Chapter 13 : XIII
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If Al even thinks about kicking you off the team, I shall send him another Howler. Someone needs to remove the stick up our dear cousin Lucy’s ass and tell her to get over it. There is no use moping over some stupid boy. Poor Lily, I hope she manages to work things out and make less of a mess of it than Lucy has, promise you will keep me posted?
Oh I know exactly what is going on in Mr Henderson’s head but I refuse to tell you. You will just have to figure it out yourself. It is actually rather obvious but I suppose you weren’t sorted into Ravenclaw for a reason. I don’t doubt you’ll write to me when you do figure it out though. Good luck.
I’ve seen Pollux before I think but Louis tends to keep him to himself and I’ve never been introduced to him. When we are in Hogsmeade I plan on taking lots of photographs to annoy Louis with. He’ll be furious that I’m meeting his best friend without him! I cannot wait to see his face!
Anyway, I have to go now as there is a charming boy with honey coloured eyes waiting for me. And no, no one else knows about my book so don’t tell them! Much love as always ma chère,
Folding the letter away, I stare out towards the lake. I am looking forward to seeing Dominique again; I sometimes wonder if she is the only sane relative I have. It is the Hufflepuff match today and I cannot recall dreading a game more. Our team is a mess. Lucy got a Howler from her mother when she refused to honour Gryffindor’s Team Rules and is now being forced to play; Dave decided last night would be a good night to go on a drinking binge (Merlin only knows how he got a hold of the firewhiskey); Albus is point blank refusing to acknowledge Keegan which sent Lily into a temper to rival Aunt Ginny’s and basically we have the highest chance of losing to Hufflepuff Gryffindor has had in a long time.
“You coming Rose?” Will asks as he finishes attaching his letter and hands the owl a treat.
“For what it’s worth,” I grimace.
“Everything will be fine…” the doubt his evident in his tone. Not even Will – the optimist – thinks we stand much of a chance today. “Let’s just hope we don’t lose as badly as Ravenclaw did to Slytherin.”
“320-30 was pretty bad but I wouldn’t put it past us to screw up that badly as well,” I shrug.
“At least it’s not raining.”
“Rain would have helped, Hufflepuff’s never train in the rain,” I sigh, he looks crestfallen. “Come on then, let’s go and make sure our team haven’t killed themselves yet.”
“And Harding has the Quaffle again, Gryffindor are going to be kicking themselves at the end of this match! I’ve never seen a team so out of sync! Harding passes to Phillips, Phillips back to Harding, Harding shoots… And Harding scores! That makes it 180-0 to Hufflepuff! This is the worst Gryffindor has played since… Well I can’t remember a time they played this bad!” the commentator rambles unhelpfully from the stands.
“Merlin’s pants! I don’t believe it! Did Hufflepuff just score again?” he screeches. “10 points to Hufflepuff!” he yells over cheers of the Hufflepuff supporters. I cannot recall seeing the yellow stands so a buzz and into a game before. Then again, I suppose beating Gryffindor could do that to you.
“Oh and would you look at that swing… I’ve heard some rumours that things are a little tense in the Potter household at the moment but there’s no need to take it out on the poor Bludger Lily!” the commentator snorts and I glance over to see Professor Vector hitting him upside the head with a copy of the Prophet.
“Lucy,” Keegan yells over the laughter from the Hufflepuff stand. Lucy turns to catch his pass but lets it slip through her fingers once again. If I didn’t know her better, I would say she was doing it on purpose.
“Fuck!” Albus curses.
The brunette Chaser from the Hufflepuff team intercedes the Quaffle before either Will or Keegan can catch up to it and throws it back up to Phillips… Who shoots. And scores. It looks like they don’t even need their stare Chaser to help them along.
“This is getting ridiculous,” Lily mutters darkly from my right.
“You don’t say.”
“I swear Dave is still drunk!”
“Bludger on the left,” I snap and she zooms off to bat it of its course.
“What it with the Gryffindor team today?” the commentator resumes his rambling as Hufflepuff awkwardly arrange another goal. “I knew there was some tension but this is insane! Macmillan has let through more goals in this match than he let through the entirety of last year!” A whooping sound from the stalls informs me that he just let through another one. “Potter is too busy trying to sort out his team to look for the Snitch, the Beaters are the only ones who are playing even half as well as we are used to!”
