Chapter 11 : XI
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The cold slick of fury swept down my spine as I turned away from her. My lungs felt constricted as I tried not to gasp for air. Oh what I fool I was. A hopeless fool. Not once had I ever questioned what exactly it was that Malfoy needed distracting from. I had never enquired further about his strange reaction the first time I mentioned Faye Rivers. How could I not have put two and two together? Instead I had let him use me mercilessly while a naïve young girl was suffering horrendously because of something he had done.
Malfoy had always appeared so gentleman like, almost as proper as his brother. It seems so uncharacteristic of him to bed and subsequently desert a girl like Rivers. That he would just have abandoned her when she needed him just did not make sense. Merlin, I was such a fool. I had fallen so completely for his wounded, fragile act.
“Rose?” Rivers murmurs. “Are you alright?”
“Of course,” I lie.
“Do you know him?” she frowns.
“Not particularly,” I sigh. After all, how much did I really know about him? I knew about his family; I knew about his academic success… but I did not really know him. I knew nothing personal about him, nothing that would suggest I was anything more than one of his classmates. So no, I did not know him. “I’m afraid I have to finish an essay,” I say, making to move towards the stairs.
“Oh,” she mutters, somewhat alarmed at my sudden decision to leave. Her reaction bothers me slightly. Why should she think I would stay? I am not her friend, I have no real reason to talk to her; she is just someone I keep coming across by chance. There is no reason I should stay, no reason I should actually befriend her. I have no real friends and that is how I would like to keep it.
“I’ll see you around,” I mutter hastily as I stride towards the staircase. She just nods and mumbles a ‘goodbye’. I try to supress the pang of guilt that hits me at the crushed look on her face. She must honestly have believed that I cared.
The Great Hall is almost empty as I stride in the following morning. There are a few students reading over their breakfast at the Ravenclaw table and the sparse Slytherin glowering at nothing but the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff tables are practically vacant. I make to move to the opposite end of the Gryffindor table to its one occupant when the blonde haired boy glances up and smiles shyly at me.
“Rose,” he mutters, blushing slightly. “You’re down here early.”
“I could say the same thing about you Henderson,” I smirk down at Will. “Mind if I sit here?” I indicate to the bench opposite him and he almost splutters in agreement. After our chat at my Grandparents house on Christmas Eve I cannot help but think Will is a far more interesting person than I gave him credit for.
“So you glad to be back?” he asks.
“What, at Hogwarts?” Will nods. “Yes, believe it or not but it is far more peaceful here than at home with my family.”
“Oh after meeting them at your Grandparents’ I can definitely believe that,” he smiles, helping himself to another piece of toast. “They all seem pretty fun though, although your cousin Dominique scares the shit out of me,” he snorts and I almost chuckle.
“Yeah, Dominique isn’t the friendliest of people,” smirking, I reach for the orange juice. “She’s not actually that scary though, she just likes people to think she is.”
“Sometimes I wonder if that is the case for the majority of your family,” he smirks slightly in a most uncharacteristic way.
“For the most part… Except Louis, you never want to get on the wrong side of him, he really is actually scarier than he likes people to believe.”
“And Lily, I reckon she isn’t as innocent as she looks.” I look up from my breakfast at that moment to see Will’s expression has softened and he looks inexplicable happy. “She’s one fierce Beater to say the least… Don’t get me wrong, you’re definitely the best but she’s pretty good too considering she’s never played an actual game before.”
“Neither have you and you’re pretty good as well. Albus wouldn’t have you on the team otherwise,” I frown, trying to understand the look on Will’s face.
“Thanks,” he mutters, glancing down at his plate and blushing slightly. “But not like her… Some people are just born to fly, you know? I mean I love flying but I don’t think I was born to do it. I could never be good enough to play professionally whereas I think Lily could. You and Al could as well,” he rambles.
“Albus will, there is nothing else he could do,” I chuckle slightly. “I won’t though, there is far too much publicity and fame,” I shrug. “I don’t know about Lily though, I’m not sure what she wants to do after Hogwarts.” Will nods but that looks is still in his eyes, that soft faraway look which is setting off alarm bells in my head. Oh Merlin.
