Hello, sweethearts =) This is a shorter chapter than usual (hold fire!) but it's kind of a catalyst for the rest of the story, so put down your pitchforks! Let's have a pleasant interlude from Scorpius =)
I drum my fingers on the desk, ignoring Scarlett’s pointed gaze. At the front of the classroom, Professor Bell is attacking someone’s splotchy essay with a horrified expression.
“... inadequate length... blah blah blah no keywords... my first years do better than this...”
I admit, I have zoned out. Long ago.
But how can anyone expect me to concentrate whilst Rose is in the hospital wing? I wouldn’t be so bothered, but –
Actually, I would be bothered. She’s in the hospital wing, the hospital wing, the hospital wing. With flu. It’s not the end of the world, but I miss her. And we were getting on so well.
It’s been a whole five days since she fell asleep listening to me talk crap. And I left the hospital wing feeling depressed and hemmed in by my parents, and that mood hasn’t lifted.
The letter I received from my father this morning did not help. Fishing it out of my pocket, I smooth it out of its crumpled ball and re-read it, again.
I’m hearing that you’re failing Charms, the simplest of all lessons. Must you always fail me? Correct this mistake immediately.
Signed? Signed? I’m his fucking son, not one of his business clients. I deserve more than signed. I’ve slogged through almost seventeen long years of his stupid name and everything that comes attached to the stupid thing, and I get signed?
And the pompous question. He wasn’t perfect, by rights my failing charms was tiny compared to his massive mistakes. But I wasn’t about to remind him of that. Or anyone else – I’d fought long and hard to not end up like him, and I didn’t need to remind anyone that being ‘The Death Eater’s Son’ wasn’t cool.
How the hell does he even know I’m failing?
Professor Bell was still berating the idiot’s mistakes to us. I was sure that whoever wrote the thing now regretted having continued this class.
How on earth did they get into this class anyway if they couldn’t spell ‘werewolf’?
“Scorpius,” Scarlett hisses at me, “We need to talk.”
Great. She’s not even my real girlfriend and she’s still terrifying me with those words.
The bell rings, startling Professor Bell from her rant. She swears as she realises we’ve done no work at all because of her rant.
“I want two feet of parchment filled with an essay on why I should ever bother teaching you again,” she barks at us, angrily throwing a spare quill at a dart board she has hanging behind her desk. I would complain, but she’d probably rip my head off. And then stamp on it.
I wouldn’t put it past her.
Scarlett takes my hand, carefully dragging me through the crowds of people heading towards their next lesson into the classroom across the hallway. Bursting through the door, we find two guilty-looking forth years. One of them is blonde and female, with a long plait and rosy cheeks. The other is brunette and also female, but with an impressive afro and doe eyes. They look very innocent, which means they’ve been doing something against the rules.
I swear the blonde one just hid something behind her back.
“Out!” Scarlett orders. As they file past us, she holds out a hand and gestures at the blonde kid. “Give.” I won’t lie, Scarlett can be scary, and when rules are broken by someone, she knows immediately who to corner and bully into confessing.
Looking sullen and embarrassed, the girl reaches her hand towards Scarlett and drops a bag of mulchy-type stuff into her waiting hand. No way.
“Is that...” I breathe, not daring to say the word out loud in case it’s not. Because then I would look like an idiot. Hey, I’m not trying to be unpopular.
Scarlett’s lips are rapidly disappearing and turning instead into one straight line, and her eyes are narrowing. If this is what I think it is, this girl and her friend are in huge trouble. Trouble even I, in all my Malfoy ‘glory’, cannot imagine.
“Sit down,” Scarlett hisses, and both of the girls hastily perch on chairs. Oh yeah, they should be scared. “What,” she continues, somehow sounding more venomous the more she speaks, “Is this?”
They fidget. The blonde nudges the brunette, she brunette looks at Scarlett, and then back to the blonde, scared.
“It’s an ingredient,” she volunteers unhappily, crossing her arms in defiance, “For a potion.”
“Which potion?” Scarlett counters sharply, and the two girls do some more shifting around nervously.
“Polyjuice Potion?” the blonde randomly picks out. Perhaps she’s hoping Scarlett won’t have heard of it. Tough luck, kid.
Scarlett begins to go red in the face. I could step in, but... Well, it’s more fun to let her shout at them than have her shout at me for not letting me shout at them. Ultimately she may shout in my vicinity, but not at me.
So I win.
As Scarlett opens her mouth and starts to let rip, I see someone wandering down the hall in that kind of ‘sod it, I’m already late’ dawdle-ling mood. I realise, as my ears start bruising from the inside out, it’s Rose.
