We climbed to the top of Hogwarts. Malfoy didn't seem satisfied that’d we’d shaken Snape off till we were practically falling of the Astronomy Tower. By the time we’d burst through the tower door, I was on my last legs, my knees unsteady with exhaustion.
Malfoy, his own steps weary, leaned back against the stone wall, looking out at the cloudy towers and over the rolling grounds, students more akin to ants as they hastened through the courtyards.
The wind nipped at my cheeks as I took in long draughts of air.
“How….”, Malfoy started, his words strained as he tried to regain breath. “How?”
My eyes narrowed. “It wasn’t intentional if that’s what you’re inferring.”
“Of course not Weasel. Flobberworms are more refined in the art of seduction than you.”
I glowered at him, blood rushing to my face.
“Bravo Weasel, you’ve metamorphosed into a giant pimple”, he bit back derisively.
“Speaking of pimples”, I growled, pointing an accusing finger, “don’t you dare call me-”
“Spots?” He interrupted. “I thought it was quite fitting, considering you’re all but blinded by them”.
“They are freckles”.
He fished round in his pocket for a blue cigarette. “Would you prefer I call you freckles then? Or perhaps runny nose? Leaky ear? Wonky tit?”
“None of which are apt”, I replied coldly.
“Matter of opinion. Or angles, especially if you’re referring to the last one.”
Too mentally and physically weak to think of a snappy comeback, I closed my eyes.
“It will be”.
I opened one eye.
“It will be worth it”, he told me plainly.
I closed my eyes again, not wanting him to see how uncomfortable I was that he’d guessed exactly what I’d been thinking.
“I'm sure one day we’ll be…”, he paused, “fortunate enough to run into one of them”.
“Is that what you want? To see your parents?”
“I’ve already seen one.”
I opened my eyes and gave him a small smile. “Hardly in the best light”.
“There you go again”, he said, with a disparaging eye-roll. “Always expecting more of people. Decency is like crack to you, isn’t it?”
The sky above seemed to have merged from drifting clouds into one carpet of grey that went as far as the eye could see. Snow that seemed so far off, suddenly came down, hitting my eyelashes, making icy tears stream down my face.
“Your going to get a chill”, I mumbled, my eyes scanning his form, the white blonde hair still plastered across his forehead, his cheekbones flecked with mud.
He lit the fag. “Not all of us time-travel onto goose pillows, Weasel”.
“I can see that.” I said. “Where did you end up, a slurry pit?”
He scowled, taking a long drag before answering, “Hagrid’s Cabbage Patch”.
We decided that it would be better to leave, rather than snoop around and dodge Snape simultaneously. We moved inside, shivering, keeping our heads down as a few students wandered past monotonously.
I pulled out the draught and was about to pass it to Malfoy, when he scowled, eying me like I was offering up poison. “Why don’t you take it?”
I scowled right back. “Does it matter who takes it?”
“I’ve woken up with bruises the last few times I’ve taken it”, he sneered.
“Fine”, I snapped, uncorking the bottle. “I’ll take it.”
“And what exactly do you think you’re doing!?”
I froze. Malfoy looked up over my head.
Footsteps, then someone marched forward and snatched the vial out of my hand. The smell of bloomed freesias and something sweet, like black cherries, struck me as a girls hair whisked past my cheek. Holding the vial firmly in her hand she stared reproachfully.
“What is this?” She demanded, wiggling the small bottle.
“Not yours”, Malfoy offered haughtily.
She glowered at him. Her long pumpkin hair was tied in a pony-tail that swished threateningly from side to side as she looked at the two of us.
“Do you think I'm some kind of simpleton? Really? The pair of you couldn’t have been more obvious if you’d painted your faces blue”.
“Head Girl”, Malfoy presumed.
She smiled sarcastically at him. “Was the Badge that obvious?”