“Will!” Keegan yells, Will shoots forward to catch the flailing Quaffle and spins off to the side to avoid Harding snatching it. Dodging the Hufflepuff Keeper (who had had little to do this game) he launched the Quaffle through the offending goal post, releasing a sigh from the Hufflepuffs and a faint cheer from the remaining Gryffindor supporters.
“Finally Gryffindor scores! 210-10 to Hufflepuff! That was a nice dodge by Gryffindor’s new Seeker, I look forward to more from where that came from…” I can see Will blushing slightly as the Hufflepuff Keeper throws the ball back into play.
Lucy lets another Quaffle slip through her fingers and Albus actually flies up to scream in her face. Lily swings another Bludger at Harding, making him throw a poorly aimed Quaffle at the brunette who misses it and Keegan snatches it before it hits the ground.
“Ooh! That looked like it could have hurt!” the commentator winces. “Looks like the Leech is back on form with that nicely placed Bludger to the tail end of the Hufflepuff Keeper’s broom!” I barely register the nickname. “And that’s another goal to Gryffindor! Looks like they haven’t completely forgotten how to play!”
“Smith throw the Quaffle back in, Phillips catches it, throws to Anderson, Anderson to Harding, Finnigan intercedes, Finnigan to Henderson… Henderson passes to Weasley but too bad Weasley isn’t looking as Phillips snatches the Quaffle from in front of her face!” Glancing back around, I see Albus spitting fire in Lucy’s direction. “And that’s another 10 point to Hufflepuff!”
Several more Hufflepuff goals and one more Gryffindor goal later, the commentator goes into excited jitters as the Hufflepuff Seeker suddenly takes a dive. Albus is close on his heels… in line with his knees… his hips…
“I don’t believe it! Williams catches the Snitch and Hufflepuff wins the game! 430-30 to Hufflepuff!” The rest of his chatter is drowned out by the horrendous cheering and screaming from the Hufflepuff stands. Who knew they could make such a noise?
Touching down, I look across the pitch to find Albus. He is standing forlornly looking about as if he cannot quiet process the fact that they had just lost a match against Hufflepuff. The Hufflepuff Captain – Tom Harding – looks uncertain about whether he should approach him.
“Harding!” I call out and he turns to me, looking slightly relieved. “Congratulations,” I hold out my hand for him to shake, taking on the role of Captain to spare Albus the distress.
“Thank you Miss Weasley,” he smiles, shaking my hand warmly. “I would say I was sorry for your loss but I’m afraid that would be lying,” he grins.
“You won fair and square,” I shrug.
“Is he going to be alright?” he asks, jerking his head in Albus’ direction.
“To be honest, I think it will take some time, but he’ll pull through,” I snort. And then I stop. Did I just snort?
“Yeah, well keep me posted on how he’s doing, I don’t want to cause the death of a fellow Captain,” Harding grins again and I find myself grinning back. “Well I’m afraid I have to go and celebrate with my House,” he teases. “Until next time, Miss Weasley,” he winks before striding off in the direction of his team and the large mass of Hufflepuffs gathered around them. Staring after him, I wonder what the hell just happened. Did he just flirt with me? Me? Rose Fucking Weasley? More commonly known as the other fucking woman?
“You look like you’re in shock,” Will smirks from beside me.
“I think Harding needs to get his head looked at.”
“Why? Because he fancies you?” laughs Will. I stare at him. “What?”
“What the hell makes you think that?”
“Everyone knows that!” he snorted.
“What do you mean?”
“Oh come on! Don’t tell me you didn’t know,” Will looks genuinely astonished.
“Evidently not,” I reply icily as he collapses into giggles. “Why is it so funny?”
“Seriously Rose, everyone in the schools knows Tom Harding fancies the pants off you… Except you! That’s pretty funny. I had no idea you were so oblivious!”
“Shut up,” I snap, a small smile tugging at my lips. Will’s laughter was infectious. “Let’s go and make sure Albus doesn’t hang himself.”
“Oh come on, you have to let me revel in victory for at least a few minutes,” Faye chuckles from across the table. “That was probably the only game Hufflepuff will win for my entire duration at Hogwarts,” she laughs.
“No need to gloat,” Lily rolls her eyes.
“I’m not gloating, I’m just… revelling,” she grins again.
“It’s the same thing,” I snort. “Have you finished that essay or not?”
“I’ll finish it later, I’m hungry,” she decides. “Shall we go and get some lunch?
