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Me Versus Everyone by StepUpx_Gryffindor

Format: Novella
Chapters: 6
Word Count: 41,265
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Genres: Humor, Romance
Characters: Molly, Draco, Teddy, Scorpius, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Hugo, Rose, Victoire
Pairings: Rose/Scorpius, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Teddy/Victoire, Other Pairing

First Published: 01/17/2010
Last Chapter: 07/02/2013
Last Updated: 07/02/2013

Summary:

Banner by MaidenRed ;)


When summer came around, Rose Weasley already knew how it was going to be - calm, somewhat hectic, and serene. Like always. Rose knew what to expect & this summer was no different. Except it was. It was very different...thanks to her mother, who decided to drop a huge bombshell on the whole family during dinner. A big, blonde, daunting, next-door neighboring, bombshell.



Chapter 1: New Neighbors
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I've been listening to this song since I was sixteen.
I thought it was about time I made a fic based on it.







"Woah Oh! (Me Versus Everyone)" - Forever The Sickest Kids











Summer.

A season that brings joy to many people’s faces.

Except mine.

“Rose, dear, could you get the bags out of the trunk?” My mom calls out, opening the door to the house with her set of keys.

“Yeah,” I mumble.

I wasn’t a fan of summer. I didn’t like the mosquitoes, I didn’t enjoy the sunburns, and I didn’t like the blasting heat. But, of course, I had to deal with the vices of summer just to come here for my vacation. The ‘here’ in question is one of the small village towns in Bristol, England. It’s like a place were everyone comes around for the summer and just snoozes off down by the beach, which is about twenty minutes away from our house by broom. I don’t know why we come here every summer. I guess it’s a kind of Weasley/Potter tradition.

I flip open the trunk of my mother’s car and start to bring bags inside our huge house.

For vacation, we stay down here. We’re near the beach but we also have a big lake behind our house, so if whenever we’re too lazy to walk down to the beach, we just relax down there. Our summer house (or beach house, which ever you prefer) is pretty gargantuan, considering the fact that it can fit, almost, my entire family. It’s a three story house near the clearing of the forest with four bathrooms and two master bedrooms, one on the first floor and one on the third floor. The one on the third floor belongs to my parents. The other master bedroom on the first floor belongs to my Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny. Then there are the additional bedrooms that my cousins and I occupy, followed by a large kitchen and living room. We also have a large deck in our backyard for cookouts.

There aren’t many trees around the neighborhood, besides the ones behind our house, but those are more like a setting, really. A backdrop. You have to go through there to get to the lake. But the real forest is pretty far in, way passed the lake. One time Hugo and I played hide-and-go-seek when we were little and he got lost. Mum flipped and basically accio’d him back home. This would explain why my little brother never sets foot in the forest anymore; consider it a fear…or a phobia. Whenever I want to go to the lake, I have to go without Hugo. I told him it was a ridiculous fear, to be afraid of trees. I mean, they don’t even move. They haven’t moved in years. It’s not like a tree’s going to automatically smack you in the face with its branch if you try to climb on it. But he didn’t listen to me. Instead, he pulled the awkward pubescent-teenager thing where he told me to shut up and ran up to his room. Probably to cry his heart out.

Boo, freaking, who.

I shouldn’t have been shocked though. I should have known at that moment, when we were little, I wouldn’t be taken seriously in my family. No one really listens to me. I mean, okay, my parents love me, my aunts and uncles shower me with too many gifts on Christmas, and my grandparents absolutely adore me, don’t get me wrong. But that isn’t what I’m referring to. I’m the weird redhead in the family. The spunky one. The retro chick that wears her sunglasses at night. Not even Molly, stuck-up-the-arse Molly Weasley, could be as indescribable as me. No one gets me. No one truly understands me. But of course, I’ve grown accustomed to it.

I get along with most of my family; except my baby brother. But that’s only if he gets really pissy and emotional. Some of my cousins think I’m a total kook, even though they enjoy my company. I don’t blame them, though. I’m a kook, it’s true. I used to think that wearing a feather boa and blasting old Abba hits around the house in my mother’s heels was fabulous. Hell, I still do. In fact, I’m pretty sure I did that last week when no one was home.

Sue me, I have style.

“Unload the groceries while I change the bed sheets. And when you’re done, could you clean the bathroom near the kitchen? Thanks, love.”

“Sure, mum.” I take another two trips back to the trunk. I then start to unload the groceries laid out on our kitchen table.

The others are going to arrive later on. Our official Potter/Weasley summer vacation is going to start tonight. Dad’s going to drive up here with Hugo, Albus, and James. Albus and James are Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny’s sons, though. Mr. and Mrs. Potter are going to come around in an hour or two with their daughter Lily, plus their niece and nephew, Roxanne and Freddie. Roxanne and Freddie are Uncle George’s kids, but he usually can’t come on vacation during the summer so we just bring them along. He runs a large branch of wizard joke shops with his wife, and it’s hard for him to take time off. Then there’s my other cousin, Victoire. Victoire is Aunt Fleur and Uncle Bill’s daughter. She’s flying down with her boyfriend Teddy (who’s been part of the family since forever), her sister Dominique, and our cousin Molly (yes, the stuck-up-the-arse one), tonight during dinner. Molly is Uncle Percy’s daughter. Uncle Percy also works long hours and can’t take time off during the summer.

Not sure if you got all that but yes…this is my family. I apologize if I lost you after two sentences.

It’s a lot to handle, being in a family full of part-veela blondes, snarky but lovable brunettes, and quirky freckled redheads. But it’s always been like this. Mum and I are always the first to arrive, and we make sure the house is presentable – the beds made, the food put away, the bathrooms cleaned. It’s our ritual. Even though I can’t stand sweat stains and mosquito bites, I love spending vacations in this house. Once and while, Grandpa Arthur and Grandma Molly floo-powder their way here and spend some nights with us.

Besides Hogwarts, this was like my second home. Our summer house (which I happen to call ‘Big Blue’ from time to time because of it’s blue window shudders) is historic…all the memories in this house…You wouldn’t believe the shit that’s happened behind closed doors. The village is pretty tight-knit; the neighborhood is all on one block. There are maybe twenty houses total in this neighborhood. Our house is not too secluded from the more expensive beach houses close to shore, but it’s genuinely enjoyable. Like I said, the area is just really nice and quiet.

I quickly put the groceries away and head for the supply closet under the stairs. Uncle Harry once made a joke about fitting a bed into this little supply closet. All the grown-ups laughed. I didn’t get it.

I take out some spray cleaner and a rag. I head down the hall where the bathroom near the kitchen is. Walking through the bathroom door, memories from last year instantly fill my mind. And one significant memory sticks out like a soar thumb: Lily Potter was trying to pluck her eyebrows for the first time in the loo, because Fred Weasley teased her about her facial hair. I had to take a wee really bad and I basically rammed the door into Lily’s back, causing her hand to slip. She pulled out four hairs that were smack-dabbed in the middle of her right eyebrow. Mum scolded me. Dad didn’t know what to do with himself. Uncle Harry tried not to laugh at how ridiculous his daughter looked with a random patch of baldness on her eyebrow. Aunt Ginny fixed Lily’s eyebrows while Freddie hi-fived me.

I spray some cleaner on the window in the bathroom. After a couple swipes, I see a car pass by. The person in the backseat of the car makes me instantly throw down my rag and open the window. I unlock the window and practically stick my head out. I squint at the passing automobile in slow motion. The person in the backseat peers over his open window and spots me. His eyes linger on me for a couple seconds. And then Scorpius Malfoy smirks.


Oh, Marbles!

I gasp in shock and accidentally bang my head on the open window ledge. I wince in pain and rub the now bruised spot on my head.

“I must be hallucinating,” I tell myself. I pop my head out of the window again to take another look, but there is no car. Huh…

I have got to stop imagining things.

***

“…and then I said, that’s not a Blast-ended Skrewt, that’s a muggle!” finishes my cousin James, while everyone at the table burst into laughter at his joke.

Alas, the first official family dinner of the summer has begun. Green beans are being passed around, steaks are being devoured, soda pop is being poured, and laughter is spreading all throughout the room. Everyone arrived safe and sound; the only four people that weren’t here yet were Victoire, Dominique, Teddy, and Molly. But they’re arriving via broomsticks, so they definitely won’t be here until later on tonight.

“So, what’s up with you, Rosie?” My cousin Albus asks me from across the table.

“Nothing much. Just the same old, same old. How about you?” I ask in return. I look at my brother and I gesture him to pass me the peas. He rolls his eyes as he hands the dish over. Merlin, what is with this child? I thought I was supposed to be the one with the menstrual cycle, not him.

“Definitely not the same old, same old! Rose, this is our last summer before we leave for Hogwarts…for the last time! We are going to be Seventh Years, and I’ve been working my arse off practicing for Quidditch since school ended. I’m captain now, and the only way I can spend my summer now is getting in better shape and practicing techniques.”

“Al, darling, do you hear yourself? There’s nothing to obsess over. School just ended like, two weeks ago. And you’re already thinking of this upcoming school year? Honestly, that’s a bit pathetic. Relax, dude. Summer is all about freedom. How are you supposed to spend your last Hogwartian summer vacation and enjoy it, if you’re going to be obsessing over Quidditch the whole time?”

Uncle Harry quickly butts in from the head of the table. “You remind me of my old captain,” he smiles, taking a bite from his steak. “Oliver Wood was the biggest Quidditch nut to ever set foot in Hogwarts.”

It’s true. Uncle Harry and dad would always tell us their school tales about being on the team since our First Year.

And every time Albus has spoken about being Quidditch captain since school’s ended, I swear, Uncle Harry’s had to ask himself if he’d accidentally picked up the wrong baby at the Hospital seventeen years ago. I mean, Uncle Harry was always competitive when it came to Quidditch, sure, but even he drew the line somewhere. Albus Potter’s obsession with the sport is down right unhealthy, if you ask me. The kid is a complete sports nut. If someone thought he was Oliver Wood’s illegitimate son, I’d believe them in a heartbeat. I guess it’s because Albus is a genuinely competitive, but self-challenging, kind of person. I mean, he is in Slytherin. And they’re a challenge-loving lot. Always competing within their walls, and of course, with each other. That’s the kind of drive that everyone notices when they see him play Quidditch. Albus and James, both, actually.

“I won’t be wasting my time,” Albus defends. “Quidditch is the sport of champions.” Before he can continue talking, his older brother puts in his two cents.

“Right on, little brother!” James gives his younger brother a high five from a couple seats down.

The two Potter boys are complete polar opposites besides their shared love for Quidditch. That’s the only real thing that keeps their brotherhood alive. James Potter II was sorted in Gryffindor, while two years later Albus Potter was sorted in Slytherin. James always loved attention, but he wasn’t too cocky. He was just more social. And plus, he was the older one. Albus was the quiet one, and read more books in the library than Madame Pince herself. He liked to keep to himself. Both were on rival Quidditch teams, and yet, both wished the other good luck before matches. They fight like normal brothers should, of course, but I don’t think people realize how much they really have in common. I can guarantee that if you saw them both walking down the street side by side, you’d think it was unintentional, because their personalities and vibes are so contrasting, it would completely catch you off guard if you thought they were friends. So contrasting, that many people thought they hated each other during the first couple years at Hogwarts. They didn’t look like friends. But their looks were undeniable. Each looked stunningly like his father, and no one could say they didn’t look alike. They had the infamous Potter glare, for crying out loud. Along with half of the family; excluding the red-haired side. Because we’re Weasley’s and all, you know. With the death threats and fiery tempers. We were a whole different class of ‘glare’ entirely.

We have the infamous Weasley glare. And I gotta say – our stares are a tiny bit more powerful than the Potter’s glare. Especially if you mix mom’s anger at the most opportune moments. Even dad cowers when she yells. And she’s not even a redhead, and she married into being a Weasley!

“You know,” James begins, putting his hands on the table, “I have to say, I was beginning to miss Big Blue. I can’t wait for what summer’s going to bring. I need to have a good break before going back to Uni. School’s killing me right now.”

“Me too,” I say. “Ever since school ended, I’ve been more than excited to come back to Bristol. I was actually looking forward to the next couple of months, can you believe that?”

He chuckles. “No,” he feigns, “not Rose Weasley!” Everyone in the family knows of how much I disdain summer, and how much I love Big Blue. It’s a complete contradiction, I know.

“Oh, yes. I couldn’t wait to come back to Big Blue. Besides being home and being at Hogwarts, this is like the third best place on the planet. Bring on the awkward sweat stains and itchy mosquito bites!”

James and I raise our soda pops and clink glasses. “Here, here,” he says.

“Agreed,” chimes in Albus.

Hugo rolls his eyes again.

Roxanne and Freddie start having a baked potato fight.

Aunt Ginny threatens them with her fork and they stop.

Fabulous.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you, dear,” my mom says to my father, “someone’s finally bought the vacant house next door!” She smiles. “We’re going to have neighbors.”

Dad looks taken aback. “Really?”

“Wow, the house next door has been on sale for years, I’m surprised!” exclaims Aunt Ginny. “Someone’s finally bought it?”

The brick house next door has been vacant for as long as I can remember. And now, it’s all of a sudden off of the market? I eat my vegetables silently and eye my cousins wearily. We all give each other cautious looks around the table while our parents continue speaking. Something’s definitely up.

“Apparently. But aren’t you guys excited?” Mom takes a sip of water. “We’re finally going to have neighbors next door.”

“It’s not like we don’t have neighbors on the right,” says Lily Potter, testing the vegetables out in her mouth.

“Don’t speak with your mouth full,” Aunt Ginny sweetly reminds her.

She makes a funny face and discreetly spits out the carrots in her napkin when her mother isn’t looking.

“Well, I wouldn’t really consider Mr. and Mrs. Connelly to be active neighbors,” responds mom. “At least now you’ll have people across from most of your bedrooms. The last time I checked, the only rooms in the house that have good views from the balcony are the master bedrooms.”

Mr. and Mrs. Connelly live in the other house next door, to the right. And they only visit once or twice every summer. The longest they stay is for a week, before heading back to wherever they live. They’re about 80-year-old somethings with the skin of prunes. Sweet people sure, but not the most welcoming. They keep the blinds up and make sure the shudders are closed tight so not even an ounce of sunlight can get in. And they don’t have any kids, grandkids, or Godchildren to stay with them, so there isn’t anybody for us to play with. It’s not like I can knock on the Connelly’s door and ask Mr. Connelly to come out and play in the lake with us behind the house. What’s he going to do, go fetch his Speedo? I’d like to save myself from the scarring mental image, thanks.

“I guess having ‘left next door neighbors’ is going to be okay,” mumbles Lily.

“Of course it’s going to be okay,” assures Uncle Harry. “It’s going to take some getting used to, but I’m sure they have children to play with, or at least someone you can all befriend. There aren’t many kids your age close by. This is definitely a good thing.” He pours himself some freshly squeezed lemonade as my mother continues.

“Anyway, I invited the family to come over tomorrow night for our first family cookout,” she announces.

“That’s a lovely idea, Hermione,” comments Aunt Ginny.

Dad finishes chewing his steak and dabs his mouth with a napkin. “So, who’s the family?”

I swear, a haystack could have rolled into the room and it would have been less awkward than the silence that is now bestowed upon the dinner table. Mom is definitely hesitating to respond; she’s looking down at her food while cutting her baked potato in half.

“Well?” my father pushes.

“Hm?” My mother pretends not to hear, and takes a bite of her food.

“Which family’s moved next door, love?”

My eyebrows crinkle. What’s going on? Why isn’t she telling us? I nudge Albus under the table with my foot. He nudges me back.

“Oh, just the Malfoy’s,” she says nonchalantly, chewing her potato.

James spits out his soda pop and Uncle Harry practically faints. I think I just heard someone’s head thump on the table. Was that Lily?

“WHAT!?” Dad and I roar at the same time, dropping our silverware against our plates.

Mom sighs impatiently. “Oh, honestly, Ronald!” she hisses.

“This cannot be happening!” James slams his fists on the table.

“Hush!” Aunt Ginny disciplines her eldest son.

Merlin’s left arse cheek, I wasn’t imagining him this morning! Scorpius Malfoy was indeed in that car…in that back seat, staring at me…smirking…ugh!

“How could this have happened?” I ask. This is so random. I mean, the Malfoy family? In Bristol? Surely this couldn’t be any more indiscriminate.

“Er…well, before it got dark, I cleaned the new bed sheets and I was laying them on the clothesline outside. I looked off into the backyard, and noticed boxes being shuffled around in the house through the windows. I glanced at the automobile in the driveway and out came Draco Malfoy.”

Uncle Harry blinks.

“What the hell?!” James snaps. “This is bloody ridiculous, if you ask me!”

“Fortunately, no one asked you! Watch your mouth in front of the children. You may have graduated, James, but you are still under my roof,” Aunt Ginny scolds. This makes him snap his mouth shut in an instant.

“NO,” is all my father says.

“Ron,” my mother says dangerously. “Don’t start.”

“NO!”

“I think you need to calm down.”

“Absolutely not! This is unacceptable!”

Mom rolls her eyes. “Well, excuse me, darling husband of mine, but what are you going to do about it? They’ve bought the house. It doesn’t belong to us; you’re speaking as if they’ve gone walking all over our property. We can’t just kick them out.”

“Don’t tempt me.”

“I think Hermione’s right, you need to calm down. There’s no use getting angry over it. If they’ve bought the house, then there’s nothing we can really do about it,” Aunt Ginny intervenes.

“How can you say that, Ginny? It’s Draco Malfoy and his family!”

“Yes, Ron, we know that. But there’s no reason to have a fit over it. Get a hold of yourself. If what your wife is saying is true, then so be it – we’re next door neighbors with the Malfoy’s,” she concludes. “It’s going to take a while to get used to, that’s for sure.” She almost frowns.

“This is a disaster,” James groggily says under his breath.

“I think it’s quite refreshing,” Albus pipes in.

“Why is everyone telling me to calm down? You all are barking mad if you think-”

“Look,” Uncle Harry puts a hand up, silencing my father, “I don’t like this any more than you do, trust me…” He grimaces and continues. “But I think we owe them a fresh start. We barely speak to them, anyway. Let’s not make a big deal out of it. None of us are absolutely comfortable with this, but we’re all going to have to make an effort to make this work.”

Aunt Ginny and mom agree with Uncle Harry; they share a nod in unison. Meanwhile, my father’s trying to stop his blood pressure from sky-rocketing.

“I don’t get why you’re freaking out, to be honest. I mean, wasn’t Draco Malfoy more of my dad’s enemy than yours?” Albus asks politely.

“The feeling was mutual!” Blurts my father.

“Ron,” my mother says spitefully. “If you do not get yourself together, I swear on Devil’s Snare-”

“Alright, alright – fine. Fine. I’m calm, okay? I’m calm.” He picks up his drink and downs the entire glass. He slams in back on the table again and immediately refills it with red wine.

“Great, now dad’s going get all drunk n’ sour on us,” Hugo remarks. “It’s about time someone in this family became fond of the drink,” he says sarcastically. I turn my head in Hugo’s direction. I look at him for a while. My one eyebrow is raised and my face is changing back and forth between trying to figure him out, and trying to understand where the hell that came from. Is he hitting puberty or something? Because I don’t think I can take this new and pissy version of Hugo. He’s like the bitchier version of one of the Zabini twins on a bad hair day. Not pleasant.

Everyone seated at the table, on the other hand, is still recovering from dad’s outburst, and the fact that someone’s moved in to the house ‘on our left’ as Lily so put it.

Wait a minute.

The Malfoy’s have fricking moved in to the house on our left. We’re…neighbors.

I inwardly shudder.

“What just happened?” Fred asks me in monotone, too shocked to put emotion in his voice.

“It’s the Apocalypse,” I explain.

A Big Blonde Apocalypse.

“Wait until Teddy, Vic, Dom, and Molly hear about this. They’re going to have a field day,” he shakes his head.

And Fred’s absolutely right. There are quite a few people in our family (James, Victoire, Teddy, Dominique, Molly, and a few select others) that aren’t too fond of the Malfoy family. Call it old school rivalry or whatnot, but since First Year – when Albus, Molly, Scorpius, and I had just been sorted into our Houses – all my other older cousins found Scorpius Malfoy to be a bit of a nuisance. At least once during his First Year at Hogwarts, he had pissed off almost all of my cousins and extended family.

Dominique couldn’t stand him; Teddy and Vic rolled their eyes at him during their final years; Molly was too snooty to like in general, even at a young age; and James…Well, James was the first Potter of his generation to step foot back into Hogwarts. And he made it known. Like I said, James was quite the social butterfly. Social butterfly meaning a bit bigheaded. And when it came to Quidditch try outs, James couldn’t believe that both Albus and Scorpius made the team together. He laid down the law for his little brother, no doubt – telling him to stay clear of the Malfoy boy as much as he could, and not to associate with him in public. Albus Potter didn’t like being told who to be friends with, so that didn’t go down too well.

So he befriended the Malfoy boy nevertheless. They weren’t friends, per se. But they were acquaintances that said hello to each other from time to time. This made James livid and Scorpius immediately received first ranking in his ‘who I need to kill before leaving Hogwarts’ list. Fortunately for Scorpius, James didn’t follow through with his murderous plans. Professor McGonagall sorta kinda made sure of it.

If you can’t tell by now, I found that highly unsurprising and predictable.

“I wonder if he has any younger siblings,” Lily whispers to me. “I bet he has the cutest cousins…”

Lily thirteen years old and she’s already started liking boys. I think she should wait until she’s at least thirty before looking at date-able males.

“Don’t even think about it,” I tell her.

“Why not? That Malfoy kid is really cute! Don’t you think so?”

“This topic is not up for discussion,” I dismiss quickly. “And besides, he doesn’t have any siblings or cousins I know of. His dad’s an only child.”

“Maybe his mother has siblings. Isn’t she a twin?”

I purse my lips. “I think she has an older sister named Daphne – wait a minute, why am I even explaining this to you? Each your peas.”

She giggles. “I can’t wait for what summer vacation’s going to bring.” Lily looks off into the distance like she’s in the middle of a day dream. “I’m ready to have my first summer love!”

I almost spit out my food. “You’re pubescent!” I whisper hastily. Lily’s gone completely hormonal; this is not okay. Now she’s going to be reading teen witch magazines about love stories and asking me for makeup tips and reading magazine article how-to’s on seducing your partner…Bleh!

“I am not pubescent,” she pouts. “I’ll have you know I’ve already kissed a boy!”


Thank goodness Uncle Harry can’t hear this.

“Besides, if any of Scorpius Malfoy’s relatives look like him, I’ll be more than happy-”

“Please stop talking.”

“Oh, come on, Rose! Explore the possibilities of summer love!” she clasps her hands together. “You can’t deny that Scorpius is absolutely to die for. Imagine if all of his blonde cousins come down for a visit. We’re going to have to get to know them. The Malfoy’s relatives, I mean. If they have any. There’s barely anyone our age in this neighborhood. Finally, we can wear make up and look pretty for boys during our summer!” Lily starts batting her eyelashes, her mind going through some sort of fantasy daze. “How exciting.”

I snap my fingers together. “Snap out of it, Lils. Firstly, you are too young for any of that sort of stuff. Secondly, we are not going to be hanging out with the Malfoy’s relatives, let alone Scorpius Malfoy himself.”

“Technically, we are,” she points out. “They’re eating with us tomorrow night at our cookout. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that’s going to be the first and last encounter we’re going to have with them.”

Oh, poop, she’s making sense. I momentarily forgot one major detail that Lily’s just reminded me: This definitely won’t be the only encounter we’re going to have with them, because summer’s just started. And we have three full months of summer vacation. Three full months of having the Malfoy family next door.

“Joyous.” I cover my face with my hands.

“I know!” Lily responds excitedly. I wonder how tomorrow night is going to turn out. If my father can muster up enough strength to not lunge at Draco Malfoy. This is isn’t exactly the best thing, but it isn’t bad either – I don’t know. I’m having mixed feelings about this.

But one thing’s for sure, this is definitely going to be one summer to remember.






Author's Note: This is my new baby, please be gentle. I've been working on this story for almost a year and it took me three months before that to even consider doing it/planning it out. I love this pairing so much, and I just had to stop teasing my audience with one-shots...so I wrote this!

I hope you liked it! It'll get better ;] it's a summer fic, it's bound to be fabulous! My Rose/Scorpius fans have been waiting for me to write a story for these two for a while. So here it is!

Comments? Quotes? Snippets? Ideas? Foreshadowing?

PS - You're cute :] Review?

