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Love, Lies and Lipstick by EffyFoSho

Format: Novel
Chapters: 12
Word Count: 63,188
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Scorpius, Albus, Rose, OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: Rose/Scorpius, Other Pairing

First Published: 04/16/2009
Last Chapter: 04/23/2011
Last Updated: 05/12/2011

Summary:
Beautiful Banner by SwissMiss at TDA.



I, Rose Weasley, have plenty of secrets. But none of them could leave my social status crumbling in ruins around my feet. Well, except one.
Secret No. 10: I am in love with Scorpius Malfoy. The boy who's best friends with the cousin I don't talk to anymore. The boy I ditched to become popular.  Oh, the irony. 


Chapter 1: New Years Eve
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Okay, before anybody asks I'm still writing Vanilla Spice, it's just I had this idea for this story and had to get it down - instead of doing an essay for history. Oh, well.
Reviews are appreciated, as always. :D
Effy xx


 

 




Beautiful chapter image by delta at TDA.  




Everybody has a secret. And everybody tells a lie at one point in their life. Whether it’s telling a friend that their new haircut looks amazing and doesn’t make their face look fatter, if that’s even possible, or pretending that you purposely haven’t tripped that girl over when she’s glaring up at you from the floor and you’re trying to hide a smirk. So, of course, I have secrets. It’s completely and utterly normal that I, Rose Weasley, have secrets. I guess I just have a few more than the average sixteen year old girl. But none of them are huge, ‘cannot tell anybody ever’ secrets that could result in a major explosion if the wrong person knows.


Well, not many of them, anyway.







Secret No.1: Hugo’s pet, Bruno the rat, isn’t the same rat from that I was meant to look after when mum and dad took Hugo to the Quidditch World Cup. 





 


“Rose,” my mother sighs as she stands impatiently at my door, arms folded. I’ve seen this stance hundreds of times and I’m always the one who ends up in some sort of trouble. “When are you going to get ready for the party?”


Which I guess means that she’s stopped lecturing Hugo on wearing that shirt long enough to realize I haven’t moved from my king-sized double bed and am still clad in my pyjama bottoms, flicking through yet another copy of Witch Weekly in search for the upcoming trends, or maybe to catch a glimpse of me and my friends posing for a camera when out one night.


“Mum, seriously?” I say in response to her question, refusing to take my eyes off of the magazine page in front of me. ’10 Ways to Get Your Own Way.’ Like that is going to help. Nothing is going to help against her. “A New Year’s Party at The Burrow surrounded by the whole Weasley family isn’t exactly my kind of fun.”


“Oh, come on, Rose! It might be fun! Albus is going.”


“If that is your attempt at persuading me to come, you failed miserably,” I retort, flipping over onto my back and holding the magazine above me. I focus on the first pointer to get my ‘own way.’ Reason with them. I shift my eyes to Mum, opting for that innocent, ‘it wasn’t my fault’ look. This was a big mistake – it automatically made her eyes narrow in suspicion. “You know Al and I don’t really talk much anymore.”


“But you’re cousins! And you used to be so close,” Mum protests and I can hear that note of sadness coming into her voice which used to make me feel so horribly guilty.


“But we’re not anymore,” I reply with a heavy sigh, trying to ignore the rotten feeling of losing a friend. I roll my eyes before glancing back on the magazine and turning the page. “I’m not going.”


I hear Mum huff. That’s never a good sign. “Ronald, get up here! Your daughter’s being uncooperative again!” Mum hollers over her shoulder.


A faint reply echoes up the stairs. “She’s notmy daughter when she’s like this.”


 I let my mouth drop open in anger. “Mum!” I whine, adopting a hurt look on my face.


She just rolls her eyes. “Get up, now,” she growls, and I can practically see her hair increasing in size with the rage.


“No!”


“Yes!”


“I’m staying!”


“No, you’re not, you’re coming, and you’re going to pretend that you’re a good daughter for once in your life!


I glare at her. “I am a perfect daughter!”


“No-”


Our screeching is interrupted by the door bursting open and Dad bounding into the room, wand drawn and with a fierce expression on his face as if expecting to come across dead bodies and Death Eaters. In fact, I’d think he’d prefer the Death Eater’s to what he was about to face.


Dad titters nervously, running his free hand through his red hair, upon finding his daughter and wife glowering at each other. He shoves his wand back in his pocket. “What’s going on now?”


“Rose probably broke a nail,” Hugo pops up behind dad, laughing. “Or maybe she lost a top.”


“Shut the hell up, Hugo!” He is such an irritating little rat. It’s a wonder how he became the Golden Boy of the family. In my honest opinion, it’s bloody ridiculous and I think he should find a nice pig sty to live in. He’d probably smell better that way.


“Rose, don’t talk to your brother like that!” Mum snaps, her glare worsening.


“Why is everybody on his side?!” I wail, even adding a good punch onto my mattress, which, okay, is a little childish, I must admit. But I’m all for childishness. “It’s so unfair!”


“Don’t be ridiculous, Rose, we’re on nobody’s side,” Dad says in a calm voice which sounds strangely unlike him. “Now what the bloody hell started all this racket?”


Yep. That’s more like it.


“Rose is refusing to come to the New Year’s Party,” Mum blabs, as would be expected. She has that blabber-mouth technique which I’m refusing to believe I inherited from her.


“Well, she’s got no choice,” Dad announces with a carefree shrug of his shoulders. “She’s coming.”


“Don’t talk about me as if I’m not in the room!” I growl, sitting up on my bed. Hugo seems to be inching away, and when he catches my eye, he flashes me a rather rude hand gesture. Normally, under these circumstances, I would probably chase him around the house, trying to wallop him with a frying pan. However, now, with Mum and Dad both still glaring at me, I just let my lip curl in an ‘I’m going to get you for that’ way. “And I’m not coming.”


“Yes, you bloody well are,” Dad retorts.


“Am not!”


“Are too!”


“Am not!”


“Are bloody well too!”


“Merlin’s pyjama’s, grow up!” Mum barks, looking from me to Dad, forgetting that just moments ago she, herself, was partaking in a particularly pointless argument. I seem to have the skills that just bring out everyone’s inner child. I can’t resist the urge to smirk at Dad’s seemingly guilty face. He really doesn’t like upsetting Mum. “The pair of you!”


“I’m not coming,” I quip cheerfully.


“Yes, you bloody well are.”


“Ron! Enough with the swearing!” Mum snaps before turning her attention to me and heaving a tired sigh. “Fine. Stay, Rose. I don’t care anymore. Do what you like.”


Ouch.


“Huh?” I gape at her. Never has she let me ‘do what I like’ and when she finds out I already have, I usually receive a grounding and have my allowance taken away. But, underneath all those shrill orders and dirty glares at the breakfast table, I knew she just worried too much and it was comforting to know she cared. This ‘do what you like’ felt unfamiliar and, frankly, that confused me.


“I’m tired of having this argument every time we want to go for a family gathering. So do what you like,” Mum says and turns to Dad to give him a reassuring pat on the shoulder, probably to say ‘no, I haven’t gone mad.’


“Are you mad?” Dad gasps, purposefully ignoring the ‘not mad’ pat. “She’ll have a party! You know what she’s like.”


“Well, then, we’re just going to have to trust her.”


“Yep, you’re mad. Rose Weasley has never heard of the ‘trust’ word.”


“Hey! I resent that!” I protest, while inside my head I’m squealing in glee. If my parents weren’t standing in the room, I didn’t know if I’d be able to contain my glee. I mean, I was hardly able to do it now while I risked being caught. I settle for a, what I’m going to assume was, a comforting and innocent smile. “I’m a lovely, trustworthy person.”


“Oh, yeah,” Dad scoffs. “And I’m a featherless duck.”


I grin cheekily at him. I just couldn’t resist the golden opportunity. “Well, now you mention it...”


“Rose!”


“Mum!”


“Let’s just go, Ron, before you two tear each other’s hair out,” Mum orders and begins to drag Dad out of my room until she stops suddenly at the door and adds in her strictest ‘don’t mess with me’ voice, “And no party. I mean it, Rose.”







The doorbell rings at precisely nine thirty six and twenty three seconds. And I know because I counted, I was that bored. And, okay, I admit I did owl Amy fifteen seconds after my parents apparated away and told her of me being left all by myself in a big house with tons of alcohol in the cellar. And I know that Amy is infamous for throwing the biggest and the best parties in the school as well as being a girl who had hundreds of people at her beck and call who would jump when she said so. And I also knew that, no way in hell, I was going to spend my New Years Eve alone. Because, really? What type of sad loser would I be then? I had an image to uphold.


But then nobody, and I mean nobody, prepared me for what was going to happen tonight.


 “Rose!” Amy squeals as soon as I have unlocked the door. She comes bounding into my house, revealing her tan legs in a dress that barely covers her arse. If it was anyone else, I would have probably coughed out a ‘slut’ but, seeing as it was the Queen Bee herself, I opted for the raising of eyebrows. She walks through my hall, peering into different rooms as she goes. “I’ve sent a few notices out about you having a free house and everybody should be here soon.”


“Everybody?” I parrot, looking around in worry at the expensive carpets and soft, white couches. It was no secret that the Granger-Weasley household was rolling in the money and I was pretty sure that, if anything smashed, Mum would be out for my blood. Did it matter that she could fix it with a wave of her wand? No, according to her and to her ‘Guide to Teenage Daughter’s’ which she thrusts upon me when I’ve done the slightest thing wrong, it didn’t.


“Yes, everybody!” Amy clarifies and reaches for my hand to drag me into the clean kitchen. She then proceeds to bend down, opening various cupboard doors, and thus flashing her knickers. Or what I’m assuming are knickers. It looks more like something I’d tie my hair up with.


 I let out an ‘Amy, cover your bum!’ and she turns her face to me, smirking. “I think Jack is coming. Now where is all the booze?!”


I glance at her, trying to force an expression of interest on my face. “Jack’s coming? And that’s the cupboard for the bleach.”


“Adrian’s coming and he said Jack might tag along,” Amy tells me, winding a strand of hair around her finger. I can’t help but feel a little twinge of jealousy. To be fair, though, I think every girl, no matter how hard she tries to deny it, is at least a little jealous of Amy’s looks. I mean, a few years ago, a rumour circulated that Amy was part veela but her dark brown, almost black, hair conflicted with that theory. I have part-veela, extraordinarily blonde cousins, I would know. In fact, Amy probably started the rumour herself.  “And why do you have bleach? Don’t you just use a spell to clean things?”


“Jack’s going to see me in this?” I ask, looking down at the dress that I was wearing when Mum left. It isn’t really the fact that Jack’s going to see me in this dress, it’s the fact that everyone is going to see me in this dress. It’ll probably be forever remembered as ‘did you see that tent Rose was wearing on New Years?’ “And Mum has this weird book which tells her that it gives more discipline if we clean the Muggle way. Personally, I think she just likes to clean.”


“Wow, isn’t that a bit freaky?”


“Amy! Back to my dress!”


“Jeez, calm down, woman,” Amy says, rolling her heavily outlined eyes as she delves into the bag she brought with her. “You can wear my spare, if you want.” And with that she tosses a dark midnight blue dress into my arms and begins to stamp her foot impatiently. “Now go put that on and maybe some more makeup and tell me where the bloody booze is!”


I clutch the dress that I’m positive will make the red in my hair look perfect. “Amy, thankyou!” I squeal and fling my arms around her. I try not to inhale her expensive perfume. I’ve choked on it before and it wasn’t pretty.  “Beer and vodka are in the cellar. There’s also coke in the fridge.”


“And you couldn’t have told me this sooner?” She grumbles, pulling away from me. “Take my bag upstairs, would you?”


“Your bag? What’s this for?”


“Well, I’m staying the night,” Amy states as if it’s totally obvious and she’s talking to a mentally challenged person. “I can’t go home completely wasted. My mum would kill me!”


“You better not act wasted when my parents come home,” I inform her, climbing the stairs slowly enough so that she can still hear me. “Or they will kill me. Twice.”


“Whatever. Go get ready.”


So I went to get ready. I put on that dress which was way sluttier on than it looked when I held it up against me. I smeared more foundation over my face to cover the few stubborn freckles that kept peeping through and I also heavily outlined my eyes in a way that Amy would call ‘sultry.’ And, I guess, I was so absorbed in what I was doing I didn’t hear the doorbell ring. Seven times. But when I made my way down stairs, looking quite hot I must say, I was gobsmacked to see my house filled to the brim with people grinding up against each other, all holding cups of alcohol or with people standing awkwardly by the refreshment area which was the same table Bruno the rat (II) was situated. I’m not sure who looked more scared; me, frozen on the stairs and staring at the room in horror or Bruno; who was running around squeaking like nobody’s business. I think I won, though. Just.


I swear if I have to get another rat, Hugo might actually notice the difference.


“Rose!” Marissa squeals when she sees me. She weaves her way through the crowd, cooing a flirty ‘hi, there’ to a few boys as she tosses her dyed crayola red hair over her shoulder. “I’ve been looking for you everywhere! Wow, you look gorgeous!”


Marissa actually received the tag of ‘sucker-upper’ due to all the arse-kissing that generally goes on when your within two feet of her, despite how long she has been friends with Amy and I. In fact, when drunk one night, she admitted to me that she dyed her hair red because mine, and I quote, was ‘so totally gorgeous.’


I try not to resent her for copying me.


“M-marissa,” I stammer, as she pulls me through the throng of dancers. “My parents are going to go mental- Hey!” I yell at the boys playing catch with Bruno, before I pull him out of their hands and let him sit on my arm. “Give me that! Twats.” I glare at the boys but they seem too enthralled by the girls dancing around them.


“Look!” Marissa whispers and leans closer to me, not noticing that she is resting her hair on a rat’s back. Really not smart. “Jack’s over there with Selena. I say let’s go ge- OH MY GOD, is that a rat in my hair?!”


Now what she did next was a complete over reaction. Which was to jump up and down screaming bloody murder till I prise Bruno’s claws out of her hair and let him rest on my shoulder while Marissa proceed to cower in the corner. And now, thanks to wimpy little Marissa, I’m in risk of being known forever as the ‘rat-girl.’


Oh, joy.


But I wasn’t going to let that distract me from the bimbo clinging to Jack’s arm. I wasn’t a Gryffindor for nothing, you know. I sidle up to him, trying to ignore the fact that he’s leaning far too close to Selena for my liking. I ignore her and flash him a winning smile.


“Hey, Jack,” I coo, acting every bit the hopelessly infatuated teen, aware that Amy is observing me with a cheery grin and a thumbs up. I fix my eyes on Selena who’s frowning at me in annoyance. The music blares around us and I have to shout, to make sure they both can hear me. “Serena-”


“It’s actually Selena,” she pipes up, interrupting me. And if there’s one thing you don’t do it’s not to interrupt Rose. People should have really learnt that from when that little twig of a girl told me I was wrong, half way through my very important speech. She ended up in the Hospital Wing for a week, with ‘twig’ tattooed to her forehead. So that’s when I let her have it.


“I honestly don’t care,” I inform her. “I just thought I’d let you know there’s a rather questionable picture of you doing something to someone hanging up in the bathroom.”


That wasn’t even a lie. Okay, it may have been a picture the size of my fingernail which someone had just stuck on the mirror but it was still pretty slutty. Selena looks aghast, staring at me in absolute horror, while I shrug innocently and motion to the room of the bathroom which she stumbles to, trying to ignore the shouts of protest at her cutting the queue.


“See, that’s why you should never do dirty stuff in a place where at least one person can see you,” I sigh in a way that is supposed to say I feel bad for the girl and turn to Jack who’s peering down at me through thick, dark eyelashes.


“I completely agree with you on that,” he drawls and takes a step closer to me, his hot breath tickling my face, and making it even hotter in the dark and clammy room. “You want to go somewhere less noisy, then?”


I place my hand on his chest, and gently, but firmly, push him back. “I prefer to be here, actually.”


“But, baby,” Jack whines and, as the light flashes on his face for a moment I can see that he is pouting. “We can do some rather questionable things in your room.”


I peer down at my nails in a bored manner, hoping he’d just get the message. “Jack, honestly?” I hear myself say. How could he not realise that it was all an act? Actually, how could nobody realise that this was all an act? Didn’t Amy think it weird when I suddenly declared that I loved Jack out of the blue? “You’re a bit of a sleaze.”


“Are you going to come upstairs with me or not?” Jack frowns, looking slightly confused. You’d think somebody just asked him to add two and two.


“I’m really, really not,” I retort and then, scowling at Jack’s forward manner, I make my way to the door as somebody has just knocked on it. Really, it is a miracle I heard it seeing as the music is playing deafeningly loud. Loud enough to wake up people half way down the street, surely.


But when I fling the door open my scowl drops.


Because, standing at my door, looking heart-meltingly gorgeous, was the guy I had least expected to show up at my house, on New Year’s Eve no less, and was the guy I have been secretly crushing on for the past three years much to my chagrin.


Because, standing there was, well – was Scorpius Malfoy.






Secret No. 10: I am hopelessly in love with Scorpius Malfoy. Not Jake, like everybody thinks. He was the first name that popped into my head when Amy was pressuring me about never fancying somebody and that answer was accepted because Jake was hot and popular. Not that Scorpius wasn’t hot, believe me, he was, but he didn’t exactly fit in with me and my friends and then was therefore dubbed ‘loser.’ 






A/N: So... a popular Rose and a less popular Scorpius? What do you think?
Okay, so I fixed the accidental 'Jake' I put in there at the end and also edited it a little so that it doesn't seem like Rose is completely infatuated with Jack and then the next minute not. (Thankyou whacked!) -Effy xx


 


Chapter 2: A Few Friends
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A/N: Hellooo! Will probably post a few more chapters of this story before returning to my other one. Anyhoo, chapter two here! Hope you enjoy it 
Effy xx




Fantastic chapter image by delta at TDA!










Secret No. 7: Back in third year, I ditched my best friends Albus, Scorpius and Naomi to become one of the popular crowd. Okay, that was really a secret, everybody knows that. But they don’t know that I miss hanging out with them even after three years.






 


“Sc-scorpius,” I stammer my eyes bulging out of my head, as I stare at the hottest guy I had ever laid eyes on in front of me. He could give those topless models you see advertising some sort of cologne on billboards a run for their money. I swear, Scorpius didn’t use to be this aesthetically pleasing when we were younger. In fact, I would say he was a rather scrawny kid with a head that was too big for his body.


“Oh, it’s you,” Scorpius says, rather deflated, as he rubs the back of his neck. Oh, he’s so gorgeous. If I still didn’t have an aching head from the excessively loud music in the other room, I would seriously doubt whether I was in heaven or not.


“Well, hello to you too.”


He ignores me, choosing instead to peer over my shoulder. I take this as an opportunity to run my eyes over his body. Scorpius focuses his gaze on me and I glance up guiltily. “Is Selena here?”


“Selena?” I ask, wrinkling my nose in confusion. I always have had this bad habit where, whenever Scorpius is in a close enough proximity to me, my heart beat accelerates and my breathing becomes uneven and shaky. Actually, it’s just been the last couple of years. It’s not that bad. And, after several repetitions of my ‘counting to ten’ method, my body seems to return to normal. Does it really matter that the counting exercise was meant to control my temper and not my sweaty palms or butterflies in my belly?


“Yes, Se-le-na,” Scorpius repeats slowly, emphasizing each syllable in her name. “Fourth year. Blonde. Short.”


“Going for the younger girls now, Malfoy?” I tut, a smirk playing at my lips. “I’m disappointed.”


“She’s my cousin.”


“Isn’t that incest, then?”


“Oh, ha-ha-ha,” Scorpius says dryly. He’s leant against the door frame now, his arms cross and I can’t help but flick my eyes towards his bulging biceps. “My sides are splitting.”


Oh, he’s so sarcastic and yet, in the weirdest way, I love it.


I open my mouth, looking slightly more than thrilled, to say something equally sarcastic to, you know, make the thought run through Scorpius’s wonderful head that I am actually made for him. I don’t even get to inform him of my wittiness because a high-pitched voice rings out behind me.


“Scorpius!” I turn around, trying with all my might, to somehow, somehow, incinerate this blonde with my eyes. “Let’s go. Finally.”


“Serena’s your cousin?” I look from the two cousins with delight, finally noticing the family resemblance. But Scorpius is a lot easier on the eye, in my opinion. “The skank with the dodgy picture?”


“It’s Selena,” she corrects me once again, her clenched jaw indicating that she wants to hit something pretty bad. And I have a sneaky suspicion that that something was me.


I step out of her range, just in case, and turn to smirk at her. “I got the picture thing right though, didn’t I?”


Scorpius takes a threatening step closer to me, looking down in disgust. “You know what I think, Weasley?” Scorpius growls and reaches around my waist to pull his little cousin safely to his side. I have to admit, for a second there, I really thought he was going to hug me, like in the good old days. And, believe me; I would have no way, under any circumstances, pulled away from him. Not even if Amy was scowling at me over his shoulder, I still would have clung to him.


I shake the daydream away. “Enlighten me, Malfoy,” I reply, arching a well-defined eyebrow that took Amy god knows how long to pluck and entitled me to what felt like hours of pain.


“I think you’re just a stuck-up little bitch who-”


“Excuse me?!” I splutter as Selena looks at him in horror. Okay, I wasn’t exactly expecting him to be singing my praises while he was looking at me in such a way but him insulting me to my face was something I really didn’t think he had in him. Nobody, not even Scorpius Malfoy, can get away with saying something like that to me.


“-doesn’t give a crap about other people as long as she gets her own way,” he finishes, sneering at me ever so slightly in an extremely Malfoy way, and then, dragging Selena after him, he swivels on his heel.


I completely forgot my counting to ten, temper control breathing exercise then. My eye twitches in anger as I feel all my blood rush to my face. It was a good thing I was wearing so much foundation or, with my red hair, I may have looked like an extremely pissed off tomato.


 “Oh, and what are you then, Malfoy?” I call out to his back and he freezes for a moment to turn his now glowering face back to me. “The brat of a Death Eater father and a knocked-up prostitute?”


I knew, as well as anyone, that Scorpius’s father wasn’t sentenced to Azkaban for his crimes but that didn’t stop the dirty looks he received the first week of term for just being a Malfoy. Frankly, he was lucky Albus was sorted into Slytherin with him. Albus, who was the son of the Wizarding World’s saviour, befriending the son of a probable Death Eater? Well, that was an instant popularity boost for Scorpius. Naomi and I eventually accepted him, too, and only then did he admit how much it sucked to be looked down on for carrying his last name. Using that now probably wasn’t the nicest thing, even for me. And I seriously doubt his mother was a prostitute. In fact, I’m pretty sure his mother hosted tea parties in her spare time.


I felt horrible as soon as I said it.


But that’s when Scorpius snaps.


I could hear the shuffling of feet at just the moment Scorpius comes barrelling up the path, wand drawn to point threateningly at me. And I knew it was a big crowd because only plenty of people could make enough noise in their shuffling to be heard over the music currently playing in my house. I was worried; and not only because I knew my social status could end up crumbling around my feet in ruins if the wrong word was said, but because Scorpius had a way with his wand. A way that I really didn’t want to explore.


“You complete bitch,” Scorpius snarls, raising his shaking wand to my face. It was cold enough outside to see your breath, and Scorpius’s seemed to be coming out deep and fast. I see Selena a little way down the path, looking absolutely horrified.


I take a deep breath, my previous anger extinguished by the fear. “Go on then, Scorpius,” I goad in a whisper, unsuccessfully masking my fear as I take a gulp. “Curse me into oblivion.”


This, I knew, would totally have the desired effect. Because, the moment I met him, which was at the tender age of eleven when he sat next to Al at the Slytherin table in response to his father’s disapproval of the said boy, I knew he was stubborn and I knew he would hate more than anything to obey me.


There was silence for a while as Scorpius and I glare at each other, neither willing to break eye contact and admit defeat. And then from behind the towering figure of Scorpius, one of the few boys that is actually taller than me, Naomi-freaking-Longbottom bounds up my patio dressed in what only can be described as sweats, her shoulder length blonde hair flying about in the wind. She reaches us and proceeds to tug on Scorpius’s free arm, the arm that didn’t hold the wand pointing at me.


“When your mum said you were here I knew there’d be some sort of trouble,” Naomi giggles and, it’s times like these that I remember I didn’t actually have it in me to hate Naomi. Sure, she is a little more than rude to me since I stopped being her friend, but I knew she’d always be the one who gets me out of these sticky situations. “Let’s go, Scorpius.”


“You didn’t hear what she said, Naomi,” Scorpius growls, his wand not moving an inch. I crane my neck around Scorpius’s wand to give a friendly smile to Naomi.


She doesn’t seem to notice. Or rather, she ignored it. “Wasn’t it the usual bull that spills from her mouth?”


Bitch. The smile slips from my face and I glower at her. “Are you saying I talk crap?” I spit as I pick up my wand from the table and point it at Naomi who is looking extremely unimpressed.


Scorpius, on the other hand, looks a little more pissed off. “Don’t point your wand at her!” He barks.


“You little hypocrite!” I shout, and stamp my foot in anger. The crowd murmur in excitement, obviously expecting a full blow out – something they can broadcast around school. “Don’t point your wand at me!”


“I can do what the bloody hell I want!”


“Only if it doesn’t contradict what you’re saying!”


Scorpius blinks at me and I feel myself soften. He looks so adorably confused it would be hard not to have an overwhelming temptation to ‘aw.’


“Yeah, well, this is different,” Scorpius says easily as he removes the wand from my face to twirl around his fingers. “I actually like Naomi.”


Ouch.


And, yeah, I knew he probably wasn’t the fondest of me, not after I ‘forgot’ he was my friend, but it still hurt to hear those words said aloud especially since I felt the complete opposite. Yeah, ouch.


My throat feels like sandpaper and I’m left desperately trying to swallow as I blink away what I’m assuming could be tears if I let them fall. I didn’t even want to think what would happen if my classmates witnessed me crying due to Scorpius’s little revelation. My life, as I know it, would be over.


 “Let’s go,” Naomi sighs, and again yanks Scorpius’s arm towards her. He doesn’t seem to notice my complete incapability to come up with a witty comeback as I normally would. “She isn’t worth it, Scorp.”


I knew I should have probably let them go then, and save myself further embarrassment and probably further heartbreak, but the only person who Scorpius allowed to call him by his nickname was, well- was me.


So, of course, that majorly pissed me off.


 “Classic, peace-keeping Naomi,” I smirk, feeling all my previous feelings drain away. All I could think was how cosy Naomi and Scorpius would look as a couple and, to be frank, that really didn’t help soothe my temper. My eyes flash to her face which somehow always looked bright and friendly even when she’s trying to look annoyed. “Always wussing out of a fight. It’s a surprise you were placed in Gryffindor.”


“Oh, shut up,” Naomi replies, rolling her brown eyes. She never seems to be too ruffled by my comments these days; a fact which annoyed me to no end. When we were friends, if I told Naomi her outfit was ugly, she’d do whatever she could to change it. Now, I mention that her hair is looking particularly like a bird’s nest and she ruffles it, making it messier, as she purposefully yawns.


“Don’t tell me to shut up!”


“She can do what the bloody hell she wan-”


“Oh, geez,” Amy sighs, the crowd parting for her, as she comes up behind me. Her expression is one of utter boredom as she rests her arm on my shoulder. Amy’s never particularly understood how they were once my friends and basically has no patience with anything that involves them. “Are you lost or something?”


I think I see Scorpius’s eye twitch. And it gave me a little comfort to see that there was at least one person out there who Scorpius hated more than me. There’s a tense pause as everybody seems to glare at each other until Naomi steps in. “Look, we just came to pick up Selena.”


“Whoa,” Amy replies in a mock sweet voice, feigning a surprised look. “I almost didn’t see you down there.” Scorpius’s hand balls into a fist and I can almost see him hitting either Amy or I. But, then again, Scorpius would never dream of hitting a girl as much as he probably wishes he could.


My eyes move from Scorpius to Naomi who, as hard as she tries, can not look annoyed. I’m sure she can, if she really put some effort into it. If she was really pushed.


 “I’m not sure how you could miss it, Amy,” I chortle, giving her a nudge in the ribs. “I mean, she’s kinda hard to miss with all that excess baggage.”


Oh, that was completely horrible, too.


I am such a bitch.


I mean, Naomi isn’t even fat. To be perfectly honest, she wasn’t the lightest kid when we were younger but now if you threw her in a short skirt and a low cut top she’d get more beeps from the horny boys in passing cars than the number of times I could be found drooling over Scorpius.


It was just a theory – a stupid, cruel theory – that briefly flitted across my mind and, before it could vanish, slipped out of my mouth.


It did, as I thought it would, strike a nerve.


I don’t really know what happened next. I know I saw a couple of mouths fall open and I heard a couple of people let out low ‘ooooh’s’, Amy included. And I definitely remember the hurt expression that flashed across Naomi’s face, and how angry Scorpius looked, before Naomi stepped forward and brought her hand down sharply on my cheek.


Yes, that’s right, Naomi Longbottom just bitch slapped me. The bitch.


I press my hand gingerly to my smarting cheek, clicking and unclicking my jaw to check for damage, as I try to ignore the gasps of shock that surround me. One girl even started frantic clapping until she witnessed my death glare, and immediately stopped, hiding behind a tall boy.


I turn my head back to Naomi who’s looking far too pleased with herself for my liking and Scorpius who is grinning broadly from ear to ear as he obviously tries to hold back giggles. “Did you just slap me?” I say quietly, making the words more threatening.


“No,” Scorpius drawls sarcastically, seeming unaffected by my ‘die, bitch’ voice with his smug smile on his lips. “She just high-fived your face.”


“I’ll high-five your face in a minute,” I snap and, as I try not to wince at my awful comeback, Scorpius, who by the way is still chuckling to himself, begins to practically skip down my pathway, dragging a glowering Naomi and with a rather forlorn Selena trailing after them.


“Oh, and Serena?” I call out to her back and she turns to face us, looking hopeful. I can see Amy looking at me in confusion out of the corner of my eye.


“Yeah?” Selena asks timidly, not even bothering to correct me.


“Don’t even bother coming to another one of our parties again.”


As I slam the door shut, turning around to a burst of guffaws and sniggers, I swear I hear Selena burst into tears and whack Scorpius over the head as if it was his fault. Which, you know, it totally was.


“Merlin, I cannot believe you just got beaten up by a midget,” Amy scoffs and I shiver as the cold air leaves me, being replaced by the clammy air that is just emitting from the dance room. We walk a few steps behind everyone else who’s making their way back to that room and Amy grabs my arm. “And, by the way, you have a hand print on your face.”


“Amy,” I give her a patronizing look whilst I try to wriggle free of her iron grip. “I don’t have a hand print on my- holy crap!” I gasp, and run back to the mirror I just caught a glimpse of myself in. It’s a well known fact that most people can’t help but discreetly glance at themselves as they walk past any sort of reflective surface and I’m no exception of that. Actually, I probably try harder than most to see myself. Amy smirks, shooting me an ‘I told you so’ look.


“Oh my God, are you okay?” Nina, probably the sweetest girl in our group, asks as she hurries to my side. She really is a sweetheart and, with her cropped brown hair, rosy cheeks, and bee-stung lips, she has absolutely nailed the innocent look. “That mark is not exactly the most discrete thing.”


“But you still look super pretty,” Marissa gushes, demonstrating one of the many ways she’s tagged as ‘the sucker-upper.’


I ignore them both, instead choosing to inspect my inflamed cheek more closely. “Oh, crap,” I wail, poking the red mark, willing it to fade away. “Get me some foundation now!”


“Honey, all the foundation in the world isn’t going to cover that red mark,” Amy informs me but she rummages in the cupboard in front of me and hands me the ‘emergency’ tub of foundation nevertheless.


I grab it hungrily, not being sparing as the mark seems to get redder and redder as I put on more and more foundation. “Better?” I ask once I’ve finished, turning my head to the side so they could inspect it.


They all exchange a look. “Uh, well...” Nina falters, a worried crease appearing between her eyebrows.


“Oh, hurry up, you look fine,” Amy whines, twirling a strand of long, chocolate coloured hair around her fingers. “I’m trying to bag a kiss from Smith at midnight.”


“Uh... Amy?” I say as we make our way back to the party. “Aren’t you going out with Adrian?”


 “Well, that was just a fling. We’re more like friends with the occasional benefit now.”


“I’m not even going to say anything about that,” I declare, shrugging my shoulders in an offhand manner.


Nina giggles, her cheeks already turning a faint pink because of the temperature in the room. Amy casts a flirty look around the room, before finally spotting Smith and stumbling, in a very drunk manner, in his direction. I grab Marissa’s hand to make her dance with me, but she seems reluctant, every so often glancing over her shoulder at the tall, blonde boy. I look at her expectantly, waiting for an explanation.


“I think I might kiss Theo. Is Theo okay?” Marissa asks, looking at her fellow Hufflepuff before looking back to us, awaiting our confirmation that Theo is ‘okay.’ She always asks us if her actions are ‘okay.’ And, by her serious expression, it’s easy to tell that she is really paranoid about what we think.


“So, it’s just you and me, Nina,” I sigh and sling my arm around her neck, trying not to roll my eyes at Marissa’s retreating form. “But, sorry love, I’m not going to kiss you. I know how you were just dying for th-”


“Actually, I was talking to Billy earlier and he seems really nice so I thought... maybe, you know...”


“No way!” I remove my arm from her shoulder, mildly shocked. Nina wasn’t usually the one to throw herself on a guy at a party. Amy and Marissa, I can understand. “You can’t leave me here on my own!”


“Oh, please, Rose,” Nina begs, turning her big, hazel eyes towards me. I feel myself weaken. It’s physically impossible to say no to this girl. “Please.”


I relent, trying my best to look haughty as Nina squeals and tries to hug me. I may have let her out of my grasp but she’s going to know I’m not happy about it. I’m usually not the one being ditched in these situations – I’m the one doing the ditching – so it feels strange to be standing here alone, with my three best friends off with boys. Have they never heard of hoes before bros?


I can’t be alone when the countdown is happening. Rose Weasley can’t. There would be nothing more awkward or embarrassing than being alone in a room brimming with people who are most likely going to kiss when people reach zero.


 “What’s the great Rose Weasley doing all alone three minutes till New Years?” A voice purrs into my ear, their breath tickling my neck. I turn around, bumping into the sleazy git himself.


“Merlin, Jake, just give up,” I moan, giving a disgruntled ‘ugh.’ I step away from him. “I’m not going to sleep with you.”



“Fine, then,” he pouts and then, as he leans towards me, his expression becomes cheeky. “How about a New Year’s kiss?”



I take another step away from him, aware that I’m going to be backed up against the drinks table if this goes on. “Like I’m going to get anywhere near you.”



“C’mon, Rose,” Jake lets out a bark of laughter. “I can tell that you want me.”



“I want you to leave me alone,” I retort and just as I begin to walk away, people begin counting down till the New Year and, grabbling hold of my arm, Jake pulls me back to him. I place my hand on his broad chest and Jake smiles cockily down at me, aware that he’s won. Truth be told, he only won because I really didn’t want to be the only one not kissing somebody at New Year’s. Jake was just a small, greasy convenience.



But I’m still going to need alcohol to do this.



My hand reaches out behind me, desperately searching for some beer or vodka, before the people have counted down the last five seconds. I grab the first bottle I find and bring it to my lips, loving the slightly warm feeling in the back of my throat and the sudden light headedness as I try to swig back as much as I possibly can in four seconds.



“Happy New Year!” The room choruses and there is laughter and a few cheers as Jake leans down closer to me and presses his lips to mine. I pull back after two seconds and give him a sharp look, not wanting him to get any further ideas. I mean, his hands have already strayed to my arse.



“That’s the most you’re going to get from me, Jake,” I inform him and prise his hands away from my bum and weave through the crowd of people, to the stereo that was silenced for the countdown. I fiddle with a few buttons, turning the volume knob up and inserting a new CD, when somebody taps me on the shoulder.



“Did that guy kiss you?” A voice asks and I turn around, abandoning my original plan of ignoring the shoulder tapper. “’Cause you know I’m gonna have to beat him up now.”



“Louis!” I squeal and throw my arms around my favourite cousin before pulling back to scrutinise him. His mother being part-veela had left my cousin extraordinarily handsome and with the blondest hair I’ve ever seen. It was even blonder than Malfoy’s. “I thought you were at The Burrow’s Party?”



“I was but I got a little bored,” he replies, shrugging. He shifts slightly so I can see a girl shadowing him. “So I came here and met... this girl...”



“Cindy,” the girl pipes up, looking awkward as she gazes up at Louis. “I’m Cindy.”



Oh, this is going to entertain me for a while.



“No,” I say, picking up a random cup from behind me and passing it to her, not doubting that the cup probably has a gob of spit in it. She thanks me and raises the cup to her mouth. “You’re name is Cindy.”



I have to admit, tormenting Louis’s new girlfriends are always fun. It’s mainly because what comes out of their mouth is so stupid it can keep me laughing for hours. It is an entertaining joke that’s been going since I met his first girl. Louis is never too pleased by this but I’m positively thrilled whenever I see someone new.



“Right...” she giggles, albeit a little nervously. “That’s what I said.”



“Actually, you said you are Cindy not your name is Cindy and, seeing as you’re obviously not the only Cindy in the world, don’t you think that’s a little egotistical?”



“RoRo,” Louis warns, taking the cup from Cindy, just as she’s about to drink, and placing it back on the table. “Be nice.”



