Chapter 12 : Quidditch, Famosa and Show Offs
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Problem 20: Quidditch practise tonight, and then that interview with Verity.
“Well, it’s your own stupid fault for agreeing to it,” Livi says, shooting me a smart arse look.
“Shush, you,” I grumble, stabbing my wand at my trousers, attempting to change their colour.
“Rose, are you working?” Professor Chang asks.
“Yeah, but it’s difficult!” I reply.
Technically, I should be changing my desk into a pony, but where’s the fun in that?
“No ‘buts’ Rose! Show me what you can do!”
I consider standing up and changing my trousers green, but instead flick my wand at the desk, muttering: “Equint.”
My desk sprouts a tail and a pony’s head, and the head turns to look at me before turning back into a desk at a flick of Chang’s wand.
“Work harder, Weasley,” she commands, then stalks off to find someone else to torture.
“Ah, Rose, she’s just miserable because her boyfriend ran away again,” Cas comments.
“Really?” I ask, “What’s-his-face ran off again?”
“If you mean Davies, he’s gone for good,” Lucinda pops up by me to comment, “Still on with the—“
I cut her off with a hand over her mouth.
“Yes, I’m still in for the,” I say tersely, “But those two aren’t!”
Lu widened her eyes so she looked like Bambi. Seriously, her eyelashes are about half an inch long – naturally.
I let go of her face.
“You... You’re surprising them?” she says breathlessly, sounding genuinely excited, “Oh my God Rose I love it!”
“What the hey are you talking about?” Livi chirps.
“Yeah, you’re up to something,” Cas says suspiciously, “What are you doing?”
“Nothing!” I say quickly, “Nothing.”
“So, how’re you?” I ask Lu, changing the subject.
“Well, now you come to mention it, I feel like shit,” Lucinda confesses, “I’m in the same problem ol’ Chang is: Tyler ran off with a Spanish dancer over the summer.”
My mouth fell open. Never pretty, I know.
“He left you? You?” Livi gasps, “Oh, very funny. But seriously, what?”
“No, it happened,” Lu confirms grimly, “And so there is no more romance. I’m out to on Famosa’s rule: Seduce, shag and scarper. The three S’s of success.”
Darling Famosa is a columnist for Witch Weekly – which coincidently no longer does recipes, but sex tips. Famosa is so successful being anonymous she’s offered two hundred Galleons to whoever finds her.
“You’re gonna get burned,” Livi says in a Southern accent, “Burned like a fire stick!”
Caspar shoots her a look. “Shut it, Olivia.”
“But it’s true!” Livi insists, reverting to her normal voice, “Someone is going to take advantage and she’ll be a prostitute before you know it!”
“Oh, thanks!” Lu huffs.
Evangeline, Lu’s Ravenclaw best friend, joins us. “Has she told you her strategy?”
“Yeah,” I deadpan, “And she’ll be on the list of idiots if she’s not careful.”
“Does no-one think I’m doing a reasonable thing here?” Lu explodes.
“Sort of,” I suggest, “But perhaps a better motto would be good.”
“What about,” I pause, playing with my hair, “I got nothing. Anyone else?”
“Nope,” Livi chimes in, “But I bet you could write a book about it.”
“Got to think business,” Evangeline agrees, “I bet we could get the Lovegood’s to publish it.”
“Maybe we could—“
“Girls! Less gossip and more work!” Professor Chang shouts, neatly stopping Lu in her monologue.
Evangeline sighs and wanders back to her desk, flicking her wand at random people to see what happens. Lucinda follows her, smiling charmingly.
“Bloody teachers,” I sulk, “Why are they even here?”
“Because it’s a school, stupid,” Cas throws back at me, turning our desk into a pony smoothly.
“Why can’t I do that,” I moan, and Livi pats my arm sympathetically.
“You spend too much time playing guitar to practise.”
“We only learnt the spell today!”
“Correction: you only learnt it today. I learnt it ages ago.”
I glare at her. “And you didn’t think of teaching me this spell? What sort of—“
“Scorp twelve o’clock!” Livi interrupts, “Look intelligent.”
I snap my head round, to find that Scorpius is standing in the door of the classroom.
“What do you think that thing might be doing here?” Cas says in a disapproving tone of voice.
“Like I care,” I reply, drinking in his appearance: short, messy hair, the palest blonde you could imagine without being an albino, the icy blue-grey eyes with those oh-so-beautiful lashes...
“Liar,” Livi accuses. I shrug.
The classroom is now silent, everyone staring at the intruder. He leans against the door, folding his arms and surveying us.
“Could I have Lucinda Melrose and Rose Weasley, please professor?” he says smoothly.
