I was glad that the end of term was coming for it meant I only had to keep up my avoision (my new made up word of the week) tactics for a couple more days. This worked out great because I had taken to avoiding not only Miles, but Scorpius as well. I hadn’t decided yet as to how I might feel about him. On the one hand, he was a great guy. Scorpius seemed to really understand me but he was also very hard to read and that made me nervous. I didn't know if I was ready to like someone again. With Miles it was easy- there was no possibility of my getting hurt- but with Scorpius...it was different, is all. Physically, he was not my type but there was no doubt I was starting to find him attractive, blond hair and all. Even I couldn't delude myself into thinking otherwise.
But then there was Seven. He had started smiling at me in classes and when we passed in the hall. He’d even said a couple of 'hey's' to me and I’d noticed that Gloria had all but disappeared.
Honestly, I was relieved when the Hogwarts Express pulled up at Hogsmeade Station. I’d be able to start a trek away from all of this potential drama. I made sure to get a compartment with Dom and Ade, in essence, avoiding any chance of run-ins with any of the people I didn’t want to see. Jasper Hart was in the compartment with us, as was Dom's “bloke of the week”. Poor sod, it was obvious to all of us that Dom was just amusing herself with him. Once the train pulled into the station at Platform 9 and 3/4's, there was no doubt that she would forget all about him. Hell, I didn't even bother to catch his name...what was the point?
And so, it was me and two couples- not the ideal but it did give me time to think things over. Ade was too busy impressing all that was the ebony god, Jasper Hart, while 'poor sod' was busy worshiping at Dom's feet. Well, not technically…he was just sitting beside her but he might as well have been.
We were about an hour out of London when my bladder became insistent, crying out that I needed to relieve myself. I’d been holding it for a while now but it was starting to get so bad that I was wiggling around in my seat, performing the patented “pee-pee dance” from my childhood. When 'poor-sod' gave me an odd look, I figured it was time to bite the bullet and head for the loo. I wandered out into the hallway with fingers crossed, praying I wouldn't run into anyone I was trying to avoid.
I was only partly lucky. As I exited the compartment, I made a left and... "Oomph!!" Stumbling backwards, I looked up at my prat of a cousin. "James Potter, what in Merlin's name are you doing out here?!"
"Shh, keep your voice down!" He put his hand over my mouth, which I did not appreciate at all. In fact, it disgusted me so much that I decided a nice little bite was in order- repayment for pawing at my mouth with his clammy hands.
"Ow!" James pulled his hand back and shook it. "What was that for?"
I looked at him crossly.
"Fine,” he hissed, looking over my shoulder into the compartment- which, apparently, had not been disrupted by our little run-in. “Sorry."
"What are you doing?" I whisper shouted at him.
"Me?” he hedged, still taking glances over my shoulder. “Nothing…"
Normally I would have stayed to interrogate him further but, since I was about to pee my pants, I figured it was in everyone's best interest to leave the inquisition for another time.
There would definitely be one though. Oh yes, James Potter wasn't getting away that easy.
"Whatever, I have to go." I practically shoved him out of my way and made a mad dash to the toilet at the end of the car.
After relieving myself, I made it back to the compartment with no further incident or run in with James. The rest of the trip passed by quickly enough- there were only a couple of gag worthy moments between the two couples. Jasper and Ade looked really cute together, though they didn’t actually talk much. Thankfully, their snog sessions didn't go any further than sweet kisses and an occasional touch. 'Poor sod' was trying to get the same action from Dom but she was more interested in the magazine she was reading. His attempts to get her to pay attention to him were full of the aforementioned “gag” moments but, seeing as I had so much on my mind, I was able to block out his pleading easily enough.
I hung back once the train stopped- I didn't want to wander onto the platform and run into anyone I was trying to avoid. So I waited.
Until, finally, I thought it safe enough to leave and exited the compartment.
Drat! There, leaning against the wall of the opposite compartment, arms crossed and eyes fixed on the ceiling as if he had no care in the world, was Scorpius bleeding Malfoy.
An odd fluttering began in my stomach. “What're you doing?" I asked, though it came out more like a croak.
"Ah, so you're done avoiding me?" He pushed off from the wall with his back muscles or something- that or magic, cause I swear, the boy didn't move any visible part of his body.
"It's hard to avoid a stalker," I shot back and the butterflies flapped their wings even harder.
The left side of his mouth pulled up as he followed me through the train.
