A/N: Just to be clear, this chapter starts in Rose POV, then switches to Scorpius.
“Miss Weasley! Come, take a seat.”
I was ushered into Professor Herrick’s office, directed into a plush armchair. Herrick was the Muggle Studies teacher, and also Head of Gryffindor. That was why I was in his office, for my career interview. Every 5th year had to have an interview with their Head of House to discuss their ‘future plans’.
“So, Miss Weasley, what are your goals for next year? What N.E.W.Ts are you thinking of taking?” Herrick asked.
Thankfully, I’d given this some thought before I’d walked into his office. It was pretty simply really, I’d take as many N.E.W.Ts as possible to keep my career options open. A logical, smart move. I told him so, and he seemed pleased.
“That is a good idea. However, do you have any idea what you would like to do after your 7th year? Simply keeping your options open won’t suffice when you get to that stage.” He sat back in his chair, folding his hands across his chest.
I hesistated. Of course I had some answers, the generic ones that I had to please relatives when they asked. Healer, Auror, that sort of thing. Grandma Molly loved it when I said I wanted to be a Healer, apparently Aunt Ginny was set to become one, but abandoned it to play Quidditch. In the eyes of my Grandma, at least, this was the perfect path for me. I, however, wasn’t so sure.
“Well, I’ve considered being a Healer, or maybe and Auror. I’m not really sure yet.” I replied.
Herrick sat forward, pouring himself a cup of tea.
“Well, Miss Weasley, those are both fine and honourable professions. However, I wonder if they are really what you want to do? I have seen many students come in here year after year, aspiring to be Healers or Aurors, or perhaps Ministry officials, and who, when they accomplish their dreams, find they aren’t happy with what they’re doing. They realise, too late, that their passion is elsewhere. What I’m asking, Miss Weasley, is if you could do anything at all with your life, what would you do?”
Half an hour later, I exit Herrick’s office, more confused than when I went in. Follow my passion? Yeah, right. Like writing stories was going to earn me a living. Not to mention the reaction of my parents...Merlin, I’d rather take over for Hagrid than tell my parents I was throwing away perfectly good career options to be a ‘writer’. That career option was definetely out of the question.
Today was Dom’s 17th birthday, and consequently tonight was her incredibly large birthday party, which promised to be the wildest party since James’s sixteenth last February. It was also the last week of term, we were all going home for Christmas on Friday, only two days away. Unfortunatley, I had the last Prefect rounds of the term, and several silent hours with Malfoy was definetely going to put a sour note on the end of term atmosphere. Rounds were still conducted in silence, and I’d started avoiding his gaze. I couldn’t take it when his eyes met mine, something about them still got to me. So I avoided the issue, in typical Rose fashion.
We’d released a second edition of the Dentention Chronicles at the start of November, and it had been a great success. I’d even got a review; Al and Jade had come up with this great idea for reviews and comments, where readers literally submitted one into the paper, and it spurted back out into the original copy (which was safely confined in the Room of Requirement, our unofficial headquarters).
I had no idea who my reviewer was; they simply called themselves ‘Mr X’. The name was a bit cliched, but the review was absolutley brilliant. It pointed out the good points, gave me advice to fix the flaws. Dom had started asking random people if they were ‘Mr X’, but so far had come up empty handed. I didn’t mind, I liked the mystery. After all, no one had any idea who the author of the story was (which was still untitled, unfortunatley), so why did I need to know who my reviewer was?
Whoever they were, they could critique my writing like no other.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was excited to read ‘Mr X’s next review. A new edition came out tomorrow, so all I had to do was make it through the rest of the day. Easier said than done, with Dom’s party tonight.
Honestly, what was it with Gryffindor’s and parties? We’d just had one for winning the Quidditch match, and now we needed another one? If it ended up at all like the last one, I was screwed.
