I shut the cold car door and walked a ways up the pavement. Mum got out shortly after and came over to me, fussing with my hair and clothes.
“I got it, Mum,” I said laughing. “It’s only Uncle George’s house.”
“I know, sweetheart.” She sighed looking me over once more. Lucy rolled her eyes in disgust and strode past us to the front door. “Are you sure you don’t just want to come home with me? Your father would love to read a book alongside you! I could put the kettle on and perhaps we could have some biscuits and oh! Isn’t that new documentary about the queen on the telly tonight? Your father has been itching to watch it and I’m sure…”
“Mum! I’ll be fine!” I smiled and kissed her forehead. “Thanks for driving me, Mum. I’ll call you when I’m ready to come home.” She smiled back at me and gave my shoulder a squeeze.
“Have fun, darling. It’s your first big party!” She got back in the car as I strode up the pavement to meet Lucy at the front door.
“You’re disgusting,” Lucy rolled her eyes and pulled out her compact mirror. She applied yet another coat of bright pink cherry lip-gloss, God forbid I think about what for. I stared down at my feet awkwardly. “Are you going to ring the bell?” She looked at me expectantly. Wearing those platforms, I swear she looked seventeen rather than fourteen. Lucy rolled her eyes as I just continued to stand there, shifting my weight back and forth from both of my feet, and reached forward to ring the bell, the buttons of her tight blouse about to burst. I looked away from her rather mature body and began to contemplate my own body, feeling self-conscious. I suddenly felt ill and wanted to retreat home and watch the special with Mum and Dad, but when I turned around, Mum’s car had already vacated the car park. I was stuck here for the night.
“Lucy!” I turned back around to see Fred in the doorway. “Oh, and Molly. Welcome, the party’s around back.” Even in my family, I was an afterthought.
Lucy and I walked through the house in route to the backyard. I slid open the glass door as Lucy pushed past me, walking straight to the crowd of cousins and various Hogwarts students. I strode over to the patio furniture and sat down, straightening my yellow skirt and a light turtle neck blouse. It was a solid 23 degrees here and I sat back enjoying the breeze.
“Hey there, beautiful.” My cousin Louis sat down next to me, kissing me on the cheek. “I didn’t know you were coming today,” he said, chuckling.
“Mum thought it would be good to actually get out and go to a back to school party,” I said laughing.
“Bless you, Audrey!” Louis called, clasping his hands together in mock prayer.
“Shut up!” I cried, as I gently pushed his shoulder. Louis stood up and kissed my head.
“I’ll catch you later, Molls.” He smiled and waved as he strode over to his girlfriend, taking her by the waist and kissing her lips. I sighed, jealous of my cousin’s success in the dating department. I guess he did practically own the looks department, too.
“Hey Molly, do you mind going and getting some refills on the food and drink?” Roxanne asked looking down at me.
“Sure thing.” I smiled. I might as well make myself useful. I strode into the beautiful kitchen. Aunt Angie, really knew how to decorate. I opened the fridge and pulled out pre-marked trays. Pulling off the clingfilm, I placed the trays in the arms and grabbed the bottles mysteriously marked ‘Water’.
“Whoa there Miss Molly. Let me help you.” I looked up into the smiling face of Uncle George. His faced looked cracked and worn, the wrinkles setting in on fresh canvas. Fred and Roxanne must have had him burning both ends this summer. I secretly blamed them for the Aunt Angie’s grey hairs last summer.
“Thanks Uncle George, but I think I got it. Besides, if Fred or Roxanne saw you down here, they’d probably die,” I said chuckling.
“You’re right thanks Molls. I owe you one.” He flashed me his signature grin and trotted back up the stairs. I smiled, shaking my head and walking out to the patio. I set the refreshments down on the table and started to walk back over to the couch.
“Well, would you look at this? Guess who decided to show up!”
I knew that voice. My pulse quickened, and my palms started to sweat. Breathe, Molly Breathe!
I turned around and was showered in a red sticky liquid.
Laughter erupted from the crowed. The offending 6th years high fived each other, throwing the bucket at me and turning away.
My heart raced and tears began to prick at my eyes. I cursed my father for taking my wand away for the summer to limit the temptation of underage magic. I calmly turned around and began to walk off the lot, conscious of my white blouse becoming more and more transparent. The laughter grew louder, and the music was turned up, making the ground dance along to the beat.
I continued walking down the pavement until I reached a yield sign. I took a seat on the tan pavement and pulled out my mum’s blower. I attempted to open the lid, but it appeared stuck after being drenched in the sticky red substance. A hot tear rolled down my face as I pried open the lid. I dialed the home phone, but I soon realised the phone was no closer to working than I was to finding a way home.
Thunder cracked and I looked up to the dark clouds invading the beautiful blue. Sighing, I took off my shoes and proceeded to walk. The pavement was cool and relaxing, soothing my sticky feet. I figured it took thirty minutes to drive to Fred’s. That would mean it would take about five hours to walk home. No, Molly that can’t be right. There were two school zones and at least twelve minutes of traffic. Start over. It’s eight miles to Fred’s; if I walk four miles per hour I should get there in one hour and half past. Excellent, eight miles isn’t bad. It will be wonderful exercise.
I sighed looking down at my blistered and scathed feet. A truck with university looking boys zoomed by honking and whistling, far exceeding the speed limit. I looked down at my still rather provocative shirt, and crossed my arms, feeling self conscious. I continued walking, wiping my tears and trying to muffle the sobs coming from my chest. I thought of a story my Uncle Harry once told me, about the Knight Bus, it was miracle that helped him get away from his Uncle’s house. It was a shame I couldn’t remember how to summon it.
I stopped in my tracks and laughed out loud.
Who was I kidding? Miracles were only for princesses and The Boy Who Lived.