I don't own Barbies, or G.I. Joes, or Skype, or Rhett Butler. Thank you.
I looked down at the Quibbler in my hand. And then I attempted to laugh it off. “Oh, this? Hahaha, oh, it’s nothiiiing!”
“Stop inching toward the stairs, Weasley,” Malfoy said, putting his hands on his hips. “You’re pitifully obvious.”
“Run for it, Rose!” Xander cried from behind me.
So, that’s what I did. Before Malfoy could register what was going on, I had barreled forward and the taking the stairs three at a time. I heard him yell and run after me. With adrenaline coursing through my veins, I flew down the corridor to my guest room and slammed the door shut, and locked it. I sank to the floor, breathing hard.
“Weasley! Open the fucking door!” Malfoy hammered on door so loudly, I wondered if the wood was going to splinter. Good thing for me, Alohomora didn’t work on the door locks in the Jagneaux mansion.
I dragged myself to my suitcase, unzipped it, and hastily shoved the magazine right at the bottom, underneath my bras, assorted underwear, and female toiletries. Let’s see Malfoy get his grimy paws down there!
I pushed the suitcase under my bed, just as a double safety measure, and then unlocked the door. “Hullo!” I said cheerfully, looking at him. “Are you done yet?”
“Weasley,” Malfoy snarled, slamming his hand against the door panel, “tell me what was in that magazine!”
“There wasn’t anything,” I said innocently. “Why do you always think that everything’s about you?”
“Then why the fuck were you running away from me?”
“I mean, who wouldn’t?” I shook my head. “Man, you need to take a look at yourself! You’re built like a blond bear! Most people would be afraid of walking twenty feet near you!”
Malfoy exhaled. It had seemed like he had calmed down a bit. “You know, Weasley… most girls think that being built like a bear is a good thing.”
“Not this girl,” I said, shuddered. “I don’t like bears, no matter how jacked-up with muscle they are. You’re thinking of Xander. She’s, like, obsessed with pectorals.”
“So you mean to say that you don’t like pectorals?”
“No, I love pectorals,” I replied airily. “Just not yours.”
Okay. Rose. Why are you even having this conversation with him?
Malfoy rolled his eyes. “That’s not what you were thinking when you saw me shirtless for, what, five times during this fall.”
“And how do you know what I was thinking?” I said testily.
“Weasley,” he said firmly, “if you weren’t thinking bad things when you saw me shirtless, then your estrogen levels are off.”
“Oh, wonderful!” Astoria trilled, seeing us as she came out of her bedroom. She was holding a magazine in one hand. “You guys are having a civil conversation!”
“Is it civil to tell a girl that their estrogen levels are off?” I demanded of her.
“Well, that’s what your son just did!”
“She said that she doesn’t appreciate my pecs!” Malfoy protested, gesticulating wildly toward his own chest. “What else am I supposed to say?”
“I don’t appreciate them, either,” Astoria said.
“Well, if you did then it’d be really creepy—”
Astoria poked her son’s chest. “You feel sort of flabby. Have you been working out?”
“No, you haven’t. How could you possibly be asking a woman to appreciate your pectorals if they’re non-existent?”
“MUM!” Malfoy yelped angrily. “I have an eight-pack! Here, let me show you!”
I quickly turned my eyes in the other direction, but Astoria said sharply, “Put your shirt down! If you like showing your stomach so much, I’ll sign you up for belly-dancing lessons!”
I started to laugh. “Thanks, Astoria.”
“No prob, honey,” she replied, affectionately patting my shoulder. “Speaking about pectorals, I was reading an interesting article in the Quibbler—”
To my absolute horror, I realized that the magazine she was holding was, in fact, an identical of the one that I had stored away in my suitcase. Powerless, I watched as she flipped to page 32.
“See, it says that Peeves attacked some half-naked Slytherin boys in the middle of the night? Did that really happen, Scor? Or are the Scamanders fibbing again?”
Malfoy gaped at the pictures and obviously recognized himself right smack dab in the front. He met my eyes slowly, looking absolutely furious.
I raised my hands. “Dude, I swear it’s nothing personal.”
“Like FUCK it’s nothing personal!”
“Whoa there, kids!” Astoria put her hand between us. “What is going on?”
“She took those pictures,” Malfoy spat, jabbing his finger at the photos in the magazine. “And she set Peeves on us!”
