“Sc-scorpius,” I stammer my eyes bulging out of my head, as I stare at the hottest guy I had ever laid eyes on in front of me. He could give those topless models you see advertising some sort of cologne on billboards a run for their money. I swear, Scorpius didn’t use to be this aesthetically pleasing when we were younger. In fact, I would say he was a rather scrawny kid with a head that was too big for his body.
“Oh, it’s you,” Scorpius says, rather deflated, as he rubs the back of his neck. Oh, he’s so gorgeous. If I still didn’t have an aching head from the excessively loud music in the other room, I would seriously doubt whether I was in heaven or not.
“Well, hello to you too.”
He ignores me, choosing instead to peer over my shoulder. I take this as an opportunity to run my eyes over his body. Scorpius focuses his gaze on me and I glance up guiltily. “Is Selena here?”
“Selena?” I ask, wrinkling my nose in confusion. I always have had this bad habit where, whenever Scorpius is in a close enough proximity to me, my heart beat accelerates and my breathing becomes uneven and shaky. Actually, it’s just been the last couple of years. It’s not that bad. And, after several repetitions of my ‘counting to ten’ method, my body seems to return to normal. Does it really matter that the counting exercise was meant to control my temper and not my sweaty palms or butterflies in my belly?
“Yes, Se-le-na,” Scorpius repeats slowly, emphasizing each syllable in her name. “Fourth year. Blonde. Short.”
“Going for the younger girls now, Malfoy?” I tut, a smirk playing at my lips. “I’m disappointed.”
“She’s my cousin.”
“Isn’t that incest, then?”
“Oh, ha-ha-ha,” Scorpius says dryly. He’s leant against the door frame now, his arms cross and I can’t help but flick my eyes towards his bulging biceps. “My sides are splitting.”
Oh, he’s so sarcastic and yet, in the weirdest way, I love it.
I open my mouth, looking slightly more than thrilled, to say something equally sarcastic to, you know, make the thought run through Scorpius’s wonderful head that I am actually made for him. I don’t even get to inform him of my wittiness because a high-pitched voice rings out behind me.
“Scorpius!” I turn around, trying with all my might, to somehow, somehow, incinerate this blonde with my eyes. “Let’s go. Finally.”
“Serena’s your cousin?” I look from the two cousins with delight, finally noticing the family resemblance. But Scorpius is a lot easier on the eye, in my opinion. “The skank with the dodgy picture?”
“It’s Selena,” she corrects me once again, her clenched jaw indicating that she wants to hit something pretty bad. And I have a sneaky suspicion that that something was me.
I step out of her range, just in case, and turn to smirk at her. “I got the picture thing right though, didn’t I?”
Scorpius takes a threatening step closer to me, looking down in disgust. “You know what I think, Weasley?” Scorpius growls and reaches around my waist to pull his little cousin safely to his side. I have to admit, for a second there, I really thought he was going to hug me, like in the good old days. And, believe me; I would have no way, under any circumstances, pulled away from him. Not even if Amy was scowling at me over his shoulder, I still would have clung to him.
I shake the daydream away. “Enlighten me, Malfoy,” I reply, arching a well-defined eyebrow that took Amy god knows how long to pluck and entitled me to what felt like hours of pain.
“I think you’re just a stuck-up little bitch who-”
“Excuse me?!” I splutter as Selena looks at him in horror. Okay, I wasn’t exactly expecting him to be singing my praises while he was looking at me in such a way but him insulting me to my face was something I really didn’t think he had in him. Nobody, not even Scorpius Malfoy, can get away with saying something like that to me.
“-doesn’t give a crap about other people as long as she gets her own way,” he finishes, sneering at me ever so slightly in an extremely Malfoy way, and then, dragging Selena after him, he swivels on his heel.
I completely forgot my counting to ten, temper control breathing exercise then. My eye twitches in anger as I feel all my blood rush to my face. It was a good thing I was wearing so much foundation or, with my red hair, I may have looked like an extremely pissed off tomato.
