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Typing with wet nails, so forgive mistakes. I'm going out for the first time in agggges, so I painted my nails. Cool? Uh, no. Not me.

The next installment is here, darlings! See you at the bottom...

Problem 23: She’s found me. 

“Rose! Darling, we must talk!” Verity exclaims, completely ignoring the first year I’m tutoring. Yes, I came straight from my detention to the library. So? 

“Verity, I’m busy,” I say through clenched teeth, watching the boy, who’s funnily called Harry, try to make his feather fly by swishing and flicking. He’s failing miserably. No one can say I’m not a good tutor, though; he had a nasty case of acne when he first came to see me. 

“But Rose, darling, I think this boy is meant to leave in two minutes!” she says sickeningly. Trust her to learn my schedule, the nosey cow. 

“Yeah,” I sigh, defeated, “Okay, you can go early, Harry. Back here on the dot. You know the drill.” 

Harry sulks off, carrying his feather. Verity takes his place, taking out parchment and an acid green quill. 

Oh, Merlin. 

“Hi, Rose!” Verity says, her eyebrows raising a little higher into her shocked expression, “How are you today?” 

The quill is flicking away. 

Rose Weasley, the stunning daughter of Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley, undoubtedly two of the most talented sorcerers in history, sits across from me. Having recently returned from an hour tutoring younger, less experienced students, she looks tousled and ready for a good night’s sleep. 
“Hello, Verity,” I sigh, trying not to look too disheartened. 

“Hello,” she says delicately, smiling slightly— 

I am very much not smiling. 

“So Rose, tell me all about Matthew!” 

Cutting straight to the chase then. 

Knowing everything I say will be twisted into a headline, I reluctantly start to speak. 

“Well, Matt is a friend of mine I’ve known for a while now—“ 

“We’ve known each other ages, it was inevitable!” 

“—and I thought he was pretty cute. So I asked him out.” 

“So it’s true you got caught on a romantic escape to Hogsmeade, Rose?” 

“Yes, Verity,” I sigh. 

I would be fine telling no-one anything. Essentially, all I want is to talk to Scorpius all day long. I don’t care how he treats me. That’s what’s so sad about this situation: he can treat me like shit and I’ll still love him. 

...Rose sighs, obviously reminiscing about the day. 

“Is it true that Matthew – or Matt, as he likes to be called – is a good kisser?” 

Oh, God. This will be all over the school. 

“Yes, but—“ 

“But? Matthew Grimsby has his flaws!” Verity announces, and a headline appears on the paper. 

“No, he—“ 

“Matthew is the perfect boyfriend!” she says exuberantly, and the headline changes. 


“Thank you, Rose, that’ll be all!” Verity grins, exposing all her little white teeth. One of them is capped in pink. 

She grabs her ‘article’ and the quill, and pretty much sprints out of the library. I cross my arms on the desk and throw my head down on them, defeated. 

“Transfiguration homework?” Caspar says, appearing by my elbow and taking the seat Verity vacated just moments ago as I open a heavy textbook. 

“Verity,” I mumble. Caspar pats my arm sympathetically. 

“I forget, you left the lesson. No essay for you, then.” 

So there is an upturn to the huge set list I have now crafted. I get to miss one measly essay. 



I raise my head and look her in the eye. “Do you think I’m a twat?” 

She shrugs, as if this is a regular subject. “Depends. When you’re good, you’re good. When you’re a twat, I think that perhaps a silencer would be a good idea.” She cracks a smile. 

“Thanks,” I reply, smiling back. She, Caspar’s, good. She can do anything she sets her mind to, without doing something stupid in the process. Whereas I, in the process of making Scorpius fall in love with me, have done every stupid thing in the book. 

“Rose?” Caspar asks, “What are you going to do about Matt?” 

“I don’t know,” I say, my shoulders slumping. “But it won’t be pretty.” 

“It never is,” she remarks, referring to my previous ‘stable relationships’. 

There was Mark, the sensible guy. I broke up with him after he told me I had a ludicrous obsession with Scorp. 

