Mum finally, finally replied to my letter. I mean, it had only been two freaking weeks since I wrote it at the beginning of April. For goodness sakes, it’s mid-April and I’m still worrying about Melody’s (hopefully empty) threat regarding Scorpius, photographs, editing, common room bulletin boards, and, of course, me. I wouldn’t blame her for freaking out, I was regretting ending the letter with a desperate plea for help (it sounded desperate because of the exclamation point). However, her daughter is dying of suspense over here. A little bit more haste in replying would have been helpful.
I’m sorry I haven’t written, I’ve been terribly (and I mean that in a literal sense) busy at work with that case I hinted about earlier. It’s a very important case, and I’d love to tell you about it, but it’s taken a strange turn and is now confidential until later notice. I know that that sentence is probably making you die of curiosity, but I can’t tell you any more at the present. I hope you don’t hear about it in the Daily Prophet, because that would mean our tight security completely failed. Rambling, sorry.
In regards to Melody, please go to Professor Thomas or Professor Bell and explain that she’s threatening you. I know you feel that will make her worse, but there’s nothing you or I can do to stop her from posting pictures. Unfortunately, it’s not very difficult to completely change what pictures look like. On the upside, depending on how it was done, a few spells can sometimes prove that the photograph was edited and retrieve the original version. In that case, since tampering with photographs or documents to change the way their content is perceived is illegal, the offense would be punishable by law. So, if Melody posts these pictures before you can go to Professor Thomas or in spite of your efforts, take a copy of the picture or the actual picture itself, if you can (Geminio cumple will still preserve the edits, since those will be entwined in its magical identity. Geminio cumple does not work with objects of value, like gold, or spells of a certain nature, but it will work better than Geminio in that most harmless spells on the object will be duplicated in its copy).
Dad sends his love.
Lots of love and best of luck,
I’d hoped to avoid going to Professor Thomas. He was a friendly headmaster, but I wasn’t all too thrilled with explaining the exact nature of mine and Scorpius’ relationship, if you could even call it a relationship. He was still being really friendly with me in Arithmancy and our physical education “dancing lessons,” in which we had progressed to the flamenco (in case you’re wondering, physical education sucks). He also continued to flirt with all the girls in Potions and Transfiguration, especially Annalise, who continually teased me about how I was supposedly sleeping with Scorpius (no one believed that except for her). Well, I suppose that gorgeous chestnut hair, blue eyes, and clear skin count for more than intelligence with him. I’d been perfecting my derogatory-sniff-evil-glare combination with the hope I could use it on him soon.
On top of this extremely confusing behavior, his library visits were extremely strange as well. Before this whole sometimes-I’m-friendly-but-other-times-I-don’t-know-you charade, it had been a silent agreement that if I were at a table when he came in, he’d sit with me, and vice versa. It was just a sort of silent companionship and we’d occasionally ask to see the other’s notes or ask which textbook they used for the Slughorn essay, that sort of thing. Now, though, he’d only sit with me occasionally, even though my family had indeed laid off their obnoxious interference a few days after Al had scared Scorpius out of the library.
In fact, he didn’t even come to the library every day, and half the times he did, he would sit with this group of flirtatious, pretty girls and pretend to study. When he sat with me, he’d scowl and sit on the other side of the table and not say a word. This didn’t make me jealous; it was just strange and unexpected. Yeah, right. Honestly, who am I kidding? Of course it made me positively green with jealousy, because by this time, the fact that I had a big, giant crush on Scorpius had come around and smacked me on the face. I couldn’t deny it any more, because I did get jealous when he talked to some supermodel girl instead of me and I got angry and hurt when he ignored me. I found myself letting my hair down and making a genuine effort with it in the hope he would notice and even (don’t judge me) hiked my skirt up an inch (it still wasn’t as short as Annalise’s, so I figured it was okay). Yes, I, Rose Weasley, was completely hooked on Scorpius Malfoy, and he couldn’t decide if he had amnesia or not. Lovely situation, I know.
I had, of course, confessed these feelings to Adara. I wasn’t quite ready to tell Sandra – I’d only just told myself! Anyway, much as I love Adara, she’s not the most amazing in the “sensitivity” department. This is rather surprising considering her mum is one of the sweetest, most sensitive people I know, though mum remains a bit skeptical of her.
“Adara, don’t judge me.”
