“STOP!” I shouted, grabbing Ian and trying to pull him off of Scorpius. I heard something crack and then Scorpius launched himself at Ian and the two boys tumbled backwards. I barely had enough time to jump out of the way as they fell onto the table I had previously been hiding under. The table crumpled under their combined weight and the force of their fall, but neither seemed to notice.
I wanted desperately to do something, but I was afraid of sticking my hand into the fray for fear that it would get bit off. I heard Ian grunt as Scorpius kneed him in the stomach and then heard Scorpius cry out as Ian pulled his long blond hair.
It was like one of my worst nightmares. My fellow classmates and patrons of the bar were crowding around in a circle to watch the fight, and someone had taken up the chant of “fight, fight, fight”. I saw Anna step forward to try to coax Scorpius out of the fray, but she apparently decided that it was not worth getting one of her limbs ripped off either and stepped back. She shot me a death glare and I glowered right back. I knew that at the back of her mind she was blaming me for this whole ordeal, and she was probably right, because the good little voice at the back of my head was screaming the same thing.
I wished they’d both just shut the fuck up.
Because really, in the entirety of Hogwarts, no the entirety of England, no wait, the entirety of the world, there is no one feeling more guilty than me at the present. My skin felt like it was crawling and I could feel angry tears welling up behind my eyes, but nothing fell down my cheeks. I really wished they would fall.
“OUT! GET OUT!” Madame Rosemerta screamed, thwacking Scorpius and Ian over the head with a giant broom. Both boys turned to look up at her and suddenly saw the crowd standing around watching them. And then, with the stupidity that only enraged teenage boys have they launched themselves back at each other, the punches being flung harder.
“STOP!” Rosemerta screamed, hitting them again. “GET OUT OF MY BAR!”
Again they stopped fighting and this time Scorpius looked up at me. His right eye was an unsightly shade of purple and swelling fast and his bottom lip was split right down the middle. Ian had a swelling eye as well and his nose looked like it might have been broken. Both were covered in blood. Everyone paused as they looked at each other, obvious hate smoldering between their eyes.
Then Scorpius pushed himself up from the ground and came to stand in front of me. I could feel everyone’s eyes on me as he approached. I stared determinedly at the floor; not wanting to meet what I was sure was a furious glare.
“Rose,” he said quietly. I dug my toes into the dirty wood floor and tried to will my face back to its normal shade of white.
“Rose, tell him that you’re here with me,” Ian said, coming to stand next to Scorpius.
I felt a tear prick behind my eyes and fall down my cheek. I heard the crowd’s intake of breath as they all waited for me to answer to one of them. I looked up and glanced between the two of them. There was Scorpius, tall, lean, his long white blond hair half obscuring his face and a knowing smirk plastered across his lips. Then there was Ian, a bit stockier, with curly golden hair and the cutest spattering of freckles across his nose and an ever-present grin plastered on his face.
The tears started to flow faster as my eyes moved onto Scorpius and settled on Ian. I pursed my lips to stop myself from sobbing outright. My chest hurt and it felt like my organs were caving in. I saw Anna smirk from the corner of my eye and yet I did not care. All I cared about was the fact that I was going to have to hurt one of them probably very badly, and in turn break my own heart.
I turned from Ian to Scorpius and made myself smile. I could tell from his expression that it didn’t look very convincing, but he seemed satisfied, and held out his hand for mine. This was it. If I took Scorpius’s hand, then it was all over. I could feel Ian’s eyes on my back, but I couldn’t bring myself to turn around and look at him. If I did I was sure that I would lose any shred of resolve I had left and run out of there screaming.
My arm felt dead as I lifted it and twined my fingers through Scorpius’s. He pulled me to him until it seemed we were glued at the hip. I heard a new round of surprised whispered sweep throughout the room, but I did not care what they were saying anymore. Whatever it was, it was true.
“Scorpius, what are you doing?” Anna shrieked, marching up to us and gesturing to our twined hands. I saw him just smirk at her and then felt him pull me along as he walked out of the bar.
“McLaggen,” he said as he passed Ian. I glanced over my shoulder as we reached the door. Ian was standing in the midst of the broken circle, still in the same position as he was when I had taken Scorpius’s hand. He seemed to feel my eyes on his and when he turned to me I could visibly see the hurt and betrayal written on his handsome features. There was no trace of a smile anywhere.
I heard the door close behind me but I do not remember walking out onto the main street. I do remember how cold it was though – I remember thinking for a brief second that it was much colder now than when I had entered the bar.
Before I knew what had happened I was seated on a large stone a few hundred yards away from the Shrieking Shack and Scorpius was pacing back and forth in front of me, his expression enraged.
“I thought we weren’t supposed to be seeing other people, Rose,” he said quietly. I really wished he would yell. Then I would have an excuse to yell right back.