I was quite taken aback. Wasn’t Lilly Potter supposed to be sweeter than melted honey? Virtuous in every way? She was undeniably pretty. Freckles that looked like they had been painted on. Al’s eyes, greener than freshly picked mint leaves and a small mouth that reminded me tulips.
“What exactly are you accusing us of?” I asked politely.
“Don’t try and play innocent me”, she said sweetly, “it’s straight to McGonagall. Both of you. Maybe next time you’ll be smart enough not to down illegal potions in the middle of the corridor. That’s if you don’t get expelled.”
It was a reaction to that word. My anger simmered. “The potion is not illegal you silly bint!” I fumed. “If you possessed any intelligence then you would realise it was your average Sleeping Draught, not some drug inducing toxic”.
She raised a long elegant brow. “Me? A bint? What kind of bint is top of her class, President of all the Chess, Gobstones, Duelling and Potion Clubs and holds the title of Head Girl? And who are you to talk anyway? A druggie hiding out with her boyfriend who, unless I intervened, would probably end up tumbling off the Astronomy Tower”.
“And for your information, I am perfectly aware that this is a Sleeping Draught. I am also perfectly aware that that tyrant Black has been lacing them for the past six months with Giddywink”.
I glared at her long and hard. Rats. She was pretty and knowledgeable.
Unwillingly, I handed mine over.
Malfoy twitched next to me. I glanced at his face. His mouth was pulled into a disparaging sneer.
Lilly narrowed her eyes.
“Do it,” I told him quietly.
He didn't look at me, but just glared at the girl standing in front of us.
Biting the inside of his cheek, Malfoy extended his arm and reluctantly held out his wand.
Lilly pocketed both the wands. “This way then.” She said brightly, gesturing for us to take the lead.
We marched through the corridor, down the next flight of stairs, past hordes of students that didn't notice, or didn't care, or just didn't think it was very unusual, that Lilly Potter had her wand to our backs. A few even said hello to the Head Girl, who smiled or waved back.
We were heading single-file, down a particularly narrow passage-way, when someone walked straight into Malfoy, causing me to collide into the back of the already fuming Slytherin, resulting in Lilly planting her face into my hair.
There was a lot of spitting and profanities, till everyone straightened themselves out and turned to the figure who had caused the collision.
“Potter!?” Malfoy spat.
Astonished, I stood on my tiptoes to look over Malfoy’s shoulder. “James?”
“Oh Christ”, swore Lilly.
A handsome face, with hair that looked like the back end of the broom, peered around Malfoy.
“I’d recognise that Muggle profanity from anywhere”, he grinned, mainly at the sight of Lilly.
“We wereon our way to McGonagall, Potter”, she said stiffly.
“Were you?” James seemed to focus for the first time on me and Malfoy. “With these two?” He glanced amusedly at Malfoy. “What did you do? Hide her quill?”
“They were taking Sleeping Draught”, Lilly growled, “what do you know about Sleeping Draught, James?”
“Little. But my dormitory is currently free.” He winked.
Lilly glowered. “You and I both know that Black has been lacing them with Giddywink and selling them by the barrel load!”
James gave her an admonishing look. “I think barrel load is a slight exaggeration, Evans. Perhaps by the crate….depending on your sleeping habits and the quantity of Firewhisky Padfoot plans on consuming over the weekend”.
She gave a snort of derision.
“Are we going to be moving anytime soon?” Malfoy interjected icily. “I’ve seen more stimulating flirtation between dead fish”.
“What a charmer”, James said humorously. He peered at me, “yours?”
“We don’t all act like dogs over women”, Malfoy snarled.
But James had obviously been thrown Malfoy comment. He frowned at the blonde. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Why were all Potters so easy to bait?
Malfoy appeared to be thinking along similar lines. I could just picture the haughty, handsome features, rolling into a smirk.
“You know what Evans, I think I’ll take them”, James said, his gaze still fixated on the Slytherin.
“You most certainly will not.” Lilly scoffed.