“Oh, and what are you then, Malfoy?” I call out to his back and he freezes for a moment to turn his now glowering face back to me. “The brat of a Death Eater father and a knocked-up prostitute?”
I knew, as well as anyone, that Scorpius’s father wasn’t sentenced to Azkaban for his crimes but that didn’t stop the dirty looks he received the first week of term for just being a Malfoy. Frankly, he was lucky Albus was sorted into Slytherin with him. Albus, who was the son of the Wizarding World’s saviour, befriending the son of a probable Death Eater? Well, that was an instant popularity boost for Scorpius. Naomi and I eventually accepted him, too, and only then did he admit how much it sucked to be looked down on for carrying his last name. Using that now probably wasn’t the nicest thing, even for me. And I seriously doubt his mother was a prostitute. In fact, I’m pretty sure his mother hosted tea parties in her spare time.
I felt horrible as soon as I said it.
But that’s when Scorpius snaps.
I could hear the shuffling of feet at just the moment Scorpius comes barrelling up the path, wand drawn to point threateningly at me. And I knew it was a big crowd because only plenty of people could make enough noise in their shuffling to be heard over the music currently playing in my house. I was worried; and not only because I knew my social status could end up crumbling around my feet in ruins if the wrong word was said, but because Scorpius had a way with his wand. A way that I really didn’t want to explore.
“You complete bitch,” Scorpius snarls, raising his shaking wand to my face. It was cold enough outside to see your breath, and Scorpius’s seemed to be coming out deep and fast. I see Selena a little way down the path, looking absolutely horrified.
I take a deep breath, my previous anger extinguished by the fear. “Go on then, Scorpius,” I goad in a whisper, unsuccessfully masking my fear as I take a gulp. “Curse me into oblivion.”
This, I knew, would totally have the desired effect. Because, the moment I met him, which was at the tender age of eleven when he sat next to Al at the Slytherin table in response to his father’s disapproval of the said boy, I knew he was stubborn and I knew he would hate more than anything to obey me.
There was silence for a while as Scorpius and I glare at each other, neither willing to break eye contact and admit defeat. And then from behind the towering figure of Scorpius, one of the few boys that is actually taller than me, Naomi-freaking-Longbottom bounds up my patio dressed in what only can be described as sweats, her shoulder length blonde hair flying about in the wind. She reaches us and proceeds to tug on Scorpius’s free arm, the arm that didn’t hold the wand pointing at me.
“When your mum said you were here I knew there’d be some sort of trouble,” Naomi giggles and, it’s times like these that I remember I didn’t actually have it in me to hate Naomi. Sure, she is a little more than rude to me since I stopped being her friend, but I knew she’d always be the one who gets me out of these sticky situations. “Let’s go, Scorpius.”
“You didn’t hear what she said, Naomi,” Scorpius growls, his wand not moving an inch. I crane my neck around Scorpius’s wand to give a friendly smile to Naomi.
She doesn’t seem to notice. Or rather, she ignored it. “Wasn’t it the usual bull that spills from her mouth?”
Bitch. The smile slips from my face and I glower at her. “Are you saying I talk crap?” I spit as I pick up my wand from the table and point it at Naomi who is looking extremely unimpressed.
Scorpius, on the other hand, looks a little more pissed off. “Don’t point your wand at her!” He barks.
“You little hypocrite!” I shout, and stamp my foot in anger. The crowd murmur in excitement, obviously expecting a full blow out – something they can broadcast around school. “Don’t point your wand at me!”
“I can do what the bloody hell I want!”
“Only if it doesn’t contradict what you’re saying!”
Scorpius blinks at me and I feel myself soften. He looks so adorably confused it would be hard not to have an overwhelming temptation to ‘aw.’
“Yeah, well, this is different,” Scorpius says easily as he removes the wand from my face to twirl around his fingers. “I actually like Naomi.”
And, yeah, I knew he probably wasn’t the fondest of me, not after I ‘forgot’ he was my friend, but it still hurt to hear those words said aloud especially since I felt the complete opposite. Yeah, ouch.
