Chapter 12 : Model Behaviour
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Blanca unsteadily sauntered into the Hufflepuff common room, silently praying that no one was awake yet, she hurried across the large round room to the little hatch door that led to her dorm. After her argument with Al, Blanca decided that she needed to calm down and think things through, so gathering up all the courage she had, she went to the only place that calmed her down: the Black Lake. There was something about water that calmed Blanca down and eventually, she was lying on a log, looking at the still water, softly rippling only by the movement of the giant squid and before she knew it, she was fast asleep, only just waking up five minutes ago. Slowly pushing the door to her dorm open, she was startled by Mel who was sitting upright on her bed.
“Mel,” Blanca whispered cautiously, “Mel are you awake?”
“Yeah, I couldn’t sleep. I was just thinking,” she whispered back.
“About where you were!” Mel said, “Where were you and why are you all wet?”
Blanca picked her watch from her bedside table, “It’s past eight, I need to go,” she said peeling her wet robes off.
“You got a date with James?” Mel asked.
“Everyone’s talking about it, I just wish my best friend would have told me earlier so that I didn’t have to hear it from others,” she said softly.
“Potter and I are not dating, it was just all one big mix-up,” Blanca explained, “and don’t always listen to what people say.”
“Then where are you rushing to?”
“I’ve got breakfast with my dad,” came the answer.
“Well, lucky me, I get to meet my dad every single day!” Mel laughed.
Blanca laughed at the joke, “Are you coming to Hogsmeade today?”
“No, I think I’ll sit this one out, my mom will just have to mail me the stuff for the dance,” she said simply, “Say hi to your dad for me eh?”
“Sure thing!” Blanca was putting her sneakers on, she reached for her watch when she saw the three envelopes on her bedside table, she hadn’t taken those from Al yesterday.
“Linda brought them last night, she had run into Al and he asked her to bring them,” Mel explained when she saw Blanca staring. “And are you going to tell me where you were? I was worried sick.”
“We’re back to that again?” Blanca groaned.
“Okay fine,” she whispered, “I slept at the lake.”
“I don’t know, it just happened.” She looked at the letters on her table again, she had not opened the one form the Witch Weekly yet. Tearing it open, she saw a curly fancy handwriting which read; Greetings Miss Thomas, we at the Witch Weekly are requesting a meeting with you to discuss the latest developments that have come up. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about dear, what do you think about Sunday the 8th of August? Please send your answer as soon as possible, possibly before named date, hoping to see you soon. Regards, Lavender Brown, editor-in-chief of Witch Weekly Magazine.
“Who’s it from?”
“The Witch Weekly,” Blanca replied, still trying to make sense of the contents of the letter
“They say they want to meet with me tomorrow to discuss something I already know about.”
“What could it be about? You and James?”
“I don’t think so, I got this yesterday, and that would just be ridiculous!” Blanca said, “I’ll just have to ask them.” Glancing at her watch, she said, “Okay, I’ve got to go now, see you later,” and with that, she climbed out of the door.
Thanking Merlin that Filch was not carrying out one of his ridiculous inspection runs, Blanca quickly made her way out of the castle gates and into Hogsmeade. It was warm today and Blanca loved the feel of the sun against her exposed arms, bursting into Three Broomsticks, she quickly found an empty table and sat there.
“Goodmorning my lovely,” said Madame Esmeralda as she approached Blanca’s table, she had become the new mistress of the place ever since her sister, Madame Rosmerta, retired and left for Portugal, “What may I serve you today?”
“I’ll just have a small butterbeer thankyou,” Blanca said politely.
“One butterbeer coming up,” she said, and with a flick of her long brown hair, she left.
Blanca was slowly sipping her butterbeer when her father walked in, she glanced at her watch, it was quarter past nine; he was late, Dean Thomas was never late, yet today, he walked in fifteen minutes past schedule. Blanca brushed this aside, happy to see her father, she went to give him a hug, “Hi Dad,” she said.
“How’s you doing?” Dean asked as they went to sit at their table.
