Chapter 10 : How to Keep a Secret
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It's been a month since the detention with Al, and things have gone back to quasi-normal. As in, we can joke around with each other and talk like the old chums we are.
But I can't help feeling like we've been walking around on eggshells. Between the dirty looks from Ashley and the awkward moments with Louis Weasley, we're on the border of something explosive.
I've been trying to explain this to Scorpius, who retorts that it's "just the sexual tension", then laughs as I glare at him.
"But seriously, Taylor. Have you even considered that maybe the reason you two are acting like this is because there's something deeper?"
I stared straight at him. "Honestly, yes. But that's not what I want."
"It's not?" He asked.
"No. I don't want complications. I want my best friend back. Nothing more, nothing less."
He nods. "So, basically, you're telling me that you're in love with Al, but you appreciate his friendship too much to let him know the truth."
"Yes. But you make it sound very selfish. And maybe it is. Because I know that he would turn me down and then we wouldn't even be friends. So there. It's all out on the table now." I say, laying my hands down on the table between us, where our Transfiguration homework lies unnoticed. "Plus, what about you and Rose?"
"She hates my guts." He says.
"Scorp, you're Scorpius Freakin' Malfoy. You're the biggest romantic ninny I know. Just pull some huge romantic gesture and confess your love for her. She already secretly is in love with you. Just go for it." I roll my eyes.
"She is?" His face brightened.
"Yes! It's so obvious!"
"Her face lights up whenever someone mentions your name, arguing with you makes her oddly happy, and for some strange reason, she turns bright red whenever someone utters the word 'scrumdiddilyumptious' which I know is YOUR favorite word." I say, listing off facts that I have accumulated over the past month or so.
He looks smug. "Well, my plan has been working."
"My two-year plan to win Rose of course." He winks. "It's finally working then."
"You've had a plan to win her over for the past two years?" I ask, incredulously. "And you didn't mention this why?"
"You were part of it." He winks again. "Thanks in advance. Now, I'm tired of talking about feelings. Let's go blow something up. I'll get Tanner."
I just sit there, open-mouthed, amazed. That is, until he comes back with Tanner and drags me to the third floor bathrooms.
Sometimes I just don't know what to think about Scorpius Malfoy.
"Why again are we here?" I ask, sighing.
"To blow up toilets."
"There is no why. Only we." Tanner says, grinning.
"That's really wise, but I still think this is gross."
"Oh, live a little, Tay-Tay."
"Shut up Scorpius." I snap. "Now, hand me the red wire."
I was situated underneath the piping that led to the third floor corridors loo. On the other side of this thin wall were a row of pristine, porceclain toilets. Well, not pristine, but you get the idea. I was unofficially head of the operation of loading the pipes with enough of WWW's explosives so that when someone tried to flush, KA-BOOM.
Something dripped on my forehead and I grimaced. "Why couldn't we make desks explode instead? Why toilets?"
"Ooh! Good idea! Tanner, add 'explode desks' to our bucket list!" Scorp says excitedly.
"We don't have a bucklet list, Scor." Tanner says, handing me the next set of wires.
"Ok, add that to our bucket list then."
I roll my eyes. "Ok, I'm ready for the big stuff."
"Tell me again how you know how to create a chain reaction in a set of pipes." Tanner remarks curiously.
"I've been fixing engines since I was five with my dad. I can create a fuse with a copper ring, some oil, and a flashlight." I state.
Tanner whistles. "Taylor Ackhart, ladies and gents. Exploding things since 2011."
"What's a flashlight?" Scorp asks.
"It's like a muggle 'lumos' stick, but it's eclectic." Tanner explains.
"You mean electric?"
Scorp nods. "Oh, gotcha."
I insert the explosive fireworks into the correct pipes and scoot out from underneath the panel of plumbing.
"Allright. This one's gonna be a doozy." I state, wiping my hands off on a spare rag.
"That's what I like to hear, my young protege." Tanner claps me on the back. Hard, I might add.
"Yeah, don't call me that. If anything, I should be teaching you." I retort.
"And who taught you how to be mischevious?" He asks, raising an eyebrow.
"That's for me to know and you to secretly pine and whine for the rest of your straight-laced life."
"Hey! I will never be straight-laced!" He exclaims, indignant.
"Just you wait. I predict that you're going to get tied down within the next five years." I say, scoffing, as we exit from the secret maintenance closet.
"I'll take that bet!" Tanner says. "That in five years, I'll still be making my mischevious way down trouble avenue."
"Forty galleons that's false." I say, placing my hands on my hips.
"Deal." He says, and we shake on it.
"A Gentlemen's agreement!" Scorp proclaims.
I roll my eyes.
"You know what I'm going to do with the forty galleons when I win?" Tanner asks.
"Buy a basket of soaps for your girlfriend and some little deli cheeses for your house-warming party?"
"Nope! I'm going to buy a set of fireworks, and they're going to spell out 'Taylor Ackhart was wrong and she can suck my-'"
"Lolipop!" Scorp interjects, nodding his head towards a couple of first years who were passing by us in the corridor.
I snort, trying not to laugh.
We turn a corridor and head up some stairs to another secret passageway, from which we could watch the commotion through a couple of vents.
We climbed up onto the ledge that was tucked away into the wall and peered through the row of vents that looked down into the bathroom.
So far, nothing.
But then, Louis Weasley and the Ravenclaw prefect, Edwardian Priss (okay, his last name wasn't Priss, but it suited him better than whatever his real name was) came in together.
