Chapter 2 : The Cook Out
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I don’t hate Scorpius Malfoy. No, we aren’t enemies at all.
Well, not particular enemies, if that makes any sense. We acknowledge that the other is there. In those rare instances when Scorpius decided to tag along with Albus and me on school grounds, I accepted that he was hanging out with us. I’d say hello, and he would say hello back. But other than that, we only shared stolen glances when we would pass each other in the hallway.
No, I don’t like the fact that he’s next door.
And no, I don’t hate the fact that he’s next door.
Scorpius is kind of a mystery to me. Or at least to those that notice him from afar. It’s like he always has something to say, but just chooses to keep his mouth shut. Sure, he’s a bit like Albus that way, but he could be less intangible. Maybe then people wouldn’t judge him too harshly. I’m not really sure if Scorpius Malfoy’s a friendly guy or not, nor do I know if he’s forward and polite. If someone came up to me and asked me what I thought of him, I’d have absolutely nothing to say. The reason I was shocked out of my wits at the news yesterday, along with my father, was because of how random and unnecessary it was for them to buy a summer house right next door to Big Blue. Mom didn’t think it was a problem, as usual. How do we know this? Because we know how she is. She thinks it’s a good way to get used to the idea of childhood rivalries coming together to be friends. She’s all about the ‘becoming as one’ stuff and she’s always feeding us that ‘unity’ crap.
“I don’t get what the big deal is,” Albus comments, flipping through the TV channels with the remote. It’s around five in the afternoon and there isn’t much to do at the moment. Our parents are out grocery shopping at the out-of-town market for tonight so we have the house to ourselves.
“He’s a Malfoy,” says Dominique simply, taking a seat next to me with a popcorn filled bowl in her hands.
I eat some popcorn and look at Dominique. “But he’s Albus’s friend,” I reason. “Or at least they’re nice to each other. Now he has a buddy to hang out with over the summer. It isn’t all bad.”
“Thank you, Rose.” Albus sticks his tongue out at Dominique. He clicks the remote a few more times before landing on a movie channel. We are now watching a black and white film with Jerry Lewis.
She flicks her hair behind her shoulder. “I’m just saying, I don’t trust him. Ever since graduation, I swear, he’s gotten even more snarky.” Dominique just graduated this year, and she’s studying to become a healer at St. Mungo’s. The day she received her Hogwarts diploma (or certificate, in some regions) she told Albus, Molly, and I to make sure our Seventh Year was one to remember. And to do that, we’d have to make it memorable; no problems and no drama. She told us to ignore Malfoy at all costs, in other words. I thought it was rubbish, because we were only a year younger than her, and she was trying to talk to us like some wise Samurai or something.
“Just because you insisted on getting on his wrong side the first day of school doesn’t mean he automatically hates the rest of us.” Albus reaches for some popcorn.
“Excuse me, but I’m a year older than you guys. I have the right to look out for my younger family members. Besides, he had to have some nerve to mess with a Second Year on his first day of school,” she says, referring to herself. “Blame his arrogance. It’s the way he was raised.”
Albus shakes his head, chuckling. “Or you could blame it on his confidence. He seems to know who he is, and doesn’t have a problem with confronting others. But you, on the other hand, are completely impossible. Are you honestly going to stay stubborn about this subject? Get to know the kid first. ”
“I’ve gotten to know him just fine,” she says a bit snidely. “If you’re not going to listen to me, then can you at least make sure to be careful? His family has a bad rep, as if his attitude hasn’t confirmed that enough. I don’t want you all to enter the Hogwarts rumor mill on your first day back as a Seventh Year and be the people that get talked about every day in the Great Hall. I don’t trust him, and neither should you guys. He looks like a Drama Queen.”
I mentally roll my eyes. A little less more than you are, Dom.
“I think you’re being harsh,” I say truthfully.
“Yeah, bugger off. You’re ruining my groove.” Albus leans his head back on the couch and throws popcorn in the air. He catches it in his mouth.
Dominique rolls her eyes, sets the popcorn down next to me, and leaves the room. I stretch my legs out on the space Dom was just occupying and put a pillow behind my head on Albus’s leg.
“Don’t be snooty to her,” I say to him.
“She was the one being snooty to me. I wish everyone would quit trying give Scorpius a bad rep. He really isn’t that bad.” He stuffs his face with popcorn. “I mean, you think he’s okay, right?” I can barely understand him with his mouth full.
“Sure,” I nod.
I can’t tell if I’m lying or not. Is that a bad thing? Like a mentally bad thing?
“It’s starting to get annoying. People telling us who to hang out with.”
“It’s the fact of life, Al. We’re the Weasley/Potter clan, and our past generation’s come a long way. There’s bound to be some prejudices set for another three generations, maybe more during our lifetime.” I reach for more popcorn.
