Chapter image by RyleeAnn @ TDA
On: Trial by Jury
Regret. Probably the worst feeling in the entire world. Seriously. I woke up the next morning feeling like I wanted to vomit the entire contents of my stomach into the nearest toilet not only because I’d drank an entire pitcher of Devil Juice before hobbling off to bed, but also because of the horrible, awful, terrible mistakes I’d made regarding a certain Scorpius Malfoy.
I sat up, the bed hangings drawn around me so none of the other girls could catch a glimpse of my pitiful form, and clutched my stomach. I then finally gathered the strength to make my way to the bathroom.
“How are you feeling this morning, Rose?” Sam Dasari asked me rather pointedly.
Of course I picked the absolute best moment to enter the bathroom.
“Fine. Why would I not be?” was my hasty (and bad) retort.
“We heard you drank half the supply of the Devil Juice,” Camille replied with a snicker, as she poked and prodded at her already clear, miniscule pores over by the sinks.
I took that opportunity to shut myself in one of the stalls, pretending to not have heard Camille’s comment.
Luckily for me, today was a Sunday, so I could spend the day in its entirety hiding in the sixth year girls’ dormitory, doing work, pretending to be invsible, etc., etc. After brushing my teeth and washing my face, I returned to my bed and started doing my Transfiguration reading. It was quite interesting, really, all about the challenges of transfiguring liquids—
NO! Transfiguration. Not Scorpius.
As I was saying, it’s very difficult to transfigure liquids. It’s, in fact, much more difficult than one may even think. Most people think it’s not even possible.
Scorpius Malfoy thinks it’s not possible.
No he doesn’t, Rose. How could you even know that when you’ve never spoken to Ferret-Face Malfoy about the transfiguration of liquids?
Ahem. In reality, if you have a contained amount of liquid—such as a glass of water—it’s simpler to transfigure than if one were to try and transfigure, say, a puddle on the ground.
How interesting. I didn’t know any of these wonderful facts until I focused my mind 100%, fully, totally, and completely on my Transfiguration reading—
I leapt up in my bed and tossed my textbook into the center of the room.
“Sorry. You seem very high-strung today.” Pause. “Want some Bertie Bott’s?”
I’ll give you three guesses who was bothering me.
I took a deep breath. “No, thank you, Ariadne.”
She shrugged. “More for me.” She popped a few beans into her mouth. “Where’d you run off to last night? You disappeared rather early.”
“I got tired.” I slid off the bed and went to retreive my book.
“Well, you missed out on some really funny stuff,” Ariadne told me through a mouthful of sugar. “Linus Goodwin did nine shots of firewhiskey before falling over the bar and puking back there, and then Fred kept insisting that it would just go away because it’s the Room of Requirement, and if we didn’t want
there to be puke back there, it would just go away.” By now Ariadne was laughing so hard I thought she might fall off her bed, which she was now perched at the end of. She shook her head. “Finally Louis was like, ‘It’s not gonna go away! We need to clean it up!’ And he was pretty drunk too—” She had to stop for a moment to catch her breath. “Rose, your family is so funny, I don’t know why you hate them so much.”
Did she feel like getting slapped? Or perhaps for me to send a bit of Cruciatus her way?
I’m not really sure why I was allowing her to continue with this dreadful story. Then again, it was the only thing distracting me from the voice in the back of my mind shouting “SCORPIUS! SCORPIUS! YOU SNOGGED SCORPIUS, YOU BLOODY MORON! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!”
“—James saw your cousin Lily snogging that fifth year, that Patrick Finnegan, and he started yelling at him, and then Albus got involved.”
“Wait—what? Oh, Merlin’s…something bad.”
Shit, I couldn’t even think of a proper Merlin swear. Look what had become of me.
“Yeah, and they started yelling at him, and then he threw a punch.”
I didn’t even care to ask who threw a punch at whom. I just fell helplessly back against my pillows. Then gracefully hit my head a little bit on the bedframe.
“Oh—I forgot, what I really wanted to tell you was that Jasper—”
But I never did get to hear what Jasper did, because at that moment, Lily came bursting into the room.
“Oh, Rose!” she wailed, flinging her body to my side of the room and collapsing in a devastated heap at the end of my bed.
Again, why is she coming to me?
“Honestly, I don’t want to be a—er—party pooper, but, I really need to get this Transfiguration reading done—”
Lily looked me dead in the eyes. “Rose, this is an emergency. I really need to talk to my older, wiser cousin right now.”
“Why can’t you talk to Lucy? She’s older and wiser than you.” I hoped she didn’t see the insult hidden in that sentence.
