Blood of Birds

Note: Hi! The following is a 2nd generation Harry Potter fanfiction, with main characters being Rose Weasley, Scorpius Malfoy, and Albus Potter. It will be comprised of four parts, the first of which will follow Rose. There will also be seven one-shots (or side-alongs) following other characters at points throughout the series, each uploaded separately. I've also taken the liberty to include a few re-quotes, courtesy of JK Rowling and Steve Kloves of course, to pay homage to the original books and films. So without further ado, here is Chapter 1. Happy reading!

~ Lauren



12. The Quidditch House Cup (2/2)

"Oh, what a pleasure," the man exclaimed, holding out his hand and shaking James's. "My name is Carl McLeod. I'm the manager for the Montrose Magpies Quidditch team. Would you mind if I had a word with you for a moment?"

Rose looked to James with excitement, as it was very rare for Hogwarts students to receive the attention of internationally recognized Quidditch scouts, let alone for the Montrose Magpies, which was one of the best teams in the league. He too looked somewhat excited, all things considered, as he nodded his head and said, "Er, sure." Then, turning over to Rose, he said, "I'll meet you guys there later then?"

"Definitely," Rose said, smiling. "Take your time."

Then, just as Rose was about to turn away with Fred and Lily (both of whom had wide eyes that looked as though they were about to fall out of their sockets), Mr. McLeod said, "Oh, Rose, isn't it?"

Turning back, Rose answered, "Yes, it is. Rose Weasley, sir." She then shook the man's hand firmly, trying to seem impressive. Why he had chosen to speak to her she had no idea, but she was thrilled nonetheless. Somehow, having a man like him take notice to the Gryffindor players made their loss feel much less important.

"Well Rose, you play beautifully," he said. "I'm sure we'll be in touch with you in a few years as well."

Rose laughed at him, since she couldn't believe what she was hearing. "Thank you, sir," she said. "I would be honored."

"As would I," McLeod said. "But you best be going. Congratulations on the win."

Finally, Rose turned and walked off with Fred and Lily, who both stared at her in awe. "Are you sure we shouldn't go back and ask for an autograph?" Fred asked, sounding completely serious.

"I'm with Fred on this one," Lily agreed, and Rose laughed at them both.

Once in the hospital wing, the three of them found Cassidy at a bed near the entrance, Sam and Caitlin by her side. She was in bad shape, still unconscious and bruised all over, but looked oddly peaceful at the same time.

"How is she?" Rose asked as they came closer.

"She'll be okay," Sam answered. "But she'll be here for a while."

Fred and Lily sat down then, as Caitlin asked them all, "How's James taking it?" She had noticed that he wasn't with them, and probably thought that he hadn't wanted to come.

"Oh, he's alright actually," Rose answered.

"More than alright!" Lily exclaimed. "He's off talking to the manager of the Montrose Magpies!"

"Really?" Caitlin asked, just as surprised as everybody else had been. "That's great!"

Rose nodded but added, "Yeah well, hopefully it'll cheer him up. He was pretty upset at first."

"It's all my fault," said Sam suddenly, looking back up from where he was staring at Cassidy. "I was acting out of anger, and I shouldn't have." He seemed to be back to his normal self now.

Rose smiled in return and said, "I'm sure James will understand. He's acted that way once or twice as well." James had nearly led their team to a loss in the match against Slytherin, all because he was so paranoid about Scorpius.

Sam nodded, though he still looked concerned. Then, they all turned their attention back to Cassidy, who was shifting in her sleep. At one point, she tried to speak, but nothing understandable came out. Finally, after many attempts, and still with her eyes closed, she said, "Sss – am. S – am. I so – ry, Sam."

Everybody smiled to see that she was okay, and Sam gulped upon hearing his name. He quickly took her hand in his and said, "It's okay, Cass. I'm here. I'm right here." Then, as a tear fell down his face, he added, "I forgive you."

After a quiet moment, Rose started to back away from the bed to give them all some privacy. She was just going to wait out in the hall for James, but was distracted when she heard a familiar voice coming from a bed around the corner. Drawn to it, she followed the voice to find Lysander standing at the edge of his brother, Lorcan's bed. Lucy was there as well, sitting up on the bed with Lorcan, who seemed to be doing much better since his own injury during the Hufflepuff match. Lysander, like Rose, was still in his Quidditch robes, and must have come here right after the game.

