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Problem 31: What is it with people finding my family attractive?


 

I mean, it’s hard not to have fancied at least one of the, because they’re freaking everywhere, but really. Why?


 

I know Albus is lovely, and I’m sure he’s got many qualities, but...


 

I dunno.


 

Albus?


 

I look at Scorpius. He doesn’t seem at all bothered by Scarlett’s proclamation.


 

In fact, he’s nodding in encouragement. I pull a ‘WTF’ face, which he ignores.


 

“How long?” I ask. Okay, I may be mildly sneer-y about this whole ‘isn’t Albus lovely’ business, but I’m still nosey. So I’m allowed to ask. Right?


 

“Three years, and counting,” Scarlett replies, “How long for you?”


 

“Five years, and counting,” I concede, “But I win, I guess, because I got to date other guys. They might have all sucked and been huge disappointments, but they taught me to snog.”


 

“Wow, I feel good about myself now,” Scarlett says, and turns to glare at me, taking off her sunglasses to do so. “I’m so pleased you stole the boy I’ve being fucking.”


 

Ooh. Low blow. I suck in a breath.


 

“Wow, Scarlett, I’m so pleased you’re so in touch with yourself you can build up the confidence to ask a guy out,” I shoot back. My patience is waning. The scratches on my hands are painful.


 

“Hey, ladies—“Scorpius starts, but is cut off by Scarlett. This could get nasty.


 

“Ask him out?” she shrieks, sitting bolt upright, “I’m asking him to fuck up his life, get death threats in the morning post, get screamed at by most of my family! I’m not being as selfish as you, so what? At least I haven’t condemned the boy I love!”


 

“I would never condemn someone I love!” I yell back, leaping off Scorpius’ lap to better amplify my voice. “Maybe if they loved you back they’d be willing to sacrifice that!”


 

“What, you really think Albus Potter, son of Harry Potter, Slytherin hater extraordinaire—“


 

“He doesn’t hate Slytherins! He’s never said a bad word about you!”


 

“Oh but James has!”


 

Silence falls.


 

Okay, so James is the one with an intolerance for green. And he’s not afraid to say so, either – house unity my arse.


 

“Okay,” Scorpius says in a firm voice, coming round from behind me, “Enough. Both of you. Apologize.”


 

I stare at him blankly. Scarlett does too. He gives us both a pointed look, and holds up three fingers.


 

“One...” he begins counting, “Two... If I get to three I remind you I’m the only one with a wand on me... Th—“


 

“I’m sorry,” we blurt out together.


 

Scorpius seems satisfied. Turning to Scarlett, he holds out his arms in a ‘I’m about to make everything you worry about seem insignificant’ manner.


 

“You’re not a whore and Albus Potter isn’t a complete idiot. Your dad isn’t that unreasonable, and your brother needs you right now, so I suggest you crawl through that tunnel and get your arse to Professor MacMillan pronto.”


 

Scarlett, surprisingly, just pouts and gets on with it. She is still in her damp swimming costume. As she disappears through a door – oh for crying out loud, there is a freaking door – Scorpius turns to me. I start backing away.


 

“I don’t want to hear it,” I say firmly, “Don’t analyse me.”


 

Scorpius grins. “You think everything is about to go badly –“


 

“Stop right there! I’m very happy, look!” I smile as widely as I can. He laughs.


 

“You’re beautiful,” he says softly.


 

Ego boosts feel lovely.


 

“So are you,” I reply, stepping forwards again. Forget backing away, I want to kiss him again.


 

And again.


 

And then maybe some more.


 

I need to get a life.


 

Scorpius places a hand on my jaw. “We should probably get back to class,” he murmurs.


 

“Yeah,” I agree, “We should.”


 

Hahahahaha, screw that! I’m happy here, thanks.


 

Scorpius leans in slowly and kisses the side of my mouth. I love it when he kisses me.


 

Well, it kind of comes with the package. The package being loving him, I guess.


 

He leans back again. Oh, that makes me sad.


 

“No, seriously,” he announces, “I’m already in detention tonight for forgetting a Charms essay.”


 

I raise an eyebrow, but start to collect my clothes anyway. “Charms? How could you forget your favourite lesson?”


 

Ahh, sarcasm. I’ve missed you.


 

Scorpius snorts. “How indeed. It was your fault anyway; I was preoccupied telling you my life story.”


 

It’s my turn to laugh. “Excuses, excuses. We all know the truth.” The last part is muffled behind my jumper, but I think he gets the picture.


 

Now dressed, I take his hand and lead him to the door. Pushing it open with my free hand, we’re confronted by a crowd of people, all pushing to get to their next lesson. We’re quickly swallowed up by the rabble, and end up pushing our way through them to our next lesson – Care of Magical Creatures with Hagrid.


 

Hagrid should have retired at the end of the war, but instead he continued teaching. Something to do with his giant blood, I think, means he doesn’t seem to be bothered by this little thing called time.


