Chapter 3 : Muffins And Chicken
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The sunshine from outside illuminates itself through Big Blue, making it light up involuntarily. It didn’t wake me up, per se, but gleamed through my open curtains long enough to tell me I should get the hell up. Even if a peaceful sun beam found its way through my window, it would still viciously find me and my closed eyeballs, and knock on the metaphorical door. A gentle alarm clock? Sure. I groggily roll out of bed and walk over to my mirror.
My eyebrow hairs are all going in the opposite direction.
I grunt, concluding that it’s too suddenly early for me to look in a mirror just yet. I take in my curvy stature. I’m wearing nothing but a soft cotton oversized t-shirt that used to belong to Teddy, and boy shorts. Not to mention some super bright orange knee socks that have fallen down to my ankles after sleeping in them. I turn to leave my room and trip over one of Lily’s flip flips, the devil. One of my orange socks slip off my foot a bit, so I have extra saggy sock space near my toes. I ignore the uncomfortable openness and head downstairs.
The windows in the house were down and there was a cool breeze blowing through as I descended from the stairs, ready for breakfast. I could see the sun shining in through the hallway from the kitchen. I scratch an itch behind my leg, right where my oversized tee ends. The shirt covers my boy shorts and ends below my bum so it probably looks like I’m scratching my arse. Awesome. Luckily for me I haven’t encountered anyone yet. Or rather, I haven’t encountered anyone willing to make fun of me. Ergo: Hugo.
One time when I was little I tripped on the kitchen floor and sat in a pile of paprika that spilled out of the box, off the counter. I was scratching my butt for hours, and all Hugo would call me was Arse Picker… all day. Amongst the others he came up with randomly, of course: Arse Scratcher, Sir Scratch-A lot, Paprik-Arse, etc. So now, when ever I have an itch anywhere near my bum, I make sure he’s not around.
“Hey, she took my muffin! Aunt Ginny!”
“Now, now, Molly, give her muffin back.”
I inwardly smirk. Ah, Aunt Ginny’s baked muffins. I close my eyes and inhale the scent.
Apple Cinnamon, my favorite.
I turn the corner into the kitchen to find Lily on the counter, munching on a waffle. Molly, Freddie, and James are fishing the cabinets for plates and cups, eating their muffins with their other hand. Roxanne’s busy eating the Apply Cinnamon muffin she just fought over with Molly Weasley. I walk over to Fred.
“Mornin’, Rosie,” Fred says to me, bits of muffin spewing from his mouth. He sees it fly out and I watch it land on the floor in slow motion. His eyes follow the crumbs as they land. We both stare at the crumbs on the floor. I look at him; he looks at me.
Fred and I, who are both headed in opposite directions, both shrug and walk over the pile of crumbs. Nothing happened…
“Good morning, Rose,” Aunt Ginny beams at me, wiping down the stove top from left over baking spills. “I just made a fresh batch of muffins. I know how you like them,” she smiles.
I smile back at her, scratching my head. “Awe,” I grin. “You’re the best, Aunt Gigi.”
If I ever ran away, or even had the chance to run away, I’d live with her and Uncle Harry. Hands down. The woman can cook breakfast like a boss.
“No problem, Dear. Listen, could you put the dishes away for me? I have to go to the market for a second, we’ve ran out of milk.” Aunt Ginny grabs her purse off the table in haste, dodging members of her family while trying to get out of the kitchen.
“Sure thing!” I open the dishwasher and the evaporated air comes out by the steam. I pick up a plate and the heat from its touch washes over my hand and moves all the way up my arms. See, I love how we’d decided to invest in a muggle house. Big Blue is the only reason I have to stay here during my least favorite season of the year, and the atmosphere this place harbors is so peaceful…I love it. It might sound ridiculous now because I’m unloading the dishwasher, but I appreciate the steam from the dishwasher. I appreciate the sunlight gleaming through the windows. I appreciate how everyone has to fight for freshly baked muffins in the morning out of a conventional oven.
There is something very remarkable about this fact.
When the front door swings closed quickly by Aunt Ginny, the conversation begins.
“Where’d Teddy and Vic go?” Lily asks, finishing off her waffle. She jumps off the counter and brushes the crumbs off her Capri pants.
“They went to check out that new flea market on West 23rd so they will meet us at the lake,” Molly states with authority. She picks up a second serving of my Apple Cinnamon muffins and starts picking at it slowly, like a bird.
One of the reasons why I secretly love and hate Molly is because of her ability to look feminine, cute, and classy all at once…without even trying. Even when she’s eating a muffin, she looks graceful! She may be a snooty know-it-all, but she has her moments. When ever I eat anything at all, it somehow ends up on my shirt, down my lap, or up my nose; provided James, Teddy, or Fred don’t decide to do that to me themselves first. Ugh.
“So who’s up, then?” Roxanne asks, to no one in particular.
“Well, Dom’s still sleeping,” starts Lily Potter, listing each person off her finger. “Uncle Ron is out with my dad playing tennis I think, because I overheard them talking this morning. Aunt Hermione may also be sleeping, I’m not sure. James went to run laps….”
“Wait, how long have you been up, exactly?” Fred asks Lily, not hiding the curiosity in his voice. Or the cocked eyebrow.
She rolls her eyes, and walks past him to the fridge. “A while. My curls don’t take ten minutes to do, you know. Beauty takes time.”
I open another cabinet and begin filling it with clean mugs. I look up at the heavens when I hear Lily. “Of course,” I remark.
