Chapter 20 : A Distorted Mirror
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This is dedicated to Dove, who always tries to be the first to review! Thanks Dove!
A Distorted Mirror
Rose Weasley sat on the sofa staring at a book she wasn’t reading. She’d been doing the same thing since 3am. Tired didn’t come close to how she felt now, but she had to be sure he’d gotten home. Maybe have round two before she could accept slumbers sweet embrace.
It had been one of those sleepless nights. To start with, Rose had cried, she’d torn off Skip’s jersey and taken a bath. She hadn’t admitted it to herself, but she’d been listening for his return. After that she’d liberated her most Gryffindor maroon pyjamas’. They had been her favourite, until she’d enjoyed Scorpius’s bed and jersey.
She’d spent the rest of the evening in bed doing her homework. Gotten a lot of it done, which had calmed her inner rage. But, then- Then, Scorpius had the audacity to stay out all night. By one o’clock she’d been on the sofa with her book. So here she was waiting, drained and a little worried. What if he’d done something stupid? Just as she was about to go and look for him; he opened the door.
Rose scanned his appearance. He looked exceedingly tired himself. He was still wearing his robes, his cloak was flung over his shoulder and his shirt was un-tucked. His tie hung messily around his neck and his hair askew, sprouting out in all directions.
Rose stood quickly, her eyes red and swollen from the tears.
“Where have you been?” Rose hissed quietly, barely above a whisper. “I was worried- where the hell have you been?” She asked forgetting all about their argument.
“I went to go see Belle,” He said with an emotionless tone. He walked farther into the room and flung his cloak over the side of the sofa, not daring to make eye contact with Rose.
"Belle..." she said faintly sitting down.”I thought you'd done something stupid..." then she looked up at him. "Maybe you have?" she said bitterly pointing at his lipstick stained collar.
“I haven’t done anything stupid,” Scorpius growled. “She’d my girlfriend- what I do with her is not stupid and it’s none of your business,”
"And staying up all night isn't stupid" Rose fumed. "You’re not even out of Hogwarts yet!"
“What the hell does being in Hogwarts got to do with anything?” Scorpius muttered angrily. “And I don’t why your all bothered- you’re the one who suggested I go see Belle- I distinctly remember you saying to stay away from you,”
"Yes, but I didn't mean for you to sow your wild oats!" she exclaimed crossly wagging her finger. "You're Head Boy for Merlin Sake! ACT LIKE IT!"
“Wild oats, what’s that supposed to mean?” Scorpius yelled, advancing toward her. “And I was following your orders,”
"My 'orders' what am I your General now..." she muttered then looked him dead in the eye. “Scorpius Malfoy, were you or were you not out all night? And is that lipstick on your collar or isn't it?"
“Yes, I was out all night, and yes I do have lipstick on my collar- but I didn’t get caught and it’s none of your business.” Scorpius seethed. “And I don’t remember you being all that into the rules when it was you I was meeting at midnight for all those years.”
"That was different" Rose screamed. "We bent the rules because of our parents. You did it to get your leg over... You know what... I don't even know who the hell you are anymore?"
“What, you don’t know who I am because I went to go see my girlfriend.” Scorpius shouted. “I’m a guy, Rose, and guys have needs. She’s my girlfriend and I can see her whenever I like- what’s your problem?”
"You're my problem at the moment Scorpius," she said stamping her foot. "So if you don’t mind I'm going go upstairs before I say or do something we'll both regret." She turned to leave when Scorpius stopped her.
“Like you weren’t thinking about doing it with Lions?” He challenged, not even sure why the words had left his lips, he just needed to know.
"Leave Joseph out of this," she said turning round getting ready for round three. "At least he knows that being a man has nothing to do with knots on bedposts. I used to think you did too..."
“Ha,” Scorpius snorted bitterly. “He’s far from a virgin, Rose and who says I even slept with Belle- you’re putting words into my mouth,”
"I can add two and two together" she said bitterly. "I told you to leave Joseph out of this - or maybe I'll tell you some things I've heard about Belle!"
There was a pause where they both fumed. Passion boiled up, from the love that was so strong between them had turned a little.
"I hate you like this," She said hollowly. "I HATE THAT WE'VE BECOME THIS!"
Scorpius walked slowly towards her and reluctantly put an awkward around her rubbing her bear shoulder with his thumb.
“I know,” He said soothingly. “Me too- let’s not fight. We’re both tired we’re saying things we don’t mean,” He paused, relaxing a little into her body. “I’m still the same person,”
"Are you? Am I? I just don't know anymore..." she said backing up and running upstairs.
“Come on, Min,” Scorpius called up. “Don’t be ridiculous- we’re both still the same people- we didn’t change overnight. We’ll walk down to breakfast and I’ll prove it.”
“Scorpius, I’m being serious,” Rose said incredulously; looking down at him from the top step.
“And so am I!” He shouted back, in as much of a friendly voice he could muster. Rose may not feel the same way about him but he didn’t want to lose her because of it. “Nobody said that I slept with Belle anyway and even if I have slept with her; it doesn’t mean I’m a changed person- it doesn’t mean we’re not the same friends that we have been for so long.” He paused as Rose gave him a thoughtful expression. She wanted to believe he hadn’t slept with Belle because he hadn’t expressly admitted that he had but he hadn’t denied it yet either.
