As the kids were all climbing back onto the Hogwarts Express the day after New Years, Al frowned at his Uncle Charlie, who appeared to be getting onto the train as well.
“What’re you doing?” he asked with scrunched brows. “This train goes to Scotland, not Romania.”
Charlie gave a hearty laugh and thumped his nephew on the shoulder. “I know that, twerp. I’m helpin’ Hagrid out with some lessons this term. They got a buncha trainees down at the reserve so I figured some Hogwarts time would be fun.” He paused for a moment before scratching his head thoughtfully. “’Sides, your brother wanted me to have a chat with one of his mates. Said she really likes dragons.”
Albus just growled in frustration and headed towards the compartment he would share with Scorpius and Rose. When he got there, he flung himself on the bench opposite his cousin and her boyfriend. “Uncle Charlie’s coming to Hogwarts,” he pouted.
“Good. The Fourth Years are learning about dragons and who better to help than Uncle Charlie?” Rose replied.
“Wait. So he’s not just going because James asked him to?”
“Not as such, no,” Rose replied carefully. “James did
suggest to Hagrid that Charlie would be a good guest professor or lecturer. And Hagrid told Charlie that Kate’s really interested in dragons. I reckon Charlie’s hoping to snap her up and bring her to the reserve after Hogwarts.”
“So this really has nothing at all to do with James fancying her, right?”
Before Rose could respond Scorpius banged his head against the window with a frustrated groan. “I am so sick
of talking about James and Kate. Can we please
talk about something else?”
Rose knew she shouldn’t have laughed. She knew it would frustrate both of the boys in the compartment. But she simply couldn’t contain the snort of laughter the burst from her.
“Lovely,” Al sulked.
“It’s just so funny,” she laughed, clutching at her stomach and leaning into Scorpius. “You two …”
“Oy,” Scorpius pouted. “That’s not nice. I’m just sick and tired of hearing about this ridiculous love triangle. Maybe she doesn’t prefer either one of you. Ever think that?”
“No,” Al retorted. “She fancies James. I know she does. I just need to make her fancy me more.”
“You can’t force
her to fancy you, Albus,” Rose said harshly. “It’s not her fault. You can’t choose who you fall for.”
“Speaking from experience, eh?” Albus asked scornfully. “Knowing spot on that Uncle Ron wouldn’t have it if you went for a Malfoy. But you did anyhow, didn’t you? Tell me, Rose. Did you really fall for him or was it only because your dad told you not to?”
“Now you just wait right there, Al,” Scorpius said as he stood. “You’ve no right to speak to her that way. She was only being truthful!”
Albus stood as well and got into Scorpius’ face. “Don’t talk to me like that, Bug Boy …” he threatened.
“Guys,” Rose tried.
“I can talk to you however I want, Alby,” the blonde returned.
“Why don’t you put your wand where your mouth is, git!”
“Guys, stop it!” Rose exclaimed again.
“Stay the hell out of this, Rose,” Albus said loudly. “This is between me and him!”
Scorpius took his eyes off of Albus for a brief second to ask Rose to keep out of the way – to leave the compartment – anything
… but Albus had other ideas. He pulled his wand on the blonde and muttered a curse.
A flash of green erupted from Albus’ wand and his Scorpius on the chest. And then great bloody slashes erupted on his body.
“Scorpius!” Rose cried, reaching out for him. She caught her boyfriend before he fell over. “Please go get Charlie, Al. Please.”
Albus stood there for a moment, shocked at what he did. He was just so angry
at his cousin’s boyfriend. He didn’t think the curse would do anything that
“Al! Go! He needs help!”
Albus then quickly set in gear. As he was running down the corridor he saw his brother.
“Where’re you off to?”
“Scorpius is hurt. He's bleeding pretty bad. I’ve got to find Uncle Charlie.”
James nodded and headed in the direction Albus had come from. He’d learned all of the basic healing spells and could at least attempt to stem the flow of blood.
