Chapter 6 : Going Home
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I’m so glad that tomorrow I will be returning to Hogwarts after the worst Christmas break in history. Sometimes I think that I’m doing so much destruction to my entire family that I should just move to a far off country like...Cuba? Yes, Cuba. Then everyone would be a lot happier. I’d probably even be happier – a single British teenage witch mother living in communist Cuba…what could be better?
I can’t look Dom in the face since New Years Eve. I have this horrible guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach every time she smiles at me or is nice to me. She’s not only my cousin, she’s my best friend and I’ve betrayed her. I know that I’m pregnant with her boyfriend’s kid, but at least I could have told her that that had happened before they were together. Now I really have royally screwed up.
Luckily I haven’t seen Scorpius since the party. According to Al he had to go back to his parents’ house because of some family issues that he didn’t feel like discussing. Oh well, every cloud has a silver lining, right? True, it’s quite a dark cloud and the silver lining is so thin that you can barely see it, but it’s there.
Speaking of family issues, I think my parents are on the verge of killing one another. Not one day has passed in the last week without a shouting match between the two of them. I’m starting to consider doing what Hugo does and blaring my music so loud that it drowns out their furious roars at one another. And they’re not even fighting over my pregnancy anymore. They fight over everything. And it’s obvious that there’s something else at the root of their argument that neither is mentioning.
Right now, I’m in my room packing my trunk for tomorrow. Mum and Dad are screaming as usual, so I’m singing “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie to drown them out. I’m also trying to concentrate on the packing (and of course the lyrics of the song) to take my mind off Scorpius. Because he’s pretty much all I’ve thought about all day and I can’t figure out why. This time two weeks ago, I was fine. I had no impure thoughts about him, I didn’t know I was pregnant, I could talk and laugh and joke with Dom until the cows came home. But now my heart does this little flutter thing when I think of him, but I’m putting that down to heartburn and nothing else.
Why did the fricking cows have to come home?
Oh dear. I haven’t heard Mum scream like that since…well, around ten years ago. I shut up singing and I hear that Hugo has turned off his music. We both open our bedroom doors at the same time and look at one another, mirroring each others look of fright. We creep to the top of the stairs to get a view of what’s going on. Mum and Dad are standing in the hallway. Mum’s face is red and blotchy, Dad looks really angry and they’re both facing each other with their wands drawn.
“Get out of my house,” Mum says steadily.
“This is my house too!” Dad shouts back.
“We’ll see what the lawyers have to say about that,” she hisses.
“The lawyers?” Hugo whispers and I shush him.
“Stop threatening me with the lawyers, Hermione. Do you think that just because you work in the Law Enforcement Department that they’ll let you keep the kids?”
“You’re not fit to be their father!” Mum screams, “Look how you’ve been treating Rose over the past few weeks!”
“It’s not my fault she’s taking after you,” Dad snaps.
I have no idea what he means by that, but Mum looks really offended and slaps Dad so hard across the cheek that she has to cradle her own hand afterwards.
“Violence,” Dad says, rubbing his cheek, “you wait til your ‘lawyers’ hear about this.”
“Shut up,” Mum hisses, “and get out of my house.”
“Stop being so dramatic!”
“GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!”
Her voice echoes around the whole house for a moment, followed by a deafening silence. Dad’s breathing very heavily and he looks like he’s about to start shouting again, but he just storms past Mum and out of the house, slamming the front door so hard behind him that the picture of Mum and Dad on their wedding day falls from the wall and smashes to pieces. Mum looks at the broken picture, turns around and storms into the living room without bothering to fix it.
“What the hell was that?” Hugo whispers to me. I shrug and shake my head.
“I’m going to go talk to her,” I decide and walk down the stairs, half knowing that this is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had, including sleeping with Scorpius Malfoy then refusing to tell him of my pregnancy and then making out with him.