“So I’m not allowed to talk to your girlfriends, now?” I whisper to Louis’s back as he turns, his hand placed on the lower back of Cindy as they walk off, giggling.



“Stop being annoying and go gossip among your little friends,” he hisses, turning his head back to me for a moment, probably only so I can see his scowl.



“Don’t take that tone with me, Weasley,” I snap but his reply is a mere roll of his eyes which I stick my tongue out at. After that he ignores me. And it’s really no fun if you’re trying to wind somebody up and they ignore you. I get tired of playing with Louis and scan the throng of dancers to find the girl who could find a way to entertain if we were being forced to eat slugs. She’s there, right in the middle, slow dancing with Smith.



“Amyyy,” I call in a sing-song voice. “Amy Cakes.”



“Rose!” She exclaims, once she hears me, and then, untangling herself from a very disgruntled Smith, she throws herself at me. And I mean throws. Like a bloody bull. We go crashing to the ground, much to the amusement of the people around us. I groan, lifting my head up to see Amy blinking innocently at me. “You know I love you, RoRo?”



“Yes, Amy,” I reply through clenched teeth, glaring at all the snickering people around us. I push her off of my belly and she looks at me, hurt. “And don’t call me that.”



“Why not?” She whines and her breath stinks of alcohol, like I suspected it would. “Louis calls you that.”



“He’s family,” I say and struggle to get up, mainly because Amy is clinging to my leg. I’m trying to throw her off, I really am, but when Amy’s slightly tipsy she has a grip like steel. “And you’re just an overly drunk girl with really nice legs.”



“Oh, Rose! I love you! You have pretty legs, too!”



“I know, honey,” I say soothingly and then, pulling Amy’s arm off of my legs, I stand. “Let’s get you upstairs, shall we?”



“Rose, I was just about to take her,” Smith interjects, grinning down at Amy. I’ve never seen this guy before and yet here he is, in my house, obviously expecting to score tonight.



“Oh, no you’re not,” I snap, looking from Amy’s drunken state to Smith’s greasy, gelled hair.



“Oh, yes you are!” Amy giggles, still sitting on the floor, cradling her legs.



“Up, Amy, up,” I order and, for once, she obeys me, standing, while I proceed to half carry, half drag Amy up the stairs, to my bedroom. She looks confused as I lay her down on the bed and sits up, staring at me in worry. I sigh before sitting down next to her and murmuring soothing things in her ear. Things I’m sure she’d appreciate. Things like ‘clothes, shoes, make-up.’



It works, and soon she’s back to lying on my bed and staring up at my beige ceiling. I spot her bag in the corner and, getting up quickly, I toss it at her face. “Here’s your bag.”



Amy giggles. “I need that! You’re my heeeero, Amy.”



“Yeah, honey, that’s your name,” I tell her as I look in my mirror. “I’m Rose.”



“Rose? Ew.” Amy slurs, scrunching up her nose in disgust. “Amy’s a much better name. From now on you shall be Amy.”



“You’re Amy. I want to be Rose. I like Rose.” I reply but she’s already gone to sleep. Sighing, I leave her, turning off the light on my way out, and make my way back downstairs. Nearly falling over a kissing couple, might I add, on the stairs.



A rather discrete place, don’t you think? 







 



It must have been an hour or two later when I heard the front door bang open and a couple of ear piercing screams. The music grinds to a halt and people in the room freeze. But not because somebody had been murdered, or because somebody had ran into the wall again. Oh no, this was way worse.



“Rose Weasley!” My father roars, and the whole room shares a simultaneous ‘We’re screwed’ gasp. But it’s okay for them seeing as they can leave as soon as Dad turns his back on them. Me? I’m stuck here.  I stare up at the boy I am dancing with, my eyes wide and fearful, but he just gives me a comforting pat on the back.



 “Get your bloody arse over here!”



I plod my way over to Dad, each step becoming increasingly heavier, and I hear somebody say ‘is that the Ron Weasley?’ Idiot. Somebody shushes them and the house becomes eerily silent. Probably to hear my dad yelling at me better. Like they need any help with that.



“Dad, listen,” I plead once I reach my mother, staring around her house in shock, and my father who’s probably thinking the most unpleasant things while he’s glaring at me.



“No, Rose!” He bellows and I feel my cheeks redden at being yelled at in front of my friends. Dad’s image didn’t help either. He is obviously off his face because his clothes are in disarray, his red hair is mussed up and his face is slightly flushed. “What was going through your teeny, pea-brain mind when you thought you could have a party?!”



“Ronald!” Mum admonishes, still having it in herself to scold dad while her house is wrecked. She’s looking much more presentable than Dad and, if it wasn’t for the dreaded Granger hair, I wouldn’t be embarrassed about declaring that she was my mum in front of a group of people. Until she opened her mouth. “Rose may be a lot of things but she is not stupid!”



Dad blinks. “Oh, okay.” Then his voice returns to a shout. “What the bloody hell was going through your big, fat head when you thought you could have a party?!”



Ah, good old Dad.



I could do a number of things next. I could either:



a) Run out the house, screaming. But this could be a little problem seeing as both my parents are blocking the exit and, when I returned, I would probably be in even more trouble. Unless I stayed out long enough to make them worry which would end up with me being tired, freezing my arse off and probably hungry.



b) Cry. But, while it may make Dad go easier on me, this would be the most embarrassing option I can think of.



Or c) Yell back. So far, I can’t see anything wrong with this option.



“I just had a few friends over!” I screech, waving my hands wildly. “I didn’t want to spend New Year’s alone after you abandoned me!”



“That was of your own choice, young lady,” Mum says sharply. “And that,” she gestures to the living room where people seem to be peeking out, looking fascinated in what’s going on, “is not a ‘few friends.’”



“Mum, Dad, could we please talk about this later?” I ask in a hushed whisper, looking at each curious face. “When everybody’s gone.”



“I have a good right to embarrass you in front of these people you call friends!” Mum snaps and, at my wincing, she shifts her composure into a friendlier one and says in an even tone, “Ron, could you please get everybody out. I would like to speak to Rose without all her so-called friends.”



“Nothing would please me more,” Dad grins and then strolls into the living room without a care in the world. That is until he starts to shout again. “RIGHT! Everybody out! OUT! You little gits. Think you can trash my house?! GET OUT!”



This, of course, sends them scurrying to the door, practically fighting each other to get out first, as Dad watches in amusement and Mum in slight exasperation.



“Great party, Rose,” somebody mutters sarcastically before they leave. I blush, attempting a sad smile.



“Yeah, nice one.”



Dad slams the door shut with such force I’m pretty sure it shakes and then turns to face me. “Right, young lady, your punishment is going to be the biggest punishment known to mankind...Uh... Hermione?”



“Ron,” Mum sighs, rolling her eyes. “Rose, you’re grounded for the rest of the holidays. Oh, wait, scratch that. You’re grounded for the rest of the year. And I’m taking away your permission slip to Hogsmeade.”



She’s just left me with nothing to do at weekends apart from sit in the library doing homework. I think she forgets that I am not her. “Mum, no! You can’t do that!”



“Just watch me,” she snarls and then resumes listing my punishments on her finger. “And no allowance. No owling. No wand. No sweets or biscuits. And did I mention chores till you go back to school? Oh, and also, I’m going to arrange with Neville for you to be in Herbology detention every Friday till you start getting O’s in all your subjects.”



I glare at her in outraged silence. I’m positively fuming. Thanks to her, I’m going to have no social life and probably, with the help of Herbology detention, end up being the biggest dork in the whole school. So, then, with a stamp of my foot, I screech at the top of my lungs, “Why are both of you so deeply uncool?! I hate you! You’re ruining my life!”



And the last thing I hear before I go storming my way upstairs was Hugo sniggering, “Geez, Rose. Overreact much?”








Secret No. 5: The poster I got for Hugo for Christmas, of his favourite Quidditch player, didn’t actually cost me heaps of money. In actual fact, I found it at the back of Amy’s dad’s wardrobe. 



 








A/N: Love Rose and co? Hate them? Either way I hope you enjoyed it!
xx



 


Chapter 3: Diagon Alley
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Beautiful chapter image by delta at TDA! 







 Secret No. 23: My hair isn’t actually sleek and doesn’t actually have perfect waves or isn’t actually perfectly straight. If I go a morning without casting various beauty charms on it that Amy taught me way back in third year then I will walk out my room looking like my mum did walking out of hers every single day. A poodle. And it’s not pretty. I’ve seen pictures.





 


Mum and Dad don’t know that Amy is here. And I’m pretty sure when they find out they will most likely kill me. You see, ever since third year when Amy was invited round to my house in the summer and she pushed Hugo in the pool everything seems to go downhill for Amy with my parents. In fourth year, my parents caught her smoking and started yelling at her and then, of course, Amy started yelling back. And in fifth year, she had a major laughing fit when Mum said that she preferred ‘her darling daughter’ to not spend Friday nights partying when Amy mentioned we were going to go out.


I usually just go round to Amy’s now.


“Rose,” a voice calls from the other end of my bedroom.


“Mnnghh,” I mumble, reluctant to be woken up, and pull my duvet tighter around me, ignoring the softly snoring Amy who’s crashed out on the other side of the bed in her clothes from last night and her make-up smeared all over her face.


“Rose!” The voice sounds angrier now which, I think, is slightly unfair. When do I ever get up past twelve on a holiday? I mean, it’s probably still dark outside. “If you don’t get up now I’m taking away your make-up.”


“I’m up!” I yell, throwing the duvet off of me and standing shakily to my feet. I straighten up and glare at Mum, who’s inspecting the top of my desk, looking at each beauty product I have. “I’m up!”


“We’re going to the Potter’s for a barbeque,” Mum informs me, picking up my eyelash curlers and inspecting them. “What on earth is this?”


“Mum, they’re eyelash curlers,” I sigh heavily and then make my way over to my giant wardrobe to pull out an outfit for the day. I absolutely adore my wardrobe. I had said ‘a big wardrobe’ every time Dad asked me what I wanted for Christmas and, despite his grumblings, three years on he actually got it for me. “And what about the Potter’s?”


Mum drops the curlers hastily, looking appalled, before picking up some lip balm. “Barbeque at the Potter’s. We leave at five.”


“What?!” I exclaim, dropping my dress in surprise. I shoot a quick look out of the window to see the permanently grey clouds and frosted grass. “A barbeque? In January? Have you not noticed how cold it is?!”


“Ginny just got her barbeque and wants to try it out. There’s nothing wrong with a barbeque in January,” Mum huffs, looking like a sulky teenage girl (i.e. me,) and then starts walking towards my wardrobe to begin rummaging through it. As if it’s something she should be doing. Honestly, she goes on about this book which says she should be respecting her teenagers’ privacy and here she is, invading the one of my most prized possessions – my wardrobe. “Rose, why don’t you ever where these trousers?” Mum pulls out an item of clothing that was purposely shoved to the back of my wardrobe. “They’re lovely. And they’d suit you so well.”


Would it be a surprise to anybody that she actually bought me the trousers? For my birthday, no less. I had to plaster the biggest fake smile on my face as I told her I loved them. I suppose I should let her down gently. “Because, Mum, they’re something an old lady would were.”




She’ll get over it.


“But they’re so much more modest,” Mum sighs then, putting those hideous trousers back where they belong, she turns to me. “Rose, what on earth,” she begins in a dangerous tone that would usually send me scurrying for cover, “happened to your face?” Mum grabs my chin between her fingers and turns my head rather roughly to the side.


“What?” I say, in a panicky voice, trying to yank my face out of Mum’s grip to see what ‘happened’ to it. “What’s wrong with it? Oh, sweet Merlin, please say I don’t have a humongous spot that takes years to go-”


“There is a bruise on your cheek,” Mum cuts in sharply. She peers at it closer, her face contorted in a frown. “Is that a hand mark? Did somebody slap you?!”


And, because I was so completely shocked that I had a hand shaped bruise on my face, I forgot that under no circumstances was I to tell mum that I got into a fight with her friend’s daughter. I was in a state of shock, or something, and had no control of my big, fat mouth. “Oh, crap!” I cry, releasing my face from Mum, and running to my mirror. “My face! My pretty face! I’m gonna kill her! Stupid Naomi bloody Longbottom.”


“Naomi did this to you?” Mum repeats, looking dubious. “Naomi wouldn’t hurt a fly.”


“Well, she’s all up for hurting me.”


Mum pauses, seeming to contemplate the innocent façade of Naomi and then looking at the evidence on my cheek. She obviously thinks that the hand mark is too obvious to overlook. “What did you say to her?”


“Oh, so you think that Naomi doesn’t go around slapping people unless somebody says someth-”


“Rose,” that warning tone is back again.


I bite my lip. “I may have... erm, said she was... sort of...” I hesitate on the last word. I can’t say it. Mum’ll hate me for saying it. And the Dad will hate me for saying it as Mum will most likely tell him. And, if both my parents hate me, then I’m going to instantly repelled by family friends and random strangers who would think what kind of child I must be if my parents hate me. This, people, is why I have so many secrets. “... short.”


“That’s it?” Mum looks at me blankly and I nod. “That’s all you said? Well, maybe I should have a word with Neville...”


“No!” I shout and cringe at how shifty that must have sounded. “No, no,” I say in a quiet voice. “Me and Naomi sorted it all out and everything’s just peachy.”


Damn. I never say ‘peachy.’ She’ll know I’m lying now.


“Peachy?” Mum raises an eyebrow.


I nod enthusiastically. “Yes. Peachy. Smooth like a peach. Smoothed over. Peach.”


Merlin, I sound crazy. Or slightly drunk. And, trusting Mum’s view of me, she’ll obviously assume the latter.


“Fine. I won’t talk to Neville.”


“Woohoo! Er, I mean, thank you, mother.”


Mum beams at me. I obviously never say thank you enough.” Your wel- Is that Amy?!”


“Er... funny story that is,” I chuckle weakly, in attempt to lift the new scowl off of Mum’s face which I thought I got rid of when I said ‘short.’


“Go on then, Rose,” Mum says, looking unimpressed, as she crosses her arms and assumes a bored stance. “I doubt I’ll find it humorous but go ahead.”


I fiddle nervously with the hem of my nightie. It was either lie and make up a ridiculously funny story on the spot which I have no doubts that Mum will know is a lie or I could just tell the truth.


“Uh... right, well, Amy might have been a little dru-“ My eyes widen just as I realise what I’ve said. I really, really need to think what I’m actually going to say through more thoroughly, not just the strategy I’m taking.  “You’re right, it’s not funny.”


“I thought so,” Mum growls and then turns to me after she’s finished her scowling at Amy. I’m not lying about her hating my best friend. “We’re leaving at five. Do something with her until then. Preferably not in the house.”


“Mum! That is so rude!”


“I’ll take away your Friday detentions with Neville.”


“Seriously? Er, I mean, deal.”


Sellout. But who wouldn’t take that deal? A whole year of Friday detentions being exchanged just to entertain my best friend, who I enjoy spending time with, somewhere not in the house. Easy.


“Breakfast should be ready in twenty minutes. Hugo and Ethan are already downstairs,” Mum tells me and begins walking back out of my room.


“Ew, Hugo’s little friends are here?” I whine to Mum’s back. “They are such losers!”


“Rose! Be nice! And it’s only Ethan.” Mum hisses before closing the door behind her and stomping back downstairs not realising that I can still hear her as she moans to Dad about what a nuisance I am. Thanks for that, Mum. Seriously. Make me feel more loved, why don’t you?


I walk over to Amy’s side of the bed and look down at her, sleeping so peacefully and looking almost innocent. Funny how that is ruined once she wakes up. If she didn’t have the previous nights eyeshadow smeared all over her cheeks, she would probably look a couple of years younger that she does now. “Amy!” I bellow into her ear, and shake her as she tries to bat me away. “Wake up! Uppy-up-UP!”


“Merlin, Rose, don’t yell!” Amy moans, sitting up as she massages her head with her knuckles. “Ow... my head.”


“Breakfast is in nineteen minutes,” I say, picking up the bag of clothes she brought with her that ended up on the floor and chucking it into her arms. I glance at her face. “You better wash all that make-up off your face.”


“And you better put some make-up on those freckles. And that bruise,” Amy retorts, still as cutting as she always is, even with a hangover. She gets steadily to her feet, stumbling a little. “I’m using the bathroom first.”


“Fine,” I snap, slightly pissed at the ‘freckle’ comment. I slam my wardrobe door shut, glaring over my shoulder at Amy. “But don’t use my face wash.”


Truth be told, I obviously wasn’t looking forward to the Potter’s barbeque. Because barbeques always meant that it would be another big family gathering with everybody having a spiffing time apart from me, who’s sitting there grumpily with her arms folded. And, always, at least one crazy old relative would pop up to me and be like, ‘Oh, my, Rosie, haven’t you grown?’ and I would have to smile politely and make pointless conversation to them for around an hour while trying not to show how badly I wanted to be anywhere else. It truly sucked.


“Rose, I’m starved,” Amy grumbles, emerging from the bathroom dressed in her favourite bad-ass skinny jeans and with her usual over usage of eyeliner. I, on the other hand, had gone for a green tunic dress and tights as well as my foundation and eyeliner. “Let’s get downstairs.”


When we do actually reach the dining room, we find Dad and Mum talking in the kitchen with Hugo and Ethan sitting at the table already stuffing their faces with all sorts of delectable food. I’m pretty sure Dad prepared it seeing as Mum is a crap cook. Ethan looks up as me and Amy stroll into the room, his mouth fool of food.


 “Phwoar,” he says, a bit of pancake drooling down his chin. I barely glance at him, trying not to look too disgusted. “Hugo, you didn’t tell me your sister and her friend was so hot!”


Amy and I share a look before taking a seat as Hugo whacks him on the back of the head. “Dude, stop perving on my sister!”


“Yeah,” Amy scoffs, piling her plate with a couple of pancakes and good dollop of golden syrup. “As if she’d go out with you anyway.”


“Well, would you go out with me?” Ethan asks, grinning cheekily at my best friend as I send Hugo a look that clearly says ‘keep your mindless friend under control.’


I’m not sure if he understood, or not.


Hugo looks back at me. “What happened to your face?”


“Why the hell should I tell you?” I snap, reaching for the bowl of scrambled egg.


Hugo grins. “Oh, I just want to owl whoever did it a thank you card.”


“You’re lucky you and I are not alone, Hugo,” I hiss, a spoonful of egg halfway to my mouth as I glare at him.


“Haha, you’re hilarious, Hugo,” Amy laughs, making Hugo flush with pleasure. “I’m gonna remember that one.”


I roll my eyes. “Amy, pancakes aren’t exactly the best thing for a hangover,” I tell her as I look at her happily piling pancakes onto her plate.


“They’re not?” Amy looks at me with wide eyes. “Oh, Merlin, they’re not! What should I have?”


I spend the next ten minutes trying to explain to Amy what ‘amines’ are and, if she’s feeling like I’m assuming she is due to the amount of alcohol I saw her consume than she should really not be having what she wants. It was like teaching a pig to do ballet – it went through one ear and out the next. I think I did a pretty good job trying to get my point across given the circumstances. But it’s a relief that Amy isn’t all that smart – I don’t know how girls would be able to handle it if Amy had both beauty and brains.


Mum and Dad enter the dining room, both with a cup of steaming tea in their hand and wearing matching dressing gowns (how unbelievably sad,) just as Amy is piling mounds of bacon on her plate.


 “Hey, Ron!” Amy squeals with her mouth full of bacon, once she sees my Dad. “’Mione.”


“Hey, kid-”


“Amy, I’d really prefer it if you called us Mr and Mrs Weasley,” Mum says stiffly, shooting Dad a sharp look as he makes an ‘ew’ face. “It’s just more polite.”


Amy blinks innocently up at her in response, finishing what’s got to be half of her bacon sandwich in one massive bite. It’s a wonder really how she stays so thin, especially since what she calls ‘exercise’ is actually ogling the fit boys who almost always insist on taking their shirts off while they run. I admit, I have been guilty of joining her once or twice but I, unlike her, refuse to actually do any jogging.


 Mum grinds her teeth together and almost slams her tea down on the table, spilling the contents over the side. She barely glances at the pool as she sits down on a chair and looks over at me. “So, Rose, what are you plans until five?”


“What’s at five?” Amy’s head pops up from her plate and she looks genuinely interested.


“We have a family barbeque, Amy,” Mum replies, her tone slightly stressing on the word ‘family.’ I mean, could you get any more obvious?


“Cool! Can I come?”


Oh, Amy.


“Sure, kiddo,” Dad interjects, ruffling Amy’s hair before settling himself in a chair at the head of the table. I see Mum gaping at Dad, looking far too outraged/shocked to protest. “Whoa, you sure like your bacon.”


“Aminams,” Amy informs him, nodding enthusiastically at me. She is obviously under the (very wrong) impression that she sounds somewhat intelligent. Am I going to tell her that she mispronounced the word? No, because I don’t want to embarrass her further. And partly because I enjoy being better at something than Amy, for once. “Clears the head. Hangover, see?”


Mum’s mouth becomes a thin line and she looks absolutely livid. “You were drunk- Ron! Stop eating that bacon!”


Dad freezes, in his hand tongs that are grasping a piece of bacon, mid-air. He puts it slowly on his plate, all the while glancing guiltily at Mum. “But my head hurts.”


“Well, if you hadn’t drunk so much last night then maybe it wouldn’t.”


“Nice one, Dad,” Hugo grins. This is so typical Hugo; adding random inputs that, frankly, nobody gives a toss about.


Mum rolls her brown eyes – which, sadly, I’ve inherited – and this small gesture pretty much closes the discussion, and turns her attention back to me. “So what are you girls up to today, then?”


I really think this was her way of hinting that she wants us out of the house – a hint I really did not appreciate. I frown at her, just about resisting the temptation to stick my tongue out. “Uh... Diagon Alley?” I suggest and look to Amy for approval who, by the way, is still determinedly shoving bacon in her mouth.


She daintily wipes her mouth with a napkin and nods. “Cool! I need a new dress for the barbeque.”


“Oh, it’s not a formal occasion. Jeans and a tee will do.”


“Mum, don’t worry, Amy just needs an excuse to buy more clothes.”


“It’s true, I do.”


“Oh, and don’t forget to pick up some Bruise Removal Paste from George,” Dad adds, raising his eyebrows meaningfully at my face. I duck my head, my hair hiding that side of my cheek. “That things a bloody miracle.”


I choose not to reply.


Everybody finishes their breakfast as anybody would usually do. To be honest, I was half expecting Amy to do something that would piss Mum off even more, like accidently drop her bacon into Mum’s hair or something equally embarrassing. In actual fact, Amy was doing her usual bright chatter all through breakfast and, at one point, I swear I even saw Mum smile – though it was a very tight smile and, therefore, probably not a smile at all – at what Amy was saying. It was totally weird. It all went peachy enough.


That is until Amy stood up and started swaying slightly. Then, muttering an ‘I don’t feel so good,’ she threw up on my mother’s shoes.


Yes, you heard me.


She threw up on Mum’s brand new, expensive looking shoes which she was boasting about for Merlin knows how long the day she got them.


So to say Mum went mental would be a total under-exaggeration.


I kid you not.


 








 


“Your mum is hilarious!” Amy giggles, once again as we walk through Diagon Alley looking for a clothes shop. Well, I’m walking. Amy’s more like strutting. We pass countless old, bricky shops that are advertising their products in the window. “Her face when I puked on her! Priceless.”


“Amy, any normal person would be totally mortified if that happened,” I tell her and link my arm through hers. “You, on the other hand, think it’s funny.”


“Rose, it was funny,” Amy giggles again. “What did she say to you when I went upstairs to ‘get cleaned up’?”


Mum had dragged me aside, gripping my arm a little too tightly, and told me how she never wanted to see Amy again and said persons bad influence helped me turn from darling daughter to a complete disappointment. Okay, maybe she didn’t say she was disappointed in me but, with her stony expression and the occasional hurt glare, she might as well have. And then Mum happily told me Amy was banned from the house.


I smirk as I recite this to Amy, not leaving any of the gory details out to spare her feelings, and, much to my surprise, Amy laughs. I swear, if you’d told Amy her puppy was dead and buried, she would laugh at how dorky you were being for making a gravestone.


“Why does everybody think I’m the bad influence?” Amy asks, her eyes travelling up the row of shops. It’s true; everybody does. Even a few of the more nosy teachers have been known to take me and Nina aside after lesson and basically warn us against Amy. “Does nobody think that Rose Weasley is a little minx under that mane of hair- Ooh! Let’s go in here!” She squeals the last bit and then drags me into ‘Lavender’s Closet,’ a shop which Mum refuses to step into and Dad’s ears turn red whenever I mention it.


They really have no appreciation of fashion. I mean, they wear matching dressing gowns. Matching!


This shop used to actually be a small stall until my cousin Victoire – outrageously pretty, smart and popular – took a liking to the clothes and then boom! they instantly became cool. Since then, the shop has gone from pathetic little stall to an actual store. With two floors dedicated to both muggle and wizard clothes it was extremely hard not to call this place my heaven. I think I would, if only a shirtless Scorpius was thrown in.


Rawr.


“Rose, don’t you just love this dress?” Amy breathes, and holds up a black and gold slinky piece of material. Amy’s usual style really.


I inspect the label and sigh. “Amy, that’s not a dress. It’s a top.”


She blinks. “Do you think I can get away with wearing it as a dress?”


“We’re going to a barbeque with screaming kids running around,” I remind her, thinking of either the Potter’s neighbours or the Scamander twins who enjoy pulling on your dress with their chubby little hands – thus causing little nail marks – and showing you what they’ve found. Which, in the Scamander’s case, tends to be nothing.


“I guess you’re right,” Amy sighs, reluctantly putting the top back on the rack. She stares at it a little mournfully as we walk away.


“I’m always right,” I reply as I search through a rack of clothes, Amy right behind me. “Now we will find you something.”


And we did. Does it matter that it took one hour and 49 minutes to find that thing? No, according to Amy, it does not. And does it matter that Amy had to use quite a lot of her mum’s secret stash of money to pay for the dress? No, it does not. And do you know why it doesn’t matter? Because apparently, apparently, the dress is so nice it was worth me whingeing for an hour while she dragged me around the shop three times and is worth the ‘little talk’ her mother is going to give her when Amy gets home.


I refused to go to any more shops without some food in my belly and, for once, Amy complied and we scour the streets, trying to look for a decent looking café. I actually pointed out several but Amy, being Amy, turned her nose up at them, dubbing them ‘too grotty,’ ‘too empty’ and ‘too cheap.’ I know what she really wanted was some eye candy she can drool over as we eat our lunch. And, eventually, we find a suitable place with a few boys scattered on the tables and also quite a fit waiter. Amy flings herself down on one of the indoor tables, purposely pushing her elbows together to make her cleavage more impressive, and I wait at the counter.


“Could I have two bagels?” I beam at the boy who’s looking expectantly at me, waiting for my order. “And two coffees please?” Truth be told, I don’t really like the bitter taste of coffee but, according to Amy, they make you look at least ten times more sophisticated and sexy. I mean, do you ever see little pre-teens ordering coffee? No, because, and I quote from my cousin Lily, it’s ‘icky.’


The waiter places the two steaming, foaming coffee’s in front of me wordlessly, not even glancing once at the flirty expression on my face. I choose the simpering, girly voice as I say thankyou but he just grunts in response, holding his hand out for the cash. I scowl at him as I pay. I mean, his floppy blonde hair isn’t even that gorgeous and I’m pretty sure he’ll reveal a whole set of crooked, yellow teeth if he smiles.


He’s gay, I conclude, watching his hands as he opens the till with a ‘brrring!’ and drops the money in. That’s the only explanation.


However, as the waiter passes me my change, he leans towards me so his mouth is by my ear and, just as I’m thinking I could be wrong and maybe he is all that hot, he drops his voice so it’s low and husky and whispers, “Do you think you could get me your friend’s owling address?”


Oh, he is so not getting a tip.


I jerk my head back and, as he looks baffled, I pick up our coffees and our bagels and turn around to where Amy is leaning back on her chair, her legs propped up against the table. I roll my eyes at the waiter. Of course he would only act off towards me because he was already infatuated with Amy. It happens almost everywhere I go; it almost makes it hard to take Amy places.


I put the mugs down on the table and sit down on the wooden chair, knocking Amy’s legs off as I do, and look into Amy’s annoyingly pretty face. Life would be so much easier if Amy wasn’t as pretty. She’s not staring at the coffee like she usually does but her gaze is fixed somewhere over my shoulder.


I swivel in my seat to see what she’s drooling over and accidently lock eyes with, what’s got to be said, an extremely handsome guy. I pull my eyes away from him, somewhat reluctantly I must admit, to the guy sitting on the right who looks slightly like an overgrown rat. I would obviously end up with him if they came over – Amy having already bagsy-ed the hot one.  “Amy,” I hiss as I turn back to her. “Stop having eye sex with those guys!”


“Eye sex?” Amy scoffs as she breaks her gaze and takes a sip of her coffee. I do the same, slightly wincing as the bitter liquid rushes down my throat. “Oh, please, Rose.”


“They seem a little old for us,” I say, trying to make Amy rethink her plan of snagging one of them and leaving me with Rat-face. I take a deep breath, letting the delicious smell of coffee waft through my nostrils.


“That’s because you’re still 16,” Amy sniggers, her eyes flicking back to me for a second then away again. “They’re only, like, a year or two older than me.”


“Oh, the joys of being 17,” I reply sarcastically, folding my arms in general pissed off-ness.


“Quick! They’re coming over!” Amy says, sitting up a little straighter as they come closer. Sure enough, I can hear their footsteps thumping on the wood as they walk. “Will you try to be nice- hey!” I refuse to turn around, instead looking at Amy as she flutters her lashes.


I hear a chair on my right scrape against the floor and I turn my head briefly to see the cute one, gazing at Amy. “Hey, how’s it going?” He drawls and motions for his friend to sit down although, much to my delight, there are no more chairs left at our table.


 “I’ll tell you if you buy me a drink,” Amy grins cheekily at him, in response to the earlier question. My eyes skim over Amy’s mug, which is sitting in the centre of the table, steaming and still ¾ full. Rat-face pulls a chair from another table and tries to squeeze it in between me and his friend. I sigh heavily before scooting up. Amy acts oblivious to my sour mood. “I’m Amy Derrick.”


Everybody looks at me. I let them for a minute or two, before finally spitting out, “Rose.” I must have sounded rather hostile, because Rat-face recoils a little from me.


“Tony,” Amy’s new conquest points to himself and then indicates Rat-face. “Johnny.”


In the next ten minutes, Tony somehow scooted far closer to Amy than he originally was – leaving Johnny and I paired together – and, in this new position, Tony took the chance to slide his hand up Amy’s thigh as he tells boisterous stories which Amy giggles enthusiastically at. And, even with all this attention from Tony, the waiter still looks surly as he looks at Amy. Me? I’m sitting here, arms folded, legs crossed, scowling at Johnny, as he tries to make awkward small talk with me.


“What happened to your face?” He murmurs, fixing a beady eye on my cheek. “Did you, like, get in a fight?”


I might as well tell the truth. There’s no point lying seeing as I doubt I will ever meet Rat-face again and he definitely doesn’t know who I’m related to. “Some girl hit me,” I reply and he sniggers. He obviously thinks we are making progress, or ‘connecting,’ because he slides his chair closer to me. My eyes narrow. “And what happened to your nose? Someone hit you in the face with a bat?” Johnny freezes, mid-chair lift, and, as he slowly puts his chair back on the floor, he touches his nose self-consciously.


Tony looks up from Amy’s boobs, raising his eyebrows at me. “Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning,” he says loudly.


Amy giggles, batting him lightly on the arm. “Actually, she’s just a bitch.”


Tony seems to finally notice my scowl and Johnny’s uncomfortableness because, as he leans back on his chair, he engages both Amy and I in conversation. As if he think that will help his friend score. Nothing in the world will help Rat-face score. “So what do you girls do for a living?”


“Hahahahahaha.”


“Rose,” Amy hisses in a voice so quiet only I can hear, as she glowers at me. I repress my snorts and she turns to the boys, putting on a face that shows she’s fascinated in the conversation. I take a sip of coffee. “Well... I’m an, um... trainee healer? Yes! A trainee healer!”


“Cool-”


“Yeah, and I’m a super bad-ass dragon tamer,” I pipe up happily, even though I’m sure Tony never wanted to know anything about me – he just wants to ‘get to know’ Amy who, by the way, is sending me a death glare.


Johnny eyes me dubiously, his finger in the corner of his mouth as he chews his nail. “You don’t look like a dragon tamer.”


“And you don’t look like a man but the furry animal above your lip says otherwise,” I retort, resisting the strong urge to stick my tongue out after that sentence. Amy looks too shocked to scold me.


Tony isn’t though. “You’re kind of a bitch, you know that?”


“Actually,” I tell him tightly, inspecting my fingernails for dirt in what I hope looks like boredom. “I just prefer not to have sleazy guys trying to hit on me.”


“Rose! Don’t be a cow!” Amy seems to have recovered herself and she looks pissed.


I flick my eyes from Rat-faces, well, rat face to Tony’s unimpressed face with his hand still on Amy’s upper thigh, and then I finally let them rest on Amy’s ‘we’re going to have a little talk later’ face, which I know means trouble. Amy’s eyes narrow in return and I let mine drop to my empty plate and mug – the steaming coffee in it now drained. That settle it; I’m not going to sit here, just being annoyed, without any of my coffee to entertain me.


“Well, I’m off,” I announce, my chair scraping horribly against the floor as I stand up, and grab my blue coat. “And for your information, we’re both still in school.” And then, smirking, I flounce out of the cafe, pausing to leaving a napkin with an address and ‘my friend’s address’ as the title on the counter. I wink at the waiter who tips his imaginary hat off to me. Hopefully, this little gem could enter the desperate stage, resorting to anything, and thus leave my bitch of a best friend with a stalker.


I can’t resist an evil laugh as I let the café door slam behind me.


I can just imagine their faces now. Her total loss for words, for once, and Tony’s sudden coldness at being flirting with a possible minor. It would be priceless.


I wave and grin at the other customers in the café, in a sudden moment of cheeriness, as I leave and am not the least bit surprised when I can hear heels slapping against the concrete. I just assume it was somebody else in the passing group of people – I didn’t actually register it was Amy until places a hand on my upper arm and jerks me back. I squeal as I try not to fall and face Amy who’s looking at me in disbelief mixed with fury.


“Rose,” she hisses, placing both her hands on her hips in an intimidating stance. “Why the hell did you go storming off like that?”


“Because, Amy,” I reply and look over her shoulder through the window of the café. Tony and Johnny are looking quite unbelievably shifty as they inconspicuously try to abandon their seats, but not before dropping a note on the table. They slip through the back door and I refocus my gaze on Amy who’s oblivious to it all. “I do not want to ‘get off’ with those guys! Or any guys for that matter,” I add sharply, seeing Amy winking seductively at a group of boys who had just walked past, wolf whistling at us.


“Oh, lighten up,” she sighs, flipping her hair over her shoulder. “It’s just a bit of fun.”


“Well, you have your fun,” I snap. “But I’m leaving.”


She stares at me for a moment or two, trying to sum me up, until she finally turns back to the cafe and leaving me slightly shocked on top of being extremely pissed off. I stalk off, not bothering to wait for Amy to figure out they left, my hands clenched into fists, as I mutter swearwords under my breath and glare at anybody stupid enough to catch my eye. I mean, I know Amy’s can be a cow at the worst of times but I didn’t actually think she’d leave me for a couple of strangers she met in a cafe.


I was slightly correct.


I stop when I hear Amy yelling my name to my back. I couldn’t really leave her here all alone, could I?


“I was just getting my bag,” Amy says innocently, her green eyes wide, when I face her.


“You can’t lie,” I reply but happily sling my arm around her neck and drag her along with me. She’s just the perfect height to lean on, too; the top her head just about reaches my eyes. “Did you know that? You can’t lie. At all.”


“Oh, come on, Rose,” she laughs and I have a feeling she’s already forgotten that is was my fault Tony abandoned her. “I can lie a little.”


“No. You can’t. You only came back because they weren’t there anymore. So don’t even try it.”


And then, without waiting for Amy’s retort, I drag her into a blaringly bright wizard’s version of a chemist and begin ruffling through the various shelves of make-up. Amy sighs before helping me search for my foundation, holding up ‘Magic Lash Mascara’ and ‘Phoenix Pout Lip Gloss,’ which I all shake my head at. Who, I ask you, buys this stuff?


“Hey, Is!” An unwelcomingly familiar voice behind us coos. “How amazing is this ‘Phoenix Pout Lip Gloss?’”


I freeze, thinking repeatedly in my head ‘not them, not them.’ “Isabel, Sarah,” Amy nods curtly at the sixth year, Slytherin twins who are, to be frank, a huge pain in the arse. They once spread a rumour that Al and I attended a Weasley get together wearing matching bunny outfits and, as harmless and slightly amusing that may seem now, it wasn’t when we couldn’t turn the corner without someone yelling out ‘wabbit!’ Amy only has a personal vendetta against them because they insist on getting tacky knock offs of her clothes, only a week after she’s warn it.


“Oh, Merlin, it’s you two again,” Sarah sighs, lifting her sunglasses (in January?! What, I ask you, is the point?) and giving us both a dirty look, all the while processing our outfits carefully. “I knew I could see Weasley’s bushy hair from a mile away.”


