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Miranda awoke the next morning to the soft tat-tat-tats of drizzling rain outside her window. She groggily opened her eyes, and glanced at her watch. I was 8:00. Miranda, startled, sat bolt upright in her bed, and scurried to her chest of drawers to find a short gray skirt, a white, button up shirt, gray sweater vest, scarlet and gold Gryffindor house tie (which frustrated her, since she had never put a tie on before), billowing black robes, and her Gryffindor Badge. It took a while. She ran flew into the bathroom, and put on a little concealer and lip gloss. By the time she rushed out of the Gryffindor common room, it was 8:15, and she was probably going to be late. She flew down the corridors to the left.. or was it right? (“Argh! Dammit, I need a map!”), and arrived, out of breath, in Professor McGonagall’s class. “Well well well, hello Ms.Connelinne. So glad you could join us” said McGonagall sternly “You are thirteen minutes late. What is your excuse” she snapped. Miranda paused, terrified (because she was very sensitive to criticism) at the look on McGonagall’s face, and then stuttered quietly “I…I-was…. I got up late. I’m really sorry, I’m not used to the new schedule yet. At SWI, we started at 9:00” she paused “I’m really, really sorry.” she said in a small voice. “That may be, but from now on, I want you here at 8:10. No excuses!” boomed McGonagall. Miranda nodded, and, with a red, hot face and warm tears starting in her eyes, she quietly sat down next to a boy she thought was named Colin Creevey, who stared at her amusedly. McGonagall began again, and so the lesson continued on about Switching Spells. Not that Miranda cared, having covered them a year ago. Later that day, Harry, Ron and Hermione were in the common room after dinner. Miranda had lent Ron some American ,muggle, rock music,(which he could do because Miranda had charmed it so it would work in Hogwarts) which he was singing along to soundlessly, moving his head around and around. Hermione was doing her Arithmancy homework, which she was apparently (*gasp!*) having some trouble with, as she kept sighing and grunting with frustration. Harry was sitting on the rug, eyes closed and thinking about random stuff like pudding and knarls. Just as Ron was about to jump up on the sofa and belt out “Shut Up”, and Hermione was marking down her last answer. Suddenly, Seamus and Dean burst through the door causing Hermione to scream with frustration and stomp off to the Girls Dormitories, and Ron to stop mid step and sit quickly down again. Dean and Seamus were chuckling merrily. “What’s up, guys?” asked Harry over their laughter “I do hate Malfoy, but that was waaaaaaaaay too funny. He did an American impression ‘what is up my homie G?’” and Seamus burst into another fit of laughter , as Ron and Harry raised their eyebrows. “Do all Americans talk like that?” asked Ron, now mildly interested. “I don’t think so” said Harry “Randy doesn’t.” “Who’s Randy?” inquired Ron suspiciously “...M-Miranda” muttered Harry, going slightly pink. When they were in the back in the Boys Dorms, Ron began to wonder why Harry had called Miranda Randy, and……….. why had he gone pink? “Hey Harry,” said Ron. Harry looked up from his book, “Quidditch: Sport of Magic”. “Um, Harry… I was just wondering, but, uh… what do you think of that Miranda girl?” asked Ron awkwardly, stuffing his hands into his pockets and looking at the ceiling. “Uh… she’s nice, I guess…why?” replied Harry, giving Ron a questioning glance. “No, no, that’s not what I meant. I mean what do you think of her?” he repeated, this time putting stress on the word “think”. However, Harry still looked puzzled, and so Ron got a bit.. frustrated and burst out “For Merlin’s ruddy sake, do you like her, do you think she’s pretty?!” exclaimed Ron indignantly “does she turn you on? Come on, out with it!” Harry looked taken aback, and then replied, barely audible while putting his socks away “Umm…. I guess a small bit.. I dunno… “ Ron snickered, and then flopped onto his bed. “Soooooooooooooooooooo….. Are you gonna ask her out?” asked Ron, waggling his eyebrows up and down. “Are YOU gonna ask Hermione out?” retorted Harry. Ron looked shocked, and his ears and face went a violent shade of red. “…I-What are you talking about? I-I-don’t like Hermione.” “Uh-huh, sure Ron, that’s why you stare at her whenever she’s not looking, and bought her perfume for Christmas, and wrote H.G in one of your books.” Said Harry, smiling smugly. “How did you know about the H.G thing?” asked Ron “Ah-HAH! You admit it!” “No, I was merely wondering