"Come on, Rose, we just won a Quidditch match! Against Slytherin! Aren't you excited?" Bella whined.

"Sure," I replied, rolling my eyes slightly. "That's great. But this is a really interesting novel, so could you let me read right now?"

"You're so boring!" Bella tried to snatch my book away, but I didn't let her.

"I may be boring, but at least I have some sense." I sat up on my bed, rearranging the comfortable navy blue and bronze throw pillows. The sunlight streamed in from the open window next to my bedside table, falling precisely on the pages of my book. The dormitory was deserted except for Bella; everyone else was already "partying", even though it wasn't even close to sundown yet. What time-wasting idiots.

Bella sighed and threw up her arms in defeat. "Fine. I give up. So what are you going to do while we all go and enjoy ourselves? Read up here?"

"No, actually I was going to go to Taylor and Mai's dorm. We were all going to finish up the Arithmancy homework that's due Monday, and then maybe read a bit. Don't worry if I don't come back, by the way, I might be sleeping over."

"Taylor and Mai's dorm?!" Bella repeated, nearly shouting. "But they're Slytherins! They probably hate you right now! You'll be in mortal danger!"

"We don't let petty things like Quidditch rivalries get in the way of our friendship. Besides, it's not like anyone's going to attack me." I sniffed. "Now, go ahead and enjoy yourself. I'll be leaving a bit later; I said I'd be at the dungeons by five."

"You're impossible." Bella sighed again and flounced over to the door. "Well, then it'll be your job to brew a hangover potion tomorrow. Merlin knows we'll need it."

I shook my head at her retreating back. "You'll regret it later." I waited for a response, but she was already gone.

Exhaling, I looked around the sixth year Ravenclaw girls' dorm. There were seven beds, and I occupied the very corner one, which came with the bonus of an extra shelf and the aforementioned window. While the other girls' bedside tables and surrounding areas were littered with makeup and discarded fashion magazines, my corner was neat and orderly. All my books were stacked neatly on the shelves by subject, with the extra shelf next to the window reserved for Muggle fiction. Others called me weird or even "Squibby" - whatever that meant - but I had to admit, muggle fantasy was fascinating.

Slowly, I took out the Arithmancy homework, my unfinished Ancient Runes essay (I never knew if I'd finish my homework with Taylor and Mai early), and the book I was reading earlier (Eragon by Christopher Paolini) out of my school bag. I left Pride and Prejudice on my bed. It was too heavy to lug around the castle, anyways. I replaced my belongings into a smaller, worn black leather bag, which had lots of secret pockets and was just the right size for the books I usually carried around. Glancing around, I made sure that I hadn't forgotten anything, and was rewarded when I spotted my black quill and ink bottle sitting on my writing desk. (Yes, Ravenclaws had their own writing desks - they needed it.) After placing those items into the bag as well, I swept the dormitory with one last glance. Everything was in order. I nodded with satisfaction and headed down the stairs.

I could hear the booming music from the giant wizarding wireless set even from the sixth floor of Ravenclaw tower. Obviously, the stupid party was already in full swing. Idiots... they had no respect for their bodies, and no responsibility whatsoever for their actions. I sighed again and resumed walking calmly down the stairs. Hopefully no one would notice me sneaking out the door. You'd think the smart, quiet(er) Ravenclaws would have some sense, but apparently not.

"AAAAAAHHHH! ROSE!" A scream assaulted my ears as soon as I reached the bottom step. I screamed, too, and almost dropped my bag, but thankfully held on to it and the last second. Bella, Harley, Rachel, Vialle, and even quiet Jenna had been lying in wait for me at the foot of the stairs, and they pounced on me like wolves. "What are you wearing?! This is a party, for Merlin's sake, not a class!" Rachel was screaming over the noise of the pop music blaring from the radio.

"What the bloody hell!" I shouted. "What are you doing? Give me back my bag! And what - are - you - doing - with - my - BOOKS?" Each word was punctuated with a ferocious kick, as the girls had grabbed me by the arms and legs and were starting to drag me back up the stairs. Bella held my copy of Eragon smugly, dangling it just out of my reach.

