Chapter 29 : Awkward.
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“Hello, St Mungo’s, Hazel speaking?”
I can hear Hazel explaining down the magi-phone when a patient needs to check in for their minor procedure being done tomorrow. The person has rang four times; they’re having their short term memory restored. Hazel looks ready to swear, but she holds her tongue and explains in her faux-nice voice that a letter was sent out to this patient two weeks ago with all of the details. But of course he keeps forgetting.
“That’s alright Mr Evans, we’ll see you tomorrow at nine o’clock,” Hazel says politely and hangs up, then adds: “If he rings again, I’m putting this phone through the window.”
I smile sympathetically at her, and return to what I’ve been doing all day: twirling a quill around in my fingers and staring off into space.
“Are you going to do any work today?” Hazel asks grumpily. It’s just the two of us in today. Linda is away on holidays, while Gladys rang in sick this morning.
“Oh, sorry Hazel,” I say sheepishly and begin shuffling papers, making it seem like I’m doing something.
“What’s the matter with you anyway? You’re even more spaced out than usual. Did something happen last night?”
It feels like it was about ten years ago at this point. Last night is all I can think about.
Finding out Scorpius is a liar and a cheater.
Hugging my lawyer in the middle of Diagon Alley.
Just hugging. Nothing else. So, to answer Hazel’s question, nothing really happened last night. And it’s slightly infuriating.
“No, just thinking about Mum’s campaign,” I lie easily. The election is in three days, so it’s not too much of a stretch, and it seems that Hazel buys it because she just nods and gets on with her work with no more questions.
I check my own phone for what has to be the thousandth time. No missed calls, no text messages. From anybody. I sent a message to Daisy this morning asking how she was doing, but I got no response from her. I still find it completely ridiculous that I am now texting this woman who I swore to eradicate from my life. Then again, I swore the same of Laura Phelps when I was at Hogwarts, and here I am six years later still in touch with her. Sort of.
I can’t concentrate on work at all today.
Why hasn’t Tom contacted me?
The way we left things last night was very...open. We hugged, and what a damn fine hugger he was. Then, after our deep meaningful hug (because it was very deep and meaningful), he escorted me to a taxi, paid the driver and wished me goodnight without as much as a handshake. He was adamant I couldn’t apparate when I’d been drinking. He didn’t even try to kiss me. When we were hugging, he didn’t even try to cop a feel.
I have a very feelable arse, I don’t know what his problem is.
The hugging incident has been a very good distraction for me from the Scorpius being a dirty cheater incident.
That is until Scorpius walks through the doors of St Mungo’s and suddenly the hugging incident doesn't seem so distracting.
Hazel actually hangs up the phone to listen when she sees him approaching the receptionists’ desk.
“Hello,” I greet him darkly. He looks like he hasn’t slept at all. He probably hasn’t. He was probably up all night with his horrible mistress. It’s all I can do not to drive this quill I’ve been playing with into his eye.
“I need to talk to you,” he says urgently.
I sit back in my chair, showing him that I’m not prepared to go anywhere with him so if he wants to talk to me, he’ll have to do it here. He looks at Hazel uncomfortably, and she picks up the phone and dials a number so he doesn't think she’s eavesdropping.
I know she’s probably calling Gladys so they can both listen.
“Do you know where Daisy is?”
I frown at him. “How the hell would I know where she is? I’m not the one married to her.”
“You sent her a text this morning, I have her phone,” he tells me.
“I still don’t know where she is.”
He runs his hands through his hair nervously and swears. “She didn’t come home last night after the party. She just left a note saying she was going away to think. Have you any idea what this is about?”
I can’t believe him. I can’t believe he actually has the nerve to stand there and pretend like he’s done nothing wrong.
“Why weren’t you at the party?” I ask him.
Scorpius looks like he’s about to answer, but pauses when he looks behind me. I turn to see Hazel actually holding up the receiver of the phone so that the person on the other end (most certainly Gladys) can hear everything we’re saying.
“I told you it’d be too obvious,” she hisses down the phone.
