Chapter 12 : Meddling
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Rose, Hugo, and Louis. Thanks to !PINK @ TDA for the lovely CI.
“You know,” Scorpius starts as he sets his book down on the table. “We might be going about this the wrong way.”
“How so?” I ask, glancing up at him, marking my page in the book I’m reading with the article we found in dad’s secret office, the one about a possible group of new death eaters, as I rub my forehead tiredly. I sigh slightly.
Scorpius watches me for a second and says, “What if Gage was a death eater?” he asks curiously, leaning closer to me.
“Impossible,” I say, “we’ve been over this already. He’s not on any list. I’ve never seen the name Gage mentioned anywhere.”
He nods. “I know. But… Just say… What if Gage was someone’s… pseudonym, let’s say.” I tilt my head at him, nodding for him to continue. “So what if he really was a death eater and we just can’t find him because Gage isn’t the name everyone knew him by?”
I stop to look at him and finally say, “You’re brilliant.”
He smirks. “We’ve been over this before. I know.”
I roll my eyes at him, and he winks back, chuckling. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll take a compliment.” I resist the urge to roll my eyes again and he continues, “Can I see the list again?”
I heed his request, handing him the list of possible death eaters that could be the leaders of a new formation, and start to pick up my book again, seeing if I could possibly find anything under history of death eaters when there’s a knock and the office door creaks open.
Scorpius throws the list under the table and I scoop the rest of the papers off the table and shove them down with the list. We both pick up our books and pretend to be engrossed in them.
Rose, Louis, and Hugo enter, looking about. I glance up, as if surprised to see them, and smile.
“Hey, guys,” I greet them cheerfully, raising an eyebrow. “What’s up?”
Hugo rolls his eyes as he sinks into a chair across from me. “Louis came over, but then we found mum and dad snogging, so rather than have a scarring encounter again we decided to come over here.”
I shake my head at him, unable to hold back a chuckle. “Don’t they do that all the time? You should be used to it by now.”
“It’s still gross,” Hugo whined.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to have your parents show affection for each other?” Scorpius asks, his voice sounding almost… Wistful.
I glance at him, and see that once again he’s far away, probably remembering a time when both his parents were in the house, his mum wasn’t sick, his father wasn’t secluded and angry.
Hugo raises an eyebrow at him and says, “Sure, but seeing them snog every day is a little too much.”
Louis sits down next to Hugo, sighing theatrically, and flings an arm over Hugo’s shoulder. “Are you sure you aren’t being a little over dramatic?” He asks Hugo, snickering slightly.
“Of course not!” Hugo cries, pouting at Louis. “It’s disgusting!”
“You’re such a baby, Hugo,” Rose says as she rolls her eyes and settles herself into the chair next to Scorpius. They both blush.
Of course. They really should just get together already. For the two smartest people I know, they can both be extremely daft. Seriously, they must be blind not to see how the other feels about them.
Shaking my head and, trying in vain to hide my smirk, I say quickly, “I’ll go grab some water.” I set my book down on the table and wander down the stairs slowly, humming to myself. I find James in the kitchen, reading something. I drop into a chair next to him, peering curiously over his shoulder. James doesn’t normally read.
“What’s that?” I ask, eyeing him.
He blushes slightly, and flashes the front of it at me. After a moment I realize that it’s a pamphlet.
“The Falmouth Flacons?” I ask, my mouth dropping open slightly. “You didn’t tell me you were trying out!”
He bites his lip and then admits, “I tried out for the Falcons, the Cannons, Puddlemere, and the Arrows.”
I chuckle in amazement. “Where did you manage to find time for all of this?”
He sighs slightly. “All over, I suppose.” He grins, but then becomes serious again. “I’m just hoping one team lets me in, even as a reserve. Although, if I get in more than one I don’t know how I’ll ever choose which one.”
“Chuddley Cannons,” I say quickly, my eyes going wide. He glances at me and I tell him, “Uncle Ron will kill you if you don’t.”
He lets out a laugh and I say, “But… The Arrows have got a fair chance, and the Falcons have been second in the league for a long time. The Cannons are kind of hopeless sometimes. I suppose Puddlemere’s alright.”
He smiles. “I tell you what I manage to get accepted into.” He looks around nervously and then says, “I should find out in tomorrow or the day after…”
I nod, filling a few glasses with water and then head upstairs. I wander back into the library, and set the glasses down, turning to see Rose staring into my book, wide eyed. I blink.