“I’m okay, a lot has happened, but again, it’s Hogwarts, a lot is supposed to happen right?” She continued to ramble on about Quidditch practice and new classes and professor McGonagall, “How did you manage to have her from first year, wasn’t it scary?” she asked, “I mean, she’s really awesome and stuff, but she’s really scary at the same time, she’s kind of like Minister Shacklebolt, really cool, but really scary!” she asked about the store, and about the latest Quidditch news and kept on talking about trivial things when she realised that he had mentioned in his letter that he had something important to tell her.
“Um, Dad, in your letter, you said you had something to tell me, something really important.”
Her father’s expression became more serious, “Erm, yes Blanca, there is something I want to tell you, do you remember the trips I had been making the past three years?”
“Dad, you always take trips, remember me? I’m the one that you sometimes carry with you.”
“Yes, well I know I’ve always travelled, but do you remember the times when you’d have to stay at Grandma Thomas’ over Christmas or Easter or the summer because I was away?”
“Yeah, I remember the long trips you had to take these few years.”
“Well champ, I was working on something and in the next three months, we’ll be able to open branches in Paris and New York.”
Blanca was dumbfounded, after she regained her senses; she leapt from her chair and went to hug her father, “Oh dad that’s wonderful! Wow, New York, I’ve always wanted to go there! That will be so wicked!”
Madame Esmeralda came by once more to take their orders, Dean ordered a butterbeer for himself and breakfast for Blanca, who declined. “Are you sure you don’t want to eat?”
“No, I’m fine, I’m just taking this all in,” she said as she calmly sipped her butterbeer, after some silence, she asked, “Dad, don’t get me wrong, it’s great that you’ve decided to expand, but what triggered the decision? Because you said it would just be the shop in Diagon Alley. Was it something that happened or what?”
Her father looked grave for a moment before answering, “Well honey, that brings us to part two of the important news I have for you, the decision of expanding was not because of something, but more because of someone.”
Blanca shook her head dumbly, “I am not following; what do you mean?”
“Blanca, during my trips back and forth, I met someone at a broom launch in America, she was really nice and we became quick friends, we started seeing more and more of each other and well-”
“Eeeeew! You have a girlfriend,” Blanca finished off, “it’s a bit gross, but I’ll let you finish.”
“She encouraged me to reach out and just go out on a limb, and I realised that I had been holding back all these years-”
“You sound like you’re going to start singing.”
“Okay, enough jokes young lady. Anyway, I have been seeing her for about a year now-”
“A year!” Blanca exclaimed, “And you’re telling me this now because?”
“Because I did not know where the relationship was going, and it looks like we’re going to be seeing each other for a while and so I wanted to introduce her to you.”
“Why now? When I’m in the middle of school?”
“Because, someone accidentally let slip the news and magazines are all over the story, so it was best that you heard it from me and not some tabloid.”
“So, if someone hadn’t let slip, then you would have never told me right?”
“No honey, I was planning to tell you this Christmas, she was coming to join us.”
Blanca nodded stiffly, trying to make sense of the information she had just taken in, “So, this woman, she convinced you to open stores in Paris and New York?”
“Encouraged is the more appropriate word Blanca.”
“Yeah, okay. So this mystery lady, who is she?”
“Her name is Camille Jacobson, and she is a-”
“Model.” Blanca finished, “Yeah, I’ve heard of her, she’s quite famous.”
“Oh, so you know her, a fan of hers I presume?”
“Nope. To be perfectly honest Dad I don’t care much for models............ anyway, what was she doing at a broom launch?”
“She’s the new spokesperson for the Nimbus 360 series, she’s actually quite nice, you’ll like her.”
“So, when do I meet her?”
Dean glanced at his watch, “She should be here in about five minutes.”
“Oh yay! A blind date,” Blanca muttered under her breath. Speaking up, she asked, “She doesn’t even fly professionally, why are they using her? Shouldn’t they like have a pro-flyer like Viktor Krum do it? Maybe even Lee Jordan?”
