Of Harry stupid Potter, Parvati stupid Patil, the Yule stupid Ball, a most disgruntled Ginevra Weasley, broken feet, erected towers, magazines for witches, double meanings of flashes of green light, and complete loads of rubbish.

Disclaimer: The magical universe is not mine; in fact, all that really is mine are Mandresta Brown (no relation to Lavender), Matilda Swendrake, Linda Debenham, Erected Towers and Flooding Dungeons: Romances of the Castle Bulithgardinateldar, and Witches Against Snitches. Otherwise, all is J.K. Rowling's. Steal and suffer…suffer…er, suffer the immense pain of GUILT because I can't do ANYTHING to you besides leave you reviews with MANY EXCLAMATION POINTS. But I won't ever do that, and won't mind much anyhow, so I don't particularly care if you steal things.


"Ow", Ginny grumbled, hobbling back to her dormitory. Ooh, she had known this evening was going to be bad. She had just known. As soon as Harry stupid Potter had asked Parvati stupid Patil to the Yule stupid Ball, she had known that this evening was going to be absolutely, horribly terrible. And, oh, how right she was. How everlastingly right. Ow.

Neville Longbottom, she thought dismally, hopping up the rest of the stairs with the helping hand of the banister, was a useless nincompoop, to use language that would belong inside a school. She didn't particularly hold it against him that he couldn't do Switching Spells, per se, but she did mind having a bumbling prat bounce and bobble around her during the entire evening and consistently let his stupid heels descend on her unsuspecting and quite innocent toes. Occasionally, though, his heels seemed to realize that they were not appreciated by her toes, and they moved on to other parts of her feet. Ginny had no doubt whatsoever that, if she had tripped and fallen, he would have accidentally walked on her face.

"Bugger," Ginny said, with feeling, as she tripped over the dangling hem of her dress robes and flew forward, her chin just barely missing the edge of the marble and very unyielding stairs. "Bugger, bugger, bugger!"

The first door on the left creaked open, and an inquiring second-year stuck her head out, looking irritably sympathetic.

"Oh, hi, Ginny…you okay?"

"Yes," Ginny snapped, picking herself up and limping down the hall. "I am fine. I am so fine that I will shortly be shoving your doorknob through your abdomen."

The girl looked blandly blank, and Ginny rounded on her uncharitably. "That means go away!"

Startled, the girl jumped, and withdrew quickly into her room, slamming the door. Ginny could hear a faint mutter of "what crawled up her bum and died tonight", but she chose not to start slamming her fists into the door and demanding that the girl take it back or ELSE, in all capitals. Instead, she continued her trek down the hall, thinking about obscene things and planning revenge.

…revenge which would, most likely, consist of a few evil glares at Neville Longbottom's unoffending back, but still, revenge.

Still in a foul mood, Ginny pushed the door to her own dormitory open and noticed with much satisfaction that none of her roommates pounced on her and asked her for stupid details of the stupid ball which had been a stupid idea anyway. They merely looked up from their shared copy of Witches Against Snitches, the ultimate magazine that revealed all secrets of tearing one's men away from Quidditch, and one that Ginny used to pore over religiously.

…Used to, of course, until about two years ago or so, when she had stopped being so completely immature, and when she had been—

Oh, sod it, all right, she had been reading it just before Ron blundered into the common room and told her that he had asked Fleur Delacour to the Yule stupid Ball. So what. It wasn't as if…

Okay, so yes, it was. But still. At that moment, Ginny felt no desire whatsoever to take a running leap onto the bed on which the magazine lay enthroned so that she could riffle through it in a most Hermione-esque manner, except with passion.

Instead, she glared at her roommates, thundered over to her bed, threw herself onto her stomach, ignoring her unfortunately now wrinkled dress robes and the scolding voice of her mother that kept nagging at her to take the robes off neatly and hang them up; after all, money didn't grow on trees, and listlessly waggled her feet in the air.

"Have a lovely time, Gin?" Mandresta Brown asked lightly, turning a page of the magazine. "How's Harry?"

"Who is Harry?" Ginny growled grumpily, kicking off her shoes and feeling vaguely pleased when she heard the crack of a heel against Mandresta's mirror.

"Gin, you idiot!" Mandresta yelped, pulling out her wand. "Reparo!"

"Honestly," Matilda Swendrake tutted, running a hand through her very curly and consequently very tangly hair. "You have got to find a different way of expressing your emotions."

"Oh, talk like the thirteen-year-old you are, won't you?" Ginny snapped. "You're ridiculous, you know that?"

"Ginny, calm down," Linda Debenham sighed from her four-poster. She was the only one in that dormitory that was not completely obsessed with Witches Against Snitches, but she took infinite pleasure in what Ginny considered infinitely worse: weirdly, supposedly erotic stories of love and passion. The title that had amused Ginny the most had been Erected Towers and Flooding Dungeons: Romances of the Castle Bulithgardinateldar. Incidentally, that was exactly what Linda had looked up from when Ginny had gracefully returned to her dormitory from the wonderfully pleasurable evening of love and dance and laughter.

