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Cheating the Bet by Ryebread
Chapter 10 : Why Can't We Be Friends?
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 8


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Thanks to calypso. @ TDA for the chapter image.



A frenzy of spells zoomed through the air in a multitude of different colors. At first the spells were only from the death eaters and most of the jets of light were green killing curses, but then when everyone got their wits about them, more blasts whizzed around the pub as the students defended themselves against the group of masked attackers.

The four of us sitting at the booth slid out and had our wands at the ready. A stream of fatal green came straight at us, but we dived away just in time. Our evasion of the spell divided us; Sophie and I went to the right and Al and Cole went to the left. The glass shards cut my hands and my hip as I crashed down on the ground. Carefully and tentatively I removed the glass from my skin and healed my wounds with episkey.

When I determined that I was good as new, I shot up on my feet and searched for Al, Sophie, and Cole. First I saw Sophie. She was backed against a wall, her fingers grasping at the pockets of her jeans for her wand, but I saw that it was on the floor, out of reach. A death eater was closing in on her, his wand raised. He started to shout a spell, but he fell to floor stunned as I yelled “Stupefy!”

Sophie turned to me gratefully and hugged me, but winced as she did so.

“Soph, are you alright?” I asked, feeling concerned. She showed me her hands, which were covered in blood and had glass in them like mine had. I plucked out the pieces, Sophie wincing each time I did, and healed her as well.

“Thanks, Allie. I’m so glad you’re okay. Where’s everybody else?” she asked, looking around, but in the commotion it was hard to find anybody.

“I was just looking for you and the guys when I saw you. Here’s your wand,” I told her and handed her the wand that picked up off the floor. “Come on, Soph. Let’s go find them.” I grasped her hand and we charged into the fight.

We bobbed and weaved through the flying streams of light, trying not to get hit by them, especially the killing curses. Sophie and I desperately tried to find Al and Cole.

“Look!” exclaimed Sophie. “They’re right over in that corner!” I stared at where she was pointing as I watched both of the guys dueling masked figures. They both had obviously fixed their hands, but both boys had cuts on their faces and arms from the razor-sharp glass. Before we could help them out, the Death Eaters were stunned and lying on the floor unconscious. We ran over to them and Sophie hurtled herself into Cole’s arms and snogged the life out of him, though it looked painful, as she was hugging his glass ridden body.

Al and I looked from each other to the couple and cleared out throats, trying to capture their attention.

“Ahem,” Al tried. “Ahem. Is now really the time?” They stopped snogged, but their hands were still intertwined.

“Sorry,” said Sophie, blushing prettily.

“I’m not,” Cole replied with a huge grin on his face. I rolled my eyes while Al took charge of the situation.

“Okay, we need to clear the Death Eaters out of the pub. Once they’re gone, I want you two,” he directed, pointing to Cole and Sophie. “—to direct everyone to Honeydukes. Get them down the secret passage.” He turned and talked specifically to Cole. “You remember where it is, yeah?” Cole nodded and the two of them ran into the battle after healing Cole’s cuts.

When Al was done, I flung my arms around him, but I stopped when I saw him wince.

“Sorry,” I apologized. “Episky.” His cuts closed up, but I could still see the blood on his shirt. Seeing this, I hugged him again and he held me close for the moment.

“I know that it’s not the best timing, but I’m so glad you’re safe,” I told him.

“I happy you’re not hurt, too, but we’ll do this later.” Al went straight into leader mode. He was completely serious and focused on the danger at hand.

“After the Death Eaters are cleared out, I want you to find Rose. I know she’s going to the Shrieking Shack with Malfoy and she might be hurt. I still don’t trust that git,” he said darkly. I was pretty annoyed about that last comment, but decided to save it for later.

“Fine, but I’m also going to find Aileen and Roxy. They were shopping together today and I don’t know if they’re okay,” I said worriedly. Al shook his head.

