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The Red Thorns by Alien Emerald
Chapter 1 : Chapter One
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 8


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Finally, this story is complete! It’s been a long, long time spent writing this. The entire story is nearly done (all 100,000 words of it) so I will be updating regularly and with little delay. I appreciate reviews more than anything, even if they are to flame. Feedback on anything is better than nothing at all. I have to say, though, the beginning of this story is extremely slow-going. If you don’t mind missing some key points, then skip on ahead to chapter six!


And now, without further ado, I give you:



 


The Beginning
I won't waste time
trying to figure out why you’re playing games, what’s this all about And I can't believe,



 

This is my heart bleeding before youThis is me down on my knees.This pretense of words we play



 is slowly killing me.



But I guess we’re all the same,



because, really,



which one of us is the



better pretender?



So,



Let us dance while I melt in your hands


Forget what we thought before



After all, you wouldn’t want to missthis part, where my self-restraint unravels and the facade falls away



Where my lower lip between your teeth and the smoke on your breath is sweet enough to swallow



But I guess that was all just make-believe




XX



 



 



 



                “Dad.”



 

      “—and it’s not like it really mattered, but honestly, the nerve of him! I’ve never, in my whole career, come across someone so infuriating—“



     “Dad.”


    “—but that’s just Boot for you, I suppose.”


       “Dad.”


      “And he never even asked my opinion, either! It’s just,’ okay, Weasley, go do this and then that—“


    “Dad!”


    “—but no, there’s no asking how I feel about it, it’s just him.”


  “Ron, you’re daughter is trying to get your attention,” my mother finally cut in. I sigh exasperatedly, annoyed that she was the only one he would stop blathering for.


“Oh, right. Sorry Rosie,” he says, turning in his seat to look at me. I am almost pressed against him, as I have been standing behind him trying to get his attention for the last five minutes. He doesn’t seem to notice, so I begin.



   “I got my letter.”



 For a fleeting moment, there is something in his eyes that betrays his usual “Oh, great, we’ll go to Diagon Alley tomorrow” speech. He knows. Or, he doesn’t exactly know, but his eyes betray the hope that he’s right. That I, the first in all the Potters and Weasleys, will be—


  “Ask me what’s inside it.”



Okay, now he knows. His eyes light up, but he plays along. At this point, my mother finally turns away from nursing her tea to look at us. Apparently, the discussion only just got interesting enough for her. My Dad doesn’t notice. “What’s in it, Rosie?”


 For a moment, I picture what they would do to me if I just showed them a Quidditch Captain badge. Obviously, for what it’s worth, they would be very proud…. Well, Dad would be proud, anyways. But Mum would be very near tears if I told her that little Rosie wasn’t good enough to be Head Girl. I could just picture her writing to Headmistress McGonagall, demanding to know if she was right in the head, because obviously, anyone sane would give her precious daughter the position of—


  I show them the badge, and their reactions are instantaneous. Dad jumps up from his seat in surprise (even though, I’m sure, he knew what was coming) and reaches to grab the badge from my outstretched hand, but Mum beats him to it. She yanks it from me so hard that, had I been holding it any harder, it would have cut through my finger.



 “Rose! This is amazing! You’re the first in the family!”


   “Well, besides Percy, but he’s not what you would call ‘family.’”


 “And Bill, too, now that I think of it…. But I mean, Harry, Ron, Ginny or I never got it, so really, you’ll be the first!”


 “Well, that may have been because we were off saving the world, Hermione, because I’m sure you would have gotten it if you had stayed….”


  “Ron, don’t kill the moment.”


 I probably could have walked from the room and they wouldn’t have noticed. Right now, the only thing that mattered was the badge they were holding between them. It was now their precious little ‘Badgie-Wadgie’, and Rosie-Posie was all but forgotten….


 But, fairly quickly, the discussion turns back to me, and hugs go around and congratulations are given to the rightful person. Badgie lays forgotten on the table. I secretly decide to polish him later, so to rub off all the grubby fingerprints of my parents.


 “Oh, we have to call Harry and Ginny, they’ll be thrilled!” my Mum chimes.


“Do you think Al got head boy?” I ask hopefully.


 “Oh, no, Rosie, Head Boy and Girl are always in separate houses.”


