Chapter 6 : The Art of Colliding with Arrogant Crumbums Whilst Thrift Shopping (Or Rapping About It)
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And I have maybe, like, two dollars to my name. But even that is iffy.
ALSO THIS IS DEDICATED TO THE USER SERENDIPITY1234 BECAUSE OF HER UNFALTERING LOYALTY! THANK YOU, LOVELY! :D
November 7th - Sunday - 10:02 am - The Great Hall
* * *
"... didn't you, Rosie?"
Startled, I looked up from the bowl of cereal that I had just nearly fallen asleep in.
Believe or not, that has happened to me before. Literally almost taking a snooze in my breakfast I mean. Actually there was this one time when I really did pass out in my cereal. Luckily it was Magic Snaps so the trademark process of expanding, cracking, and ka-popping were able to wake me up before I died, otherwise I would have drowned in a bowl of 2% milk. Which is pretty much the most pathetic death possible. Well, until the day comes that I really do kick the bucket. I mean, since I'm Rose Weasley, I'll inevitably go in the saddest fashion possible. Like possibly drowing in skim milk. Which is somehow a lot worse than 2%. Or getting strangled by the fifty kneazles I'll surely have for companionship someday. Which is sort of a depressing thought for 10 in the morning.
"Rosie? Rose, are you even listening?"
Alarmed, I glanced across the table, "Uh, yes? No? Wait... I'm sorry, what was the question?"
I'm pretty sharp in the morning. Like unicorn horn sharp sharp.
Dom rolled her eyes, "I was asking you if you had a good time last night. Jesus, what is with you today?"
"Oh," I swirled my cereal before taking a spoonful. "It was all right, I suppose."
"All right?" Dom giggled, before leaning towards me. "Come on. I know someone didn't get back until late last night. And I know exactly what that someone was doing."
I nearly choked on my Captain Quaffles.
Holy toaster strudel.
She knew. I don't know how she knew, but she knew. She knew about my pact with Malfoy. And she also knew I was strictly forbidden to fraternize with Scorpius Malfoy, which made for a lethal combination. You see, Dom is the kind of person who seizes everything... the day, the moment, every eligible bachelor in the United Kingdom... My point is, she would never pass up an opportunity. And an opportunity for blackmail is no exception.
I should have anticipated this. Mysteriously, there always ended up being an ulterior motive revealed whenever Dom sat with me at the Gryffindor table at breakfast, as opposed to with her dormmates at the Ravenclaw table. Or, in her words, "cool friends."
Which - if Dom distinguishes her friends by coolness level - would ergo make me the 'uncool friend.' Or, best possible scenario, I'm actually the 'uber super mega cool friend,' whereas the rest of her acquaintances are considered merely 'cool.'
Personally, I prefer to delude myself with the latter.
"Dom, listen," I pleaded breathlessly. "I can explain. Just please swear to me you won't tell anyone-"
"Oh my God, Rosie! As if!" Dom flipped her hair behind her shoulder. "We're BFFs. And BFFs keep each other's secrets. Its like, girl code."
I sank back into the dining table bench, wanting to feel relieved. Except I couldn't help but remember how Dom had used this line before on one of her former friends, Nameless, and the following day the entire school had magically found out that Nameless was a hermaphrodite. At the time, Dom had justified her actions to me, explaining that she was only looking out for Nameless' best interest, claiming that she knew Nameless would blossom and whatever with the weight of it off her chest. Or lack of chest? I know this makes me sound very ignorant, but I really don't know how being a hermaphrodite works.
Anyway, Nameless ultimately moved to Bangkok later that week. Which is quite unfortunate because Bangkok has an inadequate infrastructure.
"Look, my lips are sealed! Pinky swear! Just dish out the deets, Rosie. I want to know everything," Dom dragged out the last word.
She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.
"I appreciate your interest in my monstrously, mind you, monstrously dull life, but there's nothing really to know. I mean, it wasn't a big deal or anything," I brushed off with a forced laugh, feeling weird.
"Uh, puh-lease," Dom groaned. "Its obviously a big deal. Now cut the shit and tell me how it happened."
I squinted my eyebrows perplexedly, "Erm, I mean, he sort of came in the kitchen and I spazzed out and then we just talked for awhile. Then I asked him if he would help me..."
My voice faded out, when I noticed Dom was licking her lips and nodding her head.
I'm not going to lie, this is actually really uncomfortable.
"So he came in the room before you even did anything?" Dom laughed. "Oh my God, that's fucking hilarious. Okay, and then?"
I gave Dom a puzzled look, inwardly debating whether entering a kitchen really was hilarious and I just lacked a good sense of humor.
I mean, I do find puns funny. And that speaks very poorly about me.
"Well... he said he would and then I left. That's it."
