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The Quiet Outcast by Kira
Chapter 14 : Scorpius Malfoy
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 17


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Chapter Fourteen

Scorpius Malfoy

I received a proper shock when I realized that my O.W.L.S were not far away. Naturally, it was Mum who reminded me by sending me a study planner with a variety of colored pens so I could accurately code times to study for each subject. I hadn't really given much thought to my exams before now...maybe I always just expected to perform at an average level as usual. However, the study planner, far from helping ease my mind about my upcoming work load, only made me worry about exams more. I tried my best to study when I could, but I've never been that great at sitting on my own and pouring over my notes as Mum would have done. Glen wasn't any help at all.

“I've made it this far in my educational career without studying,” he told me brightly when I mentioned O.W.L.S to him as we stood in the courtyard, our collars turned against the winter wind. “I really don't have any intention of starting now.” This, of course, didn't make me feel any better. It was true, Glen could probably pass his exams without studying. He really was infuriating in just about every way.

At that moment, a group of Slytherins walked through the courtyard, Evan Lee among them. Even though it had been months since our confrontation, I still felt nervous whenever I saw him. Evan seemed to know we were there, though at the same time he refused to look directly at us. He had been this way since we fought; in fact I had punched Evan right where I was standing.

“He hasn't been bugging you at all has he?” Glen asked me, watching the group of Slytherins disappear around the corner.

“No,” I answered, watching as well. “He hasn't said a word to me since the fight.”

“He hasn't been a jerk to me either lately,” Glen admitted, his yellow hair flapping in the wind. “And I find that strange because I still owe him quite a bit of gold.” I shrugged in response, not knowing how to explain Evan's change of heart to Glen or to myself. I didn't know if Evan was leaving me alone because he was scared I could beat him up again, or because he actually felt bad about what he had been doing. Glen was starting to talk about his continuing shifts at Madame Chang's when another group of students walked through the courtyard chatting loudly over the wind and I noticed that Lily was among them. Glen stopped talking and watched as Lily passed; I raised my hand and waved. For a moment it looked as though she was going to come over and talk to me, but her eyes narrowed when she saw who I was with and she continued on with her friends. I heard Glen sigh next to me.

“What happened between you two anyway?” I asked, surprised at my own daring. I had to admit, I was terribly curious to know why Lily had pulled the plug on their fake relationship. Despite what she had said in the hospital wing, her hanging out with Glen deeply annoyed her other brothers, James in particular. Glen didn't respond right away and right when I thought he wasn't going to give an answer he said swiftly,

“Not sure. I got her a Christmas present, and the next thing I know she's telling me to take a hike.”

“What did you get her?” I asked next, wondering what Glen imagined to be a suitable Christmas present. This time, Glen answered more quickly.

“Obviously the wrong thing,” he said , before pulling his gloves from his pockets and slipping them over his fingers. He bid me farewell, sounding a bit sad. If I didn't know any better, I would have to conclude that Glen Saunders does indeed have a heart...and maybe a corner was a tiny bit broken.

*******

It really is a good thing that I wake up quite a bit earlier than Glen or the other four boys in our dormitory, because I think many of then would find it quite strange to see me with the name Scorpius Malfoy taped ever so precisely to my forehead. This was, of course, the name I found after successfully helping Mipsy. I got dressed in the semi-darkness, got a drink of water from the silver pitcher on the window sill, and slipped the name of my current mission into my pocket. I wasn't exactly sure how I felt about Scorpius Malfoy. I remember Dad pointing out the Malfoys the first time I was ever on Platform 9 ¾; it was when Rose went to Hogwarts for first year. He warned Rose not to get too friendly with him, and hoped that she would beat Scorpius in exams, and probably whatever else came along at school.

Despite those types of warnings, I felt as though I knew nothing about Scorpius. Over the next couple of days I watched Scorpius over at the Slytherin table during meals as it was really the only time I ever saw him as he wasn't in my year or in my house. I did know that Scorpius played on the Slytherin Quidditch team and, because of this, noticed him talking to Al on a couple of occasions; they might even be friends. As far as I could see, Scorpius seemed quiet. He appeared to have friends by his side most of the time, but rarely was the one leading the conversation. He never struck me as a shy person, just a person who didn't waste his words.

