"The Yule ball is an age old tradition," an elderly professor Flitwick announced, waving his arms so unenthusiastically that he almost fell of the stool that he had stood on top of his table, "and you must treat it with the upmost respect that it deserves!"
Sweet Jesus, I hadn't even thought about this aspect of the tournament, why didn't I just let the Cockatrice eat me? Flitwick waved his arms some more to regain the attention of the class which had dissolved into giggles, it really is pathetic. Yes I know I'm a fun sponge. It's the way I roll.
"You may have heard about it, but I must go over the details for those of you less informed, and if a teacher in another lesson goes over this again, let them speak as someone in your class may not have been present." He coughed into a small silky handkerchief, clearing his throat before continuing to explain about the Yule ball, if I'm brutally honest I blocked it all out, you want me to have a 'fun night'? Buy me the Lord of the Rings box set and some chocolate. Done. Other people have to make such a fuss. Anyway, I am a terrible drunk. But that's beside the point.
"Oi," Scorpius nudged me, leaning over but keeping his eyes on Flitwick, "will you be drinking? Because you have some exceptional dance moves, and I fear if you didn't you would be depriving the world of something undoubtedly beautiful." He smiled sweetly earning him a stomp on the foot to which he swore loudly.
"Is there something wrong Malfoy?" Flitwick held his hands behind his back and tapped his foot irritably.
"No Sir," Scorpius glared at me jokily.
"That was one time," I hissed, "besides, I was hot." He agreed mutedly.
As we left, Trina linked her arm through his, grinning as she discussed them going to the Ball together, though she looked at me about double as much as she looked at him. Bless her, maybe she's trying to tell me she'd like to go with me, can't say if I was her I wouldn't feel the same.
On the other hand there's a chance she's just trying to make me jealous because she's spiteful, it's a long-shot I know but if that is the case I already have a plan; my next lesson was potions.
We seated ourselves around a bench but there was a spare seat next to me, I gestured for Matthew to sit there and he did with a brief wave to him Durmstrang friends who grunted, typical Durmstrang behaviour.
He looked like a fisherman who'd caught a freaking whale, only not really like that at all because I don't even know why a fisherman would want to catch a whale. It would sink his ship and then he would drown, serves him right for trying to kill a whale I guess. Bloody fishermen. Matthew flinched away from me and I realised I had given him my dirtiest look, woops.
"Oh sorry," I mumbled apologetically and he went back to looking like a cheery fisherman. I don't know whether it was the mental whale scenario, or that time I saw a man catch a fish then punch it in the face, but I suddenly didn't like fishing. Or Matthew that much. Oh well, I didn't really need to like him for the plan (evil laughing etc.).
"So, you know about the ball?" He said in heavily accented English. I sort of hoped he would say more words beginning with 'w' because it was fun the way he pronounced them as a 'v'. I get this with all accents, it's like when my primary school teacher who had a very strong lisp taught us about the solar system and space. I learned literally the most I ever had in class.
"Yeah, I do, what do you think of it?"
"I think it is very good. Vill you be going?" Score!
"Maybe I will, will you?"
"I vill, but I don't know who vith." Double score! I flicked my hair off my shoulder so I could make out that Trina was watching, act flirty! Act flirty! Shit, why did not occur to me I can't flirt?
I spent the rest of the lesson trying my best to flirt, and the best part is, even though I was terrible, it worked! Because Trina probably just thinks that's how I flirt. Which it is. Still. I live in the hope that in a real time of need I will be able to flirt.
When we left I told Trina and Scorpius that I'd catch them up which obviously flicked the switch as Trina pulled a face of confusion and disgust, a bit like I had spat on her. Maybe I should have.
In the emptying corridor Matthew smiled at me lopsidedly, I wasn't at all comfortable with this. I tugged my skirt down and looked at the floor.
"Vose," I stared at him tucking a strand of rebellious hair behind my ear, "vould you like to accomp'ny me? To the ball I mean." For a giant he was pretty cute (giant in a non literal sense, I just mean he was tall, I haven't just missed out a large chunk of information), how the hell was I meant to turn him down? I had not thought this through at all.
"I'm really sorry but I just can't," his face dropped, "because my friend really likes you and it would be mean of me," that cheered him up a bit.
