Chapter 4 : The BGE, Among Other Things
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Grinning, Rose slung her bag down onto the ground.
“You know, sometimes I forget how weird you are,” she remarked conversationally.
Sarah’s eyes popped open and the singing stopped.
“You always remember, though, right?” She asked, cocking her head to the side and blinking her cat eyes.
The two felt their lips stretch out simultaneously, and Sarah let her chair fall onto all fours with a clatter, straightening herself in it.
“So,” she began, “Are we off to the library after this, to discover the secrets of the blue-goop egg?”
Rose shot her a look.
“Please don’t make me,” she moaned, but her tone was already resigned.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Sarah replied cheerfully.
They’d already spent one afternoon in the library, sorting through books on magical creatures that sprung from eggs. It was turning out to be hopeless; they had gotten through all the books starting with the letter “A” thus far: A Comprehensive Guide to Magical Creatures; An Encyclopedic Reference of Reptiles; All You Ever Wanted to Know About Fwoopers.
Which was, quite frankly, slightly more than anyone ever needed to know about Fwoopers. However, since ‘Fwooper’ is such a delightfully odd word, it developed into a sort of catch phrase; one could merely say the word, when in a particularly dry section of their reading, and elicit a giggle with it. When you’re at hour three of egg-hunting among entirely useless and not to mention boring books, you take humor where you can get it.
Fwooper. Fwooper, Fwooper.
Sarah could already see Rose’s eyes glazing over.
“There are just too many things it could be,” Rose said, mumbling now, because Drundles had started class.
And it was clearly still on her mind fifteen minutes later when they turned their burners on and started their cauldrons because, as Sarah added carefully measured amounts of powdered lacewings to her draught, Rose mumbled something more.
“This is hopeless.”
Sarah glanced up.
Rose could, of course, be talking about her potion. That was also in a rather sorry state.
It was the right color- a brown that evoked images of wet sand - but there was something very definitely off in the consistency. It was too runny to match the turbid sludge everyone else seemed to be brewing. Rose, entirely used to having a potion which was always just a bit different than it ought to be, paid no mind and continued her stirring.
“It’s just that it’s positively mind-numbing,” she finally mumbled.
Which confirmed it; she was talking about the quest that they had embarked upon; the quest for the blue-goop egg, which they had begun to refer to as BGE.
Sarah just shrugged, and then there was a small stretch of silence before she opened her mouth again, this time somewhat smug.
“Would you rather be in Binns’s class for four hours, or search for the BGE for four hours?”
Rose appeared to be actually thinking.
“BGE,” she finally said, defeated.
“And would you rather serve a detention cleaning bedpans with Madam Delhorn for four hours,” Sarah asked, naming the school’s matron, “or search for the BGE?”
Rose scowled, her face actually turning surly.
“BGE,” she mumbled, sour and reluctant.
“And would you rather start your potions essay on the history of the mooncalf plant in potions-making, or search for the BGE?”
“Oh, stop,” Rose said irritably. “We will search for the blue-goop egg and I will plaster a smile on my face as we do it.”
Sarah grinned her triumph.
Rose stuck out her tongue.
“I hate you, you know.”
Sarah ignored that.
And when class was over and done with, Rose shot Sarah the look of a pitiful, dying creature, before slapping on the promised smile and gathering her things. It was a peculiar look on her. She looked half like she wanted to strangle something, and, with her slightly demented grin, the other half of looked like she was being strangled; it was the sort of face mid-seventeenth century tapestries are made of.
Sarah snorted at the twisted grimace before her, then shook her head bemusedly and led the way to the library.
“Today will be the day,” she said, cheerfully optimistic, and a distinct bounce in her stride. “We will find the BGE within a book starting with ‘B.’ I can feel it.”
“Yeah, if ‘B’ is for boring, bloody ridiculous, bonkers…” Rose muttered mutinously, before starting to lose steam. “Um, b-… brainless… bothersome…”
“Beleaguering?” Sarah offered.
“Yeah, that works, too,” Rose mumbled back, frowning. “Beleaguering. How the fuck do you even spell that?”
“Not a clue.”
“Beleaguering,” Rose repeated, mystified. “That was a good one, Sarah.”
“I do try,” Sarah said easily, her eyes laughing.
Rose repeated it to herself under her breath a couple more times, stressing different syllables, and Sarah grinned cheekily.
“You could almost say it’s brilliant,” she added, innocently.
Rose’s head jerked up and a silly grin lit onto her face.
“A bold claim.” She nodded gravely.
“But not brash.”
Rose snorted, and the two shared a grin.
Then, tilting her head sideways experimentally, Rose asked “You really think today will be the day?”
“I think it could be.”
Rose’s eyes narrowed.
