Rehearsal Room

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Tiny Dancer  PV Rosie Parker 

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Adam never really knew the piano.


He didn't know what compelled him to sit down at the bench and try it out again. It had been two years since he had last played, or even looked at a piece of sheet music. The only reason he had really ever taken it up was for his mother. She had always loved the sounds the instrument made, and tried to teach it to both of her sons with equal amounts of failure. Dean had been unwilling; Adam just lacked the talent. They had only gotten up through "Jingle Bells" before she'd given up, only a headache to show for her efforts. For the next two weeks, it had been all that Adam could think about, and the guilt of letting her down crept in despite himself. He had approached his father with a small idea and it had grown into a grand result, prepared specially for Kristine's birthday that same year. Orchestrated carefully by his dad, Adam had woken up early to start off his mother's morning with the chorus of her favorite song: Elton John's "Your Song", butchered by the ten-year-old's heavy hands but recognizable at least. She'd rushed down the stairs, wide-eyed and smiling, and hugged him tightly when he had finished. Later, his dad would tell him that he had never seen his wife react so happily to something.

It seemed like he remembered so much more about his family this year, now that he'd watched it fall. Adam was fully aware of how stupidly dramatic he was being about the whole thing, that he should listen to his brother and just try to move on. Dean had told him not to draw any unnecessary attention, not to act too mopey or too different at all, but it was hard, especially when he was by himself. What else was he to think about if not their tragic August? Even if it was a selfish right, Adam had a right to mope all that he wanted, in his eyes. He could use these moments alone explicitly for that purpose -- just so long as they remained alone.

Fingers hovering over the keys, Adam started his mother's song slowly, picking up halfway through as he had learned it, starting at the chorus where he knew the notes. He couldn't master chords, opting for a simple, one-note-at-a-time melody that sounded rather sad when it was isolated. The words came quietly under his breath, just barely louder than the music itself. As he came to the end, striking the keys to the tune of the final line, he smiled to himself.


"...how wonderful life is, while you're in the world...."


She'd been so happy to hear that part, even sang along with it, her voice causing him to falter only a bit before he was finished. It was a terrific song, really. Adam hadn't realized how much of his attention the playing had captured, and removing his hands from the keys was like exiting a trance. The world had fallen away, for those thirty seconds, and when it returned he shook his head and stood to head back for the door.

He nearly had a heart attack at the realization that he was no longer alone.

Adam Harringtom
STR: 10 AGI: 5 CTRL: 8 STA: 12

Tiny Dancer  PV Rosie Parker 

Boredom sucked.

For the first time in what seemed like forever, Rosie literally had nothing to do. She had finished all of her homework, she had talked to all of the people she wanted to (for the most part), and had her done her daily attempt to win Anatole's attention. As usual, he brushed her off, but she was stubborn.

She had been laying on her bed in her dorms, until she came up with an idea. Dancing! How could she have not thought of this earlier? She giggled and shot up from her bed, immediately going to go get dressed. She always picked two things to wear. Her pointe shoes, and a shirt that wouldn't flop around. Her pointe shoes because, duh, she was a ballerina. And the shirt, because.. Well. Rosie's dad had suggested for her to start wearing a... bra. She still didn't understand them, or think she needed them, but regardless, she did. She didn't want everyone seeing it, that was gross.

Anyway, Rosie slipped on her shoes and tied her hair up into a ponytail, before making her way out. On the way, she shouted bye to anyone who was currently in the common room, and there weren't a lot of people there, most were still eating. With a shrug, she skipped out of the room, excited to start dancing again.

She figured she could start dancing in the Rehearsal Room this time, she always, always danced in the ballroom. She needed some gosh darn change! So, she decided to change course to the Rehearsal Room. It brought back some memories of the first time she heard Marissa sing. Rosie hadn't talked to her since... Well, the year before. That was mainly because Marissa didn't talk. But after Clary died, there was definitely no connection.

The memory of Clary's funeral made Rosie feel sick to her stomach. It was so grim that day. She was about the only kid borderline sobbing. It was the first time she had seen any of the kids she saw out of Hogwarts. The kid who gave her comic books for her birthday, otherwise known as Reid, a girl named Alexx (possibly?), and Marissa. She hadn't talked to any of them very much since that day, even as the new year started. Except for the boy. Rosie kept forgetting his damn name. Reed? With two e's? Who knows. That wasn't the point. She wondered if she had ADHD sometimes. It's what her step-dad said.

