Chapter 15 : Caught
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Disclaimer- Harry Potter and the wizarding world are not mine, I would be living in a much nicer house if that were true.
“Hugo, my goodness, you’ve practically grown an inch since I last saw you,” Rose’s mother commented on the drive home from King’s Cross station.
Rose looked over at her brother on the seat beside her. It was true, he had gotten much taller. He was probably close to the same height as their dad.
Hugo just grumbled some unintelligible answer before putting on his headphones and turning his music on. Rose jumped slightly when Hugo audibly cranked his music as loudly as it could possibly go.
Rose heard her mother make a noise of disapproval, before her reflection in the rear-view mirror turned so that she could see Rose’s face. “You’ve been awfully quiet, Rosie,” Rose’s mother said. “I have yet to hear about what you’ve been up to these past couple of weeks. You barely put anything into your letters home and, let me tell you this now; your father is worried that you have a boyfriend again.”
Rose heard the audible snort from the front passenger seat where Nora was seated, which she quickly attempted to cover up as a cough when Rose’s mother looked at Nora with a curious look on her face.
“Really?” Rose laughed nervously.
It was a lie, but she was not about to admit that Scorpius Malfoy was her boyfriend on the car ride home, while her mother was driving and Nora and Hugo were there to witness the fallout.
It had been a few weeks since Scorpius and Rose had ‘officially’ begun to date. Although, their relationship was still mostly a secret, with only Nora, Al, Dave, Alice, Andy and, Rose assumed, Zabini, knowing that the Head Boy and Girl were more than just partners or acquaintances these days. The reason why no one had figured out what was going on, was because Rose wanted to make sure that she was the one to tell her parents what Scorpius was to her, not rumours circulating around the Ministry of Magic started by the parents of kids who attended Hogwarts. Luckily, keeping the secret was easier than Rose thought it would be. No one seemed to question when the Head Boy and Girl were seen alone together or had to meet up, and since everyone was so used to Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley having a strained relationship, no one suspected, that behind closed doors, all she wanted to do was snog him to the point of no return. They just had to be careful that no one ever caught them engaging in more than platonic acts.
“Really,” her mother replied with a chuckle. “Harry says that he’s been right out of sorts for weeks now, since he’s afraid you’re going to introduce him over the holidays and he’s constantly asking him for advice.”
Nora let out a loud laugh at this statement. “I love your father, Rose.”
Rose tried to hide her growing discomfort with the most genuine smile she could muster. “Don’t worry mum. I’ll let you know when my relationship status changes, so you can break it to dad in the nicest way possible.”
“Thank you so much, Rose,” her mother responded sarcastically as she steered the car into the driveway of their house.
Once the car had come to a complete stop, Nora, being much more upbeat these days, decided to further her torture with yet another smart ass comment. “Just wait, Hermione,” Nora warned opening the door of the car. “When Papa Weasley finds out, one of these days, about his baby girl being deflowered, it’s going to be one hell of a day in the Weasley household. And that day will probably be coming sooner than later. Right, Rosie?”
Rose just gaped at her friend, completely mortified. “Nora!” she screeched.
Rose’s mother’s eyes were wide and questioning as Nora cackled from the front seat. Luckily, Hugo was now getting out of the car and still had his headphones in, so he was completely oblivious to what was unfolding right in front of his eyes.
“What exactly is she talking about Rose?” her mother asked in confusion while unbuckling her seatbelt.
“I have no idea,” Rose said through gritted teeth as Nora continued laughing as she got out of the car.
Rose knew by the expression on her mother’s face, that she hadn’t believed her answer, but instead of pressing the subject, she just sighed as they both exited the car. Walking over to the now open car trunk, Rose lifted her magically shrunken luggage out and carried it towards the house; trying in vain to ignore Nora’s suggestive eyebrow waggling. Merlin, she could be obnoxious when she wanted to be.
As Hugo had already entered the house, leaving the door open behind him, Rose walked inside her front hall unhindered and placed her luggage on the floor before pulling out her wand and restoring it to its original size.
