Chapter 12 : Love rule #11.2
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I refrained from banging my head against the locked door, at least thankful to any god listening that I still had my re-filling glass of champagne.
After taking out my wand and trying spell after spell against the lock, I grudgingly admitted that perhaps Hermione Weasley truly was the greatest witch of her age, even if she did refuse to accio the bloody box of damn tissues. I finally gave up on the door with a great sigh, turning around and sliding to the floor.
“Lucky your nana is a cleaning freak,” Sophie said, surveying the clean bathroom, and there was a silence.
“This is really awkward,” Albus said, and I threw the doorstop at him. He wasn’t helping the situation. It bounced off his head and hit Callie, and I couldn’t help but giggle at their shocked faces.
Then, they relaxed and smiled, but everything was still tense and awkward. Jake was sitting directly opposite me, shoulders hunched.
“I think we all know why we’re in here,” Callie said, but Hugo shook his head.
“Me and Kayla have nothing to do with this. Hell, I doubt she even knows any of your names!” he protested, and we three girls snorted before staring at each other in surprise.
Don’t get too comfortable Rose. A few shared moments doesn’t mean anything is forgiven.
Yeah, right,” Sophie muttered, and Hugo frowned.
“What are they talking about, Kayla?” he asked, and she didn’t meet his eyes. As he opened his mouth to say something, Jake blurted out, “Rose I’m so sorry for what I said to you, and for not trusting you.”
He turned red and looked back at the tiles in front of him. I just shook my head, not ready to let him off that easily.
“I’m sorry for getting angry at you at Mungo’s, especially when you dad was in the bed next to us,” Callie grudgingly muttered, “I was just so worried about you, Rose. Look how skinny you’re getting!”
“I’m sorry for yelling at you at the lake, and calling you childish. Even if you did throw sand at me,” Albus said, meeting my eyes. Merlin, I’ve missed him.
“I’m sorry for kissing Malfoy and letting you see it,” Sophie piped up, and everyone stared at her.
“You did what?” Freddie hissed, looking shocked. Sophie’s eyes filled with tears.
“It didn’t mean anything,” she said, gazing at Freddie. Her heart was on her sleeve, and I was even more confused as to why she kissed Scorpius. Albus obviously shared my concerns.
“So you guys snogged because why, exactly?”
Sophie didn’t say anything, but just looked at Scorpius. He turned uncharacteristically pink, and despite the situation I giggled softly. Whoever knew a Malfoy could be embarrassed?
“We were helping each other,” he muttered, and Freddie laughed bitterly.
“Helping you? Merlin, Scorp – the world knows I’m in love with Sophie. You’re my best mate, how could you go behind my back – all our backs - and do that?” he hissed.
Sophie’s eyes grew round, and she stared at Freddie.
“You – you what?” she asked in a trembling voice, eyes flashing - in anger. to my surprise. "You hook up with other girls at parties and still think everyone knows you love me? That's news to me." Freddie flushed and threw a sheepish look at her.
“Well, I-" but he was interrupted by Albus who was still looking at Scorpius.
“Helping each other with what, Scorpius?” he asked with a frown.
“Helping each other to see if we could get over... respective people,” he muttered. Everyone elses’ confusion seemingly disappeared, and even Freddie looked pacified. However, my confusion only deepened - I figured that Sophie wanted to get over Freddie-the-brainless-player, but who did Scorpius want to get over? And how exactly was kissing each other going to help?
“This is great and all, but me and Kayla don’t need to hear any of this lovey-dovey bullocks,” Hugo’s loud voice interrupted, and I sighed.
“I can’t believe you’re still with her,” Callie said, staring the smaller girl down.
“Don’t speak to her like that!” Hugo yelled, and even Sophie rolled her eyes this time.
“Are you going to tell him, or do you want us to?” she asked Kayla, almost kindly. I noticed the mean gleam in her eyes however.
“I- I – I don’t want-“ the girl stuttered, and I was sick of listening to it. How dare she stand there, leading my brother on and pretending to be perfect.
“It was me who hexed her, Hugo,” I said loudly. The room went silent – none of the boys knew that little tidbit of information.
“What?” Hugo asked, deceptively quiet.
“It was me. That girl is a lying, creepy little bint who-“
“Shut up, Rose!” Hugo exploded, whipping his wand out. I sighed and rubbed my eyes, careful to not smudge any make up.
I took a fortifying gulp of champagne and said, “I found her in a broom closet with another guy.”
“Stop lying to me! You’re a horrible person, Rose Weasley! I hate you,” he screamed at me, throwing daggers into my heart with his words, “You lie about everything! You still haven’t even said where you were the week Dad got sick.”