“It was just a prank,” I said in a placating voice, hoping that his mum wouldn’t get too mad. “I had the pictures, so who in the right mind wouldn’t distribute them to the highest bidder? And the Scamanders censored their faces, so no harm done.”
“No harm done?” Malfoy raged. “Do you know how fucking much those paintballs hurt? Me and the guys had to soak in a pool for a few hours!”
“I hope you didn’t soak for too long, Scorpius,” his mum said absentmindedly while she read over the article. “Your little bitty parts might fall off. I’ve heard of that happening—”
“MUM!” Malfoy looked scandalized.
“Sorry,” she said hastily. “Did I say ‘little bitty’? I meant long and, um, daikon-shaped. Don’t worry, I won’t let your body down in front of the ladies—”
“MUM! STOP IT!” Clearly mortified to be with us any longer, he stuck his hands in his pockets and bolted down the hall to his room.
“Wait!” Astoria yelled called after him. “You want me to put this article in the family album?”
“Don’t be fucking crazy!” A bedroom door slammed.
Astoria looked down at the article. “Yes, I think I shall put it in the family album. I’ll be a nice shock for Draco.”
“Astoria?” I said a little tentatively. “I’m sorry about the pictures.”
She rolled up the magazine in both hands. “I wished you wouldn’t resort to these methods, Rose.”
“I have no choice!” I said vainly. “When we were going to Hogwarts on the Express this year, Malfoy and his goonies said these horrible, horrible things to me and my friends. You can’t even imagine! I had to get back at him somehow!”
“Next time he does something like that, owl me. Immediately.” She smacked the magazine against one palm. “I’ll set him straighter than a washing board. Just like how I did right now.”
“Daikon-shaped?” I asked in a funny voice.
She rolled her eyes. “Don’t even ask.”
I went down to the kitchen so see how dinner was coming along. Zelda and Jag were cooking, so I was bracing myself to be toxic poisoned that night. Their kitchen was enormous, almost half the size of a small Quidditch pitch and it stretched on for several rooms, so it took me a while to find the girls. They ended up being in the main cooking room that had the freezer and the stoves. Xander was poking at two great big metal doors, over three times as tall as she was, and Zelda was going through one of the many pantries. Near her feet, there was a gigantic cauldron that was almost three-quarters as tall as she was.
“Hey, guys! Where’d Jag go?”
“He sacrificed himself for the good of humanity,” Zelda replied. She pulled out an oblong package from the pantry. “Hmm. Hey, Rose, do you know what fallopian tubes are?”
“Fallopian tubes,” she repeated. “What are they?”
“Uhhh. Um. Well..."
“It says these are frogs’ fallopian tubes.” She shrugged and tossed the whole package into the cauldron.
“Zelda… is that our dinner?” I said very weakly.
“Nope,” she said happily. “Not our dinner. It’s the hag’s. We’re going to fumigate her tonight.”
“Good plan,” I answered. Then I wondered why anybody in the right mind would have a package of frog reproductive organs in the pantry.
“Jellied moose nose,” Zelda mumbled, emptying some suspicious-looking round objects into the cauldron.
“Crow’s feet, fermented salmon, Italian merchants’ moustaches—”
“What the fuck?” I asked in horror.
“THERE ARE COW’S BODIES IN THERE!” Xander screamed and ran toward me. Apparently, she’d had the courage to open the freezer. “They’re all bloody and sliced and the bone and hanging by their feet. Oh, Rosie, why does Jag have a morgue of cows?”
“So we can cook and eat them.”
Xander’s yellow eyes went wide. I remembered too late that she was a vegetarian.
“Hey!” Zelda called to us, holding a bottle of something gray and sloshy. “Check this out! It’s liquefied mummy!”
Xander looked as if she was going to barf, and I knew exactly how she felt. “I’m outta here,” I said, stumbling toward the exit.
“Yeah, we’ll leave Zel to it,” Xander mumbled.
I breathed the fresh air of the parlor and plopped down on the sofa. “Dinner’s going to be interesting.”
“Definitely,” Xander said fervently.
“Where did Jag go? I thought he and Zelda were brewing the concoction together.”
Xander stifled a small laugh behind her hand. “You’ll see. What happened with Malfoy? Did he catch you?”
“Nope. But his mum happened to be reading the Quibbler and she told him, so he knows about it.”
