“Rose!” James shouted, the orange quaffle in his hands, poised, ready to be thrown. I swooped upwards, towards him and caught the quaffle as he dropped it.
I shot forward and passed it to the third chaser, Rory Macintosh who put it right through the right hoop. The fourth year whooped with delight, spinning round to swoop back to us.
“Good one Rory!” James shouted, patting his newest member on the back. The boy grinned, beaming with pride. He was our only new member, the rest of us having succeeded to get back on the team.
It was not, as most people (Slytherins mainly) suspected, a family affair. It was true that Lily and James Potter were on the team, and me as well. But that was just three out of seven.
I love flying. My mother hates it, and Hugo’s a bit like her. My father always wanted Hugo to be the avid flyer, for that whole father-son bonding thing. But whatever. I’m just as good as any old son.
I ducked as a bludger shot past my head.
“LAUREN!” I screeched at my friend. She yelled an apology, grinning sheepishly, clutching her trusty beaters bat. I rolled my eyes. The girl, who was, to tell the truth, an amazing beater, was always far too careless about where she hit the bludgers during practice. But then, her attention is nearly always on Graeme Bruce, her other Beater. He’s one of James’ mates and, if I do say so, he is gorgeous and you simply can’t not flirt with him. He had the sort of eyes that can make you fall in love with him in an instant; sort of grey with gold and green sparkling in the light. And his hair, oh it looks lovely.
Anyway, before I get lost in the thought of Graeme’s hair, I might mention that Albus, my cousin Albus, son of two of the century’s most famous Quidditch players, is not on the team. It’s a bloody tragedy, because I know as well as anyone that he’s much better than half the people already on the team but alas, the git is far too interested in the opposite sex to be bothered with it. I know it drives James mad, because he needs a good replacement next year, and Al would be perfect.
I can remember playing with him in the orchard beside Nana’s house. It was Al and I, versus Lily and James and my god, we trounced ‘em. Trounced ‘em big time.
But nooo, Mr Man-slut likes his ladies more.
Then I leapt about a foot in the air off my broom. “ROSE! Pay attention!” James had shouted at me because, as usual, I was thinking about something completely different from the situation at hand. Then, surprise surprise, I had to duck because Lauren had thwacked another bludger in my direction and had to swerve violently to avoid crashing into Lily, who was completely focused on the stupid snitch. To focused infact, to notice she almost killed me.
Victim, thy name is Rose.
* * * *
So, after screaming at James for knocking me off my broom into the mud (my luck finally ran out it would seem) and giving the finger to a couple of unfortunate looking Slytherins who were sniggering at me from the stands, I sulked off towards to showers for, guess what, a nice long hot shower. It was sort of surprising how much I was dreading my detention. I never get detention. Apart from when Scorpius Malfoy is involved apparently.
But I was going to be ultra cool tonight, just to prove that he couldn’t always get me fired up. That is, if I didn’t scream at him first.
“Rosie!” Lily shouted from the lockers “Stop daydreaming and get dressed! We’re going to be late for lunch!”
I stumbled from the showers a few minutes later, clutching my towel and proceeded to get dressed. Lily is pretty much me with straight hair. It isn’t fair. She’s got this lovely ruby red silky stuff and I get red straw. By the time I’d scraped the damn stuff back into a very frizzy ponytail (quidditch does that to me) Lily was hopping from foot to foot in impatience.
“Rosieeeee,” She whined “Luuuunch!”
I swear, that girl thinks with her stomach.
Well so do I, so I wasn’t about to complain about the speed at which she was dragging me towards the school. By the time we made it inside, we weren’t late at all, thanks mainly to Lily’s impressive muscles. I left my favourite cousin there, and she skipped off to join the other fourth years in Gryffindor. Most of who, I only just noticed, were male.
“Rose!” I glanced up and saw Vix and Nicole waving madly at me. Lauren was nowhere to be seen. I should have guessed as much, since she basically ran from the pitch as soon as James said go. Weird.
Anyway, I sat down next to them, and settled back into quidditch-free life. Vix was wittering on about something that Flavia Goyle said to her at breakfast, which of course I missed because James had us out at the crack of dawn. As I sat and pretended to listen to what she was saying, I was thinking about what I was going to do about my parents, because my god, my mother was going to murder me personally if she found out about these detentions.
“Oh Rosie, this came for you this morning.” Nic told me, holding out a thick envelope, complete with the Weasley family crest (cool eh?) and my mother’s slanted writing on the front. I swore loudly, startling a couple of first years that were sitting a couple of feet from us.
“Oh did you get a letter from mum?” It was Hugo, smiling stupidly at me.
“Get lost Huey.” I said, standing up. I bid the girls goodbye and pushed Hugo out of the way, ruffling his hair as I did so. I jerked out of my way, muttering something abhorrent, before dashing off. Oh to be fourteen again…
I headed up to the common room, searching for some peace and quiet. But duh, it was a Saturday, so peace and quiet was some kind of impossible. After attempting to brave the gaggle of giggling idiots who have taken over Gryffindor tower since last year, and still notably ignoring the stupid letter from my mother, which I’d shoved in my pocket in a most unceremonious fashion.
Where to? I asked myself. Then it hit me. My favourite place in the world, after home, bed, Gryffindor tower, the Great Hall…and er, quite a lot actually, was the library. At least it was quiet. And Madame Pince, our ancient librarian, really likes me. Comes with the Granger in me, I suppose.
