He never see's me, it's as though I am only a reflection. You may catch a glimpse of me, but then doubt you ever saw me in the corner of your eye. It makes me wonder, has ever seen me? These stormy clouds of doubt continue to hover over me these days, constantly showering me in pains and remorse. I know I have no reason to doubt... I am person, I am a tangible being. I can be smelt, touched, seen.
Then why? Why, do I find myself asking, did no one notice? For so long not one person noticed, we both felt torn between loss and anger, but now it seems more profound alone. Before I had someone else to be alone with. Now I am simply alone.
Even he can see me no longer...
Would it change anything if he knew?
Again I am filled with doubt. But doubt of a different kind. I don't doubt him, it would be inevitable to change things if he knew, if he believed. But that would mean I would have to say everything I have locked away, so deep within me, would have to be brought forward. I would have to expose everything I treasure, my secrets would be known and shared and examined. No, I don't doubt him, I doubt myself....
For how do you explain something that never happened?
- - - N . E . S - - -
He felt so tired, day after day of the same thing. Nothing ever changing, nothing ever evolving. The same routine over and over. He could shut his brain off and his body would know what to do through habit because that was what his life had become. A habit. It was bothersome in the least. Though while he sat there in the Great Hall, he was glad one thing never changed. This thought worried him, as he was concerned he was growing obsessed with the mystery heat that always found him once he stepped out into a crowd of peers. He never felt it when he was alone, which only lead him to further believe that it was a someone, not a something, that was his Guardian.
Every morning, he would find himself rushing his morning rituals, to the point where what had taken him nearly thirty minutes now only took ten. He would hurry to the Hall, just to feel that blaring heat on his skin once more. It terrified him. Not who it was or even what they wanted? But what they were doing to him. It was as though he couldn't breath until he felt their gaze prickle across his back. He wasn't alive until their eyes were upon him. He couldn't feel anything until he could feel them.
Rubbing his eyes, he pushed his fingers down, feeling his eyes sink back slightly from the pressure. Slowly his muscles started to relax, loosening all the mornings built up tension. They were here. He could feel them. Everything was normal.
His brain kept flashing the word 'normal' over and over, his father's voice hissing it in his ear in a constant loop. It was as though the word was honey on his tongue, it was smooth and velvety, but if he moved his tongue just an inch in the wrong direction it would become stuck and he couldn't get it free.
What was normal?
He felt his body flex, restraining the natural urge to flinch at the sudden intrusion into his thoughts. It had taken him years of practice to hide his reactions, but he always felt his stomach drop waiting for the time when he could no longer restrain it and he would be bare in front of everyone. All the fear his father had instilled in him, was ever present. You don't let your guard down, that's when you will feel real pain for the first time.
Opening his eyes, he met the questioning gaze of his housemates.
"Malfoy, your elbow is in your breakfast, you may like to remove it. But it's just a suggestion," disgust dripped from the voice.
Turning his head, he faced the source, "Thanks Jean, I didn't even notice, " he hissed, raising his eyebrow in silent challenge.
Jean Zabini simply shrugged, tossing his head to the side. Malfoy knew he didn't really care where his elbow was, but it was all about position and prospective. Zabini had always been second best to Malfoy, ever since they started school. If he ever wanted to gain control this was his last year to try, so try he would. Malfoy didn't hold it against him, he would of done the same thing in his position.
Everyone kept eying him, it was unusual for a Malfoy to be so distracted around others. If at all. He could see everything the were thinking, written so clearly across their faces. It was pathetic that they held themselves in such high distinction as Slytherin Pure-Bloods but they couldn't even mask their million questions.
"Scorpius, are you alright?" Jean's sister, Sacha whispered, her eyes never leaving his face as she studied it for any sign that something was amiss. But she would never find anything.
The 'Scorpius Malfoy' mask was firmly back in place, how it had slipped in the first place was beyond him though. He nodded his slighted response, before turning away from her peering inquiring. Darius Nott on Scorpius' other side sat quietly, with no tell that he was doing anything other then reading the newspaper that lay in front of him. But Scorpius saw it if only briefly, as it only took one glance from Darius as he slowly took a sip of his coffee. That one glance told Scorpius that he knew something serious was going on and that he expected to be told in more private circumstances. Scorpius' father always said that Darius was so much like his father, Theodore, quiet and introverted. But Mr. Malfoy as said that he would always trust Theodore, and would never cross him. It took great respect for Scorpius' father to hold someone in that regard and he had been awed by the man when he had met him for the first time when he had only been eight , which had been ten years ago.
It had also been ten years ago that Scorpius and Darius had first met, back then Darius' silent assumption would of infuriated him. But as time had passed between them, Scorpius had grown to think of Darius as the brother he never had. Yes, Darius was almost a clone of his father, quiet and introverted, clever and a killer. But just like his father, Scorpius knew that Darius was someone he could trust with his secrets, with his life and he would not be left with a shoulder. They were brothers in every sense of the word. They trusted one another and it was more then most Pure-Bloods Slytherin could say about their parents.
