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By Lady Malfoy at The Dark Arts. Big love!

Side note: Not mine, bla bla bla, necessary plonk.

Problem eighteen: I’m going on a date. For the first time in over a year. 

“Rose, will you chill the fuck out?” Lucinda, another one of my roommates, yells at me, brandishing her hairbrush like a weapon. 

“NO!” I yell back, “This is serious! Where are my shoes?” 

Caspar flings said shoes at my head. “Put them on and get going!” 

I wodge my feet into the black, shiny pumps and check my reflection. 

Not bad – straightened red hair, navy blue tank top, black jeans and the best shoes in the world. They’ve been through a lot with me, and I still can’t let them go. The shoes, that is. I’ve enlarged them several times, put them through snow, rain, sand and mud in various quantities, and never got bored of them. 

“Get gone Rose!” Livi shouts, emerging from the shower with her hair slicked back. 

She looks unbelievable. James would pay huge amounts of money to see her now. 

I take a deep breath; pick up the delicate little bag I bought over the summer in a Muggle shop and walk down the stairs. 

Matthew is waiting by the fire, looking a tad nervous. 

Me and you both, sonny. 

“Hi,” I say quietly. 

What the hell? You, quiet? “Hey, Rose,” Matthew replies, his face breaking out into a smile. 

“I hope you don’t mind, but I invited my cousin and his girlfriend on the journey,” He looks like he minds... “But they’ll leave us as soon as we get into Hogsmeade,” I finish quickly, and his face relaxes back into a smile. 

“Alright,” he declares, “Let’s go.” 

He takes my hand, and we walk through the hallways until we’re on the third floor, standing by a statue of a haggard old one-eyed witch. Louis isn’t here yet. 

“Can we just wait for my cousin?” I ask nicely. Matthew smiles and nods. We stand in silence. Not good silence, uncomfortable silence. 

“So where are we going?” Matthew asks, breaking the uncomfortable fug. 

“Oh Matthew, I don’t know,” I say airily, “Three Broomsticks, probably.” 

“What about Madam Puddifoot’s? And it’s Matt for friends,” Matt suggests. I try my hardest not to shudder at the mention of that disgusting little tearoom. How it made it past the death of Madam Puddifoot I’ll never know. 

Luckily, before I have to break it to my date that I hate silly little romantic bum on toast type places, Louis turns up, followed by a pretty blonde who is pretty much drop dead gorgeous. She looks like she just stepped out of Witch Weekly’s beauty section, or one of Caspar’s muggle magazines. 

“Hello,” she says in a delicate Russian accent, “I’m Petrova. It’s a pleasure to meet you; Louis has told me you’re one of the quickest people in Hogwarts.” 

Huh, a hidden warning. I wonder if tall blonde and beautiful got the message Louis meant, namely don’t make her angry because she learned a book of curses especially for idiots who might not be good enough for me in her eyes. 

He couldn’t ever say that to her face, of course. There’s no need to make anyone scared. 

“Charmed, I’m sure,” I say smoothly, taking her outstretched hand and shaking it. 

“I think we should be going,” Louis says quickly, stopping me from asking every question I want to ask. 

Who are you? Where do you live? What makes you think Louis likes girls? 

“Sure, sure,” I agree, catching his eye. “Dissendium.” I tap the top of the witch’s hump, and it slides open. “Who’s first?” 

Matt is still boggling at the passage that’s just opened, and Louis is looking mildly worried as Petrova starts to breath unnaturally fast. 

“Alright, I’ll go,” I concede, and slip into the tunnel, shooting down the slide until I hit solid ground. 

Jumping onto my feet quickly, I clap my hands once to turn on the strings of lanterns Livi and I spent hours putting up before we even knew who Caspar was, way back in first year. We thought they looked cute then, and they still do now. 

Hearing something coming down the chute, I move out of the way. Matt flies through the air before landing on his bum, looking both amazed and scared. 

“Rose?” he calls, “Where’ve you gone?” 

Moving up behind him, I put my hands over his eyes. “Guess who?” 


And suddenly, I’m falling on my arse. 

“Whoops – sorry guys!” 

“Bloody hell Louis, give us some warning,” I moan, standing up again and brushing dirt off my bum. 

“Alright, Pet’s coming,” he announces cheerfully. 

“Pet?” I ask disgustedly. He shoots me a look. 

“One word Rose, and I’ll put hair removal cream in your shampoo again,” he threatens. I widen my eyes at him. 

