by Poppy P
2nd Annual Sugarquill Fanfic Tournament
But I can’t help it
If I’m just a fool
Always having my heart set on you
‘Till the time you start changing
I’ll keep chasing the soles of your
Fool, by Shakira
I hate Hogwarts and everyone in it!
I always thought things would be different once I
found out I was a witch. But everything
has remained the same; the teasing, the pranks, the bullying. This is my third year at Hogwarts and it’s
been nothing but misery. My latest
humiliation is this stupid Halloween Ball that’s coming up. I’m the only girl in my year that hasn’t got
a partner. Nobody’s asked me. Of course, why would they; I’m short, fat and
wear big, thick glasses. I’m not exactly
a beauty. Still, you’d think someone
would’ve asked me.
This thought was plaguing me as I worked on my
Shrinking Solution in Potions. Once the
potion had cooled, I grabbed my cauldron and headed for my desk. I suppose I wasn’t paying attention because I
was too wrapped up in my dark thoughts about the Halloween Ball. In any case, I didn’t see Rubeus’
foot sticking out from under his desk. I
know he didn’t do it on purpose. He’s
just so huge, it’s hard for him to keep his big feet
under those little desks.
The cauldron flew out of my hands as I fell painfully
on the stone floor of the dungeons. The
Shrinking Solution saturated the front of my robes and splattered on my
glasses. I stood up, trying to brush the
potion off of my robes. Of course the
damage had been done; my robes were now above my knees. Not that I could really see my knees, mind you, as my glasses had shrunk as well. Perched on the tip of my nose, they looked
like tiny, doll spectacles.
“You clumsy, four-eyed
The dungeon exploded in laughter.
Even most of my fellow Hufflepuffs
were sniggering. Olive Hornby, my dorm mate, was crying with mirth. So much for House loyalty!
I turned and fled the room, intent on heading for my
sanctuary; the girls’ loo on the second floor. I often go there to escape the merciless
teasing. It’s a quiet place where I can
cry in solitary peace.
The only problem was that it wasn’t empty today. There was someone there, and he wasn’t a
“W-what are you doing here?” I asked, wiping at the
tears on my face.
The tall, dark-haired boy started at the sound of my
voice. He spun around quickly, edging
away from the washstand he had been peering at.
“What are you doing here?” I demanded again.
The boy pulled himself up to his full height, pulling
his robes straight. The prefect’s badge
on his chest glinted in the dim light.
“I’m a prefect,” he said sniffly.
“Yes, I know who you are,” I said acidly. How could I not? The fifth-year Slytherin
prefect was the topic of conversation for many girls in the castle. Tall, with jet-black hair and intensely dark
eyes, he was much admired by girls of all four Houses. The fact that the prefect was exceedingly
studious and kept to himself most of the time, only added to his mystique. Of course I wasn’t going to go all silly on
him like some girls. I crossed my arms
against my chest and glared at him.
“Professor Dippet asked me
to check in here for clues,” he said airily.
“There was another attack last night.”
The attacks had started almost immediately after the start of the
term. This made three students, lying in
the hospital wing as though they were made of stone. Still, it seemed odd that Professor Dippet would send the boy in to look for clues here.
“You won’t find much in here, I think.” I nodded towards the washbasin he had been
examining. “That tap’s never even
“Yes well, we’ve got to try.” He stepped closer to me, peering intently at
my face. “You’ve been crying.” It was a statement, rather than a question.
I turned away, ashamed. “It’s…it’s none of your business,” I said
He shrugged and turned for the door.
“They’re always teasing me!” I found myself blurting
out. “Especially Olive
“Perry’s sister?” he asked. Perry Hornby was a
fifth year Gryffindor.
I nodded miserably.
“She thinks she’s so pretty, and smart and rich…”
“You have to stand up to people like that,” he said in
a quiet tone that managed to be fierce.
“Stand up to them, me?” I asked. “B-but she’s related to an old wizarding family.
Her father is the Minister’s cousin.
And I’m…nobody. Everyone here
teases me; they call me a fat, miserable, moaning freak! I hate them.”
“That’s it! You
need to get angry. You need to defend
yourself.” He looked positively
delighted. “Make them pay for your
misery.” He balled his hands up into
I was touched.
I swiped my sleeve across my nose and smiled at
him. “You’re so right. I will try and stand up to them from now on.”
He smiled back.
I blushed hotly, but I got the courage up to ask, “Do
you think we can talk like this again someday?
I don’t have many friends. Even
after two years here, I still feel like I don’t fit in. You…you’re from a Muggle background as well,
“You’re Muggle-born?” he asked.
Something about the way he said it made me feel as though it was a bad
thing. But how could that be when he was
Muggle-born as well? I squashed that
“Yes, I am. So
do you think we can talk again like this?”
He gave me a crooked grin which I found quite
charming. “We’ll definitely have to talk
The Halloween Ball was turning out pretty much how I
thought it would; I was miserable.
Everyone looked so nice in their fancy dress robes. I had chosen plain black ones that looked
very much like our everyday ones. It
wasn’t as though I had a partner anyway.
I was sitting there, feeling lonely when I felt
someone tapping my shoulder hard. I
turned around to tell them to cut it out and found Rubeus
smiling shyly. “Oh, it’s you,” I said
“Listen Myrtle, I still feel bad about wha’ happened in Potions.
I was wondering, would you care to dance?” He asked nervously.
I became very defensive. “Is this some kind of joke?” I hissed.
“Not at all!” he said quickly. “I’d really like it if yeh’d
dance with me Myrtle.”
Against my better judgment, I took Rubeus’
huge hand and let him guide me to the dance floor. It was a bit of a struggle finding out which
arm went where and when we finally figured that out, it turned out that I only
reached up to his belly button. Still,
he was quite graceful for someone his size.
He steered me through the dance floor and didn’t let anyone bump into
me. It was almost nice.
“You’d think she would’ve lost those hideous glasses
at least for tonight!”
“Look at her, she looks ridiculous dancing with that
Olive Hornby and her partner
were dancing quite close to us. Their
voices carried easily. I felt my eyes
“Don’t pay attention to them,” boomed Rubeus.
Olive sniggered again.
“Would you look at those robes?
No fashion sense whatsoever. Of
course we knew that though. I mean what
kind of witch would wear glasses like that?”
That did it. I
should’ve known better than to come to this stupid ball!
I yanked my hands out of Rubeus’
and ran out of the Great Hall. I was
crying openly and many people turned to stare.
I practically knocked Professor Dippet down as
he attempted to stop me and ask me what was wrong.
I didn’t stop until I was in my sanctuary. I ran into the last stall and slammed the
I was in there for when I heard the door creak
open. I tried not to get my hopes
up. Still, when I heard his voice, my heart leapt! I didn’t quite understand what he said, so I
unlatched the door to go out and ask him to repeat it. I couldn’t believe he’d actually come. Maybe things were starting to look up for me