Chapter 10 : The End of First Year
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“Are you sure he’s going to be alright?” A male voice asked. It sounded familiar.
“He’s been out a long time,” whispered another voice. Scorpius realized the voice belonged to his mother and he’d never heard that level of worry from her before.
“I know it seems alarming,” an unknown voice answered, “but I’ve examined him and he will be fine. He does have a concussion which will take a little time to get over.”
Suddenly, it all came back to him; the Quidditch game, his parents in the stands, and reaching for the Snitch. His hand clenched tightly in reaction, causing a shooting pain up his arm.
But, none of this was nothing like the pain in his head or like the sorrow in his heart at the thought of failing in his father’s eyes, yet again.
Then the nausea hit, and he abruptly rolled on to his side just in time to violently vomit on the side of the bed. Luckily there was a bucket placed there.
The purging took what little energy out of Scorpius that remained. Weakly he fell back to the bed while Madame Pomfrey performed scourgify and exited the area around his bed. Privacy curtains surrounded him, enveloping him and his mother and father in a small corner of the hospital wing.
In a haze he surveyed the reactions of his parents. Both appeared to hold expressions of worry and concern. However, he had to admit to himself that he’d never successfully interpreted anything from his father correctly before, so maybe he was wallowing in disappointment about his son.
Astoria was the first to speak, “how are you feeling, darling?”
Scorpius answered with a burp.
She abruptly tried to change the subject, “you played well, son. Your father and I are very proud.” Scorpius’ eyes were closed at this last comment.
“Your broom seemed to give you some trouble at the end,” Draco observed, after a long silence. Before he could go on, Scorpius snapped back,
“My broom was fine, Dad. Get over it, we lost.” He couldn’t hide the aggravation in his voice.
Another long silence ensued. Scorpius never opened his eyes, opting to try and ignore his father completely.
Madame Pomfrey returned and bade Scorpius to drink 3 separate potions. They all tasted horrible, but they calmed his stomach, eased the throbbing in his head, and made him feel sleepy. She departed with the same brusqueness with which she entered.
Throughout it all, Scorpius and Draco did not say a word.
Eventually Astoria spoke, “Well then, Scorpius, it appears you are in good hands so we will be on our way.”
He heard scuffling noises and only assumed that they’d left. Silently he counted to one thousand before feeling safe to open his eyes.
He was alone and he slowly breathed a sigh of relief. The lights in the hospital wing began to dim and he concluded that it must be near the end of the day. He hadn’t eaten since breakfast, but the idea of eating didn’t appeal to him so he didn’t worry about it.
He closed his eyes again and tried to sleep.
Unfortunately, sleep eluded him. He felt relaxed, he felt sleepy, but not enough to fall out of consciousness. He tried everything he could think of, including counting sheep.
However, after the 4,601st sheep, he gave up and opened his eyes.
Justine was sitting beside him.
He didn’t know how long she’d been there. Her brow was furrowed with worry and she reached over to lightly rub his shoulder.
“How long have you been sitting here?” He asked.
“Not long,” she replied. “Madame Pomfrey wouldn’t let both Cornelius and I in, so we had to flip a Sickle. I won.”
He smiled at her look of triumph. Jussy, she was ever the competitor no matter what.
“I’m going to ask the obvious, how are you feeling?”
“I’ve been better. The potions are starting to work, but I can’t seem to fall asleep.”
She lightly touched his brow, “is it something from your injury that’s bothering you?”
He paused before responding, “No, I don’t think so.”
She pulled her hand away. “Your parents have already left.”
He made no comment.
“They both were really worried, you know. Cornelius spent a lot of time comforting your mother while Madame Pomfrey was examining you.”
He didn’t ask, but she continued, “That whole time your father was with the Headmistress. I’m sorry I can’t tell you what was said. I know you’d like to know.”
“He was probably trying to blame the match on my broom or something. He said something of that sort when he was here.”
She mulled over this information for a moment. “I don’t know how to tell you this, Scorpius,” she said finally, “but you are a hero back in the Hufflepuff Common Room.”
“What do you mean?” He asked. “We lost the match—didn’t we?”
“Well, yes,” she conceded, “but we only lost by 20 points. You caught the Snitch which ended the match. Hufflepuff hasn’t had a game like that in years. The Quidditch team is still boasting about it—Garridan especially. Well, Algie can’t stop talking about it either. ”
A feeling of euphoria flooded his system. He had succeeded, at least partially, in his goal.
