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Me Versus Everyone by StepUpx_Gryffindor
Chapter 6 : Bloody Noses
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 9


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I’m not entirely sure how my family and I got here, but I’m beginning to regret getting up this morning. It’s that feeling, the one in the pit of your stomach that tells you that you really shouldn’t swing your body out of bed and talk to people. The one that begs you for more sleep and minimum human interaction. I don’t get that feeling all too often but today I really shouldn’t have ignored it. But I’m a good daughter, so I got up and got dressed and now I’m here.

My father is on the verge of passing out, Draco Malfoy is running back and forth like a sweaty raging bull, Molly tripped over a tennis ball 5 minutes ago and is now immobile, and Scorpius Malfoy is sitting on a bench with his mum nursing the bloody nose I gave him.

 I just really suck as a person, okay.

Everything feels like it’s happening in slow motion. Here I am, on the side of the tennis court just watching this brawl of wits and brawn happen. It’s like I’m beside myself. How do I fix this?!

Draco Malfoy called the house today and invited us to play a few games of tennis with him and his family before noon. Whether or not Astoria put him up to it, I’m not sure; but something had to have motivated him to call our house the way that he did. Aunt Ginny picked up the phone and thought it was the nicest gesture in the whole world. My dad thought otherwise – until it dawned on him that his old school rival was challenging him to sports. Albus, who was a witness to the phone call, told me that my father couldn’t have narrowed his eyes any faster as he ran upstairs to change.

Initially, I didn’t want to go, but seeing the smug look on my father’s face as he woke me up, I felt that I had to. It was my duty as a daughter to keep guard of my father’s wits. Fred stayed home because Roxy got a bug bite and he wanted to do experiments on it, James was forced to skip out on playing tennis because Aunt Ginny scolded him about not mowing the lawn for a week and a half, and Hugo was too busy being punk rock to pay attention to any of us. Uncle Harry and my mother decided to clean out the basement that morning and they weren’t at a point where they could stop, so they declined. All of the other girls decided to stay home and help prepare the brunch that would be waiting for us after tennis. Aunt Ginny felt obliged to offer something to the Malfoy’s for “always thinking of us” so my aunt turned to food to seal the deal. Can’t say I’m not looking forward to that later on. That is, if I can put my soul back into my body and move.

Molly and I were the only girls that came. And now we’re the only soldiers left standing, if you will. (Technically Albus is running around trying to catch the loose balls across court, and Molly’s both annoyed and in pain sitting down on the asphalt, but who really cares about technicalities like that when I’m narrating. Pfft.) How am I supposed to calm down my father? Draco Malfoy? How am I supposed to apologize to Scorpius for MAKING HIS FACE BLEED?

I zone back to planet Earth for a second and recognize the bag of ice I have in my hands. Oh. Right. I went to the offices in the center of the park and asked for a bag of ice for Scorpius and Molly. I was in the middle of walking back to the tennis court. Oh. Right then. I turn and look at the boy whose life I’ve probably ruined. His head is tilted back and his mother is holding tissues under his nose to stop the bleeding. I collect my mind quickly and make my presence known by walking closer towards the tennis court and across from where Astoria and Scorpius Malfoy are sitting.

I swallow my deep regret for my parents not giving me up for adoption when I was a child as Astoria gives me a disappointed look and takes the bag of ice I hand to her. Scorpius winces when she puts it up against his nose.

I can’t stop myself from frowning. I don’t even let myself sit on the bench next to him. “I’m so sorry. I know I said it a thousand times, but I really didn’t mean to aim the ball at you.”

Scorpius tilts his head slightly upward to look at me and crinkles his eyes a bit. Almost like… he’s smiling at me? Astoria just sighs (if it’s a tiring sigh or an annoyed sigh, the world may never know).

