Chapter 3 : On: Begging and Choosing
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On: Begging and Choosing
“Rose! Lily! Rise and shine!” someone whispered hoarsely. It was still dark out and I hadn’t even gotten a fraction of my beauty sleep. Not that it ever really helped, anyway.
I felt a hand on my ankle. It started moving it about. I jerked my leg away.
“Come on! Wake up! Time to go dress shopping!”
Dress shopping? For what? What dress?
I pulled my covers over my head.
Then I was blinded. An immense amount of light filled the room. Lily screamed. I was certain someone had just set off a silent “Avada Kedavra” or something. Except, of course, it wasn’t green…
“Wake up, you two! Let’s go!”
The covers were yanked off my body.
“Ughhhhhh… Muuuuuuuuummmm….” Lily moaned.
Ah, so Ginny was the culprit!
“Wake up, girls. We’ve got to go bridesmaid dress shopping. We’re leaving in twenty minutes!”
“I’m not going,” was Lily’s muffled response.
“Yes, you are. Now get up. We’re going in to London!”
“London?” For some reason that made Lily perk up. She sat up in bed (by now I’d condescended to open an eye. An eye.). “Mum, that’s ridiculous, I can’t be ready to go to London in twenty minutes!”
“Sorry. It was twenty-five but you took so long to wake up.”
“Ugh!” Then she darted to the bathroom faster than I’d ever seen someone move in my life.
I got up, changed out of my pyjamas, and attempted to control the frizzy poof that was my hair. When Lily finally came out of the bathroom exactly twenty minutes later, I had about two seconds to brush my teeth and wash my face. I glanced at myself in the mirror. I looked like a wet rat.
We went downstairs when Lily was finally ready—still continuing to complain about how she couldn’t complete her hair regimen—to find Fleur, Ginny, my mother, Victoire, and Dominique all ready to go in the living room. Victoire and Fleur both tapped their feet impatiently.
“Have you taken your Apparition test yet?” Ginny asked me. “Oh, of course not, you’re only sixteen.”
“I’m seventeen,” I reminded her.
“But the tests don’t begin until March, anyway,” I added.
“Well, you two will be flooing to the Leaky Cauldron.”
“Mu-um,” Lily moaned.
“I don’t want to floo. Can’t I just Apparate with you?”
“No. You’re flooing.”
Sometimes Lily honestly acted like she was four, not fourteen.
“Alright, we’ve got to get started,” said my mother. “So we’ll see you two there!” And with that, there was a pop and she was gone.
Then there were four more pops and everyone else was gone, too.
“Ugh, God,” Lily grunted. “They really can be so rude sometimes.” Then she leapt in front of me and grabbed a fistful of floo powder before throwing it into the fireplace in front of us.
Right, not rude at all.
She stepped neatly into the green flames and yelled, “Leaky Cauldron!” With a bit of swooshing, she was gone. I did the same and soon was spluttering out of the special floo fireplace in the Leaky Cauldron.
“Great, you made it,” said Hermione.
“Alright, now let’s go,” said Fleur, looking angry. Well, what else is new?
I noticed that Victoire’s friend Abigail (well, a girl with curly brown hair who I assumed was Abigail) had joined us. We shuffled out of the nice, cozy pub and onto the chilly streets of London. I’ve been to London many times, of course, but I don’t know the city particularly well. I know where certain things are, but as I followed the two Delacour-Weasley women who hurried us along, I didn’t really pay much attention to where we were going.
“This weather does wonders for my hair,” Lily moaned.
I would trade hair with Lily faster than you can say 'frizz'. Seriously. I wish she’d look at the ridiculous poof that was currently claiming to be my hair before she opened that mouth of hers.
“What—? There’s a moustache on that billboard of me.”
The group stopped so abruptly I walked straight into Dominique, who promptly turned around and gave me a death glare. If looks could kill, I’d be bleeding on the floor right now.
“What are you talking about?”
“Up there. That advert.”
“Oh, my God, someone drew a moustache on your face, Victoire!” Lily cried.
“Thank you, Mrs Holmes,” said Victoire.
“Well, I don’t get it. How deed they get up zere?” Fleur wondered.
Perhaps they hexed it up there? Just an idea…
“Wha—why would someone do something like that?” Victoire sounded as though she’d been personally attacked.
…Well, she kind of had been…
“Zey are jealous. Zat is all. Let’s keep going, we don’t have time to keel.”
Jealous? Me? Never.
“Victoire! Victoire, hi, could I get a picture with you? Perchance…?”
Oh, how nice. A little fan had appeared. Have I mentioned that Victoire is basically a world-class supermodel? No, I don’t think I have. Well, that would explain her lovely billboard advert. She models. A lot.
