Chapter 12 : Rose and Scorpius, Seventh Year.
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*Checks bank account*. No, I don't own Harry Potter.
“You know, James, those first years obviously didn’t believe that we were prefects.”
The light from my wand was illuminating the ugly faces of the portraits as James and I walked through the corridors of Hogwarts, our fingers entwined. It was Friday night, and it was already past curfew, so we had decided to play our favourite game: pretending to be prefects so we could get away with making out in the corridors. It was surprisingly good fun, unless you ran into teachers.
“And why would you say that?” James answered.
“Because we were kissing in a stairway.”
“Right, and how would they know that isn’t what prefects do?”
“Because they shouted “get a room” before walking straight past us.”
James pushed me gently against a wall.
"And your point being?" He kissed me softly along my jaw line, his hands snaking around my waist. My breath hitched in my throat at his touch, and I rolled my eyes when I saw him smirk.
"Err... Jimmy, stop it that tickles... " I slapped his hand and leant away from him, poking his nose tenderly with my finger, "Anyway, my point is that first years don't usually talk like that to prefects..."
"And how would you know?" James' voice was muffled as he returned to pressing his lips against my skin. I tried desperately to restrain myself. We were in a corridor. There were still a lot of people - namely first years - still walking around. It would just be peaches if some professor walked round the corner and saw James and me busily making the next generation of Potters up against a wall. It would be quite a show, but not one I’d think the professors would enjoy.
I pulled back. It would not be brilliant: I had enough detentions as it was. James could obviously get away with it, being the son of the Chosen One and all. Damn Potter genes. I supposed that they had also given him the luscious dark hair, the gorgeous brown eyes and the enormous...
"What were you going to say, Amelie?"
Honestly, I had quite forgotten as James traced his fingers down my arm, causing goosebumps to appear there.
"Err... well... "
Sometimes it was quite embarrassing how much he affected me.
"Prefects... first years - something like that," I mumbled weakly, leaning forward so that our lips could meet. This time, it was James who leant back. I pouted angrily.
"How about we go and check some of those broom closets over there," he said, his forehead touching mine, "make sure no first years are hanging out in there."
I smiled and pushed James along so that he was walking backwards. He pushed the door to the broom cupboard open with his back, his hands around my waist and his face buried in my hair. As the door opened, I heard a small yelp and looked up, fully expecting to see a gaggle of first-years or a couple of sex-crazed sixth years. Instead I saw a young redheaded girl and a blond boy with their limbs entangled and wide eyes: Rose Weasley and Scorpius Malfoy. James hadn't noticed them, but if he did, a well-aimed jelly-legs jinx was coming Scorpius' way, followed by a black eye and a broken nose. Rose mouthed to me, her hand signals trying to convey something.
Keep him occupied.
As Rose and Scorpius sorted themselves out - Rose even buttoning up several buttons on her blouse and I tried hard not to imagine the look on her dad’s face if he ever found out about this - I pulled James out of the cupboard and planted my lips on his, placing my hands on either side of his face, shielding the two younger students from view. I saw Rose's hand swing the door shut as I pulled James closer and kissed him with as much intensity as I could muster so that his mind was - hopefully - on something other than his sexually promiscuous cousin and her Slytherin boyfriend. When I finally pulled away from James, my breath was short and my heart was beating wildly.
"Wow," James said, pressing his fingers to his own lips, "that was amazing."
I nodded smugly. I was still panting slightly.
"Why didn't we go in the broom cupboard? You pulled me out rather roughly," he said, smiling coyly. I ran my fingers through my hair.
"Err... there was a massive spider in there. I know how much you hate spiders."
"That's Hugo. It's a genetic thing."
"Oh... right," I answered weakly. I looked to the floor and I could feel my cheeks turn red.
"You knew," James continued, "you knew that I don't mind spiders. Do you remember that time we were stuck in the Chamber of Secrets on Halloween? There were millions of them and Roxy was freaking out all over the place."
He laughed at the memory, and I smiled.
"So, Harris. What is the real reason you wouldn't allow me into the broom closet of terror?"
"There was a hippogriff in there."
"I saw Filch and Madame Grinlow come out of there before looking very pleased with themselves."
"Well then it truly is a magic cupboard."
"My room-mate told me you get diseases just by standing in there."
"I really wouldn't believe everything Georgia Watson tells you, Amelie."
I exhaled slowly. I was never the most creative of people when it came to worthy excuses. What made things worse is that I could never lie to James, simply because he knew me so well that he could always tell. Damn the fact that we’ve know each other for seven years.
