Chapter 29 : Chapter 28: Front Page News
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Chapter 28: Front Page News
"My head still hurts from new years…" Sarah moaned as we stood on the platform three days later. Everyone still looked ill, and it was with glee that I thanked my stars I couldn't drink at the moment. James, Lily and Al hadn't turned up yet, but someone else was arriving…
I could see the blonde standing just across the platform with his dad. I slipped away from mum while she jogged over to my Aunt Ginny, who smiled genuinely and hugely and hugged her. They miss their time together since us kids selfishly got in the way.
I decided it would be nice to go and see my secret baby-daddy. Scorpius has obviously decided he is going to talk to me after our new years snog and was coming over to meet me as well, Draco staring in surprise. I don't think he knows me and Scorpius have kissed and made up since we lost to them at the game on new years. Admittedly I did overreact to him not knowing why unicorns prefer girls and beat him around the head with the nearest beer mat, but that's not the point.
"Hey Rosie" Scorpius said fondly, blue eyes all twinkly like stars. Swoooon.
"Hi Scorp." I said in a casual way, holding my hand to shake like he's a business partner or something. He smiled down at my hand and pulled me into a rib-cracking hug.
"I was going for a handshake" I murmured in his ear.
"Oh that's why your hand is pressed against my crotch." Scorpius mumbled back. Smooth, Rosie. Really slick.
"Scorpius, what are you doing?" An irritated voice snapped. We broke apart and Chelsea's narrowed, cold eyes met mine.
"Well we, I er…" He tailed off.
He's the father of my baby and I think I'm in love with him! I shouted in my head, though I remained calm on the outside.
"Come on." She said, pulling him away. Scorpius looked apologetically over his shoulder at me and once he had sauntered back to Draco to collect his trunk and Eagle owl, Chelsea turned on me.
"I am this close to figuring out your secret, Weasel. When I do, the whole world is going to hear it from me." She hissed, getting close to me.
"Problem?" Sarah's voice asked coolly from behind us both. From her height she looked down on the petite Chelsea. I raised an eyebrow at the blonde.
"Bring it." I said to her, recklessly fearless in the face of danger, as ever.
I am Rose Weasley, damn it, daughter of borderline genius and general feminist heroine Hermione Granger. Nobody is going to scare me!
"I'm scared." I said half an hour later as we pulled our robes over our clothes.
"Don't let Chelsea see." Dom advised.
"Obviously not. What if she finds out, how do I act cool?"
"Just fake it! Girls fake loads of things don't you?" James said casually, sitting back down and turning to Sarah.
"More than you'll ever know darling." She said with a wink. James looked put out.
We were in our dormitory within the hour, and after having lunch we strolled down to the lake.
Dom had made a lame excuse and didn't come with us, but Becky, Al, Sarah, Lily, Danny, James, Scorpius and me all made our way down. I had no idea how Scorpius had got rid of Chelsea, but she was probably plotting some horrible way to get to me with Amy, who was also absent.
Danny didn't seem in the best of moods by the way he was stomping down to the lake, kicking up clods of earth with his trainers.
"Anybody want to see if the Giant Squid wants to play?" James asked, tossing a rock into the black waters. Danny grumbled something under his breath and James looked over at him quizzically as we laid our stuff down and sat on the ground, in the sandy banks of the lake.
"Sorry?" James asked genuinely.
"I said you're such a dick." Danny snapped finally, colour flooding his cheeks. Sarah's eyebrows disappeared into her hair and she looked at her boyfriend as if seeing him for the first time.
"What?" She asked, more shocked and uncertain than angry.
"I heard about him trying to get on you all New Years Eve!" Danny replied, stopping walking and facing James.
"I didn't say anything about new years… nothing happened!" Sarah piped up, looking horrified. My eyes caught Lily's and she looked ashamed.
Apparently the habit of playing cupid is a hard one to break – she must have been stirring to get her brother back with Sarah.
"Mate, I've got a girlfriend…" James said lamely, even though it must have sounded like a weak argument even to himself. Danny obviously had the same opinion.
