Chapter 8 : April - Spring Fever Sucks
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A List of the Best Muggle Movies
By Felicity Joyce-Cauldwell
Here at Pig Zits we appreciate that students here come from all walks of life, but apart from being magical, we all have one thing in common. A love of movies. I know some of you are thinking ‘No we’re not! We’ve never seen a movie in our life!’ But even if you are new to the world of Muggle Cinema, it’s impossible not to love watching other people in trouble.
So here, for your benefit, whether you’re an old hand at using a DVD player or you think the radio is the cutting edge of entertainment, I’ve compiled a list of the Best Muggle Movies ever.
The Prison Absolution – Two men imprisoned find redemption over the years through acts of common decency.
The Godmother – The head of a large business of organized crime passes it over to her reluctant son.
Marty Anaconda and the Fountain of Youth – A whimsical comedy about King Arthur’s low-budget quest to find the Fountain of Youth.
Intervention – In a world where technology has been developed to enter people’s daydreams, a professional is offered a chance of redemption.
The Good, Bad and Uglier – The crew are back in an attempt to save Charlie Westwood’s wife.
The Shady Sir – Manbat is pushed to the limit as he fights against the anarchist known only as the Funnyman.
The King of the Bracelets – The former Posse prepare for a war while Fredo and Samuel race to destroy the ring.
Star Battle: Episode XXIV - Lucas studies the Jedses further, his friends are persecuted by Dark Invader in his attempt to capture Lucas.
The Grid – A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against his controllers.
Sophia and Thread – A Hawaiian girl adopts an unusual pet who is actually an extra-terrestrial fugitive.
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
The Current House Point Score Stands as Follows:
Gryffindor Ravenclaw Hufflepuff Slytherin
267 201 246 200
I. P. Indoz, please return A Guide to Bowel-Soothing Charms to the Library at once.
Happy Birthday to Hugo from The Weasley family! Have a great year!
With the advent of spring, many new and interesting plants are blooming! If you’re a keen herbologist or fancy getting some free samples, come to Greenhouse 2 during Thursday lunchtime! Lunch of sandwiches provided.
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.
Dear Secret Sorceress,
I made up a really stupid lie about being taken in order to cover up the fact that I really like this person, but now they actually believe it and I’m stuck in a relationship I’m not actually in. What do I do?
Come clean. Seriously. If you don’t and you somehow manage to get the person you like, you’ll have this lie hanging over you for the rest of you relationship, and you don’t want to have baggage before you’ve even begun.
Love, Secret Sorceress
Dear Secret Sorceress,
All my friends take the Michael out of me for liking charms, but to be honest it’s the only subject I’m good at. What can I do to convince them it’s not a soft subject?
Charms isn’t a soft subject! It might seem less hardcore now, but NEWT-level is no joke. Besides, your friends are probably just joking. Next time they insult you, how about a comeback like ‘Well you won’t need help with your charms homework next time.’ And if this doesn’t convince you, take a look at the advanced textbook, pick a particularly flamboyant charm and wow your friend’s socks off!
Love, Secret Sorceress
Dear Secret Sorceress,
Someone keeps on putting Bulbadox powder in my pyjamas so I wake up with really painful rashes all over every morning. I’ve washed every pair about six times but the symptoms keep on coming back. What can I do to stop the jokers and treat the rash?
It’s not Bulbadox Powder! The symptoms are completely different. It seems that you are just having an allergic reaction to the starch the house-elves use on your bed sheets. Leave a note to them, go and see Madam Valentine and just in case, keep a bottle of Murtlap essence in your bedside cabinet.
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.
You know how the Pig Zits office used to be a kind of sanctuary for me? Where I’d go when everyone else was annoying the hell out of me and I’d just settle down and work through other people’s problems?
Not so much anymore.
And remember how I told you that Timmi was approaching ‘genius’ with her skill at deciphering posts?
Well, now I’ve come to appreciate that not only had Timmi surpassed ‘genius’, she had pretty much super-human intelligence.
I stared at the piece of parchment in my hand, and I could not make head or tail of it.
‘Dear Secret Sorceress,’ it said,
‘I have this thing that I really want to
get rid of. It’s annoying me like crazy
and I just want it to go away. What
should I do?
What the hell was that supposed to mean? A thing? Oh, yeah, great, now I could really help you out! A thing! Fan-stinking-tastic. What could this thing be? A zit? An annoying roommate? A tendency to laugh at inappropriate moments? It could be anything!
This is why I need Timmi. The Secret Sorceress just doesn’t work with one half missing. Because Timmi held true to her promise. She didn’t turn up to the Secret Sorceress office. She barely spoke to me. She barely even looked at me. Lorcan called me to stay back after the last meeting. I was unwilling, considering my history with being called back, but I didn’t really have much choice.
‘What did you do?’ Lorcan said in an accusing tone of voice. ‘One moment Timmi’s going after you to check if you’re okay, and the next I have her turning up and telling she’s resigning from Secret Sorceress because she can’t stand to be in the same room as you!’