Even though I watched Scorpius for awhile, I think I knew from the very beginning what Scorpius needed help with, in fact I've known for a long time. I remembered how, on numerous occasions, catching Scorpius looking at Rose from afar with a slightly longing look on his face. It was clear to me, at least, that Scorpius really liked her. I know its more normal for a brother to feel defensive and a bit angry when they realize that someone likes their sister, take James and Al for example, but I didn't feel that way at all. I know it sounds really strange, but there was nothing creepy or weird about the way Scorpius looked at Rose. There was something wistful in his gaze, as if imagining the possible happiness he was too nervous to pursue. I knew the feeling.

All that being said, even though I knew what Scorpius wanted, I really had no idea how to help him get it. What he wanted was clear; a relationship with Rose, but my romantic expertise was like my Quidditch skills; nonexistent. The only date I had ever been on was one arranged by the girl that I love, and it turned out to be nothing but a night of humiliation; that didn't make me a romantic master. I thought about Rose and tried to think about the boys she had dated previously. Rose is really popular; she has a lot of friends, and seems to embrace her fame. The boys she dated in the past, and there have been quite a few, were of a similar mold. A good number of them were Quidditch players; they all were fairly popular and had slightly aggressive personalities. The boys Rose dates certainly make themselves heard; she seems to be attracted to bold personalities. Unfortunately, as far as I could see, solemn and reserved Scorpius was the exact opposite. Apparently knowing what the person I was supposed to be helping wanted wasn't necessarily going to make my job any easier.

********

Soon, it was February and, as with every year, my birthday seemed to just sneak up upon me. I've never been a big fan of my birthday, and try to make as little deal out of it as possible. There always seems to be so much pressure on people to have a good birthday and to “do” something really fun and spectacular. Everyone always seems to want to know what people “do” on their birthday as if it is some kind of contest. I never really do anything special on my birthday and, honestly if it weren't for Glen, I would probably forget about my birthday altogether. Somehow, Glen always seems to remember that its my birthday and always tries to make a big deal about it. It usually consists of a ridiculous gift and a rendition of “Happy Birthday” sung very loudly. While I appreciate the effort and the fact that he remembers, I still would rather the 12th of February pass without a fuss. Though I had to admit, I was surprised when I awoke on the morning of my birthday to find no gifts at the foot of my bed. I've never really set much stock by presents, there is very little that I actually want, but I always get a present from my parents, and Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny. Not to mention Nana Weasley's, or Grandma Granger's. Maybe people were finally listening and leaving me alone on my birthday. I had to admit, it wasn't making me feel particularly good, despite what I had always said and thought.

My birthday continued to be surprising when Glen joined me at breakfast and didn't say or sing a word about it. In fact, he simply plunked himself down in across from me wearing, instead of an expression of delight, one of suspicion.

“What are you staring at Malfoy for?” I jumped in alarm, realizing that Glen had just caught me watching Scorpius eat his breakfast, trying to think of something I could do.

“What?” I asked, hoping that Glen would think he had simply caught me in a daydream that had nothing to do with Scorpius.

“This is like the fourth time I've caught you looking at him,” Glen pressed on, piling eggs onto his plate, talking as if he and I were discussing something simple like the weather. “This isn't like a crush or anything is it? Because I'm not sure if I'm mentally equipped as your friend and roommate to deal with that properly.”

I knew what Glen was doing, and he was quite good at it. He knew that if he accused me of having a crush on Malfoy, I would immediately deny this fact and prove him wrong with the truth. And, the tactic worked.

“I'm trying to get Scorpius and my sister together.” Glen blinked, obviously surprised, but said, while he ate,

“And what plans do you have so far?”

Glen is certainly an anomaly. One minute I'm dreading the fact he's my best friend, and the next I feel grateful. He didn't ask me why I was doing what I was doing, he simply accepted it.

“Well,” I started, trying to sound hopeful, but I decided to be honest instead. “I've got nothing.”

“No offense, mate,” Glen said, adding bacon to his pile of eggs. “Your romantic track record isn't anything to brag about.” I knew I should feel insulted, but he spoke the truth.

“Mine isn't much better,” he added with a shrug, and I saw him glace briefly over my shoulder at the Gryffindor table. “But, together I'm sure we can figure something out. I always like a good challenge.”

Despite Glen probably being the worst person imaginable to help with this mission, I had to be grateful. I was a bit tired of trying to complete all of these people on my own. It was nice to confide in someone and to discuss ideas with.