"Bollocks!" He replied. "You just want to get your paws all over Sarah again… it's pathetic, why can't you just move on… you can see she's happy!" he continued hotly, his cheeks flushed with anger.
"Oh yeah, what was it you called my relationship with her last term – a mistake?" James retorted equally as fiercely. "I've got news for you – she was with me for over a year. She lost her virginity to me in my bed – the one you sleep opposite every night!" James added triumphantly.
Sarah let out a shocked and affronted little squeak and Lily and I exchanged worried glances. Scorpius had a hard expression on his face, like he was steeling himself for something, but I had no idea what until Danny reached to the front of his shirt and ripped it in half, clean down the middle, pulling it off completely. I didn't actually know people did this in real life.
It seems men can smell a fight coming, because James did the same in one smooth motion and the two began sizing each other up, flexing muscles and circling like hungry wolves. Albus shifted his weight, ready to jump into the fray, while Scorpius was already setting the rest of his things down ready to fight too.
I began to feel more than faint stirrings of unease and automatically stepped back, a hand on my stomach. We all knew how muggle fistfights between James and anyone ended, and you would not like to see the other guy after them. However, he seemed to have met his match in the muscled, stocky Danny. Becky was looking uneasy, halfway between protecting me and my little bump and joining in the would-be fight.
Sarah, however, had set down her things and was watching the two men with a set expression of anger and determination.
Oh Christ... this didn't look good.
Danny took a step towards James, flexing his muscles threateningly. James, who was already beginning to sweat, looked at Sarah quickly and beseechingly, and as soon as his eyes were on her, Danny sprung, knocking James off his feet. Albus let out an indignant cry of foul play and jumped on Danny's back. Scorpius was close behind and the two dragged Danny off James, who leapt to his feet and launched himself at Danny, knocking his brother and Scorpius down with him.
James and Danny rolled on the floor, both sporting injuries, and when they both scrambled to their feet, Scorpius and Albus both looked like they would very much like to re-enter battle. I sprinted forward, ignoring Becky and Sarah's cries and dragged a tatty and exhausted Scorpius backwards, both falling over as we went. Sarah meanwhile, was struggling with Albus, who was shouting incoherently about helping his brother. She managed to get him away from the fight, which was getting more and more violent. Danny kicked out at James, who blocked him with a punch to the stomach and while Danny was bent double, he took a step back to catch his breath. Scorpius and I got to our feet and I grabbed his hand tightly in order to take him away. There was a gash above his left eyebrow and his clothes were ripped. Meanwhile, Sarah was struggling to hold Albus back, and had her arms around his shoulder behind him. She managed to get herself around so she was facing him and was talking to him soothingly. Lily helped wrestle him to the floor when he made to run past her, back in to help his brother.
"Boys!" Sarah cried, approaching them. Unfortunately, there was nobody to hold her back, since I was with Scorpius and Becky with Albus. She took another step forward.
"DANNY!" She roared. The two boys didn't hear her, and were now engaged in a wizard duel. James sent a purple flash towards Danny and it caught his upper arm, leaving a bloody cut. Danny sent a curse back at him, and James ducked and rolled, the curse hit the floor and caused a minor explosion, clods of earth shooting everywhere. Sarah took a step towards James, and accidentally stepped in between a few spells at once and none of us saw what happened next, or in fact where the numerous spells came from, since there was mud and dust floating everywhere in the air.
"STOP!" Albus cried and somehow rolled out from under Becky and towards Sarah, who was lying on the floor, her hair spilling all over her face. I couldn't see her chest moving with breathing and heard a chilling scream hit the air, until I realised it was me making it.
Albus had reached Sarah and Danny and James were making their way towards her. Albus scraped the hair off her face and leant close towards her, trying to see whether she was breathing. He looked back at us with sheer terror in his eyes and I dropped to the floor, screaming again. Scorpius held me down, mouth agape in horror and made sure I couldn't run towards her. Danny and James had fallen at her side on their knees and were both sported bloody faces. James wiped the blood from his own and grabbed her shoulders and shook her lightly.
