I was pretty pissed off right now. The Potters were making money off insults that people could throw at me?! And why were they even there!!! WHAT had happened for the basilisk thing?!!
I was breathing real hard right now, and Albus looked scared. Lots of the shoppers had either floated away or were looking on, frozen, as well.
Then, Dan was pulling me aside. He was stopping me from shouting at Al, when it was exactly what I needed to do!
“Dan, WHAT are you DOING”, I hissed madly. “I need to know this, and LET ME GO!! It’s none of your business what this is about!” I glared through extra-slitted eyes at him, and was straining like mad, to free my arms from his grasp, but it wasn’t working.
“Roxanne! This is exactly what you mustn’t do, ok?!” he whispered fast, but hard.“Don’t get angry or you’ll lose control again! We don’t want you to hurt anyone again. You’ll only get in mega-trouble. And, I don’t think we want the basilisk tale recounted to you with all these people. It doesn’t show you in a very good light, never mind all the other connotations that your friends no doubt can tell you about! So don’t fight, ok? Wait until lunch. We can tell you exactly what happened then”, he pleaded.
I huffed, but it seemed reasonable enough. There was one thing I did want to know, though. “Dan, why were you with the people who pulled the prank on me?”
He smiled. “I wasn’t. I was just walking away from them, but I didn’t know what they were doing, and I stood to watch from further away, but then you came smashing out the window…”
He trailed off. “So, let’s go. Herbology now, right? And… keep away from the Potters’ stands if possible. It’s not pretty when Dom comes either, so - ”
“Yeah, don’t get your hands dirty, Roxy. I want to keep you all to myself. And it’s not like you ever do the work yourself unless it’s gonna buy you some reputation, right?” a sneering voice came out of the crowd.
Aidrian Finch-Fletchley pushed forwards, and strutted across to us, under the archway.
“Yeah, after all, you’d probably be overcome with love for your own produced underwear! You probably wear those pink bras all the time, don’t you, Roxanne? Just because you love yourself so much.” His face was right up close to mine now, and he was spitting. “You think you’re so much better than everyone else, but in actual fact, you’re just another jumped-up slut that this school has produced!”
He shoved me hard, sending me staggering backwards into Dan, and into the stone column. My face contorted with rage, but my head rang from impact, and he stupidly just kept on talking.
“Oho, what’s this? I’m surprised you even knew anyone outside of your own filthy family, Weasley. Breeding like rabbits, aren’t you? I heard that you’re all so close, your brother committed incest, and that’s why he’s run away. Is that right, Roxanne? You know everything, so you should know this alright”. He was smirking, an evil, nasty smirk, that made me want to reshape his nose for him.
I was straining forwards, but still Dan held me against the column I had hit. “He’s so much worse than you are, Rox! Don’t stoop to his level. Half of his family is muggleborn, if he wants to play that game!” Dan whispered to me.
Aidrian raised an eyebrow at Dan, still smirking that stupid bloody smirk. “Oh, right. Are you her new puppet master now, or something? Has Roxanne lost her will as well as her mind, now? Ah well. I heard she kept her temper, though. Used it to crash out of a window, as if Dom was in the same room as her!”. This raised a laugh from the blue-scarf-wearers. A large crowd had gathered around us.
“Look, just piss off, Finch-Fletchley! I don’t want to know any stupid rumours you’ve made up about me, so go fuck yourself!” I spat at him, straining so hard against Dan now. Dan was using his whole bodyweight to keep me there, but couldn’t hold out for much longer I guessed. He had arms of steel, though.
“If you say so. Unless you’d like to repeat the honour for me?”
“I never did and never will, son of a bitch! Just because I dumped you, because you’re so up your OWN ARSE, you’re all pissy and bitter! Go find a person who deserves it to pick on!” I hissed through my teeth.
“Nah, I’m okay thanks. But seriously, why are you keeping company with that loser? I understand that he wants a bit of action, but is it also because his own grandparents are locked in a loony asylum? They’re so stupid, they don’t even know who he is! And – “
Aidrian was promptly knocked over with both mine and Dan’s weight on top of him, as we both charged with the anger of a shark behind each of us. I repeatedly punched his nose, hard, and Dan was getting his stomach, when Lauren Gibberd pulled me up and away from him. She had a vice-like grip and I was shaking and whipping my shoulders round and round so hard, I was extremely surprised she could keep hold of me, let alone restrain me.
But Dan was still on top of Aidrian, punching his face, which was already coming up with black and purple bruises, along with a cut along his ear, and an extremely sore stomach, I expected.
And that was when Professor Longbottom, Herbology teacher, head of Gryffindor house and Dan’s dad, came and pulled the two apart, with a murderous look on his face, and ready to kill me, Adrian and Dan, it looked like.
Neville – I mean, Professor Longbottom – still looked ready to kill us once Dan, Aidrian, Lauren and I were inside his office. All did not look to good from here.
Proffessor sighed and rubbed his forehead with his fingers. “Right. Well, what happened? And, Miss Gibberd, you go first”. He looked tired.
Lauren just said, “Aidrian was saying stuff to Roxanne, and Dan held her back for ages, then suddenly he let her go and they attacked him. I pulled Roxanne off Aidrian, but Dan carried on…” She looked down uncomfortably at her shoes.
“Well, thank you Miss Gibberd. It shouldn’t have been necessary, but ten points to Hufflepuff for quick thinking. Now, Mr. Finch-Fletchley, what’s your version of events?”
Aidrian’s face looked like he was ready to murder poor Neville. “Well, I was only talking to Rox and Dan, and then they attacked me! I wasn’t doing anything wrong” he scowled.
