Chapter 4 : Tattered Textbooks
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Chapter image of Albus Potter and Elizabeth Martin by loonylove
Rose sat at the same desk she sat at last lesson, hoping Fabian would sit by her again. She doubted he would though- after all, last time he only sat by her because there were no other seats available. After a few minutes of watching Professor Wright trimming his eyebrows with nail scissors, Rose was saved by a bunch of Ravenclaws ambling into the room.
“Hi!” greeted Fabian as he reached her table, running his fingers through his russet hair. “Er… mind if I sit here?”
“I have the distinct sense of déjà vu,” Rose grinned, gesturing for him to sit down.
“So, how’ve you been?” he asked, pulling out his homework. Homework… homework!
“Oh, bugger!” Rose clasped her hand over her mouth in realisation. A few students nearby looked around at her.
Fabian looked at her questioningly.
“I never finished my homework!” she gasped. Rose Lavender Weasley had never once forgotten to complete a piece of homework in her entire time at Hogwarts, until now, in N.E.W.T. year, when it actually mattered.
“Oh…” Fabian looked uncomfortable. “How come?”
“It was my friend’s birthday yesterday and I completely forgot about it. Ugh, I’m so stupid!”
“No you’re not,” Fabian replied.
She stared down at her half written essay miserably.
“You… you can look at mine if you want.”
Rose looked up at him hopefully. “Could I?”
“’Course.” He passed her his homework a little reluctantly. He was a diligent Ravenclaw, after all. Allowing people to copy his work was not in his nature.
“Thank you so much, Fabian,” she gave him an awkward little hug before jumping right to it and rephrasing his essay as her own. He blushed slightly and faced the front.
“Settle down, class,” boomed Professor Wright after a while, clasping his hands together. “Right, today we’re going to look at how Muggles live their lives compared to us magical folk, and how they cope without magic. Mr McGee, if you would kindly hand out these textbooks.”
Bertie strolled around the class and handed Rose a tattered textbook. She looked at the title: My Life as a Muggle by Daisy Hookum.
“In 1987, Daisy Hookum gave up magic for an entire year to mingle with the Muggles,” said Professor Wright. “As you can imagine, this did not go without a few struggles here and there. Ms Hookum will be coming in next lesson to tell you all about it; however it is always useful to have a little background knowledge. Please begin reading at page 3.”
Rose finally completed her essay and started on her reading. Professor Wright didn’t even ask for their homework in, but Rose was glad she had done it just in case. She turned the first page and wrote her name at the front of the book. Amongst the many names scribbled there, a familiar one written in a very neat script caught her eye: Hermione Granger.
Rose squealed excitedly. She always did this when she saw someone’s name she knew in textbooks.
“Look! It’s my mum!” she giggled, pointing to the elegant signature.
“Oh, er, cool,” replied Fabian. “Your mum took Muggle Studies?”
Rose nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah, even though she was a Muggle herself. Well, not a Muggle, obviously, but she was brought up by Muggles. My grandparents on her side of the family are so awesome, they always look really shocked and impressed and even a little scared whenever my brother and I do magic. Even though we’re not allowed to do it outside of school… not that they know that. I mean, my dad is fine with it as long as we’re not doing anything dangerous, but my mum? She is such a stickler for the rules. They’re very different people, sometimes I wonder how and why they even got together in the first place. Not that I want them to divorce, of course, I mean I love my parents and they’re really happy together. Er, sorry for ranting,” she said when she realised Fabian looked confused.
He chuckled and said, “Don’t worry about it. Ranting is fun.”
Rose nodded in agreement and blushed a little.
“So, you’re supporting the Eagles on Saturday, aren’t you?” Fabian asked as turned a page of his book. Merlin, he was a fast reader. Rose was still on the first paragraph.
“Well… I’m not sure.”
“Rose! You can’t possibly want Slytherin to win after what they did to you on Monday!”
“A small group of Slytherins don’t represent the whole house,” reasoned Rose. “They aren’t all as hateful as Parkinson and her accomplices, you know.”
