On: Knocking Before Entering
“Hugh? Hugo? Do you have my purple jumper? You know, the one Mum gave me for—Oh, my God!”
My days back at Hogwarts were off to a great start.
“I’m—oh, my God, I’m so, so—I’m so sorry. Sorry.”
I was on my way to my brother’s room, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, and I stupidly opened the door to his dormitory without knocking. And there was a half-naked fourth year boy standing there. And his skin turned the colour of tomatoes as mine turned the colour of beets and I was way too slow about leaving. It was an all-around bad situation.
I shut the door and shouted, “Alright, I’ll just come back later!”
Did I have to say that? No. Did I anyway, because I’m the most awkward person on earth? Of course I did.
So I basically ran downstairs and found a group of people ogling around another person in the common room. Naturally, I had to investigate. The object of half of Gryffindor’s amazement was Angus Pucey, best friend to Albus and Scorpius, and member of the Slytherin House.
“It’s been two hours and already you’re finding ways to break the rules,” I remarked, noticing that James was the ringleader of all this. Apparently, the moment he found out the new password he’d gone and blabbed it to his little brother.
“Angus got a tattoo,” James told me, pointing at the thing on Angus’s bicep.
It was a mermaid. And it swam up and down his arm.
“Come on Rose, we’ve only just gotten back, can’t you wait at least a day before you resume Wet Blanket duties?”
“If you’re referring to my prefect duties, then no, I cannot. They resume right away.” I was not in the mood to continue that conversation. I turned on my heel and headed upstairs to the sixth year girls’ dormitory.
“Hey, there Rose! Chocolate frog?” Ariadne Sitwell was perched at the end of her bed, which was, as always, right next to mine. Her mousy brown hair fell around her face like it was molded into her.
I hesitated. She was always giving me chocolate frogs. “Sure.” I took the box from her. She looked particularly excited about this one. When I opened it up and saw the card inside, I understood why. “Ronald Weasley.”
She giggled. “I’ve gotten really good at opening the boxes and looking at the cards, but making sure the frogs don’t jump out.” She beamed, like this was an accomplishment she really should be proud of.
I smiled back at her, attempting to see the gesture as thoughtful, not creepy. “Thanks.”
As I entered the Great Hall that evening for supper, I remembered why I really hated every aspect of coming back to Hogwarts, besides the school part of it (then again, I only liked the school part of it sometimes). I was about to make my way over to the Gryffindor table and sit next to Ariadne. As creepy as she was, my choices were sitting with her or sitting by myself. I think it’s obvious why I chose what I did. Anyway, someone stopped me on my way to my seat.
I practically ran into the person. I looked up. It was Jasper Reed, sixth year, Ravenclaw. The only conversations we’d ever had consisted of him attempting to out-smart me in every subject. Needless to say, I was suspicious.
“Hello… Jasper…” I said warily, attempting to creep my away around him and make it to my house’s table before he strangled me or poisoned me or maimed me in some other way.
“How was your holiday?”
“It was… good.” The suspicion had not gone away.
“Well—where are you going?” He looked a little puzzled.
“To eat. Nourish myself.” Come to think of it, the boy was rather skinny. Probably didn’t do it often. Nourishing himself, that is.
He shrugged, looking a bit sheepish but also sinister, of course. “Well, just wanted to… catch up!” He looked happy, having thought up an excuse for the bizarre conversation he’d just attempted. “Anyway, see you in Transfiguration! And… Herbology, right?”
“Yes. And Defense Against the Dark Arts and Potions and Charms and Arithmancy and Divination.”
“I’m not actually in Arithmancy anymore. I dropped it last year.”
I rolled my eyes. “Whatever.” With a swoosh of my robes I finally reached my table.
“Oooooh… What was Jasper asking you about?”
“What? Nothing,” I snapped, rather rudely at Ariadne.
“It didn’t look like nothing from over here.”
“He was just being a git.” I snatched a roll up from one of the baskets laid out on the table and bit into it rather ferociously.
“If you ask me, he’s rather cute.”
I ignored her.
“Hey, Rose, is it alright if Louis sits here? Or are you gonna blab about it?”
“James—” I stopped myself. I was about to either a. shout a string of swear words at him, or b. make an utter, spluttering fool of myself. It was more likely that I would do scenario b.
“Relax, Rosie, I’m only joking! No need to get your knickers in a twist.”
I tried to do some calming breaths. You know, I think yoga would really do me some good. Why can’t they offer things like yoga at Hogwarts? It would help decrease all our stress levels a lot.
The next day, I had Potions first thing in the morning with Professor Zimmer. Or, as I like to call her, Fraulein Zimmer.