“His mum reads the Quibbler?” Xander was astonished. “That’s… really weird.”
I shrugged. “It fits her, somehow. She said she was even going put the pictures of them getting paintballed in her family album. Don’t you just love her?”
“Yeah.” Xander was quiet for a moment. She slumped down on a pillow and stared at me. “Rose, I think Astoria wants you and Malfoy to get together.”
“No way,” I said immediately. That can’t be.
“Then why would she ask you to take him Christmas shopping?”
“Maybe she just wants him to go Christmas shopping, how should I know?” I felt flustered. Why, indeed? “Well, I suppose you have a point. I don’t even know this area. She should’ve asked Jag or Irene to take him.”
Xander shrugged. “Well, she definitely wants the two of you to be friends.”
“Yeah, I know she does,” I said quietly. I loved Astoria, but I just couldn’t be friendly with her son. It was impossible. I decided to change the topic. “What’s up with you and Kai? Is everything okay?”
I suddenly wished I hadn’t brought up the topic. Xander’s face slumped downward. “I can’t believe it!! Wahhhhhhhhhhh!! Why did he reject meeeeee?”
“Um, Xander, listen,” I said carefully. “It’s not you. It’s him.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s him,” I said, looking at her and nodding my head, trying to give her the big hint. “It’s his fault he can’t like you.”
“Why?” she cried. “Because he can’t get over how ugly I am? I HATE MY LIIIIFE!”
“Xander, no!” I slapped myself on the head. Goddamnit, how was I supposed to make her understand? “Xander, how much do you exactly like him? Are you sure you’re not in love with him?”
“I don’t know,” she sniffed. “I’ve never felt this way about anybody before. Even though I dated Connor, Alec, Erikson and that Ravenclaw guy with the intense abs— sorry, do you remember his name? I always forget it— I’ve never felt this strongly about anyone before.”
“So, you slept with Alec just on a whim?” I asked dryly.
Her face went bright red. “No, no! I really liked him! But I like Kai more!”
“But it’s not love?”
“I hope not,” she muttered. “Especially since he doesn’t like me back. Am I really that ugly?”
“You’re beautiful as the stars, sweetheart,” I said exasperatedly. “It’s not you, it’s him. No matter how gorgeous you look, he will never like you back.”
Her eyes filled with tears. “I can’t believe it… He hates my personality that much?”
“Oh. My. Fucking. God!” I threw my arms out to the heavens. How could she be so daft? I decided to try a different tack. “Okay, Xander, do you know what fruity means?”
“Fruit?” Xander raised an orange eyebrow. “How does that relate to anything?”
“No, fruity,” I repeated. “Like, that boy’s wearing fruity underwear. That kind of fruity.”
Xander shrugged. “So, he’s wearing underwear with a lot of apples and oranges printed on them. Big deal. Why does that matter?”
I wanted to ram my head against the coffee table. “Xander, there’s another meaning.”
“You mean fruit-smelling stuff? You know a guy who has citrus-smelling underwear? That’s wicked! I want some!”
“NO! THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEAN!” I didn’t care anymore. I was going to be totally obvious. “Xander, if I told you that Kai was fruity, what would you think?”
“Well, I would think that he’s not fruity, because he doesn’t use Garnier in his hair. He uses Pantene and that doesn’t smell fruity at all!”
“Oh goddammit.” I decided to give up. “Xander… just forget I said anything.”
“But I don’t get it! Why were you saying that there’s another meaning of ‘fruity’? Fruity has to do with fruit, right—?”
“GUYS!! DINNER’S READY!” Zelda appeared in the doorway, practically beaming. “The soup turned out fantastic! I suggest you bring clothes-pins to clip your noses together, because several rats have already died from breathing in the smell!”
Zelda claimed that what she had made was Chicken Cordon Bleu, and seeing the slimy, gray mixture of shit bubble in the gigantic cauldron, my reaction was: “Zelda, that is not Chicken Fucking Cordon Bleu! That is a weapon that you could use for terrorism! One drop of that can wipe out half of the world’s nations!”
“It’s Chicken Cordon Bleu,” Zelda told me firmly, and she proceeded to levitate the extra-large cauldron onto the dinner table. I had no idea how the table didn’t buckle.
