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Fighting Temptation by EarthsTrueGreen
Chapter 10: Forgotton Birthdays With Unexpected Reactions
Scorpius had never been a huge fan of birthdays, and they had a tendency to put him in a bad mood. So when his birthday did come around, he spent most of his time reading and avoiding people.
On the day of his sixteenth birthday, he found himself lying on his bed and reading a book on the genealogy of Muggles born with magic. It wasn’t exactly a fascinating read, but Rose had recommended it to him, and he had said he would read it as long as she read Quidditch and its Quirks. After watching the Quidditch game with her last week, he was positive she would never pick up a book about Quidditch.
He recalled when he stood in the filing room in McGonagall’s Office for detention, thinking he had dodged a bullet, when Rose came in with the book in hand.
“Are you seriously reading that?” he asked.
“I said I would, didn’t I?” she responded.
“And, has it changed your views on Quidditch?” he asked with curiosity.
“Not a damn bit; it’s just as boring as ever,” She answered smugly. “Although, I do hope you find my book to be a bit more in depth—seeing as how it’s not about a bloody game.” She then pulled a rather large book out of her bag and handed it to Scorpius.
Scorpius looked down and almost choked on a laugh. “Wizzles?” he raised his eyebrows. “You want me to read a book named Wizzles?”
“Yes,” she replied sternly.
“Alright then,” he shook his head and put the book to the side.
Scorpius had just gotten to chapter twelve when there was a loud burst through the door of the dorm. “Hey, mate, what you doing up here by yourself?”
Scorpius looked around the book at Bryan in the door way. Slightly closing the book but using his index finger as a bookmark, he answered, “Baking cookies.”
Bryan closing the door behind him walked over to Scorpius. “Oi, you’re just pulling shit out of your arse.”
Scorpius made a mental note of what page he was on, shut the book, and placed it on his nightstand.
“So what is the book that is so fascinating my best friend is wasting a Friday night reading?” Bryan asked sarcastically while grabbing the book off of the nightstand. “Wizzles?” he asked. He eyed Scorpius curiously, “What the bloody hell is a Wizzle?”
Scorpius, sat up gently, took the book back, and lay it down on the bed. Then he said, “What do you get when you take the word Wizard and Muggle together?”
It took a moment for Bryan to connect it together: “A Wizzle, but that’s rather boring.”
“I wouldn’t necessarily say boring; interesting would be a better word,” Scorpius contradicted him.
“Oh, yes, anything that involves the world ‘Wizzle’ must be interesting,” Bryan rolled his eyes.
Scorpius could only shake his head at the remark. “What the hell did you come up here for, Bryan?” he asked while standing up and crossing his arms across his chest.
“Well, mate, you’re missing a wild bash downstairs.”
Scorpius—surprised a bit by the thought of a party going on—asked, “What on earth is this party for?”
“Tomorrow is the big game between Gryffindor and Slytherin for the Quidditch Cup, so it’s like a pre-celebration.”
“Oh.” Scorpius hadn’t even realized the Quidditch Cup game was already here—or his house was in the game. “Well, it’s going to be pretty hard to win if everyone is hammered,” he commented.
“No alcohol, just pure old-fashion fun,” Bryan retorted.
“Forgive me if I don’t believe you,” Scorpius said, taking a seat back down on his bed. He was recalling the last time Bryan said something was fun—only to be reminded it wasn’t fun at all. It was actually the farthest thing from fun.
Bryan’s eyes narrowed at Scorpius, taking a more serious tone now, he said, “Scorpius, you have barely hung out with us at all this year. You still hang out with Vivian and me a little, but now that you have that new “friend,” even Vivian doesn’t really want to spend time with you. They both went silent. Bryan stared hard at Scorpius: “I'm not asking you to have fun, I'm just asking you to go,” he said harshly.
"Ok for one thing Rose is not my friend." he said defensively. "She is just my detention partner." He didn't want Bryan to know that they were close in any way shape or form,
Bryan looking at Scorpius said "Sure she isn't." he had goofy grin on his face. Playfully punching Scorpius in the arm he said "Come on man lets go."
Scorpius rolling his responded "Fine."
