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The Wrinkles of the Road by Beeezie
Chapter 5 : St. Mungo's
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 14


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Thanks to moriarty. @ TDA for the amazing CI!




Rose raised her wand, but Dedworth was faster.

“Stupefy!”

The creature let out a shrill squeal and dodged away from the jet of red light, which set off sparks when it hit a tree trunk. The creature turned and began running on all fours toward the woods, and Dedworth took after it.

Rose was following him when he yelled, “Check her!” He waved his free hand vaguely toward the body on the ground as he sped into the trees. She heard him calling out to her cousin as she came to a stop beside the body - apparently, the three metre rule was no longer in effect.

She looked down at the person lying on the ground and felt a chill run down her spine. Rose was no stranger to monsters, but she’d never been this close to someone who’d been ravaged by one before, at least not before they’d been patched up some in St. Mungo’s.

The body belonged to a young woman - she probably wasn’t much older than Victoire. Her face was oddly untouched other than a few small scratches and some dirt, but the rest of her body was a mess. There were rips and holes in her dress that Rose somehow suspected hadn’t been there before she’d ventured out into the forest, and judging by the sharp, violent little incisions crisscrossing the skin visible beneath them and the blood seeping into the ground around her, they’d interrupted the Erkling in the middle of a feast.

Rose couldn’t help but wonder what it had done to lure the woman into the forest.

She knelt down and mechanically put two fingers on the woman’s neck. With the obvious severity of the injuries, she wasn’t really expecting much, and she was just pulling her hand away again when she thought she felt a faint beat.

Keeping an eye out for the Erkling’s return - or some other magical beast that smelled an easy meal - she doubled her attention as she pressed her fingers back.

This time, she was sure of it - that was a heartbeat.

She glanced toward the forest. She could faintly hear Dedworth and Victoire yelling, but she couldn’t quite make out their words. She considered calling out as loud as she could - when she was really trying, Rose’s voice could definitely travel - but she didn’t want to risk distracting them. Erklings weren’t the worst of the worst, but still, they shouldn’t be taken lightly - the Ministry rated them as XXXX, and she knew that they could do quite as much damage as a manticore when they set their minds to it... or when someone underestimated them.

The evidence was right in front of her.

The woman’s heart gave a very faint throb again, and Rose rocked back on her heels. If only she had Scorpius here. He would know what to do.

He might still be in training, but he was good at what he did - really good. Between his Outstandings in his N.E.W.T.s in Potions, Charms, and Healing, and his generally cool-headed demeanor even in the face of a real crisis, St. Mungo’s had been ecstatic to take him on. If he was here, he’d probably have the woman stable (if not completely Healed) within a few minutes.

Unfortunately, the woman didn’t have Scorpius. She had Rose, and Rose was not very good at saving people. She was good at fighting, but she could barely close a cut, let alone mend the sort of injuries that this woman had sustained.

“Damnit.” Rose stood and took a step back, trying to recall everything Scorpius had ever said about Healing. He’d spoken about it with increasingly frequency over the last few years, and Rose had tried to pay attention. She really had.

However, when he started going on about specifics, she’d often ended up finding herself distracted by his eyes or his smile or thinking about what his hands could be doing to her instead of gesturing wildly about how tricky this incantation was or how this spell would replace lost blood but also force a miscarriage if the witch it was used on was pregnant or...

If he was here...

But he wasn’t, and the blood was still seeping steadily out of the woman’s wounds. She didn’t have a lot of time.

From the squeals that had started to echo out of the forest, Victoire and Dedworth had tracked the Erkling and were currently fighting it. She definitely didn’t want to risk distracting one of them, though she knew that both were much better at basic Healing spells than she was.

In general, Rose would have just sat guard over the dying woman and waited for them to get back, but she was more than a little worried that if she didn’t do something now the woman wouldn’t last to get real help.

She heard a crack in the bushes behind her, but when she spun around, she didn’t see anything there. This was not entirely comforting to her: if a rabbit had hopped out from behind the tree or a bird had taken flight, she would have known what had caused the sound.

