Chapter 20 : The One with the Tutoring
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"So have any of you made some progress on your current task? I want us to begin the build middle of February which means you only have a month to learn what you need to contribute to our mini Hogwarts and master the magic!" Professor Jordan asked while leaning back on his desk and sipping on pumpkin juice. Well, what Scorpius assumed was pumpkin juice.
Everyone looked at him blankly. Sadly no one had made very much progress at learning how their founder had contributed to the school. The first task was exciting because it was brand new, the second task was riveting because you got to take part in the action, and this task… Well this task was building a school. It was hardly worthy of "Defense Against the Dark Arts" in Scorpius' opinion.
But either way, Scorpius wanted to keep his perfect grades so he had to figure out what on earth Salazar Slytherin was in charge of when building the school. Professor Jordan had the groups break out into their teams so they could discuss their next steps.
"So I've been thinking, maybe we aren't getting far because we are not working together." Grace was the first to speak up.
"What do you mean Beckerit, we're one of the top teams!" Roger said triumphantly.
"Not us Roger, I mean all the teams together. The other tasks made sense why we were spread out, but these we will have to work together to build the castle anyway, why not just start now?" Grace asked.
"That's not a bad idea. But do you think the other teams will want to since this is still technically a competition?" Rose pondered.
"I think it's worth a shot. Either way we are stuck. We know all about the building but we don't know who built what. We could end up building the entire grand staircase only to find out Slytherin built the kitchen." Grace was sure of herself, she appeared to be growing in her confidence.
"Alright I'm in. What group do you want to talk to first Grace?" Scorpius felt she at least had an idea, and everyone else on his team had run out of them long ago.
"Oh, hm I'm not sure. What do you all think?" Grace looked up hopefully.
"Well Team Hufflepuff is in last and that's Acacia and Rupert's group so I'm sure Scorpius and I can get them on board. Are either of you friend's with Christy and Lorilee?" Rose questioned.
"Lorilee is not exactly my biggest fan, em bit of a misunderstanding back in fourth year you see…" Rupert looked nervous and stopped making eye-contact.
"Rupert what did you do to that poor girl?" Rose asked humored at what Roger must have done now.
"It's quite embarrassing really. I asked her out fourth year, and then I accidentally stood her up."
The group laughed at him. "Roger, how do you accidentally stand someone up?" Scorpius chuckled.
"Well, it was after quidditch practice and I fell asleep and she never believed me!"
"Well you better make up with her now and get over it because we need her on board! Grace are you and Christy close?" Rose questioned.
"Yea we get along pretty well. She is close with Taylor too since they're cousins, so if we get her we can start talking to Taylor since she is on Team Gryffindor. Then I'm sure you can convince Albus and Scorpius can convince Lysander. Allison and I have already talked about working together so that should be easy! The new girl Julia probably won't care either way." Grace had clearly already thought a lot of this through.
"Lysander will be up for working together and I can talk to Julia!" Scorpius chimed in. Rose rolled her eyes. She could not stand Hogwart's new student.
"Okay so how can we get Team Ravenclaw on board? They're our biggest competition so they may not want everyone being on the same page." Roger asked.
"The Creevey's are family friends so Colleen may listen to me. Gregory Flint probably doesn't care about this competition one way or another. Scorpius what do you think Aphrodite will say?" Rose looked to Scorpius to respond.
"Hmm I really don't know. She wants to be first place for sure, her grades are everything. It can't hurt to ask though! Roger you're friends with Tate though right?" Scorpius asked while putting away his notes for the day.
"Yea he's a good friend, but I have a feeling Grace would be the better person to ask." Roger said while winking at Grace.
"Oh um, yea I guess I could do that." She smiled softly.
"What! Grace Beckerit you and Tate Lanning? I thought you and Roger were meeting up!" Rose asked excited for her friend.
"Oh Merlin no, Roger was helping us out because we were both too shy to do anything about it." She said happily.
