Chapter 10 : X - A Fool's Games
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It took some straining of her ears to get over Rosaline’s loud moans about her “chicken knees” (whatever they were), but eventually she could just hear the two of them, and could make out Cecelia’s clearly excited voice.
“Julia,” she was almost singing, “You know you can’t help these things. What if someone said you couldn’t go out with Barry just because you couldn’t?” Julia was looking very sad, but slightly annoyed at the same time, as she continued the conversation, while swirling a morsel of bacon around her plate.
“But I can go out with Barry, because he’s available and free. You missy are not, because if I recall you have spent a good few months trying to get Albus Potter and now we find out for the last three days you’ve been mucking around with someone else.” Rose’s heart almost stopped beating. She knew Cecelia could sink low, but not low enough to actually cheat on Albus. Rose cocked her head, straining to hear the name of the boy, and then she decided she would go in for the kill.
“But I’ve been going back to Potter for years, and I just want something a bit different!” cried Cecelia, banging the table with her fists, making her knife and fork go spinning off her plate like helicopter blades. Julia crossed her arms, and did not look particularly happy.
“Why him Celia? He’s a loathsome toad and we all know it! He’s been going after Rose for years anyway.” Rose’s heart sank. Cecelia was going after Robert McLaggen. The thought almost made her physically sick. In the last few weeks he had gone after Rose herself, the Ravenclaw Amanda, Lisa Finnegan and now Cecelia.
“Oh, don’t mention Rosy Posy to me!” thundered Cecelia as she pointed an accusatory finger at Julia’s face “Rose the boring girl who won’t come out the library for a whole week.” Julia looked even angrier as she made herself look bigger, ready to defend Rose, but Rose beat her to it. Rose had stood up, angrily staring down the table at Cecelia, putting her hands on her hips and bellowing as loud as she could.
“I don’t believe you Cecelia,” she screamed, aiming all her frustration and anger at Cecelia in one second, “I mean, I always knew you were a spiteful cow but to cheat on your lovely boyfriend with someone like Robert McLaggen is just crazy!” Rosaline sat up quickly and shot a look at Albus who had just come into the Great Hall with his mouth wide open.
“And bitching about me behind my back...I never thought even you would sink that low.” It was Cecelia’s turn to angrily stand up and point a long bony finger in Rose’s direction. Julia jumped up behind her, desperately trying to pull her back into the seat she had previously occupied, but Cecelia ignored her.
“Oh you can talk Rose, mucking lovely Uther around the way you do. Not even dancing with him at the ball? You’re just selfish Rose, that’s what you are selfish! All week you’ve locked yourself away snivelling about your own problems but really you just have a bloody perfect life!” Cecelia was out of breath when she stopped but Rose pushed for her advantage angrily shouting on,
“My life perfect? Forced to do what everyone else wants! Try being me for one day Cecelia!” Rose screamed, but she was stopped as she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned round to see the smiling face of Ben Longbottom. He instantly quietened her, but she didn’t listen as he babbled about taking points off her and Cecelia. He droned on for what seemed like hours, until eventually it was too much for Rose and she picked up her bag and ran sobbing from the Great Hall, leaving everyone behind her.
Rose ran into the first empty classroom that she saw, wildly pushing the door and dashing inside, throwing herself onto the teacher’s desk and sobbing hysterically. Nothing in this world had ever made her this out of control before, but not having Scorpius was driving her crazy and she was taking it out on her friends. She cried into her hands for her life that seemed to be crumbling around her because the foundations were disappearing from beneath her feet. Through her tears she did not hear someone enter the room, closing the door behind them.
The person didn’t say anything, but they walked towards her and placed a tender hand on her shoulder, which made her jump and turn round forcing her to look into Scorpius Malfoy’s grey eyes. Rose opened a closed her mouth for a few moments before she decided the best thing to do was to actually say something.
“Scorpius, what are you doing here?” Rose asked. She hadn’t stopped crying but she felt slightly better at Scorpius’ presence. At this meeting it seemed that Rose would want to be with Scorpius as he smiled happily down at her and held her shoulders with his hands as he began to speak,
“I’m just showing a little human compassion,” he said gently as Rose stood up to look at him, “I’ve just seen you scream at your best friend and run from the Great Hall in tears, I couldn’t just let you cry in secret, I thought you might need some company.” Rose, abandoning all her fears fell into Scorpius’ arms and cried, and not just for Cecelia but for everything. Scorpius put his arms round her and stroked her hair like she was a baby. Rose decided there was nothing more comforting in the world than being in Scorpius’ arms and eventually she looked up at him, smiling sadly.