“Get your Robe on and I’ll prove to you that we’re still the same friends as ever,” She nodded and climbed the stairs. Scorpius sighed stressfully, collapsing on to the sofa the minute she left. He began to rub his face frustrated with his hands. “I’m not cut out for this,”
The events of the previous night had become somewhat of a blur to Scorpius. The detention with Al seemed a life time ago now. Rose’s conversation with her mother was just as vague but the emotion he had felt still soared vividly through his body.
He couldn’t even remember what he was thinking or planning when he had left the common room. He doubted he was thinking much at all. He then found himself in the Astronomy Tower; a place that had always been special to him next the lake. Somewhere he went to think and be free from thought; somewhere where he used to be with Rose.
But then he had seen Belle.
He stood up snappishly and started pacing. It had only been a few minutes after that that Rose appeared at the bottom of the stairs; looking extremely tired but nevertheless immaculately tidy and well groomed.
“So,” Scorpius said, shaking his head; trying to keep his tone as level as possible. “You ready?”
“As I’ll ever be,” She gave a heavy sigh and slouched her way down the last couple of steps.
“I know it’s going to be difficult to get what happened last night out of our heads but it doesn’t matter what happened because all I know is we’re great friends and I’m not going to let it go just because we don’t feel that same way about each other.” He looked determined and she hesitantly nodded too.
Rose shuffled her book bag to distract herself from the foreboding feeling that was growing within her.
“Won’t you need your books for class Skipper?” she asked hesitatingly.
“We’ll, if you want to be conventional about it?” he said as he silently accio’ed what he needed. He made a show of catching the books like a keeper, joking. “This is what the Slytherin team will be doing to every ball you throw at us in mere days from now.”
“In your little dream world Malfoy…” she said as she headed to the door. For a few minutes, they walked in a friendly silence. Then they passed peeves – who followed them kissey noises behind them in between singing.
“Peevie, sees what Skippy did last night,
Looking like the squid,
He was holding and kissing that Belle so tight,
Not every Head boy is what he did…”
After the remarkably good timing of the Bloody Baron scaring him off to bemoan about stupid firsties, the good friendly feeling that had started between them vanished.
When they started to hear other people moving around ahead of them Rose couldn’t stand the silence any longer.
“This is stupid. Great friends?” she asked with a small sad smile. “I thought we we’re BFF’s taking on the world?” This joke she made to try and lighten their moods.
“Minnie, Minnie Mouse-ing-ton” Skip replied linking his arm with hers. “I thought you promised me never to mention us as BFF’s again because it’s too girly and I, as you know, am a manly man person.”
Rose unhooked their arms and shifted her book bag so it was a barrier between them.
“Manly man person, huh? Belle must have dosed you pretty good last night” she said with a hint of bitterness as she speeded ahead towards the distant figure of Joe waiting for her at the end of the corridor.
But not to be deterred by this, Skip speeded ahead of her and walking backwards so her could face her held his hands up.
“So I admit it.” He said desperately. “I did bump into Belle. She gave me a very non-verbal goodnight. But I wasn’t anything like the squid with her.” He said stopping and not letting her past. “If it were possible I’d sue that poltergeist bard. Do you think your mother could sort that out?” And despite herself Rose smiled at the image of Peeves having to work off the dealt Skips legal case would inflict on him. But she was distracted but the arrival of her boyfriend.
“Hi my beautiful Rose,” He muttered as he curled his arm around her waist and trailed small sweet kisses down the side of her neck. Scorpius flinched slightly. Everyone knew Rose didn’t like being talked about as if she was a possession. Scorpius almost laughed and Joseph’s fatal mistake.
“Why hello my Prince Charming” Rose purred, as she watched Scorpius from the corner of her eye. “You’re in a delicious mood this morning.” She said as he flung her in his arms. She then kissed him lightly, the kind of kiss that expressed an innocent passion and drove men wild. As she did so she thought, ‘see Skip two can play at the dating game. He adores me.’
Scorpius, for his part couldn’t belief she was acting like this. Shell-shocked, his mind was split between imagining punching Joseph and taking those passionate kisses from Rose himself; and thinking how much she must love him for this scene to be happening where there were first years.
“What do you want Lions- we have breakfast to eat you know,” He ignored Rose’s glare and continued to stare daggers at Joseph.
“Actually I just wanted to see my girlfriend,” He turned away from Scorpius and smiled down at Rose. “So how about that double date- thought anymore about it? And after I was thinking we could go to the shrieking shack and you know...” He trailed of suggestively.
“Oh yes Joseph I know but you don’t think that I’m as easy as all the other girls you’ve charmed” she purred seductively as she left his embrace and turned slowly with a devilish smile.
At this Joseph looked like a man obsessed with lustful images and Scorpius wanted to punch him even more. “If you want me to come out with you this week you’ll have to ask me nicely.” She said turning, tossing her hair to leave knowing he’d follow.
He scurried after her a sly grin across his face. Scorpius felt sick just to watch. In fact, Debby was trying not to laugh at the whole ordeal behind her goblet and Hailey and Anita were so shocked with Rose’s boldness that they just sat there watching mouths agape.
“Please Rose would you like to go on a double date and then have some quiet alone time with me?” He said in a low silky husk.
"Maybe" She giggled shyly at the hall entrance. At that moment, she didn't know how sexy she looked or what a dangerous game she was playing. All she knew was that Scorpius was watching her and even Belle couldn't do what she was about to do.
