To say that the last twenty-four hours have been a nightmare would be an understatement. The first being woken up at two in the morning Fred and James. I’m naked, with Rose in my bed only wearing my t-shirt. Not how I wanted them to find out that Rose and I had started having sex, frankly I would have been happy if they had never found out. But then we next get told that the Patterson is up to something, and that we are locked into the dorms. Only to be summoned to the Great Hall to be told that magic is dying, and that we all need to join Patterson’s cult. We figure out a way of getting people out of the school, but it was taking too long. I was starting to panic, at least half the school was still trapped in the inside. I don’t know what made me think of the House elves but thank Godric I did! They were able to get everyone, including the teachers out of the castle. There were still a few of us left when the castle started to shake. Just thinking about it sends a shiver down my spine, if it wasn’t for the House Elves, we would never have made it out alive. Even then there were a few injuries when bits of the roof fell. It was only once we were outside that we realised Fred and James were missing, it’s only thanks to Lily we all didn’t run back into the castle. The shaking was getting worse and honestly, I thought the castle was going to collapse and crush us all. So, we started evacuating as far from the castle as we could get. We had just gotten to the lake when the Aurors arrived. Harry was understandably upset, especially once he found out that James and Fred were missing. He had us moved to the Quidditch pitch, and then we didn’t see him again until the next morning. Unsurprisingly, we were all worried, we heard bits and pieces thanks to extendable ears, but they caught onto those pretty quickly. Rose struggled a lot; she likes to be in control and know what's happening. As the didn’t tell us anything she started blaming herself for not being able to break the curse. It was all I could do to keep her from matching into Hogwarts and demanding answers on her own. Then at our breaking point, Fred and James saunter over as if nothing happened. I think Rose was close to attacking them when they refused to give her any real details. After that we were all kept out of the Castle for most of the day while they made repairs. We were finally allowed back into the castle around ten at which stage we all headed to bed and promptly passed out.
That’s where I am currently, in bed, with Rose wrapped up in my arms. If the mess of yesterday wasn’t enough then I would probably be freaking out more about tonight, the Remembrance Ball. I’m still not sure I should go, Rose and Al assure me that it will be fine, but they aren’t the son of the man who helped kill Dumbledore and the grandson of two members of Voldemort's inner circle. I just can’t help but be worried about what reaction my presence will have, there will be lots of survivors of the war there. Well, there’s nothing I can really do, I promised Rose that I would go with her and I'm not backing out of my word. Plus, I can’t wait to see Rose in her dress, I’m sure I’m worrying about nothing. Everything will be fine.
“You’re thinking too much.”
“Shh go back to sleep.”
“What time is it?”
“Err,” I blindly grab my watch off my bed side, “it’s about quarter past eleven”
“Shit, I need to get up.” Rose sits up and starts looking around for her things.
“The girls decided we should start getting ready around twelve.”
“How can it possibly take seven hours to get ready?”
“Well, we need to eat, shower, do our makeup style our hair. We’re planning on doing our nails and that takes ages to dry. Plus, everything takes longer when we're all trying to get ready at the same time.”
“Fair enough, but you still don’t need to get up yet.”
“Hmm, and what you going to do to persuade me to stay?” a wide grin flashes across my face before I quickly capture her lips.
Rose did end up being a bit late to meet up with the girls, but I doubt it made much difference as Rachel rushed out of Al’s bed when she heard Rose panicking about being late. Unlike the girls, Al and I didn’t start getting ready till about half an hour ago, and we only have ten minutes left until we agreed to meet in the common room, which explains why we were currently throwing on our dress robes and trying to style our hair simultaneously.
“Damn, I can’t get my bow tie right!”
“Shit! Ok you do my cufflinks I’ll try to sort your tie.” Thank merlin I have lots of practice from my childhood in getting dress for big events quickly. Once our ties and cufflinks are done, we quickly check over our appearance, I brush a few loose strands of hair back into place before we make our way down to the common room.
