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Chapter 12 : An Unexpected Feeling
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As Scorpius got closer to the cave he knew Rose would have to be in, he slowed his pace to a jog. It was a place that her Uncle Harry had shown her. Harry told her that he and her parents used to meet Sirius Black there. Since the elder Weasleys and Potters seemed to think this was such a great hiding place, it was the perfect spot for Rose and Scorpius to meet once they were allowed Hogsmeade visits.
“Rosie?” he whispered as he turned into the mouth of the cave. “Are you in there?” When he didn’t hear a response he sighed. “Please come out.”
“No,” she responded stubbornly.
“C’mon, Rose. I’m trying to apologize here,” he told her.
“What for?” she asked.
This is a bloody test, he realized after a moment or two of contemplation. I’m being tested. “Erm …” he responded. “For yelling at you?”
“Was that a question or your answer?”
“Was the answer wrong? Because if it was, I want to take a Gilligan,” he told her haughtily.
“It’s called a mulligan and you’re not allowed one,” she informed him primly, stepping out of the shadows.
“Ahh, but I got you to come out, didn’t I?”
“Keep with that attitude and I’ll go right back where I came from.”
“Rose, please, I didn’t mean to yell before. I – I know that you only did what you thought was right. But I just …” he trailed off, eyes staying locked on hers.
“But what?” she asked, hands on hips. “Think you’re too much of a man to admit that some punishments are too harsh?”
“It’s not that,” Scorpius pleaded. “You know me better than that. It’s just … admitting that it happened means admitting that we have a bigoted teacher who has it out for you. And I’d rather be able to protect you myself from one idiot than from the lot of them who think it’s okay to act that way.”
Rose stood, dumbfounded, staring at Scorpius as if she’d never seen him before. She knew he cared; they were best friends after all. But this was a whole other level for her. He cared enough to want to protect her from real threats.
She did the only thing she could think of doing at that moment.
She threw herself into his arms and attached her lips to his.
After several minutes of making up from their spat, she slowly pulled away from him. “Scor,” she whispered. “That’s just the most amazing …”
He smiled at her before taking her hand and pulling her from the cave. “Please don’t mention it,” he said with a grin. “It’s no big deal. All in a day’s work, I say.”
He was rewarded with a laugh and a punch in the arm.
“To the Three Broomsticks?” she asked.
“Absolutely. I want to see how Miles is faring with your mate.”
“Oh,” she smiled as she swung their intertwined hands back and forth, “I think they’re just fine.”
Kate Spencer was sat in the library combing over Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. She loved reading and learning about magical creatures so Care for Magical Creatures was one of her favorite classes. There was still plenty to learn, as it was only the second year CMC was added into her timetable, but she simply couldn’t get enough.
As she was reading about the ten different breeds of dragons a voice from behind her said, “You know, my Uncle Charlie works with dragons. In Romania.”
“I do know that, Potter,” she said without lifting her eyes from the book. “He came to lecture last year.”
“Right,” James said as he sat beside her.
“What do you want?” she asked, eyes still glued to the page.
James shrugged and allowed his eyes to wander the library. “Nothing. Just thought you might enjoy a break from school work.”
“This isn’t school work. We don’t study dragons until Sixth Year. I just want to read up on them a bit more.”
“I could see if Uncle Charlie wanted to come home for Christmas. You could talk to him if you wanted.”
His last statement truly got her attention. She had gone to three Potter/Weasley Christmases and Charlie Weasley, the dragon tamer, had not been to one. She would be interested in speaking with him …
“What’s the catch?” she asked.
“None,” shrugged James. “It’s just … you know … you’re interested in something and I can help is all.”
She stared at him for a moment, eyes narrowed, before shaking her head. “No thanks. ‘Sides, I won’t be going to your place for the holidays this year.”
“Why not?” James asked, eyes confused.
She shrugged. “Al and I don’t seem to be getting on and there’s no talking to Hugo once he gets near Mr. Weasley. Just no point, I suppose.”
“You and Al’ll be fine, Spence.”
She shrugged again. “He’s an immature prat, James. I’m not looking for a friend whose only ambition in life is to joke around. I can’t … all he does is prank me and take the mickey out.”
