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Chapter 5 : Operation Hogsmeade and Other Master Plans
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Chapter image of Carly by the wonderful wishaway @TDA!
Still very pleased with myself about my small victory over Malfoy, I skip all the way to the Great Hall, running down to the Gryffindor table in time to grab a croissant and a mug of hot chocolate (I like my breakfasts French and very chocolatey), before all the food disappears. I check the silver and gold watch given to me on my eleventh birthday, and see the time. Eleven o’clock. This results in a mass departure from the Great Hall, and I’m left alone at the table, sipping my hot chocolate and dipping in my croissant. I’m quite happy alone, until Elise comes bursting in, surprised that there’s no-one in the Great Hall, and smiles at me
‘Down to the kitchens then?’
‘You’re on your own there’ I say, holding up my mug and croissant. ‘I’m going to take this up to the common room and sit there for an hour, until lunch, when I will come back downstairs and proceed to-‘
‘Stuff your face, I know, I know.’ Elise waves her hand as I stand up to walk out to the door ‘You don’t even want to come say hello to Flo.?’ Flo is a favourite house-elf of ours, a very sweet one who particularly has a lot of house pride (Possibly why we like her so much) She’s a proper Gryffindor, and, though she’s had to punish herself, she has even brought herself to insult the Slytherins a couple of times. James and Darren tried to make her join the Marauders, thinking she’d be a good addition to their group, but she refused point-blank, saying that she would not show favouritism to any student. Which is kind of a lie, being as she blatantly shows favouritism to any Gryffindor. Elise is really twisting my arm by mentioning Florrie, she knows I’d do anything for her...
‘No!’ I say, indignantly ‘And if you don’t mind,’ I say, stalking past her and up one of the staircases coming out of the Entrance Hall ‘I’m going to finish my croissant.’ I’m really on a roll with the stalking out-thing today! Elise, and Malfoy, and... Speak of the devil.
Scorpius Malfoy himself is walking down the corridor with... Victoire! What the hell is Victoire doing talking to him? I start to voice this opinion, but she beats me to it
‘Have you seen Lily?’
‘No, she’s probably in the common room, I’m going there now, you want to join me?’ I ask Victoire very directly, looking away from Scorpius. He follows us anyway. Grr.
When we reach the portrait hole, I open my mouth to say the password, but Victoire beats me to it
I watch incredulously as she hugs Scorpius goodbye, my eyes growing even wider when she mutters to him ‘If you need anything, tell me, okay?’, and even wider when he mutters back something I can’t hear. Safe to say my eyes reach the size of dinner plates when she laughs at whatever he said, and reassures him. Sweet Merlin what is happening in this world?
When we walk into the common room I pull her aside as she makes for Lily, who is running up the staircase to the girls’ dormitories, and hiss into her ear
‘Scorpius Malfoy? What did he do that could possibly excuse his behaviour these past two years?’
‘You don’t know the whole story.’ She breathes, but I can tell she’s getting angry with me. I don’t care. If she wants to stick up for Scorpius Malfoy, she can get a proper Rose Weasley fight.
See, I’m quite quiet usually, I have the ideas for the pranks Elise and I play, but I rarely follow them through, that’s what she does. I keep my head down in school, and am shy until you get to know me. I have been likened to a cheesecake, with a soft bit on top, and hard as rock underneath. But if someone makes me angry, I get really angry.
‘Come with me.’ I say, dragging her out of the common room and into an empty Transfiguration classroom, perching on a desk and looking at her. ‘I don’t know the whole story? I don’t know the- I DON’T KNOW THE BLOODY WHOLE STORY!’ Okay, did I say really angry? I meant really, really angry. ‘I think I know the whole story quite well. I think I know how he’s taken every opportunity given to him to ridicule and insult me, and the rest of our family? I think I know a hell of a lot more than the rest of you. I have received the full force of his insults and his scheming and his pure-blood mania for two years. And then, to add to it, you’re sticking up for him?’ I’m so hyped up I don’t realise I’m screaming this at the top of my lungs and am about an inch away from Victoire, and step back seething, as she walks towards me.