A discreet nod of his head gave Nott all that needed to be said at the present time. Darius continued to read the Prophet as though he had seen nothing. Scorpius smirked, flicking his wand removing the oatmeal from his sleeve. His sharp eyes daring anyone to comment about anything else on the matter. No-one did, but from the corner of his eye he saw Jean smirk. Scorpius couldn't help but widen his own smirk, such a typical Slytherin. The war had been over for nearly two decades, but trust the Pure-Bloods to believe nothing had actually changed. And Scorpius guessed it hadn't. Not really, not within their own circles.
To the public eye they had completely reformed. They were now valued members of society. But within their selected communities, they were still the same self-righteous and pompous group they had always been. Still concerned with status, power and blood. Scorpius couldn't really say much, or complain about their behaviour. He didn't believe highly in that way of thinking, only because he simply didn't care what everyone else did with their life. As long as they left him alone or did what he wanted he was fine to let them carry on in their pitiful existence. Scorpius had never gone wanting and he was accustomed to this way of living. He liked getting what he wanted and in a timely fashion. It made life simple, easy, relaxing.
But sometimes, when he was alone in his room, he sometimes wished, dreamed, things were just a little different. Different enough that his father would feel it appropriate to show his son some glimpse of his feelings toward him. To show him some love that wasn't material. He wished things were different enough that he could talk to people from other houses and not have his actions reported back to his parents, by his so called friends. It was all just an ideal wish, that passed as quickly as it came but he knew it lay somewhere within him and it made him hope, that maybe one day it could be possible.
But he was still a Malfoy though and with that came... a million other things.
- - - N . E . S - - -
The halls were deserted, but for two Slytherin housemates. Darius and Scorpius slowly walked down the lengthy halls, their sleeves rolled up against the heat, their hair slick with sweat, their shirts untucked. They looked everything that a Slytherin must not; messy, disorganised, unkept. But for once these two Slytherins couldn't care less. No one else was around, they were free to be... free. Themselves. For just one moment.
Neither of them talked, nor looked at the other. Both od the exhausted from Quidditch Practice. Mud was cracking on their boots, pieces trailing behind them with every step they took. Passing by another empty corridor, Scorpius gazed down it. For a moment he thought he saw someone turn down the hall, he blinked against the darkness, but when his eyes refocus he nothing there. His brow gathered he faced the direction in which he feet were leading him. The time he felt Darius' eyes on him.
But when he looked at his friend, Darius was closely studying his nail beds nonchalantly. Scorpius had to smirk when a few moments later, he heard the evenly toned, "well?" slip from between his tight-lipped companions mouth.
"Well what?" he replied.
"Well," Darius paused for effect, always the one for dramatic effect, "what was with this s'morning?"
Scorpius heard all the questions Darius wasn't asking, with that one general and open ended question he had managed to ask about ten separate things. What was bothering you? Is it still bothering you? Why haven't I heard about it sooner? Should I be concerned? Does it involve anyone I know? Why are you letting others ee you in this state? How can I help? And countless more. 'Ah,' Scorpius thought, 'if only I knew my father this well, life would be... simpler.'
"I don't really know, I was eating and then Zabini calling my name. I got lost in my thoughts for a moment. It won't happen again," Scorpius answered, keeping certain things concealed.
"Hmm," Darius nodded slightly, knowing that there was things not being told, but it was not in his way to pry... to deeply, "so that's all it was?"
When Scorpius didn't respond, he continued, "If you don't wish to include me then I can accept that, but I feel obligated to say this one thing," Darius looked Scorpius straight in the eye for moment before continuing, "I have never, in the ten years that I have known you, seen you get so lost in your thoughts like that. Your eyes were glazed Scorpius, if you hadn't snapped out of it so quickly I would of thought it had been a hex. You have never behaved like that before, at least not in my company. I only say this because if it happens to again, I don't believe Zabini will let the opportunity slide quite so gently as he did this s'morning. You know how he is, so be on your guard," Darius went back to study his nails, his brow gathered as he thought over something, then smoothed out in conclusion, lifting his head he went on, "Like I said before if you don't wish to include me in whatever it was that happened this s'morning I can accept that, but just know I know there is more to it then you are letting on and... I have this feeling that there is more to it then even you know."
The statement left Scorpius on edge. Yes, there was more to it but he wasn't sure he wanted to share it with anyone yet. There was a this little twinge in his skull that told him that if he said anything, his "Guardian Angel" would disappear or that it would all be revealed as some delusion his mind made up. But what did Darius mean by saying 'there was more to it then even he knew'?
Darius stopped his steady pace, Scorpius stopping beside him. He looked at Scorpius for a brief moment, studying his face as their housemates had done that morning. Though he said nothing, he just gave a sigh then turned back down the hall. For now, Darius would wait. He would give Scorpius time to collect his thoughts and censor were need be, but still giving Darius the information he wanted. They were Slytherin after all.
