All I Needed Was the Truth
I never knew, I never knew that everything was falling through
that everyone I knew was waiting a cue
to turn and run when all I needed was the truth
- over my head (cable car), the fray
"I don't need your help."
Her anger was written all over her face.
"Oh, don't you?" I said, and she tensed.
In the beginning, we weren't friends. She hated people, and I hated her.
She was one of those people that was always out to get everyone, if you know what I mean. If my friends and I tried to sneak out, she'd always catch us and turn us in. Gryffindors did not take well to being turned in by Slytherins, and therefore, by default, I had to hate her.
If that wasn't bad enough, she had this funny way of looking straight through me, as if I didn't exist. I'd always been one of those guys that craved the spotlight, so her obvious disinterest in me was unnerving. She was interested in generally everything but me and the group I hung around with, which just angered me.
Her name was Molly Weasley the Second, and I found her to be the most irritating human in existence.
Of course, things changed. Things always seem to change for the worst that way. She seemed to be deteriorating, and I, having a hero complex that rivaled that of Harry Potter, found myself desperate to help.
Lucy was the first to point it out to me. "Ly," she said with desperate eyes, "I know you've got a lot on your plate, but you're the most heroic person I know, and Molly's going through a lot. I know she's a bit much to handle at times, but she's my sister. Do you think you could spare a bit of time to help her out? Please?"
And of course, presented with the compliments and the opportunity to help someone out, I agreed. I'm really such a masochist at times.
So that was how I came to seek out Molly Weasley.
She wasn't amused when I first came to her. "Lucy told you to find me," was what she said in a scathing tone. "But she's wrong. Lucy's wrong. I don't need your help; I don't need anyone's help."
"I don't intend on giving up," I informed her, my voice icier than normal.
"Then you're an idiot," was her simple, eloquent response before she walks off.
Things changed after that, though. I didn't know if it was my silent determination or her desperation for the company of another person, but she stopped looking through me as if I wasn't there. She kept deteriorating, though; I noticed, just as I noticed everything else.
One day, I gathered up all my courage and asked her if she wanted to talk. She asked me if I wanted to die. I laid off for a bit.
It was during that period of time that she attempted suicide.
The whole school was buzzing, terrified looks on their faces. "Did you hear?" Lanie Finnigan asked me between classes. "Molly Weasley tried to off herself."
"Oh," was my obviously eloquent response.
My mind was going in about a million different directions. Could I have stopped her? How could she even think of offing herself? What about Lucy and heck, her whole family? But I ignored all of this, all of the thoughts, and I ran as fast as my legs would carry me up the stairs.
I grabbed the shoulder of one of Molly's millions of cousins. Dominique Weasley turned around and raised an eyebrow at me. "Scamander."
"Yeah, that's me." I rolled my eyes. "Where's Molly now?"
"They've put her in the Hospital Wing. They say she's not mentally stable." Dominique's tone was biting, dark, as if she actually did care about her cousin. "I think I'd know better than she would."
Dominique's expression told me all I needed to know – she'd had no idea.
I didn't tell her that I'd known beforehand. She didn't ask why I cared.
Once I got up to the Hospital Wing, I found a lady blocking the door. "Molly doesn't want to talk to anyone," she snarled.
I sighed. "Tell her it's Lysander."
"She doesn't wanna talk to no Lysander," the large lady informed me. "Go back to your dorm, pretty boy."
I knew that I had no choice. I returned to my dorm.
Just a week ago, I had thought that Molly Weasley was the worst person alive. Now, here I was, moping by the Gryffindor fire and worrying about her safety.
"She'll be fine, mate," James reassured me, though his expression portrayed the opposite. "She's a strong girl."
I didn't tell him that suicide was a sign of giving up strength. Instead, I just nodded. "I know." I didn't.
That night, I snuck out of my dorm, ignoring the fact that I had been expressly forbidden to visit her by what seemed like everyone. I made it to the Hospital Wing without anyone catching me, and then I knelt beside her bed. "Molly."
She mumbled something incoherently and then turned on her side to face me. "Scamander? What are you doing here?"
"I think the more appropriate question is what are you doing here." I folded my arms across her chest. "Honestly, what were you thinking?"
"I was thinking no one would care," Molly said sharply. "My family sucks, for lack of a better word, and I don't have any friends. Well, Dominique perhaps, but she's got Scorpius and all the girls in our year, so she doesn't need me around."
"I would care." The words fell out of my mouth naturally, before I even had the time to think about them.
"You don't know me," she reminded me.
"Let me, then."
She stared at me then, as if she was trying to figure me out. Her eyes traced every inch of me, from the tip of my head to the curve of my toes, and then she shook her head. "I'm not a Gryffindor. I don't take risks."
"Yeah, well, I'm not a Ravenclaw, so I'm not insanely smart, but I still know a few things." I rolled my eyes. "Honestly, Molly, I'm not asking you to jump off a cliff. I'm merely wondering if you will allow me the pleasure of a few conversations with you. A friendship, maybe."
"I'm not good," she muttered. "With people. With anything. I insult and I tear down and I don't know how to build back up."
