Chapter 1 : Chapter 1- Letters, Cousins, and Problems
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Letters, Cousins, and Problems
Okay. I’m a Seventh year now. You would think that I’d have had an actual boyfriend by now, not an assortment of various uninteresting guys that took me on dates for a month before we mutually deemed each other ‘not what we were looking for.’
It’s not that I’m anti-social or any of that nonsense. I am just surrounded by an entire group of not fantastic, totally normal, selfish guys. And frankly those traits do not interest me at all. There is nothing wrong with all of my dad’s friends’ kids. I like the Finnigan family, and the Longbottom family, and the Thomas family, but we just aren’t the same style. They are more rough and tough and popular. I am very grade focused and I care about the wellbeing of everyone. Their big muscles don’t at all impress me if they don’t care about, like, people.
I am perfectly happy with my clique of three. I grew close to them, and I just have a hard time settling with others, when I could have such great companions. They used to call my dad, my mum, and Uncle Harry the ‘Golden Trio,’ but I guess we have our own golden trio now.
There was me, Rose, with my fiery hair and rosy cheeks. Dad says I look just like mum, but with his trademark hair and eyes. My eyes are ice blue, and I take special care of my teeth, to make sure they are white and perfectly straight. I also have a mass of freckles all over my nose and cheeks.
Then there was my cousin, Al, short for Albus Severus Potter. He always made sure that we knew about that. He has emerald eyes and a big smile, with permanently messy hair. He is like a twin of his father, except for his mother’s nose. He talks faster than anyone I know, and he is super annoying, but he is shy around others.
Finally, you have Scorpius Malfoy, a later addition. Of course my father doesn’t know that I even talk to him, because Dad would bash his nose into his brains. Dad hates Scorpius’s father, like, big time. I am willing to bet that if my dad had a choice between a man eating boar and Scorpius’s father, he would pick the boar. I don’t get it. Scorp is really kind, outspoken, and brave, even if he does tease me. He is a little mischievous but in a non-destructive way (sometimes). He has platinum blonde hair, and pale skin, with bright grey eyes.
Now that you have a relative grip on my social status, I am going to tell you about my summer miracle. I started getting the letters two days after school got out, and one day since I’d arrived home. A letter floated in my open window, not held up by an owl. Instead, it rested on a star. The star lit up my dark room, and it glided to me, then disappeared, taking the magnificent white light with it.
The first letter landed right in my lap. They were similar to love letters, but completely opposite. I never knew who sent them, just the praises that they sang. Then I would reply back with current events, and such.
I came to refer to them as letters from the stars. They came once a week. Only Al, Lily, and my brother, Hugo, knew about them. I didn’t want to tell my dopey brother about them, but he caught me, so I had to. He made fun of me, for them all the time. He would say things like, “You’re too ugly to have a boyfriend,” and “Poor guy. He’ll probably run away screaming once he sees your face.”
Despite all my brat of a brother said, I would fall in love someday. I mean, come on. My name is Rose, for Merlin's sake! That alone had to make it nearly impossible for me not to fall in love. And if I ever end up finding out who wrote those letters, I know I'll love them. In fact, it will be a match made by the stars! Literally.
I had a week before school started. Scorpius was staying at the Leaky Cauldron, and I got his letter (by the regular owl post, unfortunately) two days ago, asking me to get a room and hang out with him. He’d already asked Al, and that lucky guy’s dad said yes. At least he had a father who could actually accept the friendship. I have been lying to my dad about Scorp since we became best friends in our third year. It sucks, because lying just isn’t like me. I hate it. H-A-T-E it.
Dad let me go, only because I told him I was going to be hanging out with Al. He loves Al. We’re family after all.
I’m heading to London, three days before school, so I got up at eight, and pushed myself out of bed. My snitch pajama-pants dragged along the hard wood floor. I pushed open the door to my bathroom, and took a look in the mirror.
