Chapter 3 : III - The Sweetest Thing...
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Scorpius had chosen, for good reason, to sit in one of the most uncomfortable bushes in the whole Hogwarts Grounds. The leaves were extremely itchy and they were irritating his pale skin, and for September it was sticky and hot, but Scorpius didn’t care. From this vantage point he could clearly see the girl of his dreams. She had removed her heavy robe and her jumper, her thin tights and her shoes and was just sitting in her skirt, shirt and tie with her best friend Margot, fanning herself with the latest copy of “Witch Weekly”.
On the magazine, Scorpius could clearly see a glossy picture of his own mother and father, arguing with each other and a thick headline stated “The Malfoy Rift deeply affects Scorpius, 16 and Orion, 13”. Rosaline’s midnight black hair fell to her waist in an elegant wave and this acted as a counterpoint to her sparkling light blue eyes that reflected the dying suns light.
Scorpius watched her, entranced, taking in her every feature, savouring her beauty. She was like a china doll, delicate and precious and so easy to break. Her appearance was a mixture of a schoolboy’s bedroom fantasy and a saint, with her voluptuous figure but innocent eyes. He had begged her to love him the way he loved her, but she had laughed at him, and threw his six years of ardent love back in his face.
If he left Hogwarts, and never saw her again, his life would not be worth living. Several nights previously he had had a terrible nightmare of living without her and had imagined himself falling into a great, dark abyss. He had been struggling in vain to release himself from gnarled hands that were adamant that they would pull him downwards, ever further from her, who was standing, peering at him, from miles above his head, her face contorted into an evil, but beautiful grimace.
“Rosaline, Rosaline, Rosaline,” he muttered, her name making him feel so alive. Electricity pulsed through his nerves at every mention of her, but at the same time he felt miserable, and without hope. The last conversation he had had with her would come flooding back, and reliving the memory felt like being stabbed with thousands of sharp, angry knives. She had rebuked him, and he had crashed and burned at her feet, while she laughed, and the whole school had laughed along with her.
“Scorpius, are you trying to tell me it has been you all along sending me those roses?” Rosaline had asked, her eyes connected with his and he could see her with such a sharp focus that he felt slightly dizzy. She had placed her hands flirtatiously on her hips and waited for his answer. Scorpius did not know what to say, he did not want to be a total fool in front of Rosaline, so he paused thinking of what to utter that would put him in a better position than he was, and maybe make Rosaline love him as passionately and as ardently as he loved her.
“Yes, it was me Rosaline. I couldn’t help myself. I have so much money you see, and I wanted to spend it all on you because your beauty lights up my life. I would be nothing without you guiding me every single day. I love you Rosaline.” He said, trying desperately to sound romantic, but by the look on Rosaline’s face, he could tell it wasn’t working. The poetry of his words seemed weak and feeble in the presence of her angry eyes. Scorpius knew he’d never been very good a charming people and he was currently failing miserably at it.
Rosaline had looked at him, disbelievingly, her eyebrows looking like two arches drawn on her face. Then her anger and wrath began to bubble to the surface, almost heating slowly and bursting forth. Tapping her foot wildly on the floor, she crossed her arms across her chest, huffing and puffing as noisily as she could. Scorpius backed away slightly, bracing himself for Rosaline’s famous wrath. Rosaline stood there grimacing in pain and anger, and suddenly her true feelings erupted from her body in one fiery burst.
“Do you seriously think I would want you over my boyfriend Albus?” Every time Albus Potter’s name was mentioned Scorpius froze with jealousy and was overcome by a desire to kill Albus where he stood. Albus was lucky; he was able to be with Rosaline all the time and he was not ridiculed for his affection for her. Scorpius let he jealousy die down inside of him and then he composed himself so he could face Rosaline’s judgement of him, without dying. He felt like was chained to a chair in the Ministry, being interrogated by the Minister himself, who was trying to decide whether he was worthy of Rosaline’s love.
