Beautiful chapter image by delta at TDA.
Everybody has a secret. And everybody tells a lie at one point in their life. Whether it’s telling a friend that their new haircut looks amazing and doesn’t make their face look fatter, if that’s even possible, or pretending that you purposely haven’t tripped that girl over when she’s glaring up at you from the floor and you’re trying to hide a smirk. So, of course, I have secrets. It’s completely and utterly normal that I, Rose Weasley, have secrets. I guess I just have a few more than the average sixteen year old girl. But none of them are huge, ‘cannot tell anybody ever’ secrets that could result in a major explosion if the wrong person knows.
Well, not many of them, anyway.
Secret No.1: Hugo’s pet, Bruno the rat, isn’t the same rat from that I was meant to look after when mum and dad took Hugo to the Quidditch World Cup.
“Rose,” my mother sighs as she stands impatiently at my door, arms folded. I’ve seen this stance hundreds of times and I’m always the one who ends up in some sort of trouble. “When are you going to get ready for the party?”
Which I guess means that she’s stopped lecturing Hugo on wearing that shirt long enough to realize I haven’t moved from my king-sized double bed and am still clad in my pyjama bottoms, flicking through yet another copy of Witch Weekly in search for the upcoming trends, or maybe to catch a glimpse of me and my friends posing for a camera when out one night.
“Mum, seriously?” I say in response to her question, refusing to take my eyes off of the magazine page in front of me. ’10 Ways to Get Your Own Way.’ Like that is going to help. Nothing is going to help against her. “A New Year’s Party at The Burrow surrounded by the whole Weasley family isn’t exactly my kind of fun.”
“Oh, come on, Rose! It might be fun! Albus is going.”
“If that is your attempt at persuading me to come, you failed miserably,” I retort, flipping over onto my back and holding the magazine above me. I focus on the first pointer to get my ‘own way.’ Reason with them. I shift my eyes to Mum, opting for that innocent, ‘it wasn’t my fault’ look. This was a big mistake – it automatically made her eyes narrow in suspicion. “You know Al and I don’t really talk much anymore.”
“But you’re cousins! And you used to be so close,” Mum protests and I can hear that note of sadness coming into her voice which used to make me feel so horribly guilty.
“But we’re not anymore,” I reply with a heavy sigh, trying to ignore the rotten feeling of losing a friend. I roll my eyes before glancing back on the magazine and turning the page. “I’m not going.”
I hear Mum huff. That’s never a good sign. “Ronald, get up here! Your daughter’s being uncooperative again!” Mum hollers over her shoulder.
A faint reply echoes up the stairs. “She’s notmy daughter when she’s like this.”
I let my mouth drop open in anger. “Mum!” I whine, adopting a hurt look on my face.
She just rolls her eyes. “Get up, now,” she growls, and I can practically see her hair increasing in size with the rage.
“No, you’re not, you’re coming, and you’re going to pretend that you’re a good daughter for once in your life!”
I glare at her. “I am a perfect daughter!”
Our screeching is interrupted by the door bursting open and Dad bounding into the room, wand drawn and with a fierce expression on his face as if expecting to come across dead bodies and Death Eaters. In fact, I’d think he’d prefer the Death Eater’s to what he was about to face.
Dad titters nervously, running his free hand through his red hair, upon finding his daughter and wife glowering at each other. He shoves his wand back in his pocket. “What’s going on now?”
“Rose probably broke a nail,” Hugo pops up behind dad, laughing. “Or maybe she lost a top.”
“Shut the hell up, Hugo!” He is such an irritating little rat. It’s a wonder how he became the Golden Boy of the family. In my honest opinion, it’s bloody ridiculous and I think he should find a nice pig sty to live in. He’d probably smell better that way.
“Rose, don’t talk to your brother like that!” Mum snaps, her glare worsening.
“Why is everybody on his side?!” I wail, even adding a good punch onto my mattress, which, okay, is a little childish, I must admit. But I’m all for childishness. “It’s so unfair!”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Rose, we’re on nobody’s side,” Dad says in a calm voice which sounds strangely unlike him. “Now what the bloody hell started all this racket?”
Yep. That’s more like it.
“Rose is refusing to come to the New Year’s Party,” Mum blabs, as would be expected. She has that blabber-mouth technique which I’m refusing to believe I inherited from her.