My hair is a little, um, how do I say this… messy-ish in the morning. In truth, it resembles a wig that has been dragged behind a muggle 16-wheeler for two years, then dyed a bright unnatural red. My hair is so red it looks like it was spray paintedh, but it isn’t (get over it Scorp. I know that my hair doesn’t exist in nature. Neither does your face.)
Anyway, my hair kind of frightens me sometimes, so I lunged for the shower and triple conditioned, because today was a very special day. I got out, and put on my fluffy blue robe, and wrapped my hair in the towel-turban. Then I walked into my closet. I could not wait for my 17th birthday. It was in less than a week, and I was excited. I never liked to make a big fuss over things like that, but then again, this was a special year. My family party had been the previous weekend. I still had yet to party with my friends. When I finally turned 17, I’d be able to summon my clothes from the incredibly messy depths. Now I have to depart on the safari that is navigating my ‘closet.’ I’d been packed for my trip since I got the letter, but I wanted to pick out today’s clothes on the day, so I’d know the perfect thing for the day.
I grabbed a black over the shoulder blouse, and a blue top for underneath. I grabbed some worn jeans and a pair of black boots. While I struggled with my boots, I thought about how to do my hair. Albus had seen my morning frizz many a-time, but I knew that Scorpius would be unnerved, so I decided on a simple fishtail.
When that was done, I grabbed my suitcase and purse and strode out of my room. I pulled it, rather bumpily, down the steps, and over to the fireplace.
“Dad!?!” I yelled into the house.
“He’s at work sweetie!” My mother poked her head in from the kitchen.
“I’m off to the Leaky, Mum!” I announced.
“Alright, Dear! Send word if you need me!”
“I will! Bye Mum!”
“Good bye, Rose! Behave!”
I grabbed a big fistful of the greenish powder from the flower pot on top of the mantle. Then I stepped into the empty fireplace, having to hunch over quite a bit.
“THE LEAKY CAULDRON!” I yelled, and threw the powder at the base of the fireplace.
Green flame surge around me, and I was thrust upwards, the fire acting like an ejector seat. I was sucked through what seemed like a portal, then I appeared, a little flustered but okay, in the Leaky Cauldron fireplace. I wobbled a little bit, then stepped out into the low-lit bar. A few men slurred their words over near the bartender, but it was mostly full of Hogwarts students. I was in my element, sort of.
I stepped out and made my way through the thick crowds, dodging glasses of butter beer, and fire-whiskey. I finally got to the little hunchback, Tom.
“I’m checking in,” I told him, keeping myself as close to the wall as possible.
“Name?” he croaked.
“Room 39, on the third floor.”
Tom handed me a set of keys and I thanked him, then took a deep breath. I plunged myself back into the crowd, and got to the stairs only after a great deal of pushing. It was ten times harder than usual with a suitcase dragging behind me. I made my way up the three flights, and down the cramped carpeted hall. Room 39 was last. I fumbled with the keys a little bit, paying no mind to the ear splitting laughter from the first floor or the footsteps that grew near.
I dropped the keys, then bent over to grab them. Just as my hand reached them, they scooted over a little bit. I made a move to grab them, but the flew into the air, somewhere behind me. I spun around, and put my hands on my hips.
“Scorp!” I complained.
Scorpius stood in front of me, leaning up against the wall. He held my keys in one hand, and jangled them slightly. I noticed his wand in his hand dangling at his side. His mouth curved into a crooked smile that was absolutely adorable.
Unlike me, Scorpius was 17, and able to use magic. He was about five months older. My birthday wasn’t until September 2nd, and I just barely made the cut. His was May 15th. That lucky bum.
“Catch!” he commanded.
I snatched my keys out of the air, and shoved them in the lock. Then twisted. I had to shake the iron doorknob a little before it gave and opened up. I stepped into the musty room. There was a four poster bed, a wardrobe, and a vanity table. The curtains over the window were red with a gold fleur-de-lis design. I pulled my luggage in and parted the curtains. The view overlooked the London side of the Leaky.
