Brushing my hair out of my eyes, I grab my backpack on the ground by my door, rush out of my room, down the stairs, unlock the three dead bolts, close the front door, lock the door again, and head off towards the Potter’s.
But before I even reach their gate, Lily is running out of the house. I can hear Aunt Ginny calling out to her, but as per usual, Lily just ignores her mother. Her long red hair is swinging from side to side, her lively brown eyes shining in laughter, as she wraps her arms around me. I know something is wrong, because Lily Potter just doesn’t hug you for no reason.
And as I pull away, I hear an explosion from the house. Then from inside the house, you can hear Aunt Ginny screaming out James’ name. You know it is bad when Aunt Ginny uses full names.
Lily just laughs. “James just blew up the guest room, again. I knew there was something going on from the steam coming from under the door and the smell of rotting eggs. Mum is about to kill him. I think she is...”
Suddenly she stops. Her eyes fill with tears as she looks at me. I know why she has stopped. She is thinking about Rose, and how she just said “kill”. I hate it when she does this. No matter how much I tell her it’s okay to mention Rose and to tell stories of how Aunt Ginny is ready to kill her oldest child (I mean, they are pretty funny and I know they will never come true), but she never listens.
We head off down the street, towards the corner. There is an awkward silence following us, although I know it is her awkward silence. I hate it when all these people feel the need to say sorry for everything they say to me.
“It’s okay Lily,” I say quickly, forcing a smile onto my face. “Aunt Ginny is. . .” I wrap an arm around her shoulder, giving it a quick squeeze, to pull her away from the guilt.
“Louis, hey!” I know she is only this enthusiastic to see Louis to just change the subject. That’s when she stops suddenly, staring at our cousin walking towards us. “Oh My Dear Merlin! What did you do to your hair?”
“Hey you two.”
Unlike Lily, he doesn’t hug me, which I am thankful for. One hug from my cousin is enough for one day. Instead, he shakes my hand.
He goes to hug Lily, but she pushes him away. She is all business that girl. “Come on, tell me. What did you do to your red hair? The symbol of being a Weasley? The very essence of our family? The thing that sets us apart from everyone else? Louis Bilius Weasley, what did you do?”
If you didn’t know already, my cousin Lily Potter is a touch over dramatic.
She circles around Louis, just staring at him. Trust me, Lily inherited the “dramatic dangerous” stare from Grandma Molly and from her mother. You don’t ever want to be on the receiving end of that stare.
“Well, I guess I just got Dominique to use her wand, seeing as she is a master in changing hairstyles. And, quick as quick, my hair was changed from the horrible red to the black that it now is. So you see darling cousin, I just changed my hair with a spell.”
Lily just stared at him, opened mouth. No-one – and when I say no-one – has ever survived Lily Potter’s stare.
“Jeez Lily, stop staring at me. I haven’t gone crazy. I’m just trying new looks.”
Louis wrapped his arm around Lily’s shoulder; shot me a look, before steering us down the street towards the train station.
It is times like this where everything feels as it did before; as if nothing has happened. Days where I can walk out and be a normal kid, I always expect to come home and see Rose sitting on my bed, just laughing at nothing. Then there are days, where I walk around and people whisper. They talk about her, not to my face, but behind my back. And if it feels like this, in a large town, then I know it will be ten times worse back at Hogwarts, where everyone knew and loved her.
I didn’t want pity. I wanted normality.
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