Clear Line Drawn
Albus watched as his cousin got thrown back by the impact of the spell, in slow motion, and hit the ground. That instant, a pool of blood appeared around her. Albus stood paralysed as he watched this procession occur. He heard someone yell beside him. It turned out to be Malfoy, who dashed across the Hall and knelt beside Rose, holding her head delicately in his palms.
“Albus! Albus! Snap out of it!” exclaimed a terrified voice. He turned sideways and faced a panicked looking Hestia. He felt his mind starting to function again, and everything came crashing down on him. He rushed to Rose’s side, and what he saw made his stomach churn: her face had a large gash, that could leave a scar, and blood was spilling out of it constantly. Malfoy got up suddenly and moved towards Sheherazade like a snake about to strike.
“What is wrong with you!” bellowed Malfoy, “Have you gone mad?! You attacked someone, just because he got you angry! You have issues, you know that?!” And with that, He sprang towards her. But before he could do any harm to her, Albus got hold of Malfoy and restrained him.
“Stop being daft, Malfoy,” snapped Albus, “Rose is lying there, bleeding. We have to take her to the infirmary, before she loses more blood. Come on!”
Malfoy stopped struggling against Albus, and was breathing heavily, as he approached the unconscious Rose. He picked her up effortlessly, and shot a worried look towards Albus, who gave a nod of assurance. He, then, dashed down the corridors to the infirmary. Hestia followed.
The crowd cleared, and only two people were left standing: Albus and Shaherazade. Albus was staring at Sheherazade, loathingly, while she was staring at the pool of blood made by Rose.
“I didn’t mean for her to get hurt,” she whispered, more to herself than to Albus.
“Don’t even think about getting near any of us, Layl, or you’ll pay a beastly price,” said Albus, coldly, “Malfoy was right: you have gone mad. I don’t know how your relationship with your family and friends are, but don’t bring out your anger on us.”
Sheherazade’s head snapped towards him, and gave a look of hatred. Then, she whispered, dangerously, “Don’t talk about things you don’t know, Potter, or you might end up regretting.”
“She is right, you know Albus.”
Both Albus and Sheherazade jumped with surprise as the new arrival spoke. They turned to see Loreli leaning against a corner wall, with an amused look. She wore a silk black robe with gold embroider today, that made her look scary beautiful.
“That was quite amusing,” said Loreli, with mirth and laughter. “The best part was when Rose fell to the ground, and you two boys were panicking all over her.”
“Malfoy is your boyfriend,” said Albus.
“Oh, I know he acts like he gives a damn about me, while he fawns over his Roza. No matter, in the end he will be in love with me. I just need to give him some time. Now let’s talk about today,” She paused and surveyed her audience, then continued, “There I was in my room, thinking to myself and asking myself “how can I make this day interesting?” and I thought, “why not get one of you Weasleys all bloodied up?” So I asked my dear, dear friend Sheherazade to make a scene and attack a Weasley. I can’t say that I’m disappointed that it was Rose instead of you, Albus, who happened to be at the other end of her wand.”
“What? No!” exclaimed Shehezade, who looked dreadingly at Albus, “I didn’t do it on purpose! It just happened, I couldn’t control it! I told you I didn’t mean for it to happen.”
“So your wand just shot a spell by itself?” asked Albus, sarcastically.
“Of course not, silly! It was done by Sheherazade. She’s just being modest, Al. Don’t mind her!” said Loreli, cheerily.
“Don’t call me Al, or else-,”started Albus.
“-Or else what Al?” asked Loreli, her cheerful expression disappearing. “This was just a warning, to you Weasleys. Stop meddling with my practices! I know that your idiotic and senseless brother is the one who disrupts my rituals. I warned him once and I won’t warn him again.”
“If you have something against my brother, go talk to him. Stop messing with me,” said Albus.
