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How to Organise Strangers and Create Chaos by TheGoldenKneazle
Chapter 2 : Job 2: Stop Matchmaking My Friends
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 5


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Holy awesome CI by JaydScarlett at TDA!

Job 2: Stop Matchmaking My Friends 

“I’m so sorry!” I said for the hundredth time to a slightly shell-shocked Ron Weasley and a bemused Rose, who had come out to meet me along with a smirking Hugo. Frankly, I am considering tattooing ‘SORRY’ in turquoise across my forehead, that is how many things that are always going wrong because of me. It would be easier than having to say it every time.

After waiting for a good forty minutes on the roof of my house, I had fallen asleep, and when Ron Weasley eventually apparated to me (Hugo took his time telling them, the little bugger) the crack surprised me so much that I had leapt up backwards and knocked us both nearly off the edge of the roof. He, or course, had the good sense to on-the-spot apparate as he fell, because of the auror training, while I fell backwards into our neighbours’ pond.

They weren’t even out. 

And because they are muggles, Ron couldn’t even levitate me up; I had to climb up the outside of our house to the roof, in a dripping wet bikini and kaftan.

These are the kind of moments that make you want to give up on life, because they are just that bad. Unfortunately, I have many of this kind of experiences, yet an optimistic side that only comes out in the most crap of situations. Otherwise, I’m pretty sarky, according to my friends. Yay for sarcasm.

And then I nearly fell over again, with the weight of my trunk. Ron took it after that, and sensibly apparated me away before anything else could happen.

That is how I arrived at Rose’s house, where I am staying for the remainder of the summer, fortunately. I may lose my (remaining) sanity otherwise.

I fell flat on my face when we landed, of course, with my trunk on top of me. Rose ran out and pulled the trunk off before sweeping me into a giant bear hug and squealing loudly. I was doing the same, too.

“ROSIEE! Omigosh I have missed you SO MUCH!!”

“PEPPER! Argh, I can’t believe how long it has been, and how bad were your parents?!”
There was a sinister click from behind me, and I turned around to see Hugo holding a camera, having just taken a photo of me. 

Me, in my bikini and kaftan (which was now pretty much see-through thanks to the water).

Dripping with pondweed, and no make-up, and hair plastered to my head.

“HUGO WEASLEY!” I leapt after him, but he had his broom with him and made a quick exit. Dammit, that boy is SO ANNOYING.

Rose and I shouted profanities after him, but he had long gone. Rose turned to me and grinned. “It’s nice to see you arrived true Pepper-style. You’ll have to tell me about it!”

I grimaced as she linked my arm and walked me back to the kitchen. “Erm… well, I was forced onto the roof to get the knight bus, because my parents have gone all vehicle-hating again, and then I fell asleep waiting for Hugo to get your Dad to come, then when he arrived I knocked us both off the roof, only he apparated to the top again, and I fell into the neighbours’ pond. And had to climb up the house to get in.”

Rose burst out laughing, and Hermione (who had heard the tail end of the story) performed a quick drying spell on me so I started to steam, with my longish brown hair frizzing to the max.

Click!

“HUGO!” I shouted, leaping up yet again, but he was gone. This is happening a little too often… but then Hugo is almost as annoying as Pig. Actually, no, Pig is so much worse! I sighed and followed Rose into the hallway so we could go up to her room.

“So,” she started. “Al and Louis are arriving tomorrow, early. Although that probably means they’ll arrive at about half two. But whatever. We’re doing the timetable of whose houses we’ll stay at each day then.” I nodded along to all the statement, ending up looking like a nodding dog. A steaming, bikini-wearing, frizzed-up nodding dog.

But with the timetable? We have the last ten days of the summer together before Hogwarts, starting tomorrow. We’ll all four stay at each others’ houses twice, before The Burrow for the last two days plus September 1st… which promises to be the most stressful morning of the whole year. No kidding – you would think the same if you had Hermione Weasley plus the Potter boys to deal with.

On the plus side, it will mean that we have Molly Weasley food to take with us!

On the minus side, it will mean being woken up at half past five to hang around for five hours amongst shouting families to eventually be crammed into a tiny car and only just make it on time, along with the entire Weasley clan. But whatever – it’s what I love about them!

“So. No gossip until the boys get here, or we’ll have to repeat it all and they’ll get cross.” Rose giggled and I rolled my eyes. Rose can be seriously kick-ass when she likes, but is also very giggly.

