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Here’s the 13th chapter *blushes* I know it took a while. Sorry about that. Hopefully this chapter is somewhat interesting, if not incredibly plot-progressing. I found it very interesting to write because I got to deal with some of the characters we haven’t had much interaction with before now. So I hope it’s as interesting to read as it was to write. BTW, the randomly detailed description of Jade is for Sophia Montgomery. Hope it helps! :-D

Disclaimer: I actually own a few things here! For example: Bea, Thaliana, Malaya, and Sally-Anne’s characterization, although not her name. And, of course, Jade. Other than that: nada. (For all you non-Spanish-speaking people out there, that means “nothing.”)

Slipping into the Slytherin girls’ dormitory, Jade tried not to think about the information she had just been given. Her thoughts were humming unpleasantly and she had never been one to enjoy deep, analytical thoughts. That didn’t always stop her from having them, but she did try to keep them to a minimum if at all possible. Perhaps she would have time for a quick shower before going to dinner. Bathing had never been a huge thing in her life, but now that she had the opportunity to do so often, it seemed very appealing.

Jade gathered a towel and entered the bathroom. Her fellow roommates were not there at the moment. This was fortunate because they spent much of their time in the bathroom, studying their reflections. Jade took the opportunity to glance at her own reflection in the mirror.

She had never really cared how she looked, and that had not changed since her arrival at Hogwarts. She was, however, relieved to find the sunken, slightly sick appearance of her face, caused by lack of proper nutrition, was disappearing. Unfortunately, her skin was still exceeding pale, appearing almost paper-white under the bathroom lighting. Coal black hair contrasted sharply with her pale skin and fell a little past her shoulders. It framed a face with pale lips and bright hazel eyes. With a razor straight nose and strong cheek bones, Jade didn’t think of herself as pretty, but she was glad she didn’t look like a little girl.

A sharp knock on the door made her wince as she realized she had wasted precious time. Her shower would have to wait. Outside the door a girlish voice called, “Open up, Jade. We know you’re in there!”

‘We?’” Jade whispered with apprehension. Reluctantly she opened the door and was immediately swept away by reaching hands and rustle of black robes. She was deposited on her bed as her captors took seats about the room. Sally-Anne sat on her own bed, while Thaliana (not living in the fifth-year dorm) gracefully arranged herself on a trunk at the end of Pansy’s bed. Bea perched at the end of Jade’s bed and looked expectantly at her.

“What?” Jade demanded rather crossly. She had had quite enough lectures for the day.

Bea replied energetically, large blue eyes shining, “You and Draco, Jade. It’s so sweet. I’m so jealous.”

“Me and Draco nothing, Bea. Don’t be ridiculous.” Jade suppressed a sigh as she yet-again launched into the explanation.

When she finished, Sally-Anne peered down her turned-up nose at Jade and informed them, “I knew it all along. What could he possibly see in you, anyway?”

“Shut up, Perks,” drawled Thaliana. “You did not know it. You spent the past hour whining about strangers who come in and steal people’s men.”

Sally-Anne gasped, “I did no such thing! You’re making that up.”

“Are you and Draco dating?” Jade asked curiously, trying to convince herself it didn’t matter one way or the other.

Thaliana answered, “Only in her sick fantasy world. Everyone knows Draco doesn’t date people. He doesn’t believe anyone is good enough for him.” The dark girl gave Sally-Anne a long look.

“The only person he’s almost dated is Pansy Parkinson,” Bea announced. “He took her to the Yule Ball fourth year and she’s thought she owns him ever since.”

“I’d watch out for her,” Thaliana remarked causally. “She’ll be after your blood.”

Jade wondered aloud, “Why will she be upset if everyone knows he doesn’t date people? It’s not like he was cheating on her.”

