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*Authors Note: Hey guys! This is my first fanfiction EVAH! So if you are reading this I am so thankful! I know this prologue is uber short, but that's just because this is a brief introduction to the actual story. The next chapter is when the story really commences. Please review and I'll love you forever! Also, this story is dedicated to Dally from the Outsiders. :)Oh, and anything you recognize I do not own. Also, avec is French for with. Yeah, that's it. :)
THANK YOU TO ILLUMINATION AT TDA FOR THE BEAUTIFUL CHAPTER IMAGE! :)
You see, it all started with a boy, like any other predicament of a teenage girl.
But then I had a bout of impulsive stupidity, followed by mortification and too much Ben and Jerry's, and before I knew it I had personally enlisted the aid of my arch nemesis in an insane scheme to ruin my reputation and ultimately win the heart of Lysander Scamander.
Sure, reflecting on it now, it sounds pretty darn bonkers.
On my defense, the plot seemed completely logical at the time, which was around midnight. And at midnight, everything just makes sense, even the crazy wild stuff in your dreams. And zany plans that involve your enemy's assistance.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Because, like I said, it all began with a boy.
Now, believe me, I, Rose Weasley, am not one of those bimbos who giggles when a decent-looking bloke walks by. But Sander...
Cue the dreamy sigh.
Lysander Scamander is something of a god to Hogwarts. I'm not even exaggerating; first through seventh years literally worship the kid. And I don't mean just the girls either; practically every guy is desperate to earn his 'mateship'. Because once a dude squirms his way into Sander's inner circle, said dude scores the prettiest girls, the hottest party invites, and the popularity that only Sander himself could rival. And as for the females... well, let's just say that he has the lot of us swooning. And, actually, a fair amount of guys too.
So you might be mistaking him for a ladies man. The kind without a heart but mindblowingly attractive looks. But he's actually a really good guy. I mean, he's sweet to everyone, even professors. And not to mention well rounded. He's the captain of the quidditch team and Head Boy. The boy is like the epitome of perfection.
And beautiful. Really freaking beautiful.
But the factor that triggered my infatuation with him is his brains. I mean, sure, the looks don't hurt either. But I'm not really the type that goes crazy over appearance. Actually, I don't really go boy crazy at all. The only guy I've ever honestly liked was Sander.
Okay, okay! I've always had a really weird crush on Rhett Butler, but I swear that's it! If Rhett Butler isn't the perfect specimen of man I don't know who is.
But, as I was saying, Sander is extremely smart. I've heard that he receives all Es and Os on his papers. And that he's a natural at potions. Which is probably my favorite subject.
I have adored Sander for five years... Since the moment he cast me that smile, his famous dazzling pearly smile, as I was first seated at the Gryffindor table.
And, as ridiculously cheezy as that is, that was the beginning of my creepy crush on Lysander Scamander.
Cool story, really.
And now I feel completely pathetic for rambling on about a boy. But it is necessary that you comprehend the perfection that is Lysander Scamander in order to understand why I did what I did.
You see, I don't usually do stupid things. And when I do stupid things, it is always unintentional. Like biffing it down the stairs, or colliding with other people in the hall. Which both occur way too frequently now that I mention it. But I never put myself out there. Which is sort of strange considering I'm a Gryffindor. And voluntarily engaging in idiotic affairs is practically what Gryffindors are famous for. But me, I'm just a wallflower. You know, always hanging back, keeping to herself... that's Rose Weasley. Except when I'm falling flat on my face, people don't really seem to notice me. Which is completely fine by me. My cousins can be the conspicuous, outgoing ones for all I care. The whole concept of being social isn't really my thing.
Merlin, I really sound like a fruit cup. Or one of those antisocial psychos. But you see, I'm just incredibly freakishly awkward, so I would rather just spare myself the humiliation of attempting socialize. I'm really just looking out for everyone's best interest by refusing to mix with others. Because if I mingle with someone, I will inevitably make them and myself feel awkward, so its best that I just keep to myself.
And I almost always keep to myself. But earlier, like I said, I had a spurt of reckless stupidity which started with Lysander Scamander and ended with fraternization avec the enemy.
Now, you've most likely gathered that I'm helplessly in love with Lysander Scamander. And that I'm an awkward fruit cup.
And, well, you see, awkward fruit cups and hot guys don't mix.
Particularly when said fruit cup confesses her undying affection for said hot guy on top of the bloody astronomy tower.
It's kind of a funny story.
But not really.
Because, before I could reclaim my rejected love, I had consumed enough cookie dough ice cream to sustain Canada and was begging Scorpius Malfoy for lessons in the art of being bad.
Yeah, I'm screwed.
Chapter 2: The Art of Attracting Perverts with Ketchup-Stained Parkas
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*Author's Note: First up, HOLY FREAKING WOW! I did not expect the prologue to be received as well as it was! The first chapter has already had over five hundred reads, and I'm completely flabbergasted. You guys are amazing! And all of your reviews made me do the Sue Heck dance. I'm not even kidding. And, if you know what the Sue Heck dance is, I love you. But I love you anyways since you are reading this. THANK YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE! :))
Secondly, I am VERY SORRY about the wait. I am a bit of a perfectionist, and thats why this wasn't updated sooner. I swear when I submitted the prologue I had another chapter ready, but it sucked so I scrapped it. I wrote a few more chapters, submitted them, edited them to death, then deleted them. And then I finally wrote this, which probably sucks too, but I am extremely sleep-deprived right now so I can't even tell if this is terrible or not. Hopefully not. But I'm going to give you guys this anyways. Its fillery but I really hope its okay.
Thirdly, this is dedicated to Ryan Gosling because he is the most beautiful man ever and attractively awkward. :)
PS: This author's note is really long because I'm in a rambling sort of mood. Also, let it be known that I fell flat on my face during my food break while writing this chapter, so that can be my punishment for the slow update. Especially since it really hurt and my sister laughed at me. :) Also this was previously rejected which is part of the reason the update was slow. Its all my fault though because I'm a lethargic/busy cotton headed ninny muggins... :( :( :(
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN ANYTHING YOU RECOGNIZE. ESPECIALLY NOT THE GREAT GATSBY WHICH IS OWNED BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD AND NOT ME! OR POCKETFUL OF SUNSHINE OR NATASHA B. OR RYAN GOSLING. (UNFORTUNATELY)
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BEAUTIFUL BANNER BY charme. AT TDA!
(yes, I can and will use Regina George for the bitchy character. :)
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November 6th – Saturday – 4:42pm “Prior to the Incident”
My favorite part of one-on-one time with my best mate is when she calls me out on my lack of interaction with the opposite sex.
No, seriously! Being reminded you are a sixth year lip virgin, by a part veela mind you, really boosts the self-esteem meter!
“Do you want to be an effing kneazle lady for the rest of your life? Because, I'm sorry, but that is the direction you are headed in.”
“Don't worry, Dommie,” I reassured my cousin cheerfully, scrawling the thesis of Albus' Potions essay. “I'll be something cool... like a hippogriff or dragon lady.”
You know what? I'll just run a farm of grotesquely large and vicious creatures!
Except, considering my rotten luck and tendency to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, I'd inevitably be burned or eaten alive. Which isn't really a pleasant possibility.
Yeah, I'll just stick with the kneazles.
“Oh, shut up,” Dom huffed, flicking my arm playfully. “I'm being serious, Rosie. I mean, you have to make a move sometime. Before you wake up and realize you're thirty and effing old and wrinkled and shit.”
Madam Pince released an unhappy gargling/hissing sound from a bookshelf a few yards away that either meant for us to quiet our voices, or that she had a particularly large wad of mucus lodged in her pharynx.
I've been around the library a lot; I know these things.
Actually, I've been around the library too much to be considered socially acceptable, but thats irrelevant.
“I have another fourteen years before that happens. And, besides, I just want to concentrate on academics,” I whispered, pushing my glasses up to the bridge of my nose.
“Seriously? Are you, like, seriously right now?” Dom asked, her eyebrows ascending to the middle of her forehead.
“What?” I puzzled, flipping the yellowed pages of my Potions book.
“You want to... 'concentrate on academics,'?” Dom made air quotes, her eyebrows still nearly touching her hairline.
“Yeah,” I shrugged innocently, shooting Dom what was supposed to be a winning smile, but probably turned out looking like a constipated goblin grimace.
Hey, Merlin couldn't make all of us attractive. Or, you know, human-looking.
“Concentrating on academics, prefect, dorky glasses, ninja turtles panties... Godric, Rose, did I ever tell you how much of a complete sexual animal you are?”
“Oh my gosh, Dom! You can't just discuss someone's... undergarments... in public!” I whispered, my eyes flitting around the library for people.
“Prude,” Dom scoffed just as someone cleared their throat.
Madam Pince was towering over our table with a repulsed expression on her face.
“Oh, erm, hello, Madam,” I greeted sheepishly, my complexion scarlet.
How coincidental that every time I'm in a mortifying situation, I'm with Dom.
I tried to glare at Dom, who was snickering into her palm. Unfortunately, my face doesn't do glaring - it apparently just does constipated goblin - so the attempt was useless.
“Ladies!” she snapped creakily, wagging her finger in our faces, “There will be no discussion of such vulgar topics in this library as long as I'm alive!”
“So not very fucking long then,” Dom muttered under her breath.
A frightening growl rumbled in Madam Pince's throat.
“She said it!” Dom pointed at me, her opposite hand covering her heart.
I widened my eyes in horror at Dom, who smirked.
Dom Weasley... the best mate who not only loudly announces the content of your panties, but then blames you for her harsh, f-bomb loaded comments about the librarian!
Cousin of the year, right there!
Madam Pince turned her furious countenance to me, “You had better learn to respect your elders, Miss Weasley, before I banish you from this library!”
“But I didn't... I- I'm sorry, I-”
“Immature, rude, little...” Madam Pince muttered bitterly as she limped away to her desk, ignoring my apologies.
“Merlin, she's such a bitch,” Dom snorted once she had situated herself in her awesome rolly librarian chair. “Oh, come on Rose. Don't look at me like that.”
My jaw remained anchored to the ground, my eyes still magnified to saucer size.
Not only does the librarian know that my panties feature fighting cartoon turtles, but now she loathes my guts.
“She thinks I'm bad person!” I said worriedly, twisting the quill tucked behind my ear. “She probably hates me now, Dom!”
Anxiety rushed through my veins.
You see, nothing makes me more nervous than someone disliking me.
Well, except arachnids.
And tattooed Swiss people wearing berets. (Its a really long story.)
“She's just a batty old hag,” Dom rolled her eyes, then examined her manicure. “Why do you even give a shit about her?”
I looked back at Madam Pince; her face was twisted with burning hate and her eyes were shooting Avada rays into my forehead.
In other words, she wore an expression that blatantly said, “I would adore watching you suffocate to death in a pile of books while I laugh.”
“Because she's nice!” I exclaimed.
Dom cocked an eyebrow.
“Well, I mean, she probably is nice. She just- she just- … Maybe she was just having a trying afternoon.”
“For the past century?”
“You know what?” I shook my head, pulling myself feet. “I can't take this anymore, I have to go apologize.”
“Rosie! Its been less than thirty seconds! The old cow has probably forgotten about what I said by now!”
“But what if her feelings are hurt? I need to talk to her.”
“Stop trying to be such an effing people pleaser. You know, its okay hurt someone's feelings, especially if they're old.” Dom stated with a tone that implied this was obvious.
If there was an award for most superb advice, Dom Weasley would win it hands-down.
Great, and now I'm being facetious.
Plus I might have maybe sort of kinda made a Hufflepuff joke earlier today.
I'm pretty sure I'm about a -1000 on the karma meter right now for being a such a generally terrible person.
“I'll be right back,” I breathed, causing Dom to groan in annoyance.
I ambled up to Madam Pince, twirling the quill in my hand rapidly.
“Hi!” I exclaimed once I had reached the desk, the word saturated with too much joy and cheer for just one syllable.
“I'm busy,” Madam Pince spat.
I gulped, wiping her saliva from my nose. I looked back at Dom for support, but she was in the midst of flirting with some Ravenclaw guy.
“How are you, Madam?” I asked timidly.
She fixed her bloodshoot eyes on mine.
“I just wanted to say, I am extremely sorry, Madame. I am terribly sorry, actually. And I didn't mean any of it. None at all!”
She still hadn't blinked yet.
Well, this is slightly uncomfortable.
“I actually think you are very youthful, Madam, I...” my voice trailed off as her heated glare intensified.
“You're disrupting my work. Sit down or leave,” she advised viciously after I squirmed.
“Thank you?” I mumbled weakly.
Let's pretend that wasn't terrifying.
I walked back to Dom, only stumbling over my feet one time!
At least one thing is going right today.
“You can leave,” Dom snapped once I had plopped back down at the table, waving the Ravenclaw bloke away. He hung his head sadly and staggered to a nearby bookshelf.
“God, all of the guys in this school won't frickin leave me alone! Its, like, so annoying. Like, no matter what the hell I do, they literally won't back off!” she complained dramtically.
Dom was wearing lipstick, a mini skirt, high heels, a pushup bra, and a shirt two sizes too small with a plunging neckline.
I have a peculiar feeling she doesn't mind attention from men.
“Sometimes I wish I was more like you, Rosie,” Dom sighed. “I mean, no blokes ever approach or try to flirt with you anything. It must be nice.”
“Oh, yes, its just lovely to be the undesirable nerdcake!” I laughed sardonically.
You see, its usually difficult to string together an appropriate response to most of Dom's comments, so I just reply with self-deprecating sarcasm. I mean, I never know if what she says is meant to be flattering or offensive. I'm pretty sure she means everything as a compliment, but what she says usually leaves me feeling sort of... ouch-ish.
Ouch-ish. I'm astounded that one didn't make it into the dictionary.
“You need a new tactic. Like, no guy would ever hit on you first – no offense – so maybe you should just come on to a bloke instead.”
I let out a disbelieving and completely unattractive snort, “Yeah, just ignore the fact that I'm too bloody awkward to even converse with a guy.”
“True. Maybe I should chat you up to someone.”
Yes, why don't I just let my gorgeous veela cousin try to persuade some guy to go out with me? That would totally make him want an me, an awkward ginger, over my blonde bombshell wingwoman.
“You know what? That is extremely nice of you, but no thanks.”
“Come on, Rosie, who do you fancy?” Dom demanded earnestly, tossing her blonde locks behind her shoulder.
“Dom, I already told you, I don't fancy anyone here.”
“Yeah fucking right. Look me in the eyes and tell me you wouldn't want a piece of Lysander Scamander's hot arse right now.”
As if determined to expose my five year crush, my cheeks flushed scarlet.
Outstanding job, cheeks. Knew I could count on you to keep a bloody secret.
“Oh my God!” Dom gasped, widening her eyes. “You like Sander!”
“No!” I objected, although my complexion said otherwise.
“You naughty girl... crushing on the big Quidditch star,” Dom smirked mischievously, slapping my shoulder.
My cheeks burned even hotter, and I resisted the impulse to slam my flaming face against table.
“Don't you think he's a bit out of your league, though, Rosie?” Dom asked curiously, tilting her head to the side. “Besides, he doesn't really go for goody goodies.”
Rose Weasley, a goody goody?
I am the antipode of a goody-goody.
I mean, I may be a prefect. I may abide by the rules. I may have never cursed in my life. But I am not-
Oh, Merlin, who am I kidding? I'm the flipping epitome of goody-goody.
“I'm not trying to be mean or anything, but you and Sander aren't really on the same level. You know what I mean?”
Thank you for that assesment; I was never aware that the beautiful Gryffindor Quidditch Captain/ Hogwart's Head Boy was out of my league.
“I know,” I said defeatedly, adding another sentence to Albus' essay.
“Not to say that you shouldn't try for someone more... attainable. I'm just saying you should go for someone more on your level, you know?”
“Definitely,” I agreed absentmindedly, more focused on articulating the value of a bezoar rather than our conversation.
“What about that bloke?” Dom asked, nodding her head to a boy a few tables across from us.
“Harold?” I replied incredulously.
Harold McLaggen is a wiry, redheaded guy in our year with incredibly bad acne and pants that are usually three inches short for his legs.
“He's, like, perfect for you!” Dom exclaimed.
“I mean, you're both always reading, you're both in the top three of our year, you're both gingers...You guys are like totally destined to be!”
I took one more glance at Harold, who was slouched in his chair, discreetly inspecting his earwax before sticking it to his Charms book.
Needless to say, Harold is a real catch.
“Erm, well, he seems...” I paused to find a nicer subsitute for 'undesirable earpicker' in my mental thesaurus, “... cool?”
Welcome to the Rose Weasley mental thesaurus, the only location where 'cool' and 'undesirable earpicker' are synonymous!
I pushed my glasses back up my nose, “But, erm... he's not really my 'type'.”
“Nonsense,” Dom waved away my statement with her hand, pulling herself to her feet. “I'll go tell him you're interested right now.”
Oh, Godric, no.
“I don't think that's a good idea!” I grasped Dom's wrist and attempted to pull her back.
Unfortunately, I don't possess any upper body strength, so Dom's arm easily slipped from my hand.
Curse you, stupid lack of arm muscles!
“I think its a brill idea! You obviously like him, Rosie. I can totally tell by how you're acting.”
My mouth hung open. This is one of those moments where I wonder how Dom can possibly be this bad at interpreting my actions after sixteen entire years of cousinhood and mateship.
I mean, maybe its just me, but I'm pretty sure physically trying to prevent my cousin from talking me up to the bloke doesn't spell attraction.
“I'll be right back!”
Dom winked and pranced away before I could deny my supposed feelings Harold.
I had an urge to tackle Dom as she strutted up to Harold, but decided on burying my face in my palms instead.
This is bad. This is really bad.
I peeked through my fingers; Dom was speaking avidly to Harold and his eyes were glued to her chest.
And – dear, Merlin... Dom's bloody pointing me!
And did Harold just... He just licked his lips at me.
Harold McLaggen's tongue totally just moistened his creeper lips while looking at me.
I feel slightly scandalized.
My jaw plummeted to the ground and remained there... even after Dom had collapsed back into her chair.
“I just told Harold how much you like him, and totally suggested you guys should hang out at the party later,” Dom explained happily, clearly under the impression she had done me a gargantuan favor.
She did not just tell him that.... Merlin, please tell me she did not just tell him that.
“And he totally said yes!” Dom squeezed me in excitement.
Oh. My. Merlin.
My jaw was still glued to the floor and my larynx refused to make any sound.
Dom crossed her arms, “This is the part where you say 'thank you'.”
I still had not regained control of my voicebox.
“You know, you should be grateful, Rosie. I mean, Harold McLaggen is as good as its going to get for you,” Dom said sharply, like a mother scolding a child for poor manners.
I glanced at Harold. He was spitting on his spectacle lenses and then wiping them with his ketchup-stained parka.
If the kid who wears a parka to the library is the best I can do, I must really suck.
I mumbled an incoherent attempt at 'Thanks,' to Dom.
Harold couldn't be that bad... right?
I dared another look in his direction; he was sniffing his armpits.
“Er, hey Dommie?” I said apprehensively, watching my cousin pucker her lips to a compact mirror.
“Yeah, erm, this whole 'going to the party with Harold' thing? Its not really working out for me.”
Dom released an irritated grunt, glancing up from her reflection, “Why the hell not? Are you saying he's not good enough for you? That's so shallow, Rosie.”
“No, of course not!” I said defensively. “I mean, I guess Harold's fine.”
“Good,” Dom said coolly, snapping her compact mirror shut. “Now you won't have to cling onto me the entire party.”
“What?” I asked, thoroughly confused.
You see, Dom drags me to parties. And I mean literally drags me. And when we arrive at the party, I immediately endeavor to find the nearest sofa or chair, then devour a novel while Dom most likely makes out with gorgeous blokes.
Its actually a great system because I manage to not socialize or interact with anyone the entire time! Amazing, right? Well, except for that one time that Slytherin girl pushed me out of my chair and chucked my copy of The Great Gatsby into the butterbeer bowl. I guess that would be considered interaction.
But I didn't try to make her apologize or anything afterwards because, honestly, she was a complete beast. I mean, the girl had a mustache and bodybuilder muscles and everything! I don't remember what her actual name was, but everyone called her 'Testosterone Tami.'
Yeah, I'd probably be pushing undersized gingers off of sofas and thrusting classic literature into pools of alcohol too if I was stuck with that nickname.
“Nevermind,” Dom sighed exasperatedly, before a puzzled look crossed her face. “You know what? Why am I even here in the first place? I hate the library.”
“I don't know. I was just working on Al's Potions and you sort of randomly plopped down and started talking to me.”
Or badgering me about the severe lack of blokes in my life.
Dom nodded, considering this, before she slapped her forehead in epiphany. “Oh yeah! I came down here to see if you had my Transfiguration assignment done.”
“Right,” I said, rummaging through my bag for a piece of parchment.
“Voila!” I exclaimed in a terrible French accent as I offered it to Dom.
“Oh my God, awesome,” Dom breathed, her manicured hands snatching the paper. “I was so busy earlier. And my friends would have literally murdered me if I didn't go out with them. You know how the Ravenclaws are. But, of course, Professor Chang just had to be a bitch and force me to make this up and turn it in today. Seriously, who makes stuff due on Saturdays? And, I knew you never do anything over the weekends anyways so, well....”
“No problem. Al persuaded me to do an entire Potions essay for him, so, really, a Trans assignment was not a big deal.”
“Cool,” Dom grinned. “Let's go to dinner. I'm starving my fucking arse off.”
“A novel idea, my dear Dom! A novel idea, I do declare!” I agreed enthusiastically, scooping my school materials into my bag.
“Rosie, did I ever mention how much of a fucking weirdo you are?”
“Don't judge my amazing expressions!”
Dom rolled her eyes,“Godric, you're an embarassment.”
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November 6th – Saturday – 8:11pm – Gryffindor Girls Dormitory “Prior to the Incident”
“... and I was just like, 'Bitch, no, that's not even attractive.' And she was like, 'Fuck off.' And I was like, 'Why don't you put a paper bag over your face before someone blows chunks, you ugly whore.',” Dom explained, puckering her gloss-coated lips to the mirror.
This was the standard routine for Dom and I before parties; she would enhance her face to perfection with makeup, and I would sprawl out on my four poster while completing the assignments of my various other cousins.
And by various other cousins, I mean a plethora of relatives. I know I tend to exaggerate, but plethora is seriously the only word that can describe the staggering number of my cousins.
Well, plenitude could work. Or abundance. Or mob.
Actually, not mob, because that would imply my cousins are a mass of livid peasants armed with pitchforks. Which, you know, they're not. Though, the lot of them are quite intimdating. And usually angry. Fortunately, none of them own pitchforks.
At least I don't think so...
“So then I told the bitch to go rot in hell like the ugly slut she was.”
“Oh,” I said from my bed, scrawling the killer concluding sentence to Albus' Potions essay. “That's nice.”
You see, its sort of hard to conjure an intelligent response to Dom's stories. Especially the ones that mostly involve her insulting random girls at pubs and a lot of 'and I was likes.'
“Yeah, and then she was like, 'Oh my God you did not just say that!.' And I was like, 'Damn right I did, slut.' And she totally walked away, like almost crying. It was freaking hilarious.”
Dom applied another coat of mascara to her lashes. I hadn't bothered putting any makeup on.
Which was sort of ironic considering I was the one who actually required it. I mean, Dom could still be a ten with a natural face.
Actually, I've never worn makeup in my entire life. Not because I don't need it, more due to the fact that I don't trust myself with sharp objects (eyeliner pencil) near fragile body parts (corneas). I mean, I tried putting on eyeshadow once and nearly blinded myself.
I can injure myself with practically any unanimous object.
Aside from academics, its my only talent.
“Are you seriously going to wear that?” Dom asked incredulously, turning from her reflection to raise her eyebrows at me. She was dressed in a denim skirt, a sparkly black top, and incredibly high high heels that looked fantastic.
I glanced down at my outfit...my uniform completed with a three year old pair of battered flats. You see, my feet and unfortunately every other part of my body ceased growing in third year.
"I was going for 'school chic'?" I tried.
Dom looked thoroughly unimpressed.
Dom exhaled agitatedly, “Hopefully Harold won't care that you look like a prune.”
I had nearly forgotten about armpit-sniffing Harold with his chapped lips and ill-fitting trousers. In other words, my date for the evening.
“Alright, I'm ready,” Dom announced after a final dousing of flowery perfume.
She cast me one more disapproving look before we headed out to the Room of Requirement for Matt Finnegan's birthday party.
You see, Gryffindors go all out for parties; hundreds of galleons worth of alcohol and delicacies, disco balls, simulated dragon ride machines... everything really. Gryffindor parties are so incredible that members of other houses even show up to our Quidditch victory celebrations. So all of our fiestas are in the Room of Requirement for the sake of free supplies and enough room.
In a nutshell, basically, putting on wild parties are another thing Gryffindors are famous for. In addition to our nerve and adventurous souls, of course!
Yeah, I don't know why I was sorted into Gryffindor either.
“I'm fine!” I assured Dom a few cooridors later, choking up twenty-five year old dust.
I don't know what Mr. Filch does in his spare time, nor do have any desire to, but let me tell you it is most certainly not cleaning. Trust me... Considering the mindblowing number of times I've biffed it in this school, I would know.
“God, you're graceless,” Dom shook her head disapprovingly as I pulled myself up to my feet.
“Are you serious? I'm practically Marie Taglioni!”
Dom crinkled her nose and raised her eyebrows.
“You know, Marie Taglioni? Famous ballerina?”
Dom's brows continued to travel up her forehead, “How would you be practically a ballerina if you just tripped?”
“Er, I was being facetious.”
Her face was still distorted with confusion.
“You know, sarcasm...” I attempted to explain.
Dom cast me a confuzzled and slightly irritated glance.
And this is why I should probably contain my sarcastic comments within the confines of my mind. Otherwise I end up looking stupid.
Actually, I usually end up looking stupid whether or not I keep my mouth shut or not.
That tends to happen when you are a spectacularly awkward sixteen year old with a severe lack of coordination.
“Nevermind, I was just being weird,” I sighed as we stepped up to the portal.
We began to paced back and forth in front of the door in silence.
"Ay yayay ayayayay ...Ive got a pocket got pocket full of sunshine, I've got a love got a love and its-"
I was quelled by Dom's glare.
"Never again, Rosie."
Note to self: Stop singing in uncomfortable situations; It does not diffuse the tension, it just makes you look like a bumbling idiot.
After three more paces, I grasped the handle to the Room of Requirement.
“Shit! Wait!” Dom exclaimed, causing my hand to release the doorknob. “Teeth check!”
“Oh, thank Merlin! I completely spaced!”
Dom and I bared our teeth to eachother.
You see, both of us have always had this strange phobia that something is stuck in our teeth.
Actually, Dom and I are just extremely obsessed with our teeth. It has sort of bonded us, in a way. I mean, I was the one who helped Dom overcome her whitening charm addiction last year. And she's the one I turn to in the dead of night when burdened with frightening nigtmares of gum disease.
“You're good,” we chorused, then simultaneously sighed in relief.
We entered the portal, greeted by blaring muggle music, strobe lights, and flurries of confetti.
After a few paces into the roaring party, I saw him...
Situated directly in front of us, looking especially sleazy in all his poorly-fitted, vertical-striped, mustard-stained pants glory, was Harold McLaggen.
Dear mother of french toast.
“Bye, Rosie! Have fun!” Dom advised me happily, skipping away to flirt and kiss cute boys who probably wear regular sized pants.
WAIT, DOM! DON'T ABANDON ME!
Harold McLaggen licked his apparently critically chapped lips.
Am I supposed to flattered by this or something?
I resisted the urge to chase after Dom. Preferably at a hundred mile per hour speed.
“I suppose I have you all to myself then, smexy lady,” Harold drawled slowly, then released a disturbing and slightly evil chuckle that made me feel very very uncomfortable.
Well... This looks like a promising evening.
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*Think Rose is a complete nerdcake pushover? Think Dom is a skanky bitch? Just want a hot serving of Scorpius Malfoy already? (Its coming, its coming!) Please let me know what you think in the box situated below and you will have my eternal gratitude. :) PS - THE PLOT STARTS SOON!
Chapter 3: The Art of Eluding the Scooching Game
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*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.
