Chapter 22 : Flying Off the Handle
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Rose was sitting in the common room when Albus suddenly showed up and sat across from her. Rose smiled to herself; she knew this was Albus’ way of reaching out. He would never man up enough to admit it, but it was the thought that mattered.
Continuing to sit there and write her Muggle studies essay, she waited patiently for him to speak, knowing he couldn’t remain quiet for more than five minutes. He slowly lifted his head from the book he was “reading” and said, “I’m bored.”
Rose gave a slight chuckle and looked up from her essay. “I’m sorry,” she said and looked back down to her essay.
Leaning forward, Albus put his hands to his cheeks and scrunched up his face. After waiting a few minutes, he said, “Let’s do something.”
“Like what?” Rose said sarcastically.
“I don’t know…anything,” he thought for a moment and continued, “Where is it that you always go?”
“The library,” Rose said in a monotone voice, not looking up.
Albus thought for a moment and shook his head, “That sounds rather boring.”
Placing her essay to the side, Rose saw this as her opportunity to prove to Albus that she was still there for him, even though she had changed. “We could always go see Opel and Alfred?”
Albus was silent for a moment, contemplating whether that idea would be enough to satisfy him, and he slowly broke into a smile and said, “That’s an idea.”
They had been walking in silence for a while when Rose finally said, “So where are Ben and Stacy?” She was actually curious as to why Albus wasn’t hanging out with them.
Albus shook his head, “In the dorm studying,”
“Why are you not with them?” Rose asked.
“Two reasons: first, Stacy is becoming really annoying, and second, Ben is driving me nuts about Quidditch strategies. You heard that Zoë Polvik fell off her broom the other day during practice?”
Rose nodded her head. “She is a chaser, right, fourth year?”
“Yeah, but she isn’t going to be playing for a while; that fall broke her leg in four places.”
“Ouch,” Rose commented.
“Yeah, so anyway, Ben has to put together tryouts, and I’m rather sick of hearing about them,” Albus snorted.
Rose nodded her head then asked, “How is Stacy driving you crazy?”
“She is always around; the only time she isn’t around is when we are in the dorm or at Quidditch practice.”
Rose raised her eyebrows and looked at Albus. “So she doesn’t hang out with any of her other friends?” she asked curiously.
“What other friends?” Albus stated, “Think about it, Rose, those weren’t her friends. Those were your friends who just tolerated her. Once you were gone, no one saw the point of hanging around with Stacy.”
Rose thought for a moment; she had never really considered the fact that Stacy had never actually made friends. She had always thought her friends had liked Stacy. “Well at least she has you and Ben.”
Albus just nodded his head, and they continued to walk in silence. When they got to the alley, Rose outlined the bricks and waited for Alfred to open the door. Albus had met Alfred and Opel when the trial was going on; admittedly he wasn’t as close to them as Rose was, but he did love Opel’s soup.
When Alfred opened the door he had wide smile on his face and started to laugh. “Opel,” he yelled to the back of the kitchen, “It seems that we are the place to be tonight.” Rose narrowed her eyes, wondering what he meant by that comment. She understood when she walked back to the kitchen.
“Well, well, well, don’t great minds think alike,” Scorpius smiled from his seat at the table.
“What’s that prat doing here?” Albus said, looking at Scorpius and pulling Rose closer to him in an act of protectiveness.
“It’s alright, Albus,” Rose said, loosening herself from Albus’ grip and moving forward. Looking at Scorpius, she smiled lightly, “Hey, Scorpius.”
Scorpius didn’t even flinch; he just kept his cool, sly smile on his face. They were all silent until Opel said sweetly, “Let’s go ahead and eat while the soup is warm.” She walked over to Albus and placed a hand on his cheek. “It’s good to see you: it has been a while.”
Albus relaxed a bit and smiled. “I’ve been caught up with some things,” he blushed at the fact that he hadn’t visited in a while. Then he walked over and stared at the empty seat next to Scorpius.
Rose stood beside him and rolled her eyes. She took a frustrated breath and pushed past him. “Albus, I’ll sit beside him,” she said, sliding into the seat next to Scorpius. Although she actually did want to sit beside Scorpius, she was also trying not to make her cousin uncomfortable.
