Chapter 10 : Rare Sympathy
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Did I say that I want to
Leave it all behind?
I can't take my mind off you
~The Blower's Daughter - Damien Rice
"So, how are we going to do this?" Malfoy whispers as we stand partially hidden behind a statue.
I frown. "Erm, at breakfast? Standing on top of the table?"
"Oh, very good," he nods. "I think we should say-"
Lily pokes her head around the statue suddenly. We both jump slightly.
"Hey, sport," she says cheerfully. "What are you two doing together not tearing each other apart?"
"Plotting revenge," I say. "Leave us to it."
"Generally, you don't plot with the person you're plotting against," she says doubtfully.
Malfoy rolls his eyes at her. "Please. We know that. We're experts at revenge."
Lily stares at me. "You do realize you're plotting revenge with your enemy, right?"
"No shit, Sherlock," I say sarcastically.
"Who's Sherlock?" asks Malfoy. "Is he a friend of yours or something?"
"No, Sherlock is this Muggle detective that-" Lily begins. Then she stops and shakes her head. "Why am I bothering? Never mind. Let's go to breakfast."
"We'll just have to wing it," I tell Malfoy as Lily pulls me off. He follows, nodding.
Lily eyes us. "You two need to stop making plans. You have no idea how nervous you're making me."
Dom and Josh are sitting with us, acting strange. I suppose, knowing what I know, the behavior isn't all that strange; it is pretty reasonable for the situation.
Scorpius is ignoring Dom, which is making her extremely edgy. At one point she takes his hand. "What's wrong, Scorpius? Do you have something you need to tell me?"
"Yes, I do," he says to her, then raises his voice. "Yes, I do."
He steps on to the table. I recognize my cue, and turn to Josh. "I have something to say to you as well."
Then I step on the table so Malfoy and I are back to back. He points his wand up, and conjures in gold letters the words IT'S OVER.
Dom gasps, shocked. This would be the first time she's been dumped instead of the other way around.
I do the same for Josh, only I can't help adding a couple words. It was really an irresistible temptation.
My message now reads IT'S OVER, YOU TWAT.
To add to that, mine is in gold ribbon. When the message breaks apart, the ribbons fly down of their own accord and tie Josh up, pulling forward so his face lands in his breakfast.
I feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction as I step of the table and walk towards the exit. Malfoy meets me in front of the doorway, and we turn and bow to the shocked hall of students before walking out.
"That was bloody excellent," Malfoy grins.
"It was," I agree, also grinning.
"Good work," he says almost pleasantly, then abruptly changes his tone. "This doesn't mean anything though Weasley. I'm going right back to hating you."
"You stopped?" I ask, arching an eyebrow.
"I considered stopping," he admits. "But it's just too much fun."
With that, he pokes me and runs off, laughing as I chase after him.
"Rose?" Dom asks, stepping timidly into the bathroom as I wash my hands at the sink.
I'm not annoyed with her, so I turn and smile. "Hi."
"Y-you're not mad?" she asks, surprised.
"Not at you."
"But why not? I'd be angry with me," she says ashamedly.
I shrug. I don't really know why I'm angry with Josh and not her.
She sighs. "Well, I just wanted to let you know I didn't mean to hurt your feelings by kissing him. And I didn't mean to meet him last night, he was looking for you, I was looking for Scorpius, we couldn't find the two of you, the we saw Mrs. Norris, so we hid in the broom closet, and then-"
She's starting to go into hysterics, so I walk over and hug her. "It's alright, Dom, I told you I'm not angry with you. After all I'm not surprised you cheated on Malfoy, I'm angry with Josh because he thought he could cheat on ME and get away with it."
She laughs shakily. "Pretty stupid of him, wasn't it?"
"Hi, Red!" James yells down the table at me. Every single Weasley in the hall along with Lily turns to look at him.
"Hi to all the reds!" he exclaims. "But I need to talk to Rose."
Muttering and rolling their eyes, they all turn away.
"What do you want?" I sigh, because knowing James it will be completely pointless.
"I need your help in getting Ella to fancy me again," he whispers in my ear.
"No," I frown.
I roll my eyes. "People should say no to you more often."
"Because you were a complete arse to her at Hogsmeade," I tell him patiently.
He sighs. "Yes Rose, but I said I was sorry!"
I raise an eyebrow. "If Voldemort said he was sorry, would that make up for his crimes?"
"I didn't kill anyone, Rosie!"