“I have a crush on Scorpius Malfoy.”
“HOLY CRAP! SCORPIUS? THAT WEIRD CHICKEN-LEGGED GUY?”
“Way to not judge,” I huffed.
“That was sarcasm, dimwit. I was wondering when you were going to figure it out. You go around making googly eyes at him and expect me to be surprised that you’ve got a crush on him? The only surprising thing is it took you this long to realize.”
“I do not make googly eyes!” I protested indignantly. “And is it honestly that obvious?”
She looked at me with one eyebrow raised (damn! Why can everyone except me raise one eyebrow?) and a skeptical expression on her face. “Okay, fine, it’s obvious,” I relented.
“Thank you for seeing reason,” she replied smugly. I glared. Unfortunately, Adara was one of the few people who were immune to my glares, the others being Mum and Granna Molly. I swear, sometimes I think she’s got supernatural powers (being magic doesn’t count).
“By the way,” I smirked, “What’s up with Frank?”
If you’re wondering, Frank took my advice regarding Adara and hadn’t been the same since. In case that’s too far back, let me refresh your memory. Frank stole my cookies, which was probably justifiable given that I lied and said I had no idea how Adara felt about him. That wasn’t a complete lie – I didn’t know Adara had DANCED WITH HIM over the summer, which completely changed things. However, I didn’t want to tell him that he had been undeniably friendzoned. That would be a great conversation. “Well, Frank, now that you mention it, Adara clearly told me that you were ‘Frank,’ not ‘Frank,’ so I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were you.”
She blanched. “What’s up with Frank?” she stammered.
“Don’t try to play innocent with me, Adara Corner. I know all.”
“How did you find out? Did you read my bloody diary?”
“Merlin, you keep a diary?” I was quite surprised, she didn’t seem like the diary type.
“It was a figure of speech, Rose.” Oh, that explains it.
“Actually, I talked to Frank.”
“Do you NORMALLY go around spying on your friends?” she hissed in fake anger.
“Adara, I was eating coffee ice cream and complaining about Scorpius when he stole my cookies and asked if you actually liked him. Then, he told me that you DANCED WITH HIM. When did this HAPPEN?”
“Okay, it was over the summer – ”
“I got that much.”
“Don’t interrupt! Over the summer, we went to the big get-together the Longbottoms always have in July. You weren’t there, for some reason.” We’d been visiting Uncle Charlie at the time, and I was busy with not getting my hair burnt off by some dragon.
“Well, you know how they always have the dancing at the end when the adults are drunk enough to actually dance?” I nodded. It was one of the more fearsome parts of the evening.
“They played a slow song, and Frank asked me to dance. I mean, I didn’t know what to do! He’s really sweet, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, and he’s cute enough, so I said yes! I didn’t mean ‘Frank, I love you and always will. You are the jelly to my peanut butter.’”
“The jelly to my peanut butter?”
“I’m improvising! Lay off! Anyways, he now seems to think that I actually like him.” On the “like,” she looked around covertly before whispering the word as if the very mention of it would bring Frank crashing through the dormitory window. Considering his mild personality, I thought it highly unlikely, but her fear of Frank-invasion seemed quite genuine.
“And you don’t actually like him?”
“Of course I don’t actually like him! He’s Frank, for Merlin’s sake!”
I appraised her indignant face and nodded. “Okay, so what did you tell him when he asked how you felt about him?”
She turned a shade of vermilion I didn’t know existed and bit her lip, avoiding my eyes. “Adara Corner, what did you do?”
She stammered a reply that sounded vaguely like “turnip cashmere,” which couldn’t have been right, so I raised my eyebrows at her in an effort to get her to spill the beans (who came up with that idiom? It’s really easy to spill beans, especially uncooked beans. I know, Mum made me clean them up when I did.) “Well, I didn’t really get a chance to tell him anything…”
I scoffed in disbelief. “Why, a mad hippogriff came and lifted him out of Hogwarts before you could get a word in?” This remarkably funny witticism earned me a disgruntled glare from dear old Adara.
“No, but Jonathan walked up and kissed me.”
“JONATHAN WOOD?” She nodded. “KISSED YOU?” Another nod. “WHAT DID YOU DO?” A slightly shameful sidelong glance, followed by “I kissed him back.”
“WHAT ON EARTH POSSESSED YOU TO MAKE YOU DO THAT?” I shrieked.