“Is everything okay, Rose?” I ask her, and she looks up at me, forcing a smile.
“Oh, everything’s wonderful,” she informs me, her voice sounding off. She’s lying. I don’t know why though.
“Okay…” I look at her in confusion and set the water down on the table, handing everyone else a glass, and then take my book back from where Rose set it back down on the table. I flip to the approximate page that she was on, trying to see what scared her.
Suddenly, I realize. She saw my bookmark. The article about death eaters. Shit. Shit, shit, shit...
I bite my lip, and set it back into the book carefully, as if I wasn’t looking at it. I glance at Scorpius, but he doesn’t appear to notice the fact that something’s wrong. He keeps glancing nervously at the table though, as if he’s worried that someone will discover all the papers we’ve hidden under there. I bite my lip, trying to find a way to silently communicate with him, even though I know it’s useless. I glance at Hugo and Louis to see if they know that anything’s wrong.
They chatter away happily about Quidditch.
“So,” Rose asks hesitantly, glancing between Scorpius and I, her eyes narrowed. So she did read the article. Great. “Al, do you know if my dad has anything else on Uncle Harry?”
“Why do you ask?” I question, looking to her, faking surprise quickly. Hugo and Louis stop talking to look at us and Scorpius seems to freeze slightly, his eyes clearly saying, uh oh.
“I just want to know,” Rose says sweetly, causing me to internally groan. Oh, great. “He won’t tell us anything, and I want to know if there are any leads.”
“No…?” I squeak, but somehow it turns into a question. Scorpius glances at me, his eyes trying to convey something.
I glance at him fearfully. “Uh, I don’t think so,” I amend. “If there is he hasn’t told me about it.”
Rose raises an eyebrow. “You sure?”
“Erm,” I shift uncomfortably, wondering when the interrogation will stop. I don’t want to talk about this any longer. It could turn out really badly. “Should I be?” I finally settle on responding.
Scorpius glances at me, his eyes saying: we have a problem, Al.
I glare back at him, my eyes telling him: No shit, Sherlock. Thanks for that one.
He looks a little miffed for a second and then he pipes up, “Truthfully, I think your dad’s been avoiding talking to Al since I’m over here all the time.” He laughs nervously, causing me to kick him slightly under the table.
“Ow,” he grumbles under his breath.
“What?” Rose asks turning to look at him curiously.
Scorpius rubs the back of his neck slightly, shooting me a glare quickly, and turns to look at Rose, saying, “Nothing,” as if he’s surprised she asked. She watches him suspiciously, her blue eyes narrowed.
He smiles carefully, as if he’s wondering what her reaction will be. She blushes, and he doesn’t even notice. He looks away and as she smiles back he blushes.
Oh, Merlin’s knickers. They’re completely oblivious. What the hell is wrong with them? I kind of want to make some snide comment, but when nothing comes to mind I turn to Louis and Hugo and quickly ask, “Do you think the Arrows have a good chance at winning this year?”, trying to direct the attention off of the topic of dad.
“Supposedly,” Hugo says.
“I think so,” Louis agrees. “The only problem is their seeker. He sucks, you know? He’s the main reason they lost most of their games last year, but they also had a horrible keeper. They have a new one this year. They’re supposed to be better. I hear they’re still looking for a seeker though, before the league starts up again.”
I nod slowly as both boys give me an odd look.
“Why do you ask?” Hugo questions curiously. “Are you suddenly an Appleby Arrows fan?”
I smirk slightly. “No. Maybe. It depends.”
“Depends on what?” Louis asks curiously, tilting his head at me, narrowing his eyes. Hugo raises an eyebrow.
“You’ll see,” I inform them, still smirking.
I turn to look at Scorpius and Rose who are both staring awkwardly at the table in front of them, both a furious red.
I glance up at Louis, to see him doing the same. At that moment, a short understanding passes in between us.
Does he like her? I see him mouth to me. I glance at Scorpius, who looks nervous and embarrassed.
Obviously, I mouth back, rolling my eyes at him, nodding my head to Scorpius. Louis glances over and lets out a quiet chuckle.
Does she fancy him? is the question he mouths at me this time. I pause to look at Rose, who’s looking down at her hands, but still glancing up at Scorpius every once and a while.
Yes, I mouth back, my eyes probably twinkling, because I know what Louis is going to say next.