"Roger I had no idea you had such a heart?" Rose exclaimed jokingly.
"Ah yes, just call me Cupid, I could have pegged you and Scorpius here years ago but no one ever listens to me. Pity. I'm pretty sure I'd make a great seer." Roger said smugly.
"Oh yea Roger I'm sure you would have pegged a Malfoy and Weasley given they had no history at all and Witch Weekly has been nothing but affirming and encouraging of them." Grace retorted.
'What can I say Grace, it's a gift. The heart just knows. I called it, in fact I'd bet my wand that I'm telling you the truth Beckerit!"
The two continued to bicker while Scorpius and Rose packed up their things to leave class smiling. It felt nice to at least have other students supporting their relationship. They had both grown to enjoy Grace and Roger and welcome them as new friends. While Hogwarts was now in a place where people befriended other houses it was still difficult. Most people still stuck to their own house.
This task had allowed for everyone in DADA to get to know each other outside of house rivalries and all of the students had enjoyed it greatly. Scorpius for one, could not imagine how different his life would be right now without this task. Would he have ever gotten to know Rose?
One day he would have to thank Professor Jordan!
As they departed from class Scorpius said goodbye to Rose and his friends and left for the owlery, he needed to send a letter. The movement on his father's case had been dismal and now that Draco was back to perfect health he just wanted to forget about it and move on. He had increased the security around all the apothecaries and the manor but Astoria and Scorpius still wanted answers.
Scorpius had talked to Rose briefly about his frustration but he felt uncomfortable mentioning his issues with the investigation since her father was in charge of it. Rose had been supportive as best she could while Rupert and Lysander became who Scorpius would truly vent to about the predicament.
Scorpius looked around the owlery for Leon and was impressed as Leon spread his black wings and flew down to greet Scorpius. He rubbed Leon's beak, thankful for his constant companion.
"Hello Leon, I'm sorry I have not been by much lately. I guess I don't write as much anymore do I?"
Leon hooted and leaned into Scorpius hand. One of Scorpius' favorite memories with his father was purchasing Leon. Draco had told Scorpius before that there were times when he felt lonely in school but having a pet that really understands you makes all the difference.
Scorpius was only eleven and more excited about getting his wand then getting a pet but he was happy to amuse his father as they walked to Magical Menagerie. Sadly though none of the owls really paid attention to Scorpius. Draco swore that they would find the one and Scorpius would know it when he saw it!
Eventually they ended up at Eeylop's Owl Emporium where a new family of owlets had just hatched. Scorpius smiled as he remembered peering over the nest hoping he would connect with an owl and please his father. Draco simply hated cats, thought toads were for muggles, and rats were for alleyways. Getting an owl was the only way to go!
As soon as Scorpius peered over the nest he saw six owls, most of them speckled and white, but there was one that was different. He was all black with feathers too big for his body and bright yellow eyes. He immediately started to hoot at Scorpius. The owner of Eeylop's quickly came over to begin his sales pitch.
Apparently every owlet had already been claimed except for this one. People assumed that an all black owl was a bad omen. Scorpius knew what it felt like to be presumed a bad omen. He had to have this owl, and his father obliged. They spent the day picking out a cage and all the necessities for owl care and it turned out Draco was right. There really was nothing quite like having a pet who understood you so deeply.
While Scorpius continued to reminisce Leon hooted contently. It was nice and easy up in the owlery, no girlfriends to keep happy, no quidditch to stress over, no friends to take the mickey out of you, it was peaceful. But as Leon stretched out his leg for Scorpius he remembered why he had come up here in the first place. To write Ron Weasley.
"Dear Auror Weasley,
I should have thought of this sooner, but over Christmas break my parents were receiving hate mail and threats from various people. I burned them so my parents would not have to deal with it. You have to understand hate mail has always been a part of our livelihood. I instructed our house elves to manage it so my mother does not need to deal with the hatred people write us. I think there could be a clue as to who cursed my father in some of the letters or at least a lead to narrow down who hates him even more then the others. I will have our house elves deliver them to your office.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.
