Chapter 5 : Birds of Paradise
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Scorpius and Rose sat on the floor in the same aisle between the history books and the legend books until the lights in the library were extinguished one by one. They hadn’t moved at all since they had both first arrived, only lowering themselves into a sitting position. Rose let her head fall to Scorpius’s chest, and he kept his hand in her hair. They were both breathing quietly, rhythmically.
Rose lifted her head and looked around. Scorpius pulled his head back slightly and blinked. “What time is it?” Rose whispered. She had just realized that it was rather dark. She felt Scorpius shrug under her.
“I don’t know. Maybe eleven or twelve.”
Rose sat up straight and looked at Scorpius. Scorpius kept his gaze steady as he looked at her, too. Then suddenly, Rose burst out laughing. Scorpius jumped in alarm, his eyes widening.
“Bloody hell, Rose. What’s so funny?”
Rose continued laughing, clutching her stomach and leaning towards the floor. Scorpius quirked an eyebrow at her. “You’re scaring me,” he admitted hesitantly.
It took a while for Rose to catch her breath but she eventually did. Only a few small giggles escaped through her lips as she finally answered him. “We’ve sat here for about seven hours and we haven’t spoken a word to each other,” she mused. “I haven’t spent any time with you alone for about three weeks and when I finally do, we don’t even talk.”
Slowly, Rose’s words softened as her expression became rather pitiful. Scorpius leaned in toward her and cupped her chin, pulling her face up to look at him. “Don’t you dare cry Rosalie. I don’t know about you but I had an amazing time with my girl.”
Rose blinked. “I didn’t mean it like that. I had a wonderful time doing nothing with you.”
“Well, not nothing. But you know what I mean,” Rose amended. “Never mind. Just trust me. I had a great time. I really missed you. I just wished we talked more.”
“Okay, what do you want to talk about?”
Rose looked taken aback. “Scorpius, it’s midnight. We need to get out of here before we get into trouble. We shouldn’t be out this late.”
Scorpius sighed but didn’t argue. He couldn’t argue with her. If she had told him that the sky was really red and not blue he would have completely agreed with her just so she wouldn’t be distressed. He pushed himself up to his feet and extended a hand down to Rose. She took it happily and stepped into his arms. She planted a kiss on the side of his jaw as they slowly walked to the exit.
The library was eerily quiet. They had lost track of how long ago Madam Pince had kicked everyone out and closed up shop. And it was obvious that Rose was internally freaking out. She wasn’t one to break rules and staying out past curfew was a big deal for her. If she got into trouble it was all on Scorpius. He wouldn’t let her take the blame. The last place he wanted her was in detention with Filch.
A low thump echoed throughout the empty library and both Rose and Scorpius jumped. “What was that?” Rose breathed, stepping closer to Scorpius.
Scorpius looked around in the dark, squinting his eyes. “Who knows? The place is ancient. It was probably just the floorboards or something.”
There was another thump but louder this time. Rose squealed in fear and started hopping in a panicky way. She was pulling on Scorpius’s arm, leading him to the doors to make an escape. He looked at her, amused, before he obliged. There were two more thumps, almost as though books were dropping to the ground, and then there was a voice.
Rose’s eyes rounded in horror. They were going to get caught. They were going to get expelled. No one would trust her again. She would be a disgrace. What was she doing out past curfew anyway? What in Merlin’s name was she thinking? It was totally unlike her to do such a thing.
The sound of the voice got higher. Then there was laughter. A lot of laughter. There was more than one person! Rose started to hyperventilate. Not only would she get caught, but there would be witnesses too! She started pulling on Scorpius’s arm more urgently, but he refused to move. His head was cocked to the side as though he was listening intently to the voices coming from Merlin knows where.
“And what would happen if your warden found you out right now?” The voice came extremely clear from somewhere among the book shelves as though a sliding door was pulled open letting the sound through. It wasn’t muffled at all as it had been just seconds ago. The voices were getting closer.
Rose gave one final tug on Scorpius’s arm before she accepted the fact that it was pointless. She stood by him and watched as his face grew more terse. She didn’t understand. Finally, a small group of students emerged from the restricted section. Many were holding bottles.
“Who knows?” a blonde girl shrugged, taking another swig from the bottle in her hand.
None of them had noticed the two of them standing in the middle of the otherwise empty library. Just when Rose thought that they could make a quiet escape, Scorpius spoke.
“Aria,” he growled menacingly.
The blonde who had spoken earlier startled and dropped the fire whisky to the floor. It broke against the marble floor sending shards of glass and the sharp smelling amber liquid all around them.
