Chapter 3 : First Day of Term
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“If you will all please stop talking, I am going to start this school year off with a pop quiz just to see what you remember from previous years. Please put everything away except for a quill and ink.”
After receiving several notices from the Ministry and Headmistress McGonagall that unless his students got better grades in his class he would be terminated, Professor Binns actually started to care about the aspects of teaching other than classrooms. It was though he had a new zest for life (minus the fact that he’s a ghost), and there was at least one weekly pop quiz so he could monitor students’ progress and force them to study or risk failing. Knowing that a first day pop quiz was likely, I had spent my summer revising and rewriting my old notes to get myself OWL ready. I had my quill and ink out, and I was ready.
“Okay, now exchange papers and we’re going to go over the answers.” I gave my paper to Al, my seatmate for every class, and he gave me his. I knew there was no way Al prepared for this quiz, so I decided to sneak him some points where I could. He wouldn’t have to do the same for me, I already know I got a perfect score, despite it being the hardest History quiz I’ve seen yet. As we got to the end of the last problem, I heard Dominique Weasley squeak.
“Oh Merlin Rose, there were a hundred points in that quiz and you only missed one of them! That’s terrific!” Rose’s stupid face had a smug smile on it, and she looked over to me, probably expecting me to look devastated.
“Huh. Well Al, how did I do?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“A perfect score!” Al announced proudly. Now it was my turn to look smugly at the bitch while her smirk switched to a scowl in a matter of half a second.
“But… but… that’s not possible. He must have cheated! Al probably gave him all the points!” She cried out indignantly.
“Here, you tell me if there’s anything wrong with it.” I tossed my quiz to her and she looked at it ferverishly, trying to find something wrong. She started stuttering, then, remembering she was in public, composed herself on put on that fake, perfect smile of hers.
“Well, congrats. I’ll get you next time though.” I just took my paper back and turned my attention to Professor Binns, who had already started writing down notes about this morning’s lecture.
“Seriously, whoever thought that double History of Magic on Monday mornings was a good idea should be fed to a Blast-ended Skrewt” Al was rubbing his temples as we exited the class and headed to Divination. Neither of us really understood how Seeing worked, but I thought it was interesting and so I dragged Al along with me when we started it third year.
“Don’t worry about it mate, you can stay back and snooze for the rest of the week. I’ll take enough notes for the both of us.” We both laughed. I’ve always been a bit of (maybe a lot of) a swot, but my father taught me that education was the most important thing a child could focus on, so I’ve been determined to learn everything I can.
We reached Defense, and Al already looked defeated. You would think the son of the great Harry Potter would kick ass at Defense, but alas, he was pants at it. He knew all the spells, he just didn’t know which situations called for the use of different spells. I guess he gets that from his father, in all the books it said that Harry’s go to spell was Expelliarmus. You’d think it would at least be Stupefy, but no. “Relax mate, I’m here to help you out with this. We can study whenever you need to.” Al gave me a small smile, and Professor Chang opened the class with her start of year story about how her boyfriend died even though he was good at Defense so you have to be vigilant and always keep practicing because there’s always someone out there who’s better than you. It was a bore, really. I couldn’t wait until lunch.
I made my way to the Slytherin table for lunch where Veronica met me with a big kiss. I piled some food on my plate and ate heartily. I had some first-class jitters for breakfast, so I hadn’t eaten much. But now that morning classes were over and I had beaten Rose, I was ravenous. Merlin, it was so nice to have the leg up on her at the start of term; I knew this year I could keep it up and this would be the year that I would beat that damn Rose Weasley by over a whole percentage point instead of the tenths that usually lie between us.
“Scorpy did you hear what I just said?”
Oh shit. Veronica was talking to me and I was too caught up in my dream of beating Rose that I hadn’t been paying attention. I flashed my best “I’m sorry but I’m cute so I know you won’t get mad” face, and she giggled.
“Ugh, you’re so lucky I love you.” She gave me a kiss on my cheek and repeated herself.
“So as I was saying, I totally go to fuck with Molly Weasel today. I kept vanishing her stuff in Charms when she wasn’t looking, and she spent the whole period looking for everything and crying. It was amazing!” Veronica’s face lit up as she recounted the memory.
“That’s amazing, Ronnie! Big things they can report, but the little stuff just irks them to the point of insanity. Like today, I beat the BOT in our History of Magic quiz. She was so pissed, I almost died from laughing.”
I received a few pats on the back for my accomplishment from the people sitting around me, and got several laughs. Even Al was excited about messing with his cousins’ lives.
We had first met at the Slytherin table when Al got sorted. He plopped down next to me since it was the only seat left, and looked devastated. I could tell he was trying to hold back tears.
“All right there, mate?” I asked, loading up my plate with food at my first-ever Hogwarts feast. My father had told me all about how magical they were, and I was finding it to be true.
“I can’t be in Slytherin. It’s not what’s supposed to happen. I’m supposed to be in Gryffindor like the rest of my family, or at least in a respectable house like Ravenclaw. I’m such a screw-up.” His tears had started falling now, and he made no move to wipe them.