‘I can’t believe you! You’re just as prejudiced as he is! You hate him because of what you made him. Do you remember the first time you met him?’ How could I forget? ‘Did he seem like an arrogant arse then? Or did he seem like a normal person?’
I’m walking along the corridor from my first lesson, Charms, buoyant with happiness, being the only person able to make the right wand movement, and receiving special praise from Professor Flitwick. I thought nothing could ruin my mood until, out of the classroom I’ve just walked past, Scorpius runs after me.
‘We’ve got Care of Magical Creatures next, you want to walk with me?’
‘Okay.’ I say, smiling. I think I’ve made a new friend.
‘You know who teaches Care of Magical Creatures? A half-giant.’ He lowers his voice, as if it’s a disgusting swear word, and I answer coolly
‘My dad says Hagrid’s a right oaf, he doesn’t know his left hand from his right, and he should be fired.’ He doesn’t notice my eyebrows knitting together, and my eyes becoming steely, two sure signs that I’m getting angry, and he continues, oblivious
‘His lessons should be a laugh, though, shouldn’t they? I mean, a laugh, at him.’ He starts to snigger at his joke. I decide he’s not worth a fight, and walk off, turning only to answer him
‘I can find my way to class on my own, actually.’
If I’d bothered to turn around, I would have noticed his face, a mix of crestfallen and confused, as he followed me at a safe distance into the grounds.
‘I’m forced to admit he seemed all right. But then he stopped being like that, and the feud continued.’ I say, resignedly.
‘Have you ever wondered why that is?’ she asks, looking ridiculously smug. I sigh.
‘Because, the day after he insulted Hagrid, I rounded on him like an angry dragon.’ I’ve given up. It’s my fault. This is why we’re always arguing. Because I’m so prejudiced I wouldn’t give him a second chance, and his pride prevents him from asking for one.
‘Well, he may soon be a bigger part of your life than you might think.’ She’s got her arm around me now, squeezing my shoulder lightly as I turn to look at her
‘Well, I wasn’t going to tell you, but I will if you promise not to tell anyone else.’
‘Course I won’t.’ I say ‘Pinky swear.’ We do our lame pinky-swear link fingers thing, and she takes a deep breath in.
‘He’s in love with Lily.’
The second that word is out of her mouth, a monster awakes inside of me. It rears its head and bares its teeth, and calls for the blood of my favourite cousin. It takes me a moment, until I’ve run out of the classroom and am streaking down the corridor and out of the doors to the grounds to realise what this monster is. When I realise it, it shocks me, but it’s always been there, just sleeping.
Its name is Jealousy.
Once Rose has run out of the room, I sit and think. There’s nothing to do, I can’t run after her. I may be fast, but she’s like a bolt of lightning. By the time she was eight she could outrun James and even Teddy, who was fourteen. So I just sit and think on my unfortunate situation. Both with Scorpius and Teddy. I decide to do what is affectionately referred to as a Hermione in our family. Make a comprehensive list and work my way through it. I don’t think it will work, but anyway, I walk back to the common room, Summoning a piece of parchment and a quill from my dormitory, and sucking the end of it, waiting in vain for inspiration to come.
I write down in my swirly hand, taking time over each word, deliberating on tiny things because I’m so unsure.
What I want to happen eventually: Us to get married and have a gazillion babies. Obviously.
Short term: Do I want him to take me to Molly’s Yule Ball or not?
At this point I pause, and decide to peruse another of Hermione’s favourite methods.
A pro/con list.
There’s no-one else I’d rather go to the ball with.
I don’t want to go alone.
If I went with anyone else I would feel weird.
I love him.
Yes, I love him. Oh God, I can finally admit it!