At those words, everyone nodded in agreement. Hey, we were meant to be taking the little bint down! Kayla looked smug, and I gazed at her flatly until she turned pale and gulped.
“Fine! I was in my room, okay?” I finally said, and was met with raised eyebrows and eye rolls.
“See what I mean, guys? She’s full of crap,” Hugo said bitterly, still red in the face.
“I’ll take a truth veritaserum and repeat those words,” I said quietly, “After Albus finished tearing down every ounce of self-confidence that I had left-“ he at least looked a bit ashamed at that – “I went up to my room. Scorpius saw me when I walked through the common room. I didn’t get out of bed for four days.”
There was silence as Scorpius nodded in confirmation, and I continued. “None of you even came to check on me. Sure, you sent me a single letter each, but that was it. There was no knock on my door, no checking to see if I was still alive. I get that I don’t matter to anyone, but it still hurt.”
“But – but why would you do that?” Callie asked, for once looking unsure.
“Because I couldn’t see any point in getting out of bed and going to class. I still don’t see the point.”
There was more silence.
“I can’t believe that Rose Weasley doesn’t see the point of getting out of bed in the morning,” Albus said, looking aghast. I shrugged, embarrassed to have said so much. Hugo was gazing at me, but I ignored him.
“I’m sorry I took that tosser to the Halloween party,” Sophie said to Freddie, who smiled adoringly at her.
“I wanted to shove his head into a cauldron of whatever potion I could get my hands on,” he replied, still smiling – it was rather off-putting.
“Wait, what about her!” Callie said, pointing at Kayla. Hugo was instantly angry again, and I took a sip of champagne.
“She wouldn’t do that to me,” he said, and Kayla at least had the good sense to look ashamed.
“Why don’t you listen to me, Hugo? She’s a cheater!” I yelled, temper finally snapping.
“You always want to believe the worst in people, Rose. You don’t want anyone to be better than you! Kayla wouldn’t do something like that!” he yelled back.
“Actually, she’s right. I was in a broom closest with Nelson Carter, and she sprung us. The bitch put that hex on me,” the girl finally said, and everyone stared at her. What a nasty piece of work.
“But – but-“ Hugo stuttered, the truth finally getting to him. Instead of getting angry at the right person, he rounded on me again. “You still lied to me! Every single day when I asked about the hex, you said you didn’t know anything. It was you all along! I don’t even know you anymore, and you’re meant to be my sister,” he said bitterly.
“Hang on, shouldn’t you be angry at her?” Sophie said, glaring at Kayla. The girl shrank back and pretended to be invisible.
Rolling my eyes, I cast a silencing spell on Kayla so we could effectively ignore her for however long it took to sort this mess out. Hugo opened his mouth to yell some more, but I cast the same spell on him too. He glared at me and crossed his arms. I could practically hear his silent “Hmph!” as he settled back to watch the proceedings. Their part in this was over.
“I think it’s time to address the big blue elephant standing in the corner,” I said, looking pointedly at Callie and Albus’ intertwined fingers.
They both flushed, and I, feeling emboldened by my handy glass of refilling champagne, said, “They’re lying to all of you. They’re only dating to make Sophie jealous.”
“Huh? Why would I be jealous? I don’t even like Albus,” Sophie said, looking confused.
“Yes, and that’s why it’s the stupidest idea I’ve heard in my life,” I said, glaring at Albus.
“Shut up, Rose. Sophie would have come round eventually if you hadn’t fucked everything up,” he said, all previous apologies thrown out the window.
Freddie frowned, and Callie looked hurt.
“Sophie is mine, jackass. Everyone knows that. Besides, that's actually the dumbest idea in the world. How exactly was it going to work?” he said, glaring at Albus.
“Hang on, no one owns me! Espcially not you, Freddie! I spent the whole year liking you and you never did anything!" Sophie protested, and Freddie rolled his eyes.
"Well it takes two to make a relationship, Soph. You could have said something to me."
Everyone ignored them and looked back at Albus and Callie.
“What about me!” Callie cried, looking at Albus with wounded eyes. Al looked uncomfortable, letting go of her hand.
Callie’s mouth dropped open, and she turned pale.
“You knew what you were agreeing to,” he said awkwardly, not meeting her eyes. Callie started crying, which I think shocked me more than Al’s cold brutality – Callista Mays never cries.
“You jerk,” Sophie said coldly, “I would never love someone who would use my best friend like that.”
And for an instant, we were all united with our mutual dislike of my idiot cousin. Really, couldn't he see that neither of them were pretending to be in love anymore, but actually truly were?
Albus looked lost for words, but then rounded on Scorpius.
“You!” he yelled, and the blonde raised an eyebrow. I drained my glass and sat back to watch the proceedings. Callie was still crying, but I couldn’t help think, told you so - because I did.
