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Study Habits by The Colorful Dragon
Chapter 5 : Levels
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2

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1.       I was currently buried under a plethora of Defense Against the Dark Arts homework—forty pages of reading and a three foot essay due on Friday. And although Albus told me it wasn’t my fault, I think my correcting of Professor Radmore’s language skills might have something to do with it.


2.       Against my will, I was being forced to work on a project in Charms with Dom. When I tried to think of a topic with her during dinner she muttered something about her salad tasting like House Elf Poo. When I tried to bring it up again, she criticized me because my hair was apparently taking on a gray shade. And on the way to detention, I made the mistake of bringing it back up. This time she just clasped her hands onto her ears and began to sing the national anthem at the top of her lungs.



3.       Florie thinks that eloping with Steve over the summer is the only way to ensure that “their love will pass the test”. When I asked her why this was all she had to say was her inside feelings were telling her it was the way to go. I need the time to figure out a plan to ensure her love deluded brain that marriage at seventeen wasn’t practical, even if inside feelings are telling you that.



4.       The majority of my cousins would be there, which meant that panic was bound to ensue.



5.       James had already farted—twice.







I began to breathe without my nose as James did it again. He just winked at me as I gave him a disbelieving stare. If Radmore wasn’t pacing the room I would’ve smacked him. To my right Dominique was humming happily to herself as she pretended to dust a particularly dirty plaque. Next to her Roxanne was trying to stifle a giggle as Louis did some weird sort of happy dance. I just sighed, not realizing before tonight just how big the Trophy Room was. We had been dusting and cleaning for over thirty minutes now and I was on the verge of suffocation and a sneezing fit.

“Hey Rose!” James said as he pinched my side.

I jumped a little and turned to shush at him. “What?” Instead of responding he just waved and then went back to dusting. I felt my eyes bulge out of my head in frustration. I was beginning to regret saying that James could dust next to me, even though he had asked very nicely. He took the job to a whole other level. Instead of just sliding his smart little muggle feather duster across the disgusting trophies like the rest of us, he really dug in making sure they were spick and span. In result I was getting covered in the flyaway dust. I always wound up regretting that James could do something next to me. He didn’t try to annoy me on purpose, it just kind of happened.

“Damnit Rose,” Dom growled. “This is the third of your mum’s trophies I’ve had to polish tonight, and, mind you, that is not including all of the other times I’ve been in detention to clean up this room! The name Hermione Granger is going to start to fucking haunt me!”

“Would you shut up?” Malfoy snapped quietly from next to her as Radmore swiftly walked over to us. Her voice had been louder than I’m sure she intended it to be, and as usual she was completely oblivious to a teacher coming up behind her. She thrusted out her hip and chomped on her gum obnoxiously while giving Malfoy one of her customary ‘I don’t like you’ stares.

“I’m just voicing my opinion, Malfoy. I'm intitled to that you know.” She thrusted her hair back and almost into Radmore’s face. I opened my mouth in shock and tried to catch her eye but she was way too into her rant now to notice me. “You don’t have to be so stupid. And besides, have you ever met Hermione Weasley? No, I don’t think so. She’s a complete and total genius and she helped Uncle Harry save the Wizarding World and all, but I don’t think that means I should have to—”

“Oh hey Raddy!” James waved an extremely dusty feather duster around in the air covering us all in dust.

“Mr. Potter, for the hundredth time, I will not answer to Raddy, Radmore, Radmizzle, or Pro-Rad. It is Professor Radmore only.” James stopped swinging the feather duster around and just shrugged his shoulders. Something told me that if he hadn’t stopped after a little over six years, he wasn’t going to stop now. “As for you Miss. Weasley.” Radmore rounded on Dominique. “What part of silent working can you not seem to grasp?”

“I guess I take it back, you’re not that stupid.” She said to Malfoy before addressing him. “The whole silent part. It’s exhausting to remember for an entire hour, Professor.”

Roxanne started to openly laugh, brushing off professor Radmore’s glare in her direction with a shrug of her shoulders. Even I stifled a giggle into a sneeze; there was no one with balls like Dominique. People say that they didn’t care what came out of their mouths, but they really did. You had to be, as Dom put it, and extremely selfish person to accomplish her level of honesty. The saddest part was that she wasn’t trying to be funny, she was dead serious.

“If I hear one more word out of any of you you’ll all be staying an extra  half hour, and a silencio charm may very well be coming your way.”

“An extra hour from now or an extra half hour from when this hour ends? Or maybe another hour from then? It’s very confusing.” James asked in his most polite voice.

“Use your imagination, Mr. Potter.” Radmore sneered at him before billowing over to where Lindsey Burbage and Caroline Fletchley were whispering a little too loudly.