I love the way he smiles, and the way that when he’s really happy, he can’t control his appearance and his hair turns his favourite shade of blue. I love the way his eyes melt when he looks at all his adopted family. I love the way he holds the door for me, and waits for me to sit down before he does. I just love him.
It will be hard to get him into the castle: Roxanne will help, she knows everything about all the secret passageways.
McGonagall will wonder why he’s turned up at the ball: Get Molly to make it masquerade. That way no-one will know who anyone else is.
Okay, it looks like I have no problem.
Oh no, forgot about the other problem.
What I want to happen eventually: He and Lily to be together.
I look at this, head to one side and eyebrow furrowed. It somehow doesn’t look right. I write their names down in a heart, outlining the outside and adding a few butterflies and stars.
Still doesn’t look right. Lily and Scorpius. Scorpius and Lily. No matter how many times I say it, it still sounds alien, wrong.
She’s immature and crazy, but, contradicting this, acts like a mother to everyone in our family, even though she’s the youngest. She’s sweet and naive, but can become annoying at times.
He’s quiet, shy and misunderstood. He would become irritated at her constant talking, and she would find him boring, not wild enough to keep her happy.
I screw up the piece of paper with their names on it, throwing it into the bin.
I start to doodle again, drawing mine and Teddy’s names in another heart, and surrounding it in possible baby names...
I like Remus, after his dad. It’s so old fashioned, and it means something to our family.
Nymphadora, after his mother. I’d like to think of another Nymphadora Lupin running around the place. Oh, and I hope the Metamorphmagi gene is dominant...
Before I know what I’ve done, I’ve drawn another heart. I go to write Lily and Scorpius again, but something stops me.
I write Scorpius, but it’s not Lily’s name I’ve written next to it.
Rose and Scorpius. Scorpius and Rose. It has a nice ring, you think?
I always thought the Marauder plans were on a whim, just quick ideas. However, when I suggested this to James, he looked scandalised.
‘Our pranks are carefully structured and planned with the utmost precision! I am offended that you think we don’t plan ahead, but flattered that you think we don’t have to...’ At this point I pushed him off the arm of my chair, which he was perched on. After this he went to take a seat next to Jen, who I noticed blushed as he did. Must all my friends fancy my brothers? I though Lizzie was safe, but after the rest of the Marauders got wind of our plan, and wanted in, she wouldn’t stop looking at Fred! And I could have sworn I saw Darren looking at me funny a couple of times, but that could have just been my imagination.
At least Carly is out of the picture, she and Albus have been joined at the hip (Not in that way, you hormonal teenager!) ever since he asked her to Hogsmeade yesterday. It would be sickening, but they’re both too embarrassed, so they sit next to each other, swinging their legs and twiddling their thumbs and making small talk until one of us intervenes and gets the conversation flowing.
We have been solidly plotting for the past twenty four hours, and school starts tomorrow. We obviously took breaks to sleep and eat, but we’ve been thinking about it still. A plan is starting to emerge, mostly constructed between James and I, with a surprising amount of input from Jen, who, needless to say, has learned it from her three older brothers.
Lizzie has not input anything, preferring to be our scribe, and write down every idea we have. Darren, Fred and Oliver have been mostly doing the technical aspect, Darren and Fred working out what we’ll need and Oliver looking up the spells in one of the many textbooks he owns.
We’re making good progress, but we’ll be losing the Marauder’s support soon, they’re taking their OWLs next year and are being given a pile of homework. Call me a nerd, but I’m looking forward to it. Not just the learning, the work and the sense of purpose.
Mum and Dad sent us to a Muggle school before we got our letters. James was in Year Three and Albus in Year Two when I came to the school. On my second day, I forgot that not everyone was magical and started talking about it to all the girls in my class. Unfortunately, that was the end of my brief period in school. I haven’t been since.