Scorpius and I head to the break room for some privacy.
“So?” I press him.
“Daisy and I got into a fight, okay?” he snaps. “I went off on my own to a pub, I didn’t want to be around her.”
“On your own?”
“Yeah,” he shrugs. “But then I felt bad so I went ho- OUCH! Fucking hell, Weasley!”
I’ve hit him, hard, upside the head.
“You dirty, cheating, lying little scumbag!”
He looks genuinely frightened. “What’s your problem? I haven’t seen you this mental since you were pregnant!”
“I know you cheated on Daisy!”
Now he looks confused, but I’m not convinced it’s genuine.
“What are you on about?”
I sigh heavily. “We stalked you last night while we should have been at the party and the barman in the Hog’s Head said you’d left there holding hands with some woman!”
“You stalked me? Jesus.”
“That’s all you can say?” I am fuming. I am just so angry with him right now.
“For fuck sake, Rose, I didn’t cheat on Daisy! What’s wrong with you?”
“Then why were you holding hands with some skanky squib slut?” I added the squib for effect. I hope it worked.
“If you really must know, I was a bit drunk, I flirted with her, but I came to my senses when we got out of the Hog’s Head.”
“Oh, how convenient,” I snarl.
“Shit, is that why Daisy left? Does she think I’ve cheated?”
“Well considering we were stalking you together, then yes, I would think so.”
He paces around the break room, his hands clasped behind his head. I don’t see why he’s so worried about her now. For the last few weeks it seemed like he stopped caring about her completely.
“This is just typical Rose Weasley!” he snaps.
“How has this anything to do with me?” I scoff.
“Oh please, stalking? That was definitely your idea. I bet you were the one who made her think I was cheating on her in the first place!”
True, the stalking was initially my idea. “No, she came up with the notion you were cheating all by herself,” I tell him.
He folds his arms and walks closer to me. I mirror his stance and hold my ground. I will not be intimidated by him.
“I wouldn’t cheat, Rose,” he says firmly. “I can’t believe you of all people would think that.”
I glare at him for a full minute without even blinking. He can’t be serious. He just can’t be. How can he possibly say that sentence to me without so much as blinking?
“Are you for real?” I scoff eventually. “I am the one person who knows just how capable you are of cheating.”
Is he forgetting that he went out with Dom in sixth year? He is the reason she is the cynic she is today. Believe it or not, before Scorpius, Dom actually sort of believed in happily ever after. He kissed me several times while claiming he was in love with her.
And he’s kissed me while married! Has the memory of Al and Jenny’s wedding completely slipped his mind? Or turning up to my flat drunk and asking me to be with him?
“I don’t mean cheat on Daisy,” he says quietly. “I’d never cheat on her with anyone but...you.”
“Go find your wife,” I tell him viciously. “I’m going back to work.”
With that I leave the break room and return to my desk, where Hazel is still on the phone to Gladys, clearly talking about me in hushed tones. I don’t look up as Scorpius passes by and leaves the hospital.
“Rose, have some more potatoes won’t you?”
“No thanks Mum I’m full -”
She dishes three spoonfuls of mash onto my plate before I can finish. That’s my fourth helping. I didn’t even want the second.
I don’t even have to answer this time, because more carrots have been piled onto my already full plate anyway.
“Fanks er-my-nee,” Dad answers, his mouth full. This is his fifth helping. I have no idea how he isn’t obese at this point. Finding a woman who feeds him as much as his own mother was pretty much the only thing Dad was looking for in a wife, I’m guessing. Never mind that Mum is about the most brilliant witch of her generation, not at all bad to look at and a generally lovely human being.
“I’ll put on some more shall I?” Mum asks, bustling around the kitchen, summoning more potatoes from the press. “Aidan, would you like some more?”
“I’m going to explode!” Aidan cries. Dad claps him on the shoulder proudly.
Mum is clearly nervous. Despite she has spent the evening feeding myself, Aidan, Dad and Hugo, she has eaten nothing herself. This is what she does when she’s anxious, she busies herself with housework or cooking or paper work to take her mind off what’s troubling her.
