Chapter 12 : Mutiny
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On the morning of Halloween, the night of Witches, Wizards, and Magical Mischief – I was sick over the loo.
“Must have been all those pumpkin pasties”, Chrissy mused from the other side of door. “I told you they smelt like cooked shellfish. Ghastly colour as well-”
I lurched over the bowl again.
“Not to worry. I’ll tell Mr Heaven you can’t make it this evenin-”
“No!” I rasped. “I’ll be fine just…just…get me my toiletry bag”.
Chrissy unlatched the bathroom the door, her fingers pinching her small nose. She thrust the flowery bag at me as I swayed over to the bath, sat on the edge and pulled out a lilac wrapped sweet.
The pretty brunette’s eyes expanded. “Did you flush your morals too?”
I blinked, my eyesight a little blurry. “It will keep the bug away for a few hours”.
Chrissy made a tutting noise.
“It’s not like I’ve used any of their other products”, I croaked. But I knew Chrissy was right. I loathed everything that Weasley Wizard Wheezes stood for and now I was succumbing to their silly mayhem-causing produce.
But. It was Halloween, my only night off.
I popped the sweet past my lips and swallowed.
Chrissy set to work making sure I looked presentable enough. If any of the teachers’ got wind that I was going down with the flu, I’d be strapped to a Hospital Wing bed and probably held for days by the Matron with the questionable mentality.
I looked at mirror as she brushed out my hair. Straggly waves of blonde waved by my cheeks, but as I followed the colour up, I could the vines of red creeping from my roots, slowly tinting the crown of my hair.
Chrissy paused. Her big brush, the back adorned with a mirror, hovered over my head.
“Change it back”.
She stared at the mirror, meeting my gaze. “Red…Rose?” The pun flitted across her lips into a bright white smile.
I nodded. Fifty for devotion, twenty-five for goodwill, a dozen for thanks, two for engagement and single red rose for love. My name represented love. Surely, it had occurred to my parents that if ever were not to fall in love, but end up as some woman with twenty odd cats, the name might serve as being a little sardonic?
But then, that wasn’t exactly true. I’d fallen in love more times than I could count. It wasn’t that I was too shy to act upon any. It was the fact that I never really saw myself on the receiving end of one. I didn't think I was very….lovable. I wasn’t cute, dorky, hot, or the kind of person any boy would want to bring home. I was cold.
A cold red rose.
“Happy Halloween!” Boomed Professor Slughorn, as we piled in from the cold Dungeons into the classroom that smelled like spiced cider, grumbling - the Professors gusto was wasted upon moody adolescents who thought the day should begin after lunch and end before dinner.
“Do you want to work with me today?” Harrison asked, nudging my arm.
My usual absenteeism of partners was usually because other’s slowed my process down. But I quickly came to the conclusion that as Slughorn was currently performing a little jig near his desk as he rifled round for his glasses, serious work would not be on the agenda today.
“Sorry mate”, Harrison said, as Trotter dropped his bag at the sight of me setting up the cauldron. “It’s nothing personal”.
The Ravenclaw huffed and went to sit by Sean Thomas, a presumptuous Gryffindor.
“Right, right, right”, Slughorn said, clapping his hands eagerly “Keeping in spirit with the holiday season, I thought we might concoct a spooky little number, ingeniously named Mortuus Vic. Can-Yes, go ahead Miss Weasley”.
“A ghost potion, Professor. This potion does not kill you, but when taken the consumer takes on a translucent form often mistaken for ghost as they gain the ability to move through solids”.
Whispers stirred through the class.
“The potion itself is relatively easy to brew”, Slughorn continued, holding up a phial of shimmering light blue potion. “But the hurdle where most commonly fall is distancing yourself from your body. Wizards, Witches, even Muggles, find it very difficult cut off themselves off from their emotions, it’s not in our human nature. Which is why, if anyone can manage to create a completely translucent form, I will award them a pair of Chudley Canons tickets, a gift from my dear friend Hilary Higgles”
People were grinning now, exchanging looks of enthusiasm. I reflected on my reason for winning these tickets. Having to sit through a whole Quidditch game would be positively tedious. But Christmas was on the horizon and it was no mean feat when you had to organise twenty-seven presents for different family members. A pair of free Quidditch tickets would be a well received and very cheap way to please my Quidditch infatuated family.
