Disclaimer: Anything you recognise belongs to J.K. Rowling.
It was a warm, sunny day despite being mid January, and the girls and I were sitting in the courtyard for lunch, making the most of the good weather. It had been nice getting back into the routine of school, and James seemed to have forgotten all about me, thank Merlin. He was too preoccupied with his latest girlfriend, Chelsey.
I was curious about Aunt Rosalind being Quidditch captain back in her own school days, and had sent a letter to crazy Uncle Lawrence asking him about it. I knew they had been in the same year, though Lawrence was in Hufflepuff of course. I was expecting a reply with Georgina’s owl Blitz either tomorrow or the following day.
As we sat soaking up the sunshine, Romenel appeared at the other end of the courtyard and started walking toward me.
“Augh” I groaned, pushing my bangs back.
“Oh Merlin, look who it is.” Alex said, surveying him with dislike.
“Aaliyah,” Romenel began when he reached us, “spend this lunch break in the common room.”
I frowned, normally my brother or cousins would ask.
“Will Scorpius be there?” I asked uncertainly.
He looked irritated and I wondered if he shared the view everyone seemed to have of me liking Scorpius.
“Yes” he said curtly, then smirked, “Though I believe he’ll be a little distant…” he paused for effect, “he thinks of nothing these days but chasing his new love interest.”
He raised his eyebrow, waiting for my reaction.
“Huh.” I said. Scorpius likes someone?
“Of course,” Romenel continued, “I of all people know how… hard… it is to keep one’s mind away from certain things.” He said softly, dragging his fingers along my jaw line.
I jerked my head away from his hand.
“What’s the password?” I asked curtly.
“You do not need it. You are coming with me now.” He said, eyes flashing.
“No. I’m dropping off my bag at my common room first.”
“I can always escort you there.”
I stood up and said stiffly, “I’m not the one following orders. I have no wish or need to show you where I live.”
His eyes narrowed but he leant forward to whisper the password into my ear.
“Pureblood. You should remember that.”
I knew he wasn’t referring to remembering the password. He was reminding me of his blood status, and that he was my parents’ first choice as partner for me.
He turned and left. I slumped back on the seat, suddenly feeling very cold.
“Jackass!” Alex said.
“He’s completely delusional! As if you would date him” Georgina said.
Hattie shook her head, “He acts like he can tell you what to do. He’s a bully. You had better be careful around him, Aaliyah. Try to let him know you’re not interested without making him angry.”
I snorted. “That’s going to be easy” I said sarcastically, “he’s already angry I didn’t leave with him just now.”
There was a pause and then Alex said excitedly, “I know! We just have to find Aaliyah a man! Romenel will back off and, well, she could probably do with a snog.”
I leaned over Hattie and hit her on the leg. “Thanks a lot, Alex.”
She grinned. “I’m serious though, what do you think? Up for a man-hunt?”
I sighed. “Do what you want. I’ve got to get going. Look after my bag would you?”
Hattie nodded and I stood up and left for the Slytherin common room.
The next half hour dragged along. I was sitting opposite Romenel and it soon became quite clear that he hadn’t been joking earlier. He spent the majority of the time mentally undressing me while I sat there awkwardly, not making eye contact with anybody. Scorpius was sitting at an angle where he couldn’t see Romenel’s face. As promised, Scorpius was looking rather distracted. His eyes never crossed to any of the girls in the room, so I guessed it wasn’t any of them that he was after.
The room started to clear as the students headed to their next classes. I rose and beckoned Scorpius to walk with me. I waited until we were out of ear shot of the Pures before speaking quietly.
“Romenel said you liked someone?”
He looked startled for a moment before slipping on his poker face.
“He means Keilyn. It’s nothing really.”
“So you don’t like her?”
“Any reason why you’re acting distant then?”
“Romenel said you’ve been chasing –“
“Can’t you just drop it, Aaliyah?” He snapped.
I stopped walking.
“Okay” I said, trying not to show my hurt.
He was about to say something but I turned into another corridor. I’d have to double back later, the Charms classroom was back the way I had come, but I didn’t want to waste time talking to Scorpius when he was in that kind of mood.
I met back up with the girls in Charms. I was a fraction late but Professor Pindrop merely gestured at my seat and said ‘come, come’.
“What happened when you got there? Was Romenel still hitting on you?” Alex asked as soon as I sat down.
I shook my head. “He didn’t say anything more to me.”
I didn’t mention the mental undressing.
