Chapter 3 : Chapter 3
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Later that day, I had deposited myself at a table in the library and was finishing my Arithmancy homework when someone set a pile of books down beside me and pulled out the chair next to mine. I looked up and sighed. Of course. “What do you want, Malfoy?”
“You’re the brightest in our year. Who else am I going to copy the Arithmancy assignment from?” I glared at him in response before he went on. “Besides, I wanted to apologize for last night.”
My glare turned into a quizzical gaze. “Last night?” I repeated. “I barely spoke to you last night.”
His eyes widened slightly before his features settled into an amused smirk. “You don’t remember, then?”
“Remember wha—“ I froze. “Oh, fucking hell.” He couldn’t suppress his laughter as the memory came flooding back to me.
The music was pounding. I laughed deliriously as James spun me around and around the dance floor, getting dizzier by the second. Finally we both collapsed in a heap, giggling our arses off. James had given up on any semblance of sobriety when he gave up on Violet Macmillan making an appearance at the party.
Dominique plopped down beside us, not seeming to notice the dancing couples that surrounded us. “I need a good snog,” she announced to no one in particular before taking a large gulp of her Firewhiskey.
“Me too,” James sighed. “Shall we go find them, then?”
“All right.” They struggled to their feet and stumbled away. I remained where I was, forgotten. I stared down at the floor, feeling a bit dizzy, until a pair of loafers appeared in my direct line of vision. I slowly lifted my head to see Scorpius Malfoy smirking down at me.
He wordlessly offered me his hand, which I accepted. As he helped me stand, the dizziness overcame me for a moment, and a fell into him. “Steady on, Weasley,” he muttered, righting me again. I felt myself swaying, then realized a slow song had come on and that all the couples around us were rocking back and forth as well. Naturally, the only thing for me to do was fling my arms around Scorpius and force him to sway with me.
After a moment’s hesitation, he slid his arms around my waist and pulled me closer to him. I looked up. “You’re very tall,” I informed him.
He chuckled. “Perhaps you are just very short.”
I shook my head firmly. “Nope. It’s you.” I found myself snuggling into his chest. After a few moments, he rested his cheek on the top of my head. I thought of how good his lean, hard body felt against mine as I inhaled the scent of him deeply—cedar, parchment, and a certain muskiness I couldn’t name, but was so distinctly Scorpius. “You smell nice, too,” I mumbled into his shirt.
He laughed again. “You’re much more pleasant when you’re drunk, you know. Any more compliments for me while I’ve got you in this state?”
“Only that you’re gorgeous, but you already knew that. Oh, and that I really liked snogging you.” Somewhere in the very back of my Berry Ocky Rot-addled mind, I knew I shouldn’t have let these words slip out, but I didn’t much care at the moment.
Scorpius didn’t laugh this time, but I felt his arms tighten around me as we continued our gentle swaying. I looked up again and rested my chin on his chest, gazing into those haunting grey eyes. He brought his hand to my hair, fingering a bright red curl. “Rose—“
“I have to pee,” I announced suddenly, not waiting for his response before darting away.
In the safety of the bathroom, I splashed cool water on my cheeks, which were flaming. “You have a boyfriend,” I begrudgingly reminded myself. Sure, I was pissed at Sebastian, but that didn’t mean I could just go around cheating on him.
“No.” I shook my head at myself in the mirror, fiercely. I would not stoop to that.
Even though he did it to me?
“Tilly bloody Selwyn,” I mumbled to myself. I still thought about it, more often than it’d care to admit. I couldn’t help it. The thought of Sebastian with her enraged me. She was pretty, sure, with her white-blonde hair, translucent skin, and huge hazel eyes, but she was as dumb as a Niffler; I swear you could distract her with any shiny object you had lying around. The fact that she gave me her annoying, knowing little smirk every time she passed me in the corridors did nothing to relieve my ire. I wanted to hex it right off her stupid face.
