Chapter 1 : Do you hate it?
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He watched the Ravenclaw from a distance, as usual, with her pretty blue and white scarf wrapped around her dainty neck, wondering if he could ever muster the courage to tell her how he felt.
How could he say that with every rising of the sun, he became more and more interested in her? How could he ever say that he thought she was pretty and more than just someone with the best grades? Would he ever express his understanding of how difficult it was to have famous parents... all while inheriting their reputations, good or bad?
They were friendly, but were not friends. Would it always be that way?
He imagined several scenes with her. But of all the many ideas conjured in his mind, the ending was always a question. It was the scariest part. For he could never predict what reaction she would impart. Would she humiliate him? Or reject him politely only to run and tell her friends? Would she think it a joke and laugh at his seriousness, leaving him shattered?
The feeling of being utterly mortified was not something that he could risk. His Slytherin self-preservation wouldn’t allow it.
So in the end, paralyzed with the fear of the unknown, Scorpius Malfoy would remain ever-silent, admiring Rose Weasley from a distance and longing for so much more… just as he always had.
When he heard that an ice festival was coming to Hogsmeade to boost business and draw people to the town, his imagination ran once more.
He immediately thought of asking her to tour it with him, but then quickly thought against it. It would be too straight forward… too obvious. She would say no just because it would make it seem like they were a couple and people would talk. It would be a date. No, he couldn’t ask her.
He knew the Hogsmeade Ice Festival would be featuring works of amazing ice sculpture artistry. He had seen them in the past and had been impressed with their grandeur and stunning beauty. Each amazing sculpture had captured him and left him in awe.
His father always had an eye for all things of beauty and sophistication and taught him to seek out these finer things in life whether in a gallery, a park, or in the architectural styles of old. He was taught to stop and take the time to notice.
The lesson in taking him to see the ice sculptures was two-fold. That beauty fades… here one day, then melted to nothing by the next. But more importantly, that we are to appreciate life before it is gone all too quickly.
“Appreciate the beauty while it lasts, son,” he heard his father’s voice say. “For one day, it could all be gone in a single flash of light.”
But Scorpius Malfoy not only appreciated beauty, but he wanted to know how it was created. For he held an inkling of hope in his heart that if beauty could be destroyed, perhaps there was a way to re-build it.
He recalled watching the artists’ techniques and tools as they expertly carved and chiseled away simple blocks of ice into magnificent scenes and beasts. His parents had to pry his eyes away from them as he watched them work. There never seemed to be enough time to enjoy these types of things; these glimpses into a creative life.
He imagined what he would sculpt, if he were one of them. It would definitely be a reflection of who he was on the inside… at least, how he felt anyway.
For his father’s name meant “Dragon,” and there were plenty of times in which he felt that he was the son of an icy one. And if his father was a dragon, then so was he. Sometimes, he felt the cold quiet fury in his bones and embraced it. Other times, not so much.
As he thought of all the things he had studied about dragons, he got out quill and parchment and began sketching his favorite, the Antipodean Opaleye.
They were gentle giants, protectors of the realm in their day, back before Muggles nearly slaughtered them to extinction. They fiercely protected what was theirs… their treasures.
Thinking of something to protect was as easy as breathing. For his treasure was not a thing, it was a person. Someone he had deemed worthy of protection, though no one would know this. No one in the world knew his thoughts concerning her.
And he was content to keep it that way, except that he knew if he never said or expressed his thoughts, then nothing would change. He would never get to know her. They would never really speak beyond a common greeting. And they would never do anything he imagined them doing.
Ultimately, this brought a sadness to him that would resonate and pull him under, even as he sketched his dragon self-portrait with Rose comfortably nuzzling into him.
When he was finished, he examined his sketch, imagining it sculpted into ice and wondering if he would ever be content with the melancholy status quo.
He decided not to do it. Except in all his watching of Rose, she seemed sad these days… at least more sad than normal. He wondered why, but would never ask.
It was then, that he decided to do it. He would carve her likeness as if to protect her from whatever it was that had been weighing on her mind.
Maybe she would see the sculpture and smile. Yes, a smile would be worth it.
And so, with the Headmaster’s permission, coupled with a granted request to remain completely anonymous, Scorpius had been able to work on his sculpture.
And much to his surprise, he actually received assistance from other ice artist veterans that had come to Hogsmeade. They not only showed him a few techniques that would bring out the details, but also showed him how to make the sculpture last longer with magical enchantments and place protection wards so that no one could touch or vandalize it.
The day before the revealing of the ice sculptures, Scorpius became quite nervous and took a lonely walk around Hogwarts grounds. It was something he did whenever he had something weighing on his mind in the hopes that it would calm his nerves.
He worried that maybe his sculpture would make his feelings a bit too obvious. A dragon actually being a part of the Malfoy Crest would be a huge hint. Maybe he was revealing too much.
But being anonymous had its advantages. How could anyone really know that the dragon was him and that he was protecting Rose? Even if someone suspected, there would be no proof.
But then he was torn. If she didn’t figure it out, then nothing would happen. Nothing.
