1: After All This Time
Roslyn woke in a cold sweat, shaking as if she were a thin branch on a stormy night. She sat up in her bed, running her hands over face. It had been two months since Cedric was murdered, and with each day, she grew more and more sick with the understanding that she was exactly what Amos had declared. A monster. She repeated that word in her head almost routinely.
Monster... Monster... MONSTER!!!
She couldn't look at herself without feeling immense guilt. She was the reason Cedric was gone. She was the reason her first love died on the 24th of June. She was the reason a man lost his only son.
She sobbed silently to her own reflection. Just 61 days ago she was happy, a smile never seemed to disappear from her face. It pained her to think about the moments she shared with him, the moments she would never experience again. No matter how many times her friends told her it wasn't her fault, Roslyn's mind never emptied with the thought of Cedric dying. A photograph of the two of them laid in a frame of shattered glass beside her bed. She wanted rid herself of the picture, the pair entangled in each other's arms, smiling as her head was nuzzled into his chest, but she couldn't bring herself to do so. It was one of the last remnants she had of him and their relationship.
School was set to begin in a week, and Roslyn felt sick. She didn't want to return, only to be reminded of what she lost at every turned corner, but she knew that she would regret it if she didn't go back. She dug her trunk out from under her bed, not prepared to be faced with it's contents. She unlatched the hooks and pulled it open, only to be immediately met with despair. Inside laid a wooden box with R.O.M. engraved on the top. She wearily opened the box, finding countless photos and other trinkets he had given her over the school year. Underneath the trinkets laid a dainty necklace with a small pendant, the design could be recognized as the Orion constellation. His birthday gift to her. The pair spent most of their time in the Astronomy Tower or on the Quidditch Pitch stargazing.
Roslyn brought the chain to her neck and slowly clasped it, allowing it to dangle on her chest. Immediately after, she snapped the wooden box shut and tucked it under her bed, out of fear her father would find it. She took the pendant of the necklace into her fingers, fiddling with it silently, trying her best to stop her tears from falling. After a few moments, she began organizing and readying her trunk for her departure that following week. As she completed her task, closing the trunk quietly, she heard a knock on her door. Not forceful enough to be one of her father's, but not soft enough to belong to her mother.
"Rose?" A voice called from hallway. Roslyn rose from the floor to see who was beckoning her. She turned the knob slowly and was met with a smiling face, a face she had waited months to see again.
"Rhiannon!" She said, engulfing her friend in a tight hug after wiping the tears from her cheeks. Rhiannon pulled away, looking at her friends glassy eyes.
"Rose... have you been crying again? It really isn't your fault," She pulled Roslyn back into a warm hug, though, not before noticing the chain dangling from her neck. "Roslyn Orion Malfoy, no wonder you're crying. You're wearing the necklace... why?" She questioned gently. Roslyn shook her head silently.
"We're going back in a week, Rhi. I wanted to have a piece of him with me so that I don't feel so alone." She started, her eyes welling up again. "I don't know what I'll do, honestly. Sitting in the common room, playing quidditch, hell, even studying won't be the same without him there!" She finished, silent tears dripping down her cheeks. Rhiannon raised a hand and wiped the tears away, plastering a smile on her face.
"No time for dwelling! You're spending the last week of the summer at the Burrow with me! I've already cleared it with your parents, so when we're ready, i'll grab your trunk and you get your pets and we'll go!" She said excitedly, motioning to the sleek black cat laying at her feet. "Someone missed me." Rhiannon smiled to Roslyn, gesturing for her to pet the cat. Persephone purred lightly and leaped onto her bed, nuzzling up on top of her trunk, causing her to giggle lightly.
"That might be nice... it will be good to see Ron again. I've missed him immensely." She said gently, causing Rhiannon to laugh. "Let's head downstairs, it's dinner time, but judging from your post-nap appearance, I'm guessing you think it's morning." She grabbed Roslyn's arm and pulled her to the hallway before she shook free. "I can walk myself, Rhi. My heart's broken, not my legs." She protested gently, walking to the dining hall. She took her seat in between her brother and the usually open seat now inhabited by Rhiannon, and her father eyed her, looking confused.
