Chapter 9 : Wake Up and Smell the Roses
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I was in the middle of saving a Quaffle that had been shot at me by Seven, who then turned into Scorpius, when an annoying voice reached my ears.
"So do you think you're going to sleep with him?" came Hollace's high pitched voice, completely interrupting the bit in which I got to throw the Quaffle back at Scorpius' head.
"Do you think I should?" Jocelyn asked meekly.
"Of course you should. You don't want a guy like Jason to lose interest do you?"
"No, I guess not."
God, I just wanted to shake her.
"Don't do it just because this bint tells you to, Joss." I couldn't keep quiet anymore. It was one thing for Hollace to choose what Jocelyn wore, it was quite another to tell her to have sex with some bloke.
"Like you're one to talk," Hollace scoffed.
"Yes, as a matter of fact, I am!" I turned to Jocelyn. "You shouldn't just go off and shag a guy in order to keep him. You should be in love. And especially don't do it because this-" I pointed to all that was the Ice Queen VanBitch-Face "-stupid bloody skank tells you to."
Jocelyn looked between Hollace and myself. Hollace was standing there, a look of pure loathing etched on her face, mirroring my own I was sure.
"I think I'm going to sleep with Jason," Jocelyn said indecisively. Hollace's smug look made me want to punch her, a lot.
"Fine, what do I care anyway." I stormed from the dorm, not wanting to spend another minute in the presence of such a cow and her calf.
I was so annoyed that I didn't even realize that I had entered the crowded Great Hall in time for dinner. By the time I did realize that I had made a public appearance it was too late to back out. I could do this.
I sat down next to Six, effectively ignoring Scorpius and instead decided to speak to everyone else. Tabby was sitting by Bertram, but he seemed to be very focused on his food. While Tabby talked incessantly about what a shit Scorpius was for not putting me on as Keeper, Scorpius, for his part, kept quiet.
"Is it true?" Six whispered in my ear once Tabby got a really good rant going.
"Is what true?" I whispered back.
"Did you really go to the Gryffindor tower last night and hex Seven?"
I looked to the right and left, I doubted whether anyone would have been able to hear us over Tabby's colorful language, but I felt the need to check anyway. "Shh... yes. I don't want to talk about it."
I looked to the side and saw that Scorpius had stopped chewing, but when he saw that I was looking he started up again.
I managed to get down half of a meat pie, which was a lot for me lately. When the pudding came, though, I couldn't even look at the sweets.
"Well, I'm off, better get some studying done." Tabby stood from her seat and leaned over to give Bertram a proper kiss on the lips, something which obviously shocked him as much as it had done the rest of us. Tabby pulled away, ran her hand along Bertram's shoulders and then sauntered off, as if what she had done was the most natural of occurrences.
Bertram, for his part, was as beet red as he had been that afternoon when I had seen him by the lake. We all sat there, shock and awe etched on each of our faces. Scorpius gathered himself the most quickly and started in on his pudding. Everyone else followed suit – well, except for me. There would be no dessert for me. After a minute Bertram rose and left our table; not a peep had he muttered since Tabby's kiss.
When he was out of ear shot Gates broke the silence, "What in the bloody hell was that?"
It might have been the first time I had ever heard him speak. Gates was always the quiet one, I often forgot that he was even around. For a while in fourth year, I thought he was a mute. His comment could not be disputed, however, and we all muttered our own responses of 'no idea'.
When we all got back to the common room we saw Tabby and Bertram in the corner...studying behind a large book. Hm... I was certain that they would be off snogging somewhere. Oh, wait, thought too soon... not studying behind the book, going at it behind the book.
Is it mean that I think this relationship is completely weird and disgusting? Though, at this point I think any relationship sounds vile to me. I might not be the best judge right now.
So I guessed that I would not be studying out here, seeing as my spot was now occupied by two people intent on sucking face all night. I was avoiding Scorpius anyway, probably best that I finish up my homework in my room. Yep. That was definitely the best idea.