“Do you always have to be so damn crude?” Albus asked Dominique with a roll of his eyes.

“Crude is my middle name.” Dom responded with a flash of a smile.

“I thought your middle name was Cordelia?” James added in, confused.

No one answered to him. We just shook our heads and went back to work. Radmore had all the kids he had given detention today dusting the trophy room tonight. There were sixteen of us total. Casey Crowley, a chubby girl in my grade who called me four eyes until I began to use contacts, was in the far corner with some of her annoying friends. Not too far from them were a couple first or second years from Slytherin who seemed to be scared out of their minds. Roxy was in because she had tried to start a Quidditch match in the hallway right outside of Radmore’s classroom with Louis. I believed he was more just guilty by association. Then there was Anthony, James’s friend, who had been separated from working with us after just two minutes in the beginning because he and James had started a feather duster sword fight. He was alone sulking as he dusted. I was sure Freddy would be here too if he wasn’t in detention for the rest of his life with Headmistress McGonagall. The three of them were never apart. Ever.

Today they were here because Anthony had so brilliantly decided to place thumbtacks on Professor Radmore’s chair. I bet they would have gotten away with it too if it hadn’t been the sixth consecutive Wednesday they did it. Apparently Defense Against the Dark Arts for seventh years starts class every Wednesday the same exact way, Radmore howling in pain and the two of them so valiantly admitting to their crimes. They wouldn’t dare break tradition.

I really wondered about them sometimes.

My stomach growled as I continued to dust. Dusting was possibly the most boring cleaning practice that the muggle world had ever invented. Mopping the floor was bad, cleaning a toilet was terrible, but dusting was by far the winner. I’d rather clean twenty toilets than do this anymore. This was why I shouldn’t be in detention. People like me, a good respectable student, didn’t fit in here. I wasn’t used to Professors breathing down my back telling me to shut it or dust faster. I was used to being rewarded with ten extra points on my final exam, or maybe a thoughtful comment on one of my essays. I was used to nice, happy, rewarding professors. Not scary intimidating ones like Professor Radmore.

“Oopsy daisy!”

I whipped my head around to Dominique but quickly put together why she had screamed so loud. In front of us, all the trophies we had just dusted were falling over each other like a domino effect. My mouth gaped open just as James grabbed onto my arm and pulled me back. I quickly gave him a thankful smile and he patted my back in a brotherly fashion. It was no secret that my reflex skills weren’t up to par.

“Shit Dominique!” Albus swore very loudly as he threw down his feather duster. “Why’d you do that?”

“I didn’t do it on purpose!” She shrieked back. “It was an accident!”

“Weasley! Potter!” Radmore was once again on the move towards us, and this time he looked livid. I whimpered softly and let my feather duster slide down to the floor in defeat. “How—how is it possible that I am not surprised right now?”

“Well, I am known for my dramatic tendencies…” Dominique started hopefully but then trailed off into silence. She knew she couldn’t talk her way out of this one.

“Both of you,”—Radmore’s shaking finger pointed first to Dom and then to Albus—“Will be staying after until these trophies are in the exact same position! Do you understand?”

“Me!” Al cried incredulously. “What did I do?!”

“I will not tolerate cursing Mr. Potter, and if I hear it coming out of your mouth I will make sure that I punish for it. Even if it is directed in her direction.”

I opened my mouth to defend Dominique, but closed it when I saw James shaking his head at me. Clearly he thought that this was their fight. Dom was positively seething. She kicked a spare trophy on the ground before bending down to pick it up and slamming it back on the shelf. Al looked no happier. He was just standing there looking after Radmore as if he was plotting ways to kill him. Chances were that he was.

When it was time for us to leave Al was still giving Dom the silent treatment. I gave them both to be what I thought was an encouraging smile as I left but they ignored me. Professor Radmore watched us like a hawk until we had slammed the door behind us. It was almost as if he thought we were going to knock them all over on purpose.

“He’s an insufferable dick, that one!” James said cheerfully once we were out.

“A nuisance to the entire student body!” Anthony added in.

“A prick!”

“A bigheaded troll!”



At that one they both began to laugh uncontrollably. Malfoy, who had been walking beside me, bent in to ask if they were always so self-entertaining. I nodded humorlessly as James’s laughter died down enough to speak.

“We’re never bored…” He trailed off as he looked sideways at Malfoy. “Wait, who are you?”

“He’s Scorpius Malfoy.” Roxy answered for him. She was walking next to me with Louis, but she was heading out to the Quidditch pitch for practice with James. How she knew Malfoy I didn't know, but Roxanne knew everyone.

