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Chapter 13 : Hippy, Happy, Hooray.
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“Rose, we have made you a list of the things you can and can’t do for your birthday.” Albus was holding a torn off piece of lined paper at me, covered in a small, messy scrawl of things labelled 1 to 74. I frowned.
“Why? Ivy didn’t get a list.”
“Ivy’s not mad.”
“Read the list.”
“I must protest!”
“Rosie.” This was Ivy, gently intervening, her dainty hand placed gracefully on my forearm. “Shut the fuck up and read the goddamn list. It’s not so bad.”
I grabbed the paper out of Al’s hand, pouting, and scanned over the first rule. “I must wear clothing to this event?” I scoffed, widening my eyes in fabricated outrage. “That’s it, I don’t even want a party anymore. The night would be ruined!”
“Are you high?”
“No, I’ll keep reading.”
The list wasn’t so bad in the end. Most of what was written down were things I would never even consider doing in the first place. Once I had scoured the paper twice through, I crumpled it into a ball and threw it at the coffee table.
“I agree with most of these terms.” I told my friends, who had been watching me read in silence. “But I have to ask: what on earth made you think I would want to hire a giant to cut my cake?”
Lucy shrugged, and shook her short curls out of her eyes. “We just wanted to be safe.” She told me solemnly. “And also, our imagination started running a bit wild after we hit number 46.”
I grinned, fingering a piece of my bright hair. I wasn’t looking forward to my birthday, to be honest. I’d been spending the last couple of mornings checking for wrinkles in the mirror. I thought I saw a grey hair the other day, but it had just been a trick of the light. I had considered buying myself a wheely shopping bag.
“Eugh, guys.” I moaned, letting my head drop back against the couch. “I’m going to be nineteen. And I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my life. Is that sad?”
“You’re not going to be ‘nineteen’.” Al told me, rolling his eyes and imitating my whining voice. “You’re going to be nineteen! And it’s going to be wonderful. Dude, Freddy is twenty one and he’s still working for his dad. Pretty sure mum was still living at Nana’s when she had James. You’re doing well.”
“Al and I are nineteen.” Ivy said, smiling. “And we’re still awesome. You won’t feel a day older, trust me.”
“Can’t you let me wallow in my own despair?” I asked them sarcastically, pulling my knees up to my chest. Lucy made a soft, sympathetic noise and came to wrap her arms around my neck, resting her head on my shoulder.
“Of course we can honey.” She said, leaning back to stare at me kindly. “But we were kind of hoping you were going to cook that pumpkin and feta pie of yours tonight. Do you mind wallowing after that?”
I don’t know if I was simply growing up, if The List of 74 Unrealistic Things had put me off, or if my soul was just tired, but - to the great disappointment of my cousin Fred - I decided to have a mellow nineteenth birthday party this year. I decided I wanted friends and family, tasty food, lots of couches and cushions, pretty music, and a warm and happy atmosphere.
I set about inviting everybody I thought should be there – the entirety of my relatives, some old friends from school and work, the kind young lady who served me croissants at the bakery, Eddie… and Malfoy.
Here’s how it happened:
About three days before my birthday, I was walking back from the corner store with a bag of cat food and a packet of jellybeans, dressed in comfortable, yet unflattering clothing and sporting a drawn, pale face. I had a bit of a hangover. Or I was still slightly drunk, I was in the process of figuring that out. The night before, Luc and Iv and I had gone to a party on the outskirts of London, and in true Rose Weasley fashion, I had drunk more than I should have. And I was paying for that dearly right now.
So now I was stumbling down the street, glaring and growling at anyone who passed by me, munching on my jellybeans and wondering if we had any frozen chips left at home. I didn’t see Malfoy until he was pretty much right in front of my path. I came to a stop, jellybean halfway to my mouth, and he halted too, hands in his pockets. I couldn’t read his expression, and I was blatantly aware that I looked like a dead person.
We stood in silence for a couple of seconds, probably wondering why we had both stopped in the first place, before Malfoy said; “You look like shit.”
“And I feel like it.” I replied, scowling. “Jellybean?”