"Roslyn, were you crying again?" He asked sternly. She looked up at her father and nodded. "Per usual. I apologize." She said meekly looking into his eyes. He shook his head. "Not the Diggory boy again..." Rhiannon butted in immediately. "No, Lucy, she's crying because my beauty overwhelmed her! It's nothing out of the ordinary." She said jokingly, causing Lucius to roll his eyes, knowing that his daughter was still overtaken with emotions for the Diggory boy. Narcissa shook her head, looking down at her plate. "Roslyn, you know that the boy was collateral damage. The Dark Lord never intended for the child to die, and his death was not your fault. It still isn't." She could only imagine the pain her daughter was going through, but she knew she couldn't give her daughter the comfort Roslyn wanted and deserved in this time. Roslyn only nodded, deciding to not speak any further on the subject.
Draco piped up after nearly 10 minutes of silence. "So mum, do I get to go to Goyle's house next week since Roslyn gets to go to the Weasleys' house?" He asked, sneering at the mention of that name. Narcissa nodded gently. "Of course, Draco. You can leave tonight when Roslyn and Rhiannon do." She added politely. Rhiannon scoffed under her breath, hearing Draco besmirch the Weasley's name. Draco's feelings for Rhiannon weren't always subtle, and they could easily write his remarks off as jealousy, as Rhiannon had caught the eyes of a 7th year Gryffindor, none other than Fred Weasley.
After dinner, Rhiannon and Roslyn hurried to her bedroom, gathering their things before rushing back downstairs. Rose bid each of her family members goodbye before departing to the Burrow, via the Floo Network. Rhiannon went first, as she was preparing to warn the Weasleys of Roslyn's... emotions. When Roslyn finally arrived, she was greeted with a warm hug from Molly Weasley herself.
"Rose, dear, we are incredibly sorry to hear about Cedric. I know you don't want to talk about him, but I wanted to offer our condolences anyway. Now, on a happier note, Rhiannon has already joined the children outside for a game of Quidditch, and they're waiting for another chaser..." She smiled brightly before Roslyn nodded. "Well, I suppose I arrived in perfect time, then. Let me get changed and I will join them." She added before running upstairs, dragging her trunk behind her. Once she was alone, she changed out of her typical plaid skirt and sweater, slipping on a pair of gym shorts and a Hufflepuff Quidditch shirt, one that happened to belong to the previous captain.
Once Rose had made her way outside, broom in hand, she ran over to the group of her friends, standing in the open field that sat behind the Burrow. She snuck up behind Ron and gave him a tight hug, giggling. He jumped, frightened, but soon recognized who his attacker was. He pulled her into an equally tight hug and looked at her. "Rose!! How have you been doing? Rhi said tha-" He said before she cut him off. "I'm slowly getting worse, Ronald." She said gently, then giggled. "Anyways, fill me in. Who is on what team?" She asked Ron, giggling as she saw Rhiannon, adorned in a cheerleading costume, clearly one Fred had picked out for her. Ron pointed to each of the players as he listed them off. "Fred, Harry, and myself are on one team. You, George, and Ginny are on the other. Hermione is keeping score and, clearly enough, Rhiannon is cheerleading." Roslyn nodded before walking to join her team.
As the game began, each of the players flew up into the air, getting in their respective positions. "Three... two... one... GO!" Hermione called from below as she tossed the Quaffle into the air, releasing the Snitch shortly after. Fred had caught the Quaffle, and he sped across the pitch, preparing to score his team their first 10 points. That was, until Roslyn came up behind him and stole the Quaffle from his hands, taking advantage of his distraction. She raced to the opposite end of the pitch, darting towards Ron and the three hoops he was guarding. With great strength, she hurled the Quaffle through the bottom left hoop, scoring her team 10 points. George cheered, preparing for his twin to attempt a goal soon after. Ginny and Harry were nowhere to be found, each searching vigorously for the tiny golden Snitch.
Nearly 40 minutes later, each team tied with 80 points, Ginny returned victorious, holding the Snitch between her thumb and index fingers. Harry's defeated nature made the victory even sweeter. Ginny pulled both George and Roslyn into a tight hug, smiling brightly, knowing that she had impressed the other team's seeker. Rose held Ginny in a tight hug before pulling away and smiling at her, noticing Ginny's eyes were elsewhere. She patted her shoulder and winked. "Give him time, Gin. Seekers are often very stubborn, I would know." She giggled and caught Ginny blushing before she pushed Roslyn's shoulder playfully, laughing quietly. George was about to give her a hug, but Ron ran up behind her and grabbed Roslyn's arm. "Rose! What do you say we play a game of Wizard's Chess before we have to leave?" He asked politely. Roslyn's brow quirked up and she glanced at him in confusion. "Leaving? To go where?" She asked, completely in the dark. Ron giggled to himself before looking back up at her. "Headquarters, for the Order of the Phoenix, of course!" He said, pulling her inside and setting up the chess game.
