A/N: All Les Miserables references and characters aren't mine and belong to Victor Hugo. This image was of my own creation.

“Alright class, settle in. We’ve got a lot to go over today.”

The seventh year Muggle Studies class pulled their chairs into a circle, as was custom for their Thursday lessons. It had been two weeks since Rose and Erin had visited Alice, and Al and Erin still weren’t speaking. There’d been many uncomfortable moments when they’d had to sit near each other in class or pass each other in the hallways. The only times they acknowledged each other were when one of them would make a snide remark at the other and it would threaten to escalate into something bigger. Apparently, Erin’s decision to try and make up with Al had gone right out the window. This meant that Al and Scorpius sat on one side of the classroom, while Erin and Rose were on the other.

“So, who’d like to give us our recap as far as story goes?” Professor Bray asked to get their discussion started.

Angie Archer was quick to raise her hand. It had almost become tradition for her to answer this question, even though they were only a month into term.

“Well, after being away from her home for twelve years,” the Ravenclaw began. “We see Fantine return and work in this Mr. Madeleine’s factory. He’s one of the wealthiest men in town although this Javert character suspects he’s actually Jean Valjean. Fantine loses her job, turns to prostitution, and is eventually rescued by Mr. Madeleine who she feels is actually responsible for her situation. Meanwhile, Javert is on the hunt to discover Madeleine’s true identity.”

Professor Bray looked reasonably satisfied with this answer and nodded.

“Thank you, Miss Archer, as always. I think that covers all our bases. Besides,” he addressed the rest of the class at large. “You all should have done your reading so you’ll have a clear idea of what’s going on. So, anything in particular jump out at anyone in this section? Remember, we’re looking for understanding of human nature, and parallels to the current world around you.”

There was the usual moment of silence before the first brave soul spoke up. Peter Macmillan, a rather stuffy Hufflepuff, was the first to raise his hand.

“Well, Madeleine certainly shows heroics. That’s definitely not something new to the wizarding world. He saves children from burning buildings and he saves a man from a crashed cart. He definitely has a bit of a hero complex.”

“Good. Anyone else?”

Malcolm looked expectantly around the room. This time, much to Rose’s surprise, it was Al who spoke up.

“Well, despite the whole hero thing, he also seems to want to take care of people. Make up for his mistakes.”

Rose felt Erin tense up as Al looked straight at her. She glared at him in return and shot her hand in the air.

“While Madeleine may be doing what he thinks is best, he is the one who put Fantine back out on the streets in the first place. Doesn’t look like helping to me.”

“He was only doing his job. And he ended up helping her in the end,” Al shot back. Apparently, neither of them found hand raising to be necessary anymore as Erin responded.

“But it was probably too late! Everything she had to go through? It’s hard to come back from all of that if it’s even possible at all. She might have accepted his help but I doubt she’ll ever forgive him.”

“He was looking out for her! A mistake was made and I don’t think it was even his fault. Maybe if she’d just been honest in the first place, none of this would have happened.”

“That has nothing -”

“Oi! Potter, Longbottom. That’s enough,” Professor Bray said. He looked between the two fuming students with trepidation before continuing.

“You both make some fair points. However, Fantine was just accused of wrongdoing. She never lied. She was only trying to provide for her child and others spread lies about her. I think we can see this in our own lives. Anyone have the word for this?”

Rose slowly put her hand in the air, watching her best friends continue to glare at each other.

“Gossip, Professor Mac. Spreading rumors.”

Bray smiled at his student.

“Any good examples in your own life when gossip was rather detrimental? That you’d feel comfortable sharing, of course.”

Rose thought for a moment before a something occurred to her.

“Well, not to use a specific example, but whenever anyone says anything about someone behind their back could be considered gossip. But I think I’ve seen it do the most harm when gossip is used to directly undermine a person’s position or authority or character. Even if something isn’t true, it can have an effect on a person’s life. We see that with Fantine. She did nothing wrong. She sold all she had to earn the money to provide for her daughter. Her intentions were honorable and she worked hard, but that didn’t matter, as long as someone had something else to say about it. We all have the power to use our words to either build people up or tear them down. The later isn’t all that hard to do, unfortunately.”