"I'll go with you if you ask me with a romantic flare." she smiled as his eyes widened, "Then she whispered, think knees and flowers." she was just about to move away again when he caught her hand and it started lightly raining pink rose petals. She turned, to look at him as he got down on one knee and asked poetically.
"My Rose among Roses,
Away you have taken my breath
With your beauty as fine as a posse
Please come to Hogsmeade or it will be my death,
For you’re as fine as sunshine and my lady, love and Juliet"
From around them there was a collective sign from the girls and gagging from the younger boys.
“What away to get your leg over,” Scorpius spun around to find Belled smiling slyly at him. “Joseph, I mean, he’s so desperate he’s willing to go through all that embarrassment,” Belle laughed. “It usually works though,” Scorpius forced a false laugh out of pretence.
She kissed his earlobe; Scorpius was barely registering Rose’s reply to Joseph, he was too busy trying to digest the information that Belle was giving him. “But it’ll be good for Rose, you know,” Belle continued, as Rose and Joseph continued to kiss. “She needs a bit of fun, right?” Scorpius said nothing his insides were burning. He wanted to be the one to show her how to have fun; he wanted to be the one giving her flowers. She loves Joseph He tried to say in his head, get over it.
Scorpius was then transfixed by the scene of Joseph picking Rose up and spinning. Scorpius then noticing Professor Longbottom was watching with interest cleared his throat. Joseph seemed amused by this and as he placed Rose down said:
"So Skipper, the balls in your court for asking your lady out - but you'll never top that..." then he kissed Rose’s hand and went to his own breakfast. Rose smiled at him.
"Come on Skip you promised me breakfast." she said trotting off to a clear spot. Her mood now greatly improved; even though she knew Uncle Nev would owl her mother.
Scorpius was now seething. Who did that prissy little prefect think he was dealing with? That display of romance was about as imaginative as a first year Tom Riddle with bad breath. Show’s promise but well below par. He breathed out slowly, licked his lips then displayed his sexiest smile to its full effect. In one slick movement, he pulled out his wand from inside his robes and waved them at the discarded petals on the floor.
Immediately, they became yellow to match Belle’s hair-tie. He flicked his wand again and the petals rose in the air and surrounded Belle, they coupled together to begin a sweet floral smelling tango that entrancing her. The crescendo of this was them flowing airwards, they seemed like a messy pattern then suddenly they began to form words.
They read: Will you come to Hogsmeade with me? then when the whole hall gasped and Belle’s eyes were wide and shining. The petals transfigured into exploding star fireworks, beautiful in both colors and pattern The display didn’t last long but as the sparks fell down they gathered in Scorpius’ hand.
They swayed in his hand for a moment, he sensually blew on them and they returned to their bouquet loveliness: ten long stem yellow and white roses.
“So...” Scorpius questioned smoothly.
“Off course,” Belle giggled, as she grabbed the bouquet in a way that displayed she was more excited about how he did what he did not why he did it. She looking rather flustered. But she recovered her senses enough to leave him a lingering kiss before heading for her friends at the Ravenclaw table. When Scorpius turned back to Rose, however, she was already at the Gryffindor table; looking into her bowl of cereal with a gloomy expression on her face.
“What’s wrong?” Scorpius whispered into her ear, as he seamlessly took the empty seat beside her, earning several looks from the nosy pupils around them.
“Oh you know, just not feeling well,” Rose lied, trying to smile up at him. “Must be compounded by the lack of sleep....”
“Still ill?” Scorpius replied grabbing himself some toast and putting a slither of bacon into it. “Weren’t you feeling unwell yesterday? Maybe you should see Madam Hannah or something,”
“She’s sorting out stuff for the Leaky Cauldron today- two jobs can’t be easy, besides I’m perfectly healthy. It’s just lack of sleep…”
“But you’re sick,” He protested dropping his toast and gazing into her eyes. They’re eyes locked and the rest of the room fell away for a moment. For that second, each considered speaking the truth but then they were dragged into reality.
“The only sick she’s feeling right now is love sick,” Violet Finnegan laughed.
“Vi,” Rose hissed.
“What?” She asked feigning innocence as she flicked her hair. “Oh come on, it’s true- after that we’re all a bit love sick.” Scorpius’s smile faded fast while Rose rolled her eyes.
“Chocolate and soap,” Summer almost sang dreamily. “Chocolate and soap is that really the style of that Joe Dope?” She whispered that last part so only Rose could hear. Rose’s eyes widened. And Summer smiled an understanding smile as she looked at Scorpius then when back to her breakfast.
When Roses mind whirled into action again, when her heart regained its beat; she breathed deeply to steady herself. Of course she’d know. Summer and Scorpius had always been friends after all. She groaned inwardly at Summer’s not only knowing her secret but having guessed it for herself. She was about to reply with some sort of defense but Summer was telling Scorpius about the new edition of the quibbler and how there was a spread on her THE twins.
It wasn’t long after that Albus Potter walked in, his eyes shooting straight away to Rose and Scorpius eating breakfast. He was about to groan: “Now it begins!”, when his gut told him something was amiss. They weren’t noticeably happy - like perhaps a new couple should. Their hands weren’t entwined. They weren’t talking to each other; in fact they were back to back. Scorpius’ back was almost facing Rose completely as he was listening to Summer Thomas. Rose was playing with her cereal as Violet tried to engage her in some, not doubt, gossip. But, to his mind, Violet should be running around the hall broadcasting the obvious relationship of the Head boy and girl.