“Oh, but I will! You see, you Weasleys, beings such a tight bunch, makes it easier for me to inflict pain on you lot. If one of your lot is injured the whole herd gets agonised by it. It’s quite entertaining, really,” said Loreli, in that same falsetto. She gave Albus a long challenging stare, and then walked away.
“Oh, by the way, tell your recently-scar-faced-cousin to stay away from my boyfriend. He really needs a healthy dose of real women, and not a redheaded girl. Come along, Zade.”
Sheherazade helplessly followed Loreli, like a reluctant dog following its master. Before she got enveloped by the darkness of the corridor, she turned around and gave Albus a pleading look.
Albus just stood there, not knowing whether to be angered by Loreli’s speech, or confused by Sheherazade’s behaviour.
She was in a rose garden. A very large rose garden. In fact, it was so large that she couldn’t see where it began or ended.
She turned around and spotted her mother, who had emerged out of nowhere.
“Rosie... my little girl....”
Her dad appeared in front of her smiling.
Rose looked around at the people she loved. They stood among the sea of red and smiled at her.
“Wake up, darling,” said her mother.
“What?” asked Rose, confused.
“You have to wake up!” exclaimed Hestia. She gave Rose a dazzling smile, “You have to wake up Rose!”
“Roza....Roza...mia cara roza...” whispered a voice in her ears that soothed her to the soul. She turned sideways and came face to face with a pair of brilliant sparkling blue eye.
“Scorpius!” gasped Rose.
“You have to go. Go to them. They are waiting,” said Scorpius.
Rose felt herself rise up and walk towards her family. As looked at each of their shining face, she felt a little dizzy. Then everything went dark. And quiet.
“Rose! Wake up!”
Rose opened her eyes startled and saw Hestia’s face lingering over her. She got up and looked around, a little confused. She was in her dormitory, and not in a beautiful rose garden.
“What’s wrong?” asked Rose, groggily.
“You were muttering something, and I thought you were having a nightmare or something. Anyways, if you don’t get dressed now, you’ll be late for class. Come on, get dressed,” said Hestia
“Yes, mother,” said Rose, sarcastically.
She looked at herself in the mirror beside her bed, and let out a resigned sigh. Her cheek was marred by a tiny red scar that still hurt. This was the only reminiscent of the attack. After she was rushed to the infirmary, Madam Tzeruya Yaakov informed them that the spell that hit her was a curse so even if the wound was healed, she would have scars. It took the rest of the day for Madam Yaakov to heal the wound. That day, her parents were notified and, the next day, everyone rushed to Hogwarts. She was excused from her classes for the whole week. Hestia informed her that Sheherazade was suspended for the rest of the term until New Year. She was initially expelled but rumour has it, Loreli persuaded her father to withdraw from that decision. So in the end, she was only expelled. Hestia and Albus were, obviously, furious about the Headmaster’s decisions and they wanted Rose complain about it. But, Rose told her family not to do anything about the Headmaster’s decision. Her dad tried to persuade her to do otherwise, but Uncle Harry came to her defence and told her Dad to drop the topic. Later, Hestia asked why she made that decision, and Rose replied that she simply didn’t care what happened to Sheherazade. She didn’t believe in holding grudges.
The rest of the week all her friends and family came to visit, equally furious about the Headmaster’s decision. Tristan brought her a bouquet of flowers and a card that sang beautifully, when you open it. Roxanne brought a pile of Witches Weekly magazine and flipped through the pages, trying to find a spell that would cover her “nasty” scar. When Madam Yaakov saw her experimenting the spells on Rose’s scar, she immediately threw her out and banned her from performing any spell on her patients. Now and then, even Malfoy would visit her. Although, his idea of visiting was to stand at the entrance of the infirmary, stare at her and then walk away.
Rose wished she could say that everything went back to normal. But it didn’t. Albus, who was usually pleasant yet sarcastic with Malfoy, would threaten to hex him every time he tried to talk to her during class. When Rose inquired about his behaviour, he just ignored her. On top of that, her cousins seemed to be all around her trying to fend off any Slytherin or a Magisse. Especially James. James, for some reasons, would not let her out of his sight.
