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Chapter 8: Screwed Hate
I don’t hate Scorpius Malfoy. I never have. Occasionally I feel a sudden spell of dislike towards him. These spells can originate from mere taunting, interrupting, tripping me over in the corridor, a sudden recollection of the 'unmentionable-incident' or putting my time-turner in a cauldron full of sleeping draught.
But even then, I don’t hate him.
First and second year I didn't acknowledge his existence. I knew of him, I just chose not put myself in his path.
“Make sure you beat him on every test, Rosie. Thank god you inherited your mother’s brains”.
Even a nervous eleven year old girl could detect the palpable tension between his family and my own. This, at first, was intriguing. Since I’d been born people had fawned over me, wishing me success in my studies, flattering me, sending me cards on my birthday and generally giving me everything and anything I wanted. I’d never met someone who disliked us for the same reason people loved us.
After his sorting, (the hat blaring Slytherin so loud it almost fell off his head), I watched from a distance. The Slytherins worshiped the ground he walked on. But they were the only ones to do so. Other houses wouldn’t hesitate to make jibes in the corridors, push him down, or throw a few hexes his way. It was hardly surprising he isolated himself. He didn't like cronies. He wasn’t the alpha of a pack of heaving Slytherins. He was a leader that didn't care for leading. And in some ways, this made him even all the more dangerous.
It wasn’t until third year that realised just how.
Snow. Incessant. Harrowing. And above all, cold. Hogwarts and Hogsmade had been under siege for five days. Flurries of it had attacked the shops, leaving white caps inclined to fall on passing people. Students, third year and above, were finishing off the remainder of their Christmas shopping through the whiteout, battling through with the steely determination of a solider.
Chrissy hoisted herself up onto the slanted stone wall and downed the rest of her Butterbeer. As usual, her complexion was flawless. Rounded, rosy tinged cheeks set off by the spirals of chocolate hair peeking out from under her ermine hat.
I followed suit, shuddering as the snow seeped through my coat.
“Is it necessary to return this?” Chrissy enquired, gesturing to the flagon with a sudden tilt of her head.
I gave a weighted sigh. “They’re on loan”.
She blinked and held the flask up, squinting at it in the weak sunlight. “I should like to have it. Ask him”.
“Normal people don’t even take them out the Hog’s Head”, I said, “We’re only allowed because-”
“The bearded bartender is one of the many people in debt to your family. Sing a new tune Rosie Posey. This one hurts my ears”.
My lips stiffened and I stared at the pockets of grass peering from out the snow.
“I do enjoy it though”, Chrissy said thoughtfully, waving her legs like a small child. “There are sporadic benefits to being friends with you”.
“Thanks”, I replied acidly.
She flaunted an impish smile.
For a moment we were silent, watching the flakes fall, settle on the carpet of white. Voices carried high from the village rang intermittently, the sound muffled by the lonesome howl of the storm.
I curled my hands around my mug, revelling in the warmth that leached through my gloves.
“Pretty things”, Chrissy announced. Her back arched and her pearly teeth materialised. ‘Pretty things’ were what Chrissy deduced to be good looking items. This could vary from boys, girls, trinkets, houses and once before, a one legged cat.
I still couldn’t wrap my head around that one.
Today it referred to Loughty (the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain) and his average-appearing Keeper, Harrison Cuffe.
Loughty swaggered towards us – a movement that made it a struggle to restrain laughter. I opted not to tell Chrissy that they had been tailing us from Hogs Head. It would spoil the fun of seeing Loughty attempting to keep up with my friend’s insanity.
“Girls”, he chortled, winking at me.
I sipped my Butterbeer, shuffling to get comfy.
He angled his body at Chrissy. “Heard you were looking for someone to help you with Potions”, he said.
Loughty was your conventional guy. The exact kind that your Mum would love but your Dad would hate. He was strapping build, years of Quidditch had made sure of that. Tightly curled blonde hair and light blue eyes, that more than often looked watery, added to his enthral. But that was where it ended. His face wasn’t striking, or formed boyishly - it was plain, with a bulbous nose and brows that rose far too high.
If he were ever to model, you would only see the back of him.
