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Chapter 6 : Alone We're All Small
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I let out a strangled cry and sat straight up in bed while breathing heavily. I thought those things only happened in films – but apparently not. Pushing the covers of my warm body, I glanced at my clock, it was five am. I considered getting out of bed and get ready, but I remembered that we didn't have any classes this Friday, I guessed that was one of the reasons why people were going out later. To celebrate a class-free Friday. I could use all the sleep I could get if I would be going to the Three Broomsticks with Scorpius later. Who knew how long we'd be out?
I rolled over in bed and tried to remember my dream. It must have been a nightmare, I thought and based that on the way I had woken up. My eyes fluttered closed as I tried to force myself to remember. Glimpses passed before my eyes. I had been flying, on a broom, and then I had... fallen? It seemed impossible to remember more than that, so I settled for the one short glimpse I had been able to remember. I rolled over once more and willed myself to fall asleep once more, even though I was wide awake by then.
Around eleven, when I had planned to have finished reading Magical History: 3rd Edition, I woke up. It was a rare thing for me to sleep that long, but I'm not going to deny that it felt amazing. And it wasn't as if I needed to read up on the second wizarding war, either. I knew all about it, I was a Weasley after all. If you were a Weasley, then there was no way you could have lack of knowledge about the war.
With a yawn, I untangled the covers from my body and made my way to the bathroom where I took a quick shower. I was terribly happy to see that there were no stressful girls fighting to get a glimpse of themselves in the mirror or trying to get in to the bathroom the fastest. It was just me, and me alone. No stress or mean looks. It was quite relaxing, actually.
I was ready just in time for lunch – or breakfast in my case - , so I hurried down to the Great Hall and saw that Albus waved for me to come sit by him and James. I smiled and walked up to them and sat down next to Al. No one asked where I'd been or what I'd been doing, which was a good thing. They would've probably gotten a heart attack if I had told them that I had forgot to study – which I'd told them that I was going to do.
“So, what's going down tonight?” asked someone further down the table and I looked up at James, to see what his answer would be. James was like a leader of his small group of friends, and it seemed to me as if he was the one that always decided what they were going to do. “Hogsmeade?”
“I don't think so. I heard that the Slytherins were going to be there tonight, with some Ravenclaws. I'm really not in the mood to get in to any arguments with them, so it seems as if we'll just have to hang out in the common room.”
I rolled my eyes at James' answer. He just assumed that he'd have to get in to an argument with them. And why, because they were Slytherins? Apparently there'd be some Ravenclaws there, too. I'd never really seen a Ravenclaw and a Slytherin hang out, so tonight would definitely be interesting.
“I guess you'll have some company for tonight then, Rose,” said Albus and nudged me with his elbow. I almost groaned as he said those words and looked at him and saw him smile widely. I then looked over at James who was apparently waiting for me to say something.
I knew I couldn't tell him that I was going to hang out with a bunch of Slytherins at the Three Broomsticks. If he knew that, then he'd definitely go there just to check up on me. He could be embarrassing like that. I let my eyes roam the room while I tried to come up with a small, white lie. As if Merlin had felt my desperation in that moment, Desideria Nott walked past me and my words just blurted out, “I'm actually going to hang out with Desideria.”
Nott stopped at the sound of her name and turned to look at me. She looked rather pissed off, until she saw my pleading eyes. Please, oh, Merlin, please play along...
I guess she remembered that I was Scorpius friend, or something, because her expression softened and she gave a small nod.
“Who the heck is Desi-Des-whatever?”
“Desideria,” said Nott fiercely. “Most people call me Nott, though. I've heard that it's easier.”
James turned to look at her, not expecting her to be standing there. He was definitely liking what he saw, I could tell by the way he was looking at her. If he'd looked at her any longer, he would've most likely started to drool, so he looked away. “A Slytherin?”
“Is that a problem?” Nott asked softly, but this time, James didn't turn to look at her.
“Not a problem,” he replied and brought his fork to his mouth, making sure she understood that he was done talking to her. She glared at the back of his head before she turned to me and gave me a knowing look.
“I'll just see you at seven, then.”