My throat feels like sandpaper and I’m left desperately trying to swallow as I blink away what I’m assuming could be tears if I let them fall. I didn’t even want to think what would happen if my classmates witnessed me crying due to Scorpius’s little revelation. My life, as I know it, would be over.
“Let’s go,” Naomi sighs, and again yanks Scorpius’s arm towards her. He doesn’t seem to notice my complete incapability to come up with a witty comeback as I normally would. “She isn’t worth it, Scorp.”
I knew I should have probably let them go then, and save myself further embarrassment and probably further heartbreak, but the only person who Scorpius allowed to call him by his nickname was, well- was me.
So, of course, that majorly pissed me off.
“Classic, peace-keeping Naomi,” I smirk, feeling all my previous feelings drain away. All I could think was how cosy Naomi and Scorpius would look as a couple and, to be frank, that really didn’t help soothe my temper. My eyes flash to her face which somehow always looked bright and friendly even when she’s trying to look annoyed. “Always wussing out of a fight. It’s a surprise you were placed in Gryffindor.”
“Oh, shut up,” Naomi replies, rolling her brown eyes. She never seems to be too ruffled by my comments these days; a fact which annoyed me to no end. When we were friends, if I told Naomi her outfit was ugly, she’d do whatever she could to change it. Now, I mention that her hair is looking particularly like a bird’s nest and she ruffles it, making it messier, as she purposefully yawns.
“Don’t tell me to shut up!”
“She can do what the bloody hell she wan-”
“Oh, geez,” Amy sighs, the crowd parting for her, as she comes up behind me. Her expression is one of utter boredom as she rests her arm on my shoulder. Amy’s never particularly understood how they were once my friends and basically has no patience with anything that involves them. “Are you lost or something?”
I think I see Scorpius’s eye twitch. And it gave me a little comfort to see that there was at least one person out there who Scorpius hated more than me. There’s a tense pause as everybody seems to glare at each other until Naomi steps in. “Look, we just came to pick up Selena.”
“Whoa,” Amy replies in a mock sweet voice, feigning a surprised look. “I almost didn’t see you down there.” Scorpius’s hand balls into a fist and I can almost see him hitting either Amy or I. But, then again, Scorpius would never dream of hitting a girl as much as he probably wishes he could.
My eyes move from Scorpius to Naomi who, as hard as she tries, can not look annoyed. I’m sure she can, if she really put some effort into it. If she was really pushed.
“I’m not sure how you could miss it, Amy,” I chortle, giving her a nudge in the ribs. “I mean, she’s kinda hard to miss with all that excess baggage.”
Oh, that was completely horrible, too.
I am such a bitch.
I mean, Naomi isn’t even fat. To be perfectly honest, she wasn’t the lightest kid when we were younger but now if you threw her in a short skirt and a low cut top she’d get more beeps from the horny boys in passing cars than the number of times I could be found drooling over Scorpius.
It was just a theory – a stupid, cruel theory – that briefly flitted across my mind and, before it could vanish, slipped out of my mouth.
It did, as I thought it would, strike a nerve.
I don’t really know what happened next. I know I saw a couple of mouths fall open and I heard a couple of people let out low ‘ooooh’s’, Amy included. And I definitely remember the hurt expression that flashed across Naomi’s face, and how angry Scorpius looked, before Naomi stepped forward and brought her hand down sharply on my cheek.
Yes, that’s right, Naomi Longbottom just bitch slapped me. The bitch.
I press my hand gingerly to my smarting cheek, clicking and unclicking my jaw to check for damage, as I try to ignore the gasps of shock that surround me. One girl even started frantic clapping until she witnessed my death glare, and immediately stopped, hiding behind a tall boy.
I turn my head back to Naomi who’s looking far too pleased with herself for my liking and Scorpius who is grinning broadly from ear to ear as he obviously tries to hold back giggles. “Did you just slap me?” I say quietly, making the words more threatening.
“No,” Scorpius drawls sarcastically, seeming unaffected by my ‘die, bitch’ voice with his smug smile on his lips. “She just high-fived your face.”