I also couldn’t get that....incident...between Malfoy and myself out of my head. Why the hell did he just stare at me? Consequently, I’ve been avoiding him all week, so that the incident can’t be repeated. I wasn’t sure what there was between us, since we usually just threw insults at each other and competed for O’s, but I did not want to find out.
So, yeah, if I ended up in the same situation tonight, I would definitely be running from Malfoy and his creepy eyes.
“Rose! There you are!” Dom screeched at me when I climbed through the portrait hole. I looked up through my hair, just in time to prepare myself for an onslaught of Dominique.
She pratically through herself on top of me, dragging me all the way across the common room and up to her dorm room.
“Hey to you, too, Dom.” I said cheekily, once we were sealed in her room.
She turned around, glaring at me.
“Rose, this is serious! I have no idea what to wear to my party, and Micheal just asked me out!”
This is what it’s always like with Dom; we have the occasional deep, meaningful conversation about boys and the like, but then go without talking much for weeks.
“Wait, Micheal Ayer? As in Chaser Micheal Ayer?” I looked at her incredulously.
“Yes! Who else would it be?” Dom said, turning around to rifle through her trunk for clothes.
“Well, what did you say?” I ask, plopping myself down on one of her roomates beds, knowing this would take awhile.
“Well, I said yes, I think. Actually, it was more of an ‘okay’.” She paused, a red shirt in her hand, turning to look at me.
“Do you think I should’ve said no?” She cocked her head, waiting for my reply.
“Dom, I’m hardly the person to ask about guys. If you like him, then it’s a good thing. If not, well see how one date goes, then judge.” I shrugged, getting up from my position to help her with the next crisis, clothes.
It took us several hours, but we were both dressed and made up at 9:15, only a little bit late. But really, who cares? She’s the birthday girl, and it’s fashionable to be late. Or at least I think it is, I’m not really the kind of person who parties that much to know what is and what isn’t fashionable.
“Oh, Dom, Happy Birthday by the way.” I grinned at my cousin, giving her a hug.
She grinned back at me, and we descended the stairs to the common room, the pounding music rising up to greet us.
Dom was instantly surrounded by well wishes, so I made my way over to the drinks just for something to do. I was surprised to see several Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs present, but I guess it was logical. Dom was popular, and she did have friends in other houses. Come to think of it, there were probably people from other houses at all of the Gryffindor parties, I’d just never noticed. I know James certainly goes to ones in other houses.
“Hey Rose.” I hear two voices greet me, and I turn around.
“Thank God I found you, I was afraid I’d be standing beside the drinks all night.” I smiled at Tiff and Ali, both dressed up for the occasion.
“The Slytherins are here.” Ali said, looking sombre.
My eyes widened. You have got to be kidding me. If the one person I’ve been trying to avoid is here, I will...I don’t know...push him off the Astronomy Tower. Wait, what?
“Al brought them.” Tiff added, looking carefully at me.
“Well, I’ll say hi to Al, but avoid the rest. Shouldn’t be too hard.”
To my surprise, it actually wasn’t that hard. I saw Malfoy from a distance a few times, but I managed to dart away before he could come anywhere near me. I went up to bed fairly early, squeezing in some homework before I went to sleep. Tiff and Ali both came in around then, too, not really in the mood for the party anymore, because apparently it had become a ‘macho snog fest’. Right...
Weirdly, I felt that I’d actually enjoyed myself, which never happened at parties. I guess I’d hung around with Tiff and Ali the entire time, so it wasn’t much different from my normal days.
I fell asleep with a smile on my face, for once not seeing those grey eyes in my mind as I nodded off.
I yawned all the way down to the Great Hall, looking forward to a nice cup of coffee to wake me up. Ali was with me, but Tiff was still snoring, like the rest of my dorm (and probably the whole house, actually).
I had no idea what time the party actually finished, but the common room was a pigsty this morning.
Upon entering the Great Hall and seeing the piles of paper, I remembered. The new issue of the Detention Chronicles came out today.
I grabbed one, pulling it open to read my review, whilst sipping on a nice cup of coffee.