Chapter 2: The Cook Out
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I don’t hate Scorpius Malfoy. No, we aren’t enemies at all.

Well, not particular enemies, if that makes any sense. We acknowledge that the other is there. In those rare instances when Scorpius decided to tag along with Albus and me on school grounds, I accepted that he was hanging out with us. I’d say hello, and he would say hello back. But other than that, we only shared stolen glances when we would pass each other in the hallway.

No, I don’t like the fact that he’s next door.
And no, I don’t hate the fact that he’s next door.
I’m just…indifferent.

Scorpius is kind of a mystery to me. Or at least to those that notice him from afar. It’s like he always has something to say, but just chooses to keep his mouth shut. Sure, he’s a bit like Albus that way, but he could be less intangible. Maybe then people wouldn’t judge him too harshly. I’m not really sure if Scorpius Malfoy’s a friendly guy or not, nor do I know if he’s forward and polite. If someone came up to me and asked me what I thought of him, I’d have absolutely nothing to say. The reason I was shocked out of my wits at the news yesterday, along with my father, was because of how random and unnecessary it was for them to buy a summer house right next door to Big Blue. Mom didn’t think it was a problem, as usual. How do we know this? Because we know how she is. She thinks it’s a good way to get used to the idea of childhood rivalries coming together to be friends. She’s all about the ‘becoming as one’ stuff and she’s always feeding us that ‘unity’ crap.

“I don’t get what the big deal is,” Albus comments, flipping through the TV channels with the remote. It’s around five in the afternoon and there isn’t much to do at the moment. Our parents are out grocery shopping at the out-of-town market for tonight so we have the house to ourselves.

“He’s a Malfoy,” says Dominique simply, taking a seat next to me with a popcorn filled bowl in her hands.

I eat some popcorn and look at Dominique. “But he’s Albus’s friend,” I reason. “Or at least they’re nice to each other. Now he has a buddy to hang out with over the summer. It isn’t all bad.”

“Thank you, Rose.” Albus sticks his tongue out at Dominique. He clicks the remote a few more times before landing on a movie channel. We are now watching a black and white film with Jerry Lewis.

She flicks her hair behind her shoulder. “I’m just saying, I don’t trust him. Ever since graduation, I swear, he’s gotten even more snarky.” Dominique just graduated this year, and she’s studying to become a healer at St. Mungo’s. The day she received her Hogwarts diploma (or certificate, in some regions) she told Albus, Molly, and I to make sure our Seventh Year was one to remember. And to do that, we’d have to make it memorable; no problems and no drama. She told us to ignore Malfoy at all costs, in other words. I thought it was rubbish, because we were only a year younger than her, and she was trying to talk to us like some wise Samurai or something.

“Just because you insisted on getting on his wrong side the first day of school doesn’t mean he automatically hates the rest of us.” Albus reaches for some popcorn.

“Excuse me, but I’m a year older than you guys. I have the right to look out for my younger family members. Besides, he had to have some nerve to mess with a Second Year on his first day of school,” she says, referring to herself. “Blame his arrogance. It’s the way he was raised.”

Albus shakes his head, chuckling. “Or you could blame it on his confidence. He seems to know who he is, and doesn’t have a problem with confronting others. But you, on the other hand, are completely impossible. Are you honestly going to stay stubborn about this subject? Get to know the kid first. ”

“I’ve gotten to know him just fine,” she says a bit snidely. “If you’re not going to listen to me, then can you at least make sure to be careful? His family has a bad rep, as if his attitude hasn’t confirmed that enough. I don’t want you all to enter the Hogwarts rumor mill on your first day back as a Seventh Year and be the people that get talked about every day in the Great Hall. I don’t trust him, and neither should you guys. He looks like a Drama Queen.”

I mentally roll my eyes. A little less more than you are, Dom.

“I think you’re being harsh,” I say truthfully.

“Yeah, bugger off. You’re ruining my groove.” Albus leans his head back on the couch and throws popcorn in the air. He catches it in his mouth.

Dominique rolls her eyes, sets the popcorn down next to me, and leaves the room. I stretch my legs out on the space Dom was just occupying and put a pillow behind my head on Albus’s leg.

“Don’t be snooty to her,” I say to him.

“She was the one being snooty to me. I wish everyone would quit trying give Scorpius a bad rep. He really isn’t that bad.” He stuffs his face with popcorn. “I mean, you think he’s okay, right?” I can barely understand him with his mouth full.

“Sure,” I nod.

I can’t tell if I’m lying or not. Is that a bad thing? Like a mentally bad thing?

“It’s starting to get annoying. People telling us who to hang out with.”

“It’s the fact of life, Al. We’re the Weasley/Potter clan, and our past generation’s come a long way. There’s bound to be some prejudices set for another three generations, maybe more during our lifetime.” I reach for more popcorn.

“Scorpius is a fun and down to earth guy. The only thing that could possibly start drama now is if his cousins come down. His aunt is Daphne Greengrass, and she has two boys that are quite the topic of conversation, even at Hogwarts. Daphne Greengrass also has a divorce pending, too. Which makes sense, because I heard she lost her house this year; probably as a result of getting divorced. I don’t know what their doing this summer, so that’s up for questioning. Maybe house renting…” He trails off, shaking his head.

“Yeah?”

“All I know,” he concludes, “Is that I wouldn’t want those boys near us. Because those kids are trouble,” Albus says haughtily.

Hm. I never knew Scorpius had cousins, let alone multiple ‘problem’ cousins. This sounds interesting…

“What about his cousins?” I inquire further.

“Meh, nothing major,” Albus brushes off. “They’re just into the whole party scene. The occasional drinking here and there… and by occasional, I mean every night. They sneak out all the time. They usually end up at the Malfoy house when their trashed, and that gets Scorpius in trouble all the time. He doesn’t say anything though, he just deals with them. I hear they’re kind of cocky, too, those twins.”

“Oh.” Twins? He has twin cousins with the last name Greengrass?

Wow, haven’t heard that one before.

“Almost all his other extended family members are twins, too, now that I come to think of it. How odd,” he says, more to himself than to me. I bite back a snort.

Did you also get a flash of Edgar Allen Poe’s House Of Usher short story about twins as well, or was that just me?

“You know what Lily told me yesterday during dinner, right before Vic and everyone else arrived?” I ask, changing the subject.

“What?”

“She said she’s already kissed a boy. AND –” I put my hands in the air for this, “she’s made it her plan to find love this summer.”

Albus Potter’s face becomes flat as a brick. “You’ve got to be shitting me.”

“I shit you not.”

“She’s two years old. What’s she doing kissing boys?”

See, that’s the difference between James and Albus. James would be wringing Lily’s neck by now; he gives the overprotective brother thing a whole new meaning. Albus is more like me. We genuinely give two shits, but not enough to actually get up and cause a war.

“That’s what I wanted to say!” I sigh, and shake my head, as I continue. “All of a sudden, Lily’s becoming a teenager and she wants to do girly things. Like dress in pink frills and…wear make up…and…” I grimace.

“Fall in love?” Albus finishes for me.

“Ugh,” I respond back, showing my disgust. “The last thing she needs is a boy. Hell, I can’t even stand the ones in my life right now. Besides you and Teddy and maybe Uncle Harry, every other male is driving me nuts.”

Cue walk in, Scorpius Malfoy. Another male I need to add to that list.

“And she also commented on your blonde friend next door. Basically, she thinks Scorpius is a fox.”

Albus laughs. “Yeah, her and the rest of the Hogwarts’ female population.”

We fall back into comfortable silence and continue to watch the black and white film playing on television, until we run out of popcorn and the credits start rolling.

***

One hour, three minutes, and 24 seconds to go before said cook out begins.

And I’m sweating bullets.

“Are you nervous or something? Why are you shaking?” Lily asks me while rummaging through her closet for something to wear.

“I’m not shaking,” I say shrewdly. “It’s just hot in here.”

Lily continues to ransack through her clothes as I look out the bedroom window.

Mom and dad are downstairs helping Aunt Ginny set up everything. Uncle Harry’s cooking meat on the barbeque. And all of my cousins, plus my socially awkward brother, are scattered around the house doing Merlin knows what. It’s like everyone’s waiting for Hiroshima part II in this house. Everyone’s been acting tentative and kind of mindless today around my father – afraid that one slip of the tongue about a Malfoy, or anything relating to that word, would make Ronald Weasley even more aggravated than yesterday. But let’s get to the point: he’s not taking it so well.

He was close to coming to terms with having Draco Malfoy live next door to him, right before Victoire and company arrived during dinner last night.

Because as soon as Teddy walked through the door, James burst out in disdain about the series of events in which we found ourselves in. James and his big arse mouth. That set my dad back into his rampage. Aunt Ginny grounded her eldest son for today as a result. He isn’t allowed to watch TV or take a swim outside. I don’t know what he’s doing right now. Probably watching dust fall in his room.

Whatever, James deserves it. He should know better than to piss his mother off. Aunt Ginny is not a force to be reckoned with.

Teddy and Vic found the news to be unsettling, but Dominique took it the worst - she thought having the Malfoy’s next door was just down right uncomforting. If you ask me, something happened between Scorpius and her that she’s not telling us. And it’s left her bitter.

“Are you not changing?” Lily eyes my outfit.

I’m wearing a white halter sundress that ends above my knees and flares out. I look down at my dress. “What’s wrong with this?” This is a cute summer dress.

“A sundress? That’s so cliché for a summer barbeque! How about a strapless tank top to shows off your shoulders? Nah, you’d only be revealing more freckles,” Lily, the thirteen year old that thinks she’s become a glamour goddess overnight, tells me wisely. “Are you at least wearing a push up bra?”

“Lily,” I say alarmingly. “Please don’t tell me you’re trying to give me fashion advice and…visual breast advice just because Scorpius is going to be there.”

“He’s really cute. And he might have cousins!” she reminds me, digging further into her closet. Her bum is now sticking out while her head is completely lost in the bottom half of her clothes. “Their house is just as big as ours. They wouldn’t have bought it if they weren’t expecting family to come down and spend a few nights, don’t you think?”

She is too observant, methinks.

“I found out that he does have cousins, actually. Albus told me.” I fold my arms and lean on my shoulder, against the window. “But even if they’re coming down, what makes you think you have the right to be flirting with them? You’re a Third Year-”

“Fourth Year now, actually,” she corrects.

“I’m sorry –You’re a Fourth Year. And besides the fact that you are now in the first year of your teenage life, mind you, only the wee young age of thirteen, the Greengrass cousins aren’t necessarily the right bunch for you to get mixed up with.”

“Oh, Greengrass’s, you say? Do you know how old they are?”

“Well, no, but from what I’ve concurred, they’re somewhere around my age or older.”

“Have you ever met them?”

“No, they go to Durmstrang.”

“Have you heard any actual menacing rumors?”

“No quite-”

“And do you have proof of their misbehavior?”

“Not really-”

“And has Scorpius ever personally spoken to you about them?”

“No,” I grind my teeth, knowing exactly where she’s going with this.

“Then you really have no right to tell me to stay away from Scorpius Malfoy’s cousins, or Scorpius himself,” she says simply, popping her head back up from the bottom of her closet. Lily’s holding a pair of green cargo short shorts.

“Do you think I’m tan enough to wear these yet?”

I ignore her. “Please stay interested in boys your age.”

She rolls her eyes at me.

“Don’t roll your eyes at me! You’re new attitude and view on life and boys and summer love and looking picture perfect all the time is making me SICK,” I rush out, irritated. “You’re too young, and you’re making my inner ‘protective older family member’ alter ego sprout out. If I catch you with anyone older than fourteen, I’m going to call James.”

Lily narrows her eyes in my direction and lowers her arms. Her short shorts are dangling out of her hands. “You wouldn’t.” I push off the wall with the back of my foot and look down at her.

“Oh, I would.”

She then starts to give me the evil eye and we have an eye-war showdown in absolute silence. A breeze from the open window blows in and passes by us but we don’t move. She blinks. I blink. We continue staring each other down. This lasts for about four seconds.

“Awe, no fair!” Lily whines. She stomps her foot on the ground and looks at me helplessly, pouting her lips.

“Not a chance, Lily. I’m telling you now, no older guys. I have enough things on my plate to worry about. I don’t need Harry Potter’s daughter causing mayhem with the opposite sex to be one of them.”

“And you assume I’d be the one causing mayhem because…?”

“You’re hormonally active! It’s like estrogen and female intuition fighting in a battle for truth. I can’t stand it.”

“Oh, what ever. Stop being so dramatic. You’re just like Uncle Ron.”

And with that, she begins changing into a peasant tank top and her green short shorts while I, on the other hand, walk out of the room and into the hallway. Passing by the room James and Albus share, I run into Teddy Lupin. He’s dressed in a gray v-neck tee and light washed jeans. He ruffles his hair and throws me an adorable smile.

“Oi, ready for tonight?” He asks me with a glint in his eyes. “I sense a teenage meltdown of epic proportions coming along.”

“Oh, yes,” I reply in monotone. “I can’t wait for that.”

He chuckles. “Nervous?”

“Me? No…maybe. Not really.” I bite my lip. Am I nervous? Why should I be? It’s just Scorpius Malfoy living next door. Bah, I never thought I’d put the words ‘Scorpius Malfoy’ and ‘living next door’ in the same sentence.

I momentarily have a brain fart and zone out of what Teddy’s talking about.

Will he be nice to me? Like in all actuality, do you think he’d be polite in front of his parents but then mean when they’re not around? No, that’s a dumb question to ask; there’s no reason for Scorpius to hate me. Right? Albus will probably be his anchor, anyway. He’s not friends with anyone else. And I’m related with Albus, we’re friends, and Scorpius knows that. He knows how close I am with my family. He wouldn’t cut me out of everything or make fun of me, or even tease me…I think.

“…but I think everything’s gonna be fine. Except that blonde kid. That son of his, what’s his face. He seems sketchy; I don’t like him. I don’t really have an opinion on him, but Dominique always tells Vic and me about his bad vibes.”

I zone back into reality and look back at Teddy. “Hm? I agree, totally. That statement is - Er, yes.”

He raises his eyebrow. “Yes?”

I look around hesitantly, going red. “…Yes.”

He scrunches his brows together and gives me a worried look that shows concern for my sanity. “I didn’t ask a question. Unless… you were agreeing with my statement?”

“Right, well, it was nice chatting with you, Ted,” I say fast as lightening, my voice reaching high intervals.

I give him a tight lipped smile and a pat on the shoulder as I walk by him. I don’t even look back, because I know I’ll see Teddy’s face turned around in my direction, trying to figure me out.

The usual. He’ll fail like everyone else. I’m programmed to be clearly unidentifiable and misunderstood. Just how I like it.

Sometimes.

“Rosie!” I’m stopped by Freddie Weasley on my way down the stairs to the kitchen.

“Yes, Freds?”

“Might want to check on your father. I think he’s having heart palpitations.”

“What? Why?!”

“Hugo walked by and mumbled out loud to Uncle Ron that he saw the Malfoy’s roll back into their drive way with a whole bunch of expensive grade A+ steaks they’re bringing to the cook out, just to outshine the Weasley household.”

Shit.

“My brother’s a prat,” I conclude.

“Now Uncle Ron’s yelling at your mom to go to the market and buy off a whole damn cow. I have no idea what is up your dad’s arse, but he needs to relax. Now. And Hugo…” Fred just shakes his head in disappointment.

“As for Hugo, there’s a face-smuggling worthy pillow with his name on it. He better sleep with one eye open from now on,” I finish for him. I put my hands on my hips. “Is my brother trying to make everything worse? Because I have no problem getting rid of him. I’d be content with saying it was a horrible smothering accident.”

“Of course he’s trying to make everything worse, Rosie. He’s what, turning fifteen soon? Hugo’s going through some shitty manhood adolescent stage that he should have gone through after age five. Sometimes I can’t tell if he’s a boy, or just a living bratty archetype of a teenage girl on her period.”

“Literally,” I agree. “He’s like a walking tampon.”

“Listen, I’m going to go take a shower and get ready for…well, what ever it is that’s happening tonight. Check on your dad, yeah?” He begins to head up the stairs.

“Definitely,” I tell him. I walk through the kitchen, and immediately spot dad outside, from the window above the sink. He’s sitting at our picnic table with both hands on his knees, absolutely fuming. My mother, who’s by his side, is leaning over his shoulders trying to hold him down. My father rocks back and forth on the bench as my mother speaks to him hastily.

I open the door to the outside. As soon as I set foot on the crisp and clean grass, I regret it almost instantly.

“I cannot believe – that bastard!

“Ron, he’s just being polite! Try to get your head around this, would you?!”

“Are you barking mad? Hugo’s right! Of course Draco Malfoy would come to my house, after being cordially invited, and try to outshine me on my own fucking grill,” my father says with spite. “I can afford good meat products just as much as any other Pureblood!”

“Keep your damn voice down!” My mom firmly grasps him by the ear and he winces in pain. Ah, true love. “I advise you to calm yourself. What Hugo said was just a slip of the tongue comment that meant nothing.”

I take a seat across from my dad and interrupt their whole calamity.

“Oh, hello, Rose,” my mother smiles, dropping her husband’s ear from her hold. She smoothes down her apron like nothing’s happened. “Let me go prepare the fruit salad.” She narrows her eyes at my father and adds, “Ron, behave yourself. We don’t need the children hearing your immaturity.”

Ouch.

My dad huffs like an infant and looks away.

“Dad,” I begin, like an adult says to a child. “I think you’re harboring some inside anger.”

“I’m not harboring anything,” he snaps.

I raise my eyebrows disbelievingly. “Ronald,” I say professionally.

I take a deep breath. “You’re harboring a grudge against a blonde ex-Slytherin from wizard grade school. I think you should consider yourself as an adult here, and just talk with me.” You know what? I should be a psychiatrist. Except I shouldn’t have chosen my dad as my first experimental study, because he’s looking at me as if I’ve just shit a brick.

He eyes me up wearily. “Are you on drugs?”

What the crap.

“Dad,” I spit out impossibly.

“Answer the question,” he demands.

My posture goes limp and I look up at the heavens. I pray for patience.

“Number one,” I name off with my finger, “You’re letting a stupid comment made by your idiotic son get the best of you. Number two, get over this stupid fight, dad. If Draco Malfoy has grown up, then you should have already grown up, too. And number three, I am, in fact, NOT on drugs.” I release a long breath and cross my arms. “How rude of you to assume that.”

Mister Ronald Weasley gives his daughter a frustrating look combined with fatherhood annoyance. “I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately, but you shouldn’t be speaking to your father this way,” he tells me matter-of-factly. “I’m not enjoying this…and it’s peculiar. I really don’t know how to respond to this…So I think we should stop. I have enough to deal with at the moment. Could you just… go paint your nails or something?”

I’d scoff if he wasn’t looking so genuinely sincere.

“Sure, what ever,” I sigh, disappointed. This is the second time today that someone has looked at me with both concern and interest in my mental stability. I rise from my position on the picnic table and leave my father alone with his thoughts. “Just try not to explode,” I finish, walking back inside. “The last thing I need is a public fight between my parental units.”

Of course this would happen. There I was just a second ago, trying to calm my father down, and before I got anywhere – bam! He asked me if I was on drugs! See what happens when I try to do something good? I swear I was born as the oddball in the family. Absolutely no one gets me.

In my opinion, people can’t stretch beyond their capacity enough to understand me.

In their opinion, I’m just too ‘out there‘. Too weird. Too misinterpreting.

Honestly, they’re my family. You’d think they could try a little bit more to figure me out.

Perhaps they gave up after a while. Yeah, I could understand that. I mean I am a web of complicated sarcastic crap. Even looking at myself in the mirror is a damn challenge sometimes. Maybe that’s it…they just figured out I was a bit too complicated to understand, and they all agreed to love me anyways…right? It’s plausible.

“Rosie! How do I look?” Lily comes pouncing in my direction. I take in her outfit and my shoulders immediately slump.

“You are not wearing that,” I declare.

Lily looks at me, disappointed. “What, do I not look good?” She tugs at her green short shorts. “I know I’ll have to work on my tan, but-”

“Go change!” I bark. Those shorts look nonexistent. I can see her arse cheeks.

“Well, then,” she crosses her arms. “I can sense someone is a bit jealous. Humph. Just because I have a well rounded booty doesn’t mean you have to hate me.” Her nose is in the air and she begins to walk away. “I have a donk, and I shall carry it with me everywhere I go.”

I grab her wrist before she can escape. “Oh, no you don’t! You are not wearing that. This is supposed to be a family barbeque with some non-so welcomed guests. Not a brothel convention. I wear more in the shower. Go change before Uncle Harry sees you! Or worse, Aunt Ginny!”

James comes barging in. “Hey, have you guys seen my - You whore!

My mouth drops along with Lily’s. That was a smidge too much.

He points at his younger sister accusingly and shakes his head back and forth. “What-what…No! What the bloody- Are you trying to get pregnant!?” he sputters all over the place.

I look at Lily. She looks like she’s about to explode.

“You’re supposed to wear clothes for this sort of cook out,” he says, sounding like a mean teenage girl out of a chick flick. “Not sure what look you were going for, but clothes that actually cover the bum are encouraged. Not neon underwear and painted on, skin tight T-shirts. The first letter of your name is an L, and, boy, do you put the L in S-L-A-G!”

“I cannot believe you!” Lily yells, fuming. “I am not a slag! It’s the summer, and it’s hot, you jerk! What am I supposed to wear? A leg warmer tracksuit?! Last time I checked, you were always the one that walked around the house with only your boxers on. If anyone’s the whore here, it’s you!”

Meow. It’s getting feisty.

“Well!” James, who looks like he’s been struck on the cheek, is clearly insulted. “I…I never!”

Lily gives him a venomous smile and crosses her arms in victory.

“You’re still changing,” I say. But neither acknowledge that I’m still here.

“You’re still a whore!” James bursts at Lily.

“You’re still living with your parents!”

James and I gasp.

I turn to him, and this time, it’s James Potter’s mouth that drops. “That was a low blow,” he says slowly, putting a hand over his heart - and his pride.

“Can we calm down?” I suggest. “James, go… do something productive and stop calling your sister bad things.” I shoo him away and turn to Lily. “You. You are changing. Now.” I point up the stairs. “Go,” I urge on, “Before more bad stuff happens.”

Is it just me, or does it feel like everything is getting more and more horrific by the minute since the Malfoy’s have moved next door?

I lead my thirteen year old cousin up the stairs and lock her in her room so she can put on something more suitable. I walk away from Lily’s door and decide to go back to my room; I need to check on my hair. On the way there, I pass the bathroom and Freddie emerges in the hallways with a towel around his waist. Weasley’s are pretty pale, but Freddie’s always been the butt of Albino jokes. And when he’s wet, like right now, he looks almost translucent.

“Ahoy, Casper.”

“Hey, Freckles.”

“Have you seen Hugo? I think I’m going to go talk to him. And by talk to him, I mean castrate.” I want to make sure Hugo at least acts like a decent person tonight.

“Actually, I saw him down stairs holding a bag full of plastic cups. I guess he’s outside setting up tables?” Fred suggests, shaking his mop of red hair all over the place. He runs his hands through it as he listens to me.

“Hugo? Helping? This I have got to see. Thanks, Freddie.” I give him a little cheek/face slap that echoes a bit too loudly and head down the stairs the second time this evening, so I can go back outside… again. Damn technicalities, always making me do things twice…

I cross our kitchen and look out into the yard; it’s instantly gotten darker since I was last out. Ah, the perfect mid-pause between the afternoon and nighttime. Those are always my favorite times of the day. It’s light, but also dark out. Pretty blues and whites and all sorts of fabulousness all in one place. And even though I don’t like summer all too much, I must confess - it has the best night skies and pretty sunsets. Only in the summer can I really enjoy that point between light and dark. It’s different with other seasons.

Too bad I was so busy barging out of the house and out the backdoor that I couldn’t pay attention to the sunset. How can I be peaceful and ‘be one with my surroundings’ when I have to kick some arse? Very contradicting, you know.

“HUGO!” I bark, taking in his skinny navy colored pants and v-neck red tee.

As soon as he turns around to see me, he rolls his eyes and turns back around, giving me his back like he never saw me. “You’re wearing your skinnies again!?” Stupid tight pants. They are not healthy for boys his age. At least not for every day wear. I bet you that he’s not going to be able to produce children when he’s older because of the vast loss in his sperm count.

“Go bother someone else, Rose,” he snarls quietly before scoffing at me. The nerve of the men in this family!