When he reached his cousin and Scorpius he took in the blood and the lack of color on both of the occupants.
“Did he hit you too?”
“No,” Rose cried. “It’s all his blood.”
James sighed and knelt down over Scorpius as he muttered healing spells over the younger boy’s wounds. “What did he use?”
“Sectumsempra,” Rose whispered. “He did it without even thinking about it. Scor didn’t even have his wand drawn.”
“Damnit, Albus,” the older boy whispered. “Next time just take it out on me …”
Just about when James had finished the most he could do, Charlie charged into the room. “What happened?”
“He was hit with a Sectumsempra,” Rose said.
hit him with that?” Charlie asked in disbelief as he fell to his knees and continued where James had left off. “Why in the name of Merlin would he do that?”
“He’s been a bit off lately.”
“Because of that girl, right?” Charlie asked with disgust. “This is the exact reason I never got married.”
“I thought you got married because you were a pouf,” James snickered.
“You wish, Midget,” Charlie responded. “Now shut up and let me heal this kid.”
Twenty minutes passed before Scorpius opened his eyes. He saw a blurry vision of red hurl itself at him.
He wrapped his arms around Rose and muttered sweetly, “Hey. Calm down. I’m okay. You have to calm down,” repeatedly. He hugged her to him, afraid that she was worse off than he was. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” she sniffled. “I’m just so happy you’re alright.”
“I can’t believe that little git …” James began.
“I did this to myself,” Scorpius said strongly. “I was messing around with my wand when I shouldn’t have been. I was trying to show off for my girlfriend and it backfired on me. That’s the story.”
“Scor, no …” Rose whispered.
“It’s the way it has to be this time, Rosie. He’s not been himself and I won’t blame him for this. I’m fine,” he added as he stood up and pulled a tear-streaked Rose with him.
“I hope he sets himself straight soon,” Charlie said. “He can’t just go around hexing people. This is just bloody ridiculous.”
“It’s fine,” Scorpius said once more. “We’re all okay. No harm, no foul.”
“But you were
harmed,” James said.
“And now I’m not. Might have some scars but they’ll fade in time. I’m not worried about it and you lot shouldn’t be either.”
“Never thought I’d see the day where you stood up in favor of Al,” Rose said with a smile as she helped him into his seat. “If I were you …”
“If you were me you’d see how important that idiot is to his family and you’d do the same thing for the girl you lo- …” he cleared his throat. “You would do the same thing for the girl you love.”
“You love me?” Rose whispered as James and Charlie silently backed out of the compartment.
“Of course I do,” Scorpius replied as he pulled her down to sit beside him. “How could I not, Rose? You’re … everything, you know?”
Rose shook her head slowly, tears building in her eyes once more. “I can’t believe you love me.”
“Well believe it,” her boyfriend responded as he lifted a hand to wipe the tears from her cheeks. “Because I do
love you. Maybe I have from the beginning. I don’t know. What I know is that I was in Greece with Dad and Teri and I saw the way he looks at her and I realized … that’s how I look at you too. And I know Dad loves Teri … maybe more than he loved Mum … but it’s love. I just know it. And you don’t have to say it back. I promise I won’t be mad if you don’t. I mean, I’ve always been a step or two ahead of you, haven’t I?” he teased.
“Prat,” she whispered before she brought her lips to his in a kiss. She lingered for several long moments, lips pressed gently to his, him returning the pressure. His hands slid slowly to her waist and hers moved to his chest. She slowly broke away, staying as close as she could without kissing him. “And I love you as well.”
“I told you that you didn’t have to say that,” he whispered.
“Yeah, but I did and I mean it all the same,” she responded as she pressed her lips to his once more.
They stayed in a warm embrace until the train pulled into Hogsmeade station. Rose looked out the window at the darkened sky, stars glittering happily on the inky backdrop. “I hope Al works it all out soon. I hate to see him like this.”
“It’ll all work out in the end, love,” Scorpius replied as he pressed a kiss to her hair before standing up and offering her a hand. “It always does.”