“A likely story,” I made out her silhouette against the window and saw she’d propped herself up on an elbow, “Just be honest with me Rose. If he didn’t annoy the piss out of you and there wasn’t that whole Weasley-Malfoy thing, would you shag him?”
“Roxy!” I thanked the darkness for not revealing my heavy blush, “Why would you even ask that?”
“You’re blushing, aren’t you?” even in the dark I could tell that she was smiling.
“Good night Roxanne.”
“Good night my little love-bird,” she teased once more.
The next morning I ran into Malfoy in our bathroom.
“Hey,” he said to me cautiously.
I was still tense, having yesterday’s events running through my head all night long, “Hello.”
“How are you?”
“Fine,” I said tersely through a mouthful of toothpaste.
“Look Rose, I’m sorry you even had to run into those people…” he began.
“Malfoy, I’m fine,” I looked him in the eye, “I just want an explanation.”
He nodded, “And I told you I’d explain, just… not around anyone else.”
“Good.” I left the room and headed off to breakfast.
“Hey Rose,” Hugo smiled as he nicked some of my toast. He and I were late sleepers and usually the last two Gryffindors at breakfast.
“Hey Hugo, how’s it going?”
“Peachy as a pear.”
I raised an eyebrow but didn’t ask. It was out of the ordinary if Hugo said something that actually made sense.
“Heads up,” he warned a few minutes later. I looked up just in time to catch my copy of the Quibbler.
“What’d you get?” I asked when I noticed Hugo peering into a mysterious looking package.
“Uncle George’s new prototypes and letters from James and Fred. Before you even say anything, it’s not technically a WWW product if it hasn’t been released yet.”
“Corruption from the outside?” I asked.
Hugo grinned when he realized I wasn’t going to scold him, “If you want to look at it like that.” He and our cousins Louis (Dom’s younger brother) and Lily (James and Al’s younger sister) were attempting to break James and Fred’s (Roxy’s older brother) record of most successful pranks at Hogwarts within seven years. They were making a good run for it, and almost relished in all of the detentions they received, especially if McGonagall or I were the ones to assign them.
I paged through the Quibbler until I found the section I was looking for. Aunt Luna and Uncle Rolf had been running a group of articles under the heading Equalizers’ Investigation since last summer when the Equalizers went public by burning down a muggle primary school. This week’s Quibbler had two new articles: one about another mysterious muggle disappearance and one that made me visibly shiver.
TWO WIZARD CHILDREN GO MISSING FROM DAYCARE
Yesterday, November 5. Two small children were reported missing from Pixie Pods Childcare late yesterday afternoon. Six-year-old twins Jackson and Jessica Carlson were nowhere to be found after all of the children had been called in from playing outside in the fenced-in play area. Daycare owner Deborah Zabini alerted aurors as soon as she realized she was unable to locate the two children. This investigation is ongoing and both the parents of the children and Zabini are urging people to contact aurors with any information related to this case.
“Hey, I’m gonna write a letter to dad, you want me to say hi for you?”
Hugo didn't even look up from his food, "Sure." He managed to mumble.
“Okay,” I tucked the Quibbler under my arm, “See you later Hugh.”
Before you even ask, everything here is fine. I don’t know if you heard or not, but McGonagall put the castle on lock-down for awhile because there were Equalizers everywhere at Hogsmeade yesterday. I read the Quibbler this morning to find out that two little kids went missing. I’m freaked out and pissed off and I want to fight these idiots but I don’t know how. Oh, and Hugo says hi.
I found the family owl and called him down. “Here Pig, knock yourself out.” I said as I tied the letter to him.
The tiny owl flew in a set of dizzying circles before smashing into a beam. For as ancient as he was, Pig still had an incredible amount of energy. I laughed as he recovered and flew off toward my house.
When I finally made it back to the Heads’ Common Room, Malfoy wasn’t there. After ten minutes of high-intensity pacing I grabbed a book off the table and started to read. I’d made it all the way to chapter four of 1000 Ways to Successfully Complete Illegal Quidditch Moves (Without Being Caught!) when I heard the door creak quietly as he tried to sneak in.
“MALFOY!” he jumped as I snapped the book shut and went for him, “I’ve been waiting here for the past,” I grabbed his wrist to take a look at the time, “Two hours!”
“Yeah, um…” he scratched the back of his head and attempted to shoot me one of his charming looks he claimed always worked.
