Chapter 3 : Study hard for your Scorp
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Problem twelve: It’s September already.
“Study hard for your NEWTs! Don’t forget your socks; I don’t want to send them on, Hugo! Get up!”
Mum on the first of September: barely bearable. I’m nodding and smiling and running up and down the stairs, while Livi absentmindedly chews a waffle that mum made hours ago, expecting us to be up at the crack of dawn.
Hello, I’m friends with Olivia. It’s strange how I haven’t had a day without her for years – she’s an orphan, but she hasn’t lived in her orphanage for years. Hasn’t even been there, I think. After first year Christmas break, she gathered her stuff and never went back. Over the holidays she generally stays here, with the Potters (who love her, like James does except not so... madly) or at hoggy warty Hogwarts.
And I still don’t get bored of her.
“Alright, let’s go,” mum huffs, roughly pulling her bushy hair into a loose pony tail. “Ron?”
“Yeah, coming,” dad calls.
That’s my parents. Two thirds of the ‘golden trio’, one organised and the other so... not. But dad is a professional auror, so that makes up for the fact he’s a bit hectic.
“Ronald Bilius Weasley, if you’re not in that car in thirty seconds I’m driving it!”
Oh please, dad, hurry up! Mum can’t drive to save her life... or ours. Actually, she almost killed me last time trying to stop us fighting. Not Hugo, who was provoking me. Me.
“I’m driving!” dad roars, and sprints down the stairs, getting to mum with ten seconds to spare.
“In the car, Ron,” she says, softly, and he kisses the tip of her nose and opens the front door, bowing her out. Hugo mimes retching.
“Suck it up, Hugh,” I grimace, “This is what they’re like when we’re not here.”
Livi laughs. I don’t – it’s true.
“Kids, come on! We’ll be late!”
Hermione Granger’s children, late? Is that logically a sentence?
We all go speeding off to Kings Cross anyway, threats from Livi to confiscate my lip gloss and from mum not to wear lip gloss aside.
“—it’s demeaning to women, Rose! I thought I taught you better than that!”
I roll my eyes. “Didn’t you also teach me to seize opportunities?”
“Yes, but I didn’t mean make-up!”
“It’s making the most of my situation!”
“How?” asks dad, but falls silent when both me and mum shoot him the patented Granger Family Silencing Glance©. I might be mainly Weasley, but I’ve got this! And, of course, my brains.
“Like your father said Rose, how exactly does this help you?”
“It’s impossible to get smooth lips without the stuff, smooth lips are good for kissing—“ Here dad looks away, still a tad squeamish when it comes to my relationships , “—Kissing certain people in school generally helps you out!”
“Rose, I really want—“
“Enough, please,” dad says in a pained voice. For once, we listen to him. I victoriously apply vanilla scented pale pink loveliness to my lips, smiling widely.
“You look like Marius just died!”
Smiling a little wider.
“Rose! My darling, I’ve missed you so much!”
“Oh crap, hide,” I hiss at Livi, and we duck behind a pillar. Marius seems to be baffled by my sudden disappearance, but accepts it and lugs his giant trunk onto the train.
“Jesus crikey, what’s he got in that thing?” Livi whispers, mirroring my sentiments.
“Maybe it’s his make up,” I snigger back, “I hope it explodes so I see!”
Unfortunately, it didn’t.
“Well, well, well. Run along, Weaslet, you need to get on your train or face another year of being a loser. Oh no, that’ll happen anyway! I guess you’d better find Marius and apologize.”
“Why are you always talking to my arse? I guess people search for things like themselves...”
“Witty,” Scorpius said. He hadn’t changed much since I’d last seen him. Perhaps he’d gotten a bit sexier.
I can see what you’re thinking. This is where he declares he’s only tried to set me up with Marius because he couldn’t bear that he loved me so much, and he’ll always love me. The insults were just a disguise.
But no. Instead, he sneers and walks away.
“Oi, Marius!” he shouts.
“Shit,” I mutter, “C’mon, Livi, let’s move.”