“I’ll high-five your face in a minute,” I snap and, as I try not to wince at my awful comeback, Scorpius, who by the way is still chuckling to himself, begins to practically skip down my pathway, dragging a glowering Naomi and with a rather forlorn Selena trailing after them.
“Oh, and Serena?” I call out to her back and she turns to face us, looking hopeful. I can see Amy looking at me in confusion out of the corner of my eye.
“Yeah?” Selena asks timidly, not even bothering to correct me.
“Don’t even bother coming to another one of our parties again.”
As I slam the door shut, turning around to a burst of guffaws and sniggers, I swear I hear Selena burst into tears and whack Scorpius over the head as if it was his fault. Which, you know, it totally was.
“Merlin, I cannot believe you just got beaten up by a midget,” Amy scoffs and I shiver as the cold air leaves me, being replaced by the clammy air that is just emitting from the dance room. We walk a few steps behind everyone else who’s making their way back to that room and Amy grabs my arm. “And, by the way, you have a hand print on your face.”
“Amy,” I give her a patronizing look whilst I try to wriggle free of her iron grip. “I don’t have a hand print on my- holy crap!” I gasp, and run back to the mirror I just caught a glimpse of myself in. It’s a well known fact that most people can’t help but discreetly glance at themselves as they walk past any sort of reflective surface and I’m no exception of that. Actually, I probably try harder than most to see myself. Amy smirks, shooting me an ‘I told you so’ look.
“Oh my God, are you okay?” Nina, probably the sweetest girl in our group, asks as she hurries to my side. She really is a sweetheart and, with her cropped brown hair, rosy cheeks, and bee-stung lips, she has absolutely nailed the innocent look. “That mark is not exactly the most discrete thing.”
“But you still look super pretty,” Marissa gushes, demonstrating one of the many ways she’s tagged as ‘the sucker-upper.’
I ignore them both, instead choosing to inspect my inflamed cheek more closely. “Oh, crap,” I wail, poking the red mark, willing it to fade away. “Get me some foundation now!”
“Honey, all the foundation in the world isn’t going to cover that red mark,” Amy informs me but she rummages in the cupboard in front of me and hands me the ‘emergency’ tub of foundation nevertheless.
I grab it hungrily, not being sparing as the mark seems to get redder and redder as I put on more and more foundation. “Better?” I ask once I’ve finished, turning my head to the side so they could inspect it.
They all exchange a look. “Uh, well...” Nina falters, a worried crease appearing between her eyebrows.
“Oh, hurry up, you look fine,” Amy whines, twirling a strand of long, chocolate coloured hair around her fingers. “I’m trying to bag a kiss from Smith at midnight.”
“Uh... Amy?” I say as we make our way back to the party. “Aren’t you going out with Adrian?”
“Well, that was just a fling. We’re more like friends with the occasional benefit now.”
“I’m not even going to say anything about that,” I declare, shrugging my shoulders in an offhand manner.
Nina giggles, her cheeks already turning a faint pink because of the temperature in the room. Amy casts a flirty look around the room, before finally spotting Smith and stumbling, in a very drunk manner, in his direction. I grab Marissa’s hand to make her dance with me, but she seems reluctant, every so often glancing over her shoulder at the tall, blonde boy. I look at her expectantly, waiting for an explanation.
“I think I might kiss Theo. Is Theo okay?” Marissa asks, looking at her fellow Hufflepuff before looking back to us, awaiting our confirmation that Theo is ‘okay.’ She always asks us if her actions are ‘okay.’ And, by her serious expression, it’s easy to tell that she is really paranoid about what we think.
“So, it’s just you and me, Nina,” I sigh and sling my arm around her neck, trying not to roll my eyes at Marissa’s retreating form. “But, sorry love, I’m not going to kiss you. I know how you were just dying for th-”
“Actually, I was talking to Billy earlier and he seems really nice so I thought... maybe, you know...”
