Chapter 6 : My Imagination; or The Ferret
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It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Disclaimer: last time I checked, I was not past 50, did not live in England, and my passport doesn't say JK Rowling. So, no, I do not own any of these characters. And lyrics are from the Scientist by Coldplay.
"So, where were you last night?" Dom asks me from her spot beside Malfoy, across the breakfast table. "I fell asleep before you came back, but you were there this morning."
Malfoy's eyes flash to me and then away. I can't help the laugh I have to suppress because if the brood knew, they'd jump to conclusions and have simultaneous aneurysms.
"I was, er, wandering the halls," I shrug. "You know, needed some thinking time."
"Oh, really?" Dom leans towards me, her eyes narrowed. "All by yourself?"
Malfoy's eyes widen. I try to ask him (without talking) if he told her, and he shakes his head no slightly.
"Who would I be with?" I ask in an unnaturally high voice, with an unnaturally high laugh at the end.
"A BOY," Dom says in a somewhat dangerous tone.
Shit. She knows. "Look, Dom, nothing happened, we only were in the broom closet together because Filch was nearby-"
"Don't be silly Rose," Dom giggles. "Of course you went and kissed Josh! He IS your boyfriend after all."
I exhale heavily in relief. "Yeah, me and Josh."
"I think he's one of the most handsome boys at Hogwarts," she says contemplatively.
Malfoy clears his throat and she giggles again. "Except for you, mon cheri."
Josh walks up then, looking slightly awkward. Can't blame him, I did blow him off last night. "Er, hi, Rose."
I feel so sorry about the way I treated him. So I give him a bright smile. "Morning! Sit with us!"
He looks relieved and settles in beside me. I decide it may have been me last night, what with the lack of unicorns and all. Maybe I wasn't trying hard enough. After all, he's handsome and nice; what more could a girl want?
I see Hugo down the table (I absolutely refuse to call him Rama Rama, whatever the bloody hell a Rama Rama is). He's got that girl beside him again, the one who was in the yoga pants last night, only now she's in leggings. Hugo has his hands folded and is gesturing towards the ceiling with them. I'm glad he's found someone who shares his interests and he won't necessarily have to develop a cat obsession. Plus, if that fails, he's gotten pretty flexible: he could go into gymnastics.
A vaguely familiar girl walks past. I realize it's Ella, the one James two-timed yesterday. Her nose is in the air and James is following after her trying to explain about the previous day while scratching frantically at his armpits. She winks at me as she passes.
You know, I think I like her. I may have a new prank buddy.
James manages to seize her elbow, but she pulls it away. "Get your hands off me, you prick!"
"I'm not a prick!" he protests.
"Of course not! It's completely understandable why you crawled out of a bathroom window to go see the other girl you took on a date at the same time as me!"
"Wow, you're really understanding," James says incredulously, then frowns. "Wait, that was sarcasm, wasn't it?"
She just huffs and walks off.
"A little slow on the uptake, aren't we?" drawls Fred. "Where's my money?"
James just glares at him and then stalks off after Ella.
"Does this sort of thing happen in your family every day?" Josh asks me.
"Not every day..." I say. "Maybe, two out of three?"
He laughs, thinking I'm joking. Little does he know I'm being perfectly serious. Malfoy is smirking at something across the table, I'm not sure what. Then he gestures towards me and then Josh, so only I can notice, and makes a little kissy face with his lips all puckered up.
Not sure why, but this makes me unbelievably annoyed. I gesture between him and Dom, again so no one notices, and make a kissy face at him. He shrugs and nods, as if to admit it. I growl in frustration, stamp on his foot under the table, gather up my things and stomp off to Potions, though I know I'll be early. As I exit the hall, I hear Malfoy telling Dom I must be mentally unbalanced and Josh defending me.
I'm going insane. Most other girls would kill to have someone defending them so willingly! They'd love to have some boy so protective of them. But it makes me claustrophobic. I'm not sure why that is. I think I really enjoy fighting my own battles, and, well, he's doing it for me. I don't know what I'm going to do.
I slouch against the dungeon wall until Al shows up, also early.