"How can you possibly say that Professor McGonagall is an old coot? She's legend, mate." Louis is saying, obviously irritated with Edwardian.
"Today in class she tried to have us transfigure a mouse into a pin cushion. That's second year stuff." Edwardian argues.
"Maybe for you. I reckon she knows what she's doing though."
"I hope so, for your sake." He says prissily.
They turn and enter stalls on opposite sides of the row.
Perfect. And we can still se the tops of their heads.
I turn to Scorp and grin. He winks back.
Louis is first to stand up and pull the chain.
There's a regular flushing sound. Then the water hits the trigger and-
-just as Edwardian pulls the chain on his toilet.
-which sets of the row of explosions in the interconnecting pipes.
Soon, the whole row of toilets is spurting water and fireworks at Louis and Edwardian, who's shrieking like a banshee.
Louis lets out a string of wierd curses, ranging from "Pumpernickel!" to "Sweet Susanna!"
We couldn't have hoped for two better targets.
We're cracking up when Professor Chang comes marching in, her heels clicking sharply on the wet stone floor.
We cease laughing.
"Professor Chang! What are you doing in the men's room?" Louis has the gall to ask.
She clicks her tongue. "You'll do well to come with me Mr. Weasley. You as well Edwardian."
She turns and walks out of the room, Louis and Edwardian at her heels.
Once the door shuts, we can't help but start cracking up agian.
"Whatever punishment we get for this when we get caught was so worth it." Tanner says, clutching his sides as we slide out from the ledge.
"I seriously doubt you'll still be thinking that when I'm finished with you three." Professor Chang states from where she stands, right in front of us.
Holy Schnitzel, how does she do that?
That woman is almost as scary as the Grim sometimes.
We are totally screwed.
Okay, so I know that it's probably weird to hear from me of all people now, but since Al and Taylor are being whiny-ass lovesick puppies, I figured it was time for some fresh shizzle. Plus, my life is pretty much awesome.
To begin with, I'm on the verge of snagging Rose Weasley. You see, I have a plan. A grand master plan that is currently in play. It's pretty sweet. I've had this plan for two years now and it's all wrapping up neatly. Of course, right now I'm at this stage where the whole thing is hanging by a very thin thread. So I'm pretty jumpy right now.
This morning she approached me in the library and I simply brushed her off, saying, "Sorry, can't talk now, I have to focus on this Transfiguration essay."
To which she replied, "But you're never focused on school work."
To which I said, "Hmmm. Exactly. "
"Are you avoiding me?" She said, sounding slightly crestfallen.
"Why?" She sounded confused and hurt. Fantastic.
"Why does it matter- you hate me."
"Well, I don't hate you."
"Well, that's a shame."
"What do you mean 'a shame'?" she asked me.
"Whatever you think it means - thing is, I don't really give a flying squirrel tooth about it anymore."
"Scorpius, what's wrong with you?"
"Rose, this morning I simply got out of bed and realized that it was time to face reality and just accept hating you. After all, that's what you've wanted the past several years now." I explained, all blase and crap.
"Why would I want you to hate me?" Her eyebrows were all creased together, all cute.
"Because then I would stop asking you out and you could keep on hating me from a distance. I now realize what a pain I was, asking you out all those times. I guess I'm just not good enough for Rose Weasley. And for that I'm truly sorry." I looked her right in the eyes, all sincere and truthful.
At this point, she looked very upset, on the verge of a breakdown.
I got up, gathering my papers and quills. "Look Rose, I get it, okay? I get that I'm just an annoyance to you, okay? And I'm tired of it. So I've stopped. It's time for me to buck up and realize that you'll never feel for me the way I feel for you. I have to get over you, I have to break out of this game I've been playing with. And I'm sorry for not realizing that sooner."
After explaining the feelings she had caused me to feel for the past two years, I started to walk away. But I turned back.
"Look, I don't know if you ever got the notes I wrote you for the past two years, but I just want you to know that it was all true. Every bit. I never meant to embarrass you, or make you feel uncomfortable. Quite the opposite, actually. But I'm sure the letters probably mentioned that."
"Letters? What letters?" She asks meekly.
"Every note I ever wrote you. You gave me back each and every one, usually crumpled up or ripped. Here, let me see-" I rummaged around my bag for the thick stack held together with thin ropings.
I handed her the stack of notes and her face crumpled.
I turned and left.
But before I could make it out of the library, she called my name.
"Scorpius, I've never hated you. Ever." She stood there, unsure of what to do, when I nodded, turned around, and left.
And that was that. But I'll guarantee that right now, she's in her dormitory, reading over every last conversation we've had on paper ever. All the love notes (from me), all the random hate letters (both of us circa fourth year) , the random conversations from when we sat next to each other in History of Magic last year, and all the feelings and desire and frustration and like and sparks and ink and fizzles and spats and secrets and life and truth and happiness.
And she's thinking about what I said, and whether or not she's in love with me.
So I'm a little on edge when Al comes and sits across from me in our dormitory.
"Hey Scorp-" he begins.
"What?" I say, somewhat 'waspishly' as my grandmother would say.
"Scorpius, I'm in love with Taylor." He says definitely.
"My good jove, mate. What the bloody turtle took you so long to tell me? Now what are you doing here, go get her."
"Thanks. Okay, sure. I'm gonna go get her." He says, getting up and pacing a bit, gathering up a bit of courage.
"Good for you. Now get the hell out of here. I'm in the middle of a confronting crisis."
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