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Chapter 8 : Secrets of a Tigress
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Secrets of a Tigress
“When will dad come? Why is it taking him so long?” asked an impatient Lily.
“Patience, Lily. He probably got held up in the investigation. Now, I don’t want you lot bombard Harry and Ron with questions. They will tell us what they can, alright?” said Ginny. They all nodded.
Sometimes it is good to have a father who is famous and important. It also helps if he is the Head of Auror Office. That is why the Weasleys were eagerly waiting in the kitchen for Harry and Ron to arrive home; Lily was pacing impatiently, to the point of annoyance; Tristan, Albus, Rose, Hestia and Roxanne were having a fervent discussion about the ‘Troll Invasion’, as James dubbed it; Fred, James and Louis, being impatient themselves, were thrown out of the kitchen by Grandma; Hugo, being who he was, fell asleep immediately after filling his stomach.
Just then, the lone two hands that were pointing at ‘Work’ moved and joined the others at ‘Home’. At that moment, as a loud crack resonated, and chaos unleashed. Harry and Ron were barely able to open the main door when people fired questions at the tired pair, just as Ginny feared.
Then Grandma yelled, “QUIET!” Everyone froze. “All kids, including Victoire and Dominique, will go to their bedrooms. Now! Fred, James and Louis: No eavesdropping!” Her speech was flowed by a loud groan as, one by one; they marched up the stairs into their rooms. Lily was the last one to leave, after giving a pleading look at her mother.
“Ma, you do know that every single one of them has Extendable Ears, right?” commented George.
“I know. I just wanted the kitchen to be less crowded,” said Grandma Weasley.
Now, that the kids are in bed (or so, the parents are pretending to assume), the rest waited until Harry and Ron were fed, to ask questions.
“Did the kids already get letters from Hogwarts?” asked Harry, as he gobbled down treacle tart. Ginny nodded. Then Harry commented, “That Adrastos is a very efficient bloke. Doesn’t waste time in nonsense.”
“So it was a troll attack?” asked Hermione.
“Yeah,” said Harry, and then continued, “We were going about our usual work day, when Neville contacted us through the DA method. Me and Ron took with us some Aurors and apparated to Three Broomsticks. Once there, we saw Neville waiting for us with broomsticks-”
“You can’t fly to Hogwarts,” interrupted Hermione.
“I know Hermione, but we did!” weighted Ron.
“Somebody tampered with the Defence, Hermione,” said Harry. “But the odd thing is we still couldn’t apparate to Hogwarts. So whoever did this didn’t need to perform Apparition. Also, we believe that the only reason he tampered with our defence is because he needed to transport the trolls into Hogwarts.”
“Wait, so you are saying that somebody flew the trolls into Hogwarts! But that’s impossible!” exclaimed Ginny.
“Yes. Also, it should be noted that the culprit is immensely powerful,” said Harry.
“Because he was able to fly a bunch of trolls?” asked Ginny.
“That to, but mostly because that person was adept enough to tamper only the Defence he needed to be weakened,” said Hermione. “Even the most powerful wizard or witch will have difficulty in tampering with a powerful Defence system, such as Hogwarts’. They would never be able to detect the particular defence that needs to be deactivated. The only the person who knows the exact spell placed, can figure out the anti- spell. In Hogwarts’ case, it would be the spell-caster himself or the Headmaster.”
“Exactly,” said Ron and Harry, simultaneously.
“What are you saying, Hermione? That the Headmaster did this?” asked Angelina.
“Of course not!” gasped Hermione, somewhat embarrassed.
“There is something else,” continued Harry, ignoring Hermione’s accusation. “The new caretaker, Kieran O’Sullivan, saw the trolls enter the dormitories using passwords. No one was there to assist them. Immediately after Neville informed me, I checked to see if anyone was there, you know, invisible. After that I constantly checked to see of any sign of the culprit, but no one was there. ”
There was silence as everyone digested that piece of information.
“Ok, that’s enough of chitchat! You kids can discuss this later. It’s Christmas, for Merlin’s sake!” cried Mrs Weasley.
“Yes, you are right, Mum. I’m bloody tired! Let’s go Hermione,” said Ron, with a yawn.
“That goes for you too, James, Albus and Lily,” yelled Ginny.
