The noon day crowds were slowly pouring into the Alley as we made our way to the boutique, impeding our progress threefold. I didn’t mind, since I didn’t have much time to spend with Albus these days which probably wouldn’t change all that much in the coming years due to his chosen profession. I gazed at him as we walked, he had almost a glow about him the adrenaline from our ordeal worked for him. He really was the spitting image of Uncle Harry, though some very Weasley qualities in both his appearance and manner, the most obvious was the bright copper strands that peppered his hair and stubble. Albus made an unsettled face before sensing he was being watched, and turning to look at me.
“So what do you want to do about… you know?” He asked, unsure of my response to such a traumatizing occurrence.
“To be honest, I’ve generally been able to hold my own with those twats. And his intrusions… are becoming fairly uncommon in the last year or so. I don’t think we need to tell anyone. He hasn’t actually hurt me.”
“Yet.” A hard look glazed over his face. “Rose this is a serious situation, it is pretty much abuse. We can’t let it get any worse.”
“Ugh. I think I’ve just been afraid of them coming after me if I tried to report them. But they also haven’t done anything so bad as to get them locked up.” I shrugged, rubbing my arm where I had been grabbed.
“If you are sure you don’t want to do anything about it yet, I can’t force anything. Although, we are going to have to take precautions to keep you safe, so that it doesn’t happen again. If it does though, you come straight to me. I mean it Rose. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Albus admitted. It was very touching, we’d always been very close growing up but this is the first time we ever discussed something so serious and personal.
“I only have the last half of my year at Hogwarts left, then it shouldn’t be so much of a problem.” I said, believing it to be rather sound reasoning.
“Rosie, at least at school there are people and teachers to protect you if need be. I think you should move in with me after Hogwarts. My place is safe and I’m not there much so I wouldn’t be a burden.” Albus decided, not giving any room for discussion. “I also think you should consider getting a boyfriend for the remainder of your time there.”
“Whoa, hold on now. It’s not like I can just go out to the shop and pick out some tall handsome Scottish lad to be my boyfriend and I’d be happy ever after. If that were the case, I would have had one in first year and not gone stag to every party ever.” I blurted, my epic case of singleness wasn’t a touchy subject as it had been in my first teen years when I had to watch all of my two friends get their first boyfriends. At this point I have all but accepted that no guy finds me appealing.
“Oh, come on. It’s not that hard to get a date. I’ve heard dozens of guys talking about how pretty you are.” Albus cringed at the thought. “I think you just have to get over being so shy and antisocial.”
“That’s easy for you to say Potter. You are, -well, you… Who wouldn’t be going for you? You probably only have to look in a girls direction and she’ll be in the palm of your hand.” I exclaimed, jealous at his cool demeanor. Life had never been hard for him, or any of his siblings for that matter.
“It’s not that easy Rose, I don’t have much time to be looking anyway.” Albus said, I could almost detect a hint of sadness in his strong voice.
“That’s alright, Al. You’ll find her someday. There isn’t a timeline on that sort of thing.” I smiled bumping him lightly with my shoulder.
“So guys like me?” I asked, I’d never heard of that happening before. Alice’s not exactly friend Wilma Warren had said in fifth year not to trust any guy who asked me out because it was probably just a bet with his friends. Luckily, I never suffered the embarrassment of being the butt of a fake date joke.
“Sure, then again I didn’t generally go around Hogwarts asking random guys whether or not they liked my cousin.” Albus teased, stopping short in front of the boutique where Alice and Dom stood outside warming their hands on cups of coffee they had gotten in my less than apparent absence.
“How else would I know then? It’s not like anyone else has ever told me.” I scoffed. “Hey, I love how you guys didn’t even notice I was gone.”
Alice and Dom immediately perked up and looked in our direction. Dom didn’t look the least bit sorry as she took a sip of her drink, Alice on the other hand began apologizing profusely explaining that Dominique had convinced her that I had gotten distracted by a book or wand shop along the way and they might as well occupy themselves. Her reasoning wasn’t actually very sound since Flourish& Blott’s and Ollivander’s were both on the other end of Diagon Alley, but that was Dom, she was getting a head start on being a judgmental grandmother.
“I think I’ll leave you girls here. Trying on dresses doesn’t really strike my fancy.” Albus laughed hugging Dom and I goodbye and waving to Alice, before putting his hands in his pockets, giving me a last look and disappearing into the crowd.
“Albus is so cute. So what was the hold up?” Alice asked concerned, handing me her surprisingly tasty latte for a sip and to warm my own hands.
“Thanks. I just got interrupted by McLaggen, but then I met up with Al and we talked a bit.” I mumbled, not wanting to get the situation more merit than I believed it deserved.
“I hate that bastard.” Alice exclaimed, an angry look on her face.
“What is so wrong with him?” Dom asked, “I’ve heard the McLaggen’s are quite well to do.”
“He’s just a prick, and very annoying when his team wins a blasted Quidditch match. You should see how he acts whenever he blocks any of Rose’s shots.” Alice explained nonchalantly. Alice, Merlin bless her, being my best friend I never told her of what happens with him, she still somehow knew to hate him without my needing to tell her.
“Hmmph.” Dom simpered, “He’s not of much interest to me. It is time we went shopping.”
