Chapter 4 : Fighting and Flirting
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“Come on, Orla, she didn’t mean it,” Sophia said despairingly, glancing down at her watch as she patted Orla awkwardly on the shoulder, “She just wants to find him before night falls.”
“And we want to get out of this room before day breaks.” Tracy whispered so only Sophia could hear and they grinned.
Orla hiccoughed and wiped her snotty nose on her handkerchief. “Fine,” she pushed herself off the desk she was sitting on and turned to glare – or in Orla’s case, squint with very puffy and red eyes – at Tracy, “but I’ll let you know I’m only doing this because I love Scorpy more than both of you put together. And he loves me back.”
“Yeah, alright.” Tracy rolled her eyes, really thinking about the way in which Scorpius had looked at her on the Quidditch pitch. It was obvious from that brief glance alone that he was hers, and hers only. But for arguments sake, and for her own sanity, she was going to keep her mouth shut.
There was only so long you could spend in Orla Finnegan’s company before reaching the end of your wick. Tracy was nearly there, and Sophia knew it. “Shall we continue then?” She asked a few minutes later after Orla had calmed down enough to hear their own thoughts.
Sophia looked over at Tracy expectantly but Tracy held her hand out and smirked, “Age before beauty.”
“Oh, ha ha.” She said sarcastically and went but stood at the front of the deserted classroom anyway. “Well, how do I start? Me and Scorpius; Scorpius and I…we don’t have, well, we don’t have a very long history together.”
Orla bristled at this point and smirked, evidently believing that her ‘first dibs’ on Scorpius at the tender age of eleven meant that she deserved him more.
“I guess you can say that it all started in our double Potions lesson two days ago.” Sophia continued, “Professor Pritchard was giving out the first N.E.W.T project of the year…
“As well you know, ladies and gentlemen,” he said, marching up and down the front of the classroom and piercing the students a stern look, “these next two years are the most important two years of your Hogwarts life. Yes, we may have said this about your O.W.L years, but this time we mean it.” He grinned very briefly then returned to his death glare. “‘Acceptable’ is no longer acceptable, and those who struggled last year with the Shrinking Solution are certainly going to be stumped this year.
“And so, we professors devised a plan. Those...‘acceptable’ students,” Pritchard said delicately, his eyes finding their way to Archie sitting at the back of the class and trying to work out which way up his cauldron went, “will be teamed up with students who we feel can help them. Hopefully they will gain some extra Potions knowledge and possibly some revision techniques.
“The list is as follows: Archie Longbottom and Rose Weasley,” a crash in the background told the class that Archie had evidently failed in his cauldron conundrum, “Orla Finnegan and Albus Potter, Scorpius Malfoy and Sophia Quirke…”
Sophia turned around and glared at her new partner whilst Orla next to him burst into loud and quite disturbing tears-
“Hey!” Orla shouted, bringing Sophia back from her spoken flashback, “I was upset! The love of my life had been cruelly wrenched out of my arms! Of course I was crying.” She sat back down on the desk and pulled out another handkerchief, dabbing her bloodshot eyes. Obviously the mere memory of the pain she went through was enough to start her over-active tear ducts.
Sophia looked at her in desperation before returning to her flashback…
Pritchard finished reading out the list and clapped his hands to silence the mutterings all around the classroom. “Well, as we have another hour to go, I don’t see why we can’t make a start on the project.”
“Sir,” Rose raised her hand, “what are we actually going to be doing for this project?” She glared at Archie next to her who had closed his eyes, crossed his fingers and was whispering “Brew Butterbeer. Brew Butterbeer. Brew Butterbeer…” like there was no tomorrow.
Pritchard smiled at his favourite pupil and completely ignored Archie, “Well, Miss Weasley, I am very happy to announce that-”
“You’re getting married!”
“You’re adopting us all!” Three Gryffindor lads at the back of the room guffawed and high-fived.
“No,” Professor Pritchard shook his head in wonder at them, “no, sadly as all of you have parents or legal guardians, I have yet to be able to take on that wonderful privilege and adopt you three. Although I’m sure your parents wouldn’t mind if I kept you behind after this class to arrange your new string of detentions.”
