Chapter 4 : Game Plans
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Very purty, very shiny chapter image by Miss-Spam-A-Lot @ TDA. EMBRACE ZE SHINE.
“Let me get this straight,” she stated, twirling her wand around her fingers idly. She put pressure on it with her thumb, making it shoot to her other hand. Successfully catching it, the wand proceeded to pass through her finger slots over and over. “You want me to help you get this girl?”
Clack, was the sound of her wand falling to the ground.
My left eye started to twitch.
She pondered me for a second before picking up her wand from the stone floor and started to twirl it again. “What’s in it for me?”
“Well, what do you want?”
Dom laughed softly, shaking her head. “You got me. My assistance is of no charge. Besides, it’ll be entertaining to see you try to get a girl, against that Malfoy kid no less. Hogwarts is so boring nowadays.”
I felt offended. She didn’t think I could get Joan with Scorpius in the way? Sure, girls believed he was some kind of Sex God (shudder) who could have any girl—perhaps even a few boys—he wanted, but I was the Cutie Pie around here. They rejoiced in every blush and every dimpled smile I made. A shy stare from beneath my lashes and Joan would be reduced into a pretty puddle on the floor.
Unfortunately, any chance of it happening seemed unlikely because I’d turn into the puddle first.
But we were on nickname basis now.
We might as well get engaged tomorrow and marry each other next week.
What? We had to plan the perfect marriage first, right?
“There is one problem, though,” I said, “I can’t… I can’t speak in front of Jo.”
Her eyes almost popped out of their sockets as her wand clattered to the ground again. “But how come you’re on nickname basis? How is that possible?”
“I find your lack of faith… disturbing.”
“And he’s degraded into quoting Star Wars,” Dom muttered under breath.
“Help me, Dominique Weasley. You’re my only hope,” I begged.
She abruptly stood up. Pulling me with her, she said, “I’m going to need someone to help me out here.”
“Hugo, who else?”
“He’s the brains, sweetheart!”
“I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.”
Remind me again why I wanted her help.
Oh yeah, because she was “the” Dom Weasley: Hogwarts’ resident succubus who could make guys drop their trousers with her sultry blue-eyed glance. Maybe then I would be able to seduce.
Just the thought of me seducing women cracked me up.
But get this; she was my cousin.
And she spun wands… every bleeding time.
Teachers despised her habit because she’d always drop her wand in their otherwise perfectly quiet class. She even made her Defense Against the Dark Arts professor drop out and become a permanent patient in St. Mungo’s Janus Thickey Ward, as in the ward for the incurably insane. Did I mention he was also paranoid of wands and things remotely resembling them nowadays? You got Dom to thank for that.
“Inferi are reanimated corpses, bewitched by Dark—“
“—Wizards to do their bid—“
“—ding. In both Wizarding Wars, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named created an army of Inferi to—“
“Miss Weasley, can you stop—“
A red ray of light had shot out of her wand, cutting a clean hole in the middle of the blackboard. Then the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor had given her a detention only to endure Dom and her wandspinning again since it wasn’t like wands could be confiscated. And you knew the rest. The story even made it to The Quibbler’s front page.
Crazy wandspinning chick.
“Do you really think he’ll help?”
Dom pondered this for a moment before shrugging. “Why wouldn’t he? Thinks Hogwarts is boring, too.”
See, I was a bit reluctant (and by a bit I meant I’d rather get a Dementor’s Kiss than agree to this) to tag Hugo along, because he was creepy (and by creepy I swore he was a Dementor reincarnate). Never played with the rest of us Potter-Weasley kids growing up with the occasional Lily who literally hung with everyone. If Voldemort were to be resurrected AGAIN, she’d probably take him out for a tea.
It got even creepier when he was sorted into Slytherin. Not a single emotion on his face, he just walked across the Great Hall, all eyes on him as he took a seat at the far end of the table. It was obvious that Uncle Ron wanted so badly to disown him, and as for Aunt Hermione, well, she didn’t know what to do for once. Hugo was that type of kid in horror movies who was possessed by the typical ghost bent on killing people for no typical reason then ended up being this devil child running rampant destroying the world.
In short, Hugo Weasley was to be avoided at all cost.
Yet here I was, climbing the staircase to the Astronomy Tower, his infamous hideout at night, this close to peeing in my pants.
“What do you think he’s doing up there?” I asked Dom shakily.
“Oh, he’s in the middle of this ritual to bring back He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named by pushing someone off the edge. He’s good at making things look like accidents, you see.”
Somewhere near us, a feminine scream pierced through the once silent air. Tears prickled my eyes, Hugo had murdered someone and the second we came out into the open, Dom and I would be next. We were both going to die, but Dom was laughing. I couldn’t believe it. She laughed in the face of death! Could it be that she was working for Hugo? It was impossible. Kill me, Albus Severus Potter? They wouldn’t dare.
“Al, I was kidding! Merlin’s beard, you screamed like a puny girl.”
“That was me screaming?”
“Unfortunately so. 10 Galleons and no one will know.”
Lucky for me, Dad was stinking rich.
The Astronomy Tower was dark, just the stars illuminating the open space. His silhouette was leaning against the rail; head high staring at the sky, silent.
I didn’t want him to turn around. What if his irises were red or something along that creepy line? What if there were no irises at all?
Must. Not. Scream. Again.
“Was that you screaming, Dom?” he asked, deadly calm. “Hold on, you don’t scream like that. Must be somebody else.”
