chapter image by GryffindorGirl153
Chapter Three - Anything But Boring
I can’t concentrate.
It’s not just because it’s incredibly cold for a January morning. It’s not just because Professor Binns’ voice is about as interesting as a cucumber, either.
It’s mainly because I can feel the intent gaze of Scorpius Malfoy burning into my forehead.
One hundred per cent mainly.
I mean, what kind of stupid excuse is ‘I was requested by the Headmistress to observe this particular advanced History of Magic class in order to ascertain the progress made by its students?’ Not one I would ever fall for. But, then again, Professor Binns is not the brightest Hippogriff in the herd – not to mention he idolises Malfoy – so of course he would believe anything that came out of the Head Boy’s mouth.
I’m not buying it, though.
Neither is Dominique, apparently. She leans across to me and whispers, “What’s Malfoy doing here, anyway? I’ve never heard of the Head students having to sit in on a class before.”
I don’t want her thoughts to wander anywhere near the truth, so I whisper back, “Maybe Raineforth’s trying to promote some kind of special observation program. You know how the Ministry’s been lately.”
“It sort of reminds you of the stories Uncle Harry told us about his fifth year here, doesn’t it?” Dom loves a good mystery, and she’s very nosy. I wouldn’t be surprised if she tries all day to figure this ‘mystery’ out. She’s not one to let things drop.
I nod. “But I’d pick that Umbridge woman over Malfoy any day.”
Dom giggles, but returns her attention to the front when Scorpius’ eyes waver away from mine momentarily to glare at her. He’s looking at me again before he can decipher Dom’s reaction to his abrupt alertness. I glower at him. I’m not sure why.
I think it’s because I’m still angry with him for yesterday’s encounter. I don’t believe him. I mean, he sounded sincere and all that jazz, but what the hell would Scorpius Malfoy want to do with me? Besides kiss me again, that is. I doubt he’d even do that again; not after finding out how bad a kisser I really am. Still, I can’t see any other reason why he would want to see me again.
Despite it being only the first lesson of the day, he hasn’t attempted to spend any time with me like he promised on the train. Well, besides stalking me to my class and then giving Binns some sob story so he can sit and stare at me until I feel a burning fire in my chest where I’m fairly sure my heart is. I can’t be certain whether or not this is his usual routine when he has an obsession. But is that what you would call it, anyway?
I can’t imagine anyone being obsessed with me.
Although I’m fairly angry with Scorpius, I can’t seem to get him out of my head. I remember waking up this morning vividly; I opened my eyes and all I could see were his teal ones gazing back at me. They were not attached to his body, but I’m sure that if they were I would have gone straight back to sleep so I could perhaps hunt it down. It was not a good feeling, surrendering to my emotions like that.
Alas, I ventured through breakfast like a zombie, and Lily asked me if I was still half-asleep. I broke myself out of my reverie and pretended I was just imagining next Saturday when we’re scheduled to kick Slytherin’s butts in Quidditch. She gave me a funny look; she knows I hate Quidditch. I ensured I remained coherent and away from the fairies, but it all proved to be a waste of time upon entering History of Magic to find Scorpius sitting there looking very smug. Very smug and sexy.
I groan inwardly at my very girlie reaction to him sitting but three metres away from me with his top button undone and his emerald and silver tie loose. I can see the contours of his collar bone, and it makes me wonder what the rest of his torso looks like. I pinch my arm beneath the desk and inwardly chide myself for being such a loser.
I’m so relieved when the bell finally rings. I’m already out the door before Dom can even finish packing away her things, and I tap my foot impatiently as I wait for her. We both have Herbology next, and although I can’t wait to get out of the ten metre radius of Scorpius in which I still remain, I can’t just ditch her. An angry Dom is not a Dom worth angering.
I ensure I’m standing behind the door so the students filing out won’t notice me. I assume Scorpius is staying behind and filling Binns in on his observations, and I pray to Merlin the ancient professor will hold his attention for just a few more minutes while Dom takes her time exiting the classroom. I glance at my watch. Only thirty seconds has passed but it feels like ten minutes. Come on, Dom!
She finally skids out the door, glancing wildly around for me. She spots me and hurries toward me. “There you are! I thought you’d left already.”
“And leave you behind? Never.” I’m not about to tell her the real reason I escaped so quickly.
Dom slid her last book into her Chanel bag – oh, the wonders of having a rich French-slash-Veela mother. “All right, so I’ll see you at lunch, then?”
My brows furrow over with confusion. “What? Why?”
She rolls her eyes. “You’ve forgotten already? We have Quidditch practice. Albus wants to get us prepared for next Saturday.”
That’s right. I remember now. My face sinks. “Damn Albus and his stupid obsessive compulsive disorder.”
Dom laughs. “Oh, come on; it’ll all be worth it. Just think about that golden trophy in our name.” Her eyes light up with excitement.
What I find hard to believe is that they’re allowed to practice during a lesson. But I’m not surprised, really – Albus Potter always has a way with words. He’s the most influential of the Weasley-Potter clan. And the most cunning. I sigh and sling my poorly-packed bag over my shoulder.
