Defence Against the Dark Arts
Louise has dumped Dean. She's distraught. She did it this morning before breakfast. According to Yasmin she turned up to Muggle Studies in floods. Eventually Professor Burbage sent her back to Ravenclaw tower to "calm down". She hasn't turned up to Defence Against the Dark Arts either. Mandy is pissed off because she has to work on her own.
"It's only Dean Thomas," she said grumpily. "It's not like she just got divorced or something. Sorry, Kee."
They've decided that they can't mention divorce around me. Thing is, I'm not too bothered about it. I don't particularly want to discuss my parents' divorce, but you can say the word in front of me. I told them this, but as usual neither listened.
"Lou really liked him," said Yasmin.
"Yeah," I said, without thinking. "He was the first person she'd ever slept with; that's a big deal."
They both looked at me agog.
Shite, I forgot they didn't know about that.
"What?" said Yasmin. "She slept with him?"
"And she didn't tell us?" Mandy said, outraged. Mandy is, after all, Knower of All Things. (And part-time Gossip.) She needs to know these things. After all, if Mandy didn't know everybody's secrets then how would they get spread around the school?
"Uh…yeah," I said. "But she only asked me because she needed powdered unicorn horn for the contraception potion, it really wasn't my fault so please don't tell her that I told you because I swore not to mention it."
"That's where my powdered unicorn horn went!" said Yasmin. "Some of it went missing about a week ago. She must have nicked it."
"Uh…no, I gave her all the stuff she needed," I said. "That must have been someone else."
"Oh," said Yasmin, frowning. "Who?"
But before we could finish the conversation Snape started getting narky.
Oh my good God.
I went up in the dormitory to get my books just now and Morag was putting a big bunch of flowers on my pillow.
"Uh…Morag," I said, not nastily. "Why are you putting flowers on my bed?"
"They're not from me, don't worry," said Morag, grinning. "God, you looked positively terrified. No, some guy gave them to me and told me to put them on your pillow. There's a card and everything."
"Oh," I said, and looked at them. They were pretty, I have to say, although I had a scary feeling that they were from Kevin or someone like that. I looked at the card.
"What does it say?"
Morag seized the flowers and read the card aloud.
"'Beautiful flowers for a beautiful girl. Love Adam,'" she said, sniggering. "And about a million kisses. Wow, someone likes you, Keira."
I couldn't be bothered to listen to her. I grabbed them and stomped downstairs. Adam was sitting with his mates. He grinned at me as I went over to him.
"You got them, then?" he said, looking happy. "I got them from that place in Hogsmeade. You can owl order them. It's great. So what do you think? Do you like them?"
"You can keep your stupid flowers," I said, throwing them into his lap. He looked surprised. "I don't want anything to do with you any more. You can't seriously believe that I'm going to suddenly like you because you gave me flowers. You arsehole," I added for good measure.
Ha. He looked gutted. Well, that should show him. He's not going to win me over with stupid flowers. I just know that he's going to try and worm his way into my good books and then screw me over.
Well, he never will.
Met up with Michael to sort out how we're going to go about making Su and Lisa fall in lurve. Like the rest of Ravenclaw (and possibly the whole school) he had heard the flowers story.
"So Chambers has come sliming back, has he?" he said, almost the second we left the common room. (Another homework excuse. I'm sure that Yasmin thinks that we're secretly getting off with each other.) "I thought he was above flowers, though. He's not thick. He should know by now that you don't try and win smart girls over with flowers; it makes them feel patronised and the romance is lost on their cold, calculating minds."
"Are you saying I have a cold, calculating mind?" I asked, hurt.
"No, but you're not what I would call romantic," he said. "But then, Ravenclaw is not for romantics. It's for cynical realists. That's the thing I like about dating girls who are clever," he said, drifting off onto one of his tangents. "They like you for you, not like some girls I've dated who would fancy anyone who got them flowers or told them they were pretty."
"Have you ever dated anyone who wasn't smart?" I asked. Slightly confusing though Michael is it's nice to know that he had respect for girls. Unlike bloody Adam. Bloody idiot.
"Once," he said. "Sally-Anne. Nice girl but thick. She was just dull. I had to end it for both of our sakes."
I decided not to tell Michael what Seamus Finnigan had told me about Sally-Anne being a lesbian. Mainly for her privacy, but it wouldn't have done his ego any good. And I like Michael, I really do. At least he's trying to help me.
"Ok, down to business," he said. "You know Lisa better than I do. What kind of guys does she like?"
"Terry," I said.
Michael rolled his eyes.
"Not helping. I mean, previous boyfriends, qualities she finds attractive in guys, stuff like that?"
"Well, if we're going to make Su into one of her ex boyfriends then we need to make him into a cheating, using, lying, double-crossing, stress-inducing, back-stabbing tosser."
