Pretty image by Magpie @TDA
“Thank you for-sniff-riding the-sniff-Knight Bus, have a good-sniff-rest of the day,” the sniffly conductor said, ushering me off the bus.
I was offended. Did he really want me gone that badly?
The conductor dumped my trunk roughly on the side of the pavement, pushed the doors closed and without another word, the Knight Bus had disappeared.
“CONSIDER GETTING A NEW HANKIE!” I shouted after it. “OR SOME COUGH MEDICINE! YOU’RE SICK, DUDE! IN THE NICEST WAY POSSIBLE!”
Predictably, there was no reply. The Knight Bus was probably halfway to Wales by now.
There was a sudden banging and clanging noise behind me so I quickly whipped out my wand and turned around, expecting to see some dark creature sneaking up on me. I was in a bit of a jumpy mood. Instead, I just saw a bewildered looking old man taking out the garbage, staring at me like I was an insane person.
In his defence, I am an insane person.
“Nice day isn’t it,” I smiled, tucking my wand back into my bra. One of the many bonuses of having cleavage. The man just continued staring at me like I’d suddenly sprouted a pair of antlers. Still beaming (though I probably looked more like I had a bad case of toothache) I picked up my trunk, waved cheerily at the old man and began to walk down the street towards Rose’s house.
Rose’s family is loaded.
They live in this massive four storied mansion that has a heated swimming pool, a gym and even a full sized Quidditch Pitch out back. You’d think all that money would make the Weasley’s real big headed, but they’re not. That family consists of the most down to earth, normal people I know.
Which isn’t saying much, as I don’t know that many people. I don’t get out much.
Mrs Weasley is super intelligent. She can be a little strict at times, and is more than a tad bossy but she is the most loving parent you will ever meet.
Mr Weasley is hilarious. I wish I had a dad like him - actually, I wish I had a dad, full stop. He’s always getting told off by Mrs Weasley for telling us all rude jokes and acting very childishly. Sometimes I think he forgets that he’s the adult and we’re the kids.
Hugo, Rose’s little brother, is kind of quiet and shy and spends most of his time locked up in his room. Actually, I think he’s only said five words to me the entire time that I’ve known him. But that’s normal for fifteen year old boys, right?
Rose is the best friend in the world. She’s kind of like her mother, except she isn’t quite so strict about breaking rules. However, she’s the smartest witch in our year and is aiming for Head Girl. I’m kinda like her trusty sidekick.
I finally arrived at the front of the Weasley’s house - ahem, mansion
- and immediately knew that the Weasley’s had visitors. From their driveway I could hear a girl screaming and several voices shouting at each other. Wondering what my reception would be like, I strolled on up to the front door and knocked.
The door burst open at once and Louis Weasley, one of Rose’s many cousins and my friend at Hogwarts appeared, wearing a sparkly pink jacket, bow tie and matching hat.
“IZZY!” he squealed, swooping me in for a hug and ignoring my feeble protests. One thing you should know about Louis is that he is very touchy feely.
“Louis,” I gasped, still struggling to get out of his bear-like grip. “Can’t…breathe…”
“Sorry,” beamed Louis, letting me go, and ushering me into the house. “How are you?”
I opened my mouth to say something polite and normal like “Fine thanks, how are you?” but instead “Louis, what the fuck are you wearing?” came out.
Oopsies. I really need to learn to watch my language. I don’t want to get a bad reputation at Hogwarts.
“Do you like it?” Louis asked, stopping in the middle of the hallway and giving a stupid little spin. “There’s this gorg
new shop in Diagon Alley called Gideon’s Glitz and Glamour.”
I rasied my eyebrows. “Gideon’s Glitz and Glamour?”
“Yeah. Well, you know me Iz, I just had
to go in there and check it out. The first thing I saw were these absolutely marvy purple dress robes, but I was worried they’d clash with the sparkling tie I’d just brought so I tried a whole lot of stuff on. And when I found this jacket I was sold. Just like (he snapped his fingers) that.”
“That’s um…great, Louis,” I said.
Louis, fortunately, didn’t notice the sarcasm. “And I think the hat just adds another element to the look, you know?” he continued happily, admiring himself in the mirror we had just reached. “Really makes me stand out.”
Trust me Louis. You do not
need to wear a pink hat covered in glitter to make you stand out.
You’re all thinking Louis Weasley is gay, aren’t you?
He’s not. Yes I know, it came as a shock to me, too. Louis always seems to be dating a new girl each week - and he claims that every girl is “the one” or “his one true love.” But even though Louis is pretty damn brutal on the Quidditch pitch (he once gave Scorpius Malfoy a lump on his head as big as a dragons egg. We all laughed) he is waaaay too in touch with his feminine side. Like, if I didn’t know better, I would’ve sworn he was a girl in disguise. Or a transvestite.
