Chapter 9 : Summer
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A/N: It turns out I’m updating way faster than I thought! This one's kind of a short chapter, but enjoy J
It turns out that that “good-bye” was more permanent than I thought it would be.
Hey Scorpius, how’s it going?
The short letter I sent away with Trinkeston, the amber-eyed tawny family owl (when Aunt Ginny named him, Dad muttered something along the lines of “that’s the second bloody owl”), never received a reply. Nor did the next one (How’s your summer been? ~ Rose). I stopped sending them, tired of waiting at my window, craning my neck to see around the dogwood tree outside, only for Trinkeston to return empty-clawed.
Maybe Scorpius is just away on vacation and he’s too busy, I told myself, ignoring the sinking feeling in my heart. Weeks went on without reply. Maybe he still likes me… maybe? I couldn’t stop my silly brain from being excited for September first, couldn’t stop myself from hoping that Scorpius would see me on the platform and come over and just say something (like “be my girlfriend?” my sly internal voice suggested). Of course not, I sniffed back at it. However, that sly internal voice just wouldn’t leave me alone, and I resigned myself.
“Rose?” Mum said, knocking lightly at my door.
“Come in, mum,” I replied, tearing my gaze away from the window, where Trinkeston was yet to appear.
She walked into the room, dressed, as always, in a Muggle women’s pantsuit, and looking very out of place in my fluffy purple bedroom. “I just got a letter, and I wanted to ask you about it,” she expressed after much hesitation. I frowned; mum’s letters were usually about business and lawyer-y things. I couldn’t imagine what it would be about. “It’s from Adara,” she clarified. My eyebrows shot up my forehead. What was Adara writing to my mum about? “She’s written asking if I can… to put it nicely… ease the application process into the Magical Law Enforcement internships.”
“What!?” I cried when I had regained my powers of speech. “She wants you to cheat?”
“It’s not cheating, really, Rosie,” mum responded in a troubled voice, running her hand through her bushy hair like she always did when nervous. “It’s just… side-stepping the usual process. I can do it…” she trailed off. I knew how much mum hated breaking the rules.
“It’s just that it doesn’t seem like Adara, mum,” I replied, perplexed.
“Well, she sent a similar letter around March,” mum sighed. “I told her I’d get back to her when it got closer to the date.”
“Oh,” I managed, for lack of words.
“Rosie, if you really want me to, I can go ahead and pass her application through the department,” mum went on.
“No, mum, don’t. It’s not fair of her to ask that,” I seethed, suddenly furious with Adara. “She can’t just waltz in and decide that you… you owe her an internship, or something,” I spluttered.
“I just don’t want your friendship to be affected, that’s all,” mum sighed again. “It’s really not such a big deal. I can do it for you.”
“I know you can, mum,” I smiled, feeling a sudden surge of affection for her. “I just don’t think Adara really… deserves it, if you know what I mean,” I finished.
“I know, I know, she wasn’t very nice before, but that doesn’t mean you should lose her as a friend now!” mum answered.
“Yeah, but if she’s only keeping me as a friend for some bloody internship…” I muttered.
“Why don’t you think about it a bit and I’ll send Adara a reply later, okay?” mum decided.
Hi Adara, do you and Sandra want to go shopping in Diagon Alley on Saturday?
I wrote an identical note addressed to Sandra and tied them both to Trinkeston’s leg as she stood on my dark purple windowsill, clacking her beak impatiently. I watched her fly off, waiting until she disappeared into the distance.
The reply came in a few hours.
Hi Rose, is eleven o’clock at the Leaky Cauldron good? Sandra says it works for her.
I smiled and waited for Saturday.
“Mum, can you take me Diagon Alley? I’m getting late!” I called impatiently down the hallway, pacing up and down. “MUM! HURRY UP!” I yelled.
“Coming, coming!” she replied as she hurried down the hallway rolling up the cuffs of her pinstriped dress shirt. “It’s Apparition, Rose, we get there inside a second. Be patient.” I rolled my eyes.
“Whatever, mum. Come on, let’s GO!” Mum glared at me for a moment before taking my arm and with a loud crack! we were in Diagon Alley. More precisely, we were in the main pub of the Leaky Cauldron, which was much cleaner these days (according to Mum, old Tom’s grandson was way better at managing the inn than Tom had been).
