“Rose? Rose, are you home?”
The young girl realized suddenly that they weren’t at Hogwarts anymore. After hearing Albus’s question, she realized though that she was in Rose’s house, which also meant it was Hermione Granger’s and Ron Weasley’s house. She was in the Weasley’s house…
“Albus, what are you doing here? How’d you get here?” Rose said as she walked through the back door.
“Floo powder, of course,” he answered. “Where is everyone?”
“Mum’s working, and Dad’s at the joke shop. Hugo went with him.”
“Care to come with me then rather than staying home by yourself?”
“Where are we going? And what did you tell your parents?”
“What, do you think I would just slip off?” he asked. “That’s more of James’s quality, I think. I told them that I was going to Gran’s and Granddad’s.”
“And are we?”
“Okay then,” Rose said, shrugging her shoulders.
“Good! I’ve missed you, you know,” he said as they walked over to the fireplace once more. “Things have been a little weird.”
Rose seemed uncomfortable to the young girl. She shifted from one foot to another, playing with her hair slightly. As the young girl watched her, she realized that Rose had grown a little bit. Just as she had, so had Albus.
“Sorry,” Rose said softly.
“Me too. You know I love you right? You’re family – my best friend. I can’t not have you in my life, Rosie.”
“Right back at you, ya sentimental git,” she responded, nudging him with her shoulder.
He laughed and shook his head. “Your future boyfriend will love you for hating the romance.”
“And who said I hated it?”
“Me, myself, and I,” he answered.
“Hm,” she said, a smirk playing on her face. “Well, are we going to get going or what?”
Suddenly, after Rose Flooed, they were at the Burrow, which is what Albus and Rose had shouted. The young girl looked around and recognized it immediately. It was the same place she had first seen when she fell into the Pensieve.
“Gran’s out shopping, and Granddad’s in his Muggle world. Let’s go, I want to show you something.”
They walked out of the house and walked toward the area of trees that the young girl had followed the older version of Rose through earlier. There wasn’t an opening yet though like there had been when they had entered before. As they walked through the mini forest, Rose questioned Albus on where they were going, why they were going there, and why he hadn’t told her she’d be getting her clothes dirty.
Finally, they arrived to the field, and the young girl watched Rose as she looked around. She wondered if her face looked just like Rose’s did right now.
“How did you find this place, Al?”
“Give me a minute, yeah? I’ll be right back,” he said, ignoring her question.
Before she could ask where he was going, he had already disappeared through the trees. The young girl watched Rose and wondered what was going through her mind. She also wondered why Albus would just leave her here. Where did he go? What was he doing? Why couldn’t Rose go with him?
Her thoughts vanished after playing unlikely scenarios, and her attention turned back to Rose, who was still looking around in amazement. Rose had made her way over toward the pond that was there. For the first time since seeing her in the Pensieve, she looked content. How could a place do that? Was it really possible to just be somewhere that it brought someone such contentment? If so, the young girl really hope she would find that place for herself one day.
She wasn’t sure how long Albus had been gone, but she knew some time had passed at least. Rose was becoming slightly irritated. The young girl could tell because her arms were crossed while her lips thinned slightly.
“Albus Potter, I swear if you don’t come back here soon, I’m going to hex your arse! Expulsion or not,” Rose said, her voice raised slightly.
“Calm down, Weasley,” another voice said through some rustling.
“What?” Rose asked.
“We’re right here,” Albus said as he stepped back into the field, Scorpius right behind him. “Sorry, I had to go get him.”
“What’s he doing here?”
“Well, I decided that the three of us needed to have a chat,” Albus answered.
“What for? He’s a prat.”
“And Daddy dearest said not to spend time with me,” Scorpius said, cutting her off. Rose glared at him. He chuckled slightly and rolled his eyes at her. “You know, if you weren’t such a brat, Weasley, I’d say you could pull off the mad look.”
“Stop flirting with my cousin, Malfoy,” Albus said suddenly, catching Rose and Scorpius off guard.
“You think that’s flirting, Albus? It’s not even flattering.”
“Getting back to the point,” Albus said, ignoring their attempts to argue. “I can’t have my two best mates fighting. And I’m not going to be taking sides. I want us to just get along as well as we can.”
“Fat chance,” Rose spewed.
Scorpius looked from Albus to her and back to Albus. His eyes looked for something in Albus’s face before he looked back to Rose. “I’m willing if you are.”
Looking taken aback, Rose stared at Scorpius. Suddenly, his hand was extended toward her, and she looked at it.
“C’mon, Rosie. For me?”
She looked at Albus and seemed to detect something in his face. With a small sigh, she took Scorpius’s hand. The young girl noticed that as soon as Rose took Scorpius’s hand that something had happened. She wasn’t sure what it was, but it was something. It was something that she didn’t think Rose was expecting.
