Two - Secret Meetings

Two - Secret Meetings

A Chapter by Alex
"

Rosie's last trip to Diagon Alley before her senior year begins proves this year won't be so typical.

"

Rosie spun around and around as different hearths zoomed past her vision. It was second nature by now to keep her elbows tucked in. And then she felt herself slowing, and, seeing the friendly hearth rug of the Leaky Cauldron, she braced her knees for the hard landing.

 

Rosie stepped out from the fireplace and looked around the cozy inn. The moving picture of two old wizards trying to enjoy supper next to a poorly mannered hag hung across the room, like always, and a heavily cloaked man sat at a table in the corner of the sitting room. The man seemed to have a bit of a hump, and was eyeing Rosie suspiciously.

 

As the nostalgic smell of Mrs. Longbottom’s cranberry bread filled her nostrils, Rosie smiled at the man and said “good morning!” Then she turned to her left and ran out of the room, into the main pub. The cranberry bread smell got stronger, and sure enough, Rosie saw Hanna, the Leaky Cauldron’s matron, bringing a slice with a cup of tea to a dark-skinned man the same age as her parents.

 

The man smiled as she rounded the corner. “Good morning, Rosie,” he said.

 

“Morning, Mr. Thomas, morning Mrs. Longbottom.”

 

The rosie-cheeked woman adjusted the bun keeping her blond hair up and smiled in return. “Good to see you, Rosie! The others came through here a few minutes ago; they said to tell you to meet them at Flourish and Blotts.” Then, with a wink, she added “here, take one for the road,” and handed Rosie a slice of bread.

 

“Fanks, Mrs. Yongbonnom!” Rosie shouted over her shoulder as she ran to the back exit of the pub, already biting into the sweet bread. Behind the pub, Rosie came to a plain brick wall behind a solitary trash can. Rosie already had her wand out, and counted three bricks up from the trash can, and two across, and tapped the final brick with her wand three times. The bricks began to rearrange themselves, forming an archway.

 

As soon as the archway was wide enough, Rosie squeezed through sideways, and continued running down the cobbled street of Diagon Alley. She passed Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor, where a boy who looked a couple years older than her was just propping the door open for the day. Just past the ice cream parlor, she passed Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, where some young kids - probably First Years - were lining up to get fitted, and then Quality Quiddich Supplies, where a large crowd had gathered around the display window, likely ogling at the newest model racing broom. Rosie reached the front door to Flourish and Blotts (a sign next to it had information on a recall on the Hexing Book of Hexes, which turned out to be impossible to read), and jingled the door open.

 

“Rosie!” Rosie’s breath was knocked out of her, and red hair - much straighter and longer than hers - blocked the book store from her vision.

 

“Oof! Hi, lily!” Rosie said, and returned the tight hug to her younger cousin. They released each other and took each other in for a moment, smiling. Lily had grown several inches over the summer, making her taller than Rosie. Lily’s face had some freckles, but not nearly as many as Rosie.

 

Before the two girls could get anymore words out, another familiar face appeared from behind a bookshelf. Albus came striding up to Rosie, also smiling, and gave her a big hug. His short brown hair contrasted sharply with his younger sister’s, as did his bright green eyes against her brown eyes. “Alright, Rosie?”

 

“Yeah, what took you so long?” Lily demanded.

 

“Oh, I had to, um, read a letter, from - a friend.” Rosie stammered, blushing at Albus’ knowing grin.

 

“Who?” Lily asked.

 

“Don’t be nosey, sis,” Albus said to Lily, with one final smug glance at Rosie.

 

“Rosie!” Hugo came running to Rosie, then, feet slapping loudly on the wooden floor. Trailing behind him were her Dad and Uncle Harry, untidy hair as always, and his familiar lightning bolt-shaped scar just visible behind his bangs and glasses. Uncle Harry was talking to her Dad, who had just noticed Rosie and abruptly stopped walking, turning very impressively red in the face. Uncle Harry glanced at her Dad for a moment, and then nudged him forward with a grin.

 

Rosie’s Dad awkwardly approached her. “Rosie, will you come with me for a moment?” he mumbled.

 

“Good morning, Rosie,” Uncle Harry called from a distance with a big smile.

 

“Morning, Uncle Harry,” Rosie called back, smiling. Then she turned to follow her Dad deeper into the bookstore, smile drooping.

