Chapter 5 : A Blue Christmas and a Random New Year
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On Christmas morning, I’m shaken awake by none other than Hugo. I momentarily forget what day it is, but when I see him holding a small box wrapped in golden paper, it all comes rushing back to me. It’s Christmas Day and absolutely nothing is as it should be. Dad hates me, Mum and Dad hate each other and I hate pretty much everyone – except for Hugo. That’s a quite a turn around when you think about it.
Hugo looks sort of distressed, almost like he’s feeling severely sorry for me. I wish he wouldn’t, it’s just weird to have him act like he cares about anything other than his favourite heavy metal band “The Death Metal Eaters”.
“Happy Christmas,” he says and hands me the small package.
“Thanks, Hugh,” I smile and open it up. It’s a beautiful charm bracelet, silver, with lots of little charms hanging off it including a dog, a stag and a werewolf – the three Marauders we’ve been told so much about over the years. I hug Hugo tightly.
“It’s meant to be lucky,” says Hugo, his voice muffled by my tight embrace.
“It’s beautiful, thank you.”
Hugo pushes me off and tells me to get up and come downstairs. I decide that I can’t exactly hide out in my room all day, that life goes on and no matter what happens I’m going to be forced to go to The Burrow and face my entire family and Scorpius Malfoy.
Mum and Dad are both up when I go downstairs, though neither are speaking. Hugo sits by the Christmas tree, opening presents. Even he feels like he doesn’t have the right to be in a strop today. I join him by the tree and open some of my own presents, but my heart’s not in it and neither is Hugo’s. Usually we do this as a family, but Mum and Dad don’t seem too interested. They’re in the kitchen, while we’re in the sitting room, trying to avoid the awkward topic of my pregnancy.
I can’t take much more of this. I go into the kitchen and Mum and Dad stop fighting under their breaths when I arrive. Mum smiles weakly at me (very weakly) while Dad doesn’t even acknowledge me.
“Can we just act normal for today?” I ask, “It’s Christmas.”
Mum nods, but Dad says nothing.
“Ron,” Mum warns, “she’s right.”
“Whatever,” he says, strongly resembling Hugo when he’s in a mood.
“Let’s just try to have a nice Christmas,” says Mum, “we can deal with this another time.”
Again, Dad says nothing.
“FINE!” he shouts and storms out of the kitchen.
“And a Happy Christmas to you too!” I shout after him.
I’m so happy by the time we arrive at the Burrow. Here, I can escape Dad’s death glares, Mum’s disappointed sighs and Hugo’s sympathetic glances. Mum reassured me before we came that Dad isn’t going to breathe a word to anyone about my pregnancy, so I can relax. Well, relax as much as possible. Which isn’t much these days.
The Delacour-Weasley’s are already here (it’s much easier to call them by that name because there’s too many Weasley’s), which means I have Dom to talk to. The Johnson-Weasley’s arrive shortly after us, the Smith-Weasley’s a little later (as in Uncle Percy’s lot) and once Uncle Charlie arrives, it’s just a matter of waiting for the Potter’s.
And they arrive and it’s all kisses and flowers and puppies and fake smiles on my part. Harry gives me a hug and slips me a few galleons along with my Christmas present – he tends to spoil me because I’m his goddaughter. Then again, Teddy’s his godson and I don’t see him slipping Teddy a few galleons. Maybe he did when Teddy was younger.
Wouldn’t it just be so cute if Harry Potter’s godson and goddaughter were to get married? Or is that a kind of incest? I don’t think it is – I better read up on that.
“Happy Christmas,” I hear a voice say from behind me. I turn around to face Scorpius, who is towering over me and I’m so shocked that he’s actually speaking to me (again) that all I can do is say “yes”.
“Um, I mean, Happy Christmas,” I say stupidly, but I doubt he’s heard me because he and Al shuffle into the sitting room.
“Happy Christmas, Red!” James shouts at me from the other side of the kitchen and every red head turns to look at him – which is practically everyone.
“Happy Christmas to all the Reds!” he exclaims.
It’s quite an enjoyable day up until lunchtime. This is mainly because I’m avoiding Mum and Dad. Dad’s going around with a face like a slapped arse and when people ask him what’s wrong, he makes up something about not feeling well.
Right now, James and Al are discussing Quidditch tactics with Uncle Charlie. Uncle Charlie was captain of the Gryffindor house team when he was at Hogwarts, so James and Al often go to him for advice on captaining their own teams (Gryffindor and Slytherin obviously). That’s a bit strange considering their own father was also a Quidditch captain and their mum played on a national team. But I suppose kids just don’t like taking advice off their own parents. It’s much cooler to seek advice from a guy who chases dragons for a living. As I half-listen to Uncle Charlie planning out various seeker positions, Dom flounces into the room and throws herself down on the couch beside me.
