Chapter 11 : Chapter Eleven
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Chapter Image by Clara Oswald @ TDA
Lucy Weasley POV
Cabbages the ultimate romantic assassin. Today is our 2 year anniversary. Which from my perspective is quite the achievement and cause for celebration. Unfortunately for Alex he would prefer to abstain from the customary relationship norms and spend the day apart. He has this ideal that the universe has allowed us to get to this point, so we should spend the day giving back. He is actually an extremely logical person, but Divination is his favourite subject. It drives me bonkers.
I’m currently replanting some of Hargrids Chinese Chomping Cabbages. Perfect way to spend a romantic holiday. Dirty, sweaty and nearly losing your fingers.
“I think the cabbages are actually a really romantic vegetable” says a soft swooning voice.
I turn my head to glare at the speaker.
“Yes dear Rosie, I can’t help but agree with you” Jordan joins in.
“I mean its green, and who doesn’t like green, such a pretty colour” Rose continues smiling. “It’s the colour of life you know. Symbolises harmony, energy, nature and growth” she adds with a wink in my direction.
“Well, Why do you need candlelight dinners, when you have romantic meaningful cabbages” Jordan justifies seriously. Although I could see the laughter in her eyes.
“And it has a flower like appearance. It actually reminds me a lot of yourself Lucy” Max smirks.
“Beautiful, but feisty if you get to close” Jordan grins, and the other two burst out laughing.
So I may have dragged Rose, Max and Jordan with me. I cracked a smile too. Reluctantly. Its early Friday afternoon, Alex is off reorganizing the books in the library and I’m enduring the freezing cold air and terrible humour of my best friends.
“I so appreciate these moments. I just feel so much support and love” I roll my eyes at their theatrics.
“Well of course, I mean the cabbages” Max responds gesturing to the romantic vegetable in question, which is currently munching on her rainbow coloured scarf. She looks down horrified and yelps away. And I can’t help but grin, I may have to endure an unconventional anniversary, but at least I have these idiots to smile about it with.
The warmth of the Great Hall greets us finally. Rosie and Max make a beeline for the hot chocolate. Jordan and I slump on the table, exhausted. We were a little worse for wear. Max’s scarf was half eaten, my jumper was missing a patch. Jordan looked like she’d been mauled by a ravaging bear, one of her trouser legs had been shredded. And Rose’s hair was now shorter on one side.
“I think it actually looks quite fetching” Rose was observing looking at her reflection in her spoon.
“Yes” Jordan laughed. “Oh you weren’t being sarcastic” She adds once Rose raises her eyebrows, but then laughs with her anyway. That’s the real weird part about Rose, and a lot of people envy about her. Myself included. She’s effortlessly beautiful. She could be bald and still find a way to start a trend. But she doesn’t care at all if she looks a little different. Sure she loves shoes and clothes and numerous other materialistic and superficial things. But she’s definitely not plastic in true form. She just takes things on the chin and smiles about it. It never bothers her. She just seems so sure of everything and has no idea how beautiful she truly is. Inside and out. And I can’t help but resent her a little for that. I just feel completely ordinary in comparison, with my plain brown hair, blue eyes and scrawny figure. I thought I would never get a boyfriend, especially with Rose, Max and Jordan around. But then Alex came up to me one day and asked me whether I would like to study with him, it wasn’t fairy-tale esk, but it still felt special to me. And now I’m a prefect, Alex and I are going strong, my grades are good, and I have good friends. But the insecurities don’t always just fade away. They aren’t something a boyfriend is going to fix, or good grades, it’s something I need to accept, and believe in about myself. And that just takes time I guess, and a lot of gumption.
I put a smile on my face and begin to fill my pate. A teenage romantic squabble pulls me from my thoughts, I settle in ready to enjoy another James and Jordan fight.
“Jordan you’ve ruined my jumper” James exclaims angrily as he takes his seat beside her.
Jordan looks down at the offending jumper. “My leg nearly got eaten off and you’re worried about some mud on your jumper” she glares at him.
“And I’m sure that was by accident. You took my jumper for gardening on purpose!” He cries indignantly.
Jordan responds with a jug of pumpkin juice. James looks down at his now pumpkin drenched clothing. He frowns. “In what universe did you think ruining another one of my jumpers would pacifier me?” He glares at her.
