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Chapter 1: Dementors, Candies and Predictions
A/N: This is already the editted version. Thanks to Margot for being such a wonderful beta. :) Go check out her stories as well, football_girl is her penname. *wink*
Chapter One: Dementors, Candies and Predictions.
“Max, wake up!” I hear Jill say while shaking me like me mad.
“What? Are we there already?” I ask, as I shove her arm away. I look outside to see the train still moving. A grunt of irritation escapes my lips. Why do they have to wake me up anyway? They know for a fact that I always sleep during the train ride to school. I’ve been doing that for the past seven years!
I turn to look at my friends, Jill and Brooke. I want to give them the best scowl I can manage, but change my mind as soon as I see the frightened looks on their faces. Very frightened looks, actually.
“What’s wrong with you two?” I ask, rubbing my eyes and yawning.
“Didn’t you feel them come?” Brooke whispers. She is looking very pale and twitchy.
“Feel who?” I ask, looking around the compartment.
“The Dementors… They were here,” Jill says in a shaky voice.
“Dementors? They’re here?” I ask, bewildered, as I start to get frightened myself. They are just the foulest creatures in existence, what can they be doing aboard the Hogwarts Express?
“They were. I think they are checking everything out, you know, for security purposes. I heard that since Sirius Black escaped, they’ve been dispersed everywhere,” Jill replies.
Oh yeah, Sirius Black. That no good murderer. I shake my head as I wrap my jacket around me tighter.
“Didn’t you feel them, Max?” Brooke asks.
Did I feel them? I guess not… I was, after all, sleeping when they came in.
“No… I guess not,” I say in an unsure voice.
“You’re lucky. Mum had described to me the feeling of being in the presence of Dementors, but I never thought it was really that scary. I felt—”
“Like you’ll be sad forever,” I finish for her absent-mindedly.
“How do you know? Have you been in the presence of one?” Jill asks.
“No, I’ve read about them,” I answer. Great, now they’re going to think I’m a bookworm again.
“Oh,” Brooke sighs, her eyes still hazy and unfocused. We are all sitting in silence when out compartment door slides open. All of us jump in horror when our houses’ Quidditch Team Captain, Oliver Wood, peeps in.
“It’s just me, don’t worry…” he says, as he enters and closes the door.
“Oliver, you scared us,” Jill declares, though she isn’t looking scared anymore. She looks rather happy. Amazing, really, how cute guys can change her mood in an instant.
“I’m sorry.” Oliver smiles. “So, are you girls okay?”
“We are, thanks for checking. Now, you can go back to your compartment,” I say, standing up and sliding the door open for him. Brooke and Jill shoot me a glare, but I don’t care. I know Oliver just wants to take advantage of ‘frightened’ girls and offer them comfort so he can hug them and cuddle up with them. Jerk.
“Oh,” Oliver says innocently, “okay… I just thought I’d check up on you, since I heard Harry passed out because of the Dementors. I thought maybe one of you passed out too…”
“Potter passed out?” I snort. Famous Harry Potter passed out because of Dementors? Poor kid. Jill shoots me another glare.
“Oh my, is he alright?” asks Brooke, who isn’t looking as stressed out as before as well. I must admit, Oliver has some effect on my friends.
“He’s fine. Good thing the new professor is in his compartment; drove the Dementor away with the Patronus charm,” Oliver answers, as he stands up and makes his way to the door that I am leaning against with my arms crossed. “I’ll go check on the others, good thing you’re okay,” he adds, looking at me with a smile on his face which I return with a scowl. I slam the door shut as soon as he walks out.
“You are so anti-social, you know that?” Jill scowls. Anti-social? Me? How could she? I just saved them from being taken advantage of!
“I’m not anti-social. That guy obviously wanted to take advantage of you!” I retort. Both of them roll their eyes at me.
“He was just checking up on us. He checks up on everybody. He doesn’t want to take advantage of anyone!” Brooke debates. It’s my turn to roll my eyes at them as I take my seat again but do not answer.
“See? That’s why people think you’re a tomboy. If I wasn’t your cousin, they would’ve thought I’m your girlfriend,” Jill rants. Yes, she’s my cousin… unfortunately.
“That doesn’t apply to me, unfortunately. A really cute Ravenclaw in seventh year asked me if I was going out with you before summer started. Eww!” complains Brooke. Why am I friends with her again? Oh yeah, she’s Jill’s best friend. Lucky me.
“Yuck. How could anyone think of such a thing?” I say, screwing up my face in disgust. They both roll their eyes yet again. I wish some spell would hit them so their eyes would be stuck like that forever.