“But Rosaline, I love you thousands of times more than Albus could ever dream of loving you!” Rosaline had started to look livid, her blue eyes wild with frenzied anger. Her friends stood behind her, begging her to calm down for a moment. Her hair crackled with electricity as her rage was ready to explode from her body.
“You, love me? Prove it! Would you kill a dragon for me?” she shouted, crowds of students were beginning to watch them now, several of them laughing and pointing. Scorpius knew most would be taking Rosaline’s side, as he was just another Slytherin. Scorpius swore he could see James and Albus Potter leaning lazily against a wall in the distance, gazing at them in amusement.
“Of course I would kill a dragon, I would go to the ends of the earth!” screeched Scorpius, dropping to his knees in front of the angel that was Rosaline. Did she not understand the desire he held in his heart for her? Could she not feel it radiating from him as he walked past her? A lump was rising in his throat, he knew he was fighting a losing battle; maybe he would never win over Rosaline and have her in his arms.
“But you don’t know anything about me!” she bellowed, leaning over him. She was so close he could almost touch her soft hair and smell her perfume. Looking at her lovingly he got to his feet, trembling slightly as he reached for one of her hands. She flinched violently and he fell back heartbroken.
“Your favourite band is the Weird Sisters, your favourite subject is Transfiguration, you love romantic picnics in the park, you adore “Witch Weekly” and you dearest ambition is to play Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies.” Rosaline stood in front of him for a moment, quivering under his passionate gaze. Then she sharply turned round to her friends and laughed loudly.
“Girls! I officially have a stalker!” Her friends from lots of different houses, apart from Slytherin, began laughing in relief that there friend was no longer unbelievably angry, but Rosaline turned back to Scorpius, her chest heaving with the effort of not yelling at him again. Scorpius wished he could melt into the stone ground of the corridor so he could escape the hell that would be facing her.
“Scorpius, I am a Gryffindor, and I could never love a calculating, selfish, horrible person like you! Basically I could never love a Slytherin.” With that, Rosaline and her friends had turned round laughing together, and she had run straight into Albus’ outstretched arms. Scorpius had felt her twist the blade that was lodged deep within his beating heart, and he crumpled to the floor, the laughter echoing in his ears.
Rosaline stood up smiling, and prodding Margot with one dainty foot, she walked gracefully as if a hummingbird away from her, flitting around the trees resembling an angel in every aspect. Scorpius watched her avidly, refusing to take his eyes of her. His father would not approve of this, although he thought Rosaline, as a pureblood, was absolutely perfect. But even so, a Malfoy shouldn’t be snivelling in bushes after a woman. Margot watched as Rosaline sucked in her slim waist and pouted furiously,
“Oh, Margie. Why am I so fat?” she moaned loudly. Margot was looking quite annoyed with her friend, and had her arms crossed angrily, but Rosaline had not noticed, she was too busy inspecting herself. She then looked at her graceful hands and let out a small sob. Scorpius wondered why she was in so much distress, and longed to kiss all her grief and upset away and tell her how truly beautiful she was. Surely something terrible had happened to make her so distressed. Maybe a friend or family member had died. He listened intently to see what ailed her so.
“And my fingers look like sausages and I have ugly old Rhino legs!” Scorpius was slightly taken aback by this statement, but he knew that Rosaline had always been prone to be over dramatic. Surely your own appearance could not make you as distraught as Rosaline was at this moment. Every time Scorpius watched Rosaline, it seemed as if all she cared about was her appearance. But to Scorpius, she was perfect. Margot continued to look ever so slightly annoyed and stood up to rebuke her friend, but Rosaline was not going to be appeased.
“I’m so lucky to have Albus, he’s the most popular boy in the year and nobody else would want me!” Rosaline threw her dark hair over her shoulder and fell to the floor with a dramatic crash. Margot peered down at her friend, clearly trying to suppress a laugh.