"Amelie... " he singsonged, his hand reaching backwards to grab the door handle.
His hand stopped just inches from the brass. He raised his eyebrows.
"Someone's adamant about not getting in this cupboard."
"I need to go to the library," I blurted out, and even as I heard my lips form the words I knew I regretted it.
Silence followed this statement as we stared at each other. James' hand dropped to his side, and his mouth was hanging open slightly. His eyebrows disappeared into his hair.
"Come on Jimmy," I whined, "it's not that hard to believe, is it?"
"You want to go to the library." His voice was monotone, disbelieving.
"I hate you," I said, pouting. James smiled, sliding over towards me and wrapping his arms around my waist.
"Oh come on, Amelie. I don't think you've ever been to the library."
"I have!" I protested. Once, on the tour Molly Weasley gave me on the second day of first year. Annoying overachiever.
"That's harder to believe than that thing you said about a hippogriff being kept in a cupboard."
"I know that the librarian's name is Madame Grinlow," I said smugly, as if trying to make a point.
"That's only because you've been stalking her, lying in wait for her to emerge of broom closets with the caretaker."
I saw the door to the cupboard open, and Scorpius' head popped out. I shook my head subtly and the door closed again. I returned my attention to her boyfriend.
"I need to finish my Charms essay. Just come with me to the library."
"I think you might be ill."
"Then I'll let you give me a full body check-up later," I replied coyly, tracing my fingers along James' jaw line, "Please come with me."
"I love you,” I singsonged.
"You're alright," he answered sarcastically, winking at me, "but I'm going to have a major rethink about our relationship if you are going to be spending most of your time in the library."
I kissed him briefly on the lips and held his hand in mine, pulling him towards the end of the corridor. When we were near the staircase that led to the library, I stopped and grasped at my wrist.
"What's wrong?" James asked.
"I think I might have left my bracelet there," I improvised, running back before James could say anything. I opened the closet door, slipping inside. Rose and Scorpius were sitting guilty on two crates. Scorpius' mouth was covered in lipstick and Rose's hair was slightly more tangled than usual.
"We're going to the library," I whispered. Rose's eyes grew wide in the darkness and she heard Scorpius' quick intake of breath.
"Why is that so difficult to believe?" I asked, agitated.
"I'm pretty sure James is allergic to the library. He came up in a nasty rash one time he went in there," Rose said.
"No that was the Slytherin Quidditch team," Scorpius interjected, “it was the day before a big game.”
"Alright fine, fine. Just wait one minute after I leave and then go the other way."
They both stood up, and I saw Scorpius grasp at Rose's hand, their faces both set and determined. I smiled.
"You don't need to look like you're about to face Voldemort," I joked, "I'm sure James won't be that angry."
"You should know better that than anyone. The Weasley slash Potter over protectiveness? You must have experienced it first hand," said Rose.
Rose smiled and shook her head at my apparent naivety.
“Did you ever have a boyfriend that was mysteriously under attack from pranks and jinxes and hexes? Did any boys that were interested in you ever grow beards or antlers?”
“Tentacles,” Scorpius interrupted, “tentacles are his favourite. I remember this one time when I looked like the giant squid.”
I stared at them. Of course I remembered a time in sixth year when a couple of Hufflepuffs had grown beards. And when I had broken up with Nicholas Clements - cheating bastard - I remembered him walking around with a limp and a fully baldhead for about a month. We didn’t speak anymore: well, unless you counted a casual grunt thrown each other’s way when we met in the corridor. Charming.
“Amelie!” I heard James’ voice from outside. Rose and Scorpius looked like they were heading towards their deathbed.
“Alright, remember what I said and wait one or two minutes,” I whispered, grabbing Rose’s wrist and pulling off her bracelet, “Oh and Scorpius. You’ve got lipstick all over your face.”
I left them in the cupboard, closing the door quickly with a snap, and saw James halfway down the corridor. He was picking at the fluff on his jumper, and couldn’t look anymore adorable.
“I found it,” I said, catching up with him and dangling the silver bracelet in front of his face. He merely stared at me, looking me up and down.
“What are you looking at?” She asked.
“You don’t look like you have any diseases to me... you were just in the broom cupboard of terror, weren’t you?”
“Oh be quiet,” I said, punching him playfully on the shoulder.
“That hurt!” James pouted. I kissed him soundly on the lips and all thoughts of libraries and cousins and ex-boyfriends driven from my mind because James quickly became all I could sense.