It didn’t take long for Scorpius to realize this party wasn’t going to be “pure old-fashion fun.” He looked around and saw that all the furniture had been pushed to the edges of the common room to create a large open space where classmates crowded together and danced wildly. The music they were blaring was some kind of music he had no desire to listen to again in his life. He looked over to Bryan—his face emotionless—and said, “Yeah, real fun, mate.” Bryan just shrugged his shoulders and led the way down the stairs. Scorpius followed him to the punch table and grabbed a drink. He looked around the room to see if there might be any place where he could retire to, but instead he saw a group of girls staring at him; he gave a half smile and continued to glance around the room.
Bryan gave a wave to the girls, knowing they weren’t staring at him. “You know, Sandra Sanders has a massive crush on you.”
Scorpius was shocked by that statement. “Seriously?”
“Yeah, I'm surprised you didn’t pick up on it sooner. Normally you’re pretty quick with these sorts of things.”
Scorpius looked over to the dark brunette girl with olive skin; she was very pretty, but there was something about the way she talked that always gave Scorpius the idea she wasn’t the brightest person in the world. “Yeah, I’ve been sort of busy to notice crushes, mate.”
“Well, that is one crush that I would take notice of,” Bryan said while raising an eyebrow.
“I think I’ll pass,” Scorpius said, casually taking a sip from his drink.
Bryan looked at Scorpius in awe. How could he just casually pass up the opportunity to be with one of the prettiest girls in the Slytherin house? If only he could have as much luck with girls. “You know, mate, if you don’t want her, then who do you want?” Bryan asked, trying to figure out what was going through Scorpius’ mind.
It was almost like clockwork that Vivian walked up to them wearing her striped green and silver sweater with the Slytherin Serpent embroidered on the left sleeve. She had bits of green streaks in her blond hair, which made her eyes practically glow. “Maybe he doesn’t like anyone,” she said as Scorpius handed her some punch.
“Or maybe he does, and he just doesn’t want to admit it to us,” Bryan commented while smirking at Scorpius.
“Oh, and what makes you think that?” Vivian questioned, while narrowing her eyes.
Scorpius, realizing that this conversation was about to turn into a ‘who knows Scorpius best’ match, intervened. “Is it really necessary for you two talk about me…In front of me?”
Both Vivian and Bryan stared at Scorpius with raised eyebrows. They talked about Scorpius in front of him all the time. Why would now be any different?
Scorpius shrugged his shoulders. “I’m just sick of people talking about me is all.”
The three stood in silence—all of them avoiding each other’s eyes. It was the beginning of a song that broke the awkward silence. Bryan started to nod his head and stomp his foot to follow the beat.
Vivian, smiling excitedly, said, “I love this song!”
Bryan, placing his drink down on the table, held out his hand to Vivian. “Want to dance?”
Vivian hesitated and looked hopefully up at Scorpius. He avoided her by sipping the last of his drink and pretending not to notice. Vivian released a hopeful breath and took Bryan’s hand.
Scorpius watched as Bryan led Vivian away, and they both began dancing in a neurotic way. They looked more like they were having a seizure than actually dancing. He closed his eyes and took in the chaotic tempo of the music and the stuffy air in the room. This really was the last place he wanted to be. Making a split second decision, he opened his eyes and quickly rushed to the portrait hole—making an escape from the party before anyone had the chance to notice his absence.
He went to the only place he knew he could rely on: the library.
Rose sat in the back of the library near some of the older books. This was a place where she knew no one would look for her. She was sitting at table reading, when she heard someone clear their throat, breaking her concentration. She was about to tell the person to go away, when she looked up to see Scorpius looking at her.
“Mind if I sit?” he asked, holding a book in his hand.
“Not at all,” she said and gestured to the seat across from her.
He sat down and began to open the book when she asked, “What are you reading?”
Scorpius flipped to the cover of the book and answered, “Wizards and Their Achievements,I just kind of picked it up while I was coming back here.”
Rose nodded, having done the same thing before. “So did you finish reading Wizzles?” she asked curiously.
Releasing a deep breath he answered, “No, unfortunately I was dragged out of my room while reading and forced to join a party full of annoying morons.” Scorpius knew he was being harsh but he wasn’t in a good mood as it was.
