“So you’re saying you’d name your child Galapagos?”
“I’m not saying it’s out of the question…”
“It’s an exotic island, Molly! That makes it an exotic name.”
“Fred, you’re a complete moron if you think naming your child after poisonous frogs and freaky looking birds is okay.”
“I thought the point of the whole game was to name your future child with the name of a place.”
“Yes, a place of origin.”
“It is a place!”
“No one has originated from the bloody Galapagos islands! I’m talking about places where people have a nationality. Like a city in Italy or a province in Canada.”
A water balloon flies past Fred, nearly missing his head and irrupts against Big Blue. He turns around and glares at Roxanne. She smiles apologetically and deviously at the same time, before continuing her water balloon fight with Lily.
“So you’re saying I should name my future child Venice Saskatchewan?” Fred asks, his direct skepticism obviously getting on Molly’s nerves.
“NO. I’m saying that you should name your child ONE of those examples-”
“I’m not naming my first son Saskatchewan! Do you want him to have a painful social life? Or a social life at all, for that matter? The boy would get beat up on his first day of school.”
“Argh! You’re insufferable, Fred. There are plenty of other provinces in Canada that you could have chosen. Why did you have to chose an ugly one?”
“You want me to name my future son Alberta, then?”
They’ve been going at it for the past 20 minutes, and I’m sure my head is going to explode soon. Here I am, trying to pick off the white linens from the clothes line outside before it rains, and my cousins come out the back door for some chit chat. I like folding laundry mainly because it gives me some peace and quiet in this mess of a household. So whenever my mum or Aunt Ginny need any laundry to be picked off the clothes line, I usually do it. It’s relaxing after a hectic week full of screams, whines, and an apparent séance that Hugo tried to perform last night (That shit did NOT go down too well). This was supposed to be My Time, but no… Fred and Molly were bored with the programs on telly so they came outside for some fresh air.
My fresh air.
And guess who decides to join them? Lily and Roxy, of course. I don’t even understand why they wanted to start a balloon fight NOW. They actually took the time to fill up a few dozen balloons with the hose. It’s the afternoon, and the sun isn’t even out. It’s going to rain in an hour. I just don’t get it! Although I shouldn’t complain; they haven’t been bothering me as much as Fred and Molly, so I can manage. At least they’ve been quiet for the past twenty minutes or so, splashing around water balloons. There’s an occasion squeal now and then, but I’d rate it a 2 out of 10 on the What Really Pisses Me Off scale. Fred and Molly began this stupid game and haven’t stopped bickering since they’ve stepped outside. They’ve definitely earned their 9.5 rate on my scale as of right now.
I’d like to punt a brick at the both of them.
“Rose, what do you think?”
“I think it should be socially acceptable to substitute water balloons for bricks.”
Molly exhales from her nostrils. “I mean about the name of Fred’s future son.”
I stand up on the balls of my feet to reach for the bed linen hanging in front of me. I pinch the top of where it folds over the clothes line and give it a gentle tug. “How about Quebec?”
“Huh,” Fred ponders. “That’s a gnarly name for a son.”
“Oh, sure,” sarcastic Molly says sarcastically. “Try putting it with your last name.”
“Quebec Weasley,” Fred puts together.
Ouch. Sounds like Quigley-Wiggly. On second thought…
“See? I told you that would sound stupid.” Molly’s face is full of epic smugness.
Fred Weasley just shrugs. “I dunno, it sounds better than Galapagos Weasley.”
Molly’s facial expression loses all emotion, and falls flat as the ocean floor, with her lip hanging. She just stares ahead of her, waiting for his stupidity to start oozing out of his ears.
“Like your child’s name would sound any less bizarre,” Roxanne cuts in, coming in her brother’s defense. She hurls a balloon straight at Lily Potter but she dodges it just in time, before sticking her tongue out at Roxy in triumph.
Molly stands up straighter, and folds her legs over our deck gracefully. “I’m naming my child Wisconsin Weasley,” she informs us with her nose in the air.
Not one sound is made by any human being. I look at Fred, Fred looks at me. We look at Lily, who looks at Roxy, who looks back at me. Then we all turn our heads to Molly, who still has her head held high. And we laugh our bums off.
She turns scarlet. “Don’t be jealous of my child’s name. She’s going to be successful! And the first witch to ever become the Prime Mistress of England!”
“Yeah, OKAY,” Fred blatantly teases before doubling over in laughter. He rolls around the floor of our deck.
“It’s a sophisticated name!” She defends in a baffled tone, her eyebrows mashed together.
Lily stops throwing water balloons and just throws one back and forth between her hands, her eyes never leaving it as it goes left and right. “Why would she be the Prime Minister if she’s a witch? She might as well be the Minister of Magic.”
I snort. “Right, because that doesn’t make her sound like a top ranking high-class prostitute for parliament officials.”