“Oh, Scorpius. What are we doing?” she whispered, her voice a gentle as a breeze as he grinned broadly at her, stroking her hair out of her face with one hand. He kissed her forehead with all the tenderness in the world and sighed deeply,
“I don’t know,” Rose continued smelling his neck, “I really don’t know.” Rose smiled up at him and let him stroke her hair again as she sighed gently. It was clear to her what was going to happen; she couldn’t go back to being without him.
“I really want to be with you, I know I may have a funny way of showing you, but I really do really want to be with you.” Scorpius said, slowly deliberating over each word. After he had finished Rose watched him a moment and then kissed him gently on the lips, hoping this would be an answer. “I want to be with you too Scorpius.”
Scorpius grinned and stepped away from her, holding her hands. He rocked her arms back and forward, and watched her laugh. He began to spin her round in a large circle, making her giggle even louder. Eventually he drew close to her and whispered in her ear, “I’m glad we’re in agreement then.” She let him kiss her and she smiled happily through his kiss, and when they broke apart she broke out into a broad childish grin.
“You’ve done something to me Mr Malfoy,” she teased, wiggling one finger at him, “I’m never this silly, or happy. I’m normally...”
“Very uptight, yeh, I know,” he laughed pulled her waist towards him and holding her tightly. They stayed like that for several moments, lost in the enormity of the decision they had just made. Rose couldn’t help being apprehensive and nervous however, it was in her nature. So when she looked up at Scorpius, it was clear to him that she was deadly serious.
“Scorpius, my family just won’t understand,” she whispered gently, looking into his calm grey eyes, “They’re just riddled with old prejudices. I will not be able to make them understand, not now anyway.” Scorpius smiled sadly and stroked one of her freckled cheeks with one hand,
“Same with my father. There would be no reason on this planet acceptable to him that would excuse me loving a daughter of Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, and a niece of Harry Potter.” He looked at her curiously as if he expected her to speak, but then decided it was best if he continued,
“You want us to keep it quiet, don’t you Rose?” he asked, stroking both her cheeks at the same time and then kissing the top of her head. He could feel Rose nodding silently into his chest as she put her arms round his waist and leant her head again his chest.
“You don’t mind, do you Scorpius? Just until we’ve sorted everything out, just until there are no obstacles standing in our way.” She looked up at him with a small half smile sitting playfully on her face, and he smiled back, nodding.
“Okay, I’ll keep it quiet. We’ll keep everything as quiet as it can be. No one will know until you want them to Rose,” he smiled half cheerfully, “But first you have to make sure you are not hated by your friend Cecelia.” He broke away in almost a majestic fashion, but he kept hold of her hand which he swung lazily next to him.
“Oh, alright I’ll make up with Cecelia, but she won’t get off lightly,” smiled Rose as she kissed him on the cheek. When she broke away from him, he looked deadly serious again, and dropped her hand so it banged against her leg.
“You go first; I’ll follow in a minute. If no one is to know what’s going on, we can’t be seen in an empty classroom together.” He gestured to the door as Rose picked her bag up from the teacher’s desk and strolled to the door smiling happily. As she left the room, she realised how happy she was, and her tears were long forgotten.
Charms was already in full swing when Rose entered the crowded classroom late for the first time in her Hogwarts career. Professor Vines hurried her into the room where she sat down next to Julia who patted her on the back and gave her a coconut that she had to get to laugh. Cecelia was sitting the other side of Julia and looked very angry and almost as if she’d just sucked a lemon.
Soon the class was full of the sound of laughing coconuts, and the noise was a good enough distraction for Rose to turn to Cecelia and begin to speak very slowly, almost deliberating over whether it was the right thing to be the first one apologizing.
“Celia, I’m really, really sorry about shouting at you in the Great Hall,” she said, waiting for the stubborn as ever Cecelia to turn round and say something, but to no avail, so Rose continued regardless.
“I’ve just been in a really bad mood the last week...” Rose went on, but was stopped by Cecelia’s rather loud and rude interruption.
“Rose, your PMT is never that bad, you normally just get a little bit grumpy, not so grumpy you’d have thought I’d have burnt your homework planner!” Cecelia folded her arms haughtily and Julia rolled her eyes as Rose continued,
“Okay Cecelia, I’m sorry. I’ve just had a lot on my mind the last week,” snapped Rose. This seemed to arouse Cecelia’s attention as she faced Rose for the first time, pointing one of her fingers at the tip of Rose’s nose.
“Like what Rose? Something that is so terrible that you can’t share it with your friends!” Cecelia began to look at Julia who was saying she didn’t want to take either side and she wanted to be friends with both of them.
“Lie Rose,” came the little voice inside Rose’s head, “You know what you said to Scorpius, they are not to know, not even your best friends. Not yet anyway.” Rose paused, breathing deeply, her mind frantically thinking of any lie that would bubble to the surface.
