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Chapter 16 : The Muggle World
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Hermione Weasley remembered the day that she received her OWLS with perfect clarity. She was sitting in the kitchen with her best friend, Harry Potter, and now husband, Ron, when three owls could be seen through the Burrow’s kitchen window. The mixture of nerves and excitement nearly stopped her heart. It was rather a rush.
However, her daughter, Rose Weasley, would never experience that feeling, because her OWL results were already at her house and she wouldn’t get up.
“Rooose,” Hermione moaned, yet again, as she shook the girl violently, “Rose!”
“Mmmmkakabu,” Rose muttered as she burrowed her head under the pillow.
Hermione’s head dropped to her chest in despair. She got this from her father. Damn him to hell.
She should have Ron do this, she really should. Of course, that would mean that she would have to wake him up…
No, she’d rather take on Rose. The tree was much worse than the apple in this case.
“Fine!” Hermione exclaimed, an idea occurring to her, “Don’t get your OWL results. See if I care.”
Ding ding ding!
Rose sat up faster than you could say, well, ding, ding, ding. Hermione couldn’t even finish her excited dinging before Rose was making a grab for the paper in her hands, “Well, why didn’t you say so? Let me see!”
Hermione decided that she should try bribery more often. She smiled. She’d have to use this method with Ron later…
“Oh, now who’s impatient?”
“Muuum,” Her delightful daughter growled.
“Alright,” Hermione threw her hands up in defeat before finally handing over the letter, “Here you go.”
Rose tore at the envelope, her eyes alight with excitement. Upon looking at her letter, however, the rather gleeful expression was replaced with one of extreme concentration.
“What did you get?”Hermione asked anxiously. She was almost as excited to see the results as her daughter.
Rose didn’t move for a second, the look of concentration deepening. Then, with a nod, she handed the letter over.
ORDINARY WIZARDING LEVEL RESULTS
Pass Grades Fail Grades
Outstanding (O) Poor (P)
Exceeds Expectations (E) Dreadful (D)
Acceptable (A) Troll (T)
Rose Weasley has achieved:
Ancient Ruins O
Care of Magical Creatures O
Defense Against the Dark Arts O
History of Magic O
“Rose, that’s great!” Hermione grinned and gave her a tight hug.
“Hmmm…” Was Rose’s only reply.
“Ten is a great number! That’s how many I received!”
“Mmm…” Rose appeared lost in thought for a minute, before she addressed her mother, “Thanks Mum, but could you leave now? I have a few things that I need to do.”
“Sure Sweetie,” Hermione said as she was shooed out of the room. “You know, I’m just so pr—“
She didn’t get to finish her sentence, however, because as soon as she was fully in the hallway Rose slammed the door behind her.
Hermione looked at the firmly shut door with a frown on her face. What brought on that bout of adolescent behavior?
10. Suck it.
Rose was just strapping the message to her owl, Edwina’s, leg when Scorpius’s Great Horned landed on her window sill.
“Damned morning person,” Rose mumbled as she untied the note with trembling hands. Somehow, she felt slightly outdone.
10. Suck on that.
Rose slumped onto her bed. They tied! What was the fun in that? She grabbed her originally short missive and decided to turn it into a letter.
Well, it appears as if we have tied. So where do we go from here? I’m still thinking lunch. And I’m still thinking that you’re buying, just saying.
I was pondering, and decided that we should have an adventure in the Muggle world! No one would know us, wouldn’t that be great?!
Edwina was starting to bite Rose’s fingers in annoyance for being jarred awake for no reason, so Rose had to cut the letter short. “Alright, alright,” She said as she tied a neat bow around her owl’s leg, “Get going then.”
And then she watched as Edwina disappeared into the distance.
Scorpius loitered outside the Muggle side of the Leaky Cauldron. This was madness, this was.
And he loved it.
Imagine, Scorpius Malfoy going on an excursion into the muggle world. The Gringotts Goblin almost fell off his stool when Scorpius asked him to exchange his money for these silly paper things.
