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Beautiful chapter image by delta at TDA! 







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





 


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


I usually just go round to Amy’s now.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




She’ll get over it.


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


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


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


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


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


“Well, she’s all up for hurting me.”


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


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


“Rose,” that warning tone is back again.


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


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


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


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


“Peachy?” Mum raises an eyebrow.


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


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


“Fine. I won’t talk to Neville.”


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


“Mum! That is so rude!”


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


“Seriously? Er, I mean, deal.”


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


“Hey, kid-”


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


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


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


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


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


“Cool! Can I come?”


Oh, Amy.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


“It’s true, I do.”


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


I choose not to reply.


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


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


Yes, you heard me.


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


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


I kid you not.


 








 


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Rawr.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Oh, he is so not getting a tip.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


“Hahahahahaha.”


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


“Cool-”


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


I was slightly correct.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


“Huh?”


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


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


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


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


So you see why I may have overreacted a little.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


“Of course,” he replies, nodding enthusiastically.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


“No, we won’t. I’m never late. Ever.”


  




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









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

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