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Chapter 4 : Albus: The Confrontations
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the above is the sexy and dashing... Scorpius Malfoy ;)
-----THE RONAN DAILY----
Hogwarts Most Unusual Couple Yet!?!
Hogwarts has a new couple folks! This is no grand news since people regularly hook up, break up, make up, and etcetera, etcetera; however, these two are quite special and have each had their share of limelight. Can you guess who these “lovebirds” are? Need a clue? You may have seen them around, especially since a few days ago they made quite scene during breakfast at the Great Hall.
If you guessed Albus Potter and Aaliyah Herseth, you are correct! These two are now what we all call the “it couple.” Students are already believing that they can be Hogwart’s new “golden couple” as well. After the smashing James Potter and Gabby Herseth broke up, the seats of king and queen seem to be open. But do these dark-haired cuties have what it takes to be the miraculous golden couple? Here at the Ronan daily, we sadly have to inform you that we think not.
Looking at history and personality of the two, they seem the clash. And when people clash, they also burn. They both may be sixth years; however, they come from different houses. One comes from the devilish, cunning Slytherin while the other hails from the studious and quite snobby Ravenclaw. How does this fit? It doesn’t.
Albus Potter hasn’t had many girlfriends in the past so he may be a bit inexperienced when it comes to relationships. Aaliyah Herseth, though, seems to be too experienced in this area, yet she doesn’t acquire proper judgement skills.
Putting all these measly facts aside, the way they act towards each other doesn’t look sophisticated nor adorable. Instead, they come out as awkward. And I think we all know that there is absolutely no room for awkwardness in a relationship.
Now you may be asking if there is at least a glimmer of hope for this couple? Maybe but I don’t think crossing your fingers may help these two in the slightest. Rather I would sit back, relax, and enjoy the show because where there is a clash of personalities, there is a spark of drama ready to ignite.
I drop the newspaper in front of her, taking advantage of Professor Regan's method of teaching that includes switching out seats. Aaliyah glances at the printed publication I've set on her workspace before turning her head to peer up at me. She seems surprised and anxious, but there is a chance I'm reading her wrong.
“What is that?” Hesitation slices through her words like a sharp knife.
“That is the Ronan Daily,” I say, taking the empty seat next to her.
“And you are giving this to me why?” This time her face clearly shows that she is startled and in a way, I get where she is coming from. I mean, who wants to see, worst of all read, a newspaper that possibly has nasty things written about themselves?
“I want you to read it.” Reaching over, I grab the horrid pieces of parchment and flip it to the front page. I then place it directly in her line of sight and she dejectedly begins to read the passage. As she does, I flip open my textbook to Felix Felicis which is what this side of the room is supposed to be studying.
It doesn’t take long before she starts commenting her opinions. “Dark-haired cuties?”
“How is that bad?” I inquire. Last time I checked being called a “cutie” is a good thing. Not that I like being called cute, though. I prefer a more masculine term like “sexy.” Sexy is like a package deal. The word is not only masculine but bold too, just how I like it.
“Don’t you get it? She only called us cuties because she doesn’t want to give me an actual compliment. Saying you’re a cutie is just another way of saying you’re not hot.”
“Don’t you think you are reading between the lines a tad too much?” I pry the paper from her hands and push my textbook in front of her since she hasn’t bothered to touch hers yet. This way if the professor looks over, it’ll seem like we’re actually doing our assignment instead of socialising.
“No, I think you aren’t understanding exactly what she is saying.” She has a bite in her voice, but starts to half-heartedly skim the text on liquid luck, writing down notes as she does.
“Will it make you feel better if I tell you, you are way more than a cutie?” I tease, poking her in the ribs.
“No.” She slaps my finger away and I chuckle.
“Fine, then tell me what she is exactly saying.” I place my hand on top of required reading, blocking it from her view and forcing her to look me in the eye. She glares at me, not uttering a word, but I don’t let her shift her focus- not when I finally get her to look at me directly, not when the awkwardness between us seems like it’s at a stand still.
At that moment, the bell chooses to ring and she uses the moment to slip away.