James raised a scolding eyebrow. “Evans, though I know you have a habit of forgetting I too happen to be Head Student-”
“-A subliminal wish for it not to be real”, she said icily.
“-I am more than happy to deliver these ruffians to McGonagall.”
Malfoy grumbled something about wanting to stick his face in one of the flaming torches.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Lilly considering every possible repercussion of this action.
“C’mon Evans”, James said, sounding unconvincingly trustworthy. He gave her ones of those looks.
There was a long silence.
“Righto”, James grinned. “You first chalk-head”, he gestured for Malfoy to take the lead.
“And Potter-” Lilly said swiftly.
“Evans”…, he replied fondly.
“Mess this up and I will tie you to a tree in the forbidden forest, take your broom, and use it as kindling to burn you to death”.
His smile faded….just a little.
I was appointed Head Girl last year. Fifth year.
Yes. Fifth. Why?
Due to the bullying, slightly psychotic, halfway demented behaviour of my cousin, James Sirius Potter.
James had been picked early himself due to the sudden circumspect decision of Winter Smith to pull out of seventh year and set up an Ice Cream Parlour in Hogsmade. Fred tells me this was always a deep dream of his. Needless to say I don’t believe him.
The appointment of James was met with wariness by the varying Weasley cast. Harry thought it might ‘buck up his ideas’, Ginny wrote her will the very day James got the badge. Smith’s partner, the current Head Girl, Josie Happle, apparently allowed her cauldron to dissolve in Advanced Potions when she received the news. Whether this was out of shock, fear, or arousal, remains a mystery to us all.
James’s new position as Head Boy was the beginning for a landslide for student authority at Hogwarts.
Fights between Slytherins and Gryffindor's became more frequent, the Hospital Wing was persistently packed and in the Halloween patrol of 2019, the Prefects were barred in one of the Greenhouses and fell fate to the snargaluff tree (a rather rancorous plant which looked like a gnarled stump until it was disturbed, at which point copious pods burst and emitted wriggling tubers).
Felicity Corn has been exempted from Herbology ever since.
It wasn’t soon after that, that Head Girl Josie Happle tried to kill my cousin.
It was all arranged rather poorly if I say so myself. Though the initial blueprint held promise – transfiguring devils snare into emerald lingerie and then placing it on a rather attractive blonde she was friends with – she should have known that James wouldn’t wait to get back to the dormitory to cop a feel.
Oh no. He did it over breakfast.
The outcome was James’s face turning rather blue as the Devils snare attempted to throttle him over his pancakes and pumpkin juice.
Josie Happle was expelled following the incident and the Headmistress called in the only person she thought wouldn’t allow James’s to get his own way or try to kill him through transfigured underwear.
I was mulling over this as James’s Potter the first escorted us down yet another corridor, what I presumed was the back way through the third floor. From what I could gather, Head Boy and Head Girl always seemed to bear some form of resentment and loathing towards each other. Perhaps it was this way so the younger years could see that working together was possible. Or perhaps it was some sick rule made by one of the founders to ensure that we never got too comfy with our position of authority.
“Chalkie”, came a whimsical voice from behind me, “Care to explain why I act like a dog?”
“I'm not one for long discourses”, shot back the blonde, his sharp jawline jutted with irritation.
“Then perhaps your accomplice could enlighten me”. James prodded me hard between my shoulder blades.
I turned my head back to glare at him.
He grinned brazenly.
“You’re a pig”, I snapped.
“Believe it or not that’s the closest thing to a compliment I’ve had all day. What’s your name anyway?”
I opened my mouth.
“Spots”, Malfoy jumped in, his mouth straight, but his eyes gleaming.
James gave me a quizzical look – either he was searching for something more plausible, or wondering, as I was, why an earth I hadn't cast a boils hex on the blondes nether regions.
“Not very gentlemen like”, he said, frowning at the Slytherin.