"Rosie, you're terrible at this. Tell me the juicy stuff! How did it feel?"
How did it feel?
"Uh...liberating? I guess? I mean, I don't know."
"So what was he like? Aggressive? Gentle?"
I tilted my head, confused, "Actually he was... Pretty sarcastic? Kind of like 'too-cool-for-school', cocky sort of vibe, essentially."
"And his body?"
I coughed on my cereal again, taken aback by the question, "What?"
"His body. I asked you if you liked his body," Dom rolled her eyes.
"Um," I swallowed, blushing furiously and looking away. "I don't really-"
"Rosie, come on. This is Dom you're talking to," she winked.
"I mean... erm... yeah?"
She encouraged me with a nod.
"Yeah, I mean, like... Well, yeah, it was... I mean, his body was, you know, 'ideal' purely in terms of the media's superficial, ostensible definition of human attractiveness-"
"But that is NOT to say that my personal virtues pertaining to beauty align with society's twisted, trivial values, of course!" the burning in my face intensified and I speaking at an approximate rate of two sentences per nanosecond, "I mean-"
"Personally, I am not deluded by the external-based standards of our culture and thus appreciate more unconventional qualities like-"
"I don't know! Its not like I even looked in the first place! I'm not, like, this creepy person who stares at and analyzes people's bodies!" I finished promptly, immediately shrugging and half-covering my face.
I mean, its not like I checked out... Malfoy. PFFT PSSHT PFFT... Whaaat, dude. That's like crazy. That's like really really crazy.
Cray-cray, yo, you what I'm sayin'? You know what I'm sayin'?
Like, crazy. That's what I'm saying.
"Oh my Go-od, stop. You know I literally CANNOT understand anything you say whenever you go all smart person rant on me! And, secondly, Rose, staring at and analyzing people's bodies isn't creepy, its normal. Necessary, even. I mean what else are you going to judge them by? Their personality? Pssht, yeah."
"Yeah... that would be pretty irrational," I said sarcastically, nodding and squinting my eyebrows.
"I know. Like, gross," Dom laughed, clearly missing the satire. "And, number two, you seriously didn't look?"
"Well didn't he, like, at least take his shirt off?"
"What?" I gasped, apalled. "Why would he have taken his shirt off?"
She shrugged her shoulders. "Uh, maybe because its the natural thing to do. Duh. Now, are you trying to tell me Harold didn't take his shirt off when you guys were-?"
"Harold?" I repeated, somehow more dumbfounded.
What was Dom talking about?
"Don't play stupid, Rosie. Yes, Harold. I heard you hadn't gotten back to the dorm until like midnight, and I saw him getting pretty handsy at the party before you guys took off together. So I just put two-and-two together."
Dom made a violent gesture with her hands and mouth.
"You know. You and Harold. After the party..."
I shook my head, not understanding.
"Do I have to spell it out for you? Sexy time, dummy! Making out! Full-frontal snogging!"
I spit my Captain Quaffles onto the table, and literally fell out of my seat in a fit of incessant hacking.
Well. The silver lining is that she was clearly unaware of the actual sequence of events last night, including my deal with Malfoy...
The unfortunate part is that I'm going to be scarred by her assumption for eternity.
"Dom," I said shakily, attempting to hold back my vomit and recover from her previous assessment. "We did not-"
I retched a little bit, evidently not capable of completing that sentence.
"Nothing happened. Absolutely nothing," I finished.
"Someone's getting pretty defensive," Dom purred with a wink. "But you can't deny what happened on the sofa earlier..."
"The sofa? You mean Harold trying to suffocate me while I desperately attempted to escape?"
"And I saw the way you were looking at each other..." she continued, examining her nails and ignoring my comment.
"You mean him with his unnerving, unblinking stare and me in wide-eyed unadulterated fear?" I flailed my arms out desperately, but Dom wasn't paying attention.
"Fine, so maybe I was wrong about you two getting freaky. You're too much of a prude anyway. But you still can't deny the chemistry there."
I mean, maybe biology... Like my gag reflex being activated and my animalistic impulse to run away from predators being stimulated. But not chemistry.
So, obviously, Dom meant the blatant lack of chemistry, and was just being delightfully ironic, right?
Oh, who am I kidding. She wouldn't know irony if it repeatedly slapped in her the face with a Charmed Jacobs handbag.
Dom giggled gleefully, "Fine, go ahead and look at me like you have no idea what I'm talking about. But just know that I can see through your cute little act. Its, like, totally obvious that you fancy him."
My jaw dropped. And I wondered if it was possible to be more misunderstood...
"Oh hush, Rosie. No need to thank me. Its the least I could do."
"I know, I'm the best matchmaker ever. I know. I know."
I discreetly banged my head against the table.