For more evidence his gaze flickered over to Belle, who looked extremely happy with a bouquet of yellow flowers. Certainly wasn’t a girl nursing a broken heart and Joseph was looking like his usual smug self, not like someone embarrassed of being publicly dumped by the Weasley bombshell.
What the hell had happened? What universe was this that he was frustrated and, he hated to say in, disappointed that his best-cousin and ‘Skippy’ weren’t… as he’d anticipated. He had been expecting them to be all over each other, declaring their undying love for each other and snogging. He’d known they’d be snogging, loads of it, across the dinner table putting him off his food. He needed clafication he needed that angel of Hufflepuff and all things informational.
“What’s with those two?” He asked Anita who was sat on the Hufflepuff table.
“Hi Ali,” she beamed. “Rose was teasing Joseph and made him get on his knees and ask her to Hogsmeade poetically. It was kind of romantic and rediculess all at once…THEN Scorpius saw that as a personal challenge and asked Belle with a tangoing bouquet of flowers that can spell and this whole fireworks display.” She shrugged. “It was cool, but…”
“So Rose is still going out with Joseph?”
“Yes Al,” Anita giggled. “Rose isn’t going to see Joseph as the magnificent prat he is any time soon, mores the pity.”
“But I thought- last night she said-” he couldn’t continue. He was so sure that Rose would have dumped Joseph for Scorpius by now. The facts of the matter were; she and Scorpius were going to talk. She was going to tell him that she liked him. Unless...
His blood began to boil, his fist clenched tightly by his sides.
“How dare he...” He muttered. He mindlessly walked over to where Scorpius was sitting; as he approached the table, Rose scanned his expression wearily.
“Malfoy,” He said through gritted teeth. “A word,” He said simply, before adding, “Outside,”
“Wait,” Rose stood up, apparently forgetting that she had just been moping. “If you’re going to start and argument-”
“Now, Rose, Rosie Minnie Weasley Heart.” He said with what he hoped was a winning smile. “It really is none of your business why me and my old mate Skipper need a word. We just need to iron out a few things that were said in detention,” He emphasised the word ‘detention’ and aimed it at Scorpius. There was a moment where they both looked at each other, realisation dawning on Scorpius’ face.
“Well I don’t think-” Rose started suddenly feeling shocked… ‘Old mate…’ and they were maintaining eye contact… she turned to Scorpius to ask but he anticipated her.
“Leave it Rose, nothing major” He got up and wordlessly, they left the room together, an agape Rose in their wake.
They walked to the third floor and barricaded themselves in magically so no sound could escape.
“I thought I told you to listen!” Albus yelled as soon as it was safe.
“I did,” Scorpius defended.
“Then what the bloody hell happened, Malfoy?”
“She told me how she felt and we didn’t feel the same,” Scorpius stopped and swivelled around to look at Albus. “What do you want me to say?”
“Didn’t feel the same way?” Albus repeated incredulously.
“So I went to see Belle and Rose is just pissed because I stayed out all night and-”
Scorpius back collided violently with the wall, as Albus’s hands tightened around his collar.
“You get one Potter: that was it” He cried standing to his feet and getting his wand.
“What the freaking hell are you playing at?” Albus said in a disgusted voice, breathing angrily. “I thought you were supposed to actually care about my cousin- but you were just being a slimy little snake weren’t you.” He said, squaring off with him. Then, Albus had him against the wall. “What were you pretending to care for, Malfoy?” A nerve was struck and Scorpius lurched but Albus pushed him again. “Was it her family? Thought she was a trophy to show off to your friends?” The anger was almost gone now and to Scorpius’ surprise, there wasn’t anger in his words it was hurt- hurt for his cousin because all he wanted was for her to be happy. Hurt for an-almost sister that he cared dearly about. And all Scorpius could do was stare. “Oh look, I’ve got Rose Weasley the daughter of two of the most famous people in the wizarding world – besides my mum and dad. Or was it to polish your family name? Was it a way of proving that Malfoy’s weren’t all bad? You just used her-”
That had done it; Scorpius had snapped- it only took a second for Albus to be against the wall instead, Scorpius’ arm dangerously close to his neck.
“You’re wrong,” He said desperately and the certainty in his eyes inspired fear into Albus’ lion-heart. He’d seen Scorpius determined to prove him wrong before- for seven whole years he’d argued with him, the nut had never reacted like this. “You’re wrong, Potter. “ He repeated for a second time. “I care about her more than you could ever imagine.” He seethed throwing him to the ground. “Bloody hell Potter, we became friends because there was this thing between us- always this thing, this feeling that didn’t make our names or family matter. It was always just us, not judging one another by name not because of her name. But because of mine…”
“Be more brains then brawn for an change Potter.” He almost spat, turning around and walking away. “If I really cared about whom her family was, do you really think I’d keep the friendship a secret for so long? If I wanted to show her off, would I have spent seven years trying to cover it all up? If I didn’t bloody care about a bone in her body or a freckle on her face do you honestly think I’d have risked my inheritance, my family, my home, my relationship with my father which is so important to me? Do you!” He hadn’t noticed that Al had slowly stood up and he wasn’t making a move. Suddenly, Scorpius’ eyes stung. “Well do you?” He shouted and his voice echoed around the walls.