“I’m just evaluating my relationship with Uther at the moment,” whispered Rose quietly so Uther and Duncan who were now playing catch with a giggling coconut on the next table would not hear her. Julia gasped and put her hand over her mouth and drew in close to Rose,
“Rosie, are you going to break up with Uther?” Julia said her breathy voice barely audible over Uther and Duncan’s coconut which was now in hysterics. Rose paused for a moment; this could be her opportunity to break up with Uther. But then she stopped, there would be no excuse for breaking up with him, and it would all seem highly suspicious.
“No, I’ve decided Uther and I are...made for each other.” Julia clapped her hands happily together, she was like Cupid, and did not like to see the disintegration of relationships. Cecelia still looked annoyed and had turned to Aaron and Margot who were having real trouble getting their misshapen coconut to crack a smile, and with a casual flick of Cecelia’s wand the coconut was shrieking with laughter. With that Cecelia turned back, her face filled with anger,
“That still doesn’t give you the right to yell at me in front of the whole school and share my private business with the whole school!” Rose’s anger rose inside her again and she spat at Cecelia,
“You are cheating on my cousin!” Cecelia laughed as Julia shot her an angry look. Uther and Duncan’s coconut fell to the floor with a resounding crash as they both turned to watch Cecelia who began to speak quite loudly.
“Well, not anymore, you made sure that Albus is back with Rosaline and Lisa dumped Robert, so now I am doing nothing morally incorrect!” She folded her arms angrily and turned away from Rose, but Rose spoke anyway,
“Cecelia I wanted to talk to you to make up with you, I don’t want to fight anymore!” Rose concluded, shooting a look at Julia, who smiled happily, patting her on the back and then turned to Cecelia, raising her eyebrows in a condescending manner.
“But...” Cecelia began, but Julia quickly responded by hitting her with the Charms textbook that was on the desk. Cecelia put her hands up to defend herself, so Julia stopped, pointing an accusing finger at her.
“Fine! I’m sorry!” Cecelia snapped taking their coconut and flinging it angrily to the floor, at which Gryffindor was promptly deducted ten points.
The common room was crowded and stuffy that evening, and some first years were busy holding a birthday party for one of their friends, so Rose decided she would leave Julia and Cecelia bickering over who was the most annoying of them and go for a walk. It wasn’t late, as Duncan, Aaron, Albus, Rosaline and Margot were holed up in the library cramming for an exam and Uther, Barry, James and Robert had gone over to the Quidditch pitch to practice for the upcoming game against Slytherin. So she left everything behind and decided to pop down to the Grounds.
Rose walked along, swinging her arms, something she usually didn’t do as she was so uptight. She ignored duelling students and first years going Giant Squid Hunting and made her way to the beech tree she had been with Scorpius the night after the Masquerade Ball. When she arrived, she was surprised to see someone already sitting there. He smiled when he saw her,
“Hey Red!” Rose sat down next to him and put her head on his shoulder and Scorpius held one of her hands as she sighed deeply. They stayed like that for a moment, quietly sitting together, until Rose started to speak.
“I did what you said, I made up with Cecelia.” Scorpius turned to look at her, smiling happily. Rose looked up at him and then decided to spontaneously put her arms round his neck, to which his response was to quickly kiss her.
“Well done, you, Cecelia and Julia have been inseparable since first year, I’d have hated to think I made you so upset your relationship with them got ruined!” Rose shoved him jovially and they chuckled, Scorpius putting his arm round her shoulders and Rose hugging his waist.
“I’m glad we’re doing this,” Scorpius said, almost as a whisper, “I’m really glad you’re my girlfriend.” Rose answered in a fraction of a second, it was clear to her she had made the right decision, and she was happier for it.
“Me too,” she said, snuggling into his chest, “maybe I would have stayed miserable for my whole life if you hadn’t changed things.” He squeezed her affectionately as she said these words, before beginning to say something he’d been thinking for a long while.
“Rose,” he started, pausing for such a long amount of time that Rose entangled herself from him and looked up at him with her luminous eyes. She had a curious expression on her face which was framed by the mass of wild red curls,
“Yes Scorpius,” she said, gazing at him, her eyes almost filled with a slight look of fear. He took both her soft hands in his and lifted them to his lips, kissing her palms one at a time. He relinquished them slowly and then began to continue,
“Well, I just wanted to know, where is this relationship actually going?” She broke out into a smile as she repeated Scorpius’ action by kissing his hands and then placing them gently onto her lap. Her answer was simple, but it answered his question.
Finally they are going out!!! Wooh! So...Next Chapter...We meet the Slytherin's leader, the sinister Lestrange, as he prepares to show his discovered secret to his master...
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