"Hey, speak of the devil!" Dom suddenly chirped. "Rosie, look who's coming over to say hello!"
I ceased my face-slamming and turned my faced upwards in tardigrade motion.
No. No. No. This isn't happening. This isn't happening.
Except it was happening. Dom was cheerily waving at Harry McLaggen, who was wearing a polka-dot shirt that exposed his outie belly button and a matching fedora. And now he was galloping over here from across the Great Hall. And by galloping I mean literally galloping like a flipping horse. Like a horse boy. Like freakish horse-man-mutant creature with ill-fitting clothes.
"Dom, no! Please don't do this!" I begged in a whisper.
"Aww! Its normal to be nervous in front of your crush!" Dom offered me a winning smile. "You shouldn't worry though; he, like, totally fancies you! Look at how excited he is!"
I dared a glance at Harold, who was now making unfaltering eye contact with me while accelerating his grotesque horse-boy romp. And I couldn't help but be reminded of this part in a documentary about the African plains. This scene, in particular, was a lion stalking a gazelle and... well, I think you can deduce what happened after that.
Let's just say it wasn't a pleasant day for gazelle.
"Please, please, please don't do this!" I reiterated in a cold panic.
"You're being, like, totally ridiculous," she dismissed. "He's already h-"
Before she could complete her sentence, I scurried underneath the table in a lousy last resort to hide.
"Howdy-do," I heard a greasy voice say above the table, followed by the sound of lip-smacking. "You summoned me?"
"Yeah... My cousin wanted to see you. But she's so shy that she asked me to call you over. She's so effing cute."
I slammed my palm to my face.
"She's so nervous she even hid under the table," she giggled. "Sorry about that. You see, Rose is kind of socially retarded."
My mouth fell open indignantly.
I heard Harold scratch his head, "Perhaps I can persuade lady out?"
Oh. My. Godric.
I made a move to escape.
I screamed as Harold McLaggen's peanut-butter-covered mouth cackled in my face.
In utter horror, I scooched as far away from his sideways-turned, hysterically-laughing carrot head.
"I'm gonna get you, Posie," Harold told me in a chilling whisper, his lanky body unsuccessfully attempting to squeeze underneath the table. "I'm gonna eat you! HA HA HA HA HA!"
That escalated quickly.
In a desperate attempt to live, I leapt out from underneath the table.
Somehow, by some miracle, I managed to make out unscathed... physically. Mentally is an entirely different story.
"Ooh, you guys were getting pretty frisky down there," Dom remarked with a wink when I returned to the surface.
Incapable of speech, I just shook my head fervently.
Harold stood up from the opposite side of the table, adjusting his fedora, "Just how I like it."
I rubbed my face, trying to expunge what he just said from my mind while concocting a plan of escape, "I'm sorry, guys, but I actually really have to get going, so..."
"What exactly do you have to do?" Dom inquired skeptically, her tone suggesting it was implausible I had somewhere to be.
Which was, quite frankly, VERY INSULTING. I mean, I certainly have a lot of places to be, a lot of people see! A plethora, even!
I mean, fine. Maybe the only place I go to is the library. And maybe the only people I see involve Madame Pince and... Madame Pince, but...
Yeah, I don't think there's any way to redeem myself at this point.
"Erm..." I paused, trying to invent some pressing matter. "I have to return Albus' potions paper?"
Oh yeah! That's right! Rose Weasley has things to do, YO.
"Ugh, Rosie, you're being so rude!" Dom chastised. "Harold came all the way over here to talk to you!"
A resentment rose inside of me, and I wished I had the nerve to stand up to her. I was tired of her pushing, her reprimanding.
But, like always, I just dismissed the sensation. Because that's just what I did.
I mean, I had acknowledged my resentment last night when I was with Malfoy, but I was still me. And acknowleding resentment and expressing it were two completely foreign matters.
Maybe I was wrong before. Maybe I couldn't change.
"Don't fret, Dominique," Harold told my cousin, lifting his cap to slick back his carrot-colored, over-gelled hair. "The lady's just overwhelmed by my presence. I can do all the talking..."
Harold's tongue grazed his cracked lips, and I instantaneously felt queazy.
"Well, well, well," he looked me up and down. "Aren't we looking smexy today, Posie?"
I cringed before looking down at myself.
I was sporting my Sunday morning look, which included Albus' battered old Chudley Cannons sweatpants he had grown out of, a Batman tee shirt, and untamed hair. For a mental image think Mufassa's mane from the Lion King... and now picture it on a human being... or a figure that somewhat resembles a human being. Add a pair of thick-framed glasses to said human being, and you have successfully conjured a mental picture of Rose Weasley...
Well, for all his idiosyncrasies, you couldn't deny that Harold McLaggen was a very generous bloke.
