Chapter 5 : "Exploding Snap with a Bang"
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The leaves had fallen off the trees and were hugging the ground, like Roses hair hugged her shoulders by this time the rumour had died down. And as ever the only think that could kill one juicy rumour was another juicy rumour. And by the chilly yet bright morning at the end of October people were still talking about Thomas Kent, sixth year, and Mariah Lewis, fourth year, had done it in Goyle’s closet, over an old bucket and mop. Though, the air was frosty, the sky was clear. The first frost sprinkled itself over Hagrid’s pumpkin patch, which were being picked and carved, for tonight was Halloween.
Between homework, classes and chatting to her friends Rose had barely seen Scorpius at all. Though the rumour clearly didn't exist any longer, they were both extremely careful about how they acted in public- sneering at each other every so often, or otherwise saying nothing at all. Rose also noticed how Scorpius hadn't seemed himself. Over the weeks, he had started to joke with her less and every time they were together, his mind seemed to be somewhere else. Assuring herself that it was all in her head; Rose shrugged the thought aside for the hundredth time that day.
She walked slowly, as the leaves under her feet crunched delightfully. She had always loved this time of year. Winter had always been her favourite season as opposed to the usual summer that everyone seemed to prefer. As she inhaled the fresh air, she walked through the large oak door and walked towards the Great Hall, where she hoped to find her friends.
As she found her friends sitting on the Gryffindor table, her already grinning face broadened even more. She walked over briskly, unbuttoning her Emerald green coat that went with her hair perfectly.
“Hi Guys,” She looked around and was pleased to find Summer Thomas, Violet Finnigan and with great surprise Debby, Anita and Hailey who were gathering on the table as well, even though they belonged to different houses.
“Morning,” Summer said in a daydream expression, only worthy of her mother Luna, as Rose unwrapped her scarf from her neck, placing it into her bag and letting her loose curls fall down her back. The others greeted her with a ‘Hi’ and she sat down after taking of her coat.
“FYI,” Vi said. Her mother had always told Rose that Violet sounded and acted exactly like Lavender at her age. She then flicked her blonde hair over her shoulders gracefully before continuing to speak. “Love the coat- so spring! Which is you best season pallet.
“I thought I was a spring,” Anita voiced. Debby and Hailey sat either side of Anita as Rose was perched on the right of Debby and Violet and Summer sat opposite.
“Spring?” Violet said in slight disbelief. “You wish- you’re so a winter.”
“I love winter,” Rose said randomly, as the others looked at her strangely.
“Anyway,” Violet said turning back to the rest of them. “Have you lot heard the Rumour?”
“What?” Debby laughed. “The one with Kent and Lewis?”
“Yes, apparently he’s in trial for being sent to Azkaban”
“Well I suppose she was an underage Witch- it makes sense” Rose said taking a bite of some toast. Again everyone stared at her. “What? My mum works in law, ok? I pick this stuff up!” She said in defence.
“Well anyway,” Violet continued. “Elizabeth said that Fern said that Tom said that Callum said that Ben said that john said that he over heard Thomas Kent telling Lydia that he was under the influence of love potion. He didn’t know what he was doing- yeah right he was so staring at her boobs the other day- he was practically drooling. If he didn’t like her then I’m not the prettiest girl in the school! And you know me, I’m always minding my own business,” The other girls exchanged looks knowing full way that minding her own business was something she never did. “But come on its like take a picture it’ll last longer. And then as if that’s not bad enough he,” She suddenly stopped talking to listen to the two people behind her. “They,” She said in a hushed voice, pointing to the people behind her. “Are always fighting, they torture each other for the sake of it sick and twisted.” She paused again but the voices behind her stopped. “Anyway,” she said her voice returning to a normal volume. “Like I was saying Kent then went of with Lewis’s best friend in the fifth year and now rumour has it that she’s not giving into him.” She then turned to Summer. “We have to tell Madam Pomprey all about this- she’ll want to know all the gossip so she can write it to McGonagall in her letter tonight- oh and another thing I heard,” She told the others enthusiastically. “Billy Bag and Sarah are an item it was-” She stopped gossiping dead in her tracks, which was something very rare, however when Rose heard what was coming next she realised why. “Ooooo Ally!” Albus Potter was the only one that could make Violet forget to gossip. “Catch you later,” She said hurrying over to where Al was walking to.
