Chapter 12 : On: Nonsense and Boys
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On: Nonsense and Boys
I was having a particularly tumultuous week. Potions essay, Charms essay, in-class Herbology test, Scorpius grabbing me and dragging me into random corners ever half hour just to have a snog, and to top it all off, I’ve got this horrible conscience rambling off at me about how I’ve broken up Teddy and Victoire and it’s all my fault. As per Victoire’s request, I continued to keep my mouth shut, stupid as her request was, and despite the fact that I’d probably done quite enough damage as it was by not having said anything to anyone in the first place. I was fairly certain by the second Monday after that Hogsmeade weekend fiasco that Victoire must have told someone. Or many some ones. There was no way that girl could keep this secret for that long. I just wished I wasn’t trapped in this massive castle with no means of outside communication, save for some prehistoric owls, who deliver me sloppily-written letters with not enough detail from the various members of my family.
However, things changed quite a bit when a letter fell just south of the bowl of strawberry jam at the Gryffindor table that Monday morning. I picked it up nonchalantly with one hand, sipping my earl grey from a teacup held in the other. I was surprised when I didn’t recognise the hand writing on the front of the envelope, but I didn’t have to get through more than a sentence to realise who had written this letter.
I understand that Victoire told you before anyone else about her pregnancy. She still is attempting to keep it somewhat secret—most likely because of the presumably negative media attention she’ll get when everyone finds out—but I’m absolutely a wreck. She’s gone and left and I haven’t a clue why. I’m hoping you could give me some insight into the situation. Please let me know when a good time for us to meet would be. I can speak with Professor Flitwick about allowing you to come meet me at Hogsmeade sometime during this coming week, given the circumstances.
Please let me know as soon as possible when we can have a chat.
Great. This is bloody fabulous. Just when I thought I could leave this mess in the hands of Fleur or Bill or some responsible adult who could probably actually deal with this situation, I’m then handed the mess right back again. And then some. Really, what have I done to deserve this? I’m honestly waiting for an explanation because my brain simply cannot comprehend the fact that this family is so utterly bonkers that they’re all coming to me, crying for help. I’m Rose Weasley. Definitely not the level-headed, understanding, calm, rational one in the family.
Come to think of it, we haven’t gone anyone like that in this family. But I’m certainly not the closest.
“Oh, you’ve got a letter!” Ariadne squealed in my ear like a small child over an ice cream truck. “Who’s it from?”
“Er… No one.” I hastily folded it back up and shoved it back into its envelope.
“You can’t use that excuse when it’s a letter. Obviously someone sent you a letter. No one did not send you a letter,” Ariadne said, in a way she seemed to think was explanatory.
“Sorry—it’s just not important. I’ve got to go to Charms, hand in that essay.” I threw my over-stuffed bag over my shoulder and hustled out of the Great Hall. My shoes slapped against the marble in the virtually empty halls. It was a good twelve minutes before class was due to start, but I didn’t need to be in a crowded place anymore. At Hogwarts, you’re so often constantly surrounded by so many people that sometimes you just need a few moments to yourself. Perhaps that’s the one good thing about the building being so terrifyingly massive—there’s always got to be a corner somewhere where nobody’s standing. Then again, there’ll probably be a few paintings or sculptures to yell at you about something, or launch into a speech about their part in The Battle of Hogwarts.
I made it to the Charms classroom relatively quickly, happily ready to settle down and reread my essay a few times before everyone arrived. Much to my chagrin, Scorpius was already seated in the back left of the room. I took care to sit down at the front right.
“You know, you don’t have to sit that far away from me, Rose,” said Scorpius.
“I know,” was my simple response.
He didn’t say anything, but I’m sure he rolled his eyes. In fact, I could practically hear it.
“What are you doing here so early, anyway?” I probed, still not turning around to look at him. I wasn’t mad at him, or anything, it just felt odd to do anything but that to Scorpius Malfoy.
“I was reading over my essay.”
“Good idea. I’m about to do the same thing, myself.”
There was a bit of an awkward silence as I sort of attempted to read over my essay but was painfully unable to focus, while I heard some ruffling of parchment coming from Scorpius’s direction, and I assumed that he, too, was feigning interest in something else.
After a moment he cleared his throat. “So, Rose.”
“Would you turn around please? I don’t really appreciate that I’ve got to talk to your back,” he said with frustration.
