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22 July 2013 @ 08:18 pm
A Difference of Heights — For Maple  
Title: A Difference of Heights
For: Maple
Characters/Pairings: Lily/Scorpius
Rating: 1st-2nd years
Warnings (if any): mild profanity
Author’s Note: Huge thanks to the lovely Ari/Royari for betaing this so quickly.

Lily flopped onto the bed and stared at the white ceiling of her new room. This warm weather didn't suit her and it had been a busy day. Volunteering required a lot more administration than she had expected. She'd thought she would be able to just show up and get on with things, instead of having all of these forms and timetables and name badges to sort out for herself. But then the Quidditch World Cup was probably the largest event in the wizarding world, and this was the first time it had come to Britain since her parents were teenagers. In three weeks' time, when Scotland played Uganda, things would be even more chaotic. Lily was determined to make this a good summer, however busy things got.

Just as she was starting to relax a bit, she heard the door creaking open. She sat up quickly: this must be her mysterious room-mate. All she knew was that she was sharing with another teenage girl, a Ravenclaw. Hopefully it would be someone she remembered from Hogwarts. On the other side of a levitated trunk stood the girl. Lily recognised her as being from the year above her at Hogwarts, but couldn't remember anything more. She looked young – younger than her age – with a rounded face framed by wildly curly black hair. Behind a pair of wire-rimmed glasses, her eyes narrowed.

“Lily Potter, isn't it?”

Before Lily could answer, she had carried on.

“Charlotte Clearwater. I believe my mother knew your uncle.”

Lily had the distinct impression that Charlotte liked knowing more than she did. “I'm sorry, but which uncle would that be? I have several.” She only felt a slight twinge of regret for her unfriendly tone.

“Percy, I believe,” Charlotte said. “My mother is Penelope Clearwater. She told me they dated for a while before the war.”

“Uncle Percy?” Lily said, surprised. She couldn't quite imagine him as a teenager with a girlfriend. “I assumed you meant Bill or Charlie.”

Charlotte seemed to clam up at that, just smiling awkwardly in response. She turned away to put her trunk down at the foot of her bed.

Now feeling somewhat worse about her initial coldness, Lily decided to try again. “So what brings you here? A Quidditch fan, I assume?”

Her back still turned, Charlotte replied. “Oh, not really. I like the sport well enough, but I couldn't name all of the players on each team.”

“That'll have changed by match day, I bet,” Lily said, grinning. “Sharing a room with me, you'll at least know who Lizzie McBride is.” At some point in the coming weeks, Lily was sure that the Scottish Seeker would come up in a conversation. She was currently reputed to be the best in the world, and Lily was a major fan.

Charlotte nodded, but didn't respond, so Lily continued. “So why are you here, then?”

“Mum,” said Charlotte, simply. “She did this the last time the final was played here and she loved it. Said I should make the most of this opportunity.”

Lily suspected it was slightly more complicated than that, but didn't push it. “Yeah, my parents watched that match. They'll be coming this time, too.”

“But you didn't want to watch it with them?”

“It's my first summer out of Hogwarts. I wanted something to do, and a couple of my cousins were signing up for this, so I thought I might as well join them. Plus, I might get to meet some of the players.” Just thinking about that made Lily smile.

Charlotte, finally turning around from her trunk, smiled too. “Yes, I can see the appeal of that.”

“Oh, but speaking of cousins,” Lily said, “I should probably go and find them, make sure they're all right and not worrying about me.” Charlotte seemed nice enough, after that initial awkwardness, but Lily was sure she'd have more fun with Roxanne and Lucy. With a nod to her room-mate, she slipped out into the corridor. She knew her cousins' room was number 127; it shouldn't take her too long to find it.

A little way down the corridor, another door opened and a familiar figure stepped out. Rose had mentioned him often enough for Lily to be certain of whom he was, and he seemed to recognise her too.

“Little Miss Potter,” he greeted her.

“Malfoy,” she returned curtly. “Less of the 'little', please.”

Stepping closer, he looked pointedly down at her. “You can hardly say it's not true.”

Putting one hand on her hip, she stared right back up at him, ignoring the shiver that ran down her spine. “Off-hand, I can think of at least two good jinxes that would bring you down to my level.”

Malfoy smirked. “I'm impressed. I thought it would take a little longer than this for the threats to start.”