“Oh Rosie!” Louis called down the hallway. “Our foul-mouthed friend Isabella is here!”
I glared at him. “Excuse me, but foul-mouthed
Louis just gave me very serious look which couldn’t actually be taken seriously as he was wearing a very non-serious pink bowler hat.
Together, we entered the living room which appeared to be crowded with people, but before I could say a word, something red flew at me, made me drop my heavy trunk and almost threw me to the ground.
“OUCHIES!” yelped Louis, hopping up and down. “Izzy, you just dropped your trunk on my toe!”
“Oh, Izzy!” the red haired being released me, and I realised at once it was Rose. “I’ve been so worried about you! You haven’t answered any of my owls! Are you okay? Why are you here? Has that horrible woman hurt you again? What about her husband?”
I immediately wondered why I didn’t run away from the Bollup’s house several weeks ago. Rose has this knack of always being able to make me feel better. “I’m, fine, Rosie,” I said, slightly breathlessly, as I was still slightly winded from Rose almost puncturing my lungs. “I’ve just…”
“Because if that ass-hat ever hurts you again, I’ve got his number,” said Louis, cracking his knuckles threateningly, a manic look in his eye. “And a Beater’s Bat. I’ll knock his head in so hard, he’ll never see…”
“Oh please, Lou, don’t give us that alpha-male crap,” Roxanne, who was sitting on the couch next to Lily Potter, smirked. “We all know you wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
“Anyway, John hasn’t hurt me,” I said. “I just…lost my temper, I guess. And Pauline pretty much kicked me out of the house, so I came here. Hope that’s alright,” I added, suddenly wondering whether the Weasley’s would be okay with me crashing here.
“Of course that’s okay,” said Rose soothingly, giving me another hug. She really gives the best hugs. “You can stay here until we go back to school.”
I grinned at her. “I heard a girl screaming before I came inside. What’s going on?”
“Oh, that wasn’t a girl,” said Lily suddenly, looking up from the Witch Weekly
magazine she was reading. “That was Louis. He has a very girlish scream.”
“I do not,” said Louis, in a dignified voice. “Anyway, it wasn’t my fault you let Mr Spinkle Winkle free.”
Once again, I raised my eyebrows. I like raising my eyebrows, coz it gives me this all-knowing, intelligent sort of look. “Sorry, but…Mr Spinkle Winkle?”
Rose sighed impatiently. “Louis has developed an, er…odd fondness of caterpillars,” she said, giving me friend look number three. This was the look that meant; “Louis Weasley is barking, he needs to be sent to St Mungos for serious damage to the brain.” Over the years, we have developed a short list of our friend looks, which is rather helpful when you don’t want anyone else to know what you’re thinking.
Rose and Isabella’s List of Friend Looks:
1. Don’t tell me you got landed in detention again! I was supposed to help you with your homework tonight! (this look is usually given by Rose to me. Never the other way around.)
2. I really need to fart. When I say go, cough loudly so no-one can hear me. (Unfortunately, this look is usually given by me. Rose is too dignified to fart in public. But what’s a girl to do? If I try to hold my farts in for too long, I get indigestion.)
3. Louis Weasley is barking, he needs to be sent to St Mungos for serious damage to the brain. (As seen above.)
4. Why is Louis wearing his hair/uniform/clothing like that? Okay, if he asks whether we think he looks good, lie through our teeth and say yes. (This look happens quite a lot, as Louis is always changing his ‘style’. Last year he decided it would be ‘cool’ to don a Mohawk. The look did not suit him. Another time he began wearing body glitter. Rose and I pretended we did not know him.)
5. Who is this latest bimbo attached to Louis’ arm/lips? Oh, she’s saying hello, let’s pretend that we really like her and think that she’ll be with Louis forever. (Unlikely considering Louis does not seem to know what the term ‘forever’ means. Maybe I should get him a dictionary for Christmas.)
6. Help me! I just fell asleep and have no idea what spell I’m supposed to be practising! (Erm…me to Rose, if you didn’t already guess. I have a tendency to fall asleep in class. But it’s not my fault that I have a short attention span.)
7. Oh Merlin, what the heck is Professor Smith wearing? He looks like a bumble bee without the black stripes! (Again, this look is usually passed from me to Rose. Though I know Rose hates Professor Smith as much as I do, she’d never say a bad word against a teacher. She’s always been afraid it would jeopardise her chances of becoming Head Girl.)