I follow him to the refreshments table. I put my hand on my hip and give him the stink eye. “Why have you been causing havoc before our Malfoy infestation? I’m basically running around back and forth from person to person trying to figure out what is going on-”

“Please stop talking-”

“And I have to deal with people that don’t know how to dress themselves, and people that call their sisters whores, and a grown man who is convinced their eldest child is on drugs. And for what? Well, half of this is your fault-”

“You are so annoying.”

I huff and look at my little brother, but he’s looking patient and expectant. Entertained, even. Like he’s waiting for something he knows is going to happen. He smirks at me and just keeps his mouth shut.

“I swear, you make things harder for me on purpose. You couldn’t just wait until we actually ate something before letting that hole in your face start flopping around and mumbling stupid things to dad? Couldn’t you have waiting to screw things up and go all pissy on us after we had food in our system? No, you had to hold the title of Life Ruiner before this barbeque even started. You do realize our dad went haywire? He called Draco Malfoy a bastard because he bought good steaks for grilling!”

“Er, Rose-” I hear Albus call out from behind me, but I ignore him and continue to yell at my little brother.

“Why did you run your mouth like that? Did you even think about the consequences to what you said? Mom was going to kill dad for his immaturity and when I tried to talk to him, to get him to stop hyperventilating and try to fix things, he told me to go paint my damn nails!”

“Rose-”

I put a hand up signaling to Albus behind me, as I am still facing my brother. “Not now, Albus.”

Both of my hands are on my hips now; I am in full sister scorn mode. My left knee is even bent a little, and my head is cocked to the side.

“Everyone is a bit nervous and no, I don’t appreciate you just nonchalantly running your gob over things you probably made up yourself. I haven’t said anything to you all week, but it’s already getting worse. And I can’t take your attitude. I am not starting my summer like this! So for the sake of my sanity, or lack thereof, try to act with some sort of decency. Hell, a little bit of honorability would go a long way-”

“Rose, damn it!” Albus coughs violently, trying to get my attention mid-rant. I almost grind my teeth in frustration, and give one final glare at Hugo, before turning towards my cousin.

“WHAT!?” I turn my head around so quickly that my long wavy red hair wisps all over the place, smacking Hugo behind me. My jaw drops at the sight before me. And let me tell you, the sight before me is a frightening and unexpected one. In fact, I almost can’t believe it. But then I remember how things don’t really go my way, so I believe it nonetheless.

“Rose,” Albus starts, turning to the blonde before him. “You know Scorpius.”

Time is moving so slow, I can feel the rotation of the earth.

“Uh.” My mouth snaps shut and then back open and then the cycle begins again.

They couldn’t have already come out, the Malfoy’s! They’re twelve minutes early! That’s a big difference between 6 o’clock and forty-eight minutes past five. Holy crap, how long was he standing there?!

I look at him and then try to glance back at Albus, but I find myself hitting a mental stone wall as soon as I give Scorpius a good look-over; what, with the shock of Scorpius Malfoy’s cool blue irises practically hitting me in the pupils and all.

The blonde in question, whose eyes are mischievously locked with mine, is smirking in enjoyment. “My father’s a bastard, eh?” he asks me with a sly smile.

Oh, dear Merlin.

“Scorpius,” I say breathlessly.

“Rose,” he greets politely, with a glint in his eyes. I find myself staring at him and for some stupid reason my mouth is still hanging open. I’m taking it all in - the bitch fest I let out on Hugo, the Malfoy family’s arrival which I was completely oblivious about, me calling Scorpius’s father a bastard by association… Yep, all of that.

“Sorry,” Albus mumbles timidly to him.

“It’s okay,” Scorpius assures with a hundred watt smile. His face lights up the scenery. “My father’s been called much worse.”

“Meh,” is all I can muster.

“Peace out, cool cats,” I hear Hugo say before disappearing behind me, leaving the three of us alone.

I cannot believe I greeted Scorpius Malfoy with an insult about his father. I couldn’t have possibly been living so deeply in my own world, running around and taking care of things, people, and trying to find Hugo, that I hadn’t noticed Draco Malfoy and his family arriving? This is so surreal. In fact, I feel quite ambushed. Yes, that’s it. I feel ambushed by the two boys in front of me.

“You seem shocked,” Scorpius notices, his hand firmly grabbing the top rim of his drink off the picnic table.

Fun fact: He had to lean forward close to me to grab his cup, and his arm brushed mine; I was immediately snapped back to reality. And so was my mouth.

“Sorry,” I rush out apologetically.

Scorpius leans his head back and takes a big gulp from his cup, and at the same time he waves off the issue like it’s not a problem. “No big deal.”

My eyes curiously go to Albus and I look at him hesitantly. He flashes me a small smile.

Relax, Rosie, is what he’s trying to tell me.

“Scorpius and I were actually going to head inside and catch up a little bit, but he insisted on saying hello.”

“I see.” Maybe I have nothing to worry about with Scorpius. He seems to be behaving himself. And he even stopped to say hello to me instead of, well, what ever else he was planning to do.

“Have you seen Roxanne?” Uncle Harry asks us, heading towards our group. He reaches us and then realizes who the third person is. His features go rigid for a second, but he gives Scorpius a strained smile nonetheless, just because Uncle Harry’s polite like that. And because Aunt Ginny has him whipped.

“Oh, Roxanne,” I say too loudly, trying to break the ice (and the awkward silence) now that my uncle’s arrived. “Yes, I saw her. I think she’s in the living room talking with Victoire.”

“Okay. Thank you, Rose.” He gives me a curt nod, and throws Scorpius another polite but tightlipped smile. He turns around and is headed towards Big Blue. When he walks away completely, Scorpius mumbles, “Well that was awkward.”

“Somewhat problematic,” I agree.

I look at him. He looks at me. Albus looks at the both of us.

“Rose!” My mother yells. I inwardly shudder as I turn around. I look at my mother from across the yard and I have to stop myself from laughing out loud.

My mother and father are on both sides of Draco Malfoy and his wife, Astoria Greengrass. Wow, Mr. Malfoy is really…pale. Not like a creepy kind of white, but like an elegant kind of white. You know? He looks regal, standing there in an argyle sweater over a button down shirt, while glaring at my father. My dad seemed to have said something under his breath that insulted Draco, because he has a glare hidden behind his features. His wife, on the other hand, has a pretty beige tint to her that makes her not quite dirty blonde hair stand out more. She probably tans easily in the summer; she looks of that sort. I have to stand out in the sun for three hours without sunscreen just so I can burn.

I’m not jealous…

I want so much to walk over there and see how the little Hogwarts reunion is going, but if I go over there then my mom will want to introduce me and if that happens then dad will say something controlling, to show Draco he’s raised a child better than him, and then my mother would slap him, and then Hugo would come over and make everything worse. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do. But maybe if dad just keeps huffing and the invisible ropes tied around his arms don’t break, and he doesn’t strangle the handsome blonde man next to him, I may walk out of this alive.

“Yeah, mom?” I yell out. Haha, she hates it when I do that. It makes everything so much more public. Half of my family’s already walking away from Astoria and Draco, as they have already been properly introduced again. Because all those parental stare-downs on the Hogwarts Express before every year weren’t enough, they MUST know every child who’s walked out of the Weasley/Potter womb. We all know who we are, I mean really.

Now they’re just waiting for the main event - Ron Weasley’s kids being introduced to Draco Malfoy and Company. I’d even put a bet on Freddie and Teddy that Freddie and Teddy have a bet going on of their own.

“I see you’ve already gotten reacquainted with my son,” Astoria says, pointing to Scorpius who is standing in front of me. My father’s face instantly stiffens, as he is uncomfortable with the fact that I’m already talking to the next generation of Malfoy before he even got to glare at him, since the last time (which was when we were boarding for the Hogwarts train ten months ago at the beginning of our Sixth Year). You’d think that us going into our Seventh Year would insinuate maturity and possible unity for the forthcoming year, but that obviously has never reached my father’s mind.

“We were just talking and catching up,” Albus tells them.

“I’m sure,” my father says strongly.

I just saw James whisper to Freddie and slap a five pound note into Teddy’s palm.

“Shall we?” Scorpius asks confidently. He takes another sip of his drink, and begins to walk towards the fiery pits of hell- Oh, sorry. I meant our parents.

I whip my head around and look at my dear old mommy. She almost glares daggers and mouths at me to get my arse over there or else. I’m pretty sure I just heard Scorpius chuckle and almost hiccup his drink.

“Don’t be rude, honey. Come here and say hello to our guests,” she fake smiles, throwing me another vicious look with her eyes. She turns her head back around at her guests and a huge smile is back on her face. She’s really good with facades, my mom. Why hasn’t she won an Oscar or a BAFTA yet, honestly?

Every step I take towards them is like another step in the ground, slowly getting closer to my death. I’ll be six feet under before you know it. “Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy. It’s been a while.”

My father looks absolutely torn. He’s trying to be polite but at the same time, he’s having a glaring contest with Draco Malfoy. Oh, how I wish I could have witnessed their entrance to our cookout when they arrived. The look on my father’s face as soon as he saw his school rival. I’d pay good money to see that showdown… But in a sense, I’m relieved. It would probably make things worse if I was there in plain view. Bad things usually happen when I’m around.

“My, how you’ve grown,” Astoria says. “You look lovely.” She gives me a quick smile and adverts her eyes to the ground, while everyone else instantly becomes quiet.

“Yes, thank you,” I respond kindly, looking around the group. Why has everyone stopped talking? Should I turn around and make sure Albus and Scorpius haven’t left my side?

“And Albus, dear, have you said hello?” Mom asks.

“Earlier this evening, yes,” Albus says matter-of-factly. “How else would I have been talking with Scorpius?”

My mother goes a bit red and looks down. “Right.”

Draco Malfoy coughs significantly and Scorpius moves closer to me; I can now see him if I turn to my right ever so slightly. I steal a glance at him.

He has his eyes narrowed in his father’s direction.

“How’s your summer been?” Draco Malfoy asks suddenly, completely out of place. He’s trying to make the situation more comfortable for all of us.

“So far, um, it’s been relaxing, ‘til now,” I tell him. I instantly regret it as soon as the words leave my mouth. I probably could have worded that differently.

My father smirks and Astoria Malfoy’s face goes flat. “What she means to say, is that it’s been a relaxing start,” my mother corrects.

“Yes,” I follow up quickly.

“Oh, of course,” Mrs. Malfoy says, throwing me another timid smile. Astoria feels a bit out of place, I suspect. When ever she catches someone’s eye, she tries to smile back at them with gentleness but now it just feels almost forced. This is undoubtedly difficult for her, having to come here and endear this unpleasant cookout. She most likely knew it was going to be this awkward. I mean, we all knew it wasn’t going to be a hearty fiesta, but we were ready to endure it because of my mother.

“Have the Weasley’s been nice to you?” Mr. Malfoy asks his son, who is still standing right next to me. I concentrate on one of our rose bushes behind my father so I’m not tempted to look at Scorpius. I don’t really want to see his reaction.

Oh, yeah. Rose said you were a bastard.

“Hugo and Rose are very nice, indeed. I only just saw Hugo for a few seconds, but that’s okay, Rose has been good company.” Something in his voice tells me he still has his eyes narrowed at his dad. I look at him and his face instantly relaxes; he smiles back at me.

“I’m sure she has,” Draco says brashly.

“Of course, she is. Our Rose is very welcoming,” my mother says.

Scorpius puts his arm around my shoulders playfully. “Oh, she’s been quite the hostess.”

“I think it’s time to eat,” my father growls, pushing past us. I almost fall into our petunias.

“Good, I’ve brought some steaks from my accountant’s cousin’s stepfather’s personal farm,” Draco tells my father, whose back is turned to him, while trying to flip some of the burgers on the grill. I can hear Hugo snigger from the picnic table. Damn him.

“It’s fresh, and the same guy who owns the farm owns a share from one of our neighbor’s vineyards, so I brought a bottle of wine for us all,” he says, enlightening us with all his connections. “I hope you don’t mind.”

Did I just see a smirk on that man’s face?

My father raises his meat-seasoning brush above his head subconsciously, ready to strike from the front, but my mom rushes to his side before he can do anything.








Author's Note:
Sorry if I didn't make this clear: but the characters have no real accents in this story. I grew up in America so I guess it's labeled as sounding "American" but I just wanted to write it in how I saw it. I really wanted it to be authentic. I love british films, books, tv, everything! But when I'm writing this story, I'm not too worried about the british terminology (Although there will be some from time to time), I'm more worried about you all understanding my sarcasm ;]

I really hope you enjoyed this chapter! It's long, just as I promised!


Chapter 3: Muffins And Chicken
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The sunshine from outside illuminates itself through Big Blue, making it light up involuntarily. It didn’t wake me up, per se, but gleamed through my open curtains long enough to tell me I should get the hell up. Even if a peaceful sun beam found its way through my window, it would still viciously find me and my closed eyeballs, and knock on the metaphorical door. A gentle alarm clock? Sure. I groggily roll out of bed and walk over to my mirror.

My eyebrow hairs are all going in the opposite direction.

I grunt, concluding that it’s too suddenly early for me to look in a mirror just yet. I take in my curvy stature. I’m wearing nothing but a soft cotton oversized t-shirt that used to belong to Teddy, and boy shorts. Not to mention some super bright orange knee socks that have fallen down to my ankles after sleeping in them. I turn to leave my room and trip over one of Lily’s flip flips, the devil. One of my orange socks slip off my foot a bit, so I have extra saggy sock space near my toes. I ignore the uncomfortable openness and head downstairs.

The windows in the house were down and there was a cool breeze blowing through as I descended from the stairs, ready for breakfast. I could see the sun shining in through the hallway from the kitchen. I scratch an itch behind my leg, right where my oversized tee ends. The shirt covers my boy shorts and ends below my bum so it probably looks like I’m scratching my arse. Awesome. Luckily for me I haven’t encountered anyone yet. Or rather, I haven’t encountered anyone willing to make fun of me. Ergo: Hugo.

One time when I was little I tripped on the kitchen floor and sat in a pile of paprika that spilled out of the box, off the counter. I was scratching my butt for hours, and all Hugo would call me was Arse Picker… all day. Amongst the others he came up with randomly, of course: Arse Scratcher, Sir Scratch-A lot, Paprik-Arse, etc. So now, when ever I have an itch anywhere near my bum, I make sure he’s not around.

“Hey, she took my muffin! Aunt Ginny!”

“Now, now, Molly, give her muffin back.”

“But- !”

Now.”

I inwardly smirk. Ah, Aunt Ginny’s baked muffins. I close my eyes and inhale the scent.

Apple Cinnamon, my favorite.

I turn the corner into the kitchen to find Lily on the counter, munching on a waffle. Molly, Freddie, and James are fishing the cabinets for plates and cups, eating their muffins with their other hand. Roxanne’s busy eating the Apply Cinnamon muffin she just fought over with Molly Weasley. I walk over to Fred.

“Mornin’, Rosie,” Fred says to me, bits of muffin spewing from his mouth. He sees it fly out and I watch it land on the floor in slow motion. His eyes follow the crumbs as they land. We both stare at the crumbs on the floor. I look at him; he looks at me.

Fred and I, who are both headed in opposite directions, both shrug and walk over the pile of crumbs. Nothing happened…

“Good morning, Rose,” Aunt Ginny beams at me, wiping down the stove top from left over baking spills. “I just made a fresh batch of muffins. I know how you like them,” she smiles.

I smile back at her, scratching my head. “Awe,” I grin. “You’re the best, Aunt Gigi.”

If I ever ran away, or even had the chance to run away, I’d live with her and Uncle Harry. Hands down. The woman can cook breakfast like a boss.

“No problem, Dear. Listen, could you put the dishes away for me? I have to go to the market for a second, we’ve ran out of milk.” Aunt Ginny grabs her purse off the table in haste, dodging members of her family while trying to get out of the kitchen.

“Sure thing!” I open the dishwasher and the evaporated air comes out by the steam. I pick up a plate and the heat from its touch washes over my hand and moves all the way up my arms. See, I love how we’d decided to invest in a muggle house. Big Blue is the only reason I have to stay here during my least favorite season of the year, and the atmosphere this place harbors is so peaceful…I love it. It might sound ridiculous now because I’m unloading the dishwasher, but I appreciate the steam from the dishwasher. I appreciate the sunlight gleaming through the windows. I appreciate how everyone has to fight for freshly baked muffins in the morning out of a conventional oven.

There is something very remarkable about this fact.

When the front door swings closed quickly by Aunt Ginny, the conversation begins.

“Where’d Teddy and Vic go?” Lily asks, finishing off her waffle. She jumps off the counter and brushes the crumbs off her Capri pants.

“They went to check out that new flea market on West 23rd so they will meet us at the lake,” Molly states with authority. She picks up a second serving of my Apple Cinnamon muffins and starts picking at it slowly, like a bird.

That witch.

One of the reasons why I secretly love and hate Molly is because of her ability to look feminine, cute, and classy all at once…without even trying. Even when she’s eating a muffin, she looks graceful! She may be a snooty know-it-all, but she has her moments. When ever I eat anything at all, it somehow ends up on my shirt, down my lap, or up my nose; provided James, Teddy, or Fred don’t decide to do that to me themselves first. Ugh.

“So who’s up, then?” Roxanne asks, to no one in particular.

“Well, Dom’s still sleeping,” starts Lily Potter, listing each person off her finger. “Uncle Ron is out with my dad playing tennis I think, because I overheard them talking this morning. Aunt Hermione may also be sleeping, I’m not sure. James went to run laps….”

“Wait, how long have you been up, exactly?” Fred asks Lily, not hiding the curiosity in his voice. Or the cocked eyebrow.

She rolls her eyes, and walks past him to the fridge. “A while. My curls don’t take ten minutes to do, you know. Beauty takes time.”

I open another cabinet and begin filling it with clean mugs. I look up at the heavens when I hear Lily. “Of course,” I remark.

“Of course, what?” Lily challenges, grabbing iced tea from the refrigerator and taking a clean mug right out of my hands. “Just because I like to look nice in the mornings-”

“Lily. It’s the summer. We’re going to all go swimming in a few hours. What’s the point of curling your hair in the wee hours of the morning when they aren’t even going to last?”

She pours the iced tea into the mug, filling it to the top of the rim. Why does she always do that?

“Whatever! I like to look presentable, no matter the season.”

She likes to look presentable for boys, no matter the reason.

“Yeah… good luck going in the water and coming out looking like Lion King,” Fred comments, laughing.

I chuckle with him and get a glare from Lily, before she guzzles down her iced tea.

“I’m going to go do some reading before we go out for a swim. Call me ten minutes before we go. I’ll be in my room,” Molly announces, before flouncing on out.

“Merlin, it’s only 8 o’clock and the girl’s already reading.” Fred shakes his head.

I instantly notice someone missing from the usual morning bunch. “Wait… where’s Albus?” I crinkle my eyebrows.

“Oh, he stepped out early this morning, I think. I heard from James who was told by Albus that Scorpius was looking for him.”

…Right.

“Is that so?”

“Yeah,“ Fred continues. “So I think Albus went next door to hang out with Scorpius. He should be back soon, though.”

“Maybe that’s why Lily prettied herself up this morning,” Roxanne blatantly says to us. Fred and I look at Lily who is currently going red. We bite our lips to stop from laughing.

Oh, poor girl. She walked right into that one.

A scoff escapes her mouth. “Please! As if he’s the only boy I have my eye on.”

Excellent.

“And at least I’m not parading around with no pants on,” Lily adds, trying to turn the attention to me.

My jaw cocks out a bit in irritation.

“She’s in her pajamas, Lils,” Fred defends, coming to my rescue. “Besides, she’s family. And we all know she’s wearing clothes under her big shirt. I always walk around with no shirt on. I just threw one on this morning because I was cold. In our family, walking around in our undies…it’s just… custom. We’ve known each other all our lives, and don’t pretend you didn’t already know that.”

A little smirk tugs at my lips as I turn around and say, “Thank you, Freds.”

And it’s true. Well, not the nudity/underwear roaming part. We’ve all known each other for so long, and we are so close with each other that it doesn’t scorn us when one of us walks around in our pajamas - or when the boys walk around with no shirts on. Our family is used to each other. Except James Potter, who’s a bit of an exception because James does walks around in his boxers on purpose just to bother us. It’s something the entire family’s scorned him for at least twice. Personally, I think he just doesn’t give two shits about who he walks in front of half naked, which is a problem. It’s a shame really. He’d probably walk around in nothing but boxer briefs in front of the Pope if he could.

Roxanne scurries towards Lily and sneaks a sip of her iced tea that’s sitting on the counter, before Lily can stop her. “Well I guess I’ll go see if Dom’s up yet!” By the time Lily is within reach of yanking her mug away, Roxanne puts the mug down and bolts for the door.

“Bratty little mooch,” Lily Potter says under her breath.

I turn on the sink, and begin filling the dishwasher back up with silverware and cups galore from last night’s barbeque.

The cook out wasn’t particularly bad, even though the beginning could have been more enjoyable. Mom got dad to sit at the farthest end of the table, away from Draco Malfoy, so there weren’t too many verbal or physical threats. But there were a few snide remarks said under both their breaths that they thought we didn’t hear. We heard all of them. Astoria sat there looking pretty and tried smiling at whoever made eye contact with her. Except Hugo, the bastard, who kept smirking at her in a condescending way. She was uncomfortable the whole time, I reckon. That’s what you get for sitting right across from Hugo.

We spread ourselves over three picnic tables and sat in groups.

I sat with the Malfoy’s, my parents, Hugo, and Albus. Scorpius obviously sat next to Albus, which was across the table from me. And Albus always sits with me. So conversation between the three of us wasn’t too difficult. We just spoke about random stuff; no philosophical talks or groups discussions on politics or anything. Just…small talk here and there. I felt like I was the only one out of the three to really be nervous. Scorpius felt comfortable and Albus felt right at home. For some reason, I was the timid one. I never spoke first, either. I was simply asked questions and I answered when they called on me. Which is weird - I’m never like that. Perhaps it was the situation that worried me. The whole surreal situation of having the Malfoy’s sitting with us and eating a meal with us, in a civil manner.

Scorpius probably thought I was a moron. He kept staring at me like he was waiting for me to talk to him, which just intimidated me more, so I really just looked at the table cloth and kept my mouth shut more than anything. But I can’t say the rest of the evening was dull because Draco Malfoy opened the wine bottle he brought and it went uphill from there; the adults sooner or later all got buzzed, it was quite entertaining. Mom was even having a deep discussion with Astoria towards the end of the night! Like in hushed tones. Then Aunt Ginny came over and it was like Sex And The City almost.

Amazing, what wine can do.

The rest of the night was calm and enjoyable. Albus and Scorpius were laughing and having a good time. The parents were in their own little planet, and the kids were playing a small game of footie after they ate. Teddy even invited Scorpius to play but he declined and sat with Albus the rest of the time. They didn’t leave each other for most of the night, those two. Albus must be so happy to have one of his friends from Slytherin here next door. He’s around Gryffies all the freaking time. I’d be moody if I were him. I can tell he’s really happy, too. I just know how he is. They’re growing close, though… Not sure if I like them being BFFs just yet.

“There, all done.” I close the lid to the dishwasher and slap my hands in accomplishment. I start the machine and it begins to clean the dirty dishes I’ve just spent most of my morning loading up.

And right then, Lily decides to finish with her iced tea, chugging it down to the last drop. She hands it to me. “You missed one,” she tells me spitefully.

Insufferable.

I grip the mug and forcefully take it from her grasp. I throw her a menacing smile. “Don’t you have some lipstick to put on?”

Lily thinks for a moment. “Actually - I do! Be back in a second.”

“Psh,” Fred shakes his head in disappointment. “She woke up extra bitchy today, didn’t she?” He states, walking over to me and leaning next to the dishwasher.


“I don’t get it.” Roxanne is looking at her brother and at me with intrigue in her eyes. “Why is she so snooty and girly and all those things? She never used to put makeup on to go swimming.”

I sigh. “Roxy, one day, you’ll understand. Some girls just feel the need to care more about their appearance than most, because they want attention from their male counterparts. As much as I love Lily, it’s going to bother me if she keeps this up. I don’t want her to be one of those dependant females that needs a man to complete themselves. Or need drugs to complete themselves. Or money. Or handbags. Or worse, an OLDER MAN!” I shriek. The possibilities!

I immediately think of Scorpius Malfoy.

“Um… what?”

“Lily just craves boys far too much. It’s a hormonal thing, I think she’ll grow out of it,” Fred responds, filling in for me.