So I’ve never really had to work since I was born. It’s been enjoyable enough, but kind of boring at home, not learning anything. I’m looking forward even to having the rubbish teachers, like Professor Binns, the ghost teacher, or which ever Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher they’ve hired this year. Dad says they’re always terrible, but I hope I’ll learn something this year. I haven’t got Defence Against the Dark Arts until Wednesday, so I guess I’ll see then.
On Monday morning I wake up around five a.m, realising I’m way too early and looking out the window at the dawn. Outside is really beautiful at this time of day, all pink and gold. The black lake sparkles invitingly and I don’t even think, I just slip on my wetsuit and grab a towel and goggles, walking outside barefoot and crossing the dew-tipped grass to get to the lake. I snap the goggles onto my face (annoying I know, but we haven’t invented anything better than the Muggle version yet.) and stand, poised to jump in.
Let’s review the situation here. I know there are merpeople in there. We have merpeople in our lake back home, what’s the problem. Grindylows. Sharp kick to the head and they’re done for, plus they like warm weather, in the middle of the day. Giant squid. Apparently friendly. I take a deep breath and bend my knees ready to spring. I dive.
The second my body gets into the cold water I know I’ve done the right thing. Surely nothing can hurt me when I’m being enveloped by the water, its strange warmth encasing me, making me feel safe.
Dad and Grandad Weasley made us all take up Muggle sports, but eventually Quidditch took over. They all gave them up except Rose and I, since they weren’t forced to once they started Hogwarts. I’ve just always loved to swim.
After I’ve done a length of the huge lake, mulling this over, I hit something definitely solid. I panic, imagining giant squid and Grindylows and hordes of evil merpeople, wrapping my goggles around my wrist and treading to water to get a better look at the terrifying predator...
Oh. It’s Darren.
‘I thought you were a terrifying predator!’ I exclaim loudly, internally cursing myself for being such a bonehead. He must think I’m crazy. He would have the right idea. Oh, I amuse myself! Hehehehehehe...
While I’m laughing like a loon inside my (deeply disturbed) head, Darren’s been looking at me, as I predicted, as if I’m mad as two mad things in Madland.
‘You stole my swimming spot.’ He says smiling, and I smile too.
‘Well if you’re here,’ I say, still treading water ‘Then where are your devoted fan club? I mean, you’re doing physical exercise, and you’re...’ I look down ‘Yes, you’re topless!’ I say shrilly. ‘So where are the usual crowd of screaming girls?’
He points over my shoulder while keeping himself up with one hand, and his smile becomes lopsided. I look over my shoulder, where he’s pointing, and see a group of fourth year girls, giggling and shooting me jealous looks.
‘That’s where the fan club were.’ I say. ‘How did I not notice them, they’re not exactly quiet.’ Wait, is that bitterness in my tone? No, surely not. ‘Well, I will be going! Nice talking to you! Topless you... but you all the same!’ I swim over to the side and climb out, pondering my idiocy and mentally kicking myself for being so stupid.
‘Bye.’ He says, smiling and ducking under the water, resurfacing after a few metres and waving to me as I walk back to the castle.
The fan club shoot me glares as I walk past, but I don’t care.
I am clearly a complete nutcase.
Love’s a weird thing. Sometimes you see it straight from the beginning, and you have to hide it for years until eventually, you stop running and it catches up with you. I pity the poor buggers who have to do that. My love didn’t appear until the worst possible moment. Before that it was hidden, and it disguised itself pretty well. But as soon as someone else had it, I wanted it back. I realised I wasn’t complete without that last, invisible piece of myself. But now, it’s not going to stay invisible for much longer. Now that I know it’s there I can’t look past it, hell, I can’t think about anything else.
I mean, what right does anyone have to awaken this feeling inside me, even my favourite cousin? I feel like my heart’s been ripped out, stampeded by a horde of angry Hippogriffs, coated with poison and then stuffed back into my chest and forced to keep beating.