“Yeah,” Lily agrees, closing her Potions book and shoving it into her bag. “Are you coming Rose?”
“I’ll go down in a minute,” I shrug. Watching them walk off, chatting idly about the game and classes I could not help but feel slightly relieved. We had been having these study sessions for a couple of weeks and Faye had opened up under Lily’s guidance. Lily had also relaxed somewhat. The fiasco with Albus and Keegan near the beginning of term had really shaken her but Faye seemed to help distract her. Faye had not told her yet though.
Pulling out some clean parchment, I begin my letter,
We lost against Hufflepuff yesterday. Albus is not taking it very well and I cannot say I blame him. I just wish he would talk to Keegan, he is the only one I can think of that would be able to cheer him up but Albus is still refusing to talk to him. It’s getting ridiculous. Lucy was terrible today; it was like she didn’t even care if we lost. And Dave was hung over the stupid prick. Lily is doing okay, she seems to be forming a friendship with Faye Rivers, the Hufflepuff I mention a while back.
I still have no idea what Will is thinking but it doesn’t seem to be very important as it hasn’t come up again since I wrote to you. Apparently he thinks I am very unobservant though. I’m looking forward to seeing you, Hogwarts is still rather tedious.
Let’s not upset Louis too much, I would not like to witness him angry. Perhaps we should have invited him to join us? But I’m sure you would rather tease him about it. Until this weekend,
Tucking the letter into my Potions book, I follow Lily and Faye down to the Great Hall. Taking a seat beside Will I ask after Albus.
“Haven’t seen him since the match,” Will frowns. “You don’t think he’s done something stupid do you?”
“That would depend on your definition of stupid,” I murmur. “But I don’t think so.”
“How was tutoring?”
“Delightful, Faye couldn’t keep the smirk off her face,” I chuckle. “How was Runes?” He grimaces.
Coming down from the Owlery, I spot Malfoy exiting the Great Hall alone. He doesn’t notice me until some malicious turn of fate makes him look up to where I am standing at the top of the staircase. An icy draft passes through and I am half unsure if it was real or just the result of being forced into Malfoy’s presence again.
The hostility between us seems to mount every time we meet since the incident in the dungeons. He glares at me and I resist the urge to shiver as two figures come walking out of an adjacent corridor.
Both Malfoy and I do a double take.
A yellow haired girl with amber coloured eyes is walking beside a tall boy with dark colourings.
“Well Rivers, I should probably go to Herbology now or Longbottom will have my head,” Andrius smiles. Beside him, Faye blushes slightly.
“Well it was nice talking to you,” she manages.
“I- You- I’m sorry,” Andrius mumbles, struggling to force the words out. His usually flawless skin turns a deep shade of red. Faye snaps her mouth shut. “You should- I was a twat,” he rushes. “You should never have had to deal with that on your on,” he mumbles. “I’ll try to… You know, help, in any way I can,” he blushes still deeper.
“I… Thank you,” Faye gives him a dazzling smile which he tentatively returns.
“Don’t thank me,” he snorts. “Thank Weasley,” he mutters before awkwardly pushing open the door and hurrying away towards the greenhouses. Faye is left staring dumbstruck after him. Neither she nor I nor Malfoy move for several minutes until she shakes herself and turns to head off in the direction of the Hufflepuff common room. It takes another few moments before Malfoy or I react.
He snaps his head up to look at me as I descend the stairs.
“What did you do?” he finally managed to utter.
“What makes you think I did anything?” I retort.
“He said ‘thank Weasley’.”
“I have relatives.”
“They don’t know.”
“I just told him to accept responsibility for his actions.”
“And he listened?” Malfoy looks completely muffled.
“Apparently so,” I snap, heading towards the dungeon staircase.
“Thank you,” Malfoy chokes behind me, making me spin on the spot.
“I’m not repeating it,” he says stubbornly. Then he looks at me, as if on the verge of saying something else but he changes his mind, shaking his head slightly and simply mutters: “Truce?”
“Truce,” I agree with a slight nod before turning and heading for the dungeons. Malfoy it seems is still hung up on what he was about to say as he does not follow me and a few moments later he speaks.
