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Chapter 6 : The Yule Ball
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"Stop looking at your arse." Trina suggested, interrupting me rudely. I turned around, she had just woken up and was propping herself up on one arm in the hospital bed.
"I do not have a fat arse." I could have apologised but I am self conscious enough as it is and that was a low blow. "And I'll resist from pushing you down stairs again okay?" The damage to her wasn't too bad, and she was taking it considerably well, Madame Pomfrey told me those stairs have a spell on them to stop any serious injuries and that she was overreacting. I even thought I had heard her call her something remarkably like 'pussy' under her breath.
"I can't believe you knocked me unconscious, Scorpius is not going to be happy."
"You always have to bring him into this don't you? Besides, your didn't get knocked unconscious, you fainted." It was fairly lucky for me that Scorpius had gone to bed at the same time as me actually, or he might have seen her appear at the foot of the stairs.
"Because he's mine, and not yours. And so's Matthew now."
"Cool with me." I took the seat by her bed and kneaded my forehead with my finger tips. I wasn't feeling very energetic, I genuinely thought I had killed her at first and I thought about what it would have been like if I had. She used to be my friend.
"Really? You don't care you're going to go to the ball alone?"
"I'm not, I'm going with Karl." She laughed shrilly, "piss off, he's actually very nice. Scorpius has got someone to go with too, although I'd like to take this opportunity to point out he asked me first and I turned him down."
"Changed your mind about Matthew fast enough didn't you?" I sighed because I can never win, I settled with picking some dirt from under my nail and flicking it at her. She didn't seem to notice.
"Everything seems to be in order here, so I'll ship out." I got up and left, giving Trina only just enough time to utter something violent and offensive as I disappeared out the door. Well it also gave me enough time to hear Madame Pomfrey yell at her enthusiastically, she was a down-to-earth person and I could tell she hated people like Trina and had been waiting for an opportunity to pounce, she was no less strict in her old age.
The Yule ball was constantly approaching, the need for me to get a dress niggled at me like a loose tooth, only if it were as easy as a loose tooth I would have yanked it out already. An opportunity relive myself of this ever present burden soon arrived with the approaching Hogsmeade trip (thank god this school has so many of them). Unfortunately Trina was out of the hospital wing for this exact date (coincident?)and I'm sure she wouldn't of her own free will go along with the 'she tripped' story I had told Scorpius when the issue had arisen during lesson.
That morning when I woke up there was an unnatural warmth, when my morning foggy brain had passed away I found that a hot water bottle lay beside me under my covers, nestled in a festive woollen cosy that must have been knitted by the house elves; This wasn't normal even for this stage in the winter. I stumbled out of bed and drew back the thick velvet curtains to reveal a landscape that strongly resembled a blank sheet of paper, the only outlines of objects and buildings were like faint markings, etched on in pencil. I glanced around the dorm smiling, searching for someone to reflect my excitement, but it was empty and the clock on my table revealed we were leaving in ten minutes. Ah.
I joined the queues outside school wearing my Christmassy knitted jumper and my super comfy socks (along with some jeans and shoes, that joke that you just made really wasn't funny. So jog on. God knows you could do with the exercise. Jeez.) my hair scraped back into a bun and an eyeliner in my pocket ready for use later when I wasn't still asleep.
"You feeling better?" Scorpius asked Trina attentively and I braced myself, "I can't believe you fell down the stairs, must've hurt like a bitch."
"Yeah it did." She pinned me down with her racoon eyes. "Accidents happen though right."
"What?!" I blurted unsure why I was the one complaining.
"I may look elegant but I'm actually a huge klutz," she giggled and Scorpius chuckled fondly in a 'you-are-so-cute' way. I'm ungrateful but hey, I'm almost positive she has her own maniacal little reasons for this.
Snow was still falling lightly still and I watched as it caught in his light eyelashes, which framed pale eyes that watched Trina carefully. It settled on his shoulders and Trina caught a flake of it on her finger. They both laughed cutely and she placed her free hand on his shoulder, I could feel myself fading into the background, melting away from either of their attention. I was numb from the cold and I didn't even have the strength to think Trina looked bitchy. She looked pretty. They looked cute. And I looked lonely.
