Chapter 3 – Gossip
Over the next few days, I had quite a few visitors. Rose and Albus came, bringing tidings of who the Honorary Weasleys were in slightly longer notes than our family ones, because Rose expected me to remember less about them than my family: this worked for me, really, since I didn’t have inerasable ties to the Honorary Weasleys, but would like to stay friends with them, for the moment, at least.
Things could still change!
Lily and Hugo came later that day. Lily was all up for recounting mine and Dom’s fights, all the while assuring me she was on Roxy’s Sexy Team. I was quick to assure her, in my turn, that I disliked the name, and at the moment wasn’t really fit to be on any team, even one named after me. I was keen to know who came up with the humiliating names, and who had the genius/horrific idea to sell badges and team ‘wear’ (as Lily said) to the rest of the school.
(It was quite cool, really, but I wasn’t going to admit that. It was pretty ace to know you have a team of apprentices and ninjas at your bidding.)
Apparently, it was her and her brothers. Unsurprising, really. But Hugo was quick to put in that the school had basically already all taken sides after the whole lake thing, so it was a way of generating more defence for me, and more humiliation for Dom.
Yet it does work the other way too – more defence and prepared ninjas for Dom too, and humiliation for me.
Fight-wise, there had been a LOT of ‘action – reaction’, as Hugo said, and Lily recounted all the fights that were straight-on:
· The infamous quidditch match incident, where she provoked me into sending bludgers back at her. Apparently, it ended with us brawling in the mud for a good few minutes before we were separated, and was celebrated by students as the Dirtiest and Funniest Match Ever.
· She started dropping snide notes in class, which I sent back, until we were reeling off as many insults as we could think of (I had showed Lily some).
· At Lauren Gibberd’s famous Fifteenth Birthday Party, we (especially Dominique) got drunk and were ‘duelling’, until I poked her in the eye with my wand, she scarred me across my cheek with hers, and I pushed her into the lake. Duelling on a pier is so not a good idea.
· Everyone then heard about our history. We started ‘corridor hexing’, if we passed each other, leading to MORE publicity.
· The Potters started selling badges – “Roxy’s Sexy Team’ in a reddy-pink, and “Dom’s Stompin’ Team” in blue. Apparently this causes ‘house rivalry, to make it more public!’. Hugo was treasurer, as he was the only one who could be trusted with money; to not lose, spend, or unequally divide, it.
· We started managing to sneak into the others’ dorm, graffiti their beds, steal/mess up their stuff, etc., with teams of ‘ninjas’ on Team R and ‘spies&sneaks’ on Team D – ninjas is way better. Potters started selling badges with “Top Ninja” and “Super Spy, Super Sneak” on.
· The hair incident. I fake-tanned her. She swapped some of my make-up. I jinxed her mirrors to scream she was ‘ugly’ every time she looked in them. And apparently, Dom was trying to sneak me a cursed cake.
· Apparently, Dominique spread a rumour today that I was actually pregnant. WHAT?? According to Lily, I should spread one about her too, to combat that. I pointed out that I have nothing to hold against her now, she has effectively WON! Argh!
So now, Lily has agreed to be my PR, and official Sexy Assistant. “It’ll be really catchy!”, she said enthusiastically. “Ohmigod, no! I don’t want to be seen as THE Sexy, Lil!” I retorted, half begging. That was so NOT good for my reputation (if I had any left after these campaigns of hers). I did not want to be another slut around the school for boys to pick up!
“Well, it would be different if I was Stompin’ Assistant, wouldn’t it! Huh, just let me have some fun, Rox! I promise I’ll spread a really good rumour for you! Ok, thanks. Byeee”, and Lily sailed off down the ward, effectively ending that conversation. Hugo shrugged and quickly added, “I’ll try to reign her in as much as I can, but, I can’t promise anything. Unlike her, apparently.” He grimaced, and walked fast to catch up with my little redheaded, sashaying cousin as she Left The Building.
I swear Lily acts like she’s four years older than she really is; most normal second-years wouldn’t have said half of what she’d said to their best mates. This rumour she was doing better be good, although I had no way to tell if it was good,(by non-existent standards?), and no way to punish her, or a wish to.
Meanwhile, Megan didn’t have half as many visitors. I felt a bit sorry for her, as her sister was her main visitor. The first time Lauren came was when Lily and Hugo had just left, and I was very drowsy in my own bed, bandages still in place. Then, as she walked down the ward, I could feel loathing emanating from her onto me. I was quite startled, because had I seriously done something that bad to someone? It was like a physical punch, as she evilled me all the way down, hands in pockets, until she got to the excited Megan.