I did as he asked and gave him a little smirk. A smirk to rival his very own smirk.
“Thank you,” he said bitterly. “After class, want to meet up by the trick tapestry on the sixth floor?”
“Erm, I’ve got some Potions coursework to finish.”
He raised an eyebrow. “We handed an essay in on Friday, so we didn’t get any coursework for the weekend.”
“Yes, but I’m doing some extra work because I don’t think I did very well on the essay. It was quite horrible, actually. I’m rather worried.”
But just then, people started filing in. I’m not quite sure why I was so quick to shut down Scorpius’s plan to meet up. I guess when we started making plans, things started becoming a bit more real. It was no longer just a heat-of-the-moment, I ran into you in the corridor and we should probably snog a bit-kind of thing; making plans meant tangibility, solidarity. A relationship? No. That certainly wasn’t happening. At least, I wasn’t about to let it. The whole thing made me uncomfortable just thinking about it.
Charms dragged by and I spent my brief break between classes in the library, pretending to read my Potions book, when I could’ve been off snogging Scorpius. I shuddered. I had more important things to deal with at the moment, such as this predicament with Teddy and Victoire.
I didn’t get to deal with it very much, since it was soon time for Herbology, but during Divination I took the time to pen my reply to Teddy.
I’m so sorry to hear about you and Victoire. I know things will get better between the two of you soon enough, it just might take some time. Victoire is really anxious right now, what with the pregnancy and the wedding, so I’m not surprised to hear that she’s gone and done something rash like this. Any afternoon is fine for me, although I don’t know how keen Flitwick will be on allowing me a special trip to Hogwarts, even if it is for Teddy Lupin. Let me know what he says.
I stopped there. “Love, Rose”? “Yours truly”? “Sincerely”? “Chin up, bloke”? What in hell was I supposed to say? This letter was crap enough as it was, I had to at least have courtesy not to end it with something else completely crap.
There was a nudge to my elbow.
I looked up. Firenze, as well as the rest of the class, were all staring at me, and Ariadne, who’d just alerted me, was looking sheepishly at her own parchment. Tony was giving me a strange thumbs-up from behind the professor’s tail.
“Erm—sorry,” was all I managed.
“We’re discussing prophecies, Rose, not writing letters about nonsense and boys to our girlfriends,” Firenze told me sternly.
If only I were just writing about nonsense and boys. If only my life were that simple.
“Sorry,” I repeated, shoving the piece of parchment uncomfortably into my bag.
When class was dismissed, Ariadne hurried out of the classroom behind me.
“So who’s this mysterious pen-pal?” she asked eagerly.
“Seriously, Rose, you’ve got to stop with that excuse. I know you’re lying,” she said solidly, as though proud that she’d figured something out.
“It’s none of your business, Ariadne.” I caught sight of Scorpius just behind her left shoulder. Great, just what I needed.
“Er, Rose, could I talk to you about our next… tutoring session, please?” He did a bit of a jerking motion with his neck.
I sighed dramatically. “Fine. See you later, Ariadne.”
She frowned. “Fine, bye. But don’t think this is over yet, Rose!”
I ignored her and followed Scorpius off down a less-crowded hallway.
“So… what are these mysterious letters I’ve been hearing about?”
I raised an eyebrow. “You’ve been hearing about? Meaning, you were just eavesdropping on Ariadne and my conversation?”
“No, why would I do such a thing?”
“Because you just did.”
“No, I didn’t.”
“What? Stop it, Scorpius. Obviously you were just listening to my conversation with Ariadne, or else why would you think I was sending off mysterious letters?”
“Because—because you were writing one during Divination,” he insisted.
I pursed my lips. “Alright, I was. Who cares? I’m writing a letter, why is it your business?”
“I’m just wondering…who you’re writing letters to.”
“Why?” I probed. I didn’t want to say it, but I did; “Are you…jealous?”
“Jealous?” He scoffed much more ridiculously powerfully than he needed to scoff. “Jeal—why would I be jealous?”
“Well why would you be asking me about these bloody letters if you weren’t jealous?” I asked, now getting properly frustrated with the bloke.
“Because I’m just curious! Isn’t it enough to be curious in my—er, in a friend’s life?”
It was my turn to do the frowning now that Ariadne was gone. I shot a large scowl at Scorpius. “And since when are you interested in my life?”