Thankfully only Fred and James are waiting for us when we get downstairs. After finally pulling his finger out Fred actually asked Emma to accompany him to the Ball, and I guess James didn’t want to go down by himself. They are both dressed almost identically to Al and me, except that we’re all in slightly different colours, I’m in a dark grey, Al a dark green, Fred in black and James in a deep burgundy, and if I say so myself, I think we all look great.
“You finally made it the!”
“We were about to send a first year to go fetch you.”
“Yeah yeah, are the girls almost ready?”
“I think so, Lily nipped down a minute or so ago to make sure we were all here.” Due to Lily being a fourth year she’s not allowed to go yet, so she decided to help the girls get ready. Though knowing Lily, she probably just got in the way.
“You’ve finally decided to turn up then!” Speak of the devil, Lily is stood halfway down the stairs giving me and Al a serious glare, Ginny would be proud. “I’ll let them know that they can come down now.” Before flouncing back up the stairs. I guess the girls were ready to go, as not a moment later Emma appears dressed in a midnight blue dress, the looks between her and Fred are pretty adorable. Rachel appears next looking stunning as always in a black dress, Al like Fred looks stunned that he is somehow with Rachel. I look back towards the stairs and Rose appears. Holy shit! How the fuck did I get so lucky that she wants to date me! She is so beautiful, she’s wearing a deep forest green dress that hugs her curves and just bloody hell does she look amazing, her hair is pulled up into some sort of twist thing, and I don’t know how she’s does it, but she’s made her eyes look even brighter than usual.
“You look so beautiful.”
“You look pretty handsome yourself.” Rose smiles reaching up to straighten my tie, before pulling me down for a sweet kiss. Honestly, I’m not sure my brain is functioning right now, luckily, I’m not the only one.
“Come on you idiots!” James loudly interrupts, causing my brain to start working again “If we don’t start heading down soon there’s no way we will make it there while there is still good food.” I quickly glance at my watch and see that he’s right, before offering Rose my arm.
We have almost reached the Entrance Hall when my nerves returned in full force. Maybe I should change my hair colour or something, then no one will recognise me! But Rose loves my hair, so I’m not going to do that.
“Deep breath, you’re going to be fine.” Rose whispers, giving my arm a squeeze. We round the corner, and the Entrance Hall is full of people, with even more coming in. “Breath.” As I take in the sheer quantity of people my eyes land on a group stood near the bottom of the stairs, with flame red hair. The Weasley clan, and just like that I feel myself relax.
“Here they are!”
“Oh, sweetheart you look beautiful!”
“How have you been?”
“Give me a hug this instant.” Somehow this cacophony of noise soothes the last of my nerves.
“Scorpius, how are you dear?” Ginny asks wrapping me in a hug, having finished fussing over James and Al.
“I’m great, despite yesterday's incident.”
“Oh, please don’t remind me. I almost killed Harry when he told me what happened and that he didn’t bring me. Honestly, it’s a miracle there weren’t any more serious injuries. Though I hear that’s all thanks to your quick thinking.”
“Well, I'm not sure about that. I'm sure someone else would have thought of them.”
“Shh Scorpius, I will not have you selling yourself short.” Ginny tuts “Plus by the time someone else had the idea the whole school would have been a pile of rubble.” Ginny takes a deep breath seemingly satisfied that I'm not hurt. “So, are you ready to deal with this group of hyenas?”
“Hyenas?” oh shit they are going to attack me aren’t they.
“Aunty Ginny! I had just calmed him down!”
“Sorry love. But don’t worry if anyone gives you any grief just let me know and I'll deal with them.” Ginny flashes a smile full of promises to inflict pain on whoever upsets me. I doubt I'll ask her to speak to anyone, but it does make me feel better knowing that she has my back, after all she’s Ginny Potter, no one messes with her.
“Thank you, I’ll let you know if anything happens.”
“Good, now I think it’s time to head inside.” with a quick squeeze on my shoulder Ginny heads over to Harry, who gives me a quick smile and a wave, before getting dragged back into conversation by Professor Neville.