Matchmaking time, he informs me with a grin. I roll my eyes at him. Of course. So typically Louis.
“So,” he says rather loudly, drawing the attention of Scorpius, Rose, and even Lily and James who are passing by the room, having a short conversation, probably about James’s Quidditch tryouts.
They both stop to look and after a moment join us in the office. I glance out the window, watching the sunlight stream through, lighting the office softly. That’s when I notice something odd.
The blinds are positioned strangely, only allowing sunlight to come into certain parts of the room. I glance to a point where the sunlight hits and see something sparkling in the corner of my eye.
Then it hits me. Dad is a genius.
I go into an odd panic mode, my thoughts turning to mush. Oh, Merlin, what if somebody else sees it too? What do I do? Ohmymerlin, what is that thing? Dad, what are you trying to tell me?
After a moment I turn to look at Louis, trying to calm myself. “So what?” Lily asks humorously as she settles herself in the chair next to Hugo. James wanders over and sits next to me, flashing me a smile. I smile back as Louis continues, “So… So… Damnit, I forgot what I was going to say.”
Rose chuckles lightly and Scorpius smiles. Ah, I see. He’s easing the tension in here. Rose and Scorpius need to learn how to act normally around the other person. They need to do something other than sit there and blush. I smirk slightly and glance at him, adding sweetly, “Are you always this forgetful, Louie?”
He shoots me a glance and says, “I hope not. I’ll have a problem when we get back to Hogwarts then.” He makes a bad imitation of Slughorn’s voice, “Mr. Weasley, where’s your potion homework?” He switches back to his own voice, putting his hands to his mouth and asks wide eyed, “That was due today? Oh, shit.”
There are a few more chuckles.
“Ah, you’re ridiculous,” I tell him, snorting. He winks at me.
“You just figured this out, Albus? I didn’t know you were that slow.” I glare at him narrowly.
“Don’t you dare call me Albus,” I say with a very non-menacing sounding growl. “That name is crap.”
“Whoa,” Louis gasps dramatically, “Don’t insult Dumbledore!” I open my mouth to protest and he adds, “And don’t even start on Snape. I don’t care how greasy his hair supposedly was. His name rocks.”
“It does not!” I inform him. “It sucks.”
He snickers. “Well, I don’t have his name.” He smirks. “Stinks for you…” He says in a sing-song voice.
I pout pathetically at him. “Louie, you’re being mean now,” I whine, my lower lip jutting out.
From beside me James chokes slightly. I glance up at him to see he’s laughing at me so hard that he somehow ended up coughing. I wink at him, causing him to snicker.
Scorpius is watching the two of us, an eyebrow raised as if he’s saying, I didn’t know you were insane, Al.
Lily is just shaking her head and smiling, along with Hugo, who’s smirking at the two of us and our playful banter.
Rose is watching us, her expression amused. I notice that she no longer seems too nervous about being near Scorpius.
I turn back to look at Louis as he says, “Baby.”
I stick my tongue out at him and inform him, “Meanie.”
“Crazy person,” he says seriously, but I can tell he’s holding back laughter from the way his shoulders shake.
“French person,” I say, and he gasps dramatically again.
“Do not insult the French!” He says, staring at me with his jaw dropped. I roll my eyes and he winks. “We might be insane, but we’re not as crazy as you.”
I pout again.
“Puéril,”* he says, switching into French.
“Tu es le seul ennuyeux. ”* I retort back, smirking at him. I’ve picked up some French after spending so long with him.
Everyone’s eyes are bouncing back and forth between us as if we’re suddenly some interesting tennis game. I smirk at him.
“Well, that was fun,” I say with a laugh.
“Your insults still stink,” he informs me with a chuckle. Scorpius gives us an odd look as Rose just rolls her eyes. Lily and Hugo smirk. James snickers.
“Yeah, well…” I try to think of a comeback for a moment and then sigh, saying, “I give up.”
Later that day, after Rose, Louis, and Hugo had left and James and Lily had both disappeared off somewhere, I remember the thing that I had seen flash out of the corner of my eye.
Scorpius is sorting out the papers we had thrown under the paper and I start over to the bookshelf.
I run my hand along the books but stop when I reach one with silver writing on it. That must have been the flashing. I curiously pick it up off the shelf and suddenly hear a rattling noise nearby. I glance at Scorpius who is now watching me. He walks over to me and asks, “What’s that?”