“Rose! We’re over here!” Sandra called from a small, round table in the corner, standing and waving to me. I waved back and made my way through the crowded tavern, mum following close behind. “Why are you late? I expected you earlier. We’ve already been to two shops,” she huffed.
“You told me to meet at eleven,” I answered, confused.
“No, I said ten. Whatever,” Sandra rolled her eyes.
“Okay, well, um, sorry?”
“Are you girls set?” mum asked. I didn’t miss the troubled gaze she turned to Adara for a brief moment.
“Yeah,” I replied distractedly.
“I’ll pick you up here around three,” mum smiled as she hugged by goodbye. We waited for her to disapparate before walking out into Diagon Alley.
“Where do you want to go first?” Adara asked excitedly, speaking to Sandra rather than to me. I pushed the feeling of irritation away.
“How about Angelique’s?” I asked. It was a sweet French boutique that sold wizard-Muggle blends of clothing with very reasonable prices and not very many people went there, so you were almost guaranteed uniqueness.
“Yeah, sure,” Adara answered, the disinterest clear in her voice. I ignored the fact that Angelique’s was usually her favorite place to visit.
“Sounds good,” Sandra echoed, but with tangibly more enthusiasm. I grinned and we headed down the street to the shop.
“Welcome!” came a chirpy salesgirl’s voice as we walked through the door of Angelique’s Boutique. “Let me know if you need anything!” I eyed her fluffy blonde hair, bright blue eyes and matching blue pantsuit with some distaste; I had never liked these overly-perky angelic-looking people.
“We’ll just look around, I think,” Sandra told the salesgirl in an equally perky voice, complete with a puppy-like head-tilt. I giggled slightly, earning a cold glance from Adara. I wrinkled my eyebrows, confused, but she turned away.
“I actually have to buy some clothes. Mum said I need to get some nice, dressy things,” Sandra said, wrinkling her nose in distaste. She wasn’t a fan of dressy clothes; her most fancy top and skirt were the ones she had worn to Hogsmeade. That was true for me, too, I suppose, but I’d gotten more fashionable over the last few years. I just didn’t do skirts and dresses so much, and all of my dresses were at home (I didn’t really use them at Hogwarts, and I’d politely refused mum’s offer of an undetectable extension charm for my trunk; her extension charms were legendary and I really didn’t want to end up falling headfirst into my trunk just to find some jeans).
“Well, why don’t we look around?” Adara said, a bit sullenly, I felt.
“Sure,” Sandra agreed, heading for a rack of purple tops.
“Not purple, Sandra, you already have way too many purple things,” Adara huffed, rolling her eyes. “Look over here,” she added, dragging Sandra to a rack more dominated by oranges. Sandra flipped through a few tops before coming back to the purples. I looked with her for a bit.
“Hey, Sandra, how about this one? It’s kind of different from the usual, even if it’s purple.” I handed her a beaded top. It was like pullover robes but ended mid-thigh and the sleeves were cinched at the wrists so they looked kind of like balloons and had these slit-y things down the sides (I’m not very good at describing clothing, okay?).
“Oh, it’s pretty. Maybe I’ll try it on,” she pondered, taking the top. “Is this in small?” She checked the label. “It is! Awesome!” Adara glared at Sandra from across the room as the latter went to the fitting rooms followed by the perky salesgirl, leaving the orange rack behind. “Hey, Rose, Adara, what do you think?” Sandra called. We both went over, Adara rather grudgingly.
“It looks really pretty, Sandra,” I said honestly.
“I dunno, it’s a bit big, isn’t it?” Sandra asked. Everything was big on her; she was probably the skinniest person I knew.
“I think that’s the style,” I remarked. It was supposed to be long, after all.
“It looks baggy,” Adara sniffed. I rolled my eyes.
“I think you should take it, Sandra,” I assured her.
“You know, I think I will…” Sandra nodded to herself as she swept back into the fitting room.
We browsed for a bit and I came upon a rack of absolutely gorgeous dresses. “Hey, Sandra, Adara, do you want to try a dress on just for fun?”