"You want it? You want it?" she teased me. "Well, I'm afraid you can't have any of this back. It's time to party, Rose, not to study."

"NO!" I screamed, my demonic rage taking over. "STOP! You can't do this!"

"Yes, we can," Harley said in a normal voice. We had reached the sixth year dorm. "We're not going to let you bring yourself to waste, Rosie dear. You need to stop being so rigid and uptight."

"No, I DON'T!" I yelled. "Stop making these decisions for me! Haven't you realized that maybe I don't want to stop being rigid and uptight and whatever? I just want to get my homework done, with my friends!"

To my intense fury, the other girls only rolled their eyes. One of them had taken my wand, and they were now using it to conjure a chair with ropes.

"Tie her to the chair," Bella instructed. "Harley, get out the makeup. Rachel, show me what clothes you've got. Jenna, I know you have a ton of shoes in your closet - get them all. We need to make her look gorgeous. Even Ethan Zabini needs to notice her, and you know what an Italian hottie he is! I'm still surprised he's in Ravenclaw rather than Slytherin, like his pal Malfoy."

"Malfoy is my friend," I snarled. "Well, not really a best friend, but at least we're on speaking terms!" I added, in response to the girls' curious glances. "And I demand that you let me go!"

Bella shook her head pityingly. "No can do, Rosie. You need to learn to party."

I took a deep breath. Inhale, exhale. There had to be some way out of this. Shoot, Rachel was coming with those awful slutty outfits of hers... where did she even find time to get them, let alone wear them? Okay. Maybe if I could send a Patronus to Taylor and Mai, they'd fly in on their brooms or something. Taylor was a Seeker while Mai was a Beater, and both of them owned the latest Shadowstrike 3000. "Hey, guys," I said, in a false sweet voice. "Could you just give me my wand back for a second? I need to do something."

"Why?" Harley asked suspiciously as she dumped all her makeup accessories onto the ground next to me. I realized that while I was thinking, Bella had bound me to the chair right in front of the floor-length mirror that stood next to her bed.

"Oh, I just need to summon a few hair clips," I replied airily, thinking fast. "They're hidden, though, so you won't be able to find them."

"Fine. But we'll have all our wands pointing at you, so don't try anything funny," Vialle said, narrowing her eyes at me. Bella handed me my wand. As soon as it touched my fingers I thought quickly, "Expecto Patronum!" At the same time, I ran through the message in my head. "Taylor and Mai: I've been kidnapped by my dorm mates and they intend to make me party. Please come with your brooms, I'll be in Ravenclaw tower!" Fortunately, my magical skill was sufficient enough that my nonverbal spell worked - or so I hoped, as I'd never tried it before. I'd researched a form of the spell that didn't involve a silvery streak of light coming from my wand-tip, which was a lot more useful in a situation where I was in danger, i.e. now. To avoid suspicion, I also performed a quick summoning charm, and indeed a couple of hair clips flew from the depths of my closet. They were from two years ago, but I wasn't about to tell Bella that.

"Good. Your wand, please." Bella held out her hand, and I obediently gave her my ebony and dragon heartstring wand back. It was long and willowy, 13 1/4 inches, despite the thick wood. I smiled inwardly as she placed it on her bed, then turned to me with a fierce expression.

"All right! Rose Weasley, we came to the conclusion that you are in an emergency: you have never drunk firewhiskey in your whole life, you dislike butterbeer, you hate mainstream music, your favorite band is a muggle string quartet -"

"Vitamin String Quartet," I muttered.

"- right, that. And your two best friends are in Slytherin, you're friends with Scorpius Malfoy, who is incidentally really hot and totally unlike his father, and yet you still don't admit any romantic feelings for him, or for anyone else for that matter." Bella fixed me with her evil glare. "You, Rose Weasley, are in dire need of a makeover."