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
Chapter 4: The Art of Gormandizing Rejection Ice Cream On Your Knees At Night
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*Author's Note: *timidly* ... Hey, friendship. :) Actually, no one's going to read this. Which is understandable. But I will proceed anyhow.
Please don't loathe me. Please? Please? I'm so sorry about the wait again. Believe it or not most of this chapter was completed in September. But then life got terribly busy.
So, in essence, I'm sorry about the wait. I'm also sorry I skimped on Scorp's 'appearance' here. BUT HE'S IN HERE I PROMISE EVEN IF ITS FOR ONE LINE OF DIALOGUE AND SOME THOROUGH ONCE-OVERING! I'm hoping to release chappie 5 ASAP. All Scorpius. Please don't hate me or punch me. And lastly this probably sucks a lot. So please don't judge me or tape a kick me sign on my back and lampoon me. I'M VERY DELICATE! But this chapter isn't as funny as the last, just to warn you. Its more fillery, so my apologies.
OH AND THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR READING THIS, LOVE! YOU BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL CREATURE! :D
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN ANYTHING YOU RECOGNIZE. ESPECIALLY NOT HOUSE ELVES OR COOKIE DOUGH ICE CREAM OR POCKETFUL OF SUNSHINE OR NATASHA B. OR RYAN GOSLING. (MOST UNFORTUNATELY)
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(Scorpius Malfoy. THANK YOU TO REBEL_HEART AT TDA! :))
November 6th - Saturday - 9:16 pm - The Astronomy Tower "The Incident"
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Okay, Rose. Cool. For once in your pathetic gosh darn existence just be cool.
I pressed myself against the frigid stone barrier of the astronomy tower and exhaled, repeating that word in my head.
Cool. As in I totally wasn't just singing and dancing atrociously to Pocketful of Sunshine by myself. As in acting indifferent to Lysander Scamander's drool-inducing, tongue-tying presence. As in not blushing when he shoots his Witch-Weekly's-Most-Charming-Smile-Award-worthy beam...
And as in, most obviously, not fangirling.
Which, you know, I'm so totally not.
LYSANDER SCAMANDER! OH MY GOODNESS HE'S SO FIT! HOLY MOTHER OF CANADIAN BACON, IS HE FIT! AND THAT SMILE... OH GOOOOOOOD! JUST MARRY ME, LOVE! JUST MARRY ME!
That. That wasn't me...
Just a little bit.
But, I mean, this is Lysander we're talking about. Lysander flipping Scamander with all his charm and face of sunshine and apple-scented hair.
... Not that I would precisely... per se... know his hair's signature aroma. I mean, he just appears as though he might possibly maybe perhaps be a fruity-smelling hair sort of bloke.
... So I smelled him once.
Or, you know, three times.
Look, its not my fault that I sit behind him in arithmancy! I mean, maybe you could claim my action of leaning over to sniff him was partially voluntary but...
I'm a sad, sad, creeping person okay! Don't judge me.
But, regardless of everything, I'm going to be cool For once, I'm going to exhibit the social behavior of a normal person and have an actual, non-awkward conversation with someone. And I'm not going to let my diminutive, insignificant, completely minor feelings of infatuation affect that.
"Hey, Rose, what's up?" Lysander suddenly said amiably, silencing my inner ranting.
Oh... Oh gosh.
My stomach plummeted to my feet.
Yeah, how in the name of muffins am I supposed to respond to that without mortifying myself?
A numbing panic swept through my body. My lips opened and closed repeatedly as I racked my stupefied brains for a non-humiliating, non-moronic answer.
"Erm..." I mumbled intelligently.
Oh, God, Rose! Think!
What is that word you use to greet people?
I squinted my eyes, now desperately searching my fuzzy, temporarily paralyzed mind for any acceptable English. For some reason only the word 'lemons' kept popping up.
Actually, not so much popping up as being chanted in my head with a haunting, never-ending repetitiveness like a citrus-obsessed cult.
Lemons. Lemons. Lemons. Lemons. Lemons...
You know, I think my encounter with Harold did more mental damage than I originally suspected.
Or maybe Merlin thought it would be comical to strip me of my thought and speech capabilities whilst in the presence of the boy I fancied and watch me suffer. Or, in other words, essentially fail at life.
Because clearly I don't do that enough on my own.
Lysander coughed from the other side of the Astronomy Tower, looking slightly uncomfortable. And-
And I just realized that I've been gawking at Sander during the entirety of my pathetic ten second brainstorming session.
Now not only have I given my crush of six years the impression that I am a speechless, daft idiot, but an awkward, creepy, ogling freak as well.
Lovely job, Rose.
My cheeks warm and I avert my eyes from Sander, who is beginning to (understandably) look very much concerned.
He has an adorable concerned face; His nose gets all scrunched up and he squints those baby blues just a bit... Its soo-
You know, I should probably say something now instead of continuing to appreciate his face.
Or I should have probably said something fifteen seconds ago. Like the normal person that I am clearly not.
Well, on the bright side, I couldn't possibly say anything at this point to make me look more stupid than I already do.
I breathe and mentally repeat my mantra: 'Cool.'
Phew. Okay. I got this. I so got this.
"Yo, yo, yo, dude! Sup broseph? What's popping, dawg?"
You know, there's a reason why English witches don't speak in the locution of American gangsters.
And this is it.
I pressed my palm to my burning countenance, simultaneously wishing Merlin would just kill me already, and waiting to hear Lysander dart down the stairs to escape my weirdness...
...Every rapid footstep a reminder of how I had completely ruined the one in a trillion chance I had of ever having an actual conversation with him.
Did I mention how much I severely loathe myself?
Because I do. I seriously do.
"Oh just getting some fresh air," Sander laughed, apparently unfazed. "You?"
I peered up at him incredulously. He hadn't left?
Did he not just hear my previous, social-suicidal words?
Actually, I probably heard him wrong just now.
Maybe he was advising me to seek counseling. Or inquiring whether or not I had mental issues.
Ha ha, yeah. That must be it.
"Oh, yeah, no, I haven't sought out therapy yet. Don't worry though, I'm completely stable. Thanks," I replied cheerfully.
"Uh... what?" Lysander looked thoroughly confused.
... Or maybe he really was asking me...
Well this is awkward.
I giggled, trying to diffuse the the tangible awkwardness in the air, "Oh, you know, I've just been..."
Clearly the truth - Singing to Pocketful of Sunshine badly, dancing to Pocketful of Sunshine badly, and currently attempting to not drool at your hotness - were not socially acceptable answers.
"Oh, yeah, I've just been... looking at the stars."
Our gazes simultaneously shifted towards the...
Completely starless sky.
I. Hate. Myself.
"Well, er, I meant waiting for the clouds to move. Yeeeahh..." I improvised badly.
I turned around to face the bleak-looking, starless sky, waiting, again, to hear Lysander open the portal and leave.
But, don't get me wrong, I'm completely at ease with that. You know, the fact that Lysander would, in a matter of seconds, make a hasty departure from the Astronomy Tower and pray to Merlin he never encountered the hopelessly awkward, socially moronic Rose Weasley ever again.
And, I mean, most girls would probably be upset if they had essentially mortified the french toast out of themselves and ruined the zero chance they had with the bloke they fancied. But, in terms of the Rose Weasley social interaction scale, mortifying the french toast of myself and ruining the zero chance I had with the bloke I fancied was a gargantuan triumph.
I'm honestly really proud of myself right now.
"Oh, cool. Mind if I join?" Lysander asked, strolling up beside me.
The bloke was still here?
I raised my eyebrows dubiously. "Are you serious?"
I pinched my forearm because, clearly, if - of all people - the God of Hogwarts hadn't abandoned me by this point, the only excuse is that I'm dreaming.
Unless, hypothetically, I was addicted to psychodelic potions. Then the reason would be that I was hallucinating.
But, you know, I'm not a potions addict, so that was actually really irrelevant.
"Yeah, I'm serious!" Lysander suddenly laughed, startling me. "Why? Is my presence bothersome to you, Rose Weasley?"
Lysander Scamander... knows my full name?
I smiled, "Lysander Scamander bothersome to me? Never. I'm just surprised that you would want to join in on my lame... erm... cloudwatching."
"Well I'm just surprised that unblemished-record-holder Rose Weasley is out past curfew. You know, as Head Boy I have no choice other than to report you to Filch."
"Oh my gosh," I slapped my palm to my forehead. "You're right! I am so sorry! I just needed some air and completely disregarded-"
"I'm kidding!" he laughed, punching my arm jovially. "I would never report you, Rose."
He winked and my cheeks colored back to their usual shade of gules.
Oh that boy and all his bloody attractiveness.
"Erm... thank you for not reporting me then," I said shyly, looking everywhere but his eyes.
"Oh, no problem," Lysander waved my comment away with his hand, his eyes meeting mine and...
Oh my God are his eyes blue. Like huge, glittering sapphires with the power to make my heart beat a million times faster than its normal pace.
I averted my gaze as my heart rate aggrandized and sighed softly to myself.
"You're James Potter's cousin, right?"
"Hmm?" I mumbled, before breaking out of my momentary trance. "Er, yeah. Why? What has he done now?"
I rubbed my temples and frowned, expecting the worst. Which, in James' case, was particularly bad. I mean, my entire family is shocked that the kid has made it to seventh year without expulsion, getting himself killed, killing someone else, or getting chucked in Azkaban. Out of my plethora of cousins, he definitely is the most mischievous. Which is really really saying something. The Potter-Weasley cousins aren't precisely notorious for abiding by the rules.
Lysander grinned, "Oh, no, he hasn't done anything recently. Well, at least anything that I know of. No, like, I just thought I remember seeing you when I went over to the Potters' last holiday."
"Oh, right. I think we were both at the Burrow for Christmas Eve. Yeah... I have a vague recollection."
Or a vivid memory of observing your every move and almost dying when our hands touched as I passed you the squash.
Yeah. A vague recollection sounds a little less creepy.
"Wow," Lysander closed his eyes and shook his head. "I am such a dumbarse. Of course you're James Potters' cousin! Everyone knows that the Weasleys and Potters are like... Wow. I'm sorry."
I waved his comment away, smiling, "Please, don't be. I'm actually accustomed to being the forgotten one."
Lysander chuckled and we both just sort of gazed at the... well, not stars... ominous looking clouds for awhile.
I furtively shifted my pupils to Sander, who was admiring the black sky with a trace of a smile on his face.
He was so flipping cute that I had to bite my lip to restrain myself from grinning.
Or to restrain myself from releasing a fangirl-esque squeal that probably would have scared the french toast out of him and ultimately ruined the moment.
I propped my elbows up on the surface of the barrier, thinking about how absolutely unbelievable this was. How absolutely implausible it was that I was literally an inch away from Lysander Scamander, watching the motion of the night clouds and acting somewhat normal. I mean, twenty minutes ago, had things continued the way they seemed to be going, I would have probably been attempting to politely tell Harold McLaggen I wasn't interested while he suffocated me with his tuna-scented body and told me more details about the kneazle-cat breeding that I really didn't want to hear.
I shivered a little in repulsion as that scenario crossed my mind.
"Are you cold?" Lysander asked, sounding genuinely concerned.
Aww. How sweet was he?
"Oh, no. I was just... thinking about-"
"-something weird," I decided.
"Really? You must be freezing though!" Lysander exclaimed. "I'm sorry, if I had a jacket I'd give it to you. Or if I was, like, better at Accio, I'd-"
"No, its okay," I assured him. "The cold is sort of invigorating actually. But thank you, though."
Lysander looked a little confused, and then laughed unsurely, "If you're okay then."
I returned a smile and glanced up at his mesmerizing blues.
"Why are you up here?" I suddenly said, the question slipping out as it entered my mind. "Instead of at the victory party thing?"
"Oh, yeah. That." Lysander frowned, shaking the dirty blonde locks from his eyes. "It was pretty lame. I mean, it was all right, but I wasn't really in the mood. Like, I didn't really feel like watching the same old prats getting smashed or dealing with the usual drama, you know what I mean?"
Never being involved in the party scene, I didn't really know what he meant. So, naturally, I nodded sympathetically. You know, to elucidate how aware I was of the woes of popularity.
"I just wanted to like, get away from it for awhile. I mean, I went for like ten minutes to see if anyone cool was there but... Oh! And James wasn't even there! And, obviously, a party isn't a party without James Potter," Lysander paused, smiling at the sky as though he was remembering James fondly. "Yeah, but I think James was planning on hooking up with Cassidy, and..."
Lysander stopped and bit his lip, "But you probably don't want to hear about that, do you?"
I crinkled my nose, "Eh, not particularly. I hear about his escapades much too often as it is."
And by too often, I mean at least daily I hear some girl describing her... experiences... with my rather promiscuous cousin in what is usually graphic, highly disturbing detail.
You've never really gagged until you've overheard a relative's bum being compared to 'the sexy, muscular ars(STAR) of a mother(STAR STAR STAR STAR)ing angel.'
"Yeah, I can't imagine your pain in having that manwhore for a cousin," Sander joked.
We both cracked up and I marveled at how surprisingly effortless it was to be with Sander. I mean, all these years I sort of viewed him as unreachable, untouchable. And, sure, he is obviously still far, far, far out of my league. But I sort of always thought that it would be impossible to converse with him. Like that he was so ungodly high above me that I wouldn't be able to be around him without blushing or spazzing or making a fool of myself. Well, except at first encounter... And I knew he was sweet, but I would have never expected that he would be so... normal. Like he was completely oblivious to our evident status difference. Which in my mind was absolutely crazy... the most popular guy in Hogwarts acting indifferent to the fact that I was merely a wallflower.
"So you weren't at the party were you? I never see you at any. You're probably too good for that shit anyway," he said, shoving his hands into his pockets.
"Actually, my lovely cousin Dom forces me to tag along with her to almost every one," I shook my head and smiled. "I'm not really in the middle of the party scene. You would probably find me in the corner reading pretentious literature and getting firewhiskey spilled on me though."
Way to make yourself look cool and not at all like a sad, pathetic loser, Rose. Really. I commend you on your ability to constantly make yourself appear more pitiful by the second.
Sander's crinkled his eyebrows, "For real? I, like, have never seen you at anything. I always see Dom though."
Well now there's a surprise.
"What?" Sander said.
Did I say that out loud?
"Oh. Well, the next time there's a party and I want to talk to someone cool. I'll make sure to check the corner," Lysander beamed, shooting me a wink.
And there goes the feeling in my legs.
I twirled a strand of auburn hair around my index finger and grinned cheekily, "As long as you don't spill any alcohol on me and have a few intelligent thoughts on classic literature, you're totally welcome to join me there."
Oh. My. God.
Did I just kind of a little bit flirt?
With Lysander Scamander?
Without stuttering or blushing or peeing myself?
What is this madness?
"Did you know that you're really awesome to talk to, Rose?"
I blushed for about the thousandth time and snorted attractively, "Not really."
"Yeah you are! I swear, like, you're the nicest person I've talked to."
I didn't really know how to respond, so I just laughed and thanked him.
Well, I mean, I blushed too, but at this point my cheeks were stained an atrocious color of red that didn't so much blush as kept getting darker and darker.
Something vibrated loudly, prompting me to jump a little and Lysander to pull a slim, rectangular object from his back pocket.
"My wizPhone," Lysander assured me before glancing at the screen and releasing an exasperated sigh.
"Ugh. Apparently someone cast the Levicorpus hex on Finnegan and everyone is too wasted to remember the counter curse," he rolled his eyes. "You don't happen to know it do you?"
"Its 'Liberacorpus'," I answered instantaneously like the little nerd I was.
"Thanks, Rose, you're a genius," Lysander praised, causing me to pfft incredulously and melt a little.
He punched a few buttons on his wizPhone before it palpitated again.
"They're too smashed to do any magic," Lysander sighed as his eyes scrolled the screen, brushing hair from his ocean-blue eyes. "I better get down there before all of Finnegan's blood rushes to his head. Any spells to bring him back to life if he's dead by then?"
I squinted my eyes thoughtfully, "Hmm.. no revival spells that I'm aware of. But use 'Rennervate' if he's unconscious."
"You're unbelievable," Lysander beamed, leaning in before...
Lysander Scamander kissed my cheek.
His beautiful lips grazed the surface of my perpetually blushing right cheek.
If I thought my heart rate had been rapid before, that was nothing compared to the insane, ridiculously unhealthy pace it was beating at now.
A goofy, dorky grin spread on my face and I couldn't help myself from putting my hand on my right cheek.
I would have tried to play it off like it was no big deal but... Lysander Scamander kissed my cheek.
Did I tell you that already?
"I better get going before Finnegan kills himself," I could barely hear Sander in my airy, giddy trance. "But talking with you was cool. We have to, like, hang out or something sometime."
"Yeah, definitely," I agreed without really thinking, most of me still floating and ascending high above the Astronomy Tower.
"I'll see you around Rose Weasley," Lysander Scamander winked again in that wildly charming, beautiful way of his.
With that goofy, dorky grin still etched on my face, I collapsed back into the stone barrier and breathlessly uttered something that resembled, "See you."
I watched Sander revolve himself around toward the portal, admiring the back of him in a totally non-creepy way. Reality was clouded by happy, dreamy haze, and all I could feel was... floatiness. Like I had temporarily been removed from the world and was hovering high in the atmosphere. And I felt like none of it had ever really happened. Like it had all just been an imagined fantasy.
A noisy creak awoke me from my temporary euphoria.
Lysander was pulling open the door, about to-
"Wait!" I suddenly breathed.
Part of the floatiness within me had transformed into a passionate insanity. The half of me that had finally found itself half-way in reality had lost all its reason and logic. My brain had lost its dominance to my senseless, stupid heart.
Lysander rotated back to face me, his visage contorted with worry, "What's wrong? What happened?"
I inhaled a gulp of frigid air and let out a deep, quivering breath.
"I think I'm in love with you."
For the second time that night, it was as though I was witnessing everything unfold in tardigrade motion...
The gradual plummet of Lysander's jaw, the nearly-decelerated-into-stillness breeze...
Everything was painfully slow.
Except my ungraceful nose-dive back into real life. And except my transition from imbecilic-heart-thinking to reasonable-head-thinking.
And definitely except the quickly-processed knowledge that Rose Weasley had just royally screwed herself over.
Which, sure, she had done on numerous occasions due to her weird personality and knack for being a moronic nerdcake. But never to this humiliating, life-ruining extent.
"You... you think what?" Lysander rubbed his shoulder uncomfortably, squinting his eyes.
This is really awkward.
And that's coming from me.
I neglected to reply for a few seconds. I mean, what are you supposed to say when you've just confessed your affection for someone who barely knew you existed until that night, and then they ask you what you said when you know that they know what you said but the situation is just so bloody uncomfortable that you don't really feel like repeating your words of un-reciprocated love and putting yourself through more torture?
Holy mother of run ons I think I should receive an award for that one.
Actually, I should receive a punt in the face from myself for single-handedly ruining my already sad life.
Or maybe I should say something.
Or, better yet, explain to him that this is all an absurd dream before putting a confundus charm on him. Of course, then there would be the risk that he would become so confused he'd stumble off the Astronomy Tower...
Other than that would be an excellent idea. You know, if I didn't have morals.
Darn you, morals.
Well then. Truth it is.
"Okay," I said in small voice.
My hands were shaking and my stomach was fluttering with apprehension. It was a horrible feeling. I felt so nervous and small and uncomfortable. I just wished Merlin would let me vanish. Rescue me from having to continue.
"Lysander, I... Okay. So I've... I've had a really huge crush on you for a really long time."
I bit my lip and timidly peered up at Sander, who looked thoroughly shocked.
"I just... I just always thought you were really smart and sweet and pretty..."
Sander scrunched his eyebrows curiously.
"Er... I mean, you know, handsome. Yeah. And I just have always really liked you. And I just sort of got caught up in the moment. And I'm sorry about all this. And I feel really, really awkward right now and..." I sort of just stopped and buried my scathing face into my palms.
There was a few seconds of thick, unsettling silence.
"Wow," he finally said.
I widened the gap between my fingers so I could see through my hands.
Sander was still rubbing his shoulder.
"That is... wow. I'm sorry, I'm just sort of... surprised, I guess?"
I tried to conjure a reply, but nothing remotely response-worthy popped into my head.
"But... thank you though. That's really... nice," he finished.
I winced a little. Don't get me wrong, Lysander was being really kind about the whole ordeal. I mean, given that his admirer was me, I would have understood if he looked completely repulsed and lectured me on how I should find someone more on my level like Harold McLaggen to invest my undesired love into. But, even for the biggest losers of the world, having your love exchanged with a thank you and a 'that's really nice,' was slightly painful.
"And, Rose... Listen, you are so nice, and cute and everything.You're just really sweet and innocent, you know? You're perfect. Like too good for me."
I opened and closed my mouth repetitively.
Me too good for Lysander Scamander?
Is the boy bloody mad? Or does he have some serious self-worth issues or...?
I sighed as I tried to piece together what he meant.
"Like, its just that we wouldn't be right for each other. You're so... pristine."
"Pristine? Oh, no, no, no," I said cheerfully, waving the statement away. "I'm so amazingly far from being intemerate that one could say I was unpristine, actually. Terribly unpristine."
Lysander's lips crinkled upward into a half smile, "You're adorable. But you are. And I don't want to corrupt you. Look, Rose, what I'm trying to say is... I'm really tempted, but I can't. I'm sorry."
He tucked a strand of hair behind my ear and whispered, "Stay sweet, love."
Without another word or glance back, he lifted the iron handle of the portal and descended down the steps.
When the door finally shut with harsh, punishing thud, I sunk to the stone floor.
For the first time that evening, I felt the bitter cold.
It wasn't pleasant.
For awhile, I sort of just laid there. I didn't self-loathe, or mull over the details of what had been the worst nights of my life, or puzzle over how I gone from being dizzy with glee to numb with nothingness. I simply laid. I simply was.
I felt nothing other than the cold.
* * *
* * *
November 6th - Saturday - 10:34 pm - The Astronomy Tower 'Post-Incident But Before I Make Yet Another Mistake'
* * *
I am so stupid.
I rolled onto my back and tilted my head towards the sky, gazing at-
Hey! The stars are out!
You know, that's so exciting that I almost forgot about how stupid I was.
Because I'm really stupid.
Would you like to hear a funny story about how stupid I am? Well then, you'd better hold your socks so I don't knock them off when I explain to you how thoroughly, pathetically, ungodly stupid I am!
Ha ha. Right. Story time.
So, once upon a time, there was a really stupid girl who was hopelessly infatuated with an unattainable guy. Then stupid girl tells unattainable guy that-
BA HA HA!
Forgive me, I crack up telling this story every time. Its just so gosh darn funny how bloody stupid she is.
Anyway, stupid girl tells unattainable guy she's IN LURVE with him!
I know right! So stupid!
And then unattainable guy is really sweet about everything and lets her down really gently but, in the end, she still made an imbecile of her already stupid self. And then she winds up collapsing into fetal position on the Astronomy Tower in an unemotional blob.
And then, still a pathetic heap on the ground, she is so stupid that she begins telling this story to herself out loud. Like a flipping wacko, psychotic nutcase.
And that's the wonderful story of how Rose Weasley is really stupid.
The End and Happily Ever After for All and To All a Good Night for everyone but Rose Weasley who is really stupid.
You know, I really should become a griot. Like the African storytellers? I think I have a raw, natural talent for that.
You know what else I have a raw, natural talent for?
I laughed hysterically with myself until I started choking, feeling only slightly mental.
Tonight had been absolutely catastrophic. A complete disaster. Everything had turned so terribly, horribly bad that it was almost comical. I mean, in my sixteen years of life I've humiliated myself an unfeasible amount of times and been in more awkward situations than one could go about counting. But tonight... Well, tonight was even worse than when I was seven and used the floo network by myself for the first time, said something that apparently sounded closer to 'Brazil' than 'Burrow', and ended up spending what was the most terrifying half hour of my life with an extraordinarily shady group of Latin Americans until Mum rescued me.
I placed my hands on my abdomen and extricated a sigh.
I wonder what time it is. It couldn't be that late, right? I mean, I'm not cold at all.
I pressed the back of my hand to my forehead.
Nothing. I feel nothing.
I slapped myself a little bit, fruitlessly hoping to elicit some pain or any sensation of touch.
I kept smacking my face, purely for the sake of it making a really cool sound, until I realized it probably wasn't healthy that body was completely numb. And that I probably looked ridiculous sprawled across the ground of the Astronomy Tower bashing in my own face. But I had already put on a moronic display anyways, so the latter wasn't really an issue.
Besides, ridiculous would be just simply lounging on the ground by myself at whatever time at night, sans the slapping; The word for lounging on the ground by myself while hitting myself would be 'psychotic.'
Unexpectedly, I erupted into maniacal, lunatic laughter, taking even myself aback.
You know, I should probably get inside. Before the cold addles my brains more than it already clearly has.
Somehow, I picked myself up to my feet. Which, considering my body possessed no feeling whatsoever, was quite an impressive feat.
I hobbled over to the portal like a sad, crippled animal, only falling one time. It took me a substantial amount of time to open it given that my fingers were a little bit frozen to the point immobility...
You know, I could really use some help right now. Its rather a shame I have virtually no friends. Well, actually, I have a friend... If Dom counts. I don't know, our relationship isn't so much a friendship as it is a 'veela-cousin-who-pities-nerdy-pathetic-charity-case-of-other-cousin-and-attempts-to-help-out-said-pathetic-cousin-when-in-all-actuality-said-pathetic-cousin-just-ends-up-worse-off-than-before-ship.'
I shut the portal and sighed. At least Dom's intentions in helping me were good. Even if her aid and interference had only prevailed in dooming me. Dooming me to a dismal and terrifying... erm... 'date thing'... with Harold Cat-Happy McLaggen. Ultimately dooming me to the Astronomy Tower where I would sully any chance I ever had with the boy of dreams, consequently destroying whatever miniscule shred of dignity I formerly had.
I took my wobbly first step down the everlasting staircase, and shook my head. No, Dom was guiltless in this disaster. The sole role she had played in this mess was attempting to make me happy. However, the absolute abominable nature of the night was completely my fault. I mean, for one, Harold wasn't all that... repulsive. I shouldn't have made such a snap judgment, you know? Like, yeah, perhaps he was rather quirky, but there was most likely a deep, admirable explanation for that that would have made sense to me after awhile. I mean, Dom wouldn't have set me up with a complete dud, right? So it was my fault for not putting in any effort into my 'date thing.'
And obviously I only had myself to blame for the Sander Disaster. Granted, I was motivated by frustration and loneliness and every other repressed, unspoken feeling that had been growing inside me for the entirety of my life. After a lifetime of concealing everything, for once I just wanted to declare. Declare how I felt. Declare my feelings. Feelings that had intensified throughout the course of the evening and exploded. But still. I was guilty.
... And yes. You read that correctly. The Sander Disaster.
Rhymes elicit some sort of inexplicable joy in me, don't you see, golly gee?
You see what I did there?
Actually, a more fitting question would be, Why why why am I such a loathesome, sad individual?
I'll save that one for my therapist though.
Not that I actually 'have' a therapist... yet. I mean, I inevitably will someday. Its just one of those things that is going to happen. I can't stop it. Its just lingering there in future. And I don't know when its going happen, but I'm completely certain it will. Sort of like when Uncle Harry had the epiphany that his destiny was to vanquish Voldemort. He realized that an encounter with the Dark Lord was unstoppable. And he could escape it for some amount of time, but in the end, it was simply going to happen. I mean, he could have fled to Canada and grown a mustache and masqueraded as a maple syrup salesman for a bit. But, the point is, Voldemort was going to find him. I mean, he probably would have done something completely deplorable first like ridiculing the caterpillar above Uncle Harry's upper lip and stealing all of his maple syrup or something, but...
You know, sometimes the nonsense I spew out honestly scares me. I mean, imagine what I'll be like when I go senile.
... Oh dear God.
On second thought, please don't imagine.
* * *
After approximately 5 hours and seven minutes -not to mention an infinite number of eons - I finally reach the end of the staircase.
You know... reach... stumble... biff it painfully. Same difference, really.
I entered the corridor and ambled on aimlessly, not heading to my dormitory or... you know... anywhere entirely. Just walking.
For most likely the first time in my life I was apathetic. Indifferent. Woeless.