“Rose, I have to talk to you,” says Dom and she looks really excited.
She grabs my wrist and leads me out into the hall. We sit down on the stairs, and she’s bouncing up and down with excitement.
“You’ll never guess who I hooked up with,” she grins.
“Who?” I say, now getting excited too. I’m a sucker for gossip.
“Guess,” she says.
“Erm…oh, is it Peter Hannigan?” I ask.
“Simon’s a nice guy,” I say, feeling slightly sorry for him because he’s a bit of a weirdo. But Mum makes me be nice to him because his dad is a friend of the family.
“I don’t know…one of the Scamander twins?”
“Rose, they’re 14! You’re never going to guess!” she says exasperatedly, “Shall I tell you?”
“Yes please,” I say.
So she’s the girlfriend Lily was talking about then. I’m feeling slightly light-headed now. Do ALL of my female relations fancy him???
“Say something!” Dom exclaims.
“I…have to…go…somewhere,” I say and run into the kitchen and out the back door.
I can feel tears in my eyes and I don’t know why. It’s not like I have any right to be upset, not really. It’s not like Scorpius and I are together, or ever were or ever will be. It’s just strange, I suppose.
This whole damn situation is a mess! Here I am, sitting outside (in the snow, I might add), crying my eyes out over a boy that I don’t even like! It’s as if my emotions have become so fragile lately that the slightest little tip will send me over the edge. I used to be such a level-headed person. I never used to cry over stupid, insignificant details. In fact, the only time I ever really cried was when our dog, Padfoot, died last year. I cried solidly for a week then.
Thankfully, Dom hasn’t followed me out of the house, but it appears that someone else noticed my quick departure. Teddy is walking over to me, looking very concerned. His eyes are blue today and his hair is blood red, but his facial features are pretty much the same as always.
“Hiya Rosie,” he says sweetly, sitting down beside me on the snow covered bench.
“Teddy, why do I bother getting up in the morning?” I groan.
“Everything!” I whine, “Mum and Dad know that I’m…you know…and now Dad hates me, Mum’s being all…pensive and weird and stuff, Hugo’s actually being friendly and…and…now Dom is going out with Scorpius!”
Teddy puts a comforting arm around me, which makes my heart beat about a thousand times faster than what is considered healthy.
“Rosie, I’m sure your dad doesn’t hate you. He’s probably just upset for you, that’s all. And it’s a good thing that your mum and Hugo are being cool about it, right? And…since when has Dom been going out with Scorpius?”
“I don’t know. She just told me a few minutes ago. Nothing’s as it should be, Teddy. I’m completely done for.”
Teddy stays quiet for a few minutes and I can tell that he secretly agrees with me, even if he doesn’t want to say so. My life is over before it’s begun. How sad is that? Even Teddy knows it. Even Dad knows it.
"Why do you care if Dom is going out with Scorpius?" Teddy asks.
Then I realise - Teddy doesn't know Scorpius is the father. Darn it.
"Scorpius is the dad," I say.
Although Teddy indeed looks a bit taken aback by this new information, he says nothing and I'm thankful for that.
“Life would be so much simpler if I were to hurl myself off a cliff,” I say, perhaps being a bit dramatic.
“Look George Bailey, don’t make me pull an “It’s A Wonderful Life” on your ass,” says Teddy. I laugh – that’s my favourite film of all time. Trust Teddy to remember that.
He brings me back inside when he notices how much I’m shaking. Thankfully, nobody seemed to have noticed that we were gone or else I’d be facing some questioning as to why I was sitting out in the snow, crying. At least I have Teddy – he’s the one star in my cloudy sky. And maybe some day he’ll realise how much of a tool my cousin Victoire is and then he’ll dump her and marry me.
And maybe some day a bloody Flobberworm will be elected minister for magic.
“Dinner’s ready!” Nana exclaims and we all cram around the table in the overcrowded kitchen of the Burrow. I now have to avoid Scorpius, Lily and Dom, so I sit in between James and Teddy. It’s quite sickening actually – Teddy and Victoire are holding hands under the table. I suppose I can just talk to James…
“Pull my finger!”
Oh god, why was I born into a nut house? Did I do something in a previous life to deserve this?
Was I HITLER???
Fred is laughing hysterically at James’ “pull my finger” joke. Seriously, James is eighteen, I’m starting to think that he could have some serious mental issues. But when I mention this to Uncle Harry, he just laughs it off. Oh well, maybe he’s just in denial.
Dinner is as amazing as it is every year. There’s enough to feed two armies here – that turkey must have been on steroids or something, you should see the size of it. On top of that, there’s about six different kinds of potato, an entire ham, cranberry sauce, stuffing, vegetables – but guess what? I’m not hungry. In fact, the smell of the gravy is making me feel nauseous.
