November flew by in a flurry of classes, Quidditch practices, homework and a few snogging sessions with Miles. I did notice that Gloria and Seven weren't spending as much time together, but it didn't matter. I now had Miles. It didn't matter one bit.
It was mid-December and I was working with Scorpius in the library on an Arithmancy assignment that we had been partnered on. We had been working on this damned essay for nearly two weeks and were just about to be done. I was ecstatic for two reasons, one - the paper was going to be perfect and I knew that we had aced this project and two - it meant that the term was almost up and we could head home for the holidays.
A couple of weeks away from Miles at this point would do me some good. He was getting more and more paranoid and clingy. He never would say anything directly, but the moody glares and sulky responses I would get whenever I told him that I had to work on this project with Scorpius was driving me insane. I had gathered, over the past month, that Miles and Scorpius were not on the best of terms. I wondered when that had happened.
They'd seemed perfectly fine during the try-outs. Scorpius wouldn't even deign to respond when I asked him outright why he and Miles no longer get on. Miles just said, 'I just don't trust the bloke.' Trust him with what I had no idea. The tension in practice was palpable though, especially when Scorpius would direct a comment to either myself or Miles. Miles would get defensive either way, which would then cause him to not Keep as well as he was normally able to do.
Scorpius seemed to take it all in stride, though I know I saw him shoot his own little irritated looks in Miles' direction. I really couldn't blame him. Yes, Miles was my boyfriend, and I should be on his side, but his sudden disdain for all things Scorpius Malfoy was the most irrational thing I had ever witnessed - well not actually, I mean, I am related to James Potter - but it was definitely up there.
"There!" I placed the last period to the last sentence on our twelve feet of parchment.
Scorpius looked over at my exceptional punctuation mark, and grinned. "Excellent work, Weasley."
"Why thank you, Malfoy." I bowed my head seeing as I was sitting and could not perform my mock curtsey from this position.
"So, you going home for the break?" He asked as he gathered up the various books that were strewn about our work table.
"Mum wouldn't have it any other way," he grimaced.
"You don't want to go home then?" I asked. This was the first time that Scorpius had ever really brought up his parents to me. I knew little bits about them, but the Malfoys were a taboo subject in my house. My mum said it was due to old prejudices, and not to let them affect me, but I could tell my dad felt otherwise.
"It's not that, it's just..." Scorpius turned his head away from me. "They're just so miserable. My father holes himself away in his office while my mother tries to do everything she can to please him. And then when that doesn't work she gets mad and the only person there to snap at is me. It's... frustrating. I almost wish they would just call it quits. I don't even know why they got together in the first place." He turned back toward me, his face a mask of indifference, but in his eyes sparkled something else. I could see his own anger at his parents awash in those entrancing blue-green eyes of his.
I wasn't sure what to say. "I'm sorry," was all that I could come up with and it came out weak and fell out meaningless. I had no idea what that would feel like. I mean sure, my parents fought - all the time actually – but they were like preludes to their making up. It was just what they did, but there was never any doubt that they loved one another, that they desperately wanted to be together. I could not and hopefully never would know what Scorpius must feel like living in such an environment.
He shrugged. "No need to be. It is what it is."
"You going to the Macmillans' New Year's Eve party?" I asked, sensing that Scorpius needed a topic change, and feeling the need of one as well myself.
"Of course. Gotta keep up appearances, even if mum and Aunt Daphne don't get on much."
"Really? I didn't know that."
"Oh, yeah. As long as I can remember they have been fighting over one thing or another. Never anything serious as far as I could tell, but it made it hard for Bertram and I to get to hang out. Our fathers would sneak us off to parks and such. We really didn't become close until Hogwarts, when our mothers no longer could control who we could spend time with."
It was the most honest conversation I had ever had with Scorpius. He had always seemed so remote to me. Even after all these months of spending time together, I had never gleaned as much information from him.
"Well, we'll be there, at the party I mean. So feel free to use me as a buffer from your family." I smiled at him and was pleased to see him smile back.
"I might just take you up on that offer." He winked and then grabbed his bag and stood up.
I followed suit and we left the library walking along in companionable silence.
"Rose!" I turned to see Miles coming up behind me.
Scorpius mumbled something and then continued on his way to the common room. I stopped and waited for Miles.
"Hey," I let him clasp my hand in his.
"What were you two doing?"