It was just then when Mindy and Michael Hunter- the Hufflepuff Twins strolled over with the trade mark mischievous grins on their un-innocent faces.
"Hey everyone---" Michael greeted.
"Looking forward to tonight-" Mindy continued, swishing her brown hair over her shoulders.
"Because we sure are" Michael finished, leaning across the table.
"Why what's happening tonight?" Rose asked while preparing her cup of tea.
"Rose!" Said Michael in mocking disbelief. "Have you forgotten what tonight is?" Rose sat there and looked around and then it suddenly dawned on her. It was Halloween so that meant: "Annual Exploding Snap Tournament?"
"BINGO..!" the Roses collective friends chorused.
"I knew you weren't just a pretty face..." Michael said in an extremely flirty way; then he went red.
Mindy walked over to summer, Debs, Hailey and Anita, laughing as she went. A lot of knowing looks were shared between the girls who had noticed Michael’s thing for her before.
“Can we do something a little more I don’t know a little more interesting?” Rose asked flirting outrageously; not caring that her cousin was keeping a close watch.
“Exactly what we were thinking,” Mindy said trying not to giggle. “So this year because we are the organisers-” she smiled pointing between her and her twin.
“-We have decided” Michal said. “That as well the title of ultimate prize of being Halloween Snap Campion the winner will win a pot of money. It’s a gallon to enter and if enough people join in the tournament it should make it interesting.”
“You greedy so and so” Debs laughed at him. “You know you’ve won for the last two years. You just want…”
“To attract more competition?” he said with an air of false innocence. Just as Scorpius walked over and whispered to Summer.
“No you want to win without a challenge” Rose said fixing Michael in her sights like a lioness considering its prey. She wondered it she dared make a bit of a move; be forward. But before she could decide she heard herself say. “If you wanted a challenge you’d play me at chess.”
“You know I don’t like chess Rose but tell you what. You enter the Snap Tournament and I’ll play you at Chess. Deal?”
“Deal” Rose said smiling. Al chocked on his drink; Rose never played snap.
Debs suddenly got a wonderful and cunning idea. The kind of idea that had earned her, her place in Slytherin.
“Hey Michael I bet Rose will beat you and win the final.”
Mindy laughed. “No one ever beats my brother at Snap.”
“Bet she will.” Snapped Al
“Okay then if you think she’s so clever.” Mindy said thinking of just how much fun she could have with this. “If Rose gets to the final and loses she has to snog the winner in front of the entire school.”
“Hey!” shouted Rose standing to her feet breakfast forgotten. ‘Sure I want to kiss him but not for a bet; And not before the whole school!’
“Well, if Michael loses he has to…” Al said ignoring his cousin, thinking wildly. He had so many suggestions that he wanted to find just the right one.
“…Dance to ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ Slytherin style…” Summer said smiling at Scorpius with a wicked glint in her eyes.
“Now hang on a minute” Michael said panicked. Everyone grinned as Al and Mindy shook hands.
“I don’t know what I’m going to enjoy more, what’s-your-face.” Scorpius smirked. “Watching you or Weasley lose; or enjoying your fate afterwards. Because either way it goes one of you will be humiliated.”
“Well, sorry to disappoint you Malfoy” Rose said pointedly; trying to be as mean as she could. “No spectators.”
“Don’t fret Weasley. I’ll be competing.” Scorpius reached into his robes and picked out two gallons. He thrust them into Mindy’s hand; before sauntering off.
“You’re an idiot Malfoy. Entrance is only one gallon.” She called after him.
“I know, that Gallon is Roses fee,” Scorpius called back still walking. “The Weasley’s are usually so poor they can’t afford a gallon. Look on it as my bit for charity.”
“Malfoy” Rose shouted incensed. “You take that back. My father and mother do better than yours you arrogant, self-centred…”
“If there doing so well for themselves how come they can’t afford to get you a Thesaurus?” He said turning about to look at her. “You’ve been shouting the same insults at me for years.”