“Save your cheesy expressions for those tarts you hang around with. I want answers. Now.”
“Alright, alright,” he chuckled softly. He was the only person I knew that could pull of a chuckle without sounding like Santa Clause on the leaf. “What do you want to know Rosie?” Malfoy smiled lightly and made himself comfortable in the chair I’d just been sitting in.
I glared before taking a seat on the couch, “I want to know who those people were Malfoy.”
He sighed and went into his room, “One sec.”
“Where are you going?”
“You should see something.” He returned from his room with a worn leather photo album tucked under his arm.
“So you really know these people then,” I pointed out.
He sighed and sat down next to me, “This is my parents’ wedding.” He pointed out a picture of a wedding party, themed in black, white, and red. I picked out his dad right away. Except for the eyes he was an exact match for Scorpius. His mum wasn’t that hard to pick out either, being that she was the only one in the wedding gown. She had long brown hair, much like April’s, and she’d intricately woven deep red roses in-between her curls. Two bridesmaids stood next to her, both in identical red strapless dresses. One woman looked almost identical to the bride if it hadn't been for the shade of her hair being slightly lighter and her face being a bit rounder. The other woman was darker and kept leaning back a bit to glare at the back of the bride’s head before turning to the camera and faking a smile.
“That’s her!” I pointed out, “The woman who tried to curse you.”
Malfoy's voice was low and brooding, “Her name’s Briana, and she’s my mum’s younger half-sister. They didn’t get on much growing up, and they don’t talk to each other at all anymore.”
“Can’t imagine why,” I mumbled to myself, “She seemed lovely.”
He snorted, “You didn’t even see the half of it.”
“One secret at a time, yeah?”
I looked at his darkened eyes, “Yeah… alright. So who was the other woman, the older one?”
“She’s an old classmate of my dad’s. He always said it didn’t surprise him when she stayed with the Death Eaters after the war.”
I decided to step cautiously with this whole issue, “So… you think they’re Equalizers?”
He nodded slightly, “You read the Quibbler?”
“Those two twins?” I rushed in, “Malfoy, you have to talk to McGonagall about this!”
“She knows already Rose, she can’t do anything about it. Nobody can," the defeat in his voice made my skin crawl.
“And the aurors? I’m sure if we tipped off my dad or Uncle Harry that they’d—“
He cut me off, raising his voice, “They’d what Rose? Learn something they already know?” His outburst felt like a slap in the face. “Because that’s what it would be.”
“Well, we’ve got to find some way to help!”
“How? How can we help if we have no idea what we’re doing?” he challenged, making me feel like I was barely an inch tall.
“I don’t know!” my voice was growing hoarse, “I don’t know how we can help, but we’re a part of this now.”
“How in the hell do you figure that?”
“I don’t know, we just are,” I said with conviction, “Running into those people, it was meant to happen. Now we’re a part of this, just like they are.”
“NO we’re not! Rose, running into them was just an accident, but if you get into this I can guarantee your death won’t be an accident.”
“You know what Scorpius, chicken out if you can’t take it, but don’t take me down with you!”
“Yes Rose, ‘cause that’s exactly what this is about,” he wagged a finger at me, “You don’t even know what you’re getting into.”
“Don’t you wave your finger at me!" My foot stomped hard against the ground, "I’m not a child!”
He shook his head, “Fine, you know what? If you want to get yourself killed then that’s just fine with me!”
“Good!” My vocal chords screeched as I stomped to my room.
“You want to be buried or cremated?” I heard him reply as he retreated to his bedroom.
Deep breaths Rose, I thought to myself, don’t want McGonagall to—aw hell, what that old bird doesn’t know won’t hurt her. “Scorpius Malfoy!” his bedroom door slammed against the wall from the force I’d hit it with.
“Geez Weasley, didn’t know you wanted me that bad.” He smirked as he stood there… shirtless.
I stood in the doorway, gobsmacked for a few beats before I finally regained my train of thought, “Malfoy, people are disappearing, maybe even dying, and you don’t want to fight back?”
“Never said I wasn’t going to fight back Weasley.”
The tips of my ears must’ve been just glowing red, “So I can’t take it then? Is that it?”
“Yeah. That’s right,” he was as calm as if we were talking about a school assignment.
“Why the hell not?!”
