Chapter 8 : Battle of the Bee's
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I had never felt so completely giddy in my entire life. Going crazy over a boy had never really been my style. I was generally disaffected when it came to romance. Boys came to me; I didn’t really worry that much about them. I had been there, done that. But this was different. I felt a sort of daring freedom, a sweet rebellion against my former self. When I was with Scorpius, things felt right, he made me feel like I could be myself. For the first time in my life I felt free to trust my instincts and be who I wanted to be. I was floating on a cloud. Then everything came crashing down around my feet.
“And then I swooped around like this, and I reeled back and grabbed the quaffle just in time!” Hugo cried, jumping over the bench and onto the ground in an intense reenactment of the previous nights Quidditch game. “And then Kapenski came out of nowhere...”
“We were all there Hugo.” Albus said smugly as he chewed on a piece of bacon. “We all saw you.” Hugo made a face behind his back and I laughed to myself. That comment was pretty amusing coming from Albus Potter, the boy who thought he had to give me a play by play whether I was there or not. Geneva, who was sitting on the other side of Albus, put her arm around his neck and Hugo gave him the thumbs up. He grinned and blushed, and I mimed puking into my goblet. As soon as Hugo left, Albus launched back into his very detailed story about his spectacular goal. I smiled and nodded, but I wasn’t listening. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Olivia whispering to the girls around her. She had a fierce intensity about her, and the look in her eyes made my stomach drop. I knew Olivia, and that look wasn’t good. The other girls turned to stare at me; Olivia surveyed me through heavily lidded eyes. I quickly turned back to Albus.
“But you were there.” He finished. “You saw.” I just smiled, neither confirming nor denying his statement. The truth was that I hadn’t seen the game. Scorpius and I had left early to take a walk around the lake.
The sun was at the very top of the sky, and the lake produced a skewered reflection that glinted and glimmered with the waves. On the other side of the castle I could hear the cheers of the fans, but they seemed miles away. We were walking around the lake barefoot and I could feel the soft sand squishing between my toes.
He reached out for my hand and I gave it to him gladly, surprising myself by getting excited over this small gesture. The feeling I always experienced briefly when I first saw him was permanent now. I couldn’t shake his overwhelming presence, he intoxicated me. We walked in silence for a while, neither of us really knowing what to say.
Finally, we stopped underneath the large beech tree that was a notorious hotspot for Hogwarts couples looking for a bit of action. I raised my eyebrows at him and he chuckled.
“Look,” he put his arm on my shoulder. “I just wanted to find a place where we could talk.”
“Sure.” I laughed, but I believed him. He was no Puck Csintalan. We both looked at our feet awkwardly. “So...” I began, “are you...am I...I mean, are we...” I sort of trailed off, lacking the words to express my confusion.
“I don’t know.” He answered quietly. “I want to be...it’s just...complicated.” He shook his head. He stared out at the lake for a long time. I was so distracted by the sight of his strong jaw. “I love you Rose.” He said finally, and again I was startled by the confidence he stated it with. “But I don’t think it would be a good idea for other people to know...for now. I think it would be best if we...”
“Kept things quiet?” I finished for him. He nodded.
“Yes, exactly. People tend to be so wrapped up in their pre-conceived notions to accept things like...us.”
“Of course.” I said, taking his hands. “That would be fine. I won’t tell anyone. Except maybe myself, but I won’t believe it.” He laughed.
“You have to believe it,” He whispered “because it’s the truth.” He kissed me on the cheek and I sighed...hating and loving the effect he had on me.
“Do that once more.” I instructed. He laughed and kissed me again.
My daydreams were interrupted by the arrival of the morning post. All around the hall owls were swooping down, dropping packages and letters into student’s laps.
“Ooh Witch Weekly!” Geneva exclaimed. “I’ve been waiting for this issue.” I had to fight the overwhelming desire to retch.
I received my usual weekly letter from mum and dad, my copy of the daily profit, and a small piece of parchment tied up with a green bow. I looked up and saw Scorpius smirking at me from across the hall. I raised my eyebrows at him pointedly and then opened the letter.
Meet me in the owlry at nine pm. I have something I need to discuss with you.