Chrissy batted her lashes and gave a pulsating laugh. Sometimes I was convinced that the girl was part veela. Only that could account for the way that men seemed utterly captivated by her. “Rose is helping me”, she said, her head inclined to see what move he would play next.
He refused to accept it. “It’s always good to try other people. Might help you learn better. Get a different….flavour”.
“Rose tastes like nutmeg”, she said. “I like nutmeg”.
I snorted and then hastily turned it into a hacking cough.
Loughty’s face went blanker than a piece of paper. “Oh-well-I-I-”
“What does she taste like?”
Cuffe had spoken and the words were directed at me. I stared straight at him. From the teasing smile on his lips, I could tell he saw right through our little game.
“Chrissy?” I raised a vacant brow. “I wouldn’t know”.
“Melon”. She told him, her pensive gaze now set upon Cuffe. “I taste like melon”.
“I like melon”, Loughty jumped in, a little breathless.
Cuffe gave a half-hearted shrug. “I don’t”.
Chrissy looked like a bird hypnotised with a crawling beetle.
“So are you going home for Christmas?” Loughty said swiftly, chucking his Keeper a daggered glare.
“Rose promised to take me Weasley catching”, she said, her glassy stare turning bright.
“On the condition she behaves”, I reminded, drinking my Butterbeer. Chrissy was a sheer nightmare to take anywhere. Let alone home. My Dad had already labelled her as a nut job and my mother had been trying to convince her that the staff at St Mungos would happily do a discretional check-up. This was all not including the fact that Hugo was petrified of being in any vicinity with her.
“Loughty and me were heading to the Three Broomsticks”, Harrison said, shoving his hands low into his pockets. “Do you want to come with?”
“Go ahead”, I said, hopping down from the wall. “I wanted to go and see the Shrieking Shack”.
I frowned. “I happen to find it very interesting”.
Chrissy rolled her eyes and jumped down, wrapping a coated arm around Loughty, who looked like Christmas had come early.
“Off to see the wizard?” She enquired.
“Err, yeah. Sure”, he nodded, his smile slipping slightly.
“See you later, Weasley”, Cuffe waved, following the giggling couple as they walked back up to the village.
I stood, squinting through the blizzard at the retreating figures. I suppose I could have joined them. It wasn’t really necessary for me to see the Shack for a second time. But I wasn’t feeling up to the conversation that would entail. Perhaps, as it sometimes did, the attention Chrissy was receiving was a little too much for me to handle. The way every boy’s eyes just glossed over me and settled on her. I couldn’t deny that it hurt.
I trudged through the snow, head bowed against the whirling wind. When I reached the top of the hill that looked out across a small pond and then rose up to the turrets of the Shrieking Shack, I stopped to regain my breath. And that’s when I saw them.
Five boys’. Four were set in a semi-circle formation around the one in the middle, wands out, the occasional flash of blue and red flying forward.
They were duelling. Four against one.
I dug my wand out from my coat pocket and began to hurry down the slope, my boots crunching in the snow.
A figure on the outskirts on the group turned. Tall, lean and with sheet black hair flecked with red, was Teddy Lupin.
I stopped in my tracks. Normal family members had enough sense to mind their own business when I determined something wasn’t right. But Teddy Lupin was not technically family. He was an orphan that had latched on. And he was also someone that surprised me continually.
I didn't like surprises.
A Gryffindor with an unfortunate thick monobrow looked round. “Get rid of her, Ted”, he grunted.
Teddy looked hesitant. I eyed him cagily.
Someone had just put up a shield charm and a spark of green light pistoled off it, hissing angrily.
Teddy strode over to me. His lightly freckled cheeks were white with what I presumed was cold.
“What’s going on?” I demanded, as he approached.
He glanced over his shoulder. “Nothing of your concern”, he said, placing a strong arm around me, forcing me to turn.
A bolt of crimson hit the ground beside me.
“Who is that?” I said, twisting in his grip.
Too late. I’d already seen him. Teddy’s leave had formed a opening in the circle, big enough for me to see the person on the other side – the one fighting against the four.
Malfoy. Bleeding. Black. And as savage as a wounded lion.
My face hardened. “Tell them to stop”.
“I can’t do that”.
I looked at him. His shoulders were squared and his outline was rigid.
