Chapter 5 : Me and My Enemy
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Et moi je t'aime un peu plus fort
Mais il m'aime encore,
Et moi je t'aime un peu plus fort
Disclaimer: all canon characters belong to JKR. Song lyrics come from Comme des Enfants by Béatrice Martin.
Saturday, Hogsmeade weekend
I am in some shit, as the Americans say.
It is the morning of the Hogsmeade trip, and I don't have a date - after rubbing it in Malfoy's face that I do. Oops. Guess my tongue got away from me on that one.
I'm lying in bed, trying to figure out how to play this. Should I pretend I'm sick? Maybe with spattergroit, which is contagious, so of course I wouldn't want my "date" to catch it. On second thought, the quarantine for that is months long, and not even the amount of embarrassment THIS promises to be can offset that. I am not prepared to be in solitary confinement for the better part of my sixth year, especially because of Malfoy.
"WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UUUUUP!!!!!!" I hear Aunt Fleur's voice, screeching from somewhere near Dom's bed. Her stupid alarm clock. I throw a pillow in the general direction of the sound and am rewarded with a groggy "mmf, dix minutes plus Maman!"
I sigh and pull myself out of bed to go to the bathroom. If I'm going to get embarrassed beyond belief today, I may as well look decent while it happens.
I walk down the stairs with my head held high. I'm not going to show any sign of weakness. I watched a nature show once, on muggle television, about wolves. They apparently eat the weakest in the pack. Hogwarts isn't much different, especially when there are Slytherins involved.
Josh Higgins catches me at the bottom of the stairs. "You look so pretty, Rose!"
"Er, thanks," I respond a little confused.
"Ready for our date?" he winks.
"Huh?" I brilliantly reply.
He starts to look uncomfortable. "Remember, on Thursday, right after Charms, you agreed to go to Hogsmeade with me-"
"Oh, of course!" I gush, relief overcoming me. I'm not going to get embarrassed after all! Of course, I did put an Infatuation Charm on the boy, but that's all collateral damage. "How could I forget? I heard you wrong. I thought you asked if I was ready for our...plate, and I was wondering what you meant, because why would one need to prepare to meet a plate? You just eat food off them."
Oh, Merlin. Shut up, Rose. Shut up now.
"Oh," he frowns slightly, but then accepts it. "Alright. Can I sit with you for breakfast?"
"I would love that," I beam, and because I'm still so relieved, and because he really does look cute, with his brown hair falling into his eyes, and his shy smile, I lean up on my tiptoes to kiss him on the cheek.
We go and sit at the Gryffindor table together. James, on a bet from Fred, is taking two girls to Hogsmeade without each one finding out that he's also taking the other. He's sitting with one of the girls now. The other one is probably upstairs primping with the rest of James' harem.
Josh nudges me. "Hey, is your brother okay?"
I follow his gaze to see Hugo sitting on a bench cross legged, with his eyes closed and his hands held up beside his head. His thumb and forefinger on each hand are pressed together, and the other fingers are sticking straight up. I roll my eyes, march over and flick him on the ear.
He slowly opens his eyes. "Greetings, sister mine."
"Hello, Hugo," I say. "Shouldn't you be doing this in your dorm or something?"
"Please, do not call me Hugo," he intones like some monk. "I have reached enlightenment. You may now refer to me as the Rama Rama."
"How exactly have you reached enlightenment?" I inquire sarcastically.
"I sat under the Whomping Willow, and it recognized my higher state of mind by not attacking," he tells me.
I raise an eyebrow.
He sighs. "The boddhisattva got enlightened by sitting under a boddhi tree under a storm. Desires came to him but they did not affect him, and neither did the elements. Since we don't have boddhi trees here, I had to make do. And now I do not desire anything anymore."
Deciding I don't want to deal with him today, I just nod and turn to head over to Josh. But Hugo calls me back. "Wait! Rose! I'm leading yoga classes in the Room of Requirement Monday evenings. Want to come? Only two Sickles a class!"
I frown. "What about the whole not desiring anything? Isn't money, I dunno, filthy tainted lucre or something?"
"I'm a teenage boy, not a saint," he says as if I should have known.
"Whatever Hugo," I roll my eyes and walk away.
"It's Rama Rama, not Hugo!" he calls after me.