Malcolm was smiling proudly.

“Five points for Gryffindor, Miss Weasley. That’s very wise and insightful of you. Now, what about this Javert character,” he addressed the class. “First impressions?”

The class continued with slightly less tension. Erin continued to wear a frown and Al looked rather upset as well. Neither looked at each other the rest of the lesson. Rose, however, was doing everything she could to catch Scorpius’s eye. She hoped he’d heard what she said. Devon Shepard didn’t seem phased by her subtle admonition, but she wanted Scorpius to be encouraged by her words. Anything anyone ever said about him was nothing more than gossip and rumors.

He’d grown rather surly the past few weeks. They’d had their first prefect meeting the day after she and Erin had gone to Alice’s, and Devon Shepard had continued to be a thorn in his side, but it was usually in ways that were subtle enough that he couldn’t exactly get in trouble for it most of the time. Scorpius had retreated further into himself and he’d been spending more and more time away from Rose. They hadn’t seen each other much anyway with their best friends feuding, but even the time they used to spend together in the heads common room had all but disappeared.

She blamed Al and Erin for creating the divide and allowing him to pull even further away. She blamed herself for not knowing how to be a good friend to him. And she blamed people like Devon Shepard, who wouldn’t know what being fair meant if it kicked him in the teeth.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“You do realize that your behavior is directly affecting my life as well don’t you? I’ve barely spoken to Scorpius the past few weeks, and the only time I get to talk to Al is when we have our free period together and during History of Magic.”

“How come you haven’t seen Scorpius? Don’t you two share a dorm?”

Rose eyed Erin shrewdly. They were sitting in the joint common room and going over their Defense Against the Dark Arts homework for the following Friday morning. The two boys in question were on the other side of the room. It was driving Rose crazy to be keeping such a distance.

“A common room. Stop changing the subject.”

“I seem to recall you two being very close at the end of last year. I distinctly remember a rather friendly moment in the library. What ever came of all that?”

Rose grunted in frustration but decided to humor her friend for a moment.

“Our blond Slytherin friend has been spending more and more time away from the heads common room. I can only guess he’s been in the Slytherin one. I check the library and the joint common room, and nothing. It’s actually rather rare that he’s in here right now so it’s very frustrating that I can’t talk to him,” she said pointedly. Erin just continued to feign innocence.

“I think he’s with Al in the Slytherin common room a lot of the time,” Rose continued. “But I’ve found him without Scorpius quite a bit too.”

Erin looked slightly concerned at this interesting turn of events.

“Strange. Has he been getting anymore trouble from Shepard?”

“Our first prefect meeting didn’t go as well as I’d hoped in that area,” Rose said with a resigned sigh. “He was being rather snide and making jabs. I finally had enough towards the end and took points from him so I’m hoping he’s a lot better next meeting. Scorp was rather chummy with Eden Avery and Eddie Marsh, though.”

Erin thought this over for a moment.

“Isn’t Marsh on the Quidditch team with him? That’s not that odd, is it?”

“I just don’t see him with the Slytherin’s all that much,” Rose insisted. “Eden’s not that bad, but she was his childhood friend and never stuck up for him when the rest of the house practically disowned him. I guess I just don’t trust them.”

Erin waved off her concerns.

“Enough about that. I’m sure he can handle himself. You probably have nothing to worry about. What about you, though?”

Rose gave Erin a questioning look so she elaborated.

“I know you’ve never exactly said anything, but I know you, Rose. You’re more upset about all this than an ordinary friend would be. It’s been written all over your face for days how much you miss him. I’m sorry for the role I’ve played in the distance between you, but come on. There must be something going on there.”

