The Fat Lady swung forward and Rose smiled when she saw Toby waiting for her on the other side. Toby took Rose’s backpack and slung it over his shoulder. Rose climbed out of the portrait hole and grabbed his hand, kissing him on the cheek as they made their way down the stairs.
They reached the Entrance Hall, which was full of people. Toby squeezed Rose’s hand and raised his eyebrows at a tearful goodbye going on between two tiny first years. Rose stifled laughter as they walked past. Rose found her trunk in the pile beside the doors, and pulled it into a corner.
‘I’ll miss you over Christmas. I don’t understand why you can’t stay here.’ Toby pulled Rose closer to him.
‘My parents won’t let Hugo and I stay here, something about a family Christmas. Anyway, I’ve already asked you to come to my house.’
‘Yeah, but your mum hates me.’
‘Toby, she doesn’t hate you. I don’t care what she thinks. I love you, remember.’ Toby kissed Rose lightly and smiled.
‘I love you too. Have a good Christmas, and I’ll see you in January.’ Rose laughed, she could tell Toby was still sulking but ignored his pleading expression. She actually wanted to go home, so she could get away from school and the constant reminder of that archway. Rose bent down and opened her trunk, pulling out a wrapped package.
‘Here, Merry Christmas. Try not to jump off the Astronomy Tower while I’m away.’ Toby laughed and took the present, taking a small box out of his pocket and putting it in Rose’s backpack.
‘The carriages are leaving in five minutes, please make your way to the gates.’ Filch wheezed from the front doors, before shuffling out again when he saw Peeves floating towards him with a very large water balloon.
Toby looked down at Rose, who smiled sadly up at him. He pulled some mistletoe from his pocket and held it over them. Rose went up on her tiptoes and kissed him, the mistletoe dropping so Toby could wrap his arms around her waist.
Rose pulled away, and hugged her boyfriend before stepping out of his embrace. She took her backpack of his back and put it on top of her trunk. She grasped the handle and turned away, walking out of the Entrance Hall and wincing as the cold of December hit her. Tabitha was waiting beside a carriage, getting in when she saw Rose was coming. Rose looked back at the Castle, and Toby standing by the front door, before jumping in after her.
The door of the carriage closed, and Rose sat down, groaning when she saw who was sitting across from her.
‘Well, wasn’t that emotional.’ Scorpius smiled sarcastically and nodded at Tabitha, who stared back in awe.
‘Close your mouth, Tab. And shut up Malfoy.’
‘No need to be like that, I was very sad to leave Filch behind as well. Don’t know what I’ll do without him.’ Rose smiled icily. ‘Hey, Tabitha, isn’t it. My name is Scorpius Malfoy. I like your bracelet.’ Scorpius leaned over and shook Tabitha’s hand, revealing his perfect teeth as he smiled.
‘Thank you.’ Tabitha’s reply was impossible to hear, she seemed to struggle getting her words out. Rose rolled her eyes as Scorpius got out a book. Rose stared in horror at the cover, as she flashbacked to putting the same book in her rucksack that morning. She quickly looked out of the window at the Scottish mountains passing by.
Rose’s mouth fell open as if anticipating a Chocolate Frog.
This was unexpected.
When Rose had woken up that morning after a peaceful (enough) Christmas holiday, she was almost looking forward to getting back to school.
Rose was adamant nothing would ruin her good mood, even when they were running late and her mum made her get changed in the car; and when the car broke down on the way to the station so they had to Apparate from a bush to ensure no Muggles saw them; and even when the train had started to pull away when they passed through the barrier so they had to run and pull open the door and get in while the train was moving.
Rose had found a compartment easily and had settled with Millie, her cat; Tabitha had found her several minutes later.
In retrospect, this was when things began to go downhill.
They had been moving for about an hour when the compartment door opened. Rose scowled when she saw who had opened it.
Scorpius merely smirked at her like he usually did at people who were below him. Rose wasn’t sure what she had done to deserve that kind of glare, Maybe it was the intense dislike that always emanated off her that rubbed him up the wrong way.
‘What are you doing in our compartment? Leave before someone sneezes and you catch our common germs.’ Rose gestured to the door.
‘We’ll ignore that bit of rudeness. I know you don’t hate me really, Rose.’ Rose snorted. ‘At least, I’ve been getting that impression, ahem, recently.’ Rose turned a deep shade of purple. Her hand slowly crept to her wand.
‘Rose.’ Tabitha looked at her warningly. Rose looked over to her friend in surprise. She had been so consumed with her hatred that she had forgot Tabitha was there. Scorpius seemed to be thinking the same thing and looked over at Tabitha with embarrassment. Rose stared out of the window with narrow eyes.
‘Hey, Tab, have a good holiday?’ Rose’s head whipped around so fast Millie jumped off her lap in surprise. He had called her ‘Tab’. He hadn’t even known her name before Christmas and now he had his own nickname. Scorpius took a seat next to Tabitha and put his arm around her casually.
‘What the hell is going on here?’ Rose looked in bewilderment from Tabitha to Scorpius. Tabitha looked so euphoric that Rose could feel her blood boil. Scorpius looked incredibly smug.
Scorpius loved the way this was going. If he could take a picture of Rose’s face then he would laugh for the rest of his life. Her face looked so cute when she was angry. Scorpius stopped himself. He was with Tabitha now, who was perfectly nice. Scorpius kissed Tabitha on the head, finding it difficult to take his eyes away from the redheaded girl in front of him.
Rose stared at the two of them, feeling distinctly sick.
Rose closed her mouth, wishing so badly that she had a Chocolate Frog in it.