Fire and Ice

Chapter One: Hogsmeade

"Come on, Red, or we'll be late to our lunch with the boys," my best friend Gloria called to me. I could see her clearly from where she stood, directly across from me half-heartedly rummaging through her trunk for something. Statuesque and beautiful, Gloria Knipping is the type of girl who can draw any guy's attention.

Me, on the other hand? I'm more the tall and awkward type. Bookish, smart…not at all what boys like, which I suppose is why Gloria took me under her wing in the first place. I'm no competition for her, because most boys don't even look my way.

I lazily sat up in bed and reached up to pat my curly red hair. I knew it was likely standing on end after the rough night I had had. Gloria grinned wryly at me, and I rolled my eyes and stumbled out of bed.

"Atta girl, Red. Now, after you've showered…I think you should borrow those jeans my mum bought me while we were in America over the summer hols. And please, please, please try something different with your hair. Freddie says he hates he ponytail you do for school everyday. Time to spice things up a bit," she demanded. I rolled my eyes again.

Freddie Waters, Ravenclaw's resident dork. Don't get me wrong, he's cute in his own way I suppose. It's just…I hate that Gloria can't see how little I want to pursue a relationship with him. After all, it's only fifth year, and I hardly need to settle down with anyone, especially Freddie. We've been friends since our first year at Hogwarts, from the moment we were both sorted into Ravenclaw.

I hurried through my shower, not wanting a lecture from Gloria about promptness and the like. I washed my hair and applied a de-frizzing charm to keep it under control while I dressed. Once I had my undies on, I donned my bathrobe and scurried back to the dormitory to put on Gloria's jeans and a sweater my gran knit me for Christmas last.

"Okay, Red, don't forget about the hair…perhaps you can leave it down today? Come on, tease Freddie a bit with it, eh?" she asked. I sighed.

"Can you shut up about Freddie, Gloria? I don't like him that, okay? So stuff it before I say something to James about your bleeding HUGE crush on him," I snapped, at my wits' end. Gloria flinched at the flare in my temper. I could tell she wanted to retort, but I could feel my face heating up in annoyance-which meant Gloria could see me turning red. "Thank you, love. Now, can we please just go? I told Al we'd meet him at The Three Broomsticks before we venture off to Madame Puddifoot's for lunch."

"Fine, fine. Let's go," Gloria agreed, somewhat haughtily. I felt slight bad for snapping at her, but by the time we had reached Hogsmeade, we were chattering away as though nothing in the world had happened to upset us. "It's rather chilly out today. Can you believe it's nearly time for the Halloween feast? And then another few months and I'll be shopping for my parents' Christmas gifts…"

"Did you hear that Victoire and Teddy are expecting? My mum wrote to me a few days ago about it," I told Gloria, but she wasn't listening to me anymore. She had spotted James up ahead, walking hand in hand with Clarabel Pearce, a Gryffindor from our year at school. "Glo? Don't think anything of it. It's probably just a friend thing. Hardly a relationship; I mean, James is done with school this year and Clarabel…well, she's something of a ditz isn't she?" But Gloria still wasn't listening to me.

"It's hardly just a friend thing, Red. It just goes to show how little you know about relationships," she muttered, looking down at her feet for a moment. "But forget it; Albus is waiting, and he's much cuter than James anyway. Nicer, too, and much better at Quidditch. I think I'll kiss him today before lunch."

"B-but what about Gavin Pakinson-Avery? I thought you said you were going to go after him," I reminded Gloria, but she laughed bitterly. I didn't know what she saw in Gavin, personally. He'd always been rather mean to me, probably because he followed the example of Scorpius Mafloy, who was always cruel to me. It was them we were meeting at Madame Puddifoot's, after we stopped by to see Albus and Freddie.

"Gavin's hideous. An ugly oaf, sort of pug-faced like his mum…we'll have lunch with him and his little friends, but I'm still going to go after Albus. Perhaps a bit of Gryffindor-Slytherin competition will liven things up around Hogwarts," she said, opening the door to The Three Broomsticks. I saw Albus seated at a table with Freddie and a few other boys from our year.

"Oi, Rosie!! Over here, cuz!" Albus shouted out, raising his butterbeer in greeting. I smiled and bounded over to his table, with Gloria at my heels. She slid into the seat beside him, and I plopped down next to Freddie, who looked pleased with himself.