“Then, why don’t you feel the same way?” Al asked in a small voice – feeling suddenly compassionate towards the person he’d regarded as an enemy for so long.
“I thought you’d be pleased!” Scourpius shot back directing his wand and Albus throat.
“Pleased? Pleased?” Albus was now livid, his entire body shaking with rage. “My cousins heartbroken and you think I’m pleased?”
“Heartbroken?” Scorpius barked out a low, bitter laugh. “Don’t be stupid, Potter- she couldn’t care less. Why should she be upset- she’s got what she wanted- or should I say who - she got that idiot, her precious Lions.”
“What?” Al stepped back and eyed Scorpius in a confused manner.
“She loves Lions, Potter and she got him- so why the bloody hell should she be the victim,”
“She loves who...?”
“Lions, oh come on Albus you were there, you heard what she said,” Scorpius said collapsing and sitting with his back leaning on the wall. “I know you’re not intelligent but I didn’t think you were that thick.”
“I’m thick!” he shouted drawing himself up to his full height as realisation dawned on Al and he staggered back. “You didn’t let her speak,”
“Yeah, Potter because if you precious Anita came up to you and you knew she was about to confess her undying love and devotion for bloody Billy Bag you’d calmly listen over a nice cup of tea and let her gush about hit to you,”
“One,” Al said forcefully. “No one would ever pick Billy Bag over me. And two,… two… that’s beside the point,” He finished. “Shut up, we’re talking about you and Rosie. ANYWAY, you can’t have been that cut up if you then spent the night with Belle, for Merlin’s sake Malfoy,”
“No you shut up!” He said turning his face way. He didn’t want to confess what actually happened last night to the likes of Potter. “You don’t know what you’re talking about so I’ll reiterate shut it before I magically bind your lips together.” He turned back and smiled menacingly.
“But you didn’t listen to her” Al said still frustrated. “If only you had you’d have-”
“What, Potter, Potter? I’d have found out what I already overheard? Al, she was right, I told her,” He explained, as Rose, unnoticed by the pair, arrived and let herself through the barrier. “I told her that she should be with Joseph,”
“What an idiot,” Al laughed. “You’re complete prick!” Scorpius turned sharply, glaring daggers at his old enemy. “She doesn’t want him she loves-” but just as he was going to say it- just as he was going to tell Scorpius the whole truth- he noticed Rose shaking her head viciously. “She loves...er… Lion’s Merlin only knows why as he’s an idiot but given the alternative…” He faltered but Scorpius hadn’t noticed.
Al felt surprisingly guilty for not unveiling the truth. He took a long hard look at Scorpius’ trodden persona and then shifted his gaze to a now fast approaching Rose Weasley, who looked just as drained (if not more drained) than the blonde haired Slytherin. Al shook his head. He couldn’t go against her; not his own cousin. This was something they had to sort out themselves. ‘Only fools rush in’ his father would say; Al didn’t tell his father that he was the biggest hypocrite in the world for saying that.
“Everything ok here boys?” Rose asked hesitantly.
“Woman – can you not respect when two ‘Old Mates’ need to talk?” he said trying to slip back into their old bantering ways. Rose glared at him, attached her fist to her hip. “Just… how long have you been here?”
“Not long - Just came to say we’re heading off to Hogsmeade now,” Rose said, arms crossed and staring at the ground. “Errr… Hurry up – Joe, WHO ISN’T AN IDEOT… is waiting.”
“Oh, erm, yeah,” Scorpius replied rather awkwardly. “See you, Potter,” He turned to Al and said this with a sneer.
“Hopefully not,” Al stated. ‘Only fools rush in’ he reminded himself quietly as he watched the two figures, hands in pockets, walk towards their partners. He signed; maybe this is what dad felt like with Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione? Merlin I hope they don’t end up like that!
"So then he says ‘But I’m a troll not a vampire’” Joseph announced, with a loud obnoxious laugh that seemed to travel all round the Three Broomsticks. What was bizarre was that others in Three Broomsticks, mainly Joseph’s mates and fans, laughed along too. While his girlfriend, Rose forced a small giggle to escape. Belle smiled politely and Scorpius didn’t bother looking amused at all. In fact, he purposely rolled his eyes in a theatrical style because all day, they’d been on display: Being watched not only by Joe’s mini fandom, but everyone else as well.
It was hardly surprising – given the public mode of the invitations but it seemed the whole of Hogwarts were out waiting them. On a normal Hogsmeade Saturday, the school would disperse throughout the surrounding area. Couples would walk around; some parents would meet their children and take them to Diagon Alley because they needed a new… But not today; all plans had been called off to stork he double-date.
Now they were all feeling like caged animals - displayed for the entire world - all morning. In fact the Three Broomsticks hadn’t seem this much business since Ron and Hermione’s, Harry and Ginny’s first date, after the war. It was a fact, which they were painfully aware of seeing as the Hannah’s glib joke to Neville had been overhead and been rebroadcast by Violet Finnegan. The whole of the Three Broomsticks crowd were engaged in; all looking at them, whispering in hushed conversation and following their every move like shadows.
Violet as the leader of this circus, had at one stage asked Rose to repeat what she’d said because ‘everyone needed to know everything’. What was worst was Violet wasn’t as thick as she sometimes liked others to think and had convinced everyone, including Rose that the display of this morning was symptomatic of the secret ‘goings on’ between Rose and Scorpius.