“Scorpius is a fun and down to earth guy. The only thing that could possibly start drama now is if his cousins come down. His aunt is Daphne Greengrass, and she has two boys that are quite the topic of conversation, even at Hogwarts. Daphne Greengrass also has a divorce pending, too. Which makes sense, because I heard she lost her house this year; probably as a result of getting divorced. I don’t know what their doing this summer, so that’s up for questioning. Maybe house renting…” He trails off, shaking his head.
“All I know,” he concludes, “Is that I wouldn’t want those boys near us. Because those kids are trouble,” Albus says haughtily.
Hm. I never knew Scorpius had cousins, let alone multiple ‘problem’ cousins. This sounds interesting…
“What about his cousins?” I inquire further.
“Meh, nothing major,” Albus brushes off. “They’re just into the whole party scene. The occasional drinking here and there… and by occasional, I mean every night. They sneak out all the time. They usually end up at the Malfoy house when their trashed, and that gets Scorpius in trouble all the time. He doesn’t say anything though, he just deals with them. I hear they’re kind of cocky, too, those twins.”
“Oh.” Twins? He has twin cousins with the last name Greengrass?
Wow, haven’t heard that one before.
“Almost all his other extended family members are twins, too, now that I come to think of it. How odd,” he says, more to himself than to me. I bite back a snort.
Did you also get a flash of Edgar Allen Poe’s House Of Usher short story about twins as well, or was that just me?
“You know what Lily told me yesterday during dinner, right before Vic and everyone else arrived?” I ask, changing the subject.
“She said she’s already kissed a boy. AND –” I put my hands in the air for this, “she’s made it her plan to find love this summer.”
Albus Potter’s face becomes flat as a brick. “You’ve got to be shitting me.”
“I shit you not.”
“She’s two years old. What’s she doing kissing boys?”
See, that’s the difference between James and Albus. James would be wringing Lily’s neck by now; he gives the overprotective brother thing a whole new meaning. Albus is more like me. We genuinely give two shits, but not enough to actually get up and cause a war.
“That’s what I wanted to say!” I sigh, and shake my head, as I continue. “All of a sudden, Lily’s becoming a teenager and she wants to do girly things. Like dress in pink frills and…wear make up…and…” I grimace.
“Fall in love?” Albus finishes for me.
“Ugh,” I respond back, showing my disgust. “The last thing she needs is a boy. Hell, I can’t even stand the ones in my life right now. Besides you and Teddy and maybe Uncle Harry, every other male is driving me nuts.”
Cue walk in, Scorpius Malfoy. Another male I need to add to that list.
“And she also commented on your blonde friend next door. Basically, she thinks Scorpius is a fox.”
Albus laughs. “Yeah, her and the rest of the Hogwarts’ female population.”
We fall back into comfortable silence and continue to watch the black and white film playing on television, until we run out of popcorn and the credits start rolling.
One hour, three minutes, and 24 seconds to go before said cook out begins.
And I’m sweating bullets.
“Are you nervous or something? Why are you shaking?” Lily asks me while rummaging through her closet for something to wear.
“I’m not shaking,” I say shrewdly. “It’s just hot in here.”
Lily continues to ransack through her clothes as I look out the bedroom window.
Mom and dad are downstairs helping Aunt Ginny set up everything. Uncle Harry’s cooking meat on the barbeque. And all of my cousins, plus my socially awkward brother, are scattered around the house doing Merlin knows what. It’s like everyone’s waiting for Hiroshima part II in this house. Everyone’s been acting tentative and kind of mindless today around my father – afraid that one slip of the tongue about a Malfoy, or anything relating to that word, would make Ronald Weasley even more aggravated than yesterday. But let’s get to the point: he’s not taking it so well.
He was close to coming to terms with having Draco Malfoy live next door to him, right before Victoire and company arrived during dinner last night.
Because as soon as Teddy walked through the door, James burst out in disdain about the series of events in which we found ourselves in. James and his big arse mouth. That set my dad back into his rampage. Aunt Ginny grounded her eldest son for today as a result. He isn’t allowed to watch TV or take a swim outside. I don’t know what he’s doing right now. Probably watching dust fall in his room.
Whatever, James deserves it. He should know better than to piss his mother off. Aunt Ginny is not a force to be reckoned with.
Teddy and Vic found the news to be unsettling, but Dominique took it the worst - she thought having the Malfoy’s next door was just down right uncomforting. If you ask me, something happened between Scorpius and her that she’s not telling us. And it’s left her bitter.
“Are you not changing?” Lily eyes my outfit.
I’m wearing a white halter sundress that ends above my knees and flares out. I look down at my dress. “What’s wrong with this?” This is a cute summer dress.
