Chapter 14 : Ask Your Mother
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Chapter 14 - Ask Your Mother
Being friends with Malfoy turns out to be easier than I’d first anticipated. I’ve controlled my feelings (whatever they were) for him and I can stand to be around him and Dom now. Al and Malfoy appear to be friends again and Dom and Jenny seemed to get on pretty well when I introduced them. My life would be close to perfect if my stupid parents could just swallow their pride and talk to one another. Oh, and if James broke up with Laura Phelps – they’ve been dating for two weeks now, meaning I haven’t spoken to him in two weeks. But I suppose I can’t have everything.
Today is the rematch between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Wood was going crazy that it took so long for the match to be rescheduled. Most of the team members had detentions or apparition classes or extra Herbology or Hogsmeade trips on all of the Saturdays since January, so now, on the first of March, the match is finally taking place. James picked some fifth year boy to replace me as keeper. It’s weird to be going to watch a Quidditch match where Gryffindor are playing. I feel sort of left out. Although I don’t feel half as left out as Laura Phelps must feel – she’s been banned from every Quidditch match from now until the end of her seventh year.
Jenny sits with me and Lily in the Gryffindor stands. Jenny and Lily clap wildly when the Slytherin team fly out onto the pitch. At first I’m confused as to why Lily, a Gryffindor, is clapping and then I see Lorcan Scamander doing a lap of the pitch with his beater bat in his hand. Jenny’s smiling and clapping at Al, who’s still on the ground. The Gryffindor team fly out and James and Al shake hands before taking off into the air. After a few moments, it’s difficult to see who anyone is – they’re all just green and red blurs.
"Welcome students to what should be an exciting rematch between Gryffindor and Slytherin! The first match in January was called off due to - erm - keeper issues...but, erm, anyway, here we are, Saturday, March 1st for what's tipped to be the best match of the season -"
“Crap!” I exclaim and Lily and Jenny jump at my sudden outburst, "It's March 1st?!"
“Rose, are you okay?” Lily looks really worried.
“It’s Dad’s birthday!” I slap myself on the forehead, “I completely forgot! I’ll be right back!”
I rush away before they say anything. When I leave the Quidditch stadium, I contemplate going to the Owlery to send him a letter, but I know it would never reach him in time. I head back to the school, and run up to the Gryffindor tower. I grab the emergency stash of Floo Powder I have in my trunk and floo my head to my house. Our living room comes into view – and Merlin, it’s messier than ever. There are empty beer cans scattered all over the place, discarded pizza boxes and bits of unfinished food all over the floor – Mum would have a fit if she saw the place. Then again, this place looks like bloody Buckingham palace compared to what Mum’s living in.
Dad himself is asleep in the armchair, snoring to the high heavens. His hair obviously hasn’t had a cut since I last saw him, because it now falls right into his eyes and flicks out at the back. He looks absolutely pathetic.
“Dad?” I call.
He doesn’t even stir.
“Dad?” I say louder.
He couldn’t be…dead?
No, since when do dead people snore?
“RONALD WEASLEY!” I shout, sounding very much like Mum.
“My-nee?” he stutters as he jumps up. He looks wildly around him for a moment until he sees my head sticking out of the fireplace.
“Rose,” he yawns, “Are you alright?”
“Why are you flooing me at this time?” he looks at his watch.
“You mean twelve in the afternoon?” I roll my eyes, “I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday.”
He looks confused for a moment.
“My birthday’s not til Saturday,” he says.
“It is Saturday.”
“Oh right,” he says awkwardly, “Erm…thanks.”
There’s awkwardness for a few moments. Dad starts rubbing his forehead and it’s clear he has one hell of a hangover.
“Dad, this place is a mess,” I say softly.
“No, it’s just a bit –”
“It’s a dump!” I insist, “And the place Mum is staying in is even worse! Would you two please just talk?”
“I have nothing to say to her,” he says childishly.
I sigh heavily.
“Will you at least tell me why you two are fighting? Is…is it my fault?” I can’t stop my voice from shaking.
