Chapter 8 : Roxanne, Ravenclaws, and Rather Rosy Revelations
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It wasn’t such a good morning after all in my opinion.
Charms wasn’t a great lesson. Sure, I arrived in a better-than-average mood, but that was quickly tainted by the prospect of Professor Smith ruining my Friday before it had even begun. He started by giving me a detention tomorrow night due to my lateness. Another detention, the very thing I had tried to avoid. Apparently, I wasn’t physically able to run up three levels of stairs in one minute and, as luck would have it, Smith was always annoyingly punctual. Furthermore, the fun we’d had practicing manipulating water with our wands quickly evaporated. Smith decided to set a parchment roll long essay on the Aquamenti Charm, which was due tomorrow, which was a tight deadline for someone who already had detention in the evening with McGonagall. Not to mention tomorrow was the day before holidays.
Roxy was typically blasé about the two detentions I had acquired; she wore detentions as badges of honour, possibly because I think her Dad would disown her if she didn’t reach double figures each month. Lysander wasn’t much better. He seemed to find it amusing that Albus had something to with my lateness, making so many suggestive comments that I began to think it was actually Louis Weasley beneath the dreadlocks, who had somehow got a hold of some Polyjuice Potion.
But as the ever diligent student, I actually felt ashamed of the first detention I’d received (from foolishly losing my temper following the Great Hall Incident), and plain angry at Smith for being so cruelly anal even though he knew I’d never been late to any of his classes before. All that said, I did return Roxy’s hi-five. She would’ve been crushed if I hadn’t.
Desperate to not give Smith another excuse to punish me, I headed to the library straight after Charms to get to work on the stupid, godforsaken essay. I sat alone, Roxy and Lysander having gone to Divination together, wandering off discussing their dream diaries (“Last night I dreamt of rose petals falling from the sky, but then being gathered up by a blue net. What do you suppose that means?”). Airy fairy subject, I’d thought as we’d parted ways. But nevertheless I thanked my lucky stars that I had a free, otherwise I’d have definitely had to skip lunch and dinner to finish the assignment.
Steadily, albeit resentfully, I ploughed my way through the essay, my quill only lightly scratching the parchment as it skimmed by. Within three quarters of an hour I had three quarters of my essay complete, good progress I thought. However my pace was slowing, I felt my mind clouding, distraction creeping upon me as I gradually ran out of things to write about. Ridiculous task, I ranted inwardly, to write so much about one, measly charm. Pointless, impossible, infuriating, why life why...
“Hattie?” A whisper interrupted. I raised my head from where it had been pressed hopelessly against my work, looking up as I rested it onto my folded arms. To my surprise it was Rose Weasley, standing across the desk from me, smiling softly but her chocolate brown eyes tinged with concern. Her frizzy red hair was tied up out of the way, but a few loose, unruly strands framed her face. In her arms was a towering pile of books, their worn and dusty spines forming a kind of faded, vertical rainbow.
Rose manoeuvred herself so as to set the pile onto the desk without any precious books falling, placed her schoolbag on the ground (a gentle thud signalling even more books were present) and slid into the seat in front of me.
“Are you trying to steal the whole library Rose?” I asked as way of greeting, eying the books, a light smirk playing around my features despite the stress of my incomplete essay.
She laughed discreetly, ever one to maintain the sacred quietness of the great library of Hogwarts.
“No Hattie, just a bit of light reading.”
It was my turn to laugh, though I was perhaps less discreet. Light.
She rolled her eyes and continued.“ I didn’t come over to discuss my reading habits. I actually thought I’d just see how you are.” She said, her matter-of-fact tone indicating that she wasn’t going to leave until I gave her enough information and she was satisfied.
“What is it with everyone today...can’t I just go about my life without everyone intruding?” I hissed exasperatedly.
Hurt flashed across her face. Without replying, she plucked a book from the top of her hoard and began to read in utter silence. I’d landed myself in it again.
“I’m sorry...” I began slowly, insides squirming with regret. “I didn’t mean that. It’s just I already had Lysander play at being an agony aunt when I was eating my breakfast...”
“I didn’t even know you had any problems apart from that sad-looking essay you can’t seem to write. We hardly talk anymore.” Rose murmured, not looking at me directly.
“Er...” I started, not knowing what to say. Unfortunately Rose was, as per normal, correct. I hadn’t talked properly to Rose since the summer, and that was an awfully long time ago. I figured another apology was in order.
“I’m sorry Rose. I never meant to ignore you or neglect you, things have just been really ... hectic ... lately, and ...” I fumbled helplessly for the right words. “I figured you were experiencing similar... hecticness ... elsewhere.” I finished, lamely. Not the best,I thought, mentally wincing. Hecticness isn’t even a word...arrgh.
“And you think I don’t know what it’s like to have everyone intruding all the time?” She continued flatly, now staring me down and raising one eyebrow sceptically.
I tried to explain myself again, but I didn’t get very far. “That’s not it, of course you do...”
“And I’m not trying to fix your problems! I’m not one of those horrible people who feel like they’ve got to interfere all the time and ruin everything!” She was still whispering but now she sounded high-pitched, and borderline hysterical.
“No, it’s not your fault!” Rose went on, imagining I had spoken but no, I just watched on in shocked silence. She was speaking abnormally fast. “You have your own life to lead, I understand that. But family! They’re meant to always be there, you know?!” Her voice cracked at the end, and she put her head in her hands.
Suddenly, the conversation had got a whole lot deeper than I had first anticipated. My intuition told me that thirty seconds from now Rose was going to burst into tears; I needed to do something friendly, comforting, Hufflepuffy. And yet I had to admit part of me was cheering that conversation had moved on to Rose’s problems, not mine. I so wasn’t Hufflepuffy.
“Um, this hasn’t got anything to do with Scorpius has it?” I posed the question tentatively, as unsure of her reaction as I was of Divination’s right to be taught at Hogwarts. I was trying to be cautious and caring, but ultimately, I was curious. I’d obviously managed to somehow completely miss the latest Wotter scandal, even though I’d been religiously combing through the papers everyday, so as to not be caught unawares by gossip ever again.
If it hadn’t been reported about in the papers that meant they’d all fought fiercely to keep it quiet. And that meant it was big.
She nodded, taking a deep breath before responding. No tears, I thought, She’s stronger than she looks.
“Everything.“ She said simply, sniffing a few times. “Basically they’ve all turned against him, and now they’ve all stopped talking to me as part of some grand blackmail scheme to make me break up with him. All except the adults, who have no idea about anything, and Roxy, who is off doing her own thing of course.“
Go Roxy. “But why...”
“Why do they suddenly hate Scorpius? That’s the best bit.” She spat the words, bitterly. “It’s all because of Al.”
A/N: A short chapter, but there was going to be a break before the next section anyway so I thought I just get it in the queue early.
I wonder what Albus has done? Mwhahaha ;)
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