A/N: I have felt extremely guilty for not having anything new to post, so here is a deleted scene that I have been holding on to. I deleted it because I felt like I went a bit overboard, but now I'm glad I kept is as it gives you something to read. I'll remove it when I get the next chapter completed and then repost it after the story is completed, either in its own separate story or at the end of this one.
I'm hopeful that my imagination will kick in this weekend and I can find my momentum for this story again.
It was now their fifth and last day of school before the weekend, Harry and Mike had been discussing their plans for meeting up that weekend with a group of friends to go to First Beach at La Push. They had just finished deciding when and where to meet up when Merope joined them with a smile and a mischievous twinkle in her eye that only Harry noticed. Before Harry could ask what was going on, they were interrupted by a commotion from the end of the hallway.
Merope was getting frustrated with Jessica and her friend, Lauren, who had been low-key harassing her for the last two days. Every time Merope visited the loo, there they were. They even seemed to be going out of their way to follow her down the halls between classes. She was tempted to take Harry up on his offer to intervene, but she would rather take care of the stupid girls herself, besides they we only muggles, it wasn't as if they could truly harm her.
Merope's biggest concern was how to make the harassment stop without taking it too far. Merlin knows the girls were just immature teenagers that had never been told, no, and had been allowed to get away with the most ridiculous of behaviors.
Today, though, Merope had reached her boiling point, as the two girls started escalating their bullying tactics. Where before they were just following, today they were following her and making snide comments they made sure she and anyone nearby overheard in the halls. Comments like, "I'll bet the only reason Harry wants to be with her is because she lives with him and puts out," or, "Please, I'll bet he's only with her because he's too much a gentleman to say he's tired of her."
Merope had finally had enough when they both decided to step up their intimidation tactics and corner her in the bathroom at the end of classes. Merope really didn't understand what they hoped to accomplish, as she had never experienced this kind of bullying in any of the previous timelines that she had shared with Harry. Then again, she'd never spent much time around other teenagers while pretending to be a teenager, either, so she had no idea if this was a muggle-only problem or a teenage girl problem.
Merope, having already been frustrated with the treatment she had been enduring for the past few days, had already been ready to snap. So when Lauren grabbed her from behind so that Jessica could make adjustments to Merope's wardrobe, in an attempt to get pictures of her in a compromising position with another student, who they had waiting nearby, Merope snapped.
Merope wrenched herself loose from Lauren, showing off a bit of her martial arts skills, shocking both girls as she grabbed Lauren by the wrist and used pressure points to force her to her knees, then she cast a wandless sticking charm in order to keep the girl there.
By the time Merope had turned her attention to Jessica, her eyes were glowing with her anger and the charge of magic in the air had caused Merope's hair to stand on end, as if she had had a run in with some static electricity. Before Jessica or Lauren could scream, she hit them both with a silencing charm, and placed a sticking charm to Jessica's feet so she couldn't try to run, if she just so happened to lose her balance and fall, well, that wasn't Merope's problem. Lastly, she threw a locking charm at the door, so one one could come in to disturb them.
Finally, Merope took several breaths, in an attempt to calm down so that the charge of magic in the air was less thick. "Right now, I don't know why I let Harry talk me into enrolling in school, where I'm forced to deal with immature brats," Merope mumbled to herself.
Once she felt like she had succeeded in calming, she turned her attention to her tormentors and spoke, "Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus. Do you know what that means?" Receiving fearful shakes of the head in the negative, Merope resumed, "It means, 'never tickle a sleeping dragon'. Now, I've put up with a lot from the two of you this week, because I knew you were misguided and stupid, especially if you thought that bullying me was going to make my Harry leave me for one of you."
Addressing Jessica specifically, Merope said, "Harry already thinks you're unbearable, so neither one of us can understand why you keep trying to get his attention. He has told you enough times that he's not interested in you that even the world's dumbest dog would stop trying to gain his attention."
Turning to Lauren, Merope said, "Now, I haven't spent enough time around you to understand why you're trying to help her. Maybe she blackmailed you, maybe you owed her a favor. At this point, I really couldn't care, you should have told her, no."
Obviously the two girls couldn't answer due to the charm, but their lips kept moving at a rapid speed. All that was running through their minds was bafflement at how she was doing this and how they were going to be able to escape and tell the whole school about her.
Merope shook her head and said, "I would have been content to continue to ignore the two of you, but today, you chose to go too far." Their eyes widened as they saw Merope turn towards the mirror and wave a hand over the ripped places of her blouse, instantly repairing the small tears and stretched places.
Turning back to the two girls, Merope said with a grin, "Now, as much as I loath the two of you for your behavior, I'm going to be lenient with you, considering Harry and I do intend to be in this town long enough to at least both graduate high school, therefore, having to put up with the likes of you. I'd like it if we could get along, but I'm afraid that after today, it will be impossible for me to be more than civil to you.
"But I am still going to take this opportunity for a bit of revenge," Merope said, and she tied both girls up with conjured ropes and then removed the sticking charms, after which, she levitated them to their feet and made sure they were both facing the mirror.