"I think Rose is signaling to you," Scorpius whispers to me as we sit down in our seats in Charms. I glance over my shoulder to see that he's right. My redhaired, brown-eyes cousin is staring me down with a displeased expression, clearly conveying that she wants to talk to me about something. Knowing Rose, if I don't go now, I'll get hell for it later. I should have known Rose would be here before everyone else; she has a knack of being early... for everything.
I slip out of my seat and make my way to her. The seat next to her is vacant, so I situate myself with my body angled toward her. She has a calculating look on her face, not one I am fond of.
“So, what’s up Rosie?” The calculating face vanishes and a smile graces her face. The smile isn’t a true, genuine one, though; no, it’s a tightlipped, forced one. It makes me miss the one she used to always have on when she was a little kid. Those days seem so long ago now.
“Nothing much.” She doesn’t look me in face; instead, her eyes roam over her blank parchment. This is her way of getting ready to argue, to negotiate with someone till they agree to have it her way. Today that someone looks to be me.
“So… what did you call me here for?” I ask, wanting her to come out with it sooner rather than later.
A silence drops between the two of us and we both stare straight ahead, letting our eyes linger on the dark wood of the desks in front of us rather than each other. We used to be much closer, molding mud cakes together on the rain-stained grass during our childhood. It’s different now. We’re close without spending time in each other’s separate worlds. Who we were and who we are now aren’t the same; but we still manage to accept each other the way we are. That’s how it is between family.
When she answers there isn’t any hesitation in her voice. “I don’t approve of your girlfriend.”
The words ring in the air and all I can do is hear them.
It doesn’t take me much time to come up with a response. “I never asked for your approval,” I reply in a rather off-handed, arrogant manner. Rose spins around and for a second hurt shows on her face, but soon it is washed off and replaced with a glare.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew this was coming. Rose... well, she had never been and still isn't fond of Aaliyah, a nice way of saying she hates her really. I remember her scowling at her in between classes in third year, not even trying to hide it, and grumbling about how she probably cheated on her OWLs over the summer. The funny thing is that no one really knows where the hatred stemmed from. I have a feeling that even Rose can't pinpoint the reason behind it all.
Yet, the thing that bothers me isn’t that she dislikes Aaliyah, but the hurt that crossed her face a minute ago… because she’s Rose. Hurting Rose has always felt like hurting myself, as if her pain bounces back on me.
“What is that supposed to mean?” She snaps, sounding sort of snooty and even a slightly bitchy. She is always good at that. Being bitchy that is.
“That means that I don’t really care if you don’t ‘approve’ of her.” I sigh. Knowing Rose, this is going to turn into a quarrel and arguing with family, especially the redhaired members, always ends up being taxing.
“Are you saying that if she is the person I hate the most, you would still date her?” Her eyes narrow to a small degree in annoyance and anger.
“No, Rose. I’m saying that you can’t pick who I date and nor do I have to ask you if I can date someone beforehand.”
“Well… I don’t like her.” Her comeback is so weak that I feel disappointed in her.
“She isn’t that bad.” I don’t tell Rose that I actually have no idea how much truth that statement weighs.
“And how would you know that? How long have you been dating her? Like three days?” Her voice is louder and her fingers are starting to curl in frustration.
“Fine! Maybe I don’t fully know her. But I know her enough that I’m dating her and will continue dating her because Rosie, she’s nice.”
“So that’s why you’re dating her? Because she’s nice?” Rose watches me skeptically and snorts at me in disbelief.
“Why? Do you want me to give you a whole list on why I am dating Aaliyah?” I ask offhandedly, not expecting her to take my offer seriously.
Rose folds her arms over her chest and lifts her chin. “Yes, actually I would.” I gape at her and she smirks. Did she just say that she wants an actual list?
“You want a list?” I ask to make she I heard correctly.
“Yes, I do. It shouldn’t be that hard unless you only did it because Aaliyah’s hot or something, which she really isn’t.” Wow, my cousin just called my current girlfriend not hot. I’m sure glad Aaliyah didn’t hear that, though I’m somewhat impressed that Rose had the confidence to say that in front of me, Aaliyah’s supposed boyfriend.