“ENOUGH!” shouted Professor Longbottom from across the Hall. “No fights in the Great Hall! Everyone go to class before I have the lot of you in detention.”
After a long day of doing absolutely nothing but practising for the Tournament, Scorpius and Rose left the heads Common Room and headed their way to the Great Hall, in which the competition would take place. As the door slid shut with a small thump behind them, Scorpius walked in step with Rose, smirking at the idea of her loosing to Michael or watching Michael loose to her and having to perform the very song that still bought him nightmares to that day.
“Feeling confident?” He asked her as they turned the corner, slowing down his pace as Rose mirrored his actions.
“Confident? Try freakin’ nervous!” Rose said her face suddenly draining of colour so that her freckles seemed to stand out, even though normally they were practically invisible. “If I loose I’ll have to snog the winner in front of every one.”
“But,” Scorpius smiled. “If you win, we get to watch old Mickey Mouse dance ‘Hit me baby one more time,’” He paused but Rose gave him an astonished look. “What? My mum spent the first eleven years of her life living as a half muggle; I know who Mickey mouse is. You better beat him!” Scorpius added. “Though it would be funny to watch you Snog him!”
“Shut up!” Rose said looking ill.
“Sorry, if it makes you feel better I don’t think either of you will make the final!”
“Nice to have your vote of confidence,” she huffed sarcastically.
“Like I can win with you. One minute I say you will make the final and you look like you’re about to throw up and then I say you won’t and you think I’m saying you’re dumb or something.” Scorpius laughed. “Gees woman, make up your mind.”
The rest of the way down, they walked in silence. This may have been because the closer they came to the Great Hall the more looks they got from passers by. When they had reached the Hall Scorpius was surprised to see the turn out. The wholes of Hufflepuff and Gryffindor table were filled with competitors. Half of the school must have been seated and the other half just gathered around.
Pumpkins filled every inch of the room, floating with the candles. Cobwebs, goals, tombstones decorated the room- Hogwarts had really out done them selves this year. The moment they entered the room Michael ran over to Rose grinning mischievously and then attempted to dazzle her with an award-winning smile.
“Hey Rose, ready for a good old snog,” He laughed, ignoring Scorpius.
“That depends,” Rose said in a flirty manor. “Are ready to perform, dance and sing in front of the schools population because by the end of the evening, that’s what you’ll be doing.”
“I’ll thrash you in the final- its ok- a snog from you wouldn’t be that bad- a bonus to the cash prise,” He winked at her as she blushed.
“That’s presuming you even win,” Rose said daringly. “And you know you don’t have to win an Exploding Snap Tournament to win a snog from me.”
“I might take you up on that offer, Weasley,” He smirked again and the walked of, leaving Rose with Scorpius.
“I thought you liked Joseph- I didn’t know you were besotted with him too.” Scorpius said in an almost disgusted voice.
“What Michael?” She laughed hysterically; Scorpius screwed his expression in confusion. “I don’t fancy him!” she told him as if it were obvious. “Joseph I fancy as a boyfriend and Michael and I have a flirty relationship- Michael is more ‘Fling’ material- you know for a bit of a flirt but amounts to nothing- if you catch my drift.”
‘Fling’ Material, Scorpius thought. Since when did Rose think like than? She’s always been really flirty. For as long as I can remember she was a flirt with the guys, in a harmless subtle sort off way, so why did it bother me more now?
“Hello Hogwarts and a Happy Halloween!” Mindy shouted through the microphone, receiving more cheers than people give at the sorting ceremony.
“We have an interesting game to day,” Michael continued, winking at the girls, charmingly. “Today, if you win, you won’t only have the honour of becoming this year Ultimate Champion-”
“But you will also have the pleasure of winning a cash prise- as three hundred and sixty two people have entered the prise will be 362 galleons!” There was a murmur of enthusiasm and determination spreading around the room. Scorpius saw students talking greedily to each other and a huge rush fell upon them all, before Michael continued of off Mindy.
“There will be one on one games. The competitors have been split in half and if you look on the back wall there are two pieces of parchment with everyone’s name on and their group. You’ll be split into ‘ones’ and ‘twos’ the winner of each game will be put trough and the looser will be removed from the competition. There will be one student looking at each game to ensure that no cheating is involved.”