By the time I get back, Josh is laughing at some of James' antics. He sent the first girl off on some pointless errand and is now talking to the second one. Albus is sitting with us today, acting as James' lookout and covering for him. They've agreed to split the money when they win (they haven't considered the possibility that they might not, and don't even care that Fred is extorting money from both of them, so if he wins he actually gets quadruple the money they would each get. Simple arithmetic).
The first girl walks in. Al immediately jumps up and goes to talk to her, conveniently blocking James from her view. She frowns at something he says, but then smiles and walks back upstairs. Al returns to our table, smirking.
"She thinks you've gone upstairs to look for her," Al whispers to James.
"What?" asks Date #2.
"Nothing," they immediately say together.
Malfoy enters the Hall with Dom on his arm. Looks like she finally got up. I'm hoping against hope that they'll go sit at the Slytherin table, but no, they come here. Malfoy's eyebrows raise at seeing me with Josh.
James scowls at Malfoy, and Date #2 has to smack him on the arm to get his attention. James suddenly remembers he "forgot his wand upstairs", which is bollocks, but the girl doesn't stop him. I'd bet all the Sickles Hugo is going to make from his yoga class (two, maybe four if he's lucky) he's going to meet Date #1.
Josh pours me some juice and snags a piece of toast for me from a plate before Fred grabs it. Just because I know Malfoy is watching, I smile sweetly and kiss his cheek once more. Josh blushes, and Malfoy's eyebrows travel further up his forehead.
Josh puts his arm around me and glares at Malfoy, whose eyebrows are going to disappear into his hair in a few seconds. Dom smacks him, murmurs "be polite" and shoves a waffle into his mouth.
James returns. Date #1 is nowhere to be found. I think the second girl ( who seems marginally smarter) is beginning to get suspicious but she says nothing.
Malfoy finally swallows the waffle and addresses Josh and me. "So, uh, you two..."
"Yeah, us two," I say and grin smugly.
I have a feeling that by the end of the day, Malfoy will have raised his eyebrows so much that they'll actually be on the other side of his head.
When we leave, just because I don't want to break tradition, and also because I can't resist, I pour a pitcher of maple syrup over Malfoy.
Josh and I wander up and down the narrow streets of Hogsmeade. He is very sweet, occasionally holding my hand or putting his arm around me, or holding doors open for me when necessary. After visiting Honeydukes, we head to the Three Broomsticks and sit at a table in the back that's meant for more than two people, but is partially hidden by a protruding wall.
Josh gets two Butterbeers, and we drink them, talking about everything and nothing at the same time. It's like being with a friend. Eventually the subject of Charms class comes up, and I cringe internally, doing my best to steer the conversation away.
"So, those Infatuation Charms," Josh says to me, a twinkle in his eye.
I gulp. "Erm, yeah. Say, have you noticed that Butterbeer is a lovely golden colour?"
"I know you tried to cast an Infatuation Charm on me, Rosie," he says, smiling.
"You do?" I gasp, and then frown in confusion. "Wait, what do you mean, tried? It obviously worked."
"No it didn't," he grins.
I narrow my eyes. "Are you insulting my spell-casting?"
"Oh, no, no!" he exclaims. "I only meant... well, I could tell you had tried, and that it didn't work, because I already liked you."
I blink. "Really?"
"Really," he smiles, and leans in to kiss me. My eyes flutter closed, and our lips our just about to touch when a loud and obnoxious "Afternoon!" intrudes on the moment. We jump back as if we've been hit with a Repulsing jinx, and look up.
Malfoy, sans Dom, is standing over our table, grinning at having ruined my moment. He's obviously managed to clean up his hair and it's in little spikes as usual. To make matters worse, he slides onto the bench beside me.
"Shouldn't you be off in some cobwebby closet, snogging my cousin?" I growl.
"Yes," he sighs. "But alas, she wanted to go shopping for clothes! So I left."
Even in the middle of my annoyance I can't helping rolling my eyes at Dom's absurd need to buy something within a 5 mile radius of buy-able things.
"Don't let me interrupt you two getting cozy," Malfoy smirks. "Go right on ahead."
"Why don't you piss off, Malfoy?" Josh appears very ticked off.
"I like it here," he says arrogantly. "Very... friendly."
Both me and my date bristle at the implication, and I can't resist calling him out. "Not quite as 'friendly' as you and Dom were two nights ago."
"Oh, and we still are," he chuckles. "If anything, I'd stay with your cousin just because it annoys you."