“England are out of the Five Nations Quidditch Cup, can you believe it Red?” James says to me, a large dollop of cranberry sauce hanging from the side of his mouth.
“I think I’m going to vomit,” I cry and run upstairs to the bathroom. As I go, I hear James say, “I know, it’s ridiculous!”
I hear Mum coming up the stairs and she knocks gently on the door. Before I even tell her to come in, she opens the door. I’m kneeling on the floor beside the toilet, tears streaming down my cheeks. Mum picks me up and sits me on the side of the bath. She conjures up a glass of water, which I take gratefully.
“I’ve told everyone you have a tummy bug,” says Mum blandly.
“Thanks,” I say.
“Mum…does Dad hate me?” I ask.
“No,” she says, but it’s hard to know if she’s telling the truth, “He’s just in shock.”
“I’m sorry I’ve ruined Christmas.”
“Just stop it Rose!” Mum snaps, “Stop with your ridiculous apologies! It’s done now, okay? Saying sorry doesn’t change anything! I’ve tried my best to be understanding and helpful, but I’m at the end of my tether at this stage!”
I nod and despite myself, I start to cry even more. But Mum doesn’t hug me or even acknowledge my tears, she just sits stiffly beside me on the edge of the bath. After a few minutes, she gets up without saying anything and leaves the bathroom. And I can’t shake that feeling that it’s not just my own life that I’ve ruined.
The next week makes me want to curl up and die. I spend most of my time in my bedroom doing my homework until eventually I have no more homework left to do so I start studying for my end of year exams. That officially makes me the biggest loser in Hogwarts. But it’s much easier to stay in my room and out of my parents’ way because they just make me feel like I’ve committed some sort of unforgivable crime every time they look at me.
Dom has called around almost every day this week. Since my incident on Christmas Day, my whole family think I have some sort of illness so they’re all being extra nice to me – that is except for my parents. One of the days Victoire and Teddy came with her and I couldn’t help but wish that Uncle Bill had never met Fleur Delacour. Then neither Teddy nor Scorpius would be dating a Delacour-Weasley (because they wouldn’t exist) and I wouldn’t want to stick my head in the oven every time they swish their long blonde Veela hair in my face. Why did my mum have to be a lousy Muggleborn? There’s nothing special about them. Dom and Victoire’s great grandmother was a Veela, meaning she’s completely gorgeous and nearly every guy in the world wants to go out with her. Teddy’s mum was a metamorphmagus meaning that he’s one too so he can choose his level of handsomeness. What do I have? Oh yes, dry, bushy red hair and a couple of freckles scattered over my nose. Yay, let’s all sing the bloody Dixie.
On New Years Eve, Mum announces to me and Hugo that we are going to Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny’s for the night. They’re having some big party and are inviting practically everyone they know. Harry and Ginny’s house is massive (I’m talking three floors, not including the attic and the basement). I’ve always loved staying at the Potters’. It’s not even because they’re house is so amazing, it’s because there’s always something fun to do at the Potter house. That’s probably due to the fact that James and Al live there – Harry calls them the new Marauders. They have been known to blow up a bedroom on occasion, which is why Harry no longer lets them stay in the same room, even if there are guests staying over. Al came very close to losing a limb last time.
We arrive at Chez Potter at around half nine and already the place is packed with people I have never seen before in my life. There are quite a few Hogwarts students here and one teacher, Professor Longbottom. Of course we just call him Neville outside of school. It would just be weird for Hugo to call his own godfather “Professor Longbottom”. There are loads of people from the ministry here too. That’s where Uncle Harry, Mum and Dad work. There’s this one guy, McLaggen, who’s about the same age as Mum and Dad, but nobody seems to like him much, not even Harry and Ginny. Why he’s here is completely beyond me. Maybe it was one of those awkward situations where they were inviting people to the party and McLaggen happened to walk in, so they couldn’t very well tell him not to come. By the dirty looks Dad is shooting him, I’m guessing that’s what happened. McLaggen’s quite drunk at the minute and keeps winking at Mum – I’m positive I saw her gag earlier on.
Couples are as common as STDs among slutty Hufflepuffs in the Potter house tonight. Teddy and Victoire are being as sickeningly sickening as usual – he hasn’t even spoken to me since I’ve arrived, apart from when he said “Wotcher Rosie!” when I first came in. And now Dom and Scorpius are turning out to be as bad as them. Dom waved at me when I arrived – seriously, she just waved and then went off with Scorpius for the rest of the night. James and Fred are off chatting up McLaggen’s two daughters (who are probably about twenty, so the boys don’t stand a chance), Al’s new girlfriend Jenny Winters is here (a really annoying Ravenclaw who thinks she’s above everyone else) and even Molly has someone to kiss when the clock strikes twelve! Yes, he’s probably about fourteen and yes, he’s got a severe stammer and yes, he’s a squib but hey, it’s better than nothing, right?