"Trina," bam! this plan was working, he better ask her now.
"She is very beautiful, but I vant to go vith you."
"Well go with her, and if she says no I'll happily go with you," which is true, he was very nice and I felt like a top class bitch for lying to him.
He nodded disappointedly and bent down, he swiftly kissed me on the forehead and walked away. I am so the baddy in this story.
I slunk back to the dorm. Slunk. Such a fun word to say. When I went in Trina perched on her bed with perfectly plaited hair and no make-up, though I'm sure she must have curled her eyelashes and used ridicules quantities of Vaseline on her lips for some obscure reason.
"So, tell me about Matthew!" She was more annoying trying to be friendly than she was trying to be evil.
"I really like him," play along I told myself as I settled with Aslan on my bed, "I just feel so... happy. Scorpius always made me uptight and worried, but I just feel like Matthew likes me. It would kill me if he went with someone else to this ball." Did I overkill? Was that too much of a hint?
"You two are so cute! I'd hate for anything to get between you!" Sure you would pleb.
I did my best smile, which came out a bit constipated, then pretended to do something and went to dinner, which was eventless. Except for that Vera Robinson kid talked to me a bit, she looks like a female Scorpius I decided whilst she was talking to me. I should tell him this.
As far as I was concerned my plan wouldn't take action for several days but when I returned to the common room Scorpius was sulking in the corner more sulkily that usual. I insulted him as a friendly greeting but he just looked even more sulky.
"Come on Malfoy, lighten up and learn to take some banter." I flopped onto the sofa next to him. Glad that I had packed some pudding from dinner into a box in my bag, I ate the chocolate cake whilst giving him my sympathetic look.
"Trina's going to the ball with someone else." Oh no, how terrible you.
"That is... completely tragic. So she's broken up with you?" I added sounded overly happy about it, which I was, but he probably didn't want me to be.
"No, but that Matthew guy asked her, and she just said she wanted me to understand, because she wants to dance with one of the champions and he was the only, you know, one with a penis." He pulled a chunk of my cake off and chewed it thoughtfully. Whhhaaat a bitch.
"You could always go with someone totally awesome and cool and make her jealous. Also hot with mad dancing skills."
"Your mum's going?"
"No, but her daughter is."
"Now that was plain offensive." I threw some more cake at him, which I instantly regretted. Cake thrown is cake wasted.
"Rose," he picked the cake off, contemplated throwing it on the floor, then eating it, "would you like to go with me?"
"I'm not a second choice Malfoy." His face dropped, what a berk, "Lol, of course I'll go with you." Did I just say lol?
"You're not a second choice, I didn't technically ask Trina." He was trying to be funny, and yes I was joking but I was sort of pissed at him. I was a second choice. And he was asking me because his girlfriend had ditched him. Girlfriend. I must have meant less than nothing to him.
I jumped to my feet, why was I such a hormonal bitch?
"You know what, no. I'm going to go with someone who likes me, and is pleased to go with me, not someone who is disappointed because their first choice turned them down. And what Trina said is bullshit, if she liked you, like a girlfriend is supposed to, she would want to go with you more than anything else." He looked so depressed. Like suicidal depressed. I should rid him of all pointy objects for safety, "Scorpius, do you have any pens on you?" He looked completely lost but passed me one from his rob anyway, "Thanks." There. I was in no way responsible for his death.
I left in a huff. This was exactly how the plan was meant to work out and yet I was feeling about as happy as a fat kid in P.E. which isn't happy at all. I know, I was that fat kid. I'm going to rephrase that to something that doesn't bring back haunting memories; I was feeling about as happy as the kid with a gastric band in McDonalds. It doesn't fit in, but hey, the word McDonalds is cheering me up.
I stormed my way to the Gryffindor common room, giving off vibes of attempt-to-talk-to-me-and-I-will-slap-you as best I could to save me from having to talk to anyone. Lucky for me not many people try to talk to me anyway...
The one thing I didn't expect was to bump into Matthew.
"Oh, hey," he stopped abruptly, obviously he had taken note to my vibes, but I wanted to talk to him so it was different. He looked at me with genuinely hurt eyes, what had I done?
"Trina said yes." He focused on his boots, I joined in, they were funky looking.