I huff in annoyance and stomp off to the bathroom. When I've calmed down enough to come out, I nearly bump into James' second date, who is standing just outside the men's room, staring avidly at the door as if she expects it to dance a jig. I look at her oddly. "Er, you know that's for the boys right?"
"Yes, I do," she replies. "But James went in here half an hour ago, and I'm waiting for him to come out. I'm not buying that story about a really bad stomach."
I decide to mess things up for my cousin just a little. He deserves it, treating girls this way. "You're right. He's probably climbed out the window by now, off to see the other girl he's brought here today."
"I knew it!" she exclaims. "Merlin, is he going to get it from me. Thanks for telling me, Rose."
"Anytime, er..." I can't remember her name.
"Ella," she chuckles. "Want to help me put itching powder in his sheets sometime?"
"I'd love it," I laugh.
I walk back to the table but pause behind the bit of protruding wall, hearing angry voices.
"I'm telling you," comes Josh's voice, "stay away."
Malfoy sighs. "And I'm telling you, I'm not interested in Weasley."
"Please," scoffs Josh.
I can almost see Malfoy raising his eyebrows. "Please, what? I'm with her cousin, as you know. I am not interested in her."
"Sure," remarks Josh. "Then why are you always trying to get her attention?"
"If by get her attention, you mean annoy her, then it is because it's funny. You should try it sometime, loosen up a little, Mr. Merlin's-Gift-to-Witches, instead of acting like some uptight medieval knight rushing off to rescue a damsel in distress."
"I'm nice," says Josh coldly. "Not uptight. And explain this: if you aren't trying to get Rose's attention, then why are you here?"
"Were you not listening?" Malfoy demands. "I enjoy irritating her, and she is obviously quite irritated."
There is a pause, and then Malfoy speaks again. "Why are you so worried?"
Josh sounds ages older when he talks. "Because there is a very fine line between love and hate."
Malfoy snorts. "Yeah, that's what some people have told me. But if that were true, you and I would be all over each other right now."
Josh chuckles quietly. "True."
I choose this moment to make my grand entrance, walking nonchalantly around the wall as if I haven't heard everything they've said in the past five minutes. This time though, I slide in beside Josh.
At this timely moment, Dom shows up. "Oh, look at you all, getting along like old friends!"
"Old friends, that's what we are," Malfoy smirks, again referring to me and Josh. I kick him under the table.
Dom starts taking out the new clothes she's bought and telling us all about them. Don't get me wrong, I love clothes and shopping as much as the next sixteen-year-old witch, but Dom worships them. I wouldn't be surprised to find her cross legged in front of her open closet, meditating like Hugo does in front of the sun.
Dom continues talking. I study my nails. Oh, there's a little chip on the corner, I must remember to fix that. I think I'll cut them in two days, they should be pretty long by then. I notice Josh repeatedly stirring his Butterbeer. There's a miniature whirlpool in the middle, and I remember something about how all whirlpools in the Northern Hemisphere turn counterclockwise and those in the Southern Hemisphere turn clockwise. I think it's called the Coriolis effect? One of the many random and useless things I learned in muggle elementary. Malfoy has whipped out a book and is reading. I can't see the title. I'm surprised Dom doesn't notice us engaged in our various little pastimes - I'm actually twiddling my thumbs by this point. I thought no one ever really did that.
"...and it all cost only 137 Galleons and 3 Sickles," Dom beams.
"That's excellent," I say, because that's generally what I say at this point in our conversations.
"Thank you!" she exclaims. "I was actually so tempted to buy the matching shoes and bag as well, but they..." And she goes off on a streak about what she used her tremendous self control to refrain from buying.
My cuticles are awfully out of shape. I should really see to those when I have time.
Filch sweeps the Probity Probe down me one last time, then declares me clear, glaring at me balefully as if I had just denied him the great pleasure of confiscating something. But James is behind me, so he'll get his happiness yet.
Merlin, the geezer needs to get out more. Can't be healthy to have only a cat for company, though Mum apparently managed that in third year. Guess that explains why she turned out the way she did.
Josh walks me back to my dorm. I need to change and wash for dinner. Malfoy thought it would be really funny to see how my hair looked soaked in Butterbeer.
I'm just about to go up the last staircase into the Gryffindor common room when Josh suddenly pulls me aside, into an empty hallway.
"Wait," he says. "We were interrupted."
