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Study Habits by The Colorful Dragon
Chapter 2: Siberian Excursions
I glanced around at the unappetizing food Dom demanded I eat as she took a bight of her boring salad. Dom had been on a salad kick ever since she’d discovered it over the summer. Personally I found it to taste like paper, but she insisted that it was the best thing ever. Dom insists that a lot of things are the best things ever.
Take kayaking for instance. When her family went on vacation a few summers back she had learned to kayak. Unfortunately, she brought the newfound skill back to Hogwarts with her. She didn’t listen when I told her that it was the middle of a thunderstorm. She wanted to kayak. She was the lone kid out in the black lake that day, mulling her way through the torrential downpour of rain. The whole obsession with that ended when she almost got electrocuted. The paddle was never seen again, but the Giant Squid seemed a little under the weather for the few days following what we now call the kayak incident.
Then there was the time when she decided she wanted to be a professional lumberjack. Apparently cutting wood for a living is very rewarding for the soul, although I don’t have the experience to back that up. Florie and I tried to convince her that it wasn’t wise to steal Albus’s invisibility cloak and go to chop wood in the forbidden forest at three o’clock in the morning, but did she listen? No. Instead she became DomOnique the LumbOjackah insomniac for a good three months and attempted to sell her wood during lunchtime. You know, because everyone needs wood while they’re at school.
“Rose, the house elves don’t cook for their enjoyment.” Dominique gave me the look that mothers usually give before they put you in timeout. “The least you could do is eat the fucking food.”
“I’m not hungry.” I said in a miserable voice.
“Rose, I’m afraid you’re getting too thin.” Dom’s eyebrows scrunched together. “You’re probably only ten pounds fatter than I am, and that’s not okay. I’m supposed to be the skinny one. Take it from a friend who cares about our outward appearances.”
This was a prime example of why I try to eat next to Albus and not Dom. Every time she eats more than me I get a lecture about how I needed to fatten up. If I ate more she told me I was beginning to look like an obese centaur.
“I think I’ll throw up if I eat.” I said in a dejected manner.
“Bulimia is so not the answer, Rosie.” She shook her head and placed her hand on mine in what I’m sure she thought was a caring way. Note to all: Dominique Weasley does not have a caring bone in her body. Nada. Zip. “Don’t forget that I saw you puking your guts out in the toilet after breakfast on Tuesday.”
“Dominique,” I responded through gritted teeth. “That was because I took a Puking Pastille so I could miss Charms. You threw the purple end out the window because you didn’t understand the directions and got frustrated, remember? So of course I was throwing up all day. You got rid of the damned antidote.”
“The directions were in Spanish!” She shrieked defensively, spearing her salad with her fork. “God, sorry I’m not from Spain!”
“But you speak French, aren’t they the same?” Albus asked stupidly from across the table. Dom and I paused our arguing to glance across the table at him in a disbelieving way. “What?” He asked us in a tone of annoyance.
I decided that not responding would be the smartest choice. It was amazing to me that Albus managed to get up and make it through the day alone. He had absolutely no self-independence. He was a Slytherin, but he still sat with us at dinner so that he could be “close to his family”, or something weird like that. You’d think Voldemort was around the corner with a gang of death eaters sometimes with how bloody protective he would get.
“Back to the topic—” Dom paused to glare at Al for disrupting her train of thought. “—Rose, tell us all the truth, we won’t judge you.”
“I’m not Bulimic.”
“I believe that to be a load of dung.” She said brightly. “Just because you’re not as skinny as me doesn’t mean you’re ugly. Not everyone can look like this, it takes work—dedication. Only strong minded individuals can master the art of a healthy diet. I have the determination in my heart that you’ll never have.”
“Jesus Dominique, I’m not—” I tried, but she kept on going.
“It’s okay, admitting is the first step of the process. You have to learn to love yourself before you can get a boy like Joey Corner to love you. Boys like confident, strong willed young women, not little girls who resort to taking candies so that they can throw up their porridge. How do you think I’ve been so successful with my love life?”