“What do you mean, ‘he’s developed a fondness for caterpillars?’” I asked, without knowing whether I really wanted to hear the answer.
“He’s taken to going round the garden, looking for them,” said Roxanne, rolling her eyes. “And whenever he finds one, he shoves the poor creature into a jar and leaves it there to die.”
“That is not
why I catch caterpillars!” Louis said, looking appalled. “I just like watching the way they move! And I don’t
leave them there to die! I always put holes in the lid to let air in, and some leaves at the bottom of the jar so the caterpillar feels at home.”
Roxanne shook her head. “Has anybody ever told you that you have severe mental issues, Lou?” she asked. “Because you do.”
Louis shrugged happily. “Ah well: what’s life without a few weirdos?”
As Roxanne and Louis continued squabbling, I looked around the room with interest. It wasn’t as crowded as I had first though - in fact, Rose, Louis, Roxanne, Lily and I were the only ones in it. They all had such vibrant personalities that made the room seem a lot more crowded.
“Where’s everyone else?” I asked Rose, meaning the rest of Rose’s many cousins.
She shrugged. “Oh, you know. James and Fred finished school last year - they just started their Grand Tour of the wizarding world a couple of days ago, actually.”
I wrinkled up my nose. “The Grand Tour? Isn’t that like, totally outdated?”
Rose grinned. “I think it was just an excuse for James to hold off getting a job, actually. He can’t take anything seriously. And then mum and dad left about half an hour ago for the Ministry - you should have heard dad grumbling about it. He sounded like a two year old! ”
“What about Albus?”
Albus Potter is in the same year as Rose, Louis and I at school. He often hangs out with us, but he’s pretty quiet, preferring to study in the library until ungodly hours at night. He’s become even more withdrawn lately, after an…incident with a girl who used to go to school with us, Tori Heron.
Rose sighed. “At home, I guess. I’ve barely seen him all summer. Lily says he only comes out of his room to eat.”
“He’s been a right moody git, too,” Lily piped up suddenly - clearly she had been listening to our conversation. “I asked him if he wanted to play Quidditch, and he told me to bugger off.”
“Always been a pleasant young chap, our Albie has,” Louis said, and a sudden silence fell across the room.
Rose linked her arm through mine. “Come on, Izzy,” she said. “Grab your trunk and I’ll show you up to your room.”
“…and so there I was, about to pound that little shit to a pulp, when Pauline walks in on us and starts screaming at me. Well, that was the last straw for me. I’d had it. So…I left. Came here.”
I finished recounting my story of the days events to Rose and lay back on my squishy bed which we were both sitting on, staring up at the ceiling. Rose didn’t say anything but I saw her bite her lip, so I sat up quickly and looked accusingly at her. “What?” I snapped. “Do you think I over-reacted or something?”
“No, of course not!” Rose said at once. “It’s just…”
“Just what?” I growled angrily.
“It’s just I can see where she was coming from. Pauline, I mean.”
I stared at my best friend in dismay. “Are you kidding me? Rose, Pauline is like…the devil’s own spawn. The psychotic bitch from hell. The wicked witch from the west…”
Rose frowned at me. “The wicked witch from the west?”
“It’s this evil witch from a Muggle movie I watched, the Wizard of Oz,” I explained quickly. “And trust me, the Muggle who made that movie was very poorly informed of what witches look like. His were super ugly and had green skin. Green
skin! I mean, what next, will witches fly on vacuum cleaners or something?”
Rose rolled her eyes, but she was smiling. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s making Rose smile.
Actually, there are many things I’m good at, but I won’t list them because it would probably take all day.
“Anyway, I’m glad you ran away,” Rose said. “I was getting worried when you didn’t answer any of my owls.”
“Pauline probably threw all your letters away before I could see them,” I said moodily, glaring at my reflection in the mirror over the dresser. I looked pretty awful, to tell you the truth. My hair was all tangled and knotted as I hadn’t had time to brush it in the morning and my clothes were stained and crumpled. Rose, on the other, hand, looked gorgeous. Her long red hair was sleek and shiny and she was wearing a neat floral blouse and skirt. She was the picture of perfection.
“Do you think you’ll ever try to contact your birth mother?” Rose said suddenly, and I looked at her so quickly my neck cracked.
“Why-why would you ask that?”
Rose sighed, and looked down at her knees, looking ever so slightly uncomfortable. “I just want to see you happy, Iz,” she said softly. “All these families you’ve been forced to stay with…they all make you so miserable. And surely you have, you know, genetic curiosity…” She trailed off uncertainly, looking up at me.
