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Chapter 2 : A Veela with a mission.
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It's Monday morning and I'm still hung over. And even though I know I should try and eat some breakfast, I can't seem to muster up the strenght to lift my arm and fill my plate with something. Besides, my stomach rumbles in disagreement every time I look at any of the dishes before me.
Dom sits beside me, sporting the same look of dread as my face undeniably shows. Her ruffled, jet-black hair sticks out from under her hat, telling me that she didn't bothered styling it this morning and instead decided to cover it up.
We spent the entire day in our dorm yesterday, and only snuck out when we were hungry and raided the kitchen. Neither one of us had any interest in being social, so we kept our gaze down and speed-walked to our destination.
But it's Monday now, and hiding out in our beds with the curtains drawn isn't really an option unless we want detention.
"I've only been up for half an hour, and I already know this day is going to be a bloody nightmare..." Dom mutters darkly and grimaces.
I nod in agreement and return the grimace.
"I'm never drinking again," she then proceeds to tell me. "It's not worth feeling like this..."
"Amen," I say and scowl down at my empty plate.
"Blimey, I haven't seen the two of you since Saturday, and by the looks of it, you've been burrowed away in a ditch ever since!"
Both Dom and I shrink at the sound of our cousin's voice.
"Shut up, Fred," Dom growls and casts him a nasty glare as he slides in opposite us.
Fred squints his eyes, and takes a bite of some toast.
"I think you two stepped out of hibernation too early..." he mutters under his breath. "It's your own fault for drink-"
"Pardon me," Dom snaps, "but we are well aware of why we're feeling like a pair of dead crows, so we don't need you to rub our noses in it. Don't think you're better than us just because you didn't drink at that party - nobody gives a shit. And, for the love of Godric Gryffindor, shut the hell up."
I feel like applauding when Dom's rant finally comes to an end.
Fred's natural chocolate skin turns a dark shade of red before he gets up and stomps off. Dom doesn't seem like this affects her at all and simply goes back to glaring into thin air.
I, on the other hand, instantly feel bad even though it technically wasn't my fault.
"What a hypocrite, eh?" Dom says aloud, and I think I detect a tiny morsel of regret in her tone. She'll never admit to it though, so I keep it to myself. "I mean, he does all this other shit. With the pranks and rule-breaking and whatnot... And now he's all up in our business about drinking? Pfff. He should stick to his own business." She snorts.
I scrunch my nose. We're both fully aware of why Fred doesn't drink. Nobody ever says anything about it either, not even Al or James - and they tease people about everything. You simply just don't go there.
"Well..." is all I say and cast a quick glance at my best friend. She glances back for a millisecond. Then she sighs.
"Fine... Maybe I was a bit -"
"Of a bitch?"
"I was going to say harsh, but bitch works too..."
We sit in silence for a moment, and then we hear the clock tower's lament calling us.
"Come on, inhale some toast and let's be off," Dom says and sets an example by doing just that. I do as she says, even though my stomach disagrees with me.
"God, I'm absolutely not in the mood for herbology right now..."
"At least we'll get some fresh air," I tell her, trying to keep a positive outlook. But my spirits take a downwards dive into a pit of darkness when the freezing November air slaps my face when we step out of the castle. The walk down to the greenhouses is nothing but torture, and after a minute or so, the cold has penetrated our thick coats and scarves, leaving us shivering.
We meet the rest of the class in front of the door, but for some reason, they're not going in.
"Let us through - my tits are freezing off!" Dom calls out through clattering teeth, pushing her way through the group.
When we get to the door, it's locked.
"Alohomora!" Dom's pointing her wand at the lock, but nothing happens.
"We tried that," someone says snidely. "Obviously."
"Shut it, Zabini," Dom retorts. She isn't particularly fond of the Zabini twins.
"As friendly as ever, I see," Deuce Zabini says, and I feel like punching him in the face. Luckily, his almost identical brother isn't around. "And where's your sidekick? Ah, there she is." He turns his cold, blue gaze at me, and the air around me seems to have dropped even more. "Hello, Weasley."
I don't reply. I usually do, but I'm off my game today and I really don't have the energy for a battle of wits.
"What, got nothing to say? That's a first."
I can see how much it's bothering Dom to stay on the sidelines. But I'm glad she's not getting involved - it usually gets ugly between the two of them.