I briefly thought back on Dominique’s so called love life. There was Malcolm Dawson for a year and a half back in forth year, but she cheated on him with her next boyfriend, some French model whom she still refuses to this day to disclose the name of. That kind of fizzed out when she met Daniel MacMillan and destroyed his relationship with some Ravenclaw girl I forget the name of. After she ruined that she decided that she never liked him, and promptly broke his heart without a backwards glance. Ah, the successful love life of a first class home wrecker.
“I still cry for my mum when I’m sick, how could I ever make myself throw up on a daily basis?”
“It’s what’s inside of you at the end of the day that really matters, Rose. Sure, if you want to get laid maybe your dorky clogs aren’t going to help your cause, but if he’s drunk look past all of that.”
At this point I had no idea where we were in this conversation. It was typical Dominique to bring in completely irrelevant topics and confuse her victim with her stupidity. I sighed, knowing that she wouldn’t stop unless I just agreed.
“Alright, alright!” I threw my hands in the air and shot her a defeated look. “I appreciate this—erm—talk. It means a lot.”
“No problemo.” She beamed at me and patted my head. “Anything to help the less fortunate.”
“I have to go.” I grumbled, banging my head into my empty plate. Maybe if I did that enough I would lose too many brain cells to be able to tutor Malfoy.
Then they’d send me home and away from these cookie people I call friends.
“Where?” Albus asked as he shoveled in large amounts of food.
“She’s got a tutor session with Scorpius Malfoy.” Dominique said with a smirk. I gave her one of the most serious glares I could muster. For real, this glare was killer. If I was a superwoman she’d be dead by now. “What?” She asked before taking another bight of her salad.
The whole glare killing thing wasn’t really working. Damn, I needed to work on that.
“You’re tutoring Malfoy?” Albus asked me, except it didn’t really sound like that because his mouth was full. I could only understand because I had eaten with the Potter boys on many occasions, and I had come to know the language they speak when food is in a seven foot radius.
“Unfortunately.” I grumbled, refusing to look over to the Slytherin table where I knew he was seated.
“But he’s so smart!” Al exclaimed.
“Apparently not.” I muttered, rolling my eyes. Trust Al Potter to think that the kid who needs tutoring is smart. I swear, sometimes I think that all that goes through that boys head is empty air where brainwaves should be. He once tried to order Chinese takeout to school, not realizing that the people delivering were muggles and therefore could not find Hogwarts. It was only then that he agreed to listen to my speech on why every student should read Hogwarts A History. Honestly, that book answered more questions than I ever could.
“He’s so good looking,” Anna Lawrence, my roommate, said with a swoon. Yes, there was actual swoonage occurring people. “I’d pay money to tutor him.”
Al slammed his hands to his ears as if he had just heard a terrible slur of curse words. Half of me was amazed that he could hold his hands to his ears, breath, and eat at the same time. I guess he still felt uncomfortable when it came to boys and his cousins. He’s real mature, our Al.
“He’s alright.” Dom peered over at the Slytherin table. I involuntarily blushed. I knew I was overreacting; after all, it was just tutoring. I guess for me it was more the fact that now I was going to have to talk to him. I had gone through five years of magical education without holding one substantial conversation with the guy, and now I was going to have to small talk myself through Arithmancy. I don’t do making new friends—or talking to new people at all really.
“Hi everybody.” Florie slid onto the bench with a happy smile. I wasn’t surprised when I saw her boyfriend, Steve, sit down as well.
Steve and Florie were that couple that was so perfect it made everyone else’s relationships look like crap. Take their one year for instance. It was practically a school wide holiday. I remember trailing along after the lovebirds, like the awkward third wheel that I am, when suddenly random people whom I highly doubt had ever spoken to Florie or Steve before started giving congratulations. Like I said, they’re just that kind of couple. You either love them or hate them. I haven’t quite decided where I fall on that issue.
