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Summer Vacation

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          “Gotcha!” said Scorpius causing Ivy Roxanne Malfoy to jump and squeal with surprise.
          “Stop it!” she told him.
          “Nope!” he told her; he waived his wand and vanished. “Gotcha again!” said Scorpius jubilantly from behind.
          Ivy whirled to face him.  “I mean it!” she told him angrily.  “Leave me alone!” 
          “Never!” Scorpius laughed.  He waved his wand again and vanished.  “I’ve got to practice!” he told Ivy when he reappeared yet again behind her.  “Grandfather promised if I get real good, he’ll teach me how to Apparate like the Death Eaters did!  You know, silent smoke!”
          “Death Eaters!” exclaimed Ivy.  “But they were criminals!”
          “Doesn’t mean they didn’t practice some cool magic!” Scorpius assured Ivy.  “Magic that wasn’t unforgivable!  And I plan to learn it!”  He waived his wand and vanished. 
          Ivy drew her own wand and twisted aiming for her wardrobe closet.  “Accio Bomb!” she said as Scorpius again appeared. The Weasley stink bomb she had just summoned smashed into Scorpius on its way to her and exploded into a thick black cloud smelling of skunk.  Ivy swiftly used a bubblehead charm to avoid breathing in the stench.  “Can you Apparate with a bubblehead charm?” she challenged Scorpius who was loudly coughing. He waved his wand and vanished. Ivy smiled.  They’d never had a reason to use the bubblehead charm while at H2, but it sure came in useful for other occasions.
          She walked over to the wardrobe closet, pulled out a Weasley Air Freshener and set it off.  It was guaranteed to remove the effects of a Weasley Stink Bomb. While the clouds and stench dissipated, Ivy moved over to her bed, to her stack of Witchteen Fashion magazines, more accurately.
          Ever since Scorpius had passed his Apparating test, he’d been insufferable.  Of course, he’d also been insufferable after Richards had parleyed that simple spinal injury into a tidy profit netting more for Scorpius than Ivy! Why hadn’t he just let the bludger hit her instead—then she’d have gotten the money!  Actually, Scorpius had been insufferable at H2 when, what should have been some sort of punishment of Grandfather’s, had turned him into the resident Dark Arts Expert and one of the Advisers!  Scorpius got all the breaks!  Why hadn’t she found the Hand and brought it to school?
          But Ivy would show them!  Buried between the magazines was a slender pamphlet titled “Apparating.”  The vendor had frowned disapprovingly when Ivy wanted to see the pamphlet on the shelf behind the counter and told her it was not appropriate for someone her age, as if she were some baby…  So Ivy had lied and told him it was a gift for her brother who had failed his Apparating test five times already and gotten horribly splinched twice! Sure, most students learned Apparating while at school!  But you had to wait until sixth year to learn! Ivy knew Wycliff could Apparate before classes were even offered! Ivy intended to do the same.
          Written by Wilkie Twycross himself (Hogwarts Apparation Instructor) the pamphlet promised to be most informative.  Ivy had spent hours late at night secretly pouring over the yellowed brittle pages deciphering the cramped handwriting certain her family would try to stop her if they knew what she intended.  Unfortunately, the pamphlet was not as useful as she had hoped. There were no illustrations and Twycross apparently wrote it as a supplement specifically for students who were taking his class or had taken his class yet failed the test!  In other words, he expected the reader to already know the basics of Apparating and he was just offering tips to improve Apparating skills…
          Not to be deterred, Ivy had memorized the contents of the pamphlet and then surreptitiously began asking Scorpius questions for the information it lacked.  “How do you determine where you Apparate?” she had asked Scorpius one day knowing that “Determination” was one of the three D’s Twycross constantly referred to.
          “’Tisn’t that kind of Determination,” laughed Scorpius. “You’ve got to really, really, mean to Apparate before you Apparate!” he told her.
          “I’ve got that one covered!” thought Ivy with satisfaction.  “So, do you have to go where you’ve already been?” she persisted at another time.  “Destination” was another one of the other three D’s.
           “’Course not!” replied Scorpius in a serious voice.  “Only if you want to know where you end up!”  He laughed again.
          Even though no wand was mentioned, the wand was important somehow; you couldn’t Apparate without a wand.
          Ivy knew she was supposed to turn with Deliberation, another of the three D’s, but she wasn’t sure which way or how much.  However, she’d been watching Scorpius.  She watched that wand in his hand, how he lifted and moved it; and saw that barest of twist to the left just before he vanished.  In secret Ivy practiced what she had seen.  She’d get it!  All on her own!  That would show them!