It was strange talking with Glen about my sister, normal things like family come up so rarely in our conversations. Now thinking about it, I know absolutely nothing about Glen's own family. I would have to remember to ask later. I told Glen everything I had observed so far, about how Rose seemed to like guys who stood up for themselves and made themselves heard, and how Scorpius didn't seem to have that type of personality. Glen seemed to actually be listening as I explained, and also seemed to be doing some serious thinking. Though, he did manage to consume eight strips of bacon and practically a whole serving dish of eggs during the process. But with people I've noticed, and especially Glen, you take what you can get.

The bell rang signaling first period and Glen and I bustled off to History of Magic.

“We can keep talking about this later,” he said, swinging his bag across his thin shoulders. “Could you meet me down at Hagrid's after dinner?

“Why there?” I asked, walking faster to keep up with Glen's tall strides.

“I got a detention from him for sticking a bowtruckle down Jim Riley's trousers,” he answered casually. “Hagrid said I'd be sorting through something nasty down in his hut. You don't have to help me, but some company would greatly help the process.”

I agreed, shaking my head. Another positive thing about being Glen's friend was that he liked me enough to not shove a bowtruckle shoved into my trousers.

*******

Glen wasn't at dinner, and it seemed that Charlie and Albus were missing as well, so I didn't really know who I was supposed to sit with. I ate a tiny portion of shepherd's pie and decided to go back to the common room rather than sit at my own at the Hufflepuff table. As I was about to head down towards the kitchens when I caught sight of Scorpius and a few of his friends were huddled close together near the entrance to the corridor leading to the dungeons and their common room. As I looked hesitantly at the group of Slytherins a rather important thought occurred to me. What if I was wrong about Scorpius's feelings about Rose? What if he didn't like her at all? What if he had some other problem he was dealing with, and I was attempting to solve the wrong one? Just because I was also unlucky in love, it didn't mean that I had the ability to correctly analyze the pained expression on someone else's face, right? Before Glen came up with some crazy plot that he was determined to see through, I had better make sure. He always seemed to be surrounded by people, so now was as good as ever. I swallowed and tried to summon some of the courage it had taken to stand at the edge of the Astronomy tower with Mipsy.

“Er...Scorpius?” I asked gently; saying his name out loud for the first time. Scorpius and his three friends all turned to look at me. The group did not appear to be mean or hostile, but they didn't seem to welcome my presence either. “Can I have a word?”

From the confused look on his face, I half expected him to say, “no.” However, he shrugged at his friends and followed me away from them to stand at the foot of the grand staircase leading to the upper floors.

“Um...” I started brilliantly, gawking slightly at how tall Scorpius was. “I'm Hugo...Hugo Weasley.”

“I know who you are,” Scorpius answered. His voice was very measured and surprisingly rather gentle.

“Oh,” I said, even more brilliantly. His father had probably pointed out all the Weasley kids to him as Dad had pointed him out to us. I was stumped on how to proceed, and Scorpius was already looking over his shoulder at the friends he had left who were now disappearing to the dungeons. I thought of gripping the railing of the Astronomy tower and looking down at the sweeping grounds before blurting,

“You like my sister.” I didn't really phrase it as a question, it simply slipped out as a statement. Scorpius's brown eyebrows shot up into his dark, blonde hair and he was staring at me as though he had never seen anything quite like me before.

“What?” he asked, and I knew right away it was the same kind of “what?” I had given Glen at breakfast that morning.

“You like Rose,” I pressed on, a bit more confidently as I was fairly sure he wasn't the type of person to snap at me. I expected him to deny it again, but he simply shrugged looking exasperated,

“So?”

Ha! So I was right! I had accomplished what I had wanted in the conversation, but realized I still had to find a way to end it. But before I could speak, Scorpius kept talking.

“She doesn't like me anyway.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, the triumph of my discovery fading.

“I asked her out once before,” Scorpius admitted, his voice still very steady; if he was upset, it didn't show. “And she said no.”

Alright, even I had to admit this was a little disheartening. If Connie wasn't with James, and I had ever managed to find the courage to ask her out, I would have been crushed if she had said no. I would never try again, and it seemed that Scorpius was thinking along the same lines.

“I should get going,” he said next, and he took a couple steps away from me.

“But I can help you!” The words tumbled from my mouth before I truly got my mind wrapped around them. It seemed to be happening more often lately; I used to be such a careful thinker. Scorpius paused, considering me quietly.

“How?”

It was a more than fair question, and unfortunately I didn't have a good answer. All I could say was,

“I'll get back to you.”

I left him looking confused and I could hardly blame him. Maybe he would change his mind about liking Rose having met her immensely strange little brother. Problem solved I thought bitterly.

