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Chapter 4 : Conversations with Awkward Audiences
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It was Thursday and the end of Scorpius’ second week, apparently in New York they have weekday Aurors who work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and then a smaller group of Weekend Aurors who work Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and they alternate who works on Thursdays every other month.
Rose had lived up to her end of the bargain and dropped the attitude, admittedly there was a slight edge to her voice if she had to talk to him, but other than that she wasn’t being the brat that she was last week.
“Can you please explain to me the point of reading through your old partners settled cases?” Scorpius asked leaning forward in his chair, the backs to their desks were pushed together so that they were forced to face each other. Lifting his eyes he watched as Rose diligently worked on a file. Scorpius lowered his quill stretching his arms out in front of him, he had been in the same position all morning and he couldn’t lie he was starting to become quite restless.
Glancing up, Rose noticed the frustrated expression on his face; dipping her quill in the ink bottle she scribbled something into her own folder, without a response. Scorpius sighed “So you’re going to ignore me again.”
“No,” she said slowly, spinning the quill around in her hand “I just don’t have an answer for you, I don’t know why you are being forced to read Matt’s old case files.”
At least she said it politely that’s an improvement, Scorpius thought. “Well what are you working on?” he asked curious to what the large stack of parchment on her desk was for.
“It’s my summary of the case I just settled.” She answered curtly. Raising an eyebrow to her Rose could feel as his eyes bore into her with a curious expression. “Is there a problem?”
“You do know that a summary is only a summarization of the events, not a full fledge book?” he critiqued noting that she was on page fifty-three of the file.
Stopping her hand from writing she narrowed her eyes at him “If I wanted your opinion on how to write a summary I would have asked for it.” She may have been thorough but at the same time she had worked on that case for four months and six weeks of that time she spent undercover so it wasn’t as if she could just make it a short summary. Honestly she would have loved to cram all of that time into a quick ten pages and be done with it but it would have been irresponsible and unreliable if she were to ever need to refer back to this case.
Chuckling at her response Scorpius lowered his eyes again, closing the folder, he opened the file drawer in his desk to put it back. “Your friend Matt has the oddest filing system,” Scorpius commented as he tried to find the correct place to leave the folder.
“Umm yeah,” Rose said, the slightest bit of exhaustion creeping through her voice. “It’s backwards and organized numerically based on themes.”
Scorpius couldn’t help but stop his search and look Rose dead in the eye “What the hell is a theme?”
“You know was the case based on magical artifacts, murder, plot to take over the ministry… that sort of thing.”
“So if this case was about magic artifacts, a murder, and a potions lab which illegally distributed potions to muggles it would be classified as…” He asked.
Rose scrunched her nose not entirely sure where that would go. Standing up she walked around to Scorpius' side of the desk. Carefully handing the file to her Scorpius waited as she flicked though it examining Matt’s sloppy labeling. Crouching down she rifled through the expanded drawer and easily dropped the file into its correct location. “It was under misuse of magical creatures.”
“Seriously?” Scorpius asked giving a questioning look.
“There was a dragon involved.” She stated simply as if the answer should have been common sense.
“For ten minutes.” He argued still not seeing the connection.
Rose couldn’t help but give a slight chuckle, “Matt absolutely loves Dragons so if he comes across one in a case they take precedence.” Rose turned to look up at him almost banging her head against his knee, unaware that he had rolled slightly back in his chair and of how close they actually were to each other.
Focusing in on the file cabinet below she tried to ignore the closeness of their bodies “What’s the next files you need?”
Pulling out the parchment that Cornell had given him with the files he wanted Scorpius to brush up on he said “Henderson, Kently, and Warwick.” Pausing he said “Is that Alexander Warwick?”
“Yeah, the case was handed over to Matt and I when he fled to America.”
Scorpius gave a slight smile “I remember working on that case in London.”
Rose’s head shot up “Don’t tell me that you were the jerk who absolutely refused to hand over their files on Warwick.”
Scorpius crossed his arms and gave a bright smile “That was you that I kept arguing with?” he asked remembering that week two years ago when he argued back and forth anonymously with someone from the New York sector using ministry aided quills and parchment meant for quick transportation and identity security in case the letters were to intercepted.
“I swore to Matt that I knew who it was on the other end of those letters.” She let out a slight laugh “How come you wouldn’t send those stupid files?”