“Hullo, Rosie,” a loud familiar voice called out from behind her.
Rose turned and beamed at her father, who was coming down the stairs to greet her. “Hey, dad,” she replied back before he reached her and enveloped her in his arms.
“How was the trip back?” he asked after releasing her from his arms. “Anything eventful happen?”
“Nothing of great importance, Mr. Weasley,” Nora proclaimed from behind her.
“Nora!” Rose’s dad proclaimed; arm’s open wide once more as he went towards Nora to give her a hug as well.
After everyone had thoroughly greeted each other and her parents had asked her about a hundred questions about how school was, Rose was able to escape to her room to unpack her clothes and the homework that she had brought home for the holidays.
“Need any help?” A voice asked and Rose turned to see Nora leaning against the open doorway to her room.
Rose frowned in her friend’s direction. “I don’t need any help from you, thank you.”
“Oh come on, Rose,” Nora said with a laugh and walked into the room to sit on the side of her bed. “I was just kidding around.”
“Well I didn’t really think what you said was all that funny,” Rose answered unhappily. “What if my mother had taken you seriously? I’m horrible at lying as it is.”
“Then why don’t you just tell the truth?” Nora said, one of her perfectly maintained eyebrows arching questioningly.
“I will,” Rose replied. “But first Scorpius and I have to decide what time to tell our parents. We both want to do it on the same day in order to avoid complications.”
“And did you decide what day that was going to be?”
“No,” Rose replied uncomfortably. “We never really got around to it.”
Nora let out an exasperated sigh. “I swear you two have to be the biggest idiots in the entire wizarding world.”
“Excuse me,” Rose said warningly.
Nora ignored her and got up from her seat. “I’ll cover for you then.”
Nora shot her an annoyed look before explaining. “You need to talk to Scorpius, correct?”
“Therefore, I will come up with an excuse that will get you out of the house without your parents worrying about where you’ve gone off to,” she explained. “For example, I need to finish my Christmas shopping. Pretending that I am in dire need of your assistance in finding a gift for Al, you can pretend that you’re coming with me, when you’re really going to meet Scorpius so the two of you can spend some quality time together.”
“But if you come back home without me, my parents will know something is up,” Rose protested.
“We’ll arrange a time to meet up,” Nora countered.
“Well,” Rose said anxiously. “How are we going to tell him the plan? I can’t, very well, just call him up.”
“I’ll send him in an owl,” Nora responded with a smug look. “No one here, or at Malfoy Manor, will question the idea of me sending a letter to Scorpius.”
Rose opened up her mouth to say something, but closed it when she noticed the ‘just try it’ look on Nora’s face. “Fine,” Rose replied. “Send Scorpius a letter telling him to meet me outside the Leaky Cauldron, in Muggle London, tomorrow morning.”
Nora smiled at her. “Sounds like a plan.”
“So he should be here in about 10 minutes,” Nora said, looking down at the cell phone her father had ordered them to take with them downtown. Rose hated the silly little muggle devices but Nora had argued that they were handy when actually in the muggle world. “Remember to meet me back here at 5 so that we can head back home together.”
Rose exhaled loudly before giving Nora the once over. Rose suspected that her father had forced the phone on them because Nora had put on makeup this morning, as well as a white peacoat jacket with a pair of skinny jeans tucked into high heel winter boots. She was even wearing a girly looking light pink, form fitting, v-neck sweater under her coat; something that Rose had no idea she actually owned. Everyone at home had gotten so used to her walking around in sweatpants, multi-coloured t-shirts and not doing anything with her hair or refusing to put on makeup, that they had all forgotten that, once she tried, Nora made men walk into telephone poles because they were too busy staring at her while they walked down the street. Thus, her father’s need to be in contact with her at all times.
“You’re awfully dressed up for shopping,” Rose said. “What are you actually doing today?”
“Double date with Al, Alice and Dave.”
Rose paled. “You got roped into another one?”
“Yes,” Nora answered her expression forlorn. “But, this time, Al is choosing what we’re doing, so I’m not too worried.”