I looked away, not meeting her eye. The problem was, she was right. More than once, I’d thought about trying to track down my birth mother. Every single time one of my foster dad’s hit me, or Pauline shouted at me, I’d thought what my life would be like if I could reconnect with me mum - my real mum. I’d pictured her in my head upon the two of us reuniting - smiling, beautiful and happy to see me.
But then reality always crashed back in.
My mother abandoned me when I was a baby. She didn’t want me. And she doesn’t want me now, as far as I’m concerned.
“Forget I mentioned it,” said Rose quickly. “Anyway, we have more important matters to discuss.”
I groaned. “Rose, how many times do I have to tell you? I am not
taking remedial potions with Sluggy. He hates me enough as it is!”
“What?” Rose frowned. “Oh! No, you idiot, that’s not what we need to talk about. And Professor Slughorn doesn’t hate
you. He just…”
“Dislikes me with a passion?” I suggested lightly. “Despises me as much as he loves crystallized pineapple? Wishes I was dead? Wonders what it would be like if he’d never met me?”
“You are so dramatic,” Rose said, shaking her head, another smile playing on her lips. I smiled in satisfaction. “What we need
to talk about is our birthday.”
Crap. My birthday. I’d forgotten all about it what with all the drama going on in my life. Which is totally unlike me - I’ve already claimed my birthday as the most important day of the year. And this year is an especially important one too, as I’m coming of age.
Actually, my birthday is part of the reason Rose and I became friends in the first place. I remember it like it was yesterday…
It was a cold, stormy night as we sailed across the Black Lake to Hogwarts Castle. Well, actually it was quite warm, but it sounds more mysterious if I say cold and stormy. Anyway, I was totally freaking out. I didn’t know anyone and was sitting alone in my little boat, skinny and underfed little thing that I was. I didn’t speak to anyone, not even when I was sorted into Gryffindor and hurried over to sit at the loudest and most cheerful looking table. In fact, I didn’t speak to anyone until I got up into my dormitory and began pulling on my pyjamas. There were four other girls already up there. And one of them, a smiling girl with red hair came over and said to me; “Hello, my name’s Rose. What’s yours?”
“Isabella Grace,” I’d said proudly. “My birthday is on the twenty eighth of August.”
Don’t ask me why I told some random stranger the date of my birthday. But hey, I was eleven and stupid, what else can I say?
“That’s the date of my birthday too!” Rose had said excitedly. “We should be best friends!”
“Okay,” I said.
Yep. That is the awesome story of how Rose and I became friends, and we have been ever since. We’ve never had a single fight, even though I often lose my head and start randomly shouting and throwing things around. Luckily Rose is cool, calm and collected so we balance each other out quite nicely.
I gaped stupidly at Rose and she smacked me on the arm playfully. “You completely forgot about our birthday, didn’t you!”
“Pfft, no!” I lied. Rose gave me a stern look. I cracked under the pressure. I’m an awful liar. “Alright, maybe I did, but can you blame me? I’ve been stressed as fuck, Rosie.”
“Izzy, you really need to stop swearing,” Rose said patiently. “It’s unbecoming for a young lady.”
I snorted. “What, are we living in the 1800’s now, or something? I don’t even know how to hold my knife and fork properly.” Rose is always scolding me about it. Which is really irritating when you’re trying to shovel chicken pot pie into your mouth.
“We are turning seventeen,” Rose continued. “Which means we need a big celebration. A party!”
“You hate parties!” I said.
She does. Whenever someone throws a party at school, she only attends because I drag her along and even then, she’s super reluctant. The closest thing she’s had to drinking alcohol is butterbeer. But once she turns seventeen, she’ll have no excuse for not drinking Firewhiskey.
“True,” Rose said. “But this time is different. Nana already said we can have the party at the Burrow, so all we need to do is send out our invitations…”
I sighed. “Don’t get me wrong Rose, I love parties,” I said. “But don’t you think…I mean…we’re not the most popular people at Hogwarts, are we? Whose going to turn up?”
Rose smiled. “Don’t worry, I’ve got it all figured out,” she said. Of course she does. Rose Weasley never leaves anything to chance. “I’ve told Louis, Hugo, Lily and Roxy to invite all of their friends, as well. It will be great.”
I raised my eyebrows sceptically. “And your dad’s okay with all of this?” I asked. “I mean, he’s actually allowing you to invite boys?
Mr Weasley is super overprotective of Rose. I reckon he thinks she’s going to have a one-night stand with some guy and get herself pregnant. He has nothing to worry about. Rose is Little Miss Goody-Two-Shoes. The closest she’s come to having a boyfriend is the time she kissed Jeremy Johnson in a game of truth or dare. Not that I can talk. Last year I had a fling with Cameron Ryan but all we did was snog in abandoned classrooms and round the back of the greenhouses. The back of the greenhouses, by the way, is the preferred snogging spot at Hogwarts. Everyone goes there.