Lucy spotted Rose first, as she smiled and said, "Rose! We heard about the game; I'm so sorry you won't be getting the Cup. We were rooting for you."

Rose smiled and nodded, saying, "It's okay. Really, it is. And anyway, there's always next year." Ignoring Lysander somewhat, who had resorted to staring at her, Rose asked Lorcan, "How are you feeling? Better, I hope?"

"Loads," Lorcan answered. "I should be out of here by the ceremony tonight. Wouldn't want to miss it, after all." A dinner would be held later that evening to announce the winner of the Quidditch House Cup, and all the teams had to be there in order to receive their awards and have their pictures taken.

"That's great," Rose said genuinely, before turning over to Lysander finally and asking, "Lysander, would you mind if I talked to you for a minute?"

Lysander looked nervous, but acted as if it was nothing by shrugging and answering Rose, "Lead the way." He then followed her out into the hall, where he faced her and waited for her to say something.

Gathering herself and trying to think of where to start, Rose asked him, "What was all that? During the match, I mean."

Lysander bit his lip and answered, "It would have hit you if I hadn't been there."

"But before, you wouldn't come anywhere near me," Rose explained. She wanted some answers from him, as he seemed to be acting so strangely as of late.

Lysander didn't respond at first, but later said, "I promised myself that I wouldn't."

"Why?" Rose asked quietly.

"Because it's a lot easier to just stay away from you, Rose" Lysander answered. "A lot less painful, that is."

Rose was hit then with a giant wave of guilt, for she had never truly believed that Lysander had ever had feelings for her. It always seemed like some big game, and she figured that by the end he'd be able to move on to somebody else. Apparently, that wasn't the case.

"I'm not over you, Rose," Lysander continued, moving closer to her. "I still like you. A lot."

As Lysander took Rose's hands, she closed her eyes and took a step backward, pulling her hands away. She felt sorry for him, and she appreciated how loyal he was being. She liked the new, good side of him. Still, she didn't have any romantic feelings for him. She never had.

"I'm sorry," she said after she opened her eyes once more, "But I love Scorpius." Sometimes it felt as if Scorpius was fading away right in front of her, but these were the times when Rose knew just how much she loved him, because she wanted nothing more than to pull him back to the present. She knew that no matter what, she would follow him wherever he went, and that there was nothing anybody could do to change that.

Lysander nodded and watched as Rose slowly walked away, just as Sam and Caitlin had before, to find the one she truly loved.

"And with a grand total of 610 points, the Quidditch House Cup for the year 2021-2022 goes to… SLYTHERIN!" McGonagall announced, and there was clapping throughout the hall.

Rose watched intently as Scorpius, Albus, and the rest of the Slytherin team walked up to the front of the room. In alphabetical order, they each shook hands with McGonagall and received a gold medal. Then, much to everyone's excitement, McGonagall made a swish of her wand and uncovered a beautiful and very large gold trophy, which had been hidden beneath a green and silver tablecloth. On the front of the trophy, Rose could just make out the plaque with the team's names on it, the Chasers on the bottom, the Beaters on each side, the Keeper at the top, and Scorpius's Seeker right in the middle.

"And I award the Cup to this year's Team Captain, Scorpius Malfoy," McGonagall said, handing over the trophy to Scorpius. Rose cheered loudly for this, and smiled wide as soon as saw his proud expression. Scorpius deserved this moment, and he deserved Rose's support during it.

"Again, congratulations Slytherin!" And yet another round of applause was received for the house, even by the disappointed Gryffindors, six of whom had slightly smaller silver medals around their own necks.

Finally, the Slytherin players were dismissed from their spot up front and went to take their normal seats. As they did so, however, Rose couldn't help but notice Professor Shunpike, who was on the far side of the horizontal teacher's table, eyeing Scorpius with what looked to Rose like disdain. She didn't understand why Shunpike was doing so, especially after he had initiated what Scorpius described as a nice talk between the two of them a few weeks back. Nothing ever seemed to make much sense when it came to Shunpike, though.

Keeping an eye on Scorpius as he sat down at the Slytherin table next to Al, Rose also noticed him rubbing his eyes. She hadn't had the chance to talk to him since that morning, as she had run into James on her way back from the hospital wing. He had had great news, informing her that the Montrose Magpies had reserved a trial for him to replace their current Seeker, who was due to retire after next season. James would have to join in on a few of their practices next year as a sub, and then they would decide if they wanted to keep him around after he graduated from Hogwarts. He was thrilled about the possibility, and had spent the entire afternoon talking about it with Rose. Even now, he didn't seem very disappointed to have lost the Cup, since he knew that he had bigger prospects in store for himself. Rose too was overjoyed for him, but she was beginning to get even more worried about Scorpius.