Maybe I should just go buy some cats and spend New Years with them.
At around a quarter to twelve, my annoyance reaches its peak. It’s that time when the adults (and James and Fred) are all slightly tipsy, people are getting excited about the countdown and the game of charades has begun – in other words, it’s time for me to go and hide out in Al’s room. I don’t bother knocking, but I regret that instantly considering I didn’t know that Scorpius was actually in the room…I forgot he was staying here. How on earth could I have forgotten that?
“Oh, um, sorry,” I mumble.
“Oh, it’s okay,” he says, “I was just getting something out of my trunk.”
I nod awkwardly. He reaches into his trunk and grabs a jumper with the letter “S” on the front and throws it on. It’s obviously one that Nana made for him for Christmas. It’s kind of sad that he actually wears them. I usually give mine to the homeless folk who live down at the riverbank. They have at least twelve Weasley jumpers between them. If only Nana knew.
“Are you having fun?” he asks.
“Yeah, it’s a laugh a minute down there,” I say sarcastically. He laughs…well actually, it’s not really a laugh. He kind of tilts his head to the side, smiles and makes a “pfft” noise. It’s a bit strange.
“So you and Dom then…” I say.
Why the hell did I just say that sentence fragment?
“Erm, yeah,” he says, ruffling his blonde hair, “about that…”
“Whatever,” I say quickly. I don’t want him to think that I’m in any way bothered by the fact that he’s with my cousin – even though I am.
“I meant to talk to you about it,” he says, but I know he’s lying.
“Come off it,” I say, “like we ever talk.”
He raises his eyebrows at me.
“And that’s my fault?” he says heatedly.
“I never said that.”
“You implied it,” he mutters.
“You were the one who ignored me after…” I trail off. He knows what I mean.
“What?” he says incredulously, “I ignored you? You were the one who said ‘ooh let’s not tell anyone!’”
“Okay, first of all, I don’t talk like that,” I say in response to his very bad high-pitched impression of me, “and secondly, I thought you were regretting the whole thing considering you were drunk when…it…happened!”
“Yeah well I regret nothing! I wasn’t that drunk, you know. You make it sound like I never liked you.”
“Well…erm…” I stutter, “That’s…”
“Are you saying you regret what happened?” he asks.
Okay, maybe not fully. But the not using protection thing is a big regret!
He liked me?
Before I can answer…
His lips are on mine. How the hell did this happen? Oh Merlin he’s got soft lips! I put my arms around his neck and his hands are placed carefully and lightly on my waist, as if awaiting the right moment to move either up or down. My heart’s racing…he must be able to feel it beating so furiously, our bodies are so close together. He pulls me even closer and the kiss becomes more passion-filled than before. My hand wanders into his blonde hair – it’s so silky and smooth…I wonder what conditioner he uses.
Not the time, Rose!
Then, after a few moments, the kiss becomes more relaxed, but it doesn’t stop. We pull away from each other, but only for a second before we’re back to kissing as if our lives depend on it…as if there’s nobody else in the world…as if there aren’t about fifty drunken idiots downstairs playing charades and shouting “Film! Two words!”
It’s just Scorpius and me…like it was last time. Except…it’s not just Scorpius and me.
What about Dom?
I push him off me, our lips are red and swollen and I think we’re both a bit shocked by what’s just happened.
“What about Dom?” I whisper, my hand clasped over my mouth. I’m horrified at what I’ve just done. His eyes widen in realisation.
“Just go,” I say, “before we do something stupid.”
He looks like he’s going to say something else, but I’m half-thankful, half-disappointed when he leaves without saying another word. But if he’d stayed a moment longer, I know we would have been back kissing like a pair of idiots again.
And for the life of me, I have no idea why.
5…4…3…2…1! Happy New Year!
I sit on Al’s bed, very much alone as the New Year is rung in downstairs. And I wonder if anybody has actually noticed that I’m not there. Apparently someone has because the door of Al’s room opens and in walks…
He didn’t return back downstairs to be with Dom after all. He walks over to Al’s bed, takes my hand and pulls me into standing position. He then bends down and kisses me so deeply that I forget that I even have a cousin called Dom for those few seconds.
“Happy New Year, Rose,” he whispers when we break apart.
“Go,” I say, feeling my eyes brim with tears, “please.”
And this time, he really does leave.
Okay, I'm not 100% happy with this chapter, but its the best I can do for now! I know loads of you are going to kill me for a) ending the chapter there and b) not having Rose tell Scorpius yet. But patience is a virtue! I hope you liked this chapter, please review!
PS - Thanks to everyone who has reviewed so far, I can't believe the response I'm getting!
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