“Rosie, I always thought you had a little more faith in me. Do you really think I date girls only because they’re hot?”
“Al, stop trying to avoid making the list. Let’s hear it.” Mentally, I curse that she catches on to my attempt at subtle distraction. Her smirks stretches farther if that is even possible. Is this what everyone else feels when I smirk at them?
I sigh and get up from where seat I’m occupying. “Whatever. I’ll give it to you at the end of the day or something.”
Before I leave, she grabs my wrist, her nails lightly scratching my bare skin. Leaning in, she whispers menacingly, “Don’t think I’m the only one in the family with a problem with her. Fred isn’t happy with you either.” She lets go and gives me one last look before going back to what she was working on earlier.
Great, now I have to make a list.
I’m definitely screwed.
“What are you doing?” hisses Scorpius from next to me. Looking over my shoulder, he tries to decipher my handwriting.
I don’t respond. Instead, I keep staring at the list I’m constructing on a slightly crumpled piece of parchment during Transfiguration. Right now I only have three bullet points on it. Fan-fucking-tastic.
“You do realise we’re supposed to be doing textbook work, right?” Scorpius questions.
“I already finished it.” I smirk at him and he continues on with his unfinished work, leaving me alone for now.
Only a few minutes pass and Scorpius interrupts my thinking. Again.
“Did you just write down ‘decent bum’?” peeking over my shoulder, he reads the rest. “Smart, nice eyes, cute freckles. Okay, who are we talking about here?”
“Rose asked me to make her a list on why I am dating Aaliyah,” I explain.
“Ah and this is all you can come up with?” Scorpius asks clearly amused.
“Well, now that I think about it ‘decent height’ is another one,” I muse, writing it down.
Scorpius looks at with derision, probably ridiculing on me on how unimaginative I am in his head. “Can’t you come up with a meaningful one?”
“Well, it’s not like I know her well enough to know if she has good taste in music, or if she has a cute laugh, or if she makes me laugh.”
“Then make it up.” Truth is, I already thought of making it all up, but I knew what lying would cause. Knowing Rose, if I put ‘great taste in music,’ she would question me what bands and singers Aaliyah likes and then keep interrogating me till she proves that Aaliyah and I aren’t right for each other and etcetera, etcetera.
“That doesn’t really feel right.” Right at the moment, the bell rings and most of the students rush out. Scorpius and I start packing our books and quills when Aaliyah approaches us.
“Hey!” She smiles shyly at Scorpius and ignores me completely. Did she mean to do that or is she being cheeky?
Before I can take it away from her line of sight, she sees the list and snatches it into her hand.
“Hmm… smart, nice eyes, cute freckles, and a… decent bum?” She pinches her eyebrows together confused. “Are cheating on me already or do you normally rate girls behind your girlfriend’s back?” Her eyes gleam in interest. She seems to be absolutely entertained by the list and is probably secretly hoping catching me in the act would cause me to blush which it won't.
“No, that list is all about you,” Scorpius states winking at me mischieviously.
She raises her eyebrow at me and I merely shrug. “Is my bum only decent?” Aaliyah asks, glancing over her shoulder to check.
Scorpius laughs and I suppress a grin.
“So… why the list?” she questions, showing a lot of fascination in the piece of parchment. That list is getting more attention from her than me and I’m technically supposed to be her boyfriend.
“Rose.” The sparkle in her eyes dim and she frowns.
“She asked me to make a list on why I am dating you. I wanted some time to come up with some good, solid reasons so I told her I’ll give it to her by the end of the day.”
She nods, and expression of slight annoyance crossing her features.
“By the way, I’m Scorpius Malfoy. Al’s best friend. We haven’t been formally introduced yet because this prat didn’t bother to.” Scorpius holds out his hand to her and she shakes it.
“Well, I’m Aaliyah Herseth. Your prat of a best friend didn’t bother to introduce me either.” Scorpius chuckles and Aaliyah grins.
“Anyway, the ‘prat’ wants help with the list so any advice would be great thanks,” I declare, plucking the list out of Aaliyah’s hand. After that one little action, for some reason, no one speaks.