“What you’re doing is wrong”.
“He’s a Malfoy. His Dad was a Deatheater, they helped Voldemort-”
“But he wasn’t a part of that!”
“It’s in his blood! He’s as bad as them Rose and you know it”.
I struggled with an internal debate. “I don’t think we should trust him, but I don’t think he deserves this! Nobody deserves this!”
“You’ve never bothered before”.
It was no secret that the Gryffindor Seventh Years loathed Malfoy and made sure that his trips between lessons became a daily excuse to jinx him. But this was taking simple harassment to whole new level.
“This is different! This is cruel, Teddy, and you are fully aware of that!”
“Expelliarmus!” There was thud and one of the boys’ fell back, rolling like some sort of log down the slope.
Teddy turned to me, his expression grave. “You need to go. Now!”
“And leave you to finish him off? I don’t think so”.
His arms crossed his chest. “I'm not leaving you by yourself”.
“Yes you will”, I ordered. “Preferably before I go round up a few reporters and show them what Harry Potter’s godson likes to do in his spare time.”
Torn, his friends shouting at him to move it, he gave me a pleading look and then ran off after them.
I focused forward, staring at the boy in the middle of the clearing, his short breaths coming out in puffs of cold air.
The whole image was a little disturbing. Like a very small child holding a wand. He was thirteen and covered in bruises. I was thirteen. And I was covered in a tarten coat that my mother found under the stairs and supposedly belonged to my Aunt Ginny. It wasn’t even that warm.
He watched me, his stance stiff.
“Do you want me to help?” I asked carefully.
His puffed upper lip twisted. “Fuck off”. His voice was hoarse. This was probably due to the rapidly-turning-green bruise on his adams apple.
I mentally cursed humanity. Why couldn’t I just leave him?
“You’re bleeding”, I blurted out.
The features remained the same – hard, impassive and volatile.
“Teddy-”. My jaw clenched. He was part of my family. “He’s bitter, they all are…” I trailed off. I couldn’t reason this.
Blood trickled on snow between us – no man’s land.
I opened my mouth and closed it again, unable to get out what needed to be said. “I'm sorry”, I eventually mumbled.
“I don’t want pity”, he said snapped. “Not from you”.
My brows knitted. “I don’t understand”.
“Don’t you?” His wand rolled in his clenched fist. “You’re a Weasley”.
He sneered. “Our families hate each other. I think my face speaks for that”.
I lifted my chin. Something inside was begging me not to do it. But I was all too determind to voice what I deemed to be correct and above all, the truth. “That doesn’t mean I have to hate you”.
There was silence that could have chilled the bones of a Dementor.
If anything, his expression became colder. “That’s the way it works”, he hissed.
I pursed my lips. “Not all of us are like, Teddy”.
“Listen!” He snarled. “You hate me. That’s how it always been. We’ve been bred to despise each other. I don’t try and change what’s in our blood, neither should you, because you have no right and you can’t!”
That word: can’t. It made my blood boil.
Resistance stirred inside. “I already have”, I told him. “I don’t hate you, Malfoy”.
He spat at me. “You will”.
Then he moved away, his back turned, leaving me alone in the swirling sleet and the stench blood.
My first encounter with Scorpius Malfoy was reknowned. Hogwarts soon knew the score. Malfoy hates Rose. Rose doesn’t hate Malfoy, but she will eventually. Thing was….I couldn’t. I came close. Good Merlin I came close. The 'unmentionable-incident' came seriously close. But giving into the emotion so primal, the one that caused the war, would be taking the easy way out.
Rose Weasley doesn’t take the easy way out.
But then neither does Malfoy. And as he promised in the store cupboard, he was trying to break me. He was trying to make me hate him.
Chrissy arrived after dinner. Harrison was tagging along behind her, but from his glum expression, I was guessing that her earlier display on the Quidditch field was still fresh in his mind.
“Whispers say that Weasley’s gone rogue”, she giggled, sitting on the end of my bed and chucking a box of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans at me. “Daddy will be so disappointed”.
“Do you know when you’re be able to talk again?” Harrison said, pulling up a chair beside me.
I popped a bean into my mouth and shook my head.