Lily sighed. “Honestly, you should be flattered that I’m coming to you for help like this. It shows that I appreciate your advise—”
“What’s the catch?” I said.
(Ariadne was just sitting there, watching us intently and munching on her apparently bottomless box of Bertie Bott’s, incase you were curious. Which you probably weren’t.)
“Why does there have to be a catch?”
I frowned at her.
“Lucy already tried talking to James and Al for me—”
“Absolutely not,” I replied swiftly and quickly, ready to wash my hands of my cousin’s irritating matter.
se,” Lily whinged.
“Nope. I have to do my coursework, now go away! Shoo!” I flung my hands around as though shooing flies away from me. Literally.
“No, but all you need to do is go to the Common Room and go talk to James and—”
“Lily, your brothers hate me, and we all know this, so I highly doubt that I’m the one who should go talk to them about as tender a subject as your love life—”
“They won’t do anything to you, you’re smart and a prefect—”
“I have to do this Transfiguration reading,” I said firmly.
Lily’s frown was so deep I thought it might fall off her face. Then it turned into a bit of a pout, and I could tell she was getting ready to pull some puppy dog-type face just to mess with me.
“Please, Rose?” she said.
“Why are you doing your reading here?” Ariadne asked, completely ignoring Lily’s crisis.
Because I’m avoiding Scorpius Malfoy.
“Rose—I didn’t want to have to tell you this, but I—I really like Patrick, and it would really mean a lot to me if my brothers didn’t have such a problem with it, because I really like him—”
“Ugh.” I hit my textbook against my head. “Fine,” was my muffled response from behind the pages of the book, “But on one condition. You have to go to the library for me, and tell me if Scorpius Malfoy is in there. No questions asked. And check every single corner. Okay?”
“Yes. But why—”
“No questions asked, I said!”
“Right, no questions asked,” Lily obliged.
“Rose?” asked Ariadne.
“Why are you still covering your face with that book?”
So this was how I ended up, ten minutes later, heading downstairs to the Common Room to face my doom in the form of Albus and James Potter. At least I’d gotten rid of Ariadne (she decided to accompany Lily to the library to do her Herbology essay).
“James.” I approached my cousin where he sat with Fred at the group of couches in front of the fireplace.
“Rosie! How’re you feeling today?” James said with a laugh and a bit of glance-exchanging with Fred.
“Fine,” I answered quickly. “Lily wanted me to talk to you and Albus.”
“Well, Al’s coming round in a few, why don’t you pop a squat, we can share stories from last night,” he said with an irritating grin whilst patting the cushion next to him.
“I have nothing to share, I left early.”
“Because you were piss drunk,” Fred said plainly.
“Were too,” said Fred.
“Don’t even bother arguing, Rose,” said James.
I rolled my eyes.
Then the portrait hole opened, and in walked Albus. Followed by Angus. Followed by Scorpius.
I fell into the seat next to James. Literally, my knees gave in and I fell into the seat.
I focused my gaze on James before I could even tell whether or not Scorpius was looking at me. Because I didn’t care. Why would I care whether or not Scorpius was looking at me? He’s just a stupid, irritating, ferret look-alike.
“So, as I was saying, James, Lily’s very upset with you and Albus and would like it if she got your approval for relationship with Patrick Finnegan,” I said as quickly as I possibly could. I kept staring at James while I yelled, probably a little bit too loudly, “Albus, did you hear that, too?”
“Hear what?” was his response.
“That Lily would like you and James to apologize to Patrick. Or give her your approval.” Now that I thought about it, Lily hadn’t been particularly specific about what she wanted me to say to her brothers.
“This is a Potter family matter,” James said seriously.
“Well, that’s what I said, but she wanted me to come and talk to you anyway, which I’ve done, so now I’m finished, and I’m going to go to the—far away from here.” I didn’t want to give any specifics in case, you know, Scorpius felt like following me, or something.
I stood very abrubtly, and in my attempt to not look anywhere near Scorpius’s face, I turned around in a weird direction and sort of tripped over the couch a little while making my way back toward the staircase.
“So you’re not gonna yell at us for being in here?” Albus called after me.
“Oh, no, stay as long as you’d like.”
Then suddenly, “Rose, I looked all over the library, Scorpius isn’t in there.”
I almost fell over. Then I almost hid under a table for fear of everyone seeing how red my face had become. I also considered just bolting upstairs to the girls’ dormitory.
What I really did was very slowly turn around, with my eyes closed, facing the direction I assumed Lily was in.
“Why were you looking for Scorpius?” I recognised Albus’s voice, sounding disgusted and perturbed.
