Chapter 2 : The Arrivals
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I decided that I better go back to my dorm because Trina would be asleep and awkward questions could be asked if the Slytherin boys were to wake up and I was sharing a bed with my cousin. Questions not worth thinking about *projectile vomits*. So still in my alpaca top, which comes down to my knees by the way, I bundled my uniform up into an easily portable ball which I could tuck under my arm, and stumbled to the stairs still half asleep where I came face-to-face with none other than Scorpius. Those questions were obviously keen to be asked.
"Morning" I said sheepishly not sure if we were holding grudges or not
"What exactly were you..."
"I went top-and-tail with Al because I-I couldn't sleep," this way he wouldn't get all 'be friends!' with me.
"Ah, so that's why you're up early, he stole all the covers didn't he?"
"Yeah, I'm worried that you know that," we laughed and I just felt so relieved
"I just wanted to say that I'm, you know, sorry about what I said" He ran a hand through his hair, which was still white blonde even though it was wet, by hair goes almost brown-ish when it gets wet, I assume he'd just had a shower.
"Really, it's fine, I'll be nice to her, I don't want to fight, I'll make her a god damn cake as long as we're still friends because most of my other friends are family and I don't want to end up like Beatrice Merritt"
"What's wrong with her?"
"Don't act all innocent on me, as if you haven't noticed she only ever hangs out with her brother"
“Well I may have... spotted it.”
We stood at the top of the stairs for what felt like ages, not saying anything in that sort of after argument awkwardness (I did an alliteration!) until I thought it would be best I just left.
“I need to go get ready for school and well… get back before anyone wakes up,” he smiled and nodded politely then we both shuffled a bit as we tried to get past each other.
“See you later”
I went down the steps two at a time, crossing my fingers that the common room would be empty. As soon as I was at the bottom I turned to go up the second spiral staircase, the one leading to the girl’s dormitories, I pushed the door to my room slightly ajar to make sure they were all sleeping. When I was sure they were I pushed it open further and slipped in, slumping down onto my bed and pulling the deep green curtains closed around me. The large cat which was curled up on my pillow stirred, shooting me a look to warn me against disturbing him more.
I hadn’t really thought this far ahead. I guessed there was no point trying to sleep again as I didn’t feel remotely tired anymore, so in stead I unfolded my clothes and got changed, which is easier said then done when you aren’t clever enough to get off your bed.
After several minutes of struggling I found myself in the common room reading my book for history on the second wizarding war, odd seeing my parents name’s crop up, I’m not just reading for fun by the by, I just know for a fact that none of it will sink in during class, there is just something about Professor Binn’s voice that seems to act as a sedative.
I turned from my seat in the corner to see Brittney strolling towards me, I fleetingly wished Karl Creevey was here because I felt I should take I picture or this monumental moment, Brittney, by her self, as in, without Judy.
“The early bird catches the worm,” I said lamely
“Aren’t you just psyched about this whole Triwizard tournament thing? I mean I don’t care how nerdy he is, I would so go out with whoever is the Hogwarts champion”
“What if it’s a girl?”
“Well… yeah… I mean I guess it’s possible, it’s just you know”
I didn’t feel like perusing the matter. I looked down, switching my attention back to my book, only I ended up reading the same line three times and thought it best if I just gave up. I closed my book abruptly causing Brittney to jump slightly. Woops.
“Do you want to watch the other students arrive? The ones from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons I mean, I would go with like Judy but she thinks that the tournament is stupid! Crazy right?
“Really?” So that’s what this is all about, “yeah sure, let’s go”
We walked pretty much in silence, we’d never really spoken as such, like in a conversation sense, so we mainly settled for being extremely British and just made occasional remakes about the weather like ‘it’s quite warm considering how cloudy it is’ and ‘maybe it’ll clear up later’.
“I’m sure it’s going to be sunny, it was cloudy at first yesterday wasn’t it? And it cleared up by about twelvish,” she concluded as it started spitting with rain.
As soon as she led me outdoors I was unsure where we were going, so I just watched where she was walking out of the corner of my eye to try and look normal as well as someone who knows where they’re going. I’ll never know if that’s the impression which I gave off, so I’ll have to take that as a ‘yes’. When we arrived at a huge bridge I’d only ever crossed on one of the Hogsmead trips, I noticed we weren’t actually the only ones there. Several other groups of people stood wrapped up in scarves and huge outer cloaks, speaking in hushed voices like we were in a very strict library, me and Brittney sort of joined onto the end of a group of Ravenclaws.