My happy mood immediately leaves me. Most of all, I was looking forward to sharing a large, roomie dormitory with one of my close friends. If Al couldn’t share it with me, I don’t really see who else could make it worthwhile.


 “Oh!” I say, remembering something. “How about Lorcan? He’s in Ravenclaw, he might be Head Boy! He was a prefect! He’s a shoe-in to get it!”


 “Lorcan?” my Dad asks, watching Mum frantically searching for the floo powder. “Luna’s son?”


 I nod excitedly, ignoring his ignorance. Lorcan’s been over nearly every day this summer! How could he not know who he was?


  “Hmm…. Well, I suppose he could, but I don’t see McGonagall putting you two together. You guys are already best friends. It’s unfortunate, but most headmasters don’t often put friends together. It’s usually enemies who end up together….”



 Everything is negative so far, but I refuse to give up hope. “Why would that be? They’d just kill each other, wouldn’t they?”


Dad laughs. “Yeah, so you would think. But in my experiences with Head Boy and Girl, it’s usually to unite the enemies. Most end up dating, and marrying when they leave school.”


My Dad immediately blanches at the thought. His Rosie-Posie, dating a boy whom she shares a room with? Possibly snogging? Possibly shagging? Oh, no, no, no, no.


“Well,” he says, his ears reddening, “just promise me that if Malfoy’s kid is Head Boy, you won’t end up….you know…doing stuff.”


  I cringe. I would hate it if he was Head Boy.


  “Rose and Scorpius shagging?” comes a voice. Hugo’s just woke up. “I can’t imagine what they babies would look like.”


“Hugo!” Mum is peeved. “Just because two people…well…do things, doesn’t mean proper precautions can’t be taken to…prevent  such happenings.”


 Hugo and I both fall to the floor in hysterics. We’re nearly crying by the time Hugo manages to gasp, “Please….Mum, not this again! I…I…I couldn’t take another lecture on…wands and witches!”


  It’s nearly ten minutes before Hugo and I manage to pick ourselves up off the floor, and by that time Mum has already told Harry and Ginny the news, and confirmed that neither Al nor Lorcan got a Head Boy badge (as Lorcan seems to be at the Potter house for the weekend.)  Hugo is still hiccupping when Mum pulls her wand out and forces an apple to fly into his mouth. This makes me laugh, and Mum has to point her wand threateningly at the fruit bowl to make me shut-up.


  “Well, Harry and Ginny have agreed to go down to Diagon Alley with us tomorrow. There isn’t much we need, but it will be nice to pay George and Angelina a visit. They just sent you two a late Christmas present,” she points to me and Hugo, “which was very, very generous of them, one hundred Galleons each, I still can’t believe it….”


  “WHAT?!” Hugo and I shout. Both of us are speechless.


   “What? Didn’t I tell you?” Mum says, surprised.


“No, Mum, you didn’t bother to tell us that we have both just become the richest kids in Hogwarts, thanks,” says Hugo dryly.


“Well, it’s not pocket money, Hugo. I put it in an account for each of you for when you’re out of school. I’ll daresay it will be helpful when you’re looking for a job.”



   “But you and Dad are filthy rich! What do we need money for?” I cut in.


  Mum gives us that look. “Your father and I aren’t going to be supporting you when you can get a job of your own. You’ll have to make your own money.”


      “What are you going to do with the thousands of Galleons you have now?!” I say.


 “Well, your mother and I will be doing some traveling once we don’t have you two to drag us down,” Dad says, turning around holding a cup of coffee. “And once we die, you two will split our lovely fortune.”


 There’s a moment of silence, filled only with Dad sipping his coffee noisily, before Hugo says quietly to me, “Well, how do you reckon we can get Mum and Dad to snuff it early?”


 Most unfortunately, Mum overhears his comment, and sends him straight up to his room without breakfast. Laughing heartily, I head up myself, grabbing some toast and a pack of Exploding Snap from my room before sneaking into Hugo’s.


  We play a few games and eat our toast well into the evening, only going down for lunch and dinner, and it’s only when I crawl into bed do I realize that my Head Girl badge is down on the kitchen counter, forgotten.