Honestly, what were these muggles thinking? This “paper money” as they called it couldn’t be very durable. One false move and you’re impoverished for the rest of your life! It was absolutely ridiculous.
But I digress.
Scorpius, for his part, was having an absolute crap summer. He had decided, at the end of last year, to keep himself a free man this summer: no need for having to deal with the stress of dating AND his father. However, he was beginning to rethink his earlier resolution. First of all, he was bored off his arse. Second, as he was bored, he had a lot of time to fantasize(er think) and, he was willing to admit it, down right pine over Rose Weasley. That, coupled with his rising issues with his father and Merlin’s month-long family vacation, had left Scorpius feeling somewhat desperate for a distraction.
Last week, he hung out with Nott and Goyle. That is how pathetic his life had become.
He was just recalling with not too much enthusiasm how Goyle decided that it would be funny to fling his dirty cloths hamper over Scorpius's head when he was interrupted by an exhasperated voice, “Look Roy, I’ll tell you again, I am not going to let you buy a pet anaconda!”
Scorpius turned to see a balding gentleman talking to… no one.
... Merlins baggy Y-fronts.
Muggles are bloody lunatics.
“It’s called a blue tooth.”
Thoughts of crazed muggles fled from Scorpius’s mind as he turned to see Rose standing behind him, that sly grin of hers spread across her face.
“Rose!” Scorpius was so happy to see her that he couldn’t even stop himself from wrapping his arms around her and swinging her in a full circle before he could let go.
Rose, laughing hysterically, said, “Well, it’s good to see you too!”
Merlin, she’s even more beautiful that she was a few months ago. Rose looked absolutely radiant. Her blue eyes were sparkling and she was grinning so widely that a dimple had appeared on her right cheek.
He only got to admire her for a few seconds, however, before she pulled him into another hug, “It’s so good to see you,” She whispered, her voice muffled by his shoulder. Scorpius smiled into her hair while they were momentarily wrapped around each other. He didn’t even stop smiling when the awkward tension started mounting again, even though Rose did.
“Well,” she cleared her throat as they awkwardly disentangled themselves, “I believe that we were going to lunch.”
Scorpius, still feeling like a kid in a candy store, nodded happily, “I believe so! What do these muggles do for food, anyways?”
Rose smirked, “Well, if we keep walking, catch the scent of food, and follow it, we will surely find out.”
Scorpius couldn’t argue with that, so they set off in a random direction. As they turned to go, he nudged Rose playfully, “You smirked.”
Rose gave him ‘a look.’
“No, I didn’t! Why does everyone keep telling me that?”
Scorpius grinned, “Because you smirk now! I’m rubbing off on you.”
“I didn’t smirk!”
“I don’t smirk.”
“Oh please, you’re practically a Malfoy.”
“No I’m not!” She yelled, enraged, and threw in a punch in the arm for emphasis.
He merely grinned at her, despite the attempt at assault. She glared bloody murder in return. They continued on in much the same manner until they reached a hamburger joint.
Upon the sight of food, Rose’s temper quickly disappeared. She happily chatted with him about the various options until they had reached a decision. Unfortunately, they soon realized, there was one more issue to be hammered out, “Wait, so do you pay, or do I?” Rose asked, “We both got ten OWLS.”
The lady beside them gave them a weird look.
There wasn’t a doubt in his mind who would pay, “I will.”
Rose looked uncertain, “Are you sure?”
“Yeah! Definitely,” Scorpius shrugged off a sudden trill of… something that had gone up his spine. This was beginning to feel a bit like a date. He didn’t quite know how he felt about that.
“Well, alright…” Rose looked equally as disturbed. Despite her distress, Scorpius was pretty sure that she wasn’t going to say anything about it, so Rose would continue on in feigned ignorance.
Even though he paid, Scorpius let Rose handle the money (he had absolutely no concept of those wonky coins and paper bills) and went to find a table.