“It’s like a teenage mid-life crisis,” I explain to Roxanne, calming myself down. “She realizes boys are more attractive than they are icky. And now she’s all about the love and the summer romance and the curls and the mascara. And the attitude!” I wave my hands around in exasperation.

“Well that’s dumb,” Roxy says simply.

“Agreed.” Fred folds his arms.

Feeling thirsty, I walk over to the refrigerator and open it. “Do we have any pomegranate? I wanted to make some smoothies and bring them with us.”

Fred Weasley pushes himself off the counter and folds his arms. “Not sure if there’s any fruit left, to be honest. Last night, Lily and Dominique had an all out fruit facial.”

Are. You. Kidding. Me.

“Argh, there has to be some left!” I say groggily, opening the fruit containers on the bottom level of the fridge. My eyes dart around in haste, as I start to notice other fruits missing in the drawer as well. “What happened to all the lemons and grapefruit mom and I got!?”

“They used them for their pedicures and elbows,” Roxy airily points out to me.

Elbows?

“Supposedly they make your wenis soft.”

“Do I even want to know what that is?” Fred asks, slightly alarmed and freaked out.

“Just go get ready for the lake, both of you.” I growl to myself as I keep searching the drawers in the fridge. “And don’t forget to remind Molly we’ll be leaving soon.”

“I thought we were going to wait until everyone was up?” Roxanne asks me.

“Change of plans,” I sigh, patience no longer in my body. I hate to bring out the irritability that my character beholds, especially when Roxy is in the same room, but I’m really bloody annoyed. How dare they use up all the fruit for stupid pedicures and facials! And their wenises! Who even cares about that? Who even knows about that?! People don’t go up to you and feel your elbow and say ‘wow, nice wenis’ or anything! It’s not like you’ll grow tumbleweeds on your wenises if you don’t exfoliate with grapefruits! I’m sure they could live without dunking their bloody arms in my damn fruit.

“But-”

“Come on, let’s put our bathing suits on,” Fred reasons, putting his arm over his little sister. “I think Rosie needs some time to cool off and prepare some snacks before we leave.”

I grumble a “Yeah” as they turn to leave. Great cover, Fred. You just forgot to leave out the completely murderous wrath I’m going to unleash once I see Dom and Lily.

“I don’t get it,” I hear Roxanne comment.

Her brother pushes her out the room. “What’s to get? We’ve changed plans and we’re gonna to leave in ten minutes. It’s a long walk, anyways. Might as well get started now.”


When they’re in the corridor and ready to walk up the stairs, I hear her call out, “But I didn’t finish my muffin!”

I concentrate on what else we may have in the fridge drawers, besides dust. I swear, I’m really going to snap at Lily if she keeps this up. You’d think she’s turned into a sodding princess. How high maintenance could a person get? Fruit facials? Honestly!?

I stand up, huff in anger, and turn around to grab myself an Apple Cinnamon muffin. To think, I was so busy thinking of ways to kill my cousins I completely forgot to enjoy my breakfast! My favorite muffins, and I haven’t even taken a bite yet!

This was all their fault. My damn muffin, and I can’t even enjoy it. Then again, all this hatred has made me realize how hungry I am, so I can thoroughly enjoy my muffin on a more satisfying scale. I grab it like I’ve never seen food before and gnaw at it viciously, taking a big bite. Cinnamon sprinkles fly out of my mouth in craters but I’m too busy grunting to notice. My eyebrows are flat and my face has turned somewhat caveman-like. Sexy.

I hear the back door open and assume Aunt Gigi’s back, but I don’t hear the sound of wrinkling plastic grocery bags. Maybe it’s Teddy and Vic?

Whatever. I’m sodding pissed. They both know how much I love my fruit, and my fruit smoothies! I always get Uncle Harry to put a special freezing charm on my smoothies when we go out for a swim, so they’re always cool when we sip on them. It’s my own personal tradition. Now, I have nothing but approximately one lemon to make my afternoon lemonade with, and no fruit to make my infamous lake smoothies.

I give up on the smoothie idea and instead raid the refrigerator for any possible means of snacks or early lunches I could make for our lake trip as a substitute. I take a glance in every compartment we have, for any new ideas on what to bring.

“This is a really nice house…”

Did you hear that? Or was that my imagination? Hmmm…back to my dilemma.

I know we have peanut butter, as I’m staring right at it. So I could maybe do something with that?

“Thanks…”

Okay, am I hearing ghosts? Anyway, as I was saying…

I think I’ve decided on what I’m going to do: I am going to make peanut butter and jam sandwiches for everyone. And I’ve also decided that I’m not going to put any jam on Dom’s sandwich. Or Lily’s. I’ll put… marmite instead. Yes, marmite and peanut butter, that sounds reasonable.

Especially since neither of them like marmite.

Swinging the door to the fridge wide open, I take more continuous angry bites of my muffin as I search for the jam.

“I - bite - hate - bite - everyone,” I muffle out, my mouth completely full with Apple Cinnamon goodness. I consider the possibility that I could choke, but I cancel that option out because I’m swallowing pretty profusely. I really know how to eat my feelings when the right time arises.

My eyes spot the jar of strawberry jam all the way in the back of the fridge, on the last level. Damn it.

I hear a set of footsteps near the kitchen. I figure it’s Roxanne coming to finish her muffin, so I ignore it and lean over as far as my back will let me. I bend my knees and arch my back forward, moving the other unmentionables out of the way. I’m about two containers of left over steak away from my target. I stumble as I try to stay standing, and accidentally step in the crumbs Fred practically spit out from his muffin. My socks are now crumby at the bottom.

Argh! My back is already aching! And my socks have crap under them! I hate that feeling.

“GAH! Sodding mornings, I hate them!”

The footsteps have suddenly stopped. Funny, I sense more than one set of footsteps in the kitchen with me. Strange much?

“Stupid steak from last night! Go die!” This plastic container is stuck to the bottom and I can’t slide it out of the way! It’s positioned right in front of the jam, as I can see through the transparent plastic. I firmly press on it but it doesn’t budge. Did my mum glue it down or something?

“I’m going to lock my fruit, and my jam, and my marmite! My cousins…gits, they are…no one’s sane… I hate people.”

My bum is sticking out of the fridge vertically at this point. And I couldn’t care less. Roxanne’s going to have to enjoy the Mario Brothers boy shorts I’m rockin’ at the mo. They’re actually quite tasteful. It’s a graphic of Mario and Luigi chasing down those turtle fellows with fireballs. It’s a snazzy piece of apparel, I know.

I give a final tug and actually get my hands around the jar of jam. I’m about to pick it up when the worst thing happens.

“Er, Rose?”

That voice. That sodding voice.

I stop everything I’m doing, and I have to remind myself to keep a strong hold on the hand with the jar of strawberry jam in it. Because (sadly) I had already dropped the muffin in my other hand involuntarily, and in doing so, sent it falling to the ground with a lumpy plop.

My arse. My arse is sticking out. DEAR MERLIN. The only thing visible behind the open refrigerator door is MY ARSE. Which means that whomever walks through the back door of the kitchen gets a first class seat to my Mario undies.

I hastily straighten myself up and fix my posture. I close the fridge and am horror stricken by the sight before me. I mean, I knew I was going to find a scary scene with surprised faces looking back at me, but I didn’t prepare myself for this…

Albus, who is currently scratching his head, is adverting his eyes elsewhere. He’s clearly embarrassed for me, as I can see he’s trying not to laugh. And who else would it be behind him? None other than…Scorpius Malfoy.

I’m dead.

I have to be.

Why?

Because mortifying moments like this do not happen to me!

Not unless I can pass for a carcass!

Scorpius half smiles and disguises it with a cough. “Nice muffins.”


Bullocks.

***

I’m in the air, seconds away from hitting the water and I make eye contact with him. My toes fall in the water first, surging a shudder of coldness over my body, working its way up my legs. I hold my nose, close my eyes firmly shut, and let the rest of myself fall into the water. He’s the last thing I see before I close my eyes. The water engulfs me and the feeling feels euphoric. When my entire body goes under water, I open my eyes and the shock of the frigid water hits my pupils.

Man, I love this shit.

I welcome it. This is the only kind of coldness I easily accept, because times like these are the only time I DON’T feel like I’m melting. I hate the heat. The one thing that makes me appreciate the heat in the summer is the lake. I look up to the surface where the white spot of the sunlight is hitting the water and I swim towards it.

I whip up like a mermaid with my eyes closed. I feel like a peppermint candy, except that sticky crap isn't all over me and my tongue isn’t burning from the strength. Never mind, I take that back. I feel like…a peeled orange. Merlin, how dainty of me.

I open my eyes slowly, feeling the breeze of the summer air hitting me and feeling it on my shoulders, and through my wet slicked back hair. I start taking everything in. The trees. The grass. The blue skies.

“Get your sodding paws off me!”

The melodramatic family members.

Molly tries dipping her feet into the lake a second time, and Roxanne comes up behind her (again) trying to push her in. “I said get off, Roxy, before I toss you in by your ponytail!”

Homegirl needs to lighten up. Roxy just blows her off and gives her a snooty look with her tongue sticking out, before following her brother into the water.

I turn my head west of Molly and Roxanne and Fred - where Dominique and Victoria are sunbathing. Meanwhile, Teddy and James are playing on the swinging rope hanging from one of the trees, Albus is digging underwater to find gnarly looking pebbles, and the ever so charming Lily Potter, has perched herself right next to Scorpius in the tiniest bikini you could imagine. If you could even call it a bikini. Looks like two paper napkins have been thrown on her chest, and a straw is what’s keeping both ends of her bottom piece together. I mean, Lily is more developed than most girls her age, but she’s still too young for that. She’ll be 14 soon, for Godric’s sake. Her cup size is quadruple A, so I really don’t know why she thinks she has the right to show off like that.

Freds and Roxy have decided to race each other in the lake to see who's the world’s fastest swimmer. Hence, Fred’s foot has just smacked the back of my head.

“Sorry,” he gurgles, before taking off like a dolphin.

I give them both the stink eye before rubbing the back of my head. The boy has monster flippers for feet. The sod, not all of us can be mermen.

After rubbing the sore spot above my neck, I find Scorpius Malfoy’s eyes on me yet again. Argh! He’s been alternating his stares between Albus (popping his head in and out of the water like Jacque Cousteau on a mission), his legs which are dangling in the lake in front of him, and me. It’s not that I care what he’s thinking, it’s just annoying that I don’t know what it is he is thinking of.

…Right.

When I make eye contact with him he doesn’t look away; he’s not ashamed I’ve caught him. This is the first time all afternoon that I’ve deliberately looked back. In the beginning I would just brush it off, or pretend like I didn’t see, even though I could tell his charming little pupils were on me. But this is the first visual confrontation, and he doesn’t even feel embarrassed!

Why doesn’t he just get into the water? He did nothing except sit at the edge of the lake, on a lumpy patch of grass, and looked around for an hour. At least I soaked up the sun before throwing myself into the lake. He could at least pretend to lay out and bake in the sun. Maybe he could stop being so pale. Or perhaps he’s like a glowstick and he’ll just soak up the UV rays so he can glow in the dark at night. Like a light bulb.

I’m actually just being irritably irrational because I can tell that he gets tan easily (His shoulders already look darker, yet I’m probably going to have red sun burns on my skin from radiation when we head home). But it is just annoying me that we invited him to come with us, or at lease Albus did, and I feel like he’s not enjoying himself. Or he’s not making at effort to.

I stare at him some more, but his face is still unchanging. What is he thinking!?

Lily shifts her body so she’s facing Scorpius Malfoy and she mumbles something to him. My eyebrows furrow. Scorpius responds nonchalantly, as if not caring that she’s trying so hard to get him to propose to her. He quickly turns back to me, folding his hands together; they are resting serenely on his lap.


And now he’s staring at his feet in the water.

Lily looks put off. Oh, marbles. I hope she didn’t ask him to rub lotion on her. That’s just plain embarrassing and cliché and I may have to pull a Van Gogh and chop off my ear out of shame, because I couldn’t be related to somebody who willingly pulled stuff like that for the opposite sex.

Sigh.

My cousin pouts, staring at the blonde as if he’s smacked her in the face with his boredom, before turning herself over so she’s face down on the towel. Her head is turned away from him and she begins to pull out blades of grass in anger.

Hah.

“Boo!” Albus sneaks up behind me and grabs my shoulders. His hair resembles a Mohawk a little bit, and I’m kinda envious.

“Hey, find any rocks? Some bling?”

“You mean diamonds?” He pants, out of breath from his underwater expedition.

“Sure…”

“Not yet!” He grins.

Eager little puppy, he is.

“Well, when you do,” I motion with my head to Lily behind me, “Keep them away from Elizabeth Taylor over there.”

He laughs, and starts swimming circles around me. “Haha, sure thing,” he chuckles. “Trust me, if I had to give Lily anything at this moment it would be an afghan to wrap her infant body in. She keeps forgetting that she’s a baby, and NOT Marilyn Monroe.”

“I don’t think she realizes that she might be embarrassing herself,” I observe, stretching my arms out and letting my fingers tickle the surface of the clear blue water.

“She looks like a baby prostitute.” I hear James Potter’s voice enter my perimeter. He swims over and joins the conversation.

“I am irked by your presence,” I say bluntly. He usually cannon balls his way in, and I didn’t even hear a splash. “How did you get in here so fast?”

“That’s what she sa-”

Albus splashes him in the face before he can finish.

“Chillax, I just stepped in. I can’t exactly swing from a high rope all the way down to this part of the lake. Firstly, I’m over 72 inches. That means at least six feet. Secondly, James Potter does not do high rope jumps in shallow water. Thirdly, I’ve tried catapulting myself that way and it just does not work with rope.”

“Hardly shallow,” I correct, “It’s approximately ten feet in the center of the lake floor and gets shallow towards the grass. There are some sporadic deep ends and shallow ends but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you roped your way here.” I feel like Professor McGonagall. Sisterfriend left an imprint on me, I guess…

“Roped my way? Who am I, Tarzan?”

Didn’t need the loincloth image, thanks.

“No, but if you’re so worried about your height, maybe you should know the facts.”

“I’m sorry, how tall are you? A meter…maybe?”

Oh, no he didn’t. Make me feel like an elf, why don’t you.

“Sorry I’m not GIANT,” I respond quickly. Humph, I’m the same size as Molly! Come to think of it, Albus and I are the same height, too! “It doesn’t matter how tall I am, because no matter how tall any of us are, we can still cannon ball ourselves into the water. I don’t even understand why we are arguing about this. You never rope yourself over here, you always plunge in like the rest of us. You just chose right now to step in like an eighty year old geezer with arthritis. I might as well call you Molly.”

“Doesn’t matter, at the speed I’d be going on the rope swing, it still wouldn’t be safe,” he informs me, doing little forward flips into the water. I’m getting an unhealthy twitch in my left eye. The boy makes me want to kick him in the arse.

“I can’t injure myself.” Flip. “I’m a prized possession.“ Flip. “I’m the Potter-nator, for heaven’s sake.”

Albus rolls his eyes at his self-absorbed brother. “You are so over dramatic, James. And obsessed with your well-being. You’re not the Prime Minister.”

I turn to Albus. “Well said, cousin.”

“Oh, little brother.” Flip. “Don’t hate.” Flip. “Appreciate.” Flip.
And with that, he takes off.

“That whole conversation just took two years off of my life,” Albus says flatly.

“Pointless,” I agree.

The sun gets hotter over the course of three seconds, and this time I literally feel my back peeling like an onion.

“I’m sun-burnt,” I frown, making my face look puppy-dog sad.

“Don’t make that face now, Scorpius may be looking,” he jokes.


I blink and straighten up. “Wait, what?”

He sighs, a smile tugging on his lips. “I’ve seen you stare at him like four times today.”

My mouth falls open. I smack him on the forehead and it makes a nice slapping sound because his forehead is wet, and it sounds satisfying. “I hope that hurt!”

“It didn’t,” Albus simply tells me.

“I was not staring at him.”

Albus Potter gives me a quirky look, his hair still on all ends. His eyebrow does this weird dance thing, and then he speaks. “Really. So he’s the one who has been staring at you then, I suppose?”

“Yeah!” I begin, trying to convince him. “In fact, I’ve been trying to avoid catching him staring at me. It’s awkward. He’s been sitting over there like a log for over an hour. I keep catching him looking at me with an unfathomable expression. Why doesn’t he come in and have fun with us? Do I have to invite him over or something? We aren’t in pre-school.”

“You know what, I think he’s just shy.” He shrugs.

“Shy? I don’t think so. No Malfoy I’ve ever heard about was shy a day in their life. If he was shy, then why did he have no problem giving speeches during dinner to announce prefect meetings to our table and all the other Houses?”

“He’s just a quiet kid. Sometimes he’s mellow, and I guess now is one of those times.”

Something about Albus Potter’s words really strike something in me. But I don’t relish on it.

I shake my head. “What ever, he can stay there and look bored for all I care. I just wouldn’t want to be stuck having to stare at Lily trying to clench her butt muscles to make it look like she has a donk.”

“Sorry…donk?” Albus asks me, out of curiosity.

“Oh, Merlin- Albus, do you really- Ugh… Must I have to explain this to you?”

“…Yes.”

“Remember how some people refer to the name of an animal to symbolize an arse? Like, say… A DONKEY?”

“I still don’t know where this is going. Does Lily have a barn yard animal?”

“Butthole, it’s an abbreviation for the word ‘donkey’. Donk means donkey. Which, in turn, means arse.”

Am I the only cool person in my family? Is it possible that I’m the only Weasley/Potter to understand this kind of lingo? We have got to get more MTV.

Albus racks his brain, “Oh,” and then wags his finger in reminisce. “You know, I remember James telling me about that once. He told me he went to a pub and saw some girl, pissed out of her mind, shaking her ‘donk’ around. I thought that meant a purse or a drink or something…”

I shake my head, ashamed of Albus, and dunk my head face forward in the water. I emerge with my hair covering my entire face, slicked straight down to the front of my neck.

“You look like the mighty Kraken of the sea.”

“Thanks!”

Albus and I swim around a bit and Molly makes her way over to us eventually.

“The water is freezing, I don’t know how you guys can be comfortable with this temperature,” she whines, shivering.

“You’ll get used to it,” I say fruitfully. “It’s the best when you just jump in after staying out in the sun, it’s like an electric shock.”

A look of distaste comes across Molly’s face. “Lovely.”

“We were just discussing arses!” Albus announces with glee.

“That we were,” I smile.

“Okay, bye.” Molly Weasley turns around and doggie paddles away from Albus and me.

“Why do we have that affect on people, Albus?”

“I don’t know, maybe we should stop this segregation and prejudice and form some type of unity?”

“I challenge you to a duel,” I declare dangerously, lowering myself into the water so that my eyes and top half of my face are showing.

“Okay! Let’s choose a game, then teams.”

I look around for any possible players. I spot Victoire, who’s just stood upright, and is taking off her sunglasses. Maybe she wants to get in the water. Dominique’s asleep I think, so I don’t think she’ll be up for it.

“Hey, Vic, wanna play a game?”

“What kind?” she called.

We’ve perked up the ears of Fred Weasley. “Hold up, we’re playing a game?”

“Sure, you can play. And you too, Teddy,” Albus replies.

“What game?” Teddy asks.

“Still deciding,” I yell back.

Every one ransacks ideas around, searching for a game we can all play.

“Marco Polo?” Roxy suggests. Almost all my family members and I guffaw back in her face. “Okay, just a suggestion,” she says, putting her hands up. “Let’s calm down.”

We can’t. The air is intense. The Weasley’s and the Potter’s have formed an atmosphere of intrigue. My family and I have stopped what we’re doing in the hopes of coming up with an epic game to play.

“How about chicken?” Scorpius, whom of all people I thought wouldn’t want to play, asks us. “I’ll play if we play chicken.”

“Genius!” Albus exclaims. “Good one, mate. That’s an easy game,” he turns to the rest of us. “And everyone can play. We have more guys than girls, so it’s perfect.”

“Why would that matter?” Teddy Lupin asks Albus, slicking his wet hair back and moving across the water to where Victoire is stepping in. He sticks a hand out to help her in.

“Holy crap, it’s cold.”

“Don’t worry, Vic, you’ll warm up with this game. If you play it right and win, you won’t go in the water.”

I’ve never heard of this game.

“Yeah? How so?” I ask.

Scorpius Malfoy intervenes. “Chicken is a game where everyone, preferably girls, get up on their partner’s shoulder, preferably guys. And they play against each other like totem poles. You have to wrestle with the other person across from you.”

“But the guys don’t do anything, they just hold the girls up. The girls are the ones that have to fight each other,” Albus finishes for him, excitement etched over his face. “You lose when you fall in. Or when your partner gives out and you both fall.”

“I like where this is going,” Roxanne says out loud, voicing her opinion.

“Yeah, let’s play it!” Fred calls. “Roxanne, hop on my shoulders.”

“Sure, let me just get on that with my bionic legs…”

“Sounds like fun! Vic, love, be my partner?”

She smiles at him. “Of course.”

Teddy and Victoire kiss.


We all groan and splash them, while Fred and I pretend to vomit.

“James, don’t look at me like that, you’re freakishly tall and I’m not okay with being that high up,” Molly Weasley swims back away slowly, as James Potter pouts and reaches for her. Molly… play chicken? Not a chance. She’s too reserved.

“Pwease?”

“NO.”

Scorpius Malfoy puts his hands under himself and lowers his body off the edge and into the water. Lily pops her head up, like an alarm clock has gone off, and takes out her hair tie (letting her curls, that took forever to curl, loose) and throws her sunglasses on the grass. She gets up.

“Oh, please…” I huff. “Make it obvious, why don’t you,” I mumble under my breath, shaking my head.

Albus Potter moves towards me and sees my reaction and follows my eyes. He spots Lily getting up and getting into the water right behind Scorpius, no questions asked. Albus shakes his head too, except he’s laughing.

“Maybe we should just get her a cardboard cut out of him.”

“So she can pray to it at night.”

“And make a shrine and collect his blonde hair.”

“Yep.”

“Yeah.”


I love Albus.

“What was that?” Scorpius Malfoy’s voice is very proximal and it takes me a second to get used to it - him being this close to me, that is. Oh, and realizing he’s swam all the way over here already. He makes his way over to us, wondering what we were just talking about.

“Nothing,” I reassure him, and at the same time… Albus speaks, too. And guess what he says?

“Your shrine.” Right in sync with what I said.

Albus and I both look at each other immediately, in shock. Scorpius still looks confused so maybe he didn’t hear either of us properly. That would be such good timing, if that’s the case. I’m glaring, but Albus is biting his lip in amusement.

He’s going to think I have a shrine dedicated to him; stab me with a pickax.

“MOLLY!”


“NO, JAMES!”

James is now splashing the living daylights out of Molly, who has tried so hard to keep her hair dry the entire time. Lily, on the other hand, still has her curls in tact. But she’s entered the lake, which means she’s gone in the water… to play a game that you play in water. I still don’t understand why she curled her hair. Or why she followed in Scorpius. I think I’m giving up on her.

Scorpius turns to me but he doesn’t say anything, he just stares. I look at my feet through the water and then at Albus. Lily swims over to where we are and is almost shoulder to shoulder with the boys; she’s sandwiched herself between Albus and Scorpius.

“So do you wanna-” I begin to ask, TO NO ONE IN PARTICULAR, MIND YOU. But I never get to finish my sentence because it gets cut off. Lily Potter inserts her arse into the conversation and asks Scorpius to play.

“Since Albus is Rosie’s partner, do you wanna be mine? I’ve never played this, and you seem to know the ins and outs of it.”

For the record, I was asking Albus to be my partner.

The blonde boy in question sticks his bottom lip out in consideration, thinking about it. I think I know what’s going on in that brain of his: She’s crazy. Pubescent. Really young girl. Scary young girl. Weird bum shape. Awkward. Just met me a few days ago.

“You know what, sure. Why not?” He nods.

She’s beaming, practically peeing herself in excitement. If she could pee through her eyes, she’d be pissing on his face right about now.

“Albus,” I lean my head forward, in a serious manner. I raise my eyebrows.

“Let’s crush ‘em,” he tells me defiantly.

So we all pair up: Teddy and Vic, Roxy and Freds, Lily and Scorpius, Albus and I. James isn’t playing because Molly is refusing to play with him. She was so furious with him that she swam to the edge and got out. She’s laying next to Dominique now, working on her sun tan. James pouts.

“Let’s go by twos so we all don’t look like savages,” I suggest, putting my hands up before any sudden movements. “Winners go to the next round.”

“Me against Teddy,” Fred inconsequently says to us, staring Teddy in the eyes.

