The weather had turned chilly with the onset of November, scarves and heavy cloaks becoming the norm for any student that was required to spend time out on the grounds. The students, for the most part, went about their days blissfully unaware, the only thing on their minds was the date of the Hogsmeade weekend that had finally been announced.
Sitting in the dungeon, wrapped tightly in her heavy cloak, Rosalie frowned down at her bubbling cauldron, carefully setting up her workspace. She was pretty sure that she had set a new record; class had not even begun before she had been taken for 25 points. Only the thought of her long awaited date with Cedric had kept her from arguing with Snape about it. On top of that, she was forced to work alone, because Henry had been sent to the hospital wing, after being hit by a curse meant for her, of course Malfoy, who everyone knew had started it, got off scot free. Rose scowls at her table top, biting her lip to keep from hexing a gloating Draco under the table.
Snape begins his lecture, a cruel sort of smirk pulling at his lips as he begins talking about poisons, and their antidotes. It doesn't take long for the class to understand that he plans to poison one of them after each class, and it takes even less time for them to guess which student it will be. As soon as the words leave his lips, the class as a whole turns to look at Rosalie, sitting at a table alone as close to the door as she can be.
Rosalie grumbles to herself mentally, calling Snape, and Draco, and the Slytherins as a whole as many foul names as she can think of, though on the outside her face is blank, eyes focused on the board as instructions begin to appear. It's a moderately hard general antidote to brew, which means 15 minutes into the session, Neville has managed to melt two cauldrons, and half an hour in Seamus has burned off his eyebrows. Beka and Lavender have managed to make their cauldron emit a noxious purple smoke. Rose frowns as she carefully stirs in her crushed lacewings; things are not looking good was her only thought.
She had just bottled two samples of her potion and set them aside, one on the desk, and one hidden in her bag, just in case, to begin cleaning up her workstation when Professor Snape decided to make his presence known. Hovering over her shoulder, he clucked his tongue, a sort of gleeful smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"Now, now, this won't do."
Without explaining anything, he quickly vanished her potion, and the vial on the desk, shaking his head slightly.
"Won't do at all, I suppose you fail again Potter, 10 points for wasting my ingredients and time."
With that said, he turned quickly to begin making his way to the front, his robes billowing out behind him. Rosalie glares at his back, before a smiling a secretive little smile, pulling out her second vial, labeling it quickly, before she begins to clear her station. As she finishes, Professor Snape calls for their completed antidotes, though he glares at Rosalie when she smiles and sets her vial on his desk before going back to her seat.
Snape glowers at the class as they finish turning in their completed potions, then turns on Rosalie.
"Miss Potter, you shall be the guinea pig. Come to the front and don't speak. You will drink this," Here he pulls out a small vial of a purple-black liquid, "and then we shall see how well your classmates did. Don't worry; this won't kill you, though it may hurt."
Rose sighs to herself, before beginning to walk towards the front of the room, rolling her eyes as the students around her begin pressing on their buttons and whispering. Just as she reaches the front and takes the vial in hand, the door to the potions room slams open, a breathless Colin Creevy standing in the entrance, hands on his knees, his ever present camera hanging around his neck.
"I…I'm sor-sorry to….to interrupt Prof-Professor!" He huffs, still bent at the waist, legs slightly bent at the knee, talking to the cold cement floor. "I-I need…need Rosalie sir, th-the champions are…are meeting- weighing…wands…must go."
Snape glares first at Rose, as she places the still full potion vial on his desk, then at Colin as he finally manages to straighten himself out. With a growl, he waves his hand in a dismissal, before turning beady black eyes back to his class, settling on Neville, he barks for him to drink the poison. Rosalie pats him gently on the shoulder as he passes, telling him that if it gets too bad and the others didn't make it right, her antidote should help him.
She stops by her desk, able to just pick up her messenger bag since she had already cleaned up, and follows Colin out to the hall. As soon as the door is closed behind her, she is swept up into a pair of strong, arms, and pulled against a broad, warm chest. The scent of citrus, and musk that is Cedric crashes over her, and she smiles, wrapping her arms around his waist and burying her face into his robes, she laughs quietly as she feels him press kisses to her hair, before lifting her head to press a light kiss to his lips.
Before they can get too lost in the taste of each other, a clicking sound and the flash of a camera goes off to their side. Pulling away slowly, Rose turns to glance at a positively bouncing Colin. Tilting her head to the side, quirking a single brow in question, she turns from the Mexican jumping bean that is Colin Creevy, to glance at her grinning boyfriend.
"What is he so happy about darling?"
