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Chapter 3: The Art of Eluding the Scooching Game
*Author's Note: *sheepishly walks out from behind fortress*
Heeyy guys. If there's, you know, any of you left.
So, as you probably have noticed, I haven't updated in about... you know... half a year. Yep. Now, read the following to view my excuses.
April: Wrote most of this chapter but lost it when my computer contracted a virus. Sadness.
May: Was too busy with track to write chapter. Hey! This was back when I had a life!
June: Was too busy partying with friends. Just kidding about this one. I actually have no life. Or friends for that matter. Okay, I have one, but that's about it. So no excuse.
July: No excuse. Except Drivers Ed. Which by the way I absolutely sucked at. Three cheers for being a crappy driver. WOOT WOOT WOOT!
August: No excuse. Whatsoever
If you don't read any further, I don't blame you. Just know that I am so sorry for the wait. And that if you are planning on reading this chapter, I freaking love you. I seriously do. And I'm sorry if this chapter sucks since I haven't been in school in forever and have therefore been unedumacated for three months. Not my fault that my spelleeng skilz r badd nows! Oh, God, this is why I shouldn't try to be funny. And this is the first time I've written in three months... so... yeah, my fingers are crossed that this doesn't suck too badly. I swear the next one will be better though!
Honestly, I'll just be grateful if anyone is even reading this! Again, I love you, you lovely darlings of amazingness! :)
Because my life is sad, I don't own Harry Potter, Natasha B, Pocketful of Sunshine, or, most unfortunately, Ryan Gosling. (I'm working on that last one though.)
Thank you for coming back, lovelies! :)
Oh, and thank you all for the reviews you left four months ago! They made me smile! :)
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LOVELY CHAPTER IMAGE DONE BY BEPO @ TDA!
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So, arguably, Harold McLaggen may not... precisely be considered the... 'ideal catch'.
He's not the cliche hunk on a steed that girls dream of. He doesn't have luscious golden locks that flow in the wind. He doesn't have rippling muscles. He does not possess a lot of, or possibly any, blatantly desirable qualities.
Now you might say that Harold's lack of conventional appeal amounts to him not being 'a catch'. Alas! You are mistaken! Because guess what, you! Harold McLaggen is a catch! You know why?
What a beautiful concept.
I mean, honestly, what in the gosh darn earth is more attractive than originality? What more could I ask for? I mean, forget about a six pack and charm when you can have uniqueness!
So, yeah, Harold McLaggen isn't Prince Charming. He may be, you know, a tad creepy. But, really, what's the difference between being creepy and being sexily mysterious if you really think about it?
Actually, nevermind, don't think about it.
But really, all of Harold's little quirks make him that much more... attractive.
Yes... attractive. Or, you know, something slightly resembling that.
So, in a nutshell, Harold McLaggen isn't the sort of fellow that sweeps you off your feet. But, you know, Rose Weasley has never been a feet-sweeping sort of chica anyway. Rose Weasley is, in fact, the type of girl who mentally rambles in the third person while most certainly not engaging in feet sweeping activities or anything else that requires being desirable and/or sexy.
And, really, I should just be grateful that someone actually has shown the slightest bit of interest in the first place. But here's the thing; I tried. I tried - for Dom, Harold and the sake of being nice - to... fancy... Harold back. I knew that was the right thing to do. I mean, I owed Dom for setting me up with someone. Regardless of that someone being the kid who constantly has catsup smattered on his chin. Not that that matters to me anyway; everyone should feel free to have whatever sort of condiment they want smeared across their face without judgement. Its clearly not the most appealing thing in the world, but-
So, as I was saying, I really did try to like Harold back. I honestly did.
But here's the thing... I just thought maybe Harold had one semi-decent personality trait. Just one quality to overshadow, well, his overall 'Harold-ness.'