Six stayed in the common room with everyone else, leaving me to be alone in the dorm room. I would have peace and quiet and be able to get a lot of work done this way. Except that I didn't. I couldn't concentrate on anything I read, and when I was writing out the two feet on animal transfiguration I ended up writing Seven in the middle of the sentence. I was a mess. I finished what I could, though none of it was to my normal standards, and then I went to sleep.
The next month went by in a haze of sleep, classes that I couldn't get up the energy to pay attention in, and practices with Miles. The practices were actually the only times that I could really recall from the entire month. Six made an effort to try and include me in things, to talk to me, but I didn't want to be around Tabby and Bertram in all their snoggy glory nor did I want to be near Scorpius the traitor Captain. And I definitely didn't want to be anywhere near Seven and his fifth year wonder Gloria, which meant that I was limited on my Al and Gordie time.
I would eat at the Ravenclaw table every now and then, and even once ate at the Hufflepuff table with Lysander and Annie. Anne Wentworth and I grew up together, her mum and my dad were partners for a long time, she was one of those friends that you had known for so long, but weren't really sure why you were friends with them. She was sweet, don't get me wrong, but she could be... trying. Yes that was a good word for it. Lysander's presence was vital to any long term interaction that I would have with Annie (one person could only take so much), and he had such a calming presence. It was too bad that Lily had such a thing for Lorcan; I always thought that Lysander would help to balance out Lily's propensity to be a brat.
I think I first started to realize just how bad I had become when my school skirt just slid down my hips one day after just putting it on. I didn't really remember eating much, my appetite had waned a lot since the break up and throw up incident. I went over to the mirror and lifted my jumper. I could see the outline of my ribs. My collarbone was protruding out in a sickeningly thin way. There were black circles under my eyes and my hair was limp and waxy. I had turned into a skeleton, it made me sick.
Whatever this was, this depression that I was in, it was ending... today! Seven was most definitely not worth this. No bloke was. I just had to try harder this time. I couldn't let my happiness come from the idea of playing a game, or from a boy. I wasn't that girl! Or at least, I was no longer going to be that girl.
I magicked my skirt to a smaller size and went down to breakfast, ready to finally eat something more than an apple. Tabby was sitting on the other side of Scorpius, not next to Bertram... I wonder if that was something new or if I had been just that oblivious lately. When I piled my plate with eggs and bacon I could see the odd looks on everyone's faces. I think I even saw Scorpius smile, though I couldn't be sure as he was chewing on some bacon of his own.
I couldn't eat as much as I once could've, but I guess it would take a little time to get my stomach used to normal amounts of food. After the one egg and two pieces of bacon I felt full and I must admit, much better than I had in over a month. I had enough energy to actually pay attention in potions and was able to brew a perfect batch of Amortentia. Maybe it was the wonderful after affects of smelling such a potent potion, but I felt even more rejuvenated. The mixture of ink, the smell of a crisp fall day and a light hint of… well I didn’t know, but I guess cleanliness could best describe it. I breathed it in over and over, letting waves of love wash over me.
It wasn't until I had gotten to lunch and happened to catch of a glimpse of Seven, that I realized that none of those scents reminded me of him. My spirits rose even higher. High enough that I was able to actively participate in a lunchtime debate on which was a better time of the month to pick wolfsbane.
"Nice to see you back," Scorpius said as he walked passed me to get to our afternoon class. I couldn't help it, I smiled. It was nice to be back. Now to find out what the hell was going on with Tabby and Bertram. I had been sitting in the back in Arithmancy lately, but today I sat right up front and a smiling Six sat next to me. Tabby was behind me, which was just as good for note passing.
What's up with you and Bertram? I wrote on a bit of parchment and dropped it behind me onto Tabby's desk. Only a few moments later she tossed back:
Well what the hell did that mean? Did it mean that nothing was going on or that there was nothing wrong? I supposed I would have to wait until the end of class. The curiosity would make it difficult to concentrate, but I was determined to stay focused today.
When the bell tolled, I gathered my book and turned to ask Tabby what was going on, only to find that she had already run out of the room. What the hell was that about?
