Chapter 2 : Year One, Part Two: Everything Will be Alright
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“Children, please!" An old lady scolded from behind the front desk of the library and angrily cleared her throat, re-adjusting her glasses that sat right on the tip of her nose. Fuming, Rose stopped and glared at Scorpius who was staring back at her with equal frustration.
"I’m trying!" She hissed, narrowing her gaze, and Scorpius nodded, closing his eyelids and ran his fingers through his hair.
"I know you are, I see it, trust me." Scorpius murmured. Opening his eyes once again, he watched as Rose quietly and repeatedly slam her head on top of the table. Sighing, he scooted his chair closer beside Rose and took hold of her arms. Rose only sat up with reluctance of having to be mentored…by force.
"It’s a swish and flick," Scorpius said softly and encouragingly, "like this." Lifting Rose’s arm, he guided her with the proper movements, her arm stiff and rigid, unwilling to learn.
"Come on Rose. I’m helping you here." Scorpius murmured, and Rose slackened her grip, allowing her mentor to guide her arm more freely. I’m being way too much like dad. Rose thought to herself.
"There, that wasn’t so bad was it?" Scorpius asked after he let Rose try the maneuver on her own after the fifth tutorial. Rose shrugged.
"I still suck."
"You’ll get better." Scorpius reassured.
"Christmas Holidays are in a week and I still haven’t accomplished anything."
"If you haven’t accomplished anything, I’ll be pretty sure they would’ve kicked you out by now and labeled you as a squib." He grinned at Rose who blinked at him with a loss for words. "And trust me, you’re no squib."
"You don’t know that," She muttered, standing up and pocketing her wand. As she lifted her bag over her shoulders, she looked up at Scorpius who still hadn’t moved.
"You’re so negative." Scorpius bluntly remarked, and Rose wrinkled her nose.
"And your optimistic demeanor kills me sometimes." Scorpius chuckled and eyed her knowingly.
"Want to call it a day?" She asked, "We can go blow off the rest of the time exploring the castle." Scorpius softly smiled but shook his head.
"I can’t Rosie. Father wants me to hit the books. He’s been having me owl him every grade from returned classwork and he claims I haven’t been trying enough." Smiling wryly, Rose couldn’t help but pick up a hint of bitterness in his tone.
"Well, then perhaps we can study in the Great Hall, before diner, together." She suggested. Smiling, Scorpius got up and Rose took that as a yes. Rushing forward to help him gather his things, Scorpius filled her in on hints and advice to help better her arm movements. As Scorpius shouldered his bag and readjusted his strap, Rose held out his stack of books, looking outside, her mind swirling on the fact she was going home next week for the holidays.
She had to admit, after befriending Scorpius, the weeks flew by quicker than she imagined, and she didn’t feel so lonesome anymore. Expectations from her died down by a few notches and people where finally leaving her alone. The Potter-Weasley clan wasn’t so pleased by
Rose and Scorpius being friends, but by the time November ended they became somewhat tolerant of their friendship; Albus sometimes joining in whenever his clingy posse of first years would let him be. Her cousin James was the worst though, pulling pranks and obnoxiously mocking the platinum blond whenever the chance was available.
And her parents...of course, naturally none of the children broke word to the adults, feeling it was more Rose's business than theirs.
"Did you hear anything that I just told you Rose?" Scorpius asked, prodding her shoulder gently with his index finger. Rose blinked, completely unaware that she was even walking.
"Nope." She admitted and shook her head while Scorpius snorted.
"I’m not surprised." He chuckled. "I was asking about Albus. How are his Quidditch practices coming along?"
"Oh, he’s doing great." Rose answered absentmindedly. "James likes to mess with him though during practice and it drives Wood insane." As they entered the Great Hall, Rose took Scorpius by the hand.
"C’mon. It’s Gryffindor table today. I don’t need Victoire arguing with me over my lack of sense of fashion." She whispered, despite the fact the Great Hall was largely unoccupied apart from a few students that were studying or playing games of Wizarding Chess. Gryffindor Table was largely unpopulated apart from a sandy, brown haired first year who was sitting at the end of the table, doodling on a plain notebook and pen.
"Hello Henry." Rose greeted softly. "Mind if we join you?" Henry Finnigan looked up at Rose and Scorpius, his eyes lingering on the blond for a second before nodding yes. Setting their bags down on the table, Scorpius took a seat and rummaged for his Defense Against the Dark Arts book and a piece of parchment—homework from two nights ago that he failed to both attempt and turn in.
Rose, who didn’t feel like studying like she said she would, studied Henry for a second, and observed what he was drawing. Through the stray and inky pen marks, Rose easily sought out that it was a detailed picture of a beautiful adult woman, sitting on a swing set, laughing.
