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Secret No. 32: I have millions of freckles. I know you’re probably thinking; aw! Freckles! How adorable. And sometimes they are, like in my cousin Lily’s case who has a little splatter of freckles across her nose and maybe the odd few on her body. I, however, am absolutely covered in them, top to toe. It’s really the only reason why I use foundation.

Louis seems a bit dumbfounded, a look of faraway in his glassy eyes. I exchange a look with Al. A look that clearly says ‘is our idiotic cousin alright or are we going to have to cart him off to St. Mungo’s?’ I slide my eyes to Scorpius who, to my extreme annoyance, is looking every bit proud of himself.

The cocky arse.

I whack his arm, quite hard, and he just swats his hand at me as if I could quite easily be removed. “Dickhead,” I hiss and flash him a dark glare. Louis straightens up, making my eyes shift from Scorpius to my cousin, and steps forward.

“Louis?” I say, concern for my cousin clouding my annoyance. “Are you alri-”

That’s when Louis takes another step forward, brings his arm back, then forwards. There’s a dark crack as Louis fists collides with Scorpius’s face and I scream. Scorpius groans and drops to the ground, his hands covering his nose.

Louis shakes his hand, the hand that he used to punch, and grins at me. “Better now, thanks.”

It takes me a second to understand what he’s really saying. It must have been the shock of the situation that made it hard for my brain to function properly. But when it does, I swear I’ve never been angrier in my life. Not even at Hugo. My eye lids feel hot, my whole body feels like its shaking and I want nothing more than to mimic my smarmy cousin and punch Louis in the face.

“Louis!” I screech, stepping in front of Scorpius in an almost protective way. I know that punching my cousin won’t go over too well with the rest of the family, minus Al, so I settle for bringing my hands up on his chest and putting all my strength in shoving him away from me. I glower fiercely at him, trying not to be distracted whenever Scorpius mutters curses. “What the hell is your problem?”

“Merlin, Al,” Scorpius moans, standing up carefully, as his hands rub the bridge of his nose, shielding the damage from my view. His voice sounds a bit muffled. “I hate your family.”

Al lets out a snigger. Louis looks like he wants to hit him again. I shake my head again, but this time it’s in a more disappointed, exasperated way. “Just get out of here, Louis.”

His mouth is downturned and he gives me a last, withering glare before turning and walking away. His footsteps echo in the hall and I know I’ve been holding my breath the whole time he’s been walking. He rounds the corner and I glance at Scorpius.

Honestly, I’m disappointed in Al – I expected him to be more concerned that his cousin just hit his best friend. “Scorpius,” I say calmly, reaching for the hand that is covering his nose. He blinks in surprise as I gently tug on his hand. “Let me see.”

“She’ll probably faint,” Al cuts in, ruining what could be a very lovely moment. Honestly, this is so typical Al, I’m surprised something like this didn’t happen sooner. Scorpius also starts to snigger but his hands slowly come away from his face.

I admit, I do feel a little faint – I’ve never been one for the blood and gore – and I have to reach out an arm to steady myself. Stupid Al being right again. Scorpius’s nose does look bad – there’s a river of blood running from both nostrils down to his upper lip where it looks like he’s been wiping it.

Al smirks. “I told you so.”

Now, that pisses me off. It’s bad enough that Al is so mercilessly making fun of my squeamish personality but he doesn’t seem at all worried that Scorpius has just been sucker punched by our cousin and is bleeding at the nose. I whip around to face Al and say, for the second time in one night, “What the hell is your problem?”

Seriously, that should be my new catch phrase or something. With Amy as a best friend it’s unlikely that I’ll never say that again.

“I mean,” I continue in a calmer tone, glaring at Al who is looking at me slightly confused. “Why are not freaking out about his nose?”

Al rolls his eyes, his position assuming a defensive stance. “Honestly, Rose,” he sighs, his green eyes now focused back on me. “Do you really think it’s the first time Scorpius has been punched in the face?”

I blink, trying to comprehend what Al is saying. Scorpius is nodding along as he massages his nose, wincing every so often. Do I think it’s the first time Scorpius has been punched? Truthfully, I do. I really, really do. I mean, I know Scorpius can be a right arsehole sometimes and knows just the way to push someone’s buttons but I didn’t think that he pisses off people that much.

