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As reluctant and negative as I was apparently becoming, if I stopped being callous for a minute I would have to admit that it was a pretty great party. From the outside at least, I’m sure those experiencing it would agree. Albus and Alice were just inside the tumultuous group of dancers, actually dancing very close, making me pause to consider a new career path of possible matchmaker however inadvertently I’d caused this to happen. Perhaps I’d keep it in my back pocket.

 

I sat for a moment both very irked and confused. Not liking where this internal anger and fully becoming a hermit was going, I did something most unlike myself and walked straight through the dancing and to the bar. Once I had my fill of particularly good firewhiskey, I set about surveying the party for someone who would dance with me. Would it be weird if I danced with James? Yes, besides that he appeared to be occupied by a beautiful girl with dark skin and long dark hair that I’d never seen before. It was unfortunate that Frank was two years younger and not here, he would probably be a less awkward option than a classmate.

 

It hadn’t been a minute after I finished my drink when a boy came up an grabbed my hand pulling me into the dancing mass. With the loud music, heat from closeness, and the alcohol I wasn’t sure which was making me forgo caring about being dragged into the mix. The lack of anxiety brought on by my apparent buzz felt like a weight lifted off of my shoulders, I didn’t mind that a guy whose name I barely knew was holding on to my hips as we swayed to an old upbeat Weird Sisters song. All I knew was he was cute.

 

Then another boy came as the song changed, I parted ways with my first partner and let the new boy take me in his arms so we could dance along with the others. For the first time since I was younger I was having real fun with people outside of my tight family and friend circle. The boy who looked like the quiet Ravenclaw in my Divination class, and was probably the very same, twirled me around so that I faced the crowd rather than him. He held me close and started to whisper very flirtatious things in my ear.

 

The crowd shifted slowly around us, and suddenly I could see Alice staring at me gap jawed. She poked Albus excitedly and pointed to me, I waved happily. Out of sorts but entertained, I broke away from my partner and bounced my way over to them.

 

“See, I’m fun. I can dance with a guy.” I said loudly but slowly to attempt to not slur my works.

 

Alice smiled widely at me, clearly proud. “I can see that, I’ve always told you it’s not such a big deal. You just have to put yourself out there.”

 

“Or get drunk.” Albus interjected, in his over protective manner.

 

“I am not drunk!” I nearly shouted (though the four previously full cups of firewhiskey on the bar could prove otherwise), stepping closer to Alice who was once again on my side.

 

“How would you know? You’ve never had enough to get drunk before.” Albus said.

 

“Like you’d know.” I huffed, “Come on, Ali. Let’s go find some food.”

 

“Rosie, I love you but I think I’m good here for now.” She looked at Albus who nodded. “But I’ll find you before its over okay?”

 

“Well fine.” I whimpered. “I’ll go find Dom or someone.”

 

“Be safe!” Albus called after me.

 

I shrugged, and turned on my heel looking for Dom until I noticed her practically wrapped around Scorpius against the far wall while her fancy friends chatted with desperate guys nearby. My frustration was back and nearly sobering. This was not my night, or it was until the rude awakening. Like the princess from an old tale, the clock struck midnight and I would go back to my pumpkin carriage and mice (or in my case, cat) to await a prince who was unlikely to ever search for me. Thoroughly done with the party I made my way through the corridors of the manor impressed with the expected grandeur of it but surprised by how expansive it was, especially compared to my own house or the Burrow.

 

Eventually I found my way outside to the gardens where the noise of the party was only a dull thumping in the background. There were small smatterings of people littered about the snow covered front steps and garden, so I made my way slowly and often tripping, to an empty bench in front of an ornate fountain. The bench was comfortable despite the ice and cold, and in my heavy headed state I found myself leaning over with my head in my arms on the marble rim of the gushing fountain. The sound was both soothing but really causing an urge to use the loo. The sound of footsteps crunching ice were constant around me so I aimed my focus toward the trickling sound of the water gushing out of the fountain. At one point I must have been asleep or close to it, because a hand gently touching my arm nearly had me jumping out of my skin.

