Chapter 6 : Pygmy Puff
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“I wonder why Malfoy got sent to see the Head. He must’ve done something really bad,” said Anjali as she dropped some crushed Moonstone powder into her cauldron. It had been twenty minutes since Scorpius was summoned to the Head’s office and Rose, predictably, got full marks on the test.
Rose shrugged. “Maybe.”
“How come you aren’t bothered? Aren’t you two, like, really close friends or something?”
She shrugged again. “Kind of, but not as close as we used to be.”
Anjali nodded understandingly. “He really ought to apologize after making that spectacle at the ball.”
Rose chopped her Ashwinder eggs with a little more force than necessary.
“But seriously, I can’t believe you got detention. Who would’ve thought? I can see it making the front page in the Prophet: Rose Weasley, Hogwarts’ Golden Girl, Gets Detention,” Anjali sniggered.
“It’s not funny!” Rose pouted as she took off her dragon hide gloves. She glared at Professor Totternhoe who was praising Poppy on her potion. “I hate that woman. She is evil.”
“She’s not that bad to people in her own house, such as moi. So, how come you and Malfoy were late?” Anjali asked, wiggling her eyebrows. “Spending a bit of quality time together, were you?”
Rose rolled her eyes. “What is this, twenty questions? I was visiting him in the hospital wing, like he told Totty. Regardless of what he’s done, he’s still my friend and I don’t know about you, but I tend to get worried when my friends are in a coma.”
“You like Malfoy.”
“Wh- what? Don’t be ridiculous.”
Anjali rolled her eyes. “Ooh, delicate topic?”
“No,” Rose replied defiantly, “I’m just saying, I don’t like Scorpius in that way. Never have, never will.”
“Oh okay. So that’s why you’re staring at him right now.”
Rose quickly tore her gaze from the back of Scorpius’ head as he strode from the potions cupboard back to his desk.
“I still can’t believe Thomas Harper did that, though,” pronounced Anjali a few minutes later. “He must really have something against Malfoy, sending a Bludger at him twice! Apparently Flitwick gave him detention for the rest of term.”
Rose nodded and stirred her cauldron until it had a mother-of-pearl sheen and spiralling steam rose from it. She breathed in deeply as the wonderful scents of old books, cinnamon and apple pie engulfed her.
“Wow, Rose, that smells so good! Orange blossom… wet grass… how did you do that?” Anjali stared glumly at her own cauldron filled with dark gloop. “Sometimes I wonder how I even managed to get into this class…”
“I think you need more Ashwinder eggs,” she said, glancing at Anjali’s potion.
“Oh yeah! I forgot about those.” Anjali eagerly added more eggs and her potion soon turned closer to the correct shade. “Huh, turns out I’m not such a Hufflepuff after all.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Oh, you know, Hufflepuffs aren’t exactly intelligent, are they?”
“Yes they are! My cousin Louis is in Hufflepuff and he’s brainier than both his sisters! Er, don’t tell Dom I said that.”
“No offence, but they’re generally kind of boring and good at nothing in particular.”
“Anjali, that’s just not true. Hufflepuffs are friendly, dedicated, loyal, modest and particularly good finders! You are such a judgemental Slytherin sometimes.”
“And you’re such a whiny Gryffindor.”
“But you love me really,” Rose said throwing her arms around her neck. Anjali rolled her eyes again and flipped her sleek black hair over her shoulder.
“The hour is up. Hand in your Amortentia in a flask and once you’ve cleared up your area you may leave,” said Professor Totternhoe in a monotone. She turned her gaze to a group of giggling girls at the back of the classroom and added, “Remember that the use of love potions on other students is not permitted at Hogwarts, and anyone using it will be expelled.”
Rose put her flask on the front desk and turned to leave, but Professor Totternhoe grinned wickedly, exposing her fangs, and called, “Weasley. Don’t forget about detention, and remind Mr Malfoy, won’t you?” Rose nodded and scuttled out of the room.
A whole evening locked in a room with Professor Totternhoe and Scorpius Malfoy? She dreaded Saturday already.
“What the bloody hell! You’ll have to tell Totternhoe you can’t go to her detention,” said Dom as she rushed around the dormitory to find her shoes.
“I can’t. She’s way too scary,” Rose replied timidly.
“Well, you’ll have limited time with Fabian in Hogsmeade, so you’d better make the most of it.”