The lads groaned and sat back heavily in their chairs, their new partners throwing them looks of despair and one girl actually lifting up her chair and moving a good few metres away.
“As I was saying, I am very happy to announce that your project is going to be one of independent study!” A communal groan went around the room and even Rose looked a little put-out. “Now, now, don’t look at me like that. Your task will be to concoct your own Potion to cure this poor Venomous Tentacular plant of its awful Hairy Fungus disease.” From underneath his desk, Professor Pritchard brought out a very hairy and, if Sophia wasn’t very much mistaken, melancholy plant.
“Everything you’ll need for this will be in your textbooks, or in the library. There shall be no conferring, except within your partnership, and the most imaginative and effective solution will win fifty house points per partner.”
Everyone looked slightly happier at this point and were eagerly flipping through their pages in the textbook to try and beat their ‘opponents’. Professor Pritchard grinned at them and tapped the blackboard with his wand.
“You have two weeks. Begin.”
There was a moment of shock at having been left to get on with it so quickly, then a moment of calm and then the storm hit. Chairs were uplifted as people ran to and fro from their partners to their cauldrons; Archie smashed another three cauldrons without even moving; and Scorpius Malfoy started hyperventilating. Sophia took a seat next to him.
“Well,” she said brusquely, taking out her Potions textbook and putting it on the desk, “I don’t see what all this fuss is about. If you take the calm approach to things, then everything will work out alright in the end. That’s what I say, how about you?- ”
Tracy giggled and Sophia turned to look at her, “What?”
“I dunno,” she grinned, “it’s just…so you. I’m surprised you were able to keep so calm in front of him. Last time we met I basically tore off half of his cloth-”
“Hmm-hmm,” Sophia coughed as Orla turned her head to listen to what Tracy was saying. Tracy blushed and pretended to zip her mouth. “Shall I continue then?”…
She turned to look at Scorpius. He glanced quickly up at her and then down at his lap again and shrugged. Sophia stared down at him and rolled her eyes. “Okay then,” Sophia clapped her hands and turned in her textbook to page 394. Something about a girl named ‘Lily Evans’ was scrawled in tiny black handwriting in the top right-hand corner, but Sophia ignored it and looked at the detailed drawing of a Venomous Tentacular plant.
“Right, okay,” she muttered, reading as quickly as she could, “Scorpius, heat up the cauldron to exactly 217°C and add five pints of water.”
Scorpius got up and loped miserably over to the sink. How on earth Sophia was going to get through the next two weeks, she had no idea-
“Then you should have swapped with me!” Orla shouted, once more snapping Sophia back to reality. “I would have done anything, anything, to be with Scorpy!”
“Look,” Tracy said threateningly, “if you want to find Scorpy by tonight, then let Sophia finish her story!” Orla looked taken aback but sat back down on her desk and was quiet.
“Thank you.” Sophia said, nodding at Tracy, and recollected her thoughts…
Scorpius came back and slopped the water into the cauldron. Sophia tried not to look up as he did this, instead mentally making a note of what she needed to get from the Potions cupboard. He lit the fire underneath the cauldron and then threw himself back down onto his seat.
Sophia looked up a couple of minutes later to see the cauldron glowing bright red. “Scorpius!” She shouted, “The cauldron! The fire!” She leant over to get his wand but his hand touched it at exactly the same time. There was a spark between them that she just couldn’t describe, and a yearning in her heart that told her all she needed to know.
They were utterly in love.
He dropped his hand and muttered “You go” but she continued to stare at him. Every moment she sat there, the love in her heart grew and grew and the tingling spread all the way along her body, right to her fingertips and toes.
He had to know. And she had to act now.
“It says here,” Sophia guarded the page from her book away from his eyes in case he saw that it said nothing of the sort, “that we need three tons of lacewing flies. Shall we go and get them together?”
“Three tons?” Scorpius asked, pulling his book towards him to check. “That seems a lot...”
