Chapter 27 : Epilogue
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I’m pretty sure that I’m the one who put James in the hospital wing. I panicked when I found out that he was in the Greenhouse and...well, I’ve never been skilled at Charms. Albus is next to me, reading another book. “Allie,” I tell him, finishing up the polishing job on my broom, “we need to get you a girl.”
“I have a girl,” he responds, not looking up. This is a normal exchange between us.
“Oh? Who is it?” I ask, genuinely curious.
He holds up his book and says, “Aphra Behn.”
“Nerd,” I sigh and return to my broom.
After a few minutes of content silence, a more shy fellow fifth year creeps up to us and stares at me. Albus notices him first and slaps my head, hard, with his precious Aphra Behn novel.
“Good Golly, Albus. You can really do some damage!” I hiss, rubbing my head and looking up at the intruder. “Who are you?”
“There’s a redheaded Gryffindor waiting outside to talk to you,” the boy practically whispers.
Rose. I immediately get up and run to the exit, leaving behind my things and a book happy barbarian.
“Hey Scorpius,” Rose wheezes as I crush her into a hug.
“Rose! I thought you were going to chill with Daniel today?” I ask, reluctantly releasing her from my arms.
She smiles and shrugs, “That’s kind of why I’m here.”
“Daniel?” I ask.
“Take a walk with me,” she responses, grabbing my hand and pulling me up to the main floor corridor.
We make it to the Spring covered grounds. I look out and take in the smells, especially Rose’s floral shampoo. Walking in silence, Rose leads me to the Forbidden forest, to a special place where the trees canopy above us and what little light that shines through is a beautiful green colour.
“What’s on your mind?” I ask Rose as I settle into a groove of a tree.
She sits on a big root next to my tree and stares at me in wonder for a minute before answering, “Daniel and I had an argument today.”
I instantly reach out and grab her hand, comforting her with the touch. She smiles down at it and shakes her head at me. “Relax, I’m okay. Well, at least I plan to be okay.”
“Good,” I reply, taking my hand back and leaning back.
She watches me again and I begin to feel uneasy, “What is it, Rose?”
“What would you have said if I told you that things weren’t okay?” she asks unexpectedly.
I laugh and shake my head at her ridiculousness. “I would probably tell you to think of happy thoughts, like dragons, swords, and fairies.”
She doesn’t respond to this. Instead she begins picking at the small patches of grass around her, braiding what she could with the inches of vegetation. We sit in silence, perfectly at ease with each other’s company.
“Scorpius, my ‘happy thoughts’ would probably consist of you,” she says after a long while.
A familiar sensation grasps my stomach, so I lean forward to settle it. “I’m glad to hear of it, Ms. Weasley. We are best friends, afterall.”
“Best friends,” she repeats with what looks like a forced smile.
I frown, but shrug it off. Of course whatever I feel towards her is friendship. Well, more than friendship. BEST friendship. But sometimes, I get this strange nagging in my brain, something that suggests that being best friends isn’t enough...I shake my head, ridding it of those rubbish thoughts. What else is there besides best friendship?
I watch her peel away at a grass’s thin layers. “Hey Rose, I’m glad you decided to drag me out of the Slytherin dungeon. The privilege of being with you is always the best part of my day.”
She puts the grass pieces down and looks up at me, wariness present on her face. “You have no idea how much I like you,” she starts, strength increasing with every word.
“Of course I do-”
She cuts me off, “How much you make me smile or how much,” she takes a deep breath and looks away from me, “I love talking to you.”
“I’m glad,” I say to her. The familiar sensation coming back into my stomach.
She shakes her head and looks back at me. “No, you don’t get it, Scorpius. Words can’t describe the feelings I have for you.”
“I can’t really explain it either, Rose. When we’re together, everything is just...right,” I add, punching her arm lightly and leaning back again. She must understand how I feel. Our friendship is just so awesome.
Rose groans, bringing me out of my thoughts. She stands up and begins storming toward the castle. Woah, what did I do? I get up and chase after her. “Rose? Where are you going?”