“Maybe the Universe In which we aren’t dating” she responds just as menacingly.
After a moment of glaring, “Well that sounds like a horrible place” James frowns.
“Yes. It does” Jordan agrees feebly.
“Oh just kiss and make up already” Rose grumbles impatiently.
So they did just that. And then another jug of pumpkin juice was thrown once it become extremely heated and inappropriate.
“Hey. Next time can someone fill my glass up before it all gets wasted on public displays of uncomfortable affection?” Max comments.
We just laughed. And then Rosie conned a second year into stealing a jug from the Ravenclaw table. What good friends.
Alex waltzed into the Great Hall a little later, and shone a smile my way. I couldn’t help but grin back. I know. Total hypocrite. Even though I may have cursed his name a few times that day. I completely don’t understand why he thinks the way he does, but I’m not one to judge. However I haven’t completely lost my senses. Tonight I’m not going to sit with him. If he wants to have dinner together he is going to have to come and sit with me. Which as you can guess, never happens. He just gave me a friendly wave and sits down at the Ravenclaw Table.
“Coward” I mutter. No one is really paying any attention to me anyway. Max and Fred have started a conversation about treacle tart vs chocolate pudding. Or more an argument. Or loud discussion as they so like to call it. Jordan and James disappeared a little while ago to, I don’t want to know where, and I don’t want to know what. Rose has gone off with Scorpius for their detention, which I can’t even remember what for. They are always being punished for something. I can’t keep up. Chase and Al are yet to appear. They have both been acting strangely the last few days. I have a feeling it might have to do with the Hogsmeade Outing on Tuesday night or technically Wednesday Morning.
“Everything all right?” Albus asked when he sat beside me while I began stabbing at my meat. Speak of the devil.
“Relationships suck” I admit grumpily. Alex caught my eye and sent me a wide smile. I gripped my fork. And grit my teeth.
“Amen to that” He looks down at his food solemnly. I looked up and noticed the tired look in his eyes. Something wasn’t right. Tact Lucy Geez.
“Where’s Chase?” I decide to just bite the bullet.
“Running. He’s always running” He admitted almost bitterly.
“Oh well… I guess that’s healthy you know, exercise and all that” I had no idea what to respond with. But I have a feeling he might not want to talk about it. “Do you want to talk about it?” Well there goes that plan.
“I’m good.” he responds with a forced grin.
I grab his hand and squeeze it reassuringly. “It will be alright” I tell him with conviction.
“I don’t know” he replies softly, frowning down at his plate.
“Well I do, and I’m always right” I smirk.
“Now you sound like Rosie” He grinned, looking up at me. My favourite Albus Potter comforting smile.
“Well actually I’m 2 months older than Rose, So she sounds like me” we both laughed at that.
After a few moments, once Albus’ plate had grew enough to feed a small country, he asked “Luce, could you do me a favour?” And I could tell by the apprehension on his face, it was serious and not some menial, pass the fried beans, or can I borrow your charm notes.
After another moment, filled with deliberation. “On one condition” I responded with a reassuring smile.
Al quirked his eyebrow “Yes?” He asked wearily.
“Will it be fun?” I question with some fire in my chest, that I haven’t felt all day.
“Absolutely” He grins.
I smile excitedly, but then frown and send him a knowing look.
“No it doesn’t break any school rules” He rolls his eyes. “Normally” He adds.
I punch him in the shoulder playfully. “Then yes. I think”
“Good” and then he shoves a mouthful of food in his mouth. What graceful cousins I have.
“This is a terrible idea”
“You just can’t comprehend its brilliance”
“I really don’t think we should get involved”
“You saw her at dinner didn’t you?”
“Yes. You kept elbowing me in the ribs. It was hard not to notice” He said whilst rubbing the aforementioned tortured ribs.
“You didn’t have to help”
“And you think you could have done it alone” he gives me a seriously doubtful look.
“I would have managed”
“You’re the least romantic person I know” he cried indignantly.
“I am not”
“Yes you are”
“I’m just… A realist” I acknowledge.
“No you’re afraid” He responded looking away.
“Merlin you’re irritating” I grit my teeth.
“All part of the charm” he leans back against the wall, like he thinks he owns the place.