"Oh... Well I hope you two have a great time," I looked up, smiling and he looked up angrily.
"Is there someone you vant to ask you? Has some vone already asked you?" Eeeek! This sounded like an accusation.
"No!" I realised instantly that was the exact answer he didn't want.
"Then could you not have just told me you didn't vant to go vith me? Because it is hurtful that Trina says she vanted to make it very clear to me she had boyfriend, why did you say she liked me? I thought you both liked me, now I know neither of you do. You have made me very sad." Amongst other things I noted that his English had improved greatly. Why does my brain make irrelevant observations when it's sad?
"Matthew, the thing is-"
"Don't explain yourself, it is clear enough to me." He brushed against me lightly as he left, shaking his head sadly. He wasn't the only one who used to think he had two people.
I felt a throbbing in my chest and a ball in my throat. I was so pathetic it made the ball grow until tears spilled from my eyes and I had the urge to hide myself from respectable eyes.
I let myself into a little under the stairs cupboard. It had a sloping ceiling and wound round a corner which I followed. If it weren't for the tiny window at the end it would have been overly claustrophobic.
My mood was not improved when some snogging fifth years burst in, only breaking apart when they tried to physically sit on me.
"The astronomy tower's usually empty at this time," the boy suggested scratching the back of his head awkwardly as the girl did her top buttons back up. I wiped my face desperately, but my makeup smeared hands only made me more sure I looked an utter mess.
The girl headed out and the boy turned to me.
"You're Rose right?" I nodded, "you're hot, if the tournament gets too much, just give me a call, I can be very comforting," he winked cockily.
"I think you ought to leave before I rip your balls off, stuff them, and hang them on my Christmas tree," I snarled. He soon left.
When I sheepishly emerged a large deal later I caught Al trying to enter the cupboard with some girl. Had I accidently selected the love shack to cry in?
"Who were you in there with?" He asked cheekily.
"Rose, that is rough." He looked a little repulsed, as did the girl he was with.
"Crying!" I said defensively, "I was crying!" He gave me an unbelieving nod.
"This is Ruby by the way," he smiled proudly as he indicated to the undeniably pretty Hufflepuff who stood unnaturally close to him.
She had silver blonde hair and forget-me-not blue eyes, when Al looked at her she smiled shyly at her feet, her cheeks tingeing pink. Though I feel bad for it, I was faintly annoyed she wasn't a slut, I mean this was clearly the girl he had met at the task one party, and I didn't want him to have someone really nice. It made me lonely. Still he looked so happy.
I stood aside and they trotted into the cupboard, I didn't like being around this Ruby, pretty and kind people are extremely intimidating.
"Rose! Is this your tissue in here?" He called laughing at his own little dirty joke, if you don't get the joke, please don't ask me to explain it.
"Fuck off Potter!" I needed a new place to lurk, but I only moved when I was softly hit in the back of the head by a tissue, I turned to a grinning Al who disappeared around the corner again. If he wasn't my cousin I would so punch him in the face. He’s lucky if you ask me.
Trina tried to ‘sensitively’ inform me she was going to the ball with Matthew, I shook her off and curled up in my bed which had colder sheets than normal and it took a fair while to warm up enough for me to sleep.
Don’t get me wrong, I can sleep in extreme circumstances, but this bed was beyond cold. I had bloody goose bumps.
The next morning I went and sat with the Gryffindors as I was now unwanted at the Slytherin table, where the Slytherins sat and the Durmstrangs. This sucked.
They were all very nice on the Gryffindor table, I can see why mum and dad liked it there and Uncle Harry, Auntie Ginny, Uncle George, Uncle Bill, Uncle Charlie, Uncle Percy, Grandma, Granddad… I see now why me and Al were disappointments.
In my lessons I huddled with whoever I knew from the house that wasn’t my own, so for the first double I sat with Al and his Hufflepuff girly, then for divination, which I took because apparently I have ‘the inner eye’, I sat with Chrystal who looked permanently shocked and to be honest I got the impression she’d pissed herself. Wouldn’t be too out of character.
Dinner went like breakfast, McGonagall reminded us that we were to be attending dance lessons after school on Friday if we wished to attend the ball (everyone) and that me, Matthew and Kristine were to stay a little longer than everyone else to make sure we had really mastered it.