“Go ahead and poke fun, Rose. At least my child will get somewhere.” She diverts her attention back to Lily. “And for your information, she’s going to be the first witch to become Prime Mistress and serve for the muggles of England. She’ll be in the history books.”
I fold a linen pillowcase over my arm and make sure the ends match up before placing it into the laundry basket. “How very righteous of her.”
“Very,” she says indelibly.
“Why did you name her after a state in America?” Fred asks her impossibly.
“Because she’s going to connect the Americas with the United Kingdom. We’re the top two nations in the world; it would help our politics and help us live a longer and more prosperous life. Besides, naming her after another country’s land makes her versatile.”
Does anyone else think that Molly Weasley is just trying to slowly take over the world?
“You know what I would do to find out if my child’s name was awesome? I’d put their name in with the What Would They Do acronym,” Roxanne suggests. “And if it sounds screwed up, I’d throw that name into the rubbish bin.”
My face contorts uncontrollably. “W-W-W-W-D? What Would Wisconsin Weasley Do?”
Molly looks scandalized.
I pull back the shower curtain and take a deep breath, before stepping out of the shower. I wrap a big fluffy white towel around myself and begin drying my hair with the other. Gosh, I love hot showers. Even in the stinky season of summer, I can still appreciate a nice steamy shower. It’s just something about the hot water…
“Hey, Rose,” Victoire knocks on the other side of the bathroom door.
“Yeah?” I call back.
“Do you have any waxing strips?”
I am baffled by this question. “Sorry…what?”
“I know,” I hear her say exasperatedly, “But I don’t have any and Dominique got that hair removal spell to work for her for the whole summer, so she doesn’t have any either. And Lily wants to wax her bikini line.”
Sweet clouds above. “You must be joking.”
“I wish I was, Rosie. I’m pretty sure she has no hair down there that needs to be maintained but she’s assuring me that she has a hairy situation that she needs to fix.”
“Yeah, her wolf hair armpits maybe.” Not her bikini line!
“Do you have any or not? If I don’t answer her soon she’ll keep squealing.” Oh, no one wants that…
“Can’t you do the whatever hair spell thing that Dominique did and do it on Lily?” I suggest. I flip my hair over and dry the other side of my head.
“Doesn’t work. You have to be of age for it to work on you, and Dominique is the only one that knows how to perform it on another person. It’s apparently highly complex. If Lily tried it on her own, she’d probably burn all the hair off her body.”
Hah, like a naked mole rat. Or those scary looking cats with no fur; you know, the ones that look like their inside out.
“Well, I don’t know what to tell you, Vic. I shave my legs and that’s about it. Ask my mom.” A sudden disgusting look takes over my face as I momentarily think of my mother’s bikini line. She wears a tankini with a sarong, not itty bitty bikinis like Lily. And I don’t need that image of my mother waxing her weird areas.
No, thank you.
“Alright, thanks anyway, then,” Victoire Weasley finishes, her footsteps echoing against the wood floorboards as she walks away.
I sigh and look in the mirror.
Tilting my head to the side, I examine my freckles. I have an obscene amount of freckles. Okay, I’m not made of red dots, but I’ve got enough to play connect-the-dots with Albus for a solid two months straight. I’m not ashamed of them really, I just… have so many. Lily doesn’t have that many. Neither does Molly or Roxy. But then again, the guys in my family get more physical traits than behavioral ones. The girls definitely have more behavioral traits than the males in the Weasley/Potter clan. Molly’s got her father’s vision and Roxy has her dad’s goofiness. Fred’s goofy too but he has way more freckles than Roxy could ever have. Fred and I have the most freckles, I’d say. And our skin isn’t even that pale, we just have light pink dots all over. They almost blend into our skin during the summer.
It can get a bit boring is all.
Maybe I should cut all my hair off. Or do some crazy Mohawk thing. I dunno, I gotta change it up or something. I mean, it’s pretty bad when you get bored with your own face, but I can’t do anything about mine. Makeup doesn’t hide my Weasley dots and my complexion is good by itself anyways. So maybe a haircut is all I need. I don’t even remember the last time I went to a salon… is that a bad thing or…?
I’m disrupted by another knock at my bathroom door. Annoyingly enough, it actually annoys me. How dare someone disrupt my mental thinking time.
“Rosie, open up.”
I automatically wrap the towel tighter around my body and run my fingers through my wet hair. I open the door and lean on it’s frame, crossing my arms all the while. “Yes, Albus?”
He smiles at me innocently before starting off on his escapade. “So you’re coming out with me tonight right? In town? Good, because Scorpius has two extra tickets to this independent Australian film so…okay cool, be ready in twenty minutes-”
Albus Potter turns around swiftly and tries leave me here on the spot but I yank his neck back.
“Um… excuse me?”
Albus throws me a pleading look.
“Now is not the time to audition for a bad teen drama. Don’t give me that face,” I raise an eyebrow. “What’s this about seeing an indie flick?”