“I actually thought the same thing at first, but that’s the way it’s done in some places, sometimes the spokesperson won’t know about the product, but as long as it’s marketed well and sales are up, no one cares. It’s quite a clever idea if you ask me.”
“I think you think it’s a clever idea just because you like Camille.” Blanca was already beginning to get antagonistic about this woman and she had not even met her yet; this was definitely not her character because in true Hufflepuff fashion, she would always wait and get to know a person before laying judgement. But today was different, she saw the way her father’s face would light up every time he talked about this woman and she was beginning to feel replaced as the only girl in his life, now his time would be divided and he would not pay as much attention to her anymore, it sounded childish but Blanca could see it happening and she was not liking the more she imagined it.
Just then, Al walked in, he was with Max, the two seemed to be joined to the hip these days, Max gave Al an annoyed glare and went to sit at a table in the other corner as Al made his way to Blanca and her father. “Goodmorning Mr. Thomas.” He said.
“Goodmorning Al, how are you?” Dean replied, “I received your letter, thanks, it’s wonderful to know that someone would be concerned.”
“Well, it is as it is sir,” he replied.
“Hi Al,” Blanca said nervously.
Al gave Blanca a cold glare, turning to Dean, he said, “I’ll just go now, Maxime is waiting for me, so I hope I will be seeing you soon Mr. Thomas.” He glanced at Blanca one more time, and left.
“What was that about?” Dean asked, she could see the annoyance in his eyes.
“We kind of had a fight, Al and I.”
“What was it about? Was it one of those silly fights you have about who’s the better Quidditch team?” Al was a die-hard Puddlemere fan and Blanca would always argue who was the better team, it was only in fourth year when they agreed to disagree and that dispute was over.
Before Blanca could reply, the doors opened and in walked possibly one of the most beautiful women Blanca had ever seen. She had long strawberry blonde hair that fell in soft curls, bright blue eyes, a tiny nose and full red lips, her high heels only made her already long legs look longer and she was clad in a green sun-dress that reached just above her knees, her face brightened up when she saw Dean and Blanca, and she made her way to where they were sitting.
“Hello there,” she said to Dean as she planted a kiss on his lips, Blanca held back a wince as she watched the two, turning to Blanca, she smiled and said, “And you must be the famous Blanca. Your father has told me so much about you, it’s so nice to finally meet you.” She held her hand out for Blanca to shake.
“Hello.” Blanca said, “You must be Miss Jacobson.”
“Oh, so Dean must have told you about me. If it wasn’t for the interview with the Witch Weekly, we could have gotten a chance to know each other better.”
“Well, it had so happened that the media got wind of what was-”
“I heard that from my Dad already, but, what interview?”
“It will be in the Witch Weekly on Wednesday.” Camille said.
Blanca paused for a bit before remembering the letter she read earlier, “Is that why they want to see me tomorrow?”
“They contacted you?” Dean asked, looking annoyed, “Well, that was uncalled for.”
“Yeah, they say they want to see me, the letter was from Lavender Brown, I think you went to school together.”
“When is this meeting?”
“Tomorrow.” Blanca replied simply.
“Well, you can’t do it,” he said.
“Why not? I also need to give my opinion on this all.”
“Well, you don’t know Camille yet.”
“Well,” Camille broke in, “she could postpone the interview until we get to know each other better. What do you think Blanca?”
“Well, Miss Jacobson, I don’t know if-”
“Please, call me Camille,” she said as she sipped her coffee in a dainty fashion, “and we’ll have a lot of time to get to know each other whilst we’re out house hunting this Christmas.”
“Oh, so you’ll be getting a house for yourself here,” Blanca observed, “You must really like it here.”
“Yeah, I figured we needed a new place to live.” Camille replied.
“Oh, so you have a family?” Blanca asked.
“No silly!” Camille laughed, “It’s for the three of us, you know, me, you and your dad.”
Blanca gasped, “What do you mean? We don’t need a new house, my dad and I are fine the way we are,” Blanca glanced at her father, “Dad?”
