Chapter 17 : Sleeping Beauty
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Snow covered the ground on the first of December. I hardly remembered the time that had passed. I had spent almost a day in bed, simply lying there and reading through notes and stories. I needed the day to rest. It was as if I had slept for a century and woken up out of the loop.
Having actually brushed my hair for once, and pulling on my uniform pinafore, I felt refreshed. I washed my face and swiped a tad of Vaseline over my bottom lip – to stop it from cracking. I caught my reflection in the mirror, my bright eyes no longer looked tired, my cheeks filled with colour. A smile was light upon my face.
I grabbed my books for Runes and hoped that Scorpius brought his ink pot. I would skip breakfast; I wasn’t hungry, and I didn’t have time.
Maleficent’s curled hair caught my eye as she waited in the doorway. She re-applied a line of red to her top lip before rubbing it against the bottom one and prying them apart with a light ‘pop’. She put her lipstick back in to the pocket of her school blazer.
“Good morning,” I greeted. I suddenly wasn’t thankful for the emptiness of the dorm room.
“Morning,” she replied. “You look nice.” I simply raised a brow at her words and put the toes of my shoes together. “Not buying it, huh? Wise, you are.”
I perched on the end of my bed, knowing this wasn’t a period of time that Marilyn was here to chit-chat. “Can I help you?”
“Help?” she echoed. “You could do anything but. I’m here to talk to you about that little crowd that you follow like a lost puppy.”
“Yes, you know, Ally, Scorp, Dommie, the Gates brothers, and most importantly, my darling Perry.” She cooed, taking a step closer. “Well, he would be my darling Perry; however you seem to have put your foot in the door before I ever got the chance.”
I knitted my brothers together. “I’m not sure what you’re getting at.”
“My Circe, you really are dim aren’t you.” She replied. “There’s no wonder those lads like you so much, they all get to be heroes around you.” Maleficent shook her pretty head. “Listen to me, Baker; I will not play the fool around them to get their attention. I am a strong, independent woman and you’re standing in my way.”
“But I’m over here,” I said slowly.
She rolled her dark eyes and sighed. “It’s like talking to a plank of wood. I’ll black and white it for you – I want Perry, you want Perry. You won’t get him, so back off now, and I won’t have to use my claws.”
“I don’t want Perry,” I laughed quietly. “He’s my friend, that’s like telling me that I want to date Scorpius.”
“Who wouldn’t?” she asked a little haughtily. “And don’t try to deny it, I saw the way you looked at him, and I refuse to believe that he winked at you – so in my mind it didn’t happen. The bottom line is that I will be able to call Perry my own; it’s only a matter of time. He’s generous, and sweet, and oh my Merlin, do not get me started on those arms of his, and best of all, he’s a great listener.”
I blinked. “You really like him don’t you?”
Maleficent nodded. “Yes. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if his feelings are returned, it actually hurts to admit this so I’m only going to say it the once, but,” she swallowed. “I think that he has a soft spot for you, Circe, only knows why. Look at you, you look like you rolled out of bed and fell in to the high street vintage store.”
“I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” I said honestly, considering I shopped there frequently.
She assessed the situation for a moment. “It is when you wear all the stock at once.”
I imagined leaping the four or five steps between us in one and taking her out with my textbook, but instead, I simply sighed. “Good bye Marilyn.”
“You had better hope to Merlin that he chooses me,” she huffed as I passed her in the doorway.
“Well he’s not exactly going to choose me is he?” I snapped.
Her eyebrows rose at my tone but she simply walked back in to our dorm room and shut the door behind her, but not before shouting ‘Game on’. I took a moment to stare at the wall that kept me from Maleficent. I screwed up my eyes and nose. She was confusing and mean. I had learnt a long time ago to not take what she says to heart.
Minutes later I walked in to the empty runes classroom and sat down at our usual desk in the back. It was in between stacks of books, away from the teacher’s desk. Leaning back on my chair I looked up to the domed ceiling.
This room is a wonderland. Each book has a story to tell, and each runes inscription was from part of a prophecy. Professor Long liked to keep things interesting and so made the final translation worth wile.
I leaned forward on the desk and smiled as Scorpius threw his bag on to the table. He sat down with a happy sigh and handed me a white mug filled with tea.
My eyes widened. “You brought me tea?”
