Chapter One – Fury
The shattering of bone beneath my knuckles feels good. His blood explodes over both of us, soaking my robes as I swing my arm back again. He looks like the coward that he is – hunched up against the wall, shielding himself from my blows without even trying to defend himself.
“Weasley!” Oh Merlin. I think there is actually more surprise in the Headmaster voice than anger but I can tell I am going to be in so much trouble for this – how can I not be? I cannot exactly explain to him why I am pounding Malfoy to pulp, can I? That would just be ridiculous. “Weasley! My office now!” the Headmaster roars when I continue to beat Malfoy senseless. I suddenly find my limbs are restricted and I am unable to move. Damn it.
Once Malfoy has scurried off to the Hospital Wing (to have his nose fixed no doubt) the Headmaster releases the Body Binding Curse and I feel my lungs refill with air before I let out a string of obscenities that would shock even Uncle Ron.
“Miss Weasley! Control yourself!” the Headmaster gasps, entirely shocked at my uncharacteristic display of the Weasley temper: I am normally the quiet, reserved and unobtrusive Weasley. At last I run out of breath. “Follow me,” he gives me a stern look as if expecting me to run off before turning and marching down to the corridor with me following in his wake.
I have never been to the Headmaster’s office before, in fact, I do not really know where it is. He stops in front of a large and fairly ugly stone gargoyle that has pieces chipped off everywhere (but then again so do most status in Hogwarts these days, after all, damage caused by a curse is irrevocable). The Headmaster mutters ‘Tonks’ and the gargoyle begins to move, it reveals a solid stone staircase which spirals upwards when the Headmaster stands on it, I follow his lead and soon find myself in his office. It is very plain, not at all like I imagined it to be but then again our Headmaster is very plain – he is known only as ‘the Headmaster’ and was appointed after McGonagall retired, just appearing out of the blue; no one knows his past history and I swear even the other Professors do not know his name; McGonagall appointed him so everyone trusts him and he has never given anyone reason to doubt him.
“Take a seat,” he indicated to the wooden chair across from his desk, I hesitantly obey him. “Now Miss Weasley, I will not deny that I am exceedingly surprised at your behaviour, I assume that you had a reason for attacking Mr Malfoy and would I be correct that you would rather not discuss it with me?” He peers over his large steel rimmed spectacles, his eyes are murky brown and I feel like they can see right into me… perhaps he was performing Legilimency, is that even legal? Making a mental note to ask Rose about it I nod. “In that case, Miss Weasley, I have no choice but to give you detention – which you will serve with Professor Longbottom – every Sunday until the end of term, I will also deduct 50 house points from Gryffindor. I really do not have any other choice: we cannot allow such behaviour to go unpunished, even for – especially for – a Prefect. I suggest next time you feel the need to vent your anger, Miss Weasley, that you do so outside of the school grounds.” He looks down at his desk and begins shuffling papers; I take this as my cue to leave and back out of the room slowly.
As I escape from the gargoyle I marvel to myself. Detention every Saturday until the end of term… The end of term was only two weeks away, sure the 50 points lost was not great but only two detentions? It seems a bit light, I mean when my brother was at school, he would pull a tiny prank and get a whole month’s worth of detention and here I am, breaking Malfoy’s nose and beating him practically to pulp and I get two, only two, measly little detentions. The Headmaster must have it in for Malfoy or something because this seems a little bit unfair – not that I am complaining of course.
“Roxie, where’ve you been? I’ve been looking all over for you,” Lara runs over to me as I climb through the portrait hole. “Have you heard? Malfoy got beaten up and I mean properly beaten up, there was blood everywhere! A whole trail of it through the corridors, it was disgusting.” She pulls a face. “I wonder who would do that! I mean Malfoy is a complete twat, don’t get me wrong,” she hastens to add on, knowing my dislike for anything ‘Malfoy’. “It just seems a little bit extreme don’t you think?”
“Maybe they had a good reason to do it,” I mutter darkly. Lara Coote may be one of my best friends but right now I need to be alone. “See you in a bit,” I say as I jump up the stairs to our dorms. Luckily she does not follow.