Cedric grins, "Well love, I talked little Colin here into letting me accompany him in escorting you to the Weighing of the Wands, and in exchange, he would be allowed to take our picture. The fact that he offered to make copies for us, was just a bonus I think." He winks at Colin, before pulling Rose against his side.
The three begin their walk out of the dungeons, and Colin leaves them in the entrance hall, pointing to the room the other champions and judges are waiting in, his camera finally resting quietly about his neck. The two Hogwarts champions continue on to the unused classroom, Cedric pulling Rose close for one last kiss before pushing the door open and letting her in first.
"Ah ha and here they are, the last of the Champions, quickly now, Miss Potter, Mister Diggory, join the others please. We'll take pictures, singles first I suppose, and while that's going, I believe Mrs. Skeeter has some questions she'd like to ask you. Then we'll take care of the weighing, and a last group photo I think should do it. Judges and contestants alike; yes, why don't we start with Miss Potter, get the youngest out of the way first. Come along then."
Ludo Bagman wraps a large hand around Rose's slim arm and practically drags her across the floor to stand in front of an empty wall in front of a pudgy man holding a camera, obviously from the prophet. Turning her head, she glances back at Cedric, only to be reprimanded, and told to turn back towards the camera. A quiet click is the only warning before she is blinded by an obnoxiously bright flash, and blood red nails-'talons' the thought floats through her mind- are pressing into her pale skin through her robe sleeve, and she is once again, pulled about like a ragdoll, back out the door, and shoved, unceremoniously into a broom cupboard of all things.
Stumbling in the darkness, and coming to rest against the far wall, Rosalie glowers at the woman that she can't rightly see at the moment, she pulls her wand from its resting place in a dueling holster against her arm, and quietly mutters to herself. With a flick of her wand, small flowers of blue fire sprout from the tip to hang in the air, lighting the closet, and casting an eerie glow on the woman blockading the door. She's a tall woman, not quiet skinny, but not portly either, her hair is short, and set in those old Hollywood style waves, pressed against her head, and quite obviously died a rather horrific blonde, the roots coming in dark brown. Her eyes, behind horn-rimmed glasses are brown as well, and while dull in color, are positively brimming with cunning, a disturbing sort of smile stretching lips painted red to match her nails.
"Well, well, I must say, I didn't think I would ever be so lucky as to interview you Rosalie Potter, may I call you Rose?" Without waiting for a response, she pushes forward, voice absolutely dripping with artificiality, she quickly turns over a few buckets, gripping a portion of Rose's robes and dragging her closer, while her other hand digs around in her alligator skin bag, pulling out parchment, and an acid green quill. Putting the point in her mouth, she sucks at it, while mumbling, "Sit, sit, I've just got a few questions, and then we can go back. I thought you might like to do this away from prying ears, just us girls as it were."
Rosalie quirks a single brow, her lips pressing together into a frown as she shakes her robes free of the tugging hand and gingerly begins trying to make her way back to the door, which is conveniently blocked.
"Actually, Mrs. Skeeter was it; I don't much care to be dragged around like a doll, so I will ask you to please keep your hands to yourself. Also, if your questions are to be so innocent, I see no reason for us to be sitting in a broom cupboard, unless of course, you have some ulterior motive? Perhaps to be not quiet completely honest about what I say? Now if you'll excuse me Mrs. I'd like to get back to the other champions, as I'm sure the pictures must be nearly done."
Rosalie fixes a stern glare at the woman, whose brittle smile still pulls unflatteringly at her lips. Crossing her arms, and tapping one foot against the floor to show her impatience, Rose fixes her scowl to look much like the one Professor McGonagall often wears when disciplining erring students.
As the two women continue their staring contest, the door to the cupboard is throw open to reveal Professor Dumbledore, in resplendent robes of violet, white doves fluttering about the cloth. Rosalie glowers up at him, before finally realizing who it is, and offers a wry smile in lieu of an apology. Dumbledore's eyes twinkle behind their half-moon glasses, as he reaches one wizened hand out to Rose, helping her climb over the still seated Rita Skeeter.
With a defiant grin, Rosalie offers a last parting shot, "Good day Madam, I'm sorry that we couldn't actually get around to answering any of your questions, though going on past articles written by you, I'm sure I need not speak at all, for none of my truth would make it past your lies." With a delicate sniff, the dark haired teen allows the Headmaster to escort her back to the other champions, where she is immediately pulled down into the empty chair beside Cedric, who had been studiously ignoring an openly flirtatious Fleur.