Where's that teacher?
"Ignoring me? Really? How rude."
Why can't he just shut up?
"Maybe she doesn't want to talk to the likes of you," I hear Dom sneering.
"The likes of me?" Deuce Zabini repeats and puts on a look of offence. "And what may I be that disgusts our mutual redheaded friend?"
"You're evil, you're always picking fights, your brother hit our cousin in the face with a beater's bat -"
"That was an accident during a Quidditch m-"
"Accident?! It was no such thing!"
"Well, water under the bridge and all that. Besides, I'm sure Chase apologized for -"
"He didn't," Dom says through clenched teeth.
"Yeah, that didn't really sound like him," Deuce chuckles evilly.
"And you're a snivelling, deceitful bag of Slytherin-dung, how's that for a reason?" Dom continues and hot fog rushes out of her nostrils. I swear, her Veela tendencies are downright frightening sometimes.
Deuce Zabini smiles as if he's just been given a real treat. A dog with a bone; a vulture circling its prey; a Seeker eyeing the Snitch.
"Oh, really?" he says and looks at me. I instinctively back away, but there are students surrounding us, boxing me in. "From what I hear, little miss Weasley here doesn't mind us snivelling, deceitful Slytherins so much."
"What do you mean?" I press out, but my voice sounds weak and scared. Maybe that's because I am weak and scared...
Zabini gives me a long, hard look with his devious eyes. My body tingles with fear and cold, and I cannot decide which is worse.
Does he know about what happened between me and Malfoy?
My eyes scatter around, searching for an abnormally blond and tall boy, probably in the back with his hands in his pockets; looking like he has no care in the world... Don't you just hate people like that?
Well, I can't seem to locate this male specimen, so my gaze returns to the dark haired, smirking Slytherin in front of me.
His mouth opens and time seems to slow down, almost stopping. What is he about to say? If Dom finds out about what happened, she'll murder me for not telling her straight away. Everyone will judge me. I'll judge me...
Can't Al be his usual annoying self and swoop in? Or maybe Fred could step between us saying 'pull my finger'? Anything!
"Oi! Slytherins and Gryffindors - listen up!"
My head snaps in the direction of the crass voice. It's Filch!
Oh, I have never been so happy to see that rotten old man in my whole life!
Hope grows in my chest - maybe I'll get out of this situation with my reputation intact?
Filch manages to step onto a large rock without falling, and coughs into his hand.
"Professor Longbottom will not be teaching today. So that means this class is now cancelled-"
He's interrupted by groans and whooping, and we're all starting to move away from the greenhouse when he screams for us to stop. Only half of us actually listen.
"He says to tell you to read chapters four through eleven till next time!"
And with that, Filch tries to step down, but instead falls face down into a pile of snow.
I hear students laughing. I swallow a chuckle, but my common decency forces me to step over to the old man and offer my hand. Filch simply sneers at it and mumbles something about punishments and dungeuns while he hobbles away.
With a shrug I turn back to my visibly shivering friend.
"Only you would offer to help that old squib," Dom notes, her hands hiding in the sleeves of her enormous coat.
"He's not so bad..." I try, but Dom just rolls her eyes at me.
We start our trek back towards the castle, feet now numb from treading on the icy ground, ankle-deep in the snow. Our heavy breaths makes large clouds of smoke in the air, and I'm being pulled back in time when I used to pretend I was smoking.
"What do you think he meant?" Dom suddenly asks, dragging me out of my nostalgia.
"Zabini," she explains and casts a look at me. Her eyelashes has a layer of ice, causing them to shimmer. "He said something about you and Slytherins? What was that about?"
Here it is; if there ever was a moment to tell Dom the truth, this would be it.
"No idea," I lie.
I've passed the point of no return. I now have to keep this thing a secret for the rest of my life. I just hope it won't explode in my face...
Note to self: Do not under any circumstances drink that much again in the prescence of Scorpius Malfoy - the two of them apparently do not mix. Horror ensues.
Now that I think about it, the chain of events leading me to give Malfoy my flower is unclear. There is a large black hole in my memory, from when I filled my goblet for the umpteenth time, lasting until the middle of my de-virginizing... What happened in between there?
Merlin knows I'll never ask Malfoy. If I never see that boy again, it'll be too soon.
