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Chapter 15 : Admiring from Afar
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Admiring from Afar
“What’s wrong with you?” asked an annoyed Lily.
Tristan, who was hiding behind a book pretending to read, said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Yeah, you do,” snapped she, pulling away the book. “You’ve been avoiding me. I don’t know what I did wrong to get a cold shoulder from you.”
“Look there’s been a lot going on in my head, Lily. Anyways, sixth year isn’t as easy as fourth so you might have time to flock around but I don’t.”
Lily was shocked and a bit hurt.
“Now, is there anything else you wanted to ask?” continued he.
She hesitated before continuing, “I was going to ask about the Beltane Ball. This is the first time I get to go to the Ball. So I wanted to share that moment with a close friend of mine. Meaning you, Tristan.”
He froze. He couldn’t believe it! Lily, Lily, was asking him to the Ball. His heart felt as if it was fly right out of his body with happiness. Then he registered to what she actually said……….. as a friend. Not as a date. She wanted a friend support, not a date to share intimate moments with.
“Lily, I appreciate the gesture. But I am not dateless you know. Anyways, I think your first Ball should be with someone you like. More than a friend, that is,” said Tristan, with very much difficulty.
“You already have a date? Who is it?”
Tristan winked at her, trying to lighten the mood, and said, “That’s for me to know and you to find out.”
Lily, suddenly, stood up.
“You know what I think, Tristan Wolfe? I think you are lying. You don’t have a date, and you’re only saying that because you don’t want go with me, a mere fourth year.”
Lily turned around and stormed away.
It’s for the best, thought Tristan. It seemed to have become his mantra.
“So who’re you going with?” asked Scorpius.
Sheherazade looked up from the game of wizard chess she was playing with herself.
“No one. I’m not going to the Ball,” was her short reply. “I don’t have time for these mundane things.”
“Come on, Zade. There must be someone you like.”
Sheherazade just shook her head.
He sat opposite her and made a move with the opponent bishop. “Check.”
The corner of her mouth lifted. “You know why you were never good at wizard chess? It’s because you are too brash. Too ready to check the king. You don’t care about the pieces that are guarding the king. They are more dangerous and more important than the king himself. You have to eliminate the threat before you go after the king.”
“Stop lecturing me on chess. You are avoiding the topic.”
“No I’m not. I ended it, a few moments ago.”
Scorpius looked at her steadily, and said, “You know we’ve been best friends for years. I’ve never really thought of the possibility……” He hesitated and lowered his gaze. He didn’t know how to continue without making it awkward.
“That I might like you? As more than a friend?”asked she, with a smile. “Yes I do. I love you as my best friend. I know you too well, Score. A part of my miniscule family.” Her smile faded as she said that. “Probably my only family.”
Silence met her speech.
Sheherazade broke the silence, as she continued, “Score, My life is too filled with……..issues. I don’t want to entangle anyone into it. I have learnt to shut myself out. Anyways, these issues have taken up too much of my times. Squeezing in a love-life isn’t going to help me.”
“So what are you going to do on the night of the Ball,” asked he, finally.
“Nothing, really. Probably catch up on my homework. Or just relax and take a long nap.”
Scorpius thought about what she said. Maybe it’s for the best. Loreli is going to be with him, at the Ball. So she’ll be far away from Sheherazade. He can even keep an eye on her.
“Okay. But, Zade, don’t stop dreaming. Maybe after all this is over, you can finally find someone and settle.”
Sheherazade watched as Scorpius got up and walked away. She wanted to tell him not worry about her dreaming. She’s dreamt about him from the first day he showed her kindness. She wished she could tell Scorpius about him. And about finding someone and settling, that could also happen; if all the “issues” are over, that is. But she knew that he will never be that “someone”. For he has gone way out of her reach…….
She got another one. And this one was even better than the last one. But she didn’t tell anyone about this either. How could she? For once in her life someone has paid attention to her, really paid attention to her.