As Rosie got closer and closer to the Rehearsal Room, she heard a piano playing. She rose her eyebrows, she didn't know anyone would be in the room around the time Rosie decided to visit. Company was fine to Rosie, she was still a self conscious about people watching her dance, but she could live with it. She slowly approached the door, and pushed it open.

Was that Adam?

Surely it was, the same boy she had gone cloud gazing with multiple times over the course of the year before. He was a joy to be around, but she was always scared to hang out with him for too long. If Rosie wanted to avoid anything, it was Eris yelling at her for attempting to take her best friend.

He turned to the door with a look of horror. Rosie made a squeak and waved her hands frantically. "I wasn't listening! Well, I was, but it was only cause I was coming here to dance and I could hear the piano!" She said, walking inside and running over to the piano. "I didn't know you could play, Adam. That was really nice. Actually..." She went through the song in her head, moving her hands awkwardly before gasping. "I knew it! I have a dance routine to this!"

Rosie ran to the middle of the room. "Can you play it again?" She asked excitedly, bouncing on her feet.

Tiny Dancer  PV Rosie Parker 

Adam didn't know what had scared him more: the sudden, silent appearance of the girl in the door, or the fact that someone had been there at all to listen in on his forgotten hobby. In reality, there was nothing to keep secret, nothing at risk of exposure. Nobody cared one way or another if Adam could play a few notes on the piano. In all likelihood, nobody would probably care if Adam could play a whole concerto on the piano. It wasn't very newsworthy. Still, he felt his face burn red as he quickly slammed down the piano cover, just barely missing his fingers as they fled from the keys. The panic swelled as he realized he had no veritable excuse to be in the room. Why did he have to be such an idiot all the time?

The stream of terror in his head was cut off when he realized who it was that had arrived. Rosie Parker, his third best friend in the school, a girl that he had not spoken to since their ride home together on the Hogwarts Express. She had been nothing but nice and understanding in their limited interactions during first year, and he felt that he could rely on her, that he could trust her with deeper things. In a backwards sense, the distance between them compared to, say, Eris Fawley helped too. If he acted differently at all, she'd be all over him, poking and prodding and asking what was wrong. He was painting her concern in a far too negative light, when it really was an amazing thing; but if it had been her at the door, he would have been talking and explaining all the way back to August. Rosie wouldn't know enough about him to know something was too different at all.

While he had been tied up in his own head, Rosie had already sprung into action, speaking just as quickly as she ran to his side at the piano. Adam struggled to keep up with the energetic Hufflepuff as she waved her hands in an excited gesture, asking him to play the song again. In the blink of an eye she was in the center of the room, poised to start her routine, and Adam hadn't even returned her hello. The presence of an audience, even an audience of one, added a little bit of pressure. He'd hate to mess Rosie up in the middle of dancing and embarrass himself further. At the same time, it would be even worse to say no.

Complying quietly, he turned back to the piano with a half-nod, tracing his fingers over the piano keys until they rested on the starting notes. He wished that he had a way to watch the keys and the dancer at the same time, because one was definitely more exciting than the other. But Adam knew that looking away from his hands would mean an inevitable screw-up. In the end, it came down to stupid little worries, worries that couldn't be allowed to get to Rosie and not just him. So with a firm mental reminder that he had someone waiting on him, Adam started up the song and hoped his friend could follow along with him.

Adam Harringtom
STR: 10 AGI: 5 CTRL: 8 STA: 12

Tiny Dancer  PV Rosie Parker 

The silence from Adam was a good indicator he had been focused.

She was nervous he'd say no, judging by the expression on his face. While he started to look scared, when she approached him fully, his expression softened. One of the qualities Rosie admired about Adam was his relaxed facial expressions. They were inviting, he didn't pierce into your soul with his eyes as if he was going to gut you. But it was definitely wonderful to learn that Adam played an instrument. She had never even bothered to ask if he did. Silly her. She made a mental note to ask him about scheduling more cloud gazing sessions. There was so much she didn't know about him.

Hesitantly it seemed, Adam lifted up the cover and placed his fingers over the keys. Rosie let out a squeal of excitement and dashed to the center of the room. She took a deep breath and positioned herself, one arm curved in front of her, the other curved above her. It was funny, she knew the song fairly well. Not only had she learned a routine for it, but her step-dad adored the song. Sometimes she found him singing in when he made her and her little brother dinner.

With nostalgia in mind, it made interest soar through Rosie farther. And as soon as Adam started playing, she was dancing. The routine was initially for two people, but she was able to learn how to dance to it alone.

She didn't have a dancing partner anymore, after all.