He sealed the letter and tied it to Leon. "This is very important Leon, make sure he gets it personally do not just drop it for anyone except Mr. Weasley."
Leon hooted back with annoyance that Scorpius could think that he ever failed a delivery. Scorpius smiled as his elegant owl took off. He laughed again reminiscing about how in 2nd year he got in a fight when someone told him Leon looked like an old crow. Leon may have been all black like a crow, but he truly was a beautiful animal and devoted partner to Scorpius.
He hoped that Leon would bring back an encouraging response from Mr. Weasley, he was beginning to worry that his mother could be in danger as well. He put these thoughts to the back of his mind and went down to meet his friends for dinner in the Great Hall.
Things had been weird lately. Rose kept finding herself frustrated with her relationship, she loved Scorpius, yet she wanted to kill him sometimes too. He was too bloody nice! Ever since Rose started dating Scorpius it was like all the women of Hogwarts were lining up to get tutored by him or ask him for help with flying or something random and pointless.
OF COURSE, Scorpius always said yes. He was so consumed by trying to be perfect to everyone all the time. Rose had spent the last week thinking about this. The new girl, Julia claimed she had a boyfriend. Rose thought this was rubbish and caught her always asking Scorpius for help with something.
Rose was a few days away from hexing her.
Scorpius on the other hand, seemed to love the attention he was receiving. He was excited to teach Julia to fly and Rose could barely contain her annoyance. So in retribution, Rose decided she would "help" that day but was really just there to make sure the crazy witch didn't try anything with her boyfriend. While Scorpius taught the girl to fly on a broom Rose decided she was either stupid or trying to fall and grab every inch of Scorpius she could. Every time the broomstick wobbled the girl would fall into Rose's handsome boyfriend giggling and managing to grab some part of Scorpius. So of course, Rose took action and moved Scorpius over and became the one Julia could use for balance.
Suddenly the girl was flying just fine.
What a wench.
Rose had kept quiet about her frustrations. Ever since her and Scorpius had gotten into the argument about sex they had a weird tension. Rose did not want to be seen as a crazy jealous girlfriend now. On top of that, Scorpius was with Marley McCabe all the time practicing for quidditch. Rose knew nothing was going on between them but it frustrated her to no end knowing what they had done before…
Loving someone made you so crazy and vulnerable. Thankfully she could distract herself with her own quidditch practices that seemed to be non-stop lately. Everyone in her house was determined to not just beat Ravenclaw, but to slaughter them. Ravenclaws had been a little too convinced the quidditch cup was there's this year, and if there was anything the entire Slytherin house loved it was coming out of nowhere and being victorious. Cunning snakes.
Currently Rose and Scorpius had decided not to talk about the upcoming match. Scorpius was too nervous and Rose too competitive. So instead they studied a lot, and snogged a lot instead of dealing with any of their rising issues.
"I have to go soon." Scorpius said huskily. Rose and him were lucky enough to find an abandoned broom cupboard and were enjoying their quality time.
"I'm sure I can convince you to stay." Rose smirked as she began kissing her boyfriend's neck.
"Rose… mmm I have to go tutor some people." He said begrudgingly.
"Who?" Rose stopped what she was doing. If he said some random girl's name she was going to lose it in the middle of a dingy broom cupboard.
Scorpius could sense the change in her voice "Just Aphrodite and I were going to help some fifth years with potions." He said nervously.
"Scorpius you have been tutoring people non-stop lately. We've hardly spent any time together outside of school." She whined. Rose hated that she was whining, but she was right. He was always helping that annoying Julia girl, at quidditch, or helping a bunch of fifth year girls who were obsessed with him.
"I know love. I promise I'll start saying no. I just like that people actually want my help all of a sudden. People pretty much ignored me until this year." Ugh now Rose felt guilty, he was going to go on his ' Malfoy name' tirade again.
