Looking Glass Part 4

Here it is!  The final installment of the Looking Glass story is finished!  Please enjoy!

Part one

Part two

Part three

Oh, also, before I forget again.  The Dearietta fanfic sequel is in the works.  Just so that you know I haven’t forgotten about it.  Have a mauvelous day!


Maiden Without Hands: Hello guys! How is everyone today? Doing okay?
Thumbelina: Obviously we aren’t okay. We’re here in the first place. And, why do they call you the “maiden without hands” anyway? I mean, you obviously have hands.
Maiden: Yes, well, that is all part of my story. Long ago, there was a young maiden whose father made a deal with a wizard. The wizard gave him riches and the father gave the wizard his daughter. At least, that was supposed to happen. The maiden was resourceful and she purified herself so that the wizard could not take her, but he ordered that her hands be cut off so that he could claim her as her own. Her father did the deed, but she was still too pure for the wizard so he left her to her fate. She knew that she was a freak, so she left town to find someone to love her. She found a king, who had silver hands made for her and married her. Unfortunately, he had to go to battle before he could see his first son born, so his mother sent word that his handless wife had a beautiful baby boy. The messenger who took the note to the king was a lazy, ungrateful servant, so he fell asleep on each of his journeys, allowing the wizard to claim the child was a changeling and that his father wanted the baby and the mother killed. The wife fled with her son to a place where she stayed for seven years, and her hands were allowed to grow anew. When her husband found her, he took her back to the castle lovingly for he now knew that the son was a regular boy and the woman a regular woman with two natural hands.
Princess: Well that’s not such a bad story! You get a happily ever after that the rest of us can only strive for, and yet you come to group therapy?
Maiden: (holds her breath and then suddenly heaves a great sob) He only loves me for my hands! When I didn’t have hands, he pitied me, but he didn’t ever love me! If I had never re-grown my hands, he might have killed me sooner or later. He even flirted with me before he knew I was his wife, at the cottage. How many other girls did he flirt with while he was in battle? Did he dread coming back to find me? Oh, I’m a wreck!
Rumplestiltskin: You think? Maybe you should have gone to marriage counseling instead! (he cackles suddenly and loudly and everyone is silent while his laugh slowly fades back to the quiet laughing he’s been doing since the scene started)
Mirror: Um, Rumplestiltskin? It’s your turn.
Rumplestiltskin: Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. My name is no longer Rumplestiltskin. That was a bad name. Yes, very bad; very very very very very bad. No I do not like that name. I have no name, for then, no one can know it! (He subsides into another fit of laughter, The MIRROR gives him “a look” and he calms down) Once there was a little girl who was forced by the King to spin very much straw into gold. She was a simple girl and clueless too, so she gave Rumplestiltskin all of the precious things she owned for him to do it for her. Yes, he knew very well and he helped her a very much. He requested that she give him her first child once she ran out of riches and she agreed, so he came to take the baby when it was born, it would have made a lovely stew, but the girl had such a hissy fit that clever Rumplestiltskin told her she could keep the baby if she could guess his name. She guessed every name in the kingdom, but they were all wrong. When old Rumplestiltsken was celebrating his victory, he sung his name aloud so that a servant heard him and carried it to the girl. She even pronounced it right! So poor Rumplestiltskin never got his child stew (eyes GRETEL).
Princess: How touching. My story involves actual pain. Real pain, not the kind you sissies are all whining about(general noises of dissent). In a kingdom not too far from here, there was a picky prince who absolutely couldn’t find a perfect bride. He looked at every princess, but none of them were real princesses. Then, one stormy night, a princess came to the castle soaking wet and no one believed she’d be a real princess, but they gave her a test none the less. They gave her twenty of the world’s softest mattresses to sleep on as well as twenty quilts, but they put a pea under them all. The poor thing was kept awake all night by that wretched pea. But she was a real princess, and she’d been to princess boot camp. She knew how to ignore the pain and use it to her advantage. Heck, I still have back problems, but do I whine about it? No. They put the horrid thing in the royal museum because it was the mark of my princessness but have I tried to break into the museum and mash it to a pulp using the Queen’s wheelchair? Only once! You need to be resilient, ladies! No one can be a princess without being tough. You are all just a load of wussies compared to me.
Mirror: Thank you for sharing. I’m sure it feels great to get that off your chest!
Princess: Actually, it didn’t. I cannot be a real princess without pain. I’d be just like old Rapunzel. (at this, a roar of dissent erupts from the crowd. A fist fight breaks out and everyone is out of their chairs wildly attacking one another)
Duck: Hey! Listen up! I haven’t gotten to tell my story yet! I’m tired of being overshadowed! I mean, my little brother was born the ugliest thing and now he’s so pretty that my mother doesn’t even think about me anymore! My brother’s not even my brother. He’s a swan and the rest of us are all ducks. Someone just dropped him off on our doorstep and we raised him in the cupboard under the stairs. And I’m not as good as him at sports, so my dad doesn’t love me as much either. And my girlfriend broke up with me for him. And all of my friends decided I wasn’t popular enough anymore so they all left to hang out with him. And my great uncle Charlie just re-wrote his will so that I only get his spare toothbrush stash but my brother gets his mansion. Hey! Listen to me! (no one acknowledges that they’ve heard him) Mirror! Make them listen to me!
Mirror: You know what? Maybe I have problems too! Maybe I’d like someone to ask me how I’m feeling once in a while instead of “Who’s prettiest?” and “Who’s best?” Do you know how much pressure I’m under on a daily basis? I’m not allowed to lie, but people always ask questions they don’t want to hear the answer to, so guess who gets blamed? Me, that’s who. (nobody has stopped fighting now and they are not listening to the mirror) I’d like to get up and punch every one of you in the face right now, but I’m just a mirror and I can’t do anything to you!
Red’s Mom: (adding much more hand sanitizer) Maybe we should all just end this so we can go home and worry about ourselves and no one else?
Mirror: Okay! Everyone repeat after me: Therapy is pointless for fictional characters.
All: Therapy is pointless for fictional characters.
Mirror: And being in a Fairy tale is not all it’s cracked up to be.
All: And being in a fairy tale is not all it’s cracked up to be.
The End