Teddy winks at him.

“Is there something I should know about?” Victoire counters, looking at her boyfriend and her cousin’s showdown. “Some unfinished business?”

“Oh, nothing, babe,” Teddy says lightly. “He just made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

“Did he leave a severed horse head in your bed or something?” I say out loud. Oops. Everyone, and I mean everyone, turns to me. “Er…”

Teddy and Vic are squinting their confused faces through the sunlight in my direction. Fred looks expectant. But Roxanne just shakes her head.

“Oh, wait…Hah! Nice, I didn’t know you liked The Godfather,” Scorpius Malfoy voices… in the sea of silence. Wow. I’m…impressed!

I turn to him and smile. “Thank you! Thank you for understanding that.” Who knew the Malfoy kid got Godfather references?

He smiles back at me.

No one knows what’s going on but us.

“Anyway…back to reality. Teddy and Vic against us, then you two. Got it?”

Albus, Lily, Scorpius, and I agree.

So we watch the four of them attacking each other for the next ten minutes. Vic gets her hands on Roxanne’s shoulders and but Fred pummels forward, pushing Teddy back. This in turn makes both opponents instantly get wobbly. But alas, Victoire’s size eventually pummels Roxy’s and she sends her falling back, smacking Fred in the face with her foot on her way down.


“Bloody! That was my nose!” Fred grips his nostrils like his life depends on it. Roxanne swims up to the surface.


“Sorry,” she mumbles, wiping her eyes with her hands. “My foot does that sometimes.”

What?

“It does awkward spasms towards the faces of family members?” I ask without reason, but mainly just in wonder.

“Yeah, I guess so,” she say fruitfully, dunking her head back into the water and running her hands through her hair to flatten it out.

“You’ve got elephant feet,” Fred grunts, still gripping his nose. Must run in the family.

“Oh, stop whining, just practice moving it around. Flex it,” Teddy suggests.

“Sorry? How do you ‘flex’ your nostrils? Not exactly the same as a bicep, is it?”

Scorpius somehow finds a way to swim over to me because the next thing I know, his voice is traveling through my ear canals.

“Is your family always like this?”

I turn to him. He’s very close to me. I blink in response.

And then I remember that he asked me something, so I reply back.

“Er, yeah. Pretty much.”

He chuckles. “Sounds like fun.”

“Sometimes. It gets a bit annoying and less entertaining though, when they start to pick fights for hours on end.”

“Really now?”

“Yeah. One time, Teddy and James got into a thumb wrestling match and James insisted he won. Teddy said he broke the rules of the handbook. I didn’t really know there was a handbook for thumb wrestling but apparently there is one… Anyway, James and Teddy didn’t look at each other for days. It was so pointless. It lasted about a week.”

“Guess you Weasley’s and Potter’s are a stubborn lot, then,” he says playfully.

My head shifts to look at him again except this time a tiny smirk reaches its way to my lips. But it disappears in an instant.

“Not the most stubborn, I’d say. I’ve seen worse. And Teddy isn’t a Weasley, he’s a Lupin.”

Scorpius narrows his eyes at me in the most jovial and joking way, yet inside I’m secretly worrying if I’ve gone too far. Maybe me joking about the Malfoy family being stubborn isn’t the most appropriate thing to say. We just met, you know? He’s not that comfortable with me-

“Well, thank Merlin for that. If he was a Weasley he’d be twice as hardheaded. Maybe he’d have even thrown a marinating brush at James instead of ignoring him for seven days,” he laughs.

OH. MY. GOD.

Scorpius just made a reference to my father threatening to throw his marinating brush at Draco Malfoy! He saw that!?

“Uh…” My eyeballs are growing pretty wide at this point. “You witnessed him doing that, didn’t you?”

He chuckles secretly, breathing through his nose. “What, last night? Definitely. It was hilarious.”


“You’re not… mad?”

“No. Should I be?”

“Um…?”

We get splashed by Roxanne and Freddie, ending the conversation immediately. They tell us it’s our time to shine. My cousin bends down low in the water. I get on Albus Potter’s shoulders with ease and he lifts me up. I feel gargantuan.

The expression on Lily’s face is one of absolute bliss, that is- until she makes eye contact with me. I can see the blood in her eyes.


“Why does she look so scary?” I hear Albus think out loud.

“I don’t know, Al. It seems to me that she’s determined to win this.”

Fred yells out, “Ready, set… GO!” and splashes the water for dramatic effect.

Did I just hear a gnarl?

Scorpius can barely keep up with Lily’s lunges, as she attacks me back to back. I can’t even get my hands up to defend myself! She’s coming at me with shoulder shakes, nose pulls, and vicious shoves. She’s an animal!

I try to put a hand on her forehead to push her away, but she moves in to hit me at the same time, so my hands kind of covers her face for a while. This was totally on accident, but it only makes Lily angrier as she takes a fist full of my hair and yanks on it.

“Ow!”

What a little snob! She’s cheating, I’m sure! There wasn’t any hair pulling with Roxy and Vic, and they’re like five years apart. Lily’s thirteen yet she has the ability to pull my hair? Hello, I’m seventeen, I should be throwing her off his shoulders!

I yank her hair back.

She yanks mine.

I shove her shoulder.

Lily pummels herself forward, making Scorpius stumble forward. Her head is close to mine, even though she is shorter than me, and pulls on my neck. I bend to her face level.

“He’s mine, so don’t even think about it,” she whispers to me snidely in my ear.

She smiles at me as she pulls away. And I stand there, shocked. With my mouth hanging open. For some strange reason, I get the urge to throw her entire body back in the water. So I throw myself forward, forgetting about poor Albus under me, and I lunge after my dearest cousin. She’s not expecting me and I take both of my hands, put them on both of her shoulders, and shove with all my might; I give up my physical stability and fall forward.

Lily cries as she falls back into the water, while I take into view what I’ve just done. I’ve thrown myself so far that Albus can no longer hold me and he goes under, face first. And I, of course, land on the boy standing right in front of me.

My hands fall on Scorpius Malfoy’s shoulders as I try to regain my balance. His hands quickly find my waist and he holds me up against him.

I realize I haven’t exhaled, so I sigh a really big sigh, completely nervous with where his hands are currently residing. He just looks at me with those big gray-ish blue orbs, his blonde hair slicked back to perfection, and keeps holding me up. Against him. In his arms. I may just explode because of lack of oxygen.

"Er, sorry," Scorpius says, momentarily relapsing and letting me down.

"No worries," I murmur quickly, looking anywhere but at him. I turn around to find Albus smirking at me.


Damn him.

 
 




Author's Note: Gah! I'm so excited for you guys to read the chapters to come! I have so much planned... I know that this story may not be too great right now (Personally, I think it could be better) but I'm trying my hardest to make this one of the best next gen. summer fics out there ^_^

Review and let me know what your favorite part was! I love hearing from all of you :3


Chapter 4: Teenage Tricks And Aussie Flicks
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“So you’re saying you’d name your child Galapagos?”

“I’m not saying it’s out of the question…”

“Why Galapagos?!”

“It’s an exotic island, Molly! That makes it an exotic name.”

“Fred, you’re a complete moron if you think naming your child after poisonous frogs and freaky looking birds is okay.”

“I thought the point of the whole game was to name your future child with the name of a place.”

“Yes, a place of origin.”

“It is a place!”

“No one has originated from the bloody Galapagos islands! I’m talking about places where people have a nationality. Like a city in Italy or a province in Canada.”

A water balloon flies past Fred, nearly missing his head and irrupts against Big Blue. He turns around and glares at Roxanne. She smiles apologetically and deviously at the same time, before continuing her water balloon fight with Lily.

“So you’re saying I should name my future child Venice Saskatchewan?” Fred asks, his direct skepticism obviously getting on Molly’s nerves.

“NO. I’m saying that you should name your child ONE of those examples-”

“I’m not naming my first son Saskatchewan! Do you want him to have a painful social life? Or a social life at all, for that matter? The boy would get beat up on his first day of school.”

“Argh! You’re insufferable, Fred. There are plenty of other provinces in Canada that you could have chosen. Why did you have to chose an ugly one?”

“You want me to name my future son Alberta, then?”

They’ve been going at it for the past 20 minutes, and I’m sure my head is going to explode soon. Here I am, trying to pick off the white linens from the clothes line outside before it rains, and my cousins come out the back door for some chit chat. I like folding laundry mainly because it gives me some peace and quiet in this mess of a household. So whenever my mum or Aunt Ginny need any laundry to be picked off the clothes line, I usually do it. It’s relaxing after a hectic week full of screams, whines, and an apparent séance that Hugo tried to perform last night (That shit did NOT go down too well). This was supposed to be My Time, but no… Fred and Molly were bored with the programs on telly so they came outside for some fresh air.

My fresh air.

And guess who decides to join them? Lily and Roxy, of course. I don’t even understand why they wanted to start a balloon fight NOW. They actually took the time to fill up a few dozen balloons with the hose. It’s the afternoon, and the sun isn’t even out. It’s going to rain in an hour. I just don’t get it! Although I shouldn’t complain; they haven’t been bothering me as much as Fred and Molly, so I can manage. At least they’ve been quiet for the past twenty minutes or so, splashing around water balloons. There’s an occasion squeal now and then, but I’d rate it a 2 out of 10 on the What Really Pisses Me Off scale. Fred and Molly began this stupid game and haven’t stopped bickering since they’ve stepped outside. They’ve definitely earned their 9.5 rate on my scale as of right now.

I’d like to punt a brick at the both of them.

“Rose, what do you think?”

“I think it should be socially acceptable to substitute water balloons for bricks.”

Molly exhales from her nostrils. “I mean about the name of Fred’s future son.”

I stand up on the balls of my feet to reach for the bed linen hanging in front of me. I pinch the top of where it folds over the clothes line and give it a gentle tug. “How about Quebec?”

“Huh,” Fred ponders. “That’s a gnarly name for a son.”

“Oh, sure,” sarcastic Molly says sarcastically. “Try putting it with your last name.”

“Quebec Weasley,” Fred puts together.

Ouch. Sounds like Quigley-Wiggly. On second thought…

“See? I told you that would sound stupid.” Molly’s face is full of epic smugness.

Fred Weasley just shrugs. “I dunno, it sounds better than Galapagos Weasley.”

Molly’s facial expression loses all emotion, and falls flat as the ocean floor, with her lip hanging. She just stares ahead of her, waiting for his stupidity to start oozing out of his ears.

“Like your child’s name would sound any less bizarre,” Roxanne cuts in, coming in her brother’s defense. She hurls a balloon straight at Lily Potter but she dodges it just in time, before sticking her tongue out at Roxy in triumph.

Molly stands up straighter, and folds her legs over our deck gracefully. “I’m naming my child Wisconsin Weasley,” she informs us with her nose in the air.

Not one sound is made by any human being. I look at Fred, Fred looks at me. We look at Lily, who looks at Roxy, who looks back at me. Then we all turn our heads to Molly, who still has her head held high. And we laugh our bums off.

She turns scarlet. “Don’t be jealous of my child’s name. She’s going to be successful! And the first witch to ever become the Prime Mistress of England!”

“Yeah, OKAY,” Fred blatantly teases before doubling over in laughter. He rolls around the floor of our deck.

“It’s a sophisticated name!” She defends in a baffled tone, her eyebrows mashed together.

Lily stops throwing water balloons and just throws one back and forth between her hands, her eyes never leaving it as it goes left and right. “Why would she be the Prime Minister if she’s a witch? She might as well be the Minister of Magic.”

“Mistress,” Molly snidely corrects. “Prime Mistress.”

I snort. “Right, because that doesn’t make her sound like a top ranking high-class prostitute for parliament officials.”

“Go ahead and poke fun, Rose. At least my child will get somewhere.” She diverts her attention back to Lily. “And for your information, she’s going to be the first witch to become Prime Mistress and serve for the muggles of England. She’ll be in the history books.”

I fold a linen pillowcase over my arm and make sure the ends match up before placing it into the laundry basket. “How very righteous of her.”

“Very,” she says indelibly.

“Why did you name her after a state in America?” Fred asks her impossibly.

“Because she’s going to connect the Americas with the United Kingdom. We’re the top two nations in the world; it would help our politics and help us live a longer and more prosperous life. Besides, naming her after another country’s land makes her versatile.”

Does anyone else think that Molly Weasley is just trying to slowly take over the world?

“You know what I would do to find out if my child’s name was awesome? I’d put their name in with the What Would They Do acronym,” Roxanne suggests. “And if it sounds screwed up, I’d throw that name into the rubbish bin.”

My face contorts uncontrollably. “W-W-W-W-D? What Would Wisconsin Weasley Do?”

Molly looks scandalized.

***

I pull back the shower curtain and take a deep breath, before stepping out of the shower. I wrap a big fluffy white towel around myself and begin drying my hair with the other. Gosh, I love hot showers. Even in the stinky season of summer, I can still appreciate a nice steamy shower. It’s just something about the hot water…

“Hey, Rose,” Victoire knocks on the other side of the bathroom door.

“Yeah?” I call back.

“Do you have any waxing strips?”

I am baffled by this question. “Sorry…what?”

“I know,” I hear her say exasperatedly, “But I don’t have any and Dominique got that hair removal spell to work for her for the whole summer, so she doesn’t have any either. And Lily wants to wax her bikini line.”

Sweet clouds above. “You must be joking.”

“I wish I was, Rosie. I’m pretty sure she has no hair down there that needs to be maintained but she’s assuring me that she has a hairy situation that she needs to fix.”

“Yeah, her wolf hair armpits maybe.” Not her bikini line!

“Do you have any or not? If I don’t answer her soon she’ll keep squealing.” Oh, no one wants that…

“Can’t you do the whatever hair spell thing that Dominique did and do it on Lily?” I suggest. I flip my hair over and dry the other side of my head.

“Doesn’t work. You have to be of age for it to work on you, and Dominique is the only one that knows how to perform it on another person. It’s apparently highly complex. If Lily tried it on her own, she’d probably burn all the hair off her body.”

Hah, like a naked mole rat. Or those scary looking cats with no fur; you know, the ones that look like their inside out.

“Well, I don’t know what to tell you, Vic. I shave my legs and that’s about it. Ask my mom.” A sudden disgusting look takes over my face as I momentarily think of my mother’s bikini line. She wears a tankini with a sarong, not itty bitty bikinis like Lily. And I don’t need that image of my mother waxing her weird areas.

No, thank you.

“Alright, thanks anyway, then,” Victoire Weasley finishes, her footsteps echoing against the wood floorboards as she walks away.

I sigh and look in the mirror.

Tilting my head to the side, I examine my freckles. I have an obscene amount of freckles. Okay, I’m not made of red dots, but I’ve got enough to play connect-the-dots with Albus for a solid two months straight. I’m not ashamed of them really, I just… have so many. Lily doesn’t have that many. Neither does Molly or Roxy. But then again, the guys in my family get more physical traits than behavioral ones. The girls definitely have more behavioral traits than the males in the Weasley/Potter clan. Molly’s got her father’s vision and Roxy has her dad’s goofiness. Fred’s goofy too but he has way more freckles than Roxy could ever have. Fred and I have the most freckles, I’d say. And our skin isn’t even that pale, we just have light pink dots all over. They almost blend into our skin during the summer.

It can get a bit boring is all.

Maybe I should cut all my hair off. Or do some crazy Mohawk thing. I dunno, I gotta change it up or something. I mean, it’s pretty bad when you get bored with your own face, but I can’t do anything about mine. Makeup doesn’t hide my Weasley dots and my complexion is good by itself anyways. So maybe a haircut is all I need. I don’t even remember the last time I went to a salon… is that a bad thing or…?

I’m disrupted by another knock at my bathroom door. Annoyingly enough, it actually annoys me. How dare someone disrupt my mental thinking time.

“Rosie, open up.”

I automatically wrap the towel tighter around my body and run my fingers through my wet hair. I open the door and lean on it’s frame, crossing my arms all the while. “Yes, Albus?”

He smiles at me innocently before starting off on his escapade. “So you’re coming out with me tonight right? In town? Good, because Scorpius has two extra tickets to this independent Australian film so…okay cool, be ready in twenty minutes-”

Albus Potter turns around swiftly and tries leave me here on the spot but I yank his neck back.

“Um… excuse me?”

Albus throws me a pleading look.

“Now is not the time to audition for a bad teen drama. Don’t give me that face,” I raise an eyebrow. “What’s this about seeing an indie flick?”

He sighs. “Right, so…his parents ordered these tickets like three months in advance, but they got in a real bad row today, so they aren’t planning on going anymore. He told me over the phone that he has nothing to do tonight, which was totally legit considering I could hear his parents starting to bicker again over the receiver. And since Scorpius said he didn’t really have plans anymore… I felt bad, so I told him we’d go see the film with him and keep him company. I couldn’t let him stay in that house anymore so I sort of… invited ourselves.”

“…Oh.”

I blink a bit, trying to decipher what or how I should be feeling but I just come up blank.

“Okay…well where is it at? The market around town, at the corner of the beach resort?”

Albus tries not to look at me. “Sort of,” he idles his body back and forth.

Hold on, didn’t he say something about leaving in twenty minutes?

“Albus-”

“The market on Hemingway and 35th, okay?”

I am bewildered. Do you know how far away that market is?!

He furrows his eyebrows at me defiantly, crossing his arms at my reaction. “And you’re coming! We are going to show him a good time and he is going to enjoy himself. Because I know he felt crappy when he was talking to me, Rose. I feel bad for the kid. Besides, we haven’t left the house within the past two days. The weather’s been shitty and we might as well take advantage of not having sun. We deserve a night out.”

Awe, great. Here comes the guilt trip. “Albus,” I purse my lips. “Does Uncle Harry know?”

This market is not in walking distance. I’ve only been to Hemingway & 35th once in my life, and that was because Teddy was taking me for a ride on his broomstick last summer and he got lost. Uncle Harry would not be okay with letting us walk to this place. It would take an easy hour and a half if we walked there.

“Not exactly… but we’ll just tell him we’re going to a closer market! We’ll tell him we’re going to see a movie at Tallywaggy’s market, you know, the one that shows sappy love stories.”

“Okay, there are so many points of logic you have just ignored. Number one, Uncle Harry will never believe that you and I are going to go meet Scorpius for a movie at Tallywaggy’s market. The three of us, seeing a love versus death 21st century romance? My bullocks. Number two, how the hell are we going to get to this market? Walking there will automatically stop us from seeing the film on time. Hence, we will be walking up there for no reason.”

He does the ‘advert eyes away from Rose immediately’ maneuver again and I slap his arm. “Albus, damn it. Tell me! Those inconspicuous faces just make me want to hit you harder!”

“Oi, that hurt!”

I ignore him. “How are we getting there?”

I swear if he says what I think-

“He’s gonna drive okay? He’s picking us up in twenty minutes,” Albus looks at his watch. “Fifteen minutes, actually.”

“He’s driving!? Has he ever been there before? That’ll be at least thirty five minutes by car and it’s already past five o’clock. It’ll get dark soon. We can’t do under-aged magic, dude. You’re not of age yet and I didn’t pack my wand with me, it’s still in my mum’s bags. So if we get lost we’re screwed.” If I ask my mum for my wand it’ll just go downhill from there along with a bucket full of questions about what we’ll be up to tonight.

My cousin just rolls his eyes, and begins rocking on the balls of his feet. “Relax, Scorpius drives all the time, and he knows the roads really well.”

Does he now? Didn’t he just move in less than a week ago?

“Oh, come on,” Albus begs. “Please?

I take a deep breath and close my eyes. Oh, what the heck. Live a little, right? Besides, the kid needs to have a good time regardless of his parental situation. If Scorpius sounded that bummed out, then he deserves some fun. “The things you make me do, Albus Potter…”

I shake my head as he jumps in the air and does a weird fist-pump thing that’s probably going to give me nightmares later.

He grins real big. “Yes! Thank you, Rose. You’re my favorite wingman.” Grabbing me by my shoulders, he gives me a big kiss on the cheek. “No, scratch that, you’re my favorite redhead. I promise it’ll be fun.”

Wow, I’m someone’s favorite ginger-head. That’s really saying something when you’re part of this family.

Because the selection is just so great to choose from.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I grimace. “Get off me, I have to whip up a nice outfit in ten minutes.”

Albus practically prances to his room to get changed. I shake my head as I walk in the opposite direction towards the room I share with Lily. This is insane, I was planning on curling up on the couch and watching a black and white film on TV, and painting my toenails with Vic. And now I’m gonna be traveling in a car with boys. Go figure.

I whip open my closet like a crazy mofo and pick out the first outfit I see: A long oversized cable knit sweater dress and black tights. I grab the one pair of high heeled boots I brought with me to Big Blue (just in case the weather was bad) and start changing.

I usually don’t bring semi-heavy clothes or knits like this with me to our summer house but ever since we started getting cold nights, I thought to pack heavier clothes just in case. And I’m grateful, because there’s no way I’m going to be wearing denim cutoffs and sandals after the rainstorm that’s just passed. The sun has barely revealed itself all day, and it’s not going to start now. It’s sort of dreary out, come to think of it. Not the ideal night to go out with your mates. But alas, I was coaxed into seeing an Aussie film with my cousin and his friend.

Sigh.

“Hey,” Albus calls from the hallway, “Are you ready yet?”

“Almost!” I gasp as I try to get the sweater dress above my head. These knits…they’re going to be the death of me, I swear. I can never put something on without praying there’s light coming from the other side of the collar. One time, when I was six, James let me try on one of Uncle Harry’s green cable knit turtle necks during a bad rendition of ‘dress up’. Let’s just say I got lost and barely made it out alive. It was like a circus tent in there. I somehow hooked my legs into the arm holes while my head was somehow still fishing out of the collar… one of the darker moments of my past.

“Okay,” I call out. “Ready!”

Albus opens the door to my room, now wearing a button down light blue shirt with the same khaki pants he was wearing two seconds ago..

“Snazzy,” I comment, as I slide on my boots.

“Damn right, it’s snazzy. I haven’t left the house in ages. Might as well look nice.”

As I’m about to hook the latch on my left boot, Albus and I hear someone thundering up the steps. I look at my cousin and he looks back at me. Oh, no.

“Does no one in this house wax!? I am NOT shaving again! Razors hate me! I end up cut into pieces, and I don’t want to relive the nightmare of scratching my ingrown hairs.”

The plethora amounts of cringe going through my mind right now…

“I’ll lock the door,” Albus alerts me quickly, his face revealing a more frightened look than before. And I can’t blame him. She sounds like a hurricane right now. I can only imagine what my face looks like; her footsteps are coming closer! It’s like Godzilla, except this creature is a teenage girl on the brink of insanity.

Albus Potter had only made it two steps before Lily stormed by our bedroom door and through the hallway, and then coming to a halt. She reverses her steps immediately and peers into my room. Her hair is up into a ponytail and she has some sort of white gel above her top lip. She narrows her eyes at us suspiciously. Dun dun dun…

Albus has not moved an inch since Lily stopped in her tracks, so he’s in a bowling pose with his hand stuck in mid-air only a few feet from my doorknob (which, might I add, does not help our cause). I bounce up off of my bed and cough loudly. Albus and I try our best not to look suspicious, although Albus looks like a bowling monkey.

“Why are you two all dressed up to go out?” Lily says in a sinister voice, like she’s caught us having fun without her or something.

“Who?” Albus relaxes, slowly standing up straighter and taking the form of an actual human. “Us?” he asks incredulously, raising his hands up and throwing her one of his disbelieving faces. God, he makes me want to facepalm myself.

“Psh,” I dismiss with a wave of my hand. “Nothing at all.”

“Oh, cut the crap! It’s my time of the month and all my senses are heightened, I’m practically Spiderman.”

She steps into my room and I get a good look at what’s been spread on her face.

“Good Lord, are you bleaching your mustache?” I look at her impossibly. She has no mustache to bleach!

Lily crosses her arms hastily. “I do what I can,” she replies simply.

I just shake my head, no longer caring enough to show my disappointment in her. I take a deep breath and my face goes back to normal. “Whatever… And for the record, yes, we’re going out,” I state, throwing me and Albus Potter’s secret escapade to the wind.

Albus’s expression is nothing short of thoroughly annoyed, as I have now blown our excellent cover. Not the sarcasm.

He raises his hands in the air again, but in a more frustrated manner. “Du-ude.”

I shrug my shoulders fruitfully. “Sorry.”