He sighs. “Right, so…his parents ordered these tickets like three months in advance, but they got in a real bad row today, so they aren’t planning on going anymore. He told me over the phone that he has nothing to do tonight, which was totally legit considering I could hear his parents starting to bicker again over the receiver. And since Scorpius said he didn’t really have plans anymore… I felt bad, so I told him we’d go see the film with him and keep him company. I couldn’t let him stay in that house anymore so I sort of… invited ourselves.”
I blink a bit, trying to decipher what or how I should be feeling but I just come up blank.
“Okay…well where is it at? The market around town, at the corner of the beach resort?”
Albus tries not to look at me. “Sort of,” he idles his body back and forth.
Hold on, didn’t he say something about leaving in twenty minutes?
“The market on Hemingway and 35th, okay?”
I am bewildered. Do you know how far away that market is?!
He furrows his eyebrows at me defiantly, crossing his arms at my reaction. “And you’re coming! We are going to show him a good time and he is going to enjoy himself. Because I know he felt crappy when he was talking to me, Rose. I feel bad for the kid. Besides, we haven’t left the house within the past two days. The weather’s been shitty and we might as well take advantage of not having sun. We deserve a night out.”
Awe, great. Here comes the guilt trip. “Albus,” I purse my lips. “Does Uncle Harry know?”
This market is not in walking distance. I’ve only been to Hemingway & 35th once in my life, and that was because Teddy was taking me for a ride on his broomstick last summer and he got lost. Uncle Harry would not be okay with letting us walk to this place. It would take an easy hour and a half if we walked there.
“Not exactly… but we’ll just tell him we’re going to a closer market! We’ll tell him we’re going to see a movie at Tallywaggy’s market, you know, the one that shows sappy love stories.”
“Okay, there are so many points of logic you have just ignored. Number one, Uncle Harry will never believe that you and I are going to go meet Scorpius for a movie at Tallywaggy’s market. The three of us, seeing a love versus death 21st century romance? My bullocks. Number two, how the hell are we going to get to this market? Walking there will automatically stop us from seeing the film on time. Hence, we will be walking up there for no reason.”
He does the ‘advert eyes away from Rose immediately’ maneuver again and I slap his arm. “Albus, damn it. Tell me! Those inconspicuous faces just make me want to hit you harder!”
“Oi, that hurt!”
I ignore him. “How are we getting there?”
I swear if he says what I think-
“He’s gonna drive okay? He’s picking us up in twenty minutes,” Albus looks at his watch. “Fifteen minutes, actually.”
“He’s driving!? Has he ever been there before? That’ll be at least thirty five minutes by car and it’s already past five o’clock. It’ll get dark soon. We can’t do under-aged magic, dude. You’re not of age yet and I didn’t pack my wand with me, it’s still in my mum’s bags. So if we get lost we’re screwed.” If I ask my mum for my wand it’ll just go downhill from there along with a bucket full of questions about what we’ll be up to tonight.
My cousin just rolls his eyes, and begins rocking on the balls of his feet. “Relax, Scorpius drives all the time, and he knows the roads really well.”
Does he now? Didn’t he just move in less than a week ago?
“Oh, come on,” Albus begs. “Please?”
I take a deep breath and close my eyes. Oh, what the heck. Live a little, right? Besides, the kid needs to have a good time regardless of his parental situation. If Scorpius sounded that bummed out, then he deserves some fun. “The things you make me do, Albus Potter…”
I shake my head as he jumps in the air and does a weird fist-pump thing that’s probably going to give me nightmares later.
He grins real big. “Yes! Thank you, Rose. You’re my favorite wingman.” Grabbing me by my shoulders, he gives me a big kiss on the cheek. “No, scratch that, you’re my favorite redhead. I promise it’ll be fun.”
Wow, I’m someone’s favorite ginger-head. That’s really saying something when you’re part of this family.
Because the selection is just so great to choose from.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I grimace. “Get off me, I have to whip up a nice outfit in ten minutes.”
Albus practically prances to his room to get changed. I shake my head as I walk in the opposite direction towards the room I share with Lily. This is insane, I was planning on curling up on the couch and watching a black and white film on TV, and painting my toenails with Vic. And now I’m gonna be traveling in a car with boys. Go figure.
I whip open my closet like a crazy mofo and pick out the first outfit I see: A long oversized cable knit sweater dress and black tights. I grab the one pair of high heeled boots I brought with me to Big Blue (just in case the weather was bad) and start changing.
I usually don’t bring semi-heavy clothes or knits like this with me to our summer house but ever since we started getting cold nights, I thought to pack heavier clothes just in case. And I’m grateful, because there’s no way I’m going to be wearing denim cutoffs and sandals after the rainstorm that’s just passed. The sun has barely revealed itself all day, and it’s not going to start now. It’s sort of dreary out, come to think of it. Not the ideal night to go out with your mates. But alas, I was coaxed into seeing an Aussie film with my cousin and his friend.