Our dorm is empty – of people at least – clothes, books, quills, parchment, magazines… you name it and they are probably on the floor of our dorm right now. We were never a tidy group but we seem to have gotten progressively worse over the years. I slump down onto my four poster bed and hold my head in my hands. I still cannot believe it. Downstairs, I can hear Lara shouting about something but as I silently thank Merlin she did not follow me up to the dorm, I hear the pounding of footsteps on the stairs. I immediately retract my thanks.
“Roxie! Roxie!” Lara shouts as she slams open the door to our dorm, her face alive with excitement. “It must have been a Gryffindor! The one who beat up Malfoy! It must have been – we have lost fifty points! They must have detentions until the end of the year!” she breathes out, curiosity and excitement fighting for dominance in her face.
“Only until the end of term,” I correct her blandly.
“The end of term? That doesn’t seem very long, are you sure…? How do you know anyway?” she asks in such quick concession I wonder if she actually took a breath between the questions.
“Because I was the one who did it,” I sigh – I am sure it will get around somehow (these things always do), so I might as well tell her now. Lara laughs. She actually laughs; clutching her side and rolling onto her bed. “It is not funny Coote!” I protest which just makes her laugh harder. Not for the first time, I find myself questioning her sanity.
“Sheesh Rox, you really do have your brother’s sense of humour sometimes… Imagine that – Roxanne Weasley, quiet and reserved, beating the brains out of evil Slytherin Malfoy,” she falls back down in hysterics.
“I don’t have to imagine it Lara, I just have to remember it… And trust me: it was not a pretty sight,” I snap. She hiccups slightly and looks at me, somewhat bewildered.
“Are you serious? You actually beat up Malfoy? Merlin’s saggy left-”
“Thank you Lara,” I hold up my hand to stop her from continuing with such obscenities.
“Why?” she whispers in shock.
“I really don’t want to talk about it …”
“Roxanne Hannah Weasley!” Rose’s scream from the common room distracts Lara’s attention. I can hear my cousin’s feet pounding at on the stairs and wonder if there is anywhere I can hide but I am too late, the door flies open once again. “What on earth do you think you were doing? You could have been expelled!” the look of horror on her face is comical.
“Chill, Rose, you sound like you mum,” I grin, trying to avert her attention. She really does though, as much as I love Aunt Hermione, from the stories Uncle Ron tells us, after he has had a little too much firewhiskey, she was a bit of a goody two shoes at school. I mean, I’m never the first one to jump at a chance to break school rules like some of my family, but neither am I as rigid about them as Rose can be.
“Beating up Malfoy?” she screams ignoring me. “Not even James has ever sunken that low! Made his life hell, sure – but never actually physically assaulted him! Have you gone mad! Please tell me you have at least some reason for doing this! Nothing can excuse it but you must have had some provocation!” Trust Rose Weasley to start throwing fancy words around – I understand them of course but there is really no need for them. It will just confuse the likes of Lara, who is currently cowering out of Rose’s line of sight. And Rose is not even yelling at her.
In answer to her question all I can do, is shake my head: I cannot tell her. I cannot tell a soul. Even if it was, in my opinion, a very good reason.
I stretch my legs out under the table kicking Max in the shin, he grins at me. Crap. Now he thinks I want to play footsie. Bless him, Max Jordan has this bizarre crush on me that he doesn’t even try to hide, after five years of it I am kind of use to it and I think he knows nothing will ever happen between us but still, I do not want to play footsie. Retracting my feet, I turn to Professor Zabini; most kids hate Zabini and I can understand why but to be honest I don’t think he is that bad – it makes a change you know, not to be immediately praised because your parents were close to Harry Potter. I know my dad wasn’t even that close but still, as a member of the Weasley family we seem to be connected with the Golden Trio everywhere we go. It is even worse for poor Rose and Al: their parents were actually part of the Trio.
“Today we will be making Amortentia,” Zabini says in his monotonous voice. “Amortentia is a love potion,” several girls break out into giggle and whispers while the boys look uncomfortable, Zabini just talks over them as if preaching to an empty room. “It does not, however, actually produce love, it is simply an illusion that will wear off in time and the victim will be fully aware they have been under the influence of the potion.” He then continues to explain how the potion is made and what ingredients we will need, after writing this down he returns to his desk and begins shuffling papers around – seriously that is all he does: shuffle papers.
