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In Love and War by Phoenix Quill

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Format: Novel
Chapters: 16
Word Count: 43,971
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Humor, Romance
Characters: Draco, Pansy, Blaise (M), Teddy, Scorpius, Albus, James (II), Rose
Pairings: Other Pairing, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Neville/Luna, OC/OC

First Published: 10/30/2012
Last Chapter: 06/04/2013
Last Updated: 06/04/2013

Summary:







ON HIATUS DUE TO WRITERS BLOCK


I have three secrets.

1. I'm a Parseltongue

2. I have seen my future

3. I have a crush on Scorpius Malfoy

Good thing I can keep secrets, or I'd be a dead woman.

(Banner by Apocalypse @ TDA)

3000+ reads? I'm flattered!


Chapter 1: The Scarlet Engine...Again
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So, this is sixth year. It didn't seem any different.

Of course, I was still on the platform.

Where the hell was he?

"Shriek? Where are you, you worthless ball of fluff?" I had looked everywhere for him, and it was almost 11. I grabbed my wand and lifted it in front of me.

"Accio birdcage!"

My old, rusted birdcage crashed into me. Inside, my brainless excuse for an owl blinked sleepily at me. I scowled at him and levitated the stupid bird and my trunk into the train, batting first-years out of the way. I placed them in the trunk compartment and stalked into the train to try and find my friends.

 

***

 


I was still looking when Albus Potter collided with me head-on.

He almost knocked me over, but muscles from Quidditch meant that he bounced off me and landed on his arse on the floor. I was about to help him up when I noticed what he was wearing.

"Why the hell are you wearing a vest over a jumper? It's not that cold in Britain!"

Albus remained speechless. I wasn't sure if that was from the comment on his clothing or because he'd landed on his arse on the floor.

"Wait a second...is that vest corduroy? Who wears corduroy? And are those loafers? Who under seventy wears loafers?"

Albus chose that moment to stand, shoot a quick scared glance at me and bolt for his life. It was a pretty good effort, for a scrawny nerd like himself. I watched him run off like the Dark Lord was at his heels, laughing at the way he ran. Like a lizard.

A lizard missing a foot.

So, while I was distracted with thoughts of Albus' oversized face on a gecko's body, I was tapped on the shoulder. Of course, my immediate reaction was to spin around and prepare to jinx someone into an alternate dimension. I was halfway through a jelly-legs jinx when I realised it wasn't a random Hufflepuff second-year.

It was Scorpius Malfoy, the one person who could calm me down when I was in one of my Zabini-rants. Like I almost was now.

I stopped mid-jinx and lowered my wand. "Oh...hi, Scorpius."

He raised an eyebrow but chose not to comment. "We've all been looking for you, Taylor. Where have you been?"

I grinned. "I was critiquing the fashion sense of fellow travellers. What's not on at the moment? Corduroy vests over jumpers and dirt-brown loafers. Apparently, no-one told Albus Potter." Scorpius laughed and grabbed my arm. "Come on, fashion aficionado. You're missing all the fun!" I was dragged into a nearby compartment, all the while thanking Merlin that my skin doesn't show when I'm blushing.

 

***



Scorpius plonked himself down on a window seat, rather ungracefully. I sat down with much more elegance opposite him and grabbed a Chocolate Frog that was hopping near my hand. While I munched, I focused on calming my pulse. Scorpius swung his feet onto the seat and yawned. "So, you've missed the food trolley. You must be devastated."

"Completely," I said through a mouthful of chocolate. As seriously as I could, might I add.

Scorpius raised a blond brow but chose not to comment on my lack of manners. That was when Sarah Parkinson and Jason Flint stumbled in, clinging to each other and laughing uncontrollably. They kissed, making Scorpius snort and making me look away. Sarah detached herself from Jason's face and poked her tongue out at Scorpius before sinking into the seat. Jason practically fell next to her and looked at me, eyes dancing. "You missed the hexing of first-years, Taylor! Jeez, that must suck."

"Yeah, I guess I'll just have to get them when we get to Hogwarts. What an absolute pity." Everyone laughed, and Sarah starting describing one first-year's face after she'd sprouted purple tentacles from her cheeks. She was just explaining how pus started oozing from the tentacles when Duncan Goyle walked in.

I glared at him and looked away from the sorry sight of his bloated face. You don't forget things like having a person give you a moustache as first-years.

Followed by turning your hair purple.

Streaked with green.

It stayed like that for a week afterwards despite everyone trying to fix it. And I mean everyone. Even some snotty Ravenclaws tried their best and failed.

Where was I? Oh yeah, first-year hexing. I tried to focus on the conversation.

"...new Chaser this year, since good-for-nothing Luke Kenbridge quitting. I hate try-outs. It's mostly wannabees who think they're going to be the next Tornadoes player. It drives me nuts, don't you agree, Taylor?" I blinked at Scorpius, who was looking at me expectantly.

"You didn't hear a word of that, did you?" I was saved answering by the Prefects coming around to remind us to put on ours robes soon. I grabbed my duffel-bag and high-tailed it out of there before I had to answer another question.



***

 

By the time I came back, Scorpius was napping, Sarah and Jason were attached at the face and Goyle had left to go find something. Don't ask me what. I sat down and pulled out my book I had packed. Well, the life of Dumbledore was a lot more interesting that a live snogging show, brought to you from Parkinson and Flint. I opened to a random page and started reading about Dumbledore's first years as a teacher, which weren't that interesting, to tell you the truth. I closed it in disgust and put it back in my duffel-bag. Good thing we were almost at Hogsmeade, or I might commit a strange and exotic form of suicide.

 Then again, since Goyle chose that moment to re-enter, I might still try that.

I gave him a scornful look. "Off to make someone else's hair purple, Goyle?"

He blinked. "Don't tell me you're still angry about that. I was a first-year."

"I don't care. I hate purple. Therefore, I hate you. End of story, full stop."

"Oh come on, Taylor. Can't we put that behind us and start again?"

I leaped up and pressed my wand under his chin.

"Do not call me Taylor. Ever. Kapeesh?"

He nodded fervently. I removed my wand from his flesh and tucked it back into my pocket. The train began to slow, which woke up Scorpius somehow. He groaned and blinked sleepily at me. "We at the station?" I nodded. Scorpius groaned and waved his wand. His robes appeared on him.

How the fuck does he do that?

The train lurched to a stop. Sarah and Jason disconnected - I'd forgotten they were there, somehow. Despite the constant snogging sounds.

I know. It shouldn't be possible, but Goyle makes me ignore everything but my hatred of him.

I charmed the door open and strolled out. First-years scattered out my path. Some students from higher years levels moved too. Mostly Hufflepuffs. Weaklings.

Everyone saw the emblem on my robes, the colours on my tie, which was loose. Green and silver, the colours of those who rose to the top, no matter what the cost.

The colours of Slytherin.

I was part of the most feared house in Hogwarts, and Merlin, it felt good to be back.



 





I hope you liked the first installment in the always dramatic, never predictable In Love and War! Tell me who you like, who you hate and your opinions on corduroy vests in that fantastical grey box below!

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D

 


Chapter 2: Food, Glorious Food
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The first time I came to Hogwarts, there was one thing alone that amazed me. It wasn't the sky-roof, or the sternness of Headmistress McGonagall's gaze, or even how short Professor Flitwick was.

It was the feast.

I have an unhealthy obsession with food. If not for Quidditch, I would be over a hundred kilos by now. Which is not a glamorous look.

So when I walked into the Great Hall and saw mountains of food piled high on ginormous plates, it took quite a few students to keep me walking up to the front instead of sitting my arse down and stuffing my face with steaks and fried potatoes, washed down with some juice. Of course, being Taylor Zabini, I was last to be Sorted, which meant last to eat.

Just my freaking luck.

I was twitching with anticipation when my name was finally called. I almost bounded up and sat eagerly on the squeaky wooden stool that made my feet dangle a few centimetres from the ground, being a midget first-year at the time. The Hat was placed on my head, and everyone stopped talking.

"Hmmm...well, you seem to be the last one. Where to put you?"

The hat had spoken. In my head. That was so...awesome. You know, apart from it stating the obvious. If we're going to do that, Mr. Hat, I must say, you look extremely old.

I could have sworn the hat chuckled.

"Intelligent, that's for sure. You could be good in Ravenclaw. You're loyal, that's a Hufflepuff quality. Plenty of bravery, even in stupid situations, and even more ambition."

"Oh Merlin, anything but Hufflepuff." I would be disowned if I got into Hufflepuff.

"So not Hufflepuff? How about Ravenclaw? You'd do good in there."

"Just not Hufflepuff, please. I'll take you to a hat maker. You can get a pretty ribbon or something. As long as you don't put me in Hufflepuff. If you do, I'll burn you."

"Well, threatening me? That's the main part of a certain house, one I think you'll do well with...SLYTHERIN!"

The Hat was lifted off my head, and I went to sit on the left side with some people I had met on the train who had also been Sorted in Slytherin. I was sad to see that the red-headed twins I'd met on the bus were at the Gryffindor table, and that the dark-haired boy and the Asian-looking girl were at the Ravenclaw table, but the people who were with me seemed good enough.


 

***

 

 

Six years later, I was still sitting with all those people that I'd been Sorted with, and ignoring one of them completely.

Whilst stuffing food into my mouth. At a fairly quick pace.

I'm a great multi-tasker. Just ask anyone in the Slytherin Quidditch team, there's no-one else who can gossip, keep an eye on the Quaffle and smack a Bludger into the stands (sorry, poor unfortunate first-years with poor dodging skills) at the same time.

Scorpius was talking about the Chaser tryouts in a high pitched, it's-like-Christmas-and-my-birthday-and-New-Year's-all-at-the-same-time-plus-firewhiskey voice, and Sarah and Jason were feeding each other bits of food in between kisses and nibbling each other's ears.

Hadn't they ever heard of getting a room? Yes, the Great Hall is a room, but maybe an empty room? That had a lockable door? And sound-proofing?

I swallowed a bite - well, more of a shark-sized bite - of lamb and turned to Scorpius. "When are these tryouts on again?" Scorpius frowned, making his forehead crease and his eyebrows meet, as much as you could tell with his blond eyebrows. "Didn't you listen to anything I said on the train?"

Shit. I was supposed to listen to that?

Scorpius took my silence as a no, as he always did. Jerk. "They're on Thursday next week at four. Wish school hadn't started on a Friday, we would have had a Chaser for an extra week, and that's a week of practices and formations we could have been doing."

The fucking formations. That was the only thing Scorpius thought about when he was in I'm-the-Captain-of-this-team-and-it's-my-way-or-fifty-gagillion-laps mood. I usually get annoyed by him and snap at him, which earns me laps.

Hey, it burns off all the food, so I guess it's a good thing.

Yes, I eat way too much, but I must do something to keep it all off my hips and thighs. Otherwise I wouldn't be walking, I'd be waddling. Or in a hospital bed being wheeled around by a group of males nurses.

Yes, male. You got a problem with that?

Scorpius turned to Goyle and started chatting, which was my cue to stop talking and do something else immediately.  I grabbed one of the puddings which had just appeared and stuffed it into my mouth with as much grace as drunken Hippogriff wearing a frilly tutu.

I would pay to see that. Seriously, it would be hilarious.

As I continued to stuff a variety of sugary, chocolaty desserts into my mouth, Sarah and Jason left, followed by Scorpius. Which left me alone with Goyle. Hip hip, hooray!

The stupid twat turned to start talking to me. I was pretty sure I'd gotten the message across on the train, but no, he had to continue to harass me. Before he could even open his mouth, I grabbed a pile of cakes and fled to my Quidditch-filled dormitory, the one place I was safe from enemies, idiots, and people who were both.

 

 

***

 

 


Of course, the one exception to that policy of safety, aka my roommate, was there.

How the fuck did Evelyn fucking Abbott get into Slytherin? She should have been in Hufflepuff.

Maybe I can call for a redo. There must be some way to redo the Sorting, right? Some sort of policy?

No? Fucking hell, that would make my life so much simpler.

As I walked in, still clutching my cakes, she gave me a look that suggested I had stolen the food from starving African children. For Merlin's sake, woman, they were just cakes.  Just to spite her, I stuffed a strawberry one into my mouth, groaning in pleasure dramatically.

Damn, the cakes here are good.

She rolled her eyes, stood up stiffly and walked out, leaving me peacefully alone with my cakes. Which basically translated to stuffing my mouth with a record number of cakes and chewing like a hippo with a toothache. Not at all like the public saw me.

To the public I was Taylor Zabini, star Beater, always callously indifferent. Taylor Zabini with the flowing dark waves, brown-flecked green  eyes and olive, naturally tanned skin. Who was tall and slim, and could hit a twenty-five centimetre target from the other side of the pitch. Not Taylor Zabini of the bottomless stomach and the gaping mouth. Definitely not Taylor Zabini who could fit seven cakes into her mouth at once and still be able to move her jaw.

That had to be a record of some sort.

I kept chewing contentedly, hoping to be able to fit another precious, delicious cake in.

Ugh. I sounded like that creepy thing in that movie, that crawls around and whispers "My precious," all the time. Not a good look, Taylor.

The door chose that moment to swing open, distracting me from my thinking, and Sarah walked into my room. Well, more of a stiff march. I quickly swallowed the cakes - I only choked once, which surprised me - and patted the bed. She remained standing, a sort of steely look in her usually soft grey eyes.

Oh shit, that can't be good.

Sarah looked at the carpet, confirming my suspicions. Carpet was never that interesting, unless you were hiding something. "Taylor, I need to talk to you. Alone."

I looked at her closely. She was blushing intensely and tracing patterns on the carpet with her foot.

"Sweetie, what's wrong? Is it something about you and Jason?"

Sarah blushed even more. That didn't bode well. I was so glad that blushes didn't show on my skin. Whenever Sarah blushed, she looked like a tomato.

Stay focused, Taylor. Your friend is suffering, and you're thinking about vegetables.

Sarah sighed and played with a strand of her light brown hair. "Not here, Taylor. Someplace where we won't be interrupted."

 Her tone implied I had to decide where. Great.

I thought for a bit - well, a few minutes. Thinking is not my strong point. Where was a place that you could go and almost never be interrupted?

Only one thing sprang to the front of my mind, mostly because of my appetite.

"Kitchens, half an hour. See you there." Sarah nodded stiffly and left, leaving me sitting on my bed. What was I supposed to do in half an hour? I had no homework, the Dumbledore book was boring, and all the first-years were asleep, it being nine o'clock at night.

Wusses. Afraid they'd oversleep and miss classes in the morning. I was never like that.

I hope.

Well, back to my dilemma. What was I going to do in half an hour before I had to deal with whatever it was that Sarah was worried about?

Might as well go to the kitchens and get some more food while I'm waiting.

Merlin, I would be over two hundred kilos if not for Quidditch.











 














Disclaimer - The Gollum quote belongs to the Lord of the Rings which is owned by J.R.R. Tolkien. I have no ownership of either Gollum or the Lord of the Rings.

Did you enjoy your slice of Slytherin with a side of conflict? You didn't? Either way, tell me in that magic grey box that gets bigger the more you put in!

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D

 

 


Chapter 3: Snakes and Shocks
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 So, only a few hours after the feast had ended, I was eating again.

I should be fat despite playing Quidditch.

The house-elfs had supplied a great quantity of pies and ice-cream, so it was really their fault.

I was in no way responsible for the amount of food I consumed.

What? I'm good at denying the absolute truth.

The house-elfs had just brought out some more pies when Sarah arrived, face blotchy from tears.

Tears? Something really bad had happened. Sarah never cried, not even when she broke her leg in flying lessons. That was horrible. Her leg bone was sticking up, and she didn't even flinch, just called out for Madam Hooch to come and get her.

Sarah sat down slowly and looked at one of the house-elfs. "Can I have a tub of ice-cream, please?"

Oh dear. Ice-cream. Sarah only ate ice-cream when she was extremely upset. And anyway, eating a tub of ice-cream is like screaming "I'm extremely sad and need lots of ice-cold comfort food!!!"

Whereas when I ate a tub of ice-cream, I was just really hungry. Yeah, it sort of confuses people, but you can tell when I'm extremely upset because I bawl my eyes out and hiccup and drink excess amounts of firewhiskey.

Just don't tell my parents that.

The house-elf returned with a tub of choc-mint ice-cream and a spoon. Sarah smiled at her and stuck the spoon into the ice-cream, scooping out a massive chunk and stuffing it in her mouth. I waited for her to scream in unbearable agony, but somehow she escaped the Ice Picks of Doom.

Yes, that is my name for a brain freeze.

Seriously, it's like little men stabbing your eyeballs with icepicks.

Sarah stuck the spoon back into the ice-cream and looked at me with slightly red eyes. "Taylor...I fucked up. Really badly."

Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit!

"You know how just before we went back to school, we all went to Scorpius' mansion and had a party?"

Crap crap crap crap crap crap!

"I...got really drunk. Like, stumbling around singing bad eighties songs drunk. And...Jason was drunk too."

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!

"We...we...I'm...pregnant."

Holy fucking Merlin holy fucking Merlin HOLY FUCKING MERLIN!

Sarah was watching me carefully. "Taylor? Are you...alright?"

I gaped at her. Like, full-on goldfish gape. "Am I alright? Am I alright? You've just told me that you're fucking pregnant and you want to know if I'm alright?"

Sarah stared at me, mouth open. No, that wasn't right. She'd closed her mouth and pressed her lips together to try and stop herself...laughing?

What?

Sarah was shaking now, in an effort to try and keep a straight face. I raised a brow at her, which finally made her lose it. She started laughing hysterically, and soon I was joining in. Somehow, the fact that my friend was pregnant at the ripe old age of sixteen was hilarious.

"You...idiot!" I managed to say, despite the hysterical laughter.

Sarah couldn't even say anything. She was still laughing, slumped over the table that was, for some reason, smack-bang in the middle of the kitchen.

Yes, I did just say smack-bang.

Sue me. I dare you. My father's lawyers will rip you to shreds and rob you at the same time.

It took at least ten minutes for us to contain our laughter, by which time a group of house-elfs had surrounded us with strange looks on their huge-eyed faces.

That just made us laugh harder, in my opinion. Have you ever looked up and seen ten bug-eyed small wrinkly bat-eared people looking at you like you were sprouting antlers with green and black stripes? It looks hilarious, especially when you're already laughing hysterically.

So, once we had stopped laughing our asses off, Sarah wiped away a few tears and swallowed hard. "So...I fucked up everything, and now I'm pregnant at sixteen. I can't have an abortion, that's like murder. Now I'm going to have a kid at seventeen. What have I done, Taylor?" She blinked hard, and I noticed her eyes were shimmering slightly. I leant over the table and hugged her, making her freeze in shock.

Yes, I don't hug much. Problem?

"It's okay, Sarah, everything will be fine. Trust me, it will all work out." Sarah raised her head to look at me with tear-filled eyes.

"Will it, Taylor?"

I nodded. "Of course it will, sweetie, of course it will."

She sniffed. "There's just one thing."

"Mmm hmm?"

"I haven't told Jason yet."

I stared at her. "You're kidding, right? You told me before the father of your child?" Sarah nodded, biting her lip like she did whenever she did something wrong. "We need to get him down here, right now. Stay here. I'll go find him." I literally bolted out of the kitchens in the general direction of the dungeons.

I should get an award. Taylor Zabini, expert comforter and fastest boyfriend-finder in Hogwarts.

That's right, people, it will happen.

 

 

***

 

 

By the time I got to the common room, I was sweating and panting. Real sexy, Taylor.

Of course, the first person I saw was Scorpius. Damn you, universe!

Scorpius stared at my shirt, which used to be a green tie-dyed tank, before my sweat turned it dark and made it stick to my chest. He coughed, looked up at my eyes, blushed, and stepped aside. I was blushing too, and almost crashed into him when I could finally move to go into the common room. Luckily for me, Jason was sitting on the couch. I clicked my fingers.

"Jason! Kitchens, now."

He scrambled to his feet and left the common room, staring at me weirdly. Taylor Zabini, boyfriend charmer.

Scratch that, it makes me sound like a home-wrecker.

I started the long walk back to the kitchens. Damn, why was it so far from the dungeons to the kitchens? It almost makes you wish you were in Hufflepuff.

I said almost. Don't push your luck, badger boys.

I finally arrived back at the portrait of the giggling pear ten minutes later, extremely out of breath. I tickled it and watched the doorway swing open. Why the fuck was a giggling pear the key to open the kitchens?

Seriously, there was a distinct lack of logic at this school.

I walked in and stopped dead in the doorway. A few house-elfs muttered at me but none of them actually said anything, and even if they did, I wouldn't have budged.

Sitting on the table was Sarah and Jason. Jason was holding Sarah protectively with his hands on her stomach and Sarah was...asleep. On the table, sitting up. I tip-toed in and looked at Jason. He had his eyes closed and was humming contentedly. I grabbed a pie, whispered instructions to a house-elf on how to wake them up if they didn't get out before curfew and crept out of the kitchens.

 

 

***

 

 

When I returned to the common room again, it was completely empty. Weird. Usually this place was a people-magnet right now, but the place was deserted. I shrugged, which was pointless with no-one to see me, and threw myself onto the couch. I grabbed a cushion and put it under my head, planning to lie here until either Jason and Sarah returned or when the dinosaurs came back.

They're not dead, just hibernating until someone decides they want a pet velociraptor. Probably me. You'd just ride it around everywhere and make it eat your enemies.

Goyle wouldn't stand a chance.

I settled my head into the cushion and put my hand next to me. Strange, there was something cold next to me. And scaly. Someone must have left their handbag on the couch. I stroked it gently, feeling the smoothness of the scales. It hissed at me, probably in pleasure, but maybe -

Hang on. Hissed?!?

I looked next to me. Coiled on the couch next to me was a huge snake, fangs bared. I looked at the black and yellow markings on its skin. Rule of thumb, the prettier it is, the more poisonous it is. I got off the couch slowly, but the snake slid onto the floor, eyeing off my feet. I swore, stepping back as slowly as I could, but the snake slithered forward. I glanced around to see if there was anyone around, and spoke.

"Stop, snake. Don't bite me."

It paused. "How do you speak my language?"

I sighed. "I am a Parselmouth, a person who can speak to snakes. Now, leave. Go far away. Don't bite anyone."

The snake glared at me and slithered away, probably to a dark corner in the common room. I breathed a sigh of relief and went up to my dorm room to collapse onto the bed.

I had just fallen asleep when there was a knock on the door. Dammit, I just wanted to go to fucking sleep!

I got up and pulled open the door. "For Merlin's sake, I want to fucking sleep, all right?" I would have continued with my rant if I had not noticed it was Scorpius standing at my door. It was then I realised I was only wearing a bra and undies, both of which were black and trimmed with red lace.

What? I like to feel like I'm prepared in case a knight ever rescues me and falls madly in love with me.

I can dream.

Scorpius raised a brow over my clothing but said nothing. I stood there while he tapped his foot. "What do you want?" He coughed. "Aren't you going to invite me in?" I frowned.

"Nope, you can stand in the doorway, as a punishment for waking me up."

Scorpius sighed and looked at the ground. "In that case, this can wait until morning. Night." He walked off, leaving me gaping at his retreating figure.

That prick, waking me up to tell me it could wait till morning! That twat, that pompous brat, that, that...Oh fuck it, I'm going to bed.

When I got back to my bed, however, there was an owl sitting on it, holding a letter. I grabbed it and shooed the owl out when I realised it didn't want a reply, only treats. I opened the letter and scanned it. Then, I read it again, a lot slower.

The letter read like this:

Hello, Zabini,

I witnessed a rather peculiar thing in the common room today. If you don't want me to tell the whole student body that you are a Parselmouth, come to the kitchens tomorrow at five o'clock in the afternoon.

Regards, X

Who the fuck was X? I didn't think anyone had seen me in the common room, and now someone knew one of my few secrets.

I put the letter on my table and went to sleep. I'd meet with this X and convince him not to tell anyone. If any of my secrets got out, I would be killed.

I had the feeling I'd need to hex someone.



 




Shock! Who is the mysterious X? Sarah is pregnant! And...Taylor is a Parselmouth! Tell me if you liked it and who you think X is in that amazing fanzapdoscious (that is a word now) box that magically sends everything you write to me!

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D


Chapter 4: Hogsmeade Plans and the Mysterious X
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Yay, fifty reads! Yay! Thank you! 






Great. First day of classes. Hurrah.

I hope you can read the sarcasm in this.

And of course, the first class was Herbology with the always boring Professor Longbottom. Seriously, who cares about a plant that has pimples?

People with pimples are bad enough.

There was only one upside - we shared the class with Gryffindor, which meant I could gossip with Fred and Roxanne Weasley.

I'd met the fire-headed twins on the train in first-year. Fred was a complete moron who couldn't tell the Three Broomsticks from the Shrieking Shack, as shown by accidently taking me there to try and find Scorpius. Roxanne, on the other hand, was insanely intelligent but naive when it came to boys. Not that I've had much experience there, but seriously, Roxanne has never kissed a guy apart from her many relatives.

So, while good ol' Professor Longbottom jabbered on about some moon plant, we were making plans for the Hogsmeade weekend in a few days time. Everything happened within the first few weeks of school, but this Hogsmeade weekend was exclusive to fifth-, sixth- and seventh-years. Our plans went a little like this:

1. Get as much booze as we can from the house-elfs.

2. Make the abandoned warehouse into a room fit for a mega-party.

3. Set up tables, chairs and a bar.

4. Set up music.

5. Have said party and get so smashed we can't make our way home without a scout group guiding us.

Don't like it? Here's my number: 1800 BFM BITCH

For those of you who don't listen to Tism, BFM means big fucking whoop.

Yeah, I listen to Tism. It was only once.

Or twice.

Shut up. I like their music.

Fred was drawing a design of the room. It looked like a box with squiggles, so Roxanne had drawn her own version, which actually looked good.

"Okay, so here's the bar, and here's the dance-floor. Tables will be here, here and here." Roxanne sketched on furniture and labelled areas. I glanced at it.

"Don't forget the pool table. There has to be a pool table. And a table for poker."

Roxanna shrugged and sketched on the tables. Fred looked at the picture and frowned like a little kid who had missed out on an ice-cream. "Roxy, it's very good, but there's something missing..."

Roxanne frowned as well, which was more like someone trying to solve a complicated word problem. "What is it? Have I forgotten the jacuzzi? Merlin, why do I always forget the most important..."

Fred chose that moment to interrupt what was soon to become a Roxanne worry party. "No, it's not that. But...you said we could have a bucking Buckbeak this year!"

Roxanne stopped dead. Like, literally, froze in place and stared at her twin. "You made me fret over a stupid bucking Buckbeak?!  You little pig!" I burst into laughter. Roxanne glared at me, and Fred was still frozen in place with eyes the size of saucers and his mouth wider than...well, extremely wide.

I'm not good with comparisons, alright?