He also was reminded of his father’s words from long ago, something about being the king of fools, and the euphoria ended.
“You are still holding the Snitch, you know” Jussy said, pointing to his clench hand.
He hadn’t realized it. He looked down, opened his hand, and saw what was left of the Snitch. One wing was completely broken off and the other was broken in half. One small piece of the half remained and was waving in the air like the end of a deflated balloon. He studied it for a long while.
Justine interrupted his thoughts. “Would you like Cornelius to put this in your trunk for safekeeping—you know a sort of keepsake for this momentous occasion?”
He nodded and handed it over. She kissed his cheek before leaving.
Noting that the clenching of his fist around the Snitch was probably the reason for the former shooting pains up his arm, Scorpius finally eased himself into a dreamless sleep.
Justine was correct. Scorpius was a hero among the Hufflepuffs. New vigor had been injected into the House Quidditch team. Even though the season had ended for them, the remaining players who weren’t graduating met regularly with Scorpius to discuss strategies. As his best mates, Justine and Cornelius were included as well. Upperclassmen began to view them with interest and the other first years practically worshipped them.
The Slytherins, of course, spent every possible moment tormenting Scorpius. It was nearly impossible for them to reach Scorpius due to the intervention of the Head Boy, but they did find their moments. Paul Parkinson-Jones was the worst.
All of that ended, though, when Gryffindor won the House Cup. They flattened Slytherin in the final Quidditch Match of the year, winning by a full 350 points. Cornelius and Scorpius were happy, for Tarani’s sake, with the outcome. Even Justine was pleased. “After all,” she concluded, “James Potter had absolutely nothing to do with it—he’s still banned from Quidditch until next year.”
Cornelius laughed at her continual abuse of James Potter II.
After the End of School Feast, the trio lingered in the Great Hall with Kavi and Tarani.
“Our first year is done! What an accomplishment,” exclaimed Kavi.
“I wonder what will happen next year?” questioned Tarani.
“Hopefully Justine and I will be on the Quidditch team with Scorpius.” He’d become even more obsessed with Quidditch than Jussy, if that were even possible.
“Oi, give it a rest, will you?” Kavi complained. “I am sick to death of Quidditch!”
Justine and Cornelius responded to him by pelting him with their discarded robes.
Tarani and Scorpius laughed together.
“I am so glad for the summer holidays!” Tarani exclaimed, happily, “I am completely ready for a break.”
“Do you have spectacular plans?” Scorpius asked with a smile.
“Kavi and I are visiting friends and relatives in the US. We’ll be in Northern California most of the time.”
“That sounds nice.”
“What about you?”
“Oh, you know,” he answered vaguely, “Quidditch” he said with a grin.
She rolled her eyes in response. “You are as bad as they are!” And she gently slapped his arm.
The Platform was crowded as everyone descended from the train. First through Third year Hufflepuffs kept coming up to them to say goodbye and chat. Scorpius still had not lost his star status with the younger students.
Garridan popped over once to give his farewells and so did Algernon. Both Algie and Jussy hadn’t addressed the fact that he was leaving Hogwarts and embarking on a future career as a Healer. The end of the ‘big brother/little sister’ relationship between the two hit them hard. So much so, that Jussy was a bit emotional at the thought of the final parting.
“You’ll write or floo every day, won’t you?” She said, wiping a tear from her eye.
“Um, sure Jussy,” Cornelius answered, surprised at her emotion.
“Don’t look at me like that! Don’t you two realize we’ve done practically everything together? We are hardly ever apart and now we won’t see each other for weeks!”
Scorpius was silent throughout the entire interchange. He was too distracted by the Potter and Weasley families standing nearby. Rose was speaking excitedly to her mother, Albus was being taken by the hand by a little red-haired girl, and James was giving Scorpius a dirty look (again) while a younger dark haired boy tried to catch James’ eye.
Why wouldn’t James just leave him alone?
Ignoring the oldest Potter, he made his good-byes to his friends and exited the platform with his parents.
A/N: I know it's a short chapter. Sorry about that. There were certain things I wanted to address here before moving on with the story. It didn't read right to combine it with the next part. Perhaps at some point I'll come back and expand on this.
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