 

It was hard to be as angry as she wanted to be at the moment, for the intoxicating smell of old books felt like taking a gulp of warm Firewhiskey; becoming a bit droopy, and feeling like all the problems of the world seemed a bit less important than just a moment ago.

 

After they were safely out of earshot of the rest of the group, Rosie’s Dad turned to face her again. His face just as red as a minute ago. He looked at Rosie for a few seconds and opened his mouth, then closed it again and looked away.

 

The enchanting smell of Flourish and Blotts seemed to ebb slightly, and Rosie found herself annoyed again. She raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms. “What?”

 

Her Dad pursed his lips, and looked at her again. He took a deep breath and finally said “Look, I’m sorry, Rosie.” He scratched the back of his head. “I know I can’t tell you who you can and can’t date. I just really wish it wasn’t him, but I promise I won’t try to butt in anymore.” He gave a small laugh of exasperation and continued more to himself, unable to keep looking her in the eye. “Of all the students, though.”

 

“You don’t even know him, Dad.”

 

“I know his father.”

 

“I’m not dating his father.”

 

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, Rosie”

 

“So I suppose I’ll be a git when I grow up, too.”

 

“Not if your mother can help it.”

 

He glanced sideways at her. Despite her growing annoyance, an ever-widening grin burrowed out from Rosie’s scowl. Her Dad grinned sheepishly and turned to face her again.

               

     Still grinning against her will, Rosie stammered “Dad! I’m still mad at you; you can’t just tell a joke and be off the hook.”

 

“Look, this is yours and Albus’ last trip to Diagon Ally before you graduate. How about you pretend you’re not mad at me for the next few hours, and you can yell at me some more when we get home - Deal?” He put his arms out for a hug.

 

“Deal,” Rosie said with a smirk, and hugged her Dad.

 

“Alright, Rosie?” Uncle Harry said when she and her Dad caught up with the others.

 

“Peachy,” Her Dad answered for her as Uncle Harry finally greeted her with a hug.

 

And with that, Rosie seemed to forget all about her argument earlier that morning, and caught back up to Albus, who was grabbing his copy of The Standard Book of Spells Grade Seven, by Miranda Goshawk. Rosie took her own copy off the shelf, and then they compared shopping lists. Neither of them needed a lot from Flourish and Blotts; most NEWT-level courses were covered with one book each, which they got the year before. Rosie did need to get a supplement book for her Care of Magical Creatures class, called Arctic Beasts and When to Run From Them, by Newt Scamander. Albus needed a copy of Defensive Methods Grade 7.

 

After Lily and Hugo finished gathering books from their 6th year list, the group went to Slug and Jigger’s so Rosie and Albus could refill their Potions ingredients cases - Hugo and Lily had elected to drop Potions after their OWLS. Albus wanted to become an Auror like his father, which required him to stay in the class. Rosie didn’t know what she wanted to do after school, yet, but personally loved Potions, as well as Astronomy, Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures. Most subjects involving wand-waving gave Rosie more trouble than most, which was why she had dropped all related courses after her OWLS except for Transfiguration, which she was told she would need to remain proficient with in order to take a class she had been deeply interested in, and which had become one of her favorites since last year: Alchemy.

 

Alchemy was a course only available if enough post-OWLS students showed interest in taking, and combined many concepts and principles from both Potions and Transfiguration. There were only four other students taking the class with her, and she was the only non-Prefect among them. Rosie’s Dad often took credit for the fact that she was, as he put it, only half-brilliant - a compliment he had learned to use only when her Mom wasn’t within earshot.

 

After several more stops, including Madam Malkin’s (7th Years needed dress robes this year) and Quality Quidditch Supplies for new Chaser gloves for Lily, and the Magical Menagerie, where Rosie bought a new bed cushion for Beolet, it was time to stop for lunch. The group went back to the Leaky Cauldron, where Mrs. Longbottom was tiredly trying to tell a heavily bearded man the lunch specials. She was using a lot of arm-waving and talking loudly, which Rosie took to mean the man didn’t speak English very well.

 

“Chicken sandwich!” Mrs. Longbottom tucked her hands under her arms and bobbed her head a couple times in what Rosie thought was a pretty decent impression of a chicken. “Buck, buck!”

 

The man continued to stare at Mrs. Longbottom, hands folded in lap and brow furrowed. At that point, she spotted Rosie and the rest of the group, and took a defeated sigh. “Hullo, guys.”

 

Uncle Harry said “Hi, Hannah” then noticed the man with the beard and said “Yuri, hello!”