Rose eyed Scorpius, looked back down at her book, and picked up where she had left off. Scorpius opened the book again and began to read the introduction. He was so annoyed with people that he had read the third line four times before he actually comprehended what it was saying. Growing frustrated with his inability to focus on what he was doing, he slammed the book shut and practically threw it on the table. He slouched back in his seat and crossed his arms.
Rose cocked an eyebrow up and looked at him. He stared back at her and released an exaggerated breath. “Sorry, it’s been a long day.”
“I can tell,” Rose said sarcastically.
Scorpius was ferociously tapping his fingers on the table, his mind lost in thought.
“You want to talk about what's on your mind?” Rose asked.
“It’s nothing, honestly,” he said quietly.
“I’ve noticed when people say that nothing is wrong, it means that something actually is wrong,” she said insightfully.
Giving a slight smile, he started to speak: “You know how everyone has a birthday?”
“Yes, that is no secret,” Rose answered, closing her book and pushing it to the side.
“Well today is mine and no one noticed. Now, admittedly, I have never told anyone today is my birthday, but you would think eventually someone would notice you haven’t had a birthday in five years and ask you about it,” Scorpius said while staring at a bookshelf on the other side of the room.
“Why haven’t you ever told anyone today is your birthday?” Rose asked.
“There never seemed to be a point. In my family, birthdays are the last things on anyone’s mind, so they just aren't celebrated.”
Rose looked down at her watch and started to stand up.
“What are you doing?” Scorpius asked, a little taken aback by Rose’s behavior.
“Sorry, I made plans to do something,” she said while gathering all of her belongs and putting them into her bag.
“So, I just tell you one of my deepest, darkest secrets and you’re going to leave,” Scorpius said sarcastically.
“Yep,” Rose said, standing up straight.
For the first time, Scorpius noticed she was wearing some traveling clothes: jeans, a long sleeve shirt, and a knitted poncho. Her hair was tied back so that the top part was up and the bottom part was in loose curls. She started to walk away. “Where are you going?” he asked.
Stopping what she was doing, she turned around and said with a queer look on her face, “Why don’t you come and find out?”
Preferring to be with Rose instead of in the library alone with his thoughts, he stood up and began to follow her.
While following Rose, he pondered where they could possibly be going. After a few minutes, they came to a stop at the one-eyed-witch statue by the stairs of the DADA room; she leaned forward and spoke the word “Dissendium” to the statue, causing it to move aside and reveal a hole. Slowly, Rose jumped into the hole.
“You know, I'm not sure this is the safest thing to be doing,” Scorpius said timidly.
"Grow a pair and come on, I'm already late” she said hurriedly.
Scorpius jumped into the hole. He stood there for a moment and looked around at where they were; he heard the statue above them slide back over the hole causing the entire tunnel to go dark.
“Lumos,” Rose said, and her wand lit up.
“Where are we?” he asked, following her and watching his step.
“Underground,” she answered in a monotone voice.
“Well, that’s a pretty broad statement.”
“You know, you ask a lot of questions for someone who prefers to live on the dangerous side of life,” Rose teased.
“I live on the dangerous side of life within reason: this is ridiculous and unsanitary,” he retorted.
“Ha!” Rose said rather loudly, her voice echoing through the tunnel. “And having me jump thirty stories out of a tower is ‘within reason’? I would love to see where the middle ground in your thinking is.”
“That was completely different!” he exclaimed.
“Yes, this time we are on the ground,” she said while coming to a stop. Scorpius could see the ladder she was about to climb. “Will you hold this?” she asked while handing him her wand.
She climbed the ladder and pushed the roof of the ceiling up and to the side and continued to climb until she had successfully left the tunnel.
“Your turn,” she yelled from outside the tunnel.
He climbed up to see that he was being led into a storage area of some kind. Handing her back her wand, he read the labels that were on the boxes. “Are we in Hogsmead?”
“Yes, does that bother you?” she asked, looking at him strangely.
“No, you just don’t strike me as the type of person that would sneak out of school,” he said.
“Well, it’s nice to know that I can shock you sometimes,” her quirky smile appeared on her face.
