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“Rose, Rosie, get up. Come on now, quickly!” I heard someone hiss softly in an attempt to wake me up for the second time in a little over a week.

“What? I mumbled incoherently. “Go away.”

“Rose! Come on! If you don’t get up and put on your black suit James is going to have both our asses,” Reagan hissed furiously. My eyes flew open instantly and I sat up. The room spun from my wacked out senses. You’d have thought I would have learned a long time ago that sitting up fast was never the way to go. Especially at nearly three in the morning.  

“I’m coming,” I said, trying not to grumble as much as the little voice at the back of my head was. “I don’t see why Slytherin has to have their bloody tryouts and bloody three in the bloody morning anyway.”

“Someone’s unhappy,” Reagan smirked, already outfitted in her black pants, long sleeved shirt, stocking hat, shoes and gloves.  

“Why the Sorting Hat didn’t put you in Slytherin is beyond me,” I replied, smirking to myself.  

“That’s beside the point right now,” she sighed, although smiling somewhat to herself. “What is the point is that if you don’t hurry James will skin us alive, and Ben will have drunken all the coffee.”

Sighing I rummaged noisily through my drawers before pulling out a somewhat crumpled pair of black pants and a black shirt almost identical to Reagan’s, but a size larger.  

“Ok,” I whispered a moment later as I yanked the hat Reagan tossed to me over my head of unruly hair. “I’m ready. Let’s go.”

With the greatest caution possible we made our way through the sea of beds and scattered articles of clothing that made up the Sixth Year Gryffindor Girls’ Dorm.  These had to be the longest three minutes of my life. Not only was I supposed to try to be quiet so that I didn’t wake our nosy roommates, I had to try not to trip and fall on my face. I was almost home free – Reagan had already reached the door and was gently easing it open when I heard it. The sort of soft shifting and incoherent grunts that always signaled I was about to get busted. 

“Where are you going Rose?” my cousin Lucy’s snobby yet sleepy voice asked. 

“Me, uh,” I whispered unsurely. It was probably against all my better instincts to reply, but Lucy was a prefect and a diehard one at that. She’s have a conniption if she ever found out where we were actually going, and probably go tattle to McGonagall. “I’ve got to finish up an astronomy project. You know what Professor Sinistra said, that three in the morning is the best time to observe Saturn’s rings.”

“Oh,” Lucy mumbled, settling herself back down into her sheets. “Good luck with that then.” 

Sighing with relief, I carefully wound my way through the rest of the room. Reagan stood at the door, tapping her toe impatiently against the cold stone landing.

“Astronomy homework, huh?” Is all she said as I tiptoed past her.

When we reached the bottom of the stairs we could see that the rest of the team had already gathered, adorned in identical outfits to ours. 

“What took you two so long?” James hissed, rounding on Reagan and I the second our feet touched the thin carpet.

“It’s called sleep James,” Reagan replied sarcastically. “Normal people are sleeping at this time of night and don’t like to be woken. We’re no exception.”  

“Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong my dear,” James said suavely, draping one of his arms carelessly around her shoulders, “you two are not ordinary people. You’re members of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. The same team, who for as long as you have been on it, has been upholding this tradition. We all swore when we joined that by Merlin’s long, gray ear hair we would uphold this tradition lest we be struck by a flying wildebeest!”

“Bite me,” she said coldly, shrugging his arm off from around her shoulders.

“Kinky,” James answered, raising an eyebrow playfully.

“You disgust me,” she said, venom oozing from her tone. 

“People, let’s focus. We’re burning darkness here. I don’t want to wear this stupid outfit for nothing,” Ben said quickly, cutting into the conversation before James could open his mouth to retort.  

“Yes, thank you Benjamin.” James said, glaring at Ben and Reagan. “As I was saying before these two walked in, the Slytherins are notoriously secretive about who they’re going to pick. This year they need to replace their Keeper, seeing as their last graduated, and it seems that Goyle was kicked off as his grades are too bad, so they’ll need a new beater as well. Those are the only two positions I’m aware that they need, but they might be searching from some fresh talent as well. One never knows with Pucey, the slimy little git, I wish he’d –“

“James, hurry up with the game plan! If we don’t get a move on, they will have beaten us down there and it will be impossible to find a good place to hide,” Al interjected.