“Yup. Oh, I almost forgot. Alice is going to grill you for details about your date with Scorpius later, so you better be ready with a detailed report,” Nora explained.
“What?” Rose spluttered in surprise.
“I know it’s a bother, but just play along with her,” Nora replied.
“No. You just said date, right?” Rose replied uncertainly.
“So?” Nora said in confusion.
“I completely didn’t realize that this was going to be a date!”
“Huh? Why did you think I made you take off that stupid winter jacket of yours and put on the leather jacket you’re wearing now?”
“I thought you were just being picky,” Rose protested.
Nora just gaped at her, which only made her anxiety spike rapidly.
“What do I do?” Rose asked, now beginning to panic.
The look Nora gave her in response was enough to make her wince. “Rose Weasley, I am this close to slapping you,” she said angrily, before lifting a hand and pointing her index finger menacingly in her direction. “Today, you will talk to Scorpius about telling your parents about the two of you. I don’t care if you do it tonight, on Christmas or in your bloody bra and underwear while hula dancing, but you will tell them before we go back to school. Do I make myself clear?”
Rose just nodded meekly in response.
Her answer seemed to placate Nora enough for her to calm down. “Good. Well I better go meet everyone. Have fun, darling.” And with a turn on her heel, Nora apparated away from the place where she had been standing; leaving Rose alone to punish herself for being so stupid.
Now that she thought about it, it was incredibly obvious that this was a date. Merlin’s beard, she hadn’t even made an effort when she was picking out her clothes this morning, but at least she had had the sense to make sure her hair wasn’t a frizzy mess today. She sighed and leaned up against the wall of one of the shops beside the Leaky Cauldron, too lazy to stand on her own at the moment. Maybe she was so used to Scorpius seeing her in various states of dress, that she had stopped worrying about how he thought she looked. At least on regular days. Rose stared up at the grey sky and began to imagine scenario’s where she would tell her parents that she currently fancied the pants off of Scorpius Malfoy and was now dating him because he felt the same way. She snorted out loud when she imagined the stupefied look that would appear on her father’s face after hearing her confess something like that.
Nora was right though, she had to tell them, and soon. It would be very bad news if her parents found out from someone else other than her. Something told her they would be much less willing to accept Scorpius if they thought she was never planning on telling them about him in the first place.
“Boo,” a quiet voice suddenly whispered in her ear. Rose couldn’t help but screech in surprise and jump away from the voice, as if preparing to attack whoever was responsible. However, Rose held herself back when she saw the grinning face of her boyfriend, Scorpius Malfoy.
“You,” she said slowly, putting a hand over her heart. “Are a giant ass, Scorpius Malfoy.”
“And yet,” he said, closing the gap between them and wrapping his arms around her. “You chose to date this giant ass out of all the other men who would gladly fall at your feet.”
“It’s because I’m mentally unstable,” she replied with mock seriousness. “Completely barmy.”
Scorpius let out a loud laugh before lifting one of his hands to her chin to hold her face in place. “Such a kidder,” he replied softly as he lowered his head and claimed her lips with his own. The usual stars began to dance across Rose’s vision and she couldn’t help but sigh in pleasure. Scorpius groaned as he pulled his lips away from her and pulled her even closer to him.
“What’s wrong,” Rose asked worriedly.
Scorpius rested his head on her shoulder and let out a heavy sigh. “Please don’t make those kinds of noises when I’m kissing you. It makes it very hard to resist the urge to go rent us a room for the day.”
Rose took a step back from Scorpius with lightning speed; her eyes as round as a pair of saucers. “Down boy,” she replied nervously.
“Sorry ‘bout that,” he replied sheepishly. “I’ll control myself. You look lovely today by the way.”
Rose gave him a derisive look and decided to let his comment slide. That conversation would have to be left for another day. “So, have any particular place you’d like to go? I think we should avoid going anywhere near our world today.”
“Don’t you worry, Rose,” Scorpius said suavely, closing the distance between them by wrapping one of his arms comfortably around her neck. “I have the day planned out already.”
“In muggle London?” Rose asked in surprise.
