Chapter 2 : October - My Friends’ Boyfriends
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Are the House Colours Discriminatory?
By Lorcan Scamander
Everyone knows the house colours: red and gold for Gryffindor, yellow and black for Hufflepuff, blue and bronze for Ravenclaw and green and silver for Slytherin.
No one can argue that the primary colours are in order of preference, but the superiority of the others can only be without doubt. Gold is the most valuable, followed by silver, followed by bronze, and black isn’t even a precious metal.
Could this hierarchy have an effect on the self-respect and house pride of the students of Hogwarts?
‘It sucks to have silver as a house colour,’ says Titania Sidhe, a Slytherin sixth year. ‘Why should Gryffindor get gold? We’re way better than them.’
This indignation is not reflected in the collective psyche of Hufflepuff house, however. Says Jena Longbottom, fourth year, ‘It doesn’t really matter about colours. Colours don’t make you a better or worse person. I don’t really mind about having black, but it doesn’t really go that well with yellow.’
And just where did these colours come from? Where they established with the original four founders or were they added along the way? We went to Professor Binns to find out.
‘There is no record of secondary house colours every being established according to hierarchy. In fact, there is no record of house colours ever being established officially at all. However, red and gold does feature on Gruffindor’s arms, as does green and silver on Slytherin’s, blue and bronze on Ravenclaw’s and yellow and black on Hufflepuff’s. It can be assumed that the house colours were derived from there.’
So, the colours seem to have been chosen by the founders themselves. In this case, it can hardly be our place to argue, but maybe, in the future, to promote equality, secondary house colours will be abolished entirely.
One Miniature Mongoose, name of Martha, 6 weeks old and looking for a new home. Apply to Gryffindor Owl-hole number 37.
KS, I love you. From AP
Come to the Book Club, Tuesday evenings in the Library! This month we will be discussing the works of Miriam Swiftquill, incl. her greatest work, Harry in a Hurry.
The staff at Hogwarts would like to remind all students that room 89 in the West Wing is strictly out of bounds due to severe haunting.
Capricorn: Marmalade holds hidden secrets
Aquarius: Your face is greener than grass
Pisces: Study hard or fall
Aries: If you fall you will fall hard, so don’t
Taurus: A gift from the sky
Gemini: Something lies in wait
Cancer: Beware a burn
Leo: A betrayal
Virgo: Which witch is which?
Libra: Clouds pass like opportunities
Scorpio: No more will it haunt you
Sagittarius: Divination will aid you
For any more info, see Prof. Vablastky in the Divination Tower
We would like to make it clear that all entries are entirely confidential as is the identity of the secret sorceress so those of you wasting your time trying to break into the last room on corridor 18, we’ve recently added even more defensive jinxes.
Dear Secret Sorceress,
There’s this guy I really like, but I’m not sure if I’m his type. Is there anything I can do to catch his eye?
Guys don’t really have types, just a combination of preferences and who would go for them, so if you like this guy that’s half the battle won already. But just remember, if a guy wants you to change for him, he’s not worth the effort.
From, Secret Sorceress
Dear Secret Sorceress,
Me and my best friend usually share all our secrets, but one day when I was looking through her diary, it was all written in code so that I wouldn’t be able to understand it, but I really want to know what she’s not telling me because it’s only fair. How do I get her to tell me her secret without her getting mad at me for reading her diary?
If your friend got mad at you for reading her diary she’d have every right! If your friend is not telling you something, it’s because she’s not ready to share it yet. Just be patient and she’ll come to you. And mind you don’t read her diary again!
Love, Secret Sorceress
Dear Secret Sorceress,
I’m in a relationship that I can’t get out of but I have feelings for someone else. What should I do?
Just make sure you don’t hurt the feelings of whoever you’re in a relationship with. Aside from it not being their fault, it sets a bad precedent from the point of view of whoever you do like.
Love, Secret Sorceress
Dear Secret Sorceress,
I really need to lose ten pounds by next week. Can you suggest any good weight-loss spells?
All spells designed to make you lose weight are for quick fixes and apart from being incredibly unhealthy, they don’t really work anyway. Any weight you immediately lose, you’ll gain right back as soon as the spell wears off, which is pretty soon! Healthy eating and exercise are the only ways to properly get rid of any extra weight.
Love, Secret Sorceress
If you would like to send a message to the Secret Sorceress, leave a message in the Owl-Hole outside the last room on corridor 18.