“Scor look at me, it will be fine.” Rose smiles dragging me through the doors into the Great Hall.
I was supposed to spend most of yesterday helping decorate the Great Hall, but apparently as the Aurors when putting the school back together, they took the time to decorate. I had seen the plan for the decorations but noting could prepare me for how it actually looks. All the portraits have been removed from the walls and the sky enchantment has been extended down to the floor giving the effect of being outside, like the school isn’t even here. There’s a band playing gentle music where the teachers normally sit, tables dotted along the walls filled with food and trays floating round the room filled with flutes of Champagne. Everywhere I turn I spot someone I recognise either from my history textbook, being high in the ministry or for being in one of Lily’s magazines. It is honestly pretty intimidating. The deeper we walk into the room the more eyes I can feel eyes on me, staring. Maybe if I stay within the Wotter group I'll be safe from them.
“Wizards and Witches, welcome to the Remembrance Ball. Another year has passed since we last met to honour those who we lost. This year's speech I am proud to announce will be delivered by none other than Ex-Auror and Co-Managing Director of Weasley Wizard Wheezes, Ronald Weasley. Until then please avail yourself of the food and drinks. Please remember that this is still a school so you must stay within the open sections of the school.” Apparently, a few years ago two younger guests decided to try and sneak off to relive their glory days. They must have gone somewhere they weren’t allowed and were apparated back into the Great Hall, in a rather compromising position by most accounts. So, I doubt anyone will be breaking that rule any time soon.
“Come on let’s get a drink and some food!” Rose smiles.
I will just be forgetting that people don’t want me here and start enjoying myself when someone will either knock into me, or I will hear them talking shit, frankly it kind of spoils the mood. I’m here with Rose in my arms, looking so unbelievably beautiful, and all I can focus on is how everyone in this room does not want me here. I understand why they have a problem, but it doesn’t stop it hurting. Initially, I felt their eyes on me at the start of the night, I thought they would get over it. But I can still feel them now staring. However, I promised Rose that I'd do my best to enjoy myself so I'm not going to let her down.
“Alright it’s my round, what does everyone want?”
“White wine, please”
“One for me too.”
“Firewhiskey please mate.”
“Glass of red thanks.”
“Berry Ock Rot.”
“What I haven’t tried it before.”
“You just had to make it complicated.” I quickly glance at the bar, doesn’t look too busy. “Alright I'll be back soon.” I easily weave my way through the crowd, who seem to be at least a little tipsy. When I finally reach the bar there are a few people already waiting, so I rest against the bar waiting my turn.
I glance down the bar, I think I'm next to be served. Slam. Ow! Fuck that hurt glancing round to see what just pushed me into the bar, I come face to face with a red-faced smirking man. He is clearly the person who hit me, and I'm pretty sure it wasn’t an accident. Godric, I hope it won’t always be like this when I leave Hogwarts.
“You Malfoys really are rats.”
“Excuse me?” the man’s face somehow gets redder, almost purple as he sneers down at me.
“Your whole family jumping ship the moment they realised who was going to win. Then there's you abandoning your own family to curry favour with the Weasleys. If you think that’s going to help you once you leave school, you are going to have a rude awakening. Who do you think will hire a Malfoy. Your father may have managed to convince people that he’s changed but we all know that that’s bullshit. Your whole family is the same rotten to the core, and it won’t take long for Rose to realise it and leave you.” With that he knocks into my shoulder and walks away. Ugh, just ignore the arsehole, he seems drunk. I really hope it was just that he was drunk.
“What can I get you?” oh fuck now what did everyone want?