“Scorpius!” she gasped, taking several steps backwards and bumping into a table behind her. She almost toppled over but managed to right herself ungracefully.
“Well, there’s your ‘warden’,” one of the others slurred, nodding at Scorpius.
The blonde ignored the comment as did Scorpius. “I was just-” she started.
“Shut up,” Scorpius snapped. “Just shut up because I’m sick of hearing all your excuses.”
Rose took a small step away from Scorpius. The look on his face was frightening. He was livid. Absolutely pissed off. Rose looked back at the blonde girl. She had seen her around the school but mostly at lunch. She knew she was a Slytherin but other than that, she knew nothing about her. Why was Scorpius so angry? She couldn’t understand.
“Scorpius, I just-”
“I SAID SHUT IT ARIA! JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP!”
Rose jumped and blinked several times. She was scared for her life. Somehow, this was different than the first time she had seen Scorpius angry. The other time, he was helping her and this time he was directing his anger towards this poor girl. The blonde girl, Aria, looked as though she was on the verge of tears. She also looked rather drunk, and Rose wasn’t sure she would remember this at all when she sobered. But either way she felt sorry for the girl even if she had no clue as to why Scorpius was so angry about finding her wasted in the library with her friends. She had heard that people did that all the time.
Rose placed a gentle hand on Scorpius’s arm. He bared his teeth and barely glanced at her. “Go to your room Rosalie,” he ordered harshly. From the corner of her eye she saw the other students wince in fear. She managed to glance at Aria and noticed that she had a look in her glazed eyes. One that clearly said do not leave us alone with him.
Rose bit her lip and glanced at the girl again. “But Scorp-”
Scorpius closed his eyes in aggravation. “I said, go.”
When Rose didn’t move he turned to face her, his eyes flashing. “Is there a problem?” he asked coldly.
Rose dropped her eyes to the floor and shook her head. “No,” she whispered. “I’m sorry. I’ll leave.”
Rose didn’t look at the drunken group, nor did she glance back at Scorpius as she quickly walked out of the library. She pushed open the doors and automatically turned left towards the moving staircases that lead to the seventh floor. Her head was so full of what had just happened. How could Scorpius treat her that way? He was always so sweet to her. He never raised his voice or ordered her around. It was obvious that he spoiled her, she even knew it, but she still didn’t appreciate his hostility.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t the stuck up teacher’s pet. Obviously her mother’s daughter.”
Rose shrieked and jumped back in alarm. Her hand flew to her heart as she gasped for breath. “Mr. Filch!” she breathed. “Oh! You scared me!”
Filch bared his decaying yellow teeth and let out a menacing cackle. “Oh, I will have some fun with you Miss Weasley. It’s not everyday I catch the innocent ones, you know.”
Rose felt sick. “Ew,” she murmured. “I’m really sorry Mr. Filch. It won’t happen again, I promise.”
Filch shook his head. “Of course it bloody won’t! Because you’ll be hanging from the ends of that pretty hair on your head in the dungeons until you turn thirty!”
Rose swallowed loudly and gently caressed the ends of her red hair. “Wh-what?”
“You heard me,” Filch snarled as he grabbed Rose by her upper arm and dragged her with him down the stairs.
They continued walking for what felt like ages. All the while Rose was on the verge of tears. She didn’t get into trouble. Ever. Not at all. That was what Albus, James, Hugo and even Lily did. She was the one who sat on the sidelines whenever her cousins had some crazy idea that involved sneaking something in or sneaking something out. She was dead meat. She could feel it. She could feel the excitement and anticipation rolling off of Filch in sickening waves. He knew it as well as she did. Because whether she got into trouble or not, someone, whether it be the headmistress or her parents, would be disappointed in her. And that, if nothing else, was worse than anything in the world.
“Here’s your stop,” Filch rasped, his hot reeking breath spilling over her face. He practically threw her into the revolving staircase as the statue jumped to the side.
Once she reached the top, she held her breath. She was facing the doors to the Headmistress’s office. Professor Mcgonagal would not be happy to see her, that was for sure.
Rose trudged her way to the front of the Potions classroom to find her seat. She dropped her books on the seat next to Albus and plopped down looking thoroughly miserable. Albus, on the other hand, looked rather chipper as he turned to look at Rose. But he frowned as he took in her expression.
“What’s wrong?” he asked automatically.
Rose was about to tell him that she had received two weeks of detention for being out after curfew but that would have lead to questioning because it was not like her to be sneaking around late at night unless for a very good reason, and Rose was pretty sure Albus would not have liked her reason.