Mum’s sitting on the couch with her face in her hands and sobbing so hard that it sounds as if she can’t breathe properly. It’s hard to know if she’s noticed that I’m in the room or if she’s just ignoring me. I cautiously sit down beside her and wonder if this could possibly be the end of my parents’ marriage. I’ve always known that our family was very far from perfect, like all families. But we always stuck by one another and that alone gave me hope. Now I’m not so sure that Mum and Dad can come through an argument like this one.
“Mum?” I say gently. She jumps and looks very surprised to see me sitting beside her. Apparently she hadn’t noticed my entrance.
“Rose,” she sobs, “go back upstairs.”
I stay where I am. Even though I know she’s ready to lash out at me, I also know that she can’t be alone right now. Part of me wants to ask the endless list of questions that is forming in my brain and another part of me wants to go and find Dad and kick his ass. But I do neither. I go out to the kitchen, which is joined on to the sitting room and make Mum a cup of tea. I don’t know why I’m doing this, it’s just what adults do when they’re upset. It’s as if a cup of tea can solve all the world’s problems. Seriously, why didn’t Uncle Harry and Mum and Dad just sit Voldemort down with a cup of tea all those years ago instead of going through all that Horcrux crap? Things would have been a lot easier. But maybe Voldemort just didn’t like tea.
I’m sort of trailing off the point here.
I make the cup of tea and bring it into Mum. She doesn’t take it so I set it down on the coffee table (on a coaster of course, because if I didn’t she’d probably eat me alive). We both sit in silence. Mum has stopped crying on the outside, but her eyes tell a different story. They show a lot of inner turmoil that is quite clearly suppressed in her and if she doesn’t let it out, she’s going to do herself some serious damage. I scoot closer to her, but she shows no sign of acknowledging my presence. She’s staring distantly towards the fireplace and far beyond it. I have no idea where her mind is at right now.
“I’m sorry,” she says eventually.
“Don’t be sorry,” I say quickly.
She shakes her head and a single tear rolls down her cheek as she sniffs.
“It’s my fault,” she whispers.
“It’s Dad’s fault too!” I exclaim.
Mum shakes her head. I don’t understand what she means by that, but I don’t ask. It’s not like she’d tell me anyway.
“Go to bed,” she says, “please, Rose.”
I don’t argue even though every little part of me wants to. I leave her on her own in the living room, staring absent-mindedly ahead of her but seeing nothing. Hugo’s still sitting on the stairs. I sit down beside him. He looks at me as if he’s looking for some sort of reassurance or comfort from me, but I just shrug and shake my head. He sighs heavily and returns to his bedroom without saying another word.
This Christmas break has just got a whole lot worse.
When I woke up this morning, I forgot about what had happened last night. That is until I saw my trunk packed at the end of my bed and realised that today I am going back to Hogwarts. I love those few seconds in oblivion when you first wake up and forget your own name or what gender you are. It’s a time when you don’t have to worry that your Mum threw your Dad out of the house last night. It’s a glorious few seconds when you don’t even think about the new life growing inside you, or how that life came to be. You don’t even think of the terribly confusing feelings you have for Scorpius Malfoy or the inexplicable guilt you carry around with you for betraying your own cousin.
Unfortunately, those few seconds have to end and when all of these realisations hit you at half nine in the morning, it’s worse than a thousand Firewhiskey hangovers. I drag myself out of bed and get dressed, although I feel a bit weird about leaving Mum in this state. She obviously can’t be on her own while she’s going through so much pain. I hurry down the stairs and plan to contact Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny so they can come and look after Mum while Hugo and I are away. But I don’t have to get in contact with them, because they’re already here.
Well, Uncle Harry is anyway, with James, Al and Lily. Hugo’s eating his breakfast while James and Al are talking in hushed tones. Harry smiles weakly at me when I come into the kitchen.
“Where’s Mum?” is my first question.
“She’s in bed,” says Harry, “she needs some rest.”
I know what that means – she perhaps hit the wine a bit too hard last night. Apparently my cup of tea didn’t solve everything.