“Will…” I begin hesitantly. This could become uncomfortable but I have learned from experience it is better to know sooner rather than later. “I… Lily is a great girl and all and as much as I think you two would complement each other well, I just… Lily’s heart belongs somewhere else,” I try to explain gently. I knew it did, I had seen the way she blushed whenever Keegan smiled at her.
Will looked up and held my gaze. His face still held that peculiar softness but there was now an element of faint amusement. “Don’t worry Rose,” he sighs at last, a faint smile on his lips. “So does mine.”
“Oh… Oh okay, I just thought…” I mutter, more from confused than embarrassment as it was unusually for me to be wrong about this sort of thing. Over the years I have developed a fairly good eye for seeing what people feel for each other. It was me that first spotted that Castor liked Molly just as much as she liked him. It was me that realised that Roxanne and Sven were engaged before they made the announcement. It was me who could tell that Bethan was going to end things with James before it happened. So how had I misread the signs Will had just been showing? Unless of course he was lying to me. But that didn’t seem like Will.
“Don’t worry about it Rose,” he smiles. “It’s fine.”
“Right,” I frown again.
“So you going to explain why you came back to the common room yesterday looking like you wanted to slaughter everyone within hexing distance?” he asks suddenly, no doubt in an attempt to pull the conversation away from my mistake. His words however, cause my mood to darken considerably and by the look on his face he dearly wishes he could take them back. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to,” he adds on quickly.
“I’d rather not,” is my cold reply. Taking a deep breath, I force myself to calm down and supress the anger boiling inside me. I have to remind myself that there is no reason for me to be angry with Malfoy. He never meant anything to me and I have no right to judge him as I do not know the entire circumstances surrounding the situation. Although from what Rivers has told me, he is a rather despicable human being. That is all. It is nothing personal to me.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to pry,” Will mumbles uncertainly.
“It’s fine, I just learned something unpleasant, that’s all,” I shrug. “So Quidditch should be interesting this afternoon,” I try to change the subject, something Will looks immensely grateful for.
“Oh yes, watching Al’s face when none of him team are talking is going to absolutely bloody fantastic!” Will snorts. “He’s going to end up in St Mungo’s with a brain haemorrhage!” Will’s expression is torn between amused and terrified and I cannot help the small chuckle that escapes my lips. At the sound, he turns to grin at me and his smile is so infections I cannot help but smile back.
A clattering across the Hall pulls my gaze over Will’s shoulder only to fix on Malfoy, who appears to have dropped his knife. He catches my gaze and the smile slips from my face, being replaced with a cold loathing. Malfoy’s face remains expressionless as he abandons his breakfast and leaves the Hall as fast as he can without tarnishing his dignity.
“What the fuck is going on here!” Albus practically screeches from where he is hovering by the goal posts. Lucy has missed her eleventh shot in a row and not because Dave is saving them but because they are so wildly off the mark a three year old muggle could have aimed better. “Right! This is it! Everyone get down to the ground and into the changing rooms immediately!” he orders, the colour in his face turning purple with rage.
“Looks like you might be right about that brain haemorrhage,” I mutter to Will as we touch down. Will gives a weak smile, looking troubled.
“This is a disaster, if we play like this, we’re going to lose to Hufflepuff,” he mutters.
“Relax,” I sigh. “It’s only a game.”
“To us maybe but you said so yourself – it’s Al’s future. What if there are Scouts at the game? His chances will be destroyed just because half our team isn’t talking.”
“Henderson shut up!” Albus snaps. “I have no fucking clue what is going on but the way you lot are playing, we will be a laughing stock to the rest of the school!” he seethes. “So is someone going to explain what the hell is going on or do I have to lock everyone in here until you sort it the fuck out!”
Dave blanches considerable while Lucy just stares at her toes. Keegan and Lily are sharing worried glances, clearly concerned for Albus’ health. Will is staring fixedly ahead. Albus moves his furious gaze to each member of the team in turn but no one speaks up. Finally he turns to me.