“Nothing. Couldn’t sleep last night,” she answered, which wasn’t a lie. Because once she got to her room after Mcgonagal had yelled at her, Rose had cried over how unfair life was. When she had finally gotten to sleep, the alarm clock had gone off signaling a new day of classes. She had ignored it and slept through breakfast so now she was cranky, tired, and hungry.
Albus nodded and returned to looking ridiculously happy. Rose glared at him with narrowed eyes.
“What’s wrong?” she mocked.
Albus beamed at her. “I have a strong feeling Lily and Malfoy are going to break up.”
Rose blinked in surprise. “Why’s that?”
But before Albus could reply, the professor had walked in and ordered the class to continue working on the potion they had concocted the day before. Rose automatically got up to retrieve the materials they needed but still desperately wanted to know why Albus believed they were going to “break up”.
She quickly got the ingredients and scales together and rushed back to her seat. “Why do you think that?” she asked again.
Albus looked up at her as he slowly cut up the slugs the were working with. “Because. Okay, so yesterday, when Malfoy had to go work on his paper, he never came back. Lily was with me the whole time after dinner so I didn’t even have to worry about her being with him.”
Rose nodded as she added the slugs he was passing to her to the concoction they had formulated. She started to mix the pulsing red liquid with her wand and glanced at Albus, urging him to continue. “Is that it?”
Albus shook his head, his face lighting up. “And then, this morning, Malfoy didn’t even walk with Lily to breakfast like he usually does. He wasn’t even waiting outside the portrait hole for her or anything,” he said, obviously excited. “And when we did finally get to the Great Hall, Malfoy completely ignored Lily. Didn’t even glance at her. He just sat at the Slytherin table looking pissed off at the world. Not even his sister would risk talking to him.”
“His sister?” Rose repeated, stopping the mixing and putting her wand down on the table. “I didn’t know Scorpius had a sister.”
Albus shrugged. “He has two, I think.”
Rose blanched and put her hand to her head. “What are their names?”
“Noelle is the young one. I tutored her in Defense Against the Dark Arts in the beginning of the year. She’s a sweetheart. I didn’t even believe she was related to the prick. And the other one’s a sixth year. I don’t know her name though.”
Rose’s head spun. She lowered herself to her seat. Why hadn’t he told her he had sisters? Well they never really spoke of their family considering they hated each other. And it had never crossed her mind that he would have siblings. Rose took in a shaky breath.
Albus continued working on the potion, all the while looking smug. Rose was distracted but managed to still get the potion to the right consistency and color, receiving full marks. Albus grinned at her before letting his smile fade.
“You should really catch up on your sleep,” he said, worried. “You have a break right after Defense, right?”
Rose nodded, clearly not listening. Then she blinked and looked at Albus with wide eyes. “We have Defense Against the Dark Arts next,” she said dryly. Defense was with the Slytherins.
Albus looked taken aback and nodded slowly. “Yeah. That’s what I just said. Wow, Rose. You really need some sleep.”
Rose barely registered that Albus had turned and walked towards their next class. She quickly followed after him and grabbed a seat in the front. Albus sat in their usual seat near the back but two tables down was where Scorpius usually sat, and Rose did not want to talk to him. She was still ticked about getting two weeks of detention doing Merlin knows what.
Rose knew the exact moment when Scorpius walked into the classroom without even turning around. Albus had sniggered rather loudly and the air around her had gone still. It had always frightened her that she could feel his presence because she had never been so in tune with anyone before. They had a deep connection from the very start. But she was still mad.
She sat up straighter in her seat and continued looking to the front. When everyone had filed in and taken their seat, the teacher walked out of his office and stood before them. He smiled warmly at Rose, and Rose returned a shy smile back.
“Okay,” Professor Leonard said clapping his hands together once. “Who has heard of the Patronus charm?”
Rose raised her hand, along with the majority of the class.
“Who has ever cast a full Patronus?” he asked.
No one lifted a hand in the air. The professor nodded, seeming to have guessed the answer before receiving it. He turned to the board and pulled out his wand to start writing something. Rose dropped her chin to her hand and stared moodily out of the window.
There was a fluttering sound by her left ear and suddenly sitting on her desk in front of her was a bird shaped origami. Rose picked it up carefully, eyeing it suspiciously. She was afraid to look around and see who had given it to her. And somehow she knew that if she wanted to know, she would have to unfold the pretty little bird. She gently pulled apart the seams of the fragile paper and laid the creased paper in front of her. It had five simple words scrawled across the piece of parchment.
I’m sorry. I love you.
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