Okay, so what if I forgot to cast the ‘no flyaways’ charm? And what if my hair was a little frizzier than usual and a little resembling the infamous Granger hair? Does that give the right for Sarah, the most annoying bitch in the school, to point this out? No, it does not. So, naturally, I wasn’t going to take that.


“Do you know that a phoenix is a bird?” I ask, glaring at Sarah who’s clutching the tube of lip gloss which I’m guessing will make her look more tacky and cheap than ever. Isabel looks a little intrigued, smiling a little at me when I catch her eye. She’s always been the nicer of the two and, if it wasn’t for her tacky clothes and bitch of a sister that’s permanently attached to her hip, we might have been friends.


“What?” Sarah snaps, apparently a tad confused as to why I’ve changed the subject so quickly. She tosses her brown hair over her shoulder – hair which I’m positive she dyed to look more like Amy as her dirty blonde roots are evident on the top of her head.


“Well, I’m pretty sure a ‘Phoenix Pout’ is a beak.”


“Huh?”


“Actually, never mind,” I say, smiling sweetly at her. “The ‘Phoenix Pout’ can match your beaky nose.”


She gasps. Isabel gasps. I feel a little mean, seeing as Isabel looks practically identical to Sarah but shake it away when I see Amy, who is cackling with laughter, actually bent over double.


Sarah glowers at us, though I doubt that Amy noticed, and, shoving the lip gloss back on the shelf, both twins make a hasty exit, not bothering to apologise to the people they bump into. I smirk a little, remembering that they were the ones who tipped off the paparazzi that I was going to a party where I would most likely end up completely trashed, lying in a bush. Which happened. And having a photo of me lying in a bush shoved in my face the morning after by my Granny was a moment I never want to repeat in my life. Ever.


That’s when a head pops up behind the shelf of make-up I was scrutinising, scaring the crap out of me might I add, and yelling a ‘Rose!’ their camera flashes, taking what’s got to be the most unflattering photo of me ever, looking almighty surprised and with a hand shaped bruise on my face.


So you see why I may have overreacted a little.


“Give me that camera, you twat!” I screech and, reaching over to snatch the camera out of the man’s hands, I accidently snag my tunic dress on a hook and, hearing a ripping sound which I usually find so satisfying when I’m purposely doing the ripping, I freeze. The photographer lifts his camera out of my reach and promptly takes another picture. I let out a frustrated groan and, ignoring my definitely ripped tunic, grab the camera off of him. I unhook my clothes from the hook and turn back to Amy, who quickly looks at the hole and back up.


 “Hey!” The photographer yells, walking around the make-up stand, his shoes clicking on the ground. I inspect the tear, trying not to let my eyes well up. How ridiculous would that look? “You can’t just take my camera! Do you know how much that costs?”


I whip around to face him and he takes a step back, looking slightly wary. “You can’t just take pictures of me without asking! Does it look like I want to be in the paper?!”


“Oh, don’t be such a brat, Rose,” he snaps, yanking the camera from my grip. I clutch at thin air before looking towards Amy and motioning to the hole in my tunic. She’s seventeen, she’s a witch and she can easily fix it. “You’ve never complained before about having your picture taken.”


See, that’s the thing with these people. You let them take one picture, one picture of the daughter of the Wizarding World saviours, and they stalk you for months afterwards, once claiming that they ‘personally know’ you. You can’t make this stuff up.


“Well, that’s because she’s never had a hand shaped bruise on her face,” Amy pipes up, smirking, as she walks over to me with her wand out.


“Oh, come on. Please?” The photographer whines, looking at me with big eyes. He completely ignores Amy as she mutters a quick charm to fix my clothes. I beam happily at her and she shrugs, being modest, for once. “Just one shot?”


I sigh heavily, adding an eye roll for good measure. “Fine. But will you edit out the bruise on my face?”


“Of course,” he replies, nodding enthusiastically.


“No more pictures if you don’t,” I warn him and he smiles in response, shaking his head as if I was stupid to even think that.


“Smile, girls!” He says, raising the camera to his eye. And if there’s one thing that Amy loves, it’s being photographed in a magazine, scooping up the tiniest bit of fame she possibly can. Amy flings one arm around my shoulder and, pressing her face to mine, she beams heartily at the camera as it flashes. I blink just as it goes off. Talk about bad luck.


“Hey, wait!” I exclaim, latching onto his arm to prevent him from moving. “Take another one. That was awful.” The photographer throws me knowing look before clicking the button on the camera.


This time I was ready. I even turned my head to the side to hide my bruise while I smiled. And, I got to admit, I felt fairly confident as the photographer strolled off, camera in hand.


Amy turns to me, waggling her eyebrows. “You do realise that while I’ll be looking gorgeous in a magazine, you’ll be standing there with a massive hand-shaped bruise on your face?”


“Actually,” I inform her tightly, “he promised he’d use the one where I didn’t blink as it flashed.”


Amy pauses, looking at me incredulously. “He won’t, you know. And then you’ll probably look smashed.”


“Shut up, he won’t,” I snap, glowering at her as we walk back down the street, trying to find the fireplace we flooed from. “Amy, we’re going to be late for the barbeque.”


“No, we won’t. I’m never late. Ever.”


  




Secret No. 10: I’m thinking about dying my hair. But not because I don’t like the colour – because I love it, I really do – so I won’t be forever labelled as another ‘Weasley.’ Which sounds a little harsh, I must admit, but as soon as I meet someone new, they see my hair colour and ask if I’m ‘a Weasley.’ It gets rather tedious after a while. And did I mention how hard it is to find clothes which do not clash with my hair? I can pretty much wear four colours – green, blue, black and white.









A/N: Okay, as of 19/07/09, I've changed the title of this fic from 'Life's a Witch' to 'Love, Lies and Lipstick.' What do you think of the new title? Do you like it or do you prefer the old one? (Frankly, I prefer the new one) :]
And, as always, I love getting reviews and constructive criticism. 
Effy xx


Chapter 4: Birds and the Bees
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Secret No. 25: While babysitting the Scamander twins, when they kept running around the house when they were meant to be in bed an hour ago, I told them that Voldemort really didn’t like little kids that were up past their bedtime and said if they weren’t asleep in five minutes I would send for the spirit of Voldemort. They were asleep in two.




We were late. Of course we were late. And it was extremely embarrassing flooing into the Potter’s perfectly clean living room (courtesy of Ginny) where Luna and her husband were standing a little too close together and also dragging an extremely hungover Amy. Who, by the way, was wearing a rather short dress (with tights for the cold weather) and impossibly high heels. Thank goodness I’d applied the bruise removal paste before we flooed – it would have looked even worse if I didn’t.


“Ew, old people kissing,” Amy sniggers, making Luna and Rolf spring apart and look wide-eyed at us. I wave at them slowly, brushing myself down to remove the soot so I won’t ruin the Potter’s carpet, and step out of the fireplace. Amy follows me lead.


“Oh, it’s you, Rose,” Luna says, smiling brightly, not at all embarrassed at being caught kissing at a family barbeque by a couple of teenage girls. “I thought it was an Umgubular Slashkilter.” And then she begins to giggle. And Rolf joins in with her. Me and Amy look at each other, slightly confused.


“Um... yes, Luna,” I say, adding a fake laugh, trying not to feel embarrassed at the carrot Alice band she’s wearing. “I’m gonna go say hi to everyone.”


And with that I drag Amy from the room, who looks as if she’s about to explode with laughter. “Umbuggyulars Killslash?!” She cackles as we walk through the Potter’s house to the garden. “She’s a loon! Haha, Loony Luna.”


I giggle along with her. “Don’t let my Mum catch you saying that. She nearly tore my hair out when I mentioned it.” 


The garden was one of those things I really didn’t want to see but knew I had to see it some time. It was all lit up, with lamps at the side, and Lorcan and Lysander were chasing some other kids – probably the neighbours – while holding what looked like nothing but was probably some weird animal they made up. The older kids were either bouncing on a trampoline or sitting in a little circle gossiping and most of the adults were standing in their own little groups talking to one another as they sipped their wine/beer/fruit juice. Ginny and Harry were leaning over what’s got to be the World’s Biggest (unlit) Barbeque and sharing confused glances.


The teenagers, on the other hand, were either trying to suck up to the adults, like Molly and Lucy (of course,) or talking in groups amongst each other, clearly pretending that it wasn’t a forced conversation and nobody was extremely uncomfortable. The thing I was the most grateful for was that I wasn’t the only one who had brought a guest. James and Fred had both brought their girlfriends, Hugo brought Ethan, Roxanne had brought her new boyfriend and Albus had, of course, brought Scorpius.


Oh, Albus, I love you sometimes.


I was intercepted as me and Amy made our way over towards the teenage group.  “Rose,” came my Dad’s stern voice as he placed his hand on my arm. “I think you forgot to put on a skirt.”


“Ron, you’re so lame,” Ginny scoffs, coming up behind him. I love Aunt Ginny, I really do. She’s always getting me out of these sticky situations with my Dad and, I like to believe that she does it because she actually likes me (must be my incredibly wit or just my utter charm,) which is more I can say for both my parents. Or it could be because she just likes to argue with Dad. “That’s fashion nowadays.”


“What’s more important; fashion or decency?” Dad demands, turning to Ginny. We both throw him ‘are you kidding me?’ looks and Dad, clearly recognising defeat, drops the question. “Go get changed, Rose.”


“I’m not going to get changed!” I shriek and Amy, giving me an apologetic pat on the back, strolls off to where the majority of the cooler cousins are sitting. “Tell him, Ginny.”


“She’s not getting changed,” Ginny says happily. “She looks gorgeous.”


“Thankyou!” I exclaim, ignoring my sulking father. “Now I’m off to say hi to Lily.”


“And Al?” Ginny frowns, looking rather worried. I look over to where Amy is sitting, once again being the life and soul of the party and then back to Ginny.


“And Al,” I assure her and her frown drops, instead being replaced by a beatific smile.


But, honestly, I had no intention of greeting Al. But seeing Ginny’s hopeful face was a good enough excuse to make one lie. I mean, I’d barely spoken to Al in years and suddenly everybody thinks it’ll be like old times where we were attached by the hip and not like it is now, where we barely speak to eachother and if we do, the words exchanged tend to be hissed insults and petty comments.


I make my way down to the bottom of the garden, near the old wooden fence that divides the Potter’s house from the field, to where Lily Luna is sitting on a bench facing said field with a couple of her friends. “Hey, Lils,” I say to the back of a silky red head, feeling very much older (i.e. more sophisticated) and cool.


She turns, as do her friends, and grins at me, her teeth white and sparkly. “Rosie! How are you? How was your New Year’s Eve? Have you seen Scorpius yet?”


I blink at her. The funny thing was I can only remember the last part in her series of questions. I choose to answer that one. “Uh... yeah, I have. He’s with Al right?”


Lily nods enthusiastically, fanning herself with a gloved hand. “Can you say ‘phwoar?’”


I fiddle with the tassels on my scarf, feeling a little uncomfortable and awkward now. “You like Scorpius?” I ask, trying to pretend that this doesn’t bother me as I pull my head back up, a big smile on my face.


“Ergh, no,” Lily cringes and I sigh in relief, my breath coming out as a big cloud in the cold temperature. Thank bloody Merlin – Lily would be serious competition if she did seeing as she can actually hold a pleasant conversation with him and, even at fourteen, she’s too bloody pretty for her own good. “I’m just saying he’s hot. Don’t you agree?”


“Well, yeah, I guess.” Nice one, Rose. Now she’ll think I’ve never noticed his hotness before when I really, really have.


“Whatever, Rosie,” Lily says, raising an eyebrow. “You spoken to Al yet?”


“Why does everyone keep asking me that?” I mumble, looking over my shoulder to see Al laughing uproariously at something Naomi has said. They look extremely happy and carefree and I feel a little pang in my stomach, which used to only happen when I thought of my blanky that Dad accidently threw away.


I look back to Lily, who’s looking far too innocent for my liking. There’s one thing I’ve learnt in all the years I’ve known and loved Lily and that is she is never innocent. Her parents think she is, though. When she was younger, if Lily played a prank on Albus, they’d be like ‘Oh, look at that; Lily stuck Al’s hands to the tree. Isn’t that the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen?’ So, no one could really blame me for narrowing my eyes in suspicion. “No reason,” Lily replies, smiling at me. “Just talk to him.”


The smile doesn’t wipe away my suspicions. “Why? What does he want to say?”


“Talk to him,” Lily insists and she turns towards her two little friends and winks at them. She probably thinks I don’t notice, usually being oblivious to these things and all. As she turns back to face me, I take a step closer to her, my face betraying that I’m horribly curious.


“Lily” I say, in my warning tone. I admit, both Ginny and Lily have got me intrigued. “What does Al want?”


Lily also takes a step closer to me, as if to take my challenge. It just so happens that as well as inheriting Ginny’s red hair and chocolatey eyes, she also got the short gene. I, however, got Dad’s tallness – something I am extremely grateful in these types of situations. I smirk down at Lily and, as she cranes her head to look up at me, I can tell she’s frowning. “Well, let’s just say…” Lily trails off and I poke her to continue. “If you don’t talk to him I’ll tell everyone about your fabulous babysitting skills.”


I take an involuntary step back, my eyes widening in shock. “How did you know about that?”


“When I babysat them they mentioned Voldemort hating kids not in bed,” she says smugly and I can hear her friends sniggering. We both ignore them, though, and Lily gives me a little push back towards the house – where I’m assuming Al still is. “Go.”


So I obey her and go over to him. Normally I would never listen to anything Lily orders me to do (she’s like Hugo on these matters – never take her seriously) but, given the circumstances, I really couldn’t afford to lose my babysitting job. That job is the one thing that gets me into the good books of both my parents and the Scamander’s as well as enabling me to afford that designer dress which I’ll probably only wear once. Lily really is a tricky little cow.


Just as I reach Al, who is sitting comfortably with Scorpius and Naomi at his side, I take a deep breath, trying to think over what I’m going to say. I opt for a slightly mean tone – nothing to make them suspicious. “Al,” I bark, causing for all three heads to look up at me in surprise. I see Amy briefly look over at me from across the garden but her attention soon returns to Louis. “Can I talk to you?”


Al seems to fumble for his words, his mouth opening stupidly a couple of times. “I’d, uh… rather not,” he manages at last, dragging a hand through his messy hair. I purse my lips and look to Scorpius who’s looking quite elated. I catch his eye and he smirks at me. Lily’s totally right – he does look phwoar-worthy with his perfectly scruffy hair and in his button-up grey coat.


“You’re saying no?!” I ask, a little put out, and then at Al’s carefree shrug and Naomi’s awkward, back of the neck rub, I turn on my heel and proceed to storm off. It would’ve been a rather applaud-worthy exit if I had just looked where I was going and had seen the little blonde twit who was walking rather aimlessly towards me. But I had to just crash into the girl, sending us both tumbling to the floor. I sit up sharply and clutch my throbbing head. “Ow! Fuck!”


Somebody’s figure covers me in a dark shadow and I squint up at them, trying to block out the light. I feel my fingers over the lump rapidly forming on my forehead as it pulses. “Oh my God, I’m so sorry!”  The blonde girl leans over me, her hand outstretched for me to take. I do so and she quickly pulls me up, not stumbling the slightest under my weight. “I was thinking about something else.”


“That was a little obvious,” I reply, brushing myself off. I try to raise an eyebrow but this makes my head hurt even more. I settle for a look of bemusement.


“Yes, um…” she stammers, seeming a little flustered under my gaze. She wrings her hands together nervously before speaking again. “I was thinking about the, uh, well… the jelly.”


“Jelly?” I repeat, thinking this girl must be kidding but the look of utmost seriousness on her face and the thumb she has pointing to the buffet table where there is, indeed, a plate of jelly convinces me otherwise. “Merlin, how sad are you?”


Blondie looks pretty much horrified by my little statement and, as her mouth forms a perfect little pout, two, blotchy, red marks appear on her cheeks. “W-what?”


 “Rosie,” Al snaps, his voice sounding behind me, and, when I turn, a look of complete pissed off-ness on his face. “Leave her alone. She said sorry. Don’t be such a bitch.”


“Hello! I have a lump on my head!”


She looks from me to Al glowering at each other and takes a couple of steps away from us. “I-I’m going to, um… go.”


“Woop-de-fucking-do,” I snap, glaring at the hastily retreating figure of the girl who caused the lump on my head. Merlin, that, along with the bruise from the slap, and it really looks like I’ve been in the wars. I really have had such a tough weekend. “I need to talk to you, Al.”


That’s the problem with me. Once I get an idea in my head I’ve got to do it. Even if in the first place I didn’t want to. Stupid Lily knowing me too damn well. Her and her stupid plan.


 “Go on, then,” he growls so I pull him over to the edge of the garden, trying to shield us from those nosy buggers I call my family. I give him a tentative smile as he leans on the bordering fence. Al and I really used to be the best of friends – we were attached at the hip – and we did everything together. We learnt to ride our bikes, we wound up James by calling him the most pitiful excuses for insults (i.e. smellybrain) and I was there when Al did his first bit of magic and the day he got sorted into Slytherin. After a while, I found new friends – friends he didn’t agree with; people he came to despise. I can’t help but feel he despises me along with all those people. Al returns my smile with surly frown. “What do you want?”


Let’s break the ice, Rosie. Nothing is going to make him hate you even more. “Well... how was your New Year?” I ask and try my hardest not to wince at what I had just said. After three years I just came up to Al and asked him how his New Years was. Oh, dear.


“It was great, actually,” he says, the frown looking like it’s fixed on his face. He folds his arms over his chest. “How was yours? Being a bitch? Pissing everyone off? Getting slapped? Amy throwing up on your Mum’s shoes?”


A laugh escaped me at the last bit. I honestly couldn’t help it. It was probably the most embarrassing and completely un-funny thing that could have possible happened and, yet, when Al says it out loud it sounds hysterical. Surprise, surprise, Al doesn’t see the funny side. If anything his scowl deepens.


“C’mon, Al,” I giggle and punch him lightly on the arm. “You got to admit that’s pretty funny. Imagine my Mum’s face.”  I continue laughing, trying to ease Al into it, but his mouth doesn’t even twitch. It’s like working with stone. I straighten up, deciding to get straight to the matter at hand. It’s better to get this over and done with as quickly as possible. “So, what did you want to talk to me about?”


The scowl slips from his face as he stares at me blankly. “What?”


“You know,” I press, nodding happily at his confused face. “Lily said you wanted to talk to me. So did Ginny.”


“I don’t want to talk to you,” Al assures me, throwing a dirty look at someone over my shoulder. My face falls a little and I turn, partly to hide my disappointment but partly to see who Al was glaring at. Lily and Ginny are in a huddle together, looking fairly suspicious and shady. “I really, really don’t.”


“Fine,” I snap and then walk away, leaving Al to glower at my back. I pass Lily on the way who takes in my storming off with a wary expression. I try to move past her but she grabs hold of my arms and just doesn’t let go. She’s pretty strong for such a tiny girl.


“So... how’d it go?” Lily asks, frowning slightly at me.


I try to shake her arm off again – it doesn’t work too well. “Super.”


Her face brightens. “Really?”


“No.”


Lily sticks her tongue out at me, proving she really is an immature fourteen year old, and I open my mouth to reply but a cry of ‘Roseeeee!’ distracts me. We both turn to see Amy bounding up the garden towards us, giving me a bright smile when she reaches her destination. “Hey, Lily.”


Lily purses her lips, never the one to arse kiss Amy, something that I was a little thankful for. “Hi.”


“I need to talk to Rose,” Amy tells her and looks pretty surprised when Lily doesn’t move. “You know, alone.”


“Let’s go over there,” I interject, dragging Amy away from Lily who looks like she’s about to bitch rant to my friend. I pull her up the small hill in the garden and Amy, in a very un-Amy way, complies happily, seeming to almost skip as we near the house. Most people seem to be outside, conversing with one another around the warmth of the bonfire, but the few who either got cold or bored have retreated inside. I peer into the kitchen and, upon finding it empty of people, I lead Amy into it, stopping over the table to pour myself a glass of juice. I glance up at Amy who is jumping around; looking so happy she could pee. Metaphorically speaking, of course. “Are you okay? You seem kind of... happy.”


She ignores my little jibe. “Oh, Rose, you’ll never guess what!”


“Um... what?” I say, peprplexed.


“No, no, silly,” she tuts, still looking around ecstatically. I feel a little confused – the only time Amy has been this sparkyis when she first discovered Fizzing Whizbees and was quite literally bouncing off the walls. As far as I know, the extent of sugar here is probably the jelly; apparently Lysander gets a ‘little hyper.’ “You have to guess!”


“Oh, right,” I murmur, squinting my eyes in concentration. What could possibly make Amy this happy? “Did you... get a free beauty treatment off one of my family members?”


“Noooooo!”


“Have you found out what hairstyle you’re going to get?”


“Fringe,” she answers promptly. “But that’s not what I’m talking about.”


“Oh.” There’s a bit of a pause now as I swirl the orange juice around in the glass and Amy stares dreamily out of the window. I probably should have seen what she was staring at; it might have made this guessing game easier.


“This is fun,” Amy trills and then pulls herself up so she is sitting on the counter, swinging her legs wildly. “Guess again.”


I grind my teeth and dodge out of Amy’s kicking range. “No, Amy, this isn’t fun. I don’t want to bloody guess again.”


“Tetchy, tetchy.”


“Amy,” I growl and she giggles, hopping off the counter and over to me, seeming to float along the Potter’s tiled floor.


“Well, Rose,” she whispers into my ear. “I think I’m in love!”


I couldn’t help it - I drop my glass, sending it shattering onto the floor and Amy leaps away from me in surprise, staring down at the shards of glass. I am very shocked. Amy has got to be one of the biggest commitment-aphobes in the school, infamously known for breaking countless boys’ hearts, and hear she was, at a family event, telling me casually that she is in love. I can’t wrap my head around it – it’s just so bizarre.


“Well, that was clumsy,” Amy sighs, looking less frightened by the broken glass and pool of juice and more annoyed. She carefully steps around it, walking on her tip-toes, till she reaches me.


“Amy,” I hiss, taking a tight hold on her arm. “You’re in love with some- wait,” I pause and finally take in the dopey expression her face has adopted since she came over to Lily and I and also her shockingly bright eyes. “Have you taken a love potion?”


She shoots me a dirty look, snatching her arm away from me. “I haven’t drunken or eaten anything here; it’s all loaded with millions of carbs! Does your family not know the word salad?”


I roll my eyes, thinking I kind of miss this ‘in love’ Amy – she was much nicer. “But... how?! Who?!” I splutter, expecting it to be some hot guy in a new band she briefly glimpsed in a magazine or something like that.


She takes a deep breath. “Louis.”


Louis? As in my cousin Louis? Oh, this is bad. This is worse than bad. This is a catastrophe. If somehow Amy sinks her claws into my dear cousin and they begin to date, I would dread every moment being around them. It would be awkward and disgusting, not to mention the horrifying/mentally scarring pictures that them just sitting together would produce in my brain. In fact, just thinking about them now makes me queasy. Also, when, and I mean when, they break up I can probably never invite Amy to a family gathering again. Which, you know, would totally suck.


Amy continues, nodding happily. “I was just talking to him earlier and it just hit me-”


“It hit you?” I repeat, looking at her dubiously.


“-that he is so amazing, funny, sweet, not to mention abso-bloody-lutely gorgeous.”


I open my mouth, trying to think of anything to say. I glance out of the window, spotting Louis talking to a blonde girl. I assume that’s what Amy was staring at earlier. “But that girl sitting with him...”


“She’s just one of the neighbours,” Amy replies, her eyes glaring at the girl who is obviously trying to flirt with my cousin. This was a common occurrence really. In fact, girls I’d never met before would try and befriend me just so they could get closer to my cousin. “Little slut.”


“But... but...”


Amy turns to me with wide eyes, choosing to ignore my shock. “Could you talk to him for me? Drop in a good word, maybe?”


“Erm, sure!” I reply brightly, already scheming up ways to repel him from Amy. It is a natural fact that I taunt all Louis’s love interests and Amy, no matter how close we are, is no exception. “In fact, I’ll do it right now!”


“You rock!” Amy squeals, throwing her arms around my neck and squeezing me tight. A little twinge of guilt distracts me for a moment but I shake it away and hug Amy back. “You should get a prize for being the bestest friend ever.”


“I should,” I agree and then, with a helpful little push from Amy, I exit the kitchen to stand in the garden, hearing Amy muttering the cleaning spell in my wake. I scan the crowd for Louis as the cold air already nips at me cheeks. He’s nowhere to be seen and I’m hoping he hasn’t snuck off with the ‘neighbour’ as I’ll probably end up stumbling upon them Hugo skips up to me with a huge smirk on his face when it comes apparent that Louis is not where I left him and I’m looking like an idiot trying to find him. “Oi, Hugo, where’s Louis?”


Hugo ignores that, instead choosing to look at me curiously, his wavy auburn hair flying about in the wind. “Did you make that crashing sound?”


“Er... yeah, why?”


“Well, it all went quiet when it happened,” Hugo tells me, “and Ginny said that her glass cabinet might have fallen on someone and we should check if they’re alright. Then Mum said it was ‘probably Rose’ and everybody cheered.”


“Agh! You are such a bitch, you know that?!” I scream and then push him hard so that he lands on the floor with a heavy thump. That, people, is what you get when you cross Rose Weasley – Pusher Extraordinaire. “Now where’s Louis?”


Hugo looks up at me from his position on the ground. “My butt hurts!”


“I don’t care,” I snap, slapping him in the side of the head. The thing is with Hugo is that violence always, and I mean always, works with him. “Where the bloody hell is Louis?”


“He’s in the garage,” he grumbles and, patting him on the head for his ‘trouble,' I make my way over the garage at the front of the house. I pass Amy who’s looking hopefully out of the kitchen window and give her a thumbs up.


The garage, as most garages usually are, was a big stone room filled with boxes of useless junk with three tall figures crowded around something that I couldn’t see. The first, I knew, was Teddy Lupin, and I could tell this because I’m pretty sure I had memorised the back of his head back in third year when I had a hopeless crush on him. I wasn’t the only one, believe me; almost every Weasley girl has had a crush on him – it’s coming of age thing for Weasley’s. He is pretty much gorgeous though and I guess being able to change what he looks like helps. The next person was James, looking particularly interested in what is in front of him, and the last was Louis himself.


“What’s that?” I ask and all three boys jump before turning to me with guilty expressions. My eyes narrow, skimming quickly over to where James is throwing a blanket over the mysterious object. “What is it?”


“Rosie!” Teddy exclaims, flashing me a charming smile, his eyes changing to a deep blue. “How nice to see you!”


I think I just melted.


Ahem.


“Oh, yeah, Ted,” Louis scoffs and rolls his eyes, distracting me from the vision that is Teddy. “Like that’s going to distract her.”


“Well, it would have if you kept quiet!”


I stamp my foot and fold my arms huffily. “What have you got there?!”


There’s a bit of a pause as they all exchange a look until James steps forward and, clearing his throat, he yells, “Crap, Rose! What the hell is that behind you?!”


“James, I’m not four anymore,” I inform him, my eyes fixed on his. Does he really think I’ll still fall for the ‘look behind you!’ trick that always left me on my own while everybody else ran off?


“No, Rose, I’m serious! There’s something flying behind you!”


“James, quit it.”


“Aah! Bullocks! Duck!” He screeches, crouching for effect. I stare at him blankly.


“Oh, Merlin,” Teddy groans and then, raising his wand at me, he casts a spell that immediately drenches me in water. I mean, that was a little uncalled for, wasn’t it? Does it look like I just wake up like this? No, I assure you, it does not.  And does it look like it’s the middle of bloody summer so I’d be able to dry off quickly? No. In fact, it’s the complete opposite – it’s winter!


“Hey!” I scream, wrapping my arms around my dripping wet form, my teeth chattering as I stare at my wet clothes. “Teddy, I’m going to kill you, you little man-bitch!” I snap my head upwards then, only to find an empty garage and fleeing forms of the three boys. It’s stuff like this, that the Teddy Lupin crush tends to fade away. And, to make matter’s worse, Louis is running away from me at a hundred miles an hour and all I know is that I’ve got to get to him before Amy does.


So, naturally, I chase after them, yelling profanities all the way while trying to ignore the elderly ladies scolding me on ‘that’s not a way for a young lady to behave!’ Basically, Granny Granger. Nana Molly on the other hand is heckling after them and wishing me luck.


 “Louuuuuiiiiiis!” I whine to his back after I’ve given up on the running – I’m not exactly the fittest girl there is – and, surprisingly, I see him stop and turn round slowly. I ignore a still sprinting James and Teddy as I bend over, resting my hands on my knees while I try to breathe. “I need… to talk to… you.”


Louis walks a little closer to me, still seeming suspicious. He’s not even the slightest bit tired; a fact I hate him for. “About...?”


I cough several times before straightening up. “About Amy,” I inform him. His eyebrows rise. “She likes you.”


“Amy? Your hot friend?” He looks a little too happy for my liking about this bad, bad news as he pulls out his wand and waves me dry.


“Thankyou,” I say curtly, annoyed that he could possibly think the Amy situation is good, as I glare at him. “Amy fancies you. This is bad.”


“Bad?” Louis looks confused, ruffling his blonde hair with his hand. “Why is it bad?”


“Um...” Damn, I really should have thought about this more. Again, Rosie, think what to say before speaking, not just the strategy. “Amy’s crazy? She has voodoo dolls,” I tell him, emphasizing this almost true fact with my hands. Almost true. I mean, voodoo dolls/Barbie dolls are the same thing really.


He looks perplexed. “Voodoo dolls? Really?”


I nod enthusiastically. Oh, God, I am such a bitch. Not to mention the world’s worst friend. I’m so going to hell.


Louis seems to think about this for a few moments before shrugging his big shoulders. “It’s not like I’ve never had crazy before.”


“Huh?! But... but...”


“I’ll go ask her out now.”


“Wait, what?!” I sputter. “Just like that?!”


“Yeah,” Louis smirks, turning his head to the left. I follow his gaze and find Amy, sitting on a chair backwards, clutching the back and staring at us with wide, hopeful eyes. “Just like that.”


Well, that plan, I think it’s safe to say, totally backfired.


I watch him saunter over to Amy, who has just begun to look ecstatic, and offer him her hand which she takes with a little too much enthusiasm. I gape at them. I mean, I was pretty shocked. I had a right to gape. And I wouldn’t have felt so foolish if somebody hadn’t popped up behind me and telling me I looked stupid. I didn’t even hear him coming.


“Nobody can pull off the ‘goldfish’ look,” Scorpius smirks, coming up behind me, and I shut my mouth with a rather loud clacking sound. I turn around to face him, surprised to find him a little closer than he normally allows. If I stepped out to him, we’d be touching. Now there’s a nice though.“Not even you, Weasley.”


“Not even me?” I repeat, slightly flattered, choosing to take what he said optimistically. He frowns down at me, probably noticing the ‘peeking beneath your lashes’ tip I found in a magazine that is meant to be brilliant for flirting. “Thanks, Malfoy.”


“Believe me, it wasn’t a compliment,” he replies, taking a step away from me.


I try not to let my face fall. “Oh.” So much for optimistic. Screw him.


He pauses, seeming to rethink his words, before saying, “You know, I’m still pissed at you.”


Yep, my face has definitely fallen. “Jeez, what did I do now?”


“Do you not remember New Year’s, Weasley?” Scorpius snaps, glaring darkly down at me. I flinch as he counts off my actions on his fingers, “You said my Mum was a whore, my Dad a Death Eater, insulted Naomi and Selena and just pissed everyone off in general.”


It does sound bad, the way he’s retelling it. I really don’t know what came over me then; I’m not normally this horrible to my old friends. In fact, I just tend to ignore them. I’m assuming it was the little alcohol I had or the popular crowd of people that gave me a strange sense of power that night. I rub the back of my neck, a little ashamed. “Yeah... sorry about that.”


“What’s this?” Scorpius sniggers and I can tell he’s trying his best not to show me he’s surprised. Three years of close friendship let’s me know pretty much all his emotions now. That, and the fact that I’m hopelessly in love with him. “Rose-I’m-so-great-Bitch-Weasley actually apologising?”


I lock my eyes with his gorgeous grey ones, feeling my dull, brown eyes are much more boring in comparison. “Bitch? Me? Never,” I mock-gasp, dropping my mouth open in a slutty smile/shocked expression which all the models tend to opt for.


Scorpius looks back at me, not falling for the pose like most guys do. He plants a cute frown on his face which I’m just dying to smooth out with my fingers. “Get over yourself.”


Oh, no. Too many sexual innuendos at that one. Must resist the temptation.


Screw it.


I grin cheekily up at him, closing the large gap in between us in a couple of steps. I even used my flirty, hip-swinging walk to do that – that must mean something. “Only if you get under me.”


Ah, bullocks.


He doesn’t look too pleased.


“That just slipped out,” I explain, cringing slightly and retracing my steps, thinking I don’t know if there are any more ways I could embarrass myself more.


There’s a pause where I just fidget in embarrassment and Scorpius seems to study me. “You look like shit. Is that the style nowadays?”


I ignore the last part. “Thanks. So do you.” Well, that was a blatant lie.


Scorpius ignores me, too, and moves a little closer to me so he can squint his eyes at my cheek. “You deserved that bruise.”


“Oh, yeah? Well, you deserved that face.”


What? What?!


“Oh, clever one, Weasley,” Scorpius scoffs and my ears redden. Thank Merlin for long hair. “I was going to reply but now I think you won’t understand.”


“Says the person who thought hamsters came from underground.”


“Hey, I was only nine!”


“You were twelve! Don’t you think you should have known about the birds and the bees by then?”


“And don’t you think that sticks been up your arse long enough?”


I glare at him. “You’re such a wanker.”


“You’re such a stuck up cow.”


“At least I’m not the one who can arse kiss my whole family by saying one thing.”


“Weasley, that’s called being charming,” Scorpius informs me. “You should try it sometime.”


“For your information, I am plenty charming,” I say, rather happily for someone in an argument. But, the thing was, I absolutely adore Scorpius’s and I’s shouting wars –the verbal kind that is, not physical, like last night. In my book, it was our ‘bonding time.’ In Scorpius’s it was probably ‘Piss off Rose’ time. “I just use my incredible wit to get O’s in lessons and not to suck up to people I don’t give a shit about.”


“Well, maybe if you actually ‘gave a shit’ about other people, you wouldn’t be the most hated girl in Hogwarts.”


“I am not the most hated girl in Hogwarts!” I shriek, stamping a foot to show how deeply pissed off I was with him.


“Yes, you are.”


“Why?” I whine, putting a hurt expression on my face. “Why isn’t Amy the most hated?”


Scorpius pauses to look over to where Amy is draped on Louis, practically eating his face. “Well, you come a close second.”


“I’ll have you know, Malfoy,” I jab a finger in his chest and he looks down at me. “I am adored by every damn person. Except you and your loser friends.”


“Wow, Weasley, it’s a wonder your brain can function with that huge ego taking up all the room.”


“Did you know that it is unbelievably-”


“-Merlin’s beard,” a voice groans and I turn to see Naomi looking exasperated. Merlin knows where this girl keeps popping up from. She must have some sort of Scorpius radar. How I’d kill to have one of them. “Can you two not be in the same place without tearing each other’s hair out?”


“No,” we bark in unison and Naomi smirks a little. Merlin forbid we actually get on.


“Well, food’s ready,” Naomi says and I pry my eyes off of Scorpius to give her a tight smile. She rolls her eyes at me, taking a grip on Scorpius’s arm. I wink cheekily at him as he leaves and, before completely vanishing from view, he flashes me a rather obscene finger gesture.


How charming.
 






Secret No. 21: I get extremely travel sick. On any modes of transport and that includes the Hogwart's Express. How, I ask you, am I supposed to survive six hours on a train while I try not to puke and try not to let anybody know I feel ill. Throwing up is not a very popular thing to do.





A/N: Next chapter will probably be on the way to Hogwart's, hence the secret at the end. And, truth be told, I'm actually enjoying writing both Rose and Amy because they're so delightfully bitchy. Haha, I wonder what that says about me.
Thankyou so much to everyone who reviews! xx


Chapter 5: Hysterics
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Secret No. 36: I think Amy’s a total slut. Which is horrible seeing as I’m meant to be her best friend. And, okay, I admit, I’m not exactly a nun either but being best friends with someone so sleazy makes you seem less slutty in caparison. And while I’m off snogging some random bloke, Amy’s probably gone a couple of steps further and, fortunately for me, these few steps are what the gossip in Hogwarts thrive on. 
 


 


“Get out,” I say to the random first year who is sitting in my compartment, as I take long, deep breaths to feel less ill. I hate trains. He giggles, obviously thinking that this is some game the sixth years play, and doesn’t move. I glare at him. “So not kidding. Get out, you little twat.”


It’s only my first day back and I’ve already made somebody cry.


I think I deserve a round of applause.


The first year grabs his bag and scurries out, tripping over the door frame in the process. I wait outside the compartment for a moment, my eyes following the boy down the corridor. I only look away when I see him bump into a familiar face and, making sure they saw me, quickly slip inside the compartment.


“Rose,” Nina tuts as she enters the compartment after me, smoothing down her cute shirt and sitting herself next to me. I beam at her but, instead of smiling back, she chooses to keep to the ‘Hogwart’s Sweetheart’ tag. “Be nice.”


“Rose Weasley being nice?” A voice gasps and I divert my gaze from Nina to Scorpius, who’s looking every bit as delicious as he always is as he leans lazily against the open doorway. He folds his arms over his chest, smirking all the way, making his arm muscles a little more obvious. “It’s unheard of.”


