I woke up to the smell of rubbing alcohol and Skele-Grow. What was I doing in the Hospital Wing? I slowly opened my eyes and then instantly shut them from the bright light filtering in from the window across from me.
“Good morning, Weasley,” Scorpius drawled. My eyes snapped open. Scorpius was here?
“Scorpius,” I said, my voice coming out in a croak from lack of use. “What am I doing here?”
“You don’t remember?” he asked, coming to stand at the foot of my bed.
“No,” I replied, wanting to ask why his normal smirk was back on his face.
“You don’t remember getting kicked out of the Three Broomsticks, or the fight?” he asked, mocking amusement evident in his voice.
“I remember being in the Three Broomsticks, and you and Ian fighting,” I replied. I tried to sit up, but my abdomen flared in pain. “Oh!” I cried. “What happened to me?” I lifted my arm to feel my head, which I had just noticed was feeling much heavier than usual. My head was wrapped in bandages.
“You don’t remember your street-side brawl with Anna?” he asked, a wrinkle of concern furrowing his brow.
“She wouldn’t remember, Mr. Malfoy,” the matron said, bustling up to stand at the end of my bed. “I gave her a potion that would stop her from remembering the events so that she could sleep peacefully.”
Wait, if I had been asleep, did that mean that I had just dreamed up the last part about Scorpius and me? Did that mean that I hadn’t really chosen Scorpius over Ian, and that we hadn’t kissed by the Shrieking Shack, and that I didn’t admit that I fancied him?
Damn, that really sucked. Now I was back to square one. Could nothing ever go my way?
“I got into a fight with Anna?” I asked, trying not to think about how disappointed I was.
“Oh yeah,” Scorpius said, grinning like mad. “The two of you were really going at it. I’m pretty sure you pulled out a good sized chunk of her hair before she hit your head against the ground.”
I felt my eyes threaten to bug right out of my head. Had I really done that? Why couldn’t I remember anything? I wasn’t the type of girl who would rip another girl’s hair out over a bloke, was I?
No, I wasn’t. But I was the type of girl to beat another girl into a pulp if she attacked me first.
“Who started the fight?” I asked Scorpius.
“She did,” he said, and I could tell from his tone of voice that he distinctly remembered every detail of that moment. I would have to pester him for them later. “She thought you were going to pick me, and she was not pleased with that idea at all.”
“What did she do?” I asked, already feeling horrified and guilty.
“Well, she sort of came at you, and she yelled at you, and when you didn’t respond she hit you pretty hard across the face. You stumbled back into me but pulled away before I could stop you. Then you punched her quite hard in the stomach. From there, I don’t remember much but the tangle of limbs, and then blood.”
“That is quite enough, Mr. Malfoy,” the matron said, bustling around him to stand on the right of my bed. I watched as she poured me another vile of potion. “Miss Weasley has had a very traumatic experience and is still not fully healed. She needs to rest, and does not need all of the gory details right now. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
“No!” I said quickly. “Don’t make him leave. I won’t ask any more questions.”
Scorpius smirked at the matron and then sat himself down in a chair that I had not noticed was pulled up alongside my bed.
“Miss Weasley,” the matron sighed, handing me the vile, “you are a glutton for punishment, you know that?”
“You have no idea,” I murmured, tipping back the cup into my mouth and forcing myself to swallow.
She walked off again after shooting Scorpius a very dirty glare.
“So how are you feeling?” Scorpius asked me when the matron was safely out of earshot.
“Horrible,” I grumbled, shifting myself back down so that I was laying flat again. I hadn’t realized how badly my ribs hurt or how my head throbbed earlier, but now that I wasn’t nearly as distracted it was becoming apparent that I was worse for the wear.
“So then I guess you’re not feeling up to reading these,” he said. I turned my head a little bit so that I could see the two pieces of parchment he was holding.
“What are they?” I asked.
“Letters,” he said a note of triumph in his voice. “From your parents.”
I sat up much too quickly and my abdomen screamed in protest, but I chose to ignore it. “My parents?” I asked, my mouth going dry.
“Yeah, one from each of them,” he said, twirling the bits of parchment between his fingers.
“Did you read them?” My mouth felt like it was made of cotton.
“No, I thought I would wait until you woke up to read them,” he said, propping his feet up on my bed.
I felt a little wave of relief wash over me. “How did you get them?” I asked, suddenly curious as to why he had my mail in the first place.
“Your brother brought them up here this morning,” he said. “He’s not a bad kid. He’s quite terrified of me though.”
“You talked to Hugo!” I shrieked. Suddenly I felt Scorpius’s cool hand wrap itself over my mouth to silence the rest of my squeal.
“Relax Weasley,” Scorpius growled, glaring at me. “I didn’t scare him too badly. Your secret’s safe with me.”
I groaned and dropped my head into my hands. I really wished I’d been awake for that exchange. Maybe then I would have at least gotten an insight into the letters I was going to be reading. And then I could have possibly stopped Malfoy from saying something stupid. Even if he didn’t think he had said anything, Hugo was not a daft kid. In fact, he was more like a radar detector. He would have definitely picked up on any of Scorpius’s odd behavior.