“Oh, just… Because. I had. Because.” I opened one eye, then the other. Scorpius was looking at the ground. Everyone else was staring at me. “Just because. I had a—” The last thing I wanted to do was pretend I needed Scorpius’s help
with something. “—I needed to… I just—” I sighed. “IhadaquestionaboutourHerbologycoursework.”
James leaned forward ever so slightly. “What was that?”
“I just had a very small, petite, particular, tiny, wee little question about our Herbology assignment. Is all.” I shrugged, attempting to act cool.
“And what exaclty is that question?” James probed.
“The question… that I have… for Scorpius…” I paused. I was thinking of a question (obviously. I’m pretty sure I’d just as good as announced to the entire room that I did not have a question for Scorpius Malfoy, but something much more sinister—and by sinister I of course mean embarrassing—up my sleeve). “…Is…” I cleared my throat. Then I started picking at my fingernails. “How may lines is our essay supposed to be?”
“That. Was your question?” Albus said, after a rare moment of complete silence in the Common Room.
“Yup,” I said quietly, still looking at my fingernails.
“Why didn’t you just ask me? Or anyone else who’s in our Herbology class?”
“Because I knew Scorpius is the only one lame enough to have memorised how many lines our Herbology essay is, now if you’ll all stop pestering me Ihavetogotothelibrarygoodbye!”
That’s when I decided to run upstairs to the girls’ dormitory.
So, after the most ridiculous Sunday of my life, it was time for Monday. Back to classes. We had Potions first, so I made sure to sit in the front of the room where I wouldn’t have to stare at the back of anyone’s greasy blonde head for the next hour, and was sure to grab Ariadne when she came in incase we were forced to do partner work.
I survived. I was actually quite attentive, and took quite excellent notes. I should snog Scorpius and feel the need to avoid all human contact (Ariadne Sitwell doesn’t count as human) more often.
Wait a moment, no I shouldn’t.
Transfiguration was next, which I also survived (although just barely. Stupid Jasper kept giving me the stare-down, and then I kept gettting distracted by the Verminus giggling at Camille Scott and whispering to her about James. Honestly, why do they act like they’re girls from fourth year?). However, after class I was ambushed by Professor Flitwick. Well, as much as you can be ambushed by a very tiny man.
“Hello, Rose,” he said.
“Hi, Professor Flitwick.”
He pulled me over to the side of the hallway, probably for fear of getting knocked over.
“I need to speak with you about something very pressing. Would you mind accompanying me to my office?”
Oh no. Here it comes. “Rose, we have been approached by a certain student about you sexually assualting them the other night.” Good bye job at the Ministry. Good bye passing my NEWTs with flying colours. Good bye life as I know it.
I made my walk of doom to Professor Flitwick’s office, my head hung low. Then we went inside and I sat down at the chair placed conveniently in front of his desk. Then he went and sat on the high chair behind his desk.
“There have been some accusations, Rose—”
I braced myself. Here it comes.
“That your cousins may have assaulted Patrick Finnegan.”
“I know how it sounds, but I promise—wait, what? Oh, my cousins. Yes. Er—which ones?” I pretended to play stupid. No one wants to be a sneaky snitch.
“Albus and James. Well, I guess I should stop beating around the bush about it. We know they did it, and there’s going to be a hearing for the Student-Staff Judiciary Committee.”
“An SSJC hearing?” I repeated.
“Yes, to determine proper means of dealing with this situation.”
“SSJC. Meaning all prefects and professors.”
“Yes, that’s why I brought you here, Rose, to remind you of our strict policy against bias of any kind. I know that you’re a very honest and smart girl, so I’m not particularly concerned; however, I feel the need to remind you of the consequences should you act in any biased manner toward your cousins, just as I would any member of the SSJC.”
I nodded. “Right, of course.”
“If we suspect you of treating your cousins unfairly in any way—whether in their favour or not—we reserve the right to strip you of your prefect duties, effective immediately.”
I nodded again, this time more hastily. “I understand.”
“Alright, that’s all.” Flitwick’s stern professor face was wiped clear and instantly replaced with his cheery, mini-man one. “Oh, and the hearing will be held Wednesday at four-o-clock, room to be determined. Have a good day!” he cried, his voice climbing the decibels.
“Yes, thank you.” I nodded awkwardly before practically running out of the room.
A hearing? For the SSJC? For Albus and James? This was awful. This was terrible. This was another reason for them to hate me. I had to tell the truth or else I would lose my prefect badge. And nothing is worth losing a prefect badge.
A lifetime of embarrassment and hatred via two scary, irritating cousins, perhaps?
