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Chapter 2 : Meeting of the Minds
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Rose and Scorpius were on opposite sides of the room from one another when Albus reached the compartment. He smiled slightly as he saw frowns on their faces.
“What’s wrong, Rosie? You look a bit angry,” Albus said as he sat beside his cousin.
“That prat over there got the same number of OWLs as me so we’re still tied for top of the class!” she exclaimed. She then narrowed her eyes as the blonde across the way snorted. “Shut up.”
“Make me, Rosie,” Scorpius mocked.
“I just might do that, Scorpius,” the redhead returned.
“I hope you don’t think my name bothers me, Weasley,” the blonde replied. “I happen to like it.”
“You would,” snorted Albus. “Something so very git-like that it’s just completely you.”
“Watch your mouth, Potter.”
“Why should I, Malfoy?”
“Both of you shut up,” Rose said as James walked by the compartment with a frown on his face. “D’you want to get us in trouble?”
“What have you lot done to get in trouble already?” Deanna Warrick, Head Girl from Gryffindor, asked as she stepped into the Prefect’s compartment.
“Nothing,” the three of them chorused.
The Head Girl arched an inquisitive brow before shaking her head. “Just so you all know, Professor Longbottom is going to be taking over as Deputy Headmaster this year and will be in charge of working with the Prefects.”
Rose and Albus shared a smile. Scorpius frowned.
“Is this meeting going to last long?” Rose asked a moment later. “I kind of promised a friend I would meet him – erm, them – on the ride up to Hogwarts.”
Deanna smiled at the Ravenclaw. “Won’t be long and then you can go have a snog with your boyfriend.”
No one but Rose noticed Scorpius blush. She didn’t know why either.
“Teddy owled me and told me he would be in Hogsmeade to meet the train. Said he had something he wanted to tell us and James and the kids,” Albus said to Rose as the rest of the Prefects filed in for their meeting.
“I don’t know why you call Hugo and Lily kids, Al,” she replied. “They’re in Fourth Year and both have, you know, significant others, where you and I are in Sixth Year and certainly don’t.”
“Speak for yourself,” Al replied with a smirk. “I have many significant others.” He paused and then added, “And you don’t need one anyway. You’re too smart for the blokes here.”
“First, the girls you try to snog don’t count and second, just because I’m smart doesn’t mean a bloke can’t like me,” she shot back at him. “Lots of guys like smart girls.”
“Name one,” David Elwes, a Slytherin Fifth Year said as he said behind them. “Name one bloke who would rather snog a book than a hot bird.”
“Aside from Scorpius?” Heather Mills, a Sixth Year Hufflepuff, asked.
“Why does everyone feel the need to bring me into their ridiculous conversations?” Scorpius asked from across the room when he heard his name.
“Because you’re worth it,” Laurel Taylor, a Fifth Year Ravenclaw said as she sat beside him.
It was a well known fact that Laurel Taylor wanted nothing more than to get with Scorpius Malfoy. She had publicly proclaimed her love and desire for him during the Leaving Feast at the end of last year.
He, however, wasn’t interested in her. “Oh. So you’ve made Prefect,” he stated needlessly.
“It must be fate,” she said with a smile.
“Must be my cue to upchuck all over the floor,” Albus muttered.
Rose, however, frowned. “Where’s Peter?” she asked Deanna.
“On his way. He had to stop by to talk to the driver for a moment. He should be here …”
At that moment, Head Boy Peter Schaffer of Slytherin walked into the room. He wasn’t the traditional handsome but he was in his own rights a good-looking young man. He had dark hair and dark eyes and a smile that had most of the girls in Hogwarts tripping over themselves when he revealed it.
“Hey, Dee,” he smiled. “Hey, Rose.”
“Hi, Peter,” they both smiled. Maybe they blushed a bit too.
Peter looked at Rose once more and flashed the “killer smile” before heading to the front of the room. “Okay, folks, let’s get this started. I have to be somewhere in about twenty minutes,” he added as he looked at Rose again, who blushed and averted her eyes.
Scorpius and Albus frowned.
I thought she meant me, the blonde thought to himself. She couldn’t possibly fancy the Head Git. He’s a bloody Slytherin. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, he amended in his head as he thought of his father.
No bloody way. I guess she doesn’t fancy The Insect after all, Albus thought as he watched Schaffer’s eyes wander to Rose once more. Best nip that one in the bud too.
When the meeting ended almost everyone filed out. Rose offered a secret smile to Scorpius before watching him leave. The blonde arched an eyebrow but headed to the compartment he had assumed they would be meeting in.
When everyone was gone, Rose walked up to Peter and gave him a hug. “Thanks so much. I really owe you for this one, Peter.”
“No problem, Rosie. Anything to help you and Malfoy out. Must be tough with the Potter boys all over you making sure you don’t get to snog your boyfriend.”
“Oh!” said Rose, startled. “He’s not my boyfriend. We’re just friends. It’s just … my dad and his dad … it’s not good between them. Our mums are okay … but our dads certainly aren’t. And James and Al have taken it upon themselves to be my father’s eyes and ears at Hogwarts. I just want to get a chance to talk to him about something other than our studies.”
“Like what?” Peter asked with a smile.
“Like quidditch, which Mum thinks I hate. Like which of Dad and Uncle George’s jokes will be banned this year. Like how lucky he is to not have anyone on his back all the time. Just … anything not having to do with schoolwork … since we both know that’s all he and I will be able to talk about once we reach school.”
“Well then run along, Rose. Have fun … or whatever,” Peter said.
“Thanks, Pete,” she smiled as she pecked him on the cheek and rushed out of the compartment.
Peter shook his head and sighed, wondering when the two of them would find the peace they deserved.
Rose made her way down to the very last compartment on the train. All of the older kids liked the front and the newer ones wouldn’t go anywhere near the back of the train, so she knew that they would be safe back there.
“Sorry it took so long,” she smiled as she shut the door behind her. “Wanted to thank Peter for throwing Al off the scent.”
“Right,” Scorpius muttered.
“Hey. What’s got your wand in a knot?” she asked him seriously.
“This is getting pathetic, Rose,” Scorpius spat. “We’re not doing anything wrong by being friends. I don’t understand this whole hiding thing!”
“Oh, so I assume you want James and Al to write to my dad and have him send a Howler to your dad and have this whole thing blow up in our faces, right? You want us to be friends in public so that we can end our entire relationship? I like you, Scorpius. You’re my best friend.”
“So let’s tell them that!”
“It’ll ruin us!”
“Why?” Scorpius asked heatedly. “Is it because the fun will be gone?”
“Fun?” she asked incredulously. “You think I’m having fun? This is torture not being able to be friends with you on the other side of the door. I want to be able to laugh at your dumb jokes and talk about your quidditch skills and … all that other stuff that friends do! I want to sit with you at dinner and walk to class with you. But we both know that can’t happen.”
“Why?” he asked again.
“You know why!” she shouted back at him.
“Well, Rose, then something has to give because being alone with you in empty rooms and dark, deserted corridors isn’t working out for me anymore,” he said stonily.
Now it was her turn to be confused. “Why? What’s so wrong with it? I don’t understand, Scorpius.”
“We just can’t … I can’t be alone with you in places like that anymore,” he whispered.
“Why not?” she asked again, almost begging for him to answer.
“Because the thoughts that run through my mind when I am scared the hell out of me,” he told her before exiting the compartment and heading off to sit with his friends.
Rose, wide-eyed, simply stared at the space he had been only a moment ago.
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