“He’s not a gentlemen,” I growled. “Gentlemen open doors for you. Gentlemen give you tissues before you sneeze. Gentlemen call you miss, or darling, or honey, notspots.”
There was a loud snort.
I shot him a glare.
“Been reading some western erotica Spots?” The blonde probed, his upper lip forming a snigger. “Fancy yourself a Calamity Jane to my Wild Bill?”
I turned a ferocious red.
James’s, clearly amused, shook his head, clucking his tongue. “Just like me and Evans. Trust me, the sooner you get it out over some First Edition Finns Firewhisky, the better it will be for the pair of you.”
“Yes,” I said bitterly, “because your relationship certainly looked unbreakable back there.”
“Evans is still in denial”, he said simply. “A phase. Soon she’ll appreciate the fact that I'm the one who puts up with her OCD and her stupid fascination with Muggle coins and the infuriating way she eats her toast”.
The love-struck puppy actually speaks the truth.
“And she lets you shag her?” Malfoy sneered.
Malfoy shot me a smarting smirk. “Don’t get your chaps in a twist, little Miss, I still treasure you bending over the corral fence”.
James, who was still grinning as if he was in the middle of a Patented Daydream, suddenly procured both our wands from his back pocket. “For making me realise that I need to take Lilly out. Immediately.”
The Slytherin seized it quickly. I took mine warily. “What about your broom?”
“Ha! You think I leave my broom anywhere were Evans might find it? Please.” Drawn into the James Potter charm, I beamed back.
Malfoy was already walking away.
“Don’t ditch chalkie,” James said, his eyes warm, “he may be a dick, but I can guarantee he needs you.”
I smiled awkwardly. “Of course he does”.
I took one last gulp of the handsomeness that was James Potter the first – glasses, gone-through-a-bush-backwards hazel hair and heart wrenching dimples – then turned to follow the cranky, blonde bombshell up the clock tower steps.
The sun was beginning to set now. Flutters of snow were still falling, not heavy enough to produce a winter wonderland, but determind enough to stick to our lashes.
“Obnoxious girl took all my draught”, I muttered, rummaging around in my skirt pocket, while spitting out the flakes of snow that were clinging to my lips. I grunted in frustration. “We’re going to have to use a stunning spell if we want to get back. It will knock one of us out cold so we should both travel”.
Malfoy whipped his wand out before I could.
“Fine. Just get it other with”, I mumbled, crossing my arms.
He arched a stupidly perfect platinum brow. Oh how I wished he looked like a Unicorns arse. At least that way I could have one up on him. I blamed Astoria Greengrass entirely, his Dad was always too pointy, but mashed with her refined features, Scorpius Malfoy looked like someone had spent at least four years carving his cheekbones alone.
“A compliant Weasel? Where are the squawks of disapproval and outlandish insults?”
Something clicked in my head.
“In the Kitchens. You said you could make me hate you? How?”
His mouth drew into a tight line. “Not today Weasley.”
He raised his wand. “Because I'm not up to the fallout.”
It bugged me. It bugged me all bloody week until I finally figured out what it was.
The only way I would end up hating Scorpius Malfoy is if he killed someone close to me.
“No.” Chrissy growled, glaring at me from over the top of her book about The Adventures of Charn the Crumple-Horned Snorkack. “I don’t want your pond shit”.
I frowned at her, withdrawing the specially brewed cup of deflective curse tea I had conjured up for her. “Harrison drunk it. He said it tasted quite nice. Herbal even”.
The brunette, a fierce scowl set between her deep blue eyes, put down her book and took the cup.
Smug, I sat down on the end of her bed, watching her sniff it circumspectly.
Her pouty lips touched the rim of the mug and she sipped the liquid slowly.
She shoved back the drink, her face screwed, spitting out the contents on the indigo linen.
“Deflective potion!” She seethed, her expression very much like my Mother when my Dad left the toilet seat up.