She swings back to face me, her face scares me enough to grasp onto the nearest tree. I know that Rose is capable of painful things. Sometimes sword practice goes awry.
“I’m going back to Daniel and telling him that I’ve stopped being friends with you,” she hisses, folding her arms over her chest.
What. I’m instantly grateful that I grabbed the tree, because my legs give out in shock and a pain that I can only describe as extreme hurt takes over. It was instant this pain, trailing from my heart though my limbs and into the tips of my fingers and toes. “Rose…” I say, well, more like croak because my throat has swelled.
“I’m sorry,” she says, dropping her arms and racing over to me. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I just got caught up in my head,” she tries to explain as I grab on to her and pull her to me.
When I feel as though she probably won’t run off to her boyfriend once I let her go, I drop my hold on her and nearly fall to the ground in my relief. She looks at me with guilt and jokes, “I hope you’re having a lovely day, because I’m not.”
“What happened today?” I croak at her, my throat still swollen.
She pulls and guides me back to the beautiful alcove of trees and steals my spot in the tree while I stay standing, quite pissed that she made me feel so wretched. “Well…” she begins, fingering the tree’s ancient bark, “there’s a rumour that we’re, to put if frank, romantically involved.”
“What?” I ask, confused.
She smiles a bit at my ignorance and explains with a wave of her hand, “You know, kissing and similar activities.”
I frown imagining where people would come up with such a ridiculous idea. I mean, I’m not going to lie and say I haven’t pictured me kissing Rose, or feeling the curves of her body, but that doesn’t mean it would happen. I can’t help but begin to even laugh at that possibility and Rose throws a stick at me to shut me up. I bend down and sit next to her, pulling on her hair as I finish my laughing session.
“Are you quite finished?” she asks, red in the face.
I wipe the tears from my eyes and confirm that I am, in fact, “quite finished.”
Rose turns her body to face me and runs a hand through her hair to smooth it out. “The point is that Daniel gave me an ultimatum.”
“Did he?” I ask, eyebrows raising.
She nods, “It’s either him or you.”
“That’s barbaric!” I respond instantly. Anger sinking in, I jump up and make my way toward the castle. Furious and ready to sink a certain boy’s head into the toilet.
My pace and heart rate quicken as I step onto the edge of the grounds, the grass that leads to the castle. I hear Rose fumbling and tripping behind me, cursing all of humanity as she fights to catch up. I’ll remind her of her poor choice of language after I beat up her boyfriend.
“Scorpius!” she calls a hundredth time. It’s becoming harder to ignore her, so I slow just enough for her to catch up, but not enough to stop my progress.
Just meters away from reaching the door, Rose is able to grasp onto me and swing me around to her. The action was flawed as she miscalculated both her own power and her distance away from me and I end up crashing into her, sending us both to the ground. With my breath sufficiently taken away with the force of the impact, I roll off of her and gasp for air.
“Oh my god!” Rose gasps and crawls to me, “I’m so sorry, Scorpius! Are you okay? Are you hurt?” she pats my face and arms, checking for any injury.
“Fine,” I breath out and wince in pain.
Rose bends her face to my head, examining my face and head where it made contact with the grass. I try to move away, somewhat embarrassed with the examination and our lips graze. Honestly, it’s nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Maybe it was the surprise of it all, but my lips actually feel as though they are on fire.
We stare at each other, both completely caught off guard. I catch myself staring at her lips, the object that caused such a reaction. It wouldn’t be unfriendly to do that again, but with a little more force, and with, perhaps, a little more tongue? Maybe it would be considered even more friendly to have her body a little closer to my own as well? It’s Daniel’s voice that brings me back to earth and those strange thoughts out of my head. Best friends don’t snog.
I gently push Rose away from me and get up to face Daniel. “What an interesting happenstance, Thomas. I was just on my way to see you!” I tell the boy, remembering the anger I felt just moments before the accident.
Daniel ignores me, however and glares down at the pale Rose. “I thought you told me nothing was happening between you and Malfoy? You told me trust you and not the people around me, but here I found you inches away from each other!” his voice raises as more tears fall from his eyes.