how you would’ve seen it… IF I had done it” “I forgot mine one day, and you let me borrow it. I saw it then.” “Dammit!!” muttered Ron, and he began to bang his head against his Charms book. “It’s okay. To tell the truth, everyone’s known since, like.. third year.” “Oh. Was it that obvious?” “Yup.” And so their conversation went on, and the final result was that if Ron asked Hermione out, or told her that he liked her, then Harry would ask Miranda out. This seemed to Harry a fair agreement. “Wait a minute! Oh, bugger! I Have to ask her out! WHY DID I SAY YES??! STUPID, STUPID, PRATTISH GIT!!” Harry thought furiously, realizing what he would have to do if he was to ask Miranda out. Maybe it would be easier, though; He had liked Cho a lot more, and she had definitely been more intimidating. So far through out the day, Miranda had been upset five times. Once for getting told off by McGonagall, once for seeing a boy checking out a “hot ditz” and getting started on the Oh-My-God-I’m-Gonna-Die-Alone thing again, the third time for seeing someone kicking the old trees down by the lake (this was especially upsetting for certain reasons), the fourth time for “that bastard Malfoy” for making a cruel comment about her appearance and the fact that she was American, and the last time for seeing some seventh years doing… let’s call it “kanoodling” and getting started on the Lonely Death thing AGAIN. When a thoroughly depressed Miranda came slumping back to the Girls Dorms, she flopped on to her bed and started to cry, muffling her sobs with her pillow. After about a half hour, she got up, and paced around her bed, trying to think of a magick spell to do. Suddenly, the weight loss spell popped into her brain, and so she got in front of her mirror and began to chant the incantation, when suddenly, Ginny burst through the doorway. “Hi Miranda. Argh! I HATE Snape, giving me three extra pages of parchment because I talked back to him! Why shouldn’t I be able to- Hey, Randy, what’s wrong?” asked Ginny, noticing Miranda’s smudged mascara and wet cheeks. “Nothing..” mumbled Miranda, quickly putting out her musky, thick, lavender incense that she’d had burning. “Come on. Sit down.” Said Ginny soothingly, patting a place on her bed. Miranda sat down, and Ginny got out a brush and started brushing Miranda’s hair. It felt very good. “So, Miranda, why were you so upset?” asked Ginny, taking some of Miranda’s glossy hair and putting it through the brush. “I dunno….” Began Miranda “I just feel so…hopeless sometimes. I mean really, who would want to date me? I am only fourteen, and I weigh one hundred and twenty pounds, and I’m just so.. .ugly. I’m gonna die alone, and never have children… or go to prom.” She finished miserably. “You’re not” said Ginny reassuringly (though she wondered what prom was) “you’re not fat. You’re tall, so your weight fills out your body nicely, and your eyes are so sparkly and pretty. You’re not ugly, and you’re not gonna die alone. I’ll see to that.” “Thanks Gin, but about the weight and the eyes….. ‘why you lookin’?’ said Miranda, in a mock-ghetto voice. Ginny threw back her head and laughed, her curtain of red hair swaying. Miranda pondered her thoughts as Ginny put on her pajamas. She knew she still wasn’t pretty, but she at least felt a little better. But that was not the real reason she was upset. The true reason had to do with what time of year it was, and the knowledge of her secret was bursting to get out. Miranda felt she had to tell somebody, or she could never face the truth alone. So she decided to tell Ginny. “Hey, Ginny?” called Miranda, to the other side of the room. Ginny looked up. “…We’re friends, right? So I can tell you anything…” “Uh-huh…” replied Ginny suspiciously. “Well… it’s just that um….I wasn’t upset just about dying alone…… Ginny, you have to promise never EVER EVER to repeat this. I have a secret. I have to tell you….. I need to, just as I tell someone once every year. If I don’t… bad things happen. I am deadly serious, so please don’t laugh. But, if you don’t want to be my friend anymore, then…. I-I would understand.” “Come on, of COURSE I’d still be your friend, Randy! Nothing would change that. Go ahead, tell me, no matter hat it is, I swear I’ll still be our friend.” Said Ginny “Okay,” breathed Miranda “D’you remember that earthquake that hit her a few months ago?" ............................................................................................................ Hee hee, cliff hanger..... I'm special! PLEASE READ AND REVIEW!!!!!!! Thanx so much for reading this! :)

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