I understood that Scorpius had told her that he was going to come to the Tower at seven to get me. The fact that he'd done that made me blush. Was I really something that they talked about? Wow, they must have really boring conversations. I followed Nott with my eyes as she walked to the Slytherin table and sat down next to Scorpius. With a smile, she began to talk to him. He began to laugh, and I couldn't help but to smile a bit myself. His laugh did that to you - it was contagious, really. It wasn't until he looked directly at me and gave me a short nod that I understood that she'd been telling him about what'd happened over here.
I nodded back before a giggle caught my attention and I snapped my head to look over at Melinda. She was sitting next to Lucas and she had her hand on his. It was so obvious to me that she was flirting with him. I saw how he grinned, seemingly pleased with the fact that he'd made her giggle. Could he honestly not tell that she was faking it? I completely lost my appetite as he leaned in and whispered something in her ear, making her blush.
“How do you know her?” muttered James beside me. I was confused for a second until I remembered who he was talking about.
“She's Scorpius friend,” I shrugged. I hadn't lied, really, I was going to hang out with her tonight. Well, I assumed that she was going to the Three Broomsticks, anyway.
“And why haven't I noticed her before?” he mumbled to himself as if he hadn't even heard me. I rolled my eyes. “She's hot.”
“You approve then?” I said sarcastically and that made James roll his eyes at me. All I got as a response was a 'hm'.
I spent the rest of the day with Albus. Because he needed help with an essay that he'd completely forgotten about. Since I was the only relative he had that was in the same year as him, I was the one that helped him. Not that I minded, I mean, doing the same homework twice just made me learn more. After one hour of trying to get Albus to understand what I was talking about, I sighed and buried my face in my hands. Trying desperately not to pull my hair in frustration.
“What can I say,” said Albus with a small sigh, “Charms just isn't my thing.”
“Clearly,” I mumbled and picked up the book again. With a small shake of my head, I begun to explain once more.
Albus and I got along very well. The fact that he wasn't as annoying as his brother was a huge plus. They were so much alike, but yet so different. James was all about joking and breaking rules. He was also over protecting and stubborn and he could honestly be a real git. Albus, on the other hand, was like a toned down version of James.
Though he was funny, he didn't really measure up to James. That could have something to do with the fact that he was younger. He was very protective, as well, but not like James, at all. Unlike James, Albus usually followed the rules. Except when he was with James – James just seemed to bring out the worst in Albus.
Albus was doing good in school, he just didn't like to study – that was something he had in common with James, actually. They were both just as lazy. But when it came down to it, they weren't stupid.
Albus sighed and grabbed the book from my hands. I looked over him confused and he just closed his eyes and said that he'd had enough. I gave him a pointed look and he rolled his eyes at me.
“Didn't you have somewhere to be soon, anyway?” he said and glanced down at his watch. “It's almost seven, weren't you-”
“Crap!” I interrupted him and got out of the chair I'd been sitting in and rushed in to the girls dorm to grab my jacket. I decided against wearing a scarf, knowing that I'd look absolutely horrible in it. Then I was on a mission to find the nearest mirror – I was going out after all.
It didn't take me too long to find one. I stared at my reflection and grimaced. I needed to change clothes. I applied a small amount of lipgloss and ran a brush through my hair a few times, before I decided that it'd do. I already had some mascara on, and I wasn't a fan of wearing too much make up. I went back to my trunk and pulled out some clothes that didn't look too boring and hurried while I changed in to them. Deciding that I looked semi-decent, I put the jacket under my arm and grabbed my handbag, then I made my way towards the portrait.
Albus looked up as I walked past him, and the way he cleared his throat made me turn around to look at him.
“So,” he grinned and crossed his arms across his chest, “You're going to hang out with Nott?”
I swallowed hard and nodded. He glanced at my clothes, and I cursed for myself. I was wearing black Muggle jeans and a dark blue top, which probably showed a bit more than Albus liked. On me, that is. Any other girl, and he would've been drooling. When he saw my outfit, it looked as if he wanted to yell at me to go back in there and change in to something more 'appropriate'. I didn't go out all that often, so when I did; it wasn't that weird that I wanted to dress up a bit, was it?