“Hey,” Albus calls from the hallway, “Are you ready yet?”
“Almost!” I gasp as I try to get the sweater dress above my head. These knits…they’re going to be the death of me, I swear. I can never put something on without praying there’s light coming from the other side of the collar. One time, when I was six, James let me try on one of Uncle Harry’s green cable knit turtle necks during a bad rendition of ‘dress up’. Let’s just say I got lost and barely made it out alive. It was like a circus tent in there. I somehow hooked my legs into the arm holes while my head was somehow still fishing out of the collar… one of the darker moments of my past.
“Okay,” I call out. “Ready!”
Albus opens the door to my room, now wearing a button down light blue shirt with the same khaki pants he was wearing two seconds ago..
“Snazzy,” I comment, as I slide on my boots.
“Damn right, it’s snazzy. I haven’t left the house in ages. Might as well look nice.”
As I’m about to hook the latch on my left boot, Albus and I hear someone thundering up the steps. I look at my cousin and he looks back at me. Oh, no.
“Does no one in this house wax!? I am NOT shaving again! Razors hate me! I end up cut into pieces, and I don’t want to relive the nightmare of scratching my ingrown hairs.”
The plethora amounts of cringe going through my mind right now…
“I’ll lock the door,” Albus alerts me quickly, his face revealing a more frightened look than before. And I can’t blame him. She sounds like a hurricane right now. I can only imagine what my face looks like; her footsteps are coming closer! It’s like Godzilla, except this creature is a teenage girl on the brink of insanity.
Albus Potter had only made it two steps before Lily stormed by our bedroom door and through the hallway, and then coming to a halt. She reverses her steps immediately and peers into my room. Her hair is up into a ponytail and she has some sort of white gel above her top lip. She narrows her eyes at us suspiciously. Dun dun dun…
Albus has not moved an inch since Lily stopped in her tracks, so he’s in a bowling pose with his hand stuck in mid-air only a few feet from my doorknob (which, might I add, does not help our cause). I bounce up off of my bed and cough loudly. Albus and I try our best not to look suspicious, although Albus looks like a bowling monkey.
“Why are you two all dressed up to go out?” Lily says in a sinister voice, like she’s caught us having fun without her or something.
“Who?” Albus relaxes, slowly standing up straighter and taking the form of an actual human. “Us?” he asks incredulously, raising his hands up and throwing her one of his disbelieving faces. God, he makes me want to facepalm myself.
“Psh,” I dismiss with a wave of my hand. “Nothing at all.”
“Oh, cut the crap! It’s my time of the month and all my senses are heightened, I’m practically Spiderman.”
She steps into my room and I get a good look at what’s been spread on her face.
“Good Lord, are you bleaching your mustache?” I look at her impossibly. She has no mustache to bleach!
Lily crosses her arms hastily. “I do what I can,” she replies simply.
I just shake my head, no longer caring enough to show my disappointment in her. I take a deep breath and my face goes back to normal. “Whatever… And for the record, yes, we’re going out,” I state, throwing me and Albus Potter’s secret escapade to the wind.
Albus’s expression is nothing short of thoroughly annoyed, as I have now blown our excellent cover. Not the sarcasm.
He raises his hands in the air again, but in a more frustrated manner. “Du-ude.”
I shrug my shoulders fruitfully. “Sorry.”
Our plan wasn’t even convincing anyway. Albus and I were bound to cower in defeat. Sometimes I forget that Lily’s a soon to be 14 year old girl. I mean, we make her out to be scarier than she is - and trust me, there are moments when she seems that way - but she’s just some chick going through the motions. The very girly and frilly motions, but the motions nonetheless. It’s really starting to worry me, though. Last week before we came to Big Blue she was fine, and all of a sudden she has this whole idea in her mind of what her summer should be like.
And that includes steamy hookups and bleached facial hair.
Oh, and acting like a total grouch.
“So you guys are going out then, huh? Where?” Lily begins to pester, the obvious jealousy etched all over her face. None of the Weasley/Potter kids were planning on leaving the house tonight because the weather’s been mucky, but now that the two of us actually have something to do, Lily’s angry we didn’t invite her. Why does she always have to know what’s going on? It’s not her business. She’s never like this usually, so why has she made it her mission to see what fun other people are having that she isn’t able to have!?
“Calm yourself,” I tell her, as I start getting angry, although I don’t know why. “Albus sort of made it his mission to take Scorpius out for a good time. His parents sort of bailed on him tonight and he had these two tickets-”
“Cool,” Lily says to no one in particular. She gives us a once-over with the eyes and does the pursed pout-y lip thing, before opening her mouth again. “Well, I hope you have fun. I’ll be at home, you know, rotting in our living room, watching James play Dance Dance Revolution.”
