I'M SO SORRY. I DON'T HAVE AN EXCUSE. PLEASE DON'T HURT ME. I SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN THIS DONE SOONER. SORRY.
Here's the chapter!
We walked quickly into the first shop we saw, a little place called Magical Costumes. Yeah, ten out of ten for creativity.
When we went in, we all froze in the doorway. The shop must have been magically expanded, because it was basically a warehouse, stocked full of costumes.
"Whoa." Somehow, we all said it at the same time.
A man spotted us and ran over. He was dressed in a black suit with a red tie, and some sort of red cylinder hat with a gold tassel. Albus probably had one.
"Greetings! Are you looking for a costume?" Well, yeah, that's usually the reason someone comes to a costume store.
Dang. I was letting my inner sarcastic voice speak out of turn.
Delilah gave him a smile. "Only for our friend here. We'll browse on our own, thank you." The man went back to wherever he came from and Delilah tugged me into the first aisle.
"Really, pirates? Not my thing." The whole aisle was full of skull and crossbones, eye patches and bandanas. Roxanne groaned and pulled me into the next aisle. I groaned again.
"I'm not going as a nurse." This aisle was full of medical outfits. I looked at aisle after aisle, seeing everything from Muggle heroes and villains to Quidditch players, until finally I found something that seemed appealing - ancient gods and goddesses. I walked in and saw a tag labelled 'Venus, Goddess of Love and Beauty'. The attached piece of clothing was a long, flowing white gown, with gold embroidery on the collars and sleeves, curling into roses. There was a rose headpiece, a headband that clipped into the hair, rose anklets and a pair of golden sandals that twined around your feet like living vines. Aislinn found me holding it and smiled.
"It's perfect. Try it on then!" I groaned and stripped down into my underwear, mumbling that it would probably look awful on me. Aislinn gave me a comforting smile as she clipped the headband onto my hair while I slid on the sandals. The bracelets went on and Aislinn stood back, gasping slightly.
"What is it? Does it look horrible? Am I ruining it?" She shook her head and waved her wand, conjuring a mirror in front of me. The glass reflected...well, a goddess. The dress swung down, shimmering slightly like sunlight on clouds, and the roses seemed to be part of her, not just accessories. In this outfit, I could storm Heaven and overthrow gods.
"Wow..." Aislinn nodded, speechless. I twirled, looking at the sandals, which fit like they were made for me. Must be some sort of charm to make it fit, like with the school uniforms.
The rest of our merry group spotted us and stopped. Lily's eyes widened, Roxanne blinked and rubbed her eyes, and Delilah didn't move. Once the shock wore off, they ran over and complimented me, all of which I batted away. The man in the hat reappeared in the aisle, running over and bowing.
"You look lovely, ma'am. Do you wish to buy this costume? It's a mere five Galleons!" I looked at it, at the way it seemed to be made for me, and raised my eyes to the shopkeeper's.
"I'll take it."
We walked out, me carrying the Venus outfit, Lily a pixie one and Delilah a wood-sprite, laughing. I led them into the Three Broomsticks, charming a plastic bag around the clothes so they didn't get stained by anything. Madam Roserta walked over, swaying her hips in the way that made so many guys fall in 'love' with the bartender.
"Hello, girls, what can I get you?" I smiled at her and rattled off my order, a chicken schnitzel with salad. Roxanne got a steak, Delilah and Aislinn Caesar salads and Lily a fish fillet with tartar sauce. Everyone got a Butterbeer. Madam Roserta jotted them down with a cheesy smile lined with red lipstick, before going back into the kitchen and hollering at the cook. I could hear the table shake from here. Let me tell you, when Madam Roserta is in the kitchen, she doesn't put on a sweet smile and cute accent. She rules with an iron fist.
Roxanne looked over at Aislinn and Delilah, seeming uncomfortable. "Um, I have a...sort of touchy question. Are you two...together?" I flinched at the same time as Aislinn, but Delilah just laughed.
