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I'm leaning against Dad's candy apple red Ford Cortina with a faded paint job in the parking lot of King's Cross station as Mum dumps the entire contents of her purse in the passenger's seat. I am not going to even begin to list the things she keeps in it because you'd never believe me.
Trust me, you wouldn't.
Mum's prepared for almost anything. Even a surprise rain storm in thirty-two degree, excessively humid weather. I can hear Dad drumming his fingers on the roof of the car with his keys in hand.
"'Mione, why don't you let me take the kids inside while you look for... what ever it is that you're looking for -" he tries to reason, but she shakes her head.
"Not until I've figured out what I'm forgetting," says Mum. "I know I have forgotten something. I can feel
I hear Dom sigh exasperatedly from the backseat. "What if you haven't forgotten anything?"
Mum ignores her.
She straightens up as she backs away from the cluttered passenger's seat, her eyes finding me leaning against the side of the car a few feet away. I look right back at her.
"You've packed everything you need?" She asks.
"Yes, mum I -"
"Yes, but -"
" I can feel my cheeks burning as I hear Dom and Lily snickering from inside the car. I take a deep breath, redirecting my attention to my mother.
"Yes dear?" Mum asks innocently.
She's fidgeting with her hands.
"I'm sure that I've packed everything I need," I say, "You don't have to treat me like I'm eleven."
"You did tend to forget a lot when you were eleven," Dad puts in thoughtfully from behind me. I turn to face him, narrowing my eyes. He shrugs. "What? It's true. We always had to send along the things that you'd leave behind. Like that teddy bear you used to like so much. What was it's name? Rex?"
My cheeks are practically on fire now. "Dad!" I shout tiredly, my eyes widening.
Dom climbs out of the car.
"Actually," she begins, letting her hair down and slipping on her sunglasses over her eyes. "I think it's name was Becks. You know, like David Beckham?" Dom winks at me.
"Who's David Beckham?" Dad asks.
Dom looks absolutely appalled.
I feel my mouth drop open.
"I still feel as though I've left something," Mum's still saying from inside the car. She picks up her wand and waves it, making all her things fly back into the purse on its own. I see someone walk past out of the corner of my eye.
Dad straightens up. "Er.. honey?"
Mum's too busy muttering to herself to hear him calling to her. She straightens up again, zipping up her purse as she turns to face me. Except there's someone standing between us now.
"Hey, mum," Hugo says suddenly. Mum gives a start, clutching at her chest.
"Hugo! What've you -" her eyes widen in realization. "Oh dear. Hugo! You're
what I'd left!" Mum says, pulling the boy to her swiftly, crushing him to her bosom as she apologizes over and over.
Lily gets out of the car after Albus, glancing at me.
I fold my arms, smirking. "Told you she'd do it," I whisper. She gives me an irritated look. Her hair is frizzy and her t-shirt underneath her denim overalls is inside out. But I figure she doesn't need anymore crap from me this morning so I don't point any of that out. Then she walks away.
Lysander gets out of the car last.
He looks like he has just been to heaven and back, or at least gotten a glimpse of it. I raise an eyebrow questioningly as he shuts the door. His face is sporting a thin sheen of sweat.
I glance inside the car, and then back at Lysander, finally understanding.
"You were sitting between them, weren't you?" I guess. He smiles, leaning back against my dad's Ford Cortina.
"Legs... touched," he says, speaking in fragments, and exhaling shakily, "skin... so silky smooth. Want to... touch it... again," I sigh, patting him on the shoulder.
I tell him simply, "It'll be alright, mate,"
Once we have retrieved a luggage cart and loaded it up with all our belongings, we start walking towards the train station. Albus comes to stand next to Hugo, who is beside me and carrying his new broomstick in one hand. He's got dirt all over him and twigs in his hair.
"What happened to you?" Al inquires, as though it isn't obvious at all. Hugh's brows pull together as he looks up at him.
He holds up his broom pointedly. "What d'you think happened to me?" Hugo says. "Crash landed in someone's garden not far from here. It wasn't pretty, but I don't think anyone saw me, you know, unless horses count,"
"Did someone say horses?" Dominique appears suddenly behind us, sidling up (i.e. pushing her way between me and Lysander) next to us. "I've got a horse of my own at my grandmother's house in the French country side. They are such beautiful creatures, horses. I have been riding horses my entire life. I named mine -" At that point, her words start to turn into blah, blah, blah.
No one really cares about her horses.
No one, except maybe Lysander.