“Nope!” Sophia shouted and flung her hand out and on top of his to stop him from looking. The spark jumped between them again and she felt all light-headed and giggly. “That’s what it said! Shall we go and get them?”
She laughed awkwardly but Scorpius didn’t seem to notice. Obviously, girls acting weirdly around him was something he was used to. It was probably because of his father and the fact that Mr Draco Malfoy had recently been named ‘Witch Weekly’s Most Outstanding Addition to the Human Race’ for the twenty second year running.
Some families just had all the luck. And if Sophia wasn’t very much mistaken, the next few minutes would determine whether or not she was going to become part of said family.
Sophia stood up abruptly and made her way over to the Potions cupboard, Scorpius loping along behind her. The other partners were too busy trying out experimental techniques to understand what ‘Hairy Fungus disease’ even was to notice them disappear.
Scorpius walked into the room behind Sophia and she slammed the door shut, her heart beating two to the one. He started looking at the shelves for the lacewing flies, completely unaware that behind him Sophia was trying to work out what the most seductive pose to stand in was.
Eventually she settled on a very dramatic pose: one hand held loftily in the air, the other on her hip and her legs in the ‘lunging’ position whilst looking at the ceiling with a despairing look on her face. She had read about this pose in a book somewhere, and apparently it was meant to “entice your lover into such compassion that he will not know whether to kiss you or cry”.
But apparently, it did nothing of the sort to dear Scorpius. He still stood, squinting at the shelves and trying to read every jar to find the lacewing flies. And after five minutes of standing in said pose, Sophia’s arm started to loose all sensation. Shaking her head, and hoping that her next tactic will still ‘entice’ Scorpius in; Sophia walked up behind him and squeezed his bum.
He froze (as did Orla, whilst Tracy roared with laughter) and closed his eyes. Sophia knew that he was imagining them to be all alone together without the throng of the students in the classroom next door. She bit the bullet, “Meet me here on Saturday night at seven o’clock and I will show you how to brew up some hot, strong love. I’ll be waiting for you.”
The bell rang outside of the cupboard as Sophia fled, a smirk on her face. Scorpius stood stock still in the cupboard, trying to calm his breathing down and wondering why on earth this always happened to him.
“I may have said it once, but I’ll say it again: Sophia Quirke?” Scorpius sighed and Rose shook her head, “I never would have guessed. I always thought she was much too sensible to be hoodwinked by your…charm.”
“Apparently she’s not.” Scorpius mumbled, completely missing the sarcastic tone and glancing down at his Jellymonster man, glow-in-the-dark watch, “But by now she will have noticed that I didn’t turn up and she’ll be looking for me too!”
Rose put her arm around his shoulders and guided him back to the bench, passing him a water bottle which he declined on the grounds of “not wanting to catch infections, viruses, oestrogen or serious diseases.”
“So, er, can I ask you something? Well, why did you close your eyes?” Rose swallowed her laughter and managed a shaky smile.
“I was trying to wake myself up. I thought it was another nightmare.”
“Another nightmare? What else do you dream about then?” Scorpius mumbled something about ‘Orla’, ‘wedding dress’ and ‘shotgun wedding’ and Rose howled with laughter once more.
The girls stared at Sophia as she came around from her flashback. Neither of them had expected something like that from such a calm, sedate Ravenclaw. Heavens above, they expected her to have wooed him with her charm and wit, not with her hands! Orla even forgot to look upset, so shocked was she in the way that Sophia had tried to steal ‘her Scorpy’.
“Well,” Sophia chirped, clapping her hands and staring at the girls innocently, “that’s my side of the story. Tracy,” she turned to Tracy who was currently smiling like the Cheshire cat, “would you like to tell us about how you and Scorpius met.”
“I can tell you,” Tracy grinned, “but be warned. If you think that was raunchy, you don’t know what’s about to hit you.”
Orla burst into tears again.
Coming up: Sensitive Scorpius, reconciled Rose and tenacious Tracy.
A/N: Thank you to everyone reading! I hope you are enjoying yourself, but it would be lovely to know exactly what you think :)
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