"Yes, we are. I had a feeling someone was going to ask that today." Aislinn relaxed, trusting her girlfriend, and I looked around for a distraction. Unfortunately, Lily the Super Sleuth was onto me.
"You knew, didn't you? That's why you didn't sit with the Gryffindors the day before you were kidnapped!" I gulped and shot a pleading look at Delilah. She just gave me a smile. I sighed and looked back at my cousin.
"Yes, I did. I couldn't trust myself to keep it a secret if I was around them, so I had breakfast with Scorpius that morning. I'm sorry for keeping it a secret from you, but I couldn't break my promise." My cousins gave me a sympathetic smile while Aislinn gave me a grateful one. Delilah smiled in her not-giving-anything-away expression, and looked up.
"Oh, here comes our food." Sure enough, Madam Roserta was floating our plates and drinks onto the table. I thanked her and gave her the money for the meal, everyone having chipped in a fifth of the gold. She gave us a grateful smile and went back to a table of men who seemed to be rather distracted by her...well, let's call it her smile.
Yeah, I'm going to stick with that. Even though their gaze was nowhere near her face.
I'm choosing to be polite for your sake. Be grateful.
We dug in, avoiding the sensitive topic Roxanne had brought up, but the food had to be finished sometimes, even though I tried my best to charm her steak to keep getting bigger. It took a while, but soon we'd all eaten our meals and were just left with the Butterbeers. Delilah didn't even wait a second, just turned to us all.
"Okay, so we are going out, and it is a secret, but that's going to change soon. Don't give me a scared look, Rose, just trust me." I tried to quash the spooked look, but I couldn't quite smother it. Aislinn gave me a grin and looked over us all.
"So, anyway, Halloween party tonight. Rose, it's at eight, in the Room. It'll take care of everything, and all that it can't, we've gotten the house-elves to take care of. As soon as this one house-elf, one with violet eyes, heard you were awake, they've been working overdrive." I smiled as I realised Lopsy had been making sure every house-elf made the party awesome, even if I couldn't make it.
Roxanne took a sip of her Butterbeer and looked at me. "We're meeting in your dorm room for pre-party preparation. Sorry for not telling you earlier, but...you weren't awake earlier." I nodded and had a small sip of Butterbeer, before looking at Lily.
"You're not going, are you?" She gave me a small sheepish grin and ducked her head.
"You can't be serious, right? You aren't ready for these parties! There's drinking, and making out, and...and...you can't be serious!" Lily gave me a small glare, her brown eyes glinting evilly.
"Please, I'm around making out all the time, thanks to you and Scorpius, and Fred and James drink enough at Christmas to get me ready for that one. I'm not going to get completely, stumbling drunk and make out with random boys five years older than me. I'm smart enough to take care of myself, and sometimes even James when he's passed out. And trust me, that's not easy. So just...take it easy, alright?" There was a moment of shocked silence, before I started giggling. Lily gave me a confused look, but soon she was joining in, and then we were all laughing, leaning on each other's shoulders.
After the fit of laughter had passed, Delilah glanced at her watch. "Um, guys...it's already quarter to seven. If we want to be ready in time, we're gonna have to hurry back." I stood up and swore, glancing around.
"Delilah, how exactly are we supposed to sneak back into the cellar of Honeydukes without being seen when that's going on?" Delilah looked to where I was pointing and cursed. There was a large crowd around the door, and signs proclaiming the release of a new type of Sugar Quill.
"Okay, we're going to have to improvise. Follow me, guys." Delilah ran out the door, all of us following her with the blind faith that put us in the house of Red and Gold.
Maybe it wasn't such a great trait, but hey, we had it, so let's use it.
Delilah was running to the last place I expected, forcing me to freeze.
