Chapter 5 : Present Outweighs Past (or, To Trust or Not to Trust)
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Present Outweighs Past (or, To Trust or Not to Trust)
The silence that followed was deafening. Never had a Malfoy been sorted into anything other than Slytherin, yet here was one of their own blonde Slytherin-Princes going over to sit with his friends at Gryffindor table. If he had been sorted into Ravenclaw, that would have been acceptable; Hufflepuff would have embarrassed his father, but he could deal. But Gryffindor was a whole other ball game.
Scorpius took refuge next to his friends, sitting between Rose and Albus with his head held high and back straight. Whispers were exchanged between the four as they congratulated him on being sorted into their House, as well.
“House Traitor!” screeched a voice from across the room. With her dark hair and pug nose, she was easily recognized as Patricia Parkinson, Pansy’s third husband’s daughter who had also just started Hogwarts that year.
After her shattering outburst the whole Slytherin table, who all were waiting anxiously to look up to the Slytherin Prince’s own child to be the best Slytherins that they could be, joined in with the cat-calling. Raucous calls flew from that table as they jeered.
“That is quite enough!”
McGonagall had stood from her high chair with a livid rigidity with her hands shaking with rage, her lips pursed into a single thin line. She glared across the Hall where the Slytherins were glaring at her just as darkly, defying their Headmistress and wishing that they could use all of the insults they had in their reserve on the Malfoy boy. “This is uncalled for! I will not have one of Hogwart’s students be attacked in such a manner, no matter what house they have been Sorted into! Shame on you all, Slytherin House! This abhorrent display of crude behavior will cost you fifty points!”
Tumultuous groans emanated from the table draped in green and silver at this docking of points even before they had had a chance to earn any. But McGonagall clapped her hands and called for the prefects to take their first-year housemates to their dormitories. Quickly, they obeyed and herded the students out the door before any more uprisings could occur.
“This is brilliant!” one Hufflepuff third year exclaimed as the students flocked in the entrance hall. “Slytherin’s already in the hole! Now we have a chance at winning the House Cup again!”
“Yeah, it’s wicked!” answered his friend. Not a moment later, the smile disappeared from his lips and he leaned in closer to his companion. Even though he did this act of concealment and secrecy, he didn’t bother to lower his voice. “But what about that Malfoy boy in Gryffindor, though?”
“What about me?”
Both of the Hufflepuff boys jumped and turned at the sound of Scorpius’ voice. They saw who had spoken, and their faces hardened for a moment, but from behind them came a girl who looked to be a second year that seemed to be related to the older-looking one of the boys.
“Shove off, Ernesto,” she snapped to the taller boy. He seemed livid, his cheeks turning a blotchy red, but this didn’t seem to faze her. She just stood there with her arms folded over her chest as he took his friend and went off down to the Hufflepuff common room, mumbling something about wanting to be called “Ernie”.
The feisty girl stood there for a moment longer before turning to face them, a smile brightening her features. “I’m sorry about my brother and his friend,” she said, coming up to Scorpius and his three-friend strong backup behind him, holding out her hand. “My name’s Trisha MacMillan, I’m a Hufflepuff second year, and if the Sorting Hat put you in Gryffindor, you must be alright. Malfoy or not,” she added with a wink before turning away and going down to the Hufflepuff common room.
Scorpius smiled and walked on with his friends, following the prefect that was leading them up to Gryffindor tower, somewhere where no Malfoy had ever stepped foot into before. He felt a surge of joy as he looked over to the three people who still surrounded him in a protective triangle. Each of them had their wands out and glared ferociously at anyone who came too close and brandished their wands when the prefects weren’t looking.
Beside himself, he smiled. Maybe this won’t be so bad, after all.
By the time that they reached the seventh floor, anyone who had tried to get closer than was necessary to Scorpius had been scared off by the three surrounding him, or had lost interest after seeing the vast portraits the castle had to offer. He thanked them silently, making a mental note to make it up to them someday.