“As long as Scorpius Malfoy doesn’t show his face, dad is fine with it,” Rose said, and I immediately felt my fists clenching.
“If that spotty little git turns up, I’ll curse him into oblivion!” I said fiercely.
Let me tell you about Scorpius Malfoy.
1: He’s a Slytherin.
2: He has this weird obsession with Rose.
3: I hate him.
4: He is an arrogant, conceited, self-important, pretentious, boastful douche bag jerk face.
5: If he ever tries to touch Rose, I’ll beat him to a pulp, the slimy git.
Rose sighed. “He’s not spotty,
Izzy,” she said wearily. “And…”
“WOAH!” I said firmly. “Did you seriously just say ‘he’s not spotty’? Please tell me you aren’t falling for this guy, Rosie.”
Rose fixed me with another stern look, that made her look uncannily like her mother. “Izzy, just because I said he’s not spotty, doesn’t mean I like
I groaned. “You like him. You are totally crushing on Scorpius fucking Malfoy!”
“I’m not!” Rose insisted, but I could tell that she was lying.
Right. The next time I see the git, I’ll beat him to a pulp. So that his face looks like dragon mince meat.
Or maybe I’ll turn him into a slug. Both options have their merits.
“Look, I don’t want to talk about Scorpius,” Rose said, sounding impatient. “I just…”
“You are so far gone,” I muttered. “Calling him by his first name like the two of you are all chummy.”
“FOR FUCKS SAKE ISABELLA WILL YOU SHUT UP SO WE CAN TALK ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF OUR LIVES!!” Rose bellowed and I fell of the bed in fright and landed on the hard wood floor with a loud THUMP.
“Ouch,” I groaned, getting up and rubbing my backside. “You should really consider getting some carpet in here, Rosie.”
She crossed her arms across her chest stubbornly and put her nose in the air.
I chuckled. “And nice swearing. I don’t know where all that came from.”
“A merit of knowing you for six years,” Rose muttered, but I could tell she wasn’t really grumpy.
I flopped back down onto the bed. “Alright, speak,” I said. “I won’t interrupt, I promise.
“Thank you,” said Rose, sounding genuinely grateful. “So we’ve got the venue all sorted out, and dad’s already spoken to Madam Longbottom at the Leaky Cauldron. She can supply us with butterbeer and firewhiskey. And Nana’s going to make us a cake.”
Brilliant. Rose’s Nana Molly makes amazing food. I’ve been to the Burrow twice in my life and both times she fed me so much that I felt like I was about to burst. I had to undo all the buttons on my jeans.
“So all we’ve got left to do is go shopping,” Rose finished, counting off our list of things to do on her fingers.
“Why do we have to go shopping?” I complained loudly.
Shopping hates me. Which is okay, because the feeling is mutual. If shopping was a person I’d perform the Bat-Bogey Hex on it. Or maybe I’d turn it into a worm. Though I’d have to get Rose to help me out because I haven’t mastered human Transfiguration yet.
“To get the perfect outfit for our party, of course,” said Rose serenely, as though it were the most obvious thing at the world. “But our Hogwarts letters should be arriving soon, so we’ll be able to go to Diagon Alley and get all out school stuff and
our party clothes!” She beamed at me like the idea was the most exciting thing in the world.
Bleurgh. Shopping for school supplies and
for my clothes. Just add in a potions class and Pauline (aka the bitch from hell) and you’ve got a recipe for a ready made nightmare, right there. They could sell them in stores all over London:
‘Freshly made nightmares for sale,’
the advertisement could say, ‘all the ingredients to make any normal young lass wet the bed for a month!’
It would be a real money-spinner, I’m sure. Hmm. Maybe I should go into business when I’m older.
“There’s nothing wrong with the clothes I’ve got!” I protested.
Rose looked at me sympathetically. “Aw, sweetie,” she said, patting me on the arm. “You’re wearing a t-shirt with a coffee stain on it and jeans that have been ripped - not on purpose.”
Once again, I looked at my reflection in the mirror.
Jeez, mirrors should be banned. Ugly people (aka myself) should not be allowed to buy them. Mirrors are the bane of my existence.
I sighed dramatically. “I see your point,” I muttered.
Rose positively beamed.
A/N: So what did you think of Chapter Two???
For those interested, Tori Heron is a character in another of my fanfictions, but it is not necessary to know about her to read In Shadows We Roam.
Please keep reading and reviewing, I really appreciate any and all feedback.