Free from the clutches of that freakishly tall nurse and all her medicine! Free from the bed that I put my feet on! Free from the endless hours of hell that is the Hospital Wing!
Oh shit. Isn’t this the girl I told my life story to, just a while ago?
I’ve got to hide. No, I’ve got to go say hi!
No, hide! She might be laughing at me.
But what if she isn’t laughing, she’s crying, and I’m not there to save her from her misery?
I am now staring after her through the little window pane in the door. She’s going to vanish from view in a minute, and then I won’t be able to catch her before she tells everyone my dad’s psychopathic, and that I enjoy telling innocent girls terrifying life stories I may have experienced.
Not that everyone doesn’t already know bits of it, of course. Just remind me what I am?
Oh, yeah. A Death-Eater’s son.
Not only that, I have delusions that a Hero’s daughter may one day fall in love with me. And I’m failing charms.
Pulling open the door and dashing out quickly to avoid Scarlett’s wrath at me leaving her to scream herself stupid, I start walking briskly after the heroine of my tale.
Vaguely from behind me, I hear something that sounds like:
“Scorpius Malfoy I am SO going to kill you later!”
But Scarlett may have said:
“Scorpius Malfoy I think you’re a lovely person and I will never harm you.”
Yeah, I can believe that. Not.
“Rose!” I call, and the redheaded beauty turns around, looking surprised. Her face breaks into a smile.
Problem 29: I’m out of the hospital wing.
This should not be a problem. In fact, this should be a blessing. The hospital wing is proven to be the most boring place on Earth, and so by all means I should be running from the doors with a triumphant cheer. I swear Lily did, when she was discharged two whole days ago, leaving me all by myself, bar for a measly half hour a day when absolutely everyone – including Marius, and Hugo – came to wish me well. Or sing me a love song, if you’re Marius.
“Glad you’re back, Rose,” someone says to me, and it takes me a moment to realise it’s Fergus Thomas, my bassist for the Halloween Ball. The bell went a good five minutes ago, but he’s in no rush. Fergus doesn’t rush; he’s always cool, calm and collected.
“Thanks, Fergus,” I reply, smiling.
It’s a Friday. I’ve been in the hospital wing a whole five days, and the rehearsal is tomorrow. Our first rehearsal as a band. Blimey.
Of course I was up all night learning the songs – not. I’m lucky I bought a few pages of lyrics, otherwise I’d be really in trouble. I mean, I’m generally a workaholic when it comes to music. If there was a magical music class, I’d be its nerd.
Not saying I’m not a nerd anyway. I totally am.
Especially when Caspar comes into play. Study buddies? Hell yes.
As I walk down the corridor, I realise I was deluded thinking it’s really, really early. I thought it was six in the morning early. There would have been a slim chance that Caspar might be awake, but apart from that, no one I knew would have been up at this time. Perhaps Madam Cherie, because she just kicked me out, but apart from that – no one. Really.
But joy of joys, it’s more like ten o’clock, and everyone has just started their third lesson of the day. I could venture into the class late, but it’s Transfiguration. There are two reasons I refuse to go to this class late: a) Professor Chang is looking increasingly on the cusp of a spectacular mental breakdown since the disappearance of her long-term boyfriend, and b) Scorpius isn’t in it.
So I’m facing an hour alone, perhaps in the library or the Common Room. But I bet the Fat Lady would rat me out for skiving one of my lessons.
Changing my direction, I begin to wander aimlessly towards the library. I have nothing to do, and it looks like a good plan to me.
All the classrooms in this part of the castle are pretty busy. I hear laughing pupils in one, and what I assume is an irate teacher yelling at some kids – something about potions unrelated to substances? It’s pretty loud.
I’m about to turn the corner and head down the corridor towards the library when a voice calls my name.
Crap! Some teacher’s found me.
I turn round, my ‘surprised and innocent’ face firmly in place, already thinking of an excuse.
I think ‘I got lost’ is a bit dumb now, considering I’m a Seventh year.
But thankfully, it’s not a teacher. Just when I was preparing myself for a whole hour alone, without any sort of social interaction, here he is.
I feel my face break into a relieved smile.
Ah, yes, my knight in shining armour. And I am the damsel in amore.
Striding up with the kind of gorgeous smile I can only adore, he stops just short of me. There’s a minor awkward pause where we both flounder about what to say.
Well, what can I say? ‘Thanks for pouring your heart out to me the other day, it really passed the time’?
Luckily, I don’t have to say anything, because at that point Scorpius takes the plunge and presses his lips to mine.
Talk to me. Little box likes being fed =)
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