As if she sensed my thoughts, the taller blonde girl narrowed her still-leaking eyes at me, and with a sigh I knew my part in this wasn’t over.
“If you had just told Rose in the first place, none of this would be happening!” Al was yelling at the seemingly-blameless Scorpius. Malfoy sighed, looking uncomfortable.
“Told Rose what?” I asked, but was ignored by all.
“If you grew some balls, Jake wouldn’t have even been on the scene,” Al continued to yell.
“Leave him alone, Al. You’ve already done enough damage today,” I said.
“Of course you would defend him, Rose!”
“What’s that meant to mean?”
“The whole world knows that you two are destined for each other. If you just stop being so stupid, all of this could end and life would go on!” he yelled, not making any sense.
Malfoy met my eyes, looking nervous. I rolled my eyes at Albus, shaking my head.
“How many times do I have to tell you, Scorpius and I will never be together. We’re just friends!” I exclaimed. Jake snorted, and I resisted hexing him.
“What,” I said to the boy sitting opposite me, “Have something else to say about this? You haven’t finished being a clingy, annoying idiot?”
“Don’t talk to my brother like that,” Callie hissed, “You used him as much as Albus used me.” Her voice broke at the end, and I sighed.
“But I broke up with him, Callie. It’s different. He’s a jerk,” I said, glaring at Jake. He looked hurt, but I ignored him.
“This is ridiculous!” Sophie screamed over the top of all the raised voices, “We’re meant to be friends! We’re meant to be fixing everything! Just stop fighting, please,” she begged, ever the peace maker. I shook my head.
“Some things go beyond fixing,” I said, standing up on unsteady feet. My stomach lurched uncomfortably in hunger, and I swayed slightly. Shutting my eyes and steadying myself by putting a hand against the wall, everyone’s angry voices disappeared as my vision wavered between black and white. A few seconds of disorientation, and it passed.
“Rosie, are you okay?” Freddie asked from the sink. He reached out a hand, and I snatched my arm away.
“I’m fine, but I’m sick of you lot. Have a very Merry Christmas,” I yelled, wrenching the door open. I’d heard the lock turn a few minutes back, thank Merlin.
I guess Mum didn’t want a death in the family on Christmas day.
I stomped down the stairs, angrier than I’d ever been in my life. Mum looked up hopefully as I walked into the lounge room. She was sitting with my aunts, probably having a cosy little chat about all of us. She took in my pale face and no doubt frazzled appearance, and a frown creased her pretty forehead.
“I hope you’re happy, Mum! You have no idea what’s going on, so for future reference, don’t even bother getting involved.”
The room was silent as red heads of hair turned to stare at me, and I was absolutely sick of everyone in the house. I dropped the glass of champagne onto a side table and I pushed my way to the merrily crackling fire. Grabbing a handful of floo powder, I spun dizzily past fireplace after fireplace.
In every fire that I passed, I saw scenes of happiness. It was like a movie; a small laughing family sitting around a table wearing muggle Christmas hats, a couple making love on the carpet, two kids ripping paper off presents so fast that it went everywhere, an elderly man kissing his wife on the cheek as she breathed with the help of a muggle machine.
I stumbled out of the fireplace at home, by now sobbing. Why was everything going so wrong? Things used to be perfect until this year.
I ran upstairs to my room and threw myself on my bed, wincing as I landed on something hard. I pulled a wrapped present from underneath my leg and looked at it, still sniffing. It didn't have a tag, and Dad's advice paused my hand for only a moment - "If you don't know where it originated from, don't open it." I sighed and srugged.
Pulling back the paper with trembling fingers, I unwrapped a beautiful, deep red photo album.
Turning page after page, I was confronted with images of my best friends at the beach in summer, at our get-together with everyone, Albus being a prat in the school gym, Scorpius and I with our arms thrown around each other and dressed as vampires at Halloween, all of us on our broomsticks the day they taught me to fly.
I touched each picture with reverent fingers, sick of crying. I remembered how Sophie asked if she could borrow my camera for a school assignment a few months ago and smiled. It was the most beautiful present I’d ever been given.
Turning more pages, I came to a picture taken years ago; Callie, Sophie, Albus, Scorpius, Freddie and I were seated on a wall near Hagrid’s house. I remembered how I didn’t want to sit next to Scorp, but impatient Hagrid just wanted to take the picture and get back to his pumpkins. I looked at our chubby, happy faces and couldn’t help but grin.
Scorp was looking at me cross eyed, and every now and then I’d stop smiling into the camera to turn to him and stick my tongue out.
I lay back on my bed, cradling the photo album. A tiny spark of hope kindled in my chest, and I fell asleep early in the afternoon with my arms wrapped around the little book. Maybe there would be a second chance for all of us one day soon.
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