“A sundress? That’s so cliché for a summer barbeque! How about a strapless tank top to shows off your shoulders? Nah, you’d only be revealing more freckles,” Lily, the thirteen year old that thinks she’s become a glamour goddess overnight, tells me wisely. “Are you at least wearing a push up bra?”
“Lily,” I say alarmingly. “Please don’t tell me you’re trying to give me fashion advice and…visual breast advice just because Scorpius is going to be there.”
“He’s really cute. And he might have cousins!” she reminds me, digging further into her closet. Her bum is now sticking out while her head is completely lost in the bottom half of her clothes. “Their house is just as big as ours. They wouldn’t have bought it if they weren’t expecting family to come down and spend a few nights, don’t you think?”
She is too observant, methinks.
“I found out that he does have cousins, actually. Albus told me.” I fold my arms and lean on my shoulder, against the window. “But even if they’re coming down, what makes you think you have the right to be flirting with them? You’re a Third Year-”
“Fourth Year now, actually,” she corrects.
“I’m sorry –You’re a Fourth Year. And besides the fact that you are now in the first year of your teenage life, mind you, only the wee young age of thirteen, the Greengrass cousins aren’t necessarily the right bunch for you to get mixed up with.”
“Oh, Greengrass’s, you say? Do you know how old they are?”
“Well, no, but from what I’ve concurred, they’re somewhere around my age or older.”
“Have you ever met them?”
“No, they go to Durmstrang.”
“Have you heard any actual menacing rumors?”
“And do you have proof of their misbehavior?”
“And has Scorpius ever personally spoken to you about them?”
“No,” I grind my teeth, knowing exactly where she’s going with this.
“Then you really have no right to tell me to stay away from Scorpius Malfoy’s cousins, or Scorpius himself,” she says simply, popping her head back up from the bottom of her closet. Lily’s holding a pair of green cargo short shorts.
“Do you think I’m tan enough to wear these yet?”
I ignore her. “Please stay interested in boys your age.”
She rolls her eyes at me.
“Don’t roll your eyes at me! You’re new attitude and view on life and boys and summer love and looking picture perfect all the time is making me SICK,” I rush out, irritated. “You’re too young, and you’re making my inner ‘protective older family member’ alter ego sprout out. If I catch you with anyone older than fourteen, I’m going to call James.”
Lily narrows her eyes in my direction and lowers her arms. Her short shorts are dangling out of her hands. “You wouldn’t.” I push off the wall with the back of my foot and look down at her.
“Oh, I would.”
She then starts to give me the evil eye and we have an eye-war showdown in absolute silence. A breeze from the open window blows in and passes by us but we don’t move. She blinks. I blink. We continue staring each other down. This lasts for about four seconds.
“Awe, no fair!” Lily whines. She stomps her foot on the ground and looks at me helplessly, pouting her lips.
“Not a chance, Lily. I’m telling you now, no older guys. I have enough things on my plate to worry about. I don’t need Harry Potter’s daughter causing mayhem with the opposite sex to be one of them.”
“And you assume I’d be the one causing mayhem because…?”
“You’re hormonally active! It’s like estrogen and female intuition fighting in a battle for truth. I can’t stand it.”
“Oh, what ever. Stop being so dramatic. You’re just like Uncle Ron.”
And with that, she begins changing into a peasant tank top and her green short shorts while I, on the other hand, walk out of the room and into the hallway. Passing by the room James and Albus share, I run into Teddy Lupin. He’s dressed in a gray v-neck tee and light washed jeans. He ruffles his hair and throws me an adorable smile.
“Oi, ready for tonight?” He asks me with a glint in his eyes. “I sense a teenage meltdown of epic proportions coming along.”
“Oh, yes,” I reply in monotone. “I can’t wait for that.”
He chuckles. “Nervous?”
“Me? No…maybe. Not really.” I bite my lip. Am I nervous? Why should I be? It’s just Scorpius Malfoy living next door. Bah, I never thought I’d put the words ‘Scorpius Malfoy’ and ‘living next door’ in the same sentence.
I momentarily have a brain fart and zone out of what Teddy’s talking about.
Will he be nice to me? Like in all actuality, do you think he’d be polite in front of his parents but then mean when they’re not around? No, that’s a dumb question to ask; there’s no reason for Scorpius to hate me. Right? Albus will probably be his anchor, anyway. He’s not friends with anyone else. And I’m related with Albus, we’re friends, and Scorpius knows that. He knows how close I am with my family. He wouldn’t cut me out of everything or make fun of me, or even tease me…I think.
“…but I think everything’s gonna be fine. Except that blonde kid. That son of his, what’s his face. He seems sketchy; I don’t like him. I don’t really have an opinion on him, but Dominique always tells Vic and me about his bad vibes.”