I detecting an accusing note in his voice that I did not like. I pulled my hand out of his. "We just finished working on our Arithmancy project. I told you this morning that's what I'd be doing."
He grabbed for my hand once more. "Oh, I forgot. Did you finish it then?" he asked, his tone less accusing, but no more friendly.
"Good, then you can stop running off with Malfoy and start spending your time with me."
"I didn't run off with Malfoy! I was doing an assignment. And whatever beef you have with Scorpius keep me out of it. He is my friend and I will not be put in the middle of your weird animosity."
"Friend, my arse," Miles mumbled.
"Excuse me?" I raised my voice.
"Don't play dumb with me Rose. I know he fancies you."
My mouth hung open in a wide gape. "That's ridiculous," I finally managed to splutter after getting my wits together.
"And by the look of things I would say that you fancy him as well."
I stopped walking and stood there in the hallway, eyes wide, anger coursing through me.
"I must be hearing things wrong. Or did my 'boyfriend' just accuse me of fancying someone else?"
"I just call it like I see it," he said with as much venom to match my own.
"Well then, perhaps it would be best if you no longer had to worry about it at all." I turned on my heel and headed down the hallway toward the opposite direction of the common room. I could hear Miles calling my name down the corridor, but I ignored him and ran faster away, hoping that he wouldn't try to catch up with me.
I took a few secret passageways that I was sure he didn't know about and found myself near the Ravenclaw entrance. I was panting and when I reached the door in the ceiling I stopped, resting my hands on my knees I bent over to catch my breath. I wiped at my face and was pleased to note that no tears were there. Good, Miles didn't deserve them anyway. I was more angry than anything. How dare he accuse me of that. I had never been anything but friendly with Scorpius, and the way that Miles made it seem it was as if Scorpius and I had been having some torrid love affair.
It enraged me to think that Miles thought so little of me. That was it though, that was all I felt. Not sadness at us breaking up, because that is most certainly what I had just done, nor remorse for spending time with Scorpius when I knew it made Miles upset. Along with the anger, I could also feel a sense of relief. I no longer had to pretend to feel something that I did not: anything more than friendship for Miles.
The realization that I had never truly liked Miles in that way made me feel guilty. I had not meant to lead him on so; if I had been a better girlfriend I wouldn't have wanted to spend my time with other people as much as I did. I would have respected his dislike of Scorpius and stayed away, but I hadn't, which only showed how much I had taken advantage of the poor guy. I was a mean, horrible person. Miles didn't deserve that from me. From anyone.
I waited by the door to the Ravenclaw common room and hoped that someone would come by soon to let me in or get Dom or Ade out. I probably could have answered whatever riddle came from the knocker, but I felt bad just barging in on another house without invite. It was twenty minutes almost when finally a little second or third year (I couldn't exactly tell) emerged.
They begrudgingly ran back in and got Dom for me, who then ushered me into the common room and over to her dorm. Ade was sitting in front of her trunk, rummaging through all of her designer robes, opening and then refolding them once again.
"What're you doing?" I asked as I sat down on Dom's bed.
"Trying to figure out what I should wear for my date this weekend."
Dom rolled her eyes. "She's gone through her trunk seven times already," she said in a whisper to me and then louder, "The clothes are still the same Ade, not going anywhere."
"Oh, shut up. I want to make sure I look perfect. I think that this bloke might actually work out." She went to unfolding a set of pale blue robes and then folded them again with a sigh.
"What's going on Rose?" Dom asked.
I sighed. "Nothing, just realized I am a huge cow and probably broke poor Miles' heart just now."
Dom raised a brow in question.
"I was just dating him to try and prove that I was over Seven, I think. And then Miles went off and accused me of fancying someone else and I went off and dumped him. And now, instead of sadness, all I feel is relief." I sighed again.
"So who do you fancy then?" Dom asked.
Was that all that she'd gotten from my little explanation? "No one. He was being a prat."
"No one? Not even that Malfoy bloke you've spending all your time with?"
I grabbed Dom's pillow and thwacked her across the head with it. "We were working on a project. Merlin, you would think we were off shagging the way you and Miles are talking."
"Well isn't that what happened, in the entrance hall back at the beginning of the school year?" Ade piped in.
She too received a thwack of the pillow. Dom laughed and got another hit in the head.
"I do not fancy Scorpius Malfoy. Why does everyone keep saying that?" I crossed my arms and sulked, leaning back into the bed.