We quickly hug mum and dad and jump on the train, getting into an empty compartment before any dodgy lovers or matchmakers see us. Hugo can find his own way.
“I hate to say it, but this year seems repetitive already,” Livi muses. I sigh.
“Found you!” yells Albus, “They’re in here, Lils!”
“Ssh,” I pull him into the small room quickly, “We’re being tailed again!”
Albus laughs nervously. Marius usually thinks he’s my body guard, or boyfriend. He gets insanely jealous. It would be funny is it wasn’t so sad. Either way, I’m not correcting him... yet.
“Rose! I haven’t seen you for so long!” Ah, Lily. Sweet Lily.
“Oh, my favourite red headed girl!” I give her a hug. She might be perfect in every way, but I still like her.
“I missed you! I heard you had a day of dares while I was in France! Did you hear? Mum took me shopping for my birthday!”
“Ooh, that’s sounds nice!” Livi says brightly, “And here comes Marius!”
“Where?” I snap, whipping my head around to look at the glass panel of the door. Indeed, a delighted-looking Marius is striding in my general direction. “Oh, for crying out loud! Albus, cloak, if you would!”
“No,” refuses Albus, and I whip out my wand. Al doesn’t even bat an eyelash. “You need to explain that I’m not your boyfriend, body guard or reporter, and that I only stay at your house because we’re related.”
“Oh, bloody hell Al—“
The door slides open, and it all goes dark. Marius has his hands over my eyes. I can already hear Livi laughing quietly.
“Guess who?” he sings.
“Anthony? Is that you?” I gush, just to annoy him.
I see light again! Praise the lord!
“Who the fuck is Anthony?” roars Marius, “I loved you so much until you broke my heart! And who is this?” He points at Albus, who looks genuinely terrified. “Aha! You’re this Anthony, are you? Well, mister, she’s mine! Always mine! And don’t you forget it! Come on Rose, let’s leave.”
He seems to have forgotten I was the one he was angry at.
“Uh, actually,” I start to say something groundbreaking, but Marius has pulled me away into another carriage before I have a chance to breathe.
“Well, how did I do?” Marius asks a bemused Scorpius, who is smirking at our clasped hands. I gotta say, Marius does have nice hands. Hell, he’s pretty damn gorgeous, but he’s just so damn annoying. But I digress.
Of course Scorpius put him up to it; he was probably even listening on Extendable Ears! The barstard. But still, I’m staring at said barstard like he’s water in the desert.
“You did excellently... Obviously you did a great job of persuading her to come with you.”
Marius glances down at our hands in shock, and then something a little bit like shame falls across his face.
“That was my cousin you were yelling at,” I say, still not moving my hand. It feels quite nice, actually.
“Oh. I apologize, Rose,” Did he just apologize to me? For something he did? What is going on? “And I know I haven’t been the best lover ever, but I’ve changed. Could you please give me a chance?”
The logical thing to do here is to leave the room with my dignity. Instead, I nod slowly and, still holding hands with the boy I’ve yelled at solidly for years, walk back to my compartment. Lily, Livi and Albus’ eyes are just about bugging out of their heads.
“I... Uh... Yeah...” says Lily, her pretty pink lips forming a perfect ‘o’.
This is all just a dream. This is all a weird, weird dream.
“I must have been confunded,” I declare, stabbing a potato viciously.
“Or you love him,” Livi can’t stop laughing at me. It’s making her choke every few mouthfuls though, so at least it doesn’t last long.
“Or Scorpius distracted me,” I continue, ignoring Livi’s red face.
“Or you love him!”
“Someone obviously slipped me a potion.”
“You love, love, love him!”
Albus is horrified, to say the least. He thinks I might finally be losing it.
I am losing it. I just talked to Marius without yelling once for over two hours. Then he left to find Scorpius.
Bloody Scorpius – what’s his problem now? I only put that spell on him as payback.
Oh, yeah, about that. Scorpius is currently covered in thousands of tiny pairs of pants. It’s one me and Livi created. Until we work out a counter charm, he’s stuck like that. Or until he goes to see someone smarter than him. I guess Professor Macmillan could fix it.