It was an odd feeling, as I was a perpetually woeful person. And now that I was in a situation that would inspire woe in even the more woeless people - strutting about the castle past curfew when Filch and his decrepit, feline companion are likely on the prowl - it was particularly odd to be experiencing the sensation of... erm... woelessness?
Sure, frolicking around the castle about an hour after curfew wouldn't precisely be considered terribly rebellious. Especially in my family. But for me it was sort of a big deal. I mean, I'm a strict abider of the law! A firm advocate of rule-following!
But now... Well I feel like a bad a-
A bad apple.
Rose Weasley... official bad apple.
I like it.
My walk transformed into a gleeful, joyful skip that was most likely very bad-apple-esque. It was rather exciting, breaking the rules. You know, I can almost comprehend James' ridiculously idiotic, terribly bad actions now. Almost.
I continued on like that for a few corridors, feeling bad apple and woeless and wonderful.
I couldn't care less that I was putting my immaculate record in jeopardy. I couldn't care less that I was mortified and heartbroken and...
Just as abruptly as the woeless feeling had precipitated, it disappeared. The raw memory of the incident ignited in my conscious and burned there. The emotions I had repressed was suddenly and rapidly expanding within me, and I couldn't breathe. An urge to cry collected in my throat, but I wouldn't succumb to it.
Perhaps I was pathetic. In fact, I knew I was. I was pathetic to be this upset by the inevitable rejection, inevitable embarassment that would follow confessing my feelings to a boy who would never want me. It was a stupid thing to do. I was stupid. I deserved this. And I was pathetic. But I wouldn't cry.
I pressed my back to the wall of whichever corridor I was in and tried to catch my breath.
How could I have been so completely daft? Really though. I mean, has there ever been a time where I spoke out and it had positive consequences? Being spontaneous and brave and impulsive was for girls like Dom. Those were the girls who were destined to declare and rebel and take risks. The beautiful and wonderful girls. The conspicuous girls.
Not me. I was intended to be a wallflower. Blend in. Be nice. Follow the rules. I wasn't supposed to act boldly. Doing so would only disrupt the natural order of the universe. I wasn't an instigator or declarer or mess maker. I was meant to be an insignificant character, not a main one. Just there, not instigating conflict or wielding influence on the story. Just there.
And, you know, I've acknowledged that. I'm... I'm okay with that.
I just forgot for a moment.
I'll try not to forget again.
I rubbed my eyes and picked myself up, groping the wall to-
A shrill giggle echoed through the corridor, causing me to jump approximately an infinite amount of feet into the air and shriek at a volume I didn't know humans were capable of.
My head turned frantically, searching desperately for the source.
My heart was pumping at the pace of someone at wandpoint. I mean, when you hear a cute-to-the-point-of-demonic-sounding giggle in the dead of night - alone, mind you - you begin to freak out. Like about the possibility that your life is probably in the hands of some demented, cackling, midget clown or something.
Oh, God. It probably lurks in the corridors, then emits a cutesy-sounding chuckle before pouncing on you and strangling you with balloon animals!
HOLY FRENCH TOAST, THAT'S WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME, ISN'T IT!!?
But then I noticed sliver of light reflected on the wall. I revolved around to face a portal that had just opened. The kitchen portal.
The kitchen that opens its entrance when you tickle the painting of the pear. The pear, of course, releasing a giggle when you tickle it. Or, in this case, grope it.
I repressed a desire to smack my head in the forehead on account of my idiocy. Not to mention knack of jumping to lethal conclusions.
I looked around the corridor curiously, shifting my weight from foot to foot. Something was particularly inviting about the kitchen. But it felt wrong to enter at this hour. Or, actually, just enter at all.
I bit my lip and glanced at the kitchen. It was beckoning me almost. With its gleaming light and promise of nourishment.
Like Nom. Nom. Nom.
I took a step forward, but then stopped myself.
What in the name of french toast was I thinking anyway? Intruding in a place where students weren't even permitted in the first place? There wasn't even a purpose in it. And, again, it wasn't allowed, was it? I mean, even if James and Fred had done it numerous times.
I inhaled decisively and turned in the direction of the Gryffindor Tower. No, the idea of trespassing into the kitchen was ridiculous. Not to mention wrong and foolish and bad. Really bad.
But then I stopped myself again and took a long glance at the opened portal.
Oh... But- But- But-
Oh screw this internal conflict! THERE'S FOOD! YOU CAN'T RESIST FOOD!
I darted into the kitchen searching for any ort of nourishment I could find.
And holy pumpkintarts it was gorgeous.
Glimmering pots and pans were stacked along the stone walls. There was a plethora of appliances and immaculate countertops. And-
"Would Miss Weasley like something to eat? Twinky is happy to serve Miss Weasley!"
Startled, I jumped a bit before meeting a pair of big, brown eyes. A house elf.
"Hi, Twinky. How are you?" I asked pleasantly. As if it were a totally normal thing for a person to have just sprinted into the kitchen with the urgency of one escaping from a troll at Merlin knows whatever time at night.
A beam spread across her face, "Twinky is wonderful Miss Weasley! What would Miss Weasley like?"
You see. That's what I adored about house elves. If a human had witnessed me sprinting into the kitchen at Merlin knows what time of night, I would be chastised or judged or most probably lampooned for being a fat kid. But Twinky the House Elf harbors no judgment. Well, I mean, maybe she does. But she's tactful enough to be nice. Or maybe she just feels sorry for me because clearly I am a hopeless, nerd with mental issues so she will withhold the judgmental comments since clearly I am a pathetic individual. And-
You know, I think I may have a smidge of a tendency to overthink. But I still adore house elves nonetheless.
"Oh, that's okay. Actually, its quite rude of me to just barge in, so I'm really sorry. But thank you though..."
"Twinky would love to serve Miss Weasley! Twinky serves Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley every night!"
James and Fred.
"Do you think I could have some cookie dough ice cream, please?" I ventured timidly.
Because I just really wanted ice cream. Rejection just really arouses a craving for ice cream.
Winky clapped her palms together and a tub of ice cream nearly the size of myself materialized before me.
My jaw plummeted as I gazed down at the gargantuan display in front of me. No, I take back my previous statement; the ice cream tub was double the size of myself.
Well. That confirms it. Twinky does, in fact, think I'm a fat kid.
"Oh, wow, Twinky. Thank you so much but I don't think I can -"
"Miss Weasley is welcome!" Twinky said cheerily, before strutting off somewhere and deserting me with a container of cookie dough ice cream the volume of Neptune.
I exhaled and rubbed my hipster glasses - as Dom liked to call them - on my shirt.
So here I was. Heartbroken. Humiliated. Pathetic. Completely desolate. Well, except there was disgustingly massive tub of sugar by my feet. A really delicious tub of sugar...
I sank to my knees, prepared to begin gormandizing it like the pig I was. I lifted up my sp...
There was no spoon.
I picked myself up and scoured every kitchen crevice for some acceptable eating utensil. Anything.
I found an infinite supply of pots and pans. A really atrocious piece of cloth that may have been hat (but I wasn't sure.) And more pots and pans. Seriously, in this room alone, I'm almost positive there would be enough pots and pans to be lined up singularly along the equator and completely encircle the earth.
But literally no spoon. Or fork. Or spork. Or even chopsticks.
After sifting through the entirety of the kitchen, I came to a sad conclusion.
I closed my eyes. Then I looked at the ice cream tub.
I could practically hear it. The haunting, nonexistent whisper of the ice cream, I mean.
Hey there, little girl... Come eat me. I'm not dangerous. Just 4956394543897543975 calories of freaking delicious, that's all.
But, I mean. I couldn't. There wasn't even a eating utensil. And I couldn't conjure one without my wand.
You know, I really should start carrying my wand on me more often. I mean, not for defense or anything insignificant like that. Just for really crucial, imperative matters like when you need to conjure a spoon for your 5000 pounds of cookie dough ice cream.
I cast a pained glance at it. The tub. The irresistible creamy goodness.
I exhaled and clamped my eyes shut. There was only one way.
I rolled up my sleeves and winced.
Well, its not like I had dignity anyway..
And this is happening. This is actually happening, isn't it?
I'm actually about to immerse my entire arm in a enormous tub of rejection ice cream at eleven o' clock at night by myself.
On the optimistic side, I can probably never ever do anything more pitiful than this. And there's certainly no way in the name of Merlin that I could possibly sink to any level lower as a human being than at this moment.
November 6th - Saturday - 11:23 pm - The Astronomy Tower 'Post-Incident But Before I Make Yet Another Mistake'
* * *
So that's how it happened. The most pitiful event in my life.
Pawing cookie dough ice cream and voraciously cramming it into my mouth whilst on my knees all by myself on a Saturday night.
But you know... its actually all good. I mean, ice cream is really comforting. Especially when its served in quantity more suitable to a giant than a 100 pound teenager.
I mean, the only negative part of it is that I'll inevitably have to cease my voracious consumption at some point to heave my overstuffed guts out. And then there's the fact that I have ice cream stuck on my face. Which really isn't an issue, but its uncomfortable and just makes me feel bad about being a messy eater. The fact that its in my hair though is a problem, however. Because it takes enough time to detangle my waves as it is and adding clusters of stickiness to that will consequently result in a five hour shower. Because detangling charms just don't work on my hair. And then there's the blatant. The obvious. That I undoubtedly look like a bloody moron. But I'm all alone. So only I can judge myself. Well, I mean, the big man can judge me too. But considering he's watched me fail miserably for the entirety of my life, this really wouldn't surprise him. I think he may have accepted the fact that I'm a hopeless basket case at this point. And now that he's come to terms with that, he possibly finds these situations amusing. Or maybe disappointing.
I deposited my hand into the neverending tub, and scooped up what could have been my 400th palm-full of ice cream.
A noise somewhere between a giggle and cry escaped my lips for some reason. I guess because of the simultaneous humor and tragedy in the situation. My 400th palm-full of ice cream. Me, practically on the verge of vomiting, engulfed in a person-sized container of comfort food with ice cream smeared on my nose.
It was so bloody sad it was nearly comical.
I let out a laugh and buried my face in my knees.
Merlin, with all the lunatic laughter and fat kidness going... Well, I mean, its just a wonder Sander didn't want me.
I laughed harder until it abated into a just a smile. You know what? This is good. This experience was actually good. Because I'm going to have a lot of inside jokes with myself after this.
Inside jokes with myself.
I dipped my arm back in the tub, synchronously entertained and repulsed by myself.
You know, it seems like I'm usually at conflict with myself. As if there's a lot of discord. within the confines of my own noggin. But if there's something I can agree with myself on its that this ice cream is-
- magnificently scrumptious.
Was that... Was that a voice?
No. Couldn't be.
Good gracious. Just when I was finally starting to concede with myself too, dag nabbit!
I turned my head around slowly, fruitlessly hoping that no one would be there. That I was just in delirium. Well, I mean, I've always been in delirium. But now crazy enough to be hearing voices as well.
But, instead of nothingness, my sight landed on a pair of snazzy shoes... then traveled up a pair of uniform pants... to white collared shirt and emerald tie... to...
I just gave Scorpius Malfoy a once over.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Abhor me immensely for being a circumlocutious shit who didn't squeeze in Malfoy's appearance? (I swear I'm not teasing, I just had to have a lot things happen before I could fit him in how I wanted. And this chapter was super long and I didn't want to make it even more into an unorganized ramble than it already is.) Like Rose's hipster glasses? Passionately loathe cookie dough ice cream? Let me know in the box situated below and Ryan Gosling will take off his shirt for you. Well, not really, but if you look up Ryan Gosling on google there's a number of shirtless pics of him. Yeah. You're welcome. ;)
Chapter 5: The Art of Fraternizing with Puppy-Kicking, Child-Punting, Owl-Punching Ruffians
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*Author's Note: Hey, delightful people! Sorry again for the long wait. I won't go into depth because the chapter is already of monstrous proportions. But I've just had a lot going on... SATs, finals, sports, etc in addition to illness and other unforeseen circumstances. Also, I had a difficult time getting this chapter how I wanted it. So I just decided, after a million revisions, I was just going to submit it since you guys have been waiting forever. So, hopefully it doesn't suck. If it does, my apologies.
So thank you to everyone who is reading and all my reviewers. You keep me going... even if it takes like five months for me to update since I'm a butt trumpet. And, without further ado... HERE IS THE NEXT CHAPTER! VOILA!
PS - This chapter is dedicated to my darling dearie/fellow Starkid Lydia because she is supermegafoxyawesomehot and is the sole reason I made it through finals week (and life in general).
DISCLAIMER - I STILL DON'T OWN POCKETFUL OF SUNSHINE, BUT I'VE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH NATASHA BEDINGFIELD ABOUT ACQUIRING THE RIGHTS. EXCEPT NOT REALLY. BUT I WILL WHEN I STOP BEING A LETHARGIC BUM. I ALSO DON'T OWN HARRY POTTER OR ANYTHING RELATED WHICH IS DREADFULLY UPSETTING. OR THE GREAT GATSBY WHICH IS OWNED BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD WHO IS TRAGICALLY DECEASED, ALTHOUGH HE LIVES ON IN OUR HEARTS. OKAY I'M DONE HERE.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
You know, I really wish that proper social interaction was something that could be learned through study.
Like, I could just read textbooks and make flashcards about how to not be awkward and, eventually, I'd be able to make it 10 seconds past 'hello' without eye-twitching or choking or really bad jokes or - most possibly - combustion.
But, unfortunately, social interaction is ideally a natural process. Something that everyone is equipped with the innate skills to maneuver painlessly through.
Everyone except Rose Weasley. Which is pretty much an embarrassingly obvious statement at this point. I mean, I accidentally admitted my love to my object of infatuation for six years and was rejected. I apparently (and inadvertently) led on a condiment-covered aspiring cat-breeder who was, incidentally, my date for the evening. #fasttimesathogwartsschoolofwitchcraftandwizardryandpossiblesexualviolation
Clearly, I wasn't endowed with those supposed givens.
I mean, even given normal circumstances, I'm utterly screwed as far as conversations go. And, though I'm generally an idealist, even I can't pretend these are remotely normal circumstances. Maybe on the Biggest Loser, this muggle show that the wizard network picked up a few years ago. On the Biggest Loser, some corpulent fellow - let's call him Chuck - going into relapse and being caught inhaling disgustingly abnormal proportions of ice cream would be perfectly plausible. Like, someone would reprimand Chuck, and there would be some emotional sentiment about how ice cream numbed Chuck's pain, then everyone would be touched and the episode would conclude in sobbing and Chuck tearfully promising he would change.
But tragically, my life is not an episode of the Biggest Loser. Despite the emotional-eating and incessant crying. The difference is that, in my life, extreme overreating doesn't touch hearts. It just kind of makes everything awkward.
Actually, awkward doesn't even begin to classify this predicament. I mean, sure, having anyone witness you shoveling processed cow product in your mouth like there's no freaking tomorrow is troubling enough. Especially when you lack the ability to justify or explain your actions. So, I mean, even if I would have just merely encountered a person, I would have already been screwed. But I happened to encounter Malfoy. Which essentially is the worst case scenario.
Malfoy. Let me tell you about Scorpius Malfoy. Well, you see, its kind of a funny story. Actually, its not so much funny as it is.... Erm. Let me start over. Actually, its really not even so much a story as it is... Actually, do you know if there's a phrase or term for 'My dad has strictly forbidden me from ever conversing or making eye contact with Scorpius Malfoy because he's allegedly the spawn of the devil who was unfortunately born without a soul and therefore engages in deplorable acts such as, but not limited to, kicking puppies and punting children' ? Because I think that's the most succinct I can make it. Well other than, 'Malfoy is bad.'
Growing up, my father really only implemented three basic rules. The first is stay away from Malfoy. The second is stay away from Malfoy. And the third, actually, is don't eat/look at/any-other-sensory-action Dad's food. Ever. I mean, my little brother Hugo ate Dad's leftover slice of pie last summer and - well - I don't think Hugo's been the same person since. It was frightening actually. When Dad found the remaining crumbs, he got really calm sort of. And then he sort of smiled, this tight-lipped, trembling smile that sort of enlightened me to the terrifying potential of smiles. And then Dad called Hugo downstairs, patted him on the back and told him they were going to have a little father-son chat. I don't really know what transpired after that, but Hugo has cried everytime Mom made pie since. So the moral of the story is don't defy Ron Weasley. And, if the consequences of eating the last of his pie resulted in a 10 year old boy breaking down in the presence of dessert, I can't even fathom the punishment for fraternizing with Malfoy. All I know is that it entails me being executed.
I mean, perhaps a little bit of Dad's opposition to Malfoy stems from his long-standing rivalry with Malfoy's father. And sure, Dad can tend to be slightly dramatic. But Dad's claims have to be justified, right? No one, not even Ronald Weasley, would ever - and I mean ever - casually throw out the term 'puppy kicker.' Accusing someone of puppy-kicking is a serious claim, not to be discounted. Kicking a puppy... that's practically the most immoral, malicious offense there is.
And you just can't make that stuff up.
So, ultimately, I haven't strayed from my Dad's rules once in my life. Not even the insignificant little laws that I didn't mention yet. Like chewing twenty-four times before swallowing, never cursing, flossing semi-daily.... Er, actually, those are my Mom's rules. But, essentially, I've never broken my parents' rules. So throughout my years at Hogwarts, I've eluded interaction with Malfoy. As well as I could. I mean, there's always the odd occasion where our paths cross in the library and I calmly wander (panickedly sprint) into a different section. Which has actually led to some pretty traumatic experiences. Like the time in second year where I mistakenly catapulted myself into the section of the library dedicated to... the transition into adolescence and adulthood... I suppose. Its funny, the titles of books I got a mere glimpse of then are burned in my memory to this day. For instance: The Magic of Puberty, How to Handle Your Wand. But let's just digress from that topc.
My point is - or was intended to be - I need to avoid Malfoy at all costs. Sure, it sounds ignorant to sort of judge what type of person Malfoy is when I haven't precisely gotten to know him, but I know Dad's words are completely credible; He couldn't have just lied about Malfoy being a treacherous, puppy-kicking ruffian. And here's the thing, I could never disobey my parents. I mean, I've already failed them in simply being a mental, graceless nerdmuffin, so the least I could do is respect their judgments and abide by their laws. If you think about it, not being 'bad' is really my only redeemable quality as a daughter. Which is, you know, really pathetic and all. But still true.
However, the universe hates me. So, after six years of avoiding Scorpius Malfoy, six years of uninteruppted Weasley-rule-following, as fate would have it, I'm trapped in a kitchen. With Malfoy. With a tub full of ice cream to explain. Without a way around it. So, in one fell swoop, my untainted history of obedience is completely obliterated by the unavoidable circumstance of inevitable conversation with Scorpius Malfoy.
I mean, I really shouldn't be surprised by this though. The only thing I should be surprised about - at this point - is that I haven't been hit by a bus. Or kidnapped by clowns. I mean, its gotten to the point where its shocking when bad things don't happen to me...
Then again, getting hit by bus would sort of be a relief.
November 6th - Saturday - 11:32 pm - The Astronomy Tower 'Post-Incident But Before I Make Yet Another Mistake'
* * *
My paralyzed eyes finally broke Malfoy's gaze after a few uncomfortable seconds. Slowly, they drifted from his face to the shamefully gargantuan tub of dairy, to my ice cream-covered palms -
I cringed as I envisioned what this must look like.
Oh, God. How do I even recover from this?
Obviously nothing I could say could repair the damage. So, more appropriately, which words would screw me over the least?
Incapable of selecting an acceptable sentence, I entertained the idea of furtively ninja-rolling into the pile of pots and pans.
My heart activity practically halted and I shifted my gaze to the floor.
Maybe if I just feigned being mesmerized by the hardwood, Malfoy would just gather I was having a moment and kindly leave.
I took a breath.
Okay, Rose. Just keep studying the floor...don't meet his eyes...
... And he won't see you. I mean, sure, you most likely look constipated, but he won't see you.
Actually, he probably hasn't even seen you. Him saying your last name was... a coincidence of sorts! A humorous one even! A lot of people say 'Weasley' randomly when they walk into kitchens. Actually, who doesn't do that? That's the real question here.
I mean, sure, I did involuntarily gawk at Malfoy earlier since I was in that frozen state of shock. And, sure, he's sort of raising his eyebrows now with sort of an amused countenance, seemingly directed at me. - Oh fricktarts, I'm looking at him again. - But perhaps Malfoy has a lazy eye or something. So it just appears as though he's viewing me, when, as a matter of fact, he hasn't noticed me at all.
Yeah, actually, that's highly plausible.
Assured, I closed my eyes and relaxed slightly.
And by relaxed slightly I mean tensed up like Jimmy Neutron forcing a brain blast.
"Listen, I'm not the type of person who really cares about other people, but are you okay, Weasley?"
Maybe there is a slight possibility that he.. erm.. could have.. seen me. Maybe.
So... This means I have to respond doesn't it?
But couldn't I just go live in a hole the rest of my life instead? Or eat liver? Or have a sleepover with hobos? Actually, do you know what the politically correct term for a female hobo is? Is it just 'hobo' or would be like 'hoboette?'
... What? No, I am most certainly NOT trying to put off conversing with Malfoy! I really just wanted to know the politically correct term for a female hobo! Which actually inspires another imperative question: Is the plural name for hobos 'hoboes' or 'hobi,' because I just really-
Fine. I'm shutting up now.
Okay. I'm going to talk to Malfoy. I can do this... Possibly.
I gulped, clearing the voice in my head reminding me of what an abomination I was for even considering the idea of answering Malfoy. Slowly, I emerged from behind the ginormous ice cream tub, which I'd been hiding behind pretty much the entire time. I lifted my head above the container, peering over at Malfoy apprehensively.
He was leaning back on the wall, his arms crossed, and-
Oh fricktarts he was looking at me.
I tried to avert my eyes, but it was futile. I noticed one of Malfoy's eyebrows was raised, as if he was somewhat concerned by my resemblance to a deer-in-headlights.
Oh God. I should probably say something.
"Hi!" I chirped cheerily. "And I'm positively splendiferous! And, you know, stable."
But in case my verbal confirmation didn't entirely evince my wellbeing, I made a thumbs-up to clarify that I was mentally stable.
Because if a thumbs-up isn't a sufficient indicator that I am a sane human being, then by God I don't know what is.
"Splendiferous?," he repeated, with half-smirk. Like he was amused or something. "Ah, I assumed you were having a crisis, but clearly you're doing really well."
"Uh... yeah. Thank you," I responded perplexedly. Because, honestly, this is just a weird scenario.
I mean, I had endeavored to avoid Malfoy my entire life, let alone had a conversation with the bloke. And suddenly he commending my wellbeing.
The thing is though, I'd be weary of anyone who would linger around, attempting to make conversation with an evident psycho fat kid immersed in a container of dairy. But this was Malfoy, which made it all the more befuddling. Although I didn't technically know Malfoy, I sort of had an idea about his character based on my father's words. And I certainly didn't get the impression he was an innocent, kitchen conversationalist. I mean, Dad had also let it slip that Malfoy was an owl puncher... Which really didn't sound harmless.
Skeptical, I scooched back a bit.
"So what brings you here then, Weasley?" Malfoy inquired thoughtfully, now leaning into the table, propped up by his elbows. "I mean, whatever is keeping Rose Weasley, of all people, out past curfew must be very important."
Well... I think eating in a time of crisis is pretty important business.
But I really didn't really feel like getting into that.
"Right, yeah," I confirmed, scrunching my eyebrows in deep thought. "I was... doing something very important. Its.."
He encouraged me with a nod.
"Its called exercising. I was exercising. That's what I was doing."
I mean, exercising the limits of how much I can consume without exploding. But still.
"In the kitchen at 11:30? You don't say." Malfoy drawled, chin resting on his fist.
"I mean, this is the optimal time for working out," I pointed out amicably. "And the kitchen is just a good place for... push ups and weights and just, you know, working out in generally. Because that's what I do work out. Hard core. My strength regimen is just very important to me, you know?"
I self-consciously rubbed my toothpick arms.
Lying. I couldn't have just been blessed with the gift of lying.
"Clearly," Malfoy noted and I considered the possibility of sarcasm in the statement before he gestured towards the tub. "So the massive container of ice cream is just..."
"Oh! Pfft," I laughed, waving away his comment with my arm as I pulled myself to my feet, "That's not ice cream. That's training equipment. The... erm... Tub90x."
Nevertheless, I offered Malfoy a sympathetic smile and shrug, as if I was forgiving his amateur error of mistaking the newest innovation in weight training for dairy.
"Yeah," I continued confidently, "I use it for overall strengthening. Like lift it up and push it around. Its- It has honestly done wonders for me... physically"
What am I doing?
"So you mean to tell me this is your secret to such impressive brawn?" Malfoy feigned awe, crossing his arms.
"Pretty much," I said weakly, avoiding eye contact and hoping he was actually being sincere.
"Well, this is very convenient because I've actually been looking to take up a new program, Weasley..."
I inhaled, anticipating the worst. "Oh?"
"Yeah," Malfoy removed his elbows from the table and dusted them off. "And this seems pretty legitimate, so could you demonstrate how the Tub90x works? You know, so I have an idea."
I eyed the ice cream wearily.
It definitely weighed more than I did.
"I would love to do that so so much," I confessed. "But unfortunately I really need to go, so I'm just going to abscond slowly and-"
"Please?" Malfoy implored, "I'm just so eager to learn how you do it."
I exhaled, taking a reproachful glance at the vat.
"I mean... I guess I could," I acquiesced reluctantly.
"Brilliant, Weasley. Thank you."
I ambled over to the container, breathing deeply. I mean, how hard could it be? All I had to do was move it. That much should be simple.
Key word: should.
I made the mistake of looking at the formidable tub again, and I instantly regretted ever even engaging in conversation with Malfoy in the first place, even if it was to explain my actions... Or conjure an elaborate lie in a demented attempt to explain my actions.
Oh God. I was such a bloody imbecile.
I closed my eyes and tilted my head to the ceiling, silently loathing myself.
Finally, I tucked a mahogany strand of hair behind my ear and attempted to pull myself together. I glanced back at Malfoy, who, again, looked mildly amused. And possibly worried.
"Okay, so, the first step in conquering the Tub90x., essentially, is the approach," I began, turning around to face him.
Kill me now.
"That seems very important," Malfoy folded his arms, squinting his forehead in concentration, "Should I conjure a quill and parchment?"
"No, um, that's okay."
I looked back at Malfoy, who was biting his lip to contain a smile.
"Er, anyway... next you want to sort of bend your knees and..."
I glanced at the vat, and it glared back.
Well, I mean, it would have if inanimate objects could glare back.
Oh niblets I can't do this.
"... mentally prepare to move the Tub90x?" I finished uncertainly.
"And then, for the finale, you just..."
I pressed my hands to the box, pushing with every bit of fortitude I possessed...
... And it didn't move.
(Insert-Bad-Word-Here) my life.
"I'm just kidding," I told Malfoy amiably, shaking my head with a smile. "I just need to..."
I put my whole body into it, drawing on every bit of my dwindling strength. Except the tub remained stationary and I just kept slipping backwards which was really the opposite of what I had intended.
You know what, large container of ice cream? You suck. And I hate you.
With an irate huff, I took a few steps back from the ice cream, then lunged at it, thrusting myself at the container and ricocheting back on to the floor about 6 feet away.
ARE YOU SERIOUS, ICE CREAM? ARE YOU SERIOUSLY SERIOUS?
I sprung back to my feet and commenced pouncing at the container, all the emotions of the night rising to surface. Agitated, I threw myself at it incessantly, punctuating my lunges with angry kicks at the container.
"Hey, hey. Easy, Weasley," Malfoy advised calmly, blocking the tub before I could dive in a fourth time.
DIDN'T HE UNDERSTAND IT NEEDED TO DIE?
"Hey, I've got this," he reassuringly turned up my chin and turned toward the container.
My adrenaline abated, and I cocked my head at him dubiously. Then he inspected it before nonchalantly moving it out of sight.
And... there goes my last shred of dignity.
"I see you like cookie dough, Weasley. Maybe too much."
I looked away without a reply, cheeks burning, and Malfoy sort of half-smiled at me apologetically.
He leaned against the wall again, smirking. "You're quite the determined little thing, aren't you?"