I zone back into reality and look back at Teddy. “Hm? I agree, totally. That statement is - Er, yes.”
He raises his eyebrow. “Yes?”
I look around hesitantly, going red. “…Yes.”
He scrunches his brows together and gives me a worried look that shows concern for my sanity. “I didn’t ask a question. Unless… you were agreeing with my statement?”
“Right, well, it was nice chatting with you, Ted,” I say fast as lightening, my voice reaching high intervals.
I give him a tight lipped smile and a pat on the shoulder as I walk by him. I don’t even look back, because I know I’ll see Teddy’s face turned around in my direction, trying to figure me out.
The usual. He’ll fail like everyone else. I’m programmed to be clearly unidentifiable and misunderstood. Just how I like it.
“Rosie!” I’m stopped by Freddie Weasley on my way down the stairs to the kitchen.
“Might want to check on your father. I think he’s having heart palpitations.”
“Hugo walked by and mumbled out loud to Uncle Ron that he saw the Malfoy’s roll back into their drive way with a whole bunch of expensive grade A+ steaks they’re bringing to the cook out, just to outshine the Weasley household.”
“My brother’s a prat,” I conclude.
“Now Uncle Ron’s yelling at your mom to go to the market and buy off a whole damn cow. I have no idea what is up your dad’s arse, but he needs to relax. Now. And Hugo…” Fred just shakes his head in disappointment.
“As for Hugo, there’s a face-smuggling worthy pillow with his name on it. He better sleep with one eye open from now on,” I finish for him. I put my hands on my hips. “Is my brother trying to make everything worse? Because I have no problem getting rid of him. I’d be content with saying it was a horrible smothering accident.”
“Of course he’s trying to make everything worse, Rosie. He’s what, turning fifteen soon? Hugo’s going through some shitty manhood adolescent stage that he should have gone through after age five. Sometimes I can’t tell if he’s a boy, or just a living bratty archetype of a teenage girl on her period.”
“Literally,” I agree. “He’s like a walking tampon.”
“Listen, I’m going to go take a shower and get ready for…well, what ever it is that’s happening tonight. Check on your dad, yeah?” He begins to head up the stairs.
“Definitely,” I tell him. I walk through the kitchen, and immediately spot dad outside, from the window above the sink. He’s sitting at our picnic table with both hands on his knees, absolutely fuming. My mother, who’s by his side, is leaning over his shoulders trying to hold him down. My father rocks back and forth on the bench as my mother speaks to him hastily.
I open the door to the outside. As soon as I set foot on the crisp and clean grass, I regret it almost instantly.
“I cannot believe – that bastard!”
“Ron, he’s just being polite! Try to get your head around this, would you?!”
“Are you barking mad? Hugo’s right! Of course Draco Malfoy would come to my house, after being cordially invited, and try to outshine me on my own fucking grill,” my father says with spite. “I can afford good meat products just as much as any other Pureblood!”
“Keep your damn voice down!” My mom firmly grasps him by the ear and he winces in pain. Ah, true love. “I advise you to calm yourself. What Hugo said was just a slip of the tongue comment that meant nothing.”
I take a seat across from my dad and interrupt their whole calamity.
“Oh, hello, Rose,” my mother smiles, dropping her husband’s ear from her hold. She smoothes down her apron like nothing’s happened. “Let me go prepare the fruit salad.” She narrows her eyes at my father and adds, “Ron, behave yourself. We don’t need the children hearing your immaturity.”
My dad huffs like an infant and looks away.
“Dad,” I begin, like an adult says to a child. “I think you’re harboring some inside anger.”
“I’m not harboring anything,” he snaps.
I raise my eyebrows disbelievingly. “Ronald,” I say professionally.
I take a deep breath. “You’re harboring a grudge against a blonde ex-Slytherin from wizard grade school. I think you should consider yourself as an adult here, and just talk with me.” You know what? I should be a psychiatrist. Except I shouldn’t have chosen my dad as my first experimental study, because he’s looking at me as if I’ve just shit a brick.
He eyes me up wearily. “Are you on drugs?”
What the crap.
“Dad,” I spit out impossibly.
“Answer the question,” he demands.
My posture goes limp and I look up at the heavens. I pray for patience.
“Number one,” I name off with my finger, “You’re letting a stupid comment made by your idiotic son get the best of you. Number two, get over this stupid fight, dad. If Draco Malfoy has grown up, then you should have already grown up, too. And number three, I am, in fact, NOT on drugs.” I release a long breath and cross my arms. “How rude of you to assume that.”
Mister Ronald Weasley gives his daughter a frustrating look combined with fatherhood annoyance. “I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately, but you shouldn’t be speaking to your father this way,” he tells me matter-of-factly. “I’m not enjoying this…and it’s peculiar. I really don’t know how to respond to this…So I think we should stop. I have enough to deal with at the moment. Could you just… go paint your nails or something?”
