Disclaimer:Neither Harry Potter or Wicked are my creations.
Title: Musical Maladies
Chapter 8: Popular
Summary: Hogwarts is thrown into chaos as students and professors alike are cursed to sing and reenact the lives of those who lived before them.
Most days Pansy ignored the Gryffindor getting ready in the morning. The terrible repetitive scrape of the brush as it raked across the matted hair. The unforgiving silence as Granger finished one section of hair and collected the next. This morning, however, Pansy could not turn away from the girl who was going to bring them to the Chamber.
Her curiosity eventually won out. "Where is it?"
Pansy watched as Granger struggled with her hair. Distractedly, the girl at the mirror asked, "What?"
"The chamber," Pansy said, pursing her lips. "Is it in a lost tower? In the dungeons?"
Granger shrugged as she shoved one section of hair away and grabbed for the next. "The professor reckons the chamber more likely under the great lake."
Pansy got up and walked to her closet. "So we will be going outside then."
The terrible ripping sound of the brush being dragged through a mess of curls and tangles coincided with the Head Girl opening the door. "No, Harry said the entrance is in the 7th floor girls' restroom."
Pansy turned to stare at the girl. "The one with Moaning Myrtle?"
Having yet to fully turn and face the Head Girl the Gryffindor continued answer absentmindedly while she worked diligently on her hair. "That's the one."
As she watched the girl across the room, it occurred to Pansy that Granger didn't have to tell her about the chamber. The girl could have rubbed it in as yet another way the Gryffindor was better. Even if Pansy was likely to lose her life going to the chamber, it was … nice of Granger to include her.
While Pansy's typical reaction to any sympathy towards Granger was to bury it under anger and fear, she felt a sudden urge to befriend the girl struggling in front of the mirror.
"Elphie-" Pansy said, walking towards the girl. Granger turned in response. "Now that we're friends, I've decided to make you my new project."
Hermione's confusion melted to understanding as Pansy motioned that she was under the spell. "You really don't have to do that."
"I know." Pansy reached the girl and took the hairbrush with her thumb and forefinger. "That's what makes me so nice."
Pansy pursed her lips and took a deep breath.
"Whenever I see some less fortunate than I," Pansy led the girl over to the Slytherin's mirror lined with all sorts of bottles and tubes. She gestured for Granger to sit. "And let's face it – who isn't less fortunate than I?"
"Pansy-" Hermione started to protest as the Slytherin put a copious amount of cream in her own palm and squirted another bottle over Hermione's head.
"My tender heart tends to start to bleed." Pansy waved Hermione's hand away. Pansy hesitated for one last instant before diligently working the detangle product into the girls hair. "And when someone needs a makeover I simply have to take over. I know. I know exactly what they need."
"And even in your case," Pansy looked at Hermione's hair bush and, after a brief self-sacrificing moment, chose her own Frizz-be-gone Hairbrush. "Though it's the toughest case I've yet to face. Don't worry – I'm determined to succeed"
"Follow my lead, and yes, indeed you will be." Surprisingly, Hermione's hair did not give easily.
"Popular. I'll help you be popular!"
"You'll hang with the right cohorts. You'll be good at sports. Know the slang you got to know," Slowly the hair began to give way. The hair she brushed came out with a nice curl as opposed to a frizzy one. "So let's start 'cause you've got an awfully long way to go;"
Pansy continued working with Hermione's hair. "Don't be offended by my frank analysis. Think of it as personality dialysis. Now that I've chosen to become a pal, a sister and adviser, there's nobody wiser."
"Not when it comes to popular – I know about popular." Pansy wished Galinda would stop being so full of herself. She did become the epitome of Good but this was a bit much. Pansy had expected more of Glinda the Good.
"And with an assist from me to be who you'll be instead of dreary who you were, well are." Pansy continued, "There's nothing that can stop you from becoming popu-ler: lar."
With the last brush Pansy turned Hermione to face her. The girl definitely needed a haircut.
"La La La La." Pansy opened her makeup drawer. "We're going to make you popular."
"No!" Although she struggled at first, Hermione surrendered after being whacked on the head with Hermione's bulky hairbrush. Pansy quickly put foundation on her face.
"When I see depressing creatures with unprepossessing features I remind them on their own behalf to think of," Pansy focused on applying lip gloss, "Celebrated heads of state or Specially great communicators. Did they have brains or knowledge? Don't make me laugh!"
Glinda's happy go lucky mood only made Pansy's mood more sour. She tossed her lip gloss back on her counter and sang softly, "They were popular! Please. It's all about popular!"
"It's not aptitude, it's the way your viewed," Pansy put eye shadow on the girl but offered the mascara brush to Hermione. "So it's very shrewed to be, very very popular like me."
Hermione sat frozen in front of the mirror after putting on the mascara. Putting her hair up was the only thing she had ever been able to do with her hair and look halfway decent.
Pansy moved away busying herself with putting her own ensemble together. Anything to avoid the transformation she had forced on the Gryffindor. "Why, Miss Elphaba, look at you. You're beautiful."
