Chapter 5 : Friends and Foes
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Five years Later
At the corner of the dimly lit library, by the large stained-glass window, was a girl who had blossomed into her womanhood quite well. Her once red bushy hair, had transformed into auburn curls that swirled all the way down her waist. The face, that was once pale with freckles, has bloomed into a glowing rosy nature. Her eyes that were once innocent, dull, brown, had gained wisdom over the years and acquired a sparkle that was welcomed by her friends and family. Rosie was no more called so. She was reffered to as Rose Weasley.
Rose gazed out of the window, pondering on trivial thoughts. The month of December was always a delight to her. The ground was carpeted with layers of snow that seemed to radiate in the dimness of twilight. Here and there, children were making snowmen and having snowball fights. She kept on gazing out, as the hours ticked by and the stars appeared in the sky, glowing amidst the pure blackness of night. The count of students began to decline, as more and more students started to get ready for bed. Her hands lay lazily over her Arithmancy problems, which were complete. She always liked to arrive at the library at this time, sit by the window and observe the surrounding while doing her homework. She liked the gloomy and quiet environment of the library. It gave her space to think.
“Hello, Roza, how are you doing, in this cold night?” asked a caressing, smooth, voice that gave her goose bumps. She shifted her attention towards the speaker. The speaker was a handsome man who, like Rose, when through similar transformation. Except that, he looked much more like an untouchable Greek god after the change. His golden blonde hair, glowing even in the dimly lit room, was still in its messy state, but this time it was intentional. His once pallid face, tanned as a result of the hours spent outside practicing Quiditch as a Seeker. Yet, his eyes were the same sparkling sky blue colour that always seemed to captivate her.
“I am working on my Arithmancy problems,” answered Rose.
“Oh, Roza, you always work too hard. Don’t you know how to have fun? It’s nearly Christmas,” said Scorpius, with that same caressing tone.
“I wouldn’t expect you to understand, Malfoy as your idea of fun would be snogging girls all time. I find that utterly disgusting,” retorted Rosie.
Malfoy raised his eyebrows, and said, “And yet, I still seem to be getting the highest marks in class. Like you.”
Rose did not have a reply. Yes, he was the one of the smartest student in their year. The fact always infuriated her. He geot to have fun and aced in tests, while she was in the library working her arse off to be ahead of him. Not only that, he was also the one of the best seeker in the school, the other one being her cousin, Lily Potter.
“Well, why don’t I show you the ways you can have fun in the corner of a library,” said Malfoy, then he occupied the chair beside her, and violated her private space. As he moved closer to her a tiny medallion slipped out from inside his shirt. It was the same symbol as the one she saw years ago, in the Headmaster’s Office. This time she knew exactly what it meant.
“What is that?” asked Rose in a whisper, still affected by his closeness.
Malfoy got momentarily distracted as looked down at his medallion. He gazed back at her, his charismatic vibe disappearing, and said in a flat voice, “It’s nothing.”
“You are a part of them?” asked Rose, moving away from him as if he was a hideous spider.
“Yes, is there a problem with that?” asked a defensive Malfoy.
“Of course there is. Don’t you know that what they do is wrong? And that Loreli girl is a bitch of the biggest sort-“
“That ‘bitch’ happens to be my girlfriend, Rose,” said Malfoy, coldly.
“Oh,” said Rosie, “Well in that case, have fun with your wonderful girlfriend. I hope you guys enjoy cutting your hands and drinking each other’s blood.”
Then she hastily gathered her books and ran out of the library as fast as she could, leaving a confused and angry Malfoy behind.
When she entered the Gryffindor common room, most of the chamber was empty. She went over to the armchair beside the fireplace and sat down. As she stared at the burning and crackling fire, she went over what happened in the library.
Since third-year, Malfoy had stopped pestering her and Albus. And since fourth- year, he started flirting with every girl in this school, including her. He had, since then, became the official rake of Hogwarts. Rumours stated that he visited Italy, his mother’s home country, during that summer and returned as an Italian Casanova. Not only that, his marks suddenly started looking very good, and now he was neck-to-neck with Rose in having the highest grades in Hogwarts, since Hermione Weasley.
What she didn’t understand was that, why would he flirt with her one second, and fight with her the next. She knew he hated her.
More importantly, why was she, Rose, affected by his presence? Didn’t she make it clear on that fated afternoon in their third year what she thought of him....?
“You study too much, Rose. I know you want to beat Malfoy. But, sometimes you should try to get out and have fun,” said Albus, as he sat beside her for breakfast.
“Oh, so you must have met Malfoy,” Rose replied.
“What?” asked Albus.
“He said the same thing when I encountered him in the library,” muttered Rose.
“Malfoy was in the library,” asked Albus, bewildered.
“There is nothing shocking about it,” hissed Rose
“Er, yes there is. Malfoy never goes to the library,” said Albus
“So, how do you think he is able to do his essays, which require plenty of research?” challenged Rose.
“I don’t know,” mumbled Albus.
“Well, he does. And in addition to that, the library is a great place to perform his, er, affairs, according to him,” said Rose.
“Whom are you lot talking about?” asked Roxanne, as she joined them for breakfast.
Before Rose could reply, Albus cut in, and said, “Malfoy. He actually visits the library.”
“I knew that. The other day I spotted him snogging Loreli Hera. They are supposedly a couple, now. They suite it each other, you know?” said Roxanne, as she bit into a jam toast. Just, then there was sudden hushed atmosphere surrounding the Great Hall.
“Oh Look. Here comes the royal cavalry,” said Albus, boringly.
Rose knew exactly what to expect. She didnt even bother to watch the spectacle, as a group of students entered the Great Hall. They looked exactly like the other students, except that they had a defiant look on their faces, and their robes were marked with an enormous M. They were The Mágisses, an occult group of Wiccan magic practitioners.