Malfoy, shrugged, dipping his hand into the colourful packet. “Thanks Weasley.” He said, popping some into his mouth. I squinted up at him.
“It’s my birthday on the tenth. I’m having a small party at our flat, do you want to come?” It just came tumbling out of my dehydrated mouth before I could stop it. I bit on the inside of my cheek, cursing my brain for never thinking through what I said.
Malfoy’s eyes widened, and he swallowed his jellybeans loudly. “Your party? Sure Rose, why not?” He lifted a hand up to ruffle the back of his head. I felt my heart begin to beat faster, both from his acceptance of my offer, and his use of my first name. I wondered at the latter. This was the second time in two weeks that he had called me by it. It made my heart jump and my stomach flutter.
“Oh, that’s great! I mean fine. Whatever.” I coughed. My head hurt and I felt like upchucking into a toilet bowl. And now I had just been vulnerable in front of Malfoy. “It’ll start around six, bring me a present or you won’t be cool.” I pulled a hand through my matted hair. “And now I’m going home to drink vitamin C and stare at things. Hope to not see you around, wanker.” I smiled a nauseous smile, and clutched my fabric grocery bag to my chest. “Sorry, I just felt like I had to be at least a little mean.”
“Likewise jerk.” Malfoy answered with a grin. He smirked, and reached over to pat the top of my head in a patronizing manner. I dodged his hand. “You disgust me. I’m going to get a coffee now.”
“Don’t touch me again.”
“I don’t like you.”
I let out a small smile. “And all is right in the world.” I sighed, Malfoy nodded.
“Farewell, weirdo.” He smirked, waving. I sent him a sarcastic wave in response, attempting to tone down my smile as he turned around, and kept on walking down the street.
And that is how I asked Malfoy to come to my party.
“You’re not even going to cook for your own party?” Albus was staring at me, shock emanating through his glasses. I placed my hands on cocked hips.
“No. It’s my birthday and you must obey me. Now to the kitchen, wench!” I declared, pointing grandly in the direction of the cooking room. My cousin opened his mouth to protest, but I intervened before he could. “I said go!”
Al sulkily made his way in the direction that I pointed, off to join Freddy and James, who had already gotten started on the cake. Lucy was out purchasing drinks and other party necessities, and Dom and Ivy were here to help me get ready.
I planned on looking stunning tonight. And no. This plan was not influenced by the knowledge that a certain blonde idiot would be making an appearance at tonight’s festivities.
“This dress: yay or nay?” I asked the two girls, holding up a deep red dress made of velvet. They both appraised is, and Dom sent me a thumbs up.
“Eddie won’t be able to control himself.” Ivy stated, wandering over to my dresser. She twirled a bottle of liquid eyeliner between her fingers. “He’s going to be all like ‘Hey, Rose, happy… boobs! And then he’ll just ogle all night until you let him touch them. He’ll wait for consent though, he’s a nice guy.”
Sure. So I was thinking about Eddie when I chose this short dress. I can go with that.
“You make me feel like eating ice-cream alone with my cat.” Dom sighed as I pulled my shirt over my head. I pulled a hideous face at her, my general reaction to compliments. “Seriously Rose. That expression could get you Benjamin Wood naked. Keep pulling that. Greet your guests this way. You should model.”
I smirked. “I call it the Lethal Temptress. It’s still in the making, but I think I’m almost ready to go public.”
“You’ll revolutionise modern day flirting.”
“I know it.”
“Now go have a shower.”
I picked the dress up off the bed with a flourish, grinning widely. Despite my previous reluctance, I was beginning to feel the stirrings of excitement bubble in my stomach; It was my birthday. I was nineteen! (as Al so rightly put it) and I was to look fabulous at a party thrown in my honour.
Well, fabulous. As fabulous as one can get with freckles, a messy tumble of bright red hair and sad little chicken legs. Like, could I not be graced with at least some curves? Could I not have inherited Roxanne’s slender limbs or Dom’s perfect breasts? No. I was a freaking beanstalk. Only Lily could understand how I felt.
