JK owns it all :'(
Problem 35: How the hell do I get into the Room of Requirement?
I’ve tried freaking every combination of words I can think of – I have limited mental capacity! My brain is full of Scorpius, I can’t think about other things right now!
I am indulging myself in a bout of drooling over Scorpius when guess who comes barrelling along the corridor?
That git himself, Fred Weasley.
“FRED!” I yell, and tackle him. We both go flying, but luckily he acts as a cushion for my body. I could have been hurt, you know. He’s going to get hurt, if I keep hitting him like this.
“Ow! Rose! Gerrof!” he shouts, “HELP!”
Whilst he’s trying unsuccessfully to stop me from hitting every part of him I can reach, I’m happily pummelling him.
“BASTARD HYPOCRIT LOSER TWIT IDIOT KISSING PEOPLE!” I roar, “HOW COULD YOU?!”
“Do what?” he squeaks back, “What have I done to deserve – OW!”
“What on Earth is going on here?” barks someone from behind me. I turn to see who it is and Fred pushes me off him swiftly, clambering to his feet and backing away.
“She attacked me!” he accuses, pointing a finger in my direction.
It’s okay, it’s only James. I can totally blackmail both these people! Who first?
“Have you heard,” I say in a low voice, getting back to my feet and smoothing my hair, “What Fred has been up to in secluded classrooms?”
Fred blanches, but James looks interested. “Nope. Is it bad? Should I tell his mother?” he asks eagerly.
“No!” Fred replies quickly, and seeing us both look at him – James out of curiosity and I with the devious expression that means he is in for it – adds, “No... it’s not... bad?”
“The hell it’s not,” I growl, “Do you have any idea how upset—“
“Rose please don’t, it’s James!” he tries, “He’ll go nuts!”
“He’ll go nuts?! HE will go nuts?! What about me? Or, perhaps, OLIVIA!” I yell at him.
I want to break stuff.
And stamp on it.
Break stuff, stamp on it, and then kick Fred!
“What about Olivia?” James asks, “What have you done to Livi, Fred?” Geez, he sounds scary. Like an evil, creepy, angry guy.
“Yeah Fred,” I say sweetly, “Why do you think I might have been hurting you?”
“I think... that...” he struggles valiantly, then sets his jaw and bravely, somewhat irritatingly, says: “You probably don’t like me because I’ve been kissing boys behind your back.”
James’ mouth pops open into a round little ‘o’.
“That just makes me sound homophobic!” I protest, “And what do you mean, ‘boys’?”
“You know,” he says airily, waving a hand in no apparent direction, “The male sex. I could list them, but it would take a while.”
“You little slut!” I hiss, “What if they have girlfriends? Or boyfriends?”
He shrugs. I make to pounce on him again, but James grabs my arm.
“Rose!” he says sharply, “Don’t hurt Fred.”
Fred grins. “Yeah, Rose!”
“Aunty Ange can do that for us,” he continues. Fred’s face falls into a mask of horror.
Take that, you little scumbag!
“Please, James, don’t tell mum,” he pleads.
“If he doesn’t tell her, I bloody well will!” I huff, “James?”
“I have the afternoon off. If you get a Howler in the post tomorrow, then I expect my visit to our family to have gone well,” he replies casually, “Bye, cousins.”
I glare at Fred. “Since when are you gay?” I growl, “You spend ninety percent of the time just mocking Louis shamelessly for even wearing pink!”
“Why are you making this such a big deal?” he sniffs back, “It’s not like you’ve never seen a gay guy before! And Louis is a wuss; I mock him because he’s ridiculous. Did you hear what he did to Lysander? The only guy willing to kiss him and he punched him in the face.” He holds his hands up, as if saying ‘my point is proven’.
“Louis has no guidance!” I snap, “At least he manages to focus on one person at a time, whore.”
“He was dating Petrova, unless I’m very much mistaken, whilst snogging Lysander, so you can get off your high horse, Rose!” Fred replies smartly. He’s making me feel like an idiot. “Why do you care so much if I like boys?”
“Because you like the wrong ones!” I yell, “You were kissing someone with. A. Girlfriend!”
“He wasn’t complaining,” he points out, “In fact, he initiated the kiss. I only went along with it.”
I huff and slide to the floor. “This is ridiculous. You’re ridiculous!”
Fred shrugs and joins me. “Yep. I didn’t even think about it, Rose. I was innocently walking to my common room, and he was walking with me. Complaining about Livi, I think – something about stressing out about a nickname he gave her? I don’t know, I zoned out – and he kissed me!” He awkwardly runs a hand through his hair, and sighs. “Maybe I’m getting a reputation. Imagine that: Fred the man kisser.”
“Meh, could be worse,” I reply, picking at a hole in my jumper, “I don’t think I’m mad at you any more, Fred.”