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Looking Glass Part 3

Here is part 3 of the Looking Glass Saga.

Part one: Looking Glass Upon the Wall, Who’s the Craziest of Us All?

Part two: Looking Glass Part 2

Enjoy!  I think there’s one more after this one.


Gretel: (takes a deep breath and then her words come out softly and slowly) There was a time when a terrible famine filled the land and a selfish mother drug her two children out to the woods to starve where they almost died because a witch tried to eat them but they escaped and their mother died instead because she didn’t have anything to eat but the evil witch had lived in a house made out of candy so the children had all the food they wanted after they baked the witch in her own oven. (stands up and yells) So ha Mother! We survived and you didn’t! (sits back down quietly) I’m done.

Emperor: I think I’ll leave now (starts to get up). I really could do with a quick bite to eat.
Gretel: (yelling again) I told my story, so you can tell yours! (once again sits down quietly)
Emperor: Okay then. Well, here goes. In a land very far from here, there was an Emperor who was unfortunately vain. He was also far too trusting. You know what? I shouldn’t be telling any of this to you because how do I know you won’t tell my subjects? How do I know you aren’t planning to assassinate my pride again? I mean I managed to hush it up the first time, but you could have a riot on my hands. Every one of you could be a spy just waiting to tell my subjects all about me. Or maybe you still think I’m gullible to fall for the “magical cloth” gig. You’ll tell me “only the worthy people can see it” and then you’ll run off with my gold and watch me parade around stark naked in front of all of my subjects. I most certainly will not. I know now that hoaxes like that are everywhere and everyone is waiting to pounce. If I feel like going on a cruise, I’ll darn well pay for it myself; I don’t need your fancy deals. No, thank you, I will most certainly not talk about my past.
Mirror: Mr. Emperor, with all due respect, this is a therapy group. Everyone is here to relieve their own problems, not to care about anyone else’s. And seeing as the group dynamic here seems to be extremely self-centered, it is highly likely that no one else here even cares about you.
Emperor: But how do I know that? You’re a blabby little mirror, you could tell anyone anything. Aren’t you the one who told the queen that the pretty little princess was still alive? I don’t trust you. Or any of the rest of you for that matter. (Stands up) Good bye. (exits stage left)
Thumbelina: Good. Now it’s my turn. I’ll say what I want to, and you can’t make me shut up, so there’s no use in trying. Just because I’m little doesn’t mean you can push me around. I mean, I am already happily married, thank you very much. I mean, like, I married a little fairy man, so I don’t need to marry no rich moles or ugly little frog spawn, because I do what I want. See this tattoo? I got that one after I escaped from the frog that thought I’d be a good match for her baby. It has a picture of an ugly frog and it says “Frogs are so gross.” I stick my tongue out at it every morning because that way I don’t have to come in contact with Mrs. Uglyfrog again but I can still show her who’s boss. I mean, I’m not afraid of her or anyone else, but she could’ve eaten me whole. Oh, and see this one? Yeah I got that after I got away from the nasty blind little mole who was absolutely nothing like me. He forced me to live in these stupid little claustrophobic tunnels and pretend I liked him. And he was blind, like, gro-oss.
Stepsister #1: Hey! You got a problem with blind people, you little punk?
Thumbelina: Actually, yeah, I do. I don’t wear dark eyeliner so that I can live in a tunnel. I wear it because it helps me stand out in the light. But you ain’t blind, are ya? Anyway, my tattoo from the mole says “can’t buy me love” and it has a picture of a tuxedo because little blind mole always wore velvet suits that sooooo cramped my style. Then, there was this bird that fell in love with me and I told it to scram so that I could marry my fairy husband and I did. So there. You can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do.
Red’s Mom: You should respect your elders, deary.
Thumbelina: I don’t think I will, sorry.
Red’s Mom: If I was your mother… That is beside the point. It is my turn to tell my story. Once, a mother had a little girl who she loved very much. The girl grew into a young woman, and her grandmother sewed for her a beautiful red riding cloak. The girl loved it so much that she never wore anything else. (she begins to cry) My little baby girl never took off the cloak. She never washed it because she didn’t want it to get wet and shrink. She was so filthy that she caught the Plague and died! She literally wore it into the belly of a wolf and survived, so why did my brave little girl have to die of plague? Why? (She compulsively spreads hand sanitizer on her hands and composes herself) I’m sorry. I am finished.

Looking Glass Part 2

This is continued from the original post Looking Glass Upon The Wall, Who’s the Craziest of Us All.  This still isn’t the end; like I said, it’s kind of long.  Hope you like it.