“Hey I had worked on that case from its existence I wasn’t about to hand it over to some American who hadn’t put the months of time and energy into it that I had.” Scorpius said defensively.
Rose could understand that, although at the same time she remembered how frustrated she had become because the more time someone went into hiding the harder it became to find them. “What finally made you give in?”
“The Howler calling me and arrogant bastard and that if I wanted to work on the case so damn bad to come and finish it myself.” He smirked.
The slightest hint of a blush appeared across Rose’s cheeks. “You have to understand that it was a time sensitive matter and you were being ridiculously stubborn.”
“I sent the files didn’t I.”
Rose bit her lip, waiting a moment before she asked “I always wondered why it was that you didn’t come and finish the case, you seemed so passionate in those letters and I gave you the opportunity?”
Scorpius stared off lost in his thoughts “Bryan and I were so close to doing it, we had already mapped out where we would start and how long it take for us to hunt Warwick down, but when it came down to it we both just had other priorities and neither of us were in a place to leave for over two months. It’s funny how growing up makes you think about your responsibilities.”
She was silent for a moment “Well it’s a bloody shame you didn’t come because you missed out on a brilliant catch.”
“Really?” Scorpius asked with a grin.
“Yeah, took twelve of us to raid him.” Rose nodded her head “And I’ll tell you that sister of his, Angelica Warwick, that woman can fight. I swear her teeth are as sharp as knives.”
“Wait she bit you?” Scorpius had a surprised look on his face.
Rose grinned pulling her hair aside to one shoulder revealing the back of her neck to Scorpius. Tentatively reaching out he tugged on the neck line of her shirt, causing Rose to close her eyes at the coolness of his fingers as they brushed against her skin sending goose bumps running down her arms. Seeing the faintest scar of the imprint of teeth on the base of her neck and shoulder Scorpius let his thumb gently trace along the discolored skin, his hand lingered on her warm body. Feeling her pulse as it pounded against his skin, matching his heart rate.
Forcing Rose’s body to quiver as she released a deep breath. Opening her eyes she said softly “I better get finished with that summary or else Cornel is going to have a fit.”
Not realizing that he had been holding his breath he inhaled slowly letting his hand falling as she let go of her hair so that it would fall back behind her neck. “Here are those files” she said quickly as she stood up from her crouched position.
“Thanks,” Scorpius said adjusting his tone.
“No problem,” she paused a moment by his desk “What are you doing tonight?” she asked timidly.
“Probably reading why?”
“Me and a couple of my friends were going to meet up for dinner would you like to join us.”
“You’re inviting me to dinner?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said smoothly “I figured that you have yet to actually go out besides for work and you might enjoy yourself, however if you want to stay shoved up in your apartment go right on ahead.” Turning around she walked back to her desk letting Scorpius ponder her offer.
After a few minutes of debating he said “I’ll go."
“So how are you adjusting to New York?” Carla asked politely taking a bite of her salad.
Rose looked to Scorpius who was sitting between her and Matt at the circular table “It’s defiantly an adjustment, but I like it so far.” She heard Scorpius say.
“That’s good,” Carla commented.
“So what’s the biggest difference so far from here and London?” Matt asked curious.
“I have never seen an Auror department with so much paperwork.” Scorpius grumbled.
Matt laughed “We are thorough,”
“Thorough?” Rose repeated raising an eyebrow to Matt “You should see what you get after you settle a case.”
Scorpius couldn’t help but feel that she might be exaggerating “How could it be worse than the files I was looking at earlier.” Remembering that those were about and two inches thick each.
Rose didn’t respond immediately, “Try double.”
Scorpius stared dumbfounded “Crickey, that would be thicker than our Hogwarts records.”
“Now don’t over exaggerate, our Hogwarts files weren’t that thick.” She stated quickly looking to Matt and Carla. “Besides most of the paperwork in the Auror department is basically signing your name a hundred times.” She tried changing the subject.
“We had two each.” Scorpius pushed not dropping the subject.
Reaching out for her glass of water Rose shook her head “That was because McGonagall had to micro manage everything.” Those files kept an extremely detailed profile of just about every incident that they had ever been involved in while at Hogwarts. When one read the file they would have thought that McGonagall was in the room with them, taking notes while they dueled it out. These incidents happened just about every other day for five years. Information which she didn’t really want to share.
