Chapter 7 : March - The Truth Comes Out
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Pranking Tips for the Prepossessing
By Rose Weasley
Pranking is an unavoidable part of Hogwarts life, as either the ‘pranker’ or ‘prankee’. It is neither condoned nor allowed, but here at Pig Zits we believe that rules, however necessary, are there to be posts around which we step. So here, for your benefit, are five pranks that are completely within the rules.
How to: Tie a thin thread between two immovable posts, wait for someone to come along and watch them as they go flying!
It’s allowed because: The rules state that Tripping Jinxes aren’t allowed, but no-one said anything about actual string being used!
The Shoe-Rack Tripper
How to: This is exactly the same as the original Tripper, but this time, tie one of the ends of the string to a shoe rack and when the person trips over, they will also be barraged by a hail of shoes!
It’s allowed because: Same as above
How to: This one only works if your target has a personal music-player. Cast a sound-inserting charm (found in 749 Spells for Incredibly Specific Occasions) on a song you know they listen to a lot and make it a loud noise like a cauldron exploding or a car crash so that when they listen to it, they’ll get the biggest fright of their lives!
It’s allowed because: It is allowed, by Hogwarts rules, to modify the contents of other people’s property, just not to destroy it.
Home-Made Canary Creams
How to: Get the recipe from Mrs. Weasley’s Cookbook in the Joke section.
It’s allowed because: We know that Weasley Wizard Wheezes aren’t allowed, but it says nothing about making contraband yourself!
How to: The prank of all pranks is very simple, but requires group assistance. All you have to is make sure that everyone calls your victim by a different name that is pre-agreed. Your victim will become incredibly confused about their identity!
Broom For Sale:
Cleansweep 09, Very Nearly New, Recently Repaired. Apply to Slytherin Owl-Hole 47.
If you’re suffering from sniffles or the flu, please visit Madam Valentine in the Hopsital Wing for treatment to avoid spreading the infection.
Come down to the Great Hall during lunchtimes to purchase hand-made, in season knitwear! Impress your friends with your style and practicality!
Prices from 3 Sickles.
The Hogwarts Faculty would like to state that any rumours concerning the Forbidden Forest, werewolves and the Hogwarts Treasure are completely and utterly true.
House-Elf of the Month
Capricorn: Family crisis awaits
Aquarius: Raisins should be avoided
Pisces: Wrap up warm
Aries: Await good news
Taurus: Good fortune
Gemini: Pets run wild
Cancer: Divination will aid you
Leo: Invest in an umbrella
Virgo: Use a mirror to look round corners
Libra: Study hard or study soft
Scorpio: Don’t get ill
Sagittarius: There is no middle
For any more info, see Prof. Vablastky in the Divination Tower
What ancient Witch or Wizard are you most like?
What is your favourite subject?
What most describes you?
A- Calm, wise
B- Misunderstood, persecuted
C- Angry, manipulative
Where would you like to live?
If you got:
Mostly A’s: Nicholas Flamel! Wise and peaceful, your talent lies in making stones that make you live forever!
Mostly B’s: Cornelius Agrippa! Your discoveries earn you recognition, but not all of it might be good.
Mostly C’s: Morgan LeFay! Fiery and passionate, you are most known for your part in the Arthurian legends.
The Current House Point Score Stands as Follows:
Gryffindor Ravenclaw Hufflepuff Slytherin
267 201 246 200
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, several more spells have been added.
To Secret Sorceress,
What colour do guys most like on girls’ underwear? I’ve got black, white, red, blue and purple, but I’m not sure which to go with.
It doesn’t really matter what colour you wear. If a guy truly likes you he’ll think you’re pretty whatever you’re wearing. (But go with black, that’s the safest option.)
Love, Secret Sorceress
Dear Secret Sorceress,
I’m in love with my boyfriend, but I’m not sure how to tell him or whether I should. What should I do?
It really depends on how long you’ve been going out. The male sex is easily scared away so if you tell someone too early that you love them then they think that you’re getting too serious too quickly, but if you leave it too late, you could be seen to lack commitment. There’s a golden middle, and it’s up to you to decide where it is.