I really didn't think that was too much to ask for. I mean, I'm not the unreasonable sort. I just sort of expected... I don't know... something simple, easy. Like a good sense of humor, or possibly a basic set of manners.
Perhaps even remotely decent hygiene?
But apparently even general cleanliness was shooting too high.
November 6th - Saturday - Room of Requirement "Prior to the Incident"
"... even the Minister himself claimed I was the most talented piccoloist in the entirety of Europe. Possibly the world! And - while still maintaining my humble attitude of course - I can't exactly admit I was surprised he thought so. I mean, my musical ability quite obviously exceeds that of even the more refined piccoloists. And not to mention, in addition to my raw talent, there's that unmistakeable charm and uniquely brilliant sound I personally bring to the instrument. Of course, that..."
I nodded sympathetically to whatever Harold was on about, discreetly straining my pupils to glance at my watch.
The same as the last two times I checked.
You know, I think they were wrong about time flying when you're having fun. Because, right now, I'm just having a jolly old time and I'm pretty sure time has just slowed to the speed of a Cleansweep One.
"... and, not to toot my own horn of course, but I must say my musical abilities are greater than... say... the magical ones of even the renowned Albus Dumbledore! Or even..."
Make that a stationary, magic-less broom. That's about the speed of time at the moment.
I must be having a right blast then.
Oh, God, I'm really sorry. You know, for the sarcasm. You must think I'm a really, really crappy person. I mean, what with the basically ignoring Harold, the facetious comments... I guess the darkness inside of me is finally exposing itself.
Oh, dear goodness, this was probably how Voldemort started out, wasn't it? First he started using poor listening skills, then came the mental sarcastic remarks... and before you knew it he had begun his reign of terror and didn't have even a nub for a nose.
Actually, maybe I'm just being paranoid... Haha. Yeah. I mean, I'll admit I tend to overthink a smidgen.
My hand flew to my nose all the same.
... I think its gotten... smaller.
"... Wouldn't you agree, Posie?"
"Er- what! What! What's going on?" I jumped from my seat, startled by Harold's voice, my hand still clutching my apparently shrinking nose.
You see, sometimes I become so engulfed in my thoughts I lose touch with reality completely. And, many times, the only word that can withdraw me from the insanity of my brain is my own name.
Or, in this case, a name that wasn't my name but a name that someone was under the impression was my name.
If you didn't quite catch that, let me articulate. For the past thirty minutes and forty two seconds that I've spent with Harold McLaggen, we've been settled on an olive-colored sofa positoned in the back corner of the room of requirement, discussing the finer matters of life over blasting music and ridiculously loud partiers. And by discussing the finer matters of life, I mean Harold McLaggen gabbing endlessly about Harold McLaggen, Harold McLaggen's interests, and every aspect of Harold McLaggen's life without Rose Weasley getting in three words. Well, actually I did put in three words. Those being 'Its Rose, actually,' when he first called me Posie. Three words he clearly didn't bother to retain.
So, yeah, that's about it; Rose Weasley spends thirty minutes with a guy and he still hasn't learned her name. Story of Rose Weasley's life.
"I asked you, Posie," Harold sighs, taking a dramatic pause, "if you agree that Hogwarts should issue some sort of doctrine to make enrollment more selective. I'm just saying the students here are really losing their class," Harold sniffed disgustedly, looking blatantly repulsed by our peers.
I sort of stare at him for moment, digesting the high-watered, striped trousers, the numerous mustard stains, the dandruff flakes that are currently cascading from his carrot-colored hair as he scratches his head, the suspicious tuna smell that is wafting from his parka.
"Erm... you really think so, Harold?" I ask, tilting my head to the side.
"Oh, Posie," Harold chuckles, "you make me laugh. I mean, who else other than our peers? Me?" Harold joked, cackling heartily.
I fake-laugh loudly, "Haha, definitely not you, that's for sure!"
The part of me that was still hoping Harold was somewhat normal has just been completely destroyed by the knowledge that, quite clearly, the kid is bloody delusional.