I shrugged, resisting the urge to hide my scarlet countenance with my palms.
"Unfortunately you're a shitty liar."
I succumbed to burying my face in my hands, silently dying, "A little bit."
"Don't feel bad, Weasley, I kind of saw through your charade beforehand since you had a little ice cream..."
He rubbed his nose, and my stomach plummeted to my knees.
"This whole time?" I exclaimed aghast, clutching my nose with both my hands.
"No, it actually came off when you collided with the container," he smirked.
So I go on a date with a future serial killer/cat breeder. Then I am rejected by the guy I think I'm in love with. Then flipping Malfoy witnesses me gormandizing my rejection ice cream with my hands as well as getting beat up by an inanimate object. And then, for the finale... it turns out... I had ice cream on my nose! The whole time! How funny! You know what would be more hysterical? Merlin ceasing this endless chain of torture for his own amusement and just running me over with a triple-decker bus already. What a novel notion. Oh... Wait. I already thought of that.
At least I don't have repetitive thoughts.
At least I don't have repetitive thoughts.
Hey. At least my sense of humor is still intact.
Too bad it, you know, sucks.
I sunk to the floor defeatedly.
"So are you going to tell me?"
I widened my eyes at Malfoy curiously, "Tell you what?"
"Tell me what the hell is going on, basically," he construed calmly, kneeling down beside me.
I drew a breath, raising my head to face the ceiling. I suppose I owed Malfoy an explanation. I mean, I had tried to convince him an ice cream tub was exercise equipment. And I had called him 'old sport' afterall. But Malfoy was the last person I was going to justify my actions to. Because justifying my actions would inevitably entail sharing the Incident. I was hardly planning on telling Dom about it, let alone Malfoy. Who already probably thought I was mental enough alone, forget the unrequited love confession.
"Hmm," I considered, austerely avoiding the question. "What is going on, basically, is that the Earth is rotating on an axis while simultaneously revolving around the sun."
Malfoy squinted his eyes, studying me with concern.
A few seconds elapsed like that, and I squirmed. Something about eye contact makes me uncomfortable.
Something about anything involving other people makes me uncomfortable. I mean, if I'm going to be honest here.
"This is becoming redundant," Malfoy finally said. "But are you okay?"
Maybe it was because the sugar had finally reached my bloodstream. Maybe it was because I should have been placed in an asylum by now.
But for some reason, unbeknownst to me, I started laughing.
"Am I okay?" I vociferated breathlessly between laughs. "Am I okay? That's - That's a brilliant question! Am I okay?"
I turned to an invisible audience and spread out my arms.
"Hey, everyone! He," I tilted my head at Malfoy, "wonders if I'm okay!"
I collapsed back on the wall, wiping a tear from my eyes, "Yes, yes. Praise sweet Jesus, Lordy Lordy, sweet Mary and Joseph, and THANK ALLAH I'M OKAY! HALLEJUAH! MAZEL TOV!"
Holy french toast, I've done it...
I've finally gone insane.
Unless, of course, people usually start superfluously praising in like three different religions when they have too much sugar.
I have a peculiar feeling that its not typical behavior though.
Suddenly, I sobered up, and my hysterics dissolved into weak, interspersed laughs. I pulled my knees to my chest and shook my head reprovingly at myself.
Well, at least one thing is sure. If Malfoy hasn't booked it by now then he was crazier than I was. Or entirely didn't value his life. Because at the rate I'm losing my mind, it wouldn't be entirely shocking if I accidentally killed him or something.
But when I finally looked up, Malfoy, to my surprise, was still there.
"As comforting as that was, Weasley, I have this eerie feeling you're not okay."
I cocked my head, pondering the mystery of how Malfoy was actually talking to me like a normal person after that episode. I mean, let's face it, I was one manical laugh away from being chucked into the loony bin.
I sighed. "Listen... erm..."
How do I even address this chap?
"Listen... old sport," I decided, and Malfoy raised his eyebrows. "I acknowledge how my... "
I made air quotes, "'moment'... might have seemed disconcerting, and I appreciate you expressing concern. But scenes like such are perfectly social acceptable in my culture. Which may or may not be Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Or possibly all three. So, in a nutshell, I'm entirely okay, superdy duperdy totally awesome okay!"
I really need to stop.
You know, talking...
"Okay, then," Malfoy responded after a few seconds of hesitation, raising a concerned eyebrow. "But can I just say something?"
I nodded hesitantly.
"Though its evident that you're... sound... Weasley," he started, perhaps sardonically, "it seems like you're confused."
I gaped at him; I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't that.
Malfoy sighed, "I'm quite perceptive. And what I got from your episode earlier is that you're experiencing some religious conflict."
... Because of the.. Allah praising and Mazel tov.... And Mary and Joseph...
But before I could clear up the misunderstanding, Malfoy cut in.
"I just want to say that you should reevaluate Islam. I don't know. A ginger Muslim is almost a conundrum. Like an centaur rabbi or a midget prostitute. Its just bad taste. We can talk about it if you want, Weasley. Like if you need some spiritual guidance or shit."
I blinked blankly at Malfoy for a moment.
I had never talked to this kid in my life and suddenly he was offering me spiritual guidance? I mean, according to Dad, the only service Malfoy could do me is show me the ropes of Satanic worship...
Merlin's pants... He's trying to recruit me for his cult isn't he?
"Erm... That is so nice but no thank you," I picked myself up very quickly. "I actually have to go right now, but maybe some other time..."
"Aww, don't look so scared, love, I was kidding," he smirked. "What, did you think I was ask you to join a cult or something?"
I weakly chuckled, "Pfft... no. Pfft."
Except I didn't meet his eyes.
"Fuck," Malfoy remarked after a few moments, shaking his head in disbelief, "You actually thought I was going to ask you to join a cult, didn't you?"
I attempted to whistle, but unfortunately I neglected to remember that I can't, in fact, whistle.
So I just sort of just looked at the ceiling because it was not Malfoy.
"I'm really sorry," I finally apologized.
"Don't be, Weasley. I'm flattered you would assume that," he winked. "I think you overestimate me though. Getting Rose Weasley, the paragon of virtue, to join a Satanic cult is too sinister... even for me."
I shook my head, suddenly weighed down with guilt.
"I'm really not the paragon of virtue, Malfoy," I laid down on the floor, not bothering to make sense anymore and talking more to myself than Malfoy. "Actually... I'm the paragon of horridness. I'm a terrible person."
"Right now, even, I'm directly defying my father. And, I mean, I'm out past curfew!" I exclaimed, flailing my arms to get across my point. "I've gone completely and utterly wild!"
I glanced up at Malfoy, expecting him to nod in grave agreement that I was despicable. Perhaps ask me to join his puppy-kicking gang since I met all the requirements for a deplorable human being.
Instead, Malfoy was studying me. Smirking.
He was smirking!
A shock of frustration surged through me. Did he not understand the extent of my horridness?
"What?" I asked suspiciously. "Why are you smiling?"
"Because the fact that you consider," he paused, glancing at his watch, "lying on the kitchen floor at 11:36 on a Saturday 'completely and utterly wild'... is just really funny to me."
My jaw opened and closed unbelievingly, "But how is that laughable, though? I'm an official rule breaker! I'm a rebel!"
Malfoy bit his lip, barely stifling a laugh, "An official rule breaker?"
"This is very serious!"
He sobered up and nodded solemnly, "You're right. I'm sorry."
I crossed my arms defiantly and he coughed into his elbow before leaning back into the wall.
"So, tell me, what are your plans for the future? You know, now that you're such a bad ass. Not wear a seat belt? Refuse to pay the fine on an overdue library book?"
"Funny," I smiled drily, clearly unimpressed. "But I would never have an overdue library book."
"I don't know, Weasley..." Malfoy drawled wistfully, studying his palm.
I widened my eyes.
Did he- Did he really-
... Oh my God.
"Do you really think that I would..." I gulped. "Have an overdue library book?"
Malfoy's sullen grey eyes met mine, and my heart sunk.
"Well, now that you're such a rebel, I can't be sure anymore, Weasley," he sighed with a somber sincerity.
I grabbed my temples in horror, "Holy french toast, I really am a terrible person!"
I mean, aside from kicking puppies, having an overdue library book is practically the sickest, most frowned-upon offense there is. And if I go by the logic that 'it takes one to know one' - and Malfoy perceived me to be an overdue-library-book-holder - then I really was a contemptible person.
I'm going to the bad place aren't I?
And I don't just mean on the library banishment list.
Malfoy just chuckled, "You're quite excitable, aren't you Weasley? I have to admit, its entertaining."
I gaped at Malfoy, who was now sitting in a random chair by me, lighting a cigarette with his wand.
"An excitable- But I'm not even excitable!" I protested.
He raised an unconvinced eyebrow.
I cleared my throat and regained my composure.
"I mean- I mean... Uh, yeah, I'm totally calm. Not even a little excitable. I'm completely chill, dude." I explained, inadvertently adopting a surfer bloke accent.
Hey. Accents happen.
Malfoy parted his lips to release a ring of smoke in response.
Upset, I hacked and coughed profusely, as loudly as I possibly could.
I can assure you that it was very attractive.
"Problem?" Malfoy inquired after about twenty seconds of my choking fit, withdrawing the stick of death from his mouth.
"OH-COUGH-NOTHING-JUST-COUGH-DYING-COUGH-A-LONG-COUGH-ARDUOUS-COUGH-DEATH-COUGH!" I sputtered out between incessant coughs.
I thought it was a very subtle way to enlighten him to the lethal hazards of smoking.
I waited for him to kindly put out the killing device.
"Oh, how rude of me," Malfoy lamented remorsefully, holding out his pack. "I'm sorry did you want one?"
What- What the...
My jaw plummeted, and I ogled at him incredulously.
I desperately wanted to ask him if he was usually this dense, or inform him of some very cool anti-smoking slogans, but instead, I settled for stretching the top of my shirt to cover my nose and mouth.
"No thank you," I resigned, the words muffled underneath my shirt.
He cast me his cocky, half-smile, the cigarette still wedged between his teeth, and I crossed my arms belligerently.
"Aww, what's the matter, love? You look upset," he noted.
I sighed and removed the fabric from my face.
"Every year, over 6 million people die on account of smoking," I informed Malfoy with a disapproving frown.
"Oh, that's not too bad," Malfoy shrugged, then smiled when I gasped at his response.
"The number of chemicals in nicotine and tobacco smoke exceed 7000," I pressed on earnestly. "93 of these chemicals are enlisted as harmful and potentially harmful constituents by the FDA, and some of these chemicals are toxic in nature. So, essentially, you're ingesting tar, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, cadmium and several other hazardous compounds at this very moment."
"Really?" Malfoy inquired, examining his cigarette with intrigue. "Good. Frankly I don't think I'm getting enough hydrogen cyanide. Tell me more, love."
What? This bloke was insufferable!
I rubbed eyes, trying to suppress my escalating frustration.
"Smoking impairs brain functions, you know," I continued exasperatedly, trying to prevent the agitation from reaching my voice. "It reduces the grey matter in the brain responsible for alertness, memory, and learning, consequently lowering your intelligence level."
"I actually am too intelligent," Malfoy explained, "and therefore am in the process of becoming more stupid so I can fit my blonde stereotype."
"A projected 300,000 annual cases of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children are attributable to secondhand smoke exposure!" I warned him.
"Fine, there are too many healthy children in this world."
I examined Malfoy, then felt an electric chill shoot through spine.
It was true. Everything my dad had told me was true. He really was a child punter.
Abort mission. Abort mission. Abort mission.
I pulled myself to my feet abruptly, prepared to make a break for the portal.
"Oi, Weasley, wait," I heard him say, and I glanced back, "I'm joking. Sorry, here."
Malfoy tapped the ashes and stubbed the cigarette onto a table before clearing everything away with his wand.
"Weasley, you know way too much about smoking. To be honest, its kind of peculiar."
"Er- Thank you," I answered quickly, internally panicking. "And thank you also for taking the first step in protecting your alveoli. But I should really get going... So many... erm... things to do at... uh... midnight. Yep. Adios!"
Because apparently I do Spanish farewells nowadays. Yeah, that information is foreign to me also. Ba da bum.
Hopefully you realize why I hate myself now.
I commenced to book it out the door, but Malfoy stepped in front of me.
"Look, Weasley, given your state, I wouldn't have a clear conscience just letting you leave now."
I glanced up at him, raising a quizzical eyebrow.
Malfoy had a conscience?
"You have a conscience?" I asked in disbelief, the words slipping out before I could revoke them.
"I'm sorry," I started quickly before Malfoy could respond. "I just... I've basically been told my whole life that you were a ruffian and it just seemed implausible that you had a conscience based on... And I'm going to stop now."
And these are the times I'm grateful for my lack of filter.
I clamped my palm on my forehead.
"Well, to answer your question, yes," Malfoy half-smiled. "Shockingly, I have the suggestion of a conscience."
But he punts children!
"But you punt children!"
Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.
"Punt children?" Malfoy repeated, wearing a worried expression.
No. Punt children and kick puppies and punch owls.
"And kick puppies and punch owls."
I clasped my hand to my mouth.
OH MY GOD, ROSE, WHY CAN YOU NOT SHUT UP!?
I buried my burning visage into my hands.
You know, if I had a sickle for everytime I've said something and it wasn't embarassing...
I'd be completely broke.
"Wait," Malfoy ran a hand through his hair. "You're under the impression that I... kick puppies... and punch owls... and punt children?"
I concealed my eyes with my hands.
"No?" I tried weakly, then peered at him through my fingers. He looked unconvinced.
"I'm sorry," I shook my head. "I say stupid, demented things that mean nothing and make no sense. So I'm just going to leave slowly, yeah? And then hopefully we can just forget about all of this. Sound good? Yeah? Okay, good bye!"
I turned to dart toward the portal, but something pulled me back by the wrist and I revolved around.
You know, I'm getting a tad bit tired of people jerking me around today.
"You are crazy, Weasley," Malfoy informed me, releasing my wrist. "Like really fucking nuts, you know that?"
You don't say.
"I know," I admitted sullenly, grasping the door handle. "I'm sorry."
"Wait, you didn't let me finish."
I cocked my head at Malfoy, nonplussed.
"I was going to say that its endearing and I like you, Little Red."
I scanned the room, searching for another 'Little Red' Malfoy could have been addressing. Because there was no way in the free world that anyone could ever like me.
I finally pointed at myself, "Me?"
"No," he deadpanned. "The bronze pot in the corner."
"That actually seems more plausible."
"No, because that would imply I was talking to inanimate objects. And I'm not the mental one here."
"Yes, actually, it is more plausible, because the bronze pot is a lot more likable than I am."
Malfoy half-smiled incredulously, "You're not serious?"
"I'm completely serious. I mean, look at its shiny exterior. Its literally sparkling. And it aids in making food. Everyone loves food! And then there's me. Who eats ice cream alone in a kitchen. And goes on dates with condiment-covered cat breeders and is stupid enough to believe that something good will come out of confessing-"
I stopped abruptly.
Again, I had hardly planned on dishing the Incident to Dom, my own cousin. Let alone, Malfoy... someone I didn't even know, let alone was forbidden to know.
"Sorry," I forced a laugh, waving off what I had said. "Its stupid. See you."
With that, I - for bordering on the hundredth time - reached for portal to leave.
"So a rough night, I'm assuming?"
I turned around with sigh.
"Eh, not that I recall. No," I shook my head fervently.
Malfoy tilted his head, "No?"
"No," I confirmed.
Malfoy just scrutinized me. As if he were waiting for me to snap or admit I was lying or something.
But, I mean, I wasn't lying.
My night was more like disturbing with a splash of mortifying sprinkled with traumatizing. But mostly traumatizing though. So it wasn't rough.
I lowered myself to the floor criss-cross applesauce style, rubbing my face before carrying on, "Actually, its a long story."
"And its embarrassing."
"Weasley, I watched you poorly attempt to convince me that a tub of ice cream was exercise equipment."
"I had my reasons!"
"I am not denying that."
"Can we pretty please just forget about that?"
Malfoy sighed sympathetically, "I would say yes... But I'm not a liar. Unlike some people."
"But- But I'm not generally a liar! Its just that- Okay, but the circumstances were- Ugh!" I poorly endeavored to redeem myself.
"Its truly heartbreaking... watching you struggle."
Frustrated, I pulled my legs to my chest and defeatedly allowed my head to collapse on my knees.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Malfoy laughed. "If I stop being an ass will you tell me your long, embarassing story?"
I narrowed my eyes at him skeptically, " I don't understand, why do you-"
"Curiosity," Malfoy clarified. "Obviously not because I care or anything."
"Well, its really not that big of a deal..."
Malfoy clicked his tongue, "You're tough, Weasley. What will it take you to open up? Coffee? Tea? Veritaserum?"
I tilted my head, nonplussed, "You really want to know?"
"Eh, not particularly," Malfoy said sarcastically, then winked.
I mean, it was sort of... unfeasible, unreal. I had never interacted with Malfoy in my life and now he was kind of encouraging me to talk about my feelings? After I had just completely and utterly gone mad? My cousins didn't even care to converse with me about 'me.' Sure, we talked. But it was mostly about Quidditch. Or their homework and how much more they'd supposedly love me if I completed it.
However, the thing is, my Dad had always advised me to avoid Malfoy. And told me that he was evil... like Grindewald level evil.
But aside from being a little obnoxious, he didn't seem like the dark wizard my father had always painted him to be. Perhaps it was possible that my Dad had miscalculated.
And maybe it was because of my overnight metamorphosis into a terrible, rebellious person, but part of me sort of wanted to believe Malfoy. Believe that someone wasn't 'entirely opposed' to me venting to them.
But... A puppy kicker... You can't just turn your head to those kind of claims.
"I'm not that much of a ruffian, if that's what you're worried about," Malfoy winked again, seemingly reading my mind. "No promises about the Satanic cult though."
Fricktarts... Malfoy wasn't a Legilimens... was he?
Oh Godric, I was so screwed if that were true...
I sighed, tossing the idea of spilling my guts to Malfoy around in my head.
I cleared my head with a deep inhale, and closed my eyes for a second. It didn't matter why Malfoy cared, or was pretending to. It didn't matter that it was Malfoy. I was done. I had nothing to lose anymore.
Well, I mean, aside from my awesome personality.
"Well... it all started in the library," I began.
Malfoy sat down next to me, leaning forward to rest his chin in his palm, "That is a thrilling introduction, Weasley."
"Actually," I said, ignoring his comment. "It technically all started when I was born. But for the purposes of this story, I'm just going to say it started in the library."
"Then again, to be entirely honest with you, it may have started before the library."
Malfoy heaved an understanding sigh, "Mmm hmm."
"No, no," I scrunched my eyebrows down and stared up at the ceiling in deep thought. "I think it really did start in the library. But in a way, it all transpired afterwards... No, that's entirely erroneous; it really did start in the library..."
"Weasley, can I just ask you now if the rest of the story will be like this? Because if the introduction is this much of the struggle, then the rest will probably be very painful, and I'm just not going to put myself through that."
"I'm sorry," I backed off, embarrassed. "I'm just a really bad storyteller."
"Hey, I'm joking, okay?" he assured me amicably. "Really, keep going. So, it started in the library..."
"But that's the predicament. I really don't know if it started in the library."
"For all intents and purposes," Malfoy maintained his calm, collected tone, "how about it started in the goddamn library? Does that sound good to you?"
I finally carried on, "Okay. So it started - for all intents and purposes - in the library... Which may or may not be true..."
I explained the whole of it to Malfoy, in graphic detail. I thoroughly illustrated every last cringe-worthy feature of this evening's course of events... Which, as you can imagine, became rather uncomfortable in some parts. Like explaining how I had gone on a date with Harold... who incidentally had... ambitious aspirations in the black market of cat breeding. And then I went on to explicate how I had eluded the scooching game like a ninja. And next was the main mortification of the night... Confessing my love to Lysander only to have it be exchanged for a well-meaning 'Thanks.' Expounding upon that experience to Malfoy was almost worst than enduring it the first time. And that's saying something. I carried on with how I went insane on the astronomy tower, and stumbled into the kitchen accidentally. I finished with how there was really no utensils, so I had to... I really don't feel like stressing that last part again.
To my surprise, Malfoy, aside from occasionally punctuating the tale with facetious remarks, was a remarkable listener.
"... And that's when you entered the kitchen...." I finally consummated.
I dared a glance at Malfoy, who was nodding, contemplating, digesting it all.
I understood; It was a lot to absorb at one time.
Then, finally, after about a minute of silence, he cocked his head at me.
He narrowed his grey eyes, and I waited for him to share some deep, intelligent thought. Or perhaps some consoling, insightful words.
"So... you seriously sang Pocketful of Sunshine... that many times?"
"Its a calming technique! You promised like three times you would stop judging me about that."
"I am ashamed of you, Weasley."
I huffed with agitation.
"And you deliberately sang it?"
"Yes, I deliberately sang it. We've gone over this eight times now since I first-."
"I told you that I was nearly been suffocated by a tuna-smelling, ketchup-covered future breeder of the black cat market... and this is what you're concerned about?"
"Quite frankly, Weasley, yes. I am very concerned about this."
In exasperation, I leaned back.
... And then I yelped with pain as the back of my head collided with the wall.
Well, if nothing else, at least I was blessed with an acute awareness for my surroundings.
"Christ, Weasley, I'm sorry," he apologized.
"Oh, no, it happens a lot, actually. I'm really not conscientious."
"No, I really am sorry," Malfoy's voice was saturated with an apologetic sincerity, and he placed his hand on his heart for emphasis. "I'm sorry that I blamed you for your abominable taste in music. I mean, going by the story, you injure yourself so regularly that your mind is most likely impaired from all the damage. It probably ruined your musical taste and everything."
"Ugh!" I guffawed indignantly, my cheeks burning scarlet.
I half wanted to fire back an equally acrimonious retort, but I felt guilty about it so I settled for, "I- That's ridiculous, I hardly ever injure myself."
Malfoy raised an eyebrow.
"Okay... So, maybe, occasionally. Maybe once in a blue moon."
A blue moon.
I said a blue moon.
"So tripping on your way to the room of requirement... tumbling down the astronomy tower stairs... What is that classified as, may I ask?" Malfoy's face contorted with intrigue.
Uh. Indicators of my sublime grace.
"That's just... Its..." I spat out, looking for a way to preserve my dignity and failing. "Okay! I fell once ascending up the stairs. I didn't 'tumble down them'."
"My apologies, Weasley. Clearly there's a eminent difference between falling up and down the stairs."
You know, I strived to be kind. And I was a humanist... I discerned the reputable qualites in people rather than the reprobate ones. My - effort to be nice, I guess - was all I had, and I would do anything to avoid hurting someone.
But something about Malfoy... I... Well, usually I could suppress any negative judgments or feelings about a person. I could twist what I thought about them into something positive in my head.
But Malfoy was just- just really bad, okay! He was an obnoxious, vexatious, smoking, cursing, puppy-kicking, facetious jerkwadface! And I didn't feel like contorting my image of Malfoy into something favorable. I just kind of wanted to smack the smirk off his face or get dirt on his snazzy shoes.
And I wasn't even sorry.
Fine. I was mostly wasn't sorry.
Actually, I feel a little bad.
I mean, he wasn't that contemptible, right?
My rubbed my head, which was literally throbbing with the internal conflict.
"Weasley, you look distressed. I'm not bothering you, I hope?"
An overwhelming guilt infested my stomach, and I widened my eyes at him apologetically, "Oh, no! Of course not. I'm sorry if I made you think that."
It didn't matter that Malfoy... possibly irked me... a little. I hardly wanted him to think that.
Malfoy shook his head and started laughing, "Bloody hell."
I opened my mouth and closed it speechlessly, my eyebrows narrowing suspiciously.
"I don't get it. I'm being a prick and you're apologizing to me," Malfoy shaking his head.
"No, you really haven't been irr-"
"Weasley," Malfoy sighed, smirking. "I don't listen to people's words, I read their face."
My mouth involuntarily lip-synced a 'What?', and my eyes were squinted with perplexity.
Now, as a disgrace to the human race, I hardly reserve the privilege to judge anyone, but Malfoy... seemed to be a few fries short of a happy meal.
The dude was really not making sense.
"You have very expressive eyes, Weasley," Malfoy continued. "So, even though your sweet little voice says otherwise... Your eyes clearly read that you want to beat the shit out of me."
A wave of severe confusion swept over me.
... I mean, how could someone get that from a pair of irises?
"I don't want to beat you? I'm sorry?" I tried as though I was asking a question, feeling violated from his insight and horribly puzzled and guilty all at once.
"Weasley," Malfoy smiled. "I know you want to tell me off. Just do it. Please do me the favor of telling me I'm a prick."
I scooched back farther with scared eyes, troubled by Malfoy's out-of-place reactions.
"Just say it. I don't have feelings, I promise."
A few seconds of silence ensued, and I looked around the kitchen awkwardly, avoiding Malfoy's request.
Dooby da shoe bop...
I glanced over, prompting him to say something. But he just continued to intensely stare me and I lowered my eyes.
This is weird.
"... There's... erm... a lot of pots and pans in this kitchen," I finally observed after the silence became too uncomfortable.
I... I am not even going to comment about what I just said.
Malfoy turned his neck to examine the kitchen and then nodded, "That is an accurate statement."
"Thank you," I replied, hugging my knees to my chest.
I looked up at the ceiling and eventually succumbed to whistling as the silence dragged. Well, attempted whistling.
"Don't you ever get enervated of it, Weasley?" he finally exhaled.
"Oh, of trying to whistle? Actually I have really powerful alveoli so not really. But I will stop if you want me to."
"Powerful alveo- ? Wait, you were whistling?"
I nodded, then changed my mind, "Well, I mean in my head I was whistling but in reality I was just exhaling since I can't whistle. So yes and no."
Malfoy looked at me for awhile, concerned.
"Okay, but actually I meant enervated of avoiding conflict."
I laughed, brushing off his question. "Are you implying I should be pursuing conflict?"
"No, I mean you seem to avoid conflict at the cost of suppressing everything. It just seems tiring."
For some reason, Malfoy's assessment caused a flood of panic to rise in my chest.
"Weasley, I can appreciate that you're an nice and naive and innocent and you see the best in people, and it seems like its also the root of your problem."
"Oh please!" I retorted, suddenly defensive. "I think I have a lot more than one problem."
With a victorious snort, I sat up straighter... until I realized how I actually just....
"Yeah... that was supposed to come out... not like that," I mumbled quietly, heat rising from my chest to my face.
"Listen, I just think that you're so concerned about hurting everyone else that you're forgetting to protect yourself."
"I don't know what you're talking about," I dismissed, feeling uneasy. "Besides that's just completely irrelevant to-"
"Its not irrelevant," Malfoy responded coolly, unruffled. "That's the whole point of the story."
"Don't you see it? Everything that happened is because you don't defend yourself."
"I - What? There's nothing I need to defend myself from."
"Let me think," Malfoy said sarcastically, rapping his chin with his thum. "Maybe Dom? Constantly pressuring you? Getting you into bad situations?"
"She would never force me to do anything I wouldn't have done on my own."
"Right. Right. Like your date. Because I'm sure Harold McLaggen is at the top of your list of most eligible bachelors."
"Well, maybe he is," I suggested.
Malfoy raised his eyebrows as I searched for a supporting reason to my argument.
This might be a challenging one.
"You see, he's rather... He's kind of..." I stammered out as my argument collapsed. "He's very... He's very... quite unique."
Yeah. That's what it is.
"Ahh," he tapped his chin with his thumb. "Very quite unique. You know, you're right. That's a very important quality. Because you can't find a charmer with high-watered, mustard-stained pants just anywhere."
I tried very hard to contort my face into a glower, but smiled in spite of myself.
"Look, Weasley," he ran a hand through his hair. "I can see how much this is all weighing on you, and I just think you deserve better."
I felt my cheeks pinken, and I turned my gaze to the floor awkwardly. "Thank you, but-"
"So why don't you retaliate?"
The question was austerely direct, and I couldn't push away.
I sighed. "I don't know. I think I need to please people and meet their expectations, otherwise I won't be accepted. And I don't want to disappoint anyone or hurt anyone, you know?"
"But are you hurt?"
I unlocked my gaze from his grey eyes and exhaled, feeling the weight ascend from my shoulders.