The little dress shop was not as small as it had appeared from the outside, the aisles of delicately intricate and colorful dresses seemingly went on for leagues (and it probably did, since magic) which was all but overwhelming. I’d been shopping for dresses a total of two times before, the first for my cousin Victoire’s wedding, and the second for an important Ministry event at the age of six. Both times after trying on no more than three very itchy and poofy dresses, I’d resigned myself to laying on the floor counting the number of people that passed by in the street as my mother picked out dresses for me. Shopping for clothes has never been my thing to say the least.
“How are we ever meant to find a dress in this place? At the very least it looks like there about 10,000 to choose from.” I complained, pulling out a sickly green slip dress by the skirt, very unimpressed by the quality of fabric.
“That is why the two of you have me. Victoire is preparing to make me a partner for her clothing line, so someone with sense will be in control when she has the baby.” Dom disclosed, “The back half of this salon is wedding gowns, so we needn’t venture there yet. What were you both thinking about wearing? Alice?”
We looked at Alice as she thought for a bit, her face twisted up as though whatever dress she chose would be life changing. “Hmmm, well I’ve always wanted to wear a bright pink dress.”
“Okay, and you Rose? I know you’d rather wear sweatpants, but I won’t allow you to look like a bum for this party.” Dom huffed, her air of snobbishness not remotely subtle.
“Since when do I dress like a bum? I have nice clothes.” I retorted.
“I didn’t say that, you just look like someone who wears any clothes that they can get.” She said simply.
“Gee, thanks.” Maybe she was right, I am almost entering a new time in my life so I might need to change up my look. Challenge accepted.
“Just pick a color Rose, and I’ll find you something.” Dom rolled her eye, and turned around to start her work.
“Fine… Um, light purple?” I suggested almost unsure. I could never tell what would really work with my red hair, Dom never had to worry about that with her soft blonde hair that went with pretty much everything I’d ever seen her in.
“Light purple, are you serious? Don’t you know any color shades…” Dom rambled on as she efficiently went through the dresses, clearly frustrated at my ‘disturbing’ lack of knowledge about the color wheel.
Alice and I waited for quite a while, looking through what we considered rather ugly dresses; the one that topped our least favorite list was an impossibly short, frilly, glitter-ridden yellow dress that looked like it belonged on a doll. Before too long, Dom had reappeared carrying only three dresses which seemed rather presumptuous on her part in my opinion.
“Is that all you picked out? Who are those for?” I asked skeptically.
“Don’t be silly, they are for you two. Oh, and the silver one is for me. I already tried it on.” Dom explained holding out the elegant silver dress that looked like liquid metal as it shined with the slightest movement.
“Okay. Let me try mine on.” Alice said excitedly looking at the bright pink dress also in Dom’s arm.
Dom handed her the dress after holding it up to her and nodding in approval. “That will look perfect on you, try it on if you must but I am excellent at judging sizes. Rose this one is for you, and since we are the same size you don’t need to try it on until the party.”
“Come lets go pay for these so we can be on our way.” Dom instructed once Alice had tried on and fell even more in love with her dress, she held it out in front of her to gaze at the pretty fabric.
“About how much are you setting me back?” I asked skeptically, looking at the lavender dress in my hands already growing nervous at the strapless sweetheart neckline, and handing it to the shop girl.
“This one will run ye about 42 Galleons, you’ll probably want to be lookn’ ‘n the clearance section.” The heavily Scottish accented shop girl told me with a very judgmental look on her face. How can no one tell that I’m a Weasley? I know it sounds privileged, but most other Weasleys or Potters are treated like royalty. It was still a rather high price for a dress in my opinion though.
“Excuse me,” Dom set hers and Alice’s dress on the counter. “I can pay for this easily, if you are going to insist on giving my cousin or friend anymore attitude, I’ll make sure the Delacour Delicate line is no longer sold in this shop and you can explain that to your boss.” She almost hissed rather threateningly at the now wide-eyed shopkeep.
“Soory, Miss Delacour.” She mumbled in reply looking down and ringing up our dresses.
“It’s Weasley. Both of us.” Dom snapped. I looked at her anxiously, not wanting her to go overboard and get us in trouble.
“Soory, again.” She said, “That’ll be 137 galleons, and 45 sickles.”
“Very well.” Dom shrugged, the price clearly no trouble for her.
I elbowed Alice and motioned toward Dom, intending to get her to say thank you as well since we’d just been bought designer dresses and not had to kick in a sickle for it. “Thank you.” I said, and Alice repeated quickly.
Dom took out a large velvet coin purse from her regular large leather purse and dropped it on the counter without a second thought to how much was in it, clearly assuming the shop girl would happily enough sort through it for the correct payment.
The shop girl on the other hand looked as if she had seen a pack of dementors come in to try on dresses, as the coins spilled out across the counter. I really did feel bad for her, I bet she had to put up with snotty girls like Dom all day so it was no surprise to me that when she zipped Dom’s dress into its own dress bag, she let a small length of the skirt become entrapped in the zipper soon to suffer the worst fate for a pretty dress: being torn before being worn. I couldn’t help but smirk when I saw it, looking at the shop girl knowingly as I picked up my own dress bag. New Year’s Eve would be a fun night.
A/N: Woo, I finally got a chapter out! Hope you liked it. So the story has taken a bit of a turn that I hadn't expected and we will have to see how that turns out, lol. Anyway thanks for reading, please if you can write a review! thanks!
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