“Good,” he says, “Because I’m assuming Livi’s going to rip my legs off, shortly followed by Caspar tearing off my arms. I’d kind of assumed you’d be stamping on my head, if I’m honest, so it’s nice to know some part of me will be left.” He grins at me, testing my reaction. I laugh.
“You can keep your head,” I say, still smiling, “And probably your arms. Livi and Caspar just had a duel in our dormitory.”
“Again?” Fred asks, groaning, and seeing my disbelieving expression, continues: “Didn’t you know? Caspar and Livi have been sniping at each other ever since you went into the hospital wing.”
“Really?” I cannot believe this. They. Are. Friends.
“Yep,” Fred pops the ‘p’ loudly, frowning at me, “You honestly haven’t noticed? Caspar had no eyebrows for a good two days; Livi honked every time she opened her mouth; both of them had leg locking curses on them most of the time. They were in a war, Rose. What got into them?”
“Piss,” I sigh, “I have no idea. I’ve been trying to track Caspar down, but then I started attacking you.”
“It hurt,” he admits, “You have really hard fists. I saw Caspar, by the way. She was heading towards the kitchens.”
Got her now.
“Thanks, Fred,” I say, clambering to my feet, “Sorry about my hard fists!”
Caspar is staring blankly at a slice of Victoria sponge. Fork in hand; she pokes it, as if it’s a particularly disgusting animal that has crawled onto her plate by accident.
I sit opposite her, an eyebrow cocked.
“You gonna tell me why you and Livi keep shooting curses at each other?” I enquire. Caspar drops the fork with a clatter, and looks up at me.
“Who told you about that?” she says sharply.
I roll my eyes. “Just answer the question, Cas.”
Picking up her fork, she resumes poking the cake. “I don’t know, Rose. She just fucks me off! She’s so uppity – hey, it’s not my fault I only have one parent! And yeah, I get it, I’m a cheating scumbag, but she doesn’t have to be so cruel about it. I’m not a psychopath; I do feel shit about it already.”
“When did you start cursing each other?” I think I might as well interrogate her. She’s here; I’m here: what further reason do I need?
She shrugs. “A while back. Remember when Lily started meow-ing? That was kind of our fault. It’s quite funny, now I think about it. It really escalated when you got sick; there was no buffer between us. She’s stupid, smelly and selfish,” she pronounces, “And she doesn’t deserve Luke, anyway.”
“She doesn’t really have him,” I say glumly, “I just saw Fred. Apparently it was Luke who started the whole tongues-down-throats business.”
She perks up at that. “Really? Now that’s interesting!” She cackles. No, really. “I would have loved to see Livi’s face when she found that out!”
“Caspar Clark!” I reprimand, “Be nice! She wasn’t there, anyway – she stayed in the dorm. Alone. Crying.” I’m trying to make Caspar feel sorry for Livi – Merlin knows why, they were both as stupid as each other – but all she does is take a forkful of cake to her mouth. Cautiously, she pokes it into her mouth.
Watching Caspar eat is weird. She’s extremely cautious, like the food is about to explode and she doesn’t want to trigger it. Hence, she eats ridiculously slowly.
I watch her for a further few minutes, in which she makes no attempt at conversation.
“I’m going back to the common room,” I announce at length, “Coming?”
“Nope,” she replies, “Don’t wait up for me, either. I’m sleeping in the Room of Requirement tonight.”
I raise an eyebrow, but say nothing. Let’s face it; she and Livi are likely to blow up the tower if they keep fighting.
Closing the painting that hides the kitchens, I decide I have to talk to Livi about the whole situation, too. But later.
Where are the Slytherin common rooms, again? I bet Scorpius would smell really nice right now.
I am such a weirdo sometimes.
Do you have mental issues?
I don’t even know where the Slytherin common room is. Didn’t someone say it was underwater?
Hang on, how would they breathe?
Aha! A door!
In triumph, I grasp the handle and pull. Nothing. I frown and tug at the handle harder, willing the door to open. Still, it refuses to budge. Enough! I pull out my wand, tap the handle and say clearly:
Victory! The door yields beneath my fingers, much to my satisfaction, and I happily tug it open to find – oh. And I put in all that effort, too. A dingy, cluttered broom cupboard stares up at me, as if it’s answered all my prayers.
Unless I was praying for dusty cleaning equipment, this has been pretty useless.
I close the door, sigh, and continue making my way through the corridors. Hopefully my Scorpius radar will guide me to him.
This is my Scorpius radar.
Aha! A person!
“Hey!” I call, “Wait up!”
My saviour turns around, and I find that it is Scarlett.
“Wow, hi Rose,” she says, “What the hell are you doing around here?”
I wave a hand airily, noting her calculating gaze. “You know, looking around,” I reply, “Don’t happen to have seen Scorpius, do you?”