"Can I have 5 Galleons?" he asks by way of greeting.
I frown at him. "Nice to meet you too. How are you? I've been great, thanks for asking."
"How do you do, and all that," he waves it off. "Look, Fred is getting pretty insistent about the bet. Says if I don't pay up in a week he will tell Dad it was me who stole the Firewhiskey."
"Just what were you doing with Firewhiskey?" I demand. Al flushes.
"Oh, bollocks," he groans. "Forgot you didn't know. Well, never mind, then."
Malfoy walks down the stairs, sans Dom. Surprising, because she has this class with us. His hair is mussed again, and he has her make up smeared on his face. Al just groans, because it's very strange for him to have his best friend snogging his cousin.
"What?" he asks Al.
Al groans again.
"I don't think red is your colour, lipstick wise," I offer. His eyes go wide, and he curses before running back upstairs.
Students start filtering in. Dom breezes in with the last few. She catches sight of me and comes over. "Hey Rose, where's Scorp?"
"Wiping his lipstick off," I tell her cheerfully. Al moans again and she looks worried.
Malfoy runs into class three minutes late. Slughorn lets it go, though, mostly because Draco sends him pineapple or something to keep Malfoy out of trouble. He settles on the other side of Dom.
"Where were you?" she whispers.
"Wiping your damn lipstick off," he hisses.
Dom shrugs unapologetically. "It was the long lasting kind."
Malfoy rolls his eyes.
I'm walking down by the lake, having finally got through all my classes. It's oddly peaceful out here. One tentacle raises out of the water as if the squid is waving at me and I toss a biscuit out for him. The air smells fresh, like the recent storm cleaned it off.
I need to decide what to do about the Josh thing, and fast. I can't leave him hanging on and not pay attention to him. Then again, I don't want to break up with him because he's not done anything wrong, per say.
Suddenly, something heavy hits my side and I tumble over, luckily falling on the soft grass that lines the banks of the lake. Josh is on top of me, laughing. "Got you!"
"Yeah, you most certainly did," I wheeze out, because he's crushing me. He notices.
"Oh. Sorry." He rolls off, and sits beside me. I sit up, too, and attempt to sort out the tangled mess that is my hair.
"Oh, don't worry about that," he grins, catching my hands and pulling them around his neck, before leaning down and kissing me once more.
Nothing. Not a bloody flicker.
Then I remember I'm supposed to be trying, so I kiss him back, getting into it as much as I can.
At first there's nothing. But gradually, after about twenty seconds, I feel something.
It may have just been his house badge digging into my chest. But still.
After a while I pull away to check the time, and gasp. "Oh, bloody hell! It's almost time for supper!"
"We should get back," he agrees.
We get up and start walking back toward the castle. He puts his arm around me as we walk, and I don't object. I'm starting to feel cold.
I hear a twig snap behind us and quickly twist around. I think I see a flash of white-gold in a copse of trees nearby, but it disappears before I can be sure.
"What?" Josh asks, turning his head as well.
I dismiss it. I must be seeing things. "Nothing."
We pick up the pace and run back to the castle.
Josh is sitting with us at dinner again. Dom is across from me as usual, but the ferret that's normally stuck to her side like a leech is missing, and from how she keeps worriedly looking over her shoulder, I don't think she knows where he is. Odd.
Josh is listening, wide eyed, to James about some of the riskier pranks he's pulled - painting Mrs. Norris the Third blue, draping the Slytherin common room with Gryffindor banners, dying my Mum's hair red ("Now you really look like a Weasley!") - and I feel sure he thinks my family must be mad. Oh, maybe he'll break up with me because of them!
No! Bad Rose! Stop thinking like that!
Forgot I'm supposed to be trying. It doesn't feel like I always thought a relationship would feel. This feels like work.
Just then, I notice Malfoy walk in. My breath catches at his expression. He looks absolutely livid, furious beyond belief. His eyes have darkened, his fists are clenched, and I think if I go closer I might even see a vein popping. What could possibly make him this angry? He doesn't even look like this when I call his parents Death Eaters.