The various occupants of the house emerged, all holding their noses. Astoria and Irene sat as far away from the cauldron as possible. Irene was sketching furiously in a notepad and ignoring everyone near her, and Astoria was reading a book, holding it parallel to her face like a shield against the horrid smell. Xander walked into the room, to my astonishment, holding a book that was three times the size of the one that was in Astoria’s hand. Al and Malfoy both came into the room, pinching their noses and gagging at the smell. Al looked almost ready to leave, but I grabbed his shirtsleeve.
“Where’s Jag?” I asked him. “Have you seen him anywhere?”
My cousin shrugged. “I dunno. I thought he was making that shit with you guys. What in the name of sweet Jesus did you put in it?”
“That’s a good question,” I muttered, eyeing the cauldron of sludge.
We sat around the table, and since Zelda said she felt to queasy to do the honors herself, a magicked ladle went around and poured generous amounts of the toxic gunk into the bowls in front of us. Once the ladle came near me, the smell hit the roof of my mouth, and I nearly blacked out. Yeah, it was that bad.
“IT’S AN EYEBALL!” Malfoy shouted in horror, pushing his chair back from the table with a loud squuueaaaak. “NYX, WHY IS THERE AN EYEBALL IN MY BOWL?”
“It’s not human. Cow, probably,” Zelda responded. “And I’m pretty sure there are other cow parts in other people’s bowls, too, so don’t freak out.”
I recalled that Xander had said that there were cow bodies hanging in the freezer. “Zelda, I said slowly, “How did you get the carcass down to size?”
“I took a saw and hacked at it. It was good stress relief.”
“Oh my god.” Just the thought made me want to barf. Then I had a vision of Al hitting a punching bag with boxers’ gloves on and Zelda next to him, attacking a hanging cow carcass with a saw in each hand. I had to laugh.
“Guys, I found a rubber duck!” I looked and saw that there was indeed a tiny, yellow rubber duck floating sadly upside down in Al’s bowl. Only its rump was visible.
“There’s a dead firefly in mine! No, wait! It’s alive! Its butt’s glowing!”
I spooned around in my soup. “I see hippogriff turd.”
“A guitar pick!”
“A map of Africa!”
“Someone’s…ew…there’s someone’s hair in here…”
“What kind of hair?”
“Er… I dunno. It’s, um, wiry though—”
“I found G.I. Joe heads!”
“OMG GUYS I FOUND A LEG!”
“A HUMAN leg?”
“No, it’s Barbie’s.”
“Where did you find Barbies?”
“In Jag’s room.”
“Oh, cool, this is an Assyrian smicthar!”
“Hey, there’s something moving in my bowl! It’s slithering around!”
“A rooster’s cock!”
“A thousand-dollar bill!”
“This looks like cream cheese.”
“Oh GROSS. That’s NOT cream cheese.”
“Dude, this is a bottle of opium…”
“I FOUND A WEINER!”
“A WHAT?” we shrieked together.
“It’s a hot-dog wiener!” Zelda raised her hands in a placating way. “Chill, everyone. I didn't chop Al's manliness off or anything."
"I'm glad you didn't," Al muttered, and then he looked down and patted the spot between his legs lovingly.
I made a grossed-out face, and was going to tell my dear cousin to keep his hands off his private parts in public, and especially not during dinner, but then Irene enquired from the head of the table, “Do you think old women would want low necklines or high?”
“What?” we echoed each other.
“I’m trying to draw designs for elderly women’s wedding dresses. Do you think they would want their breasts to show?”
“No, because their boobs would be all saggy if they’re old.”
I glared at Al. “I think yes, because they would be trying to show that they’re still young! That’s the point of getting married at such an age!”
“And any woman can make their boobs look young again. It’s called anti-aging cream, duh.”
Irene made some note in her journal, then stopped and pinched her nose. “Whew! That smells like a sewer! What did you put in it?”
Al, Zelda, and I looked at each other, and we didn’t respond.
“I though the whole point of this was to get rid of my mother. Where is she?”
“Um, she’s your mother,” Al pointed out. “Don’t you know where she is?”
“MAMAN!” Irene suddenly screeched at the top of her lungs. Poor Astoria who was sitting and reading next to her gave a start. “MAMAN, VIENS-ICI! TU VEUX DINER!”
“Mum, come here. You must have dinner,” Al translated under his breath for us.