I kept my suddenly burning eyes on the floor.
‘Rose, what has been up with you lately? First you start turning up late to nearly every meeting, then you start losing all the focus you ever had, and then you get into a blazing row with Timmi! What’s wrong?’
He was trying to play the ‘concerned friend’ card, but I felt more like I was standing in front of a usually strict headmaster who had resorted to kindness to trying and find out why I’d punched Billy Parker in the face. Well, Lorcan could stuff his ‘concerned friend’ card where the sun shined not. He was nothing but a slimy, creepy-
‘Rose!’ Lorcan said in amazement. ‘You’re doing it again!’
I felt my throat tighten and my face crumple into tears, so I grabbed my bag. I didn’t even open my mouth to say goodbye.
I carefully wrote a non-committal reply.
If a thing is there, it may be there
for a reason. Maybe you should
let it hang around for a while.
Love, Secret Sorceress’
Hopefully that would do trick. I moved onto the next letter.
‘Dear Secret Sorceress,
I feel like I’ve let down someone I
actually get along with quite well
because they expected things of me
that I just couldn’t give. What can I
do to improve the situation?
These messages just got even more cryptic as they went along. Why couldn’t they just be all plain and simple like, for example,
‘Dear Secret Sorceress,
I’m an alcoholic. What should I do?
Love, a Lush
That would be a message I could answer.
I sighed and got up. I didn’t feel comfortable in the Secret Sorceress room anymore. Even if I cleared my desk and closed my eyes I would still feel the oppressive aura cast by questions unanswered.
I went back to the common room, but things weren’t much better there either. Scorpius, Albus and Kalliope were sitting around the same table, carefully not talking to each other. You could have cut the tension with a ladle, never mind a knife.
I dropped down beside Kalliope and gave her a brief smile, which she didn’t return. The corners of her mouth just turned down. ‘Ugh.’ I mumbled as I got up again. I couldn’t work in this strained atmosphere.
So I went to the library. I sat down at a table to work but two Slytherin girls were whispering and giggling behind the bookshelves in front of me and it wasn’t long before I had cocked an ear.
‘…tell me exactly what happened.’ One demanded.
‘Alright.’ The other one said. I recognised her as Evelina Bulstrode, a girl my cousin Lily had frequently complained about. ‘You know how Timmi Silverwand and Rudolfe Schmitte two years above have been going on for yonks and yonks?’
‘Duh.’ They first said back. ‘They always used to hold hands coming down from dinner. It was revolting.’
‘Totally.’ Evelina agreed. ‘So, one day, I was sitting in the common room doing my charms homework, and the common room was empty except for me ‘cause everyone else was at dinner but I wasn’t hungry cause Professor Creevey called me back after class and he had a bowl of Liquorice Wands on his desk and I took a few when he wasn’t looking and then Professor Zeller came in and I was like, oh no, I’m gonna get detention now, but she just winked at me-’
‘Yeah, yeah, go on.’ The other girl said impatiently.
‘Right, so Timmi and Rudolfe came in, and they didn’t see me ‘cause I was in the high backed chair, you know, and they were having this argument. Like, a proper bust-up. She’s shouting, you used me, you used me, you prick, and he was like, quietly, it wasn’t like that, how can you say that, and she was like, someone saw you and he was like no way so she said, yeah they did, and he was like, alright, its true, now leave me alone and she was like yeah, fine, I will, its totally over between us.’
There was an awed silence from the other girl. I didn’t dare to move, in case they heard me and moved away.
‘So why d’you think they broke up?’ the girl asked.
‘I dunno.’ Evelina said. ‘No-one does. All anyone knows is that one minute they’re cool and the next it’s all, like, over.’
There was more silence while both girls pondered this.
I, in the meantime, blew out a sigh of relief. Part of me had been scared that Timmi would refuse to believe me at all and then all effort on my part would have been wasted.
At least she’d broken up with him.
A third girl joined the quiet tête-à-tête now. ‘Guys, Professor Zeller said that a girl in first year, her mum’s just died and we’re to be nice to her when she comes back from the funeral.’
‘What did her mum die of?’ one girl asked.
‘A really bad strain of Dragonpox, apparently.’
‘Dragonpox?’ Evelina shuddered. ‘Ew.’
‘Yeah, and her mum used to be proper pretty as well.’
‘Whose mum was it?’ Evelina asked.
I slowly got up and gathered my books. Then I headed straight back to the common room, where Albus was now sitting alone.
‘Albus,’ I asked, ‘where did Scorpius go?’
‘He was in the dormitory last time I checked. He said he wanted to think things over about things. I think he wanted to talk to you.’ Albus said, looking sly for some reason. ‘Oh, and I think he got a letter from the Zabini’s, so he’s probably bouncing off the walls. I don’t know if you want to risk going in there now.’
So maybe Scorpius knew already.