“A Malfoy?” James asked me with a raise of his eyebrows.

“He’s friends with your brother.” I told him, and James shook his head as if that explained all. “And I tutor him in Arithmancy.”

“Christ Weasley, don’t make me out to be so brilliant.” Malfoy said through gritted teeth.

“Oh don’t worry mate!” James said in a little bit too much of an enthusiastic tone. “Rosie over here has tutored me plenty in the past couple years! In fact, I’ve never met a person she hasn’t helped out. She helped old Roxy over here when she almost failed out last year—she might not have been able to play in the finals if it wasn’t for Rose! Gryffindor might have lost to you dirty cheaters! She’s a real philanthropist!”

“See, I’m a philanthropist.” I shot Malfoy a smirk. He just rolled his offended eyes in my direction. I was guessing that being called a dirty cheat wasn’t his idea of small talk, but I could also tell that he was growing used to James’s overall strangeness. Insults were thrown left and right when talking to that boy. I smirked even more when I saw Malfoy glaring at the ground now. That seemed to be the majority of our interactions. One of us would do something to piss the other one off and smirk, while the other would roll their eyes. It was kind of messed up, but in a way I liked it. It instilled the fact that there was still logic in this world. I knew that it would always turn in a circle just as I knew I would always roll my eyes and smirk at Malfoy. Life just made more sense if I thought about it that way.

James and Roxanne said their goodbyes when we neared the common room so that they could get ready for their death sentence of a Quidditch practice. Louis followed after them, muttering something about needing to get Lily’s Potions Essay to copy because he was already three days late with it. Anthony left Malfoy and I walking alone on the pretense that he was going to try to bust Fred out of detention with Headmistress McGonagall. When I tried to stop him by saying that he didn’t even know where her office was, he just looked at me for a moment and then roared with laughter. Of course he knew where her office was. Apparently unlike me, he had visited there on plenty occasions. How silly was I to assume otherwise? Silly Rose, silly Rose.

I walked in silence with Malfoy, but it wasn’t the awkward kind. We both weren’t the type of people who always needed to be talking. He, although annoying and bigheaded, was not a loud person. Part of me thought that was why he was always so rude. He only found it necessary to voice his negative thoughts. I was often buried in a book or lost in my own problems, and I wasn’t the kind of person who needed to talk to others about them. I was more than happy to have a total crisis in my head, thank you very much.

“Hello Rose.”

I looked up quickly. I had almost had another head on collision with Joey Corner. I stopped to allow the panic seep in. What should I do? A little voice inside my head told me to say hi back. Oh, right. That would be a good start.

“Hi!” I heard my voice say way too enthusiastically.

“Headed to dinner?”

“Er—yes! With Malfoy. Well, not with Malfoy, but with him kind of.”

I felt myself blabbering so I shut it. Beside me Malfoy seemed to be holding back laughter. My face must have looked like a red Christmas light right now. I wanted to slam my fist into my forehead to try and wake me up out of my awkward talk problem I had whenever Joey was around, but I realized that hitting myself for no apparent reason would probably look strange. And it would amuse Malfoy which was never a goal. We tried our best here in Rosieville to annoy him, not make him laugh at us.

“Alright, have a good walk then.” Joey said. I couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or not. “I’ll see you around.”

“Okay, see you later!”

Once he had rounded the corner I turned to Malfoy. He was not suppressing his laughter anymore. In fact, he was doubled over right here in the corridor laughing his arse off.

“Malfoy!” I whispered just in case Joey was still in earshot. “Malfoy pull yourself together, would you?”

“Weasley,” He finally regained his full height and sighed. “You must be the most awkward girl I’ve ever seen.”

“Thanks!” I said sarcastically as my face turned even redder. “I’m honored. Really, I am. For someone like you to tell me I’m awkward, well I’d never expect that!”

“Shut up.” He rolled his eyes but was still smiling. “He’s the biggest prat on the face of the planet, you know.”

“No he’s not!” 

“Oh, but he is. Ask anyone who has ears, they’ll all tell you that he’s an egotistical suck up.”

“And what do you think people say about you Mr. Perfect?”

I was whispering for no apparent reason now. For some reason Malfoy was really annoying me—like more than he usually did, if that was possible. I was beginning to think there were levels of hatred for Malfoy. One, I was slightly annoyed but could still carry on a stable conversation. Two, I wanted to yell at him but contained myself. Three, I was yelling at him. Four, I was yelling at him and also wanted nothing to with him. Five, I was ready to bleeding kill him.

“No one says anything about me.”

“Oh yes they do! Everyone thinks you’re the biggest prat ever!”

