Chapter 13 - Weekend At Jenny's: Part I
“...so now I have three boyfriends, not including Jason, who’s more of a work-friend who I occasionally kiss. So I said to Mummy, what should I do? Which should I pick? Martin is so handsome, but Kevin is so intelligent and Nathan is so successful – I just can’t choose! Being popular is so tiresome sometimes. You wouldn’t really understand, I suppose...”
“Gillian, any chance you could just drive straight into that tree?” Dom interrupts Molly’s speech that has been boring us for the last twenty-five minutes. Gillian, Jenny’s sister, looks slightly frightened of Dom. I don’t think she ‘gets’ us just yet.
We’re on our way to the cottage for Jenny’s hen weekend. It was Jenny’s idea to take her father’s minibus and drive down instead of using a portkey. It’s not turning out to be one of her better ideas. In fact, it’s just about the worst idea that’s ever been conceived by any human being, including those thought up by Theodore Froggs, who wanted to be the first wizard to fly naked on a broomstick across the Atlantic. I think he fell off somewhere over Ireland after a particularly nasty storm and was found in a field by a bunch of Muggles.
Yes, this is definitely a worse idea.
I managed to get today, Friday, off work, and I left Aidan with Scorpius for a ‘Boys Weekend’. I just hope they’re both alive by the time we get back.
Gillian is driving, with Jenny and her friend Kate in the front two passenger seats. I’m stuck in between Molly and Dom and behind us are Lily, Daisy, Victoire and Laura. Laura had been sitting in Molly’s place, but three minutes into the journey Molly complained that she felt sick in the very back, so Laura agreed to switch with her if it would shut her up.
“You’re just jealous that I have boyfriends, Dom,” says Molly haughtily. I’m not the only one to snort at this statement. Dom is part Veela; Molly is part Auntie Audrey. It doesn’t take a genius to work out who has had more boyfriends. Dom doesn’t even dignify this statement with a response.
“Are we almost there?” Molly whines.
“We have another three and a half hours,” Jenny tells her, “So get comfortable.”
“Kill me now,” Dom mumbles.
“Anybody up for some car games?” Daisy asks brightly from behind me. Seriously, the woman makes me sick. I actually feel physically sick now. Dom rolls her eyes at me, and I’m glad to know I’m not the only one sickened by this idea.
“Good idea, Daisy!” says Lily. Traitor. Then, like a bunch of children, they all start playing ‘I Spy’. Molly starts.
“I spy with my little eye, something beginning with ‘D’!” She looks really proud of herself, like we’ll never get what she’s thinking.
“Dog?” Dom asks.
“What? There’s no dog around here,” she spits back, clearly annoyed that Dom isn’t taking the game seriously.
“No, I just thought you looked into a mirror or something.” I have to high-five her for that one. A good comeback deserves a good high-five.
“Dom’s not playing anymore,” says Molly childishly.
“I spy with my little eye, something beginning with ‘A’,” I say.
“Arsehole?” Dom asks, pointing to Molly.
“Nice one, Dom!”
“Shut up!” Molly yells at us.
“Girls, stop teasing Molly,” Jenny calls from the front. Molly grins at us slyly, happy that we’ve been scolded. How is she related to us?
“I knew we should have apparated,” Dom mumbles, “Speaking of, how did your first apparition lesson go, Rose?”
I had hoped everyone would forget that I started apparition lessons last week. It’s bad enough that I’m the only one in my entire family – apart from Aidan – who can’t apparate, but I hate everyone knowing about it too. The car has gone silent to hear my response.
In truth, it went alright. It could have gone better, but it also could have gone much worse. When I arrived at the Ministry on Saturday morning for class, Auntie Audrey was there in the entrance foyer handing out flyers with Mum’s face on them and ‘Vote for Weasley!’ in bright red writing. I knew she shouldn’t have chosen red for the font. It makes her look like a communist. I didn’t manage to bypass Auntie Audrey, so she ended up giving me a whole pile of flyers to hand out in my apparition class.
She needn’t have bothered giving me the whole pile. There were a total of three people in the class, including myself. The other two were men in their forties. One of them, Mike, never passed his apparition test when he was at Hogwarts, and never got round to taking another one until now. He uses portkeys to get everywhere. The other bloke, John, had his memory erased after a duel with his brother and had to re-learn to do everything, including apparating.
The fact that there are so few people in the class means that whenever I splinched myself, everybody noticed. Luckily it only happened once, and it wasn’t too serious. I only lost part of my baby toe. However, by the end of the two hours, I had managed to apparate successfully. Thank God there are only three more classes left.