“Okay. Have fun.” I say without any hint of enthusiasm.
Dom gives me a one-armed hug, already on her way down the corridor without me. “Save me a seat at lunch!” I watch her silvery blonde hair as she glides around the corner, looking more like an angel than anyone has a right to.
I cast my eyes to the ground, all cares of being caught by Scorpius gone as the depression washes over me. I know, it’s stupid to feel gloomy just because Dom won’t be joining me for Herbology. Well, not really, actually, because she’s the only friend I have in that class, besides Uncle Neville, of course, but he’s not allowed to favour me – some kind of stupid ‘being a professor of Hogwarts’ rule. What’s worse is I have to call him Professor Longbottom – it’s weird because I’ve always known him as Uncle Nev.
A true Martyr, I begin my descent down the many corridors leading to the entrance hall. I’m so relieved I’ve had no sighting of Scorpius, but I know it’s only a matter of time. Who knows – he’s probably already received special permission from Headmistress Raineforth to sit in on that lesson, too. Though it’s not advanced (because I suck at Herbology), so I don’t know why he’d have to. Maybe he’d come up with the excuse that particular students need help in some areas of the subject. I wouldn’t be surprised.
I’m just beginning to count off the many ways I can fake illness in my head when someone stops me short just by the large Dumbledore-shaped hedge. I take a step back, alarm bells sounding around me, and then I realise it’s just the bell I can hear ringing. But it’s not anyone from my Herbology class I’m looking at.
“Malfoy,” I murmur in a breath of relief. Not the kind of relief you feel when you find the person you want to see, but the kind of relief you feel when you’ve just had the scare of your life and realise it could have been worse. Well, it can’t really get any worse than Scorpius Malfoy, but I suppose he’s better than those Thestrals I’ve heard so much about.
I take a deep breath and count to ten; it helps to relieve the anger. “What do you want?”
“I told you I wanted to see you again, didn’t I?” He asks in that deep, husky voice of his.
I blink, unable to remember why I’m angry as I stare into his liquid teal eyes. “Um … yeah, I guess.”
He laughs, and I snap back into reality. I glance at my watch.
“Now’s not a good time, Malfoy. I’m late to Herbology.” I step around him, attempting to get past, but he mirrors my movement, revealing no intention of letting my by.
I groan. Here we go again.
“Come on, Rose; you know you don’t want to go to Herbology. You hate it.” He says solemnly, though I can hear the hint of amusement pulling up his tone at the end of his statement.
My eyes narrow suspiciously. “How do you know that?”
He rolls his eyes. “Everyone knows that. It’s the only subject you don’t get straight O’s in.”
“That doesn’t mean I hate it,” I murmur absently as I try to step around him again.
He’s relentless. “Come ditch with me.”
I stare at him incredulously. “Ditch class? No way!”
He laughs. “You know, you don’t always have to be a goody-two-shoes, Rose.”
“Says who?” I growl. I have neither the time nor patience for his antics. So why am I letting him keep me stranded under his gaze? I know better than to let his quick wit and undeniable charm to get to me. It’s everything I’ve taught myself not to heed to. Yet, here I am, letting him hold me prisoner. Again.
He can see I’m deliberating. “Come on, just one lesson.”
I glare at him momentarily, considering the alternatives. On the one hand, if I ditch even one class it will destroy my perfect record. Who’s ever heard of Rose Weasley not showing up to class? On the other hand, I hate Herbology because I’m not good at it, and my only friend in that class has ditched me to fly around on a broom for a whole hour.
As far as I’m concerned, my options suck.
“Please?” He’s suddenly serious, and his eyes light up intensely, like he’s pleading me.
I watch him curiously. Can one hour hurt? I can easily just run away from him if things get awkward again, can’t I? Besides, I can’t face an entire hour of Herbology without Dom.
I exhale a breath of defeat. “Fine. But I’m never ditching for you again, okay?”
He grins his dazzling crooked grin and the breath is knocked out of my lungs. He takes my hand and pulls me around the corner of the castle. “Follow me.”
I allow him to drag me along, unsure of what the hell I’m doing. Letting Scorpius Malfoy hold my hand as he pulls me away from my Herbology lesson? What if someone finds out I didn’t show up to a class? Obviously the teachers would find out. Oh no. Raineforth will be so angry. She’ll expel me. She’ll tell me how disappointed in me she is. And my parents? My mother especially – she’ll never forgive me.
“Malfoy, I should go back –”
“Shut up, Rose. Do something fun for a change.” He scolds me lightly, glancing back at me and winking.
Oh, how so easily persuaded I am. He’s far too beautiful to pas up. I fall into a daze as he leads me farther and farther away from civilisation. It feels like hours later when I snap myself out of my trance – despite the difficulty of tearing my eyes away from his silky blonde hair – and I’m amazed to find we’re still within the school’s grounds. We’re dangerously close to the forest, though, and I glance nervously back up at the castle. I pinpoint Raineforth’s exact office window, and a rush of fear flows through me as I imagine her staring directly down at us through those narrow, unforgiving black eyes of hers.