I decided I wanted the tickets.
“The ingredients are on the board, the potions must be brewed in pairs and you must not forge- Mr Malfoy? Is there some sort of problem?”
We all turned round. Looking petulant, the blonde scowled at the Potions Master. “I appear to be absent a partner”, He drawled, glaring at the empty seat next him, as if deliberating of a number of potential torture methods for his sick classmate.
“Not to worry, young sir”, Slughorn said, walking round the desk and patting my shoulder cheerily. “I'm sure Miss Weasley and Mr Cough wouldn’t object to your company”.
I had a number of objections. First and foremost, why Harrison had been declared as some kind of superhero for chest infections.
Malfoy stalked over, banging his bag down on our desk. My hand shot out to steady the wobbling flask.
Harrison shot him a dark look. “Wanna break the whole kit?”
The blonde sneered at the shorter boy, his eyes briefly scanning his short shadowed hair and his stony expression and narrowing slightly on the tough upper bicep. Even though Malfoy would hate to admit it, Harrison Cuffe could probably break his arm.
“So,” Slughorn said, rubbing his hands together, “On your marks, get set, go!”
“I’ll get the ingredients,” Harrison muttered, storming off towards the store cupboard, leaving me and Malfoy alone.
I focussed on setting up the cauldron.
“Sweet dreams, Weasel-bee?”
My eyes darted up. The smirk was so taunting I wanted to rip it off his face and stamp it down with my foot.
“Fine thank you”, I replied coolly. If I was being frank then no, it was not fine. For the last week, I had found myself falling asleep at irregular times, completely mucking up my work schedule.
He began to play with flames, turning it different colours with his wand. “Did you enjoy the sunrise this morning?”
4 am. The tosspot had woken up at 4 am.
“I'm afraid the whimsicalness of it all was a bit wasted on me”, I replied lightly.
An underling smirk flitted to his face. “Is that so?”
“I don’t like morning”, I found myself admitting. “I'm more of a sunset person”.
“Well, well. Weasley. A closet romantic”.
“A sunset does not represent romance, Malfoy”.
“No. If I remember it denotes death”.
“Sacrificing oneself for another? That’s deeper than flowers and candy, Weasel”.
I regarded him reproachfully. “Your view of love is rather distorted”.
“And yours is restrained”, he drawled. “Afraid of going deeper”.
“I wouldn’t want to get stuck in something like that”, I murmured in reply.
The eyebrows drew up and he set the flame to a deep emerald green. “You say that now, but sooner or later Weasel, you’re going to have to step out the shallow end”.
There was a clunking noise, as Harrison came in between us and set down the various bottles and drawstring bags. “That’s everything”.
“You can mince these”, he glared, pushing the jellied dormice towards Malfoy.
We set to work in silence. Harrison stood in between us – an impenetrable wall of steeliness with a small knife, hacking at bits of moon plantation. But as I meandered near the cauldron, I eyed the blonde.
Harrison was my friend, so why was he a wall? Was he there to protect me against the evils of the pureblood Slytherin? No. I wasn’t afraid of Malfoy. I never had been. Merely, wary, watchful and of course, curious.
But it was curiosity that killed the cat.
It wasn’t until the potion had blended into a twinkling light blue that Slughorn appeared.
“How marvellous”, he said approvingly. “Which two will be testing it?”
The blonde spoke up. “As you’ve so graciously allowed me to be your partner, I say it’s only fair you test it”.
As it turned out, Harrison didn't get very far with the potion. The initial transformation was quite remarkable. He started to turn a white ashen and then progressively, finger by finger, he went translucent. I could see the outline of his clothes, but I couldn’t tell the colour of his eyes anymore. He tried to pick up a few things, his fingers passing through the object each time. And then we tried the desk.
“Shit”, he hissed, his hand over mine as we clamped the ice pack against his leg.
I could virtually hear Malfoy’s joy.
“Shut your face Ma-OW! SHIT!”
“Sorry”, I mumbled, releasing some of the pressure.