"Now," Merope said with a smile, "we're going to give the two of you a little makeover. Its permanency will be up to you. I could go so far as to making you look as ugly on the outside as you are on the inside, but then, how would we explain the two of you turning into hags in the space of a ten-minute visit to the loo, I mean, restroom?"
Merope began, starting first with Lauren. "Since you love your blonde hair so much, Lauren, I think I'm to curse it to start falling out. You'll never know when clumps of it might take to falling out for absolutely no reason at all. No amount of hair products you buy will repair the damage." Lauren started crying at this point. "Oh, don't worry I'll give you a chance to break the curse." At Lauren's hopeful look, Merope said, "When your heart and character are just as beautiful as you currently are on the outside, the curse will be lifted." Lauren's eyes filled with tears again, thinking about how stupid she had been to go along with Jessica's plans, and wondering just how long this was going to take.
Then Merope turned her attention to Jessica and said, "Jessica, Jessica, Jessica. What to do with you? I doubt simply making your hair fall out will change you." Jessica glared at Merope's reflection in the mirror. "Ah ha! I've got it," said Merope. "We're going to give you a bad case of acne." Jessica's eyes widened in horror, then she narrowed her eyes and tried to pretend nonchalance, she figured she would be able to cover up acne with makeup and use something like Proactive to cure it.
"Yes, but what else?" Merope asked. "Perhaps acne spots that spell 'bully' or maybe acne the size of boils." Merope tapped her chin in thought. "Oh, we'll just have to alternate the size and types of ache, depending on how ugly you are on the inside, shall we?" Merope applied the curse, but set it with a delay to start on Monday morning. "There, now as with Lauren, there will be no product you can buy to mask them or get rid of them."
"Oh, and I think I'll add a little something extra for you, Jessica, since you were the one who got Lauren involved in your pettiness." Merope said as she gave a smirk. "I'm going to give you a unibrow, and the more you attempt to pluck it or wax it or do anything else to try to get rid of it, it will just grow thicker and thicker. As with Lauren, your curse will be broken when your inner self is as beautiful as your outer self currently is." The unibrow bit was time delayed to start on Monday, too.
Merope then said, "Oh, one more thing. I doubt anyone would believe you if you did try to tell anyone, but I've placed a gag order charm on the two of you. Neither one of you will be able to do, say, write, or in any other way tell anyone else about seeing me perform magic." Merope smirked and added, "If you try, what you hear yourself say or see yourself write will not be what anyone actually hears or sees, you could end up saying something rather embarrassing, so I wouldn't attempt it if I were you…"
Then Merope set the bindings and silencing charms to release the moment she walked out of the loo and the door closed behind her. She had just made it to Harry's side, where he was talking with Mike Newton, when screams could be heard from the bathroom down the hall, causing everyone to look that direction.
Jessica and Lauren came barrelling out of the bathroom with a wild look in their eyes, finally they rested their eyes upon Merope and their faces turned red with rage, and stomped towards her.
"Oh, here we go again," Merope mumbled while rolling her eyes.
"What exactly happened while you were in the loo, babe?" Harry asked curiously.
In answer, she dropped her mental shields and pushed the memory towards him. After he viewed them, Harry nodded in answer and gave her hand a supportive squeeze, before he returned his attention back to the screaming banshee and her sidekick.
"I LOVE WEARING PINK UNICORN PAJAMAS!" Jessica screamed. Lauren turned to Jessica with her jaw dropped open in surprise and eyes widened at that loud proclamation and it only took her about half a second to realize that it was the result of the "gag order charm" that Merope had spoken of. She immediately closed her mouth and wisely chose to remain silent.
Mike looked at Jessica with a puzzled frown, "Jessica, are you alright? While your choice sleepwear is surprising, I'm confused as to why you chose to announce it to the whole school."
Jessica's eyes bugged out at that and said in frustration, "No, I'm trying to tell you that sometimes I fart when I laugh." When she heard the snickers coming from the surrounding students and Lauren's slack-jawed expression, she finally realized what was happening. She awkwardly turned to Lauren and quietly asked, "What did I say?"
Lauren whispered, "Well, first you screamed that you like to wear pink unicorn pajamas, and just now you said that sometimes you fart when you laugh." Then Lauren backed away, just in case Jessica exploded in an unexpected way.
Harry's lip twitched as he tried not to laugh with everyone else.
Merope stood there with one hand in Harry's, making eye contact with Jessica, she blew on the nails of her other hand and proceeded to buff them on her shirt, then winked.
Jessica's face paled as she realized exactly the consequences of her actions, then she turned and fled with tears streaming down her face.
Lauren made eye contact with Merope and mimicked taking off her hat to her, then turned around and left. She wasn't sure how she was supposed to accomplish what was needed to break this curse that she knew would kick in at any moment, but she was going to do her best to figure out how. Looking back, she wished she had not agreed to be Jessica's accomplice and she was fairly certain she wanted nothing to do with her anymore.
"Did that just happen?" Mike asked.
Harry nodded and said, "I'm afraid so, mate. I wonder if someone slipped something into her drink?"
Mike's response was, "I know, mate, is something you British folk call your friends, but it sounds weird here, dude."
"Sorry," Harry said with a shrug. "I'll try to remember that, but old habits die hard and all that."