Friday approached fast as time does sometimes and I was soon stood in front of Karl Creevey in the busy hall which was lacking in tables. McGonagall screeched above the clamour and started up some slow moving music, constantly instructing us.
Karl was positively adorable, normally I may have been embarrassed to be with him, and sure people were judging me, but I'm a fucking nice person, and he actually has quiet nice hair. When McGonagall ordered all the boys to put their hands on their partners waists he was suddenly terrified.
"I won't bite," why would I say that? I hate it when people say that to me, it's like, I wasn't bloody expecting you to bite me you freak. Regardless he smiled revealing straight white teeth Nana and Grandpa Ganger would be proud of. After gradually gathering the courage he put his hand on my waist, so I just smiled encouragingly, because what else was I meant to do? Congratulate him on his ability to move his arm?
I danced my bestest and at the end Karl stopped me before he left.
"I know loads of people have probably asked you, and you're way more popular than me, because I'm just lame little Karl Creevey, and loads and loads of other things, but would you maybe like to go with me to the dance? Don't feel bad about saying no," he added on the end, his self depreciation was endearing.
"I'd love to go with you Karl."
"Really? You're not just saying that?"
"Nope, and you're not the first person to ask me. But you're the first one I've said yes to." Being kind makes me feel warm inside. Or is that possibly nausea? I don't think it is...
He embraced me in a tight hug which I really hadn't seen coming and grinned the whole way out the hall and round the corner, I even think I saw him skip a little, I don't know how long he carried on though because I had to stay behind. With Matthew and Kristine. I am sure Matthew just witnessed that.
"Miss, I 'ave somewhere I must be, I 'ave done dancing many times before, is it okay for me to leave?" Kristine said to Miss McGonagall before she was dismissed. Thanks Kristine. You really are an utter poo. that's right, I went there.
"I guess you two should pair up then, though you do seem to have both got the hang of it, I won't hold you long." Ah, I like the way her words burned my ears.
Matthew positioned before me but he didn't seem to be holding too much of a grudge. We danced together uncomfortably and the only way I could comfort myself was by assuring myself this would be worse if I had accepted to go to the ball with him. Which was a lie, he would have looked a whole lot happier.
McGonagall dismissed us too after only about quarter of an hour giving me enough time to arrive in the common room to watch Scorpius ask Brittney to the ball, who seemed less than happy about the arrangement, seeing as he was still going out with Trina. I think I saw his heart break a little more when she turned him down, Judy looked hopefully at him. He then asked her.
So romantic. As it turns out, the person Judy is 'in love' with is going with someone else, so she was glad to be going with someone just as friends. Scorpius didn't seem too bad, Judy it alright looking I guess.
When Scorpius retired to his chair I went over and sat near him. He looked at me kindly, his way of telling me he wasn't angry.
"I can totally see your point, I was nasty to put you in that position, I'm sure there are tons of boys who would love to go with the Triwizard champion. Anyone you have your eye on?" Sounds a bit creepy, like is there anyone you watch when they're not looking, or follow around at night time. Or maybe that's just called guilty conscience.
"Well, actually I'm going with Karl."
"Creevey," I managed an inaudible yes as I shuffled my feet, waiting for his laughter of mockingness or just something.
"I think that's really nice of you, Karl's alright if you get to know him. You're a much bigger person than I thought." I made the decision to take this as a complement.
"Thanks, he is very sweet. Judy's nice too, I used to sit next to her in potions sometimes." He agreed and we sat quietly, me just begging the question in my head of why we weren't going together, minus Trina and there'd be no problem. I guess we were both helping two other perfectly nice people, which is good.
When I went to bed I met Trina at the top of the stairs.
"I'd just like to say," I wriggled my toes and chewed the inside of my cheek, I am such a big person it's unbelievable, "I've been a bitch to you, and I should stop holding a grudge against something that happened so long ago, it's stupid."
"It is a bit pathetic, and you have been a bitch to me, but thanks," calm Rose calm, you can do this, "and you've got a fat arse." Oh hell no.
I must not know my own strength because as I playfully shoved her, she tripped slightly. And it would have been fine. Had I not pushed he down the stairs.