Just as I began to query whether or not we had got here stupidly early Professor McGonagall marched out, with by the looks of things, the rest of the school in tow.
“See, good thing we got here early, I’d hate to be at the back, you wouldn’t be able to see anything that’s going on,” I agreed as realistically as I could but I felt I would have been a lot happier to have just come out as if that was the case I wouldn’t already be frozen to the bone.
From the large crowd quickly filling the bridge three figures clad in green and silver pushed past the exited students to reach us, Al and Scorpius stood beside me and Judy sort of trotted over to Brittney. Brittney and Judy started twittering away instantly like two highly aggravated birds whilst us three stood, me shivering slightly, Al practically sleep walking and Scorpius glancing around with a bored look in his eye. Eventually he seemed like he’d noticed me as he produced a large text book from under his cloak and he pressed it into my hands.
“How did you know it was mine?” I searched for some enormous pocket to stash it in.
“You’re the only person I know capable of ruining their school books before we’ve even had our first lesson”
“In all fairness the chewed corner wasn’t me”
“Wasn’t it?” He inquired in false surprise
“Oh no, it was me, I got a bit peckish on the-”
Sadly before I had a chance to finish my sarcastic remark there was a collective gasp, everyone’s attention shifted to some point in the distance. Many people began talking, some saying reassuring things (‘no, it can’t possibly be…’), others saying less reassuring things (‘we’re all going to die!’), but surely enough from over the tips of the trees of the forbidden forest a mighty creature flew, as it grew closer you could see it was deep red in colour and a tiny speck of a person sitting on the nape of its neck. The talking grew to shouting as panic rose, everyone turning to their peers to see if they felt as concerned as they did, some even backed away, Al however seemed to wake up and leaned forward eagerly.
“Calm down, I’m sure that our fellow schools are very aware of what dragons are capable of and have therefore taken many measurements to unsure safety, besides some dragons can be tamed believe it or not!” Screeched Professor McGonagall over the calamity, this seemed to settle people slightly.
Soon it was close enough for me to recognise the man that was riding it, I grinned to myself, Uncle Charlie sure knows how to make an entrance.
With a loud echoing crack it landed on the green to the right of the bridge, I tried to see past Hagrid as he waded through the crowd, McGonagall bobbing along beside him. The dragon took a sweeping glance around before releasing a humongous amount of flames from which sprouted a group of people lead by a short stout man which a beard to challenge Hagrid’s. Leaning on a stick like a large twisted branch, he hobbled toward McGonagall, she held out her hand for him to shake, but he instead grabbed her wrist which he shook vigorously with both hands.
“Rorthmm, what an impressive entrance” she welcomed the man curtly as Charlie dismounted the dragon where Hagrid greeted him cheerfully, no doubt questioning him about the dragon; he’s always had a thing for dragons.
Meanwhile, going almost completely unnoticed, a silver dome emerged from the lake below us, like an opaque bubble only it didn’t look as though it could be popped. It moved gracefully from the centre of the water to the bank, although in many aspects less impressive than the dragon, it had an effortless charm. Once it overlapped the land a gigantic woman strode from it, going through its surface in the same manner the Hogwarts ghosts go through walls. Likewise a group of students stepped onto the land, huddled closely together, and with the woman they made their way up the steep slope joining the Durmstrang students. The two very different clusters of pupils looked odd so close, the Beauxbatons were mainly tall and slender, draped in light blue silks, the Durmstrangs were largely built with broad shoulders and dark hair, dressed in thick furs and velvets.
I vaguely saw Professor McGonagall speak to the tall woman, then she was telling us to all head for the main hall. Presently we chose our seats, the Durmstrang pupils clumped around the end of the Gryffindor table, the Beauxbatons the middle of the Ravenclaw table, in all honesty I think they sat with those wearing similar colours to them. Can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same.
“I swear that girl looks just like your cousin” Scorpius pointed with his fork to one of the Beauxbaton girls who I faintly recognised.
“She’s our Auntie’s sister’s daughter,” answered Al, “I’m not sure what that makes her in relation to us, like a distant cousin I guess?”
“Wouldn’t your Auntie’s sister just be an Auntie?”