“You haven’t told her, have you?” Camille asked.
“Haven’t told me what?”
Dean nervously glanced at Blanca, “Well honey, since Camille will be moving in with us-”
“Wait, moving in?” Blanca whispered, “I’ve only known her for five minutes and you’re telling me she’s moving in!”
“It’s the proper thing to do,” Dean continued.
“Why? Is she pregnant?”
“No, Dean, it’s okay,” Camille said, “it’s only natural that she reacts like this, I would have been worried if she took it calmly.” Turning to Blanca, she said, “And no dear, don’t worry, I’m not pregnant.”
“But the house, it has so many-”
“Memories? Blanca, I know it has many special memories, but sometimes we have to make room for the new ones.”
Blanca was shaking her head, “Does Grandma know?”
“Oh yes, I met her last week,” Camille replied, “she seems nice.”
“That’s because she is nice,” Blanca said, “Dad, you can’t do this, why so soon? What’s the rush and why is it the ‘proper’ thing to do?”
“Because she’s going to have to live with us if she’s going to be part of our family.”
“So you’re getting married?”
“No, we’re not getting married. Blanca, you have to be reasonable.”
“No!” Blanca stood up, “You’re the one that has to be reasonable; in one hour, you spring on me that you’ve been seeing her and that you’re getting a new house and that she’s moving in! I think that’s too much!”
“Blanca,” his voice was warning.
“No, I already have a lot on my plate Dad,” she said, “I think I’ve lost my friend, and I think I’m slowly losing another, I probably made the worst decision I could possibly have made just two nights ago and now you and her spring up on me like this- you know what? I think I have to go now,” she gave her father a quick kiss on the cheek, “goodbye Dad.” And she walked out of the pub.
Dean was dumbfounded, Camille gently rubbed his shoulder, “Let me go and talk to her, I think maybe a woman to woman talk would do this justice, just meet me at the hotel.”
Blanca was sitting on a bench a few streets away when she heard a pair of high heels approaching, she turned to see Camille standing a few inches away from her.
“Can I sit?” she asked.
“Go ahead, it’s not my bench.”
Camille sat and crossed her long legs and turned to face Blanca, “So, do you want to talk about what happened in there?”
“Because I don’t like you very much, don’t you get the picture?”
“Oh,” Camille nodded understandingly, “I know what this is all about. You think that I’ve come to take your father from you, because now, he won’t be able to give you the undivided attention you’re used to getting from him.”
“What do you want?”
“Okay, let me just tell you this Blanca, I’m a straight shooter, which means I’m not going to mince words with you and tell you what you want to hear. This is the truth; am I here to take tour father from you? No. Will this cause your father to stop giving you the undivided attention you like? Yes. But he’ll always be there for you and it’s not like he’ll just abandon you or something.”
“Why are you making him move out?”
“Honestly Blanca, have you ever seen your apartment? It’s really just too small.”
“But my parents were perfectly happy there.”
“Well, there is time for change, your father is a wealthy man, he needs to live the life that comes with it.”
“Is that why you’re with him? Because of his money?”
Camille laughed, “You’re so funny,” then her face changed to be much more serious, “I have more money than I know what to do with, I’m with your father because I love him.”
“Really?” Blanca asked sarcastically.
“Blanca, you’re sixteen, you’re practically a grown woman, I got my own place at sixteen and I lost my virginity at sixteen.”
“Thanks for the details,” Blanca drawled.
“Anyway,” Camille continued, pointedly ignoring the last comment, “I fell in love for the first time at sixteen, and it’s the most magical thing that happened. Have you ever felt that way before?”
“It’s none of your business.”
“Well, if you’ve felt that way before, then you’ll know that I’m not with your father for the money, but because I love him.”
“And you’re sure he loves you?” Blanca asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Look at you, I mean, you’re a model for crying out loud, you’re young, hot, sexy and famous. Don’t you think he’s with you just so he can get some?”