He shrugged but didn’t say anything. After a moment’s silence, he spoke. “Well Merlin, I’m sorry I asked anyway. Just forget I ever said anything.”
“Fine, I will.”
There was another pause, until:
“Want to snog?” Scorpius asked relatively quietly.
After I sent the letter off to Teddy that night (I decided to copy his signature and concluded it with a pathetic “Cheers, Rose”), I awaited anxiously for a response. All this bloody drama was just sitting in the back of my mind, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Maybe meeting with Teddy would give it some closure? Doubtful.
On Wednesday afternoon, I was on my way to the library after Transfiguration when I got stopped by Professor Flitwick.
“Rose, mind coming with me to my office for a quick chat?” he asked.
“Not at all.” I followed him to his office and sat down at the wooden chair facing his desk.
“I think you might know why you’re here?” he asked.
“Erm, yes, is it about Teddy?”
He nodded. “Yes. I received post from Teddy this morning about allowing you to go to Hogsmeade to have a chat with him. I understand there’s some family drama going on?”
“Er, yes, I suppose you could put it like that.”
“Is everything alright?”
“Oh, yes, quite alright. For me, at least. I don’t know if I can say the same about everyone else.” I raised an eyebrow briefly, staring at the ground before me.
“Well, okay, I don’t see why I shouldn’t allow you to speak with Teddy, but I can’t have every student at Hogwarts hopping on down to Hogsmeade for a chat with a family friend. I’m only doing this because I know you won’t abuse this privilege, Rose, and because you’ve been such an outstanding student and prefect.”
I could feel my cheeks reddening. It was always nice to hear words like that come from your teacher’s mouth. “Thanks,” I offered.
“How’s tomorrow? During your lunch time?”
“That sounds perfect.”
“You can use the, er, not-so-secret passage to Honeydukes. You can access it from the statue of the one-eyed witch on the third floor,” Flitwick said.
“Yes, I know. Thanks very much, Professor Flitwick.”
“Of course. Just don’t go telling all your friends about this. This is a one-time only favour for the Weasley family.”
“Right, I understand.”
“Off you go, I’ve got some work to do.”
This was how I ended up on that stretch of third floor corridor the next midday. I had to wait until it was completely clear—I couldn’t have anyone catching Rose Weasley, prefect, sneaking off to Hogsmeade in the middle of a Thursday. Just as I was about to tap on that witch’s eye, none other than James and Fred came bustling around the corner, followed by a gaggle of mostly first-year girls.
“And to our left,” James was saying, “we have the statue of the one-eyed witch, which leads to the basement of Honeydukes in Hogsmeade. This passageway, which was used extensively by Fred and George Weasley, was also used by none other than Harry Potter, himself.”
There were a few gasps from little girls feigning interest.
“And this,” James now shifted his arm so he was gesturing towards me, “is the genuine spawn of Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, best friends to Harry Potter, and companions on all of his adventures—”
“Obviously they know who my parents are, you twat,” I said, rolling my eyes at my daft cousin.
“I’m just giving some background information, Rose, I don’t see you guiding this tour.”
I raised an eyebrow.
“What are you doing standing so close to this secret passageway, anyway? Don’t want you getting in trouble for running off to Hogsmeade in the middle of the day, do we?” James enquired obnoxiously.
“I’m just supervising. Obviously. To make sure no one gets any of your ideas,” I explained.
James shook his head and continued down the corridor, along with Fred and the rest of the tour group.
“Our next stop is a few floors upstairs, where we’ll see the bathroom where Harry Potter dueled with none other than his mortal enemy, Draco Malfoy, his sixth year,” said Fred.
There were some “ooooh”s and “aaaaah”s from the desperate first-years.
I waited until they’d gone safely round the corner, before tapping on the witch’s eye and practically throwing myself into the passageway. It was dark and dank and unpleasant, but I finally made it to Honeydukes. I pushed up the roof of the passageway and found myself sticking from beneath the floorboards in the Honeydukes cellar. There was a girl down there doing inventory, she gave me an odd look.
“Sorry—I’m not—er—this isn’t what it looks like…” Great, now I probably was going to be arrested for attempted burglary, breaking and entering, something ridiculous.
“I know, Mr Flitwick warned us we’d be having a visitor this afternoon,” she said.