Okay, now she’s really getting on my nerves.
I put my hand up, silencing her. “Please, save the drama for your llama.”
Albus scrunches his eyebrows in utter confusion, before turning to me. “I don’t think that’s how it goes.”
“Irregardless,” I snap, “We’re going.” I snatch my purse and nudge Albus in the stomach, signaling that we should exit. I walk towards the door and pass Lily with my head held high - and alright, with a tiny smirk on my face as well. Albus just cautiously follows my lead, muttering a ‘sorry’ to Lily before leaving his little sister in our bedroom by herself.
“Oh, don’t be sorry for me,” she replies haughtily. “I’ll be getting my glam on. Enjoy yourselves.”
The presumptuous side of me is telling me that her statement anything but sincere. And I think about it down the hall, all the way down the stairs, and through the living room. Albus is the first to speak when we reach the front door.
“Damn. What a nightmare!” Albus looks relieved to be out of Lily’s sight.
“She’s turning so snarky and mean, and it’s seriously pissing me off.” I wish I knew why she was acting this way so I could send her to some sort of rehab clinic where they could surgically remove the mascara wand up her arse.
“Who, Lily?” quips in our dear cousin James, behind us. He’s sitting on the sofa, completely relaxed, waiting for Roxy to finish battling her round of Dance Dance Revolution. Hugo, who’s sitting on the loveseat near the chimney, is busy applying black nail polish on his finger nails.
… Is that my nail polish?!
Before I can curse my little brother out, Albus knocks me off my violent streak by answering his older brother.
“Yeah, our sister’s turned into a total-”
“She’s a trollop,” James Potter says simply, nonchalantly shrugging his shoulders.
"A… what?" Albus questions to his older brother with a cocked brow. It always bothered Albus how James knew all these fascinatingly weird words but never passed one vocabulary test at Hogwarts.
James, the king of all obnoxiously overwhelming comments, stretches his arms and lower back out on the sofa and inhales a big breath of air. “You know, a dirty trollop. A scarlet woman in the lustful sense. Lady of the night. Sexual savage-”
“TRIPLE DANCE SCORE!” Roxanne bellows, throwing her hands in the air. “I am so gnarly!”
Hugo looks up at Roxanne’s victory dance in distaste, and goes back to painting his nails. With my nail polish.
I sigh, thanking my little cousin for the necessary interruption. “You are very gnarly,” I tell her. I hope she doesn’t inherit James Potter’s ability of over exaggeration. He may be her cousin but the kids look up to him secretly, so if he ends up in jail somehow, the youth of this family will turn into convicts.
Roxanne Weasley turns around at my comment, and beams at me happily, before returning to her game.
Oh, when life was simple and no one had to wax their private areas…
“Where’s dad?” Albus asks James. Dominique and Victoire, who have just emerged out of the kitchen with two big bowls of popcorn and salted pita chips, respond for him.
“Uncle Harry’s in the garage with your dad,” Dominique motions to me, “teaching Teddy a few things about Uncle Ron’s flying car. He should be done in a minute.”
“Do you want me to get him for you?” Victoire offers, handing the bowl of pita chips to James.
Everyone stares at Albus. Remind me to never take Albus to stakeouts with me when I become a secret agent. The boy’s as subtle as a gun. Especially when he’s trying to cover something up.
“I mean,” he recovers, reading the unsurprising look of ‘oh, honestly?’ on my face, “No, that’s okay. Just tell him that we’re headed to Tallywaggy’s market for a late night drive-in movie. Scorpius is meeting us.”
Dom slightly narrows her eyes in disbelief. “You’re going to see a film at Tallywaggy’s? On a Thursday night?”
I feel like there’s something I should be picking up on right now, but my blank state of mind is making it quite difficult for me to make a connection to her words. I throw a worried look at Albus before opening my mouth and saying, “Yeah, Scorpius’s parents actually bought tickets for tonight’s drive-in, and they canceled… and he invited us and he has a car so…”
“Hold it,” Dominique puts her hands up.
“Yeah, wait a minute now! Something’s not right here,” Victoire also intervenes.
“The Malfoy’s purchased tickets to see Cowboys of Horseback Mountain?”
Dom asks this unfathomable question the same time Vic bursts with, “Scorpius Malfoy’s driving you to the market!?”
The horrified and completely unhinged part of me, the one that is hiding behind me and Albus’s lack of a good alibi, is biting her knuckles. Oh, boy. I’ve stepped in dog shit.
I’ve stepped in dog shit, and I’ve stepped in it twice.
Albus Potter’s expression is like a cross between a deer in head lights and a facial reaction mirroring the scent of his own flatulence.
“Really?” I gulp, as Albus and I take a few steps back. But the two part-veela cousins slowly take the same steps forward, with a glint in their eyes. Okay, well only Dom has a glint in her eyes. Vic has gone all in mother mode, yet again.