"Why are you laughing? It's not funny at all!"

That just made me laugh harder.

"Ms Zabini, care to explain what exactly is so funny about Moonseed?"

I looked up. Professor Longbottom was staring at me with raised brows. "Um...ah...it's in laugh-inducing potions, sir?"

There was a serious of muffled giggles. Professor Longbottom tittered at me - literally tittered. "You weren't listening at all, were you, Ms Zabini. Had you have been, you would have known that Moonseed is poisonous, and used in Moonseed poison. As a punishment for not paying attention, you will have detention tomorrow with me in my office. I sincerely hope you never use Moonseed in a laugh-inducing potion."

There were a few laughs, and Professor Longbottom turned back to the blackboard to continue his lecture. I glared at Fred and Roxanne, who were trying to muffle their laughter, and slammed open my textbook with more ferociousness that I should have.

What can I say, I hate detentions more than boiled cabbage flavoured Bertie Bott's All Flavorued Beans.

Which is really saying something, because they are revolting.

Seriously, you pick it out and you're all like, ooh yum, a green apple one and then it's boiled cabbage.

Am I the only person who's ever done that? Okay, never mind.

Fred elbowed me in the ribs. "Psst. Taylor. Party will be on Saturday night. Meet us at the place in the morning at around ten. Bring the crew." I nodded slightly, and he winked at me.

What the fuck. I guess that's just part of being as much of an idiot as Fred is.

The bell screamed shrilly and everyone practically themselves out of their desks in the general direction of the door.

 

 

***

 

 

When the last class of the day finally ended, I was the first one to get out the door. I practically ran to the common room and shoved all my stuff into my dorm room. The note from X weighed heavily on my mind, like a...heavy thing.

I need to repeat this - I'm not good with comparisons.

I looked over it again, looking for clues in the writing. I didn't recognize the handwriting, which narrowed it down to...the majority of the school. X used fairly fancy language, which could mean a Ravenclaw, but then again, he/she was threatening me, so could be a Slytherin. Definitely not a Hufflepuff, they'd just buy you an ice-cream and tell you that the stereotypes are wrong and that not all Parselmouths are bad people. Not Gryffindor, they'd just confront you in a corridor, drag you into a classroom and demand to know what the hell was going on.

So X was either Slytherin or Ravenclaw. That narrowed it down to about half the school. I groaned and curled up on my bed. Why was it always me?

Then it occurred to me that it was half past four and it took me fifteen minutes to get to the kitchens from here. I ripped off my robes, pulled on a pair of jeans and a purple tank top and rushed out of the common room, ignoring the stares I was getting from everyone.

 

 

***

 

 

When I finally arrived in the kitchens, it was two minutes to five. I plonked my arse down in a chair and grabbed a bottle of Butterbeer from a house-elf who knew me all too well. What was her name...Blinky? No, that's not it. Oh, right, Winky!

While I distracted myself with thoughts of Winky in her cute little pillowcase with the pink ribbon and bow, someone coughed behind me. I turned and saw someone sitting beside me. I say someone because I don't know who it was. He/she was wearing a silver mask decorated with swirling patterns.

"Hello, Taylor," said the masked man - yes, man. His voice was unmistakably male.

"Hello, Mr. Mask, or X, or whatever you want me to call you." My voice was flat. Somehow, it made him chuckle.

"You can call me X, my dear. Now, let's get down to business, shall we?" I noticed he had a very posh British accent and spoke like a politician.

"Okay, so what exactly do I have to do to make you not tell anyone?" Nice, Taylor. Very subtle.

He laughed again. "Well, there is one thing I can request."

I raised a brow. " If it's money you want, I can get that. My father plays for the Falmouth Falcons so we're pretty loaded. How much do you want?"

X shook his head. "No, no, that's not what I want. There's only one thing I want.

"A kiss would be enough to convince me not to tell anyone."





 






It's X! So, who do you think it is? Will Taylor accept? Sorry for the cliffhanger. I like them a little more than is healthy. Tell me what you loved, hated, adored, loathed, praised, was disgusted by, etc. in the review box, which sadly has not been used yet! :(

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D


Chapter 5: Secrets and Snogs
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 Thank you LittleLionGirl for my first review! Love you so much!













I stared at X. "You've got to be kidding me. I'll do anything but that."

X laughed. "It's then only thing I'd accept as payment, so unless you want to be the school leper, I suggest you comply."

"I'll give you money, a broom, books, anything but that."

"No, this is all I can accept."

I frowned and debated with myself. I didn't want to kiss him. He could have cold sores.

It's the only way, said my brain.

No it's not. I can find another way.

Face it, lady, you have to kiss him.

I sighed and turned back to X. "Fine. I accept. Now let's get this over with."

X beckoned me with a hand gesture. I walked over slowly and stood in front of him. "How exactly are we supposed to kiss if you have a full face mask on?"

X slapped his forehead. "I didn't think of that." He grabbed his wand and made some twirly motion, muttering a few words. The bottom half of his mask became silver smoke that curled away, revealing a smooth chin and thin pink lips. "Go ahead, Taylor." I leant forward carefully and gave him a kiss. Not a full-on snog, but a little peck.

X had other ideas.

He put his hand on the back of my neck and full-on snogged me. I resisted for a second, until I realised that X's snog was actually quite nice. Then I started to respond, pressing against him. He smelled nice, like cut grass and man. His mouth was soft, and so were his hands where they pressed against my spine. His lips tasted like Butterbeer.

Wait a second...why are you enjoying this? This is the man who threatened you! Stop it!

I chose to ignore the reasonable part of my mind. What did it know, anyway?

Of course, it did have a point.

I pulled away. X frowned - I think - and stood up. "Thank you for that. I will be seeing you." He walked away stiffly, leaving me sitting in the kitchens with a hand pressed to my lips.

If he had threatened me, why was his snog so gentle?

I was still processing this half an hour later when Winky tapped me on the shoulder and informed me that it was almost time for the feast.

Thank Merlin for Winky. If not for her, I'd still be in the kitchen hours later.

 

 

***

 

 

Dammit, why can't I stop thinking about the snog?

It was two hours after my meeting with X. I was in my dorm, sitting on the bed, doodling idly on a piece of parchment. Why was it that the snog was stuck in my mind?

Maybe it was because it was so good a snog.

That couldn't be it. This guy had threatened me. Why would I like his snog?

Fuck it, this was getting me nowhere.

I looked down at the parchment. I'd drawn a curly X with fancy swirls, like the mask. I crumbled up the parchment and set it on fire.

There. Now if I could forget the snog, things would get back to normal.

 

 

***

 

 

An hour later, I still hadn't forgotten.

So I'd gone to Kaitlin Chang.

Thank Merlin I could do logic puzzles, otherwise I'd still be in the corridor instead of curled up on the sapphire blue couch that was the centrepiece of the Ravenclaw common room. If you didn't count the bookcases.

There were so many bookcases, it made my head spin.

I'd told Kaitlin about the snog, and about the threatening letter. She was the only person who knew I was a Parselmouth, due to a zoo visit in first-year.

"Kaitlin! Wait up!"

Kaitlin had given me a scornful look. "Maybe you should be faster, Taylor."

I had poked my tongue out at her. "Come on, I wanna see the snakes!"

Kaitlin had sighed and consulted the map. Ten minutes later, we were looking at a huge boa constrictor coiled on a log inside a glass enclosure.

"Taylor, this glass is cracked. Be careful." I had scoffed at Kaitlin's worries and knocked on the glass. The snake didn't respond, so I'd knocked harder. It barely lifted its huge head. I knocked a third time.

That was when the glass smashed into dust. The constrictor had looked at me and slithered out. It looked at Kaitlin and started to wind itself onto her chest.

"Taylor, what is it doing. Taylor? Taylor! TAYLOR!"

The snake had begun squeezing Kaitlin. I screamed. "Stop! Don't hurt her!"

To my surprise, the snake uncoiled itself from Kaitlin's midsection. It glared at me. "Next time, don't stop me. I'm very hungry, you know." It made its way out of the pathway. Kaitlin had looked at me with fear in her eyes.

"Taylor...you were hissing."

"No I wasn't, don't be silly. I was talking!"

"No, you definitely hissed."

An hour later, we had found a book entitled 'Parselmouths: The Real Snake Charmers'. We read it, and my world was turned upside down with every page.

Kaitlin had kept my biggest secret for five years. She was possibly the person I trusted most in Hogwarts, possibly in the world. Right now, she was scared.

When Kaitlin was scared, everyone should be scared. She has endless courage and almost no fear.

"You're kidding. He found out? After everything you did to keep it a secret?"

I swallowed. "He must have seen me talking to the snake. Speaking of which, do you know what type it was? It was black and orange striped."

Kaitlin stiffened. "You're really lucky, you know. If you weren't a Parselmouth, you'd probably be dead. That was a tiger snake, one of the most poisonous snakes in the world. Merlin knows how it got here, it's native to Australia."

So someone had put that snake in the common room. That was suspicious. What purpose would it serve to have a poisonous snake in our common room?

Kaitlin coughed. "You do realise that it's almost midnight, right? That's way after curfew, and besides, I have classes tomorrow. So...you should leave."

"Oh. Right. Well, see you tomorrow." Kaitlin smiled, flashing her brilliant white teeth, and I fled the blue-filled room.

 

 

***

 

 

Somehow I made it back to the Slytherin common room without being spotted. What's more, I made it into my bed without waking any of my light-sleeping dorm mates. I looked at the emerald green curtains and sighed. I turned over and closed my eyes.

The last thing I thought before I fell asleep was that X's snog had been very nice, and I wouldn't say no to another one.

 

 

***

 

 

The next day brought upon us my most loved class of all: Defence Against the Dark Arts, which we shared with Ravenclaw.

Yes, a Slytherin loves the subject which is basically defending yourself from people who used to be in your house. Feast your brain cells on the irony.

If you have any left, that is.

We were taught by the ever-changing Professor Lupin. No, not the werewolf who died in the Second Wizarding War, his son. Teddy Lupin. Who just happened to be the best teacher in the world, mostly due to his ability to change what he looked like at will. Today he had bright green hair and black eyes.

"Okay, today we will be learning possibly the most important defence magic of all time: the Patronus Charm. I am aware that some of you have experience in this field, but we will be starting from scratch, for the sake of those less informed. Now, who would liked to tell me what a Patronus is?"

Albus Potter's hand shot into the air. "Yes, Mr. Potter?"

The twat cleared his throat royally. "A Patronus is a sort of shield from dark creatures, mostly Dementors. They can also give messages."

Professor Lupin nodded. "Yes, very good. Now, who can tell me what a Patronus looks like?"

This time, Kaitlin put her hand in the air. "A Patronus can take two forms - corporeal and non-corporeal. The former takes the shape of a silvery animal, depending on the caster. The latter is merely silver vapour, but has the same effect as a corporeal one, just diluted."

"Thank you, Kaitlin! Now, who'd like to have a go at casting a Patronus?"

Everyone's hands were raised. Professor Lupin clapped his hands together. "In that case, wands out, class!" Everyone grabbed out their wand. I stood up as Professor Lupin directed us into a line. "Now, you first, Mr. Potter!" Albus held his wand out in front of him, but before he could try, Professor Lupin waved at him frantically. "I've forgotten the most important thing! In order for the charm to work, you have to think of a happy memory, preferably the most happy one you have. Now, Mr. Potter, you may proceed!" Albus raised his wand again and frowned, looking like someone who'd forgotten where he'd left his car.

"Expecto Patronum!"

A silver mist burst out, and started to merge into something, but it stayed as mist. Professor Lupin clapped anyway. "Very good! It takes a fair bit of effort to actually produce a corporeal Patronus! Now, if you will, Mr. Malfoy!" Scorpius raised his wand and sneered at Albus.

"Expecto Patronum!"

A silver fox burst from his wand and ran around the room, yipping. Professor Lupin smiled. "You've done this before, am I right? Yes? It is quite impressive, I must say. Next!"

Everyone tried their best, some making an animal appear, some mist and some nothing at all. Then, it was my turn. "Ms. Zabini! Let's see what you can do, shall we?" I wiped my brow and raised my wand, trying to find a memory. I settled on a picture of my mother before she died, her and I smiling on a swing-set.

"E-expecto Patronum!"  

A little mist flooded out of my wand, but nothing too good. I lowered my wand and looked at the ground, fighting tears. Even Jason had done better than me, and he was rubbish at DADA.

 

 

***

 

 

Five o'clock had me sitting in Professor Longbottom's office while I sorted Gillyweed from Fluxweed. Seriously, who got them mixed up in the first place? Professor Longbottom kept an eye on me while I sifted through the plants. Gillyweed. Fluxweed. Gillyweed. Fluxweed. It took me an hour, but finally, it was all sorted. Professor Longbottom let me off with a warning and I ran off, not to the Slytherin common rooms, but to Gryffindor, where hopefully Roxanne was waiting out front for me.

Thank Merlin she was, otherwise I would have been stuck outside while people glanced at me suspiciously. Hard is the life of a Slytherin.

I blocked my ears as she said the password, and as the Fat Lady opened the passageway and shot me a dirty look, Roxanne had already started chatting excitedly about the party. I blinked at the common room. I always forgot how red it was. Except for the spot of purple where someone had tried to charm the carpet, the whole room was crimson. Roxanne fell into the squishy armchair while I chose a more supportive wooden chair. James Potter winked at me from across the room, where he was flirting with a blond ditzy girl who giggled at everything. I flipped him off. Slytherin attitude for the win!

Roxanne made a choking noise as Fred sat next to her, chewing on a tuna fish sandwich. Merlin, that boy was always eating.

"So, whersh the plansh?"

"Fred! Don't talk with your mouth full! It's disgusting! And the plans are right...here!"

Roxanne traced a pattern into the air with her wand, and the notice board appeared, covered in a huge plan of the warehouse.

Fred looked closely at it, then hugged Roxanne. "Thank you, sis! You got the bucking Buckbeak for me!"

Roxanne rolled her eyes and started to point out things to me. I listened, made comments and tried to ignore Fred until he stuck his finger in my ear.

Merlin, that boy is like a five year-old stuck in a sixth -year's body. Make that a three year-old.

Roxanne made the notice board return to its rightful place, minus the plans, and turned to me. "You're in charge of food and drinks. Remember, firewhiskey, Butterbeer, cocktails, stuff for martinis, beer, wine, and anything else you can think of. Only finger food, no roasts or anything." Fred had debated that one quite a bit. "Be at the warehouse by ten with everyone. Make sure you can smuggle the stuff out without being detected." I nodded and stood, stretching. "I'll get the stuff from the kitchens before we head off in the morning. See you then!" Roxanne smiled slightly. Fred waved like a madman. I pushed my way past some first-years and went through the portrait tunnel.

 

 

***

 

 

It was around ten. Evelyn was reading by wandlight under her doona, my other dorm mate Sarah was probably with Jason and I was still thinking about the kiss.

For Merlin's sake, stop thinking about it! It's over now, you'll never know who he was and stop thinking about it!

I rolled over and pressed my face into the pillow, trying to block out the light that streamed from under Evelyn's doona. I closed my eyes and started to breath slowly in an attempt to go to sleep.

Somehow, it worked, and I fell asleep.

Unfortunately, I couldn't escape my dreams.

I was back in the kitchens with X, and we were snogging again, only this time it didn't end there. We ended up half undressed and lying on the table with X above me when my wand started making the blaring noises that meant it was time to get up.

When I woke, I was covered in sweat. I did a quick charm to dry myself off and checked my watch. It was six, two hours before we left for Hogsmeade. The perfect time to get stuff for the party tonight. I got up and shook Sarah awake.

 "Go 'way. I wan' sleep."

"Sarah, get up!"

She moaned and rolled over. I cast a silence charm over Evelyn's bed and shouted into Sarah's ear. "If you don't get up, I will strangle you! " Sarah still didn't sit up, so I grabbed my wand again.

"Aguamenti!"

Sarah screamed. "What did you go that for? Now I'm soaked!"

I laughed. "Come on, we have to get Scorpius and Jason." Sarah flipped me off and dried herself off. I changed into a plain white shirt, grey cardigan and jeans while Sarah slipped into trackie pants and a tight black shirt. We crept out of the dorm and into the boy's dorms, since girls could move between both dorms with no trouble. Boys couldn't walk in the door without it slamming in their face in Slytherin, Gryffindor had stairs that turned into slides, Ravenclaw had a hovering charm that made you fly back to the other side of the common room, and I had no idea what Hufflepuff had.

Don't judge me for never being in the Hufflepuff common room. I'd tried, and I ended up soaked in vinegar. Not a nice experience.

Besides, my father would murder me if I ever stepped foot in there.

I crept into the dorm room and tip-toed to Scorpius' bed. I checked to see that Sarah was next to Jason's bed and charmed the rest of the beds to keep the noise from leaking in. Sarah nodded at me. I turned back to Scorpius, who was snoring softly and had hair brushing his forehead. I lifted my wand as Sarah did the same.

"Rictumsempra!"

Scorpius began thrashing around in his bed. His eyes opened, crinkling with laughter. "Taylor...what are you...stop it...Taylor!" I could hear thrashing sounds from Jason's bed, along with muffled laughter. I tucked my wand back into my pocket and looked at Scorpius again. His grey eyes were filled with tears, hopefully of laughter. His cheeks were red from laughter. I was possessed by a mad urge to kiss each cheek.

Stop it, Taylor. Control yourself.

Scorpius had sat up while I was pre-occupied with my thoughts. The blankets had slipped down and oh Merlin, he was topless.

Who knew that Scorpius had abs? Yeah, he was the Seeker of the team, and the Captain, but really, who would have known?

I regained my ability to look at places apart from Scorpius' midsection. "Come on, sleepyhead, we have to go to the kitchens and get everything for the party!"

Scorpius jumped up. "That's today? Shit!"

I tried to ignore the fact that he was only wearing silk pants and moved away. "Hurry up and get dressed. We have a little persuading to do."









 










 

This is by far my largest chapter so far! Are you proud of me?

Hope you loved Kaitlin Chang and the Weasley twins! Even if you didn't like them, review, but I think Fred is impossible to hate.

Disagree with me? Tell me so in the amazing grey box that tells me what you're thinking.

Cheers. Phoenix Quill :D 

 


Chapter 6: To Hogsmeade We Go
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 Now, at half-past six, we were in the kitchens while I pleaded with Winky.

"Please, can we have it? I promise it's going to a good cause."

Winky looked sceptical. "Winky is not sure about all this. Taylor is up to no good, and Winky will have no part in it!"

Okay, this clearly called for my puppy-dog eyes. "Please, Winky? This will be the last time!"

Winky sighed, defeated. "Winky will help you this time, but this is the last time! Winky will not help next time, and Winky means it!" She bustled off into the kitchens to get what I had asked for while Scorpius, Sarah, Jason and Evelyn (who had woken up, found us not in the beds and went into the common room, where she had found us plotting how to smuggle the stuff into Hogsmeade). Luckily, Evelyn knew a charm to make heavy bags feather-light and Sarah knew how to make them look like coats flung over an arm. I knew how to get the stuff, and Jason knew how to pack it into bags without leaving a single space empty. Scorpius just tagged along to carry stuff.

That was our system. Sarah was the brains, Jason was the bag-packer, I was the person who got stuff and Scorpius was the pack-horse.

Well, that's how it evens out.

Winky returned with bottles and platters of food. I thanked her, gave her a smile, which she insisted was the only payment she needed, and handed the bottles to Jason. He stuffed them into the first bag while I covered the platters of food in plastic wrapping to stop them being squashed.

What can I say, I prefer my snacks non-squished.

Jason accepted the wrapped platters and put them in another bag, which meant we only had two bags. Evelyn and Sarah charmed them, and Scorpius and I took a bag each. They were surprising light. I raised a brow at Evelyn. "Girl, your charm works really well. We might have to make you a permanent part of the catering committee. Now come on. We need to pack another bag."

I walked out of the kitchens, everyone trailing behind me. Evelyn darted to the front. "Why do we need to pack another bag?"

"To put our party outfits in. What, you thought I'd be wearing this?"

 

 

***

 

 

Two hours later, we were in Hogsmeade. As always, it smelled like freshly baked bread, cakes and Butterbeer. I breathed in the aroma of the many bakeries as Scorpius and I walked down the road to the warehouse. Sarah and Jason were having a quick shopping trip for outfits and Evelyn was meeting with some friends.

"So, you wanna get something to eat once we finish setting up?" I looked at the space next to me, where Scorpius was walking.

"Sure. Why not?" Somehow, I'd managed to disguise the joy I was feeling and make it sound like I was not any more excited than I should be.

If I wasn't a professional Quidditch player, I was going to become an actress.

I was just that naturally good at acting.

Scorpius smiled. "Great! Now come on, we have to get there before Albus does." He rushed off, leaving me to chase after him.

Bloody Potter-Malfoy rivalry. Sometimes it drove me nuts.

I ran to catch up, but ended up almost running into Scorpius, who had stopped in front of what was known to Hogwarts students as simply the Warehouse. We stepped inside with what can only be referred to as reverence. This was where all the parties happened: Halloween, Christmas, birthdays, anything really. It was where I first had alcohol and where I had my first kiss.

Needless to say, I respected the place.

Roxanne was levitating a banner into place. She glanced at us. "Oh good, you're here. Can you start putting out tables? Tablecloths are in the corner." Scorpius waved his wand at the tables, making them arrange themselves into the places marked on the ground.

Seriously, Roxanne Weasley is a control freak. She needs everything perfect.

I made the tablecloths fly over to the tables and land neatly on them. They were purple and had silver stars embroidered onto them.

Very clever, Roxanne. You've avoided house conflict.

"What else?" Roxanne glanced over again, whilst sending streamers over to the other side of the Warehouse.

"Um...I dunno, maybe arrange the balloons?" Scorpius shrugged and headed off to the bunches of multi-coloured balloons. He began putting them in various places around the room. Once floated so close I could reach out and grab it. I didn't, but I could have.

They all settled into their positions just in time for Albus Potter and Kaitlin Chang to walk in. Albus was once again wearing a corduroy vest, but not a jumper underneath this time. Instead, he had a white short-sleeved Oxford shirt and a pair of worn jeans. I clicked my fingers at him.

"You, get that jacket off. Corduroy is an abomination and must be dealt with accordingly."

Albus stared at me. "No! I happen to like this vest! It's got character!"

I raised a brow. "Please tell me you're not wearing that tonight."

His guilty expression told me all I needed to know.

"Accio vest!" The vest came off Albus' shoulders and into my hands. I put it into a bag and levitated the bag onto the highest spot I could see - on one of the exposed beams of the roof. Albus went to call it back, but I put a shielding charm around it. "No way, buster. That thing ain't seeing the light of day until this party is over." Albus pouted briefly, until he noticed Scorpius glaring at him.

Cue manly stare off until one concedes temporary defeat. This time, it was Scorpius, mostly due to the fact that Roxanne tapped him on the shoulder and told him to help her move the bucking Buckbeak into position.

Albus started to move closer to me. What the fuck!? "So...Taylor...what are you doing later?" I blinked at him. "I'm having lunch with Scorpius. Why?" His face fell, and his disappointment was clear in his bright green eyes.

"Oh. Okay. Well, see you." He darted off to Roxanne, leaving me standing awkwardly in the middle of the room while everyone was bustling about. Roxanne had become the Party Nazi and was making sure everything was organised. Food wouldn't go out until an hour before the party, and drinks only half an hour before. She looked around once more and nodded approvingly.

"Well, we're basically finished here. Come on, let's go have some fun!" I whooped, Albus grinned and Scorpius cheered. Roxanne ran out the door, followed by Albus who glanced back at me once with an almost remorseful expression. Scorpius walked over to me and extended his hand. "Shall we?" I laughed at him and placed my hand in his. "We shall." We walked out the doors and towards the best bakery in Hogsmeade - the Gingerbread Man.

 

 

***

 

 

We settled into a two seater by the window. I glanced at the menu. Pointless, really, since I knew it off by heart. Scorpius glanced at it too. "What would you like?" I pondered it for a bit. "I'll have a toasted tomato and cheese sandwich and a cinnamon scroll. Thanks." He wandered off to the counter to get us food, leaving me to think about what I'd been wondering the entire day - who the hell was X? I still had no clue. At some stage, I thought it had been Falkner Longbottom. Don't judge him for his name, his mother chose it. Rumours are when she came here, her nickname was Loony Lovegood.

Oh well, you can't pick your parents.

I dismissed it being Falkner, mostly because he was never out of the library, but also because his chin has a unique red birthmark in the shape of a feather. Worst place for a birthmark ever, but it helped me cancel him out.

Scorpius returned, carrying plates. He put the sandwich and scroll down in front of me and placed his own meal at his spot - a ham and cheese croissant and blueberry muffin. I took a bite of my sandwich and swallowed, looking at Scorpius. "So, was there any particular reason for asking me to lunch?"

He stiffened and blushed slightly. "Oh no, of course not! Why would there be? I mean, we're friends!"

Friends? That was all we were?

I nodded stiffly. "Sure. Of course. Why else?" Damn, I was a good actress. I'd managed to keep the disappointment out of my voice and face.

Scorpius took a bite of his croissant. We finished the meal in awkward silence.

Since when had things been awkward between us? You know, apart from that time in fourth-year...

"Taylor! Please come back! I didn't mean it!" I twirled around, holding a cloth to my forehead.

"How can you not mean to hit someone in the head with a fucking Beater's bat?!?"

Scorpius swallowed. "I am so sorry. I promise you I'll never do it again, no matter how annoying you are. I'll never hurt you. I swear it on Dumbledore's beard." I looked at him. His grey eyes were filled with anguish.

"Thanks. Now can you heal the bloody cut?" Scorpius charmed the cut closed, which stopped blood pouring into my eyes. He kissed where the cut used to be. "There. All better."

I blushed, which made him blush, and we walked back to the pitch in silence.

That was when I'd realised I had a crush on my best friend. Now, I'd finally realised that was all I'd ever be to Scorpius. A friend.

Thank Merlin Roxanne, Kaitlin and Sarah turned up then, otherwise we would have spent who knows how long frozen in silence.

"Taylor! We've been looking for you everywhere! Sarah had a look at your outfit, and we decided that you need a new one, stat. Come on!" I shot an apologetic glance at Scorpius, who shrugged. Sarah grabbed my arm and literally dragged me outside. I checked my watch. It was only three in the afternoon. "Why are we getting an outfit now? It's at least five hours until the party starts."

Kaitlin laughed. "Well, we have to buy an outfit, get you into it, do your hair and makeup and convince you that you don't look completely trashy and stupid. That should take four hours. Then after that we need to put out food and drinks."

I poked my tongue out at her. Taylor Zabini, the most mature person you will ever meet.

The girls laughed and dragged me along behind them. I looked at Kaitlin. "When did you get here?"

"When you were having your date with Scorp!"

"It wasn't a date!" The girls laughed and pushed me into a clothes shop.