The word love made my heart leap, and I tried to calm myself down. Honestly Rose, you are acting like a lovesick child. I folded the letter up and put it in my pocket.
“What’s that Rosie?” Albus asked, spraying bits of scone on my face. I wiped them off with a grimace as he apologized profusely.
“Ew.” I stated finally. “It’s nothing, just a note from erm, Grandma Molly.” He looked slightly put off.
“Well why didn’t I get one?” he complained.
“Oh, it was just a little girl thing.” I lied quickly, thinking on my feet. “don’t you worry about it.”
Olivia and the girls she had been talking to stood up suddenly and started strutting away from the table. What on Earth? I thought.
“Um, I suppose I’m done as well.” I stood up, and everyone else murmured their agreement. We took off together. As we passed the Slytherin table, Scorpius sneered at me in jest and I had to fight back a laugh. Unfortunately, Albus saw him and he stopped.
“You got a problem Malfoy?” he threatened. I grabbed his arm.
“Al, it’s fine, let’s go...” I tried, but he wouldn’t budge.
“Not at all, Potter.” Scorpius said coldly. I had been afraid of this.
“Let’s go Al.” I demanded, steering him out of the hall. The last thing I needed to do right now was start a fight.
“That little ferret was being disrespectful.” Albus fumed as we headed for the Gryffindor tower.
“It doesn’t bother me Al.” I muttered. “It’s just Malfoy, let it go.” I put hand in my pocket and absently felt the parchment. This was going to be more complicated than I thought.
In the common room, I caught sight of Olivia sitting around the fire with the other girls. When I tried to smile at her, she just glared at me through narrow eyes.
That’s it. I thought. I am done playing these games with her.
I marched right up to her and planted myself in front of her chair.
“What is your problem?” I demanded, staring her down. She just looked around me and played with her wand.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about Rose.” She said haughtily, exchanging glances with the other girls.
“I think you do Olivia.” I fired back. “You have been treating me like absolute scum and I didn’t do anything! I don’t deserve this.” She still didn’t respond. “Look at me!” I shouted.
She stood up, her nose inches from my face. A crowd had gathered around us. “You don’t deserve this? I’m not treating you right?” she demanded. “Everyone treats you right, everyone loves you, and maybe you deserve a break from that. Maybe you need a dose of reality.” She hissed. I gaped at her.
“I have had a bigger dose of reality than you could ever comprehend!” I narrowed my eyes. “You are so wrapped up in yourself and your problems and you just take it out on everyone else. It is not my fault that your life is not going the way you want it to!”
She slapped me hard across the face and a gasp went up around the room. I put my hand to my face and stared at her in disbelief. She just cocked an eyebrow, daring me to fight back. I took a shaky breath.
“You’ve changed Olivia.” I said finally. She laughed cruelly.
“I’ve changed Rose? I’m not the one who’s been lying to my friends!” I was completely caught off guard by this statement.
“What is she talking about Rosie?” Albus asked.
“Oh you don’t know?” Olivia asked gleefully. She reached into my robes pocket and grabbed the note from Scorpius. “What’s this Rose?”
“A letter from my Grandmother, give it back!” I lunged for it, my heart beat rising fast.
“Oh really? Tell me, when did your grandmother change her name to Scorpius?” she asked. An instant hush fell in the common room. I closed my eyes.
“Fine.” I said. “It’s from Scorpius; he wants to meet later so we can work on our project.” It wasn’t the complete truth, but at least it wasn’t a lie. Olivia wouldn’t give up so easily.
“So that’s why he signed it ‘Love Scorpius’ is it?” she demanded. I could feel every eye in the room on me. Olivia walked back over to me, staring me down with cruel eyes. “I saw you kissing him Rose.” She hissed.
The room was immediately in an uproar. People were shouting things at me, at Olivia, and at each other.
“Quiet!” Albus yelled, and everyone died down. He looked at me with pleading eyes. “It’s not true, is it Rosie.”
I gulped, fighting back tears. I didn’t know what to say.
I sighed. “Yes Albus, it’s true.” People gave me dirty looks and started walking away. Albus stared at me with disbelief. Olivia surveyed the wreckage with triumph.
