Chapter 2 : Strategy
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Breakfast the next morning was a memorable occasion. I sat down with Hugo, picking up three slices of toast and dropping it on my plate. My eyes rose to his hair, which looked like it had been attacked by a bunch of Nargles, while I simultaneously lathered my toast with raspberry jam.
“Does your hair always look like that?” I asked, trying to sound polite. I didn’t want our friendship to get off on the wrong foot.
“Hrmm,” he muttered, rubbing the sleep from his eyes and taking a bit out of an apple, quite uninterestedly. “Tried...comb...nothing.”
“Clearly we are morning people,” I took a bite out of my toast and poured myself some orange juice. “So, what are we doing today?”
“Double potions,” he mumbled, mouth full of apple bits. I scrunched my nose at him.
“Sluggy? You’re kidding,” I groaned. “You might need some carbs to keep you going. Have a sandwich.”
Hugo Weasley glared at me and rested his head on his palm, chewing at his apple like it was the most worrisome thing in the world.
“You know what I like?” I tried. “Conversation. Conversation is nice, first thing in the morning. Revs up the engines and makes it feel like this shit day might have some promise.”
The boy merely chuckled and I glared at him.
“Pass the tart,” he said suddenly and I did. “So,” he cleared his throat. “What’s your plan?”
“My plan?” I raised my eyebrows at him, and felt something sticky move on my forehead. I wiped it with a sleeve, only to five a patch of purple jam on my shiny black coat. “What plan?”
“Your plan of revenge, of course,” Hugo said casually, like it was something everybody talked about during breakfast on Monday morning.
“Revenge? What for?” I asked, looking at him like he was mental. Well, he was bloody mental.
“It’s your last year, don’t you want to get back at all the twats who made your school life miserable?” he looked concerned for me and I appreciated it. Then I held up a knife and stabbed the half of his apple that remained uneaten on his plate.
“Revenge is for the petty,” I said, rolling my eyes. “We’re bigger than that, Hugo.”
“Pun intended?” he asked, and raised his hands apologetically. Oh I see. He gets to make fat jokes and he gets away with it, because we’re friends. “I just don’t think you should let them off that easily. What if they do the same thing tomorrow, at a workplace or in a supermarket? If you teach them a lesson, they won’t do it again. Think about the greater good, Audrey.”
“But revenge and teaching someone a lesson aren’t the same thing,” I said, shaking my head at him. “Besides, I doubt these tossers will ever learn.”
“That’s because tossers like you are too lazy to teach them the right way,” he shot back and I folded my arms across my chest.
“What do you suggest we do?” When I said this, Hugo placed both elbows on the table and joined the tips of his fingers together, as if he was concocting some diabolical plan.
“Something diabolical,” he said, and I made a face at him.
“What do you suggest we do, minus the drama?” I asked again and he grinned broadly.
“We’ll work it out. It has to be a concrete plan. Lots of layers to it, and completely foolproof. Every moron in the school that has ever done us wrong will – ”
“Have breadsticks thrown at them?” I offered and Hugo nodded seriously. I cocked my head to a side and smirked at him.
“I know, I know, it doesn’t sound very promising at the moment. You just wait till Hugo Weasley comes up with something so great it redefines the meaning of epic,” he pretended to sound miffed and I shrugged.
“What’s your time frame?”
“Depends on my mood. At the moment I’m wavering over vengeful and psycho-killer, so I hope to have one by the end of the day,” he nodded. I chortled with laughter. Amusing, these creatures called boys were. “Are you in?”
“Of course I’m in! I’m the one we’re avenging, aren’t we?” I exclaimed proudly.
“No, we’re avenging the both of us. Those blokes have made me feel like an insignificant tit for the last six years and the girls have pretended like I don’t exist,” he said angrily and I tried not to laugh at his choice of words.
“Alright then. Bloom-Weasley for world domination!” I held out my hand and he shook it firmly.
“Merlin, Audrey, you’ve got jam all over your hands!”
Hugo and I had become the talk of the town. Everybody was looking at us suspiciously during class and in the corridors, and especially at meals. After managing to survive double Potions and Transfiguration, we trudged to the library with no actual intention of finishing our homework.
“Okay, I hope you have a plan,” I said as we got seated near a window.
“Are you kidding? You sat through that day with me, didn’t you? Plan my arse,” he sighed, scratching his hair. “My brain needs some greasing after that.”
“What’s your mood?” I asked curiously, still not sure if I should take him seriously or not.
I sighed and bookmarked a few pages in Transfiguration and Tyranny for future reference, in case we ever got down to doing homework.
“Let’s make a list. Give me some parchment,” he ordered and I pulled out a sheet from my bag. He dipped his quill in ink and scribbled something over the parchment, blowing over the wet ink.
“What are you, illiterate? It says The List,” he asked, offended that I couldn’t read his alarmingly illegible handwriting.
“I’m sorry, I’m not talented in reading runes,” I snapped and he pushed the parchment towards me.
“You do the writing then,” he said, crossing his arms across his chest. “We’ll need this for later, so it has to be kept safely.”
I nodded. “What list is this?”
