Chapter Nine - Accused
With the protectiveness of a Beater, Vivian’s shield is up less than a second after Albus fires his curse, causing it to rebound and disappear. For a few moments, I stand in shock, unable to take in exactly what just happened. Albus has never been the type to just fire curses, he has an even slower temper than me… except when I’m dealing with Scorpius but I don’t think that was so much my temper.
“AL!” I scream when my voice decides to work again. “What the hell do you think you are doing?” He looks furious; I don’t think I have ever seen him quite so mad before.
“What am I doing?” he spits in disgust. “What are you doing?”
“You tried to hex him – are you mad?” I continue screaming, Albus Potter would normally never do such an irrational thing.
“He was holding your hand!” he protests, looking in horror at our still conjoined hands.
“Because I let him! Besides, that doesn’t give you an excuse to hex him!”
“But- but- it’s Malfoy!” he struggles to comprehend the notion that anything like his could possibly even happen… a little hypocritical if you ask me, he is married to a Slytherin.
“I know who he is! In fact, I know a hell of a lot more about him that you do because I actually took the time to talk to him!” I defend Scorpius, knowing that if this is the reaction I get from Albus… the rest of my family are going to be impossible. I might not even live through it. I am so glad Rose isn’t here now.
“Talk! That didn’t look like talking!” he practically screeches. Yes, well I’m just about to tell you everything I do with Scorpius, am I? I would really rather not cause you to have a premature heart attack Al, because you are my second favourite cousin… after Rose of course.
“Oh shut up Potter, you’re a fine one to talk,” a third voice joins our shouting match. It takes me a few moments to realise it is Vivian. Every eye in the room turns their attention away from me and Albus to the small Slytherin girl on my left. The anger is swiped from Al’s face at her words and he looks at her with an unreadable expression. I suddenly wonder what exactly my cousin feels for this girl. No one has spoken to him about her and no one really knows why he married her… I might have to ask him at some point. Vivian stares back determinedly at him.
“Today we will be making Strengthening Potion, as it takes a few days to mature, we will finish it next lesson…” Zabini enter the room, not even looking up as speaks – entirely oblivious to what just happened in his classroom. He begins to explain the uses of the potion when he realises no one is really listening to him. “Mr Potter… Miss Weasley… Mr Malfoy… May I ask why you are all standing up?”
I blush furiously as the attention is reinstated on me and Scorpius. Scorpius mutters and apology before we sit down again and he threads our fingers together, underneath the table this time. Albus just stays frozen to the spot, staring at Vivian.
“Mr Potter….?” Zabini queries. Vivian glares at Al once again and at last, he turns away to sit next to a slightly dazed Max. The rest of the Potions lesson passes in complete silence; the droning of Zabini’s voice is the only other sound to our breathing. Albus resumes staring at Vivian while she refused to meet his eye. The rest of the class fixes their attention on Zabini and the potion in front of them, no doubt in fear Al will send a curse their way too.
As the lesson finishes and we all filter out of the Potions classroom, I can see Lara, Nina and Madison throwing confused glances at me, Scorpius and Vivian. Suddenly, a look of shock registers on Lara’s face and she takes off at a run, shouting ‘Rose’ over her shoulder. Oh crap. Because that is exactly how I want my best friend finding out. Although, Rose has never really hated Scorpius the way the rest of my family has, I’m hoping she will be the most understanding. Nina and Madison still look unsure about whether or not to approach us; I think they have decided against it. Albus has already vanished.
“It will be fine,” Scorpius whispers in my ear, giving my hand a tight squeeze. “Vivian thinks we should just go to the Great Hall instead of setting off the rumours with a disappearance. Besides, this way they will know exactly what is going on rather than all the, uh, guessing they did with Vivian…” he whispers quietly so that not even Vivian – who is standing on his other side – can hear. I just nod.
Everyone around us is whispering and shooting furtive glances our way. The Entrance Hall is packed with students as we try and make our way to Great Hall. Suddenly, I hear someone shout my name as the doors of the Great Hall fly open and a girl with flaming red hair comes storming out.
