“She rose her feeble hand, wand trembling between her boney fingers and tried to invoke the Dark Mark.”
The whole room roared with laughter. Rose could almost scent Al’s amused smile by her side as she heard his chair leaning backwards with ease. But she put her elbows over the table and mirrored Professor Müller’s frowning. It didn’t make sense.
“You should all know what this mark used to mean,” he proceeded and the classroom went silent within an instant. Grief was palpable in the air, and Rose shifted in her seat as his words floated in the air, “so you should understand why I was forced to disarm her immediately. She probably didn’t seem like a threat, but any sort of praise of the dark wizard should raise worry in us.”
Rose nodded at him, a sign that he had her full attention and by then, he probably had the whole class’ attention. But he didn’t elaborate further and no student dared to ask as they continued reading the Second Wizarding War newspaper article. She would usually have been immersed in the reading, but her thoughts were too fast to be doing anything else than pondering on the professor’s words.
She had loved DADA since the first class and really looked up on him, cold eyes and gentle smirk. He had gone through many things, --which was a lot to say considering who her parents were--, and she waned to live all he had when she grew up. She wanted to be able to help others as he did, and know how to stop dark magic from growing. She wanted to travel around the world and in the darkest forests, discovering magical animals and spells. Professor Müller was a great wizard and she wanted to be able to pass knowledge like he was doing.
But above all, Rose admired how years after the war, there was still people he fought and others he saved. She was surprised by this fact and his last story left her thinking, but at the same time, she wondered why it surprised her. After all, her parents still had a lot of work, in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and that meant people still did wrong.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the bells announcing the end of that term. She stood up numbly and walked out next to Al. He passed her their schedule.
She had already gotten lost once with all Hogwarts’ constantly changing stairs and fake doors, but as it was for History of Magic, Professor Binns the ghost hadn’t even raised his gaze from his notes and she had managed to enter the room without waking anyone up. In fact, it was the best class to take a rest before the end of the day, and Rose was getting tired of being the exception to that student habit.
For a moment she wished she had Charms, but wasn’t really in the mood of seeing Professor Yang. She didn’t exactly dislike him, but he wore an aura of superiority that, even if unintentional, would let everyone know of his talents. Rose wasn’t jealous as Al laughed, but there are just some people you won’t get along with. She did make an effort as he was her friend’s father and she liked Charms.
Rose shot her head up from the parchment.
“Double Herbology class with Slytherins? This must be a joke.” she muttered angrily.
“What’s with Slytherins?” Al asked, showing his incredible acute hearing as he swiftly took the schedule from her hands.
Rose rolled her eyes.
“That they’re mostly extremely ambitious and will always be the leaders. Plus they can get quite selfish, not to mention Griffyndors and Slytherins are made to hate each other.”
“Being as smart as you are, you surprise me there. Don’t you tell me Professor Yang isn’t pretty cool.”
Rose frowned at Al. He knew all her qualities and flaws, and so where Rose struggled with her modesty: her wits. She hated going anywhere near arrogant, but when Al insinuated she wasn’t being smart but prejudicious, it somehow hurt her.
She tried to calm her angst and remember they were at Hogwarts, and not some hidden forest where people still believed in Death Eaters and wizards like Professor Müller would shudder. She looked up at the tall ceiling and stone columns strongly sustaining it, then back at Albus.
“Maybe, but he’s older, and still a little bit...”
But Al didn’t seem to think it was worth discussing and was long gone reading into his mother’s fourth letter. Rose stopped him from tripping over his robe and smiled at him. They’ll see who was right soon enough. She squinted her eyes as they started walking on the green grounds and herbal air filled her lungs.
The sun started singingly heating the greenhouse as Professor Longbottom gave his students the instructions. Rose tried to memorize each word as it came out of his mouth and scrutinized his expressions. She wanted to show him she was more than just “Ron’s and Hermione’s daughter”, more than the smart little Weasley.
“But before you make your groups, I’d like to add one last rule. I know that there’s always been rivalry between Slytherin and Gryffindor, --I think it actually dates form the creation of the houses. And that is exactly why I think we should finish with this. It’s become some kind of prejudice that I certainly do not agree with, –won’t allow–, and we’ll start to change from now. You’ll be making groups of three with at least one member of each house. And no ‘buts’! C’mon! Start working!”
Rose’s jaw dropped and she was glad they weren’t in the quidditch field; a bludger would have perfectly fit in there. He was certainly more than just nice Uncle Neville. Crazy respected teacher.
“I don’t know how he does, but uncle Neville always manages to make me think he’s either wiser or braver every single time I speak to him.” Al smiled and walked off.
Rose was still in her shock when she heard Al’s greetings all the way from the Slytherin group.
“Oi, Scorpius! Want to work with my cousin and I?”
The silver blonde haired boy looked at him like in detailed search for a mocking touch in his words that he didn’t seem to find. Rose shook her head slightly, she hadn’t found any bitter sarcasm in his words either, not that he used it very often. It was still wrong.
“Why not,” he shrugged, “thank you.” and a friendly smile slowly appeared on his pale features.
From all the Slytherins, Al had chosen the only one her parents had mentioned, and that because his father couldn’t stand his family. Malfoy. For a year or two she had thought they had forgotten this incomprehensible hatred, but then it had started once more, that summer actually. She couldn’t quite understand and her family avoided the topic, but there had to be a good reason for it to continue that way after so many years.
