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Chapter 6 : Oblivious
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Secret No. 9: It is me who keeps secretly feeding the already obese cat, Crookshanks, titbits and snacks when he’s meant to be on a special diet.
The picture from the chemist did appear in Witch Weekly. And not the good one either. The one where I look like a drunken, bruised, squinting mess. Amy, on the other hand, looks like her usual gorgeous self and has taken it upon herself to remind every damn person to look at the photo of us in Witch Weekly. I’m choosing to believe she’s not doing it to embarrass me but to up her status, if that can even be done.
So, I think it’s safe to say, I am not happy. Not in the slightest.
And this mood is not improved by Hugo chortling at my picture in the magazine, as he seems to re-enact to his little friends what I assume from his wild hand gestures and his fist coming inches to his face, almost hitting it, is me getting slapped by Naomi. Like he was even there.
It comes across my, what has to be said, brilliant mind then, while I sit glaring at Hugo, that this is all his fault. Okay, I know it’s not really at all but it still makes me feel a little happier. And what would make me even happier would be if something extremely embarrassing happens to Hugo. Something so embarrassing it would make my mum look cool.
My eyes flit over to the Slytherin table, as they do every breakfast, lunch and dinner, but this time they skip over Scorpius and land on Al. Al, with his invisibility cloak and older brother who had an obsession with pranks.
Oh, I really am a genius.
I refocus my gaze to Marissa who has practically been babbling to herself for the last ten minutes and give her a small, almost apologetic smile. “Sorry, I need to go.”
Her mouth is open as she blinks at me. It’s obvious I had interrupted her. “Where?”
“I’m going to make Al help me prank Hugo,” I reply, flashing the ditzy brunette a winning smile. Marissa stares at me blankly for a moment before bursting into a fit of giggles. I don’t even bother to roll my eyes before I leave.
Albus’s hair always looks messier in the morning, I notice, as I walk over to the Slytherin table. Scorpius’s hair is perfect, of course. As it usually is. His head tilts up and he seems to notice me. Or I think he does anyway because he’s scowling rather ferociously in my direction. Which makes it really hard to remember I’m meant to be talking to Al, not engaging in a battle of the wits – which I would of course win – with Malfoy.
“Morning, Al,” I say once I’ve reached them both. Albus looks up, startled and sleep deprived. I sit down, beaming heartily at all the glaring Slytherins. “I’m afraid I need your help.”
There’s a slightly awkward pause. Albus seems a little dumbfounded. Of course, Scorpius-big-mouth-Malfoy seems thrilled that I need any sort of help. I can’t help it then; I let my attention slip from Al to Scorpius. He’s leaning forward, grinning at me in a slightly mad way. “No.”
“I wasn’t even talking to you,” I hiss, giving Scorpius my most unimpressed look.
“Well, you were looking at me.”
“I was not!”
He smirks. “You were-”
Al sighs heavily enough to halt Scorpius mid-sentence. “Merlin, shut up.”
I smirk back at Scorpius, happy that Al has taken my side, for once. I turn to that wonderful cousin of mine – so wonderful he may give Louis a run for his money. “So, will you help me, then?”
“Depends,” Al replies, looking over in amusement at Scorpius, who seems to be sulking. “What do you want?”
“Well,” I begin in a hushed whisper. It would really spoil my fun if somebody, say… Scorpius, overheard what I was saying and, just because they can, told Hugo. Who would obviously tattle on me to Mum. “You know Hugo spiked my juice?”
Al nods, his face impassive. I know he’s secretly curious though. As long as I can remember, Al’s shoulder had always twitched when he wanted to know something. And today was no exception. “The whole school knows.”
“Yes, okay, thanks for that,” I say. “We, that is you and I, are going to…” I pause for effect. It seems to work, Al leans in closer, expectant, and even Scorpius’s eyes are rested on me. “Prank Hugo Weasley.”
There’s another silence. But this one seems to feel more like disbelief rather than uncomfortable relationships between cousins. I see Al and Scorpius exchange looks. I start to feel a little frustrated. “What?!” I cry and throw up my hands. “What is so wrong with that?!”