That was the truth, wasn't it? I was obsequious to my cousins, afraid that they wouldn't accept me otherwise. I was the model student, the straightlaced daughter, terrified that my parents wouldn't love me if I didn't meet and exceed their expectations. And everyone else... I was afraid of being ostracized, disliked if I spoke out. Because being a wallflower was a more favorable option than being noticed and loathed.
My reputation and everything I feign to be... Well that's just it. Its all feigning.
Everything I am is just a facade, a mask that I've been hiding under to protect myself. My entire life.
Holy french toast... If that's true...
Then who is Rose?
Malfoy said something, but I barely heard him through my rapidly expanding network of thoughts.
I just blinked my eyes stupidly, continuing to mull over it all, before finally answering.
"This- This is bad."
"What do you mean?"
"Don't you understand, broseph?" I sank to the floor dramatically. "I'M HAVING AN IDENTITY CRISIS!"
"Did you just call me broseph?"
"I'm sorry," I apologized, anxiety abating. "This is just... I don't know I feel like I'm on this fine line between laughing and crying. Which probably doesn't mean anything since I'm not generally emotionally stable, but what I'm trying to articulate is that I just feel very weird about all of this."
"But this is progress, Weasley."
"Acknowledging the problem is the first step."
I sat up gradually, raising a quizzical eyebrow. "Then what's the second step?"
"Its an intricate program, Weasley, a series of progressive steps. The second step is believing that a power greater than yourself can cure you. The third-"
"Wait, you think I need to be cured?" I asked incredulously.
"You don't necessarily need to be cured of niceness. Dragon pox patients don't need to be cured of dragon pox. But in both scenarios, treatment is probably the best course of action unless you want to spend your remaining days wallowing in freakish misery."
I craned my neck forward in dubiety, "So you're essentially saying that I'm going to eternally wallow in freakish misery?"
"You're taking my words out of context. I said that you're going to suffer in freakish misery unless you're treated."
I gesticulated with my arms in an effort to communicate, "But, I mean, this isn't even a disease, this is my personality!"
"So?" Malfoy flicked an invisible piece of lint off his shoulder.
"So a personality can't be treated because a personality can't be diseased."
"But it can be infected."
"So now I have an infected personality?"
"No," he assured me. "You've always had an infected personality."
"What?" I panicked, my voice an octave higher than usual.
Malfoy laughed, "Don't worry, its actually the preferred alternative. I mean, your personality isn't irreversibly impaired. Its just infected... With destructive habits."
I paused, put off by Malfoy's assertment.
I mean, this was coming from a smoking, cursing, delinquent! And he had the nerve to tell me I exhibited damaging behavior?
"I really don't think I have destructive habits."
"Denial is not just a river in Egypt, love."
"But I really don't! I mean, I don't drink, or smoke, or swear-"
"Wow," Malfoy put his hands on his cheeks in mock awe, "It sounds like you lead a truly riveting existence."
"I do, actually," I agreed cheerfully, disregarding his sarcasm.
"Of course you do."
I rubbed my forehead, trying to extinguish my annoyance.
I generally didn't get frustrated with anyone, I really didn't. But something about Malfoy - I didn't know if it was his cocky smirk or his perpetually calm, cool tone or constant sarcasm or just everything - well, it just really brought out this bellicose side of me. And I didn't understand it.
"Okay, but I really don't have destructive habits!" I imparted adamantly after a few seconds of silence.
"You're incredibly stubborn, Weasley."
"And I suppose that's one of my 'destructive habits'?"
"Well since you have so much insight into my psychology," I told him contemptously, folding my arms, "why don't you just tell me what my destructive habits are, Malfoy?"
"Ooh," he half-smiled, amused. "Sarcasm and last names. Am I finally getting to you, Weasley?"
I quelled my tenseness before shaking my head to indicate negatory.
"Good, then I'll tell you your destructive habits. You ignore your own feelings and prioritize others. And you let people take advantage of you."
I blinked at Malfoy, unnerved.
But then I thought about it, weighing all the ideas in my head.
I mean, what had I really accomplished in behaving the way I did? My cousins didn't love me anymore just because I was assumed accountability for their homework. I still wasn't anymore of a favorite just because I played by the rules. Trying to make everyone happy may have earned me a spot in Weasley-Potter family, but I still didn't truly belong. What was my purpose there, really?
And, if I was going to be honest with myself, I was enervated, sad even. Because I knew that I wasn't part of my family, really. The only reason I 'fit in' was because I let them use me. But the truth was that I was utterly disposable. I mean, is it possible that my cousins don't even love me? Maybe. Maybe they just love what I do for them. And, if that's true, that really hurts.
In the end, all I had achieved was providing myself with a false sense of belonging, avoiding confrontation, and avoiding hurting everyone else. But the consequences outweighed these supposed 'achievements'; I really don't even know who I am under my guise. And, I mean, wasn't who I was - or had made myself into - the reason - or one of the reasons- that Sander had rejected me?
I sat up and grasped my temples.
I turned to Malfoy, my eyes saucers, as if I could communicate my epiphany with my expression.
My mind swirled chaotically with the realization.
When Sander rejected me, he had told me I was 'too good.' He was afraid of 'corrupting me.' I had originally accepted that, not bothering to analyze it. But now I understand perfectly.
What Sander had implied was that I wasn't his type. I was juvenile, sweet, pristine, innocent. He had even called me 'adorable.'
But those were hardly the qualities he desired. He wanted contrasting attributes. He wanted everything that I wasn't. Boldness, assertiveness, wildness, sexiness. Someone who didn't abide by every last rule.
Of course Sander didn't like me in that way I wanted him to. How could I have not grasped this before?
He wanted a bad girl, and I practically epitomized goody goody.
"Do you think that I'm a goody goody?" I asked Malfoy.
"No," he dismissed. "You're blatantly a delinquent."
I ignored his sarcasm, "I think that's the entire predicament."
"With everything. I mean, everything I embody is completely wrong..." I said, then continued explaining how my disposition, reputation completely didn't work.
"... I just wish I could be different," I finished. "Not, you know, a 'goody' or whatever."
I waited a moment before looking at Malfoy, who was gazing at me nonplussed.
"Is Rose Weasley," Malfoy studied me quizically, "implying that she wants to be bad?"
The concept of badness frightened and thrilled me.
"I think so?" I answered in a small voice. "But how?"
"How to be bad, you mean?"
"Well, you see, Weasley, I'm not sure if its a learnable concept. Its more of an inherent trait."
I laughed, "That's ridiculous. I'm sure 'badness' could be acquired."
"Not in your case."
I rose to my feet, putting a disgruntled hand on my hip, "What? How hard can not following the rules be?"
Malfoy stood up in turn, "So you mean to say that being bad is easy?"
I shrugged, smiling.
"Ah. I see," Malfoy mused, nodding. "Fine. Curse right now."
I stopped, "Curse?"
"Curse. Say 'fuck' or something."
I widened my eyes.
"I'm not going to say that!"
"Exactly," he responded smugly.
"But its not because I'm not capable of saying it," I articulated fervently. "Its just not classy."
"Weasley, I witnessed you eating ice cream without a utensil. If I'm going to be honest, that doesn't sound like the behavior of someone who is particularly concerned with class."
I covered my face, "Why can't you just let that go?"
"Listen, Weasley," Malfoy finally said. "What I was trying to say is that badness is an art, a style. You can't just pick it up."
"But you said I could treat my personality infection," I reminded him.
"You can treat your personality infection, you just can't master badness."
"Isn't that the same thing?"
"Hardly. You can lose your destructive habits, develop a healthy personality, sure. But mastering the art of being bad is a different matter entirely."
I sighed. Malfoy was impossible.
I mean, where did he get off claiming to be an expert in badness? Sure, malevolence was practically in his blood. He came from a long line of Slytherins, afterall. And he was smoked and cursed and -
I clamped my hands to my mouth when it came to me.
It was brilliant.
"You," I looked at him, "You could teach me how to be bad."
"Oh no," Malfoy chuckled, shaking his hair, "No no no no no."
"Come on, you would be the perfect candidate. You make horrible choices, you always get into trouble! Please?"
"As much as I appreciate you pointing out what a delinquent I am, the answer is no."
"Why?" I begged.
"I'm - Look, you're right. I'm a delinquent. I'm reckless and make bad choices. And I'm not going to lie, I enjoy that immensely. But I'm not going to be responsible for corrupting you, okay?"
"Is this because of the nonsense you were spewing out earlier? About badness being an art and how not everyone can become proficient in it and whatever?"
"No, this is because I don't want to burn in hell."
"Well," I droned slowly, looking for a way to invalidate his fear. "You wouldn't really be sinning if you're doing someone a favor."
Malfoy swayed from side to side, seemingly entertaining the idea, before frowning.
"Right... but doing a favor indicates I'm doing something good."
I turned my palms upwards at him in curiosity, "And?"
"And I'm very opposed to doing good things."
My countenance crumbled, and suddenly the prospect of corruption became more hopeless than exhilarating.
"But I'll do it."
I looked dubiously at Malfoy who was propped up on the table with his elbows.
"I'd be happy to educate you in badness, Weasley."
"Really?" I smiled. "Why?"
"No reason of consequence," he winked. "Besides I'm inevitably going to burn in hell. So why not seize every opportunity to make bad choices, right?"
I eyed him suspiciously.
"Don't worry about it," he half-smiled. "So you want to do this?"
I nodded, ignoring the ominous feeling in my gut.
"So how about we meet in the abandoned classroom on the sixth floor at, say, eleven Monday night?"
My abdominals felt as though they had taken a bullet.
With Scorpius Malfoy?
I winced and squinted my eyes. Oh God, I was deplorable.
"Okay," I swallowed painfully.
"So its set then."
"Yeppers," I cringed, still not having entirely recovered.
Malfoy brushed a strand of hair out of my face, "You all right, Weasley?"
"No because that's past curfew and the abandoned classroom is off limits and I'm conflicted about all of this!" I blurted out involuntarily, my anxiety overwhelming me.
"You don't have to do this," he half-grinned. "If its too much."
I smoothed down my hair, recollecting myself, "No, no. I've got this. Its totally cool. I'm cool.... So Monday you said?"
"Monday," he confirmed, wearing his amused expression again.
I clapped my hands together, "Mmhmm mmhmm. Monday. All righty. That's delightful. Even though its a school night in a forbidden classroom."
"And you're sure you're okay with that?"
I searched for a superior synonym to okay.
"-very okay," I finally finished, not exactly achieving the effect I wanted.
"So, I guess I better go," I gestured toward the door.
"Do you want me to walk you?"
"I'm good, thank you. And, um..." I paused, wondering how to phrase it. "Thank you for...you know."
"Not a problem."
"See you on Monday then," I grinned back, grasping the door handle.
Malfoy leaned against the wall, and extracted his cigaette pack, "Goodnight, Weasley."
I began to turn the knob, but then the curiosity consumed me and I rotated around decidedly, "Why are you doing this?
"I told you. For no reason of consequence," he winked, and I turned back to the portal.
"And by the way, Weasley.."
I gyrated around, "Yes?"
"How the hell did you eat all that ice cream?"
I blushed then ensconced my face, "Why can't we move past this?"
"No, I'm actually very impressed, Weasley. Its just bewildering that someone your size could consume that much, and I want to know how."
"Well maybe its bewildering that your shoes are that shiny, and I want to know how," I challenged playfully, switching the focus off of my gluttony.
Malfoy examined his shoes.
"Well maybe its bewildering that you could think you have feelings for a prat like Scamander."
Suddenly, the friendly mood collapsed.
"What do you mean by that?" I asked timidly, a little defensive, a little hurt.
"Oh, come on, Little Red, I'm joking," Malfoy said quickly with his half-smile.
I unfolded my arms and forced a weak laugh, "Oh, right."
"He seems like a..." Malfoy swallowed, then looked at the wall for inspiriation to complete the sentence "... A nice guy."
The butterflies suddenly returned to my stomach, and I smiled at my feet, "Yeah, he's great, isn't he?"
He coughed, "Uh...yeah."
I laughed, embarrassed by asking Malfoy about Sander, then waved my comment away, "I'm sorry, I'm just-"
A few awkward seconds passed and I gestured towards the door, "So I should probably..."
"Goodnight, Weasley," he drawled with his half-grin.
I waved goodbye to Malfoy, because I honestly had probably already verbally said a farewell forty times, and it was honestly just getting excessive.
He tipped his head in reply, wearing his usual smirk, and I entered the hallway and shut the portal.
Finally, I headed towards the Gryffindor Tower, feeling oddly at peace for once.
Wait. Oddly at peace?
When the muffins have I ever felt oddly peace? I mean, there must be something to-
I halted in my tracks as if my body had abruptly shut down. The sensation of worry hit me with the force of train.
Holy ships... What was I doing?
I had not only fraternized with Scorpius Malfoy, the enemy... I had agreed to receive badness lessons from him.
I scampered down the hallway, biting my nails and wondering what I had been thinking.
Maybe the ice cream had addled my brains? I mean, I have questionable judgment already... add some sugar and I'd probably assent to jumping off a cliff. And, let's face it, making a deal with Malfoy was essentially the same thing. Both activities were risky, utterly stupid, and ultimately suicidal. I mean, there was a chance I could endure both events, but even if I managed to survive I would wind up critically injured and completely dysfunctional . You know, in the case that my dad found out. Which was highly likely since my cousins are somehow in the know about everything remotely scandalous that transpires at Hogwarts. And, unfortunately, all have a mouth the size of Daily Prophet columnist.
What have I done?
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Chapter 6: The Art of Colliding with Arrogant Crumbums Whilst Thrift Shopping (Or Rapping About It)
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*Author's Note: Hey all! Sorry AGAIN for the excessively long wait. This has actually been done for awhile but I just haven't posted it. Everything has been INSANE lately. I had some family stuff, I was in a wedding... Not my wedding of course. Given the fact that I'm going to die alone. :( Also, on top of all that, school is pretty intense. (Well, a horrendous, apprehension-inducing monstrosity featuring an array of half-brained clodhoppers... but alas.) I'm sure some of you out there can feel me. Anyway, sorry sorry sorry for the wait. And THANK YOU SOOO MUCH to all my reviewers. You guys are the best, and I seriously don't deserve your support, but I appreciate it so much. Anyway, I hope this is okay. I know its kind of a filler chapter but at least its something. Thank you guys! Maybe this is too early for only the sixth chapter but... I LOVE YOU!!! :D
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November 7th - Sunday - 10:02 am - The Great Hall
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"... didn't you, Rosie?"
Startled, I looked up from the bowl of cereal that I had just nearly fallen asleep in.
Believe or not, that has happened to me before. Literally almost taking a snooze in my breakfast I mean. Actually there was this one time when I really did pass out in my cereal. Luckily it was Magic Snaps so the trademark process of expanding, cracking, and ka-popping were able to wake me up before I died, otherwise I would have drowned in a bowl of 2% milk. Which is pretty much the most pathetic death possible. Well, until the day comes that I really do kick the bucket. I mean, since I'm Rose Weasley, I'll inevitably go in the saddest fashion possible. Like possibly drowing in skim milk. Which is somehow a lot worse than 2%. Or getting strangled by the fifty kneazles I'll surely have for companionship someday. Which is sort of a depressing thought for 10 in the morning.
"Rosie? Rose, are you even listening?"
Alarmed, I glanced across the table, "Uh, yes? No? Wait... I'm sorry, what was the question?"
I'm pretty sharp in the morning. Like unicorn horn sharp sharp.
Dom rolled her eyes, "I was asking you if you had a good time last night. Jesus, what is with you today?"
"Oh," I swirled my cereal before taking a spoonful. "It was all right, I suppose."
"All right?" Dom giggled, before leaning towards me. "Come on. I know someone didn't get back until late last night. And I know exactly what that someone was doing."
I nearly choked on my Captain Quaffles.
Holy toaster strudel.
She knew. I don't know how she knew, but she knew. She knew about my pact with Malfoy. And she also knew I was strictly forbidden to fraternize with Scorpius Malfoy, which made for a lethal combination. You see, Dom is the kind of person who seizes everything... the day, the moment, every eligible bachelor in the United Kingdom... My point is, she would never pass up an opportunity. And an opportunity for blackmail is no exception.
I should have anticipated this. Mysteriously, there always ended up being an ulterior motive revealed whenever Dom sat with me at the Gryffindor table at breakfast, as opposed to with her dormmates at the Ravenclaw table. Or, in her words, "cool friends."
Which - if Dom distinguishes her friends by coolness level - would ergo make me the 'uncool friend.' Or, best possible scenario, I'm actually the 'uber super mega cool friend,' whereas the rest of her acquaintances are considered merely 'cool.'
Personally, I prefer to delude myself with the latter.
"Dom, listen," I pleaded breathlessly. "I can explain. Just please swear to me you won't tell anyone-"
"Oh my God, Rosie! As if!" Dom flipped her hair behind her shoulder. "We're BFFs. And BFFs keep each other's secrets. Its like, girl code."
I sank back into the dining table bench, wanting to feel relieved. Except I couldn't help but remember how Dom had used this line before on one of her former friends, Nameless, and the following day the entire school had magically found out that Nameless was a hermaphrodite. At the time, Dom had justified her actions to me, explaining that she was only looking out for Nameless' best interest, claiming that she knew Nameless would blossom and whatever with the weight of it off her chest. Or lack of chest? I know this makes me sound very ignorant, but I really don't know how being a hermaphrodite works.
Anyway, Nameless ultimately moved to Bangkok later that week. Which is quite unfortunate because Bangkok has an inadequate infrastructure.
"Look, my lips are sealed! Pinky swear! Just dish out the deets, Rosie. I want to know everything," Dom dragged out the last word.
She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.
"I appreciate your interest in my monstrously, mind you, monstrously dull life, but there's nothing really to know. I mean, it wasn't a big deal or anything," I brushed off with a forced laugh, feeling weird.
"Uh, puh-lease," Dom groaned. "Its obviously a big deal. Now cut the shit and tell me how it happened."
I squinted my eyebrows perplexedly, "Erm, I mean, he sort of came in the kitchen and I spazzed out and then we just talked for awhile. Then I asked him if he would help me..."
My voice faded out, when I noticed Dom was licking her lips and nodding her head.
I'm not going to lie, this is actually really uncomfortable.
"So he came in the room before you even did anything?" Dom laughed. "Oh my God, that's fucking hilarious. Okay, and then?"
I gave Dom a puzzled look, inwardly debating whether entering a kitchen really was hilarious and I just lacked a good sense of humor.
I mean, I do find puns funny. And that speaks very poorly about me.
"Well... he said he would and then I left. That's it."
"Rosie, you're terrible at this. Tell me the juicy stuff! How did it feel?"
How did it feel?
"Uh...liberating? I guess? I mean, I don't know."
"So what was he like? Aggressive? Gentle?"
I tilted my head, confused, "Actually he was... Pretty sarcastic? Kind of like 'too-cool-for-school', cocky sort of vibe, essentially."
"And his body?"
I coughed on my cereal again, taken aback by the question, "What?"
"His body. I asked you if you liked his body," Dom rolled her eyes.
"Um," I swallowed, blushing furiously and looking away. "I don't really-"
"Rosie, come on. This is Dom you're talking to," she winked.
"I mean... erm... yeah?"
She encouraged me with a nod.
"Yeah, I mean, like... Well, yeah, it was... I mean, his body was, you know, 'ideal' purely in terms of the media's superficial, ostensible definition of human attractiveness-"
"But that is NOT to say that my personal virtues pertaining to beauty align with society's twisted, trivial values, of course!" the burning in my face intensified and I speaking at an approximate rate of two sentences per nanosecond, "I mean-"
"Personally, I am not deluded by the external-based standards of our culture and thus appreciate more unconventional qualities like-"
"I don't know! Its not like I even looked in the first place! I'm not, like, this creepy person who stares at and analyzes people's bodies!" I finished promptly, immediately shrugging and half-covering my face.
I mean, its not like I checked out... Malfoy. PFFT PSSHT PFFT... Whaaat, dude. That's like crazy. That's like really really crazy.
Cray-cray, yo, you what I'm sayin'? You know what I'm sayin'?
Like, crazy. That's what I'm saying.
"Oh my Go-od, stop. You know I literally CANNOT understand anything you say whenever you go all smart person rant on me! And, secondly, Rose, staring at and analyzing people's bodies isn't creepy, its normal. Necessary, even. I mean what else are you going to judge them by? Their personality? Pssht, yeah."
"Yeah... that would be pretty irrational," I said sarcastically, nodding and squinting my eyebrows.
"I know. Like, gross," Dom laughed, clearly missing the satire. "And, number two, you seriously didn't look?"
"Well didn't he, like, at least take his shirt off?"
"What?" I gasped, apalled. "Why would he have taken his shirt off?"
She shrugged her shoulders. "Uh, maybe because its the natural thing to do. Duh. Now, are you trying to tell me Harold didn't take his shirt off when you guys were-?"
"Harold?" I repeated, somehow more dumbfounded.
What was Dom talking about?
"Don't play stupid, Rosie. Yes, Harold. I heard you hadn't gotten back to the dorm until like midnight, and I saw him getting pretty handsy at the party before you guys took off together. So I just put two-and-two together."
Dom made a violent gesture with her hands and mouth.
"You know. You and Harold. After the party..."
I shook my head, not understanding.
"Do I have to spell it out for you? Sexy time, dummy! Making out! Full-frontal snogging!"
I spit my Captain Quaffles onto the table, and literally fell out of my seat in a fit of incessant hacking.
Well. The silver lining is that she was clearly unaware of the actual sequence of events last night, including my deal with Malfoy...
The unfortunate part is that I'm going to be scarred by her assumption for eternity.
"Dom," I said shakily, attempting to hold back my vomit and recover from her previous assessment. "We did not-"
I retched a little bit, evidently not capable of completing that sentence.
"Nothing happened. Absolutely nothing," I finished.
"Someone's getting pretty defensive," Dom purred with a wink. "But you can't deny what happened on the sofa earlier..."
"The sofa? You mean Harold trying to suffocate me while I desperately attempted to escape?"
"And I saw the way you were looking at each other..." she continued, examining her nails and ignoring my comment.
"You mean him with his unnerving, unblinking stare and me in wide-eyed unadulterated fear?" I flailed my arms out desperately, but Dom wasn't paying attention.
"Fine, so maybe I was wrong about you two getting freaky. You're too much of a prude anyway. But you still can't deny the chemistry there."
I mean, maybe biology... Like my gag reflex being activated and my animalistic impulse to run away from predators being stimulated. But not chemistry.
So, obviously, Dom meant the blatant lack of chemistry, and was just being delightfully ironic, right?
Oh, who am I kidding. She wouldn't know irony if it repeatedly slapped in her the face with a Charmed Jacobs handbag.
Dom giggled gleefully, "Fine, go ahead and look at me like you have no idea what I'm talking about. But just know that I can see through your cute little act. Its, like, totally obvious that you fancy him."
My jaw dropped. And I wondered if it was possible to be more misunderstood...
"Oh hush, Rosie. No need to thank me. Its the least I could do."
"I know, I'm the best matchmaker ever. I know. I know."
I discreetly banged my head against the table.
"Hey, speak of the devil!" Dom suddenly chirped. "Rosie, look who's coming over to say hello!"
I ceased my face-slamming and turned my faced upwards in tardigrade motion.
No. No. No. This isn't happening. This isn't happening.
Except it was happening. Dom was cheerily waving at Harry McLaggen, who was wearing a polka-dot shirt that exposed his outie belly button and a matching fedora. And now he was galloping over here from across the Great Hall. And by galloping I mean literally galloping like a flipping horse. Like a horse boy. Like freakish horse-man-mutant creature with ill-fitting clothes.
"Dom, no! Please don't do this!" I begged in a whisper.
"Aww! Its normal to be nervous in front of your crush!" Dom offered me a winning smile. "You shouldn't worry though; he, like, totally fancies you! Look at how excited he is!"
I dared a glance at Harold, who was now making unfaltering eye contact with me while accelerating his grotesque horse-boy romp. And I couldn't help but be reminded of this part in a documentary about the African plains. This scene, in particular, was a lion stalking a gazelle and... well, I think you can deduce what happened after that.
Let's just say it wasn't a pleasant day for gazelle.
"Please, please, please don't do this!" I reiterated in a cold panic.
"You're being, like, totally ridiculous," she dismissed. "He's already h-"
Before she could complete her sentence, I scurried underneath the table in a lousy last resort to hide.
"Howdy-do," I heard a greasy voice say above the table, followed by the sound of lip-smacking. "You summoned me?"
"Yeah... My cousin wanted to see you. But she's so shy that she asked me to call you over. She's so effing cute."
I slammed my palm to my face.
"She's so nervous she even hid under the table," she giggled. "Sorry about that. You see, Rose is kind of socially retarded."
My mouth fell open indignantly.
I heard Harold scratch his head, "Perhaps I can persuade lady out?"
Oh. My. Godric.
I made a move to escape.
I screamed as Harold McLaggen's peanut-butter-covered mouth cackled in my face.
In utter horror, I scooched as far away from his sideways-turned, hysterically-laughing carrot head.
"I'm gonna get you, Posie," Harold told me in a chilling whisper, his lanky body unsuccessfully attempting to squeeze underneath the table. "I'm gonna eat you! HA HA HA HA HA!"
That escalated quickly.
In a desperate attempt to live, I leapt out from underneath the table.
Somehow, by some miracle, I managed to make out unscathed... physically. Mentally is an entirely different story.
"Ooh, you guys were getting pretty frisky down there," Dom remarked with a wink when I returned to the surface.
Incapable of speech, I just shook my head fervently.
Harold stood up from the opposite side of the table, adjusting his fedora, "Just how I like it."
I rubbed my face, trying to expunge what he just said from my mind while concocting a plan of escape, "I'm sorry, guys, but I actually really have to get going, so..."
"What exactly do you have to do?" Dom inquired skeptically, her tone suggesting it was implausible I had somewhere to be.
Which was, quite frankly, VERY INSULTING. I mean, I certainly have a lot of places to be, a lot of people see! A plethora, even!
I mean, fine. Maybe the only place I go to is the library. And maybe the only people I see involve Madame Pince and... Madame Pince, but...
Yeah, I don't think there's any way to redeem myself at this point.
"Erm..." I paused, trying to invent some pressing matter. "I have to return Albus' potions paper?"
Oh yeah! That's right! Rose Weasley has things to do, YO.
"Ugh, Rosie, you're being so rude!" Dom chastised. "Harold came all the way over here to talk to you!"
A resentment rose inside of me, and I wished I had the nerve to stand up to her. I was tired of her pushing, her reprimanding.
But, like always, I just dismissed the sensation. Because that's just what I did.
I mean, I had acknowledged my resentment last night when I was with Malfoy, but I was still me. And acknowleding resentment and expressing it were two completely foreign matters.
Maybe I was wrong before. Maybe I couldn't change.
"Don't fret, Dominique," Harold told my cousin, lifting his cap to slick back his carrot-colored, over-gelled hair. "The lady's just overwhelmed by my presence. I can do all the talking..."
Harold's tongue grazed his cracked lips, and I instantaneously felt queazy.
"Well, well, well," he looked me up and down. "Aren't we looking smexy today, Posie?"
I cringed before looking down at myself.
I was sporting my Sunday morning look, which included Albus' battered old Chudley Cannons sweatpants he had grown out of, a Batman tee shirt, and untamed hair. For a mental image think Mufassa's mane from the Lion King... and now picture it on a human being... or a figure that somewhat resembles a human being. Add a pair of thick-framed glasses to said human being, and you have successfully conjured a mental picture of Rose Weasley...
Well, for all his idiosyncrasies, you couldn't deny that Harold McLaggen was a very generous bloke.
"Um... thank you?" I compelled myself to respond, looking at Dom who was nodding at me eagerly.
"You should know I wore this hat for you, Posie. I thought you'd like it," Harold informed me, sliding across the table on his stomach.
"Erm. Thanks. Its-" I grimaced, taking a step back as I watched him squirm on the table in what I could only imagine was an attempt to twerk, "interesting. I really have to go though-"
"I just knew you'd find it..." Harold delicately placed his mustard-stained index finger in his mouth, "arousing."
So that happened.
"Um... okay," I clapped my hands together after the pregnant, awkward pause that followed. "Well, this has been really nice, guys, but I have... stuff. So much stuff so I'll see you later, yeah?"