********

Thoughts on how I had likely already screwed up my chances on helping Scorpius followed me all the way down to Hagrid's hut. It was still terribly cold, though the snow had changed from pure, fluffy white, to that gross type of wet snow that's gray and depressing. It just figures that I would be born in the most depressing month possible. Its cold and dreary and its about that time that everyone, even people who enjoy winter, start dreaming of warm weather and missing the feel of grass under their shoes instead of crunching snow. I slipped along though the mucky snow, hoping that whatever Glen had to sort out wasn't too disgusting as I would probably find myself helping him. It was fairly dark by the time I reached Hagrid's cabin, and I couldn't help but remember James' prank on me.

I knocked on Hagrid's door and heard the booming barks of his dog, Scout. The door was flung open and with a roar of delight, Hagrid pulled me inside. There was a great shout as voices shouted,

“Surprise!” and “Happy Birthday!” at the top of their lungs. My heart was beating fast, and my brain had yet to catch up to what I was seeing, but I couldn't help but notice that a broad smile was spreading across my face.

There were a bunch of people sitting around the wooden table which was currently home to a small pyramid of presents. Glen, Charlie, Albus, Lily and, my heart skipped a beat, Connie were all sitting grinning at me. Hagrid had an apron around his waist and was in the process of pulling something out of the oven. Glen came over to me and pulled my cloak off and hung it on one of the wooden pegs near the door.

“Happy Birthday!” he declared brightly, clapping me on the back. “I figured we'd be celebrating your birthday like usual but, as it turns out, a lot of other people wanted to celebrate too.” I really didn't know what to say. The coldness that had been clinging to me from my trek to the cabin seemed to have melted away. The next thing I knew we were being served butterbeer and cake, and Glen was leading everyone in a rising chorus of “Happy Birthday.”

After eating the entire cake and practically cleaning out Hagrid's stores of butterbeer, everyone insisted that I open my presents and I couldn't believe how many there were. There was one from everyone at the party, one from my parents, one of Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry, one from both sets of grandparents, one from Rose, and one from Mipsy. They were all really great, but I particularly enjoyed the book on guitars from Connie.

The party went to well after curfew and Hagrid had to walk us all back up to school so we wouldn't get in trouble. It was still cold and dreary outside as we walked but I couldn't help but think that perhaps February wasn't as bad as I had previously thought.

********

True to his word, Glen did come up with a plan to help Scorpius over the next couple of days. We were in Herbology, wrestling with some kind of underwater plant that looked like coral, but its long pink whips still waved as though it was underwater. I couldn't remember what Professor Longbottom had referred to it as, but his smile was particularly bright informing me that the plant was both rare and likely dangerous.

“I don't get it,” I said once Glen was finished revealing his plan. Glen sighed, ducking as the bright pink plant took a swipe at his face.

“Don't you see how perfect it is, Hugo?” he said, grinning. I shook my head, standing as far away from the plant as I could while still seeming involved in the work Glen was doing. Herbology really is too messy for my taste. Glen explained again.

“You've mentioned how Rose likes guys who stand up for themselves, which means she will like a guy who stands up for her as well. Our man Scorpius, however, doesn't really seem to speak out too often for whatever reason. With this plan, we set up a situation where Scorpius comes across as that type of person. Hand me those clippers will you?”

I used a clean towel to pick up the clippers because they had dirt on the handle and gave them to Glen.

“Here's how its going to work,” he went on, somehow working, talking, and thinking all at the same time. “You tell Rose that you need to talk to her in the entrance hall before lunch and to meet you there. At that time Scorpius and I will already be there. Then, someone with a particularly big mouth...” He paused, a glint in his eyes. “Will start to say some...er...disrespectful things about your sister.” He shrugged, not taking his eyes away from the plant. “Of course, I don't mean the things I'm going to be saying. Then, you will appear with Rose, she will hear what I'm saying, and will witness Scorpius standing up for her and maybe giving me a punch to the gut for good measure.”

I watched Glen in fascination.

“That's either the dumbest or cleverest thing I've ever heard,” I concluded, wondering if including Glen in this plan was a good idea.

“I guess we'll find out,” Glen said, not ducking fast enough as the plant finally succeeded in swatting him across the face.

********

“Just don't hit me in the face,” Glen said finally, when we presented our plan to Scorpius on Saturday. “Don't want to ruin the moneymaker.” If Scorpius had been looking at me as though I was strange during our last meeting, it was nothing compared to how he was looking at Glen. There was no way I could have gotten through the explanation, so I was thankful that Glen had taken it up.

