Chapter 12 : Chapter twelve
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He wasn't paying attention to a word Rose was saying and wouldn't have been able to do so, even if he tried. The only thing he managed to extract out of all the prattle, was that she felt the same way. She had always felt the same way. Then how did they manage to complicate things so far? How did he end up fighting with his best friend and land himself in a near death situation?The truth was that, Scorpius wasn't interested. All he knew and cared about, was that Rose loved him just as much as he loved her.
He was instead paying attention to her petite hands - as she used to describe certain events, her glistening, brown eyes -as they watered up, her rich, opulent lips - as she spoke animatedly, and her hair which was fluffier than ever, which Scorpius couldn't wait to ruffle his hands through. For a moment, he felt his breath being taken away as he took in her beauty. He couldn't wait till she finished blathering- to hold her tightly and never let go and to kiss her as though there was no tomorrow.
Rose, after what felt like hours, finished speaking. Her eyes were inundated by tears, which to her, was an insignia of her apology, for having caused him so much pain. Scorpius who seemed to understand this, took his hands and gently wiped away those tears, as a sign of forgiveness.
"You know what Rose. I didn't pay attention, to a bloody word you just said," he said, smiling widely.
Rose, despite her tears, couldn't help herself from chortling. "I thought so," she replied with a smile.
Scorpius smiled warmly and kissed her forehead. He then took her into his arms and hugged her tightly. They were on a public platform and were surrounded by hundreds of students waiting to board the train, half of them checking the cuddled up pair in front of them. But to Scorpius and Rose, it seemed like a deserted island and no one could come in between them again, not even Armene Parkinson who looked as though she had been force fed a bogey flavored Every Flavor beans, as she watched the couple hugging.
Neime was standing with his hands in his pockets and and looking over at the pair, from afar. His expression was mellow, devoid of guilt and fully content at seeing the two people in front of him, finally happy. But if someone had looked closer, they would have noticed a tinge of disappointment, amidst all the cheerfulness.
"They do make a really cute couple, don't they?" asked a voice from behind, and Neime, without turning back, recognized it as the voice of Anna Peterson, who was peering at her best friend as well.
Neime nodded automatically in reply and watched Rose and Scorpius step inside the train.
"You know what you should have done though?" she asked, turning to face him.
"What?" asked Neime, smiling and expecting some whacky, yet well reasoned answer from the Gryffindor.
"You should have put her on a plane and sent her off to Lisbon, and walked off into the sunset with Scorpius," she said.
"Its from an old Muggle movie," added Anna, wondering whether he got the joke.
"I know. Casablanca right? I love that movie," he said, smiling, as he followed her into the train..
Neime upon seeing the raised eyebrow on Anna's face soon added
"But if you mention that to anyone, I swear I'll use the bat bogey hex on you. Mind you, Rose has given me a few pointers," he shot warningly.
"Neime Zabini. The Slytherin, Quidditch playing hunk, love a sappy Muggle romance flick? Yeah, like anyone would believe me," she said teasingly.
Neime chuckled, as he got into a compartment with her.
"I was all for it though. But Scorpius wasn't interested," he said, as he sat down opposite her.
"If it helps, I was routing for you and Scorpius to get together," she said playfully.
Neime was surprised she could make him laugh so easily, especially since he hadn't fully recovered from the guilt, that had been eating away inside of him. As a result he was somber most of the time.
"Rose talks a lot about you," he said once the laughter subsided.
"Yeah. And I know enough about Scorpius to write a book on him," she said, while taking out a book to read.
Anna was too busy ogling at a pair of seventh years who were standing on the paltform, glued at the lips, to notice Neime staring at her intently.
"I guess we'll have to get used to our best friends snogging each other in our presence, from now on," she remarked wearily, as she turned her attention back to her book
"Maybe, we can make it less awkward by going on a date ourselves," he replied nonchalantly, as though he hadn't said anything important.
Anna twisted her head around so fast, that one could hear her bones snapping. She raised her eyebrows curiously and asked-
"Did you just ask me out?", in awe of the nerve of the Slytherin sitting in front of her.
"Yes. I believe I did," he replied smiling wickedly, before continuing, "I live just blocks away from you. We could go out for a Muggle movie next weekend, if you'd want to," he said confidently, flashing his famous smile, which was said to have won a thousand hearts.
It was usually Anna who would cause others to be stumped for words, with her quick wit and sarcastic taunts. But this time, she was the one who was lost for words, so much so, that she had to wait a full minute before responding.
"Sure. I'd love to," she said finally, looking back at the dark skinned boy and flushing despite herself.
The whistle of the train, interrupted the snogging couple outside and prompted the remaining flock of students to leap into the bogeys.
The train started galloping at a small pace and after a while gathered full speed, as Hogwarts bid goodbye to the students and awaited their return till the next year. The rays of sunlight slogged through their windows as Neime and Anna chatted enthusiastically, wondering what their seventh year was going to bring for them and their best friends.