 

Wandering slowly to the lesson, I wonder why Scorpius kissed me.


 

I decide not to wonder, but just be smug instead.


 

Livi assaults e as soon as she sees me – taking a running jump, she tackled me with all her weight. And Victoire light, she is not. Ooft.


 

“Rosiiiiiiiiiiiiie!” she yells, and I notice my ears wilting. No, not really! But wouldn’t it be amazing if they did? “I hear you snogged mouse-boy!”


 

Scorpius, who was unceremoniously pushed aside when Livi attacked, doesn’t seem to like that comment and opens his mouth to protest. Caspar cuts him off, running up and bringing Bella the Kelpie with her. Scorpius backs away slightly as Bella flares her nostrils.


 

“Rose, you were specifically told by your mother and aunt that kissing in broom closets is the closest to whore-ish and Purple there can be!” she berates.


 

Purple is the code name for someone mum doesn’t like much. We’ve never figured it out, but both mum and aunt Ginny seem to think she’s a bit of a sleaze. They snigger a lot whenever they talk about her, something about ‘Wonwon’s?


 

“Wow, thanks Cas,” I reply, “Livi, gerrof!”


 

Livi obligingly rolls off me, and I get back to my feet.


 

“This is where you apologize for being Purple,” Caspar pushes.


 

I shrug. “Soz?”


 

Caspar glares. “Soz? Soz? I will not being spoken to in text speak! Apologize! And you!” She rounds on Scorpius, who had been watching and sniggering to himself. He jumps to attention. “You bad influence! How could you let her kiss you in a closet?”


 

Scorpius shrugs. There seems to be a pattern of shrugs, here. “I dunno, I quite liked it.”


 

I cover my mouth to keep myself from laughing. Bella comes up to me and nudges my other hand with her nose. I reach a hand into my pocket and pull out a sugar lump – hey, it pays to be prepared.


 

“Liked it? Liked it?”


 

Luckily enough, Hagrid comes out of the forest then, leading with him an extremely grumpy looking Kelpie that’s at least the height of his hut. It snorts and paws the ground where he stops. Everyone, including the average size Kelpies, takes a step back.


 

“’A’s okay, she won’ hur’ yeh!” Hagrid declares proudly, “Who can tell me wha’ she is?”


 

There’s a silence. Caspar raises her hand. Hagrid beams at her, and waves a gigantic hand in a gesture I’m sure means ‘do go on, dear fellow’.


 

“An overgrown Kelpie?” she guesses.


 

“Almos’!” Hagrid says happily, “This is all o’ these lot’s mother! An’ today, yeh gonna be feedin’ ‘em both!”


 

Oh, goody.


 

Scorpius comes and holds my hand again. Caspar glares, but I know inside she’s happy.


 

Okay, maybe that was a lie, she’s never much tolerated Scorpius. But I’m hoping she’ll warm to him. One day. On a blue moon. When pigs fly.


 

I bet Hagrid’s owned a flying pig at some stage in his life.


 

Bella looks wary when we try to make her sit by the big Kelpie. We end up tempting her to come vaguely closer by waving some raw eat – ew ew ew – in front of Scorpius, who is not necessarily happy about being part of the bait.


 

Bella walks slowly towards Scorpius and the meat Livi’s waving, and is almost to the post she’s going to be sitting by, when the stupid big Kelpie snorts. Now, it’s obviously not a very small snort. It sounds a bit like a machine gun quickly let out a round – not a pleasant noise, I assure you. Bella starts and takes off into the woods.


 

“BELLA NO!” Livi yells, and turns to me as Bella disappears into the trees, “Well shit! We have to go find her!”


 

I purse my lips. “I dunno, Livi – it’s not like we made a loss. Bella’s probably eating some innocent animal right now, and having a ball, whilst we can have a free lesson because she’s gone.”


 

Livi turns to Scorpius. “Scorpius. As Caspar’s vote doesn’t count since she’s the annoying one—“ Caspar lobs a stick of carrot at Livi’s head. It almost hits, but at the last moment Livi moves and it only clips her on the shoulder. “—Ow! And violent, too! You get deciding vote.”


 

Scorpius flounders for a moment, unexpectantly in the spotlight, but then straightens up and clears his throat. “I think,” he says, in a measured voice, “We should go after it.”


 

“Her!” Caspar corrects, and at the same time I whine;


 

“But my hair!”


 

Merlin, I am a brat. Save an innocent creature, Rose? No thanks, might ruin my carefully – ha! – put together look.


 

Scorpius sniggers and swiftly leans forwards and pulls my hair band out, ruffling my hair. Oh, ha. Ha ha ha. Hysterical, Rose looks like she sleeps in a ditch.


 

I mock-glare at him, because I’m still a bit overly pleased that he kissed me.