“Anything we don’t want them to hear?” I asked, eyebrows raised. There is generally quite a lot of stuff Rose doesn’t mean to get spread to Lou and Al, but it ends up there anyway. Like, the time that she had seven minutes in heaven with Luke Wood last year at a Gryffindor victory party? The guy was in the hospital wing twenty four hours later.

The Weasleys also have an overprotective complex, in case you hadn’t got that. Lily Potter probably suffers from it most, though – no boys will even go near here anymore, they are that scared.

“Give me a few minutes to collect my thoughts on that!” she grinned, and I laughed. 

“Ok, well seeing as this is our only night without the guys… you wanna have a real girly evening?” I asked, knowing full well what her answer would be.

“You betcha!”

And so, twenty minutes later, we were sprawled on her bed with glowing toenails, surrounded by old copies of Witch Weekly, and Rose was experimenting on me. Yes, I was feeling very generous towards her ‘creative’ side right now, but would probably regret it later, like always.

We had found a dozen ‘12-minute potions’ to ‘beautify yourself beyond your wildest dreams’ with ‘just a little domestic help’. 

And so, Rose was doing my eyebrows (which I hate) and I had already done her ‘flawless face’ potion. I wasn’t allowed to see them until she was done, but it was all I could do to not giggle at her green-and-blue face, covered in paste, looming above me. We were having a good boy chat, and currently rating many sixth and seventh years.

“So, Rose… Malcolm Jeffries?” I said.
She thought for a moment. “Eight for hotness, 3 for niceness. Slytherins hate me. Ok, Simon Head.”

I scowled. He was one of the so-called Marauders, seventh years consisting of Freddie Weasley, James Potter, Simon Head and Fergal Finnegan. Simon is also known as plain ‘Head’ or ‘sleazy’ for a reason.

He has also managed to kidnap me into broom closets with him a total of six times. I only had my wand for four of those times, and the stinging hexes his face bore afterwards were not pretty.

I don’t like to talk about the other two times, frankly. But when my mean left hook is forced out, I use it, and I use it WELL. 

“Ten for hotness – his abs are to DIE for (and he knows it) – but -102 for niceness. Is there anyone in sixth and seventh year he hasn’t slept with? Apart from us, obviously.” Rose thought for a moment and shook her head.

“Not that I can think of.”

“Dammit. Well then, Gregory Macmillan.” He is a Hufflepuff in our year… who is Hagrid’s bestest buddy. He adores magical creatures.

Rose screwed up her face. “5 for hotness, 7 ½ for niceness. You try Evan Sharpe.”

Evan Sharpe is on ‘The Dream Team’ – the so-called group of hot Ravenclaws consisting of three girls and four guys, all on the quidditch team, and academic whizzes too. Life is so not fair on us normal (ish) people. Rose actually went out with him for a few months last year, but she dumped him when he called her ‘Daisy’ after three months.

I whistled. “Nine for hotness, his hair is a bit too floppy. And 6 for niceness. He’s nice, but only because he’s trying to subtly get into your pants.” Rose grimaced and nodded.

I thought for a moment, then came up with another Dream Team member for Rose. “Scorpius Malfoy. He’s not a Slytherin, and I haven’t tried to matchmake you with him yet either!”

Rose was still cringing though. “9 for hotness, -36 for niceness. I hate him, and you know it. He’s a jerk, and a conceited one at that!” I raised an eyebrow at that.

“Rose, you barely know him. It’s just the Weasley prejudism, honest. He’s ok really!” My eyes were wide and pleading, because I had a new matchmaker plan forming. It may sound ridiculous to inexperienced onlookers – Rose Weasley and her arch-nemesis Scorpius Malfoy? Seriously? – but I had a feeling that they were a lot more similar than they realised.

Rose’s eyes widened too, then narrowed. She looked like Beatrice Chang when she’s angry (not a nice sight). “I know that look, Pepper Grass,” she hissed, kneeling up and putting her face scarily close to mine. I backed away involuntarily – she knows I have a claustrophobia problem! – but Rose carried on talking. “You will be doing no more matchmaking this year, you hear? NONE.”

“Or what?” I hadn’t meant to talk, but I have a little problem with my brain-to-mouth filter. It’s a lack thereof. But I should seriously know to catch myself a little better around Rose in general, ESPECIALLY when she’s already angry, and even more so when I’m near her Mini Potions Set (it is the love of her life, and she is VERY experienced with it). I have observed too many of these fights, and the end results are not pretty, especially with explosive potions ingredients involved.