My dad was determined to beat Draco Malfoy at this match of tennis. So the first thing we did when arrived at the park was play in pairs. It was Astoria and Draco versus Albus and my father. It soon turned into the Ronald and Draco show, so Astoria and Albus were just running around aiming their rackets at balls that never really came their way. My dad would run like lightening across court and hit the ball out of his nephew’s way and Draco would run up to the net and completely ignore his wife’s attempts to hit the ball.

It was tied. We took a little break. Grabbed some water, and went for round two. This time, I replaced Albus and Scorpius replaced his mother. For some reason my dad relented when he realized Draco was letting his son hit the tennis ball; but only when Draco truly couldn’t get to the ball in time. He was growing tired and his son had good technique. I, on the other hand, enjoy playing sports for fun, not for blood, so I don’t have that good a technique when comes to sports like tennis. I’m more of a one-on-one sports kind of girl. But where I lack technique, I make up for with strength. As in, brute force. I could burn a whole through my tennis racket if you waited long enough.

I guess it’s a competitive Weasley thing – but at least my dad was decent enough to slow it down when Scorpius came up to serve for the third time. It was humid, my hair was fuzzy, and I had a wet upper lip. I was hot and bothered and impatient. He hit the ball over his head, and before I knew it, the ball flew over the fence and I immediately hit it with my racket. I broke a plastic wire from my racket at the impact. The ball bounced back almost instantly and hit Scorpius right in the nose. Astoria came running to her son, who stood there clutching his face and grunting in pain.

I just stood there, with my mouth hanging open, completely shell shocked. I had hit Scorpius in the face. I didn’t know what to do but apologize profusely. I didn’t know where I was hitting the ball or where I thought it would go and I should have been more careful. It was the first ball that came directly towards me and not between my father and I, and I just seized it like a warrior princess. Damn me.

“It’s okay,” Scorpius says slowly, his voice haggard and stuffy. I grimace and shift the other pack of ice back and forth in my hands.

“No, it’s not. You’re in pain and it’s my fault.”

Once the blood started to flow, I followed Astoria as she led Scorpius to the bench on the outskirts of the court, saying “I’m sorry” in every language I knew including Spanish. After a good 5 minutes I looked back to find that both our fathers were giving each other brooding, challenging looks. Draco took the ball and served it toward my father with the speed of a rocket launcher.  It was as if the game never paused, and they continued to go at it. It was what they wanted, anyway. The game was between the two of them, as it had been all month.

Molly was the one who volunteered to get Scorpius something for his nose, just to be snooty about it, but she tripped over one of the tennis balls rolling lazily at the back of the court and supposedly “sprained her ankle” or something like that, so Albus helped her get up and put her leg in an elevated position before going back to the game. I don’t blame Albus for that. Not at all. He felt bad for his friend – Scorpius was bleeding all over the place – and for his cousin, but I could practically taste the worry Albus had for the two men currently playing the somewhat lethal game of tennis. Someone had to watch over them. I can stand for all of us when I say that not one of us is okay with leaving those two alone with each other.

Scorpius sighs, and waits a while before speaking again. “It’s fine. It hurts like hell, but I know you didn’t mean to do it.”

Astoria takes this time to give me a small reassuring smile, before telling Scorpius to hold the pack of ice firmly to his face. She gets up, dusts herself off, readjusted her ponytail, and glares daggers at the tennis match going on before her. Three hundred Galleons say she has her eyes on a particular blonde. Astoria stalks away, leaving me with Scorpius.

Excuse me,” Molly calls from about ten yards away. Her voice is dripping with annoyance. “I’m the one with a sprained ankle.”

Shit!

“Sorry!” I yelp as I run to her and hand her the other pack of ice. She takes it and almost seethes at me. I’d retort but at this point the fight has officially left me. I walk back to Scorpius and slump down on the bench next to him.

“You owe me now, you know.”

I turn to look at him carefully. “What?”

He leans back, closes his eyes, and I swear that not even the sunlight can hide the corner of his mouth lifting up into a smirk. “I mean, you practically broke my nose.”