“They’re fine. Eric insisted on going with them. Something about Aileen and her break up, but I don’t see how that’s an issue. She wasn’t even torn up about it. And then Fred went with them to keep boys away from his sister, like he does every Hogsmeade. Just go find Rose and get through the tunnel in Honeydukes. Cole can show you to it.” I nodded seriously and turned to get to a death eater that was fighting a fifth year from Hufflepuff.

“Wait, Alice,” Al called out. I turned and he grabbed my hand. “Be safe.” Then he ran up to a Death Eater and started fighting him.

“You, too,” I said quietly, even though he had run off and couldn’t hear it.

I focused back on the fifth year and the death eater. The Hufflepuff was a girl with long blond hair in pig tails and she looked so innocent and afraid. The image of the little boy popped up in my mind and I lashed out at the Death Eater.

“Petrificus Totalus!” I shouted and he fell down, stiff as a board. The girls smiled warily, but sincerely and ran off, trying to escape the pub and the vicious attacks. I took off in the other direction, trying to find others in need of assistance.

I, soon, saw a third year boy on the ground with a wand pointed at his throat by a man in a mask. He had tears running down his face. Unfortunately this one saw me coming. He stood straight up and sent a green jet at me. I ducked just in time and sent expelliarmus at him. The death eater dodged it easily and another killing spell flew at me. I shot to the right and sent another disarming spell, but this time I also conjured stupefy. While the first one missed him entirely, the second hit him in torso. He fell, almost hitting the boy he was about to kill.

The boy looked shaken and I offered him my hand. He took it and stood up on his feet, though he looked unstable.

“Hey, it’s going to be alright,” I cooed. “Just head to Honeydukes down the street. A sixth year Gryffindor by the name of Cole Thomas will lead you back to Hogwarts. Do you remember him? He’s on the quidditch team.” He nodded so I went on. “Head straight there.” The brown-haired boy nodded and sprinted for the door.

I surveyed the room. The pub was a disaster. Tables and chairs were flipped over or broken. People were lying on the floor and though, they were mostly death eaters, I saw a few Hogwarts students on the ground and I hoped they were only stunned. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than that. I didn’t want to.

At first, what looked like a complete impossibility of success now looked clear. There were two Death Eaters left standing in the Three Brooksticks. The rest were on the floor stunned or chained up with their wands out of their hands, rendering them useless.

Within seconds the last masked figures were lying on the ground and wouldn’t wake for a few hours. I saw Al from across the room. He walked over to one of the few upright tables and stood atop it. He addressed the room.

“People, people,” he said, trying to calm down the crowd. “It’s alright. Everyone who can fight, and is of age, get out of here and go into the shops in at least a group of three. Don’t go anywhere alone, but try and evacuate the other buildings. Get the younger kids to Honeydukes and talk to Cole Thomas. He’ll help you out.” Several people nodded and sprinted out of the pub in large groups.

“Other students who can’t help; I want you to get directly to Honeydukes and to safety. Don’t stop running and don’t go alone. Keep your wands out. Now, go!” he ordered. The other remaining people, who were either younger or too injured, nervously headed to the candy store.

Finally, it was only me and Al left. He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me close to him, kissing me softly.

“You know what to do,” he said when we stopped kissing. I nodded.

“Be careful, Al,” I said, fighting back tears that threatened to overflow in my eyes. “I don’t know what I’d do if...” I couldn’t finish the sentence. He just hugged me one more time.

“I know,” he said. “I feel the same way. Stay safe and find Rose.” I nodded again, wiping the tears off of my face and left him behind to search for my best friend.

It took me about ten minutes to get to the Shrieking Shack and I was thankful that I didn’t run into any Death Eaters. It wasn’t as if they vanished, but they were all too preoccupied with Hogwarts students that were fighting back.

As the shack came into view, Rose and Scorpius didn’t and it scared me.

“Rose!” I yelled out, making sure that no Death Eaters were around to hear me. “Rose! Scorpius! Rose, where are you?” No one answered back.