"Fine," I sighed, seeing it was pointless to argue. "Just do my hair first." At least, if she did anything with it, it would be easy to reverse. Usually my gently curling, dark brown hair was in a tight ponytail, so that it didn't get in my face.

Bella frowned, but relented. "All right. Vialle, could you pass me that hairspray..."

As they did whatever horrors they intended to do, I took the chance to examine myself curiously in the mirror. It had been a while since I'd really gotten a good look at myself. My hair, as I already mentioned, resembled my mother's except for it being less curly (but no less frizzy, which I did absolutely nothing about). I had pale brown eyes, perhaps a shade lighter than that of milk chocolate. A lot of people thought they were strange, and therefore were unable to hold my gaze for long. Plain black glasses sat on the light dusting of freckles that covered the bridge of my nose. My lips were small and thin, just like my face in general. In fact, my whole frame was stick-thin, with no curves. Although that's the way I liked it. Maybe it was because I never spent much time outside; but what was the point? I loved flying, but I didn't have my own broom and I didn't care much for Quidditch. I thought the sport ruined the feeling of simply floating in the air, feeling the autumn breeze, not having a care in the world...

"Rose! Earth to Rose!" Harley's voice snapped me out of my daydreams. I glanced at myself in the mirror and couldn't help raising an arched eyebrow. They had done a pretty good job, I had to admit. My hair was now cascading down my back in soft waves, reaching my shoulder blades, I knew. A silver headband held it back from my face.

"Pretty good," I said dismissively. "Of course, it'll be easy to reverse once you're done with me. But it's not a bad effort."

"Rose!" Bella snapped. "We're doing this for you! Aren't you happy?"

"No." My voice was calm, unlike my rage of fifteen minutes earlier. "But thanks for trying, anyways."

"But -" Rachel's words were cut off by a loud banging noise. I looked toward my now-open window, my heart pounding with excitement, expecting to see Taylor Chen and Mai Chang floating outside my window; but to my intense surprise, it was Scorpius Malfoy. His platinum-blonde hair was whipped around his face in a halo-like effect, his robes billowing behind him, slender white fingers gripping his broom handle. And he was smiling. Not smirking, not sneering; no, his thin face and grey eyes were alight with a genuine smile.

"Scorpius!" Bella practically screamed. "What are you doing here?!"

"I got Rosie's message. Naturally, her being a damsel in distress, I felt it was my duty to rescue her from your harassment," he said, alighting gently on the carpeted floor. "And by the looks of it, she needs it." He nodded at my bound limbs. "Come on, Rose."

"I'm not a damsel in distress," I muttered. "And in case you haven't noticed, I can't exactly get free. My wand's on the bed."

"Scorpius, you can't take her!" Bella wailed. "We were going to give her a makeover! She needs to learn to party - look how uptight she is!"

Scorpius tilted his head, considering her words. I sent him a glare that clearly said, if you leave me here, you're dead.

"All right," he relented finally. "I see your point, Bella, but I'm afraid she's going to explode. Look at her expression."

"Point taken," Bella said hastily, also glancing at my face. With a wave of her wand, she vanished the ropes. I got to my feet, rubbing my wrists and scowling.

"You guys are in for it tonight," I snarled fiercely, brushing off my robes. "Scor, a hand, please?"

"Of course, my lady." Scorpius offered me his arm elegantly, and I took it, rolling my eyes slightly. "Wait, though. I need my wand, and my bag." I snatched my wand from my bed, performed a quick accio charm, and my beloved leather satchel flew into my hands. "Let's go."

"Have fun, Rosie," Bella said gloomily.

"Who knows, you might even get a boyfriend!" Harley winked cheekily, and the other girls burst into laughter. I gave them my best death glare as I climbed onto Scorpius' broom, with him right behind me in case I fell off by accident. Not that that would happen, but I was the girl, after all.

"I'm sure Rose would refuse any advances," Scorpius remarked, laughing slightly. "Well, see you later."