“She should be ‘ere in a moment,” Irene said, comfortably settling into her chair. “But back to ze boobs…”
Madame Jagneaux strode into the dining room not minutes after. She was still wearing the Dalmatian coat. Every inch of me wanted to yell out, It’s Cruella De Vil!
“Pourquoi tu me veux ici? Je ne veux pas diner, Irene.”
“Just eat the food, woman,” Irene replied irritably.
Madame Jagneaux gave one look at the gigantic cauldron and her expression turned into a scowl. “What iz dees trash? Eet looks like a cesspool of feces.”
A.k.a. bunch of shit, I thought.
“It’s Chicken Cordon Bleu,” Zelda announced proudly.
“Chicken?” Irene gasped, holding her heart. “Does it really have chicken in it?”
“Yup. And I decapitated Bo and cooked him in the soup, so it legitimately has chicken in it.”
“Bo,” Irene whispered. All the blood drained out of her face. “Mon papa? He is in the soup?”
I remembered that Bo was her father transplanted inside a hen. Did Zelda really decapitate it?
“Yes, he is,” Zelda proclaimed loudly. “Irene, your late father’s, and Madame Jagneaux, your late husband’s soul is inside that soup!”
“ROSE!” Xander screamed out in anxiety.
Everybody stopped and looked at her, then at me.
I whipped my head around in surprise. Xander was glaring at me. There were five different tomes in front of her, all stacked up on each other.
“ROSE. I don’t get it. Why did you say that Kai was fruity? All the dictionaries say that fruity means ‘having to do with fruit’ or ‘pertaining to the aroma given off by fruit’.”
I panicked. “Xander, shut up. Don’t start talking about this—"
"WHAT does fruity mean?"
"Xander!" I said hastily. "Look, we can talk about this later—"
“I even looked up adjectives! Rich, zesty, sweet, tangy, plummy, grapey, lemony—”
"I'm sorry, everyone," I told, especially Irene, who was raising her eyebrows at us, and her mum, who just stood there and glowered. "Don't mind, Xander. She's just--"
“You don’t know what fruity means?” Malfoy laughed from beside me, and a thrill of horror went up through my body. “You’re so stupid, Voss. If you call a guy that, you’re implying that they’re feminine and most likely ga—”
“MALFOOOOOY!” In a split second, I had forgotten about everything else. I forgot where we were, who we were sitting with. All I cared about was that Malfoy was going to say the g-word and spill Kai’s secret. So, I did the only thing to do.
I took my bowl of toxic waste and smashed it into his face.
It was spectacular. The bowl slid down and shattered on the floor. All the gloop in the bowl had magically stuck to Malfoy’s face. All of it. He took a sleeve and slowly wiped the shit from his eyes.
“Holy fuck,” I said. “You don’t even want to know what’s sticking to your face…”
Then, with a roar of rage Malfoy came forward and attacked me. We grappled together and screamed at each other for a few moments, and then he grabbed the neckline of my shirt, pulled it away from my body and shoved the contents of his bowl of soup down my shirt.
“FUUUUCK!” I screamed, dancing on the spot. The stuff was cold, I tell you. Then I made a beeline for the room’s exit.
We ran into the hallway. Malfoy pulled the hall-runner down, tripping me, then jumped over my body and dashed toward the bathroom. With a growl of rage, I was after him again. I knocked him aside at the door to the bathroom, entered it, and then jumped into the shower and turned the handle to the side. Cold water engulfed me.
I ripped off my shirt and danced on the spot, shaking my whole body like a dog. “Get it off, get it off, get it off, get if off—“
At that point, I didn’t even give a crap if Malfoy saw me with only my bra on. I was only a B-Cup, so he wouldn’t be interested. My only thought was that I had stuff like hippogriff dung and liquefied mummy guts sticking to my body, AND I WANTED TO GET IT OFF. As I was about to reach for the soap, the shower door swung open and Malfoy stepped in, all shirtless galore. “Move over,” he growled, and stupefied I did as he said.
“Why the fuck are you in the shower?”
“That shit got on my chest.”
“WELL, YOU POURED IT ON MY BOOBS SO I THINK I SHOULD HAVE THE SHOWER!”
“You pied me in the face with it!”
“That’s ‘cos you were about to say the word ‘gay’!”
I was enraged. “Listen, Malfoy, if you were gay, would you want me telling everybody about it?”