“Rose, please don’t go insane on me. Jonathan and I have been dating for about a week.”
I think my jaw might have actually fallen open in pure shock.
“You’ve been… say that again?”
“We’ve been dating.”
Dear God. “He asked me to Hogsmeade last Friday,” she continued, “and we’ve been seeing each other since.”
“Any particular reason you decided that your best friend and your boyfriend’s ex should be kept in the dark?” I hissed, seething. I obviously didn’t have feelings for Jonathan anymore, but still, Adara dating anyone was a bit of a shock, especially when the “anyone” in question was a boy I’d previously snogged in an empty corridor.
She had the decency to look ashamed. “Look, Rose, we haven’t really told anyone yet, we wanted to see how it would work out. Plus, with you being his ex and all, we didn’t really know how to tell you. I’m completely sure you don’t have feelings for him anymore, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone to Hogsmeade with him.” I’d actually forgotten last weekend was a Hogsmeade weekend – I obviously hadn’t gone, what with Molly and that stupid Hague. I probably wouldn’t have remembered anyway, considering Adara was the one had been reminding me about these things since we became friends again.
“So that’s where you were last weekend,” I glared.
“Oh, shush. You know you’re not allowed to call me that,” I grinned. “Next time some major change in your life occurs, tell me before I have to beat it out of you with a dull object.” She smirked back at me. “Will do, Rosie.” I whacked her on the head with my pillow and we progressed into one of the most epic pillow fights Hogwarts has ever seen.
As I walloped her with my pillow, I suddenly remembered one question I hadn’t asked. “What did Frank do when Jonathan kissed you?”
“He turned red and ran away.”
Poor Frank. He probably needed those cookies.
Annalise walked into the dorm. “Hey Rose, Adara. How’s it going?” she said pleasantly, her eyes bright with excitement.
“Pretty well,” I replied. “You?”
“Fantastic! Do you know what just happened?” She squealed and giggled. When Adara and I professed our lack of knowledge, she cried “James Potter just asked me out!”
“JAMES?! MY BLOODY COUSIN JAMES?” I cried. A small part of my mind noted that it was odd that I was suddenly on such good terms with Annalise that she was confiding in me. “WE NEED TO HOLD AN INTERVENTION!”
Annalise laughed. “Relax, Rose, I think Fred and Albus already did that. They decided they were scary enough, apparently.” I could believe that.
“That’s amazing, though, Annalise,” Adara squealed. She was a big fan of girl talk. “How exactly did it happen?”
Annalise settled on Adara’s bed, her cheeks pink and a huge grin on her face. “Well, he’s been talking to me for a bit now, and when I was walking to Charms today, he pulled me into a little corridor and gave me a bunch of roses and asked if I’d be his girlfriend!”
Adara giggled and exclaimed, “That is so adorable! I can’t believe this!”
“It’s so James,” I added. “Just the right blend of cheesy and romantic.” Annalise agreed.
“So Rose, what about you and Scorpius?” Annalise asked, suddenly intent. Adara smirked.
“Oh, well, um, I, um, nothing?” I stammered. “I have to run to the library, bye!” Grabbing my bag, I shot out the door, leaving the pair of gigglers behind me.
On the way to the library, I ran into Molly. “Oh, hi, Rose,” she squeaked as she hurried past. I caught her by the shoulder. “Rose, please not now, he’s behind me with his new girlfriend.” She spat the word with venom before hurrying off. Unfortunately, Molly had not been taking the breakup well. Higgins (as I will forever call him) had been romping around with a huge number of girls while poor Molly had been rather lonely. She didn’t want to hang around other people at all, really, and preferred to mope in solitude. I figured I’d give her a couple more days before hauling her out of her room. As I decided on three days, I realized my thoughts had carried me to the library. I walked in and settled down.
“Hey, Rose,” I heard. Oh, so Scorpius was talking to me now? What a pleasant surprise. “How’s it going?”
“Fine,” I muttered.
“Have you done the Transfiguration essay yet?” And he was pretending that everything was perfectly lovely. I glared up at him and hissed, “No, I have not.” Let me tell you, it was difficult to see his hair falling into his eyes (his big, really pretty eyes) and his mouth (fainting) all quirked up like that and still hiss and glare. I think I deserve a medal. He raised one of his eyebrows at me.
“Something bothering you, Rose?”
