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Chapter 3 : Black Lies
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The next I was being dragged kicking and screaming to the library, in the not most dignified of manners, in a cocoon of thick white duvet.
“What?” I yelled, my hair sprawled over my face in an explosion of crimson frizz, my eyes squinting at the brightness.
“It’s important,” my kidnapper promised, sounding suspiciously like a Potter.
“What?” I repeated, struggling against their grip, squirming around like nobody's business. “What could possibly be so important you had to wake me up on a saturday morning?”
I finally burst from their grasp, my vampire strength kicking in from my woozy slumber, and I pushed them back, sending them skidding with my white duvet across the corridor. The look on Al’s face was quite comical, actually, but I didn’t really want to laugh as I had been interupted from my precious sleep. Do you know how hard it is to fall asleep at night now I’m a vampire?
I get woken up by the tiniest things, like a fly landing on my window sill, a snore from Val in the bed next to me.
“Red, why are you so jumpy at the minute?” Al said with a hurt expression any other girl would find adorable, picking himself off the cold stone floor and rubbing his back with a scowl.
Any other time of day, I would feel sympathy towards him - but maybe it was the vampireness that made me more unemotive, or the fact it was seven o’clock on a saturday morning, but I just shrugged helplessly and yawned. If I hadn’t peed off Al before, I surely had now.
He swung my duvet over his shoulder, grouchily marching past me, and grumbling about girls and “that time of the month.”
Well, he could grumble all he liked, but I was not letting anything, I repeat ANYTHING, ruin my special saturday lie ins.
“Hurry up Red,” Urged Al, turning back to shoot me an icy glare. Wow, I had annoyed him. For me to be on the other side of that glare? I should be reduced to a pile of smouldering ashes - if it wasn't for the fact I was dead already. The only other time I'd been on the recieving end of one of those glares, was when I pushed him in to the pond at The Burrow.That stuff never gets old.
“Weasley Clan meeting,” Al said shrilly, like he had much more better things to do with his time than haul grumpy sixteen year old girls out of their beds. How Al got in to our dormitory in the first place is a mystery to me anyway.
You're probably thinking? What in Merlin's name is a Weasley Clan meeting? Well, I'll tell you. Weasley Clan meetings are vitally important meetings created by Victoire - in which we organize our plots and pranks for the upcoming fortnight.
We used to call them WC's, for Weasley Clans, but we got an awful lot of odd looks when we said that out loud.
I might have to change what I said to earlier to: Nothing can ruin my saturday morning lie ins, except Weasley Clan meetings.
I started to plod towards the library, glancing reproachfully at the happy snoozing portraits, and sighing heavily. Al was marching briskly ahead of me, like this little strutting poodle.
I'm not too sure what a poodle was, but Grandpa Weasley once brought one and called it "Fifi". Grandma Weasley was very happy when it made it's fate with a garden gnome. In Grandma Weasley's words, it's a, "fluffy white rat." I should refrain from telling Val I ever called my cousin a "fluffy white rat" in case I want to suffer a very painful second death.
Al turned round right about then, and you've got to give it to him, he knew his way around this corridor pretty well. He'd followed it all around the twists and turns like he was the Marauder's Map.
“There are biscuits there you know....”
I had got there before he finished the “c” in biscuits.
Of course, it was only till I arrived that I realized I couldn’t eat them My stomach churned like a muggle washing machine, winding round and round dizzily fast. I took a seat next to Roxy, who was grinning despite her bandaged arm and collar bone. She offered me the plate of firework ginger biscuits from her dad’s shop.
"No thanks,” I managed, laying my hands over my stomach.
Roxy’s face fell in dismay.
“Cramps,” I added hastily, glancing at Al quickly.
I could tell Roxy didn't believe me, her always knowing hazel eyes searching mine a second too long before placing the biscuits down, but she at least pretended to.
“Right. Well. We all here then?” Dom asked, narrowing her eyes at each one of us in turn as if we were all holding back huge secrets from her.
Which was ridiculous, of course.
Lily couldn’t keep a secret from Dom to save her life.
Still, we all chorused our names in turns, and prepared for the monthly Dominique Lecture about family pride, and the usual rambles about pranks and responisibilities to uphold. She took her responsibility as Clan Leader now Victoire had left to study wand lore in New Zealand.
“Before we begin,” Dom started, smoothing down her skirt and coughing. At least she’d had time to get sorted out and changed. I glanced around to see if I was the only one in pajamas and bed hair, satisfied to see that the majority of us were stifling yawns and running our hands through our hair. I decided to not question Louis' fluffy pink bunny slippers, and turned my attention back to Dom.
“I’d just like to say a huge congratulations to the best house -”
Lucy snorted hoarsely, a snigger tugging at the corners of her lips.
“Oh yeah, like Hufflepuff are the best house!” Lily retorted to Lucy’s snort, her hands on her lips and her eyes flaring with anger.
“At least we don’t break the rules.”
“Brilliant come back Luce,” smirked Lily, flicking her long red hair proudly. "How else did you think the Golden Trio saved humanity as we know it?"
