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In Her Absence by luvinpadfoot
Chapter 10: Hogwarts Express
Chapter Ten: Hogwarts Express
Al shuffled into a compartment after Rose. He hadn’t said a word since his father had gone after Scorpius Malfoy’s father. His father had been acting strange ever since Lily had disappeared, but nothing like that.
The worst thing was that everyone they passed on the train stared at him. He was sure Rose and Hugo were getting a few odd glances as well, but it seemed like all their eyes were glued to him. Al didn’t know if it was because of Lily or the fight, but he hated it either way.
Rose had found them an empty compartment even though she would be leaving for a while to meet up with the Head Boy and the prefects. Al hadn’t been made a prefect, but for the first time he was very glad of that. He would have resigned if he had to put up with that this year.
Rose sat with him and Hugo like she had all the time in the world, but Al noticed her sneak a peek at her watch. “Go,” he said, not wanting to be responsible for her tardiness.
“It’s fine. I’ve got plenty of time before it’s supposed to start,” she said, but Al didn’t believe her. He knew when Rose was lying and this was one of those times. When she began a lie her nose scrunched up the tiniest bit.
“Don’t stay on my account,” Al said. “We’re fine. Aren’t we?” Hugo was staring out the window and didn’t respond. Al nudged him on the leg and he looked up, startled.
“Er- yeah,” Hugo said. It was clear he had no idea what Al had said, but Rose nodded anyway. He was right, her meeting was about to start and they were sitting all the way in the back of the train where first years were usually relegated.
“I’ll be back soon,” she promised. “If anyone bothers you just tell them the Head Girl’s on her way back and won’t hesitate to give them detention and take away House points before they even have any to deduct.”
Al nodded to satisfy her, but he knew he’d never tell someone that. It only made people more interested if you threatened them. He was sure they’d be left alone, though. The older students rarely went all the way to the back of the train unless they had a really good reason. Although he guessed he might classify as a really good reason.
Rose felt guilty as she headed to the Heads’ Compartment. She couldn’t miss her meeting for anything, but she still didn’t like leaving Al on his own. He was with Hugo, but wasn’t as close with Al as she was.
She entered the compartment and looked at Scorpius Malfoy with something like a grimace on her face. She’d known he was the Head Boy ever since she got her letter, but she hadn’t told anyone in her family. She’d meant to warn her father, but when everything went crazy it had slipped her mind.
“Hello,” she said in an attempt to be as polite as possible. Just because their families were at each other’s throats didn’t mean they had to be. It would make for a very long year if they were.
Scorpius turned to her and she saw that the blood from his father’s face had dried on his robes and stained them a dark red. His robes were in his hands and he was attempting to clean them. “Oh, I’m so sorry!” She said, immediately pulling out her wand. “Do you want my help with that?”
“Could you?” He asked. “Cleaning spells were never my forte and I can’t find one that works with blood.”
Rose waved her wand in a complicated motion and the blood dissolved in front of their eyes. Scorpius looked at her gratefully. “Thanks. Where’d you learn that?”
“My mum. When we played Quidditch as kids someone was always getting hurt. It was a pretty useful spell.” Rose was aware she was rambling, but she didn’t know what to say to Scorpius. Her uncle had just punched his father in the face. The robes looked as good as new when she passed them back to him.
Scorpius pulled them on over his head and they sat there in silence. “So,” he said, drawing out the word to a second and even third syllable.
“So,” Rose replied. It was quite possibly the most awkward conversation of her life, trumping the sex talk with her mother. Well, maybe it wasn’t that awful, but it certainly was forced.
“Do we know what we’re going to say during the meeting?” Scorpius asked and Rose was very relieved to have a concrete subject to discuss.
“Same speech that’s given every year, I suppose,” she said. Every year the Heads said the same exact thing and Rose had finally realized they’d just copied what was said the year before because there was nothing new to add. “Unless you’ve got something fiery and passionate planned instead.”
“We could always incite them to rebel against the strict regime of McGonagall. You know, get someone a little more relaxed as our Headmistress. Madam Pince perhaps.” Rose had to cover her mouth to keep from laughing. Madam Pince was the ninety year old librarian and the only person at Hogwarts who was stricter than McGonagall, especially when it came to her library.