After one too many games of Wizard's Chess, Ron defeating her in each of them, Roslyn changed back into her non-quidditch attire. She shuffled back down the stairs after fixing her hair and makeup. "So, Ronald, where is this 'headquarters' we are going?" She asked pointedly. Mrs. Weasley stepped in and took Roslyn's shoulders in her hands. "Dear, we are all going to headquarters together. Everyone! Go into the fireplace, one by one, taking a handful of Floo powder into your hands. Then, drop the powder and say 'Grimmauld Place!' VERY CLEARLY." She instructed her children to do so. The twins went first, followed by Hermione, Ron, Harry, Ginny, Rhiannon, then Roslyn. They arrived through the fireplace into a large, musty drawing room. Mrs. Weasley looked upon the children and almost barked. "Up you go!", pointing up the stairs. They all grumbled and dragged their feet up to the spare bedrooms.
The children all gathered in the largest bedroom, the one that clearly belonged to Walburga Black, the matriarch of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black. They sat in a circle, conversing among each other before Fred smiled, standing up.
"Why don't we play a game? I suggest Never Have I Ever." He said proudly. The group exchanged concerned glances but nodded. Fred sat back down before speaking again. "So, who wants to go first? Roslyn?" He asked, receiving a nodded from the girl. She took a deep breath before thinking hard about what to say.
"Um... never have I ever broken a law." She said plainly. It was the first thing that came to her head. Fred and George put their fingers down, which didn't surprise her at all. Harry also put his finger down, surely from blowing up his aunt Marge in 3rd year. Everyone else's fingers remained up. Roslyn looked at Hermione, who was sitting next to her in the circle. She smiled and patted her on the shoulder. "Your turn, 'Mione." Hermione nodded and gazed at the other people in the circle, carefully deciding what to say.
"Never have I ever cheated on an exam." She smirked, watching as everyone other than Roslyn dropped a finger. Hermione smiled to her before passing her gaze to Ron. "You're next, Ronald." Ron giggled, clearly satisfied with what he was about to say. He looked at the twins and Roslyn before speaking.
"Never have I ever shagged someone." He stated boldly, but gasped when only his brothers put their fingers down. He looked at Roslyn, utterly confused. She looked at him, just as confused.
"What's your problem, Ronald?" She questioned pointedly. He shook his head, still confused.
"I just- I figured, ya know, with you and Diggory being close for all that time. I mean, he practically staked his claim on you in the middle of 3rd year. Told us to stay back." He whispered to her so that only she could hear. Her eyes welled up at the mention of his name. None of that mattered to him. Instead of wasting their time shagging, she and Ced would peer out the Common Room's windows at 3 A.M, watching the constellations shine down on them from the Heavens above. In response to Ron, she shook her head.
"No, that stuff wasn't important to him." She said, not matching his whisper tone, as her voice cracked slightly. Roslyn wiped her cheeks, smiling and chuckling to herself lightly. Her best nights were spent watching the stars with him. Once they got back to school, she would have to invite Ron instead. He would enjoy it, she thought. Ron nodded and chuckled.
"My bad, Rose." Ron whispered quietly. Several rounds and many dropped fingers later, Mrs. Weasley bounded up the stairs, swinging the door open swiftly.
"Come on kids! On we go!" She commanded cheerfully. "Oh, and Roslyn? Sirius wants to see you. He is in the room next door." She added. Roslyn nodded, standing up and hugging Mrs. Weasley before exiting the bedroom. The other children looked around confusedly. Mrs. Weasley waved her hand, motioning for her children to quit what they were doing. She looked at them all before explaining. "Sirius and Roslyn are related. He wants to meet her." She said happily.
After years of wondering, Roslyn would finally meet the only other man in her family to be sorted into another house. The only person she could relate to. The only man to understand her and one of her many internal battles. A man who had lost everything his best friend. Sirius Orion Black would not only understand her identity struggles, but he would also be one of the rare people to sympathize with her never ending heartbreak caused by Cedric. After all, he also lost his best friend by the Dark Lord's hand.