Rose was sitting on her bed wearing an old pair of jeans and a flowery top. She had spent a good deal of time getting ready that morning. Dom had chased her round the common room trying to force her to wear a dress for over an hour, but eventually gave in when Lizzie took Rose’s side and let her wear what she wanted.
“So, we’re meeting at The Three Broomsticks at three o’clock, right?” she asked, getting up and fetching her bag.
“Yep. Lizzie and I will meet you there.”
She gave Rose a hug and wished her luck before shoving her out of the dormitory.
“Rose?” she heard Lizzie call.
She stuck her head back through the door, “Yes?”
“You forgot your shoes.”
Rose quickly slipped them on before briskly walking to the Entrance Hall to meet Fabian. She suddenly felt nervous. She hoped she wouldn’t do anything stupid or embarrassing as usual.
Fabian was leaning against a wall muttering to himself and looked a little anxious.
“Hi Fabian!” Rose put on a brave face and waved as she walked over to him. He stood up straight and grinned at her.
“You look great!”
“You too,” she smiled back.
They stood there grinning at each other until Fabian said, “Er- shall we go then?”
Rose nodded. They gave Filch their permission slips and walked down the steps.
Fabian reached out and took her hand in his as they followed the rest of the students to Hogsmeade.
“Hehe. I’m holding hands with Fabian Foster,” thought Rose. She grinned smugly as she noticed a couple of girls looking at her enviously. She was usually the one sending covetous glares at other girls. Rose quite enjoyed the change.
“Quite a Quidditch match last weekend, wasn’t it?” Fabian said.
“Yeah, it was close,” replied Rose. “It wasn’t very sportsmanlike of the Beater to attack the Slytherin team afterwards, though.”
“Oh, yeah, that was awful. Thomas, the Beater, is actually a friend of mine. He’s not usually that violent at all… he’s quite quiet. I think he just takes Quidditch too seriously sometimes.”
“It’s just a game, no reason to get aggressive!”
Stop yelling at the guy, you’re on a date with him! she told herself sternly.
“Yeah. He feels really bad about it now, though. Plus, he’s serving detention for ages and he lost his Hogsmeade privileges. This morning he was skulking around the dormitory and he’s probably still there now. So, he’s kind of got his just desserts.”
Rose nodded once.
“I’ve got to give it to Slytherin, though… Malfoy did quite a dive to get the Snitch,” said Fabian.
“Yeah… so have you finished Muggle Studies homework?” she said hastily.
“He didn’t give us any, did he?” Fabian asked, looking confused.
“Oh… right. I forgot.”
She blushed. Fabian gave her a small smile. Knowing that Fabian knew she was blushing made her blush even more. Oh, the cruelty of being pale!
It started drizzling lightly with rain, but Rose was determined to have a good day.
They entered the picturesque little village of Hogsmeade and wandered up the high street, peering into shop windows, still holding hands.
“Is there anywhere in particular you want to go?” Fabian asked.
“Not really. I could do with getting a new quill though; the nib’s a bit dodgy on my current one.”
On the way to Scrivenshaft’s they paused outside Madame Puddifoot’s.
“I hate that tea shop,” Fabian muttered, staring at the building in disgust.
Rose breathed out a sigh of relief. “Thank Merlin. I’ve never been in there myself, but I’ve heard bad things about that place.”
They laughed and Rose told him about her Uncle Harry’s disastrous first date as they reached Scrivenshaft’s Quill Shop.
“I’m gonna go get some ink, see you in a minute,” said Fabian. He wandered off down an isle leaving Rose to browse the quills.
There were big quills, small quills, colourful quills, black quills, spotty quills, stripy quills, fluffy quills and ratty quills. In the end she decided to get a purple one that was on offer.
She looked at the funny shaped ink pots. There was one shaped like a Snitch with fluttery wings that she thought Scorpius might like as a get well present. Well, more like an ‘I’m-glad-you-got-well’ present. It was only a few galleons, so she reached out to get it but her hand bumped into someone else’s.
“Scorpius!” she said, surprised.
“Oh… hi Rose,” he mumbled.
She noticed their hands were still touching and quickly pulled her arm back.
“How come you’re not with Al?”
“I needed some time alone.”
She looked up at him and saw that his eyes were red and puffy and he looked tired.
“Scorp! Why are you crying?”
She put her hands on her hips and looked at him appraisingly. “Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy, your eyes are all glazed over, you look down in the dumps and you have circles under your eyes. Something is up.”
He quickly wiped at his eyes and muttered something about, “hay fever.”
“You’ve never complained of hay fever before.”