Dad’s face softens considerably. He sits down on the rug by the fireplace.
“Rose, it’s not your fault,” he says, “Don’t ever think that. This has nothing to do with you or Hugo.”
“Well then what is it?” I cry. Dad shakes his shaggy head.
“I’m a big girl, I think I’ll be able to understand.”
“It’s…” he trails off, “Just…just ask your mother.”
Great, the ‘ask your mother’ excuse. Why do fathers always think that that will get them out of everything?
“Did you cheat on her?” I shoot angrily, “Is that why?”
Dad’s blue eyes narrow.
“Oh so it’s my fault?” he cries, “It’s always my fault! Maybe your mum isn’t as squeaky clean as she makes herself out to be! Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, she was the one who cheated on me?”
I stare at him in shock. He is not serious. There’s just no way my Mum…
“Surely you can’t be serious?”
“I am serious,” he frowns and pauses before adding, “And don’t call me Shirley.”
When I was a kid, Dad and I used to watch the movie “Airplane!” every Christmas and that was one of our favourite lines from it. Dad grins and makes my heart feel so much lighter.
“I have to go,” I tell him, “I’m so sorry I doubted you.”
“It’s okay,” he says, “And Rose?...I’m sorry for being…you know…the worst Dad in the world.”
“You’re the best Dad,” I smile, “You’ll always be the best Dad to me.”
I pull my head back out of the fire. Now filled with a new anger towards my mother, I run from the common room to the statue of the humpback witch that guards the secret passageway to Hogsmeade. James told me about it way back in my first year. At least that little idiot is good for something, even if it is just breaking the rules. I tap the statue with my wand and say “Dissendium”. The statue opens up, as it always does, and I climb down into the passageway.
When I finally reach Honeydukes cellar, I try my best to creep out of the shop without being noticed. I make my way to the top of the main street in Hogsmeade and then down the little laneway where I know my mother’s supposed ‘flat’ is situated. I point my wand at the old rusted door of the block of flats.
What’s the point in using pleasantries such as knocking first when I know I’m about to kill my mother anyway? As I run up the many flights of stairs, I meet a hag who scowls at me for no apparent reason – it’s probably because I’m young and don’t have a massive wart growing on my eyelid like she does. Anyway, that’s besides the point. I reach Mum’s flat and bang on the door like a mad woman. Mum answers looking very angry at first, but then smiles when she sees it’s me.
“Rose! This is a pleasant surprise! I didn’t know you had a Hogsmeade trip today –”
I storm past her into the flat and for a moment I forget why I’m here. The flat looks completely different. Firstly, it’s about three times bigger than it was and is now fully furnished with leather couches and a television. The kitchen is as big as the one at home and there’s a bedroom beside the living room that definitely wasn’t there the last time I was here – with an ensuite. Mum must have done some serious work to this place with DIY spells.
“Do you like it?” she asks excitedly, “It took me ages but –”
“Did you cheat on Dad?” I interrupt her.
I really want her to say no. I want her to say that Dad’s making it up, that there’s some other stupid reason that they’re fighting.
“Look, Rosie –”
“I’ll take that as a yes,” I snap.
“Just sit down,” she orders, and I do as she says. She sits on the couch (the very comfortable couch, I might add) and faces me.
“So, did you cheat on him?” I ask again.
“You make it sound like I was having some illicit affair,” she shakes her head, “It was nothing.”
“It sounds like it was something!” I say angrily.
“It was before you were born, honey,” Mum says, as if that makes it okay.
“What did you do?”
Mum sighs and runs a hand through her bushy brown hair.
“I never thought I’d have to talk about this again,” she says, defeated, “It was after your father and I got engaged –”
“You cheated while you were engaged?!”
“Let me tell the story, Rose!”
I shut up.