The Weasley/Potter clan grew up with Vic and Dom as their older babysitting cousins. I know Vic babysat me plenty of times growing up. Even though they weren’t the oldest siblings in the family, they made a good team. Vic was always the mommy of the group and Dom was more of a wild child. But they were a greater team than James and Teddy could have been. Mainly because Teddy always fell asleep in front of the telly, one time James handed Fred a pair of scissors and told him to run around the house with it. They were crossed off the ‘available babysitters’ list in an instant. The Weasley sister duo could be relied on when it came to safety, unlike James. And they could also be relied on when it came to actually having fun and being active, unlike Teddy, who’s idea of babysitting is hanging yarn in front of your face like a cat and expecting you to crawl around trying to grab the string.
Once and a while, Dom and Vic would whip out the good cop/bad cop routine. Except they have less of an obligation now because none of us no longer sleep with a nightlight.
“You do realize Thursday night at Tallywaggy’s market is gay western night, right?” Dominique carefully enlightens us, enjoying the looks of ignorance and shame on our faces. Man, I knew Tallywaggy’s wasn’t going to be a good cover up…
“Unless there’s something you’d like to tell me, Albus.” Dominique turns to him and almost smiles.
Albus clamps his mouth shut and breathes through his nostrils.
What a twisted and sarcastic woman, Dominique is. Where the hell has she been my whole life? And here I was, thinking I was the only woman who could give Albus a hard time.
“Does this Malfoy kid have his license? I’m going to have to see some identification and registration, first!” Victoire demands, wagging her finger around like my own mother would be.
Are we seriously being cornered three meters before exiting the house? Albus makes eye contact with me and we put our game faces on.
Albus goes first, addressing his cousin Dom. “Yeah, well, Scorpius’s parents accidentally bought the wrong tickets and their non-refundable so…we thought we’d at least see if it’s any good. We’re planning on leaving early if we don’t like it, or exchanging them for something else at the market.”
I take a deep breath and look at Victoire’s worried face. “Scorpius has had his license for a year,” I lie through my teeth, “and Tallywaggy’s is only ten minutes away. If anything goes wrong, I’ll apparate or something. I am of age, you know. Don’t worry. Everything’ll be fine.”
I don’t know how to apparate to save my life. I have to retake some classes, including that one, when I return to Hogwarts in August. But hopefully, they’re taking the bait. There’s no way and no how any of our cousins would let us drive off in Scorpius Malfoy’s car to a market that far way.
The two women in front of us step back slowly and observe us with their crazy half-French watchful eyes. Their hands are on their hips and their faces are ever so suspicious of our words.
“Okay,” Vic sighs, dropping her hard stare. “If it’s not a big deal I’ll just tell Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron later, then.”
Albus smiles cheekily. “Thanks! We’ve got to meet Scorpius now…we mustn’t be late!” The door to Big Blue is opened quickly by my eager to escape cousin, and humid fog with a twinge of afternoon darkness appears before our eyes. What a perfect night.
Sarcasm? What sarcasm?
Dominique smiles at us on our way out the door, and I can’t help but feel that she’s expecting our night to be the opposite of what we’ve just verbalized. Oh, she’s waiting for the real story when we come back, no doubt. Not that her smile’s threatening. No, it’s not a mean smile or a condescending smile or even a suspicious smile.
It’s sarcastic… almost sarcastically sinister.
Finally, I’m related to someone in this family.
“Have fun!” Dominique calls, waving to us right before the door closes.
“That was shit,” Albus comments, shaking his head. “We have got to come up with a better alibi next time.”
I reply with a deadpan face as we begin walking to the house next door.
“We? How about you try telling a good lie once and a while. What kind of teenager are you?”
He rolls his eyes and mutters to himself as I follow him up to the Malfoy’s doorstep. Before Albus gets a chance to knock on the door, Scorpius opens it hastily. It’s almost as if he was on his way out of the house, running away from whatever’s behind him. Albus has his fist still up, ready to knock, and Scorpius whips his face around. Was he running from his parents?
“Oh,” he says, surprised to see us. He looks at us both for a good five seconds before regaining his breath. This gives me a moment to look at what he’s wearing; boy, the kid can really clean up nice. Scorpius is wearing basically the same khaki pants Albus is wearing, except he has a cream colored sports jacket on, with a white and blue striped button down shirt opened halfway, to show his white t-shirt underneath.
Not that I’m staring.
Because I’m not.
“Hi,” Albus lamely waves. “Guess we’re right on time.”
Scorpius looks thankful for an excuse to get away. He turns around to grab the door handle, and pulls the front door closely behind him, so we don’t see inside. Scorpius turns back around and stops in front of us, breathes a big breath, and smiles surprisingly warmly to us. “Hey.”
I smile back at him. “Hi.”
Albus and Scorpius do the ‘nod’ thing guys do.