“Dressed like that?” he asked doubtingly and stood up. I bit my lower lip and tilted my head to the side as he made his way towards me. “You're lying, aren't you?”
“Not really,” I admitted and looked in to his eyes, “I mean, she will be there.”
“There?” He asked and furrowed his eyebrows, then realization seemed to hit him. “Oh. Oh, you're not serious, are you?” When I didn't say anything, he groaned. “You're going to Hogsmeade. With the Slytherins.”
It wasn't a question, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to lie to him when he put it like that. So I nodded and he let his head fall back. He began to laugh, and I raised my eyebrow as I just stood there and looked at him. He's lost it, I thought, this time – he's truly lost it.
“Good luck with James,” snickered Albus and I slapped his arm.
“Don't tell him anything, Al!” I threatened and looked sternly at him. “He'll overreact, you know he will. C'mon, just don't tell him?”
“Say 'please',” teased Albus and I gritted my teeth and sent him the most filthy glare I could muster.
“Please,” I gritted out, and he smirked before he gave me a small nod.
I mouthed a 'thank you' before I continued to make my way towards the portrait. I heard him sigh before muttering something about me. I couldn't really make out the words, but it sounded as if he didn't think I was right in the head. I snorted to myself before I walked out.
Scorpius was already there, he was leaning against the wall. He looked disappointed and slightly bored. I grimaced as I walked up to him. “I'm so sorry that I'm late!”
He looked up, flashed a smile and then he stood up straight. “Thought you'd gotten cold feet.”
“And stood you up?” I raised an eyebrow. “Not my style, Scorpius.”
After half an hour at the Three Broomsticks, I knew that there was only three other people I liked besides Scorpius and Nott. Liam Zabini was one of them, and his girlfriend Alexandra Mallen. Leona Crawford was there as well, and I guess she was okay. I wasn't too happy to find that she'd brought along her boyfriend, Charlie, though. Charlie was a rather good friend to Lucas, and to hang out with him now that Lucas and I were over was just awkward.
There was one person I found that I really didn't like, too. His name was Marcus. He had this way of looking down at all the people around him. It annoyed me and reminded me or Andrew Thomas, the Gryffindor git who was rude to everyone around him. Marcus was a Slytherin, though - but I from what I'd seen, he seemed quite rude. I took a sip of my Butterbeer and turned my attention back to Nott, who was sitting opposite of me. She had obviously caught me staring at Marcus.
“Real git, that one is,” she said bitterly and nodded in his direction. She took a sip of her Butterbeer. Most of us was of age, so it was all good.
“He looks like it, “ I said truthfully. Nott looked surprised for a moment, but then she laughed.
“I like your honesty,” she smiled. “That git used to be my boyfriend.”
I raised my eyebrows. Nott had been together with Marcus? It seemed so unlikely – she was so far out of his league. Nott continued. “We dated for five months and then one day he suddenly told me that he didn't love me anymore.”
I gasped, “What did you do?”
“What do you think I did? I told him to piss off.”
I laughed even though it wasn't funny at all. I laughed because it made my own behaviour seem so stupid. Hell, I was a mess because of what had happened between Lucas and I, and Nott had simply told Marcus to piss off. I glanced over at him. He had brown hair and dark green eyes, he was as pale as one could be and had a very annoying smirk on his lips. He reminded me strongly of Lucas in that moment, and I had to look away. I noticed that Nott's lips were moving.
“...to have another girl here. Don't get me wrong, the guys are awesome but sometimes it's nice to take a break from all the Quidditch talk.”
It didn't take me very long to figure out what she was talking about. “What about Leona?”
“Have you met Leona?” said Nott and raised an eyebrow. I knew what she was getting at. Leona was basically little Miss Sunshine. I grimaced and nodded. Nott glanced down at her hands and when she looked up again, I almost groaned. I knew that look. It was the 'I hope it's okay if I ask something personal now'-look. “So, I haven't really seen you out and about so much...”
“I guess we don't hang around the same people,” I said and managed to sound very casual about it. I impressed myself.