“You know, it’s really not that hard. Unless you can’t count, that is,” Rose said as she lugged their food to the table.
Scorpius, merely gave a dignified sniff, “Is it my fault that these muggles are imbeciles? I mean, honestly, what self respecting government would make octagonal coins? It looks stupid.”
“Never mind the shape, look at the number!” Rose shoved the offending piece of metal under his nose, “Look. If your meal was ₤10.50, then you would give them a ten pound note and 50,” She shook the coin for emphasis, “pense!”
Scorpius just stared, “But wouldn’t you give this coin if the price was 50 pounds? You would think that the paper would be worth less, as it is paper.”
“No!” Rose groaned and hit her forehead with her palm, “It’s all perfectly logical if you just think about it!”
Scorpius had to snort at that, “Nothing is logical with these people! I mean, no one found it strange that that man was talking to himself, did they? And I honestly don’t see how having blue teeth somehow justifies his behavior…”
He was interrupted, however, by Rose’s rather obnoxiously loud laughter, “No, not blue teeth, blue tooth!”
“What the hell is the difference?!”
Rose had to take a few deep breaths before answering, “It’s a type of cell phone that you stick to your ear.”
Enter snort of laughter.
“What’s a cell phone? Sounds dodgy to me.”
Oh no, Scorpius thought. He could see it on Rose’s face. She was never going to let him live this down.
Perhaps it was time for a change in subject.
“Sooo, this hamburger’s good, isn’t it?”
All he could hear was chuckling, accompanied by a muttered, “Blue teeth.”
Damn it, the damage was done. He was never going to hear the end of this one.
After lunch, Rose and Scorpius yet again found themselves at a loss for what to do. Scorpius especially, considering that he had no fucking clue what anything was.
Eventually, it became a bit of a game. Scorpius would ask Rose what something was and she would inevitable insist that he try it. It was a little annoying actually. Like he, Scorpius Malfoy, really wanted to find out about the muggle world!
He asked about a building with many moving screens and an apple above the door. Yank.
Alright, so the el-e-trons and compters were pretty interesting.
He wondered aloud what was inside the building with millions of flashing light called an Arcade. Yank.
That was actually pretty cool. He and Rose laughed like little kids as they shot at aliens, drove around a “virtual racetrack” (as Rose called it), and danced around on a game called DDR. He could not remember having so much fun.
But the fact of the matter remained that his arm was beginning to hurt more and more with each time that she hauled him towards one of her activities. And he told her so as they were, yet again, wandering the streets of London.
“You’re such a girl,” was her sardonic reply.
“I am not a girl!” Scorpius yelped, his hand on his heart in feigned-offense, “You have no idea how that wounds me! Everyone calling me pretty boy all the time… My self esteem is starting to take a hit!”
Rose didn’t look very impressed. “Pretty boy,” she guffawed, “I have never heard anyone call you that.”
Scorpius could understand why. Most of her crowd just bothered with the old classic, ‘stinking Slytherin,’ or something of the like, “Many Slytherins do. But, I mean, who could blame them for thinking so with all of this,” he alluded to his face and body, “On display.”
Again, Rose didn’t look very impressed. At least, she tried not to look very impressed, but Scorpius couldn’t help but notice that she had turned a bit pink, “Mih. It’s not that impressive a display.”
Scorpius grinned, and decided to have a bit of fun, “Come now, are you blind? Eyes the color of the finest silver, hair like silk, abs of steel, incredibly well-indow—“
“Oh look, a movie theater!” Rose exclaimed, cutting him off.
“What’s a movie theater?” He asked, deterred.
Rose’s eyes were huge as she looked at him like he lived the saddest existence imaginable, “You’ve never seen a movie before?”
Scorpius raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms defensively, “I’m sorry, have you heard of my father? Draco Malfoy? I assure you, the rumors are not exaggerated.”
Rose began shaking her head as if she had just witnessed a tragedy, “That’s just sad.”
“Your mum’s just sad!”