“Al, please...listen.” I called, but he shook his head.
“Why should I listen to you?” he whispered, and then he turned and walked away. I could feel the tears streaming down my face.
“Guess you’re no longer the favorite.” Olivia’s voice rang in my ears. She pranced by me, a victorious smirk on her face. “There’s a new queen bee in Hogwarts now.”
I trudged up the stairs to the owlry, tears blurring my vision. It had been less than twenty-four hours since Olivia and my fight, and already the whole school knew. In classes, people had stared me down, or worse, completely ignored me. People from other houses glared at me in the corridors. Rose Weasley, the traitor, the skank who was with Scorpius Malfoy. She sank so low, we can’t associate with her. I couldn’t bear it. I had to ask Professor Longbottom to excuse me from class. Albus wouldn’t look at me, much less talk to me.
I shivered in the cold night air as I finally reached the top step. I pushed open the large door, and was met with the overwhelming smell of owl droppings. I gagged slightly as I walked around the large circular room. There was no sign of the blonde Slytherin.
“Hello Rosie.” Came a small voice from across the room. I jumped as my cousin Lily emerged from behind a pillar. I put my hand to my heart. “How are you?”
“Merlin Lily,” I gasped. “you scared me.” She giggled.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you.” She motioned to a brown owl that was perched on her shoulder. “I just came to visit Hedwigeon.” She explained, stroking the tawny owl lovingly.
“So I suppose you aren’t supposed to be speaking to me either.” I commented, shuffling around the room. She laughed.
“I don’t really care what other people say about you Rosie. I’ve always liked you.” She said confidently. “that’s not going to change just because you are in love with some one.” I was overcome with love for my cousin.
“So, it doesn’t bother you that I’m with Scorpius?” I asked her. She shook her head.
“No.” she said simply. “Although your parents will probably flip.”
“Please don’t say anything about it.” I begged, I really didn’t want to deal with parental disapproval at the moment.
“I won’t.” she promised. We stood in silence for a while. I finally had to ask her a question that had been weighing on my mind since that morning.
“Lily, do you think Albus will ever forgive me?” I asked.
“Rosie, you haven’t done anything wrong. He just is upset because you didn’t tell him about it, and he hates Malfoy. Old prejudices die hard. Give him some time; he’ll come back to you. You’re his favorite girl.” Her voice betrayed a bit of sadness at the last sentence. I bent over and looked her in the eyes.
“I may be.” I said. “But I could never replace his favorite sister.” A knock came from the door, and I turned to see Scorpius standing in the entrance.
“Am I interrupting anything?” he asked. Lily and I exchanged glances and she shook her head.
“No.” I said straightening up.
“I’ll just be going then.” Lily said, placing Hedwigeon on her perch. “Goodbye Rosie, Scorpius.” She waved as she skipped out the door.
Scorpius chuckled. “What a character.” He muttered. I smiled, she really was.
“Are you alright then?” he asked, wrapping his arms around me. I sighed into his chest.
“I don’t know.” I murmured. “It hasn’t really sunken in yet.” He rested his chin on my head. I closed my eyes and tried to block out the stress of the day.
“Maybe it would be better if we just didn’t see each other.” He said.
“What?” I exclaimed, jerking away. “What do you mean?”
He sighed, running his fingers through his hair. “I’m not good for you Rose; I’m not a good person to be around. I’m only going to bring you trouble.”
“Well, you can’t really bring any trouble that hasn’t already hit me at this point.” I scoffed. He held my hands.
“Your family...” he began. I cut him off.
“My family can deal with it. It’s time for me to start making my own decisions.” I said firmly. He smiled ruefully.
“We still shouldn’t do this.” He said as we walked out of the owlry. I grabbed his hand and wrapped it around my waist.
“You know,” I said, looking him straight in the eyes. “I really don’t care.”
“And that,” he replied, “is why I worry.” I rolled my eyes.
“I don’t need you to worry about me. I just need you to promise me that you won’t back out on me. No matter what happens.”
He pulled me closer. “I promise.”
I am SOOOO sorry this took so long! I swear I posted this chapter earlier, and for some reason it never went through...so sorry for the wait!
I hope you liked it...let me know!
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