“It was you who did it! You little arsehole, Louis! I’ll bloody kill you after today!” 

“Why after today?” 

“I don’t want blood on my hands for my date.” 

Taking Matt’s hand again, I start to walk down the long tunnel towards Hogsmeade. 

“So Matt, what do you do? I notice you weren’t at Quidditch trials,” I say conversationally, deciding I’ll just talk crap until I make a decision on this whole date thing. 

“Well, I’m interested in Healing. I’ve got a lot of compassion, I like to help people—“ 

You sound exactly the opposite of Scorp. Do I want you to shut up or not? I can't quite decide.

“—I find Potions is my best subject, and I have quite steady hands, so I reckon I’m perfectly fitted to it. Healing, that is. What about you, Rose?” 

“Oh, you know, this and that...” I dithered, “I like Duelling... Quidditch... I think Auror. I’d love to be an Auror.” 

“Dangerous. A pretty girl like you might hurt themselves.” 

Patronising git! 

“Don’t make me hex you,” I reply fiercely. 

“Where does this tunnel lead, then?” 

“Honeydukes. There are other passages, but this one’s nicest. Do you like the lights?”

“Thanks – I helped.” 

We talk until we reach the slope that meanders up to the trap door, and I quickly push it open and check the dusty basement. 

No one seems to be home. 

Sliding a crate of jelly slugs over so it blocks the view of the trap door, I climb out and beckon Matt to follow. 

A door creaks, and I freeze. 

“Well, well, well. What have we here, then? A Weasley? No surprise.” 

Oh dear God. It’s Draco Malfoy. 

“—and so I’m afraid I caught your pupil trespassing,” Mr Malfoy drawls. 

I’ve never seen anyone glare as hard as Professor Macmillan is right now. “Right. Where?"

“The cellar of Honeydukes – my son tipped me off after he overheard talk of a special tunnel going to Hogsmeade. Undoubtedly, this was the end of the tunnel. He also said others were going – perhaps we should ask Weasley who?” 

Bloody hell. Matthew got away, Louis and Pet got away, and I’m stuck here with Mr Might-Have-Been-Gorgeous-Like-Scorp-Once, getting the bloody go over. Not fair. 

And, to top it all off, Scorp was the snitch. I’m going to have to kill him. First, I’ve got to take these shoes off. I’m not ruining them while I kill him. 

“Well, Mr Malfoy, this is a strange turn of events. Rose is usually very well behaved.” 

“Well behaved! She torments my son in Potions, and transformed him into a mouse!” 

“Would that be the Potions class where she’s earning top marks for the both of them?” 

“More like my son’s earning them top marks!” 

“Let’s ask him, then. Rose, would you please fetch Scorpius. I do believe he’s on the Quidditch pitch.” 

“Of course, Professor,” I say sweetly, flashing Mr Malfoy a smile. He glares back. 

I’m going to KILL your son, understand? 


I leave the Headmaster’s study and walk quickly out to the pitch, noting a lack of people. It is, to be fair, a Sunday. 

Walking onto the pitch, I see Slytherin deep in a training session. Scorpius was flying around the pitch catching golf balls thrown by the keeper, a look of deep concentration on his face. 

“OI, TWAT!” I yell, and he looks round, startled. A golf ball hits him on the temple. 

He focuses on me. 

“What the fuck do you want?” he yells back. 

“Headmaster wants you,” I yell. Everyone has stopped training, watching us yell. 

“You on the Gryffindor team, Rose?” yells Scarlett, a pretty girl who’s actually a nice person. God knows why she’s in Slytherin. 

“Yeah. Be afraid!” I reply. Scorpius lands a metre from me, and starts walking to the castle, not waiting for me. 

I catch up to him. “I do believe I saw a Thestral’s Twist there, Malfoy. Wasn’t that the move you dubbed ‘idiotic and pointless’?” 

“Shut up.” 

“So I’m right, then. Now why would your own team be going against your judgement?” 

“Shut up.” 

“I guess it turns out you were wrong. Thank Merlin they didn’t listen to you, huh?” 

“Can’t you just shut the fuck up?” 

“Wait; let me think about this... No. You ratted me out to your daddy, Scorpius. What kind of arsehole does that?” 

“Shut up.” 

“You! That’s who! You ratted me out, and ruined my date, shit head!” 


“Fucking Mortire!” I yell, jabbing my wand at him, and Scorp’s face suddenly starts to box out, turning grey. “You don’t even care! At least most people would have the decency to apologize! Don’t you have a conscience? What’s wrong with you? You don’t ever smile! You never relax! Fucking uptight arsehole!” 