“You’re surprised I see,” he said with a smirk. “I’m not as oblivious about the muggle world as you think.”
“And who do I have to thank for that?”
“My mother,” he replied. Rose laughed and Scorpius continued. “She believed I should have an appreciation for both the wizarding and the muggle world, much to my grandfather’s disdain. When I was younger, she would take me out on day trips downtown about once every month. We’d go to her favourite restaurants, explore the sites, visit the British Museum and so on.”
“You’d pretend to be a muggle tourist for the day,” Rose commented.
“Exactly,” he grinned.
“Alright,” she replied with a smile. “I’ll let you play tour guide for the day.”
The rest of the morning passed by in a flash and Rose wasn’t going to lie; Scorpius was excellent company when exploring downtown London. Upon his insistence, the two of them had ridden the London Underground to Camden Town station in order to explore the markets and Rose had to admit, Scorpius had been smart to take her there. Even though the skies were grey and winter’s chill was starting to settle itself into the streets of London, the market area was still bustling with people doing last minute Christmas shopping, entertainers on corners singing songs for the Christmas season and happy shop owners, raking in copious amounts of muggle money from eager customers.
After a morning of exploring the sites, Scorpius then insisted on taking her to a specific restaurant that his mother often took him to when he was younger. Once they were inside, the hostess at the front door greeted them cheerfully before leading them to their seats at table in the center of the restaurants dining area.
“Your server will be here in just a moment to take your orders,” the hostess said with a smile. “Enjoy your meal.”
Scorpius and Rose thanked the woman and opened the menus that the hostess had brought to the table for them.
“The steak here is bloody amazing, by the way,” Scorpius gushed. “I recommend it.”
Rose smiled at him. He had been so positive and upbeat the entire day, that Rose had practically forgotten how nervous she had been earlier.
“You’re awfully cheery today, Scorpius,” Rose commented.
“Well I was looking forward to all of this,” he answered with an absent-minded wave of his hand. “While I don’t mind how much fun it is sneaking around Hogwarts with you, we’ve still been together for about a month and still haven’t been able to go out just the two of us, just like any other regular couple.”
“That is true,” Rose replied, while ignoring his comment about how fun it was sneaking around with her. The waiter then appeared at their table to ask them what they would like to drink. After telling Rob – the waiter – what they wanted, he left quickly, leaving Rose to ponder the rest of Scorpius’ statement. No matter how she looked at it, pretending to be normal, when they weren’t, was not healthy for their relationship. She wasn’t going to deny that she hadn’t found the sneaking around exciting or that she didn’t find the fantasy of being an average teenage muggle couple highly favourable. However, if they continued to depend on the times where they could pretend to be someone else in order to be together properly, she had a feeling the reasons why they fell for each other in the first place would be forgotten and their relationship would fall apart.
“We shouldn’t have to pretend,” Rose said with a sigh.
“What?” Scorpius replied in surprise.
“We shouldn’t have to pretend to be some random muggle couple and have to sneak around the muggle world, because we’ll be caught if we go anywhere in our own world. We should be able to do whatever the hell we want,” Rose answered unhappily.
Scorpius sighed and pushed his menu to the side. “I know.”
“Then what should we do?” Rose asked.
“I believe, we should do what we came out today to discuss,” Scorpius paused. “We need to tell our parents about us.”
Rose made a face. “Which is much easier said than done.”
Scorpius chuckled. “We still have to do it.”
“I know. Nora already threatened bodily harm if we don’t confess by the time break is over.”
Scorpius laughed and, as if on cue, the waiter returned to take their order for lunch.
Once the waiter and left with their order, they both began to ponder what time would be best to tell their parents the news.
“Should we do it before New Year’s?” Rose questioned.
“I don’t know about that,” Scorpius replied. “Both our families go to the Minister’s Ball. There’s the possibility that, that will be the first time our father’s see each other if we tell them before that night.”
Rose cringed as she imagined that meeting. “My dad would probably do something idiotic.”
Scorpius let out an exasperated sigh. “We appear to be horrible at being honest with our parents, luv.”
“Makes you wonder if we were meant to be, doesn’t it?”