“How about we start over? Scorpius asked.
“Rose Weasley,” she started.
“Albus Potter,” Albus added in with a laugh. “Now that that’s out of the way. Let me answer your question from earlier. Scorpius and I had been trying to get together all summer to hang out, but whenever we asked our parents, they shot us down.”
“They want us to play nice, but they’re not comfortable with either of us going to the other’s house. They also aren’t keen to the idea that we’re friends. They’re all mad.”
“So, one day, while Mum, James, Lily, and I were here, James and I began to explore some. Lily was annoying us though, so we ended up walking into the woods, knowing she wouldn’t follow us in here.”
“Then I received a letter from Albus about this place. Since we figured right now we should keep our friendship away from our parents until they spruce up to the idea, we thought this place was perfect.”
“But how are you two going to keep coming here when neither of you can Apparate? Don’t you think it’ll be suspicious? And why would you tell me all of this? You know I can’t keep a secret from Aunt Ginny, Al.”
“That’s not true,” Albus said. “You keep loads of secrets. I know you’re the mastermind behind most of James’s pranks. Mum always asks, and you never let slip that you’re even a part of it.”
“Yeah, because before I can, James always swoops in and saves the day,” Rose said with a sigh.
“You won’t even have to worry about it because I’ll pull a James and make sure everything’s covered. We’ll be fine.”
“And you?” Rose asked as she looked pointedly at Scorpius.
A smirk came to his lips. “Falling for that charm already, Weasley?”
“My name’s Rose.”
“No need to worry about me.”
“How, exactly, do you guys plan to get here each and every time without being discovered? Don’t you think you’re bound to be caught?”
“Not with the two of us working together,” Albus said, grinning at her.
“Oh, I see, I’m your accomplice and or decoy!”
The two boys looked at each other with a look, and Rose began to laugh. She continued to laugh as they looked back to her, bewildered expressions on each of their faces. After another moment, she fixed her body and wiped her eyes slightly, catching the tears that were daring to fall.
“Count me in. Saying we’re going to Grandmum’s and Granddad’s will be perfect. We’ll just have to make sure we plan our days ahead and go from there. However, every year, the week before leaving for Hogwarts, we must meet up. No matter what.”
Remaining quiet for a moment, the three of them exchanged glances, making it seem as if they were communicating something the young girl couldn’t catch. Finally, the three of them nodded.
Everything began to spin around. Colors and memories that seemed to be placed on fast-forward rushed past the young girl. She wondered what was going to come next.
Before she could think anymore, she was back at the Quidditch pitch with James and Rose. As she looked up in the sky, she watched them zoom around on their brooms. Although she’s only heard stories of the game, she thought that Rose had gotten very good since the last time she had watched her practice with James. She was more confident and actually had a smile on her face while she sped through the air.
The young girl blinked slightly, and before she knew it, the entire scene had changed. Instead of the peace and quiet, other than hearing James’s and Rose’s shouts and laughter, she was now surrounded by what looked like most of the students at Hogwarts. They were yelling at cheering. She could hear their feet stomping on the wooden panels beneath them to create more noise.
“Well, would you look at that!” said the commentator up in the box near where the professors were sitting. The only reason the young girl knew that was because she recognized the Potions professor from one of the previous memories. “It looks like we have a few change ups this years!”
Boys and girls, who were clad in green and silver clothing, erupted with a new fervor of energy. The young girl wasn’t sure she had ever heard anything so loud. As she covered her ears, a grin came to her face.
“Let’s introduce our Slytherin team!” the commentator exclaimed. “We have Zabini! Kurian! Bock! Goyle! Peters! Along with a new Seeker, Potter, and a new Chaser, Malfoy!
“Okay, okay, okay, let’s settle down! It’s time to introduce the Gryffindor team,” the commentator said over the Slytherin side hollered, whooped, and chanted yet again. “We have Wood! Weasley and Weasley! Potter! Galway! Ryan! And another Weasley!”
The young girl watched as the Gryffindor team filed out from their end of the Quidditch pitch. Once she spotted Rose, she couldn’t help herself and began to jump up and down while cheering her on, although no one could hear her.
When a witch with short, spiked, grey hair came to the middle of each team, the young girl looked over at Albus and Scorpius, who were eyeing Rose curiously. They looked puzzled.
Suddenly, the witch who was in between the two teams blew her whistle, and both teams soared into the air quickly. Although the young girl had heard plenty of stories about Quidditch, she didn’t understand all the fundamentals or the positions. Mainly, when she had heard stories about it, she imagined it as being the equivalent to football.