I took a deep breath and straightened my shoulders, feeling slightly less intoxicated. Returning to the common room, I found Dominique straddling someone on one of the couches, her strawberry-blonde waves streaming over her shoulders and around both their faces as she snogged him senseless. I grinned. Leave it to Dom—she always gets what she wants.
“Oi! Violet!” I turned in time to see Violet Macmillan stomping toward the portrait hole. James scurried after her, leaving a slightly dazed-looking Penelope Wood behind, hair and lip gloss mussed. She stared after James for a moment before shrugging and making her way across the common room toward Fred.
Well, that was certainly going to be interesting.
I heard giggling behind me and wheeled back around to see Dom and her snogging partner come up for air. She tossed her hair back playfully, so I got a good look at her conquest—and those grey eyes staring back at me.
I felt my face flush. “Why would I care about you and Dominique? You can snog whoever you like.” I bent back over my work, pretending to busy myself with the Arithmancy grids as my cheeks grew hotter.
Scorpius cleared his throat. “I, uh, know that. I wasn’t apologizing for snogging Dom.”
“Oh.” I groaned inwardly as I suddenly remembered that the night hadn’t ended there.
I threw back another shot of Firewhiskey and wiped my mouth. Voldemort’s saggy left tit, I thought, settling back into my drunken haze. Why was I letting Scorpius Malfoy get to me?
“Shouldn’t you slow down a bit?” I hadn’t even heard him come up behind me.
“Shove off, Malfoy,” I muttered, pushing past him.
He grabbed my arm before I could get very far. “Hey! What’s wrong?”
“Your face.” I know, I really am brilliant when I’ve been drinking.
“Come on, Rose. Seriously, you can tell me.”
“Why do you care?” I spat. “Just go back to snogging Dom.”
An amused look came over his face. “Are you jealous?” he asked quietly.
I snorted (didn’t I promise myself to cut that out?) and crossed my arms over my chest. “I have a boyfriend.”
The amusement vanished almost instantly, and his expression hardened. “Yeah, and where is he tonight, Rose? Why hasn’t he come around once all day to tell you how bloody incredible you were on the pitch today?” If I hadn’t been so shocked by his sudden outburst, I would likely have slapped him at that moment. “He should be snogging you senseless right now, but he’s not because he doesn’t give a shit about you. You’ve let him turn you into some pouty and pathetic little girl pining after him while he’s probably out there shagging Tilly Selwyn!”
I did slap him then. He gaped at me, momentarily horrified. I couldn’t tell if he was more shocked by my hitting him or by everything that had just come out of his mouth. “Fuck you, Malfoy,” I hissed through gritted teeth as I spun on my heel to return to my dorm.
“NO!” I screamed, whirling back to face him with my fists clenched. It took everything I had to swallow the lump rising in my throat. I would not let him see me cry. “Just tell me one thing: what exactly is it that makes you think my relationship with Sebastian is any of your business?”
He stared back at me for a moment before sighing and throwing his hands up in defeat. “It’s not.”
“You’re damned right it’s not,” I snapped. “Good night, Malfoy.” I swept up the stairs and into bed, where I let the tears flow freely.
Now I glared at Scorpius, who had the grace to look slightly abashed. “I really am sorry, Rose,” he said. “I was bang out of order. I don’t even know what came over me. Too much Firewhiskey, I suppose.”
“You were hardly even tipsy,” I pointed out. He shrugged and looked down at the floor, clearly embarrassed.
I studied him for a moment. “Why do you care so much?” I asked softly.
“I don’t know.” He brought his gaze up to meet mine. “I just do.”
I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. Have I mentioned how bloody handsome he is? “All right, then.” I didn’t know what else to say, so I turned back to my homework. He did the same. After a few moments, I felt the need to correct him. “Sebastian and Tilly just snogged after the end-of-term feast, you know.”
I saw him look up at me out of the corner of my eye. He seemed to be struggling with something. “Rose,” he said finally, “I heard him bragging about it at the start of term. Sebastian shagged Tilly that night.”
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