"Is that your mum, Henry?" Rose asked, and Henry quietly nodded, his eyes not leaving his artwork, his pen not leaving the paper. "She’s beautiful Henry. You draw really well." Rose complemented quietly. Henry peered up for a second, allowing himself to give her a small smile.
He’s so quiet…
"Yeah, me mam taught me how when I was younger. She was a muggle and was a professional painter and photographer. She always brought me with her to her studio in London." Rose furrowed her eyebrows, and Scorpius, who was partially listening, lifted his head. He too was aware of the past tense usage.
"Was?" Scorpius breathed. Henry paled, and it was clear he didn’t want to go into the subject.
"You don’t need to tell us if you don’t want to." Rose quickly said, stomping on Scorpius' foot and Henry nodded, looking back down to his drawing.
Scorpius eyed the inky drawn woman on Henry’s paper before returning to his homework and Rose bit her lip at the awkward, enveloping silence.
"Hey Henry," Rose asked. Henry looked up, his face absent from the slight sorrow it held a few seconds ago. "What are you planning to do for the holidays?" Henry shrugged at an attempt to being indifferent.
"Nothing much I suppose, just family to visit." It was brief and concise, leaving Rose to sit there feeling slightly clueless as to what to say.
It was Christmas Eve and Rose shifted slightly under her thick comforter, eyeing the ceiling above. Being home for the holidays, she expected this past week to be whimsical, special, and meaningful. True, it was a joy to see Hugo again, despite how much her younger brother annoyed her, and surprised even her own self when she caught the little nine year old who went flying out the front door to embrace her. She recalled walking up to her mom, who was leaning at the door frame, a huge smile painted on her face, and Rose greeting her with a hug.
The house smelled of burning cinnamon candles and cookies baking in the oven, pine tree needles sticking stubbornly onto the cream carpet around the tall Christmas tree which still had yet to be decorated. So why was she so upset? Rose shifted uncomfortably once again.
"I want you to stay away from him, Rose. Malfoys are like tigers, they never change their stripes."
Rose shuddered at her father’s words from tonight’s dinner. They were circled around the dining table as usual, having a normal family meal, when an owl was heard scratching at someone’s window upstairs. Knowing it was Scorpius’ owl, Rose excused herself and bounded to her bedroom, eager to read her friend’s letter. After reading it, she went back downstairs to finish up, only to have her mother curiously ask who the owl was from. Apparently answering her mother’s curiosity was a mistake.
"So," Hermione started, after lowering her glass of pumpkin juice, watching her happy daughter settle herself back in her seat. "May I ask who owled you and made you so happy?" Rose looked up to her mother, both females exchanging a grin.
"Oh, I forgot to tell you mum! That was Scorpius Malfoy. He’s my friend! Like, my best friend!" As Rose gushed, her father, Ron gagged on his glass of champagne, an early Christmas present from Bill and Fleur. Hermione’s smile slightly faded.
"Malfoy?" Ron wheezed, as he thumped his chest. "As in Malfoy, Malfoy? Like his father, Draco Malfoy?" Rose cocked her head to the side in confusion.
"Yes daddy, that Malfoy." Ron regained his control and exchanged a glance with his wife.
"Er, sweetie, I don’t think that’s wise—" Ron began, flashing his daughter a horrendous attempt of blending sympathy and apology in a smile. Rose frowned.
"What’s wrong with Scorpius? He’s really nice and helps me with my classes." Hermione winced. Though Minerva had informed her of Rose’s increasing improvement, she found it slightly disturbing that it was the ferret’s son who was aiding her daughter. Hermione didn’t fully comprehend it. Rose had so much family at Hogwarts, and there were so many other children. Why a Malfoy? Hermione flinched. She would never forget Draco and his excessive mockery of her and her friends back in school. How he would always call her out on being a Mudblood…
"Darling, there are plenty of reasons to stay away." Ron began. "The first one: Weasleys and Malfoys don’t mix," Rose was about to open her mouth in disagreement when Ron shot her a look to be quiet. "The Malfoys and Weasleys have hated each other for the longest time. There was a point in history where they were consumed in the dark arts, but surely you already know that,"
"But daddy, Scorp isn’t like that!" Rose protested. "He’s been nice to me when others haven’t."
"It doesn’t matter Rosie. I don’t trust his kind." Ron said, his voice growing stricter. More firm.
"So?" Rose demanded. "What’s your stupid rivalry got to do with me? We’re friends and nothing’s going to change that!"
"His father was a bully!" Ron snarled.
"People bully him!"
