|Despite the Odds (Scorpius/Louis)
||[Dec. 21st, 2012|08:50 am]
Title: Despite the Odds
Warnings: acquired disability, unapologetic mush
Word count: 2,063
Summary: Scorpius has come to an important decision regarding his relationship with Louis.
Five years is a long time, but sometimes it feels like no time has passed at all. Whenever Louis tries to recall the incredible amount of time that has gone by, he only comes up with the simple image of Scorpius’ smile as he had smiled on that cool autumn day when they had first kissed. It seems like that had been just a few weeks ago, maybe just this past October.
But every time Louis looks at the row of potions in the medicine cabinet, he knows that’s not true. That was five years ago and things had been very different.
“I don’t know how to do this,” Scorpius says, wrapping his scarf higher over his chin to avoid the snow that has begun to fall in heavy drifts. He holds up the small bag they had put his purchase into and sticks it in his coat pocket.
Tony holds the shop door open and they step out into the snow and the crowd of holiday shoppers. Diagon Alley has never been more saturated, Scorpius thinks. “Just do it. It’s not that hard, Scorpius. Remember how I did it?”
“Yea…and Annie Rosier cried her little heart out.”
“That’s because she’s silly.”
“I could never handle Louis’ outpourings of emotion. That’s part of why we fight – I can’t take it half the time.” Scorpius sighs and turns into a side street where there are less people. He leans against the side of a building and takes the cigarette Tony offers him. “I would be a shame, though, after five years. You all were certain we wouldn’t make it.”
“You are an unlikely couple. The Hufflepuff who is just about as quiet as a Ravenclaw and the rambunctious—“
“I hate that word.”
“—Slytherin. The Weasley and the Malfoy. Besides, your parents didn’t take it very well.”
“I don’t need a wife to breed. But, yea, they weren’t happy.” He takes a long pull on the cigarette. “After three perfect years people started getting over it. And then…” Scorpius shudders and bites hard on his lip. Tony’s hand lands warmly on his shoulder in a comforting gesture. “I still blame Lovegood. No matter what Louis says. Father says she was always mental.”
Louis and Lysander have tea dates. It started out back when Louis was still in St. Mungos and Lysander would come to visit once a week. They continued the tradition over the next year-and-a-half and Louis often found it comforting. To whom else was he going to complain about Scorpius and who else was going to remind him what an amazing boyfriend Scorpius really was? He used to think that Lysander hung around because of guilt, even though the whole disaster wasn’t his fault, but soon decided it didn’t mater. They have fun together and Louis often times forgets what that is.
So Louis takes the potions and then starts on making tea and unpacking the store-bought Christmas sugar cookies. Lysander arrives twenty minutes late with red wine and a mysterious look. “How have you been?” he asks, shrugging off his ludicrous purple-and-green fuzzy coat.
Louis shrugs. “Not awful. The pain still comes sometimes but not so much. The insomnia potions are working but I have mood swings. Scorpius and I are fighting again. I know he’s tired of the mood swings.”
Louis isn’t sure if he wants to talk about it. They don’t always fight. Sometimes, Scorpius simply kisses him into submission or holds him while he cries and ignores his ridiculous demands. But sometimes they still fight when he’s driven Scorpius up the wall and then Scorpius will go out so they won’t fight again and Louis sits in bed alone, cringing at the thought that Scorpius might find someone while he’s out there and never come back. He’d been proven wrong every time over the past year but he still worries every time.
“Tony Dolohov told me that Scorpius has come to some sort of important decision and I think it involves you.” Lysander grins cheekily. “It sounded serious. What do you think it could be?”
Louis has dropped the cookie he was holding. He starts to shake just slightly, as though he’s got the chills. “I…I don’t know.” He doesn’t want to think about it but it eats at him and, finally, he bursts out, “He’s going to break up with me, Ly! Oh, Merlin, he’s finally tired of all the side-effects and everything…”
Lysander frowns. “I don’t think…why would he do it during the holidays?”
“I don’t know. But…look at me, Ly. I have mood swings, sometimes pain attacks, I can hardly use a wand and the spells that do work are mostly useless ones. I’m on disability from work. Why would Scorpius want to be with me? A rich Malfoy, talented wizard, handsome as hell, outgoing and social… I’m just holding him back.”
Lysander looks down into his teacup, guilt chewing away at him from the inside until he can’t breath. “I’m sorry, Louis. This is my fault. I shouldn’t have taken you to see Mom’s lab…”
“It’s not your fault.” Louis sometimes blames Lysander, sometimes he blames Luna, sometimes he just blames life. But the truth is, there’s no need for Lysander to feel bad over something he didn’t do.
“Tomorrow is Christmas. Try not to think about it,” Lysander advises, but he doesn’t think he can.
“When are you going to do it?” Tony asks before Scorpius has the chance to apparate. Scorpius stops and looks down at his boots. The snow is sludgy in the courtyard of the Leakey Cauldron and his black boots are covered in the muck. It’s almost symbolic of all the fights he and Louis have – something beautiful disguised under a layer of mud. “I haven’t decided yet.”
“How about tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow?” Scorpius’ head shoots up. “Tomorrow is Christmas. I can’t—“
“Don’t put it off, Scorpius. You’ll only lose your nerve. You’ve been putting it off for months.”