Scorpius was about to follow his friend, when like a searing hot poker the heat was on his back again. Spinning on his heels, he scanned the hall violently. Trying to see behind every statue, trying to see around every corner, trying to peer into every shadow. But there was nothing, yet he still felt the heat against his skin. He quickly ran the few steps need, grabbed Darius by the sleeve and spun him around. Darius was about to protest against the assault until he saw Scorpius' face.
"There is someone in the hall," He whispered.
Like a cat, Darius' eyes flew along the corridor talking everything in, seeing things Scorpius couldn't see. He knew why, but Darius' sense had always seemed heighten for some reason. He was always the first to see something, hear something, smell and feel something. If Darius said he heard something he heard something, even if you couldn't trust his character even his most hated enemies trusted his senses.
"Are you sure?" he questioned.
"Yes," Scorpius hissed, his eyes still straining in the faint torchlight.
They were good if even Darius couldn't find them, it almost made Scorpius wonder if it was all in his head, but he felt the heat more intense then ever. They were here, hidden, but here and they were bloody good at staying hidden.
"How do you know someone is here?" Darius whispered back, his tone sharp as a result of being hissed at. Darius' tone almost made Scorpius laugh, such indignation.
Scorpius contemplated for a second then replied, "I can feel their gaze, it's this burning heat on my skin. I... I have felt it for the past month now, always when I am in a crowd of people. But never when I am alone, or in such an empty corridor like this," Scorpius explained, his eyes still scanning, but his body was very aware of Darius and what his reaction would be.
Darius' eyebrow twitched slightly with instant understanding, so quick at joining the dots. It took only a moment and he knew that it was the same thing that had happened this s'morning. That was why Scorpius was on edge so much. Slowly Darius drew his wand, he was about to level it when Scorpius' hand flung it down.
"No," he gasped, "they're not going to hurt us."
Darius' brow gathered once more, "How do you know?"
"I don't know, I just feel it. They don't mean me any harm."
Darius just shook his head, "That's not what I meant, how you do you know it's a they, not an it?"
Scorpius turned to face his friend, "I just know," he snapped again.
"You just know, " Darius echoed, his voice icy, "I will not lower my wand and render myself defenseless, when you have no substantial proof that..."
"Darius, please!" Scorpius scolded, "It's me, when have you ever known me to be lax when caution is involved? Never, trust me when I saw they mean us no harm."
Before Darius could reply, a sound so quiet they almost missed it, bounced of the stone walls. A sneeze. A feminine sneeze. It was muffled by a hand but someone in the hall had sneezed. Darius' head snapped in the direction it came from, pointing he mouthed the words 'it's a girl,' as he made his way over to the statue. With a gentle hand, Scorpius pulled Darius back until he was in front. Slowly stepping forward, Scorpius pulled his wand free and cast a silent Lumos.
Light glowed around him, the shadow of the statue still hiding his Angel. He could sense Darius behind him ready to pounce. But that was it, if Scorpius wasn't used to sensing his friends eerie aura he never would of known he was even in the hall. He made no noise, made no signal of movement. Perfect really, he was just like his Angel a ghost and what better way to catch a ghost but with another.
With one last breath, Scorpius flung his wand around the statue only to see nothing but the stone floor. Leaning against the cold wall, Scorpius let his mind wonder, Darius wouldn't take advantage he knew that. What had just happened? Who had been here? Who was this girl? This Angel. And who did they escape? Minutes ticked by and his thoughts still remained unclear.
"Scorpius," that one word brought him back again.
Darius stood in front of him, his hand out stretched, a silver pendent resting in his palm. Scorpius leaned forward, picking the charm up with his index finger and thumb as though the object were cursed.
"It can't be?" he whispered.
"It's a very good replica, if it isn't," Darius commented.
Scorpius met his eyes, they were filled with a familiar curiosity. The same curiosity he himself had felt for a month now. Who were they dealing with? He could see the intrigue in Darius' eyes, now that he knew he wouldn't let up until he discovered, who this girl was. Scorpius wasn't sure if he was glad about this or not. Looking down at his shirt, he pulled a silver chain from around his neck out from beneath his quidditch robes. Hanging loosely at the end was an exact copy of the pendent; an eternal knot with a dragon encasing the edges with it's body.
"It's not possible," Scorpius breathed.
The pendent was custom made, it was goblin made. A present from his father. The only present he had ever received that had not be chosen by his mother or something he had asked for. His father had given it to him when he had been named Slytherin Seeker in his third year. The pride in his father's eyes, when he had told him and made him smile for the rest of the day. Scorpius looked to his friend, but Darius just shrugged, at Scorpius' questioning glance. Gathering his breath, he undid the clasp and slide the duplicate beside it's clone.
Who ever had been here would most likely be back for the missing charm. It didn't hold the same sentimental value as it did for Scorpius, but he was certain they would want it back. It was an expensive piece of jewelry, too expensive for most of the school families to afford.
They would be back, for whatever reason. Scorpius told himself and he would be waiting.
Kenpachi learns once again not to judge a book by its cover.
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