 

 

***

 

 

"I can't wear this. I look like a slut!" I was in the attic of the Warehouse, which Roxanne had made into a dressing room. I was standing in front of a mirror while Kaitlin, Roxanne, Sarah and Rose Weasley (who had arrived a few hours ago) stood around me to stop me from getting to the door.

"You do not! You look fine!" I glared at Sarah, who smiled evilly. I looked back at the mirror. They had forced me into a black dress that barely covered my kneecaps and had an extremely low-cut V neck. It did have a pretty emerald green sash that almost matched my eyes, though. I had sensible black flats with silver bows on them, and a silver and emerald necklace that drew attention to my already apparent cleavage exposure. They'd put my hair into an fancy updo and put a hairband decorated with silver leaves and flowers on me.

I hated it. I looked like an absolute slut. But no, I was being forced to wear it against my will. My clothes had been put with Albus' vest. Turns out my charm was one-way only. I'd have to try to fix that.

"Sweetie, you look fine. Stop worrying. All the boys will be drooling after you." I stuck my tongue out at Rose. She winked at me.

I guess it's a Weasley thing. You know, winking at inappropriate times. As well as the red hair and freckles.

"But what if I don't want boys drooling all over me?" Roxanne shrugged. "You'll learn to love it. Trust me, it's nice. Just ask Dominique!"

"Ask me what?" Of course, Dominique looked gorgeous in a golden silk dress that matched her hair perfectly. She had on a pair of killer heels that I'd never be caught wearing, and her hair was in waves down to her creamy shoulders. She had a sapphire necklace on that matched her eyes and a matching bracelet.

As always, she looked like perfection. Even Dominique with bed-head and hangover looked perfect.

"That having boys following you everywhere and lusting over you is good." Dominique smiled, showing off perfect ivory teeth.

No, I'm not jealous of her. Not at all. Why would you think that?

"You're right, it is pretty good. And Taylor? You definitely look amazing! Don't worry, babe, you look fantastic." I shook my head. "I look like a tramp."

 "No, you don't!" everyone chorused. I flipped them all off and turned to the door. "Okay, let's go. I get the feeling I'm either wearing this or naked, and I'd rather cover some of my body than none of it." Dominique went first, followed by me and everyone else.

Since it was still half an hour till the party, there were only friends of the party planners. Scorpius and Jason were in a corner, levitating drinks onto a table. Fred, Albus, and James were playing Exploding Snap. Dominique's boyfriend, some Hufflepuff called Luke Macmillan, was sitting with them watching. Not playing. The Gryffindors wouldn't let him play.

Albus, on the other hand, being a Ravenclaw, had probably weighed the pros and cons of letting him play, then swayed to peer pressure and decided that they would ignore the poor bloke.

They were all wearing black jeans and a variant of the same print shirt, except Luke. He was wearing a collared shirt with a yellow tie. Don't ask me why, but Hufflepuffs always wear something yellow.

Luke gave Dominique a quick kiss. "You look good, honey. How long do you think before that dress comes off?" Dominique fluttered her eyelashes at her while I made gagging sounds. Jason put down some cards, stood up and smiled at Sarah. "You look beautiful, Sarah." She blushed, and smoothed down her skirt. which was silver and black striped. Her slightly see-through blouse showed a lacy white bra that made Jason blush. Her mouse brown hair was curled and hung to her shoulders, and her ice-blue eyes were accented by mascara and silvery eyeshadow. Jason gave her a peck on the cheek and put his hand in hers.

Fred was the next to stand. He looked at Roxanne and shook his head. "No. You are not wearing that. I forbid it. Take it off." Roxanne laughed and raised a brow. "You would prefer me naked?" Fred glared at her. "No. You're going to get guys chasing after you, and then I'll be forced to hex them." Roxanne laughed again and played with one of her silver hoop earrings. She had a light green dress and black glossy heels. "Fred, I can handle myself. You know that, considering I've hexed you Merlin knows how many times." Fred turned an exquisite shade of maroon and looked at me instead. "You look good, Taylor!" I blushed and ducked my head.

 James and Albus had come up to Rose by this time. James smiled evilly at her. "Since your brother is not old enough to be here, we've decided to be the people who tell you to change into more respectable clothing. Change. Please." Since Rose was wearing a long cream dress and navy blue heels, he was wrong about her looking slutty. She was the most modest of us all, so she looked a lot less slutty than me.

Scorpius had come over to see me by this time. He looked at me and swallowed a few times. "Um...you look good. Like...really good. Um..." He blushed, which made me blush, which made us look at the ground for a few seconds. Roxanne had made it turn from grey concrete to lush purple carpet. How the fuck was that possible?

Roxanne chose that moment to stand on the stage and shout in her everyone-pay-attention-or-I-will-burst-your-eardrums voice. "Come on guys, party starts in ten minutes! Pack up the Exploding Snap and get those drinks out!" That gave me an excuse to turn away from Scorpius and levitate some bottles onto the tables.

I wished things between us weren't so awkward.

Maybe then I'd be able to look him in the eye without blushing.




Party outfits, purple carpets, lots of blushing, oh my! Don't you just love everyone?

What? You don't? Well, fie on you. Fie! Fie!

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Chapter 7: The Party...And The Aftermath
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Love you all, you who have chosen to continue reading! You make me smile so much when I see your reviews and by how much my reader totals have increased! Love you all! 





I was sitting on the couch, apple martini in hand, chatting with some random guy. His name was Mark. Or Matt. Maybe it was Mal. I had no idea. It started with an M.

M-guy was staring at my breasts while I tried to keep up a conversation. "So, are you into Quidditch?" He coughed and looked up. "Um...yeah, I like Quidditch a little. Not a great fan since Ginny Weasley quit. She was hot!" I looked up. "My friend happens to be her niece, so please never say anything like that ever again. Understand?" M-guy mumbled an apology and stood up, looking for a way to make an exit. Roxanne supplied him with one by sauntering up to me, Coke and rum in hand. "Hey, Tay Tay. How you like my party?" I smiled and watched M-guy dart off towards the toilets. "It's great. This is awkward, but what exactly is the occasion?" Roxanne laughed and took a sip of her drink. "It's mine and Fred's birthday. We have it the week before coming to school, so first Hogsmeade weekend we always have a party. Fred's actually born first, but I always plan the party, otherwise it would be a stripper club." Roxanne laughed and darted off to say hello to someone. She was the ultimate party hostess. I sipped my drink and looked around for everyone. Dominique and Luke had disappeared, probably upstairs to a bed.

Or a couch. Or even the floor. You could never underestimate the power of Veela ancestry.

James was chatting up a raven-haired girl who was wearing barely any clothing. Slut. Albus was reading, I know, big surprise there. Jason and Sarah were slow dancing with his head in her hair. Kaitlin was talking to M-guy...wait, his name was Nathan! Damn, I was so off base. Roxanne was smiling and laughing with a Ravenclaw girl who I didn't know. Fred was, for some reason, riding the bucking Buckbeak only wearing pants. There was a crowd of people cheering him on.

Yeah, he was pretty impressive, with his tanned skin and abs, but still.

I couldn't see Scorpius or Rose, which was a little strange. As I was pondering this, some guy came up and asked me to dance. I finished my drink and stood, putting my arm in his as he led me to the dance floor. I had a quick glance around. There was a couple snogging in the middle of the floor. A red-headed girl and blond boy. Fuck. Fuck no. No fucking way.

I'd finally found Rose and Scorpius.

 

 

***

 

 

After seeing Scorpius snogging my friend, I had grabbed a Firewhiskey and sat down at an empty table. Four Firewhiskeys later, I was still at the table. I finished my fifth drink and lifted my wand.

"Accio Firewhiskey!" It took a little while getting to me, but a bottle and a glass finally got to me. I poured myself another drink and took a long swallow. It burned like hell, but it helped.

Not really, but now maybe I'd wouldn't remember Scorpius snogging Rose.

Oh Merlin, he snogged her.

I downed my drink and poured myself another. The room was looking a little fuzzy, and I had the feeling that if I stood, I would fall over, but that didn't stop me from drinking another Firewhiskey.

Oh well. I might as well get properly drunk.

The chair next to me creaked. I looked up to see two Scorpius' sitting next to me.

Focus, Taylor. There's only one of him.

"Hey, Taylor. You alright?" His voice was so sexy, all rough and concerned.

"I'm fine, what would make you think that I wasn't?"

"Well, for one, you're sitting on your own. Second, you're drinking Firewhiskey, and third, you're slurring your words a lot. Are you sure you're okay?"

I tried to glare at him, failed miserably, and drained my glass of Firewhiskey in one swallow. "Yes, I'm completely fine. Of course I'm fine. There's nothing that would upset me at all, is there? Except maybe the fact that you snogged Rose on the dance floor and I saw you!"

Scorpius hung his head. "You saw that? Oh Merlin, what have I done? It was a mistake, and I shouldn't have done it, and I'm sorry. I shouldn't have snogged your friend."

I laughed. Not a happy laugh, a bitter one. Bitter like Firewhiskey. "Yeah, you should have asked, or you know, not done it. You are a pig, Scorpius Malfoy. A self-absorbed pig. You are -" I broke off, noticing that he was looking at me weirdly.

"Scorpius? Are you all right?" He kept looking at me strangely. I looked at the Firewhiskey bottle for lack of anything else to look at.

"You do look beautiful tonight. I didn't have the guts to tell you before, but drinking has the magical ability to give you courage." I scoffed. "That is the worst pick-up line ever. Never say that again. You know what, just don't talk."

Scorpius nodded. "Okay, I won't talk. I'll just do."

And then he leant forward, almost falling out of his chair, and kissed me softly on the lips.

What the fucking Merlin?!?!?

He leaned back, blushing intensely. I took a few quick breaths and looked away. Scorpius stood up and brushed away a stray bit of hair that had fallen into his eyes. He glanced at me and walked away, leaving me wondering what the fuck that had been.

 

 

***

 

 

The rest of the party was a blur. I rode the bucking Buckbeak at some point, and that was fun. There was a lot more drinking, Sarah and Jason snogged so many times I lost count, and I kept remembering the feeling of Scorpius' lips on mine.

At some point, I stumbled upstairs to the couch and fell onto it, drunk out of my mind. The couch was very soft and fluffy. Almost like a cloud. I liked clouds. I squished into the cloud-couch and closed my eyes. Nice cloud. Soft cloud.

 

 

***

 

 

I always have weird dreams when I've been drinking. This time, it was a dream about X. He snogged me, then pulled off the mask, but there was no face under it. Then Scorpius was snogging me and I was dissolving into dust in his arms. Finally, I was snogging a random person and Scorpius punched me.

Then I woke up.

 

 

***

 

 

Someone must have gotten me to the dorms, probably Sarah. I was in my bed, still wearing my dress, but not the shoes and jewellery, and my head hurt like hell was having a party in there. I ran into the private bathrooms that Hogwarts so lovingly provided after Moaning Myrtle ruined the girl's bathrooms for good, and emptied my stomach in the toilet bowl.

Ugh, I was never doing that again.

Hang on, what exactly did I do last night?

I stumbled back into the dorm and sat on the bed, digging through my memories. I'd seen someone snogging, and then someone had kissed me, and everything after that was gone.

Wait. I saw Rose and Scorpius snogging.

Then Scorpius kissed me.

I ran back into the bathroom and emptied the rest of my stomach. I was going to find the person who invented alcohol and remove his fingers one by one, along with a few other bits.

 

 

***

 

 

"Stop. Making. So . Much. Noise!" Scorpius ignored my pleas and continued munching on his bit of toast. Why was everything so loud?

Oh, that's right, because I got extremely drunk. Fuck my life.

Sarah plonked herself down next to me. I covered my ears to protect them from the shockwave of sound. "Why did I drink so much last night?"

Sarah grinned lopsidedly. "Because you're an idiot. I had to levitate you all the way back to Hogwarts. You're lucky I find you, Taylor, otherwise you'd still be in the Warehouse."

I smiled. "Thanks. Do you have any headache potion? I would kill for some. Literally. Point out a person and I will Avada Kedavra their arse to get some potion." Sarah laughed again.

Really loudly too. Ugh, just please kill me.

"After breakfast, I'll get you some. Okay?" I groaned and nodded, taking a bite of my toast.

And that was basically all I could eat. A pox on you, creator of alcohol.

Scorpius had a sip of pumpkin juice and grimaced. "That does not mix well with peanut butter. Hey Taylor, you alright?"

I groaned again and put my head in my hands. "Remind me never to drink again. Hangovers are awful."

Scorpius laughed. "That's why I didn't drink last night. Means I have a clear head for tryouts tomorrow. And to finish the Potions essay today."

"We have an essay? Fuck! What was it about?"

Scorpius laughed again. Loudly too, the obnoxious twat. "It's on the Befuddlement Draught. Don't worry, I'll help you with it. I know you're rubbish at essays. Thank Merlin that it's only two pages."

Only two pages? Just kill me, please!

 

 

***

 

 

After a large dose of headache potion, I had dragged my sorry arse to the common room.  Scorpius was sitting on the one comfy armchair with a small table in front of him, scribbling earnestly on a piece of parchment. I sat on the arm of the chair and leant over to see what he was writing. Strangely enough, he covered it straight away.

"What, don't want me to see your essay?" He blushed and grabbed out another piece of parchment, putting it on top of whatever he'd been writing. "We'd better start on the essay. Okay, the Befuddlement Draught makes the consumer belligerent and reckless. It's ingredients include..."

I listened and wrote down most of what he said, editing it of course so it didn't sound exactly like the textbook, because I was sure this was the exact wording that they used in the Potions book. By the time my headache had completely faded, the essay was done, the common room was empty except for us and it was eleven o'clock. Scorpius stretched and put down his quill. "Well, that's finished. You up for a game of wizard chess?" I grinned. "Chess pieces savagely bludgeoning each other into shards? Sounds great!" Scorpius dashed off into the boys dorms. I waited a few seconds, then carefully brushed his essay across the table, revealing the parchment beneath.

It was a note, written in Scorpius' characteristic scrawl.

Taylor,

This is so embarrassing. I can't even say it to you without blushing and my throat closing up. So I've had to resort to a note. I know, so lame. I can hear you teasing me about it right now.

Taylor, I really like you. A lot. Ever since that time when we were fourth-years, I've liked you. Last night, when I kissed you, it just felt right.

Meet me in the Room at nine tonight. I really hope you turn up.

Scorpius

I sat down, still clutching the parchment. Scorpius...liked me? It was impossible. There was no -

"Taylor? What are you holding?"

I looked up and saw Scorpius, who was holding the chess set. He put it on the ground and stormed over. "Taylor, is that...you read it. You bitch! That was private!"

He snatched the parchment away from me, almost tearing it. I stood up. "Why couldn't you just tell me, Scorpius? It would have been a lot easier."

Scorpius turned bright red. "Maybe if you didn't make it so damn hard, I would have been able to!"

"How did I make it hard, Scorpius? Tell me how I made it so hard!"

"Oh, you can't figure it out? Your indifference to me, that's how. I was only a friend to you, never anything more. That's why it was so damn hard. That's the fucking reason. Are you fucking happy now, Taylor?"

I stared at him. "I'm indifferent? I'm indifferent? Maybe if you weren't snogging Rose Weasley, it could have worked!"

Scorpius grabbed my shoulder and pulled me towards him. "Don't you get it? I was snogging her to make you jealous! You complete fool!"

I froze. "You were snogging her to make me jealous. Well, good job. You've basically created the reason why you're angry at me. Top job."

Scorpius pulled me to about two centimetres in front of his face. "Well then, I guess I have to make it right."

And then he was snogging me, in the common room.

And I was snogging him back, with my hands in his shirt and his hands in my hair.

His mouth was soft and tasted of oranges, not like X's mouth at all. He smelled of cologne, but just enough that it was nice and not overpowering. His shirt was soft, and I could feel his muscles underneath it.

Wait a second, did I compare the feeling of X's mouth to Scorpius'?

No. Stop thinking. Just snog.

Scorpius pressed me up against the chair, his hands moving to my neck and back. I put my hands in his hair. It was so soft and thin, and it felt like silk against my fingers. He moaned and pressed his hands against my spine.

It was everything I'd expected.

Then I remembered where we were.

I pulled back, freeing my hands from Scorpius' hair. He looked disappointed. "Scorpius, we're in the common room. Anyone could have walked in. If we're going to do that again, we need to be more careful."

Scorpius laughed nervously and ran a hand through his hair, which had been messed up. "Well, I definitely want to do that again, so sure. Meet me at the Room at nine?" I smiled and smoothed down my hair.

"Wouldn't miss it for the world."

 

 

***

 

 

It was ten to nine and I was dressed in a clinging silver tank top and skinny jeans, running up the stairs to the seventh floor.

Those stairs hate me, I swear. They hate me. I always manage to get stuck in a trick step or end up somewhere I'd never seen before because the stairs changed while I wasn't paying attention.

Today, they'd made me end up stranded on the stairs while they swung to exactly the opposite place they needed to be for me to get to the Room of Requirement.

Well, fuck you stairs. No one likes you anyway.

By the time I actually got to the Room, it was almost nine. And by that, I mean one minute to nine.

I paced in front of the blank brick wall. I need to meet with Scorpius. I need to meet with Scorpius. I need to -

The door emerged from the wall. I pushed through it and closed it behind me, making sure it was completely closed, otherwise any random could get in. I looked around. Today, the room had a small table and two chairs. The table had a candle and a rose on it.

What the fuck, Room of Requirement? Why would you put that there?

There was also a couch and a bed.

What the fuck? Why would you do that?

There was a scuffling noise from behind me. I turned around and saw Scorpius coming through the door. He looked at the furniture and blinked. "Taylor, please tell me you didn't ask for all this. Did you?"

"Fuck no, the stupid Room just did it by itself! I asked for a place to meet you, not this!"

"Well, the Room has a habit of deciding for itself what you want. Just remember that next time."

I laughed and sat down at the table, changing the rose into a dandelion and blowing on it gently, spreading fluff around the room. One piece landed on the tip of Scorpius' nose.

His sexy, sexy nose.

Then again, every part of his was sexy, so it was only right that his nose was too.

Shut up, Taylor!

Scorpius sat down at the chair across from me and smiled. "So, we need to talk. About...you know. Snogging." He blushed. "I have to say, I'm in favour of doing that again."

I could have blushed. But I controlled it.

Damn right. Nothing can conquer Taylor Zabini.

"I have to say, I'm not opposed to repeating it." Holy shit, was that a flirtatious tone I just heard from my mouth?

Scorpius grinned and leant forward. "Then how 'bout it?" I smiled and closed the gap.

Merlin, he was a great snogger. Not too fierce, but not too gentle. Just maddeningly brilliant at it.

Scorpius broke off, panting slightly. And sexily. Oh so sexily. "So, we definitely want to keep doing that. But - " He broke off as my face fell. Curse you, maker of the word but. You have made many a person's life a misery. "What? You can't do it?" Scorpius shook his head and bit his lip.

"Merlin, no! It's just...all of the boys have all been telling me that we'll end up dating. I swore to them we'd never date. Kinda embarrassing now, cause now I know you like me as well and...well, what I want to say is can we be snog buddies? You know, in secret?"

I smiled. "Nothing would make me happier." Then I snogged him.

Oh Taylor Zabini, you are a badass. 





Finally, some action from...I can't come up with a ship name for them. Little help, please?

So, are you happy that Scorpius and Taylor are finally snogging? And what about that snippet from the past? Oh, and the party. Hope you loved the party as well!

Love you all, and thank you for reading!

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D


Chapter 8: Snog Buddies and Secrets Revealed
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 Thank you to all reviewers and all of my readers, and sorry for the wait!





So, now I was back in my dorm, Sarah and Evelyn (who I had discovered was actually alright) had ganged up on me to figure out where I'd been.

"Were you on a date?" Nice choice, Evelyn. Straight to the point.

"Nope. I was in the kitchens."

"Then why the clothes?"

"Do I have to have an excuse to look nice? Really, Sarah?"

Evelyn raised a dark brow. "Were you at a party?"

I sighed. "Okay, you got me. I was with Winky, in the kitchens. It's her birthday today. Can you believe she's only thirty-five?"

I knew this was all true because Winky had told me so herself. She knew every house-elf's birthday, and luckily for me, today it was hers. I had then quickly conjured a bouquet of flowers and given them to her.

She was very pleased. Kept saying that it was far too much. It wasn't really.

Sarah laughed. "Oh, right! Winky was telling me about that a few days ago! I completely forgot!"

I smiled, but not because I was amused. "Well, maybe you should go get her something."

Sarah jumped up and ran out the door. Evelyn went to follow but paused at the doorway. "You're lying. I don't know what you're hiding, but I'll find out. Trust me." She left, leaving me to wonder at her words. I had a perfectly true excuse. Why wouldn't she believe me?

Maybe she's a Seer. Yeah, that's it.

Oh well, have to go to sleep now. Classes and all that in the morning.

Damn, he's a good snogger.

 

 

***

 

 

I woke up with Evelyn sitting on me. Not the best thing ever.

"Geroff, Evelyn. I wanna sleep."

"You have to get up, Taylor. It's breakfast. It's not like you to sleep this late."

I sat up quickly, making Evelyn fall off me. "Shit!"

 

 

***

 

 

It took me ten minutes to scramble out of my pyjamas into my robes and to get down to the Great Hall.

What? I move fast when my food is threatened. Don't judge me.

I made it in time to watch the food disappear off the tables. Don't ask me how they do that.

"No!" I ran over to Sarah and collapsed onto my knees. "I missed it! No!"

What? I really like breakfast! Oh, and amateur dramatics.

Sarah smiled evilly. "Guess you'll just have to wait till lunch, then."

"No! I can't do that! Never!"

Sarah laughed. "Don't worry, I saved you a muffin. Here you go." She produced a blueberry muffin from inside her napkin.

"Thanks, Sarah! I love you so much right now!" I gobbled up the muffin. "Love you."

Sarah smiled, a little sadly. "You won't in a minute."

The Great Hall went dark.

 

 

***

 

 

"Okay guys, what's going on?" No answer.

"Guys?" Still no answer.

"Guys?" There was a whooshing noise and a pillowcase was pulled off my head. Evelyn and Sarah were standing in front of me, with their wands. I was sitting on a chair and...hang on, were my hands and feet tied?

"Guys, what the fuck is going on?" Evelyn smiled wickedly. That can't be good.

"Well, we dosed the muffin with a small dose of Veritaserum. You see, I didn't believe you. I still don't. This should make you...a little more loose tongued."

"You can't have. That's illegal! How can you do that? You'll go to Azkaban!"

Evelyn gulped. "I guess...we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Now, we have to start questioning you. The Veritaserum will be wearing off soon."

Evelyn opened his mouth, but before she could actually start talking, Sarah held up a hand. "Evelyn, this isn't right. Why don't we just give Taylor a chance to confess before we actually force her to answer?"

Evelyn nodded slightly and turned to me with eyes of steel. "So, would you like to confess where you actually were, Taylor?"

"I told you already, I was with Winky. You can even ask her. I went to see her and had dinner with her. I was there from nine till around ten, then I came back to the dorm. Go and check, it'll all be right." Sarah raised a brow. "Really? Do you swear it?"

I sighed. "I swear it on the name of my father and his Quidditch team. Now go and check."

Evelyn and Sarah ran off. I smiled to myself.

Thank you, Time Turner.

 

 

***

 

 

After many apologies from both Sarah and Evelyn, I finally made it to the Black Lake. This time, I made sure I wore a coat over my clothes. You know, to hide the fact I was wearing my sexiest clothes.

Because then they'd be on to me.

I mean, why would you wear that to go see Madam Pince?

I digress. Yes, I just said that. It sounds cool.

Don't judge.

I ended up at the shore of the Lake around nine. Yes, I was aware I was skipping Herbology, but seriously, who cares?

Yeah, Professor Longbottom might. But I don't.

Scorpius was sitting by the water, holding a small basket. He saw me and smiled. "Thought you might be hungry."

My eyes lit up. I could tell by the way he laughed. I trotted over and opened the basket. Inside was a croissant smeared with butter and an apple. I kissed him on the cheek and took a bite of the croissant. "Thanks, Scorpius." I finished the croissant and noticed him looking at me weirdly. "What? Is there something on my face?"

Scorpius blushed. "Yeah, on your cheek." Then he kissed it softly. I moaned softly.

Then he started snogging me. Dammit, why did he get such good kissing abilities?

Wait, why am I complaining? Stop thinking, it just fucks everything up.

Scorpius put his hands on my spine. Merlin, his hands were soft and smooth. I tangled my hands in his hair. We snogged for a few more minutes before Scorpius broke off for air.

Have to say, I was pretty out of breath, too.

I looked at my watch. "So, we still have thirty minutes to waste. What do you wanna do?"

 

 

***

 

 

Twenty minutes later we were snogging on the Quidditch pitch.

And by that, I mean above it.

We were snogging on broomsticks.

Beat that, former girlfriends!

Of course, the awesome snogging session was interrupted by the bell.

Yes, they have bells at Hogwarts. Don't ask me why.

We slowly drifted to the ground. "Guess we should go to DADA now." I smiled at Scorpius.

"Tonight at the Room?" He grinned. "You're on."

 

 

***

 

 

Once again, we were practising our Patronus Charm. Those who could perform it went with Professor Lupin to try and learn how to make it speak while those who could only make a non-corporeal Patronus stayed in a large group.

"Expecto Patronum!" Mist burst from Jason's wand. He was doing better than me., and he was rubbish at DADA.

Seriously, when we had a Boggart, his was a clown, and it chased him all the way around the room. He never even thought of using Riddikulus instead of running.

I sighed and pulled out my wand. I tried to dredge up a happy memory. Suddenly, the image of Scorpius and I snogging for the first time came to mind. I smiled and raised my wand upward.

"Expecto Patronum!" A silver snake burst from the tip of my wand, slithering around my neck like a scarf. How fitting.

Yeah, I just made that joke. Deal with it.

Jason raised a brow. "Go join the smartarse group then. See you around." I grinned and mock-saluted before moving over with Scorpius, Kaitlin (who had mastered it a few minutes ago and made an owl appear) and Albus (who had a moose and had been successfully making once since the start of the lesson).

 

 

***

 

 

Dinner that night was awesome.

You can do so many things when your Patronus is a hated animal that can be mistaken for any number of things.

Merlin, those first-years can scream loudly.

Although, I guess they'd just found a snake in their plates, so it's understandable.

I mean, I would have done the same thing. Maybe.

Jason clapped me on the back. "Man, that was epic. Did you see McGonagall's face when it tapped her on the shoulder? Priceless!" The group burst into laughter. I took advantage of the distraction to whisper in Scorpius' ear. "Tonight, at the Room, nine. See you then." He winked at me.

What is with the winking?

Evelyn gave us a strange look but didn't say anything. That girl was too observant for her own good.

That was going to get to her in the end.

