Principles of Attraction

Chapter 4 – The Truth Will Out

It was a lovely September day, not one you would usually find in northern Britain at that time of year. The sun was shining, birds were happily chirping, and the lake's surface was smooth and shimmering blue. It was just another perfect day to laze around on the grounds under a nice shady tree with friends, perhaps sipping some pumpkin juice as well.

Naturally, this meant that Rose was holed up in the castle library, dragging her friends with her.

"Why are we here anyway?" Joanna wondered wistfully, her head resting on a thick book, staring out the window.

"To keep ahead on our homework, because even though it's a Sunday, your essays aren't finished yet, and they're not going to be writing themselves! So you'd better hurry up and get a proper work ethic before our OWL year," snapped Cynthia in an uncanny imitation of Rose.

"Yeah, yeah, what she said," the real Rose muttered.

"Oh shut up Cynthia, you still have to write that comparison of Muggle weapons thing," Actaea said in her usual patronizing tone. Cynthia stuck out her tongue at her, but dutifully returned to her work.

"Rose, you're done right? Can't you help me, please?" Joanna begged, "We all know how much you love to proofread."

"I'm not done."

"Then what are you doing?"

"Stupid divination homework."

"Ahh, of course."

"I thought it was just a temporary course?" asked Actaea.

"This is Rose we're dealing with," Cynthia pointed out.

"Right."

"Gah!"

"Anger issues much?"

"Hmm, Rose, you do seem to be exceptionally short-tempered now."

"It's just this bloody fortune-telling load of –!"

"Whoa! Almost swearing? What's driving you so loopy Rosie? What are those tealeaves predicting?" Joanna interrupted just in time.

"Actually…" she confessed, blushing slightly, "I think my tealeaves want me to hook up with some guy. There's always this sign for a dark, mysterious stranger followed by either unexpected windfall or wedded bliss, or some other jibberish, always!"

"Always?"

"Yes! Like, what the hell? It's so silly, but people actually believe in it, and the more you read about it, the more believable it becomes; which is just preposterous, of course, but I have to do some extra research just in case –" she paused mid-rant to take a breath, "Cuz I can't have Trelawney of all people thinking I'm incompetent, though I really shouldn't, and she already thinks Scorpius Malfoy's some sort of Seer or just exceptionally affected by those 'forces', really!"

"What a pile of rubbish!" Cynthia exclaimed dramatically.

"Mmmhmm," Actaea mumbled, not even listening and choosing instead to peruse the latest copy of Witch Weekly.

"It's your insufferable work policy, I suppose," Joanna said wisely, and proceeded to tug back the magazine, "Oh, is Acromantula silk coming back?"

"Wait, did you say Scorpius is in your Divination class?" Cynthia demanded suddenly.

"Yes…why?"

"Nothing…"


Later that evening, the lovely, virtuous Rose Weasley, in a weakened state from three hours of continuous studying, was mercilessly ambushed in the Gryffindor common room and dragged to the dormitories, by her three closest friends no less.

"Ouch! Stop dragging me up the stairs –it hurts you know!" she demanded crossly.

"We're not dragging," Joanna corrected, "We're assisting you up the stairs."

"Forcefully," added Actaea, scowling from the effort.

"And –ow! Why is this necessary again?" Rose asked, cursing as her schoolbag came loose and scattered all her belongings.

"Well," Joanna explained, together with Actaea setting Rose down on her bed, "We're going to help you with your boy troubles!"

"What? No –I don't have any –" she protested.

"We heard that you've been having problems with a certain blond," Actaea elaborated dramatically.

"Uh, Hanson?"

"No! Scorpius Malfoy, of course."

"What! I don't have any problems, or anything really to do with him," her feeble protests were met with disbelieving stares. "Really! I –Cynthia! You told them?"

The blond witch emerged from the doorway, schoolbag in hand. She shrugged. "What'd you expect?"

"Still, you can't help me if there's nothing wrong with me, which, there isn't, therefore you can't help me. So let's just get back to the common room now."

"Not so fast. Come on, we're trying to help!"

"Hmm…" Rose glanced between her friends and the door, "Fine then." She sat back down and crossed her arms, clearing not wanting to be helped.

"Fabulous!" Cynthia gushed, and the three of them each took a seat on their own beds. "Now, what do you really think about Scorpius?"

