Chapter 13 : Trust
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There was a clutter of photographs stuck with spello-tape onto the canopy of her bed. One was of her mother smiling serenely at the camera in the garden whilst her father walked over and placed his hands on her shoulders. Another was of her brother sticking his tongue out, taken a few years earlier, before he became camera shy. The photo below that was of herself standing between Albus and Scorpius with her arms thrown carelessly around their shoulders, taken amidst the pandemonium on Platform 9 ¾ before the train left.
With a jolt, she remembered Scorpius.
What a jerk.
She ripped his part of the photo and gladly tossed it on the floor.
There was a part of her that honestly thought he liked her. All those moments they shared when his eyes went dark as they were glued to her lips. And all that time he was just leading her on when really, he preferred Scarlett. It was probably just a bit of fun for him when beloved Scarlett wasn’t on hand. How could he play with her mind like that? Obviously, their years of friendship meant nothing to him.
He was in love with Scarlett. Okay, so he didn’t actually say those three words, but he may as well have. He didn’t reject Scarlett’s kiss after she professed her love for him. And that was more than enough to show how he felt. It was obvious to Rose that he reciprocated those feelings.
She was beyond annoyed at him. But what for, exactly? She didn’t know. He couldn’t help falling in love. You can’t choose who you fall for. Rose knew that better than anyone.
She sighed and swung her legs over the side of the bed. Judging by the light streaming through the window, and Caitlyn and Leila going through their daily beauty routine, it was late morning.
Dom’s bed covers and pyjamas were strewn across the floor. Lizzie’s bed was also empty, but it was neatly made with her nighty folded on top.
“Nice of them to wake me,” she grumbled.
“Oh, you’re awake,” stated Leila, pausing from smearing make-up on her face to look at her.
“Evidently.” Rose was not in a good mood this morning.
Caitlyn rolled her eyes. “They said they’d be waiting for you in the Great Hall.”
“‘Kay,” she mumbled in reply.
Once dressed, she headed down to the common room. Everything was just as it usually was on a Saturday morning; the younger students were chugging through their homework and the older ones were lounging around, chatting. Someone howled with laughter over by the fireplace. It may have been selfish, but Rose found it odd how people could be laughing and acting as if nothing happened after what had happened yesterday.
She couldn’t help but feel as though everyone was staring at her as she made her way to the Great Hall. Even the portraits seemed to be following her every move. They couldn’t have known about Scarlett’s declaration of love, could they? The only people there to witness it were herself, her family and the lover boy in question. They were people who she could trust. They wouldn’t spread rumours.
She instantly spotted Lizzie and Dom at their usual places on the Gryffindor table, but today they were accompanied by Hugo, Al and Louis.
Forcing a smile on her face, she plonked herself beside Lizzie. She didn’t want them to know anything was wrong. “Hey, guys!”
They stopped talking at once. Al, sounding very concerned, was the first to speak. “Rose, how’re you feeling?”
She gave him a confused look as she poured some Coco Quaffles and milk into her bowl. “Fine, of course. Why wouldn’t I be? It’s a lovely day!”
He shared a look with Louis, which Rose decided to ignore.
Did everyone have an inkling that she had a crush on Scorpius? How embarrassing.
“So, the weather’s glorious today, isn’t it?” she commented with a mouthful of food.
“It’s raining,” Louis said slowly.
“The rain’s… cool. I love the rain.”
“Look, we know you must be feeling upset,” said Al. “Merlin, it hurt me to hear Scarlett say those words, and I’m not as sensitive as you.”
“I’m not bothered. I’m cool with them being smitten with each other. Hell, they could get married tomorrow and I wouldn’t care! Scarlett could be pregnant with little blonde babies and I wouldn’t give a dung bomb!” She was beginning to sound hysterical and took a sip of pumpkin juice to calm herself. “I’m totally chill.”
“Liar. Give her the Veritaserum, Lou,” said Al.
“W-what? That’s illegal!”
“No one has to know,” he replied in a sinister tone.
Rose squealed, sounding very much like her pet Pygmy Puff, and eyed the boys warily. “Er, no need for Veritaserum, guys. I actually am fine with the whole Scorp and Scarlett sitch.” Saying their names together made her flinch involuntarily. “Since I, you know, happen to have my own boyfriend.” Ah, Fabian… how come he always managed to slip her mind? “I’m not some pathetic little third year hopelessly in love with Scorpius, so just let it go. Now, I am going to go eat my breakfast in peace while you absorb what I just said, and hopefully it will only go through one of your ears. Good day.”
And with that, she picked up her breakfast and strolled to other end of the long table. Dom and Lizzie followed, forcing the boys to stay where they were. They sat down either side of her.
“So, how’re you really feeling?” asked Dom. She had that no-nonsense look in her eyes, letting Rose know she would not accept ‘fine’ as an answer.