“What charm? You mean that smirk you think is swoon worthy”
“It is” He responds definitively.
“It actually makes you look like a constipated Flobberworm” Lies. All Lies. But of course he doesn’t have to know that. His head is big enough as it is.
Scorpius turns to respond with something I’m sure to be amusing. When we hear a noise and he quickly grabs my hand and pulls me behind a suit or armour.
I hate it when he manhandles me.
“You realise it’s before curfew, so completely normal to be wondering the corridors” I take my hand from his grasp.
In response. He glares and points to the group of Ravenclaws walking toward us. Oh.
Shit. He was supposed to be in the hall for another 10 minutes. Damn Alex, the one time he decides to be spontaneous.
That reminds me.
“What are you doing?” He whispers frustrated, whilst I reach around him and grab his bag from him. I’m sure I saw some in there the other day.
“I’m hungry” I shrug and dig around.
“You realise that’s my bag you’re searching through” he grumbles. But makes no move to take it back. Smart guy.
“Well there’s hardly going to be any fudge left in mine is there” I roll my eyes. He glares back.
“We just ate” he says. Like it’s a truth universally acknowledge that a person can’t be hungry after they just ate. Merlin he can be stupid sometimes.
“Well what can I say? Your presence is exhausting” Aha. Success. I unwrap and melt into a little fudge puddle of deliciousness.
Sigh. I chuck his bag back at him, but keep the fudge bar for myself.
After I live a few moments in my Fudge heaven. “Alright. New plan. Al has Lucy distracted but I need you to go and sort Alex” I place my hand on his shoulder and urge him forward to follow the group of boys.
“I have an even better plan. You go and talk to Alex and I’ll finish up here” he suggests.
He looks at me pleadingly. Jutting out his chin, widening his eyes. I think I got lost in them for a minute.
“Merlin. Fine. Just stop looking at me like that” I grumble looking away. He smiles and pats me on the head. Like seriously. I’m not a dog.
“Good. Well off you go then” And he shoves me up the corridor.
I’m going to seriously regret this. Lucy. Think of Lucy. With one more menacingly glare back, I trudge forward.
October 21st 2019. A day I’m never going to forget. The day of Alex. It’s not that he’s a particularly bad person. It’s just that he is not particularly nice either. He’s a straight laced pounce who thinks he’s Merlin’s greatest gift to the world. I think what astounded me the most was he is the complete opposite of Lucy. Well who Lucy used to be. And I don’t think I’ve ever really forgiven him for taking her away from me.
“Oi. Alex. Wait up” I yell.
He turns, nods to his friends to continue without him and smiles when we meet up. Well at least he isn’t giving me another detention. I mean I’m not currently doing anything bad, but I’m sure Alex could come up with some reason for one of those traitorous and unforgiving pink slips. I honestly don’t understand how Lucy can bear being in his presence. I swear he’s the cause for her slowly dwindling self-confidence. Nothing is ever good enough. Like he’s so successful. I actually heard he once got a Troll on a Defence practical. I tried to bring it up once. I know I’m a dare-devil. But Lucy shut me down before I got very far. See what love does? It’s dangerous.
“Weasley. Good to see you” he politely greets me. I’ve long since given up on addressing the last name basis issue.
“Right. Well a little birdy told me today is a special day” I decided to get straight to it and not bother with formalities. I know it vexes him. Hey I have to take my wins whenever I can.
“Well special is a generally overused term and should only be exercised in profound circumstances” he replies. Internally I’m groaning.
“I’m glad we understand each other. I know of some people who sometimes don’t truly grasp the importance and significance of relationship milestones. I mean 2 years. That’s truly brilliant. But I’m glad you understand. Well of course you would. I mean who wouldn’t want to celebrate Lucy Weasley” I eye him confidently, but grip my wand in my pocket ready to hex him into oblivion if he disagrees.
He turns slightly pink and nods. Wow I’ve humbled Alex. Who knew it was possible. I must just have a way with words. And Scorpius thought I would fail. He never learns.
“Right. Well I have planned a little back up thing just in case you were swamped with all your book organising to plan something truly deserving of our Lucy” I informed him. He opened his mouth. But I interrupted. “Now everything’s set you just go and get your anniversary gift that I’m sure you have safely housed in your dormitory and meet back in the courtyard on the second floor by the charms classroom in 10 minutes. Alright?”