She sniggers. “You’re trying to find the Slytherin common rooms, aren’t you? No, I haven’t seen him. Have you seen Albus?”
“Nope,” I reply, “Shall we?” I gesture to keep walking, and so we start strolling casually through the dingy corridors of Hogwarts. “So... why would you be looking for my dear cousin, exactly?”
She shrugs nonchalantly. “No reason. Why would you be looking for Scorpius?”
Fine, if that’s how you’re going to play this, then I will not be out-breezed!
“Oh, you know,” I smile demurely, “Just because.”
“Just because? How mysterious,” she deadpans, “Cut the shit, Weasley. Where. Is. Albus?”
“I genuinely do not know the answer,” I reply honestly, “Where’s Scorp?”
“Piss! I don’t know that, either. Merlin’s arse, where the hell does he disappear to?” she grumbles, “One moment he’s all “I’m just going to get my gloves” and then he’s gone!”
“Last I heard he was chasing after one of my friends. Caspar and Livi are fighting, you know,” I huff, “And no one – absolutely no one – bothered telling me! I found out because they started blowing holes in each other’s beds.”
“They said they’d tell you ‘sooner or later’ when I confronted them about it,” Scarlett rolls her eyes, “I figured it would get out of hand before either of them said a word to you. Kind of nice, watching everyone’s lives go to shit. In a few years we’ll all just be passing acquaintances – apart from Albus and I, of course. He’s going to marry me and we’ll snog ourselves to death.”
“You have such aspiring plans for the future,” I say dryly, “Snogging my cousin to death. Lovely.”
She pokes me in the arm and tuts loudly. “It’s good to have a plan! Besides, I don’t see you making contingency plans for your departure from full-time education.”
“Of course I have plans!” I disagree, tucking some errant strands of hair behind my ear, “I’m going to be very, very rich and Scorpius is going to be chained to my kitchen. He will look pretty and make me cookies.” I grin at her. It’s not like I’ve given this thought, or anything.
Eesh, these corridors are so creepy! I swear I just heard someone behind us.
There are footsteps following us.
No, can’t be. It’s all in my head.
“Did you hear that?” whispers Scarlett, whipping around quickly.
Hooray! I’m not crazy! She hears it too!
“Yes,” I breathe back, pulling out my wand, “Oh my Merlin, I’m about to be killed. And I haven’t even graduated!”
Scarlett sniggers. The ghostly presence sniggers too.
“Oh fucking hell,” Scarlett says at normal volume, “How long have you been following us, you complete dunder-buckets?”
A sheepish Albus pulls his invisibility cloak off him and Scorpius, trying to look innocent. THERE HE IS!
“You always listen in on my conversations!” I huff at Albus, “Hast thou no dignity?”
They shrug in unison. “Nope,” says Al.
“Not really,” smirks Scorpius.
Scarlett swiftly plucks the cloak from Al’s fingers. Ignoring his protests, she stuffs it under her jumper.
“I’m confiscating this as a prefect,” she says sweetly, “You can have it back once you’ve learnt your lesson.”
And then she turns and struts away. Albus stares at her like she’s water in a desert – he’s pretty much got his tongue hanging out. I thump him on the chest and make twitchy head movements.
“Ow!” he complains, “What was that for?”
“Follow her, dimwit,” I hiss back, “You listened to the conversation!”
Grinning, he dashes after her. I dread to think what they’re going to get up to.
I bet I will find Albus wandering around looking dazed later, in a fit of teenage love and uselessness. Why am I speculating over Albus? I’ve forgotten the more important things in life: Scorpius.
He’s assuming he’s off the hook, I guess. Since, you know, he’s got that adorable little face on. I raise an eyebrow. He raises one back.
Oh hell to the nah! He did not just instate an eyebrow battle!
I lower my eyebrows into a glare, scowling at my beloved Scorpius. He’s so irritatingly lovely.
“What?” he asks innocently.
“You were eavesdropping!” I accuse, pointing a finger firmly at his chest. He takes the hand in his.
Now I will go all gooey and he’ll be off the hook.
“Was I?” he says, “I was only following the object of my affections...”
“Oh so I’m an object now, am I?” I snap back, but my resolve is weakening. Must be angry. Must be angry. Must be angry.
He pulls me towards him and whispers into my neck – oh, right, because that’s where I pick up sound – “You’re mine, Rose.”
How am I supposed to be angry at him now?
I think I’ll just move a little bit closer.
And a bit closer.
Okay, so if I get any closer I might as well just surgically attach myself to him.
“Let’s go get some cookies,” Scorpius says.
Gah! He’s so mind-achingly sweet!
He will talk and all my teeth will fall out and I will have false teeth aged eighteen.
Then he will be horrified because I’ll keep them in a jar by my bed and that will be gross.
But, on the positive, I will be unarmed and therefore quite harmless, providing I don’t have a wand on me.