It was late by the time Malfoy arrived. Not that I’d been waiting. Every time the door opened, I didn’t spin around to see if it was him. Sheesh, get these preposterous ideas out of your head!
I was sitting a corner, curled in a large beanbag with James, chatting happily about something mesmerizing (something along the lines of fish or fruits or something…). We were in a small circle consisting of Al, James, Freddy, my old friend Penelope Lewis and I. Pen was a quirky girl with wide green eyes that were always wondering at something, and dark, tangled curls that reached down to her bottom. Pen was the kind of person you wanted to hide and protect from the harshness of the world. She was cute, gullible, and little ditzy. She never swore, never drank, never ate meat, and always dressed in something colourful and baggy and innocent. I loved her in a half affectionate, half exasperated way.
“Blueberries!” Pen said triumphantly, smiling widely. Freddy shook his head. I still maintained the idea that he had a bit of a soft spot for Penny. But I never mentioned it.
“They’re purple, my dear.” He told her. “I told you: There is no such thing as blue food!”
“What about a blue fish?” James inquired, quirking an eyebrow. Penny nodded her head appreciatively, and pointed at my cousin.
“I like the way you think, mister.” She said sweetly. Fred frowned.
“Doesn’t count.” He said finally. “Has to be something that photosynthesises.”
“Photowhat?” Pen asked, looking shyly confused.
See what I mean?
At this point, though the conversation about coloured foods was captivating, I glanced towards the front door. Malfoy was standing there, slipping off his coat and glancing around the room, his handsome features unreadable. My heart jumped painfully in my chest at the sight of him, and I became suddenly shifty and nervous. I couldn’t help noticing that Eddie’s appearance – he had arrived roughly and hour ago – had failed to give me anything close to this kind of reaction.
“Be right back.” I told me friends, standing up and brushing off my dress. They all murmured something in response, but I was already walking towards the door. As a hostess, I told myself firmly, you are obligated to welcome this lovely young man into your home. Now stop staring at him.
“Heya.” I greeted when I arrived in front of him, tucking my bottom lip under my teeth. Pathetic. I was pathetic. I bet Malfoy knew exactly what was going on in my mind right now.
“Happy birthday Rose.” Malfoy responded, smiling lightly.
Rose Rose Rose Rose Rose.
“Thanks.” I answered. Our exchange felt very robotic. I hugged my arms around my stomach, and tried to look sexily confident. I think I just managed to look constipated. Malfoy didn’t seem to notice, as his gaze swept straight over me and on to the rest of the room. I unfolded my arms and roughly pushed a stray curl out of my eyes.
“Actually…” Malfoy turned around, and rummaged in the pocket of his coat, which he had hooked on the stand. “I got you something. Here. Knock yourself out.” He held his hand out to me triumphantly, a large packet of jelly beans placed in his palm. I stared.
“Wow.” I stated, making no move to retrieve the lollies. “I was joking about the present thing the other day. To be honest, I was scared you would hand me rotten roses or a cage full of Cornish Pixies or something. But this is great. Thanks.” I finally reached for the jelly beans, feeling strangely… well, there wasn’t really a word for what I was feeling. I quickly averted my eyes from Malfoy’s amused ones, and gestured at the rest of the party.
“You probably know most people here,” I told him, “so make yourself at home. Try not to steal anything. I’ll be on that bean bag over there.” I motioned vaguely in the direction of the group I had just left. “Come say hi if you want.”
I turned to leave, jelly beans in hand, but Malfoy touched my elbow before I could walk off. I turned around.
“I’ll come with you.” He told me, smiling somewhat haughtily. “I haven’t seen James in a while. Be nice to see how he’s going.”
“Oh. Ok. Sure.” I mumbled something curt, and turned around again, headed for my bean bag and the safety of James’s arms. Now that Malfoy was actually here, I wished I had never invited him in the first place. It was an awkward, idiotic mistake. How was I supposed to get over him if I asked him to join me in crowded, under lit events involving alcohol?
Shit son. I needed to get a hold of myself.