“I know we don't. But seriously, I've never seen you like this before. Hanging out, drinking Butterbeer, having a good time...”
I sighed. “It's not really my thing. I'm just... socially awkward.” Those were Hugo's words, and not my own. Nott laughed and raised her glass.
“To awkwardness,” she said, but our toast was interrupted as we both looked to the side. Scorpius had talked up to the table we were sitting by. With a Butterbeer in his hand and a smile on his lips, he asked us if we were ready. Nott grinned and got up, whereas I just stared at Scorpius, confused.
“We're just going to go somewhere else, it's getting crowded here,” he said. When I didn't answer right away, he added, “But if you'd rather go back to Hogwarts, then I'll take you back...”
I considered it, but then I shook my head. Nott had been right – I was having fun. I got up and told Scorpius that I'd join them. He flashed a smile before he placed a hand on my back and led me towards the exit where the rest of his friends were. Marcus glanced around, seemingly bored. He glanced at us and rolled his eyes a bit before he looked at Liam.
“You or me?”
Liam glanced over at his girlfriend who looked very disapproving. He bit his lip a little before he nodded at Marcus. “You.”
“Fine,” Marcus drawled, “but then it's your turn next time. I've done it three times in a row now.”
“Yes, yes. I'll do it next time,” Liam said quietly and avoided looking at his girlfriend(who really looked quite angry...) Marcus shrugged and told us that he'd join us in a bit and that we could just go ahead. I didn't understand anything.
Scorpius led me outside and I shivered from the sudden cold. It was freezing, and it was snowing like crazy. I asked Scorpius for how long we'd have to walk to get wherever and as he looked at me – his eyes twinkled with mischief. Now, that was a look I knew all too well.
“Not very long,” he promised.
My head snapped to the side and I found myself staring right at Lucas. He seemed quite surprised to see me. I opened my mouth to say something, but not a word came out. I wasn't able to make a sound. Beside him stood Melinda and as I glanced down I noticed that they were actually holding hands. I gritted my teeth. Lucas had never been the kind of guy who liked to show affection in public. A kiss from time to time, yeah, but holding hands was something that didn't happen often. As much as I tried to fight it, I felt a small stab in my heart. Well, I thought, I guess he's changed.
I became very aware of the hand that Scorpius still had on my lower back as Lucas glared at him.
“Malfoy,” he greeted, but he made it sound more like an insult.
“Wilson,” Scorpius greeted casually, not allowing himself to sink to Lucas' level. If I had been Scorpius, then I would've lost it by now. For as long as he'd gone to Hogwarts, he'd been taunted because of his name – but yet, he was still proud of it. I guess he'd just grown used to it by now, all the taunting and hating.
Lucas looked at me again. “Does James know that you're here?”
Of all the things he could've said or asked, he chose to ask me if my cousin knew that I was out.
“Does he know that you're here? With that?” He said and glared at Scorpius. I clenched my fist and took a deep breath. Marcus stormed through the door just as I was going to reply and looked at us as if we were completely stupid for still being there.
“Are you insane?” he hissed and Liam and his girlfriend took off, as did Nott. Scorpius glanced at me nervously and mumbled something about how I should wrap up the conversation and get a move on.
Lucas gaped, “You've got to be joking!”
Scorpius glanced over his shoulder, and just as I was going to do the same, he grabbed my arm and began to drag me with him. I heard Lucas shouting at me that he was going to tell James.
“Oh, piss off!” I screamed over my shoulder and then Scorpius and I picked up our speed. I had absolutely no idea why we were in such a hurry, so I just went along with it.
Scorpius chuckled as we ran and I wondered what'd gotten in to him. When I asked he said something about red-heads and a fierce temperament. I rolled my eyes and ran after him.
It was terribly cold and I was glad when we seemed to reach our destination.
It was then I noticed where we were, and as I did – I began to laugh. I have absolutely no idea how I managed to laugh as hard as I did considering that I was panting so heavily.
“Lame, I know,” said Scorpius with a boyish grin, “but you've got to admit that it's a little bit genius?”
“Throwing a party in the Shrieking Shack? Oh, it's brilliant,” I said as I calmed down.