“Go away, Malfoy,” I reply, trying to mask my happiness by grinding my teeth together. “Nobody wants you here.”


“Well, that’s not true,” he replies easily, seeming unfazed by my lie. His eyes flick to Nina who is staring down at his arms with as much fascination as I was. “I’m sure Nina wants me here.”


I think he knows she’s ogling him. In fact, I’m pretty sure he knows he could get any girl he wanted if he really wished it so. Thank Merlin he doesn’t – I really detest being on the losing side of the competition; something I’m sure would happen seeing as he hates me. “I know for a fact that Nina does not want you here.”


“Uh...” Nina seems to finally realise we’re talking about her and swallows, probably to clear the drool. I give her a knowing look and she blushes – embarrassed to have been caught staring at someone less popular. “I really don’t mind, he can stay-”


“Shut up!” I snap, purposely ignoring the triumphant look Scorpius threw at me. “Go away, Malfoy.”


I see Al almost walk past us, until he notices his best friend talking to his cousin. “Yeah, Malfoy,” Al sniggers, his messy black hair only reaching Scorpius’s nose. “You might to catch something.”


I roll my eyes. Al’s comments, which range from whore comments (see above) to bitch comments and back to Daddy’s little girl comments hardly affect me anymore. They’re more annoying than insulting. “Get out!”


Scorpius ignores me, except to glance at me blankly for a second, as he lounges lazily on the wall. “We have a prefects meeting in ten minutes,” he says.


“Fan-bloody-tastic,” I reply, trying my best to sound sarcastic. I will probably never admit this, but I absolutely adore being a prefect. Having a free pass to boss people around as well as sometimes getting partnered with Scorpius when we patrol the Halls is actually, in my books, a fantastic time. “Is that why you came in?”


He nods. “I was also bored.”


That’s when Amy bursts through the doorway, not even noticing Scorpius or Al when she shoved past them, and looking particularly sleazy with her lipstick smeared all around her face and her hair in disarray. And seeing that she recently started a relationship with my cousin those points are something that I’m gladly going to overlook. Ugh.


Unfortunately for me, Nina just had to ask her where she’s been.


Amy flops down on the seat opposite us, grinning slyly. “Saying hi to Ben.”


I blink. “You mean Louis,” I correct her and look to Nina to make sure I heard what I think I heard. Nina is instead focusing all her attention on Amy, probably still embarrassed about me catching her ogling a certain Malfoy boy.


“No, I mean Ben,” Amy repeats slowly, oblivious to the fact that Al and Scorpius are probably eavesdropping on her. She probably doesn’t even know they’re there. “But I better ‘say hi’ to Louis, too.”


“Amy,” I growl, looking at the girl opposite me in shocked outrage. “You’ve been going out with my cousin Louis for a day and you’re already cheating on him.”


“Wait, you’re going out with Louis?!” Al interjects, looking mildly surprised at this bit of news.


Amy also looks surprised. “How long have you been there?”


Scorpius slaps his head.


“Well, anyway,” Amy continues, resuming her oh so important task of inspecting her fingernails for dirt. “You can leave now.”


“Nothing would please me more,” Scorpius retorts, whipping around, and practically strutting off, Albus in tow. I can’t help it – I stare after Malfoy as I’m sure Nina did and even Amy glances up briefly to watch him go.


She turns to me, then, rolling her eyes. “I don’t know how you were ever friends with them.”


“Yeah,” I mumble, sinking down in my seat. “Me neither.” Oh, I’m the worst ex-friend ever.


Amy pulls out her mirror then and, giving a little gasp, begins to rub her face to wipe off the smeared make-up. “You’re breaking up with Louis, by the way,” I pipe up, recovering from that state of uncomfortable-ness earlier.


Amy’s compact mirror snaps closed and she looks up at me sharply. “What?”


I flinch a little at her hostile tone, deciding it’s best to reason with the crazy lunatic I call my best friend. “He’s my cousin, Amy! And you’re cheating on him!”


“Merlin, no,” Amy’s lip curls and she tucks her mirror back in the pocket of her bag. “I actually like Louis.”


“Then why were you with Ben?” I demand, feeling more and more annoyed the longer we talk.


“Well, I like Ben, too,” she says, letting out a tinkling laugh, her perfectly straight teeth annoying me even more. Would it be a surprise to anyone that Amy has never even had braces? I like to think she’s had some sort of secret surgery done but I’m pretty sure no parents – even Amy’s outrageously cool ones – will consent to surgery for an under eighteen.


“But... but...” I look to Nina for help, but she just ducks her blonde head, refusing to meet my eyes. “You- I... Amy!”


“Rose, relax,” Amy sighs, again rummaging trough her mini black clutch and pulling a tube of lip gloss out. She smears it on her lips, making them ridiculously pink and shiny, before answering. “He’s not going to find out.”


I gape at her. “You do realise Al and Malfoy were in here when you told us? And you do realise they hate you, right?”


“Don’t be ridiculous,” Amy tuts, now producing a brush from her bag and running it through her hair. The journey to Hogwarts is always Amy’s time to cover herself in make-up, perfect her hair and shorten her skirts because her parents are convinced Amy is absolutely precious and the only reason she keeps up with this façade is because Amy tells me it’s the only way she gets allowance. “They don’t hate me. Nobody hates me.”


Merlin, Amy was worse than me. I mean, hadn’t Scorpius and I decided yesterday that she was Hogwart’s Most Hated? Yes, I tell you, we did. And rightly so. She’s not exactly the friendliest girl, especially to those she dubs ‘dweebs.’ In fact, most of the time Amy is pretty damn mean to me, too. It’s just her ‘lovely’ personality.


I look at Nina again who, this time, shrugs. “Don’t look at me.”


“Rosie,” Amy smiles at me, trying to pull that innocent doe-eyed look on me. And I am ashamed to admit she succeeded.  She always does succeed with that look, no matter how hard I try to ignore it. She got out of losing my favourite dress because of that look. “You’re not going to tell him are you?”


“I guess not,” I sigh, averting my eyes to the floor. “But I’m not happy about this.”


“You’re never happy,” Nina giggles, batting me lightly on the arm from where she sits. I scowl at her. “I mean, when Jake came onto you, we thought you’d be loving it! But no, you were still pissed!”


My lips purse – something which always happens when I’m annoyed. Nina isn’t really all that sweet (I’m sure Naomi could give her a run for her money) but she puts on this fake act around strangers and, since she’s popular and is the nicest out of us, she get’s that (quite wrong) tag. “For your information, I was thrilled.”


“She has a point, you know,” Amy adds, looking at me curiously as I fidget a little under both their gazes. I really, really don’t want them to know about the whole Scorpius thing. “I thought you liked Jakie.”


Jakie pisses me off.”


“Oh, come on, Rose,” Amy sniggers and she leans forward expectantly so her face is right next to mine. “Who do you like then? Sam? Alex? Fergus? Tim? Scorpius?”


I freeze, my heart thumping and blood rising in my face. “Scorpius?” I titter a little nervously, I admit. “What do you mean?”


She sits back in her seat and shrugs. “I don’t know. He’s just hot, I guess.”


And I actually thought she was on to something there. Pah.


The door slides open again and I bite back the ‘sod off’ I was going to yell when I saw Marissa. “Who said Scorpius?” She asks, looking between us three wide-eyed. She obviously holds some gossip about Scorpius. Some call it juicy but I beg to differ. Marissa’s gossip is almost always something nobody cares to know and is forgotten in five minutes.


“Uh...”


“Well, seeing as we’re on the subject of that; did you know,” Marissa whispers, closing the door behind her and settling next to Amy, “Malfoy got himself a girlfriend?”


That one hit me like a wrecking bull, right in the gut. I found my throat tighten, preventing me from saying anything but not stopping the strange squeak that came out of my mouth, and my hands become uncommonly clammy. I wipe them hastily on my vintage skirt, trying to breath though my chest suddenly feels uncomfortably tight.


Amy looks at me briefly before turning back to where Marissa is sitting, waiting eagerly for her praise. “Since when?”


Marissa pauses, looking like she’s thinking. As if she didn’t already know. “Just before Christmas. Maybe a day or two after we broke up.”


Why didn’t anybody tell me this? Surely Lily, the gossip girl of the Weasley’s, would know of this news? And happily tell me?


“Who is it, then?”


My eyes sting and, to my horror, I find my vision blurred due to tears building up. Oh, shit, I can’t cry in front of them.


“Some Hufflepuff girl in our year.”


Could Lily, quiet, spunky, adorable little Lily, possibly know about my little crush on Scorpius? And therefore be reluctant to tell me?


“Is she pretty?” Amy demands.


Marissa seems to stumble for her words. “Um, er, I guess so.”


Amy frowns. I let out another squeak. What is wrong with me? Surely I can’t be this upset that Scorpius found himself a girlfriend. Right?


“But you’re way prettier,” Marissa adds. Stupid sucker-upper. Amy fluffs out her hair while I try with all my might not to throw up or do something equally embarrassing. Like choke on my own spit.


“I...I need to pee,” I blurt out, desperate to escape so I can go wallow in self pity in the toilets.


Nina makes a face. “Too much information, Rose.”


I ignore her, rising to my feet, and half-run/half-walk out of the door. In fact, I would call it trotting. And yet, no one seems at all concerned or bothered that I’m storming down the corridor with my eyes hopelessly welling up and my already pale skin with a sickly off-tinge. I really do hate the majority of Hogwarts. They‘re all such self-absorbed prats.


I arrive at the toilets and slam the door open, startling a couple of third years who have probably just discovered make-up and are using this opportunity to slather it over their face. One girl pokes herself in the eye after witnessing my withering, albeit slightly teary, glare and they all take that as their cue to leave, pretending that it’s not for my benefit but for the eye-poker to find the nurse. Idiots.


I slide down the wall, not caring or – most likely – not realizing that there are millions of germs in public toilets, especially if you are sitting on the floor. I don’t know what happened then. I was just sighing, as I thought of Scorpius, and then the next thing I knew, I was in hysterics. Crying hysterics. I couldn’t breathe, that’s how hysterical I was, let alone worry that my mascara was almost definitely somewhere near my chin. The door slowly creaks open and I look through bleary eyes into the face of a horrified girl, who I presume is a first year, although she could be older as she looks fairly familiar.


“Y-you,” I blub, wiping my eyes with the back of my hand, and the girl freezes. “Sit.”


I can’t believe how long it took for her to shuffle her way over and settle herself next to me. All the while I was glaring at the girl’s worried face, rounded from being so young and innocent. I wish I was young again; I would never be in this mess if I had just stayed eleven. “Um...”


“Don’t judge me!” I wail and throw my head into my hands, my shoulder heaving with sobs. “You have no idea what I’m going through!”


“I wasn’t!” She squeaks, looking at me fearfully. She’s already changed into the uniform – something I also did as a first year, much to my embarrassment – and she wipes her hands on the robs nervously. “A-are you...”


“Am I okay?” I finish for her, guessing the end of that sentence. I lift my head up somewhat reluctantly and the girl averts her eyes, not wanting to gawp at my red eyes. “No, I’m not bloody okay! Does it look like I’m okay?”


“Oh... well...”


“Because I’m not! I’m not bloody okay! Okay?”


“O-okay,” she stammers, winding a strand of mousey brown hair around her finger over and over again. I just about resist the temptation to cut off all of her hair. The girl takes a deep breath, preparing herself for her next question. “Do you need any advice?”


“Advice from you? A first year?” I repeat, giving her an incredulous look. She really is either the pluckiest or the stupidest first year I’ve met. And this is coming from the girl who knew Hugo Weasley as a first year. “Okay then. Have you ever been so extraordinarily popular and amazing and then liked someone, who is the epitome of ‘social reject’ thus probably going to ruin your popularity, and who hates you and then is also best friends with your cousin, who also hates you, and your ex best friend, who I’m pretty sure wishes you dead?”


She looks scared again.


I lean my head back against the grimy wall, sighing deeply. “I didn’t think so.”


“Are you...” she says, pausing to take a large breath, “Rose Weasley?”


I blink slowly and then sigh, not even bothering to try to hide my identity from a girl I just spilled my heart out to. In a couple of months she’d find out anyway. “Yeah, I am.”


“Awesome!” She squeals and clutches my arm. I tear my eyes away from the ceiling where smoke stains are already beginning to stain it yellow and stare at her hand on my arm. “I’m Tabby!”


“Good for you,” I murmur, my eyes fixed on the ghostly white hand. “Now, get off of my arm.” ‘Tabby’ hastily removes her hand, a blush rising in her cheeks, and I stand, moving towards the grimy mirror.


Mascara tracks run from eyes, which are dewy and red, and stop halfway down my neck, thus causing a bad case of panda eye. My red hair has gone from cute curls to a complete frizz and my nose has gone pink at the tip and it’s pretty snotty and bunged up. I think it’s safe to say I look a mess. Well, there’s a first time for everything.


It takes me a few minutes with my nifty wand skills to make myself look half way decent and all the while, the first year girl is still standing there, staring hopefully at me. I turn to her when I’m done, smiling blithely at her. “I’m leaving, now.”


“O-okay,” Tabby says, flashing me a toothy grin. Is it normal for an eleven your old to have missing teeth? “I’ll go, too.”


“No,” I tell her in my kindest, most patronizing voice. “You stay here.”


“Huh?”


“I’m going, you’re staying,” I repeat, and then walk out of the toilets, leaving a slightly confused first year girl in my wake. As soon as I’m out through the door, I crash headlong into a body which leaves me stumbling but not on the floor or bruised like at the barbeque. I wince, thinking of the lump on my head as a hand steadies me.


“Ro-Ro,” Louis says, his hand still on my shoulder. “Are you alright?”


I didn’t exactly start crying then. What it actually was, was some sort of wail/very, unbelievably high-pitched whine where all that came out of my mouth was complete and utter bullocks. I don’t even think that dogs could have heard me, it was that high.


Louis pulls me into a hug, and begins to pat my back. I bury my head into his shoulder and begin my ramblings. “Nnghorpuss gaht ah gnarlfrngh!”


“I know, I know.”


 Amy is such a cow. How can she cheat on my cousin who is so obviously wonderful? He’s always been there, helping me out, especially when I fell in a muddy puddle and ended up in tears because James was teasing me so much. With a quick hex, Louis both shut him up and I was considerably happier.


“Nyou dah?”


“I know, I know.”


The git doesn’t know what I’m saying. ‘I know,’ my backside. “Al, Naomi and Scorpius hate me,” I mumble as another person tries to walk around us.


“I know,” he repeats and I frown against his shoulder. “Well, Al doesn’t. He’s your cousin.”


I pull back and make a face at him. “You sound just like my mum.”


Louis gives me a look, ignoring my statement. I too would have ignored it – nobody likes being compared to Hermione Granger-Weasley. “Al told me you were crying.”


My mouth drops open. Well, who’s wouldn’t? Al knew I was crying? And he told Louis who would obviously, being the good cousin he is, find me and try to comfort me? Huh, this is new.


I release Louis and take a shocked step backwards. “Al? Our cousin, Al? Albus Severus, Al?”


“Who else do we know of the same name?”


“Er... well... Alison? Alice? Alicia? Alex? Alexandra? Al Pacini?”


“Don’t be a smart arse, Rosie,” Louis clucks his tongue. “Nobody likes it.”


See, even in my times of distress I can still come up with something so incredibly witty.


I beam up at him, trying to keep the ‘sympathy smile’ or the ‘I know what you’re going through head cock’ out of my train of thought. If people know why you’re doing it, they are most likely going to feel annoyed and if they don’t know, it will automatically raise a whole lot of suspicion.


Holy crap,” a voice exclaims, and I immediately recognise it as Hugo. He has just come up to us, holding his school robes, obviously wanting to change in the loos. “Is that Rose?


I crane my head around Louis, giving my little brother a blatant ‘duh’ look. “Oh, well done, Hugo. Now, go away.”


Hugo looks shifty, his blue eyes darting from side to side as he shuffles his feet. “Were you crying?”


I move Louis out of the way so I can eye him suspiciously. “What have you done?”


“I, er...” Hugo rubs the back of his neck, a faint Weasley flush rising in his cheeks. “Well, I may have... sort of, slipped that ‘emotional potion’ into your juice.”


“You did WHAT?!”


Oh, he is so dead. Not only will I tell Mum he spiked my early morning juice with that potion that is famously known to make people into all kinds of emotional wrecks but I’m also going to tell all his friends that he still sleeps with his Marlo, his childhood teddy.


Louis sniggers and reaches out to ruffle Hugo’s hair, ignoring the scowl I’m throwing at him. “That would explain a lot.”


“You bloody git,” I growl, clenching and unclenching my fists in a fit of anger. “I’m going to bloody kill you. In fact, I’m going to do worse than kill you. I’m telling Mum.


“You wouldn’t,” Hugo gasps, looking at me in horror. I smirk at him and both my cousins look at me with a sense of uneasiness.  It serves him bloody right; I’m only reacting this way because apparently I’m high on emotional potion.


“Rose,” Louis says in a calm voice, as I reach out to wring Hugo’s skinny neck. Louis steps in front of me, blocking Hugo from my wrath.  “Let me handle him, okay?”


“Let you handle him? Do you think I’m an idiot?” I snap and drop my arms after several futile attempts. “You’ll probably just give him a ‘nice try’ or a ‘better luck next time.’”


They exchange a look. “Maybe you should sit down...”


“I’m not going to bloody sit down! Stop patronizing me, you twats!”


“No one was patronizing-”


“Now leave me to wallow in self-pity!” I exclaim, throwing up my hands in exasperation, and Louis and Hugo let out a simultaneous sigh of relief before slinking off a little too fast for my liking. I glare at their retreating figures before stalking up the corridor, peering angrily inside every compartment and coming up blank. I pull my head out of one occupying second years and almost crash head first into a bemused Naomi who is rolling her eyes up at me. It was pathetic, really. The top of her head just about reached my shoulder and she was trying to stare me down?


“What have you got to wallow about?” Naomi sniggers and I tap my foot impatiently. I didn’t exactly realise I was yelling that loud enough for Naomi, who is halfway up the train, to hear. “Did you break a nail or something?”


I take a deep breath, my eyes pricking. I must not cry, I must not cry. “Y-you would...”


“Merlin, are you crying?!”


Ah, bullocks.


“Why does everyone keep saying that?!” I screech, trying to blink away tears that are welling up. Bloody Hugo and his bloody emotional potion.


Naomi gives me one of her infamous ‘are-you-kidding-me?’ looks. “Because you’re crying.”


“I am not!” I reply and she looks down, probably trying to avoid my teary stare. It is a little worse than a teary stare – I could feel a tear rolling its way down my cheek. I sigh – I’m going to have to redo my make-up all over again.


“Sorry,” Naomi murmurs to the ground. “You know. For making you cry.”


“I am not-”


“Are you okay?”


I blink. That completely shocked me. I mean, I had a sneaky suspicion that Naomi really didn’t care if I was ‘okay’ or not and I firmly believed that she hated my guts. I’m guessing she is being her usual overly nice self. “Er... yes. I’m fine.”


“You are not fine. An idiot could tell that you’re not okay,” Naomi says, rolling her perfectly blue eyes. “Give me a little credit.”


“For your information,” I growl as my lips form a tight line. She probably thought my friends have ditched me like I ditched her and I am damned if she keeps thinking that. I don’t want her pity stares or her understanding smiles. “Hugo spiked my juice with Emotional Potion.”


Naomi laughs, her nose crinkling as she does making her few freckles even more pronounced. My eyes prick again – Naomi’s nose crinkling was something I’d always liked but not remembered until this day and, seeing it now, kind of hits home. “I always did like that kid.”


My glare seems to wipe away the possible tears. Hugo is not, in any way, likable let alone someone who is amusing. “So I’m guessing-”


“Naomi!” Someone, who I’m pretty sure is Al, calls in a sing-song voce from the closed compartment on my left. “Naomi... Paomi!”


I was right; it is Al. He steps out of the compartment, looking slightly surprised to find his best friend talking to me. Twice in one journey, who would’ve thought? “Er...”


“Al,” Naomi says, blinking up at him innocently. If I didn’t know any better I would assume she is trying (and failing, might I add. Al is oblivious to these things) to flirt with him. But Naomi doesn’t have that ‘inner-slut’ like most girls do, granting them the ability to subconsciously flirt. Some inner-sluts are more, and I’m mentioning no names, prominent than others. “Your cousin is crying.”


Oh, that bitch. “I am not!


They both ignore me. Al squints at my face while I try my hardest to glare at him. “Still?!”


I open my mouth but Naomi beats me to it. “What do you mean ‘still?’”


“Well-”


Albus cuts across me. “I saw her crying earlier. Like an hour ago.”


“It was not-


“An hour?” Naomi repeats and looks at me in disbelief. “Merlin, how can you cry for an hour?”


“Actually-”


“She’s a baby, that’s how,” Al declares, nodding in a knowing way at Naomi.


 My teeth snap together. That’s it. It feels like an elastic band has gone pinging off into the distance. Except the elastic band is my temper. Because, not only did they interrupt me countless times but Al just called me a baby. A baby! I’ll show him baby. “I am NOT a baby! SCREW YOU, AL! In fact, SCREW BOTH OF YOU! How dare you call me a baby! I HATE YOU! I HATE ALL OF YOU!”


Both Al and Naomi look slightly stunned. I allow myself a small smirk before shoving past them and storming off, my feet making satisfying thumps as they hit the ground. Baby, my arse.


“It’s the hair,” Al sniggers from behind my back. I clench my hands into fists but keep walking. “Red-heads have crazy tempers.”


“Al, it is not that.”


“It is! What else would it be?” Al asks. You know, I think he’s purposefully raising his voice so I can still hear him. Callous bastard.


There’s a sigh. “Hugo gave her Emotional Potion,” Naomi finally hisses, after a long pause.


The elastic band pings off again. And I was doing so well.


I whip around, giving Naomi and Al my best ‘die’ glare which even they could see at 15 feet away. Al takes a step back. Excellent. “You two are unbelievable! Could you not-”


“Look,” a voice gasps behind me. Amy walks up to us, her – what I’m assuming are high heels – clacking on the ground. She stops when she reaches my side and automatically assumes her ‘preparing to fight’ stance with her hand resting on her hip and all her weight leant towards that side. Her head is also tilted a little downwards, the perfect position for an unimpressed/annoyed look, and her free hand is dangling uselessly by her side. All in all, she looks pretty terrifying. “Rosie is yelling at Longbottom. Again.”


Al’s face changes from one of amusement to disgust and he moves a little closer to us, if only to be heard over the constant background chatter. “I really don’t think you have a place here.”


Amy looks pissed, her pretty features twisted in a frown. And, from past experience, being on the wrong side of Amy when she is irritated is a bad move. A really bad move. It’s so bad, I almost feel sorry for Al. But not enough to keep me from smirking at him.


“What does that mean?” She hisses, her lip curling into a sneer.


“I think you know.” Al has never been one to take Amy’s crap sitting down but sometimes, and this is one of those times, Al borders the ‘crazy and stupid.’ I think he either carefully thinks of what’s the best way to piss Amy off, and thus making him a complete idiot, or it just burbles out of his mouth, a little like his cousin does (i.e. Me.)


“No, no, I don’t,” Amy says and glares at Al in annoyance. “What could possibly be running through your mind when you think you’re better than me?”


“Amy...” I say in a low warning voice, placing my hand gently on her shoulder. “Drop it.”


For a second I swear she thought about it. But, then again, Amy doesn’t really do much thinking.


“Go on, Potter,” she goads, shaking my hand off of her shoulder and taking a dangerous step closer to Al. People begin to stick their head’s out of their compartments and I try my evil eye to scare them off. They don’t notice it – they’re too absorbed in the drama unfolding. “Answer the fucking question.”


Al glares down at her, disdain evident in his features. “Think about this carefully, Derrick,” he spits and I start to feel a little worried – I’ve never pushed Amy far enough for her to truly snap and, in a few bitter words, Al might have accomplished what most people are terrified to do. “Do you really want your secret told to the whole school?”


“Don’t forget, Potter,” Amy hisses and she turns her face to the side, giving me a sly wink. That was a little unsettling. I fidget, my feet feeling a little heavy under me, as if I’d been walking all day. “I’m not the only one with secrets. You know, blasts from the past.”


Oops. I may have mentioned to Amy a couple of Al’s petty, little secrets that frankly nobody gives a toss about. Like how he had a babysitter till he was 13 because he had a crush on her. Or how he had a doll till he was nine or the time he cried because his favourite Quidditch player quit. To be fair, I was obviously intoxicated in some way when I said this.


Al shifts his glare from Amy to me and I lower my eyes to the ground, pretending there is something unbelievably fascinating down there. Do you know what was down there? Blackened gum. Gum. Oh, how bloody typical.


“Oh, yeah?” A voice calls and I glance up, trying to keep the ecstatic look off of my face, at a smirking Scorpius. Oh, my. He’s walking easily towards, his hands in his pockets and his hair a little more ruffled than usual making him, if possible, even hotter. “Well, I bet Rose hasn’t told you her secrets.”


Apparently, karma was a bitch.


“I don’t have any secrets,” I inform the crowd, who are looking more delighted by the minute. I remember Naomi who’s standing awkwardly a few paces behind Al and send her a ‘Merlin-help-me’ look. Seeing as she’s the sweetest and probably, out of her and Al, the least likely to enjoy me suffer, I’m hoping she’ll help me.


“What about the time-”


“Scorpius!”


It wasn’t Naomi who saved me, though I choose to believe that she was opening her mouth to say something and not to yawn. No, this was way worse. It was Malfoy’s fucking girlfriend. Looking all innocent and blonde as she beamed up at him. Only I’m allowed to smile at him that way.


She’s short, too.


“Hey, Zoe,” Scorpius actually looks happy. I think it’s the first time in a couple of years I’ve seen him do something other than smirk or scowl and this wasn’t exactly the thing I needed when I’m on the emotional potion.


“I’ve been looking for you everywhere!” She giggles girlishly, winding a strand of hair around her finger. I have to turn my head away before I start bawling all over again. Zoe is much prettier than I pictured her and she seems, well… nice. She turns and notices Amy, standing with her mouths agape and me, looking at the floor again, eyebrow furrowed in determination. “Oh, hey guys!”


“Er... hello,” I reply after a moment of silence. I can’t exactly leave the poor girl standing there, can I? Amy still seems surprised, probably not expecting Marissa’s gossip to be true, let alone have it show up right in her face.


“Wow, I love your dress,” Zoe coos and then giggles. Again.  I have to try and not punch her pointed little face in. It’s hard, let me tell you. “You look gorgeous, as always. Both of you do.”


“Oh, er... thanks.”


Zoe sighs wistfully and looks up at me with big eyes. “And you’re a genius, too. I’m practically failing everything. You’re so lucky, Rose.”


“You’re just making their heads even bigger,” Scorpius drawls, giving me an unfriendly look. I catch his eye, though, and grin back before he knows what’s hit him. Take that, Mr ‘I have a blonde girlfriend.’ “If that’s even possible.”


Merlin, he’s so bitchy. If I didn’t know any better –but I do, trust me – I would assume he was a girl.


“Scorpius!” Zoe admonishes, her mouth forming a tiny ‘o’ that makes her teeny lips look even smaller. Merlin, everything about this girl seems to be tiny.  Amy looks unimpressed. “That’s mean.”


Much to my utter delight, Scorpius rolls his eyes. “We’re leaving now.”


Zoe obviously senses she’s done something wrong then, because she blushes and looks worriedly up at him. “Oh, okay. It was great to talk to you, guys,” she says to us and then does something that completely catches me off guard. She hugs me. As in wraps her miniscule arms around me and squeezes. I pat her awkwardly on the back and she turns to give Amy the same. “See you later!”


And then Zoe bounces off, her hand attached to Scorpius’s, with Naomi and Al talking in hushed whispers behind them. I’m pretty sure I heard them say ‘Rose,’ you know.


“Why is she so nice?” I grumble, glaring after the sickly cuteness of Scorpius and Zoe. They really do look the perfect couple – both outstandingly blonde, both pretty hot (not that I really noticed Zoe seeing as I was too busy ogling Scorpius) and both running in the same social groups. These could all be easy to fix – hair dye, anti-frizz gel – but the social group might be a bit of a problem and the fact that he hates me; something I resent Zoe for. “I hate her. Who is that nice? It’s weird.”


“Honey, she’s a Hufflepuff,” Amy informs me, shrugging her bony shoulders before dropping her arm around my neck. My arm’s are still folded in a moment of huffiness and I’m pretty sure I’m still scowling at where Malfoy used to be. “It’s like a package deal for them.”


“Well, if I have to see her and Scorpius all over each other for a second longer I will quite literally throttle someone.”


Amy raises a delicate eyebrow, her eyelashes long and black – courtesy of mascara – beneath them. “Rosie, we’re starting to sound jealous.”


I choose to scoff at this, before dragging her off by the arm into our compartment, trying not to seem paranoid to those curious faces that are finally retreating back into their compartment. I really, reallydon’t want people to spread something like that around the school. My life, as I know it, would be over. The compartment is empty – something that surprised me as we usually had to fight off first years for our seats – and Amy drapes herself across a whole side and pulls a pot of nail varnish from that bag which I’m now sure contains every beauty product imaginable.


“Zoe bugs me, too,” she says, flicking the nail varnish brush over her pinky, sending it a bubblegum pick. I sit in silence, not really sure how to respond to that. “She can’t just hug me like that. I mean, do I even know her?”


“You were her partner for Potions last year,” I point out, changing the direction of my stare from Amy’s now sparkly pink nails to her eyes. “And she says hi to you every time she sees you.”


Amy’s head is ducked down and, even though I’m positive she heard me, she ignores me to finish her nails off. “She needs to go.”


She needs to go? I sigh and lean back against the window, the cold glass sending a shiver down my spine. This shiver was most definitely not because of how threatening Amy can sound. “Amy, you’re not in the Mafia.”


“You know what I mean,” she sits up and looks me in the eye while I try not to flinch at her cold stare, her voice now raising to a shout. “Wasn’t Zoe the one who was sneaking out of a broom closet, only in her underwear, with Brandon Hutter?”


Oh, dear. Now it’s out of Amy’s mouth, it’ll be over the whole school. It doesn’t even matter that Zoe had never been in a closet in her life; what Amy says, goes. What’s worse; Amy knows how much power she has over the school and uses it to her advantage but she has no idea how much change she can evoke if she wanted to. How I crave for that sort of power – if only for a day.


“Amy,” I hiss and stand as she does, if only to restrain her a little by grabbing her elbow tightly. “That’s a little harsh.”


She shakes me off to open the door. People are already scurrying around, eager to spread hot, new gossip. “God, you’re so boring these days. It’s just a bit of fun.” With that Amy struts out of the compartment, probably to search for Brandon Hutter as a back-up for her rumour.


Oh, I am really starting to hate Amy’s idea’s of ‘fun,’ now. I always end up alone and Amy always ends up coming out Queen.







Secret No. 17: Amy only started to like me as soon as I got pretty. I mean, sure, back in first year, she tried when she found out I was semi-famous but after twenty minutes on the train, Amy called Al and I losers before leaving. When I started to fret about my hair and my make-up Amy suddenly declared us friends, even after ignoring me for three years. But she loves me now, as she so frequently admits. (When she’s drunk.)





A/N: Sorry this chapter wasn't out sooner but I've been practically living at the Lido because of the gorgeous - if a bit hot - heatwave. Lo and behold, I am actually getting a tan. 
School breaks up in a few weeks (YAY!) so I should be writing much more then :D
And I'm really interested in your opinions of Rose (so keep them coming :]) because I thought people would mostly not like her but she seems to be coming off okay so far. 
Effy xx


Chapter 6: Oblivious
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Secret No. 9: It is me who keeps secretly feeding the already obese cat, Crookshanks, titbits and snacks when he’s meant to be on a special diet.





The picture from the chemist did appear in Witch Weekly. And not the good one either. The one where I look like a drunken, bruised, squinting mess. Amy, on the other hand, looks like her usual gorgeous self and has taken it upon herself to remind every damn person to look at the photo of us in Witch Weekly. I’m choosing to believe she’s not doing it to embarrass me but to up her status, if that can even be done.

So, I think it’s safe to say, I am not happy. Not in the slightest.

And this mood is not improved by Hugo chortling at my picture in the magazine, as he seems to re-enact to his little friends what I assume from his wild hand gestures and his fist coming inches to his face, almost hitting it, is me getting slapped by Naomi. Like he was even there.

It comes across my, what has to be said, brilliant mind then, while I sit glaring at Hugo, that this is all his fault. Okay, I know it’s not really at all but it still makes me feel a little happier. And what would make me even happier would be if something extremely embarrassing happens to Hugo. Something so embarrassing it would make my mum look cool.

My eyes flit over to the Slytherin table, as they do every breakfast, lunch and dinner, but this time they skip over Scorpius and land on Al. Al, with his invisibility cloak and older brother who had an obsession with pranks.

Oh, I really am a genius.

I refocus my gaze to Marissa who has practically been babbling to herself for the last ten minutes and give her a small, almost apologetic smile. “Sorry, I need to go.”

Her mouth is open as she blinks at me. It’s obvious I had interrupted her. “Where?”
“I’m going to make Al help me prank Hugo,” I reply, flashing the ditzy brunette a winning smile. Marissa stares at me blankly for a moment before bursting into a fit of giggles. I don’t even bother to roll my eyes before I leave.

Albus’s hair always looks messier in the morning, I notice, as I walk over to the Slytherin table. Scorpius’s hair is perfect, of course. As it usually is. His head tilts up and he seems to notice me. Or I think he does anyway because he’s scowling rather ferociously in my direction. Which makes it really hard to remember I’m meant to be talking to Al, not engaging in a battle of the wits – which I would of course win – with Malfoy.

“Morning, Al,” I say once I’ve reached them both. Albus looks up, startled and sleep deprived. I sit down, beaming heartily at all the glaring Slytherins. “I’m afraid I need your help.”

There’s a slightly awkward pause. Albus seems a little dumbfounded. Of course, Scorpius-big-mouth-Malfoy seems thrilled that I need any sort of help. I can’t help it then; I let my attention slip from Al to Scorpius. He’s leaning forward, grinning at me in a slightly mad way. “No.”

“I wasn’t even talking to you,” I hiss, giving Scorpius my most unimpressed look.

“Well, you were looking at me.”

“I was not!”

He smirks. “You were-”

Al sighs heavily enough to halt Scorpius mid-sentence. “Merlin, shut up.”

I smirk back at Scorpius, happy that Al has taken my side, for once. I turn to that wonderful cousin of mine – so wonderful he may give Louis a run for his money. “So, will you help me, then?”

“Depends,” Al replies, looking over in amusement at Scorpius, who seems to be sulking. “What do you want?”

“Well,” I begin in a hushed whisper. It would really spoil my fun if somebody, say… Scorpius, overheard what I was saying and, just because they can, told Hugo. Who would obviously tattle on me to Mum. “You know Hugo spiked my juice?”

Al nods, his face impassive. I know he’s secretly curious though. As long as I can remember, Al’s shoulder had always twitched when he wanted to know something. And today was no exception. “The whole school knows.”

“Yes, okay, thanks for that,” I say. “We, that is you and I, are going to…” I pause for effect. It seems to work, Al leans in closer, expectant, and even Scorpius’s eyes are rested on me. “Prank Hugo Weasley.”

There’s another silence. But this one seems to feel more like disbelief rather than uncomfortable relationships between cousins. I see Al and Scorpius exchange looks. I start to feel a little frustrated. “What?!” I cry and throw up my hands. “What is so wrong with that?!”

Scorpius starts to snigger and, just I was about to snap at him, Al does the same. I strum my fingers on the table, resting my head in my hand. I would really like to throw the pumpkin juice over Al before leaving but I want his cloak. “So,” I say, once both boys have calmed down. “Will you help me, then?”

And then they’re off again. This time I did reach for the jug of juice and my fingers are only inches away when the bell rings. I feel a bit of a pout come on as Al and Scorpius walk to their lessons, shaking their heads and laughing, and as all of the remaining students file out behind them. Hugo and his friends strut at the rear of the crowd, obviously thinking they’re some sort of fourth year gods, and I narrow my eyes at his back.

Oh, he is so dead.









“Rose Weasley,” the professor calls in a tired voice and I look away from Nina who’s once again giggling at Merlin knows what to where the Mr. Sitch is glancing at the paper in his hands. “You’ll sit with… oh, heavens no, not him… what about… yes, yes, Rose you’ll be sitting next to Zoe Hawthorn.”

Woop-de-fucking-doo.

I find myself glaring at him as I make my way over to the chirpy blonde sitting casually at the front table. I mean, this is so unfair! I wasn’t the one who spread that rumour about her and Brandon Hutter in the broom closet which she seemed unsettlingly cool about. I wasn’t the one who ‘accidently’ spilt pumpkin juice down her back this morning, the sticky juice making her shirt transparent which earned many cat-calls and wolf whistles from most of the boys. And I wasn’t the one who stole her diary from out of her bag while she went to change and then laughing my evil arse off at what she’d written. So, why am I being forced to sit with Zoe while Amy, once again has luck on her side, and is paired with Sam?

I see Zoe beaming up at me happily as I slowly, reluctantly, place my bag down on the wooden table and crouch to feel for my chair. I’ve done that since third year and some particularly horrible person pulled my chair out just as I was sitting down, sending me crashing to the floor. My fingers make contact with the wood and I seat myself down, turning to face Zoe.
“Hey,” I say quietly and Zoe’s smile becomes, if possible, brighter.