As it stood, she didn’t know, but she couldn’t leave the body to go investigate. It could be nothing. It could be a trap. Hell, even if it was nothing, there might be some other creature, quietly waiting in the woods for an opportune moment. Rose didn’t know all the things that lurked in the forest off Hogsmeade, but the woman had lost so much blood that anything with a halfway decent sense of smell would be flocking to this area. From the cracks and the shrill screaming she could hear in the distance, Victoire and Dedworth still had the Erkling occupied. She briefly wondered why they hadn’t killed it yet, but while it seemed like an eternity had passed since she realised that the woman was alive and that she needed to do something now, it was probably only a couple minutes.

Rose shuffled around the body so she was facing the direction of the forest. It was too shrouded in shadows for her to see if there was anything peering out at her, but at least this way if there was she wouldn’t be taken unaware.

She sighed and steeled herself before leaning down and pointed her wand at what looked like one of the worst of the woman’s many wounds. “Sanores,” she whispered, and the flesh immediately started to come back together. It stopped about two-thirds of the way there, which wasn’t ideal, but at least she’d remembered it and it had worked.

Sort of.

That turned out to be her best effort; she ended up needing several tries each to close up the major wounds most of the way, and she had no luck in stopping the blood that still leaked out from several, though at least the wounds it was leaking out of were smaller and it was flowing more slowly.

The noises from Victoire and Dedworth’s battle with the Erkling had died down, and Rose hoped it meant they were on their way back - she was completely out of her depth.

There was another crack from the bushes, and she jumped. At this point she was clenching her wand so tightly that her knuckles were white.

She was so focused on the part of the woods she’d heard the crack from that she didn’t process the footsteps behind her until she felt a sharp pain on her back. She spun around just as a stunner hit what looked like a smaller Erkling in the head. It fell against her back with a thud, and she winced as the pain from the scratches intensified. When she jerked her head around, she saw Dedworth standing about ten metres away. His wand was outstretched, but he looked calm and in control.

“I -” Rose started, though she had no idea what she was going to say.

“I’d be a pretty poor leader if I let you get hurt on your first real field assignment, wouldn’t I?” He jerked his head toward the woman lying on the ground as Victoire emerged from the trees hauling the prone body of the Erkling they’d been chasing over her shoulder. “What’s this?”

Rose looked back at the woman. She’d been momentarily distracted, but now it was rushing back. “She’s alive. She needs help.”

Dedworth didn’t quite run toward them, but he was at kneeling at her side in a matter of seconds and pressing his fingers to the woman’s neck. “Was she conscious when you stopped?” Rose shook her head. “I take it her wounds were bigger than this when we got here?”

“Yes. I - I tried to make them smaller, but I didn’t do a very good job.”

“You did fine.” He looked up at Victoire, who had just tossed the Erkling she’d had onto a pile with the other one. “Vic, we need to take her in now.”

“I’ll stay.” Victoire brushed a few stray hairs back from her face and rubbed the back of her neck. “Somebody needs to watch these things until they can be collected, and I don’t fancy leaving Rosie to it.”

“Right.” Dedworth looked up at Rose. “Grab onto me. I’m going to use the Portkey.”

Rose grabbed onto his shoulder as he pulled a small bottle engraved with the words “St. Mungo’s” in gold letters. She couldn’t see the cork, but she knew that the letters “D.C.B.” were etched into the top.

Ministry divisions that frequently had to deal with injuries - either in civilians or among their own ranks - were all required to carry at least one of these little bottles per group every time they went out in the field, for occasions just like this.

Dedworth pulled the cork out and grabbed hold of the woman’s shoulder, and Rose closed her eyes. She didn’t mind traveling by Portkey as much as she minded Floo powder, but it did tend to leave her a little disoriented if she didn’t close her eyes. She felt the familiar twinge in her stomach, and when the sounds of the eerie quiet of the forest had been replaced by a low murmur of voices, she opened her eyes again.

