Chapter 3 : Something to Distract Them With
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It took me a few moments to register what I had done and I looked down at my hand, my eyes as wide as saucers.
“No, that’s not what I meant, of course!” I bumbled before turning as red as my dads hair used to be. I quickly covered my face and moved closer to the lake. Maybe if I jumped in and became a merperson is would be easier.
“Right.” It was so curt an answer that I shoved my face even further into my palm, hoping that the game we learned as infants would come into play- that anything you couldn’t see wasn’t there.
I still heard him breathing of course which made it all the more worse. He wasn’t leaving or saying anything, just sitting there like the passive Scorpius I knew.
Finally, after a few minutes, I peeked through my fingers and spotted him smiling at me.
Smiling was almost as dangerous as the word ‘fine’, I could never ever tell what people meant when they said that word to me.
“Don’t worry about it,” he said again, clearly for my own benefit. His curt reply had been an attempt at sparing me from him bursting out in laughter.
“I basically just told you that your breath was disgusting, or you slobber too much. How is that not something to worry about?” I mumbled stupidly as I discretely scooted another centimeter away from him.
“Well it is mostly your fault.”
That caught my attention. Most things were my fault, and most of the time I knew it. But how on earth was this my fault?
“You gave me a tuna salad sandwich!” He pointed at his barely eaten sandwich on the ground and I couldn’t help but smile. He just knew how to make me feel better.
I tucked a strand of loose hair behind my ear and began picking at the grass, my sandwich forgotten. I wasn’t that hungry anyways. In fact, all I could think about, ironically (and probably the mum in me), was Transfiguration and how much my grade was suffering.
But of course I didn’t want to move from this spot. And I didn’t exactly want to stay there either.
“Look, I -um- I have some work to do, y’know. Patrolling the halls, keeping hooligans out of trouble, and -er, loads of other stuff,” I tried weakly, standing on my wobbly knees and did something I will never forget in my entire lifetime, even when I’m old and decrepit. I stuck my sodding hand out for him to shake. And I even still had a comment left in me. “This was nice.”
And with that, I took my grand entrance and ran away, leaving him to throw away the trash.
It didn’t take me long to go past the Entrance Hall before I was mauled by one of my cousins. They were bloody everywhere, it was hard not to get mauled by one of them at least twice a day.
Lily, the small spunky girl, slapped my left arm hard enough for my right arm to feel it.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were seeing Scorpius Malfoy! Uncle Ron is going to have a cow when he finds out! How long has this been happening? And how in Merlins name did you keep it a secret?” She went on and on and I was afraid that her mouth might just fall off in the process.
“Lily!” I had to practically shout it but it finally caught her attention. She snapped her mouth shut and looked directly at me with those haunting green eyes. They always gave me the heebyjeebies. “Scorpius and I aren’t seeing each other, you won’t ever tell my dad about this and there’s nothing to keep secret!” I replied in one big lump, hoping to get a word in before she started shouting out more questions faster than Peeves shouts out insults. And that was a hard feat to top.
“So…” she trailed off, motioning to something I couldn’t see behind me before shifting her feet. “You aren’t seeing Scorpius?” she asked, pushing aside her fringe.
“Of course not, you’d be the first I’d tell, Lily.” I could see a bit of relief flitter across her face before she bit her lip. I immediately tensed as if I had just been handed back a badly marked assignment. When Lily bit her lip, she was either up to no good or was about to start it.
“So you didn’t snog him by the lake?” She bit her lip again. I should run and hide for cover as if the second Voldemort was coming personally for my ponytail.
“Snog!” I said regardless of the warning signs going off in my mind. “That was hardly a sno--”
“YOU KISSED SCORPIUS?” Screeched a voice from behind me.
I knew I should have run when I had the chance. In fact, running still didn’t sound like a bad plan. I turned around, ready to make a bolt for my four-poster and never see light again only to run into my surprisingly tall brother.
He was at least a foot taller than me and grabbed onto my arm before I could make a mad dash for absolutely anywhere else.
“No I didn’t kiss him! I- I- I fell on his face!” I scratched his hand enough to weaken his grip and ran for my bloody life to the library.
Which wasn’t exactly the smartest plan.
Who wouldn’t look for me in the library first?
Nevertheless the bindings of all my favorite books never judged me, the characters on the pages could never find something wrong with me, and the smell was damn near intoxicating.
I bounded up the stairs, got curious looks from a few classmates and even a Professor or two, but made it to the library relatively unscathed. I opened the door, slinked past the librarian and went into the recesses of the shelves, taking up post near the Restricted Section.
I sat down, leaning against a shelf and pulled out a book I had stored at the very back so no one else checked it out (the librarian only let out two books at once and it had been hard enough to wheedle my way to three).
“Why is everything so complicated?” I sighed, closing my eyes. It wasn’t exactly complicated as it was awkward. Everyone was going to think we were seeing each other and I had shook his hand when I left him.
This is what I got for having cousins that populated every year and every house.
“Because complicated things are more fun.” The voice came from behind me and turned around, only spotting a shelf. Unfortunately, there was an empty book space small enough for someone to listen in and reply to me.
“But things are even more fun when they are easy.”
“If things are easy, are they worth doing?”
“Of course they are, that’s the whole reason they’re easy, because people want people to want to do them!”
I heard the shuffling of feet and out from the other side of the shelf popped my friend Matthew . He was actually quite the scholar when he wanted to be.
“Matthew, go away.”
“Go. Away!” I tried again, knowing that the whine in my voice would just keep him there longer. I wanted peace and not another attack from someone else. Matthew was quite different from my cousin James, but he could be just as much of a pest.
“Everyone, or everyone soon will, think that I am dating Scorpius Malfoy.” There it was out in the open. I might as well accept my fate. A howler would be reaching me in a few hours from my dad, telling me I’m too young and blah blah blah.
“Did you eat a flobberworm for breakfast? Of course not you diddy. I kissed him less than a sodding hour ago and everyone jumped to conclusions!” Exasperated I threw my hands up and covered my face. “Like I said, complicated.”
“Well, they just need something else to talk about.”
“Yeah, but there’s nothing else to distract them with.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that.” He got that twinkle in his eye, the dangerous one that scared me and got me excited at the same time.
“Whaddyah mean?” I leaned forward just a bit, eager for something. I wanted to disappear back into the studious existence I had a few hours ago.
“I’ve been meaning to tell everyone this for ages, but your cousin wanted to keep it under wraps.” This would be good. “Its time everyone knew anyways. I’m dating Lily.”
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