Chapter 1 : Untouchable, Unreachable
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I snapped my attention to my best friend. He was eyeing me curiously. “What?” I said.
“You’re blanking out again, Scorp,” he said. “Are you staring at Rose Weasley?”
“Of course not. Don’t be thick, Bren.”
“You are.” Bren widened his dark brown eyes. He thought it made him look more innocent, but it didn’t. It just made him look more stupid.
“Why would I be staring at Rose Weasley?” I asked him.
“I dunno. You like her?” He laughed and I shifted uneasily. Bren always thought he was right about nearly everything.
It was funny how the one time he thought he was wrong he actually was right.
We were in Charms class right now and Professor Flitwick was eagerly teaching us about . . . what was he teaching us about? Bren always scolded me for not paying attention, but as I turned my attention to see that he was doodling on the corner of his textbook, I didn’t really think he had much room to speak.
The truth was, I had been watching Rose Weasley.
I was in love with her.
Okay, maybe you’re thinking that it was impossible for a sixteen year old boy like me to be in love with Rose Weasley, but it was true. I had memorized every aspect of her and I was positive I was in love with her.
How could you not love someone like Rose Weasley?
She was sitting by her cousin Albus Potter right now. They were laughing at something that Professor Flitwick said. It must be nice to have a cousin who was more than just a cousin. Unfortunately for me, the closest thing I had for a friend was Bren. And he was dead scared of my parents.
Not exactly someone you could have over for the summer or anything.
Professor Flitwick continued talking. Something about how we’re going to review next class period. Brilliant.
I turned my attention back to Rose Weasley and tried to be more inconspicuous this time. My lips parted slowly at the sight of her.
She was beautiful. Red hair flowed down her back in waves that some people might call frizzy but I called beautiful. Her wide brown eyes were big as they swept the room; they never touched on my face, not matter how much I wished they would. She leaned back, so casually and easily, and I found myself becoming enraptured once again by her. Her fingers curled around her quill and she gently tapped it against the parchment paper she had in front of her.
“You’re spacing off again,” Bren complained.
“Sorry,” I said.
I wasn’t sorry.
Bren frowned at me. “Are you staring at Rose Weasley again?”
“Of course not.”
“That’s what you said before.”
“So?” I turned my head so that Bren couldn’t see the heat forming in my cheeks.
“Why are you staring at her?” Bren asked.
I was glad that his voice couldn’t carry across the room to where Rose Weasley was sitting.
I finally decided to give up the charade of pretending not to be captivated by Rose Weasley. “She’s interesting.”
Bren snorted. “Rose Weasley?” he said. “Interesting? She rarely speaks!”
“She’s smart,” I countered, “and she’s pretty and nice.”
“She’s smart?” Bren wrinkled his nose. “She doesn’t talk much, does she?”
“Haven’t you seen her homework?”
“Erm, no. When did you?”
“I sat by her the other day.” I ran my hands though my bleached-looking hair and remembered the day; it nearly brought a smile to my face. I didn’t mean to sit her, but I was late, and her cousin Albus was sick in the hospital wing. That was the only seat left so it wasn’t really like I had a choice.
She hadn’t spoken to me at all. Just smiles and a few nods of acknowledgement here and there. I never got the courage to speak to her then, even though, looking back at it now, I should’ve. Maybe we would be sitting by each other today, too.
“Bet that made your day,” Bren muttered. He glanced at Rose Weasley and her cousin and made a face.
I shot him a look. “Anyway, I caught a glance of her homework and it was so . . . overdone’s not the word. Just . . . brilliant.”
“Okay. So she’s smart. Lots of girls in this class are smart.”
“Not like her. Hermione Weasley’s her mom, remember? She’s probably smarter than half the kids here. A genius.”
“Okay,” Bren said, holding his hands up. “Whatever you say, Scorp. You keep daydreaming about Rose Weasley and I’ll just go back to listening to Flitwick, okay?”
“You do that,” I said absentmindedly.
Bren rolled his eyes at me and picked up his quill to finish his drawing of . . . well, whatever he was drawing. So much for listening to Professor Flitwick.
I went back to staring at Rose Weasley.
She was so, so beautiful.
I saw her eyes flit around the room customarily. And, just for a split second, they were aimed in my direction. My heart stopped. But she didn’t stop to look at me; she never did.
Because she was a Weasley and I was a Malfoy. She was beautiful and happy and talented; I was cold and bitter and friendless. She was shy and sweet; I was confident, too confident, my mother often told me. She grew up with her family’s biases; I grew up with mine.
She was untouchable and I was unreachable.
But I loved her.
Every movement that she made I had memorized: The way she continuously tucked a wispy red strand of hair behind her ear and then it would fall into her eyes again. The way she would lean forward and backward in her chair, quietly restless, but still eager to listen and to learn. The way her lips would curve up into a gentle smile, how her shoulders would heave when she laughed. How that, in the few times she looked at me, her eyes shone with curiosity rather than hostility.
Oh, yes, I was in love with Rose Weasley and she would never know.
“You’re staring again, mate,” Bren whispered in my ear and I jerked out of my thoughts.
I gave him a look. “Can’t you let me think?”