House-Elf of the Month
The Current House Point Score Stands as Follows:
Gryffindor Ravenclaw Hufflepuff Slytherin
61 52 53 40
The second edition of Pig Zits is always the hardest, I think. Everyone always buys the first edition of the year but once we’re a month in, people tend to forget so we have to pull out all the stops in order to maintain interest for the rest of the year.
That’s why the Secret Sorceress page was larger than usual. Lorcan knows that our readers love speculating about the who’s and the what’s of those letters.
You see the first one? That’s from the mystery girl, and we still have no idea who she is. You might say that you know, it’s just generic, it could conceivably be almost any girl in this school, but Timmi says traces of personality always find their way into the smallest of phrases. These notes are too generic. They could have been have been from any girl, and therefore they couldn’t. This means that this person has gone to great lengths to delete all hint of personality, so as to remain completely anonymous even from us. And they’re doing a good job, so naturally Timmi is now obsessed with the mystery girl’s identity.
I went up to the Pig Zits office on Monday to get started on the month’s Secret Sorceress messages, but our Owl-Hole was empty, and this was odd. Even if it was the beginning of the month our Owl-Hole was usually bursting with messages from the stricken Hogwarts population. Thinking maybe Timmi had emptied it, I pushed open the door to the office.
My immediate thought was that some sort of secret social plague had struck the Hogwarts students, from the amount of paper on Timmi’s desk, but then I realised that there was just a relatively small pile of parchment on the spike stand that we used to arrange the messages.
The rest of the pieces of parchment were all covered in the same handwriting, and on an especially large piece, Timmi was feverishly scratching out-
‘A list of all female Hogwarts students?’ I asked, exasperated. ‘Timmi, why?’
‘We got another note from the mystery girl,’ Timmi said through gritted teeth. ‘And I still don’t know who she is!’
‘So you decided to write out all the girls here and eliminate them one by one?’ I said, unimpressed. ‘Are you sure that’s the most constructive use of your time?’
‘I don’t care!’ Timmi hissed. ‘I will not let her beat me!’
I rolled my eyes. ‘Any other notes?’
‘I said, she just sent one in.’ Timmi said, eyes glued to her parchment.
‘No,’ I meant from anyone but her.’ I sighed.
‘Oh.’ Timmi paused in her quill-scratching. ‘We’ve just got one from a second year who’s best friend has got her period and Marla Tannebaum wants to loose ten pounds magically.’
‘Right,’ I said, and settled down to look up a couple of weight-loss spells.
Thankfully, after a week of this madness something served to distract Timmi from her obsession with this mystery. She was asked out by a Slytherin in her year, Rudolfe Schmitte. I’d seen him around the school but Ravenclaws and Slytherins don’t really mix so the only thing I really knew about him when Timmi told me the news one evening was that he was firm friends with Mario Branco.
This didn’t really do much for my opinion of him, until Timmi assured me that they were nothing alike. While Mario was a well-known player, Rudolfe’s first girlfriend was Timmi herself. Mario had a widespread reputation, but very little was known about Rudolfe apart from the fact that he was good at Potions. Mario got detentions every other lesson, and Rudolfe was a great student. Timmi eagerly outlined every one of his qualities until I almost fancied Rudolfe myself.
After this Timmi spent a lot less time in the Pig Zits office, and more time hanging out with Rudolfe. I’m happy for her, but to be honest, I miss her a little bit. We can’t really act like more than acquaintances in public otherwise suspicions would be aroused, so the only time we really get to hang out was when we work the Secret Sorceress together. Usually I wouldn’t really mind too much but seeing as Scorpius is still acting like Blast-Ended Skrewt on a bad diet I’m lacking in company.
I’ve noticed a trend in his bad moods, however. He’s always most animated when writing home, but the most bad-tempered after having received an answer. To be honest, this makes sense. I know that Scorpius doesn’t have the easiest home life in the world, his father being so old-fashioned and his mother so domineering. But he always feels guilty that he enjoys being away from Malfoy Manor, and tries to make the best of things, that is, until he’s reminded about his parents’ faults.
But it still worries me. Sure, Scorpius has always had problems, but who doesn’t? And he’d always been relatively cheerful before, if slightly uptight. He’d tried so hard to make a name for himself that wasn’t unpleasant in any way to make up for his family’s reputation, and now he’s plain grouchy all of the time, and it’s not like him.
Sure, he has his faults. He’s still known throughout Hogwarts as ‘the guy who hexed his little sister’s boyfriend’, and he can be a bit tense and overly sensitive, but come on, everyone has a friend like that, and Scorpius is a good guy. So I care about why he’s so miserable all the time.
I have to figure out what in Merlin’s name is going on, and not just to satisfy my intense curiosity. I have to do it for him.