“GIRLS,” Al ordered, holding up his hands in a manly way.
“As I was saying,” Dom continued, glaring at Lucy and Lily in turn, like a hippogriff eyeing up a ferret. “I’d just like to say a huge congratulations to Gryffindor for their latest achievement of beating Hufflepuff in Quidditch. Well done!” Dom beamed at me and Roxy, her sparkly electric blue eyes shining.
Say what you will about Dom, but one thing she always is, is supportive. No one can deny, that she is probably the most encouraging person you've ever met. That doesn't mean she's enthusiastic though - we leave that to the Scamanders when they find a blast-ended skrewt or something.
Dom drew a big breath, like what she was about to say took a lot of force and effort to say out loud.
“However, what I have called you in today to talk about, is something much much much more serious than quidditch.”
A tense silence broke out in to the room. Silence wasn't usually a word that went with Weasley in the same sentence, but then it did. I could hear everybodies hearts race, thump on the rooves of their dry mouths, all around me. I shared an anxious glance at Roxy, her eyes desperately scanning every inch of Dom for some sort of clue.
“You mean we’re going to die?” Molly squeaked from in the corner, going barely noticed as usual.
“No, of course not -”
“We’re going to get expelled?!” Hugo offered, his round brown eyes widening in horror.
“Not exactly, it’s -”
“Dad’s shop is going down?” Roxy quizzed.
“IF YOU ALL BLOOMING SHUT UP YOU MIGHT GET A BLOOMING ANSWER!” Dom bellowed, the cool compusure she had maintained for this long shattering before our eyes.
We all rapidly shut our mouths after that and listened. Nobody wants to get on the wrong side of Dominique Weasley - the part-veela, part-werewolf. Even Victoire isn't that bad.
“Thank you,” Dom said frustratedly, gritting her teeth and smiling forcedly. “We are all under attack.”
About then was when Molly collapsed.
One bottle of blood, a shower, a hour of revision and a rubber duck later, we were all gathered around Molly’s bed in the hospital wing.
“Right, well seeing as we seem to have aqquired a few extra family members...” Hissed Dom, scowling at James and Fred who had sneaked in to let loose a load of fireworks in the hall. ”....I shall continue what I was saying. The Weasleys are under attack.”
No one dared to speak for a moment. It was as if Dom had just read out our death sentences. And she'd already said that line before.
“Who from?” Louis asked finally, crossing his arms across his chest with a furrowed brow.
“What kind of people?”
“Death eaters, that want revenge on our parents.”
“How do you know?”
“Because Teddy got attacked you moron!” Snapped Dom, making Louis shrink against the wall.
Everybody was silent for a few more minutes, Louis' eyes flashing in hurt at his big sister's temper.
Curiosity killed the part-werewolf more like.
“Well that’s fine - Dad’s an auror - he can just get a description from Teddy and it’ll be over,” James said with a dismissive shrug, over-simplifying things as normal.
“It’s not as easy as that,” Dom said solemnly, proving her point of how grave the situation was by gazing down at the ground with a grimace.
I’d never seen her this serious before. The last time she was this serious was when we made her swear she wasn’t pregnant with Max Wood’s baby.
“We don’t want to get our parents involved Jim,” I said carefully, looking right in to his topaz eyes with a fixed gaze.“Right Dommy?”
“Right Red. We really don’t want out parents worrying.”
Her gaze shifted from the wooden oak floorboards to Molly's face, softening as she looked at her lying peacefully in bed.
We all stared down at Molly’s pale face, with chapped lips, and heaving chest. It must be wonderful to be alive.
“There’s one more tiny thing...” Fred said, wringing his hands anxiously. “I was with the bank with Uncle Bill, when this woman came up to me and asked me if I was a Weasley. I thought it was one of Dad’s drunk friends or something, so I said I was a Josellé instead, you know, as a joke.”
He said it like we'd never experienced or knew what a joke was before.
“Your dad has some weird friends,” I said, looking pointedly at Roxy, who noticabley squirmed next to me.
“Didn’t one of the Josellé girls die recently?” Dom questioned, perching on the end of Molly’s hospital bed, her hand brushing against the soft white duvet.
“Joanna Josellé,” Fred confirmed, folding his arms in front of him to distract his fidgeting hands.
“They’re the three magical violinists, right?” Al asked worriedly, sucking in his cheeks thoughtfully. It drove Ginny nuts when he did that - sucked in his cheeks. Apparently it was something Grandpa Weasley used to do.
We all nodded in confirmation of this fact. I remembered when it had come blurting out of my Dad's radio that was above the fireplace in the Gryffindor common room, that Joanna had died of "natural causes." I also remember Hugo doing an impression of the oldest sister, Kiera Josellé in the bath when he was six, but for some reason I decided not to mention that. Louis flicked his hair to the side gingerly, producing a scrunched up ripped newspaper article from his pocket, and handing it to James. James briefly scanned it and shrugged, giving it to me. My eyes whizzed over the printed text, words flashing out at me.