Fabian looked doubtful. “Name one nice person in Slytherin.”
The first person who came to mind was Scorpius; however she didn’t mention him for two reasons. One, because she felt uncomfortable talking about him with Fabian, and two, he teased her far more often than he was nice to her.
“Albus Potter,” she finally said. “He may be a bit of an oddball, but he’s usually very nice.”
“Family doesn’t count,” he said.
She bit her lip in thought. “My friend Anjali from potions class is lovely.”
“Anjali Mehta? Isn’t she the one who hexes first years whenever she sees them in the corridors, just for fun?”
Rose looked discomfited. “Okay, so Anjali can be a little fierce at times. But she’s usually very easy to get along with.”
Fabian didn’t look convinced but let the subject drop.
After a few minutes of silence he remarked, “So, the Hogsmeade trip’s coming up soon.”
Rose nodded and looked up at him.
“So I was wondering if, uh, if you’ve made any plans yet?”
“No, not yet,” she replied. “You?”
“No, but I hoping to ask someone to go with me, actually,” he began.
“Oh?” Rose said, looking at him closely.
“Yeah… Rose, would you-”
“Can I borrow a quill?” asked Fabian’s friend Noah from the table in front. “Mine just broke.”
Fabian looked narked but dug into his bag for a spare quill and passed it over.
“Cheers mate.” Noah turned back around.
“Where were we?” Rose asked, facing Fabian again.
“We were talking about Hogsmeade,” he said, pulling at the edge of his collar.
This is it! He was going to ask her to go together. Rose’s first Hogsmeade date. Her heart raced at the thought. She finally wouldn’t be dragged by Dom into Madam Malkin’s to try on hundreds of outfits, or forced into Dogweed and Deathcap to examine plants by Lizzie. She could go where she liked. She held back a squeal of delight, as she didn’t want to scare Fabian away so soon.
“I know we’ve only known each other for a few days, but would you… would you ask your cousin if she’d come with me?” he said quickly.
Rose’s jaw dropped. Her heart stopped altogether. Had she heard correctly?
“I’ve liked her for a while, but never had the courage to ask her out myself,” he continued.
She quickly pulled herself together and tried to act like nothing was wrong.
“You mean Dom? She’s taken, I’m afraid.”
“No, not her.”
“Which one do you mean, then?”
“The red-headed one.”
“Most of my family are red heads, Fabian,” Rose tried and failed to keep the iciness out of her voice.
“The one that’s really pretty.”
Fabian shook his head.
“No,” Fabian replied.
“Lucy?! She’s only in second year!”
“Er, no, sorry, I did mean Molly.”
“Oh. Well, I’ll be sure to mention it to her,” Rose said coldly.
She blinked back tears. She really hadn’t been expecting that. Was something wrong with her? No one ever seemed to want to ask her out… maybe she was too unapproachable and unfriendly. It was probably her freckles- it had become sunnier recently and her freckles were becoming more prominent. Or maybe it was her weight. She had never been the skinniest of girls. She decided to cut down on the pudding at dinner time – no more second helpings of apple pie for her.
“Please quieten down and work in silence for the last ten minutes, class,” said Professor Wright over the noise. The class gradually went quiet.
While Fabian was turned the other way rummaging in his bag, she leaned over and quickly grabbed his quill and dropped it on the floor by his feet. Childish? Yes. Did it make Rose feel better? A bit.
She saw him looking around for his quill before diving into his bag to fetch out yet another one. How many quills did he keep in there? He started scribbling hurriedly on a scrap piece of parchment, probably writing a love note to Molly expressing his love for her or something equally disgusting. But when he was sure the Professor wasn’t looking he slipped the parchment in front of Rose.
Look, I know I said I like your cousin, but I don’t. I hardly know who she is. I don’t really want to go to Hogsmeade with her.
She gave him a curious look but he had suddenly become interested in his ink pot. She wrote back underneath:
Okay… what are you saying?
She passed it back to him and he wrote:
Would you like to go to Hogsmeade with me?