I immediately started rubbing his back. I had always been the one to comfort my mother when she and my father had a row. I wished there was tea at this feast so I could offer him some. “It’s not that bad, being in Slytherin. Plenty of good wizards came from here. And if you’re not part of the family if you get sorted in Slytherin, your family sounds like a load of tossers. Anyway, my name’s Scorpius, what about you?”
“Albus… Albus Potter.” I tried to hide the shock on my face, but I couldn’t. A Potter was sorted into Slytherin? It was sure to make the morning Prophet tomorrow.
“Well Albus Potter, are you going to eat anything or do I get more feast to myself?” I let out a chuckle, hoping he’d laugh, too. Thankfully, he did, and we talked for the rest of the night.
Al and I formed a friendship that would never be broken. His family hated both of us, and since everyone wanted to be friends with the children of the Golden Trio, no one else in other house really liked us either. We had our small group of friends, and that was it. However, we were closer to each other than anyone else. Al had to go home for Christmas hols each year, but he would spend Easter hols with my family and I. His father didn’t seem to mind all that much. I think that he knew Al didn’t get along well with his cousins and just wanted him to be happy.
Over the years, I learned that Harry Potter wasn’t that awful of a guy. He did save us all from horrible doom so I guess I owe him a bit. He and Al have a relationship of mutual understanding and acceptance. Al hates that he has a famous dad, but he told me they talked about it and his dad assured him that he didn’t ask for the fame. He actually tried very hard to avoid it, but he had to fulfill the Prophecy, so Al accepted that cameras would follow him everywhere he went. Harry didn’t like that Al wasn’t close to his family; harry had had no family after all, so he wanted Al to be close with his. However, he did understand that it was his cousins who cut him off after he got sorted into Slytherin and Al didn’t do anything wrong, so he accepted that he would rather be with his friend over Easter.
Afternoon classes weren’t anything out of the ordinary. I had read all the textbooks this summer, so I could have given each professor’s first lectures for them. I still took a copious amount of notes, just in case they happened to mention something I hadn’t read beforehand. I had dinner with my friends, then when Sofia asked me to join her and Al for a game of Exploding Snap I declined. I had to go upstairs and begin my revising schedule before my meeting since I had to take my OWLs this year.
“Relax Scorp,” she said, “your OWLs aren’t until the end of the year. Can’t you take one night off to goof around? If you start a breakneck pace like this you’re going to burn yourself out.”
As much as I hated to admit it, she did have a point. I could always make my schedule after just one game of Exploding Snap.
On game turned into several, as I kept winning and had to continuously defend my title. Ronnie had joined us after doing her weekly foot scrub with one of her other friends (Daphne? Dana? Didn’t matter), and she was a fierce competitor. We ended up playing all night, after several people had gone to bed. None of us were tired, though, so we just stayed up talking. Sofia told us about how she might get an internship at the Prophet this summer working with the Sports writer.
“It would be unpaid, obviously, and I would only be the first editor in a line of several so they can fix my mistakes after, but I’m so excited!”
She had been announcing Quidditch games since her first year. Headmistress McGonagall couldn’t find anyone who was willing to announce games in an unbiased manner in the upperclassmen, so she brought the offer to underclassmen. Sofia auditioned at one of our practices, and got the job on the spot. She has a great voice for sports commentating, and this internship could be just what she needed to get a leg in for doing it professionally.
We were interrupted by a banging on the portrait door when it dawned on me. I had had a Prefect meeting tonight. I had put a reminder on my desk for when I was making my revisement schedule. Shit shit shit shit. I was the worst Prefect ever. I opened the portrait to find a very irate Abigail and a positively fuming Rose Weasley.
“Mr. Malfoy, I trust you had something very important going on that you had to miss tonight’s meeting without letting me know?” The look on her face proved she knew I had nothing going on; it was the first day of term. I stuttered, trying to come up with an excuse.
“He was escorting me to the hospital wing” Al piped in. “I had something awful at dinner and was vomiting everywhere, he had to keep magicking it off my clothes while he took me down. I would have drowned in my own sick if he hadn’t come and saved me.” Rose just rolled her eyes at Al, not speaking to him.
“Okay, whatever. Anyways, this is the second time we’ve had issues already. You better hope you don’t screw up a third time or you could lose your Prefect privileges. You have rounds tonight, and Rose here is your partner. I know for a fact you two know one another.” I gave a quick nod while Rose once again rolled her eyes, clearly annoyed that we were working together.
Abigail continued. “I also know that you two have had issues in the past, and that is precisely why I paired you together. If you two can see past your differences and work together for inter-house unity, anyone can. You are expected to set an example. Now go, and enjoy your rounds together!” Abigail gave me a smile and walked away.
I stepped out of the common room and looked sheepishly at Rose. I knew I had messed up, and was waiting for her to scream at me.
“Listen. No arguing. We have rounds Mondays and Thursdays from 15:00 to 17:00. We will not speak to one another so we don’t fight. We will get these four hours of hell a week over as fast as we can. Trust me Malfoy you want to do as I say or I will make this upcoming year absolutely miserable for you.”
I was shell shocked. I had never heard Weasley take charge without making her voice shrill. I solemnly nodded, and we headed out to start our rounds.
A/N: I promise starting next chapter things will move a little more quickly and there will be more ScoRose action! Let me know what you think of the story so far and any guesses as to what happens next!
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