 

 

***

 

 

We were in the Room again. It was in the date format again, but Scorpius and I were ignoring that. He had me pressed up against the wall, snogging me for all he was worth.

That boy is worth triple his weight and intelligence put together. That equals an amazing snog.

I moaned and wrapped my hands into his shirt. Scorpius moved his hands to the bottom of his shirt.

Then he took it off.

Why does he have to have such amazing abs?

I ran my hands over his abs, his sexy eye candy why the fuck does he get such perfect abs while he slid my shirt up over my head. I started kissing the side of his neck while he stroked my stomach.

I groaned. This was amazing.

Of course, then I realised that Evelyn would be waiting to ambush me in the dorm when I got back.

I broke off and leant down to grab my shirt. Scorpius frowned, looking extremely cute. "What's wrong?"

I sighed. "Evelyn. She's too smart for her own good. She knows something's going on, so I have to be able to fool her. Sorry."

He smiled slightly and grabbed his shirt. I leant in for a quick peck before Scorpius stepped out.

Time for a little Time Turner use.

 

 

***

 

 

After completing my Transfiguration homework (my excuse for being out) I made sure it was ten minutes after I first used the Time Turner and headed back to the dorm.

What? You have to be careful and not turn up too early. That could be difficult.

Trust me, it's not pretty.

Evelyn looked up as I entered. "Hey Taylor, where've you been?"

"At the library, doing the Transfig homework. I hate homework so much."

Evelyn raised a brow. "Why did you need to go to the library to do that? You could have used the common room."

"Too crowded. I can't do work with a lot of noise." I yawned. "I'm so tired. See you tomorrow."

I changed into my pyjamas and slipped under my emerald covers. I could feel Evelyn's eyes boring into me until she finally huffed and went out.

I smiled and closed my eyes.

 

 

***

 

 

Breakfast was great. I had at least two pieces of toast shoved in my mouth at a time.

I had to make up for missing most of the food yesterday! Don't judge me.

Scorpius was making his Patronus run over the Hufflepuff table, which was causing quite a few screams. Of course, throwing jam at it didn't work.

Quite a few of them found that out when they got jam in their eyes.

Stupid Hufflepuffs.

Evelyn was flirting with a tall dark haired bloke. I looked up at him. Wait a second, that was James. He winked at me and looked back at Evelyn.

What the fuck is with the winking?

I trotted over to the Ravenclaw table and sat down next to Kaitlin, grabbing a piece of bacon from the platter in front of her. "What's shaking, Kaitlin?"

"Oh, the usual. Homework. Classes. Reading. What about you? Done anything more about X?"

I considered it. I hadn't even thought about him since snogging Scorpius. "No, he hasn't bothered me since the blackmail. Why do you ask?"

"Oh, no reason. I was just wondering. Oh, hey Albus!" I glanced up and saw Albus standing behind Kaitlin. He looked vaguely nervous. "Hey Kaitlin. Taylor, can I talk to you for a second?"

This didn't sound good. "Sure. Go ahead."

He gulped. "Alone."

This was not good at all. "Okay, let's go. It's a while until class anyway, about half an hour." I stood and followed Albus out of the Great Hall.

This was not going to end well.

 

 

***

 

 

A few minutes later, we were sitting in the Ravenclaw common room, due to Albus' refusal to set foot in any other common room.

He coughed and looked at the ground. "Taylor, I've done a bad thing. I want to apologize."

"What did you do?"

He cleared his throat. "I...I..."

"Oh, just spit it out already, Albus. I need to get to Divination in twenty minutes."

He sighed. "It's hard to explain, seeing as you don't know it was me."

I frowned. "Albus, what are you talking about?"

He stared at the carpet. "I did a bad thing, Taylor."

"What did you do, Albus?"

He sighed and pulled something out of robes, and handed it to me. I turned it over in my hands and studied it.

No. No. No.

Albus rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "Like I said, I can't say. But I see you've connected the dots."

I stared down at the object in my hands. It had to be anything but that.

What I was holding couldn't possibly be a silver mask with a swirling pattern.

It couldn't be X's mask, because that would mean that Albus was X.

Albus sighed sadly.

"I am X."




Shock! Albus is X! Who saw that coming? Who did you think was X? Please tell me in the review box below that contains enough room for your thoughts and more! Oh, and sorry it's so short. I had a mild case of writer's block, but this will help me make a longer chapter nine. Next time, Taylor is in denial, Albus is feeling guilty and Scorpius is hot. As per usual.

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D

 


Chapter 9: Denial
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So sorry for the wait and the cliffhanger, as my old enemy the 'writer's block' decided to pay me a visit lately. So...enjoy!






  

I stared at Albus. "You can't be X. It's not possible. You just can't be."

He sighed. "I am afraid, my dear, that I am in fact X. I regret having blackmailed you."

He definitely sounded like X. "I still don't believe you."

There was no way he was X.

"What can I do to prove it to you?"

I thought for a bit. What would only the real X know how to do?

"Do the thing where you shrink the mask."

Albus took out his wands and murmured a few words. The bottom half of the mask curled away in the form of silver smoke.

"No. You must have found that somewhere else. In a book or something. You cannot be X. No. No. I don't believe you."

Albus sighed. "It's ten minutes until class starts. You better go. I'll see you around."

I turned and bolted out the door.

 

 

***

 

 

Divination. Everyone had scorned me for continuing this for so long, but I had a pretty good reason. In third-year when I'd first tried it, we'd been using tarot cards. Professor Patil had told us to focus on our futures then handed us each a card. I had turned mine over and seen a skeleton wearing a black cloak. Professor Patil had looked at mine and frowned.

"My dear, that is Death. It's meaning sort of speaks for itself. You will encounter death in your future, perhaps your own, perhaps a loved one, perhaps even a total stranger."

Ever since then, I've tried to see what was going to happen in the future. Thus, continuing Divination.

Also, I'd found I was pretty good at it.

Today, we were using crystal balls. Professor Patil was sitting at the front of the classroom, looking into her own ball, which was sitting on a golden frame. Ours were a lot less fancy, but they were doing the trick. Professor Patil had told us to concentrate on something very dear to us, so I'd chosen my dad.

What? I'm still Daddy's little girl. Just not very little anymore.

The crystal ball was staying stubbornly clouded. I tried to focus my mind, but I couldn't stop thinking about Albus, and how he claimed he was X. I sighed and tried to concentrate on my dad.

The fog started to clear. Then, of course, my mind suddenly flashed back to Albus.

The fog cleared completely and showed...fuck. It was Albus, in his dormitory, holding the mask. He turned it into smoke, and back into the mask.

He could have learnt that anywhere.

Of course, then he had to put it on.

Holy fuck, Albus was X. There was no doubt. The moment he put on the mask, his posture changed and he became X.

I had snogged Albus. And enjoyed it too.

Why was this happening to me?

Albus sighed and paced around the room, saying something to himself. Of course, you couldn't fucking hear him. Fucking crystal balls.

The bell rang. A whole class had passed while I tried to concentrate on my dad and ended up spying on Albus. Just fucking perfect. I grabbed my books, jotted down the homework Professor Patil had just set, levitated the crystal ball back over to the professor and walked out, mind spinning like a carnival ride.

 

 

***

 

 

Scorpius and I were snogging again. In a broom closet.

I hate to be a clique, but we were. They were such a good place to snog, really. It meant you had to press up against each other, and that was quite nice.

I broke off, out of breath. "Woah..."

Scorpius chuckled breathlessly. "Yeah..."

I smoothed down my hair. "We better get back to the common room. It's almost curfew."

I stepped out of the broom closet and started to walk down to the common room. Scorpius smoothed down his shirt and looked at me weirdly.

"Taylor, are you alright with us just being snog buddies?"

"Yeah, I am, why?"

Scorpius looked at a portrait of a few bickering women holding small children. "Oh, no reason. We better hurry up."

He sped ahead, almost running, leaving me in the corridor wondering what the fuck that had been about.

 

 

***

 

 

I was sitting in the common room doing an essay when Goyle chose to sit down next to me.

"What do you want?"

"What, can't I sit down next to someone without having an ulterior motive?" I rolled my eyes at him.

" Considering we hate each other, yes."

Goyle frowned. "I don't hate you. What would give you that idea?"

"Oh, maybe the fact you gave me purple hair. That would be it."

He sighed. "Taylor, I don't hate you. That was a mistake. I was actually trying to give you straight hair. I heard you complaining about how you wished you had straight hair, so I decided to give you straight hair. It didn't work, and I'm sorry, and can we be friends now?"

I stared at him. "You were...trying to straighten my hair?"

"Yeah, I was. Why, is that a bad thing?"

I leant over and hugged Goyle. "No! When I was younger, I hated my wavy hair. It would get so frizzy whenever it rained. That is so sweet!"

Goyle - no, he was Duncan now - chuckled, his chest vibrating. "No problem. Wish it'd worked though. So, can I call you Taylor now?"

I smiled wider than a crocodile. "Of course!"

 

 

***

 

 

Mmm, dinner. My most favourite time of the day, and for some reason, it was even better than usual today.  The chicken was moister, the people were more smiley and I just felt great.

Maybe someone had put a Cheering Charm on me without my knowledge. Or maybe someone had freshened up the Great Hall.

Duncan handed me the bread basket. He seemed to have an inner glow around him. Everyone did. It was a little weird, but I liked it. Like the buzz you got off a shot of Firewhiskey, without the dizziness and the hangover.

I took a piece of bread and bit into it. Mmm, nice and fluffy. Even the bread was better.

What had happened to make me so happy all of the sudden?

Not Divination. Definitely not Albus being X. Wait a second...was it the fact I didn't hate Duncan anymore?

Holy shit. That was it. The entire time I'd hated Duncan, I'd been weighed down by anger and hatred and all those bad emotions that no one likes. Now I'd forgiven him, all the unhappiness was gone and I felt a lot better.

Who would have known that hatred could make the world that much worse to be in?

Jason and Sarah were snogging, and for once I wasn't disgusted by their PDA's. How peculiar.

Scorpius looked amazing, as per usual. Wait a second, was he saying something?

"Okay everyone, Quidditch team meeting tonight in the Room at eight. We need to talk about the new Chaser. Thanks."

Great. A team meeting. Bloody perfect. Oh well, the glow was still there.

I liked that glow. Hopefully it would stay.

 

 

***

 

I was at the Room by ten to eight. Scorpius was already setting up boards, with labels and everything. Jason and Duncan, the remaining Chasers were already here, but my fellow Beater, Jasmine Bulstrode, wasn't and either was the Keeper, Lucas Quinn.

Scorpius finished off his sketch of the pitch and turned around. "Good, you're here. Where in Merlin's name is Jasmine and Quinn?"

At that moment Lucas burst through the door, panting.

"Sorry, Captain. Peeves was chasing me again. I think someone pays him to do it. Bloody poltergeists."

There were murmurs of agreement. Nobody liked poltergeists. Except Falkner, but he was a bit wacky. Kept claiming there were swarms of Nargles flying around in the classrooms. What Nargles were, nobody knew.

"Hurry up and sit down, we've got the tryouts to talk about. Go on, sit!"

Lucas slumped into a chair and grabbed a small cake which I'd taken from the kitchens earlier. As he went to take a bite, Jasmine ran in.

"Sorry I'm late, guys. Got held up by Albus bloody Potter. Fucking Prefects."

She threw herself into a chair and snagged a biscuit. Scorpius raised a brow and turned back to his sketch.

"Okay, so this year we have a problem. Our Chaser has deserted us for reserves in the Magpies, the fucking wanker, so we have tryouts tomorrow. I thought we'd have a meeting tonight to go over ways to separate the wannabees from anyone with talent. I'll be flying around here, watching, because the Seeker doesn't really need to do anything for this." Scorpius waved his wand and the figure began to move. The little one labelled Scorpius flew around the top of the pitch. "Jason, Duncan, you'll be throwing and catching with groups of three. Whoever I see who can actually throw and catch moves onto stage two." The little Duncan and Jason figures began throwing Quaffles to figures with no labels.

"Stage two is where it gets tricky. You'll still be throwing and catching, but you'll be flying up and down the pitch, and Taylor and Jasmine will be sending Bludgers your way. Anyone who manages not to get hit and still catch and throw goes onto stage three, which is the same, except they now have to shoot a goal. Quinn, you'll be guarding the hoops. Everybody clear on that?"

We all nodded. Scorpius rolled up the sketch. "Okay, that's all I needed. You can go now."

Duncan, Jason and Lucas ran out, trying to jump onto each other's back. Jasmine walked out a lot more elegantly, leaving me with Scorpius. He walked over to me and took my hand.

"Taylor, are you okay? You're acting a little weird today."

I coughed awkwardly. "No, of course not. Why would you think that?"

"Well, that basically solidified my theory. Has it got something to do with me?"

I looked up quickly. "No, of course not! It's nothing to do with you. Just...I don't want to talk about it, okay?"

Scorpius pecked me on the lips. "Okay." He left me alone in the Room.

I grabbed a piece of jelly slice and left as quickly as possible.

 

 

***

 

 

Divination homework. Ah, the joys of writing an essay on the effects of planets on day to day life. I sketched in the planet Mars and started to write what it did, which was  causing accidents, burns and the like. Why couldn't I just keep looking in crystal balls?

It was so much easier. When was I ever going to look at the sky and say, 'Oh dear, Mars is in the sky. I must take care when ironing my pants today'?

Not in the foreseeable future.

The couch squeaked and sank under the weight of someone sitting next to me. I looked up and saw Duncan. "Oh hey. What are you doing?"

"Divination homework. Hurrah." I did a little fist pump to prove my excitement.

Duncan glanced over. "Oh, that's easy. Want some help?"

I slid over a bit and let Duncan see my essay. "How can you, of all people, help me with Divination?"

Duncan shrugged. "I spent some time with Firenze last year, and he really helped me understand all that planet stuff. Now, you've got Mars wrong. It's actually a bringer of war and conflict."

I screwed up the piece of parchment and got out a new one before quickly writing down everything Duncan was saying.

 

 

***

 

 

I glanced at the time once Duncan - I mean we - had finished the essay. "Holy shit, it's quarter to eleven!"

Duncan shot up. "Shit! Um, see you tomorrow!" He dashed into the boy's dormitory while I grabbed my ink, quill and completed essay. The ink spilled onto the carpet. "Oh shit oh shit oh shit! Scourgify!"

The ink seeped out of the carpet and back into the bottle. I ran up into the dorm room and threw them onto the little desk that had been put in a few years back. I scrambled into my pyjamas and was about to throw myself onto my bed when I heard a cough. I looked over and saw Evelyn sitting on her bed, legs crossed. That never meant well. The last time someone had waited for me sitting like that, my Quidditch captain had banned me from the Gryffindor game for hexing the Fat Lady and making her wear a bright yellow ugly dress.

It was hilarious, trust me. The Gryffindors who had to sleep in the Great Hall until the Fat Lady returned to her portrait found it less funny.

Evelyn stood and started to smooth her doona and sheets. "So, Taylor, where have you been?"

I held up the essay. "Divination homework. Had to do an essay on the effects of planets on day to day life."

She turned to me and raised a sceptical brow. "You know, you and Scorpius keep disappearing. That's just a tad suspicious. What are you two up to?"

"Nothing. We've been doing nothing together." Damn, Taylor, your acting skills are beyond amazing.

"I still don't believe you. But I'm going to choose not to pursue that now, because I need my sleep, so I can find out exactly what it is you two are hiding. Goodnight, Taylor."

She threw back her doona and slid under the bedcovers, leaving me standing in the darkened room suddenly extremely worried.

 

 

***

 

 

In the morning, I was still processing the whole X bombshell. How the fuck did Albus get that mask and that spell?

And why the fuck would he want to snog me?

Evelyn was eyeing off James again, Scorpius was nibbling on a muffin, Jason and Sarah were hugging and feeding each other food - ugh, PDA - and I was looking for Albus.

Whilst eating eggs. That's right, I'm just that talented.

Scorpius tapped me on the shoulder. "Don't forget, tryouts tonight." I smiled.

"Why would I forget?"

"You just seem...a little distracted lately. Is everything alright?"

I looked down at my goblet of pumpkin juice. "Yeah, everything's good. It's all good."

He frowned slightly but turned away again, picking at a piece of toast.

My whole life had turned from great to awful in a day.

 

 

 

***

 

 

Albus managed to catch up to me as I rushed out of my last class.

"Taylor! Wait!"

I tried to speed up, but the bastard cast a charm of some sort that made me slow down. Fucking brainiacs.

"Taylor, I need to talk to you."

He turned me around and looked straight into my eyes. "Taylor...I really like you. That was why I did what I did. It was wrong, and I'm so sorry, and I wish I could just go back in time and fix it..."

"No, Albus. You can't. It's unforgivable. You coerced me, threatened me, and scared me half to death. I don't want your apologies" - I spat the word as if it was poisonous on my tongue - "and I certainly don't need you. Now please, just  - "

The bastard lowered his face to mine and snogged me. In the corridor. In full view of anyone who could have been watching, which luckily, no one was.

I slammed my palm into his neck and kneed him in the groin. Albus stumbled away, eyes filling with tears and hurt.

"You stay away from me, you bastard! I never want to see your stupid, coal-haired, I'm-so-much-better-than-everyone-else face again! Stay away from me!" I ran away, leaving him standing in the corridor.

I sincerely hoped I'd never have to talk to the bastard again in my entire life.






Wow, so much happened...I'm still slightly in shock. Who loves the Quidditch team? I do! Tell me what you thought of Evelyn's slight flirting with James, Starlor tension (thanks to SunnyWitch for the ship name - read the review if it doesn't make sense to you) and just everyone in general in the nifty little contraption rightfully named the 'reviewing box...thingy'. 

Up next, Chaser tryouts, more tension, and a story is told...

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D


Chapter 10: Up, Up and Away
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Over 500 reads! Love all of you, readers! 





I managed to get to my dorm without bursting into tears. Why couldn't I have a stress-free, threat-free life? Why was I cursed like this?

I flung myself onto my bed and let the tears run down my face, smearing my eyeliner down my cheeks. Why was it always me?

I sat there for a few minutes, crying, until I realised that it was fifteen minutes until tryouts started and it took ten minutes to get down to the Quidditch pitch. I jumped up and began to scrub the make-up off my face.

 

 

***

 

 

"Zabini, where have you been? Tryouts started five minutes ago." When Scorpius was in Captain mode, he didn't call you by your first name, even if you were his friend and snog buddy. He called you by your last name, or if you were really in trouble, by your position. I wasn't in that much trouble yet, so I got Zabini instead of First Beater.

"Sorry, Captain, got caught up. I fucking hate Albus Potter." Everyone grunted in agreement.

"Fortunately for you, Zabini, we're still working through stage one. Get your flying robes on and get out there."

I trudged to the change rooms, which had been cleaned especially for the tryouts. You know, to give the new member of the Green and Silver Quidditch Squad of Domination and Awesomeness, known to the other less amazing houses as the Slytherin Quidditch Team. I threw open my locker and grabbed out my robes, which had the house emblem on the left breast and my name and number on the back. Zabini, 2. Scorpius, being the Captain and the only other person who'd been on the team as long as me, was 1. I closed my locker again and slid my robes on over my very stylish tight black outfit.

Time to find the next member of the best team in Hogwarts.

I grabbed my broom and flew out of the change rooms, blatantly ignoring every safety talk we'd ever gotten from Jasmine's older brother when he was Captain.

Stupid Kyle. Quidditch wasn't about safety, it was about smashing your foe's heads in and using them as Quaffles.

Okay, maybe less violent than that.

 

 

***

 

 

So much for that. We were half an hour in, had gone through a third of the people who'd shown up and only two had any talent, and it wasn't that much. Most of the girls had just screamed when Scorpius made eye contact with them, or brushed his hair out of his forehead, or breathed a little louder than usual. Fucking fangirls. The men had all bragged to their friends they were going to get the spot, and that after that, they'd ask girls out on dates and they would swoon at their feet. Then they'd actually gotten on a broom and hardly lifted off the ground.

The two who'd shown a little promise were a fourth-year named Pauline Montague who had a problem with acne and kept scratching her head, and a third-year who's name I couldn't remember who had probably never had a shower in her life.

The twelfth and thirteenth group lifted up into the air. Well, some of them. Half of them fell off their brooms before they even got off the ground. One of the kids seemed to know their way around a broom. I watched as he zoomed around, throwing the Quaffle to Duncan. Duncan passed it to Jason, who passed it to another kid. The kid dropped it, but before the Quaffle could fall more than a foot, the first boy had scooped it up and thrown it back to Jason. I looked at him closer. He had curly black hair which kept going into his eyes, and tanned skin. His eyes were grey.

Oh fuck no. Not him.

Scorpius summoned them down to the ground. "Okay, you, you, you and you leave. Sorry, but you guys have no talent whatsoever. You two, you can stay." The four second-years he'd sent off scampered off, much like rabbits. The remaining boy and girl, both fifth-years, looked at Scorpius. I tugged on his arm. "Captain, you can't possibly be considering him." Scorpius rolled his eyes. "Why not?"

"Because he's the brother that broke my arm in first-year. Remember him?"

My brother stepped forward. "So, when do I get my robes?"

Scorpius held up a hand. "Now, don't get hasty..."

"Ricky. My name's Ricky."

"Thank you, Ricky. You two still have two phases to go through first. Now, what's your name?"

The girl looked up from the ground, meeting Scorpius' eyes with - were those violet eyes? That was so not possible. "Lydia Pucey, sir. I hope I'm alright."

Scorpius smiled gently. "You're more than alright. You and Ricky are the only ones so far who've actually shown enough talent for me to work with. Now, you guys stay here until the other people finish up."

I mounted my broom and flew up to watch the last few groups try their best to get into the team.

 

 

***

 

 

The last groups had no one who had enough talent to get into phase two, so it was skipped and we moved straight on to phase three. Jasmine and I were circling while Duncan, Jason, Ricky and Lydia threw to each other. A solitary Bludger zoomed around the pitch, doing its best to knock everyone off their brooms. It had almost got me a few minutes ago, but I managed to dodge. None of the potential Chasers had been knocked of yet, and Ricky was getting quite a few goals. Scorpius flew over to me, doing a barrel roll to avoid the Bludger. I hit it towards Ricky. Stupid prat dodged it and winked at me. Scorpius glanced at me.

"I think we should pick Ricky."

I stared at him. "Ricky? Really? He's a masochistic twat who likes to break people's arms and burn ants for fun. Do you really think he's best for this team?"

Scorpius rolled his eyes. "It was probably an accident. He's the best person for this team. His flying style fits in well with all of us. Lydia can be reserve Chaser, Merlin knows we need one of them."

I grumbled and flew over to the Chaser group. "Ricky, you're in. Lydia, reserve. That means if Duncan, Jason or Ricky get sick, injured, die or leave us for another team, you'll be playing."

Ricky chuckled. "If we get sick, injured, die or leave? I don't plan on doing any of those things, sister dearest."

I flipped him off. Fucking arm breaker. I couldn't fly for two whole months because of him.

The team floated down to the ground. Jasmine brushed a wild copper curl out of her eyes and rested her club on her shoulder. "We done here? Who got in?"

Scorpius nodded. "Zabini got in. We're going to have to figure out how it'll work, having two Zabini's on the team. Could get confusing."

Duncan smiled a little. "That's an understatement. One Zabini is confusing enough." I punched him lightly on the shoulder.

Ricky smirked. "You could just call me R.Z. That'll work, right?"

Scorpius grunted, which usually meant okay. Duncan and Jason looked at each other, nodded once and grabbed Ricky from the waist, carrying him into the change rooms. Scorpius ran after them, shouting something about not hurting him. Jasmine, Lydia and I exchanged a look and started to run after them.

Men. If women weren't around they'd all be killing each other and putting forks in toasters trying to get bagels out.

 

 

***

 

 

Within ten minutes of us all going into the lockers, it was dirty again. There was grass all over the floor and chalk dust covered the walls from where the boys had drawn inappropriate pictures all over the walls and Scorpius had wiped them away. We were sitting on some emerald and silver cushions while Scorpius drew tactics on the board. Ricky was charming his name onto his new robes: R. Zabini, 7. I was putting a T onto my own robes, all the while glaring at my brother.

Stupid twat. Didn't even have that much talent. Probably used performance-enhancing potions.

Scorpius coughed at us delicately, the way you do when you want to get someone's attention. "Okay, ladies, gentlemen and Duncan." Duncan flipped him off. Scorpius ignored it and continued. "I'd like to welcome our new Chaser Ricky Zabini, and our reserve, Lydia Pucey!"

There was applause. Lydia blushed, curling a bit of chocolate brown hair around her finger and looking away. Ricky, on the other hand, stood and bowed, conjuring a bouquet of flowers to hand to Scorpius.

Maybe I wasn't the only Zabini who liked amateur dramatics. Hmm.

Scorpius changed the flowers into confetti and threw it up into the air. "Okay, that's basically all the celebrations we're going to have. Now, we have to get down to business. First off, team rules. Show up for every practice, unless you have detention or are critically ill. Colds don't count, and never do throat tickles. Try not to get detentions. There's a team meeting two months before every game, and we've already had our first one. The second one is in two weeks, before the Gryffindor game. That's basically it. Okay, you can pack up now!"

I yawned and turned to Jasmine. "No celebrations? What is this, Ravenclaw?"

Jasmine smiled wickedly. "Maybe we should throw our own party. You up to it?"

"Tomorrow night, eight o'clock, in the dorm. I'll bring the drinks and food, you get decorations."

We bumped fists and went to our lockers to clean up.

 

 

***

 

 

 Two hours after the tryouts ended, I was pacing my dorm room trying to make a flock of birds appear from my wand. Fucking Transfiguration, fucking Avis charm. I tried again and made...a single yellow feather.

Fucking hell. How much effort did it take to make a fucking bird?

Apparently a fair fucking bit.

I waved my wand again, thinking the spell as hard as I could. They just had to make it nonverbal as well. Thanks a fucking lot.

A single chirp sounded and a few feathers floated out of my wand. I threw myself onto my bed.

"Fucking Transfiguration, fucking birds, fucking non-verbal spells, fucking - "

I broke off at a cough. I looked up and saw Scorpius, which surprised me enough to sit straight up and gasp extremely quietly.

"Scorpius? How did you get in? Who brought you here?"

He shrugged awkwardly. "Sarah. She just brought me up here and then bolted. Probably knew she'd get hexed."

"Why would I hex her?"

"Because you don't want to see me, that's why." That caught my attention. I stood up and looked him straight in his eyes, green meeting grey.

"What would give you that idea, Scorpius?"

He raised a brow. "Maybe the fact you keep avoiding me, and whenever I ask you what it is, you clam up. You don't want us to be snog buddies, do you?"

I took an involuntary step back, hands raised. "I never said that! It's nothing to do with you, I swear!"

"Oh yeah? Then why are you looking so nervous right now?"

"Look, it has nothing to do with you. So just leave it, please."