“Oh, no, nothing at all,” I replied sweetly, the venom in my tone worthy of the legendary Umbridge. I might as well have put a bow on my head, except the pink would clash with my hair.
Clearly confused, Scorpius tilted his head, shrugged, and dropped his bag on the floor before falling into the chair next to me. Next to me? What happened to “Rose Doesn’t Exist”?
I tried to ignore the way my heart sped up and my hands got even clammier than usual, an endeavor which, of course, failed. Scowling, I turned my face back to my Charms book and continued reading about Color-Changing Charms. I wonder if I could turn my cheeks back to skin-color. That would be really helpful. Dipping my favorite eagle-feather quill in purple ink (my favorite color), I started taking notes. Visualize the color, I wrote, my quill making scritch-scratch noises on the parchment.Example: turn an orange hazel. Hazel? Where did that come from? I looked up in confusion and saw a pair of hazel eyes looking back at me. Three guesses whose eyes they were. I scowled, blushed, and looked back at my paper.
Every so often, when I thought he wasn’t looking, I looked over at the blonde hair (which was actually dark brown at the roots, making this really pretty gradient effect) that fell into his eyes and accidentally started daydreaming about running my fingers through it. Usually, I was snapped out of this not altogether unpleasant reverie by his looking up and back at me. It was strange, I’ll admit, to find Scorpius Malfoy attractive. I’d spent the better part of four years thinking he was a scrawny chicken-legged boy with greasy hair, flat eyes, and no personality. In the space of about a month, I had progressed to practically drooling over the same hair and eyes. It’s a lot for a girl to take in.
“Hey, Rose?” he said.
“What, Scorpius?” I growled.
“Erm, I was wondering if you could help me with Charms. I think I’ve got the theory, but this stupid quill refuses to turn blue.” I was working on Charms, so I couldn’t exactly say no.
“Fine. What have you been trying?”
He looked at the quill, screwed up his face in what must have been concentration, and muttered the incantation. The quill remained resolutely white. I asked him to try again, and he complied.
“Are you thinking about the color blue?” I asked.
“Yeah, I’m not stupid.”
“If you want my help, play nice.” He rolled his eyes. “Now, I think your wand movement isn’t quite right. It’s supposed to be a bit of a flourish, not just a straight wave. Your movement is too clear-cut; let your hand move a little. It’s sort of a wrist thing. Let me try.” I focused on the quill and waved my wand, and the quill promptly turned a beautiful shade of sunset orange.
“Try again,” he requested. I complied, turning the quill purple this time.
“I think I got it,” he said, and waved his wand at the quill, his brow furrowed. It turned a spectacular neon-yellow.
“Yep, Scorpius. You’ve got it,” I told him. He gave me a lopsided grin, which, of course, made my poor heart flip-flop in my chest. I turned back to my notes and continued writing in silence. Suddenly, I felt his hand brush against my leg. Thinking it was probably an accident, I didn’t react. A few seconds later, I felt it again. I looked up in confusion, and he met my gaze with an innocent face and a “Did you need something, Rose?” This boy was playing with my mind, and it was not making me happy.
After I finished my homework, I decided to take Mum’s advice and go see Professor Thomas. Hopefully I wouldn’t meet Melody on the way. With a sigh, I delivered my books to my dorm and trooped down the seven flights of stairs that led up to Gryffindor tower. Reaching the stone gargoyles, I said the password (it was “Harvey” – I know, Professor Thomas is a strange man.) All students knew the password to the headmaster’s office now, an effort on Professor Thomas’ part to make himself more approachable. It worked, but it also opened him up to a deluge of student complaints. Mine, for example. I didn’t want to go to Professor Bell about this particular issue because she tended to be extremely trusting of human nature and would be hard-pressed to believe that Melody actually meant harm to me (after all, Melody was such a dear, sweet girl). I climbed the stairs to the headmaster’s office and was about to knock on the door when Melody, of all people, stepped out. I won’t say I wasn’t surprised, because I was. “Shocked” might be taking it a bit far, because Melody’s father and mother had some sort of influence in the school and it could have been because of that that she was in Professor Thomas’ office. Her entire family was made of manipulative, heartless people.
“Well, well,” she broke the silence, “Rose!”
“Hello, Melody. What are you doing in the headmaster’s office?” I said it with a slight smirk, knowing it would annoy her.