“I will if you will,” Sandra replied with a good-natured grin. “How about you, Adara?”
“No, I don’t want to,” Adara returned stubbornly.
“Come on, it’s just for fun! We’re not going to buy them,” I cajoled.
“I don’t want to!” she exclaimed.
“Don’t be such a party pooper, Adara,” I whined at her.
“The dresses are all too long for our shorty,” Sandra teased.
“Yeah, they are,” Adara sneered back. “Why don’t I just wait outside while you try them on?”
“It’s just for fun, you could pick a short dress if you like… even I’m not tall enough for these dresses,” I persuaded.
“I don’t want to! Just STOP it!” Adara exploded, leaving Sandra and I in a bit of shock as she strutted away.
“What was that about?” Sandra asked. I shrugged my shoulders, though I had a fairly good idea what was behind Adara’s strangeness. “Do you want to try them on?” Sandra asked. “Come on!”
“Nah, I don’t want Adara to be waiting out there,” I answered.
“Ooh, this place has the most amazing sandwiches!” Sandra cried as we walked past “Wizzy’s Sand Witches.” Adara and I looked skeptical. “I swear, they’re to die for,” Sandra assured us before hurrying into the shop. It was, to its credit, rather full and smelled like fresh-baked bread.
“I can’t eat a whole sandwich,” Adara whined. “Share one, Sandra!”
“I want a whole one, though,” Sandra answered.
“Just eat as much as you want and I’ll finish yours.”
“I want a whole one, I’m hungry!” Sandra grumbled.
“Just take a smaller one, Adara,” I suggested. She glared at me.
“Fine!” she snapped.
“I’ll take the Pollin,” Sandra told the lady when we had finally waited our way through the line. “I’ll take the same,” I said next. Adara opted for the Croissant.
“Hi, mum!” I greeted my mother as we walked into the Leaky Cauldron.
“Hi, Rosie!” she smiled. “Ready to go?”
“Yup,” I answered, bidding Sandra and Adara a quick farewell as I grasped mum’s arm. We disappeared with a loud crack! and reappeared almost instantly on the tile floor of the sunny kitchen.
“Puffle!” I exclaimed as my black and white fur ball wandered into the kitchen, yawning and showing her little pink tongue. She seemed to realize the immediate danger of being cuddled and headed speedily toward the door, but I caught her hindquarters before she could get away. She slithered as well as she could (I swear, the flexibility of that cat) but I triumphed and picked her up after a lengthy struggle.
“Who’s mommy’s favowit Puffle?” I cooed at her. She merely looked disgruntled, but put on a positively vexed expression when mum came over and began to coo and scratch her ears. “Puffle Puffle Puffle!” I giggled in my baby voice. “I’ll let you down, bloody hell,” I muttered as she began to struggle and emit high-pitched mewls.
Puffle was, to put it mildly, not a ‘people’ cat. To be more realistic, she liked to be near people, but touch her at your own risk.
“How was your trip?” mum asked as she put her purse down on the kitchen table.
“It was okay, I guess…” I replied.
“Why, what happened?” mum questioned, concern furrowing her eyebrows.
“Nothing, really. Sandra was just being all mean about the thing that I came at eleven and she said ten, but I’m pretty sure she said eleven. Adara was acting really… frigid. I think it was about that internship thing.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry! Do you want me to reply to her?” mum asked as she hugged me.
“I don’t know what to reply, though,” I mumbled.
“We’ll think about it.”
“They were being so cold and I was feeling really bad and Sandra commented on how I ate my sandwich really fast and how she can’t even eat that much and I felt even worse so I said that I was really fat so I eat ten times as much as they do and they just nodded!” I let out in one breath.
“Don’t put yourself down,” mum reminded me softly.
“I know, I usually don’t!” I cried. “I was just feeling so bad and I didn’t know what to say.”
Mum sighed. “Don’t worry. We’ll do something about Adara,” she comforted me.
“And also...” I began hesitantly.
“What?” she prompted.
“Scorpius hasn’t replied to any of my letters…” I mumbled quickly.
“Oh, Rosie…” mum exhaled. “What did you say?”