“…What if he doesn’t take it well? I could ruin the holiday for both of us.”
Tony laughs. “Will you stop worrying, Malfoy? Just do it already.”
Louis concentrates, lifting the sparkling glass ball out of the box and slowly starting to guide it with his wand to the tree. Beside him, Scorpius puts up a pair of bells with two swift, graceful swishes of his wand. Louis use to be able to do the same before the accident. Now, this is taking up so much energy that it would have been easier to do it by hand but he wants to practice, to make the magic work. He’s already broken one ball, he isn’t about to break a second one.
“Why did we wait until Christmas Eve to decorate the tree, Louis? Was I really this busy at work?” Scorpius asks beside him off-handedly.
If he wasn’t concentrating so hard, Louis would answer that yes, Scorpius is working a lot and they are also fighting more again.
Louis can feel his hold on the magic slip before anything actually happens. A moment later, the ball he’s been guiding toward the tree falls to the hardwood floor and shatters, sending shards flying everywhere. “Fuck!”
“Merlin, Louis!” Scorpius jumps back. He raises his wand and mutters some spells to clean up the glass. “That’s the second one. Wouldn’t it be easier to just do it by hand?”
“Yea, it would. I’m sorry.” Louis wants to cry. Scorpius is right of course, but Louis misses doing things with a wand so badly and tree decorating had been such a ritual for them before the accident and even last year when Louis had no other option at all than to do it by hand, that he had hoped to make it work at least for this.
He picks up an angel and goes to hang her up. His eyes are burning and he stands with his back to Scorpius for a long time, not wanting his boyfriend to see his distress. This is why he’s decided to break up with me, Louis thinks mournfully.
Scorpius’ arms are warm around Louis’ waist when he hugs him from behind before Louis can pull his emotions back together. “I’m sorry, baby. I didn’t mean to snap. I know this is hard.”
Louis leans back into Scorpius’ embrace and wonders what in the world he will do once Scorpius is gone.
Scorpius breathes in the scent of Louis’ hair. He can feel it pressing against his side even through the fabric of his jacket. He has to do the deed now, say the words now. Waiting until tomorrow will only make him lose his nerve. He had wanted more preparation, more set-up for this but now would have to do. “Baby, I have something I need to say to you, it’s very important. Tony said I should do it as soon as possible, before I lost my nerve, and he’s right. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and even though I was going to wait until tomorrow I just can’t. So, I need to say it today.”
He can feel Louis stiffen in his arms. Then, the younger boy untangles himself and turns to face Scorpius. “Alright.” He sounds subdued, perhaps a little scared, but Scorpius is too nervous to notice.
“Louis, we have been together for five years. I’ve loved you for even longer than that. They told us it was a phase, that it would never work, that it was a crush… We proved them all wrong. When we moved in together two years after we started dating, once again everyone predicted doom and gloom. The artsy Weasley boy and the career-driven Malfoy heir, how could it possibly work? It did though. Then…then…”
“Everything fell apart,” Louis supplies, not meeting Scorpius’ eyes.
“No! Look at me, Louis, this is important. Then, you got hurt. And we survived that too – the hospital and the healers, the potions and the side effects. I don’t think I could have ever learned to brew that many medical potions that fast if it wasn’t for this whole mess. We fight, Louis, and it’s hard. But I love you and—“
“Just say it!” Louis’ voice is raw and frayed at the edges. He seems ready to scream or cry and Scorpius is more afraid than ever. “You don’t have to recap why we’re not working out, just say it!”
Scorpius frowns. He reaches out and tilts Louis’ chin upward so the younger boy is looking him in the face. “I’m not saying this to say that we’re not working out. Louis…do you think we’re not working out?”
Louis blinks quickly at him. He looks like someone who is preparing themselves for an Unforgiveable. “No…I…we… Just say what you wanted to say.”
Scorpius sighs. He has second thoughts but he’d had them for over a year. He pulls out the ring box from his pocket and opens it, revealing the elegant engagement ring he had gotten in Diagon Alley earlier that day. “Marry me?”
Louis gapes at him.
“I know it’s not the most romantic proposal but you know me, I’m not good at huge romantic gestures and—Baby, why are you crying?” Scorpius cringes. He’d been afraid that Louis would not want this, would take this the wrong way, would go into one of his episodes.
“I thought you were going to break up with me.”
“What?” It’s Scorpius’ turn to stare bewilderedly.
“Lysander said that Tony said that you had come to an important decision and I assumed that…with all the fighting… and all my shit… Oh, Merlin.” He stumbles forward and Scorpius catches him.
Scorpius holds Louis close and lowers them both to the ground. “Do you never hear me when I tell you that I love you?”
“I do, I just…I can’t imagine why you would want to limit yourself.”
“I’m not limiting myself if I’m happy.” He cups Louis’ face in his hands and kisses him long and gently, trying to express in that one, single act of tenderness just how precious Louis is to him. When they withdraw, they are both breathless.
“Yes, by the way,” Louis says after they can breath again. “I will marry you.”
Scorpius laughs in utter relief and kisses his now-fiancé rapturously, holding him tightly and meaning to never let go.