“A bloody hearing before the bloody Mini Ministry!” James was exclaiming that night in the Common Room. I was hiding behind my Potions book.
Please don’t ask why I even go in that room anymore. It always leads to trouble.
“This is such shit!” he continued.
“What I don’t understand,” said Fred, “Is how they even found out it was you guys?”
“Patrick must’ve told them,” James grumbled.
“Mate, Patrick’s stupid but there’s no way he’s that stupid.”
I could practically hear James growling and grinding his teeth from across the room.
I slowly removed the book from in front of my face.
“Have you got any idea where all this is coming from?” the angrier of the cousins asked me.
“Me? No. I left the party long before you and Albus got into that fight. I don’t even know what happened.”
“Well, the Student-Staff Judiciary Committee includes prefects, right?”
I swallowed. “Yes… It does.”
“So, what should I say? To prove my innocence?”
“But you’re not innocent,” I replied.
He waved his hand, as though dismissing the reality. “They haven’t got any evidence. It’s his word against mine.”
“And a dozen witnesses.”
“They’ve got witnesses?!” James exclaimed.
“I have no idea! I can’t even be talking to you about this, good bye.” With that I got up and ran up to the girls’ dormitory. Yes, actually ran. Because I’m always running.
Wednesday came, and all too quickly if you ask me. At four-o-clock we met in a classroom in an obscure corner of the sixth floor. The hearing, of course, was top secret (this fact was not helped by James’s shouting about it on Monday). I entered the room and was astonished at what I saw. The SSJC meets very rarely, and this was my first experience at an official hearing. The room had been set up to look like an actual courtroom. There were seats for a jury—prefects and selected staff—as well as for (presumably, although they had yet to arrive) James and Albus, as well as an adjacent table, at which sat Patrick. Then there was a podium for the judge. Professor Flitwick. Who was wearing a powdered wig.
No, that’s not a joke.
I made my way to the jury seats. And then I saw something that made me remember a fact I’d been repressing in the depths of my mind for the past two days.
Scorpius was a prefect.
Shit. Shit. Double shit. There he sat, all smugly, probably so proud because he’d gotten there before I had. Stupid git. Luckily for me, there was an empty seat at the opposite end of the seats from him. I quickly took it.
Five minutes later, James and Albus walked in like they were all that and a bag of jellybeans. I saw James giggle at Flitwick’s wig.
“Now that the two of you have arrived, the hearing can begin,” said Professor Flitwick. He cleared his throat commandingly. “You two know why you’re here, I’m sure. It has come to my attention that you two have been accused of physically assaulting Patrick Finnegan on Saturday night. Judging from the bruises on Patrick’s face—” He had one black eye, that was about it. The Potters’ bark is much worse than their bite. “—one can assume that he was, in some way, assaulted. But, in accordance with the English Common Law system, you both are innocent until proven guilty. So, without further ado, I would like to call Patrick Finnegan to the stand to tell us what happened on Saturday night.”
Patrick looked a little surprised. Clearly he wasn’t prepped for this.
“Right up here, boy,” Flitwick said, nodding at the chair set up next to his podium.
“Right—okay.” Patrick stood, taking care not to look anywhere near James and Albus, and took a seat next to Judge Flitwick. “Er—well, on Saturday I was at a—I was… Around. And, well, James and Al got mad at me. And they yelled at me a bit and then James—well—” He bit his lip. The poor boy looked like he was about to cry. Clearly he was just as afraid to tell the truth as the rest of us.
“James what?” Flitwick probed. “What did he do?”
James had the most horrific scowl I’d ever seen spread across his face. Albus looked almost like he was daring Patrick to tell the truth.
“Patrick,” Flitwick said, as though he was scolding a puppy dog.
“He hit me. But—just a little. It wasn’t really—”
“Objection!” James shot up from his seat.
“Calm down, please, James,” Flitwick instructed.
“I object! What evidence do you have?”
“Well, for one, there’s a massive bruise on Patrick’s face,” Flitwick said, matter-of-factly.
James scoffed. “He could’ve gotten that falling down the stairs, or something. I heard he was quite off his face that night!”
Flitwick raised an eyebrow. “And what evidence do you
have of that?”
“W—” James realised he had nothing and stopped talking.
“If you’re finished, I was about to call you and your brother up here to tell your side of the story.”
James nodded before pursing his lips and turning to Albus. “Well, that seems fair.”
“Very fair,” Albus said quietly.
Professor Flitwick conjured up another chair and the two brothers sat down.
“Albus, why don’t you begin,” Flitwick suggested.