I’d scoff if he wasn’t looking so genuinely sincere.
“Sure, what ever,” I sigh, disappointed. This is the second time today that someone has looked at me with both concern and interest in my mental stability. I rise from my position on the picnic table and leave my father alone with his thoughts. “Just try not to explode,” I finish, walking back inside. “The last thing I need is a public fight between my parental units.”
Of course this would happen. There I was just a second ago, trying to calm my father down, and before I got anywhere – bam! He asked me if I was on drugs! See what happens when I try to do something good? I swear I was born as the oddball in the family. Absolutely no one gets me.
In my opinion, people can’t stretch beyond their capacity enough to understand me.
In their opinion, I’m just too ‘out there‘. Too weird. Too misinterpreting.
Honestly, they’re my family. You’d think they could try a little bit more to figure me out.
Perhaps they gave up after a while. Yeah, I could understand that. I mean I am a web of complicated sarcastic crap. Even looking at myself in the mirror is a damn challenge sometimes. Maybe that’s it…they just figured out I was a bit too complicated to understand, and they all agreed to love me anyways…right? It’s plausible.
“Rosie! How do I look?” Lily comes pouncing in my direction. I take in her outfit and my shoulders immediately slump.
“You are not wearing that,” I declare.
Lily looks at me, disappointed. “What, do I not look good?” She tugs at her green short shorts. “I know I’ll have to work on my tan, but-”
“Go change!” I bark. Those shorts look nonexistent. I can see her arse cheeks.
“Well, then,” she crosses her arms. “I can sense someone is a bit jealous. Humph. Just because I have a well rounded booty doesn’t mean you have to hate me.” Her nose is in the air and she begins to walk away. “I have a donk, and I shall carry it with me everywhere I go.”
I grab her wrist before she can escape. “Oh, no you don’t! You are not wearing that. This is supposed to be a family barbeque with some non-so welcomed guests. Not a brothel convention. I wear more in the shower. Go change before Uncle Harry sees you! Or worse, Aunt Ginny!”
James comes barging in. “Hey, have you guys seen my - You whore!”
My mouth drops along with Lily’s. That was a smidge too much.
He points at his younger sister accusingly and shakes his head back and forth. “What-what…No! What the bloody- Are you trying to get pregnant!?” he sputters all over the place.
I look at Lily. She looks like she’s about to explode.
“You’re supposed to wear clothes for this sort of cook out,” he says, sounding like a mean teenage girl out of a chick flick. “Not sure what look you were going for, but clothes that actually cover the bum are encouraged. Not neon underwear and painted on, skin tight T-shirts. The first letter of your name is an L, and, boy, do you put the L in S-L-A-G!”
“I cannot believe you!” Lily yells, fuming. “I am not a slag! It’s the summer, and it’s hot, you jerk! What am I supposed to wear? A leg warmer tracksuit?! Last time I checked, you were always the one that walked around the house with only your boxers on. If anyone’s the whore here, it’s you!”
Meow. It’s getting feisty.
“Well!” James, who looks like he’s been struck on the cheek, is clearly insulted. “I…I never!”
Lily gives him a venomous smile and crosses her arms in victory.
“You’re still changing,” I say. But neither acknowledge that I’m still here.
“You’re still a whore!” James bursts at Lily.
“You’re still living with your parents!”
James and I gasp.
I turn to him, and this time, it’s James Potter’s mouth that drops. “That was a low blow,” he says slowly, putting a hand over his heart - and his pride.
“Can we calm down?” I suggest. “James, go… do something productive and stop calling your sister bad things.” I shoo him away and turn to Lily. “You. You are changing. Now.” I point up the stairs. “Go,” I urge on, “Before more bad stuff happens.”
Is it just me, or does it feel like everything is getting more and more horrific by the minute since the Malfoy’s have moved next door?
I lead my thirteen year old cousin up the stairs and lock her in her room so she can put on something more suitable. I walk away from Lily’s door and decide to go back to my room; I need to check on my hair. On the way there, I pass the bathroom and Freddie emerges in the hallways with a towel around his waist. Weasley’s are pretty pale, but Freddie’s always been the butt of Albino jokes. And when he’s wet, like right now, he looks almost translucent.
“Have you seen Hugo? I think I’m going to go talk to him. And by talk to him, I mean castrate.” I want to make sure Hugo at least acts like a decent person tonight.
“Actually, I saw him down stairs holding a bag full of plastic cups. I guess he’s outside setting up tables?” Fred suggests, shaking his mop of red hair all over the place. He runs his hands through it as he listens to me.
