Chapter 4 : What One Has To Do
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The answer was of course in the fact that Lily was the queen of gossip and chit chat herself, and if she didn’t want something known it generally didn’t get known.
Merlin how I hated her sometimes.
“You’re dating Lily?” I asked stupidly, falling against the shelf behind me with an audible thud. The sweat was already beading on my hairline as I thought about getting the answer, even if I already had it. I wasn’t the most fantastic liar in the world, part of the reason I’m a prefect I think.
“Yes,” Matthew answered with a nod and my stomach dropped.
“And you want me to tell everyone?” I clarified, knowing in my gut that this was such a wrong thing to think about. Turning the attention to Lily (which she would most likely love deep, deep down) was just mean.
Then again, was it right for her to turn all the attention on me?
Suddenly someone was behind us, a shelf away, clearly unaware of our presence. I motioned for Matthew to be quiet at the same time he motioned to me.
“-- Yeah I heard they’ve been dating for weeks,” a hushed voice said just above my head. My eyes widened, just hoping that maybe they weren’t talking about me.
“Weeks? Oh boy, Eloise if going to have a fit when she hears about this!” exclaimed an exceptionally high-pitched voice on the other side of me.
“If she doesn’t already know,” the first voice said, almost fearfully.
Eloise? Why did that name sound so familiar? I wracked my brain for an answer quickly as the girls kept on talking.
“Merlin, she’s been after Scorpius for years, what do you think she’ll do to the Weasley girl?” the high-pitched one asked, taking a book out of the shelf right above my head.
I looked at Matthew.
They had to have been talking about Eloise Remeden, the Ravenclaw seventh year who had indeed been trying to get Scorpius to take her to The Three Broomsticks for at least three years. It was sometimes disgusting. Especially since one of those years he hadn’t even been allowed to go by his father to Hogsmeade.
I was going to die.
At least I didn’t have to worry about my Transfiguration O.W.L.S. I wouldn’t even be around to take them! I knew there was a silver lining to everything. Unfortunately I knew my face wasn’t showing that. It wasn’t taking the hint from my brain that maybe being obliviated by Eloise wasn’t too bad.
Who was I kidding? I was officially terrified.
My hands began to bounce nervously on my knees and Matthew patted me on the shoulder when we could hear their feet going in the other direction.
“Tell my dad I love him, despite his temper, and his funny looking nose,” I sighed quietly, sinking even further into the books if it was possible.
“Rose,” Matthew said quietly, patting me again for good measure and then standing up, holding the same hand out for me to take. I grabbed onto it and pulled myself up. “You know what to do,” he finished with that horribly cryptic smile at me and pushing some of the blonde hair out of his face so I could actually see his brown eyes.
They looked like they were laughing at me. Hmph.
“Yeah,” I said honestly, shoving my hands inside my robes and practically hugging myself. I knew exactly what I had to do. I didn’t like it, but I didn’t like being the center of attention either. That stupid Professor Woodenbaum. He wouldn’t have been able to predict the bloody past.
Matthew nodded and left me to my thoughts again, something I wasn’t particularly fond of. At least this time I had something productive to think about, other than Scorpius.
Who was the gossip vice-queen of Hogwarts? I couldn’t tell Lily, because that would just be redundant. My brain was going at a million kilometers a second. I tell you the exact recipe for a Polyjuice potion but test me over something social and I fall completely apart. Unless something was going on with my cousins (which it normally was) I didn’t have a slightest guess as to what was going on socially.
So who was as big of a gossip as Lily?
Eloise was, obviously, but I shouldn’t test my unlucky streak with her. There was always Marisa Green from the year above me in Gryffindor, I’ve heard her chatting around the common room. Wait! Oh goodness, how could I have been so silly? Of course there was a big gossip elsewhere in the castle, so much so that he almost eclipsed Lily herself. Bernard Cumberland, a Hufflepuff who was good at finding out information.
He was in my year too, which made a plan formulate in my head. All I had to do was ask him for an assignment and casually mention the two. Oh I was sometimes brilliant.
A smile was plastered on my face as I raced through the library, earning more than one dirty look from the librarian, his heavy sigh following me out the door. But there was no time for apologies, I’d ask mum for a book to donate later.
Rushing through the castle I took the stairs three at a time, knowing exactly where I could find Bernard. It was a great thing he was a creature of habit. Considering class would be resuming soon since it had only been a little while since lunch had ended, he would be hanging out near the bridge with his group of followers.
The entrance hall went and passed by with Hugo trying to chase after me, with me cleverly dodging him behind one of the many statues. Merlin bless him, he was such a nice (mostly) brother, but he wasn’t the smartest mandrake in the garden.
I whipped around a giggling group of first years who were staring at me as if I had grown a pair of wings and darted for the bridge. What class did I have next? That would be a good place to start. Right, I had Charms.
And there he was, his red head poking over the rest of the crowd at the bridge, Drooble’s gum very identifiable in his mouth by the bubble he had blown that was nearly double the size of his head.
“Bernard!” I shouted when I finally stopped, my lungs still trying to catch up with my legs. “Can--” I panted heavily and doubled-over. Maybe I should have taken Albus’s advice and gone out for Quidditch, I was so sodding out of shape. “Can you-” wooo, two syllables, I was really progressing. I’d have a question out in the next three hours. “Can you come talk to me really fast?” I almost shouted out in one big lump. He looked a bit startled but I started walking towards the end of the bridge anyways.
“Sure?” he questioned, motioning for his followers to stay behind and following me to the end.
“Do you have the assignment for Charms? I forgot to do it and need to get it done quickly before class,” I said almost proudly. I had never lied so well in my life. Unfortunately Bernard was looking at me strangely, his eyebrows knit together and analyzing the fading smile on my face.
I hadn’t done anything wrong! I had gotten his attention, posed the question, now all I had to do was casually mention Lily and Matthew and then it would all be fine and dandy. I could continue my studious non-existence and no one would even remember my little… nothing with Scorpius.
“But,” I hated buts. “You turned your essay in early, you were the first one done.”
My face would have fallen to the floor if it hadn’t been attached to my head.
“Oh… that’s why I don’t remember doing it in the common room…” what was I supposed to do now? My lie had fallen through and I hadn’t come prepared with a backup plan.
“Yeah… I’m going to go back now. See you in class.” No! He couldn’t leave. I needed something quickly, very quickly.
My hand shot out and grabbed onto his arm. “Wait, was it-” Think Rose, think! “Was it really you who found Lily and Matthew Monroe snogging in the broom closet?”
“What?” But his mouth was tugging up in a smile. It was like I had given a chocolate addicted kid chocolate. “Did that really happen?”
“Oh yeah,” I said awkwardly, tucking a strand of brunette hair behind my ear. “It’s all over the school that they’re dating now,” I nodded fervently, my brown eyes so wide I was sure he could see through my ruse.
“Really. Well, I wasn’t the guy to catch them, but thanks for the news. I better be getting back,” he was fully smiling at me now. Success! It was going to be everywhere in an hour tops, maybe even by the time Charms started up.
“Thanks for clearing everything up, Bernard!” I smiled and started walking casually towards the castle, waiting for the imminent flare up of whispers from behind me.
And there it was, almost like music to my ears now that I knew the whispers weren’t about me.
A/N I know its been a long time since I've posted, but I have finished this story! One more chapter left that I'll post when I have time. In the meantime, feel free to leave a review! Those are my favorite. Thank you!
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