“Of course,” said Victoire, pretending to be a human being, not a demon ready to eat this poor boy’s soul out.
“Oh, God,” Fleur grumbled impatiently.
Finally we got moving and made it to the bridal shop.
“Alright, so I was thinking of something very simple, you know? Just like… Simple, off-the-shoulder kind of gowns with minimal train—”
“Strapless,” said Fleur, promptly cutting my mum off. “Definitely strapless.”
“Hmm… I don’t know if Rose quite has the shoulder line for strapless.”
Huh? What’s that supposed to mean?!
“But off-ze-shoulder is practically ze same sing, just a beet tackier.”
“Tackier?” Hermione was starting to get offended. “There’s nothing tacky about off-the-shoulder. It’s actually quite classic.”
“Oh, hello, how can I help you?” said a woman, suddenly approaching us. She looked flustered. Well, this was probably a very stressful job, and she’d already gotten a glimpse of how stressful today, in particular, was going to be.
“Yes, we would like to look at your off-the-shoulder gowns.”
“No, ze strapless.”
Ginny jumped in. “How about all of your suggestions for bridesmaid dresses.”
“Well, that’s quite a few options.”
“Just bring us something,” Ginny grunted through gritted teeth.
I glanced over at Victoire. She looked ready to vomit.
Well, if this is any indication of what my wedding preparations will be like, I may as well get ready to vomit, too.
Further back into the store, there was a place for us to sit down while this woman showed us examples of dresses.
“Would you like to see wedding dresses, as well, to try and get a feel for, maybe, a theme, or something?” the woman suggested.
“No,” Fleur and Ginny replied, while Hermione answered easily with, “Yes.”
“Well.” The woman scratched the side of her head. “Who’s the bride?”
Victoire raised a reluctant hand.
“Oh, isn’t that nice.” She probably recognised her. “Well, what would you like us to show you?”
“Anything’s fine, really,” said Victoire.
“Oh, nonsense, you’re the bride.” The woman let out a bit of a chuckle.
“Let them decide—”
“Victoire, just choose!” Ginny snapped. She looked about ready to explode.
“Fine. I guess we can start with bridesmaid dresses. It’ll make my decision easier at the end!” she added fakely.
The woman laughed, as though she and Victoire were old pals. “Alright. Well, here we have some lovely strapless gowns. These two have very long, beautiful trains, and this one is made with a beautiful silk charmeuse, while this one—”
“The trains are so long,” my mum said decidedly.
“What are you talking about? Zey are beautiful.”
“Long trains are tacky.”
Fleur gasped, as though personally offended. “Long trains are elegante!”
Because French is definitely necessary when trying to make a point.
“Well, the silk charmeuse is nice,” my mum commented.
“And probably zee most expensive. Am I wrong?” Fleur raised an eyebrow at the poor sales woman.
“Well, yes, these dresses are on our pricier side, but they’re all relatively around the same price range.”
“What about zose over zere?”
“But they’re off-the-shoulder. I thought you didn’t want off-the-shoulder,” Hermione remarked snidely.
“Maybe I changed my mind,” said Fleur.
“Well, this one is a bit cheaper than the others, and it’s made of a stretch cotton—”
“Stretch cotton? What is zees, le Carrefour?!”
Ginny let out a little gasp, while my mum’s face contorted into a horrific scowl.
Meanwhile, Lily was picking at her nails, Dominique was yawning, Victoire still looked ready to keel over, and Abigail looked petrified by our insane family of lunatics. Who could blame her?
“This one over here is a silk-cotton blend. It’s really quite lovely—here, feel it.”
Fleur obliged, looking none-too-happy about it. “I guess eet is not bad. What is zat made of?”
“Well, this here is a very elegant chiffon—”
“Chiffon ees never elegant.”
“What about this, with the tulle skirt?”
Fleur didn’t even bother responding to that one.
The sales woman looked understandably peeved at this point. “Well, do you have a particular material you were looking for?”
Hermione jumped in. “Why don’t we go by color? What do you have in a light blue?”
“Be right back.” The woman couldn’t have looked happier to leave.
Ginny turned to her niece. “Victoire, what do you think? Fancy any of these options?”
“Oh, they’re all great. Beautiful. Elegant. So hard to choose. Why don’t my bridesmaids choose?”
Ginny looked at the rest of us. “What do you girls think?”
We gave weak responses.
Lily leapt up. “Well, I personally love this one.” She was holding some ridiculous poofy princess dress made of God-knows-what heinous gauzy fabric.