"Yes, physically –how attractive do you think he is?"

"Ooh yes, we could rate his attractiveness, and everyone else's too!"

"Can we please not use the word 'attractive'?" Rose muttered weakly.

"Sure, but you have to answer our question," agreed Joanna.

"Okay, let's see…"

"Wait!" Actaea shouted, and quickly conjured up a clipboard and quill from (seemingly) nowhere. "Okay, go on."

"He's good-looking, handsome, I guess," she began hesitantly, then more confidently at Joanna's excited nods, "Nice hair, you know, all soft and fluffy and blond…erm…"

"What would you rate him, from one to ten?" Actaea prompted, while her quill whizzed over the parchment avidly taking notes.

"Uh…eight, maybe nine?"

"Only? Stop it Rose, we all know he's a ten."

"Eleven!" Joanna corrected.

"Yes, definitely at least an eleven."

"Fine! Eleven, then. Happy?"

"Not particularly. Rosie, dear," Cynthia hopped onto the bed beside her, held her hands, and looked her earnestly in the eye, "It's time for you give up this illusion of dislike, revulsion, even! when you talk about him. He's a really hot guy, no point denying it, and it's absolutely normal to like guys like him when you're this age."

"But she won't admit she likes him, obviously," Joanna sighed.

"Ahh, it's just I don't know what to feel for –about him. I mean, we've been set up against each other since…since the first day of Hogwarts, since we were born you could say. He's a Malfoy, I'm a Weasley, a Granger, I'm practically a Potter too, and we've always been competing for grades and stuff, and now we're all teenagers and all of a sudden he's flirting, or just going crazy, and how the hell am I supposed to react?"

"You could just ask him out, or wait for him to ask you. Hogsmeade weekends are coming up, you know," Cynthia offered, "Even if it's awkward and stuff, at least it'll be gotten over with, instead of this weird avoiding-each-other-making-awkward-comments-and-taking-it-out-on-your-friends thing, right?"

"Maybe…but I don't like him!"

"Oh really?"

"Honestly! He's rude to everyone except his friends, he's the epitome of an inbred snotty Pureblood, and such a showoff! How could I possibly like him? And he's Al's best friend, that's just so so not right!"

"Well…" Cynthia and Joanna began together, both looking uncommonly pensive. "It could be just hormones, or he really is cra –"

"God, enough of this melodrama!" Actaea yelled, slamming down her writing materials, "Rose, it's obvious what's happening."

"And what's happening?" she replied cautiously, unsure of what to make of this sudden outburst.

"Rose: you're a thirteen year old witch. You're an excellent student, a pretty popular girl, and quite pretty. Our dear Scorpius is a thirteen year old wizard. Excellent student, also popular, and devilishly handsome. So…"

"So what?"

"You have a crush on him, duh! And he obviously has a crush on you too!"

"He has a crush –no way! If he had a crush on me, then he would have to find me a –attractive! And then I would have to find him attractive too –which I do –no! What?" Rose gasped, literally keeling over from the shock of her realization. Cynthia quickly caught her and leaned her against the bedpost.

"Um…Rose, are you okay?"

"God, what the hell?" Rose squeaked, eyes wide in horror.

"It's gonna be all right…right? Rose…really, no need to be like this…" she attempted to comfort her.

"Yeah, it's perfectly normal to have a crush, right?" Joanna offered.

"Really, you're all a bunch of drama queens," scoffed Actaea.

"I have a crush on Scorpius Malfoy," Rose muttered under her breath, then louder, "I have a crush on Scorpius Malfoy!"

"Yes…you do…" Cynthia replied uneasily.

"I'M ATTRACTED TO SCORPIUS MALFOY! I HAVE A BLOODY CRUSH ON SCORPIUS MALFOY!" she shouted, really beginning to hyperventilate.

Joanna glanced nervously towards the open doorway, where the sounds of the raucous Gryffindor common room wafted into their own dorm room. Or rather, at that moment, the absolute silence that only a room of typically loud and boisterous teenagers can have in a moment of complete astonishment.

A/N: Cliff-hanger! Who's excited?

Like I (may have) promised, Rose is finally confronted by her friends regarding her true feelings toward that adorable blond we know and love. Didn't make sense? Try listening to everyone else's relationship issues. Thanks to all the lovely reviewers, as always.

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