“Possibly, but she’s not a blood Auntie, she’s married to our Uncle” I felt bad, if Al knows who she is, so should I… I think… we’ve met her once, remember?” No. “Fleur brought her sister over, and her sister brought her” he to pointed to the girl.
“Basically she’s somehow a relation of ours” I concluded
The hall fell silent as Professor McGonagall cleared her throat, her voice magically amplified.
“Welcome, welcome to our visitors,” her eyes moved from the Durmstrang students, to the Beauxbatons, “in case you are not already aware this is Rorthmm, headmaster of the Durmstrang Institute," she waved her arm towards the short bearded man who was seated next to Professor Longbottom, "and this is Madame Maxime, headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic." She waved to her other side this time to where the tall woman sat, her dark eyes fixed on Hagrid, I could have sworn there was something going on between them.
"As you are all fully aware, the Triwizard tournament will be taking place here at Hogwarts this year, but the tournament is not just about winning or showing off, this tournament was made to bring our three schools together, to make friends, and you should all remember this throughout the time we will spend together. This is a dangerous task, people may be injured, some have been killed, of course we are taking many precautions regarding the tasks to try and ensure your safety, but this task is not for those of you who are easily scared. Whoever does win though will be remembered, they will have glory, fame and the Triwizard cup.
"As of tonight the tournament will truly begin, after dinner the goblet of fire will be moved into this room, anyone who wishes to enter must only put a piece of parchment with their name on it into the cup before Tomorrow evening when the champions will be announced.
"We would also like Hogwarts students to be aware pupils from both Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be joining you in your lessons. So now, enjoy your breakfast, and think carefully about whether or not you would like to be a champion."
After breakfast we headed over to transfiguration which we had with the Ravenclaws, the corridors seemed more packed than normal which for some reason annoyed me endlessly, all those happy faces, skipping along from lesson to lesson whilst I got strange looks from people as I did neck exercises (damn my lack of pillow).
Professor Carson sat at her desk, sitting up straight as she adjusted the items on her desk to be completely in line. She's so boring I couldn't help but think her patronus must have been like a plank, or a box. Trina sat with us that lesson, flirting shamelessly with Scorpius as I stayed as distracted as I could with turning objects into rabbits, even my own cousin was now sitting elsewhere chatting to Rachael. My friends were all traitors. I spent the next few lessons similarly, pretending that I was one of those people who do work and such, then on the way into potions I was approached by one of the Durmstrang students, who were in all of our lessons so far because despite them sitting with the Gryffindors at breakfast, they had been sent to attend all of the Slytherins lessons.
"I vas vondering if you vould like to sit vith me this lesson? And of course my friends" he added hastily in his odd accent.
"Do you mind if I sit with those guys this lesson?" You too seem to be having enough fun without me I asked Scorpius who couldn't really say no I guess, and if he did I probably would anyway because me, him and Trina didn't exactly make a great trio.
"Yeah, sure, see you at the end of the lesson to walk to the hall I guess" he sounded surprised. Good.
The Durmstrang boy smiled at me and I followed him to his group of friends who looked very intimidating. He gestured for me to sit down first then he sat next to me. I was the only Hogwarts student on this table. I tried to subtly judge each of the people I was sitting with during Professor Weber's lecture, which was easy as despite its dullness they seemed captivated except the girl to my left. I like this girl. She turned and I was sitting smiling at her. Crap.
"Ummm, hi?" She said, shocking me with her lack-of-accent
"Sorry I was just" why am I apologising? "Never mind. Are you English or can you just speak it really well?"
"I'm English, I was just sent to Durmstrang because my dad didn't really like it here"
"Cool." I wasn't sure what else to say to that
"I'm Vera Robinson"
"Rose Weasley" I held up my hand to shake, then withdrew it because I realised no one our age does that.
The boy who had invited me over, who it turns out is called Matthew, was a bloody potions genius, which was good for me because doing all of those things in other lessons was really starting to take its toll on me (I was a bit tired and hungry) so I let him do most of the work whilst I collected the ingredients and fetched him a spare potions book, basically things that didn't require too much effort or talking because his English was... lacking. I got up to meet Scorpius but he was obviously one step ahead of me because when I turned around he was there, standing directly behind me like an over-bearing parent. I said a quick by to Matthew and made my escape.