“Of course, what?” Lily challenges, grabbing iced tea from the refrigerator and taking a clean mug right out of my hands. “Just because I like to look nice in the mornings-”
“Lily. It’s the summer. We’re going to all go swimming in a few hours. What’s the point of curling your hair in the wee hours of the morning when they aren’t even going to last?”
She pours the iced tea into the mug, filling it to the top of the rim. Why does she always do that?
“Whatever! I like to look presentable, no matter the season.”
She likes to look presentable for boys, no matter the reason.
“Yeah… good luck going in the water and coming out looking like Lion King,” Fred comments, laughing.
I chuckle with him and get a glare from Lily, before she guzzles down her iced tea.
“I’m going to go do some reading before we go out for a swim. Call me ten minutes before we go. I’ll be in my room,” Molly announces, before flouncing on out.
“Merlin, it’s only 8 o’clock and the girl’s already reading.” Fred shakes his head.
I instantly notice someone missing from the usual morning bunch. “Wait… where’s Albus?” I crinkle my eyebrows.
“Oh, he stepped out early this morning, I think. I heard from James who was told by Albus that Scorpius was looking for him.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah,“ Fred continues. “So I think Albus went next door to hang out with Scorpius. He should be back soon, though.”
“Maybe that’s why Lily prettied herself up this morning,” Roxanne blatantly says to us. Fred and I look at Lily who is currently going red. We bite our lips to stop from laughing.
Oh, poor girl. She walked right into that one.
A scoff escapes her mouth. “Please! As if he’s the only boy I have my eye on.”
“And at least I’m not parading around with no pants on,” Lily adds, trying to turn the attention to me.
My jaw cocks out a bit in irritation.
“She’s in her pajamas, Lils,” Fred defends, coming to my rescue. “Besides, she’s family. And we all know she’s wearing clothes under her big shirt. I always walk around with no shirt on. I just threw one on this morning because I was cold. In our family, walking around in our undies…it’s just… custom. We’ve known each other all our lives, and don’t pretend you didn’t already know that.”
A little smirk tugs at my lips as I turn around and say, “Thank you, Freds.”
And it’s true. Well, not the nudity/underwear roaming part. We’ve all known each other for so long, and we are so close with each other that it doesn’t scorn us when one of us walks around in our pajamas - or when the boys walk around with no shirts on. Our family is used to each other. Except James Potter, who’s a bit of an exception because James does walks around in his boxers on purpose just to bother us. It’s something the entire family’s scorned him for at least twice. Personally, I think he just doesn’t give two shits about who he walks in front of half naked, which is a problem. It’s a shame really. He’d probably walk around in nothing but boxer briefs in front of the Pope if he could.
Roxanne scurries towards Lily and sneaks a sip of her iced tea that’s sitting on the counter, before Lily can stop her. “Well I guess I’ll go see if Dom’s up yet!” By the time Lily is within reach of yanking her mug away, Roxanne puts the mug down and bolts for the door.
“Bratty little mooch,” Lily Potter says under her breath.
I turn on the sink, and begin filling the dishwasher back up with silverware and cups galore from last night’s barbeque.
The cook out wasn’t particularly bad, even though the beginning could have been more enjoyable. Mom got dad to sit at the farthest end of the table, away from Draco Malfoy, so there weren’t too many verbal or physical threats. But there were a few snide remarks said under both their breaths that they thought we didn’t hear. We heard all of them. Astoria sat there looking pretty and tried smiling at whoever made eye contact with her. Except Hugo, the bastard, who kept smirking at her in a condescending way. She was uncomfortable the whole time, I reckon. That’s what you get for sitting right across from Hugo.
We spread ourselves over three picnic tables and sat in groups.
I sat with the Malfoy’s, my parents, Hugo, and Albus. Scorpius obviously sat next to Albus, which was across the table from me. And Albus always sits with me. So conversation between the three of us wasn’t too difficult. We just spoke about random stuff; no philosophical talks or groups discussions on politics or anything. Just…small talk here and there. I felt like I was the only one out of the three to really be nervous. Scorpius felt comfortable and Albus felt right at home. For some reason, I was the timid one. I never spoke first, either. I was simply asked questions and I answered when they called on me. Which is weird - I’m never like that. Perhaps it was the situation that worried me. The whole surreal situation of having the Malfoy’s sitting with us and eating a meal with us, in a civil manner.
Scorpius probably thought I was a moron. He kept staring at me like he was waiting for me to talk to him, which just intimidated me more, so I really just looked at the table cloth and kept my mouth shut more than anything. But I can’t say the rest of the evening was dull because Draco Malfoy opened the wine bottle he brought and it went uphill from there; the adults sooner or later all got buzzed, it was quite entertaining. Mom was even having a deep discussion with Astoria towards the end of the night! Like in hushed tones. Then Aunt Ginny came over and it was like Sex And The City almost.
Amazing, what wine can do.
The rest of the night was calm and enjoyable. Albus and Scorpius were laughing and having a good time. The parents were in their own little planet, and the kids were playing a small game of footie after they ate. Teddy even invited Scorpius to play but he declined and sat with Albus the rest of the time. They didn’t leave each other for most of the night, those two. Albus must be so happy to have one of his friends from Slytherin here next door. He’s around Gryffies all the freaking time. I’d be moody if I were him. I can tell he’s really happy, too. I just know how he is. They’re growing close, though… Not sure if I like them being BFFs just yet.
“There, all done.” I close the lid to the dishwasher and slap my hands in accomplishment. I start the machine and it begins to clean the dirty dishes I’ve just spent most of my morning loading up.