But what about Kalliope? you say. Why was she in tears? What’s going on between her and Albus? Why did you leave us in suspense?
Well, the truth is, I don’t know what to say about her. I still don’t know exactly what’s going on. But at least now I have a better idea, even if that conversation isn’t the most comfortable one I’ve ever had.
‘Kal? Kal, what’s up?’ I sat down next to her on the bed while her shoulders shook with sobs. She didn’t seem to be able to say anything, so I let her tears run their course. I just sat with her and rubbed her shoulders. Eventually she raised her reddened and tear-stained face from the sodden pillow.
‘Kal, what’s wrong?’ I said softly.
‘Oh, i-it’s just – just – I – miss h-home, that’s-s all.’
I gave her a look. ‘Pull the other one, it’s got fairy lights on.’
‘Rose, could you just leave it?’ Kalliope said, her eyes streaming.
Usually I would have just given her a hug and told her to talk to me when she was ready, but I don’t know exactly what it was- maybe I’d been hanging out with Timmi too much- but I knew, I just knew, that I shouldn’t give up, that there was so much more underneath the surface that Kalliope was concealing.
So instead of letting the matter lie, I turned Kalliope’s wet face towards mine, looked her in the eye and said, ‘Tell me what’s going on.’
‘It’s none of your business!’ Kalliope said heatedly, pushing me away.
‘Getting angry with me won’t work,’ I said gently. Something’s wrong and I’m not leaving until we figure it out. I’m your best friend, Kal, I want to help you.’
‘No!’ Kalliope sobbed.
But my conviction was strong. I didn’t let up until Kalliope collapsed in a heap on the floor, still sobbing helplessly.
‘I d-don’t w-want to d-drag you into th-this.’ She whispered brokenly.
‘Too late,’ I said firmly. ‘I’m dragging myself into this.’
‘B-but he’s your c-cousin.’
My stomach dropped unpleasantly and I had to work to disguise the shock on my face. In truth, I had not thought that this despair had anything to do with her relationship with Albus. Since realising that no sex of any kind had occurred over the summer through Albus’ notes, I had pretty much forgotten about the matter entirely and accepted the fact that my cousin and my best friend were in love to the point of inanity.
‘So, it’s got to do with Albus, then?’ I said matter-of-factly, to cover my internal groaning. ‘Well, we’re getting somewhere.’
‘Kalliope took a deep shuddering breath to explain. ‘Over the summer I thought me and Al were going to break up.’
This was even more shocking. Kalliope and Albus had spent so much time with each other over the summer- she’d even gone on holiday with the Weasley clan to France as my best friend and Albus’ girlfriend.
‘So what’s wrong now?’ I asked.
‘The problems from the summer… they haven’t gone away.’
I paused. I really, really didn’t want to know the intimate details of Kalliope and Albus’ relationship, but if it was hurting Kalliope…
‘What…’ I cleared my throat. ‘And what was this problem?’
Kalliope looked up at me from her position on the floor and blinked her big eyes at me, swollen from the crying as they were. ‘Don’t tell.’
I hastened to assure her of my complete confidentiality.
‘I thought… I think I like someone else.’
My jaw dropped open before I could stop it. ‘You… you didn’t…’
‘No!’ Kalliope said as indignantly as possible for someone who was not only on the verge of tears, but free-falling into a sea of misery. ‘I’d never cheat!’
‘Well, that’s something,’ I said in relief. ‘So it’s not what you’ve done, but what you feel?’
Kalliope nodded. ‘I don’t want to lead Al on.’ She whispered.
I bit my tongue thoughtfully. Justice where it was due, Kalliope wasn’t crying over nothing. She and Albus had been so great together, and now…
‘Kal,’ I said hesitantly. ‘Who is this guy you think you like?’
Kalliope bit her lip. ‘Don’t tell.’ She said again.
‘Of course not.’ I reassured her.
Kalliope looked at me for a long time, before pulling in a big breath and whispering, ‘Professor Creevey.’
A teacher. She fancied a teacher. Strange as it seems, I was a bit relieved. There was no way a teacher (whose class she didn’t even take) could reciprocate her feelings, and that meant no-one would be actively pulling her away from Albus. She just had to get over Professor Creevey in order for everything to be alright again. Anyway, fancying Professor Creevey was so mainstream, it was almost expected.
I hugged Kalliope. ‘Everything’s going to sort itself out, you’ll see.’
It wasn’t until later that I realised that Kalliope hadn’t known Professor Creevey until the beginning of this year.
She’d been lying.
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