I gape at him for a second, and then get very angry. “I didn’t break your nose!”

His tone is completely relaxed and extremely teasing but even I can’t stop myself from wanting to pinch him in the arm.

 

***

 

It’s Friday night and Albus asks me to go out with him  – but I don’t answer quickly.  I tell him I’ll have an answer by dinner time. He wants to see another indie film at the same market we went to last time, and I’m kind of in the mood to stay home tonight. I was thinking I could catch up with Roxy for a little bit. I haven’t spent that much time with her these past two weeks, and I’m feeling a bit guilty about it. Maybe I could help her examine some of the bugs she’s been collecting all summer. I’m sure she’d love the company.

When I approach her on the living room carpet, though, she tells me that she needs a break from all the bugs.

“Oh? But I thought you picked up a neon beetle yesterday?”

She looks up at me without pretense and shrugs. “I did, but I think I’ll take a break from the bugs tonight. I’m practically a teenager, you know.” She closes the lid on her plastic container with said neon beetle, and puts down the tongs.

I get a bit suspicious about where she’s going with this but I don’t ask her straight out.

“That’s true… do teenagers not inspect bugs?”

She quirks her eyebrow at me and crosses one leg over the other. “I don’t know, maybe they do. Maybe they don’t. But that has nothing to do with it, really.”

“Oh?”

“I just figured I should be enjoying my Friday nights in preparation for my teenage years. I mean, I want to do it right, you know?”

I want to laugh but I disguise it as a smile. “Surely,” I respond as fruitfully as I can. Unbelievable. Of course Roxy wants to prepare herself for her transformation into a teenager. Obviously.

“So I thought I’d learn to be on my own for a while,” she explains to me, getting up off the living room carpet and picking up her container of insects. “Rosie, I’m an explorer. I explore things, but it’s about time I get a life outside of Fred and the family. Or else I’m going to be alone every Friday night. I need to do new things, get used to new surroundings. Try to make friends outside of school, even.”

 “Well, damn,” I quip. “You seem to have a clear idea of what you want.” I can’t really fathom what’s going on but all I know is that it’s happening fast and I’m impressed. Regardless of whether or not Roxanne’s gone a bit bonkers, she’s right about one thing: Fred is her only real best friend and she usually spends her free time with him or by herself doing little mini experiments, or collecting strange things in the forest. I can totally see why she would want to branch away from that. In a few years she’s going to start liking boys and she’ll have a social life and… wow, she’s going to be cooler than me. How has she already come to this realization?

She beams at me with that Weasley face of hers. Awe, her bangs are growing out a bit. What a cute little cupcake she is.

 “I do have an idea of what I’d like, yeah.” She looks around, not sure what to say. After a moment’s hesitation she tells me, “I just want to be independent and not have to worry about trying to feel like I should belong. I should just… be.”

I am gob smacked by what is actually occurring at this moment in the living room. I stare at my cousin and nod.

The words spill from my mouth, I promise you. I really can’t source where they come from but I find my lips moving and words are forming. “Definitely. You’re worried you’ll get too comfortable and if you don’t try to do something different now, you’ll lose that courage.”

Roxanne Weasley is anticipating her catapult into teen life by giving herself exactly what she needs; a new change of scenery. Goodness me, she’s the sanest of us all.

Roxy’s smile turns warm as she walks upstairs. “Thanks for getting me, Rosie. Don’t tell Fred, but I kinda wanna be like you.” She says it so softly it takes me a second to register the affection in her tone.

***

“So are you coming or not?” Albus pesters me as I pile up the plates on the kitchen counter.

“I don’t know, Albus,” I whine. “I’m going to have to shower, and shampoo, and use deodorant…”

He rolls his eyes at my extreme level of lazy. “We all do it, Rose,” he says exasperatedly. “And I want to go out tonight.”

