“That’s great… I have to go now… Bye,” and with that, he vanishes out the portrait hole – way past curfew I might add. Dammit, my flattery is getting me nowhere.
The awkwardness of our dorm increases over the next few days. Lara is not talking to Madison. Madison, despite her denials, has decided dating Luke is a good idea after all. Nina is still mad at Roxanne for her outburst on the train. Roxanne is not talking to anyone for no apparent reason. And me… well I’m just in the middle of everything, as per usual.
James is also being a git. There have been some weird rumours about him and a Slytherin girl going around but when I ask him about them he just switches off and his face goes blank. I think he’s been skipping lessons as well. Ginny will not be pleased. He is also adamant that he will not let me back on the team.
Overall, a pretty shit start to the term I think.
“Hey, Rosie,” someone calls. I spin on my heel and pull out my wand.
“Do not call me Rosie!” I scream. Lucy quails at the sight and mutters a swift apology. I shove my wand, somewhat reluctantly, back into the pocket of my robes. “What do you want?”
“Nice to see you too… I was just wondering if you knew what was up with James, he seems really quiet and I’ve heard some pretty weird things…”
“Same, he won’t tell me anything though… and he still won’t let me back on the team.”
“Aw, I’m sure he’ll come around soon.”
“Well he might wanna hurry the hell up!”
“Alright, steady on, where are you going anyway?” she asks looking around her. I had just stepped out of the portrait hole when she yelled for me and since then we had wondered down the corridor to the staircase.
“To see Hagrid.”
“Oh cool, mind if I come with you?”
We walk down to Hagrid hut in near silence, with the occasional bit of gossip thrown in. Luckily, silence with Lucy is not awkward and she listens while I moan about my dorm mates. When we are almost there, I spot a couple of Slytherin boys hovering nearby. One of them sporting a mop of white-blonde hair.
Heart. Beat. Racing.
“Rose,” Lucy calls, waving her hand in front of my face to get my attention. Okay… well maybe I did sort of stop dead in my tracks. “You okay?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” I reply, a little too quickly.
“Right…” I force myself to look away from his heavenly form and back to Lucy; she is giving me that look – the one I seem to be getting a lot lately, the look that says I have officially gone mad. She turns back to Hagrid’s hut. “Hey, is that James?”
And then I snap.
“James you conceited twat!” I yell at him. Jumping, he looks up in shock from where he is sat on the bench next to Hagrid outside his hut. My wand is out and I am running the last few meters towards him.
“Whoa… steady on Rosie-posie!” he squeals, pulling his own wand out just on time to stop my jet of water hitting him square in the face.
“You. Are. The. Most. Annoying. Pig-face. Asshole. In. The. World.” I spit out each word as I try to get past his defences and hit up with something. “First: you kick me off the team. Second: you go all weird on everyone. Third: you won’t let me back on the team. Fourth: you are a cocky bastard. Fifth: I hate you. Seventh-”
“-you missed out sixth-”
“I hate you!” I scream.
“I thought that was fifth…?” he giggles and I pitch a curse at him just as he lets his guard down slightly. Time seems to slow down. James’ eye turn from faintly mocking to utter surprise to sheer pain as my curse collides with his arm. I watch in horror as he falls backwards… Slowly… The sound of him hitting the ground echoes with a resounding thud that seems to deafen me. What have I done?
In the corner of my mind, I register Lucy scream. I blink. And continue blinking. What just happened?
There is a tugging at my shoulder.
“Rose, Rose…!” I think it might be Lucy. “Rose!” Yes, it is Lucy. Blinking again, I see Hagrid gentley picking James of the ground.
“Is he- Is he-” I stutter.
“He’s just unconscious,” Hagrid mutters, cradling my cousin in his arms and turning to take him back up to the castle. “I think you had better come with me…” Lucy grabs my arm and pulls me up the slope behind Hagrid.
“I’m sorry Rose,” Professor Longbottom sighs. “But I have to give you detention; you’ll be serving them with me every Saturday until the end of the year and I’ve had to knock of 50 house points as well… You could have seriously injured James, you’re lucky it only got his arm of it could have been a lot worse.” The way he emphasis the word ‘lot’ sends a shiver down my spine. “He’ll have to stay in the hospital wing for a few days but he should be okay in time for the game…”
“When you say every Saturday… you don’t mean this Saturday, do you?”