“I was p’ing myself laughing for weeks,” Joseph smirked. Now he was bored with his story he resumed burying his face into Roses neck and slowly kissing her jaw-line. Rose wished he wouldn’t do that all the time- it was like he was marking his territory or sometimes she thought that’s all he ever wanted to do. Their conversation was terribly limited by his overtly touching nature. To begin with that had been fine but now he was just getting too frisky always making moves on her one way or another. Out of the corner of her eye she could see Scorpius looking down at his butterbeer. If she didn’t know better she’d say he was seething about the blatant PDA happening. But the next moment his arm was draped possessively over his girlfriends shoulder. He didn’t nuzzle her, but he lovingly stroked her hair and the bottom fell out of stomach.
She tried not to show her displeasure with Scorpius by distracting herself with her ‘boyfriend’.
“So Joseph,” She said in a low purr that only Joseph would here. “Why the fascination with my neck?” her face then flushed with a sexy innocence. Slowly, Joseph’s head lifted from her neck and he looked truly lustfully at her.
“Why, baby,” He almost growled. “It’s just the sexist part of you that I’ve got the pleasure to see and experience, but maybe later…”
Next to her, Scorpius felt Rose tense. Unbeknownst to both of them, he’d been listening to the whole conversation. Which was why he’d allowed Belle to nibble his neck so intensely but now Rose needed him. He had to act. So he did the first thing that came into his head.
Next to her, Scorpius felt Rose tense. Unbeknownst to both of them, he’d been listening to the whole conversation. Which was why he’d allowed Belle to nibble his neck so intensely but now Rose needed him. He had to act. So he did the first thing that came into his head.
“Douchebag” Scorpious coughed in the general direction of Rose. He only meant for Rose to hear – but it seemed that everything and everyone in the Three Brooms stopped. Joe lifted his head from Rose.
“Excuse me?” Joe smiled with a polite indignation not taking his hands off he girlfriend.
“Someone who has surpassed the levels of jerk and horn-dog, being only after a bit of skirt but hasn’t yet crossed the threshold of being a complete male troll on heat.” Bella said with an amused look. She liked giving an answer before Rose.
“Maybe later,” He continued for Joseph unaware of his clenching fist. “You could do us all a favor strut back to Hogwarts like a good little prefect- climb up to the astronomy tower and throw yourself off,” The words were out before he could stop them but his emotions were so high that he just couldn’t hold it together. The words of last night had unexpectedly to burnt his insides; he was nothing more or less than shaking with jealousy.
“Scorpius!” Rose exclaimed in shock.
“Well it’s the truth,” Scorpius said, gesturing at Joseph with his hands. “He’s a douchebag and I’m sick and tired of him behaving like he’s the second coming of Romeo – cos REALLY all he wants to do is to get into your knickers and you’re stupid enough to fall for it,”
“Excuse me?” She questioned lividly, sitting up straighter in her chair- so angry that she wasn’t even aware of her audience anymore. “I’m stupid?”
“Yes you are in this case- he’s using you and you don’t even see it,” he said letting Bella fall away, looking both upset and interested.
“Is that what you really think?” she seethed as she pushed herself to a better seated position. Her sights were so set on Scorpius that she didn’t notice a whisper of agreement with him ripple throw the audience.
“All he’s after is sex,” Scorpius pointed out adamantly.
“Because that’s all I’m good for, right?” Rose said quietly, gazing at Scorpius with hard, cold eyes. “A quick-y in some broom closet somewhere like...” she swallowed down the rest of the comment. Because to be able to say out loud that Scorpious and SHE had… had… well it was just too hard.
“That’s not what I said,” Scorpius altered; but he was still too furious to see sense.
“You implied it!” Rose shouted. “What Joseph and I do with each other is neither you nor anybody else’s concern. If we want to go at it like… like rabbits then that’s my life and my business- not yours… or anyone elses” Scorpius’ demeanour shrunk like a defeated child, as he remained silent, with a disgruntled look on his face. “You know what Scorpius, you’re nothing but a hypocritical chauvinistic neanderthal and I’m sick of it!”
At this she stood up: Knocking the entire content of her drink straight onto Joe’s lap. For a spilt second, everything was calm and quiet. Then, Joe started to exclaim.
“You clumsy…” he started before Scorpius silently muted him. Rose went from shock and regret to anger in an instant.
“Skip” she shirked. “Look what you made me do! And why are his lips moving but nothing coming out?” She turned from Scorpious to the affected area, with a swift flick of her wand she muttered a drying spell. But instead of the stain drying, it began to smoke.
At this Joe’s eyes went the shape of saucers – he was beyond shocked and angry that his new trousers where smoking and he didn’t even want to think about what that might mean to any area beneath the smolder.
“Scorpius!” Rose yelled trying to make her brain work. But that was harder than it sounded because the audience was frantic. In an uproar – with shouts of surprise, rage and humor at Joe’s state.
“I’m not doing anything!” He shouted back, trying to keep the laughter inside. Rose grabbed her scarf and started hitting the smoke. Joe looked indignant until the smoke subsided and only a blacked stain remained. At this point, Rose’s ears started turning red as she realized where on her boyfriend her attention had been. But she regained her composure by turning on Scorpius.
“Scorpius will you please un-mute Joseph!” she said looking as demented as her mother could be. “And sort his trousers out.”