Scorpius stepped forward, making me step back into the alcove where I usually read a little before I went to bed each night. "No, I won't leave it. You're my...honestly, I don't know what you are anymore, but I like you a lot. As a friend and as something more, so don't fucking shut me out of your life!"

I pressed myself against the window as he moved even closer. "I have been your friend for six years. I have liked you for two of those years, and it has only taken a week for you to decide that I am no longer someone you can go to with your problems. What is wrong, Taylor? Why won't you tell me what is fucking wrong?!"

We were inches away from each other by now, me pressed up against the window very uncomfortably, and him staring at me with steely eyes. I did the only thing I could think off to get me out of it.

I kissed him.

He stiffened for a few seconds before actually snogging me back, hands on my waist. He pressed me further into the window while I slid my hands into his shirt. He groaned and leant into my roving hands, letting me trace his abs one by one.

I broke off. "You're right. I don't want to be snog buddies. I want to be your girlfriend, and I don't want it to be a secret." Scorpius looked into my eyes again, and something in their depths softened.

"I am in no way opposed to that idea. But, can we have, you know, a test run? Like, a week of it and then go public?"

I shrugged. "Sure, why not? I mean, we'll still be boyfriend and girlfriend, right?"

He smiled and nodded. "Course, just it'll still be secret."

I giggled and kissed him again. I was Scorpius Malfoy's girlfriend. I was his girlfriend.

He was my boyfriend.

 

 

***

 

 

The next day was amazing. The glow that had been there ever since I forgave Duncan was ten times stronger. I didn't get a single question wrong in any of my classes, and I even managed to make three birds appear in Transfiguration. Scorpius and I had spent half of lunchtime snogging in the common room, and it was even better than usual. I hadn't seen Albus, which was unusual, but good. I'd gotten all the things for the party tonight, with little argument from Winky.

I had gotten a few suspicious looks from her and Evelyn though. Better keep an eye on that.

The party was set up by half past seven, so I did a little on my Herbology assignment on Mimbulus Mimbletonia and its defence mechanism, Stinksap. Ugh. Who cared about a stupid plant that sprayed you with icky gung whenever you poked it?

Apparently Professor Longbotton. He had one on his desk, which was weird.

It was ten to eight when Scorpius arrived. He took one look around the streamer and balloon covered room and turned to me. "What the fuck is going on?"

I smiled wickedly. "Party for the new Chasers. Did you think we were going to pass up an excuse to party?"

He smiled at me and Jasmine. "Should've known you two would do this. I'll go and get ready."

He walked over to the boys dorm. I looked down at my own clothes. Grey sweatpants and a tatty old Falmouth Falcons shirt. Not cool.

I looked at Jasmine, who was already in party gear. "I'm gonna change too. Be back in fifteen minutes."

She nodded once, a small smirk playing at the corner of her lips. I ran into my dorm room and started to rummage through my trunk for a good party outfit.

School robes, nope.

Pyjamas, nope.

Tank top with pony on it from when I was still into horse riding? Definitely a no.

Purple one-sleeved dress? Looks good.

I threw it onto the bed and started rummaging through shoes, trying to find a pair of black pumps with green bows on the toes.

Aha! There they were. I pulled them out. Perfect.

Off with the old clothes, on with the party outfit. I grabbed a pair of silver hoop earrings and checked myself in the mirror.

Shit, make up. Almost forgot.

I grabbed my eyeliner and carefully brushed it onto my eyes. Golden eye shadow was always good, so I put that onto my eyelids. Red lipstick, looks great with everything. I grabbed the tube and puckered my lips, sliding the lipstick onto them. Mascara next. I brushed it onto my lashes, air-kissed the mirror and checked the time. I'd managed to get ready in under twenty minutes.

That was definitely a personal best.

I slipped on the pumps and strolled out of the dorm and into the party.

In the time I'd been getting ready, everyone had turned up. And I mean everyone. All the Slytherins who were cool were here. James, Fred, Roxanne, Rose and even Lily were here. Kaitlin was here, with a tall brunette boy. There were even a few Hufflepuffs.

Only a few, though. Hufflepuffs were rare in the Cave of Emerald Splendour. Also known as the Slytherin common room.

I walked up to Roxanne, who was chatting with a freckled boy only just taller than her. I snagged a drink from the table next to her and took a sip. Mmm, strawberry margarita. I tapped her on the shoulder, grinning. She smiled at the freckled kid and spun around.

Holy shit, was she drinking Firewhiskey this early?

"Hey Taylor. Nice outfit." I grinned and eyed her copper knee-length dress. "You're not too shabby yourself. Having fun?"

"Well, it's only around eight, so it should take a while before it actually gets interesting." She winked at me.

The winking was starting to grow on me.

Roxanne rushed off to catch up with someone while I took another sip of the margarita. Luckily, Jasmine came over before I could look like a complete loner.

"Taylor! Where's your brother? It's his party, after all."

I raised a hand. "It's Lydia's party too, don't forget. Speaking of which, there she is!"

There was a group of fifth-years by the fire, most of them holding Butterbeers. Our girl was standing in the middle, drinking a virgin pina colada. Really? A virgin pina colada? When I was in fifth-year, I was already drinking Firewhiskey and tequila shots.

Not combined. That was a death wish.

Trust me, I'd seen people who'd tried, and they were a mess.

Jasmine smirked at me and grabbed my hand, walking over to our reserve. I was tugged along like one of those toy Nifflers on a string. She parted through the crowd of fifteen year olds, who gave her a few scared looks.

Don't blame them. Jasmine can be scary. Seriously, she's huge, like six foot.

Lydia noticed the people around her melting away and turned. She jumped back a little and put a hand to her chest.

"You guys scared me. Um, not to be rude or anything, but what do you want?"

I laughed. A little wickedly, baring my teeth and everything. Lydia baulked a little at that. I don't blame her. I was feeling pretty fearsome.

"Well, we just wanted to welcome you to the team. Our way."

Jasmine grinned just as wickedly as me. "This way, girly. The way we welcome newcomers is with a little...contest." I grabbed her right elbow, Jasmine grabbed her left, and we marched her over to a little table I'd set up earlier. Lydia looked over it briefly.

"What's with the tequila and shot glasses? Guys?"

I grabbed the bottle and poured three shots. "This is team hazing. If you get down more than five shots, we respect you. Because you're a reserve, it's six. Drink up."

I passed Jasmine and Lydia a shot glass each and grabbed my own. "Bottoms up!"

Jasmine downed hers, letting out a whoop. I let mine slide down my throat, leaving a fiery trail wherever it touched. Lydia paused for a second before carefully swallowing hers. She gasped, coughing and clutching her throat.

"That...what the hell? It's so hot..."

I grinned, already feeling a little dizzy. "Don't worry, darling, just an after effect. It'll wear off when you have another shot."

I poured out another shot for each of us. Jasmine grabbed hers and gulped it down, followed by me. It was still fiery, but now it was numbing as well. Lydia hardly hesitated before she downed the second shot, wiping her lips.

"That one was better, I guess." She was slurring a little. Novice drinker.

I grinned, lightheaded from the liquor. "They get better the more you have. Luckily for you, there's still four more."

 

 

***

 

 

It turned out Lydia was able to hold a fair bit more liquor than we'd expected. It took seven more shots before she finally called it quits. A few minutes earlier, a shout had gone up on the other side of the common room which meant Ricky had completed the challenge with all the guys.

The other side of the common room had stretched away to about five light years to the right of me. Or the left. I wasn't sure anymore.

Jasmine had left me about half an hour ago to find a cute boy to snog or shag, depending on how drunk he was. Lydia had stumbled over to her friends again, and they were currently having a mini contest of their own.

They were good little prodigies. That word was so weird. Prodigies. It sounded like a type of porridge, but yucky.

The room was spinning at a fairly fast rate. They shouldn't allow spinning rooms. Should be against rules.

At some stage, I'd gotten another margarita, but I think someone had put a lot more tequila in than I was used to. Like, five times the amount.

Or maybe I was still completely smashed from the contest.

The couch sank down next to me. I tried to turn, but the room started to spin faster then, so I just glanced over with my eyes. It was Albus Potter, the asshat.

"Whaddya want, Potter. I'm busy at the moment."

He laughed and took a sip of his girly lemon drink. Wuss. "Busy being drunk off your ass and drooling on the couch? Sounds pretty time-consuming."

I groaned and rolled over. "I don't wanna talk to you, Potter. So just go away."

He ignored me and stole my margarita, draining it. Maybe he wasn't such a wuss after all.

Wait, he grimaced. Still a wuss.

"Well, I need to talk to you, Taylor. Please, just give me a chance to explain. I promise I'll tell you everything."

I sat up at that. Whoa, huge mistake. The room was spinning much faster now. I shook my head to try and stop the spinning, failed, and turned back to Albus. "When, where, why - wait, no, not that."

Albus raised a brow. "You are beyond incredibly drunk, Taylor. Tomorrow, four o'clock in the kitchens."

I squinted at him. "Why the kitchens?"

"Family thing. Uncle Ron taught us all about how willing the house-elfs are to hand out food."

I shook my head. You learnt so much when you were completely drunk.

Albus smiled and brushed away a little bit of hair that had found its way into my eyes. "See you tomorrow, Taylor."

He faded away into the crowd of people. I couldn't distinguish faces anymore. Someone was going up to me, looking concerned. "Taylor? Are you alright?"

I groaned. "Who are you again? I'm sorry, my eyes don't seem to be working very well at the moment, dearie."

The person raised two brows. Wait, no, just one. Wait, was it three? "It's Sarah. You are really drunk. Come on, we have to get you upstairs, right now. Get up, come on." She put her arm around my shoulders and lifted me up off the couch.

Weird, the room was spinning faster again. Why does it do that?

Sarah dragged me across what seemed like an endless amount of space, but I suppose it was just to the dorm room. She opened the door and hauled me through it and onto my bed. Someone else was in the room. I squinted at the figure. Black hair, blue eyes, pale skin, oh, it was Evelyn. I lay back into my pillows and smiled.

"Thank you, Sarah." The sober side of me grimaced at the sweet little kid voice I put on. The drunk side of me, which was in control, thought it was a perfectly normal voice.

Sarah looked at Evelyn sternly. "Make sure she doesn't go anywhere. I'm going back down to try and find Jason. Odds are he's like this as well."

Evelyn mock-saluted. "Yes, ma'am."

Sarah smiled a little and walked out of the dorm. I rolled over to the best of my ability and looked straight in Evelyn's left eye. "So, why are you here, instead of celebrating with everyone else?"

She coughed. "You wouldn't understand."

I scoffed and rolled back so I was staring up at the canopy of my bed. "Oh yeah? How do you know if you don't tell me?"

She squirmed a little. At least, I think she did. Could have been the room slightly spinning. "I can't talk about it just yet."

"Come on, it won't hurt you to talk."

Evelyn sighed softly and turned towards me. "Okay, you know James Potter?"

I blinked. "James Potter, captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, black hair, brown eyes, seventh year?"

Evelyn coughed. "Yes, him. I...I may or may not have a rather large crush on him."

I sat up really quickly. Too quickly. "No way. What are you waiting for, go get him girl! Go on, go down there, grab him and snog him. I think he's down there. Go!"

Evelyn stood up hesitantly. I waved my hands at her urgently. "Go, go!"

She paused and bolted through the door. I lay down on my pillows. Ladies and gentlemen, my work here is complete.

And...cue the blackout.




Holy. Merlin. This sucker is over 4000 words long. I am so proud of myself. 

Anyway, any thoughts on drunk Taylor? Ricky? Lydia? Evelyn's surprise crush?

If you have any thoughts at all, share them in a new, nifty litle contraption someone made called the 'review box'.

Love you all! Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D


Chapter 11: When Good Things Go Bad
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 Ugh. Sunlight. Stop the sunlight. Someone, please, turn off the sun.

I groaned and rolled over. What did I do last night?

A fire in my stomach reminded me. I rolled out of bed and dashed into the bathroom, barely making it to the toilet before I puked up whatever liquor still remained in my body.

"Ugh. Remind me never to drink again."

"You're awake, Taylor? Finally! It's already half past ten." Sarah was standing in the doorway, looking faintly amused.

"Go away. Every noise is like a jackhammer. And turn off the sun. It's too bright." I was going to continue, but more throwing up interrupted me. Sarah watched as I emptied the meagre remains of what was in my stomach. Well, fuck you too.

"You finished that yet? Oh, good. Now, do you remember anything from last night?"

"Um...some sort of contest?" Dammit memory, why do you stop working every time I take even a sip of liquor?

Okay, I do drink more than a sip, but still.

"You and Jasmine challenged Lydia to a shot contest. You danced with every boy there, and some of the girls too. By the time I found you, you were completely out of it and didn't recognize me. I dragged you up to the dorm, where I left you under the care of Evelyn. She ended up back in the party ten minutes later, and you will not believe this, she snogged James! Anyway, I came up and you were passed out on your bed. That's all I saw. I have no clue what else you did."

I smiled awkwardly. "I may have encouraged the snogging James bit. Did it work?"

"Hard to say, he was almost as drunk as you. I say almost because I believe you drank enough to tranquilize three Hippogriffs. What were you thinking?"

I stood up slowly. "That, my friend, is an excellent question. May I say that perhaps it is not thought you ought to blame, but its absence."

Sarah groaned. I always have the worst humour when I have a hangover. I ignored her and walked to my bed, trying to find some decent clothes to change into.

Hmm, this was going to be hard. All of my jeans seemed to have dug their way into the bottom of my trunk.

Sarah watched as I selected a golden tank top and a pair of jeans with an elastic waist - don't judge me, they look amazing.

"Let me guess, hangover potion after breakfast?"

I smiled slightly and nodded. "You know me too well. Remind me not to nod, it's hurting my brain cells."

She rolled her eyes at me and shooed me out the door.

 

 

***

 

 

Who came up with the brilliant idea of making a hangover potion you could only take when you've eaten something?

Seriously, you're such a genius, whoever you are.

I forced myself to nibble on a piece of toast. Even with butter and cherry jam on it, I didn't want it. Stupid hangovers. No one likes them.

Except maybe the makers of the hangover potion. After all, they were getting money off them, weren't they?

Jasmine plonked herself down next to me. I covered my ears. "Ugh, stop making so much noise."

She groaned. "I know, every footstep is like a jackhammer in my brain. What did we even do last night?"

I shrugged, cringed because it hurt, and tried to force a small piece of toast down my throat. It was tough, but I managed it.

"The only thing I can remember is drinking way too much tequila. Who's idea was it to have  shot contest?"

Someone moaned behind me. I looked back and saw Scorpius, who looked as bad as I felt.

"It might have been my idea, but I definitely regret it. There are miniature people running around in my brain, using the Cruciatus curse on every part they can reach."

I nodded as much as I could bear and tried to take a sip of pumpkin juice.

A curse on you, inventor of tequila. A horrible, dreadful curse.

 

 

***

 

 

I had dragged my sorry ass to the common room, lay on the bed for a few minutes then taken the hangover potion. Now it was just time to try and remember what had happened.

I thought back. I'd prepared for the party, went downstairs, saw Jasmine, found Lydia, first shot...blankness.

Why couldn't I remember a single fucking thing?

Of course, the moment I lay back down on my bed and didn't try to remember, a memory sprang up. I was talking to Albus. Oh fuck.

I'd agreed to go to the kitchens to talk to him? Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck.

Hang on...if I met him there I could tell him exactly what I thought of him and make him leave me alone forever, with the aid of a few hexes.

Oh brain, you are so very clever.

I checked the time. It was only eleven in the morning. A full five hours before my...meeting. Yeah, let's call it that. A meeting.

What was I supposed to do?

I stood up and rushed into the boys dorm. Duncan and Scorpius were sitting on the beds, drinking hangover potion.

"Hey guys." Merlin, I sounded so awkward.

Scorpius grinned. Duncan waved awkwardly. "Hey, Taylor." They stared at each other for saying the same thing at the same time.

For about two minutes.

I clapped my hands and drew their attention away from the never-ending stare-off.  "Okay, so can we please stop with the rivalry?" Duncan and Scorpius had been rivals since about age six. They'd known each other for years before Hogwarts, since their parents were friends. Scorpius had challenged Duncan to a swing competition: whoever could swing the highest won. Of course, Duncan had won, and even at six, Scorpius hated to lose. They continued to compete with each other for years, and one of my first memories of their competitions was two weeks into first-year.

 

 

***

 

 

"Duncan! I bet I can levitate something that's heavier than you can!"

Duncan had scoffed. "Bring it, Scorpius. I won last time, anyway."

I was standing a few feet away from them. "Guys? What are you doing?"

They smiled wickedly. Scorpius pointed his wand at a table.

"Wingardium Leviosa!" The table soared into the air.

Duncan laughed. "Watch this!"

He pointed his wand at me. "Wingardium Leviosa!"

I had been levitated eight feet into the air. Scorpius had figured out what Duncan was doing and tackled him, meaning I tumbled to the ground.

 

 

***

 

 

I had spent two weeks in the Hospital Wing with broken ribs and ankle. I had gotten so much sleep though.

It was great, but bad at the same time. Some things are like that.

Duncan coughed. "Sorry. Um, what are you doing here?"

I shrugged. "I have some time I have to fill in before I have to go somewhere, so I thought I'd come and see you."

I really just wanted to see Scorpius, but I wasn't telling him that.

Scorpius figured that out too, because he stood up. "Well, I have to go to the library and get some books for that essay. See you later." He left, and I was alone with Duncan. He twiddled his thumbs awkwardly, and I stared out the window.

"Where do you have to go?" I froze in shock and looked at Duncan.

"I have to meet up with Ricky. Dad wanted me to see how he was getting on, and since I haven't really done that yet, I promised myself I'd do it today." Duncan looked away and sighed. I stood up.

"Well, I should go and see Ricky. I think he's in the kitchens. See you later."

He nodded, and I bolted as quickly as possible out of there.

 

 

***

 

 

I got to the library a few minutes later. Scorpius was leaning on a stone pillar outside. I walked over and kissed him. We snogged for a few minutes before I broke off, out of breath.

"So, what do you want to do, Taylor?" My name sounded so good when he said it.

"I only have until ten to four, so maybe we should keep it short and sweet."

Scorpius smiled wickedly and grabbed my legs. I screamed as he threw me over his shoulder, not an easy feat considering I was almost his size and weight. He hauled me up the stairs to the Room of Requirement, and walked in front of it for a while. The Room opened and revealed the room it had made when we first visited it together, with the table and couch and bed. Scorpius threw me onto the bed and lay down next to me, breathing heavily. And sexily. Always sexily.

I rolled over to face him. "So, why are we here?"

He grinned and snogged me softly, which made it just that much more amazing. "So we could have a little more privacy." He slid off his shirt, revealing his abs and hot body. I ran a finger over his muscles. His eyes widened and he groaned, shivering. I slid off my own shirt, letting him run his fingers over my own stomach, which was becoming covered with goosebumps.

I snogged him harder, pressing up against him. He twined his fingers into my hair and brushed his other hand down my back. I moaned and put my hands into the waistband of his pants, slipping them down his legs until they were off him. I threw them aside. He started to unbutton my jeans, fumbling a little, but soon he had them off and I was only in my lacy bra and underpants.

"Scorpius..." He looked at me, breathing hard.

"Yes, Taylor?" I smoothed down my hair.

"We shouldn't do this. Merlin knows I want to, but we shouldn't." He blinked and sat back, exposing his body even more.

"Why not, Taylor? I want to, and you want to." I sighed. My life was so complicated at the moment.

"Well...we've only been dating for two days. We should let it wait for a bit, you know, actually date for a bit first." Scorpius lay back down next to me, clearly disappointed.

"You're right. You're always right. I'm sorry." I rolled over and kissed him lightly.

"It's okay. It's my fault too. What time is it?" Scorpius checked his watch.

"It's one o'clock. Should we go and get lunch in the Hall?"

I shook my head. "Let's just go to the kitchens. We'll get more privacy there."

Scorpius stood and grabbed his clothes, sliding them back on, and not bothering to hide his confusion. "Alright, the kitchens it is. Come on."

I grabbed my own clothes and put them back on while Scorpius waited somewhat impatiently, and we left together for the kitchens.

The walk took around fifteen minutes, which was spent in awkward silence. Somehow, I'd made it awful within two days of being boyfriend and girlfriend. We'd been friends for years, and it'd taken me two days to ruin it.

 

 

***

 

 

Lunch had been spent in silence too, the only sounds chewing and asking Winky for food. She happily complied, but it seemed like it was painful for her. She was moving slowly and we had to repeat things more than once.

Maybe I was imagining it, but her eyes seemed duller too.

Scorpius took another bite of chicken, chewing slowly. I was munching on an apple, trying not to make eye contact. He swallowed, looking at a damp spot on the roof.

"You're awfully quiet lately. Is anything wrong?" I hated the way he sounded so cordial, as if he was talking to a distant friend.

"No, I'm fine. But are you alright?" He grunted and nodded. I leant forward and looked straight into his eyes.

"Seriously, you don't seem alright. I'm not the only one whose been a little quiet recently." He stood up, pushing his chair back.

"Yes, I'm fine. Maybe I've been quiet because you haven't had anything to say to me." Scorpius walked out, leaving me alone in the kitchens. A tear rolled down my cheeks, slowly dripping onto the floor. Winky walked up to me and put her hand on my knee. I looked down at her and smiled.

"Is Taylor alright?? Winky doesn't like seeing Taylor sad." I sat down and wiped away the tears.

"Yes, I'm alright, Winky. I just...I'm having a rough patch, that's all." Another tear went down my cheek, and before I knew it, I was crying. Winky rushed off somewhere, shouting things at other house-elfs, and when she returned, she had a tub of honeycomb ice cream, my favourite. I smiled at her and ate a bit, letting it melt in my mouth. The tears slowly stopped falling. Winky climbed onto the table and sat next to my tub of ice cream.

"Now, please tell Winky what is wrong." I sighed and told her everything that had happened since the start of the year, including me being a Parselmouth, threats and snogs from X, Scorpius, Evelyn's suspicions and everything in between. Winky listened to the entire thing, and before I knew it, it was almost four o'clock.

"Winky, you need to leave. Albus is meeting me here right about now, and if he sees you, well, it won't be good. Hide or something." Winky smiled wickedly and clicked her fingers. She dissolved into the air, reappearing in the rafters above my head. She winked at me.

Seriously, what the fuck was with the winking?

"Winky will move if Albus looks up. Winky can hear everything from up here." I grinned at her and turned around to face the portrait hole. I had another mouthful of ice cream, wincing at how cold it was.

"Brain freeze?" Somehow, he'd managed to sneak in while I had my eyes closed for those few seconds.

"Hello, Albus." I was surprised he wasn't frozen by the amount of malice in my voice, but he seemed a little scared. He sat down and turned to one of the house-elfs.

"Can I please have a Butterbeer and a hot jam donut?" The house-elf bowed and trotted away further into the kitchen. I had another spoonful of ice cream while Albus leant back into the chair, sighing quietly. The house-elf returned with two Butterbeers and the donut, which Albus accepted with a thanks. The house-elf ran away, and Albus handed me one of the bottles. I grabbed it, trying not to let my fingers brush his, and looked away without saying a word.

"Come on, Taylor, let me explain. I won't blame you if you still hate me, but give me the chance!" I sighed and looked at him. He seemed genuinely upset and his green eyes were huge and pleading.

"Fine, but make it fast. Really fast."

Albus smiled and took a bite of his donut, which left sugar all over his chin. I repressed the urge to laugh.

"Okay, so I have to start at the beginning. This is going way back, like first year. Remember when we came over on the boats, and somehow I was on your boat with Scorpius and Rose? Well, I kind of...got a huge crush on you. Seeing your eyes light up when you saw Hogwarts, watching you scoop up the water and splash Scorpius, it was...I know, so embarrassing. Anyway, I spent four years watching you, and I saw it when you started to like Scorpius. Don't give me that look, it was pretty obvious. I'm surprised no one else caught on. So I started to hate Scorpius, and hate never makes anything good. I started doing research on Death Eaters, and I found out about the masks and how to make them appear and disappear. I made one for myself, with a few adjustments. A Death Eater wouldn't be able to make it disappear, and I was the only one who could change it. I spent the next two years planning how to manipulate you into meeting with me, and then I finally had an idea. If I made a snake appear in your common room and attack, I could save you and ask you out. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but because I hated Scorpius, half of my mind was just trying to kill him, which made the snake seem like an even better idea. If he found the snake, I'd make it kill him, but if you found it, I'd rush in and stop it and be a hero. I put the snake in your common room and waited, wearing the...never mind. I was hidden, that's all you need to know. I watched you with the snake, watched it prepare to strike...and you hissed at it. I didn't understand at first, but when it slithered away, I finally realised what you were - a Parselmouth. I made a new plan, and wrote the note, which I left on your bed while you were still on the couch. I was there when you read it, and I watched you get angry, and scared. I really regret what I did, and I wish I had never done it."

He took a breath and a sip of his Butterbeer. I felt anger building inside me.

"Are you finished? Because there is a few things I want to say to you." I stood and pressed a hand in the centre of his chest, lifting him out of his seat.

"You could have killed me, or any other Slytherin students. You would have killed Scorpius, with no fucking concern about what it would mean to me, or his parents, or anyone. You manipulated me, threatened me and took advantage of me, all for a crush?" He tried to say something, but I didn't let him speak. Instead, I threw him down onto the ground, standing over him.

"You asked me to give you a chance. You said you wouldn't blame me if I still hated you. Well, news flash, I still do. And nothing you say now or anytime in the future, will ever change that." I stormed out, leaving Albus on the floor gasping for air.

 

 

***

 

 

I ran all the way to the common room, shouting the password and pushing past second-years who were in my way. I made it to the dorm and collapsed onto my bed, mind racing. I had pushed Scorpius away, and found out Albus had plans to kill him. Nothing had gone right for ages.

That was when I heard the noises from next door.

I rushed out and ran into the dorm room next to ours, which was where Sarah slept. There was vomiting sounds coming from the bathroom. I tried to open the door, but it was locked.

"Go away." Sarah didn't sound good at all. I grabbed my wand and pointed it at the lock.

"Alohomora!" The lock clicked and I threw open the door. Sarah was kneeling in front of the toilet, looking pale. I rushed over to her.

"Sarah! Are you alright?" She started to answer, but instead she threw up in the toilet again. I held back her hair and rubbed her shoulders, murmuring comforting things into her ear. Finally she finished puking. I got her a face washer and dampened it for her. She grabbed it and wiped her face gingerly.

"I'm so sorry you had to see that, Taylor." I patted her back.

"Hey, that's what friends are for, Sarah. Why were you vomiting?" She groaned and rubbed her stomach. I noticed it was starting to get a bump.

"I ate something that didn't agree with me. I barely got back here before I started puking up everything I'd eaten. Remind me to give eggs a miss for a while." I looked at her more closely. She seemed paler than usual, and she had bags under her eyes.