“At the Semi-final the two winners will go head to head for the cash prise. At the sound of the buzzer you will find you’re name and when everyone is seated a second buzzer will sound to tell you to begin the first game- then before a third round is started the buzzer will sound again and so on.” Mindy explained in a business like tone, which put Roses head girl voice to shame.
“Rules are, no cheating, no offensive language, no provocative language, no physical assault, no duels, no causing harm to any other competitor or referee- if any of these are committed then you will be removed and disqualified and punished according to servility of the crime.” As Michael and Mindy spoke everyone hung on there every word- they had been told by many of teachers that they were the answer to the Weasley twins.
Within a few minutes Scorpius mind couldn't register anything thing other than Snap. The room soon smelled like gun powered. Every now and then he heard the yells of triumph or defeat from people he knew.
It irked him when he saw, in between games, Albus cheating when playing Summer by switching on the ‘Potter Charm’. Summer was a friend of his and it wasn’t fair that he used her crush to his advantage. Scorpius wanted vengeance. His one and only goal after that was to beat Potter.
As the night wore on, and the number of defeated students grew with each round, the hall started to feel crowded. While the table were being moved about to make the games easier for the crowd to see, he noticed that Hugo Weasley had lost to Carrie Andrews. She had the good grace to give him a kiss on the cheek for trying. Hugo went bright red and it was only the presents of his cousin Lily that saved him from embarrassment.
Lily then went on to flirt with Axel and Scorpius was sure he was only messing with his chestnut long hair because he’d heard the rumour that Lily wanted to play with it. Lily was less impressed when Albus decided to stick his nose in and comment that Axel looked like a prize prat. Silently Skip agreed with him but he’d never let Potter know that.
Then suddenly without warning there were only four couples left and the draw for who met who in the matches were made. Surprisingly, the people competing for the semi-finales were him, Rose, Mindy, Michael, Potter and Debs.
Mindy and Michael had already beaten enough people to be semi finalises and so as they announced the next pairings everyone was silent.
Hugo thought it highly amusing to provide a drum roll to increase the sense of anticipation.
“Deb will play Rose” shouted Michael as a cheer went up.
“Which means” Shouted Mindy staring about the room from a raised platform.
“Malfoy Vs Potter” Michael shouted. Then the whole hall went mad cheered. Everyone loved these to competing. They all then quieted down and watched on to se who would win the Potter/Malfoy match. No one seemed to take a blinding bit of notice at Rose and Debby’s match, and instead gathered around the two boys.
"Ready to loose?" Scorpius sneered, wrapping his fingers around his set of Wizard cards.
"Yes Malfoy I am" he grinned. "Ready to lose you to the audience. While I go on to play someone actually worth my time." Sniggers and high fives rippled around the hall like a wave.
"Well," He smirked confidently, looking at him directly in the eyes. "We'll soon see about that," And with that the Buzzer went of and their hands began to move fast. Scorpius wasn’t thinking about anything other than the game. And when Mindy announced the winner of the other match, Scorpius didn’t know or even care who had won- all he knew was that, he didn’t mind loosing the actual competition but he just wanted to beat Albus Potter.
His Rival, His enemy, the one that for years he competed against in Quidditch matches and lost to him the same amount of times he won. It was Seeker against Seeker, enemy against enemy, Potter vs. Malfoy- and this match was more than just a match it was a chance to prove to Potter that he wasn’t the best at everything. The game seemed to go on forever. Eyes gazed at the two of them from every direction- some cheering for Scorpius and the rest for Albus.
As Scorpius looked down he noticed that he only had one card left, if this card didn’t match Albus’ he would have lost the game. He looked up and saw to his faint surprise that Albus, also, had just one remaining card. If they didn’t match, they’d draw and start again. And if they did, Scorpius would only have a millisecond to say ‘snap’ so he’d win. He noticed that Albus hadn’t looked at his card and that was when he had a stroke of genius.
As if in slow motion Albus Potter began to turn over his remaining card, as did Scorpius but a split second before anybody could see the actual cards, Scorpius took the risk. Closing his eyes he yelled.