“Want me to have a talk with him?” James asked sincerely.
Kate scoffed. “No. You shouldn't have to. Just leave it be. Besides,” she added as her eyes moved back down to her book, “he’s probably in a right state after I shoved him into the Lake.”
“No denying that,” James smiled as his eyes wandered down to the book as well. “Hey … Dad told me once that he and Aunt Hermione saw a Ridgeback up close. It was only a baby though. Burped fire.”
Kate smiled as she looked up at him, “That must have been funny.”
“Said it set Hagrid’s beard on fire, to be honest. Don’t know how funny that would be.”
“I’d imagine not much for Hagrid but I’m sure your dad got a kick out of it.”
James smiled again. “I’ve been to Uncle Charlie’s reservation, you know. I think I could probably ask to go spend the holidays with him instead of him coming to us. And I could, you know, ask if you could come along.” He paused before saying quickly, “Because you’re so interested in dragons, of course.”
Kate stared at him for a long minute before smiling and nodding. “I’d be happy to go if you can get permission.”
James nodded and drew his eyes to a book in front of him trying, for all he was worth, to stop thinking he had just asked out his little brother’s fancy.
His eyes wandered to her once more and his stomach flipped.
Al was going to kill him.
Rose and Scorpius entered the Three Broomsticks and froze in their tracks.
Rachel and Miles were sitting together, which they had both assumed would be the case.
What neither of them thought they would see was Miles holding her hand and staring at her with a soppy look on his face.
Nor did they think they would see Rachel with the same look.
“So much for her being in your He-Woman-Man-Haters Club,” Scorpius laughed.
“That club doesn’t really exist, Scor, and you know it.”
Before Scorpius could respond, Albus stomped into the pub and walked straight to the bar and ordered a butterbeer. Rose assumed that, should he have been able, he would have ordered something stronger.
“Al, what’s wrong?” Rose asked him as he stomped past, drink in hand.
“Kate bloody Spencer is what’s wrong,” Al muttered.
“You’re all wet, mate,” Scorpius told him.
“Because the crazy bint pushed me into the Black Lake!” Albus shouted, butterbeer sloshing out of his mug and down the front of his shirt. “Bloody perfect.”
“Why’d she push you in the Lake?” the blonde Ravenclaw asked.
“Albus …” Rose said.
“I may have implied some things about her that I shouldn’t have.”
“Such as?” his cousin asked.
“None of your business,” Al replied darkly. “Nothing that other people don’t say.”
Rose sighed before responding, “You shouldn’t have said whatever it was you did, Al. She’s probably crying her eyes out somewhere. Girls are like that.”
“At least she doesn’t know about the cave,” Scorpius said.
“No, I reckon she’s probably in the library. It’s where she goes when she wants or needs complete silence.”
Al nodded. “Right. Should probably go after her then.”
“Give her some time, mate,” Scorpius said. “She just needs to work past whatever it was you said.”
“I may have said she was boring,” Al admitted. “And that she’s closed-minded.”
Rose punched him in the arm. “You’re such a prat!” she shouted before walking out of the pub.”
“Might take a bit more time than anticipated, mate,” Scorpius said in a pitying voice before clapping Albus on the shoulder and following his girlfriend out into the streets of Hogsmeade.
About twenty minutes later, Kate’s head snapped up from her book. “Oh no. What time is it?”
James shrugged. “Seems to be getting close to dinner. Less people in the library than before,” he added when she inclined her head towards him in a confused manner.
“Right,” she said with a smile as she closed her book. “Thanks for keeping me company. It was rather nice to have someone here.”
James’ mind and conscience waged an internal battle. His mind wanted him to ask if he could come back and study or read with her again some time. His conscience told him Al would be supremely hacked off if he did.
Before he could open his mouth (with still no decision made as to what he was planning to say) she added, “I wouldn’t mind the company more often, really. I’m usually here for an hour or so after dinner. On the off chance you’re interested.”
She smiled one more time (and his stomach flipped again) before walking out of the library.
Al was most definitely going to kill him.
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