Rose doesn’t answer, however, she is staring off with a strange glint in her eyes. I round on Daniel, “Rose told me about the ultimatum, Thomas. Real mature, kid.”
“You’re the last person on this planet that I want to talk to,” Daniel snarls at me and stomps toward the castle.
I would have probably run after him and given him a piece of my mind, but Rose is hunched over uncomfortably on the ground and she takes priority. I bend down and rub her back. “It’s okay, Rose. Just think of happy thoughts. Maybe it’s for the best that your prat of a boyfriend broke up with you.”
She sits up and grabs onto my arm. The strange glint in her eye is replaced with a crazed one. “Did you feel it?” she demands.
“Feel what?” I ask. She’s clearly upset about the ending of her relationship with Daniel. Maybe I should take her to the hospital wing, just in case.
She points to her lips and I understand. “Oh, that. It was just an accident Rose, don’t worry about it.”
“But did you feel it?” she asks again, her nails biting into my arm.
I panic. I can’t let her know about all the rubbish that went through my head. I can’t lose her. Even the taste of losing her earlier nearly took the life out of me. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I tell her, getting up and pulling her with me.
“Really?” she asks, something draining from her.
“Really, now come along. You have an appointment with Madam Pomfrey. I can’t have my favorite person in this entire planet damaged.”
I am terrified. Absolutely, no doubt about it, terrified. I can’t remember an instance that I’ve ever put myself out there like this, waiting for either a joining or a breaking. The empty classroom is just as it’s always been, full of restless memories. My heart, if possible, beats a little faster and my body fidgets a little more every time I hear someone pass in the corridor. I’m left with this bitter feeling. A feeling of being terrified.
Finally, a very distraught looking girl walks in, two pieces of parchment clutched to wrinkles in her hand. She’s as beautiful as she was the first time I saw her here. Even with her brunette hair frazzled in the ponytail, blue eyes turned red, and scuffed robes, covered with smudges of ink, she is the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen.
“Leo,” she greets, closing the door behind her and timidly playing with the parchments in her hand. One catches my attention, the particular piece that I placed in a book titled, Get Over Charlotte Parkings.
I get up from the ground and walk cautiously to her. “You’ve come,” I breathe.
“Sorry I took so long, I had to settle some things first,” she states, avoiding my stare and fidgeting with her robes.
“I would have waited for as long as you’d let me,” I reply, moving closer with small, but steady steps.
She shakes her head in disbelief and moves back towards the door. I stop walking in my shock and stare at her as she fights with herself whether to stay or go.
“You’re too young,” she says, finally after a while.
I relax a bit, knowing that she has made her decision to stay, and continue my journey to her.
“You’re horrible to women,” she adds after a second, “You have the vocabulary of a drunk sailor anytime you’re the least bit upset or happy about something,” she laughs at this statement. “You’re also a horrible loser and a complete prat whenever someone challenges you.”
Charlotte falls silent. Her back is towards me, so I can’t see her expression, but I’m now close enough that I could reach out and touch her. I show restraint and wait for her to continue insulting me.
“But,” she says, breathing in a deep breath, “you’re completely loyal to your friends and sister, completely charismatic, somewhat of a talented student, even if you don’t apply yourself, and you’ve never looked down on anyone lower than yourself.”
I close my eyes as her compliments wash over me. I didn’t think it was possible someone could think both so poorly and highly of me.
“Leo?” I hear. I open my eyes to see Charlotte looking at me in confusion, however she doesn’t back away from the proximity.
I finally say what I’ve been dying to say for the past year and however many months. “I miss you.”
She stares at me in shock, but shakes her head, walking past me and further into the classroom. I turn and follow her with my eyes. “I miss you a little too much, a little too often, and a little more every passing day, Charlotte.”