Tomorrow is the election.
I wonder if Uncle Percy is forcing food down his children’s throats too. God knows Lucy could do with fattening up. Not Molly though. She’s getting a bit pudgy these days.
“Hermione, sit down,” Dad tells her, for all the good it does him.
“Oh, I have no time, I have to get this apple tart in the oven,” she says briskly.
“Mum, you’re working like a bloody house elf,” says Hugo. A bad analogy to make around Mum, who shoots him a dirty look.
“You have to calm down, Mum,” I try to reason with her, woman to woman. “Election day is tomorrow, there’s nothing more you can do now. Just try to relax.”
I may as well have told this to the wall. It would take much more notice.
“Why is Nana going mental?” Aidan asks. Dad shakes his head at him, as if teaching him not to ask questions to an apparently mental woman. You’d think he would know that already, having me for a mother and everything.
“You’ve no reason to be nervous, Mum,” Hugo tells her.
“Let’s just not talk about it!” Mum commands. “Now, who wants more broccoli?”
We are all staying here tonight in support of Mum. She just wants to keep a low profile until the results are out. Of course she’ll have to have the obligatory picture taken of her casting her vote in the polling booth tomorrow and we’ll all have to go with her to make us seem like a tightly knit, loving, supportive family. Then the day after tomorrow we’ll have to come together again in public for the tallying of the votes.
“I want to vote!” Aidan complains.
“You have to wait ‘til you’re seventeen,” Hugo explains.
“I wish I was seventeen.”
“Don’t wish your life away,” Dad warns him. Do you ever notice how philosophical dads tend to get in their later years?
When Mum does eventually sit down, she’s practically twitching. She’s shuffling through paperwork, biting her thumbnail and acting overall very sensitive. She scolds Hugo for turning up the television, even though we’re having a very hard time hearing it over the tapping of Mum’s foot on the wooden floor. She even shushes Aidan when he asks – yes, asks – if he can go to bed now. Dad takes him upstairs to read him a story, and I check my phone.
There is still nothing on it. No calls. No messages.
Not that I expected there to be any from anybody except for Jenny or Dom, or maybe Al.
But there is nothing from anybody at all. I’m not sure if Daisy has returned home to Scorpius yet and I haven’t asked. Thinking of him has made me so angry for the last few days. I’d never cheat on her with anyone...but you. As if that’s supposed to make everything better. As if cheating is alright as long as it’s with an ex. In fact, I think that makes it so much worse. A kiss between me and Scorpius means so much more than a kiss between Scorpius and some random girl in a pub. It would kill Daisy to hear some of the things Scorpius has said behind her back. And then she would kill me in turn.
While Mum is busy re-cleaning the kitchen after cleaning it from dinner, there is a knock on the front door. I answer it, as Hugo is now watching football on the TV and shouting profanities at Manchester United, despite the fact that my six year old is trying to sleep upstairs
It’s Uncle Percy.
“Evening, Rose,” he says stiffly. “Is your mother in?”
“Um, yeah,” I say, a little shocked that he’s here. He and Dad haven’t really been on the best of terms since this Minister business came about. “Come on in.”
Unlike Dad, who has a very thick head of red hair, Uncle Percy has very little. Dad says he started going bald in his late twenties. He wears thick rimmed glasses too, which make his eyes look bigger than they are. He truly is the most boring looking person in our family, with his eldest daughter coming a close second.
Hugo looks up from the football match at Uncle Percy and greets him generically. He then raises his eyebrows at me. We are both very interested to see where this will go.
Mum bustles into the living room from the kitchen and jumps at the sight of Uncle Percy in her house.
“Percy!” she exclaims.
“Hermione, I’m just making a flying visit,” he says in a business-like voice. I’ve always noticed that everything Uncle Percy says makes him sound like such a knob. “I do hate being out of sorts with you and Ron.”
“Yes, well...” Mum pauses. “There has been a lot of tension.”