"Look, I wasn't avoiding you I was just..." Crap! What was I doing?
"Just not talking to me, looking at me, or being within a 100 meter radius of me," Scorpius finished.
I dipped my head, hoping my hair would cover the blush creeping up my face.
"I get it you know."
I stopped and turned to face him. "You do?" I searched his eyes, not quite sure what I was looking for.
"Yeah, I do,” he replied, his tone flat. “You're free now...Deciles is free now...you can't be seen associating with me any longer."
"What?” I blinked in confusion. “No, that's not it."
"Aha, so you are avoiding me."
I started walking again. Man this car was long! Where the hell was the exit?
"That's not what I meant either."
"If you say so Miss Weasley," he rejoined, still wearing that annoying smirk.
Erg! I wish my frustration could overpower these damn butterflies!!
When we finally stepped off the train, I spotted my dad's bright head towering over the throng- which was now less of a throng and more of a small gathering. Hugo was standing next to him, glancing around impatiently.
I set off towards my family and Scorpius split off to the right. Throwing a glance over my shoulder, I noticed a blonde woman with her hair pulled back in a tight chignon, clad in immaculate robes, obviously of the highest quality. It had to be Scorpius' mother. I could see, even from here, where he’d gotten those entrancing eyes. She caught me staring and I quickly averted my gaze, though I still felt her eyes on my back.
"Hey there, Rosie," my dad said as I approached, "thought you got lost getting off the train." His tone was playful and he wore his wonderful, lopsided grin. His gaze flashed towards Scorpius but he made no comment, for which I was grateful.
"Can we go now?" Hugo whined.
We left Kings Cross Station and headed home, piling into our magically enhanced Insignia. We had only one incident where I thought dad might run off the highway but, he didn’t and we made it home in one piece…though, I think I’d left my stomach back on the M4.
Twinkles opened the door to our four-story, stone house and greeted us with a low bow.
"Hey’a, Twink!" Hugo greeted the house elf as he passed her by, patting her on her wrinkly head.
"Master Hugo," Twink bowed again, a faint blush on her cheeks. Her affection for my brother was clear and had been since the day that my parents brought him home from St. Mungo’s.
I, in turn, greeted Twinkles and she magicked our trunks up to our rooms. It was nice to be home again. The smell of pine and parchment enveloped me…the smell of home.
Dad shut the door behind us. "Go get settled in,” he suggested. “Just be down for dinner in an hour. Your mum'll be home by then."
I didn't need to be told twice. Rushing up the stairs, I ascended the third floor and made my way to my bedroom. I yanked open the door, leaping onto my bed in one stride. My duvet, a sage-colored suede, felt soft and familiar against my skin. I loved going to Hogwarts, don’t get me wrong, but there was something about being in your own room, in your own home. Or, I guess this was really my parents’ home but…whatever.
I looked around the room. Everything seemed to be in its place. My armoire and desk were the same as they’d been before. My bed was still centered beneath the large window looking out over the back yard. But, one thing struck me as odd. My record collection, which I kept in a very particular order stacked up next to my record player, was missing. I shot out of bed and began to poke around the room. Frantic, I looked under the mattress- nothing. I opened my closet- nothing. I searched between my bookcase and armoire- nothing.
"TWINKLES!" I shouted into the emptiness of my room.
There was a loud crack as the old elf appeared.
"Yes Miss?" She bowed to me.
"Twinkles…" I kneeled down so we were eye to eye, gripping her by the shoulders. "Where are my records?"
"They has been put away, Miss,” she replied meekly. “Mistress Hermione is saying that they is too much clutter." The poor elf winced and I noticed that I was clawing my fingernails into her papery skin.
I loosened my grip. "Where did they get put away?" I asked in a measured tone.
"In there, Miss." Twinkles pointed at my closet.
Even though I had already looked in there, I rushed to open the door…and found nothing, just some clothes I didn't dignify as worthy enough for Hogwarts and a pair of ratty, old trainers.
I looked back at Twinkles pleadingly.
The elf shuffled over and pushed a knot in the wood at the back of the closet. A shelf sprung forward and there, in all its Alphabetical Glory, was my prized record collection. Heaving a sigh of relief, I gave Twinkles my most grateful smile.
"Is that being all, Miss?" The elf asked as she bowed once more.
"Yes, Twinkles, thank you, that is all."
