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Chapter 12 : XII - Secret Societies, Part One: Espionage
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Today, however, Rose knew it would be different. Albus was absolutely distraught over Cecelia’s infidelity, and sat slumped against the wall being comforted by Amelia and Louis. Amelia was insisting her sister was stupid and Louis was saying he could just always go back to Rosaline but Albus just wasn’t listening. It seemed to have finally hit him that he could not treat Cecelia and Rosaline that way; and that he had probably lost Cecelia forever.
James was not yet present, but they still couldn’t talk about his duelling habits, as the new Headmistress had threatened to expel him. The DA looked really down. Albus, Amelia and Louis sat together in depression, Barry and Julia had had an argument so weren’t talking, even Lucy and Molly and the gaggle of Hufflepuff’s and Ravenclaw’s looked sad. Normally Rose thought she would be contemplating her own dire circumstances, but not anymore. She had Scorpius, and as she was seeing him later that evening she was in a very good mood.
Finally the last three members of the DA walked in: James, Robert and Cecelia swaggered in. Rose felt slightly angry as Robert and Cecelia were holding hands to which Albus let out a little hiccup followed by a lot of consoling from Amelia and Louis. Robert and Cecelia moved past Rose who wanted to hit Robert right in his gloating face when he gave her a little wink and Rose had to force herself not to spit at him when he and Cecelia went and sat over the other side of the room. James however went and stood up the front, gazing at the sea of faces peering up at him. He was the head of the DA, just like his father had been. In Harry’s time he had taught the members of the DA how to fight, but now the Head of the DA just seemed some sort of ceremonial post. He was just the one who watched the gossiping, so it was very unusual for him to get up and speak.
He cleared his throat loudly before he started and everyone looked round. Cecelia and Robert stopped kissing, Albus stopped moaning in distress and Louis and Amelia stopped comforting him. Rose was just as confused as everyone else so she sat, watching her cousin as he ran his hand through his messy black hair. The silence swelled loudly as James began to speak clearly.
“I have reason to believe that a group of Nuevo-Deatheaters are growing amongst the Slytherin’s,” he began majestically. Rose watched him, unable to believe what he was saying. He was turning the DA into a serious fighting weapon; something like it hadn’t been since Rose’s parent’s time. It was almost if James was declaring war, and making a proud speech to rally his troops.
“James, don’t be stupid!” laughed Rosaline nervously, nudging Margot in the ribs at which they both started laughing heartily. Nobody else was laughing however, the silence around Rosaline and Margot swirled round them angrily until it extinguished their fake laughter into nothingness. The gravity of what James was saying was just starting to dawn on those present. First years turned to each other in fear, Cecelia held onto Robert tighter and Albus seemed to forget about his personal problems and looked at James incredulously.
“The DA in my father’s time helped defend this school in its darkest hour, and I believe it is the time for the DA to awaken to defend Hogwarts.” Rose’s bit her lip; James wanted to change the DA from a group for socialising into what it had been when his father had been lord and master. The member’s looked around, absolutely stunned. Rose saw their pale faces in the evening light, Duncan and Aaron both looked sick, Uther’s eyes were wide and everyone had the same scared expression on their youthful faces. A small stuttering voice sailed over the silence,
“You want us to fight? When you don’t have evidence?” Everyone looked at the trembling Lucy who had stood up and talked to her cousin bravely. She was one of the smallest girls in the group, but Rose knew she had fire in her gut and abhorred violence so would go to any length to stop her domineering relative. James gazed at his little cousin, her hair tied into two neat plaits that stretched on down her back. He smiled sadly at her and began to speak again,
“There are three Slytherin’s I am very worried about,” James continued trying to smile in a friendly manner but failing miserably, his cheesy smile becoming more like a grimace, “Arnaud Avery has always been very brutal, and I feel he is acting as head henchman two one of two possible people I believe could be the head of the Deatheaters.” Lucy’s bottom lip was wobbling dangerously and Rose felt like standing up and staying something, but Lucy beat her to it.