"You're kidding, right? We're not going there?" Delilah gave me a wicked smile and climbed through a large gap in the fence. Everyone went in without a second thought, but I lingered, worried, my inner Ravenclaw rearing her head. With a shake of the head, I ducked through the fence and ran to catch up with my friends, grimacing as the Shrieking Shack loomed ahead.
Delilah went in through a busted window where the planks had come away, leaving a gaping hole. I scrambled in after everyone, and stopped. I'd never been inside here before. It was a mess, walls scratched, curtains ruined, glass smashed, furniture torn to little pieces that lay scattered on the floor. Somehow, we all gasped in unison. Roxanne was the first to recover, walking forward.
"Shit, this place is ruined. What did this?" I coughed, breaking my silence.
"Remember, Uncle Harry told us this. Teddy's dad was a werewolf, remember? Before the rest of the Marauders started keeping him under control, Dumbledore sent him here when he transformed. Needless to say, he tore the place up trying to get out to find someone to...well, he trashed the place." Roxanne nodded and nudged aside a leg of chair with her foot, grimacing at how clawed up it was.
"Okay Delilah, why are we here?" Delilah blinked and started walking forward, us following behind. She came to a tunnel with rough stone stairs cut into the ground, and started going up. I shrugged at the others and began climbing, spotting light very quickly.
"Fuck!" I glanced up at where Delilah was, at the very end of the tunnel. She turned back, hair messy.
"I forgot the tunnel leads out under the Whomping Willow! Anyone know the trigger spot?" I ran forward, seeing branches flying, and ducked out my head. There was a stick lying on the ground. I charmed it quickly and sent it flying into a knot in the tree. The Whomping Willow kept swinging, so I swore and tried another spot, until finally it stilled. I leapt out and past the reach of its branches, everyone scurrying after me. Once we were safely away, I removed the branch, and the Whomping Willow shook like a dog trying to dry itself.
"Well, that's enough adventure for today. Delilah, can you fix our clothes?" Delilah nodded and waved her wand, our clothes becoming the school uniform. Aislinn gave her a kiss on the cheek in thanks and turned to the rest of us.
"Okay, we should go. It's seven o'clock now, and we need to get back to our dorm in a few minutes. We better hurry." Lily nodded and ran ahead, being the fastest. I ran after her, and everyone followed. We reached the stairs in a few seconds, speeding up them faster than I've ever ran before. Finally, out of breath and red-faced, I reached the Fat Lady.
"Felix Felicis." She shook her head and I swore. I'd forgotten the new password, which someone had told me today. Lily was already inside, and everyone else was behind me on the stairs. I waited until Roxanne got up and whispered the password - which was Honeydukes, funnily enough - to let us in.
Oh boy, the stares we got when we came in.
James ran over, already in his costume, a Muggle 'Grid Iron' player. "Where've you guys been? The party starts in an hour?" I shrugged and ran up to my dorm, crashing through the door. Daphne was putting the final touches on her costume, a water sprite, dabbing glitter at her temples.
"Holy shit, Rose, you scared me! Lily's already in here, and it's an hour until the party. Hurry." I nodded and threw off my uniform, quickly cleaning the dust from it. Aislinn threw me my costume, which I slid on quickly. Daphne gave a gasp as she saw me in my outfit, and smiled.
"You look...wow. You're going to break hearts tonight. See you at the party!" She ran out, light and barefoot, leaving me with my cousins, Delilah and Aislinn. Lily was already putting makeup on, pinks and purples to compliment her pixie costume. Roxanne was putting on her own outfit, a medieval knight, complete with a fake sword. The only makeup she'd need would be some dark smudges for battleground dirt and maybe a scar. Aislinn pushed me onto the bed, grabbing a makeup case.
"Eyes shut." I obeyed, and she slid eyeshadow onto them, which was cold. I opened my eyes once she was done, and she lined my eyes with eyeliner.
"Pout." I pushed out my lips and she slid fiery red lipstick on, before standing back.
"Oh, forgot one thing. Here we go." She brushed powder onto my temples, cheekbones and forehead.