She moaned, scraping her tongue against her wrist, trying to remove the taste.
“Malfoy”, I said, setting the drink down on the floor.
I crossed my legs, resting my chin under my hand, thoughtful. Perhaps I was overthinking things. Perhaps Malfoy didn't mean murder. After all, surely there was plenty of other things that would make me hate him? Things that he hadn't already done…..
“Harrison drank this?” Came a quiet voice.
I glanced at my best friend. Her eyes seemed troubled as she stared distantly at the opposite wall.
“He was walking afterwards”, I comforted. “In fact I remember him saying he felt quite rejuvenated”.
She blinked and gave me a rare, rather gracious smile. “Do you fancy walking me to Divination?”
I nodded, my lips pursed. There was something still very off with my friend. And I couldn’t help but wonder if her adoration for Harrison Cuffe had been cruelly flattened by the man himself.
I walked Chrissy up the Divination Tower. Tonight I would be leaving for the debacle that was to be Teddy and Victorie’s baby shower at Shell Cottage. The rest of the clan were meeting at the Headmistress’s office at six o’clock sharp and I still hadn't finished writing out the weekend patrol plan that Malfoy needed.
I was walking back down the tower steps, biting my bottom lip with the thought of my to-do list, when I saw someone leaning against the statue of the womanly gargoyle at the bottom.
He was flipping a coin.
I scowled in irritation.
“Ah.” Came a voice so dear to my heart I could probably identify it from a hall full of thousands. “Weasley. Do you know I’ve been looking for you?”
I dismounted the last step and provided the blonde Slytherin with a callous look.
He smirked. “Not very friendly. Pray, what I have done now?”
“Apart from continuing to exist?” I replied sweetly.
The coin dinged as it hit the band of steel on his index finger. “Is it that time of the month Weasel?”
“That would account for the amount of chocolate croissants you put away this morning. I had to convince Zabini it wasn’t being packed away for winter”.
I folded my arms over my chest, my lips tight. “What do you want Malfoy?”
“You owe me a Prefect Timetable, Weasel.”
“And you’ll get it when I'm finished with it”, I said coldly.
The silver eyes rolled to the heavens. “I have things to do Weasley. Give me it as it is.”
My nose wrinkled. Did he really think I was going to let him sort out Prefect duties? I would have rather licked the Potions floor clean. “I think not.”
He stepped forward, his pale forehead creased. I stood my ground, though my brain was telling me to lean away – out the window if necessary.
“I know you have illogical control issues in that prissy brain of yours. But I'm telling you now Spots, give me it, or else.”
“I don’t have it.”
I pursed my lips. “Fine. But not here.”
“Damn it Weasel it’s the fucking Prefect Patrol, not the assassination of the Minster of Magic!”
I ignored him and looked over his shoulder at the small wooden door. “In there.”
He muttered something unintelligible and shooting me a murderous look, walked over the little diamond shaped door and unlocked it. My initial plan had been to lock Malfoy in the room then run. But now, as I stepped forward, ducking my head into the room, I forgot why I had even refused him the plan in the first place.
Even though I’d been at the school for six years, Hogwarts still continued to surprised me. I’d been past this little door a few times. I had presumed, as most others had, that it was simply a store cupboard. I hadn't expected to be trespassing in someone’s living space. If you could call it a living space.
In the centre of the room stood an old four-poster bed, the beige hangings that drooped down the side were torn and tattered, as if someone had tried to rip them off. The bed itself wasn’t made. The sheets were crumpled up, as if someone had just rolled out. The little light that came from the dark clouds outside shone over the small oval room, illuminating the bronze handles on the vanity table that stood adjacent to the bed which had thick cobwebs shrouding the mirror.
I walked over, tearing the spider’s composition with my index finger, lost for words.
“What the fuck?” Was Malfoy’s blunt whisper.
I traced my finger along the curve of an old hairbrush. Thick dust coated my skin like a layer of rich grey velvet.