“No Weasley,” Malfoy sighed like he was talking to a five year old. “Only you think that. Stop confusing yourself.”

Instead of responding this time I let out a strangled cry and swung my bag at him. I smiled when he swore as it hit him, but quickly I was the one swearing. My bag, the bag I had been using since the beginning of third year, had split down the middle. I was stunned to silence as I watched an explosion of papers, textbooks, inkwells and quills.

“Look what you did!” I cried once I’d assessed the situation. Things had floated all around us in the hallway.

“What I did? I’m not that nutcase who just attacked someone with her bag!”

“Well how am I going to clean it all up?”

I stomped my foot and began to gather some of the papers near me. Although my bag had been messy, it was completely organized to me. I slumped down on the floor at the thought of not knowing where anything would be inside of it. Now I was going to have to reorganize and sort tonight. Fantastic.

“You do know that you’re a witch, right?” Malfoy’s annoying voice said from above me.

“Yes, I’m aware that I’m a freaking witch.” I snapped to him.

“Alright, so how about you just clean it all up with magic?”

When I didn’t respond he sighed, pointing his wand at the ruined bag.


Instantly my bag jumped back together like new. He lazily directed his wand in the direction of the first textbook he saw, levitating it back into my bag. I grudgingly pulled out my own wand and began to gather all of my stuff. By the time half of it was back in the bag it already looked full. Malfoy shook his head at me. “There’s no way you need all of this shit.”

“It’s not shit!” I cried. “It’s valuable, educational, recourses!”

Instead of responding he just shook his head as if I were a madwoman and started to make his way nearer to the Great Hall and dinner.

“Alright, have fun with your educational shit Weasley!” He called in his way of goodbye. I just stomped my foot again and began to manually pick up all of the cluttered papers and shove them back in. Half of them probably were useless for what we were learning at that time, but I would need them when final exam time came! I never threw out papers because we would always eventually need them. People gave me odd looks as I stuffed the final pieces of parchment into my overstuffed bag.


I found Florie at dinner feeding Steve off her fork. I tried to hide my look of annoyance and instead focused on the food. I’m sure if I hadn’t slammed my bag down as loud as I did that neither of them would have noticed me at all. They would have gone on in their life that encompasses just them and ignored my entrance.

“What’s wrong Rose?” Florie asked with a look of concern on her face.

“Well,” I huffed as I piled some food onto my plate. “Malfoy thinks it’s okay for him to just insult people and not get any insults back! And he split my bag!”

“But your bag looks fine.” Steve eyed it somewhat apprehensively.

“Now it does…”

I trialed off and began to stuff my face. Those two didn’t mind though. They went right back to their love birdness and were giggling and smiling at only each other. Pretty soon they’d be making love bracelets and tattooing each other’s names above their hearts. I’d be hearing the whole story tomorrow as I tried to brush my teeth with silence that wasn’t going to come. Florie would be blabbing on and on about how wonderful her love life was while Dominique sang (or more like destroyed everyone’s eardrums) in the shower.

The bathroom is not a happy place pre-school hours within our dormitory.

The great hall sky/ceiling above me was a dark inky blue tonight. It was so clear that you could see all of the stars twinkling more brightly than usual. I loved the fall the most out of all the seasons. It was pretty when the leaves changed colors, and the weather was just cold enough to still be comfortable. Having as much freckles as I do, liking summer really wasn’t an option. I didn’t like winter either. The hallways were so large and drafty between classes and being outside was almost unbearable. I liked spring right when it was about to get nice outside, but that never lasted long. Fall was the way to go.

Florie and Steve said goodbye to me and left the Great Hall hand in hand with intentions of taking a stroll around the grounds. I stabbed my food, maybe Dominique and I would go out for a walk tonight. Then I outright laughed as I sat there alone and shook my head. Dominique on a walk wasn’t ever going to happen. The girl started complaining when she had to walk from the door to her bed some nights. Exercising (yes, she considered walking exercising) for the sake of enjoyment didn’t fly by her.

By the time I had finished about a half an hour later she showed up still looking pissed off. She grabbed the whole salad bowl and instead of putting it on her plate began to eat right out of it. She chomped away as she glared at me, daring me to comment. I kept my mouth shut this time. Al didn’t sit with us tonight. Instead he went over to sit at the Slytherin table with the few stragglers left eating. By the look on Dom’s face I could reason out that the rest of detention hadn’t gone well.

“He’s such a prat, that cousin of ours.” She said as she attacked her food.

“How was it?” I asked in a cautious voice.