“I’m afraid so,” he looks genuinely sorry.
“But Sir that’s the Gryffindor – Slytherin match! I can’t miss that! Evn if I’m not on the team, I still need to be there!” I can feel myself starting to panic – I cannot miss that game, I cannot miss it. It is far too important to miss.
“I’m really sorry Rose, but you just can’t go around cursing people either, even if they are annoying.”
I slump into my seat. This cannot be happening.
“I am truly sorry…” he says again before getting up and leaving me to find my own way out of the Hospital Wing. James is sleeping quietly now, his arm in a sling, strapped to his chest.
Sighing myself, I wonder out into the empty corridor. The portraits glare at me for disturbing their peace as I wander randomly through the castle, not quite ready to go back and face my house mates.
“Oh, sorry,” someone mutters as I turn around a corner and walk straight into them. Oh Merlin – you have really got it in for me today, haven’t you? “Weasley,” he nods at me in recognition. Uh…
“Malfoy,” I nod back at him, trying to bring the butterflies in my stomach under control. “Sorry.”
He moves to the left to let me pass, I mirror his movements accidently so try and move to the right. He does the same. After a couple of goes, he grabs hold of my shoulders – his hands burning holes in my skin – and manoeuvres me to the side. I giggle. No joke. I actually giggle. He raises an eyebrow at me but seems amused rather than freaked out.
“Uh… bye,” he says, letting go of me and turning to carry on down the corridor. When he is out of sight, I turn and bang my head on the cold stone wall. Urgh! My day is just going from bad to worse. That’s the second time I’ve done something embarrassing in front of him
I can hear the cheering of the crowds in the distance. I wonder who they are cheering for.
“Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.” I gabble, hitting my head on the desk where Longbottom has left me to write line – I must not curse arrogant, selfish, stupid, Seventh Years, including my cousin. Don’t ask – Longbottom has a weird sense of humour and he seems to think this will help get some of my anger out as well, I guess he is kind of right.
I look around the empty classroom, yeah: Longbottom left me to watch the game. I must be the only person inside this entire castle right now, except maybe for Flitch and the Librarian… and maybe Pomfrey. Urgh, I hate my life.
Yet another cheer.
I’m just hoping that the noise is for Gryffindor because, despite a part of me wanting them to loose just to prove to James he really does need me, I really, really want Gryffindor to win. House-pride comes before self-pride… in Quidditch at least.
So far, I have written three and a half lines. I have been here for at least forty-five minutes.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. There isn’t actually a clock in here but there really should be, in those muggle films mum lets us watch there is always the ticking of the clock when someone is waiting. Althoug, I’ve never understood why a clock makes those noises anyway. Why not ‘plick, plock’ instead? That sounds much cooler.
Plick. Plock. Plick. Plock.
Come on! Not even my plicking sounds are making my imaginary clock sped up.
Hey – that was a really clock… that was the school clock! Ha, sorry about the five lines Professor but I’m outta here! Grabbing my bag, I hastily shove my quill and ink pot in before legging it out to the front doors. Just as I get there, they burst open from the other side and a tidal wave of students comes pouring in. I get swept up in the crowd as they make their way up the stairs – they must be Gryffindors… and they seem happy.
“Did we win?” I yell at Nina, who is almost getting crushed by the myriad of students. She nods her head enthusiastically. Yes! I whoop in joy as we burst into the common room.
“Hey Rose, you made it through detention okay then?” Lara laughs.
“Yeah, yeah… how was the game?”
“It was amazing!” a little Third Year butts in. “Roxanne was incredible! Her and Malfoy were just like… Well, awesome!” she squeals before running off. Lara shrugs.
“It was okay I guess… we won, in case you hadn’t guessed.”
“I know,” she grins.
“Where is Roxanne anyway?” I ask, peering over the heads of the crowd in search of my cousin. If she was so great, they would be cheering her…
“Dunno, she vanished right after the game.”