“What do you think about Bailey Summers?” Al asked us all.
“Hoe with a capital H.” Dom said as she pushed away her salad and patted her tummy. You’d think she just ate half a chicken by the way she was rubbing that thing.
“She’s kind of mean Albus.” Florie said during a break of her silent smile staring with Steve over in lala land. She would often just zone out and stare at him. It was kind of creepy when they first started dating, but by now we were all too used to it to care.
“She is not a hoe, Dominique!” Al said in an affronted tone. “For your information, I was going to ask her to Hogsmeade with me next weekend.”
“Let me tell you something about girls like Bailey Summers, dear cousin. She’s not normal. Normal girls spend thirty percent of their time thinking about boys, thirty percent talking about boys, fifteen percent avoiding boys, the last fifty percent of their time is based on themselves. Bailey doesn’t even spend fifty on herself! It’s more like twenty five. All other girls follow the above code…unless you’re weird like Rose and you dedicate a percentage to books.”
“That’s one hundred and twenty five percent, Dom.” I said, unable to stop the calculations in my head. “So actually twenty five percent would be normal to spend on yourself. Bailey’s normal, Al.”
“Don’t listen to the ginger she’s boy illiterate!” Dom slammed her goblet of water down like it was a gavel and we were on Judge Judy.
“But we’re talking about girls I thought?” Florie butted in. She looked as confused as I felt.
“Shut up all of you, I need to eat my damned salad!”
And that was the end of the conversation. We were all too confused to press on anyways. I mean, how the heck did she get one hundred and twenty five percent? This was easy math, not Arithmancy. Sometimes I think I’m the only one who cares about practicality anymore. My mother seems to be the only one who understands that, and she talks to our cat more than she talks to my father. So it didn’t look like I was heading down a very good path. If I was able to hide my obvious nerdness maybe I could become one of the stupids and live life that way. It would sure make things a lot less confusing.
“I should go.” I said miserably again as I looked down at my watch. It was six fifty and I didn’t want to be late.
“It’ll be fine Rose,” Al said with a consoling smile. “Scorpius isn’t that bad.”
I just sniffed and got up from the table. To spare Al’s feelings I didn’t say it out loud, but all I could think was that that made him most likely terrible. Al’s judgment of people wasn’t exactly spot on.
The library was quite empty. It was probably because everyone was at dinner. I picked a table relatively near to the door so that he would see me when he came in. Sighing, I pulled out my Arithmancy textbook and then my notes for the class. I wasn’t sure what Malfoy didn’t understand. I just hoped he knew more about it than Dominique. Merlin help me if I have two nitwits to help in the same class.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m the crazy one here. I mean, it’s not like anyone asks me to go out of my way to help them out. I just say yes and then regret saying it. I don’t even like people. When I graduate I’m going to find some job where I can be all alone all day and just bury myself in the silence. It’ll be a nice change from where I’m coming from. Maybe I’ll be an unspeakable. That way I don’t have to tell anyone anything. Either that or a cat psychiatrist. It would be fun to solve animal problems for a change. They can’t talk back, and all I have to do is make meow sounds in their general direction. What a fantastic idea! Rose Weasley, the cat psychiatrist!
Of course Dominique would probably disown me for that. She wouldn’t want to have a friend who talks to animals for a living, which would be worse than a friend who was skinnier than she was. In her mind, she thinks we’re all out to get her in some way, shape, or form. I don’t even try to understand the inner workings of her mind anymore. It leaves me offended and confused.
“Hey.” I jumped a little as Malfoy slid into the seat opposite of me. Up close, his white blonde hair was even spikier than it was from afar. He didn’t look pleased to be here. In fact, he looked downright miserable. I looked down at my watch and had to restrain myself from rolling my eyes. He was five minutes late. How rude. If anyone had the right to be miserable here it was me. I couldn’t stand people who were late for things.
“Hi,” I said, forcing a smile onto my face. “So…”
“So what?” He asked, tapping his fingers on the desk.