“Then why were you about to say that! If a person doesn’t know that someone else’s gay, you don’t tell them! It would be disrespecting the person who’s gay!”
“Whatever. But that still wasn’t worth getting a faceful of toxic shit.” Malfoy stepped forward, putting his head under the shower head and smoothed wet hair back. Since I didn’t want to stare, I looked in the other direction and hastily began scrubbing myself with the soap. The gunk seemed like it was gone off my body, but I wanted to make sure. “Weasley, you know we’re in a shower together.”
“Yes, I realize that, thank you very much.” I kept on scrubbing myself with as much dignity as possible.
“You don’t feel intimidated the slightest?”
I didn’t look at him. “Not at all. Why should I?”
“What if I did this?” He slammed his hand to the tiles on the side of my face. I was forced to look up at him. And that moment, the realization hit forcefully that we were both shirtless and soaking wet.
“Um… hi?” His gray eyes glinted. I told myself to look at his face, and not down. He was wearing jeans, thank god, and so was I— but him being shirtless was enough for me. I knew that I had started to redden. “My worst enemy, trying to seduce me?”
“I’m not seducing you, Weasley. I’m just trying to make you feel fear.”
The water poured behind us.
“Fear?” And at this, I truly felt the need to snort. “You think I fear you? Fear is not one emotion I have ever felt for you.”
Fuck. He looked damn good with his hair slicked back.
“You know Malfoy,” I breathed inches away from his lips. Our faces were very close. Unfortunately I was smaller than him, so I had to tilt my head up at him. “You are the only man I would ever feel comfortable with in this situation.”
That surprised him a little. He narrowed his eyes. I could see his individual lashes dripping with water. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, you are the only man who I can be standing like this in a shower with, and not be afraid or embarrassed. If it were Liam or someone else I fancied, I would be blushing and trying to act sexy and failing horribly. If I was with Jag or Lysander, it would just be awkward. If I was with Al or Hugo… why the fuck would I be in the shower with Al or Hugo? But you, Scorpius Malfoy, are my enemy. I am not embarrassed by you, I do not like you, and nor do I fear you. You can do nothing to me.”
Malfoy’s stormy gray eyes had not left mine for the entire little speech. Now, he put a hand on my chin and tilted it up. “What if,” he said, his voice low and husky, “what if I kissed you right now?”
Thank god, my heart didn’t falter. It didn’t skip a beat. I looked straight into his eyes and replied, “You won’t.”
“Really…?” He leaned in as close as possible. I could see every single water droplet clinging to his eyelashes. His lips were almost right over mine and he breathed over me as he murmured, “I could, right now…”
“You won’t,” I said, and my voice almost shook. He was much too close! I couldn’t stand it! “You won’t, Malfoy. You know why? It’s because you hate me.”
I prayed that I was right.
Malfoy looked directly into my eyes. He withdrew his head a slight bit and a smirk curled up the corner of his mouth. “Weasley, you’re a piece of work.”
“I was right, wasn’t I?” My heart thudded painfully in my chest. I couldn’t tell if the moment was over, or if he was still going to attack me. “You can’t kiss me, just as I can never kiss you. It’s impossible.”
Now he withdrew completely, taking a step back into the shower. He ran a hand through his hair. “Yeah, you’re right, Weasel. It’s really impossible. I almost wanted to do it, just to piss you off… but…”
“You just couldn’t. Mental block of hatred. I know what you mean.”
We stepped out of the shower. I grabbed a fluffy white towel and wrapped my upper body in it. Thank god, that encounter was really close. It was the feeling, like after being a cornered by a lion. The lion had pounced on you and was just about to eat you, and you’re lying there with your eyes shut and praying to mumma, but then the lion sniffs something more delicious and leaves you in hunt of other prey… That’s the feeling.
“Where’d you learn those moves from?” I asked him. I could joke now since I was out of range of his claws. “Gone With the Wind? You’re turning into a regular old Rhett.”
“For your own good, I suggest that you don’t compare Rhett to me,” Malfoy said as he dried his arms off with a towel. “If you remember, Scarlett hated him, too.”
“Oh, ew. Forget I said anything.” It was true. In the book Scarlett was in love with a guy named Ashley, but hated Rhett. Rhett, in the beginning, thought that Scarlett was a fussy bitch, but then he started warming up to her and seducing her and stuff. That’s where I was in the book.