After another Death Eater check, I made my way into the spooky house. Upon entering, I was surprised. I knew it was old, but having never been there before, I didn’t know what a dump it was. There were broken pieces of furniture everywhere, curtains and other fabric ripped to shreds, and huge holes in the wall as if some animal rampaged around in here. I called out their names again, but I got no answer.

There was a stair way to my right and I climbed cautiously, hoping that I wouldn’t fall through the rotting wood. The steps creaked and groaned under the strenuous weight.

At the top of the stairs was a doorway to a large room, where, to my relief, stood Rose and Scorpius, but they didn’t notice my arrival.

“I’m sick and tired of this, Rose,” said Scorpius, looking very angry, but also hurt. “I can’t keep us a secret from everybody. I don’t care what your family thinks, damn it.” Rose looked on the verge of tears, but her Weasley anger won out.

“I told you when we started this that we couldn’t tell them! You agreed. Now, you don’t want me anymore!” yelled Rose, who looked as torn as Scorpius between rage and pain.

“Of course I want to be with you, Rose. Don’t be stupid--”

“Oh, so now I’m stupid?”

“No. You’re just ashamed of me! Of us! That’s why you won’t tell your parents; because I’m a Malfoy and you’re Mrs. Goody-goody Rose Weasley,” he spat back.

“You’re such a--” she was about to say, but I stopped her mid-sentence.

“I understand you have problems, but Death Eaters are attacking Hogsmeade right now and Al wants Rose to get to safety,” I announced. Rose and Scorpius instantly looked shocked by both my presence and the news of the Death Eater attack.

I moved over to them to take Rose’s hand and bring her to Honeydukes when Scorpius started to look horrified. He leaped in front of me and Rose and a white burst hit him in the chest.

I raised my wand and stunned the first Death Eater. Another one was behind him and she was more ready than her companion. She raised her wand and her sleeve of her robe slid back, revealing her forearm. I was shocked to see not the dark mark, but the snake eating its tail that I recognized from the Prophet. In my reveries, I was hit with a leg-locking jinx and I fell onto the floor. Another spell hit me and I writhed in pain, feeling the effect of the Crutiatus Curse. I bit my lip until it bled to keep myself from screaming. I wouldn’t give the bloody wanker that satisfaction.

Rose, who was frozen in shock at first, launched into action and grabbed her wand from her robes.

“Petrficus Totalus!” She shouted, pointing her wand at the death eater and she fell down the stairs, making an awful lot of noise as she slid down the steps.

My best friend unlocked my legs and made sure I was alright. Feeling a little shaken, but nothing injured, I told her I was fine.

Rose and I finally turned our attention to Scorpius to thank him. When we saw him, we were aghast. He had several cuts on his torso and arms. He was bleeding profusely and gasping for air. Rose’s hands started shaking and she tried to heal him, but couldn’t in her current state.

“Please,” she whimpered. I wanted to help him, but couldn’t.

“Rosy...” I hesitated. “I can’t. They’re too deep. We have to get him to Madame Pomfrey. Episkey won’t work on these.” Tears streamed down her face, but she nodded with new determination. Rose was able to transfigure a chair into a gurney and I levitated him onto it and into the air. I was about to go down the stairs when she stopped me.

“There’s another way out. It’s quicker, but be careful with him,” she said and led me to a trapdoor that I hadn’t noticed before that was in the far side of the room. She went down into the trapdoor and called out to me.

“Lower him down. Hurry, but very slowly.” I slid him down the steps and she grabbed the other end of the gurney. Once Scorpius was safely on the ground I went down the stairs and closed the trapdoor. We proceeded to levitate him and walk down the passage way.

It wasn’t very long, but with Scorpius it took us quite a while to get through it. Once we were at the end of the tunnel, Rose gestured for me to stop. She reached her hand through the doorway out and pressed something and then motioned for me to keep going. As we got out of the passage, I was stunned. Not by a spell, but by the fact that we had just climbed out of the trunk of the Whomping Willow. Even more surprising was that we weren’t being beaten to death. I would have ogled it longer, but I remembered the dying boy in the gurney.