“In a mug,” he added. “Snatched it from the Great Hall at breakfast, you weren’t there, I figured you’d overslept and thought I would compensate with tea.”
“I love you.”
He grinned. “I know.” Scorpius took a moment to collect an ink pot, a quill and a copy of an Agatha Christie novel from his satchel before adding, “You can pay be back later through slavery.”
I locked my jaw to stop myself from smiling. There would be no point contradicting him.
“Actually,” he rectified. “I believe that I promised that I would take you to dinner in the kitchens once night.”
“Oh yeah,” I recalled. “And then you said that you would cook me dinner wearing an apron.”
“Well how about we just call that off?”
I hope that he hadn’t noticed the visual disappointment that fell upon my face. I had been quietly looking forward to it since he apologised to me about wanting to court The Sherriff.
“Okay,” I said quietly. “I didn’t think that you had an apron anyway.”
“Oh, I have an apron.”
My nose crinkled at the thought. I didn’t want to ask him why, or how, or any other particular question that came to my mind, neither did I want to question why he brought it to Hogwarts with him.
I brushed my hair from my eyes and pulled it up on to a mess on the top of my head. I secured it with a grip and turned back to Scorpius. Professor Long wrote an assignment on the blackboard and placed two copies of a line of runes upon our desk.
“This is a very difficult translation,” she explained to the class. “Take care with it as it can be easily confused.”
Scorpius took the sheets and handed one to me, and placed the other in front of him. “Can I share your book?”
“Only if you let me use your quill and ink.”
“We’re a good pair,” he realised. “Go on; tell me why you weren’t at breakfast.”
I took a sip of my tea and smiled gratefully as the warm substance flowed down my dry throat. I was nothing without my tea. “You’ve put peppermint in it.”
“Nothing but the best for my girl,” he said. “Now stop changing the subject. I haven’t seen you in almost a day.”
“I just slept in.”
“But you didn’t get out of bed yesterday,” he recalled.
I took another sip. “You’re right, I didn’t. But I just took advantage of the morning - although, I did meet Maleficent on my way out of the dorm.”
He put down the text book and turned to me. “Carry on.”
“She told me that she has claws,, that I’m a plank of wood, that I have my foot stuck inside a door and that I rolled in to a vintage shop.”
“Are you sure that you heard right?” he questioned.
I nodded enthusiastically. “And then she spoke about Perry … a lot.”
“She does seem to like James lately doesn’t she?”
The tea soothed my throat as I took another sip. I held the warm mixture in my hands, wondering why the Professor hadn’t thought to say anything, nor why anyone had thought to bring Scorpius up on the mug as he had walked from the hall.
“She told me that I liked Perry.”
He laughed. “She told you?”
“Yes,” I replied in disbelief, taking his laughter a little too personally. “I don’t understand what’s funny. I mean, it’s Perry.”
“He is very brooding isn’t he? He needs a light hearted girl by his side,” Scorpius replied. “Hey, maybe you should listen to her; you’d be a good pair.”
“I’ve never really thought about it.”
He flicked to the index of my textbook. “And only ever about Albus?”
“Truthfully, yes.” I admitted. He seemed a little shocked at my openness; I had always dodged the topic before now. But he tried not to show it. “But I don’t think that’s going to be a problem anymore. I don’t get butterflies now.”
The butterflies had gone, but there was something else in their place, but I don’t recognise what.
“You mean to tell me,” Scorpius began. “That you and Ally are not going to have babies?”
I shook my head. “Nope.”
Scorpius seemed lost for words; he placed his quill down on to the table. “But … bu- but, he’s been joking around about it for a while, I thought that he felt the same way.”
“No, he’s just being embarrassing.” I said. “He’s been teasing me like that since we made up.”
“Any particular reason why?”
I shook my head and looked at the sheet I had taken, sipping a bit more tea. He knew that I knew why, but he also knew that I wasn’t going to tell him; he didn’t press it.
“Do you think that the first symbol means life?” I asked.
Scorpius raised a brow in question. “That would be too simple; it’s from the centaurs’ old language, when they used to have the towns people write for them. Life and death were the same symbol.” He explained. “But don’t try to change the original subject because I haven’t forgotten it, missy. What did Maleficent mean when she said that you had your foot in a door?”
“I don’t know,” I shrugged. “I don’t think she meant literally.”