She watched the players soar through the air and play their game. Rose had already scored four goals. From what she could tell, she was surprisingly good. Apparently, Rose and James had practiced quite a bit since the first time she tried out his broom. The young girl wondered if Hermione and Ron were shocked when Rose had announced that she wanted a broom.
“That’s it, folks! James Potter has caught the Snitch, making the score 230 to 70!”
As the colors of maroon and gold began to flood the pitch, the scene began to change. With a blink, they were in a room that the young girl didn’t recognize. She marveled at how remarkable it looked. Maroon and gold streamers were magically blowing themselves around while above the fireplace a sign read Gryffindor with a decorative, drawn lion’s head next to it. The sign also flashed in Gryffindor colors each time the lion let out a roar.
“Rose Weasley, you’re bloody brilliant!” shouted one of the boys that had played in the Quidditch match with Rose and James. “Where in Merlin’s beard did you ever come from?”
“My family, of course!” James said as he stumbled his way over to them. “How’re ya doin’, Rosie Rose?”
Rose blushed slightly as James called her that. “I’m good. Your parties are great.”
“Thanks,” the random boy said. “If it weren’t for James, we’d never be able to sneak these Butterbeers and Firewhiskeys!”
“Firewhiskey?” Rose asked, her brows furrowed slightly.
“Yeah! Ya want to try some?”
“Rosie wouldn’t drink that,” James said as he grabbed the bottle from the boy. “She’s the best of the best in our family. She’s our little book lover and rule follower.”
Suddenly, Rose’s features became agitated. Her eyebrows rose as her lips pursed. She grabbed the bottle from James.
“What are you doing, Rose?” he asked, his joyful face suddenly turning serious.
For an answer, Rose took a long sip from the bottle of Firewhiskey. When the bottle left her lips, she closed her eyes tightly and swallowed, her face contorting slightly. The young girl wondered what it tasted like. From the look of Rose’s face, she concluded that it might not be that great.
“There,” Rose responded.
“All right, Weasley!” the boy said. Suddenly, he grabbed a few goblets, took the bottle from her, and poured the Firewhiskey into the goblet.
He handed two of the goblets to Rose and James, keeping one for himself. “To the greatest team Hogwarts has ever seen! On the count of three, we drink! One…two…three!”
The three of them drank their goblets. James and the boy finished theirs before Rose had. Once Rose was finished, she opened her eyes and looked at them.
“I think a trip to the kitchens is in order.”
“Rose, I don’t think that’s such a good idea,” James slurred.
“I do!” she said rather loudly. She began to walk toward the portrait of the common room. Looking over her shoulder, she looked at the boy and said, “Are you up for a trip?”
“Count me in,” he said as he followed after her.
The young girl watched as the boy followed after Rose. As they were about to climb out of the portrait hole, she looked back to James, whose face was hard to decipher. Before she could study his face, she was being pulled toward the portrait hole. After moment, she was back with Rose and the boy.
“So, you’re the famous Keegan,” Rose said as they walked down the stairs.
“The one and only!”
“Why don’t I see you around?”
“Oh, you do,” he said as he ran his hand through his sandy blonde hair. “You’re usually just too busy with your books.”
Rose turned to look at him, and before she could say something, her foot missed the step underneath her. She fell down a few steps, and Keegan looked stunned. Her shoulders began to shake, and Keegan’s stunned look turned to horror. Why would he be afraid, the young girl wondered.
The young girl walked a few stairs under Rose and looked at her. A couple tears were rolling down her cheeks as her shoulders shook. Then, without warning, Rose’s laughs began to echo among the stairs. Keegan quickly made his way to her and looked at her with a puzzled look on his face. However, a few chuckles escaped him.
“A-Are you okay?” he finally asked through his laughs.
Rose just nodded. He helped her up and they continued to laugh as they clumsily made their way down the staircases. When they reached the Great Hall, they began to make their way toward a door that was to the left behind one of the large pillars.
Following behind, the young girl couldn’t help but wonder how many more secret passageways were hidden in Hogwarts. She followed the two, who were still mumbling and laughing down the stairs. When they reached the bottom stair, the young girl marveled at the stoned corridor. There were portraits upon portraits aligned among each other on the walls, each of them with fruit. There were some with just oranges, some with grapes, others with wine, others with a landscape, and one portrait that looked like almost everyone’s kitchen bowl of fruit.
Keegan and Rose went to the bowl of fruit portrait, where Keegan reached out and seemed to tickle the pear. To the young girls’ surprise, the pear began to let some small giggles out as it wiggled. As it continued to wiggle, it transformed into a handle.
“What can Starky get you?” a weird looking creature suddenly asked.
“We were looking for some snacks,” Rose said with a hiccup.
“What snacks would Miss like from Starky?”
“Anything really,” Keegan answered with a shrug.
