Chapter 21 : A Visit to the Village
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As soon as Transfiguration as over, however, she stuffed her books into her bag and rushed off, making time only for a quick goodbye and a kiss on Scorpius’s cheek. Possibly because they were still right outside the classroom at the time and their classmates hadn’t started to scatter yet, he’d gone bright red at that, but she didn’t have time to stick around for any potential fallout - James had had a very interesting proposal the night before that she really wanted to take him up on.
When she got to the Common Room, he was already there, shifting around impatiently in front of the notice board. “Are we still on?” he asked when she rushed in.
“Yeah, let me just toss this stuff upstairs.” She took the stairs two at a time - they didn’t have any time to waste. When she got back downstairs, they immediately headed for the portrait hole… and for a very particular statue of a witch with a hump.
When the bell over Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes tinkled half an hour later, Fred looked up from the table in the back and let out a laugh. “Hey, guys. I was beginning to think you’d forgotten all about me and started caring about the rules.”
As they headed toward him, Rose noticed a new display on the left wall. The sign above it said “All-New Shield Charms!” in large capital letters and underneath, in slightly smaller size, “Never get jinxed again.” The display was empty so far, but judging from the size of it, there was going to be an extensive selection. She and James settled themselves in the two remaining chairs at the table, and Fred waved his wand to banish the plants he’d clearly been experimenting with to the back room.
“Sorry,” James said. “We’ve both been a little busy. You know how it goes.” He winked at Fred, who let out a loud guffaw.
“I see. Well, I’m happy to see you’re both partaking in the pleasures of the flesh. Who’s been lucky enough to get graced with your attentions?”
James grinned at Rose, who just barely managed to hold back a groan. She had a pretty good idea of what was coming. “Well, I’m trying to start something up with Marion Thomas.” Fred nodded his approval, and James’s grin grew broader. “But Rose - you haven’t heard from your sister?” Their cousin shook his head. “Well, Rose hasn’t been able to keep her hands - or mouth, for that matter - off Scorpius long enough for them to find a place where the rest of her family isn’t going to stumble over them. We’ve all been a little scarred.”
Fred stared at them for a moment. “Scorpius - Albus’s best friend Scorpius?” Rose nodded. She’d need to face the music sometime. “Scorpius Malfoy? Like, the Slytherin?”
“Pretty sure there’s not another one.”
Fred sat back in his seat, looking genuinely stunned. “Is he exaggerating, Rose?”
She sighed and shook her head. “No… James and Roxanne found us in a corridor - though he knew before that, and I’m pretty sure he was looking for us,” she said, giving him a pointed look. He didn’t look remotely abashed. “And Albus - er - saw us by the lake.”
“I hope you’d told him by that point.”
James cut in. “But I don’t think he was quite prepared to find them with Scorpius’s hand up Rose’s shirt while she had her tongue down his throat.”
Rose kicked him. “He’s exaggerating. My tongue was not down his throat.” James raised his eyebrows at her, and she sighed. If she didn’t say it, she knew he would, so she might as well own up to it. “It was just - er - in his mouth. We didn’t really notice Albus.”
For once, Fred was at a loss for words. Unfortunately, James was not.
“Don’t worry, it’s been reciprocated. When we found them, she was halfway to ripping his shirt off and he had his tongue in her mouth.”
She kicked him again. “I was not ripping his shirt off. Stop exaggerating. I just - um - wanted to touch his chest. People find him very attractive, you know, Colleen and Natalia keep telling me they’re jealous.”
Fred shook his head, still looking very bemused. “Can’t believe you’re doing all that with a Slytherin. He’d better be really, really good at kissing.”
“Oh, he is.” If anything, the strength with which she said that seemed to disturb the boys more, so she changed the subject. “Can we have something to drink?”
Fred raised his wand, and several bottles of butterbeer floated over. Rose took one and opened it, but James crossed his arms and kept staring at Fred, who laughed and raised his wand again. As Rose took a swig, another bottle and two glasses floated over, and when they’d landed, Fred opened the firewhiskey. “You are not having all of it,” he said, pouring a very small amount into one glass and filling the other about a quarter of the way.
He pushed the first glass to James, who scoffed, “That’s hardly any!”
Fred made to take the glass away. “I could just give you none.”
James snatched it up. “No, I’m good.” He took a drink and shuddered. “I love this stuff.”