They were in a quiet, isolated room. The shelves lining the adjacent wall were filled with a large variety of potions, and a large sign on the opposing wall said, Welcome to St. Mungo’s Emergency Ward for the Ministry of Magic. We hope you enjoy your stay.

Dedworth was already up and calling out to the Mediwitch sitting at a desk to the left of the door. Before Rose could process what he was saying, the witch tapped the hourglass sitting on the desk with her wand and hurried over to where the victim was still lying motionless on the cool wooden floor.

“Do you know anything about her?” the Mediwitch asked as she knelt down and waved her wand over the woman.

A silvery blue mist descended over them as Dedworth answered, “Victim of an Erkling attack. We found her near Hogsmeade. That’s all I know.”

The Mediwitch nodded and waved her wand again. The mist vanished. Rose had no idea what she’d learned from the spell, but when two Healers rushed through the door next to the desk a moment later, she looked decisive when she gave them a quick summary of the woman’s condition. The Healers immediately carted her through a door that seemed to appear out of nowhere next to the sign on the wall, and Rose sagged against the wall with relief. She liked being responsible for killing things, not saving them.

“Is she going to be okay?”

The Mediwitch finished vanishing the blood off her robes and looked over at Rose. “We’ll see.”

Rose did not find this exactly comforting, but Dedworth nudged her before she could decide whether she wanted to press the witch further. “They never like to commit to an answer. Don’t waste your time.”

“Oh.” She let herself slide down the wall. “Now we wait?”

He joined her on the floor and cracked his neck. Rose managed to stop herself from wincing, though just barely - the sound of people cracking their body parts had always made her twitch. “Now we wait,” he agreed. “I do, anyway. If you’d like to go home, you can.”

Rose stared at him. “And not know what happened and whether she’s okay?”

A small smile spread across his lips. “That’s what I thought.” He glanced over at the door the woman had been taken through. “If she makes it, though, you don’t have to stick around for the interview.”

“Oh, it’s okay. I’d like to.”

Dedworth cleared his throat. “All right, what I meant was that you shouldn’t stick around for the interview.” Rose’s initial confusion almost immediately turned into shame and unhappiness - she knew she hadn’t done well. He must have read it on her face, because he hurried to add, “No, Rose, that’s not what I meant. When someone’s been through an attack, the fewer people there are talking to them the better, and you’re not experienced enough yet to ask the right questions.”

Rose looked down at her knees. Whatever he said, she couldn’t help but feel like she should have done a better job. Before the guilt overwhelmed her, she said, “I’m sorry I didn’t do better.” Her voice was barely above a whisper, but thankfully, he heard it. She wasn’t sure whether she could have repeated it.

“What are you talking about?” She didn’t lift her gaze from her knees, and out of the corner of her eye she could see him scrutinising her. “Rose, you did a great job.”

“I’m not very good at Healing spells. I should have practised more. I just didn’t think...” She trailed off. “I’m sorry.”

Dedworth snorted and let his head fall back against the wall. “Well, I’m so bad at cleaning spells half the time I have to do it by hand. Everybody’s got a weak point.” He kept his tone light when he changed the subject. “Look, Rose, you did what you were supposed to do. You listened to me and knew what I wanted you to do without my having to spell it out. You accessed the situation and came up with a solution. You implemented it as well as you could.” He shrugged. “Nobody expects you to be a Healer. If she survives, it’s thanks to you. If not, it’s not your fault. Okay?”

She nodded tentatively.

“Rose, you did a good job. I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.”

Rose finally dragged her eyes up to meet his. “Thanks.” She glanced up at the Mediwitch, who was back at her desk and seemed to be ignoring them. She had the air of someone who was quite accustomed to having people in dire need of medical assistance appear out of nowhere. “Who is she? The woman from the forest, I mean?”

“We won’t know until we talk to her or do some more investigating. Seamus’ll have people scanning the area and talking to neighbors before the end of the day. I have my suspicions, but we’ll see.”

“Oh.”

“Hey, why don’t you take off tomorrow?”