She inclined her head, smiling back against her will. “I was provoked, Malfoy. Don't call me 'little' again and things might go a little better.”

“We'll see. I can't promise anything when your height is such a noticeable feature.”

Trying to keep a straight face, Lily pulled her wand slightly out of her robe pocket, raising her eyebrows. Malfoy rolled his eyes and walked away down the corridor, nodding to her over his shoulder as they passed.

In spite of herself, Lily chuckled softly as she started looking for the right room. That their families didn't get on was common knowledge, but perhaps, like Rose, she would find Scorpius a little more agreeable than his father. Finding herself in front of room 127, she knocked and entered. Roxanne was sprawled across her bed, and Lucy was sitting cross-legged in front of her trunk, unpacking.

“Ah, hello little one,” Roxy said.

“Not you too!” Lily laughed.


“That'll be three sickles, please,” Lily said, handing over the cool bottle of Butterbeer. She was very glad to be working in the shade of the refreshments tent; if she'd been assigned to work outside today, she would doubtless have burnt already. Charlotte was lucky not to have to worry about that, but she too had said she was glad to be in the shade. They'd got on much better once it emerged that Charlotte's trunk contained a small stock of Firewhisky to help them pass the long evenings in the volunteers' accommodation.

From the other side of the tent, one of the other volunteers, a girl named Sian, called over to them. “Lucy, Charlotte, I need a quick break. Will you be okay for five without me?”

“Yeah,” Charlotte replied. “It's not too busy.”

Once she had gone, Charlotte turned to Lily with a smile. “Nice girl, isn't she? Do you remember her from school?”

“Not at all,” Lily said. “She must have been quite a few years above me – perhaps Roxy or Lucy would remember her?”

“We can ask them later, perhaps. There are so many nice people working here. Honestly, I was expecting a slightly more mixed group.”

Lily screwed up her nose. “There are one or two arseholes in the mix, I think.”

“Like who?”  Charlotte asked.

“Well, Scorpius Malfoy, I guess.”

Charlotte shook her head slightly in surprise. “I've bumped into him a few times, and I remember him from Hogwarts. I thought he was really rather nice.”

At that moment, two new customers approached their counter and the conversation was interrupted while Charlotte served them.

When she had finished, she carried on. “And, well, didn't you think he was kind of attractive?”

“You can be attractive and still be an arsehole,” Lily said. “They aren't mutually exclusive.”

“But I still don't see how you could call him an... an arsehole. He's nice!”

Lily laughed. “Charlotte, in four days, I think that's the first time I've heard you swear – in defence of Scorpius Malfoy! Perhaps if he had called you short every time you saw him, you'd think differently.”

“Well it is kind of true,” Charlotte said with a gentle smile.

“Yeah, but other people can resist the temptation to bring it up every five minutes.”

“You've been seeing Scorpius Malfoy every five minutes?” teased Charlotte.

“Oh shut up,” said Lily. “He's annoying.”

More people arrived in the tent, meaning that both girls had to busy themselves serving drinks for a few minutes, but when the bustle had died down again, Charlotte turned to Lily, eyes narrowed slightly.

“You know,” she began, slowly, “you never did deny that you thought he was attractive.”

Lily was momentarily lost for words. She'd never consciously thought of Malfoy as attractive, but when she did think of it...

Charlotte started to giggle. “I think I might be onto something here.”

“No!” Lily said. “You are onto nothing. Objectively, perhaps he is attractive. I can't really deny that. Doesn't mean I'm attracted to him, though.”

Charlotte merely turned away, still giggling.


The sun had been too good to last, Lily reflected as she sat in the volunteers' common room, waiting  for her day's assignment. She might have moaned about its heavy warmth recently, but now she really rather missed it. The rain was a snare drum on the roof, just as it had been for most of the previous week, and pretty soon, Lily reckoned it would be drumming on her head. She'd had more than her fair share of sheltered work over the past fortnight. Sure enough, when she heard her name called by the supervisor, it was to find that she would be on duty outside in one of the tented areas.

Once the supervisor had finished going through the list, Lily sought Charlotte. She was chatting to another girl from her year at Hogwarts, but broke off the conversation when she saw Lily approach.

“I hope your Impervius Charms are up to the job, Lily,” she said earnestly.

“I wouldn't bet on it,” Lily said. She sighed. “Charms was never really my thing.”