He could see her smile in the dim light of the room; it was surprisingly pleasant and relaxing. Noticing that he had been staring at her to long, he quickly shifted his eyes. They were silent for a moment; this was a side of Rose he had never expected to see. Deciding to try and get back on topic, he cleared his throat and asked, “So what exactly are we doing here, anyway?”
Beginning to walk, Rose started, “A few years ago, I found out my family likes to rifle through my mail when I’m not around.”
“Ok, that’s a shocker,” Scorpius said sarcastically. “What does that have to do with anything?”
“Well, that is one of the more annoying things about my family, and seeing as how they believe anything I receive means it’s for all of them, I found other means of receiving my mail.”
“So, wait a sec,” he said, not moving his legs anymore and grabbing her hand to make her to stop walking too. Turning around she met his eyes and he said with a serious tone, “Are you seriously telling me that we went through all that trouble because you have an issue with sharing?” Scorpius almost wanted to laugh.
Rolling her eyes and pulling her hand back from his, she said, “I don’t have a problem with sharing. I have a problem with people returning my belongings back to me ruined before I even have a chance to see them in proper condition.”
Nodding his head in agreement, he began to walk again. “Makes sense, although I don’t have any siblings or cousins to truly understand that problem.”
“Lucky you,” she muttered while making a right turn into an alley.
Scorpius followed her until they came to an abrupt stop. Observing his surroundings, he noticed no one else was around, and they were standing in a shadowy place almost like an alley. A smell of sweat and vomit was penetrating the alley. “You know, regardless of my family’s reputation, I do actually have a problem with hanging around in places where people have probably been murdered.”
Barely paying him any attention, she responded, “Will you shut up? I'm trying to concentrate.” She slowly walked down the alley, searching the brick wall, until she found the area that she was looking for. Whipping out her wand, she stood on her tip toes and traced the outline of three off-colored bricks. The bricks started to glow a golden color but then suddenly began to fade. Rose took a step back to where Scorpius was standing.
“Really? That was it? You know, when I see a bright gold color come out of nowhere, I expect something big to happen with a little bit of oomph in it,” Scorpius said.
“You may want to move back some,” Rose said taking a few steps back.
“Why? I'm pretty sure I can handle anything that is going to happen.”
“Suit yourself then,” she said
Scorpius, still standing there, suddenly began to feel the ground shake. Looking around, he saw rocks begin to fall and fling themselves everywhere. They were going by so fast, some only went about an inch away from his face. The ground began to shake even more roughly. Turning around, Scorpius began to rush towards Rose. Suddenly, a loud burst of light and a thunderous pop shook the ground. It was so hard Scorpius fell and took Rose down with him.
He stayed still for a moment, not sure of what had just happened. Catching his breath some, he looked up to see Rose lying beside him, catching her own breath.
“What the bloody hell was that?” he asked, still feeling his heart racing.
“Oomph,” she said in matter-of-fact tone. Sitting up, she brushed the dirt off her pants. “So, now what?” he asked
“Why don’t you get up and take a look?” Rose asked smugly.
Standing up, he saw that a door had appeared where the three bricks had once been. “Impressive, Ms. Weasley,” he commented as he mocked a teacher.
Walking up to the door, he noticed a light golden light coming from the crack beneath the door. Rose raised her arm and knocked on the door.
Scorpius heard a loud crash come from the inside as someone shuffled their way over to the door.
“It’s about time,” a voice said right before the door swung open. “Opel, Lauren, Gregory, and Belly; Rose is here.” Scorpius saw a large man with curly unkempt hair. He was middle-aged and covered in sweat. Quickly, he bent down and pulled Scorpius and Rose into a giant hug.
“It’s nice to see you again, Arnold.” Rose had a bright smile on her face.
“Well, it had been so long since we’d see you, we were starting to think you had forgotten about us,” he said while moving out of the way and letting Rose and Scorpius walk in.
The second Scorpius walked in, he was greeted by the smell of mock turtle soup and three very young and rambunctious children chasing each other around the living room. Rose came up beside him and whispered in his ear, “They manage the quill store down the street.” As if that were supposed to mean something to him.