"How did you do in that? I didn't even get past step three because when I went to get the Heracleum extract..." the key to a happy friendship is to blank out the boring bits of what they're saying "... it went this odd sort of purple-ish colour so I got Trina to go ask..." unfortunately for me, there are a lot of boring bits in potions talk "... I'm so going to fail me N.E.W.Ts because-"
"Are you going to put your name into the goblet?" I interrupted in a kind sort of a way, well I like to think it seemed kind.
"Are you? Because I will if you do"
"Ah, well that would be pointless because if I put my name in there's no chance you'll get in is there?"
"We'll have to see about that"
"Yeah, we will."
The atmosphere was so much better without Trina, no feeling like a cat fight's about to break out, also the fact I wasn't gagging on the overpowering scent of artificial fruit which she must bathe in or something. On the way out of the dungeons we were stopped by some of the Beauxbaton girls, or rather Scorpius was, they were holding out a map of the castle looking bewildered. I stood for a while letting people past whilst he helped them but I think the subject had changed now, I glanced over my shoulder to glare at the huddle of girls who were giggling even though I know he's not that funny. Hey wait? Is that one my cousin thingy? Bloody cheek if you ask me. My relative and close friend whose name has escaped me, standing there stealing my... him.
"Oi" I nudged him in the back, "feel like leaving, or should I just eat my own hand, I don't want to be an inconvenience"
"Someone jealous of the attention?" He smirked but left with me anyway.
"Piss off." I pushed him with my shoulder, not in the feminine flirty way, the sort that makes people hit the wall, or in his case suit of armour. He steadied it before shoving me back, we did this until I pushed him into a stranger and we agreed to stop, for the safety of the public. We also probably looked like right goons. After some friendly banter over lunch, I mentally decided to sit with him for the rest of today's lessons; I'd sit with Matthew and that lot some time tomorrow but I didn't feel like sitting guiltily not understanding his accent, because that just made me feel bad and if he asked a non yes/no question I was screwed.
After dinner we all gathered in the Gryffindor common room enduring bitch face, I mean Trina's, lecture on how dangerous the Triwizard tournament is. When it was over we had passed enough time to return to the hall, Mrs McGonagall told us to wait half an hour for them to re-arrange the room, pretty much everyone wanted to see who was going to put their name into the goblet. If I put my name in, I am going when there's nobody in there as I get nervous in front of large crowds, another perfectly valid reason why I shouldn't enter.
The hall looked even more bloody massive with the house tables moved, all the attention was focused on the goblet, blue flames crackled and flickered, seemingly matching the ceiling which was imitating the thunder storm outside.
"Ugh" sigh/grunted Al as his brother strode through the door, pushing past everyone crowding around the goblet, "he is such an arrogant ball-bag"
James winked at me as I let out a laugh which I tried (and failed) to cover with a coughing fit. He proudly produced a slip of parchment which he dropped into the flames, which glowed red and crackled more viciously.
After many more people came and went, mainly people I didn't recognise, but yet again I'm not very popular, I returned to the Gryffindor common room. James was stretched across the sofa, attracting a lot of attention from girls who'd seen him put his name in, I pushed myself past them. When I was next to him I leant over so my face was close to his.
"Can I borrow your cloak?" He knew which one I meant and sat up
"I'll explain when there're less peoples about, I won't lose it, promise"
"Fine, and you better"
As I crept from my bed I realised a large fault in my plan, how was I going to get from the Slytherin common room, to the Gryffindor's without being spotted?
I was a very nerdy in the sense that I always followed the school rules, so I got an odd sort of adrenaline rush from getting up at this time, I don't think I got it last time when I went to the boys dorm because I wasn't really doing anything I wasn't supposed to... well I was but it hadn't really occurred to me at the time. When I reached the common room though, I literally almost shat myself at what was there.
"Jesus freakin' Christ!" I screeched
"Sorry mistress, Daisy did not mean to scare her mistress!" The house-elf bowed low its cloth still in hand. I knew house-elves cleaned in here but I'd never seen actually seen one before.
"It's fine, I just didn't know, it's fine" I apologised scurrying out of the room with great speed, there was something very disconcerting about her tennis ball like eyes.
James looked like he'd been knocked out when I got there after having ran the whole way, I dug about in his bag until I felt the cloak. It seemed unsure in substance, between solid and liquid, cool against my skin. I throw it over myself and walked (not ran) to the main hall, but it was not empty.