I placed my luggage on one side of the old wardrobe, then turned back around. I got my first really good look at my best friend. He’d grown over the summer, and now looked like a man. I cocked my head, because that didn’t match up to my mental picture of 13 year old Scorp. The only thing that was the same was the little sparkle in his eye.
“Do I get a hug?” he asked, turning his head a little.
“Alright,” I gave in, and flashed him a smile.
I threw my arms around his shoulders, and held him close. He wrapped his strong arms around my waist. I felt him relax in my arms, and he put his chin on my shoulder. I pulled away.
“So, what’s new, Rosy? Aside from your birthday being in a few days, of course,” he asked.
“I’m head girl, but I’ll bet you already knew that. Hugo’s being a brat again, and Al is being Al. Well…” I debated on telling him about the letters. It was better now that we were alone, so I went for it. “You know… I’ve been getting letters.”
“Really,” Scorpius smirked. “I’m so surprised. Seriously, though, who from?”
“I don’t know! That’s the thing…” I was careful not to set him off.
“Like from a secret admirer? Is that what you’re talking about?” Scorpius raised an eyebrow.
“Al already told me. What else?”
“He did not!”
“Al did not tell you! How do you know?”
“Oh come on, Rosy. Of course, Al told me. That’s just the way it is.”
“I guess it isn’t your fault. Now, what have you been doing?”
“Nothing. Oh Merlin! It has been so boring. Dad’s fighting with my Mother again, and they’re always at work. The house doesn’t help either. You know how depressing it is.”
I nodded, because I’ve seen their house before. It has tall iron gates, and everything inside is made of black marble, or dark wood, or more iron. It was depressing over there at ‘Malfoy Manor.’
“So that’s about it,” he finished.
A voice called from somewhere down the hall, “MAKE WAY FOR ALBUS SEVERUS POTTER!”
Then Al peeked in through the open door, “Hello cuz! Happy almost birthday! Hey, Scorp.”
“Al, Why did you tell Scorpius about the letters! I have a right mind to smack you right now!”
“Because…” Al began, then shrunk away.
Scorpius flashed a menacing glance at my cousin and he stopped talking. He froze, and blushed.
Then Al attempted to finish his sentence, “Um… no reason.”
I didn’t buy it for a minute, “What aren’t you two telling me?”
“Don’t mind the prat, Rosy. He can sort out his mind later,” Scorpius tried to reassure me.
“Anyone want to go grab a butterbeer?” Al asked.
“Sure!” I agreed, glad for an excuse for us to hang out like old times.
With one friend on either side, I walked down the hall. We were a little squished in the skinny corridor, but I made do. Al started talking about his sister, Lily’s, latest boy craze. I laughed as he recounted Aunt Ginny’s face when she told her parents about Dean Thomas Jr. Uncle Harry wasn’t pleased.
I looked between my smiling friends, and I realized that there was nothing that I adored more. I realized how much I’d missed it. We reached the incredibly loud, bar on the first floor.
“There’s Dean now!” Al pointed to a tall dark skinned boy in the corner.
I’d met him many times before, but I realized how Lily could fall for him. He was handsome, but for some reason he didn’t do anything for me. I was fonder of his sister Leah; she was spunky. As for guys, I preferred Jackson Finnigan. He wasn’t the tallest, but he was funny.
“So what do you think?” Scorp kidded.
“No way! Not my type!” I announced, proudly.
I could have sworn I saw Scorp smile little bit. Al just laughed, then caught sight of Ella McLaggen and bolted towards her. She was very pretty, I’d give her that. I nudged Scorp and leaned in towards his ear.
“You got a girl to go run off to?” I teased.
“Nope. I’d rather spend time with you.”
“Yes you are.”
“Not at all!”
I raised an eyebrow at him. I couldn’t tell. I should have been able to, but this was one of those times. For a second I thought that he was being serious, but he couldn’t have been. Could he? I threw my arm over his shoulder, and we headed down the stairs ourselves.
We sat down at the bar and ordered two butterbeers. They came surprisingly fast. I took a slurp of the butterscotch liquid.