The corners of her mouth curved up into a smile. Now she felt bad for dropping his quill on the floor.
I’d love to. Why didn’t you just ask me before?
Rose heard Fabian sigh in relief before he scrawled:
Sorry. I guess I wasn’t put in Gryffindor for a reason.
He smiled sheepishly. Rose smiled back at him. Their nice little moment was ruined when Professor Wright stormed over to their desks and snatched the parchment off Rose and glanced over it.
“How dare you,” he spat, throwing the note behind him in disgust. “Class is not the time to get all lovey-dovey with one another. How revolting. I cannot believe my students would act in such a way. You should have more respect than to pass notes in my lessons, especially ones that make my stomach turn!”
Professor Wright’s face was crumpled in anger and he was breathing heavily, nostrils flared. He leaned towards Rose and Fabian until their faces were almost touching.
“I hate children,” he hissed, spit flying into their faces. “Never liked them, although you two brats just raised the hate to a whole new level. Detention for a month, both of you!”
Was he for real? Rose gasped as his fist raised and he was about to hit her. She cringed, waiting for the impact as Fabian leaned over her protectively, however Professor Wright dropped his hand and started shaking. It took Rose a moment to realise he was shaking with laugher, eventually getting louder and louder until he was in hysterics. Rose and Fabian looked at each other in bewilderment.
“Ha ha, your faces!” he chuckled. “I’m just yanking your wands. You kids have fun.”
After passing back their piece of parchment and ruffling their hair, he strolled back to the front of the classroom. “Class dismissed,” he said, eyes still glinting with amusement.
They were both frozen in shock.
“What… the bloody hell… just happened?” Rose said quietly once everyone else had left the classroom.
“I don’t know, but let’s get out of here,” replied Fabian. He grabbed her hand and they hastily ran out of the classroom past Professor Wright, who was humming a Celestina Warbeck classic ‘You Charmed the Heart Right Out of Me’ while staring vacantly at his wedding ring.
The rest of the week flew by, and sounds of laughter and chattering drifted across the grounds on the breezy Saturday morning. Rose was walking with Lizzie and Dom towards the stands around the Quidditch pitch to watch the highly anticipated match, which would determine who played Gryffindor in the final match of the year in a month’s time. Fabian gave her an endearing smile as he walked past with his Ravenclaw friends.
“So, who are you two rooting for?” Lizzie asked as they found seats with their fellow Gryffindors. They had front row seats, of course; Lizzie was really into watching Quidditch, even though she could hardly stay sat on a broom for more than a minute herself. She didn’t want to get stuck sitting behind some really tall person and not see a thing.
“Ravenclaw, of course,” said Dom uninterestedly. “Ethan’s on the team.”
“But their Seeker is such a prude,” argued Lizzie. “And I heard he went out with a second year last month. What kind of 17 year old likes a 12 year old in that way?”
Rose nodded. “Yeah, you mean Gary Wickham? It’s true- she was my little cousin’s best friend! He looks down his nose at everyone too, just because he’s a Ravenclaw.”
“Blegh. Ravenclaws are too proud. Just because they’re clever does not mean they’re better than the rest of us,” sniffed Lizzie.
“How come you’re against them, all of a sudden?” said Dom. “Parkinson, Martin and Millington are in Slytherin. I think that’s reason enough to want Ravenclaw to win. Er, no offence to your sister, by the way, Lizzie.”
“Oh, I don't care what you say about Elie, she's horrible, I agree. But I’m not against Ravenclaw. I’m just saying that a lot of them think they’re above us.”
“Well…” said Rose quietly, “not all Ravenclaws are like that…”
“Oh yeah, I forgot about your beloved Fabian,” giggled Lizzie. Rose blushed.
Dom’s ears perked up considerably. “We still need to plan what you’re gonna wear next weekend, Rosie,” she interjected. “I’m thinking a cute dress and heels.”
“No way! Those things are a safety hazard. And I’m going to Hogsmeade, Dom, not a party,” said Rose, rolling her eyes.