A figure stood by the goblet, I felt nervous like I might be seen despite the fact I was invisible, that is until he turned. His eyes searched in the darkness for whoever had opened the door but found nothing. I assumed Scorpius had already put his name in because he sat down. Right there on the floor. Feeling a bit like being a creepy stalker I went ahead and sat down opposite him, I wondered whether I shouldn't be watching, or whether I should feel guilty about watching, but it was like when someone rings you in their pocket, you know you shouldn't, but you listen in to their conversation because you're a nosy sod, or rather, I am.
He did nothing, just looked faintly troubled. Maybe I should pat him on the back? Wait no that would probably scare him shitless considering he didn't know I was there. So I just sat until he went to get up, and don't ask me why but I pulled the cloak of and sort of yelled.
It was quite comical the way he fell back down, leaning onto his arms breathing heavily, meanwhile I just grinned at him doing jazz-hands, maybe if I did it for long enough he'd find it funny.
"Doing that doesn't actually make it funny," Damn, there goes my plan, "what the hell was that for anyway? How long have you been there for?"
"Since you sat down" I shrugged
"I didn't follow you or anything, I just came down here to put my name in, I don't want to do it with everyone watching"
"Same" he smiled, phew, I'm off the hook.
It was then I realised I was jealous of Trina. Damn, she knew me better than I did. I watched the shadows of his face flickering with the light, twin fires reflected in his eyes. Suddenly I thought of mum and dad talking about the Yule ball, I heard mum teasing dad saying how jealous he was. I didn't want that to happen to me if he goes with Trina. On the other hand mum and dad ended up married.
"Doyouwanttogottotheyuleballwithme" why Rose, why?
"Go to the Yule ball"
"What even is the Yule ball?" He looked a bit taken-a-back, was that fear in his eyes? Oh no, I was pulling that face he warned me about once 'Rose, when you're angry at yourself, you sort of look like you want to hurt someone' his words echoed around my head. He was so right. Third year him even knows me better than I do. I relaxed my face a bit.
"Mum and dad told me about the last Triwizard tournament when they were tipsy last new year's eve, apparently whenever it's on they have a ball" he thought for a while
"And you want me to go with you?"
"Correct." He shifted his weight from one side to the other. I told my face to relax again. I think I can be very intimidating.
"Well I... suppose..."what do I do? What do I do? He wants to go with someone else.
"You want to go with someone else!" I sounded accusing so I hastily added, "you can if you like," I forced a happy smiley face, "I have many other people to go with! Many of them!"
"Are you OK? You look slightly... psychopathic" the happy look wasn't for me.
"Really it's fine"
The silence was physically painful. He twiddled with his thumbs. Nice one, I thought to myself, I'd only just got rid of the awkwardness between us and BAM!
"I didn't ask because I fancy you or anything..." why did I have to use such an immature term? "I just... bros before hoes you know?"
"That doesn't really work because you're a gi-"
"You know what I mean!" Now I sounded angry. My face was warm. I wanted to hurt something. I stopped relaxing my face because I think it's only fair to let him know how I feel. Humiliated. I stood up, the invisibility cloak still touching the ground from my loose grip. He stood to. I wondered if those moments when people kiss each other when their angry actually happen.
"You need to stop getting so damn angry when things don't go your way! You're acting like a spoilt brat."
"And you're acting like an insensitive pig." When did this turn into an argument?
"Well, I think you should know who I want to go to the Yule ball with. Trina." He spat her name at me.
"You act like that's a punishment for me, but I don't give two shits if you go with her, it's not me who has to listen to her pointless opinions or have her throw herself at me all night."
"And it's not me who has to spend the whole time crying in my dormitory because nobody wants to go with me, and what's more, you deserve it." Oh no, I was so going to cry, I had to get him to leave, there is not a single person who has seen me cry and I'm not going to change that. Crying is weakness. I had to get him to leave.
"You have crossed the line Malfoy. You have bloody crossed it! Leave! Get your stupid pureblood arse out of here!"
Then he did. A small part of me at the back of my head wished he didn't, it wished he'd said sorry, wished he'd put his arm around me as I cried not left. I was so pathetic. Who cries over things like this?
I slipped my name into the goblet and drew the cloak around me. Thank god I could just disappear.
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