Rapunzel: Personal opinion: you just told that story for sympathy. (STEPSISTER #1 starts to interrupt) Oh no, it’s my turn now. You guys took forever. Besides, you have no idea what it means to be tortured in the name of fashion. Plus you need to listen to other people’s stories. (RAPUNZEL takes STEPSISTER #1’s phone and chucks it at the wall. STEPSISTER #1 is stunned) Oh, and you don’t know anything about how to tell fairy tales.(clears her throat dramatically) There was once a poor man and his wife who desperately wanted a child, but they went about stealing from an evil witch next door to make it happen. When the baby was born, she was the most beautiful thing the world has ever seen (flips her long hair over her shoulder), so the witch locked her up in a tower for the first sixteen years of her life. The poor girl got prettier and prettier and her hair grew long enough to use as a ladder so the witch climbed it to get into the tower when she visited, and completely damaged the beautiful golden locks. The girl was constantly trying to find the best hair products to buy online, but none of them delivered to her tower. Eventually, the girl got so upset with the sorry state of her hair that she ran away with an exceptionally attractive King’s son who had been visiting her and nourished her hair back to its full health away from the tower. This was really a very extraordinary feat as her hair had so many split ends from the witch’s neglect of it. Once she was at an address that UPS could find, she had access to all of the hair products she could want, but it still took her a couple of years to have completely perfect hair again. Not to mention how it completely ruined my chances of making the cover of Vogue. I mean, I did make it, but it was only twice. Anyway, now I have PTSD from it and it’s all that horrid woman’s fault.
Emperor: UPS? Is that an assassin group? What’s PTSD?
Stepsister #1: OMG! Just because it’s an acronym doesn’t mean it’s a government conspiracy!
Emperor: What’s OMG.
Rapunzel: (rolls her eyes) You are so obnoxious.
Red’s Mother: What a vain girl! You should feel lucky you had so much! If you don’t like your hair being damaged, then cut it short.
Rapunzel: Eww! Short hair is sooo not in this year! Do you even care about fashion? I mean, your outfit is really six seasons ago. There is no way you can wear that much pressed clothing all at once, you need to distress some of it. Make it look a little messy, you know? (RED’S MOTHER lets out a short whimper and quickly applies hand sanitizer)
Mirror: That’s enough! It is the Prince’s turn, and we will all listen to what he has to say now.
Prince:(who has been oogling at RAPUNZEL for the past few minutes) What?
Mirror: It’s your turn to share.
Prince: Oh. Oh, right. Well, um (makes voice deep and manly to catch RAPUNZEL’s attention) Once, there was a beautiful King’s daughter who had been cursed at birth so that she fell into a deep sleep when she was fifteen. It was a rather long and drawn out story that doesn’t really matter to me anywho, so just know that she’s been asleep for one hundred years at this point in the story. Many King’s sons had tried to get through the thorns that surrounded her kingdom, but to no avail. There was a young Prince – that’s me (his deep voice cracks on the word me and he coughs with embarrassment, RAPUNZEL rolls her eyes) – who heard his grandfather speak of this mysterious thorn hedge, and so he set off to uphold his family honor and try to shove through just like his father and his grandfather before him had done. He didn’t really intend to make it, but the thorns miraculously turned to blossoms when he walked up to them, so great was his charm (flashes a not-so-covert look at RAPUNZEL). He walked through and found the entire kingdom simply dropped off to sleep. He was very much enjoying his adventure, so he boldly decided to search for the princess, all the while thinking that she would probably be quite the sight; not so much beautiful as old. However, when he got to the tower, he found that she was not old as he had expected