I ran to catch up with her. We were headed to the same place anyway. I followed her quickly moving, bobbing green and black head of hair through the corridors and out onto the grounds. It was still pretty early yet and no one else was standing outside of Greenhouse Three other than Tabs.
"What did you run away for?" I asked as I dropped my book bag with a loud thud onto the grass.
"I wasn't running away," she replied, but her eyes shifted upwards as she lied.
"What gives, Tabby?"
"You're one to ask. You have been walking around here like a zombie ever since you didn't get onto the Quidditch team. Anytime we tried to get you to hang out, you wouldn't. You have completely shut me, Scorpius and Bertram from your life, and have barely talked to Six at all. In fact, the only person I have seen you with is Miles Flynn... so Rose... What gives with you?" She was now staring at me fiercely. This witch certainly knew how to throw a guilt trip, not to mention avoid the topic completely.
"I, er... That's not the point, Tabby. You are avoiding the question." I crossed my scrawny arms and stood firm-ish. Probably not nearly as intimidating as Tabby over here. Damn!
"So are you," she shot back.
I saw people crossing over the lawn. Time was running out for this little tête-à-tête.
"I am working on getting better, okay? I am trying here. I am making an effort. I was a mess, I admit it. I was a freaking mess of hot doggie poo. Is that what you wanted to hear. Does that make it all better? Are you now willing to tell me what the bloody hell is going on with you and Bertram?" I kept my voice low so that none of the approaching students would hear my rant, though I noticed that Scorpius' eyes were fixed on the two of us. Stupid observant bastard could probably read lips.
"He dumped me. Okay. Bertram said that we were too different and he no longer wanted to snog my brains out. So he dumped me. He dumped Me." Tabby was nearly hissing in my ear at this point, she definitely wouldn’t've wanted this to get around.
"Bertram said he no longer wanted to snog you?" Okay, not the most tactful response, but really, what bloke doesn't want to snog a girls brains out? Especially one with as little girl experience as Bertram.
"No, what he actually said was 'All we ever do is snog, it's getting old. I think we would be better if we went back to being friends'." She put on a high squeaky girl's voice when imitating Bertram. Didn't sound anything like him, but entertaining just the same.
"I'm sorry Tabs." I went to give her a hug but she stepped back.
"I'm fine. No need to get all emotional on me." Her eyes did that shifty thing again.
"Okay, but if, y'know, you need anyone, I do know what you're going through," I offered.
"Yeah, 'cause you handled it so well," she said under her breath.
I really don't know why I am friends with this girl.
"Thanks Tabby. Really you are quite wonderful." I walked past her into the now open greenhouse.
"Nice to have you back though Rose." She lifted one side of her lips in a half smile.
"Yeah, well it's good to be back."
I decided to stop avoiding Scorpius and sat by him that night at dinner. If he was surprised at all, he didn't show it. It really irked me that I never really knew what he was thinking, but I liked how he always remained calm. I was hoping that maybe some of that would rub off on me.
I ate a plate of spaghetti: carbs would definitely help me to put that weight back on. I think my skirt felt tighter already (though that was probably just wishful thinking). It was a good thing that my mum couldn't see me in my skeletal state, she would have probably taken me to some Muggle psychiatric hospital to have me examined for anorexia.
Scorpius and I ate in relative silence. There was a 'pass the salt' moment, but all in all pretty quiet from his end. I started to wonder if he were perhaps now mad at me. I mean, I had effectively disregarded him once he had not given me the spot on the team.
"So how're practices going?" I asked him. That was a good way to start, right? Showing that I was no longer pissed about not being on the team.
"They're going well. Miles has gotten even better. I hear that you have been practicing with him." He continued to eat, but I could feel his eyes on me. I hope he didn't feel like I was trying to butt in on his team now because of it. Like maybe my practices with Miles had somehow undercut his authority. I know that was something that would irritate him, the idea that he was no longer a respected Captain or something.
"Yes. I hope that's okay? I did a fair bit of Chasing at home against my dad..." I looked expectantly at him, hoping to confirm that he was not in fact angry at me for helping to train his Keeper on the side.