Looking around, he saw a small, frail woman with light blonde hair walk into the room. “Rose, how lovely it is to see you,” she said in soft, sweet voice.
“It’s lovely to see you too, Opel,” Scorpius heard Rose say. Her voice sounded so different right now: more relaxed then it was at school.
Opel released Rose from a hug turned to Scorpius. “So, who is this you brought with you?”
Rose remembered her manners and said, “This is my friend, Scorpius Malfoy.”
Scorpius froze at the sound of his name. Usually he left the ‘Malfoy’ part out of introductions. People tended to act differently towards him after they found out he was a Malfoy. Usually they would become very quiet and try and find ways out of the conversation they were having, but to Scorpius’ surprise, Opel swept him into a hug and said, “It is a pleasure to meet you.”
Arnold looked over and asked, “You ready to eat?”
Rose quickly nodded her head and headed toward the kitchen. Scorpius followed her and found a very small room with a table crammed into a corner. There on the table were six bowls placed in a circle. Opel rushed past him and quickly placed another on the table. “Rose didn’t tell us that she was bringing a friend. If she had, I would have already been set up.”
Trying to be polite, Scorpius said, “I don’t have to eat if it’s an inconvenience.”
“I wouldn’t hear of such a thing in my kitchen. You just sit down and eat,” She said, walking over the stove.
Scorpius walked over to where Arnold was sitting and sat down beside him. He looked over at Rose who was in the corner filling up cups with juice when Arnold asked, “So are you the reason why our Rosie doesn’t come around here much anymore?”
Scorpius looked up at him, his eyebrow raised and he a smirk on his face. Scorpius didn’t have a response for him. He looked behind him and saw Rose as she levitated seven glasses to the table. She sat down next to Scorpius and just stared at Arnold. Quickly she leaned over to Scorpius and asked, “Why is Arnold staring at you like that?”
“I was just curious as to what is going on between you two that you don’t come around anymore,” Arnold said sternly.
“Oh,” Rose laughed at ease and leaned back in the chair. “Well, we got caught fighting and we were punished with a years’ worth of detention.” She added a little hint of sarcasm for dramatic effect.
“You got a whole year just for fighting?” Opel asked, carrying their youngest child, Belly, in her arms.
“Well we have been fighting for five years, so…” Scorpius said softly.
“And yet you bring him to meet us?” Arnold asked
“Yes,” Rose said.
Scratching his head, Arnold said, “I hope you don’t mind me saying, but that is just a little confusing.”
“It’s complicated,” Scorpius and Rose both said in unison, each one of them laughing at the fact they the both said the same thing.
Shortly after dinner, Rose had collected her mail and they left. There a bundle of neatly-tied letters and a package. As they walked, Rose put the letters in her bag but continued to hold on to the package.
They walked in silence: a comfortable silence which was rather relaxing to Scorpius.
Breaking their silence, Rose said, “We have to take a left here because we can’t go back the way we came.” Scorpius, looking at his surroundings, now noticed most of the shops in Hogsmead had closed.
As they took a left heading into the woods, he asked, “So how did you meet Opel and Arnold?”
“Well if you didn’t notice, their children didn’t speak at all tonight,” Rose said.
“I did notice, but I just thought they were shy,” he replied.
“Well, a few years ago, a case my mother was working on involved Gregory and Lauren. They were playing outside when they saw some people fighting.” Rose walked over to a large rock and sat down.
Scorpius followed suit and sat down next to her. “Go on,” he pressed.
“Anyways, my mother wanted them to testify and their parents agreed, but when the time came for them to talk, someone had cast a silencing spell on them.” Rose took a breath, “They have yet to figure out a counter spell.”
Scorpius sat there and asked, “Why are they so happy then?”
Rose thought about that question for a moment and said, “I think for people who lived through the war, anything is better than having your loved ones dead.”
Scorpius nodded his head in agreement.
“Well, my mom kept in contact with them, and that was how I met them.”
“I figured as much,” Scorpius said.
They both sat there in silence for a moment, thinking about how there was still bad magic in this world and how nothing would be alright and safe again.
Changing the subject, Rose handed the package she had been carrying to Scorpius.
He looked down at it and asked with a curious face, “What is this?”