“Rose…” he looks almost desperate. “I know you don’t particularly care what anyone in here thinks about you and you know more about people in this school than anyone probably should so I have no doubt that you know exactly what is going on here,” he looks slightly ashamed at singling me out but he continues. “Please explain.”
Will glances at me, trying to gage how I will respond and I notice Lucy flick her attention to me briefly before returning it to her shoes. Albus is waiting, looking on the verge of a break down.
“Some of the Quidditch Rules were broken,” I sigh at last. He frowns. “Rule One obviously-”
“Anything that has happened, is happening or might happen outside the pitch, stays outside the pitch. Nothing matters in here except for Quidditch,” Albus recites out of habit.
“-and Rule Seven.”
“Rule Seven?” he repeats.
" This team is like a family. But a very platonic family. There will be no dating any other member of this team and it would be preferred it if you did not date members of the other Quidditch teams either to prevent tensions arising that are not due to the actual game,” I clarify.
The colour drains from his face as he glances around at the team. “Who?”
No one responds. No one makes eye contact with Albus. No one even dares breathe.
“Who?” he repeats and then his eyes rest on Dave. “Please tell me this has nothing to do with whatever you three were arguing about,” he shoots a glance between Lucy, Dave and I.
“We weren’t arguing,” Dave mutters.
“I don’t give a shit,” Albus snaps. “I want the three of you to either sort it out, get over it or quit the team.” His voice is more serious than I have ever heard it. Dave’s eyes go wide, Lucy sighs and I just raise an eyebrow. “Now Rose has been playing perfectly fine so I don’t see why you two can’t either,” he sighs. “Just sort it out by next practice. Team dismissed.”
“Rose,” someone called my name as I headed back up to the castle. My thoughts were so far away I barely heard them and when I did it was too late. Dave had caught with me. “Rose, we need to talk,” he said clearly. The pleading tone that had graced his voice whenever he had tried talking to me lately had vanished. He looked determined. “I know that you don’t have any feelings for me – you’ve made that pretty clear – but I want to know why you did it.”
“Did what?” I frown.
“Kiss me… Flirt with me… Make me think I stood a chance,” he elaborated.
“I was unaware you were looking for a chance,” I reply elusively.
“Did you know?” he asks as if I had not responded.
“Know what Dave, you are going to have to be more specific,” I sigh in exasperation.
“About me and Lucy?”
“Does it matter?”
“Of course it matters Rose!” he snaps.
“Yes, yes I knew.”
“How could you do that?” he grabs my arm and pulls me around to face him. “You lead me on even though you knew I was seeing your cousin?” he looks somewhat disgusted and I cannot help but think he is being somewhat hypocritical. “Why?”
“Because I can Dave,” I reply. “Because I can,” I repeat, pulling my arm out of his grip and turning away from him. He doesn’t deserve the truth. He does not deserve the truth. It was his decision to see Lucy in secret and it was his decision to kiss me. Besides, there was one rule I lived by it was that I would never tell anyone why I did what I did. It just made things messy. If Lucy wanted him to know she had asked me to do it, she could tell him. It wasn’t my place. That was her decision. Her choice.
I hope France is peaceful. Life is getting messy here. Lucy and Dave are not talking and it is making Quidditch almost unbearable. Albus threatened to kick the three of us off the team if we did not sort it out. All I can say is that I feel sorry for Lily, I know how she feels about a certain team member and all this mess between Dave and Lucy is just enforcing the ‘no dating team members’ rule. She doesn’t let it show though; I guess she’s more like me than I thought.
You remember Will Henderson from Christmas Eve? What did you think about him because he is revealing himself to be far more complex than I originally gave him credit for. I thought he may have liked Lily but apparently not… You’re the writer, you said you knew about studying people, any clue what’s going on in his head?
I will not deny that I am looking forward to your visit more and more as Hogwarts is becoming rather tedious. Just as a thought, have you not met Pollux before? He’s your brother’s best friend? Just wondering. Also, does anyone else know your book is being published yet?
