Chapter 2 : "Don't Call Me Frizz!"
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5 Reasons Why I am Most Definitely Looking Forward to Going Back To School:
1. My brother, Charlie, has discovered that wands are just right for cleaning ear wax out of his ears. You do not want to know how I found that one out.
2. Despite what Rose may believe, I am perfectly confident that only she, the Ravenclaws, and possibly Al and Dom (but only because they’re related to Rose) will have actually read that history book.
3. Scorpius Malfoy is going to receive a pummelling for not replying to our letters. Need I go on?
4. No more serving ice cream to snotty four year olds! (Though, it may have positively ruined my summer but hey, at least I’ll be able to actually afford a butterbeer next Hogsmede trip!)
5. And finally, no matter what Rose Weasley and all our teachers say, this year is going to be the best yet!
September the first is a day I look forward to. The day I cross the bridge between magic and normality. The day I see all my friends again. For the past few years I’ve been travelling to King’s Cross Station with the Weasley’s as Mum and Dad usually have to work. I prefer this; it gives Rose and me a chance to catch up before we see Al and Scorp.
My school trunk packed with robes, books and potions equipment, is sitting by the door waiting to go. My owl, Dragon, is in his cage with two dead rats to keep him occupied before we reach Hogwarts. I have the latest issue of Witch Weekly, a packet of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and my History book I was supposed to have read this summer in my handbag for carrying with me on the train. Gasp at what Rose would say if she knew I haven’t read “A Guide to Medieval Sorcery” yet. Knowing her, she probably read it the day she bought it, within the hour most likely. Scorp won’t have read it; I know that for a fact. Unlike me, however, I know he won’t be speed reading on the train. He’ll just make up some well-worded spew for any essay we get set and leave it at that. Al will have battled his way through it but thoroughly disliked every page.
I sit on the bottom step that faces the front door and start to read the blurb. Sighing and realizing I’ll be lucky to get through the first ten pages of it by the time we reach school; I slip it back into my bag and pull out Witch Weekly. I’ve just settled down to read the true-life page (My Neighbour Has a Dragon in the Back Garden!) when the doorbell rings. I jump down off the step and pull open the front door to reveal Rose standing in the porch. Her bushy, red hair falls around her face in untidy ringlets and her blue eyes seem to light up with excitement at the sight of my face.
“Jessie!” she squeals as we pull each other into a tight embrace. “You’ve grown!”
“So have you!” I squeal back. It’s now I realize just how much I’ve missed my best friend
“Your hair looks so pretty!”
“Oh my god I love your skirt!”
“Your cardigan is so nice!”
“Why are you so pretty?”
“Me? You’re the pretty one!”
A small cough from behind Rose ends our conversation, “Mum told me to get Jess’ trunk.” Rose’s brother Hugo steps around us, picks up my trunk and walks back down my drive to the blue Ford parked there. I grab my handbag and slam the front door, locking it behind me and knowing that I won’t be here again for nearly a year, I walk to the car.
“Hi, Jessie!” Mrs. Weasley says as we get into the car.
“Hi, Mrs Weasley! Where’s Mr Weasley?” I ask noticing Hugo sitting in the passenger seat.
“Ronald couldn’t take the day off,” she says, a tone a resentment in her voice.
“Only because he’s used up all his holiday days on seeing the Chudley Cannons getting flattened!” Rose snorts.
“One day,” Hugo says turning in his seat to face his sister, “We’ll win the league and then you’ll be sorry you don’t have a season ticket!”
“I’m sure I’ll be weeping in my grave,” Rose retorts with a laugh.
Mrs. Weasley puts the car into gear and we set off. It still amuses me that, despite being a witch and being married to a wizard, Mrs Weasley chooses to drive to the station. Still, I suppose her parents were muggles and it must be rather awkward to get there any other way.
