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Chapter 4 : The Exception to the Rules.
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The summer holidays were quiet, and I found myself slightly detached from the rest of the family, spending most of my time in my room, sending owls to all of my friends. I found the time that I spent in the house, with the family depressing. I felt too different from them, as if we had no common ground to walk on.
My mother wasn’t impressed by my friendships. But she was even less impressed by my recent lack of interest for school work. I explained to her time and time again that I wasn’t her. I had just lost interest in working my fingers to the bone. I often told her that I was more interested in Quidditch, but whenever I spoke to her about this, she would just roll her eyes in dismay, telling me that in the future, I would regret not making the effort with school work.
My father remained in quiet indifference. Even though almost five years had passed, he was still plagued with nightmares about Death-Eaters, and his reliance on the sleeping potion had become so severe that he was sleeping very irregular hours. If he was awake during the day, then he could fall asleep at any moment.
Hugo did his best to remain close to me. He was sorted into Gryffindor, and he was just as intelligent as my mother. During the summer holidays, he often came into my room at night and sat at the end of my bed, attempting to make conversation. I never told him, but I appreciated the gesture.
During every summer holiday, I had been invited to Malfoy manor. It was a large place so Scorpius was able to have a large amount of school friends there. It was elegant and was surrounded by elaborate gardens and hundreds of gothic rooms. The Malfoys were kind to me, and both insisted I called them Draco and Astoria rather than Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy. They never questioned my lack of interest for academics. In fact Astoria insisted that she had gained little from academics in her life. She assured me that I should just concentrate on marrying a rich pureblood so that I did not need to work. Although she intended it as a joke, I wondered what that would be like. Astoria had a nice life. She never had any problems, by the seem of things. She always got what she wanted. However, I disliked myself for thinking about it. Sure, being a “trophy wife” would be luxurious, but I wanted to play Quidditch professionally. I was a good keeper and I wanted it to remain that way.
We spent the time that we were at the manor playing Quidditch, or if it was raining, playing Wizard Chess. Scorpius was an only child, so it was strange initially when I was trying to sleep at night. I would often lay awake for a while, listening to the silence. I was expecting to hear something... a distant snore from somewhere in the house, a mouse scurrying along the skirting board.... The noisiest it ever got was when a fox would become brave enough to go near one of the bedroom windows.
Even as we were entering our fifth year, we had not lost enthusiasm for playing Wizard Chess. Astoria laughed at us often, and questioned whether we were actually sixteen years old or not. But, we were fresh out of taking O.W.Ls, so argued that we needed the time to relax. I did not have high hopes for my results. I expected to scrape a pass at all of my subjects, but I did not think that I would receive an Outstanding for anything. Scorpius was, infuriatingly, likely to gain an O in almost everything, however and I often suggested that he should have been a Ravenclaw, not a Slytherin.
I was not at the Weasley household when I received my O.W.Ls. They were delivered to Malfoy Manor. As I received them, I looked down at them guiltily. I knew that my mother would have loved to have watched me open them, and so would my father. But when Scorpius tore the envelope of his own results open and looked at them, I did not hesitate doing the same thing. I looked down at them. I had managed to secure a pass in all lessons, except History of Magic. I had gained an Outstanding in Charms and Exceeds Expectations in Defence Against the Dark Arts. I wasn’t entirely sure why. In fact I was sure that it was mainly based around my family history. I was reasonably pleased with myself. I did not really study for any of the subjects. I had been concentrating on winning the Quidditch Cup for Slytherin. As I folded the parchment and neatly placed the results back into the envelope, I thought once more of my parents. They would want to know.
My mother would have wanted me to do better.
I looked over at Scorpius. His eyes were wide and I watched his eyes slide over the parchment multiple times. I wondered whether something was wrong at this point. Slowly he looked up and a grin spread over his face. He handed me the parchment. It was a smattering of Outstanding, along with an Exceeds Expectations in Charms. I smile at him. He worked incredibly hard for his grades. I was glad that he had received appreciation for them. As I congratulated him, for the first time, I noticed his smile. One side of his mouth was higher than the other side when he smiled, and the corner of his eyes were crinkled slightly. I smiled stupidly back at him, and for the first time, felt my ears and cheeks go pink.
When I finally told my parents of my results, they pretended to be proud of me. They smiled and congratulated me, but I knew that in their minds (especially my mother) that they were noting how I had received the lowest O.W.L results of all of the cousins. I managed to get into many of the N.E.W.T level classes that I wanted to however, so I was content.
