I am Ranny, little Ranny Baker. The girl who has a strange attachment to child’s stories, I am the girl who watched Rose Weasley squirm as she faced a blonde Slytherin, and did only that, watch. It was an odd day that she picked on me while I had one of the boys by my side. In this case, Scorpius.
She quite frequently questioned my mental capabilities; she thought that was a little ‘dim’.
She had questioned once what I was capable of, saying I was ‘babied’ and ‘childish’. I couldn’t complain; I know that I am. But I’m happy being me, I like who I am; she can’t tell me off for that.
Scorpius ran his hands through his thick blonde hair and turned to Rose as she snidely commented on the book I held in my grip. He faced right up to her and told her where she could stick her Gryffindor pride. I had never seen Rose Weasley scared before, but Scorpius Malfoy seemed to acquire a charm that no one else did.
I tugged on the back of his black uniformed jumped. “Scorpius, leave it, let’s just go.”
“Listen to the fairy Scorpius,” Rose dared. “She apparently has all the answers in that little book of hers.”
“Leave the book out of this,” Scorpius demanded. “This is about you wanting to prove that you’re a bitch. Well guess what, congratulations, you’ve done it.”
She smirked and twisted the ends of her hair between her fingers. “Looks like I’ve got another candidate in the running, what do you have to say for yourself, Malfoy?”
“I don’t need to speak, I can handle myself.” He laced his hand on to my arm, pushing me away a little. “Are you nervous, that I may make a name for myself as the one who beat Rose Weasley in the ‘bitch’ contest?”
The smirk fell a little. “I can hold my own.”
Scorpius sighed and took the book from my hands; he held it up to show the Sherriff. “This book, this one right here,” he pressed it to her face. “This is a book of tales, tales that should intrigue you, make you wish that you were a part of them. I actually pity you; I pity the fact that when you read these stories, look upon them, the only emotion you can feel is humour. I pity the fact that you feel the need to make fun of Ranny for liking them when in fact; the only reason that you should be making fun of her is because she can do anything that you can, but ten times better. Feel jealous Weasley.”
“Right, Malfoy, that’s it.” She mocked. “Your friend is obviously not right in the head; she’s seventeen and she still reads this crap? Ranny is a pathetic little girl who likes child’s stories. She needs to grow up.”
I watched as Scorpius’ eyes darkened. He was terrifying. “I like them too Weaslette, what are you going to say to me?”
She didn’t speak. But she did step back.
“You’re not even worth the air it would take to breathe for those words to come from my mouth.”
“I wonder what else has come from your mouth lately,” Scorpius sneered. “I’m guessing it’s a whole lot of shit. I recommend that you take it all back and think about it, maybe then you’ll realise what you’ve lost.”
He wasted no time in handing me back the book and pulling me away. His fingers were laced through the knit in the jumper; he made the tiny holes large, ripping between them.
I blinked away a tear. “Scorpius, stop. I can’t believe that you did that””
“No Ranny!” he snapped. “I can’t believe that you didn’t! Rose is a bitch, she isn’t ‘The Sherriff’, she isn’t going to ‘sentence you to death’, she will just ruin you, make you feel tiny. I don’t want you to feel like that.”
“I don’t.” I lied. “I brush it off, I always have.”
“You shouldn’t have to.” He ran his finger along the gold spine of the book that I held. “This book is beautiful, it’s special, don’t forget that.”
I bit down on to my lip. “What did you mean, ‘realise what you’ve lost’?” I questioned. “Rose hasn’t lost anything.”
“Yes she has,” he rounded. “But that’s none of your concern, neither is it mine.”
“Then why did you say it?”
“Circe, Ranny!” he snapped, turning around to face me. For the first time, we stopped walking. “I had to say something! You don’t stand up for yourself!”
I took a shark intake of breath. “I don’t, I can’t-“
“You can, Ranny. You stand up to me all of the time, you put Albus in his place without even realising it. Why can’t you do that to Rose?”
“Because she is mean,” I practically whispered in a panic. “She’s mean.”