"Scorpius just remember you can't make everyone happy, okay?" She kissed him again trying to cut him off before he started the whole "I need to cleanse the Malfoy name" thing. He kissed her back, hard. She knew he loved her deeply, but they just were not communicating well lately.
Scorpius left to go tutor what Rose assumed was a gaggle of fifth year girls and she left to go back to her dorm. When she arrived, Acacia was there. Rose and Acacia had always been closer then the other girls in their year. It worked out well though because out of the six girls in their year they all paired off as best friends.
"Acacia are you okay?" Rose asked cautiously. She could tell Acacia was upset, her curtains were halfway closed around her bed and she could hear sniffling.
"Yea, I just. Men are so frustrating Rose!" Acacia exclaimed.
"I could not agree more. Yet we still keep going back, don't we?" Rose was probably not the most positive one to have this conversation with right now.
"Rupert can be such an arse sometimes. Today we got in the dumbest fight because he just had to prove he was right about something. So I called him out and asked why he had to be right all the time and he blew up and somehow turned it around into how I am always critical of him and he feels like he'll never be good enough for me. I honestly have no idea how I ended up being the one feeling terrible? I wasn't trying to pick a fight I was just asking him a question because he was being so pushy about being right."
"Yikes. It's Rupert though, he'll calm down and make a joke of this later, you know that?"
"Yes Rose but sometimes I don't want to make a joke and laugh it all off. I want to have a real conversation because if he really feels like I'm that critical of him then I would like to know why." Acacia said bluntly as she began braiding her hair.
"Yea, you're right. I guess I'm in the same boat as Rupert then and am running away from conversations too. People are difficult and understanding one another and communicating sucks. Maybe you and Rupert can figure it out first and then give me tips?" Acacia gave a soft laugh at Rose.
"None of us know what we are doing then, huh?"
"Not in the slightest. Hopefully I don't hex Scorpius before I mature enough to just talk to him." Rose said sourly.
"He still tutoring every girl that breathes?" Acacia asked smirking.
"Yes, it's to the point where I'm convinced they're making up bad grades. And did I tell you about the American girl who asked him to help her fly? She can totally fly on her own!" Rose was finally letting loose some of her thoughts.
"Rose, you should know this. You were the only one who really noticed Scorpius being kind, smart, and fit. Then you started dating him, and now all the other girls start noticing. You have to either claim him and get them to back off, or tell him he needs to figure out when girls are flirting with him. Its like once you started dating him we all stopped seeing him as a death eater." Acacia said matter-of-factly.
"Ugh if I hear him talk about being a death eater one more time! Who actually thought that? I mean you didn't!"
"Yes, but our fathers are friends so I grew up knowing Scorpius. Other people did actually think that. You have to remember some people don't say rude war comments around you because of your parents. Your parents literally saved the world from death eaters." Acacia was beginning to cheer up as she explained Rose's problems to her. Rose missed when they were talking about Acacia's love life instead.
"Ughhhh but I don't want to deal with all these girls. I just want to stun them all and leave it at that. Scorpius and I were so easy last term it was like breathing!"
"Well guess you are out of the honeymoon stage Rosie! Now you need to decide if you want to deal with the hard stuff or bail."
"What? No I definitely don't want to bail! I'll figure it out when you make Rupert talk to you about your problems then."
"Okay deal, I'll go grab him right now. He's probably sulking in his room."
"What, no! Acacia please can't we just do this later! Scorpius is helping the fifth year girls right now I can't just go barging in!"
"Why not he's your boyfriend? Woman up Weasley!"
Acacia being the good friend she was, dragged Rose into the library.
"Hey Scorpius, your girlfriend needs to speak with you!" Madam Cord immediately got up to shush Acacia. Scorpius looked embarrassed but got up from helping the four girls who were all surrounding him. Rose did not see Aphrodite.
"Um hello Rose, what's up?"
Acacia was being chastised by Madam Cord but was giving Rose the stare-down.