When the incredible meal of various different foods appeared out of thin air, all the students quickly dug in, but Rose's eyes were locked on Scorpius, who was all the way across the room. He had passed the trophy around the Slytherin table, sharing it with all of his team members. (After the celebration, it would be mounted in the trophy room with the others from years before.) Now, he was leaning on the table, his head on his hand, and didn't look at all interested in the food. After a few short minutes, Rose saw him stand up from his spot, say something to Albus, and then walk away from the table to leave the Great Hall.

Rose, concerned, hurried after him, waving to James as she left and turning back for a split second to see Hugo steeling all the food off of her plate and transferring it onto his own.

It felt like a long way up the six floors to the Room of Requirement, and Rose hadn't realized how little energy she had left after such a long day. Still, she persevered, knowing that Scorpius would be in their clearing waiting for her. When she got to the floor, she began the routine pacing in front of the wall and thought only of a grassy meadow underneath fire-colored trees. After three lengths, an enormous door began to show itself in the middle of the wall, and it opened into the exact room that Rose had pictured in her mind.

Quietly, Rose walked onto the field of wild grasses, not bothering to look around to make sure that nobody else was there. Everyone was still at supper, and Rose knew that it was only them. Scorpius was sitting under a maple tree, the one that they usually sat under to shield themselves from the mild rain. He had a pile of books laid out in front of him, and was running a hand through his hair, something he always did when either frustrated or nervous.

"What are you doing here?" Rose asked as she sat down next to him, moving his Astronomy book over to make room.

"Charms is on Monday, Rose," Scorpius asked, not surprised to see her there. "And I'm nowhere near ready for it."

Rose laughed and said, "Scorpius, you just won the House Cup! You should be celebrating, not studying." This went against all logic for Rose, but it somehow seemed like the right thing to say.

Scorpius finally looked away from the book on his lap and answered Rose, "Yeah, but I really just wanted to celebrate with you, and that wouldn't exactly be fair. I mean, you wanted to win the Cup too."

Rose's heart fluttered with admiration. Scorpius could be so sweet sometimes, and nothing was ever about him. He only ever thought about others, never himself. Of course, this wasn't always a good thing. Sometimes he was so busy worrying about other people, including Rose, that he forgot to take care of himself in the meantime.

"Of course I did," Rose answered. "We all did. But it just wasn't our year, and it was yours. I want to celebrate that with you."

Scorpius smiled and said, "Thanks." Lifting his arm up, Rose leaned into his side and allowed his arm to wrap itself around her shoulders, where it fit like a glove. "You know I never thought we'd actually get here, especially with the team we've had this year."

"Well apparently you're a pretty good leader," Rose said. Trying to put some humor into her words, she added, "With the players you've got, Slytherin should have been a complete mess." Al was good flier, but the other Chasers were nothing impressive, Goyle and Bulstrode were just ruthless and intimidating, and Lindsay Doyle was no match for Rose.

"Oh, I don't know about that," Scorpius started to say, but changed his mind when he saw Rose's eyebrows raised at him. "Who am I kidding, you're completely right."

Rose laughed, and Scorpius did too. They sat there together for a while longer before Rose found the courage to ask him, "Why are you pushing yourself so hard for these exams, Scorpius?"

He took some time to think before responding, "Because I'm not like you."

"Don't try to tell me that you're not smart," Rose interrupted, leaning away so that she look at his eyes. "Because that's complete bullocks, and you know it."

"No, it's not that," Scorpius said. "It's just that, you and Al, you both have at least some idea of what you want to do in life, whereas I don't have any."

Al had wanted to be an Auror since he was a young boy, and Rose was pretty sure that she wanted to work somewhere in the Ministry, like her mother. Scorpius, however, wasn't very interested in either of those options. Continuing, he said, "I just need to do well on my OWL's, because I need to keep all my options open."

"They're not going to close just based off of one bad mark," Rose reassured him. OWL's determined which NEWT classes one could take, which ultimately determined which jobs they would be qualified for, but there were always ways around them. Rose's father, Ron, for example, along with Harry, had never taken their NEWT exams, and they had still managed to become Aurors. Thinking that there must be more to Scorpius's new studying habits, Rose asked, "What's the other reason? The real reason?"