I nod and grin widely at him. Then I make my exit. I decide not to give him a chance to object.
“You thought the stagnant smell of owl droppings would be fun?” I turn and glare at my cousin as we reach the owlery.
“Well. Owls can often be impulsive creatures. One can never know what to expect from them” he grins.
“Yes. I can see the appeal” I cringe as Norbert – Al’s atrociously named owl flies down and perches on his shoulder. I’ve never liked owls. Well actually they’ve never liked me. “Who are you writing to then?” I ask him as he scribbles something down on scrap piece of parchment.
“Mum and Dad” He replies back simply.
Sigh. I wish I could communicate with my parents. But to them I would just be acting irresponsibly, admitting defeat and expecting them to fix it. You need to figure these things out for yourself Lucy. You’re near adulthood. When I was you’re age… – I can still hear my father’s condescending tone from my last letter.
Not all Weasley’s have that kind and comforting familial home. Which is why I spend most holidays at The Burrow, Rose’s or often the Potters. Molly has already moved out, she graduated from Hogwarts last year. We were never really close. You would think with parents like ours we would band together, but it was more like Molly couldn’t be bothered with a little sister. So eventually I gave up trying to win her affections.
But my life really isn’t so unfortunate. Aunt Ginny and Hermione are like second maternal figures and Uncle Ron, George and Harry always go all out for my birthdays and Christmas. I’m really lucky. I’ve always felt like I belonged. Not at 12 Fairway Court Surrey, (My parent’s residence) That isn’t really my home. But being surrounded by people that love and accept me for who I am. And that isn’t exactly a geographical coordinate on a map, but a state of mind that I carry with me always. Belonging to something bigger than myself. And I will be forever thankful for that.
“I haven’t told them yet” Al spoke as he broke me out of my reverie. The journey to the Owlery was filled with the tumultuous story of Al and Chase.
“I guess I don’t really want to admit that it’s happening. I mean he hardly talks to me anymore. Just sort of smiles and then runs out of the room”
“I think… I think he’s just trying to work through it all”
“And I get that”
“But no offense Al. We don’t really understand” I interrupted tentatively. “I mean I don’t have the best relationship with my parents. But we aren’t that bad. And I know that if I really needed them, they would suck up their pride and virtues and consider helping me. But Chase…”
“Yeah…” He sighed. His expression was breaking my heart. Love can be so fickle sometimes. “I just… I just don’t know how to help him.” He said after a moment.
“Maybe just give him time and space. I mean with Scorpius…” I drifted, thinking of the heartbreaking third year.
“Yes. But Scorpius had Rose, and we both know how that turned out”
“It brought them closer until it tore them apart”
“If he just hadn’t been so stupid. And Rose hadn’t been so stubborn”
“Does Rose know what he did?”
“No. And the idiot doesn’t want to tell her”
“He says they had their chance”
“Yes. But he is still mad about her”
“I don’t think that will ever change”
We both sat and pondered that unfortunate conclusion.
“Merlin we’re a sorry pair aren’t we” Al broke through the silence.
“Yes. I say we go and get some Ice-C…”
CRASH! The door to the Owlery swung wide open. To reveal a frantic blonde Gryffindor.
“LUCY!!!! THANK MERLIN!”
“Scorpius? Is everything alright?” I inquired calmly. Al and I hadn’t moved from our spot against the ledge. We were becoming accustomed to Scorpius’ frantic outbursts. They usually had something to do with Rose. Everything always seems to have something to do with Rose. And the idiot thinks we believe him when he says that he doesn’t fancy her.
“Yes thank you Lucy. But Al don’t you think the time is getting a bit late?” he gave Al a pointed look.
“What? Oh yes. Um. Luce. I’m sorry (Insert Fake Yawn) it’s getting so late. I’m exhausted” He replied very fervently.
“It’s 8:00pm” I respond confusedly, gesturing to my watch.
This only seemed to make things weirder. Scorpius and AL look at me in alarm.
“Oh Merlin. That late? Well… well… It is quidditch tomorrow. Beauty sleep and all that”
“Right…” I replied even more confused. And then I got it. “You’re not planning a prank on Ravenclaw are you?”