He stares at me, unable to speak. He looks like a big, grey piece of stone. 

“I prefer you like this,” I say bitterly, “You can’t curse me, you can’t insult me, and you can’t hurt me in any way. Shame you’re expected.” 

Waving my wand, the spell starts to recede, and his head starts to return to its previous shape. I start to walk away before he’s even human looking again, marching off back to Professor Macmillan’s study. 

“Rose,” the man himself says when I return, “Where’s Scorpius?” 

“He’s on his way,” I say tiredly, flinging myself into one of the squishy red armchairs he keeps handy. 

Just then, Scorpius himself pushes open the door and scowls at me. I glare back, with the Granger look firmly in place. 

Take that, you snitching little bugger. 

“Father?” Scorpius says in horror, “What on Earth are you doing here?” 

“I came to reprimand the person you say has been giving you hell,” replies Mr Malfoy, one eyebrow raised. 

“He caught me in Honeydukes,” I say breezily. 

“The basement, Weasley,” Malfoy senior shoots back. 

I wave my hand, like the details are hazy. 

“Your father tells me you sent a message informing him that Rose and some others would be visiting Hogsmeade illegally,” Macmillan tells him, as if he didn’t know. “Is this true?” 

“Y—No,” Scorp says. I whip my head round and stare at him. Is he getting me out of trouble? 

“What did you just say?” Big Malfoy looks horrified. 

“I didn’t send that message. I never said that. I have no idea what’s going on,” Scorpius says. 

I think I’m going to choke. I should curse him more often, if he does this in return. 


“Thank you, Mr Malfoy, for bringing Rose back to Hogwarts. You may go now,” Professor Macmillan firmly insists, “I’ll deal with these two.” 


“Please leave before I have to find someone to escort you off the premises.” 

I love my head teacher. 

As Mr Malfoy sends me one last sneer and leaves, said head teacher rounds on me. 

“Honestly, Miss Weasley, how could you be so irresponsible? Tunnels through the school! My word, so many people could have snuck in and out! All those parties that were seemingly stocked full of sweets make sense...” 

I glaze over, nodding occasionally. 

“Miss Weasley, are you listening?” The Professors voice is suddenly right in my ear. 

“What?” I ask rudely, startled from my reverie. Scorp sniggers. 

“I said, detention with Professor Bell on Tuesday. Be there or the consequences will be serious.” 

I restrain myself from rolling my eyes. “Yes, Professor.” 

“You may leave.” 

I stand up, and notice Scorpius is slouching against the wall, waiting for me to leave. 

As I walk past him, he straightens up, ready to get back to Quidditch. He’s so close I could touch him. I want to apologize for yelling at him. I want to tell him I’m sorry for cursing him. I want to hug him. 

“Move, Weasley,” he hisses, and I realise I’ve paused, my hand on the door. I leave quickly, listening to the sound of his footsteps behind me. 

Back in the common room, Matt legs it across the room to see if I’m okay. 

“I’m fine,” I say, smiling, “Just got detention, that’s all.” 

“I’m so sorry I didn’t go with you,” he apologizes. 

“No, it’s fine, really,” I reply, looking at his eyes. They’re blue, like babies eyes. I look away. 

They’re not the eyes I want to be looking into. 

“I’ll make it up to you,” he promises, “I’ll take you out. I promise.” 

“Thanks,” I say, trying not to look at his eyes. 

I kiss him on the cheek and leave, walking tiredly up to the dorm. Inside, Livi jumps on me. 

“I got asked out!” she yells in my ear. 

“Ow!” I complain, “By who?” 

“Sweet Luke!” she yells, oblivious to the pain she’s causing in my ears, “I got asked out by SWEET LUKE!” 

Caspar emerges from under her bed. “You think your ears are bad, wait until she really gets into it.” 

“Brilliant. I had news for you, but I guess it can wait.” 

“News? I love news! I love news! Tell me some news, Rosie!” Livi sings. I’m stuck between finding her nauseating and sweet. 

“Scorp saved my arse.” 

Caspar chokes on the water she’s drinking. Livi thumps her on the back, looking interested. “Really? How?” 

“He dug me out of a hole. And saved Matt while he was at it. Which is why I only have one detention.” 

Caspar stops spluttering and looks at me with utter disbelief on her face. “No shit? This isn’t something you dreamed up while staring at him?” 



“Besides, that was a one time thing...” 

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