Chapter Six Wayward
Rose sat in her common room alone with only Louisa, it was just past midnight, and every one else had left for bed. But she was content to sit there, and watch the gentle snow flakes fall, the moon hiding behind the thick cloud of sky. Louisa, on the other hand, was yawning non-stop. She was restless, sitting opposite Rose, her knee bobbing up and down, her eyebrows furrowed in concentration as she sucked on the tip of her quill. The page in front of her was still practically blank except for the name and date (of two days ago) at the top right corner, and a short sentence. A very short sentence.
Rose was more than satisfied to watch her friend squirm with the idea that the paper was due in History of Magic tomorrow morning, she was too busy with other things herself.
“I’m going to have to skip first class… which, oh bugger, is Potions. Slughorn will impale me,” Louisa moaned dramatically, burying her face into her arms, her long golden curls spreading all over the table. A moment ticked by, as the clock passed 12:06 and Louisa looked up due to the lack of response from her best friend.
“Right that’s it,” Louisa muttered to herself, sitting up again and focusing on Rose’s contemplative expression. She knew that face all too well.
“What are you doing,” she questioned bluntly, in her non-nonsense-Louisa voice.
Rose barely blinked, her eyes, wide and full of thoughts, turned slightly towards Louisa.
“What are you doing this time Rosie?” repeated Louisa, this time her voice was laced with exasperation.
Rose’s eyebrows crinkled slightly, “pardon?” But Louisa knew Rose well enough to know she heard precisely every single word.
Confident that she was right, Louisa said, “you’re up to some thing, I can feel it.”
Rose quirked an eyebrow, “sixth sense?”
Louisa rolled her cinnamon eyes, “what are you doing? Some thing with Gwen, isn’t it?”
Rose looked pensive, hesitating for a mere second before scooting closer, “okay, I’ll tell you.”
She licked her lips, and momentarily paused and suddenly Louisa found herself met with surprising suspense. “Tell me!”
“Don’t you think Gwen and Scorpius would make a lovely match?”
Louisa’s eyebrows rose so high Rose was concerned that might disappear completely into her yellow blonde coils. “What?!”
“Gwen and Scorpius,” Rose repeated sincerely, this time with more emphasis. Her gazed moved out towards the snow falling sky once again, as if she was picturing their future lives in her mind eyes. Louisa stared at her in disbelief, before she shook her head, her curls flying, knowing Rose, she was probably was. “You’ve got this one all wrong, Rose.”
Rose frowned, “but I never get it wrong.”
Louisa shrugged hopelessly, “suit yourself.”
They fell into silence once again, and Rose resumed her window staring, but she could tell Louisa was still evidently bothered. She only had to wait a minute later before Louisa spoke up again.
“I just really don’t think Gwen is Scorpius’ type.”
“Scorpius doesn’t usually date so who would you consider his type?”
Louisa looked at Rose sharply. Rose was sure she was going to say some thing, and for once she was mildly concerned for what her friend was going to utter. The two of them lived in such contradictory worlds, it was too strange a feeling to be pulled into Louisa’s every now and then, so Rose avoided it best she could.
Louisa’s eyes narrowed in contemplation. Rose instantly knew she wouldn’t like Louisa’s answer.
“Nobody in particular,” she replied smoothly.
Yep, Rose hated that answer.
Rose was at lunch, sitting next to Louisa. The both of them were exhausted, Louisa because it took her two full more hours to complete her History of Magic position paper (which she had handed in just before lunch with help from Rose’s fantastic proof reading skills), and Rose because she was in a somewhat huff with her best friend. Louisa’s words had kept circulating around her system, and it made it difficult to sleep. At last, she decided to put Louisa’s words behind her. The two of them were so drastically different, they could never take each other seriously any way.
Rose smiled to herself, her emotions elated, watching Buck and Molly laugh and flirt down the end of the lunch table. As much as the unfortunate second year sitting next to them was glaring, blatantly revolted, Rose found the two of them simply endearing.
It was quite clear they could barely keep their eyes off each other, and so it turns, they had much more in common other than animalistic eating tendencies.
“What are you so pleased about?” Louisa asked, her voice caught between curiosity and obvious suspicion, her eye line attempting to trail Rose’s.