They both begin spluttering.
“Wait...” I hold up a hand. “Don’t say another word. Tell me no lies and I won’t reveal any truths or… hand out any pink slips”
They both went silent at that. “But I will tell you, Daisy Jenkins is on patrol tonight on the third floor. And she has an ear like McGonagall. So you know… enter at your own risk” I smirked.
The both looked at me blankly. “Right. Well now you’re both acting weird and I don’t know if this is an exposure/contagious type thing, but I’m not really interested in finding out, or want to be affected next. This is where I leave you.” I gave then an awkward bow, which they returned and left them to it.
People can be so weird.
8:15pm. My two year anniversary. And today hasn’t even been a normal day, let alone a romantic one. It totally sucked. If I hear the three dreaded words (Chinese Chomping Cabbages) again, I think I will collapse into a hysterical ball right here in the corridor. I know my friends were supportive, but I didn’t miss their pitiful looks. Jordan has James who is forever pulling any romantic crap he can (Probably to get laid) but anyone with eyes can see he’s totally smitten with her. Last week our entire dormitory floor was covered in Bertys Flavoured Marmalade beans (Jordan is apparently obsessed with the flavour – personally I think it’s gross) but it was still a romantic gesture, completely crazy, but Jordan loved it. And that’s all that really matters. Max has had plenty of male suitors, and is never without a pretty flower or the latest Weasley Wheeze product (From Fred of course – at least he tries). And then there’s Rose. Scorpius keeps her Fudge addiction in ample supply, her stress levels at a constant high and her smile as bright as the sun. And then there’s the rest of our year, and plenty in the class above and below. Rose is never lonely. Not that she notices or even cares really.
And then there’s Alex and I. We’re kind of in a category all on our own. No longing looks, or unexpected gifts, or PDA’s. We just study, occasionally share the odd book, we think the other might find enjoyable. Alex doesn’t really enjoy music. Honestly I don’t really understand why he’s even on the quidditch team. He doesn’t really follow the sport outside of Hogwarts. Once during the summer I invited him to a Chudley Cannons game with Rose, Al, Hugo, Scorpius and Uncle Ron. To say he was an apathetic spectator would be an understatement…. Well until Hugo and Scorpius laced his drink with some of Odgens Finest. It was funny. Well the morning after wasn’t. Not that he isn’t a great player though. I have an idea it might have been a deal he struck with his parents. His mother owns a high end fashion boutique. And his father works at The Department of Games and Sport. He likes to console me whenever I get another dreadful letter from my dad, that his parents don’t get him either. I bite my tongue. His parents are actually the greatest. Alex is an only child. He hates going to the Burrow. My father seems to approve of him. Which I don’t know whether that actually reassures me, or terrifies me. But Alex is always kind and cordial. He doesn’t approve of my devious streaks every so often. And has often handed me a detention slip, with extreme disapproval. But he makes me smile. And he does care about me. I mean yesterday at dinner he informed me of the spinach in my teeth. That’s caring right?
Who am I really kidding here?
I was so lost in my own thoughts. I tripped over my own feet and into the speaker before me.
Two strong hands reached out to steady me. I followed them up to meet…
The handsome and perfectly respectable face of Alex. His brown slicked back hair was slightly mussed and he had slight irritation sketched into his broad jaw and deep hazel eyes.
“Hi” I managed.
“Are you alright? I’ve been trying to get your attention since you walked into the corridor… Did you not hear me?” he raises an eyebrow confused.
“No. Sorry. Lost in my thoughts” I reply with a small smile. Even though I am slightly frustrated with him. It is still great to see him.
“Oh. Do you want to go see Pomfrey?” He asked apprehensively, and removed his hands, like I had some disease he might catch. Merlin he overacts sometimes.
“No. I’m fine.” I replied a little too tightly. Sigh. It really isn’t his fault I’m in a terrible mood. “What are you doing here?” I asked without the bite.
“Well… I was looking for you. It is our anniversary” He smiled. And gestured for me to follow him down the corridor.
