Rose doesn’t even knock, she just comes in and plonks herself down on the end of my bed. She looks at me strangely, as she hadn’t expected to find me still here.
‘What are you doing?’ she says.
‘Umm...lying in bed?’’I reply sarcastically
‘Doesn’t McGonagall make you go to class anymore?’
‘Did Dom send you up?’
‘Are you in pain?’
‘No.’ She gives me a suspicious look and then stands up and takes off her cloak. She’s wearing a short party dress.
‘Are you going out?’ I ask her. ‘Hot date with Malfoy?’
She shrugs, going over to the window and looking down over the grounds. She circles her finger on the glass and says, ‘Maybe you should let yourself hope.’
‘Yeah maybe we all should. The whole Wizarding world’
‘I don’t think so. Hope is futile. Hope just lets you down. Ask my Mum.’
She turns around to look at me. Her face is pale like the winter snow, it contrasts with her unruly red curls. But she’s beautiful. Healthy.
She says, ‘What’s that you’ve written on the parchment?’. I don’t know why I let her read it. I guess I wanted something to happen.
It’s in black ink. With Rose looking the words appear to writhe like worms across the page, as if they are trying to escape being read. She reads it over and over, I hate the way her eyes fill with pity.
She speaks softly, ‘It’s not exactly a new broom is it?’
‘Did I say it was?’
‘I thought that was the idea?’
‘I think McGonagall’s expecting you to ask for an owl, not a boyfriend.’
It’s amazing the sound of us laughing. Even though it hurts I love it. Laughing with Rose is one of my favourite things, because I know we’ve both got the same vision in our heads. She only has to say, ‘Maybe the Hufflepuff Common Room might be the answer,’ and we are both in hysterics.
Rose says, ‘Are you crying?’
I’m not sure. I think I am. I am like one of those women in Witch Weekly crying in the moving pictures because their son has decided that he wants to move to Romania. I sound like a dragon wrenching free of it’s chains. Everything hits me at once- like how my fingers are bones and my skin is practically see-through. I can feel the cells inside my lungs multiplying, stacking up, the process that even wizard technology can’t stop. Soon I won’t be able to breathe.
‘It’s ok if you’re afraid,’ Rose says.
‘Of course it is. Whatever you feel is fine.’
‘Imagine it Rose- being terrified all the time’
But she can’t. How can she possibly when she has her whole life left. I’m going to miss talking. And breathing. And lessons....I’ll even miss Potions (which is really saying something!). I’m going to miss it when Fred pulls my hair because I’m daydreaming. And Lily. I like Lily. I like the way that despite having a brother who annoys everyone, and other who is Mr. Perfect , she still manages to be normal and just lovely. She bought me a singing card the other day, it told me to ‘Get Better Soon’. She doesn’t understand yet.
Where I’m going you can’t take anything with you.
Rose watches me wipe my eyes with the corner of the quilt.
‘Do it with me,’ I say
She looks shocked, ‘Do what?’
‘It’s on bits of parchment everywhere. I’ll write it out properly and you can help me do it.’
‘Make you do what? The stuff you wrote on that parchment?’
‘Other stuff too, but the boy thing first. You’ve been with tons of boys Rose and I’ve never even been kissed.’
I watch her process what I said.
In true Rose fashion she replies quickly, ‘Not tons of boys.’
‘Please Rose. Even if I’m horrible to you you must make me do it. I’ve a whole list of things I want to do.
She says ok as if it it’s easy, as if I asked her to visit me more.
‘You mean it?’
‘I said so didn’t I!’
She doesn’t know what she’s letting herself in for. From the back of my wardrobe she pulls out a dress I bought in Hogsmeade ages ago, it still has the tag on.
‘I’ll wear this and you can take mine.’ She starts to unbutton her dress
‘Are you taking me out.’
‘Of course Lia. It’s a Quidditch Victory Party ever heard of them?!’
I haven’t been vertical for hours, it makes me feel dizzy and kind of ethereal. Rose’s dress smells of her and the material is soft and clings to me. It makes me feel healthy, as though I am someone else. Even if only for a night.
I sit patiently as she fixes my face with a variety of charms and potions she learnt in Witch Weekly. When I look in the mirror I don’t even recognise myself. My naturally long, limp blonde hair suddenly seems lustrous, wavy and sexy. I look like Dom, part human, part veela, I look almost attractive.
I try to imagine what it would be like to be Rose. I often try this, but I can never quite get my head around it. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be so free
‘So the victory party then?’ she says
A party. A big dark room your can barely move in with bodies grinding close together. I want a thousand songs played so loud I can’t feel my heart beating. I want my voice to be thunderous above the throb of bass. I want to get so hot I have to crunch ice in my mouth.
‘Let’s go dancing’ I say ‘And find some boys to make-out with.’
‘All right.’ Rose grabs her wand and leads me down the stairs into the common room.
Al gets up sharply off the sofa as he hears us coming down the stairs. He pretends he was going out of the common room as well, and acts all surprised to see us
‘Lia you’re up!’ he teases, ‘It’s a miracle!’ He nods grudging respect at Rose, ‘How did you manage it?’
Rose smiles at the floor, ‘She just needed a little incentive.’
Al comes up to me and gives me a hug, he holds me carefully as if I might break, ‘Look after her’ he says to Rose. ‘And try to get her back by curfew, she needs to rest.’ I glare at him.
‘I’ve been resting all day, in fact all week!’ I say indignantly.
‘If you thought she needed rest why did you ask me to take her out?’ Rose says angrily.
The happiness is slipping out of me already, I know Al is right. I will be exhausted for the next week if I go out tonight, but I don’t care I want to have some fun. I want to act like a normal Gryffindor. Be Brave.
‘I’ll be back by curfew.’ I say gently to Al and I go and give him a quick peck on the cheek, he sinks to the couch defeated. His face is etched with worry, it’s like he feels he has to be like my Dad whilst I’m at Hogwarts. Protecting me from all the evil Slytherins I might encounter. We were best friends once, but now he’s more than that. Not in a romantic way but he makes me feel safe.
As we exit through the portrait hole, Rose turns to me. ‘ Listen, Lia. If you are going to do this properly you have to break the rules.’
‘I don’t mind being back by curfew, Al will only worry.’
‘Let him- it doesn’t matter. There are no consequences for someone like you!
I’d never thought of it like that before
A/N- Hope you like this chapter don’t forget to favourite and review J Hopefully the next chapter will be up within a few days depending on the size of the queue