"There we are. Delilah! Hair!" Delilah, who was already in her wood sprite costume, whisked out her wand and zapped my hair. Immediately, it twisted up, doing Merlin knows what on top of my head.
"Okay, there we are. Rose, check the mirror while I get Aislinn ready." I nodded and walked over to the full length mirror in the corner of the room.
I gasped and froze, captivated by the image in the mirror.
An image of a goddess was trapped in the glassy surface. She had ice blue eyes, ringed with the smoke of war, and a face that was golden and shimmering where the light caught it. Her lips were the colour of blood, full and shining. Her clothes were made of pure sunshine and star glow, her sandals spun gold. Roses were shining as if they were alive, growing out of her hair and wrists.
I turned to Delilah. "The mirror's spelled, right?" When she shook her head, I went to the next conclusion. "The outfit?" Another shake of the head. "Makeup?" Shake. "The room?" Delilah let out an exasperated sigh and stood, quickly finishing Aislinn's eyeshadow, a rich plum colour for her rainbow costume. No, it wasn't a giant rainbow, just an outfit with every colour. Red lips, orange shoes, yellow shirt, pastel green pants, blue and pink bracelets and lots of shades of purple for her makeup. She'd even coloured her hair rainbow with magic.
"Rose, it's you. You look amazing, spectacular, fantastic, goddess-like, and just...well, beautiful." I blushed and turned back to the mirror. With the red cheeks, you'd think I'd look more mundane, but instead it made me look even more divine, giving me the expression as if I were a goddess caught in a passionate moment. I looked at everyone else.
Lily was dressed in a gown that appeared to be made of flowers, sleeveless and ending at her knees. She had a wreath of leaves in her hair, and for all intents and purposes looked like she'd just stepped out of a mushroom circle or a flower field. Roxanne was dressed like a warrior queen, smeared with dust and blood, seemingly having just come off a battlefield for a rest. Her hair was down, tousled and looking like a rain of fire down her back. The sword was sheathed, but it still looked intimidating, the hilt gleaming. Aislinn was covered in colour, seemingly just had run through a rainbow and come out the other side gloriously coloured, smiling serenely. It seemed like a usual outfit, but when you knew what it was, it was amazing. Delilah seemed to be made of leaves and wood, having painted her arms to look like bark - with magic, of course - and with leaves twined into her hair. She had coloured her hair brown for the evening, and her usually blue eyes had contacts the colour of oak leaves covering them, making her seem like the embodiment of a forest or of nature itself. I smiled at the group.
"Come on, we've got a party to go to."
We reached the Room at quarter past eight, fashionably late. Someone had left a note by the door, telling them what to think, in a code we'd come up with ourselves. To a teacher, the note was gibberish, but to us it made perfect sense. I paced, thinking the key phrase, which tonight was 'I need to go to the spookiest place ever', until a door materialised in the solid brick wall and we walked in.
The Room was great for parties, because it took care of decorating, and in the rare case when it didn't, it left supplies to decorate with. The only problem was that we couldn't get food or drinks from it, but that's why we had house-elves, right?
Tonight, the Room had outdone itself. It was modelled like a ghost house, with ruined furniture and slashed wallpaper. I realised it was the Shrieking Shack as a bone-chilling howl reached my ears. Fred ran over, dressed as a werewolf, howling to his heart's content.
"Hey guys, nice outfits. Party's just starting. Rose, there's someone who wants to see you." I shrugged at everyone and followed Fred, who was loping on all fours like the werewolf he was dressed as. He led me to the drinks table, where a familiar short person was waiting.
"Lopsy!" The little house-elf turned around and shrieked, running into my arms.
"Oh, Ms Rose, Lopsy missed you so much! Lopsy was so worried! Where was Ms Rose?" I rubbed her back soothingly, sensing her distress as she lapsed back into how house-elves usually speak.