Why yes, he can. TAKE ME.
“Of course, Scorpius,” Prof Chang accepts, turning back to Evangeline.
Damn it, why isn’t she that nice to me?
I stand up and grab my bags, glancing at Lu, who looks completely unruffled, then at Livi and Caspar, who are both raising their eyebrows at me.
“Oh, shut it,” I mumble, and leave them.
Scorp waits by the door as Lu stumbles over Caspar’s perfectly placed foot, giving me an extra moment to soak in his image.
“Shall we go, then?” Lu says impatiently, obviously over the moon about something.
“To what?” I ask. This is all really confusing.
“Oh, nothing!” Lu trills, “Excited?”
“I can barely contain my enthusiasm,” Scorp drawls.
This is obviously something lame.
“Well, Rose, it’s about the Halloween ball,” Lu announces, shooting Scorp a glare.
My mind goes blank.
Oh, fucketty fuck. Scorp can’t know I’m singing! No no no!
“I have a list,” I say quietly.
“Good. We have a theme!” Lu chirps.
“What is it?” I ask bravely, imagining the usual masks and ghosts plonk.
I stop dead, by the painting of St Barny.
Scorp turns slowly on his heel, and Lu looks worriedly at me.
“You heard her, Weasley,” he says slowly, “You’re not stupid as well, are you?”
“Oh, piss off. As in, Muggle music as well?” I demand. Lu shifts uncomfortably.
“Yes?” she says timidly.
I glare at her. “I wrote an entire set list of magical music. And now I’m going to have to write an entire new list and learn the words.”
“So?” Scorp says rudely.
“Oh, will you shut up?” I lash out, “You’ve never had to learn forty effing songs, have you?”
“Oh, and you have?”
“Children!” Oh crap, it’s Professor Bell, stepping out of the nearest classroom. “You were supposed to be in the meeting five minutes ago! Thank you, Mr Malfoy, you may go.”
He scowls at her for a moment, before turning to me. “What are you doing with these songs, then?”
I pause for a second, before answering; “Guitar.”
Not technically a lie.
I walk into the crowded classroom where the meeting is taking place, taking a seat by Lu and the Head boy, Damien Marling. He grins at me, shaking back his long dreads into a loose pony tail. This year he’s gone back to his roots – he likes to claim he’s descended from Jamaican shamans.
“Ah, Rose! Our musician! We have you a band – Fergus Thomas volunteered to play bass guitar, Daniel Mayfield offered to play drums and we have Eldora Hincks on piano. Sound good?” Professor MacMillan announces pompously.
“Sure, sound great,” I say in a defeated tone, mentally planning a new set list of Muggle songs I know.
“I have bartenders,” A fifth year prefect says, “The best, flying in from Rio.”
Oh, show off, why don’t you.
“I’ve got food!” announces another, a red head with a turned up nose, “From the most perfect bistro in London.”
“Well, I got decor, from three of the best fashion houses,” another champions.
“Okay,” I announce to the prefects, Lu, Damien and Professor Macmillan, “I’m going to leave this pissing contest, but when you can, tell my band to get their arses to me for a rehearsal. Thanks.”
And just like that, I walked out.
Not back to my Transfiguration lesson, but straight down to Care Of Magical Creatures, concentrating on making a mental list of songs we could play.
What about... no... What’s that one? Cold monkeys? Arctic Monkeys! Something by them. What about...?
I had been concentrating so hard, I didn’t notice that I was by Hagrid’s hut already, the bell just beginning to ring. It startled me, as did Grawp’s sudden thump on the ground.
“’Easley!” he yells, “’Easley come talk me!”
“Oh, hello Grawp!” I shout back, “How you?”
“Me good!” he bellows, “How you, ‘Easley?”
“Me good too,” I say normally, knowing he can hear me still. “What you do recent?”
“Done do Hagger works,” he says back gravelly, at an almost normal level of sound, “Done clean up lake, an’ done feed Thestral.”
“Good for you,” I mumble, wishing my life was as simple as Grawp’s.
“Weasley!” I turn to see Scorp walking down the path towards me, “What on earth are you doing?”
“Oh? To that thing?”
I gape at him. What a rude thing to say, that arsehole!
“Grawp is a person too! Tell him, Grawp!”
“Me person too!” he bellows. Scorp, to his eternal cowardice, looks fine.
“Yeah, but you don’t know English!” Scorp bellows back.
Grawp begins to raise himself to his full height, standing up, but Hagrid opens the door to his hut.
“Don’ bother, Grawpy!” he yells, “He’s not worth it!”
I have to agree. For all his good looks, he’s not very nice.