“Albus, come over here,” Opel said with a smile, “And tell us how you have been doing.” She was bent down, pulling bread out of the oven.
Watching Albus as he walked over to Opel and quickly took the bread tray from her to help, Rose leaned toward Scorpius and whispered, “What are doing here?”
“I was bored, and you said you were going to be studying,” he said lightly. “When did that plan change?” he asked, playfully bumping his knee against hers.
“When Albus decided to actually talk to me,” she smiled.
Scorpius raised his eyebrows. “Really? That’s good news.”
“I know,” Rose said, glancing over to Albus, who was walking over the table with the bread tray in his hand. Repositioning herself, she straightened up to look as if she hadn’t just been talking to Scorpius.
Placing the tray on the table, Albus bent down to Rose’s ear. “You sure you don’t mind sitting next to him?” he said while nodding in Scorpius’ direction.
“I’m fine, Albus,” she said sincerely. The thing with Albus was that it took a lot to make him uncomfortable. He may not always like a situation he was in, but he would always make the best of it. Awkward situations such as this could only make him uncomfortable for a couple of minutes, but then when he got used to the situation, his natural instincts kicked in. In this case, that instinct was the need to protect Rose.
“You sure?” he asked, keeping his eyes fixed on Scorpius, who was looking straight ahead, not showing any sign he knew he was being watched, although he did.
“Albus, I’ve had to sit next to him every day for the past five months. I think I can manage,” Rose reassured.
“Okay,” Albus said, sliding into the seat beside Rose.
Dinner wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was awkward to sit through. Rose was stuck between the guy she loved and a guy who could never know about it: and they hated each other. It couldn’t get more awkward than that. Especially considering the fact that the whole time, all she wanted to do was attack Scorpius and kiss him.
For the most part, Albus just ignored Scorpius. Rose was actually thankful; she didn’t need this situation to become any more complicated than it already was.
Surprisingly, when Opel and Alfred went upstairs to put Geoffrey, Lauran, and Belly to sleep, the subject of Quidditch came up and that turned things around. They actually had one thing in common--two actually. The first was that they both loved Quidditch. The second was that Hufflepuff had no chance in hell of making it to the Quidditch Cup.
“Well, Ravenclaw seems to have a good chance with that cousin of yours as captain,” Scorpius said without looking at Albus.
“Well let’s hope not…” Albus said, looking down at his bowl.
Rose’s eyes went wide, “And why shouldn’t we hope my brother goes to the Quidditch Cup?”
“For starters, Ben is already pissed by that move your brother pulled in the last game,” Albus said, looking at Rose.
“Which was a bloody brilliant move,” Scorpius piped in.
“It was a genius move,” Albus said, “But it also cost Ben the game.”
“Well Ben can get over that,” Rose muttered.
“He can,” Albus paused, “But he won’t; he has it out for Hugo, and you know as well as I that if Ravenclaw goes to the Quidditch Cup, Ben will attempt to slaughter him.”
Rose’s eyes widened in shock, “And you would let him do that to your own cousin?”
Albus’ own eyes went wide. “Are you insane? Of course not; I will threaten to jinx anyone on the team if they try to hurt Hugo. So, I would rather not be put in the situation of having to choose between my best friend and my family because I’m going to choose family, but I also rather like my best mate, and I wouldn’t want to lose him over a game.” Albus paused for a moment and then said, “So yes, I am hoping Ravenclaw doesn’t go to the Quidditch Cup.”
They were silent for a minute when Scorpius added in, “Well there is always the chance that Gryffindor doesn’t make it…”
Albus was silent, and then he laughed, “Well I would hate to be around to see Ben’s reaction to that.”
“There is not one person in the Gryffindor House that would want to be around for that reaction,” Rose commented.
“True,” Albus agreed.
“Well, I personally would just like Slytherin to make it,” Scorpius added in.
“Well it would be a good game,” Albus had to agree: it was always fun to play Slytherin. It would be a long game, but definitely not a boring one.
“Agreed,” Scorpius said.
“Well, it is going to be one long game that I will not be going to,” Rose remarked
Albus laughed, “Yeah Rose isn’t much for Quidditch, which I will never understand because she is a damn good player.”