Scorpius starts to snigger and, just I was about to snap at him, Al does the same. I strum my fingers on the table, resting my head in my hand. I would really like to throw the pumpkin juice over Al before leaving but I want his cloak. “So,” I say, once both boys have calmed down. “Will you help me, then?”
And then they’re off again. This time I did reach for the jug of juice and my fingers are only inches away when the bell rings. I feel a bit of a pout come on as Al and Scorpius walk to their lessons, shaking their heads and laughing, and as all of the remaining students file out behind them. Hugo and his friends strut at the rear of the crowd, obviously thinking they’re some sort of fourth year gods, and I narrow my eyes at his back.
Oh, he is so dead.
“Rose Weasley,” the professor calls in a tired voice and I look away from Nina who’s once again giggling at Merlin knows what to where the Mr. Sitch is glancing at the paper in his hands. “You’ll sit with… oh, heavens no, not him… what about… yes, yes, Rose you’ll be sitting next to Zoe Hawthorn.”
I find myself glaring at him as I make my way over to the chirpy blonde sitting casually at the front table. I mean, this is so unfair! I wasn’t the one who spread that rumour about her and Brandon Hutter in the broom closet which she seemed unsettlingly cool about. I wasn’t the one who ‘accidently’ spilt pumpkin juice down her back this morning, the sticky juice making her shirt transparent which earned many cat-calls and wolf whistles from most of the boys. And I wasn’t the one who stole her diary from out of her bag while she went to change and then laughing my evil arse off at what she’d written. So, why am I being forced to sit with Zoe while Amy, once again has luck on her side, and is paired with Sam?
I see Zoe beaming up at me happily as I slowly, reluctantly, place my bag down on the wooden table and crouch to feel for my chair. I’ve done that since third year and some particularly horrible person pulled my chair out just as I was sitting down, sending me crashing to the floor. My fingers make contact with the wood and I seat myself down, turning to face Zoe.
“Hey,” I say quietly and Zoe’s smile becomes, if possible, brighter.
“Hey, Rose!” She says, turning her body towards me so that I can see her face properly. Her eyes seem to flick up and down over my body before finally letting them rest on my hair. I don’t know why she looks so fascinated by it – it looks as it usually does. “Have you been using that super-shine on your hair? Because it looks super shiny.”
I run a finger through my hair, feeling how silky it is. “Yeah.”
“You can really tell,” Zoe nods enthusiastically and, I know how wrong it is, but I feel a little resentment towards her. Why must she be so nice? I mean, she was even nice when Amy purposely poured pumpkin juice on her. Do you know what she said? ‘No worries, I’m sure it was an accident.’ Accident, my arse. Nothing Amy does is an ‘accident.’ Even Amy looked a bit startled by that.
Mr. Sitch calls out another name and I hear Marissa’s familiar groan as she stomps over to where the Ravenclaw loner is sitting, her hair looking as if it had been dumped in a chip fryer.
I nod in reply to Zoe as I pull out my Potions book, the cover brand new and shiny. “Thanks,” I murmur. Okay, I may be sounding a little surly and bored but if this girl kept talking to me in her overly nice, bubbly, girlfriend-of-Scorpius way I might have to jam a quill in my eye. I flick through my book, trying to ignore Zoe, who’s staring at me nervously, with wide eyes.
“Um… Rose?” She begins and I close my book with a snap, turning to eye her in boredom. Zoe gulps, the lump in her throat looking more pronounced as she does this. In fact, in the poor light in the dungeons, it slightly looks like an Adam’s apple. I smirk at her, tilting my head to the left to show off how non-Adam’s apple-like my neck is.
“You know you have, like, the nicest clothes I’ve ever seen…” Zoe trails off and I sigh, turning back to my book. In all honestly, I expected something a little more creative from the girlfriend of Scorpius – I receive these compliments on a daily basis from people the likes of Marissa. Zoe doesn’t seem fazed by my blatant disinterest and plowers on. “I was wondering…” she takes a deep breath and I admit it, my curiosity was piqued. “I was wondering… well, if you’d…. if you’d take me shopping?”