“Who do you think are the possible candidates to be their leader?” James looked down at his feet for a moment as the DA burst into little pockets of conversation. She heard a dozen Slytherin’s names thrown into conversations. Everyone, right down to the newest members had something to say. Rose however could not say anything; her heart was beating too loudly for her to concentrate. She remained silent and watched her cousin as he began to speak again.
“I think it is either Lestrange,” the whole of the DA shivered at the mention of that name. Rabastan Lestrange’s only child had a nasty reputation as a Muggle hater. Several years ago a Muggleborn first year had been found dead in the girl’s bathroom, and most of the school blamed Lestrange; however there had never been enough evidence to link him to the crime. His uncle, Rudolphus, had recently escaped from Azkaban, and many thought he was a candidate to be “The Heir” and Rose knew people were scared of him.
“Who’s the other one James?” came Uther’s booming voice. A curious look was etched across Uther’s handsome face as he gazed at his friend almost anxiously. James smiled gently as he scanned across the terrified faces of his fellow DA members, some of whom were clinging to each other in terror. Rose’s heart pounded in her chest, and she felt the hot blood pump angrily round her body. James wanted them, the untrained disorganised DA, to start a war with the Slytherin’s.
“I believe it may be Scorpius Malfoy.” Rose’s heart jumped into her mouth as the DA erupted into raucous laughter. Even Albus had cracked a little smile as James looked around in bewilderment. Lucy had sat down and was giggling with one of her friends. Nobody noticed that Rose was going a little green in the dimming light, or not joining in with the laughter. Rose quickly turned to Julia who was clutching her gut at the hilarity of Scorpius Malfoy doing anything evil.
“Scorpius?” cried Duncan, “I know he’s a smug little...” he shot a look at the first years and then continued, “person, but I don’t think Scorpius is capable of being a leader in the Deatheater movement.” Rose nodded furiously, there was no way kind sensitive Scorpius would ever be a Deatheater. The laughter had quietened down to listen to the protestations coming from various people, but it was still an undercurrent, alive and kicking under all the debating.
“Oh yes?” James smiled, his familiar arrogant look returning to his handsome face, “well where has he been sneaking off to recently? Where if it’s not going to see the Heir?” Rose could not look at her cousin, she knew where Scorpius had been sneaking off to recently but did not feel like sharing it with the whole DA, and especially not in the presence of Uther. The laughter stopped instantly and descended the room into an icy silence as Julia raised her head and smiled as sweetly as she could at James,
“There are plenty of good explanations!” she said, always trying to see the best in everyone. Rose smiled at her friend in spite of herself. Barry sat a couple of people away, nodding gently, evidently trying to get back in Julia’s good books. Duncan and Aaron rolled their eyes at each other, despairing at Julia’s good heart. Cecelia suddenly piped up rather loudly, rupturing the silence as the whole DA turned to look at her,
“He may be doing remedial potions and is really embarrassed about it.” The boys all sniggered loudly, nudging each other in the ribs. This was a good time to make fun of a Slytherin who was not there to defend himself, and Rose knew that many Gryffindor’s hated Scorpius Malfoy for his father’s attempts to sneak back into the Minister’s good books. Rose watched as Uther stood up and strolled over to James, standing next to James, easily managing to dwarf him and smiling insanely at Cecelia.
“Well he’s stupid enough Celia.” Many of the DA chuckled but Rose’s blood boiled angrily in her veins. Uther had recently been almost envious of Scorpius for stealing Rose’ attention, even though he did not know the full truth of what was going on. Rose on the other hand so wanted to defend Scorpius but she kept her head down, knowing that appearing too friendly to him would make her look suspicious. Trying desperately not to reveal her embarrassment, she pulled her hair over her eyes, trying not to look at anyone or hear her own terrified heart beat.
“He could be a werewolf!” cried Lucy, giggling as she said it. The DA erupted into chatter again as James and Uther desperately tried to silence the persistent talking. Many puerile first years were doing wolf impressions, and many were discussing the Shrieking Shack, much to James and Uther’s horror. When the talking dissolved Amelia’s voice reverberated around the stone room.