“Absolutely not.” At least Fleur and I agree on something.
“Yeah, I don’t quite think that’s our taste, Lil,” said Ginny.
“Fine. What about this one?” She moved onto one of the silk options.
“Do you ‘ave a couple sousand dollars to give me for zese dresses?” Fleur questioned.
Lily actually looked embarrassed for one of the first times in her life. And I thought the girl had no shame.
The sales woman returned. “Okay, here are some blue options.”
“We said light blue, not blue. No one’s going to want to walk down the aisle and be indistinguishable from the bloody sky,” said my charming, polite mum.
“Sorry—” The sales woman looked about ready to cry.
“Victoire, why don’t you pick your favorites,” Ginny suggested hastily.
Fleur shot her daughter a bit of a look.
Victoire stood and started leafing through the dresses as though they were covered in small pox.
“Well… This is nice.” She pulled at the edge of one, letting it dangle between her thumb and first finger and the hanger on the rack.
“Yes, yes, that one is quite lovely. It’s a silk organza,” the sales woman told us.
“Beautiful,” cooed Hermione and Ginny.
“Anything else?” Ginny probed.
“And… I like this one.”
“One of my personal favourites—this is a shantung satin.”
“And—oh, well this is gorgeous, actually.”
Victoire was on a roll.
“Yes, that’s a hammered satin. Very, very thin. Like milk against your skin.”
“Well, I don’t really know if I want to be wearing milk for three hours,” said Dominique.
“That’s a silk tulle. Quite beautiful, as well. That one comes in a lighter blue, if you’d prefer.”
“No, I quite like this shade,” said Victoire.
Fleur cleared her throat pointedly.
“Why don’t we start trying some of these on, shall we?” Ginny suggested rather shrilly.
The day went on much like that. We tried on dresses, Hermione and Fleur argued about them, Fleur complained some more, the woman looked about ready to pitch herself off the tower bridge, etc. Victoire perked up substantially and started becoming almost as bossy as her mother. Lily moaned and whinged about almost every dress we tried on, and every one she liked, Dominique felt the need to absolutely loathe. Finally it was settled. The dress actually was quite nice. It was the silk organza one Victoire had originally pulled out. It was ribbon cut and very fitted down most of the body until it kind of poofed out a bit at the end. However, I wasn’t sure how I was going to wear it up an aisle and be expected not to trip over myself a dozen times, and it was a bit of a powder-baby blue shade.
Ah, well, beggars can’t be choosers.
When we finally left the poor woman’s store, there were a few photographers waiting for us. Most likely, the sales woman had tipped them off because we were irritating her so much. Who could blame her?
“Victoire!” shouted a paparazzo. “So you’re finally tieing the not with that boyfriend of yours?”
Victoire politely ignored them.
“Victoire—looking gorgeous!” said another.
Creepy, if you ask me.
She plastered a fake smile across her face (she really was quite good at that). “Thank you.”
“She really is quite like that Kate Moss,” Hermione remarked.
“Yes, except without the cocaine addiction, of course,” Ginny added.
“Thanks,” Victoire replied sarcastically.
She and Kate Moss were both short models. That’s where their similarities began and ended.
We made our way through the streets, back toward the Leaky Cauldron.
“You know, I was thinking,” I heard Ginny say to my mum. “Do you remember that time when Bellatrix Lestrange and Fenrir Greyback came to the Burrow at Christmas? And then they chased me and Harry through the fields before setting it on fire? The Burrow, I mean.”
“What? No. I don’t remember that at all.”
“Hm. Must’ve dreamed it, then.”
My mum was looking at her sister-in-law as though she’d just escaped from the loony bin. “Yes, I’m very sure I would’ve remembered if something like that had happened.”
What a strange family.
We flooed back and I tripped rather unattractively through the fireplace and tumbled into the living room. Of course my entire family had to be gathered ‘round the Wizvision (wizards’ version of a television. Needless to say, Grandpa Arthur was beyond ecstatic upon its invention) when I made my grand entrance.
“Rose, could you move just a bit, you’re blocking Selena Styers,” said Fred.
No “Oh, Rose! Are you okay? Let me help you up! You must be in so much pain!” Nope. Just a simple “Get out of my way, you bloody cow!” Okay, maybe he didn’t go quite that far, but still.
“More like, you’re blocking Selena Styers’ left breast…” Albus said quietly enough so I could hear him, chuckling to his cousins.
Like I said, Albus is most definitely the mature one.
I pushed myself up with a huff and trudged upstairs to my room. While on the third floor landing, I heard something very odd. And no, not odd in the sense of, like, a Hippogriff braying, or something, or a Blast-Ended Skrewt blasting it’s end. Not like that. What I heard was classical music. A very strange occurrence for the un-cultured Weasleys, indeed.