Dominique starts scrubbing the dishes while Victoire loads them into the dishwasher. “Going to see a movie again?” Dominique asks.

“Yeah, with Scorpius,” Albus replies before turning back to me. Out of the corner of my eye I see Dominique making a scrunchy face. Funny, Albus didn’t mention that bit to me earlier. “Come on, come on! Go upstairs, shower, shave your arm pits and hairy toes-“

“Oi, watch your-“

“Will you just please-“

“Alright,” Vic interrupts with an authoritative tongue, “What’s the deal?” She turns to us.

“She’s being a snot,” he says simply.

I scoff.

Vic gives Albus a look, and then turns to me. “Why are his knickers in a twist about going out tonight?”

I’m at a loss for words and just shrug. “Beats me, but he’s being relentless. So either he’s really dead set on watching this film tonight or…” and then it hits me.

“Or?”

“Or he met a girl.” The suspicion in my tone makes Victoire’s eyebrow quirk indefinitely. It’s quiet for a while. Too quiet.  I point at my cousin. “You met a girl!”

Albus Potter’s mouth is hanging open. His cheeks are turning red. “WHAT-“

“You met someone?!” Dominique cocks her hip out, impressed by her younger cousin. “Damn. We’ve been here for how long, and even I haven’t had a summer snog yet!”

He’s panic stricken. “I DON’T EVEN-there’s no snogging,” he whispers fiercely, knowing full well someone might overhear.

“Little baby Al has a crush.” Vic bites back a smirk while I enjoy the show. I knew he was being persistent about this movie for a reason! When did he even have time to meet someone? What a sneaky bugger.

“I do not!” he says hotly. “Shut up!”

Hah! I’ve got you now!

I stop myself from sniggering like the little witch that I am. No pun intended. “This is just perfect. No wonder you’ve been nagging me all day about going out tonight. You met someone, some girl. And you want to see her again!”

“I- I wasn’t-“

“You totally were!” I mock. Both of my part Veela cousins look at each other. Victoire clicks her tongue, clearly seeing right through Albus. Dom sighs and crosses her arms. I, on the other hand, am metaphorically dancing circles around Albus and teasing him, like some cartoon character. “What, did you think I wouldn’t notice if you went off with some chick at the flea market? Where is this girl? What’s her name? I know she exists!”

“FINE, OKAY? YES, SHE EXISTS!” He throws his hands in the air, giving up. “SHIT!”

Dominique, Vic, and I stare at him triumphantly.

“Are you satisfied?” Albus asks me sarcastically.

“Absolutely.”

After we clean up the dining room I drag Albus into the hallway while James, Fred, Hugo, Lily, Roxy, and Dominique are sitting on the couch, watching television. I lean back into the arch way to check on Victoire, who is on the phone with Teddy.

“Okay, the coast is clear. Tell me about this girl.” I look him in the eye.

He gets embarrassed even in the dim lighting of the hallway. “She’s just…” he scratches the back of his neck, TRYING to be nonchalant and failing. “I don’t know, she’s cute, okay? Her name’s Jen.”

“Jen,” I repeat, trying to taste the word in my mouth. “Hmm…” I cross my arms. “Okay, go on.”

“Remember when we went last time with Scorpius to see that one film? Well, remember when I left to use the bathroom and I came back with popcorn and candy?”

I feel fuzzy but I don’t say anything. “Of course,” I mutter. Scorpius and I were left alone for an unnecessary amount of time and it felt odd being next to him in a dark room with Albus gone.

“Well, as soon as I washed my hands and walked out of there I ran into her. Her dad owns the market. We got to talking and basically she said that the next time I was around I should go see her. And I told her I’d see her in a few weeks.” He’s so bashful about this girl he rushes everything and I don’t even question it. I give up with him.

“That’s it? Can’t I have more details?”

Albus gives me the pouty Potter face his dad uses on his mom. “I barely know the girl, alright?”