"Calm down," Ginny breathed heavily. "Calm down?"

"Tell us what happened, then," Linda murmured, supremely unperturbed. "Was Neville all right?"

"Bugger," Ginny said, once again. "He broke my feet, spilled punch down the back of my dress robes, stuttered all evening long, almost set my hair on fire, knocked me into a rosebush that had thorns the size of which really shouldn't be legal, and was generally a complete twit."

"Oh," Mandresta said sympathetically. "I'm sorry. "

"Don't be," Linda retorted coolly. "We'll get her some essence of murtlap and she'll be fine in the morning. Physically. She's not angry about that, anyhow."

It was not a good idea, Ginny realized, to confide one's secret obsessions to one's roommates. Especially if one of those roommates spent most of her free time reading about erect towers, the symbolism of which Ginny really did not want to go into right now.

"Harry didn't ask you to dance, did he?" Matilda guessed. "Oh, what a prat! Did he even bother to talk to you?"

"What a self-absorbed git," Mandresta observed. "Just because he's the Boy Who Lived Four Times And Fought A Large Dragon And Lived Through That, Too doesn't mean he can ignore people the way he does."

"He didn't say a thing to you, and after all that time we spent getting you ready?"

It was really, really irritating, the way they could imagine exactly what had happened that evening. No—scratch that; it was downright scary.

"And then he probably spent all his time with Parvati Patil, I'll bet."

"Parvati went to dance with someone else," Ginny said dully. "And he still didn't come looking for me. He went out onto the grounds with Ron."

Linda was finally interested. "Ginny! No! That's horrible! That—that's just eewy!"

"Oh, honestly, Linda, Harry and Ron are not flaming, you prat!" Mandresta sighed. "You are way too stuck on—on that for someone our age."

"It's never too early to think of marriage," Linda said serenely, flipping another page in her book. "People used to marry when they were three, d'you know that?"

"Yeah, but they were usually royalty. But seriously, Ginny, forget Harry," Matilda advised. "Michael Corner still thinks you're smashing, y'know."

"And with Michael you wouldn't have to worry about him dashing off to have frequent affairs with the Dark Lord and his henchmen," Linda put in. "I let you read that glossary that gave a hitherto unknown translation of the phrase 'chamber of secrets', didn't I?"

"Yes, and it was very disturbing," Mandresta said severely. "I, for one, do not believe that the reason that Harry has not got a girlfriend is because he is snogging the Dark Lord on the side."

"Flashes of green light in dreams often mean many things," Linda said sweetly. "For instance, a long, horizontal streak of emerald green means that you secretly hunger for the upright—"

"Linda!" Ginny screeched. "Just—just stop! I don't want to think about that every time I look at Harry, thanks!"

"Oh, well, your loss," the offending girl shrugged, returning to her book. "Although I do think that the flood of bright green light and its secondary implication of desires that flood the dreamer when surrounded by malicious evil and include oily—"

"Linda!" the entire dormitory howled, including the mirrors, four-posters, trunks, walls, and other paraphernalia. "Spare us!"

There was silence in the dormitory for about five minutes, and Ginny finally rolled over onto her back, staring disconsolately upwards.

"I never want to have sex," she said gloomily. "It has forever been spoiled for me."

"Yes," Matilda agreed, glaring at the lewd, bright cover of ErectedTowers "I'm never going to fall in love, either."

"Oh, I am!" Ginny said suddenly and vehemently. "I am going to fall in love, thankyouverymuch, and I am going to fall in love so deeply that sex will not be involved at all. I'm going to show that prat that I'm better than he is, and I will laugh when he is disappointed in his lovely Ravenclaw brat because she has no bloody maturity at all. I will be so far above him that he will have to notice me, and then…then…"

"Then he'll never speak to you again, because he'll be too terrified of you," Linda said sensibly. "Gin, I think your best bet is to forget him."

"But he's Harry! I can't forget him just like that!"

"Michael Corner would be delighted to help," Linda said sagely, twirling her wand between finger and thumb. "Look, Ginny, he's gorgeous, he's romantic, he's sweet, he's completely smitten with you; what's wrong with giving him a chance?"

"He's not Harry," Ginny mumbled into her pillow. "I don't want to go out with anyone else. It would be infidelity."

"Infidelity to someone who isn't involved with you in the first place?"

"Shut up," the disgruntled redhead riposted wittily as she kicked one of her bedposts in a very mature fashion.

Linda sighed. "Look, I think the only way to make Harry take any interest in you at all is if you really, seriously try to get over him. He's been even more obsessed with Cho since she said she'd go to the ball with Cedric, and you're fading into this great oblivion in his mind. He likes people that don't like him back, you know, and I think he might pay a bit more attention to you if he knew you were taken. It would make him more comfortable around you, anyway, and that would give you a better chance to get closer to him. Besides, you might find that Michael isn't so bad after all."

There was a long pause.

"That," Ginny said ungratefully, "is the biggest load of rubbish I have ever heard."

Which was probably why she accepted Michael Corner's invitation to the next Hogsmeade weekend the following morning.

Rubbish, after all, was sometimes all that one had left to turn to.