Rose didn’t say anything. She turned her attention back to her textbook for a few moments, and Erin impressed her with her patience as she sat back and waited.

“I don’t know, really,” Rose finally said, refusing to make eye contact. “I mean, I know he means a lot to me.”

Her eyes drifted across the room to rest on the Head Boy where he sat by the fire, his head in a book and his lip caught between his teeth in concentration.

“I’ve completely lost it, I think. I mean, he’s been practically ignoring me all year, and yet here I am pining away for something that barely resembles a friendship at the moment.”

Rose turned back to her friend. Erin looked like a mix between pitying and amused.

“What?” Rose asked.

“I’ve never seen you like this before. You really like him, don’t you?”

Rose blushed and mumbled an unintelligible reply a reply.

“What’s that?” Erin asked with a chuckle.

“I said I don’t know. I’d rather not commit to anything at the moment. Especially with the way things are,” Rose grumbled.

Erin grinned brilliantly at her.

“We’re rather pathetic, aren’t we? Pining after two boys who either won’t give us the time of day or think the proper way to speak with us is to hurl insults.”

Rose chuckled along with her friend.

“We are rather sad, aren’t we?”

They sat in contemplative silence for a moment before Erin sat forward, looking determined.

“We’re better than this. We don’t need them. Let them come to us and apologize. We can’t just sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. Maybe the friendships will work themselves out eventually, but moping about it won’t help.”

Rose looked bemused at Erin’s enthusiasm.

“Alright then. I agree. We’ve managed to avoid talking about them for the past few weeks so we won’t let it bother us now. We press on. Let’s not dwell on it, ok?”


Feeling marginally better about life, they got back to their books, but it wasn’t long before Erin interrupted Rose with a question about the homework.

“I don’t know why this is so hard for me. I don’t have any issues with Transfiguration or Charms theory. Why can’t I manage to understand Defensive theory?” she said in frustration, after failing to grasp Rose’s explanation.

Erin’s eyes drifted over to the other side of the common room where Al was talking with Caleb and Louis rather than focusing on his work.

“Al’s always been able to explain it to me. I guess he just gets me that way. He gets me in a lot of ways, actually. I know I’m mad at him, and I think I have every right to be, but damn if I don’t miss the lunatic.”

Rose looked at her friend in sympathy. After avoiding the topic of both Scorpius and Al for the past few weeks, it wasn’t surprising that it was all unwillingly spilling out now.

“I know he cares,” Erin went on. “Even though I’ve accused him otherwise. And I know he has a hard time showing it. Maybe I’m being too hard on him.”

“You could talk to him, you know.”

Erin shook her head.

“No way. He needs to apologize to me, not the other way around. I’ve done nothing wrong.”

Rose braced herself before sharing the part of the story that Erin didn’t know.

“Please don’t be angry, but, he knows about the bet.”

Erin’s eyes widened.

“The bet? Did Lily tell him?”

Rose grimaced.

“Not exactly. She kind of stopped by the table and alluded to it. I was left to fill in the details.”

Erin slumped back on the couch in resignation.

“No wonder he’s so angry.”

“Yes, he didn’t take it all that well.”

Erin shot her a look before groaning and covering her eyes.

“This is all so horrible. And I thought we were done talking about boys.”

“You’re the one who brought it up again.”

“Brought what up again?” Louis asked as he and Caleb approached their corner of the room.

“None of your business,” Erin grumbled as the boys settled onto the floor between them and the fire.

“No need to be so rude,” Louis teased.

“What are you lot doing over here anyway? Not that we mind, really. It’s nice to see you’re not choosing sides.” Rose gestured to where the boys had just come from.

“No problem,” Louis grinned at her.

“But did you need something?” Rose asked. “We were working on some homework.”

“Maybe you were,” Erin grumbled, looking at her textbook with disdain.

Louis looked at Rose with much too innocent eyes.

“Can’t a bloke just want to visit with his cousin and her friend?”