“No way!” I remove my arm from her shoulder, mildly shocked. Nina wasn’t usually the one to throw herself on a guy at a party. Amy and Marissa, I can understand. “You can’t leave me here on my own!”
“Oh, please, Rose,” Nina begs, turning her big, hazel eyes towards me. I feel myself weaken. It’s physically impossible to say no to this girl. “Please.”
I relent, trying my best to look haughty as Nina squeals and tries to hug me. I may have let her out of my grasp but she’s going to know I’m not happy about it. I’m usually not the one being ditched in these situations – I’m the one doing the ditching – so it feels strange to be standing here alone, with my three best friends off with boys. Have they never heard of hoes before bros?
I can’t be alone when the countdown is happening. Rose Weasley can’t. There would be nothing more awkward or embarrassing than being alone in a room brimming with people who are most likely going to kiss when people reach zero.
“What’s the great Rose Weasley doing all alone three minutes till New Years?” A voice purrs into my ear, their breath tickling my neck. I turn around, bumping into the sleazy git himself.
“Merlin, Jake, just give up,” I moan, giving a disgruntled ‘ugh.’ I step away from him. “I’m not going to sleep with you.”
“Fine, then,” he pouts and then, as he leans towards me, his expression becomes cheeky. “How about a New Year’s kiss?”
I take another step away from him, aware that I’m going to be backed up against the drinks table if this goes on. “Like I’m going to get anywhere near you.”
“C’mon, Rose,” Jake lets out a bark of laughter. “I can tell that you want me.”
“I want you to leave me alone,” I retort and just as I begin to walk away, people begin counting down till the New Year and, grabbling hold of my arm, Jake pulls me back to him. I place my hand on his broad chest and Jake smiles cockily down at me, aware that he’s won. Truth be told, he only won because I really didn’t want to be the only one not kissing somebody at New Year’s. Jake was just a small, greasy convenience.
But I’m still going to need alcohol to do this.
My hand reaches out behind me, desperately searching for some beer or vodka, before the people have counted down the last five seconds. I grab the first bottle I find and bring it to my lips, loving the slightly warm feeling in the back of my throat and the sudden light headedness as I try to swig back as much as I possibly can in four seconds.
“Happy New Year!” The room choruses and there is laughter and a few cheers as Jake leans down closer to me and presses his lips to mine. I pull back after two seconds and give him a sharp look, not wanting him to get any further ideas. I mean, his hands have already strayed to my arse.
“That’s the most you’re going to get from me, Jake,” I inform him and prise his hands away from my bum and weave through the crowd of people, to the stereo that was silenced for the countdown. I fiddle with a few buttons, turning the volume knob up and inserting a new CD, when somebody taps me on the shoulder.
“Did that guy kiss you?” A voice asks and I turn around, abandoning my original plan of ignoring the shoulder tapper. “’Cause you know I’m gonna have to beat him up now.”
“Louis!” I squeal and throw my arms around my favourite cousin before pulling back to scrutinise him. His mother being part-veela had left my cousin extraordinarily handsome and with the blondest hair I’ve ever seen. It was even blonder than Malfoy’s. “I thought you were at The Burrow’s Party?”
“I was but I got a little bored,” he replies, shrugging. He shifts slightly so I can see a girl shadowing him. “So I came here and met... this girl...”
“Cindy,” the girl pipes up, looking awkward as she gazes up at Louis. “I’m Cindy.”
Oh, this is going to entertain me for a while.
“No,” I say, picking up a random cup from behind me and passing it to her, not doubting that the cup probably has a gob of spit in it. She thanks me and raises the cup to her mouth. “You’re name is Cindy.”
I have to admit, tormenting Louis’s new girlfriends are always fun. It’s mainly because what comes out of their mouth is so stupid it can keep me laughing for hours. It is an entertaining joke that’s been going since I met his first girl. Louis is never too pleased by this but I’m positively thrilled whenever I see someone new.
“Right...” she giggles, albeit a little nervously. “That’s what I said.”
“Actually, you said you are Cindy not your name is Cindy and, seeing as you’re obviously not the only Cindy in the world, don’t you think that’s a little egotistical?”
