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Chapter 5 : Bingo
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“Not sure, depends on what I can find in my stash.”
“You have a stash?”
He shot me a disbelieving look, “Does it look like I have a stash?”
“If you’re talking about a ‘stache, no,” I told him, gesturing to my upper lip. “But as for a stash of dungbombs, I wouldn’t put it past you.”
“Red, you’re brilliant!”
“Dungbombs!” He looked thrilled. “We’ll just slide them through the door and run!”
Oh Merlin. This was starting to sound familiar. “How many times have we done this now?”
“Pranked Al on the train.”
“I dunno, probably six. But it’s about to be seven!” He ever so slightly slid the compartment door open to allow a small crack between the door and the frame. From his pocket he produced one of Uncle George’s dungbomb grenades and pulled the pin. He tossed it into the room where it rolled across the floor and landed under Albus’ feet. The noise seemed to break his concentration, and he looked around for the source. Not finding anything, he returned to his task at hand.
I lay flat on the ground with my forehead to the doorframe trying to see the action with one eye. Scorpius knelt next to me and peered through the crack above my head.
“3… 2… 1… bingo!” he announced.
Right on cue, a foul odor wafted our direction. Across the compartment, Lauren’s nose twitched, but she didn’t comment. After a few more moments, she apparently couldn’t take it anymore and jumped up. “For Merlin’s sake, Al! You’re disgusting!”
He looked horrified. She made to leave the compartment, but he grabbed her by the arm. “Lauren! I didn’t do it! Someone must have set off a dungbomb in another compartment! Wait…”
Before he could realize who would be the prime culprit for pranking, Scorpius jumped up and grabbed my arm. “Right, Red, show’s over, let’s go!”
Talk about Deja vu! We sprinted down the length of the train car and passed through two more before we reached our compartment. Since we had the compartment to ourselves, I flopped face-first onto the long bench seat. I laid there for a moment, trying to catch my breath. I turned my head to face the other seat and saw Scorpius lying on his back. He caught me looking and grinned. “Well done, partner.”
I rolled my eyes at this. “You’d think after all this time I’ve been your sidekick, I’d at least get a cool superhero name out of the deal. But no, I’m stuck with ‘Red’ for the rest of my life…”
“Nope, you’re my ‘Red’ and that’s that.”
I blushed and turned my head to stare at the ceiling, hoping he hadn’t seen. His Red? That was odd. But I had to admit, I kind of liked the sound of that…
NO. Scorpius was my best friend. If I didn’t already have enough of them, I’d say he was like a cousin to me. There’s no way I should be feeling anything like that towards him. Absolutely not.
Fortunately, Maya chose that moment to pop in. “Rose! Wake up, sleepyhead! I brought biscuits!”
I snapped upright. “Brilliant! What kind?”
“Chocolate! But why is your face so red?”
Of course this just made me blush again, remembering. Merlin’s pants! Why did I have to be so pale?
“Um… just feeling a little warm is all. Don’t you think it’s warm in here?”
She eyed me and frowned. “Alright then, why don’t we just step outside for a bit. Excuse us a moment, would you, Scorpius?” she asked, hauling me into the hall by my arm.
When she was sure no one was around, she practically exploded. “Rose!!! What is going on?!? First I see you two all wrapped up in each other, and now you’re alone in a compartment with him and blushing!”
I held up my hands to stop her. “Whoa there, Maya. Back this broom up. There’s nothing going on! You know how easily my face changes colors!”
She crossed her arms and gave me a hard look. “But that doesn’t explain seeing you two earlier.”
“Fine, I was upset and he was trying to make me feel better. That’s all, I swear,” I sighed. It was the truth, but I could feel my cheeks heating up again.
Unfortunately, Maya noticed. “Rose!! You fancy him, don’t you!” she shrieked.
“Shhh!!!” What if he heard that? “No! My mum made me cry and he noticed and wanted me to feel better so I could go pranking with him! If I do fancy someone, you’d be the first I’d tell.”
She looked mollified at this. “Alright then. Now let’s go have those biscuits, I’m famished.”
A few hours and an entire box of biscuits later, the castle came into view. No matter how many times I came here, I was always amazed at the sight of the enormous castle rising over the tops of the pines. The surrounding mountains made it even more magnificent. As we slowly came to a halt, I thought back to my first trip on the Hogwarts express. Somehow that feeling of starting a new adventure never went away.
“Wonder how many new Griffies we’ll get this year?” Scorpius pondered aloud to no one in particular.
“Mhm,” I acknowledged, still staring out the window.
I’m not sure how long we sat there, lost in our respective daydreams, before Maya snapped us out of it.
“Come on… Let’s go! Don’t just sit there like bums! Let’s get up to the castle!”
I shook my head, clearing my thoughts. Standing up, I straightened my robe and followed Maya down the hall. As we reached the platform, a horde of first-years passed by. They moved almost as one being, like a school of fish. I put a hand to my mouth to stifle a laugh at the mental image this conjured when Scorpius leaned over to whisper in my ear, “So which ones should we take on as apprentices?”
I elbowed him in the side. “You’re nuts.”
He tried to look offended at this. “What!? You don’t think we need to pass on our superior skills? Now the next generation will never know the genius of 'Scorpius and Red'.” At this he gestured wildly around us.