With his arm wrapped around her waist, and their whole sides pressed together, they turn to the front, where a long table that Rose hadn't noticed before rests, covered in a dark blue edged in silver table runner over a cream cloth. Standing behind the table, are the judges, the three headmasters, Dumbledore, Karkaroff, and Maxime, joined also by Ludo Bagman, and a slightly distracted looking Bartemius Crouch, and finally, by Mr. Olivander, the wand maker.
Albus smiles around the room as everyone finishes taking their seats, before he moves forward.
"Welcome Champions, Judges, to the Weighing of the Wands! Your first task will be held during the last week of November, and the only item you may bring with you shall be your wand. As such, we must make sure that each wand will be able to perform satisfactorily. We wouldn't want anyone to attempt a shield charm, and end up producing flowers or some such nonsense, now would we?" His eyes twinkle madly as he smiles.
"Right, to assure us of your wands ability, we have Mister Olivander, master wand maker of Diagon Alley, and I now turn things over to his very capable hands."
With that, and a fluttery hand gesture, Dumbledore moves back to join the other judges, watching as the slightly odd man steps forward, he stops at the center of the table and gestures to Fleur, smiling as he takes a hold of her wand. He twirls it slightly, watching the pink and gold sparks dissipate, before bringing it up to the end of his nose, his eyes scanning the wand intently as he mutters, mostly to himself.
"Mm, oh yes, yes...Nine and a half inches…rather inflexible, rose wood I believe...containing…dear me, is that really..?"
Fleur nods, her quiet, throaty voice cutting in, "A hair from the head of a veela, it was one of my grandmother's."
Rosalie sniffs quietly, turning to raise a single brow at a slightly flustered Cedric, who rolls his eyes with a wry grin tugging at his lips, his free hand rubbing the back of his neck. Rose only shakes her head, before turning back to continue watching.
"Ah, yes, yes, I've never used veela hair myself, I find that it tends to make the wands rather temperamental, but if it works well for you…"
Olivander quickly ran his fingers along the length of her wand, checking for cracks, or any other disfigurations he might not see, before quickly muttering "Orchideous" at which a bunch of flowers burst from the wand.
"Yes, it seems to be in fine working order," He offers a smile and the flowers, along with her wand to Fleur, before turning to the remaining champions. "Mr. Diggory, you next please."
Cedric presses a light kiss to Rose's hair before walking towards the pale eyed wizard, ignoring the flirtatious smile sent his way, as he passes the silvery blonde witch.
Mr. Olivander smiles, "Now, this is one of mine is it not?" His voice is slightly more enthusiastic as he takes the wand in hand.
"I remember it well, a single hair from the tail of a particularly fine unicorn, must have been seventeen hands at the least; nearly gored me with his horn after I plucked his tail. Mm, twelve and a quarter inches…ash…pleasantly springy, and in fine condition, you treat it regularly?"
"Polished it just last night sir," Cedric grins.
Olivander nods, before sending a stream of silver smoke rings from the wand, and pronounced himself satisfied. Handing it back with a smile, he turns again, "Miss Krum if you please."
Cedric takes his seat beside Rose once again wrapping his arm around her shoulders, they both watch as Victoria slouched off to stand before the aged wand maker, thrusting her wand forward without being asked.
"Hmm, this is a Gregorovitch creation, yes? Fine wand maker he was, very fine indeed, though I never could get behind the styling…however…"
Lifting the wand to his nose, he examined it much like he had Fleur's; turning it over and over, while running his fingers along it.
"Hornbeam and dragon's heart string?" Glancing at Krum, he got a nod in return. "Rather thick, not a size one usually sees, quite stiff, ten and a quarter inches…" with a quick flick, and a muttered "Avis!" a blast like a gun sounded, and a flock of small birds flew from the tip, twittering all the way out of the hurriedly opened window.
Olivander nods, more to himself than anyone else, "Good, very good…" Handing the wand back, his silvery eyes land on the last champion, an odd look settling on his features, before disappearing just as quickly, leaving those who saw it to wonder if it had only been a trick of the light.
"This leaves just you, Miss Potter."
Rose stands, smiling down at Cedric when she feels his hand squeeze hers gently. Stepping around Victoria, and stopping in front of the wand maker, she gently pulls her wand from her robe pocket, handing it over slowly.
"Oh yes…yes yes yes… How well I remember this one."
Rose furrows her brows in a slight frown, for she could still remember the odd conversation as well. The thought that one doesn't often get compared to Voldemort in any sense and just forget. She did hope that Olivander would keep their conversation about her wand to himself, she had never told anyone, and had no desire for it to come out now, in a room full of mostly strangers, and Rita Skeeter with her Quick Quotes Quill.