Scorpius’s wit even amazed him sometimes. NOT.
The deadpan look on Rose’s face said that she aclearly greed. Then, she made grab for his arm.
Seeing it coming, Scorpius retreated back a few steps, “Ooooh no you don’t. You’re going to pull my arm out of socket!”
“I reiterate, you’re a girl.”
Rose gave an overdramatic sigh before her face lit with mischief, “Fine. I won’t grab your arm.”
Scorpius breathed a sigh of relief, until he felt two slim arms wind around his neck and about 130 pounds land on his back, “Oi! I am not going to give you a piggy back ride!”
He couldn’t so much hear as feel Rose giggle as she wrapped her arms more securely around his neck, “I think that I deserve the rest, considering I have been slaving away as your ‘muggle world tour guide all day. Now, onward!” She hit her ankles against his sides for emphasis.
As Rose’s legs were wrapped around Scorpius’s waist, not to mention the fact that certain body parts were pressed up against his back, Scorpius felt inclined to follow her wishes. Firstly, because they felt quite nice where they were and he didn’t particularly want them to... er… dismount, so to speak. Secondly, while he enjoyed them where they were, Scorpius needed to get those body parts to their destination before they started feeling a bit too nice.
“Come on, you’re not going fast enough!” Rose whined into his ear as he labored towards the movie theater.
“I could go faster, miladyship, if it wasn’t for the giant weight that has attached itself to my back.”
All he got for that (justified) complaint was a pulled ear.
“OW!” He exclaimed, and reached around to slap her arse.
“Ouch!” She was about to retaliate, but, luckily for Scorpius, they arrived at the box office window.
“What would you like?” The middle aged woman said in a world-weary voice, as if she saw this sort of childish behavior every day.
Both Scorpius and Rose stared at the giant screen of words and times, nonplused, “Er…”
Scorpius craned his neck to look at Rose expectantly. He didn’t even know what they were doing, so he fully intended on leaving the decision making up to Rose. He was left with a very good view of her left ear and just a hint of the lost expression on her face.
“I thought you were an expert at this kind of thing,” Scorpius quipped into said ear.
Rose’s eye twitched with annoyance before addressing the teller, “How about you give us two tickets of whatever you would like to see.”
The woman looked at them both, bewildered. While she was probably used to seeing two teenagers acting like fools, she was apparently not used to people asking for her opinion.
Eventually, Scorpius and Rose ended up watching an action flick, with many car chases and giant explosions. Scorpius’s eyes were positively glued to the screen the entire time. He was quite positive that those muggle film-makers must have had some wizards working for them. How else could they get those cars to fly so high up in the air like that? The muggles were craftier than Scorpius had previously believed; in fact, they were bloody brilliant!
He only took his eyes from the screen one time. It was the moment when the main character had a passionate snog with his scantily-clad love interest before risking his life, yet again. He looked over at Rose, only to see her not looking at the screen, but at him. Not only was she looking at him, but she was smiling. Scorpius felt the corners of his mouth turn up automatically, and, for a brief moment, something passed between them as they sat there smiling at each other.
And then there was another explosion and they quickly turned their attentions back to the screen, their thoughts switching to those of bravery and guns and loud bangs. Muggle cinema was very engrossing.
“This has been an awesome day.”
“It has really, but how can you expect anything else when I’m around?” Scorpius smiled softly while she smacked him in the stomach, before he continued, “Brilliant, you are, for finding this park. It’s the first time all night that I haven’t felt utterly confused.”
When they had left the movie theater, it was beginning to get dark. Neither of them particularly wanted to go home yet, and everything was closing, so they decided to stay outside. Rose had taken him to a park a few blocks down, where she had apparently spent some time as a child. Scorpius frowned slightly as she recounted the adventures that she had there. He wondered what it would be like to have parents who took him to the park… Probably just really surreal.
But anyways, they were walking around the abandoned playground and shadowed grounds when they decided to take a rest, and lay down by a copse of trees with a great view of the stars. That was about three hours ago.