As he trudged passed the base of the Hogwarts Clock Tower; the enormous pendulum swinging from east to west, west to east, again and again… the answer appeared before him on the ground.
He picked it up and brushed it off.
It was a hand-dyed blue scarf, dark blue in the middle that faded to ends of pure white. He knew it well. It was the scarf of a certain brilliant Ravenclaw. It was hers, given to her from her grandmother Weasley.
As he stood with the pendulum of the clock tower swinging low behind him, an idea dawned. It was as if the clock was encouraging him, telling him that the time had come.
It was time to reveal the truth to Rose Weasley.
Walking through Hogsmeade was like walking through an art gallery.
The sculptures had been revealed with much applause and appreciation to those that had squeezed into a spot and were lucky enough to get close. People were everywhere, mingling and gawking, making comments, moving around the town to see the sculptures.
There was such variety. Some were magical creatures, others were underwater scenes frozen in time. There was a large snowflake with the intricate details of a master artist and a snow leopard that looked amazingly real. There was a huge castle and even Babbity Rabbity made a whimsical appearance. But his favorite, if he had to pick one would be the Phoenix by someone named Zedrin. The flames… the wings… it was mesmerizing.
Scorpius walked around the town as if he was any other Hogwarts student. No one knew that he was involved at all, let alone actually having a sculpture on display. The artists who knew only nodded his way, respecting his wishes of secrecy.
From a distance, he watched the reactions of others that came to see his Ice Dragon and Maiden carved in ice.
It did not deviate much from his original sketch. A large wing protected the pretty maiden from behind while she rested comfortably against him. The dragon took on a regal gentility… content, but protective should anyone ever try to harm her.
But the thing most talked about was the very real, deep Ravenclaw-blue scarf around the girl’s dainty neck that faded to ends of pure white. It moved with the slightest breeze, adding movement to an otherwise solid icy scene.
But he was only interested in one person’s opinion and right about then, she was moving slowly toward his sculpture.
His breath caught and his chest swelled as he watched for her reaction.
He was scared out of his mind.
Would she hate it?
His eyes were transfixed on her… searching her every move.
He watched unblinking as Rose Weasley stopped in front of her likeness surrounded by a majestic dragon.
She stared at it, then placed a hand to her throat, realizing that the scarf was undoubtedly hers.
She reached for it, but there was no time to warn her of the protection ward and suddenly it let out a little blue shock. He hoped it didn’t hurt her.
He saw that she had stepped back slightly and was looking for something. Quickly, he figured that she was looking for the name of the artist. She would find the plaque, but it would not reveal his name.
And with one last look at the dragon’s face, she walked away.
Scorpius swallowed hard as his heart sunk in his chest a bit. She did not smile. She just walked away.
Disappointment washed over him. He had failed.
For a long while, Scorpius stood defeated. He was thinking of leaving for Hogwarts, but knew that the artists, anonymous or not, were supposed to stay to the end to reinforce the protection wards so that the sculptures lasted into the second day. He didn’t want to, but thought it best to respect the rules.
He watched the sun go down and the lights hidden inside the sculptures turn on.
If those works of art weren’t stunning before, they sure were now. The light of each one gave a romantic glow to Hogsmeade, something that many never would’ve thought possible.
It made everyone who saw them during the day, come back and see them in a whole new way.
So romantic. So beautiful.
But none of it mattered to Scorpius because his plan had not worked. And now… nothing would change.
After he had seen the Phoenix in all its lit up glory, he returned to his sculpture, but kept his distance.
He couldn’t help but stare at the maiden. It looked so much like Rose. And she looked so content.
Oh, how he wished it could really happen. He closed his eyes for a long moment and let out a long sigh. It had been a very long day.
As he was about to give in to reality, uncaring about reinforcing a protection ward and not seeing the point, he opened his eyes to see that Rose Weasley had returned to his now glowing white sculpture.
He could not stop the hope that welled within. The spark that jump-started his heart nearly knocked him to the ground.
She was there. If only to get her scarf back.
Slowly, he trudged forward, closing the distance. It was a long and wide gap that he had wanted to close for more than a year, two years maybe, he couldn’t think.
He stood behind her right shoulder and asked the question that he’d been afraid of ever since the sculpture was finished. With his heart pounding, he felt his body tremble. He hoped that if she noticed, she would only blame the freezing temperature.
He swallowed hard, then in a low voice simply asked…
“Do you hate it?”
Terrified of her answer, he stood as frozen as the icy statue staring back at them. He held his breath, waiting for an answer that he could not predict no matter how many times he had imagined it in his mind…
The companion story to “Ice Maiden” is “Ice Dragon” by BookDinosaur. It is Rose’s point of view and has her answer. Go read it and enjoy. And please, if you enjoyed them, write us both a review.
*** Special mention and Credit to BookDinosaur, my speed-dating author, who collaborated with me while we wrote our stories in less than 72 hours! Wow! She was wonderful and a pleasure to work with… go read her story! THANK YOU, BOOKDINOSAUR!
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