“Or maybe he’s got a girlfriend.” Rose’s heart hammered so loudly she was surprised that the rest of the DA couldn’t hear it as she was sure it was as loud as a war drum. Many of the people assembled turned round nodding to each other, thinking it the most plausible idea of the three. Julia leant into Rose and whispered as quietly as she could,
“What do you think?” Rose shook her head vigorously as she did not quite trust herself to speak without revealing all the details of her relationship with Scorpius. Julia nodded and drew away, turning to the Ravenclaw Amanda, who used to go out with Aaron and Robert. Amanda clearly thought that Scorpius did have a girlfriend and she started discussing it with Julia animatedly. James however raised his hands to silence the DA and they all obliged almost instantly.
“Or he could be the leader of the New Deatheaters.” James said making the icy silence descend on the crowd for the third time that evening. Several of the boys nodded and joined James and Uther, as if by standing next to them they were showing their support. Albus, Robert and Duncan all walked slowly to the front as James began to speak again, clapping each of them on the back.
“I have an idea,” he said in a cunning voice, “as we have no concrete evidence to prove that the Slytherin’s are up to something bad we need to find some.” The people left sitting on the floor looked around gobsmacked. After years of lounging around in DA sessions, finally they would be doing something. Rose’s heart fell. She knew that if they were to find evidence, someone would be following Scorpius. She also knew that if someone was tailing Scorpius, they would discover her secret relationship with him.
“We are going to get people to follow the Slytherin’s.” James said, and the DA erupted for a third time into joyous chatting. Amelia was hugging Louis giggling about there finally being a point to the DA meetings, Cecelia ran up to Robert and wrapped him in a passionate embrace as Albus punched a wall. Rose however was not jubilant. She ignored Julia as her friend grabbed her cold hand happily and she pretended not to see as Robert gave her a second wink.
“Now!” bellowed James across the extremely loud hubbub, “Who wants to follow Lestrange?” The crowd descended into silence, many evidently not up to a task they had been wishing and longing for. In a few moments Uther finally declared that he would follow Lestrange and the tension dissipated from the room. James had brought out a list of Slytherin’s from his robes and began jotting down who would be following who.
“Right and Scorpius?” A plan instantly materialised in Rose’s head. It was so ingenious and clever she was stunned she hadn’t thought of it before. She could have an easy excuse to be sneaking off everywhere with Scorpius, and if she was caught near him, she would have a good reason. Nobody volunteered to follow Scorpius, so Rose instantly flung her hand into the air.
“Rose?” said Uther in utter confusion, “but you hate Scorpius!” The whole DA turned to look at Rose, each shocked face watching her, waiting for an answer. Rose bit her lip as her tired mind whirred loudly trying to think of something plausible to say. Julia sat next to her, her eyes wide in absolute shock until Rose spoke, her voice husky against the dismal, pressured silence.
“That’s why I want to find him doing something bad, so I can get him expelled.” She took a large gulp of air as she watched the faces of her friends and peers, waiting in equal anxiety for their reply. Her heart flooded with relief as many over enthusiastic around her started to clap in agreement as James nodded and moved on to others, trying to get every Slytherin that he possibly could followed by a DA spy.
Rose breathed deeply, calming herself. She had turned this potentially dangerous situation into a victory, and now she even had a good reason to be near Scorpius. She remained absolutely silent, ignoring the hustle and bustle of the excited members around her, wrapped in her own searing thoughts until Julia turned to her, her face neutral.
“Can you help me with that Transfiguration homework this evening?” asked Julia, linking hers and Rose’s arms. Rose shook her head sadly then told Julia she wanted to chase Malfoy that evening. Julia offered to come with her as she knew the Slytherin she’d offered to follow, a nasty fourth year called Kelsey Brown, was up in the Hospital Wing with a suspected case of Dragon Pox. Rose kissed her quickly on the cheek, bidding her friend farewell, stood up slowly, and left the DA, ready to meet Scorpius.
