Chapter 5 : Graduation.
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The cousins, and my own brother hadn’t told any adults what I had said, but they still hadn’t really forgiven me for saying it. Whenever someone mentioned muggleborns, James would often look over at me, giving an accusing glance. But I did feel guilty about saying it, and I had made sure that I didn’t ever say it. Scorpius had taken to saying it, and if I ever told him off for it, he would just smile mischievously and would call me a hypocrite. In the end, I gave up commenting whenever he said it.
I was dreading taking my N.E.W.Ts, but my own fear was nothing compared to how Scorpius was feeling. We would often be having a normal conversation, and then he would stop, ask a question and then rush to a book to look it up. I told him almost constantly that he needn’t worry about the exams, because he knew it all already, however, he had a tendency to ignore me when I said this.
I was still committed to going into Quidditch and I often found that I would be on my broom rather than revising for exams. One of the teachers, Professor Innes, the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher was very aware of the amount of exam stress we were under. She walked into the lesson and told us to put our books away. The class began to whisper. We were all expecting a lesson of reading textbooks.
She smirked at the surprise on our faces. “Right, you lovely people! I thought we’d try something new today. It’s a pretty advanced piece of magic, and I don’t expect you to be able to do it straight away... Who knows what a patronus is?” She asked the class. Of course, the entire class knew what a patronus was. She grinned satisfied when the entire class smiled back at her.
“Right, well... what you need to do, is think of the thing that makes you feel extremely happy, then-“ she flicked her wand slowly “-Expecto Patronum!” a small silver dog came bouncing out from her wand, and began to run around excitedly. “Off you go then!”
The room was suddenly full with people saying the spell and swishing their wands hopefully. Nothing happened for any of the students, and nothing continued to happen. I thought of my family. I tried at least twenty times during the lesson to no avail. With only five minutes of the lesson left, I heard the professor exclaim excitedly. “Yes, Mr. Malfoy! Well done!”
I turned to see Scorpius pointing his wand to a bird. It was fluttering around the room, emitting a silvery glow. Scorpius was positively grinning, and I once more noted how handsome he was when he did so. The lesson was the last of the day, so the students and professor filed out of the room slowly, leaving for their common rooms.
I noticed Scorpius was dawdling, so I gave him a playful push out of the door. “So what were you thinking about?” I asked. He stopped in the middle of the corridor, and he was looking at the floor. I laughed slightly. “Don’t tell me- Arlene Georgeson?” I asked.
He shook his head. He was still looking at the ground. I stopped laughing. “What, then?” I asked, curious.
“You.” He said. I felt myself go painfully red. I was sure it wasn’t supposed to come out like that. I was sure he just meant it in a friendly way.
“Oh... Right” I said, my heart pumping furiously in my chest. He looked up at me. His neck was pink, and he wouldn’t look at me.
“I- like you” I stared at him. I could feel my knees go weak. “But don’t worry, we can stay friends, if you want.” He added.
I wanted to speak, but my voice wouldn’t work. A first year suddenly ran past, snapping me back into reality. My stomach flipped. “I like you too” I said quickly. I was sure that Scorpius could have seen my pulse racing if he would have looked at me for more than a second. He looked surprised.
He took a step closer to me. I gasped slightly, unsure of what to do. I closed my eyes. I could smell his hair. The next thing I knew, I felt a pair of lips on mine. They were warm and soft. I wanted to stay how we were, but he pulled away quickly. It was only a peck on the lips, but we were both grinning.
“Do you want to be my girlfriend?” He asked, smiling. His cheeks were flushed pink. I nodded. The words were being lost in my throat. We walked back to the Slytherin common room slowly. As we walked, I slipped my hand into Scorpius’. His hands were warm, and I couldn’t help but smile.
When our friends found out, they did not seem surprised in the least and assured us that it was “bound to happen”. I wondered what my parents would say. I knew they wouldn’t be impressed. It made me feel very guilty. But then, Scorpius would kiss me, and I would push the guilt out of my mind.
So, as if I needed more distractions not to prepare for my N.E.W.Ts, I now had a relationship with Scorpius to enjoy. It was different to Sebastian. I felt butterflies whenever he touched me. Butterflies when he smiled at me. I was smitten.
Needless to say, my N.E.W.Ts did not go well. I was extremely confident for charms. I had become passionate about it. If I didn’t receive an outstanding in it I would have been shocked. The other lessons? I was hoping to just pass them. Quidditch teams were showing interest in me, and I had received an offer for the Tutshil Tornadoes, on the condition I passed my N.E.W.Ts. If I did pass, then I would begin at the start of the season in August.
For once, my parents were as thrilled as I was. Scorpius smiled and made it seem like he was happy, but I was sure he was worried we would grow apart when I started. I promised him that it wouldn’t happen, but he didn’t really seem convinced.
I had in fact got the grades that I had expected, meaning that I would be able to become a Quidditch player. Scorpius got excellent grades once more, and he was able to join the Ministry of Magic, as he had planned.