I chose the best chair in the library, the squashy one by the window, and after debating whether or not to open the letter, tore it open. It wasn’t anything interesting, just the expected ‘how could you’s and a couple of ‘you’ve disappointed your father’s. As if! He’d probably be jumping for joy that I almost cursed a Malfoy.
I leant my head back against the plush velvet. I guessed that it had once been blue but it had faded to grey after years and years in the sun. I pulled my knees up and leant my chin on them. I needed new jeans; the ones I was wearing were wearing thin at the knees.
Was it really all that ridiculous that I was so worried about that night’s detention? It was true that I was able to disrupt Malfoy’s calm easily, which I’m sure he found incredibly unsettling.
The entire thing was just so stupid. I was sick of him and his stupid stuck up Slytherin-ness but what was I supposed to do aside from hexing him whenever I got the chance?
I think I must have fallen asleep because when I opened my eyes, literally thinking ‘I’ve just blinked’, the sun was right in the west, and the sky was pinky orange. I checked my watch. It was half past five. I swore loudly, but luckily Pince didn’t hear me because she’s pretty much deaf. I was missing dinner, and I was still completely ungroomed from Quidditch practice. I hadn’t brought anything but the letter, which was in my pocket, and so I ran from the library. Food could never wait where Weasleys were concerned.
As I was hurrying down the marble staircase, I bumped into a group of Slytherins, ignoring them, especially because Malfoy was at their centre, I hurried on.
“Ready for detention?” I heard him sneer as I passed.
I ignored him, but it was all I could do not to slap him.
“Jeez Rose,” Albus Jeered, as I glared at my pudding, not eating it “Pudding insult you or something?” I laughed mirthlessly.
“The pudding didn’t, no.” I said, not lifting my gaze to meet my cousin’s. I think Lily must have given him a warning nudge because at that point, he yelped and went: “what did you do that for? That hurt!”
I don’t blame him either; Lily has pointy elbows.
Lauren, Nic and Vix were probably up in the common room or wondering where I was. I wasn’t exactly known for falling asleep in the library so no one was about to look if I was there.
I climbed through the portrait hole; sluggishly dawdling from all the food I’d just eaten. The girls were sat in the usual seats, and did not notice me come in. I didn’t say hello, just headed straight upstairs to change. I didn’t have long, so I rushed to find something to wear. Just as I discarded the third outfit, I heard footsteps on the stairs and someone came in.
“Rosie, just pick something.” Vix said, “You’re hardly looking to impress the rat are you?”
I shook my head.
“I want to show him up.” I muttered. I could almost hear Vix rolling her eyes.
Eventually I made it out of the tower wearing jeans and a black shirt. Not exactly show stopping, but what did I care? I made my way slowly down to McGonagall’s old transfiguration classroom. He was already there when I slouched through the door with my favourite ‘fuck off’ look on my face.
“Ah, Miss Weasley. Nice of you to join us.” McGonagall snapped, in her usual brisk manner as I walked in. I scowled in reply. She tutted but didn’t say anything.
I noticed Malfoy was glaring at me with the worst of his glares. I dare say I’ve received them all at one time or another. This however, was by far the worst. His pale eyes were slits in his pale face and he hadn’t brushed his pale her. I wondered idly if he looked like a ghost in the dark.
“Now,” Said McGonagall “you are going to sort these textbooks,” she pointed to a pile that must have been about my height. Or slightly more “in alphabetical order, according to last name of author and sub-genre.” My heart sank “without magic.” My heart sank further “and, I trust you to do it well, or you’ll do it again.”
And she left.
I felt like crying, suddenly, because I couldn’t be bothered. I could not be bothered forcing myself to spend three hours in Malfoy’s company. But it wasn’t like I had a choice.
So, wincing as I leant on a Quidditch bruise, I knelt down beside the heap of books and picked up the first one. ‘Unusual Water Creatures of the Midwest’ by Walter Hidalgo. I sighed. This was going to be a long night.
We worked in silence, which worked quite well, until Mr Malfoy had the sense to drop an incredibly heavy book that slipped ‘innocently’ from the top of the pile he was carrying, coincidentally hitting me on the shoulder. I yelped with the shock of one thousand pages of heavy parchment collided with my collarbone and I heard Scorpius snigger quite unashamedly. I whipped round, and saw him smirking.
“Oh go to hell you arrogant rat.” I snapped and he laughed again.
“I don’t think so Weasley.” He said. I glared at him.
“Just leave me alone! It’s bad enough that I have to spend my Saturday night with you, but do you think you could make it as painless as possible and not speak to me or come near me or drop fucking books on me?” I shouted, standing up and finding that he still had a good half-foot on me.
He laughed in my face, his expression twisted into a cruel smirk.
“Or you’ll do what Weasley? Because last time I checked, you couldn’t beat me in a duel.” He smirked at his words, and I think I must have been purple with anger.
“I could beat you with my eyes closed you twat.” I snapped, which only made him laugh more.
“You don’t have the nerve Weasley,” He hissed “and you know it.” I didn’t have time to reply before he said “you’re all talk Weasley, completely and utterly talk. You don’t have it in you.”
I was speechless, backed right against the pile of books as his smirk disappeared and for one horrible moment, I realised how close we were. If anyone would walk through that door, they would be certain to get the wrong end of the stick. I swallowed nervously, and tried to move myself away but it wasn’t as easy as I had thought.
I snapped. Like a twig.
I glared and slapped him hard across the face. He stepped backwards, his face a mask of shock.
Then I ran.
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