I glance back at Scorpius and my mind goes blank when I realise he’s dropped my hand. He’s gazing out at the forest. I can only see his back. I let my eyes wander across his body, watching the perfect contours of his shoulder blades beneath his thick robes. I’m half-disappointed, half-relieved that the baggy material of his robes hide the rest of his body, because I’m sure I’d faint if I had the privilege to get a glimpse of his equally perfect body. Damn him and his Quidditch muscles.
I clear my throat and look away, attempting to compose myself. It doesn’t help that my head’s filled with his dizzying scent, and while I’m trying to think about other things, I can’t seem to take my mind off our encounter at the Christmas Ball. His soft lips moving gently against mine, and then hard and urgent, like he can’t get enough of our proximity …
“Are you okay?” He asks, concerned. “You look like you’re about to faint.”
“I wish,” I murmur under my breath. Anything to get away from the beautiful hell I’m in where he exists purely to tempt and torture me.
I automatically – obviously without thinking it through – glance back at him, and find quickly that it’s a big mistake when I see his teal eyes burning intensely as he gazes back at me.
A shiver runs the length of my spine.
His eyes cloud with worry. “You’re cold. I shouldn’t have brought you out here.” Before I can protest, he’s shrugging out of his robes and placing them around my shoulders.
Deciding it’s best not to argue – and feeling far too comfortable nestled in his robes, still warm from his body heat – I wrap the swindling black material further around my body and hide half my face within the thick green collar. His cologne is far more concentrated here, and I have to remind myself to breathe evenly as it fills my nostrils and makes me go weak at the knees.
“So,” he says, and I suddenly remember yesterday’s encounter on the train. This particular ‘so’ is much less awkward than his first when we were so much more awkward about our passionate kiss. Well, at least he doesn’t seem awkward. I think if it weren’t for the fact that I can’t get my fantasies of him out of my head, then maybe I might be able to feel a little more comfortable in his presence.
Alas, no such luck. I sigh. I swear I’m cursed.
“So,” I repeat for repetition’s sake. I prefer to remain on safe grounds, let him do all the talking. He’s the one who dragged me here despite my worries about ditching Herbology, after all.
My breath whooshes out of my lungs once again as he catches me in his burning gaze. I feel a searing teal fire fill me; it invades my veins and spreads throughout my entire body, right through to my fingertips. Goosebumps rise on my arms as I find myself prisoner once again. A trapped prisoner who, if she was given the chance, would willingly remain a prisoner for the rest of her existence.
I could stare at him all day.
“Do you regret coming with me?” He asks in his silky voice, and there’s no trace of his previous amusement at my lack of presence.
I have to think about it for a moment. “No,” I answer truthfully without realising which answer I’d picked. In my head, I had weighed the two answers, and had just about blurted out the untruthful answer when my uncontrollable attraction to him forced me to switch and tell the truth. I had no say in the matter.
I feel embarrassed. Stupid teenage hormones.
His mouth lifts up at the corners and he flashes me that beautiful grin that makes my heart beat faster and faster with each split second that flies by. I press my lips together, swallowing the lump in my throat that has appeared out of nowhere. Damn gorgeous Malfoy.
“So, is this better than Herbology?” He seems a lot more confident now. Not that he was shy before. He is a Malfoy, after all. What did I expect?
“I don’t know,” I answered truthfully again. “I’ll let you know when the boredom passes.” I tack on at the end before he can feel triumphant that he’s getting to me. I don’t want to be so mean, but I can’t have him getting a big head. Let him think of that how he wants. I don’t care if he feels hurt by it.
It doesn’t faze him at all. If anything he looks more smug. “Are you trying to tell me, Rose Weasley, that I am boring?”
I shrug, attempting nonchalance at the worst time ever. I think I about got it right. I’m not too good with pretending. “I honestly don’t know, Malfoy. I mean, you drag me out here on a silly whim, quite possibly getting me into trouble, and then you stand there and stare at me, not saying a word. Of course I’m going to find you boring.”
It’s not entirely the truth. I don’t find him boring at all. But I don’t know why I’m telling him I do. Maybe I want him to do something to make it … not boring? I don’t know. My mind’s not working properly right now, as it never is when I’m around Scorpius. Maybe I should just stay away from him to save me the constant confusion. I never doubt myself so much, except when I’m with him. It’s really quite annoying.
I expect him to chuckle – his own very subtle way of dismissing what could potentially be a hurtful comment – but instead the burning gaze is back, and I swallow the lump in my throat, which is now hot and uncomfortable as it slides down my throat. I inhale sharply at the sensation that follows; it feels like my throat is on fire. But I’m too immersed in his teal gaze to even attempt to do anything about it.
He’s suddenly merely half a metre away from me. How did he get so close to me so quickly? One minute my eyes were open, and he was two metres away from me, and then I blink and open my eyes again, and, suddenly, he’s close enough that I can feel his hot breath on my cheek, and smell his alluring scent, and hear his heart beating, and touch his hot skin …
“I promise you, Rose Weasley, that I am anything but boring.” His voice is husky again, and his breath expels onto my face like a blazing wind of a dizzying musky scent.
And then his lips are on mine, and his arms around my waist take me by surprise.
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