Chapter 2 : A new kind of Strong
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“Rose,” said Scorpius, following me in to his parent’s bedroom. “You’re mum will be here in an hour - closest she could get away from work.”
Scorpius had just got off the phone to her, told me to wait in his parents bedroom, where I had sat on the edge of my bed, biting my lip and trying to convince myself I was a vampire.
Much harder than it sounds.
“What exactly did you tell her?’ I asked, combing my hair back with a bloody hand.
“That you broke your wrist,” he shrugged. “Nothing major.”
If you think that my mum will believe that breaking my wrist is “nothing major” then you should see her when something major does happen. Like finding out her daughter is in fact attracted to pulsing throats and big blue veins.
“Thanks,” I smiled back instead, and I really meant it.
He was missing part of his relatives funeral to look after me, I owed him at least a bit of appreciation.
“Do you have a shower?’ I said finally, squirming in my ragged and dirty clothes.
“Yeah, first door on the right. And you might want to change.....” He advised, casting a sweeping glance at my current outfit, that would’ve been a big hit with the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz.
“Here, my mum never wears these,” Scorpius said, flinging a long purple regal dress at me.
“Yeah.....” I said, holding it up against me. It trailed on to the floor, the sleeves draping way past my fingertips. “I can see why.”
“Don’ t you like it?” Scorpius said, slightly hurt.
“I hate to be ungrateful, but ew.”
He disappeared out the room, and for a second I thought he was really offended. He came back in to the room with skinny jeans, wellies, a big “Krum” T-shirt.
“Krum? Seriously? That guy’s been around long enough to date my mum.”
“So you’d prefer the purple dress, would you?” Scorpius said, an eyebrow icily raised.
“No,” I said quickly. “I love Krum; Krum’s my favourite guy.”
“I thought so,” smirked Scorpius, handing me the bundle of clothes. “And don’t use up all my body wash! That thing is expensive...”
I pulled my wet hair in to a ponytail, experimenting with my wrist, bending it back and forwards. Nothing. Not one single stab of pain.
Wow, vampires and healing powers - I was beginning to see the benefits.
I looked in the mirror.
Nope - I was still missing the good-looking powers.
And, strangely, the not looking in the mirror powers.
I just hoped dearly that I did not glitter in the sunlight - heck, I’d much rather burn. Hey look! There’s the gryffindor keeper who looks like a diamond!
The clothes Scorpius gave me where a tad on the loose/baggy/huge side, but they were miles better than the tattered rags I was wearing before, so hey, I’m not complaining. Just that they are so big on me, not the most flattering of garments, and Krum’s like ancient. I gingerly reached out and shut the bathroom door behind me, flinging my towel over the bannister and thudding down the crimson carpeted stairs. The colour of blood. You know, since being a vampire, I was starting quite a few things I hadn’t before - like the way I could pick up on things way quicker, see things in HD too. For example, I could see the leather jacket hanging up on a wonky peg had eighteen specks of dust on it and was slightly faded round the edges.
Just little things like that.
I know it was a really geeky thought, but I kinda hoped it would mean I could remember more too. If I could recall loads of things, it would be useful in my NEWTs. Plus, in 300 years time, I could be a living text book, and teachers could pay me to answer questions about what life was like in the 21st Century.
As I drifted through the long corridor, I could smell Scorpius. Literally, SMELL him. I knew he’d be in the lounge, and with my newfound supersonic hearing I could hear what he was saying through a wall and closed door.
“.........I’ll be there in a sec I promise...........I know, I know, but it’s not like I actually knew Aunty Edna....”
I tiptoed through the hall like a proper secret agent, creaking the door open slowly and slipping through the crack silently. I sprinted to behind the sofa, a safe place I find, in all circumstances, especially during horror movies that your brother makes you watch with him. I had to stifle a gasp, as the sudden realization hit me like a tidal wave of horror. I was something from a horror movie - a vampire. How would I eat at Hogwarts? Pass us the blood, Frank.
Yeah, I could so see that happening.
“Scorpius,” I said shakily, standing up.
“Wah!” he yelped, dropping the phone and spilling the glass of lemonade all down himself.
He said a very rude and ungentlmenlike word.
“Rose, how the frick did you get there? I never saw you come in?”
I scowled at him.
Couldn’t he see I was in the middle of a major crisis?
He is so selfish.
“Scorpius, how will I live at Hogwarts? What if people find out? Will I be a freak?” To my surprise, tears started to brim in my eyes.
“Er....” Scorpius said, looking awkward and uncomfortable.
Damn! He was just like me with crying people! Why couldn’t he be more like Al?
I turned away, wiping my eyes fiercely. I was NOT going to cry in front of a Malfoy.
“You can not tell anyone about what I am!!” I ordered ferosiously, practically spitting with an unknown rage.
“I said I wouldn’t!” Scorpius said, looking a bit scared of me.
I dashed round to him, and pinned him down the ground before he could say “Ouch.”
“Ow Rose! You have got super speed and...”
He winced as I sat on his chest and pushed hard on his arms. “.....strength,” he finished with a gasp.
“I think you’ve broken my arm,” he panted breathlessly, his face very red.
“Good,” I said stonily.
“Rose, I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone, now please could you.....” I sat on him harder, making his eyes bulge.
“say ”I promise Rose.””
“You frigging psycopath!”
I released him finally, leaving him curled in to ball and nursing his arm. With an innocent smile, I retreated to the sofa.