“I’m just here to wish you the best of luck in tomorrow’s election. At the end of the day we are much more than competitors. We are still family.”
Hugo sticks his finger in his mouth and makes a gagging noise and I have to stifle my laughter.
“Yes, we are,” Mum concedes. They shake hands, like real political figures. Seriously, this is my family. I’m not even joking. Sometimes I wonder if I could actually have made all this stuff up in my head. But I’m pretty sure it’s true.
Dad arrives back downstairs having put Aidan to bed and visibly tenses when he sees Uncle Percy. Though I think we are all fairly relieved that Auntie Audrey isn’t with him.
“Ron,” Percy approaches him. “I am just here to resolve the tension between our families. I know Audrey can be difficult to get along with sometimes –“
“Well that’s an understatement,” I blurt, earning an angry glare from Mum.
“Yes, well...” Percy continues uncomfortably, “I just want to apologise for the tension and was just wishing Hermione good luck for tomorrow.”
Dad is a strange person. It’s hard to know how he’ll react to this. On the one hand, it really wouldn’t surprise me if he punched Percy in the face and told him to get out of his house. On the other...
Dad shakes Percy’s hand. “Thanks.”
Uncle Percy stays for a cup of tea and we chat idly about things that are completely non-election related. He brings up the subject of James, asking if we’ve heard from him on his holiday and we awkwardly change the subject. We may be on better terms, but Percy’s branch of the family really doesn't need to know about James’s problems. We can’t really risk it getting released to the press.
The next day we go as a family to the Ministry of Magic to vote. We see lots of familiar faces, including some people I was at Hogwarts with; Mark Matthews, an old friend of James’s asks me how he’s doing and I spin the same lie to him about James being on holiday. Nana Molly and Grandad are here too, but they won’t tell me who they’ve voted for. I can guess that Grandad voted for Mum, but it’s a very hard one to call with Nana Molly.
“I love them both the same,” Nana Molly maintains.
“It’s not about how much you love them, Nana,” Hugo points out, “It’s about who’ll do a better job.”
“Still, I mustn’t be seen to play favourites!”
Then, I see a familiar face I wasn’t really counting on seeing.
“Fuck,” I hiss to myself, but unfortunately Nana Molly hears me and scolds me like I’m a child. She is rather scary though, so I apologise.
Tom is chatting to Mum. I begin to panic. Sweat is pouring out of every inch of my body – my actual arse is sweating. I’m suddenly aware of my arms and legs and wonder what the hell I should do with them. What is wrong with me? He’s just a man. Just a solicitor man. With nice hair. But he wears scruffy clothes and looks homeless. I shouldn’t sweat over a homeless looking solicitor.
I take a deep breath and decide to approach them. I really don’t see why I shouldn’t. After all, Tom and I are acquaintances now and it is the only polite thing to do. Tom doesn't look remotely disturbed by my arrival. I’ve nearly sweated every ounce of water from my body and he is just...cool.
“Rose, there you are,” Mum smiles at me. She’s clearly still on edge because she has a bit of a manic look in her eyes.
“Hi Rose,” Tom greets me in a friendly voice. I don’t say anything back, but shoot him a very confused look. Hi Rose. Really? Hi Rose. What am I supposed to do with that?
“Oh, there’s Timothy, I’d better go say hello,” Mum excuses herself and rushes off.
Tom doesn't look uncomfortable. He should look uncomfortable, but he doesn't. It’s as if we didn’t hug for a solid ten minutes in the middle of Diagon Alley a week ago.
“So, who did you vote for?” he smirks.
“Hi Rose!” I mimic in a deep man’s voice. Or at least my version of a man’s voice. “So, who did you vote for?”
Now he looks uncomfortable. Mission accomplished.
“Did you have a stroke?” Tom asks.
I realise now how stupid I sound and look. We hugged. As in a hug; I hug Dom. I hug my mother. I hug Al and Jenny. Why did I read more into a bloody hug?
“Yes,” I decide. “I have to go find Barney.”