Yet here I was, challenging Rose’s ultimatum (and we all know how much she loves her ultimatums), even smirking to top it off.

I was smirking; I had officially turned into James Potter (II). SMIRKING - WHAT IS THIS?! Pepper’s Body Revolt Day?! I am, quite frankly, putting the final nail in my coffin with this. If there is enough of me to even have a funeral for afterwards. 

Note to self: Get it written down in legal stuff that my parents are to have nothing to do with my funeral when the time comes. I do not want to go to heaven with the stink of pot still on me – I already need as much help as I can, with all my bad karma.

Pepper’s List of Stuff to Do
Find out a way to summon the knight bus of the top of muggle house
Receive ministry howler & protest at ministry
Receive OWLs
Get down funeral arrangements
Invest in a brain filter

… but back to the problem at hand; a ready-to-explode Rose Nymphadora Weasley. I have never seen such a red person in my life, and with her orange hair, Rose could enter a Best Tomato contest right now.

She’d win, hands down.

“Or…,” she paused for dramatic effect, and I clung to my last shred of hope that she would have no answer. Alas, this is Rose, Queen of Comebacks and Witty Answers. If only I was – I have the worst comebacks EVER.

“Or… I will stop telling you anything at all, stop helping you in lessons, and torment you for the rest of your time at Hogwarts, as well as spilling all your secrets to Albus and Louis.” She grinned triumphantly, whereas my heart had stopped beating.


OH MY FUCKING GOD.

WHY DID I CHALLENGE ROSE WEASLEY?! She’s the most kickass girl this whole school has in it!!!

I was still clutching Rose’s fluffy heart cushion in front of me as a kind of shield, and whimpering, when she sat back on her heels and raised an unimpressed eyebrow at me.

“Got it?” She added a growl for effect.

I only whimpered in return, closing my eyes for a moment.

“Great! Let’s check out how our beauty potions are doing.” Rose said, returning to her usual sunny personality, dragging a still-whimpering me into her bathroom. I had forgotten that the vile stuff was still on my face, but Rose had managed to look even more impressive in her eyebrow-raising with her gloop on. This takes skill, let me tell you.

I dragged myself upright as Rose bent over the sink scraping her gloop off and peeled off my ‘protective pads’. And shrieked.

“DEAR MERLIN, WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?!!! I LOOK LIKE A BABOON’S ARSE!” I screamed, tugging at my hair with my hands, purely for something to squash my anger out on.

Rose surfaced, face dripping, from the sink and took a look at my face. “Holy Shit,” she muttered, getting closer to the mirror to see, until I roughly shook her shoulder and turned her around to face me. Even Rose has her blonde moments sometimes, you know.

And just so you know, I am NOT prejudiced against blondes. Louis is blonde and, erm, one of the stupidest people ever…

But a good half of Ravenclaws are blonde!

But anyway. “I couldn’t have phrased it better myself, Weasley,” I growled. What the hell was I going to do?!

My newly black and dancing eyebrows stared back at me from the mirror.

We stared in the mirror for a full thirty seconds at my eyebrows before I shrieked again, looking at Rose’s face. 

“You’ve gone ghost!” No, I am not going mad and seeing ghosts and stuff around the place (I leave that to Clary Fray from those muggle books. And all the other kickass Shadowhunters, tbh). Rose’s face had gone sheet white, paper white, snow white, seven dwarves!

Oh, not that last one.

Rose looked at herself now and cursed under her breath. “Damnit. Well at least my potion can be reversed by a simple spell it gives you, whereas your ‘brows are gonna take some working on…” Rose stood on tiptoe and examined my eyebrows, while I obediently bent my head and tried not to fiddle. Instead, I distracted myself by renewing my List.

Pepper’s List of Stuff to Do
Find out a way to summon the knight bus of the top of muggle houses
Receive ministry howler & protest at ministry
Receive OWLs
Get down funeral arrangements
Invest in a brain filter
Stop matchmaking my friends
Stop telling Rose stuff (so she has no blackmail material)
Remember to never challenge Rose
Find out a way to normalise my eyebrows

I looked up when Rose snapped her fingers in front of my face (what can I say? I have concentration issues) and she simply ran off. I stood, a little confused, until she ran back in with the Quick Beauty Solutions page from the old Witch Weekly. Her potion was there with – yep, a reversing spell – and there was mine, with a little box beside it! It said:

‘NOTE: No reversing spell yet found, if it goes wrong, must be transfigured by hand.’