Scorpius chuckled before reaching out and taking her hand in his. “Looks that way,” he replied lifting her hand to his lips.
Rose’s insides melted over the intimacy of his kiss. Whether it made sense or not, she was irrevocably in love with Scorpius Malfoy. If and when she told her parents about the two of them, would she stop seeing him if they told her to? No, she wouldn’t. She was of legal age and could move out whenever she wanted to. She could make her own decisions and her mind was already made up about Scorpius.
“Let’s tell them tonight,” Rose said firmly as she stared down at their entwined hands resting on the tabletop.
Scorpius squeezed her hand. “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” she replied firmly. “We’re adults. If they don’t approve, then... then to hell with them.”
Scorpius grinned. “You would never tell your parents that.”
“I know that,” she replied with a sniff. “But who knows what I could do if I was pushed to the limit. We redheads are a temperamental bunch.”
Scorpius laughed aloud, causing a few heads to turn in their direction. “You somehow always manage to surprise me, Rose and I hope that never changes.”
Rose smiled warmly at him before leaning towards him and giving him a soft kiss on the lips. Oddly enough, Rose noticed a faint flash of light from the corner of her eyes once her lips touched Scorpius’ but, deciding she was imagining things, she paid it no heed.
Once she pulled away, satisfied with the pleased look on Scorpius’ face, Rose repeated her earlier statement. “We’ll tell our parents about us tonight and not a moment later. Promise.”
“Promise. However, kissing me again may make me far more motivated for later, love,” Scorpius suggested with a smirk.
Rose gave him an exasperated look as she cheeks coloured slightly. “You’re such a git, Malfoy.”
Scorpius opened his mouth to say something else, when his expression suddenly changed from pleased, to an expression of confused shock as his gaze fixed itself on something over her shoulder.
“What’s wrong, Scorpius,” Rose asked worriedly.
Scorpius gritted his teeth and responded with one, very self-explanatory, word for the approaching problem.
“Well, well,” a familiar voice proclaimed from behind Rose. “What do we have here?”
Rose could tell from how pale Scorpius was becoming, that they were both in serious trouble. Turning her head to look behind her, Rose greeted their uninvited guest with a glare as she tried to hide the urge to grab Scorpius and bolt from the restaurant.
“Zabini,” she greeted frostily. “Why am I not surprised you’re here?”
Zabini just sneered in her direction as she walked towards them from where she had been keeping herself hidden.
“What do you want, Tatiana?” Scorpius asked heatedly, getting straight to the point.
“Not much,” she simpered. “I just thought I’d let you both know, that ever since you walked into this quaint little restaurant, a Daily Prophet photographer has been watching and taking a few photos of the both of you.”
Rose gaped at Zabini. “What?”
“He’s right over there,” Zabini said with a large grin as she gestured over to one of the booths on the opposite side of the restaurant. The man sitting there, as if on cue, pulled out an older magically altered camera and snapped a photo of them when Rose looked his way.
“Tatiana,” Scorpius said, his voice furious. “What have you done?”
“I caught you two,” Zabini responded honestly. “In the worst way possible. To be honest, this wasn’t what I had planned on doing today. Actually, earlier, I stopped by Malfoy Manor so I could talk to you, only to find out from your mother that you were out with a friend.”
Rose turned to look at Scorpius, his eyes wide in alarm.
Zabini continued. “Of course, since your mother doesn’t know why the two of us broke up, she had assumed that you would be out with me so that we could talk things over, over lunch.”
“Why in the world would she think that?” Rose asked, her shock being replaced with anger.
“Because, like the good boy that he is, he told his mother about a few places he was visiting and one of them was one of her favourite restaurants.” Zabini replied simply. “And Scorpius and I both know, he only takes special people to his mummy’s favourite places.”
Rose, from the corner of her eye, saw the photographer get up from where he was sitting and saunter towards them. Her immediate reaction was to shoot up from her seat and curse the man’s balls off, but she knew that there were far too many muggle’s around to do something like that, not to mention the fallout would hurt her family. And then the sickening realization that the photographer was not to blame for what was happening settled into the pit of her stomach. This man was only doing his job, Zabini was the reason he was here and she had not been careful enough to not get caught.