"Hullo, Rose," he said quietly. I smiled slightly. "You look very lovely today. I like you hair down like that. It makes you look…different. In a good way, of course."

"Er, thanks Freddie," I muttered, watching as Gloria flirted shamelessly with Albus while the other boys watched him enviously. Gloria's the prettiest girl in our year, and every boy wants to date her. "Um….Gloria? Are you forgetting that we have another engagement?" Gloria waved me off in something akin to annoyance.

"Oh, you go on without me. Just tell them I had something more important to do. You know who I mean, don't you?" Gloria asked in an attempt at being cryptic. I rolled my eyes at her, pissed that she was going to shove me off on a group of three Slytherin guys just because she was getting cozy with Albus, leading my poor cousin on, and for all the wrong reasons...

So I trekked over to Madame Puddifoot's on my own, silently berating Gloria and her sudden whorishness, wishing she would end up in the very corners of hell for messing with Albus's head. I was so angry, in fact, that I stopped paying attention to where I was going. I was walking quickly to cool my temper, and it didn't help when I crashed head-on into someone.

"Merlin's balls, Weasley!! Watch where you're going!!" Scorpius Malfoy shouted at me.

"Don't raise your voice at me, Malfoy. I'm not just some trash on the side of the road," I said, trying to stay calm but failing dismally. Malfoy was glaring at me as if I was actually a bit of garbage, as though he was disgusted with the very idea of my being.

"Oh, sorry Weasley. I forget sometimes that your family actually thinks they're worth something," he sneered at me. I could feel the tips of my ears tingling as he spat on the ground next to me. "Or maybe it's just you…after all, your brother Hugo certainly seems to know his place. Always addresses me as Mr. Malfoy, doesn't he? Maybe it's about time I showed you belong, too." And now, I could feel my face starting to burn.

"Malfoy…" I trailed off, warning him with the tone of my voice. But he kept on.

"Yep. You Weasleys are a bunch of pureblood trash…except, you aren't even pureblood, really. Your mum's a mudblood, isn't she…? So I guess that makes you a mudblood too, and a dirty one at that," Malfoy went on. I reached into my back pocket for my wand. "I see that you're going to hurt me, eh, fire princess? Isn't that what your daddy calls you? Well, I wish someone would tell him he's wrong. You see, Mudbloods can't be princesses because they're trash. Worthless trash, oh fiery one."

And so, I lifted my wand and thought fiercely in my head 'Levicorpus!' and Malfoy flew up into the air, screaming in surprise. Several passersby stopped to look on.

"Apologize, Malfoy, or things will only go worse for you," I demanded angrily, prepared to go on.

"Never! And trust me, Weasley…if my wand hadn't fallen out of my pocket just now, you'd be regretting this big time!" Malfoy yelled. And then his eyes widened in surprise and he started yelling. "Professor! Professor! Help me, help me!! Rose Weasley's gone berserk on me and won't let me loose! Professor!!"

It was a bloody nightmare, what happened next, because of course it had to be the Potions professor-and head of Slytherin house-that came to the rescue. He used Liberacorpus to release Malfoy, who tumbled to the ground with a very audible "oof!" and then turned to me.

"Miss Weasley," snarled Professor Locke, looking quite angry. "Detention Friday evening at 8 p.m. in the dungeons." I opened my mouth to protest, but Locke held up a hand to silence me. Malfoy had gotten up by now and was brushing off his expensive robes. "And as for you, Scorpius…detention as well. I know that Miss Weasley would not attack you if she had not been provoked. As much as it shames me to punish someone from my own house, it must be done out of fairness to Miss Weasley. Furthermore, there will be no more Hogsmeade trips for the both of you for the duration of the school year. Instead, the two of you will spend this time in the Potions classroom. What you do there is of no concern to me, but I will know if you have been fighting. Good day to you both."

Locke hurriedly walked away. As I considered detention, I could feel tears stinging my eyes. Malfoy seemed pretty put out by Locke's decision as well. And no more weekend trips to Hogsmeade! My attempts at having a social life would be stilted for an entire year!

"Nice work, Weasley," Mafloy hissed as he stalked off to God knows where. I followed suit, walking back to the castle to sulk alone in my room while everyone else in my year enjoyed the last of the autumn's good weather.