Are you fucking kidding me? I survey her innocent expression with a bad taste in my mouth, really wishing she’d do something completely horrible so I am justified to hate her. “I’m busy,” I reply curtly and Zoe looks a little wounded. I take a deep breath before mustering up a tight smile. “Sorry.”
Zoe’s cheeks are a bit flushed. “Oh, it’s not your fault!” She rushes out, returning my smile ten times the effort. “Of course you’re busy. I mean, you’re Rose Weasley.”
I’m not sure if she meant that in a good way or not so I reply with a hesitant smile. She opens her mouth again but Professor Sitch orders everyone to shut up. It was either me or him. He talks for a few minutes, explaining some sort of complicated potion, and Zoe lets out a little giggle. I turn from the board to see what could have possibly made Little Miss Perfect giggle in the middle of a lecture. Zoe looks a little horrified to have been heard; her hand is clamped over her mouth and her eyes are wide, scared.
The Professor frowns, his hand pausing over a diagram in the book. “What, Miss Hawthorn, is so funny?”
The whole class is looking up now; most have their attention focused on Zoe whose face is turning a nice, scarlet red. I get a little bored of Zoe’s stuttering and I do what I always do when I’m bored; I stare at Scorpius. He doesn’t look the least bit concerned that his girlfriend is a stuttering tomato. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. He’s slumped over on his desk, his head resting on the table, but his shoulders are shaking. With laughter, I presume. I wonder what sort of weird mimes Zoe and Scorpius have been doing to make them both giggling like little girls.
I feel a little left out. Oh, I really am so petty.
“Sir,” I say, raising my hand in the air. Heads turn to look at me. Professor Sitch nods for me to continue. “It was my fault.” Wait, what am I doing? Everyone looks a bit shocked, really. Scorpius is sitting up, confusion splashed across his face. “I, er, made Zoe laugh.”
“Well, then, let’s discuss the humour in tonight’s detention, hm?” Sitch replies, recovering from his surprise quicker than I thought he would. Honestly, I never would have owned up to something I didn’t do if I thought he was going to punish me. “Let’s continue, please.”
Zoe’s looking at me, the redness of her cheeks dying down, with her mouth a little open. “Thank you, Rose,” she whispers.
I’m lovely, I am. It makes me feel a little better after receiving a detention.
Throughout the lecture about the latest potion we will be brewing, Sitch has such an observant eye on us it was really too hard sneak over to Albus’s desk and demand he help me. So when we were told to retrieve the ingredients we need for the potion, I insist I go. I think I was a little too forceful – Zoe looks a bit scared.
Al has all the luck; he’s partnered with a smart Ravenclaw girl and also on his table are Scorpius and his partner. Scorpius wasn’t as lucky as Albus; he was partnered with a bint from Slytherin who seems to worship him. I walk up to their table and every single one on that table looks surprised. “Hello, Albus,” I say, my tone formal.
“Rose,” he replies, mimicking my tone.
“Al!” I whine and pull up a chair for me to sit on. There was really no point in acting cool Rose Weasley in front of Malfoy and the partners – I’d already embarrassed myself with the crying on the train and the humiliating picture in the paper.“Please help me!”
He groans and meets my eyes. I’d always wished I had Al’s eyes – they’re so prettily green. “I’m not going to help you prank my little cousin who, frankly, I like better than you.”
I frown at him. I can see Scorpius hiding guffaws out of the corner of my eye. “Oh, yeah? Well, you’re eyes are the colour of snot.”
Scorpius apparently can’t contain his laughter any more. I don’t know if it was Al’s ‘didn’t see that one coming’ face or my oh so witty insult but, for the first time in years, Scorpius is annoying me. “I don’t know what you’re laughing about, Malfoy,” I snap, standing up to look more threatening. “You’re eyes are… you’re eyes…”
My mind has gone blank. I cannot think of a single insult, no matter how pathetic, to his eyes. I am that far gone.
“My eyes…?” Scorpius smirks, a glint of mischief in his un-insult-able eyes.
“Oh, shut up!” I splutter and march off; fuming about how unlucky it is to have a perfect cousin for pranking who refuses to help me. Amy lifts an eyebrow as I pass but I ignore her, heading for the ingredients cupboard. Zoe probably thinks I died trying to get there.