“Sucker”, he teased. His gaze drifted to Malfoy, who was floating medical instruments with his wand.
“How did it happen again?” His features lapsed into ruefulness. “Sorry”.
And for the second time, much to my surprise, his head turned to Malfoy.
This time, it saw him. A middle finger was unsurprisingly shot his way.
“It was his fault. Wasn’t it?”
I gave a resolute nod.
“Do you think he did it on purpose?”
I hesitated and then shook my head. Not even Malfoy would intentionally land himself in the Hospital Wing.
“Visiting times are over”, the Matron said, waving her hands irritably at Harrison and Chrissy.
“Have fun petal”, Chrissy crooned, pinching my toes.
I watched the two of them leave, Harrison throwing me a meek smile as Chrissy pulled him round the door. Madam Pomfrey scuttled round the room, beginning to tune out the lights.
“I think an early night’s sleep will do you both a world of good. Then, you should be able to leave in the morning”.
I had a feeling she was enjoying the fact that neither of us could verbally protest to this manic mollycoddling.
Over the other side of the Hospital Wing, Malfoy was watching her pull back his curtains. He caught my eyes and sneered. I glowered back.
She turned and bustled over to me.
“Now, try and get some rest”, she said, fluffing up my pillow then stepping back and pulling the curtains shut.
Surrounded in darkness, exhausted by all the emotions: anger, despair, sadness, confusion – it wasn’t long before my eyes sunk into sleep.
Light burst in front of my eyes. I shot forward, chest heaving, lungs gasping for oxygen. I felt lightheaded, like I’d been submerged in water and only just come up for air. Colours, fragmented by the intensity of the light, blurred in my vision. Wet splashes were hitting my face.
Taking heaving lungful’s, I twisted my head. I was outside. It was dark. And it was bucketing it down. The only light was the moonlight, which was so low I could make out the craters.
Thunder crackled overhead and I slid to my feet. My body was heavy and when I stood up, I stumbled forward. Rain lashed against my cheeks, stinging them with the brutally and merciless of a whip. Squinting through the downpour, a flash of white caught my sight.
A little way away, lying on his side, his platinum hair plastered to his face: was Malfoy.
I did consider it. I would be a liar to say I didn't. I suppose it was my Mother that stopped me. It wasn’t just her intelligence that shined through. I kneeled down, my bare knees sliding against the slimy stone.
He was soaked to the bone.
“Malfoy!” I said through the driving rain, but my words were lost in a wail of wind.
His eyes flew open and just as I had, he gasped for air. Reaching out in front of him, he took in sharp breaths, his eyes wide.
“Fuck”, he panted.
“We need to go”, I said, getting to my feet. “We can’t stay out here”.
“And where is here!?” He snarled. “I don’t know about you but the last place I remember being in is in the Hospital Wing”.
I sinking feeling hit my stomach. “I was afraid you’d say that”.
“Were you?” He sneered, staggering to his feet. “Sure this isn’t some sad joke that one of your distant cousins decided to play?”
I threw him a cold look. “Don’t confirm your lack of brain cells, Malfoy. Why an earth would my family do this?”
“Are you really going to pretend that I'm not on their sodding hit list for rendering the Golden Head Girl speechless and putting in her in the Hospital Wing?”
“Stop that!” I snapped.
“What?” His pale features glowed in the moonlight.
“Stop calling me that!” I said angrily. “Golden Head Girl! Not in the slightest way am I ‘golden’. My family do not fall at my feet or send me flower arrangements when I get a good grade. They send me a letter and their love because I'm Rose. Just Rose!”
“Oh you don’t actually see it, do you?” He sniggered. “The way teachers nod and smile at whatever shit comes out your mouth. How all the prefects are too fucking scared to contradict you in anyway? You actually think that people would care about you if you weren’t one of the Weasels.” He gave me a derisive look. “You really are deluded”.
I took a step away from him. “I refuse for this to end how it usually does”.
His brows lifted incredulously. “Oh do you? You refuse do you Weasel?” The name dripped off his tongue like the water running down his face. “I was under the impression you quite liked a little pain”.
“Little is a slight underestimation Malfoy”, I said, trying to gather composure. “And I don’t want anything from you. Ever”.