“I’m taking you and Hugo to Kings Cross,” Harry continues.
“Where’s my dad?” asks Hugo. James and Al shut up quickly and Harry looks really awkward.
“He’s at your house, isn’t he?” I say before Harry has the chance to answer. The obvious look on James and Al’s faces is a dead give away. And I should have known that Dad would go to his best friend’s and sister’s house. Harry looks like he’s sorry, even though I know he won’t want to take sides in this argument. After all, Mum is his best friend too.
We all climb into Uncle Harry’s car, which has been magically expanded to fit everyone in the back along with all of our trunks, and make our way towards Kings Cross Station. Lily is being unusually quiet and I get the impression that she’s in a bit of a mood.
“Lils, did you remember your wand?” asks Uncle Harry as we turn onto the main road.
“Yeah, do you think I’m completely stupid?” she snaps.
Uncle Harry looks a little afraid of his teenage daughter so he shuts up. Okay, so she’s in a really bad mood. She is picking the pink nail varnish off her nails at such a ferocious rate that I’m pretty sure she’s just going to rip her fingernails off any second now. When we arrive at Kings Cross, we all stumble out of the car, grab our trunks and cross through the barrier to platform 9 and ¾. I wait as Harry hugs each of his children and Hugo before going to hug my godfather myself.
“Look after Mum and Dad,” I say when we’re finished hugging.
“Don’t worry about them, Rosie,” says Harry, “They’ve been fighting for the last twenty years. They’ll come round eventually.”
He smiles at me, ruffles my hair (because he knows how much is annoys me) so I push him playfully before boarding the Hogwarts Express. I wave at him out the door and go to find a compartment with my cousins.
I turn around to see who has just called my name and my heart momentarily stops beating when I see the tall blonde haired idiot that has been taking over every single one of my thoughts for the last week or so. I wonder would he notice if I just jumped out the window of the now moving train?
“Hi,” I say weakly, “um, I have to go.”
“No,” says Scorpius, “we need to talk.”
“Look, you don’t have to worry, I’m not going to tell Dom about...what happened, okay?”
I make to push past him, but he grabs my hand and drags me into an empty compartment.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I hiss. Dom could appear at any second and this kid is acting like a total maniac!
“Just listen, yeah?” he says, closing the door of the compartment.
“Look, if you…try anything…I’ll scream!” I say stupidly. He raises his eyebrows and then grins mischievously at me.
“I’m not going to attack you, Weasley. Calm down,” he says casually, leaning up against the door with his arms folded.
“What do you want?” I snap.
“Geez, would you chill out? Time of the month?”
Hmm, try PREGNANT WITH YOUR CHILD!
“Shut up, Malfoy. I’m not in the mood for you today,” I say.
“You were in the mood for me on New Years,” he says quietly, a really annoying smile on his attractive (yet completely infuriating) face.
“You kissed me!” I whisper furiously, “And it was a complete mistake! How could you do it to Dom?”
Yes, I am trying to use him as a scapegoat, but I don’t really care right now.
“How could you do it to her? She’s your cousin! She’s your best friend! She and I are barely even going out,” says Scorpius.
“It didn’t look like that to me,” I say. I hope I don’t sound jealous because I’m not. (Well, maybe I am but he doesn’t need to know that.)
“You’re so annoying, do you know that Weasley?” he says.
“The words “pot”, “kettle” and “black” spring to mind!” I cry, “If I’m so annoying, why don’t you just leave me alone?”
“Because I can’t!” he hisses, “I want to, believe me.”
I have no idea what he’s talking about. He’s looking at me as if he’s waiting for some sort of reply, but I have none.
“I have to go find Al and James,” I say, “get out of my way.”
“That’s it, just run away,” he says angrily.
“That’s rich coming from you! You’re the one who ran home after the New Years Eve party. You’re the one who avoided me after James’ party back in October. So just shut your mouth and look at yourself before you say shit like that to me!”
