Chapter 3 : The "M" Word.
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I found myself anticipating the day of going back to Hogwarts as much as I had on my first ever day of school. Although, I was not awake as early as I was in September. When we finally got on the almost empty train, I felt a little sad that I would not be using the time to mess around and talk with Scorpius- I was instead talking with Victoire, Dominique, Louis, Fred, Roxanne, James and Albus. I loved them, of course, but to say I was sick of all of them was an understatement.
We all finally split as we got into Hogwarts and I found Scorpius waiting for me at the Slytherin table, along with my other friends. He grinned up at me as I walked over. When I arrived at the table, I pulled him into a hug, and sat down at the space next to him. James had noticed from the Gryffindor table, and wolf whistled. I shook my head at him and turned to Scorpius. “Thank you for the Christmas present!” I said, smiling, “It’s amazing!” I pulled the necklace out from under my top to show him. His face was pink in colour and he shrugged, mumbling something along the lines of “not a problem”.
Scorpius spent almost all night describing to me everything that had happened whilst I was away, which was apparently nothing much. I was sat on one of the sofas in the Slytherin common room, when Scorpius said something. Something he probably shouldn’t have said.
“Oh, and some Mudblood kid tried to duel me on New Years Eve, but Professor Longbottom caught us.”
I looked up suddenly. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that word. I gave him a look to say this. Scorpius raised his eyebrows. “What?” he asked, “it’s not like you’re one, is it? It’s just an expression!” he looked at me curiously. I shrugged. I had only ever heard one person say that before, and that person was my father. He was telling my mother about the trial of a dark wizard. He was telling her what the dark wizard had said at the trial. I remember hearing the word and wondering what it meant. I walked into the room, and asked. I remembered my mother looking at me sadly, coming down to my eye level and saying, “It’s a rude word about Muggle borns. You mustn’t ever say it, ok?”
I looked up at Scorpius again. In all honesty, the word didn’t mean anything to me. It was supposed to be offensive, but it failed to do so. I shrugged and let it go. I was sure that I wouldn’t be going around saying that word, but I could cope with Scorpius saying it. If any of my cousins found out that he had said it- that would be a completely different story.
Over the next few months, I got back into the flow of lessons and homework at Hogwarts. Scorpius excelled at Transfiguration, whereas I was exceptionally average at it. He often helped me with the homework, and rolled his eyes in exasperation when I didn’t understand something. But it didn’t stop me loving Transfiguration as a lesson. I found that I was good at Charms which was a lesson that Scorpius hated passionately. This meant that occasionally, I would have to help him with his homework. I think that because of this, we balanced each other out quite well.
Easter was fast approaching, and a fortnight at home was looming. I was starting to feel down- soon I would be surrounded by a rowdy, talkative family, who had no concept of personal space. However, at the last moment, I received a letter from my mother. She was aware that I was friends with Scorpius, so she invited him to come home with us.
Meeting up with everyone as we got home was strange. It seemed odd for my best friend to be meeting my family- it was like two separate worlds were coming together. He greeted them all with a smile, which the family reciprocated. The journey from the station to home was quiet. I was sure that usually, Hugo would be bombarding me with questions about Hogwarts, and so would my parents. I would expect Scorpius to be speaking about anything also. However, the atmosphere was thick, and it was as though nobody wanted to speak in the car, for fear of upsetting someone else.
My mother insisted that Scorpius would have to sleep in Hugo’s room as there was no room in my own. Scorpius spoke to Hugo politely, however, only engaged in conversation with me. He spoke to my parents to say please and thank you but little else. Somehow, regardless of that I loved the time away from Hogwarts with my best friend. We spent all night discussing random things, and he would often fall asleep at the foot of my bed rather than return to the room where he was supposed to be sleeping. My Mum would then walk into my room in the morning and gasp when she saw the small blonde asleep there.
On one particular night, our conversation came to a natural silence. “Rose? Have you ever looked up your family tree before? There must be loads of powerful witches and wizards related to you?” He asked me. I said no. I honestly had never thought about it before. He seemed surprised. He sat up off of the bed and looked at me in the eyes. “You should look into it! We’ve got loads of famous Malfoys- Brutus Malfoy- he was a famous writer in the sixteen hundreds...” as Scorpius began to tell me about all of his famous ancestors, I privately thought about all of the Death-Eaters who were also related to Scorpius, and it made me feel slightly sick. My father had been turned into a paranoid wreck, unable to sleep without potions because of Death-Eaters, some of which could have been related to the Malfoys in some way. I guiltily pushed it out of my mind.