Sally-Anne ruffled her short hair and said with distain, “Oh, she thinks she should get everything her own way just because her parents own half of Switzerland. Her over-inflated ego isn’t helped by Millicent following her around like a whipped puppy. She tried to buy Diagon Alley once, you know,” she added contemptuously. “Ministry wouldn’t sell it to her and she threw a horrible fit. Stupid little bleach-blonde.”

“The only person in the school richer than her is Draco,” Thaliana informed them. “That’s half the reason she’s after him.”

“What’s the other half?” inquired Jade.

Thaliana shrugged. “Well, you’ve seen him.”

“I’ve also talked to him,” Jade said sarcastically. “You make Pansy sound self-obsessed…”

Bea broke in, “Oh, but that’s part of his charm!”

“Draco? Charming?” Jade snorted. “Those are two words that do not go together.”

“You two would make such a cute couple!” Bea’s blue eyes were wide in her round face.

“They would not!” Sally-Anne glared at Bea. “She doesn’t even like him! Listen to her.”

“But she wouldn’t let him get too full of himself. And he’s paid more attention to her in the past few days than he did to any of us in the past year!” Bea added slyly, “Except for that one time –”

“Shut it, Bea,” Sally-Anne snapped. “That’s none of your business.”

“Please. Save it,” Jade told them. “I’ve known Draco, and all of you, for about three days. How you think you could know anything about me and who I would get on with is beyond me. And besides, you said he doesn’t date.” She added hurriedly, “Not that I’m interested.”

Bea shrugged. “People change.”

“If that’s not the slogan of idealists everywhere, I don’t know what is,” Jade laughed.

“We also like ‘Everything will turn out fine in the end,’” joked Bea.

Thaliana had the faintest hint of a smile about her as she said, “You certainly have Bea nailed. A hopeless idealist and romantic. Better watch out or she’ll have you paired up with every guy in the school before the end of the week.”

“Oh no,” Bea shook her head firmly. “I’m sticking with Draco for her. I just have this feeling.”

“Not another feeling,” teased Sally-Anne with a groan. She reached across the space between their beds to poke the larger girl in the ribs. “Are you sure it’s not just hunger?”

Bea smothered a giggle and swatted her friend’s hand away. “Shut it, Perks. It’s not my fault you don’t eat anything.”

“I eat.” The thin girl stuck her freckled nose in the air. “I just have an exceedingly fast metabolism.”

“That’s a good excuse,” Bea said with appreciation. “I’ll just say my metabolism has been on holiday.” She glanced down at herself and added, “For the past five years.”

Thaliana smirked, “Yeah, and Blaise’s hair naturally looks like that.”

“Blaise?” asked Jade.

“Blaise Zabini, Thaliana’s boyfriend,” Bea explained. “Dark, handsome, amazing hair. Spends more time on it than Sally-Anne and I do on ours combined. Can’t include Thali in that, though.”

Thaliana shook the long ringlets cascading down her back. “Looking this good doesn’t come easily,” she smirked.

“She and Blaise are perfect for each other,” remarked Bea. “And I called that one, too.”

Jade choose to ignore the girl’s last comment. She thought she remembered Professor Snape calling Draco’s potions partner Zabini. If she was right, dark and handsome certainly did describe him. Her stomach growled and she glanced at the clock on her bed stand. “We better hurry or we’ll be late for dinner.”

The girls made their way out through the Slytherin common room and down the passages that led to the Great Hall. People milled about, waiting for the doors to open so they could go to dinner. The girls gathered in one corner and watched the mess, Jade absently searching for Harry, Ron, and Hermione. She had hoped she might have a chance to talk to them briefly before dinner. That way she could make sure they weren’t mad at her and they knew she wasn’t mad at them. Unfortunately, she never got the chance.

“Excuse me.” A small, brown-hair girl approached Jade. “I was just wondering, are you Jade Salinas?”

Jade was taken aback. She had never seen the girl before in her life. Cautiously she replied, “Yes, why?”

“I wanted to find out if the rumors are true.” The younger girl looked expectantly up at her.