After our awkward chorus of laughing dies, an even more awkward silence follows. An awkwardly awkward silence in which Harold stares at me while smirking and licking his lips. In the meantime, I take a sip of water while my eyes casually scan the room for anything but his. I can still feel it though... the staring. His careful observance of my every move. His unblinking eyes studying-
Is it just me, or is Harold starting to sound like a serial killer?
"Oh, Posie, you're so smexy when you do that. You know... drink water," Harold groans, scooching himself closer to me.
I choke a bit, making a mental promise to never drink water again before scooching farther from Harold, "Erm... thanks."
You see, Harold and I have been playing the scooching game for the past twenty five minutes. He'll make a sexual comment that will add to my severe discomfort, then scooch closer to me. In return, I will awkwardly respond and scooch farther away from him. Its a game of sorts I suppose, except I'll be the inevitablely be the loser because I will eventually run out of sofa to scooch away from Harold. And when that dreaded point finally arrives, the thing Harold has attempted to make happen for the past twenty five minutes will unfortunately happen...
Our bodies will... touch.
Merlin, help me.
I look to my right; I only have about three inches until the end of the sofa.
Harold licks his apparently critically dry lips yet again and slides in closer to me.
Make that two inches...
God, I need time! A distraction!
"Erm, so, Harold... what are your plans for the future?" I ask, hoping to hinder Harold's movenment while I conjure a plan to slip away.
Now, I know what you're thinking... Why not just flee without explanation before Harold's apparently grease-covered body comes into contact with mine? Believe me, I want nothing more than to sprint off to my room now and immerse myself in blankets and books like the sad, little hermit I am. However, there's just two issues with that method of escape. One being my lovely cousin Dom's wrath when Harold explains my rude departure, and the other being... well, I just can't do that to Harold. I couldn't just ditch someone. So what if his pants are a little tight, and his behavior is a little, erm, deeply unsettling. I'm pretty sure the kid has feelings. You know, most likely.
"My plans for the future? If you're thinking about our wedding already just say so!" Harold chuckled. "Don't you think that's just a tad forward though, Posie?"
I part my lips to say something, but without success. Instead, my mouth open and closed repeatedly like a blubbering fish.
I was wrong; the kid isn't delusional, he's bloody mental.
"However, in terms of career goals for the future, I've decided that, while playing the piccolo on the side obviously, I'd fancy entering the kneazle-cat market," Harold smirks, looking pleased with himself.
"Oh, mmhmm, what's that?" I asked, attempting to sound intrigued while recovering from Harold's previous assumption.
But, I guess that doesn't sound so bad. The kneazle-cat market, I mean. Harold likes animals. Maybe, just maybe, he's not that horrible afterall.
Just a normal guy. Enjoying some feline.
Yeah, that didn't really come out right, did it?
"Well, its not very popular, honestly. Though I cannot possibly see why. To put if briefly, its, well, we basically provide a home for kneazles and cats. The responsibilities entail feeding them, caring for them, and so on."
I nodded, nonchalantly wiping Harold's spit from 'popular' off my cheek, "Sounds nice."
"But in the end its trying to create the perfect cross between the unremarkable cat and the untameable kneazle. So I would then force the two breeds to take part in sexual activity. Quite often. Meanwhile, I'd come up with new charms to improve the offspring of kneazles and cats! For instance, I've already perfected a charm to increase the nutrional value of kneazle milk by 5.38 percent! 5.38 percent! And I've currently been slaving away on one to increase the sex drive of the male cat!"
Well... I was right... Harold does enjoy animals.
Just, you know... oddly.
"Doesn't that sound, splendid, Posie?"
"Yeah... splendid. That's, yeah, that's certainly the word for it," I cough, then take a gargantuan gulp of water as if its-
I hurl my water bottle across the room to prevent myself from doing what I swore I would never do... Drink water. Especially in the presence of ' Harold Turned-On-By-H20-Consuming McLaggen.'