Not that I have very much agains the lad, but just looking into his face and knowing what we've done... I'll probably die of embarrassment.
"It was weird, though." Dom's still not done with the subject.
"Well, you know the Zabinis," I say while we finally step into the entrance hall, "they're always looking for ways to start trouble."
I let out a breath, and happily join in when Dom starts another topic. I'm not absolutely sure what she's talking about, but I'm agreeing with her every word and nod alot. My head is still spinning from trying to figure out the happenings of the past night.
In lieu of class, we go right back up to the common room. Dom still chats when we step into the warmth, and I still nod and say stuff like "I know, right" and "totally". I'm a bad friend, aren't I?
"Why are people staring at you?"
Maybe I should've actually listened.
Dom just looks at me, and then slowly sweeps the room with squinted eyes. For a moment, I force myself to step out of my own head and look around me. And she's right, people are staring.
The entire common room is quiet, apart from an odd whisper here and there. Apparently, half our house is scattered around the room - why aren't they in class? Kids nowadays, skipping classes and-
"Rose," Dom whispers out of the corner of her mouth, "what is going on? Did someone give me cat whiskers again?" She touches her face to assure herself that she is whisker-less.
"No," I mumble and my heart rate peaks. "They're not looking at you..." I swallow hard and feel my palms starting to sweat profusely. "It's me."
Dom locates a fourth year boy who's had a crush on her for ages and approaches him. His pimply face turns red and he fumbles with the book on his lap.
"Hey Ferguson," she says and stops in front of him with her hands on her hips. "Why are people staring at my friend?"
"I-I dunno," Ferguson stammers and I see his Adam's apple bobbing. "I-I don't really, uhm, listen to gossip."
"There's gossip?" she presses.
"N-No, I mean, I'm just, you know, guessing." Poor boy. Being subject to Dom's angry Veela eyes isn't pleasant.
Dom squints, points at his face and lowers her voice to a deadly whisper. "If I find out you're lying..."
"I'm not!" he squeals. "P-Promise!"
"Alright..." Dom slowly turns away. By now, people have started going back to their individual conversations, but they keep a curious eye on me. I'm not used to the attention. At least not at Hogwarts - people are used to me here now.
When I'm home during the holidays, we do get approached by a few paparazzi, and journalists always ask me about my love life, and we do attend a few big scale social gatherings... But not at Hogwarts - Hogwarts is my safe haven. Somewhere I don't have to worry about make-up all the time in case someone snaps a photo of me that ends up on the front page of Witch Weekly.
Yes, there are some girls who love the attention... But honestly? I hate it. Popularity and rumors and glam shots are more Dom's scene than mine.
So the fact that people are whispering about me behind my back and giving me weird looks...well, it makes me more than uncomfortable.
"I'm going up," I tell Dom and sprint up the stairs to our dorm room. With the door safely closed behind me, and the room empty, I can finally show how panicked I really am. I start hyperventilating while I hurriedly try to get out of the coat and scarf - and tears are quicly forming in my eyes.
"I'm not cut out for this," I mutter to myself in a hoarse voice, and I can taste the tears as they start running down my face. In fear of Dom bustling in and seeing me in this state, I rush to the bathroom and lock myself in.
"I have to wee!" I hear someone calling ten minutes later, while I'm in the shower, followed by a severe pounding on the door. "Come on, I'm gonna have an accident!"
"Hold on," I call back and turn the hot water off. I wish I could have stayed in there for the rest of the day... I grab a fluffy, red and gold towel and wrap it around me. The secod I unlock the door, a rush of brown hair whips me right in the face.
My dorm mate doesn't even bother to wait until I've exited the room before her bare bum touches the porcelain.
"Sweet Merlin..." she moans when I'm half-way out the door. "Is there any greater feeling than peeing when you really have to pee?"
"Is that a rhetorical question, Amanda? Or do I have to answer?"
It's a fifty-fifty chance Amanda Finnigan actually does expect an answer. She has a tendency to talk to herself out loud.
"Rhetorical," she replies and I roll my eyes while walking over to my bed.
I hear the toilet flush and the water running in the sink and hurry to put some underwear on. Nudity isn't my thing - private parts are private. (Side note: Dad made up a song about that and used to sing it to me when I was a little girl. Still, to this day, I catch myself humming the tune when I see people changing.)