You would think that at an event to mark the end of a war and to remember those who gave their lives to protect us, that this would be a sombre affair. People would be respectful, not using this as a PR event, and yet here we are. Aunt Hermione has been Minister of Magic for four years, with the election next year, but already people are circling clearly planning on running against her. They better not get voted in, they’re all wandering around with these sad looks on their faces pouting at cameras, that they brought, and yet they are not the worst. There are the ‘celebrity’ faces that have somehow talked their way into invites. They are wandering around smiling, posing and generally just trying to get a photo with as many war heroes as possible. Also known as trying to cuddle up to my family. It's always irritating at events seeing people act like this, but it turns out it’s so much worse when you arrive alone. It's great to see my family but if you turn up to one of these things single or not obviously in love with your date, then apparently, you’re prey for any status climbers. So far, I’ve had five different witches and two wizards proposition me! What's worse is that hiding among my family doesn’t help, as most of them are wanting to be introduced to my family to try and climb some ladder or other. If it weren’t for the cameras, I would have asked someone to come with me to keep the vultures at bay, but I didn’t want to have anyone else forced into this spotlight. Which is why, I've come up with a plan. Namely not stopping long enough for someone to trap me into a conversation and avoiding areas that I can be caught. It is exhausting! I just want to sit down, speak to people for more than a couple of minutes and to be able to eat more than just the finger food. Well, that or go to bed, it’s been a very long day and I really want to sleep. Unfortunately, until they have said the speeches and had the minute silence at quarter to midnight to remember the dead at the approximate time that the war ended. **I couldn’t figure out what time on the second of May the war ended so went with very late at night on the 2nd of May. It's probably wrong but please don’t come after me.** But as soon as the speeches are done, I'm gone.
“James! Darling, it’s been so long!” oh shit, I know that voice, Laura Steele. She’s been convinced that since she accidently met my family on holiday once, that we are all good friends. In reality, she just manages to push her way into any situation she wants to be in, I think she means well but she does overstay her welcome in conversations. She’s just a bit tiring, kind but exhausting, and there is no escaping. Thank Merlin I just got a fresh glass of wine, she much more fun with alcohol.
“Hi Laura.” I smile tightly.
“Oh, let me look at you. So, tall and handsome if you were a few years older. Or better yet if I were a few years younger.” she laughs stretching up to pat my cheek. “Oh, I'm too naughty, especially as you’ve got a girlfriend now!” What? “Where is she? Such a sweet thing, I though you two would be joined at the hip! After all, Potters always marry the girl they date in their final year!” Oh, Godric I’m not ready for the headlines on those lines, ‘Chosen one’s eldest breaks with tradition to pursue the bachelor lifestyle!’, they will never let it drop.
“I’m sorry but I'm not dating anyone.”
“Are you sure? Only I was speaking with the sweetest girl, and she seemed to be under the impression that you two were more than friends.”
“Who was it? Can you point her out? Because I can assure you that I am not even close to dating anyone.”
“Oh! Really! Errrr, ah there she is, making her way over with two glasses of Fire whiskey.” following Laura’s finger I quickly figure out who she is on about, Ashley. She's a fifth year how did she even get in here!
“Oh, bloody Hell!”
“So, you do know her.”
“Unfortunately, yes. Ashley concocted a story not too long ago that we were dating. I thought she was over it.” Fucking hell why does she think this is a good idea? “She swore that she wouldn’t do this again!”
“How dare she! Acting so innocent! Don’t worry dear I'll make sure everyone knows the truth.” Oh shit, this can only end badly. “Now you go and enjoy yourself I’m going to go speak to Ashley.” Oh, Godric this can’t end well, how has this ball not finished yet?
Rubbing my eyes “Wait, Laura…” shit she’s gone, there is no stopping her now. As I watch she marches up to a smiling Ashley, and it doesn’t take long before the smiles drop, as she starts to pout. Ugh I can’t watch, normally I wouldn’t let someone else fight for me, but in this case, I’ll let Laura do what she wants. I need to get some fresh air, maybe that will wake me up a bit, I’ve still got an hour or so until the speeches.
“You look like you’re havin’ fun.” Ah fuck, who’s found me now. I quickly square my shoulders and prepare to be polite despite how much I just want to be left alone. As I turn, I am met with Maya sipping a glass of wine.
“Oh, thank Merlin it’s you.”