I cocked my head longingly at them, then they both closed their eyes and kissed lightly, their lips barely brushing. Feeling like a creepy watcher I cast my eyes down and shifted my body so I wasn't facing them.
McGonagall called my name and before the crowds began to shuffle along I slipped away, giving myself a good head start so people couldn't even see how far in front I was. My footsteps were evident on the snow covering but if no one knew who they belonged to no harm could be done.
The snow melted on my hands and they felt icy, I wiped them softly on my jumper and tucked them into my pockets. Being sort of emotionally numb was coming to be something I was more and more used to. Or maybe I was just becoming more mature. Lol, I'm just kidding, if that had happened I wouldn't still cry at Bambi and spend hours lining up my dominos. Wait, would I? I hope not, because I always knock the dominos over too early and stomp around in a huff afterwards.
The closer I got to Hogsmeade the more trampled the path became, and when I reached the main road itself it was more of a layer of ice. Regaining my dignity after a major slip-up I hobbled over to the only dress shop I knew.
A small bell chimed as the door swung open so I somehow felt the need to close the door extra carefully and slowly behind me, as to not draw any more attention to myself. The only problem being that there was one plump woman behind the counter who had obviously noticed me, I can see how, she'd have to be blind and deaf not to. No offence to blind deaf people, I just don't think she was, seeing as she was staring at me. And pretty soon she was talking to me.
"Hello, can I help you at all today?" A few strands of her silver hair had escaped her bun and her apron was tightly pinched in at the waist.
"I was hoping for a dress for the Yule Ball, do you have anything like that?" I really didn't have any preferences.
"Put those Triwizard Champions to shame, ay?" She scurried from behind her desk and put the glasses that hung on a chain around her neck on, holding my at arm's length and sizing me up.
"Well, actually I am a Triwizard Champion." I smiled shyly, worried I might come across as big-headed, but I'm risking my life right? I have the right to be proud of it.
"Don't bullshit." She said politely, catching me off guard. Swearing didn't suit her.
"I really am, I was picked from Hogwa-"
"Okay! I believe you!" I felt slightly relaxed until she winked knowingly. I don't look like a champion, but there is no excuse for rudeness. Before I could convince her further she hurried away again, returning from the back room with a long sheet of forget-me-not blue silk. She let go of it when she was near enough to me and it floated across to me, hovering in front of me whilst curtains drew across the shop window and door.
I felt slightly violated when my clothing flew off, I mean no need to brief me or anything. I grabbed the material and held it around myself respectfully whilst my uniform hung in front of me mockingly. Cocky items of clothing are the worst.
The silky material shaped itself perfectly, joining up behind me whilst the excess evaporated off which wasn't too surprising, it felt like a liquid around me, cool, rippling and incomprehensibly soft. Only as one of them quickly dropped its petals did I notice the roses that were entwined around the frame of the shop. The petals were pure white, oddly resembling milk. They drifted to my dress and stuck on, thickly at the top but becoming more scarce towards the bottom of this above knee length dress. Bit slutty for my liking. Lol jks, the sluttier the better, right?
The full length mirror slid out of the corner unexpectedly, halting in front of me showing me my reflection proudly. The woman stood behind it, smiling fondly at her 'work'. She hadn't really done much though had she?
It wasn't as short as it felt (bummer) but it was pretty, white under layers began at about the waist which I hadn't notice appear, but they gave it a nicer shape and less of a I'm-not-wearing-anything feel. Yet I wasn't too comfortable in it.
"Do you have anything else?"
She grimaced. I don't think she liked me anymore.
The material whisked away leaving me awkwardly in my underwear. The woman didn't even avert her eyes, I got the feeling she wanted me to feel uncomfortable. It's annoying how much it worked.
My second material choice was gold. The top half was encrusted with diamonds which stopped at the ribbon around my waist which was tied in a large bow on my back. I shook my head. This continued for almost an hour until I found one I was happy with. I really surprised myself with my choice.