Dom made a ‘humph’ noise and turned away, but Rose knew that was not the last she’d hear of it.
“How’s Al been doing lately, Rose?” burst Lizzie a few minutes later.
Rose raised an eyebrow. “Fine. Being Al-ish, I suppose. Why?”
“Just wondering,” shrugged Lizzie, looking into her binoculars. “Ooh, look, it’s starting!”
Dom, who thought Quidditch was a waste of time (even though she solely went out with people involved in the sport), inspected her nails while loud cheers erupted from the stands. Rose looked down and watched as the two teams came soaring onto the pitch.
“Out comes Slytherin Captain and Keeper Danielle Blythe, followed by Chasers Anderson, Parker and Bell… Beaters Bole and Criss… And finally the Seeker, Malfoy,” announced the commentator for the match, a third year Hufflepuff named Chrissie Creevey, as the audience applauded.
Rose watched as Scorpius waved at the spectators, blonde hair rippling in the breeze. She felt an unpleasant twinge in her abdomen when she saw sixth year Scarlett Bell whisper something in his ear, causing him to grin.
“And here’s the Ravenclaw team: Captain and Chaser Callum Samuels, Dawson and Myers, Beaters Harper and Bebbington, Keeper Hill and Seeker Wickham.”
The referee, Madam Spinnet, blew into her whistle and the game commenced.
“And they’re off!” declared Chrissie. “Parker instantly takes the Quaffle, nice pass to Bell there – she’s zooming towards the goals – pass back to Parker, he’s going to shoot, he – blocked by Hill, nice save – Dawson in possession of the Quaffle, he dodges Anderson, dives around Bell and soars straight for the goal – ooh, hit by a nasty Bludger sent by Bole, that’s gotta hurt… Samuels takes the Quaffle, he’s going to shoot - Keeper Blythe dives, and misses – RAVENCLAW SCORE!”
Rose clapped along with everyone else, laughing at the moans from the Slytherins.
“SAMUELS! SAMUELS! SAMUELS!” the Ravenclaws chanted. He did a few loop-de-loops before getting back into the game.
Rose asked Lizzie if she could borrow her binoculars and, without really planning to, she searched the pitch for Scorpius. She soon found him flying absently around the Hufflepuff stands, waiting to catch sight of the Snitch. He looked so at ease. If only life were as carefree as flying…
“Psst!” she heard from somewhere behind her. She turned around but everyone in the row behind her was watching the game intently.
“Psssst!” the voice hissed louder. Something kicked her leg. She leaned over the seat and punched back harder.
“Ow!!” they yelped. Rose smiled smugly. “What was that for? Rose, it’s me! Al!”
“Oh,” Rose said, turning around and seeing Al’s bright green eyes looking up at her gruffly from under her seat. “What are you doing down there, Al?”
“I couldn’t stand listening to Poppy babble on about how appealing Scorp looks any longer. I don’t give a hippogriff’s backside if the bloke’s good-looking; he’s my best mate and it’s weird hearing him talked about that way. Anyway, mind if I join you?” he asked hopefully.
“Uh, sure,” she replied. After a short pause she added, “Aren’t you going to sit down?”
“I’m a Slytherin- I can’t be seen in the Gryffindor stands!” he exclaimed.
Rose rolled her eyes and dragged him into the seat next her. She turned her attention back to Scorpius.
Hm. Well. She seemed to agree with Parkinson on one thing, at least.
“So, Rose… I’ve been trying to find you all week,” said Al. “I want to apologize for what happened on Monday. What Emerson did, getting in your face and everything, was way out of order. Scorpius and I set him straight, it won’t happen again.”
Rose laughed, “Sure, as if Scorpius would defend me.”
Al gave her a weird look and muttered, “Are you completely clueless or something?”
“What was that, Potter?” Rose narrowed her eyes.
Al sighed. “I can’t believe I’m the one having to tell you this. It’s obvious that he-”
“Bell scores another 10 points for Slytherin!” Chrissie’s voice interrupted Al. He quickly grabbed the binoculars off Rose.