“Where is the life? Where is the passion? Aren’t you supposed be more hormonal about this?”

As if I have an expertise license in being a teenage boy. Listen to me, pfft.

“I don’t know, okay? I only ever had one girlfriend, and that was in Third Year, Rose. I want… different things than my friends want.” He’s so red in the face, and for a second I feel bad that I pushed him to spill the beans.

“Sorry,” I say too quickly. “I know... I guess I’m just a bit bored with everyone in this house and I’m trying to stay relevant. I know you don’t care about snogging- you care about conversation. I don’t mean to sound invasive, it’s just… I don’t want you to not tell me about this kind of stuff.”

He gives me a smiling “oh, please” face and tilts his head. “Rosie, is that a joke? I’d tell you first before I told anyone else.”

I smile back at him and tug on his ear. Albus is such a metaphorical bunny rabbit.

“Good.”

Gods, why do I personify animals when talking about my family members? Somewhere deep inside, I know I have a problem. But I’m too deranged to care, I guess.

 

***

Yes, I caved in. Yes, I showered. Yes, we’re in the car with Scorpius again.

I decided to skip washing my hair though. Tonight’s a nice night out but it’s a little humid. So I just put my hair in a messy braid. The frizz going on with my hair this week is really starting to hit a nerve with me. Victoire gave me this dark blue romper thing to wear. It’s pretty cute! It’s a halter top with spaghetti straps. Teddy and Vic didn’t get to go out on their date because the restaurant overbooked their reservations, so she lent me her outfit. It has shorts instead of long pantlegs so my pale legs look even paler. It’s made of this light flow-y material, and it doesn’t have sleeves, so I won’t be sweating my arse off too much. Which is good, because I can lift up my arms and dry my arm pits with the windows open in the car. Boo ya!

Since I’m not as skinny as Vic is, it’s a bit tight in the bust region. I have a bigger bust than both Dom and Vic, which sort of sucks since they have the cutest clothes out of all of us girls. Their grandmother sends them cute European things. My grandmother knits me sweaters with my first initial on them. Not that I’m complaining – it’s a good mixture, actually. Dom loves my grandmother’s sweaters. The Weasley’s and the Delacour’s definitely fit well for each other. The best union of them all, if you ask me.

Scorpius catches my peripheral vision from the side mirror and does this half smile thing to me that I try to ignore. I’m in my usual position in the backseat, but this time it’s Albus who is driving. Seeing as I made Scorpius Malfoy’s face bleed, he wasn’t able to get clearance to drive to the market tonight. He has a small bandage strip on his nose and the swelling has gone down since then, thank Merlin. He still isn’t allowed to be behind the wheel because of me. Slight guilt there.

As I got dressed, I could hear the words Scorpius said to me when I last saw him echo in my head dauntingly. And since I’ve stepped foot in this car I’ve been avoiding his face. It’s like staring directly into the sun at this point.

What am I truly worried about? I have no idea.

“We should be there soon, guys… If this 300 year old woman in front of us actually steps on the gas.” Albus shouts the last bit out the window. He’s been driving for the past ten minutes smoothly, but he’s gotten a bit of road rage since this lady merged in front of us. I have a feeling Albus is snappy because he’s nervous, too. This Jen girl is making him dizzy.

We left a bit early tonight so we could get to the box office and get good seats. The last time we went, it was because Scorpius and his parents had ordered their tickets in advance, but got in a fight. So we sort of escorted him to his own movie while his parents bickered at home.

Albus pushes on the breaks out of nowhere, making the whole car jolt. The old lady pushed on the breaks slightly before the light turned red, making Albus slow down so he would be stuck under the red light. “Oh, COME ON!” He yells, shaking his fist out of the window. Wow, he’s definitely Harry Potter’s son.

I could have sworn I just heard old lady laughter somewhere. Was that in my head?