"Where is Aphrodite?" Rose asked quickly. She hated confrontation. She hated it so much.
"Oh um grabbing books from the Charms section. Why?" Scorpius looked even more confused.
"Look. I… I know this is weird. But. I've been really annoyed lately at how often you're with other girls. I know you're being kind. I know you really probably are the best person to tutor them. I know all these things. But when you're spending more time with all these random girls then me, that gets under my skin." Rose said all of it quickly and was nervous for Scorpius response.
"Oh. Well I mean they're younger girls and the new girl. It's not like they matter." He said calmly.
"They may not matter to you, and maybe they shouldn't to me. But they're flirting with you, and hitting on you, and it just irks me. You don't seem me hanging out with Gregory Flint or Roger? They hit on any girl with a heartbeat." Rose felt she had made a good point.
Scorpius chuckled. "Yes, I guess you're right. I just like to help people Rose. I like to teach people. It's nice."
"It doesn't make me feel too nice Scorpius." Rose was beginning to think Scorpius would not relent. She couldn't necessarily blame him. She was asking him 'hey stop helping people because I say so!' That felt crazy.
"I'm sorry Rose, I don't want you to feel that way. I love you so much and no girl competes with you I promise." He placed his hand on her cheek.
"You say that, but all these other girls are the ones getting all your time. Have you noticed you don't tutor a single guy?"
Rose was getting frustrated now and Scorpius' sweet words were not going to be the answer she wanted.
"Well, no I guess I never thought about it."
"Yes, well I very well have thought about it. Do you like the attention? Do you not think I give you enough attention?"
Scorpius looked bashful as he stared at his shoes. "No, I just want to help them. I didn't think it was that big of deal. It's not like I'm helping Marley or something."
"Scorpius this is not what this is about. This is about the fact that you spend more time with random girls then me." Rose was beginning to get short with him now.
"Well we have two different quidditch schedules and a few different classes so its hard to meet you sometimes. We can spend more time together Rose I promise."
"I guess so Scorpius, but that doesn't change the fact that you still would rather spend time tutoring these random girls as they laugh and giggle around you and touch your arms. You know the new girl was falling all over you when you 'taught her to fly', that was such rubbish she knew how to fly." Rose was whisper yelling in the library now and people were beginning to notice.
"Her name is Julia and she has a boyfriend Rose, you're being crazy." His words were curt and short. He had never spoken to her like that.
"Okay then. Well then you go hang out with your fan club Scorpius and find me once you have your ego built up." She was hurt, he actually called her crazy. Was she really being that dramatic? Scorpius tried to apologize and fix the situation but Rose was already hurt and knew the library was not the best place to talk this out. Acacia was right, they needed to communicate, however not like this. Random whisper arguments with Madam Cord glaring at you were not the way to go.
Madam Cord had finished chastising Acacia and she glared at Scorpius as Acacia and Rose walked away. Suddenly Rose's intelligent boyfriend looked incredibly dumbfounded as they left the library.
What's wrong with helping people? Why would Rose ask him to stop helping people? He wasn't doing anything wrong. All he did was sit at a table and go over complex charms with fellow students who just happened to be girls. He was aware though that the way Julia was touching him during her flying lesson made him uncomfortable, but he wouldn't admit that to Rose.
As he finished helping the fifth year girls he walked back to Ravenclaw Tower frustrated and deep in thought before Aphrodite spoke up.
"Do you want to talk about it?" She asked calmly.
"Is it really that obvious?" He asked sourly while walking briskly back to the common room.
"Yes Scorpius it is. Look stop rushing back to the damn common room and talk about this because Rupert and Lysander will not have good advice. Rupert will tell you girls are crazy and Lysander will give you some vague advice. I am all you have right now." Scorpius forgot how Aphrodite could suddenly go all lecture mode on you, and yet the way she did it made everyone stop and listen to her. He signed and they stopped rushing to the common room to talk.