“Hugo? Helping? This I have got to see. Thanks, Freddie.” I give him a little cheek/face slap that echoes a bit too loudly and head down the stairs the second time this evening, so I can go back outside… again. Damn technicalities, always making me do things twice…
I cross our kitchen and look out into the yard; it’s instantly gotten darker since I was last out. Ah, the perfect mid-pause between the afternoon and nighttime. Those are always my favorite times of the day. It’s light, but also dark out. Pretty blues and whites and all sorts of fabulousness all in one place. And even though I don’t like summer all too much, I must confess - it has the best night skies and pretty sunsets. Only in the summer can I really enjoy that point between light and dark. It’s different with other seasons.
Too bad I was so busy barging out of the house and out the backdoor that I couldn’t pay attention to the sunset. How can I be peaceful and ‘be one with my surroundings’ when I have to kick some arse? Very contradicting, you know.
“HUGO!” I bark, taking in his skinny navy colored pants and v-neck red tee.
As soon as he turns around to see me, he rolls his eyes and turns back around, giving me his back like he never saw me. “You’re wearing your skinnies again!?” Stupid tight pants. They are not healthy for boys his age. At least not for every day wear. I bet you that he’s not going to be able to produce children when he’s older because of the vast loss in his sperm count.
“Go bother someone else, Rose,” he snarls quietly before scoffing at me. The nerve of the men in this family!
I follow him to the refreshments table. I put my hand on my hip and give him the stink eye. “Why have you been causing havoc before our Malfoy infestation? I’m basically running around back and forth from person to person trying to figure out what is going on-”
“Please stop talking-”
“And I have to deal with people that don’t know how to dress themselves, and people that call their sisters whores, and a grown man who is convinced their eldest child is on drugs. And for what? Well, half of this is your fault-”
“You are so annoying.”
I huff and look at my little brother, but he’s looking patient and expectant. Entertained, even. Like he’s waiting for something he knows is going to happen. He smirks at me and just keeps his mouth shut.
“I swear, you make things harder for me on purpose. You couldn’t just wait until we actually ate something before letting that hole in your face start flopping around and mumbling stupid things to dad? Couldn’t you have waiting to screw things up and go all pissy on us after we had food in our system? No, you had to hold the title of Life Ruiner before this barbeque even started. You do realize our dad went haywire? He called Draco Malfoy a bastard because he bought good steaks for grilling!”
“Er, Rose-” I hear Albus call out from behind me, but I ignore him and continue to yell at my little brother.
“Why did you run your mouth like that? Did you even think about the consequences to what you said? Mom was going to kill dad for his immaturity and when I tried to talk to him, to get him to stop hyperventilating and try to fix things, he told me to go paint my damn nails!”
I put a hand up signaling to Albus behind me, as I am still facing my brother. “Not now, Albus.”
Both of my hands are on my hips now; I am in full sister scorn mode. My left knee is even bent a little, and my head is cocked to the side.
“Everyone is a bit nervous and no, I don’t appreciate you just nonchalantly running your gob over things you probably made up yourself. I haven’t said anything to you all week, but it’s already getting worse. And I can’t take your attitude. I am not starting my summer like this! So for the sake of my sanity, or lack thereof, try to act with some sort of decency. Hell, a little bit of honorability would go a long way-”
“Rose, damn it!” Albus coughs violently, trying to get my attention mid-rant. I almost grind my teeth in frustration, and give one final glare at Hugo, before turning towards my cousin.
“WHAT!?” I turn my head around so quickly that my long wavy red hair wisps all over the place, smacking Hugo behind me. My jaw drops at the sight before me. And let me tell you, the sight before me is a frightening and unexpected one. In fact, I almost can’t believe it. But then I remember how things don’t really go my way, so I believe it nonetheless.
“Rose,” Albus starts, turning to the blonde before him. “You know Scorpius.”
Time is moving so slow, I can feel the rotation of the earth.
“Uh.” My mouth snaps shut and then back open and then the cycle begins again.
They couldn’t have already come out, the Malfoy’s! They’re twelve minutes early! That’s a big difference between 6 o’clock and forty-eight minutes past five. Holy crap, how long was he standing there?!
I look at him and then try to glance back at Albus, but I find myself hitting a mental stone wall as soon as I give Scorpius a good look-over; what, with the shock of Scorpius Malfoy’s cool blue irises practically hitting me in the pupils and all.
The blonde in question, whose eyes are mischievously locked with mine, is smirking in enjoyment. “My father’s a bastard, eh?” he asks me with a sly smile.
Oh, dear Merlin.
“Scorpius,” I say breathlessly.
“Rose,” he greets politely, with a glint in his eyes. I find myself staring at him and for some stupid reason my mouth is still hanging open. I’m taking it all in - the bitch fest I let out on Hugo, the Malfoy family’s arrival which I was completely oblivious about, me calling Scorpius’s father a bastard by association… Yep, all of that.