“Don’t say that too loud,” she said, recovering from her surprise. “McGonagall made you Head and she can take it away.”
Scorpius shot her a weak smile and they waited in silence for the twenty four prefects to appear. When they did, Rose gave the speech with a little help from Scorpius. She made sure to glare at each of the fifth years individually.
Whereas most of the sixth and seventh years seemed vaguely bored, the fifth years were all sitting on the edge of their seats and lapping up each nugget of knowledge like starving puppies. It was a bit amusing and she hoped she hadn’t looked like that.
She neglected to remember that when she had become a Prefect in fifth year she’d had a scrap of spare parchment on which she took notes.
“Any questions?” Rose asked as the meeting came to a close. All of the fifth years shook their heads eagerly, as though thrilled at giving the right answer. “Alright then,” she said with a sigh. “You can go back to your friends. Don’t forget to patrol.”
As they all left she turned to Scorpius. “You could have jumped in at any time. Nothing was stopping you.”
“You looked like you had it under control.”
She shook her head in annoyance. Of course she had it under control, she had everything under control. That didn’t mean he was welcome to do absolutely nothing, though. “I’ll see you around, I guess,” she said as she left the compartment.
Scorpius grabbed his books and hurried after her. “Wait! I’m sorry, I was just joking.” Rose nodded, but kept walking. She didn’t mind talking with Scorpius Malfoy, but he wasn’t a friend. She much preferred getting back to Al and Hugo. “Where are you going?” He asked.
“Back to my compartment.”
Scorpius jogged up beside her. “Mind if I come with?”
Rose shook her head. She didn’t want to be rude, but Scorpius and Al in the same place might not be the best idea. “Don’t you have your own friends?”
“They kicked me out,” he said, clearly annoyed. “They’re planning a prank and they think I’d tell McGonagall before they can pull it off.” He shrugged and looked at her hopefully.
Rose eyed him and decided he looked sincere, or at least like he was telling the truth. “Would you?” She asked.
This answer seemed satisfactory, so Rose nodded. “Alright. Al’s in there though, so you’re going to have to sit with him.
“I kind of figured that,” Scorpius responded, although Rose nodded he looked a bit uneasy at the thought of sitting with the boy whose father had just punched his own father. “It’s not Albus’s fault.”
Rose led him down past the compartments all the way to the end of the train. She stopped just before sliding open the compartment door. “You might consider calling him Al, though. If you call him Albus to his face he just might punch you.”
“What is it with the Potters and violence,” Scorpius muttered under his breath as he entered the compartment behind Rose.
Al looked up and smiled at Rose before he saw who else had come in. “Scorpius,” he said coolly. He didn’t think he’d ever had a conversation with the boy before and now wasn’t exactly a time when they would become close friends.
“Al,” Scorpius said with a slight incline of his neck. “Hugo. It’s a pleasure.” Hugo nodded and went back to staring out the window.
Rose sighed in disbelief. She bet neither of the boys had said anything since she left. They could be so closed up sometimes. “Has the trolley lady been by?” She asked, trying to fill the awkward silence with something, even incessant chatter.
Al nodded and gestured toward the seat in the corner. A few sweets were scattered on it, mostly chocolate frogs she noted with disdain. It meant they were Hugo’s as Al thought chocolate frogs were repulsive. He always said he didn’t like his food moving on its own, although Rose had never seen a problem as it was just a spell. It wasn’t like they were real frogs.
There were also several packages of Fizzing Whizbees, her favorite sweet. She ripped open one and offered it to Al first, then Scorpius when he refused. Neither boy was interested in the sweets and Rose sighed. It was going to be a very long train ride.
A/N: I just started college so I haven't been writing as much lately and I think I'm going to stick with the every Monday schedule at least until I finish the story. I'll reconsider changing it up then and maybe post chapters on every other Thursday or something.
And wow, all those reviews! Turns out you guys really are reading this! I love hearing from you, even when it's just telling me to update faster.