“Oh, nothing you should be concerned about, Rose. What about you? Detention for hexing someone out of the blue?” That was a low blow, and she knew it.
“Nothing that concerns you, Melody,” I replied coolly before stepping into Professor Thomas’ office. I ignored the giggle that came from the staircase.
“Hello, Rose,” he greeted me. “I was just going to call you to my office.”
I suppose my eyebrows must have shot up my forehead, because he added, by way of explanation, “Melody was just telling me how you have been antagonizing her lately.”
“I’ve been antagonizing Melody?” I spluttered.
“Why don’t you sit down, Rose?” I did.
“Actually, sir, I wanted to talk to you about Melody.” He nodded for me to continue. “A few weeks ago, she told me that she had taken a picture of me and that she could edit it to make it something I wouldn’t want displayed. She also said that she would post this picture in all the common rooms.” As I spoke, his eyebrows crinkled and his face set into a frown. “I wrote my Mum about it asking what I should do, and she suggested I talk to you. Apparently, if Melody does post the pictures, some spells can be done on it to see if it was edited…?” I trailed off. Professor Thomas nodded slowly.
“Did Melody want anything in return for this picture?”
“No, sir. She just wanted to make sure to embarrass me, she said.”
“Why would Melody want to embarrass you, Rose?” I’d forgotten he didn’t know about our legendary feud.
“Long story short, Professor, we were very close friends in 3rd year and our friendship sort of … dissolved … on unfriendly terms, and every since then she’s held this massive grudge against me. She goes out of her way to antagonize me. That time I hexed her last month was because she’d been taunting me and refused to stop, and I guess I lost control. I know it’s not an excuse, sir, but it’s been like that for several years.”
“Why haven’t you told anyone about this before, Rose?”
“No one would have believed me. Melody seems really sweet in all her classes, and the way she bullies me is really subtle, so others don’t notice.”
“Why do you feel I will believe you now?”
“I don’t really, sir, I suppose.” He chuckled. “I don’t have a choice, though. I don’t want to be the talk of Hogwarts for weeks just because of some fake picture that Melody has.”
“Well, Rose, Melody was actually just telling me something about you. She said that you’ve stolen her homework and destroyed it and vandalized her school things.” My eyes widened in horror. There was no way Melody would tell such a lie about me to the headmaster.
“I can assure you, sir, I’ve never done something like that. Melody set my potions homework on fire last year, but I never did anything to reciprocate. You can check my wand if you’d like,” I added.
“I believe you, Rose. I also feel you may be exaggerating this rivalry between Melody and yourself.” Everyone thought that, but I knew it wasn’t exaggerated. “I’m sorry to hear that Melody felt the need to lie to me. Perhaps someone else is responsible for the vandalism and because of this exaggerated rivalry, she thought it was you. However, if something happens, I promise we will look into it.” Recognizing the dismissal, I nodded my thanks and went to the door. “Sir, please don’t tell Melody I told you this. She would only be worse.” He nodded, and I turned the intricately carved eagle doorknob.
“Oh, and Rose?”
“Say hello to your mother for me and tell her I’m glad you told me about this.” I smiled and nodded. The meeting had gone better than I’d thought.
I went back up to Gryffindor tower to see if I could find Adara. Finding her absent, and figuring she must be with Jonathan, I decided to go without her. I walked downstairs for dinner, rather tired after my day, and saw an extremely large crowd (honestly, I think it comprised at least three-fourths of Gryffindor tower) in front of the bulletin board for announcements. A bit curious, but more hungry, I assumed that it was something about apparition lessons or Quidditch tryouts (I conveniently forgot that the Quidditch team, led by our very own Quidditch-obsessed James, held tryouts in the fall, not the spring) and walked past. That is, I walked past until I saw what was on the bulletin board. When I did see, my mouth actually fell open in shock and I blinked several times, convinced that it couldn’t be real. Tacked to the bulletin board was a 3-foot by 4-foot picture of Scorpius and I in the library. Scorpius and I in the library, kissing. Which, I can positively assure you, never happened (although I wouldn’t mind if it did…). I only had time to think “Melody…” in a rather hateful tone of mental voice before someone turned around, saw me, screamed “There’s Rose!” and all hell broke loose.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed this chapter! Do you think Melody will be caught? Why is Scorpius being so confusing? Tell me your thoughts in that little gray box at the bottom of the page :D