“Yeah. I wish I could say that it was my idea, but it was actually your cousin who thought of it first,” Scorpius said as he opened the old door for me. “Don't worry,” he said, as I hesitated, “We've cleaned it up.”
I walked inside, and the first thing I noticed was that it was just as cold on the inside as it was outside. Looking around, I was amazed at how clean it all looked. I had only been in here once before, and that was in my third year when I'd gone here with Albus. It had looked a lot worse back then, and it had looked a lot more creepy.
I shivered and turned to face Scorpius. “Typical James to come up with something like that.”
Scorpius shrugged, and motioned for me to walk further in. There were people speaking on the second floor. Scorpius and I both froze as we heard what they were talking about.
'I just don't understand why he had to bring her along. Not only is she annoyingly boring and quiet, she almost got us caught, too!'
'Oh, please! You don't even know her.'
'And you do? I don't understand what he wants with her – she's not even that pretty. I don't understand what he's thinking. Who'd want Wilson's leftovers anyway?'
I tried not to let Marcus' words get to me, and I would have been able to ignore it all if he hadn't brought Lucas up. Wilson's leftovers. My eyes dropped to the floor and I took a deep breath. Nott had stood up for me, at least. Not that it made me feel any better at the moment, but it was sweet of her. I felt Scorpius hand on my shoulder, but I shrugged it off. I didn't want to be touched when I felt like that, it made my skin crawl. Suck it up, Weasley, I told myself and gave myself a mental slap. As I looked up, I saw that Scorpius was biting his lip.
Had he been offended when I had shrugged his hand off my shoulder?
“Sorry,” I mumbled, not wanting to have made yet another person dislike me.
“Are you crazy?” he asked and shook his head a bit.
“Probably,” I admitted and Scorpius chuckled.
“You don't have anything to apologize for, it's me who should apologize. Marcus is a jerk.”
I sighed and nodded. Scorpius glanced up the stairs and when he looked back at me he gave a nod towards the door. “Wanna get out of here?”
I was about to say no, but then I heard Marcus begin to talk again and with a grimace I nodded. “You can stay, though-”
“Let's go,” Scorpius interrupted me and I turned and followed him out the door.
It was crazy cold, and after many minutes of walking, I was sure that my lips had turned dark blue and I was cold to the bone. Scorpius offered me his jacket, but I didn't take it. I knew he'd be cold if I did. We were walking in the middle of nowhere, towards the castle. I didn't know how far we'd walked or how far it was left, but I couldn't see Hogwarts yet. I asked Scorpius if we were even going in the right direction, and he assured me that we were. We just had to walk up that small hill and we'd see Hogwarts.
I glanced up at the sky, it was a clear night. I could see the stars better than I ever had, and just as I was looking up, it began to snow. Bloody brilliant, I thought to myself.
“Sorry 'bout Marcus,” said Scorpius again, and slowed down so that we were walking side by side. “He's always been a jerk.”
“Not your fault,” I shrugged. “Besides, most people at Hogwarts are jerks.”
Scorpius chuckled, “You know, for such a small person you hold a lot of anger. Can't be healthy.”
I raised my eyebrows at him. “You're not angry at people, then?”
“Sure I am, but I'm bigger than you.”
I rolled my eyes at him before bumping in to him. I would've smacked his arm, but I didn't want to take my hand out of my pockets – it was too cold for that. He bumped in to me in return, and I nearly fell over. Scorpius laughed at me, before apologizing with a grin. I couldn't help but to smile. This was fun. Just hanging out with a friend. Someone who didn't judge, someone who didn't care that I was somewhat crazy.
“So, that Wilson guy. What's his problem?” Scorpius asked. Ah, and now fun is over, I sighed to myself.
“How should I know? He's probably mad at me for hitting him,” I shrugged, not wanting to talk about him. “Why?”
“You think?” I muttered. He mumbled a 'sorry' and looked away. I sighed. “It's okay, it's just – he's a jerk. He probably hate that I'm -”
“Hanging out with other guys? And me, of all people?” It wasn't what I had planned to say, but he was probably right. Lucas didn't want to be with me, but he didn't want anyone else to be with me either. Which made no sense at all, but Lucas rarely made sense, I guess. “Well, sucks to be him.”
