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Chapter 3 : Love rule #3
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Chapter image by Inspector.
Love rule #3 - There is such thing as love at first sight – or obsession at first glance
The next morning, I found myself outside of Master Treelore’s office just after the crack of dawn. I'd slept badly in my new bed and I wanted to avoid running into Malfoy in our common room. I spotted the gym sign on sheet straight away – it already had several names on it. Just as I was digging a quill out of my bag to add my name, the door to his office opened.
“Ah, Miss Weasley,” he said with a smile, “Welcome back to school. I trust you had a good holiday?”
I smiled at him. Treelore always had been one of my favourite teachers at school. Even though I'd never taken an active role in (pun intended) his classes, we’d bonded in the hospital wing over several Weasleys injured from quidditch. “It was excellent sir, and yourself?”
“Most excellent. Signing up for the gym? That’s it just over there,” he nodded towards a door further down the corridor, and I quickly scribbled my name down before hurrying towards it.
Opening the door, I was confronted with a very Muggle concept – there were mirrors down the walls, weights, treadmills, bike machines, everything. I gasped in delight. Now I had no excuse not to be fit!
“Excuse me sir,” I said to Treelore who was standing behind me, surveying his new gym with a fond expression, “I’m just going to grab my workout gear then I’ll be right back!”
I was so excited I couldn’t wait another moment to try it. Plus the early hour meant that I had no one to be self-conscious in front of. I spent the next hour going from one machine to another, ignoring my hunger and the occasional dizzy spell I experienced. To my surprise, Albus turned up not long after, and we spent some time laughing at each other on the gym equipment and trying to lift stupid amounts of weight on the machines.
“This is probably why they don’t want immature, young students in here; they might do themselves an injury!” I gasped, wiping my eyes. Albus fell off the seat and onto the floor from laughing, pretending he had huge muscles, when the door suddenly opened. I stopped my giggles so abruptly that Albus looked up.
“Hey, Scorp, man! I was just showing my little cousin my huge muscles,” he said, standing up and posing. Malfoy had just walked in and raised an eyebrow, and I saw that Jake was behind him.
To say I was surprised that they were all awake at six o'clock in the morning would be an understatement. These were three teenage boys who once slept through the worst storm Hogwarts had had in thirty years.
I quickly stood up, folding my arms across my stomach - the shirt I was wearing did me no favours. There was no way I was going to keep exercising with the three of them there, so I mumbled an excuse and fled. Halfway down the corridor, I was stopped.
“Hey Rose, wait up!” It was Jake, running after me. He almost crashed into me, as if he didn’t think I’d stop so fast.
“What’s up, Jake?” I asked conversationally. He suddenly looked awkward, and turned a bit pink around the ears. I was about to raise an eyebrow at his behaviour before I remembered that that was what Malfoy did.
“I, ah – I um was wondering, like, if maybe you were free for the uh next erm Hogsmeade weekend maybe? I've wanted to ask all summer but I never really saw you,” he said in a rush, looking everywhere but me.
My heart skipped and I felt dizzy as blood suddenly rushed to my head. It was literally the first time I'd been asked on a date. I tried not to stare at him like he had two heads, my mind whirling the whole time.
I screwed up under the pressure.
“Oh, wow Jake – um can I think about it? I’ll let you know really soon,” I said, thinking quickly and making things up. “There’s just this.. thing that I have to do, then I’ll come and find you, okay?”
The coward I am, I ran off before he could even say anything. Good grief, Merlin and Nicholas Flammel. Don’t get me wrong – Jake is great and I’ve known him forever, but I literally thought the girls were pulling on my leg when they told me he liked me.
Why would someone want to date me?
Once I was back in my dorm and suitably showered and dressed, I ran to the great hall to see if the girls were there. I may have missed breakfast with my gym antics, but they liked to linger with coffees and the newspaper. To my relief, there they were. I tried to calm down and walk slowly. Sitting down with as much grace as I could muster, I poured myself a black coffee and cleared my throat.
“Oh, hey Rosie, how was your first night in the Head's dorm? See any naked Malfoy?” Callie asked, wriggling her eyebrows and pushing her newspaper away.
“Ew gross Cal, that’s Malfoy you’re talking about!”
“Yeah, and he’s fit as anything. I’d go there!”
“You’d go anywhere, Callie!” Sophie piped up with a giggle, and the look of mock hurt on Callie’s face made me laugh out loud.
“Erm, so Malfoy aside, I have some news. Guess?” That got their attention straight away. Normally I was a straight-to-the-point kind of girl.