I look over at him on the other side of her. She seems to be talking just to hear herself speak, since she doesn't seem aware that none of us are listening anymore - except Lysander, who's gazing at her with intent as she waves her arms about and talks animatedly. He's like a kitten, watching its toy being waved around before them and just waiting for that perfect moment to pounce.
Let's hope I'm not around when he does get around to 'pouncing'.
About twenty feet away from the curb, a sleek black BMW pulls up infront of us, causing us to all stop in our tracks. The chauffer steps out of the front, and walks around to the other side of the car in a stiff manner, holding the door open for whoever is inside.
My family and I are walking around it as the chauffer helps a slender woman with long, dark locks tumbling around her shoulders and wearing a slim fitting, silky black pantsuit. Her phone seems to be glued to her ear, but she smiles appreciatively at the chauffer. "Merci
, Gaspard," she tells him, and they share a lingering gaze, before she steps out of the way to let another person climb out of the car.
Mum inhales sharply behind me.
The second person that appears is a tall man, with broad shoulders and a nice face, despite the defined jaw and cold grey eyes. His platinum blonde hair is short and slicked back and, much like his companion, he wears a suit. I look back at mum, noticing that she is rummaging through her purse for something. I wonder what's got her so nervous.
"Well, well," Hugo says, coming to stand beside me, "look who it is,"
I look at him, before turning to face the BMW again.
Just as Scorpius is climbing out of the backseat, refusing the chauffer's hand as he gets out.
Or at least I think
He's replaced his usual careless demeanor with a tired, I-really-don't-want-to-be-here one, and his hair's been combed and slicked back like his dad's. (I think it's his father. Well they look alike anyway.) He even ditched his usual hoodie and flip flops for khaki pants and a collared shirt.
"Hey -" I start to say, but then his mum notices that he isn't following them and stops.
"Scorpius, what are you doing just standing there?" The woman demands, holding a hand over the mouthpiece on her phone. "Come along, now. We mustn't waste any time,"
Hesitantly, Scorpius straightens up and follows his parents into the train station. Dad walks up to me and puts his hand on my shoulder firmly. "Come on," he says. "The train will be leaving soon."
I look up at him as he steers me toward the entrance to the train station. His eyes are narrowed slightly. I'd always known that he was never too keen on mine or Hugo's friendship with Scorpius, but I never knew why
. Until now. It seems like some sort of long, drawn out family rivalry. I sigh and just decide that I'll try and catch up with Scorpius later.
This is so ridiculous.
"Look, Rosie, just be... careful," Dad tells me as we all say our goodbyes. Lysander's spotted his mum and sister and hurries over to them.
I give him a skeptical look.
"With what exactly?" I ask, picking some lint from my t-shirt.
"Do I really have to say his name?" He asks, his tone low. I roll my eyes, looking at him firmly.
"It's not that
"Fine, fine," he replies, exhaling and rubbing his forehead. "Be careful with Scorpius. I know you fancy him and all, but you haven't any idea what he's capable -"
My expression turns horrified. "I do not fancy Scorpius Malfoy!" I almost yell. A few people look round and give me annoyed or suspicious looks. I try not to meet their eyes, just incase I know them from somewhere.
You never know.
"Anyway," Dad continues, clearly trying not to smile, "you haven't any idea what he's capable of. You should really try and take... precautions when it comes to this boy."
"Precautions?" I repeat, raising an eyebrow. "Like, staying away from him?" My dad's face lights up like a little child's on Christmas day. "Not a chance," I grab my school trunk and storm away over to where mum's standing with Hugo closer to the train. "Hey, mum," I huff as I drop down onto a nearby bench.
She looks me up and down. "What's your father done this time?" Mum inquires, picking a twig from Hugo's hair before turning to me.
"I haven't any idea why, but he wants me to stay away from Scorpius," I tell her. I look at Hugo, who's now busy scratching his head. "Brace yourself, he'll be after you next." Mum sighs.
"He's only looking out for you, dear," she tries to reason.
I frown. "Looking out for me?" I retort, jumping up. "Who says I need looking out for?" As I try and take a step, I trip over my trunk and face plant on the floor, between Mum and Hugo. "Thanks for catching me, guys," I mutter, pushing myself up.
The two minute whistle on the train sounds.
"Oh," says Mum, "you two had best be going now." She kisses us both on the forehead (maybe a bit more gingerly for Hugo, since he's filthy) just as Dad walks up. My frown deepens.
I pick up my school trunk. "You don't need to tell me twice," I reply, before hurrying off up the nearest stairs onto the train.