At least the hat hadn’t sorted him the second he touched his hair. Actually, Rose could remember it hesitating on him. He could be different, she wished.
“Hello.” politely replied Rose. “I’m Rose.”
“Scorpius.” he held her his hand. “Nice meeting you.”
Al eyed her discreetly, trying to tell her not to be extremely polite. She faked she hadn’t seen him and tried to make conversation.
“Well,” she started, “have you read the book?”
“Why yes. But I don’t see how that could help us in anyway. I think this is more instinctive.” he shrugged again, his lips slightly curving down on the edges.
“Maybe.” she tried to stay polite as the word ‘arrogant’ crossed her mind. It was ironic how she had used that word to describe herself just minutes before. It didn’t suit her at all.
“Shall we start?” Al piped.
As they worked, Scorpius demonstrated to be incredibly talented with natural things and strangely arrogant while keeping educated and kind, which only confused Rose even more. She couldn’t make her mind up on him, and strangely wasn’t exasperated by it, or the fact that he could correct them both without being that annoying, she thought.
“Oh no. You’re hurting her. Here, let me hep you.”
Even if she didn’t like to be corrected that way, Rose let him take her hand in his and guide her moves so the plant didn’t complain.
The rest of the class passed by softly with the same friendly atmosphere, and much to Rose’s surprise, it didn’t bother her. He knew how to show off without making it a wonder of the world, and smile widely without looking smug or childish.
Maybe Al was right. Maybe they weren’t all so bad. They were different. But why would that mean they’re bad? No reason. And maybe even Scorpius could teach her things. He surely did in Herbology class.
But no, I always do my best not to be prideful and don’t like how it feels. He had certainly demonstrated all the opposite. He liked attention. She liked sharing. He liked showing. All the opposite. She tried to convince herself. Right?
As they left the greenhouse and Rose stared at the big castle, her thoughts went back on Professor Müller’s anecdote. She shuddered despite the sun’s high position in the sky and lighting rays. A woman, extremely weak and lonely had given her last hopes and strength on an attempt to invoke Death Eaters. Rose knew the Second Wizarding War like the back of her hand. Her parents and uncles and grandparents had lived through it and fought for what was right. Her mother had told her bedtime stories like anyone else, but Rose had sometimes managed to make her talk about the war while Hugo fell asleep. Her parents were heroes she thought. They had never lost hope, and instead spread it.
But the thought of someone’s hope being the existence of such a dark and heartless wizard shocked her. How could anyone barely strong enough to breathe want to live to kill innocent people? What else was there on being a Death Eater?
“You still haven’t told me what you thought of today’s class.” Al brought her out of her swirling thoughts.
But Rose knew he wasn’t referring to DADA class.
“I... you neither.” Rose realized.
“What class?” Miao asked, catching up with their tour on the lake’s fresh shore. They hadn’t had class with Ravenclaws that day.
“We had Herbology with Slytherins today. And Rose wasn’t so pleased by the idea.” Al told the twins looking at Rose with the tip of his eye.
“I didn’t! You know how first years are!” They always enjoyed outwitting each other, and Rose was relieved they hadn’t lost their tradition in Hogwarts. Ri’s amused raised eyebrow also relaxed her as he wasn’t resenting it. They all chuckled. The autumn breeze had long yet to arrive, but the laughers refreshed Rose’s mind nonetheless.
“I was wrong. Happy?” Rose could feel her cheeks heating, but it certainly wasn’t from anger of any sorts.
Al didn’t answer, but it looked like he was because he smiled and walked long strides, his head higher. The silence was suddenly broken by Ri’s talking, unnaturally high pitched.
“You know... the hat almost put me in Slytherin. He told me I’d be a great leader and I’ll triumph in everything I wanted to. But he also said I was really intelligent. That I would learn a lot in Ravenclaw and maybe even teach others...” His blush made a huge contrast on his always parchment pale skin as his voice trailed off.
“Really? Awesome mate! I’m surprised you didn’t tell me before! Wit Leader!” Al cheered.
“I’m surprised you didn’t tell me before.You know you can trust me, and I’m your twin!” Miao didn’t look that offended and was smiling widely, showing her white squared teeth.
“I’m telling you now.” he shrugged. “Sorry... you know I trust you.” he was smiling at everyone’s pleasant reaction.
“Well I think you’re pretty cool.” Al continued. “And that bloke Scorpius was also pretty nice. Merlin, what I learned from him in one class!” Rose was taken aback by Al’s sudden rush of compliments. He was usually a lot more quiet and took his time to choose the best words, but then again, he had been particularly high spirited since their arrival to Hogwarts. She had never even talked to a Slytherin until then.
Pretty nice. How was it that he was pretty nice? She surely liked Ri. And he almost got in Slytherin! That was why the hat made that funny face during the sorting. “Wit Leader” That title could also fit Scorpius. “And maybe even teach others”. Al was also right there. She had actually learned from him. In one class! Why should I care of his arrogance if he’s kind and smart? She couldn’t stop thinking of him correcting her. Or was it really ‘helping’ her? Maybe we could be friends...
That thought draw a smile upon her face as she kept walking around the calm lake. That morning, she would have never, ever, under any circumstances, thought of being friends with Scorpius Malfoy.
A/N: So, what did you think of this second chapter? I'm re-writing the whole story and adding some angst, so if you have any comments or suggestions feel free to post them with you review! Thanks for reading :)