“I dunno,” I say, staring at the bookshelf. “I saw it earlier and thought… I don’t know what I thought… I…”
He pauses and looks at the bookshelf, suddenly he pauses. “Take the books off.”
“Why?” I ask, glancing at him as he starts to pick books off the shelves. He turns and raises and eyebrow at me.
“Haven’t you ever seen one of those scary movies where…” he trails off and then asks, “Seriously? I watch muggle movies and you don’t? What is the world coming too? I must be messing with the Malfoy name.”
I shake my head and join him in taking books off the shelf. “What is the point of this?” I demand, looking to him.
Scorpius pauses to watch me and then glances back to the shelf where one last book is sitting. He watches for a moment and then says, “I could be wrong, but…”
He grabs ahold of the last book and tugs. The book shelf swings open, causing me to jump back a few feet.
Scorpius grins at me as I put a hand to my heart and gasp, “That was not what I was expecting to happen.”
He gives me a glance and then steps into the open book shelf, looking behind him and asking, “You coming?”
I cast an illusion charm behind me as I walk in so that if someone entered the library it would look completely normal, and then follow him carefully. We walk for what seems like an eternity, but it’s probably only about three minutes.
Suddenly, I stop and ask, “Wait. Are we going down?”
I race to catch up to Scorpius, but just end up running into him since he’s jerked to a stop. “Yeah,” he says after a moment. “I think we are.”
I pull my wand out of my pocket and mutter, “Lumos.”
His face looks deathly pale in the bare light that my wand gives off. He nods further down the passage, and I follow behind him nervously. I pause to listen closely and hear a dripping sound.
Swinging my wand to the side, I see that there’s water dripping from the ceiling. I turn back and follow Scorpius, not wanting to lose him.
After a moment he stops again. “There’s two tunnels,” he informs me, turning to look back. “What do we do?”
I’m about to suggest that we split up, even though I don’t really want to say that, when something catches my eye. “Door,” I tell him, and then grab his arm and drag him with me.
We open the door to find a room with… Bunks?
“What the hell?” I hear Scorpius mutter behind me. Suddenly, it hits me.
“The first wizarding war… They made tunnels underground for people to go through if they were being attacked, remember? This must be one of them.”
Scorpius gazes around, awed, and then says, “Wow. But, um, what does this have anything to do with your dad…?”
“I… I just had a feeling…” I shake my head. “I don’t know.” I turn to look around the room, seeing what else I can find.
Scorpius looks up at me. “Do you hear that?”
“Hear what?” I ask, turning around quickly. He glances around.
“That… Noise,” he says, looking up at me. “You don’t hear it?”
I shake my head slowly, staring at him in confusion. “No… I… I don’t hear it. What does it sound like?”
“Like a… A thumping, I guess. I don’t, it sounds like it’s coming from over there.” He points across the room.
I wander in the direction of his hand, tilting my head slightly. After a moment I glance back at him, but he doesn’t move. He just keeps staring, transfixed. I walk to the far wall and find another door with a glittering gold plaque on it's front.
I turn to look at Scorpius. “It leads to the Ministry,” I inform him, watching him curiously. He pauses and then joins me.
“You hear it now?” he asks.
I lean closer, putting my ear up against the door, and there it is. Distant, so I don’t know how Scorpius heard it earlier, but I can hear it.
Thump. Thump. Thump.
“Should we see what it is?” I ask hesitantly, not entirely sure I want to step through that door. I’m afraid of what I’ll see.
Scorpius glances at me fearfully and squeaks, “Do you want to?”
“Um… No,” I admit. “Not really.”
He sighs in relief. “Good. I don’t want too either.”
“Okay,” I say gratefully. “That’s good. Er… Do we want to go further down or head back up?”
He shrugs, still looking oddly at the door. I watch the door for a moment too, trying to figure out what he finds so interesting.
After a moment, I give up, frustrated, and say, “What is it?”
He hesitates for a moment and then asks, “Why would they need a passageway to the Ministry? If they were going to run… They would’ve wanted to hide out somewhere. Not go to the Ministry. And even so… Why is this passageway still here? I imagine it hasn’t been used years. It probably should’ve caved in by now, right?”
I bite my lip and glance back at the door. “Maybe…” I say thoughtfully. He’s probably right. So why hasn’t it caved in?