“Hey, Rose!” She says, turning her body towards me so that I can see her face properly. Her eyes seem to flick up and down over my body before finally letting them rest on my hair. I don’t know why she looks so fascinated by it – it looks as it usually does. “Have you been using that super-shine on your hair? Because it looks super shiny.”

I run a finger through my hair, feeling how silky it is. “Yeah.”

“You can really tell,” Zoe nods enthusiastically and, I know how wrong it is, but I feel a little resentment towards her. Why must she be so nice? I mean, she was even nice when Amy purposely poured pumpkin juice on her. Do you know what she said? ‘No worries, I’m sure it was an accident.’ Accident, my arse. Nothing Amy does is an ‘accident.’ Even Amy looked a bit startled by that.

Mr. Sitch calls out another name and I hear Marissa’s familiar groan as she stomps over to where the Ravenclaw loner is sitting, her hair looking as if it had been dumped in a chip fryer.

I nod in reply to Zoe as I pull out my Potions book, the cover brand new and shiny. “Thanks,” I murmur. Okay, I may be sounding a little surly and bored but if this girl kept talking to me in her overly nice, bubbly, girlfriend-of-Scorpius way I might have to jam a quill in my eye. I flick through my book, trying to ignore Zoe, who’s staring at me nervously, with wide eyes.

“Um… Rose?” She begins and I close my book with a snap, turning to eye her in boredom. Zoe gulps, the lump in her throat looking more pronounced as she does this. In fact, in the poor light in the dungeons, it slightly looks like an Adam’s apple. I smirk at her, tilting my head to the left to show off how non-Adam’s apple-like my neck is.

“You know you have, like, the nicest clothes I’ve ever seen…” Zoe trails off and I sigh, turning back to my book. In all honestly, I expected something a little more creative from the girlfriend of Scorpius – I receive these compliments on a daily basis from people the likes of Marissa. Zoe doesn’t seem fazed by my blatant disinterest and plowers on. “I was wondering…” she takes a deep breath and I admit it, my curiosity was piqued. “I was wondering… well, if you’d…. if you’d take me shopping?”

Are you fucking kidding me? I survey her innocent expression with a bad taste in my mouth, really wishing she’d do something completely horrible so I am justified to hate her. “I’m busy,” I reply curtly and Zoe looks a little wounded. I take a deep breath before mustering up a tight smile. “Sorry.”

Zoe’s cheeks are a bit flushed. “Oh, it’s not your fault!” She rushes out, returning my smile ten times the effort. “Of course you’re busy. I mean, you’re Rose Weasley.”

I’m not sure if she meant that in a good way or not so I reply with a hesitant smile. She opens her mouth again but Professor Sitch orders everyone to shut up. It was either me or him. He talks for a few minutes, explaining some sort of complicated potion, and Zoe lets out a little giggle. I turn from the board to see what could have possibly made Little Miss Perfect giggle in the middle of a lecture. Zoe looks a little horrified to have been heard; her hand is clamped over her mouth and her eyes are wide, scared.

The Professor frowns, his hand pausing over a diagram in the book. “What, Miss Hawthorn, is so funny?”

The whole class is looking up now; most have their attention focused on Zoe whose face is turning a nice, scarlet red. I get a little bored of Zoe’s stuttering and I do what I always do when I’m bored; I stare at Scorpius. He doesn’t look the least bit concerned that his girlfriend is a stuttering tomato. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. He’s slumped over on his desk, his head resting on the table, but his shoulders are shaking. With laughter, I presume. I wonder what sort of weird mimes Zoe and Scorpius have been doing to make them both giggling like little girls.

I feel a little left out. Oh, I really am so petty.

“Sir,” I say, raising my hand in the air. Heads turn to look at me. Professor Sitch nods for me to continue. “It was my fault.” Wait, what am I doing? Everyone looks a bit shocked, really. Scorpius is sitting up, confusion splashed across his face. “I, er, made Zoe laugh.”

“Well, then, let’s discuss the humour in tonight’s detention, hm?” Sitch replies, recovering from his surprise quicker than I thought he would. Honestly, I never would have owned up to something I didn’t do if I thought he was going to punish me. “Let’s continue, please.”

Zoe’s looking at me, the redness of her cheeks dying down, with her mouth a little open. “Thank you, Rose,” she whispers.

I’m lovely, I am. It makes me feel a little better after receiving a detention.

Throughout the lecture about the latest potion we will be brewing, Sitch has such an observant eye on us it was really too hard sneak over to Albus’s desk and demand he help me. So when we were told to retrieve the ingredients we need for the potion, I insist I go. I think I was a little too forceful – Zoe looks a bit scared.

Al has all the luck; he’s partnered with a smart Ravenclaw girl and also on his table are Scorpius and his partner. Scorpius wasn’t as lucky as Albus; he was partnered with a bint from Slytherin who seems to worship him. I walk up to their table and every single one on that table looks surprised. “Hello, Albus,” I say, my tone formal.
“Rose,” he replies, mimicking my tone.

“Al!” I whine and pull up a chair for me to sit on. There was really no point in acting cool Rose Weasley in front of Malfoy and the partners – I’d already embarrassed myself with the crying on the train and the humiliating picture in the paper.“Please help me!”

He groans and meets my eyes. I’d always wished I had Al’s eyes – they’re so prettily green. “I’m not going to help you prank my little cousin who, frankly, I like better than you.”

I frown at him. I can see Scorpius hiding guffaws out of the corner of my eye. “Oh, yeah? Well, you’re eyes are the colour of snot.”

Scorpius apparently can’t contain his laughter any more. I don’t know if it was Al’s ‘didn’t see that one coming’ face or my oh so witty insult but, for the first time in years, Scorpius is annoying me. “I don’t know what you’re laughing about, Malfoy,” I snap, standing up to look more threatening. “You’re eyes are… you’re eyes…”

My mind has gone blank. I cannot think of a single insult, no matter how pathetic, to his eyes. I am that far gone.

“My eyes…?” Scorpius smirks, a glint of mischief in his un-insult-able eyes.

“Oh, shut up!” I splutter and march off; fuming about how unlucky it is to have a perfect cousin for pranking who refuses to help me. Amy lifts an eyebrow as I pass but I ignore her, heading for the ingredients cupboard. Zoe probably thinks I died trying to get there.

She does, in fact, look worried when I finally arrive with an armful of what we needed but she doesn’t question my lateness. She’s probably too nice to confront me. I find the plant that goes into the potion and begin slicing it as Zoe mashes something else, frequently looking towards the board to see if she’s doing it correctly.

Really, she should just let me do it all. I’d obviously get an O on it.

I look over Zoe’s shoulder at Amy who is leaning back in her chair, her legs looking even longer propped up on the table. Sam is dropping ingredients into their cauldron, looking every bit frustrated. I catch his eye and wave before returning my attention to Zoe, who’s stirring our cauldron a little frantically.

I am just opening my mouth to tell her to slow the stirring when there’s an explosive bang that seems to echo around the dungeons for minutes. There are a couple of screams, some scared faces whipping around trying to find the culprit and a gross stench is wafting around the room. I wrinkle my nose in disgust and look to Sam. It’s not him whose potion exploded though, as I thought it was. Instead, he’s glaring at Al and Scorpius who are covered in a thick, sticky, electric blue liquid. If I didn’t know any better, I would have assumed it was a new flavour of honey. Their partners are also covered in the failed potion and looking completely unimpressed.

“What happened?!” Sitch bellows, making a couple of students jump. Al fingers his collar nervously.

“They did it,” Al’s partner hisses, the blue goo dripping off her arm as she points a figure at Scorpius and then at Al. “They were seeing who could stir their potions the fastest. Idiots.”

“Hey, you were the one who said it needed to be stirred quickly,” Al protests and folds his arms across his chest grumpily, apparently all his guilt forgotten. The whole class seems to be watching them now. The Slytherin girl looks like she’s about to burst into tears.

“Right,” Sitch says, glowering at that table. “Detention for all four of you. You’ll be cleaning up this mess,” he informs them, making all four students groan. I let out a little snigger, still amused by their current appearance. Sitch turns around, his beady eye fixing on me. “Weasley, you’ll be joining them.”

Fuck.









I arrive late to detention. It wasn’t about me being an arrogant cow, no matter what Scorpius says, it was actually because I had been waylaid by Amy. I.e. she wanted to know if she should really get a fringe. (Yes.)

I knock politely on the door before opening it to find four students on the floor on their hands and knees, scrubbing with dirty cloths. Their heads simultaneously snap to me. It was scary, really, how they all turned to look at me at once. I take a step back and Professor Sitch rolls his eyes at me.

“Late as usual, Weasley,” he says in a bored voice as he rifles through sheets of paper. I think this is a little unfair; I’m not always late. “Take a cloth. I want this place so clean I can eat off the floors.”

I bet he does do that, actually. Just because he can.

But what can I do but trudge over to his desk, slowly and unhappily, and pick up a blackened with dirt cloth from his table? I choose a fairly clean spot next to Al; I’m not going to give up on him helping me yet. He doesn’t seem too pleased about that but it’s not like him to make a fuss. Score for Rose.

“Al,” I whisper. He rolls his eyes and ignores me, instead choosing to focus all his attention on removing the blue goo. I try saying his name again and this time he fidgets away from me. I sigh, not bothering to chase him again, and turn to smile at the other girls. The Slytherin girl is occasionally glancing at her nails and frowning before bending her head down to the floor, her dark hair hiding her face, and continuing. The other girl, the girl who tried (and failed) to tattle on Al so she wouldn’t get in trouble, looks near to tears. I can sympathize for her actually; the first time I got into trouble I did end up crying.

I hiss, “Hey, Ravenclaw.”

She looks up, her chin slightly wobbles. “What?”

Well, she’s rude. “Uh… how are you doing?”

She swallows and I think she’s going to cry for a moment. Her position changes so that she is no longer on all fours but kneeling, sitting more comfortably on her feet. She wipes her hands on her skirt. “Why are you talking to me?”

“Okay,” I blink as I continue scrubbing. I’m aware that Al is listening from my right. “I won’t, then.”

“No, I don’t mean it like that,” she says quickly, her thin lips going into a sort of grimace. “I just mean; you never talk to me.”

“Oh,” I reply in a small voice, guilt changing my attitude. I look down at the cloth in my hands. “Sorry.”

“I mean, it’s not like I care,” her chin juts out stubbornly and the little crease between her eyebrows tells me she’s frowning. “It’s not like I care that Rose Weasley doesn’t even know my name.”

I stare at her, hurt. Everyone else has stopped talking, instead eavesdropping rather intently to what was going on between me and the Ravenclaw girl. I open my mouth to say something, before closing it again. I hate awkward, uncomfortable silences.
Apparently, Al does, too; he clears his throat. “Well…”

There’s a ruffling of papers and Sitch looks up from his desk. “Did I say you could talk? No, I didn’t,” he sighs heavily, as if reprimanding us is a big task for him, and walks closer to us. He inspects the cleanliness of the place. “I suppose you can go, then. It’s nearly curfew.”

Al looks a little confused by the blue goo that still covers a bit of the wall but I see my chance and grab it, throwing down my cloth on the nearest table, the wetness making it sound like a slap. I wait for Al to do the same and frown when I see he’s still kneeling on the floor, obviously trying to evade our jolly walk back to the common rooms. I notice Scorpius is up and ready, his fingers thrumming against the table impatiently. He’s been rather quiet this detention; I hadn’t even said a word to him. He had been talking with the Slytherin girl.

Finally, in what seems like forever, Al stands up, brushes himself off and quickly leaves the classroom, Scorpius tagging along behind him. So quickly, in fact, I have to trot to keep up with them. I manage it though. I’m nearly as tall as him, courtesy of the Weasley male gene. Woopee. “So, Al… are you going to help me yet?”

“No.”

“Haha.”

Normally, I would throw a little strop about this. Now, I’ve just thought of the perfect leverage. “Hugo was the one who filled your hat with custard on New Years.”

Al stops suddenly and I have to skip out of the way to avoid crashing into him. “Okay, I’ll do it, then.”

“Brillian-”

There’s a loud crash around the corner and a few swearwords. It didn’t sound like the exploding potion; this time it sounded like glass shattering against the floor. Scorpius pulls out his wand and Al and I do the same. We inch closer to the end of the corridor where a faint light is glowing around the corner. There’s a frustrated groan. I’d recognise that groan anywhere. Especially when the owner doesn’t get what he wants. I put my wand away and step around the corner, the perfect glare on my face.

“Hugo!” I hiss and fold my arms to show him that he is so in trouble. Scorpius also lets out a groan as he moves to stand beside me.

“Speak of the devil,” he mutters.

Hugo and his friends stand frozen, like a deer caught in headlights. Each one of them seems to be carrying a crystal ball in each hand. That makes eight, ten, twelve. One ball lies on the floor in pieces. Hugo steps forward, his face one of complete innocence. It’s no wonder Mum never believes a word against him; sometimes that boy can look angelic. “Hey, Rose. What’s up? Wait… what are you doing with Malfoy?”

How pathetic is it that my heart skips a beat when he says that? Al moves out of the shadows, though, and Hugo’s expression turns from grossed out to confusion.

“Hey, Rose!” Someone behind Hugo pipes up and another ball slips through his hand to land with a smash on the floor. Everybody froze for a moment. “Oops.”

“Hugo,” I say, ignoring the smashed ball. “What are you doing?”

“Well,” he says. He seems nervous again; he knows how angry I can get. “We were going to freak out Trelawney by hiding all the crystal balls.”

He is such a five year old.

I hear Scorpius snort. Hugo looks a little triumphant. “See? Malfoy thinks it’s funny.”

“That’s because Malfoy has the immaturi-”

“Hugo,” Al cuts across me, obviously anticipating an argument brewing between Scorpius and I. “Did you put custard in my hat?”

“Er…”

Al has his wand out again and he flicks his wand so quickly I wasn’t sure if anything happened. But I know something did because there is another smash and another as Hugo shields his hands over his face. His friends are sniggering at him and Al smirks at me. I smirk back.

“Haha!” Hugo’s friend cackles, pointing at Hugo’s face. “His hair’s pink! Pink!”

“He looks like a girl!”

“Ah, change it back! Change it back!”

“It looks funny.”

I step closer to Hugo and all the boys cease their inane, monkey chattering to look at me with wide eyes. They probably think I’m going to hex them like Albus did.

“That, Hugo,” I say instead and toss my hair over my shoulder, “is what you get for messing with Rose Weasley.”

There’s a cough behind me.

“And Al,” I add quickly before turning and walking away with Scorpius and Albus, just like old times. I can almost feel Hugo’s glare, that’s how pissed off he is.

It would have been such a cool exit if bloody Louis didn’t walk around the corner, right into me. This is bad. It is after curfew, I am with Malfoy (it didn’t even matter that Al is with us) and Hugo has pink hair and is surrounded by glass and idiotic fourth year boys. And Louis is Head Boy.

Bullocks.

“Rosie…” Louis says slowly, clearly trying to put together the situation in his head but coming up blank. “What’s going on?”

“Hey, Louis,” Al says, lifting his hand in greeting.

I admit, I’m a little lost for words. I really didn’t see this coming. “Hugo… he, well… he’s an idiot.”

Louis blinks for a while and focuses his eyes on the figure standing beside me. “Is that… Malfoy?!”

“I can hear you, you know.”

I stand in front of Scorpius, almost shielding him from Louis. He can be a right sarcastic pain in the arse and knows just the right way to push somebody’s buttons. “No, no! That’s nobody.”

“Yes, it is!” Hugo calls out from behind me. His voice is considerably higher now than it was when his hair was brown. “That’s Malfoy!”

I whirl around, glaring over Scorpius’s shoulder at my idiotic brother. “Shut up, Hugo!” I don’t know if it was my eye-twitching fury or Hugo accepting that he had lost but I am extremely grateful when he slinks off, taking his friends with him.

Louis looks stroppy now with his crossed arms, frowning face and down turned mouth. “Why are you hanging out with Malfoy? He’s a prick.”

“Cheers, Weasley,” Scorpius says dryly and I resign; I’m clearly not preventing any sort of fight by standing in front of Scorpius.

Louis shrugs, acting every bit the arrogant arse. I hate it when he’s like this. “I’m only saying the truth.”

Al’s cheeks are flushing red. That’s not a good sign. The only other time I’ve seen those flushed cheeks was when James broke his miniature broom when we were seven. He tackled James, then, and that thought makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

Al breathes out deeply and runs a finger through his messy hair. “Fuck off, Louis.”

Louis glances at me then, obviously expecting I would defend him against ‘the Slytherins.’ I wouldn’t this time, though. Louis is wrong this time. I move my head, shaking it just barely, but he understands clearly, stepping away from me as if he is repulsed. “I can’t believe you’d choose Slytherins over me.”

Scorpius moves forward, anger plastered across his features. I desperately want to give him a big hug and tell him not to worry, that my cousin can be an idiot. “And I can’t believe you could be so oblivious.” Scorpius is smirking; this can’t be good.

Louis narrows his eyes. “What is that supposed to me?”

Oh, no. I know where this is going. Scorpius can’t tell him. He’d be a dead man. In fact, Amy herself would throttle him. After Louis dumped her, which he of course would, she would go out of her way to make his life a living hell.

“Scorpius,” I warn, closing my eyes in exasperation. How could these two boys I care for, in different ways of course, hate each other so deeply? “Don’t.”

He, of course, ignores me. He’d rather eat his own sock then listen to me. Al doesn’t really seem to care whether Louis knows or not. But he doesn’t know Amy like I do.
“It means that your girlfriend is cheating on you.”

It’s stuff like this that makes Scorpius Malfoy unpopular.





Secret No. 51: You know in really posh houses (i.e. Amy’s) they have the decorative soap that you are not allowed to use, you can only look at it? Yeah, well… I mistook it for mint imperials and ate it. That’s right. I ate decorative soap.





A/N: Okay, before you all start sharpening your pitchforks (or something along those lines...) I'm so sorry I haven't updated in ages! I honestly thought I would actually be able to write in the Summer holiday but I was dragged (quite willingly, I admit) around Europe for nearly all of the time.
And, I found out I won the 'Best New Author' Dobby! Thankyou so much to everyone who voted for me! I actually did a little happy dance and went around hugging everyone, including my brother, I was so thrilled! :D
Effy xxx

 



Chapter 7: Overreaction
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Secret No. 32: I have millions of freckles. I know you’re probably thinking; aw! Freckles! How adorable. And sometimes they are, like in my cousin Lily’s case who has a little splatter of freckles across her nose and maybe the odd few on her body. I, however, am absolutely covered in them, top to toe. It’s really the only reason why I use foundation.






Louis seems a bit dumbfounded, a look of faraway in his glassy eyes. I exchange a look with Al. A look that clearly says ‘is our idiotic cousin alright or are we going to have to cart him off to St. Mungo’s?’ I slide my eyes to Scorpius who, to my extreme annoyance, is looking every bit proud of himself.

The cocky arse.

I whack his arm, quite hard, and he just swats his hand at me as if I could quite easily be removed. “Dickhead,” I hiss and flash him a dark glare. Louis straightens up, making my eyes shift from Scorpius to my cousin, and steps forward.

“Louis?” I say, concern for my cousin clouding my annoyance. “Are you alri-”

That’s when Louis takes another step forward, brings his arm back, then forwards. There’s a dark crack as Louis fists collides with Scorpius’s face and I scream. Scorpius groans and drops to the ground, his hands covering his nose.

Louis shakes his hand, the hand that he used to punch, and grins at me. “Better now, thanks.”

It takes me a second to understand what he’s really saying. It must have been the shock of the situation that made it hard for my brain to function properly. But when it does, I swear I’ve never been angrier in my life. Not even at Hugo. My eye lids feel hot, my whole body feels like its shaking and I want nothing more than to mimic my smarmy cousin and punch Louis in the face.

“Louis!” I screech, stepping in front of Scorpius in an almost protective way. I know that punching my cousin won’t go over too well with the rest of the family, minus Al, so I settle for bringing my hands up on his chest and putting all my strength in shoving him away from me. I glower fiercely at him, trying not to be distracted whenever Scorpius mutters curses. “What the hell is your problem?”

“Merlin, Al,” Scorpius moans, standing up carefully, as his hands rub the bridge of his nose, shielding the damage from my view. His voice sounds a bit muffled. “I hate your family.”

Al lets out a snigger. Louis looks like he wants to hit him again. I shake my head again, but this time it’s in a more disappointed, exasperated way. “Just get out of here, Louis.”

His mouth is downturned and he gives me a last, withering glare before turning and walking away. His footsteps echo in the hall and I know I’ve been holding my breath the whole time he’s been walking. He rounds the corner and I glance at Scorpius.

Honestly, I’m disappointed in Al – I expected him to be more concerned that his cousin just hit his best friend. “Scorpius,” I say calmly, reaching for the hand that is covering his nose. He blinks in surprise as I gently tug on his hand. “Let me see.”

“She’ll probably faint,” Al cuts in, ruining what could be a very lovely moment. Honestly, this is so typical Al, I’m surprised something like this didn’t happen sooner. Scorpius also starts to snigger but his hands slowly come away from his face.

I admit, I do feel a little faint – I’ve never been one for the blood and gore – and I have to reach out an arm to steady myself. Stupid Al being right again. Scorpius’s nose does look bad – there’s a river of blood running from both nostrils down to his upper lip where it looks like he’s been wiping it.

Al smirks. “I told you so.”

Now, that pisses me off. It’s bad enough that Al is so mercilessly making fun of my squeamish personality but he doesn’t seem at all worried that Scorpius has just been sucker punched by our cousin and is bleeding at the nose. I whip around to face Al and say, for the second time in one night, “What the hell is your problem?”

Seriously, that should be my new catch phrase or something. With Amy as a best friend it’s unlikely that I’ll never say that again.

“I mean,” I continue in a calmer tone, glaring at Al who is looking at me slightly confused. “Why are not freaking out about his nose?”

Al rolls his eyes, his position assuming a defensive stance. “Honestly, Rose,” he sighs, his green eyes now focused back on me. “Do you really think it’s the first time Scorpius has been punched in the face?”

I blink, trying to comprehend what Al is saying. Scorpius is nodding along as he massages his nose, wincing every so often. Do I think it’s the first time Scorpius has been punched? Truthfully, I do. I really, really do. I mean, I know Scorpius can be a right arsehole sometimes and knows just the way to push someone’s buttons but I didn’t think that he pisses off people that much.

Though, his dad pissed off pretty much all the family friends, as my dad so frequently reminds me, so I guess it runs in the family.

“Scorpius is a bit of a git,” Al continues, looking like he’s trying to hold back a laugh. Of course, how would it look if Al got seen laughing with me? Scorpius stops fiddling with his nose, his hands dropping slowly to his sides, and glares at Al who holds up his palms in defence. “What?” Al says, shrugging. “I’m only saying the truth.”

“B-but who?” I’m still shocked, I conclude, trying not to picture how I must look with big, startled eyes, frizzy hair from the earlier anger phase and an expression of total bewilderment on my face. Yes, that’s really how I want Scorpius to picture me whenever my name comes up.

Al shrugs again. “Well, there was James-”

“James Potter?”

“That wasn’t my fault,” Scorpius cuts in, his voice sounding a bit muffled because of his bleeding nose. He pats his jacket pocket, searching, until he pulls out his wand. “He overreacted.”

Al shoots Scorpius a disbelieving look and I have a feeling that they’ve both already forgotten that I’m here, that I’m the one who started this discussion. “You told him he can’t play Quidditch for shit when we beat his team for the first time.”

Ah, that’s why I don’t remember this. Quidditch matches bore me, unless I’m the one doing the playing, so while other Gryffindor fans were moaning that they actually lost to Slytherin, Amy and I were happily wondering aimlessly through the halls, bitching about our friends and giggling over Amy’s latest fling.

“And?” Scorpius says, looking completely unbothered.

“And James wants to be a professional Quidditch player.”

Even I knew this. Even I, Rose Weasley, girl who is probably, and I quote from Dad, ‘allergic to family.’

Scorpius smirks. It looks a little scary from where I’m standing – the light from Al’s wand is hitting his face at a weird angle. “How’s he doing with that, by the way?”

Al opens his mouth and I glance at him, slightly excited to see how my cousin’s faring life outside of Hogwarts. His mouth closes again and instead he returns Scorpius’s smirk. “Good point well made.”

“Albus!” I say, shocked. Really, what kind of brother is he if he doesn’t even stand up for his family? A terrible one, that’s what. And James has always been nice to me, even if he is a little slow at times.

Al seems a little surprised that I’m still standing here. “What?”

It would really do no good, scolding Al. He’d either brush off my comments or laugh in my face. I sigh, my hand sliding down my face in frustration. “Nevermind.”

But Al has already turned back to Scorpius and is back on the ‘who has hit Scorpius’ conversation, which, much as I hate to admit it, is interesting me. “There was Wood, too, wasn’t there? When he caught you with his girlfriend?”

I turn an accusatory glare to Scorpius. His cheeks are a little tinged with pink but he’s staring me defiantly in the face. “That was a little my fault,” he says in a sure voice, looking a little abashed. “But then she hit me, too.”

“Classic,” Al chuckles.

I frown at them. The conversation isn’t really interesting me anymore. In fact, it’s kind of repulsing me. Does it seem like I want to listen to Scorpius’s flings when, in actual fact, I myself am in love with him? No, I assure you, it doesn’t.

“I’m going to go,” I announce and, surprisingly, both Scorpius and Al turn their heads to stare at me in such a way that I wonder if I said I was going to leave or if I’d just announced I was pregnant with an alien baby.

“Why?”

“Because,” I say curtly to Scorpius who is looking at me in disbelief. I pull on the hem of my skirt, trying to straighten it. “I, for one, don’t want to be caught breaking curfew and get another detention. I mean, I actually have a social life.”

It was all going swimmingly until that last sentence. I really should have let them think I was a nerd before opening my big mouth and proving them wrong.

They both exchange a look. “Fine,” Scorpius says, giving me a tight smile.

I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it. Scorpius is smiling at me! Not smirking, not sneering, not laughing at me. Is it really important that he looks like someone is twisting his arm from behind as he smiles? No, I assure you, it isn’t. He’s smiling!

“O-okay!” I let it out in a whooshing breath. As much as I hate to admit this, it sounded a little like I was gushing. I have a feeling I’ve also got a lovesick smile on my face. “Bye, Scorpius!”

Oh, Merlin, I sound like a giggling little 14 year old.

Al gives me a strange look. “See you, Rose,” he says but I can barely hear him over my heartbeat thumping in my ears

Scorpius’s makes a face but doesn’t say anything and then his back is turned to me and he’s walking off with Al.







I admit, as soon as I return to my dormitory, the first thing I do is pull back my duvet covers and climb in, snuggling deep inside my bed, trying to bring my body temperature to a nice, warm level. As surprising as this may sound, Hogwarts is cold. In January, we all wear multiple layers of clothing to ward off frostbite. Apparently, according to Amy, it’s the perfect time for ‘getting cosy under the mistletoe.’ She doesn’t listen to me when I tell her that mistletoe is a Christmas thing.

I am fully expecting to drift off, though. It is pretty much customary for me to do this; anytime I’m even remotely close to a sleeping environment, I do exactly that, and sleep.

The dormitory is also empty. I did kind of expect Naomi and Annabelle to be sitting on either of their beds, gossiping about their friends in other houses or bitching about Amy or I, but I prefer it empty. It means it’ll be easier to sleep without Naomi’s glares and Annabelle’s careful smiles.

What I am not expecting is to be woken up rather brutally by such a slam from the creaky, wooden door that, surely, it must be hanging on its hinges by now. I sit up boltright in my bed, staring with wide-eyes in the direction of the door. What I see is not a comforting sight. Amy is panting heavily, fists clenched, hair dishevelled, and giving me such a terrifying glower that I feel like I’m breaking into a sweat.

“Rose,” Amy snarls, stomping towards me like a rabid pitbull. I feel a little like pointing this out but this isn’t exactly the best time. Amy clicks her jaw and cracks her knuckles. “Did you tell him?”

“N-no,” I stammer nervously and clamber out of my bed. Already I feel a little colder. I move towards Amy, holding my arms out as you would to a frightened child, and now can see that there are tear marks where her mascara has run lines through her foundation. “I swear.”

Amy sniffs. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen her anything less than perfection. “Then who did?”

She looks so confused and sad that I want nothing more than to wrap my arms around her and tell her the truth, tell her that it was Malfoy and that we’ll cock up some evil plan to get him back tomorrow. But this is Amy, I remember. She can turn in a second. “I don’t know, honey.”

Her chin quivers and her eyes seem tearful. I take another cautious step towards her, fully intent on the ‘hugging Amy’ plan. To be honest, I never hug Amy as a way to comfort her. They’ve always been silly hugs, hugs to say ‘have a nice Christmas’ without really meaning it or excited hugs. It’s going to be like hugging a lion, isn’t it? Sure, it looks cute when you think about it, but when you’re about to do it, it’s terrifying.

And then Amy let’s out a shaky breath, wipes her eyes and cheeks with the heel of her hand and tosses her hair over her shoulder. I drop my arms, staring at her in bewilderment. She no longer looks miserable. More like a model for WitchWeekly.

“Come on, Rose,” Amy says, a smile playing on her lips. “We’re going out.”

“Say, what?” I blink repeatedly at her, trying not to point out that she’s insane. Amy walks over to her trunk and, pulling out a blue duffel coat, she throws it at me. I catch it quickly before it lands on my already mussed up hair.

“We’re,” Amy repeats slowly, running a comb through her shiny locks, “going out.”

“Out? Out? Where’s out?”




Secret No. 4: I laugh at anyone who falls over. Whether it's an old lady with a walking stick or a toddler tripping over a ball I find it so damn funny I'm crying with laughter. It's even funnier when they can't get up. What? Don't judge me. I know you do it, too.







A/N: I meant for this chapter to be much longer but, and I can't believe it either, my computer broke again. Apparently, it's all corrupted or something along those lines and it's going to take me (well, my dad) ages to fix. So I thought I better get out what little I've written because I said I would and I really, really didn't. I'm working on it, though, and will try to get theses chapters out as soon as I can. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it! As always, I aprreciate all your CC and comments :]
Effy xx


Chapter 8: Bad Nights
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Secret No. 81: I've only ever been served alcohol once. And that was in France with my parents, which they gave consent for me to drink. It's ridiculous, I'm taller than Amy, I should be the one who gets the alcohol for parties. Yet, somehow, I'm the one asked for ID while she gets away with buying ten beers in a row.





Out turns out to be sneaking to Hogsmeade, trying to avoid running into any teachers. And by Hogsmeade I really mean the new club on the outskirts of the quaint village, which a number of people have complained about for letting in Hogwarts students who are under eighteen. They’ve made it harder to get in now. If it wasn’t for Amy looking so glamorous all the time, I have serious doubts about whether I would get in or not. Surely I don’t pass for eighteen. I’m wearing a personalized jumper from my gran, for crying out loud!

We arrive at the club in a record time of fifteen minutes, probably due to my speedy walking in a futile effort to warm me up, though Amy had trouble keeping up because she is wearing, what my Nan calls, ‘hooker heels.’ Honestly, it’s amazing how Amy can stand in them, let alone dance in them, which is what I assume she’s here to do.

The club doesn’t look too impressive from the outside, with its plain black coating on the brick wall, but I know, from past experience, that it’s an entirely different story inside. I feel a little apprehensive when I notice the hordes of people waiting in the queue for the bouncer to let them in, all rubbing themselves and hopping from foot to foot to keep warm.

Amy’s eyes travel up and down the line for a few moments before turning her attention to me. She scans me from head to toe, and rolls her eyes. “Rose,” she hisses, grabbing my arm and pulling me aside so that we’re standing behind the corner, shielding us from view. “What are you wearing?” Amy looks pointedly at my hand knitted jumper and plimsolls.

I fold my arms over my chest, my chin jutting out stubbornly. “You didn’t exactly tell me we where we were going,” I protest, my breath coming out a cloud in the cold temperature.

Amy ignores me, instead thrusting a hand into a large bag she had brought with her. A few moments later, in which I’m positive I got frostbite on my fingers, Amy retrieves her hands, a pair of strappy blue heels in one hand and a clingy vest top in the other. In silence, she passes them both to me, and I know she expects me to strip off in the middle of the street and exchange my beloved jumper for a top which, in my opinion, doesn’t leave much to the imagination.

I take off my comfy shoes a little reluctantly, placing my feet in the ‘hooker heels’ slowly, letting Amy know I’m not happy with her. She taps her foot impatiently, the heel clicking audibly against the cobbled street. Amy takes my original shoes off of me, stuffing them into that bag, and turns to look expectantly at me, signalling with her head for me to put that top on.

I shake my head. “Where am I meant to put that on?!”

Amy lets out a disgruntled sigh, rolling her eyes heavenward. “I’ll shield you.”

So what do I do but dodge behind Amy and, with a quick scan to make sure nobodies staring, remove my jumper? I’m almost warmed by the heavy blush rising in my cheeks. I pull Amy’s top over my head, which, by the way, is much more revealing on than it looked, and Amy reapplies her lipgloss and adds another coat of mascara. She gives a little tsk at the amount of make-up (not) on my face and passes me hers.
And five minutes later, after several attempts of putting eyeliner on and ending up poking myself in the eye due to the crazy shivering I was doing, I settle on just coating my lashes with mascara and a quick swipe of lipgloss. Finally, Amy gives me her mega-watt smile, the smile that usually sends guys into a standing coma, and, placing her hand in a tight grip on my arm, drags me towards the front door of the club, her head held high and a confident bounce in her step.

As we approach the bouncers I hear a couple of girls waiting give little hisses of annoyance and Amy pulls me around to stand beside her, prodding a sharp nail into my back to make me stand taller. The bouncer gives me the once-over, his eyes scanning all the way from my slightly mussed up hair to the tip of Amy’s patent blue heels before moving his attention to Amy, where it lingers for a few moments on the amount of leg she has showing. He finally nods, smirking a little, as he stands aside to let us pass.

There are two things that I am immediately hit by as I step inside the room. The first is the heat – my body tingles a little from the sudden rise in temperature – which I’m sure is product of the bodies gyrating on the dancefloor, and the second thing was the flashing lights which hang from the ceiling, rotating, that blind me the moment I enter.
In fact, the only thing I can see for the next couple of minutes is a white flash obscuring my vision so I grip Amy’s arm for support. Much to my surprise the arm jerks roughly away from me and I tilt my head up, ready to give Amy an accusing stare, but, much to my horror, find a random girl, who had obviously just been let in because her arm was still ice cold, glaring down at me. This is surprising – no girl is normally tall enough to stare me down.

“I… er… thought you were, um…” I babble nervously, backing away from this intimidating girl. And she’s not just intimidating because she’s glowering at me so fiercely I’m afraid I might just burst into flames but because she’s also frightfully pretty. And I’m talking about prettier-than-Amy-pretty.

Her ice blue eyes narrow as she flicks her eyes up and down my body. I let out a nervous giggle, trying to inconspicuously shuffle away. “Just who-”

“Rose!” Amy exclaims, tottering up in her heels to stand between us. Amy turns her head, probably ready to snap at the girl glaring at me, but her tiny mouth pops open instead. Amy turns her back on me and I have to step to the side to see what’s unfurling in front of me. “Kathleen, is that you?”

Kathleen? Who the hell is Kathleen?

‘Kathleen’ also looks very surprised – her eyes bug out a little, looking, if possible, even bigger. “Amy Derrick!”

Cue two teenage girls to squeal, jump up and down, and finally delve into a hug. I find it a little frustrating at first, how I’ve been forgotten for a girl who was just seconds ago ready to start a cat-fight with me. After a few moments, when it becomes apparent that they aren’t releasing each other any time soon, I clear my throat.

Amy slowly lets go of Kathleen, turning her head briefly to give me a death look, and gabbles, “I haven’t seen you in forever!”

“I know, honey,” Kathleen clucks, letting her arms drop to her sides, as she tosses her unbelievably perfect blonde hair over her shoulder. I frown at her, trying not to hate her for having the most amazing hair and stealing my best friend. Okay, maybe I am being a little melodramatic but, honestly, if I had my way I wouldn’t be standing in this club where every five seconds I’m jostled by random by-passers.

Kathleen seems to take in every little bit of Amy there is as she flicks her eyes up and down. “You’re gorgeous.”

I can’t believe it – Amy’s blushing. There’s a little flush of pleasure rising in her cheeks and I know this is exactly the right thing to take her mind off Louis. “Thanks,” she murmurs, almost sounding embarrassed

I know I should be pleased for her and everything but, I’ve got to admit, I’m getting a little bored. And, knowing Amy, this talk she’s having with Kathleen could last the whole night or just a few more seconds. I start moving away slowly, trying to be inconspicuous, but I needn’t have worried – both girls are too busy chatting about their new fad diets to notice me.

I turn my back on them, slightly annoyed at being ditched by my best friend for a girl who she hardly knows, and dodge past various tipsy teenagers to reach the bar. I knew it is a long shot that I’d even get served without Amy standing by my side and making eyes at the bartender but, frankly, I’m pissed. And I need some alcohol to make me feel better.