The man stopped beside Zabini. “Thanks for the tip, love,” the man thanked her. “These photos will get me top dollar at the Prophet or Witch Weekly.”
“We had a deal, remember,” Zabini replied coldly. “I’m the one who handed you this juicy bit of gossip and I expect to be compensated for it.”
“Alright, alright. No need to get your knickers in a twist,” he replied with a wave of his hand before nodding curtly in Scorpius and Rose’s direction. “Miss. Weasley, Mr. Malfoy. Have a good day.”
Rose, even while knowing he wasn’t the one to blame for this entire charade, shot the man an icy glare that he instantly took note of before hurrying out of the restaurant. At this point, other people in the room were staring curiously at Scorpius, Zabini and herself, all of them muttering theories about what was going on to the person sitting next to them. Rose scooted herself lower into her seat in order to hide her embarrassment. And it was only going to get worse from here. No one in this room knew who she was, while about 99% of the wizard and witch population of the UK knew exactly who she was.
“Do you know what you’ve done?” Scorpius exclaimed, his eyes dancing with fury.
“Yes,” Zabini responded happily. “Not only have I made a bit of money, but I’ve also made both of your lives miserable, making this a good day all around.”
Rose imagined pulling out every strand of Zabini long luxurious black hair, one by one, inside her head. She inwardly chuckled as her imagination conjured up an image of Zabini bald and mortified.
“You’re a fool, Tatiana,” Scorpius said sharply, as he rummaged around in his pocket and pulled out his wallet. Without knowing exactly how much the meal had cost, Scorpius put, what looked to be almost two hundred pounds, down on the table with an audible thunk. He stood up and walked over to the back of Rose’s chair, helping her out of it. His hand instantly went for hers and she was surprised to feel him shaking with rage; his anger rolling off him in waves as he glared menacingly over at Zabini.
“If you think,” he continued. “That this will not cost your family; you have sorely underestimated by grandfather.”
Rose gripped his hand tighter, as if to silently conveying him to calm down as she noticed Zabini’s confident demeanour waver. Rose believed that no one wanted to get on the bad side of Lucius Malfoy and she knew that she wasn’t looking forward to being there either.
“Waiter,” Scorpius barked over his shoulder, towards the group of waiters and waitresses who had been watching the scene unfold in front of them. The man who had served them physically jumped before responding.
“Yes,” he replied hesitantly.
Scorpius pointed at the table. “Keep the change.” Scorpius then turned to stare at the other people in the restaurant and bowed his head in apology. “We are deeply sorry for disturbing your meals.”
Rose stared at him in awe as he turned to look at her. “Let’s go, Rose,” he said his voice calmer. And without another glance at Zabini, Scorpius walked briskly towards the restaurants front door, pulling her behind him and out into the chilled afternoon air.
Rose wasn’t sure how long or how far they walked before Scorpius suddenly came to a stop on a street corner. He was silent for a moment, his head bowed in thought, before he opened his mouth to speak. “I’m sorry for what happened back there. I didn’t think she would do something like that,” Scorpius replied apologetically.
“There’s no need to apologize. What’s done is done,” Rose replied with a voice that was much calmer than how she was actually feeling. “Now, we have to do some damage control.”
“Alright,” Scorpius replied. “We’ll tell our parents tonight, just like we planned. And then?”
“And then...,” Rose paused. “And then we just get ready for whatever comes at us next. Because I think we can handle it.”
Scorpius gave her a broad smile; his expression morphing into what she imagined Roman gladiators looked like before they went marching into the ring for a fight. “I’d have to agree with you there, Weasley.”
A/N - I shall begin this Author's Note by saying I am sorry for keeping everyone waiting so long. It is true what they say about life getting in the way of the things you enjoy the most. Anyway, we're headed in a more drama filled direction my friends, so everyone hop aboard and get ready for the ride. Please read and review as always. Hugs and kisses to everyone who does.
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