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.