“Right, good.” I nodded and made my way toward the steps upstairs and into the back of the shop, before exiting and making my way down High Street toward the Three Broomsticks to meet Teddy.
It was the moment of truth.
He was sitting alone in the back of the pub, with his back facing the majority of the room. He probably didn’t want to have to look anyone in the eye. I took a deep breath and crossed the pub.
“Hi, Teddy,” I said, giving him a light tap on the shoulder before taking the seat across from him. Before him sat three empty shot glasses and one full of firewhiskey.
“Rose, hello,” he greeted. Although, to tell you the truth, it wasn’t much of a greeting; he looked pretty dismal. “Thanks so much for meeting me here.”
“Of course,” I replied.
“I’m sorry for the urgent letter I just—I knew Victoire had been in contact with you, and I didn’t know who else to turn to.”
I nodded. “I understand.” I paused before saying what I wanted to say next; I wasn’t sure if I should be so frank so soon. “I’m not sure how much help I can be to you in all honesty, Teddy. All I can tell you is that Victoire didn’t leave because of anything you did, she’s just stressed and upset right now.”
“Right. So you’ve talked to her about it, then?” He downed his last shot before staring at the empty shot glass like it was some sad small child who’d gone and separated itself from its mum.
“Well, er, I haven’t actually talked to her about it, no.” I shook my head. I was just pulling things out of my arse to save myself in this conversation. I had no idea what Victoire was thinking. All she’d said to me was that she was leaving Teddy and that was that, and now here Teddy was, drowning his sorrows in shots of firewhiskey and I wasn’t about to escort him home via the Floo Network.
A barmaid appeared. “Hello,” she said to me. “Can I get you something to drink?”
“Oh—er, yes, a butterbeer, please,” I said quickly.
She turned to Teddy. “Would you like some more firewhiskey, sir?”
“What? Oh—erm, yes. Two more shots please.”
The woman nodded. “Straight away.” She cleared the empty shot glasses off the table and left to fetch our drinks.
Teddy focused his attention back on me. Under absolutely any other circumstances I would love this attention from Teddy. Not right now, however.
“But she owled you, yeah?” He asked. He looked eager, desperate. I’d never seen the suave, sexy, and above all composed Teddy Lupin act like this before.
“Yes, she did. Oh! I’ve got the letter with me.” I searched through my bag, finally pulling out a slightly worn and crumpled piece of parchment. I slid it across the table to Teddy.
He unfolded it. His eyes flitted across the page, reading it through with speed, and clearly searching for some sort of answer to his fiancé’s disappearance. Victoire was moody and temperamental, much like her mother, so, in truth, I wasn’t too surprised by her actions, but the look on Teddy’s face told me he wanted nothing more than to have her back in his presence again, to spend every waking hour with her. I couldn’t help but release a little sigh. It was all so romantic. Why couldn’t I have a boy this devoted, this obsessed, this in love?
Sometimes I managed to gross even myself out with my own sappy, saccharine fantasies.
“Do you at least know where she is?” I asked, after Teddy’s eyes hadn’t been moving with the same hastiness as before.
“She’s at Shell Cottage, with her parents.”
“Well—at least that means she wanted you to look for her. Otherwise she wouldn’t have picked somewhere so obvious, right?” This was my horrible attempt at making the poor bloke feel better.
He nodded half-heartedly. “I suppose.” He shook his head. “I just—I don’t get it. Why did she leave?”
The barmaid returned with our drinks. I took a small sip of my butterbeer, while Teddy just stared, almost timidly, at his glowing shots of firewhiskey. My drink didn’t taste very good, but that had nothing to do with the butterbeer. I felt bad. I truly did. I was lying to Teddy. I know why she left—she was delusional. She’d confessed all this to me when she told me she was pregnant. But I just didn’t have the heart to say those words to this poor, devastated man sitting before me, looking more helpless than a one-legged hippogriff with its beak tied shut.
So I decided to change the subject. “Do you know if she told her parents she was pregnant?”
He shrugged. “I don’t think so. They haven’t said anything to me, and I think they would, right?”
I nodded. “Probably.” There was silence for a moment. “I’m sorry, Teddy.”
He looked at me, his eyes pleading. “Do you know anything, Rose? Please, if you know anything, please tell me.”