Scorpius took a deep breath and folded his hands behind his head. For a park in the middle of the city, the place was absolutely silent. It was strange to think that even though so much life and conflict occurred on the other side of the surrounding trees, Rose and Scorpius’s spot was completely out of the way. Separate, yet connected.
They seemed to have run out of things to talk about, so they sat in silence for a long while. Or Scorpius, at least, thought that they had run out. Rose, however, then asked the question that he had been avoiding for years, “So. How was your summer?”
Maybe it was the place, which seemed so far removed that nothing mattered. Maybe it was the fact that he had never felt so relaxed in his life, after having such a carefree day. Maybe he was just pissed off to the point of exploding. But for the first time, Scorpius felt the urge to talk.
So, instead of his customary fine, Scorpius responded, “Complete shit.”
He felt Rose shift beside him. It was obvious that she wasn’t expecting him to answer truthfully, but she didn’t comment on that. She merely said, “How so?”
Scorpius paused a moment before answering, “Oh, come on. You know that my Dad’s a complete douche. I don’t have to tell you that.”
Rose propped herself up on one elbow, “Actually, I don’t really know that. I know that my Dad won’t waste an opportunity to curse his existence, and I know that you don’t particularly like him, but other than that I haven’t had much proof that he’s worth my dislike.”
“Aren’t the rumors enough to realize what he’s really like?”
Scorpius felt a quick tug on his hair and looked over to see Rose smiling, “I have found that sometimes rumors are grossly incorrect.”
He smiled humorlessly in return, and looked up at the stars while he formulated a response, “I had this nanny, Jane. Up until the time I was twelve, she was the only family that I knew. The only person who I knew loved me.”
Without even looking, Scorpius could tell that Rose was giving him one of her thoughtful frowns. He could see it in his mind: eyebrows puckered together, lips pursed, nose wrinkled. It was a frown that always preceded a question, “What about your mother?”
Scorpius had to snort at that one, “My mother! Oh, that’s rich. I’ve probably seen her a total of four times since I started at Hogwarts!”
“Why?” The frown was still in place, he just knew it.
“She left my father when I was about five,” he rolled his eyes, “Well, she didn’t exactly leave him. They’re still married. She’s just ‘making connections on the continent,’ or shagging a few hundred foreigners half her age, depending on how you look at it. But it all comes to the same thing: she’s never been there.”
He turned his head. Sure enough, there she was, face crinkled up in concern and everything, “And your dad?”
Rose’s concentrated eyes were the only thing that Scorpius could think about for a few seconds. Then he answered in the best way that he could, “My nanny Jane was pretty much everything to me. My dad has always ridden me to be pretty much perfect, terrified that I would turn out like my mother. It’s like he sucks the life out of everything, making it all about being the best. Well anyways, she was pretty much my only outlet to normalcy throughout my childhood. In fact, I would probably be just like my father if it wasn’t for her. I kind of owe her my life, or at least my sense of humor. But anyways, when I was twelve he was at the house for the first time all summer, to lecture me on the fact that that damned Weasley girl beat me for top spot.”
He slid his eyes sideways to see Rose’s chagrined expression before continuing, “After the big confrontation I went downstairs to the kitchen. Jane was there, but she wasn’t quite herself. It turned out that he had fired her. He gave her one day to move out of the house. And yet again, my father ruined my only source of happiness.”
Rose’s hand flitted across his forehead, moving a stray lock of hair away in comfort, “I’m sorry,” she murmured, “That must have been awful for you.”
Scorpius laughed bitterly, “It was. I vowed to hate him forever, as I recall. I don’t know, it sounds kind of stupid now, but it pretty much encompasses my entire relationship with my father: lectures and then nothing. Silence. My house is like a morgue, because he can’t allow anything that might make it more enjoyable.”
There was silence for a few minutes. Scorpius spent most of it staring at the stars, lost in his own thoughts. Then—
“Did he ever hit you?”