“Your turn Weasel”, said a lofty voice.
“I’ll take care of it”.
Harrison said something, but I didn't hear. I was too busy avoiding the eyes which bored into the back of my neck making the short whips of hair prickle.
I took the flask and popped it – steam coiled into the air. Closing my eyes I went for what I’d planned. I imagined I was flying. The liquid was so cold it burned my lungs. I took a shuddering gasp, but kept my lids shut. I could feel the potion slip down my throat, pooling at the bottom of my stomach, sinking into the lining and taking form-
I opened my eyes.
Everyone was looking at us. At me. I held up a hand and could see the initial outline of my fingers, the curve of my wrist, but I could also see through my hand, I could see the desk, people’s faces….
“Quite promising, Weasley”, Slughorn breathed, admiring my see-through shape.
Tapping the side of my desk, my fingers fell through the woodwork like I was just an outline of jellied liquid. Other people were beginning to look up now, watching as my body passed through objects. I walked forward, and ended up midway between in the desk, my waist looking like an island.
“Ladies and Gentlemen”, Slughorn beamed, “I think we might just have a winner”.
Going for the kill that was sure to snag me those tickets once and for all, I stepped over to Harrison. He grinned as my hand hovered over his knee and then passed through like a tendril of smoke.
A murmur of appreciation struck the classroom. Triumphant, I turned to my audience, smiling smugly.
“Why do you have to be so bloody good at everything”, Harrison said, a little ruefully.
I glanced at Malfoy. He didn't look enthralled. In fact he looked rather peeved. It made my smile all the haughtier.
“Here”, he growled, flinging the ice pack back at Harrison and stalking past.
The side of his shoulder smacked mine and I fell forward. There was a sudden silence. I slowly rolled over, clutching my upper arm which throbbed heatedly. It was as I looked up at him, from my derogatory position on the stone dungeon floor, I realised what he’d done.
He’d broke the potion. His touch had broke the potion. But most importantly, I wasn’t able to sever my emotions when it came to him.
Harrison hobbled forward, holding out his hand. I stared at it, my bottom lip trembling.
I wanted my Wand. I wanted to curse his hair a violent canary yellow. I wanted to scream at him till my lungs wouldn’t work. I wanted to run.
But Rose Weasley doesn’t run. She’s not allowed to. Like her parents she must keep the façade of normalcy close and a gracious smile closer.
So it was with this gracious smile I took hold of Harrison’s hand and got to my feet. Sniffing, I brushed off my knees began to pack away the cauldron, ignoring all of the whispers, ignoring all of the eyes and ignoring that boy who cost me a lot more than Chudley Canon Tickets.
By the evening feast, everyone knew. The majority couldn’t understand it. Others didn't believe it. A few hopeless romantics in Hufflepuff said it was a realisation of our passionate desires.
James and Albus ushered me outside the Great Hall.
“People are talking!” James’s hissed, throwing a glare at a pair of Slytherin girls who were edging too close to our private conversation underneath the stairwell.
Wasn’t that just the taboo phrase in the clan? People are talking - about Dominique’s sudden disappearance, Fred’s weird outbursts, Hugo’s frequent explosions, James’s playboy life, Albus’s connection with me and only me, Molly’s rather masculine form and Louis’s sexuality?
Whenever people were talking – it was never good.
“And what are people saying?” I snapped, my hands held steady on my hips as I glanced between the set of dashing brothers.
James threw his hands in the air hotly, his handsome features rivalling any actor in despair. “What do you think their saying, Rosie?”
Albus gave his older brother a disapproving look. It was so odd to see such a similar arrangement of features, both with broad cheeks, floppy dark hair, long lean shoulders and protruding chins, seem so diverse merely by a difference in eye colour. And those eyes were a deeper green than I had ever seen them before.
“It could be a lot worse”, Al interjected.
James promptly wacked his brother round the head. “Oh yeah! It could be so much worse than the entire school thinking Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, both accumulated war heroes, have a daughter that is drawling after the son of the bloody Deatheater!”
James’s turned back to me, his eyes wide as he tried to convey the magnitude of the situation. “End it”.