Fred downed a significant portion of his own glass and put the bottle in the centre of the table. “So, Rosie,” he said, taking a drink of the whiskey himself. “What’d you do to need the shield stuff two weeks into school?”
In some ways, Rose was glad to share the story with Fred. She loved all of her cousins, but there was a special place in her heart for Fred. He’d been the one who had first put her on the Quidditch team, back in her second year, and even though he’d only been her captain for a year, she’d learned a lot from him – in some ways, even more than from James in twice the time, since Fred was also a Chaser.
“Well…” She launched into a lengthy and detailed rendition. By the time she finished, Fred was beaming.
“All right,” he said. “That’s good. Can’t believe he still wanted to snog you after that though - he must have looked ridiculous.”
“He did,” James said proudly.
Fred turned back to Rose. “And I’m proud to see that being made a prefect hasn’t stopped you from going out-of-bounds.”
She grinned. “Did you really think it would?”
“Nah. I knew you wouldn’t start putting family members in detention or any nonsense like that.”
“Well, Lucy really does try to avoid putting us in detention,” James said fairly. “She’s only done it to me and Roxanne a couple of times, and we really deserved it.”
“What did you do?” Fred asked.
“One time she caught us making pumpkins filled with stinksap explode over Deborah Baddock and Victoria Summerby, and the other we slipped Julian a love potion and made sure he saw Roxanne first. He followed her around for an entire day before coming out of it.” James was clearly enjoying the memories; apparently, the detentions had had no effect. Rose somehow wasn’t surprised.
“Huh.” Fred took another swig of his whiskey. “Rose says you’re putting them through the ropes at practice. I’m proud of you.”
James leaned forward enthusiastically, and he and Rose were off, describing the team’s improvement, their competition, and their new training regimen. They’d both started on the team under Fred, and he’d helped them turn develop into very good players. As such, they were always exceedingly eager to impress him, and he was always very interested in hearing about how the team was doing without him.
As the afternoon wore on, Rose sighed. “We should really be getting back. We’ve still both got a class this afternoon.”
Fred walked them to the front of the shop and handed them a small bag. “I thought I might be seeing one of you soon,” he said.
“Not that I’m complaining, but you just sent us a huge box.”
He shrugged. “Yeah, well. Good advertising. They’ll be streaming in here first Hogsmeade weekend.” He gave both of them a hug.
“They will anyway,” Rose said, “But thanks.” She touched the necklace. “Especially for this.”
“No problem,” he said, reaching out to rufflle her hair. “What’s family for, anyway?” He gave them each a hug. “Get going. I’ll see you soon.”
They pulled the invisibility cloak back over themselves before they left the shop, and Rose dropped a decoy detonator right outside the door of Honeydukes. When it exploded, the owners ran outside, and she and James slipped in through the open door.
“Must have escaped from Weasleys',” she heard the man say as they hurried down the stairs.
“It’s amazing how often that works,” she said softly to James.
He let out a soft chuckle as they pulled open the trapdoor. “It is.”
They had to duck into several unused classrooms on their way back to the common room. Between prefects, teachers, and the caretaker, there were plenty of people about who would have been happy to put them in detention for going out-of-bounds, as their bag clearly indicated that they had. Even students might have raised a commotion.
The common room wasn’t full, but it wasn’t empty, either, and when they clambered through the portrait hole, they got several curious looks, and Damien called out, “Why did they make you a prefect again?”
“I don’t know,” she called back. “Maybe they’re hoping it’ll encourage me to behave myself!” He grinned. She elbowed James, who was clearly enjoying the attention he was getting from an assorted group of sixth and seventh years. “Let’s get this upstairs.”
He made a face at her. “Killjoy,” he muttered, but he picked up the bags and followed her up the stairs that led to the boy’s dormitories. When they reached the sixth year’s door, James kicked it open and they dropped the packages on his bed. “You know,” he said, “just once, I’d like to toss stuff all over your room and leave it for you to clean up.”
Rose shrugged. “Not my fault you can’t come up into our dormitory. Come on, we’ve got to get our books and head to class. Or at least I have to.”
He sighed. “No, I do, too. Unfortunately.”
A/N: This was originally much earlier in the story, but I decided to move it back to here - I'd love some feedback on how you think it fits in here. :) Regardless, I really hope you enjoyed the chapter! I know there was minimal Scorpius, but he'll be back next chapter, I promise. ;)
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