It happened in History of Magic class. Thank Merlin for that, as most of the class was napping so it was easy to remove the delivery from the owl once Rose spotted it, and hide it. Then she had to wait until evening time to open it, as her cousins and Hestia were out in the Quidditch pitch for the practice. For the first time she was thankful of the fact that Hestia attended all of Albus’ practices.
Her heart thudded as she opened the paper bag. In it were two wrapped boxes and a letter. She opened it and read:
I have travelled many places over the years. I have seen many things. I have a confession to make: I have been captivated by you from the moment I saw you. Yet my situation wouldn’t allow me to express myself. But now I’m ready, Rose……………..if you are.
Now, about the diamond: it is an exact replica of the worldwide famous Kohinoor diamond. It originated in southern India, but made its way to UK. One of my ancestors heard about the legends of the curse of the Kohinoor diamond and thought it possessed magic. So he stole it during- what the muggles called- The Great Exhibition in 1851, and set fire on the Exhibition. After weeks of experimenting, he realized it was just an unlucky omen. So he returned (thank Merlin for his conscience), but not before he made an exact replica of it. He gave the replica to his daughter, and so on. But after a century or so it was forgotten. When I was a child I went to explore our attic and I found it. I decided to keep it. And now I’m giving it to you….it may not be the actual thing, but it is as clear and as pure as the original…………..as pure as you are.
Rose, if you would go to the Beltane Ball with me, wearing the necklace I gave you, I will automatically assume that you have approved of my gifts, and my admiration.
Rose stopped reading. She looked at one of the boxes-which suspiciously looked like a jewellery box- and opened it. The diamond was encased in a teardrop shaped locket, with a golden chain. She didn’t care whether it was a replica or not. It looked big, and like a real diamond………and very expensive.
After she got over the initial shock of receiving the only replica of the most expensive diamond in the world as a gift, she got back to the letter and continued to read:
The second gift is something I bought from an antique shop when I visited India. Indian witches and wizards are very interesting, I must tell you!
It is a rose-water sprinkler or Gulab Pash- as they call it in India, or at least that’s what the shopkeeper said. The shopkeeper also said that it dated back to the Mughal Era. I don’t know how much of that is true. But I do know that, unlike the sprinklers the muggles use, this one is, er, very magical!
She looked at the second box, and unwrapped it. Inside was a clear plastic box with the most beautiful and intricate-looking sprinkler she had ever seen. There were two silver peacocks on either side of the sprinkler. Below them were etchings of different flowers, that were color plated, that went all the way round: there was a rose, a lilac, a jasmine, a honey suckle and a tuberose. Below the rose there was a triangle pointing upwards.
She set the sprinkler down and finished readin the letter.
There is a part at the bottom of the sprinkler that has options of different scent. Rotate your option towards the pointer and experience the magic before actually sprinkling the scent.
Rose, I do not know whether you will be happy or disappointed, or even, angry when you see me. But know this: no matter what, you will always have THE special place in my heart.
I know that, as a Prefect, you will have to arrive at the Ball half an hour early. Therefore, I shall meet you by the stairs outside the Entrance Hall at exactly 7:00 p.m. I shall wait there for 15 minutes. If you do not come, I shall assume that you have no interest in knowing who I am…..
Her heart was beating like the wings of a dragon as she read and re-read the letter. She felt so nervous, and giddy, and excited! She didn’t really know what to do!
She, then, remembered of her plan to ask Luke Castellan. But then she realized that if she did go with this unknown person to the Ball……….then her plan would still work! Scorpius would be jealous nonetheless, and she would have a real proof that the secret admirer is, well, real!
But what about the poor fellow?, she thought. He gave me such wonderful gifts. Do I have the right to use him like this?
Stop thinking like that, she coxed herself. You aren’t really using him! He doesn’t need to know that. If all goes well, then you might start to genuinely like him. Then you can leave this whole Malfoy business behind you…..
She hoped it was like that.
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