 

Uncle Harry walked up to him as the man named Yuri stood up, both grinning. Once standing, the man became quite intimidating, towering over even her Dad. It was also clear, even through his heavily furred cloak, that he was quite muscular, almost twice as broad as Uncle Harry at the shoulders. Even Hagrid might have looked twice at this man. Despite his startling features, Yuri looked positively jovial. He shook Uncle Harry’s hand with great enthusiasm. “Harry Potter!” He had a very heavy accent.

 

Uncle Harry turned to present the others, massaging his shoulder. “Yuri, this is my youngest son, Albus, and my daughter, Lily. And this is my brother in-law, Ron Weasley, and his kids, Rosie and Hugo. Everyone, this is Yuri Biryukova; he’s an Auror from - from out east.”

 

Rosie noticed her Dad and Uncle Harry exchange a look, as though silently sharing an inside joke. Yuri turned to the group and gave a deep bow before saying “It is an honor to meet you, family of Harry Potter.”

 

“You speak English?” Mrs. Longbottom said, bewildered. “I’ve been making animal sounds and flapping my arms for the last five minutes!”

 

“Yes,” Yuri said, “it was very funny.”

 

“Excuse us, everyone,” Uncle Harry said, “Yuri’s actually here to see me. Hannah, would it be alright if we use a private room?”

 

Mrs. Longbottom had just closed her jaw after looking like she had been slapped. “Sure, Harry " upstairs, first door on the left is free.”

 

“Thanks,” Uncle Harry said with a smile. Hanna returned it, looking like she was trying to not let Yuri’s joke bother her too badly.

               

“You will send up a bottle of Vodka with two glasses, and two plates of your roast pork, Hannah,” Yuri said conversationally.

 

Uncle Harry bared his teeth at Hannah, as if to say sorry, and lead Yuri out of sight.

 

Hannah watched them leave with sparks in her eyes. There was a bit of uncomfortable silence before Rosie’s Dad cleared his throat loudly and said “So, uh, we’ll just seat ourselves, then?”

 

“What?” Hannah snapped, wrenching her gaze away from the spot Uncle Harry and Yuri had disappeared. She looked at the remaining group, as if she had just noticed them come in. She quickly put an overly large smile on and said “Yes, Ron, sit wherever you like. I’ll send Stan by to take your orders.”

 

Stan came and went, and some time later, five plates of food were brought out. Rosie and her Dad had their usual contest of see-who-can-fit-the-most-food-in-their-mouths-one-bite-at-a-time-without-chewing, which Rosie lost with a spray of peas, corn, and bread, and gales of laughter. Lily looked a bit queasy as she watched.

 

At seven minutes till one, Rosie excused herself to use the bathroom. She intended to slip out the back and sneak out to Flourish and Blotts, but when she left the bathroom, she saw her Dad in conversation with Mrs. Longbottom, standing in direct line of sight to the back door. Rosie was just thinking of some way to distract him, when she just faintly heard her Dad say “bathroom” and start to turn in her direction. Heart hammering, Rosie took several long, and, miraculously, silent strides up the stairs and out of sight.

 

Rosie peeked her head just enough to see her Dad’s receding red hair bobbing past the stairs and toward the bathroom. She held her breath for several seconds, waiting for enough time to pass so she could be sure he had closed the bathroom door, when she heard a muffled voice behind her. It sounded like Uncle Harry, and he sounded angry. Curious, Rosie tiptoed up to the first door on the left and held her ear near the keyhole. She heard the low voice of Yuri.

 

“It was an unlikely occurrence, Harry Potter. I assure you, there is no problem.”

 

“Unlikely is too likely when it comes to Dementors, Yuri. If I tell Shacklebolt I don’t think it’s safe, he’ll pull the plug from our end. I’m meeting him later today, so you need to convince me it WILL be safe right now.”

 

Rosie was frozen in place. Dementors? She remembered well the stories Uncle Harry had told her of the cloaked creatures with rattling breath that suck happiness from the world. Have they returned to England?

 

“Shacklebolt wouldn’t cancel this close to the deadline, Harry Potter, it would be a financial disaster!”

 

“He’ll cancel if I tell him you’re not doing your job, and putting the safety of Hogwarts students at risk.”

 

There was a long silence, where Rosie held her breath. Then Yuri spoke. “Harry Potter, you are, as always,  as ferocious as the Akhlut with your negotiations, and you do it for selfless reasons. I respect this. It will leave my office very short-staffed, but we will initiate sweeping patrols of the entire campus and make sure no more Dementors are present. If there are, we will drive them away with no mercy.”