“So am I!” he spat. “I am not nice. I’m not kind or gentle, yet that’s all you seem to make of me! That’s what I like about you Ranny, you see the good in people. When I see Rose all I see is a cow, I don’t know what the hell you see but you let her treat you like shit!”
“Don’t ‘Scorpius’ me Ranny.” He roared. It was loud enough to shock me. Scorpius doesn’t shout, not at me. Ever. I hunched up my shoulders in vulnerability and shut my eyes, I willed for the situation to disappear. “Then next time that Rose treats you like that, you are to shout back, to cry, and to scream. Make her feel guilty for what she did. Do you hear me?”
He took hold of my shoulders and shook me. “No. No, Scorpius, I don’t want to.”
“Ranny! Merlin, you have to stand up for yourself. All heroes do, you can’t be a hero without being able to speak for yourself.”
“I don’t want to be a hero!” I mumbled. “I don’t want to be one.”
My speech was slightly slurred, my eyes stinging. My hands had retracted in to the sleeves of my knitted jumper, thrown over my school uniform. I felt my tie tighten as I took bigger breaths.
I felt his hands scrap through my knotted hair. “You are not weak Ranny. You’re a Hufflepuff, you are kind and gentle, but you are strong. You are not a push over.”
“Scorpius!” The voice wasn’t mine.
But I knew it. I recognised it. It was deep, deeper than my two boys, but it was kinder. I looked to my left. I was a little ashamed to realise that my vision had blurred. I felt childish.
Tom stood slightly to our left. We had reached the dungeons. His jumper tightened against his chest as he folded his arms. He wasn’t as tall as Scorpius, but he was broader. He stood only a few feet away. His dark brown hair had been cut shorter since I had last seen him; it no longer fell in to his eyes, but rested above. His light irises were filled with concern.
“Scorpius, mate.” He tried again. “What are you doing?”
I flinched as I felt Scorpius’ hands pull out of my hair. But I didn’t have time to react before he grabbed hold of my shoulders instead. He pulled me tightly in to his chest and wrapped his arms around me. Resting his chin in to my head and began to mutter apologies. But even he knew that it wouldn’t be good enough. He had seen my expression.
If there was one thing that Scorpius couldn’t stand, it was to see me cry.
I twisted the focus on my telescope and looked up in to the night sky. Each star twinkling brighter than its pre-assessor, trying to be named. It was a bright night. Brighter than most.
“Come on Jupiter,” I cooed. “You know you want to be found.”
I adjusted the focus a little more, obtaining a reasonable picture after what may have been my thousandth attempt. I pulled my eye back from the glass and took my parchment from the floor of the Astronomy Tower. I didn’t want to place it on the ledge, one gust of wind and my work would have been gone.
And I couldn’t fly to get it back, not without a broom.
I filled in the last two positions of starts, leaving out the planet in question, I figured that making it up would be an option that sounded reasonable. Albus had taken Astronomy, but he only passed as he copied my notes, without them, we would both fail.
I looked back through the looking glass. I had no intention of going back to my dorm room. The girls had admittedly been nicer to me since I invited them to freely use my wardrobe, but the conversation side was lacking. I still didn’t feel right there. Somehow, here on the roof of the school, I felt more at home that I had in weeks. At a point, I had considered camping it out here. Rapunzel lived in a tower, why couldn’t I?
But I didn’t have really long hair. And I didn’t have a prince.
I flicked a gold knob of the telescope and forced a smile as I back away and looked through the towers dusty windows. Lines quartered them off as curtain, which needed to be drawn, hid the tower from the moon.
The voice startled me. I knocked my hand against the telescope and moved the end, adjusting my alignment to a position that would be classed as wildly unhelpful.
I turned to the figure in the door way. Tall. Not as tall as I am used to. But still tall. His eyes were bright, a shade of blue that could be classed as childlike. He wore a jumper over jeans a shade that matched his brown hair perfectly. Tom.
I bit down on my lip and smiled. “Yes. Hello.”
“Alright?” he asked, his head was cocked to the side, a smirk on his lips that was suitable for the average Slytherin, but his was kinder. “You look a little lost.”