“Your father loves me as well.” Camille said quietly.
Blanca gave her a smug smile, “Did you not hear him back there? He said you two weren’t getting married, doesn’t that tell you something? He only wants you around for amusement, soon, we’ll be back to normal.”
“Then why did he ask me to come here to meet you?” Blanca could hear impatience and annoyance tinted in her voice.
“Correction. He brought you here so that I could come to see you,” she replied, “he brought you here so that I wouldn’t have to go through the pain and suffering I was going to experience had I read that magazine,” Camille was turning a horrid tomato red, but Blanca continued, “he brought you here for me, because it’s me he cares about and not you.”
Camille was shaking her head, “Well I never!” she spat.
“And you never will,” Blanca chimed in.
“Listen missy, your father and I are together now and that’s the way it’s going to be for a very long time. So you had better stop this childish behaviour and accept the situation because there is nothing you can do to stop it.” Her voice was dangerously low now, “Do I make myself clear?”
Blanca gave her a bright smile, “As clear as you’ll ever get,” she replied, “Now, are you done wasting my time? Because I have a date in a few, and also, I have to prepare for my meeting with the Witch Weekly tomorrow, so” she gestured towards the direction in which Camille came from, “if you could now grace me with your absence.”
Camille stiffly got up and began to walk away, “Little brat,” she muttered under her breath.
Blanca ignored the latest comment, instead, she smiled and waved, “Go on, jug on, walk on, cheerio, goodbye, bon-voyage, fuck off!”
After Camille disappeared down the bend, Blanca heard clapping behind her, “Wow, Thomas, with that performance, you could have made Slytherin proud.”
Blanca turned and saw Scorpius casually leaning against an old pillar, “So, you were here the whole time?”
“Actually, you two disturbed my reading,” he showed her a small pocket book in his hands, “was that Camille Jacobson you just gave a dressing-down?”
“Yeah. She’s trying out for step-mommy.”
“I figured that much out,” Scorpius said as he slid down next to her.
“I just don’t know why he wants to start stuff like this now.”
“Have you considered the fact that he may be lonely?”
“He can’t be lonely. He’s got the guys at the shop, he’s got my grandmother, he’s got Seamus and he’s got me!”
“Well, Thomas, if I need to spell this out for you, don’t you think maybe he’s lonely in a way that none of the people mentioned above could remedy? You know, sexual stuff-”
“Oh, Malfoy, just stop now!” Blanca was covering her ears.
“But it’s the truth.”
“Okay then, why couldn’t he just hook up with Parvati Patil, she’s nice, and she seems to like him for who he is. I wouldn’t mind her for a stepmom.”
“Who’s that? Wait! I’ve heard that name before, isn’t she the owner of the Perfume and Spice shop in Dublin?”
“Yeah. She’s the one, she went to school with him- how do you know what she does?”
“My mother once dragged me there to get some bath salts and scents of sorts,” he shuddered, “worst day of my life.”
“Anyway, she looks like she likes him and at least she’s nice,” Blanca said.
“So, you clearly don’t like Camille Jacobson.”
“No, I don’t like her at all,” she said, “and I think my dad is just with her for sex.”
“Oh, so when you say it, it’s okay.” Scorpius observed.
“Shut up Malfoy, by the way, where’s Rose?” she asked, “You two did not show up for slug club last night.”
“She’s still sleeping,” Scorpius replied, “we kinda had a late night yesterday.”
“Spare me the details,” Blanca said.
Scorpius laughed, “Well, we sure did miss a show last night, yours and James’ unlikely hook up is the talk of the whole school.”
“First of all, it wasn’t a hook up, it was just a dance,” Blanca corrected, “and secondly, I thought you were too cool for Hogwarts gossip.”
“I am. But you’d have to be blind and deaf not to hear about it.”
“Gee, I’m famous.” Blanca said sarcastically.
Scorpius eyed her curiously, “You know something Thomas, you’ve changed.”
“How do you mean?”
“You’re becoming less and less nice.”