“That little devil,” Albus shrieks. “She did that on purpose!” He turns to Scorpius, who is completely unaffected by his friend hitting the breaks so roughly. “I’m sorry, Scor!” It is a Malfoy automobile he’s driving, after all.

Scorpius just laughs. “It’s okay,” he says, amused by my cousin getting so flustered. He reclines back in his seat, resting his arm out of the window.

I sigh, and exhale loudly before I can stop myself. It catches the snarky blonde’s attention while Albus glares daggers at the traffic light, not paying attention to us. Scorpius finds my face in the rear view mirror this time, and I can’t look away because he’s caught me by my reflection. If I look away from him, he’ll know I’m avoiding him. I’m sure he caught on at my lack of eye contact during this whole car ride by now.

He doesn’t say anything. Doesn’t even smile. But his eyes change.

I’m hit with a wave of wonder as I look at his face. All pretense gone, I relax my face and forget where I am. I’m taken aback by the sensuality of his stare. His whole face is different. Almost like he’s… gazing at me.

A month has gone by since we first arrived at Big Blue and not once has he looked at me the way he is now. My cheeks grow hot but I can’t look away (to my utter embarrassment). I’m flushed in a matter of seconds. He sucks. Scorpius Malfoy is the absolute worst.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Albus parks the car once we get to the market. Jen walks by us and catches my cousin’s eye. I know immediately that she’s the girl he’s nervous about. She’s beaming, happy to see him. She has light brown hair cut into a short bob with soft pink lipstick on her lips. She has brown freckles that show through her summer tan.  Standing next to Albus, whose complexion has always been as creamy as milk, she looks perfectly bronzed. From this angle it’s a bit odd seeing how opposite they are, but then I see the smile on his face and they laugh at each other awkwardly and the picture is painted full circle. It was worth coming here tonight.

“Hi,” she greets to us, snapping out of her daze with Albus. He turns to us and introduces Jen. We shake hands and head towards the box office. We chat for a bit.

I’m diggin’ this girl’s vibe. Very feminine and polite. She seems the type you can rely on; very trustworthy. I’ve spent two minutes with her and she seems so responsible and sophisticated! Albus has good taste.

Jen looks at my outfit while we walk in and says, “You look great in that romper!” Score one for Vic!

“Thanks,” I smile, surprised at how easily she’s warming up to us.  She asks Scorpius if he’s been to the market before and he tells her about the last time we were here.

“Of course. Gay western night,” she remembers. She and Albus look at each other swiftly before she continues talking. Albus doesn’t put much of an effort into dating and yet he always knows the right thing to do.

I mean, I’m the same way with dating, but Albus has never been taken back by someone. I’m taken aback by everyone. And that’s mainly because I don’t understand the attraction. I’m not a certified “babe” in other words. It is difficult picturing someone who is interested in you sometimes, when you wake up to the same face every morning staring back at you in the mirror. It gets a bit dull, no? Same nose, same mouth. It’s strange to me. And it’s not like I think I’m an ugly duck. I’m just, I don’t know, an eclectic duck who doesn’t know how to date. Flirting isn’t natural to me like it is to him. I still have the mindset of a baby, alright? I want candy all the time.

Jen gets behind the counter and talks to the person working the tickets. We wait for a few minutes and then she pops her head out from the glass box.  She tells us she can give us a discount on the tickets since her parents own the place. Albus is totally entranced and smiles happily, it’s so gross. But kinda cute.

“You’re the best,” Albus says.

“Of course I am,” Jen responds.

You think it would be weird to witness all the vomit inducing cuteness with Scorpius but it’s not awkward in the slightest.

Scorpius takes the tickets and nudges me to follow him in the theater while Albus and Jen have some alone time to talk before the movie. Maybe the absence of light in the theater will cover the humiliation of my pure human essence when I realize I’m stuck with this blonde until Albus shows up. I give my cousin one last look over my shoulder before I turn around to walk into literary darkness with Scorpius Malfoy. Albus makes Jen blush prettily over some cute compliment probably and I feel like rolling my eyes.