          Ivy took an apple from the fruit basket on her desk. Grandmum had gotten the basket for her upon their return from Hogwarts.  She seemed to think Ivy should eat fruit instead of “sugary” snacks. Grandmum had the gall to suggest Ivy had “taken on weight” after her stay at Hogwarts.  Of course Ivy had “taken on weight” while at Hogwarts!  She had been a skinny twig after H2!  A weight gain was natural after starving at H2!  As far as Ivy was concerned, no weight gain was too much!  She never wanted to again feel the hunger she had experienced while at H2!
          Ivy placed the apple on the floor and stepped back.  She knew Twycross used circles on the floor as focus destinations, but a circle on the floor would cause questions should anyone see it.  No one would think twice if they saw an apple there.  She had probably knocked it off and left it for the brownies to pick up. Everyone knew Ivy hated apples! Especially after H2. 
           Ivy stepped away from the apple and drew her wand. “Determination, Destination, Deliberation,” she muttered to herself.  “Determination, Destination, Deliberation!”  Ivy raised her wand and closed her eyes, “Determination, Destination, Deliberation,” she repeated and turned!  Nothing felt different.  Ivy cautiously opened one eye and then the other.  The apple was still over there and she wasn’t!  Ivy closed her eyes. “Determination, Destination, Deliberation,” she said firmly and turned faster!  Nothing.  This wasn’t working.  What else could she do?
          She was certain she had the Determination right.  And the Deliberation, well, she didn’t know what else she could do about that, but the Destination?  Frankly, Ivy had no interest in Apparating to the other side of the room. She wanted to go someplace new and different!  Where else could she go?  Diagon Alley was out.  It was always crowded and she risked Apparating inside someone.  Besides, it was bad form to Apparate in and out of Diagon Alley...  Knockturn Alley?  That would be interesting, but Ivy didn’t know it well enough to make it a destination. Where else?
          Ivy’s eyes fell upon her Witchteen Fashion magazine.  The cover featured Alana Warrington.  She had blue eyes, pale skin and light brown hair.  Alana had always worn the latest fashions under her school robes while at Hogwarts.  And now she was a teen model!  How dare they use Alana to represent the teens! She was seventeen at least or older—barely a teen!  They should have given the job to her!  Ivy was far prettier with her silky blonde hair and much more fashionable.  She had applied to be a Witchteen model but the editor had told Ivy she was too young!  Thirteen was not too young! 
          “That’s it!” thought Ivy excitedly.  “I can do my own photo shoot and show them what a real model looks like!  Maybe I’ll even start up my own magazine!”  Ivy moved to the magazines.  “Ivy the model!” she fanaticized.  “No, not “Ivy”—that’s too childish,” Ivy decided. “Roxanne the model!  Yes!  No!—too stodgy.  “Roxy!Ivy thought excitedly.  That was it.  “I’ll be the famous Roxy!  But which background do I want for my photo?” she asked herself.  Ivy rapidly thumbed through the magazines.  One showed Warrington displaying the latest fall fashions while posing in front of some thick gnarled tree trunks.  “No,” Ivy thought to herself with a shudder, “that looks like in the Forbidden Forest.  That place has spiders!”  The next magazine featured the Eiffel Tower in the background.  “Definitely not!” Ivy decided. “They don’t speak English there!  And I heard they eat snails!”  Ivy didn’t want to go to any place where the people ate stuff she would only consider consuming after weeks of hunger.  Even then, she might choose starving first.  Snails? Yeech! Another photo showed a busy market street in the background.  “No,” thought Ivy, “too many people…” 
          After much consideration, Ivy selected a photo showing the model, not Warrington, lounging in a hammock sipping a frothy drink that kept changing colours.  The hammock floated over a neatly trimmed lawn.  Blue-green peacocks moved about casually in the foreground and stately beech trees lined up in the background swaying gently with the breeze.  Different, but not too wild, majestic, and definitely not foreign. 
          Ivy studied the background carefully.  Yes, that was definitely a place she wanted to visit and there was enough background for her to focus on.  If this worked, she would return with the camera properly dressed for a photo shoot.  With one hand she held the magazine and the other her wand.  “Determination, Destination, Deliberation,” she said firmly and turned.  Nothing. 
          Ivy tried again. She stared at the photo until she could see the leaves on the tree flutter in the breeze, could almost hear birds chirping in the branches and the peacocks squawk...  She turned.  Abruptly everything went black!  Ivy felt herself being pressed very hard from all directions.  She could not breathe; there were tight bands around her chest squeezing ever tighter, her nose pushed inwards, her eyeballs were forced back into her head, her eardrums were pushed deeper into her skull…