Bollocks.

“Bollocks.” I said out loud (yes, I often repeat what was in my head).

Click! 

Uh-oh. Make that triple bollocks.

“Eh… Hugo?” I turned around pretend-timidly and then lunged for him with that stupid camera, but instead he ran off, shouting, “You looked good in that green gunk too you know!”

Oh my God. How many photos of me was he going to get? This could not be happening. He could do anything with them. ANYTHING. I sure was going to have to watch my back around him, and make sure not to provoke him into doing anything… otherwise those pictures could easily find themselves all the way around Hogwarts. 

Buggeration.

“This sucks royal hippogriff, Peppy.”

“Sure does, Rosie.”

But still, two and a half hours later of screaming (at Hugo), listening around corners (me) to Rose trying to persuade her Mum to help her with the spell-gone-wrong – her face was green – and to explain why I was not here helping her (Rose); of desperate weeping (me) and angry yet rousing shouts (Rose), Rose officially had a normal face again, and my eyebrows were at least not dancing, although still jet black.

“And you thought they were bad before!” Rose commented earlier. Thanks, Rose. As if I hadn’t noticed.

I said that out loud too, and she just shrugged. “I never appreciated my freckles before… they were kind of cute. Now they’re gone. Although I’m glad for a change, but I look too much like Lily now…” Rose pensively stroked her nose and cheeks until I decided to try to pet her cat, Greenbee.

Now don’t ask me why Rose named her cat that. It’s a ‘lovely’ hippie-ish name, and I therefore automatically despise it, though secretly rather admire it. It is quite a cute name for a very grumpy and unpleasant cat. But I could never admit that (the name part – I freely admit that the cat hates me). Rose never lets me touch him anyways, and most of the time, I happily comply. I happen to like my eight fingers and two thumbs.

But Rose’s freckles disappeared when her face went ghost-white. Unfortunately, they remain everywhere else; on her arms, legs, etc. Just not her face (or neck).

And so, we were now sitting in front of Shrek – the ultimate chick flick – eating popcorn in an exhausted kind of way. Hugo had managed to get a couple more photos; of me and my eyebrows hiding while Rose gesticulated wildly round the corner; my terrified face while Rose charmed them to stop dancing; and just a moment ago when I ran to the TV to kiss the on-screen Donkey when he first appeared.

I am a serious sucker for amusing, loyal, Disney companions.

Actually, I am just a Disney/Pixar fanatic anyways, but the whole brill-sidekick thing is the beast. I actually hope to acquire a loyal sidekick – preferably in the animalistic form – but the interviews so far have all totally flopped, and I’m still stuck with Louis, Shrek my lazy tortoise and Betty my disappearing Pygmy Puff.

Not ideal sidekick material.

“So, Rose,” I asked, chomping popcorn happily, “did you dump Stevie McLaggen yet?”

Her prick of a boyfriend (or ex) was someone I had originally set her up with, but she actually enjoyed the dates once I stopped being involved, after I discovered what a prick he was.

Of course, he was very charming to Rose, but she had eventually found out from Freddie Weasley on the train ride home that he had been cheating with another Hufflepuff (no, not Gregory Macmillan). She had yet to dump him, apparently.

Survival tip: Never – and I mean, NEVER – go out, fool around or in fact even talk, with any one of the McLaggen brothers. They are all UTTER TOSSERS, who will use you in any gross way they can (smuggling unicorns’ blood in on fake tampons? No thanks).

But it could only be expected that Stevie cheated on Rose. I don’t know really why I tried to set them up.

But still.

Pepper’s List of Stuff to Do
Find out a way to summon the knight bus of the top of muggle houses

Receive ministry howler & protest at ministry
Receive OWLs
Get down funeral arrangements
Invest in a brain filter
Stop matchmaking my friends
Stop telling Rose stuff (so she has no blackmail material)
Remember to never challenge Rose
Find out a way to normalise my eyebrows

 

 






*A/N: Well hello there!

I hope you like Pepper’s tale so far! I’m sorry if the ending seems a little abrupt – it was actually the first half of another chapter, but then I noticed how long it had gotten (7000 words? No way!) so I split it into two :)

Next chapter: We meet Louis and Al, and there’s OWLs all round! It’s “Job 3: Receiving Howlers”.

Til next time!

~TGK*

 
 
 


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