“Anyway, we’d just gotten engaged and we were…I don’t know…we were going through a rough patch, shall we say. It wasn’t anything serious. We just had loads of little fights over the smallest of things. Then your Aunt Ginny invited us to a party at one of her team mate’s houses – you know, from the Holyhead Harpies – so Ron and I went. We’d just had another little fight over Merlin knows what and I was in an exceptionally bad mood with him by the time we arrived at the party.
“He hung around with Harry the whole time – who, of course took Ron’s side as he always does – and I was left on my own because Ginny had to talk to all of her team mates too. So I decided that for the first time in my life I would drown my sorrows. That was a bad idea, especially because I wasn’t used to drinking –”
“Tell me about it,” I mutter.
“But then I ended up meeting an old, erm, friend who I hadn’t seen in years. He was a friend of one of the Harpies and he was a Quidditch player too…Viktor Krum.”
“Isn’t he that really crap Bulgarian player?” I ask.
“He isn’t crap,” says Mum, “That’s just something your father made up. In fact, Ron used to be quite the fan of Viktor before…”
“Well…let’s just say I had a – erm – thing with him back in my fourth year.”
Mum had a thing with Viktor Krum? She’s blushing now.
“Anyway, Ron’s ex was at this party too, Lavender Brown. He was flirting with her to make me jealous. So I, in my intoxicated state, sort of…”
“Sort of what?” I ask worriedly.
“And that’s it!” she says.
That happened about eighteen years ago?
That’s what’s breaking up my family?
“And Dad knows it was just the one kiss?” I ask her.
“Yes, but he keeps throwing it back in my face! That’s why I got so angry with him, Rosie. He was using it against me again…he tries to make me feel guilty and I just can’t deal with it anymore! I’m not going back to him until he grows up!”
I stay quiet for a few moments. I can’t believe how childish both of my parents are being – I mean, Mum kisses some Bulgarian bloke once before Mum and Dad were even married and now they’re divorcing? I’ve never heard anything more ridiculous in my life! (Apart from James dating Phelps.)
“Mum…you shouldn’t have done it,” I say, “But it’s in the past now. Can’t you just talk to Dad? I mean you must have something you can throw back at him that could cancel out the kiss?”
Trust my parents to break up over something so pathetic. Why do they have to be so bloody stubborn? Mum doesn’t say anything.
“Do you still love Dad?” I ask her, sort of afraid of her answer.
“I’ve loved your Dad since I was twelve,” she admits, “I’m hardly going to stop now, thirty years later.”
“And he still loves you,” I tell her, “You should see the state of him, he’s a bloody mess, Mum. Please just talk to him.”
“But he’s the one who –”
“I don’t care!” I cry, “I just can’t take your bickering anymore! Please try to fix it – for me and Hugo?”
I stay to have lunch with Mum and then head back towards the school. It’s quite a long walk from Hogsmeade to the castle and I’ve never really noticed it until today. It’s half past one by the time I reach the castle and the Quidditch match is well over. I don’t meet anyone I know the whole way up to the Gryffindor tower, so I have no idea who has won until I go in through the portrait hole.
The common room is empty except for James, Al and Lorcan Scamander. How odd. Lorcan is sitting on the couch while James and Al are on footstools opposite him with very grave looks on their faces. They haven’t noticed my arrival.
“So what exactly are your intentions with Lily then?” Al asks, sounding very intimidating.
“I – I – I…” poor Lorcan isn’t able to string a sentence together.
“Don’t waste our time, Scamander,” says James, “Do you plan on messing her about?”
“Yeah, because we don’t take kindly to people who mess our little sister about, do we James?” Al says.
“No, we don’t,” says James, “In fact, the last guy who messed Lily about hasn’t been seen in quite some time.”
“Last I heard of him, he was still in the burns ward in St Mungo’s,” says Al.
Like James and Al could ever put anyone in St Mungo’s. Lorcan looks absolutely terrified.
“I w-won’t mess her about,” Lorcan stutters.
“You better not,” James says darkly, “Because you do remember who our father is, don’t you?”
“Harry Potter, the bloke who defeated the darkest wizard of all time,” Al says, as if Lorcan doesn’t know.