"Um... thank you?" I compelled myself to respond, looking at Dom who was nodding at me eagerly.
"You should know I wore this hat for you, Posie. I thought you'd like it," Harold informed me, sliding across the table on his stomach.
"Erm. Thanks. Its-" I grimaced, taking a step back as I watched him squirm on the table in what I could only imagine was an attempt to twerk, "interesting. I really have to go though-"
"I just knew you'd find it..." Harold delicately placed his mustard-stained index finger in his mouth, "arousing."
So that happened.
"Um... okay," I clapped my hands together after the pregnant, awkward pause that followed. "Well, this has been really nice, guys, but I have... stuff. So much stuff so I'll see you later, yeah?"
Harold attempted a farewell wink, but both of his eyes just twitched a little in a sort of squirrel-esque way.
He reached for my hand, but I adhered it firmly to my side and took a step back for good measure.
"Um, nice to see you, Harold," I acknowledged weakly.
Before Dom's scathing glare could sway me otherwise, I revolved around and started powerwalking towards the exit.
"'I'll be seeing you, Posie. In your dreams... Or while you dream."
I broke into a dead sprint.
November 7th - Sunday - 10:19 am - Top Gryffindor Girls' Dormitory
* * *
I shut my door and collapsed on it with a huff, thankful for the solitude.
Not that I didn't like my dormmates; I mean, we're super close. We even have a band... Rose and the Roomies.
Except I haven't actually shared more than twenty words with them throughout the six years we've been living together, much less formed a band. Sadly. But still. We're real tight, bro. They just haven't publicly recognized our friendship yet. Or our amazing musical potential. I mean, Pippa could be the lead singer and main guitarist. The triplets could do backup vocals. I'd probably master the triangle or play the recorder or something. It would be great.
... Except that Hot Cross Buns really creeps me out for reasons I'm uncomfortable divulging. And, since Hot Cross Buns is basically the foundation of recorder-playing, I guess becoming a pundit of the recorder is out of the question.
Wait, what was I even talking about before?
The roomies. Right.
Well there's the triplets. The Zabini triplets are the typical brand of London socialites, I suppose. I can't really characterize them as individuals though. They're all identical, so its pretty difficult to identify them as separate people. Except for the one that's reverse-cross-eyed. Like with both pupils going opposite directions outwards. Which, you know, seems like it would be fixable by magic. But apparently not.
Here's a fun fact: All the triplets are named after Periodic elements. No, I'm not kidding. After a few years of contemplating why Mr. and Mrs. Zabini have inflicted this cruelty on their children, I've come up with a few theories. One being that Mr. and Mrs. Zabini are sadists. The second being that the triplets were actually created through some intricate chemistry experiment involving the elements their named after. But, in the end, I've decided that Mr. and Mrs. Zabini simply wanted to be modernistic with their naming.
And that's how Fluorine, Francium, and Tungsten got their names, I guess. I don't really know which is which, but I know that Fluorine goes by 'Flo' and Francium goes by 'Francie', so they can sort of escape their ill fortune in the naming department.
Unfortunately, Tungsten didn't get that opportunity. And unfortunately her name took on a corrupted meaning after she became rather very much inclined to exhibit tendencies of a 'whorish nature'... in fourth year. And unfortunately she's the one that's reverse-cross-eyed. Its weird. No one really expects the reverse-cross-eyed girl to be the class something-that-starts-with-sl-and-rhymes-with-erm... slut. Yeah. I guess its kind of inspiring for reverse-cross-eyed people in a sick, twisted way?
... So on that note, my fifth roommate is Pippa. Who I'm not sure is still my roommate. Its kind of up in the air. You know, given the fact that she might not even exist.
You see, Pippa Longstocking is sort of like a myth. Some people say she's fictional, that she's just an invention to explain the missing fifth Gryffindor girl. It doesn't help the case that her name only varies by one letter from an actual fictional character. Anyway, I think I have personally seen her seven times throughout my history at Hogwarts. Pippa Longstocking, I mean. Not Pippy of course. I mean, I'm not that delusional. I mean, I'm delusional for sure, but not that delusional. When I start having hallucinations of freckled characters from centuries old children's literature, then I'll start being -- honestly -- really concerned. But for now I think I'm good. Somewhat. Anyway, though, Pippa seems nice. I mean, I've only seen the back of her head... but still.