“Well I guess it is a good thing for me that she hates it then, less competition,” Scorpius smirked.
“I guess so,” Albus said softly, almost as if he wasn’t paying attention.
Noticing how he was acting, Rose turned around to look at Albus. “Are you alright, Albus?”
Shaking his head, he said, “Yeah I’m fine. I’m just thinking is all.”
Rose shrugged her shoulders. It was probably nothing.
Albus and Rose left soon after that conversation, and they had been walking for a while when Albus asked, “What was Scorpius doing there?”
Rose thought for a moment, trying to think of a lie for how Scorpius knew Opel and Alfred that would leave her out of it, but there just wasn’t one. Albus already knew she was the one to introduce them; he was after the story behind it. So clearing her throat, she said sheepishly, “I may have introduced them…”
“What would have possessed you to do that? And better yet, when were you hanging around Malfoy?” Albus asked accusingly.
Thinking of a quick lie she said, “I didn’t have much of a choice: it was back in fifth year when we had all of those detentions. One night I was going to go get my mail and he followed me, trying to get me in trouble. I guess they must have hit it off and stayed friends.”
Albus nodded his head then asked the next question that had been nagging at his mind: “So are you two friends?”
“Friends wouldn’t exactly be the right word,” Rose said. Which was true--they weren’t friends--they were more than friends, but if Albus guessed the opposite of that it wasn’t her fault.
“So how would you describe it?” Albus asked, walking ahead of Rose.
“Well we don’t hate each other; we’re not allowed to hate each, but that’s beside the point,” Rose said.
“So McGonagall is still holding that expulsion punishment over your head?”
“Yup, pulls us out of class every few months or so to tell us so,” Rose laughed at the memory of the last time. They had just gotten back to school, and little did McGonagall know that about thirty seconds after they walked out of her office, they had started to make out. “But honestly though, Scorpius isn’t that bad once you get past that arrogant attitude of his,” pausing a moment she added, “He’s actually a genius.”
“Is that a compliment?”
“No, just the truth,” she answered.
All Albus said to that was, “Well I doubt I will ever see him in that light.”
“And why do you say that?” Rose asked, tugging on Albus’ arm for him to stop walking.
“Rose, you do remember that he almost killed you,” Albus said in a short tone. When he saw no response, he continued, “He threw you into a mirror that bashed your head open, and for that reason alone I can’t stand the prat.”
Rose looked away from Albus; that had happened so long ago, it felt like a different life. It was also something that couldn’t be erased or forgotten. None of the things they had done to each other could.
Looking back at Albus, she lifted her chin up and said clearly, “Albus, like I said, we’re not friends.”
Albus just stared down his cousin, and nodding his head he said, “Alright.”
Albus had been watching Quidditch tryouts for about an hour when he finally stood up and started to walk away. He had been playing around with this idea for a couple of days but hadn’t mentioned because no one would have gone for it, but after seeing that their selection of new chasers was less than ideal, he decided to go for it. What did he have to lose?
“Where are you going?” Ben asked, chasing after him.
“I’ll be right back,” Albus said.
“Albus, I need you here. We have to pick someone, and as of right now I can’t find one single person to replace Zoë.”
Albus had a mischievous grin on his face, “I know, and you are going to have to trust me. I have an idea.”
“And what might that be?” Ben said, crossing his arms.
“I can’t tell you that,” Albus said slowly. “But I can tell you that I know how to fix all of…” he waved his finger in the air towards the direction of the people auditioning, “that.”
Desperate for a solution, Ben reluctantly agreed. Albus’ ideas were always a little nuts, but they usually worked. “What do I need to do to help?”
“One thing,” Albus said and he leaned his head in closer to tell Ben what to do.
Rose was minding her own business, just sitting in the library, when Albus rushed up and whispered, “Rose.”
She looked up and saw him dressed in his Quidditch gear. He wrapped his hand around her arm and pulled her up from her seat. “Albus, what are you doing?”
“You have to come with me,” he said, quickly trying to drag her to follow him.
“Albus, wait just a minute,” she said
“No time to wait, come on,” Albus said, still tugging her to follow him.
“Where are we going?” Rose asked while being dragged outside.
“You will see,” he said in an annoying, high-pitched voice.