but rather looked much the same as she must have when she fell asleep, so he thought she was merely a spirit. To make sure, he swiftly bent down and kissed her. Her lips were as soft as a kitten made of velvet, and the prince decided she would make a good girlfriend. She instantly awoke, and the two were wed that evening. It all moved a little too quickly for the prince’s liking. He was more of a Landon Austin “we can take it slow” kind of guy. Unless the princess in question was hot. The next morning, the young Prince looked into the face of his bride and discovered that she had aged a great deal since their wedding. He decided it must be exhaustion from being awake after so long and gave it no thought. Soon after, he went into battle and when he came home two months later, burlier and manlier than ever, the princess he’d married was replaced by the old woman he had expected right from the start. (voice switches to super whiny and kind of high pitched) Now I have to change her adult diapers and feed her and help her walk everywhere and it’s awful! I don’t want to be wed to someone who could be my great grandma! Especially when she walks around saying things like (covers his teeth with his lips) “Will you grab my walker, sweetheart?” and “How was your day honey? I knitted you a new scarf for battle!” (loses the charade) I’d much rather be married to Rapunzel! (Drops down on one knee in front of her) Will you marry me? (RAPUNZEL looks up from her nails to raise an eyebrow at him then returns to admiring herself)
Mirror: Oh, for heaven’s sake! Get off the floor!
Prince: Sorry.

Looking Glass Upon the Wall, Who’s the Craziest of Us All?

This is a little long so I’m going to put it up in a few posts, but it’s essentially a group therapy session of different fairy tale characters.  Also, it’s in the form of a script, so everything in parenthesis is something the characters are doing, and the bold names with colons show who is talking.  Just in case you’ve never read a script.  Enjoy!


 

(Scene opens on group therapy session. 12 chairs sit in a circle closed by a MIRROR on the wall.  In the first chair sits STEPSISTER #1 followed in order by STEPSISTER #2, RAPUNZEL, PRINCE, GRETEL, EMPEROR, THUMBELINA, RED’S MOTHER, MAIDEN WITHOUT HANDS, RUMPLESTILTSKIN, PRINCESS and a DUCK.  The stepsisters are both wearing beautiful gowns and extremely comfortable shoes.  STEPSISTER #1 is also wearing hipster glasses.  RAPUNZEL is wearing a very modern evening gown and her hair and makeup are immaculate; she looks very snooty and vain.  The PRINCE is wearing a medieval getup that he clearly thinks makes him look rather attractive; he especially cavorts about in front of RAPUNZEL.  GRETEL is a young girl wearing a simple ratted dress; she has dark shadows under her eyes and her hair is untidy, she looks like a caged animal.  The EMPEROR is bundled up in an entirely unnecessary amount of very opaque clothing so that only his face is visible; he is very paranoid and his eyes are shifty.  THUMBELINA is dressed punk rocker style.  She is very small but looks extremely defiant; she is very rebellious.  RED’S MOTHER is wearing an apron over a plain but smart skirt and she does not appear to have a speck of dust on her; she is holding a bottle of hand sanitizer and occasionally applies some.  The MAIDEN WITHOUT HANDS is sitting with her arms crossed in her lap; she is also dressed simply but elegantly and her sleeves are very long.  RUMPLESTILTSKIN is dressed in genie-like garb with a turban and billowy pants; he is rocking quietly back and forth and laughing quietly to himself.  The PRINCESS is sitting with her back ramrod straight but she has an expression of agony on her face, but she is very strong looking and very tough.  She is wearing a militaristic outfit and a very dainty tiara.  The DUCK  is constantly preening his feathers and looking jealously at RAPUNZEL.  There is nothing abnormal about him; he is average in every respect.  Group is in the progress of opening the session)

Mirror: (very bored) All right group, let’s say our pledge.