“I saw that you were getting hounded by a few people.” she smiles mischievously “Not tempted to show them our dorm? More than a few looked interested.”
“Oh, don’t start. I have been running round this place trying to get away all night.”
“Yeah, you look fuckin’ knackered.” she laughs “Honestly it’s been pretty hilarious.”
“Thank you for the support. How are you not also dying?” Honestly, she looks amazing, in a simple black dress that sort of floats to the floor, her hair is part up, part down, but she just looks awake and happy, in a way I certainly don’t feel.
“Oh, my sleep schedule has been fucked since way before the exams, so I just slept till a few hours before the Ball.”
“Damn, I’m jealous. Lily came and woke me up at twelve as she was worried that I wouldn’t have my dress robes ready and because apparently it’s rude to sleep past lunch.”
“Brutal, thank Godric I don’t have any siblings. Sounds hellish.”
“No! Well... I love them but sometimes it can be.”
“I’m glad I caught you actually, I wanted to offer you and Fred a deal, but I don’t think he’s going to leave Emma’s side tonight if he can help it.” well this sounds interesting
“What’s the proposal?”
“Well, it’s all of our final years, to me it seems only right that we go out with the biggest bang possible.”
“Are you suggesting we team up?”
“Well, I was actually thinking an out and out war. But if you’d rather team up to cause some extra mayhem, I’d be up for that too.”
“Well, that is an interesting offer.” Holy shit this would be utter carnage.
“Oh fuck! I’d get moving again Ashley is heading this way and she does not look happy.”
“Ah shit! She’s been saying that we’re dating again.”
“Seriously! What's shitting wrong with her?”
“No clue.” I quickly glance at my watch and see that it’s just gone eleven thirty. “Fifteen more minutes, ok I can do this. We are not finished discussing this, but I need to run! Also, you still owe me and Fred an explanation.”
“Don’t worry, I'm a witch of my word.”
“Ok I'll see you later then! Or tomorrow, I'm going to pass out as soon as I get to the dorm”
“Sound! See yeah. Hey! Ashley! How are you? I heard you were asked out by Andrew Douglas.” Maya loudly calls, I glance over my shoulder to see that she has managed to catch Ashely and drag her into a conversation, not that she looks very happy about it. But Andrew, well that explains how Ashley got into the ball at least, he's a sixth year, and desperate after the whole Wolf thing. Merlin bless Maya for doing that though! I'll have to get her some chocolate in thanks.
As there isn’t long left till the speeches, I move back into the Great Hall to find my family.
“Where have you been?” Fred exclaims dragging me into a tipsy one-armed hug
“Avoiding the status climbers.”
“Oh, damn it, I forgot about them.”
“Yeah, you start dating and just forget all about me!” I joke
“How bad has it been?”
“Well, I think I'm the only available Wotter here, so I've been the main target. But that said I honestly expected worse.”
“Clearly, they were always after me.”
“Or they saw how tired he looks.” Emma says joining the conversation “They probably realised it wouldn’t help their case to try tonight.” Emma says looking thoughtful. She hands Fred a fresh glass of Firewhiskey, and Fred releases me in favour of wrapping an arm round Emma.
“Are you say that I look awful?”
“Worse than after that ten-hour Quidditch game.”
“Aww, thanks! And to think I encouraged Fred to ask you out.”
“Well, you can’t have done much, it took him long enough to say anything.”
“I…” Fred stutters sheepishly. “Well, you still asked me out.”
“Yes, I did.” Emma smiles leaning in for a kiss. Merlin, they are disgustingly cute, but it took them long enough, so I cannot complain it too much.
“Aww aren’t they sweet!” Uncle George coos dropping his arm across my shoulder.
“Dad, you have the worst timing.”
“I disagree, I think I timed it perfectly to cause the most discomfort.” he grins “Plus the speeches are about to start and I can’t have you two snogging in the back.”