She does, in fact, look worried when I finally arrive with an armful of what we needed but she doesn’t question my lateness. She’s probably too nice to confront me. I find the plant that goes into the potion and begin slicing it as Zoe mashes something else, frequently looking towards the board to see if she’s doing it correctly.
Really, she should just let me do it all. I’d obviously get an O on it.
I look over Zoe’s shoulder at Amy who is leaning back in her chair, her legs looking even longer propped up on the table. Sam is dropping ingredients into their cauldron, looking every bit frustrated. I catch his eye and wave before returning my attention to Zoe, who’s stirring our cauldron a little frantically.
I am just opening my mouth to tell her to slow the stirring when there’s an explosive bang that seems to echo around the dungeons for minutes. There are a couple of screams, some scared faces whipping around trying to find the culprit and a gross stench is wafting around the room. I wrinkle my nose in disgust and look to Sam. It’s not him whose potion exploded though, as I thought it was. Instead, he’s glaring at Al and Scorpius who are covered in a thick, sticky, electric blue liquid. If I didn’t know any better, I would have assumed it was a new flavour of honey. Their partners are also covered in the failed potion and looking completely unimpressed.
“What happened?!” Sitch bellows, making a couple of students jump. Al fingers his collar nervously.
“They did it,” Al’s partner hisses, the blue goo dripping off her arm as she points a figure at Scorpius and then at Al. “They were seeing who could stir their potions the fastest. Idiots.”
“Hey, you were the one who said it needed to be stirred quickly,” Al protests and folds his arms across his chest grumpily, apparently all his guilt forgotten. The whole class seems to be watching them now. The Slytherin girl looks like she’s about to burst into tears.
“Right,” Sitch says, glowering at that table. “Detention for all four of you. You’ll be cleaning up this mess,” he informs them, making all four students groan. I let out a little snigger, still amused by their current appearance. Sitch turns around, his beady eye fixing on me. “Weasley, you’ll be joining them.”
I arrive late to detention. It wasn’t about me being an arrogant cow, no matter what Scorpius says, it was actually because I had been waylaid by Amy. I.e. she wanted to know if she should really get a fringe. (Yes.)
I knock politely on the door before opening it to find four students on the floor on their hands and knees, scrubbing with dirty cloths. Their heads simultaneously snap to me. It was scary, really, how they all turned to look at me at once. I take a step back and Professor Sitch rolls his eyes at me.
“Late as usual, Weasley,” he says in a bored voice as he rifles through sheets of paper. I think this is a little unfair; I’m not always late. “Take a cloth. I want this place so clean I can eat off the floors.”
I bet he does do that, actually. Just because he can.
But what can I do but trudge over to his desk, slowly and unhappily, and pick up a blackened with dirt cloth from his table? I choose a fairly clean spot next to Al; I’m not going to give up on him helping me yet. He doesn’t seem too pleased about that but it’s not like him to make a fuss. Score for Rose.
“Al,” I whisper. He rolls his eyes and ignores me, instead choosing to focus all his attention on removing the blue goo. I try saying his name again and this time he fidgets away from me. I sigh, not bothering to chase him again, and turn to smile at the other girls. The Slytherin girl is occasionally glancing at her nails and frowning before bending her head down to the floor, her dark hair hiding her face, and continuing. The other girl, the girl who tried (and failed) to tattle on Al so she wouldn’t get in trouble, looks near to tears. I can sympathize for her actually; the first time I got into trouble I did end up crying.
I hiss, “Hey, Ravenclaw.”
She looks up, her chin slightly wobbles. “What?”
Well, she’s rude. “Uh… how are you doing?”
She swallows and I think she’s going to cry for a moment. Her position changes so that she is no longer on all fours but kneeling, sitting more comfortably on her feet. She wipes her hands on her skirt. “Why are you talking to me?”
“Okay,” I blink as I continue scrubbing. I’m aware that Al is listening from my right. “I won’t, then.”
“No, I don’t mean it like that,” she says quickly, her thin lips going into a sort of grimace. “I just mean; you never talk to me.”
“Oh,” I reply in a small voice, guilt changing my attitude. I look down at the cloth in my hands. “Sorry.”