All: (varying degrees of enthusiasm) I have gone through some tough circumstances (MAIDEN: Most certainly), but you have gone through worse. (STEPSISTER #2: Maybe) But I won’t yell at you or laugh at you. (RUMPLESTILTSKEN: no guarantees) I will respect your words and your story (THUMBELINA: Unless it’s stupid), and I hope you will respect mine.  I give you my word.  Unhappy Endings Anonymous will support you.

Mirror: Very good.  Now we all know why we’re here, but let’s give a brief introduction to ourselves and our story.  To make this as minimally stressful as possible, each of us will tell our story in the form of a fairy tale, understood? (murmured assent) Good.  Let’s start with the stepsisters.

Stepsister #1: Well, it all started with the stupid little brat who lived at my house.

Stepsister #2: Excuse you!  It is our house, and we are supposed to tell our story in fairy tale style!  Besides, what if I wanted to tell it?

Stepsister #1: You know what, fine.  Maybe I don’t even want to tell the stupid story anyway!  Only little kids like story time. (pulls out iPhone) Popular people just use Twitter.  Go ahead you little fobbing beef-witted mammet!

Stepsister #2: Don’t even!  You’re just a spongy ill-nurtured canker-blossom!

Stepsister #1: Oh yeah?  Well you’re a infectious toad-spotted codpiece!

Mirror: We do not call anyone names in this group ladies!

Duck: Although, to be fair, they were pretty good insults. (No one responds.  It’s as if they didn’t hear the DUCK) Wow.  Thanks for acknowledging me.

Stepsister #1: Hmph. (contents herself to sticking her tongue out at her sister then stubbornly sits clutching her iPhone.  She occaisionally reacts to something on the screen, but appears to tune out the rest of the conversation.)

Mirror: Um… Miss?  We don’t seclude ourselves in this session.  You need to get off your phone. (ad lib. more as STEPSISTER #1 stubbornly ignores him.) Fine, (turns to STEPSISTER  #2) you can continue with your story.

Stepsister #2: Alrighty, here goes.  Once upon a time…

Thumbelina: Oh puh-lease, get real.  No one actually uses that phrase in fairy tales anymore.  It’s so cliché.

Stepsister #1: The word we use now is mainstream.  Cliché became too cliché years ago.

Thumbelina: I say what I want!  Anyway, you should probably use something more like “On a dark and stormy night.”  That gives more intensity, you know.

Stepsister #1: Um, that’s pretty mainstream too.

Stepsister #2: Yeah, whatever. So once upon a time, there was a little girl born into the world who was so wretched that the sight of her like, killed her poor mother.  Her super nice father like, pitied the evil little girl or something, so he married again so that she would have like, a proper mother and sisters to love her.  Unfortunately, he didn’t see the girl for what she was: a witch.  The wife and daughters saw it though, so they took it upon themselves to keep her busy so that she could never like, develop her sorcery or whatever.  They made her sleep in the cinders as a reminder of what they could do to her if she used her magic, and so called her Cinderella.  There came a time when the wife and daughters were invited to a ball so that I could become the super hot prince’s princess.

Stepsister #1: (finally looks up from her phone)Actually, I was the one who was going to get the Prince, just FYI.

Emperor: What does “F-Y-I” mean?  Is that a conspiracy against the government?

Stepsister #1: How am I supposed to know?  It means like, “just so you know”, you know?