So I knocked on the door to the room from which the mysterious music was playing. No response. No surprise there, as the volume of the music easily blocked out any exterior noise. So I opened the door just a crack, and poked my head in.
And there I saw it: Scorpius Malfoy sitting on a bed. With his eyes closed. Listening to classical music. And not just any classical music. It was the love theme from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. My mum’s a bit obsessed with classical music, and she took me to see the Royal Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet one time, which is how I recognised the piece.
“What are you doing?” I couldn’t help but ask.
Scorpius’s eyes popped open. “What?” Then he kind of dove sideways to turn the music off, which he succeeded in doing, in addition to falling off the bed.
“What are you doing?” I repeated.
“What? Nothing. Nothing. Just… having a rest. Is all. Having a nice, quiet… rest.” He stood and brushed himself off. Literally. As if the boy had fallen into a pile of dust.
“While listening to some of your favourite tunes?”
“What? Tunes? I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“What were you just listening to?”
“Nothing. Silence. The birds. Outside.” His pure, white skin had been stained the colour of tomatoes. “Why are you… Not downstairs watching—I thought everyone was watching… Wizvision…”
“No. I don’t really care much to watch Selena Styers needle someone she’s supposed to be interviewing.”
He looked confused.
“Were you just having a bit of meditation, then?”
“With classical music?”
I narrowed my eyes at him. What a strange, strange boy. But, I let him be and escaped to my own room.
I have a terrible, terrible habit of sleeping ridiculously late. I got up the next morning, threw some clothes on, and headed downstairs, hoping there’d still be some breakfast left for me to munch on.
“Oh—we’ve got Rose! Look, Molly, now you don’t have to play.”
This is why it’s bad to sleep late. You get caught off-guard and sucked into terrible things like cousin-wide games of Quidditch.
“What?” I yawned very obviously, hoping to convince my stupid cousins that I was too tired, and thus not an asset at all to their Quidditch match. In fact, Molly would even be a better choice than me.
“We’re playing Quidditch. You’re on our team,” Albus announced.
“I’m not playing. I refuse.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are.”
“I'm not playing!”
“Yes, you are, Rose!”
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are.”
“So you’ve agreed? Alright, good.”
“No! I was trying to trick you.”
“Well, you failed. Let’s go.”
“I haven’t got a broom.”
“Has that ever been a problem?”
No. He handed me one from Harry and Ginny’s ridiculously massive collection of brooms, that exists for two reasons: 1. Because Ginny used to play professionally, and 2. Because Harry’s rich, and we all know how much rich people like to collect useless things.
“Alright, let’s go.”
The massive group filed outside. The parents were gathering around to watch.
“The teams are as follows,” Dominique announced to the crowd. “Albus, Scorpius, Lily, Dominique, Teddy, and Rose—”
Did she say Teddy and Rose? As in, on the same team? Nevermind, I’m playing.
“Against James, Louis, Lucy, Roxanne, Fred, and Hugo.”
“Wait, but that’s only six people per team,” I said.
“Yes, because Victoire refused to play,” Albus explained.
“Well, how come she gets to refuse and I don’t?” I have to keep up the act of not wanting to play so as not to arouse suspicion for my devotion to Teddy.
“Because she’s the oldest, and you’re not.”
I huffed and puffed, but mounted the stupid broom nonetheless.
“What position am I?”
“Chaser!” Dominique shouted. “With Albus.”
I must say, the teams were reasonable. When the game began, Hugo was the first to have control of the Quaffle. He’s not too bad at all. Clearly he inherited all the Weasley Quidditch talent that I did not. He darted past his cousins, but Teddy sent a Bludger his way (Teddy can play any position; he’s so good. Not that I care about Quidditch. But it looks sexy on Teddy), knocking him off-guard and allowing Albus to zoom in, heading toward James, who was playing Keeper in front of the leafless tree, which was always used as one goal for Burrow Quidditch matches. Albus threw the ball, hoping for it to slide behind James and between the right branches, however his brother kicked it out of the way with all his strength. Unfortunately for Quidditch prodigies Harry and Ginny, none of their children are particularly mind-blowingly good at Quidditch. Lily SUCKS, Albus is fine, and James is definitely good (he plays the position of Keeper with a lot of anger—he uses all his pent-up frustration about being the ugly Potter child and takes it out on any stray Quaffles headed his way. He’s also surprisingly agile), but he’s got nowhere near the remarkable talent either of his parents are supposed to have possessed in their prime.