And right then, Lily decides to finish with her iced tea, chugging it down to the last drop. She hands it to me. “You missed one,” she tells me spitefully.
I grip the mug and forcefully take it from her grasp. I throw her a menacing smile. “Don’t you have some lipstick to put on?”
Lily thinks for a moment. “Actually - I do! Be back in a second.”
“Psh,” Fred shakes his head in disappointment. “She woke up extra bitchy today, didn’t she?” He states, walking over to me and leaning next to the dishwasher.
“I don’t get it.” Roxanne is looking at her brother and at me with intrigue in her eyes. “Why is she so snooty and girly and all those things? She never used to put makeup on to go swimming.”
I sigh. “Roxy, one day, you’ll understand. Some girls just feel the need to care more about their appearance than most, because they want attention from their male counterparts. As much as I love Lily, it’s going to bother me if she keeps this up. I don’t want her to be one of those dependant females that needs a man to complete themselves. Or need drugs to complete themselves. Or money. Or handbags. Or worse, an OLDER MAN!” I shriek. The possibilities!
I immediately think of Scorpius Malfoy.
“Lily just craves boys far too much. It’s a hormonal thing, I think she’ll grow out of it,” Fred responds, filling in for me.
“It’s like a teenage mid-life crisis,” I explain to Roxanne, calming myself down. “She realizes boys are more attractive than they are icky. And now she’s all about the love and the summer romance and the curls and the mascara. And the attitude!” I wave my hands around in exasperation.
“Well that’s dumb,” Roxy says simply.
“Agreed.” Fred folds his arms.
Feeling thirsty, I walk over to the refrigerator and open it. “Do we have any pomegranate? I wanted to make some smoothies and bring them with us.”
Fred Weasley pushes himself off the counter and folds his arms. “Not sure if there’s any fruit left, to be honest. Last night, Lily and Dominique had an all out fruit facial.”
Are. You. Kidding. Me.
“Argh, there has to be some left!” I say groggily, opening the fruit containers on the bottom level of the fridge. My eyes dart around in haste, as I start to notice other fruits missing in the drawer as well. “What happened to all the lemons and grapefruit mom and I got!?”
“They used them for their pedicures and elbows,” Roxy airily points out to me.
“Supposedly they make your wenis soft.”
“Do I even want to know what that is?” Fred asks, slightly alarmed and freaked out.
“Just go get ready for the lake, both of you.” I growl to myself as I keep searching the drawers in the fridge. “And don’t forget to remind Molly we’ll be leaving soon.”
“I thought we were going to wait until everyone was up?” Roxanne asks me.
“Change of plans,” I sigh, patience no longer in my body. I hate to bring out the irritability that my character beholds, especially when Roxy is in the same room, but I’m really bloody annoyed. How dare they use up all the fruit for stupid pedicures and facials! And their wenises! Who even cares about that? Who even knows about that?! People don’t go up to you and feel your elbow and say ‘wow, nice wenis’ or anything! It’s not like you’ll grow tumbleweeds on your wenises if you don’t exfoliate with grapefruits! I’m sure they could live without dunking their bloody arms in my damn fruit.
“Come on, let’s put our bathing suits on,” Fred reasons, putting his arm over his little sister. “I think Rosie needs some time to cool off and prepare some snacks before we leave.”
I grumble a “Yeah” as they turn to leave. Great cover, Fred. You just forgot to leave out the completely murderous wrath I’m going to unleash once I see Dom and Lily.
“I don’t get it,” I hear Roxanne comment.
Her brother pushes her out the room. “What’s to get? We’ve changed plans and we’re gonna to leave in ten minutes. It’s a long walk, anyways. Might as well get started now.”
When they’re in the corridor and ready to walk up the stairs, I hear her call out, “But I didn’t finish my muffin!”
I concentrate on what else we may have in the fridge drawers, besides dust. I swear, I’m really going to snap at Lily if she keeps this up. You’d think she’s turned into a sodding princess. How high maintenance could a person get? Fruit facials? Honestly!?
I stand up, huff in anger, and turn around to grab myself an Apple Cinnamon muffin. To think, I was so busy thinking of ways to kill my cousins I completely forgot to enjoy my breakfast! My favorite muffins, and I haven’t even taken a bite yet!
This was all their fault. My damn muffin, and I can’t even enjoy it. Then again, all this hatred has made me realize how hungry I am, so I can thoroughly enjoy my muffin on a more satisfying scale. I grab it like I’ve never seen food before and gnaw at it viciously, taking a big bite. Cinnamon sprinkles fly out of my mouth in craters but I’m too busy grunting to notice. My eyebrows are flat and my face has turned somewhat caveman-like. Sexy.
I hear the back door open and assume Aunt Gigi’s back, but I don’t hear the sound of wrinkling plastic grocery bags. Maybe it’s Teddy and Vic?
Whatever. I’m sodding pissed. They both know how much I love my fruit, and my fruit smoothies! I always get Uncle Harry to put a special freezing charm on my smoothies when we go out for a swim, so they’re always cool when we sip on them. It’s my own personal tradition. Now, I have nothing but approximately one lemon to make my afternoon lemonade with, and no fruit to make my infamous lake smoothies.
I give up on the smoothie idea and instead raid the refrigerator for any possible means of snacks or early lunches I could make for our lake trip as a substitute. I take a glance in every compartment we have, for any new ideas on what to bring.
“This is a really nice house…”
Did you hear that? Or was that my imagination? Hmmm…back to my dilemma.