The drive from my house to London isn’t very long, but, as Hugo tells us when we arrived, we won’t need to talk for the rest of the year, we’ve apparently talked enough already. I hear about Rose’s summer. How she’d scored a goal against her cousin Louis in Quidditch although, as Hugo points out, Louis is seven and has never played keeper before. She shows off her gleaming, new prefect badge and I’m happy to see she’s got it. Rose tells me about her favourite parts of “A Guide to Medieval Sorcery” which she had read four times and wonders whether that would have been enough to absorb all the information. I reassure that she would have probably got a fairly good grasp of it. She asks me about my summer so I tell her about Charlie, my nine year-old brother, eating so much he was sick at my ninety-five year old grandma’s birthday party and how Charlie and his friends got into my room and ate my potions ingredients.
Rose laughs when I tell her this then her facial expression suddenly becomes quite serious, “Did Scorpius send you a letter this summer?”
I don’t even need to think about it. I have sent Scorp no less than twenty-three letters and received no more than zero replies. At first I had got myself genuinely convinced that his parents were burning his post from me because I’m muggle-born then, I realized Scorpius is a fifteen year-old boy who would probably rather go and eat cake than reply to my letters. “Nope,” I say, “Not a single one.”
Rose huffs and says, “That boy needs to learn that he can’t do that! It’s not polite!”
“Do you really think politeness is a big concern of Scorp’s when it comes to us?” I laugh.
Rose opens her mouth to reply but Mrs Weasley cuts across her, “Here we are!” She pulls into a free parking space and the car had barely come to a halt before Hugo jumps out muttering something that sounds suspiciously like, “Smells like perfume.”
We put our trunks onto a trolley and Rose begins to mutter about how she’s going to rip a certain boy limb from limb for not replying to her and suddenly I felt rather scared for that certain boy. When we arrive at the barrier between platforms nine and ten Rose has such a manic look in her eye that I seriously consider scarpering for ten minutes while she “burns the bastard’s arms in fire kindled with his hair.” Right. I have a seriously creepy girl beside me who, on first glance, would probably be mistaken for a psychiatric patient at St Mungo’s.
Rose flicks her hair behind her ears and runs at the barrier, next thing she is gone. I copied (without the hair flicking, mine is firmly tucked back with a navy bow) and emerge onto platform 9 ¾ . The platform is as crowded as ever with mothers weeping and fathers shaking hands and owls hooting and cats mewing or whatever cats do. I follow Rose’s flaming hair through the crowds. An advantage of having a ginger-ninja friend; they never get lost. Although considering I happened to be with a very scary ginger at that moment, maybe it wasn’t such an advantage. Rose eventually stops by a skinny boy with crazily messy jet-black hair. “Al! Hey!” I say pulling him into a tight hug. For me, that’s not awkward because Al’s one of my best friends but apparently he’s not so fond of these cosy embraces so I let him go and turned to Mr and Mrs Potter. “Hello!”
“Hi, Jess,” Mrs Potter says, her warm smile glowing as usual.
“Where’s Scorpius?” Rose asks, the same slightly demented expression on her face.
“I have no idea but let me know when you find him,” Al says. “I want to hit him with a large book.”
Mr Potter snorts, “What?”
“He never replied to one single one of my letters. All summer. I thought he was dead or something!” Al says earnestly.
“Well, Al,” Mrs Potter warns. “Don’t hit him too hard, he’s a lot bigger than you.”
Everybody sniggers and Al turns bright red, “Mum, shut up.”
“Well, it is true,” Lily, Al’s little sister laughs.
Mr and Mrs Potter and Mrs Weasley see somebody they know and leave. Lily and Hugo seem to find Rose, Al and I not worthy of company and go to speak to some other third year.
“Well, hello there,” a familiar voice says from the steamy platform. And, sure enough, I turn round to see Scorpius Malfoy emerging into the clearing where we are standing. His blonde hair is perfectly imperfect as usual and his grey eyes sparkle in the misty light. His broad grin vanishes when he sees our faces. Each of us giving him the “Death Stare”. The Death Stare is something we created in the second year. It’s used for different reasons for each of us. For Al it’s used when he was getting too crazy and frankly just annoying. For Rose it’s used when she was being annoyingly clever for example, reciting the textbook before a test and wondering if she had done enough revision would definitely earn her a generous serving of the Death Stare. For me, it’s usually when I’m speaking too much, too fast or just about too weird things. And for Scorp, it’s used when he’s being a big-headed git or in this particular case has screwed up, badly.