“More interestingly, though,” Charlotte began.

“More interesting than my upcoming drowning?” Lily interrupted.

Charlotte pursed her lips, but continued. “Did you hear who else is on duty in your area today?”

“No, why?”

“Oh, I thought his name might have caught your ear,” Charlotte said, a twinkle in her eyes.

Lily had an idea of what was coming but wanted to delay the inevitable. “Whomever he is, he's certainly attracted your attention.”

“But it's your attention he'll be getting today. Have you seriously not guessed what I'm about to say?” Charlotte asked.

“Perhaps,” Lily said, folding her arms.

Charlotte rolled her eyes. “Scorpius – who else? Oh, but here he comes now.”

 Spinning on the spot, Lily saw what Charlotte had seen: a white blonde head, threading its way through the crowd, very definitely in their direction. She resisted the urge to walk very quickly in the opposite direction.

“Little Miss Potter,” Scorpius said, “I hear we'll be working together today.”

“Except you won't be getting much work done if you keep calling me that,” Lily said, with a pointedly sweet smile.

“I think I can keep myself in check for a few hours.” He laughed. “You can be rather scary, especially for someone, well... you know.”

She sighed, trying very hard not to smile. “Come on, then. Let's get this over with.”

After a quick goodbye to Charlotte, the two of them headed for the way out. Upon reaching the doors, Scorpius put out his arm to stop Lily in her tracks. She was somewhat disgruntled at this move – she didn't appreciate being bossed about in any way – but he ignored her glare and pulled out his wand. An elegant flourish, and a large, rainbow-striped umbrella appeared in his hand. Lily was grudgingly impressed, firstly because she wouldn't have thought of conjuring the Muggle device, and, secondly, because the spell had been so neatly performed.

“Rose always did say that Transfiguration was your thing,” Lily said as they stepped outside under their new shelter.

“She talked about me?” Scorpius seemed almost taken aback. “I wouldn't have guessed.”

“Uncle Ron didn't like that you rivalled her position as best in the year. He always wanted her to explain how you could possibly beat her in anything.”

“I suppose we both take after our mothers,” Scorpius mused. “Mine was always told she should have been a Ravenclaw; I gather it was the same for your aunt.”

“Yes, everybody knows about my aunt,” Lily said, slightly rueful. “It's strange, sometimes. You know, the first thing Charlotte said to me when we got here was about her mum knowing one of my uncles.”

“When you have such a big family, there will always be lots of people with connections to you,” Scorpius said.

“Not that you'd know a lot about having a big family.”

Scorpius turned his head away. “No. My family is well known for rather different reasons.”

Lily immediately regretted bringing his family into the conversation. She couldn't imagine the sort of attention their history must have attracted him over the years, but even after such a short acquaintance with him, she was certain that he could never deserve that. He wasn't a person she could imagine involved in Dark magic or anything untoward like that. “Sorry,” she said quietly.

By now, they'd reached the area they were supposed to be supervising. There was unlikely to be much for them to do, but the organisers wanted people on hand in case of lost children or drunk adults. In a pleasantly comfortable silence, they wandered around the tents. It seemed like most people were still asleep or otherwise occupied in their tents, keen to avoid the rain. In spite of Scorpius's umbrella, Lily's feet were distinctly damp and rather muddy. The ground had been somewhat drier that usual with their last sunny spell, but the last week's rain had been hard enough to wash all of that away.

“Scorpius,” Lily began, turning to look up at him.

Her eyes found an empty space; her ears heard a wet thwump; she felt the umbrella vanish from above her head. Scorpius was sitting inelegantly in a pool of mud, splattered up to the eyebrows in it. For a second, they just looked at each other in complete shock. Then, gently at first, but more and more loudly, they started to laugh. Lily leant backwards, turning her face up into the rain, revelling in the unexpected glee of the moment.

Then, she felt a hand on her arm. Before she could react, Scorpius had pulled her downwards so that she landed with a splat next to him.

“Oi!” she said, trying to stifle her laughter.

“It didn't feel right, having you looking down on me,” he teased.

“There's mud on your nose,” she said. “You're in no position to mock me.”

“Well there's mud on yours, too!” he said, sounding unusually childish.

For a moment, she wanted to reach out and wipe it off for him. Never before had she seen him look anything less than immaculate: this needed fixing. Instead, she got up and pulled out her wand.