"Lopsy, I'm okay now, and that's all that matters. There was no lasting damage done, and after my time in the Hospital Wing, I'm raring to go." Lopsy wiped away a tear and smiled at me, her violet eyes lit up.
"Do you like the party, Ms Rose? We made sure everything was just right, just for you. This isn't just a Halloween party, it's also yours. I should go now and help the other house-elves with food. Bye, Ms Rose!" I waved at Lopsy as she ran off, smiling. Someone tapped me on the shoulder, and I spun, seeing Scorpius. He was dressed as Pan, the forest god, with a bared chest and furry trousers to resemble the god's goat legs. Hooves were impossible, so he was wearing tap shoes that clicked as he walked. He also had an impressive set of antlers, stretching over him, almost half his height. I grinned even wider and hugged him, feeling his familiar warmth sweep over me. Scorpius placed his lips beside my ear.
"You look amazing, Rose. Really, you do." I smiled up at him, blushing slightly.
"Well, you don't look half bad yourself. The antlers are a nice touch." Scorpius looked up at them, grinning.
"Yeah, I probably went a bit overboard with the height. It was difficult getting out of the dorm room with these bastard things on my head." I laughed and pecked him on the lips.
"Can I grab a drink?" Scorpius blushed and let go, muttering apologies. I grabbed a Butterbeer, having decided earlier to stay sober tonight, and cracked it open, taking a sip. Scorpius, being more adventurous, had snagged a Firewhiskey. I tapped the rim of his glass with my bottle top and took a sip as he did. "To the magical night of Halloween, and to Hogwarts!" The whole room cheered, shocking me into laughter.
From then, the party just got better. Someone started the music, which was by magic, of course, since electronics didn't work in this lovely establishment, and I got swept onto the dance floor by a slightly drunk Scorpius. We were dancing for at least an hour, until finally, I was too tired. Scorpius was pretty drunk by this stage, almost staggering, so we collapsed onto a couch. Daphne was snogging heatedly with James in the corner, which almost made me blush, but soon enough my attention was diverted to a new spectacle - Lily was dancing with a boy.
A real boy.
A live one, that breathed, and blushed, and was clumsy.
I watched in mixed horror and joy as they waltzed to the slow music, Lily leading the pair (of course, she was a Weasley, so she was from a family of strong women). They looked like they were having fun, even if the boy was a lousy dancer.
Wait. What was...oh Merlin, they were snogging.
I blushed and turned away. Scorpius gave me a concerned glance, even if was still kind of unfocused thanks to the Firewhiskey.
"What's wrong?" I grimaced and went to point, but stopped myself just in time.
"Lily is with a boy, and they're...snogging. That's just wrong." Scorpius put an arm around me, smiling softly.
"She's going to start doing that soon enough. And besides, why do you need to worry when - oh, speak of the devil." I looked where Scorpius was pointing. James had somehow separated himself from Daphne and was now pulling away the boy, who seemed very confused. Lily was looking sullen. James shouted at the poor boy, and sent him running away, before turning to Lily.
"Ooh, here we go, now sparks are gonna fly." I frowned at Scorpius.
"They're my cousins. I don't want them - " A shout drew my attention. James was lying on the ground, rubbing his forehead, while Lily put her wand back in her dress pocket. I cheered, then stopped myself, but it was too late. Scorpius gave me a victorious grin.
"Oh, stop it. I'm proud of my baby cousin being able to hold her own in a wand fight, and seeing one of my older, more annoying cousins on the ground does...hold some appeal. Stop staring. You never seen a hypocrite before?" Scorpius just kept grinning, so I stood up, cursing under my breath.
"I'm going to go get another Butterbeer. You've clearly had enough, so if you get anything, it's going to be water." Scorpius didn't try to argue, just murmured in agreement. I'd trained him well. I walked off to the drinks table, but I got stopped on the way. Aislinn and Delilah were standing in the middle of the room. I was getting a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Holding her wand to her neck, Delilah began to speak.