“I’m sorry,” I said seductively, biting my lip, “I think that it is too late to go to the library, so how about we just stay in instead?”
James slung an arm around my shoulder and brought my closer to him so that he could kiss the top of my head. I was pretty sure that he did not hear the sound of running footsteps going the other way, nor the whispered goodbye as the star-crossed lovers departed. I also tried to avoid the tall, blonde-haired girl creep out from behind a tapestry, a smug smirk plastered all over her features, with a poor, unsuspecting Hufflepuff in tow. I grimaced. Hufflepuffs always looked so innocent and angelic, and Georgia Watson is nothing if not demonic.
The common room was warm and cosy as I curled up on the sofa, my Potions homework left abandoned on the floor. A gaggle of first years were eying my coveted spot in front of the fire, their small, wide-eyed faces green with jealously. Ha. It’s always worth running from dinner in the great hall just to get the best seat. My cat, Gwenog, lay at my feet and I stretched luxuriously and closed my eyes, sighing contentedly.
I was just about to roll over to sleep, tired from various rain-drenched escapades in Hogsmeade, when I heard the old sofa creek as someone sat down. Totally prepared to bite off the head of any ballsy first year, I opened my eyes and sat up.
It was James. His elbows were on his knees and the flames from the fire were reflecting in his eyes. He looked utterly dejected. I hadn’t seen him this upset since that time Zonko’s ran out of fanged Frisbees.
“Hello,” I said gently, “how did the detention go? I missed you in Hogsmeade today.”
“It was fine,” he replied non-committedly. His fingers were stained with ink from where he had been writing lines all day. I squeezed his hand comfortingly.
“James, what’s wrong?”
He seemed to awake at my touch, and turned to face me. He smiled weakly before returning to look deep into the fire.
“Nothing,” he replied.
I shifted closer to him, wrapping an arm around his shoulders.
“James... did you have another fight with Albus? Or did Lily go all mental on you? I heard her study group was cancelled again.”
“It’s nothing, really Amelie.” He leant back and closed his eyes, as if he was suddenly very tired. I wanted to hug him.
“Have you got another detention? Did one of your pranks not work?”
James didn’t respond. I stared at him for a little while, my brow furrowed with concern. This silent, upset James was strange. I was used to him being totally alive and happy and - at worst - angry.
“I know,” I said wisely, smiling, as if I had cracked it, “did Dom buy you the wrong sweets from Honeydukes again? I have some fizzing whizbees upstairs if you want them but I don’t think that...”
“Merlin, Amelie why do you have to make everything into some sort of joke?”
I started, taking a silent double take and removed my arms from around his shoulders. James never, ever shouted at me, unless it was in the middle of a Quidditch game or from across the high street in Hogsmeade or from the other end of the Great Hall. Even then, it was never angry... merely shouting so that I could hear him. James’ voice had been stern and irritated, and I didn’t how to deal with this angry, uncommunicative James.
“I’m sorry,” I scoffed, “I was just trying to...”
“Well don’t try, all right?”
I shifted away from him, holding my hands up as if in surrender, and wrapped a blanket around my legs. A small first year had fallen asleep in the armchair next to the fire, and his soft snores filled the almost deserted common room. We sat in silence for what seemed like an age.
“I’m sorry,” James said apologetically, “it’s been a rough day.”
“I was looking for you, after your detention, I mean...” I answered quietly, as if talking at a normal decibel level would make James stop talking to me again or provoke him to be angry again, or might wake the still sleeping first year that was now drooling.
“I went to the Shrieking Shack.”
“Right.” I never asked what he did down there. He always visited the old haunted house whenever he felt down or angry, and from time to time he was accompanied by a bottle of firewhisky. I could smell it on his clothes and on his breath.
“You could have talked to me,” I offered weakly. James smiled.
“I know,” he said, reaching down to intertwine his fingers with mine, “I’m sorry.”
“Do you want to... do you want to talk now?” I leant my head tentatively on his shoulder.
“You know when you hear rumours,” he began, “and you try not to believe them, and you try to think the best in people...”
“This isn’t about the thing with Georgia Watson and the twins from Ravenclaw? Because that is true. It happened in my dorm,” I interrupted, and James chuckled.
“No, no, it’s not about that,” he said, “anyway you try to think the best in people, and then when you discovered it is actually true, you feel completely stupid? That’s how I feel now.”
I lifted my head off James’ shoulder and looked into his eyes, confused. It was unusual for James to be this deep and philosophical. I doubt he had ever pondered anything thoughtfully or seriously, apart from, just maybe, how his father’s map of Hogwarts worked.