“Rose!” I turn again to see Livi and Caspar, waving like nutcases. Livi throws her bag into the air and levitates it, running freely and headlong into me, knocking me onto the grass.
“Rose!” she cries, “I saw Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuke Rose! Luuuuuuuuuuuuke! And he smiled! SMILED! Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuke SMILED!”
“Good for you, Livi,” I say in a muffled voice -- my mouth is full of her hair.
“Yeah, she pretty much died,” Cas says, smiling. For all her false high-and-mightiness, she loves seeing us happy, because it makes her happy.
“Wonderful! A dead friend! Just brilliant!” I babble, slightly overwhelmed by Livi.
Livi herself stands up and brushes off her clothes, but I stay down on the grass, limbs splayed all over the place. It’s quite comfortable.
“You look like a crime scene,” she remarks, floating her bag over to her again.
“Hmmn,” I reply wisely.
“We’re working with Bella and the mouse,” Cas remind me, rolling my bag around with her foot.
“Oh good,” I say vaguely, staring up at the sky. It’s blue, with clouds rolling in from the north tower, great frothy things with foamy peaks.
“A’righ’, Rose?” Hagrid yells, “Ge’ up, your Kelpie’s wai’in’!”
“Yeah, sure,” I mumble, grudgingly rolling over and pushing myself up on the balls of my feet.
Bella strides bravely out of her pen, takes one look at Scorpius and stops. Her eyes turn black. She paws the ground, and lowers her head.
Scorp hasn’t noticed this, his back being turned and he’s busy concentrating on something one of his Slytherin pals is saying – the black one, the one who I forget but who always seems to be there.
“Uh-oh...” I say slowly, watching Bella take a few steps, aligning herself with him.
She charges spectacularly, stampeding on her own towards poor Scorp.
“Scorp, run!” I scream, and he turns just in time to start legging it away, running towards us.
“Help!” he yells, his eyes full of fear. Livi is doubled over laughing, and Caspar is pretending to have a coughing fit to cover up her counterpart.
As Scorp nears us, followed closely by Bella, who is bellowing and snorting like mad, I ready myself. If I do this wrong, I could end up with a gored Scorp. However nasty he is, I don’t want to ruin his face.
Scorp legs it past me, emitting a strange, high-pitched noise, and as Bella passes I grab hold of her mane, swinging myself over her body and mounting smoothly, remembering the horse riding lessons mum thought would be fun for us.
After dad rode into a low hanging branch, we never did go again.
Tugging gently at her mane, I steer her back to Cas and Livi, watching Scorp stop running and fall over dramatically, tumbling over a tree root. I would have laughed, but Bella might’ve spooked.
I dismount clumsily, and take a bow.
“Bravo!” cheers Liz, and I laugh.
“All in a day’s work!”
“Alright, we have to make her take medicine,” Caspar announces, glancing at her now open huge textbook.
“What about teaching her Scorp isn’t so bad?” I suggest, “I know we only have an hour, but I can’t stop her every time.”
“Yeah, whatever,” Cas dismisses, “If we must.”
Scorp walks cautiously back to us, his eyes on Bella. She stares back, her eyes slowly turning back to red.
I could swear she growls.
“It’s okay,” I tell them both, “They won’t hurt you.”
“Sure, sure,” Scorp says slowly, “It’s just an animal, right?”
“Wrong!” I say quickly, and Caspar grabs at Bella before she gets angry, distracting her with a toy, throwing it far away, making her gallop away to fetch it.
“Is it a dog, a horse or a bull?” Scorp says dryly.
“Suck it up, princess,” I reply, “And be nice, because I won’t stop her next time.”
“For what?” I can’t remember when I last had a conversation this long with him.
“For stopping her. Thanks.”
“Oh. That’s okay, I guess.” I smile a little at him, and he smiles back. Livi, who has been watching this exchange with eager eyes, interrupts the moment.
“Yay, look at Bella!” she yells happily.
Bella is tearing the toy apart savagely, small pieces flying everywhere.
“It’s just like being in our room,” she says dreamily.
School is out: good.
Quidditch practise: fine.
Slytherin team watching: NO NO NO!
That’s all Sweet Luke, whom Livi is gazing at like he’s chocolate in a desert, has to say.
I, on the other hand, am just staring.
Oh yes, that’s me, queen of intellect.
“Why me?” I moan, “Why, why, why? Couldn’t I have spied on them? Now I’ll fall off, or die, or something—“
“Shut it, Flower,” Livi orders, “Pick up your broom and get your arse out there.”
“What?” Livi looks at me like I’m mad. Caspar emerges from the changing room, looking a little dazed.
“Harry... topless. Sneaked in...” she says dreamily.
I don’t bother pulling a face. I’ve seen that guy topless – well worth it.
