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Chapter 14 : I'm Here For You
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Scorpius was walking down the hall when he felt the sudden presence of another person beside him. Slowly he raised his arm up, put it around Vivian’s shoulders, and pulled her closer to him.
“I haven’t talked to you in a while,” he said quietly into her ear.
“That’s because you have been spending all your spare time with your new best friend,” she said with a slight edge in her voice.
“She’s not my new best friend. She isn’t even a friend, really.” It was the truth. Even though he had agreed to work with Rose and said he would be her friend again, there was still a barrier between them that he made sure to keep up. He knew the second he let his guard down, he would become vulnerable like he had before, and even though she had promised she wouldn’t hurt him again, he just didn’t want to take the chance. So he had decided it would be best to keep distance between them. They would talk about potions and chit-chat occasionally, but when it came to the specifics of their lives, he didn’t ask and she didn’t tell. Looking at Vivian, he said through gritted teeth, “She is my potions partner.”
“Oh really,” she said in a short tone. “Well, let’s just say that for being just potions partners, you sure do spend all of your free time together.”
Scorpius, releasing a frustrated breath, stopped walking. “I’ve explained this to you before, Vivian. I don’t spend my free time with her. I don’t have any free time. Besides being Quidditch captain and having practices, I also have to do classes and homework along with prefect duties. I also might add that the time I do spend with Rose is for school. We’re. Potions. Partners.”
Vivian stopped and turned around to face Scorpius. “I know you have told me before, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I just miss you, Scorpius, and with Bryan being head boy, it’s not like I have many people to talk to anymore.”
Scorpius knew what she was doing. She was the queen of making people feel guilty over the tiniest thing. It didn’t matter if she actually meant what she said or not. And it worked; Scorpius felt horrible. Looking at her with puppy-dog eyes, he said in a guilty voice, “I’m sorry, but I’m just so busy right now, and it’s hard to balance a social life.”
“Well can you at least try?” she asked with wide, hopeful eyes.
“Yeah, I can try,” he said, turning around and starting to walk.
Vivian reached out and grabbed his arm. “Wait a second,” she said, forcing him to turn around and look at her. “Do you really mean it?”
“Yes I mean it,” he said with a smile. Grabbing her hand, he started to walk again with her by his side.
“So does this mean we can hang out tonight?” she asked hopefully.
Scorpius stalled a second and said, “I can’t tonight: I have to meet Rose so we can work on an essay.”
Vivian scowled and shook her head. “Alright, maybe tomorrow.”
“Yeah, tomorrow works,” he said, letting go of her hand. “I’m going to be late to class. I better go.” He turned around and walked away.
Vivian just looked at him as he walked. She didn’t like him and Rose being anywhere near each other; even if they weren’t friends. She had to do something about it: but what?
It was late in the evening, and Rose was walking through Hogsmead. She was a bit relieved to be out of the castle. She couldn’t help but think that she had pissed a lot of people off when she broke up with Ben. It was none of their business, but people where shameless: they would stare and scowl at her as she walked down the hall.
It was truly ridiculous. She had only been back at school for a month and a half, yet she had managed to make most of the student body angry. It was as if Hogwarts was takimg sides between her and Ben, and Ben was winning by a long shot. Of course he didn’t notice; he was too busy trying to figure out ways to corner her and plead for Rose to take him back.
Besides having to deal with him, Rose also had to handle everyone else. Girls who she had never even met before would look at her with fire in their eyes as she walked down the halls. She decided there were only two possible reasons: Ben was actually a nice guy and got along with everyone, so people couldn’t understand why she would give him up; or they were pissed at her because she could just push Ben away with so much ease, but they wouldn’t have a chance in hell with him. It is one thing liking someone who is in a relationship and using that as an excuse as to why he would never be with you, but when he’s single, it’s because he just doesn’t like you.
As she walked through the small, village town, she thought about how cold it was for October. Wrapping her arms around her tighter, she pushed through the fierce wind until she reached the alley she was looking for.