“Your cousin’s friend? Is that all I am to you, Louis?” Erin pouted.

“Whatever Longbottom, you know you hate me.”

Erin laughed and stuck her tongue out at him.

Rose chuckled at her friend’s antics. Erin was basically an extension of the Weasley family. All of the Longbottoms were. It made her happy to see her friend interacting with her family the same as always, despite her falling out with Albus.

“But really, Lou,” Rose insisted. “What’s up?”

Both boys communicated silently with each other before Caleb spoke up.

“Al actually asked us to come over, although he told us not to tell you that.”

“The prat,” Erin scoffed. “What’s he want?”

“He wanted to see if you were working on the Herbology homework. He’s a little stuck, apparently,” Caleb elaborated.

“Ha! If he wants my help he has to apologize to my face. He’ll get nothing from me until I see some good old fashioned groveling.”

Caleb and Louis both seemed to find the situation highly amusing. Rose could only roll her eyes at her friend’s dramatics.

“Well I guess we’ll just tell him we tried,” Louis said, not seeming too miffed about it.

Erin suddenly sat forward. Her face lit up as if she’d been struck by a brilliant idea.

“Hey, any chance you want to turn double agent?”

The boys shared a grimace before Caleb let her down.

“To be honest, we really didn’t want to get in the middle of this, so we had no real intention of spying in the first place.”

“Come on,” Erin implored. “I’ll make it worth your while.”

“How so?” Louis asked.

“Well, being a girl,” Erin said with a coy grin. “It’s not that hard for me to put a good word in if there should happen to be a certain young lady you’re interested in.”

Rose rolled her eyes yet again at her friend, but both boys looked interested.

“Really?” Louis asked.

“Really. I could get you the inside scoop. Let you know how your chances stand.”

“Tempting,” Caleb said. “But I’d rather you not be privy to my personal life.”

Erin scowled at him and turned to Louis.

“What about you, Weasley. Do we have a deal?”

Louis looked like he was about to agree, when they were joined rather abruptly by Lily and Lucy.

“Will you ever learn to stop making bets with my family, Longbottom?”

Erin’s face was likely to turn into a permanent scowl as she shot yet another one at Lily before dropping the hand she’d extended towards Louis.

“No need to gloat, Potter. Besides it was a deal, not a bet. Big difference.”

Lily waved her off as she took a seat on the couch next to Erin.

“Doesn’t matter. Look, I actually came over to apologize.”

Everyone stared at Lily in surprise. She tended to be rather stubborn and didn’t apologize lightly. James and Al were the same way. They definitely all took after their mum in that regard.

“What, can’t a person grow?” she snapped at their gaping expressions. Rose gave her an encouraging smile. She’d filled Lily in on some of the details of Erin and Al’s fallout the previous evening.

“What are you apologizing for?” Erin asked.

Lily looked properly ashamed of herself now.

“I know I make light of things, but I also know what’s going on with you and Al is partially my fault. Rose told me that he knows about the bet and that might be why he hasn’t apologized. So I’m sorry.”

“Lil, please,” Erin insisted. “Don’t be too hard on yourself. I’m choosing to blame no one but your brother for the way things are. He started this whole mess in the first place.”

Lily looked comforted by these words.

“Good. Does that mean I can still claim my favor at some point?”

“Sure thing,” Erin said with a laugh.

They carried on, the six of them just talking for awhile, and they were eventually joined by Molly and Jill as well. Jill was talking to Erin and Molly about the upcoming Hogsmeade weekend while Lucy was trying to help Caleb and Louis understand their Transfiguration homework, when Al strolled up, closely followed by a cautious looking Scorpius.

“Someone call a family meeting and forget to invite me?” he lightheartedly jabbed.

The two newcomers were greeted by the majority of the people sitting by the fire. Erin chose to stare blankly ahead while Rose watched Scorpius with her tongue tied.