Hermione hummed distractedly at Pansy's less than complimentary tone. "I..."
"You're welcome!" Pansy smooth down her skirt for a third time and plucked her collar at the mirror. She looked over at the girl. "And though you protest your disinterest I know clandestinely you're gonna grin and bear it your newfound popularity."
Hermione laughed dryly. "Apparently."
Pansy grabbed her bags and Hermione followed the girls movements, her eyes drifting over to the mirror occasionally. "La la la la. You'll be popular – Just not quite as popular as me!"
The music from Dracos spell drifted away and Pansy swiftly went to the door and paused.
"Thanks, for this." Hermione said awkwardly breaking the silence. "I know it was the spell-"
"Of course it was." Pansy said turning to the girl. She really didn't want the girl to think she wanted to help her with a makeover. "Glinda must have done something similar for Elphaba. I couldn't help it."
Pansy smirked, looking again at her handiwork. "Out of all the things I imagined I would do to your hair- never thought I would make it look nice."
Hermione laughed slightly not sure whether to take that as a threat or not. She decided the girl must be trying to compliment her.
"That you did. Thanks- to Glinda I guess. She seems nice at least." Hermione shrugged, touching her tamed curls. "I don't know how to take Elphaba sometimes. She's certainly an outcast."
Pansy swatted her hand towards Hermione. "Leave your hair alone. It's perfect and you're going to ruin my hard work.
"Done mind Elphaba," The Slytherin said as calmly as her mother had taught her to when she was panicked. "It seems like we are teenagers now- Of course she feels like an outcast. Who didn't?"
Hermione laughed, "You- or Glinda. This is confusing."
"Glinda?" Pansy grinned slyly. "She's a Gryffindor through and through. Popular, good and all that rot."
"I wouldn't say that. She's a bit rude and oblivious." Hermione countered, straightening in defense of her house.
"Yeah ok." Hermione said, not wishing to push the issue. She looked at the girl across from her and couldn't help but think of how different their circumstances were. "It seems like life was so much simpler for them. Their biggest worry was each other."
"For now." Pansy cautioned. She frowned softly considering the roller coaster of emotions she had felt from Glinda since the start of the curse. "Something changes Galinda. She wasn't like this before."
"I don't understand why Glinda changed now." Hermione said. "Is this some plot against Elphaba?"
"No." Pansy shook her head. "She honestly sees Elphaba as a friend now. I don't feel loathing from Galinda at all. Do you?"
"From Elphaba? No, just confusion and suspicion." Hermione paused slightly. "It's getting harder and harder to separate her feelings from mine."
"I hold myself to a higher standard than Glinda so it is terribly apparent when the feelings are her." Pansy said, smirking again. "Feeling a bit like an outcast are you?"
"Can we please just call a truce? Please? This curse is confusing enough without having to constantly bicker with you Parkinson." Hermione said wanting to have a brief reprieve from the bickering. "We have more important things to figure out- like who is behind this."
"Do-" Pansy cleared her throat. No, she already pressed her luck enough for today. There was no way Granger would tell her what the professors thought. "Never mind."
Hermione shrugged and walked up to her mirror.
"It's amazing," Hermione said, motioning to her head. "I'll have to get myself one of those brushes."
"Why don't you keep it?" Pansy said getting the brush for the girl, almost awkward as she was reminded, curse or no, that she had done something nice for the girl. "You need it more than I do."
Immediately Hermione's face hardened as she looked at the Slytherin. "Gee. Thanks but no thanks."
Hermione left swiftly leaving the Slytherin alone in the room behind her.
This couldn't be happening.
They actually found it?
What would he wear?
"Draco Malfoy! So help me-" Pansy grabbed his shoulders a shook him. The quiet corner in the library afforded them some privacy yet not enough if Draco was going to freak out.
Draco finally looked at his friend, eyes wide. Pansy quickly clamped her hand over his mouth. "You are in the library. You are a Slytherin. Act like one."
Draco frowned down at her hand and shrugged her off. "Miss Parkinson, I am the example Slytherin student."
She looked at him cautiously.
He laughed. "But if you think my father wouldn't kill me himself to go- well there think again. There is no such thing as acting like a Slytherin in this case."
She frowned deeply and sat back in her seat. "Don't be too excited. I think I ruined it."
Draco groaned and leaned on the table. "Professor Snape again?"
"If only." Pansy huffed. "I may or may not have inadvertently said something the opposite of complementary to the girl bringing us to the chamber."
"You insulted Granger?!" Draco yelped quietly.
Pansy looked wide eye at her friend. "I don't know who you are."
"You." Pansy scooted away. "You yelped. Malfoys do not yelp. And do I detect some concern for the mudghleborn?"
Draco glared. "That was a sorry save Miss I'm-going-to-do-better-and-not-use-the-m-word-anymore. And yes- I am very concerned that you insulted our ticket to the greatest, most wonderful place to ever exist anywhere."
Pansy looked pointedly at Draco.
