Chapter 4 : Hogsmeade Hopeful
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Chapter 4: Hogsmeade Hopeful
The sun was streaking through the stained glass windows, and an owl could be heard hooting in the distance.
Rose awoke with a terrible crick in her neck. Where in Merlin’s name am I?… Oh. Blast! Rose had fallen asleep on the cold stone floor of the shared washroom, attempting to escape the bombardment of roses that had reached to her bed chambers around eleven the previous evening.
Malfoy. Will. Pay.
At that moment, the door connecting the washroom to the Head Boys’ bed chamber opened, and a rather too cheerful Malfoy walked over to his sink, whistling. If he was startled to see Rose sitting on the floor near the enormous bath, he did not show it.
“Morning, Weasley. Fine night, wasn’t it? Can’t say I have ever slept better, in fact! I rather enjoyed my dreams…” Scorpius undid the cap on his toothpaste and glanced at Rose in the mirror. “I must say, my mattress this year is infinitely more comfortable than the one I had in the Ravenclaw dorms, probably more comfortable than any of those in Gryffindor as well… in fact, seeing as your own apparently is not condusive to a good night’s sleep, I would be happy to let you test mine out…”
At this, Scorpius trailed off and looked to see Rose scowling at him, rubbing her neck and unsteadily getting to her feet. He raised his delicate eyebrows.
“I can see your wand is in quite a twist. To what do I owe this… erm… lovely disposition?”
“Malfoy! Last night, I asked you – well, more like ordered you, but still – to STOP the blasted spell!,” Rose nearly screamed.
“Whoa, calm down, Flower. I remember the request. And I uttered the counter-spell shortly thereafter. At least, I think I did. I may have possibly been dreaming that bit… ah, yes! It was a dream. You were wearing the most delectable… erm. Right. Why don’t I just do it again now, then…”
Scorpius was visibly very flustered. He took his wand from his waistband, uttered something unintelligible under his breath, and then turned back to Rose. “There. Problem solved.”
He turned back toward his sink and once again began to wash up.
Rose gave his back one last glare and hesitantly headed for her own room. She opened the door fully, and was surprised to see that all of the roses were gone. She turned back to Scorpius.
“Malfoy. All of my flowers are gone.”
“Well, yes, that was the idea, wasn’t it?” Now he was looking at her bemusedly.
“No, you git, I only asked that you stop the spell!” She looked down at her toes. My pedicure could use a touch-up. I am not sure if I care for this red any longer. Maybe I should pick out a new polish shade from Uncle George’s MuggleWear beauty collection in Hogsmeade today. Quietly, she added, “I enjoyed the way they made my room smell… I just did not want any new ones to appear. I rather like roses.” At this she walked into her room and reached to close the door.
Scorpius held the door open and stepped just up to the threshold, now standing mere inches away. Rose thought of telling him to leave, but instead held her ground, waiting for him to speak. Mmmmm. He smells divine. What?!? No. He is infuriating.
“You are infuriating, you know that, Weasley?” Scorpius echoed her thoughts. He took the tiniest step closer. Now their toes were touching. Rose was startled when he reached lightly for her chin and pulled it up so that his stormy grey eyes met her hazel.
He spoke softly, his voice a bit huskier than it had been previously. “Rose. Today is the first Hogsmeade trip of the year. What do you say we go together?”
Rose could see the vulnerability in his eyes. Mmmm, even his breath smells heavenly... I cannot deny him this. It’s only Hogsmeade. She knew she would likely regret it later, but for the first time in her life, Rose answered with her heart and not her head.
His eyes were now swirling pools of liquid silver. He grinned, grasped her shoulders lightly and placed a soft kiss on her forehead. “Okay.”
He spun and walked across the washroom, opening the door opposite hers. When he turned to look at Rose, she appeared frozen, touching her forehead lightly. He smirked and stepped through the door, heading into his own room. She caught a tiny glimpse of bare skin as he pulled his silk sleep-shirt over his tousled blonde hair...
She squeezed her eyes shut, ignoring the faint chuckle that drifted across the washroom.