I don’t know why Barney was the first name that popped into my head, but I rush off to find the imaginary Barney. Luckily I have to leave for Potions class so I don’t run the risk of bumping into him again. And if I’m lucky, and if I play my cards right, I may never have to bump into him again.
Well, I’ve officially just jinxed it.
The result of the vote is out at six o’clock the next day. There will be a victory party for the winner at the Ministry, and either way I have to attend. I’m listening to the radio at work to hear the results because I couldn’t get the day off for the votes count.
“And the votes are finally in!” the presenter announces, causing us to sit up in our seats. Gladys turns up the radio. “The next Minister for Magic, with 64% of the votes, is Hermione Weasley.”
“Oh my God!” I exclaim in excitement. My mother is Minister for Magic! Gladys, Hazel and Linda sound in celebration and a few Healers come by and send their congratulations to Mum. I try to call her, but as expected the line is busy.
I then hear Mum’s voice coming from the radio as she makes her victory speech. She starts off by acknowledging Percy and congratulates him on a very good campaign. I can imagine Auntie Audrey is probably kicking a child somewhere. I do hope it’s her own.
I leave work at half past six on the dot to go home and get ready for the victory party. Aidan is with Draco and Astoria tonight because just about everybody else in the wizarding world that I know is going to the party. This isn’t going to be like Uncle George’s Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes party though. It will be far more fancy and pretentious. So I actually have to dress formally.
Knowing how likely it is I will see both Scorpius and Tom tonight, I actually make an effort. If feels like so long since I’ve made a real effort. I mean, I didn’t really make an effort for Al and Jenny’s wedding. I was too busy trying to get her ready than getting myself ready.
I go the whole hog. I put on a face mask and curl my hair. I then proceed to take off the face mask and put my hair into an up-style. Then I put on make-up; eye shadow and everything! For Dom this would just be another Friday night, but I feel like this might actually be the most attractive I’ve ever been in my whole life. Ah the life of a single mother.
My dress is cream. I’ve had it for ages but I’ve never really had anywhere to wear it to. You never really have to wear full-length dresses anywhere. I used to daydream that if one day Scorpius and I eloped on a spur of the moment, I’d throw on this dress and we’d get married. But instead he eloped with someone else and my dress and I never got our day out. Bastard.
I even do a twenty four hour self-tanning spell I found in Witch Weekly. That’s how far I’m taking this. I have to say I’ve scrubbed up rather nicely.
Dom calls to the flat before we head to the Ministry, and as soon as I see her I feel like I’m wearing an old paper bag in comparison. Her dress is full length and lilac satin and looks completely stunning. I actually want to hit her.
“Oh Rose you look amazing!” she exclaims.
“Yeah,” I mumble.
“What’s wrong?” she asks, annoyed. “If you start your whole self-deprecating thing now, I’m actually going to put your head through a window.”
See, then she says stuff like that and she suddenly doesn't look nearly as elegant.
“Come on, we’re meeting Brian at the Muggle entrance,” she says, checking her appearance in my hall mirror. “He’s so excited about seeing the actual Ministry of Magic. He’s like Al that time we brought him on a plane.”
We apparate into London and meet Brian by the telephone booth. He’s wearing a tuxedo and looks amazed by Dom; she always looks amazing, but how she’s looking now is just out of this world. I really hate that I love her. It would be so much easier to hate her.
Brian looks like he might just wet his pants as we descend into the Ministry of Magic. There are massive posters of Mum all around the place and I am literally bursting with pride. Dom and I pose for pictures upon arrival and then hurry off to find Al and Jenny. Dom and Brian start on the firewhiskey – a bit early I reckon – as she explains the different departments to him.
“Rose!” Jenny squeals when she sees me. “You look gorgeous!”
Jenny is in red, which is very bold for her. It really suits her. She should have been a Gryffindor.
“You too,” I hug her. Al is wearing black dress robes, looking very smart. It’s so strange not having James around. He always brought the fun to these occasions.
“Have you seen Audrey?” Al sniggers. “She looks like she might kill Percy.”