“I’m sorry!” he blurts out behind me when I am almost at the stairs. I pause. “I should never have brought up Castor and I don’t believe any of the names they call you – they’re all complete idiots in my opinion – and if I ever, for a moment made you feel like I was taking advantage of you then I am truly sorry,” he mutters, lowering his head as if ashamed. Turning around, I stare at him in astonishment. Did Scorpius Malfoy just apologies? What was this? National Malfoy Apologising Day?
He looks miserable, like he honestly regrets what he said. So I do something even more unheard of. “I’m sorry too,” I murmur quietly. His head snaps up in surprise. “Now come on or Professor Zabini will be wondering where we are,” I add on quickly before Malfoy decides he wants an elaborated apology. He grins at me for a spilt second before dashing past me and down into the dungeons. I roll my eyes at his retreating figure before he stops to wait for me.
“Miss Weasley, Mr Malfoy,” Zabini murmurs when we come in. “You’re late.”
“Sorry Professor,” we mutter simultaneously. Keegan raises an eyebrow and turns to Albus before remembering his best friend is not talking to him. Malfoy and I take our seats on the other side of the classroom and get out our books.
“Today you will be continuing with your potions,” Zabini continues. “Keep the noise to a minimum,” he waves his hand, his input into this lesson clearly over. Malfoy heads towards the shelves at the back of the room where our potions are waiting. Clearing the table, I set up the stand for the cauldron and light the fire.
“So how does it feel?” Malfoy asks as he adjusts the stand and places the cauldron on it.
“Losing to Hufflepuff? How does it feel?” he smirks.
“Delightful,” I sneer.
“To be fair, it could have been worse.”
“And pray tell me, how exactly?”
“You could have not scored at all,” he shrugged.
“Malfoy, we lost 30 to 430… I don’t think those three goals really count for much.”
“Never knock what you’ve got,” he smirks again. “It’s all worth something.”
“You’re so bizarre,” I roll my eyes, turning back to the potion. “We’re going to need some more moonstone by the looks of it.”
“I’ll get it,” he smiles, practically jumping from his chair. I am beginning to wonder if he has a personality disorder. I mean there was no mistaking the cold glare he gave me only minutes before and one thanks and two apologies later he is smiling like a dork. “How much?”
“Read the bloody instructions,” I tease, shoving the book at him.
“Yes Professor,” he sneers. “What does this potion really do anyway?”
“It says in the book,” I point to the section before the instructions.
“A person’s aura is comprised of three distinct parts,” he begins to read. “The outer layer, the inner layer and the core. The outer layer has the widest spectrum of colours and shows how that person is feeling at that current moment in time. This layer changes with the person’s mood and is the easiest to detect as it often parallels the person’s body language, facial expression and potentially what they are saying. However, effective liars will find that their aura betrays them despite how convincing they seem.
“The inner layer gives more of an insight into a person’s true self. This layer has a more limited range of colours and is harder to discern than the outer layer. It shows how a person feels about their entire life, not just the moment they are in and can give an insight into their character traits, for example, Gryffindors have predominantly red inner auras as this reflects the values that define their House and so on. The colour of this layer does change with time but it is a much slower and less regular change than the outer layer, unless of course, a person experiences a life changing event which may make this layer change much quicker…” Malfoy reads, his fingers curled around the back of the book and his feet resting on the edge of the table. I sit behind him, on the empty desk and put my feet up on my chair, relaxing into the sound of his voice.
“Finally, the core of a person’s aura is barely detectable. It is a thin layer of light against a person’s skin which shows you their soul. It comes in one of five specific colours and almost never changes; in fact, there is only one recorded change in history. Only an exceptionally powerful witch or wizard, who has brewed and consumed an exceptionally powerful Aura Elixir, will be able to distinguish it and even then, only with a lot of practice. Once a person has seen another’s core, they are inexplicably linked with that other person. The core of a person’s aura is so secretive that people who have seen them have found that it is exceptionally hard to speak of them.
“The use of Aura Elixir is monitor closely by the Ministry of Magic as it has been argued it goes against wizarding rights to privacy and falls under the same category as Legilimency. Only certain witches and wizards are permitted to consume the potion although it is not illegal to brew. The Ministry has two wizards within the Department of Mysteries that regularly consume it and study it. Most of what we know of the potion derives from their work.
“Mr Malfoy,” Zabini’s voice cuts through my trance. “As interesting as that is, could you perhaps focus on brewing the potion instead?”
“Sorry Professor,” Malfoy mutters, shutting the book and giving me a sideways glance, the smallest blush tinging his ears.