Much to her relief, Olivander didn't say anything about her wand, with the exception of remarking that it looked nearly brand new. Rosalie had only flushed slightly, knowing how well she takes care of the few things that are hers.
It took him longer to examine her wand than any of the others, though he did eventually conjure a goblet and a fountain of wine to fill it before handing it back to Rose, announcing to the room at large that it was still perfect. Rosalie smiled, offering quiet thanks, before taking her wand and heading back to her seat next to Cedric, as Dumbledore's voice rang out once more.
"Thank you all for coming, I would send you back to your lessons, but perhaps it would be more prudent to send you along to the great hall, as dinner should begin soon."
Quickly Rose picked up her bag, and Cedric's hand, they had almost made it out the door when Ludo's voice filled the room, "Photos, champions, Dumbledore. We must have a few photos!"
Rosalie lets out a quiet groan as she allows herself to be pulled back into the room by a rather disgruntled Cedric, both glowering slightly at Rita Skeeter who had immediately swooped down on the pair, attempting-and failing- to wrench them apart.
The photographs seemed to take forever, Madame Maxime cast everyone in shadow where ever she stood, and the photographer was unable to move back far enough to get her completely in the frame. It was eventually decided that she would sit, and the others would gather around her. Once that was decided, it was a tug of war between the photographer, and Rita, as they both attempted to pull Rosalie, then Fleur to the front. Rosalie wouldn't let go of Cedric, and the entire time, Victoria, who should be most used to this, hid in the back. Eventually it was settled, Rosalie front and center, with Cedric beside her, Fleur beside her Headmaster, with Victoria, Dumbledore, Karkaroff, and Ludo and Barty in the back.
As soon as they were told they could go, Cedric and Rose raced through the door, and down to the kitchen, when they noticed that Henry wasn't there already, Rose explained that he might still be in the hospital wing, and the circumstances that landed him there. After that they began to talk of the Hogsmeade weekend, rather, Rosalie tried to wheedle out the details of their date, while Cedric just laughed and told her repeatedly that it was to be a surprise.
At mention of the surprise, Rosalie perked up, bringing up the letter she had received from Professor Lupin, she explained how he had been friends with her parents, and how now that he was no longer her teacher, she was allowed to refer to him as Uncle. The fact that she called him Uncle Moony was explained as his childhood nickname.
Cedric, intrigued, asked about what was planned, or even when, only to find Rose pouting cutely at him, telling him that it's a surprise. After they had finished talking about surprises, and their day, and after they had finished their meal, they quietly walked back to the room of requirement, though Cedric made sure to leave with enough time to return to his dormitory.
Author's note: Whoo, so that's chapter 11, I hope it's alright. I am sorry that it's late, it was supposed to be out last week, but my mother in law was sick, so I had been taking care of her. It was some sort of stomach bug, and thankfully she seems to be better now.
Let's see, I don't really have many comments about this chapter, I know that I changed the thing about Snape and his potions classes, but I think it's something he would do, why poison one person, when he could do it multiple times? Or maybe I just have a really mean streak somewhere. =p
I did like the bit with Rita, I thought that was kind of silly in the book, why would you sit there and continue to answer questions when your words were so obviously being twisted? So I just cut her off completely.
The bit about the actual wand weighing is very close to the book, since I wanted to get the details right.
I think that's about it, next chapter is Hagrid and learning about the Dragons, Hogsmeade, and Snuffles/Moony's surprise. That should prove to be a busy, entertaining chapter. =)
To Spotted Cow: thank you for your review! I'm really glad that you enjoy the story, and it's wonderful to hear that I've managed what I've been trying to do. Lol. I have a lot of problems reading gender switch fics because of what you mentioned, so I've been trying to make sure that I go about this thinking that Rose a girl, and for all intents and purposes, Harry does not exist.
I try to keep the important parts of Cannon, but I find no reason to stick to it like glue. There is no fun for me, in basically rewriting something that someone else has written, with a few changes to the names, and pronouns used; it seems too much like plagiarism. I'm glad that the balance is good, I add flashbacks when necessary, but really, unless it's some bit of very important plot development, I don't think it's terribly necessary.
The number of pages doesn't really matter to me, I know what I want to get into the chapter and I write until it's all settled. I can't ever write if I set out to say this chapter will have x-pages, then it becomes too much like work and I lose interest.
As to the way I write the characters, I'm glad to hear that I've fleshed them out enough, I try to keep that as realistic as possible.
Right, this is getting pretty long, so I'm just going to wrap this up by saying thank you again, your review really made my day. ^_^ I hope you enjoy the rest of the story as much as I've enjoyed writing it.
To everyone else that reads this story and adds it to their favorites/alerts: Thank you!