Something similar to the sound of multiple pans falling on the floor comes from inside Scorpius Malfoy’s house. Albus, Scorpius, and I don’t move, although my cousin and I lean our heads to the side a bit to see what the ruckus is all about.
“Let’s get going then,” Scorpius says gingerly, taking his car keys out of his pocket. He turns around to yell back at whoever’s behind him, most likely his mother and father. “I’m leaving with Albus and Rose, I’ll see you when I get back!”
He shuts the door promptly and locks it, not waiting for a response from his parents. Albus and I look at each other. There’s something’s up with this kid, isn’t there? He must have really wanted to get out of the house as fast as possible.
I nudge Albus’s arm as we follow Scorpius to his car.
“Did you hear-”
“I heard it, too,” Albus says, shaking his head.
“Do you think they’re having a row right now?” I whisper.
Albus looks at his friend in front of him before turning around to me. “I don’t know, just don’t say anything, ” he dismissively tells me, ending the conversation.
The car ride wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was the farthest thing from awkward. There were a few petty conversations thrown in, but we mostly bathed in the silence that accompanied the ending of a discussion. Scorpius would turn to Albus, say something, Albus would reply, and they they’d nod to each other. Or laugh. We luckily got there in less than an hour. Impressively enough, Scorpius only made one wrong turn the whole ride up here. The boy knows his way around, I’ll tell you that. I’m going to have to question him further about his traveling skills later. How on earth did he get to this market drive-in theater without even asking us a thing?
I was in the backseat of his convertible, so I was sort of left out of the loop. Well, not out of the loop per se, but I was sort of not included in the discussions and random blabs that went on in the two front seats. But it was okay because I enjoyed the quiet. I’m sure it wasn’t on purpose anyways. Occasionally, I’d look out the car window, hoping to see a change in weather, but to no avail - it was foggy and misty outside. The darkness was everywhere. We’d pass houses and cars and all I’d be able to see were the lampposts on the sidewalk, and the reflection of his car’s headlights on the side mirrors of other parked cars.
A few times, I’d catch Scorpius stare at me in the rearview mirror. He’d immediately advert his eyes back on the road. His eyes would land on me every 3 minutes or so, and you’d think I’d get annoyed by that - and I would have, if it was any other person - but for some odd reason it didn’t bother me. It was almost like he was checking up on me. Making sure I was okay. At least… I think that was his intention. I obviously wasn’t concocting a potion or setting up a bomb in his backseat. There’d be no other reason for his sudden worry.
There was a moment, actually, when the boys did include me in conversation. It was about the film we were about to see, I think. I can’t remember. I really wasn’t annoyed about being in the backseat and staying alone with my thoughts for the whole ride. It was a comfortable silence. To be honest, Scorpius’s parents were in the back of my mind and I was still trying to sort out what was going on in his family.
I know, I’m turning into a nosy bugger. It’s kind of annoying me, actually. Why am I prying into his life? I’m not usually like this; you tell me to forget something and I easily forget it and move on to other things. But for some reason, I couldn’t get rid of the image of that certain blonde boy… running out of his house, away from his parents.
Do Draco and Astoria have a rocky marriage?
The drive-in parking was, luckily, close to the entrance of the home-made theatre in the back of the market. When we first walked in there was a swarm of people but now they’ve all been reduced to half as many. And now Albus, Scorpius, and I are waiting in line for this independent Aussie flick.
“Here,” Scorpius hands me my ticket as we wait in line.
I snap out of my thoughts and reply back politely. “Thank you.”
My fingers touch his. His eyes flicker up to mine. We stare. I pull the ticket out of his grasp. We pretend nothing happened.
When we get ourselves situated, all three of us take a seat near the seventh row of the theatre as the previews begin. I, somehow, am nudged between both Albus and Scorpius. What an unfortunate circumstance. Albus always comments during movies, ALWAYS; this aggravates me to no end… and- well, I’ve never seen a film with Scorpius so I don’t know how he’ll be. But I don’t like to be man-whiched between two people at a theatre. Especially in a place so crowded. These seats aren’t spaced out as much as I’d like, you know.
I hate people, so tell me why I’m in a theatre full of them.
I regret my choice instantly as an elderly couple take the two available seats in front of them. They begin talking about their grandchildren and Mildred’s right hip. I don’t know who Mildred is, but from what I can hear, she’s got joint problems.
“Did you hear she might be getting a wheelchair? A WHEEL CHAIR, WILLIAM! Could you imagine? A wheelchair at seventy-three? How preposterous…”
Wow. What a youngster.
“Oh, dear,” the old man responds, clearly concerned. He shakes his head. “ Her sister must not be too fond of that, I hear she’s the one funding for her electric scooter. You know, the one that accidentally shocked her with electricity when she tried plugging in that ghastly lamp? I swear, Bonnie, that woman is cursed.”