“Hey!” she protested.
“I only want them for a sec.”
“They’re Lizzie’s, by the way, not mine. And hurry up, I was looking at something,” said Rose.
Al leaned over Rose to talk to Lizzie. “You don’t mind if I borrow these for a minute, do you?”
Lizzie blushed profusely. “N- no, of course not. I mean, they’re not even really mine, they’re my cousin Hayley’s. I asked to borrow them for today because, y’know, you can’t really see what’s going on without them…”
Al cocked an eyebrow.
“Er, sorry,” she muttered, looking away. Rose could tell by the look on her face that she was inwardly cursing herself.
Rose nudged Lizzie in the ribs and gave her a look. The since-when-did-you-develop-romantic-feelings-for-my-cousin-and-why-wasn’t-I-informed-of-this-sooner look, to be precise. Lizzie shrugged and quickly turned her attention back to the game.
“Ouch! Bludger hits Malfoy on the thigh, sent by Harper!” said Chrissie. “He was so close to catching the snitch.”
Rose and Al both rose from their seats.
“HEY! THAT’S MY BEST FRIEND, YOU JERK!” roared Al.
“HOW DARE HE! SEND HARPER OFF, MADAM SPINNET!” yelled Rose.
“Jeez, you guys, calm down! People are staring!” hissed Dom. “Look, he’s got back on his broom. He’s fine.”
They sat back down, grumbling under their breath.
“- Myers avoids Bludger sent by Parker, shoots, and scores! That’s another ten points to Ravenclaw, making it 90-30. The Ravens are making it look easy. Blythe needs to get her head in the game if she wants Slytherin to win the cup this year.”
Rose squinted at Scorpius in the distance and thought he looked as if he was chasing after something. She couldn’t be sure, as Al still had the binoculars and wouldn’t give them back.
“I’m using them,” whined Al as Rose tried to take them off him.
Rose leaned her head towards Al’s and followed his line of sight until she deduced that he was looking at Scarlett Bell. Again.
“You’re staring at Scarlett, aren’t you?” she said, mouth twisting into a Malfoy-standard smirk.
“No!” he cried.
Rose laughed at him. “Oh, Al. When will you learn?”
“That all Slytherins are stupid,” she said simply, contradicting what she said earlier in the week to Fabian.
“Are not. I’m in Slytherin, and I’m not stupid.”
“You keep telling yourself that, Al,” she giggled. He rolled his eyes and looked back through the binoculars.
Rose spent the next few minutes idly listening to Dom gush about how toned the Slytherin Beaters were.
“Malfoy’s caught the Snitch!” Chrissie’s animated voice instantly caught her attention. “Slytherin win 180 points to 90!”
The Slytherins’ shrieks of delight were deafening. Everything happened so fast. Rose snatched the binoculars off Al before he could react and found Scorpius in the air, lifted by his cheering teammates. He looked as if he had just won the Daily Prophet Grand Prize Galleon Draw. Not that he needed the money. Scarlett pulled him back down to the ground, grabbed his face between her hands, and kissed him. Many of the team members wolf whistled.
Rose and Al looked at each other, speechless.
What. The. Hell.
She looked back at Scorpius and saw him scanning the crowds until eventually their eyes met. He had an infuriatingly smug look on his face.
Rose glowered at him and was about to whip out her wand and do an Unforgivable on both Scorpius and Scarlett, when a Bludger thundering towards them caught her eye. She looked behind him and saw that the Ravenclaw Beater Harper had knocked the Bludger towards the Slytherin team in anger. Rose waved her arms frantically for him to move out of the way, and Al having picked up on it did the same, but Scorpius just furrowed his eyebrows in confusion and looked slightly amused.
“GET OUT OF THE WAY!” screamed Rose at the top of her lungs. "MOOOOVE!"
A second later the Bludger collided with Scorpius’ head, and he collapsed.
AN: Yay for Quidditch! Nay for injuries. Thanks to everyone who has viewed/reviewed/favourited!! Review in that little box down there :)
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