“’Cause you don’t know what you’d be up against. Now, as pleasant as this whole throw-down has been, I’d really appreciate it if you’d leave Weasley.”
“Night.” He forcefully shoved me out of his room. When I tried to open the door, it wouldn’t budge. I tried Alohomora, Finite Incantatum, and attacking the thing with WWW destruction pellets, but it wouldn’t budge.
“You suck!” I shouted before finally going to bed.
The next morning he left a note taped to the bathroom mirror.
Sorry about last night. You can be pissed all you want, I get it, but you’ve got to check for a net before you jump. These people are completely insane, and you really should know what you’re getting yourself into.
Be Seeing You,
PS. I wouldn’t mind if you decided to be cranked up all day. You’re a total babe when you’re all hot and bothered.
I rolled my eyes and threw the note into the trash. A nice little Confringo at the note made my day.
I was flipping through the Quibbler the next morning when Hugo’s cereal seemed to explode. “Aw Pig!” he shouted.
I rolled my eyes and snatched the letter from the crazed owl before he flew off, “Deal with it Hugh. Besides, it was like your forth bowl of cereal anyway.”
“Fifth actually,” he said proudly through a mouthful of toast.
Hugo beamed, not picking up my sarcasm. Picking up my bag, I walked slowly to class. My dad’s letters almost always made me feel better, but this one just made me more unsettled.
I know how you feel, but I don’t want you to fight this just yet. The aurors still have a handle on this situation, and each day we’re getting closer to catching these people. I’m proud of you for wanting to fight, but for now just try to stick to keeping up with the news only. We can talk more about this in a few weeks when you come home for holiday. Tell your brother I say hi.
“So why does he get to call you Rosie?” A voice asked.
“Merlin!” My outburst caused me to drop my letter. The grip on my wand tightened as a familiar laugh echoed around me, “Malfoy!”
“Rosie,” he grinned.
Just a little up the corridor Professor Creevey was standing outside his door, “If you’re not in my classroom in two minutes, you’re late.”
“Why would you do that?” I asked, walking toward the room.
“Morning Rose, Scorpius,” Creevey was the cheeriest Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher I’d ever seen. Dad said that he was like that when they went to school--Creevey was a few years below him-- and then he hit a rough patch after the war, but when he was teaching it was like he'd just gotten hit by a Cheering Charm.
“Morning Professor,” I beamed before returning to Malfoy, “How dare you read my letter? That could’ve been private.”
“But it wasn’t,” he pointed out with a grin.
“There was still no reason to sneak up on me,” I demanded.
“Alright, let’s take our seats,” Creevey came in, closing the door behind him.
Malfoy smirked, “You enjoyed it, admit it.”
My eyes were slits, “Do it again and you’ll be barfing slugs from now until we graduate.”
“You’re just upset because I’m the only one who can make you scream like that, Rosie,” he whispered low in my ear before going to sit by Al.
“Die,” I told him plainly.
“Oh Merlin,” I said exasperated as I came into our common room that night.
Malfoy looked up from a pile of books and random papers, “Knew you’d come around,” he chuckled.
“Come on man, I thought we had a good deal here.” Throwing my bag down I protested angrily, “You go study in the library or go to practice or whatever, and I study here. Then by the time I’m done, you’re back here and we hardly see each other until rounds.”
“Change is good once and a while Weasley. That way you don’t end up a boring old hag.”
I glared, “Fine. You want to stay here, that’s fine. I’m not changing any of my study habits to work around you.”
“Whatever Weasley,” he shrugged all nonchalant like.
“Good.” My shoes flung in different directions when I stormed into my room. Changing into pajamas, I flicked my wand at the black box sitting in the corner of my room and let the Weird Sisters resonate throughout the Heads’ Room. With a satisfying smirk I propped my bedroom door open before heading out into the common room to begin working on a transfiguration essay.
“Your music is terrible Weasley!” Malfoy shouted as soon as I’d settled down before walking into my room and turning off the music.
I ran after him, “And if you don’t like it, you can leave!”
“I just want to see…” he picked up one of my muggle records.
“No! This is my room and my study time. Get out.” I reached for the record, but he wouldn’t let go.
“You know what Weasley, you’re insane,” he tugged on the record, “Why can’t I just look?”
“Because you just called me insane, that’s why,” I thought about it, “And when was the last time you let me in your room to have a look? Get out of my room Malfoy.”