“Right. The hardest part of tonight is going to be sneaking out of the castle unnoticed. Portraits are notoriously sensitive to light, so we’ll have to go without and are incredibly gossipy, so no one is to say anything about our plan on the way down. In fact, talking at all is prohibited, except by me, who will be giving orders,” James said, a smug smile on his face, and he glanced intentionally in Ben’s direction, who scowled. “Once we get to the courtyard we should be safe. We’ll make our way quickly over to the Quidditch Pitch, but be careful to stay in the shadows. It’s a full moon tonight and we don’t want to go through all of this for nothing. Once at the pitch we’ll go through the stands on the east side and follow the stairs down instead of up. We’ll hide under the bleachers there.”

“So we’re basically sticking to the same plan we’ve used for the past six years?” Jason asked.

“Yes, exactly!” James grinned.

“Brilliant idea, captain,” Ben grimaced. “It’s quite original.”

“Alright, so I’m not great at coming up with plans that don’t involve turning dear Scorpius’s hair blue, but I did have an idea that Caroline never thought of. Look!” James cried, pulling out a sack that had been hidden behind a sofa cushion.

“What is it?” I asked warily.

“Sunglasses,” he said brightly, pulling a pair out from the sack.

“What the bloody hell do we need sunglasses for?” 

“We wear them so that the whites of our eyes aren’t visible. It’s brilliant, right?” He asked, looking around to the others for support.

“James,” Al said gently, “it’s three in the bloody morning. If we wear those things we won’t be able to see a damn thing.”

 



We ended up having to wear the glasses anyway. Despite all of our protesting, death threats, and promises of removing certain vital parts of his anatomy, James refused to give way. He gave us some boloney about him being the captain and that we could go make our own Quidditch team and do things our own way, but as long as we were under his ‘rule’ we would do as he liked. 

“This is ridiculous,” Ben hissed angrily to me as he helped me up for the seventh time after I took a tumble down a particularly dark staircase.  The rest of the team had already made it down without incident and had moved along ahead of us.

“Don’t let him hear you say that,” I said seriously, steadying myself against a wall, and edging forward carefully. “You two aren’t on the greatest terms these days. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was just waiting for a chance to kick you off.”

“I’m thinking of quitting anyway,” Ben said. I turned to where I heard his voice coming from, gaping in surprise. “It’s not fun anymore for me.”

“But you love Quidditch!” I whisper yelled. “You’re the best Beater we have, and one of the best the school’s ever seen. You can’t quit. We need you.”

“Rosie, don’t you think I know that? Why do you think I haven’t quit already? You guys are like a family to me, and I don’t want to leave you to James mercy. As an added bonus though, if I keep playing, there’s a better chance I can earn the scholarship to Salem.”

“You’re going to Salem?” I asked in astonishment. Salem Academy for Magic was the best Wizarding University in the world. Tuition prices were off the charts. To get a scholarship there was almost unheard of.

“Yes,” he responded. I could hear a bit of pride in his voice, and I felt pride building in my own chest. Ben was hard worker. If there was anyone I knew who deserved to go to Salem it was him. “If I can get the scholarship Dad said I could go.”

“That’s great Ben!” I whisper cried. I reached out to embrace him, but grabbed nothing but thin air. I turned back to find the wall but it too seemed to have disappeared. In frustration I pulled the sunglasses from my eyes but it did little to help. Shuffling carefully, I groped through the darkness to find the wall, or Ben.

“Ben,” I whispered.

“Yeah?” he answered from right behind me. I jumped in surprise, losing my footing and falling to a heap on the ground.

“Merlin, you gave me a fright!” I said, putting my head into my hands. “Don’t do that again.”