He looks over and catches sight of me gaping. Immediately he gives me the trademark scowl we reserve for each other, and I automatically send it back. He seems to be edging over to Slytherin table....hmmmm. Is it possible that he and Dom are seeing trouble already?
Oh, hallelujah! I won't have to endure cheesy romanticness at mealtimes anymore!
But no, Dom knows there is only one person I scowl at like that, and she turns. "Scorpy!"
Scorpy?! What the bloody hell? What kind of a stupid nickname is Scorpy? I muffle my snicker behind my napkin, then hurriedly disguise it as a cough when Dom looks over skeptically.
Scorpy glances at our table and there's a brief flash of irritation on his face before he reluctantly walks over.
"Didn't you see me here?" Dom asks, batting her lashes. He just grunts and grabs a turkey leg, kicking me under the table by way of greeting and ignoring Josh completely.
Dom looks affronted. She isn't used to being ignored. She pouts, hoping he'll look and comfort her, but he just tears at the turkey leg as if it personally offended him.
Dom tries again. "So what were you doing all afternoon?"
I can't resist adding, "Yes, Scorpy, do tell."
He shoots me a glare before looking back at his plate.
"Quidditch," he says, as if to no one in particular, then goes back to the turkey leg. He's already finished half of it, and it was huge.
Hmm. That's strange. I thought Ravenclaw had the pitch today. Guess I was wrong, it's not like I pay much attention to the schedule anyway, unless James has booked us a practice and is on my arse about it.
Dom is now ignoring Malfoy right back. In fact, she's leaning across the table to flirt with Josh, and he seems sort of stunned. It doesn't bother me as much as it probably should. I just focus on my own turkey. I'm bored.
Something hits my leg under the table. My first thought is Malfoy, but he's still attacking the last quarter of his turkey leg. I brush it off - I really am imagining things today, the twig and the flash of gold, the Quidditch schedule and now this. At least, until something hits my leg again. I aim a kick back in the general direction of it and hit Malfoy who kicks back. So it was him.
I quickly snag a devilled egg so that no one sees. I crush it in my palm and wait for the right moment. When Malfoy's foot swings toward me again, I grab hold of it and stuff the egg into his sock. He pulls his foot back and checks it discreetly, then looks up with such a disgusted expression that I just have to laugh.
Dom and Josh turn to look at me and I pretend to be having a coughing fit again. Josh tries to be helpful by thumping me on the back, but that sends me into a real coughing fit. When I finally recover and my eyes stop watering, Malfoy is still laughing at my fake-turned-real cough. Stupid prick.
Dom invited Josh back to our common room instead of me inviting him, like I was probably supposed to. I'm not sure why Malfoy is here, though. He sitting in an armchair in a corner looking utterly bored. Unfortunately, the only available seat is across from him, and I have to do my homework. I sigh and trudge over.
"Missed me already, Weasley?" he smirks with a gleam in his eye.
"Over our snit, are we?" I ask, referring to his earlier mood.
"Yes, the reason for it is currently not applicable," he says obscurely. I have no idea what he's talking about, so I just start with the homework.
I have half a parchment page on the properties of bezoars when he interrupts. "That's wrong."
I squint at him. "What?"
"Bezoars don't have healing properties."
I sit back, exasperated. "Do you really think I'm stupid enough to fall for that, ferret?"
"You didn't let me finish," he says, wagging a finger at me like a reprimanding teacher. "I was going to say they have detoxifying properties, not healing properties."
Well, jinx me and call me a Flobberworm. He's right!
"Oh," I say brilliantly. After a second I think to add, "Erm...thanks." It comes out rusty and reluctant, like an old spare key that's never been used. But I suppose it still fits.
He just nods smugly as if thanks was expected and stares across the room at Josh and Dom. Dom is all over Josh, but it would be hard to miss the looks she furtively throws over at Malfoy. Josh, on the other hand, is completely dazed by Dom's Veela-ness. I suppose I should be jealous, but I really couldn't care less.
Malfoy misinterprets my look. "She'll stop being all over him as soon as I go back to being all over her."
It takes me a while to figure out what he means. I respond a second late, trying to make it sound like I mean it. "She better."