“Wait... since when did you care what the Hogwarts grapevine said anyway?”
“This isn’t about me,” he said darkly.
“Is it about me?”
James looked at me, and for a fleeting moment, I actually thought that I had done something wrong, and for that moment, I felt my heart stop. But then James shook his head, and I felt relief wash all over me.
“It’s about Rose and Scorpius Malfoy,” he declared angrily.
I stared at him, before bursting into peels of hysterical laughter, clutching my stomach and bending over.
“You’re joking!” I managed to get out.
“No,” he all but growled.
“You sat drinking alone in Shrieking Shack and then came up here and shouted at me because you were angry about Scorpius and Rose?”
“Why, do you think that’s funny?”
“I thought it was something serious,” I answered.
“It is!” James protested, glaring at me, “Georgia Watson told me she saw them making out in a corridor on the sixth floor two nights ago!”
“You’re really going to believe Georgia Watson over your own cousin?” I asked disbelievingly.
“I don’t know what to believe anymore,” he said dramatically, and I all but expected him to faint and call for a glass of water. He was good at playing the damsel in distress.
“James,” I began, “Scorpius is a good guy, alright? He’s good friends with Albus and he’s really smart...”
“Sounds like Rose isn’t the only one he’s seduced,” James interjected, sulking like he was four years old again.
“You’re being stupid,” I said, “Rose is clever, she’d never get herself into something where she’d get hurt. She knows what she’s doing.”
“He’s a pureblood wanker, Amelie!”
“So are you, James, if you think about it,” I retorted sarcastically. The sleeping first year shifted in his sleep.
“Plus his dad... you know... eats death,” James whispered conspiratorially.
“Is that some sort of code for Death Eater?” I said, raising my eyebrows disbelievingly, “that was a long time ago, Jimmy. You need to move on. I’m pretty sure Malfoy has.”
“I can’t believe you’re siding with Rose on this one. You’re meant to be my girlfriend!”
“And I am more than happy to show you my dedication to that position but... wait, you talked to Rose about it? When I saw them at it, she said that she was super scared about telling you, and then she rattled on and on about how I should know all about how you get over-protective and angry and how you like turning people into the giant squid and it all got...”
James was staring at me. He was no longer the sulking four-year old or the damsel in distress. He was the angry young man who I had seen when someone cheated at Quidditch, or when someone had hurt one of his cousins. He was staring at me, disbelief etched all over his face, and I heard my voice die down to a whisper. The silence that then stretched between us was horrible, and I wanted to spout random nonsense just to stop the overwhelming quiet that surrounded us. Even the constant patter of the rain on the windows had been drowned out by the descending hush.
“You knew it was true, and you didn’t tell me?”
“James,” I said, “you’re just over-reacting...”
“Over-reacting?” James laughed. It was horrible: short, mocking and spiteful.
“Yes, you’re fucking over-reacting,” I retorted angrily, “I don’t understand why you still get so angry and annoyed about Scorpius being in Slytherin when your own brother is in that house! Or are you just confused by the fact that Albus is still living and breathing even though he’s got Scorpius the Death Eater for a roommate? The war ended a long time ago... you weren’t even born when it happened so stop being so fucking prejudiced.”
He just continued to stare at me. I hoped my rant would knock some sense into him, that he’d run up to Rose the next morning at breakfast begging for her forgiveness, which she would grant, and then he’d go over to the Slytherin table, shake Scorpius’ hand, apologise for being a bastard and then welcome him into the family. Instead, he just sat there, and suddenly the small distance between us felt like miles. Guilt coursed through me. I hated shouting and arguing and this conversation was particularly intense.
“Listen,” I tried again gently, and I saw him flinch at the sound of my voice, “James, you’re being really stupid. Just promise you’ll sleep on it before you do anything rash. You know, like attack Scorpius or tell Ron or something.”
He didn’t do anything. He had finally stopped staring at me, and had returned his gaze to the fire that had dwindled down, basking the room with an orange glow. I reached out to hold his hand, but he moved away from me.
“I’m sorry I shouted at you,” I said quietly.
He didn’t say anything. I leaned in to kiss him chastely on the cheek.
I picked up my books and walked towards the girls’ staircase. When I had reached the bottom step, I turned around to look at him. He was still staring into the fire, and the small first-year was still dozing in the armchair next to him and it was the boy’s sleep talk that was filling the quiet room, not my boyfriend’s apologies.
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