“Faced a Hungarian Horntail,” James adds.
“And about a hundred Dementors at once,” says Al.
“A little pipsqueak like you should be no trouble to him at all,” says James.
I roll my eyes – like Uncle Harry would ever hurt Lorcan Scamander. Lorcan’s mother is one of Harry’s best friends!
“And our mum is an accomplished caster of the Bat-Bogey Hex,” says Al.
“Our uncle is half-werewolf.”
“Not to mention Teddy,” Al adds.
Lorcan is trembling.
“Good one Al – Teddy’s half-werewolf too.”
“Yeah, so between Uncle Bill and Teddy, you’ve got yourself a full werewolf!”
“So,” James says, “If you even dream about hurting Lily in any way at all, you better watch your back.”
Lorcan nods, still shaking madly.
“I won’t hurt her,” he says, “I promise.”
“We know you won’t,” says James, “You’re a good guy. We just have to give you this warning. It’s our duty as Lily’s older brothers.”
“Don’t make us have to repeat it,” says Al, standing up. James still has his red Quidditch robes on and Al and Lorcan are in their green ones.
“Hi guys,” I say, and each of them jump at my ‘sudden’ arrival, “Giving Lorcan here the usual talking to?”
I say it sarcastically – which is so unlike me.
“Didn’t hear you come in, Red,” says James, but I ignore him as I’m still angry at the fact that he’s with Laura.
“Lorcan, don’t worry about these idiots,” I tell him, “Their barks are much worse than their bites.”
I think the word “bites” makes Lorcan even more frightened. He smiles nervously and then runs from the common room – poor bloke.
“You two have to stop with the protective older brother role,” I snap, “Lily will murder you if she finds out.”
“Yeah, like she could hurt us,” Al scoffs.
“Your mother isn’t the only one who’s an accomplished caster of the Bat-Bogey Hex,” I snap and the two boys look slightly nervous at this revelation. “So tell me…who won?”
Al’s face splits into a wide grin while James scowls miserably.
“Slytherin – obviously!” Al says smugly, “You two Gryffindor losers are welcome to come to the party in the dungeons.”
“I’d rather eat Dudley Dursley’s old sock, thanks,” says James bitterly.
Al makes an L sign with his thumb and index finger before disappearing out of the portrait hole. James and I are left alone in the common room, and scowl at each other before going up to our dormitories. Dom is getting changed in mine and she looks fit to kill.
“I heard about the match,” I say.
“Ten points!” she exclaims, “Ten bloody points in the difference! If our keeper had only looked at what he was supposed to be doing instead of checking out Fiona Jordan then we might have won! Scorpius is never going to let me live this one down!”
I smile sympathetically at her, but I too am absolutely gutted that we didn’t win the match. We never lose to Slytherin. In fact, Gryffindor haven’t lost a match since James became captain in his fifth year.
The Slytherin party spreads from the dungeons as the day progresses. It seems that they’re celebrating the fact that they finally beat Gryffindor after almost six years of losing to them. At dinner, the Slytherins decorate the Great Hall with green banners (you’d swear it was the final or something!) and chant ridiculous songs, while praising Al as if he’s their god.
Potter Potter Potter!
Oi! Oi! Oi!
Oh how very original. James looks fit for murder and is even more disgusted at the fact that Lily is over with Lorcan at the Slytherin table. Dom is sitting beside me and she looks just as angry as James – she hasn’t spoken to Malfoy at all.
Go on the boys in green, go on the boys in green…
“If they don’t shut up right now,” Dom mutters, “I’m going to cast an Avada Kedavra curse over at the Slytherin table and I don’t give a toss who it hits!”
“I think we should just plant a bomb – you know, wipe out the whole lot of them,” I say.
Potter is our King!
Potter is our King!
He always shoots the Quaffle in
Potter is our King!
“That’s my song!” I protest, disgusted at the fact that the Slytherins stole it.
“Actually, it’s your Dad’s song,” James said, “And the Slytherins are the ones who made it up – obviously it was intended to insult him.”