And he leans in really slowly. Both his breathing and mine speed up. I've heard about how your first kiss is supposed to be, with the fireworks and unicorns and rainbows and butterflies, and I'm anticipating the feeling.
He presses his mouth to mine, lingers for a few seconds, pulls back, and smiles at me.
Me? I'm still waiting for the fireworks.
I'm beside Lily at dinner, stabbing into the roast rather vindictively. Josh is over at the Hufflepuff table casting me longing, sad looks, because I sat quickly in between Lily and Hugo, with James across from me, and there was no room for him nearby. I'm not in the mood for sappiness. I didn't even get to see a bloody butterfly and I'm sodding well pissed off.
"How was your date?" Lily asks me.
I mutter something about there being no damn unicorns and she looks at me strangely.
James is sporting a black eye from when Ella punched him. I think I like that girl.
Hugo has a cute little girl wearing yoga pants and one of those stretchy headbands beside him. He's describing the inverted tree pose (on your head, back straight, legs bent at right angles at the knee, calves crossed) to her, and she's gazing at him like he's the best thing since spandex. The yoga obsession may have paid off (not like the cheesy muggle musical one. Rent is a lot longer than you'd think, especially when the person singing it actually sings for three hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes).
Lily taps me on the shoulder. "So, tell me about these missing unicorns."
"I don't know what they're like," I mumble. "I didn't see them. They were off for a bloody jaunt around Kazakhstan instead of prancing about at my moment like they were supposed to."
Lily raises an eyebrow. "I know less now than I did before."
"Even the sodding rainbows deserted me!" I wail.
"Are you high?" asks James suddenly.
I frown at him. "No. Why the ruddy hell would you think that?"
"You're going on about rainbows and unicorns in some place I think you just made up," he told me as if this was perfectly reasonable.
"As if it's any less ridiculous than some of the rubbish you talk about," I grumble.
"Wow, who spit in your lunch?" wonders Lily.
"Let's turn that frown upside down!" says James perkily, imitating some woman in a muggle advert. I narrow my eyes and glare at him dangerously. He backtracks hurriedly. "I mean, if you want to. Whatever you feel like."
"I felt like seeing fireworks a while ago," I complain. "But the fireworks didn't care what I felt like!"
"I think she's finally lost it," Lily says to James at normal volume, as if I'm not sitting right there.
"Bound to happen sometime," James agrees.
"I can HEAR you," I grouch.
"We know," they chorus.
Dom and Malfoy walk in then, all disheveled as usual. This bothers me.
"They see the butterflies and I don't!" I whine.
Malfoy raises an eyebrow.
"The fire's lit, but the cauldron's empty," Lily explains.
They nod like this is old news. I'm starting to wonder if they're all mentally disabled.
I couldn't stand being in the common room with all those happy couples. Plus I know Josh would be looking for me, and I don't want to have to kiss him just now. The absence of the fireworks and unicorns and rainbows and butterflies had left me strangely empty.
I was wandering the halls for a bit, but I was already tired from all the walking I had done in Hogsmeade today, so now I'm sitting on the cold stone floor against the wall because there's nowhere better nearby. I'm wondering how other people carry on physical relationships. Do they grin and pretend like there's actually something there? Or do they actually feel it and there's just something wrong with me?
I close my eyes and lean my head back against the wall. After a while I hear someone slide down to sit beside me, and that someone who apparently has a deep voice clears their throat. I open my eyes and turn my head to see Malfoy. I don't have the energy left to be surprised or even scowl at him so I just close my eyes once more.
"That's different," he says quietly.
"What?" I mumble.
"Not even a hostile expression."
"I'm too tired," I say.
He ignores the implied request for him to leave and just continues talking.
"I have to say, I'm surprised."
"Why?" I ask.
"Josh Higgins?" he says somewhat sarcastically.
"You don't think I could attract someone like him?" I demand, but it's halfhearted, and he can tell.
"I didn't think you'd go for him," he says.
"Why not?" I ask, because I'm genuinely curious now.
"I thought you'd go for someone with more personality. Someone a little less average," he frowns.
"He's got personality," I defend him, again halfheartedly, and avoiding the average part, because honestly I don't know about that yet. His kissing, at least, is average at best. Again, Malfoy notices, and smirks.
"So then why go out with him? Just to prove your point?" He elbows me, but it's light, and there's no venom behind it.