There was Hot Nathan, who has and always will be hot. We’re still friends, although he owes me a massive favour because I got him together with Cassie Luan. I’ll call it in, someday. 

Harvey, who graduated when I was in fifth year. Dave, who left school to go to Spain with his mum. Aaron, who still has a pair of my pants somewhere. Although, considering he graduated last year, I might never get them back. They were good pants, too. He’s got my virginity, as well. 

“Yeah, well. I know what I want, and they’re not it.” 

Cas raises a perfect eyebrow. “Oh? What if—“ 

“I’m not having this conversation!” I interrupt, “No, I will not be persuaded!” 

She falls silent. Harry comes stalking through the room, and kisses Cas on the cheek. 

“Hi,” Caspar says quietly. 

Caspar and Harry are sickening. Why? Because they’ve been together for four whole years, and they never get bored of each other. 

Right now, they’re gazing into each other’s eyes, a smile on their lips. It’s almost as if they’re one person, cut in half. I bet they’d be a good whole person. Oh, no, wait; they are a bloody good person. Sickeningly good. 

Slamming my book shut, I grab my bag and stalk off. 

There are several things I can do now:
1. Get it over with and dump Matt. How long? A week or so? Rose Weasley, you whore.
2. Hide.
3. Make Livi go flying.
4. Be miserable, because I am. 

I settle for number three, trekking to the common room slowly. It’s hazardous, the road lined with weird little first years and the occasional ghost, but I can struggle through it because I’m a fucking brave Gryffindor. Obviously not brave enough to kiss the boy I want and dump the boy I don’t, but hey. I’m clearly an idiot. 

“Rose!” Someone calls. I turn around to see Roxanne tearing towards me. She does not look good. 

“Holy shit what happened to you?” I gasp, taking in the huge nest of hair, mascara streaked down her cheeks and general soaked appearance. 

“Can we talk?” she begs, dragging me into a classroom and shutting the door. She pauses for breath, struggling to not hyperventilate. I place a hand on her shoulder and she gulps in air. 

“Okay then,” I say slowly, “Care to tell me why you’re running around looking like you’re running from hell?” 

“Well, you know Hot Nathan dumped Cassie?” she says quickly. 


“Oh, God. Don’t you read Verity’s paper?” she asks, before launching into a speech, “Well after that he asked me to kiss him and I was like no and he kissed me anyway and I liked it and—“ 

“Woah, woah, woah!” I cut her off, holding up my hands, “One thing at a time! He asked you to kiss him?” 

Roxy took a deep breath, and I readied myself for bedlam. Roxanne’s story telling abilities were second to none. “I was just walking through the hallways, you know, doing my thing, and he appears by my arm! From nowhere!” She paused for dramatic effect. I noticed there was a bit of pond weed by her ear. 

“And?” I pushed, wanting to know more. What can I say? I like gossip as much as the next. 

“He asked me to take a walk through the grounds with him, to talk,” she starts, “I agreed, and we took this big long tangent to the lake. At which point, standing on that little jetty thing, you know, that wooden thing—“The jetty, I’m guessing. “—and he tucks a strand of my hair behind my ear. Of course, I knew he wanted to kiss me then, because that’s what they all do, right?” 

“Yes?” I guess, not exactly knowing the answer to her possibly rhetorical question. 

She flounders her hands about for a moment, and then sits down on a desk. 

“He asked if he could kiss me. I told him, no, because I barely know him. Totally fine with that, he just kisses me anyway. Oh my Merlin Rose, his lips are so soft. So I was kissing him for a while—“ 

“How long is a while?” I interrupt, and Roxy looks shifty. 

“Oh, I don’t know,” she says airily, “A few minutes?” 

My mouth drops open. She cracks a nervous smile. 

“Okay then,” I try, still absorbing this information. 

“Yeah,” she replies, fidgeting, “Then I pushed him off me, realising how slutty I was being, and stood there for a moment, looking pretty stupid.” 

“This doesn’t tell me why you look like you’ve had a party at the bottom of the lake.” 