“SNAP!” If the cards didn’t match he’d be disqualified and if they did he would have one, then there was a loud ‘bang’. He felt a rising panic as everyone was quiet and Albus hadn’t said anything. Opening one eye at a time he saw that his card revealed the King of Owls and then he looked over at Albus and saw that it was the King of Brooms. That was it he had one.
Suddenly the whole room erupted into applause, as Potter huffed and puffed, looking angry and frustrated at his bad luck, turning to his friends, whom looked equally unimpressed at Scorpius’s victory.
“Good Game,” Scorpius said, holding out his had for him to shake, smirking. Al refused his hand and instead looked at Mindy and Michael.
“He cheated- he didn’t see the card! I demand a re-match,” Al shouted.
“Actually Potter, I think you’ll find that the rules clearly state that you can shout Snap at anytime you want. However, if you say snap at the wrong time you automatically loose. That," He sneered. “Was a risk,” He curled his bottom lip. “That I was willing to take!”
“Mike,” Al pleaded. “Tell him- he cheated!”
“Sorry mate,” Michael apologised. “But he’s right- those are the rules.”
“But better luck next time,” Scorpius hissed. Al sent him a death glare that clearly meant that he would pay later, and then took a seat next to Greg, Callum and Neal. He then turned to Michael and Mindy, who were clearing their throats ready to announce who would be playing whom in the semi-finals.
“And Now-” Mindy beamed, as hundreds of boys drawled over her, Michael jinxing a couple before continuing, their well rehearsed speech.
“-For a place in the Final-”
“-Rose will play me,” Mindy smiled, looking down at Rose. And then it hit Scorpius, Rose was through, he was about to congratulate her when he realised something. That means…
“And I,” Michael smirked. “Will play my little friend Scorpius,” Tension Rose upon the whole hall. The anticipation shot through the room. “I’m unbeatable, Malfoy,” Michael said, advancing toward him, looking at him threateningly.
“You’ve never played me,” Scorpius said as though there was no ounce of doubt he would win.
“I’ve never lost,”
“Well,” He muttered. “There’s a first time for everything.”
“Rosie, I hope you win against my sister,” Michael turned to Rose, licking his lips little. “Locking lips with you is what dreams are made of.” Rose then walked over to Michael, stepped on her tiptoes and leaned into him so that their lips were only centimetres apart. Michael looked extremely dazed for a second and just before Hugo could get up and protest she changed direction at the last millimetre, letting their lips brush only slightly before whispering in his ear.
“Good Luck,” She turned and walked over to the table and sat opposite Mindy. Something rolled over in the pit of Scorpius’s stomach that made him feel physically sick. His mood had suddenly plummeted and it was then when he was more determined to beat Michael than he had wanted to beat Al.
Nudging a gaping Michael, who looked too cocky, he sat over at the second table and began to shuffle the deck of cards. Shortly after, Michael managed to drag himself away from Rose’s stare and he sat opposite Scorpius, looking pleased with him self.
The tension in the Hall was palpable as the players took their seats. Scorpius knew that his opponent was confident in his abilities. He knew that everyone in the entire Hall thought that he was the underdog. They were wrong. He hadn’t gotten to the semi finals by his money or his good looks. He’d gotten there by skill and daring- by knowing his opponents. Scorpius knew what Michael’s Achilles heel was. Rose. And if there was one thing Scorpius knew for sure, it was her.
As the buzzer sounded and the game began Scorpius took a deep breath. He was going to win this; and if he had to shatter Michael’s heart in the process that would be collateral damage.
Never mind that now: It was time to begin.
The decks of card was quickly placed that Skip wasn’t sure how his eyes and hands were coordinating. They went through two decks before they heard Rose shout Snap, Triumphantly.
Both boys shuffled their decks and glanced about the room. Their eyes fell on Rose fresh from her victory flirting with Joseph. Rose was trying to be modest and whispering in Joseph’s ear; trying to be coy. And then Rose giggled a girly giggle. Quickly Scorpius glanced at Michael. For the first time that night, probably that day: He wasn't smiling. And Scorpius knew this was it.
“Weasel is getting a little cosy, don’t you think Hunter?” Scorpius said in a calm voice. “Then again, she’s liked that Prissy Looser for a while now,” Michael flinched a little, turning over the card carefully, trying to concentrate. “Oh well- I never thought much of her taste.”