“What’s your mystery man have to say?” Ali asked, helping herself to some toast.
“Well, he’s reviewing my last story, but he basically says it’s fantastic.” I grinned at that.
“He also says...” My smile turned to a frown as I read on.
“He says it lacks emotion! He says that whoever Lady Red is, she needs to get out there and experience some real emotions so she can translate it into her story!”
I gaped at Ali over the paper.
“That is so rude! Who the hell does he think he is, he can’t just write that about my story! He doesn’t even know me!”
Grumbling, I ate my toast, reading the rest of his review, which didn’t get any worse, thankfully.
“Ah, Rose, I hate to point it out, but it’s actually a good thing Mr X has no idea who you are. It means he can give you an honest review. And since you don’t know who he is, he doesn’t have to worry about you going and jinxing him for writing something bad.” Ali grinned impishly at me.
I narrowed my eyes. She was right, of course, but I wish she wasn’t. Stupid anonymous reviewer.
“Well, I guess I’ll just have to get more emotion into my next issue. Surely I can think of something over the holidays.” I helped my self to some fruit, already planning my next issue.
Ali remained silent, probably because she knew there was no point pursuing the issue.
We were eventually joined by the rest of our house, who were all sporting wonderful hangovers. It did make the rest of the day fun, I must say, watching them all suffer through class.
I looked at my watch. She was late, unusual for her. Well, I can’t say I actually expected her to show up, she’s been avoiding me since the Quidditch match.
Just because I looked at her. Geez. I mean, I didn’t mean anything. I had absolutely no feelings towards her at all. She’s just hot, that’s all.
So it’s perfectly natural for me to stare at her in class, and at Dom’s party, when she looked pretty damn fantastic. It means nothing, I’m allowed to appreciate her looks.
Who am I kidding, I have some kind of feelings for her. Sure, I hate her and we have this competitive vibe between us, but that easily translates into this....pull I have towards her. Last year I never even noticed how she looked. This year, she suddenly...changed. She’s actually pretty. Well, if I’m honest with myself, more than pretty. She’s pretty damn beautiful.
But, I have to keep ignoring this pull I feel towards her. She’s a Weasley, and hates my guts. It’ll go away eventually, I’ll find some nice girl Dad will approve of and everything will go back to normal. I’m sure of it.
It’s her. Ten minutes late. At least she showed, I guess.
“Let’s go.” She says, avoiding my eyes.
Inwardly groaning, I follow her down the corridor for rounds.
An hour later, and she still hasn’t said anything to me, or even looked at me. I’ve been getting a pretty nice view of her arse walking behind her all night, but I kept those thoughts to myself. If she ever found out exactly what I was thinking, I’m pretty sure I’d been hexed into looking like a purple slug with tentacles.
We reached the end of the seventh floor corridor, the end of our rounds. She stalked off towards Gryffindor Tower without a single word or glance at me. Great.
I wonder if she’s ignoring me because she has feelings for me, and wants them to go away too?
Wait, I shouldn’t be thinking that. I need to get over this, and this holiday break should be the perfect time to do that.
I start to head off towards my own common room, but I notice a notebook lying on the floor.
I spose it must have fallen out of her bag. I pick it up, in half a mind to run after her and return it. Yet, my new resolution to avoid her and stop thinking about her prevented me from doing so. Being a Slytherin, curious and sly, I couldn’t help but look in the book. I opened it, flicking through. It was full of writing, and at first I thought it was a diary. I should have closed it then and there, but being the snoop that I am I start reading.
The first entry was dated in October, just after 5th year had started. I read it, not understanding. Why was Rose carrying around a note book full of the Lady Red stories?
No way. Rose….Rose was her? The mystery girl who was writing the hottest piece in the Hogwarts Magazine? As I said before, no way. That would be just too weird.
But it made sense. I mean, her code name was Lady Red. How many other girls could that apply to in this school?
It was Rose. All this time, and I had no idea that the girl I hated was capable of writing such an emotional story.