There was a huge commotion on the stairs as the whole brood scrambled to get to their designated rooms. Lily yelped when Tristan toppled over her. She lay flat on the landing of the stairs, with Tristan on top of her.
“Uh, sorry Lily,” said Tristan, hastily. He rose and reached his hand out to help Lily up.
“It’s okay. Now, come and let’s go before Grandma comes and kills us,” said Lily, grabbing his hand and running.
“Who would send a bunch of trolls to Hogwarts?” brood Rosie.
“Notice how Slytherin dormitories faced ‘minor damage’, while ours were completely destroyed,” commented James.
“So obviously, it’s a Slytherin. He probably let the trolls damage the Slytherin because he didn’t want to look suspicious. Or because the person had a few enemies in his own house as well. So he let the trolls destroy those people’s dorms,” added Lily.
“Ahan, so it’s Loreli,” said James. Everyone laughed.
“So let’s get the facts straight-”started Rose.
“-Oh give it a rest, Rose. Grandma was right: it’s Christmas! And we get an extra long winter break. Let’s go sledging, mates!” yelled James, as he glided down the hill on his sledge. Fred, Louis, Lily and Roxanne followed.
“Don’t mind him, Rose. Continue,” said Albus. Both Hestia and Tristan nodded in agreement.
Rose sighed, and then said, “No he is right. It is Christmas, so we should stop talking about trolls, for now.”
“Speaking of trolls, I heard from somebody that Malfoy has been writing love poems for a certain t- OUCH!” yelped Tristan, as Albus stepped on his shin.
“-tigress! He meant to say tigress. What happened, Tristan? Oh, sorry didn’t see you there, mate,” said Albus, pretending to be concerned.
Hestia noticed her friend turn red, and smiled knowingly. What she didn’t know, was that Rose received a Christmas present in the form of a poem, which she hid under her pillows. The poem definitely had the word ‘tigress’ in it.
“You know what? James is right! Let’s go sledging, Tristan. Ouch, sorry mate didn’t mean to trip you,” said Albus. He ran down the hill, with a limping Tristan.
“Now that the boys are gone, spill it,” said Hestia.
“What are you talking about?” lied Rose.
“You might be clueless about romance but I’m not.”
“Rose, did you know that I was about to snog your cousin last night, while you came looking for us?” asked Hestia.
“You and Albus?! But....” said an amazed Rose.
“My point exactly. So don’t give the clueless bullocks.”
Rose stared at her friend for a long time before answering, “Scorpius sent me a gift. It’s a poem. About me. He is a good poet, by the way.”
“And? Did he give any letter or anything?”
“Nothing. Just the poem. He didn’t even write his name,” mumbled Rose.
“So how did you know it was Malfoy?” inquired Hestia.
“I can recognize his handwriting,” Rose continued to mumble, going red in the face. “Professor Thorne made us partners once, when Albus was injured in a quidditch match.”
“Wow, Rose. You’ve got it bad,” said Hestia
Rose hesitated for a while, and then she said, “There is something else, Hestia. I’ve never told this to anyone but...”
“But what?” asked Hestia, giving
her full concentration.
“ARE YOU GUYS COMING OR WHAT?” yelled James.
“COMING!” Rose yelled back. Then to Hestia, she said, “We’ll talk later.”
Three years ago...
Rosie loved trips to Hogsmeade. She loved Three Broomsticks,Honeydukes, and every other shop in the village.
As she got out of the Post Office, she thought, I will miss this. She won’t have any more trips until next year. This was her first year of visiting the village, and it was amazing!
The others must have left, she thought. No matter, I’ll just walk alone and enjoy it.
And so she walked along the main street that was now semi-deserted. When she reached the main gate of the village she gave a last peak at the village, and then walked on. What she didn’t notice, was a figure following her in the shadows.
When she reached the shaded pathway that lead to the main entrance of Hogwarts, she heard crunching of footsteps. She turned and saw no one but the empty pathway. She walked on, with her senses alert.
She heard the crunching sound again, but she ignored it. She had to wait for the right moment to catch the culprit. As she walked, she opened her bag to remove an oval shaped mirror. She pretended to fix her hair, all the while searching for the reflection of the stalker. She saw....nothing.
She was concentrating so hard on the mirror, that she did not notice a figure appear in front of her. When she was about to bump into the figure, she finally became conscious of his presence. She looked up.