Rose looked up at her desperately, searching for an answer to her problems. “Honestly? Bad. Terrible. Angry. Stupid.” She looked back down at her breakfast. “Mostly stupid.”
Lizzie put an arm around her shoulder. Dom sighed. “You’re a lot of things, Rosie, but stupid is certainly not one of them.”
“I am, though. I should’ve known. I’m such an idiot; of course he was never gonna break up with Scarlett. She’s too beautiful to lose.” She slapped a hand onto her cheek and leant into it.
Dom couldn’t help herself and rolled her eyes. “Stop feeling sorry for yourself. And you’re being a bit hypocritical, don’t you think? Always telling me to stop being superficial and how it’s what’s on the inside that counts…”
“Yeah, but… but this is different,” Rose countered.
There was a few seconds of silence in which she stared glumly at a scratch she had made with her fork on the wooden table top.
“For a second, I thought he was going to break up with Scarlett, too,” said Lizzie after a while, shaking her head. “I can’t believe it.”
“Neither can I,” Rose muttered. A first year reached to take a piece of toast from the platter in the middle of the table, but Rose quickly snatched it away irritably and stuffed it in her mouth.
“Well, it’s his loss,” shrugged Dom.
Rose risked a quick look around the Hall to try and spot him, but couldn’t see him anywhere. He was probably in a broom cupboard spending precious time with his loved one.
She downed the rest of her pumpkin juice and breathed in and out deeply in an attempt to keep the contents of her stomach from coming back up.
“I’m gonna go get some fresh air,” she said, standing up from the bench.
“You want us to come with?” Lizzie asked half-heartedly, already knowing the answer.
“Nah, it’s alright. See you later.”
With one last feeble wave to her friends, she left the Great Hall and wandered into the school grounds.
On Saturday mornings most teenagers are in bed catching up on much needed sleep. Rose, however, was standing patiently outside a wooden hut which looked as if it might collapse on itself at any minute, waiting for the half-giant to let her inside. It wasn’t too cold outside but steam was spiralling steadily out of the chimney.
The door opened a crack and Hagrid’s beaming face was looking down at her, stepping back to let her in. His familiar scraggly beard and twinkling beetle black eyes instantly made her feel at home. “Hello, Rosie, what a pleasure to see yeh! Where’ve yeh bin hidin’, eh?”
“Hi Hagrid,” Rose replied, allowing herself the first real smile of the day. She stepped into the hut and Hagrid engulfed her in a hug, thumping her a little too hard on the back. She made herself comfy on the same wooden chair by the table she’d always used to sit at while visiting him in the past in between the seats Al and – ugh – Scorpius used to sit at. She hadn’t been to see the friendly half-giant in a long while, mostly because life kept getting in the way. Plus, she was lazy. Hagrid lived quite a walk away from the castle, really. But she preferred to think it was mostly because of the former.
Hagrid’s dog, a huge black and brown German shepherd, charged at her at full speed. She held back a shriek as she was almost knocked off her chair.
“Hi there, Bubbles,” Rose cooed, scratching him behind the ear. “You’re a good doggy, aren’t you? Yes you are! Good doggy!”
After spending a good minute getting his saliva all over her hands and arms, Bubbles flopped contentedly onto the floor by her feet and promptly fell asleep. He was getting pretty old so Rose didn’t blame him for wanting a quick nap.
Hagrid smiled at his guest. “So, wha’ brings yeh here?”
“Oh, I was just passing by and thought I’d pop in for a visit.”
Hagrid nodded. “Have yeh bin gettin’ on alrigh’, doin’ yer schoolwork an’ tha’?”
“Of course,” Rose grinned at him.
“Tha’s righ’, brightest witch of yer age, just like yer mother! An’ an appetite to match yer father, o’ course.”
Rose laughed and relaxed into her seat. She remembered how comfortable Hagrid always made her feel and wished she’d come to see him more often. After all, she wouldn’t be at Hogwarts for that much longer now. In half a year’s time she’d be applying for jobs, trying to find a place of her own, attempting to get her life started. She cleared her head of these terrifying thoughts and politely took a rock cake from the plate Hagrid was holding up to her. She never ate them, but Hagrid didn’t seem to mind.
“How’s Hugo? Yer parents? The rest of the family?”
“They’re all doing great,” she said, nibbling on the edge of her cake. “Hugo’s as annoying as ever, mum’s as bossy as always, dad’s eternally hungry and the rest of my family is still slightly insane.”
“Sounds abou' righ',” Hagrid chuckled. “An' how’s Scorpius?”
You know what? Rose thought. I’ve had enough of acting like everything’s fine, because it’s not. I don’t have to bottle this all up.