XX



  The next morning dawned bright and early for all of us. Mum and Dad both claimed that if you got to Diagon Alley really early, you could avoid the worst of the traffic. Mum and Dad said that they just didn’t like the lines in the shops (they were rarely that long) but I figured that they, plus Uncle Harry, just didn’t like being gawked at by the afternoon crowd, which consisted mostly of young kids and teens.


 Too tired to put much of an effort into my appearance, I decide on jeans and a blue shirt, not bothering to do much else besides brush my hair (in vain, of course). I’m downstairs in a record three minutes time, and I see Mum shouting at Hugo through the door to get out of bed.


  Dad is downstairs, laughing at Mum’s attempts to wake up Hugo. I start giggling too, but when he sees me, his laugh turns to a smile.


    “How’s my Head Girl this morning?”


    “Oh, please Dad, don’t start calling me that for the rest of my life, I’m begging you!”


 “Nah, I won’t…. Just today. Just so I can gloat. Please?”


 I give him a look worthy of Mum, but he doesn’t flinch. He puts his hands together, under his chin, begging me. I snort.


   “Dad…. You gloated about my prefect badge to just about everyone who would stand still long enough, and I didn’t even say a word!”


 “Yeah, but this is different! James never got Head Boy, and neither did Al this year! I just have to rub it in Harry’s face! Please, Rosie?”


  “Just to Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny,” I say grudgingly, right as I hear Mum storming downstairs.


  “I swear, if I let that boy, he would sleep into the next century,” she huffs, handing out scarves and mittens. I take mine with a wince; they’re the color of blue that my Mum always fawns over, how perfectly it matches my eyes. “How on earth does he manage to get to class in the mornings?”


  I snigger as I recall all of the red-eyed-Hugo’s I’ve encountered in my past years, all grumpy and snappy. “Well, Al snuck up there the first year he was at Hogwart’s. Charmed his alarm clock to beat him over the heat with his pillow to wake him up. I still don’t know how he did it, because Hugo can’t figure out how to turn it off.”


 Both my parents laugh as Hugo comes moping down the stairs, his hair messy beyond belief and still in his pajama pants. Mum gapes at him, preparing to yell, but Hugo cuts in, saying, “I brushed my teeth, though.”


  I laugh, but Mum sends him back up to change and brush his hair. Ten minutes later (seven minutes longer than me, I note with pride) Hugo is back down in baggy jeans and a sweatshirt, with a baseball cap covering his messy hair. Mum doesn’t seem to have the patience to send him back up again.


 “Rose, you go first. You and Hugo can wander over to Wizard Wheezes, your Dad and I will get your supplies,” Mum says.


  “Gee, thanks, Mum,” I say, surprised at her offer. Usually, I’m expected to get everything myself.


“Don’t get used to it,” Dad says, handing me the floo powder. I take a handful and step into the fireplace. A few uncomfortable Muments later, I stumble out into the flat above Wizard Wheezes. Hugo comes behind me, looking thoroughly tired, and shuffles ahead to the stairs that lead below.


 Down in the shop, it is eerily empty, as they haven’t opened yet. George and Angelina are unpacking and straightening up, and neither seem to notice us enter.


 “And to what do we owe the early pleasure?” says a voice, and a young image of George appears from behind an aisle. It’s Fred, and he looks pleased to see Hugo in such horrible condition. “Gee, couz, you think you’d freshen up a little bit for me. Looking like a douche doesn’t really suite you.”


 “Early pleasure, my ass,” Hugo says, stifling a yawn. “And I don’t suppose looking like a business man is a new fashion statement, either.”


Fred is, in fact, dressed in WWW robes, complete with dragon skin boots. He does a little twirl and struts. “You like it, do you?”


 We all laugh, and only then does Aunt Angelina notice our arrival. She runs over and hugs us tightly, telling us both that we’ve grown, that we’re so lovely now, etc. It’s normal family talk, and Hugo and I just nod and smile while taking turns hugging her. Uncle George comes over, but fortunately, he doesn’t say anything about our growth. He mentions my ‘ugly’ scarf and gloves (which he knows I hate), and hands me a new pair. However, when I put them on, my hands disappear.


Al, James, and Lily arrive twenty minutes later, right as the shop is about to open. Al grew about a foot since the last time I saw him, and James seems to have gotten more muscular. He flexes for us, and we all laugh when Lily hits him over the head with her book. Lily has also grown, but in a different way. Her hair is longer, and unless I’m much mistaken, she has gotten considerably more beautiful, which is saying a lot. I tell her that she should apply for a job as a model for Witch Weekly. She laughs.