“I don’t know what’s up with Scorpius though. He got angry when I tried talking to him. He’s obviously keeping something from me.” I said, mostly to Hattie.
She frowned. “That isn’t like him.”
“Just let him sort it out.” She shrugged. “He’ll come to you if he wants to.”
I nodded but didn’t say anything. Scorpius was supposed to be the normal one, the one without any drama or secrets. I was annoyed at how things always seem to have to change.
“By the way,” Georgina said to me, “we’ve been thinking of potential boyfriends for you. Want to hear?”
I rolled my eyes. “It’s not going to work, you know.”
“Oh come on! Hattie’s been spending time with Eric; it would be cute if you had someone too!”
“Excuse me” said Hattie, “I don’t like the way you said if she ‘had someone too’. It implies I ‘have’ Eric. For your information I do not ‘have’ anyone! And as far as ‘spending time’ is concerned, it is only patrol duties, nothing worth noting!” She ranted.
I smirked. After all Hattie’s fears of having nothing to talk about with Eric that first time, they had apparently got along rather well. We were all convinced they would make a good couple, Eric was smart (we figured since he was in Ravenclaw), and nice. My only complaint would be that he was a bit too shy and awkward. It was obvious he was interested in Hattie, but seemed to be spending a lot of time deciding what to do about it. But for Hattie, who was practical and genuine and hadn’t had a boyfriend before, he really was ideal.
Georgina bit her lip, trying not to laugh at Hattie. “Um,” she cleared her throat, “anyway, Aaliyah, we were thinking of Rueben or Theodore?”
I snorted. “Great work guys. The only other Gryffindors in our year that aren’t part of the trio. Real man-hunt, that is.” I said with amused sarcasm.
She poked her tongue out at me. “It was logical, okay?”
“I think we need to focus more on Aaliyah’s personality if we’re going to do this properly.” Alex mused.
“So… impatient, snarky, prone to immaturity…” Hattie began.
“Hey!” I exclaimed.
“Outgoing, fun, spirited…” She continued
“Better” I said, and she grinned.
“So what kind of guy?” Alex asked Hattie, who seemed to be the most informed about me and my needs.
Hattie paused, glanced at me then turned back to Alex.
“He would have to be interesting and fun. Anyone boring and she would dump him.”
I nodded, acknowledging the truth of that statement.
“A fan of Quidditch, and competitive… or at least, capable of taking up a challenge.”
I frowned. “Why?”
Her eyes narrowed. “I still haven’t forgotten the day in March when you dared us to swim in the lake!” She snapped.
Bloody hell that had been a bad idea; the lake had barely thawed.
“I have a feeling this is going to be too much like hard work.” Alex said. “Let’s just get her drunk at the next party the trio hosts, cross our fingers, and hope she finds Mr. Right.”
Georgina giggled. “Alright. We’ll have to dress her up nice though.”
She eyed me critically.
“Maybe a push-up bra? Though I doubt she even owns one…”
“I am right here you know!” I said, annoyed. They aren’t that small.
“We need to go shopping.” She continued, ignoring me. “She has all those pretty dress robes her parents gave her for Christmas, but nothing really sexy.”
I wasn’t surprised Georgina was familiar with the clothes I owned. As well as her love of fashion, she is a self-confessed clean freak. I often find her reorganising my draws or our joint wardrobe.
“If there’s a party before the next Hogsmeade visit, she can wear something of yours.” Alex said to Georgina. “You two are a similar size. Well, her arse is a tad bigger, but…” She shrugged.
I was starting to feel very un-appreciated.
Georgina nodded. “I like this plan. We’ll just have to keep an eye on her so she doesn’t go off with some loser.”
“Well” I said loudly, “back to things that actually matter –“
“I agree Miss Taiven.” Professor Pindrop interrupted, rather smoothly too, for him. “For example, what I am teaching the class. I would appreciate it if you four paid attention.”
“Yes, sir.” We chorused, chastened.
“You know,” Hattie whispered to me, “you could save those two the trouble and just date Jack Graple.”
I mimed throwing up, and she giggled.
The rest of the class passed without incident. At its end I was surprised to find Scorpius waiting for me outside in the corridor.
“Aaliyah!” He said.
I gave him a cold look. “Yes?”
He grimaced. “Sorry about, you know, before. I was out of line.”
“That’s okay.” I relented, not being all that mad.
I grabbed his arm and pulled him toward the wall, out of the way of the students filing past. He glanced around, as though debating whether to say something or not.
“Um, do you mind ditching class this period?” He asked me.