When I reach the corridor, and pass a few compartments I find Lily just outside one gathering up her belongings from the floor with some bloke. He is well fit, with his brown spiked up in the front and nice green eyes. I tilt my head slightly, taking in the fact that Lily's cheeks are about as red as her hair.
," someone breathes in my ear. I turn to find Dom winking at me as she walks past, sauntering her way down the corridor. It takes a moment for that to sink in.
Wait. That bloke Lily was mumbling about in her sleep is real
Oh, no, no, no.
Once Lawrence has left my dear, innocent cousin, I hurry up to her.
"Since when are you interested in boys?" I ask, giving her a start as she enters the compartment with her bag and drops it on the seat.
She gives me a look.
"What are you on about, Rose? I've always been interested in boys," she counters, as if it were obvious.
"Alright, fair enough," I say, shrugging. "But I've come to warn you,"
"Never to shag anyone until you're at least thirty," I tell her all serious-like, "five."
"Thirty-five?" Lily frowns. "Why would anyone want to wait that long? I'm sure not even you had the willpower to wait, even at sixteen."
"Who's to say that I've shagged anyone?"
Her eyes widen.
What've I done?
"You've never shagged anyone?" She nearly shouts.
"Not even Scorpius?"
"Why? He's so dreamy!"
"What?" Lily blinks blankly, smiling slightly in amusement. I roll my eyes. I should've just kept my mouth shut.
"It shouldn't matter what I do," I explain, "because you're fourteen
! Shagging is pretty much off limits to you right now."
"And when I'm sixteen, like you?"
"Still off limits."
"What?" She asks, incredulous. Then she shakes her head. "No. I have had it with your jokes this morning. Come again tomorrow," she starts to push me back out into the corridor.
"Lily -" I try to say, but she gives me one last shove, and I'm out of the compartment.
She shuts the door and draws the curtains.
Well, how rude.
"Rose?" Someone says from above me, and I look up, finding Scorpius looking down at me. "What are you doing on the floor?" I glare across the corridor at the door to Lily's compartment.
"I've just been kicked out," I tell him.
He offers me a hand and I take it, letting him pull me up. "Well, that's no fun," he replies, giving me a sympathetic look.
I raise an eyebrow.
"You've been kicked out before?" I inquire.
"Then how could you possibly know the level of fun of such a thing?" I ask him, hiking my eyebrow up even higher as we start walking down the corridor together. I smile and he laughs, nudging me in the shoulder with his.
"Shut it, you," he says to me.
"So," I reply, "he speaks,"
Scorpius nods, putting his hands into the pockets of his trousers as we walk. "That he does," he confirms, smirking. "Why, did you expect him not to?"
"Well, I wasn't sure," I admit, "given that you sort of blew us off earlier when you were with your parents."
"Oh," is all he manages to say.
"Yeah," he exhales deeply.
"So," I prompt, stopping and facing him, "what was that all about? And the clothes. They're not -"
"Me. I know," Scorpius admits, laughing. He shrugs, looking away down the corridor. "It was my mum's idea. She wanted me to look more like a refined man, not a foolish boy,"
"I'm guessing those were her exact words," I laugh.
He rolls his eyes.
"How could you tell?" He asks me sarcastically. We stand there in awkward silence and I ponder whether or not I should bring up the minor disagreement that I'd had with my dad, but Scorpius seems distracted.
"Is everything alright?" I inquire, causing him to look round suddenly.
"What? Yeah," he tells me quickly, flashing a smile. "Everything's great, really." Scorpius starts walking again. "We should probably get to the compartment before someone decides to nick it."
"Are you sure?" I ask him.
He laughs, waving for me to follow him. "Well, yeah. I don't want to have to find another compartment because someone's decided that -"
"Nevermind," I say, rolling my eyes and laughing.
Scorpius can be so dense sometimes.
A moment later, his eyes flicker downward and I narrow my eyes at him. The corners of his mouth turn up slightly. "Is that my shirt?" He asks me, pointing to the one I've got on.
I look down. It's just an old Radiohead shirt that I'd found lying around when I was packing, but now that I look at it again, it does
"It is my shirt," Scorpius says, his eyes widening. "I remember wearing it when I came to the Burrow last summer a month late, because I had been forced into going to my Aunt Daphne's wedding,"
"But how did it get in my room?" I ask. "That's where I found it,"
He taps his chin for a moment, stopping infront of a compartment. "Oh yeah! We went down to the beach for an afternoon, and you pushed me into the water. Then we went up to your room when we got back - you, me, Lysander, Hugo, Dom, and Lorcan - and played Truth or Dare."