“Did you know about this?” The Slytherin said.
I picked up a piece of paper and held it up to the light. A moving photograph. A young girl, tendrils of light hair, with even lighter eyes, gazed wistfully at me, her hands set in her lap, her reedy wand clenched tightly in her white fist.
There was a loud clatter and I almost jumped out my skin.
Malfoy held up his hands, his cheeks tinged pink. He’d knocked out a draw. I put the photograph down and knelt to examine the contents. It was full with paper. No. Not paper. Letters. All in the same elegant scrawl. All addressed to the same person.
“Mirabelle?” Malfoy said from somewhere behind me.
“And there from Jack”, I murmured, examining a letter closer.
“Yes, Malfoy”, I snapped, “I heard you the first time. It’s not an uncommon name”.
I stood up, only to smack my head on his body, which had suddenly appeared directly in front of me.
“Personal space!” I scolded, throwing him a peevish look.
My exasperation evaporated when I saw his expression.
At first I had a startling recollection of the time we’d been the Trophy Room together and I had blasted him across the room. There was a very similar façade strewn across his normally witty face. His jaw was locked, his lips were slightly parted, the top scarcely grazing the bottom and there was a dark, almost cavernous hunger that glowed in his eyes.
I stiffened, very aware that my wand wasn’t in my hand. “What’s wrong with you?” I said sharply.
His lips were dry. The made a parched cracking noise as he spoke. “Can’t stop thinking about you”, he whispered.
I froze in front of him, half horrified, half perplexed.
He ran his hands through his already messy hair, the blonde curls wrapping round his large fingers. “You’re my head, Belle”, he moaned, rubbing his temples. His eyes screwed shut. “Like a fucking chip or something”.
I blinked. “A chip?”
His blonde brows twisted as if he were in pain. “Wanna cut you out my thoughts.”
“Malfoy?” I said, a tremor of fear leaking through my voice. “What’s wrong with you?”
Abruptly his eyes opened. The steely grey irises burned like molten metal. “Do you think about me when you’re making love to him?”
I balked. He took enough step. “When he takes off your dress, when he touches you, do you think of me? You’re Jack?”
And that’s when I realised that this wasn’t Malfoy anymore.
I pulled out my wand from my robe pocket and held it in the small space between us. “I don’t know what you’ve done”, I said evenly, “but that’s not your body.”
The eyes hardened when my wand was put in the mix.
“I'm not gonna poof away, doll.” He said, almost sadly, “transform me into whatever. Send me wherever. I’ll still love you”.
He came closer. The tip of my wand caught in the fabric of his jumper.
“One more step”, I hissed, “and we’ll test that theory out.”
“Come with me”, the blonde implored, “we can get away from this. We can go to New York. I promised to take you to Santa Cruz, let me Belle?”
A gut wrenching sob filled the room. “I can’t!”
I clapped my hand to my mouth, my eyes as big as saucers. Where in Dumbledore’s sock had that come from?
I didn't like this. I didn't like this one tiny bit.
“We need to go”, I muttered. I tried to get back to the door, but the tall Slytherin blocked my path with one smooth step.
I backed up, he followed me, his shoulders bowed, his intent clear, his eyes flitting to my lips, to my heaving chest.
“You love me. Now let me love you.”
I hit the wall, my head cracking against the flagstone. His hands pressed either side of my head, pinning me. I could feel the warmth of his skin, hear his heavy breathing. The wisps of red hair near my face fluttered.
My jaw clenched. “This isn’t you”.
“Please”, he rasped. He pressed himself into me. I gasped. He was so tall. His torso pushed against my chest.
His lips hung over my mine, tantalisingly close; I could have traced the cupids bow with my fingertip.
My eyes darted back to his.
I tried protest, but it came out as a husky plea.
His lips caught the corner of my mouth, tugging it up into a fierce kiss.
A/N: I'm back.
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