Scorpius shook his head, “That would require more emotion than my father is willing to give. It would also require for him to pay enough attention to me to get really angry. Nope, just abandonment issues for me, I’m afraid.”
Silence reigned again. Rose was apparently trying to figure out the correct response, because soon enough she was leaning over him, “Alright, so you won me over. I dislike him.”
This response was so unexpected that Scorpius snorted in laughter. He was expecting something more along the lines of the gushing pity. This reaction was definitely preferred.
“That being said, I want you to know that you deserve much better than all of that. Also,” she grabbed his chin and made him look her in the eye, “If you ever have a problem again, I want you to talk to me about it, because I want to do anything that I can to help. If you’re lonely, write me. If he yells at you again, vent away. Just don’t lie to me and say that everything’s fine anymore. Got it?”
He nodded slowly, surprised again that he was actually getting scolded. It wasn’t long, however, before that surprise was eclipsed after she did the most shocking thing that she had done all evening.
“Now,” She said as she laid her head on his chest and slung an arm around his waist, “I’m going to hug you.”
Scorpius had a flashback to the first time that he hugged Rose, after Melinda Jones teased her. He was comforting her then, and now she was comforting him. They had come full circle.
So it wasn’t surprising what happened next.
She had just snuggled closer, her whole body curling into his side. Once she was settled, Scorpius noticed that they were a perfect fit.
And then, unbidden, he thought, I love you.
It was such a moment of horrible clarity.
The whole time, when he was fighting his attraction for Rose, he was convinced that he could get over her. Then, time and time again, he was surprised when his efforts had failed. Now it all made sense: he wasn’t fighting his attraction, he was fighting the fact that he was in love with her. Scorpius thought back, panicked. He realized that he had always loved her, since the moment that he saw her hanging upside down, knickers showing, swearing up a storm. It was always there, and yet he had never seen it.
For a moment, Scorpius cursed his bad luck. There he was, in love with his secret best friend, who had a boyfriend, as well as family members who hated him. Oh yes, and a father who would castrate him if he found out what Scorpius was thinking just then.
He should let her go now, before one of them got hurt.
His arms wrapped all the tighter around her.
A/N Miiiihhhh I’m not too sure on this chapter. It was supposed to be good and cute, but I really think that I just succeeded in creating a rambling mess. In fact, the only part that I really liked I actually decided to put off until later sooo… Yeah, I’m just going to need your opinions on this one!
Ok, depressing-ness over. Onto the good news! I believe that I promised you all a preview for Bri and Fred’s story (or Fri’s story, as PinkTorri13 has dubbed it ;) OR Bred… I think we need a voting poll!)—That’s Not My Name. NOW, it needs to be said that this teaser may, in fact, just be a GIANT tease, as I’m not completely sure when I will be able to post the full chapter! Hopefully, if I get enough positive feedback, I’ll feel motivated to get the ball rolling *hint hint*
Anyways, without further ado: That’s Not My Name!
Honestly, I’m pretty convinced that everyone I know is a complete moron. You see, I have this… er… friend. Goes by the name of Fred. He’s the biggest moron of the lot. And no, I know what you’re thinking, and I am not saying this because I am secretly in love with him. He is quite literally a moron. An ignoramus. An arse. But everyone is convinced that we will one day fall madly in love, shag a whole lot, and then have a shit ton of babies. I’ve tried to explain to them that I would prefer the Cruciatus curse, but no one listens! Ugh, and if I hear one more person say that me and Fred should go off and snog in a broom cupboard they will be the ones receiving the Cruciatus curse, believe me!
The thing with me and Fred is that we fight. All the time. We quite earnestly do not like each other. A day does not go by without us snarling some profanity at one another. A class is not complete until I hit him with a book. A meal is not over until Fred flicks food in my hair. Alright, so you get the picture. Bottom line: we should never-ever fornicate. Fornication is not an option. Ew.
Again, I reiterate. People are idiots.
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