“I can’t believe you!” Rose screams, coming to a halt in front of me. The entire Hall – which seeing as it is meal time, it packed with students and staff – is staring at us. “How could you do this is me? Surely you must have known how I felt! Surely you must have KNOWN I was in love with him! How COULD you!”
My mind goes completely blank. I cannot process her words.
“Rose-” I manage to choke out as she takes a step closer.
“You used to tell me everything! I thought you were my friend… And if that’s not bad enough, you are my cousin, we are family.” I am vaguely aware Rose has tears streaming down her face. “We are supposed to stick together not go stabbing each other in the back!”
I just stare at her.
“I can’t believe it…” she continues to sob. In the corner of my eye, I catch her arm rising, I know what she is about to do but I cannot make my body move to defend myself. I just don’t understand. Her palm makes an echoing sound as it comes into contact with my face. Still no one moves.
“HOW COULD YOU!” Rose screams one last time in my face before running from the Entrance Hall to the outbreak of whispers. I can sense people moving around me but I cannot seem to make by body respond to my thoughts.
“Roxanne!” someone yells in my face and for a moment I think Rose has come back but instead, I look down to see Vivian trying to get my attention. “Come on,” she practically forces my stubborn legs to move and drags me from the Entrance Hall in the direction of the kitchens. I am vaguely aware of being pushed through the portrait hole and having Dippy greeting us.
Scorpius is waving a hand in my face, trying to get some kind of response out of me. I just don’t understand. It doesn’t make sense.
“Well that was unexpected…” Vivian’s voice sounds distant.
“I don’t understand…” I manage to whisper.
“Well, how should I phrase this?” Vivian begins. “Rose Weasley appears to be in love with Scorpius Malfoy. I know it doesn’t sound right but that is the only possible explanation, she claimed to being love with someone and was angry with you, therefor it is only logical that you have taken her ‘love interest’ so to speak.” I still do not understand.
“But- but she would have told me, she would have said something before…” This just cannot be right. Rose cannot be in love with Scorpius. There is just no way. “I had no idea… She tells me everything... It can’t be right…” My mind is refusing to work properly; it just cannot seem to register what to Vivian appears obvious. In the back of my mind, I hear Dippy informing is there is a Mistress Coote and a Mistress Jones outside, wanting to see me. As much as I love Lara and Nina, I just need some space to think so am glad Vivian goes to see them, leaving me alone with Scorpius.
“Shhh…” Scorpius murmurs, pulling me into his arms and stroking my hair. “It will be okay, we’ll figure it out,” he whispers.
“I just don’t understand,” I being to sob hysterically into his chest as he continues to cradle me against him, pressing feather light kisses into my hair.
The cool wind kisses my face as I lean over the edge of the Astronomy Tower. The stars have come out while I have been standing here. So has the moon. They light up the clear, inky sky as I try to sort through the tumult of my thoughts. After I told Scorpius I would be fine and that I just need some time alone, I had headed up here and have been here ever since.
It had taken a while but I had finally accepted the obvious: Rose Weasley was in love with Scorpius Malfoy. Try as I might, I could not recall any hint of this in the past – she hid it well. I am now faced with a dilemma. As much as I want Scorpius, as much as I think I might be falling for him harder than I had intended… Rose is my best friend. Rose has been by my side through ever problem and every hardship life has ever thrown at me. She is my best friend and I owe her so much.
Deciding at last that the best thing for me to do it to try and apologies to Rose. To talk to her. After I have done that… well, we will just have to see how things pan out.
The Gryffindor common room is eerily empty as I make my way to the dorms. Nina, Lara and Madison are all asleep in their respective beds but Rose’s bed, much like my own, remains unslept in. Choosing to gain some sleep before what will no doubt be a long day tomorrow, I crawl under the covers still fully dressed and drift into a fitful sleep.
I dream of Scorpius. I dream of the way he makes me feel like nothing could ever hurt me. I dream I am in his arms rather than the chilly sheets of my four poster bed. They are all dreams of course.