Rose whirled her head around. “What? No, I’m fine. I -”

He held up a hand. “I know you’re fine. It’s procedure to give younger employees a day off after a fight. Just take it and be grateful. I never get days off.”

“Not even weekends?”

He smiled again. “Occasionally, but not often.”

“That’s...” Rose searched for an appropriate word and came up short. “Awful.”

“It’s fine.” He glanced over at the door again, but there was no sign that anyone was about to bustle through to give them news. “There are only a few people who’ve been there longer than me, and two of them have families. I don’t. I don’t mind, really.”

He really looked as though he didn’t mind, which was something that Rose didn’t understand, no matter how much she liked her job.

“Oh. All right, then.”

They continued to talk on and off for the next few hours, during which Rose discovered that Dedworth really wasn’t as intimidating as she’d initially felt. She might even start feeling like she could call him Van.

Eventually.

Then a Healer slipped inside the room so quietly that Rose almost didn’t see him. “She should make it,” he said as Rose and Dedworth both scrambled up. “We’ll see about longterm damage, but she should survive. Who tried to close her wounds?”

“Me.”

The Healer smiled at her. “Not bad for field work from the D.C.B. I’ve seen a lot worse from your division.” Rose had no idea what worse could look like - she was pretty damned terrible - but then the Healer added, “You probably saved her life.”

Rose felt a faint glow settle over her. “Oh. Good.”

He nodded to both of them and disappeared through the door again.

“Get going,” Dedworth told her. “Great job today.”

“What are you going to do?”

He slid back onto the floor. “Wait until they tell me more. Go on, Vic’ll be here soon. She’s probably just been briefing Seamus and showing them the site where it happened.”

Rose was not at all sure that he was telling the truth, but before she could say anything, the door opened again. However, this time, she recognised the person entering the room, and before she could think about the blood on her clothing or whether doing so would be slightly unprofessional, she threw her arms around him. “Scorpius!”

He didn’t appear to care about the blood or looking unprofessional, either, because he returned the hug with equal fervour. “Hey, sweetie. I heard you did a good job today.”

“That’s what they tell me, but I think they’re just trying to make me feel better.”

Her boyfriend looked past her to where Dedworth was sitting on the ground, not even bothering to hide the amusement on his face. “Did she do a good job?”

“She did a great job,” her boss confirmed. “Now she needs to go home. Rookies get time off after they kill things or save lives. We like to get our claws into them really tight before we burn them out.”

Rose giggled, and Scorpius looked down at her. “Well, I’m done for the day,” he said. “I can take you home, if you like.”

“You’re done?”

“I’m done,” he confirmed. “Remember how I’ve been saying all week that I need to be up by 6am so I had to get to sleep early?” She nodded. “Well, when you’re here before 7, they tend to let you go earlier.”

“What time is it?”

“About 3:30. I’d usually be leaving at 4 or 4:30, but that woman you brought in was...” He stopped for a moment. “Well, I didn’t eat lunch, so my boss told me to take my girlfriend and go home.”

Rose looked over at Dedworth. Suddenly all of her hesitance had melted away. “I’ll - er - I’ll just go home, then.”

He snorted. “Have fun.”

She suggested stopping to get something to eat before they went back to Scorpius’s place, but he pointed out that the blood on her clothing probably wouldn’t be well-received. She’d ended up hopping in his shower to rub the dirt and blood off her skin, and after they’d both put on some clean clothing, he treated them to what was either an early dinner or a very late lunch at a little cafe in Diagon Alley.

By the time they got back to his place, the sky was getting dark, and she was quite happy to flop onto his exceedingly comfortable bed. One of the perks of staying with Scorpius for the night was that his bed was a lot better than hers.

After he’d tapped a light with his wand, he let himself fall onto the bed next to her. As soon as he was there, he leaned in for a kiss that she immediately deepened. He slid a hand up the back of her shirt, and when he began to run his fingers lightly over her skin, she shivered. She could feel his lips break into a smile.

Suddenly, he pulled away. She tried to follow him, but he shook his head. “Does it hurt when I do this?” He ran his fingers along her back again, and now that she wasn’t distracted, she winced. “I’ll take that as a yes.”