"The ferret’s spawn deserves it!" Ron hissed. Rose bit her lip and tried not to cry. She couldn’t leave Scorpius’ side. When they got together, the Slytherins stopped physically assaulting him, knowing that the Weasleys and the Potters held an authority like no other. But though the physical harassment stopped, there was still the verbal abuse. What would happen to Scorpius when they stopped being friends? What would happen to her? Scorpius was her only friend at that school, and though she loved her cousins dearly, she didn’t want to be constantly around her blood relatives 24-7. She had enough of them during the summer and on holidays…
"Rosie, dear," Hermione addressed, taking her daughter’s hand. "Your father is right. The Malfoys aren’t the greatest of people. You shouldn’t trust them."
"But—" Rose felt the tears sting as she bowed her head. Scorpius was her best friend…
"I want you to stay away from him, Rose. Malfoys are like tigers, they never change their stripes."
Her father eyed her from behind his glass as he took another sip, and Rose tearfully nodded.
‘I guess I have to avoid him starting now. No more letters. Not more homework help. No more jokes. No more sneaking off to the kitchens.’ Rose thought to herself.
"I’m full now. I’m going to bed." Rose murmured and slipped off to her bedroom before her mother could call her back.
Rose shivered as she wrapped the comforter more tightly around herself. Turning to face the window, her eyes spotted the parchment that sat there on the window sill. She hadn’t replied to it, and despite how much it hurt, she debated whether to throw it away or not.
As she tried to close her eyes, there was another scratching on the window, making her sit abruptly up. Rose recognized the owl from the faint glowing moonlight and tried to give it an annoyed glare which went either unnoticed or ignored by the small bird. Standing up, she scowled at the owl and gestured it to go away. The stubborn owl just flapped its wings and didn’t move, making Rose roll her eyes.
Just this once...For the last time...Rose told herself, and she slid out of bed, tip-toeing towards her window. She was careful, hoping her parents wouldn't think much of it from downstairs.
Quietly opening the window, she pushed out the screen and allowed the small bird to fly in, perching itself on her shoulder as Rose took the small bag it's beak was clamped tightly on.
You never wrote back...It's been a few hours and father's asking why I keep looking out the window. Grandmother Cissa was also eying my gift bag to you rather suspiciously.
Well, Merry Christmas! I've got to go to bed now, but hopefully you'll like my small gift. It isn't much, but I've worked very hard sneaking into the kitchen while mother was cooking! Hopefully your holidays have been great!
Rose smiled as she peered into the gift bag and began pulling its contents out one by one. Sugar cookies sprinkled with cinnamon were still warm in their disposable airtight containers. Wrapped with a silver ribbon was a small bundle of imported chocolates from Russia and Belgium. A small box of Japanese green tea was fished from the bottom of the bag. Two colorful swirl lollipop were bounded by a thin elastic band. And to Rose's amusement, she pulled out three vials of sparkly nail polish, and couldn't help but wonder if Scorpius had gone into a muggle girl's botique store and bought them himself.
As her finger tips brushed the bottom of the bag, her eyebrows knitted together as she found herself stroking a thready texture. Pulling it out, she found herself staring at a handful of homeade friendship bracelets in colors of teal and yellow, orange and brown, blue and red, green and pink, and so forth; tribal patterns of zigzags and crude crosshatching squares making each one unique.
And along with the bracelets was a crumpled up note in a strip of paper:
Hopefully you like them...I sorta made them myself. I saw a couple of muggle teenagers walking around and exchanging them with each other at the mall when mother took me out shopping last weekend. It took me days to make, Merlin, it took me a few hours to learn how to make one, but it kept me occupied while father and mother were out working. I've kept a few identical ones so we could sort of match... I really hope you like them!
Rose let a giggle escape her lips. Who would've thought Scorpius Malfoy made frienship bracelets in his free time? She tried to imagine her cousin Albus making friendship bracelets with little Lily Flower or his posse in the Gryffindor common room. That, was impossible. She couldn't imagine Hugo making them either.
Your his only friend Rose. A whisper gently spoke up somewhere within her mind. He's naive. He doesn't know any better. You're probably his first ever friend. The things people do for friendship...
The whisper sobered her up and her smile began to fade. It was then was she reminded that she was to stay away from Scorpius, and so she placed everything back into the bag and tiptoed to her closet. Shoving it on the topmost shelf, she buried it under a stack of clothes that never fit, not having the heart to toss his gift away into her trash basket.
Unleashing Mercury into the frosty night, she lingered by her open window, watching Scorpius' owl leave, without a note of thanks or a merry Christmas.
Scorpius awoke to scratching at his window, and sat upright in bed, a sleepy smile on his face.
Clumsily, he stumbled to where Mercury awaited for him, but as he opened the glass barrier, he found himself confused that Mercury had returned once again without even a shred of parchment.
"You didn't drop anything did you?" Scorpius hopefully asked his owl in a soft whisper, who just stood at his window sill, blinking at him with it's amber eyes.