“I have potions. So no, not at all.”
He smiled briefly. “Do you know somewhere private we can go to talk?”
I thought for a second. “Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom?”
He nodded. “Perfect.”
We quickly headed for the second floor. Once there we slipped through the door into the girls’ lavatory. I sat down on the cold floor tiles and leaned my back against a large stone sink. Scorpius sat down in front of me and crossed his legs.
I was impatient to hear what he had to say, but I knew he’d speak when he wanted to, and so for the moment I sat in silence and listened to Moaning Myrtle wailing in one of the toilet stalls.
“Sorry again for snapping at you.” He began.
“Romenel was right. I do like someone.”
Again I nodded.
“It’s not… exactly… who you’d think.”
I raised my eyebrow.
“I mean, it’s… she’s…”
I rolled my eyes. “Spit it out Scorpius.”
He sighed and put his head in his hands.
My mouth opened in shock. The way he was acting I had been half expecting him to admit to liking one of the girls, or even a teacher. But Rose?
“As in…?” I asked to make sure.
“As in Rose Weasley. Yes.”
“How?” I asked, still in shock.
He groaned. “I don’t know, it just happened. We were on patrol duties together and… I dunno… we didn’t say much, but…
He paused, and I couldn’t help thinking that patrol duties seemed to be the latest thing for coupling students.
Scorpius sighed. “She’s just amazing, you know? There’s so much more to her than people think. I mean yeah she’s smart and kind… but she’s also dead awkward and unintentionally funny. And she thinks about stuff, you know? She’s not caught up in her own life all the time like everyone else.”
He sighed again, and then suddenly looked up and grinned.
“And she has some pretty decent tits.”
I laughed, and then turned serious. “Are you going to tell her?” I asked.
His smile left. “No. You know I can’t. My father would kill me. There is no way he would let me love a half blood, let alone a Weasley.”
“Love?” I asked, flabbergasted.
A faint blush touched his pale cheeks.
“Does it make a difference?” He retorted, a little defensively.
I didn’t reply. We sat in silence for a long while, each lost in our own thoughts. I felt incredibly sad for Scorpius. Imagine loving someone and not being able to say a word to them. Suddenly Moaning Myrtle’s cries didn’t seem so out of place.
Eventually Scorpius spoke. “What’s going on with you?” He asked, attempting to lighten the mood.
I shrugged. “Nothing much.”
He cocked his head to the side. “Really? A little birdie tells me you’ve been fighting with James Potter.”
I screwed up my nose. My problems suddenly seemed petty in comparison with his.
“Come on,” he said when I didn’t say anything, “tell me everything.”
So I did. It took a while, and I was thoroughly peeved with James all over again by the end of it.
“What I find interesting,” he said after I had finished, “is why he dislikes you so much. I mean, of course you dislike him, you are an incredibly intolerant person… but what is his reason?” he mused.
“Have you not been listening? He thinks I’m one of them.” I said, tapping my inner forearm.
“Well I think it’s pretty damn obvious you’re not a Death Eater.” He said frankly.
“But I guess he couldn’t really know that. You haven’t exactly done anything to change his opinion of you.”
He scrutinised me carefully.
“You should try talking to him, rather than just telling him he’s a jerk.”
“What? But he is a jerk!”
“You can still talk to jerks, Lee.”
“Remind me again why I would want to?” I said, irritated.
“So that he realises he was wrong about you and leaves you alone.”
“And what am I supposed to say? ‘Hey freckles, I love rainbows and unicorns. See you in potions!’?”
“Perhaps something a little more mature.”
“Not going to happen, Scorpius.” I said, folding my arms stubbornly. “There is no way in hell I will ever have a proper conversation with James bloody Potter.”
Scorpius rolled his eyes. “Should have known you’d say that.”
He stood up. “Let’s go. It’s almost time for our next class.”
“I have a free period.” I said, but I got up and headed back out into the corridor with him anyway.
“Oi, Scorpius” I said as he was about to leave.
He turned around. “Yeah?”
I moved forward and gave him a hug. “I’m sure she’d like you too, if she had the chance.” I whispered in his ear.
“Thanks.” He said, hugging me back.
We were interrupted by a loud snort from behind us. “So this is why you weren’t in class.” A voice said loudly.
I let go of Scorpius and whipped around, drawing my wand.
“Right” I said, entirely fed up. “You have three seconds to get out of my face, Potter, or I swear to Merlin I will string you up by your ankles in the dungeons.”