In the middle of a long stretch of corridor, the prefects stopped them. Rose, Scorpius, Azalea and Albus all inched their way to the front, where a rather large portrait of a quite sizeable woman sat on a lacquered chair. She didn’t move for a moment, simply regarding them with her darkly-painted eyes. Once she seemed to comprehend that they were Gryffindors and were waiting to enter, she sat back and spoke one word.
Rose wrinkled her nose in distaste. She had slurred the word, and she had almost fallen out of her chair when she had leaned back; drunk on the first day of school. There was no telling what she would be like the rest of the year after seeing this first impression.
“Albus Dumbledore,” said the boy prefect with a shortly cropped haircut that made him look even peakier than he was. He seemed to have an air around him like Rose and Albus’ Uncle Percy did, so by default, they automatically decided to defy him as many times as possible that year.
With an overdone sweeping gesture that nearly upturned a bowl of fruit next to her, her portrait’s gilded frame swung open to let the new batch of Gryffindors into their new home for the rest of the year. So they wouldn’t be crushed by a small tidal wave of eleven-year-olds, the two prefects rushed into the portrait hole. They both halted the group and began to explain.
“The staircase to your right is to the boys dormitories, to the left is the girls’,” said the pretty brown-haired prefect. “This year your dorms are on the first landing you come to. As you go through your years at Hogwarts, your dorms will be steadily higher up in the tower. Any questions?”
“Where’s the bathroom?” asked one boy a few feet away from Albus. He rolled his eyes as few students nodded in agreement, or chuckled with suppressed laughter.
The boy prefect scowled ferociously at the boy who had asked the question. “Topper, isn’t it?” The boy nodded. “The lavatories are connected to your dorms. Good night.” With that, he swept his look around the group before going up the right staircase, taking them two at a time. The brunette simply sighed in exasperation.
“Light’s out is at ten. Are there anymore questions? Very well, good night, and enjoy your first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”
She left in the same sweeping, lordly manner that the boy had, but took her time going up the staircase to the girl’s dorms, followed by at least half of the girls who had been Sorted into Gryffindor that year. Rose, Scorpius, Albus and Azalea simultaneously walked over to a group of chairs huddled over by the roaring fireplace. The clock on the mantle chimed nine o’clock, leaving a full hour before light’s out for the four of them to just take it all in.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet,” said Albus in a faraway voice. “Gryffindor,” he added, as if tasting the word for the first time. His face broke into a wide smile. “Wait until James wakes up!”
Rose’s face mirrored her cousin’s. “I can’t wait to see his face! I told you not to worry about anything, Al. Here we are, in Gryffindor tower. Was all that worrying on the train really worth it?”
Albus waved his hand noncommittally, pretending to be totally engrossed in a chess game that was commencing a table away and to not have heard her, and getting a face-full of pillow as a retort from the redhead. He threw it back with the accuracy of a well-trained Chaser.
“I can’t believe all the other students got up here so fast, though,” said Albus. “We must have been miles behind.”
“Stop exaggerating,” Rose retorted. “We didn’t take any secret passageways, remember?”
Albus’ face lit up in realization of something as he leaned in and whispered to his cousin, “Guess what dad gave me to “hold onto” this semester?”
Rose’s eyes glinted in the firelight as her mouth twisted into a grin. “Uncle Harry really is a bad influence on us, isn’t he?” Albus nodded vigorously in agreement. “And he gave me my birthday present a week early, but he said it was so he wouldn’t have to pay the post. But I think it was to hide it from Aunt Ginny.” The cousins sat back and pretended that their conversation had never happened, turning to the conversation that Azalea and Scorpius were having.
“It’s a good thing the password is so easy to remember,” Azalea said dreamily. “My father said that when he was in school, the passwords were very hard and complicated. But he’s never had a good memory for things like that.”
Scorpius smirked, the trademark one that he had inherited from his father. “This place is really surprising,” he said, looking around. At the confused looks on his companion’s faces, he continued as he resumed his tour of the room through his eyes. “Father had described Slytherin’s common room to me numerous times; all silver, green and Slytherin Pride, he said. But it didn’t sound nearly as beautiful as this place looks. I’d take towers over dungeons any day.”