“Oh, he’s same as always; a two-faced, back-stabbing, cheating lowlife,” she answered bitterly. “Stupid Malfoy with his stupid arrogance and empty promises. Ugh. He’s horrid. I absolutely abhor him.” Her eyes widened. “Whoa. That felt good to say,” she muttered.
Hagrid looked taken aback. “Now, Rosie, don’ yer think tha’s a bit harsh?”
She bit her lip. “Maybe a little… I swear I never used to be this dramatic. But he’s been a real jerk, Hagrid.”
“Yeh’re best friends, aren’ yeh? Wha’ happened?”
Rose sighed. “What didn’t happen? It’s all very complicated.”
“I’m willin’ to listen,” Hagrid smiled, leaning further back into his chair.
Rose considered telling Hagrid everything, but then found herself blushing. It would be a bit awkward discussing kissing and ‘feelings’ with Hagrid… she visibly cringed at the thought.
“You alrigh’?” he asked, concern filling his dark eyes.
“Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just; Scorpius and I aren’t friends anymore.”
Hagrid looked outraged. “An’ why not?”
“I don’t like to surround myself with people that lie.”
Hagrid must have heard the note of bitterness in his voice, for he asked, “Would yeh like a butterbeer?”
She accepted the offer gratefully. The sweet taste soothed her throat and warmed her insides.
“Righ’, tell me what he’s done ter yeh.”
She stared intently at her mug, not wanting to relive the experience.
“’e came to see me recently, y’know.”
This made her look up. “Really?”
Hagrid nodded. “He told me abou’ his… family problems. Don’ yeh think yeh should be a bit more gentle on ‘im after all tha’s happened?”
“What family problems? What’s happened?” she asked urgently, eyes wide with panic.
Hagrid’s face twisted in confusion. “Yeh don’ know?”
“No, I do not,” she replied, getting a little annoyed. “What’s happened?”
“Oh, well… maybe I shouldn’ tell yeh, if he hasn’ told yeh ‘imself.” He sounded unsure and scratched his greying beard.
“Did someone get hurt?” she asked worriedly, not really wanting to hear the answer. A horrible picture suddenly appeared in her mind of Astoria (she always insisted Rose call her that) or Mr Malfoy lying unconscious on a bed in St Mungo’s. Her stomach squirmed at the thought.
“Uh – it’s not really me place to say, Rosie. Although I woulda thought he’d tell yeh, of all people.”
“Yeah, me too,” Rose muttered. Why didn’t he tell me? She downed the rest of her butterbeer and hiccupped. “I really had no clue.” Am I not trustworthy enough? He probably tells all these secrets to Scarlett. She found herself becoming angrier and angrier.
“You know what?” she asked, slamming down her mug. “I don’t even care. He had no right to string me along, whether something happened to his family or not. I have feelings too! That seemed to have escaped his attention.”
Hagrid looked like he desperately wanted to say something, but managed to keep his lips tightly clamped together.
“He’s such a stupid Slytherin. When did I ever think being friends with one of them would be a good idea? They’re selfish and nasty. Er, except for Al, of course… and my friend Anjali… okay, a lot of them are lovely. But still!”
Scarlett’s on the manipulative, selfish side of Slytherin, Rose reflected. She probably spends loads of quality time with Scorpius in the dungeons. Maybe if I’d been put in the same house as him, thing would have played out differently…
“I dunno wha’ he’s done to yeh, but yeh mus’ remember tha’ he’s had a lot a stuff goin’ on. Said summat he didn’ mean, maybe,” he replied, trying to calm her down.
“Something like that,” she muttered darkly. “Well, he obviously doesn’t care enough to let me know what’s going on, so I guess I’ll just leave him alone and get on with my own life. I’m done being the only one acting like a friend.”
She stood up to leave before Hagrid could get a word in edgeways. “Thanks, Hagrid! This talk has really helped clear my head,” she said with a grateful smile.
Hagrid chuckled and opened the front door to let her out. “Glad I could help. Now, do yeh promise ter visit more often?” he asked in a more serious tone.
“Course I will, Hagrid,” she replied, giving him a departing hug. “I’m sure I can fit you in my schedule somewhere amidst studying for N.E.W.T.s and falling out with friends.”
“That’s me Rosie,” Hagrid grinned. “Say hello to Hugo fer me, won’ yeh? And try ter get on with Scorpius!”
That was one promise Rose was not willing to keep.
A/N: I hope this filler wasn’t too boring. What’s going on with the Malfoys?! And do you think I wrote Hagrid’s dialogue okay? I have to admit, it was pretty fun to write :D Hopefully it wasn’t overdone… anyways, feel free to tell me what you thought of this chapter in a review! I appreciate them all so so much. The next (more exciting) chapter will come in a week or two.
p.s. I reached 10,000 reads!! I'm so happy :D
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