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.
What do I write?
What can I write?
I don’t know.
I just don’t know anymore.
Could I have done anything better? Could I have saved the situation, somehow? I don’t think so, but the way it all turned out… maybe there was something I missed? Something I did wrong? Something that justifies all of… this? I don’t know.
I shouldn’t have looked.
I should not have looked.
That’s the root of it, I guess. That’s my one big mistake. I had to stick my nose in where it didn’t belong. Because if I hadn’t looked, my nose would not have gotten singed. Actually, forget singed, my nose got completely burnt off. I just have this blackened hole on my face where it used to sit.
After I crept away from classroom seventeen, I wandered the corridors for much longer than I should have. I was so dazed, I forgot to look out for Peeves. Luckily he didn’t show up. After a while, I realised my feet were taking me back to the common room, but I didn’t want to see anyone. I wouldn’t know how to act. I glanced at my watch. It was well after midnight. So everyone would be in bed, thankfully.
I didn’t really sleep that much that night. I lay awake, staring at the stars that ornamented the ceiling. I couldn’t fall asleep, when so much was pressing on my brain. First, I had to process what I had seen, make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, or making things up, or something. Even though it would mean that I was insane, I kind of hoped that I had. But I couldn’t deny that what I had seen was very real and very true. Then I had to decide what to do about it. That was the very sticky bit. I thought myself good at giving advice in general, but I admit that if a letter to the Secret Sorceress had turned up in the owl-hole with this situation printed on it, I would have been pretty much stumped.
One thing was pretty clear, though. I couldn’t do nothing. Doing nothing would constitute ultimate betrayal and would get me into a lot of trouble. But when people say that they’d rather know than not know, I’m not sure that they’re always telling the truth. Me, for example. I would have given almost anything not to have seen what I had just seen.
Because what I had seen, through the gap between the door and the wall, was Rudolfe Schmitte, Timmi’s boyfriend, and Mario Branco, our closet gay… kissing.
They say that secrets give you power, that knowledge brings you higher, but I think that whoever ‘they’ are, they were talking out of their bludger, because carrying around this secret made me feel bewildered, listless and out of sync with myself. I barely even noticed that Gryffindor lost to Slytherin in the Quidditch match. I just sat in the stands, not cheering, not booing, just mulling over what the hell I was going to.
I sat in the common room after the match, sitting on the sofa near the fire, and though my eyes were on the flames, my mind was elsewhere. I was trying to approach the issue from a different perspective. If I was Timmi, what would I prefer? Would I prefer to carry on dating in ignorance a guy who was gay, bi or at the very least, cheating? Or would I prefer to take the heartbreak and face the facts? I knew I would prefer the heartbreak, because I couldn’t live with lies. Secrets, maybe, but lies were more difficult.
I’ve always found it difficult to lie. It’s not the fact that I lack the imagination, or whatever, but every time I try to lie, I blush deeply, my voice goes higher and I start to sweat, because I feel under so much pressure to give a convincing performance. Which is why I’m basically a truthful person, and I have a reputation for that. And this is why people would never believe that I’m the Secret Sorceress.
Okay, so I do lie sometimes, but only when I’ve had time to plan out my reply. Which is why I was at a complete loss for something to say when Scorpius jolted me out of my thoughts by sitting down next to me and saying, ‘Knut for your thoughts?’
‘Oh, um…’ I said. ‘I dunno.’
‘Look,’ he sighed. ‘I’m sorry for biting your head off recently. But please, please, this isn’t funny for me so just don’t-’
‘I know, I’m sorry too.’ I interrupted. ‘I shouldn’t have teased.’
‘Okay.’ Scorpius smiled. ‘D’you want a hand with your Runes homework? You’ve been sitting here for half an hour and you’ve only written the title.’
‘Oh!’ I looked down at my lap, where there was indeed a piece of parchment in it. I hadn’t even realised. ‘Uh, yeah, I guess.’