“So what do you need help with.” There was an edge of annoyance in my voice, but I tried my best to keep it in. I swear, one day I’m just going to blow up from all the stuff I don’t say.
“Everything.” He muttered.
Great. Dimwit number two, here we go.
“Okay, well how about we start with a basic problem.” I pulled open my notes and opened to the beginning pages of the textbook. He just stared at me with his blank gray eyes. If they had some emotion in them they might be attractive gray eyes. “Do you—er—do you want to get out a piece of parchment?”
“I didn’t bring any.” He said with a shrug of his shoulders.
It took everything I had not to throw the textbook in his bored looking face. Here he was, expecting that I would be doing all the work for him. I mean, I know he’s probably used to it with all the girls obsessing over him and all, but did he seriously think I wanted to be here? I had very important potions homework that was waiting for me the moment I got back to the common room! Attractive body or not, homework comes first for Rose Weasley.
“You can borrow some of mine then.” I ripped a page out of my notes and gave it to him. When he made no moves to look for a quill, I pulled out my extra. It was then that the infamous Malfoy smirk my mother had always talked about crept onto his face.
“Do you have multiple copies of everything?” He asked.
“There’s nothing wrong with being prepared!” I shot back in a high pitched voice, feeling the red creep up and onto my face. I looked down at the textbook. “Okay, so here we go. This chart shows the numbers and their correspondence to—”
“How about we start with you telling me what Arithmancy is?” He said, looking bored again. He had his hands behind his head and he was leaning back on the chair. “I’ve taken the class for three years and no one bothered to tell me what it is.”
“It’s the method of divination by numbers.” I said without really thinking about it. “It’s a practical, almost scientific way to tell the future.”
He was sniggering now. I griped onto my quill harder than I needed to but had to force myself to stop. After all, he had so kindly borrowed my other one. “What, do you memorize your textbooks?”
“It sounds like you do.” He grabbed the textbook from me without permission and flipped through to the glossary. I opened my mouth and then shut it fast. I had never before met someone so openly obnoxious. He was making my father look like a well-mannered man and Dominique look like a kind and modest lady.
And after that incident of her stealing a little boys Christmas money, we can all agree that that’s not the case.
“Hey!” I made moves to grab it back, but he pulled it out of my reach.
“Arithmancy: The scientific method of divination by numbers.” He read off.
I just glared at him as he handed me the textbook back. So far, this was not going as I had planned it. By the time I had actually gotten him to focus on the first problem, I realized that he was possibly the stupidest person I’d ever met. I knew that Arithmancy was a challenge, but if he at least tried it would be doable. He wasn’t interested in the subject at all. In fact, he seemed to be much more interested in picking on me. First it was my preparedness, then it was my memorization techniques, and now it was my attention span. Apparently it was too good.
“Weasley, tell me,” He said with the stupid smirk. “Do you get out much? Because you seem to understand this way more than the average person. It’s almost as if you like it.”
“So then you multiply the three by the seven, because according to Agripa’s rule you go three over and four up.” I said through gritted teeth.
“Do you understand why the answer’s twenty one?”
I daydreamed quickly of pulling his potentially pretty eyes out of his head. But Pince was already mad at me for the whole Dominique and James fiasco, so I didn’t want to risk it. If I was banned from the library I don’t know what I would do. Go crazy probably.
“No, I lost track of what we were doing a long time ago.”
“Do you want my help or not?” I finally snapped, putting my quill down and staring at him directly in the eyes. I could feel the infuriation dripping in my words.
“Well, I’m here aren’t I? So obviously I want your help.” He stared back at me, just as coldly. In my head I could practically feel my annoyance bubbling through the roof. I took a deep breath and tried to collect myself. This was just a tutor session, that was all. He didn’t have to understand or try to understand unless he wanted to. It wasn’t my job to change his attitude. All I was here to do was teach. He could listen or not. At least I tried.
“I think that maybe we should stop for tonight.” I said. As soon as the words left my mouth he was up off of the chair.