"It says they think she got attacked - by some kind of cult," I translated from the article, placing it on Molly's bedside table beside her glasses.
Al turned on me swiftly, his round inquisitive eyes framed by long lashes, and crease lines around them from where he used to beam the widest, cutest beam you've ever seen. I remember when he was little, and that toothless grin used to make the adults give in, and let us have 5 more minutes playing, or an extra helping of pudding.
This was Albus Potter - not some random guy I'd just met.
I could trust him.
My eyes flickered to all the other faces around me, lingering lastly at Lily's perched eyebrow.
“What’s your story then, Rose?” Dom inquired curiously, shivering as a blast of refreshingly cool air sauntered through the crack in the window. "Is this anything to do with the fact we found you on the floor of the common room this morning?"
It felt like the breath had been taken from me. I felt everyones eyes burning in to me, like sockets of hot fire, scorching my skin and blistering me. I felt thankful for the sudden gust of icy wind, that was making everyone else around me shudder.
“What do you mean?” I asked hotly, desperately searching my mind for a lie, any lie.
“You’ve just been acting......strangely, lately,” Roxy explained, still not meeting her eyes, and letting a curtain of dark hair fall over her face.
“Ever since you broke your wrist in fact,” Al said matter-of-factly.
“What do you mean?”
I was trying so hard to not cry, despite the massive boulder-sized lump in my throat and my stinging eyes.
Vampires don’t cry.
I could feel everyones eyes burning in to me for an answer. I suddenly wanted to be a little girl again, and curl up on my dad's lap and dribble all over his shirt, heave great big sobs and feel the reassuring arms around me.
I looked at Roxy for some moral support, but all I got was a slightly icy streak in her eyes. Like she was hurt I didn't tell her before.
I couldn't remember when I'd stopped trusting her, or Al, or Hugo even for that matter.
“You’ve just stopped eating at the minute - and you’ve got so thin and pale. You look half-dead.”
“Funny that,” Scorpius said drily as he walked in, rolling up his shirt sleeves and smiling lazily at me.
“Scorp? This is a WEASLEY meeting. Clue in the word WEASLEY," James exclaimed, infruriated that a friend of his brother's was allowed in to the sacred ritual.
“I know - I’m here to support Red.”
"What do you mean......Support?" Dom asked, dangerously close to Scorpius.
I was praying with all my unbeating heart that Scorpius would shut up, stop right there. But no - he did the trademark Malfoy sneer.
Stupid Malfoy. Now I get why Dad hated the bloke.
Dom turned on me faster than my vampire reactions, her lips a straight thin line, her nostrils flaring.
"Rose, are you going out with Scorpius Malfoy?”
She said the name like it was poisonous.
“Is that why you’re acting all diet-y and stuff? For Malfoy?” Al asked, sounding like he'd just been punched.
I looked over at Scorpius helplessly, who was scuffing at the floorboards awkwardly, waiting to catch his eye. He glanced up, as if he could feel my gaze, and winked clumsily.
I could’ve said anything.
I was still looking for that tiny lie at the back of my mind, that was the key to getting out of this horrible, horrible situation. I could’ve said anything, from: ‘I’ve never seen this kid before in my life’ to ‘Does he need to go to Saint. Mungos to get his brain checked?’ But for some reason, with all these people asking me stuff, my mind went blank.
That was a thing that rarely happened.
I mean sure, I could tell them the truth. But I doubted they would believe it for a start, unless I ate a human right on front of them, which was not only totally gross, but also against all my morals of killing stuff unless you really actually have to. Plus, a certain person who shall remain nameless, had a habit of spreading secrets across the whole school in a matter of hours. I couldn't announce it in front of Lily, obviously, or else I'd be the new school freak.
So that cancelled out the truth - even if it did hurt.
While all this was whizzing uncontrollabley around my brain, my eyes scanned around the faces of the people I knew so well, and I was lost.
I couldn’t find a lie, or even a tiny white lie.
I could’ve done anything, ANYTHING, except agreed. But no, I, Rose Weasley, nodded.
I think I died all over again.
All of these arms were flung at me, and I was vaguely aware of Dom throwing herself at me in a lung-crushing hug, but I couldn’t feel anything. My whole body went stiff and numb, icy coursing through my veins and shattering icicles stabbing at my frozen heart. My darting eyes finally rested on the face I was the most least-pleased see at that moment.
And I could feel a tiny fraction of sunlight warm my finger tips.
Through the fog of confusion, I sort-of woke up from my paralysation; shoving Dom gently off me and Roxy, returning Roxy’s sympathetic smiles, splitting up Albus and Scorpius, apoligising to Molly for the disturbance.
Dumbledore would be really helpful right now.
I noticed Lily had gone - probably to go spread the word everywhere. I was too tired to care for all of that now, so I trudged back up to Gryffindor Tower, thinking of my beautiful bed and my beautiful Arithmacy text book.
And in that second, in which I plodded up the staircase to my dorm and left all the whispers behind me, I knew that I hadn’t told a lie.
I hadn’t even told a white lie.
I’d told a black one.
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