Chapter 5 : A Rotten Subject
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I laughed at m reflection in the mirror. Not interested? Clearly she had been waiting for Matthew and Marilyn to break it off. My smile faltered a bit as I thought about this. Lily was my best friend, even though she was in the year below me. We were thicker than thieves and yet she hadn’t told me this important bit of information.
With a little more force than necessary I yanked at the last knot out of my hair and put it up in a ponytail, officially ready for the day ahead. Hmmm. I looked at myself closely in the mirror. Maybe I would need a little more fortification since I had Divination first, and a double period at that.
Taking a clip I stuffed my fringe into it and pushed it to the side.
“Perfect,” I smiled at myself in the mirror and grabbed my wand on the way out, ready for class.
I took hold of my bag and met up with Lily in the common room, surprised to find her so at ease. I shifted my weight awkwardly on my feet as I waited for her friend, Eliza to get down the stairs.
“Look, Rose,” she said suddenly, catching me off my guard and with my mouth open. She probably knew it was me. Oh I was so rubbish at this sneaking around bit. Being a teenager is the worst job on the face of the planet. Being an Auror would be treacle tart compared to this. “I’m sorry I never told you about Matthew and I, but I didn’t want it publicized, you know?”
I didn’t lose sight of the irony of the statement. Lily publicized everything about everyone, but who better to keep a secret than the queen of spreading them?
But at least she wasn’t on to me.
“Yeah, s’okay,” I lied, the small chip in my shoulder mending itself. “Are you okay though? I mean, with everything out in the open?” I asked. At least I was nice enough to do a bit of damage control.
“Oh I’m fine. It was bound to get out eventually, I don’t really care,” she replied with one of those heart-stopping smiles that effected boys in ways I would never understand. How could she not care? How could it just roll of her back like a sodding… roll?
“Really?” I said instead of all the things going through my head. She clearly had a better grip on this teenage thing than I did. “How can you feel so fine about this? I thought it was some sort of big secret?” I quickly moved my bag from one shoulder to the next and glanced up the stairs for Eliza. What one earth was taking her so long?
“Oh, secrets are only fun for a little while, it was time for it to get out anyways,” she shrugged her shoulders and smiled at me again. “Eliza! If you aren’t down here in ten seconds, we’re leaving,” Lily shouted up the stairs, holding her wrist out in front of her as if she actually had a watch. “I don’t know how that girl can take so long in the dormitory,” Lily laughed with me, counting off the last seconds with her hand. “Alright! We’re off!”
“WAIIIT!” Came a shout that made me nearly jump out of my skin in response. I caught my bag before it dropped to the ground just in time to see a small, springy blonde-haired girl jump down the last five steps and hurtle into Lily. “I’m here I’m here! Don’t make me walk to Transfiguration on my own!” she cried almost whiningly, holding onto Lily’s arm as if she was a life support.
Though we weren’t in the same classes, I often walked to class with Lily and her friends. Today it would be a very short walk though, since I would be going up to that sodding tower I despised so much.
“Alright guys, I don’t think anyone else is coming,” Lily glanced up the stairs and I followed her gaze, affirming what she had said. No one else was going to join our troop.
“So, Rose,” Eliza started off in that same annoying voice. I glanced at her with what I hoped was a friendly smile. I didn’t really like her already, even though I just met her. She reminded me too much of my cousin Molly, who just won’t shut her bloody mouth. “Are you really dating Scorpius?” she finished off with a giggle that made my face contort from my smile into something surely very ugly.
“No! Why the fudge-bars everyone think that?” I cried exasperatedly as we stepped through the portrait hole, crossing my arms across my chest and swinging my hair to cover up some of my face. I could practically hear Lily’s mouth form a smile.
“Well, you snogged him by the lake yesterday!” Eliza said, looking at Lily behind me and then back at me. She could tell that something was wrong as her lips were slowly falling from that slap-happy smile she always had.
“It was barely a peck, he was thanking me for the sandwich I shared oh so graciously,” I crossed my arms even tighter and kept looking ahead at the gargoyle that would mark our departure from each other.
“So we’ve graduated from falling on his face to a peck in thanks?” smirked Lily from behind me. I would get her over the summer hols. She would regret this.
“Yeah, whatever, well this is my stop,” I raced ahead at least ten meters to the gargoyle and turned around to wave almost nicely at Eliza and Lily. They looked at me a little meanly, Eliza more dumbstruck than anything, and I waved a little more vigorously. “Go around telling everyone I’m not dating Scorpius for once would you?” I pointed and Lily and before she could hex me to the gamekeepers hut I bolted up the steeps steps to Divination class.
I could feel a faint sense of relief overcoming me. Lily would probably do what I asked her because she was a real softie for me, sometimes. People would go around believing that I wasn’t dating Scorpius and I could study peacefully in the library again without the worry of people snickering at me every time they passed.
Oh sweet, studious bliss. Mummy would be so proud.
I pushed open the trapdoor and heaved myself into the room with very little enthusiasm.