“I’m okay,” she insisted and leaned back in.

“Um, no.” He moved his knee up to block her, and she let out an exasperated breath. “Come on, lay on your stomach.” He clearly noticed her reluctance as she turned around, because he caught her arms and brushed his lips against the side of her neck. “It’ll only take a minute,” he said. His voice was low, and something in his tone sent a pleasurable shudder through her body.

He pulled off her shirt before coaxing her into laying down, and once she was there, she rested her head on her hands and turned it toward him. “What’s wrong?”

Scorpius ran his hands up her lower back. His touch was as a light as a feather, and she let out a contented sigh as he unhooked her bra. “You’ve got a few scratches and a really nasty bruise.”

“Oh, that?” She made to get up. “I’ll be fine.”

He put his hands on her shoulders and gently pushed her down again. “Yeah, you would be, but it might be a little inconvenient tonight.”

Rose felt a smile creep across her face. “Oh, so you don’t want to think about avoiding that spot?”

“Not particularly.” He grabbed his wand from his bedside table. “It’ll only take a few minutes, I promise.”

She closed her eyes as he waved it over her back and muttered something. An odd sensation began to spread across her upper back - it felt like a faint breeze, though at this time of year, Scorpius kept all his windows closed - as he clambered off the bed and over to his desk.

“Don’t move,” he warned from across the room.

“I won’t.”

When he rejoined her a moment later, he was unscrewing a jar of something. Once the top was off, he put it down and dipped the tips of his fingers into whatever was inside. A faint smell of lavender filled the air, and she breathed it in happily.

“What’s that?”

He leaned down to kiss her left shoulder, and then he laid his hands on her back. She let out a gasp - they were pleasantly cool and felt almost like mist on a rainy day. “Just something to help the bruising.” He rubbed the cream into her back gently, and she let out a whimper.

“Are you sure it’s not just there to turn me on?” She heard him give a soft snort of laughter. “Because that’s what it’s - ah - doing.” He trailed his fingertips down her back, and sucked in her breath. “Scorpius -”

“Yes?” He began to run his hands along the rest of her back. Most of the strange cream was currently sitting below her left shoulder, but as he moved his hands, his touch left her skin tingling slightly.

It was absolutely heavenly, and the ache in her back had already almost disappeared. “What is that stuff, and where can I get some?”

He put the lid back on the jar and reached over her to place both it and his wand on his bedside table. “Special Healer ointment, and you can get it here.” She twisted her head up to look at him, and he grinned at the impatience on her face. “It’s not really available to the public. People have a tendency to misuse it. You can only get it from a Healer.”

“Oh.” She let her head fall back down onto her hands and sighed. “I guess it’s good that I have my own special Healer, isn’t it?”

“Mm.” He collapsed next to her. “Just lay there for another couple minutes to let the cream soak in. It shouldn’t take long.”

She inched over so she could rest her head on his leg. After a moment, she felt his fingers starting to comb through her hair, and she let out a contented sigh. “So do all your patients get this turned on when you use that cream on them? Should I be worried?”

Scorpius let out a chuckle. “No, it’s typically a lot more professional than that. Among other things, I usually don’t apply it to half-naked girls in my bed so their bruises from work don’t get in the way of our fun.”

Rose let her eyes drift closed. “You’re my favourite Healer ever.”

“Just your favourite Healer? I’m hurt.”

She nuzzled her face into his leg. “You’re also my favourite Slytherin and the best boyfriend ever.”

“Oh, good.” He pulled his hand away and she heard a soft rustle of clothing before his shirt landed at the end of the bed. “I love you,” he whispered, beginning to run his fingers lightly up her back again. She stiffened, and he began to trail them back down.

Rose’s back had always been very sensitive to the sort of light, trailing touch he was using right now, and it was taking all of her self control not to grab her boyfriend and strip him completely naked.

This desire dissipated somewhat when he took advantage of her inability to really move by reaching down her side and tickling her. When she recoiled involuntarily, he laughed and pulled her back toward him.

