Oh deary me. I have been absolutely awful at updating! I am currently two chapters ahead, so I hope to keep updating... perhaps more regularly!
Problem 36: This is what I’ve resorted to.
A war council.
“Did we have to meet in the library?” Lily grumbles, “And why do I even have to be here?”
“Were you, or were you not, caught in one of Livi and Caspar’s duels?” I ask, glancing around the crammed table. They are definitely not made for eight people.
But I had to invite Lily, because she was meowing due to my idiot friends. Scarlett had to come because she’s people-person extraordinaire, therefore Albus had to tag along, because he’d turn up anyway, due to the fact he can’t seem to leave her alone. Or course Scorpius had to come – well, duh, he’s the sweet-talking gorgeous one every war council blatantly needs – and I decided to invite Lu to give an ‘Evie’ angle. I decided I needed a ‘Luke’ angle, too, so Fred’s here, although I don’t really think he’s ever spoken to him properly. And then James kind of intercepted my message to Fred, so he turned up.
Then there’s me. Head of war council.
The library is pretty much clear by this time of day – the sun has started setting; everyone sensible is sitting by the fire, or having a late dinner. It’s quiet, with only the diehard nerd herd still here. Given that I dragged everyone from dinner, they’re looking pretty amiable.
Apart from Lily, who is still grumbling under her breath.
“Okay then, we’re here to discuss the maddening issue of Olivia and Caspar’s rivalry. I do not understand it, and possibly never will,” Scarlett announces, “So let’s start by dissecting anything they’ve ever said to any of us. Rose, you are closest to them. Livi’s opinion of Caspar is?”
Ooft, this is official. I knew it was a good idea to invite Scarlett!
“She thinks she’s a backstabbing whore, on last check,” I reply, restraining the urge to sigh. Fred sniggers – oh, yes, laugh it off. You’re getting the Howler, and don’t you forget it. “And she’s threatening to tell Harry about Evie.”
“So am I,” James chips in, “I’m forever scarred by that incident.”
Lily turns and stares at him. “What the hell were you doing in the girl’s dormitories?” she asks in horror. James looks confused.
“James is referring to another incident which took place in a concealed corridor,” Lu jumps in, “Which he interrupted. Quite rude, but I suspect quite fortunate. If anyone wants Evie’s point of view, it’s that Livi is a love fascist.”
“A what?” Al questions incredulously. Yes indeed, what in the name of Merlin is a ‘love fascist’?
“You know!” Lu waves her hand around, “Someone who controls who loves who.”
“Oh my God, I’ve stumbled into a New Wave anti-Mussolini movement,” Lily mutters. I have to laugh at that.
“Right, well, moving on,” Scarlett says, moving us back to the topic we’re supposed to be on, “Caspar’s opinion of Livi?”
“Easy,” Fred says, leaning back in his chair, which is already tipping over at an angle I would correct but my elbows are pinned too tightly to my sides in this cramped space to be able to reach over and push it back to ninety degrees, “She’s an attention seeking bitch who doesn’t deserve Luke’s attention.”
I gape at him, chair forgotten. “How do you know that?”
He shrugs nonchalantly, looking a bit shifty. “Oh, you know.”
“No. No I do not,” I growl, glaring at him. I am aware that I am clenching my fists under the table. God, my cousins are so irritating!
“Fine, she came up to say she supported my relationship with Luke, okay?” he says quickly, righting his chair with a bang, “While I was eating potatoes, no less. I almost died choking!”
“You are in a relationship with Luke?” Scorpius sneers, causing me to kick him under the table –I’m not sure if I got him, that could have been anyone’s foot— and send him a reproaching look, “What happened to ‘you’re such a fucking queer Louis’?”
“Well he is!” Fred defends, “And it’s not a relationship, I snogged him once!”
Albus is looking like someone hit him around the face with a fish. “Wait, you snogged Luke?” he frowns, “I don’t understand, I thought you were a Roman road!”
“Well clearly I’m a roundabout,” Fred replies dryly, “Can we talk about Rose’s weird friends again?”
“Yes Albus, we’re not here to discuss how many boys Fred’s been kissing,” Scarlett chips in, “Let’s pool ideas! How do we stop Livi and Caspar throwing everything they have to hand at each other?”
“Oh, and while we’re here, if anyone has any ideas on how to reconcile Louis and Lysander, that would be nice,” I add hopefully.
There’s a silence while everyone stares blankly. Lily in particular looks as though all her energy is gone. Fred is the only exception, smirking away to himself.
“I’ve got nothing,” Albus concedes, “But since Fred is looking like the cat that ate the canary, perhaps he should say something.”