Roxanne glares out the window. “Well, he told me to ‘think about it’ – how could I fucking not? – and sort of walked away—“ 

“Funny, I didn’t know you could ‘sort of walk’,” I comment, and Roxanne shoots me a ‘shut it, stupid’ look. 

“—which is when his fan club appeared. He has a fucking fan club!” she continues bitterly, “ And they proceeded to throw me into the lake.” 

“Wow,” I say, pretty astonished. 

“That’s not all. After that they dragged me out, and threatened me not to touch their boy. How psychotic is that?” 

I sit and consider this. “Yep. Psycho as it gets.” 

Roxanne’s shoulders slump and she gazes miserably at the floor. “I genuinely want to kiss him again, though.” 

“Oooh!” I mock, “Roxy’s got a booooooooooooooyfrieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeend!”
She laughs, “Not yet! Just you wait... he’ll be mine by the Halloween ball.” 

She sounded a little too devious for my liking. “If you say so,” I reply, “In which case, I’m having—“ 

“Yes, yes, Scorp,” she sighs, hopping off her desk, “I’m going now. I only wanted sympathy.” 

Great. I’m being used for sympathy. 

She opened the door and toddled off again, pond weed and all. I followed her, carrying on towards Gryffindor tower. I took three steps, and got stopped a-bloody-gain. 

“Rose!” Louis exclaimed, appearing out of a secret passageway behind a tapestry depicting a knight and a pig. Who made these, and what were they smoking? 

“Yes, my darling cousin,” I answer, folding my arms. 

“No need to take that tone!” he growls, dragging me back into the classroom I just vacated and locking the door behind him. He looks exceptionally twitchy. 

“What is it with you cousins and your inability to keep your hands off me?” I grumble, “If you’re using me for sympathy I’m leaving.” 

Louis sits down heavily on a chair, dropping his head into his hands and mumbling something unintelligible. I drop down by him, prising his hands from his face. 

“Repeat that, please?” I ask, and his pupils dilate in fear. “I don’t bite!” 

“No, but... Never mind!” he half-yells in my face, standing up and trying to walk away. I pull him back down. 

“Repeat,” I insist. 

For a moment he fidgets and waves his hands about, casting a silencing spell on the room, and then he takes a deep breath. 

“You’re right,” he says. I grin. 

“Oooh, say that again! What am I right about?” 

“Me being... you know.” 

“Very, extremely, effeminately gay?” 

“Thanks, Rose.” 

“No problem.” 

“I was being sarcastic.” 

Oh. Fine then. I study Louis from where I’m sitting. His usually neatly combed hair is mussed and pushed in several directions, he lips are swollen and his cheeks are flushed. 

“Oh my Merlin,” I breathe, “You’ve been kissing someone. SPILL!” 

Louis winces. “Do you need to yell so loud?” 

I nod enthusiastically. “Who was it?” 

He doesn’t answer. I raise an eyebrow. He raises one back, but it twitches. He’s got an eyebrow spasm! I burst out laughing as he gives up and sighs. 

“Fine, then,” he sulks, “It was lamumbscumunba.” 

He mumbles the last part, so I don’t really hear it. 

“What now?” I ask curiously, “I couldn’t hear that through your mumbles.” 

“Rose, don’t!” Louis moans, “I don’t want to keep repeating it! It was Lorcan Scamander, okay?” 

My face is probably doing that unattractive shocked look again. Lorcan Scamander? 

Lily Potter’s ex-boyfriend? 

“Yes that Lorcan!” Louis says in a frustrated tone, “Lily’s ex! He’s gay and he thinks I am too!” 

“Well... you are,” I say, pulling a ‘duh’ face. 

“But am I?” 

“Yes. Right, now that that’s settled, I was off to the common room to sulk!” I announce, unlocking the door and jumping to my feet. 

“But I’m not done!” Louis protests as I yank open the door. 

“Oh yes,” I reply, “You bloody are.” 

“Rose!” Someone else calls. 

“Fuck off!” I roar, and sprint off to the common room. 

Christ, I hope that wasn’t a Professor. 

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