Standing at the entrance, she pulled out her wand and traced the same three bricks she had so many times before. Taking a step back she waited for the door to appear.
The second it appeared, Rose knew there was something off. Through the door, Rose could hear Arnold’s loud booming voice laughing. It wasn’t strange for him to laugh, but Rose couldn’t ever recall hearing him laugh like that before.
Taking a few slow steps to the door, she pulled the handle and let herself inside. There was something odd going on. Besides Arnold’s laugh, she could hear Opel choking back her laughter. But the oddest thing she heard was another voice in the kitchen. Confused, Rose grabbed her wand and slowly started to walk back towards the kitchen to see who was there.
Opel and Arnold where hidden for a reason and if someone else knew they were here, that could possibly mean a potential threat…Even if that person seemed to be making them laugh, it could still be a cover. Rounding the corner to the kitchen, Rose was shocked at who she saw.
There sitting at the table with a bowl of Opel’s famous homemade soup in his hand and a golden smile on his face was Scorpius Malfoy. He was sitting there as if he had done it a hundred times before, and he was talking to Opel and Arnold as if they were old friends he hadn’t seen in a while.
Rose quickly hid her wand and cleared her throat to let them known she was there. Three pairs of shocked eyes turned to look at her. Giving a slight smile, she waved.
Arnold, shaking his head from the shock he had received, stood up and walked over to Rose and gave her a giant bear hug. “You should have come by earlier: you missed the story that…”
Cutting him off, Rose looked at Scorpius and asked, “What are you doing here?”
Giving that star smile, Scorpius said with ease, “Can’t a bloke visit some old friends?”
“Yes,” Rose said awkwardly. “I just didn’t know that you stopped buy often, is all.” Scorpius’s grin fell, and his eyes went straight to Rose’s. He stared at her as if he was trying to figure out what was bothering her. Even Rose didn’t understand why it bothered her that Scorpius was there: it just did. Maybe it was because she had introduced them, and he had been able to accept them so easily, or maybe it was because it showed how much of a better person he was than her.
Opel, picking up on the awkwardness in the room, stood up and walked over to Rose, grabbing her coat and telling her to go get some soup and sit.
Rose did as she was told and took the open seat next to Scorpius. She could feel Scorpius shift in his seat; even in potions class they didn’t sit that close. Clearing her throat, she took a bite of the soup and swallowed. No had spoken yet, and she didn’t want to be the first.
Clearing his throat, Scorpius spoke up. “So as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by Rose,” he gave her a pointed look.
“Excuse me, but I would hardly say I interrupted, seeing as how I come here on the third Tuesday of every month,” Rose retorted.
Scorpius just raised his eyebrows up and said sarcastically, “I was just saying that if you were going to barge in and make everyone stop to look at you, you could have just knocked on the door.”
Rose was about to defend herself when Opel walked into the room, saying with a smile on her face and a small pile of letters in her hand, “Don’t listen to him, Rose, you know we are always happy to see you.”
“Well, thank you,” Rose said, paying no attention to Scorpius.
Opel took a seat across from Rose and asked, “So what is new with you two? How is school?”
Rose spoke first, “School is good.”
Scorpius almost dropped his spoon in his soup bowl. He knew school wasn’t going even remotely well for Rose. He didn’t have to talk to her to know she was miserable. But since her life wasn’t any of his business, he remained silent and ate his soup.
“Well that is nice,” Opel said sweetly. “And how are you and that boyfriend of yours?”
“Oh, we broke up,” Rose said casually.
Getting a sympathetic look on her face, Opel reached out and patted Rose’s hand and said, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Well I’m not,” Arnold said loudly.
Rose got an odd look on her face. “Why is that, Arnold? You never even met him.”
“Exactly. If he wasn’t good enough to introduce to us, then he isn’t good enough for you,” he said proudly.
Rose almost wanted to laugh. “Well if we went by that rule, then the only person good enough for me would be Scor…” she quickly cut herself off.