“Did she mean the saying?” he asked. “Because I’m thinking that would be a little more realistic. It would mean that you had the upper hand.”
“Like when Peter fights Hook?” I asked, and Scorpius nodded, taking another look thought the index of the text book. “She could have meant that I had the upper hand when it came to her wanting to date Perry. That she thinks I could get in her way.”
Scorpius snorted. “Being honest here, love; I don’t think that ‘dating’ was what she had in mind.”
“Oh shut it, you.” I ordered. “She said ‘Game on’.”
I placed down the paper at felt taken back by his expression of alarm. “She said ‘game on’ as she shut the door in my face. I think that she thinks I want to compete for his affections or something.”
“Ranny, do you know what she’s going to do to you?” he asked. “It’s Marilyn; she always gets what she wants.”
“Well, isn’t that Perry’s decision?”
He bit down on the inside of his cheek. “It should be. But if Perry likes you in the way that she thinks he does, then it will be your fault when he doesn’t let her walk all over him.”
“Like you did you mean?” I asked, my stomach churning a little at the thought.
“Oi, my past has nothing to do with this conversation,” he snapped. “I just don’t want you getting hurt.”
I humoured wearily, not wanting to admit that, at this point, I couldn’t have cared less at what Marilyn thought of me. “What do you think?” I asked. “Do you think that Marilyn is right?”
Scorpius sighed weakly and turned his quill between his fingers. “I think that Marilyn see’s what she wants to. If Perry has given her any reason to think that he likes you, then she will see that to its full potential. However, Perry gives about as much away as a brick does. He could fancy Albus more than you for all I know.”
“You think he fancies Albus?”
“Not at all,” he answered. “However I do think that Perry has a soft spot for you, according to Jack, he’s always the first to jump to your defence if someone questions something about you.”
I smiled a little, but not enough to show teeth. “Really?”
“Yeah,” his hands traced the papers in front of us. “The other night, Dom was asking about your burns again. He is really desperate to know about them. He asked if you were ‘alright in the head’ and such, and if you ‘did them to yourself’. Perry was the first to let him know that you wouldn’t do anything of the sort, although, I personally do question your sanity sometimes.”
He took my slap a little too dramatically.
“I’m just saying,” he resumed, rubbing his arm with a feminine pout. “That maybe there’s a little more between the two of you than you think. I mean, the other night, Albus told me you got really embarrassed by the jokes that he made over dinner – the night that Tom and Jack got in to that fight. I haven’t seen you embarrassed by them before.”
My shoulders seemed to instinctively shrug. “I just, I guess that I just felt out of place at that table.”
“That’s not a proper excuse,” he replied. “Would you have been embarrassed if Perry wasn’t sitting there? Think about it truthfully, you don’t have to tell me.”
I couldn’t answer even if I’d wanted to. Sitting at that table were three of my closest friends, and then a bully. Of course being embarrassed in front of Maleficent was humiliating in itself, yet that shouldn’t have affected me in the way that it did. Jack was used to Albus teasing me, heck, he did it himself sometimes. And Al was just being Al.
But never before, has Perry’s presence made me feel uneasy. I couldn’t deny that knowing his eyes were on me the whole time made me blush a little harder – however, I wouldn’t want anyone staring at me, it wasn’t just because the glare came from Perry’s eyes.
I picked up Scorpius’ quill from the desk and began to write down possibilities. We spoke only about the work until the end, but his knowing eye teased me throughout.
“Well hello, Sleeping Beauty!” Jack greeted cheerfully, later that evening.
I stepped in to the Common Room only minutes before final curfew and almost blushed at the name. It had been days since I had properly seen or spoken to Jack – I ordered meals from Scorpius’ favourite house elf and got up only to use the bathroom. It was honestly a much needed weekend.
He sat casually in the arm chair, resting his feet up on the opposite sofa. His hands rested in his lap, the golden snitch between his fingers. Perry sat opposite, slouching on the sofa with his arms folded. His head was tilted back and his arms closed. They both wore their Quidditch Uniform.
I rubbed my eye with the sleeve of my jumper and approached the pair. I noticed as I stepped through the group of gathering third years that they weren’t alone.
Darren, one of the Hufflepuff chasers, was sat next to Perry. “I hear you had a lazy weekend?” he questioned.