I looked at him. He turned his head to the side and his eyes met mine. Their depth seemed to pull me in, and I had to clear my throat and look away before I could think again.
“You know,” I began, “you could go back to your friends, I bet they're more fun.”
Scorpius, who was still staring at me, smiled. “You're... fun.”
I bumped in to him once more, and he laughed.
“What was that for?” He asked. I glanced at him.
“For hesitating,” I said. “I can be fun.”
“Really?” Scorpius teased. “And when am I gonna meet that fun side of yours?”
I hesitated for a brief second. “Well. Take me to a place without rude, judging or downright cruel people and I'll be... fun.”
Scorpius stopped and I did the same. Somehow, it felt as if the wind blew stronger once one stood still. Scorpius hair was a mess, and he looked sickly pale – I have a feeling that it was the lack of light that made him look so pale. Nonetheless, he managed to pull that look off.
“So be fun.” I raised an eyebrow at his words. “No people like that here. I'm not very rude, I don't like to judge, and I definitely don't fit in to the category 'downright cruel people'.”
I swallowed hard and glanced around, why I did that doesn't make sense to me – it was only us there. We were in the middle of freaking nowhere and no other people could even be heard.
When I looked back at Scorpius, I wished that I hadn't. He was glancing at my lips, and he was inching closer. If he was about to do what I thought he would...
I looked away from him and cleared my throat once more. “Go figure,” I said slowly and shivered. “I've lost my ability to be fun.”
Scorpius sobered up and eased back. He grinned, “I bet it's only momentarily.”
We began to walk again, in silence this time, and I kept playing the scene over and over. I couldn't have let him kiss me, it would've ruined everything. I liked being friends with him. I liked that, it was a normality that I had missed. To get other feelings involved could only lead to disaster. Feelings, I snorted inwardly, maybe he was just trying to get lucky.
I didn't want to believe that Scorpius was that kind of a guy, but on the other hand – who knew? I didn't know him well at all. For all I knew, he could be just that kind of guy. Nah, it was better without those extra feelings. I was sure.
“Are you terribly cold?” Scorpius asked and I nodded. I felt cold and my toes and fingers were becoming numb. We'd reached the top of the hill, and like he said – there was Hogwarts. He grinned as he glanced at me. “Told you.”
We were back at Hogwarts before I knew it. He insisted to walk me up to the Gryffindor Tower, even though it really wasn't necessary. I briefly wondered what we'd be doing if we'd stayed with the others at the Shrieking Shack.
Things got far less awkward between Scorpius and I after a little while and as we reached the portrait, we were laughing and teasing again. We stopped right outside and I glanced nervously up at him.
“Will Nott be mad that you left?”
“Furious,” whispered Scorpius dramatically. “But I can handle it.”
“Tell her that I'm sorry for being-” I stopped as Scorpius rolled his eyes at me. “What?”
“Nothing,” Scorpius held his hands up in surrender. “Well, I guess this is goodnight, then.”
“Yeah,” I chewed in my lip. “Well, goodnight, then.”
There was an awkward pause, before Scorpius closed the gap between us and hugged me. I was rather shocked but slowly let my arms go around his body and I hugged him back. Despite everything, I'd had fun. I inhaled and was almost overwhelmed by how good he smelled. We parted rather quickly. I was surprised to feel the need to hug him a little while longer, it was a rare thing for me – I wasn't really a hug-person.
He flashed me a grin and said 'night' before he turned and made his way to the dungeons. I stared at him until he was out of sight. I turned around and shook my head. Mumbling the password, the Fat Lady gave me a non-approving look before she let me in. I guess she wasn't too happy to see that I was out late.
Once inside, I was met by James; who was giving me his most angry glare, and Albus; who held his hands up as if to tell me that he hadn't said a word. In that very moment, I could've killed Lucas.
[here you go! See, I told you I wouldn't keep you waiting for too long for this chapter! I've written the next one, as well, so expect an update fairly soon. I hope you like it! Thanks for reading, feedback is love. Thanks! - Cathy]
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