*****

          A bright light! Pain! More pain than Ivy Malfoy had ever imagined, and then, nothing.

*****

          “I wasn’t drinking!  I swear!”
          “Then how do you explain doing this—a-gain!” answered another voice angrily.
          “I don’t know!  I was driving along and all of the sudden she was just there, I swear!”
          The voices were unfamiliar and the words made no sense to Ivy Malfoy.  She opened her eyes and was immediately blinded by the bright almost white light overhead.  She closed her eyes while the voices continued.
          “Yeah, right!  And to think I had actually thought you’ve changed after what happened to Jane!”
          “I did change, I swear!  I wasn’t drinking!”
          “And how could you do this to Jane!?” the angry voice raged on. 
          “How could I do this to Jane?” questioned the voice. “What do you mean?”
          “I mean, the first time I let you on your own, you abandon her and pick up a, a baby!”
           “Jane and I aren’t dating!” the first voice exploded.  “I thought you knew that!  We just go to concerts together! It’s not like you let me see anyone else!” the voice reminded.  “And I didn’t pick her up!” he denied, “at least not until after—I swear, she was just there!” 
           “And what is she doing here?”
           Ivy wondered the source of their anger.  Who was “she?"
           “I couldn’t take her to a hospital after last time!” came the reply.
           “Meadowsgate?”
           “No!  It’s too far away!  Besides, look at her!  She’s too young for Meadowsgate!  Jane was too young for Meadowsgate!”
           “But it worked!”
           “And I was drunk!  This time I’m not and she’s not going to Meadowsgate!  She can stay in one of our guest rooms while she recovers.  Now, I already called a physician.  He’s very good and confidential.  He even has a portable X-ray machine!” 
           “A physician?” asked the angry voice a pitch higher than before.  “You already called a doctor?  How did you find one so fast?”
           “I made inquiries after last time, what do you think?” snapped the reply.  “Now, aside from the lacerations, fractured pelvis and a couple dislocated bones, she isn’t that bad off so there’s no reason she can’t stay here.”  
           “Lacerations?”
           Abruptly Ivy felt a sudden breeze on her chest; she shivered from the unexpected coolness.  The shivering hurt causing Ivy to moan in pain.
           “See?  Deep cuts, they look like slashes almost, on her neck and chest.  They needed stitches, a lot of stitches.” 
           “Stitches?” wondered Ivy idly.  “Like for making quaffles?”  Involuntarily, her mind flew to H2, the prison where she had first seen sewing…  “No!” she thought in a panic, “I can’t be there!  They promised!”
           “Slashes?  Like from broken glass?” continued the angry voice oblivious of Ivy’s distress.
           “Me?” she thought suddenly.  “Are they talking about me?”  Warmth returned; Ivy felt someone tuck something (sheet? blanket?) under her chin and shoulders.
           “How would I know?” the other voice questioned angrily.  “It’s not from me!  Can’t be! You can check my windshield; its cracked, not broken…”
           “I will!”
           The voices fell silent.  Ivy drifted back to sleep.

*****