As fast as we could, we got to Hogwarts castle and banged on the large wooden doors. Professor McGonagall opened them up and when she saw Scorpius, she immediately brought him to the hospital wing.

Once he was safely in the care of Madame Pomfrey, McGongagall came back to us.

“What has happened here?” she asked worriedly.

“There was a Death Eater attack, Professor. We’re evacuating under age students through the passage in Honeydukes. They’ll arrive behind the one-eyed witch statue. We need reinforcements now,” I said rapidly. McGonagall sent the portraits to alert the professors and sent an owl to the Ministry of Magic.

“Thank you, Ms. Longbottom and Ms. Weasley. If you would like to see Mr. Malfoy, I will allow it, though you should visit your father first, Alice,” she said to me. I nodded and ran off to his office.

I caught up to him right as he was about to leave. He saw me and a look of relief was plain on his face. My dad hugged me tightly.

“Thank Merlin you’re safe, Allie,” he said. “I was so worried. I told your mum about this, but I’ll send an owl telling her that you’re okay.”

“No, I’ll do it, dad. Go help at Hogsmeade,” I offered. He nodded and gave me another bone-crunching hug and ran off to help the students.

In my dad’s office, I found some parchment and a quill and quickly wrote a letter to mum at the Leaky Cauldron. Tilly was sitting on a perch by the window, so I gave my note to her and she flew to mum.

Next, I rushed to the hospital wing to support Rose and thank Scorpius when he woke.

For about an hour we sat with Scorpius. I was there for moral support for Rose, but part of me really wanted to go back and find Al and the others. I hoped they were okay. Even though I was dating Al and friends with my roommates, I had gotten to know the other Wotters and friends throughout the past few weeks and found myself worrying about their lives as well.

Madame Pomfrey knew exactly what to do about his wounds, but said that he would be resting for a few days to recover his strength, so Rose and I waited by his bedside while he slept.

As we sat there, the entire Wotter family rushed into the hospital wing, despite Madame Pomfreys protests about only two visitors at a time. They ignored the elderly healer and crowded the room.

All of the family members were calling Rose’s name, but when they saw her by Scorpius’s bed, the talking was replaced by murmurs of confusion. Her little brother, Hugo, stepped forward with a hard look on his face.

“What are you doing with him?” he asked, but I could tell he already knew the answer.

Al’s POV:

I reached the castle after helping to evacuate Hogsmeade which had gotten easier when the professors arrived. I patrolled around the buildings with Fred and Teddy (although he always tells me to call him Professor Lupin), but everyone was gone, so we went to Honeydukes and made our way back into the school.

The only thing I could think about was Allie and if she got back safely. I ran up to Professor Longbottom, who was answering people’s questions about the attack and trying to calm the students down.

“Professor!” I yelled. “Professor, where’s Alice?” His scruffy, round face looked tired.

“In the hospital wing, Albus,” he said distractedly. I couldn’t comprehend how he was being so calm.

“The hospital wing? Is she okay? Is she hurt? Will she be fine?” I asked, not giving time for a reply until all my questions were asked.

“No, she’s with Rose,” he replied and then went over to help a crying student. I was scared. Had Rose gotten hurt? How badly?

I rounded up Hugo and Lily, who were talking to Professor McGonagall about the events in Hogsmeade and pulled them aside. I swiftly told them the news. Hugo was beside himself with worry and wanted to go straight away, but I told him we needed everybody. Finally, when all of the siblings/cousins were together, we headed toward the hospital wing like an unstoppable force.

When we arrived, we saw that the situation was a little different than expected.

Rose wasn’t hurt. Well, at least, not physically, though she was crying hysterically with Allie comforting her and she was holding the hand of a sleeping Scorpius Malfoy. It wasn’t a shock to me, but the rest of the family was confused. Finally, Hugo spoke up.

“What are you doing with him?” he sneered, but the whole image was exactly what it looked like. There was no explaining it away.

Rose stood up from her chair and let go of Malfoy’s hand, though she looked reluctant about it.