"I know, James," I say, exasperated. "It was an expression."
"You're no help," he scoffs. "I'll go ask Fred."
I look pointedly down the table at Fred, who appears to be trying to find out how many spoons he can hang off his face. James huffs and stomps off.
I walk towards Defense, Malfoy and Al ahead of me. I'm not really paying attention to what's going on around me, so I get a real shock when someone hits me with a Jelly Legs Jinx from behind and I fold over onto the floor.
"Alright," I snarl, attempting to push the feeling off my legs. "Who's the arsehole who did that?"
I look at Malfoy automatically, but he sniggers and points behind me. I turn my head to see Josh.
"What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?" I demand angrily. My anger gives me strength to resist the spell and I stand up.
"I meant to hit Malfoy," he says.
I snort. "Yeah, right. I don't trust you. Once a cheater, always a cheater."
Anger flashes in his eyes. "That's your own fault."
"Excuse me?" I cannot believe this boy! "How is it my fault you cheated on me?"
"You wouldn't put out," he says loudly, and there are giggles from the watching students.
I gasp. "So because I had self-respect, you went and cheated on me?!"
"Not self respect," he smirks. "You're just a prude."
I'm so angry I see red. So I send my little friends the evil canaries at him. The students around let out a collective ooooooh.
"Merlin!" he screeches as one of them dives at his eyes. "Get these little bastards off me!"
He attempts to get away from them, pushing past me. Malfoy conjures a rope, and levitates it to trip Josh when he passes.
Josh says a very bold word before falling flat on his face. He pulls himself up and begins running again.
Suddenly, the students stop laughing and drift off. I turn to see why, and I notice Professor Abbott-Longbottom walking towards us, her lips pressed in a hard line. Oh, bollocks.
"Ms. Weasley and Mr. Malfoy! Detention tomorrow at eight, for fighting in the halls!"
"But, Aunt Hannah," I begin.
"That's Professor," she corrects.
"I wasn't really part of it," Malfoy objects.
"Yet you also cast magic, did you not?" she asks, raising her eyebrows. "So you too will have detention."
She walks off.
At the same time we both yell, "Bollocks!"
I called Al over to the Gryffindor table. Unfortunately, he invites his ferret friend. They insist the food tastes better over here. James is having what appears to be a very serious conversation with Fred, casting furtive glances in Ella's direction.
Hugo has the Spandex Wonder beside him once more. They're sipping clear green liquid that looks slightly suspicious. I see Lorcan and Lysander go up to him and deposit two Sickles each in his hand. Hmm, this is unexpected. I thought the only pupil he would get for his yoga class would be the Spandex Wonder beside him.
"That's Ava," Lily tells me, seeing me looking at the girl. "She's in my dorm and nutters about Hugo."
"About time," I mutter.
"I know," Lily agrees. "I was starting to think he was gay."
"Higgins?" asks Malfoy suddenly. Lily frowns at him.
"No. Merlin. Get over it. That's old news now."
"Well, sor-ry," he mutters, holding up his hands.
I'm lounging in my favorite armchair, talking to James. He approves of my breaking up with Josh.
"He was a prick," James nods for the twentieth time.
I roll my eyes. "You liked him before he asked me out."
"Exactly," agrees James. "But I have to say, you are much easier to protect than most of our other female relatives."
"What do you mean?" I ask, confused.
"Well, you never were one to date or snog, really," he shrugs.
"You mean I'm a prude?" I ask, hurt.
"Well, no, since you're my cousin, I don't."
I stare at him. "But if I wasn't, you'd think I was? A prude?"
Fred plonks himself down on a nearby chair. I ignore him.
"No," says James, casting about for something to add. "I mean, erm... You're just responsible."
"Responsible?" I demand.
"Like Molly!" he adds.
"You think I'm like MOLLY?"
Fred sniggers. "Hey, James, when you're in the hole, stop digging!"
I get up and walk out of the portrait hole. I can't believe this. Even my cousins think I'm prudish.
I wander aimlessly as usual, thinking. Am I really that uptight? Am I really such a bore? Maybe I should get drunk at their next party and do a striptease on the table like the stupid slags they like that aren't so prudish and uptight and boring! My cheeks flame in a mix of anger and embarrassment.
I walk around a corner and promptly trip over someone's legs, outstretched on the ground. I right myself, turning to them. "Oi, watch the legs, will you?"
Malfoy scowls at me, then turns his face away quickly. But I notice something sparkling on his cheek. "Malfoy?"