“Oh, sure!” I interjected. “You were deliberately provoking us! ‘You’re only with that loser because your grandparents are locked in a loony asylum’? ‘Jumped-up know-it-all slut’? ‘Filthy family, breeding like rabbits’? Please, you were ASKING for a fight!” I rolled my eyes and viciously stuck my chin out, leaning forwards slightly into a slightly menacing and animalistic pose.
Neville’s eyes were narrowed at the comments, and his eyebrows were in his hair. “Is this all true, Mr. Longbottom?” Dan nodded. Imagine how weird it must be to have to call your son Mr. Longbottom, and call your Dad Professor… I wondered.
“Well then, thirty points from each of you should do the trick. I will contact your parents, Mr. Finch-Fletchly, but no detentions, because I believe you have all had your… rewards, from this experience” he said dryly.
“But, sir! Why aren’t Dan or Roxanne’s parents being contacted?” Aidrian moaned.
“Well, I already know about this, so Dan’s are taken care of. Although his mother will know”, Professor Longbottom frowned at Dan, who hung his head. I rather thought it was a deliberate show, to not make trouble for his Dad and that Professor would have done the same, but he had to retain respect.
“Yeah but why not Roxanne’s parents?” Aidrian carried on whining.
“Mr. and Mrs. Weasley are not available to be contacted right now” Neville said sharply. Aidrian looked surprised, but then the cocky smirk was back as he turned and sailed out the offered doorway, with Lauren behind.
I looked up at Neville confusedly. He looked down, ashamedly, I thought, but I didn’t know why. “Daniel, tell Roxanne about her… situation over lunch, will you? NOT now, or during my class, which incidentally, we are now all twenty minutes late for.”
And so Professor strode out of his office and led the way down to Greenhouse Four with me sending Dan questioning looks as we trailed behind him.
He would only shrug, though, and cast his eyes down to the green grass below our feet.
Fortunately, Herbology wasn’t too bad, as it didn’t require too much prior knowledge about the plants, as Neville explained exactly how we were treating them beforehand anyway.
All through Herbology, I shot Dan questioning looks from across the room, but he would just look down again, and sometimes mouthed “at lunch” to me. It was all highly frustrating, especially as somehow, he managed to tell each of my three friends to be there too.
By the time we got out, the three Potters also knew, and were also coming to help Dan out, as they were family and probably knew loads from their parents and our grandparents.
When we eventually got to lunch, I was seriously fed up, and slammed my books down onto the table with a lot of extra force, making Lily and Edie jump back.
“Right. So what’s the big deal with this stupid family, personal issue of mine that you guys have kept secret from the only person it concerns?”
“Honey, don’t be like that with us.” Isabella said. “It wasn’t our fault all of this shit happened in your life, ok?” I just glared at her.
“So, where does all this begin?” I asked monotonously.
In the early hours of the morning, I was lying on my back and staring at the pattern of moonlight slits on the ceiling of my four-poster. I hadn’t slept a single jot, or even felt fatigued, since I had come up here to lie pointlessly at seven’o’clock… I hadn’t felt like facing their pitying faces any longer.
I didn’t know how I really felt any more.
I ran over our ‘story-telling’ for the thousandth time. I could still hear James’ voice as he explained, with the help of various different people, what exactly had happened.
To cut a long story short, what happened with the basilisk was:
· I had just come back to an empty dormitory (or so I thought… Edie was getting dry in the bathroom).
· There was a load croaking from under the bed, and I bent down to see what it was.
· Under my bed, there was a toad secured overa chicken’s egg, with numerous spells and triggers in place to ensure it stayed there.
· I had somehow… talked to it, trying to coax it away from the egg so I didn’t blow myself up with the traps and triggers around it.
· I was found talking to the toad, professors were called and the whole thing looked highly suspicious. And not in my favour.
Apparently, this all happened just before Christmas.
I did ask Albus why my parents hadn’t sent me a howler, or come to see me or anything. Because I had had no letter from them that I could find, for a few months past now. Everyone had looked kind of confused, upset and uncomfortable.
Because, my parents are in quarantine.
Grandma is still in St. Mungo’s, you see. She has some kind of mind-and-body affliction that they think she might have passed down genetically to Mum. They’re not sure if she could have passed it on to Dad in any way. So they’re being tested in all sorts of stupid ways, and nobody can have contact with them, although I guess they must know about Fred’s escape.
I think they must be coming for me next.
I feel like I’m in a cage, but really alone. I can’t escape from this, and lose everything when my mind is so vulnerable. But I have lost all my family; brother, mother, father. Grandma, too, and Grandad Johnson a few years before.
I feel so alone, although the Weasleys stay strong and a part of me…
I need family now, more than ever. And after waiting for seven hours for something to happen, anything, I decide to go join my family.
I’m in a trance as I lift up the covers and mechanically step out of bed, cross the floor and crack open and slip through the creaky door, leaving it slightly ajar.
I’m numb as I slip down a full 360 degrees turn on the stairs and crack open the door to the fourth years’ dorm, and slip in to beside Rose.
I’m deep inside a shell as I drift off to sleep, hugging my sleepy cousin, but feeling safe, because at least I’m with my closest family right now.
But even when I wake up at dawn and trudge downstairs to the common room in the green light, that shell is still in place and more reinforced than ever when I sit on the couch and just stare, and build a wall in my mind to stop me thinking.
Roxanne’s Memory Book
… What’s the point?
*A/N: Hey there! Ok, have to admit that was a pretty fun fight scene to write. What did you guys think of the revelations? Did you guess anything?
Have to say, I don’t think you’ll see the events of the next chapter coming… Yep, writing chapter 13 right now!