It was that year that I gained my first boyfriend. His name was Sebastian Flook, and he was a Muggleborn Ravenclaw. He was also a Quidditch player, like me. He was handsome and charming and the kind of boyfriend that any parent would approve of. I liked him enough to share my first kiss with him. It was not really romantic. We were in the corridor and he walked me to the Slytherin Common Room and I had let him hold my hand. It was cold and clammy, making the experience much less enjoyable than I had imagined it. Once we had stopped outside of the portrait, he looked at me and I returned the stare. Then, he leant forward and closed his eyes, waiting for me to kiss him. I looked around. I would be humiliated if anyone was to see me in this situation.
I couldn’t see anyone. My heart was racing, and I wondered what kind of kiss he was expecting. Realising that I had probably left him waiting too long, I leant forward and kissed his lips. They were cold and damp, and I felt increasingly uncomfortable. Just as I moved forwards, entrance for the common room swung open to reveal a group of younger girls. They began to giggle and wolf whistle. Sebastian attempted to make the kiss deeper, but I felt slightly repulsed and pulled away. As he opened his eyes, a grin spread across his face. It was nothing like the way that Scorpius grinned. It was far less endearing. It faltered when he saw I was not smiling at him back and he asked me what the problem was.
I couldn’t lie to him. I knew I couldn’t. “I...don’t like you as a boyfriend,” I said quickly. I was sure that it was the best way to get the situation over with. Immediately I wished that I could take back what I said. He looked at me, his jaw slightly clenched.
“What do you mean?” He asked. I felt my face go pink.
“I... don’t want to be your girlfriend...” I faltered “sorry?” I offered. I wondered what he was going to do. He looked as if he was going to snap at any second. Then, he turned. I was relieved. I was just about to give the password, when I heard his voice. It was not how I had ever heard it before. It was cold and I could hear dislike in every syllable.
“Typical Slytherin girl. You think you’re God’s gift to the world. You can take all of your money and success and shove it up your Death-Eating backside as far as I’m concerned.” He then turned the corner and vanished from my sight. It took me a second to process what he had said. I could feel my body shaking. If he thought that about Slytherins, then why did he ask me out? I thought to myself. On top of that, he had got the last word. Whilst my common sense was telling me to forget it, my anger was telling me otherwise.
My anger was the stronger entity. I ran down the corridor, and saw him in the distance. I ran to catch up with him. My anger was now at its peak. He was running away from me like a coward.
“OI!” I shouted to get his attention. He stopped and turned to face me. I was angry. So angry, I didn’t care what I said. “If you think that about Slytherins, why did you ask me out anyway?” He looked at me.
He did not reply. I was becoming more and more angry. I wanted him to reply to me. “I know why.” I added. I smirked. I was sure that it was the best way to humiliate him. I was sure that it was the best way to get back at him.
“You wanted to go out with a Slytherin to boost your status, didn’t you? You wanted to get someone like me, so you could hide the fact that you’re a...” I paused. I was so angry. My blood was pumping extremely fast. I felt as though I was about to deliver the blow that would mean I had won the argument “...filthy little Mudblood.” I said it almost in a whisper.
He turned immediately and walked away, and I returned to the Slytherin common room, my entire body still shaking. I decided not to tell Scorpius what I had said. I felt so guilty for saying it. My own mother was a Muggleborn! I had said it to hurt someone. Someone who was already hurt. And I had felt good about saying it at the time.
When Scorpius had found out that I had broken up with Sebastian, he laughed and assured me that I could do better than him. I wondered quietly whether Scorpius was talking about himself. I should have probably asked him. It would probably have resulted in an ultra romantic scene. Or, it could have ruined our friendship. That was something I would never want to do.
The rumours of what I had said spread through the school like wildfire. My family were curious about what I had said. James, Hugo and Albus managed to corner me a few days after the incident. They were understandably livid.
For a second, I wondered whether James was going to hit me. Deep down, I knew he wouldn’t, as he’d never raised a hand to anyone outside of the Quidditch pitch. They pointed out the fact that my own mother was Muggleborn. They pointed out that James’ grandmother was Muggle born. They pointed out that our parent’s friends and brother had been killed in the war to defend Muggleborns. I agreed with them and assured them it wouldn’t happen again. I didn’t really believe it. They let me leave. I wasn’t sure whether they really believed what I told them. It was hard to tell, these days. I hardly ever spoke to them any more, and when I did it was because I was forced to do so in the name of family holidays.
Scorpius quizzed me over what I had said, also. I told him. I couldn’t keep it a secret from him. As I told him, he smirked, as though to say I was a hypocrite for scolding him for using that word. I assured him I didn’t believe it was true. I didn’t believe it... did I?
No, I remember thinking to myself. My mother is the smartest witch I know. If blood supremacy was true, then she would not have been the best in school whilst she was there. She would not be top at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, if that was true. Maybe she was just an exception to the rules? NO. I did not believe in that... Did I?
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