Rose heard his door close. She suddenly sank to the floor, her knees giving out. “Did I just agree to go to Hogsmeade? With Malfoy?,” she asked no one in particular.
She felt a small smile grace her lips. She stood and bounded lightly over to her wardrobe. Well. If I am going to go, purely as friends of course, I might as well knock his socks off.
*** One hour later, Heads’ Common Room ***
Scorpius paced in front of the fireplace absentmindedly. Where is she? Maybe she changed her mind. Maybe she only said yes so that I would leave her room? No, my Flower is not that conniving. She would never manipulate a situation like that... would she? She is the niece of the Boy-Who-Lived-Twice… they say he was almost sorted into Slytherin…
Scorpius' increasingly-panicked thoughts were interrupted by a loud knock on the portrait hole. “Score! It’s us! Are you planning on coming out of there at all today, Mate? You missed breakfast! Come on, we want to hit Hogsmeade before Honeydukes is sold out of licorice wands.”
Scorpius groaned. He had forgotten that he had planned on spending the day with Vince and Brayden.
He opened the portrait and gestured for them to enter. “Zabini. Nott. Change of plans. You lot head out alone. I… have a date.” He smirked as Brayden’s jaw fell open.
“A date? SERIOUSLY? Who is she? What are you hiding from your best mates? Is she pretty? What about Rose?,” Zabini asked in a rush.
Nothing more needed to be said, however, for at that moment the lady in question descended the staircase and stood in front of the three gobsmacked young men.
“Wow. Erm. Alright then, Score. We will catch up with you later, yeah?” The double meaning in Vince’s voice was evident as the two non-Heads quickly backed up and shuffled out of the portrait. They were certainly going to pry for details at the first chance they were given.
Scorpius turned to the vision in front of him. “Please ignore those two miserable excuses for gentlemen – I do. Now, Miss Weasley, I believe we have a date?,” he asked after recovering the use of his voice.
He held out his arm toward Rose and the two of them stepped into the hallway to make their way into the mob of students heading toward the village.
Rose smiled to herself. She had obviously accomplished her goal. After trying on nearly every single solitary item of clothing she owned, she had found the perfect “first-non-date” ensemble. Best of all? She looked nothing like the usually-studious Rose Weasley.
She was wearing chocolate-coloured skin-tight leggings with lace at the cuffs, a short dark-denim miniskirt that her Aunt Fleur had given her as a birthday gift last year, and an off-the-shoulder chiffon tunic patterned in chocolate and navy geometric shapes that cinched in a knot at her left hip. To top off her bold attire, she donned a pair of chocolate-coloured chunky-heeled pumps Aunt Ginny had insisted she buy, and tucked a white silk rose behind her right ear. Navy and chocolate-coulored geometric shapes dangled from silver hoops in her lobes, and a silver “R” hung on a delicate chain around her neck, a gift from Bree. Her fine red hair fell loosely in waves framing her face, brushed to a silken sheen and spritzed with her signature scent of Gardenias.
“You know, Malfoy, the crowd is moving. We can head to the village now,” Rose stated when several moments had passed in silence.
“What? Erm, right. Of course,” he replied while leading her toward the sound of giggling students and scrumptious smells.
They entered the quaint wizarding village a few moments later, and Scorpius turned to Rose with a grin. “Well, Flower? Where to first?”
“I know you will be wanting to go to Quality Quidditch Supplies, so why don’t we start there, and after you are done, maybe we can visit my Uncle George in his shop? He should be in town today, he makes it a point to visit this particular branch of Wheezes on Hogwarts’ Hogsmeade days,” Rose replied, smiling at the look of anticipation on Scorpius’s face at the mention of his favourite Quidditch shop.
"Certainly, if that is what you wish to do. That sounds grand! I am so happy they opened a Hogsmeade QQS branch! Come on, Flower, there is a new broom I have been begging Father to purchase for me..." Scorpius pulled on Rose's hand gently as they made their way to the bustling shop.
Rose looked down at their clasped hands and felt a warmth spread through her entire being. Why does this feel so... right? He's Malfoy, smarmy Ravenclaw git extraordinaire! I cannot be attracted to him. He and his so-called friends have made my life miserable ever since we were forced to share a train compartment in first year! Yet...