“Ooooh let me guess! Pick me!” Sophie was squirming around in her seat, hand up in the air as if she was in class.
“Let me see… I pick Sophie!” I said with a grin, and she jumped in the air.
“YES! Okay okay okay I guess… You got asked out by Jacob May!” She said it with a laugh, and Callie snorted her coffee accidently.
Callie rolled her eyes and muttered, “Yeah, that would be the day. My brother has as many balls as Loretta O'Walsh". When they realised how silent I was, they stared at me. “He didn’t!” Callie cried.
“Jake asked you out?!” Sophie screamed at what seemed like the top of her lungs. I turned red as several students and Professor Higgins looked up in amusement.
“Did you have to yell?” I hissed at Sophie, and she stuck her tongue out at me.
“Well, what did you say?” Callie asked, leaning forward.
“I said I’d think about it,” I blushed, knowing how childish my answer sounded. Sure enough, Callie rolled her eyes.
“But do you like him like that?” Sophie asked seriously, and I shrugged.
“You know I don't. But I could learn to?"
“Urgh, you’re so unromantic!” Sophie sighed.
“I still can't believe he grew a pair. It's about sodding time,” Callie said with a laugh, “If you say yes but you don't want to shag him after the first date, just promise me you’ll break it off. I don’t want him to get hurt. He is my twin after all.".
"Callie!" I hissed, turning, if possible, even redder, "I'm not shagging anyone! And even if I was, I wouldn't after the first date!"
Callie rolled her eyes and picked her newspaper up again. "Whatever."
“Our little girl is so grown up!” Sophie sniffed, squeezing my hand.
I don't know why, but the whole day I subconsciously avoided the places I knew Jake would be. The thought of telling him 'yes' made me feel strangely shy and nervous, and Merlin knew I'd blushed enough for one day.
Sophie, Callie and I were going for an afternoon run in the woods around the castle and lake when we ran into Albus and Jake coming in the opposite direction.My heart skipped a beat that had nothing to do with the fact I was struggling to breath.
“Here’s your chance!” Soph said in an out-of-breath undertone. When we all met on the path, Sophie and Callie eagerly grabbed Albus’ arms and started back towards the castle.
"What the hell, you guys? Bloody crazy women," I heard him ranting, and I giggled.
Then I remembered where I was – in the woods, hot and sweaty and unattractive, with a rather attractive boy waiting to know whether I wanted to go out with him or not.
I smiled shyly at him and motioned towards the castle. He nodded, and we started walking slowly. I was relieved to have stopping running. Having not eaten much in the last few days and exercising far too much, I was getting pretty tired and dizzy.
Jake didn’t even give me a chance to wallow in awkward silence.
“So did you think about it? I really like you, Rose,” he said, sounding more composed than that morning. I turned, if possible, even redder than my run had already made me, looking shyly at the ground.
Wow, seriously? I guess I now know what it takes to shut me up – a date proposition.
“Okay,” I finally said shyly.
“Pardon?” he asked, a smile in his voice.
“I said yes,” shoving at his ribs. He laughed and grabbed me up in a bear hug. Amazing – I wasn’t the smallest of girls and here he was picking me up! He abruptly put me down, looking embarrassed.
“Uh, sorry, I’m just pretty happy. Thanks Rose, I promise you'll have a great time.” With that, we continued back to the castle, parting ways at the great hall.
Hi, my name is Rose Weasley and a boy asked me, me, out on a date!
I wandered into the library that night, hoping to find Madam Pine. She had started her job as the librarian in the same year that I started my first year, and we were good friends. She was relatively young, blonde, had big boobs and so consquenty half of the male population at Hogwarts wanted to shag her.
"Hello, Rose," she said, giving me a quick hug as I walked through the door, "So I was reading Witch Weekly this morning and I saw that Teddy Lupin is single again. And you have my Muggle phone number and you said Teddy isn't useless with Muggle technology and has a phone so you should give him my number, we can get tipsy off cheap wine, and go home together. And then he can take me to the Bahamas, propose and we'll start a family of little semi-werewolf babies."
I didn't even blink. When I said that Pine was young, I meant she was young.
"Sorry, Piney. He is still very much in love with Vic. In fact, they're engaged! But you can't tell anyone, there's going to be a media release soon. Think of it as your insider information," I giggled, patting her shoulder. She looked downcast and heaved a great sigh.
"I guess I'll have to be happy for him then. Perhaps he'll take a mistress? Maybe Victoire doesn't need to know?"
"Can you at least get me a wedding invite?" she asked, looking hopeful again.