“Best think you’ve said yet.” He muttered. “So this time next week then?”
“Looking forward to it.” I said sarcastically, but if he heard he didn’t acknowledge that he did. He was far too focused on getting out of the library. I’m sure his puny brain couldn’t walk and think at the same time.
I packed up my stuff and put it all back into my bag feeling my stomach grumble uncomfortably. The House Elves were usually stocked up on their chocolate ice cream, and that was just what I needed on a day like today.
As usual I was one of the last students to leave the library. I waved goodbye to Pince and she stiffly nodded in my direction. I guess she still wasn’t over my mentally slow family’s invasion from earlier. I couldn’t really blame her. If I was the librarian I would make it a rule that no Potter/Weasley should ever be allowed in. They shouldn’t be allowed to go into a lot of places, actually.
Take a bathroom for instance. Dom liked to talk to the mirrors and engage them in conversations about how beautiful she was. Lucy, on the other hand, liked to get into fights with the mirrors (we haven’t quite figured out why, but I believed it had something to do with her emotional issues). This lead to some awkward staring when we went to a muggle setting and they’d get all pissy when the mirrors wouldn’t respond. Fred had a terrible habit of forgetting to flush the toilet, and James would often fall asleep while he sat there. He wouldn’t wake up until somebody walked in on him.
Zoos were perhaps even more dangerous than bathrooms. When we were younger Lily and Roxy would somehow always wind up in the cages with the animals. Roxy almost got bitten by a Tiger once. Hugo got caught trying to steal a baby piranha out under his raincoat—twice. Mum sent him to therapy for ages after that stint. Victoire would talk to the animals in this disgusting sweet voice that often one reserved for toddlers. Molly would dully rattle off every fact she knew about the exhibit we were at, boring us all to tears if she could. She liked to cause problems, that one. We think that’s why Lucy’s as fucked up as she is. Everyone would be emotionally disoriented if they had to live with Molly.
Suddenly my face collided with someone’s shoulder. “Oh! Sorry I—” I paused and practically stopped breathing. I had been lost in my own thoughts, as usual, and had bumped into Joey Corner.”—I wasn’t paying attention.” I finally managed to finish.
“I can tell.” Joey said with a small smile. Oh god, I could have died right then and right there. My heart was literally melting at the sight of him. His eyes were such a pretty shade of chocolate brown. This was a nice change after staring into Malfoy’s cold grey ones for the past hour.
I realized I was awkwardly staring at him so I looked down and started to blush the shade of my hair. It’s always oh so attractive when I do this. C’mon Rose, think. Say something that Dom would say.
“I’m going to the kitchens!” I finally blurted out. “My friend thinks that I’m bulimic, but obviously I’m not. I’m going to eat chocolate ice cream. Do you like Chocolate ice cream? I do.”
He laughed a little at me and raised his eyebrows in an attractive way. I couldn’t help but gaze up adoringly at him. He should have been a model instead of a student.
“Chocolate’s good.” He responded, still sniggering as he slowly walked away. “See you around Weasley.”
“Bye!” I waved enthusiastically as he rounded the corner, shrinking into the wall when he was gone. I banged my head into it. Idiot. Not only had I looked like the biggest ditz, but I had talked about my alleged bulimia issue. If he didn’t think I was a weirdo before he definitely would now. Rose Weasley, the freak who gorged her face with ice cream at nine o’clock at night. That had a nice ring to it.
“I should just move to Siberia.” I whispered aloud to myself, and for once my head seemed to agree.
So I'd like to start by saying I don't own Judge Judy, as awsome as that would be. Any characters you recognize belong to the amazing J.K Rowling! Otherwise, they're all mine:) I hope you liked this chapter! I had a fun time writing it. I'm sorry for not updating! My life just got really busy with it being summer and all. But if you like it I'll keep writing it. Thanks for reading, and if you have time to review it's always greatly appreciated! Favorite parts are my favorite;) Love you all,