“'Red and Blondie',” I corrected, laughing. “And no, I think we’ve done enough damage, we don’t need anyone else to finish the job!”
The three of us meandered our way up to the castle. When we reached the Great Hall, we wove our way through more students from various houses greeting each other. Hugo and Louis were already there waiting for us.
“Merlin, Rose, what took you so long? We’ve been here ages!”
“Lovely to see you too, Hugo. What did you two do, run all the way here?”
“Obviously you didn’t!” he said with a laugh. “By the way, Al is looking for you two.”
Scorpius grinned. “Fantastic. This’ll be good. Now where are all those first years? Let’s get this over with, I’m starved”
Maya scowled at him. “You just ate half my biscuits and you’re still hungry?”
Just then Albus appeared behind Maya. “Who has biscuits?”
“For Merlin’s sake! If you two eat any more biscuits you won’t be able to fly anymore! THEN who will help me win the Quidditch Cup?” Boys. They were exasperating sometimes.
“Oh, and Scorpius?” Albus added, “You wouldn’t know anything about a dungbomb incident on the train, would you?”
Scorpius gave his most innocent look. “‘Course not, Al, you know I wouldn’t do that to you!”
“You’re full of hippogriff crap, mate,” Al scolded, “And you ruined my chance at a date to boot!”
I pinched his cheek. “Awww… little Albus has a crush! And on Lauren of all people! Malfoy, did you see this coming?”
Al glared at me, but before he could retort, Scorpius jumped in. “She didn’t pass the dungbomb test! Therefore, I declare her unsuitable girlfriend material!”
Turning his frustration to Scorpius, Al retorted, “The dungbomb test? What the hell are you on about now?”
Scorpius sighed dramatically. “Obviously… if she passes the dungbomb test, she’s perfect for you because she won’t notice when you smell like the wrong end of a dragon after quidditch practice.”
Al slumped onto the bench and lay across the table, narrowly missing the place-settings that had been laid out. “Of all the wizarding families, why did I get stuck with this one?” he lamented into the table.
“I’m not actually related to you, mate,” Scorpius reminded him, tapping him on the shoulder. “You just wish you could claim to be related to me for all this!” He gestured widely to himself.
He was, in fact, fairly good-looking, with a muscular torso and arms from the hours of quidditch we played. Most of the girls in our year (and a few others) had fancied him at one point in time or another. But telling him that would only further inflate his already-oversized ego.
“I think you just wanted to be closer to the wonderful world of red-heads,” I countered, flipping my hair over one shoulder.
Maya threw her hands up in the air. “You’re all ridiculous!” she declared, exasperated, and stomped off to join the rest of the Ravenclaws.
Just then, McGonagall’s voice came over the crowd. “Please be seated! Second through Seventh-years, please join your houses at their respective tables. First-years, up here in front! That’s right, all the way across,” she instructed, motioning to the terrified-looking first-year at the front of the line. As soon as they were seated, one of the professors brought out the Sorting Hat and placed it on its stool.
As it sang its song, I wasn’t particularly listening, until I had the startling realization that this would be the last sorting ceremony I had to sit through. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Merlin, this whole year wouldn’t be that way, would it? I needed to figure out my life in a big way. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel like moping every time we did something.
The Sorting Hat finished the song, and McGonagall began calling students up to be sorted. This year, Lucy was the only member of the Weasley family to begin at Hogwarts. When her name was finally called, she was predictably sorted into Hufflepuff, just like Molly. From our seats, we could see her run across the room to give her sister a hug. I leaned over to Scorpius and whispered, “The first-years are always so cute!”
“Were you the exception?” he teased, and was rewarded with a sharp elbow to the ribs.
Apparently, the Sorting Ceremony had ended. Someone must have taken the Sorting Hat back to wherever it was kept, because Headmistress McGonagall was addressing us again. “Thank you all for your attention. Enjoy the feast, and I wish you all another wonderful year at Hogwarts!”
As soon as she finished speaking, platters of roast beef and bowls of mashed potatoes appeared on the tables in front of us, followed by platters of fruit and biscuits and pitchers of pumpkin juice. I laughed, remembering the picture of the day we charmed the pumpkin juice. I slid onto the bench next to Al with Hugo on my other side. Scorpius situated himself opposite me, and must have noticed my smirk.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” he asked with a grin.
“Probably,” I laughed, “I’m just wondering if I can trust the juice.”
“That may have been one of our finest moments.”
I raised my eyebrows. “You certainly have an interesting definition of a ‘fine moment’. Though you did get off easy… Uncle Neville made me clean all three greenhouses over the summer!”
“Oh, don’t try to fool me; I know you were proud of yourself for getting that charm right,” he retorted. He raised his glass for a toast. “Cheers, Red. For one last glorious year of pranks gone wonky.”
Something always went wonky when he was around. Glorious or not, this year would certainly be interesting. I laughed again, but clinked my glass with his anyway. “Cheers!”
A/N: Thanks for reading! Please review! I would love to hear what you think :) It's very helpful! Also, for those who are interested, I've started a prequel (detailing Rose and Scorpius' first year), and the first chapter is already up! It's called On the Way to Wonderful. You should check it out! I'll hopefully have more up soon for both of these!
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