“The Tosser List,” Hugo said surely, and I looked at him, expecting more. “Write it,” he said and I did.
“The Tosser List?” I asked and he nodded.
“We need a list of all the broads and blokes we’re going after, and we need to keep track of it. A plan of vengeance for each one of them, I think. Yeah, that’ll do. You deal with the broads and I’ll deal with the blokes.”
“I want Roger Davies, though. If anybody’s getting back at him, it has to be me,” I said, feeling very much like an evil mastermind no thanks to Mr Weasley.
“Alright,” he agreed, seeming to understand how strong my hatred for the guy was. “Is this Gryffindor-specific?”
“We’ll do them first. If there are others from the other houses, we’ll write them last.”
“Okay,” I dipped the quill in ink and held it over the parchment. “Who’s first?”
He snorted and I realized why. I wrote down Roger Davies as neatly as I could.
“Write whoever comes to mind,” Hugo said. “The worst ones will probably come to you first.”
I chuckled. “Hannah Crowley!” I said spitefully, writing her name down. “When I went back upstairs yesterday, after the Roger Davies Incident, I heard her telling Samantha Gold – who is another massive twat who once accused me of stealing her soap just because I said I wasn’t a big fan of her stupid Bart Lestrange Fanclub – that I deserved it, and that she’d seen me eat more than a hungry hippogriff at breakfast.”
“Those ones are the skinny ones, aye?” he asked. “Man, nobody tells them to go put on a few pounds, do they? Oh, Dragomir Delacqua, that hairy fart. He jinxed my bed just because I got the beaters position and he didn’t,” It was safe to say that Hugo was as mad as I was.
“Don’t forget Casey, Cynthia and Lisa,” I exclaimed, writing down fervently. “Casey Harrows, Cynthia Windsor and Lisa Beau. There. Remember when they tormented the Creeveys and broke that camera of theirs?”
“Oh, Lisa’s boyfriend, that ugly one who looks like a troll!”
I snorted. “Dex Hunter? The biggest bozo alive if there ever was one.” I sighed, shaking my head.
Hugo was ablaze. “That complete arse copied off my entire Defence Against the Dark Arts essay and then tore it to shreds! And he had the nerve to say “wasn’t this Potter’s subject? I’m sure you could ask him to write you another one, since you guys are such pals”.”
“Something similar happened to me with Priyanka Patil. She once told me I should spend less time at the kitchens and more with my books. And then she copied my entire Herbology essay and told Sprout that I was the one who had copied hers. Alright hang on though, who’s after Lisa again? Right, Dex...”
We sat there for ages. When I was finally done writing, I let out a sigh of accomplishment.
“How many names have we got?” Hugo asked and I numbered all of them.
“That’s it? I don’t believe it,” he said, taking the list from me and inspecting it. “That’s just from Gryffindor though.”
“We’ll deal with these idiots first,” I told him. “We need to come up with enough plans, though. If we’re doing these individually.”
“We sure are,” Hugo had his game face on. Or what I assumed was his game face. “Let’s start from the bottom. We’ll save Davies for last.”
“Alright,” I agreed. “What are we planning for Wanda Krammer?”
“Hang on,” he said, taking the list from me again. “How many girls and how many boys are there? Four boys and eight girls? You’re kidding me. Add the Lestrange brothers on there as well.”
I chuckled. “What did they do to you?”
“This is just to make sure they don’t end up like their parents,” he shrugged. “Precautionary punishment. Plus, they’ve been nasty to the Creevys as well.”
“Alright. Axel and Axwood Lestrange,” I scribbled down. “So that means you get five, and I get nine, since I get Davies as well. Or we could compound Lisa and Dexter, since they’re hardly ever apart. So you get one more there.”
“Six-nine is fine. We both have to strategise together though.”
“You do all the other ones from the other houses, if there are any? I can’t think of any except for Mulciber,” I said. “So he’s yours as well.”
“That bloke was the one who shoved me off my broom during playoffs,” Hugo said angrily.
“Oh come on, that’s just Quidditch,” I argued.
“Yeah, what about calling somebody a Mudblood? That Quidditch as well?”
“Alright, alright. We’ve got fifteen at the moment. Why don’t we stop for now and go over some strategies?”
Hugo thought this was a good idea. “Some of the Gryffindor ones I can get during Quidditch. We can’t do it in dormitories unless either one of us figures out a way that we can both be there to witness it,” he chuckled. “I wouldn’t miss any of this for a World Cup match.”
“Hogsmeade. That’s a good place to try it as well. We’ll have plenty of time and space won’t be an issue. What kind of things are we planning on doing anyway?” I asked and he shrugged.
“Something that will really punch them in the face,” he scratched his stubble and let out a yawn.
“I think the library will be closing soon, it’s almost nine.”
“We missed dinner?” I cried. “I don’t believe it.”
Hugo chuckled and stood up, stretching himself as he did so. “Let’s go to the kitchens.”
On our walk down, there were even more eyes watching us than before. I could practically hear them going Where were they? What were they doing? I can’t believe Bloom missed dinner; they were definitely snogging somewhere.
Ten minutes later, Bluebell the house elf brought us each a plate of potato gratin, mashed peas, a boiled egg and a small pot of pie.