I look around and find Audrey in the crowd. She’s wearing yellow, so she’s not hard to spot. She looks like somebody killed her family. Percy on the other hand looks very placid, shaking hands and conversing with his colleagues around him.
“Did you hear?” Jenny laughs. “Percy voted for Hermione!”
“What?!” Dom and I exclaim at the same time.
“Why would he vote for Mum?” I cry. “After everything they’ve gone through?”
“He never wanted to be Minister,” Al says. “I mean, we all knew it but you know how stubborn he can be. I think he was afraid of Audrey so that’s why he didn’t pull out. But he told Dad that he was voting for Hermione and Audrey overheard...”
“Molly cried,” Jenny adds. “It was hilarious.”
We sit at one of the many large round tables that are positioned around the foyer of the Ministry. They are all decorated with white table clothes, candelabras and flowers. It’s nearly like a wedding, except even more formal. Brian, not used to the effects of firewhiskey, gets pissed rather quickly. He’s not a bad drunk, though. He just talks a lot more than usual.
Molly and Lucy do not join us at our table. Teddy and Victoire do, as do Hugo, Louis, Fred, Roxie and Lily. I have a feeling that Audrey threatened Lucy not to sit with us; where Molly would be bitter about her father losing the election, Lucy really wouldn’t care either way. Hugo and I have to pose with Mum and Dad for some pictures, but after all that is taken care of we’re free to spend an enjoyable night with our lovely cousins.
“Fuck fuckidy fuck!!” Lily hisses to me when I come back from having my picture taken. She then grabs my arm and drags me to the bathroom. Dom, seeing the commotion, follows.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” I ask once we’re in the bathroom. There is a woman washing her hands and Lily waits silently until she’s finished to speak. The woman is taking her time though...
“I think they’re clean!” Lily snaps at her, and the woman sweeps from the bathroom looking very offended. See, as Harry Potter’s daughter Lily can get away with stuff like that.
“Are you alright Lily?” Dom asks.
“Lysander is here,” she says in a panic.
Dom and I look at each other. Dom shrugs.
“So?” I say, trying my best to be tactful.
“So...” Lily pauses, looking around shiftily, “...so we slept together around Christmas and I haven’t been responding to his letters!”
Dom’s mouth is about to hit the floor. “Are you for real?” she laughs. “Little Lovely Lily and Lysander? How did we not hear about this before?”
“Oh Dom please don’t tell anyone!” Lily pleads. “We kept it a secret...”
“Obviously,” I chime in. “But everything’s always a secret with you and Lysander. At least you weren’t going out with Lorcan when it happened...were you?”
“No!” Lily exclaims. “But still, it’s so awkward! You have no idea!”
No idea? I feel like slapping her. I invented awkward.
“Just talk to him,” Dom suggests. Lily shoots her a vicious glare. “Or not...”
“I really don’t know what you want us to say. Do you want us to hide you or something?” I say jokingly. Lily looks like she’s considering this. “Eh, I’m joking by the way.”
“Lorcan is here too,” Lily moans. “I really don’t want to see either of them, it always ends with such drama...”
I don’t want to point out that she seems to be the one creating this drama from nothing. It would be hypocritical of me to say anything because I’m doing the exact same thing with Tom. Who I have yet to see tonight.
Once Dom and I have calmed Lily down, we return to our table where Scorpius is sitting talking to Al and Fred. I expected him to be here so it doesn't come as a shock. I hold my head high and resume my initial seat, pretending there is nothing awkward between us. At least nothing more than usual.
I do notice that he is alone. Daisy is nowhere to be seen.
“Hi,” Scorpius says to both me and Dom.
“Hello,” I respond civilly.
He’s staring at me and it’s unnerving. He looks good too. Dress robes suit him. I look away, deciding it’s best not to go there again.
“So what did you say Daisy was doing in America?” Jenny asks Scorpius, continuing on a conversation that had started while we were in the bathroom.
“Just business,” he responds uncomfortably. “She’ll be home in a few days.”
“Bit sudden just taking off like that though,” Roxie observes.