“They went fine,” I say.
After two hours of driving, and when everyone has had quite enough of Molly’s moaning, we stop at a picnic park to stretch our legs. Jenny has brought a whole mountain of sandwiches for everyone and flasks of tea. This has to be the oddest hen weekend ever. Forget pink feather boas and ‘L’ plates – we have ham and cheese sandwiches. And as nice as that might sound, stopping to eat lunch outdoors in the middle of February is about as fun as sliding bare-arsed down the Himalayas.
Dom, Laura and I break away from the group for a small walk around the park.
“I don’t think I can take any more of her,” Dom complains, “Why did Jenny have to invite Molly of all people?”
“I know,” Laura agrees, “I forgot how annoying she was at school.” We stop and sit down on a few large rocks, hugging our coats tight.
“Never mind Molly, what was she thinking bringing that other thing?” I ask, disgusted they haven’t brought her up already.
“You mean Daisy?” Dom asks.
“Yes, who else?”
“She’s not that bad,” says Dom, “And don’t kill me.”
“Not that bad?” I scoff, “The woman is a complete nightmare.”
“I don’t really know her,” Laura shrugs, “What makes her so nightmare-ish? Apart from the fact that she’s married to Scorpius, of course.”
“She’s a thundering bitch, for one,” I begin, “She thinks she’s better than everyone. Haven’t you noticed how snotty she is?” They both shrug. “And she wants custody of Aidan.” That gets a reaction. Even if it’s not strictly true.
“She what?” Dom cries.
“Fuck off,” Laura gasps.
“Well, she thinks Scorpius and I should have a legal custody agreement,” I admit. They look slightly disappointed now. “We got on just fine before she came along! Little Miss Cow-face thinks she knows what’s best for my son. The only reason Scorpius is even with her is because I turned him down.”
My heart literally stops beating at the sound of another person. The three of us spin around at the same time and find ourselves face to face with the woman of the moment.
“Jenny says we’re leaving in a minute,” she says, frowning, and then turns around and walks back over to the minibus. Dom and Laura look at me, eyes wide and completely mortified.
“D’you think she heard me?” I ask in a whisper.
“Well if she didn’t she’s a deaf Little Miss Cow-face,” says Laura.
Daisy is completely silent for the rest of the journey. She sits in the very back, staring out the window with her arms folded. I know this shouldn’t bother me, but it does. I feel guilty now, even though I hate her. Dom and Laura keep giving me these looks, so I can’t look at them at all anymore. Molly doesn’t seem to notice any tension and continues on with her annoying antics until we finally arrive at the Winters’ cottage, which pushes all guilty thoughts temporarily from my mind as we pour out of the minibus.
“Oh bloody hell – you must be joking.”
I have to say, I think Dom’s reaction is quite calm, considering the structure that is standing before us. I thought she’d be tearing her hair out, cursing at the top of her voice and grabbing Jenny around the neck and strangling her to death. Because I’m very close to doing all of these things, and I pride myself on having a higher level of tolerance for things than Dom does.
“We are not staying here all weekend,” she turns to Jenny, “There is no way.”
The Winters’ family cottage is nothing more than a shack with a conservatory, putting it lightly. It looks like it might blow over if there is any hint of wind. It’s a tiny bungalow, with a sunroom sticking off the side of it looking completely out of place. The garden is overgrown, because it hasn’t been used since last summer according to Jenny. It looks like it hasn’t been used since the middle ages. Maybe they’re just playing a prank on us or something. Or maybe it’s magically enhanced on the inside.
But then again, Jenny’s family are all Muggles. I think this weekend might just be the thing to finish me off.
“It’s lovely inside,” says Jenny earnestly.
“Is there room for ten of us?” I ask, knowing the answer already. Jenny looks a bit worried, as if she didn’t realise she’d invited ten of us. I knew we should have left Molly at home. And Daisy.
“We’ll manage,” says Jenny, but not very convincingly.
“There’s a nice lake just a mile up the road,” says Gillian, trying to make the situation seem a bit brighter.
“Great, at least we have somewhere to drown ourselves,” says Dom glumly.
Dom and I exchange looks and completely ignore her.
Inside is no better than the outside. In fact, it’s much worse. There is a living room with couches and a tiny kitchen, with the world’s smallest bathroom just off it. There is no shower, really, just a hose hanging off the wall over the toilet. There are two bedrooms, both smaller than Aidan’s in the flat. In fact, this cottage is smaller than my flat, which is pretty small for two people – well, one and a half really, because Aidan’s only little. There are ten of us staying here.
