bit.
"What Avery did to you-" Charlie broke off, and shut his eyes tightly as though he too could see the visions in his mind. He gripped Amy a bit more tightly. "-What Avery did to you was terrible beyond words. He's a monster, and a coward, and I would kill him if I could. But this doesn't change anything."
"It changes everything!" Amy protested; her voice muffled against his neck. She shivered in his arms, hating the sound of her weak voice. "Everything has changed because of this!"
"But you haven't," Charlie whispered. His lips were still pressed against the shell of her ear, and his breath washed over her. "You're still Amy. You're brilliant, and you're witty, and incredibly kind, and you're absolutely the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen. I've thought that since the day I met you and I don't see it changing anytime soon. You're still that witch who laughed when I thought she was Dumbledore, and you're still the woman who was furious at the mere idea of students fighting dragons. You're the same person who worried more about her students and doing what was best by them than doing what was best by her. You're convinced you're selfish and damaged, but Amy, I can't think of another soul on the face of this planet who is as amazing as you.
"Yeah," Charlie conceded, "You're scarred, there's no denying that, but that scar says the exact opposite to everyone who sees it. It doesn't say that you're weak or inferior to anyone else, it says that you're strong and resilient and someone who would sacrifice anything, even herself. And that terrifies me."
Amy pulled her face from Charlie's neck, her eyes wide and wet, yet there was undeniable curiosity and wonder behind them.
"I terrify you?" she asked, not quite understanding what he was trying to say. Charlie smiled and laughed quietly before wrapping his arms tightly around her waist and pulling her flush against him.
"Love, the mere sight of you is enough to make grown men quake in their boots," he told her with complete sincerity. "I mean, look at you! Five-foot-six, hair crazy enough to rival Hermione's at times, and Merlin, don't even get me started on those eyes! You can give some pretty lethal glares, and even when you're not glaring, the intensity and the passion that's always there is breath-taking. It's impossible to look at you without feeling as though someone's punched me in the gut, and the simple fact that I get to wake up next to you every day – at least when you're not here – is enough to make me feel like the luckiest man on Earth.
"I'm not terrified of you, Amy," Charlie told the witch, a soft smile tugging at his lips. "I'm terrified of losing you. You're my everything. My happiness, my love, my life."
"But, this scar," Amy protested, hesitantly. "Doesn't it-"
"It's a scar!" Charlie cried. "A scar is a scar and it doesn't change who you are. I've got hundreds of scars and you still love me, right?" Amy nodded slowly, absentmindedly running her hand over one of the scars that adorned Charlie's forearm. "And Harry's got the most famous scar of all and his friends still love him despite it, don't they?" Again, the witch nodded, this time a little more surely. "So what makes you exempt from the scar-love?"
"Besides the fact that it singles me out because of my blood status?" Amy asked. "And it was created as a purposeful reminder of who I am?"
"Not who you are," Charlie argued. It almost sounded as though he was exasperated, as though he couldn't understand why Amy couldn't grasp what he was saying. "You're not defined by where you came from or by your blood status, no matter how much people want it to be like that. You're defined by who you are as a person, by what you do in your life, and by what you do to make this world, and your parents' world, a better place. You can't let this scar control who you are or you let Avery and Voldemort and all his followers win.
"I love you, Amy, and no scar, or Death Eater, or anything else is ever going to change that, I promise you."
The tears that Amy had been holding back finally streamed over, and she buried her face into Charlie's chest, gripping the fabric of his shirt tightly in her fingers, while he stroked her hair, and pressed an affectionate kiss to her temple.
He'd rather have her scarred and in his arms that to not have her at all.
For the first time since she had left the Burrow, Amy slept without nightmares, curled up against Charlie. Her nose was pressed against his chest, and their fingers entwined. She knew her life was far from perfect, and she knew their relationship was far from perfect too, but Amy also knew that she couldn't imagine her life any other way. She may never truly heal from her time in that cellar, the nightmares would never fade completely away, and her scar would remain forever, but none of that mattered, not to her at least, and it certainly didn't matter to him either.
And that was enough for her.
AN: Hope you all enjoyed!