“No, Scorpius Malfoy would have you!” Margot dropped down next her friends, giving into the urge to chuckle. Rosaline glared at her reproachfully and crossed her arms,
“I would not have him if he was the last man in the Universe.” Scorpius’ heart fell hundreds of feet, the fall catching up with him and he gasped with distress. Rosaline had judged him by what House the raggedy old Sorting Hat had placed him in, and not by what was truly in his heart. Scorpius felt like kicking himself, he had always been over sensitive and romantic, but Rosaline seemed similar to him, and Scorpius could not understand why she did not instantly see they were made for each other.
Somebody had just prodded Scorpius’ shoulder. He turned round to look at the likeable face of Mercutio Prince. He was laughing at Scorpius, and Scorpius knew that his own face was flushing a sickly red.
“Shut up Mercutio! She’ll know we’re here!” Scorpius watched as his friend mimed zipping his lips shut, locking them, and throwing away the key. Mercutio kept Scorpius’ gaze for a while, and then smiled boyishly. Scorpius shook his head at how daft his friend was and after this charade had finished, both of them looked out of the thick leaves of the bush and out at the crumpled Rosaline who had loud sobs issuing from her little body.
“You want the honest truth Malfoy?” whispered Mercutio, pushing his brown hair out of his pale eyes, failing to keep quiet for more than three seconds. Mercutio’s eyes hovered on Scorpius’ lips for a few seconds and then he looked into his grey eyes. Scorpius knew that Mercutio was very perceptive, and knowing Mercutio’s advice would be useful he replied,
“Under no circumstances do I want your advice Mercutio.” Mercutio chuckled darkly and looked at Malfoy with a meaningful stare, as Scorpius turned away to look back at his love, as Mercutio placed one of his feminine hands on Scorpius’ broad right shoulder.
“I’m not quite sure what you see in her. Okay, she is average looking but her personality is vapid, vacant and she’s vain.” Scorpius swallowed hard, he did not believe she was vapid and vacant but he could not deny that she had extremely high levels of vanity. The evidence was staring him in the face, as she was now complaining about her “man shoulders” and “troll feet”.
“She’s...I’m...” began Scorpius, desperately thinking of something to say that would prove to Mercutio that Rosaline was a deep person. Mercutio ran his hand down Scorpius’ arm to the floor, and turned his friends face to look at him.
“There’s plenty more fish in the sea. Plenty other fish that aren’t girls who care about nothing more than their hair and shoes.” Mercutio’s attitude was annoying Scorpius now, did he not realise that Rosaline was a goddess?
“I’m guessing you did not come down here just to give me well intentioned advice.” Grimaced Scorpius, watching Rosaline as she laid on the grass, stretching herself out into the longest shape she possibly could. Her shirt rose a couple of centimetres and revealed her flat stomach and her belly button that looked like a dimple. At the sight of this, Scorpius squirmed with euphoria and delight.
“Well, no,” smiled Mercutio sadly. Scorpius knew that Mercutio did not like to be the bearer of bad news, and did not relish bringing Scorpius yet another difficult order, “I’ve got orders from Lestrange.” Scorpius sighed, Lestrange’s plans to cleanse the Wizarding World based on Blood Purity were archaic, but as Lestrange was an avid follower of him, Scorpius knew it was best to do what he said, lest he end up in a ditch somewhere deep in the forest.
“What does he want us to do this time?” groaned Scorpius, as he watched Rosaline get up and smile as Albus Potter swaggered into the idyllic scene, ruining it for Scorpius. Scorpius watched, envy burning in his heart as Albus walked over and kissed Rosaline. Both Margot and Scorpius rolled their eyes but at the same time, a green eyed monster reared its head inside Scorpius’ heart and he felt like running out and duelling Albus. But then his eyes flicked over to the person sitting one tree along, it was Arnaud Avery, and Scorpius knew he’d jump in and Scorpius couldn’t get him in more trouble.