"Ah yes," I reply distractedly as he opens the compartment door and walks in, "I remember now."
I remember that night distinctly, almost as if it were yesterday. Everyone had been sitting in a circle on various pillows and cushions, and I had been wrapped up in a blue blanket. We'd been choosing people by spinning an empty firewhiskey bottle in the center of the circle, sort of like muggles do. When Dom had spun, and it landed on Scorpius, she had looked ecstatic. She told him to kiss me, my heart got stuck in my throat.
But, when he had leaned in to kiss me, Molly walked in and spoiled the fun as usual.
I wonder if he remembers that night as vividly as I do. I can still smell the salty ocean smell that had lingered on his skin, can still feel the sand between my toes, and still see the smirk on Dom's face as she watched me break out in a nervous sweat. Prat.
"Rose?" Scorpius says, now sitting down. "Are you coming in or are you going to stand out there staring at me like a loon forever?"
"Ha, ha," I tell him, coming to my senses again and walking into the compartment. I put my school trunk in the luggage rack before pulling out a plastic bag from my back pocket and sitting down. I toss it at him.
He picks it up and examines it. "Licorice jelly beans?"
"Well, I didn't have anything better to do with them," I explain. I lean back against the window and rest my feet in his lap.
"You know," he begins, "with all these gifts you keep giving me, you dig a deeper and deeper hole of debt for me." Scorpius pretends to look overwhelmed. "How do you expect me to pay it all off?"
I smile. "Well," I say, "you could always tell me why you're acting so weird today, for one."
"What do you mean?" Scorpius asks, popping a few jelly beans into his mouth and chewing them as he looks at me.
"You know," I tell him, "the clothes and the hair, and the ignoring me earlier,"
"Sorry about that, by the way," he replies.
I pull my feet to myself, folding them Indian style. "What was that all about?" I inquire firmly, my eyebrows pulling together in confusion. He shakes his head, leaning back against the seat.
"You don't want to know," Scorpius says.
I don't want to know?
Of course I want to know! I just asked about it, so I'd clearly been hoping for an answer. People don't just go round asking questions just for the heck of it.
I don't think.
Well, unless you're seven.
Everything's a bloody mystery when you're seven.
"Look," he continues, "I just don't want to talk about them right now. Let's talk about something else, yeah?"
"Fine," I say, folding my arms and leaning back against the window in disappointment, "but your debt still remains." Why is this bloke so difficult to crack?
What kind of friends keep secrets from eachother?
He laughs, shaking his head as he stands up. "Whatever you say, Rose." Scorpius tells me, before leaving.
I hate that whenever he smiles, I completely forget why I was frustrated with him.
Suddenly, Lorcan walks past and, noticing me sitting alone in the compartment, stops in. "Hey, wasn't that Scorpius Malfoy?" She asks me, glancing down the corridor. "From last summer?"
"Yeah," I confirm.
"Wow, I haven't seem him in ages," Lorcan muses, returning her gaze to me. Her eyebrows pull together. "Isn't that his shirt?"
"I... well -"
Her eyes light up. "What, are you two an item now?" She continues. "Dom was right. You have fancied him for the longest time. Good for you," Lorcan smiles genuinely. "I am so happy that -"
"We're not together, Lor," I tell her drily.
"What?" She blinks.
"Yeah," I reply, staring at my shoes. I can see her shifting her weight from one foot to the other awkwardly.
I look back up at her, opening my mouth to say something, and she looks away. "Oh, is that my brother? Got to run," she says quickly, before hurrying down the corridor and out of sight.
Why the quick getaway?
Honestly, I couldn't tell you.
Lorcan's always been a bit odd, ever since she stopped showering in her third year, claiming that it would throw the nargles off her scent, whatever those are. Don't worry, though. It only lasted about a month before we couldn't take it anymore and hosed her down. She has been showering like the rest of us ever since.
I'm still pretty iffy about this chapter, so I'd really like to know what everyone thinks of it. It's a bit longer than usual, but there's more interaction between some of the characters, I think. The temperature at the beginning is in Celsius, and the car they have is one they bought after the Ford Anglia went 'wild'. This chapter is a tad more serious than usual, cause of the drama with the Malfoys/Weasleys, but I did try to add some humor in there. I hope it's not too terrible. General feedback/comments/criticisms/concerns/questions are welcome and appreciated as always! Thanks for reading!