“What’s wrong now?” Scorpius grumbled.
“Nothing,” I snarled, picking my head up and holding out my hand for the letters. “It’s just the idea of you and my family interacting that has me worried.”
“Well, you better get used to it, cause if I’m going to go to your house for Christmas I’m going to have to interact with your family.”
“I thought we agreed that you weren’t going to come to my house,” I snarled.
“Not the case at all, Little Flower,” he smirked. “You agreed to consider it.”
“Well, I’ve considered it, and my answer is the same – NO. And do not call me Little Flower,” I growled.
“Why not?” He asked, sitting up as if suddenly interested in what I was saying.
“It makes me feel as if I’m a child,” I replied.
“Damn,” he sighed, settling himself back down. “You’re right. I’m going to have to think of a new nick name for you now.”
“I don’t want a nick name,” I sighed. “I just want my letters.”
He seemed to remember that he was holding my mail and handed them over to me, sitting up again and gazing at me intently. I tried to stop my hands from shaking as I reached out to grab the first one. I took the one off the top and was relieved to see my mother’s neat print. I unrolled it quickly and read.
My dear Rose,
I am sorry that I have not had a chance to write to you until now. Things have been crazy at work: the minister is talking of taking S.P.E.W. internationally! Isn’t that wonderful? Anyway, how have you been? Your father has told me you have been in a few fights since the beginning of the school year. Please, at least try to stay out of trouble. How is Quidditch going? When is your first game? I’ll try to make it to at least one game this year. I hope you’re enjoying school. Write me back and tell me about everything that is happening. I miss you very much! I cannot wait to see you at Christmas. I love you.
I smiled when I finished reading my mum’s letter. I always felt better after hearing from her. She didn’t write very often anymore – like she had said, work for her was very hectic. I was proud of her for being so successful, but sometimes it hurt that she put work above us.
Scorpius held out his hand for the letter and I gave it to him – there was nothing in there that he couldn’t read. While he was preoccupied reading that letter I reached out and took the one from my father, not bothering to conceal the shaking of my hands.
I unrolled the parchment and stared down at the few hastily scrawled lines on the paper.
Is what I have heard true? Are you having some sort of romantic affair with the Malfoy boy? I demand that you stop whatever it is you are doing right now. What kind of Weasley would date the spawn of a Death Eater and ferret? I’m thoroughly disappointed in you. I find it very hard to call you my daughter right now. Please write me back when you start acting like a proper Weasley again.
I felt the angry tears start falling. My heart felt like someone had wrapped their fist around it and was squeezing it very tightly. I was gasping for breath and somewhere at the back of my head the bad little voice was telling me that surely death had to be less painful than this. I wrapped my arms around my abdomen, ignoring the way my ribs ached and tried to hold myself together from falling apart at the seams.
“Rose, what’s wrong?” Scorpius asked, trying to pry the letter from my fingers. I crumpled it up into a ball in my fist and held onto it with all of the strength left in my body. He could not read this one. It was too shameful, and too painful.
“Go away,” I said, my voice thick.
“Rose,” he said again, his voice full of concern.
“Please,” I begged him, lying back flat on my hospital bed and pulling the thin white sheet over my head.
I felt his long hand take my hand that was holding the sheet up into his and I felt his thumb trace light, comforting patterns against my palm.
“Shh,” he soothed. “Everything is going to be all right.”
I wanted to believe him. I wanted so much to believe him. But how could everything be all right now? How could I ever go back and face my family? Maybe he was right. Maybe I was a disappointment to my family. My cousins at least thought I was. No one was speaking to me anymore. How had I fucked things up so badly?
I fresh wave of sobs overtook me and I gasped for breath again, the ache in my ribs making it hard to breath.
“Madame Pomfrey!” I heard Scorpius yell. I heard the door to the matron’s office open and I heard the rubber soles on her shoes squeak as she hurried over to my bed.
“What is wrong with her?” I heard her gasp.
“Can you give her a Calming Draught?” Scorpius asked.
“Yes, of course. That would probably be best,” Madame Pomfrey said. I heard her walk away and then I heard the chink of glass against glass.
“Here, Miss Weasley,” the matron said, pulling back the corner of the sheet and handing me a flask of bubbling white liquid. I drank it gratefully, reveling in the wash of comfort that overtook me. She took it back from me when I was finished and I sank into my pillows, my eyelids feeling ten times heavier.
The last thing I remembered before I drifted off to sleep was the fact that Scorpius’s hand was still intertwined with mine.
A/N: So what do you think? Love me, hate me? Please just don't kill me. I just couldn't have the two of them get together so early on. But at least she recognizes that she fancies him now. Lets not focus on that though!
She got another letter from Ron. Dun dun dun!
Well, I really hope you liked this chapter! This was a really fast update! I want to update as much as I can before November comes because in case you haven't heard, I signed up for NaNoWriMo, so I'm not going to have as much time to write. That being said, I also wrote half of chapter 13 with this one, so it should be out within a week hopefully.
Thank you all for reading! Please, please, review and tell me what you thought!
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