I know we have peanut butter, as I’m staring right at it. So I could maybe do something with that?
Okay, am I hearing ghosts? Anyway, as I was saying…
I think I’ve decided on what I’m going to do: I am going to make peanut butter and jam sandwiches for everyone. And I’ve also decided that I’m not going to put any jam on Dom’s sandwich. Or Lily’s. I’ll put… marmite instead. Yes, marmite and peanut butter, that sounds reasonable.
Especially since neither of them like marmite.
Swinging the door to the fridge wide open, I take more continuous angry bites of my muffin as I search for the jam.
“I - bite - hate - bite - everyone,” I muffle out, my mouth completely full with Apple Cinnamon goodness. I consider the possibility that I could choke, but I cancel that option out because I’m swallowing pretty profusely. I really know how to eat my feelings when the right time arises.
My eyes spot the jar of strawberry jam all the way in the back of the fridge, on the last level. Damn it.
I hear a set of footsteps near the kitchen. I figure it’s Roxanne coming to finish her muffin, so I ignore it and lean over as far as my back will let me. I bend my knees and arch my back forward, moving the other unmentionables out of the way. I’m about two containers of left over steak away from my target. I stumble as I try to stay standing, and accidentally step in the crumbs Fred practically spit out from his muffin. My socks are now crumby at the bottom.
Argh! My back is already aching! And my socks have crap under them! I hate that feeling.
“GAH! Sodding mornings, I hate them!”
The footsteps have suddenly stopped. Funny, I sense more than one set of footsteps in the kitchen with me. Strange much?
“Stupid steak from last night! Go die!” This plastic container is stuck to the bottom and I can’t slide it out of the way! It’s positioned right in front of the jam, as I can see through the transparent plastic. I firmly press on it but it doesn’t budge. Did my mum glue it down or something?
“I’m going to lock my fruit, and my jam, and my marmite! My cousins…gits, they are…no one’s sane… I hate people.”
My bum is sticking out of the fridge vertically at this point. And I couldn’t care less. Roxanne’s going to have to enjoy the Mario Brothers boy shorts I’m rockin’ at the mo. They’re actually quite tasteful. It’s a graphic of Mario and Luigi chasing down those turtle fellows with fireballs. It’s a snazzy piece of apparel, I know.
I give a final tug and actually get my hands around the jar of jam. I’m about to pick it up when the worst thing happens.
That voice. That sodding voice.
I stop everything I’m doing, and I have to remind myself to keep a strong hold on the hand with the jar of strawberry jam in it. Because (sadly) I had already dropped the muffin in my other hand involuntarily, and in doing so, sent it falling to the ground with a lumpy plop.
My arse. My arse is sticking out. DEAR MERLIN. The only thing visible behind the open refrigerator door is MY ARSE. Which means that whomever walks through the back door of the kitchen gets a first class seat to my Mario undies.
I hastily straighten myself up and fix my posture. I close the fridge and am horror stricken by the sight before me. I mean, I knew I was going to find a scary scene with surprised faces looking back at me, but I didn’t prepare myself for this…
Albus, who is currently scratching his head, is adverting his eyes elsewhere. He’s clearly embarrassed for me, as I can see he’s trying not to laugh. And who else would it be behind him? None other than…Scorpius Malfoy.
I have to be.
Because mortifying moments like this do not happen to me!
Not unless I can pass for a carcass!
Scorpius half smiles and disguises it with a cough. “Nice muffins.”
I’m in the air, seconds away from hitting the water and I make eye contact with him. My toes fall in the water first, surging a shudder of coldness over my body, working its way up my legs. I hold my nose, close my eyes firmly shut, and let the rest of myself fall into the water. He’s the last thing I see before I close my eyes. The water engulfs me and the feeling feels euphoric. When my entire body goes under water, I open my eyes and the shock of the frigid water hits my pupils.
Man, I love this shit.
I welcome it. This is the only kind of coldness I easily accept, because times like these are the only time I DON’T feel like I’m melting. I hate the heat. The one thing that makes me appreciate the heat in the summer is the lake. I look up to the surface where the white spot of the sunlight is hitting the water and I swim towards it.
I whip up like a mermaid with my eyes closed. I feel like a peppermint candy, except that sticky crap isn't all over me and my tongue isn’t burning from the strength. Never mind, I take that back. I feel like…a peeled orange. Merlin, how dainty of me.
I open my eyes slowly, feeling the breeze of the summer air hitting me and feeling it on my shoulders, and through my wet slicked back hair. I start taking everything in. The trees. The grass. The blue skies.
“Get your sodding paws off me!”
The melodramatic family members.
Molly tries dipping her feet into the lake a second time, and Roxanne comes up behind her (again) trying to push her in. “I said get off, Roxy, before I toss you in by your ponytail!”
Homegirl needs to lighten up. Roxy just blows her off and gives her a snooty look with her tongue sticking out, before following her brother into the water.
I turn my head west of Molly and Roxanne and Fred - where Dominique and Victoria are sunbathing. Meanwhile, Teddy and James are playing on the swinging rope hanging from one of the trees, Albus is digging underwater to find gnarly looking pebbles, and the ever so charming Lily Potter, has perched herself right next to Scorpius in the tiniest bikini you could imagine. If you could even call it a bikini. Looks like two paper napkins have been thrown on her chest, and a straw is what’s keeping both ends of her bottom piece together. I mean, Lily is more developed than most girls her age, but she’s still too young for that. She’ll be 14 soon, for Godric’s sake. Her cup size is quadruple A, so I really don’t know why she thinks she has the right to show off like that.