When they got down to the Quidditch pitch, Albus quickly handed Rose his beater and yelled, “Now!”
Before Rose even had a chance to respond to what was going on, she swung her arm back and hit the bludger Ben had thrown at her, so hard that no one could see where it landed, but it definitely wasn’t in or anywhere near the Quidditch Pitch.
Albus had a large smirk on his face as he yelled, “Told you I could solve the problem.”
Rose quickly turned onto Albus. “Problem…” she yelled, “YOU KNOW WHAT I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH? CRAZY PEOPLE THROWING BLUDGERS AT ME. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?” She started hitting Albus with his own beater.
“Rose, calm down,” he said, attempting to block himself from her fierce attitude.
Ben came flying down beside Albus, and after taking one look at who was standing beside him, he automatically knew why Albus couldn’t tell him what he was doing. Shaking off his shock and frustration, he cleared his voice to get the attention of the two bickering cousins. “She can hit, but can she throw?” he said in an indifferent tone.
Albus turned to Ben, who was hovering on his broom. He could see the ounce of annoyance on his face, but he pushed on “Did you see how hard she hit that bludger? Trust me, she can throw just as hard.”
“Will someone please tell me what the bloody hell is going on here?” Rose said impatiently.
Ben tightened his grip around his broomstick, almost as if he had been hoping Albus would have said she couldn’t throw at all, and her aim was crap. He looked at Rose; he was pretty desperate for a player, but his ex-girlfriend wasn’t exactly the solution he was looking for. He stared at Rose’s puffy red face: she was beyond pissed about this, and even if he agreed to this, she probably wouldn’t. Jumping off his broom, he walked over to Rose and his supposed best mate. “Albus,” he said, slowly motioning for Albus to come talk to him.
Albus still had a huge grin on his face as he walked to Ben. “I could kill you for doing this to me,” Ben said harshly.
“Come on. She is brilliant and you know it,” Albus said smoothly.
“She is good, but how exactly do you plan to get her to play? If I do recall, the last words she said to me were that she hated Quidditch,” Ben looked at Albus, curious if he had even considered that part.
“I can get her to play,” Albus said reassuringly. Albus always had a way of reassuring even the most skeptical of people. It was something about his eyes.
Taking a deep breath, Ben reluctantly said, “Fine, she can play if you can get her to agree,” and without another word, he walked over to his broom, jumped on it, and took off.
Albus walked over to Rose, who crossed her arms and said, “You want to explain what just happened there?”
“Let’s talk,” Albus said while leading Rose over to the Gryffindor locker room.
“Rose, you know you are my favorite cousin, right?” Albus said while leading her inside.
“I know that, but if you think I am going to play Quidditch, you have another thing coming,” Rose said sternly.
“Rose, just hear me out, please,” he pleaded.
“Remember the other night when we were with Malfoy and talking about Quidditch, and he said it’s probably a good thing that you didn’t play because it would be less competition for him?” Rose nodded her head. “Well he was right, you would be fierce competition.”
Cutting him off, Rose said, “Albus, what’s your point?”
“My point is that I want you to play,” he let out a slow, shaky breath.
Rose gave him a stern glare. “You are unbelievable,” she said, walking over to the door.
He took a deep breath; he knew getting her to agree was going to take some work. “I would do the same for you in a heartbeat,” he said.
“Albus, I’m not going to do it. If you need someone to edit an essay for you, I’m your girl. But since you’re looking for someone to fill a vacant Quidditch position, you are barking up the wrong tree.”
“Rose, hold on a second. For most of us on the team, this is our last year, and with the exception of Ben, none of us are going to play professional Quidditch.” That got Rose to stop. It didn’t get her to agree, but it got her to stop walking.
“I’m listening,” she said with her back still toward him.
Turning around to face Albus, she could see the solemn look on his face. “I’m not trying to guilt you into this, Rose; you have every right to say no, but there is no harm in asking. It would really mean a lot to me,” Albus said, trying to make it apparent that the choice was hers, and he honestly wasn’t trying to guilt her into anything.
Rose could see the desperation on Albus’ face, and she knew he wouldn’t ask if he wasn’t desperate. This was the first time in seven years he had ever even asked her to play. Thinking it over slowly, she said, “Let’s say I do agree to do this; I have two questions. One: will I have to play Hugo?”
