Author's Notes: Written for Weekly Quick Fic #9 on writerverse on LiveJournal with the prompt "a deep breath" and the additional rule that we should write in first person.
I'm still not entirely sure why Mum wanted me to take Lily out to the cabin.
They'd bought it a long time ago – it had been Mum's idea; she said that it would be good for us to have somewhere outside the city that we could go to 'get away from it all' – but we'd never used it, which suited me just fine. I'm not an outdoorsy type. I tend to prefer the comfort and privacy of my bedroom at home to being shoved into a cabin with other people.
Which is why, when Mum sat me down and told me, "Rose, we want you and Lily to go up to the cabin together for a week," I was not pleased.
"Why do you me want that, Mum?" I demanded. "You know I hate the cabin."
"You've never been, so you can't say you hate it."
"Of course I can!" I told her. "You don't have to do things to know you won't like them. I've never been mauled by a bear, but if you sent me into a bear cage–"
"Don't try to turn this into a logical debate," Mum told me sharply. "There's no negotiating. You and Lily will be going up to the cabin."
"But why?" I whined.
"Because Lily needs someone to put some sense into her," said Mum. "You know that as well as the rest of us – better, in fact. She's been hanging around with Draco Malfoy's son. You know Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny are going to have a fit when they find that out."
"But what's that got to do with me?"
Mum drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. She closed her eyes briefly and I automatically flinched – it was a little quirk I was familiar with, and I knew perfectly well that Mum meant business.
"You're her cousin," Mum said at last. "You need to help her."
"She's not my business. If she wants to make a mess of herself…" I trailed off, raising one shoulder slightly in a shrug.
There had been a time when I would have called Lily my best friend. We'd lived next door to each other, slept in each others' houses more than our own, stayed up late at night giggling and talking for hours and hours.
And then Lily had been sorted into Slytherin.
The more I thought about it, the more that sorting seemed like the root of all our problems – it hadn't been until Lily slunk off to the Slytherin table with Dominique and Scorpius that she got all cold and morose. She went from my bubbly, cheerful best friend to a bitter creature I didn't want anything to do with overnight.
If only she'd been sorted into Gryffindor, like a normal Weasley…
If she'd been sorted into Gryffindor, maybe she would have still turned out like she did, but at least I'd be there for her. At least I'd be able to help her, to talk to her, to make her see sense…
"Rose? Are you all right?"
I blinked, then looked up at mum, hoisting a small, bright smile onto my face – falsely cheerful, the way I often had to be with her.
"Yeah, mum. I'm fine."
"I don't think it's asking much –"
"I'll do it," I interrupted.
"I'll take Lily out to the cabin," I said.
Mum looked taken aback by my sudden change of heart, and she eyed me suspiciously. "Well, that's certainly a…" She trailed off, narrowing her eyes. "What are you thinking of?"
"Nothing," I said innocently. "I think it'll be fun, really." But though I hoisted a bright, sunny smile onto my face, all I could think was, maybe now I'll finally get a chance to put her right.
It was only later that I thought about it – that I realized that my plan was to set Lily on the right path like she was some criminal – that I was intending to go in and fix her, as if she hadn't had enough of that from her parents and brothers…
And I couldn't even bring myself to regret planning to do it.
That's probably horrible of me, isn't it?