“This won’t work Malfoy- I don’t fancy Rose, she’s more of ‘fling’ material- you know, a quick snog in a deserted corridor,”
“Not that she’s ever up for that,” That touched a nerve and Scorpius could see It. Sometimes he could sound so much like his father it scared him. He usually did act like that around Michael, Hugo, Joseph or Al but other than them he was a perfectly pleasant person to talk too. And he was ok with Hugo, unless he did the big brother act against him- not that Hugo liked him that much.
“Why bother, Malfoy,” Michael questioned, as they continued to play. Scorpius was now aware of Rose watching them.
“Why bother about what?”
“Why bother going to the final- you won’t want to win against Rose,”
“And why is that, Hunter?” Scorpius replied.
“Because she has to Snog the winner- you hate her guts- why would you want a snog of off her. Give me one good reason!” Michael challenged, still looking carefully at his cards.
“I won’t just give you one reason,” He smirked. “I’ll give you 362 reasons and they’re all galleons.”
“So it’s the money you’re interested in- not Rose,”
“I couldn’t care less about Weasley,”
“Well that’s what I thought,” Michael told him, going through their third deck. “But now I’m not so sure,”
“How come,” Scorpius said, feeling nervous, as his collar suddenly felt very tight.
“Well you have enough money in your bank to buy the Wizarding World- 362 galleons is nothing to you,” Michael continued to explain, placing the three of hats onto the table as Scorpius turned over the queen of wands. “Or maybe you just want to be named champion.
“Maybe,” Scorpius said in a snide tone.
“But you see I don’t buy that either. Maybe you have a little crush on Rosie,” Scorpius choked at the sound of that.
“Me like that filthy little Weasel- give me strength.” All though he didn’t feel as confident as he sounded and he suddenly felt a little unwell. “But even if I did- looks like we’re both out of ‘luck’ Weasley likes Lions- from what I hear,” Michael twitched a little in his seat as he revealed the five of owls.
“I will win, you know?” Michael said. “I’m the best play Hogwarts has ever seen.”
“Then tell me this Hunter,” Scorpius smiled this time, he didn’t look snide or sly- it was just a simple smile. “If you’re so damn good- how come we’re nearly onto our fourth deck and you still haven’t beaten me yet?”
“Just warming up,” Michael grinned, though it was still obvious that he wasn’t looking as confident as he did we they first started. As they played it looked as though Michael was deep in thought.
“What you thinking about?” Scorpius asked.
“Snogging Rose,” He said daringly.
“You’re so sad,” Was all Scorpius could say to this. “That’s even presuming you’ll beat me and if by some crazy, slim chance you did beat me- what makes you think you’ll beat Rose?” Scorpius made the stupid mistake of calling her by her first name but noticed it just in time to make it sound like a sneer.
“Just a hunch,”
“Well what if this ‘hunch’ is wrong, are you really ready to perform- you’ll be humiliated?”
“I’ll take your word or it,” Michael said smugly. “I mean you would know, wouldn’t you- having lived through that humiliation once already.” He really had gone too far now, it was then when Scorpius didn’t speak and just played. He couldn’t risk loosing this game to Michael Hunter- if he won he’d never shut up about it- especially if he one against Rose as well. Scorpius had a plan- win against Michael and then loose against Rose- meaning they wouldn’t have to kiss. That’ll make Rose happy as well. And she had her eye on these Dress Robes (or so she had told me) and she had also told him that they were exactly 362 galleons- the exact prize cash. And if he did win against Rose he would buy them for her.
No one could believe that the match was still going on. The fifth hand finished. The tension was mounting and the audience was screaming so much they couldn't hear the renewed conversation.
"I don't believe you Hunter." Scorpius muttered.
"Shut up!" Michael said Dowling out his cards.
"I don't believe you could stand to have a girl like Weasley just as a fling."
"Shut up Malfoy!" he muttered as they continued to dole out cards.
"If you were Loins she would have kissed you good luck!" Scorpius muttered.
"I said shut up Malfoy before I make you..." He said glaring at Scorpius.
