Chapter 27 : Last Year at Hogwarts Begins
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Hermione hugged Rose tightly to her chest, “Calm down Mum, it’s not like I saved the world or anything.”
She smiled at her mum, and Hermione laughed before kissing her.
“You better get on the train, before it leaves without you.”
Rose straightened up and stepped over to her father, who rubbed his thumb over the Head Girl badge pinned to her robes then swept her into a hug as well.
“Good bye Rosie, see you at Christmas.”
As he let Rose go, she kissed him on the cheek, and felt a dampness there that let her know just how proud he was too.
After another moment Rose turned away and hopped on the train with her trunk, giving her parents a small wave before making her way to the prefect carriage.
When she opened the door, her suspicions were confirmed; Johnny Astor was waiting, his Head Boy badge shining on his chest.
They waited a few more minutes for everyone to make it to the carriage, and once the train had chugged out of the station, they began.
The meeting outlined patrol partner rotations within year groups (House Unity and all that jazz), the prefect policy on giving detentions, and the upcoming 25th Anniversary Victory Day Ball celebrating the defeat of Lord Voldemort and the end of the Second Wizarding War, which was being held at Hogwarts on the 2nd of May.
Despite the ball being near the end of the school year, Rose had already devised committees to work in tandem with the professors at Hogwarts.
She knew over-preparation was better than last minute scrambling, Victory Day was an incredibly important day in her family of course (besides being Victoire’s birthday!), and she wasn’t leaving anything up to chance.
“And lastly, who wants to work with Professor Cornfoot on security? Preferably those of you who are competent at Defence Against the Dark-”
Rose cut Johnny off, “There’s also those in charge of working with the House Elves, for food and beverage organisation.”
Trust Johnny to forget one of the most important groups, and skip to security.
She had been leaving security to the very last second, because it was obviously going to be one of the more popular committees.
Groaning, Rose saw that no one was volunteering for kitchen duty.
Deciding to end the meeting quickly she sentenced a few to their fate, “Who here is a Hufflepuff without a group?”
A few people reluctantly raised their hands, Rose instantly addressed them.
“You’re all on kitchen duty because it will be easier for you to go to the kitchens and organise things. Remember, you’re not serving, you’re just helping to organise so that things run smoothly, all right? Everybody else left over, you’re on security.”
She said it so that authoritatively that no one dared complain.
“Okay, that’s settled.”
Waving her wand, Rose quickly printed the rest of the prefects’ names onto a piece of parchment, duplicated it until there was a pile of copies, and levitated them over to every prefect in the carriage.
“You’ve all been assigned roles. Get in touch with others in your committee and have something organised by the next prefect meeting. Now, those of you scheduled to patrol, get to it. Everyone else, have a good train trip.”
Johnny stood up quickly, adjusting his badge for the hundredth time since the meeting had started, “Well I think that went well. With this kind of organisation, we’re definitely going to outdo the Heads who hosted the 20th Anniversary Victory Day Ball.”
With that, he flounced out of the carriage, leaving Rose behind to roll her eyes.
Al laughed as he walked over to her from his seat, “Ever-competitive, that Astor kid.”
Sighing, Rose agreed with him, “Tell me about it. Remember him in class before our OWLs.”
They laughed together, remembering the fanatic obsession Johnny had had with trying to outdo Rose in class (he never succeeded).
“Well come on, let’s go see the others Rosie.”
Rose got up from her seat, picked up her own patrol roster and committee roster, and grinned.
“One of the perks of being Head Girl is that I only have to patrol with people I like and I have first dibbs on whatever times I fancy most.”
Al rolled his eyes, “You lucky bint.”
As they walked to their friends’ compartment Rose noted, “I know we saw them last week, but I’ve missed them. Living under different roofs just isn’t the same – and this is the last year we’re going to be able to live together at all.
“Al laughed as they walked out of the prefect carriage, “I’m going to quote that to you about half-way through the term and you’re going to laugh that you ever said it.”
Rose punched him in the arm, she had a feeling her last year was going to be her best year yet.
The library was silent except for the rustle of papers and scratching of quills.
Normally Rose loved the beauty of that silence, but today she was bored out of her mind and the silence really wasn’t helping her finish her potions essay.
Instead she stared at the wall and thought about Sam (again).
Rose and Sam hadn’t spoken since her outburst on the camping trip, which thankfully meant that Rose no longer had to deal with his snide and spiteful behaviour.
It seemed that a paper apology was all Rose was going to get, so she just continued ignoring him.
Oddly, they seemed to be in a state they’d never been in before: acquaintances.
They had always been enemies, mostly friends and occasionally more than friends… but never acquaintances.
Polite hellos, goodbyes, pleases and thank yous, and no insults, pranks, or conversation of any kind?
It was bizarre, to say the least.
Al was overjoyed that they seemed indifferent towards each other, much preferring it to the toxicity of negative vibes he’d been getting around them for the last year.
He never really caught anything tangible to talk to Sam about, and he couldn’t exactly complain about ‘vibes’ now could he?
No one else seemed to notice that Sam and Rose had eased up slightly, but maybe that was because the whole group was never together very often anymore, and those that were together, were stressed out of their minds.
It was only after Christmas that Rose actually realised how leaving Hogwarts and then coming back didn’t have the same effect it used to, she didn’t really get to see her friends any more often than when she was home.
Despite living in the same huge castle, there was no one subject that they were all taking and their workloads meant they often didn’t spend time together in the evenings the way they used to.
It was either Albus off practicing Quidditch with Alice Longbottom (which he was doing a lot more of lately) or Sam and Jen down at Hagrid’s getting some help for Care of Magical Creatures, or Corey off perfecting his charms or Greg down in dungeons doing more potions.
Rose spent even more time alone in the library than she used to (for example, right now) with occasional visits from Jen and Bee – but the whole group were never all in the same room.
Even weekends were filled with homework or Quidditch, which vanished most of Rose’s friends from her company all day; Rose felt as if she hadn’t had a good conversation with anyone in a century.
Tonight was a Friday night, for Merlin’s sake!
And all Rose had done was sit here alone, alternating between staring at her library desk and writing a potions essay.
Sick of seventh year already, Rose felt like drowning her sorrows of loneliness in the kitchens with a hot cocoa and some biscuits.
As she walked down she wondered if anyone else would be there, it was before curfew, so technically fifth years and above could still be out and about.
Tickling the pear and looking forward to her midnight (mid-evening) snack, Rose’s eyeballs almost popped out of her head and she proceeded to choke on her own saliva, when she walked into the kitchen and saw Hugo sitting at one of the tables.
Why was she so surprised?
Well let’s just say he wasn’t just sitting there so much as snogging someone there.
And that someone happened to be a Slytherin Rose knew rather well.
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