Albus flirts naturally, even if he’s the shy one. Always somewhat sure of himself. He and I are so different, but we’re both quiet. I’m more outgoing in every sense but Albus is a people pleaser.

Some guy punches a hole in our tickets before we walk in. The room is packed with people, even though its 15 minutes before the previews start.

Scorpius soon makes a move on a row of seats. “Are these seats good? I can’t see any other open sections,” he observes.

Scorpius turns to look at me in the dark for confirmation and his hair is all disheveled and I hate it. I don’t answer and he waves a hand in front of my face. “Oi, Rose.”

I exhale out of my nose. “Here is fine,” I quip.

He and I sit in silence for 5 minutes listening to the hum of the people around us. I hear Scorpius gulp.

“She’s right you know.”

I narrow my eyes at him.

“Who?”

“That girl, Jen. You look great.”

Wow, you suck.

“ I guess,” I murmur.

“You guess?” The outline of his mouth tells me he’s on the verge of smirking but I’m not staring at his mouth so I don’t really know.

I face forward and try to ignore him. “It’s my cousin Victoire’s outfit. Except the shoes. Dominique let me borrow those.” Dominique gets mad whenever I put on simple flip flops with a pretty outfit so she made me wear her strappy white sandals.

“Dominique?” he says, as if to make sure he wasn’t mistaken.

I turn to face him. “Yeah. Dominique Weasley. Victoire Weasley’s younger sister.”

He doesn’t know what to say so he just nods, his mind somewhere else. His eye are shifty though. It doesn't go unnoticed by me.

“What is it?” Now I’m suspicious. The way he got stiff all of a sudden is getting to me.

“No, it’s just- I thought I remembered her at the cook out, but I couldn’t remember her name.” He shrugs but I don’t let it go for some reason. It’s uncomfortably quiet.

“You know Dominique, right?” My stomach is beginning to hurt. Dom mentioned Scorpius trying to mess with her on the first day of her Second Year, when Scorpius had just gotten sorted into Slytherin. She made a big stink about it.

Scorpius doesn’t look at me and shrugs again. He shakes his head like it’s no big deal. “I ran into her a few times in passing. I think I literally ran into her once, my First Year… I was trying to find the loo after I got sorted. Anyway, um, yeah. Last year I found out we shared a mutual friend. Tommy from Hufflepuff. He threw a party for his birthday a while ago.”

I swallow hard. “Oh.”

I remember Dom not being all too happy about the Malfoy’s living next to us. Well, neither was James but then again he hates every new neighbor we get that isn’t a swimsuit model. Scorpius being on the Quidditch team with Albus didn’t help James appreciate the blonde, either. Vic and Teddy don’t exactly hate the Malfoy’s but they aren’t too keen on hanging out with them. Molly on the other hand is snooty about everyone so I’m sure at some point Scorpius looked at her wrong and from then on she decided she was better than him. Even while we played tennis her nose was in the air every time he spoke to her.

“Yeah.”

I don’t know what to say or if I even have the right to ask, but I do. “Did you guys hook up?”

Scorpius has the decency to look embarrassed. “No! No... Not quite.” He shakes his head. “Forget about it.”

There’s a madness going on in me. I want to know what happened between him and Dom! What did he do to make her not like him so much? My cousin makes it very adamant how she feels about Draco Malfoy’s son – every time his name is mentioned she makes puking noises for crying out loud.

“Tell me,” I push, making sure not to sound disappointed. I don’t even care if I come off as nosy. I just want to know.

He sighs. “Listen, I know she’s your cousin-“

“Spit it out.” I want to know just to know. Obviously. No other reason but to know.

Because Rose Weasley must know everything. Nothing else fueling this suspicion. I have no other feelings on the matter.