"I don't know, probably because he is the only bloke that you spend any time with these days, and the only person who you don't seem to pout around." Dom could really be such a bitch.
"Well you are all wrong. He's blond, you know how I feel about blonds."
"You love us and we're blonde." Ade countered.
"Yeah, but I don't fancy either of you."
"Are you sure about that?" Ade asked and wiggled her eyebrows.
I threw the pillow right at her. "Pretty positive. Thanks. So who's this bloke you're going with?"
"Jasper Hart." Ade said, and blushed profusely.
She nodded yes.
"Wow. He is brave."
Ade threw the pillow back, it grazed my shoulder.
"What's that supposed to mean?" she huffed.
"Only that James is going to kill him. I mean you are not only going out with someone, you are going with Jasper Hart, one of James' mates and James' biggest competition."
"They do have a tendency to fight over the same things." Dom agreed.
"Well no one is fighting over me. James and I aren't like that and Jasper... well Jasper and I could be..." Adrianna let her thought trail off, leaving no question in my mind as to what Jasper and she could be.
I knew visiting Ade and Dom would cheer me up. I left the Ravenclaw tower with a wide grin on my face and no regrets about the break-up with Miles, other than that I had let our relationship stretch for so much longer than necessary. I was just turning the corner to head down to the stairwell when I heard a very familiar voice echoing through the corridor.
"I don't know why I even bother anymore." Seven's tone was one of obvious frustration.
I snuck closer to the wall and peaked around the corner. There, standing in the way to the staircase was Seven and Gloria. Seven's head was looking up at the ceiling while Gloria stood there, arms crossed. I couldn't really see her face as her hair was in the way, but from the tone of her own voice I gathered that she was just as annoyed as Seven.
"I don't know why you do either. Perhaps you should stop."
"Okay, I will then."
"Good. You know, if you wanted to be with Rose so badly why did you ever break it off with her?"
My heart beat quickened. What did I have to do with anything? Seven and I hadn't spoken since the beginning of term when he told me in no uncertain terms to get out of his life.
"I don't know." I couldn't tell if he was saying it in a sarcastic way or not. His facial expressions were hidden from me, which would have given me some indication. Seven always managed to keep a measured tone, but his mouth and eyes always gave him away.
"Well that's just great. Thanks for nothing."
Gloria started to take a step. I ducked back behind the wall. Crap, crap, crappity crap. I hurriedly looked around for some sort of safe haven from being caught. I ran down the hall in the opposite direction and spotted a large tapestry hanging on the far wall. I sprinted towards it and ducked behind it. My feet were showing, but since I was far enough from the actual trap doorway I hoped that that minor detail would go unnoticed.
I heard footsteps and then a knock on the trap door.
"What is no sooner spoken than broken?"
After no pause at all an annoyed voice said, "Silence".
I heard the door hinge creak and then the sound of the trap door being slammed behind them. I took a ragged breath and stepped quietly out from behind my tapestry. My heart was beating at a hummingbirds pace and it felt as if it just might soar from my chest, but my mind did its very best to temper any of the excitement that I was feeling. Why should I care if Seven and Gloria just broke up? Is that even what happened? Did it matter?
No, it didn't matter. I was done with that creep. I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I didn't take the time to check and see if Seven had actually left yet. I didn't notice him standing there until I was almost past him.
I turned around and saw a dejected looking Seven, staring at me, not with the same loathing that I had been receiving ever since the school year had started, but with honest wonder. I melted a little. Shite!
"Oh, hey, didn't see you there." I think I pulled nonchalance off brilliantly.
"What're you doing here?" His wonder turned to suspicion; perhaps I was not as nonchalant as I thought.
Regardless, his tone did serve to remind me that I did in fact despise this person.
"Not that it's any of your business, but I came here to see Dom and Ade." My hands were sitting firmly on my hips now and I gave him my most condemning stare down.
"Oh, right. Sorry." His cheeks colored.
Melting. No. Stop that!
I continued to stare, but my gaze had warmed slightly.
"So, how're they?" He shuffled his feet and looked down at his shoes.
It felt so weird, talking to him in a somewhat normal manner. I didn't know if I should be hexing him or hugging him. I went with leaving instead. I just wasn't ready for any contact, not like this, not yet. I needed to determine how I felt about being on speaking terms with him before I actually let myself do so.