They chattered normally for a bit, and I just zoned out, until I vaguely heard Lauren say “I’m not happy with Roxanne being here!” Megan, sounding a little cross (aww), crossed her arms and said “well, she’s very nice really! We’ve been chatting. And she couldn’t even remember what happened at your party, and her cousins had to tell her about the whole battle thing!”
Slitting open my eyes slightly, I could see Lauren bending down and whispering to Megan then, quite urgently. I saw Megan’s eyes open wide in shock, but then her face close up, and she shook her head, whispering angrily to her. It was sweet the way she was defending me, but I didn’t even know if I was guilty or not. I really hoped I wasn’t leading Megan on – she was really cute, and I enjoyed talking to her.
Then Lauren leaned back, sighing her disapproval. I was a bit ashamed – I like Lauren, and we used to be Herbology partners for my first two years, I remembered. She was a nice combination of serious and silly, when she wanted to be. I really hoped she was still like that.
After chatting animatedly for a few more minutes, Lauren left, eying me more with wonder than annoyance this time.
A bit later, I still wanted to know what Lauren thought of me, and why she was whispering. It’s not like I’d understand what they were talking about! Anyway, it was driving me crackers – like, what were they saying? What have I done? Does everyone know? Is it secret? Argh!!
It didn’t take me half as long to get down there this time. I could actually stand up, and walk at a slow pace, instead of shuffling! True, I did have my hands out in case, but it was way cool to be able to stand up again.
My head was definitely on the mend movement-control-wise! (nice word.)
That is how much I needed distraction – I was congratulating myself about walking. I really wanted Megan to not spread stuff about me that I didn’t understand, and I wanted company.
“Hey”, I said, sitting down fairly composedly on the bed next to hers. “How are you? Your skin is looking a lot paler today”.
She seemed really pleased with that. “Yeah, Madame Beauvoir said it will hopefully be gone within the next two days! I’m glad I can get back to seeing my friends again, and finding out what’s been going on while I was in here. Although…” she looked sideways at me, and I felt compelled to say, “not much is happening because I’m in here too?”.
She grinned happily. “Yeah, that’s about right. But, apparently Dominique’s been out to get you, Lauren said…” she twisted her fingers together unhappily.
“She was worried about me talking to you, wasn’t she?” I asked. Megan nodded sadly again. “What she say I’d done? Because I’m not very aware of what I did right now…” I trailed off, not sure whether to carry on or not. I didn’t want to make her nervous, or me entirely blameable (although I basically was).
“Yeah, that’s what I said!” she burst out. “But, Lauren says that you have a hot temper. And to be careful. And… she says it’s your fault I’m green, even though you’re nice and stuff, it’s yours and Dominique’s fault I’m stuck in here and couldn’t watch the quidditch or anything.”
I gasped, everything becoming all too clear.
Megan had eaten a cupcake a sixth year had tried to sneak to a ‘friend’ – Madame B had supposed. And Rose had heard a rumour that Dominique was going to try to poison me. AND a load of these cupcakes had been found all over the house tables, with ‘for The Sexy Party’ written on them, Rose had mentioned in passing!
I think I dreamed about that last night, looking back. But I felt awful. It was my fault for her, indirectly, but still! Innocent little Megan Gibberd was hurt because of me!
Then, that snide little voice in the back of my head (which always pops up when you need it least) reminded me that ‘surely many other people have been affected by this war, because of you, too’. The ninjas, innocent bystanders, the best and bravest Gryffindor team… But I didn’t know how to stop Dominique. Was it even worth trying?
I slowly rose and went back to lie on my own hospital bed, thinking deeply.
Ugh. I was such a horrible person.
Sleep that night wasn’t much better. I drifted through confusing snatches of lessons, conversations and evil plans, not understanding any of it. Random people I did recognise floated in and out, telling me controversial information ‘til I couldn’t even understand them anymore.
Waking up late the next day was a blessed relief. I did nothing much except lie on my bed and read over the information on the ‘Honorary Weasleys’ Rose had given me, and try to draw my own conclusions. I wished I had a magazine, or a newsletter, to work on… My mind jolted with surprise. A newsletter to work on? I didn’t get it, until I realised that it must have been an old pastime, and my mind had naturally travelled along the riven path that newsletters were something to work on!
It was only a little something to remember, but I was elated still when all the Gryffie girls in my dorm came to visit at lunch, bringing stolen sandwiches with them to eat. It was nice to see Harriet, Edie and Isabella again, and hear their chatter like we always were. They trooped in noisily, spell sheets falling out of Edie’s bag all over the floor, Isabella’s hair ribbon and scarf trailing along the floor, and Harriet bringing armfuls of stuff for me.