“Alright, today ve are vorking on ze creation of a memory potion. Ve just got in a new batch of Jobberknoll fazzers—”
Angus Pucey’s hand shot up into the air.
“I’m sorry—we need Jobber-what now?” he asked rudely.
His stupid cohorts giggled around him.
“Jobberknoll whats?” he repeated.
The Fraulein glared at him. “Fazzers.”
“I really—” He was trying desperately to suppress a laugh. He turned to Albus. “Do you know what she’s saying?”
“Fazzers. Ze Jobberknoll is a bird. It has fazzers.”
,” said Angus. “Feathers. Okay. Sorry about that.”
The Fraulein kept glaring.
“Feathers,” he repeated finally to himself.
“Precisely. Now, if everyone could get a partner,” Fraulein instructed.
“Rose?” Ariadne asked me from the desk across the way.
“Sure.” I stood.
“Hey, Rose, do—do you have a partner?”
I looked up. Jasper. I suppose he wanted to be my partner so he could boss me around and then claim that I messed everything up when we got a T on it.
“I’m working with Ariadne. Sorry,” I said quickly.
I heard Ariadne let out a little gasp from her spot on my right.
“Oh. Alright, then. Maybe next time.”
I made a bit of a face before turning back to my partner.
“Are you crazy! Thanks very much for thinking of me, but I would not have been offended if you’d chosen to work with Jasper instead of me.”
“It’s alright, I’d prefer to not be mocked for an hour straight.”
“What do you mean?” Ariadne asked. “He totally fancies you!”
I wasn’t about to take romantic advise from the girl who was constantly saving me chocolate frog cards based on my relatives. Relatives that I hate, mind you.
“No, he doesn’t. Let’s just get this done.”
“Alright. I’ll get the Jobberknoll fazzers, you get everything else.”
“Feathers,” I said, giving her a bit of a concerned look.
“I know she meant feathers, but fazzers is funnier!”
“Please call them feathers, or I will take you up on that offer and go work with Jasper,” I said seriously.
“Oh, Rose, you’re such a—”
“Alright, I’m going to go get the ingredients!”
I hurried off to the front of the room to collect the various ingredients for the memory potion. I picked a perfect moment, too: my cousin and his sidekicks were currently retrieving their ingredients, as well.
“Da, da, I vill get ze Jobberknoll fazzers. Vould you mind getting ze flobber-vorm parts, please?” Albus was saying in an overdone, stereotypical German accent.
“Da, das ist gut. Vat else do ve need besides ze flobber-vorm parts?” was Angus’s response.
“Ve need some ginger,” said Scorpius.
“Nyet, nyet, zat is ze wrong recipe, Scorpius, can’t you read?” Albus replied.
“Ja! Ich kann sehr gut read!”
“Nyet, you cannot.”
“It’s nein, Albus, not ‘nyet’,” I blurted. I couldn’t take the horrible slaughterings of the German language for much longer. Not that I had much of a connection to the German language, but the stupid twats were driving me bonkers.
“Vat? Vas ist das?” said Albus.
“Nyet is Russian for no. Nein is German.” I rolled my eyes and let out an uncontrollable little huff.
“Vas ist das? Das mein cousin know ze German—ze Deutsch better zan I do? Vas ist das?!” Albus started shrieking.
“God!” I let out, irritatedly throwing my head into my hands before snatching up one of every ingredient that lay before me and bringing it hastily back to my desk.
“Why did you get ginger?” Ariadne asked, holding the tuber delicately between her fingers.
“I don’t know,” I replied quickly, the frustration quickly brewing up inside me. “Can we just do this?”
“Sorry, didn’t know Aunt Flo was visiting this week.”
I ignored her. If I didn’t, I probably would’ve charmed her head off. I started angrily shredding knotgrass.
“It actually says to keep it in thicker clumps than that—that’s probably sufficiently shredded,” Ariadne said somewhat timidly.
“Yes, I suppose you’re right.” I dropped the knotgrass into the cauldron.
“Alright, I’ll sort the flobberworm parts if you start seeding the nettles,” she suggested.
Creepy as she was, Ariadne wasn’t half-bad as a Potions partner.
I did as I was told but couldn’t help staring at Albus & Co. out the corner of my eye. Then I gave in and looked at them out of the front of my eyes.
“Bollocks, I forgot to fill the cauldron,” said Albus.
“Not me,” Scorpius said, planting a finger on his nose.
“What are you doing?” Angus asked him.
“The nose game,” Scorpius replied, as though it was the simplest thing on earth.
“What in Merlin’s trousers is the nose game?” Angus probed incredulously.
“The nose game? How do you not know the nose game? The last person to put their finger on their nose has to do whatever everyone’s trying not to do.”
Angus and Albus looked at him blankly, until Angus finally flung a finger against his nose.