Gryffindor are tools!
Malfoy went and caught the snitch
And Jamesy is a little b-
James throws his Astronomy book at a large seventh year Slytherin and it hits him right between the eyes – legend.
2, 4, 6, 8
Who do we appreciate?
Not the lions!
Not the lions!
They’re so crap they’ll never win
Cos we are SLYTHERIN!
“We bloody well beat them every other time we play them!” I exclaim.
Dom has a very firm grip on her fork and she looks like she’s going to throw it any moment now. That’s if I don’t get there first.
“Come on,” I say, “Let’s go back to the common room.”
One legend Potter
There’s only one legend Potter
One legend Potter!
There’s only one legend Potter…
Dom, James and I leave the Great Hall before we’re even finished our dinner. The Slytherins chant and jeer as James leaves the hall, but before leaving, he flicks his wands at the Slytherin posters. They previously read things like “Serpent Success!” and “Slytherin are the best”. They now read “Serpents are shits” and “Slytherin is scum”. I know he shouldn’t have given them the satisfaction, but it’s pretty funny that nobody can change the banners back.
James and I forget our petty squabbling for a while as we unite in the hatred of all things Slytherin. Dom is equally angry.
“Smug bastards!” James cries, kicking the armchair in the common room, “I’m ashamed to say my brother is their captain!”
“I hate them,” Dom practically screams, “I hate the whole lot of them!”
“I know,” I agree, “I mean, they win one lousy match one time –”
“By ten miserable little points!” James exclaims.
“By ten points!” I continue, “And they’re acting as if they own the school!”
Dom slumps down onto the armchair that James has just kicked and I sit cross-legged on the floor by the fire. We all have similar looks of disgust on our faces.
“If you think of it logically,” I say after a few minutes, “We’re still in with a good chance of winning.”
“No we’re not,” says James miserably.
“We are!” I insist, “If Slytherin lose to Ravenclaw in the next match and we beat Hufflepuff –”
“Yeah, but we won’t beat Hufflepuff,” says James.
“That’s a very defeatist attitude!” I say angrily.
“He means…we can’t win without you, Rose,” says Dom.
“What? Of course you can win without me!” I exclaim, “I was only a keeper – and a bad one at that!”
“You were a great keeper – one of our best players,” says James seriously, “Carmichael is rubbish in comparison. He’s the reason we lost the stupid match.”
We fall silent again. I can’t help but feel like I’m partly responsible for Gryffindor’s defeat.
“Well then you know what you have to do, Jay,” I say and he looks at me expectantly, “Get Slytherin’s keeper pregnant.”
Dom makes a disgusted face.
“You have seen Henrietta Flint haven’t you Rose?” Dom asks in repulsion, half-laughing.
“There’s one who must have been dropped on her face as a baby,” says James.
“Seriously,” I laugh, “I do know someone who is a good keeper, even if she’s never played on a team before.”
“Who?” asks James.
James and Dom look at each other sceptically.
“Lily?” James scoffs, eyebrows raised, “As in my little sister?”
“Okay, I know she may not show it, but she’s a good player,” I insist, “I’m telling you, when we were kids we used to play with Dad and Uncle Harry the whole time – she’s better than me even.”
James considers this.
“She won’t do it,” says Dom.
“Why wouldn’t she?”
“She won’t even go to try-outs,” she says, “I’ve asked her to try out loads of times.”
“That’s because she’s scared that James and Fred will make fun of her,” I tell her, “I’ll make sure she’s at the next practice.”
We hear voices coming through the portrait hole and Lily is the first to come in to view, holding hands with Lorcan. Dom and I smirk at each other, but James is frowning. Lorcan looks absolutely terrified at James’s death glare. Then James’s face turns from angry to disgusted in a second when Lorcan and Lily and followed in by Al and Malfoy, draped in green scarves and still wearing their green Quidditch robes.
“Lily,” James calls, “Come here a minute.”