‘Okay, so, this irregular pluperfect tense…’
I watched Scorpius bend his head over the parchment, immediately engrossed in the work. The firelight glinted off the back of his smooth blonde hair, and I felt a strange compulsion to stroke it, to see if it felt as silky as it looked.
It was nice of him, to help me with my Runes homework without rubbing my nose in the fact that it was usually him who asked me for help. In fact, ever since we’d spoken about the whole Natanelle situation things had pretty much returned to how they used to be. Better, maybe. Because now we knew that there was no need to keep secrets from one another. Well, discounting the whole Secret Sorceress thing, and the reason for Albus and Kalliope’s break-up, and the whole Rudolfe-Mario-kissing thing that was preying on my mind. Apart from all that, I would tell him anything.
But I guess it’s not like we were great secret sharers, though. Before this year, yeah, he’d been one of my best friends, but he had Albus for secrets and I had Kalliope. It was only this year, when we’d been pretty much in the same boat, that we’d become close. We were really best friends now. And that was good. Nice. I could use another best friend, especially one who helped me with my Runes homework-
‘Wha- what?’ I jerked my head up. ‘What?’
‘Rose, were you even listening?’ Scorpius asked me, looking amused.
‘I… uh… yeah…’
Scorpius gave me a disbelieving look, but decided not to press the matter. He started to explain again. I stopped him.
‘I’m sorry, Scorp,’ I sighed, ‘my head just isn’t in it tonight.’
‘I can see that.’ Scorpius frowned. ‘Is it the way I’m-’
‘No!’ I protested. ‘It’s not you, I’m just completely out of it. I’m going to go to the… uh… Pig Zits office. Yeah. See you around, Scorp.’
I left him looking slightly bemused.
I hadn’t actually meant to go to the Pig Zits office, but halfway to the Secret Sorceress headquarters I realised that I’d left my spare quill there, so I made a detour.
Everyone was seated around the big round table in the office. Well, everyone except me. My empty chair stuck out in a sea of faces. Well, five faces.
‘Rose, what kept you?’ Felicity said admonishingly. ‘You’re forty-five minutes late!’
‘There was a meeting?’ I said, completely bewildered.
‘Yes, Rose.’ Felicity said. ‘We said, last time, that-’
I dropped into my seat. Timmi grinned at me from across the table, but I forgot to smile back. I just stared dumbly at her until she turned away, still grinning. Why was she grinning? Didn’t she know that her boyfriend was cheating on her… with a guy? No, of course she didn’t, because I hadn’t told her. I was the only one here that carried the secret that could potentially end the relationship that had made her so happy. Was I the one that would ruin it all for her? No, that was Rudolfe. It was Rudolfe who had chosen to cheat on Timmi, He wasn’t being forced. He had been enjoying it…
‘Wha-?’ I was so surprised that I knocked my inkwell off the desk. Luckily, it was closed. I bent down to get it from where it had rolled under the table. As my hand closed on it, I saw opposite two people holding hands under the table.
‘Ow!’ I’d tried to get up too quickly and cracked my head on the underside of the table.
‘Rose!’ Felicity said impatiently.
‘Sorry, sorry!’ I said, but I wasn’t concentrating on the words coming out my mouth. The two people to whom those clasped hands belonged were Lorcan and Lianna. I realised that I was staring at them and quickly looked away. Lorcan and Lianna holding hands under the table…? It was really sweet, until I remembered that Lorcan had asked me out less than a month ago. What was he playing at? Asking someone out was usually a pretty strong indication that you fancied them, but here was Lorcan less than a month later holding hands with a girl who was certainly not me.
I supposed that it was probably my fault. I’d barely seen Lorcan since he’d asked me out. I’m not sure that I was avoiding him, but my head was so full of Rudolfe, Timmi and Mario that had he asked me again I probably would have given him a blank look. So after a considerable time elapsed since my deferral, I guessed that Lorcan had taken my silence as a no and moved on… to Lianna.