“Rosy? Mustache,” Scorp laughed.
I turned to him. I was confused for just a second, and then I realized what he meant, when I saw what had to be an identical foam mustache on his upper lip. I wiped mine off with the back of my hand.
“Scorp?” I chuckled.
“Got it,” he responded wiping his away.
We fell into a comfortable, contemplative silence. I thought about the mystery letters from the stars. Who could it be? Gosh, I hoped it wasn’t Dean, not that I thought it was. Then I looked over at Scorpius. He had a his index finger tracing the outline of his glass. I couldn’t help thinking that he looked more handsome than almost every guy in the Seventh Year. He looked kind of adorable while in the glaze of thought.
I sighed rather loudly, because whoever wrote the letters had about an 10% chance of being more attractive than my best friend. And that sucked.
Scorp took his eyes off the glass, and blinked a few times as if just waking up. He turned his gaze to me.
“What?” He asked.
“Nothing of your concern. Don’t worry about it,” I patted his shoulder, affectionately, then took another sip of my butterbeer, making sure to wipe off my mustache.
I finished off my butterbeer, and looked around the room. A tall figure entered the room. He had Al’s untidy hair, and slim face, but he was lankier than Al. A pair of square glasses were perched on the bridge of his nose. This was James Potter.
I glanced over at Scorpius then back at James, and resolved to go talk to my cousin.
I put a hand on Scorp’s shoulder, “I’ll be back in a few, Scorp. I’ve got to talk to someone.”
I thanked him and slid off the stool and scampered over to James. He saw me coming and I ran right into a hug.
“How’s my favorite cousin?” he asked.
“I’ve got some problems for you to solve,” I confessed.
He smiled his mischievously crooked smile that scared me sometimes, “Sure, Rose. I’ll grab a table.”
I should explain why I’m talking about my guy problems to my older, and partially insane, cousin. We’ve always been close for cousins, not as close as Al and I, but almost. He was quite a few years older, than me, but, as he said, I was always his favorite.
Six years ago, we were walking in the park with Al and Lily. Even at nine, she was picking out guys who fit her specifications. I commented that I wasn’t as picky as her, and that all of that confused me. My very own cousin called me stupid for that, and said I was in trouble. She told me that I’d end up with some bum living in a trailer. I freaked out. That’s what you do when you’re almost 11, isn’t it? I was genuinely scared for my wellbeing. When Lily and Al ran off to play tag, I pulled James aside and made him promise to help me with all of my guy-related problems. He made me promise to always tell him about them. We both swore. I still go to him for all of my issues.
I sat down across from him in the small, well-worn table.
“What’s the problem, cuz?” he asked, thin brown eyes fixated on me.
“I’ve been getting letters from someone. Like ‘a secret admirer’ and I don’t know what to do,” I went on to explain all of the letters and my recent revelation of the secret person’s attractiveness.
“You’re in some pickle. Why didn’t you ask me earlier?” He demanded.
“I don’t know! What do I do?” I glanced over at Scorpius.
“You could just go with him.”
“WHAT!?!” I whisper-yelled.
“He’s been your friend forever, and I know you like him.”
“I DO NOT!... I mean, I don’t… besides, Dad would KILL me!”
“True. I’m stumped. I suggest you pick someone other than mystery guy. Otherwise, just demand to know who he is. Win, win.”
“You assume I want a boyfriend.”
“I know. Well, thanks, James,” I sighed.
“Anytime,” he put a hand on my shoulder. “Now, watch this.”
I nodded. James put on his handsome smile, and straightened his sweater. I watched him go over to Ella McLaggen. She didn’t notice him. I watched Al, gesture towards a table. Al pulled out Ella’s chair for her. James took over from there. Slyly, as if he was just passing by, he yanked on her chair, and she went tumbling.
Al’s face flushed redder than a radish, as he alternated between glaring at his brother and apologizing to Ella. I giggled. James winked at me, then continued walking.