“What did I do?” he asks, confused.
“You absolute bastard, Scorpius Malfoy!” Rose cries, smacking him with a Transfiguration textbook. “You didn’t reply to any of us! All summer- oh hi Mr Malfoy, Mrs Malfoy.”
“Oh, right,” he laughs. “Sorry, I forgot.”
“You forgot? You forgot? Oh, well then that’s okay!” Rose says, not bothering to keep the sarcasm out of her voice.
Then out of nowhere, Al appears brandishing a thick Arithmancy textbook. He holds
the book out in front of his head and charges directly at Scorp’s... Scorp’s delicate part. “Aargh,” Scorp cries as he jumped to his left. Al continues at top speed right into Mr Malfoy’s crotch.
“AARGH!” Mr Malfoy screamed. Scorpius doubles up in fits of laughter and Rose and I both desperately trying to hide our own sniggers. Al, however, looks like he could cry. He and Mr Malfoy are both lying on the floor; Al’s extremely red faced and is trying to roll off Mr Malfoy who’s screaming and clutching at his testicles. The whole station seems to have become very silent and are staring at Al and Mr Malfoy; some with looks of pity or concern on their faces but most in full blown hysterics.
“See you at Christmas, Dad!” Scorpius laughs and grabbing Al’s arm he runs off onto the train dragging both his and Al’s trunk in the other hand.
“Sorry, for my cousin,” Rose says as she picked up her own trunk and headed after them.
I stand awkwardly by Mrs Malfoy who was staring in horror at her husband rolling on the floor for a few seconds before I says “Well, have a good autumn!” and ran off onto the train with my trunk.
What made me say that I’ll never know. Have a good autumn? I’m thinking something along the lines of, “Mr Malfoy I’ve heard rubbing ointment in to your balls should reduce the swelling.”
I find the carriage my friends are in immediately. Partly because the train is mainly deserted, and partly because I can hear Rose scolding both Scorpius and Al from inside. I push the door back and slide into the seat nearest the door.
“Albus Severus Potter!” Rose shouts, “You are an absolute twat! Go and apologise to Mr Malfoy now!” I sometimes think that Rose is too like her mother.
“I would’ve, honest! If somebody hadn’t have dragged me off before I got the chance!” Al retorts glaring at both Rose and Scorp.
“Just leave it!” Scorp laughs. “Dad’s been kicked in the balls plenty of times; he’ll get over it. Oh, look! He’s up already!” He points out of the window to an extremely flustered, red-faced Mrs Malfoy who is practically dragging her husband down Platform 9 ¾ and waves enthusiastically at his mother. I can’t help but smile.
The next thing I know, the compartment door slides open and Lily Potter stands in the doorway. “Al, you’re in some deep shit with Dad.” Al groans and I’m sure I see Lily suppress a smirk, “He says you’re to write a letter to the Malfoy’s apologising for your disgraceful behaviour and if he didn’t have to get back to work, you would be down on the platform hearing this yourself. Rather than later, that is.” Lily doesn’t bother to cover up the laugh she lets out now and, winking at Rose, she says, “Well, see you later!”
“Why did you have to jump out the way?” Al demands. “Ugh, Dad won’t forget this in a hurry!”
“I still need my babies!” Scorp laughs. “Besides Dad can probably get to some ice quicker than me!”
Rose huffs and shoots Scorpius a disapproving look as she pulls out “A Guide to Medieval Sorcery”.
“Anyway? Who’s excited then?” he asks smiling.
“Excited for what?” I say to him wondering which Quidditch team was playing tonight.
“You haven’t told her?” he asks Rose and Al. Brilliant, I guess this is one of those “Let’s make Jessie feel stupid just because she’s got a policeman dad and a secretary mum moments”.