"Just because this curse is driving me to act like a nitwit doesn't mean I'm wrong." Draco said, straightening his tie. "I'm still a Malfoy."
"That you are." Pansy grinned softly and reached over to fix his now crooked tie. "What are we going to do?"
"Turn on the Malfoy charm." Draco said nodding towards the girl struggling to reach a book on the top shelf. "The things I do for you woman."
Pansy looked around and saw the Gryffindor in question. She played along and swooned, "Oh my hero."
"Here, let me help you with that."
Hands came out of nowhere and grabbed the large tomb she had been reaching for.
"It's ok- I got-" Hermione watched the deceivingly heavy tomb drop quickly before Malfoy caught it in his hands. "It. I had it."
"Ancient Curses and the Counter?" Malfoy commented. He looked at the large pile of books next to the girl. "This wouldn't be for our trip is it?"
Hermione looked around and was grateful that no one seemed to be paying them mind. The Slytherin behind the upside down magazine of Witch Weekly was suspicious. Hermione pursed her lips. "The trip is off."
"Now Hermione, Pansy is real sorry about what happened. She didn't mean it…whatever it was." Draco shrugged, smiling a bit crooked.
"Now Malfoy, you should stop before you scare the first years." Hermione motioned to her face. "The whole grimace thing- not working."
He frowned. Why was she so infuriating?
Hermione decided to take it easy on the Slytherin. "McGonagall vetoed our start date. We need to do more research and get supplies from Diagon Alley before we step one foot near the entrance."
"In the dungeons, right?" Draco asked assuredly.
Hermione smirked back at his poor attempt to get information. "If that's where you want to look. Sure. By all means, you two can cover the dungeons."
Why did she always make him frown? Draco, becoming more and more frustrated, said, "So I was wrong. Are you actually going to include us or was that just another dig?"
Hermione huffed. Where were Harry and Ron when the Slytherin's wanted in? Why did she have to coordinate everything?
"We're getting together a list of items we'll need for down-there." Hermione said pulling out her list and a blank piece of parchment. Using a spell the professor had shown her under the strictest of promises not to share with Harry and Ron, she charmed the parchment. Slowly her list appeared on the blank parchment. "Here. When you write on your list the marks will appear on mine and vice versa.
"If you can think of anything else, just add it." Hermione said, handing him his list. "Once we've everything together the Deputy will decide when we will go."
She kept her arm outreached. "My book?"
He glanced over the list and held the book out for her. He miscalculated the weight and briefly imagined that he would drop the tomb on his foot and break it.
Hermione reached out quickly and between the two of them they were able to secure the book, hands overlapping.
With the book secure and foot injuries prevented, Hermione and Draco realized their position. Both of them were standing in a secluded section of the library, hands touching with only a books length between them.
Eyes wide they looked at the other before Draco suddenly heaved the book onto the nearest shelf. Making sure he had his list, Draco began to make his retreat. "I'll… let you know if I think of anything."
Hermione nodded weakly as Draco coughed and whirled around to head back to the Head Girls table.
"Hands touch, eyes meet," Hermione sang softly looking down at her hands. What was going on with her? First Pansy this morning and now this? "Sudden silence, sudden heat. Hearts leap in a giddy whirl,"
"He could be that boy," Please, Hermione told herself, please don't. "But I'm not that girl."
"Don't dream too far, don't lose sight of who you are," Hermione felt with unrelenting clarity the hopelessness Elphaba's situation. "Don't remember that rush of joy,"
"He could be that boy." Elphaba was in love with her new friends' boyfriend and struggling. "I'm not that girl."
Hermione moved back further into her section of the library. Away from everyone- especially him.
"Ev'ry so often we long to steal, to the land of what-might-have-been," That certainly what it had felt like a couple of moments ago. Draco had not once made it seem like he was talking to a mudblood-like he was apt to do. "But that doesn't soften the ache we feel, when reality sets back in."
It seemed like there was more to the story that Hermione could not decipher from her pounding heartbeat and mixed emotions. Did Fiyero not like Galinda after all?
"Blithe smile, lithe limb, she who's winsome, she wins him," How could it be any other way though? Like Pansy with Draco…. "Gold hair with gentle curl, that's the girl he chose and heaven knows, I'm not that girl..."
If Draco was acting, playing a part then maybe- "Don't wish, don't start-"
Wishing only wounds the heart" Hermione didn't know what to think. "I wasn't born for the rose and pearl."
There was one thing that she and Elphaba were sure of. "There's a girl I know. He loves her so"
Against her will, swept up in all of Elphaba's new and terrible struggle, Hermione felt a tear quiver from her eye before falling. "I'm not that girl..."
For once Hermione was glad to see Ron's on again off again girlfriend. If there was anyone in her year that could help a broken heart it was her. She threw herself at Lavender as she had seen the other girls in her year do and cried just as they did of a broken heart. And for once, Hermoine could see why the other girls looked to Lavender as an older sister as she shushed and rocked the distraught girl.