“Don’t be a jerk.” She couldn’t quite manage to keep the laugh out of her voice.

“Oh, am I being a jerk?” He edged his body over to hers, and after a moment she felt the warmth of his skin pressing against her side. “I didn’t mean to be a jerk.” He bent down to kiss her right shoulder, and when he moved his lips up to bite softly on her neck, his left hand began creeping up her back again. “I am so, so sorry,” he breathed in her ear, and she twitched. “Can you ever forgive me for it?”

Now his hand was reaching around her left side, and when he started to run his fingers lightly along the side off her breast, she let out a moan. “Scorpius...”

His other hand swept her hair off her neck, and after a moment of anticipation, she felt his lips there. “I love the way you smell,” he murmured.

Rose’s entire body was tingling at the point, and it had nothing to do with any potion or cream. “Scorpius, can I turn over now?”

He nipped at her earlobe gently before pulling away. “Oh, that? Yeah, you were good a few minutes ago. I just liked having you at my mercy.”

Rose rolled onto her shoulder and brought her gaze up to meet her boyfriend’s broad grin. “You are a jerk.”

He gave a shrug of acknowledgment and then reached out to pull her closer. “And yet somehow, I think that you’ll probably forgive me for that, too.” He put a hand behind her neck and leaned in for a kiss. She immediately deepened it and pressed her body against his. “Thought so,” he said when they broke away. She kissed him again, and this time, he reached down as he returned the kiss to unbutton her trousers. “Now, do you really need these?”

She grinned and lifted up her hips up so she could slide them off. “Do you need yours?” she shot back. She tossed hers onto the floor and was going to unbutton his when he caught her wrists.

“Wha -”

He cut her off by leaning down and kissing her. It was hungry and passionate, and Rose found herself responding without really processing anything but the feel of his lips against hers. He let go of her wrists and slid one hand down to rest over her knickers and the other around her back to pull her closer. She wound her arms around his neck and let her legs get tangled in his as he rolled her onto her back.

“I love you,” she managed to get out when they came up for breath. “What was that about?”

He smiled and brushed a few stray hairs back from her face. “It has to be something more than, ‘I love my girlfriend and I can’t keep my hands off of her?’”

“Well, when you put it that way...” She reached up to brush her lips against his one more time. “Come on. You’re overdressed, and your girlfriend wants more than your hands on her.”

That made him laugh. She was perfectly okay with that, since he also heeded her suggestion immediately.

“So,” he said later that evening. They were sitting in his kitchen while he made a pot of tea. “Is that what you’re going to be like after every day in the field?”

Rose smiled into her empty mug. “I dunno. Probably not.” She glanced up at him. “Disappointed?”

He shook his head. There was a small smile gracing his lips as well - he seemed quite as satisfied and happy as she was. “Nah. I think if we did that every night I’d die before I turned forty.” He glanced over at her. “D’you want to stay over tonight? I have work tomorrow, but I’d love to have you.”

“Haven’t you already had me?” He let out a snort of laughter, and when the kettle whistled, he reached over to grab her mug. “Yeah, I’ll stay. But do you really have to work tomorrow?”

He gave her her mug and sank into the chair across from her, holding a cup of his own. “Well, yes, Rose. I don’t get time off just because my girlfriend does.”

“But this is special. It was my first time ever out in the field.”

She was expecting him to roll his eyes and tell her that it was a nice effort on her part but he just couldn’t do it. She was therefore quite taken aback when he sighed. “All right. This once, if anyone is willing to switch ‘Emergency Sting and Bite’ shifts with me.”

“Wait, really?”

He let the silence drag out as he stared at her body. She shifted when his gaze lingered at her chest, and then he dragged it back up to her face. “Yeah,” he said. He looked like he was trying to hold back a smile; if that was the case, he was failing miserably. “Just this once. I’ll go ask around before it gets too late.” On his way to the fireplace, he stopped by her chair and ran his fingers through her hair. “It really can’t happen much, though.”