“So,” Livi has stopped choking, as the food disappears to be replaced by dessert. I pull a plate of something chocolate smothered towards me. I need comfort food.
“What now?” I growl around a mouthful of heaven.
“Marius is waving at you.”
I look over my shoulder, and indeed Marius is waving at me. I turn back around and stab part of my desert malignantly, poking it into my mouth.
“You can’t ignore him forever, Rose,” chips in Caspar. She’s a muggle born, and one of the best people to be around in a crisis. This is a crisis.
“I can, I can and I will!” I declare bravely, taking a swig of pumpkin juice.
Livi finishes her mouthful of treacle tart. “Alright, what about Quidditch?”
I cringe. “Damn it, why can’t he be a loser?”
“Because then you wouldn’t love him,” smirks Livi.
“Rose, maybe you should give it a go. He wouldn’t ever put a spell on you, so I’m blaming Scorpius, and judging by his hair I’m guessing you do too.”
Glancing round at the Slytherin table again, the pants have crawled up Scorp into his soft hair. It must be warm up there. I laugh a bit about this, and then take a happier bite of chocolate.
“Seriously Rose, not kidding. You should give him a go.”
I give Caspar the look. She doesn’t seem to care. I swallow loudly.
“Why?” I ask, and then a plan hits me. “I know! I could use him to get to Scorpius!”
“Oh no,” says Livi quickly, “Bad plan. Bad plan, Rose! You’ll get labelled school slut!”
It’s too late. I’ve seen the light.
“Scorpius has got a girlfriend, hasn’t he?”
“He what?” I look around sharply at Caspar. She nods serenely. “Well, shit!”
“Pretty thing. I’m not sure if it lasted, but they were going strong over the summer.”
“Don’t say she’s pretty to me! Tell me I could be better!”
“Oh yes, I saw her,” Livi continues, ignoring me, “She is pretty. Complete opposite to Rose – sort of quiet and mysterious.”
“Oi! I can be—“At that moment the hall fell silent, because Professor Macmillan has stood up. “—quiet.”
“Thank you, Miss Weasley,” he says pompously. He’s a bit of a plonker, our head teacher, but it works for him. “Welcome back, students, to Hogwarts! And welcome to the school, new students. I hope you learn much, be it about yourselves, magic or others. If first years would please follow the prefects, and if older students would be orderly in their behaviour, to bed!”
“Thank Merlin that’s over,” I sigh, and lead the way out of the hall quickly. Caspar and Livi are hot on my heels, weaving through the secret passages that dissect the castle.
We get to the Fat Lady in record time.
“Password?” she enquires haughtily.
“The Boy Who Lived,” announces Caspar. It’s funny to hear stories about Uncle Harry the hero. To me he’ll always be the family member who accidently walked into Hugo’s fifth birthday party without a nose, because he hadn’t realised he’d splinched himself, terrifying all the kids in there. Including me.
“Come on, I need to get my broom,” Livi chirps, dragging across the common room, past the lovely, comforting chairs that I so badly want to slump in, up the stairs to our room. Caspar looks aghast.
“No, Livi, not now! That’s such a Rose thing to do –“
“A ‘Rose’ thing to do?” I ask, and Caspar hasn’t got enough humility to look embarrassed.
“Y’know, a bit wild, a bit reckless, not much brain in it. No offense.”
“I take offense!” I stride into the dorm and grab my broom. “Cas, you coming?”
“Well...” Caspar dithers, standing in the doorway. I kick open the window. “Yes! I’m coming!”
I push myself as far out of the window as I can manage without falling, grab my broom and jump, catching myself at the last possible moment. Livi is already hovering around, and Caspar joins us quickly. We fly across the lake and over the forest, swooping madly around each other, whooping and laughing until all the lights have gone out in the castle. Then we fly back lazily, crawling through the window and flopping into bed.
That was such a Rose thing to do.
Hey guys! It's Ella here, again. Did you miss me? Did you know I was gone? I was in Belgium, by the way. I'm sitting here surrounded by lovely chocolate, and the plot to the next chapter. Drop me a line to tell me what you thought!
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