Scorpius and Aaliyah share a look before staring at me; and for another some odd reason, all I can do is stare back at them, no even daring to break the bubble that’s surrounding us. Awkwardness fills the space around us like a pitcher pouring water into a glass: noisily and quickly. The discomfort bothers me, no- it bothers us. Yet, no one takes their eyes off each other because though we may have our differences, we are alike in one quality: we are all equally stubborn.
“What are you three doing here?” We all whip around to see Blackwell raising an eyebrow at us in suspicion.
“We were just leaving, Professor,” I say smoothly.
She nods, though her eyes constrict as well, the suspicion refusing to her expression. “Be quick about it then.” With that she leaves the room, robes bellowing behind her.
Scorpius exhales, clearly relieved that Blackwell is gone. I can’t help but feel the same way. She reminded me too much of a hawk, with her sharp eyes and grim mouth. “I swear that woman turns up when you don’t expect her to. Honestly, she should start acting her age. She acts like McGonagall even though she is only in her thirties.”
Aaliyah chuckles and starts walking toward the door, stopping right next to me as she goes. “Fantastic snogger. Put that on your list.” And just like that she is out the door and out of sight; but sadly, not out of mind.
“Dude… if I wasn’t crushing on Rose, she would totally turn me on,” Scorpius whispers, looking at the door she walked out of.
I smack him upside the head. “Shut up.”
“Exactly when were you interested in my sister, Al?”
Gabby's distinct voice has a bite to it. She isn't pleased. I don't need to look up from my Charm's essay to know that.
“Look at me when I speak to you Al,” she says, no-- commands.
Sighing, I face her. Her icy blue eyes read my face, searching for answers. I glance down, not able to stare straight at her knowing I would have to lie to her. I should have known she would come to me. I have always been closer to her than her own sister, not mention that she knows how to squeeze answers out of me like no one else can.
Chair legs scratch the floor and she deposits herself on the seat across from me. We are currently at the library, in a secluded corner away from the public eye. Dusty shelves, scrawled-on tables, and preoccupied students lay a few feet away from us. One of the tables I mentioned rests between us, which is good incase she gets violent. Not that Gabby usually gets violent cause she doesn’t; but there have been a few incidents so it doesn’t hurt to take caution.
“Al.” Her voice is softer this time; not warmer, only softer, a clear distinction. I force my eyes to stay down, to focus on the words on the parchment, but they don’t. Instead, the words blur and all I can make out is black smudges. Giving up, I play with the quill in my hand. Gosh, this is so boring… and tiring.
“Al, what’s going on? What’re you dragging her into?” She sounds sympathetic and caring, but I don’t miss the edge of her tone. She is simultaneously being friendly and threatening me. And frankly, I can’t really blame her. I think everyone close to her is aware of how much she watches out for Aaliyah, how much she is protective of her, well… except for Aaliyah that is. And some people, like myself, know she does it out of guilt because a couple years ago she sort of a rubbish at the older sibling thing. She didn’t really know what was going on in Aaliyah’s life and nor did she make much of an effort to. That was the way things were, but people change and it usually takes one spark, one event to change them and that is exactly what happened to Gabby.
“What makes you think I’m dragging her into something?” I ask plainly.
“Because I know you, Al. And I’m pretty sure I would have known if you had that much interest in my sister, that you would end up dating her,” she voices strongly.
“Well, then maybe you don’t know me,” I finally state, making my emerald eyes meet her blue ones.
She laughs. “Al, Aaliyah didn’t want anything to do with you.”
“And you know that how?” I counter.
“Because she thought you were cold. She thought that you didn’t seem reachable, that you were lost inside of yourself. And I’m the one that tried to convince her otherwise.”
“Well, then... maybe she did think otherwise,” I state.
“I highly doubt that. I think I know Aaliyah enough that she wouldn’t even try to get to know you the way I did.” Her eyes narrow slightly, yet she doesn’t seem mad. She seems frustrated and confused and, beyond all of that, miserable.