“Oh no,” he said. “I thought you'd forgotten about the threats.”

She rolled her eyes at him, proceeding to siphon the mud off both of them with a simple charm. Whatever jokes people might make about her charms ability, she could at least get this right.


Lily checked her watch again. It was nearly eight o'clock. In eighteen hours, the final between Scotland and Uganda would begin. The players would arrive in about sixteen hours and then she would be in the same stadium as Lizzie McBride. Since she was a little girl, she had wanted her parents to introduce her to the Scottish seeker – she'd thought it would be easy with all of the Quidditch players they knew – but it had never happened. Perhaps now she would get her chance. Some of the volunteers would get placed around the changing rooms, after all. And in just a few minutes' time she would get to find out if she was one of them.

“Shall we go?” she asked Charlotte. Her friend had been amused by her growing excitement through the day, but Lily thought that now was a reasonable, non-laughable time to head towards the common area, where they would be given tomorrow's assignments.

Charlotte smirked slightly. “I see your patience is wearing thin. What time is it?”

“About three minutes to eight.”

“Come on then,” she said grudgingly. “Let's get this over with before you get your hopes up any more.”

By the time they reached the common room, it was already fairly crowded. Clearly Lily wasn't the only one hoping for a chance to meet the players, or at least for a good position to watch the match from. For once, she tried not to let her mind wander as the supervisor went through the list of names. She wanted to know where Charlotte and her cousins would end up. Scorpius, too, she was curious about. She'd had quite a few nice conversations with him since that muddy morning. On Rose's first day at Hogwarts, nearly a decade ago, Uncle Ron had warned her against getting too close to Scorpius, but  now Lily felt like she was friendlier with him than Rose had ever been.

Then, she caught her name. No luck: she was on duty in the stands, selling programs and Omnioculars. Roxanne would be nearby and she would have a great position from which to watch the match, but she was still nowhere near the players. It looked like meeting Lizzie McBride
 was going to have to wait another few years.

But then her ears perked up again as she caught Scorpius's name and, with a start, realised he was going to be right outside the Scottish changing rooms before the game. He was paired with someone called Noor, whom she hadn't met. Perhaps a swap? No longer paying attention to the list of names, Lily wondered if it was possible. She quickly ruled out asking Scorpius. Just last night, they'd been discussing McBride and her team-mates. Scorpius would be just as excited as her. This Noor girl, though...

Once the assignments had all been given out, Lily sought Lucy. She tended to know a lot of people, or at least to be able to identify them. Lily found her cousin talking to a couple of school friends, but they didn't seem to mind Lily's brief interruption, and soon, she had been pointed in the direction of a glamorous-looking girl with long, dark hair. To Lily's relief, she seemed to be alone.

“Um, excuse me?” Lily began, trying to sound confident.

The girl turned to face her, with a slightly curt smile.

“You're Noor, right?”

“Yes,” she said, not unkindly.

“It's just that, well, I happened to notice that you're working with Scorpius tomorrow, by the changing rooms—”

“Oh, you know Scorpius too?” Noor asked. “We were in Hogwarts together – ages since I last saw him. You're Lily Potter, right?”

“Yeah,” Lily said. “You might know my cousin, Rose.” She was feeling somewhat hopeful. This was certainly a good start.

“I remember her, yes. She wasn't one of our circle, but...”

“Your circle? You and Scorpius were good friends, then?” Lily asked.

Noor gave a short laugh. “Oh, some of the time, I suppose so. We dated, on and off, for years.”

“Oh,” Lily said. For some reason, she felt a small lump growing in her throat. “I, um, I suppose you want to see him, then.”

“Definitely,” said Noor, smiling conspiratorially. “I know that, technically, we're not supposed to hook up with people while we're here, but with Scorpius and me, you never know what will happen.”

Lily swallowed. “Right. Well, it was nice talking to you, Noor.” She tried to sound more sincere than she felt, but she really didn't want to hear any more.

“You too,” said the older girl, eyebrows raised.

Lily just forced a smile and walked away. She couldn't bring herself to ask Noor to swap places after that lovely revelation. Rose had never mentioned this girl, and neither had Scorpius, but it sounded like she must be significant to him. Feeling empty, Lily looked around for her cousins and Charlotte, but they all seemed to have left without her, so she decided to head for Roxanne's room. Perhaps if she couldn't arrange to be around the changing rooms officially, her clever cousin could help her find a way to get there unofficially. Lily would rather think about the possibility of meeting the Scottish team than about Scorpius Malfoy.