For these reasons only, she wished that whole event hadn’t occurred.
“Potter. I need to talk to you.”
Albus, who was in the library trying to complete his Potions essay, looked up and saw Malfoy standing with defiant look on his face.
“Bugger off, Malfoy,” grumbled Albus.
“Really mature, Potter,” said Malfoy, sarcastically. “If you don’t come with, I swear I’ll make scene.”
Both of them looked at Madam Bonaire, who was shelving books. Then Albus, letting out a heavy sigh, closed all his books piled them up and stuffed them in his bag. He got up and followed Malfoy, not knowing what he would face.
“Why are we here, of the places?” asked Albus.
They were in the same classroom that looked like a forest. Nothing much had changed, except for the few chairs that were broken from the night’s duel, a few years ago.
Malfoy had his back turned to him. Albus would be lying if he said that he had no idea what Malfoy had to say to him, because he did.
“Let’s get one thing straight. Rose is your cousin not your sister or daughter,” said Malfoy.
“She’s as good as,” retorted Albus.
“But she isn’t. And it wasn’t my fault that she was attacked, if you remember what exactly happened that day,” said Malfoy, furiously.
“Malfoy, you might not know this, but your girlfriend is mad.”
Malfoy turned around and looked furiously at him. “Don’t speak of things you don’t have the full grasp of.”
“Funny. Your sidekick said something along the same line. So, what secret are you lot hiding?”
“Look, I don’t care what you think. I just want you to stop interfering with whatever it is me and Rose have-”
“-aha! So you do have something going on. I thought she was just bluffing.”
“What?! Loreli thinks that there is something going on between me and Rose?”
“Yes. That’s why she threatened me to make sure you and Rose weren’t together. That’s why I want you to stay away from Rose. Seriously, Malfoy. If care even a bit about Rose, then stay away from her.”
A tense silence followed. The only thing that could be heard was the beating of their heart.
“What I don’t get is, if you are in love Rose, why are you with Loreli?” asked Albus, curiously.
“I told you there are things that you don’t know about,” said Malfoy, mysteriously. “Potter. Stay out of it and let me handle this situation. I have never harmed you physically, so you have no reason not to trust me.”
“I don’t have any reason to trust you,” said Albus, coldly.
“True, but...” began Malfoy. Another silence followed.
In the end, Albus broke the silence and said, “If Loreli or your sidekick hurts Rose again...just know that this is your one and only chance. One screw-up and you will never speak to Rose, no matter whose fault it is. Remember, Malfoy. Loreli is dangerous, and I have no intention of messing with her,” said Albus. “By the way, thank you for putting Rose in this mess.” With that Albus turned and walked out.
“It wasn’t only my fault you know. It would do well for you if you stopped getting into a fight with Sheherazade,” blasted Malfoy. “Oh, and tell your brother to stop pranking Loreli!”
Albus kept on walking as he heard this. It wasn’t enough that he and James were reminded of that whenever they see Rose, Malfoy had to bring it up. He wanted to go back and start a duel with Malfoy, right then and there, but he knew better.
“Albus!” exclaimed a feminine voice.
He turned around and spotted Hestia running towards. Then time slowed down as she ran, her shiny long brown hair flying and her eyes twinkling... ... ...What the hell? He shook his head.
“Hestia? What are you doing here?” asked Albus.
“Just taking nightly walks,” she said, matter-of-factly.
“Well, it’s late now. You should probably go to bed,” mumbled Albus.
“Maybe I should,” said Hestia, brightly. “What are you doing here?”
“Ah...” began Albus, taken aback. “Well, I was in the library trying to finish the Potions essay. Must have lost track of time.”
“Would escort me to my dorm?” asked Hestia, boldly.
Albus looked her, confused, before replying, “Sure.
Life was so much easier when he was in first-year.