“I know.” Rose got to her feet, rose up on her tiptoes, wrapped her arms around his neck. “I love you,” she murmured. Then she pressed her lips against his with enough force that he groaned and practically lifted her off her feet. He found the chair she’d just vacated by groping haphazardly behind him, and he sank into it without pulling away.

When she moved down to his neck, his already ragged breathing became more frantic. “Rose - ahhh - stop it for a second.”

“Why?”

“Well, I’ve been thoroughly convinced, but I still need to find someone to cover for me.”

She considered that for a minute before pulling away. “Oh.”

“And I’d also prefer not to be quite as obvious about why I’m asking as I’m sure it is right now.”

Rose examined him once she’d gotten to her feet. His breathing was still heavy, his hair was quite messy, and when he looked over at her she could see that his eyes were still glassy and a little unfocused. He also had faint scratches on his arms and a love bite forming at the bottom of his neck, but those were both easy enough to cover up with a different shirt.

“How bad is it?”

“Not at all.” He raised his eyebrows at her, and she reached out to flatten his hair. “Okay, now it’s not at all.”

“Liar.” He ran a hand through his hair again to try and straighten it out. In truth, her efforts hadn’t made much difference, and his did little better. His breathing was slowly returning to normal, but she didn’t think there was anything to be done about the expression on his face.

“Scorpius, you’re fighting a losing battle. Anyone who sees you is going to know exactly what you’ve been doing and why you’re asking them to switch with you.”

He made a face. “Yeah, I was afraid of that. I guess it doesn’t really matter. It’s just a little awkward.” He got to his feet and approached the fireplace. Rose hung back and wrapped her arms around herself. She was suddenly feeling both awkward and slightly chilly. He glanced back at her as he knelt down. “You cold?” She nodded, and he jerked his head toward the door. “You should go get a sweater. We might be here awhile.”

She decided to take his advice, though she suspected that his primary motivation for suggesting it was to get her out of the room before the inevitable teasing started. She took her time about rummaging through his drawer to find a sweater, and by the time she reemerged, he was exiting the kitchen looking a little annoyed.

“Rebecca said she couldn’t because she’s got tickets to a Quidditch match.” He glanced toward the door and grimaced. “Guess I’ll go ask Sawyer.”

Sawyer Ackerly lived just a few doors down from Scorpius, and Rose didn’t understand why he hadn’t just gone to Sawyer in the first place. They’d been friends for most of their time in Hogwarts. When she mentioned this as he was rummaging around for a different shirt, however, he laughed.

“Sawyer will tease me a lot more.” Sure enough, Rose overheard a fair amount of teasing - which included several lewd comments - through the open door before her boyfriend returned, shaking his head. “We’re good, but Sawyer’s a real dick sometimes.”

“I heard.”

He collapsed onto the couch next to her. “Just this once, though,” he said for what Rose felt had to be the tenth time in the past twenty minutes. “I really can’t make a habit of it.”

“Mm.” She curled up against him. “So where were we?”

He looked at her for a moment before another grin broke across his face. “Just about here,” he said, pulling her into his lap and running his hands up the inside of the oversized sweater she’d just put on.

“Hey, Scorpius?”

He pulled back. “What?”

She smiled at him. “I love you.”

He grinned back. “I love you, too, Rose.” He glanced toward his open bedroom door. “At risk of sounding immature... race you? Loser makes breakfast.”

It took her a moment to process that, but once she had, she was scrambling over the back of the couch.

Rose was not fond of making breakfast. 

 







A/N: On one hand, this took two weeks instead of one. On the other, it's about 6,000 words long, so I hope that makes up for it.

"Sanores" is a spell of my own invention, taken from the Latin for "heal" (sano). (I think. I haven't taken Latin in about five years.)

I hope you liked this chapter. I'm so thrilled with the reception the story has gotten so far, and I hope you'll tune in next time to read about what happens when Rose meets Narcissa!


As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, even if they're as simple as, "I loved this chapter." :P  Thank you so much for reading!

Beeezie

 


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