“Do you reckon we’ll be able to try some?” I whisper to him as he adds in the moonstone he had brought over earlier.
“No idea, we have to brew it properly first.”
“Would I what?”
“Yes… Wouldn’t you?”
“Of course,” I smirk.
A slight commotion behind us makes us turn around. The Hufflepuff girl looks frustrated as she tries to stop her potion dripping onto the floor while her partner looks slightly afraid. She snaps at him and shoves a towel into his hands.
“What’s her problem?” Malfoy whispers.
“She’s probably pissed he hasn’t asked her to Hogsmeade yet,” I reply without thinking.
“What?” he hisses.
“Oh come on, it obvious they like each other,” I smirk.
“So you can notice that but not the fact that Thomas Harding has a massive crush on you?” he visibly bites his lip to stop himself from smiling.
“How did you know about that?” I snap. He just shrugs, leaving me slightly unsettled.
“I have an idea,” he grins wickedly. “Do you have any spare parchment?”
“What for?” I ask, handing him a piece anyway. He scribbles something on it and charms it into a paper aeroplane before sending it flying in the direction of the Slytherin who is still watching the Hufflepuff clean up the mess she had caused. Malfoy winks at him.
The Slytherin – Sammy Goyle – unfolds the paper and blushes an unattractive reddish colour before shooting Malfoy a look. Malfoy just nods. Goyle then folds the paper and tucks it into his bag before turning to the Hufflepuff.
“What’s her name again?” I whisper.
“Emily Hawthorn,” Malfoy replies in a whisper, so close his breath tickles my hair.
“What?” Hawthorn snaps, clearly not having understood what Goyle was mumbling.
“D’ya-wanna-go-to-Hogsmeade-with-me?” he exclaims in a rush, nerves and fright making him practically shout it. The Hufflepuff squeals, slamming her knife down hard on the root she had begun to chop and sending it flying off the end of the table.
Unfortunately for her, Zabini had decided to check up on their potions and was now inspecting the Ravenclaws’ mess a few tables to her left. The root flew across the table between them and landed squarely on Zabini’s back. He spun around to see who the culprit was.
“Detention, both of you!” he bellowed at the Slytherin and Hufflepuff but they barely heard him as Hawthorn threw herself at Goyle, who barely managed to catch her, and planted a kiss on his cheek.
“Yes, yes, yes,” she grinned as he put her back on her feet, a smile breaking out across his face. Behind Zabini, both the Ravenclaws and Albus and Keegan are staring at the couple in absolute shock.
I cannot help it; the laugh just slips unbidden from my lips. Malfoy turns to look at me, trying desperately not to laugh as well. But it is too late, both of us collapse back into our chairs, giggles pouring from us in undignified waves. Zabini’s usually indifferent demeanour is replaced by perplexity as Albus and Keegan give each other identical ‘what the fuck’ looks.
It takes several minutes for me to regain control of myself but when I do, I glance sideways at Malfoy and lose all progress I have made. My stomach is beginning to ache as I clutch it in a hope to subside the giggling. It’s hopeless.
“Miss Weasley, Mr Malfoy…” Zabini frowns. “Remove yourselves from this classroom until you have regained control of yourselves,” he orders. I manage to push myself from the chair and stumble over to the door, gripping Malfoy’s jumper to hold myself upright.
We collapse against the cold dungeon wall, still unable to control our laughter.
“Shit,” Malfoy gasps. “It hurts!”
“I know,” I laugh in response, tears pricking at my eyes. “It’s not even-” gasp “-that funny!”
“I know,” he cries. Finally we take a deep breath, before giggling at that as well. It takes almost ten minutes before we have recovered ourselves. My stomach is sore and my face is no doubt red and blotchy from lack of oxygen.
“Oh my god,” I sigh.
“Yeah,” Malfoy nods wheezily, looking up at me. I smile down at him. “You know,” he smiles vaguely, reaching up and pushing a strand of hair from my face. “You should laugh more often Rose.”
So it's been awhile (not as long as the last time I hope!) and thanks for coming back to this story, I'm really trying to find time to write. So what do you think? Also, if you have time, you could check out my new story (I know I shouldn't be writing one), it's called Barred and it's very different to this but I hope you like it anyway. As always, please come and ask me questions and stuff on my blog, I love hearing from you guys there as well! Thanks for reading,
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