“I’ve always been un-nice, you just never spent any time with me that’s all!” Blanca replied, “But now, I guess we’ll have to be seeing more of each other huh?”
“I guess so.”
“Oh, and by the way, Rose is still my best friend, so I hope you won’t be spending all her time. I still need her you know!”
“For moments like this! She’s the only one that would rationally think through a situation like this and prevent me from spending my life in Azkaban!”
“I see,” Scorpius said dryly, “So what do you plan to do from here?”
“Well, seeing as my meeting with my father did not go well, I plan to spend the next three hours here on this bench sulking until lunch.”
“Or,” Scorpius said standing up, “you could come with me and we could explore Hogsmeade. What do you think?”
“Fine.” Blanca said, “After all, if he’s happy why should I be sad? I have the right to have fun too right?”
They left the little alley and went into the streets, looking through every shop window they passed.
“So what do you do for fun?” Blanca asked.
“Fun, Malfoy, F-U-N fun! Apart from bullying helpless people, what do you do for your amusement; I mean, this is the first time I’ve seen you out without Zabini or Goyle.”
“I’ll have you know Thomas, that my bullying days are over,” Scorpius said matter-of-factly.
“Humanitarian Rosie get to you?” Blanca asked.
“She doesn’t like me making the first years lives hell,” Scorpius mumbled, “so I promised her I wouldn’t bother any first or second years.”
“Clever promise,” Blanca observed, “still leaves you five whole years to yourself.”
“Well, I told Rose that those can defend themselves and so we came to a compromise.”
“Oh, let’s get in here!” Blanca said, while entering a costume shop.
“What is this place?”
“It’s a costume shop. This is where people come to buy stuff for events like Halloween,” Blanca explained slowly, “have you never bought a costume before?”
“Well, actually, I have all of mine custom made,” Scorpius replied.
“I should have known,” Blanca muttered under her breath, “anyways, back to your promise to keep out of the kids’ way, I bet it’ll only last two weeks, one month tops! Think about it, you thrive on making their lives a living hell!” she picked out a bunch of things and started putting them in Scorpius’ arms before he could refuse, “Hold these for me will you,” she said as she went to one of the changing rooms, “And what will the rest of the school think, you Scorpius Malfoy, becoming nice?” she came out, dressed like a banshee, “What do you think.”
“I think when I said ‘let’s go out and explore Hogsmeade’, I didn’t mean I wanted to sit in a smelly old costume shop and watch you try on stuff.”
“Shut up. What do you think?”
“I don’t like it.” He said as she gestured for him to pass her another of the items she picked off the racks. “And about the school wondering what sparked the change in me, I don’t think they’ll notice.”
“How do you mean?”
“You see, I still hang out with Zabini and Goyle and they didn’t make any promises, so while they bully, everyone will think I’m part of it while in actual fact, I’ve done nothing. And besides, even if they did notice, I don’t care, I love Rose and that’s all that matters.”
Blanca came out of the changing room looking like a muggle nun, “I don’t think that’s all that matters, you forget two very important people in this whole entire equation.”
“Your father and her father,” Blanca replied as she studied herself in the mirror, “what do you think?”
“Too concealing,” Scorpius replied, “and I’ve already thought that one through.”
“They simply won’t find out about us.”
“How long do you plan to date my friend? One, two months?” she asked, “Because if it’s a short term relationship and you break her heart, I kill you, and if it’s long term thing, they are bound to find out- and they’ll kill you.”
“Well, they will just have to accept that we are in love and there is nothing they can do about it!”
“I like your optimism dear friend,” Blanca said from the changing room, coming out looking like woodland fairy, she continued, “but have you met your father?”
“He may be nasty sometimes but-”
“May? Come on Malfoy, no offense but no one likes your father,” Blanca said honestly, “my father likes everyone but even he draws the line at the senior Malfoy. Heck! Even I don’t like your father.”
“That one hurt,” Scorpius said quietly.
Blanca felt bad, “I’m sorry, it was not my place to say that.”