Nodding slightly I sat on the arm of the chair. Jack sat up a little straighter. “And I didn’t see you at dinner either, were you with the Slytherins? They are actually a lot nicer that I thought they would ever be – I mean, I usually don’t like the people that Tom hangs out with, but Dom’s actually alright, you know, deep down-“
“I was in the library,” I said truthfully, interrupting Jack. I had quickly learnt that once he had got going, he couldn’t stop with the whole talking thing. “Scorpius and I had a lot of Runes work that we needed to finish.”
“I heard that your class is translating old tribal texts,” Darren mused. “That must be so interesting.”
Struggling to keep the smile from my face, I bit down on the inside of my cheek. “That would be, but we’re just doing Goblin and Centaur’s financing at the moment.”
“Apparently, our Professor thinks that we might all go into banking.” I shrugged.
Jack laughed and caught the snitch that he threw repeatedly up and down. “It’s good money.”
“I can’t see it.” Perry said quietly, sitting up a little straighter. His eyes opened slowly as he grinned. “I couldn’t see you behind a desk.”
“I couldn’t see you doing anything with money,” Jack added. “You can’t count higher than ten – I mean, you run out of fingers.”
“Oi!” I whinnied, knocking the snitch from his hand. Darren leaned forward to catch it.
The two other team mates sat with them suddenly stopped conversing between themselves and stared at the snitch, their eyes wide. Darren was grinning, his head bobbing up and down with pride. It took me a moment to realise that Jack’s mouth was wide open.
He turned his gobsmacked expression to me. “If that had hit the ground, you’d be catching it when it flew away.”
“Mate,” Darren consoled. “That would have been the least of your problems; little Baker here managed to take the snitch right out of your hands.”
“Well, bat it out was more like it,” I said simply. Jack caught hold of my arm and held me still.
“Never, ever, take my baby from me again.” He warned leaning forward. “Are we clear?”
His eyes seemed smaller as he spoke, his pupils smaller in the dimmed light – the opposite of what it should be. It seemed odd to me that he sat in the way he did. It was more forceful that his usual. The witty tone that he kept to his voice was replaced with a deeper one it didn’t seem like a typical ‘Jack’ thing to do. I realised why it irked me so.
I pulled my arm from his grip. “You look like Tom when you do that.”
His grip suddenly loosened. With a quick denial of ‘No I don’t’, he sat back in a huff. I had absolutely no intention of upsetting him, or comparing him to his older brother, yet that is exactly what I seem to have achieved.
It wasn’t long before the Common Room began to empty. It was Monday evening; most couldn’t make it past nine before conking out. I listened and laughed as Jack laughed off the awkward situation I had created and delved in to a story about a conversation at dinner – one I had missed. Darren announced that he was going to bed and was shortly followed by the other two. I stole his seat on the couch and sat next to Perry.
“Did you come from Quidditch Practise?” I asked quietly after Jack had finished his story.
He shook his head and leaned forward in the arm chair. “Nah, we all just thought that we would wear our uniforms for a laugh.”
My eyebrows furrowed. “I don’t like it when you’re sarcastic. That’s his job,” I added, jabbing a thumb in to Perry’s direction.
I ignored Perry’s expression as he grinned slightly. He closed his eyes again and leant his head back.
“-in twenty five seconds!” Jack finished. I had to start listening more carefully. “I’ve never caught it that quickly before. It’s always minutes – at least. But twenty five seconds. Come on Ran, even you’ve got to admit that, that is brilliant!”
“It’s brilliant,” I agreed as I pulled my legs up to my chest, tucking my toes around the ends of the sofa cushions.
“I still can’t believe it.” Jack recalled, shaking his head. I hadn’t seen his eyes this big in a long time. He just seemed to glow. “I mean, I am sitting here in my uniform, and I should probably have a wash, but I just can’t; I’ll wash off the glory.”
“And hopefully your ego,” Perry muttered.
Jack countered with a defence, one of too many words for my brain to comprehend. I pulled the cushion out from behind me and shoved it in to the gap between Perry’s head and the couch. He opened his eyes a touch and winked before closing them again.
“-but it doesn’t even matter anymore.” Jack finished. I nodded and grinned in response. It seemed to be the right reaction. “I mean, I don’t know how you could have taken off your outer robes, Perry. It’s freezing out there. It’s bloody snowing. You and Darren are always doing it. You were practising in a shirt, I was wrapped up like a fucking baby and I was still cold.”