Stepsister #2: (talking over STEPSISTER #1) When the wife and her daughters arrived, there was a super gorgeous chick there and she was so pretty that the stupid prince wouldn’t talk to anyone else! Anyways, when the girl left the ball, she fled to the mother’s house, and the mother and daughters knew right away that it was Cinderella using her witchy powers.  Naturally, we – they – couldn’t let the poor prince like, marry the girl, so they took measures to like, win his heart.  The Prince had found one of Cinderella’s bewitched shoes and declared that whoever’s foot fit into them would be his bride.  The oldest sister tried the shoe on first but her big toe wouldn’t fit.  Usually, she would have grudgingly let it go to someone else – moi, but she could not afford for the shoe to fall into the hands of Cinderella, so she cut off her toe.  “After all” her mother said, “you won’t need it when you are queen.  Never mind that queens aren’t supposed to be disfigured, no one would ever see you in public without the finest slippers covering your toes.”

Stepsister #1: (shrugs) YOLO. (winces)

Emperor: If you say one more secret coded conspiracy, I’m leaving.

Stepsister #1: Chillax!  It means “You Only Live Once.”

Emperor: Is that a threat?

Stepsister #2: Guys, I’m not done. (STEPSISTER #1 rolls her eyes and goes back to her phone.  EMPEROR keeps sneaking accusatory glances at STEPSISTER #1) Where was I?  Right, the first sister. She put on the shoe and walked into the prince’s waiting arms and the two set off to enjoy their happily married life together.  Unfortunately, Cinderella like, bewitched some little birds to sing to the prince and let him know that there was like, a little bit of blood on her shoe, because he hadn’t noticed.

Stepsister #1: It wasn’t that much blood, and besides, you shouldn’t reject a woman who was willing to sacrifice her toe for you.  That shows dedication.  Obviously, I was meant for the prince, he was just under that stupid little witchy spell.

Stepsister #2: Admittedly, the prince was not the brightest match in the box, but he sure was hot…  Anyway, he took the first perfectly eligible daughter back to the house to get his real princess – that would be moi.  The younger daughter’s heel was the slightest bit too big for the painfully tiny shoe, so she used the knife to like, trim off the edges and concealed the blood in her shoe.  After all, a girl must do whatever is necessary for the name of fashion and love.  Then she went with the prince to enjoy her life forever with him.  They chatted about like, everything under the sun as the luxurious carriage rolled away.  The prince was so lost in the beautiful maiden’s eyes that he would never have noticed the little bit of blood on her foot if it hadn’t been for dreadful Cinderella’s interference.  The bewitched little birds once again alerted the poor prince that his bride-to-be was bleeding, so he took her home.  Seriously?  I mean, the slippers were glass.  It’s not like a little bit of blood could have done anything to them.  Just take some Windex to it, honestly.  Then, Cinderella bewitched him and ran away with him forever.  The stepsisters decided to be really like, mature about the whole situation, so they went to the wedding celebrations to prove that they were totally over the prince.  After all, his best man was the prince of the next kingdom over.  But Cinderella just couldn’t get over the fact that she needed witchy powers to get a guy’s attention and we didn’t.  So she sent her little witchy birds to come pluck our eyes out.  It was like, the most traumatic thing ever.  Seriously, talk about overreacting, geez.

Rapunzel: Umm, you don’t look like your eyes have been plucked out to me.

Stepsister #2: Well, yeah.  We had reconstructive surgery, duh.

 

Yay for Fanfic!

This is a little Harry Potter fanfic I wrote.  It’s completely “K” rated, so no worries there.  I do not own any of the characters; they are all J. K. Rowling’s.


 

One glance in the mirror was enough to assure me that it was going to be one of those days.  My head looked like it was on fire on account of the disobedient state of my flaming red hair.  My face was broken out again, and I could swear I could still see the shadow of “SNEAK” emblazoned on my cheeks.  I never had pimples before Hermione Granger put that awful spell on me.  I felt about as gross as I looked.  A dull throb had settled in the back of my head and my eyes ached from lack of sleep.  I was seriously considering digging out my stash of Puking Pastilles and staying in bed all day.

As I contemplated my course of action, Cho waltzed into the room, towel drying her sleek black hair.  She was humming something under her breath, but it didn’t sound like much of a tune at all.

“Marrietta!”  She shrieked, dropping the towel and running over to grip me in a crushing hug.  “You won’t believe what happened at Quidditch practice this morning!  I was flying around the higher stands, you know, just for fun.  It wasn’t like there was a whole lot for me to do or anything.  The Seeker never has to do anything at practice.  Anyway, Michael flew up there and started talking to me, until everyone yelled for him to get back down there, of course, but he was totally going to ask me to Hogsmeade on Valentine’s day.  I just know it.”  At this point I tuned her out and flopped back into bed.  I was definitely going with the Puking Pastilles today.  My best friend had an eye out for the fabulous Michael Corner, which meant that I had the utmost privilege of listening to every petty detail of it.  She couldn’t have bestowed her kindness on a more ungrateful subject.