He narrows his eyes. “Look- I really don’t want to-“

“Why can’t you just say it? What’s the problem?” I’m getting annoyed. It’s so not fair for him to make me feel this way but I’m mad and I can’t decide why. I don’t want to know why I’m mad. I want to know what happened.

Scorpius Malfoy inhales, reclines his neck back, looks up to the heavens, turns to me, and then exhales. He moves in very slowly next to my face. “She was really plastered and she sort of just came on to me, okay?” He whispers calmly in my ear. I stare ahead, letting the bubbles in my stomach pop. “It was a bit embarrassing for her. I pushed her away and she didn’t take it lightly. In haste, she spilled her drink all over herself. I felt sorry about it but she wasn’t having it…wouldn’t even let me help her clean up.”

My eyes gaze down to his mouth but I don’t look at him. I moved my concentration up to the thin bandage across his nose. “It was her last year at Hogwarts, so it wasn’t like I was gonna see her again. Or, at least, that’s what I thought. I know she didn’t like me much before, but she sure as hell doesn’t like me now. She remembers that night.” His breath is warm against my neck. “And I’m sure she hasn’t warmed up to the idea of you and Albus hanging out with me, either.”

I’m baffled! I never thought- this makes sense.

Dominique… hit on… Scorpius?

“Wow,” I croak. Not only did Dom make a fool of herself, but she’s been passing judgment on Scorpius simply out of her own embarrassment. She’s not narcissistic much, but my cousin is part Veela – when her pride is wounded, she’ll make it known. I don’t doubt the truth of his story at all! It’s way too plausible and way too simple to not make sense.

This definitely is something she would do. And Scorpius, the nice guy that he is, even tried to help her out. How am I supposed to feel about this? Not that it has anything to do with me, but I wasn’t expecting this! I didn’t prepare myself for this bomb of information.  

And let’s just stick another axe into my face with the fact that Scorpius didn’t even want to tell me this. Because he knew it would make Dominique look bad. My mouth feels sour. He cares about how I see her.

Why do I keep pestering teenage boys to tell me things? I’m a pain in the arse.

“I had no idea,” I comment. “Yeah, she’s not your biggest fan, but I didn’t think it sprung from that.”

“It’s fine,” he says softly, leaning back into his seat. “I’m used to people disliking me.” He doesn’t mean to sound sad, but I hear it in his tone.

I… feel so bad. He just moved here for the summer and he probably doesn’t have anyone near him to do things with, besides his parents, who don’t even get along. The people at school probably judge him all the time and he has no control over it. This is one example, of MANY, probably, where he’s tried to do the right thing and he’s gotten scorched for it. Dominique has a lot of influence over us (especially the young ones). He didn’t mean to hurt Dominique but she doesn’t like him at all now. This situation happens a lot to many people, I’m sure. But it’s different when you’re a Malfoy. Even I know that. Once someone finds a reason to not like Scorpius, they keep it.

It’s just occurred to me that Albus and I are the only real source of fun he’s had since moving in next door. I never see other cars in his driveway. He’s alone most of the time. He’s an only child. And I’m sure that making his nose bleed has added some sprinkles to that crap sundae.

“I’m sorry.”

“For what?” He nudges my shoulder with his playfully.

I don’t know. What am I sorry for?

“People don’t treat you nicely,” I tell him truthfully.

We look at each other like we’ve been magnetized. I can see his Adam’s apple in the dark. “There are other people who make up for it.”

I bit my lip.

The previews are halfway done when Albus comes to join us. The three of us watch the film in silence. And when the night ends, we walk Scorpius up to his door. Albus leads the way up his front lawn, putting me between the two of them.

I feel his breath on my skin and it makes me jump.

“You still owe me,” he whispers.

 






Author's Note: I'm horrible for making you wait this long! Sadly, my life is coming together so I can't spend much time writing anymore. But I won't quit this or any story, ok? Have faith in me!

I have many plans for this fic ;) Lemme know what you think in a review! Thanks for reading!


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