“It’s because he and Darren are manly men,” I said cheekily.
“Shut it you,” he ordered. “You spent the past few days in bed because you wanted to, you can say nothing on this matter. Maybe if you had stayed a bit warmer you wouldn’t have got hit in the head again.”
I span my head around to face him. “You got hit?”
His shoulder shrugged a little before he took a deep breath.
“Don’t act like your snoring mate,” Jack chuckled. “I’ve dobbed you in it now; you’ve got nurse Ranny wanting to dote on your every need.”
“Lucky me,” he murmured.
I jabbed him in the arm with my index finger. “Should you be going to sleep? If you’ve got concussion it could be dangerous. Have you been to see the nurse?”
“He refuses to,” Jack said for him. “He doesn’t want to spend more time in that wing than he has to. He always leaves earlier than he should.”
“Perry!” I scolded. “That’s dangerous; you should stay in there for as long as she tells you to.”
“He won’t,” Jack laughed lightly. “Even I have to admit, that woman doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
Pulling down on the ends of my hair I twisted my body so I sat crossed legged on the couch. “Madame Lore is perfectly qualified to work in this school!”
As if by magic, both the boys wore similar expressions, their noses crinkling up as they shared a look.
“Maybe,” Jack compensated. “But I would trust Darren’s eight year old sister to heal me more than her.”
“You let her fix Perry up all the time.”
“That’s because it’s Perry,” he replied. “Nothing can break him.”
I saw the said boy stick his finger up to his friend, without opening his eyes. He simply waited for the reaction. But it never came.
Jack just shook his head. “That wasn’t supposed to sound like it was a challenge. It was a bludger, pretty funny actually – if you don’t count the whole pain side of it.”
As Perry turned to finally make a movement towards his friend, a playful and boisterous punch to the stomach, a little more than a simple rude finger gestures, I noticed the shading on his face. The darkness in the room shadowed out most of the lighting. The side of his face which had been hit was darkened, and not just by the light.
“Perry!” I almost cried, grabbing hold of his cottoned bottoms and pulling him back to the sofa. He landed with a ‘thump’. “You’re bruised!”
He looked a little confused and gave a little nod.
My eyebrows knitted together for possibly the hundredth time in a matter of hours. “Can’t you try to not get hurt for about a month? Your other bruises have just gone!”
“It’s not swollen or anything yet though,” Jack added. “That won’t happen for another hour or so.”
“That doesn’t make it any better!” I exclaimed quietly. I pushed on Perry’s cheek so his face would turn towards mine. His straight nose shadowed his other cheek; he blinked as my breath tickled his eyelashes. I resisted the urge to prod the growing bruise and settled for smacking his other cheek instead.
Jack laughed. “I think that’s her way of telling you she doesn’t like it. Which I think is odd; don’t most girls like scars and battle wounds on their men?”
“That isn’t a battle wound,” I said pointedly. “That’s an ‘I’m an idiot’ wound. And you’re right, I don’t like it.”
“She doesn’t like it.” Jack pouted.
Perry shook his head and wore a similar expression to his friend. “I don’t think that she does.”
“I don’t think that you should get injured on the Quidditch Pitch anymore,” Jack said.
“Never,” Perry agreed. “I shall play wearing protective gear, including padding myself up with pillows.”
I stood up from the sofa, almost kicking Perry as I went. “You two are impossible!”
And with that, I went back to my bed.
AN; Yes, Yes, I know that the last chapter was Sleeping Beauty as well, but I just love it so much; and this chapter seemed to fit it too :) Plus, I know that it’s a few of your favourites ;)
I hope that you all enjoyed this chapter, and that you liked the rest of the story; you’re all so lovely. I always get such lovely reviews and I’m so grateful for that! Thank you!
Speaking of reviews (shameless hinting there) ROBIN if you liked it, or HOOK if you didn’t!
Seeing the amount of people that were upset at the lack of Scorpius in the last chapter, I hope that this makes up for it; back when I was writing this, I must have missed him too!
The next chapter is called Mother Hulda, and I’m really, really excited to post it because it introduces a new character! Any guesses as to who? :O
They’re not cannon; they’re an OC, but they play a very important part in the futures of one of the characters!
Thank you for reading!
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He did, eh?