“Right, who’s sleeping on the roof then?” I ask.
“I call a bed!” Molly cries.
“Other bed!” cries Lily.
“Couch!” Laura and Dom shout at the same time.
“Eh, shouldn’t Jenny get a bed, seeing as it’s her hen weekend and everything?” I ask. People are suspicious of this generous side of me. And believe me, if she wasn’t pregnant, she’d be the one sleeping on the roof.
“Fine,” says Lily, seeing as Molly isn’t about to give up her bed any time soon.
Jenny lights the fire, because the heating isn’t working. We all sit in a circle in the living room as it begins to get dark outside, wrapped inside our blankets. I should have known this would be dodgy, considering we were told to bring our own sleeping bags. As everyone else engages in girl-talk and mindless gossiping, I can’t help but feel guilty again. I mean, I know I don’t like Daisy, and I don’t do a good job of hiding it, but I never actually wanted her to hear me saying stuff like that behind her back. It seems so sly. She’s been extremely quiet all evening, even though Victoire has been trying to include her in the conversations. Daisy and Victoire seem to get on really well because they’re near enough the same age – well, Victoire is twenty seven and Daisy is about a hundred, so Victoire is the closest in age she can get.
I can’t even talk to Dom and Laura about this because the house is so damn small, everyone would hear. So I just carry the guilt with me until it’s time for bed – at half ten. Jenny, Gillian and their Muggle friend, Kate, take one of the bedrooms, while Molly takes the other one. Victoire shoves Dom off one of the couches and takes it for herself, while Laura allows Daisy to have the other one. I think she’s feeling guilty about what happened too. As there isn’t much space on the floor of the living room, Lily reluctantly agrees to sleep on the floor in the bedroom with Molly. Dom, Laura and I then settle in on the freezing cold floor of the living room in our sleeping bags, with our coats on over our pyjamas.
“Fucking ridiculous,” Dom mumbles to herself as we all drift off into a very uncomfortable sleep.
Jenny bursts into the living room at half eight the next morning, flicking her wand at the curtains to open them. I join Dom, Laura and Victoire in an annoyed grunt as the daylight pours across our faces. Although the floor is hugely uncomfortable, I could still sleep for another few hours on it, given the chance.
Daisy, I notice, is sitting up on the couch, already awake. I wonder how long she’s been like that.
“Come on girls, up you get!” Jenny calls happily, “We’re going hiking!” She then skips happily into the bathroom. Laura lies back down to sleep, while Dom looks at me incredulously.
“She’s not serious,” says Dom in a scratchy voice, “If she thinks I’m going hiking, she has another thing coming...”
Jenny soon bounces out of the bathroom and into Molly and Lily’s room to wake them up. What the hell ever happened to morning sickness? Pregnant people are supposed to be miserable in the mornings, not going hiking! I puked all the way to lunchtime when I was pregnant with Aidan, and then sometimes in the evenings too. It’s official – Jenny Winters is a freak of nature.
Half an hour later, we are all up and dressed. Daisy completely avoids me as best she can in such a small space, and I’m half wondering if she’s planning to maybe push me off the side of a mountain when we go hiking. She doesn’t even look at me.
Jenny leads the group, telling us that the hill we’re going to climb is only an hour’s walk from the cottage. Only.
Dom, Laura and I trail behind everyone else, so I take the opportunity to talk to them about the Daisy situation.
“Should I apologise?” I ask, “Even though I was speaking from the heart?”
“You were a bit of a bitch,” says Laura, “Although I wouldn’t apologise for being who you are.”
Dom nods in agreement. Now I feel worse. I’m not that much of a bitch, am I?
“Should I do it now?” I ask.
“Do what you want,” Dom pants, “This hill is going to be the fucking death of me.”
Daisy is up ahead of us, walking with Victoire and Kate-the-Muggle, who I have yet to say two words to. I give Laura and Dom one last look, a look that a soldier gives when going into battle.
“If I’m not back in ten minutes, tell Aidan I love him,” I say.
“And Scorpius,” Laura says. She thinks she’s so funny.
I summon up all of my energy and jog forward to catch up with Daisy. I hate apologising. Even when I’m in the wrong. It’s so much worse when I’m in the wrong.
“Eh, Daisy?” I call when I’ve nearly reached them. I swear, if I don’t lose a stone after today, I’m going to cry. I’m completely breathless after running this short distance. Daisy seems fine – bitch. She turns to me, looking mildly surprised that I’m speaking to her, and stops. “C-can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Alright,” she says unenthusiastically. Kate and Victoire venture on, and she tells them she’ll catch up. “What’s up?”