 

“And you’ll need to maintain patrols for the entire school year, Yuri.”

 

Yuri let out a loud, barking laugh that make Rosie jump. “As you wish, Harry Potter, as you wish.”

 

“Thank you, Yuri.” There was a light clink of two glasses of Vodka being tapped together.

 

Then Rosie heard a distant clock chime and Rosie jumped again. It was one, and she was late. Rosie sped back down the stairs as quietly as she could, and slipped out the back door. As she was taking care to shut the door without making any noise, she heard her Dad saying “Where did Rosie get off to?”

 

She didn’t stick around to hear any theories on where she might have gone. With the door closed, Rosie tapped on the brick wall and sprinted down the alley’s cobbled street to Flourish and Blotts. The store wasn’t as busy as it had been earlier. Her heart pounding in her throat, Rosie made her way quietly to the Bestiary section, which she found empty. She went to the back wall and peered behind a couple arm chairs, but no sign of anyone.

 

Then she heard his voice behind her.

 

“Hello, there.”

 

Rosie jumped in surprise and spun around. He was as thin and tall as he’d been in June. His yellow-blonde hair was combed back neatly, with just a few bits hanging down in the front. His strong, angular face was made even more handsome with the confident grin he wore.

 

“Oh! You scared me.” Was it just her, or had the vanilla-spiked fragrance of old books suddenly intensified?

 

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. I just couldn’t help notice you seemed a bit lost. Are you looking for someone?” He began slowly, casually, walking toward her.

 

Rosie giggled, then quickly adopted a feigned seriousness. “Oh, my, yes, I’m supposed to meet my boyfriend here. I don’t think it would be good if he arrived and saw a stranger as handsome as you getting so close to me.” She felt her back bump into the far wall of books as he continued to slowly close in.

 

“A stranger? Then let me introduce myself.” He took her hand with his and held it up between them. “My name is Scorpius.”

 

Rosie needed to look straight up to look at him, for the height difference. His long fingers caressed her wrist. “Scorpius? That’s a very odd name.” He hesitated for just a moment. His grin receded, and he raised an eyebrow as she grinned devilishly back.

 

“On the contrary,” he said, and got as close as possible; Rosie was completely pinned to the back wall. His grin did not return, but was replaced by a look of business. It was hunger. It was want. It was authority. “Scorpius is a constellation representing masculinity, honoring great hunters, so you see, there’s no better name for someone such as myself.”

 

His face was but inches from hers; his deep green eyes dominating her vision. When had he released her hand and grabbed her waist? “Does that make me your prey, o manly hunter?”

 

“Yes.”

 

And then they were kissing. The book store was flipped upside down, and they were drifting through space, only suspended by their embrace. Rosie ran her hand along his sternum and over his Prefect badge. But then, pinned above that, was another one. Could that be…?

 

With a gasp, they separated, and Rosie saw what she had been too preoccupied to notice before. “Scorpius, you made Head Boy!” Scorpius’ already flushed face grew slightly more red, and his wide grin opened further. “That’s amazing! I’m so happy for you!” Scorpius thanked her with another kiss.

 

Then a stack of books fell to the floor and Rosie heard the last thing in the world she wanted to at that moment: her name, coming from her Dad’s mouth. “Oi! Rosie!”

 

Scorpius flinched, and returned his hands to his sides. With one last look at Rosie, he turned around to face him. Her Dad was standing at the other end of the Bestiary section, having just knocked some books over. She couldn’t remember ever seeing his face as bright red as it was right now. Had it been for another reason, Rosie would have been sure to tease him for it. As it was right now, Rosie couldn’t think of anything less funny than her Dad’s stupid red face.

 

Scorpius lifted his arm slightly in a very sheepish wave. “Hello, Mr. Weasley, uh - Dad?

 

Rosie’s Dad’s face seemed to find a new, undiscovered shade of red, for at that moment, Scorpius’ Dad had wandered past their isle and spotted all three of them. “Scorpius, there you "“ Instead of red, Mr. Malfoy’s face got even paler than normal as he took the scene in.

 

Rosie’s Dad turned on Mr. Malfoy. “Beat it, Malfoy, I’ve got a bone to pick with your son.”

 

Mr. Malfoy advanced on Rosie’s Dad. “The Hell you do, Weasley. You stay away from my kid.”