“Well, she’s got no choice,” Dad announces with a carefree shrug of his shoulders. “She’s coming.”
“Don’t talk about me as if I’m not in the room!” I growl, sitting up on my bed. Hugo seems to be inching away, and when he catches my eye, he flashes me a rather rude hand gesture. Normally, under these circumstances, I would probably chase him around the house, trying to wallop him with a frying pan. However, now, with Mum and Dad both still glaring at me, I just let my lip curl in an ‘I’m going to get you for that’ way. “And I’m not coming.”
“Yes, you bloody well are,” Dad retorts.
“Are bloody well too!”
“Merlin’s pyjama’s, grow up!” Mum barks, looking from me to Dad, forgetting that just moments ago she, herself, was partaking in a particularly pointless argument. I seem to have the skills that just bring out everyone’s inner child. I can’t resist the urge to smirk at Dad’s seemingly guilty face. He really doesn’t like upsetting Mum. “The pair of you!”
“I’m not coming,” I quip cheerfully.
“Yes, you bloody well are.”
“Ron! Enough with the swearing!” Mum snaps before turning her attention to me and heaving a tired sigh. “Fine. Stay, Rose. I don’t care anymore. Do what you like.”
“Huh?” I gape at her. Never has she let me ‘do what I like’ and when she finds out I already have, I usually receive a grounding and have my allowance taken away. But, underneath all those shrill orders and dirty glares at the breakfast table, I knew she just worried too much and it was comforting to know she cared. This ‘do what you like’ felt unfamiliar and, frankly, that confused me.
“I’m tired of having this argument every time we want to go for a family gathering. So do what you like,” Mum says and turns to Dad to give him a reassuring pat on the shoulder, probably to say ‘no, I haven’t gone mad.’
“Are you mad?” Dad gasps, purposefully ignoring the ‘not mad’ pat. “She’ll have a party! You know what she’s like.”
“Well, then, we’re just going to have to trust her.”
“Yep, you’re mad. Rose Weasley has never heard of the ‘trust’ word.”
“Hey! I resent that!” I protest, while inside my head I’m squealing in glee. If my parents weren’t standing in the room, I didn’t know if I’d be able to contain my glee. I mean, I was hardly able to do it now while I risked being caught. I settle for a, what I’m going to assume was, a comforting and innocent smile. “I’m a lovely, trustworthy person.”
“Oh, yeah,” Dad scoffs. “And I’m a featherless duck.”
I grin cheekily at him. I just couldn’t resist the golden opportunity. “Well, now you mention it...”
“Let’s just go, Ron, before you two tear each other’s hair out,” Mum orders and begins to drag Dad out of my room until she stops suddenly at the door and adds in her strictest ‘don’t mess with me’ voice, “And no party. I mean it, Rose.”
The doorbell rings at precisely nine thirty six and twenty three seconds. And I know because I counted, I was that bored. And, okay, I admit I did owl Amy fifteen seconds after my parents apparated away and told her of me being left all by myself in a big house with tons of alcohol in the cellar. And I know that Amy is infamous for throwing the biggest and the best parties in the school as well as being a girl who had hundreds of people at her beck and call who would jump when she said so. And I also knew that, no way in hell, I was going to spend my New Years Eve alone. Because, really? What type of sad loser would I be then? I had an image to uphold.
But then nobody, and I mean nobody, prepared me for what was going to happen tonight.
“Rose!” Amy squeals as soon as I have unlocked the door. She comes bounding into my house, revealing her tan legs in a dress that barely covers her arse. If it was anyone else, I would have probably coughed out a ‘slut’ but, seeing as it was the Queen Bee herself, I opted for the raising of eyebrows. She walks through my hall, peering into different rooms as she goes. “I’ve sent a few notices out about you having a free house and everybody should be here soon.”
“Everybody?” I parrot, looking around in worry at the expensive carpets and soft, white couches. It was no secret that the Granger-Weasley household was rolling in the money and I was pretty sure that, if anything smashed, Mum would be out for my blood. Did it matter that she could fix it with a wave of her wand? No, according to her and to her ‘Guide to Teenage Daughter’s’ which she thrusts upon me when I’ve done the slightest thing wrong, it didn’t.