This group was founded last year. The leader and the founder of the group was, none other than, Loreli Hera. They were very secretive about what they did, and no one was allowed to speak of their practices. People, wondered why no one reveal anything about it when, one day, a fifth-year made the mistake of doing so. The next day she had severe case of spattergoits. After that, no member dared to speak about it, and to be doubly sure that they didn’t reveal things by mistake, they shut themselves from the outside world and never spoke to the other students. Rose knew that once they were a part of it, it was very difficult for them to get out. The ones who did had their memories about their secret meetings erased. What she didn’t understand is, why would anyone feel compelled to join this group in the first place? There were a lot of rumours that, their kind of magic can allow them to excel at everything, but she didn’t believe in such nonsense.
The thing that most surprised her was that, no teacher complained about them, or even acknowledged their existence. Once she asked Professor Raymond, and her reply was, “Those kids just want to be a part of something and belong to it. It doesn’t harm them physically, so we can’t report. And the rumour you hear about their memories being erased is an utter nonsense. As long as you don’t mix with them, you are fine, Miss Weasley.”
Rose really couldn’t care less about them, until now, that is. She thought it was unbelievably idiotic of Scorpius to join them. A person of his intellectual should have known better than to fall for this nonsense. She tried to spot Scorpius among the throng of the cult members, but she couldn’t locate him. Then, Roxanne whispered to her the whereabouts of Scorpius, “He must be with having breakfast with his girlfriend and her father.”
Professor Adrastos seldomly feasted in the Great Hall. Occasionally, when a guest arrived at Hogwarts for the day, he joined his colleagues. Otherwise, he took his meals in his private chamber with his daughter, who also owned a private bedroom, even though she was a Slytherin and had every right to slumber in the Slytherin dormitories among her peers.
“Good morning, my fellow friends,” said the cheery voice of Hestia.
“Good morning, Hestia,” said Roxanne and Rose, simultaneously.
“Hullo,” mumbled Albus, before going back to eating his breakfast.
“It seems as though, I have missed the, er, royal cavalry,” she said, looking at the now seated members of the cult. “Did I miss anything special?”
“Malfoy is a part of it and Rose is completely furious about it,” said Roxanne, bluntly.
“I am not!” exclaimed Rose.
“You are not what, Roza?”
Speak of the devil, thought Rose, and the devil shall appear. She turned around and glanced at Malfoy, before dismissing him. She did not want to be rendered speechless by his looks. Again.
“Rose is furious about you being a part of something that hates a lot,” said Roxanne.
“Shut up, Roxy!” snapped Rose. She knew how Roxanne despised that nickname. Rose was satisfied to see Roxanne wince as she said that.
“Really?” asked Malfoy, sardonically, “Well, it’s not up to her to decide what I can do and what I can’t.”
“You can do whatever you want for all I care,” snapped Rose.
“Here they go again,” said Roxanne and Albus.
“Well, you guys can do your bickering here, as long as Malfoy stays a couple of feet away from you, Rose. And I will take my leave, because I have no intention of listening to your childish squabbling,” said Albus.
“I’ll join you,” said Hestia, quickly. Albus looked surprised at this, but didn’t say anything. He had a tiny smile on his face as he and Hestia left.
“We don’t fight all the time,” mumbled Rose.
“No we don’t,” said Malfoy, amused. “Only when we see each other.”
Malfoy sat beside her and took a helping of treacle tart. Rose went back reading The Legend of Ciaran Wolfram. After ten minutes, she glanced at him and found him watching her. She heaved a sigh, shut her book, and turned towards him.
“Why are you a heart-breaker?” asked Rose. Malfoy seemed taken aback by her question, but he composed himself. He kept on staring at her for a few moments, before replying, “Roza, a guy becomes a heart-breaker, after his heart gets broken.”
Then, she asked the obvious question, “Who broke your heart?”
“Well, that’s for me to know and you to find out. Anyways-”
“IF YOU WOULD’VE STOPPED BEING SO BLOODY STUPID AND BLIND THIS WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED.”
“IF YOU ARE SO SMART, THEN WHY DON’T CLEAN THAT YOURSELF, WITHOUT BOTHERING ME.”
Rose and Malfoy looked at each other. They knew exactly whose voices those belonged to. They dashed towards the Entrance Hall and found it crowded with people watching the spectacle. In the middle of all this were Sheherazade Layl and Albus Potter facing each other with identical murderous expression. Beside Albus was Hestia, looking very nervous as she tried to calm Albus down. Rose and Malfoy fought through the crowd as they tries to get to Albus and Sheherazade.
“Albus!” exclaimed Rose, as she got to her cousin’s side. “What the hell is going on?”
“She spilled ink on my clothes! On purpose!”exclaimed Albus. Rose simply looked at him.
“That bitch just ruined my clothes on purpose and you are just standing there and looking at me?” asked Albus, incredulous.
“Shut your bloody trap, Potter, before I hex you,” barked Layl.
“Albus, you are acting a child,” said Rose reasonably.
“Well, thank you for taking my side, cousin,” said Albus, sardonically.
“Thanks, Weasel, but I don’t need a mudblood’s daughter to defend me!” barked Layl.
What happened next was something everyone would remember for a long time. Albus pulled out his wand to attack Layl, but she was too quick for him. She pointed her wand directly at Albus. She opened her mouth and yelled, “Sectumsempra”.
Rose watched as the spell flew from her wand, towards Albus. She couldn’t let this happen. She ran towards Albus and stood in front of him, with her arms spread wide. The spell hit her squarely, throwing her back. She fell to floor dazed. She tried to focus her vision, but everything seemed so confusing and blurry..........
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