On closer inspection, it seemed to be the randomest selection of things she could have brought from the dorm: new merchandise from the campaign, fake coins, an official-looking form, a rubber duck that quacked every few minutes, an edible quill (with no ink), two chocolate frog cards, a cactus, a small and tatty poster for the Weird Sisters, a teddy calendar and two relentlessly bouncing balls currently trapped in a humming, blue vase.
This had Harriet written all over it, and I was touched that she had brought so much for me. Useless things, but it was nice that she had.
Isabella had brought my amazing Gryffindor scarf, and apologized for not bringing any others, but she didn’t think I would remember my obsession with scarves until she told me, so it was ok. Truly, as she predicted, it was only when she explained this to me that I remembered how nice scarves were.
Edie had brought a very pretty ‘forest in a box’. She said that they had found it in a corner of the dorm and thought it would be nice to have beside your sickbed. When you opened the box and tapped the tiny seeds in it, they exploded into life-size versions, which you could then pick up and place where you liked, as they were enchanted to feel feather-light and not need watering.
The only problem was when you didn’t have a clear image of the size you wanted in your head, they exploded into a rather larger version of itself than was desirable. It took a long time to get the Flutterby Bush, especially, down to bed-height, and the trees had to be shrunk for quite a long time before they were an acceptable six feet.
After laughing for so long, and having so much fun, I did start to feel very tired, and my head spin lots. It was so annoying, this weakness! Fortunately, my amazing Gryffindor friends understood, but I still felt bad for making them sit down instead, although there was a reason I was in the hospital wing.
Everyone was really happy to be together, and my friends had a good time repeating lots of stored-up gossip to me. I was only too happy to become up-to-date with this kind of thing, because three years worth is a LOT of gossip to catch up on.
I listened silently while they told me that: Molly Weasley had a month’s worth of detentions from Professor Pleguely. The Potters had launched a new ‘Basilisk’ appeal, and Lily had started designing items of clothing. Hannah Presley had broken up with Lysander Scamander. Professor Longbottom, our Head of House, was having the password changed every week now, instead of every month, because of all the break-ins. Scorpius Malfoy had been found duelling an Illusion-ed person, as of yet unidentified. Louis Weasley had started dating a second-year. Aidan Finch-Fletchley had been beaten up by the Whomping Willow, but wouldn’t tell anyone why. Rose Weasley had managed to train her cat to do all sorts of clever things… most of these things were very mysterious, it struck me.
I was still listening eagerly, and they were still rambling on, when I suddenly remembered what it was I had wanted to ask them: WHAT THE HELL WAS FRED DOING?! He had skipped the last four months of school (so unlike him), abandoned all of us without a word of explanation (so far as I knew) and wouldn’t let any of us know either!!
Except me… but that didn’t count, to be honest, because I had no idea what the hell was going on. Full stop.
Suddenly, I jolted up in bed. Everyone was surprised, and Isabella actually stopped talking about her Hogsmeade date, which I would just have to find out more about later. This was important!
“Guys! What’s with Fred? Megan told me he was gone since September. But I know NOTHING ELSE! What happened? Why? I mean… Like, what…” I started waving my hands around and just left my mouth open by accident. I’m such an idiot sometimes, when I don’t have control of myself! But I was really panicking. I knew nothing of my brother’s whereabouts, end of. He had always been my mentor, and though I was sure he could look after himself, I was in desperation as to know why.
In case you hadn’t picked up on that.
“Hey! Calm down” Isabella said, leaning forward and catching hold of one of my flailing hands and gently laying in down on the blanket. Slightly slowly, but with optimum eye contact, she stated “Nothing is life-threatening – we made him promise it wasn’t. He won’t be coming back – ‘unless things change fast and for the better’, were his exact words, I think. BUT he cannot make contact with us, because it’s too dangerous. He said something along the lines of, anyone he speaks to, or even sees, is in danger…” here Isabella leaned back, a small crease between her eyebrows.
I didn’t get it. Dangerous how? And where did they get this from?
“James told you, and you were sitting with us at the time. Although you made us promise not to tell anyone, it is still you so…” Edie shrugged. She had read my mind. And of course I had no objections to re-telling me!
“But…” here it was my turn to frown, and open my mouth before the ever-frustrating drone, Madame Beauvoir, swept over and broke up our conversation.
Does she delight in killing what little recollections I have, and getting rid of ALL my social time?! WHY!!
“Alright girls, this has been lovely of you to visit Roxanne, who has been going a little stir-crazy recently” she gave a mock-glare to me “but it is ten minutes since lessons started, and I believe you all have somewhere to be!” Harriet gave a little shriek and quickly gathered up her bags and cloak, with Edie resorting to hovering her fallen sheets out behind her, and Isabella just standing by the bed still, rooting in her little navy satchel for something.