I let out a breath and pinch my nose, not knowing what my next move should be. A silence passes between us and we sit there, unsure if we should leave each other alone or keep arguing until we got sick of it.
Gabby and I… we don’t fight, not really. We agree on most things and the ones we don’t agree on, we let go and move on. Clearly, ignorance is both of our specialities.
Gabby and Scorpius are the two people that I am most honest to, the ones a let in more than others. However, that doesn’t mean they know everything, because they don’t. There are always some things I keep to myself and I’m pretty sure no matter how close I let someone get, I’ll never let them in on those secrets.
“Do you like her?”
Her voice is so quiet that I barely catch what she says.
Gabby swallows. “Do you like her? Even if it is a little bit, do you like her?”
She holds my gaze for the longest time before I breathe, “Yeah.”
She nods twice as if once to me and once to reassure herself. “Good.”
With that she exits the library.
“Alright. Good practice today guys. Next practice is tomorrow morning at six sharp.” The whole team groans, but deep inside (and I mean really deep) they know it’s for the best. Well, I think they do.
They all fly down one by one and when the last member reaches the ground, I point my broom downwards and swiftly make my way through the wind till my feet touch the dewy grass. Once I land, my eyes land on Nott, Scorpius, and Blaine trying and failing to get the bludgers back into the Quidditch equipment box. Sighing, I wave them off. “Go in and change. I’ll pack up.”
Nott shrugs and treks toward out changing rooms. Scorpius and Blaine peer at me, asking me silently if I need help. I motion them to go on and they relentlessly follow Nott.
It takes precisely twenty-eight minutes to get both bludgers and the snitch back into the trunk (the Quaffle was already placed there by Nott). Kneeling down, I bend over and close the latch and when I stand back up, I am surprised by the figure a couple away from me.
He stands there, arms crossed over his chest. He smiles a smile; a humourless one, a joyless one, a painful one. His warm brown eyes sparkle in amusement and maybe even some anger; however, not the mischief they used to carry.
“Finishing up practice I see.” His bulky and tall build has always made him a bit intimidating. And right now, the top of his head reaches a few inches taller than my own, making me a tad worried. I’m not scared that he’ll punch me, no- I’m scared of what his words will do.
“Yeah,” I say grabbing the handle on one end of the box while he grabs the other. We carry it into the storage room, not speaking a word to each other.
When we place it down, I face him. “What do you want?”
“Can’t a cousin pay a visit to another cousin without any suspicion?” he teases.
“Not when the other cousin knows that the one coming to him wants something,” I reply smirking. His smile drops as expected. “Now why don’t you come out with it.”
“Why are you doing this?” he asks, face expressionless. He had perfected this technique these past few months while the others don’t seem to give a shite, I do.
“I have no idea what you are talking about.” My tone comes out even and measured, the way I like it.
“Aaliyah,” he says her name as if it is the answer to every question.
"Aaliyah, what?" I push him farther, forcing him to answer because I want to know if he has a response, I want to know if he has reasons, commendable reasons for what he did he did to her.
Sighing, he grits out, “Why. Are. You. Dating. Aaliyah?” His eyes are sharp and sear through mine in annoyance and what is that I see: regret?
“Why do I need to tell you?” I quip back.
His fist curls and uncurls and his left eye twitches slightly. “Look, please… I need to know you’ll take good care of her, that you’ll give her what I never did. And…”
“And?” I urge him to continue.
“If you have the heart in you, let… let her go. Now, let her go now… before it is too late, before she has feelings for you and let her return to… m-me.” His face is both determined and soft with remorse. He gives me one last glance before he turns and leaves.
He turns back. “Yeah?” His eyes look so hopeful that I feel pain knowing what I’ll do.
“I’m sorry. I can’t.”
It takes those few words for the hope to fully vanish and for remorse to take over.
A/N: Hey guys... sorry for taking over three months to get this chapter out. I haven't edited it thoroughly so there may be a couple of mistakes here and there, but I promise to do that ASAP. Anyway, enjoy! And I am open to read any feedback so please drop a review whether it is a one liner or an essay. I love reviews of all forms and sizes. :)
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