"See you -" My words were cut off as Scorpius took off. I couldn't help gasping slightly as his arms snaked around my waist, holding me in place. I gripped the broom handle tightly, praying that the extra weight wouldn't make the broom unstable.

"Thanks for coming, Scor," I muttered. I didn't like apologizing, but I guessed a thanks was in order.

"You're most certainly welcome. It's a great day to be flying, and Taylor and Mai were more than happy to let me pick you up instead."

"They were?" I had thought that Taylor had a small crush on Scorpius, so she wouldn't be pleased that he was the one to "rescue" me.

"Of course." Scorpius leaned forward slightly, and I followed his lead, so that the broom started descending to the courtyard. His breath tickled my ear, and I did my best not to shudder. He was my friend, of course, but this was just awkward. Thank Merlin I didn't like him in that way. My last crush had been when I was in third year, on none other than Lorcan Scamander. Ever since that disastrous event, I had kept my head in my books and out of the clouds. Romance was such a pointless endeavor, anyways.

Our feet touched down gently on the stone ground of the courtyard. I hastily got off of Scorpius' broom, and stumbled slightly as a result, making him chuckle slightly. I frowned, but instead of making some sort of retort, I just stalked off into the castle and into the hallway that would lead to the Slytherin dungeons.

"Hey, Rose, wait up!" Scorpius called from behind me. I reluctantly stopped, but didn't turn to face him. He hurried up to my side, and we resumed walking together, me with my eyes staring straight ahead. "Rose, don't be so prickly. You are a bit clumsy, you know."

"Thank you." I didn't look at him.

"Rose, come on. Don't be mad. We're friends, right? Friends tease each other all the time!" Scorpius was panting slightly in an effort to match my relentless pace. We were, to my pleasure, the same height, but my legs were slightly longer than his, I think. In any case, I was better at stalking away from someone. It took practise.

"I suppose." I admitted reluctantly. "Look, I'm just in a bad mood, all right? I'm not happy with my so-called friends right now."

"I'd be mad, too, I think," Scorpius supplied helpfully. I rolled my eyes. "But you do look pretty good, Rose."

"Excuse me?" I asked sharply. "And why, exactly, do you care?"

He held up his hands in a gesture of surrender, almost dropping his broom. "It's just a compliment! Merlin, I can sort of see where Bella was coming from!"

"Whatever." I mumbled, starting to walk again. Those grey eyes were unnerving me, for some reason, and I had no intention of prolonging eye contact.

The rest of our walk was passed in silence. I was still slightly irritated with Scorpius for saying that my hair looked nice. Maybe it did, but to me, it sounded as if he had agreed with Bella had done. All right, I was being stupid, but I really needed someone to vent my anger on, and I'm sorry, but Scorpius was the only one available. He'd endured a lot of my temper flares before, after all.

"Starless Serpent." Scorpius muttered the password, and a section of the damp stone wall slid open, revealing the Slytherin common room. A few people looked around to see who had entered, but most of them relaxed when they saw it was just me. I had become such a frequent visitor over the past few years that even the first years, who had only been here for two months, knew who I was.

"Rose!" Taylor and Mai had been sitting in a corner, writing what was presumably their essay, but they greeted me with smiles as I hurried over. "Scorpius get you away safely, I see?" Mai asked.

"Yep." I dumped my bag on the comfy black armchair next to Taylor and turned to face Scorpius again. He was standing a few feet away, looking unsure of himself. "Thanks again, Scorpius. If you hadn't come I'd probably be dead by now."

He smiled again, and I blinked with surprise. "You're welcome, Rose. See you around." He turned and walked away, towards his friends in another corner of the room. I shook my head to clear it and plopped down next to Taylor.

"So what happened?" she asked anxiously. "Those girls give you a hard time?"

"You wouldn't imagine." I sighed and rubbed my eyes tiredly. True, I was still angry. But they weren't the only individuals causing me mental trouble right now. One of the said individuals had a pair of beautiful grey eyes, and I needed to sort out my feelings before something else happened that I would later regret.

A/N: Reviews are greatly welcomed!

~Fire