“So you knew Rose when she was in school?” Matt asked taking more of an interest in the conversation.
Scorpius nearly choked on his water as he noticed the interrogating eye that Matt was giving him. “Matt I thought that we agreed that we weren’t going to talk about this?” Carla said reaching her hand out and giving Matt’s shoulder a squeeze.
“If the topic didn’t come up but they brought it up so…” he said in a matter of factly tone.
Carla looked at Rose in an I tried look, “Yes Matt,” Rose had a sharp tone to her voice as she focused her eyes on cutting the stake in front of her “We have known each other since we were eleven.”
Matt looked as if he was about to ask another question when Carla quickly asked “So Rose told me that you like to read…”
But she was interrupted “What was Rose like in school.”
“Matt seriously,” Rose said giving her friend a dark look.
“What I’m curious.” He said as if it was nothing, placing his eyes on Scorpius.
Scorpius gave Rose a curious look, not sure what he was supposed to say. “She had a bit of a temper,”
“Well that hasn’t changed,” Matt mumbled taking a swig of his beer.
Matt laughed “She can do a hell of a hex,” he commented.
“That’s for sure she ripped my bloody fingernails out in our third year.” Rose’s face went white her eyes wide, almost at a loss for words.
Matt looked at Rose with a shocked but impressed look. “Did you really?”
“Why would you do that?” Carla added.
“Because he was being a prat,” she quickly stated not revealing the fact that two days earlier he had just broken her nose. Eger to move away from the subject she said “I think we have had enough of this conversation.” Rose raised her hand avoiding Matt’s gaze as she scratched the back of her head right by where the scar was.
"Quit picking at that thing you’re going to make it open again.” Matt taking on a parental voice.
Matt noticed as Scorpius face went from relaxed to worry and concern in an instant as he leaned into Rose “Your scar opened?”
Rose gave a deep sigh as she looked to Scorpius “It was nothing really,” she lowered her hand.
“Rose,” Scorpius’ voice was serious.
“It really is none of your business.” she said giving the same serious tone.
Scorpius shook his head growing annoyed at the relaxed nature of her response “If it’s anyone’s business it’s mine.”
“It’s fine Scorpius,” Her voice was sturdy “I swear,” she gave a warning look to him to not continue to push the subject.
Scorpius pulled his eyes away from Rose as he stared at the plate of food in front of him.
“How is it his business and not mine.” Matt asked coming to the realization that Rose wasn’t hiding a little bit about her past but all of it and that Scorpius Malfoy played a bigger role than she let on.
Both Rose and Scorpius remained silent neither one of them looking Matt in the eye. “Because,” Scorpius started.
“Scorpius,” Rose not even attempting to hold back the dark warning tone of her voice.
Lifting his eyes up to hers with a hard glare he finished “Because I’m the one who gave it to her.” He paused before he added “I gave her all of her injuries.”
Matt’s voice became stern and emotionless as he said “What’s he talking about Rose?” When neither one of them respond he clarified his voice slightly more aggressive “What injuries is he talking about Rose?”
“Twelve broken fingers, fourteen broken toes, seven broken noses, six broken ankles, one broken leg, nine broken wrist and seven broken ribs.” Scorpius said softly still looking to the table the look of guilt hammered on his face.
Rose took a deep breath as she looked at the hurt look in Matt’s eyes “So much for telling each other everything.” He stated slowly getting up from his seat and walking out the door. Carla following after him to try and calm him down.
Rose stared at the table a moment longer before she turned to Scorpius “Tell me something, is this what it’s going to be like? I try to be polite and you shove it back in my face? Did I ever come to your office and share all your bad history?” She didn’t wait for a response “Was I not respectful enough to take the back way to visit my father so that you wouldn’t have to see me?” There was a glazed look in her eyes as she looked at him.
“How am I supposed to know what I should and should not talk about, because to me it seems like you haven’t told them anything.” He countered.
“Your right I haven’t” she shot back “But that doesn’t mean you get the right to tell them.”
“It’s my history too,” He stated.
“Yes but it’s my life, this is my job, with my friends.” It was the first time Scorpius had seen Rose demonstrate any form of emotion besides rage since he had been in New York. “That is my roommate, and my partner both of which who I am going to have to be around when you leave. It isn’t some joke.”