Needless to say, the prospect of the band isn't exactly promising. So I mostly spend time with Dom, who generally wastes her leisure hours in the Gryffindor tower rather than her own. Not because my company is particularly engaging though; Dom usually just has a difficult time figuring out the riddle for the Ravenclaw building and can't enter. A lot times she'll sleep in my dorm, which seems like it would be fun but somehow is just really uncomfortable. You see, Dom insists that she is entitled to a bed because she's a guest, so naturally I get the floor. Sometimes a blanket when she's feeling generous, but, oddly enough, never a pillow. Which I don't really understand, because I feel like relinquishing one pillow out of the available, like, five kazillion isn't that much of a sacrifice. Anyway, I know I could probably scavenge bedtimes supplies or ask a house elf, but my sleepovers with Dom are generally... whimsical. Meaning that Dom will randomly enter my room without warning at like, 1 am in the morning after partying, and literally push me out of the bed. Which actually really hurts given that I'm plummeting from a relatively high bed onto a hardwood floor. But honestly that's the preferable option from Dom asking me to get out of bed.
You see, I'm a pretty jumpy, paranoid person, and that aspect of myself is just magnified by drowsiness and darkness. So, when you're woken up by some unknown silhouette whispering, 'Get the bleep out of bed', you may be inclined to jump to some assumptions. Like, for instance, that Voldemort has risen from the ashes, broken into your room, and is demanding you depart from the safety your bed so he can properly kill you. Which is a pretty terrifying scenario. And also, I do acknowledge, quite vain of me. I mean, its actually pretty pompous of me to think that Voldemort, of all people... or erm, drastically disfigured, homicidal, fascists, more accurately... would take the precious time out of their night to kill me. Obviously, I'm not nearly special enough for the disfigured, homicidal, fascists to directly target. Oh, wait, I have to make a mental note of this! *Mental note: Add, "Not special enough be targeted by disfigured, homicidal, fascists"as a bullet to 'Perks of Not Being Special List.'"* Hey, amazeballs! Now I have, like, two bullets on that list! The other one of course being, "Not special enough to have haters."
... Well, I mean, other than Merlin. I mean, he's certainly made that clear enough.
So I guess that non-hater bullet is essentially void.
... Aaand we're back down to one perk of not being special.
I rubbed my eyes sluggishly and sighed at the scroll of parchment on my desk. Albus' Potions paper.
You know, you'd think that the least Al could do after I wrote 3 feet of text pertaining to the value of bezoars is retrieve the paper.
Actually, you'd think that the least Al could do is write his own paper. But then again, maybe that's just setting my expectations are too high. Last Christmas, Albus got two turkey drumsticks stuck in his nostrils, forgot he could breathe through his mouth, and almost suffocated.
He was sixteen at the time.
With a sudden sympathy for my cousin, I compelled myself to stand up and grab the roll. Because Albus was an exception to the 'independent, callous, and cunning' Slytherin stereotype, and honestly needed all the love and assistance he could get.
Its a good thing you're pretty.
November 7th - Sunday - 10:25 am - The West Tower
* * *
"I'm gonna pop some tags, only got twenty sickles in my pocket," I rapped hushedly under my breath, avoiding eye contact with the portraits. "I'm, I'm, I'm hunting..."
You see, my vocal talents are very versatile. I mean, anything from songs about gaseous matter contained in pockets to rap songs pertaining to consignment items, I'm gold.
Or should I say, platinum. WINK.WINK.
... And this is why the majority of my conversations are internal.
... Which is just one more reason why I'd be considered legally insane.
Which, by the way, isn't it odd that legally insane describes a state of severe mental illness? Legally insane seems like it should mean something safe. Like you're just psychotic enough to get the party started, but not so much that you're not susceptible to frowned-upon activities such as randomly cannibalizing someone. I don't know, random cannibalism is just such a mood killer.
Just think about it.
Or maybe not.
Actually, don't think about it because its pretty graphic and I don't condone that.
I continued strolling down the hall toward the Owlery with Albus' scroll secure in my hand.
I mean, sure, it would eliminate a lot of energy by just delivering it in person, but Al sincerely adored receiving mail. So much that things even get out of hand sometimes. Like there was this one time when the postage came and Albus got so excited that he literally pounced on his owl Nemo... Yeah. 5 pound owl... 160 pound boy... You can imagine how that ended.
Don't worry though, Nemo was okay. Just severely emotionally, socially, and physically damaged. That's all.
"...looking for a come-up this is (I'm-not-allowed-to-say-this-word) awesome," I closed my eyes as I rounded a corner, now deeply invested in the beat. "Nah, walk up to the club like, 'WHAT UP? I GOT A BIG-"
I hit a statue or wall and my glasses clattered to the floor.
Great. Now I'm blind and my groove was thrown off.
Talk about double jeopardy.
With a sigh, I lowered myself to the floor to recollect my spectacles.
"Were you planning on finishing that verse, Weasley?"
I froze, mid-search.
I... I didn't run into a wall, did I?
I reluctantly turned my head upwards, crinkling my forehead in nervous anticipation. From my mostly useless eyes I could make out a blurry silhouette with blonde hair and snazzy kicks-
OH, COME ON.