“Have you read the whole thing?”
“Yeah,” Malfoy muttered under his breath. “If you get to the end, you’ll see exactly why you don’t what me to be Rhett.”
I didn’t know how to reply to that. Suddenly, things were more awkward than it had been in the shower. I recalled that Astoria knew that I wanted the book for Christmas. Maybe she would give it to me, so I could finish it! I suddenly really wanted to know how the story ended. But the book was with Astoria. And then, I remembered something that I needed to tell Malfoy.
“Hey, Malfoy,” I said in a flat tone.
He turned around. “What?”
“Has your mum talked to you since we got back?”
“No… Is there something I need to know?”
“We’re getting married.”
“WHAT THE FUCK?”
I burst out laughing. “Ahahahaha! I’m joking. Your face was priceless. No, we’re actually going Christmas shopping together.”
“The fuck? Christmas shopping?”
“You want to get married instead?”
“Why the FUCK are we going Christmas shopping? I already bought presents for everyone!”
“Did you buy one for me?”
"Like hell I did.”
“Did you buy ones for Al, Jag, Xander, Zelda, Irene, and Madame Coco?”
“No, and I'm not planning to either! My mum must be crazy if she thinks I’m buying them all presents!”
“Not even the house-elf?”
“Especially not the house-elf.”
I wished I could Skype my mum. She would rip Malfoy into shreds for that comment.
I shrugged. “Well, I promised your mother I would. If you got a problem, take it up with her.”
I left the bathroom with the towel still around me, ran up the stairs to my room, and as fast as possible, changed into a pair of pajamas. Then I galloped down the stairs back to the dining room. I didn’t want to miss any of the drama.
Malfoy was already there, wearing a fresh shirt and trousers. He was standing in the room’s entrance. Irene and her mother were having a bilingual screaming match.
“MANGE LA DAMN SOUPE!”
“NON! THAT IZ POISON! YOU WANT TO KEEL ME!”
“VRAIMENT I WANT TO KILL YOU, HAG! YOU KILLED MY PAPA!”
“JE N’AI PAS TUE TON PERE, IRENE! IL A MORT A CAUSE DE LA MALADIE DE DRAGON!”
“HE DIDN’T DIE OF DRAGON POX, BITCH! YOU KILLED HIM!”
They launched themselves at each other, clawing at each other’s hair.
“YOUR HUSBAND’S SOUL IS INSIDE THAT SOUP, SO YOU BETTER EAT IT AND DIE! REPENT, WOMAN!”
“BEAUMONT WAS NEVER A CHEEKEN, IRENE! YOU ARE ADDLED EEN THE ‘EAD!”
Then, a hand erupted through the surface of the cauldron—not unlike a zombie hand coming out of a graveyard.
Xander and I screamed and jumped back. The surface of the soup began to bubble, and slowly an oval, gloop-covered object emerged —it was a head, I realized— then a gloop-covred neck, then a gloop-covered torso, and then finally a pair of gloop-covered legs. It was a gloop monster.
“Je suis Beaumont,” the faceless monster droned in a deep voice.
Smirking, Irene watched the look on her mother’s face. Madame Jagneaux’s face had slackened. “C’est Beaumont? Ce n’est pas possible!”
“Tu m’a tué, Giselle. Tu m’a tué. J’étais un poulet pour dix années!”
“You killed me, Giselle. You killed me. I was a chicken for ten years,” Al hissed in my ear.
Madame Jagneaux’s face was frozen. Stupefied. “Thees iz not posseeble,” she breathed.
Then suddenly, the gloop monster wavered on its legs. It made a choking noise as it staggered out of the cauldron. It was wearing stripy Adidas sneakers. “Dudes… I—I— CAN’T FUCKING DO THIS ANYMORE!”
Then the gloop- figure fell off the side of the table like dead weight and face-planted in the carpet.
“JAG!” we screamed, running to him. Zelda got there first and began siphoning off the gunk from his face. His eyes were closed.
“Is he breathing?”
“Does he have to go to Mungo’s?”
“He’s breathing,” Zelda said, putting a finger under his nose. “I think he’s just unconscious.”
“How long was he in that toxic soup?” I asked, feeling aghast.
“He was my first ingredient. I Stunned him, put everything else in, and cooked him over the fire just a couple of hours ago.” She bit her lip. “Do you think he’s going to be okay?”
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