Chapter 7 : Better: Rose POV
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“He would just hold you and stare at you as an infant, saying ‘Wow. A girl. Wow.’ Everything you did fascinated him,” Aunt Ginny recalled. “We had two rough and tumble boys running around the house and you would toddle around and just smile and giggle as James banged a toy beater’s bat against your head. You would walk up to Harry and ask to sit on his lap and have him read you a story.”
I still loved books (apparently I got that from my mother) and I still loved my Uncle Harry. I loved my own dad, of course, but he was never great about showing his emotions and I think he was a little disappointed that I wasn’t a boy. I mean, here he had had five brothers and Harry and Ginny already had two boys. I can see his point. I just never felt really close to him. Uncle Harry and I used to talk about anything and everything. I could make him laugh and he would pat my flaming hair and call me his ‘Red Rose.’
“Hi!” I said as I passed into his office on Monday morning. I visited him frequently, especially since I had begun healer training. Today, I just seemed to feel lighter. Scorpius and I had had such a nice weekend together, I felt like spreading my happiness. If I wanted to be honest with myself, my visit to Uncle Harry’s office was only a detour on the way to see a certain blond auror trainee – and no, I don’t mean Dom.
Upon further inspection, Uncle Harry was sporting a few dueling wounds to his face. And his shoulder was smoldering. I shook my head. He never could resist the urge to demonstrate rather than just lecture.
However, this morning, the slew of wounds displayed across my uncle’s face was not my biggest distraction. It was the smell of cedar and citrus that could only mean one person.
Scorpius Malfoy was standing right next to Uncle Harry, a big, goofy grin on his face. Al was there as well. I'm sure that my confusion was evident on my face, but I was too busy trying to not let my eyes wander to the object of my affections, so I forced myself to inspect my Uncle’s injuries. My fair skin was betraying me yet again as a flush spread across my cheeks. Damn it, they could probably all hear my heart pounding foolishly.
“Hiya Rosie!” Al was beaming at me. I dragged my eyes toward my cousin, still trying to figure out why they were in the Head Auror’s office when they were supposed to be at training.
“Scorpius has something urgent he must tell you!” Al slid past and gave me a quick wink as he strutted down the hallway toward the training room.
“Albus Potter!” I shouted back to him. “You get back here this instant!” I commanded, realizing that he was sporting several injuries as well. His ‘strut’ contained a significant limp and he was favouring his left side.
Al turned around and looked at me quizzically.
“Are you limping?” I demanded. “And what happened to your arm?” Even through his robes, it was obvious that his entire left arm was three times its normal size. Al’s mouth opened and closed a few times, but I'd already worked out that he and Uncle Harry had been dueling each other, which explains why they were in his office so early in the day.
“Er…” Al began, but I wouldn’t let him try to smooth this over.
“Get back here immediately. Let me at least fix you up before you head in there to meet the new recruits.” Before he could protest, or even say anything at all, I pointed my wand at his obviously broken ribs and commanded, “Episkey!” The telltale cracking sound confirmed that I had correctly performed the spell and Al let out a small grunt of pain followed by a sigh of relief.
Next, I performed a full scan on him, fixed his pulled thigh muscle and righted the smashed bones in his left wrist. He was pretty banged up. After a few more moments, in which I executed the anti-stinging jinx and performed and a few more healing spells to right the damage from curses that had obviously rebounded upon him, he smiled in relief, winked at me again and said quietly, “Seriously, you and Scorp need to talk.”
My eyes flicked toward Uncle Harry and Scorpius, who were within earshot of us. I resisted the urge to pinch Al’s ribs right where I knew they were still a bit sore. Fortunately Harry was loudly explaining some sort of a charm or jinx to Scorpius and they were both bent over his wand, examining it.
Al grabbed my shoulders in response to the draining of all blood from my entire system as I steeled his eyes unintentionally. “Rosie,” he whispered into my ear as he wrapped his newly healed arm around me. “Just give him a chance. You both deserve it.”
I ventured a glance at Scorpius over Al’s shoulder. He was feverishly scratching the back of his neck and the sight of his nervous behavior made me feel more at ease by just a bit.
“Back to training, you two,” Harry said to both of them and he rushed them along. They passed by me through the door.
I don’t know what made me do it, but my brain was apparently devoid of any rational thought when I yelled, much louder than seemed necessary, “Scorpius, can we meet later on?”
I was met with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen on his face. “How does six o’clock sound? I’ll pick you up at your place.” As the two tall wizards turned to walk back toward the training room, Al mussed up Scorp’s hair and Scorpius punched him hard in the arm I'd just healed. Boys.
Uncle Harry cleared his throat behind me. I guess I'd been staring for just a bit too long. To hide my embarrassment, I turned quickly back to him and began healing his injuries as well. I worked deliberately, trying to not look directly at him.
After a few moments, the only wound left was the scratch that sprawled across his cheekbone. Unable to avoid looking directly at him anymore, I raised my eyes to his face and saw the corners of his mouth trying to suppress a smirk.
“I think he fancies you too, Rose,” he said quietly as the smile broke across his face. I breathed out heavily and grinned back at him shyly. We didn’t usually discuss these sorts of things, but if I could admit it to anyone, it would be Uncle Harry.
A/N: Somehow, I skipped over this chapter! I know it is short, but there are a few things in here that are important. As always, I would love it if you could let me know what you think!
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