But the worst part, the part that really makes me despise myself, is the fact that I don’t blame him at all. I think I love him too much to blame him. Wow. If you had told me yesterday that I was in love with Scorpius Malfoy, I would have laughed in your face.
But now, just his name gives my heart another wrench.
I’ve always considered myself a cynic, not really believing in true love, but now my position’s changed. I mean, it seems like everything revolves around love, and I can’t help but hate myself for the fact that I used to hate him.
I’ve realised that his hair isn’t over-styled, just tousled from when he runs his hands through it. His eyes aren’t cold and unfeeling, but slate-grey like a stormy sky, or a wolf’s pelt. I can’t prosecute him for being so tall, that’s a defect on my part and the only reason he’s prejudiced against me is because his parents brought him up that way. In essence, all the bad stuff about him is clearly someone else’s fault, and he’s... perfect.
And with that very odd thought, I fall asleep.
I dream I’m in a forest, probably the Forbidden Forest, and I’m walking with Victoire, when, suddenly, she’s gone and Lily appears, holding hands with Scorpius Malfoy. They start kissing, oblivious to the fact that I’m there and I fall to the ground, black consuming me and...
I wake up crying. My head is under my wet pillow and I have my hands clenched into fists, my nails cutting into my flesh.
‘Rose? Rose, are you okay?’ It’s Elise.
‘Fine.’ I try to say, but all that comes out is a whimper and I start crying again.
‘If you say so.’ says Elise, rolling her eyes and getting into my bed, sitting up next to me. ‘What’s up?’
‘Elise?’ I ask tentatively, after a few seconds of silence
‘Hmm?’ she says, looking tactfully up at the hangings above my bed.
‘Have you ever been in love?’
‘No, no!’ she says, shaking her head vigorously ‘Don’t have time, do I, with all the stuff I have on my plate!’ I doubt that’s entirely true, but let it pass ‘Why, have you?’ she pushes.
‘Absolutely not.’ I say, and I know she sees straight through me. ‘Okay, fine. What would you do if you were in love with someone, but he liked someone else?’ I look up at her, and she smiles wickedly.
‘I’d steal him back.’ She says, a glint in her eye as she hops off the bed and back to her own four-poster.
‘Night, Elise.’ I say quietly as I drift off back to sleep.
Oh yes. I’m going to steal him back.
Next morning I wake up and dress in a daze, my mind swimming with ways to get Scorpius Malfoy to fall in love with me. It’s only when I realise that I’m wearing my dress robes that I shut the Scorpius-box and get myself in order, rushing down to breakfast for Phase 1: Become Object of Desire.
This will be achieved by a combination of Looking Gorgeous (have applied lots of gel to my hair in order to make it just curly enough, and also may have used some of Annabelle’s beauty potions: just a couple to get rid of some spots and Vanish some of my freckles.) and Flirting with Other Guys. For this, I am sorry to say, I shall be using Darren Thomas, best friend of James and pretty big womaniser, so no-one else will notice any difference.
As I enter the Great Hall, I can’t pretend that I didn’t like the reaction. I was wearing my school robes untied with a kind of ‘I just rolled out of bed’ look, with knee-high white socks, black pumps, and a rather short skirt (Elise was all too eager to help).. My shirt is unbuttoned, and I’m wearing a boys tie I stole from Hugo the other day, loosely knotted around my neck.
I usually push the uniform boundaries a bit, but this is worthy of Annabelle’s posse, who are currently all giving me dirty looks as I sit down in between James and Albus, opposite Darren.
‘Erm, Rose?’ asks Albus from my left.
‘What’s up?’ I ask nonchalantly, pouting slightly
‘Erm, well, ahem, well, you know, erm...’ he trails off with an apologetic look, blushing and turning to look resolutely down at his untouched toast, which I take from him and start to eat, asking him between mouthfuls
‘What?’ James steps in;
‘Al would like to know why you didn’t bother wearing a skirt today.’
I couldn’t help it. I slapped him.
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