“No, it’s fine Thomas; I understand why my father is met with negative remarks.”
“Anyways,” Blanca sat next to him, “very few people like your father and the person who hates him the most happens to be Rose’s dad. And dare I say, the feeling between your and her dad happens to be mutual.”
“I’ve thought about that. And honestly, I don’t care, I love Rose, she’s the best thing that ever happened to me and my father can disown me if he wants to but I’ll never give her up. Not for anything in the world.”
Blanca smiled, “Okay, what do you think about this costume?” she pranced around the room in a little dress made of leaves and twigs, “I’m a fairy see?”
“I’m not sure..............wait, I thought we were talking about-”
“Never mind that!” she said, “you passed,” she said as she went back into the changing room and emerged in her own clothes.
“You proved you like Rose so much you could spend a whole entire hour with her motor-mouth best friend dissecting the odds of your relationship in a fancy dress shop, and that means a lot.”
“So this was all a set up?”
“Well, initially, it wasn’t, but eventually, the plan sort of turned up in the mix.”
“So, you weren’t even going to buy any of those costumes?”
“For what?” she asked, “I get my costumes custom made,” she said, imitating his pompous tone.
“Real funny,” Scorpius said tonelessly.
“But seriously, I wasn’t going to place an order on a costume today!” Blanca said, dramatically waving her hands in the air, “What do you think I am, Lauren Barks and her friends?”
“You’d rather wait till the last minute?”
“It’s funner that way.”
“’Funner’ isn’t a real word.”
“So, since you seem to have taken over the tour, where are we going now?”
“To help you get a gift for Rose.” Blanca replied.
Blanca sighed, “Do I have to explain everything to you? Girls like to be bought gifts, especially by their boyfriends. I think Rose would like something from you.”
“Well, what do you think I should get her?” Scorpius asked unsurely.
“What does she like?” Blanca asked.
“You’re her best friend, you should know.”
“And you’re her boyfriend, so you should know better.”
“A jewel encrusted necklace?” Scorpius asked, Blanca shook her head, “Most girls like jewellery!”
“I don’t.” Blanca said.
“That’s because you’re strange,” Scorpius replied.
Blanca hit him across the back of his head, “I’m not!”
“Well, I think Rose would love a necklace adorned with rubies.”
Blanca shook her head, “No Malfoy, Rose does not like superficial things like that,” she motioned that they turn into the next shop, “She’s not like most girls.”
“I know,” Scorpius said fondly.
“Exactly, she wouldn’t want something as materialistic as expensive rubies, if you want to get her jewellery; you ought to go simpler. Take something from the heart, make something yourself, you know, make her feel special.”
Scorpius looked confused, “Can we start with something easier then, like a book?”
“That’s why we’re here,” Blanca motioned around her, they were in a bookshop.
“How come I’ve never been in here before?” Scorpius said.
“That’s because they sell mostly muggle books, and seeing as you wanted your secret love for muggle literature kept secret, you probably never went in.” Blanca explained.
“Actually Thomas, I’ve never been here before because I thought what would a tiny shop like this have that I would find of importance?”
“Never judge a book by its cover Malfoy,” Blanca said as she started skimming through some titles, “Now, what did she say she liked?”
“Well, I know she’s a great fan of Shakespeare, but she has all his works, and she also likes Darles Chickens-”
“You mean Charles Dickens,” Blanca corrected.
“Yeah, him.” Scorpius said, “Rose introduced me to his work during the summer, he’s not half bad.”
“What do you mean he’s not ‘half-bad’? He’s great!”
“Yeah, yeah, anyway, she’s read almost all his stuff too. But she told me about this book, I don’t know who wrote it, but she said it was one of the most beautiful stories she read, even better than Romeo and Juliet, the only problem was, someone had torn out the last ten pages of the book and so never knew how it ended.”
“Do you remember what it was called?”
“Something like Withering Heights.”
“Do you mean Wuthering Heights?” Blanca asked.