“I mean, it’s not like I care,” her chin juts out stubbornly and the little crease between her eyebrows tells me she’s frowning. “It’s not like I care that Rose Weasley doesn’t even know my name.”
I stare at her, hurt. Everyone else has stopped talking, instead eavesdropping rather intently to what was going on between me and the Ravenclaw girl. I open my mouth to say something, before closing it again. I hate awkward, uncomfortable silences.
Apparently, Al does, too; he clears his throat. “Well…”
There’s a ruffling of papers and Sitch looks up from his desk. “Did I say you could talk? No, I didn’t,” he sighs heavily, as if reprimanding us is a big task for him, and walks closer to us. He inspects the cleanliness of the place. “I suppose you can go, then. It’s nearly curfew.”
Al looks a little confused by the blue goo that still covers a bit of the wall but I see my chance and grab it, throwing down my cloth on the nearest table, the wetness making it sound like a slap. I wait for Al to do the same and frown when I see he’s still kneeling on the floor, obviously trying to evade our jolly walk back to the common rooms. I notice Scorpius is up and ready, his fingers thrumming against the table impatiently. He’s been rather quiet this detention; I hadn’t even said a word to him. He had been talking with the Slytherin girl.
Finally, in what seems like forever, Al stands up, brushes himself off and quickly leaves the classroom, Scorpius tagging along behind him. So quickly, in fact, I have to trot to keep up with them. I manage it though. I’m nearly as tall as him, courtesy of the Weasley male gene. Woopee. “So, Al… are you going to help me yet?”
Normally, I would throw a little strop about this. Now, I’ve just thought of the perfect leverage. “Hugo was the one who filled your hat with custard on New Years.”
Al stops suddenly and I have to skip out of the way to avoid crashing into him. “Okay, I’ll do it, then.”
There’s a loud crash around the corner and a few swearwords. It didn’t sound like the exploding potion; this time it sounded like glass shattering against the floor. Scorpius pulls out his wand and Al and I do the same. We inch closer to the end of the corridor where a faint light is glowing around the corner. There’s a frustrated groan. I’d recognise that groan anywhere. Especially when the owner doesn’t get what he wants. I put my wand away and step around the corner, the perfect glare on my face.
“Hugo!” I hiss and fold my arms to show him that he is so in trouble. Scorpius also lets out a groan as he moves to stand beside me.
“Speak of the devil,” he mutters.
Hugo and his friends stand frozen, like a deer caught in headlights. Each one of them seems to be carrying a crystal ball in each hand. That makes eight, ten, twelve. One ball lies on the floor in pieces. Hugo steps forward, his face one of complete innocence. It’s no wonder Mum never believes a word against him; sometimes that boy can look angelic. “Hey, Rose. What’s up? Wait… what are you doing with Malfoy?”
How pathetic is it that my heart skips a beat when he says that? Al moves out of the shadows, though, and Hugo’s expression turns from grossed out to confusion.
“Hey, Rose!” Someone behind Hugo pipes up and another ball slips through his hand to land with a smash on the floor. Everybody froze for a moment. “Oops.”
“Hugo,” I say, ignoring the smashed ball. “What are you doing?”
“Well,” he says. He seems nervous again; he knows how angry I can get. “We were going to freak out Trelawney by hiding all the crystal balls.”
He is such a five year old.
I hear Scorpius snort. Hugo looks a little triumphant. “See? Malfoy thinks it’s funny.”
“That’s because Malfoy has the immaturi-”
“Hugo,” Al cuts across me, obviously anticipating an argument brewing between Scorpius and I. “Did you put custard in my hat?”
Al has his wand out again and he flicks his wand so quickly I wasn’t sure if anything happened. But I know something did because there is another smash and another as Hugo shields his hands over his face. His friends are sniggering at him and Al smirks at me. I smirk back.
“Haha!” Hugo’s friend cackles, pointing at Hugo’s face. “His hair’s pink! Pink!”
“He looks like a girl!”
“Ah, change it back! Change it back!”
“It looks funny.”
I step closer to Hugo and all the boys cease their inane, monkey chattering to look at me with wide eyes. They probably think I’m going to hex them like Albus did.