“There’s nothing to end!” I said shrilly. “I am not drawling after Malfoy. I am not doing anything with Malfoy apart from having the occasional, slightly violent encounter, which some might call the agenda of our Prefect Meetings!”
“Then resign”, James stated. “Don’t be Head Girl”.
I began to splutter.
“I did it”, he carried on, oblivious to the anger that was boiling my blood pressure. “Wasn’t that hard. And to be honest, I feel a lot better for it”.
“I am not resigning for doing something I didn't actually do!” I finally spat.
“C’mon Rose! Do you think Uncle Bill really wanted to transfer Dom? Do you think Ted really wanted that massive Wedding and the spread in Witch Weekly? Do you think me and Fred want to go in the Law Enforcement Squad next year!? No. But it’s because we’re the family!”
The family. The saviours of the Wizarding World. Perfect in every way because we had to be.
I looked at Albus. I could see my reflection in his pensive green irises.
“No”, I finally murmured. “This will all die down. There’s no need for me to quit”.
James licked his lips tensely. “And if it doesn’t?”
“It should”, Albus said. “They’re just a bit surprised. You and Malfoy have always hated each other”.
“He hates me”, I corrected automatically.
James’s rolled his eyes. “Not that again”.
I supplied him with a reproving look. “I don’t”.
“Well don’t go bloody flaunting it.” He said quietly, glancing behind us as a few more people entered the Great Hall, conversing loudly. “Everyone should think that you and him don’t get along-”
“-and that you don’t even regard each other as human beings. That’s the way it should be”.
I wrinkled my nose. “Don’t you ever get tired of doing everything the way it should be?”
James’s looked at me blankly. “Not when it comes to family”.
I was glad to join the festivities again. Dodging the hazardous floating pumpkins, I sat back down in my seat next to Chrissy, only to find she had piled a number of different foods on my plate, none of which I particularly cared for.
The brunette was pre-occupied with bat she had coloured pink, attempting to finish off the last touches of colour as it flapped chaotically.
The bat broke free and flailed into a wobbly flight.
“Chrissy, why have you piled my plate with frog fingernails?”
She perfectly pouty lips thinned. I did envy her face. Classically beautiful in every way. But I didn't like the way that beautiful face was poised now. It was the same look she wore when Roxanne had taken away one of her boys.
“I thought you liked them.”
I frowned. “No.”
She shrugged and took out a handful of chocolate from one of the passing pumpkins and spilled it onto her plate. “Pickiness”.
I narrowed my eyes. “Would you care to join me then?”
She glanced at me from under her dark lashes, her eyes mixed with dolefulness and resentment. “Carbs”.
“No sugar”. She popped a piece into her mouth.
“I hardly doubt a fingernail will add any inches to your hips”.
We both glared at each other. Finally Chrissy snatched up a fingernail, stuck her tongue out, placed it on the tip and swallowed. My stomach lurched like it had this morning.
“What’s happened then?”
Dutifully I did the same, glugging it down with lots of pumpkin juice. “Spill”, I commanded.
A petulant Chrissy stuck out her tongue for the second time, with the toenail still stuck to the end.
My eyes widened. “You didn't-”
Placing the fingernail on the edge of my plate, Chrissy glowered and turned her back to me. Confused by her animosity, but not wanting to stir a barney on Halloween, I took a new plate and chunk of blue lasagne and began to converse with Francis.
Madam Wicker didn't look up when I entered the library. Her beak like face was smothered by the dog-eared paperback she was reading, which festooned a scantily clad Wizard on the front, holding a swooning girl close to his rippled chest.
Startled, I realised Haven had got here before me – and I was early.
He shoved his paperwork off the table as I approached.
“Thought I might get a head start”, he smiled, his light blue eyes sparkling in the slightly dimmed light. I noticed his hair wasn’t as dark as I thought it was. It was light blonde – not Malfoy’s platinum shade – but sun bleached. In fact everything about him was very outdoorsy. Those muscles couldn’t just be from playing Quidditch…..
I shook my head absentmindedly and set out the books I had prepared. “I thought we’d start with the topic we covered at the start of term”, I began, pushing the copy of ‘The Darkest and Dangerous’ towards him.