My fingers found my mouth and they perched upon my closed lips. “I’m fine thank you.” I said through them.
Tom took a step in to the Tower and leant back against the wall. “What are you doing up here?”
“Looking at the stars.” My hand was still in front of my mouth.
He reached forward and pulled my fingers away from my lips. “One more time?”
“Looking at the stars.” I repeated bashfully.
“Which ones?” he questioned. “It’s a clear night tonight, but Jupiter seems to have been developing an odd pattern lately.”
A little gasp of delight came from my lips. “You are interested in the stars?”
“I’m in your Astronomy class, Ran.” He pointed out. “I have been since third year.”
“Oh, Circe.” I swore. “I’m sorry. I’m not very observant.”
Tom only laughed. “It’s fine Ranny. I see that Potter keeps you company though, the two of you are almost inseparable.”
“Not lately,” I muttered under my breath. But it was still loud enough for you to hear.
He took the chair by the small table and slouched in it. “How are you coping with that? Al and that Clark girl? She seems … nice?”
“You’ve never had a conversation with Nina have you?”
“Nope. I can’t say that I have.”
I furrowed my brow. “Well she’s lovely.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
“Maybe it is.” I answered stupidly. Tom looked at me expectantly, he wanted me to continue. I turned away from my telescope and joined him at the table. “I’m selfish.” I admitted. “It’s always been me Scorpius and Ally, now that Nina has come along, Albus doesn’t spend much time with us anymore.”
“You’re not selfish.” Tom brushed his hair from his eyes. “But what you’re thinking is understandable.”
“Thank you,” I said. “For not saying that I’m jealous.”
He smiled. “It’s alright. But for the record. I would be too – jealous, if someone took my friend like that.”
“But I’m not jealous, not really.” I lied. “Just protective.”
“But you said that Nina’s lovely,” he rounded. “Why would you need to feel protective?”
I sighed and played with the hems of my sleeves, looking anywhere but the Slytherin. “Albus is easily hurt. Nina is friends with mean people.”
I was sure that my cheeks flushed pink. “Yes.”
“Are they mean to you?”
I neither agreed nor disagreed. I simply sat still.
Tom’s hands fell to his lap, his elbows moving from resting on his thighs to by his side. His grin faltered. “Your silence is an answer in itself. Is that what Scorpius was shouting at you for today? I have never seen him treat you like that – other’s, all the time, but never you, he has a soft spot for you, Ran.”
“Please,” I begged, almost inaudibly. “I don’t want to talk about that.”
“Has he apologised to you?” Tom pressed.
I nodded. “Of course.”
“But you still feel hurt?”
“Can we please change the subject?” I asked again. “Scorpius made a mistake, he got in a fight with Rose Weasley; she knows how to push his buttons.”
“And so his took it out on you?” The quizzical look on Tom’s face was astonishing.
I shrugged. “He’s Scorpius Malfoy; he didn’t mean to.”
“Does Al know about this?”
“What does that have to do with it?”
Tom shook his head. “I just can’t picture the idea of Albus being okay with Scorpius shouting at you.”
“He didn’t mean to.” I defended, again. “And besides, I doubt that Al would care at this point anyway. He’s off gallivanting with Captain Hook.”
The Slytherin processed this for a moment before he realised who I was talking about. He simply smiled warmly. “I’m sure that Albus does care. It would take a heck of a lot to make him stop.” The next action I couldn’t ignore. Tom’s hand reached out to touch my knee comfortingly. “And if your boys are being naff mates and you need another, you know where to find me.”
AN; Sorry for the long wait chaps; I’ve been ill and then also it’s a busy time of year for me at the moment. But I am updating while I can. I hope that you enjoyed this chapter; you get to see a little more of Tom, but also the first meeting of Rose.
What were you opinions on her? I’m sure that I can probably already guess, but I have tried to make her as different as I can from what most people try to make her.
I will update soon! The next chapter is called Rapunzel, and it’s an entire chapter of Albus. Don’t forget to leave a review! :D
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