Our plan wasn’t even convincing anyway. Albus and I were bound to cower in defeat. Sometimes I forget that Lily’s a soon to be 14 year old girl. I mean, we make her out to be scarier than she is - and trust me, there are moments when she seems that way - but she’s just some chick going through the motions. The very girly and frilly motions, but the motions nonetheless. It’s really starting to worry me, though. Last week before we came to Big Blue she was fine, and all of a sudden she has this whole idea in her mind of what her summer should be like.

And that includes steamy hookups and bleached facial hair.
Oh, and acting like a total grouch.

“So you guys are going out then, huh? Where?” Lily begins to pester, the obvious jealousy etched all over her face. None of the Weasley/Potter kids were planning on leaving the house tonight because the weather’s been mucky, but now that the two of us actually have something to do, Lily’s angry we didn’t invite her. Why does she always have to know what’s going on? It’s not her business. She’s never like this usually, so why has she made it her mission to see what fun other people are having that she isn’t able to have!?

Bah!

“Calm yourself,” I tell her, as I start getting angry, although I don’t know why. “Albus sort of made it his mission to take Scorpius out for a good time. His parents sort of bailed on him tonight and he had these two tickets-”

“Cool,” Lily says to no one in particular. She gives us a once-over with the eyes and does the pursed pout-y lip thing, before opening her mouth again. “Well, I hope you have fun. I’ll be at home, you know, rotting in our living room, watching James play Dance Dance Revolution.”

Okay, now she’s really getting on my nerves.

I put my hand up, silencing her. “Please, save the drama for your llama.”

Albus scrunches his eyebrows in utter confusion, before turning to me. “I don’t think that’s how it goes.”

“Irregardless,” I snap, “We’re going.” I snatch my purse and nudge Albus in the stomach, signaling that we should exit. I walk towards the door and pass Lily with my head held high - and alright, with a tiny smirk on my face as well. Albus just cautiously follows my lead, muttering a ‘sorry’ to Lily before leaving his little sister in our bedroom by herself.

“Oh, don’t be sorry for me,” she replies haughtily. “I’ll be getting my glam on. Enjoy yourselves.”

The presumptuous side of me is telling me that her statement anything but sincere. And I think about it down the hall, all the way down the stairs, and through the living room. Albus is the first to speak when we reach the front door.

Damn. What a nightmare!” Albus looks relieved to be out of Lily’s sight.

“She’s turning so snarky and mean, and it’s seriously pissing me off.” I wish I knew why she was acting this way so I could send her to some sort of rehab clinic where they could surgically remove the mascara wand up her arse.

“Who, Lily?” quips in our dear cousin James, behind us. He’s sitting on the sofa, completely relaxed, waiting for Roxy to finish battling her round of Dance Dance Revolution. Hugo, who’s sitting on the loveseat near the chimney, is busy applying black nail polish on his finger nails.

… Is that my nail polish?!

Before I can curse my little brother out, Albus knocks me off my violent streak by answering his older brother.

“Yeah, our sister’s turned into a total-”

“She’s a trollop,” James Potter says simply, nonchalantly shrugging his shoulders.

Really, now.

"A… what?" Albus questions to his older brother with a cocked brow. It always bothered Albus how James knew all these fascinatingly weird words but never passed one vocabulary test at Hogwarts.

James, the king of all obnoxiously overwhelming comments, stretches his arms and lower back out on the sofa and inhales a big breath of air. “You know, a dirty trollop. A scarlet woman in the lustful sense. Lady of the night. Sexual savage-”

“TRIPLE DANCE SCORE!” Roxanne bellows, throwing her hands in the air. “I am so gnarly!”

Hugo looks up at Roxanne’s victory dance in distaste, and goes back to painting his nails. With my nail polish.

I sigh, thanking my little cousin for the necessary interruption. “You are very gnarly,” I tell her. I hope she doesn’t inherit James Potter’s ability of over exaggeration. He may be her cousin but the kids look up to him secretly, so if he ends up in jail somehow, the youth of this family will turn into convicts.

Roxanne Weasley turns around at my comment, and beams at me happily, before returning to her game.

Oh, when life was simple and no one had to wax their private areas…

“Where’s dad?” Albus asks James. Dominique and Victoire, who have just emerged out of the kitchen with two big bowls of popcorn and salted pita chips, respond for him.

“Uncle Harry’s in the garage with your dad,” Dominique motions to me, “teaching Teddy a few things about Uncle Ron’s flying car. He should be done in a minute.”

“Do you want me to get him for you?” Victoire offers, handing the bowl of pita chips to James.

“No!”

Everyone stares at Albus. Remind me to never take Albus to stakeouts with me when I become a secret agent. The boy’s as subtle as a gun. Especially when he’s trying to cover something up.

“I mean,” he recovers, reading the unsurprising look of ‘oh, honestly?’ on my face, “No, that’s okay. Just tell him that we’re headed to Tallywaggy’s market for a late night drive-in movie. Scorpius is meeting us.”

Dom slightly narrows her eyes in disbelief. “You’re going to see a film at Tallywaggy’s? On a Thursday night?”

I feel like there’s something I should be picking up on right now, but my blank state of mind is making it quite difficult for me to make a connection to her words. I throw a worried look at Albus before opening my mouth and saying, “Yeah, Scorpius’s parents actually bought tickets for tonight’s drive-in, and they canceled… and he invited us and he has a car so…”

“Hold it,” Dominique puts her hands up.

“Yeah, wait a minute now! Something’s not right here,” Victoire also intervenes.

“The Malfoy’s purchased tickets to see Cowboys of Horseback Mountain?”

Dom asks this unfathomable question the same time Vic bursts with, “Scorpius Malfoy’s driving you to the market!?”

The horrified and completely unhinged part of me, the one that is hiding behind me and Albus’s lack of a good alibi, is biting her knuckles. Oh, boy. I’ve stepped in dog shit.

I’ve stepped in dog shit, and I’ve stepped in it twice.

Albus Potter’s expression is like a cross between a deer in head lights and a facial reaction mirroring the scent of his own flatulence.

“Really?” I gulp, as Albus and I take a few steps back. But the two part-veela cousins slowly take the same steps forward, with a glint in their eyes. Okay, well only Dom has a glint in her eyes. Vic has gone all in mother mode, yet again.

The Weasley/Potter clan grew up with Vic and Dom as their older babysitting cousins. I know Vic babysat me plenty of times growing up. Even though they weren’t the oldest siblings in the family, they made a good team. Vic was always the mommy of the group and Dom was more of a wild child. But they were a greater team than James and Teddy could have been. Mainly because Teddy always fell asleep in front of the telly, one time James handed Fred a pair of scissors and told him to run around the house with it. They were crossed off the ‘available babysitters’ list in an instant. The Weasley sister duo could be relied on when it came to safety, unlike James. And they could also be relied on when it came to actually having fun and being active, unlike Teddy, who’s idea of babysitting is hanging yarn in front of your face like a cat and expecting you to crawl around trying to grab the string.

Once and a while, Dom and Vic would whip out the good cop/bad cop routine. Except they have less of an obligation now because none of us no longer sleep with a nightlight.

“You do realize Thursday night at Tallywaggy’s market is gay western night, right?” Dominique carefully enlightens us, enjoying the looks of ignorance and shame on our faces. Man, I knew Tallywaggy’s wasn’t going to be a good cover up…

“Unless there’s something you’d like to tell me, Albus.” Dominique turns to him and almost smiles.

Albus clamps his mouth shut and breathes through his nostrils.

What a twisted and sarcastic woman, Dominique is. Where the hell has she been my whole life? And here I was, thinking I was the only woman who could give Albus a hard time.

“Does this Malfoy kid have his license? I’m going to have to see some identification and registration, first!” Victoire demands, wagging her finger around like my own mother would be.

Are we seriously being cornered three meters before exiting the house? Albus makes eye contact with me and we put our game faces on.

Albus goes first, addressing his cousin Dom. “Yeah, well, Scorpius’s parents accidentally bought the wrong tickets and their non-refundable so…we thought we’d at least see if it’s any good. We’re planning on leaving early if we don’t like it, or exchanging them for something else at the market.”

I take a deep breath and look at Victoire’s worried face. “Scorpius has had his license for a year,” I lie through my teeth, “and Tallywaggy’s is only ten minutes away. If anything goes wrong, I’ll apparate or something. I am of age, you know. Don’t worry. Everything’ll be fine.”

I don’t know how to apparate to save my life. I have to retake some classes, including that one, when I return to Hogwarts in August. But hopefully, they’re taking the bait. There’s no way and no how any of our cousins would let us drive off in Scorpius Malfoy’s car to a market that far way.

The two women in front of us step back slowly and observe us with their crazy half-French watchful eyes. Their hands are on their hips and their faces are ever so suspicious of our words.

“Okay,” Vic sighs, dropping her hard stare. “If it’s not a big deal I’ll just tell Uncle Harry and Uncle Ron later, then.”

Albus smiles cheekily. “Thanks! We’ve got to meet Scorpius now…we mustn’t be late!” The door to Big Blue is opened quickly by my eager to escape cousin, and humid fog with a twinge of afternoon darkness appears before our eyes. What a perfect night.

Sarcasm? What sarcasm?

Dominique smiles at us on our way out the door, and I can’t help but feel that she’s expecting our night to be the opposite of what we’ve just verbalized. Oh, she’s waiting for the real story when we come back, no doubt. Not that her smile’s threatening. No, it’s not a mean smile or a condescending smile or even a suspicious smile.

It’s sarcastic… almost sarcastically sinister.

Finally, I’m related to someone in this family.

“Have fun!” Dominique calls, waving to us right before the door closes.

“That was shit,” Albus comments, shaking his head. “We have got to come up with a better alibi next time.”

I reply with a deadpan face as we begin walking to the house next door.

“We? How about you try telling a good lie once and a while. What kind of teenager are you?”

He rolls his eyes and mutters to himself as I follow him up to the Malfoy’s doorstep. Before Albus gets a chance to knock on the door, Scorpius opens it hastily. It’s almost as if he was on his way out of the house, running away from whatever’s behind him. Albus has his fist still up, ready to knock, and Scorpius whips his face around. Was he running from his parents?

“Oh,” he says, surprised to see us. He looks at us both for a good five seconds before regaining his breath. This gives me a moment to look at what he’s wearing; boy, the kid can really clean up nice. Scorpius is wearing basically the same khaki pants Albus is wearing, except he has a cream colored sports jacket on, with a white and blue striped button down shirt opened halfway, to show his white t-shirt underneath.

Not that I’m staring.
Because I’m not.

“Hi,” Albus lamely waves. “Guess we’re right on time.”

Scorpius looks thankful for an excuse to get away. He turns around to grab the door handle, and pulls the front door closely behind him, so we don’t see inside. Scorpius turns back around and stops in front of us, breathes a big breath, and smiles surprisingly warmly to us. “Hey.”

I smile back at him. “Hi.”

Albus and Scorpius do the ‘nod’ thing guys do.

Something similar to the sound of multiple pans falling on the floor comes from inside Scorpius Malfoy’s house. Albus, Scorpius, and I don’t move, although my cousin and I lean our heads to the side a bit to see what the ruckus is all about.

“Let’s get going then,” Scorpius says gingerly, taking his car keys out of his pocket. He turns around to yell back at whoever’s behind him, most likely his mother and father. “I’m leaving with Albus and Rose, I’ll see you when I get back!”

He shuts the door promptly and locks it, not waiting for a response from his parents. Albus and I look at each other. There’s something’s up with this kid, isn’t there? He must have really wanted to get out of the house as fast as possible.

I nudge Albus’s arm as we follow Scorpius to his car.

“Did you hear-”

“I heard it, too,” Albus says, shaking his head.

“Do you think they’re having a row right now?” I whisper.

Albus looks at his friend in front of him before turning around to me. “I don’t know, just don’t say anything, ” he dismissively tells me, ending the conversation.

***

The car ride wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was the farthest thing from awkward. There were a few petty conversations thrown in, but we mostly bathed in the silence that accompanied the ending of a discussion. Scorpius would turn to Albus, say something, Albus would reply, and they they’d nod to each other. Or laugh. We luckily got there in less than an hour. Impressively enough, Scorpius only made one wrong turn the whole ride up here. The boy knows his way around, I’ll tell you that. I’m going to have to question him further about his traveling skills later. How on earth did he get to this market drive-in theater without even asking us a thing?

I was in the backseat of his convertible, so I was sort of left out of the loop. Well, not out of the loop per se, but I was sort of not included in the discussions and random blabs that went on in the two front seats. But it was okay because I enjoyed the quiet. I’m sure it wasn’t on purpose anyways. Occasionally, I’d look out the car window, hoping to see a change in weather, but to no avail - it was foggy and misty outside. The darkness was everywhere. We’d pass houses and cars and all I’d be able to see were the lampposts on the sidewalk, and the reflection of his car’s headlights on the side mirrors of other parked cars.

A few times, I’d catch Scorpius stare at me in the rearview mirror. He’d immediately advert his eyes back on the road. His eyes would land on me every 3 minutes or so, and you’d think I’d get annoyed by that - and I would have, if it was any other person - but for some odd reason it didn’t bother me. It was almost like he was checking up on me. Making sure I was okay. At least… I think that was his intention. I obviously wasn’t concocting a potion or setting up a bomb in his backseat. There’d be no other reason for his sudden worry.

There was a moment, actually, when the boys did include me in conversation. It was about the film we were about to see, I think. I can’t remember. I really wasn’t annoyed about being in the backseat and staying alone with my thoughts for the whole ride. It was a comfortable silence. To be honest, Scorpius’s parents were in the back of my mind and I was still trying to sort out what was going on in his family.

I know, I’m turning into a nosy bugger. It’s kind of annoying me, actually. Why am I prying into his life? I’m not usually like this; you tell me to forget something and I easily forget it and move on to other things. But for some reason, I couldn’t get rid of the image of that certain blonde boy… running out of his house, away from his parents.

Do Draco and Astoria have a rocky marriage?

The drive-in parking was, luckily, close to the entrance of the home-made theatre in the back of the market. When we first walked in there was a swarm of people but now they’ve all been reduced to half as many. And now Albus, Scorpius, and I are waiting in line for this independent Aussie flick.

“Here,” Scorpius hands me my ticket as we wait in line.

I snap out of my thoughts and reply back politely. “Thank you.”

My fingers touch his. His eyes flicker up to mine. We stare. I pull the ticket out of his grasp. We pretend nothing happened.

When we get ourselves situated, all three of us take a seat near the seventh row of the theatre as the previews begin. I, somehow, am nudged between both Albus and Scorpius. What an unfortunate circumstance. Albus always comments during movies, ALWAYS; this aggravates me to no end… and- well, I’ve never seen a film with Scorpius so I don’t know how he’ll be. But I don’t like to be man-whiched between two people at a theatre. Especially in a place so crowded. These seats aren’t spaced out as much as I’d like, you know.

I hate people, so tell me why I’m in a theatre full of them.

I regret my choice instantly as an elderly couple take the two available seats in front of them. They begin talking about their grandchildren and Mildred’s right hip. I don’t know who Mildred is, but from what I can hear, she’s got joint problems.


“Did you hear she might be getting a wheelchair? A WHEEL CHAIR, WILLIAM! Could you imagine? A wheelchair at seventy-three? How preposterous…”

Wow. What a youngster.

“Oh, dear,” the old man responds, clearly concerned. He shakes his head. “ Her sister must not be too fond of that, I hear she’s the one funding for her electric scooter. You know, the one that accidentally shocked her with electricity when she tried plugging in that ghastly lamp? I swear, Bonnie, that woman is cursed.”

“You know, she never liked my biscuits. And she never wanted to come to my prayer circles. The nerve! I knitted her a scarf three years ago, do you remember, William?”

William nods his head profusely, as his overdramatic wife pauses to shake her head in disgust.

“Not once did I get a invitation to watch X Factor with her friends, not once!”

And they continue to talk about paraplegics, heart attacks, and other fun illnesses.

This is too much. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to drop-kick a seat in front of me so much in my life. Sweet marbles, do their hearing aids make it impossible for them to use indoor voices? Do they know what whispering is? Or is that just how elderly people breathe now a days? And yelling has become the new talking?

Scorpius lets out a long sigh, obviously annoyed with the couple talking loudly in front of us. He states annoyingly to no one in particular, “I hate people.”

I stop moving and turn my face to his. I can only imagine what my face looks like.

He feels my eyes on him and he laughs at my reaction. “I know how that must sound, but honestly, I can’t stand it when people talk during movies. Even if it’s during the previews.”

I… what is going on? Do we share a brain or something?

“Short conversations are no big deal because most people know how to whisper,” he continues to explain to me, probably worried that he’s coming off as a cynical narcissist. “But when you have no respect for other people and start barking about your next door neighbor’s temporary paralysis, you’re just crossing the line.”

I try not to smirk. But my eyes give me away. You know that face when you pull when you know something the other person doesn’t know, and your face is playful, but you’re trying hard not to smirk? Yeah, that’s the expression currently plastered on my face right now. I’m laughing at the irony on the inside.

Scorpius Malfoy rolls the sleeves of his blazer up and relaxes himself more. His eyes observe me suspiciously, like there’s a prank I’m pulling that he isn’t in on.

“What is it with people giving me that look tonight? First Lily, then Vic… Dom…you-”

“It’s your fault, you know. You make yourself look mysterious.”

My lower lip flaps over a bit in shock as I try not to choke. “Sorry? I’m what?

He cocks his head to the side and does that charming thing guys do when they bite their lip. “You have this aura about you. Like nothing phases you. It’s almost intimidating, but not quite. You’re hesitant about stuff, but you’re mainly indifferent about it all. You are a very mysterious girl, Rose Weasley.”

Excuse my Vietnamese when I say WHAT NOW?! How insanely baffling is this… Scorpius Malfoy just called me mysterious!

“Excuse me, Mr. Suspense. You have your moments, too.”

He seems intrigued by the idea. “Oh, really?”

Albus nudges me forcefully, pointing to the preview of a film about ninja assassins that just ended. He’s in his own little world and could care less about us. “Rosie, we gotta see that! Looks like a righteous time!”

He shoves his face with popcorn- Wait a tooty fruity, when in the hell did Albus get popcorn? When. Did. My. Cousin. Get. Popcorn. He’s been in that seat all night and there are no concession stands that I know of. Is this some sort of hex? I’ve entered a vortex haven’t I?

No… I’ve entered the twilight zone and nothing makes sense.
Yes, that’s it. That’s the logical explanation.

“Yes, really,” I challenge. “You’re the guy that smolders from across the room. The guy with the brooding face thing going on. You’re like a statue. You’ll look at other people interact, like thosemelodramatic soap operas with people working in hospitals, until you actually include yourself and decide to be social. You're like the surgeon of the soap opera. Never seen until he wants to be seen. It’s like you’re a secret agent or something. Are you James Bond? Because I’m convinced. I swear, sometimes I look at you and it’s like you’re waiting for me to say something. The suspense is killing you, isn’t it?”

His bottom lip falls a bit. Not in complete surprise but there is some bafflement that I may or may not have caused. Meanwhile, I’m trying to make sense of my verbal spasm by thinking up self-mutilation techniques, like, say…sticking my hand into a blender.

Scorpius takes a moment to think about my words, before scoffing, and turning to me. His face is clearly amused. And I’m slightly thankful.


“Well, well, well,” he laughs half-heartedly. “I already knew you weren’t as quiet and conservative as I made you out to be, but I didn’t know you were a girl with swift comebacks.”

“I have gnarly skills,” I say with overconfident lameness. I feel his nonverbal tone strengthen a bit as he makes eye contact with me again, this time looking at me with an emotion I can’t fathom. It’s almost like- it’s almost like some sort of respectable admiration.

The film trailer previews end, causing the lights to slowly dimmer until I can only see the outline of Scorpius next to me. The beginning credits of the film start to flicker across the screen. And even in the dark I can see his eyes on me, almost sparkling.

“I’m sure.”




Author's Note - Ahhhh! I'm so excited to bring you guys the next installment of Me versus Everyone :) How did you like it? Any memorable quites? Rose is quite the snarky little woman :P As you can tell, this chapter was insanely long! Hope it made up for the rediculously long wait :( That was definitely not planned.

If you have any suggestions or favorite tidbits, or any grammatical errors HOLY GUACAMOLE, don't hesitate to tell me hahah ^_^
 
 


Chapter 5: Malfoy Family Drama
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I’m not a judgmental person.

At least, I try not to be.

But sometimes, this little thing called ‘better judgment’ gets the best of me and I can’t help but judge the situation. I mean, I’m human. Well, magically human but still human!

For the past week, there have been continuous occurrences where I’d find myself judging situations and judging people’s actions suspiciously. It’s not that I’m spying, or being conniving, but damn it - I can’t just ignore what I see.


Monday afternoon:


I’m sitting on a lounge chair, next to Victoire and my mum, from the second story balcony overlooking the driveway and our front garden. We do crossword puzzles for a good hour, and mum announces that she’s going to go make lemonade. While she’s gone, Vic and I ramble on about whatever new craze Lily’s up to. Fortunately for us, Lily’s ‘time of the month’ was coming to an end; she wasn’t as irritable as before. But on that current day, her new thing was giving herself fruit facials with Dominique, yet again (but luckily I snuck some fruit into my room before she raided the fridge, so next time we go swimming I won’t be on short supply for my smoothies). Now, Vic and I were just minding our own business, chit chatting back and forth in our denim cut off shorts and baggy t-shirts, with our sunglasses dangling from our faces… when we heard a door slam. Loudly. Very, very loudly. The birds flew out of the bloody trees. The sound of two very tense male voices followed.


Now, imagine my surprise when our sudden peaceful afternoon is shaken up a bit by a nerve-hitting door slam and an argument that was about to commence. I closed my book of puzzles and tossed it to the side, as Vic and I peered over the balcony to figure out who was causing such a ruckus. It was Draco Malfoy. It was Draco Malfoy and his son. Arguing.

Draco and Scorpius Malfoy just burst through the side door of their kitchen.

I could sit here and pretend that Victoire and I went back inside to mind our own business, like modest human beings, but we didn’t. We couldn’t! The Malfoy’s were having a father/son brawl and it was too interesting to look away. The loudness of their voices were the only reason we could hear half of what they were saying; their tones weren’t steady but I caught some words; pest, annoying, insufferable, unreasonable, trouble, stop, and wanker.

Not particularly in that order but you can sense my distress, no?

We couldn’t tell who was speaking to whom because, well, when Malfoy men get raspy and loud they sort of sound the same. Victoire and I could only see their profiles, as the balcony only gave us so much leverage. They were in between our two houses, further back but still on the side of their house, where it was difficult to view from this angle.

I couldn’t tell you why Victoire and I stood there, crouched down, listening to them go at it for those good ten minutes. I also couldn’t tell you why I was so interested in their family problems. Or rather, Scorpius Malfoy.

I mean, families fight. They have fights, it’s normal. Whether or not family problems are just problems or actual problems is entirely controlled by said family members’ discretion. But when something like this happens in front of you, what are you supposed to do? A part of you wants to listen, and be nosy for the sake of boredom. But the other side of you feels like an outsider to what you’re witnessing; you don’t have the right to interfere, so what’s the point in giving yourself the right to see it?

But I was enthralled with The Scorpius Malfoy Show and for the rest of the week I had fallen into a pattern of catching him and/or his family having arguments here and there. Consistent arguments that were out of my control and could not be fixed by my mother’s hand-squeezed homemade lemonade.


Tuesday morning:
 


I’m making waffles in the kitchen with Roxy and Fred. I remembered this day to be a bit fuzzy - Hugo tossed a glass bottle of pure maple syrup to Roxy and missed.

My head was at the receiving end of that miss.

So bear with me.

But I was making Belgian waffles with the waffle maker like a boss, and I was facing the kitchen sink. Above the kitchen sink is our huge kitchen window. Ergo, I can see any suspicious activity next door.

Suddenly, halfway through recovering from my maple syrup concussion, a car pulled into the Malfoy driveway and Astoria practically jumped out of the passenger seat. She slammed it closed, yelling a “FINE!” before stalking up her front steps. The driver’s side opened shortly after, revealing a bitter and tired Draco Malfoy. He, too, slammed his door shut, before following his wife inside.

Okay, it wasn’t actually a big argument full of verbal jabs but it was still a blatant fight!

Clearly something is bothering them. And when ever I’m hooked on a mystery I always try to solve it, explain plausible solutions, or find cracks in the pavement to seal. It’s just me… my head never stops thinking when it comes to stuff I can’t solve. I just keep thinking about it until I can solve it.


I couldn’t understand what Scorpius must have done on Monday afternoon to get his dad so angry. And I was at a loss with what I witnessed while I was making breakfast on Tuesday. It seems to me like Draco is either trying to solve a problem or is causing one of his own. I thought up a million theories - and every single time I thought of something that could actually work, I forgot about it.