“Yeah, it was a pretty last minute meeting,” Scorpius lies. If he can say she’ll be home in a few days then he must have been speaking to her. Or maybe he’s just making up excuses. Maybe she’s left him.
I head up to the bar to get myself a drink. I’m going to need one if I have to listen to Scorpius talk about Daisy all night. While up there, I bump into the other bloke I’ve been avoiding and suddenly I am liberated; I have nothing else to worry about.
“Rose,” Tom greets me pleasantly, like I didn’t mimic him in a ridiculous voice yesterday and run off.
“Hi Tom,” I respond, choosing this time to be as poised and elegant as my dress and my jewellery. I will not let him affect me. Tonight, I am a classy lady.
“You look...” he pauses and looks me up and down, “beautiful.”
Rose, you need to say something better than ‘oh’.
Anything at all.
“So do you.”
For fuck sake. I just called him beautiful. When I get my mother alone, I am demanding what exactly she smoked while pregnant with me.
“Eh, I mean, your dress robes are nice,” I say. They’re probably the same ones he wore to the party in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, but I have literally nothing else to say.
He sort of laughs. “Thanks?”
The barman gives me the glass of wine I ordered and I go to sit back down.
“Hi Tom,” Tom says in a high pitched voice. I spin back around. He’s mimicking me. “You’re welcome!” he says in the same high pitched voice.
“Really?” I say dryly. “You’re really doing this here?”
“What was with you yesterday?” he grins.
“What was with me?” I echo, appalled. But I don’t know what else to say. I don’t know what was with me.
“Do you have a problem with me?” he asks genuinely.
“Oh no,” I say sarcastically. “You know, I expect everyone I hug in Diagon Alley to ignore me for a week afterwards –”
“Ahhh I see now,” Tom says smugly. “You felt rejected.”
Completely offended, I turn to walk away again, but he follows me and corners me not too far from the table of cousins and Scorpius. Yes, this evening wasn’t awkward enough. Thanks Tom.
“Come on Rose!” he laughs. He is so annoying. I don’t think I ever found anyone this annoying, not even Scorpius. “In my defence, you didn’t contact me either.”
I hadn’t thought about that, but I’m still so annoyed that I don’t even consider it.
“I make a point of not contacting people I hate,” I respond.
“We both know you don’t hate me,” he says cockily.
“Want a bet?”
He tilts his head, considering me. I look everywhere but into his eyes. They are rather lovely.
“I knew if I didn’t get in touch with you you’d figure out how you feel about me,” he says. “You seemed a bit confused the other night. But it’s pretty obvious you like me now.”
I laugh in disbelief. “Like you? Have you not been paying attention?”
“Come on, why else would you care that I didn’t contact you?”
I hate how good at arguing he is. I make to walk away again, but he blocks me.
“I like you, Rose,” he tells me seriously. “Really.”
I look at my table. Jenny and Dom are staring at us and both look away quickly when they see me looking back at them. Al and Scorpius are gone off somewhere. Roxie is talking to a very anxious looking Lily. Brian is drunker than before.
“Look, Tom, I don’t know where to begin –” Before I can go into the details of my ridiculously complicated life, Tom leans in and kisses me. It’s a very brief kiss because there are people everywhere, but it is a kiss nonetheless. He then takes me by the hand and we walk outside together to escape the prying eyes of my friends and family.
A/N – Wowwwwwwww, judging by some of the reviews on the last chapter there are some real Tom haters out there! I’m thinking it’s more about loyalty to Scorpius than anything Tom has actually done, so I’ll try not to be too offended that you hate a character I’m quite liking! I love all of your reviews by the way. And I’m totally awful at answering them, but I do love them and I do read them. Answering them would take a million years, time I could be spending writing so I hope you understand! The level this story has reached is really blowing me away. I still have to pinch myself every time I log onto HPFF and see I’m the most reviewed author. Pinch. You people make my life. X
P.S – 5 or 6 chapters at the most left, then I say goodbye to Rose. Probably :P
PPS - James will be returning in the next chapter!
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