“We have found an answer to our dilemma!” Freddy informed me happily as I dropped into my bean bag. I rested my head on James’s shoulder, and bid he tell me, in hast, what this great revelation may be.
“Well, we have come to the conclusion that Penny was wrong, and I was right.” Fred sated, to a shocked cough from Pen’s direction. James chuckled.
“Really, Fredster found a solution that suited him, and told us to shut up whenever we tried to intervene.” James explained to me, rolling his eyes. “Hey Scorpius! How’re you? Sit down!”
If anyone around me found it surprising that Malfoy was here, they didn’t show it. Malfoy took a seat on a squashy red pillow, and greeted everyone else. I bit my lip, wondering if I could get up and leave without being obvious.
“Hey, I’m going to see how Eddie’s going.” I said, standing up once again. I sent them all a grin I hoped looked genuine, and headed off through the chatting crowd in search of my berry haired friend.
I say friend, because I’m reluctant to call him anything else.
I jerked at the sound of my name, snapping my gaze back to the boy sitting in front of me. He was staring at me, a curious look in his blue eyes.
“Sorry, Ed.” I sighed, shaking my head. “I’m just distracted. What were you saying?”
Eddie stared at the pink liquid in his cup, his mouth twisted in a crooked smile. “You have been gazing at the same spot every time you’ve zoned out.” He informed me, his eyebrows raised, “And unless the stretch of wall in that corner holds mysteries I can’t see, it must be that blonde man that has your attention. What gives?”
I widened my eyes, at loss for what to say. It was true; James and Fred had deserted the bean bags, and now it was just Malfoy and Penelope, chatting amiably away. Even though I was trying to ignore it, jealousy was rearing its ugly head. And apparently, I hadn’t been too subtle about my envious ways.
“I – what’re you – Oh, ok.” I sighed, and stared guiltily down at my hands. “I’m a tad jealous. It’s not that you’re not riveting, kind and sexy company, it’s just that… well, I hate to admit these things about him, but…” I couldn’t voice it, not to Eddie. He did not seem hurt by my words, however. He seemed amused.
“I’m not one for an Othello complex, don’t worry.” He said, with a small smile. “You can be attracted to and envious of as many men as you please. It suits me fine; now I won’t feel so guilty for checking out that pretty girl in the rainbow dress.” He grinned cheekily when I nudged him in the ribs.
“Who, Penelope?” I asked him, staring back over at the corner. “Eddie, she is the target of my jealous sentiments, and now you’ve gone and made it worse.”
Ed just shrugged. “How do you think I feel? I was already eyeing off this blonde haired man, wishing my hair could be as reflective as his is, and now I find out that you are harbouring feelings for the guy. I’m crushed, Rose. Very crushed.”
He seemed to be doing a lot better than he had been when I visited him. A spark had returned to his eye, and his smile came easier. I stared up at him, before flicking my gaze over the bean bag corner again.
“Not feelings.” I corrected, tearing my gaze away from the corner and back to my conversation. “Just… interest. Unwilling interest.”
“Are you saying you’re tired of me already?” Eddie asked me dramatically, bringing a hand to rest on his heart.
“Never.” I told him solemnly, placing a soft kiss on his mouth. A dark part of me hoped Malfoy had seen it, but I resisted the urge to glance at him again.
“It’s really fine.” Ed answered, reaching over to brush a curl away from my face. “I don’t expect to compete with Mirror Man over there, and I don’t really want to, either. We never said we were exclusive, Rosie. As long as I still get to see you naked once in a while, I’m happy.”
I grinned. “I always dreamed a man would tell me that.” I gushed, pretending to swoon. Ed caught my shoulders and looked deep into my eyes.
“I know, sweetheart.” He murmured dramatically. “I know”.
“So.” I stated, straightening up. “You think Pen is attractive?”
“Do you want me to introduce you to her?”
“You just want to get her away from Reflecto, don’t you?”
Ed shook his head sadly. “I knew this day would come.”
“Cut it out, idiot.” I laughed, punching him slightly on the arm. Eddie eyed me resentfully.