When Rose saw Scorpius under the beech tree, she knew something wasn’t right. He looked slightly dishevelled, and his usually shining blonde hair was messy and not in its usual slick position. He turned to her, a concerned look etched onto his face. His grey eyes looked troubled and confused, but he gave her a little smile anyway. Rose suddenly overcome by the feeling to want to kiss all his anxiety away, but she kept back as he began to speak very quietly.
“Rose, we need to talk.” Her heart was beating fanatically as he took her hands in his. Boys only ever said that when they were breaking up with you. Rose’s eyes prickled with tears but she forced herself not to cry and she looked his straight in the eye. Scorpius looked terrified and Rose could not believe he was about to say it.
“About what?” she said as Scorpius leant forward and gently kissed her forehead. He brushed the red curls out of her face as he bit his lip, preparing to speak again. Rose’s heart hammered harder than it ever had in the smothering atmosphere of the DA and Rose gripped his hands tightly as she listened to him,
“Mercutio knows about us.” Relief washed over Rose’s body as she smiled up at him and held him tightly, never wanting to let go after balancing on the knife’s edge. Scorpius’ arms curled round her back after a moment as he sighed heavily, taking in her flowery scent. Rose broke away, her eyes alight gazing happily up at him.
“Is that it?” she chirped sweetly, “I thought you were dumping me!” He laughed gently and Rose could feel his laughter on her lips as he kissed her, but when they broke apart he was solemn and steely again, and Rose finally registered what he had said.
“So,” she breathed, nuzzling her head into his neck, “Mercutio knows does he?” She felt Scorpius nodding against her and she broke away again, smiling up at him. She took in his raggedy appearance; this obviously worried Scorpius deeply, so Rose stroked both his cheeks and kissed him as tenderly as she could. She knew what she would tell him, and she knew it would help him.
“He’s your best friend,” she began, “and if he’s your best friend you should trust him. You should trust him to keep our secret.” Scorpius looked at her, his grey eyes moist with worried tears. Rose kissed him again and she wiped his tears away with his sleeve when they broke apart. He was nodding slowly, as if he was finally understanding the truth.
“I do trust him, it’s just...” he put his head in his hands for a moment and then shook it, “no, it’s stupid.” He looked at her gently but Rose raised one eyebrow at him. He shuddered under her burning gaze until he started to stutter some sort of response at which Rose smiled at him warmly.
“Tell me Scorpius.” Rose watched as Scorpius lifted his eyes to hers as he wrung his hands, the information he was telling her obviously distressing him deeply. Rose was worried for him, her heart beating quicker as he began to mumble,
“I sometimes have dreams,” he began, “really strange dreams. I have this one recurring dream, I’ve had it since I first met Mercutio on the Hogwarts Express. I dream he’s in this really dark room, there is a giant face hovering behind him. This face is made of stone; it’s gaunt and looks dead with a long beard. Then Mercutio claps his hand and the mouth opens revealing this giant snake. The snake comes out and stands next to him. That is where the dream used to stop. But, since I’ve been with you, the dream has got longer. Now Mercutio pats the snake and then there is shouting, he turns round and there is this green light. Before it hits him he shouts ‘Rose’, but then he falls to the ground.”
“What has that got to do with anything Scorpius?” asked Rose, almost irritated but slightly unnerved. Scorpius held out his hands in frustration as he prepared to continue, ignoring Rose’s building hostility.
“He said he would take the secret to his grave,” he said desperately, “I think he is going to die.” Rose gave out a hollow, heartless laugh as she pointed an angry finger at him, frustrated tears building in her eyes.
“And you blame me for this?” Scorpius shook his head, trying to convince Rose, but it was far too late. Rose stormed off into the darkness, shaking her head and marching back off into the night, deciding she would help Julia with her homework.
I know it's been a little while but I've been a bit ill. Anyway...please tell me what you think, I absolutely hate the second part of this chapter, but I love the first! Next time...Lestrange puts the Heir's plan into motion and needs to choose the person he trusts most. Also Scorpius' dreams become worse...
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