“There’s Slytherins out there,” Livi announces, “Let’s go!”
“Oh, alright,” Caspar concedes.
Why is no one bothered by this?
This is serious! Serious! I have enough trouble not embarrassing myself on a normal day – with my own team mates! This is going to be—
“Livi, get off! I’m having an internal monologue!” I yell as she begins to drag me out onto the pitch.
“Have it and fly!” she yells back. We really are a noisy bunch.
A noisy bunch of two.
Sweet Luke is waiting on the pitch. He looks nervous. First training session, and the opposition are out in force.
Okay, so they’re very peaceful. Scarlet is keeping them quiet (ish) while we train, because she’s our friend.
And she knows I will punch Scorp, easily.
Or hex him.
Or she’s just nice.
We start flying, doing laps, me and Albus fighting to do the most complicated rolls and loops.
When I safely execute a sloth-grip-half-hold roll, he gives up and flies down to let loose the bludgers.
Him and Livi are beaters. Caspar, as was expected, is keeper. Me, Sweet Luke and a fourth year called Venus are chasers.
And the seeker... Hasn’t arrived.
“Who’s seeker?” I call, but no one answers. “Hey! Who’s the seeker?”
“I am!” calls a quiet voice. I look down to see Lily waving. She throws her legs over her broom and zooms up to meet me. “Take that, Rose! I’m seeker!”
“Well done, chicky!” I congratulate, pulling her in for a hug.
“Uh huh, I’m going to fall,” she says uncertainly, but still wraps an arm around my shoulder and gives me a squeeze.
“Brilliant!” I cry, releasing her and shifting backwards.
“Play ball!” Al calls, releasing the bludgers and snitch before lobbing the Quaffle into the air.
I swoop down to catch it, saving it and flying towards Caspar, who hovers by the hoops, glaring at me and Sweet Luke, who I pass the ball to without thinking, running on autopilot.
He dodges a bludger and chucks it to Venus, who catches smoothly and lobs it at Cas. It flies past her, whistling through the air.
“Score!” I yell, punching my fist into the air.
Which turns out to be a very bad plan.
A bludger, hit away from Lily by Livi, smashes right into my hand. I scream and my broom starts to plummet as I stare at my crumpled mess of a hand. It’s bleeding. I clamp my spare hand around it, trying my hardest not to cry.
“Fuck!” roars Al, diving towards my rapidly descending broom.
“Shit!” I scream, realising I am falling, and my good hand is broken. I always steer with this hand. And if I let go of my smashed bones, I’m scared of what might happen. “Help!”
There comes a cry from the Slytherin team, and someone vaults the edge of the stands and starts to run towards me. I fling myself off my doomed broom at a drop of roughly ten metres, hoping I land on my feet.
As the ground rushes up to meet me, I hear Lily scream.
And then strong, capable arms catch me. And I think I die of relief.
It’s Scorp. He looks thunderstruck.
He smells nice.
“Thanks?” I say bravely, still gripping my bad hand.
No, he does smell really, really nice.
“No problem,” he replies civilly.
He starts to carry me off, presumably to the hospital wing, but unfortunately Al intervenes.
“Put her the FUCK down!” he roars, “Or else!”
“Or else what?” Scorpius says calmly, “She’ll have a crippled hand for the rest of her life?”
“Just don’t touch her,” Al grinds out.
Seems house union failed.
So sweet... caught me... smells nice...
“I wouldn’t bother,” Scorp sneered, placing me on the ground, on my feet.
I took a shaky step.
“Help,” I croaked.
“Now look what you’ve done!” Al swore.
“I did nothing! It was her own incompetence!”
I almost protested – in fact, I tried to shoot him a look.
And failed. My eyes were welling up.
“Listen, Potter, there’s no need,” he carries on, “I wouldn’t touch her if she was the—“
“Shut it!” Al yells.
“Because I said so!”
“Oh, go play with your whore of a cousin,” Scorp drawls, and I properly give him a look.
“Fuck you, Scorpius!” I scream, “Fuck you and your stupid blood history, fuck you and your stupid values—“ I’m crying now. Tears are pouring down my face. Everything hurts. “—fuck your stupid moral code, and fuck your insistence that I’m a whore! Well here I am, being a whore, so fuck—“
And then the most amazing thing happens. Scorp leans in and places his lips on mine.
And for a moment, my heart stops. My hand stops hurting. His lips are so soft and warm, and feel so good.
And then I’m flying backwards, thrown by some strange force, and Scorp is yelling and someone is screaming and my lips feel so lonely.
I hit something hard, hear a snap, and everything goes black.
A/N: Oh. My. Merlin.
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