“Nice of you to join us, Miss Weasley,” drawled Professor Woodenbaum. I wasn’t even late. Take that stars.
“My pleasure,” I muttered under my breath and took one of the last seats at the back, next to one of my fellow slackers Gregory McCune. He wasn’t even awake for this class.
Oh I was going to love this session.
“Today we are going to be using cards to discover the future of our partners!” Woodenbaum said almost excitedly. I glanced up at him and then back at the pack of cards he had waved in front of each of us.
I hated using the cards. They were always so sharp and gave me paper cut after paper cut. I’m almost positive he jinxes mine that way just because he doesn’t like me.
I looked back up at his dopey smile as he motioned for me, and only for me, to open my pack of cards. “We’re going to do it one by one, starting with Miss Weasley here on the end, if you could turn to Mr. McCune at your right and read his cards?” he asked pleasantly, as if this all wasn’t some plot to watch me fail.
“Right,” I smiled falsely, slipping the deck of cards out of their sleeve and getting a paper cut immediately. I cursed under my breath and turned to Gregory who was still asleep.
How did Professor Woodenbaum not notice this?
Regardless I looked at the rest of the class, a whole two actually paying attention, and then turned back to the sleeping Gregory. I shuffled the deck and got two more paper cuts before I finally pulled off the top card.
A sun with an arrow through it.
“You’re going to die happy,” I said simply, hearing the tsk from Professor Woodenbaum. I pulled off the next card, a frog sitting on a clear ball. “You’re going to…” This one was hard. I knew the frog meant something about longevity. But frogs ate flies right? “You’re going to start eating flies and get incredible balance,” I nodded with a smile at my still sleeping friend as people in the class began to snigger at me.
I pulled off the last card and could feel Professor Woodenbaum’s intent gaze on the back of my head.
A hippogriff in flight. Really?
“You’re going to fly. So good luck at the Quidditch try-outs next year,” I finished with a large, over-embellished smile at my least favorite teacher.
“Miss Weasley, you completely missed the point of the assignment,” he got closer and picked up the three cards I had lain down. Ask he looked at them again he began tsk-ing me some more with a disappointed look.
I hated this class.
Why hadn’t I taken mum’s advice?
Why was she always right?
“The cards are all clearly saying, and take notes class, that Mr. McCune is going to experience turbulence in his life by means of a loved one who has disappeared and won’t return for many years.”
I stared at him in awe.
“No, you’re wrong!” I said quietly but with more force than I thought possible. Every part of my body was telling me not to do this. My inside twisted and squirmed as the words formed on my mouth.
I set my jaw in stone, I placed a hand on my hip and I lifted by bag onto my shoulder.
“The cards should be telling you that I’m leaving!” I smacked the rest of the deck onto the table and stormed out, catching a glimpse of Gregory’s open-mouthed face and wide eyes as I did.
I winked at him, and I disappeared down the trap door.
As I walked down the steep stairs I realized I had never felt so empowered. I had just left the most ridiculous class on the face of Hogwarts in my dust. People would be talking about this for years. I might get my prefect badge taken away (which made my hand immediately shoot up to the shiny thing) but it would be worth it.
Yes, yes of course this would be worth it. I had done something that I actually wouldn’t mind being known for!
With a smile plastered on my face I hopped down the last step and caught onto the gargoyle for support. My giddiness was just too much to contain! I even started skipping towards the Gryffindor entrance, until I saw someone skulking around it.
It was probably a Professor.
Professor Woodenbaum had obviously sent out a distress message saying a student had escaped from his class and was on the move. I even had small amounts of blood on my fingers thanks to the paper cuts. I was going to get killed. Whether by that Professor waiting for me, or by my mum and dad when they found out.
“Look, Professor, I’m sorry I just- I just couldn’t take it any more!” I started apologizing as soon as I got within hearing distance, clasping my hands together in what I hoped looked innocent.
Then the Professor turned around and I saw the face of Scorpius Malfoy.
“Don’t you have class?” Why was I such an idiot sometimes?
“Don’t you?” he shot right back with that lazy smile.
“Touche,” I stalked forward a little more before stopping an appropriately awkward distance away and crossing my arms over my stomach.
He looked right at me and I melted inside a little.
I looked back at him and hoped for the same.
“Will you be my girlfriend?”
I would never ever forget that moment. It came out of nowhere like a stunning curse from behind me. I looked at Scorpius like he had a jarvey growing out of his ear. He was obviously ridiculously delusional. This wasn’t really happening.
My bag slipped lower on my shoulder until it was on the floor.
I don’t even think I remembered how to blink.
“Yes?” I finally said after what was probably an hour.
We were still about five meters from each other but we both sort of smiled.
I was now, I guess, attached.
“Let’s not tell anyone, ‘kay?” Scorpius said with a half-smile and I fervently agreed.
I had already given the population of Hogwarts enough to talk about, this I would enjoy for myself.
Besides, I didn’t need everyone to know I had no idea how to be a girlfriend.