What was I doing?

I was trying to act like a family psychiatrist and I had no right to pry in their business. I hated myself for it. Really. I would have much rather ate boogers than see Scorpius arguing with his parents or witness his parents fighting. It’s not exactly an ideal summer activity. If I wanted to see that kind of drama I could sit next to James at noon and follow his ritual of watching reality TV shows until supper’s ready. You know, one time I sat down to see what was so appealing about this specific talk show called Ricky Blake, and all of a sudden, some woman screamed out that she was afraid of band aids. Like… deathly afraid. It was a ‘phobia’ special on people that had strange fears or something. I had to sit on that couch with James and see a woman talk for 25 exact minutes on why band aids gave her icky feelings and were controlled by the devil and at one point in her life, a box of band aids whispered to her to kill her husband.


Someone came out wrapped in bandages and band aids like a mummy and the woman nearly lost her shit. Punched an old lady in the audience. I was scarred. Don’t even get me started on the dude that had a phobia with feminine hygiene products.

The point is, I’m not a fan of drama. I’m a chill person. I am. But I was causing drama simply by seeing it happen. I was causing unnecessary drama to form in my head. I mean, what do I know? Did they have financial problems? Is their housing situation a little rocky? Was Astoria asking for a divorce? I annoyed the living shit OUT OF MYSELF, for having such an interest in someone else’s family ordeals. That morning, as I was eating the waffles I had made for my cousins, I told myself: Enough.

I was determined to stop thinking about Scorpius and his family for the rest of the week.


Thursday night:


“Can you pass the peas, please?”

“What?”

“The peas.”

“What about them?”


“Can you pass me the peas?”


“I’ll pass them when you stop talking to me like that.”

“I’m not talking to you like anything!”

“DON’T YOU RAISE YOUR VOICE AT ME!”



Funny story…

See, this time I tried not to pay attention.

Really! I did!

But this was one hundred percent, absolutely NOT avoidable! The screaming was happening right in front of my face…

I had to go to the Malfoy house to deliver my mother’s famous key-lime pie and a bag of her homemade butterbeer pine nuts. She made three huge pies and a big batch of the pine nuts that afternoon and she practically assaulted me with a bag full of said goodies in hand, drop-kicking me out of Big Blue. I had no choice. She sent me to the guillotine.

It was a particularly electric night. You know, the typical dark summer nights that feel intense and bright but are still dark and airy. Where a glow stick could come out of nowhere and a party could immediately get started? I’d like to call that electric, if you’ll take it. It was pleasant, the walk over to his house. When I walked up the brick pathway to the front door, I heard the muffling of their voices.

I knew they weren’t on the couch flipping through the telly for a romantic comedy, that’s for sure.

The big white front door was intimidating at first. It just didn’t feel right to me. Something very strange about it… but regardless, I had taken a hold of the big metal ring hanging and knocked on the door a few times. I really hoped that Mrs. Malfoy was going to answer, I had a feeling that Draco Malfoy wasn’t a fan of interruption.

I heard footsteps and within seconds, the door swung wide open. I was greeted by Astoria Malfoy.

I blinked a bit and smiled, while inhaling a big amount of air. I pretended that I wasn’t there being idle for a long time and smiled, “Hello, Mrs. Malfoy.”

She wasn’t expecting me, from the look she gave me. But she was polite, and smiled back. “Rose Weasley. What do I owe this pleasure?” she asked me nicely. I remember her wearing a simple black cocktail dress with pearls around her neck.

I held out the bag full of butterbeer pine nuts in one hand, and the big key-lime pie in the other. I swallowed hard, contemplating what to say. “My mum made some today, and- yeah. Er, she wanted me to give you guys some. She made a lot. They’re butterbeer pine nuts and my mum’s famous key-lime pie.”



I didn’t really know where to look once I spoke, so I looked at the food in my hands and then at her and then at the ground and then at her and then at the food in my hands and then back at her. Her face relaxed, though, when she saw how uncomfortable I was.

Astoria Malfoy took the bag of butterbeer pine nuts and grinned. “You’re mother is so sweet!” She cocked her head to the side, looking at me. “Thank you very much, Rose. They look delicious.”

And then she invited me in.

She stepped aside and invited me in!

I choked a bit, to be honest. I had never been into Scorpius Malfoy’s house before and I felt a bit awkward being asked to come inside by his mum. But what was I gonna say?


No, ma’am, I’m fine with just standing here and moving my eyebrows up and down. Thanks though.

Sorry, Mrs. Malfoy, I have some leg hair I need to shave.

I’d love to, but X-Factor’s on in ten minutes and I don’t wanna miss it.

Sadly, I can’t go inside because I’m working for MI6 and I just can’t risk making you a target.

Oh, I wish I could, but I’ve got to wax my father’s back.

I’ve made an appointment with Doctor Who, actually, and if I don’t show up in front of the Tardis soon he’ll be peeved. Another time?


You do not tell a woman like Astoria Malfoy that you won’t go into her house.

So I stepped inside. I followed her clacking heels through the foyer, through the archway, and into her dining room. Everything in the house was either eggshell toned or a specific type of beige, with black contrasting lamps and rugs. It was snazzy, if I do say so myself.

After the short ten second tour, I had found myself in front of her family eating dinner in the dining room. I froze instantly when I entered.

Draco and Scorpius Malfoy paused, and turned their heads in my direction as soon as Astoria said, “We were just eating dinner, would you like to sit? I assume you already ate?”

She walked to her plushy white dining room chair; it resided on the opposite side of her husband’s seat at the table. The abnormally large white table looked normal in the huge dining room. This is the biggest dining room ever! It could easily fit twenty people. But there were only four chairs, and the long ends of the table were taken my Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy- Mr. Malfoy was seated at the head of the table, of course. Scorpius sat on one of the long horizontal sides.

It had taken me a few seconds to realize that Astoria had spoken again.

“I’m sorry?”

I was acting like an idiot and I was sure they were going to talk about me when I left.

“Would you like to sit?” she repeated again, putting the bag of pine nuts on the table. I ignored the stares from her husband and her son and looked solely at her.

It was when she said those words that I realized I was still standing there in the front of the dining room, holding a bloody key-lime pie. “Er, sure,” I mumbled quickly, slowly walking to the only other available chair. I had put the key-lime pie down further in front of me, and I distinctly remembered this because I didn’t want to sit down with the pie under my face and breath on it and get my crazy Weasley cooties on it. I looked up after my bum sunk into the comfy suede chair, and I had immediately found Scorpius Malfoy’s hazel eyes on me.

“Look at what she brought us, Draco. Butterbeer pine nuts and key-lime pie. Isn’t that nice?”

He sipped his wine, examining the food I had brought over. “You shouldn’t have.”

His tone wasn’t sinister in the slightest, but not that far away from Sarcasticville.

“We were just talking about the barbeque your father cooked for us a few weeks ago,” Astoria interjected loudly, making a grab for her wine glass as well. “It was a wonderful welcome to this neighborhood.”

Draco Malfoy guffawed but disguised it as a cough when his wife caught him.

I responded hesitantly. “I’m glad. It was nice to have you all over. Not many families live on this block, so it was nice having a family with someone my age, let alone someone we actually knew.”

I hadn’t meant to make eye contact with Scorpius again but it happened.

“I see. We haven’t really seen many of the other neighbors. Just a few married couples gardening once and a while.”

“Yeah, there’s not many young people. Just a lot of old geezer couples.”

I had said ‘old geezer couples’ at the Malfoy dinner table. Not that they’re inappropriate words, but the fact that I used them in front of Scorpius’s parents! The fact that I used them so nonchalantly! That’s just how I talk, you know. I can’t help it if I’m always this witty… But the fact that I had said these words as if they understood me- I mean, it was just so embarrassing. I should have known better; my family can handle it. Not so sure about the rest of society.

Scorpius stifled a laugh as soon as I said it, though, and covered his mouth with his hand. Draco sort of nodded and sipped more wine. Astoria just said, “Oh.”

Then I stared at the table cloth and contemplated banging my head against it.

It was awkward sitting there and not feeling compatible with them, but it ended quickly.

They really weren’t that bad, I think that I just need to get used to them. I barely know Scorpius, let alone his parents. It wasn’t unpleasant, just strange.

They had finished eating while Astoria and I talked about the weather in a boring fashion, followed by next week’s plans. I also vaguely remember Draco being on his seventh glass of wine by the time I was done. Not that this is at all important.

I mean.

I’m just saying.

I had probably triggered it.


He was most likely trying to deal with the fact that Ronald Weasley’s kid was at his dinner table.

But hey, no-longer-judging-Rose Weasley is not judging.

I had scurried home feeling like I was returning from my trip to Mars. But I undoubtedly knew that I sort of liked being there secretly although I felt out of place. As soon as I walked inside, told my mum how ‘great’ it went and how Astoria was gushing over the Butterbeer pine nuts.

“Did they try the key lime pie?” My mother asked me eagerly.

“They were getting ready to cut it when I left,” I had told her matter-of-factly. It was peculiar, seeing my mother’s face full of joy at the sound of them eating her food. She wasn’t really much of a baker until I was born. Or at least that’s what dad said. (But then mum said it was the only way with coping. I asked what she meant by that, and she just told me that it helped her deal with my father's lack of diaper changing skills. So I just nodded and understood as my father glared at the both of us.)

“Did you hear that, Ron? They love the pine nuts!” She turned to my father, who shrugged in response.

“Good, you slaved over it for two hours. They better appreciate it.”

***

I wake up on Friday morning by the sound of Lily Potter blow-drying her hair. And by wake up, I mean shaken to the core until my eyes crack open.

I take a quick glance at Lily who is drying her hair in front of the vanity mirror, and begin to plan her demise. She smiles at me, genuinely, before saying, “Good morning!” Of course I don’t hear her that well because the tsunami drying her hair has impaired my hearing.

I am slightly confused at her peppiness. She was all sunshine and rainbows before coming to Big Blue - but ever since the Malfoy’s moved in she’s been turning into a real snob. So imagine my surprise when she is actually showing human signs of kindness towards me. She eyes me every so often and makes eye contact but it’s too early to look at humans.

Ignoring her, I cover my head with my blanket, trying to find a comfortable position for my head to lay on. The blow-drying stops after a minute or two and I hear her trying to speak to me again, except her voice is muffled by the pillow I’ve pressed on both sides of my head.

“Did you hear me? Rose!” Lily says to me, walking to my bed and shaking me.

I squirm and grunt. “Umph.”

“Get.” Lily jumps on the bed. “Up!”

“No,” I grumble into my salivated pillow. “I have a few more drools to go before I wake up!”

She stops jumping on my bed. “Ew.”

In my head, I am rolling my eyes.

“Get up,” she begins again. “I’m the only person awake right now who’s willing to make breakfast and I’m starving,” she begs. “You’re the only one that knows how to do those Yugoslavian waffle things and I really want some.”

Wait.
I’m sorry.

Did I just hear that correctly.

Did she just-


Yugoslavian waffles?


I lift myself up from my current laying position on my bed and lock my arms straight. I turn my head to my cousin very, very slowly. My hair is in my face and I’m sure I look like a zombie.

“You want to wake me up and get me out of bed so I can cook you breakfast.”


Not so much a question, as it is an accusation.

She just smiles semi-innocently and her eyes wander around. I still stare at her straight in the face though, until she speaks again. I can’t see through my hair.

But I pretend to.

“I actually wanted some you and me time,” she says at the speed of light. Lily’s gaze falls on her linen skirt and she picks at the hem. “I just wanted to talk with you a little bit. That’s all.”

I try to blink. It takes me a few hours, but eventually my eyes open to their full capacity. “…Really?”

“Well… yeah.”

This is so bizarro that I don’t even know how to react.


“You want to eat breakfast… with me. And talk?”

She nods her head with her jaw cocked, clearly annoyed. “Yes, okay? Yes…God.”

I reply with the same snooty face she gives me. “Okay,” I wheedle.

And so I get up. I actually get up. Because my cousin wants to have breakfast with me and have a talk of some sort. Does this thing happen often in families? Where the bratty little girls get personality switches and they wanna be cuddly all of a sudden?

Does it?

Because I’ve never really raised a kid, so I can’t really pin-point how important this may or may not be for my cousin. But I sure can tell you that I’m not very good with planning ahead, or at least not recently. I am more of the thinking-on-your-feet type of person. I never really thought this would happen so I don’t really have an escape route or an agenda of how things are going to go. Is this just a phase? Does she want something from me? Is she going to say sorry for being a bit of a snob lately? I honestly hope that she does at least tell me something.

And I really hope it’s not going to be like that time where she sat me down and told me I should go blonde.

“How much milk?”

“Just pour the rest of the carton. I’m going to the grocery store today.”

“Okay.”

We’re making Belgian waffles.

Lily and I are making Belgian waffles.

In the kitchen, at this exact moment.

It’s sort of awkward but still sort of not, because I’ve known her my whole life. The real elephant in the room is mainly Lily staying silent and asking random waffle-making questions. She knows I’m waiting for her to speak. We can’t wait until after I help her make the waffles to talk, damn it. The suspense is killing me. You know what I’m thinking about right now?

What would Zorro do?


I mean, I know he was a guy in a mask that spoke Spanish, but he really knew his stuff. Always had a plan, thought quickly on his feet. Had some cool sword or something. Man… I used to be like that! I used to be Zorro! My eyes terrified my family members! Now my timid cousin and I are making breakfast and I am no longer Zorro. My skills have been shot. And you know why?

BECAUSE OF SCORPIUS.


Yes, I’m going there.


Don’t you smirk at me!

It’s true. I’ve been so crazed about his family drama that I can’t even focus on myself. Am I honestly that bored that I have to find something interesting in a family of temperamental blondes? Astoria’s not blonde, actually. But let’s pretend she is because I’m annoyed and what I say goes.

“How long do I leave it in?”

“Wait about 20 seconds, then lift the lid open,” I reply.

My eyes land on the waffle batter bowl with the spatula sticking upright. I stare at it and then I stare at it some more, going into a dreamy like state.


I have no life.


They are the worst next door neighbors ever. It’s like they’re doing this on purpose. They are taking my mojo just being here. I had such energy and such witty come backs! I was like Han Solo except better because I had fashion sense kind of and learned all my martial arts from 40 year old Samurai films.

They have this power over me, the Malfoy’s! They’re like this evil family who’s mission is to get people so interested in them that their victims lose sight of other people and don’t even remember what else is out there orbiting in their lives. I’ve been so obsessed with them that I haven’t been caring about anything else really. I used to be so cool, damn it. I used to be bitchin’ gnarly. I had skills with words and had secret agent intuition. I was happenin’. Now I’m about as relevant as a napkin and can’t even start a conversation with someone who’s mental state is unidentifiable. Hell, I’m not even making jokes.


Well, at least not any good ones.

Last week I wasn’t like this. Oh, no, Sir-ee. I was-

“Rose?”

I snap out of my mid-teen-life crisis.

“Oh,” I inhale. “Hi.”

She looks at her mutilated Belgian waffles. “Er…”

“What’s going on with us?” I blurt. See, I didn’t really know what to say. So I contemplated it during my daze. But by the time I realized how much I exercised my brain into that small of a time span, I knew I was going to implode if I didn’t get this conversation going. So I went for the ‘rip the bandage off quick’ approach.

Lily Potter just looks at me expectantly. Not shocked, not nervous, not anything. She sighs, pouring in the remaining batter into the waffle maker.

I breathe in a big breath and begin. “You’ve woken me up at the butt-crack of dawn-”

“It’s 8:00 AM…”

“-The butt-crack of 8:00 AM, to talk to me. And I know you’ve been waiting for me to say something, so I’m saying it,” I tell her.

She bites her cheek. “Yeah. You’re right.”

I lean my head in, giving her my Weasley look. “So? What is it?”

“Uh…”

I actually really shouldn’t be surprised by this scenario right now. Lily Potter is not good with apologies ever. Mainly because James is always doing something wrong and he always ends up apologizing to her instead. She probably didn’t even know how to start talking to me, and now that I think about it, deciding to speak to me privately before everyone in the family gets up and starting making a ruckus is actually a smart thing to do. That, I can get. But she actually needs to make the first move.

Takes her a while to say it but she finally speaks after I threaten to put her hand in the waffle maker.

“Okay! Okay, fine! I wanted to apologize, okay? I wanted to say I’m sorry. So there, I’m sorry.” Lily stomps her foot on the ground like a toddler and crosses her arms impatiently. “Humph.”

Something changes in me. Maybe it’s relief. Perhaps it’s my mojo coming back.

Well, what ever it is, I welcome it like cookies on Christmas Day.

Goodbye, Malfoy drama. Hello, Lily’s pre-teen My Life Is Ending/What Do I Do phase.

“You’re actually sorry? No bullshit?”

“No,” she sighs, answering me honestly. “None whatsoever.”

My eyebrows raise. I’m shocked but I’m also impressed! She isn’t backing down and she really does want to talk to me. “Wow,” I comment. “I didn’t think that would happen,” I say more to myself than to her.

She fidgets with her hands before hopping up and down, exploding like a can of whipped cream. “I’m sorry!” she whines, jumping from one leg to the other. “Merlin, I’ve been horrible. I know, trust me. And I know that you and Al try to dodge me when you can and I just feel really bad. I’m a teenager, okay? I’m a mess.”

I survey her intently.

“And I just want to talk with you about it and explain. I just… I’m frustrated about a whole lot of things and seeing how everyone has been acting around me lately, it really hit me full force that I wasn’t being snotty once and a while. It was all day, every day. I can’t even imagine how annoying I was since we’ve been here. I’d usually go to Dom for this kind of thing but you’re the person I’ve been mean to the most. You deserve an apology.”

I smile a really big smile.

She’s frightened by my smile apparently because she closes her mouth and surveys me. “What?”

Before I give her the chance to run away screaming, I actually open my arms and hug her. She’s alarmed at first, but then hugs me back. I do the little finger noggin rub thing on her that dad used to do on me.

“I just blow-dried my hair to perfection, you know-”

“Thank the heavens!” I exclaim, hugging Lily full force again. “I was beginning to think you were morphing into that Umbridge woman dad told us horror stories about.” That was a lot more than I was expecting from Lily, that apology. I thought maybe I was gonna get a measly ‘Just let me get through this on my own and stay out of my way’ type of pre-teen, reply but she actually owned up to it!

Lily makes a gross face. “That cat lady?”

“What? That woman was mean! She was an evil pink monster,” I defend. “Quite terrorizing.”

She rolls her eyes, hiding her smile. “Please, if I had to hoard any kind of animal it would probably be Hungarian Horntails or something. They’re much more wicked.”

Sweet Merlin.

WE ARE RELATED.

 




A/N - WAIT! Before you sharpen your pitchforks, I want you to know that for a good solid month I had a virus on my computer and I couldn't complete the rest of this chapter... but now BOTH my computers work and school isn't so bad so expect frequent updates in all my fics ;)

And by frequent I mean once a month on each story, if possible lol.

Did you guys like this chapter? I know it was more of a filler but I needed to write something with Scorpius and more with Rose and Lily.


Chapter 6: Bloody Noses
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I’m not entirely sure how my family and I got here, but I’m beginning to regret getting up this morning. It’s that feeling, the one in the pit of your stomach that tells you that you really shouldn’t swing your body out of bed and talk to people. The one that begs you for more sleep and minimum human interaction. I don’t get that feeling all too often but today I really shouldn’t have ignored it. But I’m a good daughter, so I got up and got dressed and now I’m here.

My father is on the verge of passing out, Draco Malfoy is running back and forth like a sweaty raging bull, Molly tripped over a tennis ball 5 minutes ago and is now immobile, and Scorpius Malfoy is sitting on a bench with his mum nursing the bloody nose I gave him.

 I just really suck as a person, okay.

Everything feels like it’s happening in slow motion. Here I am, on the side of the tennis court just watching this brawl of wits and brawn happen. It’s like I’m beside myself. How do I fix this?!

Draco Malfoy called the house today and invited us to play a few games of tennis with him and his family before noon. Whether or not Astoria put him up to it, I’m not sure; but something had to have motivated him to call our house the way that he did. Aunt Ginny picked up the phone and thought it was the nicest gesture in the whole world. My dad thought otherwise – until it dawned on him that his old school rival was challenging him to sports. Albus, who was a witness to the phone call, told me that my father couldn’t have narrowed his eyes any faster as he ran upstairs to change.

Initially, I didn’t want to go, but seeing the smug look on my father’s face as he woke me up, I felt that I had to. It was my duty as a daughter to keep guard of my father’s wits. Fred stayed home because Roxy got a bug bite and he wanted to do experiments on it, James was forced to skip out on playing tennis because Aunt Ginny scolded him about not mowing the lawn for a week and a half, and Hugo was too busy being punk rock to pay attention to any of us. Uncle Harry and my mother decided to clean out the basement that morning and they weren’t at a point where they could stop, so they declined. All of the other girls decided to stay home and help prepare the brunch that would be waiting for us after tennis. Aunt Ginny felt obliged to offer something to the Malfoy’s for “always thinking of us” so my aunt turned to food to seal the deal. Can’t say I’m not looking forward to that later on. That is, if I can put my soul back into my body and move.

Molly and I were the only girls that came. And now we’re the only soldiers left standing, if you will. (Technically Albus is running around trying to catch the loose balls across court, and Molly’s both annoyed and in pain sitting down on the asphalt, but who really cares about technicalities like that when I’m narrating. Pfft.) How am I supposed to calm down my father? Draco Malfoy? How am I supposed to apologize to Scorpius for MAKING HIS FACE BLEED?

I zone back to planet Earth for a second and recognize the bag of ice I have in my hands. Oh. Right. I went to the offices in the center of the park and asked for a bag of ice for Scorpius and Molly. I was in the middle of walking back to the tennis court. Oh. Right then. I turn and look at the boy whose life I’ve probably ruined. His head is tilted back and his mother is holding tissues under his nose to stop the bleeding. I collect my mind quickly and make my presence known by walking closer towards the tennis court and across from where Astoria and Scorpius Malfoy are sitting.

I swallow my deep regret for my parents not giving me up for adoption when I was a child as Astoria gives me a disappointed look and takes the bag of ice I hand to her. Scorpius winces when she puts it up against his nose.

I can’t stop myself from frowning. I don’t even let myself sit on the bench next to him. “I’m so sorry. I know I said it a thousand times, but I really didn’t mean to aim the ball at you.”

Scorpius tilts his head slightly upward to look at me and crinkles his eyes a bit. Almost like… he’s smiling at me? Astoria just sighs (if it’s a tiring sigh or an annoyed sigh, the world may never know).

My dad was determined to beat Draco Malfoy at this match of tennis. So the first thing we did when arrived at the park was play in pairs. It was Astoria and Draco versus Albus and my father. It soon turned into the Ronald and Draco show, so Astoria and Albus were just running around aiming their rackets at balls that never really came their way. My dad would run like lightening across court and hit the ball out of his nephew’s way and Draco would run up to the net and completely ignore his wife’s attempts to hit the ball.

It was tied. We took a little break. Grabbed some water, and went for round two. This time, I replaced Albus and Scorpius replaced his mother. For some reason my dad relented when he realized Draco was letting his son hit the tennis ball; but only when Draco truly couldn’t get to the ball in time. He was growing tired and his son had good technique. I, on the other hand, enjoy playing sports for fun, not for blood, so I don’t have that good a technique when comes to sports like tennis. I’m more of a one-on-one sports kind of girl. But where I lack technique, I make up for with strength. As in, brute force. I could burn a whole through my tennis racket if you waited long enough.

I guess it’s a competitive Weasley thing – but at least my dad was decent enough to slow it down when Scorpius came up to serve for the third time. It was humid, my hair was fuzzy, and I had a wet upper lip. I was hot and bothered and impatient. He hit the ball over his head, and before I knew it, the ball flew over the fence and I immediately hit it with my racket. I broke a plastic wire from my racket at the impact. The ball bounced back almost instantly and hit Scorpius right in the nose. Astoria came running to her son, who stood there clutching his face and grunting in pain.

I just stood there, with my mouth hanging open, completely shell shocked. I had hit Scorpius in the face. I didn’t know what to do but apologize profusely. I didn’t know where I was hitting the ball or where I thought it would go and I should have been more careful. It was the first ball that came directly towards me and not between my father and I, and I just seized it like a warrior princess. Damn me.

“It’s okay,” Scorpius says slowly, his voice haggard and stuffy. I grimace and shift the other pack of ice back and forth in my hands.