As Anna and Neime slowly settled in to the atmosphere around them, Neime added-
"Anna, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," the bustle of the train, swallowing the laughter, that followed.
A year had passed since the train had left Hogwarts, with two new couples amongst others, on board. The four of them were relaxing one afternoon, under a tree by the lake. Neime was resting his head on Anna's lap, as she read a brochure on certain Ministry jobs, while Scorpius and Rose were chatting on the other side with Rose looking more worried than usual.
"Its alright Rose," said Scorpius reassuringly. "I'm more worried about telling your father. Its always the girl's father, who's tough to impress," he said, now looking equally worried.
Neime and Anna looked at each other and smiled, being grateful for the fact that they didn't have to deal with the problem, their best friends were facing.
"Stop smirking, you git," retorted Scorpius playfully, as he saw Neime smiling.
"Hey don't blame us for not having any hassles in our relationship," responded Neime laughing and taking a jibe at his best friend.
"Don't worry Scorpius. Rose's Dad will make a fuss initially, but eventually he'll accept you," said Anna reassuringly.
Neime looked at his watch and upon seeing the time, called out to his friend-
"C'mon Scorp. Quidditch practice," Neime said, as he lifted his head from Anna's lap.
Both the boys kissed their respective partners and headed for the grounds.
Anna, after watching Neime walk by said to Rose-
"Its alright Rose. He's eighteen. You both are. Anyway, I'm inclined to believe his parents will be a little less hostile towards you, especially since you saved his life, last year," said Anna as she rested her head back on the tree.
Rose didn't reply, but instead went over and sat by Anna's side, looking over at the girls laughing by the lake.
"You know, I'm surprised at how you managed to get Neime in a relationship with you. He must really love you. He has never been with a girl, longer than a month. A feat not even I could achieve. I lasted a week, remember?" said Rose slinking her head towards Anna.
"Some times I wonder how I did it, myself," sighed Anna and added. "Did you know we managed to bag two of the most hottest boys at Hogwarts?" she remarked, laughing hysterically.
"How did we do that?" asked Rose in amazement, and the two best friends laughed at their own words in the backdrop of the lake, which smiled serenely at their innocence and in that moment, Rose forgot all about the hurdles, that lay ahead of her and Scorpius.
The train whistled, as the students got down and the graduates looked longingly back at the express, that they would never board again. But Rose's and Scorpius's attention was drawn towards the two pairs of families, that were standing on the opposite sides of the train. Scorpius took one look at the two families and realized that it was urgent to speak to Rose's father first. The issues with his family went much deeper, which couldn't be resolved on a railway platform.
Scorpius took Rose by her hand and dragged her along with him until they stood face to face with her father. Ronald Weasley, quite shocked to see his daughter holding hands with his enemy's son, couldn't even manage himself to ask his daughter, how she was doing. Instead it was Scorpius who spoke first.
"Sir. I would like to let you know, that I am dating your daughter. And I hope, you will not object to it," he said confidently, while Ron's jaw dropped.
Rose felt her entire body tremble, since she hadn't expected Scorpius to commit this ludicrous act of asking her father's permission, on a railway platform.
Ron looked extremely incredulous and looked over at Malfoy who hadn't yet spotted his son.
"You are Draco Malfoy's son?" asked Ron roughly, which made Scorpius gulp.
"Yes. I am," he answered, nervously.
Before Ron could ask another question though, Scorpius added-
"Mr Weasley. I'm nothing like my father, if thats what you expect of me. I'm madly in love with your daughter. She's the only person, I can see myself spending an entire life with. I know that you, of all people, can understand that, because you found your soul mate around the same age," he finished, nodding at Hermione, who mean while was talking to Hugo and hadn't witnessed this little conversation.
Ron automatically looked over at his wife and his lips curled into the tiniest of smiles. But the smile was soon replaced with a stern, admonitory look, as he turned back to face Scorpius.
"Fine. But if you hurt my Rosie in anyway..."
"Unless I'm on an imperious curse, I won't harm her in any manner whatsoever. You can rest assured of that, Sir." he completed the sentence.
Ron who scrutinized him for a while, finally nodded his approval and asked Rose to hurry up. Once her father left them, she hugged Scorpius delightedly. But upon looking over his shoulder, her expression turned into a frown, as she spotted Draco Malfoy, who's face was embellished with shock and anger. Rose looked at Scorpius worriedly and he seemed to understand, what she was trying to tell him.
"Its going to be tough. But if I'll have to fight my entire family for you, I'll do it. The worst they can do is disown me. I don't care. Just promise me, you'll always be my side," said Scorpius, as Rose's brown eyes, welled up with tears.
Rose nodded as Scorpius planted a kiss on her forehead. They only let each other go when Rose heard her father call her name once again.
They parted amidst all the commotion around them, drifting towards the opposite sides of the train, having to face a future with a lot of struggles. But the one thing, that gave them the strength to face this uncertain future, was that there was someone on the other side who loved them, a love that triumphed every trick- fate played on them, a love that survived - despite so much that was left unsaid.