“Hey, Marietta.  You can’t ignore me now!  I have something really important to tell you.” Her eyebrows were drawn together, and her bottom lip was sticking out just the tiniest of bits.  She seemed genuinely put out.  Ordinarily I would have listened to her, but I was so fed up that I just threw a pillow at her instead.  She caught it with the precision honed by years of being a Seeker.

“Like what?” I mumbled into the pillow.

“Michael told me that you guys had a big test in Ancient Runes today that he had to do some last minute studying for.  I didn’t see you cramming last night, for Ancient Runes anyway, so my guess is you forgot.  Right?”  I groaned and buried my head deeper in my pillow.  I had, predictably, forgotten all about one of the biggest Ancient Runes tests I’d have all year.  I’d studied early, like a good Ravenclaw, but I forgot to review it.  Apparently, I would not be skipping class today.  Reluctantly, I struggled out of bed and into the shower.

The torrents of warm water soothed my headache and gave my mind the refreshment that it needed to wake up.  I stole a few seconds of bliss, just letting the water wash over me.  Finally, I turned off the shower and kicked into motion.  I threw on some clothes, struggled in vain to tug a brush through my snarly hair, and grabbed my books.  A quick glance at my watch confirmed that I was going to have to sneak a muffin into the library for breakfast.

Madam Pince wasn’t at her desk as I edged into the library, muffin precariously nestled in my bag with books braced around it to protect it.  It wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t have time for better.  I could hear  indignant shouts from somewhere in the back of the library, so I snuck as quietly as possible to my usual table in the back.  Most people didn’t use the library enough to even know that my little nook was there.  It was tucked behind a bookshelf of obscure volumes with titles such as “The Unrealized Magical Properties of Medieval Court Jesters” and “Dressing Like a Muggle: It’s as Easy as Skinning a Cat”.  Needless to say, it wasn’t often that I got a visitor.

I was just brushing the last muffin crumbs off my lips as I heard footfalls meandering toward me.  Whoever it was clearly had no inclination of the dangerous consequences of making so much noise in the lair of Madam Pince.  I pushed a book aside to peek through the shelf only to see Dean Thomas staring back at me.  If it weren’t for six years of instinctively swallowing all speech when Pince was in earshot, I would have screamed.  As it was, I could barely suppress a gasp.

“So” he said conversationally as he rounded the bookshelf, “I thought I might find you back here.”  I pressed a finger to my lips with as much urgency as I could manage, forgetting to wonder how he knew about this spot.  He put up his hands in surrender and sat down across from me, spilling his books over the table.  I deliberately pushed them off my work and glared up at Dean.

“What do you want?” I whispered, leaning toward him.

“Me?”  He said in a dramatic stage whisper.  “I want to study.”  He sat back, regarding me like he was about to burst into laughter.

“I don’t need company.” I mumbled under my breath, returning to my studying.

“Maybe not.” Said Dean, leaning forward.  “But you do need a date to Hogsmeade in a week.”  I looked up so quickly that the last traces of my headache flared in annoyance.

“What is that supposed to mean?” I hissed massaging my temples.  He raised an eyebrow.

“I’m asking you on a date, Edgecombe.” He said, a grin of amusement growing on his face. “That is, unless you’d rather watch Cho and that atrocious Michael Corner snog in the corner while you sip butterbeer?”

“Why would I go on a date with someone who calls me ‘Edgecombe’ and insults my best friend?”  I said, my voice rising in agitation.  The instant I realized it, I sank in my chair, listening for the lethal click of Madam Pince’s high heels.  Dean chuckled under his breath and stood up, scooping his books into his bag in one fell swoop.

“I’ll let you think about it.”  He said, as he ducked around the bookshelf.  For a second, I sat, dumbfounded before I got up to stalk after him.  There was no way I was going to let him leave without hearing a piece of my mind.  I caught a flash of his robes as he rushed out of the library, hitched my bag up on my shoulder, and ran after him.

“Dean!” I shouted when I saw him talking with Seamus Finnigan.  He turned to face me, and for a second his face was filled with disappointment before he plastered on his arrogant smile.