He nodded, flicking through the pages. “I suppose you know quite a lot about all this?”
I froze. Now that, above all things, was taboo. To ask a clan member anything about the Dark Lord our parents had stuffed in the ground was socially improper. We kept too ourselves as the general public well knew and any question about his downfall to any of us, would earn the reporter a steely glare and the famous phrase ‘no comment’.
I dodged the inquiry. “The book is quite insightful”, I stated, resuming he search for my quill and finally pulling it out from the abyss that was my school bag.
Haven sighed, leaning back into his chair, his arms behind his mass of curly hair. “So we begin.”
I started off with some simple knowledge questions. It soon turned out he hadn't been making it up. He really wasn’t very good at History Magic and at one point I found myself asking what O.W.L he’d got, astonished he’d made it into the N.E.W.T class.
“An Acceptable”, he muttered guiltily. “But I kinda think that was down to my girlfriend helping me”.
I began to shuffle papers. The chief thing I knew about Haven was his supposedly tragic relationship with his previous girlfriend. With no hankies or other means of water repellent par from my beloved books, I did not want to start up any possible waterworks.
“Do you know her? Viva Merrigold?”
I gave a sudden bark of laughter. He looked affronted so I turned it into stifled cough. “Yes, I know Merrigold”.
Loud. Vulgar. Wide-hipped. With tear ducts that held more liquid than a camels hump.
“She’s good at studying”, he told me. “Kept me on track”.
I smiled vaguely. Any encouragement would be like taking away the dam.
“You know I still don’t get why we ended”, he abruptly said, leaning back, shaking his head distractedly. “Most guys get ripped for being too sex obsessed and I-”
He broke off, realising what he’d just blurted out and turned a deep, deep, red.
Flummoxed by the awkwardness I began to dip my quill incessantly in the ink pot, wondering if Haven was actually woman with large triceps. By this sudden statement that he preferred ‘taking it slow’, it was quite possible.
“Sorry”, he mumbled.
I took my quill out, ignoring as the ink it was drenched in splattered all over the table. “It’s fine, really”.
I attempted to mop up the ink, only making it worse.
“Here”, he abruptly leaned over, taking out his Wand, poised to come to my rescue.
“No, honestly I ca-”
I found myself tangled in his arms as I struggled to mop up ink and simultaneously save my beloved books. Utterly flummoxed by his closeness I tried to wriggle free, only to jump backwards into his chest when his hand lingered a little too long over my left breast.
So my elbow slipped around the crotch region.
He let out a guttural sound.
“I'm so sorry!” I squeaked, my hand screening mouth.
“It’s fine”, he rasped, his eyes watering as he tried to smile at me.
“Are you sure? Would you like me to get someone?” I turned wildly the only possible source of help being a irritable looking Madam Wicker.
He held up his hand and sat back down, wincing. “I’ll be ok”.
I bit my bottom lip, hiding amusement. There had been something very satisfactory about removing him and his hands away from my body.
History of Magic help my kneazles arse.
“Well, as long as you’re ok”, I said slowly, my fingers itching forwards to pack away my books.
His watering eyes glanced at my wandering fingers. “Yo-You don’t h-have to go”, he said anxiously.
“I think it’s probably best”, I replied, grimacing. “Besides, we did get through a fair bit”.
He nodded, though he seemed unhappy as I pulled all my paperwork together and tucked it away into the appropriate area of my satchel. I hoisted the strap over my shoulder and smiled. “I guess this is-”
“Same time next week?”
My mouth dropped a little. Surely my attack had been forewarning that this would most certainly not be happening again?
I became cross. “I'm afraid I really am quite busy”.
I pursed my lips.
He sighed. “Look Rose, you are the cleverest witch I have ever met. Probably the cleverest person! And I know you probably get fed up of people harking on about it all the time, but you really are, and I really, really need your help. If I don’t pass this I'm not even going to get considered for the Caerphilly Catapults next year. And if I can’t do Quidditch….” He trailed off, his face forming into a dishevel of floppy hair and hopelessness.
I blamed McGonagall for this. Wasn’t it only last year I had proposed that the absence of Quidditch would improve everyone’s studies? The broomstick was becoming like a shrine to those too idle for homework.