Seriously. We had this conversation this morning. I really don’t want to be disappointed all over again. “Yes. I know. I thought this morning… you said…” I stopped entranced by the scene before me…
Lights. Beautiful lights. Sheltering the courtyard like stars for the night sky. I felt like crying. There was a picnic set up with all my favourite foods (Including the ones Alex disapproves of). It was perfect. The beautiful picturesque snowy Black Lake for landscape, and the intelligently placed warming charms for comfort. Merlin. Maybe Alex is a romantic after all.
“Alex” I gasped.
“You like it?” he looked at me wide-eyed.
“I love it” I engulfed him in a hug.
He actually looked a little disappointed at my response.
Scorpius and I watched from the side corridor, the darkness sheltering us from view. I was really trying to be quiet. Really I was. But the slight rustling must have caught his attention, as I soon had the horrified and disapproving expression of Scorpius Malfoy looking down at me. I may have been eating a piece of the Fudge we just laid out for Alex and Lucy. Alex doesn’t approve of fudge and Lucy scarcely eats it in his presence. I didn’t want any to go to waste!
“What? They won’t miss one piece!” I respond indignantly.
“One piece. My arse. How many did you take?” He accuses knowingly.
“Um…” and then I just give him my best fudgy grin.
“You seriously have a problem” He scoffs.
“You think it’s adorable” I tossed back just as knowingly.
“Well I never said that I didn’t have a problem did I?”
And I couldn’t help but smile, and a slight blush creep up my cheeks. Luckily it was dark, so I don’t think he noticed. I wouldn’t want him getting any ideas.
“Come on I’m starting to feel stalkerish watching from the shadows” he informs me whilst suavely interlocking our fingers and walking away. Yeah. Like I wouldn’t notice. Of course I didn’t pull away though.
“You stalk me all the time” I quipped.
“Don’t know what you’re talking about”
“And yesterday in the library was…”
“I was never in the library yesterday”
“Oh right my mistake.”
“I’m glad you can admit when you’re wrong”
“Yes. So can we go and get some ice-cream from the kitchens?” I smile eagerly.
“No” he replies definitively, looking straightforward.
“Well I’m going” I go to pull my hand away.
“No.” he tightens his grip.
“You’re really handsome…” I begin coyly.
“Thank you. But we still aren’t going” unfortunately that no longer worked. I’d tried that one too many times. And the guy knows how gorgeous he is. The conceited prat.
“Fine” I give in.
He grins. “Really?” But he also looks a little sceptical.
“Yep” I decided to refrain from informing him of Albus’ Ice-cream stash in their dormitory.
“And don’t think I don’t know about Albus’ ice-cream habit either” He smiles knowingly.
“I can’t believe you managed to keep this from me all day.” I smiled sheepishly up at him. Whilst reaching for another piece of fudge (I do have an inkling Rose might have been involved somehow) – When Fudge is involved she’s never too far away.
“Lucy I…” He began.
“Yeah…” I took a bite of fudge.
“I think you’ve had enough fudge. Do you know what kind of chemicals they put in that and the damage you’re doing to your teeth” He turned his nose up.
“Haha. You should see Rosie. Eats it by the truckload” I smile thinking of Rosie and her Fudge addiction/obsession.
“Her teeth are probably rotten” his face turns disgusted.
“We are Witches” I respond confused.
“That’s the problem with today’s society. People are getting lazy and thinking it’s alright to use magic for their own irresponsibility, recklessness and stupidity” I finally notice the seriousness and hateful look on his face.
“And let me tell you something about Rose Weasley. She’s the most superficial, manipulative bint I have ever met!” he cries standing from the table.
“Yes. I know it’s not your fault Lucy. I know you try and guide her in the right direction. But I’m afraid to say she’s a lost cause.”
“Wait…” I try and catch up with everything he’s saying.
“You should have seen the nerve of her before… she doesn’t understand relationships. We respect one another and appreciate… “
“I don’t understand…” I ask confused. Identifying the pit in my stomach and the aching in my heart. The frown he wore before was suddenly becoming recognisable.
“I’m sorry she ruined our day Luce. I know it was going so well. This” Here he gestured to the beautiful and romantic scene around us “just isn’t us. I won’t let her force me into it again. Here’s your present”
And then he handed over some dirty looking weeds….
“They’re Chinese Chomping Cabbages…” He grins.
“I think we should break up.”
Chinese Chomping Cabbages. The ultimate romantic assassin.
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