I am jealous of your freedom,
As I head to the Owlery, I find myself yelling at a frightened bunch of First Years because they walk to slowly on their short little legs. I cannot stand people who walk slowly. The castle corridors are practically deserted as most people are in the Great Hall for dinner. Quite frankly I have had enough of people for one day so once I had delivered my letter, I headed down to the kitchens for something to eat.
“Shit,” someone jumped in surprise as I stepped through the entrance hole. Great. People. Or person. “Oh Rose, what are you doing down here?” my brother muttered, his entire face flushed red.
“I’ll just be leaving then,” a deep voice sounded from one of the armchairs by the fire that James, Castor and I had brought down here in my First Year. A tall man stood up with a shock black hair and the shadows of stubble on his jawline. “Weasley,” he nodded to Hugo before stepping around me and out of sight. As the door swung shut behind me, I turned back to Hugo with a raised eyebrow.
“Hugo… May I ask what exactly you were doing talking to Logan Moon in the kitchens?”
“Nothing, nothing, we were just talking,” Hugo muttered, slumping back into the armchair he had jumped out of when I came in. I just give him a look and eventually he sighs, puffing out his cheeks before letting the air out. “He was just helping me out with some stuff, that’s all,” he shrugs.
“You know, if it wasn’t or the fact that your face is currently redder than Dad’s when he watches the Canons play, I would have believed you,” I smile. “Even if that were the case, what could a Seventh Year Slytherin possibly be helping you out with? If it was school work you would have come to me, you’ve done it before.”
“Just drop it Rose, it’s none of your business,” he snaps.
“Fine,” I shrug. “Are you hungry?” He looks at me like he can’t quite believe I would drop something like that just because he asked me to. At the end of the day, it is his business after all and he isn’t exactly a kid anymore.
“Starved,” he sighs at last. I grab a tray of chicken wings from a passing House Elf and sink into the seat on Hugo’s right, offering the tray to him. “So… What brings you down here then?”
“I got fed up with people,” I shrug.
“I heard Al threatened to kick you off the team. He must be raving mad, you’re the best Beater Gryffindor’s seen since Fred and George were at school.”
“Yeah well if the team can’t work together it doesn’t matter how good the individual players are.”
“Did you really kiss Dave behind Lucy’s back?” he frowned. Apparently someone is letting slip the whole thing to the general population. It was probably Martha Henderson. I just shrug. “She asked you to do it didn’t she?” Hugo continues. I stop trying to find a clean way to eat the chicken wing and look up at Hugo. There was no way he could have figured that out.
“What makes you say that?” I ask suspiciously.
“Well I figured that if you would kiss Brookes for me, you would kiss McLaggen for Lucy,” he shrugged. “I know you don’t really care what people think about you, Rose, but you’re not that much of a bitch that you would snog Lucy’s boyfriend just for the thrill of it.”
I just stare at him. There is no way in hell Hugo figured that out by himself.
“Did she tell you?”
“Lucy… Did she tell you she asked me to do it?”
“No,” he inspects his chicken. “Is that what you always do? Is that why you’re only ever caught snogging peoples boyfriends and never single people? Is that why it is only ever their girlfriends that catch you?” Hugo continues on as if this were a perfectly ordinary conversation. “Because that’s messed up Rose. Seriously messed up.”
“Did James tell you?” I ask, not thinking clearly through my shock.
“James?” Hugo frowns and then his eyes light up. “That’s what you and James fell out over! Merlin’s saggy left-”
“Thank you Hugo,” I cut in.
“Shit, that was it? You fell out with your best friend since birth because of that? Are you fucking kidding me? What the hell is wrong with you?” he asks disbelievingly. “Well fuck me,” he whistles, slumping back into his chair. “Shit Rose, what the hell were you thinking?”
“You don’t know the whole story,” I snap. “How the hell did you figure all that out anyway? Does everyone know? You couldn’t have possibly figured that out on your own! Who told you?” I ask in rapid succession. Hugo looks at me like I am stupid.
“I’m not an idiot Rose,” he sighs. “I know I’m not as smart as you or mum but I’m not an idiot and you are my sister. I knew something wasn’t right and after what happened with Brookes… I guess it all just slipped into place. Seriously though, anyone could figure it out if they stopped to think about it.”