Harold attempted a farewell wink, but both of his eyes just twitched a little in a sort of squirrel-esque way.
He reached for my hand, but I adhered it firmly to my side and took a step back for good measure.
"Um, nice to see you, Harold," I acknowledged weakly.
Before Dom's scathing glare could sway me otherwise, I revolved around and started powerwalking towards the exit.
"'I'll be seeing you, Posie. In your dreams... Or while you dream."
I broke into a dead sprint.
November 7th - Sunday - 10:19 am - Top Gryffindor Girls' Dormitory
* * *
I shut my door and collapsed on it with a huff, thankful for the solitude.
Not that I didn't like my dormmates; I mean, we're super close. We even have a band... Rose and the Roomies.
Except I haven't actually shared more than twenty words with them throughout the six years we've been living together, much less formed a band. Sadly. But still. We're real tight, bro. They just haven't publicly recognized our friendship yet. Or our amazing musical potential. I mean, Pippa could be the lead singer and main guitarist. The triplets could do backup vocals. I'd probably master the triangle or play the recorder or something. It would be great.
... Except that Hot Cross Buns really creeps me out for reasons I'm uncomfortable divulging. And, since Hot Cross Buns is basically the foundation of recorder-playing, I guess becoming a pundit of the recorder is out of the question.
Wait, what was I even talking about before?
The roomies. Right.
Well there's the triplets. The Zabini triplets are the typical brand of London socialites, I suppose. I can't really characterize them as individuals though. They're all identical, so its pretty difficult to identify them as separate people. Except for the one that's reverse-cross-eyed. Like with both pupils going opposite directions outwards. Which, you know, seems like it would be fixable by magic. But apparently not.
Here's a fun fact: All the triplets are named after Periodic elements. No, I'm not kidding. After a few years of contemplating why Mr. and Mrs. Zabini have inflicted this cruelty on their children, I've come up with a few theories. One being that Mr. and Mrs. Zabini are sadists. The second being that the triplets were actually created through some intricate chemistry experiment involving the elements their named after. But, in the end, I've decided that Mr. and Mrs. Zabini simply wanted to be modernistic with their naming.
And that's how Fluorine, Francium, and Tungsten got their names, I guess. I don't really know which is which, but I know that Fluorine goes by 'Flo' and Francium goes by 'Francie', so they can sort of escape their ill fortune in the naming department.
Unfortunately, Tungsten didn't get that opportunity. And unfortunately her name took on a corrupted meaning after she became rather very much inclined to exhibit tendencies of a 'whorish nature'... in fourth year. And unfortunately she's the one that's reverse-cross-eyed. Its weird. No one really expects the reverse-cross-eyed girl to be the class something-that-starts-with-sl-and-rhymes-with-erm... slut. Yeah. I guess its kind of inspiring for reverse-cross-eyed people in a sick, twisted way?
... So on that note, my fifth roommate is Pippa. Who I'm not sure is still my roommate. Its kind of up in the air. You know, given the fact that she might not even exist.
You see, Pippa Longstocking is sort of like a myth. Some people say she's fictional, that she's just an invention to explain the missing fifth Gryffindor girl. It doesn't help the case that her name only varies by one letter from an actual fictional character. Anyway, I think I have personally seen her seven times throughout my history at Hogwarts. Pippa Longstocking, I mean. Not Pippy of course. I mean, I'm not that delusional. I mean, I'm delusional for sure, but not that delusional. When I start having hallucinations of freckled characters from centuries old children's literature, then I'll start being -- honestly -- really concerned. But for now I think I'm good. Somewhat. Anyway, though, Pippa seems nice. I mean, I've only seen the back of her head... but still.
Needless to say, the prospect of the band isn't exactly promising. So I mostly spend time with Dom, who generally wastes her leisure hours in the Gryffindor tower rather than her own. Not because my company is particularly engaging though; Dom usually just has a difficult time figuring out the riddle for the Ravenclaw building and can't enter. A lot times she'll sleep in my dorm, which seems like it would be fun but somehow is just really uncomfortable. You see, Dom insists that she is entitled to a bed because she's a guest, so naturally I get the floor. Sometimes a blanket when she's feeling generous, but, oddly enough, never a pillow. Which I don't really understand, because I feel like relinquishing one pillow out of the available, like, five kazillion isn't that much of a sacrifice. Anyway, I know I could probably scavenge bedtimes supplies or ask a house elf, but my sleepovers with Dom are generally... whimsical. Meaning that Dom will randomly enter my room without warning at like, 1 am in the morning after partying, and literally push me out of the bed. Which actually really hurts given that I'm plummeting from a relatively high bed onto a hardwood floor. But honestly that's the preferable option from Dom asking me to get out of bed.
You see, I'm a pretty jumpy, paranoid person, and that aspect of myself is just magnified by drowsiness and darkness. So, when you're woken up by some unknown silhouette whispering, 'Get the bleep out of bed', you may be inclined to jump to some assumptions. Like, for instance, that Voldemort has risen from the ashes, broken into your room, and is demanding you depart from the safety your bed so he can properly kill you. Which is a pretty terrifying scenario. And also, I do acknowledge, quite vain of me. I mean, its actually pretty pompous of me to think that Voldemort, of all people... or erm, drastically disfigured, homicidal, fascists, more accurately... would take the precious time out of their night to kill me. Obviously, I'm not nearly special enough for the disfigured, homicidal, fascists to directly target. Oh, wait, I have to make a mental note of this! *Mental note: Add, "Not special enough be targeted by disfigured, homicidal, fascists"as a bullet to 'Perks of Not Being Special List.'"* Hey, amazeballs! Now I have, like, two bullets on that list! The other one of course being, "Not special enough to have haters."
... Well, I mean, other than Merlin. I mean, he's certainly made that clear enough.
So I guess that non-hater bullet is essentially void.
... Aaand we're back down to one perk of not being special.
I rubbed my eyes sluggishly and sighed at the scroll of parchment on my desk. Albus' Potions paper.
You know, you'd think that the least Al could do after I wrote 3 feet of text pertaining to the value of bezoars is retrieve the paper.
Actually, you'd think that the least Al could do is write his own paper. But then again, maybe that's just setting my expectations are too high. Last Christmas, Albus got two turkey drumsticks stuck in his nostrils, forgot he could breathe through his mouth, and almost suffocated.
He was sixteen at the time.
With a sudden sympathy for my cousin, I compelled myself to stand up and grab the roll. Because Albus was an exception to the 'independent, callous, and cunning' Slytherin stereotype, and honestly needed all the love and assistance he could get.
Its a good thing you're pretty.
November 7th - Sunday - 10:25 am - The West Tower
* * *
"I'm gonna pop some tags, only got twenty sickles in my pocket," I rapped hushedly under my breath, avoiding eye contact with the portraits. "I'm, I'm, I'm hunting..."
You see, my vocal talents are very versatile. I mean, anything from songs about gaseous matter contained in pockets to rap songs pertaining to consignment items, I'm gold.
Or should I say, platinum. WINK.WINK.
... And this is why the majority of my conversations are internal.
... Which is just one more reason why I'd be considered legally insane.
Which, by the way, isn't it odd that legally insane describes a state of severe mental illness? Legally insane seems like it should mean something safe. Like you're just psychotic enough to get the party started, but not so much that you're not susceptible to frowned-upon activities such as randomly cannibalizing someone. I don't know, random cannibalism is just such a mood killer.
Just think about it.
Or maybe not.
Actually, don't think about it because its pretty graphic and I don't condone that.
I continued strolling down the hall toward the Owlery with Albus' scroll secure in my hand.
I mean, sure, it would eliminate a lot of energy by just delivering it in person, but Al sincerely adored receiving mail. So much that things even get out of hand sometimes. Like there was this one time when the postage came and Albus got so excited that he literally pounced on his owl Nemo... Yeah. 5 pound owl... 160 pound boy... You can imagine how that ended.
Don't worry though, Nemo was okay. Just severely emotionally, socially, and physically damaged. That's all.
"...looking for a come-up this is (I'm-not-allowed-to-say-this-word) awesome," I closed my eyes as I rounded a corner, now deeply invested in the beat. "Nah, walk up to the club like, 'WHAT UP? I GOT A BIG-"
I hit a statue or wall and my glasses clattered to the floor.
Great. Now I'm blind and my groove was thrown off.
Talk about double jeopardy.
With a sigh, I lowered myself to the floor to recollect my spectacles.
"Were you planning on finishing that verse, Weasley?"
I froze, mid-search.
I... I didn't run into a wall, did I?
I reluctantly turned my head upwards, crinkling my forehead in nervous anticipation. From my mostly useless eyes I could make out a blurry silhouette with blonde hair and snazzy kicks-
OH, COME ON.
Awkwardly still on my hands and knees in glasses-searching formation, I winced and bit my lip at Malfoy.
"So... how's it going, old sport?"
Well, I don't know. What's the proper response when you collide with Malfoy while rapping Thrift Shop? I mean, aside from maiming yourself. Which is clearly the most warranted option.
"Suddenly, a lot better," he answered and, although his face was too distorted for me to read, I somehow knew he was smirking. Which I kind of didn't appreciate.
"Need some assistance?"
"Oh," I laughed, blindly fondling the ground for my glasses. "I'm okay but thank you."
"Really? Because that's my foot."
I immediately jerked my hand away from the object I'd just pawed at.
In retrospect, I should have seen this coming. The bloke witnessed me eating ice cream with my hands, watched my rapid decline into an Allah-praising psycho, and heard my mortifying attempt at rap. Of course I accidentally groped his foot in my pursuit for the glasses I lost while crashing into him. Because OBVIOUSLY I hadn't made a bad enough impression in the first place.
I can add that to my 'Perks of Having the Vision of a Ninety-year old Bat/Woman Mutant with Cataracts List' I guess. Which is -- surprisingly -- blank at the moment.
Yeah, my lists are, as a rule, pretty unsuccessful. Just like most of my life endeavors.
"I'm sorry," I blushed, petting the floor more cautiously than before.
"Here," Malfoy began to crouch down to help.
I smiled politely, waving him away. "I appreciate the gesture, but I've got this."
You see, I already felt... well, weird around Malfoy because of last night. And if I accepted more help, I'd feel more indebted than I already was. Not to mention more guilty about superfluous fraternization with the enemy. And, besides, I was perfectly capable of detecting my glasses!
I mean, sure, maybe I had poor vision. Maybe that poor vision was so poor that I wasn't hyperbolizing when I mentioned it was congruous of a ninety-year old bat/woman mutant with cataracts. But I was capable. Capably capable. Capably capably capable. Capably capably capably- This needs to stop.
"Of course," he stood up and paused for a moment. "But you might want to try your left."
I gravitated my body toward the left reluctantly.
"Warmer... warmer. Nope, that's colder, Weasley," Malfoy drawled, sounding amused. "Colder, still colder-"
"Thank you, but I really meant it when I said don't need any help," I cut him as sweetly and apologetically as I could.
"Fine," he sighed reprovingly. "But I think I'm going to just watch over then. You know, make sure you... eventually find them."
I proceeded to scour the floor, internally resenting his snarkiness.
"Weasley?" Malfoy said after a few moments.
"I think you should know that I lied about them being on your left."
What the muffins, dude? THAT'S NOT NICE. NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT.
I swerved right
"I'm so sorry, but they really are on your left."
I resisted a small inclination to annoyance and revolved around.
Malfoy clicked his tongue, "Except not really. My apologies, love."
I exhaled, trying to quelch my irritation, "Then they're to my right?"
"I was under the impression you didn't require my help, Weasley," he reminded me with that irksome smiling voice.
"But you just asked me to direct you to their location, and, unless I'm mistaken, I believe that would be classified as help."
"I wasn't asking for help, I was just-" I started protesting aimlessly, then drew a breath in surrender.
I was on my hands and knees on a floor caked with dust, trying to reason with a satanic bloke who apparently found it amusing to make the blind suffer, and I - for what felt like an infinite amount of heckish eternities - still hadn't managed to recollect my spectacles.
The mission was a failure. And I was 500% done. Which I do actually realize is mathematically impossible. But I was so bloody done that my percentage of done-ness wasn't EVEN mathematically possible. THAT was how done I was. (Insert z-formation here.)
"Would you please just tell me if they're to my right?" I resigned.
"I would. As long as you are okay with me just telling you if they're to my right."
"I'm okay with it?" I spoke as though it were a question, confused.
"And you're sure about that?"
Sure about that?
Worried, I wrinkled my forehead, "I'm sure?"
"Really? Because I wouldn't want to insult you by giving you assistance when you clearly don't need it."
I wondered if Malfoy could possibly be more cryptic.
He asks me if I need help and I decline, so he hints me towards their location. But it turns out he may or may not have been leading me in an erroneous direction for his own entertainment. And then when I finally semi-request his help, he withholds it by chucking a slew of nonsensical questions at me?
I mean, that just seems utterly demented. Not to mention counterintuitive. But especially demented. And that's coming from me, which indicates something is seriously wrong.
"Your assistance wouldn't insult me?" I tried, bemused.
"Are you sure? Because you could mean that now, but after I help you, it could be a different story. Picture this... I direct you to your frames, and you're grateful... until you realize you've sacrificed your pride for a pair of glasses. Unable to accept accountability, you'll pin your guilt on me, the undeserving, innocent man who just wanted to pay an act of kindness. Now, do you want that to happen, Weasley?"
I squinted my eyes incredulously, pondering Malfoy's sentiment.
I mean, did he not just mock a pracitcally blind person for his own sadistic entertainment?
"Actually, you know what?" I decided in a sudden fit of optimism. "Don't worry about it. I mean, I'm practically on the brink of success."
"Its cute that you think so, Weasley."
I pushed my hair out of my eyes, frustrated, and began raking the ground again.
"I think I could help," he added.
If I'm going to go by past experience, I sincerely doubted that. The only service Malfoy could provide was to make you the victim of his shenanigans and speak to you in mind-bending riddles. Which was a lot more detrimental than helpful. And, now that I think about it, also made him sound eerily like a D.C villain.
"I'm okay, thank you," I restated politely.
"Suit yourself," he said disapprovingly. "But I'm just going to warn you that there's no point in looking."
"Oh, sure there is," I objected cheerfully, continuing to grapple around like the optimist I was.
"You misunderstand me. There's no point in looking because I have them."
I stopped dead in my tracks, entirely motionless.
Well, other than my palms, which had involuntarily balled into fists, and were now slightly - just barely discernibly - tremulous.
"So do you want them back now or can I borrow them?" he inquired with that vexatious, teasing lilt.
I unfolded my right hand and gently placed my fingers on my shut eyelids, before silently standing up.
"May I please have my glasses back?" I said in monotone, afraid that the fury would manifest itself in my voice if I spoke otherwise.
"Well, yeah, Weasley, you can. But do you actually need them? Because -well, shit - I would just really like to try them out."
I sighed and raised my hands in desperation, "But I do need them!"
"You don't understand. I need them," he deadpanned.
I put my hand on my hip, agitation climbing, "Okay, why do you need them?"
"Well, this is kind of personal," Malfoy admitted quietly. "But my biggest dream - I'm sorry, my only dream - in this lifetime, is to wear Rose Weasley's oversized, hipster nerd frames."
I bit the inside of my cheek.
"And also because I have this feeling that they'd really flatter my bone structure. Do you think they'd flatter my bone structure? Actually, wait, just let me just put these on... Yeah, what do you think?"
Annoyed, I put my elbow over my forehead and semi-hissed under my breath, "I'm sorry, Scorpius, but I couldn't tell you given the fact that I can't actually see."
"Well, maybe it would help if you stopped covering your eyes with your arm..." he replied with that note in his voice that -- impressively -- did two things: suggested he was smiling and made me want to smash a bulldozer. No, I don't mean, like, using a bulldozer to smash things. I mean like actually smashing a bulldozer with my own fists because that just seems satisfying and just makes so much more sense somehow.
"Could you please just give them back?" I requested, ignoring Malfoy's infuriating sarcasm.
"Aw, Little Red. Why can't you just respect my lifelong dream?"
"Will you please just give them back?" I begged.
I widened my eyes expectantly and waited for Malfoy to respond.
"So... wait... let me get this straight... you do need your glasses?"
At the sound of the audible smirk in his voice, something unwound.
A string inside of me had seemingly been stretched - nearly to the point of snapping - and, within a few seconds, a boiling stew of words and feelings had begun brewing underneath the surface.
There was an animus pause, and the silence hung in the air like humidity, almost oppressive in nature.
Malfoy's countenance was too blurry for me to read, but I could feel the anticipation. Like he was expecting or waiting for me to say or do something. Anything.
But my lips were sealed, and my slippers were planted firmly to the floor. Nothing.
Finally, after impossibly long, impossibly anxious seconds, I heard him venture a step closer to me.
"Be a little less trusting and little more assertive, Weasley," he smoothly slid the glasses back on my face, startling me slightly. "That can be your first lesson."
He leaned in closer to me and pressed the edge of his hand to his face like he was about to tell a secret.
"I'd also recommend not attempting to rap while your walking down the hallway, but that's your call," he whispered with a wink.
After a few seconds of inactivity, my brain went haywire.
I mean, like, he just thinks he's justified in THIEVING my personal possessions and causing me emotional distress because he's 'teaching me a lesson?' THAT ARROGANT CRUMBUM!
And then he can just put my glasses on my own face and abscond from the room like 'Oh hey, my name is freaking Malfoy and I can inflict terror on blind people because I'm teaching them a lesson! Haha! Aren't I cool? Oh, and look at my shiny shoes? Aren't I cool? Aren't I just the cooliest?'
I mean, not that he would probably actually say that. Especially the part involving the word 'cooliest.' But I feel like that's his general mentality summarized in a few poorly-constructed, Rose-Weasley-ized sentences.
Ugh, that... that.. crumbum!
Crumbum... jerk... crumbum jerk... THAT GOSH DARN CRUMBUM JERK!
Annoyed and at a loss of verbal words, I stood there like a bumbling idiot, eyes widened and mouth taut in an 'o' shape.
Malfoy continued to smirk at me and I felt a guilty impulse to slightly beat him or actually outwardly call him a 'crumbum', but instead I cleared my throat.
"Well," I adjusted my glasses and smoothed down my hair, attempting to compose myself. "I- I have to go. Lots of stuff to do and... yeah. Yeah."
"Of course," he simpered apologetically, half-smiling.
"So... good day, old sport," I said in goodbye and sternly adjusted my glasses again.
His face twisted into that trademark, infuriating, snarky, knowing look of his, "Good day."
I immediately turned away from him and hastened toward the owlery, eager to make a getaway.
Huffing, I quickened my stride and exhaled.
Malfoy just- Malfoy was- ugh! He just frustrated me in ways I couldn't even begin to understand.
I walked faster.
I mean, sure, I have been, you know, a little peeved before. Like when the corner of my parchment gets crinkled. Or someone uses 'YOLO' in a sentence. But Malfoy was just completely insufferable! Malfoy was worse than YOLO! Malfoy- Okay, Malfoy was like when someone's wearing a hoodie and the hoodie strings coming out of the collar aren't equal in length, but when you tell them to adjust them they blatantly refuse and call you an anal, OCD spaz.
Obviously not that I was ever specifically called an anal, OCD spaz or anything...
I mean, yeah. I was called an anal, OCD spaz. Once.
A few times.
I try not to think about it.
But, anyway, stupid YOLO, uneven hoodie string, Malfoy with his glasses thievery. And his inflammatory remarks and his general crumbum-esque behavior and his little riddles and-
"Missing something, love?"
I snapped my head back to Malfoy, who was extending out Albus' scroll with his left hand.
You had one job, Rose. One freaking job.
Embarassed, I collected the parchment from him and averted my eyes from his smirk, "Thank you."
I rushed forward before he could see my flushed face.
Annoyed by the interruption, I closed my eyes and sighed, "What?"
"If you're headed for the Owlery, you're going the wrong way."
The cheeks were most likely more remininscent of tomatoes than of human flesh, and I poorly tried to shield them as I shuffled back past Malfoy.
"See you tomorrow, Weasley," he was still wearing his amused half-grin.
"It was a pleasure to share this time with you," he called out.
"You too," I forced myself to mutter back, angrily stomping away.
"And I like your bunny slippers, by the way. Very bad ass."
Holy french toast.
I had completely forgotten about my ridiculously dorky pajama ensemble. Oh my Godric! I must look like such a nerdmuffin!
Oh, Merlin, why? Why why why did I inflict this inevitable mortification on myself? I swear, its like I'm subconsciously trying to sabotage myself.
I ferociously amped up my pace to borderline-trotting, except my pace incited the bunny slippers to start squeaking obnoxiously, consequently humiliating me even further.
Darn you, bunny slippers, you sons of bludgers. You little sons of bludgers.
Unfortunately, the cacophonous sound of my bunny slippers squealing didn't drown out Malfoy's quiet snickering.
Couldn't I just for once make a dignified, or at least mildly respectable exit? Is that really too much to ask for?
Because my exits are pretty much a parody of all exits. Like, if people's exits are superheroes, then mine are Aquaman. And Aquaman is the epitome of everything lame, mortifying, terrible, and wrong with the world. For instance, Aquaman's belt buckle is an 'A'. But it just looks like this ambiguous, incomplete triangle since the A overlaps the belt. And its just this really ineffably sad and pathetic thing that's so terribly sad and pathetic that I can't quite construe the sadness and patheticness of it.
... If my exits are Aquaman, and I'm the paragon of sadness and patheticness, then I'm like... metaphorically Aquaman's belt buckle, aren't I?
Well, that epiphany just made my day marginally worse. And that's after I've already been hunted down under a dining table by my polka-dot-clad stalker.
PS - Its not even 10:30 am.
Feel like Rose should punt everyone in the eye? Think that Malfoy actually is an arrogant crumbum? (And that Rose should punt him in the eye?) Want to me shut up? Want to punt me in the eye because I'm awful at updating? Let me know in the box below!
ATTENTION ENTITIES OF EARTH: I KNOW THAT THIS IS WAS A FILLERY CHAPTER. MY APOLOGIES FOR THAT. HOWEVER, THE NEXT CHAPTER IS GOING TO BE INSANE, ITS GOING TO BE CRAZY, ITS GOING TO BE EVERYTHING YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR...
... LET THE BADNESS LESSONS BEGIN.
MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR... (BECAUSE THEY ARE CERTAINLY NOT IN ROSE'S.)
Chapter 7: The Art of Inadvertently Handling Unfamiliar Panties in a Rush to Tartarus
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**Author’s note: Hello, there! :) … Erm… well… this is mildly awkward, seeing as I haven’t updated in a year… Yikes-ohs. :/ But, if anyone is actually still reading this, please know that I am extremely grateful and dreadfully contrite. I appreciate all of you readers and reviewers, and am sorry I haven’t updated in such a long time. I won’t barrage you with excuses like big kid school (college is pretty cool, yo), boys (my love life has gone from nonexistent to catastrophic then back… and now has apparently decided to mimic the course of A Midsummer Night’s Dream of all the bloody Shakespeare plays… Dear God… So in summary: nonexistent → catastrophic → nonexistent → cheap but eerily precise imitation of a centuries-old production), and…. yep. So that’s me. Everything is bizarre but copacetic. Anywhosers, 1) thank you for reading my incoherent spiel, 2) I love you (too soon? TOO BAD I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR MY FEELINGS, DAG NABBIT), 3) However, I’m very very very sorry for the long update, and will apologize for that. 4) I will also apologize in advance for any grammar/other errors I missed in an effort to submit this. 5) THANK YOU AND STAY AMAZEBALLS.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything. Not Natasha Bedingfield’s masterpiece “Pocketful of Sunshine” because that is her jam. Not Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Not the delicious Harry Potter universe… Not the Disney movie Frozen, nor Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher," ...Absolutely nothing…
You know, writing the disclaimer make me feel so flibbin flabbin disheartened.
"No," I shook my head fervently, lips pressed tightly and eyes widened in worry. "I can't do this."
It was true. I couldn't do this.
"I can't do this. Ican'tdothisIcan'tdothisIcan'tdothis-"
"Weasley, you don't even know what you have to do yet."
"But I have a very ominous intuitive feeling, and I can't just turn my head to that!" I put my palms on top of my head, now panicking.
"Hey, calm down, shh..." Malfoy said. "Listen, you asked me to teach you the art of badness, did you not?"
That's sort of an ambiguous question, actually.
"Well, technically yes... but also, figuratively, erm... no?" I tried unsuccessfully.
Malfoy raised an eyebrow, and I gazed down at the ground and scuffed my shoe.
"Fine, but you still want to catch the Scamander bloke's fancy, correct?" he persisted.
My heart beat a little faster.
He just had to play the Lysander card.
I bit my lip before reluctantly nodding my head.
"Then you have to do this."
I threw back my head and whined, "But why?"
"In order to get Scamander, it's imperative you learn badness. And embracing danger is a vital part of learning badness."
"Danger? Oh my gosh, Malfoy! Why did you have to say danger? Now I definitely can't do whatever this is! I hate danger! I abhor danger!" I exasperated, concealing my face with wrapped arms.
"You're way too excitable. Just relax..."
I locked my knuckles and placed them back on my noggin and closed my eyes, demonstrating championship inhaling and exhaling that even the world's most judgmental yoga instructor would be proud of, "Okay, okay. Phew. Okay."
"Look, its really not that bad, Weasley," Malfoy reassured. "Its really not even that dangerous.You shouldn't worry so much."
I nodded my head -- which I was still clutching -- and started half-jumping from side to side, attempting to get my momentum up, "Not that bad. Okay."
"Here's what you're going to do: You're just going to walk down the hallway..."
"I'm just going to walk down the hallway..." I reiterated, determinedly punching the air with my fists, confidence climbing.
"You're going to continue walking down until you reach the end of said hallway..."
"Continue until I reach the end of said hallway..."
"Then you're going to hook a sharp right..." Malfoy gestured with his arm.
"I'm going to hook a sharp right..." I confirmed.
"And, from that point on, you're just going to sprint until you reach the blazing hoop of fire, jump through the blazing hoop of fire, cannonball into a pit of lava, swim through the pit of lava while combating the attacks of five hundred murderous inferi, resurface onto land, and then fight a fifteen foot tall clown-giant hybrid to the death using your bare hands. Simple."
I smiled incredulously, shaking my head, “Oh, Malfoy, you callous goober… you almost had me going for a second!”
I looked down the hallway, and-
A glaring, gargantuan ring -- set ablaze -- led into a pool brimming with molten lava, the countless hands of inferi breaking through to the surface.
He wasn't kidding.
I yelped, my body feeling like it had just been inoculated with, like, oh, roughly 7000 shots of caffeine. "WHAT THE FRICKTARTS, BROSEPH?! WHAT THE FRICKTARTS IS GOING ON! HOLY MUFFINS! WHAT THE-!"
"Oh, my apologies, love, I almost forgot to tell you another small detail..."
Suddenly, the room flashed black, and Malfoy's face was only illuminated by the red light of the burning hoop and scalding lava.
"... The dementors."
Before I could so much as utter an "eep," a clan of dementors materialized in front of me and the inferi rose from their fiery sauna, their piercing, whaling shrieks echoing of the walls.
I instinctively reached for my wand, but came up short.
"You don't need magic to be bad, kid. All you need is guts," Malfoy twirled my wand through his fingers and winked. "Hashtag: wisdom."
Okay, sure. But just one thing...
DID HE SERIOUSLY THINK I GAVE HALF A MUFFIN ABOUT BEING BAD WHEN THERE WERE DEMENTORS LITERALLY TWO INCHES AWAY FROM MY FACE?
And, also, I don't even care about guts! I just wanted to live, dag nabbit! Or for Malfoy to stop winking because I strongly opposed his ceaseless winking and winkery and it just made me really upset, okay?!
Before I could beg for my wand back, Malfoy disapparated with a smirk, leaving me with only empty hands and a sense of doom.
"Oh my- CHEESE AND RICE!"
Before I could shout another interjection, a dementor launched itself at me, and I only narrowly dodged it.
Another one attacked, and I vaulted forward-- except the inferi had now formed a blockade, consequently trapping me in an... inferi/dementor sandwich.
The deadliest of all the sandwiches probably. Except possibly corned beef.
Okay. Okay. Phew.
Now is not the time to panic.