My shoulders sagged. “Ok.”
His looked like I’d flipped on a light switch. “Seriously!? That’s great-I mean thanks, thanks so much”. He grinned at me.
The school was wondrously quiet as I headed up to the Ravenclaws Dormitories. Only the tapping of my mary janes against the cold floor could be heard. My pairing and structuring of my private army of Prefects must have been successful. Pleased with my skills as Head Girl, more so than usual after James’s demands for my resignation, I hurried along, looking forward to a comfortable evening in my bed, with a nice paperback and all the left over Halloween Candy that Chrissy and I had nicked from the feast.
It was as I turned down the fourth floor, with a spring in my step, that I heard it.
“Ring a ring o'roses,”
“A pocketful of posies,”
“We all fall down! Ha ha! Oooooo Rosey Posey! Rosey! Rosey!”
Something whooshed past me. I gripped my bag tighter, knowing perfectly well what the poltergeist was aiming for.
Peeves the Poltergeist practically got as much joy out of tormenting me as Malfoy did. My name was a gift for any possible chants or unpleasant jingles that the excuse for a ghost could come up with.
“Rosey Posey, why so lonely?” He cackled. I attempted to ignore him as he floated behind me up the staircase. “Could it be Mallllofy?”
I flew round, my Wand raised in warning.
He began to whizz round, laughing manically. “Rosey lurves Malfoy! Rosey lurves Malfoy! Missed your party invite, posey parasite?”
My eyes narrowed.
The poltergeist tipped his hand to his mouth and then screeched with mirth. “Whoops”.
My mouth became very dry.
Peeves was still humming. “Rosey and Malfoy sitting on the squid, blowing bogeys like-ERRGH!”
My spell had him hooked on to one of the suits of armours held. He struggled fiercely as I approached. “What party?”
I flicked my wand and the spear raised higher. The poltergeist's eyes bulged.
I muttered the counter-charm and headed back down the staircase.
As I hurried through the different floors, it became apparent none of my Prefects were on duty. There was no one stationed at the points I had specified which, I hoped desperately, meant that they were already at this so called party and in the process of shutting it down.
As I arrived in the damp well of a corridor, it appeared that nobody was trying to shut anything down. Two Students, both completely intoxicated, stumbled round, giggling, before bracing themselves against the wall where the Slytherin Dormitory door materialized and heading back into the revelry.
The wand came out and with a determination I thought was probably akin to fighting the second War, I rapped smartly on the blank wall.
“Password?” A snide voice queried.
“I'm Head Girl”.
My jaw clenched. “Head Girl has the right to g-”
I stamped my foot. “Every other portrait has specific orders from McGonagall to allow Head Students-”
“One cannot permit something that has been forbidden”.
“Forbidden by wh-” I broke off as a door suddenly materialized, opened and someone fell flat on their face.
Concerned, I pulled them up, while angling my body in case any unsuspecting substances flying my way.
In a tangle of mousy hair and leaking makeup, Kristen McLaggen staggered to her feet, her cheeks flushed a rosy pink. “Rose!” She pulled her hands away awkwardly.
There was a moment of silence and then I could no longer contain myself.
“Would you mind telling me the password?”
Kristen bit her lip and nodded sheepishly. “It’s pretty lame anyway. Zabini said it was going to be the ‘party of the year’, but everyone is either off their faces, in a closet, or being sick”.
My mouth formed a tight line. “Zabini organised this?”
She gave an unexpected chuckle. “God Rose, you should seriously do a background check before you hire. Zabini is known for pulling stuff like this. He managed to get all the other Prefects on board”.
I went cold. “All the Prefects? Patricia…Francis?”
“All in there. The passwords Carving Knife by the way.” She began to move off. “I’ll see you around I guess”, she smiled.
I was left by myself. My fists balled, I faced the wall.
This was mutiny. My Prefects had revolted against everything I stood for. For what Hogwarts stood for. And in the event of mutiny, one must call in external forces.
A/N: Thanks for the heaps of reviews guys! If you liked Halloween, if you like Rose, if you love Scorpius, then I'm afraid you must leave a note below ;)
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