“Is it, or is it not your birthday?” Rose asked with a sly smile on her face.
Scorpius smiled to himself, “But I told you about that not even an hour…” he looked up to Rose and saw the knowing look in her eye. It hit him then that she had known all along it was his birthday. Shaking his head, he almost laughed, “How did you know?”
Rose crossing her arms answered, “Well you made it a little obvious,”
“How so?” he asked.
“Well, every year—no matter what—on April 3rd, you always left me alone. Wouldn’t curse me or pick on me: never even got close to me,” she said while leaning back a bit.
“Are you serious?” Scorpius asked, staring at her.
“Yes every year, almost like clockwork,” she half laughed.
“But how did you know that me not bothering you on April 3rd was because of my birthday?” he asked, looking back down at the package.
Thinking about her response, she whispered, “Unlike what you said, I did notice that you haven’t had a birthday in about five years. So I took a guess, and I was right.”
She looked at him and noticed how the few strands of hair would fall down in his face; she noticed that the smile on his face was one she hadn’t seen before: one of someone who was truly grateful. She leaned her head a bit more toward his to get a better look at the expression on his face.
“Scorpius,” she whispered suddenly.
“Yes?” he said quickly and lifted his head to meet Rose’s eyes. He didn’t know how they had gotten so close all of a sudden. She truly was beautiful. Her in a natural state: just sitting there being a kind and honest person. A piece of red hair fell onto her face. Silently he lifted his hand to her forehead. He didn’t want to scare her or move too suddenly. Lightly he skimmed the edge of her face, barely touching her skin but just enough to give her chills. It was as if there was a very light breeze going by. Scorpius swept the strand of hair and put it behind her ear, letting his hand linger there for a moment.
Being there like that with her gave him the sudden urge to kiss her. He wanted to pull her into his arms and gently press his lips upon hers and to weave his fingers through her hair. But he didn’t move; he didn’t want to mess up the moment they were having. Just being locked with her eyes was enough to last him a lifetime—in case it never happened again.
Just as quickly as the moment came, it passed. Rose blinked her eyes and shook her head. Scorpius too turned his head and bit his lip lightly. “You should open your present.”
Carefully, Scorpius began to peel the parchment off of the box. When he got to the box itself, he slowly began to lift the hood up. When he looked down, he saw inside was a book titled Dillard Dillinson: One Man’s Story and Another Man’s Lies, by H.J. Granger. Nobody had ever given him a gift that was so thought out and planned and perfect. “How did you get this? I didn’t think it was in stores yet!”
“It isn’t. That’s the beauty in having your mother as the author, you get advanced copies,” she smiled at him. “Open it,” she said, unable to contain her excitement.
Slowly taking the book out of the box, he opened to the inside cover and saw in large, loopy letters: To one of my loyalist fans. Thank you for reading, always H.J. Granger.
Seeing how he was stunned by the autograph, Rose said to him, “I’m sorry it’s not personalized with your name, but I didn’t think telling my mother to make it out to ‘Scorpius Malfoy’ was a smart move.”
Shaking his head, Scorpius said, “No, it’s perfect. It truly is the nicest thing anyone has ever gotten me,” he paused for a moment, “Thank you. It really means a lot to me.”
“It’s no problem! That’s the deal: on your birthday, you get a present,” she said, standing up.
Standing up too, Scorpius walked over to where she was standing and gave her a hug: a very kind and sincere, genuine hug that friends give to one another.
After about a minute, they separated, and Scorpius looked Rose in the eye and said, “I mean it, thank you for everything; you have been a wonderful friend.”
Blushing a little bit, Rose looked away. “We better get going; people are going to start to notice we are missing.”
Scorpius, nodding his head in agreement, gently placed his book into the box and began to walk with Rose back to the castle.
A/N: I’m SO SO SO sorry for just not getting this up. Please forgive me. But now I am much less busy and I can spend much more time writing. I hope you enjoy the chapter and the next one will be up soon.
P.S. Thank you to my lovely editor Hannah.
A Note from Hannah: Hey guys! This is the first chapter I’ve edited before posting, so let me know if you see anything I missed. I’m still working on previous chapters, but I hope to keep working on them over the summer.