“So........was that your parents on the phone?”
“Yes,” Frowned Scorpius warily. “They wanted to know why I was gone.”
“And you said...” “That my friend had almost killed herself trying to see me.” “Ah. Well. As long as you didn’t say I was a Weasley, then that should be fine.” Scorpius shifted his eyes, and started to whistle jingle bells, gazing out the window.
“Scorpius,” I growled. “What did you say?” He’d gone back to that Rose-is-scary-get-me-help expression, and started to edge away from me.
“Nothing,” he squeaked, his voice an octave higher than usual.
I pounced on him, clutching his arm so hard my knuckles were white.
“Jeeze woman, I said you were a Weasley alright?!” Scorpius panted, scowling at me through his blond fringe, and nursing his sore arm.
The doorbell went.
“I’ll get it!”
I dashed to the door, accidently knocking Flitch over in the hall way, and swinging the door open brightly.
I pulled my pale, worried-looking mother in to a crushing embrace.
“I thought you broke your wrist...” “I did!” “You seemed to open up the door fine there.” “It was the other one.” “The one you just hugged me with?” “Yes. Ouch?”
“I never knew Scroopus was such a good healer? He managed to heal your wrist extrodinarily well. The doctor said it was almost like it never happened!” “Wow, imagine that,” I said blandly, winding the window back up again, whilst mum turned the radio down.
“What did exactly happen, Rosie? That Scoropuss-”
“-Scorpius-” I cut in.
“-was awfully vague,” she finished, tugging at her smart black auror cloak.
“Yes, well,” I heaved a dramatic sigh. “it was all very sudden. There was a fight in Hogsmede where we were in the Hogs He-sweet shop. In the sweet shop trying to cheer Dom up. Then I got injured, knocked out, so Scorpius took me home.” I said, pretty impressed with myself for making up such a good lie on the spot. Maybe my vampire charm was beggining to work its magic.
“That was nice of Scorbyus-” “-Scorpius-”
“_wasn’t it? And to make the potion.” “So why do I still have to have it in a sling?” I asked in an exsasperated tone, clinging on to the seat as mum turned a sharp corner, bumping down the hilly track.
“ Just to make sure,” mum said, like it was obvious.
Awkward silence, with ACDC shouting out the radio.
“I’ve never driven to Hogwarts before,” I said, as an ice breaker.
“Your father has,” mum remarked, smiling fondly.
“I know,” I said, rolling my eyes. “He tells us the story of him flying to Hogwarts in a Ford Angela about.....once a week.”
Mum laughed, running hand through her crinkled brown hair, her eyes fixed on the path.
“We’re here!” I declared, pointing at the vast black lake and castle standing proudly behind it.
Mum sighed, swerving the car round and parking right by the lake. She turned to look at me, her eyes wide with anxiety.
“Listen, Rose. Have a good year. Try your hardest - I know you will - and owl me about how your NEWTs went. We’ll see you again at Christmas. Just.....stay safe. Please?” She smiled weakly, brushing a strand of ginger hair behind my ear.
“I promise,” I said solemenly, leaping out the car, and shutting the door gently behind me.
“Bye!” She waved wildly back, kicking the Ford KA back in to life again, disappearing back in to the distance.
I ran along the lake side, jumping in an abandoned row boat, and rowing speedily back to the shore. Gliding gracefully over the surface, three things in my mind were sure:
1) NOBODY ELSE could know about the whole vampire thing. Not even Roxy.
2) Just because Scorpius was nice to me once, doesn’t mean he is a nice person.
3) We were so going to win the house cup this year.
“You hardly ate anything at dinner.” Albus laid a hand on my shoulder, making me jump so high, peering down at my notes. I swear, if he had been anyone else my newfound reactions would be to turn around and punch him in the nose. I guess my reactions could detect his soft voice and just know to not react too much to him.
I quickly pushed my notes on the ground, off my lap, and craned my neck to look up at him. I heard the satisfying dull thud as my hefty text book on Ancient Runes fell on the Common Room floor.
He was right; I didn’t. I couldn’t be bothered to pretend to like too much, and just smiled and shook my head at whatever was offered at me. Dom and Al were going on about me to be more cautious, as they were worried sick. Roxy gave me a comforting hug and smiled sympathetically at me, Lily tried to get out of me what happened seven times and Frank and Val had a who-can-stuff-the-most-chicken-wings-in-their-mouth-at-once-competition. Val always won, but it was nice to see Frank try.
“I guess my wrist hurts quite a lot.” If my lame excuse didn’t make much sense to him, he didn’t show it. He passed nosielessly to the arm chair next to where I was curled up.
I ignored his penetrating gaze, determinedly staring in to the amber flames with a clenched jaw and gritted teeth. I let silence fall between us, feeling his green eyes bore in to the side of my head.
“What are you thinking?” He asked finally, gazing at me intently with those bright emerald eyes of his.
Flashes of Dom cornering me in the Hall, yelling at me for abandoning her, and of Scorpius stifiling a laugh. And failing. I actually wanted to be going upstairs to Val revising, Roxy being Roxy, and Dom ranting?
“That I should go to bed soon,” I said, faking a yawn.
His eyes narrowed, as I collected my ink-sprawled notes, and began to leave the common room.
“I know something went on between you and Scorpius,” Al called. “I’m going to get it out of one of you, one way or another.” “Oh,” I chuckled. “You’re in no danger of that happening.
I hoped I meant what I said.
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