“That was a quick decision.” He said, slipping his arm around my shoulders.  “Where are we going to go?”  I shrugged his arm off and turned to give him my hastily prepared speech.  I was a good ten inches shorter than him, but he cringed almost imperceptibly at my accusatory glare.  Seamus gave Dean a quick wave and headed off.

“First of all, if I go to Hogsmeade with you,” I found myself saying, “You will have to show myself and everyone else infinitely more respect in the next week.  Secondly, you will have to go the entire date without calling me Edgecombe or dissing me.  You aren’t allowed to down talk any of my friends either.  Got it?”  I could hardly believe the words coming out of my mouth.  Had I really just almost agreed to go to Hogsmeade with Dean Thomas?  Even so, as he waved and walked away, I couldn’t help but think that I could’ve done much worse.

 

The Ancient Runes test turned out to be a mess.  My mind stubbornly refused to forget about the issue of Dean Thomas.  When the bell rang at the end of class, I turned in my shoddy test as quickly as possible and rushed out to find Cho.

As it turned out, Cho already knew.

“Oh yeah.”  She shrugged as we joined the stream headed to lunch. “He asked me where he could find you, and I figured the only two options would be your room or the library.”

“And you told him?” I balked.  Suddenly this whole business was really starting to terrify me.

“Well yeah.”  Cho said, feigning ignorance to my continued complaints.  “I mean, he’s liked you for forever; he might as well get up his Gryffindor courage to ask you.”

“He actually likes me?” I asked incredulously.  “His invitation made me feel like quite the charity case.  Like he was laughing behind my back.”

“Yeah.”  Cho sighed. “That was rather rude of him, wasn’t it?  It was probably Ginny Weasley’s fault.  I don’t blame her, she certainly doesn’t try to attract all of that attention.  I mean, she’s part of the reason that Harry and I fell apart.  Not that I regret it or anything.  We just weren’t right for each other, you know?  And she did break up with Dean not very long ago.  I bet she was getting to him.  Poor guy.  You know, she dated Michael too for a little bit.  I had better make sure that she didn’t do anything wicked to him.”  The rest of the walk to the Dining Hall consisted of incessant chattering from Cho about Michael Corner.

When we reached the Hall, I decided that I really wasn’t hungry.  My headache was nagging, and I really didn’t want to deal with Dean again.

“You go on ahead.” I told Cho. “I’m going to go take a nap.”

“But you have to eat something!”  She protested.  I just shook my head and turned to head back to the dormitory.

Once I got past the main corridor, the stream of students changed to a trickle, and eventually I was completely alone.  My head was beginning to feel as if it might hatch a Hungarian Horntail at any minute, so I stopped to rest it on the cool stone wall.  I was so absorbed in my thoughts that I didn’t hear the footsteps behind me until I felt a hand on my shoulder.

I whirled around to see Dean’s friend Seamus looking concerned.

“Alright there?” He asked, brow knitted in worry.

“I’m, oh yes, I’m fine.” I stammered, pressing a hand to my forehead.

“Okay.” Seamus said, not looking at all convinced.  “I just wanted to tell you that that was a good thing you did.  For Dean, I mean.”  I looked at him in bewilderment. “I just mean,” He continued, “that he was… well, he needed it, that’s all.”

“Needed what?” I asked, unable to make any connection around the blade in my head.

“I… Nevermind.”  He said, “don’t worry about it.”

Naturally, I spent the remainder of my trudging to the dormitory trying to work out what Seamus had said.  I remembered that utter defeat I’d seen in Dean’s eyes this morning, and couldn’t help feeling a connection.  Eventually, I found myself facing the eagle knocker at the top of Ravenclaw tower.

“What ever is the matter, dear Miss Edgecombe?” It asked conversationally.

“I don’t understand my life at the moment.” I sighed.

“I’m terribly sorry to hear that Miss Edgecombe.  I know of another young woman who didn’t understand her life, her name was Elinor Dashwood.  Do you know of her?”

Sense and Sensibility.” I said automatically.  Jane Austin’s works were a highlight of my wonky bookshelf in the library.

“Yes, that’s right.”  The knocker said, its usual trace of a witty smile returning to its voice.  “Do you remember what happened to straighten out her confusion?”

“She married Edward.”  I sighed.  Why did everything have to keep coming back to romance and love?

“Just a thought.” The knocker said as it swung inward.