Freds and Roxy have decided to race each other in the lake to see who's the world’s fastest swimmer. Hence, Fred’s foot has just smacked the back of my head.
“Sorry,” he gurgles, before taking off like a dolphin.
I give them both the stink eye before rubbing the back of my head. The boy has monster flippers for feet. The sod, not all of us can be mermen.
After rubbing the sore spot above my neck, I find Scorpius Malfoy’s eyes on me yet again. Argh! He’s been alternating his stares between Albus (popping his head in and out of the water like Jacque Cousteau on a mission), his legs which are dangling in the lake in front of him, and me. It’s not that I care what he’s thinking, it’s just annoying that I don’t know what it is he is thinking of.
When I make eye contact with him he doesn’t look away; he’s not ashamed I’ve caught him. This is the first time all afternoon that I’ve deliberately looked back. In the beginning I would just brush it off, or pretend like I didn’t see, even though I could tell his charming little pupils were on me. But this is the first visual confrontation, and he doesn’t even feel embarrassed!
Why doesn’t he just get into the water? He did nothing except sit at the edge of the lake, on a lumpy patch of grass, and looked around for an hour. At least I soaked up the sun before throwing myself into the lake. He could at least pretend to lay out and bake in the sun. Maybe he could stop being so pale. Or perhaps he’s like a glowstick and he’ll just soak up the UV rays so he can glow in the dark at night. Like a light bulb.
I’m actually just being irritably irrational because I can tell that he gets tan easily (His shoulders already look darker, yet I’m probably going to have red sun burns on my skin from radiation when we head home). But it is just annoying me that we invited him to come with us, or at lease Albus did, and I feel like he’s not enjoying himself. Or he’s not making at effort to.
I stare at him some more, but his face is still unchanging. What is he thinking!?
Lily shifts her body so she’s facing Scorpius Malfoy and she mumbles something to him. My eyebrows furrow. Scorpius responds nonchalantly, as if not caring that she’s trying so hard to get him to propose to her. He quickly turns back to me, folding his hands together; they are resting serenely on his lap.
And now he’s staring at his feet in the water.
Lily looks put off. Oh, marbles. I hope she didn’t ask him to rub lotion on her. That’s just plain embarrassing and cliché and I may have to pull a Van Gogh and chop off my ear out of shame, because I couldn’t be related to somebody who willingly pulled stuff like that for the opposite sex.
My cousin pouts, staring at the blonde as if he’s smacked her in the face with his boredom, before turning herself over so she’s face down on the towel. Her head is turned away from him and she begins to pull out blades of grass in anger.
“Boo!” Albus sneaks up behind me and grabs my shoulders. His hair resembles a Mohawk a little bit, and I’m kinda envious.
“Hey, find any rocks? Some bling?”
“You mean diamonds?” He pants, out of breath from his underwater expedition.
“Not yet!” He grins.
Eager little puppy, he is.
“Well, when you do,” I motion with my head to Lily behind me, “Keep them away from Elizabeth Taylor over there.”
He laughs, and starts swimming circles around me. “Haha, sure thing,” he chuckles. “Trust me, if I had to give Lily anything at this moment it would be an afghan to wrap her infant body in. She keeps forgetting that she’s a baby, and NOT Marilyn Monroe.”
“I don’t think she realizes that she might be embarrassing herself,” I observe, stretching my arms out and letting my fingers tickle the surface of the clear blue water.
“She looks like a baby prostitute.” I hear James Potter’s voice enter my perimeter. He swims over and joins the conversation.
“I am irked by your presence,” I say bluntly. He usually cannon balls his way in, and I didn’t even hear a splash. “How did you get in here so fast?”
“That’s what she sa-”
Albus splashes him in the face before he can finish.
“Chillax, I just stepped in. I can’t exactly swing from a high rope all the way down to this part of the lake. Firstly, I’m over 72 inches. That means at least six feet. Secondly, James Potter does not do high rope jumps in shallow water. Thirdly, I’ve tried catapulting myself that way and it just does not work with rope.”
“Hardly shallow,” I correct, “It’s approximately ten feet in the center of the lake floor and gets shallow towards the grass. There are some sporadic deep ends and shallow ends but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you roped your way here.” I feel like Professor McGonagall. Sisterfriend left an imprint on me, I guess…
“Roped my way? Who am I, Tarzan?”
Didn’t need the loincloth image, thanks.
“No, but if you’re so worried about your height, maybe you should know the facts.”
“I’m sorry, how tall are you? A meter…maybe?”
Oh, no he didn’t. Make me feel like an elf, why don’t you.
“Sorry I’m not GIANT,” I respond quickly. Humph, I’m the same size as Molly! Come to think of it, Albus and I are the same height, too! “It doesn’t matter how tall I am, because no matter how tall any of us are, we can still cannon ball ourselves into the water. I don’t even understand why we are arguing about this. You never rope yourself over here, you always plunge in like the rest of us. You just chose right now to step in like an eighty year old geezer with arthritis. I might as well call you Molly.”
“Doesn’t matter, at the speed I’d be going on the rope swing, it still wouldn’t be safe,” he informs me, doing little forward flips into the water. I’m getting an unhealthy twitch in my left eye. The boy makes me want to kick him in the arse.
“I can’t injure myself.” Flip. “I’m a prized possession.“ Flip. “I’m the Potter-nator, for heaven’s sake.”
Albus rolls his eyes at his self-absorbed brother. “You are so over dramatic, James. And obsessed with your well-being. You’re not the Prime Minister.”