Scorpius looked down in defeat. He clearly didn't want to face whatever fear he had, but Rose knew that it would be better for him to share his thoughts with somebody. He was so used to keeping things to himself, but it was always harder to be alone.

"It's my mother," Scorpius whispered. "Every time I close my eyes, she's all I can see. And now that Quidditch is over, I just feel like I need a distraction. Something to keep my mind off of the fact that she's out there somewhere, and that she's still not okay."

Rose nodded in understanding. She had started off the year having her own bad dreams, so she knew how hard it was to ignore them. "When was the last time you slept?" she asked.

Scorpius breathed deeply before answering, "It's been a while. Each time I try, there's this voice in my head that tells me to stay awake a little longer, because if I fall asleep I won't be able to hear her from the next room. If I fall asleep, she'll die."

Rose squeezed his hand as he revealed himself to her, and she was reminded of the night he had told her about Astoria. He had seemed so lost then, and he looked the same now. All Rose wanted to do was lead him back home.

"But she won't die," Rose said. "And you did save her. You did hear her. You don't have to be scared that it will happen again, because she's had the chance to try, but she hasn't done anything. She may not be completely all right, but she's still alive… thanks to you.

"And as for your exams, they're not going to go well if you don't have enough sleep beforehand," she added.

"I know," Scorpius said, once again rubbing his eyes. "But I just can't."

Rose, not sure what else she could say, decided to offer the only thing she had. "Look," she said, "You're not alone right now. I'm here, I'm right here, and I'll be awake. I'll be awake, so that if I hear anything I can tell you, and I can wake you up."

Scorpius looked to Rose longingly, but shook his head. "I can't ask you to stay here all night."

"You don't have to," Rose said. "I want to stay. I want to stay here with you forever, remember?"

Scorpius let out a half laugh and nodded. Then, leaning away from Rose for a moment, he lifted his arm from her shoulders and took the heavy medal from around his neck. He then lifted it above Rose's head and lowered it back down next to her silver one. "Take care of it for me?" he asked.

Rose nodded and said, "I will. You know I will."

Scorpius then knelt down to the ground, laid across the grass on his back, and rested his head on Rose's thigh. Closing his eyes, he whispered, "I love you, Rose," before he drifted off to sleep, Rose beside him, wide awake and waiting, more than willing to stay with him forever, no matter what.

Scorpius slept through most of that weekend, Rose by his side at all times. Luckily, it seemed to do the trick, as they both showed up to their first OWL exam, Charms, alert and ready early Monday morning. The first of many exams went fairly well, and Rose felt confident about it. She had kept an eye on Scorpius during most of the process, particularly in the practical section, but he was fine throughout. He did, along with Al, mess up on a few spells, but they had both been expecting that. Rose, on the other hand, got through it with flying colors, her proctor cheering for her each time she accomplished his given tasks with record precision.

The next day was Transfiguration, and this was Scorpius's time to shine. During this practical, Scorpius finished all of his tasks so early and impressively that his proctor asked him if he wanted to try something a little more advanced, just for kicks. Scorpius had gone along with it, and ended up using a Vanishing Spell that made half of his own body disappear. The proctor was astounded at his talent, as was every other student in the room, each of whom seemed to be slowly suffering just trying to make a bug invisible. Al had the hardest time with this one, and didn't even end up finishing all his tasks, while the ones he had done hadn't been completely successful. Rose thought she did all right, but was a little nervous going into it, and was admittedly somewhat distracted by Scorpius, so by the end she wasn't sure that she had done her best.

Herbology took place on Wednesday, and all three of the trio did well during this exam. It was one of the easiest classes they had, and Professor Longbottom had more than prepared them for the exam. Rose had also been proud to see Lucy show off a bit in this one, as Herbology had always been her best subject.

On Thursday, all fifth years had Defense Against the Dark Arts. This was one of the more difficult exams, as the written section was extremely long and the practical very demanding. While Rose finished the written part just in time, she struggled a little with the practical. By now, she had gotten a hang off the Patronus Charm, but it turned out to be very difficult to think of happy thoughts when Shunpike was circling the room and glancing over at either her or Scorpius nearly every minute. Eventually though, she had been able to produce her cardinal, and it lasted just long enough to earn the mark. Scorpius also took a few attempts to produce his falcon, but he too got it in the end. Meanwhile, Albus once again showed off by producing his hawk on his very first attempy and having it soar through the air for the rest of the test.