“Hugo isn’t here. So technically it’s not the whole family,” Lucy innocently pointed out, thinking Al was serious. She didn’t always read sarcasm well and it was amusing to the rest of them, though the unspoken understanding was that they didn’t give her much grief for it.

“I think it was a joke, Luce,” Molly told her sister not unkindly, Lucy blushed at her blunder.

“It’s alright Lucy,” Al assured her, taking a seat on the arm of the couch. “My wit’s a little too advanced for certain people to understand.”

Scorpius stood behind the chair that Rose sat in, looking unsettled as everyone gave uncomfortable chuckles, none of them finding it all that funny of a remark, and sensing the general discomfort in the room.

Up until that point, Al had completely ignored Erin where she sat on the couch, right by the arm he was sitting on. But after his arrogant remark towards Lucy, she couldn’t take it any longer.

“Pompous arse,” she said under her breath as she stood and started gathering her things.

“Care to say that to my face, Longbottom?” he said arrogantly.

For a moment she tensed, then stood up, threw her bag over her shoulder, and faced Al head on. Her jaw was clenched and her eyes cold.

“I called you a pompous arse, Potter. Is that a problem?”

Al stood to tower over her. His arms crossed.

“You think you know better than everyone else, Longbottom? Think you’re better than everyone?”

He was angrier than Rose expected him to be. His face was turning red and his breathing was heavy.

“No. That’s you, Potter. You care about your family, maybe, but you don’t do a great job of showing it. What you just said to Lucy? That was completely uncalled for and I bet everyone else here would like to slap you for it. And you’re shit at caring about anything else too. It’s not worth your time or energy. Even your friends.”

“You’re one to talk! You go on and on about how I don’t care about you and how I’m a heartless bastard, but when was the last time you showed me you cared?”

This seemed to silence Erin. She still looked extremely pissed off, but also curious about what he had to say. He relaxed his stance, almost in resignation.

“You’ve been so selfish, Erin. It’s driving me fucking mad trying to figure you out.”

“Then stop trying to figure me out! Merlin, Albus. Just stop!”

“Why? Cause you want me to stop caring about you the way you’ve stopped caring about me?”

“I never stopped caring about you!” she exclaimed.

“Rubbish!” he challenged.

‘It’s not rubbish you prat! I’ve shown you a hundred times how I feel about you.”

“I repeat,” Al said with a scowl. “Rubbish.”

Erin practically growled in frustration before stepping forward, gripping Al’s face, and forcefully pulling it towards her own. She kissed him hard and just long enough for him to realize what was happening before she pulled away, smacked him across the face, and stormed out of the common room.

Al stood there dumbstruck, his arms slightly outstretched from reaching for Erin just as she walked away. A few people cheered at Erin’s retreating figure, and others looked on with their jaws dropped. Rose watched the whole thing with wide eyes. At some point, Scorpius had come around the side of Rose’s chair and perched on the arm. They watched Al stare at the door Erin had just gone through for a few moments before running off after her, but not before stopping to utter a quick yet sincere apology to Lucy.

“Who’d of thought, eh?” Scorpius said in an undertone to Rose. He looked highly amused at the turn of events.

“Hello to you, too.”

She addressed him with raised eyebrows and a slightly haughty expression. He gave her a guilty one in return.

“Sorry. I know I haven’t been around much, but hopefully this fixes some of that,” he said, gesturing towards the door their two best friends had just retreated through.

Rose smiled at him as everyone around them continued to discuss what had just happened.

“I sure hope so. No telling what’s happening out there, though. Knowing them, this might not fix anything. They’re both too stubborn for their own good.”

Scorpius chuckled and nudged her with his elbow.

“Have a little faith, Rosie.”

She grinned even bigger as he winked at her. Having her best friend back was one of the best feelings in the world.

A/N: Hope you enjoyed! I had fun writing this one. Lots of dialogue but hopefully driving things forward. I'd love a review! They really help inspire me to update faster :)

Happy Reading!

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