Prompt: Written for ranchangrnl for the hp_halloween double drabble gift fest.
Character/Pairing: Victoire Weasley, James Sirius Potter, assorted other next gen Weasley cousins.
Warnings: Children are cruel.
Word count: 428
Summary: Halloween is all about tradition, but some people have more fun than others.
A/N: I first wrote it in a double drabble, but this is the longer version.
Tradition. Victoire hated it. It always involved her screaming banshees of cousins being assigned to her despite the different Houses, all of them causing chaos and pandemonium and getting her in trouble.
She was tired of being their eternal babysitter and victim at home, where she had familial obligations. It was too much to be borne at school.
Hogwarts’ annual Halloween Ball featured an elaborate Haunted House, put on by the ghosts and professors. The Great Hall was a dark maze of scary and supposedly-scary things.
Victoire endured it stoically—Molly’s back-talking, Roxanne’s hexing, James’ pranking, and Albus Severus’ disapproval of everyone, including her. Rose was being too quiet, but she took after Aunt Hermione a little too much sometimes and Victoire couldn’t always read her. If she had to say something, she would have said it was guilt in Rose’s countenance, but the girl was such a goody-two-shoes (even worse than Victoire herself at times) that Victoire dismissed the thought outright.
Something oozed from the darkest shadows after Nearly-Headless Nick’s death re-enactment, which was really quite gross. For a moment it was hazy, but in one quicksilver moment it flashed into the form of a silvery unicorn. It was pristine but for the darkness on its horn and the single, macabre drop of blood that trickled down its horsey nose.
A Boggart, Victoire knew, but knowledge didn’t still the instant shaking and cold sweat of terror, the faint-headed near-swoon as she back-pedaled with a scream, falling and scrambling away frantically, tears falling unbidden across pale cheeks.
Shrieks of laughter finally broke through her fear—the children laughing at her, James especially hard. He was probably behind it, she realized, appalled and horrified. “You’re… afraid of unicorns?” he gasped. “I thought you were afraid of being ugly!”
Her long ago lie, to hide her true fear after a chance sighting in the Forbidden Forest during foaling season—mother unicorns were brutally protective, and the experience had given her nightmares for life. She was so afraid of unicorns that she’d had to plead sick during those lessons in Care of Magical Creatures.
“But this is so much better!” the boy crowed.
“I hate you, James Sirius!” Victoire cried fervently. “I hate you, you ‘orrid little boy!” She rose and ran through the enchantments, embarrassed, broken, and uncaring what any of her teachers thought now. The seventeen-year-old part-Veela felt like she was eleven again as well as having all her dignity stripped away in one savage move.
She really hated tradition. Even worse, right now she really hated her family.