I pull the low cut top down, trying my best to look like I’m of legal serving age, and plaster a confident smile on my face as the bartender nears me. I slide onto the stool.
I take a deep breath, ready to call out to him. “Hey, excuse me-”

Just then I am jostled by somebody’s heavy body smacking into my back, knocking me off my stool. And I would have fallen, too, but a pair of large hands wrap around my waist, catching me. There are a few gasps from the onlookers, people who are lucky enough not to be in this scuffle, and a thud as the person who I’m assuming fell on me, drops to the floor.

The hands remove themselves from my waist once I stand steadily on my feet and I direct my glare from the man on the floor to the person who caught me. My eyes narrow further. “Ouch.”

The light from the bar illuminates his face a little and I can see he looks a little apologetic. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to push him onto you.”

I can’t help it, my expression changes from one of annoyance to confusion. “What?”

The man on the floor starts grumbling as he is picked up by a bouncer. I ignore him, instead trying to figure out what the guy in front of me is saying. He runs a hand through his hair and I can see him trying to fight against the urge to stare at my chest. “How about I buy you a drink and we start again?”

I glance up at him, trying to weigh the odds. On one hand, I’ll get my long awaited drink, free of charge and with no risk of being asked for ID, but on the other hand, this guy is most definitely trying to pick me up and it’ll be difficult later trying to get away from him.

I spot Amy out of the corner of my eye, making her way towards me. I slip back onto my stool and flash him a mega-watt smile. “That’d be nice. I’m Ashley.”

I honestly don’t know where the fake name came from. It might have been the alcoholic fumes surrounding me or, most likely, I just don’t want this guy to sell a ‘kiss and tell’ story to the newspaper, trying to scoop up his five minutes of fame.

Yes. That sounds plausible. Amy will believe that.

The guy smiles back at me, getting the dazed expression I usually see when Amy smiles at people. “I’m Leon,” he says, passing me an acid red cocktail.

I swirl it around in the glass, staring over Leon’s shoulder at the figure that’s rapidly approaching. A part of me just wants to grab Leon and hide but I know she’ll find me. She always bloody does.

“Rose!” Amy trills, grabbing hold of my arm and pulling hard, so I find that I have to grip the stool to not repeat what happened earlier.

I turn to her, frowning slightly at her incredibly perky grin. I lean in closer to her and hiss, “I told him my name was Ashley!”

Amy’s eyes widen and she takes a little step away from me to glance slyly at Leon, whose expression quickly changes from confusion, and he winks cheekily at her. I feel a little bubble of rage towards Amy rise inside me until Amy lets out a tinkling laugh.

“I’m awful with names,” Amy says, putting an ‘oh, I’m so forgetful and dumb’ tone in her voice. She bats her eyelashes innocently at him, reaching past me to grab my drink. “Sorry, Ashley.”

I flap a hand at her as she takes a swig. “Oh, don’t worry… Eunice.”

It’s beautiful what happens next and it was literally like I’d waited for the opportune moment – Amy’s inhales a mouthful of her cocktail, or more specifically my cocktail, and suddenly it comes spurting out of her pretty pink lips as she tries not to choke. I suppress a snort – it wouldn’t look too good if I was laughing while my best friend made a complete idiot out of herself, even if that so rarely happens. It’s funny, that’s what it is.

Or, at least, that’s what it was. Until Leon sidles up to her and, placing a hand on her back, begins to steadily rub it. Amy coughs one final time before looking up at him with wide eyes. “Oops.”

Oh, she pulls off innocent far too well. I reach for the drink that Amy previously discarded and down it in seconds, enjoying the warmth from the alcohol in my throat.

“Don’t worry,” Leon says, a large Cheshire cat grin on his face. It unnerves me a little. “I’ll get you another drink, Eunice.”

This time I do let out a little giggle. Amy shoots me a withering glare over Leon’s shoulder but he’s oblivious, or he’s most likely choosing to ignore it, and turns back to the bartender. Amy tries to hiss something from the stool she’s sitting at and from her pissed off frown I can tell it would be something unpleasant.

Fortunately for me, I can’t hear her over the music and, a second later, Leon puts a glass each down in front of us. I smile genuinely up at him and almost snatch the drink out of his hand.

Ten minutes later and I am feeling a little woozy. There is a pleasant buzz in my head and I feel a ball of warmth somewhere in my chest. Which means that in another drink I’ll be taking my top off and making out with the wall. Leon has redirected his feelings from Amy back on to me, passing Amy over to his friend as if she was a collectable card, and, seeing as we’re both being fed drinks by these two guys, neither of us seem to care too much.

I stare at my empty glass, slightly fixated on the ice cube slowly melting into a pool at the bottom, until it’s snatched out of my hand and, in its place, a new cocktail, one with an umbrella leaning on the rim. I grin goofily up at Leon and he moves closer to me, winding his arm around my waist.

This sobers me up. Well, it sobers me up enough to realise what exactly Leon’s intentions are. I straighten up, not aware that I was draped over the bar counter, and shuffle away from Leon until his arm is no longer around me, but hanging in mid-air. But it doesn’t drop back to his side like I expect it would. Instead, Leon moves in closer to me, snaking both his arms around my stomach, and propping his chin atop my head.

“Ashley,” he purrs, his voicebox vibrating the back of my head a little. “What’s the matter?”

I wriggle in his grasp, telling myself not to panic. I’m probably overreacting – it’s not like he’s going to kidnap me or anything. “Where’s Amy?” I ask in a small voice, staring up at Leon with wide eyes.

He pulls back, a look of pure confusion on his face. “Who?”

“Oh, um…” I bluster. I can feel heat rising in my cheeks and, with my red hair, I know it’s going to stand out more. “You know… Eunice.”

He doesn’t seem to notice how long it took me to remember my best friend’s name. Instead, he removes his body from me and nods to his left. “Over there. Will’s getting her a drink.”

I follow his gaze to the blonde man passing some money to the bartender and hop off my stool, fully intent on following him to find Amy. Leon seems surprised that I’m moving, without falling over I might add, although the room seems to be swaying a bit and, quite a few times, I have to grab onto a nearby person to stop toppling over.
‘Will’ is just within my reach when he reaches his free hand, the hand not carrying Amy’s drink, into his pocket and keeps it there, though, by the looks of it, he seems to be struggling to find what he needs. I can hear Leon calling my supposed name but I ignore him, overcome by a desperate need to plunge my hand into Will’s pocket and get what he’s looking for for him. My hand stretches out of its own accord, fully ready to go raiding a stranger’s pocket, but his own hand emerges.

In-between his thumb and forefinger, he’s holding a tiny, white pill, no bigger than my fingernail.

He quickly drops it into Amy’s drink and I freeze, my hand still reaching out to him.
I feel sick. My mouth has gone dry and my heartbeat is suddenly the only sound I can hear even though I know the music hasn’t stopped playing. I’m now completely oblivious to the people around me, replaying the scene I just witnessed over and over in my head. My eyes sting and my vision becomes blurry.

Suddenly, a hand grips my arm and spins me around so that I’m facing them. Leon grins down at me, baring his teeth. I flinch away from him. His hand is too hot against my cool arm – entirely too hot.

“Nearly got away there, eh?” He laughs a booming laugh and now I can tell his breath stinks of alcohol and cigarettes.

I struggle to pull my arm back to my side, knowing that, with my wide eyes, frizzy hair and trembling chin, I must look completely frightened and desperate to escape. I briefly see Leon frowning before turning and yanking with all my might to pull my arm free. I hear a voice then – a voice which sends a little shiver down my back and completely relaxes me. It’s familiar, and that’s comforting.

The hold on my arm is suddenly slack and, taking this as an opportunity, I retract my arm and dash in the direction Will went, going as fast as I can in a dark, busy club. I don’t turn back to see who the voice belongs to.

My head whips from side to side, desperately searching for Amy, as panic rises in my chest. I push back the dark thought that maybe I am too late, that I was distracted by Leon for too long. Then, suddenly, I see a flash of gold and some extraordinarily high heels kick in the air.

I make my way in that direction, silently praying to Merlin, God, Buddha, anyone that the owner of the heels is indeed my best friend and she’s absolutely fine, laughing occasionally at her model friends jokes after ditching the sleaze Will. And I’d get there and she’d chide me for worrying about her before slinging a thin arm around my shoulders and pulling me in for a hug. We’d then both laugh and head back to Hogwarts, exchanging the worst guys we’ve ever met stories.

Someone moves out of my line of vision and then I can see Amy as clearly as I can see my palm if I held it in front of my face. Her whole body is slumped over; her chin seems to be resting on her own chest, her hair covering her face. If I was a random passer by then this scene would have looked totally innocent – Amy looks either exhausted or drunk out of her mind. My eyes stray to the half empty glass beside her and the masculine arm draped around her waist, supporting her in case she fell.

I don’t know when or how it happened but, soon, I am standing directly in front of Will and, placing both my hands on his chest, shove him roughly away from me. He’s taken by surprise and steps back to regain his balance, his arm falling off Amy’s waist. She, in turn, drops straight to the floor, landing on her knees with a thump before sitting back on her heels. She doesn’t make a sound, she doesn’t wince. She doesn’t even lift her head, instead letting her silky brown hair continue to fall over her face.

Will advances on me, a look of anger so ferocious on his face that it makes me forget about Amy and thinking about my welfare. “What,” he growls, his fist clenching, “the fuck is your problem?”

And he’s got me by the wrist and is shaking me roughly. There’s a silence from the people in the club around us and I can feel at least five pairs of eyes staring at me, at the slumped figure of Amy, but no one moves to stop him. I hear that voice again; the voice that I know can comfort me in any situation. I instantly feel my body relax a little.

There’s another thud and, as soon as it came, the hand crushing my wrist is gone and there’s a different face in front of me, different hands around my arms. I’m not worried; I’d happily walk for years just to see this face again.

He frowns down in concern at me. “Are you alright?”

“Scorpius,” I gasp and throw myself into his arms. I know he’s a little shocked at first – his whole body seems to tense up in surprise – but he’s been brought up well and knows never to reject a hysterical, tipsy, shaking girl’s hug. His arms tighten around me. I breathe in his woody smell, noting how pleasant and how unlike it was to Leon’s.

Our hug is interrupted far too soon for my liking, although I guess anytime would be ‘too soon,’ but a cleared throat and a tap on Scorpius’s shoulder directs our attention to the man who’s clearly uncomfortable holding Amy up. I reluctantly release Scorpius and search around for Will but, thankfully, he’s no where in sight. Must have scampered off with his tail between his legs.

Dickhead.

Scorpius is at Amy’s side in a second and, as petty as it is, I feel a pang of jealousy. He gently places Amy’s arm around his neck and puts his own around her middle to support her. Amy’s head rises a little and I can see her try to focus on me, the cogs in her brain turning to figure out who’s holding her. By the looks of it, she’s given up; her head is hanging down once more.

“Let’s go,” Scorpius says, his voice sounding completely full of authority, as if he isn’t a minor in a club. I move to Amy’s other side to help her walk – the faster we get to Hogwarts, the better, as far as I’m concerned.

People don’t really pay us much attention as we drag a half unconscious girl through the crowds, probably suspecting that she can’t handle her drink. I stumble a little from the alcohol and under Amy’s weight, but Scorpius is soon there, supporting nearly all Amy’s weight so I can walk. We reach the exit and the bouncer stares nervously at Amy.

“She alright?” He asks, indicating who he means with a nod of his head.

Scorpius glances at me but I duck my head, still not ready for the interrogation yet. I don’t want to even think about this night again, let alone tell it to someone else.

“We’ll just get her back quickly,” Scorpius replies and then he does something which completely surprises me. He bends his knees into a squatting position and, bringing his free arm up so it’s resting behind Amy’s lower leg, he picks her up off her feet so that she is cradled in his arms.

My hand that was holding Amy is still out. I’m too shocked to move. Never in my life did I think I would see something like that. Which only makes a rush of affection for Scorpius fill me till I think I’m going to explode. I beam at him, trying to not let tears of relief fill me eyes.

The air is sharp and cold when we come out and it’s exactly what I need to clear my head. Even Amy seems to notice the sudden temperature drop for she groans audibly and nestles her head further into Scorpius’s chest. Oh, I’m so jealous of that girl right now.

Our footsteps crunch against the gravel and I find myself wondering what time it is. I completely lost track of how long I spent shovelling drinks down my throat. I shiver, not only from the cold but from remembering the way Leon’s clammy arm felt around my waist.

I don’t know what would have happened if Scorpius didn’t come along.

“Scorpius?” I break the silence and guiltily look up at him, wondering if he’d rather be back in the club, dancing with gorgeous girls.

“Mmm?” He doesn’t look disgruntled. He’s staring up at the sky with a thoughtful look on his face.

“Can I ask you a question?” Now the effect of the alcohol seems to have worn off there are plenty of things I want to know. There’s something about Scorpius being here, carrying Amy, saving me, that doesn’t quite add up.

“Sure,” he murmurs, his eyes straying towards me for a few seconds. I’ve known him for too long not to recognise the suspiciousness in his gaze. “What do you want to know?”

There are so many questions swimming around in my head it takes me a few moments to sort it all out, and to not jumble them up. I hold his gaze. “What were you doing in a club?”

All the curiousness and open friendliness is wiped clean off his face and that usual look of disgust, snobbines and general pissed off-ness is apparent. “It’s Friday. Just because I’m not a stuck-up bitch doesn’t mean I don’t do something on Friday.”

Ouch. That one hurt. Especially after I thought we were making such progress.

I let my eyes fall to the ground, noticing how quickly it’s taking this time round to reach Hogwarts, unlike the elongated minutes it took with Amy, dreading going to this club, where such disasters happen. I clear my throat after a few minutes of stung silence. “Um… where’s Zoe?”

He shrugs and Amy bounces up and down in his arms. “Not really her sort of thing.”

“Oh,” I let it go quiet again for a few more steps. I flash a look at Scorpius to see if he’s still annoyed with me. “What about Al?”

Scorpius rolls his eyes. “Not really his either.”

I nod. “Uhuh. And Alice?”

His head shakes just barely but I can see a little smile playing on his lips. This, obviously, makes him look so adorable I have a hard time restraining myself from licking him. I let out a frustrated sigh. “Well, then, who did you go with?”

This time, it’s a fully fledged smirk which appears on his face. “Do you know Lei?”

The playful smile drops off my face and I turn to him, shocked. “Lei? Louis’s ex-girlfriend? The one who dumped him?”

His smirk grows. “That’s the one.”

I whack him in the arm and he obviously thinks that I’m annoyed with him for screwing over my cousin not for going on a date with one of the prettiest girls in seventh year. “I’m not going to protect you from Louis anymore.”

“You weren’t a very good protector, were you?” Scorpius’s voice is light, teasing, and, dare I say it, flirty? I sneak a peek at Amy and find her sleeping, her mouth a tiny bit open, as she snuggles against Scorpius’s chest. It doesn’t look like it requires any effort on his part to carry her all this way. In fact, it almost looks easy. “Louis sucker-punched me.”

“You told him his girlfriend was cheating on him.”

“He asked me to!”

“Scorpius,” I say sternly, trying to not let my exhaustion seep into my voice. I glance up at the castle before us, wishing that the walk wasn’t that short and we still had plenty of time to talk. The sky behind the castle is surprisingly clear, which I guess explains the arctic temperature outside. “I’m not going through this again.”

He shakes his head in reply, as if agreeing with me, before slowly letting Amy’s legs drop one by one from his arms till she’s standing with her arms just around his neck. He unpicks those, too, handing one to me as if it’s a toy that could be easily exchanged. I smile at him and gently shake Amy awake so that she can at least help me get her back to the Gryffindor Common Room. In all this kerfuffle with Amy, it somehow managed to escape my notice that Scorpius slipped away, not even bothering to say goodbye.

I stare at the spot where he was standing, feeling a little disheartened.







“Rose!” A voice barks in my ear, awakening me which I’m sure was the persons intention. I open my eyes slowly, wincing when the bright light enters my eyes. My eyes begin to focus and I glare at the girl leaning over my head.

“Amy,” I growl, sitting up carefully to not aggravate my pounding head anymore. “Shouldn’t you be throwing up in a bin somewhere?”

So sue me, I’m not a morning person.

“Funny, Rose,” Amy tells me, unsmiling, and for a moment I feel guilty for making Amy remember last night. I, for one, wish it never happened so Amy must be going through her own personal hell. I reach out my hand and place it on Amy’s. She looks at me again and removes her hand from out under mine. “I need your help.”

“What?” I say, wondering if I heard her correctly. I stare at Amy’s face and, with a pang, realise I will never ever look that good in the morning. It’s obvious she has no make-up on her face – she looks about two years younger – but she pulls off the ‘Oh, I just woke up’ look surprisingly well. “You never need my help.”

Amy just gives me that ‘Shut Up, Just Listen’ look that has worked so well for her the past few years. I obediently clam my lips together and huddle further down into my duvet, preparing myself for Amy’s latest plan. No matter how awful they are, Amy will never fail to amuse me with them.

“We’re going to have some fun.”

“We?”

Now her face clearly says; ‘Yes, douchebag, you too.’

I sigh, resigned. “Fine. What is it?”

Amy giggles, although, if anybody else performed the exact same laugh it would be describes as a cackle, and claps her hands together. Her eyes light up. “We’re going to ruin him.”

She’s never asked me to be part of a ruining plan before. Firstly, I’m not the most skilled liar and, secondly, I’m often too overcome with guilt to actually perform the action.

I start to shake my head but stop myself, wondering who this ‘lucky’ person could me. And I say lucky because, for the first few weeks the plan is in progress, the ruinee often thinks he’s hit the jackpot. Amy spends hours using her feminine wiles to bring them so their knees which is when she swoops in and rips it out from under them, often ending it in a completely humiliating way.

The last person she did this too happened to be Marissa’s slimy ex. He used to be the most popular guy in school, now he spends his free time in the boy’s lavatories.
Most times, I just stay out of my friends business when this happens.

“Who is it?”

“Rose,” Amy tuts, leaning back on her heels to give me a disapproving look. “I know who told Louis.”

My blood runs cold. I literally freeze. My breath catches in my throat. My mouth is dry.
“What?” I manage to croak, staring at Amy in absolute horror.

“This time it’s Scorpius,” she tells me with a cheeky wink as she leaps off my bed and sashays to the bathroom. Amy turns her head towards me for a second. “And you’re going to help me.”

Fuck.





Secret No. 39: Sometimes, no matter what the situation, I feel completely uncomfortable being friends with Amy. It's not that I don't enjoy her company - it's that if I say the wrong thing, refuse to do something or talk to the wrong people than I have a strange fear that she'll cut me out of the group, thus alienating me from the whole school and casting me off as the 'loner.'





A/N: I honestly can't believe how long this chapter took me to write. I did have to do something weird to my computer but that only took a week and I just never got back in the habit of writing again. So I'm really sorry for the stupidly long wait. But it's okay now, because today I'm positive I just failed my Maths exam which should land me with around a weeks detention :]
How, I ask you, am I supposed to remember all these numbers?
Effy xx


Chapter 9: Pure and Simple
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Secret No. 34: Remember  that couple making out behind the greenhouse every thursday for a month, around two years ago? Yeah, that was me. The person I was with? Marissa's boyfriend at the time.





 


Amy remerges from the bathroom with wet hair and a towel around her body to find me still in the same position, staring with wide eyes in her direction. She tosses her hair over her shoulder, but it doesn’t shine like it usually does. Actually, everything seems a bit danker in this light. “Oh, you know Kathleen?” Amy laughs, taking a few steps towards the mirror.


I can’t do anything but nod dumbly. Scorpius. She wants to ruin Scorpius.


“Well, our parents are friends so we became friends,” Amy babbles excitedly, like she is in total awe of Kathleen. Which, actually, she probably is. Amy leans in towards the mirror, inspecting her clear skin for blemishes. “Mum nearly cried when she found out Kathleen got a modelling job. She was all; ‘why can’t you do that, Amy?’ Blah blah blah.”


I nod along absentmindedly, not really listening but know that if I completely switch off it will come back and bite me in the arse.


“And then Kathleen said she’s going to tell her agent about me and try to set something up,” Amy says breathlessly and turns around to face me, showing that, while I’ve been sitting and staring at the same spot for the last ten minutes, Amy’s managed to apply her make-up perfectly and somehow every strand of her hair has fallen perfectly into place, probably with a few nifty charms. “Isn’t that great or what?!”


It’s Scorpius! Scorpius!


“Mmm.”


“Rose,” Amy frowns at me, taking a few steps in my direction. Her green eyes stare directly at me and, for the first time, I find myself not wanting to do anything I can to please her. “Why are you being so selfish?”


 “Amy, Scorpius saved you!” I exclaim shrilly from my seat on the bed, wanting to wrap my fingers around Amy’s skinny arms and shake her hard. She is just impossible. It’s really hard to love her sometimes. “Why the fuck do you want to do that to him?”


Amy’s lip curls and she looks at me with such distaste that I start to think that it’s me who should be apologizing right now and that it’s me who suggested something so idiotic. “Because, Rosie,” she sneers, emphasizing my childhood nickname, probably her way to remind me of my place. “I know that Malfoy told Louis.”


I just stare at her, wondering if she honestly thinks this fact will make her plot less cold. I swing my legs out of bed and stand so that I’m towering over Amy. She seems to notice something’s changed for she steps back. An image of Will’s leering face flashes through my mind and I feel my expression soften as I look at Amy’s stubborn face. “Amy, are you okay?”


“I’m fine,” she replies icily, her expression closed and stony, which would usually tell me she wants to drop the subject. But, this time, I’m worried about her.


I step towards Amy carefully, not wanting to alarm her further, and take her hand. She stares down at it with an expression I can’t quite read. “Maybe you should tell someone.”


Amy pulls her hand out of my grip and snaps her head up to glare at me. “And say what? That I was so drunk I don’t remember what happened?” Her lip trembles and, even with her perfectly made up face, I can easily see she’s shaken up.


“Amy, I was there, too! I saw what he did!”


Her eyes are shiny with tears as she scowls up at me. “Yeah, and if you weren’t there then that never would have happened.”


I take a step back, feeling like she’s slapped me in the face. “What?” My voice cracks.


Her chin juts out stubbornly and she looks me directly in the eyes. “If you hadn’t gotten off with that creep then his friend wouldn’t have tried to get off with me.”


“Amy…” I trail off, shocked, feeling tears springing to my eyes. I can’t believe she is actually blaming me. “I-I…”


Amy seems to regain her confidence from my lack of words. She moves closer to me, her expression neutral. “Rose, friends don’t do that. Friends help friends when they’re asked to,” she explains calmly, as if her words don’t have a hidden meaning - I know she’s referring to the ruining of Scorpius plan. “You are my friend, aren’t you?”


“Of course,” I say quickly, honestly. I take a deep breath, hating myself for the words I’m about to say. “I just don’t think we should do that to Scorpius.”


“Rose,” Amy says, but it sounds more like a command or a scold, for even thinking that. I shrink away from her. “If he hadn’t told Louis then none of this would have happened.”


I shake my head furiously, blinking away tears. “That’s not true.”


“Is it,” she argues. “And if you’re not going to help me then get out.”


This shocks me to the core of my body and, for a few moments, I find myself momentarily frozen as I stare at the girl I thought was my best friend. Then, without replying, – I know I’ll probably say something I regret or just burst into tears there and then – I march over to my trunk and pull out some jeans and a tee.


Amy flips her hair, smirking down at me triumphantly, confident she’s won. “I heard you both talking about it last night. When you thought I was asleep in Scorpius’s arms,” Amy informs me as if I hadn’t figured that out already. I ignore her and step into the bathroom, slamming the door hard behind me. I hear Amy snigger and her voice reverberating through the door. “Scorpius is quite fit, actually. That’s why it’s going to be so much fun.”


I pull on my jeans furiously, trying to block Amy’s horrible voice out of my head. It doesn’t work too well – I could probably hear her cackles a mile away. A few tears escape my eyes but I rub them away, unwillingly to show Amy how much she’s hurt me.


“Of course, you’re going to help me. It would hurt him so much more. Oh, it’s going to be so great!”


Repressing the urge to scream in frustration, in anger, in betrayal, I yank the door open, dressed in an outfit once deemed too casual by Amy, and stalk to the dormitory exit. Amy stares after me a little bewildered and I spin on my heel to face her.


“I’m sorry for whatever you think I did,” I say in a calm voice, looking at Amy with a blank expression on my face. “But screwing Scorpius over is just messed up.”


 And then, while she’s still reeling from that blow, I say those two little words that I’ve been wanting to say to Amy since she put gum in my hair in First Year and I had to cut it out, ending up with a wonky haircut which, of course, I was also teased for.


“You know what, Amy? Screw you.”


The door slams so hard behind me I’m left wondering if it fell off its hinges or not.








I know for a fact that I left Amy completely shell-shocked. I’ve never, never spoken to her like that. Not seriously, anyway. It would always be playful and teasing and we’d both laugh a little too much about it.


It’s going to take her at least twenty minutes to collect herself enough to storm after me and get me back for what I said. That’s what she’d usually do to her disobedient followers, anyway. They’d usually always end up in tears.


But this means I’m positive that she hasn’t gotten to Scorpius yet and I’m now hell-bent on reaching him first. Who knows what she might say to him about me.


Unfortunately, this really isn’t my day. There’s a shrill giggle behind me and a few ‘Oh, my God!’s and I turn slowly, reluctantly. It’d really do me no good to ignore these girls, especially knowing what Amy could be saying to them in a couple of hours.


“Hey, Marissa, Nina,” I say, giving them a sad smile as I look at their prettily made up faces. I remember with a jolt that I haven’t even bothered to put any make-up on today or even drag a brush through my wavy hair. My eyes must also be puffy from the few tears I let escape.


Nina lets out a little gasp as she nears, noticing my face for the first time. “Rose, are you okay?”


“Shit,” Marissa whistles, her eyes flicking up and down my body. She smirks. “You look bloody awful.”


Bitch.


I cross my arms defensively over my chest and jut my chin out in an attempt to appear unbothered. “I’m having a bad day,” is all I say when really, in my mind, I’m picturing myself ripping Marissa’s crayola red hair out of her annoyingly shaped scalp.


But that wouldn’t give a very good impression, would it?


I open my mouth to say something but notice both Marissa and Nina’s eyes drift to someone behind me. I feel ready to hit something. Honestly, if not wearing any make-up or dressing in jeans and not in a short skirt makes my friends start to zone out when I talk then I better do some serious arse whooping.


“Oi-”


"Look who it is!” Marissa calls out over my shoulder, looking positively delighted. I furrow my brow and turn. Naomi is stood frozen at the end of the corridor, like a deer caught in headlights. I give her a small smile, ready to lift a hand in greeting. “Alright, fatty?”


My hand pauses while I stare at Marissa in shock. How could somebody be so horrible?


Don’t,” I bark, narrowing my eyes at the girl in front of me. Marissa’s eyes refocus on me. She looks surprised. “Don’t call her that.”


Nina and Marissa exchange a glance and I find myself hating them both. “Relax, Rose,” Nina says, laying a hand on my arm. “It’s just a joke.”


I yank my arm out from under her hand and look down at her in disgust. “It’s not funny.”


Marissa frowns at me, feigning confusion. “It was funny when you said it at your New Years party.”


Then, all over again, I feel like bursting into tears. Because she’s right. Marissa is right. I was the drunk bitch who started the rumours about Naomi putting on weight and started the horrible, bitchy catcalls, no matter if it isn’t true in the slightest. It’s my fault that happy-go-lucky Naomi is miserable a few minutes a day, whenever she runs into the likes of Marissa.


And I hate myself for it.


“Then your sense of humour sucks,” I growl and, before I go after Naomi who’s ran as soon as Marissa took her eyes off of her, I take a threatening step closer to both Nina and Marissa. “You call her that again and I will personally tell the whole school that you got off with Bertie Dougal.”


Marissa’s eyes narrow. “You wouldn’t.”


I raise an eyebrow. “Do you really want to find out?”


I don’t wait for an answer – I know it will either be something incredibly stupid or something completely off the point – before I spin on my heel and stalk down the hall, wondering, if I was Naomi, where I would have gone.


I check the obvious place first, though that may be me being a little typecasting. When I enter the library about fifteen people have mini heart attacks and two boys and one girl enter into a state of shock when I actually talk to them, asking if they’ve seen a certain blonde girl. It’s only on the fourth person I ask when I get any sort of answer.


“She-she… um, said she was going to see… um, Malfoy.”


I thank the blushing girl and leave the library, heading down the stairs that lead towards the Slytherin Common Room. I’ve got to admit, I’m panicking a little. Why? Because I’m seeing Scorpius for the first time since I officially told Amy to screw herself and that means he’s going to see me in a whole new, possibly fanciable, light.


Well, he should anyway. When I tell him.


Thankfully, I don’t run into any more people on my way down but, with a quick worry that my eyes are still red and puffy and my hair is still in disarray, I make a quick detour into the loos. The heavy wooden door closes behind me with a loud thud and I hear someone let out a little gasp. I creep slowly along the corridor till I am in the open room and my eyes lock with the girl in front of me.


“Naomi?”


“Oh,” she replies, deflated. “It’s you.”


“Are you okay?”


She shoots me a dirty look and I try not to flinch away from it. Naomi looks so sad and pissed off it’s hard to remember her smiling.


I lift the corners of my mouth in a poor attempt as a smile and take a step closer to Naomi. “I-”


 “Rose, no offense, but I really don’t want to speak to you now.”


My mouth snaps shut and, though I can hardly blame her, I feel a little twinge of annoyance rise. I mean, I’m trying to be nice – something rare for me – and the least she can do is go along with it.


“Yeah, well,” I reply, my voice reminding me of a five year old who doesn’t get their own way. “I’m just going to sit here till you do.”


Naomi stares at me in disbelief as I plonk myself down on the cold, wet in one place, stone floor. I can’t help but frown as I feel a puddle – hopefully from the leaking tap – seep into my tights. Honestly, I should think these things through more carefully.


“What are you doing?” Naomi says, her eyes as wide as saucers.


“I’m sitting,” I reply curtly and fold my arms across my chest. I lean back against the wall and cock my head to the side. “You want to join me?”


I suspect her to roll her eyes, to snigger or to just ignore me, flipping her hair over her shoulder as she leaves. But then I remember she’s not Amy and, frankly, she never will be.


Naomi slowly slides down the wall to sit beside me, looking thoughtful. Silence falls between us.


I take my wand out for something to occupy my hands, to make it seem I am fine with the quiet. Possibly enjoying it, in fact.


In truth, I wasn’t. It’s not like the silence was awkward or anything, it’s just I’ve never been one to sit there with my unbelievably large mouth (or so I’m told) shut.


It’s just not, well… me.


So I open my mouth.


“You know, I’m pretty sure Hugo fancies you.”


I really wish I hadn’t. Of all the things to break the ice, this was probably one of the worst to blurt out.


Naomi is looking at me in disbelief, with good reason, I might add, and I find myself becoming even more fidgety. Not only did my conversation starter completely fail but the silence has become, if anything, more awkward. I have a sudden urge to turn around and bash my head into the wall.


But, to my complete, surprise a little giggle erupts from her mouth and, soon, she is roaring with laughter, holding her sides as she tries to breathe through it.


I join in with her, though mine is rather nervous, as if I’m wondering what the hell just happened. And, truthfully, I am. I mean, here is a girl I hadn’t spoken to properly in years, who I accidently on purpose got the whole school calling fat and I’m pretty sure who hates my guts and she is laughing. And not just laughing but actually crying from laughing too much.


“Listen, Naomi,” I say over her giggles. “I know I’m a hoot and all, but what in Merlin’s name is so funny?!”


“You!” She gasps in between her laughter and I nod knowingly, signalling for her to continue. “You’re so… funny… when you’re… angry.”


And then she bursts into another set of laughter. I frown at her in slight confusion, resisting the urge to grab her by the shoulders and shake her in an attempt to stop the hysterics.


“You go all…” Naomi waves her hand in front of her face. “Red and blotchy. Like… your hair!”


Fantastic. Just fantastic. I an trying to comfort a girl who not only is not, in fact, upset by Marissa’s bitchiness but who looks like she is about to wet herself laughing at my red and blotchy face. Which is apparently the same colour as my hair.


“Naomi!” I snap, feeling my face slip into a scowl. To my utmost annoyance, she laughs harder. “Shut the hell up!”


Naomi doesn’t seem to be affected by my words in the slightest. Her cheeks have turned a bright, flaming red and it looks like she has trouble breathing.


That’s why I did what I did next. It wasn’t because her laugh was now grating on my ears or because I was bored, I swear.


“Aguamenti,” I hiss, flicking my wand in the direction of Naomi’s face. She is quickly drenched in the water spurting out of the tip of my wand and the effect is immediate. The toilets are no longer filled with the sound of Naomi’s hysterical laughter and, instead of the wide smile, Naomi’s mouth has fallen open in shock.



“You were hysterical,” I inform her, stowing my wand back in my robe pocket. To be honest, I feel a little important and clever now, after bestowing my wisdom upon Naomi.



She doesn’t look too pleased, though. “But I’m all wet!”



“Well, yes,” I frown, resisting the urge to roll my eyes. “That tends to happen when you get squirted with water.”



“I wasn’t squirted!” Naomi says, her eyes narrowed as she looks at me. “I was drenched.”



“You were hysterical,” I repeat.



“I was laughing,” she growls out and I believe I see her left eye twitch the tiniest bit.



“Yes, but,” I sigh heavily. Honestly, why can she just not accept the fact that she is wrong and I am right? “You were laughing hysterically.”



I don’t know what I expect to happen then. Maybe she will remain silent, glowering at me, maybe she’ll just storm off, leaving me sitting in bewilderment behind her. Maybe she’d muster up some of that anger from New Year’s and wallop me one again.



Naomi is staring at me, her jaw set stubbornly and, for once, Naomi has lost that innocent, hurt expression that is usually on her face. “Rose,” she says, my name coming out in a frank tone. “What’s going on?”



It does take me a few moments to respond. Not because I’m speechless or shocked at how blunt Naomi’s being but because I let the question swirl around in my brain for a bit, deciding the best way to word my answer.



“I’m not going to even try and bullshit my way out of this,” I say each word slowly, carefully, so she knows I’ve actually thought about what I’ve said, no matter how strange or stupid it sounds. “Because I’m tired of lying and, honestly, you’re going to find out sooner or later anyway.”



I peek over at Naomi out of the corner of my eye to see how she’s digesting this new information. There’s a satisfied smile on her face, as if she didn’t expect anything else. She signals for me to continue.



I close my eyes and take a deep breath, readying myself. This has to be the first time in years I’ve ever told the complete truth, with no lies spinning out of my mouth.



And I tell her. I tell her about that dreadful night out, I tell her about Amy’s reaction in the morning and about the argument we had only minutes after I awoke. I leave out the part about Scorpius though. I don't want to complicate things further and having to explain Amy's whole plan seems to do just that. And I'm technically still telling the truth. If she just hasn't asked me about it, it doesn't count as a lie, right?



Naomi sits there patiently the whole time, listening intently to what I’m saying. When I’m done she just looks at me. I begin to fidget again, unsure if anything I said offended her.



Then the next thing I knew Naomi had literally thrown herself on me, wrapping her arms around my body, and, honestly, it took more than a little strength to stay upright.



I don’t know what I expected but it wasn’t that. I pat her on the back, a little nervously.



Naomi sighs and I hear a little giggle, one of relief I think, escape from her mouth. “I’ve missed you, Rosie.”



Don’t call me that,” I say but the effect is ruined as I find myself grinning happily.









I’ve spent the last hour successfully avoiding Amy. There is no way I am ready to face her yet – it’s going to need at least two hours preparation. I peer around the corner of the wall and, once again, thank my lucky stars that the petite brunette isn’t waiting for me at the end of the hall, her heavily mascara-ed eyes narrowed in anger.



I had spent around half an hour with Naomi in the library (Merlin forbid) but, after shocking everyone a few times over I grew bored and made an excuse to leave. I promised her I would see her later. I said I was going to get a bath but, truthfully, I had wondered off to find him.


So imagine my surprise when the person I just wanted to see appeared around the corner, his bag slung over his shoulder as if it weighed nothing. He blinks a few times as he notices me then, slowly, his mouth stretches into a crooked smile. “Hey, Rose.”


I do a double take. Not only is Scorpius not flinging insults my way or sneering down at me but here he is willingly smiling. I dig my nails into my palm just to make sure I haven’t dozed off in the library and this isn’t some cruel, but wonderful, dream. Nope, I’m definitely not imagining this.


 Oh, Merlin, how long have I been standing here with my mouth open? Right Rose, here’s your chance. Say something witty and intelligent so he knows you’re the girl of his dreams. “Nnnghhhf.”


Nice one.


Oh, but he’s laughing. Not rolling his eyes or sighing in exasperation. If I didn’t think it would make me look utterly insane (or more so) than I would have cheered and wooped, or skipped with happiness or something equally embarrassing.


I settle for what I hope is an alluring smile. With my luck it’ll probably end up looking like I’ve been whacked around the head a few times.


Scorpius has moved closer while I’ve been trying to say something possibly coherent and he’s smiling down at me in an adorable way. It takes me a few moments to remember to breathe again.


“Naomi told me what you said,” he says in a soft voice and I find myself unconsciously leaning closer to him. There is nothing I want more than to just fling myself into his arms.


“Mmmm,” I say instead and turn my face up towards him. He’s a lot closer than both of us expected and, with a jolt, I realise if I were to reach up on my tip-toes, then I could easily kiss him. But to my utmost disappointment, he takes a quick step back and clears his throat.


“You’re going to sit with us at dinner, right?” Scorpius grins down at me and rubs the back of his neck and I know his thoughts are still on the same line as mine.