Anyway, so James knocked the Quaffle out of the way, and Hugo grabbed it again, heading back toward Dominique. A Bludger zoomed past Lily’s ear, and she tried to knock it toward him, but missed. I swear I heard a swooshing sound because the girl swung her stupid bat so quickly. Yes, Lily was put as a Beater, because Teddy can easily Beat for two, and what else was the girl going to play?
Hugo pitched the ball toward the makeshift hoops (for our team, Dominique conjured up some rings to hover in space behind her), but Dominique easily knocked it out of the way. She plays with anger, much like her cousin James. Dominique is another Weasley who was blessed with the Quidditch gene. She sent the ball flying straight toward her brother Louis. It hit him in the arm, and he went to grab it, almost losing it about four times before finally keeping hold of the poor thing.
“Don’t drop the ball, butterfingers!” Dominique jeered.
Just then, a Bludger headed straight for him, but Fred (Beater extraordinaire), hit it out of the way just in time.
“Told you I got your back!” he cried, looking obnoxiously proud of himself.
But he accidentally sent the Bludger flying toward his sister (other Beater extraordinaire), who promptly hit it off in another direction (“And I got yours!” she shouted with irritation): straight at Albus, who was lucky enough to notice it in time (Lily shrieked, “AL, AL, WATCH OUT!”) and dodge out of the way.
I gazed up to see Lucy and Scorpius circling the imaginary pitch aka: field of grass behind the house. Both of them were known to be fantastic Seekers (Lucy was overcompensating for being the ugly L. It’s always about looks with Quidditch). Scorpius was remarkably deft and extremely good at manoeuvring, which is why he was great at zooming up on unsuspecting Snitches.
Alright, so here’s where I got bored. I was currently in the middle of Great Expectations, which I’ve read over my past three Christmas holidays, and I was just up to my favourite part. So you really can’t blame me for what I did next. I whipped out my wand, and muttered a quick “Accio Great Expectations!” and the book came flying through my bedroom window, shattering it for the second time in three days. Before the shards of glass could fall on my lovely family, I muttered a quick, “Reparo!” and the shards flew back into place, while the book simultaneously landed in my empty hand. Quite proud of myself for my unusual (for me) agility, I let out a little “Hmmph”.
Then the Quaffle hit me in the head.
“Rose! Pay attention!”
Albus was screaming at me. Leave it to him to ruin my moment.
“Al, how’s that going to help the game?” Teddy voiced.
Leave it to him to make my bloody day! (A rare moment where I’m actually not being sarcastic.)
“Get the Quaffle. GET THE QUAFFLE!”
The Quaffle was now steadily heading toward the ground. I descended enough to catch the stupid thing, and then tossed it back to him, which made him even more angry, because apparently he was being attacked by Bludgers—thanks to Fred and Roxanne (no, really, thanks)—and could not carry the thing over to the other goal.
Whatever. I opened up my book and was soon fully enveloped in Pip’s wonderful story. I was just up to the part where he realises that his mysterious benefactor has been Magwitch all along, and it’s wonderful and heartwarming because he completely changes his views on wealth and generos—
WHACK. A Bludger hit me square in the stomach, knocking the wind straight out of me.
“Oh, Rose, I’m so sorry!”
Leave it to Lily.
She was hovering there, several metres away, furrowing her eyebrows and looking all guilty, as though she actually cared.
“Maybe you should actually start paying attention?” Dominique muttered from behind me.
I smirked at her. Stupid hag.
I went back to my reading. Because reading is actually useful, unlike Quidditch, which is a stupid, pointless sport for ninnies. And yes, I may use outdated slang, but at least, if someone were to ask me to explain the importance of suffering within Great Expectations, I would be able to do so at the toss of a hat. I really think I should’ve gone to Muggle school. According to Mum, they’re asked to do useful things like analyse literature and speak foreign languages all the time. Not fly around on bloody broomsticks, tossing oddly-shaped balls back and forth to try and make them fly through equally ludicrous-looking golden hoops. I mean, honestly, who invented this sport?
I heard a bit of whooshing, and skillfully caught the Quaffle before it had another chance to make me lose my balance.
“Ha!” I announced. “See, didn’t work this time—”
I was about to throw it to a happily waiting Albus—whilst adroitly holding my place in my book, mind you—when I felt something hard hit me in the temple, and everything went black.
A/N: This chapter felt pretty long, but it was too short if I ended it with the Rose and Scorpius scene. It feels less funny to me, but I hope you enjoyed it! And please leave a review if you can! :)
Also, what did you all think of the HBP movie? I think I dropped my opinion in there somewhere…
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