“It has to be me, Weasel. Because you know no-one will hurt you like I can”, he sneered. “And I’ll be damned if you don’t come back for more”.
There was a loud crack of lightening. “I'm not playing this game”.
He chortled cruelly. “Too late. You’re already losing”.
I snapped. “Has it occurred to you that there is something wrong with this whole situation? If so, then for five minutes, just five minutes Malfoy, could you please find it in you to shut up and help me figure out why the hell we’re up here!?”
“We’re on the Dark Tower”, he said icily. “I thought you slept with Hogwarts a History”.
“I know it well if that’s what you mean”.
“Clearly you need some catch-up sex”.
I glowered. “We’ll head back to the Hospital Wing then”, I said, stalking past him. He strode fast to keep up.
“And that’s all? We’re just going to pretend like this never happened?” His cheekbones seemed clenched.
I opened the door to the tower entrance violently. “I didn't say that. No. I am certianly going to launch a full investigation into this”.
He emitted a scornful snort. “Merlin help the culprits”.
The winding iron and stone stairs were positioned invitingly in front of me. It looked a long way down.
“Don’t even think about it”, he snarled, noticing my narrowed eyes. “You can go in front, Weasel”.
I fluttered my wet eyelashes. “You’re the lady, Malfoy”.
He sneered. “I could give you a referral to a beautician to get rid of that chest hair. I can’t be nice having to button your shirt up to your chin like some kind of prude”.
“You sound jealous”, I noted with a roll of my eyes.
“Of a hermaphrodite? Naturally.”
I made my way down. The hair on the back of my neck prickled every time he stepped close. I was trying to think. And his promixity was not assisting the process. Inside I was steaming. The audacity that someone had to put the Head Boy and Girl on the Dark Tower, while they were asleep! How in merlin’s name did they get past the dutiful Matron? They couldn’t. So perhaps we did it to ourselves…sleepwalking? It was the only conclusion I could think of. But both of us? Together? The odds were nigh on impossible.
We stumbled out into a corridor. My sense of direction collected together. This was the ground floor leading out to the middle courtyard. The Hospital Wing was less than a five minute walk. I’d just turned left, when a loud voice made me jump out my skin.
A middle aged man with a face like a grizzled dog and pallid, sickly looking skin, hobbled towards us. As he approached, I fiddled nervously with my wand. There was something very wrong and sinister about this man. Something derived not from his appearance, but from his manner.
“I’ve been looking for you”, he said gruffly, scratching his forearm with frightening vigour and eying Malfoy evasively. “Where ave you been?”
Malfoy scowled and was about to answer with a phrase that was sure to be insulting when the man cut him off.
“Fucking ell”, he spat, glaring at me and then shooting Malfoy a dark look. “What did I tell you the other day! Leave em in the dungeons, just because their giving a good shag doesn’t mean you take em everywhere you bloody go! What if she’s a spy!? Eh? Then what you gonna tell the Dark Lord? Sorry she was good at bending over? I could report this you know. Misconduct”.
There was a horrified silence. The man seemed to take this as ignominy.
“I want you to help me and Alecto with a detention tomorrow. We caught eight Gryffindors’ trying to broadcast on that Potter-loving channel. You know. The one that broadcasts all that blood traitor shit”. He stared at me challengingly. “Noting all this down are you?” He chuckled. “Fat lot of good it will do you”.
There was a shrill beep. He ruffled through his pockets and pulled out a gold coin, engraved with a mutated skull. He squinted at it, his left eye bulging out its socket. “Sodding kids”, he grumbled. “I’ll talk to you later”, he snapped and stalked off, spitting at a tutting portrait as he passed.
I tried to close my mouth. It wouldn’t shut. Malfoy turned to me, his usually pale features shockingly white.
I shook my head wordlessly. My brain couldn’t form it together. Time-Turner. Sleeping Draught. Ingested. Time-Travel. They were all just words.
Only one clear thought ran through my conscious. We were screwed. Completely, utterly and absolutely, screwed.
A/N: If you've read this far then its only a little further to the review box....Hope this chapter can give an insight to the relationship between Rose and Scorpius. Some chapters will do this, feeding you little bits at a time and others will go with the main plot, which has finally begun. Thanks for all the comments so far x