I could guess at his reason for wanting to be alone when reading a letter addressed from the Zabini household. His emotions showed themselves too clearly on his face when reading. I’d sometimes look up at him from across the common room and realising that he was reading the climax of the novel I’d lent him, because his face would be all creased with concentration, feeling the pain of the characters. I used to tease him about it, until the mail he received sent him into a highly stressful state and he became too waspish to be teased. But it was something I liked about him, that in some ways he was so easy to read, so unguarded, so vulnerable, when most of the time he was locked up tight. It was this vulnerability that meant that he now often read alone, so that he could be free to feel his emotions in peace.
And reading a letter from the Zabini’s would so obviously cause him stress, so had Scorpius stayed in the common room, Albus would surely have noticed his discomfort. And Scorpius hadn’t told him about what was causing this.
I respected Scorpius’ wish that Albus and Kalliope, as well as the rest of the world, be kept out of his affairs, even if I didn’t really agree with them. It set up a barrier between him and them, and though it had lessened of late, it was still there and both Albus and Kalliope responded to it, even if they didn’t sense it consciously. It also had occurred to me that probably Natanelle would have already boasted of it to her first-year friends and that the news had been spreading throughout Hogwarts regardless of Scorpius’ wishes.
I climbed up the stairs to the boys’ dorm. I opened the door to the unlit room and just about discerned Scorpius’ still form sitting on his bed.
‘Scorp?’ I approached him slowly. ‘You alright?’
He turned to me and I was surprised to see that he was grinning. ‘Rose,’ He said, ‘it’s off.’
‘What’s off?’ I asked, puzzled.
‘The engagement. It’s off!’ He waved the letter in his hand. ‘Natanelle’s dad just owled me saying that I’m not allowed near her! I’m free!’
‘Scorpius-’ I tried to say, but he leapt up and hugged me. ‘Free!’ He hooted. ‘Free to date, and shag, and break hearts to my heart’s content!’
‘Is that really the way you plan to use your freedom?’ I asked critically. Then I shook myself. His happiness was infectious, but I resisted. ‘Scorpius-’ He interrupted me with another hug, but I pushed him away. ‘Scorpius, do you know why it’s off?’
‘What?’ Scorpius quickly scanned the letter. ‘Nope, it doesn’t say.’
‘Scorpius… I just found out that Natanelle’s mum died.’
Scorpius’ grin faded; he sat back down. ‘Oh. Oh Merlin, I didn’t know. That’s so… that’s so bad.’
‘I’d tell you to go and comfort her when she gets back,’ I said, ‘but you’re not allowed near her, are you?’
‘No.’ Scorpius sighed. ‘It’s a shame. She was growing on me.’
I glanced at him to check if he was serious, but he was barely restraining a grin. I whacked him lightly. ‘That’s so insensitive.’
‘Yeah, I know.’ Scorpius admitted. ‘I’m just really relieved. I can do what ever I want… whoever I want…’ Scorpius looked at me sideways.
‘Don’t even think about it.’ I said, narrowing my eyes.
Scorpius laughed, then suddenly lunged at me and kissed me on the mouth. His lips were soft- softer than I’d expected. It wasn’t much more than a peck, but it sent my head reeling. Scorpius had kissed me.
‘Sorry about that,’ Scorpius said, not looking very sorry at all. ‘I was thinking that I had better make use of my newfound freedom, and you were pretty much the most convenient girl-’
‘Convenient?’ I spluttered. ‘Thanks!’
‘You’re welcome.’ Scorpius smirked.
I considered him for a moment, then punched him on the arm, a swift, sharp jab.
‘You call that a punch?’ Scorpius taunted me. ‘Let me show you how to throw a real punch.’
He grabbed my wrists and attempted to pin them down to the bed, but I writhed like a wild cat and managed to throw him off. Before he managed to regain his balance I slammed him into the pillows and sat on him.
‘Can I throw a punch now?’ I grinned.
‘No!’ Scorpius spluttered, struggling.
I leant forward and extended an index finger so that it hovered one millimetre from Scorpius’ exposed chin. ‘And now?’
‘No!’ Scorpius gasped, still trying to move me.
So I brushed my finger up his neck. Scorpius thrashed about as though he was on fire. ‘Fine!’ He panted. ‘You can! You can! Just stop tickling me!’
‘Um.’ Said a stunned voice from the doorway.
Scorpius and I looked round, saw the expression on Albus’ face and both burst out laughing at exactly the same moment.
‘I- I can go, if you know… if you want me to…’ Albus stuttered.
Still laughing, I got off Scorpius and went downstairs, kissing Albus soundly on the cheek as I passed.
I decided to go back to the Secret Sorceress office to get more replies down while my good mood lasted, but the grin slid off my face like stinksap when I saw the door ajar. I never forgot to close the door. And there were protective enchantments around it besides. But as I entered and saw the parchment in a mess, the quills on the floor, there was no denying it. The Secret Sorceress office had been broken into.
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