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Friday, 21 October 2011

Chapter 3: Letters

3. Letters

Here it goes. You have to tell him. Scorpius thought to himself, staring at the blank parchment in front of him. The feast had ended ten minutes ago, and while all the other Gryffindor first years were eagerly scribbling notes to their parents on crumpled parchment, waiting for their owls to take the message of their triumphs back to their parents, Scorpius was sat at a small table in the corner of the common room, trying to word his own letter. He was already on draft number 6. ‘Ok, here goes nothing’, he whispered aloud.
     Dear Father,

You may not agree with me, and you won’t like what I am about to say, but please read this.

I have been sorted in to Gryffindor. I know I should be horrified, what with coming from a long line of Slytherins, but I’m not. It’s only a house, and it is a good house, too. I’ve already made friends with some of the boys I live with, and everyone was chatting at the feast. They aren’t that bad, you know, not even the Potter/Weasley clan. James is a bit stuck up, but Rose, his cousin, said that it’s only because he’s showing off in front of his family. Albus is a bit.. simple, but he’s nice enough, we swapped chocolate frog cards on the train, he has a huge stack of them, compared to my 4, but I had a rare one he’d been looking for, so he swapped it for a signed Harry Potter one, one of granddad (he looks very sophisticated, have you seen them?) AND one of Albus Dumbledore! You have probably already thrown this in the fire or destroyed it some other way, but in case you haven’t, I’ll sign off.

I hope you aren’t too angry,
Your Scorpius.

A little way off, Rose was helping Albus write their first letter home. They decided to write a joint one, as their families were both staying at the Burrow for a few days, and it would save the owls’ energy. As she was dictating to Albus, correcting his spelling every few words, she had other things on her mind, and her eyes drifted towards the lanky, pale figure in the corner, hunched over some parchment, surrounded by several screwed up pieces.

"Trying to tell your dad? I know it's hard, I can't begin to think what my Dad would say if I told him I was friends with a pureblo-" She stopped, blushing faintly & staring at her stripy socks. He looked up, and for the first time in, well, a while, he smiled, an awkward, yet oddly attractive smile. "Are we.. friends?" She looked up, grinning, "well yeah, ...if you dont mind?" He grinned broadly then, something he'd never done, and never thought he'd do. "Sure! But.." His face fell. What would his family say, first he's sorted into Gryffindor, then he becomes friends with a mudblood? His father always detested Rose's family, as did his father before him. "Your father." She understood, she was dreading telling her grandad Weasley that the first friend she made at Hogwarts was Lucius Malfoy's grandson. They walked to the Owlery together and sent their letters, Rose using her family's old, run-down, yet still energetic little owl, Pig, Scorpius using his new, raven-black owl, his father had named Sal, secretly short for Salazar.
     The next morning, the first-years tumbled out of bed and into the great hall, many still full from overeating the night before. Unfortunately, thought Rose, this didn't stop Sean Finnegan from trying to talk to her and Albus about quidditch, until the noise of hundreds of flapping wings and owl squawks sounded, announcing the arrival of the morning post. Rose gulped. What would Dad have to say about Scorpius? At this thought, she looked over to Scorpius, who was sat next to Albus, right on the corner of the bench. The (small amount of) colour had drained from his face, and he was sat rigidly in his seat, not moving a muscle. She noticed a small cut, just above his left eyebrow. Sal flew in then, and dropped a small, green envelope on Scorpius' plate. He was quite relieved, at least it wasn't a Howler. He opened the envelope with shaking hands, as Rose's own post was dropped on her lap, narrowly missing the bowl of porridge Al had pushed towards her. She had received a copy of the day's Daily Prophet from her mother, with a reminder to do her homework, a short note saying "Glad you're having fun, don't listen to mum! Love, Daddy xxx P.S. check out the 7th floor sometime, think of something you require, and watch what happens! P.P.S, say hi to Al, James & Neville for me!" in  her father's scrawling, smudged handwriting, and a letter from her uncle Harry? Why was he writing to her? She tucked it inside her robes and went up to gryffindor tower, so she could read it before her first lesson. Scorpius, on the other hand, was not so pleased with his letter;
     "Scorpius, I am writing to inform you that Grandad is not to hear of this. Not a word. It will not be known that a Malfoy is in Gryffindor house. Believe me, it will not go down well. I am disappointed in you, but I am not angry. The Hat knows which house is best for each student, and so maybe Gryffindor will prove to be the correct house. If this does not appear to be the case, don't hestitate to contact me & I will write to your Head immediately and ask for a re-sorting. Just because you aren't in Slytherin, doesn't mean you can't live up to Slytherin policies and ideas. Be a good student. Expect to hear from Astoria soon, she wanted to write now, but I told her to wait until you were settled. She is, and will remain, unaware of this letter. Also, if you are going to reply, do so using the envelope inside this one, or your mother will become suspicious. ~Father."
Scorpius was surprised. His father didn't fight against the hat's decision much at all, not for him, anyway. But why? He has always hated Gryffindor, he rarely even spoke the word, so why is he not angry? He thought of this all the way up to Gryffindor tower, where he almost bumped into Rose, who was struggling to remember the password. "Pig-no...Petunias!" "No!"  "Penelope?" "Wrong again!" The Fat Lady was mocking her, as she often did to new students. "Paraphernalia." said Scorpius, sternly. Rose smiled gratefully "thanks." They walked in to the common room together, to find that they were the only ones around. Rose sat down in the biggest armchair, right next to the fire. It was cold that morning, the wind was blowing ferociously outside, causing the windows to creak under the pressure. Scorpius sat by her, on a not-so-lavish wooden chair, watching her as she pulled a letter out of her robes. "It's from my uncle Harry. I didn't think he'd write so soon, I think it might be about you." She was nearly whispering. "It's ok, Rose. You don't have to have anything to do with me. It's better that way, that way you don't need to hide anything from your family." Scorpius stood up, his icy eyes filling with tears. Rose started after him, but he made his way up the stairs to the boys' dormitory before she was halfway across the large room. She sunk into the nearest chair, and opened the letter. Maybe Scorpius was right, she thought, pulling the parchment out of its envelope. "Or not.." she said happily, reading just the words she needed to hear;
      "Rosie, you made a very brave decision, letting the Malfoy boy into your carriage. Although the rest of them may not agree, don't forget - You aren't your Mum or Ginny, and he isn't Draco. Our own opinions shouldn't get in the way of yours. Draco wasn't that bad, in the end, and so give Scorpius the chance to show his true colours. Remember the pressure he'll get from his father, particularly if he isn't in Slytherin, I'd bet my broomstick he gets ten times as much as your Dad gives you. 
     Go easy on him, Uncle Harry, xxx"
Maybe what she feels for Scorpius won't be so bad, after all, she thought, walking happily up to her dorm, to fetch her things for her first lesson - Divination with Firenze the Centaur.

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