“Just hi, how’s your summer. Casual,” I replied.
“Maybe…” she hesitated. “Maybe his mother doesn’t want him to.”
“I thought of that…” I replied. “I hope so.” Mum didn’t answer.
“Rose, I’m going to write to Adara that unfortunately, because I am not in charge of the intern-hiring in the department, I cannot help with the internship. I can tell her that if she gets the job, I would love to get her in touch with some really good people,” mum said brusquely as she walked into the kitchen.
“Sounds good, mum,” I replied. “Hopefully she won’t get mad. She has no reason to, it was a ridiculous favor to ask."
“Rose, there’s an owl for you! I think it’s your exam results!” Dad called from the kitchen.
“My exam results!?” I shrieked as I sprinted to the kitchen.
“Here,” he handed me a thin parchment envelope addressed to “Miss Rose Weasley” in script-like green letters. I opened it with trembling hands and peeked at the top. I sighed in relief - I had received an O in Arithmancy. With no little amount of apprehension, I gingerly drew the rest of the card from the envelope. It took me a few moments to comprehend it, and then my face cracked into an enormous grin. Potions: O. Transfiguration: O. Charms: O. Care of Magical Creatures: O. Defense Against the Dark Arts: O. Ancient Runes: E. Ancient Runes was one of the hardest subjects, so I was completely happy with the E. “Looking at your face, I’m guessing you did well,” Dad grinned. I nodded, speechless, almost on the point of hysteria. Dad smirked. “You’re so like your mother,” he observed as he perused the results over my shoulder. “Mum will be home soon, you can tell her then,” he added as I slid the results back into the envelope. “Here’s a hug for my favorite daughter,” he engulfed me in a hug.
“I’m your only daughter, dad,” I reminded him, my voice a bit muffled by his Chudley Cannons jersey.
“If I had more, you’d still be my favorite,” he grinned back. “I think we should celebrate tonight – your mum can have a break from the cooking.” I could hear the part he silently added; his mouth could use a break from her cooking as well. Mum, despite her flawless academic record, had never excelled in the culinary department. Pity, Aunt Ginny was a fabulous cook. Dad was forever jealous of Uncle Harry’s easy access to delicious food. Mum stuck to pasta, and it was usually an interesting variant of what most people would consider ‘pasta.’
“Can we go to Spatici’s?” I asked, putting on my most winning smile.
“Fine, fine,” he agreed, pretending to be disgruntled. Spatici’s was his favorite restaurant too. “We’ll check with mum and Hugo when they get back from his Quidditch practice.” Hugo played in the local wizarding team, the Horntails, during the summer to keep his skills sharp. He was actually quite a talented beater, though it was odd to realize that my baby brother now had arm muscles.
“MUM!!” I cried as I sprinted towards the door from which she had just entered. “GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT!”
“Did you get your exam results?” she asked, the excitement in her voice barely concealed. I nodded, still beaming. “They went well, I see,” she remarked with some amusement. I handed her the envelope. “This is excellent, Rosie, you couldn’t have done better,” she hugged me after she read the paper.
“Good job, Rose,” Hugo put in, clapping me on the back. “I’ll hug you later, I stink right now.” I nodded agreement.
“Thanks, Hugo. Hey, do you want to go to Spatici’s tonight?”
“Yeah!” he replied enthusiastically. Mum rolled her eyes.
“Your father’s suggestion, I presume?”
“He wanted to give you a night off from cooking,” I answered winningly, my innocent grin resplendent on my face. Mum snorted.
“Yeah, right. He just wants pizza. Well, we should celebrate anyway. I can make a cake!” she added brightly.
“That’s all right, mum, we can get cheesecake,” I assured her hastily. Mum’s cakes usually ended in our re-casting the fire-retardant charms on the house.
“It’s almost like you don’t want me to cook, Rose,” mum replied, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Not at all, mum,” I grinned cheekily as I gave her a hug.
“I’m really proud of you, Rosie,” she said softly, surprising me with the change of topic. “We all are.”
A/N: Not a super eventful chapter. What’s up with Scorpius? Did Rose handle Adara well? What do you think?
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by Magical Ginny