Fred shoots him a glare and stops looking so cheery. Another few moments pass, and I watch the dust falling in the light. I am inhaling that stuff! Gross!
“Lock them in a cupboard?” Lily suggests with a shrug, “They can snog it off.”
I stare at her in horror. My best friends cannot ‘snog it off’!
“I hope you mean Louis and Lysander,” Scarlett says dryly, “Because otherwise I reckon half of Hogwarts would be blown up.”
“I did mean them,” Lily frowns, “What are you talking about?”
Fred’s eyes are lighting up in joy – it is time to forget the thought of my friends snogging, everyone. Not going to happen.
“They would be a great couple!” he says delightedly, “Explosive!”
“Fred Weasley, are you implying that my friends are fighting because of sexual tension?” I hiss in a menacing fashion. He rolls his eyes and makes a vague hand gesture I am going to assume means ‘of course I didn’t mean that I wouldn’t want to mentally scar you’.
“Sure, let’s do that to Louis and Lysander. It always works out,” Scorpius says from beside me, “Like it worked when I shut Rose and Marius in a cupboard.”
“That was you?” I say in disbelief, managing to hit him with the back of my hand despite the lack of elbow room. He grins.
“I found it funny,” he smirks.
“Do you guys mind eye-shagging each other some other time? We’re trying to sort out your messed up friend situation, after all,” Lily rudely interrupts. Silence, child!
“Should we get them to sit down and talk about it?” James ventures.
I stare at him for a moment, to decide whether or not he’s being serious.
Oh. He is.
I start laughing at about the same time Luke strolls past. He walks just past us, then his brain seems to register what he saw and he steps backwards to talk to us.
“Hi,” he says awkwardly, and then, “There’s far too many of you around that table.”
“Yeah, there is,” Lily replies, looking like all her Christmases have come at once, “Pull up a seat, Luke!”
Fred is trying to catch my attention, jerking his head and making strange noises while Luke’s back is turned, but I ignore him. He has to deal with this: he brought it upon himself.
Luke collects a chair and puts it down by Fred – Lily looks like she’s about to jump up and down with glee – before glancing around the congregation.
“What are you all doing here?” he queries, noticing the lack of books or any relevant library equipment. I guess we can’t say we’re studying, then.
“Discussing,” Scarlett states, “Anyone got any other ideas for Louis?”
“Are you talking about Louis and Lysander’s fall out? I was there when that happened!” Luke exclaimed, “They were hissing at each other, and Louis was flapping his hands about—“
“See, that’s why I call him queer,” Fred informs us. I am going to pummel the crap out of him later!
“—then Lysander says something, and BAM!” Luke brings his fist down on the table, making me jump and hit my knee on the wood. “Louis punches him in the face. Lysander’s nose was bleeding when I left. Louis ran away straight after,” he adds thoughtfully, “Do you think that they’re not going to be friends now? They were really close last time I checked.”
Scarlett is laughing into the palm of her hand; ‘friends’? I don’t want them to be friends! I want Louis to tell his mum that he likes men!
I rub my knee thoughtfully, trying to make my brain function. Louis and Lysander. Lysander and Louis. Louis, Lysander, Lysander, Louis.
“How about mud wrestling?” Albus quips, “They can work out all their frustrations!”
I shoot him a death glare while Scorpius laughs. “Not funny, Al!”
“How is mud wrestling going to make Louis and Lysander be friends?” Luke asks.
“How would mud wrestling make you and hhnnnggg—“
Thankfully, Al has the good grace to clamp a hand over Lily’s mouth before she can complete that sentence. I have a sneaking suspicion it would have something to do with Fred.
Mentally, I try to communicate with Lily that we’re not supposed to know that Luke kissed Fred.
“I think,” Scorpius says slowly, “That we should make Olivia and Caspar sign a pact.”
“With their tongues,” Albus adds quickly, before Scarlett grabs hold of his ear, “OW! I meant it platonically!”
I snort – ooh, attractive, I bet Scorpius is drooling now – and turn to Scorpius with an eyebrow raised.
“How on Earth would that work?” I ask sceptically. He looks quite proud of himself, almost pleased that I’m not dismissing the idea. How adorable is he? KNEESMELTINGKNEESMELTING—
“Well, you could sit them down and explain how their ridiculous bitchy fights are upsetting you, and then make them sign an agreement to be civil to each other!”
There’s a general pause around the table as this idea – a good, serious idea – is considered.
“That sounds like it might work,” Scarlett says tentatively, “As long as they don’t reject the idea.”
“We shouldn’t give them a choice,” James replies firmly, “They’re causing enough bloody trouble as it is.”