I heard him crouch down next to me, a light rumbling chuckle sounding from the back of his throat. “You fall too much.”

“I know,” I conceded. “I am a clod. What do you want from me?”

“Would you like me to carry you the rest of the way?” he asked.

“Yes, please,” I replied tiredly.

Laughing, he offered me a hand up, which I took and helped myself to my feet.  I carefully walked around to his back and gently jumped up, wrapping my legs around my cousin’s waist and my arms around his shoulders. His big hands wrapped around my calves, holding me in place. Piggyback style, he carried me the rest of the way to the Quidditch pitch.  




“Who is that at the goals now?” I asked quietly from my position crouched under the rotting Quidditch stands. A pair of binoculars, stolen from my mum’s old things, was pressed against my eyes as I watched the little figures in green zip around the pitch from between slats in the wood.

“Samantha Nott,” James replied, yawning. In his hands he held the Marauder’s Map, which his father had surprisingly given him and Albus when he was in second year.

I glanced over my shoulder for a moment, knowing that her test wouldn’t begin for a few minutes. James sat behind me, his back resting against a support beam, the map in his lap. Sitting Indian style diagonal from me was Reagan, her black hair pulled back into a messy knot, her hand flying furiously over the paper as she took notes on who tried out for what positions. In the next row over from us was Al and Kat. Al had his ear pressed against a trumpet that our Granddad used to use. Ben had helped him to magically magnify so that we could hear what they were saying from far away. Kat sat behind him, her hand flying even faster than Reagan’s if possible as she recorded exactly as Albus dictated. Jason and Ben sat at the back, playing a game of Wizard’s Chess and nursing thermoses of coffee as they awaited their turn at espionage.

“How’s she doing?” James asked, and I quickly pressed my eyes back to the hard plastic.

“She’s doing fairly well from what I can tell. She’s just blocked one…two…three!... of Pucey’s shots in a row. Wow, she’s incredible! Where has she been hiding?”

“That’s not possible,” Reagan snapped, abandoning her position behind me and crawling forward. She grabbed the binoculars and shoved me to the side. I glared angrily at her while she watched, her mouth slowly dropping open in astonishment as she watched. “I can’t even block Pucey’s shots like that. It has to be a set up. It has to be. It’s not possible.”

“Reagan,” I said gently, taking the binoculars from her hands, which had gone limp, “you’re the best Keeper out there. So she’s good now. It’s just a shot of luck. It doesn’t mean she’s better than you.”

Reagan didn’t even seem to notice me. She sat there, blue eyes wide and mouth opening and closing as if she wanted to say something, but decided against it time and time again.

“You look like a dying goldfish,” James chuckled. The sound of his voice snapped her out of her state, and she rounded on him, looking furious.

“And you look like a baboon’s backside,” she retorted venomously, crawling back to her original spot.

Shaking my head at the two I turned back to the binoculars and the tryouts. This time Scorpius Malfoy was zooming towards Sam, quaffle in hand.

“James, why is Malfoy attempting to score against her?”

“I’d guess because Malfoy was originally supposed to be a Chaser for their team, but when their Seeker got injured midway through the season a few years ago, they put him in instead and discovered he was better suited as a Seeker. He’s still a pretty good Chaser though from what I’ve heard,” James replied, yawning again.

“Okay, thanks,” I answered.

I went back to watching Malfoy. His white blond hair was whipping across his forehead as he sped for the three golden rings, the quaffle secured under his arm. It was like watching one of the muggle movies I had seen at my mum’s parent’s house in slow motion. He swooped in front of the goals, aiming towards the right ring so that Samantha swerved that way, but at the last second he threw it through the middle where she had been a moment before. I watched the younger girl dive as she realized what had happened but the scarlet ball flew through her fingertips. Malfoy turned around, a smug look of triumph plastered across his face.