I went back to Hogwarts early with my large back and light purse, where I retired to the library with Perry in my hand. Although I sat down with the sole purpose of researching Hippogriffs, I ended up racing Perry along the table with quiet sound effects. He sure is speedy. Why did I need to know things about Hippogriffs anyway, I rode one in third year, what else do I need to know?
When I'd given up on doing anything I wandered about the empty grounds, everyone was either still in town or in lessons (I wasn't bunking I mean those who are too young to go). There's something satisfactory about being at school out of lessons, like when I'm walking in front of people and I pull faces because they can't see and it's funny. Only I realise there are no similarities between those two things other than they're fun. I'm cool with that.
I could describe the next two weeks in full detail but school is boring and balls are fun (not the first time I've said that, get what I mean) so I'll skip ahead to then. Don't like that? Then stop reading, it's my book.
The lessons on the day of the Yule Ball passed slowly, but when they were over the time for me to prepare went unnaturally fast. Especially since I took a nap. Damn time perception.
I hung my dress up on its hanger in front of the window so the setting sun acted as a backlight, the whole room was tinted in its green haze. I started with a shower because that's just what people do when they get ready for things, or just generally. Showers are good. I also shaved which was alright, minus a few battle wounds.
I dried my hair with a quick spell and wondered briefly what muggles do, and made a note to myself to ask Granddad. He's crazy in the muggle department (that sounds weird. If you thinks so too, piss off you pervert).
I put on some underwear and began battling against my stupid hair whilst considering how, still on the subject of muggles, their invention of the corset was genius. I finally got it into a half up, over one shoulder style, which yes, I had looked up previously how to do. Because I'm a prepared kind of a girl.
Next I tackled my nails (both hand and feet), and somehow I felt that this preparation shouldn't be done alone and wondered where the hell everyone else was. Shitty arse bollocks, was I late? I attempted a spell to do my make-up because I wasn't going to risk doing it by hand, and it turned out quiet well I think. I struggled into my dress and looked at my reflection. Half decent. Finally I clasped on my impulse-buy necklace and slipped into my I-can't-walk-in-these-for-the-love-of-god shoes before rushing down the stairs which gave me a nice natural blush in my unfitness.
I was only out of the common room and I could already hear the noise. Insert string of obscene language here.
I practically ran there and just as I was about to run in, McGonagall stopped me.
"Where have you been?" She scolded but left no room for my reply, "get over there Weasley."
She nudged me over to the side I could make out the faces of Kristine, Trina, Karl, Matthew and someone else, assumedly Kristine's date. He looked French.
"Not much like you to be unreliable." Snarled Trina. I see why she didn't tell Scorpius now. I was in her debt.
"That dress, you look-" Karl stuttered slightly and I bit my lip nervously.
"Beautiful." Finish Matthew.
Shit. Awkward. Don't breathe - it'll make it worse. Karl and Matthew stared each other down, the human equivalent of pissing on their territory, but unfair because of how much shorter Karl was. Kristine looked at me distastefully.
"My mother informed me that ve are related. I should have noticed you are a Veasley. I tend to disassociate myself with them." I could have cried at this tender and magnificent display of family love had it not been so utterly shit. It's alright though, I tend not to associate myself with obnoxious twats either. I apologise for my inappropriate language in this chapter but it is a very stressful time for me which deserves every colourful word the English language can provide to paint an accurate image of my feelings.
I forgot to respond to Kristine because I was so wrapped up in my own little world, but it was okay because McGonagall ushered us into our starting positions and I could have sworn that Karl glanced at Matthew when he put his arm around my waist, and I had to resist asking whether he would rather dance with him.
The silver-white veils that had covered the entrance to the hall drew back, revealing the stunningly decorated hall. Snow poured from the sky, apparently evaporating before it hit anything. The tables which were now carved from ice, had been pushed to the edges of the room, laid with so much food looking at it made me want to dribble. I hope I didn't.