Rosie was using the entire room to her advantage, jumping and spinning with the space provided. Her arms followed her movements, she danced around on her pointe shoes. Did her curly hair slap her in the face a few times despite it being in a ponytail? Absolutely. And despite it being annoying, Rosie was attached to her long hair. It was even longer when Rosie straightened it, though.

As the song continued, Rosie tried to ignore she stumbled over a few moves. It had a while since she had busted out this certain routine. She had no time to practice, but luckily, Adam wasn't watching. He was too focused on the piano. Thank god. It felt like there wasn't even an audience. It made Rosie more comfortable with messing up, if she did. She didn't usually, she was a perfectionist when it came to her dancing. She practiced a lot.

That lead to some health issues on some of her practice days, but that's a story for another day.

When the song came to a close, Rosie had finished it by sinking to the ground, sitting on her knees. Her chest rose and fell as she tried to catch her breath. She let out a small sigh and flopped on her back. Rosie was strangely flexible, and laying on her back as so wasn't that much of an issue for her. She closed her eyes for a moment before wiping sweat off her forehead. Rosie sat back up and let out a loud woop, before coughing. "Frick- Uh-" She covered her mouth before letting out a wheeze. She needed to breathe. She cleared her throat and sat up, grinning at Adam. "That was awesome! I never knew you could play the piano!"

Tiny Dancer  PV Rosie Parker 

Despite his unease, the song came back in muscle memory more than anything, his fingers dancing steadily through the old patterns that he'd marched them through when he was ten. As the melody progressed, Adam found that thinking about his motions was almost a detriment; the more he thought about the starting notes, the longer he hesitated above the keys, and then the rush to keep up with the tempo resulted in a stupid mistake. By the first time the chorus came around, he was playing mostly mindlessly, letting the memory of his mother's birthday performance blend with the rehearsal room in front of him. By the second verse, his attention had turned to the recital behind him.

Even with the building confidence of a well-rehearsed musician, it was rather difficult to play without looking at the keys. Because of this, Adam wasn't able to see more than a few seconds of Rosie's dance at a time -- but it looked exciting. In between unsteady spots in the music, he could glance back and see her leaping and twirling, dedicating herself to the routine. The dance was measured carefully against the rhythm of the song, and though he was pretty much clueless about choreography of any kind, he thought she was doing great.

The ending bars required more concentration, and Adam stumbled over the notes more than he'd have liked to. Aside from the regretfully shaky conclusion, he thought it had sounded good, especially being so far out of practice. Shortly after the last note had gone quiet it was replaced with the sound of Rosie coughing, and Adam turned to her, alarmed. Her smile reassured him that everything was fine, and contagiously it made him smile back. "Thanks. It's simplified, but my mom loved it, and it's the only one I know." Sliding off of the piano bench and resting his back against it, he joined Rosie on the floor. "Your dance looked amazing! I only saw a little bit, but the parts I was watching were nice. You really like the song too, huh? You seemed super focused, like you'd done it lots of times before."

Now that he was talking with his friend again, the fear that he'd felt at being discovered at the piano seemed ridiculous. Not only that, it was ridiculous. Laughing, he brought it up to Rosie sheepishly. "Sorry for freaking out when you came in. I felt like it had to be some big secret, that I was still playing piano. I don't know why. It's not like you or Eris would think anything about it, right? Nobody's ever been teased because of their instrument. I just wasn't used to it, I think." Falling quiet for a minute to reorganize his thoughts, he looked over at her curiously. "Do you ever feel like that? Embarrassed, or like you've got to keep a secret for no reason? It's silly. Things would be so much easier if no one was afraid to talk about them."

Though it was true, and he believed in what he was saying, Adam felt bad for saying it the instant after it came out. Some things were better left alone, no matter how important they might be, and he really didn't know Rosie that well. He shouldn't be talking about secrets and when to share them. Everyone had their own. Casting her an apologetic smile, he shifted his back against the bench and scratched at the back of his neck nervously. "You, uh, don't have to answer that if you don't want to. Your dancing was incredible; that's what I wanted to say."

Adam Harringtom
STR: 10 AGI: 5 CTRL: 8 STA: 12

Tiny Dancer  PV Rosie Parker 

She could've sworn she saw Adam try to glance back a few times as she danced.

Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. It didn't matter, she had fun. And as she made her way over, she felt her smile grow. Adam's smiles were contagious, their happiness bounced off each other. She was always surrounded by optimism when it came to Adam. Not that she wasn't around her other friends, but it was constant with Adam.

