He never came to breakfast. At least, I never saw him there. He wasn’t in Potions earlier in the morning, either, but if I could skip that class, I would too (of course, being the excellent student I am, I could never actually do that). And he was not in Divination, which was really the only class we could truly hold a conversation without getting yelled at by the teacher. At that point, I knew something wasn’t right here. Scorpius never missed Divination or Potions. They were the only two classes we had together. I mean, he usually never skipped them. The only reason he would ever skip any of those classes would be if he was angry with me. And I was pretty sure that I had done nothing recently to give him reason to be angry with me. So, I ruled out that. The only other reason I could think of was that something was wrong with his family.
That didn’t happen incredibly often, though. He got along quite well with his father and mother, such as I did. There were occasions that Scorpius would fight with one of them, and he would hide in the Slytherin Common Room all day. It wasn’t common, though, but he didn’t like to talk about it when it happened. I was alright with that, of course, because it wasn’t my business. But it worried me anyways. I mean, it is kind of hard to get in a fight with your family when you’re at school for the majority of the year. So, when it happened, it worried me how and why, and what was going to happen in the future.
There was something else, though, that could be wrong with his family, keeping him from classes. I had heard from the grapevine (also known as the female students who attended Hogwarts) that his grandmother was in the hospital. Was she doing poorly? I was scared as soon as I realized that her poor health could be the cause of his absence. But surely Professor Longbottom would have informed me by now if my best friend was out due to his grandmother’s illness. He knew everything that occurred within Hogwarts, and he knew mostly everything that occurred out of it as well. I had already had Herbology today—and he had said nothing to me.
I traveled outside for lack of anything better to do, hoping that if I laid down by the side of the lake I would feel better. Quite frankly, I felt sick thinking that Scorpius’ grandmother could be very ill—or possibly dead. My feet were moving, but I wasn’t really paying attention to where I was going. I had nearly walked into two people, only noticing them at the very last instant. My heart was thumping in and out of my chest, and my mind was racing with possibilities of Scorpius’ location. It wasn’t until I tripped over something that my mind finally got moving again. I flung my hands out in front of me, catching myself before I broke my nose on the ground. I laid there on the ground for a few moments before I heard someone complaining to my side.
“God, watch it, will—Rosie?” a deep voice snapped, calming down as it spoke my name. I rolled over onto my back and sat up, looking behind me to see who the speaker was. “God, Rosie, what the bloody hell are you doing? You usually pay attention when you’re walking.” I blinked as Scorpius, who sat up straight on the grass a frown thrown over his face, stood up and held out his hand to me.
I looked at his hand, staring at it for a few moments before looking back up at his face. He threw his hand back to his side, and narrowed his eyes at me. “Fine. I was just trying to be nice, helping you up and all, even though you were the one who tripped over me in the first place.” He turned his back on me and began to walk away—something he did when he was mad at me. But I didn’t care about that. I was wondering why he was still here. Apparently nothing was wrong with his grandmother. Perhaps a family problem, again. I watched as he walked away from me, cocking my head to the side. I stood up, sprinting over to the spot where he had moved—the very edge of the lake—and sat down next to him.
“Why weren’t you in Divination today?” I asked him, unbuckling my shoes and slipping them off my feet. Scorpius watched as I did so, but chose not to respond. That was typical of him. I placed my shoes next to each other between myself and my friend, and started for my socks. “We missed you today--well, no, only me. I had no partner for the activity we did, and it was really interesting, too. I had to work all by myself with a silly textbook. You know how much I hate those things. Everyone was having so much fun, and I was stuck all alone—”
“Well, you weren’t the only one not having a good time,” Scorpius snapped, watching me pull off my socks and stuff them into my shoes. “I just sat around inside the Slytherin Common Room until I knew classes were over, and then I came out here.” I touched the water with my toes, checking the temperature. “The water is kind of cold," he warned, his tone changing completely--it was almost caring for a moment. "Anyways, I’m sorry you were alone in Divination. I’m sorry you were alone in Potions, as well. But it wasn’t exactly my fault.”
“So, you’re grandmother is really sick?” I asked, watching the ripples in the water as I swung my legs around in it. “That’s why you weren’t in any of your classes today? I remember you telling me the other day that she was in St. Mungo’s or something. I figured that maybe she had gotten worse, so you went to go visit her. But you’re still here, so I don’t really know what to think. Are you just having a bad day, or did you get in a fight with your parents, or is your grandmother is sick? What’s going on? You know that you can tell me. You’re my best friend, and whenever I am having a bad day, you can fix it.”
“You know those cheesy lines don’t work on me,” Scorpius sneered. “Nice try, Rosie, but I don’t particularly want to talk about it right now. Maybe I’ll tell you later.”
“You do know that you’ll have to tell me either way. Why not just tell me now while we’re sitting her, rather than make me stalk you down later tonight?” I questioned. “Seriously, you can tell me.”