 

And who could glare at wikkle Scorpius? He’s so gorgeous.


 

He takes my hand once more as we make our way towards the forest. Caspar looks like she’s about to explode with glary-ness, but then she sees something in her line of sight, goes dramatically wide-eyed for a moment, and sprints off into the forest. Me and Livi glance at each other. That was weird, even by our standards. When I look where she was looking, I can’t see anything out of the ordinary – just Lucinda and Evie, working perfectly in their group.


 

What the hell is up with Cas?


 

When we finally find her in the forest – which is hard because she’s hiding up a bloody tree – and begin to coax her down. We try.


 

And try.


 

And try.


 

“Come on, Caspar,” I try, after a good half hour, “That tree’s covered in lichen and you’re going to ruin your clothes.”


 

“Fuck clothes!” Comes the reply from above me.


 

Bella has long since been located by Scorpius, and is being petted by the same boy. I think she finally likes him. They look content, anyway.


 

Unfortunately, Livi and I are not content to let Caspar whine in a tree all day.


 

“Fuck clothes!” Livi yells up to the branches, “There’s only ten FREAKING minutes left in this lesson Caspar Louise Clark, and Merlin help me I am only spending one more here until I climb into that FUCKING TREE and drag you out screaming!”


 

There’s a minor silence. Livi is counting off the seconds on a watch she’s conjured up.


 

“Thirty seconds,” I warn. Caspar shows no sign of moving. “Ten seconds...”


 

Livi takes off her jumper and shoes, and prepares herself. The last second ticks off the stopwatch and it vanishes exactly as she starts climbing. Her agility astounds me as ever, and before you know it there’s a cry of:


 

“OLIVIA GET OFF ME!” That presumably comes from a trapped Caspar. “I swear I will BITE YOU!” There’s rustling, then a small shriek. I crane my neck, but see nothing. Bloody branches.


 

A grim-face Livi soon descends, using just one hand. She shows me the other: a large red tooth mark is on it.


 

“Fuck,” I mutter, “She’s really lost it.”


 

Scorpius wanders over, with Bella in tow. “You know,” he says contemplatively, “I reckon I could get her out of the tree pretty quickly.”


 

Livi and I glance at each other. I’m first to take the bait. “Really? Because, I’m kind of already in Professor Chang’s bad books,” I say quickly.


 

“And we could really do with getting back now,” Livi finishes.


 

We nod together. Scorpius takes out his wand, twirls it between his fingers, and points it at the tree Caspar is hiding in. It starts to wobble.


 

Now, this is where I should leap forwards and stop Scorpius from shaking Caspar out of the tree, in case she gets hurt. But it has been a long half hour, and she bit Livi.


 

So it’s fine by me.


 

I am a terrible person.


 

The tree is slowly getting more violent in its movement, and there’s a grumbling noise coming from the branches I assume Caspar is perched in.


 

The tree does an impressive dip and she shrieks. Livi glances at me.


 

“Do you think... No, forget it,” she mutters.


 

“No, I’m fine to wait until she comes down and explains herself,” I say, as a sort of reply to what I guess she would have asked.


 

After another terrific dip, Caspar gives in.


 

“Fine! I’ll climb down, but stop the bloody movement!” she yells. Abruptly, the tree reverts to its upright position.


 

“Well, you only had to ask,” drawls Scorpius. Bella snorts in appreciation.


 

Slowly, so slowly I almost ask Scorpius to start shaking the tree again, she descends. When she’s finally standing in front of us, I raise an eyebrow.


 

“Explain,” I demand in my best important voice.


 

Caspar stares at Scorpius. “Go away,” she orders. Scorpius huffs.


 

“Charming,” he grumbles, walking back the way we came. Bella follows him, trotting happily.


 

“Any reason for that?” I ask. I don’t get a reply, as Caspar is too busy watching him leave. When he’s completely disappeared, she sighs and looks at Livi and I.


 

And continues to do so, for ages.


 

Okay, a minute or so.


 

“Fuck it Caspar, you are wasting my time here!” I proclaim, and at the same time Caspar opens her mouth and quickly says:


 

“I’m a whore.”


 

...huh?


 

“A... whore?” Livi questions, her eyebrows pulling together as she frowns.


 

“A whore,” Caspar confirms, “A dirty, lying, scheming little bitch that can’t... can’t...” She bursts into tears. I open my arms and she falls into them, clinging to me as if I was the last life jacket on a sinking boat.


 

I rub her back soothingly. I’ve had enough of these breakdowns over the years – mainly Scorpius related. And I wonder why Caspar dislikes him...


 

It seems we will not be in Transfiguration on time today, after all.


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 




As ever I own zilch. Hello again! It's nice to see all your smiling faces once more.

I said SMILING!

I am already writing the next chapter. Go me!

Poke a few letters into the box about v there v and it will stop biting, promise ^_^

xE
 

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