"Hello everyone! We have something to say." Aislinn raised her own wand to her neck and continued.
"We've been slightly untruthful with you." From there, they just started saying bits of a single, obviously planned speech.
"We've decided that tonight..." "Was the best night to tell you." "You see, Delilah here..." "Is a Seer. That's not all we've been keeping secret..." "But that's why we've picked tonight. You're all..." "At your most accepting. So now..." "Well, actions are better than words, don't you agree?"
The sick feeling in my stomach was getting a lot more intense. I remembered Delilah's earlier words - " Okay, so we are going out, and it is a secret, but that's going to change soon. Don't give me a scared look, Rose, just trust me."
Delilah looked straight into Aislinn's eyes, removing the spell on her voice. Aislinn gulped and did the same.
I walked forward, wanting to stop them, but I didn't get there in time.
In a blink of an eye, they were snogging.
I stopped dead.
Delilah broke off and looked around. "We're lesbians."
There was shocked silence.
Then, finally, everybody began talking, but for some reason, it wasn't bad things. All I could hear was along the lines of 'how didn't we figure it out' and 'damn, what a pity', that last one being mostly from boys. Delilah and Aislinn ran over, holding hands and giggling.
"We did it, Rose, we finally did it! And no one thinks it's bad!" Aislinn gasped and clutched at Delilah's hand. I turned around to see what had shocked her so much, gasping as I spotted her.
Waves of dark hair. Dark eyes narrowed in a malicious glare.
She strolled over leisurely, taking her time. "Well, hello, Rose. I'm surprised to see a goddess among us normal folk." The words dripped with disdain. "Surely you should be sucking up to your big cousin? After all, nepotism comes as easily to you as breathing." I gasped, speechless.
The speechlessness didn't last long, and soon I was angry. Volcano angry.
That doesn't make any sense? I don't care. It's really angry.
I stared right into her eyes, putting all the force of a Weasley glare behind my eyes. To her credit, she only flinched, but soon she started backing up.
"Shouldn't you be rehearsing your cover story for when it's revealed Georgia didn't do it? I've never done an evil thing, but you sure as hell have. Let's look at the list, shall we? Lies. Deceptions. Torture. Pinning evil things on other people." She was still backing up, and I was still going forward, spitting my words into wide eyes.
"Cruelty. Sadism. Causing someone to miss three weeks of her life for a grudge. Have you ever lost three weeks?" Vera shook her head, looking scared now.
"Then you don't know how bad that feels. I've missed out on class, hanging around with friends, time with my boyfriend, Quidditch, life, because you had a grudge. Was that worth it, Vera?" She was in a corner now. "Was it?!?"
The whole room was silent. All I could hear was my angry breath. Vera was frozen in shock.
She turned and ran out, the door slamming behind her.
I fell onto the ground, feeling exhausted.
"Okay, party's over. Everyone clear out." I recognized Delilah's voice, and the sound of Roxanne pushing people out the door, until it was just me and the girls. I raised my head weakly to look at Roxanne. "That felt good."
Then I put my head down and surrendered to the blackness that was swirling at the edges of my vision.
Everybody loves an 'actions are better than words' confession.
YAY, NO ONES HATES THEM!
Even Vera, but she did have a little spaz against Rose.
YAY, SHOUTING MATCH!
Okay, that's probably not as good. But it felt good to get that off my chest.
Uh, Rose's chest.
Am I Rose? I don't know anymore.
This is confusing.
Sorry for the delay (it was way too long and inexcusable), and please don't lose patience with me!
Cheers, Phoenix Quill :D
P.S. Next chapter, we get some revenge. *rubs hands together evilly*
P.P.S. The red hat with the gold tassel is a fez. Look it up. Aladdins' monkey wears one. Just in case someone gets angry at me for not calling it by it's proper name *cough cough SunnyWitch cough*
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