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Chapter 9 : Roxanne, Ravenclaws, and a Rather Romantic Recompense
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“Your task is clean the school’s entire collection of trophies and awards, without magic. I will be back within the hour to check on you.” McGonagall said crisply, before conjuring two buckets full of foamy water, two bottles of polish and two cloths. And with that, she swept from the room, her tartan dressing gown swishing behind her.
“Well that could be worse! Much better than sorting through bat dung for Terrabitch!” said the boy beside me cheerfully, rolling up the sleeves of his white school shirt and loosening his silver and green tie. It was, you guessed it, Albus Potter.
Life had a funny way of doing things. This morning I would’ve have relished the idea of spending more time with this particular boy, but now, yet again, I was confused. I didn’t want to believe that he was lying, but then, neither did I want to believe that of Rose. I was torn. But then, if Albus wasn’t lying, that didn’t mean Rose was, that just meant she didn’t want to accept the truth...
“Harriet?” he asked, waving his arm wildly in front of my glazed over eyes. “Going to return to planet Earth anytime soon? I know I said it wasn’t bad, but I still don’t feel like cleaning everything myself.” I snapped out of my train of thought to see him smiling at me cheekily, his eyes twinkling.
“We need to clean.” I said flatly, avoiding eye contact, grabbing a cloth and one of the two bottles of polish, and moving towards the nearest award.
“Yes, we do.” He looked taken aback by my unwillingness to talk. He grabbed the other spray polish and turned his back, beginning to clean trophies on the opposite side of the room. Fifteen minutes into scrubbing the Quidditch trophies, he apparently couldn’t cope with my frosty silence any longer.
I heard him put the bottle down forcefully and stride over to me. “Why are you so quiet? Is everything ok?” His voice was tinged with worry, making it that much more difficult for me to answer.
I stayed silent for another minute, continuing to intently scrub the metal shield of a Special Services to the School award. But I could sense Albus staring just as intently at me, and I knew I couldn’t make it last. Deep down, I was curious.
I set the cloth I was holding down with a sigh, and brushed a piece of stray hair behind my ear.
“I ... spoke to Rose.” I stammered slightly, before deciding it was best to just get straight to the point.
I turned to look at him, eyebrows raised. “Is that really all you have to say? She told me what you said to her. Did you lie to her?” The question was blunt, and maybe sounded slightly like an accusation. Oh who am I kidding, it was an accusation.
“What do you take me for? I’d never do anything like that! Rose has blown this totally out of proportion! It’s her father’s genetics...”
“So it’s Rose’s fault you lied?” I scoffed derisively, turning back to the cleaning, determined not to hear another word.
“No wait, I’ll explain. Just hear me out!” Albus took hold of my right shoulder and spun me round so I was facing him once more, looking into green eyes full of angst. I folded my arms, responding only with a look of distain.
“Yes, I did find out that Scorpius cheated on her. Yes, I did tell Rose. I mean, come one, imagine how bad it would have looked if she’d found out I’d known later? But no, I did not tell everyone to stop talking to her. She did that herself.” It came out in stops and starts, with wild and flustered hand gestures. Albus was scrambling to make me understand.
But I didn’t understand. And he could tell.
“And no, I most definitely did not make the whole thing up!”He added indignantly, running his hand through his black hair. “We’re not blackmailing her either. She’s decided not to talk to any of us because she thinks we’re, well mainly I’m, lying. “
I stood there whilst Albus looked at me, breathing heavily and eyes pleading.
“So Rose thinks it’s all a big ploy to break them up? So she’s decided you all hate Scorpius? So she’s not talking to any of you?” I asked hesitantly, trying hard to understand Rose’s convoluted thinking and Albus’s convoluted justifications.
“Yes.” He said simply, hands falling to his sides.
“But you punched Scorpius?” I said, raising one eyebrow sceptically.
“That was when I found out the first time. I had to take drastic measures, I didn’t know what else to do... I never thought he would do it again after that!”
What an idiot. Idiots if you include Albus. I took a deep breath before going right ahead and explaining Albus’s mistakes, in true Ravenclaw I-love-being-the-teacher style. “Believe me, that was not the right thing to do. Now she thinks you hated him from the beginning without any justification! You’ve just pushed her away!”
“Well what the hell would you have done?” Albus shouted loudly, properly angry now. “You’re such a bloody know-it-all!” He yelled, glaring straight at me.
“I have no idea... Just not that.” I muttered, looking at my feet, simultaneously regretting my Ravenclaw tendencies, and a little hurt.
“I knew she wouldn’t believe me.” Albus said, anger still colouring his voice.
I didn’t answer... because I didn’t have one. Instead I leant against the trophy shelf behind me, pulled a piece of my brown hair out from behind my ear and began twirling it nervously around one of my fingers. The floor also became very interesting.
“What, no miracle answers?” He asked, bitterly.
I shook my head, looking up at him apologetically. “No miracle answers.”
He didn’t reply for a long time but just kept looking at me. Eventually, I saw his angry green eyes soften, then turn sad.
“I’ve messed up.”
I bit my lip, and felt my brow furrow. I wanted to tell him he hadn’t. I wanted to tell him it would be fine. That he hadn’t messed up. That he had messed up much.
But I couldn’t.
There was another pause. Albus was waiting for denial which I wasn’t prepared to give.
“I just figured she would love us more than a cheating bastard.”
“But she doesn’t, does she?” His voice broke, and he looked so vulnerable. At that exact moment, I realised that despite my Ravenclaw needs to cling to logic, this wasn’t about logic or understanding. This was about emotion; strong, irrational, inexplicable emotion. Albus had been wrong but he had being trying so hard to be right. As crazy as it all seemed, underneath all the craziness was love for Rose. And that didn’t deserve forgiveness, but deserved...something else.
Without thinking, I stepped forward and wrapped my arms tightly around his middle, pulling him into a hug. I felt his initial surprise, but then his muscular arms settled around my shoulders, and he rested his chin on my head.
“She does ... she just hasn’t realised it yet.” I whispered. Pressed to his warm chest, I could hear his fast heartbeat. Quickly, it counted the long while we stood together in our comfortable embrace, words left unspoken and cleaning cloths abandoned.
“Thank you.” he murmured into my hair, giving me a light nuzzle with his nose.
He pulled his head back a few inches and stared once more into my wide blue eyes, his own green eyes sparkling. He smiled unexpectedly, and gently tucked my hair behind my ear, his warm hand grazing the side of my face. “Everything.” He said softly, before suddenly our lips met and he was kissing me, and I was kissing right back.
A/N: So it had to happen some day! Hooray!
I don't really know what else to say except I hope you enjoy my struggle to write this whole scene...that dialogue was nearly the death of me.
Please review if you enjoyed, or didn't enjoy. I don't mind, any feedback is good feedback :)
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