Confused, Jade asked, “What rumors? That I’m Jade Salinas?”

“No, silly,” the girl laughed, “that you’re dating Draco Malfoy. I heard you were caught snogging in potions class.”

Jade had the urge to smash her head into the nearest wall. She should have seen this coming. In a small community, rumors spread like wildfire and people had little else of interest to amuse themselves. She could take one of two paths to deal with this problem: tell the girl no, it was definitely not true, or tell the girl to bugger off. The second was more appealing, but the first more productive. She opted for a combination of the two.

“You need to check your sources before you go jumping to conclusions when you have no idea what you’re talking about,” Jade informed the girl tartly. “Now, don’t you have your own life to worry about? Because I’m sure mine is of no concern to you.” She had no sooner gotten rid of the brown-haired girl, when another girl approached her.

This girl had long, raven black hair and a Ravenclaw crest on her robes. “You’re Jade, aren’t you?” she asked.

Bea leaned over to whisper in Jade’s ear, “Malaya Artesia, sixth-year Ravenclaw prefect. Thinks it’s her business to know everything.”

The girl, Malaya, was speaking again. “Everyone is talking about the potions thing. Everyone is so jealous. You’re new and you already have one of the hottest guys in the school– So what’s your secret? I’m sure everyone is dying to know.”

“The secret is people in this school are so utterly pathetic they don’t have anything more important to do than start rumors from nothing,” Jade replied, her voice tinged with ice. She had had about enough of this. Rumors had almost ruined her once and she was not about to let it happen again. Unfortunately, this time there was no one person to blame for it. It wasn’t as though she could confront whoever had started it and clear things up. Pushing aside this irritating fact, Jade continued, “I would appreciate it if you would tell everyone that they are misinformed and to find something new to occupy themselves. I would recommend schoolwork, for, unless I’m mistaken, that’s what we’re here to do.”

The Ravenclaw did not appear to take kindly to being lectured on schoolwork by a Slytherin, for she gave Jade a huffy, “Fine,” and stalked off. Luckily for Jade, the doors to the Great Hall opened then, and the students filed in for dinner. As Jade made her way to the Slytherin table with Bea, Sally-Anne, and Thaliana, she felt as though a thousand eyes followed her. It made her skin crawl and gave her the sharp desire to find something under which to hide. Stealing herself, she sat down at the Slytherin table and was relieved to find the conversation normal. The Slytherins, thankfully, knew Draco did not date people. If he wanted to make a spectacle with some new girl, it was no concern of theirs.

Dinner ended too soon for Jade. Then came the long trek back to the Slytherin common room. Whispers of “The Potions Thing” followed her out of the Great Hall and seemed to echo down the long dungeon corridors. Back in her dorm, Jade flopped face down on her bed in exasperation. ‘I just hate rumors,’ she thought angrily. ‘At least this time they aren’t calling me a witch, but then, I guess they already know that. Now I’m just some sort of tramp who goes around snogging people I’ve known for three days.’ She made a face into her blanket. ‘I wonder how long it will take for this to go away?’

The bedroom door slammed and a shrill voice interrupted her thoughts. “How dare you?!” Jade lifted her head off her blanket to see an irate Pansy Parkinson standing before her. Her blonde hair was ruffled and her brown eyes were narrowed with rage. “Draco is mine, you hear?! You’ll stay away from him if you know what’s good for you!” Her voice dropped only in volume as she hissed, “If you don’t, I’ll make you’re life so miserable you’ll want to go back to the dump you came from.” With a final glare, the tiny girl stomped into the bathroom and slammed the door.

Jade dropped back down onto her bed as Sally-Anne remarked, “I haven’t seen her that mad since the day McGonagall sent her back to her room to wash off some of her eyeliner.”