He knew, but didn’t seem to care that he had just told the other three where the Slytherin common room was located; he had no loyalty to the House of Silver and Green. Rather, by default, it seemed should start to harbor a special loathing to anyone who wore those colors with pride. Tearing his gaze from the gilded portraits and overstuffed armchairs to the faces of his friends, he said, “I think I’m home.”
Albus reached over and punched him lightly. “Pretty words from a pretty boy,” he teased, which earned him a second pillow in the face, this time from the blonde. Azalea laughed at her friend’s antics, incensing the others to do so as well.
“I’m going to find my bed. Good night everyone,” Azalea said as soon as the tremors from laughing had subsided. She stood and walked off, quietly singing, “Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy warty Hogwarts; teach us something please! Whether we be old and bald, or young with scabby knees…”
Rose shook her head and chuckled under her breath as she listened. Albus laughed outright again, attracting glares from around the room. Ignoring the looks, he said, “I’m off. See you in the morning, you two.” Taking the stairs two at a time, the sound of a door closing heralded his finding of the right dorms.
The fire crackled merrily as the common room steadily emptied until only Rose, Scorpius and a few others remained. The redhead could feel her eyelids drooping as she continued to watch the flames lick at the wood in the grate with hungry tongues, charring wherever they went. It had been a very trying day. Upon a glance over to her blonde companion, she saw the same tired look on her face that was on his. Standing, she went over and wished him a good night as the clock chimed once for half-past nine.
“Wait,” he whispered to her. Rose stopped and turned to look at him. “Sit down.”
It wasn’t a command, but Rose could feel the urgency in Scorpius’ voice, so she obliged and sat back down in the chair that Azalea had occupied, the one closest to Scorpius.
“I’m sorry I got us in trouble,” he said, his eyes never leaving the grate. “I just needed to get away.”
"You don’t have to explain,” said Rose, cutting him off. He finally tore his gaze from the flames and locked his grey eyes with her own green ones instead. She felt as though he was penetrating to her very soul when he did that, and she had a profound feeling that he was already an accomplished Legilmens because of the strength of his gaze. Luckily, her Uncle Harry had gotten a good Occulmency tutor for all of them, his children and his nieces and nephews, and Rose had excelled.
“But I want to explain,” he said forcefully. He saw the shocked expression on her face, and his eyes softened from their stony gaze. “I need to explain.”
“Scorpius, what you mentioned on the train, about your father,” she started, “you seemed very, well, embarrassed that you had mentioned it at all. Are you sure you trust me?”
Scorpius seemed taken aback. “Why wouldn’t I be able to trust you? You’re my friend, Rose. Who can you trust if you can’t trust your closest friends?”
Rose sighed. “Your enemies.”
It was something that her Uncle Harry had said once. If you can’t trust your enemies, you can’t trust anyone. The saying had stuck with her since she had heard it when she was seven years old. She hadn’t really gotten the meaning of it, and still didn’t, but it felt right to say it when she did.
To her surprise, Scorpius nodded and said the exact saying that she had just remembered in her mind. “If you can’t trust your enemies…”
“…you can’t trust anyone,” Rose finished. Looking at him sadly with a weak smile, she put a hand on his shoulder like she had in the Great Hall and gave it a friendly squeeze. “You’re a really great friend, Scorpius, but I don’t think you’re ready to tell me anything, no matter what happened tonight during Sorting. Give yourself some time to see if you trust me enough or not; we’ve only been friends for a few hours. If I hadn’t run into you on the train when we were both looking for a compartment, we may not have been friends at all. But I’m glad we are. Good night, Scorpius.”
“Good night, Rose,” said a distant Scorpius as he stood and walked over to the staircase that led to the boy’s dorms.
Rose’s weak smile fell from her face as his back turned to her. With a sigh, she went over to the left hand staircase and slowly made her way up. Stopping a few steps up, Scorpius went over to the bottom of the steps where Rose was heading up in a zombie-like fashion.
“Thank you, Rose Weasley,” he said, just loud enough for her to hear.
Turning back, she gave him a toothy smile. “Anytime, Scorpius Malfoy.”
Thank you to all of you who have spotted my mistakes. If you see anymore, please tell me. I do not pretend to be perfect.
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