Scorpius practically choked on his food when he heard that. Looking up, he saw how red Rose was getting at the thought of them being together. It was an awkward thought, but not an impossible one.
He looked over to Arnold who had a grin on his face. “Precisely,” he said excitedly.
Scorpius just shook his head and said, “There is only one flaw in that logic, Arnold.”
“And what might that be?” he said sternly.
“We would have to like each other,” Scorpius said matter-of-factly.
Rose nodded her head in agreement. “And at the moment, we are barely even acquaintances.” She shot Scorpius a frustrated look, which he purposely ignored.
Arnold gave a small, disappointed look. “And why is that?”
“Arnold,” Opel said, giving her husband a pat on the shoulder, “Stop interrogating the poor kids and let them eat.”
Rose and Scorpius were both relieved Opel had put an end to the conversation until she made the sly remark, “Although it is a shame you two aren’t friends anymore. Seriously, if you can get over fifteen years of hatred towards one another, then you can get over this minor thing.”
Scorpius and Rose both bent their heads down. It wasn’t often Opel said exactly what she thought. She had away about making someone see past what was clouding their judgment, and Rose and Scorpius didn’t like it: they were both being childish.
Rose didn’t see how any of it was her fault; she had said sorry in the hospital wing that night and asked for forgiveness from Scorpius. He said he had, but it was obviously not true, and Rose didn’t know what else to do. It was in that moment Rose understood why he hadn’t forgiven her, and it was just like Scorpius had said over a year ago: I’m sorry doesn’t always fix things.
It had grown much colder as the night went on, and Rose couldn’t help but shiver as she walked beside Scorpius back to the castle. They had hardly spoken to each other except for a few minutes at Arnold and Opel’s house, and even then, they talked about school. To be completely honest, they hadn’t spoken about anything but school since the night in the hospital wing.
Rose wanted to say something. Since she just realized what Scorpius wanted her to do. She had open herself up and actually let him in as a friend, but this was something she was completely terrified to do. She knew all she would have to do was tell Scorpius one honest feeling, and he would forgive her.
Taking a deep breath, she stopped walking. Scorpius took a few steps before he realized she wasn’t beside him. Turning around slowly, he saw her just standing in the middle of the forest by herself. He couldn’t help but notice how beautiful she looked; she always looked beautiful to him, but there was something so pure about the way she was standing there, so natural. Realizing what he was thinking, he pushed those thoughts out of his head and asked, “Are you alright?”
“I am miserable at school,” she said in a rushed voice.
“I know,” he replied indifferently.
“No, I mean I am really miserable. For the first time in my life, I feel as if I don’t have single person I can talk to who won’t judge me,” she said quietly. She could feel small tears start to form on her eyes, and she really hoped Scorpius wouldn’t notice them.
Scorpius was a little shocked by what he was hearing. Taking a long deep breath, he started to walk towards her, stopping only when he was centimeters away. He looked at her. He truly looked at her, and it was as if for the first time, he was seeing the amazing, beautiful person he knew Rose was. This was a face she rarely showed to anyone.
Slowly, he lifted his hand up and lightly touched her cheek with his fingertips. Rose took a deep breath; she didn’t want to move. She wanted to remain still with Scorpius just barely touching her. She felt his thumb slowly trace across her face as he gently wiped the tears away. Rose closed her eyes, just taking in the moment as Scorpius let his hand linger on her cheek.
Dropping his hand, Scorpius whispered, “You have me,” and then did something unexpected: he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a hug.
Rose could feel the warmth his body was giving off, and she was grateful to have a shoulder to cry on. For the first time since the school year had started, she felt calm and relaxed and reassured with the thought that everything was going to be alright.
A/N: I am so extremely sorry that it has taken me so long to update. Hopefully it won’t take as long to update the next chapter. Please review because they are always fun to read and tell me what you think of the chapter. Also thank you to Hannah who is an AMAZING editor.
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