Chapter 8 : Parents

I‌ sat down at the breakfast table. Coming early for those few brief moments of quiet and alone time had already become a precious thing. All too soon Cena slid in next to me. “Emily found me this morning. It seems the Hufflepuff house was having a share last night about all the things going on.” I watched the stream of coffee stream into my cup. It didn’t really matter to me who chimed in next. It turned out to be Ethel. “And what do those honey addicts have to say?”

I looked up to see Wibert shaking his head in disapproval. “There’s no need to be so crass this early in the morning.” He was the only other one besides me that drank coffee in the morning. However, he had a habit of adding an insane amount of sugar in his. It was a wonder if he could even taste the coffee.

Rob’s voice was the next to chime in. A surprise considering he tended to come late to breakfast. Him and Cyst… “Hugh pulled me aside to see if we were up to anything nefarious.” Cyst’s irritating voice following after. “He completely ruined our morning.” Did he ruin their morning? Maybe Hugh wasn’t so bad.

Ethel scoffing. “To let the words of a demented honey badger bother you. Have you grown even softer.” An unpleasant scowl appeared on her face. “Shut up, Ethel.” Rob put his arm around her to soother her. “Cyst, let Ethel have her sharp tongue.” There was something oddly sweet about the way he kissed her cheek. A softness appearing one did not normally get to see. “Fine.” Ethel smirked at Cyst.

I shook my head sighing. “Is it going to be like this every time? Assuming we are the ones being nefarious?” Everyone around me said “yes,” at the exact same time. My brother sitting down next to me. “I‌ heard from that Hufflepuff boy I talked to yesterday that the 5th year prefect asked his mates to keep an eye on us. Did another thing happen with James?”

An evil smile appeared on everyone’s faces. They all loved a show. Entertainment freaks. The most irritating voice in the world answering him. “Did something happen with my brother again?” A smug smile on Cena’s face. “Albus, how nice of you to join us.” I looked up to see Scorpius hurt face. “I’m here too.” Ethel nodding her head. “Yes, Scorpius. It is annoying to see both of you.”

Ophelia’s face appeared besides Ailean’s. “It’s never nice to see Albus. Especially, after he makes James upset!” An evil smile on Cena’s face turning her direction. “Not Fred?” She glared at him. “He is banned from talking to me at the moment.” The unusual smile on‌ Wibert’s face. “Too devastating to talk about?” Ophelia glared at me. “Shut your mouth half-breed.” For someone just insulted he just seemed to smile wider.

In fact, everyone besides Albus and Scorpius were smiling. Adrastea from across the way smiling with joy. “Careful, Ophelia. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen this side of you.” Serpens rolling his eyes. “Wouldn’t want Fred to remember you’re a Pure Blood.” Cena leaning forward with a cat like smirk on his face. “A Burke no less.”

Her face turned red. “I didn’t mean- I‌ didn’t mean to say.” Honore pat her shoulder to calm her down. “Let’s leave it there.” Ophelia started to tear up. “Really, that’s not what I‌ meant. What if Fred and James think that’s what I‌ meant.” Albus forced himself into the spot next to me. Ignoring the look Cena gave him. Scorpius resigning himself to sit on the other side of Cena. “Doesn’t matter any way. There’s no way Ophelia will become family.” Scorpius was the only one who looked at his friend like he said too much. Everyone else seemed tuned in to this morning’s entertainment.

Ophelia glared at him. “Shut up, Albus.” He shook his head no. “Why should I? It’s the truth. Everyone here knows it.” Scorpius reaching across Cena to pat his shoulder. “ Ease up a bit. Alright?” That annoying grin appearing on Cena’s face. “Yes, Albus. Ease up on her a bit. She may be your future cousin-in-law.” The expression on Albus’ face was as if his breakfast suddenly became nasty. “I’m just stating the facts. No one likes her.”

I turned to look at my brother. He was so good at hiding his true nature. Instead of seeing he was also enjoying the entertainment all you saw was a curious boy. Serpens from across the table scoffed. “How fortunate for us then. Ophelia is saved from her awful decisions.” Ophelia turned to glare at Serpens. “You have no right to say anything! Serpens, your parents are just awful. The absolute worst!” I looked back and forth between my housemates. Everyone seemed even more interested. Ethel whispered to me. “Serpens’ parents are Balthazaar and Celeste Burke. They are the heads of the International Magical Office of Law and the Department of Magical Education. Old School wealthy Pure Bloods. Ophelia’s father is Balthazaar’s younger brother, Baraby Burke. He works in the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects.”

I raised my eyebrow at her. Since when was she ever this outwardly informative? “Anything else I‌ should know?” Wibert’s knife clanged against his plate as he cut into his meat. How he ate so much this early in the morning was a mystery to me. “Barnaby’s sweeter but his wife, Celine is also a pure blood.” Ethel coughed to interrupt him. “Ophelia’s mom is my mother’s cousin. Aunt Celeste is an Auror.” I looked at my brother confused. All of this sounded a bit incestuous. “I‌ see…” Ophelia looked even angry. “My father didn’t marry mom because she was a pure blood! She just happened to be one.” Cyst of all people rolled her eyes. “If all your friends are pure bloods of course you’ll end up marrying one. Ophelia this is becoming ridiculously irritating. It’s breakfast time.”