I hoped it wasn’t more of her pink lipgloss, which looked gorgeous on her, but I wasn’t in the mood to see other people looking good when I looked like shite. I hadn’t been allowed a shower in two days, even though I had been playing quidditch before this. QUIDDITCH! The most hot, sweaty, and evil game ever!
Fortunately, it was a tiny purse. It was a very pretty one too, sky blue with a pink, green and white flower pattern on it, with beads and ribbon. I was touched, although confused, and about to ask what it was for when Isabella leaned down and whispered “I thought you might need this when you get out. Just thank me later!” Her blonde wavy hair tickled my ear, but she stood up, hitched up her skirt, winked at me and sailed out of the ward.
Curious now, I opened the purse a crack and saw a flash of rose-pink velvet and pretty materials and smells before Madame B rushed over with some more of that HORRIFIC medicine. I groaned – I was so totally sick of it by this point, and my head was basically unnoticeable now! Apart from slight extra fatigue, I was FINE.
Let off, woman.
She raised an eyebrow at my angry face. “You don’t need to give me that face. This is your last dose now”, she said, pouring medicine, and laughed at my ecstatic little victory dance. “It should send you to sleep and mend the last few pain problems before you see the healer that is coming in around 5! She’ll help you!”
Happily, I gulped the last of the medicine (still wincing at the taste) and lay back, thinking before it was too late.
Hang on. Healer? Today?
What were they going to do to me to get my memories back?
Roxanne’s Memory Book
These are notes sent me by Lily and Hugo, and with Rose, I imagine. They explain all about our ‘Honorary Family’, who effectively hang around with us Weasleys so much they are basically a part of it. I’ll probably come across them soon, so you may as well know who they are beforehand.
Hey, these are all the Extended Weasleys. I’ll just explain about each without the simple layout though – it’s easier this way!
Son of Remus and Tonks, who died in the Battle of Hogwarts when he was really young. Metamorphagus, but favourite hair colour is turquoise. He is in his fourth year out of Hogwarts, and engaged to Victoire (as of a couple of months). He’s pretty easy-going – Gryffindor, so he’s way cooler than the others.
THE SCAMANDER TWINS
Twin sons of Luna and Rolf. They’re kind of cool, and not weird we-cannot-be-apart twins, or even weird you-can’t-tell-apart twins. They look a bit different, largely because of Lorcan’s scar across his face, from a spell during the squid incident (apparently the water has changed the spell, and they haven’t found a cure yet). Louis worships them, probably because they’re a cleverer but slightly less ambitious version of Uncle Fred and George (according to Uncle Harry). Lysander believes in nargles and that, but I’m not sure about Louis. Check up on this.
This is me now, Rox – Albus, because Rose wouldn’t be able to do Scorpius’s info without writing something stupid, and knocking over the milk when we asked what she was writing (which is from experience, let me tell you). Scorpius’ parents are Draco and Astoria, blah blah, he’s a cool kid, him and Rose like each other but won’t get together coz they’re stupid, etc. He keeps duelling people, I think, from all the scars he comes back to the common room with (and refusing to talk about) and he heard yours and Dom’s quidditch convo I think, from the way he was all white afters. Mostly its guessing, I can’t get much out of him nowadays – Al.
Also, I guess there us Weasleys have a load of other family friends that we could put in, but they’re not really honorary Weasleys, apart from maybe Alex Bell…. The others weren’t sure but you probably see a lot more than any of us do (apart from Hugo and Lily, of course), and Fred always said she was round at your house a lot during the holidays… so, this is her, I suppose.
Daughter of Katie Bell (her parents are divorced) , she’s in the same year an dorm as Lily (poor Alex, her room must have gone through so much already). You seemed to be a kind of mentor to her, and you saw her in most holidays I think – your Mum and hers are good friends,I think. She’s pretty smiley and amiable, but has a real temper if you dig too deep, past her warnings. She says she’s keeping her distance so you can get used to us slowly, and that’s what she’d want.
Love, Rose x
Pretty neat, huh? It’s really nice of Rose to do this for me, especially as I might make huge mistakes otherwise. I probably still will, y’know, but hey, I was forewarned about some stuff!
*A/N: How did this one go? I’m still really nervous about the whole story thing, but I hope it went ok!! Sorry to leave you on a slight cliffhanger there, but it’s not actually a very scary one, is it?
Also, sorry about slow-ish pace. It’ll all pick up soon, don’t worry!
Please tell me what you thought, though!! I love you guys :D *