Not that I want to ravish him right there and then but that we were millimetres away from kissing.


I beam up at him and he takes this as a confirmation. He nods to himself, looking pleased. “Good,” Scorpius makes a move to the side and, as if it is just an afterthought, he adds, “Zoe will be there, too.”


And then he’s gone.


Brilliant.








I’m in the common room when I bump into Nina. I came in to drop off some books – I planned to be in and out as quickly as I could.


She looks surprised as I slam into her, the books I collected falling to the floor. Neither of us move for a moment, the books left forgotten, and Nina’s eyes have widened considerably. Then she seems to recollect herself and her little bee-stung mouth purses in distaste. Her eyes flick up and down my body and then she smirks.


“You dropped something,” Nina sniggers, her eyebrow rising, and I know Amy has told her a slightly biased story of what happened.


“Yes, I know,” I hiss back, my tone unfriendly and unimpressed. Nina is once again surprised – whether at my blatant indifference to my friends turning on me or at m oh-so-creative retort, I don’t know.


With a last dirty glance flung towards me, Nina turns on her heel and stalks off, up the dormitory stairs. Seeing as Nina is not in Gryffindor then I assume Amy is sitting on her bed, gossiping and bitching with Marissa.


Sighing, I bend down to pick up my books, trying to ignore the murmurs around me from people wondering what just happened between Nina, Hogwart’s sweetheart, and I, Rose Weasley, Amy’s best friend. I place the books on a nearby table and move towards the portrait hole, glaring at any person who has the guts to make eye contact.


None of them seem too full of sympathy for me. In fact, most of their expressions seem to say ‘Ha, serves you right.’


It takes a few shaky breaths for me to regain my composure as I lean against the wall in the corridor outside the common room. It’s hard to register the fact that you’ve done so much shitty stuff to people that they wouldn’t care if you just vanished.


The corridor is empty as I walk down it, the only sound my heels slapping against the stone floor. The Great Hall should just be filling up by now and, as I near the room, I feel a bubble of nervousness in my stomach.


It may be due to the fact that it is the first time I’ve not sat at the Gryffindor table with Amy and the usual posse or the fact that I still look like a tramp and there’s no way to avoid being noticed as I enter the hall. Honestly, weekends at dinner time are like fashion show at Hogwarts, where people are forced to walk down the aisle (i.e. the runway) to reach their seats. And everybody stares, giving their own scores in sniggering or thoughtful murmurs.


And I am sure I’m going to be getting a whole load of sniggering.


Sure enough, as I slowly open the doors, a sort of shocked silence falls in the hall. Gossip travels fast in Hogwarts. I take a few cautious steps down the aisle, aware of at least fifty pairs of eyes on me, and, instead of going to my usual seat at the Gryffindor table, I head towards the Slytherins.


That’s when the whispering breaks out.


I can just about make out Naomi’s beaming face over Al’s sticking up, messy hair and I feel a little more confident as I make my way over to her. My eyes travel a little to the left to see Scorpius also grinning.


My hear flutters a little. Until I see Zoe, of course, who is trying to cosy up to Scorpius. I try to hide the smirk I feel coming on as I see he is oblivious to her attempts.


And, yes, I do have to suppress the ‘Ha! Take that, bitch’ comment that bubbles in my mind.


“Hey,” I say softly, my voice low enough so eavesdroppers (i.e. the whole of Hogwarts) can’t hear. Al’s head whirls round and I can see shock evident on his face. Zoe gives me a shy smile and nods once. “Can I sit here?”


I swear it is so quiet you could literally hear a pin drop.


Then Naomi lets out a loud laugh, but it’s not the unkind one that I’m used to, and nods quickly. Scorpius still has the same little grin on his face as he takes me in and, believe it or not, I feel myself blushing.


But what I didn’t take in account was Al’s reaction. If I had been paying attention to him and not staring gormlessly at Scorpius, then I would have noticed his eyebrows to drop down into a frown and his mouth to close in a firm line.


“No,” Al hisses and I know he tries to be inconspicuous but his words crack like a whip in the silence. I take a shocked step back, hurt evident on my features. Al shakes his head furiously. “No.”


I, along with everyone else in the hall, am stunned into silence.


I know I’m not the only one who didn’t think Al had it in him to publically tear me down, though I may be one of the few who knows about his ‘inner-bitch.’ His incredibly snarky comments have proved this fact.


I glance at Scorpius and he seems as shocked as I feel, looking at Al as if he’d suddenly announced he was pregnant.


I swallow, hard, and direct my gaze back to Al. His brilliant eyes burn into mine for second and there’s not an ounce of friendliness, nor sympathy, just pure and simple anger.


I would have said hate, but I don’t think even Al is capable of truly loathing his cousin.


“You think,” Al says and I know now he does not care if he is heard. He just wants me away, “because you fell out with your friend then you can come lump it with us?”


I try not to show that his words had genuinely affected me but, somehow, my eyes are burning and the lump in my throat swells till I find it hard to breathe, let alone speak. I try swallowing again but that seems to make my eyes sting even more. I fix my gaze on my scuffed trainers in a poor attempt to distract myself from the situation.


“Al,” I hear Naomi say softly and I can just imagine her laying a hand on his arm.


A disgusted sound leaves Al’s mouth and there’s a clink of cutlery. “What?” Al’s voice rises with surprise and anger as he turns to glare at Naomi. “Am I the only one who remembers those three years she completely forgot to acknowledge our existence?”


I flinch at the harsh tone in Al’s usually so calm voice.


Al,” Naomi repeats, but it sounds much less patient and even. “Just listen to her-”


I see the movement of Al shaking his head from the corner of my eye and I tilt my head up a little, deciding to face the lashing full on. That’s when I risk a glance at Scorpius and find him sitting, his face stoic, and his eyes averted to the table.


That’s what does it for me.


I’m ready to turn, to run out, to get away from Scorpius’s blatant disinterest.


But Al has seen the direction of my gaze and the moment when my expression crumpled and smirks up at me, “’Sucks, doesn’t it?”

I freeze, my back half to him.


“To have a knife shoved so deep in your back-”


If I had stayed longer I would have heard Naomi’s outraged cry and the students resuming their frantic whispering, some even having the nerve to clap. I wouldn’t have heard Scorpius.


I’m on the other side of the door before I even realise where my feet have been taking me but I knock. Once, twice, before the door swings open and Amy stands in front of me.


There’s a deadly silence as Amy looks at my red, puffy eyes, my tangled hair and the clothes I chose to wear today. Her mouth then curls into a sneer, and her eyes light up in triumph. “Well, look what the cat dragged in.”


I keep my face blank, staring back at Amy with as much courage as I can muster.


“Had enough of slumming it with the likes of Longbottom?” Amy’s face is still distorted by the ugly sneer as she regards me. “Or are you just so pathetic you can’t make any new friends?”


“Amy,” I croak out and I realise you can hear the sound of unshed tears in my throat. I feel a stab of pain as I picture Scorpius’s happy smile earlier in the day, then the blank mask he had on as he sat at the table. Amy looks at me with intrigue.


“I’ll do it,” I hear myself saying. “I’ll help you.”





Secret No. 14: Belive it or not, but I have ridiculously low self-esteem.



A/N: First off, I am so sorry this took so long to get out! You're going to laugh at me when I tell you, or give me those 'you sad, sad person looks' but thing is, my friend (I completely blame him, of course ;) ) told me to play this computer game and even went as far as lending me his and I, like the cool person I am, became completely addicted to it. *sigh* 
Then I completed it and went straight to writing. But that's when my friend brought out a new game, with aliens and guns, and, yes, I also got hooked. >.<

Anyway, I digress, what I'm really trying to say is I appreciate every single one of you guys's reviews (they all make me smile :) ) and I hope you liked the chapter :)
If there's any spelling/grammar errors then please, please tell me because I've just had an injection and it's pretty hard to type with a dead arm. or if you think anything could be better or it was just generally crap then leave me a review and I'll see what I can do to improve it :)

Muchos love, Effy xxxx



Chapter 10: Steady Does It
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]



Secret No. 30: Dad gave me a teddy bear clad in the bright orange robes of the Chudley Cannons when I was seven. Do I still have the bear? Yes. Yes, I do.





It seems just being around Amy strikes the fear of God into people. Those who whispered and sniggered about me now hastily avoid my eyes and duck their heads. It is easier than I thought it would be to revert back to my usual routine of being a part of Amy’s crowd and everyone seemed to take this in stride, treating me with the usual respect they once had.



But Amy isn’t ready to forgive and forget so easily. Instead she has me doing menial tasks that make me want to yank out my hair in frustration. She’d send me to fetch her a glass of lemonade while the likes of Nina and Marissa lord over the place, constantly assuring Amy of how pretty she looks or flashing me quick, snide looks when they know I can catch them.



And it isn’t the way I’m ordered to fetch things as I am no more than a house elf that pisses me off – it’s the fact that whenever Amy and I are left in each other’s company for mere, few seconds she refuses to break the silence as she once did. It is left up to me to summon up something to say but no matter how funny, nor charming, the reply every time is the same – a quick flick of her eyes over my body, a quirk of the eyebrow and a small purse of her lips, the corners turned up.



It’s going to be hard, I admit, but I know the only way to get back in Amy’s good graces is to screw over Scorpius. Not that he doesn’t deserve it anyway.



The bell rings, signalling the end of break, and I snap out of my reverie, briefly glancing around the library as chairs are scraped back and other students exit, chatting amongst their friends. I pick up the book in front of me, sighing as I remember Amy’s smirking face as she tells me to return it to the library. I tuck it under my arm as I stand, barely registering the intricate detail of the diagram of a potion on the cover, and move to place it back on the shelf. I feel my face drop into a frown as I notice the dog-eared pages that Amy so carelessly marked earlier and step away from the shelf.



I arrive a few minutes late into Transfiguration, the door banging loudly as I open it and every head turns to eyeball me. Miss Winters slams down a hefty transfiguration book onto the table and at once, heads are whipped around to the front. I swallow, preparing myself for the wrath of my teacher. It’s the one thing that bothers our teacher – being late. If I had arrived ten minutes late to the lesson, crawling along the floor with a bruised face she’d ask me if I’d like a late detention along with that black eye.



“Um, miss-”



She cuts me off. “Seeing as you are late, Miss Weasley, I assume you already know the correct wand work of how to conjure bluebell flames?” She asks me in a clipped tone.



I feel my face flush and know that with my red hair I’m going to resemble very much a tomato. “N-no, miss.” Wait, did I just stammer?



There are a few titters around the classroom but Winters silences them with a glare. She doesn’t look towards me again, instead addressing the class. “We’re going to be doing a paired assignment this term and I expect you all to be getting O’s, am I clear?”



“Yes, miss,” the class chorus and I take this time to dart a quick glance at Amy, who sits there, bored, inspecting her nails for dirt.



I see a hand go up from a girl with curly hair. “Can we choose our partners?”



There’s a silence as if we can’t believe somebody had the guts to ask this. All eyes swivel towards Miss Winters who purses her lips.



She sighs. “Very well.”



I half expect a cheer to go up. Instead, cheerful grins are flashed at one another – I don’t think anybody is cocky enough to cheer. I notice Nina and Gabby, the latest follower of Amy, both stare hopefully at her, waiting for her to choose one of them so they can rub it in the others face later. But I follow the direction of her gaze and make note of the smirk playing on her lips, like the cat that caught the canary. Amy stands, her chair sliding out beneath her, and checks her skirt to see that its short enough (it is) and if there is anything wrong with her hair (there isn’t.)



I get there first though. I don’t know whether it’s my tall, gangly figure or my sheer determination to beat her that I ended up cutting Amy off and swinging my bag onto the table, turning my face away from her to beam up at Scorpius.



He doesn’t seem fazed by my euphoric smile, choosing to instead raise an eyebrow at me. “What are you doing?” Scorpius asks, his voice silky but not annoyed. His tone is as if he genuinely wants to know.



I glance quickly over my shoulder to see Amy leaning back on the chair she was originally sitting in. She catches my eye over the bobbing of Nina’s head and gives me a flirty wink. I face Scorpius again and feel my mouth pulling into a smirk, my confidence escalated with that one wink. “Is it a crime to sit here, or something?”



His eyes find mine as he stares at me. With that one stare it’s as if he can see right through me, through all the bitchy things I’ve done in the past and to that little girl with the blue ribbon in her hair on the first day we were partnered together in Potions. My hand shakes and I place it on my lap to steady it, my heart thumping loudly in my ears, as I stare right back at him, focusing on his silver eyes. Then as soon as it began, Scorpius gives me a small smile and ducks his head in what I can only describe as mild embarrassment. His hand rubs the back of his head and I have to force my hands to stay on my lap and not take his from his head in an attempt to reduce his nervousness. He only rubs his neck when he’s nervous. Or uncomfortable.



Scorpius’s mouth opens as if to say something but the words don’t form. Something behind me holds his attention, his eyes drifting from my face to someone over my left shoulder. I clear my throat, trying to remove the lump that has appeared, and turn back to the front, making an attempt to copy down what Miss Winters has written on the board. Out of the corner of my eye I see a crease appear between Scorpius’s eyebrows and notice the glare he flashes behind me before swivelling his neck to the front and crossing his arms in annoyance.



I think it’s all those years I’ve watched Scorpius that I can decipher his every emotion by the unconscious, little things he does.



I feel a flush crawling up my neck as I guess what has put Scorpius into such a stony silence and fight the urge to have a quick peak over my shoulder to see if my guess is correct. I know I don’t really want to find out the answer.



But a few minutes later, the temptation to discover who it was is too much and I fake a stretch, my head turned in the general direction. Sure enough, sitting moodily on a table a few rows across from us is Al. He senses someone staring at him and snaps his eyes up, only for them to make contact with mine. Al’s expression is surprised at first before he regains his composure and narrows his eyes in a viscous glare. I’m the first one to break the gaze and I return to my position with my focus now on the board.



Miss Winters finishes up on the board and the sound of chatter fills the room as each person discusses with their partner what they would like as their assignment. Scorpius drops a book down on our desk and I tilt my head towards him, placing a curious expression on my face.



“You know what you want to do?” I ask and my voice sounds sleepy and bored even to my ears.



The eyebrow rises again but he ignores my sudden sleep-deprived state. “We,” he corrects and, pathetic as it is, my heart does a little flip at this. I sit up straighter, more alert now. Scorpius lets out a short laugh. “We’re partners now, right?”



I stay quiet for a moment, letting the words sink in. It’s what I’ve hoped would miraculously happen of its own accord whenever we’re in the same class together so I wouldn’t have to invent an unbelievable tale for Amy about how we ended up partners. But, all of a sudden, I have a flash of the expression on his face last night, the calm, almost bored way he stared right through me. And I think I see, if I dig around enough in the back of my mind, his face as I fled from the Great Hall to a series of claps. I think I see the smirk on his full lips as he watches me go.



“Why didn’t you say anything, Scorpius?” I say in a quiet voice. I think I may have had to repeat it but I notice the way his hand slowed as he flicked through pages in the book.



“You didn’t ask me anything,” he tries an innocent, bewildered tone but the nervous laugh that escapes his mouth breaks this illusion.



I wrap a strand of hair around my finger and let it go, watching it spring back into its curl. “That’s not what I meant and you know it.” My voice is harder now and I applaud myself for the effort it took.



“I know,” Scorpius murmurs and I look up at him, feeling a little better as I see his eyes lower in shame. He takes a deep breath and fixes his gaze on me again. My neck burns as he stares at me. “And I’m sorry.”



Hearing those little words, I’m sure I could have thrown myself at him right there and then. Instead, I opted for a much more mature, calm option. I have much more to apologise to him for – over three years of apologies – but here he is, sitting on my desk as my partner, asking if I would forgive him.



I nod slowly. “Me, too.”



He doesn’t say anything back like Amy would, no annoying questions, or incessant jabs. Just plain, simple silence.










“Rose,” Amy says, her tone bossy and sure as she marches up to my bed. I stretch, pretending that I’m not trying to hold back a triumphant grin. Finally, finally, Amy is addressing me.



“Hm?”



“You’ve got to tell me everything that happened.”



Nina, Marissa and Gabby flank her sides like devoted puppies. They share a look with each other and I see Nina visibly swallow. I fight back the smirk – it’s hard to be replaced so easily as Amy’s best friend. It’s a long way to fall.



I giggle and pat the space next to me. Amy immediately jumps to my side. I flash her my most charming smile. “I’m going to need snacks,” I say, as if I’m warning her.



She laughs, apparently amused at my wit, clapping her hands together. “Gabby,” she says and her voice is light and friendly. Amy keeps her eyes trained on my smirking face. “Go get some food.”



From over Amy’s shoulder I see Gabby’s face fall. “Oh, but I want to hear the story!” She protests and I see her cheerful face brighten in hope. It’s easy to see why this girl’s a Hufflepuff.



Amy finally turns her head, her eyes flashing. “It wasn’t a request.” This statement is like a whip and Gabby recoils. She’s out the door in five seconds. Amy refocuses her attention at me, putting the full force of her charm on. “Rose, your hair looks so silky today.”



“Oh, really?” I reply, smiling happily at my friend. Amy nods enthusiastically and Nina and Marissa chime in with ‘yeah’s’ and ‘of course’s’.



“Now, back to Malfoy...”



Amy trails off meaningfully but I don’t rush to fill the gap as I usually would. I let Amy’s unfinished sentence hover in the air for a few moments, going over in my head what I should tell her. Marissa flashes Nina a triumphant smirk behind Amy’s back and I feel my eyes narrow in annoyance. Amy’s expression slowly changes from one of intrigue to complete impatience.



“I think,” I say, pausing between my words as I throw Marissa a glare, “that this is more of a private conversation, no?”



The question at the end of the sentence adds the final touch – nobody will want to disagree with me, to challenge whether or not this is true. Not now, not while I hold information that Amy, let’s face it, is desperate to know.



Amy’s eyebrows rise in surprise and I know she’s wondering when she taught me that trick. You haven’t been best friends with someone for three years if you can’t adopt their haughty tone, their innocent suggestion that has somebody fretting for days and the ability to make people respect you with just a few words.



“Rose,” Amy replies in a low voice, trying to admonish me. The shock that was clear on Marissa and Nina’s face just moments ago has been replaced by the smug look I am so used to. I ignore their identical expressions and slide slowly off the bed, reaching for my wand as I rise. Amy’s green eyes flash to my face in annoyance, but not before something I can’t name at the moment flits across her face. “What are you doing? You’re in your pyjamas.”



I resist the temptation to look down as if to confirm this as I know for a fact it is true. I do not answer Amy until I reach the door, my finger closing around the doorknob, revelling in the stunned silence I have left behind. “I am going to find Scorpius.”



I descend the stairs, feeling like the smug bitch that I am, and turn for the common room exit, not caring in the slightest that I am in my pyjamas. Truth be told, I’m not going to find Scorpius. In fact, that is one of the many lies I’ve told to escape Amy’s company for just a few moments. Do I care that it leaves me wandering around Hogwarts in my pyjamas like a total idiot? No, not really. The smugness I am left with completely outweighs this minor inconvenience.



As I plan my whereabouts for the next hour or so I’m too wrapped up in my head to notice the approaching figure until a hand is clamped around my wrist and I am dragged off into a corner. Startled, I clear my head to focus on the petite figure in front of me, giving her a confused look. “Um, Naomi?”



She spins on her heel and runs a hand through her hair, clearing it off her face. Naomi fidgets, hopping from foot to foot as she stares fixedly at the floor. She’s clearly uncomfortable. “Listen, I’m really sorry.”



Ooh, would it be terrible for me to admit that I am enjoying all these apologies?



I open my mouth, ready to dish out the same ‘me, too’ to Naomi that worked so brilliantly, in my opinion, on Scorpius.



But Naomi is babbling and it’s incredibly hard to stop her when she gets going. “I honestly didn’t think Al would flip like that.”



Just like that my good mood from besting Amy, from taking down Marissa and Nina a few notches evaporates. My hand falls to my side and I take a deep breath to fight the despair of my cousin possibly hating me off. “I don’t think any of us did.”



Naomi bites her lip and I think she may be the one bursting into tears. “I thought it would be Scorpius.”



My brow furrows in confusion. Naomi guessed that I would get thoroughly reprimanded at dinner, in front of all the students and teachers as I tried not to break down there and then?



 “Scorpius and I had a little chat before dinner,” I inform her dryly. “Hugs and everything.”



“Oh, oh, that’s great! I knew you’d win over Scorpius though,” Naomi rushes out and I refocus my gaze on her, lifting an eyebrow as I waited for her to continue. “You have a weird effect on him sometimes-”



Wait, what?



“-and I really didn’t expect Al to be so mad.”



I don’t really register the last bit – my eyebrows seem to have frozen three inches about their normal height and my eyes have widened considerably. My brain seems to be in a state between dreaming and a numb fuzziness. I, Rose Weasley, have an effect on Scorpius?



I reach out a hand to pat Naomi’s arm. “Hey, have you seen Scorpius?”



Naomi seems surprised and I don’t really blame her, my expression is shocked and my gaze is somewhere in the distance, over her head. “He’s, uh, coming back from dinner,” she answers and, as I make a move to go, she steps in front of me, blocking my exit. Finally, I tilt my head down to look at her, glad I have these few inches over her. Naomi’s chin juts out stubbornly as her brow creases. “You’re not going to do something you’ll regret later will you?”



I stop trying to dodge her, my feet feeling like they’ve been rooted to the spot my some sort of hex. “What do you mean?” I ask, but my voice sounds wrong, too high.



“Amy seemed ready to take you back with open arms,” Naomi answers somewhat sadly.



I feel as if all my blood has frozen in my veins. “She’s my best friend,” I choke out.



“Why did you want to be Scorpius’s partner?”



All of a sudden I can’t take any of it anymore. The pure pity that adorns Naomi’s face, the feeling as if somebody extremely large and heavy is bouncing up and down on my chest and the dryness of my throat. I step away from Naomi, glaring down at her. “Not that it’s any of your business,” I hiss, “but I happen to want to be friends with him again.”



I sidestep Naomi’s figure and march in the opposite direction, hoping with all my might that I haven’t just given myself away and that she won’t go running to Scorpius. This mills about in my head for a while until I realise I’m trying to find Scorpius and concentrate on the passages in Hogwarts that continue to confuse me, even after six years here.



Eventually, I end up a corridor off from the Dungeons, figuring this is where Scorpius would have gotten to by now. A chill creeps up my spine and I hug my jacket around me, trying to stay warm. I’ve never liked this part of the castle which is one of the reasons I was so relieved to be sorted into Gryffindor. A voice murmurs in the distance and, although it is clearly intended to be quiet and discreet, the walls here echo every word and I recognise the speaker as Scorpius.



I heart does a faint little splutter as I step around the corner, trying to find the origin of the voice. It doesn’t strike me to think about who Scorpius is talking to – I’m just desperate to see his face again, to study it to see what this ‘weird effect’ is.



I turn the final corner, my heart banging loudly against my ribcage, as I place a euphoric smile on my face. But then I notice two figures at the end of the corridor and my foot freezes mid-step. I back- track, moving quickly behind the shelter of the wall. My heart is louder now, and I’m sure the sound will echo down these walls till it reaches Scorpius.



I take a deep breath, willing it to be silent, before risking a quick peak past the wall. I don’t know what happened then but one minute I was hiding behind a wall and the next I am standing in plain sight of where Scorpius and Zoe were huddled, their foreheads touching in an intimate way. My eyes follow his arm to where his hand lies, resting on the small of her back.



My breath comes out in an audible whoosh and Scorpius’s head snaps up. His eyes lock with mine and, even from this distance, I notice the silver in his eyes. Zoe is half-way to spotting me but Scorpius lets out a sudden laugh which distracts her. He talks to her in a low voice as I back away, desperately seeking out somewhere I can hide but unable to take my eyes off of the happy couple. Scorpius eyes find mine again, as if a magnet is pulling them there, and he places a quick kiss on Zoe’s forehead. My insides squirm uncomfortably as I see her skip off and Scorpius’s gaze bore into me, not looking at his girlfriend as she leaves. Like he should.



His strides are long and I don’t even bother trying to outrun him. I stop when my back reaches the wall, feeling as if my heart is in my throat and I’ve been dropped from a great height and not about to stop anytime soon. It’s painful to swallow.



He’s only a couple of feet apart now yet we continue to stare at each other. My heartbeat quickens with each growing second. Finally, I can’t take the silence any longer and I utter a single word, “hi.”



His face suddenly cracks into a grin. This smile – one of his true, happy smiles – is bright, wide and verging on goofy. His eyes take in my appearance – the pyjamas, no make-up, hair in tangles around my shoulders – and I feel myself flush. “You playing a night time game of Hide and Seek, or something?”



I open my mouth to retort something witty. I come up blank – his words have left me a little bewildered. “What?”



Scorpius gestures to my pyjamas. “You know,” he says and when he is met with the same blank stare he elaborates. “You always wanted to play a game of Hide and Seek in the dark a couple years back.”



I smile to myself, remembering the numerous times I pestered Scorpius, Al and Naomi on playing a giant Hide and Seek game in the dark, with the whole school taking part.



“You remembered,” I say.



He grins at me again. “You spent months drilling it into my head,” Scorpius teases. “Believe me, if I could have forgotten it by now, I would have.”



This is how it is with me and Scorpius. He tries to annoy me – which fails as I am often distracted by the fact that he is talking to me – and I reply with something completely crap as a comeback. “Yeah, well, if I could have forgotten your face by now I would have.”



A lot of the time these insults aren’t true. To be honest, it’s hard finding something insult-worthy about Scorpius.



I notice now that we’re walking, and maybe have been for some time now, and we settle into a comfortable silence. I don’t feel the need to blurt out something idiotic like I do often with Amy and feel the need to do with Naomi. Instead, Scorpius and I stroll along the corridor, not sure of where we are going but walking nevertheless, like it’s something we do every day.



I risk a half glance at Scorpius to see he has his hands shoved deep into his pockets, a curious expression on his face. His eyes swivel in my direction and I hastily look away, focusing on the direction we are going.



I feel him studying me while I try to keep my gaze on the floor and then Scorpius’s low voice breaks the silence. “You look prettier without all that stuff on your face.”



Once again my breath comes out in a whoosh. I don’t realise I have come to a halt until I notice Scorpius ahead of me by several steps. He looks back to me, surprised, both his eyebrows raised in an adorable way on his face.



“What?” Scorpius says, his body half turned towards me.



I open my mouth to answer him, ask if he really thinks I am in some way ‘pretty’ and that the foundation I’ve been wearing for years now to disguise my freckles hinders rather than helps, but my throat is not working properly.



“Nnnghhh?”



Scorpius lets out a bark of a laugh that sounds harsh in the quiet of the hall. “Oh, come off it, Rose,” he says. “You know you’re pretty.”



“I-” I try to say, but my voice croaks as I speak. I want to spit out a furious protest for him suggesting I am conceited but my throat is dry and it is difficult forming words.



Scorpius waits for my answer, for me to regain my composure. He doesn’t try to answer for me or to speak over what I’m trying to say.



“I’m in my pyjamas,” I finally come up with, as poor as an answer as it is.



Scorpius waves a hand at me in dismissal. “That doesn’t matter to girls like you,” he says, and I feel my heart stutter in my chest.



Girls like me? “What’s that supposed to mean?” I frown, my mouth turning down at the corners.



“It means that girls like you think they can get whatever they want,” Scorpius answers. I know he’s aiming for light and teasing like he was earlier but a hint of bitterness seeps through and I realise that it’s the three years I ignored him that created it.



There should be another furious protest here and, if it was anyone else, I know the words ‘you patronising bastard’ would be frothing from my mouth at this very moment. But it’s not just anyone – its Scorpius – and as much as I may hate to admit it, there may be some truth in his words.



“You think that you’re Queen bitchdom is so hard,” he continues and he doesn’t even try to hide the harsh tone of his voice now. I feel myself flinch. “But you’ve got it easy. Merlin, you’ve got it so easy.”



“Scorpius,” I say, somewhat shakily. I’ve realised that the topic has moved on from ‘girls like me’ to something more, something deeper, something closer to home. “What’s going on?”



Scorpius breath comes out in a little huff and he rakes a hand through his blonde hair, making it even messier. “Nothing,” he mumbles, his eyes glued to the floor. “Listen, just forget it, yeah?”



That’s easier said than done, I think as he walks away from me, his face never once turning to say goodnight. But I need this goodnight, even if he doesn’t – it was one of the main reasons I came down here to look for him.



“Goodnight, Scorpius,” I say softly, so softly I’m not sure whether or not he heard it.



But then as he rounds the corner I hear the low, half mumbled reply. “’Night, Rosie.”



It’s as I round the final corner for the Gryffindor common room in a state of utter bliss that I realise what the expression on Amy’s face was as I left her with Nina and Marissa. It was a little ounce of fear.



And I put together what Scorpius said moments earlier with the numerous expressions on Amy’s face during the little time we spent together and come up with something that is probably the most accurate, the one thing that Amy is worried about;


She thinks I’m going to be more popular than her.




Secret No. 17: I do enjoy the monthly letters Mum sends to me in the morning despite the fact that I pretend how lame they are. In fact, I try very hard to reply to them quickly and the number of Nan’s cookies Mum sends with the letter does not affect how quickly I sent the letter with the owl. Much.




A/N: Ah, yes, I'm back! Finally, finally, I have a new chapter out. I'm honestly really sorry about the massive, frankly ridiculous wait. I've just been a little tied up with revising and forgot how much I enjoy writing.
But it's better late than never, right? And thankyou to all you wonderful readers and reviewers! It's you guys that made me start writing again :)
I hope this chapter was worth the wait! I'll try not to spend an eternity writing the next chapter, I promise.
Effy xxx


Chapter 11: Bliss
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Secret No. 33: It’s not the fact that you’re a bitch. It’s that I hate you. Because you’re a bitch.



I wake up to the curious face of Naomi peering over me as she calls my name. Okay, I admit, this did scare me a little – my heart seemed to miss a beat before starting up with double its original speed. And yes, okay, maybe screaming at the top of my lungs is overreacting a bit but, as I sit up in my bed, my hand over my thumping heart, I turn to Naomi with an accusatory stare.


What the hell were you doing?!” I screech at her and am pleased to note that my scream sent her backwards by a few feet.


Naomi doesn’t look guilty in the slightest and I feel my anger rise at her. So sue me, I’m not a morning person.


 “I just thought I’d tell you,” she says coolly, “that we have our first lesson in ten minutes.”


I stare blankly at her for a few moments, my brain working considerably slower due to the early hours, as I run my eyes over Naomi, who is fully dressed in our school uniform then to the clock on my nightstand that indeed says it is 8.50am.


My brain registers then and I fling myself out of bed with all the speed I have and sprint to my trunk, muttering curses under my breath. I dress in record time, shoving on my jumper quickly over my shirt and tie and pulling my tights up so quickly that they ladder. I’m out the bathroom in under five minutes, sneaking a quick look in the mirror to see I, indeed, look like I just woke up. There is not enough time to do anything more than flick a coating of mascara over my eyelashes and squirt a blob of frizz-ease hair cream in my hands, which I then run through my hair as I throw the door open.


To my utmost surprise, Naomi is still in the room, sitting on her bed as she flicks through a magazine, letting out a snort as she stops on a page. I stare at her, my hands still unconsciously working their way through my tangle of curls. Naomi looks up with a small smile and, picking up the magazine, waves the page at me.


I step closer, squinting my eyes until I can see the picture. And when I do I stop, narrowing my gaze at Naomi, who still chortles at the magazine, blissfully unaware of everything except the picture of me splashed across the magazine in front of her with the worlds ‘Circle of Shame!’ printed across the top in bold, red letters. A bright, red circle has been printed across half of my face and, in that circle, you can easily see the hand shaped bruise on my face as I walk down the Hogsmeade streets, a surly frown on my face. The words ‘Who’s been hitting the Weasley protégée?’ are printed below.


“Lovely,” I growl, slinging my school bag over my shoulder and making for the door. Naomi follows behind me, still giggling to herself, probably so pleased that her slapping me caused some embarrassment. I throw her a glare. “We have precisely two minutes to get to class.”


Naomi picks up her speed as she trots down the stairs, me leading just in front. The hall is fairly empty and I break into a jog, not wanting to be late again for the lesson. I hear Naomi’s voice behind me, as if she’s merely just striking up conversation, “Why didn’t you wake up?”


“I don’t know, do I?” I snap, my frustration growing as the time gets later and later than 9 o’ clock. “My alarm was meant to go off but it didn’t, okay?”


“Why didn’t Amy wake you up?” Naomi asks pointedly, and I nearly stop in my tracks when I hear that same, familiar pity she had in her voice last night when we were talking of Amy.


My eyes narrow again but I don’t throw the glare over my shoulder at Naomi. I’m not mad at Naomi, it’s the bitch of a best friend I’m furious with. “Oh, she is so dead,” I mutter darkly.


Naomi doesn’t ask any more questions and we arrive at the classroom only five minutes late. It’s that time in the morning when the class has just begun and the last straggles of people are just finishing entering the classroom, chattering amongst themselves. Naomi and I fall easily into line behind them.


When I enter the room amongst the first thing I notice is Amy, leaning back on her chair as if she owned the place. The second thing my eyes are drawn to is, quite obviously, Scorpius, who doesn’t falter as he notices Naomi and I enter together. Instead, he just looks at me.


I stare back and stick my tongue out of my mouth.


Hi, I’m Rose Weasley, and I have the mental age of a five year old.


Continuing with my child-like state I slam my back down on Amy’s table and throw her a dirty look as I flop into my chair. Out of the corner of my eye I notice Isabel and Sarah – the Slytherin twins from hell itself – snigger at my expense. Marissa rolls her eyes, a smug smile on her lips.


Amy regards me coolly. “Overslept, then, Rose?”


I don’t flinch under her gaze, instead choosing to run my tongue over my teeth before smirking back at her. “Yeah, well, I had a late night.”


Amy’s eyes flash and she breaks the contact first, leaning forward to open her book as Mr. Sitch announces our lesson plan and I turn to flash Marissa a triumphant look. She glares back at me.


Oh, happy days.


I’m practically skipping as I drop ingredients into the cauldron, each one landing with a hiss or a gurgle, while I warn Amy’s hand that clutches some god forsaken weed away with a quick glare. That girl’s going to mess up my grade O shrinking potion, I just know it.


It’s not until I hear Sarah cackling that my annoyance returns and I turn to her with my lips pursed. “What the bloody hell is so funny?” I snap, letting a root slip between my fingers into the liquid below.


“Does it look like I was talking to you?” She retorts, flipping her stupid hair over her shoulder and turning back to Isabel.


I roll my eyes, not even bothering to come up with a reply. The chances are she won’t understand it anyway. I scoop a portion of the potion into a beaker and survey the colour as I glance back at the diagram in the book.


Sarah’s snide voice carries over to me. “Weasley, it looks like something died on your head.”


I flick a quick look at Amy to see her studying me. It’s at this moment that Amy usually steps in for her lackeys, delivering a verbal bitch slap to anybody who thinks they can cross her by undermining us. She stays silent and, instead, I have to smirk at the tights Isabel has chosen to wear today and her knobbly knees.


“Ah, pity,” I say, though my tone is not upset in the slightest. I shrug. “But I guess it’s better than looking like something dead in general, right?”


I place the beaker on the table and the liquid swishes around. I’m pretty confident I’ve won but then Sarah opens her mouth again.


“Scorpius had a girl in his room last night.”


I freeze. Amy freezes. There’s an uncomfortable silence at our table as I try to recover, my mouth opening and closing stupidly. But I don’t say anything – the words wouldn’t form on my tongue – instead I just nudge the half-full beaker of violet liquid with my elbow so she is drenched in sticky, purple crap with God knows what’s in it, that then soaks into her white school shirt.


The class falls into a silence and I can feel Scorpius’s eyes boring into the side of my head. How do I know it’s him? I checked, just a few moments ago.


“Oops,” I smile innocently at her. “How clumsy of me.”


“You bitch,” Sarah breaths and then something wondrous happens. Her shirt actually shrinks as she stands there, staring down in horror.


I watch in amusement as her sleeves tear and the buttons begin popping off. The rest of the class watch in morbid fascination as Sarah shrieks and tugs at her shirt before finally fleeing from the classroom with her robe wrapped around her to protect the little bit of modesty she has left. Isabel slinks out after her, offering me a fleeting glare.


I turn to smirk at Amy who’s watching me, impressed, and the rest of the class break out into chatter again. I open my mouth to say something witty to the silent and stunned Marissa but I’m cut off by my furiously shaking professor.


Rose!” He bellows, his face becoming increasingly blotchy and red. Apparently, he has recovered himself. Just moments ago, he too was gawping at the scene unfolding before him.


I smile tentatively up at him. “Yes, professor?”


“That was not the correct way to demonstrate your shrinking potion works,” Sitch tells me crisply and I’ve got to fight back the snigger.


“You’re going to join me later for detention.”


Ah, well, it was worth it. And I still got an ‘Outstanding’ on my potion.






I’m sure Amy is avoiding me. And I think this because I am, once again, sitting by myself at lunch as I butter a roll of bread, surveying the room with boredom. Nobody seems to want to make eye-contact with me – the story of me tipping a shrinking potion on Sarah has, apparently, spread already – and this makes me a little uneasy.


There is suddenly a scuffle around me and I look up to find Hugo sitting across from me, two of his friends by his side. Hugo nods at me but I find myself too stunned to reply – since when has Hugo ever decided to grace me with his presence?


