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Author’s Note: This story was written quite some time ago but remained unposted. Now I post it for you, dear readers, but most of all for my sister, who has helped me write many of my stories ever since I began posting fanfiction four years ago. Happy Birthday, sister, and I hope you enjoy.

For the rest of my readers, I hope you enjoy this new piece of work. Please leave a review!

Chapter 1: Romilda Vane

Romilda couldn’t wait to get back to Gryffindor Tower. Maybe she wasn’t as invested in Quidditch as many of her classmates seemed to be, but she knew that there would be a huge celebration because of today’s win. Older students surged ahead of her, bearing the Quidditch players on their shoulders, chanting “We won the Cup! We won the Cup!”

“Vicky! Come on!”

Romilda tugged her friend’s sleeve, urging her to move more quickly.

“What’s the hurry, Romilda?”

“Come on, you know my plan. There’s bound to be a celebration up there, and we have to get there before the crowd does or we’ll never make it to the dormitory….”

Vicky Cole tugged her sleeve out of Romilda’s grasp and tossed her blonde curls irritably. “Oh, do give it up, will you? You saw what happened the last time you tried.”

True, the last time Romilda had tried slipping Harry Potter a box of potion-laced chocolates, Ron Weasley had ended up in the hospital wing, poisoned. “It’s different, Vicky. This time I’ll give it directly to him.”

“You know perfectly well that they’re illegal.”

“Oh, you’re such a goody-goody. You sound just like that Hermione Granger.”

“Well,” Vicky said, rolling her eyes, “your dear Harry doesn’t seem to mind her now, does he? Have you thought about that?”

“Anything’s worth having him as a boyfriend,” Romilda replied, brushing an errant strand of dark hair out of her face. When Vicky rolled her eyes again, she continued, “No, really! Can’t you just imagine, with him being the Chosen One and all that, and he’s really nice…”

“He’s brushed you off already,” Vicky observed. “Remember? He only took those chocolates because they were in a box; he didn’t want the drink you were giving him. He actually seems quite rude.”

“Oh, come off it, he was hurrying to class, of course he didn’t have time to say anything more! At least he talked to me!” Romilda protested.

“You can’t be serious.”

“And not to mention that he’s also rather good-looking…”

Vicky snorted. “Romilda, you need to give it up. He’s not interested in you.”

“Oh, really? We’ll see about that. The potion’s just a fail-safe anyway. Let’s go!”

Ignoring Vicky’s mutterings, Romilda darted ahead through the crowd and dashed as quickly as she could up to Gryffindor Tower. She had discovered a shortcut a few months before, one that she knew was too narrow for the huge tide of Gryffindors to take all at once. She didn’t care whether Vicky was following or not.

Quid agis!” she gasped to the Fat Lady.

“Yes, dear,” the woman in the painting replied, swinging forward. Romilda practically leapt through the portrait hole, swinging it shut behind her, before she slowed down. Gryffindor tower was quiet now, with everyone still walking through the hallways from the Quidditch match. She stood there for a few minutes, catching her breath, before the telltale rumble of approaching feet told her that the rest of the House would be inside soon. Smiling to herself, she skipped up the steps to her dormitory, shutting the door just as an explosion of voices filled the common room below.

Romilda knelt in front of her trunk, which was at the foot of her bed. “Where is it?” she muttered to herself, digging through piles of old Teen Witch magazines and several discarded rolls of parchment. She had hidden the small bottle from Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes after she had put only a few drops in each chocolate. Strong stuff, it was. Apparently Ron Weasley had walked around dreamily looking for her after he accidentally ate one of the chocolates meant for Harry. Romilda giggled at the thought. Soon, Harry would be hers. And who could blame her? She had heard other girls conspiring to attract him, from First Years all the way to Seventh. To be Harry Potter’s girlfriend would mean being someone. Everyone heard about Harry and his two friends, Ron and Hermione. Everyone knew about the fantastic adventures they got caught up in every year. From the Triwizard Tournament to facing Death Eaters in the Ministry, they certainly always managed to get noticed.

No one really ever took notice of Romilda, unless it was to ask her about Charms and Transfiguration. She had lived a mostly quiet, uneventful life – as uneventful as life at Hogwarts could be, at any rate. Part of her – the part that had made the Sorting Hat put her in Gryffindor, she supposed – wanted that element of danger. It had to be exciting to always be caught up in such exploits.

“I know it’s in here somewhere…”

The door suddenly creaked open, causing Romilda to jump. She turned, relaxing when she saw that it was only Vicky.

“Hi, Vicky. I can’t seem to find it anywhere….You don’t suppose they made it so that the bottle would just disappear without warning, do you?”

Vicky tilted her head to indicate downstairs. “I think you need to see this.”

Curious, Romilda stood up and made her way down the staircase. The crowd was strangely growing quieter by the second. “What – ”

“There,” Vicky pointed.

Romilda looked. And there she saw Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley, lips pressed together, looking as though they did not care that there was an entire room full of onlookers.