She sat down next to Adam and let out a final big breath, since she had caught it. Rosie felt her cheeks flush and heat up when Adam complimented her dancing. She had learned over the years she didn't take compliments very well. Whether it was because she didn't believe them, or got flustered easily, she had no idea. She beamed through her pink cheeks, nodding. "I learned a routine for it for my dad's birthday, it's one of his favorite songs. Note that I said one of them, he has a lot. But he danced to it with my step-dad this summer at their wedding!" She said excitedly. Rosie folded her hands in her lap and let out a gentle sigh. "The song is a good memory, honestly. What does it mean to you?" She asked.

The sudden change in topic practically took Rosie off guard, and it was evident by how her eyebrows rose. Rosie leaned forward on her elbows, her chin resting on her palms. She wasn't expecting the shift to a personal conversation, but there it was. And the question Adam ask hung in the air, and Rosie pondered. 'Do you ever feel embarrassed?' It was more complex than that, obviously. But that was the gist of what he was asking. She could find a few examples, so the answer was-- "Yes." She spoke up, nodding slowly. "I.. I dunno, I have a few secrets about my personal life I'm nervous about telling others. 'Cause of the judgment, people can be really mean, you know?" Rosie tilted her head against her left palm, blowing some hair out of her face. "But yeah." She cleared her throat, trying to move the conversation on from about her. "You don't need to be embarrassed about playing an instrument! I mean... That entire song, you did it brilliantly!" Rosie spread her hands, her head rising again.

His smile was genuine, through and through. Rosie shook her head at his last comment, beaming. "It's fine, Adam. I just don't wanna overshare about something you didn't ask specifically about. But thank you, I'd like to think dancing all my life paid off somehow." She said, before laughing. Rosie rolled over near him and flopped on her back, choosing to just look up at him.

Tiny Dancer  PV Rosie Parker 

Adam couldn't help it -- when he saw Rosie blush after he mentioned her routine, he started to laugh. It was just a little bit, and quiet, too, but there was no telling if she'd heard him or not. If nothing else, she must have seen him laugh. It hadn't been mean-spirited in the slightest, and he could only hope that it came across this way. Adam had just been surprised that she'd reacted so strangely to the compliment, like she was embarrassed about it even though it was totally true. He couldn't imagine that Rosie Parker was any stranger to compliments, but even still she looked as though this was the first one she'd ever received. He guessed, when he thought about it, that he did that sometimes too. He hadn't exactly handled it like a pro when she'd returned the praise for his playing. It was probably just a twelve-year-old thing; something like that couldn't possibly last forever.

He was shaken out of his thoughts when she looked to him expectantly, like she'd asked a question. Adam had to go back and recall what she'd been saying for a second to remember what he was supposed to be answering. What did the song mean to him? He'd learned it for his mother, and though it did make him think of her, he wasn't sure that he could define that as a meaning. He wished he had a story as nice as Rosie's, with a wedding and a birthday and a gift. Well, he did have the birthday and the gift -- but hers still just sounded nicer. Growing more and more aware of the silence between them, he finally shrugged and settled on a simple, surface answer, the kind that the rest of his family might go to. "It's pretty, but it's really just a song."

Amazingly, the next thing Rosie offered was an answer to the question he really shouldn't have asked. It was none of his business what secrets she had -- even if the word itself was enough to make him want to ask all sorts of further questions. No friendship was ever helped when secrets were added to it, and he was already testing the limits of that ideology by keeping the Paris details from Cecily and Amadea and Eris. Adam didn't have to know anything that Rosie wasn't telling him, and on top of that, he didn't want to. He didn't want to drag down the cloud-watching happiness that their first meeting had brought around with anything resembling a secret.

"Thanks," he answered with a grin as she gave him one last compliment, and holding the smile as she dismissed his concerns about overstepping his boundaries. Looking down at her on the floor, he laughed and slid back up to the piano bench, holding out a hand for her to join him. "Come on, we should make up our own song. I can try to teach you some of the notes and then we can make up a dance that goes with it and you can teach me how to do that! I'll have you know, though, that I'm a ballroom dancing master. I took lessons." Adam laughed and moved over on the bench to make room for her. "It'll be....Adam and Rosie's Spectacular Hogwarts Second Year Theme Song. Or something shorter than that. The title always gets decided at the end anyways."

With the thoughts that had been plaguing him on his arrival in the rehearsal room successfully banished, Adam found himself unwilling to leave. He'd already come down here and played through one song. Why not keep going, now that his "secret" was out? Turning his attention to the keys in front of him, he played a few random notes before spinning back to Rosie. "Come on, let's do it!"


Adam Harringtom
STR: 10 AGI: 5 CTRL: 8 STA: 12