"Sarah, how far along are you? With the pregnancy, I mean." She sighed and rubbed her stomach again.

"I'm about fifteen weeks, so I'm getting fat and getting sick. But it'll be at least twenty weeks before I get so fat I can't move." I paused for a second.

"You said you got pregnant at the party, but that was only two months ago. Only eight or nine weeks. How can you be fifteen weeks pregnant?" Sarah sighed.

"I'm starting to think I was pregnant before then. Jason had been visiting me in the holidays, and I think I got pregnant before then. I sort of lied. I didn't drink at the party, because even a little taste made me feel sick. I guess that was my body telling me, hey, you're pregnant. I took a test the night after the party, and I found out. You only start getting a bump at fifteen weeks, so I must be that far along." I blinked away tears and hugged her, shocking her.

Like I said, hugs from me are rare. Unless I'm drunk.

I let go of her and rubbed her shoulders. "Sarah, everything's going to be okay. Trust me, we'll get through this. Together." She smiled and put my hand on her bump. I couldn't feel anything, but I guess she wasn't far along enough.

We sat there for about half an hour, until Jason found us. Someone must have found him when they heard Sarah vomiting. He walked in hesitantly, but when he saw me he relaxed.

"You can go now, Taylor." It wasn't a suggestion, I could tell. I let go of Sarah and let Jason wrap his arms around her, letting her head rest on his shoulder. I left before things got too awkward, ignoring questions from her roommates. I went back into the common room, where Scorpius and Duncan were having a game of Wizard's chess. I watched as Scorpius made a knight smash a bishop into dusty fragments.

"Well, I'm winning. You've only got a few pieces left. You're not very good." Duncan looked down at his black pieces. He only had the king, a rook and two pawns left. Scorpius, on the other hand, had almost all of his pieces remaining. I looked around. Evelyn was nowhere to be seen.

"Guys, where's Evelyn?" Scorpius glanced up at me, surprised and then annoyed.

"Oh, she went to see James. Don't ask me why. Why would you ask me anything?" He walked away, leaving me with Duncan. I watched him leave, then turned to Duncan.

"I don't know why she went to see him either. And, if you don't mind me asking, why is Scorpius pissed with you?" I took a step back, looking towards the portrait hole.

"I do mind you asking, and I'm leaving now. Goodbye." I walked away, knowing he was suspicious, but hopefully Scorpius wouldn't say anything. I ran up the stairs to the Gryffindor Tower and tried to remember the password.

"Um, Avis. No? Pygmy Puff. No. Um..." The Fat Lady was looking rather unimpressed. I racked my brains.

"Oh! Basilisk! That's it!" The Fat Lady nodded and swung open the portrait hole. I ran through and saw Rose and Roxanne. I walked over to them and stood right in front of them.

"Did Evelyn come in here?" They stayed silent for a bit. I could have screamed. "Well, did she?" Roxanne nodded while Rose remained in stunned silence. I turned and ran up the stairs to the boy's dorm, running through the corridor until I found James' door. I knocked on it impatiently.

"Evelyn! Are you in there? Evelyn?" No one answered, so I opened the door myself. I stormed in and stopped. Evelyn and James were lying on his bed - at least, I think it was his - and they were snogging heatedly. I stepped back, feeling my cheeks grow hot, and slammed the door behind me, running out of the dorm. Roxanne was waiting for me, but before she could ask any questions, I ran out the door and bolted to the Slytherin common room.

That was so embarrassing to walk in on.





Oh. My. Merlin. So. Much. Happened.

Sorry for the lover's quarrel. I love Starlor, but I needed this to happen. And now she hates Albus. This should turn out interestingly.

But, on the plus side...Evelyn and James! Jevelyn! I like it.

Love you all, please review, and a million and two apologies time infinity and the length of Dumbledore's beard!

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D


Chapter 12: Prophecies
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 Once again, sorry! Seriously, I think you'll hate me for this, but it was needed. Sorry!




I managed to fall asleep that night without any disturbing dreams of Evelyn and James snogging. In the morning, I decided I should actually catch up with Ricky, in case some angry letters came demanding to know how he was.

Because the lazy bugger couldn't write himself. Even though he had access to all the materials.

Hell, I'd even lend him Shriek, but his ugly mug might just kill the poor bird.

Dammit, I was procrastinating. Just get dressed and go see your sadist brother.

I groaned at the voice of reason in my head, which sounded suspiciously like Kaitlin, and grabbed out a pair of jeans and a green tank top.

Don't judge me for only wearing my house's colours. They look best on me.

I really can't see myself wearing yellow, can you?

Oh, just get a move on! said Mini Kaitlin in my head. I grumbled at it and slid on the clothes, grabbing a pair of shoes. I walked into the common room, and was about to enter the boy's dorm when Scorpius grabbed my arm.

"Taylor, we need to talk." I pulled my arm away.

"Okay, but not now. Maybe, um, around lunch in the kitchens?" He nodded slightly, which I took as a reluctant yes, and walked away. I looked around to make sure no one had seen the strange exchange, and when I was satisfied, I entered the Land of Smelly Socks and Smellier Boys.

Seriously, it's like a toxic wasteland in there, but ten times worse. And I was pretty sure someone had sacrificed a cat down here and left its body to rot in a pile of food scraps and toxic boy-sweat.

I was not overreacting. You could barely breath.

I finally made it to Ricky's room and knocked on the door. A strange boy answered it. He was a little cute, in a gangly way. Although, in a year or two, with those blue eyes and blond hair, he could be a heartbreaker.

Just not with bed head and sleepy eyes.

"Who are you?" I raised a brow.

"I'm the esteemed Beater of this lovely Quidditch team my darling brother just had the amazing amount of luck to enter. He's the one still buried in his sheets, over there." He was only identifiable due to the curly hair and the poster of one of the Chasers in the Falmouth Falcons that hung over his bed.

It was one of the girl ones, and she was very scantly clothed. Like, skimpy top and short shorts. Maybe he...no, I was not going there. This was my brother I was talking about.

The boy gulped and let me in. I stepped through, feeling very elegant, and turned back to the boy.

"What is your name, anyway?"

He gulped again. I wasn't Medusa, for Merlin's sake. "Um, Tim Ryan. You wouldn't know me."

Hmm. He was a Muggleborn. If not, he was probably a halfblood or from some family I'd never heard of. Probably the first two options.

"Well, Tim, I need to have a private conversation with my brother. So please leave. Once you get some clothes on, of course."

That was when he realised he was only wearing boxers. Tim blushed and ran over to his wardrobe, pulling out sweatpants and a grimy grey top. Why did boys never have clean clothes?

He got dressed in a remarkably short amount of time and bolted as if Voldemort and all of his Death Eaters were behind him. Fifth-years were so easy to scare.

Although, I guess I was kind of scary, you know, just with my personality.

I looked over at my brother, who was still asleep, and grinned. I snuck over and sat down on the side of his bed.

"Ricky, oh Ricky, wake up. I want to have a little chat with you." He stirred and groaned.

"Go 'way, Tim. It's Sunday, for Merlin's sake." He rolled over and buried his face in the pillow. I put a hand on his shoulder.

"Wake up Ricky, I want to talk to you." He rolled back over and cracked open an eyelid.

"Oh hey, Taylor, what are you...holy shit! Taylor!" He sat up and put his doona over his chest, breathing heavily.

"What the fuck are you doing here?" He shot a glance at the Quidditch player poster, clearly hoping I hadn't seen it. Well, too late for that, brother dear.

"Too late, I spotted the inappropriate poster. Which I am about to change to something I deem much more suitable." I waved my wand, and the poster turned into a large poster of a Muggle cartoon, a cute little white cat dressed in a pink dress and a bow on her ear.

"Hey! Why'd you do that? Change it back!" I grinned and put my wand back into my pocket. "Not until I leave. You and I need to have a little chat."

He actually gulped. "If this is about you losing some Galleons, I promise you I'll repay you soon." I raised a brow.

"That was you, was it? That's not what this is about, but thanks for telling me about it." He cursed under his breath.

"Tut tut, little brother. That might go into my letter to Daddy dearest. Now, tell me, what has your week been like?" Ricky launched into a spiel about what had happened, including his tryouts (which I had been there for, so I can most definitely deny that he did a quadruple backflip before getting five consecutive goals). I committed important notes to memory and zoned out when he started making absolutely no sense. Finally, he stopped talking and I stood up.

"Okay, have to go and write to Dad, so goodbye." I walked out, ignoring him shouting about the poster. He was a sadistic bastard, so there was no way I was changing the poster back.

I haven't mentioned why he's a sadist, have I? Here's a little story from way back when I was in second year...

I was just sitting alone on the benches at the Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff game, watching Hufflepuff get flogged, when Ricky and his mates had walked over. He'd stood in front of me, blocking my view.

"Hey Richard, can you move?" He'd purposely stood right in front of me, making sure all I could see was him.

"Don't call me Richard. My name is Ricky." His friends had laughed. I'd rolled my eyes at him.

"What are you gonna do, Richard? Flick me?" He'd grinned evilly and grabbed my arm with one hand, forcing my head back with the other one.

"No, I'm going to do this." And then he twisted my arm behind my back. I heard a cracking sound and a bolt of pain shot up my arm. I screamed. Ricky grinned even more and continued twisting my arm. Finally, he'd let me go and ran away with his friends, laughing madly. I'd sat there gasping in pain until someone found me. That someone was Scorpius. He'd taken me to the hospital wing, where Madam Pomfrey, who was pretty old by now, had announced I had broken my arm in two different places. I'd told her I tripped. Scorpius wasn't convinced, and got the full story out of me soon enough.

That was when I'd realised Ricky was a bad egg. I'd seen him roasting ants before, but now I knew that wasn't fascination with making the glass shoot out boiling beams. It was wanting to hurt something. I couldn't tell Dad, because he doted on Ricky and was sure he was an angel in a human guise. I didn't want to ruin that illusion, but one day, Ricky would seriously hurt someone.

I went back to my room and wrote the goddamn letter, then walked all the way to the Owlery. Shriek flew down to me when I entered, fluffing up his pathetic feathers. I tied the letter to his leg, because he couldn't hold it in his mouth without dropping it and rubbed his head.

"Give this to Dad, okay? Make sure you rest up at home." He hooted and flapped off unsteadily. He was a lousy flyer, but a good pet.

Okay, so now what? I didn't want to go see Scorpius, and I couldn't see Sarah or Evelyn at the moment, due to Sarah being with Jason and Evelyn being...well, I didn't know where she was. I thought for a moment, and even before I made my mind up, my feet were taking me to the kitchens.

Don't judge me for always going there. I like it down there.

It was ten o'clock when I got to the kitchens. Winky was standing in the doorway when I got there.

"Hello. Would Taylor like Winky to get anything?" I smiled at the old house-elf.

"Just a Butterbeer and a chocolate cookie, thanks." Winky bowed and walked away. I sat down at the table and looked around. All the house-elfs were busily working away, making food for lunch. The atmosphere was like being in a beehive, with everyone buzzing around you doing jobs.

I heard a crash. I stood up and looked over in the general direction and saw...No. I ran over and knelt by her. No. No.

Winky coughed and put a hand to her chest. "Taylor, Winky is very sorry."

"Winky, are you hurt? Do you need to go to Madam Pomfrey?" She laughed hoarsely and looked weakly at the shards of glass around her.

"No, Winky was not hurt by the glass. But...I am afraid that Winky might be dying." I gasped and clutched her hand.

"No! You can't die! Why are you dying?" Winky coughed and looked up at me.

"Well, when Winky was younger, she made mistakes, and now Winky is suffering for them. Don't worry, Winky has had a long life." I blinked away a tear.

"Winky, you can't die. I'll take you to the hospital wing, to St. Mungo's. You can get treated, and you'll live. Please, Winky, you have to live!" She smiled sadly at me and rested her head on the floor.

"No, Taylor. This is Winky's time. Goodbye, Taylor. Just remember, Winky always thought you were the best Slytherin she'd ever met..." Winky broke off and started coughing. I clutched her hand tightly.

"No! Winky, don't die! You have to stay here! Don't die..." She smiled one last time at me before her eyes glazed over. Her hand loosened and dropped from mine, lying next to her.

No.

No.

No!

I sat next to her, weeping. I'd known Winky since first-year, when I'd first visited the kitchens. She'd helped me get through the awkward times, held my hand as I broke up with my first boyfriend, been there as Albus terrorised me, sat near me in the awkward lunch with Scorpius. She was like an anchor, helping me get through. What could I ever do without her?

It wasn't true.

No.

No.

It. Wasn't. True.

I started shaking her, tears streaming down my face. "Winky! Get up, you bitch! You're not dead! Get up!" She remained lying down, and that was when it hit me. She was really dead.

No.

No.

No.

Nonononononono.

No, no, no!

I put her hand in mine, crying. She was gone. Who would I confide in now? Who would help me when I was depressed?

No.

I...I...no.

No.

I was there for who knows how long, weeping over her body. House-elfs came over, trying to comfort me, but I screamed at all of them, making them run away. I lay down next to her body, still crying. Finally, when the tears dried up, a familiar face was staring down at me.

"Go away, Scorpius. I need to be left alone with her." Another tear welled up in the corner of my eye. He sat down next to me and wiped it away.

"I knew her too. She always knew exactly what I wanted, every time I came in here. She was the first person I told about liking you." He stroked her forehead, chin quivering. Before I knew it, I was crying too. Scorpius put his arms around me, whispering soothingly into my ear as I shook with sobs.

I cried for a good fifteen minutes before the tears stopped coming. I looked up at Scorpius and kissed him. He kissed me back, softly and sweetly, for a few moments.

"Scorpius, I'm sorry for not telling you anything. I won't ever keep secrets from you again." He smiled and brushed away a stray lock of hair that had stuck to my cheek.

"It's okay, Taylor. I just want to know one thing. What secrets have you been keeping from me since school started?" I sighed and looked down into Winky's glazed eyes. I slid her eyelids down, but not before realising what her eyes were telling me. I had to be honest with him.

"Well, we have to start a fair bit back for that. For starters, I'm a Parselmouth." He blinked but made no comment, making a continue-speaking gesture. I took a deep breath and began my story.

 

 

***

 

 

Scorpius listened to the whole story, not interrupting once. When I had finished, he held me in his arms. I let myself relax, breathing in his familiar scent. The house-elfs had taken away Winky's body by now, promising she would be given a proper funeral in the house-elf way.

I had stopped crying. My eyes had used all their tears. Now I was just left with bone-numbing sorrow.

Somehow, I ended up sitting on Scorpius' lap, head on his shoulder with his arms around me. He was brushing my hair back from my face and rubbing my back soothingly. I looked up at him, extremely aware that my eyes were red and my nose was red and my hair was a mess. Oh, and I had eyeliner tracks down my face.

"I'm sorry for being a crap girlfriend. I don't want to keep us a secret anymore." Scorpius smiled at me.

"Okay. Let's go tell everyone." I stood up and paused for a second.

"Wait! I have to fix my makeup and hair!" Scorpius laughed and put his arm around my shoulders.

"Taylor, you look fine the way you are. Besides, we can stop by the first-floor bathroom on the way." I grinned at him.

"Well, we better get moving. It won't be long before these smudges become permanent." He laughed and kissed my forehead as we started walking towards the bathroom.

 

 

***

 

 

I was busy putting my hair into a loose ponytail while Scorpius waited outside. I put on a fresh coat of lip gloss, air-kissed the mirror. Scorpius knocked on the door.

"Are you ready yet, woman?" I laughed, pulling out my eyeliner.

"Nowhere near, Scorpius. You may be waiting a while." Scorpius sighed loudly.

"For Merlin's sake, it's already five, woman. If you take any longer, I will march in there and fling you over my shoulder." I laughed and finished off my eyeliner.

"No point now, Scorp, I'm finished. I'll be out in a second." I washed my hands and packed all the makeup into my little bag I'd summoned from my room. Thank Merlin for the Accio Charm.

I stepped out of the bathroom and into Scorpius' chest. He grunted and stepped backwards, rubbing his stomach.

"Geez, Taylor, that actually hurt a fair bit, you know!" I grinned up at him and mock-slapped his arm.

"Oh, suck it up, manly Quidditch Captain, or they might take away your Manliness badge." He made a face at me and started walking off. I ran a little to keep up, and soon we were in the dungeons, in front of the entrance. Scorpius looked at me.

"Taylor, how exactly do we tell them? I have absolutely no idea what to say, and they're all going to think I'm mad, because I'm going to ramble and then they'll not understand at all and - " I held up a finger to his lips, silencing him. When I was sure he'd keep his silence, I removed the finger.

"You were rambling then. As for how to tell them...well, in my opinion, actions speak louder than words." Scorpius opened his mouth, but then he realised what I was saying. He coughed and nodded. We linked arms and walked in to the common room.

Sarah and Jason were sitting on the couch, with their hands on her baby bump. Evelyn was chilling out in the back with...James? Okay, should have been expecting that one. Hang on, who was that next to James, in the back corner? Oh fuck.

I almost thought about not doing it, but then I looked at Scorpius, and I knew I just had to.

I looked straight into his eyes, which were the colour of sunlight silver, and snogged him full on the mouth.

Sarah must have seen, because she shrieked, and then I felt everyone's eyes on us. We finished the kiss and looked around. Everyone there was staring at us. I took a deep breath.

"I'm going out with Scorpius."

Sarah and Evelyn ran over and hugged me. I hugged them back fiercely, trying not to bump Sarah's stomach. Jason and James fistbumped Scorpius, but I could tell they were warning him not to hurt me. Only one person didn't walk over to congratulate, or to warn Scorpius not to do anything to my heart.

 I tried not to look as Albus walked out of the common room, looking utterly devastated.

 

 

***

 

 

As I walked out of the common room, leaving Scorpius to talk with James, I saw Albus leaning against a wall. I walked over and stood in front of him. He sighed and looked down.

"Let me guess...this is why you never even considered me for all those years. You've liked him." I looked straight at him, but I couldn't see his face.

"Look, Albus, I only started liking him two years ago, and let's be honest, I don't think you really have any chance with me after the whole X episode. So just...please accept this and move on? For my sake?" Albus looked straight up at me, his eyes hard.

"No, I can't move on. I still like you. I could like you for the rest of my life. I'm not going to give up, and I sure as hell won't move on in a hurry." He took in a deep breath and started to walk away, but just before he turned the corner, he looked back at me.

"One day, he won't be there for you...but I will be. I'll wait as long as I humanely can for that moment." I watched him walk around the corner and sighed slumping against the wall.

This was not going to end well.




NO! I hated this chapter, mostly because I love Winky and I think Albus is kinda cute. In a dorky way. So, I'm so sorry, and I'm probably suffering the most here, because I had to write this. I almost cried when Winky died, which believe me is odd. I hardly ever cry, and I may not have tear ducts.

Review please, try to keep hate to a minimum, and love you for staying with this story!

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D

P.S. Is it weird that I think Ricky is cute? Like in a want to date way?


Chapter 13: Official
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Wow, this was a long wait. If you're still reading, I admire your patience. And I love you for being patient with me!




After watching Albus walk away, I went back into the common room, where Scorpius was sitting beside...Ricky? Really, Ricky of all people? I walked over and sat next to him, putting my arm around him.

"Hey, what are you talking about?" Scorpius laughed nervously and looked over at Ricky, who seemed amused.

"Well, your charming brother has just threatened me with a number of curses if I ever hurt you in any way. Who would have thought?" I glanced over at Ricky, shocked. He was blushing slightly with his head ducked down.

"Does this mean you actually care about me?" He blushed even more and ran away, mumbling something I couldn't understand. I looked at him and watched as he ran into the boy's dorm blushing intensely. I looked over at Scorpius and laughed. He grinned wickedly.

"I was lying, in case you didn't pick that up. I told him we were shagging on a daily basis and he believed me." I tried to look offended, but soon we were laughing hysterically together. I looked around and saw Jasmine had walked in and Evelyn was filling her in. She spotted me and sauntered over, looking remarkably like a wildcat chasing a mouse. She sat on the arm of the couch and smiled wickedly at me.

"So, now we're all lovey-dovey, are we going to celebrate?" I almost felt my ears perk up, but seeing as I'd never learnt how to move them, they remained flat.

"Party next Friday night?" Jasmine nodded.

"You know it girl. Use your contacts, because this one's gonna be good." I froze. Tears started welling up, but I managed to blink them away. Jasmine noticed my silence and moved closer, her face going from excitement to concern.

"Taylor, what happened?" I swallowed hard and looked over at Scorpius. He put an arm around me and began rubbing my back soothingly.

"Um...Winky is...well...she's...dead. She died a few hours ago." Jasmine gasped and hugged me tightly as I tried to keep my eyes from filling again. Everyone had loved Winky, but they all knew I was the closest to her. When my eyes remained dry, I pulled back and coughed.

"The house-elfs are going to have a funeral, but I get the feeling we won't be invited. This is probably the best way to celebrate her memory." Jasmine gave me a sombre look and nodded.

"I'll get everything. Don't you worry about a thing. I even have the best place for it." I smiled and wiped away the tears from my cheeks.

"Thanks, Jasmine. You're a life saver." Bad choice of words.

Oh, there I go again. Crying. Yay, me.

Scorpius seemed a little confused as to what to do. With a stern glare from Evelyn and a head jerk towards me, he figured it out, though, and came over. Scorpius wrapped his arms around me and rubbed my back. It felt a little awkward, but it was soothing. I thanked him and wiped away the tears, slightly ashamed at myself.

"Go into the dorm and rest. We'll plan everything while you sleep." I smiled weakly at Jasmine and went into my dorm, Scorpius following.

 

 

***

 

 

The next day, everyone was busily chatting. Everyone would stop talking every time I went up to them, which pissed me off to no end. I couldn't get even a hint of what was happening. Finally, it was the night. I dressed in black, to respect Winky, and swore I wouldn't drink.

Yep. Me, not drinking.

This was fucking serious.

Jasmine met me on the stairs. She grinned evilly and blindfolded me.

"Jasmine! What the fuck?" She giggled, a very sweet sound from such an evil girl.

"I'm making sure you don't know where the party is. I know you'll like it, though." She must have levitated me then, because my feet weren't touching the ground, eliminating my final chance to figure out where we were going. We walked - well, I floated and Jasmine walked - until we reached the mystery destination. Jasmine set me down then removed the blindfold with a flourish. I looked around and gasped.

We were at the Black Lake. There were torches set all around, illuminating the surface so it shone like a rare dark jewel. There were tables floating inches off the ground, probably thanks to Kaitlin, who I was sure had been recruited straight away. On them were every delicacy imaginable, and every liquor. I almost ditched my promise then, but I was true to my promises, so I resisted. Roxanne came over, with Lydia by her side. They were giggling.

"Hey, Taylor, your little Chaser prodigy is really fun to be around? Why didn't you tell me?" I shrugged, giving Lydia a raised eyebrow.

"She hasn't shown her fun side before. I need some food." Roxanne presented me with a cake, which I scoffed down. She grinned as I ate it.

"You didn't..." Fire coated my throat, licking at me. I shouted and grabbed the nearest drink - a pumpkin juice - and drained it, fanning at my tongue. Roxanne laughed.

"Fire Flakes. Brand new from Uncle George's shop. Guaranteed to put the flame in your friend's belly!" Roxanne laughed and handed me a drink. I sniffed it and noticed it was Firewhiskey.

"Nope. I'm going sober tonight." Roxanne raised her eyebrows.

"You're kidding, right? This is you."

"Nope, I'm deadly serious. No drinking." Roxanne shrugged and went to drain the drink, before she seemed to have an idea.

Any more thought and there would be a light bulb above her head.

"How about you make a speech, then start drinking. That way, you're sober for the important part. Okay?" I considered it. Well, it wouldn't -

"A speech?" Roxanne nodded.

"You're giving a speech in Winky's honour. Hey, come on! It's starting now!" Lydia and Roxanne grabbed me and dragged me over to a large stage, where Jasmine was holding a piece of paper.

"Hello one and all. This is the official celebration for the house-elf Winky. Please show your respects until the karaoke is pulled out." A small cheer went up. "Now, we have a speech from Taylor, who was with Winky when she died." Roxanne pushed me up with a cheer. Jasmine grabbed my wrist and tugged me up. I swallowed and looked out at the crowd.

"Um, hi." They kept staring. That was really unnerving. "I didn't...prepare a speech. Um..." I looked around, mind blank.

"Winky was a...a really good house-elf. More than that, she was a good friend. She was almost like my mother. In fact, she treated me like her own child. Yesterday, when I found her...it felt like I'd lost a piece of my heart. Winky was courageous, loving, beautiful and above all, loyal to her friends. I'm going to miss her." People started cheering. I stood there, frozen with shock, until Roxanne pulled me off.

"That was great! Okay, only one more speech. This one's from a...special friend." A little boy mounted the stage. I looked closer, and saw it was actually a house-elf, which bore striking similarity to...

"Hello. Winky is Dobby's mother. Dobby was named after Winky's close friend. That is not important right now. Winky was a great mother to Dobby. Winky was always kind, and never said a bad word to Dobby. Dobby is glad that Ms Taylor liked Winky. Dobby is proud to have had Winky for a mother..." The little house-elf burst into tears and ran off. Jasmine went back up to the stage.

"Okay, the sombre part of the evening is over. Now, we drink until dawn!" A cheer went up. Someone tapped on my shoulder. I turned and saw Scorpius, holding two drinks. He handed one to me, which I drained, giving a slight shiver as it left a trail of fire.

"Damn, that's good Firewhiskey. Where did you get this?" Scorpius just gave me a mysterious smile and gave me the other glass, which I drained a similar amount of time.

From then on, it was like any other party. I drank a heap, and even tried karaoke.

Despite my tone deafness.

It was awful, but no one complained. I think they were too drunk too.

Then, someone had the idea to dive into the Black Lake.

Of course, we were all for it. I went first, stripping down to my underwear. Everyone quickly followed my example, with the drunker people getting their clothes off the fastest.

Probably the whole lack of inhibitions things.

Yeah, that was probably it.

Jasmine was first to jump in, screaming the entire jump. She surfaced and started laughing, her cheeks flushed.

"Jump in! It's really cold, but you'll adjust." I shrugged and ran forward, leaping into the dark waters. There was a moment where I was flying through the air, then I broke the surface, plunging into the inky depths. I swirled around, not sure which way was up. There were a few moments of confusion, then my own buoyancy lifted me out of the water, bringing me to the surface. I popped up right next to Jasmine, who wrapped her arms around me, laughing.

"Nice work, Tay Tay. Now, let's see if - " A cry interrupted us, and Scorpius plunged into the water beside me. He surfaced in an instant, shaking the water out of his hair.

"Good job, Scorp!" He smiled and kissed me, giving me a little bit of warmth in the cold waters.

"Okay, you lot, what are you doing?" Everyone froze. I swore.