I thumbed through the collection, just to make sure it was all there. My finger brushed over The Screaming Banshees album Scorpius had mentioned the other night and I pulled the sheath out from between two other records. On the cover was a waxy looking witch with long, white hair screaming with all of her might. Two other women flanked her, wearing identical white robes and matching white hair. The Screaming Banshees: Live from Godricks Hollow, 2019.
Merlin, I loved this album, it was one of my all-time favorites. Seven had given it to me for our one year anniversary. I remember listening to it over and over for three weeks straight. That is, until Tabby swiped it and hid it from me until end of term. At that point she told me to take it home or she would break it over my head. Of course, as soon as Scorpius told me the story about Seven, I knew I had his coveted album. I wasn't sure if I wanted to tell him, however.
Pulling the record from the sheath, I placed it carefully on the player. The needle made a wonderful, static noise when it hit the black of the record- it might have been my favorite noise in the entire world. Lying back in my bed, I listened to the record, soaking up the rather whiney, yet ‘very applicable to my life’, music. There was nothing like a bunch of angry witches to convey the horror that it is being a woman in today's world. I kinda wondered why Scorpius liked them so much, as most blokes didn't. But then, Scorpius never seemed to follow what other people did. Maybe that was why I liked him.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I, Rose Weasley, fancy Scorpius Malfoy. There, I said it! Well, in my head, anyway. Now, the question- what do I do about it?
I felt weird bringing it up with him for a number of reasons: 1 - There was the whole, Team Captain just broke up with his Keeper thing, that could definitely get awkward; 2 - What if he didn't like me the same way and I ruined our friendship by mentioning anything? I really enjoyed being his friend and I wasn't sure if this little crush was worth the risk; and 3 - I didn’t know what was going on with Seven. He was being so nice to me lately and, after his fight with Gloria, well, it sounded like he still had feelings for me.
I was really glad to be home- the break would give me well-needed time to think things over. Although, what if Seven was just being nice as a friend and didn't want me back and I didn't pursue this thing with Scorpius because of it and then it was too late because he’d met the girl of his dreams and I end up all alone?!!
Okay, need to stop freaking out, Rose.
Scorpius barely talks to anyone as it is- there is no way he’ll meet the girl of his dreams without being able to intercede.
But then, what about Seven?
Damn, my head hurt! I should just lay off boys all together, that was my original plan, after all. And it definitely sounded like a good one. Maybe I should take the rest of the year to focus on my schoolwork, especially after the shoddy showing I’d given during my “Seven Depression” when school started. Yeah, that's what I’ll do!
Not a thing.
No guys for me.
Rose Weasley is going to remain single for the rest of the year. Or, at least until I know if Scorpius or Seven likes me...
No! Not even then. I shall stand firm- single, alone and firm.
"Rose!" I heard my mum's muffled voice filter through my closed door. "Dinner's ready!"
Oh good, something to keep my mind occupied. Running downstairs, I was greeted with a scrumptious meal courtesy of the local take out place Hugo and I loved.
It sure was nice to be home.
Dinner started in its usual fashion- Dad and I rushed to fill our plates and scarf down as much as we could in one bite- while Hugo and Mum ate in a more refined manner. They chewed with their mouths closed and everything…
"So Rose, what did Scorpius want?" Hugo asked after he finished chewing.
I shot him a withering glare. "Nuffin’.” I didn’t bother to swallow before retorting to his nosy inquiry.
"Scorpius? As in…Malfoy?" Mum asked, her voice going high as her eyes flickered over to dad.
"Yeah, when I was leaving the train I saw him standing outside Rose's compartment,” Hugo explained. “I assume he was waiting for her."
Oh Hugo, why must you give me reasons to maim you?
Dad's face started to go red. "Oh, and what did he want Rose?" he asked in a strangled voice.
I blushed. "Nothing really, he just wanted to...er...talk about an Arithmancy project we worked on together." It was as good an excuse as any. I just hoped my parents didn't pick up on my hesitation. Though, knowing mum, she had.
"Well that was nice of him…wasn't it, dear?" That last bit was directed at my father, who was now turning a bright crimson. I could sense some sort of tantrum coming on but, over what, I didn't know. I mean, sure, I’d heard my dad didn't like the Malfoy's but mum always told me to ignore him, that they were perfectly nice people.
Dad clenched his hands tightly around his fork and knife but refrained from further comment. I looked back and forth between them, wondering what on earth was going on.
"So, Hugo how were your end of term exams?" Mum changed the subject and dad's grip loosened on his utensils.