Rose blinked, turning back to her meal quickly and smiling, she said softly, “absolutely nothing.”
Louisa’s eyebrows furrowed but she chose to cast aside any of her suspiciousness, and Rose was more than glad for it, “are you going to the match?”
“What match?” asked Rose absentmindedly as she nibbled on her toast.
“Don’t let Albus catch you saying that,” warned Louisa, somewhat amused at how airheaded her best friend could be, and watching her spread butter on her toast, before topping it up with kiwi and watermelon. “Quidditch match, fool.”
As Louisa predicted, Rose’s nose crinkled in disliked, and not because of her kiwi-watermelon-toast, because she seemed to be thoroughly enjoying that, “oh please come Rosie,” she begged, “it’s all in Gryffindor spirit. And besides, who am I supposed to sit with if Albus is playing?”
Rose lifted her eyes to the ceiling, ticking off her fingers, “Audie… Buck… Molly – ”
“Audie will be off snogging Bobby White only Merlin knows where, and Buck and Molly, well,” she paused, glancing down the table at the two, “ditto, apparently.”
Rose smirked behind her goblet of pumpkin juice, feeling the satisfaction rise within her chest once again, she sighed, feeling particularly generous today, “alright.”
“Alright?” repeated Louisa, her mouth dropping open, her voice uncertain as if she was sure she was hearing the impossible, a grin broke over her face and she squealed girlishly.
“Who’s playing?” queried Rose, unfazed by Louisa’s excitement, merely continuing to munch on her toast slowly. S-l-o-w-ly. A trick she hadn’t learnt from the Weasleys.
Louisa scoffed, “haven’t you been listening to any thing I’ve said?”
Rose stared at her blankly. Louisa sighed, “Slytherin vs. Gryffindor.”
“Right,” Rose said, quietly adding, “the worst kind.”
It was the time when the prejudices arose, the time when Gryffindor and Slytherin’s found it too hard to overlook past conflicts between the two houses. It was a time of war.
And Rose was all for love, not war.
Rose sat, shivering. It was cold and windy, and the figures in the sky were just a blur of gold and burgundy; silver and green, and even that was hard to distinguish. It was twenty minutes into the game and Rose’s attention was already wavering.
“And Gryffindor is in position – ”
Little Martha Longbottom was in the stands, narrating the game, but her voice was so small and muffled against the roaring rage of the wind. Rose looked to her left; Louisa was sitting next to her, wearing a Gryffindor beanie paired with a Slytherin scarf. The sixth year with sandy brown hair in the row behind was glaring murderously at her in distaste. Rose decided to tactfully avoid informing Louisa. Louisa’s eyes were scouting the game in a frenzy, her mitten clad fingers were being chewed brutally in a wave of panic and angst. She got way too emotionally involved in Albus’ matches.
“I hate Quidditch,” Rose muttered in a low voice. But she felt the sixth year’s glare turn on her so she sunk further into her seat, folding her arms tightly to capture some warmth.
“And Irvin has the quaffle, a neat pass to Caine, who passes it back to Irvin annnd Malfoy is in position of the quaffle!”
Rose’s ears perked up, it was the most attention she’d given all day, she squinted up into the sky but gave up soon after. It was pointless. She thought of Scorpius, and Gwen too. Who both were up there, insanity driving them to play a game of Quidditch in this horrendous weather. She wondered what Scorpius thought of Gwen, and visa versa. Since the day in Hogsmeade Rose had taken to hanging around Gwen a fair bit more, and making sure Albus and Scorpius came over to their table for most meals. So far, that was turning out rather successful. Neither Albus or Scorpius minded sitting squashed between the students clad in gold and scarlet, and had the patience to tolerate the stares and rude remarks here and there. Which was probably because Albus was head over heels for Louisa and would sit in the sewer if she asked him too, and Scorpius because… well, because he fancied Gwen? Well, Rose had her fingers crossed and was doing the best she could.
“Walsh goes for the goal, annnd SLYTHERIN SCORES!”