"Bubblehead Charms!" Everyone cast the charm and dived down into the depths, dodging the Giant Squid's arms as it swam past. We ended up on the bottom. I quickly put a speaking charm on myself.

"Everyone down?" Jasmine spun around, counting heads.

"Yep. This is so awesome!" I laughed, the sound echoing in the watery depths. Everyone joined in, the sound seeming almost spiritual in the depths of the Black Lake.

"Hang on...aren't there mermaids down here?" Jasmine swore.

"Everyone get up! Now!" I kicked my legs, pushing up to the surface. Luckily there was no teacher there, so we were safe for the moment. I pulled up Roxanne and removed my Bubblehead Charm.

"That was...amazing!" I laughed and dried my clothes with a charm while everyone clambered up.

"Okay, we should get back. Everyone, house groups, and head off. See you tomorrow!" Gryffindors, Ravenclaws and Slytherins grouped up.

No Hufflepuffs.

I know it seems cruel, but they're just...yeah, it's cruel. But we are cruel people. Deal with it.

We headed off to the dungeons, laughing loudly. Somehow, we made it without being seen by any teacher. I ran into my dorm and threw myself onto the bed, laughing and falling asleep almost instantly.

The next morning, I was greeted by a pounding headache. I groaned and grabbed my bottle of hangover potion, standing up. I pulled on fresh clothes and wiped off the remains of my ruined makeup from last night. I ran down, head pounding viciously. I groaned and walked down to the Great Hall, spotting Jasmine and Scorpius. I grinned and ran down, ignoring the headache that pounded at my temples.

"Hey, you guys." Scorpius gave me a peck on the cheek and handed me a muffin. I forced myself to take a bite and followed it down with a healthy dose of hangover potion.

"My head is not happy about last night. I don't know about you, but I need a day of recovery. That means, no homework or working in general." Scorpius grinned.

"Nice try. I'm having a Quidditch practice today, hangover or not." Jasmine and I groaned in unison.

"Don't sound so sad. It'll be fun! That is, once we run ten laps..." I groaned again.

"Well, I'm not telling the others. You can. I'd prefer to stay alive." Scorpius swatted me over the back of the head. I punched his arm in return.

"Oi! That hurt!" I snorted.

"Please. That was weak as!" Scorpius rubbed where I hit him, frowning.

"Want me to kiss it better?" Scorpius pouted and nodded, before the pout dissolved into a smile. I kissed the forming bruise - okay, maybe it was a little harder than intended - before moving my lips up to his. Jasmine made gagging sounds.

"Save it for the dorm, you guys. Now come on. I'm not telling everyone alone. Duncan and Jason would probably tear out my throat, Lucas would just give me puppy dog eyes, Lydia is probably hungover severely right now - " Jasmine and I shared a smile at the mention of our pupil - "and Merlin knows where Ricky is." I groaned internally at my brother's name.

"Well, I guess we have to find them. Hey, I have an idea. MAS, right now. Let's go." I grabbed a muffin and ran off, Scorpius and Jasmine following me.

 

 

***

 

 

The MAS, or Magical Announcement System, was built from the remains of materials a woman called Dolores Umbridge had set up around the school. Rumour was she was a tyrant, but she was attacked mysteriously by centaurs.

I'm still not sure how that happened. I mean, centaurs live in the Forbidden Forest. What did she do, wander down and shout that she wanted a pony ride, and she'd give one of them two Galleons for one?

I would do that.

If I was drunk, of course. No sane - or sober - person taunts a centaur and comes out without a scrape.

Umbridge had set up a PA system around the school. We'd discovered pieces of it in the Room of Requirement, when it was in its 'full of meaningless crap' guise.

Okay, it probably wasn't all meaningless. But still, there was a lot of random shit in there.

Kaitlin had enchanted them so they still worked, and we'd placed them in spots along the school, such as outside our common room, the Great Hall, and multiple snogging spots. There was a device to use them in my dorm, which was very amusing when someone's rat set it off and all you could hear for a whole day was squeaking and scratching, until someone found the rat and put it back in its cage.

That actually happened. True story. I ain't a-woofin', et cetera.

I ran into the dorm and grabbed the little box device, pressing the button on the side which activated the charm.

"Flying Snakes, head to the nest when the hand hits three. Thanks." I put it down. The 'Flying Snakes' was our name for the team, after one of us heard about snakes with the ability to fly. The 'nest' was the Quidditch ground. It was probably pretty easy to figure out, but it was funny watching Hufflepuffs wondering about it.

My happy mood sank as I realised I still had homework to do.

Oh, joy.

 

 

***

 

 

After completing all of my homework (which included an essay - yay), I went back to my common room. Scorpius and Jasmine left to their own dorms while I grabbed my bag of Quidditch gear and broomstick. Completely ignoring rules, I mounted it and flew out a window towards the Quidditch pitch, praying to whoever was listening that no one saw me. Since there were no shouts of amazement or disapproval, I assumed no one did.

I landed on the grass outside our change rooms in a few seconds, running inside. I pulled on my Quidditch robes and various safety equipment, such as shin guards, elbow guards and thin leather gloves to protect my hands from my Beater's bat. Jasmine strolled in and saw me ready to go.

"How the hell did...oh, never mind. I'll meet you out in five." I nodded and ran out, grabbing my broomstick as I ran. I kicked off, swinging my legs over my broom as it launched into the air. I looped around the goalposts and ended up hovering above the middle of the pitch, watching a Jasmine-shaped splodge emerge and fly up. Jasmine was somehow controlling a Bludger with her bare hands.

"Think fast!" Jasmine hit the Bludger towards me. I swung my own bat at it, sending it careening off towards the ground. It swerved up to try and get Jasmine in the ass, but she was too quick, and hit it towards me again. We hit it between us for a few minutes until Scorpius and the others turned up. Lydia looked surprisingly not sick, but Lucas was another story. He must have really drunk a lot last night.

Everyone got changed and kicked up, Ricky with an annoying little laugh as he did. Stuck up prick.

"Okay, everyone, standard drills. Chasers, throwing, catching, scoring. If it gets easy, we'll get the Beaters to start hitting things towards you. Beaters, hit the Bludger between you, until I tell you otherwise. Then, hit them at whatever I tell you to. Keeper, try and block the throws. I'll be watching from above. Let's get to it!" I sighed and hit the Bludger towards Jasmine again, while the Chasers started throwing the Quaffle at Lucas.

"Beaters! Hit them at the Chasers!" I nodded and swung it at Ricky. He dodged, giving me the finger as he did. It came zooming back, so Jasmine hit it towards Duncan. He almost didn't dodge in time, which seemed to give Jasmine a heart attack, but finally he ducked.

"Beaters! At the Keeper!" The Chasers scattered as a Bludger hurtled towards Lucas. He sped down, looping up as soon as it was safe. We kept doing this for a little bit.

"Beaters! At me!" I gulped. This was going to be hard.

"No hesitation, Zabini!" I grimaced and hit the Bludger up at Scorpius. He sped out of its path easily, sending the Bludger  back at us. Jasmine hit it up again, with less hesitation.

After an hour, we were finally allowed to stop. I landed, groaning and rubbing my thighs where they stung from flying for so long.

"Good practice today, team. Now hit the showers." I sighed in relief and ran in, shedding gear and robes as I did. I grabbed my towel and toiletries I kept in the locker at all times, heading into the nearest shower. I sang along to a little tune I had stuck in my head while I scrubbed my scalp with grapefruit scented shampoo.

Hey, it smells good! And it helps my hair stay frizz-free...this mop needs maintenance!

"Mmm mmm, you've been good to me, but it's time to leave it behind, oh oh, I'm stuck, stuck in our love, and it's getting on my mind, oh yeah." I heard someone laughing.

"Um, who is that?" The voice sounded masculine.

"Relax, Taylor, it's me. Your lovely Captain and boyfriend?" I relaxed and kept washing out the shampoo.

"That's really embarrassing..." Scorpius laughed again.

"You're actually really good. Did you write that yourself?" I laughed.

"I...yeah, I did. I just fiddle around with lyrics and songs every now and again. Helps with the stress, you know?" I turned off the taps and wrapped my towel around myself, pulling back the curtain. Scorpius was holding my bra and underwear.

"Oi! I need them!" He dangled them over his head.

"Get them if you can, Taylor." I stretched up, keeping a hand on my towel to stop it falling, and easily grabbed my clothes.

"You forget I'm almost your height now. I've been growing." I pulled on my clothes under the towel, then grabbed my jeans and tank, slipping them on. Scorpius kissed me and passed me my shoes, just simple flats today, to save my feet from destruction.

I always wear flats after a night out. It's my rule.

What, I can't have rules? That's cruel.

Scorpius and I walked out, laughing.

"So, what are we going to do with the rest of the day? I finished most of my homework, except the essay, so-" A familiar noise came to my ears - the sound of someone snogging in a cupboard. I frowned and looked around. A nearby gear cupboard's door was shaking slightly. I smiled.

"Is that you, Jasmine? Did you catch yourself a new boy toy? Come out!" I walked over to the door. There was a muffled sound, then more snogging noises.

"I'm opening it in three, two, one..." I flung the door open. The first thing I saw was a mess of curly dark hair. The second was violet eyes.

"You're fucking kidding, right?" Ricky blinked.

"Um..." I dragged him out by the hair, Lydia coming out after, blond head ducked in embarrassment.

"Taylor, what's going on?" I shoved the couple - oh Merlin, were they a couple? - in front of me.

"These two were snogging in the cupboard!"

 





Wow...Rycia! I like that. I like that a lot. It was good. I think that was good.

The song lyrics were written by me. Yep, I write lyrics. No judgey.

Sorry about the wait. I had awful writers block. Ugh.

Sorry! And please keep reading!

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D


Chapter 14: Not Another Couple
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 Scorpius stood nearby, speechless, while I lectured Ricky and Lydia, who both seemed slightly scared of me.

They should be scared. I was going to make sure they didn't even look at each other anymore.

Maybe by tearing out their eyes.

And other parts, in Ricky's case.

"You guys are far too young to be in a relationship. This is ending, right now. Not only is it wrong for someone as young as you to be...involved, it's not good for the team for two members to be...involved. So I'm cutting this off. Right now."

Ricky scoffed. "You and Scorpius are together, and that hasn't ruffled a feather. Why is it so wrong for me and Lydia to be together?"

"Lydia and I. If you're going to argue, at least use proper grammar. And you're too young."

"We're fifteen, Taylor. It's not like we're eloping and running off to Switzerland to raise a family of sixteen. We're just dating. It's not that big a deal." Oh, now I was pissed.

"Not that big - not that big - it's a huge deal! You two are young, and...and...young!" Scorpius walked over and put his hand on my shoulder.

"Taylor, it's actually not that bad." I whirled around, hair possibly whipping people as it followed me.

Serves them right for getting in the way of a badass hair twirl.

"It is a big deal! They're together, and that's...that's....dammit, I'm running out of arguments." Scorpius laughed, brushing my hair behind my ear.

"Look at them. Do they seem immature and likely to become early parents? Lydia is responsible. She won't let Ricky do anything stupid." Ricky made a disgruntled noise.

"Hey, you know you're anything but responsible, Richard." Ricky made another disgruntled noise, to which I replied with a laugh.

"Okay, I'll let you keep....doing whatever this is. But be careful. And always use protection." Ricky made a face, while Lydia giggled and hid her blushing cheeks behind her hands.

"I'm serious about that last one. It's important. I don't want a Ricky Jnr. any time soon. One of you is bad enough." Ricky poked his tongue out at me. I returned it with a grin. Lydia looked at us with a small smirk on her face.

"Okay, so now that we're clear with using protection and that we are allowed to date, can we leave? I have an essay to do." I raised my eyebrow, turning on the reserve.

"I've heard that excuse a million times. You probably just want to run off and snog my baby brother a bit more." Ricky choked down something that sounded like a curse, while Lydia put her hand on her heart and stared me right in the eye.

"I have a Herbology essay due tomorrow, about Fanged Geraniums. Scout's honour." I frowned, looking for some sort of guilt or deception in her gaze. Her violet eyes held nothing but innocence, no matter how much I glared.

"I don't know what these 'Scout's' are, but alright. You can go. And you too, Ricky." Ricky grunted and ran for it, probably to find his friends and brag about besting me. Lydia followed, at a much slower pace, giving me a sweet smile before leaving. I looked over at Scorpius, who was looking a little dazed.

"Did that just happen?"Broken out of his little spacey moment, Scorpius shrugged and walked over, wrapping his arms around me.

"Yep. It was weird, but it happened. Now, we move on to...other things." Scorpius bent down slightly - only slightly, I've been growing - and pressed his lips to mine.

Mmm, he tasted as good as ever. Like oranges and chocolate. And he was damn good at snogging, like always.

After a minute or two of sweet bliss, Scorpius moved away, grinning. I sighed and leant into his torso.

"There are things we have to do, aren't there?" Scorpius nodded, and took my hand. We walked out of the change rooms towards the dungeons. I looked up at my boyfriend, grinning.

"Can you help me with the essay on nonverbal curses?" Scorpius grinned and planted a kiss on my nose.

"Of course. It'll be just like old times, but with some added...benefits." I grinned, raising an eyebrow.

"What sort of benefits?" Scorpius gave me a smile.

"When you start working on the essay, you'll find out."

 

 

***

 

 

When we got to the common room, Scorpius gave me a piece of parchment. Marked at intervals were kiss marks. You know, the lip prints that you imagine you see fly over to you when your boyfriend blows you an air kiss? Those kind of kiss marks. I looked over at Scorpius, with raised eyebrows.

"What are those for, Scorp?" Scorpius grinned and placed his finger at the top of the page.

"You start writing here. Whenever you reach a kiss mark, you get your...benefit. Once you finish, we can have as many benefits as we want." I grinned as I realised what he was talking about.

"Okay then, let's get started." Scorpius opened the textbook and started reading. I jotted it down, changing it slightly so I understood it, and after about twenty minutes we reached the first kiss mark. As I wrote over it, it disappeared. Scorpius looked at me and grinned.

"Benefits time." He leaned over and pressed his lips to me, making me moan. Mmm, this was heavenly. Scorp was a great snogger.

Have I already said that? A lot? Okay, whatever. It's still true.

Scorpius deepened the kiss for a second before moving back, glancing down at the parchment. I looked and saw that the next kiss mark was only about an eight of the page down from where the first was.

"Let's keep working then." Scorp kept reading as I wrote, occasionally making a mistake and having to charm the ink out of the paper. Soon, we reached the kiss mark, and Scorpius gave me another leg-weakening snog. He was seriously talented at snogging. Like, enough to send my passion meter blaring.

Yeah, I have a passion meter. Who doesn't?

You don't? Weirdo.

Okay, I take that back. I'm probably the weird one for having a passion meter.

Within an hour or two, I finished my essay. Scorpius grinned and slammed his textbook shut, giving me a wicked look.

"Well, now we're down. Go put your stuff away and meet me down here in a minute." I ran into my dorm, smiling. No one was there. I threw my stuff onto the desk and ran back, laughing madly.

No judging me for that either. I was excited! Like, really excited!

Scorpius was still waiting for me when I returned. He gave me a wink and picked me up, sweeping my feet off the floor. I shrieked and clung onto his neck.

"What are you doing, Scorp? Put me down!" He laughed and walked into the boys dorm, holding me in his arms like a child.

"Being romantic, I think. Do you disagree?" He kicked open the door of his room, then ran through, throwing me onto his bed. I landed on soft pillows, to my surprise. I looked around and saw he had a dinner for two on his desk. Scorpius sat next to me and charmed the food over.

"I thought we could skip dinner and have one for ourselves. Hopefully you like it. Dobby made it himself." I smiled down at the plate, almost tearing up at the mention of Winky's son.

"I'll have to thank him the next time I see him." Scorpius nodded and presented me with a knife and fork.

"Well, you can't thank him if you don't eat it, so let's dig in!" I grinned, grabbing the cutlery, and started demolishing the food.

It was delicious. The meal was chicken parmigiana with mashed potato, peas and carrot, with gravy drizzled over the potato. The chicken was moist and tender, and the sauce was heavenly, almost making me moan in pleasure. The potato didn't have a single lump, and either did the gravy, and they tasted great together. Despite not being a usual veggie fan, the peas and carrots were delicious, sweet and a little juicy. I finished in a few minutes, licking my lips.

"That was great. I really need to go see Dobby." Scorpius grinned and waved his wand again.

"The meal's not over yet, Taylor." To my surprise - and extreme delight - two chocolate puddings floated over. They looked amazing, dripping with chocolate sauce and with whipped cream and berries around the sides.

"Oh man, Dobby is amazing!" Scorpius laughed and started eating. I followed his lead, but as the first spoonful entered my mouth, I had to stop.

It was that good that I had to stop eating for a second and savour it.

Yep, me, savouring a meal. Be amazed.

The chocolate was rich and smooth, slightly warm, but not warm enough to burn my mouth. The pudding was soft and delicious, almost melting in my mouth. The whipped cream was sweet and fluffy, and the berries were sweet and juicy, obviously fresh.

"Dobby is a legend!" Scorpius gave me a grin, apparently not noticing the chocolate coating on his front teeth. I scooped up another huge spoonful and smile. Soon, we'd finished. Scorpius charmed the dishes, sending them zooming off somewhere, probably the kitchen. I lay back, grinning.

"That was fantastic. Thanks." Scorpius grinned and leant forward, supporting himself by putting his arms either side of me. He then started snogging me.

Mmm, he tasted like pudding and berries, as well as the classic oranges and chocolate taste he always had. Maybe he wore lip gloss?

Okay, probably not, but if he did, I was stealing it.

Scorpius slowly lay down, still with his lips pressed to mine, and soon we were lying next to each other, snogging, arms wrapped around each other. I ran my hands through his hair, which was getting a little long, but was still soft as always. Scorpius' hands moved from my back to my shirt, unbuttoning it. I removed my hands and slid out of the sleeves, throwing away the shirt. Some little part of my brain reminded me we'd only been dating for five days, and this was probably moving way too fast. I shoved it to the back of my mind and slid Scorpius' shirt off, running my hands over his hard muscles. Scorpius broke off.

"Taylor, we aren't exactly...thinking clearly. Do you really want to do this?" I grinned, breathless from his kisses.

"Would I be taking off your shirt if that wasn't the case?" Scorpius sat back, sighing, with his head in his hands. I sat up and frowned, trying to figure it out.

"Scorpius, what's wrong?" Scorpius looked up at me with eyes the colour of mist, and sighed.

"I dunno, is this right? We're sixteen. We've only been dating for five days, and only two officially." I moved over, putting my arms around Scorpius.

"Scorp, are you...are you scared?" Scorpius sighed and looked away.

"I - yeah, a little. I mean...I am a virgin. This is all new to me." I smiled slightly and looked into Scorpius' eyes, my hand on his back.

"Scorpius, I'm a virgin too. It's alright. It's new to me too. Besides, who better to lose your virginity to than your best friend and your first love?" Scorpius looked at me, blinking.

"Do you really mean that?" I nodded, brushing back my hair.

"I really do. I love you, Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy, and I want to lose my virginity with you." Scorpius smiled, flicking his hair out of his eyes.

"There's one thing I don't know about you. What's your middle name?" I froze.

"My middle name?" Scorpius frowned, putting his hand on my shoulder.

"Taylor, what's wrong? It's just a name, right?" I took a deep breath and looked at Scorpius.

"My middle name is...is Heather." Scorpius smiled.

"That's a beautiful middle name. Why haven't you told me before?" I turned, blinking back tears.

"Because it's my mother's name." And with that, the tears started flowing. I put my head in my hands, weeping freely. Scorpius put his arms around me, rubbing my back. Slowly, the tears stopped flowing. I hiccupped and turned to look at my boyfriend.

"Taylor, why did you start crying when you mentioned your mother?" I wiped away my tear tracks and sighed, brushing a bit of hair behind my ear.

"Last year, she left Dad." Scorpius gasped, and wrapped his arms around me.

"So that's why you were so sad...why didn't you tell anyone?" I sighed and rested my forehead on his shoulder, my eyes watering again.

"I was so ashamed of her, that she'd divorce Dad to go off with some twenty-five year old guy who could fuck her better. She didn't even think of us when she left, just laughed and told Dad he'd have to figure it out. Her exact words were 'Good luck, Blaise, taking care of this family on your own'. I hated her for that. She still sends me letters. I've burnt every one. I don't want to talk to her anymore. I don't ever want to see her again, but that's the problem..." I stood up, slipping out Scorpius' arms. I spun and looked into a mirror.

"I see her every time I see my reflection. I might have my hair colour and build from my father, but my mother gave me my skin and my eyes. Every time I look into the mirror, I see her looking at me with these eyes as she told me that she was leaving Dad to be with that stupid Ryan..." I slammed my fist into the wall, whirling around to Scorpius.

"She deserted our family. It had all been going so well, too. The day before, we'd gone ice skating. I'd had more fun than I had in years, and then the day after that, she left...I'm never going to forgive her. No matter what happens, she will always be a bitch to me. She will always be the woman who left us alone." Scorpius walked over and put his arms around me, placing his lips by my ear.

"I'm so sorry. Why didn't you say?" I sighed into his cheek, closing my eyes.

"I was so upset for a while. I thought it was my fault, but now I understand it was her choice to leave our family." Scorpius moved his face back so he was looking into my eyes.

"Well, that spoiled the mood." I laughed despite myself, and stepped back, checking the time.

"It's nine o'clock. I'm a little tired." Scorpius nodded and turned away. When he realised I wasn't moving, he turned back.

"Um, aren't you...” I waved my wand, and my pyjamas flew into the room through the door I'd just opened.

"I never said I was going to my dorm." Scorpius blushed when he realised what I meant, grabbing his own pyjamas. He looked at me, blushing even more.

"What? I don't bite. You can strip in front of me if you want to. It's not like it's new to me." When we were little, we'd had baths together. Our fathers had been that good friends that Scorpius was like a cousin to me. He probably was a distant cousin, considering pureblood family's tendency to marry each other. I'd called Scorpius' father Uncle Draco, and he'd called mine Uncle Blaise.

While I was thinking to myself, Scorpius had changed into his pyjamas. I looked them over and laughed.

"Really? Chudley Cannons pyjamas? That is the suckiest team in the history of sucky teams!" Scorpius blushed and played with the bright orange sleeves of his pyjamas.

"They were the only ones I could find in my size, probably because everyone else bought the good ones. Besides, you can't talk, Ms Fluffy Pink Sheep Pyjamas." I clutched my pyjamas to my chest, making an outraged face.

"Sheep are cute. Cannons suck. There's a difference." I turned away and quickly changed into my pyjamas. Only the bottoms were covered in sheep. The top, which was like a tank top, just had a large one with the words 'Counting sheep' written above it in curly script. I turned and saw that Scorpius was already in bed, with the sheets pulled up to his chin. I walked over and slipped in, conforming myself to his body.

"Well, this is cosy." Scorpius laughed and put an arm over my side.

"That's good, love. I'd hate for this arrangement to be uncomfortable." It was my turn to laugh, closing my eyes as I did.

"Goodnight, Scorpius." Scorpius wrapped his arms around me, giving me a nice little cocoon to fall asleep in.

"Night, Taylor."

And with that little heartfelt exchange, we both fell asleep.

In the morning, Duncan was standing over us, grinning.

When I opened my eyes and saw him, I screamed and punched him.

What? I was surprised and genuinely scared for my life!

He had this really creepy expression too. Almost like a rape face. Eugh.

Duncan fell back, clutching his nose. "What the fuck, Taylor?" I sat up, breathing quickly.

"I could ask you the same question! I woke up and you were just standing there! What did you expect, a hug and cookies?" Duncan groaned, rubbing his face.

"I think you broke my nose." I swore loudly. Scorpius sat up, rubbing his eyes.

"Guys, what exactly...holy fuck, what happened to you, Duncan?!?" By this time, blood was trickling down through Duncan's fingers, dripping onto his chest.

Yep, he was only wearing shorts.

Do you really blame me for thinking he was going to do unspeakable things to me?

Duncan looked over, wincing. "Ask your girlfriend. She's the one who slammed her fist into my face." Scorpius laughed and walked over, tapping Duncan's face with his wand. Blood stopped trickling out. Duncan removed his hand and inspected his face in the nearby mirror, checking for the injury.

"How did you...never mind. Your girlfriend punched me in the nose!" Scorpius looked at me, grinning.

"Taylor, how did that happen?" I grinned back, blushing in spite of myself.

"He was standing over us, and I had just woken up, and I have good reflexes. So, my fist went flying into his face. My brain went into 'holy shit a rapist' mode and I reacted accordingly." Scorpius laughed and handed Duncan a cloth, which he dampened with a quick charm.

"Well, you're not the only woman to punch poor Goyle in the nose. What's the total now, six?" Duncan made a face and wiped away the blood.

"Only four, thank you very much. Now come on. Breakfast started ten minutes ago and I'm hungry." Duncan threw on clothes and ran out. My belly growled, reminding me that I needed food as well.

"I'll go get changed and meet you down there. Bye." I pecked Scorpius on the cheek and returned to my own dorm, where surprise surprise, Evelyn was waiting for me.

"So, I heard you and Scorpius spent the night together. How was it?" I sighed and grabbed clothes, quickly dressing.

"We didn't shag, if that's what you're asking. We slept. That's all." Evelyn clicked her fingers, muttering a curse.

"There goes my two Galleons." I gave her a look, which meant vaguely 'explain now or risk disembowelment'.

"Roxanne and I had a bet that last night you fucked. She said nope, I said yes. So there goes my Galleons." I laughed and turned to the door.

"Better luck next time. Now come on, my food awaits." Evelyn laughed and followed me out the door.






Okay, so romantic moment spoiled, a new couple, and Duncan's nose getting broken by a fist-flinging Taylor. What more could you want?

Next chapter will have Sarah pregnancy stuff in it, don't worry. It wasn't needed in the plot for this, but it will soon happen. Don't you worry about that.

Love you for reading! And every reviewer gets a flock of Nargles!

What? I have limited resources. Nargles are the best I can do. So there.

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D

P.S. You can set the Nargles on your enemies. Just sayin'.


Chapter 15: The First Time
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 MY COMPUTER CRASHED.

I'M SERIOUSLY UNHAPPY.

WILL TELL YOU AT THE AFTERNOTE.




 

When I arrived at the Great Hall, everyone’s eyes were on me. The girls were giving me envious glares, although some of them were more resentful than envious. The guys seemed to be figuring out if they could get Scorpius to let me fuck them.

Nice try, boys, but no. I don’t do that sort of thing.

I spotted Scorpius and Roxanne - I wasn’t quite sure what she was doing there- and walked over, sitting down next to Scorpius and pecking him on the cheek. Roxanne grinned at me wickedly. Great.

“So, did you or didn’t you?”Oh, of course. To interrogate me. I rolled my eyes at her lack of subtlety. Seriously, there were far more delicate ways to ask.