I push past him and run out of the compartment, still fuming from the heated argument. I find James and Al sitting in a compartment with Dom, Louis, Hugo, Lily, Fred and Roxanne. Where Uncle Percy’s lot are, I have no idea and I don’t much care. I’m not really in the mood to hear Molly going on about her squib boyfriend. Dom jumps up and hugs me when I come into the compartment. Hugo looks at me with his eyebrows raised. I try to ignore him.
“Rose! How are you? Are you feeling better now?” she asks.
“Yeah,” I say, “much better, thanks.”
“Have you seen Scorpius around?” she asks.
“Alright guys,” I hear Malfoy say from behind me. (Yes, he’s “Malfoy” now. Scorpius is a ridiculous name anyway. And if he insists on calling me “Weasley” then I’ll surname the hell out of him.)
Dom jumps on her boyfriend and gives him a long, deep, stomach-turning kiss. Everyone in the compartment makes gagging faces, but I think mine’s the only one that’s actually real – the rest are joking. James coughs and makes a noise that sounds very much like “get a room”. Dom and Malfoy sit down and Malfoy ends up sitting beside me. Seriously, someone up there must really hate me.
“So are Gryffindor all ready for the match next week?” Al asks in a patronising tone.
“We’re going to kick you’re scrawny Slytherin ass, bro,” says James casually. Malfoy snorts.
“Dream on, Jamsie,” says Malfoy.
“We always kick your asses at Quidditch,” I snap, maybe a bit harshly. Everyone looks at me in a weird way so I shut up.
“That’s before I was captain,” says Al, “things are going to change!”
Damn right they’re going to change. Gryffindor are going to lose their keeper (because let’s face it, I won’t be able to play in a matter of months) and Slytherin are likely to lose their seeker when people find out that I’m pregnant – like I’ve said before, Malfoy’s life is on the line.
“Yeah, but you’re forgetting that we’ve got the best captain in the history of Hogwarts,” says James smugly, “me!”
“Game on, bitch,” says Al. This time he’s the one to get all the weird looks. “Sorry.”
The Quidditch talk continues as the train speeds further north. I’m sitting in between Fred and Malfoy, feeling most uncomfortable. I really have to pee, but I’m going to hold it until we get to the castle because I don’t want to have to stand up and draw attention to myself. Soon the subject of Quidditch changes to romance and I wish that someone would change it back again. Lily’s looking completely poisonous as she watches Dom and Malfoy wrapped around each other. I feel no sympathy for her – at least she doesn’t have to sit beside them.
“You’d well do Laura Phelps,” Fred says and the boys all nod in agreement. Laura Phelps is the epitome of Pandora (as in the chick from the Pandora’s Box myth). She’s beautiful but completely stupid and pure evil. Dom and I share a dormitory with her at Hogwarts. She gets up every morning at about half five to do sit ups (because Merlin forbid she’s get anything other than muscle on her stomach) and then she spends the rest of the time getting ready for class – in other words, doing her long brown hair perfectly and applying make-up. She’s so stupid, it’s actually worrying. I mean, in second year we were learning how to duel and she held her wand back ways, resulting in her own hospitalisation for about two weeks. Stupid isn’t the word for her. And she hates my guts. I’m not quite sure why because let’s face it, I’m lovely.
“How about you, Red?” James asks me, “Who have you got your eye on?”
Oh no. Everyone is looking at me. Maybe I should go pee now. But then Malfoy will think I’m running from the question. Damn, he’s looking at me.
“Erm…nobody,” I say, even though technically I have my eye on two people, both who are out of bounds and going out with a Delacour-Weasley. Why the hell did Uncle Bill have to have kids?