Awkwardly still on my hands and knees in glasses-searching formation, I winced and bit my lip at Malfoy.
"So... how's it going, old sport?"
Well, I don't know. What's the proper response when you collide with Malfoy while rapping Thrift Shop? I mean, aside from maiming yourself. Which is clearly the most warranted option.
"Suddenly, a lot better," he answered and, although his face was too distorted for me to read, I somehow knew he was smirking. Which I kind of didn't appreciate.
"Need some assistance?"
"Oh," I laughed, blindly fondling the ground for my glasses. "I'm okay but thank you."
"Really? Because that's my foot."
I immediately jerked my hand away from the object I'd just pawed at.
In retrospect, I should have seen this coming. The bloke witnessed me eating ice cream with my hands, watched my rapid decline into an Allah-praising psycho, and heard my mortifying attempt at rap. Of course I accidentally groped his foot in my pursuit for the glasses I lost while crashing into him. Because OBVIOUSLY I hadn't made a bad enough impression in the first place.
I can add that to my 'Perks of Having the Vision of a Ninety-year old Bat/Woman Mutant with Cataracts List' I guess. Which is -- surprisingly -- blank at the moment.
Yeah, my lists are, as a rule, pretty unsuccessful. Just like most of my life endeavors.
"I'm sorry," I blushed, petting the floor more cautiously than before.
"Here," Malfoy began to crouch down to help.
I smiled politely, waving him away. "I appreciate the gesture, but I've got this."
You see, I already felt... well, weird around Malfoy because of last night. And if I accepted more help, I'd feel more indebted than I already was. Not to mention more guilty about superfluous fraternization with the enemy. And, besides, I was perfectly capable of detecting my glasses!
I mean, sure, maybe I had poor vision. Maybe that poor vision was so poor that I wasn't hyperbolizing when I mentioned it was congruous of a ninety-year old bat/woman mutant with cataracts. But I was capable. Capably capable. Capably capably capable. Capably capably capably- This needs to stop.
"Of course," he stood up and paused for a moment. "But you might want to try your left."
I gravitated my body toward the left reluctantly.
"Warmer... warmer. Nope, that's colder, Weasley," Malfoy drawled, sounding amused. "Colder, still colder-"
"Thank you, but I really meant it when I said don't need any help," I cut him as sweetly and apologetically as I could.
"Fine," he sighed reprovingly. "But I think I'm going to just watch over then. You know, make sure you... eventually find them."
I proceeded to scour the floor, internally resenting his snarkiness.
"Weasley?" Malfoy said after a few moments.
"I think you should know that I lied about them being on your left."
What the muffins, dude? THAT'S NOT NICE. NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT.
I swerved right
"I'm so sorry, but they really are on your left."
I resisted a small inclination to annoyance and revolved around.
Malfoy clicked his tongue, "Except not really. My apologies, love."
I exhaled, trying to quelch my irritation, "Then they're to my right?"
"I was under the impression you didn't require my help, Weasley," he reminded me with that irksome smiling voice.
"But you just asked me to direct you to their location, and, unless I'm mistaken, I believe that would be classified as help."
"I wasn't asking for help, I was just-" I started protesting aimlessly, then drew a breath in surrender.
I was on my hands and knees on a floor caked with dust, trying to reason with a satanic bloke who apparently found it amusing to make the blind suffer, and I - for what felt like an infinite amount of heckish eternities - still hadn't managed to recollect my spectacles.
The mission was a failure. And I was 500% done. Which I do actually realize is mathematically impossible. But I was so bloody done that my percentage of done-ness wasn't EVEN mathematically possible. THAT was how done I was. (Insert z-formation here.)
"Would you please just tell me if they're to my right?" I resigned.
"I would. As long as you are okay with me just telling you if they're to my right."
"I'm okay with it?" I spoke as though it were a question, confused.
"And you're sure about that?"
Sure about that?
Worried, I wrinkled my forehead, "I'm sure?"
"Really? Because I wouldn't want to insult you by giving you assistance when you clearly don't need it."
I wondered if Malfoy could possibly be more cryptic.
He asks me if I need help and I decline, so he hints me towards their location. But it turns out he may or may not have been leading me in an erroneous direction for his own entertainment. And then when I finally semi-request his help, he withholds it by chucking a slew of nonsensical questions at me?
I mean, that just seems utterly demented. Not to mention counterintuitive. But especially demented. And that's coming from me, which indicates something is seriously wrong.
"Your assistance wouldn't insult me?" I tried, bemused.
"Are you sure? Because you could mean that now, but after I help you, it could be a different story. Picture this... I direct you to your frames, and you're grateful... until you realize you've sacrificed your pride for a pair of glasses. Unable to accept accountability, you'll pin your guilt on me, the undeserving, innocent man who just wanted to pay an act of kindness. Now, do you want that to happen, Weasley?"