He looks at me curiously, not with the usual scowl or smirk. Again I'm reminded of the rusty spare key. "It doesn't matter to you, does it?"
"Of course it does!" I exclaim, trying to project indignance.
"I thought not." The smirk is back.
I throw down my quill and glare at him in exasperation. "Were you not listening? I said it does!"
"But you didn't mean it," he shrugs.
How could he tell?! I straighten my face quickly. "I did. And sod off. It's none of your bloody business!"
Something unidentifiable shows on his face for the briefest of moments before his smirk returns. "Have it your way, Weasley. But it is about to become my business very soon."
"What the hell?"
He leans across the table in between us to whisper, "He's coming over here."
I look, and sure enough, Josh is on his way over, glaring at Malfoy. I turn quickly back to Malfoy and hiss, "Leave!"
"No, this chair is comfortable," he smirks. I growl at him.
Josh reaches and pulls me up for a long kiss. My eyes are open, though his are closed, and I can see Malfoy staring as if he can't believe his eyes. Rose Weasley is being snogged! Take that, ferret! I lean up on my tip toes for effect. Again, I think I feel something, this time on the back of my neck. It may have just been his Father's college ring but still.
I finally pull away and Josh grins. He's probably thinking, Finally. All I can think is, Hope you enjoyed that, Malfoy. And I can see, in the periphery of my vision, he's still staring.
Josh pushes my hair back. "I have to go," he says in a low voice. "It's almost past curfew."
"Night," I say before he ducks out the portrait hole.
I smile to myself as if lost in the moment, but I'm fully aware Malfoy is still watching me. I sigh dreamily for his benefit, and can't help but smile as I hear him gag.
I settle back down in the armchair I just vacated and grin cheekily at him. "Enjoyed the show, you voyeur?"
"Please," he waves it off. "When are you breaking up with Prince Charming?"
"Never," I squeal like a pubescent girl. "We're going to get married!"
He rolls his eyes and pulls himself up from the chair smoothly. "I give it a month, Weasley," he says and winks down at me before disappearing through the portrait hole.
I can't help but wonder when he got so perceptive. I flush a little, as Dom drops into Malfoy's vacated seat and glares suspiciously at me.
"Hi," I greet her.
"Why are you trying to steal my boyfriend?" she asks balefully.
My eyes pop wide. "I'm not! Why would you think that? You know the dynamic between us."
"You looked very cozy in this corner," she observes.
"Please. If anything, you and Josh looked like a couple up in front of the fire," I tell her.
"Oh, that's what this is about!" she says suddenly and smiles at me. This is a complete reversal of her previous mood and I think I have whiplash. "Er, what?"
"You were angry that I was flirting with Josh, so you tried to get revenge," she smiles knowingly.
"Took the words right out of my mouth," I say weakly.
"Well, don't worry," she pats my knee. "I understand. I only wanted Scorp to pay me attention so I flirted with Josh because Scorpius always seems jealous of Josh."
I nod, because really, what else can I do?
After a bit Dom suggests we head upstairs and I agree. My thoughts are in a whirl from her snap assessment of my motivations (which did not exist) for something I did (because I didn't do it).
I lie in bed for awhile. I can't get to sleep. All I can think of is Malfoy guessing the truth about how I feel about Josh, and his prediction of a month. I can't help wondering: is he right?
Well? Is Merlin's gift to women, the extremely good looking (in my mind) Scorpius Malfoy correct? Or is he way off the mark? Please let me know, because I'm a little unsure myself ;)
I'm thinking of writing an outtake from Scorp's perspective on one or two of the last few chapters. If you would like to read one, please let me know which one in a review! I'll decide which chapter to outtake based on popular demand.
I have to thank my faithful reviewers, AriesGirl40 and Maha, for consistently reviewing every single chapter so far. You two have motivated me to update in record time! If the rest of you follow their example, we'll see how fast I really can...hmm?;) also, one of my reviews was from aguyonnet - a guy on net - (which is ridiculously awesome, because guys who read and review fanfiction are the bestest). Love ya for being brave! And don't forget to review!
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