“You said you could feel it.”
Sarah pursed her lips in thought.
“Today will be the day,” she finally said with assertion. “By the divination powers Professor Serta invested within me, I can See it.”
With a flat gaze, Rose regarded her.
“That ridiculous bat?” She asked skeptically.
“The one and only.”
“She told me I was going to die of Dragon Pox in third year.”
“Hm. Well, maybe you did.”
Rose blanched, unsure if Sarah was taking a piss or not.
“You don’t make sense,” she finally settled for.
Sarah just lifted her shoulders.
“The Universe works in mystic ways, Miss Weasley.”
“That and your head,” Rose mumbled in agreement.
At which point they reached the library, and headed towards the Magical Creatures section. The great room was quiescent; still with all the inactivity of a Wednesday right after class. The hushed monotones of the few that were there were soporific in the extreme, and the dullness of the place seeped into the muted brown of the shelves, the faded color of the carpet, the ancient spines with indistinguishable lettering. In short, it all was all set up to have gone good and well, except for the fact that someone was there, seated on the floor between two towering shelves under the sign “Magical Creatures.” And that person was Scorpius Malfoy.
Upon seeing their appearance, Scorpius scrambled to his feet and remained standing with his jaw slightly unhinged for about five whole seconds.
“Er- I…” He said.
Which was a mistake, really. When one has nothing to say, one should never substitute by mumbling jibberish. It rarely helps. Because then one will find oneself on the receiving end of skeptic, inquiring looks, like the two nearly identical ones slapped onto the faces before Scorpius: raised brows, a wrinkled forehead, puckered lips, and lightly disconcerted eyes.
“Yes?” Sarah prodded.
“I actually have to go,” he mumbled, raking a hand through his blonde hair. “Uh, sorry.”
Rose smiled rather uncertainly, and Sarah shrugged as if she didn’t care either way.
In any case, this gave Scorpius leave to fairly bolt from the library.
“Well that was odd,” Sarah muttered, before turned to the books and scanning the titles.
Rose, however, remained fixed on the spot, her eyes growing horrified as she watched the place where Scorpius disappeared from. A sudden grip seized at Sarah’s wrist, nails and all.
“Ow!” Sarah yelped, whirling to find Rose fairly frozen in something like terror.
“He knows,” she whispered, voice strangled.
“Bloody hell, Rose,” Sarah muttered back, wrenching her arm away from Rose’s claw. “He knows what?”
“He knows I fancy him!”
Sarah stared at Rose for a long time, successfully keeping her face clean of mirth, but not quite managing to hide the incredulity.
“Did you- Did you tell him?” Rose demanded quietly, her fervor more than mildly alarming.
“Of course not.”
“Well, he knows,” she insisted.
“And how do you know he knows, exactly?” Sarah asked, with the approach one takes with a madwoman, or a grandma. The cautious, just-humor-her type.
“That’s helpful,” she snorted.
“Just- just because…” Rose floundered.
Then it all came out in a rush.
“Did you not just see him?” She asked imploringly. “He has to know! And it’s so humiliating because of course he doesn’t really like me back, y’know, in that way, because I’m so horrifyingly awkward around him and that means I’m always this horrifying shade of red around him, and no one wants a girl who looks like a tomato half the time and a cooked lobster the rest of the time and now he probably doesn’t want to be even friends, even though we’re barely friends as it is, because no one wants to be friends with someone who-”
“Oh, shut it,” Sarah finally said, and Rose was cut off. “I like you a good deal, Rose, but you’re a bit self conscious sometimes and when you are you get enormously whiny. And I’ll tell you what, no one wants anyone who’s whiny. I’m saying that as your friend.”
Rose blinked, looked a bit put out, and then just appeared relieved that the place that particular line of thought had been going had been obliterated.
“Well, first of all,” Sarah began, her tone placating and irenic, “you were definitely not the awkward one in that situation. Take comfort in that.”
Rose’s lips twitched down, and the wrinkle that appeared in her forehead whenever anything required a good bit of though etched itself into her skin.
“Okay,” she said slowly, and nodding. “And second of all?”
It was Sarah’s turn to frown.
“Hadn’t gotten there yet.”
“Oh. Tell me when you do?”
They pondered quietly side by side, which provided Albus to arrive upon a suitably silent scene.
Entirely out of breath, his chest moving visibly under his cloak and his odd hair stuck out all over, he swung around a book shelf with an exuberant smile on his face and a distinct light of glee in his eyes.
“Guys! I know what it is!”
“What what is?” Rose asked slowly, turning to face him.
He grinned hugely.
A/N: Alrighty then. I just wrote this and it's been read through a total of (drumroll) once, so please tell me what needs fixing. Thanks for reading!
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