“So remember,” said Roxanne, “you want to leave as close to the start of the warm up as you can. The shorter the time you're gone for, the smaller the chance of your getting caught. And get back quickly so you don't miss any of the match.”

Lily nodded, surprisingly nervous. In her days of pranks and sneaking around at Hogwarts, she had always had her father's map to guide her. James had sent an owl with the invisibility cloak for her – he understood why meeting McBride was so important to her – which would be a great help, but she still didn't feel entirely secure. There was no time left to worry, though. It was time to take her position in the stadium.

The next couple of hours dragged by. Lily's mouth ached from forcing smiles for so many customers, and several times she had to go and get more programs because they were selling so quickly. However busy she was, though, she couldn't stop wondering about what Scorpius and Noor were doing. When had the players arrived?  Did they pay any attention to the volunteers around them? She was overflowing with nervous tension. For years she had thought about what she would say when she finally met Lizzie McBride, about how hard she would have to concentrate to avoid turning into a nervous wreck, about how she would try not to sound like she'd memorised every interview McBride had ever done. She desperately wanted to make a good impression. Today, there was a chance that it would all finally come together.

A tap on the shoulder from Roxanne signalled that she thought it was a good time to disappear. As planned, Lily made a remark about going to get more Omnioculars before slipping a little way out of the crowds. Finding a sheltered spot under a staircase, she pulled the invisibility cloak out of her robe pocket and, when she thought no one was looking, ducked under it. Then, careful to avoid touching anyone, she made her way down the stairs.

The sun had come back with a vengeance, so she had to take care to keep sheltered so that no one noticed her shadow, but otherwise it was fairly easy to make her way to the changing rooms. After three weeks here, she knew her way around the stadium very well, and she made good time. She checked her watch: fifteen minutes until the warm-ups were scheduled to start, as she had hoped. Scorpius was outside the door, talking to Noor. Did she take off the cloak and greet them openly, or should she stay hidden? Her plans had mainly centred around how to get here safely, not on exactly what she was going to do now.

As she watched them, Noor leant in closer to Scorpius, putting her hand on his arm. He was smiling, seeming comfortable, relaxed. Clearly she had been honest about their relationship. Lily swallowed. Now wasn't the time to get bothered by it. Her window for seeing the team, for seeing Lizzie, was narrowing rapidly; she shouldn't be standing here dithering. Wanting to avoid a conversation with Noor and Scorpius, Lily decided to go inside while still wearing the cloak. She'd take it off while she was in there. Now she just had to get past them without incident. They really were standing rather close to the door.

Tentatively, she stepped closer. They seemed to be too absorbed in their conversation to notice her, but she wasn't taking any chances. As she approached, everything seemed to happen at once. In the stadium above her, the crowd roared, signalling the entrance of the players. In front of her, Noor stood on tiptoe to kiss Scorpius hard on the mouth.

Lily turned tail and fled.


It was all over. Scotland had won, and McBride had caught the Snitch – a fabulous ending to a great match. Lily should be celebrating. Instead, however, she was sat on the floor of her room, leaning against her bed and running the fabric of the invisibility cloak through her hands. She couldn't get that moment out of her head. Knowing that she's screwed it up was bad enough. She had missed her chance to meet McBride simply because she didn't think to check that her watch was right. Plus, seeing Scorpius and Noor like that had upset her more than she wanted to think about. She refused to like Scorpius Malfoy, especially when Rose had been teased so much about him over the years. She couldn't like him, not in that way.

And yet here she was, wallowing in self-pity when she should be out in the evening sun with Charlotte and Roxanne and Lucy, celebrating around the bonfire that the team of volunteers had set up. They must had thought she was being rather rude when she left so early, but she hated putting a damper on their mood and she couldn't pretend to be cheerful any more. She was much better off being alone.

Then, someone knocked at the door.

“Come in,” Lily called, surprised. She had thought she would be just about the only person left in the residential quarters. Everyone else seemed keen to spend the night celebrating, before the clear-up started.

It was Scorpius. Lily scrambled to her feet as he entered, embarrassed, dropping the cloak under her bed.