“Yes, everybody!” Amy clarifies and reaches for my hand to drag me into the clean kitchen. She then proceeds to bend down, opening various cupboard doors, and thus flashing her knickers. Or what I’m assuming are knickers. It looks more like something I’d tie my hair up with.
I let out an ‘Amy, cover your bum!’ and she turns her face to me, smirking. “I think Jack is coming. Now where is all the booze?!”
I glance at her, trying to force an expression of interest on my face. “Jack’s coming? And that’s the cupboard for the bleach.”
“Adrian’s coming and he said Jack might tag along,” Amy tells me, winding a strand of hair around her finger. I can’t help but feel a little twinge of jealousy. To be fair, though, I think every girl, no matter how hard she tries to deny it, is at least a little jealous of Amy’s looks. I mean, a few years ago, a rumour circulated that Amy was part veela but her dark brown, almost black, hair conflicted with that theory. I have part-veela, extraordinarily blonde cousins, I would know. In fact, Amy probably started the rumour herself. “And why do you have bleach? Don’t you just use a spell to clean things?”
“Jack’s going to see me in this?” I ask, looking down at the dress that I was wearing when Mum left. It isn’t really the fact that Jack’s going to see me in this dress, it’s the fact that everyone is going to see me in this dress. It’ll probably be forever remembered as ‘did you see that tent Rose was wearing on New Years?’ “And Mum has this weird book which tells her that it gives more discipline if we clean the Muggle way. Personally, I think she just likes to clean.”
“Wow, isn’t that a bit freaky?”
“Amy! Back to my dress!”
“Jeez, calm down, woman,” Amy says, rolling her heavily outlined eyes as she delves into the bag she brought with her. “You can wear my spare, if you want.” And with that she tosses a dark midnight blue dress into my arms and begins to stamp her foot impatiently. “Now go put that on and maybe some more makeup and tell me where the bloody booze is!”
I clutch the dress that I’m positive will make the red in my hair look perfect. “Amy, thankyou!” I squeal and fling my arms around her. I try not to inhale her expensive perfume. I’ve choked on it before and it wasn’t pretty. “Beer and vodka are in the cellar. There’s also coke in the fridge.”
“And you couldn’t have told me this sooner?” She grumbles, pulling away from me. “Take my bag upstairs, would you?”
“Your bag? What’s this for?”
“Well, I’m staying the night,” Amy states as if it’s totally obvious and she’s talking to a mentally challenged person. “I can’t go home completely wasted. My mum would kill me!”
“You better not act wasted when my parents come home,” I inform her, climbing the stairs slowly enough so that she can still hear me. “Or they will kill me. Twice.”
“Whatever. Go get ready.”
So I went to get ready. I put on that dress which was way sluttier on than it looked when I held it up against me. I smeared more foundation over my face to cover the few stubborn freckles that kept peeping through and I also heavily outlined my eyes in a way that Amy would call ‘sultry.’ And, I guess, I was so absorbed in what I was doing I didn’t hear the doorbell ring. Seven times. But when I made my way down stairs, looking quite hot I must say, I was gobsmacked to see my house filled to the brim with people grinding up against each other, all holding cups of alcohol or with people standing awkwardly by the refreshment area which was the same table Bruno the rat (II) was situated. I’m not sure who looked more scared; me, frozen on the stairs and staring at the room in horror or Bruno; who was running around squeaking like nobody’s business. I think I won, though. Just.
I swear if I have to get another rat, Hugo might actually notice the difference.
“Rose!” Marissa squeals when she sees me. She weaves her way through the crowd, cooing a flirty ‘hi, there’ to a few boys as she tosses her dyed crayola red hair over her shoulder. “I’ve been looking for you everywhere! Wow, you look gorgeous!”
Marissa actually received the tag of ‘sucker-upper’ due to all the arse-kissing that generally goes on when your within two feet of her, despite how long she has been friends with Amy and I. In fact, when drunk one night, she admitted to me that she dyed her hair red because mine, and I quote, was ‘so totally gorgeous.’
I try not to resent her for copying me.
“M-marissa,” I stammer, as she pulls me through the throng of dancers. “My parents are going to go mental- Hey!” I yell at the boys playing catch with Bruno, before I pull him out of their hands and let him sit on my arm. “Give me that! Twats.” I glare at the boys but they seem too enthralled by the girls dancing around them.