“No, it’s not. You’re in pain and it’s my fault.”

Once the blood started to flow, I followed Astoria as she led Scorpius to the bench on the outskirts of the court, saying “I’m sorry” in every language I knew including Spanish. After a good 5 minutes I looked back to find that both our fathers were giving each other brooding, challenging looks. Draco took the ball and served it toward my father with the speed of a rocket launcher.  It was as if the game never paused, and they continued to go at it. It was what they wanted, anyway. The game was between the two of them, as it had been all month.

Molly was the one who volunteered to get Scorpius something for his nose, just to be snooty about it, but she tripped over one of the tennis balls rolling lazily at the back of the court and supposedly “sprained her ankle” or something like that, so Albus helped her get up and put her leg in an elevated position before going back to the game. I don’t blame Albus for that. Not at all. He felt bad for his friend – Scorpius was bleeding all over the place – and for his cousin, but I could practically taste the worry Albus had for the two men currently playing the somewhat lethal game of tennis. Someone had to watch over them. I can stand for all of us when I say that not one of us is okay with leaving those two alone with each other.

Scorpius sighs, and waits a while before speaking again. “It’s fine. It hurts like hell, but I know you didn’t mean to do it.”

Astoria takes this time to give me a small reassuring smile, before telling Scorpius to hold the pack of ice firmly to his face. She gets up, dusts herself off, readjusted her ponytail, and glares daggers at the tennis match going on before her. Three hundred Galleons say she has her eyes on a particular blonde. Astoria stalks away, leaving me with Scorpius.

Excuse me,” Molly calls from about ten yards away. Her voice is dripping with annoyance. “I’m the one with a sprained ankle.”

Shit!

“Sorry!” I yelp as I run to her and hand her the other pack of ice. She takes it and almost seethes at me. I’d retort but at this point the fight has officially left me. I walk back to Scorpius and slump down on the bench next to him.

“You owe me now, you know.”

I turn to look at him carefully. “What?”

He leans back, closes his eyes, and I swear that not even the sunlight can hide the corner of his mouth lifting up into a smirk. “I mean, you practically broke my nose.”

I gape at him for a second, and then get very angry. “I didn’t break your nose!”

His tone is completely relaxed and extremely teasing but even I can’t stop myself from wanting to pinch him in the arm.

 

***

 

It’s Friday night and Albus asks me to go out with him  – but I don’t answer quickly.  I tell him I’ll have an answer by dinner time. He wants to see another indie film at the same market we went to last time, and I’m kind of in the mood to stay home tonight. I was thinking I could catch up with Roxy for a little bit. I haven’t spent that much time with her these past two weeks, and I’m feeling a bit guilty about it. Maybe I could help her examine some of the bugs she’s been collecting all summer. I’m sure she’d love the company.

When I approach her on the living room carpet, though, she tells me that she needs a break from all the bugs.

“Oh? But I thought you picked up a neon beetle yesterday?”

She looks up at me without pretense and shrugs. “I did, but I think I’ll take a break from the bugs tonight. I’m practically a teenager, you know.” She closes the lid on her plastic container with said neon beetle, and puts down the tongs.

I get a bit suspicious about where she’s going with this but I don’t ask her straight out.

“That’s true… do teenagers not inspect bugs?”

She quirks her eyebrow at me and crosses one leg over the other. “I don’t know, maybe they do. Maybe they don’t. But that has nothing to do with it, really.”

“Oh?”

“I just figured I should be enjoying my Friday nights in preparation for my teenage years. I mean, I want to do it right, you know?”

I want to laugh but I disguise it as a smile. “Surely,” I respond as fruitfully as I can. Unbelievable. Of course Roxy wants to prepare herself for her transformation into a teenager. Obviously.

“So I thought I’d learn to be on my own for a while,” she explains to me, getting up off the living room carpet and picking up her container of insects. “Rosie, I’m an explorer. I explore things, but it’s about time I get a life outside of Fred and the family. Or else I’m going to be alone every Friday night. I need to do new things, get used to new surroundings. Try to make friends outside of school, even.”

 “Well, damn,” I quip. “You seem to have a clear idea of what you want.” I can’t really fathom what’s going on but all I know is that it’s happening fast and I’m impressed. Regardless of whether or not Roxanne’s gone a bit bonkers, she’s right about one thing: Fred is her only real best friend and she usually spends her free time with him or by herself doing little mini experiments, or collecting strange things in the forest. I can totally see why she would want to branch away from that. In a few years she’s going to start liking boys and she’ll have a social life and… wow, she’s going to be cooler than me. How has she already come to this realization?

She beams at me with that Weasley face of hers. Awe, her bangs are growing out a bit. What a cute little cupcake she is.

 “I do have an idea of what I’d like, yeah.” She looks around, not sure what to say. After a moment’s hesitation she tells me, “I just want to be independent and not have to worry about trying to feel like I should belong. I should just… be.”

I am gob smacked by what is actually occurring at this moment in the living room. I stare at my cousin and nod.

The words spill from my mouth, I promise you. I really can’t source where they come from but I find my lips moving and words are forming. “Definitely. You’re worried you’ll get too comfortable and if you don’t try to do something different now, you’ll lose that courage.”

Roxanne Weasley is anticipating her catapult into teen life by giving herself exactly what she needs; a new change of scenery. Goodness me, she’s the sanest of us all.

Roxy’s smile turns warm as she walks upstairs. “Thanks for getting me, Rosie. Don’t tell Fred, but I kinda wanna be like you.” She says it so softly it takes me a second to register the affection in her tone.

***

“So are you coming or not?” Albus pesters me as I pile up the plates on the kitchen counter.

“I don’t know, Albus,” I whine. “I’m going to have to shower, and shampoo, and use deodorant…”

He rolls his eyes at my extreme level of lazy. “We all do it, Rose,” he says exasperatedly. “And I want to go out tonight.”

Dominique starts scrubbing the dishes while Victoire loads them into the dishwasher. “Going to see a movie again?” Dominique asks.

“Yeah, with Scorpius,” Albus replies before turning back to me. Out of the corner of my eye I see Dominique making a scrunchy face. Funny, Albus didn’t mention that bit to me earlier. “Come on, come on! Go upstairs, shower, shave your arm pits and hairy toes-“

“Oi, watch your-“

“Will you just please-“

“Alright,” Vic interrupts with an authoritative tongue, “What’s the deal?” She turns to us.

“She’s being a snot,” he says simply.

I scoff.

Vic gives Albus a look, and then turns to me. “Why are his knickers in a twist about going out tonight?”

I’m at a loss for words and just shrug. “Beats me, but he’s being relentless. So either he’s really dead set on watching this film tonight or…” and then it hits me.

“Or?”

“Or he met a girl.” The suspicion in my tone makes Victoire’s eyebrow quirk indefinitely. It’s quiet for a while. Too quiet.  I point at my cousin. “You met a girl!”

Albus Potter’s mouth is hanging open. His cheeks are turning red. “WHAT-“

“You met someone?!” Dominique cocks her hip out, impressed by her younger cousin. “Damn. We’ve been here for how long, and even I haven’t had a summer snog yet!”

He’s panic stricken. “I DON’T EVEN-there’s no snogging,” he whispers fiercely, knowing full well someone might overhear.

“Little baby Al has a crush.” Vic bites back a smirk while I enjoy the show. I knew he was being persistent about this movie for a reason! When did he even have time to meet someone? What a sneaky bugger.

“I do not!” he says hotly. “Shut up!”

Hah! I’ve got you now!

I stop myself from sniggering like the little witch that I am. No pun intended. “This is just perfect. No wonder you’ve been nagging me all day about going out tonight. You met someone, some girl. And you want to see her again!”

“I- I wasn’t-“

“You totally were!” I mock. Both of my part Veela cousins look at each other. Victoire clicks her tongue, clearly seeing right through Albus. Dom sighs and crosses her arms. I, on the other hand, am metaphorically dancing circles around Albus and teasing him, like some cartoon character. “What, did you think I wouldn’t notice if you went off with some chick at the flea market? Where is this girl? What’s her name? I know she exists!”

“FINE, OKAY? YES, SHE EXISTS!” He throws his hands in the air, giving up. “SHIT!”

Dominique, Vic, and I stare at him triumphantly.

“Are you satisfied?” Albus asks me sarcastically.

“Absolutely.”

After we clean up the dining room I drag Albus into the hallway while James, Fred, Hugo, Lily, Roxy, and Dominique are sitting on the couch, watching television. I lean back into the arch way to check on Victoire, who is on the phone with Teddy.

“Okay, the coast is clear. Tell me about this girl.” I look him in the eye.

He gets embarrassed even in the dim lighting of the hallway. “She’s just…” he scratches the back of his neck, TRYING to be nonchalant and failing. “I don’t know, she’s cute, okay? Her name’s Jen.”

“Jen,” I repeat, trying to taste the word in my mouth. “Hmm…” I cross my arms. “Okay, go on.”

“Remember when we went last time with Scorpius to see that one film? Well, remember when I left to use the bathroom and I came back with popcorn and candy?”

I feel fuzzy but I don’t say anything. “Of course,” I mutter. Scorpius and I were left alone for an unnecessary amount of time and it felt odd being next to him in a dark room with Albus gone.

“Well, as soon as I washed my hands and walked out of there I ran into her. Her dad owns the market. We got to talking and basically she said that the next time I was around I should go see her. And I told her I’d see her in a few weeks.” He’s so bashful about this girl he rushes everything and I don’t even question it. I give up with him.

“That’s it? Can’t I have more details?”

Albus gives me the pouty Potter face his dad uses on his mom. “I barely know the girl, alright?”

“Where is the life? Where is the passion? Aren’t you supposed be more hormonal about this?”

As if I have an expertise license in being a teenage boy. Listen to me, pfft.

“I don’t know, okay? I only ever had one girlfriend, and that was in Third Year, Rose. I want… different things than my friends want.” He’s so red in the face, and for a second I feel bad that I pushed him to spill the beans.

“Sorry,” I say too quickly. “I know... I guess I’m just a bit bored with everyone in this house and I’m trying to stay relevant. I know you don’t care about snogging- you care about conversation. I don’t mean to sound invasive, it’s just… I don’t want you to not tell me about this kind of stuff.”

He gives me a smiling “oh, please” face and tilts his head. “Rosie, is that a joke? I’d tell you first before I told anyone else.”

I smile back at him and tug on his ear. Albus is such a metaphorical bunny rabbit.

“Good.”

Gods, why do I personify animals when talking about my family members? Somewhere deep inside, I know I have a problem. But I’m too deranged to care, I guess.

 

***

Yes, I caved in. Yes, I showered. Yes, we’re in the car with Scorpius again.

I decided to skip washing my hair though. Tonight’s a nice night out but it’s a little humid. So I just put my hair in a messy braid. The frizz going on with my hair this week is really starting to hit a nerve with me. Victoire gave me this dark blue romper thing to wear. It’s pretty cute! It’s a halter top with spaghetti straps. Teddy and Vic didn’t get to go out on their date because the restaurant overbooked their reservations, so she lent me her outfit. It has shorts instead of long pantlegs so my pale legs look even paler. It’s made of this light flow-y material, and it doesn’t have sleeves, so I won’t be sweating my arse off too much. Which is good, because I can lift up my arms and dry my arm pits with the windows open in the car. Boo ya!

Since I’m not as skinny as Vic is, it’s a bit tight in the bust region. I have a bigger bust than both Dom and Vic, which sort of sucks since they have the cutest clothes out of all of us girls. Their grandmother sends them cute European things. My grandmother knits me sweaters with my first initial on them. Not that I’m complaining – it’s a good mixture, actually. Dom loves my grandmother’s sweaters. The Weasley’s and the Delacour’s definitely fit well for each other. The best union of them all, if you ask me.

Scorpius catches my peripheral vision from the side mirror and does this half smile thing to me that I try to ignore. I’m in my usual position in the backseat, but this time it’s Albus who is driving. Seeing as I made Scorpius Malfoy’s face bleed, he wasn’t able to get clearance to drive to the market tonight. He has a small bandage strip on his nose and the swelling has gone down since then, thank Merlin. He still isn’t allowed to be behind the wheel because of me. Slight guilt there.

As I got dressed, I could hear the words Scorpius said to me when I last saw him echo in my head dauntingly. And since I’ve stepped foot in this car I’ve been avoiding his face. It’s like staring directly into the sun at this point.

What am I truly worried about? I have no idea.

“We should be there soon, guys… If this 300 year old woman in front of us actually steps on the gas.” Albus shouts the last bit out the window. He’s been driving for the past ten minutes smoothly, but he’s gotten a bit of road rage since this lady merged in front of us. I have a feeling Albus is snappy because he’s nervous, too. This Jen girl is making him dizzy.

We left a bit early tonight so we could get to the box office and get good seats. The last time we went, it was because Scorpius and his parents had ordered their tickets in advance, but got in a fight. So we sort of escorted him to his own movie while his parents bickered at home.

Albus pushes on the breaks out of nowhere, making the whole car jolt. The old lady pushed on the breaks slightly before the light turned red, making Albus slow down so he would be stuck under the red light. “Oh, COME ON!” He yells, shaking his fist out of the window. Wow, he’s definitely Harry Potter’s son.

I could have sworn I just heard old lady laughter somewhere. Was that in my head?

“That little devil,” Albus shrieks. “She did that on purpose!” He turns to Scorpius, who is completely unaffected by his friend hitting the breaks so roughly. “I’m sorry, Scor!” It is a Malfoy automobile he’s driving, after all.

Scorpius just laughs. “It’s okay,” he says, amused by my cousin getting so flustered. He reclines back in his seat, resting his arm out of the window.

I sigh, and exhale loudly before I can stop myself. It catches the snarky blonde’s attention while Albus glares daggers at the traffic light, not paying attention to us. Scorpius finds my face in the rear view mirror this time, and I can’t look away because he’s caught me by my reflection. If I look away from him, he’ll know I’m avoiding him. I’m sure he caught on at my lack of eye contact during this whole car ride by now.

He doesn’t say anything. Doesn’t even smile. But his eyes change.

I’m hit with a wave of wonder as I look at his face. All pretense gone, I relax my face and forget where I am. I’m taken aback by the sensuality of his stare. His whole face is different. Almost like he’s… gazing at me.

A month has gone by since we first arrived at Big Blue and not once has he looked at me the way he is now. My cheeks grow hot but I can’t look away (to my utter embarrassment). I’m flushed in a matter of seconds. He sucks. Scorpius Malfoy is the absolute worst.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Albus parks the car once we get to the market. Jen walks by us and catches my cousin’s eye. I know immediately that she’s the girl he’s nervous about. She’s beaming, happy to see him. She has light brown hair cut into a short bob with soft pink lipstick on her lips. She has brown freckles that show through her summer tan.  Standing next to Albus, whose complexion has always been as creamy as milk, she looks perfectly bronzed. From this angle it’s a bit odd seeing how opposite they are, but then I see the smile on his face and they laugh at each other awkwardly and the picture is painted full circle. It was worth coming here tonight.

“Hi,” she greets to us, snapping out of her daze with Albus. He turns to us and introduces Jen. We shake hands and head towards the box office. We chat for a bit.

I’m diggin’ this girl’s vibe. Very feminine and polite. She seems the type you can rely on; very trustworthy. I’ve spent two minutes with her and she seems so responsible and sophisticated! Albus has good taste.

Jen looks at my outfit while we walk in and says, “You look great in that romper!” Score one for Vic!

“Thanks,” I smile, surprised at how easily she’s warming up to us.  She asks Scorpius if he’s been to the market before and he tells her about the last time we were here.

“Of course. Gay western night,” she remembers. She and Albus look at each other swiftly before she continues talking. Albus doesn’t put much of an effort into dating and yet he always knows the right thing to do.

I mean, I’m the same way with dating, but Albus has never been taken back by someone. I’m taken aback by everyone. And that’s mainly because I don’t understand the attraction. I’m not a certified “babe” in other words. It is difficult picturing someone who is interested in you sometimes, when you wake up to the same face every morning staring back at you in the mirror. It gets a bit dull, no? Same nose, same mouth. It’s strange to me. And it’s not like I think I’m an ugly duck. I’m just, I don’t know, an eclectic duck who doesn’t know how to date. Flirting isn’t natural to me like it is to him. I still have the mindset of a baby, alright? I want candy all the time.

Jen gets behind the counter and talks to the person working the tickets. We wait for a few minutes and then she pops her head out from the glass box.  She tells us she can give us a discount on the tickets since her parents own the place. Albus is totally entranced and smiles happily, it’s so gross. But kinda cute.

“You’re the best,” Albus says.

“Of course I am,” Jen responds.

You think it would be weird to witness all the vomit inducing cuteness with Scorpius but it’s not awkward in the slightest.

Scorpius takes the tickets and nudges me to follow him in the theater while Albus and Jen have some alone time to talk before the movie. Maybe the absence of light in the theater will cover the humiliation of my pure human essence when I realize I’m stuck with this blonde until Albus shows up. I give my cousin one last look over my shoulder before I turn around to walk into literary darkness with Scorpius Malfoy. Albus makes Jen blush prettily over some cute compliment probably and I feel like rolling my eyes.

Albus flirts naturally, even if he’s the shy one. Always somewhat sure of himself. He and I are so different, but we’re both quiet. I’m more outgoing in every sense but Albus is a people pleaser.

Some guy punches a hole in our tickets before we walk in. The room is packed with people, even though its 15 minutes before the previews start.

Scorpius soon makes a move on a row of seats. “Are these seats good? I can’t see any other open sections,” he observes.

Scorpius turns to look at me in the dark for confirmation and his hair is all disheveled and I hate it. I don’t answer and he waves a hand in front of my face. “Oi, Rose.”

I exhale out of my nose. “Here is fine,” I quip.

He and I sit in silence for 5 minutes listening to the hum of the people around us. I hear Scorpius gulp.

“She’s right you know.”

I narrow my eyes at him.

“Who?”

“That girl, Jen. You look great.”

Wow, you suck.

“ I guess,” I murmur.

“You guess?” The outline of his mouth tells me he’s on the verge of smirking but I’m not staring at his mouth so I don’t really know.

I face forward and try to ignore him. “It’s my cousin Victoire’s outfit. Except the shoes. Dominique let me borrow those.” Dominique gets mad whenever I put on simple flip flops with a pretty outfit so she made me wear her strappy white sandals.

“Dominique?” he says, as if to make sure he wasn’t mistaken.

I turn to face him. “Yeah. Dominique Weasley. Victoire Weasley’s younger sister.”

He doesn’t know what to say so he just nods, his mind somewhere else. His eye are shifty though. It doesn't go unnoticed by me.

“What is it?” Now I’m suspicious. The way he got stiff all of a sudden is getting to me.

“No, it’s just- I thought I remembered her at the cook out, but I couldn’t remember her name.” He shrugs but I don’t let it go for some reason. It’s uncomfortably quiet.

“You know Dominique, right?” My stomach is beginning to hurt. Dom mentioned Scorpius trying to mess with her on the first day of her Second Year, when Scorpius had just gotten sorted into Slytherin. She made a big stink about it.

Scorpius doesn’t look at me and shrugs again. He shakes his head like it’s no big deal. “I ran into her a few times in passing. I think I literally ran into her once, my First Year… I was trying to find the loo after I got sorted. Anyway, um, yeah. Last year I found out we shared a mutual friend. Tommy from Hufflepuff. He threw a party for his birthday a while ago.”

I swallow hard. “Oh.”

I remember Dom not being all too happy about the Malfoy’s living next to us. Well, neither was James but then again he hates every new neighbor we get that isn’t a swimsuit model. Scorpius being on the Quidditch team with Albus didn’t help James appreciate the blonde, either. Vic and Teddy don’t exactly hate the Malfoy’s but they aren’t too keen on hanging out with them. Molly on the other hand is snooty about everyone so I’m sure at some point Scorpius looked at her wrong and from then on she decided she was better than him. Even while we played tennis her nose was in the air every time he spoke to her.

“Yeah.”

I don’t know what to say or if I even have the right to ask, but I do. “Did you guys hook up?”

Scorpius has the decency to look embarrassed. “No! No... Not quite.” He shakes his head. “Forget about it.”

There’s a madness going on in me. I want to know what happened between him and Dom! What did he do to make her not like him so much? My cousin makes it very adamant how she feels about Draco Malfoy’s son – every time his name is mentioned she makes puking noises for crying out loud.

“Tell me,” I push, making sure not to sound disappointed. I don’t even care if I come off as nosy. I just want to know.

He sighs. “Listen, I know she’s your cousin-“

“Spit it out.” I want to know just to know. Obviously. No other reason but to know.

Because Rose Weasley must know everything. Nothing else fueling this suspicion. I have no other feelings on the matter.

He narrows his eyes. “Look- I really don’t want to-“

“Why can’t you just say it? What’s the problem?” I’m getting annoyed. It’s so not fair for him to make me feel this way but I’m mad and I can’t decide why. I don’t want to know why I’m mad. I want to know what happened.

Scorpius Malfoy inhales, reclines his neck back, looks up to the heavens, turns to me, and then exhales. He moves in very slowly next to my face. “She was really plastered and she sort of just came on to me, okay?” He whispers calmly in my ear. I stare ahead, letting the bubbles in my stomach pop. “It was a bit embarrassing for her. I pushed her away and she didn’t take it lightly. In haste, she spilled her drink all over herself. I felt sorry about it but she wasn’t having it…wouldn’t even let me help her clean up.”

My eyes gaze down to his mouth but I don’t look at him. I moved my concentration up to the thin bandage across his nose. “It was her last year at Hogwarts, so it wasn’t like I was gonna see her again. Or, at least, that’s what I thought. I know she didn’t like me much before, but she sure as hell doesn’t like me now. She remembers that night.” His breath is warm against my neck. “And I’m sure she hasn’t warmed up to the idea of you and Albus hanging out with me, either.”

I’m baffled! I never thought- this makes sense.

Dominique… hit on… Scorpius?

“Wow,” I croak. Not only did Dom make a fool of herself, but she’s been passing judgment on Scorpius simply out of her own embarrassment. She’s not narcissistic much, but my cousin is part Veela – when her pride is wounded, she’ll make it known. I don’t doubt the truth of his story at all! It’s way too plausible and way too simple to not make sense.

This definitely is something she would do. And Scorpius, the nice guy that he is, even tried to help her out. How am I supposed to feel about this? Not that it has anything to do with me, but I wasn’t expecting this! I didn’t prepare myself for this bomb of information.  

And let’s just stick another axe into my face with the fact that Scorpius didn’t even want to tell me this. Because he knew it would make Dominique look bad. My mouth feels sour. He cares about how I see her.

Why do I keep pestering teenage boys to tell me things? I’m a pain in the arse.

“I had no idea,” I comment. “Yeah, she’s not your biggest fan, but I didn’t think it sprung from that.”

“It’s fine,” he says softly, leaning back into his seat. “I’m used to people disliking me.” He doesn’t mean to sound sad, but I hear it in his tone.

I… feel so bad. He just moved here for the summer and he probably doesn’t have anyone near him to do things with, besides his parents, who don’t even get along. The people at school probably judge him all the time and he has no control over it. This is one example, of MANY, probably, where he’s tried to do the right thing and he’s gotten scorched for it. Dominique has a lot of influence over us (especially the young ones). He didn’t mean to hurt Dominique but she doesn’t like him at all now. This situation happens a lot to many people, I’m sure. But it’s different when you’re a Malfoy. Even I know that. Once someone finds a reason to not like Scorpius, they keep it.

It’s just occurred to me that Albus and I are the only real source of fun he’s had since moving in next door. I never see other cars in his driveway. He’s alone most of the time. He’s an only child. And I’m sure that making his nose bleed has added some sprinkles to that crap sundae.

“I’m sorry.”

“For what?” He nudges my shoulder with his playfully.

I don’t know. What am I sorry for?

“People don’t treat you nicely,” I tell him truthfully.

We look at each other like we’ve been magnetized. I can see his Adam’s apple in the dark. “There are other people who make up for it.”

I bit my lip.

The previews are halfway done when Albus comes to join us. The three of us watch the film in silence. And when the night ends, we walk Scorpius up to his door. Albus leads the way up his front lawn, putting me between the two of them.

I feel his breath on my skin and it makes me jump.

“You still owe me,” he whispers.

 






Author's Note: I'm horrible for making you wait this long! Sadly, my life is coming together so I can't spend much time writing anymore. But I won't quit this or any story, ok? Have faith in me!

I have many plans for this fic ;) Lemme know what you think in a review! Thanks for reading!


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