Rose was the first one to acknowledge Carmen with words, and she latched onto that, wondering if she could twist the situation somehow to cause the redhead’s misfortune. Misfortune beyond something as simple as grey hair, that was. Maintaining eye-contact she bit her lip, playing innocent, timid, and sweet at the same time from her avian perching position on the windowsill. Carmen had not forgotten her 50%-victim act throughout the staring.
“Terrifyingly terrifying?” she chirped, twitching her head to the side in an inquisitive manner. No blinking. Her eyes were watering. “Why do you say that?” It was possible that the girl had witnessed her performing sectumsempra, since it had happened in the middle of the Ravenclaw common room - and even if she hadn’t, the news had certainly gotten around. She had seen the article Ace had written, pulling sympathy for Carmen which suited her just fine. Sympathy was good. Sympathy was what the victim-act was for. ‘Terrifying’ wasn’t a word she wanted associated with her. Terrifying was what went on inside her head, and no one was supposed to know that.
She blinked. On purpose. The thing about the game was that she had no motive to win unless it meant being able to do something unfortunate to her opponent as a reward. But Rose Weasley was talking to her and the thought of turning her hair grey went out the window. It would cause too much suspicion now. Unable to feel pride or any form of competitive spirit, there was no point in trying to win, whereas losing held the slight possibility that the other girl would be in a better mood, and perhaps see her as less ‘terrifying’.
Blinking a few more times to get rid of the dry feeling in her eyes, Carmen made a small giggling sound. A very precise giggle, weak, short, and all around adding to the impression that she was still upset over the events of last week. She had only picked up the more complicated body language such as ironic laughs, forced smiles, and hidden amusement in the past few years. Contradictory emotions confused her, but they worked. “You win,” she added after the blinking and slight giggling. Shifting from her perch, she sat her bum down on the windowsill and swung her legs down to hang against the stone wall. If Rose wished to continue speaking to her, so be it. Unlike other students, she didn’t shy away from Rose, or from anyone really.
Although treating Carmen to one of her famous quirked eyebrows, she didn’t question her and couldn’t help the little satisfied smile that spread across her lips. Rose valued a victory and wasn’t in a position to doubt something if she had just won. As odd and… off as the younger girl seemed, she supposed that she wasn’t the most normal person in the school either and a harmless staring competition wasn’t a sign of a secret axe murderer or an alien parading around in a fifteen year old’s skin. (Although she was sure it could be if she searched hard enough through the sci-fi section of the muggle library not far from home.
“Well. Horaay for me, I suppose.”
Still having not answered Carmen’s question from before Rose’s victory, she furrowed her brow and leaned against the wall next to Carmen’s windowsill seat. She pondered the answer silently, unsure of how to properly articulate her feelings. Mainly, it was the fact that instead of a simple self defense charm, she had used sectumsempra. She had been raised on war stories and tales of dark wizards who did horrifying deeds. From birth, her sense of right and wrong had been coded into her genetics and even if it was just a silly hunch because she acted a little strange, Rosie couldn’t help feeling uncomfortable. Also coded into her genetics was that determination and braveness that, although mostly went to her cousins, brushed off on her as she was growing up. And that was what led her to opening her mouth to speak instead of walking away, like she possibly should have. Still, what was the worst that could possibly come from a conversation? Surely nothing.
“I’m a little concerned that somebody in the same year as my brother can send somebody the same year as me to the hospital wing, if I’m honest. Lowe was repulsive and digusting and I’m sorry, but really wouldn’t simple self defense spells have done?” she replied, her voice sounding a little harsh.
Almost immediately she felt guilty. If the girl was completely innocent and Rosie was just acting paranoid, then she was probably taking what must have been a horrible experience for her and just making it worse. The build up of stress and worry that had been festering in her mind was refusing to be bottled up and she had accidently let it spill over and almost blame Carmen. Quickly, she tried to backtrack, “I mean —,” but she gave up before she could continue any further, knowing that the real issue that had her thoughts all knotted up wasn’t anything to do with the younger girl.