“Malfoy?!” gasped Rosie.
“Hullo, Rose, “said Malfoy, nervously.
“Were you the one who was following me?” asked Rosie.
“Yes. Sorry for frightening you,” said Malfoy.
“It’s okay,” said Rosie. The she came to her senses. Malfoy never says sorry for doing something wrong, she thought.
“What do you want?” she asked, defiantly.
“I want to talk to you. In private,” murmured Malfoy.
“This place is private,” pointed Rosie.
“Er, yeah you are right,” said Malfoy. He looked around, then hesitated before saying, “I know I have been very mean and rude to you, since we met. But, you must know that, that is what is expected of me.”
As Rosie listened to Malfoy speak, she thought to herself, I do not like where this is going.
“Get to the point,” said Rose, curtly.
“What I want to say is that, maybe you are right. Maybe we should set aside our differences and treat people equally. And...” Malfoy paused, collecting his thought, then continued, “... I want our relationship to start differently. We both know that we have something. Why not explore it?”
His confession was met with silence. Rose stared at him, trying to make sense of what he was saying. Then finally she blurted, “Are you asking me out?”
“Yes,” was Malfoy’s reply.
“Wow. Even when you are asking me out, you sound arrogant,” said Rosie, sarcastically.
“I beg your pardon?” said a confused Malfoy.
“Did you really expect me to say ‘yes’, Malfoy?” ridiculed Rosie. “Your family will disinherit you if start dating a ‘blood traitor’ Weasel’. My Grandpa and my Dad will die of humiliation if I introduce a Malfoy as my boyfriend. You think that we can have a normal relationship, after all you’ve said about my family? You-”
“Enough,” barked Malfoy. “You are such a hypocrite. All these bullshit about people getting second chances! Yet you can’t overlook our past!?”
“Oh please, Malfoy. Stop this charade,” snarled Rosie. “I know that all this nonsense that you have been talking, is all pure lie! You probably have your little minions hiding behind the trees, making fun of me. To you this is all a game!”
“Is that what you think, Rose?” grimaced Malfoy. “Well, I’ve got news for: No one is here. It’s just you, and me. I kind of wish they were here, so people could see who really are and what you really think.”
There was a charged silence, as both Malfoy tried to regain control of his angry. Rosie stared at him coldly, too emotional to retort.
“You know your name suites you well. People assume that you are good and beautiful, and all that; but when they get close to you they see your ugly side, and get pricked. Just like a rose, a hypocrite!” said Malfoy
“At least people know to tread with caution in the presence of a scorpion. No pretence there.” With that, Malfoy turned and walked away. Never glancing back.....
“So... Malfoy already confessed his feelings for you, and you most-harshly turned him down?” asked Hestia, incredulously.
Rose, who was on her bed, mumbled, “Yes.” She stuffed her face into her pillow, so that her friend couldn’t see her humiliated face.
“Rose, may I ask you something?” asked Hestia, calmly.
Rose mumbled something that sounded like ‘ask away’, but Hestia couldn’t be sure as her friend refused to look up.
“ARE YOU MAD!?” yelled Hestia. “What, in the name of Merlin’s pants, possessed you to do such a thing?!”
This time Rose looked up and said, “I was thirteen, Hestia. At that time dating was a foreign concept to me.”
“I had my first kiss when I was thirteen,” retorted Hestia
“Really?” said Rose, with interest. “Who was it?”
“Uh, Harry Macmillian,” said Hestia, momentarily distracted. “Urgh, Rose. That isn’t today’s topic of discussion.”
“Hestia, I thought he was playing a prank on me. By the time I realized he wasn’t, it was too late,” pleaded Rose.
“And you were too proud to apologize,” said Hestia, Rose nodded in agreement. “Oh, Rose. Naive, naive, Rose. There is nothing you can do about it now. You have to forget him.”
“Why?” asked Rose, bewildered.
“Honey, you said it yourself: both your bloodline would make it impossible for you to date him. Also, let’s not forget that he is in a relationship now. With Loreli. She will kill if she finds out about both of you. And, I don’t think that, after you humiliated and insulted him badly, he would want you back. I may not know him as well as you, but I know that a Malfoy never forgets humiliation and is too proud to accept an apology.”
So in other words: I’m screwed, thought Rose.
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