I opened my mouth but no words came out. So I shut it again, like some sort of desperate goldfish. “I—I’m just not sure what’s my business to share…” I looked off at a corner in the room, avoiding eye contact like the mature individual that I apparently was.
“Rose, whatever Victoire told you, you can tell me. I’m her fiancé. We share everything with each other, and it’s her refusal to communicate that’s brought us to this point,” he said, clearly agitated.
I took another small sip of my butterbeer. “Erm, alright then. Well, she—she sort of said that… She thinks you proposed to her just because she’s pregnant and you feel obligated.” I made a sort of uncomfortable grimace, completely anticipating some kind of horrific reaction from Teddy.
“What? Why would she say that?” That was all he said, looking more or less flabbergasted.
“I know, I told her it was ridiculous.”
He sat back in his seat. Teddy stared hopelessly at the space in front of him. I’ve never seen anyone look so devastated in my entire life. All I wanted to do was hug him and tell him everything would be alright. Why did I have to have such a horribly awkward crush on the poor bloke? It wasn’t helping anything.
“Teddy—erm, I’m sorry. I really—that’s why I didn’t want to say anything.” I licked my lips, buying myself more time to search desperately in my mind for more vague words of consolation. Or something of the sort. “She’s just hormonal—really, that’s all it is. I know it. She loves you and you love her and everything is… Everything will be alright.”
“I’m sorry I brought you into this, Rose.” Teddy stood abruptly and began fishing for something in his pockets.
“It’s—it’s fine. I just want to help. Er—where are you going—?”
Teddy slapped a few sickels on the table. “That should cover your butterbeer. I ought to be going now—cheers, Rose.”
“Wait—Teddy. No, don’t leave, seriously, we can talk more about this. What can I do to help?” I was now standing, and quickly grabbing my coat as he started walking off. I hustled through the pub after him.
“You’ve been a great help, thanks Rose, but this is between me and Victoire.”
“Alright, yeah, okay I suppose that’s alright.” I stepped out of the pub and back into the frigid outdoors behind the man I’d fancied since I was a little girl, and who had now turned to me, Rose Weasley, for some sort of attempt at romantic advise. I didn’t really appear to have done much of any help at all. “So you’ll go see her at her parents’, and you two will sort it out. Everything’ll be fine, I’m really not worried,” I said, in a way I hoped was assuringly.
Teddy let out a small, almost inaudible sigh. “We’ll see. I’m sorry again for the trouble.”
“Oh—it was no trouble at all. Just—just let me know how things turn out?”
Teddy nodded. “Yeah. See you in a few months, Rose.”
I nodded. “Right. Bye.”
With a pop of apparition, he was gone.
For once in my life I realised that maybe things weren’t going to be alright, and maybe part of that was my fault. If I’d just kept my mouth shut, Teddy wouldn’t be so utterly peeved, and if I’d just done a better job of convincing Victoire her fiancé loved her for reasons beyond just the fact that she was carrying his child, maybe she wouldn’t have gone and walked out on him. I felt almost as helpless as Teddy looked, and somehow as though the burden of their relationship had been resting on my shoulders. But instead of keeping up the responsibility like the mature person Victoire and Teddy had expected me to be, I’d just shrugged it all off, and been so caught up in all the stupid Scorpius escapades that it slipped my mind that maybe there were other crises in the world I could’ve devoted my focus to. But I think what was bothering me most of all was the fact that there really was nothing more for me to do. I’d had my chance to help, and lost it, and now—Teddy was right—it was just between the two of them.
A/N: Hello to anyone who may still be reading this story after the seven century hiatus it just experienced. If anyone is still left, thank you! I apologise sincerely for not getting to this story earlier; school started up again, as we all know, and I’m doing a term abroad so I’ve been fairly busy. I also was experiencing an odd sort of writer’s block with this chapter, so if it’s a little peculiar, forgive me. …Er, at least it’s something, right? Still to come!: Rose Weasley’s first ever detention, someone will swim with the giant squid, and many more arguments will of course be had. Thanks for reading, and if you would be so kind as to leave a review, that would be smashing :)
Also--the chapter uploader thingy won't let me give the chapter image and the title a center alignment, and the rest of the chapter a right alignment and it's really bothering me because it doesn't match the other chapters. Hopefully none of you are as neurotic as I and this isn't bothering anyone else but me...
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