 

“Well tell your kid to do the same for mine!”

 

“Done.”

 

“Dad!” At that moment, Rosie’s face was just about as red as her Dad’s. She wanted to tell them both off - to shout at them until they cowered before her rage - but words simply failed her after that first one.

 

Mr. Malfoy continued to stare at Rosie’s Dad, glaring in contempt. “Scorpius, we’re leaving.” Scorpius gave Rosie one final look, and shuffled off after his father.

 

Rosie felt like the isle of books was growing larger and larger. The shelves seemed to heave in and out, like she was inside the chest of a giant beast. The vanilla aroma of the aged parchment was replaced by vinegar, and a low buzzing sound was swatting her head like an oppressive cloud of noise.

 

Then a hand grabbed her shoulder, and the low buzzing sound became her Dad’s voice. “Rosie, did you hear me?”

 

Rosie looked up at her Dad’s blurry face. She blinked and tears streamed down her cheeks as his face became clear again, complete with a deep frown.

 

And then something deep within Rosie grabbed hold of her. It clasped her sadness and crushed it into oblivion. The next thing Rosie knew was rage " flaming hot, absolute rage.

 

“Rosie?-“

 

“YOU PROMISED!!” Her Dad jumped back in surprise. “YOU SAID YOU WERE SORRY, AND YOU WOULDN’T BUTT IN!”

 

He raised his voice to match. “WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE HERE AS FAMILY, AND YOU SNEAK OFF TO GO SNOGG-“

 

“NO! I CAN’T TALK TO YOU RIGHT NOW!”

 

The Grotto - Rosie had never seen it more clearly in her mind. Rosie still favored flu powder over Apparation, but nothing could get her away from her Dad fast enough right now. She was already turning on the spot, loose papers getting yanked through space as she vanished.

 

She reappeared exactly ten inches above her bed, and fell onto the mattress with a crash and hiss as Beolet ran for cover. Rosie didn’t bother apologizing, and proceeded to shout into her pillow. She wanted to just picture her Dad’s deep frown, and shout profanities at it until she lost her voice. But instead, all she could picture was her Dad sitting at the table at the Leaky Cauldron, cheeks puffed out, mouth overfull of food.

 

Rosie burst into tears. Her Dad glanced sideways at her with a sheepish grin. Rosie couldn’t stand it; she and her Dad had a special connection that no one else in her family had. Their sense of humor, their mannerisms, everything clicked so easily (well, except for Quidditch). She didn’t want to lose that. Then she pictured Scorpius, and his wittiness cleverly hidden underneath his fully professional outer layer, and her sobbing redoubled.

 

She loved them both. She cherished them both. Was one doomed to be replaced by the other? And if so, could she ever forgive whoever remained? Beolet meowed morosely from beside the bed.

 

“What do I do?”



© 2016 Alex


Author's Note

Alex
Thank you to Sukieblackmore for the amazing drawing of Rosie I used for this book's picture!

I am not British, and I am not a girl. I'm curious to know how apparent that is to anyone who read this. I'm trying to keep this writing as close to the Harry Potter books as I can, as far as style and atmosphere goes, so feedback on that will also be welcome, as well as pretty much any feedback. I hope HP fans will enjoy this!

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Reviews

Apparition*, floo* (near end) rosy-cheeked* (near beginning)
If you're going for British-English then: *mum, *favoured, *favourites, *honour, *parlour, cosy*
Again there are stray quotation marks throughout the piece
If there are exclamation marks then capitalization can be unnecessary, however that is up to you to decide

Is interesting so far, the reactions Rosie has is very teenager of her, especially angsty since she's almost in adulthood and is obviously getting that case of i-can-take-care-of-myself-i'm-almost-an-adult-anyway and Ron (as a parent) getting protective of his only daughter and getting a slight care of empty-nest because of her being almost an adult, quite realistic.


Posted 5 Years Ago


This flowed much better than the first. I really enjoyed the transition of scenes too, except for the last three paragraphs or so. Not so sure about the jump from both Ron and Rosie's angered exchange to, snap, being back at the grotto so quickly. It felt a little off to me.

Posted 5 Years Ago



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Added on June 23, 2016
Last Updated on June 23, 2016
Tags: Harry Potter, Fanfiction, Fantasy


Author

Alex
Alex

Cohoes, NY



About
Though I will occasionally write a poem here or there, poetry is not something that I consider myself well versed in - no pun untended. Because of that, I will usually not review other poems, as the b.. more..

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