"Sarah?" He said desperately. Albus fumbled for her neck, looking for a pulse.
"I can't feel anything." He cried in a shaky voice.
"No, no no no!" Danny cried, looking down in horror, grabbing his hair. James stared at her and was trembling violently as he surveyed her through dazed eyes.
"We have to get her to the hospital wing!" Scorpius cried, as I dissolved into frightened tears, against my better nature. I was imagining the worst case scenario of her lying, young and beautiful, in a coffin. Danny made to pick her up, but Albus got there first, and scooped her carefully up in his arms with little difficulty and stood. He looked down at him and James with cold eyes.
"I think you've done enough damage for today don't you?" He asked frostily.
Lily got to her feet, making no attempt to stem the frightened stream of tears falling down her cheeks and ran after Albus, who was walking as fast as possible towards the castle, James hot on his heels and Danny was left still knelt in the mud and dust, shock and fear in his eyes. Scorpius helped me to my feet and we hurried towards the others, still hand in hand.
"What in the name of Merlin happened here?!" Hissed professor Hart, her thin face contorted in rage.
She was speaking to us outside the Hospital Wing, where Sarah was in a deep, induced sleep. She had been hit by a combined Rictusempra and a Stupefy spell and apparently a combination of the two induce a heavy sleep. She was physically unhurt and we had no idea when she would wake up, but the immediate danger of death was thankfully allayed.
Lily hiccoughed and sniffed at the same time. Albus put his arm around her and James stood, staring without seeing at the door, knowing Sarah was behind it. Danny was sporting a bandaged head and sticky knuckles due to the various ointments to clear up the cuts and bruises. James seemed unperturbed by his injuries, as did Scorpius, who was still gripping my sweaty hand as if his life depended on it.
"High spirits. An accident." Becky lied easily.
"We were practising duelling." Scorpius added.
"James cast a defence spell and it ricocheted." I said.
A weird phenomenon in our 'pack' – we look after each other. Although by the disapproving look Albus was giving James and Danny, he wasn't happy about it.
Professor Hart looked at us all with a cast iron gaze.
"Go." She said finally.
"No more duelling… even if it does run in the family." She said, lips pursed, looking at James.
"At least she's ok." I said over dinner to James, who was ignoring his food and staring into his pumpkin juice.
"She easily couldn't have been." Albus said, shaking his head in disgust.
"Not helping, Al." I sighed.
"At least things can't get worse." Becky said, rubbing her temples.
I really wish she hadn't tempted fate like that.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please! I would like you all to look out for my father's paper tomorrow – in fact, pre-order it!" Chelsea's voice came across the hall, stopping us all mid-meal.
Even James looked up at her. She was stood upon the Slytherin table, looking me dead in the eyes. Amy, who was sat beside James, smirked and continued to eat, not looking behind her at Chelsea.
"I promise it will be the news of the century… the scandal of the year… the biggest story for decades!" She added, her wand pointed at her throat, the Sonorous charm in action to amplify her brittle voice.
"Thank you!" She added before jumping off the table after seeing Professor Hart making a beeline for her, anger from earlier still in her eyes.
James caught my eye. This cannot in any way be good.
"Rosie, get up. ROSE! GET UP NOW!" Dom screeched the next morning, waking me with a start, flinging a copy of the Daily Owl around the room, waving it under my nose, worry lining her face.
The editor, Graham Oxford, was Chelsea's father.
I strained my eyes into focus and saw Becky pacing behind Dom, looking stricken and worried. I focused on the paper and scanned the front page for mere seconds before letting out a strangled mix between a scream and a gasp for breath.
"DOZY ROSIE UP THE DUFF!" The headline blared positively gleefully, with a picture of me underneath, looking up every so often then smiling at an unseen friend.
I barely heard myself screaming, before I fell backwards, losing breath, and fainted.
DUN DUN DUN! Sorry it's been a while, I hope you like it! Please review! –Sarita x
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