Though, his dad pissed off pretty much all the family friends, as my dad so frequently reminds me, so I guess it runs in the family.

“Scorpius is a bit of a git,” Al continues, looking like he’s trying to hold back a laugh. Of course, how would it look if Al got seen laughing with me? Scorpius stops fiddling with his nose, his hands dropping slowly to his sides, and glares at Al who holds up his palms in defence. “What?” Al says, shrugging. “I’m only saying the truth.”

“B-but who?” I’m still shocked, I conclude, trying not to picture how I must look with big, startled eyes, frizzy hair from the earlier anger phase and an expression of total bewilderment on my face. Yes, that’s really how I want Scorpius to picture me whenever my name comes up.

Al shrugs again. “Well, there was James-”

“James Potter?”

“That wasn’t my fault,” Scorpius cuts in, his voice sounding a bit muffled because of his bleeding nose. He pats his jacket pocket, searching, until he pulls out his wand. “He overreacted.”

Al shoots Scorpius a disbelieving look and I have a feeling that they’ve both already forgotten that I’m here, that I’m the one who started this discussion. “You told him he can’t play Quidditch for shit when we beat his team for the first time.”

Ah, that’s why I don’t remember this. Quidditch matches bore me, unless I’m the one doing the playing, so while other Gryffindor fans were moaning that they actually lost to Slytherin, Amy and I were happily wondering aimlessly through the halls, bitching about our friends and giggling over Amy’s latest fling.

“And?” Scorpius says, looking completely unbothered.

“And James wants to be a professional Quidditch player.”

Even I knew this. Even I, Rose Weasley, girl who is probably, and I quote from Dad, ‘allergic to family.’

Scorpius smirks. It looks a little scary from where I’m standing – the light from Al’s wand is hitting his face at a weird angle. “How’s he doing with that, by the way?”

Al opens his mouth and I glance at him, slightly excited to see how my cousin’s faring life outside of Hogwarts. His mouth closes again and instead he returns Scorpius’s smirk. “Good point well made.”

“Albus!” I say, shocked. Really, what kind of brother is he if he doesn’t even stand up for his family? A terrible one, that’s what. And James has always been nice to me, even if he is a little slow at times.

Al seems a little surprised that I’m still standing here. “What?”

It would really do no good, scolding Al. He’d either brush off my comments or laugh in my face. I sigh, my hand sliding down my face in frustration. “Nevermind.”

But Al has already turned back to Scorpius and is back on the ‘who has hit Scorpius’ conversation, which, much as I hate to admit it, is interesting me. “There was Wood, too, wasn’t there? When he caught you with his girlfriend?”

I turn an accusatory glare to Scorpius. His cheeks are a little tinged with pink but he’s staring me defiantly in the face. “That was a little my fault,” he says in a sure voice, looking a little abashed. “But then she hit me, too.”

“Classic,” Al chuckles.

I frown at them. The conversation isn’t really interesting me anymore. In fact, it’s kind of repulsing me. Does it seem like I want to listen to Scorpius’s flings when, in actual fact, I myself am in love with him? No, I assure you, it doesn’t.

“I’m going to go,” I announce and, surprisingly, both Scorpius and Al turn their heads to stare at me in such a way that I wonder if I said I was going to leave or if I’d just announced I was pregnant with an alien baby.


“Because,” I say curtly to Scorpius who is looking at me in disbelief. I pull on the hem of my skirt, trying to straighten it. “I, for one, don’t want to be caught breaking curfew and get another detention. I mean, I actually have a social life.”

It was all going swimmingly until that last sentence. I really should have let them think I was a nerd before opening my big mouth and proving them wrong.

They both exchange a look. “Fine,” Scorpius says, giving me a tight smile.

I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it. Scorpius is smiling at me! Not smirking, not sneering, not laughing at me. Is it really important that he looks like someone is twisting his arm from behind as he smiles? No, I assure you, it isn’t. He’s smiling!