“No, we didn’t. Now, can I eat?” Roxanne sighed and nodded, giving me a look that suggested by saying that I’d ripped her heart out and devoured it in front of her dying eyes.

I wouldn’t do that. Hearts are disgusting. Seriously, my dad made me try ox heart, and I threw up for half an hour.

I shovelled food onto my plate and began eating, moaning as the taste flooded over me. Damn, the food was good. Even better than usual, I mean.

Like, ten times better.

Sarah and Jason sat down opposite us, grinning. I raised my eyebrow at their cheerfulness, automatically worried.

“Why so happy?” Sarah poked her tongue out at me, still looking strangely cheerful.

“What, can’t I be happy without having a reason?”

“Nope. Spill.” Sarah grinned and handed me a piece of parchment. I unfurled it and began reading.

“The party of the century! Everyone come on down to the warehouse in Hogsmeade this weekend for the best party ever! Food and drink supplied.” I raised my eyebrow at Sarah. “This sounds like shit.”

“That’s why we’re going.”

“Because it’s going to be shit?” Sarah grinned wickedly.

“Because we’re going to actually make it the best party ever.” My mouth twisted into an evil grin. I looked over at Scorpius, who was wearing an identical expression.

Then I remembered my food, and the moment of coordinated evil faces was spoiled.

Oh well, bacon is worth it.

Sarah pulled out another piece of parchment and threw it at Scorpius while I stuffed my face with crispy, salty bacon. He looked it over and grinned.

“We’re going to need more than the three of us to do this. Time for a recruitment drive.” I looked up, with a mouth full of fried meat, and shook my head, swallowing.

“Breakfast first. Then recruitment drive. Momma wants her bacon.” Sarah snorted and turned back to her breakfast, which was toast and butter - boring - while Scorpius dug into his chicken.

Why do they serve chicken at breakfast? It’s more of a lunchy food, or a dinner one. Not breakfast.

Yep, lunchy is now a word. So there.

While we all ate, Jasmine joined us, her lipstick slightly smudged. I gave her a cool smile and raised an eyebrow.

“So, who exactly did you grace with your lips?” Jasmine blushed and wiped at the lipstick on her face, sitting down next to Sarah.

“That’s none of your business.” I held my hands up defensively at her cold tone, frowning.

“Okay, okay, sorry for prying. Are you up for Operation Awesomify?” Jasmine gave me a confused look. Sarah handed her the parchment and gave a brief explanation, as I watched her eyes light up.

“I’m definitely in. Who else is in?” I shrugged, looking around our little group.

“Scorpius and I are in, and so are Sarah and Jason. I don’t know about everyone else, though.” Jasmine grinned savagely, then ran off, assumedly to gather people for Operation Awesomify. Almost the moment she left, Duncan arrived, grinning widely. Scorpius bumped fists with him and grinned.

“So, why are you so happy, Duncy?” Duncan surprisingly didn’t hit Scorpius, but instead just kept smiling, grabbing a bit of bacon from my plate. I hit his hand, but let him have it.

“No reason. Hey, what’s that?” Sarah handed him the parchment, now with the explanation written in curly purple script - you know, because black is too lame. Duncan nodded, chewing his bacon slowly to savour it.

“I am so in. Now, what exactly are we going to do to awesomify this party?” Sarah grinned and pulled out yet another piece of parchment, covered in script.

“Meet me in the Room. We’ll go over the plan there. Grab everyone who you think would be interested and bring them too. To get in, think ‘I need a place to plan a party’.” I nodded, shoved a bit of toast into my mouth, and ran over to the Ravenclaw table.

 

 

***

 

 

By the time breakfast was over, I was dragging Lily, Rose, James, Kaitlin, Dom and Luke to the Room. I paced in front of the room, thinking ‘I need a place to plan a party’, and after the second time, the door materialised. We all went in, and then all gasped in unison. The Room looked awesome. There were materials everywhere for decorations, and a huge whiteboard to write ideas and plan.

“Oh man, this is awesome!” Sarah, who was standing in front of the board, laughed and nodded, quickly finishing off her sketch. Scorpius was also standing nearby, as was Duncan. I ran over and hugged Scorpius, ignoring Duncan as he made gagging sounds.

“I know, right! I love the Room. Seriously, it always gets it exactly right!” I laughed and grabbed a whiteboard marker, running over and studying the board. There was a design of the warehouse, and markers for where all of our stuff was hidden.

Like, pool table and bucking Buckbeak. Not weird stuff. Calm down, guy with the strange tastes in the third row. Calm down - no, don’t start doing that, that’s disgusting. Security! Security!

Sarah had also listed ideas on the side, which I read over.

“Hmm, karaoke, nice, very nice. Costume party...no, we’re saving that for Halloween. Hmm...how about instead we have a dance contest?” Sarah nodded and wiped off the costume party, jotting in my idea.

“The rest are great. Now, how to invade without someone stopping us...” Sarah grinned and pointed to another piece of writing. I started reading out loud.

“We invade at eight, and wait for a really boring time. Then, you, me and Jasmine go up the front and set up everything with spells. If anyone complains, we ignore and continue.” I grinned at Sarah, feeling an evil laugh bubbling up inside me.

“You are an evil genius, Sarah. Evil, and genius.” Sarah laughed and blushed, walking up to the board.

“Well, I try my best. Now, what do we still need to do?” I looked at the list.

“Hmm...nothing, actually. So, what do we do now?” I looked around at everyone.

“Does anyone want to go to class today?” Roxanne laughed and shook her head, as did James. Lily shrugged and sat down. Rose bit her lip, but shook her head. Kaitlin seemed fairly uncomfortable, but stayed put. Dom and Luke looked at each other and ran out, probably to go find a room to shag in. Scorpius put Duncan in a headlock, as least until he got punched in the gut, which I took as no.

“Okay, that’s a no. So, what do we do?” Roxanne held up a hand, grinning. She pulled a bottle from her robes, stoppered with a golden plug.

“This is Veritaserum, from old Sluggie’s stores. I say we spice up lunch a little.” I grinned wickedly, at about the same time as everyone else.

“To the kitchens!” We all laughed in unison, running out of the Room and down the corridors.

 

 

***

 

 

Somehow, we managed to pour a little of the Veritaserum into every pitcher of pumpkin juice without getting caught by any of the house-elves. Sarah poured one for us and minimized it, tucking it into her pocket. We walked down to the Great Hall, barely beating the rush of students as they ran in from their common rooms, and sat all in a group. The food materialised, and so did the pitchers. I slid ours over to the side and pulled out the one we had put aside, marked with a small snake.

“And three, two, one...here we go.” People started drinking the pumpkin juice, seemingly not realising what had happened. I turned to the girl next to me, who wasn’t part of our group, and smiled.

“Who do you like?” She blushed, but immediately blurted out an answer. The guy next to her laughed.

“I don’t like you at all.” The girl ran out in tears, giving me a little stab of guilt, but as I watched the chaos unfold, it was replaced by laughter. Jasmine joined us, grinning and pouring herself a drink.

“I’ll assume this was your doing. How did you manage it?” I laughed and took a bite of a pastry.

“We put Veritaserum in every pitcher except ours. Roxanne came up with the plan.” Duncan took a slurp of his juice, finishing it and pouring himself another glass. Jasmine looked over at him.

“Hey, Duncan.” Duncan grinned and nodded, tearing off a piece of steak from a huge lump of meat. I shuddered and finished my pastry.

“I’m going back to the dorm. Don’t want to be here when McGonagall figures it out. I’ll see you all later.” Everyone nodded and scattered, except Scorpius who walked out with me. I grabbed his hand and smiled.

“Let’s go to the Room. It’s been far too long since we went there.” Scorpius nodded, giving me a peck on the lips, then we ran up the stairs to the seventh floor, laughing. I skidded to a halt in front of the patch of wall.

“I want to spend some time with Scorpius alone.” I paced and repeated this in my head before the door materialised. I pushed it open and ushered Scorpius in. He poked his head back out, laughing.

“You’re not going to believe this. Come in, quickly.” I walked in, shutting the door behind me. It shimmered and dissolved into the wall. I looked around and burst out laughing. The Room was almost empty, aside from a huge bed and a small table with a vase of red roses. Scorpius plucked out one of them and handed it to me.

“Here you go, milady. A flower for a flower.” I grinned and tossed it aside, planting my lips on his.

“Okay, I guess romantic works. I should try this more.” I laughed and threw him onto the bed, sitting down next to him.

“Nope, I just wanted you to shut up. Plus I like kissing you.” Scorpius grinned and pulled me in for another kiss, brushing his fingers over my cheek as he did. I smiled and started undoing his shirt buttons, glad he’d picked a button-up today. Scorpius slid his arms out of the shirt sleeves as I finished the buttons, throwing it away. For once, my little sceptical voice was silent, and so was the rest of my mind. I slipped off my own shirt, leaving me in a lacy red bra. Scorpius’ fingers brushed the edge of it as my hands went to his pants, unzipping them and sliding them down. Scorpius broke off, breathing hard.

“Are you...do you want us to...” I silenced him with a kiss, sliding off my jeans and throwing them away.

“Yes, I want to. Please.” Scorpius looked into my eyes, which were a light, soulful grey.

“You’re a hundred percent sure?” I nodded, but froze.

“Hang on...oh shit, protection.” Scorpius grinned and walked over to the table, looking over it.

“This has a drawer, right here. Now, if my suspicions are correct...” Scorpius slid the drawer open, and stuck his hand in.

“Yep, my suspicions are confirmed. The Room has an extremely dirty mind.” I laughed as Scorpius pulled out a box of condoms.

“How the fuck did it know that?” Scorpius shrugged and walked over, taking one out.

“ Are you...are you still sure?” I took his hand, looking into his eyes.

“Yes, I’m sure. I want this with you, Scorpius. I want to be your first, and for you to be mine.” My hand drifted up to my bra, unclipping it. Scorpius’ eyes went wide as it slipped off, and even wider when my underwear followed. I              leant forward and kissed him again, slowly going lower and lower with the kisses, until I was at eye level with his boxers. I looked up at Scorpius again.

“I’m going to ask you once - are you ready? Do you want this?” Scorpius swallowed and nodded.

“Yes, I want this. I want you more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life, Taylor Zabini.” I smiled up at him, and slid his boxers off.

 

 

***

 

 

I rolled over, breathless and slightly sweaty. Scorpius looked over at me, grinning and breathing loudly.

“That was fucking amazing. Thank you, Taylor.” I rolled back over, snuggling into his chest and smiling, his chest hair tickling my cheeks.

“I should be thanking you.” Scorpius laughed, the vibrations echoing through his chest and into my ears.

“Well, I guess, if you really feel like it...” I laughed and curled up around him, looking at my watch.

“It’s only two o’clock. I don’t really want to go back to the common room, in case Sluggie’s there, so...can we just stay here? For a little while longer?” Scorpius nodded, lying his head back down and closing his eyes. I moved up a little, tucking my head into the hollow of his neck, and arranging my body around his.

“I could stay here forever.” Scorpius nodded in agreement, his eyes shut tight. I closed my own and quickly fell asleep in my boyfriend’s arms.

For a change, I dreamed while I was asleep. I was in a golden forest, with a stream bubbling somewhere nearby. There was a little melodic laugh, and a head topped with curly brown hair popped out from behind a tree.

“Come and get me, Mama.” I laughed and ran over to the little girl, who turned and dashed into the forest. I paused when I lost sight of her, but soon that head popped out again.

“Follow me, Mama. Catch me if you can!” I ran over again, this time keeping my eyes firmly on her. She ran through the trees, dashing quickly and leaping over obstacles with amazing dexterity and speed. I struggled to keep up, but Quidditch training kicked in and I soon found myself going through the forest robotically, jumping and running. I burst out into a clearing, looking around. The clearing was filled with green grass and a few fallen leaves, and in the very middle was the little girl. I walked over and grabbed her around the waist, tickling her. She looked up at me with clear grey eyes, laughing.

“You caught me, Mama.” I laughed, cuddling my daughter into my arms. There was a crash, and Scorpius came falling out of the tree nearby, laughing. He walked over and wrapped his arms around both of us, kissing the little girl on the head. I smiled at my family and slipped back into consciousness.

“Morning, sunshine. Or should I say afternoon?” I glanced up at Scorpius and poked my tongue out at him, looking at the watch on his arm. It was half past five already.

“Hey, sleep is a natural thing that needs to be completed in order to survive. You can’t blame me for wanting to survive.” Scorpius laughed and sat up, effectively pushing me off his chest as he did. I stretched and got up, grabbing my clothes and his.

“Here. Cover yourself, star-boy.” Scorpius caught the bundle of clothes with a mock-angry expression.

“Just because I have the luxury of being named after a constellation does not entitle you to call me ‘star-boy’. It would be like calling you ‘seamstress’ because your name sounds like ‘tailor’.” I flipped him the bird and slid on my clothes, trying to limit the amount of flesh exposed to the now-chilly air.

“Well, star-boy is a better nickname than seamstress, anyway. Besides, what kind of nickname can you get from Scorpius?” Scorpius mimed placing a cap on his head and squinted his eyes.

“Well, there’s Scorp, Scorpy, Pius, and of course star boy. Are there even any nicknames for Taylor?”

“Well, everybody calls me Tay Tay at parties, but apart from that, not really.” Scorpius thought for a second, actually thinking instead of just looking like it, and turned back to me.

“Lori. I’m going to call you Lori from now on. That’s a nickname for Taylor.” I frowned, but paused. The name sounded pretty good, better than Taylor, and a million times better than Tay Tay. Seriously, I don’t even know how my friends came up with that one.

“I guess so...but only you. Everybody else calls me Taylor still.” Scorpius nodded, moving over and putting his arm around me.

“Yep. If anyone else starts calling you that, you have permission to hurt them.” I laughed and snuggled into his chest.

“You’re a good boyfriend. I’m glad I have you.” Scorpius smiled at me and glanced at his watch again.

“Yeah, we should get to dinner. It’s about to start.” I nodded and slipped out, going over to the door, which materialised when I walked over.

“Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s go!” Scorpius nodded and walked out with me.

 

 

***

 

 

We made it to the Great Hall at ten past six, where all of our friends were waiting. Everyone’s eyes were on us as we joined them. Duncan gave Scorpius a fistbump and waggled his eyebrows.

“Well, you two were gone for a while. What did you do while you were...absent?” Scorpius punched him on the arm, grinning.

“There was a Divination essay Taylor needed help with, something about stars, so I helped out. Sue me.” Duncan clearly wasn’t convinced, but he shrugged it off, grabbing a lamb chop and tearing into it. I grinned at Scorpius and piled potato onto my plate. Jasmine nudged my arm, grinning.

“Please, we all know that an ‘essay’ is code for something else entirely. So spill. What did you two turtledoves do all alone?” Scorpius sighed and looked around.

“Okay, I’ll tell you. I took Taylor on a picnic, down in the Forbidden Forest. Now you can berate me for being unmanly.” Duncan laughed and thumped Scorpius on the back, hard enough to make him almost plant his face into his plate, and thwacked his fist on the table.

“Oh, you’re killing me, Scorpius! Any more girly, and we might as well put you in a dress and call you Shirley!” Scorpius blushed slightly and looked down. Jasmine put her arm around me, smiling.

“Never let this kid go. If he’s already taking you on picnics, you’ll be together forever.” I grinned and looked over at Scorpius, my eyes glinting. I looked back down at my food and kept eating, thinking happily to myself.

I was glad to have him. Extremely glad.

“Hey, can I talk to you? Taylor?” My head jerked up at that voice. My eyes met emerald green ones.

“What do you want, Potter?”


 






My computer literally crashed. All the data was wiped. I had to start this chapter all over again, and I completely changed the storyline to keep it less depressing than the original one.

So...Starlor...naw...I think I'm flirting with this chapter being too risque. Definitely have to change some ratings now *bites lip*

CLIFFIE ADDICTION STRIKES AGAIN! Albus returns! I kinda missed him...so he's back!

Thanks for being patient through my little writing drought.

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D


Chapter 16: Albus Returns
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  Albus fucking Potter was standing in front of me, with an expression as if he’d just seen a ghost. Although, since I was probably scowling fiercely, I wouldn’t blame him.

“I - I - can we step out-outside, p-please?” Heh. The poor kid was stuttering. He didn’t have half the courage of his siblings. Probably why he didn’t get into Gryffindor.

“I guess we could.” Albus gulped and ran out, checking behind his shoulder to see that I was following. I trailed him to just outside an empty classroom before I grabbed his collar and slammed him into the wall with a loud thud. He cursed and started coughing.

“Okay, you little twerp, tell me what the fuck you wanted me for, and then let me leave. I don’t want to be around a slug like you.” Albus gulped and pulled out a letter with trembling fingers.

“I - I - just r-read it, please.” I released him and took the letter. The little spineless git ran for it, back into the Great Hall, as I opened the well-thumbed parchment.

Dear Taylor,

I’m seriously sorry. For everything. It’s all my fault. I know I’ve been a dick lately...well, for most of my life. Just wanted to tell you once more that I’m sorry.

Albus.’

I sighed and ripped up the letter. This guy was pretty damn thick. Seriously, I’d rejected him about ten times by now, and I was most definitely in love with Scorpius, not with a puny little brat like -

Hang on...in love?

I froze for a second, thinking. I did love Scorpius....but I wasn’t ready to tell him yet. No, better to keep it to myself.

I bit my lip and looked up. Everyone was streaming out of the Great Hall, including my friends. I walked over, but paused. Jasmine was splitting from the group. Strange. I watched her walk towards the stairs, and as soon as she was out of sight, I ran after her, puzzled. Jasmine ran up the stairs, as did I, quietly of course, going towards Ravenclaw Tower. She quickly cracked the logic puzzle and went in. I walked up to the knocker and took a breath.

“I never was, am always to be. No one ever saw me, nor ever will. And yet I am the confidence of all, to live and breathe on this terrestrial ball. What am I?”

“The future.” The knocker smiled - yeah, it’s an eagle, yet it stills smiles - and the door opened. I snuck in, looking around. Jasmine was sitting on the couch, smiling at someone. I couldn’t see their face.

“I’m glad you’re here. Really, I am. I thought you were still hung up on her.”

“No, of course not. She was nothing but a passing affection, a small spark. You are like a raging inferno in my heart.” The voice was smooth, polished, and familiar. I frowned as I struggled to remember it.

“Well, you certainly put on a good show with your words. Let’s see what else that pretty mouth can do.” The boy leaned forward, twining his hands in Jasmine’s hair. I started to feel uncomfortable, especially when Jasmine’s hands started moving lower. I finally felt I had to say something, or at least make a sound. I coughed slightly, which made Jasmine break off and turn around.

“Uh, hi Jasmine.” She glared at me, brushing back a stray bit of hair.

“How long have you been standing there?”

“Not long. I was looking for Kaitlin, and I saw you two. Speaking of which, who is the latest fling?” Jasmine blushed and ducked her head, letting me see the guy. My eyes met emerald green ones.

“Fuck.”

“Hey, Taylor....now this is awkward.”

Yeah, awkward was starting to become my middle name.

 

 

***

 

 

I got out of there as quickly as I could, mind spinning. Only days ago, Albus had seemed to be absolutely devoted to me, but now he was making out with one of my friends?

Maybe he’s trying to make you jealous.

Oh, shut up, cynical voice! Go back to your cave!

Just saying. And I don’t live in a cave.

Well, maybe you should!

Holy shit, I was talking to myself. That’s a sign of going crazy.

So is paranoia.

Oh, for fucks sake, go move into a cave!

I had reached the common room by now, and was standing at the brick wall. I whispered the password and walked in, looking around. Scorpius was sitting on the couch, writing an essay. I walked over and sat down next to him.

Well, more of a graceful collapse.

Who am I kidding, I plonked myself down with about the amount of grace an overweight Hippogriff with a broken leg might muster.

“Hey, Lori. What’s up?” I sighed and told the entire story, from me throwing Albus against the wall, his strange letter, and finally walking in on Jasmine snogging him on the couch. After the story was done, both Scorpius and I were speechless.

“Well...that certainly is awkward.”

“No shit, Sherlock.” Scorpius glared at me and wrote something down on his parchment. I looked over at it.

“Whatcha writing?”

“Ancient Runes essay.” I groaned and clutched my head in faked agony.

“How can you do such a complex subject? I mean, all those runes you have to learn! Who even uses runes anymore?” Scorpius laughed and rolled up the parchment, putting it on the small table by the side of the couch.

“I just finished anyway. It’s not actually complex once you memorize the various meanings of the runes. For example-“ I yawned, closing my eyes.

“I’m bored already. Seriously, how can - ouch!” Scorpius had taken advantage of my lack of sight and hit me with a pillow.

“It’s not boring if you give it a go!” I opened my eyes and grabbed the nearest pillow, flinging it at him. It hit his chest, bouncing off. Scorpius grinned and grabbed it, throwing it back at me.

“Oh, now it’s on.” I jumped up and started swinging the pillow around with little co-ordination and even less effect. Scorpius just laughed and actually hit me with his pillow. After a brief ‘fight’, we just threw away the pillows and tackled each other, ending up on the couch - and snogging, naturally.

“Oh, get a room, you two.” I looked up and saw Jasmine, grinning at me.

“Oh, because you of all people can say that. Besides, this is the common room, after all.” Jasmine poked her tongue out at me and sat down, playing with a loose thread on her top.

“Look, about that, I’m sorry. I should have told you I was snogging Albus. I know he had a thing for you, and to see him making out with me might have shocked you.”

“Whoa, whoa, it wasn’t the making out that shocked me. You see, he gave me a letter today, which I tore up, saying how sorry he was...again. I thought maybe he was trying to make a move on me, so to walk in on you two making out was....yeah, it was a surprise.” Jasmine laughed nervously and tossed back her hair.

“It was a one time thing, anyway. I wanted to see if he was a good snogger, he is, but I don’t like him or anything.” I nodded and put my arm around Scorpius.

“Well, maybe you’ll find the right one soon. Merlin knows I did.” Scorpius grinned and fake-punched me on the arm. I responded with a real punch.

“Ouch! That hurt! Try to scale down the macho-ness, please!”

“If that hurt, your own macho-ness needs some work, boy.” Jasmine looked at us and sighed.

“I’ll leave you two to your lover’s quarrel. See you later.” Jasmine walked out, leaving Scorpius and I alone. I glanced after her and shrugged at Scorpius.

“She seems a little off today. Wonder why?”

“I dunno. Maybe she’s a little upset about you walking in on her and Albus snogging.” I sighed and lay back.

“Yeah, I guess so. Should I apologise?”

“Yes. March yourself up and apologise to her right this minute!”

“Okay, okay, I’m going. Hopefully I survive.” Scorpius grinned and slapped my arm, pushing me up.

“Go on, you won’t be killed. I’ll still be here when you get back, I promise.” I grinned and poked my tongue out at him, going into the girl’s dorm. I quickly found hers and walked in, biting my lip. Jasmine was sitting on her bed, crying softly.

“Jasmine? Jasmine, I want to apologise, for walking in on you. I should have knocked, or....or something.” She didn’t look up, just kept crying. I took a step forward.

“Jasmine? A-are you okay?” Jasmine put her head down lower, still crying loudly. I walked forward and saw her clutching a letter, written in green ink. Jasmine’s mother always used green ink.

“What’s wrong? Why are you crying?” Jasmine just shoved the letter at me, still crying. I took it gingerly and read it, trying to ignore the smudges where her tears had rolled over the writing and made it run.

Dear Jasmine,

I’m very sorry to say this, but your father and I are getting a divorce this month. We’ve been distant from each other and fighting for about three months, and now it’s gotten to the stage where enough is enough. You can either live with me, or move in with your father in a new house, in Hogsmeade.

Mother’

I put the letter down and sat on the bed next to Jasmine. “I’m so, so sorry.” Jasmine laughed darkly and looked up at me, eye makeup smudged and running in little black trails down her cheeks.

“Please. I know it’s because of me they’re divorcing. Dad never wanted kids, but Mum did, and when she found out she was pregnant, she was overjoyed. Dad, not so much. They didn’t even mean to have kids - they were drunk and had sex and I was made. Dad never liked me, ever. That’s why I don’t have siblings.” I took her hand, at a loss as to what to say.

“Jasmine....I know how you feel.”

“No you don’t. Your parents love each other. They never fight or anything.” I sighed and bit my lip, trying to keep my own tears back.

“N-no, they don’t. M-Mum left Dad, a year ago. I-I didn’t tell anyone, and I o-only told Sc-Scorpius a little w-while ago...” The tears spilled forward despite my attempts to hold them back, raining hot despair onto my cheeks. Jasmine put her arms around me, also crying, and soon enough we were weeping our eyes out over our stupid parents leaving each other.

After about ten minutes of pathetic sobbing, my tears dried up, as did Jasmine’s. We looked at each other, me biting my lip, her playing with a strand of hair.

“Never speak of this. Ever.”

“Got it. After all, our manly girl reputation is on the line, right?” Jasmine laughed and stood up.

“C’mon, let’s get this crap off our faces and layer on some more.” I giggled and walked into the bathroom with her, smiling.

Hey, at least I got all that crying stuff out.

And I got a free makeup sess.

Always look at the bright side.

 

 

***

 

 

After recovering from our...ahem, talking session, Jasmine went to the library, and I went back to Scorpius.

“So, how’d it go?”

“Great. She accepted the apology, we had a talk, and we redid our makeup.” Scorpius raised his eyebrow.

“Why the makeup?” I sat down with a small grin.

“It’s a girl thing. You make up, then you makeup. Get it?”

“That was an awful pun. You should be ashamed.”

“Oh, fuck you.”

“You already did that.” I punched him on the arm, hard. Scorpius yelped and rubbed where I had hit him.

“Oh, want me to kiss it better, star boy?” I pressed my lips against the spot, before moving them up to his lips. Scorpius broke off, breathing hard.

“Okay, we have to go back to the Room, because what I want to do to you cannot be done here or in either of our dorms.” I laughed and stood up, waving my wand. Two broomsticks flew in, hovering at each of our hips.

“Well then, let’s make the trip fast.” Scorpius grinned and got onto the broomstick, as did I. We zoomed out the door, breezing past some poor shocked third-years, and out onto the stairs. By some miracle, we didn’t pass a single teacher, making it to the Room without any trouble. I stopped at the door and thought to myself ‘I need a place to have a date’ until the door emerged. We walked in and were greeted by the familiar date setup.

“Well, let’s hope the Room is as perverse as last time.” Scorpius went up to the bedside table and opened the draw. With a triumphant grin, he pulled out a condom.

“Yep, it is. Might as well make use of it.” I smiled and went over to the bed, pulling off my clothes as I did.




Oops, neglected this story. I did have a schedule, and I missed my deadline by two days on this. Stupid exams and music stuff... *mutters evilly*

Anyway, any thoughts? Any tears? Any curses at me for leaving this story to almost rot? If so, review! I love getting abused for abandoning stories!

Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D


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