I don’t know if I’d ever hated Malfoy more than in that moment. He hadn’t even done anything to me, yet I could feel rage boiling in my chest. Stupid Malfoy was always causing more problems than he was worth. If it hadn’t been for his smug, arrogant attitude I wouldn’t have hit him. If I hadn’t hit him, than Hugo wouldn’t have told my father, who wouldn’t have written me that horrible letter. If Malfoy hadn’t been such a selfish, wormless toerag Samantha Nott, a girl very deserving of being Keeper, would still have a shot of being on the team.

I sat back, throwing the binoculars aggressively to the ground. It was so unfair. The little voice at the back of my head, the one that I willingly locked in closets most of the time, told me that I should stop feeling sorry for myself. Life is unfair Rosie. Everyone has a burden to bear. Yours is just somewhat bigger than your friends right now. It will do you no good to sit around and whine about how hard life is. What type of girl do you want to be: the damsel-in-distress who gets carried through life and always needs to be saved, or a girl in charge of her own future? Take charge of your life. You’re the only one who can change it. No one is given more to bear in life than they can handle.

Was I having some sort of epiphany?

Whatever it was, I decided that I should start listening to that little voice a lot more. It made a lot of sense, and would probably get me into a lot less trouble than its counterpart. 

What type of girl did I want to be? The answer was obvious – I most definitely did not want to be the type of girl who constantly needed saving. Take charge of your life. But how? I was sixteen years old. It wasn’t like I could just move out of my house and pretend my parents didn’t exist. I wasn’t well equipped to take care of myself. I had no money, no job, nowhere to run to, and nearly two years of school left to complete.

Maybe that wasn’t the right solution though. I thought back to my problems with my father. Why was he so angry all the time? He had lost his job as an Auror after he was injured in the field four years ago and ended up taking a job he called ‘a pity job’ from Uncle George at the joke shop, while my mother rose in the ranks in her job at the Ministry. He probably felt emasculated, outdone by his wife. That would make me angry if I was a man, I guess.

Was he projecting his anger towards Mum onto me? Probably. But that didn’t make it right. In fact, it made it even more wrong. He abused me because I was young and I didn’t understand yet, so I couldn’t judge him. He knew I would love him unconditionally, while my mother could leave him. He had a power over me, a power that I couldn’t control, or at least though I couldn’t control. 

And suddenly the idea struck me. Malfoy…Hugo…Dad…Malfoy. It all made sense, clicking into place like pieces of a puzzle fitting together to form a complete picture. Take charge of your life. 

I stood up suddenly, knowing exactly what I had to do. My head cracked against the seat above but I barely noticed, except for the dull ache at the top of my skull. The rest of the team stared at me in surprise.

“Rose, what are you doing mate?” Jason asked, looking up from the board where his queen was slowly demolishing Ben’s knight.

I didn’t answer him. I knew that if I thought too much about what I was going to do I would lose my nerve. Instead I made my way towards the staircase we had entered from as if in a trance.

“Rosie, where are you going? You’re going to get us caught,” Al hissed.

“Rose, get back here! Are you mad?”

“Rose!” 

Ignoring them I climbed up the steps. Each step felt more liberating than the next, the same phrase repeating over and over again in my head. Take charge of your life. 

I was on the cool green grass before I knew it. The moon shone overhead, and yet I was still concealed by the bleachers somewhat. Hurrying around so that I was more visible, I glanced at the sky where the Slytherins were still working on passing drills. 

This had to be the right thing. Take charge of your life.

I pressed a hand to my stomach to quell the flitting of the butterflies that had suddenly taken up residence there. I took a deep steadying breath.

“Oi Malfoy!” I called into the night air.  









 
A/N: And so we end Chapter Four. With a cliffhanger. (laughs evilly) I've always wanted to write one and I hope this one was good. So last chapter I promised that it would be longer, and we'd see Scorpius, and I kept my promise! I know it's not as much Scorpius as we'd all like, but from now on he'll play a bigger role. 

I'd like to thank everyone who's been reading and reviewing this story. So far I have over 1200 reads! You guys rock! Want to rock even more? Leave me a review! Tell me what you thought, predictions, whatever. I love reading them.


 

 

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