“H-h-h-hi, Hugo,” I stammered, wondering where Hugo had heard Dom scream before.
“10 Galleons and my lips are sealed.” I could hear the smirk in his voice. That sneaky bastard.
“Damn you, Slytherins,” I grumbled under my breath, digging around for money.
“Don’t be so prejudiced, Dom’s a ‘puff.”
“Being in Hufflepuff doesn’t make me stick to the rules!” Dom declared, crossing her arms.
“Yeah, Dominique Weasley. You’re a baaad girl,” Hugo muttered in sarcasm, but then snickered. Didn’t know what that was about.
“Anyway,” she said after clearing her throat, “Albus here needs your help.”
“What kind of help?”
“He wants to get a girl.” He was going to interrupt when she cut in quickly, “Against Scorpius.”
“No wonder you need my help,” he thought out loud.
Seriously, what was with people doubting my skills?
“Fine, I’ll do it. Hogwarts lacks entertainment nowadays.”
The similarity and closeness between Dom and Hugo were starting to unsettle me.
A moment of awkward silence passed, during which we just stared at each other, expecting someone would say something.
“Okay…” I started. “What now?”
Hugo slowly turned, and thank Merlin his eyes were the normal shade of brown. Or were they? Maybe he wore brown contacts to hide the evil within, maybe he… I had to stop making up conspiracy theories on the enigmatic Hugo Weasley. Whatever expression he saw on my face, it must be interesting to him because he kept staring at me like he knew something about me that others didn’t.
Chances were, he really did.
“Malfoy is exceptionally good-looking and he knows it. He isn’t afraid to show it, either. That’s him. What about you? What do you think is your greatest attraction?”
“I’m not some kind of theme park!” I all but squeaked.
“He’s cute, that’s one thing,” Dom assessed, advancing on me. “Uncle Harry’s green eyes are to die for, and he’s lucky enough to get them. If he uses them well enough, Joan Thorn will be toast. What else?”
“Ever combed your hair in the last six months?” Hugo asked.
Not only did I get my father’s eyes; I also got his hair that was impossible to tame. It was so wild that I gave up combing it a long time ago. Obviously, I shook my head no at his question.
“Fantastic,” she muttered.
“Were you being sarcastic?” I had to make sure.
“No, of course not.”
“Were you being sarcastic for the second time?”
“Were you being sarcastic n—“
“No, Al! I wasn’t being sarcastic! On the contrary…”
He finished, “We think your hair is brilliant.”
“It kind of does, doesn’t it?”
The second she reached out to pat my hair, I just had to step away. This was going too far.
“Will you please stop observing and poking me like a guinea pig and get on with the plan?”
Clearing his throat, Hugo mused, “So, you want to get the girl. You clearly can’t be all masculine and protective and strong because one, Malfoy always goes with that approach and you know how good he is at it, two, you can’t act the part, and three, you don’t look the part.”
I threw a string of accusations at him and because of that, I received a smack in the head courtesy of Dom. Thank you. So much.
“What you’re going to be is the exact opposite of Malfoy.”
I thought about the things that summed up Scorpius. Athletic, brave, and killer body came to mind. To be the exact opposite of him would make me fat, cowardly, and fat: the perfect girl magnet.
“You want me to become a wimp because…?”
“Not a wimp, you dunghead,” she scoffed with a roll of her eyes. “Hugo meant you should embrace your awkwardness around her. Girls think it’s cute.”
“Why would girls think—“
“Don’t question her. They just do.”
I would never understand how girls work.
“Bottom line,” he continued, “just be sweet and sentimental and sensitive, all that gooey crap. Be there whenever she’s alone, be her shoulder to cry on, pick up her books when she drops them, help her carry her books to class, and so on. Malfoy would try to impress her to get into her heart, but being gentle can go a long way for you.”
“Sounds like a solid plan,” Dom agreed.
I hoped so, too.
Cursing under his breath for choosing to venture the castle barefoot in the middle of the night, his latest choice strengthened his decision to ask for help from a brainier student. Yes, Scorpius Malfoy was by no means intelligent, but apparently, he was intelligent enough to realize that he wasn’t intelligent enough.
Turning left towards the Ravenclaw Tower, it was then that his not-so-intelligent sense of direction led him to the right, intelligent person.
“Scorp?” she gasped. “What are you doing here at this time of day?”
“I would have to ask you the same thing,” he said, straightening his back to gain height.
“I’m a Ravenclaw Prefect, in case you haven’t noticed.” She said it as if it was the most obvious thing in the world (which it was). “Go back to bed. Ten points from Slytherin.”
As she was turning away to go back to where she came from, Scorpius caught her wrist in an unbreakable grip. It suddenly turned clammy from his touch, he noted.
“You know Joan Thorn, right?” he asked.
“Yes. She’s my roommate. A bit strange, though, she is.”
Ignoring her last statement, he continued, “Can you help me get her?”
“I may or may not like her… sort of. You know her, you can tell me all about Jo and give me tips on how to make her like me. Just don’t tell anyone.”
She hesitated for a short while before nodding hesitantly. Scorpius hugged her out of the blue and the redhead stiffened.
“Thanks, Rose. I owe you one.”
Her blush was visible under the light from her wand, but the Slytherin didn’t see it as he was already striding back into the darkness.
Shaking her head, Rose turned to the opposite direction, her red mane bobbing ever so slightly.