I turn to Albus. “Well said, cousin.”
“Oh, little brother.” Flip. “Don’t hate.” Flip. “Appreciate.” Flip.
And with that, he takes off.
“That whole conversation just took two years off of my life,” Albus says flatly.
“Pointless,” I agree.
The sun gets hotter over the course of three seconds, and this time I literally feel my back peeling like an onion.
“I’m sun-burnt,” I frown, making my face look puppy-dog sad.
“Don’t make that face now, Scorpius may be looking,” he jokes.
I blink and straighten up. “Wait, what?”
He sighs, a smile tugging on his lips. “I’ve seen you stare at him like four times today.”
My mouth falls open. I smack him on the forehead and it makes a nice slapping sound because his forehead is wet, and it sounds satisfying. “I hope that hurt!”
“It didn’t,” Albus simply tells me.
“I was not staring at him.”
Albus Potter gives me a quirky look, his hair still on all ends. His eyebrow does this weird dance thing, and then he speaks. “Really. So he’s the one who has been staring at you then, I suppose?”
“Yeah!” I begin, trying to convince him. “In fact, I’ve been trying to avoid catching him staring at me. It’s awkward. He’s been sitting over there like a log for over an hour. I keep catching him looking at me with an unfathomable expression. Why doesn’t he come in and have fun with us? Do I have to invite him over or something? We aren’t in pre-school.”
“You know what, I think he’s just shy.” He shrugs.
“Shy? I don’t think so. No Malfoy I’ve ever heard about was shy a day in their life. If he was shy, then why did he have no problem giving speeches during dinner to announce prefect meetings to our table and all the other Houses?”
“He’s just a quiet kid. Sometimes he’s mellow, and I guess now is one of those times.”
Something about Albus Potter’s words really strike something in me. But I don’t relish on it.
I shake my head. “What ever, he can stay there and look bored for all I care. I just wouldn’t want to be stuck having to stare at Lily trying to clench her butt muscles to make it look like she has a donk.”
“Sorry…donk?” Albus asks me, out of curiosity.
“Oh, Merlin- Albus, do you really- Ugh… Must I have to explain this to you?”
“Remember how some people refer to the name of an animal to symbolize an arse? Like, say… A DONKEY?”
“I still don’t know where this is going. Does Lily have a barn yard animal?”
“Butthole, it’s an abbreviation for the word ‘donkey’. Donk means donkey. Which, in turn, means arse.”
Am I the only cool person in my family? Is it possible that I’m the only Weasley/Potter to understand this kind of lingo? We have got to get more MTV.
Albus racks his brain, “Oh,” and then wags his finger in reminisce. “You know, I remember James telling me about that once. He told me he went to a pub and saw some girl, pissed out of her mind, shaking her ‘donk’ around. I thought that meant a purse or a drink or something…”
I shake my head, ashamed of Albus, and dunk my head face forward in the water. I emerge with my hair covering my entire face, slicked straight down to the front of my neck.
“You look like the mighty Kraken of the sea.”
Albus and I swim around a bit and Molly makes her way over to us eventually.
“The water is freezing, I don’t know how you guys can be comfortable with this temperature,” she whines, shivering.
“You’ll get used to it,” I say fruitfully. “It’s the best when you just jump in after staying out in the sun, it’s like an electric shock.”
A look of distaste comes across Molly’s face. “Lovely.”
“We were just discussing arses!” Albus announces with glee.
“That we were,” I smile.
“Okay, bye.” Molly Weasley turns around and doggie paddles away from Albus and me.
“Why do we have that affect on people, Albus?”
“I don’t know, maybe we should stop this segregation and prejudice and form some type of unity?”
“I challenge you to a duel,” I declare dangerously, lowering myself into the water so that my eyes and top half of my face are showing.
“Okay! Let’s choose a game, then teams.”
I look around for any possible players. I spot Victoire, who’s just stood upright, and is taking off her sunglasses. Maybe she wants to get in the water. Dominique’s asleep I think, so I don’t think she’ll be up for it.
“Hey, Vic, wanna play a game?”
“What kind?” she called.
We’ve perked up the ears of Fred Weasley. “Hold up, we’re playing a game?”
“Sure, you can play. And you too, Teddy,” Albus replies.
“What game?” Teddy asks.
“Still deciding,” I yell back.
Every one ransacks ideas around, searching for a game we can all play.
“Marco Polo?” Roxy suggests. Almost all my family members and I guffaw back in her face. “Okay, just a suggestion,” she says, putting her hands up. “Let’s calm down.”
We can’t. The air is intense. The Weasley’s and the Potter’s have formed an atmosphere of intrigue. My family and I have stopped what we’re doing in the hopes of coming up with an epic game to play.
“How about chicken?” Scorpius, whom of all people I thought wouldn’t want to play, asks us. “I’ll play if we play chicken.”
“Genius!” Albus exclaims. “Good one, mate. That’s an easy game,” he turns to the rest of us. “And everyone can play. We have more guys than girls, so it’s perfect.”
“Why would that matter?” Teddy Lupin asks Albus, slicking his wet hair back and moving across the water to where Victoire is stepping in. He sticks a hand out to help her in.
“Holy crap, it’s cold.”
“Don’t worry, Vic, you’ll warm up with this game. If you play it right and win, you won’t go in the water.”
I’ve never heard of this game.
“Yeah? How so?” I ask.
Scorpius Malfoy intervenes. “Chicken is a game where everyone, preferably girls, get up on their partner’s shoulder, preferably guys. And they play against each other like totem poles. You have to wrestle with the other person across from you.”