“Look!” Marissa whispers and leans closer to me, not noticing that she is resting her hair on a rat’s back. Really not smart. “Jack’s over there with Selena. I say let’s go ge- OH MY GOD, is that a rat in my hair?!”
Now what she did next was a complete over reaction. Which was to jump up and down screaming bloody murder till I prise Bruno’s claws out of her hair and let him rest on my shoulder while Marissa proceed to cower in the corner. And now, thanks to wimpy little Marissa, I’m in risk of being known forever as the ‘rat-girl.’
But I wasn’t going to let that distract me from the bimbo clinging to Jack’s arm. I wasn’t a Gryffindor for nothing, you know. I sidle up to him, trying to ignore the fact that he’s leaning far too close to Selena for my liking. I ignore her and flash him a winning smile.
“Hey, Jack,” I coo, acting every bit the hopelessly infatuated teen, aware that Amy is observing me with a cheery grin and a thumbs up. I fix my eyes on Selena who’s frowning at me in annoyance. The music blares around us and I have to shout, to make sure they both can hear me. “Serena-”
“It’s actually Selena,” she pipes up, interrupting me. And if there’s one thing you don’t do it’s not to interrupt Rose. People should have really learnt that from when that little twig of a girl told me I was wrong, half way through my very important speech. She ended up in the Hospital Wing for a week, with ‘twig’ tattooed to her forehead. So that’s when I let her have it.
“I honestly don’t care,” I inform her. “I just thought I’d let you know there’s a rather questionable picture of you doing something to someone hanging up in the bathroom.”
That wasn’t even a lie. Okay, it may have been a picture the size of my fingernail which someone had just stuck on the mirror but it was still pretty slutty. Selena looks aghast, staring at me in absolute horror, while I shrug innocently and motion to the room of the bathroom which she stumbles to, trying to ignore the shouts of protest at her cutting the queue.
“See, that’s why you should never do dirty stuff in a place where at least one person can see you,” I sigh in a way that is supposed to say I feel bad for the girl and turn to Jack who’s peering down at me through thick, dark eyelashes.
“I completely agree with you on that,” he drawls and takes a step closer to me, his hot breath tickling my face, and making it even hotter in the dark and clammy room. “You want to go somewhere less noisy, then?”
I place my hand on his chest, and gently, but firmly, push him back. “I prefer to be here, actually.”
“But, baby,” Jack whines and, as the light flashes on his face for a moment I can see that he is pouting. “We can do some rather questionable things in your room.”
I peer down at my nails in a bored manner, hoping he’d just get the message. “Jack, honestly?” I hear myself say. How could he not realise that it was all an act? Actually, how could nobody realise that this was all an act? Didn’t Amy think it weird when I suddenly declared that I loved Jack out of the blue? “You’re a bit of a sleaze.”
“Are you going to come upstairs with me or not?” Jack frowns, looking slightly confused. You’d think somebody just asked him to add two and two.
“I’m really, really not,” I retort and then, scowling at Jack’s forward manner, I make my way to the door as somebody has just knocked on it. Really, it is a miracle I heard it seeing as the music is playing deafeningly loud. Loud enough to wake up people half way down the street, surely.
But when I fling the door open my scowl drops.
Because, standing at my door, looking heart-meltingly gorgeous, was the guy I had least expected to show up at my house, on New Year’s Eve no less, and was the guy I have been secretly crushing on for the past three years much to my chagrin.
Because, standing there was, well – was Scorpius Malfoy.
Secret No. 10: I am hopelessly in love with Scorpius Malfoy. Not Jake, like everybody thinks. He was the first name that popped into my head when Amy was pressuring me about never fancying somebody and that answer was accepted because Jake was hot and popular. Not that Scorpius wasn’t hot, believe me, he was, but he didn’t exactly fit in with me and my friends and then was therefore dubbed ‘loser.’
A/N: So... a popular Rose and a less popular Scorpius? What do you think?
Okay, so I fixed the accidental 'Jake' I put in there at the end and also edited it a little so that it doesn't seem like Rose is completely infatuated with Jack and then the next minute not. (Thankyou whacked!) -Effy xx