I squinted my eyes incredulously, pondering Malfoy's sentiment.
I mean, did he not just mock a pracitcally blind person for his own sadistic entertainment?
"Actually, you know what?" I decided in a sudden fit of optimism. "Don't worry about it. I mean, I'm practically on the brink of success."
"Its cute that you think so, Weasley."
I pushed my hair out of my eyes, frustrated, and began raking the ground again.
"I think I could help," he added.
If I'm going to go by past experience, I sincerely doubted that. The only service Malfoy could provide was to make you the victim of his shenanigans and speak to you in mind-bending riddles. Which was a lot more detrimental than helpful. And, now that I think about it, also made him sound eerily like a D.C villain.
"I'm okay, thank you," I restated politely.
"Suit yourself," he said disapprovingly. "But I'm just going to warn you that there's no point in looking."
"Oh, sure there is," I objected cheerfully, continuing to grapple around like the optimist I was.
"You misunderstand me. There's no point in looking because I have them."
I stopped dead in my tracks, entirely motionless.
Well, other than my palms, which had involuntarily balled into fists, and were now slightly - just barely discernibly - tremulous.
"So do you want them back now or can I borrow them?" he inquired with that vexatious, teasing lilt.
I unfolded my right hand and gently placed my fingers on my shut eyelids, before silently standing up.
"May I please have my glasses back?" I said in monotone, afraid that the fury would manifest itself in my voice if I spoke otherwise.
"Well, yeah, Weasley, you can. But do you actually need them? Because -well, shit - I would just really like to try them out."
I sighed and raised my hands in desperation, "But I do need them!"
"You don't understand. I need them," he deadpanned.
I put my hand on my hip, agitation climbing, "Okay, why do you need them?"
"Well, this is kind of personal," Malfoy admitted quietly. "But my biggest dream - I'm sorry, my only dream - in this lifetime, is to wear Rose Weasley's oversized, hipster nerd frames."
I bit the inside of my cheek.
"And also because I have this feeling that they'd really flatter my bone structure. Do you think they'd flatter my bone structure? Actually, wait, just let me just put these on... Yeah, what do you think?"
Annoyed, I put my elbow over my forehead and semi-hissed under my breath, "I'm sorry, Scorpius, but I couldn't tell you given the fact that I can't actually see."
"Well, maybe it would help if you stopped covering your eyes with your arm..." he replied with that note in his voice that -- impressively -- did two things: suggested he was smiling and made me want to smash a bulldozer. No, I don't mean, like, using a bulldozer to smash things. I mean like actually smashing a bulldozer with my own fists because that just seems satisfying and just makes so much more sense somehow.
"Could you please just give them back?" I requested, ignoring Malfoy's infuriating sarcasm.
"Aw, Little Red. Why can't you just respect my lifelong dream?"
"Will you please just give them back?" I begged.
I widened my eyes expectantly and waited for Malfoy to respond.
"So... wait... let me get this straight... you do need your glasses?"
At the sound of the audible smirk in his voice, something unwound.
A string inside of me had seemingly been stretched - nearly to the point of snapping - and, within a few seconds, a boiling stew of words and feelings had begun brewing underneath the surface.
There was an animus pause, and the silence hung in the air like humidity, almost oppressive in nature.
Malfoy's countenance was too blurry for me to read, but I could feel the anticipation. Like he was expecting or waiting for me to say or do something. Anything.
But my lips were sealed, and my slippers were planted firmly to the floor. Nothing.
Finally, after impossibly long, impossibly anxious seconds, I heard him venture a step closer to me.
"Be a little less trusting and little more assertive, Weasley," he smoothly slid the glasses back on my face, startling me slightly. "That can be your first lesson."
He leaned in closer to me and pressed the edge of his hand to his face like he was about to tell a secret.
"I'd also recommend not attempting to rap while your walking down the hallway, but that's your call," he whispered with a wink.
After a few seconds of inactivity, my brain went haywire.
I mean, like, he just thinks he's justified in THIEVING my personal possessions and causing me emotional distress because he's 'teaching me a lesson?' THAT ARROGANT CRUMBUM!
And then he can just put my glasses on my own face and abscond from the room like 'Oh hey, my name is freaking Malfoy and I can inflict terror on blind people because I'm teaching them a lesson! Haha! Aren't I cool? Oh, and look at my shiny shoes? Aren't I cool? Aren't I just the cooliest?'
I mean, not that he would probably actually say that. Especially the part involving the word 'cooliest.' But I feel like that's his general mentality summarized in a few poorly-constructed, Rose-Weasley-ized sentences.
Ugh, that... that.. crumbum!