“But the guys don’t do anything, they just hold the girls up. The girls are the ones that have to fight each other,” Albus finishes for him, excitement etched over his face. “You lose when you fall in. Or when your partner gives out and you both fall.”
“I like where this is going,” Roxanne says out loud, voicing her opinion.
“Yeah, let’s play it!” Fred calls. “Roxanne, hop on my shoulders.”
“Sure, let me just get on that with my bionic legs…”
“Sounds like fun! Vic, love, be my partner?”
She smiles at him. “Of course.”
Teddy and Victoire kiss.
We all groan and splash them, while Fred and I pretend to vomit.
“James, don’t look at me like that, you’re freakishly tall and I’m not okay with being that high up,” Molly Weasley swims back away slowly, as James Potter pouts and reaches for her. Molly… play chicken? Not a chance. She’s too reserved.
Scorpius Malfoy puts his hands under himself and lowers his body off the edge and into the water. Lily pops her head up, like an alarm clock has gone off, and takes out her hair tie (letting her curls, that took forever to curl, loose) and throws her sunglasses on the grass. She gets up.
“Oh, please…” I huff. “Make it obvious, why don’t you,” I mumble under my breath, shaking my head.
Albus Potter moves towards me and sees my reaction and follows my eyes. He spots Lily getting up and getting into the water right behind Scorpius, no questions asked. Albus shakes his head too, except he’s laughing.
“Maybe we should just get her a cardboard cut out of him.”
“So she can pray to it at night.”
“And make a shrine and collect his blonde hair.”
I love Albus.
“What was that?” Scorpius Malfoy’s voice is very proximal and it takes me a second to get used to it - him being this close to me, that is. Oh, and realizing he’s swam all the way over here already. He makes his way over to us, wondering what we were just talking about.
“Nothing,” I reassure him, and at the same time… Albus speaks, too. And guess what he says?
“Your shrine.” Right in sync with what I said.
Albus and I both look at each other immediately, in shock. Scorpius still looks confused so maybe he didn’t hear either of us properly. That would be such good timing, if that’s the case. I’m glaring, but Albus is biting his lip in amusement.
He’s going to think I have a shrine dedicated to him; stab me with a pickax.
James is now splashing the living daylights out of Molly, who has tried so hard to keep her hair dry the entire time. Lily, on the other hand, still has her curls in tact. But she’s entered the lake, which means she’s gone in the water… to play a game that you play in water. I still don’t understand why she curled her hair. Or why she followed in Scorpius. I think I’m giving up on her.
Scorpius turns to me but he doesn’t say anything, he just stares. I look at my feet through the water and then at Albus. Lily swims over to where we are and is almost shoulder to shoulder with the boys; she’s sandwiched herself between Albus and Scorpius.
“So do you wanna-” I begin to ask, TO NO ONE IN PARTICULAR, MIND YOU. But I never get to finish my sentence because it gets cut off. Lily Potter inserts her arse into the conversation and asks Scorpius to play.
“Since Albus is Rosie’s partner, do you wanna be mine? I’ve never played this, and you seem to know the ins and outs of it.”
For the record, I was asking Albus to be my partner.
The blonde boy in question sticks his bottom lip out in consideration, thinking about it. I think I know what’s going on in that brain of his: She’s crazy. Pubescent. Really young girl. Scary young girl. Weird bum shape. Awkward. Just met me a few days ago.
“You know what, sure. Why not?” He nods.
She’s beaming, practically peeing herself in excitement. If she could pee through her eyes, she’d be pissing on his face right about now.
“Albus,” I lean my head forward, in a serious manner. I raise my eyebrows.
“Let’s crush ‘em,” he tells me defiantly.
So we all pair up: Teddy and Vic, Roxy and Freds, Lily and Scorpius, Albus and I. James isn’t playing because Molly is refusing to play with him. She was so furious with him that she swam to the edge and got out. She’s laying next to Dominique now, working on her sun tan. James pouts.
“Let’s go by twos so we all don’t look like savages,” I suggest, putting my hands up before any sudden movements. “Winners go to the next round.”
“Me against Teddy,” Fred inconsequently says to us, staring Teddy in the eyes.
Teddy winks at him.
“Is there something I should know about?” Victoire counters, looking at her boyfriend and her cousin’s showdown. “Some unfinished business?”
“Oh, nothing, babe,” Teddy says lightly. “He just made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
“Did he leave a severed horse head in your bed or something?” I say out loud. Oops. Everyone, and I mean everyone, turns to me. “Er…”
Teddy and Vic are squinting their confused faces through the sunlight in my direction. Fred looks expectant. But Roxanne just shakes her head.
“Oh, wait…Hah! Nice, I didn’t know you liked The Godfather,” Scorpius Malfoy voices… in the sea of silence. Wow. I’m…impressed!
I turn to him and smile. “Thank you! Thank you for understanding that.” Who knew the Malfoy kid got Godfather references?
He smiles back at me.
No one knows what’s going on but us.
“Anyway…back to reality. Teddy and Vic against us, then you two. Got it?”
Albus, Lily, Scorpius, and I agree.
So we watch the four of them attacking each other for the next ten minutes. Vic gets her hands on Roxanne’s shoulders and but Fred pummels forward, pushing Teddy back. This in turn makes both opponents instantly get wobbly. But alas, Victoire’s size eventually pummels Roxy’s and she sends her falling back, smacking Fred in the face with her foot on her way down.