He shrugged. “Were you going to buy that ink? I thought you weren’t really into Quidditch.”
“Oh, you take it if you want it.”
“Nah, I was just looking,” he said before waving half-heartedly and leaving the store.
That was weird. Scorpius was usually one of the most animated people she knew. It wasn’t like him to act so forlorn.
“Ready to pay?” Fabian appeared next to her. He held a little bag with Scrivenshaft’s Quills printed on the front.
She nodded and paid for her quill and pot of ink, asking the shop keeper to wrap the ink up as a gift, before following Fabian into the street. They passed Dom, Ethan, Al and Lizzie, the latter looking very giggly walking with Albus Potter. Rose felt bad for Ethan as he was carrying all of Dom’s bags from Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions.
They passed a row of beauty shops and a bunch of fifth years came out of a pharmacy.
“Is it just my imagination or did Professor Wright just walk out of ‘Witches Waxing Parlour’?” chuckled Fabian.
“Oh my gosh, he did!” Rose burst into a fit of giggles. Professor Wright looked rather pleased with himself as he strolled down the street. “I remember in third year I saw Professor Totty coming out of the hairdressing salon and I was so shocked. It’s still weird to think of teachers having a life outside of school.”
They spent the next few hours in Honeydukes, Tomes and Scrolls (Rose loved books), Dominic Maestro’s Music Shop (Fabian loved music) and the Hogsmeade branch of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. The company had been very successful and opened new branches all around Europe since the last Wizarding War.
As they were browsing the products in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes a pink ball of fluff in the WonderWitch section caught Rose’s eye.
“Hello, cutie,” she cooed, stroking its soft fur.
“Ah, you have stumbled across our Pygmy Puffs, I see,” said Uncle George strolling up to her.
“She’s so cute!”
“Yes, they are very popular amongst the young witches.”
“How much is she?”
“How much for me?”
“But I’m family!”
Rose pouted her lips and gave her uncle the puppy dog eyes.
“Please? For me, your loving niece?”
Uncle George sighed. “Fine. You can take her for free, Rosie. But remember to tell all your friends where you got her from!”
“I will Uncle George! Thank you! She’s called Georgie, after you.” She picked Georgie out of her cage and patted her head.
“I’m flattered. And who’s this young gentlemen?” he gestured to Fabian.
“I’m Fabian, sir. Fabian Foster.”
“Ah, well I’m glad my little Rosie has someone special to keep her company,” he winked, causing them both to blush.
Rose grinned and hugged her uncle before she left the shop. If only her father was that easy-going with her having friends-who-were-boys… Roxy was so lucky to have such a tolerant dad. Then again, he’d probably react differently if it were his own daughter. As she walked out the door she heard Uncle George laughing to himself, “I can’t wait till Ron finds out.”
“Shall we go get something to drink in the Three Broomsticks?” asked Rose as they came out of the shop. Georgie was resting on her shoulder, squeaking happily. “I promised my friends we'd meet them there.”
“Yeah, I could really do with a Butterbeer.”
The rain had picked up heavier than before so they were glad to get into the warmth and comfort the Three Broomsticks had to offer.
“Hey Rose! Over here!” called Dom. Rose and Fabian fought their way through the crowd towards her.
She was sitting at a table with Lizzie, Al and Scorpius, who looked strangely disgruntled to see Rose and Fabian holding hands. He didn’t look as if he’d been crying any more though, and he looked happier to be around his friends. She let go of Fabian’s hand and sat down beside Dom.
“I’ll go get our drinks,” said Fabian. “What do you want?”
“Just a Butterbeer, please. Here’s some money.” She tried to pass him her coins but he wouldn’t take them.
“How’s your date going, Rose?” Dom said as soon as Fabian left.
“Really well,” she smiled, conscious that Al and Scorpius were listening in.
“Have you kissed yet?”
Scorpius stiffened. Rose blushed and didn’t answer. She did not want to go into details in front of them, even if all they had done was hold hands, and Dom seemed to catch on to this and asked no further questions.
“Your Pygmy Puff is adorable, Rose!” said Lizzie leaning across the table to stroke her. She hated awkward silences more than anyone and was always quick to end them.
“Thanks, she’s called Georgie. Where’s Ethan, Dom?”
“Oh, I dumped him,” she replied casually, flipping her blonde hair over her shoulder.
“He bored me. He’s good for carrying shopping bags, but he hardly said a word. Plus, I caught him staring at Abigail Millington when we were in Madam Malkin’s. So I told him to get lost just before we came in here.”