Rose found she was met by a series of boo’s in her stand. The sixth year behind Louisa thudded his foot loudly against the metal chair. He roughly grabbed the tasselled end of Louisa’s scarf and ripped it from her neck, swinging it high into the air. Louisa was too astounded to react and a furious bubble mounted within Rose’s chest. She stood up and faced the boy, who was roughly six foot three, making him approximately around the same height as Rose, when she was standing and he was sitting.
“Hello,” she said delicately. “I believe you have some thing that belongs to my friend.”
“That filth doesn’t belong in these stands,” he spat back, his arms folded gruffly against his chest, his chin tilted high with arrogance.
Rose smiled. She didn’t know why she did it, she had been so busy distasting the whole event, the entire anti-house antics, but it just came out. Usually Rose could hold her temper, she rarely ever even felt anger. But anger wasn’t what she felt now. She felt tired. For the first time in her life, sitting in the stands of her first ever Gryffindor vs. Slytherin match since first year, the reality of the conflict and hate that resided with Hogwarts fell violently onto her shoulders, bursting the lovely little bubble she had created all these years. So out came the words, “I could say the same about you.”
Then the stands went up in an livid uproar. Not because of Rose’s words, which is what she thought at first, and for the first time in a long time, fear numbed her brain imagining herself soon to be face first in the snow, yet then she realised the uproar was because Slytherin’s seeker had just caught the snitch, and Slytherin had won.
Luckily the sixth year got caught up in the crowd, and Rose no longer had to face his menacing dark brown eyes.
“Rose, you fool!” rang out Louisa’s voice, her blonde curls bobbing up and down in the rush of the crowd, her willowy figure getting crushed by the number of people. “Help me find my scarf! Albus gave it to me!”
Rose scrabbled around to grab hold of Louisa’s mitten, and together they moved their way in direction the scarf has been whisked away by the wind. Thankfully they found the scarf, Rose was grateful purely because it meant they didn’t have to spend another second out in the winter’s chilly air. Louisa hugged her best friend, squeezing her tight and whispering, “thanks for sticking up for me too.” Which made Rose feel an incy bit better about what she had said before to the sixth year.
They trudged their way through the thick blanket of snow, headed towards the Gryffindor common room, where they were met with a glum and miserable atmosphere. Louisa tried cheering up Buck and Elywnn, but it was no use, they were content to sit staring daggers at the limestone wall in identical poses with their chins propped up by their fists. Louisa shrugged to Rose and they made a silent, mutual agreement to escape the suffocating misery and go upstairs to rest.
But the atmosphere was not altogether better up there either. As Rose opened the door, she was met with an earful of Gwen’s screeches. What’s Audie done now? Rose thought to herself absentmindedly, before she remembered Gwen was a Gryffindor, and also happened to be captain of the Quidditch team. Louisa hastened to hide her scarf.
“Those cheating Slytherin scum –“ Gwen stopped abruptly, catching sight of Rose and Louisa standing anxiously by the door, “oh, sorry – ” But she didn’t sound very sorry.
Louisa waved a tired hand through the air, shuffling over to her bed, “oh by all means continue…” she flopped down on her mattress.
Rose sighed, watching Gwen out of the corner of her as she copied Louisa by seating herself in a bundle of warm blankets on her own four-poster. Gwen was far too stubborn and unforgiving. She wouldn’t go out with a Slytherin Quidditch player. It’d be disastrous.
Rose’s mood was dampened even further, she felt defeated. Even Hugo and Charlize didn’t get along so great. Hugo was very shy and quiet by nature, and although Charlize was too, it wasn’t complementary. Hug needed some one who was able to bring him out of his shell, some one outgoing enough to boost his confidence.
“I just cant believe – this now means it’s between us and the Slytherins for the cup, most likely – which means will have to have a rematch and if we play like we did today it will result in a lose. AGAIN. Which… w-which means… we wouldn’t win the house cup! In my last year! As captain! Bollocks!”
Rose cringed. And off went little Bollocks, twittering and swooping through the air in all his glory, at rather alarming speeds.
“Shit bloody piss twatter! Oh bugger you Bollocks!”
Rose’s eyes widened in mild surprise as she watched her room mate flap her hands hysterically in the air to ward off the slightly mentally askew bird. A light bulb went off in her mind, and a second realisation hit her like a ton of bricks.