“Bloody! That was my nose!” Fred grips his nostrils like his life depends on it. Roxanne swims up to the surface.
“Sorry,” she mumbles, wiping her eyes with her hands. “My foot does that sometimes.”
“It does awkward spasms towards the faces of family members?” I ask without reason, but mainly just in wonder.
“Yeah, I guess so,” she say fruitfully, dunking her head back into the water and running her hands through her hair to flatten it out.
“You’ve got elephant feet,” Fred grunts, still gripping his nose. Must run in the family.
“Oh, stop whining, just practice moving it around. Flex it,” Teddy suggests.
“Sorry? How do you ‘flex’ your nostrils? Not exactly the same as a bicep, is it?”
Scorpius somehow finds a way to swim over to me because the next thing I know, his voice is traveling through my ear canals.
“Is your family always like this?”
I turn to him. He’s very close to me. I blink in response.
And then I remember that he asked me something, so I reply back.
“Er, yeah. Pretty much.”
He chuckles. “Sounds like fun.”
“Sometimes. It gets a bit annoying and less entertaining though, when they start to pick fights for hours on end.”
“Yeah. One time, Teddy and James got into a thumb wrestling match and James insisted he won. Teddy said he broke the rules of the handbook. I didn’t really know there was a handbook for thumb wrestling but apparently there is one… Anyway, James and Teddy didn’t look at each other for days. It was so pointless. It lasted about a week.”
“Guess you Weasley’s and Potter’s are a stubborn lot, then,” he says playfully.
My head shifts to look at him again except this time a tiny smirk reaches its way to my lips. But it disappears in an instant.
“Not the most stubborn, I’d say. I’ve seen worse. And Teddy isn’t a Weasley, he’s a Lupin.”
Scorpius narrows his eyes at me in the most jovial and joking way, yet inside I’m secretly worrying if I’ve gone too far. Maybe me joking about the Malfoy family being stubborn isn’t the most appropriate thing to say. We just met, you know? He’s not that comfortable with me-
“Well, thank Merlin for that. If he was a Weasley he’d be twice as hardheaded. Maybe he’d have even thrown a marinating brush at James instead of ignoring him for seven days,” he laughs.
OH. MY. GOD.
Scorpius just made a reference to my father threatening to throw his marinating brush at Draco Malfoy! He saw that!?
“Uh…” My eyeballs are growing pretty wide at this point. “You witnessed him doing that, didn’t you?”
He chuckles secretly, breathing through his nose. “What, last night? Definitely. It was hilarious.”
“You’re not… mad?”
“No. Should I be?”
We get splashed by Roxanne and Freddie, ending the conversation immediately. They tell us it’s our time to shine. My cousin bends down low in the water. I get on Albus Potter’s shoulders with ease and he lifts me up. I feel gargantuan.
The expression on Lily’s face is one of absolute bliss, that is- until she makes eye contact with me. I can see the blood in her eyes.
“Why does she look so scary?” I hear Albus think out loud.
“I don’t know, Al. It seems to me that she’s determined to win this.”
Fred yells out, “Ready, set… GO!” and splashes the water for dramatic effect.
Did I just hear a gnarl?
Scorpius can barely keep up with Lily’s lunges, as she attacks me back to back. I can’t even get my hands up to defend myself! She’s coming at me with shoulder shakes, nose pulls, and vicious shoves. She’s an animal!
I try to put a hand on her forehead to push her away, but she moves in to hit me at the same time, so my hands kind of covers her face for a while. This was totally on accident, but it only makes Lily angrier as she takes a fist full of my hair and yanks on it.
What a little snob! She’s cheating, I’m sure! There wasn’t any hair pulling with Roxy and Vic, and they’re like five years apart. Lily’s thirteen yet she has the ability to pull my hair? Hello, I’m seventeen, I should be throwing her off his shoulders!
I yank her hair back.
She yanks mine.
I shove her shoulder.
Lily pummels herself forward, making Scorpius stumble forward. Her head is close to mine, even though she is shorter than me, and pulls on my neck. I bend to her face level.
“He’s mine, so don’t even think about it,” she whispers to me snidely in my ear.
She smiles at me as she pulls away. And I stand there, shocked. With my mouth hanging open. For some strange reason, I get the urge to throw her entire body back in the water. So I throw myself forward, forgetting about poor Albus under me, and I lunge after my dearest cousin. She’s not expecting me and I take both of my hands, put them on both of her shoulders, and shove with all my might; I give up my physical stability and fall forward.
Lily cries as she falls back into the water, while I take into view what I’ve just done. I’ve thrown myself so far that Albus can no longer hold me and he goes under, face first. And I, of course, land on the boy standing right in front of me.
My hands fall on Scorpius Malfoy’s shoulders as I try to regain my balance. His hands quickly find my waist and he holds me up against him.
I realize I haven’t exhaled, so I sigh a really big sigh, completely nervous with where his hands are currently residing. He just looks at me with those big gray-ish blue orbs, his blonde hair slicked back to perfection, and keeps holding me up. Against him. In his arms. I may just explode because of lack of oxygen.
"Er, sorry," Scorpius says, momentarily relapsing and letting me down.
"No worries," I murmur quickly, looking anywhere but at him. I turn around to find Albus smirking at me.
Author's Note: Gah! I'm so excited for you guys to read the chapters to come! I have so much planned... I know that this story may not be too great right now (Personally, I think it could be better) but I'm trying my hardest to make this one of the best next gen. summer fics out there ^_^
Review and let me know what your favorite part was! I love hearing from all of you :3
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