Chapter 3 : Stuck in a Broom Closet With You
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The day had started off normally, I suppose. And somewhere along the line, it ended up with Albus and me in a broom closet. No, not like that, seriously kid, get your head out of the gutter.
And really, it was all Lolly’s fault. Okay, I lied. It wasn’t Lolly’s fault. This time no one could be blamed but me. But in all honesty, I really should have put up those flyers when I had the chance...
The morning had started off with the ever-so-pleasant “IMOGEN, IF YOU DON’T GET YOUR BLOODY ARSE OUT OF BED RIGHT NOW, I SWEAR I WILL STEAL ALL OF YOUR BISCUITS!”
Crazy bint doesn’t even like biscuits. But of course, when one’s biscuits are threatened, the natural reaction is to wake up, because I cannot function properly without them.
“I hate you, Lolly,” I groan, rubbing my eyes blearily. “I bloody hate you.”
She just grins cheekily and says, “Five minutes to get ready!”
“Oh, don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll get to class on time!”
I hate optimists and their optimism. Actually, I hate a lot of things. These are just a few.
Five minutes later, I’m being dragged unceremoniously to Double Charms, my glasses askew, shoving vanilla wafers down my throat.
Just as the bell rings, we arrive breathless and panting in the doorway of the Charms classroom. Lolly’s blond hair is all over the place, and I’m sure mine isn’t any better.
“Come in, come in!” says Flitwick in that squeaky voice of his. “We’re just getting new seats and new Charms partners!”
Obviously, this means I can’t sit next to Lolly anymore. Sitting next to Lolly is just one of those things that you both dislike and like at the same time. She’s my best friend, but at the same time, I had to listen to her scheme and ramble on about how fucking hot Scorpius Malfoy is. One tends to get rather tired after about, oh, three months.
I end up having to sit next to a Ravenclaw named Scipio Africanus Bartleby III. And I thought Imogen Ernestine Cadwallader was bad.
“You can call me Scip if you want,” he says, holding out a hand for me to shake. “Everyone does.”
Like me, he has glasses, but his are so much thicker and larger, and he’s wearing a ratty T-shirt under his robes that says “EXISTENTIALISTS DO IT POINTLESSLY.”
Of course they do.
I spend the rest of the completely pointless (when will we ever need to know how to charm animals to tap dance?) lesson doodling away on scrap pieces of paper and reading bits of Scipio Africanus Bartleby III’s poems (ignite my loins / set them aflame / with all your wondrous love / for our passion is one that nobody can tame! and My cat is dead / it died the other day / from large amounts of bloodshed / but fear not, for I will avenge it, yay!), which truly are terrible. I didn’t know that he wrote poetry. In fact, I didn’t think anyone wrote poetry in Hogwarts, except maybe Trelawney when she decided she wanted to use iambic tetrameter to record her “prophecies”.
I am surrounded by complete nutters in this so-called school.
Herbology passes in a blur and Transfiguration isn’t so blurry, though probably because it’s my best subject. I absolutely love it. And Professor Patil actually likes me, though I can't say the same about Lolly.
After classes and all that boring shit, while Phoebe and Kathleen are at Quidditch practice, Lolly decides to optimize our time by trying to make sense of all our her evil plans.
“Okay, so first we need a to-do list!”
“Didn’t you try that for the Divination-Must-Go Scheme? In fourth year? Ring any bells?”
“Yeah. So?” Lolly replies, while rummaging around in her trunk for a bottle of ink.
“That plan was a complete fail, like the many plans before it. You thought a nice, fluffy to-do list would make things more successful. Apparently not.” I hand her the closest bottle of ink I could find–my special color changing rainbow ink.
“Wait, was that the one where that old chandelier in that old corridor on the fourth floor near the statue of Bartholemew the Batty blew up? Also, to-do lists aren’t fluffy. Get a dictionary or something.”
“You get a dictionary. Look up the meaning for ‘catastrophe’ or perhaps ‘disaster waiting to happen’.”
“Whatever. You’re just jealous of my creativity and to-do lists.”
I snort. I like snorting. It exercises the nostrils.
Lolly takes out a sheet of parchment, dips a quill in my special color-changing ink, and writes:
TO-DO LIST FOR THE “GET SCORPIUS TO LIKE LOLLY” SCHEME:
-Make Scorpius break up with Rose
-Find out if Albus and Scorpius are actually in love with each other
-Make Albus fall in love with Imogen or someone else (but not Fanny Barlow) so that Scorpius gets discouraged from asking Albus out (if -Scorpius is actually in love with Albus or vice versa)
-Get Scorpius to notice Lolly in a romantic-ish way (this may involve a love potion – Amortentia, perhaps)
-Get Scorpius and Lolly to go to Hogsmeade together
-Get Scorpius to fall in love with Lolly (again, Amortentia)
The parentheses are all mine. And the second bullet.
“Lolly, do you really think this will work? I mean, all of your past plans…”
“Oh hush, Imogen. Of course it’ll work. What could possibly go wrong?”
A lot of things, actually.
It is already past midnight, and I still can’t fall asleep. I try counting sheep. Then I try pigeons. Llamas. Thestrals. Hippogriffs. Blast-ended skrewts. Flobberworms. Pianists. I give up after that. My head is spinning and spinning with those blasted creatures and the banging of a piano.
After a few moments of trying to think of something else to count, I give up. I need a walk. Perhaps that will clear my head. Quiet as a flobberworm slithering through grass (which is pretty quiet, believe me), I slip out of bed, grab my bag containing my wand and buscuits, and dart sneakily out the door and into the cheerfully bright and dazzlingly yellow Hufflepuff common room. It seems the house elves have visited, since everything’s spick and span and shiny.
I exit the common rooms and find myself in the same hallway as the kitchens. I’m tempted to sneak over there and grab a bite, but it would probably be too risky. And anyways, I have my lovely biscuits.
I wander around aimlessly a bit. It’s not helping. Well, okay, it sort of has. It’s gotten most of the creatures out of my head, except for the sheep. I counted sheep to 453,892. Some people have gotten awards in Herbology or medals in Charms or recognitions for inventing new potions. Me? I’ve beaten my sheep-counting record. That right there is talent.
After wandering aimlessly for several minutes, I end up somewhere around the owlery. Just as I make up my mind to make my way back to the Hufflepuff common room, the bust of Paracelsus next to me shatters to the ground with a loud crash. I jump up, startled. There’s no one there.
I open my mouth to scream, but a clammy palm clasps itself over my mouth, and I’m shoved into the nearby broom closet. The door closes behind me with an ominous creak.
Just then there’s the horridly vile voice of Filch: “Ooh... look at what we have here, my sweet! Someone broke the bust of Paracelsus.... imagine what punishments we can give them once we catch them!” That pathetic excuse for a cat meows back and their foot/paw-steps echo loudly along the corridor.
Well. This day – er, night – keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?
Then Albus Potter materializes out of thin air next to me. I open my mouth to scream again, but he whips out his wand and whispers, “Silencio!”
I glare angrily at him. Then the idiot realizes that I’m not able to speak with a Silencing Charm placed on me, so said idiot removes it.
“What the dickens are you doing here?” I hiss at him, still glaring.
“I could ask you the same thing.” And as expected, there goes that annoying smirk. If he’s not careful, he’ll end up having a smirk permanently etched onto his face and have to go to St. Mungo’s for it.
“I was taking a walk,” I say curtly.
“Why?” I roll my eyes. “Because I couldn’t bloody fall asleep, that’s why!”
“I was taking a walk, too,” he says.
“With an Invisibility Cloak, I see.”
He glares at me threateningly. “Under no circumstances will you reveal that to anyone, understood? Not even all of my cousins know about it!”
“Where do you even get an Invisibility Cloak?”
He shrugs. “It was my dad’s.”
“Do you think Filch is coming back?”
“I dunno. Possibly. Possibly not, if we’re lucky.”
After that a somewhat awkward silence ensues. Then after a few minutes of this, I reach into my bag and grab a pack of digestives. I stuff one into my mouth and offer another to him. “Want one?”
He takes the offered biscuit with a thanks and stuffs it into his mouth. We’re such classy people.
Then I take out my other packs of biscuits (canary cream, custard cream, chocolate bourbon, vanilla waffers, and this type of biscuit with a jelly thing in middle that I think has gone slightly stale), and there we sit in the broom closet, munching on biscuits and watching each other turn into canaries whenever we eat the canary creams.
After we’ve eaten our fill of biscuits, I put them away into my bag. Then we sit and listen for signs of Filch approaching. When it seems like the coast is clear, we head out of the closet under the cover of Potter’s handy-dandy Invisibility Cloak.
“Well... this is where we part, I suppose...” I say awkwardly.
“I suppose,” he mimics with an amused smirk.
I give an awkward little wave and hurry back to the Hufflepuff 7th year girl’s dormitories. I slip into bed and see Lolly looking at me, eyebrow raised.
“Where were you?” she hisses from the bed next to mine.
“Broom closet? As in–”
“No, Lolly. Now let me have some well-deserved sleep. Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the nargles bite or whatever.” And with that I drifted soundly off to sleep.
A/N: The title is from the song Stuck in the Middle With You by Stealer's Wheel, which does not belong to me. HP belongs to the wonderful JKR. Anyways, what did you guys think of this chapter? I hope you liked it!
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