Which is why I'm going to stay calm and act in rational manner.
"I'M GOING TO DIE! OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO DIE!" I screamed, senselessly punching and kicking the air in a terrible attempt to defend myself.
Suddenly, a clown the size of a building commenced barrelling down the hallway, creating a mini earthquake with every tempestuous step.
"I'm gonna get you, Posie," the clown cackled in a booming voice that sounded eerily like Harold McLaggen's, except about 10 octaves deeper. "HA HA HA HA HA!"
The clown commenced running towards me and, as a result of his thunderous footsteps, I slipped to the ground.
Before I could pull myself to my feet, a dementor closed in on my face, somehow unfazed by my crazy appendage movements.
"Aaaaahhh," it breathed, the putrid scent of its lifeless breath offending my nostrils.
It pulled back its black hood, revealing a repugnant face that probably not even its mother could love.
I don't know... Do dementors even have mothers?
COME ON, ROSE! YOU'RE GOING TO BLOODY DIE AND YOU'RE CONTEMPLATING THE ORIGIN OF DEMENTOR LIFE? THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR BIOLOGICAL AND POSSIBLY PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS!
I made an effort to move, but it was fruitless. I was pinned down, compelled to stare into the ebony face of heck for the rest of my truncated life. Well, the rest of my life with a soul.
Wait. Maybe I shouldn't be so worried. I mean, gingers don't have souls anyway, right?
I tried to close my eyes, but was too mesmerized by the hypnotic gaping 'eye' holes of the dementor.
You know, of all the times I fantasized about my first kiss, I never once pictured staring into the ebony depths of eyeless sockets and literally getting my soul sucked out of me.
But if I'm going to be honest here, I should have seen it coming. This is is my first kiss we're talking about, afterall.
... I'm seriously going to get kissed by a dementor.
This is happening.
"NOOO!" I abruptly warrior-cried, flailing my arms and legs wildly.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!" the dementor responded.
"NEVER! YOU'LL NEVER KISS ME ALIVE!"
"I got a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine, I've got a love and I know that its all mine whoa- oh whoa oh," the dementor replied before gruesomely depriving me of my soul.
And that's the story of how I died/got my first kiss.
November 8 ~ Gryffindor Common Room ~ 10:40
I woke up with a start, squealing something along the line of, "Squeep!" before spilling out of an armchair and landing on the floor.
Sitting up promptly, I swiveled my crazy-eyed focus around the vicinity...
Vermillion armchairs, a blazing fire, a crimson tapestry embellished with gold-
Wait. This didn't look like the afterlife.
I mean, if anyone was bound to aimlessly wander the earth for miserable eternities it would, afterall, inevitably be me.
"TAKE ME AWAY, A SECRET PLACE..."
I jumped, suddenly becoming aware of the music playing.
I slammed my palm to my alarm, and - upon the semblance of silence - dramatically let my head fall back to the armchair and uttered a sigh of relief.
The good news was that my nightmare was a fiction.
The bad news was that the nightmare could become a reality.
Okay, sure, dementors and inferi sounded a bit far-fetched, but this is Malfoy we’re talking about.
I mean, if he doesn’t even return his library books on time, who knows what this kid is capable of...
I had mini fit of hyperventilating, before I regained control of my breathing and stood up.
“No, no,” I said aloud firmly.
Old Rose would have freaked out, ditched the impending badness lesson with Malfoy, and carried on with her pathetic melodrama of an uneventful life.
But New Rose was going to strut -- yes, strut -- right down to the abandoned classroom on the third floor, look Lucifer or death or Malfoy (or whatever other interchangeable synonym I could employ) right in the face and BECOME BAD, DAG NABBIT!
I nodded decisively to myself.
I was going to be New Rose tonight..
Right after I got my wand.
And maybe after, you know, I wrote in my diary a little bit… then went to look at myself in the bathroom mirror while having a theatrical, tear-filled, Oscar-worthy epiphany in which I suddenly evolved into ‘New Rose...’
Unfortunately, I have less than 20 minutes until I have to meet Malfoy… so perhaps not.
However, I still required my wand, so I started towards my dorm.
November 8 ~ Gryffindor Girls’ Dormitories ~ 10:45
I turned the doorknob and pushed the door forward slowly, leaving just enough room for me to sidle through.
I slipped through the narrow opening and shut the door behind me.
I smiled to myself with the sudden epiphany...
The nonpareil stealth, the unmatched coordination, the unrivaled adroitness, the practically amazing grace...
I was a ninja, dag nabbit.
Proud, I proceeded to take my next, surreptitious step-- except I realized I'd been holding my breath in apprehension this entire time and abruptly launched into an obscene fit of gasping/hacking.
Because, you see, I can never feel good about myself for too long before I inevitably fail, undo the negligible bit I actually accomplished, and ultimately realize what a disgrace I truly am.
I think its the universe's way of keeping me in line.
Or preventing me from harboring even an infinitesimal of self-esteem.
I immediately plastered my hand to my face to stifle the sound, waiting a few seconds before making my next movement.
"Be a little more careful, self," I accidentally whispered aloud.
"Fricktarts," I inadvertently said.
"PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER, BRO!"
I clasped my inner-elbow over my mouth in surprise at my outburst, my eyes darting around the pitch-black room, hoping that my roommates hadn't woken up.
I mean, I was already the pariah of the dorm.Which, you know, really demonstrated to what magnitude of a freak I actually was, given the fact that one of my roommates was reverse cross eyed, and one of them might not actually be real.
Anyway, my point is, I was already the quirky fruitcake of the Gryffindor girls' dormitory. So the last thing I needed was my roommates waking up to me find me creeping around the room at quarter to eleven on a Monday night while they were sleeping, much less having stern conversations and outbursts with myself.
Talking to yourself looked bad in any situation. But pacing around a room of sleeping people while shrieking at yourself to get it together, and addressing yourself as 'bro'... I mean, that doesn't, you know, sound entirely healthy. I could be wrong.
Then again, this is me we're talking about. So I hardly think anyone would be fazed if I totally lost it and did something completely socially unacceptable. Like, told someone that barely knows my name -- and that is out of my league... or, heck, that doesn't even play the same sport -- that I might be in love with them! Ha ha ha that would be so-
Yeah, that already happened.
After pausing a few a seconds to ensure that the coast was clear, I barrel-rolled to my wardrobe.
Yeah. I'm not exactly sure why the barrel-rolling was necessary.
But I'm going to just go with it anyway because, really, at this point, why not?
I mean, you get to a place in your life where you've inadvertently done so moronic things, that you simply don't question it anymore. So then, one day, you find yourself needlessly barrell-rolling across a dirt-ridden room full of girls named after periodic elements and you don't really see the problem.
And by 'you,' I actually mean 'me,' because I truly doubt anyone else has even a remotely comparable history of doing such asinine things...
I mean, my record of being a blithering idiot in the last few days most likely exceeds most people's record of being a blithering idiot throughout their entire lifetime.
I somersaulted towards my wardrobe before rising to my feet and brandishing my pen.
With a click, the tip of the pen emitted a faint glow, just bright enough to discern.
Cautiously, I opened up the top drawer of my wardrobe, then hovered my wand over the surface, letting the light illuminate the small compartment.
Wand, wand, wand... Where was the that little son of a muffin?
I knew I had left it in there.
I perused through the articles of the drawer, coming up short.
I knew it had to be there somewhere... I mean, it has to be...
Now panicking, I commenced carelessly sifting through the drawer, my hands conjuring a hurricane of items.
Socks... spare quills... a book... a thong-
LIKE AN UBER-REVEALING VERSION OF A LAND SPEEDO??
This wasn't my wardrobe.
Which meant that...
I glanced down at the lacy, red thong in my left hand in horror.
Oh. My. French. Toast...
I touched someone's... sexual undergarments.
Or, more accurately, I'M CURRENTLY TOUCHING SOMEONE'S SEXUAL UNDIES!
I gasped and -- in a moment of reckless, unthinking, blinding, stupefying fear -- chucked the tainted piece of fabric as far into the air as possible.
I closed my eyes and shook my head, hyperventilating.
Holy ships, I can't even... I can't...
I tried to calm myself down.
"Okay," I whispered to myself. "Everything's okay. It's okay. You just touched someone's sexual undies, that's all-"
I gagged, winced, shook my head incredulously, then repeated the aforementioned process several times before the overwhelming nausea released me.
The psychological scars may or may not be permanent. We'll see.
If -- in a few years -- I'm quarantined in a shack-like house with boarded up windows, trembling in the corner in fetal position, with 500 kneazles as my only companions, then you'll know I never entirely recovered.
Actually, that was probably going to happen anyway. So I guess I'll need to find a more revealing indicator of severe psychological damage.
Sighing, I recollected my pen and traveled to the dorm bathroom to wash my hands.
Unfortunately the soap and water couldn't scrub away the memories.
I found my way back to what I was pretty certain was my own dresser, but -- as a precaution -- peered into the uppermost drawer before I began a thorough investigation.
After confirming the relieving absence of thongs, I withdrew a hat and wand, and a tote with some parchment and a quill in it.
You know, I never thought I'd come to use 'the relieving absence of thongs' in a sentence.
But times change. People change. And one day you begin to appreciate the miracle that is not accidentally unearthing someone's sexual undies.
Well, you can't say experience fails to reap wisdom.
I topped the beanie on my head, and clicked off my pen light before chucking it in the drawer.
"Lumos minimus," I whispered, and watched as my wand exuded a weak glow.
I shut the drawer and tiptoed towards the door.
"Nox," I rotated the knob.
I slipped through the opening, and, upon shutting the door, wiped my brow and uttered a, "phew."
I was literally exhausted from all my ninja finesse and ninjaness. One could say I was... ninjaded. Insert: wink.
So I said that.
And I shouldn't have.
It was a mistake. And I'm sorry.
But, at the same time, I'm probably going to use play-on words again.
So, I would like to apologize for that in advance.
Also, happy early Kwanzaa.
I realize that's not precisely relevant. But even though that's probably not germane now, necessarily, but it certainly will be when Kwanzaa comes.
So that will be nice.
* * *
I crept through the hallway, pulling my beanie down further over my head and attempted (albeit fruitlessly ) to put my wand in my jean pocket.
And then I promptly realized that I was an idiot -- or maybe just not a nighttime person -- and solved the predicament by stuffing my oversized wand in my tote.
You see, I have an obnoxiously long wand. 14 and 1/2 inches. That's about 4 inches bigger than the average wand.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure why I was 'chosen' by such a ginormous wand. Especially given my own size. But, according to Mr. Ollivander, physical stature is insignificant when it comes to wand length. Though he did say that wand breadth was reflective of personality size. But, I really don't think can be accurate given my blatant lack of charm and charisma. So the Ollivander's personality to wand size ratio philosophy was, really, entirely implausible. Unless I was the sole exception to the rule.
Then again, I was always the exception. I mean, I was somehow sorted into Gryffindor, despite being a completely neurotic, anxiety-ridden spaz.
So the most credible explanation for all of this, I guess, is that universe really loves irony. Really. Like 'I want to marry you and have your babies' loves it.
Except I don't really know how the universe could procreate with a literary term. But I'm just going to ignore that and pretend -- for once -- that I said something almost logical.
* * *
I arrived at the sixth floor too soon.
I mean, sure, I knew a floor or so wasn't exactly going to be a trek. But the trip felt truncated somehow, or maybe time itself had hastened. Either way, I felt duly unprepared. As if I had inadvertently slept for a few months, woken up during finals, and now was being shuffled into the testing room to take my N.E.W.T. without any exam preparation. And, actually, not to mention any food or water for the past several months. So it really would have been a miracle had I even survived in the first place... And, you know, that no one was ever concerned I went M.I.A for half a year. Though, on second thought, that's to be expected considering it's, you know, me.
This plausibility of this hypothetical scenario is making me terribly sad.
Why do I do this to myself?
I thoughtfully contemplated the answer to what was actually intended to be a rhetoric question (self sabotage, symptom of tearjerking-ly poor self-esteem, etc...), until I realized that I was standing outside the door of the abandoned classroom, and was over-thinking to subconsciously postpone the inevitable...
I stared at the door knob and swallowed.
Okay. I mean, it's not like it was that much of a deal.
I might be fraternizing with the enemy. Not that deplorable.
Said enemy might be the very person I was advised, nay, strictly commanded, to maintain a distance of approximately 200 yards or more from at all times. That's fine.
I might be potentially in the business of breaching the single most important things to ever be enforced. (Which would be the rules. Like "The Rules" the rules. Yeah. ) No biggie. I can roll with that.
See if I care.
I mean, do you want to know how much I care?
Because let me tell you... You know what? I'll tell you how much I care. I'll tell you. And here it is... I don't give one-
I care a lot, okay?!!
I'm not the kind of person that throws -- I don't know -- reckless abandon, okay? RECKLESS ABANDON, past 8:30 pm! I'm the type of person who clips coupons and chews twenty-four times before swallowing!
I breathed evenly, calming myself down
Alright. Let's look at this rationally...
For one, I seriously needed to sort out my priorities. Before it was too late. Though, again, it probably was too late considering I was clipping coupons at sixteen years old... but let's put that information to the side for now.
*Cue: metaphorical information-sweeping motion off the table.*
But, besides, I had basically gone an odyssey to get here. Did I want to have had inadvertently touched my reverse cross-eyed roomate's thong for nothing?
I mean, sure, in an ideal world, I wouldn't have had to touch my reverse cross-eyed roomate's thong at all.
But, anyway, my point is, it's not an ideal world. And I sure as heck wasn't going to feel sexual undies and get nothing out of it.
That didn't really come out right, did it?
Frowning, I turned back to the doorknob, first covering my eyes with my forearm, then twirling around indecisively.
What was I supposed to do?
Ugh. Okay, Rose. Phew.
Just decide quickly, like ripping a bandaid off. Either enter the room, or... run in the opposite direction with due haste. DUE HASTE.
Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by an invigorating sense of clarity. Relieved, I smiled...
Involuntarily, my hand reached for the doorknob.
WHAT!? No, Rose. No...
My hand was now making contact with the knob.
NO, THIS ISN'T WHAT I DECIDED! WHY AM I LITERALLY ALWAYS TRYING TO RUIN MY OWN LIFE?
But my hand was already rotating the doorknob.
Fricktarts. Fricktarts. Fricktarts. This is happening.
This is happening.
I did a quick shuffle-run movement into the room and -- before I could go back -- the door slammed shut behind me.
... It happened.
I prayed that Malfoy wasn't already here. That way it wouldn't be too late to reverse what I'd done.
I scanned the dusty-looking vicinity quickly, only detecting a chalkboard and a few scattered desks. After confirming the absence of any and all tall blondes clad in snazzy shoes, I revolved around, clutched the door handle, and-
I pulled the door again...
I pulled it with every joule of energy I could possibly exert.
"Come on, please?" I cooed in my cheeriest voice, lips nearly touching the door. "Please, for me?"
Because if anyone was going to be absolutely demented and sad enough to flirt with a door, it was going to be me.
"WHY?" I head-banged the door.
I almost asked, "Why don't you love me?" But the door probably wouldn't answer...
And in the off chance it did... Well, I mean, I really wouldn't want to hear the plethora of reasons why I'm a fundamentally unlovable person. Though I can imagine they begin with the fact that I sweet-talk inanimate objects in an attempt to open them, and essentially am the clumsiest person on the face of the universe. I don't need a door to tell me the rest. I would say I probably shouldn't be conversing with doors period, but I'm so hopeless it doesn't even matter.
I tried to pull open the door again and failed miserably.
I readjusted my hat before placing both my feet on the wall next to the door. I gripped the door handle and yanked, now almost completely horizontal.
I yanked desperately.
I yanked angrily.
I yanked sullenly, for just a moment, before yanking very angrily, which was actually, you know, quite different from just yanking angrily.
I yanked with every emotion... but with no avail.
"May I suggest pushing it?" a voice said.
I palmed my forehead, incredulous of the extent of my own stupidity.
"Wow," I laughed, shaking my head and twisting the knob. "Wow, I can't believe I didn't even realize. Gosh. Thank y- EEP!"
I accidentally released a small squeal of surprise before covering my mouth with my palm.
"Cold feet?" Malfoy smirked.
What? Malfoy? How did I not see him? How long had he even been standing there?
What is this sorcery?!
I not-so-furtively closed the door I had endeavored to escape from, and awkwardly leaned my back against it.
"... Pfft, no-o," I finally said after about twenty seconds, forcing an uncomfortable laugh. "I mean, pfft, pssht. Gees. That's- that's absurd. You're absurd, man. Er - sorry, you're not absurd... I mean, Um."
I realized Malfoy was half-smiling at me, and I stopped rambling. Then I proceeded to stare at the wall while twirling my hair uncomfortably.
I loathe myself.
"You know, Little Red, you really don't have to go through with this."
I looked up at him, "What?"
"The lessons. It's okay. We'll just forget it," there was the suggestion of a smirk on his lips. "If you're having second thoughts."
I looped my fingers around my left wrist, frowning in thought.
I'd just tell him I couldn't do it.
I mean, that would be a typical Rose Weasley move. Playing it safe, being good, following the rules. Staying inside the lines...
"I-" I started but then it hit me. A shock of indignance at his patronizing smirk.
No... No. When had acting on my Rose Weasley impulses ever served me?
Agreeing to a mercy date with Harold "I Like Breeding Cats" McLaggen?
To muffins with that. I was done with being Rose Weasley. For now. Right now, I was the anti-Rose Weasley.
And the anti-Rose Weasley would definitely embark on strange adventures with slightly scary ruffians in a desperately idiotic attempt to be bad.
"I mean, no. Pssht," I tried to slouch against the door in a way that would make me look cool, but exaggerated the 'laid-backedness' and just wound up looking reverse-hunch-backed and completely inane and, subsequently, uncool. "I'm completely copacetic. It will be an illuminating experience. Let's do this, broseph."
He raised his eyebrows and I raised mine right back. Then, I set my lips in a firm line and crossed my arms.
"Brilliant," he half-smiled, apparently unfazed by my intimidating countenance... or my attempt at an intimidating countenance. "Well then, let's do this....?"
He looked at me to fill in my original word choice.
"Broseph," I offered.
"Right," he said. "I'm not going to repeat that."
I strode confidently to an empty desk and commenced unloading my tote.
I extracted the contents of my bag thoughtfully: a quill, ink, parchment...
"What?" I widened my eyes at Malfoy, who had begun looking at me with grave concern.
He didn't respond for a few seconds.
Instead, he put his hand on his chin and frowned, then walked over to my desk, before-
"What are you doing?" I gasped, appalled, as he -- in one smooth motion -- swept my parchment and quill of the desk.
"Helping you. What are you doing?"
What was I doing?
The question caught me off guard.
"I- I was trying to learn... I thought I we were..." I started rambling nervously, but then faded off when I accidentally made eye contact with Malfoy.
"Look, Weasley," Malfoy sighed, sitting on the desk in front of me, "If I'm going to help you, I'm going to need to be honest with you. And, if the circumstance demands it, I may even need to be caustically honest with you. Are you okay with that?"
I cocked my head, slightly worried now. "Yes?"
"Fantastic. Then you should know that you've already failed. Miserably."
I entered possible cardiac arrest.
"Failed?" I burst out nervously, panicking. "How did I fail? What did I fail at?"
"But how did I-"
"You're failing right now."
My eyes practically ruptured, "But how?"
"Are you sure you want me to explain?"
On the verge of a seizure, I nodded.
"First of all, Little Red, you're panicking. You can never panic. That's a cardinal rule of badness, as you'll soon learn. Secondly, never voluntarily take notes. I don't think I need to explain what's wrong that. I'd go insofar as to advise to never take notes, even in circumstances where taking notes is mandated... but blatantly disregarding authority is a more advanced topic that we'll cover later...And, thirdly, no totes. Ever."
"But this is my favorite eco tote! It's good for the environment!"
"It's bad for my environment. It has a goddamn smiling orange on it."
"It's a peach," I noted, slightly offended.
"Nuance. Smiling fruits are an affront to everything I stand for.”
"Okay..." I sighed, frustrated, but still hopeful, "but what if it's more pensive looking? Like a frowning fruit?"
I hummed thoughtfully, pondering.
"What if we took the vegetable route? Like, what about a radishes eco tote?"
"Not even a little bit."
"Ugh!" my eyes were saucers now, and I stretched out my arms in disbelief, "But how am I going to express my environmental friendliness?"
"You're not going to express your environmental friendliness. Especially not with face-embossed produce. Unless you want to look even less intimidating."
"I'm intimidating!" I objected.
Malfoy bit his lip to hide a smirk.
"What?" I rose to my feet, putting my hands on my waist
"Weasley, you're, like, 5'2 and weigh a hundred pounds soaking wet. You're the opposite of intimidating. And carrying a bag decorated with happy oranges doesn't help your case."
"On the contrary, old sport," I indignantly stood up straighter. "It's a smiling peach, not a myriad of 'happy oranges.' And I'm not 5'2... by the way."
He raised an eyebrow.
"I'm 5'2... and a half... almost... probably."
He parted his lips then closed them, as if he was about to say something but thought better of it, and ultimately settled for his perpetual half-smirk.
"So, are you finally ready to begin the lesson? You know, unless you've decided you're threatening enough already, Little Red."
I ignored a surge of irritation and, instead, uttered some form of 'affirmative.'
I planted myself back into my seat and recollected the parchment that Malfoy had brushed onto the floor.
"Again, what are you doing?"
"Preparing to embark on the adventure that is education?" I ventured innocently and offered a weak smile.
Malfoy appeared to be amused. Or maybe perplexed. Or possibly unnerved. Or perhaps all of the above. I don't really know. Maybe just generally flummoxed.
Because I tend to have a 'flummoxing' effect on people.
"No?" I repeated, disappointed.
"You may be in more need of this than I originally anticipated," He unexpectedly started towards the door
What? Where was he going?
"Oh, and don't bring your bloody environment sack thing either," Malfoy finally approached the door and faced me. "Coming?"
I looked aimlessly around the room, as if there was someone to rescue me.
Plot twist: No one was there.
Just like the rest of my life.
So not really a plot twist.
You know, I should have run when I had the chance. I feel like this is the moral of every situation I become entangled in.
"Erm... I'd rather not... But thank you for asking."
I blinked at him.
"I promise puppy kicking is not on the itinerary, if that's what you're worried about."
"What is included in the itinerary?" I winced, not quite wanting to hear the answer.
"It's a surprise," he winked.
Panicked, I leapt up instantaneously and flared out my arms defensively , "No! NO SURPRISES!"
I coughed, calming myself down, then adjusted my glasses and hugged my chest, "I mean, I'm sorry, I just kind of don't like surprises."
"What about in a box?"
I took a step back, "What?"
"Would you like a surprise in a box?" he inquired very seriously, studying me with the utmost concern.
"... I guess not?"
"Not even with a fox?"
"Or in a house? Or with a mouse?"
"... I don't- I don't think so?"
"Yes, yes. I see," Malfoy nodded. "Well, I just tested you, and it appears that you do, in fact, clinically detest surprises. And, as a professional, I feel obligated to prescribe the antidote to you. Free of charge.."
I tilted my head at him.
"..And the antidote to overcoming your phobia is letting yourself be surprised," he rotated the knob. "Come on."
"No," I whined. "I can't. I really can't."
Malfoy sighed after a few seconds.
"Actually, you're right," he said, frowning. "I think it probably would be best if we just headed back to our dormitories."
He nodded his head somberly.
"Yeah, I think that would be for the best," I gushed, relieved by his sudden change of heart...
But I also felt... suspicious. And, somehow, oddly enough... strangely disenchanted?
I deposited the strewn parchment into my tote and put the strap around my shoulder.
I walked up to the door, where Malfoy's hand precariously rested on the knob.
"Well, erm... thanks?" I said, feeling semi-awkward. "And I'm sorry, it's just-"
"Shh..." he offered me a sympathetic, smiling glance. "Of course, love. And don't worry, I know you've probably had a rough night."
I looked and the ground nodded solemnly.
"Why don't you let me walk you back to your dorm to make up for it, okay?"
"Oh, um, thank you, but I'm pretty sure I-"
"No," Malfoy waved his hand. "No, I'd feel better if I walked you down."
"I really don't-"
"I'm sorry, Weasley, but I have to. I mean, you're little, you have issues opening doors... It would be dangerous. And some bastard would probably steal your eco nectarine sack... I just can't let that happen."
A searing wave of belligerence swept over me, and I felt the heat immediately rise to my cheeks.
In one passionate, reckless motion, I untangled myself from my tote and slammed it to the ground dramatically.
Malfoy quirked an eyebrow.
"You know what?" I said. "Let's do this."
Malfoy looked unfazed, smug even.
"Oh, I'm sure," I retorted before he'd even concluded his sentence. "Are you sure, old sport? Huh?"
I punctuated the 'huh' by sort of menacingly flailing my arms in a manner that was probably neither menacing nor flattering.
You know, I really need to stop acting like such a maladroit maniac in public.
Remind me to add that to my legion of inevitably unsuccessful New Year resolutions.
"Of course," Malfoy half-grinned and leaned against the door. "I'm not getting to you, I hope?"
I realized my arms were crossed and my face was fixed in a glare.
I promptly unstuck my angry features, "Never."
"We'll see," he winked and held out the door.
Well. That sounds slightly ominous.
I mean, I could be wrong.
"After you, love," he gestured.
I remembered to say 'thank you,' but also (accidentally) kind of ferociously stamped my feet through the portal.
"You're very welcome," Malfoy let himself out and shut the door. "Just one thing."
"While I find your expressiveness to be most delightful, I'd recommend not stomping. At least when you're out past curfew and trying not get caught. Just a tip."
Embarrassed, I folded my arms for the umpteenth time and blushed.
"...I'm not expressing my irritation, I just- I just have a heavy tread."
The hallway was practically black, but I didn't need light to know he was smirking.
Or, more specifically, I barely required the ability for deductive reasoning to know he was smirking.
He brandished a wand and uttered, "Lumos."
"Okay, Weasley," he suddenly began down the hallway, pathway now bathed in blue light. "Let's go.’
I froze, stationary in my tracks.
Holy muffins. I knew this was a bad idea.
"Where are we going?" I asked timidly.
"Does it matter?"
"Okay. Somewhere in Hogwarts."
I exhaled in frustration, "Specifically."
I nodded, worried.
He wrinkled his face in deep concentration, "I see, I see. Well, specifically... somewhere in Hogwarts. Does that answer your question?"
I leaned my head back and exhaled.
He was impossible.
"Come on, love. Have a sense of adventure... It will be good for you. I promise."
I semi-voiced my rebuttal with a silent, internal groan.
But, for some reason, I begrudgingly continued walking forward.
What was I doing? I mean, just what in the name of french toast had gotten into me tonight?
Was I secretly being possessed by some demonic spirit that compelled me to make these insanely imbecilic, epically terrible decisions?
Oh... wait. Yeah, no. We can throw that theory out the window given the fact that, you know, I have been making insanely imbecilic, epically terrible decisions -- oh, I don't know -- LITERALLY my entire existence?
Either way, my idiocy was on a grander scale than usual lately. And that really speaks volumes.
Oh God, how do I even rectify this?
"I'll go," I said. "But only if you tell me exactly what's going to happen."
"I wish I could, love. I wish I could. Unfortunately, you seem to have forgotten that I am not God, and, therefore, am not endowed with unlimited psychic power. Don't feel embarrassed though. Really, I see how one could get confused."
Oh my Merlin.
I was going to scuff his shoes. I really really was.
After he realized I wasn't moving, he turned around.
He shined the light on me and I frowned back at him, unimpressed.
"Awe, Weasley. What will it take for me to earn your trust?"
The answer spewed from my lips before it had even entered my brain.
"An unbreakable vow. Nothing less."
Fine. In hindsight, I can see how that might sound... slightly excessive.
"An unbreakable vow, huh?" he rested the side of his face on his fist, perplexed.
"An unbreakable vow to pledge your trustworthiness," I readjusted my hat.
"You certainly drive a hard bargain, Miss Weasley..." he noted, amused, "...an unbreakable vow. Hmm."
"And nothing less," I repeated so he wouldn't forget it.
"Ah, yes... But, aren't those punishable by two years in Azkaban these days?"
"Unbreakable vowing? Actually, I think it might be three now... after the Wizengamot case last August?"