With a hasty 'bye' I scurried down the stairs and took the first secret passage that I came upon. I didn't want to chance him following me.
Slightly out of breath and a mind whirring madly, I stepped into the Slytherin common room.
Miles was sitting on a couch and looked right at me. He started to get up but I turned and fled up the stairs before he made it more than two steps. In all the turmoil of the past ten minutes I had completely forgotten about Miles.
I suppose I would have to break it off with him properly, but I really wasn't in the mood for that conversation just yet. Way too much for me to handle at the moment.
"What in hell was that all about?" Tabby sauntered in the room, Six at her heels, her eyes wide with question.
"What was what all about?" I know, what was the point in playing it off, they would get it out of me. But damn it, they should at least have to work for it.
"Don't play dumb with me. You know what." Tabby crossed her arms and took a no-nonsense stance in front of my bed.
I sighed heavily. Merlin I made it way too easy, but I guess I just had no fight in me tonight.
"I broke up with him."
"You did what?" Six came forward and pushed Tabby out of the way.
"I. Broke. Up. With. Him." I enunciated all of my words slowly and carefully.
Merlin. You'd think I had just gone and offed someone. "He was being a prat and I realized that I really just don't want a boyfriend right now." I fruitlessly hoped that that would end the barrage of questions that Six was aching to ask.
"I heard it was because you kept sneaking off to be with Malfoy."
My head snapped to Tabby. "What?"
"Some third year overheard you." She shrugged and sat down on the corner of Six's four poster.
"So if you knew..."
"Just humoring Six here," she waved a limp hand in Six's direction.
"Wait, so you knew? And you didn't tell me." Six turned on Tabby.
"Not my place. I don't spread gossip, I just listen to it. So, is it true then, Rose?"
I was stunned that Tabby had heard anything about it, and frustrated that now this rumor about me and Scorpius would be circulating the Hogwarts population. Great.
Tabby raised an eyebrow at me.
I should probably answer.
"No, it's not true. Scorpius and I had an Arithmancy project to work on. Miles was just being a jealous prat."
"If you say so..." Tabby's voice sang out. Damn her mocking tone.
"I do. Why is everyone so eager to put me and Scorpius together anyway?"
"I think you two do that well enough for the rest of us."
Grr. I needed to stop being friends with Tabby.
I was being a coward. I fully admit it. But it was just so much easier to have Six scout out the common room for signs of Miles before going down stairs. It would have been nice if Tabby would have played along with my evasion scheme, but I didn't trust her not to give me the all clear only to find that Miles was standing at the bottom of the stairs.
Around ten that night Six came up to tell me that Miles had headed into his dorm, apparently after watching the girls' staircase all night. I should probably not have cared at that point, since it was so late and all, but I desperately needed to get out of the dorm room where Hollace was blathering on to Jocelyn about something stupid. I couldn't actually hear the conversation, but I had no doubts as to the intellectual quality of their banter.
I strode down and was glad to see Bertram, Scorpius and Gates were still up. There were several other people milling about the common room as well, but not a Miles Flynn in sight. I let out my breath, even with Six's all clear I still couldn’t help but be nervous.
"Ah, the elusive Rose has made an appearance." Scorpius smirked.
I smacked him on the back of the head.
"So what gives?" Bertram asked as Scorpius rubbed his fingers through the back of his hair where I had just laid into him.
"What gives what?" I asked innocently.
"Not this again." Tabby interjected. "Rose broke up with Miles and now she is being a bint and avoiding him like the plague."
I glared at Tabby.
"Hey! Why doesn't she get a smack?" Scorpius asked petulantly.
I smacked him again. I don't know why, but it felt pretty damn good.
"Ow." He rubbed at his head once more.
"So why'd you break it off with the god that is Miles Flynn?" Bertram asked adding a very distinctive sarcasm when saying the word 'god'.
I rolled my eyes. "Please. One: he is not a god, and two: it is none of your bleeding business."
The subject was dropped, thankfully. Gates actually interjected with a question about what we thought would be on our potions final and I took that up as if my life depended on it. I was really beginning to appreciate all that was Gates. Wish he could be my dorm mate instead of Tabby... or Hollace. Definitely Hollace. But Tabby wouldn't be too bad either.