“Er—okay. Well, James and Patrick and I were all at—were all hanging out… Around. Someplace. And Patrick started… bothering us. So, we—”
“He was getting a little too close to our sister, if you know what I mean,” James interrupted. “And any self-respecting brother will stick up for their little sister—”
“Getting too close to your sister how?” Flitwick asked.
“You know—he was—” James gestured a lot with his hands. “I can’t even put it into words, it was so appalling.”
“And whatever he was doing, it warranted a punch in the face?” Flitwick continued.
“I never said we punched him.”
“Yeah, we never said he punched him,” Albus said quickly.
“Alright, what happened then?”
“Well, we started arguing, and then…” James was clearly thinking much harder than usual. Bear in mind this isn’t saying much. “And then Patrick, here—Patrick tripped over a… Herbology textbook. And hit his head on a table.” He shrugged. “It really looked quite painful, actually.”
“So, why would Patrick say that you hit him, if all he did was trip and hit his head?” Flitwick inquired. He was now standing atop his seat and leaning over the side of the podium to look down at the brothers.
“Well, that’s obvious. He’s embarrassed,” James explained. “Which makes perfect sense, I mean, it was very funny at the time.”
Patrick was now the one scowling.
“But very painful-looking, too. So sorry, Pat,” James added for effect.
“Alright, you two may return to your seats. I would like to call Scorpius Malfoy to the stand.”
Scor—what? Scorpius Malfoy?! This cannot be happening. No. It’s not. I’m dreaming. That would explain Flitwick’s ridiculous powdered wig and James’s idiotic attempt at proving his own false innocence. I pinched myself as hard as I could. Nope, I was still in a makeshift court room and James was still a plonker.
And Scorpius was now sitting where Albus had just been seated.
“Scorpius, you’re close friends with Albus.”
“That’s correct,” Scorpius said after a long pause, during which he realised Flitwick was waiting for a response.
“Where were you on Saturday night?”
“I was… Not present at the time of… The altercation,” Scoripus said slowly.
I’m dreaming. This isn’t real. This isn’t about to happen.
“And where were you?”
“I was… Well I was in the—I was—taking… a walk.” Scorpius made a face which seemed to suggest that he was completely aware how terrible of an alibi he’d just conjured up.
“And is there anyone who could corroborate this story?”
“Was there anyone with you?”
“Yes I…er…know what corroborate means.” He hastened a glance at me. He was now purple in the face.
No. This. Can’t. Be. Happening.
“Can you answer the question then, please?” Flitwick pressed.
“Rose. Rose Weasley was there.”
James and Albus—as well as everyone else in the room—immediately looked at me. My skin was now the colour of a fire-crab, and I thought I was going to throw up. And fall out of my chair. And I was shaking a little.
“And what were you and Rose doing?”
“…Walking.” Scorpius was now staring straight ahead of him.
James and Albus were both still looking at me as though I’d suddenly transformed into a giantess.
“You seem a little on edge, Scorpius, is everything alright?” Flitwick asked.
Scoripus swallowed. “Yes.”
“You’re telling the truth? You were on a walk with Rose Weasley?”
Albus was now shaking his head at me. I’m not quite sure why.
“Yes.” Pause. “No.”
“What were you doing, then?” Flitwick was now getting frustrated. Mind you, he still hadn’t sat down.
“We were—” Scorpius was wringing his hands. “We—she—she was… tutoring me. In… Charms. I mean Potions. I mean… both.”
Albus and James finally looked back at Scorpius. Their looks of disbelief and astonishment and repulsion had not faltered.
“Tutoring you?” Flitwick repeated.
“Yes. Sorry, I was—I’m just a little embarrassed. So I lied. I'm sorry.”
“That’s quite alright. So, on Saturday night, you were being tutored by Rose Weasley.”
“Rose, can you corroborate Scorpius’s story?” Flitwick asked me.
Nope, we were actually snogging.
“Yes, yes that’s—he’s telling the truth. We were—I was—Charms. Potions. Yes. All that.”
“Alright, then, that’s all we need from you, Scorpius,” Flitwick announced. “Thank you.”
Scorpius scurried back to his seat, hanging his head and not bearing to look at me or my cousins. Or anything but the floor, for that matter.
I didn’t think things could get worse, but somehow I truly think they had.
Eep, this was a bit of a filler chapter, but hopefully it was an entertaining filler chapter nonetheless. Things will start happening again soon, I promise :) Thanks so much to everyone who’s been reading and reviewing this story, I really appreciate it so much. I really like writing it, so to have people respond so positively and tell me things like they were laughing out loud or cringing because they felt Rose’s embarrassment when she kissed Scorpius makes me so happy! Thank you all!!