Scorpius and Al had a break that Friday, while Rose had to sit her Ancient Runes exam. This one did not have a practical section, which Rose was thankful for, and she had memorized everything that she needed to know perfectly, so she left the room sure that she had done well.

After a weekend of nothing but studying, with Scorpius and Rose once again falling asleep together in the Room of Requirement, Rose was met with the exam she had been dreading more than any other. Potions had always posed a giant fear in her mind, and Scorpius felt the same. Still, they had worked hard preparing for it, and Al had done his best to help them. Once again, Rose was unsure how well she had done, while Scorpius was sure that he had failed, and Albus seemed overly confident about what a breeze it had been for him.

Tuesday was Care of Magical Creatures, during which Rose and Scorpius had a great time riding a beautiful hippogriff while Albus had to retrieve a large group of pixies, nasty little buggers that were never easy to handle.

Wednesday posed a triple threat, starting with Divination and Arithmancy, and ending with Astronomy that evening. Divination hadn't gone well for any of them, but all three had never been big believers. In fact, Rose, who had gone in knowing that this exam would yield her worst grade, walked out of the exam with a very positive attitude, just happy that she would never have to take a class with Professor Trelawney again. Arithmancy, which neither Scorpius nor Albus took, went very well for Rose, since it was one of her best subjects. Astronomy was also fine, though both boys complained about being blinded by the amount of squinting they had had to do during the practical just to see through the telescope.

On Thursday morning, Rose woke already talking to herself, repeating various facts for History of Magic over and over again in her mind. This was the only way she knew to study for Professor Binns's class, but fortunately she wasn't too terrible at it. This test also didn't have a practical section, and so all the fifth years arrived in the Great Hall only to take a seat at one of the small, individual desks, and begin their test in complete silence.

After a few questions on the founding fathers of Hogwarts, which were fairly straight forward, there was another series of questions on Binns's favorite topic, goblin rebellions. This was the longest part of the exam, and Rose was right in the middle of it when she heard the double doors open behind her. Turning slightly in her seat, she saw that Shunpike, walking crookedly and his hair tousled as usual, had walked in, and was making his way through a row of desks to Professor Binns, who was floating around a giant grandfather clock at the front of the hall.

Rose watched closely as Shunpike whispered something to the ghost, who then turned to face his students and said, "Scorpius Malfoy? Scorpius Malfoy, where are you please?"

Looking at Scorpius, who was right across from Rose in the row adjacent to hers, she saw him reluctantly raise his hand for the two teachers. "Ah yes, there you are," Shunpike said as he began to walk back through the hall in the direction of Scorpius.

"Mr. Malfoy," Professor Binns began to explain. "Professor Shunpike has come to escort you to the Headmistress's office. I am told it is of the utmost importance, and thus you will not be permitted to finish your exam."

"But sir –" Scorpius started to say, but Shunpike had arrived by his desk and now held up a hand to stop him.

All across the hall, students began whispering to each other in surprise and curiosity, nobody having any idea what was going on, but clearly interested upon hearing how serious the situation was. With her eyes on Scorpius, Rose's mouth gaped open around the same time his did, but neither had time to say anything to the other before Shunpike had put a hand on his arm, pulling him up from his seat.

As the two started walking away, Rose craned her neck to watch Scorpius go, who kept glancing back at her, looking just as confused as everyone else. Once he had gone, however, Professor Binns stated firmly, "As for the rest of you, you may go back to writing your exams. I suggest that you do not dilly-dally any further, as no extra time will be allotted for this interruption." He then flew through the aisle between where Rose was and where Scorpius had been before, until he arrived at Scorpius's empty desk, where he pointed his wand at the incomplete test and caused it to burst into flames, leaving only a small pile of ashes as proof that it had ever even been there.

Rose gulped, not having any idea what to think, before she looked to Al, who was a few seats in front of her in Scorpius's old row. He too looked taken aback, and mouthed to Rose what she presumed to be, "What just happened?"

Shrugging, she mouthed back, "I've no idea." Knowing that there was nothing they could do or find out yet, both of them went back to their tests, though they were no longer thinking clearly. Rose, so worried about Scorpius, ended up splattering ink all over nearly ever page on the exam, making some of her answers unreadable. For once, this didn't even concern her, as she just wanted to finish as quickly as possible so that she could go off and find Scorpius.