“Why should I? Can’t your precious boyfriend manage it?” he shot back. “Anyway, I can’t. It’s the spell. He’s on mute until his need to start swearing stops.” He smiled. Then in a voice not unlike Roses he mocked. “Because we can’t let the douche’s ghastly language affect the young Hogswartians and besmirch the good name of the school!!!”
Rose was now seething. Then someone in the crowd suggested vanishing the stain. This seemed inspired. Rose smiled kindly at Joe, but Joe backed away trying to indicate that if they could get away from Scorpius and this crowd the state of his trousers won’t matter.
But Rose was a witch with a mission. And even when Joe tried to hide behind Belle – she still continued.
“Joe I’m so sorry this won’t take a moment – don’t worry. I can fix this.”
Finally Rose had a clear shot and took it. But that’s not all her magic took. Rose had been so enthusiastic that she vanished not just the stain: but the trousers went too.
So there they all were: In the middle of the Three Brooms: Surrounded by a throng of peers and foes alike. Joe, wearing only his shoes, socks, a jumper, shirt and pants attracting woof whistles (and loving it). Belle just looking between them all in a daze, only vaugly aware that Joe was still using her as a partial shield. And Rose and Scorpius started bickering: Rose because her magic had never been on the fritz and Scorpius because he was trying to calm her down.
“This is all your fault!”
“You’re the one that… that…” she couldn’t find the rest of the words because her Uncle Neville appeared and she felt like collapsing in his arms. But his arms were already full with another barrel of Butterbeer.
“WHAT IN NAME OF MERLINS BAGGY BOXERS IS GOING ON HERE!” he shouted as he surveyed the scene. “LOINS – GO TO MADAM LONGBOTTOM AND GET SOMETHING TO COVER YOURSELF UP.” He looked at Rose and Scorpius for an answer, but by the state of her, he knew that neither one of them would be able to give him the information he required.
“Belle, can you please come with me and explain these events.” She nodded, coming around a bit. “And you two, your Hogsmeade visit is over. Go up to the castle and I’ll call for you if I need to.” Then he turned to the crowd. “AND THE REST OF YOU… STOP STARING OR THE SCHOOL WILL START BONDING IN A NICE DETENTION CALLED EXTREEM HERBOLOGY!”
There was a collective groan throughout the pub like a Mexican wave. Slowly the students either left or turned back to their drinks and normal conversation resumed.
“Well, I didn’t think Little Joey was the type to where Lightening bolt undies,” Scorpius sniggered. "I don't care if they were charity ones for..." the joke about St Mungo's and underpants died on his lips as Rose rolled her eyes and stomped past him : Purposely, knocking his arm as she went.
“What?” He questioned in feigned confusion as he tried to follow hot on her heels whilst being blocked by the crowd. “Too soon for jokes?” he called hoping for a response. Scorpius's smile vanished, however, when Rose continued her way out of the pub, without so much as a second glance. "Rose, wait" He said running after her. "Wait," He continued as he started using his Head Boy ‘don’t mess with me’ glare to move the crowd. It wasn’t until they were halfway out of the village before he’d caught up enough to ask in that tender voice only for her: "Minnie, what's wrong?"
Rose was a mix of emotions; the last person she wanted to see or hear was Scorpius. She’d remembered hearing the tale of her mother’s broken heart when her dad had gotten a girlfriend in sixth year. How she’d flung birds at him, but a shower of beaks was too good for Skip. And yet, as he’d doggedly pursued down the road, Roses secret heart began to melt a little. Then, he’d used that voice and she couldn’t spot herself.
"What's wrong? What's wrong?" She stopped and spun around fast and for the first time Scorpius noticed just how angry she was. Scorpius was transfixed and could no more move than find words of comfort. "You have to ruin everything- don’t you? Poison everything in my life that isn’t about you!" She yelled. "You'd think after all that happened and all I said last night you'd have... but ARGH!" She buried her head in her hands as she started pacing in front of him. “Merlin, I thought. Considering you were my friend that you’d be…oh I don’t know… sensitive,” She started to walk off, apparently finding it hard to articulate her jumbled thoughts and feelings.
It took Scorpius a whole thirty seconds to realize he had to move, for Roses words and movements to set him off.
“Sensitive, me?” Scorpius said outraged, following after her. “Why should I be sensitive? You’re not being very sensitive towards me?” For a moment Roses pace slowed, causing Scorpius to stop. Her hand looked to be twitching towards her wand. Then the moment passed and she continued to walk. Then without thinking he called “This double date was a stupid idea.”
“Agreed,” Rose spat bitterly. “And yes… today you should have been more sensitive towards me… seeing as you’re the one who disappeared all night. It would have been nice if you had stayed- at least then it would have showed that our friendship was more important than getting your leg over,”
There was silence and Scorpius said nothing. He couldn’t reply: not to that. There were now so many things he wanted to say and explain. However, just then he couldn’t find the words. He actually didn’t think the words he needed had ever been invented.
“Yeah, well, where I went last night is nothing to do with anything,” Scorpius mumbled softly.
“Nothing to do..! I sat there. Waiting. All night. For you, so we could sort things out. I felt guilty and wanted to apologise… while you… and all you cared about was yourself and your girlfriend and… and a practical anatomy 1:1! How the hell do you think that made me feel?”
"I was upset," Scorpius interrupted disbelievingly. “We argued,”
“We’ve argued before… What the hell do you care if we argued like that last night?”