Oh, Merlin! My private parts aren't private anymore! I've been tainted!
"So," I turn around at the sound of Amanda's voice, "why are people whispering about you?"
I sigh while I pull a shirt over my head.
"Nice bra, by the way," she adds. And I hope she can't see my cheeks flushing when she says that. She's openly lesbian, and I can't seem to shake the feeling that she's coming onto me whenever she speaks to me. I know I should get over myself, she's never treated me any differently.
Besides, Dom was the one making out with her at the part- Flashback! I can't believe I'd forgotten about that. I'm so going to tease Dom about it later.
"It was not a rhetorical question this time..." Amanda says, and I smile at her apologetically.
"I should be asking you, you probably know more than me," I sigh while I pull on a pair of pants. "I've been hiding out up here ever since the party, not talking to anyone other than Dom..."
"So... Something happened at the party, then?"
I turn away. "No."
"That's not what I've heard."
"What have you heard?" I spin around and look at the brunette with desperate eyes.
"Just that you were blithering drunk and dry-humped everyone in sight," she tells me and shrugs. "But then again, I hate gossip and make it a point to ignore the whispers."
"And that's it?"
I let out a relieved breath.
"Isn't it enough?" Amanda asks and cocks her eyebrow. "You freaked out when McGonagall read your essay aloud last year - but you're cool about the entire school thinking you're a little bit of a slut?"
I shrug my shoulders. "Well... You can't win them all."
Amanda's huge, brown eyes narrow before she slowly gets up.
"You're weird," she states.
"You have conversations with yourself in the bathroom."
"Touché, Weasley," she says with her eyes still narrowed, and then walks out of the dorm, leaving me alone. Ah, sweet loneliness.
Okay. Time to get collected. If I'm going to survive the week(I doubt my newfound interest-level will last more than that), I'll have to stay indifferent to those gossiping ninnies.
I take a couple of deep breaths. Then I run a brush through my hair, and throw a pair of socks and sneakers on. With one last, hard look in the mirror, I muster up the courage to step out of the dorm.
But I only get to take the one step before I'm being crashed into by a panting Dom.
"Blimey!" I exclaim as I try to regain my balance.
"I - heard - something!" my red-faced cousin heaves.
"Why are you out of breath?"
"Ran - up - the - stairs..." she explains and puts her hands on her knees.
"Wow, you really need to start working out," I observe, and I'm rewarded with a glare.
"I - can - still - kick your arse!" She's getting her breathing back on track.
"So what made you go on this suicide mission?"
"No," she inhales deeply and straightens up, "about what really happened to Aladdin in that cave... What do you think?!"
"No need to get snappy."
"Just shut up and listen!"
I imitate locking my mouth and hide the invisible key in my cleavage.
"I asked Josephine McKellan, who was told by Annabeth Jackson who overheard that redheaded Slytherin talking to Jason McCormic about -"
"I was getting to it!" she hisses. "Apparently, Al is furious with you."
"Al?" I ask, nonplussed. "Why?"
"According to Josephine, it was something that happened at the party, and you fought."
"His birthday party?"
Dom gives me a look that plainly shows what she thinks of my intelligence. "Which other parties have you attended lately?"
"Fine." I exhale, and scrunch my brows. "But... I can't remember fighting with Al."
"Me neither," Dom says and cocks her head. "Must've happened after I left."
"Passed out," I correct her.
"So, did she say what the fight was about?"
Dom slowly shakes her head. Some of her randomly cut bangs fall into her eyes and she blows is away. "It's like everybody knows a little bit, but nobody seems to know the entire story. Plus, there is bound to be some false rumors spinning around out there. People'll believe anything they hear."
Does Albus know what I did with his best friend?
"Tell me the second you hear anything else," I say sternly, and Dom puts on her loyal friend-face and salutes me before sprinting back down.
One half of me craves to know why Al's mad at me...but the other one is terrified of the answer.
Oh, Rosie... What have you gotten yourself into?
Gee, I'm writing up a storm here! Love it! It's been so long since I've been this full of inspiration :D
I really do hope you like it so far - I've got some great ideas of where to go with this story, some lovely twists and turns ;)
Please keep reading!
See you soon ^^
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