Believe me, the last thing I want to do is give Harold the wrong idea. And if dying by dehydration is what I must do to prevent that, that is what I shall do.
"But enough about my passion," Harold exhales, clearly not noticing the half-full plastic bottle zooming an inch above his head, "and more about... us."
On that word, his hot, peanut-butter scented breath warms my cheek in the most repulsive, vomit-inducing way possible.
And then he begins to do the inevitable, the dreaded....
He ... scooches.
"Erm... I don't think you really understand -" I say, now leaning over the arm of the couch to avoid Harold.
"Yeah," Harold whispers in what he apparently thought was a sexy voice. "I can feel the electricity between us too."
Dear mother of french toast.
"Harold, I really don't-" I begin to say, my torso now hanging over the end of sofa.
I can just imagine how ridiculous the situation must look: Me stretched impossibly over the edge of the couch, probably with saucer-sized eyes and an expression of pure terror etched on my face. Then Harold with all his lick lipping and ear scratching, practically crushing me with his body, leaning toward me with puckered lips. And-
Did I just say... puckered lips?
"Shh..." Harold whispers, leaning towards me, his lips pressed together and curved in a circle, "Say no more, Posie love."
You know how near death circumstances how people always claim that time slows nearly to a halt, how their life flashes before their eyes? Well, I thought I knew that feeling by just reading about it.
But never, until this moment, with Harold McLaggen's cracked, infected-looking lips seconds away from grazing mine, did I ever experience it...
Time stood still, the party noises were replaced with a haunting chorus of the Hogwarts anthem (Yeah, I really do not know) , and a plethora of memories replayed before me.
The whole shebang was rather disturbing to be frank. And most of the memories were just me tripping over things... me doing homework... me doing other people's homework... me tripping over things... In otherwords my life in general.
And my cousins say I don't know how live.
"Oh, Posie," Harold moaned, breaking me out of my momentary trance.
The ringing fades and shouts of drunken students and Celestina Warbeck's amplified voice suddenly fill my ears. I look up and-
Holy son of a firebolt.
Harold's face was literally an inch from mine, his lips puckered and ready for landing.
Oh, God, Rose, move! Freaking MOVE!
With the skills of a ninja, I somehow manage to roll out from under Harold's doughey form in the nick of time.
I collapse on the floor with a thump, and wipe my forehead with relief. Oh, God, I don't even want to think about what could've happened. Or, more accurately, what... almost was. A shiver runs through my body as I recount how close I came to nearly losing my lip virginity.
Hey, at least it will make for a decent story.
... Not that I have any friends to tell it to.
"What in the name of a galloping gargoyle is going on, Posie?" Harold demands loudly. "What is the meaning of this?"
Think, think, think...
My eyes scanned the room desperately for something... inspiration for a suitable explanation. I couldn't tell him the truth; the truth was cruel. Sure Harold was too creepy and undesirable to even consider kissing, but I couldn't tell him that. I mean, maybe someone like Dom could. Not that she would every be that position. But even so I didn't have her nerve. And besides, he was still a good person. Kind of. I couldn't just hurt his feelings just because he made feel incredibly uncomfortable.
My eyes flitted around dark room, lit only by strobe lights, booze charmed to glow in the dark, and spells being cast from intoxicated students' wands, inspecting every object and person.
But still nothing.
My eyes finally settled on my watch.
Suddenly, I had a brain blast.
"Oh, Harold! I am so so so sorry!" I exclaim dramatically, rising to my feet. "God, I- Its nearly nine! Nearly my bedtime! I didn't even realize until now. Time was just flying on by, I was having such a good time! WHOOSH! Wow! Yeah, such a fantastic time! F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C! Ha ha!"