"Go away, Weasley," he says, still not looking at me.
"Malfoy, are you crying?"
"What's it to you?" he growls, finally looking up.
I have never seen this side of him. His eyes soft and vulnerable and red-rimmed instead of steeled and arrogant. His nose red. A tear track on his cheek.
I can't fight with him right now. In fact I'm getting a ridiculous urge to comfort him. I tentatively sit beside him. "Malfoy, you're not crying because...you broke up with Dom, right? Or because she cheated on you?"
He scoffs. "Don't be ridiculous."
"Then what is it?"
"My- my mother," he whispers, looking down.
"What about her?" I ask.
"She has..." He swallows convulsively, crumpling a parchment in his hand. "She has Spelltropy."
I suck in a breath, shocked. Spelltropy is one of the most dangerous magical diseases ever. It is carried by magic, and spread through the use of magic on others. The survival rate is only around one in eighty.
I put my hand awkwardly on his shoulder. This is different - every other time one of has touched the other, it was with the intent of hurting or annoying them. I clear my throat. "I'm so sorry. How is your dad taking it?"
"He's in quarantine - they think he might be a carrier," Malfoy says quietly. "All they'll tell me about him is that he's in no state to write me a letter."
His shoulder tenses further under my hand.
"What stage is she in?" I ask.
"They didn't say," he shrugs miserably, trying to blink back another tear. "Probably stage two, as she mentioned in a letter last week that she had a cold."
Spelltropy progresses in stages. It has an incubation period of around a month where it lies dormant. Stage one is symptoms of a cold or flu, such as a stuffy head, sneezes, coughs, ad headaches. Stage two is severe magical venting - any magic in the person is expelled through the pores violently. Any magic used on the person to attempt healing at this point simply strengthens the disease. Stage three is slow organ failure. There is no stage four.
"They won't even let me visit her," he sighs.
I squeeze his shoulder and then release it. "Well, you know you have a place to stay at the Burrow for holidays." It sounds feeble, but is all I know to say.
He laughs with no humour. "Normally you're the one grumbling about how I'm there every year."
"I know," I shrug. "But I can't antagonize you right now."
One side of his mouth quirks up. "I should cry more often."
"But then I wouldn't antagonize you at all," I point out.
"True," he admits. "I might actually miss that."
He's calmer now, so I shift away slightly and get up. "I'm, uh, going to go to my dorm now. Bye."
He smiles at me - an honest, sincere, even sweet smile, not a smirk to annoy me or a grin at a prank we've played. "Thanks for distracting me Weasley. You are good for something after all."
"Hmmm?" I say absently, staring at his smile still. "Oh. Erm. No problem."
I wander back up to my dorm, sort of muddled.
Malfoy smiled at me. Malfoy smiled at me. Malfoy smiled at me. Malfoy smiled at me.
Nope. It sounds strange whichever way I put it. It kind of feels strange in my chest, too.
I enter the dorm room and I start to climb into my bed. Wait. Why is it warm...and...is that a foot?
My scream is echoed by the person in my bed and several girls around the room as they wake up. Someone lights their wand and I see Lily looking up at me in terror. Her expression changes to very irritated as she sees it's me. "Rose! What in the name of Merlin are you doing?"
"I could ask you the same thing!" I shout. "Why are you in my bed?"
I look around. "Roxanne! Rox, why are you in here?"
"This is my dorm room," she answers confusedly. "Why are you in here?"
I look around. It dawns on me that all these annoyed girls are fourth years. "Er. Well. There is actually a really funny reason I'm doing this. Yeah, really funny. And I'm, well, I'm going to tell you now. You see-"
But I can't finish my explanation, because I'm hit with six pillows at the same time, and screeches of "OUT!"
"Fine, fine!" I mutter, blushing furiously as I retreat and sprint up to my own dorm. I check the plaque by the door to make sure this time before walking in.
So I don't like lying. Which is why I'll admit this in my head: Malfoy looked... good... with a smile.
But I'm never saying that out loud. Never ever.
So I really should be studying for chemistry right now, but I just couldn't resist. I hope you liked the chapter!!! i wrote it while writing an essay on Romeo and Juliet, so if you find random Shakespearean language ignore it (I'm such a sot!) Oh, the chapter where Josh lays down several conditions for Rose to follow will be written from Scorp's POV again as an outtake, due to a request from Stromsten. And btw, we've reached 2000 views!!!! *happydance*
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