Putting my hurt pride aside, I probably wouldn’t have minded it, but Lianna was two years younger than Lorcan. Wasn’t it slightly taking advantage of her? I guess it wasn’t as creepy as it looked. Lianna was the only fifth year on the team, so we all treated her as our age, and for the guys maybe that put her on a list of potential girlfriends.
I decided that I wasn’t any of my business.
Those words felt strange in my mind. I realised that they didn’t often appear in my brain. Usually I just stuck my nose right in… and it was that moment that I made a vow to myself to keep what was left of my nose out of other people’s business. I would only give advice when it was asked. I would curb my curiosity, because if I didn’t, I might hear something I didn’t want to hear. I might see something I didn’t want to see. Again.
‘Rose! If you don’t want to be here, no-one’s forcing you!’ Felicity said sharply.
‘Wha-?’ I yelped for what could have been the millionth time that night.
The others were starting to look seriously annoyed as well.
‘Fine.’ I said, grabbing my stuff. ‘Fine.’
I left, and headed straight to the Secret Sorceress headquarters.
I slumped down into my chair and started to cry. Why was everyone being so mean? Everyone was horrible! Why couldn’t they just leave me alone to figure out my own problems? Why did everyone keep shouting at me? Since the beginning of the year, no-one had done anything but cause problems for me! Albus and Kalliope with their stupid fights, Scorpius being as bitchy as Fang Two, Timmi first with the stupid mystery girl and then with her stupid gay boyfriend.
I recognised that I was being hysterical, the product of too many sleepless nights. But that didn’t stop the tears.
‘Rose? You okay?’ Timmi had followed me. She was a friend. She cared about me. Well, I cared about her. Enough to not let her carry on with a lie instead of a relationship.
‘No, Timmi, I’m not,’ I said, looking at her. ‘I saw something I shouldn’t have, and it’s been preying on my mind.’
‘What was it?’ Timmi asked eagerly.
‘It’s bad.’ I whispered. ‘Really bad. It could ruin a relationship.’
‘Oh my Merlin,’ Timmi said gasped. ‘Who was it? Was it Romeo Jenkins and Marla Tannebaum? I knew it! It was them, wasn’t it?’
I shook my head. ‘It was two guys.’
‘Two guys?’ Timmi said excitedly. ‘Get out of town! Who?’
Tears trickled down my face. ‘I’m so sorry, Timmi.’
‘What?’ She was confused. She hadn’t realised yet. ‘Why?’
‘It was… it was Rudolfe and Mario.’
‘I’m so sorry, Timmi,’ I said, crying. ‘I’m so sorry. I mean, I knew that Mario was gay, but I never could have guessed that Rudolfe-’
‘What?’ Timmi finally looked up. ‘What did you say?’
‘Said what?’ I asked, confused.
‘You knew that Mario was gay? Since when?’ She said. I didn’t recognise that she was angry. Maybe if I had I would have tried to lie. But I didn’t know, so the truth sprang to my lips.
‘Since Christmas, I guess.’
‘Since Christmas?’ She shouted. ‘And you didn’t think to share that with me?’
‘I didn’t think-’
‘No, you didn’t!’ Timmi yelled. ‘You didn’t think at all!’
But she didn’t let me get in another word in. She screamed at me, raged at me, knocked things off of desks. I sat there and took it. I retreated inside of my mind, where her abuse couldn’t reach me. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t like I’d held the information to be malicious. I’d honestly believed that I was doing it for the best. And anyway, it wasn’t like I’d seen this coming… actually, I had. But I had dismissed it as stupidity, hadn’t I? It was ironic that I was being accused of stupidity when I had dismissed the problem as just that. It was ironic. It was totally unfair. Timmi was taking this right out of proportion. Even if I had told her of my suspicions, what could she have done? Break up with Rudolfe over a hunch I had? That was daft. She was being daft. She would have overreacted, just like she was doing now. What was she doing now? I just surfaced in time to hear ‘-without me!’
‘What?’ I asked, trying to regain a foothold in the conversation.
‘I said, Rose, that you can hold the Secret Sorceress together by yourself! I’m not staying here one more moment than I have to! I’m going to Lorcan and resign right now! Happy?’
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