A boy I‌ have never talked to spoke up. I think I‌ had seen him glaring at Albus and Scorpius before… “Our Head Girl is right. Anything that comes out of that Squib’s mouth doesn’t matter.” A squib? Ailean looked at Cena. He sighed. “It’s a child of wizards that can’t use magic.” I looked at the boy confused. Apparently, Albus was about to say something but I interrupted him before he had the chance. “Who are you?” Some of my housemates giggled. However, the person in question did not. “Karl. Karl Jenkins. I’m in your year.” I‌ nodded my head confused. “Oh, Karl. I’ll try to remember that. The kid in my year who is blind and can’t see magic.” I turned away from him. More people were laughing. Scorpius and Albus just seemed flustered.

Karl hit the table. “I can see magic just fine!” I sighed and turned back to him. “Karly was it? Can’t you see we are having a conversation over here. You shouldn’t interrupt your superiors.” The entire table was now bursting out laughing. Scorpius and Albus included. Karl glared at me. “Just because our house leaders seem to like you now doesn’t mean you can mouth off to the rest of us. You are just an orphan. A loser like Albus and Scorpius.” Ailean was going to say something when I‌ shook my head.

I looked at him. “This is going to be a pain if you keep acting so dumb. You’ll have us lose so many house points if you can’t even remember anything about your own housemates. Your house leaders are in charge of you. Your opinion doesn’t matter at all. Also, I’ve never heard of the name Jenkins as a pure blood family. At least one that matters. However, the opinions and commentary from everyone involved with this conversation are all important pure bloods or from important families. Meaning… You Karly Jenkins have no business to weigh in on our conversation or who takes part in it.” The entire table cracked up laughing. Scorpius and Albus seemed to be looking slightly red in the face. Even Serpens seemed to be smiling for once.

Karl’s face turned green. “You have no family. There is no way you are superior to me.” I looked at him sadly. “Perhaps you are deaf as well. My brother and I are orphans but pure blood orphans. Our current guardian is a pure blood Yaxley. One of the families that have been in this house for generations. We have both status and wealth that cannot compare to you. You should show the merit of our house by backing out now before you further tarnish yourself.” I turned back to Ophelia. “Now then, Ophelia. If you really like Fred just do the smart thing and meet him in secret. Tell him what was said and how you feel horrible about it. That without him you are falling into old habits. That you need him.” She looked at me teary-eyed and confused. “Would that work?”

I‌ nodded my head at her. “It will work. Fred will see you even when told not to and sour Potter over here’s comment won’t matter anymore.” A bright smile suddenly appeared on her face. It almost completely matched the timing of the fall of Albus’. Honore mouthing the words thank you to me. People like Ophelia were too easy. She nodded her head in understanding. “Thanks, Hyo-Eun. I thought you were as bad as Serpens but I guess you are nicer than I‌ thought.” I couldn’t help but shrug. It was my job to hide my embarrassment.

An annoying shout from across the table. “Excuse me. We were talking. You don’t get to just turn away from me.” I ignored him and turned to look at Rob. The bastard was only smiling. He liked trouble too much to be the one in charge of us. “I’m talking to you, orphan!” I‌ continued to ignore him. My attention turning to Scorpius. “So, if you’re a Malfoy does that mean you are good at Defense Against The Dark Arts? I’m pretty sure I‌ have no idea where to start.” Scorpius looked confused but nodded his head. “I’d say I’m unwillingly prepared.”

I smiled at him. “Ethel gets pretty busy and my need to catch up is too time consuming for her. She has more important things. If you have time to help?” He nodded his head eagerly. The two of them were like puppies. Excited young puppies. I‌ turned to Ethel and smiled. She looked away awkwardly. We both knew what time I was freeing up for her. Ailean had told me last night. Karl jumped into the conversation again. “ORPHAN.”

Rob finally turned to glare at him. The Ravenclaw table’s and the professor’s attention had turned to our table. There is no way he would allow anything to become a problem in front of them. A cold smile appearing on his face. “Karl, we do not talk to our housemates like that. Do you understand me? I’m afraid you will be cleaning the common room for the next two weeks because of your inconsiderate remarks.” Cyst besides him scoffed. “Just two weeks? Karl was awful. He should have four at least.” Rob looked around the table. “I’ll leave it to a vote. An affair that affects our house and its members should be open to debate from everyone.”

It ended with four weeks as Cyst wanted. A pleased expression on Professor Rhiannon’s face. The other professors looked on at Rob impressed. Ravenclaw returning to their own discussions. Sulli sliding in finally. “Getting up this early in the morning is impossible.” We smiled at each other awkwardly. Sulli continuing, “How are we supposed to be prepared for our exams and our extra research while getting such little time to sleep.” Cyst laughed. “Only you have such little time to sleep. The rest of us take care of ourselves.” Sulli seemed to ignore the comment. Instead, she leaned across the table. “Blythe completely didn’t even try to wake me up.” I followed her gaze down the table to a brown haired girl. She looked away awkwardly.

Ailean squeezing my hand all of a sudden. I turned to look at him. His hair a wary shade of dark greens and blues. He had something on his mind.

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