"I've always been a bit of an expert on building." I chucked. "I want this." I don't say 'I want you', because that would just make things all the more awkward.
"I don't need you." Her voice was strained, and I knew that her efforts at resistance were proving all the more futile by the moment. Slowly, I reached down and picked up her hand, giving it a quick squeeze before I released it again.
The next time I saw her was the day after she'd been released from the hospital. I was in the library, thumbing through an old Quidditch book, when she came and sat down across from me. "Are we friends?" she demanded, showing me that she didn't know if our encounter in the Hospital Wing had been fake or not.
"I guess?" I quirked an eyebrow at her. "It's really your decision."
"Good. I need a friend." She stood up, seizing me by the arm and dragging me up beside her. "You're obviously not too busy. Look, this guy keeps trying to ask me out, and – oh, Merlin. Here he comes now. I honestly despise him."
The guy was fairly good-looking, though I really can't say. He had blonde hair, a few freckles, and an okay complexion. With a grin, he strode up to me and Molly. "Hey, Weasley. You're looking nice today." He finished his sentence with an obnoxious wink, like the implications of his sentence weren't obvious already. "And who's this? A cousin?"
"Lysander, actually. Lysander Scamander," I informed him with a small smirk. For some reason, I was starting to feel protective of the redhead by my side. "I can tell you right now she's not interested."
"Oh yeah? And why's that?" The boy was growing even more obnoxious by the moment. I was wishing he'd go away already, and he'd only just showed up.
Pointedly, Molly grabbed my hand, entwining her pale, fragile fingers with my own warm, strong ones. I tried not to look surprised. Honestly, I had grossly overestimated by acting abilities, but at least the dude seemed to be fooled. With a glare, Molly hissed, "Go die in a hole. You're obviously not wanted here."
"Whatever, whatever." The guy threw up his hands. "Good luck dealing with her." The last part was directed at me, but I pretended not to have heard.
Once he was gone at last, Molly turned to me. She shrugged apologetically. "Sorry. He's an idiot who can't take a hint, so I had to set him straight somehow."
She really didn't sound very sorry, so I didn't bother accepting her apology. Instead, I simply nodded. "It's cool. Who is he, anyway?"
"I don't know his name. Don't bother learning the names of insignificant idiots." Her tone was condescending. "I hate the majority of the people at this school."
"Even Slytherins?" I had a hard time believing this.
After that, Molly seemed to realize that I was not, in fact, out to get her. Instead, I simply wanted to keep an eye on her, because of that stupid hero complex – and the fact that she really was starting to interest me. Despite the fact that she was rude to nearly everyone, a Slytherin through and through, and the girl that my twin Lorcan thought was the most despicable human being on the planet, I was starting to enjoy her company. Of course, none of my fellow Gryffindors approved.
"You do realise she has a black hole for a heart?" Ava Thomas informed me. I knew that already. I didn't care.
"She hates everyone," Rose Weasley hissed into my ear during Transfiguration. I nodded.
Of course, Austin Wood was the most adamant about me not speaking to her. "Are you a traitor?" he bellowed, crossing his arms firmly across his chest. "Why are you in such close cahoots with that Slytherin?"
I laughed, mainly because he used the word cahoots. He threatened to kick me off of the team. (Of course, he didn't. I was the best Chaser they'd ever had. No chance they'd ever get rid of me.)
None of them stopped me from speaking to her. Sometimes she asked about it, most times she didn't. It was better that way, when neither of us were thinking about why we were talking to each other, why we'd broken all of the social customs, why I was listening to Lucy instead of Rose all of a sudden. It gave me a sense of tranquility, one that I kind of craved, despite the fact that I was in the 'loud' house of Gryffindor.
Of course, Molly broke that wall one day. "Why'd you listen to Lucy?" she asked me, not looking into my eyes. "I mean, half of what she says is complete nonsense. I hardly ever listen to her."
I don't know how to respond to the question. Why did I listen to Lucy? Of course, I had been looking for the chance to help someone out, but I can't very well tell Molly that. Or can I? Avoiding the mental debate, I simply shrug. "Because I could."
"That's not a very appropriate approach to take to life, Lysander." She threw a rock at the water, watching as it rippled out, consuming the pond.
"Neither is 'I hate everyone', Molly." It was true, and she knew it.
"I'm not very appropriate."
This, I decided, was the full and complete truth.
In the past, many people had tried to keep a rein on Molly Weasley. She was the uncontested 'ruler' of the school. Not a ruler as in everyone liked her, but a ruler as in people were a bit scared of her. Perhaps because she spoke her mind and cared for no one but herself. Of course, I set out to change that.
"You know, you could be less rude," I pointed out after she told an insecure kid to 'shut up and grow some self-confidence'.
"You could be less annoying," was all Molly said in return. "Yet you don't do that, either."
I sighed impatiently. For someone who was so 'intelligent', she could really be thick-headed at times. "Look, this isn't about me. This is about the fact that you have mental issues and clearly don't know how to go a day without insulting someone."