"Ok I'll shut up" Scorpius said rising out of his seat so he towered over Michael. "After I say just one thing"
"Oh yeah and what's that Malfoy" Michael said rising to his feet to Scorpius and him were nose to nose; deck forgotten.
"SNAP!" Scorpius smirked.
Michael’s eyes immediately shot back down to the cards on the table. And sure enough there sat smiling at him were the cards that had defeated him; robbing him of the chance to kiss Rose.
The hall exploded with the cheers of excited Scorpius fans. Everyone was happy apart from Al and Hugo, Mindy, Michael and Joseph. But Scorpius couldn't less care about them. Rose and he just looked at each other.
As the cheers died down Rose unfroze her self and walked over to Scorpius and muttered.
"A word in your shell like please." Then she turned to the crowd.
"Just need to go over some ground rules with the Head Boy here." They walked over to the corner; as they did so all eyes followed them. Apart from Mindy and Michael who were arranging the tables. She muttered a spell that would conceal what they were saying. "What do you think you're doing?" Rose said in obvious outrage.
"What do you mean?" Scorpius said trying hard to read her face. She didn't look happy.
"Why didn't you let him win?" Rose said in bewilderment. "You don't need the money- now we have to play!"
"I wasn't going to let him win! He's got a big enough head as it is. There isn't a spell big enough to enlarge all the doors in the school." He said smiling. Rose looked thunderous. "I don't see your problem Min. So we have to play. What's the big deal?"
"The Big deal? The big deal?" Rose looked hysterical. "The big deal, Malfoy, you don't know what the big deal is!" Scorpius's face was blank. "The bet you idiot- that’s the big deal- you know you always win against me- if you win this time the then..." She trailed off, unable to say what the consequences would be.
"No Min the bet was for you to kiss Michael should you lose. We wouldn't have to... you know." Scorpius struggled; shifting his feet while he didn't look at her.
"No, it was to kiss the winner!"
"What no it..." Scorpius was just about to say wasn't when he remembered the conversation. "Oh!" There was a pause. "I'll just let you win then" Scorpius sighed looking towards the crowd.
"Oh no you will not- let me win- that is the most degrading thing you have ever said to me, Scorpius Malfoy?" Rose Weasley snapped.
"I thought you just said you didn't want to snog me!" Scorpius laughed.
"Oh," She muttered. "Yeah- right- you let me win,"
"Ok so we have a plan then." Scorpius said. Rose nodded. "Then off we go."
As they were about to exited their protective bubble Rose muttered so Scorpius could hear.
"Better make this good Malfoy!"
The crowd stared at them unblinkingly as the pair made there way to the table. As they sat down Skip sneared and picked up his deck. He shuffled them in a flourish so that Rose knew he was serious about playing this up.
"Give up Weasley!"
"Not on your life, Malfoy" No one in the hall said anything as the game began. Sometimes the duelling pair would move deliberately in slow motion; while at other times it appeared like someone had but a speeding spell on them.
By the third deck Rose and Scorpius had both forgotten that they had an audience. As Rose placed the first card down she gave it a gleeful flourish and made a face that was filled with fun and joy that stopped him. Her hair had started to look a bit manic and he could tell that she'd been rubbing her eyes before. She had a quill behind her ear and Scorpius thought she looked stunning.
"What was that?" he smiled; taking a sip of water beside him.
"What was what?" Rose asked placing her cards down to play with her hair.
"That!" he smirked copying her.
"I didn't do that I don't know what you’re talking about!" she declared with a sense of innocence that they both knew to be a lie.
"Yes you do know. You did that." he said doing it again under her full gaze. He knew she was suppressing a giggle at how foolish he looked. He glanced down. "Oh and snap by the way." He smirked.
Then the whole room stopped. He realised what he had said and could feel himself pale.
"Malfoy wins!" shouted Summer breaking the spell of shock. The Slytherins cheered. The Gryffindors looked livid. Hufflepuff and Ravenclaws didn't know what to do. Then a bunch of seventh years gulped. Rose wasn't looking at him, Scorpius realised. She was looking at Al and Hugo who were storming on stage.
"No, that didn't count" they were yelling above the cheers of the Slytherins.