“Fine, then. But don’t get mad at me when I tell you why I’m upset. My parents sent me a letter the yesterday, and they told me that my father is suspected of committing some crime or something. Some attack on Muggle-Borns. The Aurors are looking in on the case, and they have been going to my house and trying to talk to my dad. Your dad is an Auror, and my mother suggested that I not affiliate with you anymore. She thinks you aren’t trustworthy, and I’ll be the reason that my dad will end up in Azkaban,” Scorpius sighed. His grey eyes were narrowed into slits as he stared at the water, and I saw the seriousness of the matter.
I realized the connection, then, between my mother’s letter to me, and his parent’s letter to him. My paranoia returned, like the lot of them were out to break up our friendship. I frowned at him, shaking my head lightly. “He won’t end up in Azkaban. Your father would never attack Muggles and Muggle-Borns. I mean, you said he had worked for Lord Voldemort in the past, but it was an awful experience that he had barely lived through. If he had gone through that much trauma, then he would never ask for it again. I would stick up for your father. I could tell mine to lay off. I’m sure he is saying the same thing I am right now, though,” I said. “And my Uncle Harry is the head of the Auror Department at the Ministry. He knows that I am best friends with you, and he supports that. My uncle is really nice. He knew your father in school. You won’t have to worry about it. I’ll do the worrying for you, if you want.”
“You’re the Head Girl, you have enough stuff to worry about. Besides, your uncle hated my father. And so did your father. I’m pretty sure your dad isn’t that fond of me either,” Scorpius laughed. “We’ll worry about it later, okay?” He smiled weakly at me, but I was still fuming inside. The world was out to get us. I knew that someday in the future something worse was going to happen. We were going to be forced to pick sides at some point. I may be great at Divination, but I could sense that something would happen. I didn’t like that feeling, though. My heart was pounding, and my I was shivering.
“You should take your legs out of the water, Rose. You’re shivering,” he pointed out to me—but of course I already knew. It wasn’t the water that was making me shiver, anyways. I didn’t budge, though. I couldn’t make myself move, so instead, I leaned against Scorpius. He didn’t object to me doing this, although I could feel through his sudden shift in position that he was uncomfortable. But once again, I couldn't get my body to move.
He cleared his throat; I could feel it when he did. “What did you do in Divination today that we had to do in partners?”
“Palmistry, also known as Chiromancy. I was really good at this, even though I had to predict my own future with my own hand. I thought it was kind of neat. Give me your hand for a minute. I want to read your palm,” I said, reaching for his left hand. The left hand was the hand you were supposed to do. Although, in India, some religion (I don’t know which, exactly) that uses palmistry makes the females use the left hand and the males use the right hand. I found that very interesting.
“Oh, no,” Scorpius said quickly, trying to pull his hand away from mine. “You are not reading my palm. My life line is short.”
“Come on, let me read it,” I snapped. He relaxed a bit, allowing me to read it. I looked at his life line, examining the length of the line. “The length of the line really has nothing to do with the length of a person’s life. Yours is short, but it is sharp and very defined. It measures the vitality and well-being of your life. It looks pretty good. Mine fades a little in the middle but comes back strong later, which I suspect might mean I will get some sort of sickness during the whole of my life,” I explained. I never took my eyes of his hand, but I knew that he was watching me and not his hand. Which was all and well, considering he probably didn’t know how to read palms.
“Next is the head line. You are a generally intellectual person. Definitely more analytical than creative. You’re pretty hot-headed, too,” I said, smiling. “Your heart line it that one that curves there, at the top of your hand. You have a pretty nice love life ahead of you, and you have good cardio vascular strength. Emotionally you can be a little stubborn and won’t admit that you are wrong to those you love, but apparently that will have no affect on anything.” I felt myself blush as I spoke of the heart line. Not because I liked him or anything. Definitely not—he was just my friend, of course. I just felt awkward talking with him about his emotional stability.
“That line in the middle there,” I said, pointing to the line that went vertically down the center of his hand, “is the fate line. Do you want to know what I see? I see you becoming very successful in the future. But do you want to know what I don’t see? I don’t see you being forced to pick sides because of your parents and my parents. We don’t have to pick sides and be separated. I may not be good at predicting the future, but I know that we won’t be forced to pick sides.”
“You sound pretty good at palm reading to me. That counts as predicting the future,” Scorpius said quietly. I stood up, still holding his hand.
“Come with me,” I whispered. I quickly threw my socks and shoes back on, dropping his hand to do so. He stood up, and I started walking towards the castle after the buckle on my shoe was tightened. I was hoping that my palm reading was as good as Scorpius thought it was.
I had reason to think otherwise.
Author’s Note: FINALLY! Man, I took a long time. If I took any longer I’d be going backwards. Personally, I’m surprised I found time to write this chapter. I’ve been so busy lately with sports and school. It’s kind of obnoxious how busy I am. Oh well. I’ll be faster next time—my sport is almost over.