“Well, glad that’s settled,” Scorpius grins, “Make Louis apologise nicely, okay? I’m hungry.”
Come to think of it, so am I. I try to stand up from the table, but unfortunately I’m wedged in. Scarlett notices this and realises that she can’t get out, either.
“On the count of three, everyone needs to try and stand up,” Scarlett orders, “One, two, three—“
As we simultaneously attempt to rise from our seats, there’s an ominous splintering sound and a large crack appears in the table. On the positive, we’re now standing up! For a moment we all pause and gaze at the damage we have done.
“To dinner?” I suggest hopefully, and we all madly dash from the library. Scorpius grabs my hand and for some crazy reason we’re sprinting along the corridor with James yelling at us.
“ALBUS! ROSE! THAT IS NO WAY TO BEHAVE!” he roars, “SCARLETT! SCORPIUS! STOP!”
It’s a bit too late for James to be yelling at us, because we’re already slowing down, bumbling around like only mad teenagers can. I crash into Scarlett and she falls into Albus – oh, what a big loss for both of them – whilst giggling madly.
Everything is quite lovely, you know? Lovely lovely lovely. Scorpius is lovely.
He pulls on my hand and kisses my cheek – there go my knees again!
What is a lovely lovely lovely moment is ruined by my stomach, which growls in an entirely unflattering way. Damn you, body!
So we start walking normally to the Great Hall, past Albus and Scarlett, who are snogging like their lives depend on it. I sense a dilemma approaching: where shall I sit?
Slytherin table, with Scorpius, making the great faux pas of a Golden Trio derivative? Or drag Scorpius to Gryffindor, where I can shamelessly mock him in my own comfort zone?
You know what would be funny? If we went and sat on the Hufflepuff table. Haha! It’s funny because neither of us are in Hufflepuff.
Time to bite the bullet. Scorpius pauses at the door, too, probably also wondering where to sit. I take a deep breath and start walking towards the Slytherin table. Well, I know a whole one person there, so... Yeah.
I sit down neatly and Scorpius, looking bemused, follows suit. “Why Slytherin? Won’t all this green infect you?” he questions.
“I had my jabs,” I reply smoothly. There are only deserts left. How long were we in the library?
Helping myself to apple pie, I note that very few people are left in the hall. Albus and Scarlett enter, and come to sit with us.
“This feels unnatural,” Al remarks, frowning at his fork, which has a Slytherin crest.
I have had a boyfriend on every table now. Oh, for crying out loud, I feel like such a slag! But at least, unlike Albus, I am acquainted with sitting somewhere other than with the Gryffindors. Tedious bunch. Lots of red hair.
Albus is also eating apple pie, while Scarlett is dishing up trifle; Scorpius is helping himself to my plate. Cheeky bugger! But also... how could I be mad at that face? How cute!
I suppose now I have to write the pact for my friends to sign. Tracking them down and making them sit in the same room is going to be a very boring job.
First I have to eat more pie. I swear that I only had a couple of spoonfuls there! Scorpius is pulling an innocent face – yeah, like that’ll fool me – and all the food suddenly vanishes. Albus moans.
“If all students could please return to their common rooms now,” Professor Chang says loudly, chivvying a few second years out of their seats, “Up early for lessons!”
I look at Scarlett. She nods and drags Albus from his seat, taking his hand in hers.
“I think we’d better get to the kitchens,” I sigh in a tragic fashion. In my head, I am doing a happy dance.
I’m going to have a slice of pie and potatoes and gravy and second helpings and thirds and fourths!
Sometimes, I wonder if anyone can tell I’m related to Ronald Weasley.
Seriously. I’m starving.
Scorpius takes my hand when I jump up, and we set off slower than I would have liked – not that I’d say so, because I’m holding Scorpius’ hand and OH MY GOD HE’S MY BOYFRIEND. It’s quite nice, wandering around Hogwarts with him beside me. I feel quite a lot like a twelve-year-old again, lost in a big school with the boy my dad told me to beat in everything. Which reminds me...
“I never tutored you!” I exclaim. Scorpius shrugs.
“We have ages yet,” he replies nonchalantly, “Besides, I’m seventeen soon, so I can practise in the holidays.”
Oh yeah. His birthday’s in November.
He’s going to be seventeen! Little Scorpy is growing up!
Then I’ll be seventeen, and then... we graduate. Out into the big wide world.
But for now, I’d like to stay and eat with my friends.
Pie, here I come!
A massive, and hugely grateful, thank you to all my lovely reviewers: Michaela, ScoRose4eva, Leah_Malfoy, ilovegeorgeweasley101, Ellie, Hermionniny9 and busybusybeta.
You guys are fabulous (: