Chapter 5 : Lucy: Desperate
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Disclaimer: Yes, JK still owns Harry Potter. Nothing's changed. *sniff*
I was going to regret this.
He looked up. He was sitting on the stone steps leading down to the gamekeeper’s shed, staring deeply towards the edge of the dark forest in a way that could only be described as brooding. A cigarette hung loosely from his fingers, but it was nearly finished and he clearly wasn’t interested in it.
He didn’t say anything, looking at me with a touch of anxiety, before turning back to the forest.
I bit my lip, wondering what to say, “You know…you really shouldn’t smo-“
“What do you want, Lucy?” he turned his gaze back on me, grey eyes cold and piercing.
“I…” I trailed off. It was hopeless. He would never agree. But I needed him to talk to me, so I pressed on, “About that tutor thing.”
“What about it?” he asked me. I couldn’t tell whether he was interested, or furious that I had brought it up again.
I sighed, “Never mind.”
I turned away from him and headed up the stairs.
Suddenly his voice came from behind me, “Maybe you were right.”
I stopped, and turned back around, “You still need a tutor?”
“Maybe,” he replied slowly.
I stood there awkwardly, waiting for him to elaborate.
“My grades are pretty bad,” he said, “And I can’t repeat the year. I need to get out of here as soon as possible.”
“You know, you could just go by your OWLS,” I said.
“Then I’ll fulfill all of your expectations and become a loser drop out, and we can’t have that can we?” He was smirking just a little, his dry sense of humour ringing through the last sentence. “I need some decent qualifications. Not all of us have rich parents we can fall back on.”
I frowned, even though it was true. My dad and I didn’t get along, but he was still going to support me until I got a job or moved out. I was provided for as long as I needed to be.
It didn't often occur to me that some people, like Callum, were worried about where they would live, or work, when the rest of us had it all figured out.
"Who are your parents?" I asked him, out of pure curiosity.
He raised an eyebrow at me, "I think I'll keep the element of mystery alive a little longer, don't you?"
"If you say so," I replied, "When do you want to meet?"
"How about Sunday?" he asked, "After lunch?"
"Sounds fine," I replied, smiling slightly awkwardly at him.
I turned away from him, but something made me stop.
Why was he suddenly OK with this? Callum's pride was even bigger than his ego, there was no way he would admit to needing help from anyone.
Could this have something to do with Rose and Scorpius? Callum had never said anything to make me believe it was over between them. For all I knew he at Caitlin Goldman were still up to their old tricks.
Perhaps he was trying to use me in some way, but I couldn't think how.
For a few seconds I racked my brains to think how he could possibly use this new alliance of ours against me. But I couldn't think of anything.
I opened my mouth to say something, but I was received with his usual smirk.
"Something bothering you, Lucy?"
I closed my mouth, deciding that keeping silent for now was the better option that letting him doubt my enthusiasm.
"Are you going to the match tomorrow?"
"And miss a chance to see Ravenclaw take Slytherin down? Never."
I nodded, "Bye Callum. See you on Sunday."
He lifted a hand into the air as a way of reply, and I left him to his brooding, suddenly struck by the notion that he seemed very certain that Ravenclaw, captained by Caitlin Goldman herself, would beat his own house tomorrow.
That was when I knew for certain that he and Caitlin still had unfinished business.
* * *
"Oh, come on-"
"It's 30 galleons-"
I sighed in aggravation, and Louis folded his arms stubbornly.
"I don't trust him," he continued, "And more importantly, I don't trust Dai Evans. She's a shark."
"We're of the same breed, her and I," I shrugged.
He frowned, "The problem with you, Lucy, is that you think that you've got everyone figured out. But really you don't know half of it."
"Louis, you're so overdramatic," I replied, "I don't need to know everything about her. It's a clean-cut deal. I write her a report on Callum Davies, and one of her minions at the Grapevine twist it and tweak it enough to make it engaging. Then we get 30 galleons, and we never have to take another crappy 'He cheated on me, what am I going to do with my life' case again."
"She's sneaky," Louis insisted, "I'll bet it's more than that."
"Maybe this is one of the times when we shouldn't over think it."
"And what do you think Callum Davies will do when he finds out you're trying to discover his life story? I heard a rumor that he tried to strangle Fergus Finnegan for walking too closely behind him. And that he's threatened to kill Jaime Macmillan for owing him some money."
"Any maybe that's all they are," I pointed out, "Rumours."
"I'm not willing to take that chance."
"Well I am," I said, "Don't forget I don't need your permission."
"No, you don't," he snapped, "But allow me to say I told you so when Davies finds out and puts you on his hit list."
He left me standing behind my office desk, and stormed out. I followed him adamantly.
"Come on, Lou, isn't there a little part of you that wants to know the truth? The secret behind the evil mask that Callum Davies wears?"
He swiveled around to face me, "Not even in the slightest."
"But-" I whined. I didn't need his assistance. I could do it just fine on my own. And yet, without Louis, it didn't seem worth it, "Even from our conversation this morning, I can tell there's another side to him. A side he doesn't show anyone else."
Louis' anger subsided for a moment and he examined my face curiously. Then it went from curiosity to a deadpanned expression.
"Oh god, please, Lucy, tell me this isn't because you find his fuck-all attitude charming?"
"What?" I spluttered, "Of course not!"
"Good," he said, "And just in case you are, let me tell you he might be a bad boy, but there's no hidden side to him. He's just that: bad."
"Okay," I rolled my eyes at him, "You don't need to protect me all the time, Louis. I know what I'm doing."
"I sure as hell hope you do," he said, laughing darkly to himself. He left the room, shutting the door firmly behind him.
Someone coughed behind me, and I swiveled to see Millie, sitting at the reception desk.
"Sorry Millie," I said, "Didn't see you there."
"That's OK," she said, "You guys don't argue a lot."
"No," I agreed, "We don't."
In fact, I couldn't remember the last time Louis and I had ever really fought over anything. Yet another thing I could dislike Callum Davies for.
"I didn't know that you decided to do work for Dai Evans," Millie continued, "Following Callum Davies, huh? Sounds intriguing."
"Well, it's really for the money," I explained.
"OK, if you say so," Millie said, although there was a smile in the corner of her lips.
I rolled my eyes at her. Why did everyone think there was some hidden agenda?
"By the way," she said, "Your old client…Peggy? She stopped in this morning to say that Callum was cheating on her after all."
I froze, and swiveled around to face her, "What?"
Millie shrugged, "Apparently it was with some girl called Bridget Trelawny."
"What?" I stared at Millie in shock. So Callum had been shagging two girls at once? Or was this just a way of getting rid of Peggy?
Either way, this Bridget Trelawny, whoever she was, had some questions to answer.
"I'm going to the quidditch game," I told Millie, picking up my camera before I left.
Quidditch games were the perfect time when juicy gossip seemed to reveal itself. Tensions were running high, house rivalries at the breaking point, and amidst all the rush and excitement, secrets were unveiled to the carefully trained eye.
But I had a far more pressing agenda than uncovering the secret crushes of artless third years. Caitlin Goldman and Callum Davies had cooked something up together, and Scorpius Malfoy, facing his first match as Slytherin captain, was the firing target.
They had to be stopped. There had to be a way to end their scheming.
Down on the pitch the roaring and cheering from the crowd was almost deafening. Ravenclaw and Slytherin banners were being flown from every inch of the stands. I glanced around, but saw no sign of Rose or Callum.
Callum said that he would be here. And Rose wouldn't miss Scorpius' match. They were both here somewhere. Caitlin was with her team, but Callum was lurking around somewhere.
I pulled out my camera and used the lens to scan the crowd. But either they were both under invisibility cloaks, or they had yet to show themselves at the match.
Time was running out. Soon the match would start. Soon it would be to late to stop whatever Callum and Caitlin had planned.
It was more frustrating than I'd previously thought. I had no idea what they were going to do, and I had no idea when. The paranoia was creeping up on me quickly, and I had no way of stopping it. I kept glancing over my shoulder, expecting to see the pair of them conspiring together.
But I had to protect Scorpius. No matter what way their plan went, Scorpius would fall on the sharp edge of the sword.
Telling him gently would be best. Yes, as long as I got to Scorpius before they did, everything would be fine.
I marched purposefully towards the Slytherin changing rooms, where Scorpius would surely be giving his team a last minute pep talk.
Passing the secluded area behind the stands I suddenly heard the sound of hushed voices. I slowly drew closer to the source of the noise, but hearing my own name whispered made me draw closer with urgency.
"What if Lucy catches us?"
"-Is giving his team a pep talk, no one's around."
I peered around the corner.
There they were. Rose with her back to me, Callum facing her, and drawing in closer every second.
I brought my camera to my face instinctively. If I was going to convince Scorpius of Rose's fling, then I would need evidence.
I silently cursed myself for not taking Callum's advice, and harboring the old photographic evidence, instead of burning it.
Flick, flick, flick went the shutter on the camera, taking one photo after another.
Rose pulled Callum's face towards her and kissed him, although from where I was standing it looked more as though she was taking a bite out of his face.
I took picture after picture, all the while feeling a sick sort of loathing in the pit of my stomach. Rose really didn't give a shit about Scorpius, no matter how much I tried to blackmail her into it.
Scorpius deserved to know the truth, not to find out from Caitlin Goldman, or Callum himself, because I was sure that they would make it their business to reveal it to him in the most painful way possible.
Callum pulled Rose's face off of his, and grimaced slightly.
"What?" Rose asked him.
"You're right, this is wrong," he said, although his tone conveyed more that he was bored than guilty.
"N-no Callum," Rose said, clearly having changed her tune, "Scorpius isn't around-"
"I mean, Lucy could catch us, you're right," he said.
He patted her condescendingly on the head, before leaving.
I hid from sight as he passed me, and watched as Rose still stared about in shock, as though she couldn't quite comprehend what had just happened. I smirked. Rose wasn't used to being rejected.
Without wasting any more time, I got up from my hiding place and walked quickly over towards the Slytherin changing rooms. I needed to warn Scorpius before Callum got to him first.
Pushing open the door to the changing rooms, I saw Scorpius was surrounded by his team, all looking apprehensive and nervous.
Scorpius just smiled encouragingly at them, "You guys can do this. We've trained harder than any other team out there. All you have to do now is believe in yourselves."
I couldn't help but smirk at the inspirational speech. It sounded beautiful and moving, but in reality the words were meaningless. Ironically, much like Rose.
Scorpius spotted me in the background, and nodded once at his team, "Okay guys, I'll see you all out there. I've just got to have a word with Lucy."
The team all glanced around to stare unashamedly at me. I stared straight back.
The Slytherin beater, McHale, sniggered at the sight of me.
"Something you'd like to share with the class, McHale?" I asked, eyebrows raised.
He smirked at me and shook his head. I glared back.
He shouldn't be so quick to snigger at someone who has photographic evidence of him skipping Herbology to smoke magical marijuana behind the greenhouses.
"Come on, out you go," Scorpius said good naturally, hurrying the players out of the door.
He smiled at me, "What can I do for you Lucy?" he asked.
I hesitated, unsure of how to go about breaking his heart gently.
"I have to tell you something," I said uneasily, "You'd better sit down."
He sits, frowning at me suspiciously, "What's wrong? What's happened?"
"This is going to be really hard to hear," I began.
It was easy telling wronged girlfriends and boyfriends about their significant other's equally significant infidelities, because I didn't care about them. They worked like machines, always the same response, always the same reaction when they heard. After a while they stopped being people, and started to more closely resemble mechanisms in a device.
But with Scorpius it was different, because, despite all my better judgement, I actually gave a shit. I didn't want to tell him what I had to tell him. Scorpius was decent, kind. He didn't care about social status, or how rich or how popular someone was. He saw the good in everyone.
I took a deep breath, and decided to just get it over with, "Caitlin Goldman payed Callum Davies to seduce Rose."
Scorpius raised both eyebrows. He took a minute to respond, while I held my breath. "I expected this."
I stared at him, "What?"
Today was just full of surprises.
"Well," he said, "Caitlin wants to win, really badly. I thought she might try something."
"You suspected that she would do this?" I raised my eyebrows.
"Yes," he continued, "Caitlin has a history of trying to sabotage opposing teams."
"Doesn't that make you upset?" I frowned at him, completely taken by surprise.
"Well, no," he grinned, "Caitlin can do whatever she wants. She can pay Callum Davies all the galleons in the world, but if it doesn't work then I'm not going to get angry about it."
My heart sank. His trust for Rose ran so deep that he didn't even pause to consider that she might have betrayed him.
"You still look worried," Scorpius said.
I took a deep breath. It had too be like ripping off a plaster, quick and painless, "Scorpius, it worked."
His smile faded quickly, "What worked?"
"Caitlin payed Callum to seduce Rose, because he managed to."
There was no sign that Scorpius had registered anything that I had just said. His eyes were dead, his face motionless. Even his eyebrows remained immobile.
"Scorpius?" I looked at him worriedly.
"What do you mean, he managed to?" Scorpius asked hoarsely, although it was clear that he already knew the answer to his own question.
I took a deep breath, "Rose and Callum have been secretly hooking up."
"But," Scorpius said, cutting me off, "She wouldn't do that, because she's with me."
I looked at him pleadingly, "She doesn't love you. I told her to finally make it official with you because I saw them together, and she didn't want you to know."
Scorpius apparently couldn't hear me. He was staring in shock at the floor.
"Scorpius?" I asked nervously.
He jerked away from me suddenly, pacing back and forth, running his hand over and over again through his blonde hair, "You must have seen someone else," he say frantically, "There are plenty of other redheads in this school."
"She admitted to it," I said, wanting nothing more than to tie my tongue in a knot and stop myself from hurting him anymore.
"Well, you've got it wrong!" he snapped.
"No, I don't!" I retorted, "I wish I did."
"No, you're happy," he growled, "I can see it in your eyes. You wanted this to happen because you hate Rose. You want her to be unhappy. Stop spinning lies, Lucy. No one believed you when you spun them about Violet Harper, and no one will believe you now."
I couldn't help but stare. This was no longer just denial, this was blame. He truly didn't believe me. Scorpius was usually so kind, so desperate to believe the good in everyone.
And all along I had thought that he was in denial about Rose and I no longer speaking, he had known the whole time.
"I've heard enough," he snapped, "How do I know you're not doing this for Caitlin? Trying to unnerve me before a big game, eh?"
"Scorpius, I would never-"
"Never betray someone who was supposed to be your friend? Violet Harper almost got expelled because of you! Do you even remember Violet? She was your best friend!"
Of course I did. Violet, with such a beautiful, smiley exterior, but on the inside she was pure poison.
"I was telling the truth about her!" I retorted.
"Really? Violet Harper, a drug addict?" Scorpius scoffed, "You've really pushed it this time, Lucy. You know, I tried to give you a chance. I thought that you'd made a mistake, and I thought Rose was being unfair for cutting you off. But you're so arrogant that you can't even contemplate the possibility that you might be wrong."
"But I'm not," I cried desperately.
"Where's your proof?" he snapped.
In a pile of ashes at the bottom of my fireplace. And the new evidence was trapped in my camera, waiting to be developed.
I hadn't even thought of that, when I'd taken the pictures. There wasn't enough time.
"I-" I hesitated, "It's on my camera. I have pictures, I swear!"
"And I'm supposed to believe you," he shook his head, "I have a quidditch game to win, Lucy. If you'll excuse me."
And before I could say another word, he stormed out, the changing room door banging after him.
I took a long, shuddery breath. Never, never once in my life, had I ever been spoken to like that. With such contempt, such cold disdain.
Even Callum didn't talk to me like that.
I walked slowly out of the changing room. Scorpius had already disappeared, walking behind his team and out into the stadium, to tumultuous applause.
Rose was in the front row of the stadium. She cheered happily when she saw Scorpius, clapping and waving at him. I felt like I was about to be sick.
So that was it. I had done everything I could to prevent this from happening.
I could only pray that Scorpius would be able to ignore anything that Callum or Caitlin threw at him. Hopefully I had prepared him for the fall.
I stood at the edge of the stands, watching hopelessly.
And then there was Callum, walking past me, towards the stands.
Maybe there was still something I could do.
"Hey! Callum!" I shouted after him.
He turned, a slight smirk already appearing on his lips.
"Lucy!" he said, "Lovely weather, isn't it?"
I walked very closely towards him, and spoke in a low voice, "I saw you."
"Saw me do what?" he asked, but from the look on his face I knew he was mocking me.
"You know what," I snapped.
"You're going to have to spell it out for me, Princess."
I rolled my eyes. Fine, if he wanted to play dumb, I'd let him. "What are you and Caitlin going to do to Scorpius?"
"That's for me to know, and you to find out very soon," he said, "Patience is a virtue, Lucy."
"Scorpius is a good person," I told him, "He never did you any harm."
Callum grinned suddenly, gaping open mouthed as he laughed, "Do you have a thing for him? Ooh, Rose's boyfriend, this could get messy."
"Is that all you think about?" I snapped, "No, I don't have a thing for him. He's just a nice person."
"Sure," he said, "The only person who's been nice to you since you were exiled from the Little Miss Popular gang, aside from good old Louis. Your infatuation is understandable."
"Fine," I snapped, "If you're going to be immature, let me tell you, if you and Caitlin try anything, you'll regret it."
"Please, enlighten me," he said, "How will I regret it exactly?"
"You'll regret it," I repeated, because the truth was I hadn't thought of an appropriate punishment yet.
"See, this is your problem," he said, "You're all talk. Your threats are empty. As meaningless as Rose and Scorpius' relationship."
"Just…tell me!" I snapped.
"Well, if I did that it wouldn't be a surprise, now would it?"
Suddenly we were both approached by a short, dark haired girl with strikingly blue eyes. She had on a smile that was far too eager for the current situation.
"There you are Callum!" she exclaimed, "I saved you a seat."
He immediately looked annoyed, and I slowly began to like this girl more and more with every passing second.
"I'm busy, Bridget," he replied.
That name rang a bell, and I suddenly remembered Millie's words to me only this morning 'Callum was cheating on her after all. Apparently it was with some girl called Bridget Trelawny.'
"Oh!" the girl exclaimed, unfazed by the way Callum's jaw had suddenly locked, "How rude of me!" She extended a hand to me, "My name's Bridget. Bridget Trelawny."
I couldn't help but smile, even though she had interrupted out conversation, "I'm Lu-"
"Lucy Weasley," she said, "Everyone know who you are!"
I wasn't sure what to say to that. It would be impolite to say that I'd never seen or heard of her in my life.
"Bridget is my stalker," Callum explained.
"His friend," Bridget corrected him quickly, "I'm his friend."
"Hmm," I grinned slyly at Callum, "Yes, he needs some of those."
"What's your star sign?" Bridget asked quickly, looking curiously at me.
I paused, "Aries, I think."
"Ah," Bridget grinned, "I thought so."
"She does that a lot," Callum muttered.
OK, there was no way Callum had been shagging her behind Peggy's back. She had clearly misinterpreted it. That or he had made it up to get her off his back. 'Gullible' was Peggy Hopkirk's middle name after all.
"Bridget, why don't you go sit…and I'll join you," he muttered through his teeth.
"Sure!" Bridget smiled at me, "Nice to meet you."
"Oh, the pleasure's all mine," I smirked.
Once she'd gone I chuckled at Callum, "I didn't know you had a bestie!"
"She's not my…forget it," he snapped.
"You definitely weren't shagging her," I smirked.
"I - what - how did you hear - how do you know?" he stammered, going from one question to the next.
"Gut instinct," I grinned.
Suddenly I remembered why I was here, and I folded my arms, going back to our previous conversation, "Callum, please don't do this. Scorpius is a good person. He trusts Rose so much."
Callum smirked at me, the ball back in his park, "Oh, he didn't believe you when you told him?"
My silence told him everything.
"Good," he said, looking more and more confident, "That'll make this even bet-"
"Wait, what do you mean? How did you know I would tell him?" I blurted out these questions, suspicion building up in my gut, along with a feeling of anxiety.
A whistle suddenly blew from behind us, as Madame Hooch walked onto the pitch.
"Whoops," Callum said, noticing her, "I'd better go, show's about to start."
"It's not a show - wait, Callum, answer my question! How did you know?"
"Gut instinct," he grinned, before starting to climb the stands. "Shame you couldn't show him the pictures, he probably would've believed you."
"I -," I paused, a sudden horrible realization suddenly coming over me.
Callum had disappeared from sight, and Scorpius was already standing face to face with Caitlin, ready to shake hands.
Callum suddenly reappeared as he sat down next to Rose in the front row of the stands. She looked alarmed, staring at him and hissing in a low, urgent voice. Why was he sitting next to her? Was he trying to send a message to Scorpius?
If Scorpius saw Callum sitting next to Rose he wouldn't give it a second thought.
…Unless someone had already planted the idea in his head.
Oh my Merlin, what have I done?
Gripped with a sudden madness, I raced to the front of the stands.
"SCORPIUS!" I roared at the top of my lungs, desperately hoping he would hear me. But my voice was drowned out by the sound of the crowd, and Scorpius remained oblivious.
"Captains shake hands!" Madame Hooch cried shrilly.
It was terrible to watch. Callum still hadn't budged, despite all of Rose's protests to tell him to get lost.
In the middle of the field, Caitlin reached out for Scorpius' hand. His face was stony, completely unreadable.
Then, slowly, she gave him a little smirk, and extended her hand in Callum and Rose's direction. Scorpius turned to look, and I looked down at the ground, unable to watch.
It all happened so fast. One minute I was looking at the ground, the next I was looking up to see Scorpius was racing at top speed across the grass, and throwing himself headlong into the front row of the stands, reaching for Callum's face.
The crowd screamed, gasping as one in shock of what Scorpius was doing. Callum, caught off guard by Scorpius' weight, was flung forward, and somehow ended up on the field, being pummeled within an inch of his life.
But Callum wasn't backing down. He threw himself into the fight and began to hit back. The crowd shook and screamed with every lurch, everyone was stood up to get a better look. Rose was screaming at the pair of them, looking absolutely distraught.
I watched on with a horrible feeling in my stomach.
I had thought I was helping him. That by warning him, I would take the edge off the blow. Now I realized that that had all been part of the plan. I had been part of the plan
I had planted the idea in his head, and seeing them together was the spark which had ignited the bonfire.
"STOP! STOP!" roared Professor Dunmore, stumbling awkwardly towards the two wrestlers, his wand held aloft.
A bang caused them to break apart, both bruised and bloody. Scorpius had a broken, bloody nose, and Callum already had a shiny black eye.
Professor Dunmore grabbed the two of them by their collars and, with surprising strength, pulled them to their feet.
"This will not be tolerated!" he said, completely red in the face with anger, "My office! Now!"
"What about the match?" Scorpius demanded.
Professor Dunmore glared at him, "You should have thought about that before you attacked a spectator!"
And from out of the corner of my eye, Caitlin Goldman was smiling smugly, arms folded, the picture of triumph.
I remembered that Scorpius was their Keeper, and that meant they were almost certainly guaranteed a win.
The crowd settled back into their seats despondently, as Professor Dunmore pushed both boys towards the exit.
As he walked past me, Scorpius lowered his head in shame. I could see he felt bad for not believing me, but whatever guilt he felt, mine was multiplied by a thousand. Without my input, Scorpius would probably never have suspected anything. I watched them both walk up to the castle, hopelessly wondering why every time Callum Davies got involved, everything seemed to go wrong.
* * *
That night, as the Ravenclaw victory party raged on in the common room, I sat at my desk.
The newly developed photos sat before me, spread out like a black and white blanket across the wood. It made me sick to see them. Rose and Callum, together, it made me sick.
Then I noticed something. Leaning in, I saw that something strange was happening with Callum's eyes. Instead of being closed, like Rose's were, his were open.
And staring right at me. Staring straight at camera, almost as though he knew I was there.
I sat back in my chair, feeling even more nauseous. That son of a…
He had known I was there all along. He had known I would take the pictures. He knew that I, with my nosy tendencies and my big mouth, would run straight to Scorpius, and whether he believed me or not, I had got the ball rolling for Callum and Caitlin to orchestrate the grand finale.
A shadow fell across the desk, and I looked up.
"That was a really shitty thing he did today," Louis said in a low voice.
"It was," I agreed.
"I wonder how Scorpius is doing," he said.
"One can only imagine," I replied.
There was a long, thoughtful silence.
Watching the photos, Louis spoke up, "OK, I'll help you. But on one condition."
"What?" I asked him.
"This isn't an investigation to find his soft side," Louis said, "This bloke clearly doesn't have a sensitive bone in his body. We have to find his darkest secrets, and then expose him to the whole school. We're not looking for the 'real Callum'. We're going to find out everything about this bastard, and then we're going to crush him."
And slowly, I nodded, "OK."
Louis looked surprised that I had agreed so quickly, "OK?"
"Yes," I agreed, "Let's do it."
Together we shook hands.
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