Graduation day was now looming. I still hadn’t told my parents that I was in a relationship, and the cousins and Hugo didn’t seem to notice that we were together either, luckily. I hoped that the graduation would go well. I hoped that Draco and Astoria didn’t manage to speak to my parents, because I was sure that it wouldn’t end well for anyone involved. Scorpius felt the same way.
On the morning of graduation, I woke up in the Slytherin dorm much earlier than usual. I was in shock that after this day, I would not be returning to the common room. It was sad. There were so many memories in this common room, and the school as a whole, that I didn’t want to let go of. I didn’t feel ready to leave. Scorpius understood how I felt, when he saw me sat alone on a chair in the common room. He led me out of the room when it was finally time to go to the Great Hall and graduate.
Scorpius was nervous, I could tell, so I slipped my hand into his as we walked in. We were surrounded by other Slytherin seventh years, so I was sure that my parents wouldn’t be able to see it. We were then organised alphabetically, meaning that I would be one of the last to shake hands with the headmaster and receive my N.E.W.T grades officially. I noticed the amount of family that was in the audience. My parents were there, smiling up at me proudly. My brother was there too, looking rather bored at how long the headmasters’ speech was taking.
Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny were there too, supporting Albus. Along with James and Lily. Uncle Harry was grinning and occasionally wiping tears out of his eyes. It made me smile to see that. He really loved his children.
I saw Draco and Astoria, too. Draco had his arm around Astoria, who looked like she could cry at any given moment. Finally, it was time to receive the certificates. I watched Albus and Scorpius graduate and go to their families. I watched my other friends and acquaintances graduate too, until I was part of a tiny group of people left on the stage. Finally, my name was called and I accepted my certificates. My eyes wandered to Draco and Astoria, who were smiling at me, as though I was their daughter. It made me smile.
I went over to my parents who were also smiling proudly at me. My mother gave me a tight hug, and my father kissed me on the forehead.
Then, at the end of the ceremony, people began to mill around, parents meeting for the first time, students tearfully exchanging contact details, and the like. I found myself gravitating towards Scorpius, Astoria and Draco. My parents were too busy speaking to Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry to notice. I smiled at Scorpius happily. I looked over my shoulder to check my parents weren’t looking, and kissed Scorpius. I didn’t realise that I was in front of Astoria, but when I looked up, blushing furiously, I saw her smiling at me.
The next thing I knew, I saw my mother by my side. I wondered whether she saw me kiss Scorpius. She was not revealing anything at the point, however.
“Ah. Granger. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?” Draco said, nodding towards her. My mother’s eyes narrowed.
“It’s Weasley, Malfoy. You know that.” She said, coldly. Malfoy shrugged.
“I would have thought that you would keep the name Granger for- professional purposes” he said. I could see my mother becoming irritated by Draco. He sighed. “My mistake. Oh, congratulations, Rosie!” He added, smiling at me. I thanked him.
“Don’t call her Rosie.” My father said, slowly moving over to my mothers side. Draco looked at him surprised. Draco shrugged turning away. “Oh,” he said, facing me, “I hear you and my son are now a couple. Congratulations on that, too” he said smiling.
I felt my face go pink and nodded at him. I turned my head slightly to my father. I could see in his eyes that he was now furious at Draco. “Come on, Rose, let’s go home. You wont have to bother with Malfoy again,” he said, pulling rather forcefully at my arm.
I looked at him surprised. “But, Dad, I want to speak to Scorpius for a second.” I said reasonably. My father stopped, his eyes were darting around the room, giving him a slight look of madness.
“Listen, the Malfoys are poisonous. You dont need to speak to them again...” he said, pulling me away once more. He was causing a scene, and most of the people in the Hall were now watching. I was mortified.
“No... Mum!” I said, trying not to sound as though I was begging. I knew she wouldn't help me because she disliked Scorpius. She looked at me sadly. Her cheeks were flushed pink, and she was shaking slightly. My mother tried to speak- her mouth moved, but no sound came out.
“Don’t be silly, Rose. It’s us, or the Malfoys.” My father stated. I could see him shaking, and Uncle Harry was stood by his side.
I couldn’t process what he said. I couldn’t speak, my body was shaking. Suddenly, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I realised that it was Astoria.
“ How could you?” Astoria said, her voice shaking. “She’s eighteen years old!”
My mother looked shocked. Harry put his hand on my mothers shoulder. "Ron. She’ll come home” he said, looking at me seriously. I didn’t know what to do.
I wanted to stay with the Malfoys.
They made me feel welcome, and I fitted into their home. I felt happiest with them. When I was with my family, I wasn’t myself.
Something told me to stay with the Malfoys. I could see my parent’s faces. Shock and confusion. But I couldn’t. I needed to be away from them.
"I'll be home, soon" I said quietly. The people in the hall were now speaking among themselves, creating a quiet buzz. I wondered whether they heard me.
Draco walked out of the Hall and Astoria followed him. I could see my family watching me still. I felt Scorpius’ hand in mine, and I let him guide me out of the Hall. I let him take me to Malfoy Manor. I wondered when I would see the family home again.
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