“You can’t run from your past Rose.”
“Obviously not or else you wouldn’t be sitting here.” Laying her napkin on the table to excuse herself she added “And if you’re wondering why I don’t tell anyone about our fights it’s not because I am trying to run from my past it’s because I don’t like to give people a reason to want to hate you before they’ve properly met you and see that you are not that person.” Shaking her head “And I would have hoped that you would have shown the same decency for me in London.”
Scorpius looked down at his hands as Rose walked out of the restaurant calling after Matt.
“You shouldn’t have pushed it Matt,” Carla had her arms crossed as she gave Matt an angry look, they were standing about ten feet away from the restaurant exit.
“She has been lying to us for years Carla, how does that not bother you?” He countered, not entirely sure if he was angry or upset about the sudden revelations.
Carla took a deep breath, filling her lungs with the warm June air. “It does bother me but...” she fell silent “It’s Rose,”
Matt shook his head “I know and that’s what makes this so damn hard. That is the one person I am supposed to be able to trust my life with,” he pointed his finger towards the restaurant. “And right now I don’t even know who she is. I mean for Merlin’s sake is she even British.” Looking down to the sidewalk he cursed.
“That’s a bit of an extreme.” Carla stated sarcastically.
“Well we wouldn’t know that would we.” His teeth were gritted together, looking up to meet Carla’s eyes he softened his voice “She lead us on like fools, making us believe that she was some shy bookworm who kept to herself in school.” Matt paused to think about his next words “Does that not hurt you?” he whispered
“I’m sorry if I hurt you.” Rose said coming up behind them, pulling Matt and Carla from their conversation.
Matt could hardly look at Rose’s face as she spoke. “But you have to understand that there are a lot of things about my school years that I am not proud of and hating Scorpius Malfoy is one of those things.”
“It seems like he did more damage to you than you did to him.”
Rose shook her head no “Believe me everything he did to me I deserved because chances are I did something equally as horrid to him.” Giving Matt and Carla a sincere look she continued “I had that school in the palm of my hand until I was seventeen. I played the role of the perfect daughter, the perfect student, the perfect friend, and even the perfect victim to perfection. I manipulated people for years and the only person that ever saw right through me from day one was Scorpius and I despised him for it.”
Taking a slow breath she felt the adrenalin pulse through her vains. “We hated each other for years. We were ruthless we would go out of our ways to hunt each other down just so we could duel.” Carla noticed as Rose’s eyes changed to a look of sympathy. “And we dueled every day for years, to the point that our headmistress wanted to expel us. We would beat each other to a bloody pulp and we were proud of it. It was like a game to us and what was worse is that we got some sort of twisted kick out of it.” A look of disgust now plagued her face as she finished.
The air around them was thick and silent, she waited for Matt and Carla to respond only they didn’t, both of them having shocked and horrified expressions. Rose looked down to the ground her face as if it was cast in stone. “I never meant to fool you. This is a part of my past that I don’t share with anybody. I was mean and I hate who I was then.” She looked at them with pleading eyes “Please believe me when I say that I am not the same person I was back then.” She paused before adding “And neither is he.”
Matt’s tone was still hard “So you don’t hate him anymore?”
“Not even close,” Rose responded quickly.
“Why is that?” Matt wanted answers and he wanted them now.
“I’m not getting into that,” she whispered.
“ROSE!” He yelled becoming agitated.
“I’m not getting into that Matt.” Her voice was coursed with venom. “The point is that we have moved past our differences.”
Matt uncrossed his arms not dropping the stony glare “Whatever Rose,” he said turning his back to her.
“Matt,” she called after him but he didn’t listen “Matt where are you going,” she tried again.
“To my apartment, I do happen to pay to live there.” He shot back to her.
Rose watched as he stormed off. Carla gave Rose a half smile “I love him and all but sometimes he can be such a jerk.”
Rose gave a slight nod. “Yeah but this time he has the right to be upset.” She said still trying to process what had happened.
A/N: So I hope you like it. Do you think Matt is in the right with his reaction? Also overall how was the chapter I had some difficulty writing parts of it so I hope it wasn’t that noticeable. Thank you for reading and Please Review.
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