“I CARE!” Scorpius was livid, his fists clenched tightly into a ball. “I thought our conversation last night would have made that clear.”
“And yet ironically, all last night told me was how little you care!” She huffed. “Running off like you always, freakin’, do,”
“I was upset- I needed some support!” Scorpius shouted defensively.
“Ha!” She snorted. “I was upset too, remember. But I didn’t go running off for that sort of support, I waited for you like a grown up to sort this out!”
They had been walking as the argued and as they around a secluded bend, they happened upon Anita and Al. Remarkably, Rose and Scorpius arguing entrance arrival hadn’t disturbed the other couple. It looked as though Al was trying to say something, ask her something. Anita’s back was towards the new arrivals, and when he saw them his words faltered. And just like Al Rose and Scorpius stopped talking immediately.
“Yes, Al?” Anita pressed reaching her hand out to his.
“Oh, no nothing,” he said taking his hand away before they made contact. His eyes flickered nervously between Rose and Scorpius before he continued. “It wasn’t important- it can wait.”
“No tell me,” Anita replied hopefully.
“Don’t worry,” He began to turn away and so did a disappointed Anita. A second later, however, she spun back around.
“Yes,” Al turned his head so fast Rose was sure it would crick. His beaten appearance was suddenly replaced with euphoria.
“I just wanted to let you know…” She started but her confidence faltered when she noticed they weren’t alone. “That…That we have to do our essay for tomorrow.” She finished, though judging by her tone that wasn‘t what she wanted to say at all.
“Right,” Al nodded solemnly; looking disappointed again. The two couples seemed to acknowledge without words that now wasn’t the time to stop and chat. So whilst Al and Anita continued on towards Hogsmeade. Rose and Scorpius simply nodded a greeting then continued to walk, not wanting to intrude on the seemingly private conversation.
“Well, it looks like we’re not the only couple of friends having issues today.” Rose broke the silence with a sigh. Scorpius looked up.
“I guess not,” Scorpius replied. “Although it’s rather stupid- anyone with eyes can see they’re gaga for each other- they should just… get a move on,”
“Yeah- I’ve never known two people so amazingly meant for each other to spend so long getting together,” Rose said with a wistful smile.
“Aren’t you Ron and Hermione Weasley’s daughter?” Scorpius asked brow raising.
“Ok, point taken,” Rose said thoughtfully. “But still, at least I’m not like that, eh? They were both demented over each other…Thank Merlin the crazy gene skipped me.” Scorpius laughed.
“That statement is crazy in itself,” he muttered to himself. But the wind carried his words.
“Arh!” Rose squealed in feigned offence. “I am not crazy,”
“You’re a little crazy,” Scorpius smirked impishly. “Minnie, my sweet!”
“I’m not,” she hit him lightly on the arm and giggled. “Give me one example…”
“Come on, Min, you colour code your parchment for crying out loud!” Rose stopped and frowned about to defend herself when Skip threaded his arm through hers.
"So I'm a little organised," Rose corrected. "What does that prove?"
"A little? You're more than a little organised,"
"That doesn't make me crazy,"
"It doesn't make you normal," Scorpius smirked.
“You feel the need to run around the Quidditch pitch once before a game to calm your nerves.”
“And what’s so wrong about that!?” Rose sighed innocently enjoying the feel of his arm against her own.
“Min, you’re not even on the team!” He sniggered and nudged her lightly dipping his lips towards Roses ears. “You’re truly one of a kind,” He smiled as they came to a halt, right in front of the castle.
“I’ll take that as a compliment then, shall I?” She said this softly, her eyes making intense contact with his.
“You should,” He said seriously but softly, stopping them to look into her eyes. Then they both felt uncomfortable as it dawned on them that now, being like this wasn’t appropriate. “Better get going,” Scorpius said slowing removing his arm. “Got stuff to do you know…?”
“Yes,” Rose nodded. “Stuff- me too actually,” She wasn’t sure why she suddenly couldn’t form coherent sentences, just that they had suddenly become difficult. They were still extremely close; she could just about feel his breath mingle with hers. And the feeling made her a little giddy.
Reluctantly, she moved away and made her way up a couple of steps and over to the door.
“Rose,” She looked around to find the source of the voice; Scorpius was still stood rooted to the spot. He took a step closer but nothing more and looked at her with such sincerity in his eyes it made her heart Scorpius. “I’m sorry about last night.” Automatically, she moved closer to him. “Our friendship means everything- I just needed to get away and… do something else for a while. I love you, you’re my best friend.”
This made Roses heart both sore and sink. Friends. It seemed such an insignificant thing right now. She nodded and then turned back around, so that he wouldn’t see how hurt the words made her feel and walked up the last couple of steps.
“And Rose,” She stopped but didn’t look around this time. She felt him move closer and, into her ear, his sweet breath confessed. “Nothing happened.” Her breathing stopped at the words. “Last night, I mean,” He clarified as she began to turn slightly. “Nothing happened,” She titled her head, convinced that if she looked into his face she’d detect a lie. “It nearly did but I just couldn’t… not after…” He trailed off. “Well…” He said lamely backing away. “I just wanted you to know.” And with that final note, she watched him flee and for the first time this week she felt a smile tug at her lips…
Thank you! Review! What do you think? Likes? Joseph and his pants? Al and Scorpius fighting? Rose and Scorpius interaction?
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