“Don’t expect me to put out now,” He told me solemnly. “I’ll just go somewhere else to get some. Then you’ll be jealous of two people.”
“Hey, I’m crying a little on the inside.”
“Toughen up, water works.” Eddie sighed, slipping his arm through mine and beginning to walk us over to Malfoy and Penny, “And let’s make some bitches jealous.”
“I cannot believe you just said that.”
“I know. Neither can I.”
I wasn’t sure if I was surprised at feeling no remorse as I introduced Ed to Penelope. I had started to realize that I liked Eddie, but apart from two particular incidences of a sexual nature, he felt like more of a friend than a potential boyfriend. I didn’t want to stop seeing him, definitely not, but I was starting to rethink Lucy’s plan. I couldn’t see myself dating him; I could only see myself sitting with him in front of a movie, or joking around in the park, or riding elephants into the sunset or something.
I’m a weird child. I will freely admit this to myself.
Ed and Penelope hit it off immediately (I think it’s impossible not to hit it off with Eddie) so I found myself sitting cross-legged on a dark green cushion, trying to both avoid and stare at Malfoy at the same time. Finally, when Malfoy had coughed several times and my humming was beginning to become weird, I decided to break the silence.
“Want to get a drink?” I asked him, chewing on my lip. I astounded myself with my own boldness sometimes. Malfoy glanced at me in surprise.
“No, with the troll sitting beside me.” I answered sardonically, rolling my eyes. “Yes, with me. Now get up, dipshit. I don’t have all night.”
“I fear you’re trying to poison me.” He stated, rising to his feet. I got up myself, shooting him an impatient glare.
“No, there are too many witnesses.”
“Wow, I feel suddenly safer. Thanks Rose.”
“Anytime.” We had arrived at the drink table, where I turned around to look at Malfoy, my fingertips tapping a disjointed rhythm on the tablecloth. “Tell me; What’s with the Rose thing? I was under the impression that you hated my guts.”
“Oh, I do, don’t get me wrong.” Malfoy assured me. It could have been my overactive imagination seeing things, but he seemed less sincere, and more amused than when he normally told me these things. I shook the thought out of my head. “But I thought I would try it out, see how it felt. Us being chummy neighbours and all. Also, I thought it might disorientate you a little.” He smirked, and I scowled, some old feelings of anger and irritation stirring in my chest at his expression. Oh dark feelings, how I have missed you!
“I’d call you Scorpius, but I don’t think I could say it with a straight face.” I told him, pouring a ladle of pink lemonade into a plastic cup. “Plus, you know; Yuck.”
“Call me Scorpius and I’ll spit on everything you love. If you want to be friendly, it’s Scorp.”
“Scorpius it is!” I exclaimed happily, sending him a wide smile. “Say, Scorpius, could you please pass me that plate of cupcakes?”
“May you rot in hell, she-devil.” He exclaimed dramatically, reaching over me to get himself a cup. His chest pressed briefly against mine, making me blush. He smelt like mint. “But, my dear Rose-Flower, two can play this game.”
I blanched. “Scorp, cupcakes please?” I corrected quickly, raising my eyebrows.
Scorpius grinned. “That’s better. Now we can be the best of buddies. Shall I fetch the beads for our friendship bracelets?”
“Why do you speak?”
“Well, from what I’ve heard, we have these funny little things called vocal chords, and when they-”
“Dear Lord please stop.” I groaned, shaking my head. “Get your drink. Just know that I hate you.”
“The feeling’s mutual, my flower.”
“I will hurt you, Scorpius.”
“No you won’t. I’m too beautiful for that.”
“Remember that time you emptied fertilizer down my back in Herbology? I think I gave you some supposedly sexist comment about women in the garden, and you took it rather personally. You were demented.” Malfoy passed his hand along his jaw line, looking thoughtful. We were sitting in the kitchen, me perched on the table and Scorpius leaning against the bench. I could not remember how we had gotten here, or how our conversation had begun, but we were reminiscing about the Hogwarts days. Well, I say reminiscing, but it was a lot less poetic than that.