“Um, hi,” he said, in an unusually quiet voice.

Lily looked down at her feet. “Can I help you?”

“I was just wondering where you'd gone. You vanished so quickly that I thought that something might be wrong.”

“Not exactly,” she said. She could hardly tell him about her madcap plan with the invisibility cloak, or about what she saw between him and Noor. “I'm just feeling kind of tired right now.”

“Right,” he said.

For a moment, the two of them just stood there, looking at each other.

“It's just,” Scorpius began, “that I was worried you'd got the wrong idea.”

Lily's eyes started to prickle. “About what?” she asked. Anything to get this over with.

“About Noor, about me and Noor. I saw you talking to her, and then today we had to work together, and I thought perhaps...”

“She told me about your history, if that's what you mean,” Lily said, trying to keep her voice even and calm. She didn't think she was doing a very good job of it. She told herself that at least so far he hadn't come out and directly said that he wasn't interested.

“She told you that we had an on-off relationship in Hogwarts and hadn't seen each other since?”

“Something like that. You don't deny it, then?”

Scorpius shook his head. “We were friends, and then sometimes we were more than friends, but it was always too complicated. There was never a time when we really made each other happy.”

“You seemed pretty happy with her today,” Lily blurted out.

Scorpius's eyebrows shot up. “When did you see us together?”

Lily felt heat washing across her face. There was no point in lying; he'd see straight through her. “I snuck down to the changing rooms just before the match. You know how much I wanted to meet McBride. You were there, and so was she, and—”

“You saw her kiss me,” Scorpius interrupted. “But you didn't stick around to see me push her away?”

“What?” Lily asked. This was all too much.

“I'm so sorry you saw that,” he said. He seemed genuinely upset at the thought, massaging his temples. “We've bumped into each other a few times here, and yeah, it's been nice to catch up, but I've long moved on from her. I think, from what other people have said, that she's just got out of another bad relationship – a much older guy, no one I know. She, well, I guess she wanted someone to help her get over this other guy, and I was the obvious choice.”

“So you didn't want...”

“Her to kiss me? Merlin's beard, no! I had a few years of that and it never made me happy. I don't really want to try again, not with her.”

Lily gave a small laugh. “Thank you for explaining.”

“You're welcome,” he said, looking rueful.

Lily was reeling at this turn in events. She'd done all she could not to fabricate explanations for what she'd seen, but here was Scorpius, presenting her with the most perfect truth. Then, Lily's brain seemed to kick back into action. Uncle Ron might be heavily biased against the Malfoys, but it wasn't entirely without reason. She didn't know Scorpius all that well yet. Was she making a mistake, to accept his story so easily?

She hesitated momentarily, before deciding that it had to be said. “Scorpius, how do I know you're telling the truth? I didn't see you push her away. I know nothing about her that you haven't just told me.”

Scorpius looked crestfallen.

“I'm sorry,” Lily went on, wishing she knew a way to make this all easier. “It just seems a bit naïve of me to take your word on all of this so easily. I want to believe you, I do, but I have to ask.”

“I suppose you could find her, ask her what's going on. I don't know what else to suggest, really,” he said flatly. “I didn't see her at the bonfire. You could start by checking her room.”

“That would make sense,” Lily said in a small voice. She didn't want to go. She wanted to stay with Scorpius and find a way to make this all right, not go and talk to the girl who was at the centre of her problems.

“Perhaps I should just go,” said Scorpius. “I don't want to make this any worse. Let me know when you've made your mind up.”

“No!” Lily said quickly. More hesitantly, she continued. “You won't make things worse, I promise. But maybe we should both go somewhere else. The bonfire, perhaps. I'm sick of this room.”

“So you are going to trust me?” he asked, incredulous.

Lily smiled up at him. “I think I'm allowed to be a bit naïve when I'm eighteen, especially seeing as I'm so short.”
MapleMapffyPiemaplemapffypie on July 22nd, 2013 07:32 pm (UTC)
YAYYYYYY Thank you so much :D I love me some Next-Gen and some Scily and this was super cute :)
Sorayasoraya786 on July 25th, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC)
Oooh, this was such a lovely and giggly read. The whole discrepancy of heights thing is something I can relate to myself, and seeing all that snark play out in this story was fun to read. Good cast of OCs, too, mystery author. :)