“Hey, you can’t really blame the guy,” said Al. “Abigail is not bad to look at.”
The girls rolled their eyes and Lizzie looked a little hurt.
“Too right,” added Scorpius. Rose’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t tell Poppy I said that.”
“Don’t tell me you’re dating that witch?” spat Dom.
“Dom, we’re all witches,” Lizzie pointed out.
“Oh, you know what I mean.”
“No, of course I’m not. She’s just really possessive of me for some reason. Whenever I talk to another girl, she yells at me as if I’m cheating on her or something. It’s kind of creepy.” His gaze rested on Rose. “Especially you, Rose. She hates it if I talk to you.”
Rose raised her eyebrows. “Well then, tell her to leave you alone! She can’t decide who you can and cannot speak with.”
“Believe me, I’ve tried. I think she might be using the Confundus Charm on herself to make her think I like her.”
“What about Scarlett?” Rose couldn’t help but ask. “Are you going out with her?”
Al narrowed his eyes and glared at his best friend, waiting for his answer. Before Scorpius could reply, Fabian arrived back at the table.
“Here’s your drink,” he said, sitting down beside Rose.
She smiled at him and unbolted the lid.
They all chatted for a bit and Rose’s friends got to know Fabian better (apart from Scorpius, who determinedly hummed to himself whenever Fabian started to speak, much to Rose’s chagrin).
“Scorpius, can I have a little chat with you over there?” Rose said through gritted teeth as he hummed to a song by the ‘Weird Brothers’ once again while poor Fabian tried to speak.
“Uh, sure.” He followed Rose away from the table to a more secluded part of the pub.
“What do you think you are playing at?” she hissed once they were out of ear shot. “Embarrassing me like that, in front of my boyfriend!”
His eyes darkened. “Boyfriend,” he spat. “You sure have a bad choice in them.”
Rose was gobsmacked. “What the heck? That’s none of your business! I can date who I like- I don’t need your approval!”
Scorpius rolled his eyes and folded his arms.
“You’re being such a moody arse. Get over yourself!”
“Oh, be quiet, Rose! You have no idea what I’m going through!”
“Then tell me what you’re going through!”
He didn’t answer and looked down at his shoes.
She took a deep breath. “Please, just stop being so rude to him. He’s done nothing to you.”
She turned on her heel and marched back to their table. Scorpius slumped after her moodily.
A while later Dom decided she wanted to visit Uncle George in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and Lizzie said she’d go with her. Al and Scorpius wanted to head back to the castle. So Rose and Fabian resolved to leave the pub too.
For the next hour they just strolled around the village getting to know each other better. Rose learnt many things: Fabian wanted to be in a professional music band when he was older but if that didn’t work out he wanted to become a Healer, he had two little brothers in first year who were twins; one was in Gryffindor and one was in Ravenclaw, his grandfather had died during the First Wizarding War, and he really hated books about vampires (especially sparkly ones). Rose told him all about her family and interests too.
Rose checked her watch; it was twenty past five.
“I guess we’d better head back to castle now. I have detention soon.”
Fabian raised his eyebrows. “Detention? Really? How come?”
“I was late for potions. Honestly, it’s so unfair. You were late for Muggle Studies not long ago, yet you didn’t get punished at all!”
“What can I say, I’m simply charming,” he teased.
They soon arrived back at Hogwarts. When they were about to enter the front doors, Rose thought she could hear someone crying nearby. She hated seeing people upset. She told Fabian to wait in the Entrance Hall for her while she had a look.
She crept around the corner and saw someone with long dark hair sitting on a bench with their back to her, sobbing their heart out. Rose thought it looked an awful lot like her cousin Roxanne, so she tentatively walked over and sat down.
“Roxy?” she whispered, putting her arm round her. “What’s wrong?”
A ghostly pale face snapped up to face her, and it was definitely not Roxy.
“Parkinson?” gasped Rose, removing her arms from her shoulder immediately as if she'd been shocked by lightning.
“What do you want, Weasley?” Poppy snarled, wiping under her eyes where her mascara had run.
“I, er… you were crying.”
“Shut up, this is none of your business!” she yelped. “Just sod off Weasley. Don’t you have studying to do?”
Rose didn’t need to be told twice. She stood up to leave, but hesitated. Poppy looked really upset. Not the usual my-boyfriend-broke-up-with-me upset, but a something-seriously-dreadful-happened upset. Rose wasn’t sure whether to stay put or get the hell out of there. Even though Poppy had been picking on her since first year, she’d never seen her looking so helpless and frail. So she sat back down.