“I’m with my boyfriend, Scorpius,” she said calmly, but coldly. “There is nothing you can do about it, so don’t bother. I love him and that’s that.” Allie smiled at her with pride and even I was impressed by her bravado and loyalty.

“What?” exclaimed James. “But he’s a Malfoy. His father and grandfather, and Merlin knows who else, were a death eaters, Rose. Did you forget that?”

“Of course not! I accept him, though, and know that he’s not his father nor his grandfather. Also, his father has changed. He got out of that, so don’t go saying bad things about Mr. Malfoy,” she defended them.

“You’re never going to be able to see him, Rose,” said Dom. “Once your dad finds out, he’s going to flip. Plus, Aunt Hermione isn’t going to be thrilled about it either. Just break it off now. It’ll be much easier this way and we can all forget about it,” she begged and the other family members nodded in agreement. Lily stepped forward.

“Dom, Hu, James, everybody. Rose is a big girl. She can do what she wants. Though I don’t particularly agree with her choice, I respect her ability to make her own decisions,” she said, sounding very grown up. I beamed at my baby sister.

“I don’t care if she’s a ‘big girl’, Lils. She still made the wrong decision, even you said that,” debated Hugo.

Suddenly, I was angry. Couldn’t they see how much Rose loved him? And looking back on the past month, she’s been happier. Didn’t they notice it? I may not have seen it before, but looking at Rose now, it was obvious in her eyes and the way she held herself. She was constantly checking on him out of the corner of her eyes and she stood in front of his bed, as if she was protecting him from her own family.

Before Rose spoke up to defend Scorpius further, I spoke my mind.

“No,” I said simply. “It would never be easier that way for her to just leave him, Dom, and she didn’t make the wrong decision, Hu.” My family looked at me with shock, but I kept going. “Haven’t you seen how she looks at him? It’s obvious how she feels about him and you think that breaking up with him would be easy for her? Are you really such a horrible family that you want to see her go through that much pain, all because of your petty prejudices?”

James averted his gaze from mine, ashamed and looked between Rose and Scorpius. Dom looked at me thoughtfully. Hu didn’t look happy, but his scowl had lessened and Lils had a small smile on her face. Everyone else had serious expressions except Roxanne, who looked at the couple knowingly. Rose must have already told her.

“How about a compromise?” Allie spoke up. That’s what I loved about her. She always tried to fix everything and help everybody. She wanted to make everything better. I smiled at her encouragingly, letting her know that she should go on.

“If Rose wants to stay with Scorpius, then she has to let the rest of her family know, including her parents. She doesn’t have to tell them now, but she has to tell them in person during the holidays. No one can do it for her, but at least she has time to figure out what she wants to say,” she reasoned. “Does that sound okay for everyone?”

Alice looked from face to face of each of us, looking at our reactions and when everyone nodded, though some reluctantly, she smiled faintly, relieved that the fight was over.

All of the Wotters, but me and Rosey, left the room and went their separate ways.

I walked over to Allie and pulled her into my arms and kissed her forehead.

“I’m so glad you’re okay,” she said. “I was so worried and I wanted to go back out there, but...” She glanced over at Rose, who was back at Scorpius’s side.

To my surprise, he was awake and was smiling at me.

“Thanks,” he said to me. I was confused.

“What for?” I questioned.

“I awoke to the raised voices and I heard what you said. Thanks for defending me and say thanks to Lily, too, even if it was kind of back-handed. And you don’t have to worry about me hurting Rose. I could never— No, I would never hurt her. I love her, too,” he reassured me, though he said the last sentence looking at Rose. He turned back to me.

“Now that this is all over, do you think we could rewind? Friends?” he asked me and held out his hand. I hesitated for a second and looked at Rose’s hopeful face. Then I turned to see Allie grinning and nodding encouragingly. Finally I looked back at Scorpius.

I thought all about the prejudices that I previously held and found that none of them I could prove. Everything I believed about him was false, or at least, I hadn’t gotten to know him enough to find out if they were true. I reached out and grabbed his hand and shook it.

“Friends.”


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