Before the teachers table was some band I knew, but couldn't name (I'm too indie for that mainstream music). Christmas trees, frosted with ice were spotted around, sacks of presents under each one. A massive gramophone in the corner began sicking up some old fashion music to which i was supposed to dance to. I needed to pee.
All six of us walked down the steps and took our places in a clearing the teachers had constructed out of the teenagers. Karl turned to face me and grinned as he place his hand on my waist. I barely noticed because I was preoccupied by feeling how red my face was going from all of the attention, but Karl looked so unbelievably cute in dress robes. I just followed Karl's lead and the dance was over soon enough. When we finished the band began to play and Scorpius came over to talk (to me first, not Trina! Score.) and Judy began flirting hideously with Karl.
"You look..." Scorpius adjusted his hair, "nice."
"Gee whiz! Nice is what I was aiming for!" I said in sarcastic enthusiasm. Nice is one of the limpest complements along with 'suitable' and 'acceptable'.
"Fine, you look alright." I accepted this and moved on. "Aren't you going to talk to Trina?"
"She's a bit busy I think." I swivelled around to see her being crowded by spotty male adolescents as she pushed her way to the band. "Want to go eat?" I loved him so much for suggesting food before dancing.
"You know it."
We were among the first people to go to the food seeing as everyone else was dancing, talking, being social. Each to their own. He didn't eat much, but mostly watched me stuff my face whilst occasionally taking the piss. Then he started looking more thoughtful.
"A penny for your thoughts," I said, only I had no intentions of giving him a penny.
"Say there were two things you wanted to buy, and one you really wanted and one you didn't want so much, but the one you really want you think might break, which one do you buy?" He searched my eyes for the answer and I stumbled on my words, caught off guard by this sudden and irrelevant question.
"Ummm... I guess I'd buy the one I really want, then if it broke I'd buy the other one." I thought it was a fairly straight forward answer but he pondered over it for a while longer.
"You only have enough money for one."
"Oh..." I stared at him for a clue of what this was about but he showed no signs of letting, "I'd get the one I really wanted still. Because otherwise I'd never be satisfied with the other thing, and I'd wonder what would have happened if I had bought the one I wanted." I pursed my lips.
"I think you're right."
"Well thank God we sorted that out." I added, punctuating the full stop with a killer bite of a doughnut.
"I think I'm going to break up with Trina." I chocked on my doughnut for about five minutes when I finally looked up, red faced and crying a bit from the lack of oxygen.
"Because you're the thing I'd rather buy." If that was meant to be cute or romantic he had a weird way of doing it.
"Well you're not buying me any day sunny Jim." He frowned a bit.
"In the context of the analogy I just used."
"Wait, what do you mean you think I might break?"
"I dunno," he chewed his finger a bit, "you're just very on and off."
We sat for a while more and I played with my food like my life depended on it.
"I like you Rose." He said finally. It felt odd that I should feel so uncertain and awkward whilst I could hear hundreds of people enjoying themselves, and especially with the upbeat song the band was playing. I contemplated throwing boiled sweets at them. "I really like you."
"I like you too." I couldn't believe I was thinking it, but I felt bad for Trina. I think deep down she really did like Scorpius for unevil reasons. "So what are you doing over the holidays?" Nice cover up.
"Ummm, I think I'm just doing Christmassy things with my family and stuff," I nodded interestedly as if this were really obscure.
"Oh really, looking forward to doing that?"
"I suppose." I nodded some more like a bobbing dog. "I'm not going to dump Trina tonight, I'll do it tomorrow." Did he not see I didn't want to talk about this?
"That's quite something you've got there."
"What?" Good question.
"Oh nothing... Let's dance!" I jigged about in my seat, moving my arms a bit. "I just love this song! Isn't it great?" I jigged some more, he watched me grumpily unmoving. "God this is a good song. I could listen to it repeatedly for like a year!"
"Rose I know you're not good with these conversations, but you can't avoid seriousness forever."
I toned my 'dancing' down a bit, probably making him uncomfortable with my skill. I cast my eyes down to my tiered dress which was not dissimilar to the one my mum had worn to this very dance. Only mine was far better. A boy from the year above who had came to get a drink threw me an odd look and I faltered to dance at all. The dancing was a stupid idea.