Starky gave a low bow before scurrying off. Not even a minute later, he was back with a basket filled with different sorts of snacks.
“Thank you!” Rose squealed as she reached for a chocolate frog.
Giving another bow, Starky scurried off again. Rose and Keegan made their way out of the kitchen and back into the portrait filled corridor. They went up the stairs again and through the door. Apparently, Keegan had said something hilarious – or something rather stupid, the young girl thought – because Rose went into a fit giggles.
It wasn’t a moment later that a door nearby opened, slamming against a stoned wall. Footsteps began to move down a corridor. Whoever it was, they were becoming closer and closer. Keegan tried to quiet Rose down, but nothing was working. After another moment, Keegan made his way back to the door where they had just came from to hide, leaving Rose slumping against the staircase railing.
“Rose!” another voice suddenly hissed from the shadows of the corridor that led to the Potions classroom. “Rose!”
She looked over to where the voice was coming from, her giggles still escaping her. “Whooooo’s thereeeee-y-ereeeee?”
“Come on, Rose. If you don’t get over here, you’re going to get caught!” the voice said.
Suddenly, out of the shadows, Scorpius moved toward her quickly. He grabbed her arm and began to pull her toward where he had come from.
“Scorpius! Did you come to play?” she asked with another giggle as she wrapped her arm around his shoulder.
“Yeah, it’s called get the bloody hell out of here,” he commented sarcastically.
“Not so fast,” an old, hunched over, grey-haired man wheezed as he shuffled closer to the duo. Scorpius stopped, and Rose hiccupped again.
“I knew I heard someone. Mrs. Norris warned me. She pawed at the door, knowing someone was out here. Students aren’t supposed to be out of bed. No they’re not, are they, Mrs. Norris?”
“Please, sir, let us go to bed. She’s not feeling the greatest,” Scorpius said as he seemed to swallow the nerves that were etched on his face.
“Oh, I will, but not before giving you these,” the man wheezed as he took out a quill and something to write on. He scribbled on two pieces quickly and handed them to Scorpius. “One for you and one for your friend. Oh, I can’t wait for the night. What do you think, Mrs. Norris? Those trophies and bedpans will be as clean as can be.”
The man continued to mumble to himself as he shuffled away from them. Rose hiccupped and giggled nervously as she looked to Scorpius.
“Well, at least we won’t be tortured alone, Scorp!”
“Yeah, the joys,” he responded with a sigh. “Come on. Let’s go before we get another detention.”
The scene suddenly began to change, and Rose and Scorpius were suddenly in another corridor filled with hundred of trophies. The both of them were working on their own trophy with a rag and a bucket filled with soap and water. After a few moments of silence, Rose let out a sigh, lifting her hand to head.
“You doing okay over there?”
“Oh, just fine,” Rose said. “This is exactly what I wanted to be doing after a long night.”
“How much did you even drink?”
Rose shrugged, and silence enveloped them again. As she started to begin cleaning another trophy, Scorpius looked at her. His brows were furrowed, as he seemed to be thinking something in his head.
“Why don’t you like me?”
“What?” Rose asked, her eyes widening slightly.
“You heard me,” he answered softly.
“I don’t dislike you.”
“We come from two completely different families… Our fathers hate each other... Even you and Albus can’t get your dad and Uncle Harry to agree enough for you two to hang out over the summer. We’re not supposed to get along.”
“Albus doesn’t ignore me just because his daddy doesn’t like mine,” Scorpius responded sarcastically.
“You’re in Slytherin,” Rose said as if that settled anything.
“So? You’re still close to Al.”
“That’s different. We’re family.”
“I think you’re just daddy’s little girl who doesn’t want to disappoint him. But I’m not some slimy Slytherin git like he thinks.”
“Oh no? Then how did I end up in your common room?”
At that, Scorpius’s jaw dropped slightly. “I’m sorry I was just trying to help you out. Instead of listening, you decided to stand there and look up at the ceiling like you were a bloody centaur looking at the stars.”
“Helping me? I was just fine!”
“Now I know for next time not to bother,” he mumbled.
Silence overcame them again. The longer neither one of them said anything, the more awkward it became. Rose looked up at Scorpius, whose brows were furrowed, darkening his features. She opened her mouth to say something, but when nothing came out, she closed it and bit her lip. Suddenly, his grey eyes met her blue ones.
“I’m sorry,” she said softly, her voice barely above a whisper. “I’m sorry I got you stuck in here with me, and I’m sorry that you feel as if I avoid you.”
“You do avoid me,” he corrected. “Unless, of course, you need to talk to Al or we’re on that field.”
“You got your apology, what more do you want?” Rose asked with a sigh, her eyes still not wavering from his.
“Nothing,” he said, a small smirk playing on his lips.
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