“Wizards and Witches, if I could please have your attention. Each year we ask someone who was present here at the battle or someone who with a deep personal connection to that battle to speak. Tonight, our guest is both, not only did he fight in the war, but it is thanks to him that You Know Who was able to be vanquished. I give you Mr Ronald Weasley.”
Each year a different person is asked to give a speech, dad was asked for the first, Aunt Hermione another year, basically every member of my family has given one, except Uncle George and until tonight, Uncle Ron. Uncle George has said he will never give a speech as it was hard enough without having to stay sober the whole night, and that wouldn’t be good tribute to his brother.
“Good evening, the time has come for us to pay our respect to those who gave their lives so that we might live freely. When I was asked to make this speech initially, I did not think I would be able to find the words to say all that I wanted to say. I lost my brother, friends, people I care about. Nothing I can say will truly express how sorry I am to have lost any of them. Fortunately for me there is someone else, a muggle poet Robert Laurence Binyon who found the words I couldn’t. So, if you’ll allow me, I’m going to use his words. This is an excerpt from his poem ‘For the Fallen’ which he wrote after the First World War.” Uncle Ron takes a deep breath before continuing.
“They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
“Thank you. Now if you would all join me in two minutes of silence.” in the silence lit wands are raised as a mark of respect for the dead.
“Thank was the most Ron speech he could have made.”
“What do you mean?”
“I remember you father, Hermione and him doing their homework. Aunt Hermione would do a foot more work than necessary, your farther would do the work but would run out of things to say two inches short and would ask your aunt for help then eventually copy the point he missed but you’re Uncle Ron. He would barely manage to write half, copy a few inches off Harry then somehow persuade Hermione to help him with the rest. And here he is again copying off someone smarter.”
“Oh, piss of George. You're welcome to make next year's speech.”
“No thank you. Fred would have appreciated it though.”
“Oh, Ron dear that was beautiful.”
“You did them proud.”
“James! I’m glad you managed to stop moving long enough hear my speech.”
“It was great.”
“Thanks, now tell me. How is the end of year prank shaping up?”
“Fred has been irritatingly illusive on the details.” George adds, shit we really need to get working on the prank, after all it is our final Hogwarts prank ever!
“Uncle Ron, if you think either of us is foolish enough to openly discuss what may or may not be happening at the Final feast, then you’re clearly delusional.”
“Oh, come on what's the worst that can happen?”
“The illustrious Professor McGonagall could be stood behind you.” Ron quickly whips around only to find no one there.
“You little shit.”
“The point still stands; it is way too public to explain here.”
“Come on you can tell us! After all it’s your final chance to prove yourself the better pranksters! The family reputation is on the line!”
“I’m not telling you anything!”
“What about the Wolf then?”
“What?” Shit do they know? Fred wouldn’t tell them!
“You don’t have long left to find out who they are.”
“Still no clue who he is then?”
“Oh no. Yeah I don’t think we'll ever find out who they are.”
“I’ll tell you what if he ever applies for a job with us, they’re getting hired on the spot.” huh no wonder Maya managed to be missed for so long, everyone keeps calling the Wolf a he.
“I would have gone insane if I was you, seven years never knowing who they were! Though that would probably have been because your dad would have become obsessed with figuring out who it was.”
“You’ve never seen anything suspicious on the map?”
“Trust us if we’d seen something you would know!” I yawn “Sorry, haven’t gotten much sleep in the last few days.”
“Merlin James, if you’re that tired just go to bed!”
“You’ve stuck around for the speeches you can leave now without being judged.”
“Especially as everyone knows about the whole Druid thing.”
“Honestly I'm impress you lasted this long.”
“But...” I really shouldn’t.
“Son, go to bed. They are going to start wrapping everything up shortly anyway.” Dad says with a soft smile.
“Ok, night then. I’ll see you all at the Burrow.”
“I’ll drop by tomorrow. I’ve got a plan.” Fred adds with a wave
“Ok, night everyone.” I don’t know why I fought them on leaving I’ve been wanting to escape since I arrived. Either way I can’t get to my bed soon enough. That’s assuming that I don’t fall asleep in the corridor.