We both take a moment to stare at the door before I shrug and say, “Who knows?” I start to turn away, when suddenly, I hear scream. My eyes snap to the door, and as another scream echoes down the hall I turn to look at Scorpius, who’s staring, his eyes as round as saucers.
I gulp. “Scorpius…” I start, watching him wide eyed. “What. Was. That?”
“Uh…” His mouth begins to move but nothing comes out. Finally he settles on, “I don’t know?” in a high pitched voice.
There’s another scream and a voice, a maniacal laugh. I look to Scorpius, and see in his eyes that we’re both thinking the same thing.
We both dash out of the room, shutting the door behind us, and race up the tunnel as fast as we can.
I expect to hear loud footsteps pounding after us, a voice yelling at us, another scream, something.
But there’s nothing. Just nothing.
Scorpius and I make it out of the tunnel after what seems like an eternity and we both slam the bookshelf shut behind us. We quickly pile all the books back on it. When we’re done, Scorpius sinks to the ground, scrubbing a hand over his face, his eyes wide.
I sag limply against the book case, trying to slow my breathing, trying to calm my racing heart. “Oh, Merlin…” I hear myself gasp.
“No, kidding,” Scorpius murmurs to himself, breathing heavily.
“What the hell just happened?” I ask him, looking to him to see if he has an answer. His huge silver eyes turn and meet my emerald ones.
“I… Have… Absolutely… No… Fucking… Clue…” He tells me, as he takes in a deep breath, running a hand through his blonde hair.
Somehow, I still can’t manage to move from the book case. There’s a knock and I look up to see mum peering in the room. “Is everything okay?” she asks us, tilting her head, an eyebrow raised.
“Yup, yup, everything’s perfectly wonderful.” Oh god, I’m rambling. Make it stop, please make it stop. “It’s—” I choke off and finish, “Great.” I smile at her innocently as she gives me an odd looking, knowing I’m lying.
“You’re lying,” she accuses softly. Scorpius shoots me a nervous glance and I take a deep breath.
“No. I’m not,” I say with wide eyes, biting my lower lip.
She smiles slightly, and says, “I’ll just leave you alone then.” I sigh in relief as Scorpius relaxes again.
“Thanks, mum,” I say after her, smiling slightly at her retreating back.
Scorpius glances slightly at the clock and says, “Well, this has been an exciting day”—is it just me or was that sarcasm? I can never tell with him—“But I have to go.” I glance at the clock, and, seeing that it’s almost midnight, nod in agreement.
He grabs his bag as I gather the papers up off the table and lock them in dad’s desk, dropping the key in my pocket. “Bye, Scorpius,” I call as he heads out.
He waves to me and I head upstairs to my room. For a long moment I stare at the ceiling after I drop into bed, remembering how when I was little mum and dad would always come in here and dad would hug me, mum would kiss my forehead while I pretended I was asleep.
I sigh slightly and mutter, “Nox.” Flicking my wand at the lamp and setting it on the bedside table before rolling over and pulling the covers up to my chin, relaxing against my bed, wanting nothing more than to fall asleep and forget the world.
As I fade into darkness I can almost hear a distant scream.
A/N: Wow. Chapter twelve. I’m in awe. And for all of you who have been with from the beginning… You’re amazing. Thanks for sticking around so long.
Chapter thirteen has lots of Wotters… And, oh my gosh, *sob* no Scorpius!!!! I know, I’m so awful. Jeez, I haven’t done that since, like…. I dunno… Chapter one maybe… Well, anyways, James choses his Quidditch team and Al and Rose talk about Scorpius, which was fairly amusing to write. *shakes head* Rose and Scorpius…
And, here are the translations as well. Puéril means childish and Tu es le seul ennuyeux means you’re the annoying one.
“Nothing,” I tell her. “Just contemplating the future.”
She raises an eyebrow, probably thinking that I’m a strange person. I can’t ever imagine why…
“You like what you see?” she asks, chuckling softly.
“Most definitely.” I smirk at her. “You’re the most predictable one of all.”
She sighs. “I’m going to marry Scorpius. Yeah, I know. Got it.”
I snicker. “Stop being blind then. Just go on a date with him already.”
She shakes her head quickly. “He doesn’t like me back, Al.” Seeing that I’m about to protest, she continues, “Even if he does, my dad would kill us both.”
“Oh, stop it,” I order.
I’ll get it up soon. :) Promise.
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