"It's fine." Merlin. I couldn't tell if that was an 'I'm really okay with it' fine or an 'I think you are a bitch and would like you to stop interfering' fine.
"If you're sure."
He must have picked up on my insecurity because he turned from his food and looked my straight in the eye. "Yes Rose, I'm sure. I think it's great that you are keeping up with your skills. I hear you're a pretty good Chaser as well."
I could feel my face redden. "I'm fair."
"Not the way Miles tells it." Scorpius had turned back to his food, which made me feel more comfortable. His honest and intense stare scared me a little.
I blushed further. Damn these Weasley genes.
"Yes, well he's just being nice." I dug my fork into my pasta with gusto.
Scorpius' eyes shifted so that he was looking at me form the corners. I slowed down on my eating, no need to make him sick. Or myself sick, for that matter.
"So nice to see you two talking again," Six said from in front of me.
Neither one of us made a response... I mean what exactly do you say to a comment like that, 'Yes it is nice, thank you very much'?
"So... what's been going on with you?" I asked Six in order to avoid any further embarrassment.
She gave me a wan smile. "Oh, you know. Same. Al and Seven have been fighting quite a bit lately."
I raised a curious brow. "Really? What about?"
"You, mostly. Al thinks that Seven has been a right git, and Seven thinks it's none of Al's business. They're both right I guess, so it makes it hard for anything to get resolved."
I only was able to mumble out an 'mm'. I was quite sure that I wanted to stay away from any more Seven drama.
"And Gordie has been off with that girl Spring Thyme lately, so I haven't really seen him." Her eyes became glassy at the mention of Gordie.
"Oh, Six. I'm sorry. He's an idiot if he doesn't realize..."
She shook her head to stop me, "No, it's alright." When I didn't look convinced she added, "Really."
I dropped it, no reason to make her cry at the dinner table. I did sneak a peek over to the Gryffindor table and saw Al and Seven separated by a boy that I had never seen before who had his arm draped around a girl with short, brown hair. Wasn't that that girl Spring? That would mean that the bloke was... God was I only out of it for a month? Gordie was huge... well for Gordie anyway. So, he'd finally hit puberty then. Interesting.
"I hear that Boot is going to be giving us a pop quiz this week," Scorpius said.
I gave him a grateful smile and we ate the rest of dinner as we berated the Transfiguration professor and then moved onto Healer Wharton, who apparently had told Six that she didn't need anything for the gash that she got on her arm from a bowtruckle that had attacked her. Said that 'it would build character'.
Then we got a little sidetracked talking about how dishy Headmaster Hotness was. Scorpius didn't seem too enthused with this conversation. "He's an old man. Honestly." He then rolled his eyes.
But when we moved onto actual classmates he clammed up completely.
"So what about Miles?" Six asked.
I shrugged. "What about him?"
"Well he's gorgey, and you two have been spending a lot of time together," she pointed out.
"Only once a week. He is rather yummy though. I just wasn't ready for, y'know, anything more than that... with anyone."
"And now?" Six asked.
Scorpius started sipping on his pumpkin juice as if his life depended on it.
I shrugged again, "Who knows?! Maybe." I smiled widely, it was an odd feeling. Like working out an old muscle that you had been neglecting.
The now empty glass was slammed on the table rather hard. Six and I looked over to Scorpius.
"Sorry. Really thirsty," he said to our questioning gazes.
A/N: So what did you think? Are Tabby and Bertram really over? What about whats going on with Rose and Miles? Let's not forget about Scorpius and his thirst for juice... All comments are appreciated.
On another note, my beta Georgia Weasley has had to take some time off, But good news is that Weasley Twin Mom is willing to take her place. So thank you so much WTM for your awesome beta skills. They really help (and she can tell you how much... I swear if it were up to me this whole story would have only comma's)
Also thanks so much for reading and special thanks to those who review. It is very much appreciated. I will continue to try and not take so long between updates, but I am finding it hard. I had a baby shower weekend and now Sex and the City weekend coming up... but I will do better (maybe once maternity leave starts).
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