By morning, I am more tired than I was before I went to sleep, the three girls must have left earlier and Rose’s bed has not been slept in at all. I reluctantly crawl out of bed and head over to the bathroom. I look a mess, tear tracks are still evident on my face and my uniform is dishevelled. I strip it off and jump in the shower, letting the warm water run soothingly over my skin.
I quickly towel dry my hair before finding some clean uniform and throwing it on, then using a charm Rose taught me, I dry it fully. I am just throwing some books into my bad when the dormitory door opens and Rose wanders in, looking tired beyond belief.
“Rose…” I practically whisper. She snaps her head around to see me. I try to form the words to apologies but she just glares at me before running from the dorm again. I chase after her. “Rose!” I yell at her retreating back, “Please…please just listen to me! I had no idea! If I had known then I would never have even thought about Scorpius in that way!” I am vaguely aware that all the students still in the common room are listening. Rose she heads straight for the portrait hole without even acknowledging she heard me.
The next few days pass in a similar fashion. Rose will not even look at me and has taken to leaving the room whenever I enter. Potions is the worst, as much as I want to sit with Scorp and Vivian, I don’t want to hurt Rose any more than I already have so I sit in my old spot next to Al and Max – Rose came in, saw this and immediately turned away to sit on the opposite side of the room with Lara, Nina and Madison. Even Zabini has noticed something is wrong.
“Miss Weasley is there a particular reason you have chosen to move tables so close to your exams?” he asked last lesson, peering down at Rose who glared back at him and said nothing. I think he enjoys torturing students. In fact, the only students he has not been giving hell in the run up to our exams are Albus and Vivian.
Albus currently looks like death incarnate. Ned came to me the other day and asked if he was ill and just keeping quiet about it. I have tried to talk to him but he won’t listen, he just stares at me blankly before getting up and leaving. I am not going to lie: it hurts a little bit. At the beginning of the year, if someone had told Albus, Rose and I that we would not be talking to each other by the time our OWLs came around, we would have laughed in their face. As it is, no one is laughing anymore.
So now here I am, in the Owlery – a place that I have recently discovered as a sort of sanctuary – wondering what on earth has happened to my life. My best friend hates me because I fell for the same guy she did, a guy who also happens to be my ex-nemesis and who I cannot spend a day without thinking about. My cousin is married at the age of sixteen to a woman who he cannot even look at and who is also carrying his child. James has come out of his sulking phase and has taken up screwing girls over – his latest conquest being Alice Longbottom, a family friend. My brother is still on touchy terms with my dad because of the revelation of his namesake. My dad is worrying about the shop, my mum is worrying about my dad and I feel completely useless stuck in this castle.
On top of all that, I have OWLs coming up and the rest of my family is still mad at me because I am with Scorpius Malfoy – or at least the family who know about it (I haven’t had a howler from Uncle Ron yet so I am guessing no one has told him).
“Roxie?” a deep voice asks from behind me. I turn to see the familiar figure of Scorpius Malfoy approaching me. “Is this where you’ve been hiding?” he asks jokingly but I can detect and element of worry in his voice.
“Hey Scorp,” I sigh. He comes and wraps his arms around me and I sink into them, his chin resting on top of my head as we look out over the grounds.
“How’ve you been?”
“Not great,” I reply honestly. Because let’s face it – I haven’t exactly been on the top of the world with all that is going on. He murmurs into my hair and I feel a sudden urge to crying again. But I don’t because I am Roxanne Weasley and I do not cry. Not normally anyway.Looking over the railing, I can see a figure with flaming red hair standing by the lake. Alone. “Scorp, there’s something I need to do,” I turn and kiss him lightly on the lips before running down the staircase and into the grounds.
The lake is shimmering in the fading light. I can make out a bunch of Third Years splashing in the shallows; I think Hugo and Lily are among them. Locating the redheaded figure, I head straight towards her. She does not turn around at the sound of my footsteps and I suspect she is trying to ignore my presence.