 “Where’s Uncle Harry?” Hugo asks, at the same time that I ask where Aunt Ginny’s at.


 “They’re both out shopping for Al and Lily,” James answers, still flexing, but now with a few wary glances at his sister.


 “That’s really weird,” I say, frowning. “Mum and Dad are both shopping for us, too.”


 “I wonder what for…” says Lily. “They always make us do it ourselves.”


 “Maybe they’re afraid we’ll spend the 100 Galleons that Uncle George gave us,” Hugo says, followed by roars of outrage from everyone.


  “Mum told us the same thing!” Al yells.


 “She said it was for when we get out of school!” yells Lily.


 “Yeah, Hugo and I reckon we should make Mum and Dad snuff it to get their money,” I say.


Everyone laughs, including Uncle George, who has just come down from upstairs. Trying to look serious, and failing miserably, he says, “Well, now, where would you be without your parents, Rose?”


 “I’d be about 100,000 Galleons richer is where I’d be,” I say.


 It takes a couple of minutes for everyone to stop laughing hysterically. This is something I love about my family. No matter how you say it, no matter what you say, there is still happiness and laughter in the air. There is not a quiet or awkward moment with them.


 “Hey Rosie, what’s this I hear about being Head Girl, huh?” Uncle George says. I try to silently shush him before anyone hears, gliding my hand across my throat to signal to him, but he pays no attention. The affect is instantaneous. Everyone is shunned to silence, staring at me with wide eyes.


 “Oh! So that’s what Mum and Dad were kissing last night!” Hugo says, followed by laughter. “I thought that was a bit weird, kissing your badge, Rosie.”



  “I don’t believe it,” says James in outrage. “I wasn’t even Head Boy! Neither was Al! How is it that a Potter can’t get a position of highest honor?”



  “Well, it might be because you and Al are so much trouble you practically live in detention,” Lily says. “Or that the headmaster has had enough of the Potter’s for a lifetime.”


  “There are more Weasley’s than us! She should be sick of them!” says Al.


 “Yeah, but the Potter’s cause more trouble than all the Weasleys put together.”


  The discussion continues for a good ten minutes, filled with much laughter and cries of outrage. It’s fun to watch, even if I haven’t even said a word about my position as Head Girl. I’m almost ashamed of it by the time everyone is finished abusing it. After all, I’m almost shunning the name of Weasley and Potter. Everyone in my family is a troublemaker, and it seems that there are few people who really appreciate my position as a responsible girl. I try to push the thought from my head, promising all the while that I will not be a pompous prat for Head Girl, and that I will at least get five good detentions this year. That will shut everyone up about it. Or, I can just give them all detention for making fun of it. That’ll probably work to the same effect.


  The rest of the day goes as smoothly as is possible with three Potters, four Weasleys, two Lovegoods (who join us halfway through the day), as well as three nameless extras, all having some sort of connection to one of us. It’s nice to see everyone again, although as always, it’s a bit overwhelming. I eventually wander off with Al and Lorcan to go hang out at Flourine’s. We eat our way through three sundaes, laughing and talking about the previous year, which was easily the most challenging, academically and otherwise. Lorcan had a record five girlfriends last year, all of which dumped him because he was so odd. Albeit him being odd, the girls kept coming because he was so good-looking. Al only dated two girls, the second of which was one of Lorcan’s exes, whom he was now quite serious with and who was one of my best friends. I dated three boys, all of whom I never got along with because they didn’t do anything but gawk at me while I did other, more productive things. Al and Lorcan both held this against me, and probably would until the day I died; they claimed I was just too good looking for my own good.


  To be fair, I told them I had the personality of a dull knife. They laughed at this and tried to deny it, but even they cannot ignore how boring I am.


     “Ah, Rosie, you just don’t get it, do you?” Al would say whenever I told him this. “Boys don’t give a damn about your personality. They’re too busy staring at your chest.”


 I was exceptionally glad that most of my friends were girls, and my two best friends were both (nearly) family. At least I didn’t have to worry about them staring at my chest. I never got along with many boys, besides Al and Lorcan and…well…the rest of my never-ending family.