“I really don't think this is a good idea,” Scorpius answered truthfully. We were down in the dungeons; we had been hanging around the Sytherin common room waiting for him to come out.

“You want to get the girl, don't you?” Glen demanded, looking him in the eye. He was nearly as tall as Scorpius was.

“I don't really see what...”

“Yes or no?” There was something fierce in Glen's eyes when he said this. Perhaps it was his own current romantic woes that had developed such determination.
“Yes,” Scorpius finally answered, looking ashamed that the conversation was being dominated by a younger student.

“Well, then I think that's your answer,” Glen concluded. “This is going to be easy. You're the one who is going to come off looking like a hero. I'm the one who is going to come off looking like the underside of a poisonous toadstool. You can't lose here.”

Scorpius shrugged.

“Alright, I'll see you in the entrance hall at 1:00,” Glen said, taking the shrug as a “yes.”

“What, today?” Scorpius said, startled.

“Of course today!” Glen snapped. “Why wait!” And with that, Glen turned and marched away down the corridor. I didn't leave nearly as quickly and found myself alone with Scorpius.

“Why are you doing this?” he asked me now that we are alone.

“I'm not really sure,” I answered honestly. “But I'm pretty sure its the right thing. I'll see you later then, Scorpius.”

He nodded, looking just as doubtful as I felt.

********

As Glen instructed, I sent Rose a note asking her to meet me in the entrance hall before lunch, and she sent back a response saying that she would be there. Scorpius appeared in the entrance hall at a quarter to one, fifteen minutes before Rose was supposed to appear. For the first time, he seemed nervous. Perhaps he was going over what he was going to say when he challenged Glen. Scorpius was twisting his hands together as he stood.

There was just one problem.

One, super, big, mind-numbing problem.

Glen was nowhere to be found.

I couldn't understand it. This had been his idea, his master plan. Even though Glen can be a royal idiot, he normally does the things that he says. But, no matter how many times I scanned the entrance hall or checked my watch, he didn't appear. At five minutes to one, Scorpius asked as casually as he could,

“Where's your friend?”

I wished I had an answer for him and one for myself. I had absolutely no idea where Glen was. It had been his idea to do this today.

“I'm not sure, but he'll be here.”

As the minute hand inched ever closer to the top of my watch, Scorpius finally said,
“Look, Hugo, I appreciate the thought, but I don't think he's coming.”

“But, the plan,” I protested weakly, knowing that I had failed. Serves me right asking help from Glen.

“Just forget it,” Scorpius said, heading for the stairs. I ran after him, and sort of blocked his path up the stairs.

“But, Rose...she's coming.”

“I said forget it!” Scorpius said more firmly, sidestepping me and heading swiftly up the stairs.

I turned sharply to try and call Scorpius back, but tripped on the stone step I was on as my foot was very close to the edge. I lost my balance and crashed down the stairs. Normally my main concern would be the fact that I had just tripped and fallen in front of a large group of people and that there was a good chance of pointing and laughing. However, this time I couldn't be concerned with such things because this fall hurt. I had been five steps up the staircase and I felt each and every one as I tumbled down, finally reaching the bottom and striking my forehead on one of the stone pillars at the foot of the banister. I groaned, my body half on the entrance hall floor and half still on the stairs. I felt incredibly stupid and woozy as I tried to sit up.

Suddenly Scorpius was by my side, his face swimming slightly in my hazy view. He seemed slightly out of breath. I tried to push myself up a bit more, but Scorpius put a kind but firm hand on my shoulder and kept me in a lying position.

“Jesus, Hugo, lie still for a second,” he murmured, and I noticed that he was staring at my forehead. Now I know what Uncle Harry feels like; people still persist on gaping at his forehead to this day. I, unwisely, put a hand to my forehead, running my fingers across it. Everything felt fine until I got to the right side of my forehead and felt something warm and sticky greet my fingertips. I took in a deep shuddering breath as I looked at the blood now running down my hand. My heart was clenched with fear and dread, as if a dementor had just floated into our midst.

“Oh. My. God,” I gasped. “I'm dying.” I really wish that I knew I was exaggerating, but at that moment I truly and honestly believed that having such an amount of blood out of my body meant that death wouldn't be far away.