“You’ve thought all class period,” he said. “One of us needs to pay attention in this class.”
“Then it’d better be you,” I said. I looked down at my fingers and imagined curling them around Rose Weasley’s hands, feeling her soft skin on mine.
“You’re hopeless, mate,” Bren said. He turned to look at Professor Flitwick but I saw his eyes wander off and soon he was daydreaming as much as I was.
I sighed. Bren was right: I was hopeless.
I didn’t know when I first started noticing Rose Weasley. Maybe it was in our first year when we first saw each other; we even exchanged a few polite words. Maybe it was in third year when I accidentally dumped dragon fertilizer on her robes. Maybe it was when she came to Hogwarts this year, cheeks flushed from excitement for the new year, hair in a beautiful mess, eyes wide and intelligent. She smiled at me on that first day. I remember my heart speeding up, my cheeks flushing, and turning away as soon as I could think a coherent thought. When I finally got the guys to look at her again (from far, far away), she was still smiling, like nothing at all had happened.
I bit my lip and tried to look at the text we were supposed to be reading. The words swam in my vision and were replaced by Rose Weasley’s face.
Would she ever get out of my head?
Rose Weasley wasn’t popular. People didn’t think she was pretty with her frizzy hair. They thought she sounded stupid with her voice that sometimes squeaked at the end. They thought she was dumb since she never talked in class. But no one ever said that out loud because then they’d be beaten up by all her cousins — cousins who were considerably more brawny than she was.
I knew better than that, though. I knew that she was incredibly smart and pretty and so kind. She was the epitome of kind, really. But no one cared enough to find that out. She was just that one quiet kid in a certain big family.
I wished I could tell her how I felt. It was impossible, though. Before I could even get close to her, I’d be ambushed by her cousins and they would hex me.
Believe me, it happened before. I tried explaining to them that I just had to do a school assignment with Lucy Weasley but the Weasley and Potter bunch weren’t really ones up for listening.
For more than the millionth time, I wished I wasn’t a Malfoy. That would make things so much easier. I could talk to Rose Weasley without being intimidated and maybe we could even become friends.
Or more than friends.
But she was Rose Weasley and I was Scorpius Malfoy. Untouchable and unreachable, the both of us.
While I was thinking, Professor Flitwick finished his lecture and soon all the students were packing up. I started and began throwing my things into my bag, just a bit too late. Bren was already gone. I tripped on my way out of the classroom and pitched forward. The floor rushed forward to meet me.
Someone grabbed my arm and in the sudden jolt, I looked up.
“Watch where you’re going, Malfoy,” Albus Potter said. His eyes narrowed at me.
“Yeah, fine,” I said, distracted. My eyes flew to Rose Weasley’s face; her lips were lifted in a soft, “Oh!” kind of expression. Then she shook her head, like to clear her mind, and smiled at me. I might’ve felt stunned at that but Rose Weasley smiled at everyone, even a Malfoy, so it really wasn’t that surprising. I still felt my heart beating loudly, though.
“What are you staring at, Malfoy?” Albus snapped. He cast a quick look at his cousin and then his eyes were back to looking at me, suspiciously so.
“Sorry,” I said, turning my attention away from Rose Weasley. Green eyes met mine and Albus scrunched up his nose. “I didn’t mean to trip, you know,” I told him pointedly. His eyes remained narrowed.
“Of course you didn’t,” Rose Weasley said, her voice smooth and free of any of its usual squeakiness. “C’mon, Al, let’s go. We’re going to be late for Transfiguration.”
I realized that I was still slightly bent over. Flushing, I straightened and looked up at Rose Weasley, almost defiantly. She continued to smile at me. What an infuriatingly oblivious girl.
She took Albus’s arm with one of hers and made her way past me. We were standing at the doorway and right before she would leave it, though, she reached back and very lightly touched my arm with her finger.
“Watch where you’re going, okay?” she said. “I wouldn’t want you to trip all over the place.”
On anyone else’s lips it might’ve sounded insulting, but on Rose Weasley’s you could really hear the genuine concern there. I stared dumbly at her. Albus’s eyes were wide now as they moved from his cousin to me and back again. I opened my mouth to say something.
. . . what was I going to say?
Rose Weasley’s smile widened and I saw her dimples. I wanted to reach out and touch her cheek, touch her hands, puts my lips on hers, but then she turned away and the last I saw of her was a frizz of red hair.
“Mr. Malfoy?” Professor Flitwick came to my side, holding his wand loosely by his side. “Are you all right?”
“Fine, Professor,” I replied, but my mind was going wild. I was still staring at the place where Rose Weasley and her cousin had disappeared. “I’ll just be getting out of here now.”
I left a very confused Professor Flitwick behind. I probably should’ve apologized for by rude disappearance and not paying attention to his class at all, but my mind was racing ahead of me.
Maybe Rose Weasley wasn’t so untouchable after all. Maybe she didn’t think of me as unreachable.
Maybe I really could love Rose Weasley.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading! I’d ask you to leave a review if you liked it but that’s said so much . . . oh, well, I’ll go ahead and say it: If you would be so kind, I would love a review from you! Thanks again.