“Okay. Who’s first from Gryffindor - Krammer?” Hugo asked and I shushed him immediately.
“I don’t work while I’m eating,” I informed him, and went back to my peas.
“Why not?” he asked, shovelling bits of pie into his mouth faster than even I would.
“Because I don’t like mixing work with pleasure,” I said coolly. “And chew your bloody food.”
He pretended to eat noisily for a few minutes just to annoy me. Ten minutes later, with the last few crumbs of pie happily resting in my by now further bulging stomach, we got back to work.
“Alright,” I let out a happy sigh. “Wanda Krammer. Plan of action?”
“Embarrass her in some way. We have to. She made me look like a bloody arse that day,” Hugo said, not sounding very chuffed. “How though?”
I drummed my fingers on the table. Then I sat up straight. “We could do something really wicked,” I said slowly.
“What?” Hugo was up in his seat as well.
“Do you have any Weasley supplies?” I asked and he nodded.
“I’ve got the puking pastilles and a couple of DIY Howlers. Limited edition, those are,” His eyes were glimmering, and I could tell it wasn’t because of the pie.
“We could use the Howlers. I doubt anybody’s seen too many of those, they’re really rare. So she won’t know it’s not an original.”
“We could write a poem. Show everybody her true colours,” he whispered and my eyes widened with excitement.
“Yes! About how everyone knows she managed to sneak in a couple of pages from her textbook for that Arithmancy test in fourth year! And we’ll make her feel bad. That is, assuming that bint’s got something to call a heart.”
“We could list out all the cruel things she’s done to people – including me, of course,” he added and pumped his fist in the air. “This is good. Maybe I’ll even ask Uncle George if he can make some stuff just for us. Just for our mission.”
“We’ll save something special for the really nasty ones, like Davies and Crowley.”
“Alright! Where? Wanda Krammer I mean.”
“Umm, the Great Hall. Everybody has to see. And when the teachers find out about the cheating, I’m sure they will ask her about it.”
Hugo found this an opportune moment to do a very bad impersonation of an evil laugh. “Not good?”
“I’ll work on it. By the time we’re on Davies’ case, I’ll be a pro,” he justified and I chuckled loudly.
“When are we doing this?”
“Krammer? Tomorrow!” the Weasley was beyond excited.
“Not tomorrow, it’s already almost tomorrow!”
“What are you, nervous? I’ve waited six years for this; I’m not bloody waiting another day.”
“We have to write the Howler, don’t we? When do we do that?” I tried to reason with the boy. All the pie was probably clogging his brain.
“Right now. Right – don’t look at me like that! We’re going to be busy doing our homework tomorrow morning – ”
“Shit!” I had completely forgotten about the homework, of course.
“- and then we’ll have class, and no breaks because it’s Tuesday. The only time we’ll get is during meals and we can’t do it in an open space.”
“So we’ll do it at this time tomorrow! In the library, or down here!”
“No, Wednesday’s try outs for seeker. Nobody will even be at breakfast. I’m not going to wait till Thursday,” he said and I sighed, drumming my fingers on the table again.
“Fine. Where are the Howlers?”
“Be back in five,” and with that Hugo got out of his chair so fast it nearly toppled over and startled Bluebell.
It was past one by the time we had finished the poem. Hugo’s eyes were almost bloodshot.
“It’s a masterpiece,” he said, looking at it triumphantly. “Shall I put it into the envelope? There’s no looking back then.”
“How do we go to the Owlery at this hour? We’ll have to use one of the school owls,” I rubbed my eyes, still very much excited. Hugo pulled out a shiny cloak from his backpack and I just stared at him.
“Is that ... ?”
“Indeed,” he said happily. “Albus lent it to me last year. Shame he wants it back when I’m done with Hogwarts though.”
“No one will see us, then?” I asked foolishly and Hugo rolled his eyes at me. He folded the letter and pushed inside the Howler envelope and pressed the seal down.
We walked all the way to the Owlery, found a funny little barn owl that was fit to do the job, and then all the way back to the Gryffindor Common Room. Waking up the Fat Lady from under an invisibility cloak was even tougher than thinking up a nasty poem for Wanda Krammer.
“Now we wait,” Hugo said, pulling the cloak off the two of us and shoving it back into his backpack.
“No, now we sleep,” I chuckled. “Remember, we have to finish off the Transfiguration essay in the morning, so try and be up early.”
“It’s nearly two thirty or something,” he yawned. “Don’t expect me to be up before eight.”
“We can’t finish the essay in an hour! Especially not with all the drama going on in the background,” I grinned and he mirrored my expression.
“Tomorrow is going to be epic,” he declared.
“The dawn of a new – ”
“Oh, don’t push it,” he cut across and I glared at him.
“Be in the Great Hall at seven thirty,” I said, and that was an order.
“I’ll think about it,” he said, turning away and walking towards the Boys’ Dormitories. “Night Bloom.”
I had a content smile plastered all over my face as I walked up the stairs to the dormitory and collapsed onto my bed. I resisted the urge to try out the evil laugh myself as I pulled over the covers and sank into deep sleep. Everything was fabulous.
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