After what felt like an eternity, all students were finally dismissed, and Rose and Al rushed out of the hall and made a run for McGonagall's office. Once up the six flights of stairs, some of which they had had to retake since they didn't go to the right place the first time, Rose and Al arrived on the seventh floor and turned in the opposite direction of the Gryffindor common room. A few steps down the hallway they found the large gargoyle that hid the spiral staircase that led to the office. Rose had only gone up the escalator-like steps once before, just after Filch's murder, and had a feeling that Scorpius's first time would be even more unpleasant.

"What do you think the password is?" Rose asked frantically, pacing in front of the gargoyle like a maniac.

"Don't bother," Al said as he sat down against the wall across from Rose. "I'm sure McGonagall's already sealed it. James said she nearly always does whenever's she's talking to a student inside. Nobody can get in and nobody can get out."

Rose shook her head in frustration. "No!" she cried. "There must be another way!"

"Rose, calm down," Albus said, reaching out his arms for her. She was beyond worried at this point, as it had been a long time since Scorpius had been taken from the hall, and there were already rumors all across the school that he was either being severely punished for something, or worse, expelled. There was no proof for any of this of course, but it had still managed to put Rose on edge. "They'll be out soon enough," Al added. "I think it's best if we just wait."

Finally listening to her best mate, Rose took a few deep breaths to try and calm down before she sat on the floor next to Albus and waited for Scorpius to show himself. "What do you think it is?" she asked quietly, fishing for an answer that might offer some sort of reassurance. All of the discomfort she had been feeling when around Albus for the last month had faded away now that they were reunited with the same goal of being there for Scorpius.

"My guess is as good as yours," Al said, "But it didn't look good."

Rose shut her eyes, since she knew that Al was right. McGonagall wouldn't have wanted Scorpius to be pulled out of an examination unless whatever it was she needed to speak to him about actually was of the utmost importance, and that was nearly always a bad thing.

The two of them, fully of mutual anxiety, sat together a little while longer, until finally they heard movement coming from behind the statue. Standing up, they faced the menacingly still, winged creature and watched it turn itself and present a familiarly handsome, blond boy, standing beside an equally unappealing, pimple-faced straggler. Once back on the ground, Shunpike pushed Scorpius off the steps and pointed his wand at his head, ready to lead him somewhere.

"What's going on?" Rose blurted out, making Shunpike and Scorpius look up to find her and Albus waiting expectantly for them.

Seeing Scorpius, Rose realized that any life left in his eyes was now completely gone, and he looked like somebody who had nothing to live for anymore. Underneath his eyes were tear-stained, rosy cheeks, and his light hair was falling down in front of his face. He was remaining silent, and Rose assumed that Shunpike had told him not to say a word to anyone.

"Scorpius, please," Rose begged of him, not backing down. Behind her, Al had a hand wrapped around her wrist, and was trying to get her to back off so that she could make room for Scorpius and Shunpike to walk past.

Keeping her eyes firmly on Scorpius, Rose shook Al off and waited for any kind of explanation that the former could give her. After a moment, Scorpius looked straight back at her and raised his eyebrows the tiniest bit, making Rose focus on only his face. Below it, his right hand had grabbed onto hers, and he was very subtly working his way up to her ring finger, where the black stone he had given her still laid. He then gently pulled the ring off, all without saying a word, and slyly dropped it into his pant pocket. Then, just before Shunpike put his hand between the two to break them apart, Scorpius leaned forward and touched his forehead to Rose's. It was the simplest of gestures, but somehow Rose knew that that was his way of telling her that he loved her.

Once Rose broke away, and just as Shunpike was about to lead Scorpius back down the hallway, Al put a hand on Shunpike's back, stopping him, and asked, "Professor, will you please tell us where you're going, and what's happening? He's our best friend." Al had a lot more leeway with Shunpike than Rose did, and he too was determined to get some answers.

"Mr. Malfoy," Shunpike explained, "Is being taken to one of Hogwarts' tower cells. I am sorry to report that he has been accused for murdering Argus Filch."

Rose and Albus went silent then, as they had never expected to hear such words about Scorpius. As he and Shunpike walked off toward the moving staircases, Rose stared after them and searched Scorpius's face for some sign of truth, but it was like trying to read a white blank page. He was just as clueless as any, and left Al and Rose with no idea what was going on, and no idea what to believe. She knew that Scorpius loved her, and she had promised him that she would stay with him forever, but forever had never felt so far away.

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