Al and I get up to get the ingredients while Rose just stares blankly into space, I wave my hand in front of her face and she jumps. “Please remember Rose, this is just an illusion of love – don’t go feeding it down Creevey’s neck expecting him to fall in love with you because he won’t… and you might even get expelled,” I tease, making her turn a furious shade of red. Professor Creevey is our Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor and he has a mighty fine ass (despite being at least forty) which Rose spends most Defence lessons ogling at. She glares at me, oops, I had forgotten she has still not forgiven me for beating the crap out of Malfoy – who, incidentally, is glaring at me from the other side of the classroom. I cringe slightly when I see him: his face is a mask of black and blue and purple bruises, his nose – although fixed – is swollen, blending in with the heavy black bags under his eyes. Did I really cause that much damage? I am surprised his father hasn’t come complaining that I should be expelled.
I still have not told anyone why I did it.
I begin mixing my potion together and as I watch it simmer, smoke spiralling from the cauldron, I notice a girl at the back of the classroom glance over at our table. She is in Slytherin, her pale skin and black hair are the complete opposite to my milk brown skin and unique hair that hovers somewhere between dark brown and fiery red, but I would still describe her as beautiful, although in a mysterious sort of way. Slytherins normally ignore us Gryffindors and as far as I am aware, she has followed this trend, so why on earth does she keep looking at our table?
“Rose, what’s that girl’s name?” I ask, indicating discreetly to the Slytherin. Rose (forgetting she is mad at me) turns around and stares at the girl in question – it is times like this when I see her father in her.
“Nott, Vivian Nott,” she growls. “Why?”
“Nothing, she just keeps looking over at us is all.” Rose turns to glare at the girl who quickly turns back to her potion – which looks almost done. Rose’s mood progresses downhill from then onwards and I make a mental note not to bring up that girl again, apparently she pisses my cousin off.
“What does your potion smell of Roxie?” Max winks from across the table. “Mine smells of you.” I raise an eyebrow.
“Amortentia smells unique to every person…” explains Rose. “It smells of what they find most attractive-” Max winks at me again “-even if they do not know it themselves.” She sighs; I wonder what hers smells of.
“Well mine smells of… Dad’s shop… Chocolate Frogs… And something else… Kind of musty… I don’t know how to describe it…” I frown – I have definitely smelled that smell before, but… where? “What does yours smell of Al?”
“Nothing,” he says bluntly, turning away. I’d bet my broom that he smelled a girl. Al, or Albus, is a somewhat shy and reserved guy, kind of like me in a way. Rose takes a sniff of hers and goes bright red; making a guttural sound, she knocks over her cauldron and storms out of the room. Wow. I have seen Rose lose her temper before – normally at James or Hugo – but never quite so badly. I whip out my wand to clean up the mess as Zabini clearly is not bothered, he simply tells someone to tell Weasley that she has a detention with him on Sunday.
Al looks glum as he stares into his potion – Al has been looking glum a lot lately and I would not be surprised if the reason was the same girl who I am convinced he smells in his potion. I would help him out, the only problem is: I have no idea who the girl is. Sure, Al has been with a few girls (Lara Coote for example) but he has never had anything serious, he is just like James, his brother – although he would kill me for saying it. Both of them seem incapable of maintaining a relationship for anything over a month. So who on earth could make Al act like this? I have never seen him act so odd before… He must have fallen hard.
Student start filtering out of the classroom after bottling their potions, Max offers to stay and help but I just shoo him on, Al has already vanished and Rose did not come back. Lara and Nina Jones also offer to help but I am fine on my own, preferring a few moments alone with my thoughts. I am curious as to the case of Rose’s outburst but the main question lingering in my thoughts is Al. He is miserable and I want to help him.
After cleaning up Rose’s mess and sorting out my own potion, I am one of the last people to leave the classroom. On my way out I catch a whiff of something… something kind of musty… I spin around to see where the smell comes from and am greeted by an almost empty classroom and one terrified looking Slytherin.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy this story,