“Sorry,” Albus mumbles timidly to him.
“It’s okay,” Scorpius assures with a hundred watt smile. His face lights up the scenery. “My father’s been called much worse.”
“Meh,” is all I can muster.
“Peace out, cool cats,” I hear Hugo say before disappearing behind me, leaving the three of us alone.
I cannot believe I greeted Scorpius Malfoy with an insult about his father. I couldn’t have possibly been living so deeply in my own world, running around and taking care of things, people, and trying to find Hugo, that I hadn’t noticed Draco Malfoy and his family arriving? This is so surreal. In fact, I feel quite ambushed. Yes, that’s it. I feel ambushed by the two boys in front of me.
“You seem shocked,” Scorpius notices, his hand firmly grabbing the top rim of his drink off the picnic table.
Fun fact: He had to lean forward close to me to grab his cup, and his arm brushed mine; I was immediately snapped back to reality. And so was my mouth.
“Sorry,” I rush out apologetically.
Scorpius leans his head back and takes a big gulp from his cup, and at the same time he waves off the issue like it’s not a problem. “No big deal.”
My eyes curiously go to Albus and I look at him hesitantly. He flashes me a small smile.
Relax, Rosie, is what he’s trying to tell me.
“Scorpius and I were actually going to head inside and catch up a little bit, but he insisted on saying hello.”
“I see.” Maybe I have nothing to worry about with Scorpius. He seems to be behaving himself. And he even stopped to say hello to me instead of, well, what ever else he was planning to do.
“Have you seen Roxanne?” Uncle Harry asks us, heading towards our group. He reaches us and then realizes who the third person is. His features go rigid for a second, but he gives Scorpius a strained smile nonetheless, just because Uncle Harry’s polite like that. And because Aunt Ginny has him whipped.
“Oh, Roxanne,” I say too loudly, trying to break the ice (and the awkward silence) now that my uncle’s arrived. “Yes, I saw her. I think she’s in the living room talking with Victoire.”
“Okay. Thank you, Rose.” He gives me a curt nod, and throws Scorpius another polite but tightlipped smile. He turns around and is headed towards Big Blue. When he walks away completely, Scorpius mumbles, “Well that was awkward.”
“Somewhat problematic,” I agree.
I look at him. He looks at me. Albus looks at the both of us.
“Rose!” My mother yells. I inwardly shudder as I turn around. I look at my mother from across the yard and I have to stop myself from laughing out loud.
My mother and father are on both sides of Draco Malfoy and his wife, Astoria Greengrass. Wow, Mr. Malfoy is really…pale. Not like a creepy kind of white, but like an elegant kind of white. You know? He looks regal, standing there in an argyle sweater over a button down shirt, while glaring at my father. My dad seemed to have said something under his breath that insulted Draco, because he has a glare hidden behind his features. His wife, on the other hand, has a pretty beige tint to her that makes her not quite dirty blonde hair stand out more. She probably tans easily in the summer; she looks of that sort. I have to stand out in the sun for three hours without sunscreen just so I can burn.
I’m not jealous…
I want so much to walk over there and see how the little Hogwarts reunion is going, but if I go over there then my mom will want to introduce me and if that happens then dad will say something controlling, to show Draco he’s raised a child better than him, and then my mother would slap him, and then Hugo would come over and make everything worse. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do. But maybe if dad just keeps huffing and the invisible ropes tied around his arms don’t break, and he doesn’t strangle the handsome blonde man next to him, I may walk out of this alive.
“Yeah, mom?” I yell out. Haha, she hates it when I do that. It makes everything so much more public. Half of my family’s already walking away from Astoria and Draco, as they have already been properly introduced again. Because all those parental stare-downs on the Hogwarts Express before every year weren’t enough, they MUST know every child who’s walked out of the Weasley/Potter womb. We all know who we are, I mean really.
Now they’re just waiting for the main event - Ron Weasley’s kids being introduced to Draco Malfoy and Company. I’d even put a bet on Freddie and Teddy that Freddie and Teddy have a bet going on of their own.
“I see you’ve already gotten reacquainted with my son,” Astoria says, pointing to Scorpius who is standing in front of me. My father’s face instantly stiffens, as he is uncomfortable with the fact that I’m already talking to the next generation of Malfoy before he even got to glare at him, since the last time (which was when we were boarding for the Hogwarts train ten months ago at the beginning of our Sixth Year). You’d think that us going into our Seventh Year would insinuate maturity and possible unity for the forthcoming year, but that obviously has never reached my father’s mind.
“We were just talking and catching up,” Albus tells them.
“I’m sure,” my father says strongly.