“Told me what?” I ask.
“No idea,” Al says, giving Scorp a look that clearly reads, “what is going on in your rather bloated head?”.
“What but... your dad works at the ministry, surely you must know.” Seeing the bemused looks on all of our faces, Scorp smiles. It amuses him greatly to know that he knows something that none of the rest of us do.
“Well,” he says in a mocking voice. “I couldn’t spoil the surprise for you!”
“Tell us,” Al pleads while Rose sighs even more disapprovingly and goes back to her book.
Scorp puts his arm around Al’s shoulder and says, “My dear Albus. If mummy and daddy don’t want their Allykins to know, then who am I to pollute your mind with such knowledge.”
The train’s whistle blows and Rose stands up, glaring at Scorp, “Look here, Scorpius. You can either tell us, or shut up because we’ll probably find out sooner or later anyway!” She then turns to Al, “Come on, Al. We need to go to the prefects compartment.”
She flounces- yes flounces or maybe just storms- from the compartment then stands, tapping her foot impatiently, in the doorway waiting for Al. He gives Scorp a stare near enough to the Death Stare, me a weak smile and then leaves with his cousin.
“So,” I aska him, “What is this, this news or whatever?”
“Ah, my darling Frizz. I really don’t think I should divulge this information to you.” I could slap him, right then and there in that compartment. Nobody calls me “Frizz” and gets away with it. Though, saying that, Scorpius has been calling me that since the welcoming speech by Professor Longbottom when we first arrived at school. At first, I called him a variety of names back (the best of them being Blondie, Tall-boy and Not-frizz- don’t blame me, I was eleven!) but clearly, the harder I tried to taunt him back, the more he laughed. So I gave up and the name stuck.
“You, know,” I reply. “I never really liked you.”
Scorp laughs, “Umm... Burn?”
I nod, “Uh-huh, want some ice?”
“I’m good, natural coolness will take care of it. So, uh, why are you sitting next to me then?”
“Well, you know what they say; keep your friends close and your enemies closer, that and mutual friends!”
“Right,” Scorp grins. Then there’s a small tap at the door, followed by several squeaky giggles. The door opens and Lara Carmichael walks in.
Lara Carmichael happens to be one of the most annoying people I know, happens to have an incredibly rich father (which apparently means that she should never have to do anything for herself) and happens to sleep in the bed next to me. (And I love coming back to school- why?) She has peroxide blonde hair (Hawaii sand shade of “Beach-Blonde Hair Potions”) and her skin is year round tanned (when I say tanned, I mean browny-orange streaks). However for some reason, unknown to every girl in our year, the boys gawp after her like she’s constantly wearing a particularly strong love potion-perfume.
“Hey, Scorpius,” she giggles, flashing her stupid, unnaturally white teeth. Oh yeah, did I mention, she has been completely obsessed with Scorp since the second year Herbology lesson when he said he thought her green earmuffs were gorgeous. (I’m still pretty sure he was taking the piss.)
“Hello, Lara,” Scorp replies looking slightly bored.
She shuts the door behind her and in the face of someone who I’m pretty sure was Mallory Evans (her ever-faithful sidekick) and places herself annoyingly delicately into the empty seat next to Scorp. “I just thought I’d let you know, we’ve got a spare seat in our compartment.” She lowers her voice to a whisper that’s clearly loud enough for me to hear and says, “You don’t have to sit with her.”
“Lara, Lara, Lara,” Scorp says in precisely the same tone I’d heard him address his owl. “As awkward and gawky as Jessica may be, I feel that as a higher rank of society, it is all of our duties to look after the less fortunate. Besides, we all have to keep our enemies closer than our friends!”
Lara looks thoroughly perplexed (a look that is all too well familiar to her face) but nods and says, “Right, well I guess I’ll just see you later.” She beams once more and, with a flirtatious winky-wave at Scorpius, she skips out the compartment.
“Gawky?” I ask. Scorpius- the complimentary womanizer as always.
“Don’t call me Frizz!”