“And you were a self absorbed fuck-up, so I treated you accordingly,” I answered, raising my chin. “Though I’ll admit that some of my reactions were over the top. Do you recall the Bowtruckle Incident?”
Scorpius shuddered. “All too well.” He murmured. I grinned mischievously.
“I’m pretty sure all you did that time was tell me I was answering a question wrong. Or was that with the Shrinking Potion?”
“No, the Shrinking Potion was you getting back at me for Fiona King. I remember that, because you made my life hell for a whole week.”
“You were such a git to her, though.” I stated in my defence. “Poor girl.”
“That was four years ago, I’m sure she has recovered. Although, getting over my handsome mug must not be easy.” He smirked at my appalled expression.
“See!” I exclaimed, gesturing at him. “That’s what infuriated me so much! You were so unbearably smug about everything. You still are, in fact. I do not understand how you can think so highly of yourself.”
“I thought you were a skinny little geek sent from hell to shatter my self esteem.” Scorpius said in response, shrugging, “You were always sending snarky comments my way, it was all I could do to keep my ego intact.”
“Right.” I snorted. “I think you ego is just fine, Scorpy.”
“Don’t call me that.”
“You were mean to me too, you know. You sabotaged my first date with Ollie, back in fourth year. Do you remember?”
“No?” Malfoy seemed confused. I felt slightly hurt that the incident had been wiped from his memory; for me, it had been traumatizing.
“Well, you did. And I never forgave you for it.”
“I think I must have done you a favour. Oliver was a git.”
“And you’re not?”
“Anyway,” I sighed, staring at the cup clutched between my fingers, “we were immature idiots back then.”
“As opposed to now, when we’re immature idiots with responsibilities.”
I smiled. “Hear hear.” I raised my glass in a mock toast. “I think we’re improving, though. Look at us now; no bruises, no shattered debris. We hardly even swore.”
“Yeah…” Malfoy stared up at the ceiling, his grey eyes thoughtful. I watched as his eyelashes grazed the ridge of his brow. We were close – legs almost touching – and my imbecile of a brain could not help but notice that. “You’re not so bad, Rose Weasley. I think if I had of let myself get to know you, I may have been less of a prick.”
“So you admit to your prickness?”
“Only if you admit to your bitchness.”
“I guess I was a bit of a short tempered fool.” I sighed, hooking my foot behind my heel. “But only around you. Man, I really hated you. I hated you as much as any sixteen year old can hate another human being.”
“I hated you too. It was half hate, half terror. You’re crazy.”
“Why thank you.”
Malfoy smirked, nudging my foot with his knee. “I’m sorry.” He told me, bringing his gaze over to mine. I stared back, my lips parted slightly. His gaze was calm and steady and absolutely terrible for my poor mind. My brain was slowly turning into jelly.
“Me too.” I murmured, blinking. “I’ll try to tone down the bitchness from now on.”
“And I the prickness.”
“But you know, Weasley.” Scorpius’s face broke out into a smug, joking grin. “You’ll have to try not to start fancying me. I hear it’s a hard thing to resist. Just ask King.”
Even though I knew he was joking, his words brought me about one heart beat close to a heart attack, and I was amazed that the boy in front of me did not see the shocked, embarrassed look that must have flashed across my face. Oh boy, if he only knew the reaction those words had provoked. Well, then we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation. He would be running for the hills.
And I would be running for Tibet, and the soft solitude of no social encounters to remind me of my dysfunctional person.
A/N: And the return of a little more Malfoy in this chapter, and much more Malfoy in the chapter to come. So, I was actually wondering if you guys think something big should happen (something of a sexual nature...) with these two lovebirds? I've already written up to chapter sixteen, but, if you think it should happen, it will happen right after that! In fact, I want it to happen. I don't know why I waited so long. What has even happened in this story?
But anyway, just you wait for the next couple of chapters. They are so filled with unrealistic cheesy things that I'm questioning them slightly, but fuck it, I kind of like that stuff :)
If you still feel like reviewing after this very long and strange note then I would be very mych obliged.
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