“RoRo,” Louis warns, taking the cup from Cindy, just as she’s about to drink, and placing it back on the table. “Be nice.”
“So I’m not allowed to talk to your girlfriends, now?” I whisper to Louis’s back as he turns, his hand placed on the lower back of Cindy as they walk off, giggling.
“Stop being annoying and go gossip among your little friends,” he hisses, turning his head back to me for a moment, probably only so I can see his scowl.
“Don’t take that tone with me, Weasley,” I snap but his reply is a mere roll of his eyes which I stick my tongue out at. After that he ignores me. And it’s really no fun if you’re trying to wind somebody up and they ignore you. I get tired of playing with Louis and scan the throng of dancers to find the girl who could find a way to entertain if we were being forced to eat slugs. She’s there, right in the middle, slow dancing with Smith.
“Amyyy,” I call in a sing-song voice. “Amy Cakes.”
“Rose!” She exclaims, once she hears me, and then, untangling herself from a very disgruntled Smith, she throws herself at me. And I mean throws. Like a bloody bull. We go crashing to the ground, much to the amusement of the people around us. I groan, lifting my head up to see Amy blinking innocently at me. “You know I love you, RoRo?”
“Yes, Amy,” I reply through clenched teeth, glaring at all the snickering people around us. I push her off of my belly and she looks at me, hurt. “And don’t call me that.”
“Why not?” She whines and her breath stinks of alcohol, like I suspected it would. “Louis calls you that.”
“He’s family,” I say and struggle to get up, mainly because Amy is clinging to my leg. I’m trying to throw her off, I really am, but when Amy’s slightly tipsy she has a grip like steel. “And you’re just an overly drunk girl with really nice legs.”
“Oh, Rose! I love you! You have pretty legs, too!”
“I know, honey,” I say soothingly and then, pulling Amy’s arm off of my legs, I stand. “Let’s get you upstairs, shall we?”
“Rose, I was just about to take her,” Smith interjects, grinning down at Amy. I’ve never seen this guy before and yet here he is, in my house, obviously expecting to score tonight.
“Oh, no you’re not,” I snap, looking from Amy’s drunken state to Smith’s greasy, gelled hair.
“Oh, yes you are!” Amy giggles, still sitting on the floor, cradling her legs.
“Up, Amy, up,” I order and, for once, she obeys me, standing, while I proceed to half carry, half drag Amy up the stairs, to my bedroom. She looks confused as I lay her down on the bed and sits up, staring at me in worry. I sigh before sitting down next to her and murmuring soothing things in her ear. Things I’m sure she’d appreciate. Things like ‘clothes, shoes, make-up.’
It works, and soon she’s back to lying on my bed and staring up at my beige ceiling. I spot her bag in the corner and, getting up quickly, I toss it at her face. “Here’s your bag.”
Amy giggles. “I need that! You’re my heeeero, Amy.”
“Yeah, honey, that’s your name,” I tell her as I look in my mirror. “I’m Rose.”
“Rose? Ew.” Amy slurs, scrunching up her nose in disgust. “Amy’s a much better name. From now on you shall be Amy.”
“You’re Amy. I want to be Rose. I like Rose.” I reply but she’s already gone to sleep. Sighing, I leave her, turning off the light on my way out, and make my way back downstairs. Nearly falling over a kissing couple, might I add, on the stairs.
A rather discrete place, don’t you think?
It must have been an hour or two later when I heard the front door bang open and a couple of ear piercing screams. The music grinds to a halt and people in the room freeze. But not because somebody had been murdered, or because somebody had ran into the wall again. Oh no, this was way worse.
“Rose Weasley!” My father roars, and the whole room shares a simultaneous ‘We’re screwed’ gasp. But it’s okay for them seeing as they can leave as soon as Dad turns his back on them. Me? I’m stuck here. I stare up at the boy I am dancing with, my eyes wide and fearful, but he just gives me a comforting pat on the back.
“Get your bloody arse over here!”