“O-okay!” I let it out in a whooshing breath. As much as I hate to admit this, it sounded a little like I was gushing. I have a feeling I’ve also got a lovesick smile on my face. “Bye, Scorpius!”

Oh, Merlin, I sound like a giggling little 14 year old.

Al gives me a strange look. “See you, Rose,” he says but I can barely hear him over my heartbeat thumping in my ears

Scorpius’s makes a face but doesn’t say anything and then his back is turned to me and he’s walking off with Al.

I admit, as soon as I return to my dormitory, the first thing I do is pull back my duvet covers and climb in, snuggling deep inside my bed, trying to bring my body temperature to a nice, warm level. As surprising as this may sound, Hogwarts is cold. In January, we all wear multiple layers of clothing to ward off frostbite. Apparently, according to Amy, it’s the perfect time for ‘getting cosy under the mistletoe.’ She doesn’t listen to me when I tell her that mistletoe is a Christmas thing.

I am fully expecting to drift off, though. It is pretty much customary for me to do this; anytime I’m even remotely close to a sleeping environment, I do exactly that, and sleep.

The dormitory is also empty. I did kind of expect Naomi and Annabelle to be sitting on either of their beds, gossiping about their friends in other houses or bitching about Amy or I, but I prefer it empty. It means it’ll be easier to sleep without Naomi’s glares and Annabelle’s careful smiles.

What I am not expecting is to be woken up rather brutally by such a slam from the creaky, wooden door that, surely, it must be hanging on its hinges by now. I sit up boltright in my bed, staring with wide-eyes in the direction of the door. What I see is not a comforting sight. Amy is panting heavily, fists clenched, hair dishevelled, and giving me such a terrifying glower that I feel like I’m breaking into a sweat.

“Rose,” Amy snarls, stomping towards me like a rabid pitbull. I feel a little like pointing this out but this isn’t exactly the best time. Amy clicks her jaw and cracks her knuckles. “Did you tell him?”

“N-no,” I stammer nervously and clamber out of my bed. Already I feel a little colder. I move towards Amy, holding my arms out as you would to a frightened child, and now can see that there are tear marks where her mascara has run lines through her foundation. “I swear.”

Amy sniffs. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen her anything less than perfection. “Then who did?”

She looks so confused and sad that I want nothing more than to wrap my arms around her and tell her the truth, tell her that it was Malfoy and that we’ll cock up some evil plan to get him back tomorrow. But this is Amy, I remember. She can turn in a second. “I don’t know, honey.”

Her chin quivers and her eyes seem tearful. I take another cautious step towards her, fully intent on the ‘hugging Amy’ plan. To be honest, I never hug Amy as a way to comfort her. They’ve always been silly hugs, hugs to say ‘have a nice Christmas’ without really meaning it or excited hugs. It’s going to be like hugging a lion, isn’t it? Sure, it looks cute when you think about it, but when you’re about to do it, it’s terrifying.

And then Amy let’s out a shaky breath, wipes her eyes and cheeks with the heel of her hand and tosses her hair over her shoulder. I drop my arms, staring at her in bewilderment. She no longer looks miserable. More like a model for WitchWeekly.

“Come on, Rose,” Amy says, a smile playing on her lips. “We’re going out.”

“Say, what?” I blink repeatedly at her, trying not to point out that she’s insane. Amy walks over to her trunk and, pulling out a blue duffel coat, she throws it at me. I catch it quickly before it lands on my already mussed up hair.

“We’re,” Amy repeats slowly, running a comb through her shiny locks, “going out.”

“Out? Out? Where’s out?”

Secret No. 4: I laugh at anyone who falls over. Whether it's an old lady with a walking stick or a toddler tripping over a ball I find it so damn funny I'm crying with laughter. It's even funnier when they can't get up. What? Don't judge me. I know you do it, too.

A/N: I meant for this chapter to be much longer but, and I can't believe it either, my computer broke again. Apparently, it's all corrupted or something along those lines and it's going to take me (well, my dad) ages to fix. So I thought I better get out what little I've written because I said I would and I really, really didn't. I'm working on it, though, and will try to get theses chapters out as soon as I can. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it! As always, I aprreciate all your CC and comments :]
Effy xx

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