“Rose…?” I ask hesitantly. She does not respond. “Rose, please listen to me,” I beg. She still does not turn around. “This is getting ridiculous. You are my best friend and you know full well that I would never have done anything to upset you like this on purpose. If you had just told me how you felt, we would never have been in this situation in the first place…” Okay that came out a bit wrong. “But that makes it sound like I’m blaming you – I'm not, I just…” Please Rose, just turn around. “This is as much – if not more – my fault than yours, I should have told you first about me and Scorp-” she flinches at his name and I hastily correct myself. “About me and Malfoy but I just…” For fucks sake Rose, just look at me. “I had no idea Rose; I honestly had no idea…”
She does not react. She just stands there, staring across the lake. It is almost like if she looks away, the entire world will fall apart. Please Rose… Just turn around. I need my best friend back.
“I know you’re angry with me and I can’t blame you but please, just talk to me… we can work this out. I need my best friend back…” I trail off, hoping this would elicit some form of response. She doesn’t move. I have half a mind to just shake her until she cracks and acknowledges my existence – that would at least be some improvement. I remember the times when we were younger and either of us was hurt, the other would comfort them and let them cry on their shoulder… It was normally Rose crying on mine but right now, I wish I could cry on hers. This is all becoming a bit much for me, there is only so much I can take. I am only human after all.
I don’t know how long I stand there, hoping in vain that she will just turn around and let me cry into her arms. How had I managed to lose my best friend? When it is at last clear she is not going to say anything, I turn and head back to the castle before I do or say something stupid.
It has suddenly dawned on me what I have to do and I know it is going to half kill me to do it. But family comes first. I know instinctively that he will be in the kitchens, the place we always met, the place where I began to fall for him… The place I fell for him. Because I had, I had well are truly fallen for Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy which is only going to make this so much harder to do.
“Scorp…” I take a deep breath as I enter the kitchen. He is sitting by the fire just where I knew he would be. He gets up at the sound of my voice. “I can’t do this,” it comes out in a half whisper.
“Do what Rox?” his voice is verging on panic and I can tell he knows exactly what I mean.
“I'm so sorry,” I clench my jaw to stop myself crying. This is killing me. “I just can’t,” I shake my head to emphasis my point. “Family comes first Scorp,” I whisper, turning away completely to hide the expression on my face. I do not cry. I cannot afford to. He doesn’t say anything and I run straight back out of the portrait hole and towards the Owlery, not caring for the students who complain as I push them aside.
Thankfully, the Owlery is empty as I sink to the ground feeling completely empty.
The next few days are possibly the hardest in my life so far. Scorpius and I try our very best to be civil to each other, in a brief conversation I had with him, we decided to try and remain friends but I can see that the idea was just a hopeless dream. I have fallen too hard for him to just be his friend. We eventually stop talking and I have become determined not to even look at him because it just reminds me of all the things we could have had.
“Roxanne!” Nina shouts at me down the corridor, I turn as she flings her arms around me. “I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you – I am such a crap friend! Everything is such a mess and I'm sorry and I hope you will forgive me and I just don’t know what to do anymore and-”
“Calm down Nina,” I smile faintly. “Don’t worry about it; I have needed time to think so you’ve actually been doing me a favour…”
“Still, I should have been there for you,” she protests and I just smile – it is good to know someone cares. “So… Are you going to introduce us? I will try not to insult his Slytheriness but I can make no promises,” she grins wickedly and my heart constricts in my chest.
“Chocolate Frogs,” I mutter to the Fat Lady, slamming open the portrait in frustration.
“Rox…?” Nina asks hesitantly.
“We’re not together anymore,” I practically snap at her as we climb into the common room.
“What?” she hisses in return. “Please, please tell me this has nothing to do with Rose; she is being completely out of order!” I notice her glancing to the other side of the common room where Rose is currently sitting with her back to us.
“We were stupid to think we could ever make it work,” I reply evasively. “I mean a Weasley and a Malfoy… come on!” Nina looks furious as she begins to march over to Rose and I make a mad dash for the dormitories.