“You know, she never liked my biscuits. And she never wanted to come to my prayer circles. The nerve! I knitted her a scarf three years ago, do you remember, William?”
William nods his head profusely, as his overdramatic wife pauses to shake her head in disgust.
“Not once did I get a invitation to watch X Factor with her friends, not once!”
And they continue to talk about paraplegics, heart attacks, and other fun illnesses.
This is too much. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to drop-kick a seat in front of me so much in my life. Sweet marbles, do their hearing aids make it impossible for them to use indoor voices? Do they know what whispering is? Or is that just how elderly people breathe now a days? And yelling has become the new talking?
Scorpius lets out a long sigh, obviously annoyed with the couple talking loudly in front of us. He states annoyingly to no one in particular, “I hate people.”
I stop moving and turn my face to his. I can only imagine what my face looks like.
He feels my eyes on him and he laughs at my reaction. “I know how that must sound, but honestly, I can’t stand it when people talk during movies. Even if it’s during the previews.”
I… what is going on? Do we share a brain or something?
“Short conversations are no big deal because most people know how to whisper,” he continues to explain to me, probably worried that he’s coming off as a cynical narcissist. “But when you have no respect for other people and start barking about your next door neighbor’s temporary paralysis, you’re just crossing the line.”
I try not to smirk. But my eyes give me away. You know that face when you pull when you know something the other person doesn’t know, and your face is playful, but you’re trying hard not to smirk? Yeah, that’s the expression currently plastered on my face right now. I’m laughing at the irony on the inside.
Scorpius Malfoy rolls the sleeves of his blazer up and relaxes himself more. His eyes observe me suspiciously, like there’s a prank I’m pulling that he isn’t in on.
“What is it with people giving me that look tonight? First Lily, then Vic… Dom…you-”
“It’s your fault, you know. You make yourself look mysterious.”
My lower lip flaps over a bit in shock as I try not to choke. “Sorry? I’m what?”
He cocks his head to the side and does that charming thing guys do when they bite their lip. “You have this aura about you. Like nothing phases you. It’s almost intimidating, but not quite. You’re hesitant about stuff, but you’re mainly indifferent about it all. You are a very mysterious girl, Rose Weasley.”
Excuse my Vietnamese when I say WHAT NOW?! How insanely baffling is this… Scorpius Malfoy just called me mysterious!
“Excuse me, Mr. Suspense. You have your moments, too.”
He seems intrigued by the idea. “Oh, really?”
Albus nudges me forcefully, pointing to the preview of a film about ninja assassins that just ended. He’s in his own little world and could care less about us. “Rosie, we gotta see that! Looks like a righteous time!”
He shoves his face with popcorn- Wait a tooty fruity, when in the hell did Albus get popcorn? When. Did. My. Cousin. Get. Popcorn. He’s been in that seat all night and there are no concession stands that I know of. Is this some sort of hex? I’ve entered a vortex haven’t I?
No… I’ve entered the twilight zone and nothing makes sense.
Yes, that’s it. That’s the logical explanation.
“Yes, really,” I challenge. “You’re the guy that smolders from across the room. The guy with the brooding face thing going on. You’re like a statue. You’ll look at other people interact, like thosemelodramatic soap operas with people working in hospitals, until you actually include yourself and decide to be social. You're like the surgeon of the soap opera. Never seen until he wants to be seen. It’s like you’re a secret agent or something. Are you James Bond? Because I’m convinced. I swear, sometimes I look at you and it’s like you’re waiting for me to say something. The suspense is killing you, isn’t it?”
His bottom lip falls a bit. Not in complete surprise but there is some bafflement that I may or may not have caused. Meanwhile, I’m trying to make sense of my verbal spasm by thinking up self-mutilation techniques, like, say…sticking my hand into a blender.
Scorpius takes a moment to think about my words, before scoffing, and turning to me. His face is clearly amused. And I’m slightly thankful.
“Well, well, well,” he laughs half-heartedly. “I already knew you weren’t as quiet and conservative as I made you out to be, but I didn’t know you were a girl with swift comebacks.”
“I have gnarly skills,” I say with overconfident lameness. I feel his nonverbal tone strengthen a bit as he makes eye contact with me again, this time looking at me with an emotion I can’t fathom. It’s almost like- it’s almost like some sort of respectable admiration.
The film trailer previews end, causing the lights to slowly dimmer until I can only see the outline of Scorpius next to me. The beginning credits of the film start to flicker across the screen. And even in the dark I can see his eyes on me, almost sparkling.
Author's Note - Ahhhh! I'm so excited to bring you guys the next installment of Me versus Everyone :) How did you like it? Any memorable quites? Rose is quite the snarky little woman :P As you can tell, this chapter was insanely long! Hope it made up for the rediculously long wait :( That was definitely not planned.
If you have any suggestions or favorite tidbits, or any grammatical errors HOLY GUACAMOLE, don't hesitate to tell me hahah ^_^
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