“Oh my, I don’t know…” Brooke replies sarcastically, with a look of mock confusion. “Maybe because you’re such a man-hater that you don’t even allow us to be around guys. Please, Max, keep your issues to yourself.”
“I don’t have issues.”
“Yeah, right, Maxine Sophia.”
I scowl. Great, now they have resorted into calling me by my whole name. They know just how I loath it when they do that. But I’ll try to keep my cool this time. I won’t give them the satisfaction of seeing me ticked off.
We fall silent. I don’t want to talk to them, and I’m sure they don’t want to talk to me either. I love it when we don’t talk. At least I won’t be included in their constant jabber about cute guys, fashion, make-up and that stuff. I’m actually doing myself a huge favor by not talking to them.
Argh. Why do I even put up them with them again? Oh, right - Jill. Too bad for me, we are related and Brooke comes with her. They’re like a package deal. You can’t get one without getting the other as well. Why can’t they be the ones who are cousins just so I don’t need to hang out with them? I know I can choose to ditch them, but Jill always finds me. She always does, especially when there is a mound of homework we have to finish. What are cousins for, right? she always says in a tone she uses to speak to boys.
Jill and Brooke and I are the like north and south, black and white, heaven and hell. They are the typical girly girls, and I’m just not. People think that I’m a tomboy, but I’m not. I’ve never had a boyfriend, though I’ve been asked by guys to go out a couple of times before. Unfortunately for them, I don’t date. I just don’t trust guys. Just one look at them, and I know they’re up to no good. How do I know? I just do.
“I’m going to the restroom,” I say as I stand up and walk to the door. They do not give the slightest acknowledgement of hearing me. Oh well, I don’t care. They’ll beg me to talk to them after Snape gives us a two feet essay on Monday, anyway.
I walk out without a backward glance and slide the door closed behind me. I look at my right - deserted; look at my left and wow, the candy trolley is coming. My last train ride to Hogwarts won’t be so bad after all. I feel a smile curl on my lips.
“Two Cauldron Cakes and a Drooble, please,” I say as soon as I reach the woman. I love cauldron cakes and gum. They keep my mouth busy.
“Here you go, dear,” the woman says kindly, as she hands me the goods. I place my hand inside my pocket for my coin purse – only it isn’t there. Blimey! I left it in my school bag. Argh, how stupid of me!
“Uhm, hang on. I forgot my money at my compartment; I’ll just run and get it…” I say. The woman nods understandingly.
“How much is it?” says a familiar voice from behind me. I turn to find none other than Oliver Wood standing there, with his usual smile plastered on his face. Why is this guy always smiling anyway? I roll my eyes at him.
“Three sickles and five knuts,” answers the old woman.
“No, my compartment is just here. I can grab my purse and pay the woman myself,” I say in a firm voice. It is like he didn’t hear me as he rummages his pockets and hands the lady the money. “What are you doing? I said I can pay for it myself,” I add irritably. He looks at me and smiles as he takes the candies from the old woman and hands them to me.
“Here,” he says. I scowl.
“Keep it. You paid for it anyway,” I say and start to walk away. Never mind the candies; I’ll just go to the restroom. As I walk past him, I feel his hand grabbing my arm. What the…
“What?!” I bellow, as I turn to face him. He’s starting to get to my nerves.
He doesn’t answer. He takes my hand and places the candies in it.
“You can just pay me back whenever you want. The trolley lady won’t be back again until much later, so you won’t be able to buy yourself anything till then,” he says calmly. He takes my other hand and places it on top of the candies to keep them from falling on the floor. He smiles at me again, then turns and starts walking.
Stupid Wood. Maybe he is thinking he is charming and sweet and cute, always with that smile on his face. What’s with him? He’s never been known to smile like that before. In fact, he was always frowning, especially when Potter or any person on the team is injured. For the first time in my Hogwarts life, I wish Gryffindor losses a Quidditch match. That’s sure to wipe that irritating smile off Wood’s face.
If there is anything I know about Wood, it’s his love – well, obsession – for Quidditch. Come on, everyone knows about that! It’s like he’s married to it or something. No wonder he doesn’t have a girlfriend. It’s like there is nothing he can love more than Quidditch.
I walk back into the compartment a couple of minutes later, fresh from my restroom session, to find Brooke and Jill chatting animatedly. I ignore them as I sit down and stare out the window.
“We know your secret, Max.” I hear Brooke say. Huh? Secret?
“What are you talking about?” I ask.
“We saw you, Max. So I guess that’s the trick to get guys, huh? Pretend to hate them first?” Jill asks. These two girls have lost their puny brains. Poor things. I stare at them but don’t reply. I have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
“Come on, Max. We saw you holding hands with Oliver in the corridor.” My eyes get wide as my jaw drops.