Deciding to avoid another confrontation, Jade planned to fall asleep without getting ready for bed. Unfortunately, sleep did not come easily. As the other girls prepared for bed, Jade pulled her pillow over her head and tried to think sleepy thoughts. ‘Tomorrow will be better,’ she reassured herself. ‘Tomorrow everyone will have forgotten all about this and I can go back to being nobody.’ She knew this was probably wishful thinking, but didn’t care. ‘Who needs realism when deluding myself is so much more fun?’ she muttered into her pillow.

“Hey, Jade, are you still awake?” Bea asked quietly from the next bed.

“Unfortunately.” Her reply was muffled by the pillow.

“Can I ask you something?” The other girl’s voice was so soft Jade could barely hear her.

She removed the pillow from her head. “Go ahead,” she said curiously.

“Do you like Draco? I mean, like him?”

Jade wrinkled her nose. “That’s ridiculous. Of course I don’t. Why would you think that, other than your absurd idea we would be ‘cute’ together?”

Bea considered for a moment. “I’m not really sure,” she replied softly. “I saw you with him playing wizards’ chess and, well, even though you were losing you looked happier than you usually do. More so than you look around us anyway.” She referred to the other girls in the room. “And also,” she plowed on with more conviction, “you’re so defensive about all the rumors not being true. You could just have easily laughed it off. And you’re so defensive about not liking him. That’s all.”

Jade didn’t know quite what to say. “Bea,” she reminded her friend, “I’ve known him for three days. And he’s so amazingly irritating. Probably the most annoying person I’ve ever met. And conceited, too.” She paused for a moment, lost in thoughts of Draco’s annoyingness. “You’re trying to make something out of nothing.”

In the dim light of the room’s only lit candle, Jade saw Bea shrug. “Well, you heard Thaliana. I’m a hopeless romantic. I guess I’ll just have to keep dreaming.”

“As long as there’s no scheming involved,” Jade said warningly.

The Slytherin girl laughed and shook her thin, blonde hair. “How suspiciously Slytherin of you, Jade!”

Jade gave a quiet laugh, too. “I do believe it would also be Slytherin of you to be scheming, so I’m just reminding you to keep yourself under control.”

“Alright, alright,” conceded Bea. “You ruin all my fun.”

“Fun for you, torture for me.” Jade buried her head in the pillow again. “’Night, Bea.”

“’Night, Jade,” came the already-sleepy reply.

As she drifted off to sleep, Jade told herself firmly, ‘Bea is being ridiculous. There’s no way I like Draco, for all of the stated reasons and loads more.’ She proceeded to attempt to list all the things she did not like about Draco, which, unfortunately, seemed to be more difficult than it should have been. It was an odd, unsatisfactory way of counting sheep. Her tired brain kept coming up with random thoughts such as, ‘Maybe I’ll poke him tomorrow and he’ll punch me. Then I’ll have more things to list.’ And, ‘His hair is sort-of the color of corn at the bottom of the kernel. I wonder if that could be a bad thing?’ Finally she concluded, ‘I am a total nutcase,’ and sleep overtook her.

Oh, poor Jade. *laughs maliciously* You know the drill: you’ve read, now you review. Please? Ok, enough of that. The next chapter probably won’t be up for a week or so, but if you just need that fix of my writing (haha, I’m so funny) you can stop by my new fic! It’s a one-shot called “Reasons Professor Sprout Should Be Sent to St. Mungo’s Mental Ward.” If anyone remembers (which I’m sure you don’t), the tile is taken from a line in chapter 5 of Jade. Here is the part it was taken from:

Draco paused in the middle of his list of “Reasons Why Professor Sprout Should Be Sent to St. Mungo’s Mental Ward” to say, “Aconite.” The apparently-ordinary wall slid out of the way to reveal a dim room.

I was re-reading this bit of the story and was struck quite violently by inspiration. It is (supposedly) a humorous story, but you’ll have to read it to find out for yourself. Or not. Whatever. Thanks for your attention, I know my attention span would have run out on about the second sentence of this amazingly long author’s note.


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