The problem with going back to school was that Imogen had no idea whether she and Paxton were school friends or only out-of-school friends. Because, as she had to admit as she discarded one tee after another, she was not cool. Paxton was cool. He was a Quidditch star, and gorgeous, and even teachers liking him wasn't enough to dent his popularity. And she… she was not cool. She was the Death Eater's daughter, and there weren't a lot of those. One, to be exact, because no one else her father's age had been as unlucky as he had.
She threw another shirt to the floor. It had been her favorite, but it had a song lyric on it, and Paxton was a musician, and it would look like she was trying too hard.
Her mother stuck her head in the door. "We have to leave for the train in ten minutes," she said through the gritted teeth of you're not even dressed yet and why are you so disorganized and what happened to my tidy daughter. Then Hermione Granger-Malfoy narrowed her eyes and studied her daughter's face. Imogen squirmed under the inspection. "You're wearing makeup," Hermione said. "Why are you wearing makeup?"
"There's nothing wrong with makeup," Imogen muttered. She was thirteen. God, her mother treated her like a baby all the time. You'd think actually having a baby would give her an outlet for all that smothering, but no. She was still here, still looking at her daughter as if she'd transfigured into someone else.
"Just put a shirt on and come downstairs," Hermione said. "Or I'll pick something out for you."
Imogen snatched up a pink shirt with a rainbow on it, grabbed a jumper because if she didn't have one she'd get lectured on how it was cold here in London but it was so much colder in Scotland, and it was winter, and what was she thinking.
Not that any of it mattered because she'd have to put her robes on once she was on the train.
And it wasn't like Paxton was likely to admit they were kind of friends. At least, Imogen thought they were friends. They'd found some excuse to floo back and forth every day since his concert, and she'd played him her Muggle CDs, and he'd thrown snowballs at her while she tried to dodge on a broom, and it had been great, but maybe they were only holiday friends because, well, Death Eater's daughter. It wasn't cool to be her friend. Not that she was friendless. It wasn't that bad. But none of her friends were popular, and he was, so who knew what would happen.
The ride to the train station took forever, and Scorpius cried the whole way, and Imogen was never, ever having children. Children were loud and expensive, and look at Aunt Ginny. She didn't have children, and she got to travel all over the world with her Quidditch team. But at last, they were there, and her mother handed Scorpius to her father so she could kiss her on the cheek, which was incredibly embarrassing. Imogen could hear two girls snickering about it already. She hugged her father, which just made the snickers turn into absolute giggles, and she was going to have to find them later and make sure they regretted that.
"Imogen." Paxton waved at her from one of the train windows, and both girls fell into shocked silence. "I've got Bertie Bots, get up here."
She tossed her hair and walked in what she hoped counted as a sashay past both the gigglers. "Well, that turned her mood around," she heard her mother mutter, followed by a, "You remember what it was like to get attention from the Quidditch star," from her father.
"You mean when Victor Krum and I went to the Yule Ball together?" her mother asked.
Imogen didn't know a lot about Quidditch, but she knew who that was. She turned to stare at her mother, who gave her a little shooing motion to get onto the train.
She ran down to Paxton's carriage, where he did indeed have enough Every Flavor Beans for the two of them and two other Slytherins, who were already complaining about homework. When she glanced out the window, her parents were talking to some boring adults she didn't know, but fancy that. Her mum had done things before she'd had kids.
She'd have to look that Yule Ball up in the library when she got back to Hogwarts.
. . . . . . . . .
A/N - Happy belated birthday, ktbeh