All of Albus’s friends look like vermin. It must be a thing with him. He looks like a rabbit, Scorpius looks rather like a ferret, and Angus like a mole. Actually, Angus looks more like a turtle, but mole works, too.
“Wait—absolutely not,” Albus said. “We only just learned this stupid thing.”
“All’s fair in the nose game,” Angus insisted with a shrug.
“Rock, paper, scissors?”
Angus sighed reluctantly. “Fine.”
“Rock—paper—scissors, says shoot!” Scorpius chanted.
Angus’s hand was in a fist, while Albus stuck out two fingers.
“Bam!” Albus shouted. “I just blew up your rock.”
“Not at all, you just made it spicy. Now I have a spicy rock. You can’t beat that.”
And how these boys passed their O.W.L.s is beyond me.
I was sitting in the back of the library at one of those tables. You know, the ones that are designed for silent working. Anyway, I was trying to do my Herbology homework. I was writing an essay on the positive uses of wolfsbane. You would think that maybe Professor Longbottom—who I have such trouble not calling ‘Neville’ during class—would go a bit easier on people like me, considering how many times my uncle and parents save his butt in the line of fire. But who am I to complain?
I’m getting sidetracked. So, first I was interrupted by this horrid smacking noise, and then a bunch of giggling, and then more smacking. I looked up, my usual scowl planted on my face, ready to shoot eye-daggers at the culprit of any noise in the silent section of the library. My eyes fell upon my cousin Albus and that Emily Zabini.
Let me tell you a wee bit about Emily Zabini. In truth, I’m afraid of her. Her dad was apparently great mates with Scorpius’s dad, so they’ve known each other since they were little. She has long black hair that falls in thick tresses to her lower back, skin the colour of mocha, and these sharp, piercing blue eyes that send a shudder through my body every time she looks at me. It doesn’t help that when she looks at me, it tends to be because she’s giving me some kind of angry stare-down and/or laughing at me.
Now she was snogging my cousin. He had her all pressed up against the book shelf, and would unsuction his face from hers every few seconds for a bit of giggling to be shared between the two of them, and then he’d brush some hairs all delicately away from her face before resuming the snogging session. It was all I could do to keep from retching childishly from my seat in the silent section
of the library.
Suddenly, someone appeared from seemingly nowhere and smacked Albus on the back of the head with a book. It was his lovely brother James.
James to the rescue?
“Would you stop your slurping? Some of us are trying to study, here,” he remarked.
James with a book in his hand. Quite
a rare sight.
Then I realised why he was there.
“Hi, James,” Camille Scott said, a hint of knowing in her nasal drawl.
I hadn’t noticed the twat had been sitting next to me the entire time.
“Fancy seeing you here, Camille,” said James, plopping down in one of the chairs across from her.
I sighed dramatically, hoping to make a point.
They ignored me.
“I should be saying the same to you,” said Camille.
“Why? I always do my homework.”
She let out a little titter. She’s annoying enough to titter.
“What are you working on?” James asked, leaning over to observe his love interest’s work.
“My Defense Against the Dark Arts essay.” She slid her parchment a little closer to her and away from his prying eyes and raised her eyebrows in an “unintentionally” flirtatious manner.
“Oh really? Well what’s it about that’s so secretive?” He raised his own eyebrow. Eyebrows are very key instruments in flirtation. He was finally able to get a look at what she was writing. “Expelliarmus: The Importance of a Simple Spell
. Well, didn’t my dad make that spell rather famous?”
She rolled her eyes, but in a “Oh, James, your arrogance is so silly!” kind of way.
Then they kind of stared at each other for a moment. I was afraid they, too, would start snogging, and I’d have to take cover under the table I was working at for fear of drowning in lip-smacking noises.
“I hate to interrupt this moment, but—I mean, this is the silent section of the library.” I tried to say it nicely. I swear to you.
Camille merely rolled her eyes again, and not in a flirtatious way this time. More like she just rolled her eyes at the stupidity of me.
“Sorry,” James said quickly, before turning back to the girl seated across from him. “Shall we move this exciting conversation outside?”
“I really do have to finish this. Sorry,” Camille said half-convincingly.
“Alright.” James stood, defeated. “I should probably get started on my own work, anyway.”
I could almost feel sorry for the guy.
The next day I was practically bored to tears during Transfiguration class. Professor Pearson was giving a lecture on Animagi. I’d already suffered through Ron Weasley’s Animagus tutorial enough times in my life.
Jasper Reed kept turning around and smiling at me. Albus and Co. kept passing notes back and forth and snorting with laughter at one another. Camille was smearing her fingernails with a hideous, acid green varnish, which of course the professor didn’t notice. I swear she charmed him.