Malfoy tilted his head at me - nonplussed - before smiling mischievously. "Even better. Let's do it."
My body felt as though it had been suddenly electrocuted.
... So it's possible I didn't think this through completely.
Like most things that could, potentially, end catastrophically.
"Or we could not do it?" I suggested with a winsome smile and even more winsome shrug. "That could be even better. That could be the best choice, possibly."
"No, no, no," Malfoy jovially waved his hand in the air. "If that's what it's going take for you to trust me, that's what I'm going to do. Here, take out your wand..."
I not-so-discreetly and very abruptly hid it behind my back.
"Oh, darn!" I suddenly lamented with all the acting skill of an entire potato, adding a regretful snap. "Unfortunately it appears that I am not currently in possession of my wand at this time. Ah, dag nabbit! Would you consider taking rain check?"
"Awe, how unfortunate. But a rain check... Hmm," he played along. "For when?"
"Um, what about... neverhundredhours? How does that work for you?"
Except I mumbled the 'never hundred hours' part quickly and incoherently.
"I didn't quite catch that," Malfoy said after a few seconds. "But, since you're evidently lacking your wand..."
I nodded remorsefully at the floor and also self-consciously fidgeted with my wand behind my back.
"Would this suffice?"
He extended his hand.
I contemplated it for a moment before-
"No," I told him.
Malfoy placed an accosted palm on his chest and smirked, "I promise I exfoliate regularly."
"No, no, not-" I palmed my face, frustrated. I looked up and he was smiling. Ugh, what a crumbum. "No, I mean... We're ultimately aiming for you to pledge your moral upstanding, right?"
"You are aiming for that," he remarked. "But sure."
"However, a handshake indicates an agreement has been made. You know, like, an alliance has been formed. And, right now, I can't attest your trustworthiness, so I don't want to officially make an alliance. So, in essence, no, a handshake does not suffice."
I concluded with a deep inhale, and a confident nod, waiting for Malfoy to take it all in.
... "That was in essence?"
I looked at the ground guiltily. "Sorry, I'm kind of prone to circumlocution."
"I think I forgive you for your tendency towards circumlocution," he paused for a moment. "But could you please define 'circumlocution' so that I can be sure I can forgive you?"
"Oh, erm, circumlocution is excessive wordiness,” I blushed.
"Well, in that case, I think your circumlocution is forgivable. I accept your apology."
He half-smiled at me before rolling up his sleeves, "You know, Weasley? You've really invested a lot of thought into this handshake situation. I admire that."
"Oh, erm. Thank you," I said somewhat flattered. "You know what they say.... Um... you can't be too cautious when it comes to non-verbal rituals?"
Wait, what the bloody muffins am I talking about? No one said that.
Literally. No one said that. Ever.
"True. However, it's possible you haven't invested enough thought."
My heart skipped a beat, and I jumped back... I was - practically - quite literally taken aback.
I mean, I was an overthinker. A critical hyper-analyzer.
Heck, I habitually engaged in prolonged, in-depth thinking until I physically exhausted myself and passed out, just so I could fall asleep.
That was an absurd accusation!
"You see, Weasley," Malfoy finished rolling up his sleeve. "I may have only recently become aware of what 'circumlocution' means, but I am very well-rehearsed in history. Now, the hand shake is thought to have originated in Ancient Greece, as suggested by the statue of Thrasea and his wife.... I'm sorry, is there something you'd like to add?"
I realized that I had a hand on my hip and was pursing my lips.
"It approximately originated in 4th century BC," I casually noted, flicking an invisible piece of lint off my shoulder. "And Thrasea's wife was named Euandria. But, please, continue."
'Humor me' I barely resisted adding.
I mean, did Scorpius Malfoy, of all people, think he could trump me in a battle of knowledge?
Maybe in a battle of swindling or ruffian-ness or a shoe competition but NOT knowledge.
The audacity of that child... boy... man... Manchild boy?
Anyway, the audacity! The audacity, for the love of Merlin!
But, don't get me wrong... I'm not getting defensive or anything. Pssht. Please.
"Well," Malfoy drawled with a partial grin. "Since you're so knowledgeable, Weasley, I'm surprised you don't remember the rudimentary purpose of the handshake. Which would be, of course, to take an oath of peace and trust... subsequently making the handshake the best alternative to an unbreakable vow. As you surely realize now."
Simpering, he reached out his hand, "Here, I'll even give you a second chance."
"I wouldn't look so smug yet, old sport," I dismissed cheekily, shocking myself.
No seriously. I didn't even know if my actions could be described with the adverb 'cheekily' until this point.
I was basically as uncheeky as it got. I was like the polar opposite of a chipmunk.
... I'm not on drugs, I promise.
I mean, unless you include the natural drug that is life in itself.
Ha, am I right? Am I right?
... Yeah. I'm so sorry. You know, for myself.
He puckered a perplexed brow, half-smiling, and tucked his hand in his pocket, "And why is that, Little Red?"
Before he had the opportunity to make another snarky comment, I continued.
"You see," I mocked his condescending tone from earlier. "The handshake was construed as an 'oath of peace and trust' because it established that the shakers were not bearing a weapon. However- Wait. Actually, let me ask you a question first..."
I turned to him and he nodded, "So if we hypothetically shook hands, it would all be a metaphor, right? I mean, instead of confirming the absence of literal weapons, we'd be clarifying that you're not 'figuratively' bearing weapons, and essentially harmless. Like, we'd shaking hands as a means to prove your trustworthiness. Correct?"
"I think this is the first time I've heard 'figuratively bearing weapons' used in a sentence, but, yes, sure."
"Anyway, the handshake was created as a means of establishing peace and trust by confirming the absence of armistice, However..."
I was pacing around him, but, at this point, I stopped and offered my own half-smirk, "However, as you know, that wasn't always reliable because, since -- because the handshake is always performed with the right hand -- left-handed individuals could secretly be holding a weapon."
Satisfied, I folded my arms and waited for him to catch on.
"So... let me get this straight..." he grasped his chin . "You won't shake hands with me because I might be wielding secret, figurative weapons with my left hand?"
I turned up my palms in surrender. "You agreed with me that this is a metaphor. And if I made that kind of oath with someone who is left-handed -- because this is an allusion to Greek history -- I would basically be setting myself up for betrayal."
There was a moment of silence, and then Malfoy's lips curled up.
"Impressive logic. Just one thing," he simpered. His voice was a lower whisper and he noticeably stepped up closer to me. "What makes you so sure I'm left handed, Little Red?"
I squinted my eyes at him and smirked. "Your watch is on your right hand. And, statistically speaking, left-handed people are more likely to smile more dominantly with the right side of their face. And, as an insult to injury, males and blondes are far more likely to be left oriented, so it's not that far-fetched of a hypothesis."
"Touche," He folded down his sleeve over his watch. "You're quite perceptive, Weasley. "
I smiled and shrugged.
"So, I have to know... does this mean you definitely don't trust me?"
"Hmm.. I mean, left-handed people are also more likely to be criminals at some point of their life… So, statistically, I shouldn’t trust you… And you personally haven’t built up any credibility in my eyes yet… Yeah, ultimately, I'm most likely not going to trust you."
"Can I tell you a secret though?" he said mischievously.
I suddenly became aware of how close we were standing, but I just looked at him and nodded nervously, "...Mmhmm?"
He leaned in nearer and whispered, "That's a wise decision."
"Not trusting you?"
He nodded, but put his index finger to his lips like it was a secret.
I laughed and his eyes lit up.
"But you should know that just because I'm left-handed, subsequently more likely to be an inmate, and -- in every sense -- shouldn't be trusted, doesn't mean that you shouldn't trust me."
"So, even though you're fundamentally unscrupulous... I should still trust you?"
"You said it wasn't wise for me to trust you."
"Which is precisely why you should."
I was still smiling, "I think your logic is slightly questionable."
"But my good intentions are not," he put a hand to his heart for emphasis.
"Hmm," I considered. "Actually, I think those might be questionable."
"Wow," he inhaled sharply and put his hands in his pockets, "Usurping me in knowledge of history, refusing to trust me, questioning my good intentions... I mean, you're killing me here, Weasley."
"I'm sorry," I told him, but I started laughing.
"Thank you, Weasley. Thank you the authentic apology and for giggling at my pain," he said, still feigning offense.
"I'm really sorry?" I tried.
I attempted to keep a straight face but accidentally broke out in smile.
"Unbelievable," he tsked in reproval. "Unbelievable. You know what? I think you've hurt me so much in the past few seconds that you owe me."
"I've hurt you?"
"Hell yes," he sighed at the ceiling dramatically. "Terribly. You've maimed me on an emotional level, and that definitely warrants compensation..."
He extended his pinky finger, "...Your trust."
"The most sacred kind of swearing," he corrected. "I pledge to you my decency, and you, in turn, accept my pledge. That's all I ask."
I glanced at him skeptically.
"You emotionally maimed me, Weasley. Remember that."
"You vituperated my eco tote and kick puppies. Remember that."
"You know, I'd be happy to continue this with you, Weasley. But you know where this will ultimately culminate... Unless, of course.... you want me bring up the ice cream incident?" he lowered his voice and winked.
I gasped and widened my eyes in betrayal.
He shrugged, smirking.
"Okay, okay," I succumbed, holding out my little finger. "But only if you never bring that up again."
"And miss out on future opportunities to make you embarrassed?" he snickered. "I think you're overestimating my clemency, love."
I sighed in defeat.
"Fine, then just promise me that I can trust you with whatever this is," I paused, then looked to the ground. "...And also that you won't sacrifice me to the dementors."
He studied me with concern
"I'm not going to ask," he said. "So, basically, yes to trust, no to dementors. Is that all?"
"And that you stop insulting my tote."
"You're just lucky that I haven't brought up the monstrosity on your head, Tupac."
My hand impulsively clutched my beanie, "What's wrong with my hat?"
"It's like you're trying to look like a drug pusher, but you just so don't exhibit the image of a person that deals drugs that, instead, you look like this innocent, overeager thug wannabe."
"I am not an innocent, overeager thug wannabe!" I protested.
"Really? Because your general vibe says 'I want to fit in with the cool kids, but I'm also afraid of getting high off of green tea.'"
I gasped, offended, "Excuse me, sir, but green tea has VERY high levels of theanine!"
He just did the half-smirk thing. Again.
"What?" I demanded.
He kept doing the thing. The half-smirk thing. THE THING. I HATED THE THING.
"Nothing," his eyes met mine and his mouth was still doing, you know... the thing. Yeah.
"What?" I asked again, more desperate this time, looking at him fearfully.
I mean, I just didn't like that little smirk. I really didn't.
I put my hand on my hip, and tensed my forehead expectantly.
My cheeks colored, "I'm not adorable!"
"Flustered?" he grinned.
"NO!" I protested, sliding the beanie over my face in embarrassment.
"I think you are very flustered, which makes you even more adorable."
"I'm not ad- Ugh!" I sighed in surrender and then pleaded weakly, "Can we- Can we just get to the swear or whatever now?"
Malfoy laughed, and my face burned even more.
"Awe, my apologies, Little Red," he said. "Here.."
He slowly peeled back my hat and uncovered my face.
He took my hand and a small impulse surged through it, like a shock, but more expansive.
I jumped back a little bit and my eyes widened up at him. He must have noticed because he met my gaze and gave me a reassuring half-smile.
"I pledge to Miss Weasley," his pinky looped around mine, "my worthiness of her confidence and the pureness of my intentions... which would of course be to assist her on a taxing but rewarding pilgrimage to badness. And, furthermore, to only encourage her to engage in exercises that will be beneficial to achieving this goal. Is there anything else I should add?"
"No, I don't - Oh! Wait! Would it be futile if I suggested you add in that you'd never mention the ice cream incident?"
"Completely and utterly futile."
I frowned at him and he winked in response, causing me to huff.
"So, futile suggestion aside.... does Miss Weasley accept my pledge?"
I studied his eyes. From what I could discern (which wasn't much given the hallway was pitch black, forgive the dim blue light emanating from his wand) they were grey.
"I will accept your pledge."
We released our pinkies, and he cocked his head and smiled mischievously
"Can we finally get started?"
Anxiety hit me like a suckerpunch to the abdominal region.
"Um, no thank you, old sport."
He just snickered and started walking, "Come on, Little Red."
His silhouette was becoming more and more distant, along with the light.
"No! Don't leave! The darkness is spreading so my anxiety is spreading!"
"Shh... Weasley. Just come on."
I planted my feet firmly to the ground and crossed my arms.
Oh, wait, a second..
I brandished my wand, and it lit up.
Malfoy kept walking.
I wasn't going to move. I mean, I had my own light.
I would just walk back to the Gryffindor house... safe as a-a, um, a button?
Were buttons even safe? I mean they had holes in them, and -- even though they were sutured to fabric -- still fell off. And there's no telling what could happen to a button after it's detached from fabric. It could end up just about anywhere, which certainly sounded dangerous. Like action-movie-material danger level.
Wow. Buttons really aren't that safe after all, are they?
Maybe I'm overthinking this.
But just maybe.
Malfoy kept going farther and farther.
But I still wasn't going to move forward. You know what? I would just turn it around.
That's right. I would just calmly turn back to-
"Ugh, fine! I'll go!" I darted towards him in a mad sprint.
I exhaled when I reached his side.
He smirked down at me, "I thought you had forgotten your wand, Weasley."
I not-so-discreetly whispered, "Nox," and the wand light went off.
"Yeah, it's funny... things just turn up in the oddest places sometimes."
Sweet muffins, do I hate myself.
"Right," Malfoy said, lips still arrogantly turned up in one corner.
I internally thanked the terrible lighting for concealing my flushed face.
We rounded a corner and I only made it a few seconds before I couldn't take it any longer...
"So where are we going?" I blurted.
There was a measured pause before Malfoy said, "I'm taking you to the dementors. Obviously."
"What?" I gasped.
"Shh....Weasley, relax. Sarcasm."
I forced a laugh, "Sorry, I have a propensity for... um, taking things too literally, overreacting. A little bit. Just sometimes."
"Just sometimes?" he inquired.
"Just sometimes," I confirmed. "And also just a little bit."
We continued walking, and that's when I had an epiphany about how the general implausibility of the situation.
It was nearly midnight, and I was walking down the hallway with Malfoy, going to an unknown place to learn the trade of being bad.
I also noticed that it was silent. Which wasn't good. In fact, it was very treacherous territory. You see, silence had always struck me as funny for no apparent reason. Which sounds preposterous, absurd. But it's like... Hmm. Okay, let me put it this way... you know when it's silent, or you're walking alone, or you're in any situation where it would be completely socially unacceptable to laugh? Well, when I'm in said situation, my mind wanders... and I can't help but think "Oh, wouldn't it be extremely uncomfortable and awkward if I burst out laughing at this very moment?" And then, my body is apparently determined to sabotage me, so this notion tickles my funny bone, and it's all I can do not to break out into hysterics.
So, I tried not to look at Malfoy. And I tried to think about how we were walking in silence with one another. And, above all, I tried not think about how awkward and uncomfortable it would be if I just started laughing spontaneously.
Wow... it would be extremely awkward and uncomfortable, wouldn’t it? Gees Louise.
A laugh almost escaped my throat, but I bit my lip to contain it.
NO, ROSE, DON'T!
I smiled and subsequently bit my lip even harder.
DAG NABBIT, ROSE! DON'T YOU DARE!
Oh God, I need to break the silence. Do something. Say something. Anything. I literally cannot handle this.
"So... Malfoy as in Scorpius Malfoy. Of the Malfoys, I take it?"
He glanced at me, perplexed, "What was that?"
"Um, nothing, nothing," I shook my head fervently, before he could respond. "I just would like to know the mystery location."
"Don't worry about it," he winked at me again.
"But I don't do well with suspense! It's unhealthy for me."
"You're rather impatient aren't you, Weasley?"
"No, I am very patient," I explained. "It's just that suspense is literally parasitic to my mental well-being. And I could die.”
"And you're a little dramatic," he smirked.
"Excuse me, sir, but I am as cool as a very undramatic cucumber!"
"A very undramatic cucumber?"
"Because cucumbers are generally very dramatic?"
"Well, no, not exactly. I mean, I'm sure they could be dramatic. You know, if a cucumber was personified and happened to have this theatrical personality. But they are not dramatic as a rule though. Because then what would constitute the basis of the 'as cool as a cucumber' simile? I mean, it would essentially be unfounded if cucumbers were generally these ostentatious vegetables with a flair for dramatics, right? So I suppose the true nature of the cucumber would have to be nonchalant. That's not to say some of those buggers aren't dramatic, of course. I'm just not one of those theatrical cucumber anomalies. You know, metaphorically."
There was a long pause. And Malfoy quirked his eyebrow at me dubiously.
"Well, we've arrived at our destination, Weasley. Which is good because I'm not sure if I have an appropriate response to that."
But I had already mostly tuned out Malfoy, fear whirring in the pit of our stomach.
... Arrived at our destination?
My eyes landed on the door.
"Weasley. Relax," Malfoy smirked reassuringly, gripping the door handle.
I pursed my lips and nodded, holding my hands to my head while jogging from side to side in an attempt to calm myself... "Okay, okay... I'm relaxing."
He smiled, turning the knob, "Good? See, it's al-"
"I can't relax!"I spastically jumped in front of the door. "You can't just enter a room to which students are granted access! What?! No. No no no no no."
He sighed, "Weasley..."
Oh no. It was coming. The panic was swelling.
"You're going to get murdered..." I whispered with concern.
"I won't get murdered, love." he chuckled.
Just hold it in Rose... hold it in...
What was that girl's mantra... from the animated movie my cousins and I used to watch?
Conceal. Don't feel. Don't let them knooooow... (how psychotic you are.)
I mean, that was all originally sung, not repeated as a mantra. In the movie I mean. And the last part wasn't actually a line. I just added it as a special reminder for myself.
But it's all good. I got this.
Conceal. Don't feel. Don't let them know...
"YES, YOU WILL GET MURDERED! IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT? TO BE MURDERED? MURDERED?!”
... Well now they know.
"Jesus, Weasley," Malfoy ran his hand through his hair. "Do you want me to be murdered? Because I will be if you speak at that vibration."
I shook my head remorsefully, "I'm sorry. I know. That was uncalled for. I'm very sorry."
"It's okay, Little Red," he patted my shoulder. "Now, are you ready?"
"For what?" I asked earnestly, then grimaced as an afterthought. "Actually, the details of the approaching situation are irrelevant. I'm pretty sure my response will be a universal 'no,' so I think I'll just head back to my room, call it a night... and we'll part ways as unlikely friends. Yeah? Yeah! Wonderful notion! Later, friend!"
I speedily revolved in the opposite direction, but Malfoy obstructed my path.
I stared at him. He stared back.
I hung my head and sighed defeatedly, covering my eyes.
“You know what?” I said weakly. “Let’s do this. Just… just promise me it doesn’t involve berets or Swiss men.”
I shook my head and winced, before waving my hand, “Nevermind, nevermind..”
Malfoy turned to the door, clasped the knob, and - in tardigrade motion - begun spinning it...
Holy flipping poptarts. This is happening.
He’s turning the knob… and he’s still turning the knob… and -
Wow, he’s still turning the knob.
I mean, for the love of Merlin, this dude is going to break the record for ‘longest time revolving a knob’...
Finally, the door creaked open, and Malfoy gestured towards it.
“Gingers first,” he gestured.
I cocked my head around the ajar door to get a glance of the room.
It was entirely dark and, if I was going to be honest, not at all welcoming.
I looked at Malfoy reproachfully, “Yeah… I’m not really feeling it. Bad vibes, man. Totally infecting my chakras, ja feel?…”
“Ja not feeling it?” he started through the door. “Too bad. Come on.”
“Ugh!”I enchanted my wand to glow, and then begrudgingly sauntered into the probably lethal room.
“Nothing to be scared of, right, Weasley?”
I looked to the right. The light of my wand illuminated a pile of chains cloaked in dust, wads of paper strewn unevenly around the floor-
I gasped and promptly stumbled into a very sharp and solid object.
“Oi, easy! You all right?”
“Splendiferous. Good. Supertastic. You know, just a little worried about the chains. But I’m sure they’re just for… um… decoration, right? I mean, they add a very…” I tilted my head in thought. “.. rustic air…”
Malfoy smirked at me.
“Nothing. No, that’s very possible,” he said, casually extending his hand to the wall, to support his frame.
“Now, Weasley you do know where we are, correct?”
I took a brief glance around, “Well, not exactly, but I think that this is kind of redolent to… erm… Tartarus.”
I lowered my eyes, “The darkest location of the Greek underworld.”
He half-smiled, “Almost. Try Argus’ quarters.”
He raised his eyebrows and nodded his head nearly non-discernibly, waiting for me to deduce.
Argus. Argus. Who was Argus?
Holy pop rocks.
“WE’RE IN FILCH’S OFFICE!?”
“Shh, easy! Someone will hear-”
“CHEZ ARGUS? THIS IS LIKE BEING IN THE HOUSE OF USHER! WE WILL BE MURDERED!”
“Weasley, I think that’s the third time you’ve cried ‘murder’ in the last three minutes-”
“And it won’t be the last,” I took a breath, “MURDER!!!”
Malfoy covered my mouth with his palm.
I widened my eyes and grunted in outrage.
“Weasley,” he pleaded, “Listen, I don’t want to have to do this, but you need to calm down. So, can I trust you? You know, to not scream ‘murder’ at the top of your lungs?”
I uttered a muffled ‘mmhmm.’
“Are you sure?”
I nodded, and - somewhat warily - he released his hand.
There was a few seconds of silence.
Malfoy promptly clasped his hand over my face again and tsked reprovingly.
Sheepish, I looked at the ground.
“I’d recommend you use your freedom of speech wisely. And preferably more quietly, yeah?” he released me.
“Okay,” I nodded, timidly peering around the office.
Malfoy waited a few seconds before asking, “You good?”
“Oh, you know, as good as one can be after realizing death is imminent. So splendiferous.”
“Spectacular!” Malfoy said brightly, either not registering my facetious tone or registering it, but choosing not to care. “So would you finally like to know why I’ve brought you here?”
I nodded eagerly, “Yes please.”
I mean, I couldn’t imagine an answer that didn’t entail Malfoy indulging some perverse desire to be tortured by Filch… So I was genuinely curious at what was going through that twisted, blonde head of his.
And, you know, mildly concerned.
“You see, Weasley, I have a bit of business to attend to,” Malfoy sauntered towards Filch’s desk and took a seat in his chair. “And I realized said business could multipurpose as an excellent badness-building opportunity for you. So, being the munificent chap I am, I decided to let you tag along, get some experience. A pupil to my teacher, an apprentice to my mentor-”
“An accomplice to your criminal?” I offered.
He smiled, “Sure.”
Malfoy then rose to his feet and stepped over to the filing cabinet, “Now, Weasley, here’s the task… Can I trust you not to panic?”
I widened my eyes and shrugged.
Malfoy arched his eyebrows.
We stared at one another, challenging the other to lower their gaze.
Finally, I sighed and rubbed my temples, “Sure.”
“Wonderful. In that case, the objective is as follows: unlock this cabinet...” he rapped once on the object in question with his knuckles, causing a cloud of dust to billow in the air.
“Unlock this cabinet,” I repeated softly.
“... Procure my record…”
“Procure your record,” I nodded.
“...Omit the last few reports of misbehavior from said record and-”
“Hold your thestrals there, broseph!”
I crossed my arms. “You can’t just omit the last few reports of misbehavior from your record!”
“The rules?” he half-smiled, folding his arms.
“Yes, the rules!”
He snickered, “I’m afraid you’re forgetting the part where I don’t give a shit about the rules, Little Red. But don’t worry, I’m not going to omit all the reports of misconduct, just a few. You know, I’ve been a little less disciplined, less cautious about getting caught lately. I don’t want a completely sullied record; that’s hardly tasteful. A few misdemeanors here and there, however, is very fashionable. That’s what I’m striving for. And you’re going to help me.”
“Look, Weasley, do you want to be bad or not?”
I looked at the ground and mumbled softly, “... Yes.”
“What was that?”
“Yes,” I spoke, just a touch louder.
“Yes what?” Malfoy challenged.
“Yes I would fancy being bad?”
Malfoy shook his head, “You see, you’re saying that, but I don’t feel it. The inflection, the slumped posture… it’s all wrong.”
I tried again after straightening my shoulders and exhaling, “I would like to be bad.”
He cupped his chin in his palm and shrugged, “Eh.”
I thrust my head up in the air and huffed in frustration.
“I want to be bad,” I said a little louder.
“Keep trying,” Malfoy nodded encouragingly, hand still on jaw.
“I WANT TO BE BAD!” adrenaline surged through me.
“What do you want to be?” he cupped his ear with his hand.
“BAD!” I jumped side-to-side like a boxer. “I WANT TO REACH A LEVEL OF PURE, UNADULTERATED, MIND-BLOWING BADNESS, OLD SPORT!”
“You’re ready, kid,” Malfoy offered his hand and I high-fived it.
“HECK YEAH I AM! I’M BAD! I’M MAD!”
Before Malfoy could give me any instruction, I -- under the influence of a newfound and definitely ephemeral confidence -- brandished my wand and aimed it at the filing cabinet, “CISTEM APERIO!”
The drawers of the cabinet sputtered open.
A manilla folder stuffed several inches thick with parchment soared through the air and landed gracefully in my hand.
I handed the folder to Malfoy with a curtsy.
“That was… impressive.”
“Though, we could have just walked over there and unlocked the drawer...”
“Well, that would have been much less dramatic, sir.”
“Of course,” he paused and then smiled at me. “An affinity for spectacle.. I like that.”
He opened the folder on Filch’s desk and began perusing its contents, sorting through parchment of various sizes.
“Disciplinary write ups,” Malfoy explained as he extracted four and made them vanish with his wand. “As I said before, I like to keep an admirable record. Not an immaculate sort of admirable, but a respect-demanding type of admirable. I want a record composed mostly of my most awe-inspiring crimes… that’s why I can’t let it be tainted with an excessive amount of write-ups that say ‘late to class’ or ‘caught smoking. A few, sure, sure,, shows a respectable lack of consideration. Too many… that looks sloppy.”
“Okay,” I nodded and pursed my lips, “But isn’t that a little dishonest?”
“Terribly so. Lovely, isn’t it?”
I ignored his question. “And does anyone even look at these records?”
“Headmaster McGonagall… you know, if the occasion warranted it. Perhaps generations of students to come. Maybe they’ll look at my history of ruffianism one day, be inspired,” he tapped the folder neatly against Filch’s desk before depositing it in its respective drawer space. “Then, of course, archaeologists, anthropologists… They’ll examine it eventually. And, I mean, I’m sure Filch looks over these in his spare time… You know, plops down in his chair after a long, taxing day of doing whatever the hell it is that he does… turns on some bluegrass to get in the mood… reads some student files… maybe makes a little love to himself if he can get it up that day... Something wrong?”
Malfoy realized I was staring at him with protuberant eyes.
“Oh right,” he half-smirked. “Virgin ears. My apologies.”
I frowned at him, eyes still wide with horror.
How mere words could evoke such... traumatizing... images.
I shivered in repulsion.
“Awe, come on, love. Don’t give me those eyes.”
I only frowned harder.
He narrowed a brow and grazed his thumb against his jawline, “You know what I think would make you feel better, Weasley?”
“The next task.”
The..the… the what now?
“The next task?”
“Weasley, please. That wasn’t even the opening act. I mean, that could hardly be considered as a warmup to what I actually had planned.” his voice had a playful lilt. “I am insulted.”
I flailed my arms out, “Well, I’m sorry, old sport, but I happened to think that was pretty intense stuff that just went down!”
Malfoy chuckled and started towards the door, “Come on.”
Come- come on?
I looked around incredulously, as if there were someone there that I could exchange a glance of disbelief with -- “Can you believe this chap?” -- and, upon accepting that there was no comforting soul to empathize with me, dramatically sighed, then trailed after Malfoy on a path that, most likely, led to death.
I hope this wasn't horrendously disappointing... because, really, that's all an author can hope for. Especially in a recession and in the face of an apocalypse...? Hmm.. I don't know what I'm saying... but thank you muchly for reading, kiddos. Also, reminder: making 11:11 wishes is important.