"I just don't understand what's the big deal with me helping some people out." He said as he sat down on a bench, dropping his books hard on the ground.
"Look Scorpius, you have a girlfriend and she needs to be your priority over other girls. If you don't want to prioritize her over other girls then she should not be your girlfriend, it's that simple." Aphrodite said curtly.
"I do prioritize her!"
"No Scorpius, you have spent every night these past few weeks with other girls. I know because for some of the time I've been there, but even when I’m not there ,you are! Helping some fifth year while she blushes when you speak to her."
"They don't blush." He scoffed.
"Scorpius, you need to learn to tell people no. You're a prefect so yes you have to help younger students sometimes. But when you're hurting someone I know you care about, that's when your priorities are all mixed up." She said kindly.
"I just want to be a good prefect, a good quidditch player, a good friend, a good student, a good son, a good boyfriend, you name it I want to be good at it and it's so difficult." He sighed.
"Yes, but Scorpius your version of being 'good' is being perfect and that's unrealistic. You can be such a perfectionist sometimes."
"I just hate to disappoint people." He said softly.
Aphrodite put a hand on his back, she felt bad for her friend. Out of the Ravenclaw sixth years Scorpius had always been hardest on himself. She had seen him stress over every grade, she had seen him not leave his room for two days when he messed up at a quidditch match, she had seen him cry when he accidentally hexed her during a third year dueling competition. Everyone in Ravenclaw tower knew that Scorpius was obsessed with people pleasing and perfection. They all loved him and knew his heart was in the right place, but sometimes it was overbearing. Everyone assumed that's why he and Rupert worked so well together. Rupert could laugh about anything while Scorpius had freak outs over finding wrinkles in his cloak. He always wanted to be seen as good enough.
"I know you do Scorpius. But you're only human, if you really want to be happy you need to just focus on pleasing the people who matter. Your family, your friends, Rose."
He paused to think about her words. He knew she was right, but it gave him so much anxiety to displease people. He was fully aware of how stupid it was to not want to disappoint a random new student or random younger students. He wished he could just not care. But that was the thing about being Scorpius Malfoy, he had always cared. He never wanted anyone to think less of him.
He was always trying to keep everything together.
"That's a lot harder than you make it sound Aphro." He spoke softly now as he was starting to realize the issue was not just between him and Rose, but this was an issue that went on to Scorpius' core. He just cared too much about what people thought.
"I know it is, but if you start just trying to patch things up with Rose I think that is a good start. Just tutor people once a week, you don't have to quit entirely."
"Yea, you're right. That makes sense. I still don't get why that makes her jealous though."
"Scorpius. Can you honestly tell me you would not be bothered by Rose hanging out with a bunch of guys every single night?" Aphrodite asked with absurdity at how thick Scorpius was being.
"Well, yea but I'm not hanging out with them. That's different."
"No, it's really not. You just have a double standard that you'll have to work through on your own time." Aphrodite sighed shaking her head at him.
"Okay, okay I see your point. Let's go back to the common room I can't let you think you are smarter then me." Scorpius grabbed all the books he had dropped on the ground.
"I don't just think I am Scorpius, I know I am. Oh and I heard your little plan to get everyone to work together on our DADA assignment, I'm too far ahead for that. Nice try." She smirked.
"Are you serious? Everyone else has agreed to work together except your team!"
"Well when you're number one why would you let people catch up to you?"
"I'm pretty sure you're a Slytherin you know?" He retorted.
The two headed back to the common room in better spirit and with Scorpius realizing he needed to cancel some tutoring plans and make up with Rose.
A/N Scorpius and Rose are teenagers, and even though I assume teenagers in a magical boarding school are more mature, they're still teens. These two have a lot fo work to do! Scorpius has been raised to always try and be perfect for everyone, and that's a tough lesson to learn how to give your best only to those who deserve it. Rose is still getting over her insecurities and has growth to do too! Let me know what you think. Time to focus on the task now! Oh and of course our favorite, Draco Malfoy!
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