Very interesting… It made me worry about what I would tell them should Scorpius and I ever start dating. I shook my head. No, I was single Rose. No more boyfriends. No more boys. It was better this way, especially after the reaction my dad had at the mention of the name Malfoy.
The rest of dinner was just like any other. There was still a little tension on my dad's side of the table and my mum tried harder than usual to keep the conversation going but, all in all it was like any average night at the Weasley’s.
Later that evening, dad, Hugo and I sat in front of the Tele and watched a holiday special involving a reindeer and an overly bright, red nose. Mum was reading a book and would look up every once in a while, commenting on how she ‘remembered that part’ from when she was a little girl.
Once the special was over, I was anxious to get to bed. The trip from school had been exhausting- mostly mentally- but traveling always made me tired. I was just drifting off to sleep, warm covers pulled up to just below my ears, when I heard the muffled shouting of my father. I sat up in bed and listened closely. There was silence, probably from mum shushing my dad, but then his booming voice started up again.
I slipped out of bed and crept slowly towards my door. My fingers fell flat against the oak and I pressed my ear up to it to see if I could figure out what all the shouting was about. It was no use- they were too far away. I probably should have gone back to bed but, then I would be no closer to knowing what in Merlin's name was going on. I opened my door with a slow twist of the knob. Bare foot, I tip toed down towards the edge of the staircase, making sure to tread along the right side to avoid that squeaky, middle step. My parents were one floor down. I was amazed that mum hadn't relocated them to the ground level but she probably didn’t think he was as angry as obviously he was.
The closer I got to the landing, the more I could hear what my father was shouting, while Mum's words were still hushed and indecipherable. Dad kept saying things like, 'damn-it Hermione,' and 'bloody ferret', none of which made any sense to me. When I finally got close enough to the room where they were having their row, I noticed a light shining through the crack at the bottom of the door. I placed my ear to the wood and listened.
"...not going to have it," my dad ranted.
"Have what Ron?” Mum admonished. “Now keep your voice down or the kids will hear you,"
"You know what I mean, Hermione! I won't have her fraternizing with that Malfoy boy."
"Fraternizing? How are you going to stop it? He's in her house and he’s her age- it is inevitable that they will fraternize." I could hear her mocking my father's use of the word.
"I'm her father- I can order her to stop!" Dad could really be a petulant child at times.
"No you can't and honestly I don't even know why you care. It was years ago, Ron! Draco is in the past." I heard light footsteps padding across the room.
"Years or not, I don't bloody care! I do not want our family to have anything to do with his."
"Ron." My mum's voice was soft.
"Hermione, I won't have it." His voice held less conviction.
"Ron, what are you worried about? You know that Draco and I are a thing of the past. I am very happily married, even if my husband is as stubborn as a mule,” she added, her voice thick with exasperation. “Now let Rose be- we don't even know that anything is going on between them. Maybe he was just asking her about their project."
"Please! I know you don't believe that rubbish anymore than I do."
I raised my eyebrows in surprise. I figured mum would catch on but, dad? He could be kinda thick at times.
"Fine, so what if something is going on! They have their own lives to lead and our past should hold no bearing on their future. Now…come to bed."
I didn't wait to hear my father’s response for two reasons: 1 - I could tell that the conversation was coming to an end; and 2 - the tone that mum used to ask dad to come to bed...well, let's just say I vomited a little in my mouth. Parents should not be doing things like that with kids around. I think it might be illegal, or should be, anyway.
When I got back to my room, sleep was the last thing on my mind. My mum and Scorpius' dad had…what? Dated? Had an affair? I wasn't sure but, the way that she said ‘Draco’ instead of Malfoy and the gentle tone in which she’d said it, not to mention that little comment, 'Draco and I are a thing of the past'. It was all giving me the creeps. The idea that my mum and Scorpius' dad had a thing… Ew! Just, ew! Now I was really confused. I guess it was good that I had sworn off all boys- yep, a very good thing, indeed.
No more boys for Rose!
A/N: so that was pretty quick right? It's all thanks to my new beta dracosgem. She rocks. Thanks Red!
So what do you think? She has finally sort of discovered her parent's past. Do you think she really will be able to give up on boys? How about that Hugo and his big mouth? Or Scorpius and his amazing back muscles.? And let's not forget the word of the day 'avoision' let's all use it in a sentence today :)
Thanks so much to all of you who are reading and especially those that review, reviews definitely make my day.