We leave Flourine’s with a satisfied sweet tooth about an hour later. Assuming it is well after noon, we wander the shops and said hello to friends. I buy three new books at Flourish and Blotts, and afterwards we head to Wizard Wheezes to stock up on Daydream Charms and talk to George and Angelina before departing.



Back out on the street, I see my Mum talking to Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny outside the shop. I walk up behind her, Al and Lorcan tailing me, and see that she is holding something covered in a brown blanket.


“Rose!” she says, jumping when I put my hand on her shoulder.


“You’re acting like you committed a crime, Mum,” I say, glaring at the brown blanket. “What’s that?”



“Um…” she says, looking to Harry and Ginny for support. “Well, it was supposed to wait till later, but I suppose you can see it now.”


She sighs as she grasps the brown blanket, pulling it off to reveal a cage, and within it….


“Oh, Mum!” I squeal. “He’s beautiful!”


Inside the cage is perhaps the most striking owl I’ve ever seen. He has golden plumage surrounding his white face, with black around his eyes and on the outline of his face. His white chest is covered in golden brown spots that glitter as he moves around in his cage. His wings are also gold, but are highlighted with brown and black feathers. He looks so handsome; all I can do is stare breathlessly.


“Wow, Rose,” says Lorcan suddenly. “He looks more like a phoenix than an owl. What breed is he, Mrs. Weasley?”


“He’s a common barn own, actually,” my Mum says, eyeing the bird with a smile. “The shop keeper said he was imported from America, actually. They only bought three, but the other two weren’t nearly as pretty as this one. I had to offer a fair amount of gold for him, but the shop keeper reluctantly handed him over in the end.”


“Wow, Mum,” I say, still breathless. “Thank you so much! I’ve always wanted an owl….”


In truth, I had never really given much thought of getting one before, as I usually just borrow Hugo’s or Al’s. But now, seeing this one, I don’t think I could have thought of anything better….


“Well, I had to get you something nice,” Mum says, “you are Head Girl, after all.”


“What should I name him?” I turn to Al and Rory, knowing that Mum will probably offer something strange and exotic.


“Well,” she says anyways, ignoring that my back is to her, “the shop keeper didn’t name him. She just said that he came from a place near a town called Paso Robles. I thought Robles would be a nice name.”


I turn back to her. Truthfully, I do think Robles would be a nice name. But for some reason, I don’t really want to give Mum the satisfaction of naming the owl.


I ask for an opinion from Rory and Al. Al likes Robles, but Lorcan suggests I name him ‘Sir Kingston of Paso Robles the Owl’. I laugh, and decide on a name.


“I think I’ll name him ‘Rabbles’.” I don’t want to defy my Mum the chance of getting her say, so I settle on a name relatively close to Robles. Even though Rabbles is kind of silly, I think it suits the owl, who is now hooting happily in his cage.


Not a minute later, Lily, James, Fred, Roxanne, and Lysander. Lily and Roxanne begin cooing over Rabbles while everyone else admires him with envy. I’m happily enjoying their jealous faces when Al interrupts.


“So, why were you and my Mum and Dad shopping for us, Aunt Hermione?” he asks.


My Mum smiles smugly. “Oh, you’ll see when you get to Hogwarts. It’s a big surprise…. Well, I expect it’ll be a big surprise to Rose, anyways.”


“Why me?” I ask indignantly.


“Because I expect James will spill the beans to Al and Lily before they get there…. And Hugo isn’t old enough for it, so it won’t matter, anyways.”


There are cries of outrage at this comment, followed by James smiling smugly and Hugo shrugging.


“What is it? What are we doing this year?” Al asks excitedly.


“Oh, you’ll see,” says James. “It’s not that big of a deal….”


“Oh, yes it is,” Mum says, “James is just jealous that he’s not there this year. It will be very, very exciting.”


“Oh, yeah, I’m real sad that I won’t be getting my head ripped off by some monster,” says an annoyed James, earning a punch in the arm by every adult in the vicinity.


WHAT?!”




XX



Thank you so much to my AMAZING editor and friend, Kimberley (xakemii) who has been a big help!


I will continue to update frequently, as the entire story is near complete. About every week or so, or if I’m in a good mood then more. I’m so happy to finally have this story up!




Reviews are welcome!



 

Chloe



 



 



 


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