“You're not dying,” Scorpius said firmly, sounding exasperated at my panic. He pushed my bloody hand away from where I could see it, and I heard him mutter diffindo under his breath. There was a ripping sound and suddenly a piece of black cloth was pressed against my forehead.

“Hold this,” he commanded gently, and I took my other hand and clapped it against the black fabric I realized to be a piece of Scorpius' robes.

“I'm going to levitate you, and take you to the hospital wing,” Scorpius informed me next, his voice strangely calming. I was concentrating on holding the robes to the gash on my forehead and trying to think of anything else but blood, so I didn't respond. The next thing I knew, I felt my body rise up off the steps, and float almost eerily in midair. The movement was making my head swim more and I shut my eyes to prevent myself from feeling too sick.

I didn't open my eyes again until I felt myself lowered gently onto a soft, hospital wing bed. I know that Uncle Harry has the world record for being admitted to the hospital wing, but I felt that lately I was giving him a run for his money. I had just been here. The next thing I knew, Madam Kirch was pulling the scrap of robe away from my face and examining my forehead. I heard her muttering to herself about the deepness of the cut and how she felt about head injuries. I heard Scorpius explaining to her about my tumble down the stairs. Madame Kirch's wand passed over my forehead, and my wound already felt improved, and I could tell that it had stopped bleeding. Next, she had me sip from a glass of potion that apparently was going to help lesson future bruising. A bandage was then applied to my head and, seeming satisfied, she shuffled away.

I lay in the bed for a few minutes with my eyes closed before realizing that Scorpius was still there. He wasn't sitting in the chair, but standing as though he wanted to leave but couldn't to talk himself into it. I was about to tell him that he could get going, and apologize for the botched plan with Rose, when Rose herself burst into the hospital wing. My eyes snapped shut by instinct; I decided to give Scorpius a chance “alone” with my sister.

“Is he alright?” she asked, coming closer to the bed.

“Some bumps and bruises,” Scorpius answered quietly, and I could tell by his voice that he was caught off guard by Rose's sudden appearance.

“You took him here?” Rose asked next, and she sounded surprised. “That's what everyone was saying.”

“Well I wasn't about to leave him bleeding and the bottom of the stairs,” Scorpius answered, sounding a bit affronted.

“They also said that you ran back down the stairs after you saw him fall, you calmed him down, cut up your own robes to make a bandage, and levitated him up here.”

“Er...” Scorpius answered, sounding embarrassed. “I guess so.” I chanced a look at them by opening my eyes slightly and Rose was staring at Scorpius as if she had never seen him properly before. And, honestly, I don't think she ever had.

“Thank you, Scorpius,” Rose said next, and she truly meant it. I felt a sudden wave of affection for my sister; I didn't know that she cared so much.

“Look,” Rose went on, and I was surprised to hear that she sounded slightly nervous. “If you're not doing anything later...” My heart leapt in hope for Scorpius, and I knew that his had done the same.

“Its just that...I mean if you were planning on going to Hogsmeade later...I was already planning on going.” She paused; apparently my sister isn't always as smooth as I thought. “If we're both going, we might as well go together.” She came to the end of her garbled invitation, and stood there looking at Scorpius appealingly. I chanced a look at Scorpius and watched as his features became home to a bright smile; something I had yet to see from him.

“You're right, we might as well,” he answered, and I had to give him credit for sounding so calm.

“Ok,” Rose answered, sounding relieved. “I'm going to sit with Hugo a little while longer and then I'll meet you down in the entrance hall.” Scorpius nodded and left the room beaming. Rose was smiling as she watched him go; I guess aggressive wasn't necessarily her type at all.

I shut my eyes again so she wouldn't know I had been listening. She sat down in the seat Lily had occupied last time I had been in the hospital wing. I couldn't help but smile myself. I noticed just how soft my pillow was, and what a wonder it was for my pounding head. No, Dad wasn't going to be too happy if Rose and Scorpius started a relationship but, even I had to admit, Scorpius Malfoy was a really nice guy. I could still feel the places on my body that had bumped against the stone stairs, but I thought of Rose and Scorpius' smiles and decided it was worth it.

*******

AN: Hello, all! I hope you all enjoyed this chapter as it was particularly fun to write for me. I really like how this story, and the character of Hugo, are progressing and changing from even what I originally conceived. Its been a true pleasure writing this story, and thank you for spending time reading this. If you've got a few extra seconds, I'd love to know your thoughts on this chapter, or anything else you'd like to share. Enjoy what's left of summer!

All my love,

Kira



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