"Oh yes it did Albus. Scorpius won and the bet says..." Deb shouted jumping in front of him.
"They are not kissing" Hugo bellowed standing in between his sister and Scorpius.
"If you didn't want me to kiss anyone in front of the entire school you shouldn't have made the bet!" Rose said quietly.
"Let’s just get this over with." Scorpius growled in the voice that best mimic's his father.
"Ok Malfoy" said Hugo "but hands where we can see them at all times."
Both Rose and Scorpius stood up, Scorpius feeling a little nervous, yet not knowing why. Rose, Scorpius noticed was biting her bottom lip, looking as though she was worried how this would affect their friendship- Scorpius knew this because he was thinking along the same lines. When they stood up Rose muttered,
"Are you sure you're ok with this? It was my dare!"
"What's a harmless kiss between best friends?" Scorpius said sounding more ok with it than he really was.
“And remember the bet said snog,” Rose rolled her eyes.
"Yes- I'm aware of that Debs,"
"You know, the bet was that if you lost to Michael, you'd have to snog the winner, technically you only lost to me- not Michael" Scorpius knew it was a long shot but he was desperate to try any thing.
"Get snogging!" shouted summer helpfully. Then she and Debs kindly started a chant of "Snog" "Snog" "Snog"
"Look," Rose said turning to Michael and Mindy. "Is this really necessary?" But the way they exchanged glances told both her and Scorpius that it was.
"I win and I get punished," Scorpius muttered under his breath.
"Hey," Rose snapped at him. "What's wrong with me- am I physically unattractive, or something?"
"Of course not Min. Your my best-friend it's just this is guna be really strange." He sighed stepping even closer to her. "Min after we kiss, you have to do something that shows your not happy ok?"
"I just hope our fathers don't hear about this." Rose smiled quietly.
"I hope they do, your dad will murder Potter - which would be extremely entertaining."
Mechanically, Skip put his hand on Roses waist and Rose did the same. He put one hand on her cheek and gently stroked it as he drew there lips closer. Her skin felt so soft and an excited jolt went through his body. Suddenly his sense came alive. Her lips felt nice. Better then nice. He knew he had to make this kiss look good to satisfy the audience. It was an up side to realise that kissing Rose was driving Potter mad.
He was surprised to feel Rose kiss him back almost euphuistically. He realised they kind of fitted. His arms wrapped round her. The very idea that this was Rose he was kissing and that he enjoyed it scared him like hell. It felt as though electricity was shooting through his veins and he didn't like that feeling. He hated the feeling and yet all his will power didn't have enough strength to pull her away. Seven years of friendship went into that kiss- and suddenly he felt confused and messed up. And as his hands slid through her hair, the feeling was getting worst and so he pulled away.
Just as they were only a centimetre apart, they both stared at each other wide eyed and out of breathe. A soft under breath of "Wow" came from Debby's mouth. After that it took a split second for Rose to come to her senses and she pushed him, so that he almost tumbled to the ground and then slapped him across the face.
“Never do that again, Malfoy,” She yelled angrily, recalling what he had said before the kiss.
“What, you think I would want to go through that hell a second time over,” A small part of him resented him self for what he had just said.
“In future, stay away from me!”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way, Weasley,” He hissed in his greatest father impression. And with that he walked away. He didn’t want to look back and he couldn’t.
As he walked through many of the deserted corridors and over to the Heads Common Room only one thing played on his mind and that was ‘Rose’. No matter how many times he went through it, he couldn’t get rid of this achy pressure at the pit of his stomach. He had done the one thing that he swore blind he would never do but had little control over. He had enjoyed a kiss with Rose- what did this mean? He didn’t know. He felt as confused as he had done the night when their lips brushed. The feeling appeared to have vanished then and yet it can’t have done because here he was feeling it this very second.
If ignoring didn’t help it last time, then it wouldn’t this time. And continuing to feel this way was out of the question, even if he couldn’t place what the feeling was. There was only one way to get rid of it and that was to get rid of its source. Rose.
Come tomorrow he wouldn’t be her friend anymore- in fact he wouldn’t even be an acquaintance. Because come tomorrow he would do the one thing that would get rid of the source. He would avoid Rose and that was that. His mind was made up…
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