Crumbum... jerk... crumbum jerk... THAT GOSH DARN CRUMBUM JERK!
Annoyed and at a loss of verbal words, I stood there like a bumbling idiot, eyes widened and mouth taut in an 'o' shape.
Malfoy continued to smirk at me and I felt a guilty impulse to slightly beat him or actually outwardly call him a 'crumbum', but instead I cleared my throat.
"Well," I adjusted my glasses and smoothed down my hair, attempting to compose myself. "I- I have to go. Lots of stuff to do and... yeah. Yeah."
"Of course," he simpered apologetically, half-smiling.
"So... good day, old sport," I said in goodbye and sternly adjusted my glasses again.
His face twisted into that trademark, infuriating, snarky, knowing look of his, "Good day."
I immediately turned away from him and hastened toward the owlery, eager to make a getaway.
Huffing, I quickened my stride and exhaled.
Malfoy just- Malfoy was- ugh! He just frustrated me in ways I couldn't even begin to understand.
I walked faster.
I mean, sure, I have been, you know, a little peeved before. Like when the corner of my parchment gets crinkled. Or someone uses 'YOLO' in a sentence. But Malfoy was just completely insufferable! Malfoy was worse than YOLO! Malfoy- Okay, Malfoy was like when someone's wearing a hoodie and the hoodie strings coming out of the collar aren't equal in length, but when you tell them to adjust them they blatantly refuse and call you an anal, OCD spaz.
Obviously not that I was ever specifically called an anal, OCD spaz or anything...
I mean, yeah. I was called an anal, OCD spaz. Once.
A few times.
I try not to think about it.
But, anyway, stupid YOLO, uneven hoodie string, Malfoy with his glasses thievery. And his inflammatory remarks and his general crumbum-esque behavior and his little riddles and-
"Missing something, love?"
I snapped my head back to Malfoy, who was extending out Albus' scroll with his left hand.
You had one job, Rose. One freaking job.
Embarassed, I collected the parchment from him and averted my eyes from his smirk, "Thank you."
I rushed forward before he could see my flushed face.
Annoyed by the interruption, I closed my eyes and sighed, "What?"
"If you're headed for the Owlery, you're going the wrong way."
The cheeks were most likely more remininscent of tomatoes than of human flesh, and I poorly tried to shield them as I shuffled back past Malfoy.
"See you tomorrow, Weasley," he was still wearing his amused half-grin.
"It was a pleasure to share this time with you," he called out.
"You too," I forced myself to mutter back, angrily stomping away.
"And I like your bunny slippers, by the way. Very bad ass."
Holy french toast.
I had completely forgotten about my ridiculously dorky pajama ensemble. Oh my Godric! I must look like such a nerdmuffin!
Oh, Merlin, why? Why why why did I inflict this inevitable mortification on myself? I swear, its like I'm subconsciously trying to sabotage myself.
I ferociously amped up my pace to borderline-trotting, except my pace incited the bunny slippers to start squeaking obnoxiously, consequently humiliating me even further.
Darn you, bunny slippers, you sons of bludgers. You little sons of bludgers.
Unfortunately, the cacophonous sound of my bunny slippers squealing didn't drown out Malfoy's quiet snickering.
Couldn't I just for once make a dignified, or at least mildly respectable exit? Is that really too much to ask for?
Because my exits are pretty much a parody of all exits. Like, if people's exits are superheroes, then mine are Aquaman. And Aquaman is the epitome of everything lame, mortifying, terrible, and wrong with the world. For instance, Aquaman's belt buckle is an 'A'. But it just looks like this ambiguous, incomplete triangle since the A overlaps the belt. And its just this really ineffably sad and pathetic thing that's so terribly sad and pathetic that I can't quite construe the sadness and patheticness of it.
... If my exits are Aquaman, and I'm the paragon of sadness and patheticness, then I'm like... metaphorically Aquaman's belt buckle, aren't I?
Well, that epiphany just made my day marginally worse. And that's after I've already been hunted down under a dining table by my polka-dot-clad stalker.
PS - Its not even 10:30 am.
Feel like Rose should punt everyone in the eye? Think that Malfoy actually is an arrogant crumbum? (And that Rose should punt him in the eye?) Want to me shut up? Want to punt me in the eye because I'm awful at updating? Let me know in the box below!
ATTENTION ENTITIES OF EARTH: I KNOW THAT THIS IS WAS A FILLERY CHAPTER. MY APOLOGIES FOR THAT. HOWEVER, THE NEXT CHAPTER IS GOING TO BE INSANE, ITS GOING TO BE CRAZY, ITS GOING TO BE EVERYTHING YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR...
MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR... (BECAUSE THEY ARE CERTAINLY NOT IN ROSE'S.)
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