“You see?” Vicky whispered. “He’s liked her for months already, he wasn’t interested in you…”

Mouth working soundlessly, Romilda stared openly. Harry and Ginny broke apart, grinning at each other, and Harry’s eyes roved around the room, searching for someone. Romilda felt them glance over her for a moment, and a strange feeling flamed up inside of her. She wanted to rush over and hit Harry. Was it jealousy? Whatever it was, it smarted like a wound as whispers broke out. Then the portrait closed behind Harry and Ginny, and the whispers became full-fledged voices.

“Did you see that?” a fifth-year girl said. “I wasn’t expecting that to happen!”

“I thought Ginny gave up on him!” another replied. “Remember back in first year, when she sent him that valentine…”

“Oh, yes, with Lockhart’s singing dwarves…”

Stunned, Romilda made her way back up the stairs and began rummaging through her trunk once more. She finally found the small vial, shaped to look like a slender bottle of perfume. There were only a few drops of the potent mixture left, and the rose-colored liquid sparkled as sunlight caught in the crystal-like facets of the vial.

Maybe Harry wasn’t interested in her, but she wondered if he had known about her own feelings. She sank onto her bed, turning the vial over in her fingers.


It was Vicky.


“I had a plan, Vicky. And it failed, okay? You don’t have to feel sorry for me.” Romilda took the vial and flung it against the wall, where it shattered with a sharp, satisfying tinkling of glass. She simply watched as Vicky waved her wand to clean it up.

“Sorry for you?” Vicky asked, looking puzzled. “No, hardly. I’ve been wanting to ask you something for a while, and now that…”

“Ask it already, don’t bother trying to be nice. I already know you wanted me to fail at this.”

“As a matter of fact, I did.” Romilda stared at her. “I’m serious. How happy do you think you would have been if you had succeeded?”

“It would have made my world a better place! I want the adventure that they always have, the danger…”

“Do you?”

Silence. Romilda thought about it.

“My mum’s been lonely,” Vicky said softly. “Dad was an Auror, but he was…he was killed doing his job.”

“Are you saying that if Harry died – ”

“No! You’re taking this completely the wrong way!” Vicky smiled, though her voice trembled. “What I’m trying to say, Romilda, is that the danger is real. It’s not just a game.”

“But still. He’s Harry Potter.”

“True.” She tossed her head again, a habit that let Romilda know she was going to ask another question. “But do you like him as a person, or do you just like the idea of Harry Potter? Because I’m sure that Ginny knows him well enough to see past the fact that he’s famous…”

“Get out.”

Vicky looked back at her, dumbfounded.

“Vicky, please….Just get out. Go back to the celebration or something, but just leave me alone.”

“Fine. Think about it.” Vicky swept out of the room, leaving Romilda alone with her thoughts.

She did have a point, after a fashion. Romilda didn’t know all that much about Harry beyond what she had heard through gossip. Yes, he was not that bad-looking, and he was famous….but beyond that, Romilda knew next to nothing. She didn’t even know when he had his classes; he was that good at evading the crowds.

Maybe clearly hopeless for her. But there were still a few things she was curious about, things she and her friends had heard that Ginny would probably know….Romilda and the other Fourth Years could hardly resist a good bit of gossip….

* * *

The next Saturday, she found Ginny in the common room all by herself. After turning Vicky’s question over in her mind for the past week, Romilda had come to understand that any relationship with Harry – particularly one induced by a love potion – would quickly become boring. It wasn’t all about the adventure, after all. There had to be something else there, something that she clearly did not have. And now she felt much less resentment against Ginny.

“Hello, Romilda,” the redhead said brightly, looking up from an essay she was working on. “Need help with Charms again?”

She was referring to the time she had tutored Romilda. Flitwick had recommended her for the job a few months before, and Ginny, despite all her heavy work for O.W.L.s, had been willing to help Romilda out for a few lessons. It really was hard to dislike her for being Harry’s girlfriend, as the entire school knew she was by now.

“No thanks,” Romilda said. Nevertheless, she slid into the chair across the table as Ginny continued to write. “Where’s Harry?” she asked lightly.

“Oh….He’s serving detention with that git of a professor. Every Saturday from now until the end of school, apparently.”

“Mmm. I see.”

“Look…Is there anything you want, really? Because I need to finish this essay before Harry gets back.”

“Well…you know the rumor that he has a Hippogriff tattooed on his chest?” Romilda ventured.


“Well, is it true?”

Ginny stopped writing and raised an eyebrow. “You really think I would know that?”

“I – ”

She laughed, a mischievous grin spreading on her features. “No, he doesn’t.”


“It’s actually a Hungarian Horntail.”

Romilda leaned forward excitedly. “Really?”

“Really,” Ginny nodded, a solemn expression on her face. “He told me. Now, my brother, on the other hand…I just hope that Hermione doesn’t discover the Pygmy Puff he’s got, if they ever do get around to going out with each other.”

It was fairly common knowledge that the two Sixth-Year Prefects liked each other quite a lot. They were the only ones unwilling to admit it. “Where does he have it?”

Ginny shook her head, smiling in a way that made her look like her twin brothers. “That, Romilda, is something I can’t tell you. Anything else?”

“No,” Romilda said, pushing back her chair. Her friends would indeed be intrigued to hear this latest bit of gossip. “See you, Ginny.”

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