I just saw James whisper to Freddie and slap a five pound note into Teddy’s palm.
“Shall we?” Scorpius asks confidently. He takes another sip of his drink, and begins to walk towards the fiery pits of hell- Oh, sorry. I meant our parents.
I whip my head around and look at my dear old mommy. She almost glares daggers and mouths at me to get my arse over there or else. I’m pretty sure I just heard Scorpius chuckle and almost hiccup his drink.
“Don’t be rude, honey. Come here and say hello to our guests,” she fake smiles, throwing me another vicious look with her eyes. She turns her head back around at her guests and a huge smile is back on her face. She’s really good with facades, my mom. Why hasn’t she won an Oscar or a BAFTA yet, honestly?
Every step I take towards them is like another step in the ground, slowly getting closer to my death. I’ll be six feet under before you know it. “Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy. It’s been a while.”
My father looks absolutely torn. He’s trying to be polite but at the same time, he’s having a glaring contest with Draco Malfoy. Oh, how I wish I could have witnessed their entrance to our cookout when they arrived. The look on my father’s face as soon as he saw his school rival. I’d pay good money to see that showdown… But in a sense, I’m relieved. It would probably make things worse if I was there in plain view. Bad things usually happen when I’m around.
“My, how you’ve grown,” Astoria says. “You look lovely.” She gives me a quick smile and adverts her eyes to the ground, while everyone else instantly becomes quiet.
“Yes, thank you,” I respond kindly, looking around the group. Why has everyone stopped talking? Should I turn around and make sure Albus and Scorpius haven’t left my side?
“And Albus, dear, have you said hello?” Mom asks.
“Earlier this evening, yes,” Albus says matter-of-factly. “How else would I have been talking with Scorpius?”
My mother goes a bit red and looks down. “Right.”
Draco Malfoy coughs significantly and Scorpius moves closer to me; I can now see him if I turn to my right ever so slightly. I steal a glance at him.
He has his eyes narrowed in his father’s direction.
“How’s your summer been?” Draco Malfoy asks suddenly, completely out of place. He’s trying to make the situation more comfortable for all of us.
“So far, um, it’s been relaxing, ‘til now,” I tell him. I instantly regret it as soon as the words leave my mouth. I probably could have worded that differently.
My father smirks and Astoria Malfoy’s face goes flat. “What she means to say, is that it’s been a relaxing start,” my mother corrects.
“Yes,” I follow up quickly.
“Oh, of course,” Mrs. Malfoy says, throwing me another timid smile. Astoria feels a bit out of place, I suspect. When ever she catches someone’s eye, she tries to smile back at them with gentleness but now it just feels almost forced. This is undoubtedly difficult for her, having to come here and endear this unpleasant cookout. She most likely knew it was going to be this awkward. I mean, we all knew it wasn’t going to be a hearty fiesta, but we were ready to endure it because of my mother.
“Have the Weasley’s been nice to you?” Mr. Malfoy asks his son, who is still standing right next to me. I concentrate on one of our rose bushes behind my father so I’m not tempted to look at Scorpius. I don’t really want to see his reaction.
Oh, yeah. Rose said you were a bastard.
“Hugo and Rose are very nice, indeed. I only just saw Hugo for a few seconds, but that’s okay, Rose has been good company.” Something in his voice tells me he still has his eyes narrowed at his dad. I look at him and his face instantly relaxes; he smiles back at me.
“I’m sure she has,” Draco says brashly.
“Of course, she is. Our Rose is very welcoming,” my mother says.
Scorpius puts his arm around my shoulders playfully. “Oh, she’s been quite the hostess.”
“I think it’s time to eat,” my father growls, pushing past us. I almost fall into our petunias.
“Good, I’ve brought some steaks from my accountant’s cousin’s stepfather’s personal farm,” Draco tells my father, whose back is turned to him, while trying to flip some of the burgers on the grill. I can hear Hugo snigger from the picnic table. Damn him.
“It’s fresh, and the same guy who owns the farm owns a share from one of our neighbor’s vineyards, so I brought a bottle of wine for us all,” he says, enlightening us with all his connections. “I hope you don’t mind.”
Did I just see a smirk on that man’s face?
My father raises his meat-seasoning brush above his head subconsciously, ready to strike from the front, but my mom rushes to his side before he can do anything.
Author's Note: Sorry if I didn't make this clear: but the characters have no real accents in this story. I grew up in America so I guess it's labeled as sounding "American" but I just wanted to write it in how I saw it. I really wanted it to be authentic. I love british films, books, tv, everything! But when I'm writing this story, I'm not too worried about the british terminology (Although there will be some from time to time), I'm more worried about you all understanding my sarcasm ;]
I really hope you enjoyed this chapter! It's long, just as I promised!
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