“Yeah,” Scorpius replied, “Wait! How did you-?” he looked down at Blanca who was on her knees, there was a massive pile of books around her and she was waving one thick book at him.
“Wuthering Heights,” she read, “by Emily Brönte.”
“How did you find it?”
“The secret is to be patient and just dig deeper, I tend to remove the first line of books so that I can see the books hiding behind there, it’s in the back where all the good stuff hides.” Blanca replied.
She started to put the books back when the shop attendant came, “You don’t need to do that,” she said as she waved her wand at the books and they all fell into place. “Is this the book you want?” she asked kindly.
“Yes please,” Scorpius replied.
“It’s a wonderful read, actually, it was one of the first gothic novels to be written, it was done with such beauty though, and, this is the original copy” she said as she wrapped up the book, “That will be twelve galleons please.” Scorpius gave her the money and soon, they were out of the shop.
“Where to next?” he asked.
“I think let’s go to Jimmy’s Tool Shed,” she said.
“Why, what would you want from there?”
“Something for Hagrid, he spent the whole summer taking care of my owl.”
“Her wing got fried by lightning during a storm while she was making a delivery, she almost died.” Blanca said, “Hagrid has been taking care if her and she’s almost as good as new.”
They walked to the hardware shop which was at the corner of the street they were walking, “Okay, now it’s your turn to help me,” she said, “what do you think he’d want?”
“What do you mean?”
“You know, you’re a guy, what magical tool would you find very useful?”
“Actually, I’ve never used a tool before, magical or muggle,” Scorpius said, a hint of embarrassment tinted in his voice.
“I should have guessed,” Blanca sighed, “besides why would the sole heir to the Malfoy fortune do any manual work?”
“Stop making fun of me.”
“I’m not. I’m just stating facts.”
He playfully nudged her, “I’ve always wanted a power axe.” He said.
“To do what with?”
“I’d rather not tell you.”
They looked around in silence until Blanca finally found what she thought would be perfect, “I think I’ve found it.” She said quietly.
“What is it?” Scorpius asked as he looked at the clumsy-looking wooden thing.
“It’s a tool sharpener, Hagrid is always complaining about how his tools always lose their sharpness at some point,” she said. Blanca called for the Jimmy, the owner of the shop and asked for the tool to be packaged for them.
“Here you go dear,” the small man said in a gruff voice, “I’ve shrunk it, but it will go to its normal size once it’s taken out of this bag.”
“Thankyou very much sir,” she replied as she put the small bag in her back jeans pocket.
“That will be fifty five galleons and ten sickles please.”
“Do you have a credit booklet?”
“Ah yes,” he disappeared to the back of the shop and came back with a little black book, “sign here please,” he said, and Blanca happily obeyed and signed the enchanted paper. In the Wizarding world, the way the credit system worked was that the buyer would sign in an enchanted booklet that would immediately send a signal to Gringotts where money would be deducted from the buyer’s account and sent into the seller’s. On her sixteenth birthday, Dean gave Blanca her own credit pass that allowed her access to the family account.
“Remember, it’s only for emergencies.” He said.
Well, this was an emergency. Well, sort of. Heck! She did not care!
Once out of the shop, Scorpius asked, “What’s the time?”
“It’s half past eleven,” Blanca replied, “Can we go back to the castle now?”
“I thought we were only getting started.”
“No, I’m tired.” Blanca said, “That’s the longest shopping trip I’ve taken in years.”
“I’m not big on buying stuff for myself, and all my friends’ birthdays come by around the same time of the year, so I just buy their gifts and the rest of the year is shopping-free.”
“Again, you’re strange Thomas.”
The walk back to the Hogwarts castle was uneventful, only filled in by occasional small talk here and there. Once in the gates, Blanca turned to Scorpius, “Thankyou Malfoy.”
“For what?” he asked, clearly puzzled.
“For making my morning.” Came the reply.
“Uh, you’re welcome,” Scorpius said uncertainly, and awkwardly turned to head towards the castle.
Blanca then turned the other direction and made her way to Hagrid’s shed.
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