“I absolutely did not do any such thing!” I retort. What the bloody…
“Don’t bother lying to us. We saw it with our own eyes. He grabbed your arm and then held your hand. You even stood staring at him as he walked away. We saw the whole thing,” Brooke says proudly. Fool.
“You didn’t see the whole thing, if that’s what you are thinking,” I say.
“Then why was Oliver holding your hands?” Jill asks.
I roll my eyes and tell them what happened. They listen intently, which surprises me. They usually don’t listen to anything I say. Maybe it’s because I’m talking about a guy that they’re listening.
“Oh, Merlin! Oliver bought these Cauldron Cakes and Drooble?” Brooke asks after I tell my story, her hazel eyes wide. I nod. “These Cauldron Cakes and Drooble are sacred. Don’t eat them, please.” What? Did she just say that the Cauldron Cakes and Drooble are sacred? Her screws really need tightening.
“Uh, Brooke, these are called food and they are made for eating, so I’ll eat them,” I say as I open my mouth to stuff it with a Cauldron Cake, but Brooke grabs my arm and takes the cake from my hands. “Hey! That’s mine!”
“This isn’t just a Cauldron Cake, Max. This Cauldron Cake was bought by Oliver Wood,” she says. She has really lost her mind. I look at Jill for some help. If Jill is good for something, it’s for saving me from her own best friend. I am surprised to see that she isn’t even looking at me. It looks as if she is in deep thought.
“Brooke, give her the cake. I think you are over-reacting,” she finally speaks up. One thing I like about Jill is she knows when things are overboard. Brooke tries to open her mouth to argue. “Give her the cake, Brooke,” Jill says firmly. Brooke pouts and then hands the cake back to me.
“Thanks,” I growl, then take a bite of my scrumptious cake. Hmmm, delish… I tilt my head back and look outside again. Thank goodness Jill knows how to make her sissy friend shut up, now I can enjoy my Cauldron Cake in peace.
“You know what, Max, I think Oliver likes you,”
I choke on my cake.
“What?!” Brooke and I say in unison. Jill smiles. What’s with her?
“Oliver. I think he likes you,” Jill repeats. I blink at her.
“Jill, dear, what are you saying?” Brooke asks. I can’t even react on what Jill has just said. I can’t even believe she said it.
“Well, uhm… I often caught him looking at you during classes last year. I have been having these hunches and theories about you and him, and I just confirmed them with what just happened between the two of you in the corridor. He definitely has a thing for you,” she says, looking at me intently.
It’s official. Jill has lost it.
“I think you got it all wrong, Jilly. As Max said, she didn’t have her purse with her, so Oliver paid for her. I’m sure he would’ve done the same for you and me,” Brooke says. I never thought that I will ever say this but I agree with her one hundred percent.
“Believe me, Max,” Jill says, ignoring Brooke completely. “You know me and my instincts. I don’t usually feel things, but when I do, they come true.”
Now I’m scared.
There is one thing I admit Jill is better than me at – Divination. She’s really freaky when it comes to predictions and fortune-telling. She always scares the hell out of me when she says something and it ends up coming true. Once, when we were seven years old, she told me that my pet rabbit, Mary Gold, would die before I turn eight and indeed, just a day before my eighth birthday, Mary Gold died because she got ran over on a Muggle street. Freaky.
And now, she’s claiming that Oliver Wood has a thing for me… NO!
“Jill, you’re scaring me already,” I say.
“I’m not kidding, Max. Oliver likes you. Don’t you get it? He came here to check up on you, not us. Just remember the way he smiled at you when he was about to go out. Think about it, Max,” she says with a smile on her face.
I cover my ears and start humming. I don’t want to hear another word from her.
“Fine, you know I’m telling the truth.” I can still hear her so I hum louder.
She is ridiculous. Oliver Wood doesn’t have a thing for me. Who is Jill playing at? He can’t like me! He is in love with Quidditch!
Why am I even bothered? I turned guys down a lot of times before. I don’t care who they are, I just turn them down. Why worry about Oliver Wood? I can just turn him down as well, just as I did everyone else. He’s just another boy, and if Jill is telling the truth, which I’m afraid she is, then poor him.
I take a deep breath, stop humming and put my hands down. I pick up the Drooble, unwrap it, and then shoot it into my mouth. I shouldn’t be caring about Oliver Wood. He’s just another guy. I’ll just sit back and enjoy my last train ride to Hogwarts and forget about anything that happened today and what Jill said.
It’s. No. Big. Deal.
A/N: Uh, hi. It’s been my plan to write an Oliver fic for the longest time and finally I have it here. I’m not really confident about it since it involves an OC and it’s written in 1st person so I would really like to hear how I did. So if you have time, let me know what you think please.