"Do you want to go for a walk?"
Scorpius got up and offered me his hand. I took it purely because sometimes when I eat too much I struggle to get up, okay? We snuck out the hall and the main entrance and we were into the open. It was dangerously dark out and I didn't do anything when he held my hand. It was warm and I was cold. It was still far too quiet for my liking, so I thought on my feet for something cute and witty to say.
"I think I'm going to give birth to a food baby." I finished with the mother of all burps, "that tasted like bananas, which is weird because I haven't eaten a banana in ages!" Bingo, cute and witty.
"You're just lucky it wasn't a fart, mine have been lethal recently, yesterday I made myself gag."
He didn't even respond. Well not straight away.
"You know how you slightly enjoy the smell of your own farts?"
"Well in third year I knew I'd spent too much time with you because you farted and everyone was basically sicking in their mouths, and I enjoyed it slightly."
And that is the moment I knew I loved him.
I didn't even see it coming because we'd walked for a while and the glow from the windows was becoming not enough to see by, but he leant in and kissed me, as sweetly and lovingly as I'd seen him kiss Trina before the Hogsmeade and I felt so happy. I didn't really register the sound of someone else stomping across the dewy grass until I was slapped in the face.
Instantly I thought of Trina, but when I opened my eyes and the adjusted I saw it was the slut Hugo had been kissing.
"Not so much fun when it's this way round... hey, aren't you going out with Trina?" Her face transformed from curious to realisation.
"No don't-" Scorpius raised his hand to stop her but she started to run back to the door, and he was chasing her. I wondered what he'd do if he reached her, surely he wouldn't actually attack her?
I don't know why I didn't move but when I eventually ambled over it was late and not only had the girl found Trina but her and Scorpius were by the stair case arguing. I lingered for a while and listened in.
"-How could you? You know she actually pushed me down the stairs, I only said I fell so you wouldn't be angry, so you would be happy and now you do this? You're such a-" I tuned out again. She did it for him. For a respectable, decent reason. Shit shit shitty bum shit. Now it was him pleading.
"-It's just, I like her, and I'm sorry, but I just think-"
"Don't even think about dumping me! Because you can consider your stupid scrawny arse dumped! There I dumped you! Don't even think about lying to anyone. You've ruined my fucking night Malfoy. You were the only person I trusted not to do this to me! You're just like my dad! Running off with some ugly bimbo!" He tried to talk but she waved it off and marched into the hall crying and went straight for the alcohol.
Scorpius slumped onto the steps and Hugo's girl looked awkward and scampered away. I watched him for a while, not crying but picking at his nails so much I think he drew blood because he took a sharp intake of breath and sucked his finger for a while.
I stepped inside when I couldn't feel my thighs anymore. He didn't acknowledge me when I settled next to him and rested my head on his shoulder.
"Sorry about the bad things I said about Trina, guess there's a lot a don't know."
He turned to look at me so just our foreheads were resting against each other, so close I'm sure I must've been cross-eyed. He shrugged.
"I'm a bad person." He mumbled.
"Nah, you're a good person in bad situations. Happens to the best of us." I worried instantly I had bad breathe like I always do when I speak to near to someone's face. I breathed determinedly through my nose for a bit. I noticed he was doing the same. "The Christmas holidays start next week. You can have a nice time out. And if you need me, I'll come visit."
"For someone with such serious verbal diarrhea, you're every good at comforting."
"Your damn tooting I am."
He sighed and a bit of my hair wafted on the breeze. I remembered why we were sad and felt sad again. That was such an intellectual sentence. There was a while more silence until two giggling people hurried from the hall. I broke away from Scorpius and he fell forward a bit with nothing to rest his head again. It was Al and Ruby. Awww, young love.
"Alright guys," he winked and they both went up the stairs so fast neither of us said anything. Those hip new couples are just too fast for us.
"I know Trina is really upset, and you've only just broken up, but, are we like going out?"
He studied my face slowly.
"You don't know how long I've wanted you to say that."
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