"I'm guessing that's a no?" Scorpius asked again, his heart slightly dropping. Mercury hooted gently and flew up to him, perching itself on his shoulder. The bird gently nipped on his ear and Scorpius wryly smiled to himself.
"I know, I know. Merry Christmas to you too."
Rose found herself clinging to her older cousin Dominique's arm as the two girls struggled to make their way through the crowded station.
"I'm sorry." Rose whispered softly again as the two made their way into an empty compartment to wait for Dom's friends. Dominique raised a perfectly maintained eyebrow and shook her head.
"Don't be sorry Rosie. I'm your cousin, and family sticks together when all else fails. Although I find it stupid that you're actually listening to Auntie Hermione and Uncle Ron, and you won't even give the poor bloke a reason to begin with, it's your life and your choice."
Rose nodded and Dominique's lips quircked upward into a sly smile. Rose eyed her warily.
"What?" She asked, not wanting to know what her cousin was thinking of.
"Your hair. Something must be done!" Dominique stated, and Rose groaned. Of course, she should've saw that one coming, especially from the daughter of Fleur Weasley nee Delacour.
As the chatty strawberry blonde struggled with taming Rose's frizzy hair, Scorpius Malfoy gave up in finding his best friend, stumbling into a compartment occupied with a lonesome Henry Finnigan.
"Hey." Scorpius said, scratching the back of his neck awkwardly. Henry turned his focus from looking out the window towards the blond boy who shifted uncomfortably to his left foot.
"Mind if I join you?" Scorpius asked. Henry gave him a small smile.
"No, you can come in." Relief flooded Scorpius' face as he walked on in, situating himself in a seat in front of Henry. Silence.
"So..." Scorpius began. Perhaps I should've left him alone...
Henry looked at Malfoy with a raised eyebrow. "Where's Rose?"
Scorpius looked out the window, searching for an answer. He hadn't heard from her at all since Christmas Eve. It was obvious she was avoiding him, but why?
"I don't know."
Exiting out the train, students loudly began shouting for friends they had yet to regroup with, dragging each other by the hand, laughing and unleashing magical firecrackers they got as gifts and sharing leftover sweets.
Scorpius, managed to befriend the quiet Finnigan boy, and found out that though quite shy, he truly did have a wonderful sense of humor.
"Do you reckon she'll be with her family?" Henry suggested, as both boys stood on their tiptoes, scanning the noisy crowd. Scorpius nibbled on his lip, making a noise of agreement, but it was drowned out by the volume of noisy chatter.
"There!" Henry pointed, and Scorpius spun around to look where Henry had indicated. Standing beside a beautiful girl with strawberry blonde hair was indeed Rose, who was looking bored out of her mind.
"Rose!" Henry shouted, which surprised Scorpius, who thought the boy was incapable of carrying out a volume louder than an average talking voice. Rose turned her head to their direction, and waved at Henry who smiled and waved back. She was about to wave at Scorpius, but to his horror, he saw the smile fade, and could've sworn her eyes turn slightly sad.
Despite it, he lifted his hand and waved, giving her a smile of uncertainty. The sleeves of his robe sagged back to his shoulder, exposing his wrists that were dressed with a variety of colorful friendship bracelets. He watched as Rose blinked and bit her lip, and in a flash she turned on her heel and hurried away, dragging the strawberry blonde behind her, who looked completely bemused.
As he watched her leave, Scorpius caught glimpse of her naked wrists, the friendship bracelets absent, and he couldn't help but feel his heart finally sink, like the titanic finally becoming submerged underneath the lifeless water. If Rose wasn't wearing them, than all those days he worked for those bracelets was obviously for nothing......a waste.
"She'll come around." Henry whispered. Scorpius turned to Henry, eyebrows raised. Henry didn't understand what was going on or what the issue was, so how could he dare say something as if he knew?
Henry turned to Scorpius, a cryptic grin on his face. "C'mon, we should get going. Filch will come sooner or later and I don't fancy detention with him or his cat." Scorpius nodded and both boys followed after the crowd of students, and though Scorpius' attempts were in vain, he hoped to catch a glimpse of the girl with the wild, copper hair.
Erm, hello! So after many promises of posting a chapter for this story, at last, I have returned for chapter two. It took months, yes, but here it is now, and hopefully chapter two was okay.
Friendship bracelets! It's cheesy, but hey, they're eleven years old, and I personally thought it would be pretty cute. They're quite popular here, where I'm at, but I'm not so sure if the young youths wear them around elsewhere. Forgive me if such "friendship bracelets" are unheard of/uncommon in the UK.
Chapter title credits goes to Jimmy Eat World's song, "The Middle".
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