"Probably, actually." This time I grinned - I didn't even have my invite, and I was going to be part of the wedding party! The happy couple had announced their news only at the start of summer.
"Great. So, how were your hols, then?"
I found out after I showered later that evening and went down into the common room that news travels fast around Hogwarts. Malfoy had spread himself across a lounge with a book, and raised an eyebrow when I came down the stairs.
What was with him and raising his damn eyebrows?
“So, Weasley has a date,” he drawled, and I just know I blushed.
“So what if I do?” I muttered, and he shrugged. I was regretting wearing my spotty pyjamas downstairs, having not realised Malfoy would be in.
“Like it’s anything to me,” he said, and I was confused. So why bring it up in the first place then? I gingerly sat down on a couch opposite him. His mean words from the train still rang in my head, and suddenly it was important for him to see me as someone different.
“What classes are you taking this year?” I asked as pleasantly as possible. He stared at me as if I’d asked him if he preferred showering with me or sleeping with the giant squid.
“Seriously, Weasley?” he asked, shutting his book with a loud snap and startling me.
“We’ve only had the exact same classes from our first year, all through OWLs and now we’re doing the same NEWTs. Don’t you notice anything except yourself?”
“Well sor-ry for trying to make conversation!” I said, frustrated. Did we really have all of the same classes? I thought I would have noticed someone as annoying as Malfoy. Then again, Albus and I were in the same classes, and you’re sure to find Albus and Malfoy together.
“In the future, don’t bother trying,” he snapped, getting up from the lounge and walking through the portrait hole without a backwards glance. It seemed I still wasn't forgiven for my comment on the train.
The next day I ran down to breakfast on a high.
"First day of school, first day of school, first day of school," I chanted happily, heedless of the looks being thrown my way from grumy school-haters.
I love the smell of new books, and clean, unused parchment. I love new quills, and sitting in the front row so I can hear well. I love the thrill of knowing the answers to the questions, and needless to say I love learning.
I bounded over to the Gryffindor table to be confronted with gloomy, yawning faces. Pouring myself a coffee, I grinned and nudged the person nearest to me, who happened to be Fred.
“Don’t you just love school?” I gushed, throwing my arm around him in a side hug. He mumbled something unintelligible and shoved some eggs in his mouth. Fred and Albus were lucky. They both escaped the Weasley red hair and ended up with dark curls. And Fred had his mum’s, Aunty Angelina’s, beautiful skin, just a few shades lighter.
“You're the craziest person I know,” I heard him mumble, and I poured him some coffee in response.
“Just wait until she has her first essay,” Sophie piped up from across the table. She then promptly turned pink when Fred grinned at her and rolled his eyes. He swallowed his latest mouthful of food and turned to me.
"Hey," I protested, frowning, "Essays are a great learning tool. If you just -" Fred interrupted me, shoving his elbow in my side so that I was pushed unceremoniously into the person sitting next to me.
"It's too damn early for essays, Rosie," he grumbled.
I shoved him back and turned around to apologize to whomever I'd been shoved into, and found myself face to face with Malfoy. His wide blue eyes were amused and he had his usual eyebrow raised. One day, I was going to wax it off just when he least expected. Merlin, he annoyed me.
“Sorry,” I muttered churlishly, taking a sip of coffee.
He shrugged and turned back to his Daily Prophet. Even him quietly reading the paper made me mad. Of course he had to be cultured like that. I conveniently forgot what the girls were doing yesterday morning.
“When is the first quidditch game?” Anna Hart, a fellow seventh year Gryffindor, asked. She was definitely asking the right question to the right people, too. The majority of the Gryffindor quidditch team was sitting in the vicinity. Callie, Sophie, Malfoy, Fred and Albus were all on the team. The other two players, a beater and a chaser, were in the years below and not in the hall yet.
“End of October,” Callie said immediately, and I knew straight away that any chance for normal, school-centred conversation was gone. The moment quidditch was mentioned, the end result was usually a screaming match between players or a brawl. Malfoy even put down his newspaper in honour of the occasion.
With a sigh, I pushed back my chair and picked my bag up. Timetables had been handed out the night before, and I had transfiguration first up. It’s not that I don’t like quidditch – I love it – but on the first day of the school year, I had more important things to think about.
I made my way through the almost-deserted halls until I found the right classroom on the opposite side of the school. Everyone was still in their dorms or down at breakfast, so all I could hear was a bird outside the window and the occasional clank from a suit of armour. I grabbed a book from my bag and started reading, jogging up and down the nearest staircase at the same time.
My legs began to burn, but the pain felt productive.
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