“Fine,” all of the sudden I fell backwards and smacked my head on the bedpost with the record still in my hand. I reached back to feel a warm, sticky substance quickly matting my hair. All of the color drained from Malfoy’s face, “Weasley I’m really sorry.
Honest.” I took his hand and let him help pull me up. “This was one time where I didn’t really mean— damnit Weasley!” blood quickly flowed from his nose as he attempted to make it stop. I stared at him for a few seconds before starting to laugh.
“You are done crady bird,” Malfoy said before waving his wand first at the back of my head and then at my nose. Taking another look at me he started to laugh.
“You look ridiculous!” I gasped in between bursts of HAs.
“Me!” He laughed heartily, “You should see yourself.” My laughter became uncontrollable when I’d gone into the bathroom to see for myself.
“Oh Merlin,” I sighed happily, “Scourgify.”
“Alright,” Malfoy proposed, “I’ll be nice to you if you don’t bloody me up again.”
I laughed again, “S’pose that could work.”
Surprisingly, we were able to be civil to each other the rest of the night. We each picked the music every other album, and he actually had a few that I enjoyed listening to.
“Hey Rose,” he broke the silence after awhile.
“I really am sorry, you know, for last night.”
I shook my head, “It’s not a big deal.”
“You planning on being an auror?” I asked him after a few minutes.
Malfoy shrugged, “Maybe. Why?”
“My dad tells me that all the time, that whole check for a net deal. He says it’s an auror concept.”
Malfoy nodded, “Yup.” And that was the last time we talked about that for awhile.
“Merlin, this castle is so creepy at night.” Malfoy and I were doing rounds together the last week before holiday, and I had goosebumps running up and down my arms.
“It’s a building Rose,” he grinned, “It’s not going to hurt you.”
“Shut up. You never know.”
“And this from the woman who is top of her class, ladies and gentlemen.”
“Hey!” I protested, “I thought we were trying to be nicer to each other.”
“Yeah, alright,” his hair caught under the moonlight when he ran a hand through it, “So it’s your turn.”
I quirked an eyebrow, “For what?”
“For telling me a secret,” he explained, “You told me about Michael and I told you
about Briana and Pansy. Now it’s your turn.”
“Um… I don’t know.”
“Oh come on Weasley, I’m sure you can think of something,” Malfoy prodded, “Usually you don’t shut-up.”
“But that’s just so vague,” I told him as we climbed another flight of stairs, “Anyone can have a secret. I need a specific question.”
“So that’s how we’re playing now is it?”
He thought for a bit, “Alright, let’s start off easy. Favorite food?”
“Apple crisp. Favorite band?”
I shook my head, “I don’t see it.” Cornish Pixies were an emerging wizard group that sounded like the old muggle indie rock and the new wizard techno mixed together. In my opinion they were just weird. Hugo absolutely loved them of course.
“So now I’m going to get your opinion about all my secrets?” he joked.
“I can’t help it; I’m just an opinionated person.”
He laughed, “Favorite teacher?”
“Hagrid, hands down.”
“Now see, I don’t see that.”
“I thought for sure you’d say Trelawney.” My laughter echoed back to me. Malfoy pitched his voice to sound like the batty old Divination professor, “Broaden your inner eye, Ms. Weasley. Are you passing into the beyond? I think you are!”
“Stop it Scorpius,” I smiled, “What if she hears us?”
He stopped walking, “You called me Scorpius.” His deep eyes locked onto mine and knots began to twist their way around my stomach.
“And?” I asked shakily. What the hell was that? I thought to myself, “You call me Rose all the time.”
He shrugged and kept walking, “Maybe you’re broadening your horizons. The inner eye is speaking to you!”
I half-laughed, half-scolded, “I’m serious, what happens if she hears us?”
Malfoy shrugged, “Probably will think it’s the voices of the beyond.”
“Malfoy!” I grinned.
“Weasley!” he mocked.
Laughing until our stomachs hurt, we walked on back to our common room. I was brushing my teeth when I felt someone watching me.
“What?” I asked Malfoy as he stood in the doorway to his room, “I’ll be done in a sec.” I told him when he didn’t answer.
“I’ve got one more secret.”
“I love it when you call me Scorpius.”
He might as well have cast Petrificus Totalus on me because I was frozen in place, “Oh.” I finally managed to squeak.
Malfoy grinned, “Good night Rosie.”
Thoughts? Feelings? Anything?
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