“About yesterday,” I say, still sort of breathless from the run and from nerves. She looks down at her feet. “Erm...I’m sorry you heard that.” She now looks up from her feet and stares at me with a look of disbelief.
“That’s what you’re sorry for?” she laughs, though not in a pleasant way. “You’re sorry I heard you? You’re not sorry for what you said?”
Suddenly, I get this surge of anger from the way she’s looking at me, as if I’m the only bitch in this situation. She’s the one who started this rift. She’s the one who called me a bad mother. She’s the interfering cow. She has no right to make me feel bad.
“No, I’m not sorry for what I said,” I say defiantly, “In fact, I could have said a whole lot more if you hadn’t so rudely interrupted.”
Now she looks really shocked. I don’t think she believes my nerve. I don’t even believe it. I never used to be this brazen. Dom and Laura are coming closer to us now – at least I have backup if she tries to kill me.
“I don’t know what Scorpius ever saw in you,” says Daisy cruelly, “You’re nothing more than a spoiled, selfish little brat who thinks she’s so much better than everyone else.” Now it’s her turn to get stuff off her chest, apparently. “I gave you a chance, but you’ve been nothing but an insufferable bitch to me since I met you! You shoot me the dirtiest looks when I haven’t done anything, you twist my words when I’m just trying to help you! You know, Scorpius was messed up for a long time because of you.” I raise my eyebrows. There’s no way she could know anything about me and Scorpius. “He confided in me for months and months before we started going out together, you know. And I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt after he and I got married, simply because you’re Aidan’s mum and in our lives whether I like it or not, but now I realise that you’re nothing more than the bitch who broke his heart.” Dom and Laura are getting very close to us now.
“Who the hell do you think you are?” I cry in exasperation, “Why do you think Scorpius is even with you? You’re his rebound wife!” I realise I probably sound ridiculous. Daisy even laughs at this. She then turns around to catch up with Victoire and Kate. “HE PROPOSED TO ME FIRST!” I shout up the hill.
Everyone stops talking and turns around to face me. I apparently shouted louder than I intended. Daisy frowns at me, as if she’s torn between hating me and believing me. I never intended to tell her, although I thought Scorpius might have. Apparently not. Dom and Laura have now caught up to me, both looking shocked and embarrassed at my outburst.
“You’re lying,” Daisy says quietly.
I stare back at her. “Believe what you want. I’m going back to the house.”
I turn back and head off down the hill by myself, refusing Dom and Laura’s offers to accompany me. It’s starting to rain by the time I arrive back, so I know I won’t be alone for long. In fact I’m alone for a total of about five minutes, because Jenny arrives back shortly after, looking extremely pissed off.
“Jen, I’m sorry,” I start, “I didn’t mean to ruin your weekend –”
“Shut up,” she snaps. I’m gobsmacked – Jenny has never told me to shut up before. “Why do you insist on being so rotten to Daisy? It’s not her fault you’re still into Scorpius!”
“Don’t you start on me too,” I say, “And by the way, you’re supposed to be on my side.”
“I’ve always been on your side,” she says angrily, “But it’s getting harder and harder when you insist on being so cruel!” She sits down on the couch and makes me sit down beside her. “I’m sorry Rose, but you let Scorpius go. You can’t expect him to be single forever, and you can’t hate Daisy just because she married him. It’s not her fault.”
I know she’s right. Of course I do. I’ve always known it. Just like I knew I couldn’t blame Victoire when she married Teddy – it just seemed like the easiest thing to do.
“Let him go,” Jenny tells me. This hurts. The mere thought of letting go of Scorpius is just unbearable. How would she feel if I told her to let Al go? “He’s Daisy’s now.” And that hurts even more.
Everyone else arrives back soon after. I say nothing to Daisy and she says nothing to me. Everyone seems to be distracted from my outburst on the hill by a more amusing incident – Molly falling head-first into a small bog. I can’t help but laugh in union with everyone else when I see her. Maybe it’s a good thing Molly came – for the comic relief, if nothing else.
A/N - I know. It's been ages. Shoot me. I had some writers block and re-wrote this chapter three times, so that's why it took so long! I'm sorry. Hopefully the next update will be quicker. Thanks so much anyone who is still reading this story! Please review. Oh and a shout out to Voldy Needs A Hug - not only for the cool screen name, but also because she is (one of) the story's greatest fans! Thank you all! (",)
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