“Utterly horrid!” She exploded, pushing the big bowl away from her dramatically. “After me and the cousin I refuse to name had picked up all the damn trophies he made us dust the rest of the room! And that cousin of ours refused to do his share! I wound up dusting three more of your mother’s awards, mind you. The woman was too successful!”

“Yeah, well nowadays she talks to the cat more than people, so…”

“I can’t stand him sometimes, Rose.” She took a swig of her pumpkin juice and slammed it down on the table so hard I was afraid the glass would break. “I can’t handle all of his negative auras! It’s too much on my psyche.”

I rolled my eyes and rushed along her salad eating. She got so caught up on things sometimes. Of course by tomorrow she and Albus would be best friends again. Neither of them knew how to hold a grudge for more than twenty four hours. One would go off at the other and then everything would be fine. That was how my family managed things. They got mad at each other, mulled their anger over, exploded their anger, and then were all hunky dory. We really should be studied by a major psychology group, I’m sure it would benefit their cause for the insane programs.

“Yo Dominique,” Keith Partridge slid onto the bench on the left side of Dom. She either didn't notice or didn't care that he said her name completely stupid sounding. Her eyes immediately lit up and she seemed to forget all about her psyche being pressured and the cousin who must not be named. “We still on for Hogsmeade?”

“Oh, I forgot all about that!” Dominique said alongside a high pitched giggle. I almost slammed my face into the wooden table. He had asked her just this morning. Of course she hadn’t forgotten, but that was Dom’s way. She loved to play hard to get. “But I guess we can still go.”

“Cool.” He said with a toothy smile. “See you then.”

I rolled my eyes as he walked away with that annoying ‘swag’ some boys thought they had. “He’s a real charmer.” I muttered sarcastically. Dom waved my comment away and took a last bite of her salad before getting up.

“He’s just dashing.” She beamed, dancing a little to herself as we made our way out. I was a little embarrassed when she took me by the shoulders and squealed so loud that it echoed and then proceeded to yell that she had to pee, but I had learned early on that being friends with Dominique required social awkwardness immunity. “You should ask Joey to Hogsmeade Rose.”

“You’ve told me a hundred times…” I trailed off as she burst out laughing again. For some reason Dom thought my non-existent relationship with Joey Corner was the funniest thing. Personally I found it to be highly not entertaining, but we were all different people with different opinions I guess.

“Rose, I really have to pee! Hurry along!”

I groaned as she took my hand and began to drag me the long way to the common room. Dominique never did anything practically. She often refused to take shortcuts because she claimed they confused her. So there I was walking to the left when I knew we eventually would have to wind up towards the right.

“Isn’t there a bathroom at the end of this corridor?”

I tried my best not to roll my eyes as I told her she was confusing that with the fourteenth floor. We were on the second floor. By now she was holding her crotch and doing a limp run down the hall. I backed off a little and watched from a distance. I wasn’t sure if she was going to pull down her pants and pee in the hallway or something like that. God, I hoped not, because there was no way in hell that I was going to be cleaning up her piss. She would try to make me too; Dominique was really reliant like that. You always knew when she would wind up needing a helping hand.

“Bloody merlin!” Dominique screetched, taking three big steps back from an abandoned classroom door before running back up to look inside the window again quickly. I just shook my head. There I was in an abandoned hallway on a depressing night with Hogwarts’s very own urinator. Chances were that she had found her spot and was going to crotch and release any moment now.

“Rosie get your arse over here, now!”

Dom was jumping with some sort of painful glee. I wasn’t sure why she would be so happy to destroy school property. The last time she had done that she was caught in the act by Professor Flitwick and yelled at for a full thirty minutes straight. I also didn’t know why she wanted me to watch. I walked over, slightly perturbed. We were best friends and all, but that didn’t mean I enjoyed watching her pee—especially when it’s in a classroom.

“As interested as I am…” I trailed off as she yanked me by the cuff of my uniform and shoved my face into the classroom window. For a second everything was hazy because my cheekbone was stuck to the window. Then I had to blink about fifty times to get my contact back in place due to its dislocation in my shove towards the door.

“Can you believe it?!”

“It’s a really nice classroom Dom, please don’t pee in it!”

“You’re gross!” She wrenched my face away from the window and gave me a look with a scrunched up nose. “I haven’t peed in a classroom since September. I’m way over that.”

And then she slammed my face right back onto that window. This time instead of paying attention to the pain of glass on skin I opened my eyes and looked around. My eyes nearly bulged out of my head.

“Bloody Merlin!” I shouted nearly as loudly as Dominique had. Taking three steps back I turned to look at her, feeling my face lose all its color as I did. Dom winked to me, and without one more comment walked ahead and opened the door.






And a cliffhanger! I'm sorry, don't hate me:)




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