“That, Hugo,” I say instead and toss my hair over my shoulder, “is what you get for messing with Rose Weasley.”
There’s a cough behind me.
“And Al,” I add quickly before turning and walking away with Scorpius and Albus, just like old times. I can almost feel Hugo’s glare, that’s how pissed off he is.
It would have been such a cool exit if bloody Louis didn’t walk around the corner, right into me. This is bad. It is after curfew, I am with Malfoy (it didn’t even matter that Al is with us) and Hugo has pink hair and is surrounded by glass and idiotic fourth year boys. And Louis is Head Boy.
“Rosie…” Louis says slowly, clearly trying to put together the situation in his head but coming up blank. “What’s going on?”
“Hey, Louis,” Al says, lifting his hand in greeting.
I admit, I’m a little lost for words. I really didn’t see this coming. “Hugo… he, well… he’s an idiot.”
Louis blinks for a while and focuses his eyes on the figure standing beside me. “Is that… Malfoy?!”
“I can hear you, you know.”
I stand in front of Scorpius, almost shielding him from Louis. He can be a right sarcastic pain in the arse and knows just the right way to push somebody’s buttons. “No, no! That’s nobody.”
“Yes, it is!” Hugo calls out from behind me. His voice is considerably higher now than it was when his hair was brown. “That’s Malfoy!”
I whirl around, glaring over Scorpius’s shoulder at my idiotic brother. “Shut up, Hugo!” I don’t know if it was my eye-twitching fury or Hugo accepting that he had lost but I am extremely grateful when he slinks off, taking his friends with him.
Louis looks stroppy now with his crossed arms, frowning face and down turned mouth. “Why are you hanging out with Malfoy? He’s a prick.”
“Cheers, Weasley,” Scorpius says dryly and I resign; I’m clearly not preventing any sort of fight by standing in front of Scorpius.
Louis shrugs, acting every bit the arrogant arse. I hate it when he’s like this. “I’m only saying the truth.”
Al’s cheeks are flushing red. That’s not a good sign. The only other time I’ve seen those flushed cheeks was when James broke his miniature broom when we were seven. He tackled James, then, and that thought makes me feel a little uncomfortable.
Al breathes out deeply and runs a finger through his messy hair. “Fuck off, Louis.”
Louis glances at me then, obviously expecting I would defend him against ‘the Slytherins.’ I wouldn’t this time, though. Louis is wrong this time. I move my head, shaking it just barely, but he understands clearly, stepping away from me as if he is repulsed. “I can’t believe you’d choose Slytherins over me.”
Scorpius moves forward, anger plastered across his features. I desperately want to give him a big hug and tell him not to worry, that my cousin can be an idiot. “And I can’t believe you could be so oblivious.” Scorpius is smirking; this can’t be good.
Louis narrows his eyes. “What is that supposed to me?”
Oh, no. I know where this is going. Scorpius can’t tell him. He’d be a dead man. In fact, Amy herself would throttle him. After Louis dumped her, which he of course would, she would go out of her way to make his life a living hell.
“Scorpius,” I warn, closing my eyes in exasperation. How could these two boys I care for, in different ways of course, hate each other so deeply? “Don’t.”
He, of course, ignores me. He’d rather eat his own sock then listen to me. Al doesn’t really seem to care whether Louis knows or not. But he doesn’t know Amy like I do.
“It means that your girlfriend is cheating on you.”
It’s stuff like this that makes Scorpius Malfoy unpopular.
Secret No. 51: You know in really posh houses (i.e. Amy’s) they have the decorative soap that you are not allowed to use, you can only look at it? Yeah, well… I mistook it for mint imperials and ate it. That’s right. I ate decorative soap.
A/N: Okay, before you all start sharpening your pitchforks (or something along those lines...) I'm so sorry I haven't updated in ages! I honestly thought I would actually be able to write in the Summer holiday but I was dragged (quite willingly, I admit) around Europe for nearly all of the time.
And, I found out I won the 'Best New Author' Dobby! Thankyou so much to everyone who voted for me! I actually did a little happy dance and went around hugging everyone, including my brother, I was so thrilled! :D
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