You know, there's a reason I'm not an actress. And that reason is everytime I attempt to act, I sound like a southern belle who overdosed on Felix Felicis and happy pills. To be honest its not usually a believable performance.
Harold's tongue grazes his teeth as he stands up. "Well, I suppose this is farewell for the night."
"Haha, yep! Unfortunately! Yes, I really really have to go! It was lovely though! Thank you! Bye!"
I bolt towards the door but something attaches itself to my wrist to hold me back and I fly backwards.
"Now, wait just a minute there, smexy..."
Oh, Merlin, no.
"Not before I say goodbye... properly," Harold breathes heavily in my ear.
I was so close too.
Harold casts a creepy wink at me, then lifts my reluctant hand, gradually raising it to his-
"Oh, erm, my mother told me I wasn't allowed to let boys touch my hands Harold," I quickly say in a panicked voice, a centimeter before his mouth slobbered over my palm. "I'm really sorry."
My mother doesn't let boys touch my hands?
Again, what is wrong with me?
"Oh, I see," Harold smirks, looking unphased as he drops my hand. "You're one of those... innocent ones aren't you, Posie."
I don't respond. Instead, I widen my eyes and take a slight step back.
He has this way of lingering on certain words that really freaks me out.
Harold groans then leans in to my ear, "Well I'll just have to do something about that won't I?"
"Erm... I had really better get going!" I exclaim, powerwalking towards the door before Harold can attempt to do anything about that.
"Why don't I walk you down to the common room, Posie. Unless you would rather stay in... my room..."
"No, I'm good! Thanks!" I shout, dodging partiers and spells as I dash to the portal, my legs moving more rapidly than they ever had in the entirety of my life.
"I'll be seeing you very soon, Posie. Even if you don't see me..."
I turn around briefly and see Harold staring unblinkingly at me, moistening his finger with his tongue before placing it on his-
I accelerate to a full sprint as I depart from the room of requirement, not bothering - nor wanting - to take a mere glance back.
I fly through the winding cooridors, up and down staircases with tricks I've learned to anticipate, attempting to separate myself as far as from Harold McLaggen as possible. Its nearly curfew, but I don't venture back toward the Gryffindor Tower. I don't want to curl up on my four poster; I want fresh air, space to breathe.
Miraculously, after minutes of sprinting and shaking my mind of everything that had just happened, I arrive at the steel, spiral staircase I was hunting for. And by 'miraculously', I truly mean miraculously. I mean, I have about as much directional sense as I do grace. And I have about as much of a tendency to get lost as I do to be awkard. You do the math on that one.
I ascend quickly up the stairs, making sure to grip the railing tightly; I've collapsed down steps enough times in my day. Then again, one more time probably wouldn't make a difference. I release my white-knuckled grip from the germ-infested railing, figuring I probably won't fall anyway.
I mean, today hasn't precisely been the epitome of wonderful. Maybe Merlin will go easy on me for the rest of the night, give me some temporary balance or something. Besides, its not like the evening could get any-
I face-plant on the top, steel step.
I pick myself up, whistling like I didn't just fail at life yet again, and pull on the iron ring handle of the door leading to the Astronomy Tower.
November 6th - Saturday - 9:07 pm - The Astronomy Tower "The Incident"
A gentle November breeze grazes my cheeks as I enter. I close the door gently behind me then step forward to the stone barrier. There's a nip in the wind, so I hug my arms to my chest. Its nice though, the coolness; the sensation of cold takes my mind off things.
Things like the threat of Harold McLaggen watching me. Or things like Harold McLaggen's signature tuna scent that is still somehow lingering in my nostrils. Or the things like-
Actually, screw you, sensation of cold, you don't take my mind off things! You just make me bloody COLD!
I release an agitated huff and lean over the barrier of the astronomy tower.
Why is it that I can solely express my feelings toward non-living things? Like cold? Or stairs (aka bloody contraptions of heck.)? Yet I can't even tell the textbook definition of a future rapist that he's making me uncomfortable?