"Because I..." I begin, and then realize as if for the first time who I'm talking to. "It's none of your bloody business, and why does it matter to you?"
Annnnnnd we're back!
"You're fascinating," he smirks. "Like the old test subjects in the Experimental Charms department."
"And you're an arse," I retort. "Like the ones that rest on toilets."
"Oh, don't call me that," he says.
I raise one shoulder in a half shrug. "If the shoe fits..."
He chuckles, but lets it drop, and doesn't make some sarcastic remark like I'm expecting. We sit there silently for a while, me and my enemy. Oil and water, fire and ice. And it's almost peaceful.
Atleast, until Mrs. Norris the Third walks by and stares at us - I swear you can hear her saying "Naughty naughty" - and turns pad back the way she came. We both swear and jump up, looking for somewhere to hide. Sprinting as silently as we can across the corridors and looking for a place to hide, we hear Filch hobbling along behind us, but luckily we're fast enough that he's always a corner behind us and can't see us.
One of those wonderful broom closets turns up. Merlin, I hate them. But it's that or detention. Malfoy grabs my arm and pulls me into it, shutting the door quietly. The closet is tiny, dark and cramped, especially because Malfoy's too tall and has to hunch over me. The only things keeping me from bursting out of this closet are the threat of having to relieve Filch of his job of cleaning toilets and the pain of Malfoy's hand, still tightly gripping my arm. It helps me focus.
We hear Filch hobbling around outside, his cane going tap tap. Suddenly, inexplicably, I start to giggle. Malfoy digs his fingers deeper into my arm, but I keep laughing, although almost silently, I can't seem to stop. I can almost hear Malfoy roll his eyes. Filch's tap-tapping has paused, but I haven't. With some difficulty Malfoy extricates his arm from behind him and puts his hand over my mouth. I'm still giggling, but the slight sound is muffled by his hand. Filch resumes walking and his footsteps gradually fade. Malfoy pushes open the door of the broom closet and lets me out, and I finally cease to laugh. He steps out as well.
"What the hell?" he whispers, though I can tell, if he could, he'd be shouting.
"I don't know," I admit.
He rolls his eyes and sighs. "Come on, I'll walk you to your common room."
I stare at him in utter shock.
"What?" he demands. "I can be nice!"
"Not to me," I murmur.
"I poured Butterbeer on you and embarrassed you in front of your boyfriend, and you poured maple syrup on me and nearly got me in detention with your stupid laughter. I think we've exchanged blows enough today," he says. "I don't have all night, let's get walking!"
I relent and we walk toward the Gryffindor common room, keeping an eye out for Mrs. Norris or Filch.
When we reach I give the Fat Lady the password. "Insomnia."
"I'll say," she grumbles irritably from under her nightcap as the door swings open. I climb through.
"Weasley," Malfoy says before I can close the door. I turn back, and he's got his smirk on again.
"Don't think this changes anything," he tells me. "I still hate you."
I smile sweetly. "As I loathe you, Malfoy."
I let the portrait door swing shut, but not before a whispered "Good night" gets through. I trudge up the stairs and undress as quietly as I can so as not to wake my dorm mates up.
As I'm lying in bed, it hits me why I was giggling.
The first time I'd been in a broom closet was in first year, on a pranking mission with James. I was in there with him for about ten seconds before I had to get out. That means that the first boy I'm not related to that I've spent over five minutes with in a broom closet in is Malfoy.
Funny how things happen sometimes.
Sooooo, this is an extra long update! Please give it extra love! This may just be my favorite chapter so far.
Oh, by the way, the lyrics at the top are in French, and they mean "He loves me too/ again, but I love you a little more." I love all kinds of random music, so don't be weirded out by that. All music I use is stuff I actually listen to, and that I am sort of recommending. No, I'm not French. Yes, I'm Canadian, but not Québécois. I do not live in an igloo, or own a maple syrup farm. I don't play hockey - hell, I don't even care how many losing years the Leafs have had - and no, I do not know your cousin John in Saskatchewan.
Sorry about that! I just visited the US and got a whole buttload of that nonsense, but that's mostly out of my system now.
Uh, yeah, that's about it. If my long A/Ns bother you, tell me, I'll shorten them. And also, I want to post this on ff.net, but am having some trouble: can you guys tell me in a review how to manage spacing in documents on that site? My stories so far have posted with no line breaks...
Also if you have a preference for a character or a direction I'd love to know!
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