It was getting late; the common room thinned out and Tabby and Gates had already left to go to bed. Bertram followed soon after, leaving me with Six and Scorpius. I was sitting in my chair that overlooked the porthole and hadn't been listening much to whatever it was Scorpius and Six were blathering on about. My head was so full of the interlude with Seven and the break with Miles and everyone's fascination with me being with Scorpius, I just didn't have any room in it to focus.
"You going to bed?"
I jostled my head to clear it of all the turmoil and then focused on Six. "Yeah, I'll be up in a bit." I smiled at her and then looked back at the porthole. I assumed that she had left because I didn't hear anymore from her.
The water roiled in shades of navy, purple, and black. I imagined the mermaids' lantern type things were the source of all of the light that had managed to seep into the depths of the lake, showing off its different hues.
I jolted again, completely having forgotten that Scorpius was still there.
"Yeah, of course, why?" I again plastered on a smile.
"Let's see, you just broke up with your boyfriend, and the last time you sat here staring at that porthole so intently you had been a bit upset over that Deciles git."
"Well, I'm fine, okay? See, I'm smiling." I broadened my mouth into what I hoped would be an award-winning smile.
Scorpius ducked behind his hands. "Put that away, you'll give me nightmares."
"Very funny." I frowned.
"Ah, much better." He sat up straight and on the edge of his chair.
"Hey Scorpius, can I ask you something?"
He shrugged. "Sure."
"Why did you and Seven stop being friends?" I hadn't really thought much about it since Six had brought it up all those months ago, but for some reason my curiosity on the subject was piqued tonight. Maybe it was because I could see why Seven and Scorpius would get along, they were a lot alike, but not. I couldn't really explain it.
Scorpius turned his head and glanced out of the porthole that I had been staring at moment before.
"Because Seven only wants things for the sake of taking them away from others."
"For instance?" I asked.
Scorpius was quiet for a minute and then said, "One time, when we were in third year, we were at this bootleg record store. There was an album for sale, a live performance of the Screaming Banshees, only fifty copies ever made." He paused and I nodded my head for him to continue.
"I was a huge Banshees fan, Seven hated them-”
"Still does," I added in.
"But he found the album first, and even though he knew how much I would have wanted it, he bought it for himself. Said that it was a 'great collector’s item' and then later that summer I went over and saw that he was using the record as a coaster."
"But weren't you two friends in fourth year still?"
"Yeah, for a bit, but then he did it to me again, and I decided that I didn't want to be around a git like that."
"What was it that time?" I wondered if perhaps he also liked The Wolf Pack, one of my other favorite bands after The Screaming Banshees.
"Just something he knew I wanted." Scorpius then stood, "Well, I'm off, been a long day."
I stood up as well. "Yeah, tell me about it."
We were facing one another, his odd aquamarine colored eyes boring into my own baby blues.
We stood there, neither one of us moving, as if we were stuck to the floor with a permanent sticking solution. I couldn’t decide if I was uncomfortable, anxious, or excited. I could feel a tumult growing in my stomach but if it was butterflies or just gas, I wasn't sure.
"I promise that this won't affect the team." I am not sure why that was what had come out of my mouth, but it broke whatever spell we had been held captive under.
"Huh?" Scorpius looked at me curiously.
"Me and Miles' split. I won't let it affect the Quidditch team," I clarified, for no other reason than to end this awkward moment.
"Oh, good. Yeah, that's good. Well, off to bed now." Scorpius stepped around me and went up the boys’ stairs.
I however slumped back into the chair and stared further out of the porthole, adding one more question to the tumult of my brain. Did I fancy Scorpius Malfoy?
A/N: Sorry, sorry, soooooooo sorry. If anyone is still reading this I apologize profuselly for my late update. It has been the busiest holiday season ever! Nothing cuter than a Santa Wrapped Sproggy though. He rolled over for the first time last week!!!!! YAY!
Anyway, so that was chapter 14... what'd you think? Do you think Rose will finally realize what she feels for our Scorpius? What about her hearing Seven's split with Gloria? Will that cause some further complications for our destined lovers? I guess you will have to wait and see, but come xmas break things are going to get interesting.
Thanks so much for anyone who is still with this story. Also to my totally awesome Beta WeasleyTwinMom. She might have to resign as beta so I am looking for someone else who can correct my terrible punctuation problem. I know I can formally request on the forum, but I would prefer someone who has actually read this story, so if anyone is interested please feel free to PM me on the forum.
Okay, this is me... signing off!