"Rosie!," a startled voice interrupted Rose's musings, "Merlin, I hardly recognized you! We have been looking all over for you, have you seen Bray -- oh! Hello, Scorpius!" Bree and Albus walked toward them. Bree glanced at the pair still holding hands and shot Rose a look that clearly stated, I WANT DETAILS.
"Hello, Bree. Did you find those new lightning bolt earrings you have been looking for? If not, you know Al or I can always have Uncle Harry send us a pair to give to you. His press agent should still know where to find them." Rose pointedly ignored Bree's inquisitive gaze.
Albus was oddly quiet. Not a good sign, Rose inwardly groaned.
"Ummm... no, not yet. I may take you up on that offer, though, I really want those earrings to go with that funky muggle necklace you got me for my birthday! But, anyway, I can see that you are busy so I will just catch up with you later," Brianna stated with a smirk, "I think I just spotted my lesser half anyway. We need to pool our meager resources and come up with a suitable gift for Mother's birthday. You would think that we are responsible enough to have access to our trust fund, but no, we have to wait until we graduate...Have fun, you two!" With that, she tugged on Albus' arm and the two of them disappeared around a corner.
Scorpius let out a laugh. "She really is something, isn't she? My Mum once envisioned a match between Brianna and I, but honestly I don't know how Albus can handle that much ambition and energy. Just listening to her is exhausting... luckily she and Brayden can communicate without speaking very much. It is quite odd to listen to those two have a conversation, Flower, don't you agree?"
Trying to ignore the feeling of relief that washed over her knowing that Scorpius was not interested in her exotic-looking best friend, Rose quickly said "Yes, twins are a fascinating subject in general. My Uncle George and his late brother Fred were said to finish each others' sentences constantly. My cousins Molly and Lucy are so sensitive to each other that they can be miles apart and know what the other is feeling. The Scamander twins -- friends of the family -- are the same way, and are so identical that there is not even any difference in their voices or mannerisms."
Realizing that they were now in front of the Quidditch shop, Rose turned to Scorpius. "Well? Don't you have a broom to show me? Or would you rather stand out in the cold and discuss the mysteries of multiples all day?"
"No, my dear Flower, I do believe we have exhausted that subject. Come now, look at this broom," Scorpius pointed to the latest racing model on display in the window, "it's the first in the new Firebolt line of professional racing brooms, the Lightning Bolt 001!"
Rose had to admit the green-toned broom was amazing. It was specifically designed with the Seeker in mind. In fact, her Uncle Harry endorsed this broom and he had promised to send her and Albus each one before their next Quidditch match. She made a mental note to ask for one for Scorpius as well. I won't say it is for a Malfoy, I will say it is for a friend. That way, I can prevent my family from hearing about this... whatever it is between us... for a short while longer at least.
And then suddenly, with a sick feeling in her stomache, she remembered the expression on Al's face. She recognized that look. He had always felt protective of her! He would likely wander to WWW and tell her Uncle George that Rose was dating a Malfoy!
Nononono... this is not good. Uncle George cannot tell Dad! Dad will remove me from Hogwarts and send me to a nunnery!
Rose thought quickly. The jokeshop was on the other end of Hogsmeade, they would never beat Al there by walking. She had no other option. Grabbing firmly onto Scorpius's arm and shouting, "Hold on!," praying they didn't splinch anything, Rose apparated them directly in front of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes and after letting go of a spluttering Scorpius, flung open the brightly-painted door, scaring several third years as she rushed to the front counter.
There, behind the counter of the packed store and dressed in the trademark magenta robes was her one-eared prankster of an Uncle.
And standing next to him, a smirk on his face and not meeting her eyes, was her cousin Albus.
A/N: Roughly four more chapters to go! Hope you enjoyed this one, and I am sincerely sorry for the delay. I have been under the weather and wound up in the ER with a serious case of Strep, a rash and a high fever. When you work with young children on a daily basis, getting ill tends to happen occasionally. Enough of this now - Happy Reading!
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