“You’re one to talk, Scorpius,” I replied, scuffing my shoe against the ground.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, dragging his hand through his hair.
“Don’t pretend you weren’t sitting in the bar, holding hands with Anna. I saw you!” I said loudly.
“That is none of your business,” he replied coolly.
“None of my business,” I scoffed, “you are the biggest hypocrite I’ve ever met.”
“I think you’re just jealous,” he said.
I flushed a deep shade of crimson and kicked a rock that was near my foot. “You know what I think, Scorpius,” I asked, standing up and striding over to where he was pacing, blocking his way. He came to a stop less than an inch away from me. I looked up into his grey eyes, which were still tinged with a hint of anger. He seemed so much more impossibly tall up close. “I think that you’re the jealous one.”
He took a step forward so that our bodies were centimeters away from each other. I watched as he lifted his hands away from his sides and then I felt them cup my face. My breath caught in my throat and I could feel my pulse pick up considerably. I felt him raise my chin until I was looking right up into his stormy eyes. “Maybe I am,” he whispered.
I don’t know why, but I felt more tears starting to trickle down my cheeks. They soon turned into sobs and my chest started to ache again, as if some invisible hole was eating its way through my bones to my heart. I hated this. I hated feeling like this. I hated not knowing what I was feeling. My heart ached, but not only for hurting Ian and leaving him behind, but for all the new things I was feeling towards Scorpius, and more than anything, the way I felt about me. I felt sorry for me. I felt lost and I wanted the old me back again. I wanted to feel whole again, complete. I wanted things to be simpler again. I wanted every single one of my problems to go away so that I could live again. I wanted to feel like I was living again.
I don’t know what compelled me to do it. But the next thing I knew I was standing up on my toes. My mouth hovered in front of Scorpius’s for a moment and by the look in his eyes I could tell he was surprised. And then I pressed my lips to his and I felt his hands drop from my face to around my waist. He pulled me tightly to his body, almost picking me up off the ground in his haste. My hands wrapped around his neck and one tangled in his hair. His lips were cool and soft and sort of tasted like blood from his recent fight, but in that moment I did not care.
After a few moments, I pulled away, panting for breath. I could feel his chest falling and rising against mine and I looked up into his face to see what his reaction was. He was looking down at me too, a real smile playing on his lips instead of his usual smirk. His hands rose up and I felt his thumbs brush away the remaining tears that trickled down my cheeks.
“I hate seeing you cry,” he said quietly.
“I hate crying in front of you,” I replied, laying my head against his chest.
He rubbed his hand over my back soothingly and I felt him place a light kiss on top of my head. I don’t know how long we stayed that way, rocking back and forth. Light years of knowledge and emotions had just passed between us and I felt that everything that I had ever known or thought about Scorpius Malfoy had changed in those moments.
It began to rain a little while later and he finally released me.
“You weren’t pretending back there, were you?” he asked, his light hair falling into his eyes as it got drenched.
“Not at all,” I said, reaching up and pushing it back out of his eyes.
“Good,” he smiled. “Neither was I.”
He reached out and took my hand. I laced my fingers through his and for some reason, my hand felt very right in his. We walked slowly back up to the castle, oblivious to all of the stares and gossip of our classmates.
“Scorpius,” I said, pulling him off to the side when we reached the gates. I’d decided on the long walk back here that this was necessary. “I don’t want to pretend anymore.”
He looked down at me, his eyes a bit wary. “What do you mean?”
I took a deep breath, suddenly feeling embarrassed. “What I mean is, uh, do you want to, you know, date me, for real?”
He looked surprised at my request, but then he smiled. “Are you asking me to be your boyfriend?” he asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“I guess,” I replied, going a deeper shade of crimson.
“I would love to,” he said.
I felt my face break into a beam so broad that I was pretty sure my face would break.
“Great!” I cried. My heart was doing the conga in my chest.
He bent down and this time actually picked me up off the ground as he kissed me again. My head was spinning and I was sure that I was going to have a heart attack from how fast my heart was beating. Everything had changed so fast. Or maybe nothing had really changed at all. I wasn’t sure. What I was sure of though, was that this was the happiest I had felt in a long time.
A/N: So this really was not what I'd had planned at all for this chapter. It just sort of wrote itself this morning. But I gotta say, I think I'm liking this idea better than what I had previously planned.
What do you guys think? I really hope you liked it! Please, please, please review and tell me what you thought. Also, I want to give a big thank you to missdagane for going back and reviewing all the chapters that lost all their reviews in the crash, and everyone else who has reviewed thus far. It really means a lot to me. :)
Alright, one more announcement. I've just joined NaNoWriMo in a burst of insanity. I'm going to try my hardest to keep up with updating this story during November, but I'm not going to make any promises. Thank you all for your patience!
Thanks for reading! Please review!
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