"You're irritating sometimes, Matthews," he said. "I'm serious. Does she like guys to make the first move? What?"
"I don't know," I said. "We should ask Padma."
"I'm not getting Padma in on this," said Michael. "She's too clever. She'd work out what we were up to in a second. She can practically read minds, that girl can."
"Well I don't know much about Lisa," I said. "I don't know…hang on a second."
"Well, when I was eleven, I got picked to be in the school play."
"I went to Muggle school, remember this," I said. "And in Muggle school at Christmas the classes put on a play each. When I was eleven my class did a simplified version of this play called Much Ado About Nothing. I got chosen to be Hero who was like the heroine person."
"Do I really care?"
"It was a big deal for me," I said, defensively. It was, as well. It was the first decent part I'd ever had. The year before that I had been a carrot. I had two lines. And one of them was "I am a carrot". It's hardly a satisfactory role. "Anyway, in this play there are these two characters called Beatrice and Benedick and they don't like each other…"
Michael put his head back and pretended to snore very unattractively.
"Oh shut up. The other characters decide to set them up. So what they do is the fool them into thinking the other one's in love with them. And it works. Maybe we should try that."
Michael gave me a Look.
"This is a Muggle play," he said. "It was probably written by some Muggle loser who had no real talent who spent their life writing school plays for little kids to act appallingly."
"Uh…no, it wasn't actually, it was by William Shakespeare. He was one of the greatest Muggle writers in recorded history," I put in. "He could give all these wizards a run for their money."
"I don't care if he's Beadle the bloody Bard," said Michael. "The fact is that this is a story. It will not work in real life."
"How do you know?" I said. "We could send Lisa a love letter or something and say it was from Su. Then she would see him in a New Light."
"Do you honestly think that will work?" said Michael, looking at me pityingly. "The best that will happen is that she'll be a bit flattered and have to let him down gently. And he'll be bloody confused."
"Maybe that's not true," I said. "We can't judge unless we try."
Michael rolled his eyes.
"Well, ok, Matthews," he said, "but remember, it's your funeral. You're the one who wants her to dump Terry, not me. So if it doesn't work, you're the one who suffers."
"I know that," I said. "But I think it will work."
"What, because some dead Muggle wrote about it in a play and it worked?"
"Shut up. It will work."
"Seriously, it won't…"
"Are you on my side or not?"
"Well, yeah, but…"
"So shut up."
"I'm just saying…"
"Fine. I won't."
"I won't," he said, smugly, leaning against a tapestry. Or at least, he tried to. As it happened, the tapestry in question was hanging over a doorway. He fell right through it and I could hear him shouting from behind it.
"What bloody idiot decided to put this sodding…Don't think I can't hear you, Matthews! Stop laughing and help me up; I think I've done something to my ankle."
With great difficulty I stopped laughing and stepped through the tapestry myself. Because it was dark I managed to step on Michael.
"OWWWW! Bloody Hell, Matthews, what was that for?"
"Sorry, I didn't mean to; I can't see. Where are you?"
"Down on the floor. You just stepped on my foot."
"Oh. Ok, try and grab my hands."
Something arm-like hit me in the stomach quite hard.
"Sorry, was that you?"
"Well you did step on me."
"That was an accident."
"So was that!"
"What are we even doing in here anyway?"
"I can't get up. I think I've buggered up my foot."
"That was my hand!"
"I think I hit my head."
"Where are you?"
"You just elbowed me in the face."
I couldn't help it; I just started to laugh. The whole ridiculousness of the situation was hilarious. I mean, I was lying on a hard stone floor in the dark with Michael Corner. You have to appreciate the hilarity of the situation.
"What the Hell are you laughing at?" he asked, grumpily. This just made me laugh even more. When I got the point of uncontrollable hysterics, I heard him laughing as well. We were just lying on the floor laughing.
It was probably a good thing that at that moment somebody pulled back the tapestry because otherwise we would have been lying there for ages.
"What the fuck?"
I stopped laughing quite quickly and propped myself up on my elbows so I could see. Eddie Carmichael was standing there with a disgusted look on his face, and behind him I could distinctly see Jonathan Bradley and Adam Chambers. The looks on their faces made it very clear exactly what they thought Michael and I were up to.
"Oh, hi Bradders," said Michael, looking as normal as possible, but I noticed he was finding it hard not to smirk. "You're not having a Quidditch practice tonight, then?"
"Evidently not," he said, eyebrows raised. I could feel myself going red. "Gotta say, I don't think much of your choice of places. Not what I would call romantic, really. Or private," he added, distastefully.
Adam seemed to be beyond speech. With satisfaction, I realised that he's a lot less attractive when his mouth is wide open.
"You do realise that you could get into serious trouble for doing it in a corridor, don't you?" said Eddie.
"We weren't doing anything!" he said. "I fell over and she fell on me."
"That's a new one," said Bradley. "I'll remember that one."