“Well apparently Hogwarts students have below average intelligence,” I mutter darkly. “Did you honestly figure that out yourself?” I look at him incredulously.
“Yes Rose,” he snorts.
“Well shit,” I mutter. Hugo pulls a face at me and I throw the rest of my chicken wing at him.
“You’re changing again,” he suddenly stated.
“What do you mean?”
“You’re not quite as distant anymore, I feel like I could actually talk to you and you would listen to me rather than just blank me like you usually do,” he shrugs. “You smile more too.” I snort at the last part but it doesn’t quite cover up the guilt I feel. Hugo is my brother and I have been neglecting him these last few years.
“I’m sorry Hugh,” I confess.
“Eh, don’t worry about it Rosie,” he smirks and I throw another chicken wing at him.
“Don’t ever call me Rosie,” I snarl.
As I leave the warmth of the kitchens, I shiver slightly. Hugo had left a while before me after remembering he had an essay due for Professor Longbottom tomorrow and the castle suddenly seems extremely empty. As I reach the Entrance Hall and make for the Grand Staircase, I hear voices coming from the corridor that leads down to the dungeons.
Curiosity, as always, gets the better of me and I pull my robes tighter around me and tiptoe silently towards the corridor. One of the voices I recognise immediately as Malfoy’s but the other isn’t as clear. Malfoy is furious and seems to be threatening the other boy. I peer around a corner to find Malfoy pinning another, younger, student against the wall, a hand grabbing the collar of the boy’s robes.
“Scor, get the fuck off me,” the younger boy snaps, apparently not all that intimidated by Malfoy’s formidable appearance. “Just drop it okay?”
“Drop it?” Malfoy repeats darkly. “Drop it?
“Yes, it’s none of your business,” the younger boy struggles. He has black hair that comes almost down to his shoulders and skin even paler than Malfoy’s.
“None of my business?” Malfoy seethes, looking like he is an inch away from cursing the younger student to Hades and back. “What you have done is despicable! You can’t just run away from your mistakes like-” Malfoy is suddenly cut off as the younger student’s dark eyes dart towards me, warning him of my presence. Malfoy swivels around, letting go of the boy’s collar.
“Weasley,” he snaps. “Lurking around the dungeons again are we?” his voice is bitter and there is a deep seated anger in his eyes.
“Forgive me,” I murmur, indicating to the younger boy. Malfoy glances down at him as if he had forgotten he was even there.
“Don’t worry, Andrius was just leaving,” Malfoy snaps and the boy takes off with one last furious glare at Malfoy. Andrius. I knew that name.
“Slightly hypocritical of you is it not,” I murmur once the boy has vanished from sight. “Telling him not to run from his mistakes when you are more than capable of doing that exact thing…”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he snaps, his fists clenched.
“Of course you do Malfoy,” I murmur again. “Perhaps a name would trigger your memory… What about… Faye Rivers,” I sigh, looking him directly in the eye. “She told me.”
“Told you what?” Malfoy frowned but I could see the uncertainty in his eyes.
“Are you really going to deny it?” I ask in disgust. “That’s low even for you.”
“Just spit it out Weasley,” he sneers. I cannot help but notice that he called me Weasley rather than his customary ‘Thorn’.
“That you got her pregnant and abandoned her,” I spat out. Malfoy looks at me in horror for a moment. His eyes go wide and his complexion pales still further. He looks like someone had just poured a bucket of frozen water over him. He moves his mouth several times but no sounds come out. At last, he blinks and shakes himself from the shock enough to speak.
“You think the baby is mine?”
So here it is, Chapter Eleven. I would love to know what you think about it. Firstly, I am so sorry it has taken me so long to write; I actually should have been revising for an exam rather than writing this but it suddenly came to me so here it is. As I’m a little out of sync with this story please tell me if any off it doesn’t make sense and sorry for any and all spelling/grammar mistakes. Hugo wasn’t supposed to appear in this chapter at all, let alone figure out Rose’s little secret so I would love to hear what you think about that. Thank you so much for reading,
~ Irish Myth.
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