“What’s happened?” she said in a strangled voice.
Poppy turned round to face her. “Nothing you would care about! You’re Rose fricking Weasley, Miss Perfect, the teacher’s pet! You hate me. My life means nothing to you!” she wailed, more tears streaming down her red cheeks. She abruptly stood up from the bench and ran inside the school, leaving Rose sitting there in shock. The only sound that could be heard was Georgie squeaking on her shoulder.
What was it with people crying today?
She noticed Poppy had dropped a letter on the floor by the bench. Rose considered leaving it there… but that would be littering. Poppy said it was none of her business… but it might be about something important. It would be invading Poppy’s privacy… but Rose was really curious.
In the end she decided to pick up the parchment and swiftly pop it in her bag. She could give it back to her later.
When she finally returned to the entrance hall she found Fabian sitting on the bottom step looking a little bored. He looked up when she approached and asked why Poppy Parkinson had just gone running past in tears. Rose shrugged and said she honestly had no idea.
Fabian walked Rose up to Gryffindor tower and turned to face her outside the entrance to the common room.
“Thanks for walking me all the way up here, Fabian. You didn’t have to.”
“Eh, it was no problem. I have to climb a load of stairs any way to get to Ravenclaw tower.”
He started slowly leaning in towards her, and Rose’s eyes almost popped out of their sockets.
“What are you doing?” she blurted.
Fabian jumped back, surprised. “I was just, er, about to, well, to kiss you,” he mumbled. “Is there something wrong?”
“No! No, sorry. Erm, carry on.” She could feel her ears heat up- thank Merlin for long hair.
He gave her a nervous smile which she returned. She hoped her breath smelt alright. What was the last thing she had to eat or drink? Butterbeer… hmm, butterbeer smelt good. She should be alright then. His face inched closer to hers and Rose closed her eyes –
“Ahem. Mr Foster, Miss Weasley, what the devil is going on here?” spoke the irritating voice of Professor Wright as he strolled up towards them. Rose’s eyes flashed open and she sprung back into the wall, banging her head in the process.
“Nothing,” they said together.
He raised his eyebrows and stared at them for a while. There was a long silence until finally he puckered his lips and carried on down the corridor.
“Honestly, I think that man might be the bane of my existence,” muttered Rose looking down and shuffling her feet. Fabian chuckled gently.
“I heard that,” Professor Wright called over his shoulder.
Fabian tilted her chin up and once she was looking at him he kissed her. Her eyes fluttered shut instinctively. It was a short and gentle kiss which left Rose smiling giddily.
However she couldn’t help but notice how there was no spark, how she wasn’t in euphoria or bliss like Dom always rambled on about. Maybe she was just overthinking it. The spark stuff was probably just a myth anyway.
They broke apart when they heard Professor Wright clapping. The sneaky old fool had crept back to watch them! Rose’s cheeks heated up. Great, now she resembled a tomato. They gave him a pointed look and he took the hint and left them alone again.
Rose turned back to Fabian and squeezed his hand. “Today was really fun.”
“Yeah it was, we’ll have to do it again sometime. I’ll see you soon?”
“Definitely,” Rose said. She reached up on her tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek. He turned around to leave. As he was about to turn a corner he turned back around and waved before going out of sight.
Rose leaned back against the wall and slid down against it and sighed. That hadn’t gone too badly. But it hadn’t felt perfect like she’d expected it to…
“Ow!!” she yelped. Someone had stepped out of the portrait and stood on her head.
“Bloody hell! Rosie?” said Hugo, her fifteen-year-old brother.
She looked up and him and gave him a small smile. He watched as she slowly stood back up.
He suddenly looked furious. “Who did this to you?? I’ll kill them! Give me the name, Rose, and they’ll never see daylight again, I assure you!”
“No one did anything to me, Hugh,” Rose held back a laugh. “Don’t worry about it.”
“Alright, but if anyone does do anything… you know where to find me.”
“I got it, Hugo, thanks.”
He nodded and walked off. Rose loved having a protective little brother.
With a sigh she sunk back down the wall again, a little further away from the portrait this time in case someone else stood on her head, and tried to sort out her muddled mind.
A few minutes later Lizzie and Dom came up the stairs and approached her.
“Rose? Aren’t you meant to be in detention?”
It was times like these when Rose wished whoever made up the rule about no apparating within Hogwarts would be hit on the back of the head with a broomstick.
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