“No, they just posted the final sheet for playoffs. Ravenclaw is playing Slytherin, and more than likely Slytherin will win,” he said quickly.
“And two,” Rose interrupted, somewhat relieved she wouldn’t be up against her brother, “How do you plan to get me over my fear of heights? I mean, Albus, I only ever play with my father around, and even if you put a slight charm on me during practices you can’t do that during a match.”
Albus’ face lit up “That’s the thing: Uncle Ron will be there. Parents are allowed to come to games if they please, and most parents do come to the playoffs and the Quidditch Cup.”
Taking a deep breath, Rose bit her lip and tapped her foot. She was thinking it over and after about a minute of agonizing torture for Albus, she reluctantly said, “Fine, but you owe me so much for this.”
“Anything at all,” he said, rushing over to his cousin and engulfing her in a hug.
Rose already regretted her decision to play Quidditch for Gryffindor. It wasn’t just because she hated heights; she would suck it up, but she was getting tons of unwanted attention. The words “Rose Weasley” and “Quidditch” are not two words one would hear in the same sentence, so when people did, they couldn’t help but stare.
“I heard the craziest rumor that Rose Weasley is playing on the Gryffindor Quidditch team,” Scorpius said, sliding into the seat beside Rose.
Rose made a groaning noise and buried her head into her arms. Scorpius gave a light laugh and put his arm over her shoulders. “It’s not that bad.”
Rose looked up at him. “You know, out of all of the things I thought might happen, playing Quidditch was the absolute last.”
Scorpius made a face. “Oh, I thought falling for me would have been the last thing on that list.”
Putting her head back in to her arms, she said, “No, that was about halfway up the list.”
“Really,” Scorpius said, his eyes slightly shocked.
Rose looked at him and straightened herself up. “Well, after I realized you weren’t a complete arse in fifth year, that bumped you up the list.”
“Good to know.”
Rose took an exaggerated breath and leaned back into her chair and crossed her arms. “Seriously, Scorpius, what am I going to do? This is just awful.”
“You’re going to suck it up and play,” Scorpius said with authority.
“What if I fall?”
“If you fall, I’ll catch you,” Scorpius said immediately.
“Thanks,” Rose said sincerely, even though she knew she wouldn’t fall. Thinking for a minute, she said, “Wait a minute…are you going to the Hufflepuff game?”
“You bet your arse I’m going. You’re competition, and I have to change my entire defense strategy,” he laughed, “Also, I wouldn’t give up the opportunity to make fun of you.”
“Oh shut up,” she said with a smile on her face. He pulled her close to him. “You honestly think it won’t be that horrible?” she asked.
“No, not at all,” he paused, “I just hope Ben doesn’t decide to try to play an unfair game.”
“Let’s hope not. The last thing I need is to see you get hurt because I would probably go nuts in front of everyone,” she said, thinking of all the ways this could go wrong. Seriously, if something were to happen, she was almost certain she would go after Scorpius, which would expose their relationship to everyone: including her father.
Scorpius kissed her lips softly. “I’d probably do the same thing if something were to happen to you.”
Rose closed her eyes for a second and let herself completely relax in Scorpius’ arms. To her there was no place more comfortable than being in his arms. “Rose,” Scorpius said suddenly.
“Hmm?” Rose said, opening her eyes, but still not moving.
“You know I’m not going to go easy on you because you’re my girlfriend, right?” he said in almost a joking yet still serious manner.
Rose raised an eyebrow, “You know I’d kill you if you did.”
“Yeah,” he mumbled, “Just checking.” And he leaned down to kiss her again.
A/N: Alright, so I hope this chapter wasn’t too bad. I know it doesn’t have as much Scorpius and Rose, but I kept getting reviews asking about Albus, and that was something I really did want to patch up. Also, I think that gives a little bit of insight as to other reasons why Rose’s family doesn’t really like Scorpius; it’s not just because he is a Malfoy. Well, anyway, I promise to have a much more exciting chapter next.
Also I would like to say thank you to Hannah for doing such a wonderful job editing.
SO Please, Please, Please, Review and I hope you are enjoying the story. Thank you SO MUCH for reading.
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