My life is bollocks.
I started mindlessly drawing little caricatures of everyone in the room. I drew the Vermin, aka: Albus, Angus, and Scorpius. I should probably call them the Verminus, because all their names end in –us. How annoying. I scrawled ‘Verminus’ at the top of the page, above the cartoonish humans with respective bunny, mole, and ferret heads (I’ll admit I improvised a little with the ferret head. I’m not really sure what a ferret looks like…). Then I moved around the room. Jasper became a spindly, bean-pole of a boy, while Camille Scott and Emily Zabini glared off the page. I thought about my family members, and drew Victoire with her stupid Disney princess hair, complete with a moustache and all, and then perfect Teddy, walking away from her to join me.
“Ms. Weasley. Rose.”
I looked up.
“Care to answer my question?”
“…Of—of course,” I stammered.
Professor Pearson raised an eyebrow.
“I—I’m sorry. What was the question, again?”
Snickering flooded the room, mainly concentrated around the Verminus.
“That’s what I thought. Care to pay attention rather than doodle on your parchment?”
I could feel the red colour seeping across my cheeks. “Sorry, sir.”
“Jasper, perhaps you can answer? Is there any known way to make an Animagus return to its original, human form?”
“Um—well, I think Rose could answer the question.”
Stupid bugger, trying to make me look stupid. He cast a quick glance over his shoulder, giving me this stupid little smirk. I hate him.
“Yes, but I’m asking you.”
Serves you right, you plonker.
The rest of my morning was spent avoiding human contact at all costs. I made it to lunch in one piece, thankfully. Well, that is, until I was through eating and got up to go finish up that Herbology assignment before class started. I stood, turned, and smashed straight into someone who handily dumped an entire goblet of pumpkin juice down my front.
It was Tony McLaggen, that terrifyingly stupid seventh year. Now everyone was staring at me. And I had pumpkin juice all down my white blouse. And people were laughing. So I did the only thing Rose Weasley ever does. I ran.
I hate my life. The bugger didn’t even apologise. He probably did it on purpose—oh, let’s dump some pumpkin juice down the front of that flat-chested Rose Weasley’s shirt and watch her squirm. Of course, in my moment of glory, I tripped on the stairs and my things flew everywhere. Just when I was getting used to picking up all my crap by myself, someone came rushing over, but stopped at the top of the stairs.
“Noticed it was me and decided I wasn’t worth helping?” I asked the ferret standing on the landing.
“Wha—? No, sorry.” He jogged down a few steps and picked up the last few pieces of parchment that had flown all over the place. Then I realised he was looking at something. “The Verminus?”
I snatched the parchment out of his hand.
“What was that? Was that me?”
“Don’t flatter yourself,” I told him.
“Because don’t think you’re the first person to call me a ferret.”
“It’s not you, Scorpius. It’s—it’s… A children’s novel I’m working on. There, you have it. My secret aspiration is to be a Muggle children’s novelist. Like… that… Ro—what’s his name? Roald Dahl! Yes. You know, that… Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
business. I’m writing my own. It’s called… The Ferret
.” I paused. “And the… Petting Zoo
. Quite a complicated plotline, actually, I really don’t have time to explain it to you.” I stood up rather hastily, and almost smacked him in the nose.
“It really is. Wish I had more time to explain it.” I had to look away, but I played it off as me being snooty—I just pictured myself as Camille for a second. I’m a terrible liar, incase you haven’t noticed.
“Well, be sure to send me a copy when it gets published.”
“Oh, of course. Except, you’ll have to pay extra if you want it signed.”
“I don’t want it signed.”
“Fine, I won’t sign it then.”
I kept standing there, like I was waiting for him to do something. I really don’t know why. Finally he cleared his throat rather uncomfortably and marched by me and down the stairs.
I really didn’t think my return to Hogwarts could get much worse.
: This was probably the worst chapter, plot-wise, that I’ve written thus far. I’m really sorry. I’m not moving along much at all. I just don’t want to rush into the juicy plots too quickly, which is what I tend to do. I promise, though, NEXT CHAPTER: a cousin makes an exciting confession you do not want to miss! I feel like I’m advertising a soap opera, honestly.
Speaking of advertising… I can’t help but do a little self-promotion here. Please check out my other story (The Icing on the Cake
) if you get a chance! It’s about Victoire in her seventh year (in fact, it picks up exactly where the epilogue of Deathly Hallows
ended…) and I have a lot of ideas for it, but it’s hard to find motivation to continue when I’ve been getting so little feedback! Thanks :)
Lastly, should I make a Meet the Author page? Someone mentioned it to me but I don’t really know if anyone would actually visit it… Let me know! Thanks for reading!! Reviews are always much appreciated! ^^