"It's true," I said. Bradley looked at me. He looked a bit amused. "You should have seen him. It was hilarious. He thought he was all cool and then he fell through the wall and…and…"
And I was off again. I was doing my uncontrollable laughing in front of three seventh year boys. Fantastic.
"Seriously," said Michael. "We weren't doing that. I'm much more of a gentleman than to do it in a corridor. So don't worry, Adam," he said, grinning up at him in a way that was not very sensible. "You haven't got any competition from me."
"Oh shut up," said Adam, finding his voice again. "It's none of your business."
Michael attempted gallantly to heave himself up but failed the second he tried to stand on his left foot. He collapsed in a heap.
"Owwwww," he moaned, clutching his ankle. "I need to get to the Hospital Wing."
"Wuss," I said, standing up quickly, although I was really relieved to have an excuse to get away. "Come on, I'll take you."
With some difficulty I managed to haul him up so he had on arm around my shoulders and could limp along using me as a support. Great, I was a human crutch. Adam and co were giving me the weirdest looks I had ever been fixed with as I helped Michael out of the secret corridor. To my horror they followed.
"What?" I said, trying to be a cool as possible.
"We're coming too," said Bradley, shortly. "I thought that would be obvious."
"Uh, yes, but why?" I asked.
Resisting the urge to go, "Sod off," I just grimaced. Sadly I also didn't look where I was going and smacked into a suit of armour.
By the time I'd regained my sight, I noticed that Michael was leaning on Bradley's shoulder rather than mine. Fantastic. Now we were never going to get rid of them.
"Do you mind?" I said, pointedly.
"Nope," said Bradley, cheerfully. "You're evidently not careful enough to look after this poor injured boy. So I'm going to accompany him."
Michael gave me an apologetic look. I glowered at him throughout our entire trip to the Hospital Wing. By the time we got there Madam Pomfrey was not looking happy.
"It's a bit late, isn't it?" she asked.
"This kid's had a fall," said Bradley. "We reckon it could be a sprain."
"I'll be the judge of that, thank you," said Madam Pomfrey tetchily. So much for healthcare. They should call it health reluctant. "Come over here."
She dragged Michael off of me and hauled him across the Hospital Wing. You could see him wince. It made me laugh a bit.
To my utter surprise I noticed that none other than Su Li was sitting in one of the beds looking thoroughly pissed off. I caught his eye and went over to him, leaving Adam, Bradley and Carmichael behind muttering amongst themselves.
"Hey," I said.
"Hi," he said, not seeming too happy to see me.
"Why're you in?" I asked.
"Accident in Transfiguration," he said bitterly, lifting up the blankets to reveal what looked like dog legs. "It's not healing very well. I don't know what happened to make it stick but it's not good."
"Ouch," I said, faking sympathy whilst trying not to laugh.
And then I had the brilliant idea. The most brilliant idea I have had in a while.
"So that's what Lisa meant," I said, thoughtfully.
"Oh nothing, it's just that Lisa told me to tell you to get well soon," I said, uber-casually. "I didn't know you were in here. Now I realise what she meant."
I couldn't work out if he seemed happy or not.
"Yeah," I said.
There was a really awkward silence. I hate it when that happens. I should have picked someone easier to talk to for the plan. Su's ok and everything but we don't have much in common. To be honest he doesn't have much in common with anyone. He hangs around with Stephen and Kevin sometimes but most of his friends are Hufflepuffs.
"I really don't see what you see in her."
My ears pricked up. That was Bradley's voice.
"Do you, Ed?"
"Not really. She's not even that fit."
Su realised I was listening in, but Bradley, Carmichael and Adam didn't. They were whispering away to each other, blissfully unaware that Su and I had stopped talking.
"I don't care what you guys think," said Adam, sounding a bit ticked off. "I love her and I want her back."
"They can't be talking about me," I muttered to Su. "They can't be."
Su gave me a How-thick-are-you? Look and whispered back, "They obviously are."
"Even now she's been fucking that Corner boy in the corridors?"
Su gave me an alarmed look. I shook my head violently and carried on listening.
"She doesn't love him," said Adam stoutly. "I know she likes me. She just needs some time to realise it."
"Sure," said Bradley. "Look, mate, not that you're not way too good for her, but she quite obviously isn't interested. Look at how she reacted to the flowers. She's obviously one of these frigid girls."
"She's not frigid," said Adam, pathetically. "I think I'm in love with her."
I could feel my heart sink. Oh God.
As if on cue, Michael came bounding up.
"All better," he said brightly. "Oh, hello Su," he added upon seeing who I was with. "You not recovered yet?"
"No," he said, grumpily.
"Shame," said Michael. "Well, come on Matthews, we must dash."
Su and I exchanged looks.
"Bye then," I said.
"Seeya," he said, and then added so only I could hear it, "Stalker ahoy."