Honestly, how did I even wind up in Gryffindor? I mean, I doubt I possess a single nerve or courageous bone in my body; I'm just a weirdo who mentally freaks out on unanimate objects. Whoopdy do.
And now I'm saying whoopdy do. Lovely.
Maybe James was right all along; Maybe the sorting hat is on crack. Clearly that's the only explanation for a coward like me getting sorted into a house infamous for its residents' bravery.
Or possibly I'm too lame for any house so the hat just placed me in Gryffindor for simply the cruel irony of it.
Actually, you know, that sort of makes sense.
Cruel, ironic hat.
I watch the smoke-like air escape from my lips as I exhale, feeling even more loser-ish than usual. I know its the right thing to do, trying to be nice I mean. But sometimes, I wish that just once I could speak my mind. Refuse to wordlessly accept whatever Dom or anyone elses inflicts on me. Stand up for myself.
I shake my head, shoving those thoughts elsewhere. I didn't want to speak my mind if it meant pain at another's expense. And I couldn't very well stand up for myself without inevitably, unintentionally hurting someone else. In the end, I would rather accept the suck than dish it out. If that makes any sense. So my cousins took advantage of me sometimes. So Harold McLaggen would most likely continue to make me uncomfortable until I graduate. I would rather just embrace that, deal with it myself, instead of making an issue of it all. There was no need for conflict. It wasn't necessary for me to assert myself. And, really, everything is perfectly fine the way it is.
And, besides, I shouldn't stand around feeling sorry for my situation.
Now what was that thing I always did when I needed to raise my spirits?
"I've got a pocket, got a pocket full of sunshine, I've gotta love, and I know that its all mine, oh. WHOA OH!" I sing at a blood-curdling volume.
I then squint my eyes shut and spread my arms out like a bird. "DO WHAT YOU WANT AND YOU'RE NEVER GONNA BREAK THIS, STICKS AND STONES ARE NEVER GONNA SHAKE THIS! OH! WHOA OH WHOA."
I proceed to do a beautiful combination of the running man - my signature move - and the cabbage patch as I commence the next verse, "TAKE ME AWAAAY! A SECRET PLACE! A SWEET ESCAPE! TAKE ME A-"
My voice abruptly goes mute and I clasp my palm to my mouth.
Somehow, over my obnoxiously, ungodly loud singing, I hear the door creak open.
This is the part where I get murdered, isn't it? Actually, getting slaughtered would be preferable if they heard my god-awful rendition of Pocketful of Sunshine.
Or, even worse yet... witnessed my dance moves.
Merlin, help me.
I rest my back against the stone edge of tower, my heart beating at approximately a million beats per second. I try to look intimidating, like someone even the baddest of bad would not want to cross, but most likely resemble a scared puppy instead.
I brace myself for the worst - either Voldemort risen from the dead or Harold McLaggen - as the portal widens.
Holy french toast.
Holy french toast.
HOLY. FRENCH. TOAST.
I didn't realize my eyes were shut until a voice says, "Rose?"
Well, I suppose this is goodbye, sweet sweet earth.
Carefully, I open one eye at a time. And-
My jaw hangs open as I study the figure before me... The sandy blonde locks, the sparkly blue eyes, the smile so dazzling I can still see it in the dark of night.
Cue the sky-rocketing heart rate.
*Another note: Hey! Did I mention I adore you for reading this chiz? Anyway, I have more written up and was planning on making this a longer chapter, but then I decided I wanted to have... 'The Incident' in chappie four instead. :) Hope you don't mind too badly.
So... think Harold is delightfully repulsive? Find Rose to be a an awkwardly, nerdly child who needs to freaking assert herself already? Want Sander already? Or Scorpius? If so, stick around for chapter four where your magical dreams will come true.
Anyway tell me your thinkerings in the box situated below!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR AWESOMENESS! :D