One of her eyebrows shot up. "Is that what this is about? Is that why you're talking to me? You want to be my psychologist? I told you, Scamander, I'm perfectly fine on my own. I don't need anyone, least of all a psychologist – "
"No," I said at once. "No, I don't want to be your psychologist. But I would like you to be nicer to people."
"For what reason?" Genuine curiosity outlined her features.
"If you're nice to people, they'll be nice to you." Simple. She still didn't seem to grasp the concept.
"But I don't want to be nice. Nice is boring." She scowled. "People are boring, especially Gryffindors."
"I take offense to that." Instead of making her feel bad, that made her laugh. Then she just walked off, as if to show me that she really did not care about my feelings. That just made me all the more determined.
"Have you ever really cared for someone?" I asked her one day.
She glanced over at me, showing me she was actually considering the question (for once). "Yeah. Sure. My sister. I care for her."
"Someone not in your family." I felt like I was fishing for answers I wasn't going to find. Sure, I was a Gryffindor, and that implied I was supposed to face my problems head-on. This, however, was not the typical Quidditch match or Transfiguration lesson or blown-up potion (I tended to blow up my potions the majority of the time). This involved the feelings of a girl I'd previously despised because of her unpleasant disposition. This meant that I was falling for someone that I definitely should not fall for.
This meant that I was a complete and utter idiot. (Though of course, I knew that.)
Molly seemed to think about it for a moment. "I don't know."
I was growing frustrated, which was not a good thing, considering I had a bit of a temper. "What do you mean, you don't know?"
"I don't know! I don't know what it's like to care for someone outside of my family, so if I did, I wouldn't know!" Her eyes fell on me, scrutinizing me, trying to figure something out. "Why do you care?"
Why did I care? I asked myself. Despite the fact that it was a reasonable question, I blew up. "Why do I care? Why can't you just accept the fact that someone cares about you? For someone so 'smart', you're really thick! People care for other people! I care for you!"
She stared at me, as if she really didn't understand what I was saying. Then, on impulse, like the idiotic, impulsive Gryffindor that I was, I kissed her.
It was a long, desperate kiss, mostly consisting of me trying to show her that I really did care for her, much more than I wanted to. After the initial moment or two of surprise, she kissed me back, placing her chilly hands on either side of my face. Once she pulled back at last, she stared at me.
"I – I – " My brain and my mouth worked in sync, trying to figure out some sort of explanation for what I'd just done.
She stood up. "I have to go."
We both knew that she didn't have to.
"So," Lucy said brightly. "You like my sister."
Burying my head in my hands, I moaned. "Does everyone know?"
"No, but I'm her sister, so I do." Lucy grinned at me. "There's no need to be embarrassed. I figured it would happen eventually."
"You set us up?" I groaned again. "You know, I really hate you sometimes."
"I figured you might. But, if it helps any, she likes you too. She's just, um, bad at dealing with things like this," Lucy told me. "She's not used to liking guys, let alone guys like you."
"Guess I'm just special then," I replied gruffly, placing a hand on the side of my face and leaning into it. "I've gotta go, Luce. I've got Quidditch practice."
"Have fun!" She was sincere, so sincere. Why couldn't I have liked her? She was nice, sweet, full of love for everyone, exactly the opposite of her brazen, icy sister. Yet it was Molly I had fallen for, despite Molly's numerous flaws, and not Lucy. Did that mean something? I wasn't sure.
I just knew that I had to talk to her, and soon.
She approached me first this time. "Scamander," she said, eyes dark. "I'm... I'm sorry about..." She flushed a little bit, which was completely unlike her.
"Why are you sorry?" I blinked. It didn't make any sense. She wasn't really the type to apologise, much less for something that was hardly her fault.
"Because I was wrong." She took a deep breath and stepped closer to me. "I think I do. Care for you, that is. More than I'd intended to. I can't work out if that's a good thing or not." Blinking, she shook her head, looking disoriented. "I do still hate most people. But you're different somehow."
"Am I?" I raised an eyebrow. How was I different? I was the stereotypical Gryffindor – prideful, slightly arrogant, heroic, impulsive, Quidditch star.
"Yes. You tried to help a Slytherin. Most Gryffindors – well, they just wouldn't. You proved my theory wrong." She smiled slightly, something that was very rare for hers.
"Your theory?" I questioned.
With a frown, she told me, "I used to think that Gryffindors were uncaring beasts. I still think that. I just – not all Gryffindors are uncaring beasts."
"Thanks," I replied warmly. Coming from her, that was a high compliment. It was scary how I preferred that to the typical sort of compliments, like "you're hot" or something of the like.
She placed a hand on my arm tentatively, like she thought that I would pull away. Grinning, I put a hand on the side of her face. "It's cool, 'cause I care about you too."
Then I kissed her again. This time, she didn't pull away. (For a while, at least.)
"I think..." She twisted up her face. "I think I need you... your help."
"I think you do."
A/N: Well, this is my first NextGen fic in ages, so hopefully it doesn't suck. I've returned to writing my OTP, thankfully enough.
This is for my friends – the ones on NGF that have stuck by me through thick and thin and helped me out no matter what. Love you guys!
Please review, and don't favorite without reviewing.