He looks angry, but not half as angry as Lily will be if he makes a show of her. She lets go of a very nervous looking Lorcan’s hand and walks over to James.
“What the hell are they doing here?” James hisses at her.
“You mean our brother, his best friend and our close family friend?” she asks coolly.
“I mean,” he whispers furiously, “dirty, scumbag Slytherins!”
Oh dear – that was the wrong thing to say.
“You are unbelievable!” Lily hisses back, “Those scumbags were your friends up until you lost a stupid Quidditch match!”
“Now Lily, Quidditch isn’t stupid – let’s not say things we don’t mean,” I say reasonably. She shoots me a fiery look to match her mothers so I shut up.
“Stop being such a sore loser,” Lily snaps at James, “It’s just a game!”
“You don’t deserve the name Potter!” James yells, jumping up from his seat.
“Oh and you do?” she screeches, “You’re an idiot, James! Dad’s been telling us since we first came to Hogwarts how Slytherins and Gryffindors should get along or else another war could result – and here you are trying to keep old prejudices alive! You make me SICK!”
Al and Malfoy stop chanting “Go on the boys in green” at Lily’s scream. Lorcan looks like he’s about to pass out. He’s obviously learned the ‘never piss Lily Potter off’ rule. Malfoy goes to sit on the arm of Dom’s chair and puts his arm around her, but she shrugs him away – apparently Quidditch comes before love. I try to suppress a laugh, but I can tell that there’s a smirk on my face. Malfoy just looks annoyed.
Lily storms out of the common room, followed closely by Lorcan. Al is laughing like a maniac (I have the slight suspicion that he’s drunk. Albus Severus Potter has never been drunk, as far as I know, especially not at four o’clock in the day).
“There’s no way she’s coming onto our team!” James roars at the portrait hole, even though Lily’s gone. James shoots Al and Malfoy a very dirty glare and storms up to his dormitory, slamming the door behind him.
“Some people are bad losers,” Al says, sitting down in the chair that James has just vacated.
“Some people are even worse winners,” I reply.
“What about that time Gryffindor won the cup –”
“Which time?” I interrupt, “We’ve won the cup quite a bit.”
“Last year,” Al continues, “You lot didn’t shut up about it for a month, and you made every single Slytherin’s bowl of Cheerios spell out ‘Salazar was a puff’ and ‘Slytherins fly like Muggles’.”
“That was pretty funny,” Dom laughs and I nod in agreement.
“Don’t worry, we’ll do the same again this year,” I grin.
And it’s true – I’m not going to let Slytherin win. If I hear another Slytherin chant, I’m going to go insane in the membrane.
We are the champions my friend
And we’ll keep on flying ‘til the end…
A/N - Okay, so I'm only about 40% happy with this chapter. I know not much happens, but I need to address issues such as the Ron/Hermione thing and the Quidditch rematch - can't just forget 'em can I? (",) Anyhoo, I know all of ye love a bit of Rose/Scorp contact and there wasnt much in this chapter (hell, there wasn't any!) but in following chapters there's more. I don't know if you liked or hated this chapter - I'm pretty indifferent towards it. And I've noticed a LOT of people hate Dom, but I hope you start liking her soon and realise that she's not going out with Scorpius to annoy Rose (they're best friends after all), she just likes him. Well, who wouldn't? Thanks so much for your reviews (over 700 - my jaw dropped like this :O and stayed that way)! And because you've all been total legends, here's a preview of the next chapter:
“What’s wrong?” he asks, glaring at my stomach, which I’m still clutching, “Is it the baby? Holy shit, are you having it now?”
I roll my eyes, grab his hand and place it on my stomach.
“Can you feel it?” I ask excitedly.
He shrugs and looks at me as if I’m a crazy person.
“Erm, Weasley, what am I supposed to be – whoa! Was that…was…did it just kick?”
So there ya go, I hope that keeps you going 'til the next chapter is validated. (",)
'We Are The Champions' is by Queen: I didn't write that chant, as I'm sure y'all know!
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