 

“Merlin! You can’t do that to someone who’s been drinking!” I squeaked, the speed at which I sat up making me go a bit woozy.

 

With stars in my eyes, I looked to see who had touched me, becoming quickly frantic when it finally registered who it was. “Did you miss me Rosie?” Either the cold night air or my quickly returning nervous caused me to blush noticeably.

 

In all of his douchebag glory there stood Derek McLaggen, too preppy and spoiled for his own good. Though he didn’t have his little crony in tow, he did have a near empty drink that possibly spelt bad news for me. He took a few steps closer and I leaned away in response. This was bad.

 

“Not on your life, McLaggen.” I began to slur.

 

An almost devious smile grew on his face and he sat down beside me on the bench, clearly up to something that I was hardly in the right state to handle. Derek put his arm around my waist, cupping my bum as he slid me close to him, then trapped me under a heavy arm.

 

“You know I really like you Rose, and perhaps we may have gotten off on the wrong foot.” He purred into my ear.

 

“Because that explains it all.” I muttered shaking my head, was he trying to apologize?

 

“You know how I get when you turn me down right away, Sweetie.” He pulled me close, and a hand gripped my thigh. “If you’d just be a good girl I wouldn’t have to make you pay for it.”

 

He definitely wasn’t apologizing, or not well to say the least. “That’s sweet.” 

 

I tried to pull away, but his grip was too tight for me to break free of him. There was no escape that I could think of, I was out of options and my savior cousin was out of sight this time. I began to reason with myself that this would be okay if I let him do what he wanted, because then he would be done. He didn’t mean to kill me, he just wanted to use me. It would be less violent that way when I couldn’t defend myself.

 

Derek must have sensed my unease, because he swiftly took my face in his hand and pressed his lips hard into mine. The rational reaction would be to tense up and push him away, punching him in the process; or that would be what sane sober me would do. Instead, I had all but given up and just let him kiss me, and push me back on to the bench where I went limp. I wouldn’t let him think I was enjoying this.

 

The brute had dug his tongue into my mouth, and I cursed myself for not just biting it, or kneeing him where it really hurt. Suddenly the images of every time he had ever antagonized me flashed in front of my eyes. Fighting back might hurt, but letting something happen that I could stop would hurt worse. I wouldn’t be a victim if I could help it. I brought my hands up against his chest to try pushing him away, but it only made him think that things were starting to go his way as he held me tighter. His hands began groping places that had yet to intentionally be touched by a guy, cringing I started to shove at him.

 

“You aren’t liking it sweetie? Here I can think of something that you will like.” Derek growled as he began pawing at my pajama bottoms.

 

I closed my eyes and got ready to shove as hard as I could, but as I did there was no Derek to push. He had been unceremoniously dragged into a standing position where he was held in place by his collar.

 

Because this was just my life now, I sat there in complete embarrassed and stunned silence as Albus and James took turn hexing and punching my assailant in the stomach with loud swears thrown in for good measure. To my horror Scorpius was the one holding the scumbag by the scruff, the pale and angry look on his normally composed face was confusing. This party was over. And it was just like me to be the one to have ruined it for everyone else.

 

Once Albus had, had his fill of beating McLaggen, he turned his attentions to me. While I’m sure that he meant to protect me the look on his face said he wanted to hex me as well. He whispered to James, who nodded and took Derek by the arm beginning to lead him away, but not before giving me a little wink.

 

I really hoped that James wasn’t about to murder him. Not for Derek’s sake, but his own. “You are coming with me,” Albus growled quietly, as he hoisted me from my place on the bench.

 

The force of standing up so quickly was what really did me in because the last thing I remember seeing was Albus’ look of surprise as I fell back into his arms. 

 




 

A/N: See, I told you I would get something out asap. And while it is rather short (and I apologize for that) it is something to say the least. Anywho, life update! I got a full time job which means more money yay! and less writing time boo! at least until I get used to the schedule and finally get my own place. Anyway, I hope everyone has a good back to school month. And thank you for reading! 

 

 



 

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