“Yeah, I’ll look into it when we get back in school,” I told him, yawning. He smiled at me and left the bedroom, to sleep in Hugo’s bedroom. That night, I had a strange dream. I was walking around Hogwarts, and I saw Granddad Weasley walking out of one of the tapestries. He looked at me and pointed to a wall, which was covered in different names. The more I looked at it, the more I became drawn into it, until I was almost fully submerged into the wall... I couldn’t breathe, I began to panic, realising I was about to meet my death, when suddenly, I was woken by my Father, who told me to get dressed, as we were going to be visiting the Burrow.
The inclusion of a member of the Malfoy family must have seemed odd to my Grandparents, however, they did not complain. I spent the morning helping my Grandmother prepare lunch. It was a pretty simple job, as nobody else was planning to arrive; therefore the meal was comparatively smaller than usual. It was a pleasant, all be it quiet meal. After the meal, Scorpius helped me wash up. As he was washing off a plate, he turned to my Granddad and asked why we had to do it like “stupid Muggles” when the adults had magic they could use. I turned pink as soon as he said it and continued to clean the plates. I chanced a look over at the adults. My parents looked stricken, and my mother in particular looked upset. I gave him a stare, and he stuttered slightly. “I...err... didn’t mean it like that,” he said loud enough for everyone to hear, his face pink. I laughed slightly, shaking my head. Of all people he could have said it to, he said it to my Muggle obsessed Granddad. Typical.
Once everyone had settled down, my Granddad walked out of the room. Scorpius nudged me. “Why don’t you follow him? Ask him about your family tree?” He asked. I shrugged. I wasn’t sure whether I should ask him. Scorpius laughed, “Go on, I’ll come with you if you want,” he whispered. I shook my head. I would wait to get back to Hogwarts. Asking about my family tree would exacerbate Scorpius’ gaffe about Muggles.
On the day that we were to return to Hogwarts, my Mother utilised the moments that Scorpius was still asleep in Hugo’s bedroom. “Ready to go back?” she asked me, perching on the side of my bed. I nodded, smiling. Her face had a serious expression on it. “I... don’t quite know how to tell you this, but-” She hesitated, “try and remember that the friends you make this year may not be the best ones...” She looked at me sadly. I was trying to process what she was saying.
“What do you mean?” I asked her, confused.
“Well... don’t look at me like that, Rosie... I just mean... Maybe- maybe Scorpius isn’t the best person for you to be friends with. He seems like a bit of a bad influence.”
I felt my jaw drop. “But, he’s my friend!” I said, stupidly. My mother looked at me sadly. “He’s not a bad influence! Why do you think that?” I asked quickly.
My mother looked at me, her eyes widening. “He...” She trailed off, trying to formulate her words correctly, “he looks at me like his father did when I was at school- as if I’m inferior... Plus, you have hardly spoken anyone except him over the summer holidays...” I tried to push down the anger bubbling in my stomach. I hadn’t noticed any of this. She was lying. Ok, so I hadn’t spoken to the family all the time, but that was hardly a valid reason... I’d never noticed Scorpius looking at my mother as inferior. I was sure it was because of who he was, not how he acted. I forced the anger down, and I looked ahead, calmly.
“Maybe,” I said, “I’ll think about it.” In reality, I knew I wouldn’t. Scorpius was a very good friend to me, and I knew I couldn’t give that up. My mother looked at me and gave me a small smile.
“Good girl,” she said, standing up and leaving the room.
On the journey back to Kings Cross station, I sat in quiet protest. At any opportunity, my mind would replay what my mother had said, making me increasingly irritated. I was speaking to neither my family, nor to Scorpius. The tension in the car was high, and no one knew what was wrong with me, except my mother who kept checking that I was ok. I kissed everyone in the family goodbye and boarded the train still without speaking. I went into an empty compartment, rather than the one full of the extended Weasley family and Scorpius followed. He closed the door behind him and turned to me. “What is the matter with you?” He asked with a concerned look on his face.
I told him what my mother had said, and I could feel my anger rising in me. I resisted the urge to shout. Scorpius could see I was angry. He smiled at me weakly, as I returned to my seat. “Well, you don’t have to be friends with me, if you don’t want to be...” He said, trailing off. I shook my head, and told him that we were going to stay friends. My family had defined who I was for my entire life. It was time to prove that I knew what was best for me.
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