She ignores me, placing her back to me, again, and sitting at one of the abandoned desks. I push away the hurt and continue with my planned speech. “I still remember the feeling I felt when we first kissed. I fell in love with you, Charlotte. It’s simple, really. I fell in love with your laugh, smile, eyes...the way you curled up in my arms when I kissed your forehead, how you told me that you loved the sound of my voice, and the feel of your little kisses you’d randomly place. I fell in love with you. God, the way you squirm whenever Ellie would embarrass you in front of me, or the way you instantly care for the people around you, making sure they eat, or just smiling at them to know someone is always there. I fell in love with you, simply because you’re you.”
She finally turns to me, tears are running down her cheeks. “You can’t say all that, Leo. We’ve hardly talked. You can’t be in love with someone you never talk to,” she whispers.
I walk to her, sitting at the desk opposite of hers. “Missing someone isn’t about how long it’s been since you’ve last seen them, or how often you talk. It’s about that very moment when you’re doing something and wishing they were right there with you.”
“I didn’t say you didn’t miss me, Leo. I said that it’s impossible for you to love me,” Charlotte sniffles, wiping the tears off her cheeks and drawing invisible lines on the flat surface in front of her with her index finger.
“Why?” I ask, hurt that she doesn’t believe me.
Finally, she looks at me. “I...I guess I believe you when you say that you loved me at one time, but I don’t understand how you’ve ‘stayed’ in love.”
“Do you love me?” I ask her, my whole body pushing on the edge, waiting for her answer.
“I didn’t say that-”
“Well, do you?” I cut her off, tired of her opposition.
She glares at me, and I sigh. “A wise man once told me that everybody knows how to love, but only a few people know to stay in love with one person for a very long period of time.”
“Who said that?” Charlotte asks, her curiosity obviously getting the better of her.
“James,” I reply with a smirk.
She laughs, the sound of it relaxing my nerves and reminding me of a night so very long ago that started this whole mess. “You know, when I first met you, I had no idea how important you’d be to me.”
“Obviously,” she giggles, “you were looking for a good snog, not a relationship.”
I nod in agreement. “Yes, but now I’m looking for what I never thought I’d ever want. A relationship, but more specifically, a relationship with you.”
Charlotte covers her mouth in surprise and glares at me over her fingers. “You’re insane!”
“Why?” I ask this question a second time.
She scoffs and rolls her eyes at me. “You forget. We met when you were in the midst of a serious relationship. How well did that go, by the way?”
She knows her words hurt, but I shake it off and explain what I believe in the simplest terms I can think of. “I can’t promise you a perfect relationship without arguments and disagreements, hell, I can’t even promise you that we’ll last past tomorrow, but I will promise you this: as long as you’re trying, I’m staying by your side. All relationships go through hell, Charlotte. Real relationships get through it.”
“Why me?” she asks.
Hasn’t she been listening? Doesn’t she know that it hurts how much I love her? How I ache every time I realize that she isn’t mine, or the hell I go through whenever I remember the pain I caused her. “Charlotte,” I say, trying to think of proper words to convey my feelings, “You’re my...everything. I wake up and go to sleep thinking of you. I...I thought I failed everything, “until I met you. I…” I fumble with my words and kick my desk in anger, “Damn it, Charlotte, why can’t you see how much I love you?”
She gets up and I know she’ll leave me here. Broken. But she surprises me by walking to me. She shifts in her spot, but eventually she pulls a chair to me and places a hand on my hand. I’m without words as I stare at her touch.
“I never thought that I was worth anything at all. I had friends, but I always felt so...empty...then I met you and my life changed forever,” she whispers, reaching her hand up to smooth my messed up hair.
“I swear to you that we can make this last,” I say to her with as much passion as I can muster.
She nods her head in agreement and adds, “And I promise to be there for you even when I think I shouldn’t. I, er, Leo, I love you. I’ve never stopped loving you.”
My mind blanks, comprehending this last statement. Suddenly, everything begins to warm up, from my heart all the way to my toes. The room begins to look brighter, but I don’t look away from the one thing that has held my attention every passing minute since the day we parted ways. I’m speechless. Charlotte watches the smile on my face grow until it hurts. She also smiles and laugh at what I can only guess to be the stupidest expression known to mankind.