By the time the train reaches Hogsmeade station, I’m extremely warm, my bladder is ready to burst and I feel sick from the travelling. I don’t bother waiting for everyone else before running off the train and boarding the first carriage I see that will take me to the castle. The Scamander twins are in the same carriage as me, discussing some weird, non-existent thing that I’ve never heard of. Lorcan and Lysander Scamander are fourth year Slytherins. Their mum, Luna Scamander, is a really close friend of my parents so I know the twins quite well. I still haven’t got the foggiest what their on about most of the time though.
“Oh, hello Rose,” says Lorcan, “did you have a nice Christmas?”
“Exceptional,” I say sarcastically, but of course the twins don’t pick up on it, “how about you?”
“It was fine,” says Lysander, “Mum got me a book all about Cryptids.”
I don’t bother asking what the hell they are because quite frankly I don’t really care.
“That’s nice,” I say distantly.
“Did you hear about the new Minister for Magic, Roger Davies?” asks Lorcan, “Apparently his great grandfather was half sphinx. I’ve always thought there was something off about him.”
Why won’t this bloody carriage go any faster? The twins are rambling on about Blargles or Nargles or some other random word that I’m fairly sure they just made up off the top of their heads. The carriages finally pull up outside the castle and I wave goodbye to Lorcan and Lysander. Seriously, those boys are the strangest pair I’ve ever met in my life, and I’ve met some strange people.
I’m the first into the castle. It sounds as if dinner is still going on in the Great Hall, but I head straight towards the Gryffindor Tower. I’m running fairly fast (seriously, if I don’t get to a bathroom pronto I’m going to end up soiling the corridors) and I run straight into an over-sized groundskeeper – Hagrid. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hagrid to pieces, but I seriously need to pee right now, so this isn’t the best time.
“Alrigh’ Rosie? How was yer Christmas?”
“It was great,” I lie, “um, Hagrid, d’you mind-”
“How’s yer Mum n’ Dad? I haven’ seen ‘em in ages,” he smiles fondly at the thought of them.
Instead of replying in a sardonic way by saying “on the brink of divorce, but hangin’ in there,” I just say, “They’re great, but d’you mind if-”
“Seems like on’y yesterday they were yer age, fightin’ and arguin’ all the time!”
“Not much has changed then,” I say darkly, but Hagrid laughs because he thinks I’m joking. I’m now dancing from side to side to try and stop myself thinking about my overburdened bladder. Hagrid probably thinks I’m on drugs – just like Mum and Dad thought I was. Do I really give off that vibe?
“It’s funny how time flies, isn’ it?” says Hagrid, “Can’t believe yer nearly seventeen, Rosie! I remember when Ron and Hermione first told me they were gettin’ married! ‘Course we all saw it comin’, those two were made for each other, weren’ they?”
If only you knew, Hagrid my friend.
“Em, Hagrid, d’you mind if I-”
James, Al and Lily come running up the stairs to greet Hagrid.
“How’s me favourite godson?” Hagrid beams at Al. I take this opportunity to run like the wind up to the Gryffindor tower. I drop my luggage in the common room and run up to the sixth year girls’ dormitory and over to the bathroom. But the bloody door is locked! I knock on it endlessly until eventually it opens to reveal a very annoyed Laura Phelps.
“Where’s the wire?” she says coolly.
“It’s where’s the fire, not where’s the wire,” I say, marvelling at her stupidity. I run into the bathroom and slam the door behind me.
Having fully relieved myself, I come back out of the bathroom. Laura is sitting on her bed, reading a book (a picture book no doubt) but she looks up when she hears the door of the bathroom opening.
“So you’re back then,” she says.
“Aren’t you very observant?” I reply mockingly.
She rolls her eyes and she has that familiar look on her face that tells me that she’s trying to think up a good insult for me. Then after about five minutes…
“You better not lose us that match against Slytherin on Saturday,” she says.
“Laura, we haven’t lost a match to Slytherin since I joined the team,” I tell her.
“Whatever,” she says and slams her book (which I can see is called “Modern Witch Fashion”) shut and sweeps out of the dorm.
I know everyone is entitled to be stupid, but that girl abuses the privilege.
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