“Well, he wants us to get close to a member of the DA and discover the headquarters, if he’s going to takeover Hogwarts he needs to destroy the DA.” Said Mercutio casually, watching Albus with interest. Mercutio, even though he was sad about it, expected Scorpius’ answer. Scorpius wondered why on earth Lestrange believed that one of the Slytherin’s would be able to get close to the Gryffindor’s, the barrier between them was still as strong, invisible and impenetrable as ever.
“Well, I can’t do that to Rosaline!” Scorpius cried, watching Rosaline wrap herself around Albus. Mercutio let out rather a loud laugh, which made Rosaline, Albus and Margot turn round to look for the owner of that rather distinctive, high pitched chuckle. Scorpius clapped a heavy hand over Mercutio’s mouth in fear and shock, Rosaline would consolidate her view that Scorpius was a stalker if she found him and Mercutio sitting in this bush, watching her in an intimate moment with her boyfriend. Scorpius watched heartbroken as he abandoned himself to his feelings as Rosaline and Albus, arm in arm, walked away, looking nervously around them, Margot wandering behind them looking like a fifth wheel.
“Scorpius, look I’m not going to go into the whole thing that you wouldn’t be betraying Rosaline by finding out the DA Headquarters from her for two obvious reasons, One, she wouldn’t tell you anyway, and Two, she wouldn’t let you get close to her either. So you’ve got to find another girl.” Scorpius thought deeply, another girl? Who could he ask that he wouldn’t care about at all?
“Well,” continued Mercutio, “maybe I’ll get close to Albus Potter and we can tear the two apart, how about that!” joked Mercutio and Scorpius pushed his friend straight out of the bush, onto the soft grass. Scorpius stood up, shaking the leaves off him, and helping his friend up. Mercutio took Scorpius’ hand and the two of them stood next to each other. Mercutio barely reached Scorpius’ shoulder and Scorpius looked down at him.
“Well, who could I ask?” questioned Scorpius, putting his hands behind his back and starting to walk in the other direction opposite to that which Rosaline went in. Scorpius had very long legs and was striding quickly away from the bush, Mercutio had to jog behind him to keep up, while thinking so he could answer Scorpius’ question.
“There are the sixth and seventh year Gryffindor girls; they’re probably your best shot. I’m going to go for Julia Goshawk, no guy wants her and she’s a bit desperate, so maybe she’ll take a Slytherin,” Pondered Mercutio aloud, following Scorpius, “Because I’m so dashingly handsome as well. I’m probably going to try it on tonight at the ball.”
“No, I’m not doing this tonight,” said Scorpius making up his mind, “the ball, for me, is totally devoted for trying to get Rosaline to be my girlfriend.” Scorpius looked at Mercutio, who had a highly disappointed expression spread across his face. Mercutio had stopped trotting along behind him, and Scorpius started to walk backwards very slowly so he could still talk to Mercutio.
“What’s up with you?” asked Scorpius, questioning his best friend. Mercutio suddenly realised that Scorpius was gazing at him and he rearranged his features into a more positive looking expression.
“Absolutely nothing Scorp,” smiled Mercutio, patting his friend on one of his broad shoulders, “Let’s get back to the common room, put on our lovely new masks and get ready for the ball.”
The two of them wandered lazily back towards the castle, Scorpius wondering what was the best way to ensnare Rosaline’s heart and make sure she loved him. There was a positive side to going to this ball; everyone was going to be attending wearing masks, and Rosaline would not necessarily recognize Scorpius. Mercutio had said that he was going to wear a Muggle Halloween Mask, and not the expected Venetian Mask, but really, did Mercutio expect the Muggles would let him land in the middle of a shopping centre on a broom and ask for a demon mask? Scorpius smiled ruefully, tonight would be the night the Rosaline would love him, and even if that meant love potion, he didn’t care.
If Rosaline could not make the right decision herself, then Scorpius was perfectly happy to make the decision on her behalf, because he knew what was best for, what he was sure, was the one and only love of his entire life.
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