I plod my way over to Dad, each step becoming increasingly heavier, and I hear somebody say ‘is that the Ron Weasley?’ Idiot. Somebody shushes them and the house becomes eerily silent. Probably to hear my dad yelling at me better. Like they need any help with that.
“Dad, listen,” I plead once I reach my mother, staring around her house in shock, and my father who’s probably thinking the most unpleasant things while he’s glaring at me.
“No, Rose!” He bellows and I feel my cheeks redden at being yelled at in front of my friends. Dad’s image didn’t help either. He is obviously off his face because his clothes are in disarray, his red hair is mussed up and his face is slightly flushed. “What was going through your teeny, pea-brain mind when you thought you could have a party?!”
“Ronald!” Mum admonishes, still having it in herself to scold dad while her house is wrecked. She’s looking much more presentable than Dad and, if it wasn’t for the dreaded Granger hair, I wouldn’t be embarrassed about declaring that she was my mum in front of a group of people. Until she opened her mouth. “Rose may be a lot of things but she is not stupid!”
Dad blinks. “Oh, okay.” Then his voice returns to a shout. “What the bloody hell was going through your big, fat head when you thought you could have a party?!”
Ah, good old Dad.
I could do a number of things next. I could either:
a) Run out the house, screaming. But this could be a little problem seeing as both my parents are blocking the exit and, when I returned, I would probably be in even more trouble. Unless I stayed out long enough to make them worry which would end up with me being tired, freezing my arse off and probably hungry.
b) Cry. But, while it may make Dad go easier on me, this would be the most embarrassing option I can think of.
Or c) Yell back. So far, I can’t see anything wrong with this option.
“I just had a few friends over!” I screech, waving my hands wildly. “I didn’t want to spend New Year’s alone after you abandoned me!”
“That was of your own choice, young lady,” Mum says sharply. “And that,” she gestures to the living room where people seem to be peeking out, looking fascinated in what’s going on, “is not a ‘few friends.’”
“Mum, Dad, could we please talk about this later?” I ask in a hushed whisper, looking at each curious face. “When everybody’s gone.”
“I have a good right to embarrass you in front of these people you call friends!” Mum snaps and, at my wincing, she shifts her composure into a friendlier one and says in an even tone, “Ron, could you please get everybody out. I would like to speak to Rose without all her so-called friends.”
“Nothing would please me more,” Dad grins and then strolls into the living room without a care in the world. That is until he starts to shout again. “RIGHT! Everybody out! OUT! You little gits. Think you can trash my house?! GET OUT!”
This, of course, sends them scurrying to the door, practically fighting each other to get out first, as Dad watches in amusement and Mum in slight exasperation.
“Great party, Rose,” somebody mutters sarcastically before they leave. I blush, attempting a sad smile.
“Yeah, nice one.”
Dad slams the door shut with such force I’m pretty sure it shakes and then turns to face me. “Right, young lady, your punishment is going to be the biggest punishment known to mankind...Uh... Hermione?”
“Ron,” Mum sighs, rolling her eyes. “Rose, you’re grounded for the rest of the holidays. Oh, wait, scratch that. You’re grounded for the rest of the year. And I’m taking away your permission slip to Hogsmeade.”
She’s just left me with nothing to do at weekends apart from sit in the library doing homework. I think she forgets that I am not her. “Mum, no! You can’t do that!”
“Just watch me,” she snarls and then resumes listing my punishments on her finger. “And no allowance. No owling. No wand. No sweets or biscuits. And did I mention chores till you go back to school? Oh, and also, I’m going to arrange with Neville for you to be in Herbology detention every Friday till you start getting O’s in all your subjects.”
I glare at her in outraged silence. I’m positively fuming. Thanks to her, I’m going to have no social life and probably, with the help of Herbology detention, end up being the biggest dork in the whole school. So, then, with a stamp of my foot, I screech at the top of my lungs, “Why are both of you so deeply uncool?! I hate you! You’re ruining my life!”
And the last thing I hear before I go storming my way upstairs was Hugo sniggering, “Geez, Rose. Overreact much?”