“Hi, Rose,” he says as if we did this every day.


I place my roll down and fix him with a beady eye. “Hugo, what-”


“Hey, Rose!” A voice interrupts me and I turn to see Hugo’s friend, the same one who was at my house for New Year’s, grinning toothily at me. “Remember me?”


I stare at him for a minute, waiting for the grin to fade. It doesn’t and I get bored, returning back to Hugo. “Has something happened?”


Hugo shakes his head slowly and that seems to stop the rising panic in my chest. “No-”


“So, Rose,” Hugo’s friend pipes up again. “You’re looking particularly lovely this afternoon.”


What is wrong with this boy? I ignore him, instead choosing to send Hugo a look. A look which clearly says ‘he’s your friend. Put a leash on him.’


My informative look seems to pass over Hugo’s head for he leans forward and says in a hushed tone, his eyes darting from side to side, “Rose, I need your help.”


I also lean closer to him, intrigued. “You do?”


Hugo nods and his eyes go wide and puppy dog-like. “The keeper for the team is sick, Rose.”


I sit back up and give him an unimpressed look. Here I thought he was going to spill his secrets to me, get me to help him woo a girl or something. “Quidditch? Really, Hugo?”


His eyes become wider, if possible. “Please, Rose. We can’t do it without you.”


Oh, for Pete’s sake. “Hugo, I don’t care about Quidditch.”


The shocked silence I’m met with it’s as if I’d just announced I am dropping out of Hogwarts to become the female equivalent of Voldemort. Hugo and his friends glare at me.


I glare back.


We stay like that for a few moments.


“You can go now,” Amy’s voice orders above me and, at once, my brother scampers off and, shooting one last dirty look, strolls off with his friends following close by. Amy sits next to me and takes an apple, biting into it with a crunch.


“They want me to stand in for the sick Quidditch keeper,” I say to Amy, as way of explanation.


But she’s not looking at me. Instead, her eyes are focused behind me and her hand freezes half way to her mouth. I stare at her, perplexed, before a voice sounds from my left.


“Rosie, I want you to stand in,” Louis offers me a small smile, his hands in his pockets as he stares sheepishly at the floor.


Now I stare at him. We haven’t actually spoken since the incident a couple of months ago and I’m almost certain he’s taken extra lengths in order to avoid crossing me in the hallway. Not that I blame him, really. I wouldn’t really want to speak to the girl who sided with ‘the enemy’ (his words, not mine.)


The apple drops out of Amy’s hand and thumps to the floor as she stares gormlessly at my cousin, her mouth half open.


“Eh?”


Nice one, Rose. Prove everyone that you are mentally challenged. That helps a lot, thanks.


Louis takes a seat opposite me, looking into my eyes so he wouldn’t have to acknowledge Amy. He hasn’t spoken to her either, not since he broke up with her for cheating on him.


“The team needs you, Rose,” Louis says quietly and I feel myself softening towards him. He is making me feel like bit of a bitch, I’ve got to admit. “I need you. We can’t lose to Hufflepuff. That’s just embarrassing.”


“Louis, I haven’t played in ages.”


“You played last summer.”


I fix him with a steady eye before throwing my hands up in defeat. “Fine!” I exclaim and let out a huff. I know Amy is a little startled by how quickly I agreed but I’ve learnt from past experiences that Louis is one of the most stubborn people I know and I will never win an argument against him. “But if you lose because of me, it’s not my fault!”






And that is how I ended up in the girls changing room a few days later, trying to rearrange this oversized Quidditch uniform I am wearing so it looks remotely okay. My cousin Lily laughs at me, before tying her hair up in a neat ponytail.


“Why are you so bloody happy?” I snap, my frown deepening as I notice the shite weather I’ve got to play in.


She rolls her eyes at me. "Would you lighten up?”


“No, I will not,” I reply as I stare down at the tee-shirt which hangs below my knees. Honestly, I thought I was tall but the currently ill keeper must be a freaking giant. “Lily, I cannot wear this! I’m going to be on the floor before we’re even on our brooms!”


Lily gives me the once over, a frown on her face. “It is a bit big, isn’t it? I guess you could run back to the dorm and get my spare.”


“Ah, Lily,” I sigh happily and ruffle my cousins hair. I pull the tee-shirt over my head so I am just in my leggings and a vest top. “I love you sometimes.”


“You’re going to miss the warm-up,” Lily warns to my back as I exit the changing room.


“I’ll run,” I promise and break into a slow jog across the grass.


This is where I learn I am really terribly unfit and there is no way I can run all the way there and all the way back. Within five minutes I have a cramp in my side, my breathing has become deep and often and my head feels like it’s about to drop off with redness.


That’s, of course, when I run into Scorpius Malfoy as he opens the door to the castle. That’s just my sodding luck, isn’t it? I’m going to be having serious words with karma – I’ve been a good person recently and this is what I’m getting for it? Seriously?


Apart from the time when I poured shrinking potion over Sarah. But, honestly, she had that coming.


Scorpius looks surprised to see me. I don’t blame him – my face is a million degrees, I’m wondering around in freezing weather in a skimpy vest top and I feel like at any moment I’m about to collapse from exhaustion.


He just looks at me. “You look... red.”


“I’m just...” I pant, fanning my face with my hand. I’m sure I’m growing redder by the second as my embarrassment rises. “Getting... ready for... Quidditch.”


Scorpius glances down at me. Since I am now bent over double trying to get rid of my stitch. Perfect. Just perfect. “Merlin, Rose, have you just run a marathon?”


“No, actually,” I snap, turning my face up to glare at him. “I just ran all the way from the changing rooms.”


Scorpius doesn’t reply at first, instead looking meaningfully over my head at the changing rooms which are at the bottom of the hill. “’All the way?’ It’s not exactly far though, is it?”


I, too, straighten up and glance over my shoulder. “Yes, well, it’s up a hill.”


“It’s a slope,” he corrects.


“No,” I reply through gritted teeth. It’s like Scorpius just wants me to admit that I’m unfit.  “It’s definitely a hill.”


“Actually-”


“Merlin, what are you, President of the Slopes Association?” I snap, feeling foolish as soon as the words of are out my mouth.


But Scorpius just flashes me a wide, toothy grin. “You better go get ready for the match.”


Shit. That thought completely slipped my mind and now I’m pretty sure it’s back with a vengeance.


I stifle my groan and give Scorpius a slow nod. “Mmm.”


“It starts in ten minutes.”


“Shit!” I screech and I bolt off down the corridor, arms and legs flailing out so attractively as I run. Before I turn the corner, however, I take a peak over my shoulder at Scorpius as he walks away. “Hey, Malfoy!” I call, trying not to be distracted by how good Scorpius looks from behind, as he walks.


He stops and turns towards me. “Yeah?”


“Tell your girlfriend I’m going to kick her arse.”


Scorpius doesn’t reply. He just smirks at me for a second before turning around and walking back the way he was going.


I hope he doesn’t think I mean literally, instead of Quidditch. Although, honestly, I would love to have a smack-down with Zoe, just to see what she’d do.


Among other reasons.






So, here I am, sitting on a broom at the end of the Quidditch pitch, in the sodding rain no less.


It’s not just the ‘soaks you through’ rain, either, that comes down in heavy downpours. It’s the light kind, the kind which slowly sinks into your outfit and makes your underwear wet. The kind of rain that makes my hair fifty times its usual size.


I bet that’s how everyone knows it’s me. Because of the red mane of hair that is the size of Jupiter. They’ll be like; ‘oh, yes, can’t you tell that’s Rose? Her hair alone can block a goal.’


I’m not very impressed. Not at all.


“And that’s Carfrey from Hufflepuff with the Quaffle now!” A voice bellows over the roaring crowd.


My stomach sinks. For, sure enough, Ashley Carfrey is barrelling towards me, a determined expression on his face and the Quaffle tucked under his arm.


Weasley’s looking nervous! Ah, but here’s... um, Weasley to the rescue!”


See, that’s the problem with having the Quidditch team populated by Weasley’s. But it’s not our fault there is a Weasley in almost every year and that our parents insist we play Quidditch family games at summer or any other family gathering and we just happen to be better than all the shit players in the school.


Nothing at all to do with the fact that Teddy Lupin just happened to have his Quidditch team made up of Weasley’s.


I hover about on my broom as Carfrey nears, taking deep breaths to focus on the stupid ball I’m meant to catch. Then, suddenly, there’s a crack and Carfrey’s broom does a 360 spin in mid-air and I peer behind him to see Louis glowering, his beaters bat in hand and the Bludger flying somewhere off in the distance,  after a nice collision with Carfrey’s broom.


I grin at him gratefully and Louis nods back.


“And Hugo Weasley has picked up the Quaffle and is now heading – ouch! That’s a Bludger to the head for Weasley!”


I feel my feathers ruffling. I’m going to kill that twat who dared pick on my little brother.The crowd jeers below but Hugo rights himself and, with a quick touch to the back of his head, he heads for the Quaffle again.


“-Gerard dodges Roxanne Weasley – God, she doesn’t look happy about that does she?”


Oh, bollocks. Sodding hell. Another damn chaser is heading towards me and Louis is all the way at the other end of the pitch. Even from here I can see his panicked face.


Gerard grins at me and brings his arm back to throw.


“Gerard, wait!” I call desperately, my voice pleading. His arm freezes and he looks confused. I know it’s wrong to take advantage of Hufflepuff’s niceness but I honestly don’t think I’m going to catch it. “I, um-”


“What’s this? Is Rose Weasley actually talking to Gerard in the middle of a match? Is she trying to flirt her way out of Gerard scoring?”


I shoot an annoyed glance at the commentator – a Ravenclaw girl in the year below. She is also going on my ‘To Hex’ list.


Gerard seems to recover as she says this and swings his arm back to throw. However, Roxanne has also had time to reach him and barges him quite ferociously so that he wobbles on his broom and the Quaffle flies straight into my waiting arms.


And Rose Weasley has actually caught the Quaffle! Who would have thought it?!”


Yep, this girl is definitely going to have a nice, little chat with me later.


“Although, Roxanne Weasley did her her. And Spinnet has the Quaffle and oh! Gryffindor SCORE!”


The crowd erupts – Hufflepuffs whining and boo-ing like the wimps they are and Gryffindor wooping.


I see Lily high above us, circling around the pitch as she looks for the Snitch, with Zoe hovering nearby, one eye focused on Lily to see what she’s doing and one around the pitch. I must remind myself later to tell Scorpius his girlfriend has a lazy eye.


“And Hufflepuff SCORE!”


Bollocks. Stupid bloody Zoe. I blame her entirely.


“Peak picks up the Quaffle and dodges Smithy – oh, nice Bludger from Hank! Peak drops the Quaffle and Warrington-”


I find myself zoning out and I have to shake myself awake. There’s a reason I don’t come to Quidditch matches and it’s not because I don’t like standing in the cold for God knows how long, cheering for my team.


Though that is a major factor.


“And Smithy’s heading towards Weasley again! And HE SHOOTS, HE – oh, Rose caught it.”


Ha, in their faces. I am expecting a ‘oh, brilliant save, Rose!’ instead of the disappointed, shit one I received.


 Gryffindor score a few more goals and, I’m sad to say, I do let in a few from the Hufflepuffs. I like to think that I saved more than I let in but by the gleeful note in the commentator’s voice, I’m pretty sure that that’s not the case.


And then I see Lily suddenly dive towards the ground, Zoe hot on her heels.


“And the seekers have spotted the snitch! It’s now just a race between Potter and Hawthorn!”


I try not to get distracted by the seekers as Gerard comes pelting towards me at top speed again and this time I know he won’t be so easily distracted. The Quaffle shoots out of his arm towards the goals and I have to pull up to reach it. My fingers make contact with it and the ball stops its path, instead dropping to the floor.


Oh, yes, go Rosie!


“And Lily Potter has caught the snitch! Gryffindor win!”


I am so going to add this to the list of stuff to rub in Scorpius’s face.







“Lily!” I exclaim happily once we’ve all reached the ground. I bound up to her and throw an arm around my favourite cousin. “We won! We won!”


Lily shares a grin with me. “I wasn’t exactly going to let that tramp get the Snitch, was I?”



My smile, if possible, becomes brighter. There are several reasons why I love my cousin Lily and her openly cussing Zoe is one of them. “Ooh, trash talk. I like it.”


Louis pops up out of nowhere it seems and envelops both Lily and I in a massive hug. “We won!”


I let out a laugh as I notice the surly expressions on the Hufflepuff’s faces, especially Zoe, who looks even more put-out than the rest of them. I’m so thrilled right now, I don’t even care how much my hair has expanded in the last hour or so.


Louis releases us and I see Scorpius suddenly at Zoe’s side, a half-smile on his lips. He catches my eye and offers a small wave which, okay, I admit, I do reply to with a little too much enthusiasm.


My team have already begun their steady stroll to the changing room to the sounds of people on the stands roaring and stamping. I follow at the end, my broom held firmly in my hand.


Scorpius falls into line beside me. “You did good, Weasley.”


I beam up at him. Scorpius looks adorable in the rain – his blonde hair dripping little drops of rain and his hoodie sticking to his chest. “I did, didn’t I?”


He lets out a little laugh and, I can’t help it, I take a quick look behind me to see Zoe as she walks back to the Hufflepuff changing room by herself, a sour expression on her face as she also peaks behind her.


“Don’t let it get to your head,” Scorpius chides and I like to believe it was in a somewhat fond tone. “Slytherin are still going to wipe the floor with you.”


“Ignorance is bliss.”


“Don’t even try to deny that we don’t have a better team than you.”


I grin at him cheekily. “But you don’t.”


Scorpius stops and I realise a moment later we’ve reached the changing rooms. I watch Lily throw a knowing looking over her shoulder at me before the door closes behind her and I turn towards Scorpius.


“It’s your birthday in a few weeks, right?”


My heart flips in my chest and the swell of pleasure I feel has nothing to do with the fact that I just won a Quidditch match. “Yeah,” I breathe. I don’t know why I’m so shocked her remembered , really. I know his birthday off by heart.


Though that may be due to the fact that I am a little bit in love with him.


A raindrop runs down his face and there is a small smile on his lips as he replies in a quiet voice, “How about that Hide and Seek game?”


“Huh?”


Oh, Merlin, I’m an idiot. Can I really not just reply with something that doesn’t make me appear like a mentally challenged Frisbee?


“Hide and Seek,” Scorpius repeats again, and I’m glad to inform you that the expression on his face doesn’t look as if he thinks I’m slow. Actually, he looks quite amused. “As a sort of birthday present.”


“A massive game of Hide and Seek in the dark?” I ask to confirm and Scorpius nods happily at me. It’s hard to move my lips as I am smiling such a big smile. Knowing my luck (and my karma) it’s probably coming across as a little creepy. “That would be amazing.”


And, before Scorpius can say anything or even laugh again, I break the touching boundary we’ve had between us for three years and wrap my arms around him in a hug, noticing how nice he smells. Which is quite a feat, considering it’s been raining and he should smell all... well, rainy. But he doesn’t – instead he smells a little of soap and wood and parchment.


I really could have stayed like that forever – just lounging around in Scorpius’s arms – but I know, after his awkward little chuckle and pat on the back that he’s not too comfortable like this. So I release him, a little reluctantly, I must admit.


“Thanks, Malfoy,” I say to lighten the awkwardness and punch him on the arm.


Scorpius grins down at me, happy to be free from any sort of emotional situation. “Any time, Weasley.”



Secret No. 66 The Hide and Seek game on my birthday is the thing I’ve been looking forward to for the longest time. Don’t ask me why, because I honestly don’t know. I think it’s partly because I can get in touch with my inner child but mainly because it’s Scorpius who’s organising it.



A/N: Ah, this chapter would have been up last night but my internet crashed -.-
Anyway, I got a review from Severus Snape is a babe about writing a chapter in the POV of Scorpius and I got some yay and nay comments on that.
So I was just wondering what you think on that? All for a Scorpius chapter or not? I'm going to leave the decision up to you guys :)
Effy xxx


Chapter 12: Distractions
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 A/N: I'm so sorry, don't hate me for not updating in so long! I feel awful. The short story is I was persuaded to do sciences at my school in my last two years by teachers and parents but I recently rediscovered my love of writing and decided to change my subjects to english :) After all my exams are done, I will be updating MUCH more, I swear.
Also to new readers, hi! :) I hope you've enjoyed my story so far!  -Effy xxx
 

 



 Secret No. 27: It was me who got that blackcurrant stain on Amy’s immaculate dress a few months ago. I told her it was a first year.



 

My birthday has been following the same order for the last three years. I wake up to Amy, Nina and Marissa bouncing on my bed and squealing as I unravel presents. Then Amy manages to get the whole of Gryffindor table singing ‘Happy Birthday’ as we eat our breakfast and always, always, she persuades us all to sneak out of the grounds to Hogsmeade, even on a school night, and get slowly and steadily wasted.

This year it is different. This year I am excited for my birthday, like a little kid at Christmas. In fact, I even had trouble sleeping last night, my heart fluttering every time I thought of the Hide and Seek game.

My eyes lift open in the morning but, to my surprise, none of my friends sit on my bed, cross-legged, and beaming down at me with curiously wrapped objects in their hands. I sit up, staring at the sleeping figures of Marissa and Amy, feeling a little put-out.

Okay, so maybe they didn’t take it the best way when I told them the plan on my birthday – in fact, Marissa even seemed to have tears in her eyes when I said there’d be ‘no alcohol’ – but the fact that Scorpius organising it really seemed to win Amy over. It is another tick in the book for the ‘Scorpius plan.’

Frowning slightly, I climb out of bed and get dressed, giving the Marissa and Nina bundles one last fleeting glance before quietly slipping out of the room. Thankfully, the atmosphere improves once I am out of my room. I enter the common room to a burst of applause and cheering as ‘happy birthday’s’ echo around the room, lead by my little brother and Louis.

It’s nice to know how much I am loved. But who could blame them, really? I am so damn lovable.

My thoughts are interrupted by Lily barging into me and squeezing her little arms around me. Her mouth opens and I smile down at her, readily awaiting the declarations of love and the idol worshipping.

“Rosie, can I borrow your green dress?”

Oh, well, fuck you.

“It’s in my trunk,” I sigh and she squeals, squeezes me once last time, and bounds up the stairs I just came down.

She is quickly replaced by both Hugo and Louis who drag me out of the common room to go have breakfast, their eager chatter filling my ears.

“Rose, I’m inviting all my friends to hide and-”

I cast a sidelong glance at Hugo. “Don’t even think-”

“As much as I hate Malfoy, it is your birthday-”

Now I look up at Louis, a slight frown on my face. “Oh, come on, you don’t-”

“You’ll get your presents at breakfast-”

See, this is what really perks me up. The gift of giving is such a joyous occasion. “Well, why are you walking so slowly, then?!”

 

 



 

Scorpius POV

Rose Weasley is distracting me. Again.

It’s not because, since she hugged me after the match, I see Rose’s smug face every damn time I close my eyes. And do you know what else I discovered that day?

That Rose fucking Weasley smells of God damn roses.

The irony is not amusing.

She’s distracting me because I can hear her snorting from here. And she’s half-way across the Great fucking Hall. I can just imagine her clutching her sides as she laughs, her nose scrunching up so her freckles become even more pronounced, with her long red hair falling down her back. Every so often, that same damn hair would catch the light and blind half the room.

Sure enough, as I glance up from my homework, there she is, hand over her mouth as she tries to stifle her laughs with her Shit-For-Brains friend gesturing wildly next to her.

My eyes narrow to slits as Rose lies face down on the table, surrounded by plenty of unwrapped presents, the wrapping paper littered around her as her whole body shakes with laughter. I’m sure she’s probably too busy in her own ‘Rose Is-The-Greatest Weasley’ world to notice the fairly obvious fact that there are other people in the hall. Who are trying to work without Rose Weasley’s honking and snorting distracting them.

I’m vaguely aware of Al talking utter bollocks – he always is – in front of me. It’s proving quite difficult to glare around him.

Rose suddenly sits up, her face composed though a little flushed, and picks her quill up to continue writing. Her eyes snap up then and lock with mine. She seems surprised at first, her eyebrows rising considerably. I continue to glare at her, my right hand paused above my parchment.

Then she does something that completely throws me off. She smiles that smile – the infamous Rose Weasley smile – that seems to light up her whole face and the room in turn. The kind of smile that is so bright and infectious and brings me back to the day she won the Quidditch match. And of how soft and warm she was in my arms and how I remembered thinking the last time we were this close she didn’t have a bum or boobs-

Fuck, I hate it when Rose Weasley smiles.

My scowl deepens and Rose smirks at me, before bringing a delicate finger up to her chest and pointing at the giant ‘17’ badge. I allow myself a small smile because, yes, I knew it was Rose Weasley’s birthday and, yes, Hide and Seek was still going to happen. Word had spread and now, not even I had any idea how many people were joining in.

It’s at that exact moment that Zoe slips her tiny arms around my waist and I jump about a foot in the air. Al sniggers and I shoot him a dirty look.

“You know, you’re face is going to get stuck permanently like that,” Al informs me as he closes his book, which only makes my frown deepen.

Zoe blinks up at me, having finally released me from her viper-like grip, and I notice how much mascara cakes her eyelashes. “Like what?”

Al gestures to my face lazily. “He’s been scowling all morning.”

“I have not.”

“You have.”

“I have not.”

“Yes, you have.”

I miss my cue then because, beyond Al’s gigantic head, Rose shuts her book, stands in her personalised Weasley jumper – something nobody except Rose can pull off – and stretches her arms high above her head as she yawns. As a result, her already short skirt rides up a little, revealing her long, toned legs, capturing the attention of every male in the room. A blush creeps its way up my neck and I have a feeling of wanting to cover Rose up with my jumper conflicting with the stronger feeling of wanting to look – no, glare­ – at her at little more.

I do try not to admire Rose as she walks away but it’s difficult. Something I’d never thought I’d say.

It’s only when Al clicks his fingers in my face that I come back to the table with a start, trying not to show the guilt on my face as I risk a glance at Zoe. Her mouth is downturned in a pout and she is not looking at me, instead down at her plate as her fork twirls around her bacon.

“Merlin, Scorpius,” Al smirks at me, lifting an eyebrow. “You’ve been awfully slow this morning.”

Under no circumstances must I admit I was momentarily distracted.

“I was preoccupied.”

Fuck.

Note to self; saying ‘distracted’ in another way is not different. It is, in fact, exactly the same.

Al’s left eyebrow rises even higher. “By what?”

I indicate the rolls of paper in front of me. “Do you not remember the foot long essay we’ve got to do for Charms?”

Al is an interfering prat but it will take a mastermind to make me slip up and admit that maybe, just maybe, I stared at Rose a little too long.

 

 



 

Rose POV

The excitement is mounting. The game begins in less than 15 minutes and, already, the hall is packed with people shuffling about and whispering to each other. The dress code seems to be ranging from various types of pyjama outfits to jeans and tee-shirts before finally stopping at formal. I glance down at Amy’s mini dress and heels and know she has never played this game before. My leggings and flats are a much more sensible option for sneaking around. A candle flickering casts shadows around the room and I reach out to grab Amy’s hand.

“Merlin, Rose, can you not control yourself?” She rolls her eyes, but she is smiling and I grin back at her.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see someone staring at me and I turn, catching Scorpius’s eye. He does not look away as others would do. Instead, his silver eyes hold mine and his lips lift in a smirk as he taps his arm, signalling the time. I give him a small nod, beaming my brightest at him. The smirk is gone, replaced by an uneasy look.

But he climbs onto the table and, automatically, the busy hall is hushed. “Welcome,” Scorpius says in a theatrical voice as he holds his arms out wide, “to Rose Weasley’s Hide and Seek birthday game!”

This is followed by a few woo’s and cheers and Scorpius flashes his teeth at the crowd. They seem whiter and bigger in the candlelight.

“The rules are simple,” he continues and the crowd seem to be hanging on his every word, “don’t get caught. By the seeker, the professors or the prefects.” here he smirks at me. I smirk back. We haven’t forgotten our commitments. “Once you are caught, return to your common room. Any hiding place goes, except the common rooms.”

A silence hangs in the air. The crowd look on expectantly and Scorpius, looking smug and proud, stares back. Eventually a small girl raises her hand. “Who’s the seeker?” She asks in a timid voice.

She is answered by the clambering of someone else onto the table and I avert my attention from the girl to the figure on the table. Naomi is smiling shyly around the room and says, in the most confident voice I’ve heard her use, “I am. You have 5 minutes to hide.”

Mayhem ensues.

I am not kidding. If you were to look up the word in the dictionary, there would be the seventy or so of us, frantically heading towards the one door in a bustle of panic. It reminds me of Christmas morning at the Weasleys, with millions of little kids rushing for the presents. Amy’s grip loosens in my hand and she slips away through the crowd. I look up surprised, and notice her weave her way towards Scorpius, who is still nearby the table, a look of amusement on his face.

Even though I am being jostled left, right and centre, I know immediately what she’s doing.

Amy’s flirting with him. I can see it in the way she’s leaning towards him, her arms together to push her cleavage up. I can see why she chose that particular outfit and why she seemed content with staying at Hogwarts for my birthday. And I can see the way Scorpius fixes her with an unimpressed look, eyes, to my immense relief, firmly on her face.

Zoe also does not look impressed as she sidles up to her boyfriend. Her hand reaches towards his, probably to show that he is, in fact, still in a relationship, but, and this is what surprised me the most, he avoids her deftly, running that hand through his blonde hair instead.

Amy notices, too. I see her triumphant expression and the way she tosses her hair over her shoulders. My mouth drops open in shock and I turn towards the door, to hide my expression from Scorpius. Zoe flounces out before me and I follow, my mind reeling. Scorpius can’t be falling for Amy’s tricks, can he?

I would expect it from anyone else but not Scorpius who openly despises her.

Not Scorpius.

 

 



 

It is hard work looking for a hiding place when I am so damn confused. This doesn’t add up. Scorpius would never fall for Amy, no matter how hard she tries.

The corridors suddenly feel stuffy and the dust feels like its clogging up my lungs. I head for the door to the grounds, my wand brightly lit to guide me. Once I am outside, my head clears and I take a few moments just to breathe in the crisp air as I survey my surroundings. No one seems to be out here, or rather, no one has lit wands except me and the winds blows through the trees, masking any footsteps or heavy breathing.

I inch slowly down the hill, heading towards a clump of trees near the lake. It doesn’t register with me how eerie Hogwarts grounds are at night and I don’t bat an eyelid as I approach the trees. It’s a little cold and I wrap my jacket tighter around me, trying to keep warm. I don’t know how long it’s been since Naomi began counting. I lost count somewhere around Amy dropping my hand.

 Once again, the whole Scorpius/Amy debacle is running through my mind and if I hadn’t been so preoccupied I probably would have noticed that I’m not the only person out here. The sharp snap of a twig makes me whirl around and it’s in the space of two seconds that various thoughts rush through my head; werewolf, vampires, monster, kidnappers.

My heart thumps hard, a feeling that seems to reverberate around by whole body. My wand is held in front of me in a clammy hand, its bright tip outlining the figure of a person, leant against a tree. “Who’s there?” My voice calls out, somewhat shakily I must admit.

I’m answered by a familiar snigger. My wand lowers and I plant a scowl on my face. “Scorpius, you nearly gave me a heart attack!”

He lets out another little laugh and takes a few steps towards me, so I can see his face and not just a random silhouette. “You are such a drama queen,” Scorpius says in a low voice, flashing me his usual smirk.

My eyes narrow, “I am not a drama queen.”

His only reply is to laugh in my face and, I can’t help it, a bubble of anger rises inside me. I step towards him so we are inches apart and poke him hard in the chest. “Now, listen here, you arrogant-”

Scorpius head suddenly snaps sharply to the side and, clamping his hand around my arm, he drags me towards the tree he was leaning against just moments earlier.

I open my mouth, stumbling over the uneven ground as he pulls me, “What-”

“Shh,” Scorpius hisses and guides me around so that my back is up against the rough bark of the tree and, placing his hand over my mouth, he stands in front of me in a sort of protective manner, looking beyond the tree, back towards the school ground. “Naomi’s here.”

I’m sure if his hand wasn’t over my mouth I would be opening and closing it in shock but, instead, I stare up at him with wide eyes. My mouth has gone really dry and I want to swallow but I just keep looking into Scorpius’s silver eyes and thinking the light from the castle make them appear gold.

He’s so close to me I can feel his body heat pulsing off him and, although I was only a little cold earlier, my body feels like its on fire now. Scorpius’s eyes flicker down to me and my heart thumps again in my chest. His hand drops and I take the opportunity to lick my lips.

Scorpius steps back and clears his throat, looking uncomfortable. “She’s gone,” he says as he avoids my gormless gaze. He shuffles around a bit, his hands deep in his trouser pockets, before eventually breaking the silence again, “I... er, believe you were calling me arrogant?”

He flashes me a smile and I take a deep breath, trying to pull myself together. I open my mouth, ready to continue some form of insult, but the words die in my throat as I remember the awkward way in which Scorpius avoided Zoe’s hand. “What did Amy say to you?”

Scorpius’s face is surprised for a moment, before an expression of disgust replaces it. He shakes his head. “It’s not important.”

Normally, someone would take this as a hint to drop the subject but I, Rose Weasley, am not the best at picking up subtle hints. “Then why did you ignore Zoe?”

He looks at me, probably aware of how much attention I pay to him. His mouth opens for a few seconds before he says anything, “That’s none of your business.”

His coldness surprises me and I try to back away from him, but the tree blocks my path. I lift my chin stubbornly and glare at Scorpius. “Whatever,” I snap. “Just stay away from Amy.”

“From Amy?” Scorpius repeats, amused, his lips trying to fight off a smile.

Maybe he doesn’t understand what Amy is capable of so, to show him that I’m not kidding, I lay a hand on his arm and stand to face him, so I can look up into his eyes. “You don’t want to mess with her.”

Scorpius looks down at my hands with a little confusion. Well, I am touching him a little closer than he’d probably want, considering it’s, you know, Scorpius.

“Uh,” he says.

“Listen, she hasn’t forgotten that it was you who told Louis that she cheated on him, and she...” I pause, my eyebrows tensed as I try to avoid mentioning any details of The Plan to him, for his own safety, really. “She might want to get you back,” I say instead.

Scorpius’s gaze flickers from my chest to my eyes. I wonder if he noticed that I had taken another step closer to him while I stand there, heart fluttering as I make note of how delightfully hot my hand feels on his arm.

“Oh, I didn’t know the ‘Great Rose Weasley’ cares,” Scorpius says.

This would usually be my cue to jump in with an equally sarcastic retort. Instead, I cast my eyes down and swallow. “I mean it, Scorpius. I know you probably don’t care what I say, especially after everything that’s happened-”

“You’re right,” Scorpius cuts in, his upper lip curled in a sneer, “I don’t care.”

I let him take his hands from mine but I lock gazes with him, my chin jutting out stubbornly, “Just listen to me.”

His left eyebrow rises and, my breath catching in my throat as he moves even closer to me, says in a low, even voice, “You must have realised by now that nobody, not even your best friend,” here, Scorpius’s hands come up in air quotes, “cares about you, anymore.”

That felt like a punch in the stomach. All the breath comes out of me and I back up into the tree as if Scorpius is aflame and I could feel him burning my body. My eyes are threatening to spill tears and I glare up at Scorpius with, trying to control my quivering lip.

 “Get over yourself,” I hiss as I side-step him to escape. “Maybe Amy should fuck you over and then maybe you’d realise that you don’t actually know everything.”

And I give him a hard shove in the chest which, would have thrown anyone else on the floor, but only makes him step back, and begin to stalk off.

And, to my complete surprise, he reaches out and catches my wrist. I try to wrench it out of his grip so he doesn’t see me on the brink of tears, but Scorpius holds on. The next thing I know, Scorpius spins me round so I am back up against the tree and he is staring at me with such intensity I have to look away. His arms have me sort of trapped between him and the tree as they rest on either side of my head.

“I’m sorry,” Scorpius says, looking at me hard, “that was out of order.”

I regard him in stony silence. “You’re a bastard,” I growl, but I make no effort to remove his arms. My heart slams against my ribcage.

He nods slowly, his eyes never once leaving mine. “I know,” Scorpius says and his hands slowly slide down the tree to return to his side. I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding and I glance up to see Scorpius regarding me with a cocky grin, that familiar glint in his eye. “But you’re a bitch.”

My heart does the familiar pitta-patter and I don’t ignore my instincts any longer, letting my hands place themselves on either side of Scorpius’s face and, automatically, the smirk is replaced by a look of surprise.  

Slowly, carefully, I bring my face to his, my heart pounding. I can almost see the cog clicking in his brain as he tries to put together what is happening. He doesn’t pull away though or demand what the hell I think I’m doing. I may have taken advantage the fact that he is frozen by shock to do what I do. Something I’ve wanted to do for three years.

I kiss him, gently placing my lips against his for a few seconds before pulling back and settling down on my feet.

All of a sudden, it is gone and Scorpius is letting out a moan, “God damn you, Rose Weasley.”

His arms snake around my waist, pulling me towards him and then Scorpius Malfoy is kissing me like I have never been kissed in my life. Which is ridiculous, because I’m Rose Weasley.

But somehow never like Scorpius is kissing me right now, in a way that makes my body tingle all over, the my stomach performing regular and frequent acrobatics.  My hands find their way around his neck and I’m not so much as leaning against the tree as being pressed up against it, my skin burning where it is in contact with his. Which is pretty much everywhere.

And then, to my utter disappointment and complete surprise, Scorpius stops, pulling his mouth from mine but only leaving a few millimetres distance between my lips and his. He looks down at me, his silver eyes burning into mine, searching them. My lips feel tingly and delightfully swollen and my heart is beating fast.

My hands slips from his neck down to his chest and I can feel his heart beating hard too, faster than mine possibly.

“Rose,” he says, once he can speak again. I love the way my name sounds when he says it and how his strong arms are still firmly around my waist as they trace a small pattern on my lower back.

“Mmm?” I ask, smiling up at him lazily.

“We...” Scorpius pauses, and his eyes drift down towards my mouth. He clears his throat and unwraps his arms from around me, pushing me gently away as he does so. “We can’t do this.”

Once again, I recoil from him. No. No. This isn’t what’s meant to happen.

Yes, we can,” I reply, a little forcefully. It doesn’t go through my mind what Amy could do with the knowledge of Scorpius and I.

Scorpius looks down at me, his expression unreadable. “I couldn’t do that to-”

“To Zoe?” I cut across him, not even bothering to mask the hurt on my features. “But I thought...” I trail off, biting my lip, as my gaze drifts to the floor. My cheeks burn and, for some ridiculous reason, my eyes well up again.

Scorpius hand reaches down and tucks a stray hair behind my ear. His other hand gently lifts my chin, forcing me to look up at him. His left eyebrow is raised. “I was talking about Al.”

I wrinkle my nose. Really, I should have seen this coming. Al would never be okay with his best friend dating his enemy. It would mean that, Merlin forbid, we’d actually have to be spending more time together than is already forced upon us.

“Al can go shove it up his arse,” I retort and the serious expression on Scorpius’s face vanishes for a moment, but is back all too soon. He offers me a sad sort of smile before turning away from me and it is in that second that makes my chest ache.

This time it’s me who grabs Scorpius’s arm as he leaves. He offers no resistance as I place myself directly in front of him, my hand still squeezing his arm. His face is blank as I stare imploringly up at him, my eyes threatening to brim with tears. “Please, Scorpius,” I whisper.

He doesn’t shake me off like I thought he would. Instead, he takes me in his arms and holds me tight as he places a kiss on the top of my head. “I’m not going to piss Al off like that.”

“Al doesn’t have to know,” I say in a quiet voice and, if it wasn’t for Scorpius tensing up, I would have wondered whether or not he heard me. “Nobody has to know,” I repeat a little louder.

Scorpius pulls back as he tries to read my expression. “Rose...” he says hesitantly before his usual demeanour is back, “I don’t sneak around. I’m not like you.”

I ignore this last dig; the only thing on my mind is Scorpius right now. “Just until everything’s okay with Al.”

I can see him hesitating, as if he is standing on an edge and doesn’t know whether to jump or not. I close the gap between us and stand up on my tip toes to whisper in his ear, “It will just be our little secret.”

This, I see when I pull back, is what sends him over the edge into my arms. Scorpius has a wry expression on his face and my eyes flitter to his lips. He has such nice lips. “What am I going to do with you, Rosie?”

And it’s not the fact that Scorpius has called by the nick-name he used when we were younger, or that he’s noticed the direction of my gaze and his smirk – my favourite smirk – has returned or that I know, any second now, he’s going to kiss me again that makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. It’s the fact that Scorpius seems to be finally, finally accepting the idea of us together, something I never thought possible. I’ve just got to keep this a secret from Amy long enough for her to get over her stupid grudge and not want me to crush Scorpius and me in turn.

All coherent thoughts leave my mind at the moment because Scorpius’s mouth is on mine and he is kissing me again.

 



Secret No. 80: Kissing Scorpius was better than I’d ever imagined it would be.



 


  A/N: Oh, so the kiss finally happened! What do you think? I'd really love a review, if you would? There were such lovely reviews when I looked back here after nearly a year (!) and I think that's what really persuaded me to continue writing. I'd love feedback. And I'm going to be writing a small amount each day, the time when I'm not revising for my exams, so hopefully the next chapter won't be too far. -Effy xxx
 


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