I grab her beautiful face and smash lips to my own, remembering the feel and motion of it. I can’t even imagine ever being happier than I am at this moment, kissing this woman. We break apart and stare at each other.
I finally laugh and say, “It’s amazing how we were once strangers, and now you mean more to me than the whole world.”
“Shut it,” Charlotte rolls her eyes and kisses me.
The train ride home is the weirdest thing I have ever experienced. You’d think with final tests and graduation ceremonies, these couples would die down in...well, in passion. Each with their own passion, mind you. Ellie is smiling, perfectly content as James geeks out about an essay that the ministry has been sending him letters about. He’s excited to go defend it in front of the whole department of magical creatures. However, the thing that sticks out with them is not how she’s sitting through his rubbish, but how happy she is, often stopping him to steal a kiss, or try to fix his hair.
Leo and Charlotte are more...physically. I only see Leo when he eats, and even then he rushes through his dinner so that he can get back to sticking his tongue down Charlotte’s throat. Despite all that disgustingness, they have a strong foundation. It was hard for me to see at first, but I’ve never seen Leo more open with a girl….ever. Even with Ellie.
Now, granted they aren’t technically a couple, but I count them as one. Something happened between Rose and Scorpius, because I constantly see Scorpius fighting with himself whenever he thinks that no one is looking. Initially, I thought he was upset that Leo was otherwise occupied, but now that I see that it’s something completely different, and Rose, well, Rose seems to just be sad in general.
Rose catches me staring at her as I get lost in my thoughts and she smiles. It’s been awhile since we’ve talked. We have kind of been avoiding each other since I caught her snogging a boy in the library, but I know we’re just fine. In fact, I’m thinking she’s going to need me more than ever coming up here soon with whatever rubbish Scorpius is doing to her.
Soon, Lily joins us in the compartment. Since Ellie and James got together, she’s returned to her own dating life. Currently she has a boyfriend named Scott Thompson, and they are very happy together with very few arguments. A welcomed change in Lily’s opinion.
“Hey Al,” James calls to me, obviously finished talking about his thesis to Ellie.
“Yeah?” I ask.
“Who did that spell on the Greenhouse door? It’s been killing me for a while now.”
Scorpius shrinks in his spot, Leo and Charlotte don’t even stop their snogging session, and Lily chats with Rose. I look at Scorpius and James walks over to the poor bloke.
“Are you responsible for sending me to the infirmary?” James grunts at Scorpius.
“James…” Ellie says, but James ignores her silent plea.
He pokes Scorpius. “Well, are you?”
“Yes!” Scorpius confesses, falling to the ground by James’s feet and sobbing, “I’m so sorry!”
“Well...It looks like I’m going to have to do something to you now, kid,” James says, a twinkle of mischief prevalent in his eye.
“What?” groans Scorpius from the ground.
James picks him up and hugs him. “Thank you. You’re the reason why Ellie and I are together.”
Scorpius, in a daze, replies, “You’re welcome.” While Ellie groans from her spot.
“What?” James asks her, still not letting go of Scorpius.
She shakes her head. “He’s been trying to set us up all school year. He’s never going to let us forget about it.”
Scorpius smiles and breaks away from James. “I am the love master!” he screams, grabbing the attention of everyone in the compartment.
Leo gives him a thumbs up.
Lily rolls her eyes.
Ellie and James laugh.
Rose whispers, “You’re so immature.”
I do the only reasonable thing. I throw a spoon at him.
This is officially the end. Cue the sad music and wheeping grandmothers. Okay, so I have to ask: was that ending cliche or what?! I mean, I hope I wrapped everything up well enough for you guys.
I can see how some of you might be upset that ScoRose is still not together, but I couldn't bring myself to do it in this novel. It might happen in the sequel.
Ummm...other than that...I can't think of anything. So, if you know of something that you are pissed about, leave it in a review.
If you can't think of anything, leave a review about how you feel about the ending.
For my Cheo lovers out there, how was it?!
So, the name of the sequel is: Instructing Isadora, and it shall be up within a week or two, depending on how well my fiance is feeling (come down with the flu).
Hope to hear from you guys again with the sequel!