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Chapter 6: Summation
I walked down to breakfast on Monday without a care in the world. I had double potions first thing, my hair was perfect, the zit on my nose had magically disappeared in my sleep, my eye brows actually matched, and I had all of my assignments finished even though none were due. It was the start of what was promising to be a very good day.
I sat down at the Gryffindor table with Vanessa and Annily and began to place assorted fruits and dairy products on my plate. I was happily munching on my orange-slice-dipped-in-strawberry-banana-yogurt when Fred sat down next to me and, predictably used one arm to wrap around my shoulders and pull me to him and used the other to play with my hair. My hair which was down and flowing over my shoulders that day, instead of in my usual bun or ponytail, because it was perfect.
I seriously don’t think you appreciate just how absolutely amazing my hair was looking!
“Ladies.” Fred nodded at Annily and Vanessa. Annily giggled, convinced that Fred was perfection personified, and Vanessa rolled her eyes.
“To what do we owe this pleasurable visit on this fine morning?” I grinned at him. My day was too good! Being held against Fred’s body was only making it better. I was quickly finding his chest more and more comfy.
Fred sighed. “Well, then maybe you won’t mind explaining why Al is in a so-very-not-good mood?”
“Um...” I looked over Fred’s shoulder and saw that Albus was indeed frowning. “His eye brows don’t match?”
Fred gave me a look. “What?” I asked. “I’m always in a bad mood when my eye brows don’t match!”
“It’s true.” Vanessa laughed. “She won’t leave her room until she fixes them, and she always just makes them worse until Jen does it for her.”
Annily frowned. “What’s wrong with that? I’m the same way.”
I nodded. “Solidarity sister!”
“Yeah!” Annily cheered.
We high fived.
“Even so...” Fred looked at us like we’d all just grown third arms. “I doubt that’s why Al is upset.”
Vanessa shrugged. “It’s probably because Cam gave him the ‘just friends’ talk yesterday.”
Fred’s grip on my shoulders tightened for a barely noticeable second. I scoffed. “No way! I mean, I never gave him any indication I was interested so it’s not like it was a huge shock or anything! I treated him the same way I treat Fred!” I jabbed my thumb in his direction. I looked at him “You don’t think I like you, do you?”
“Everyone likes me.”
“I am serious! But no, I don’t think you want to jump my bones. I do however think you must have issues for not wanting to.”
I looked at Vanessa. “See? Not the problem.”
“Please! A guy hears the word friends come out of his crush’s mouth and his mood instantly plummets!” Annily announced, rather loudly. I looked over Fred’s shoulder again and thanked whatever deity it was that prevented Al from hearing her.
“A little louder, I don’t think Al quite heard you!”
Annily rolled her eyes and waved me off. “It’s true though. I told Jackson Davies that I just wanted to be friends in third year and he hasn’t talked to me since!” She then turned to Fred. “Well, you’ve got your answer!”
“Looks like!” Fred looked down at my plate. “What the bloody hell are you eating?”
“Oranges, apples, and grapes dipped in Strawberry Banana flavoured yogurt.” I smiled, reminded once again of my meal. I grabbed a grape and dipped it in my yogurt, taking extra care to scoop up some extra yogurt with the tips of my fingers. I popped it in my mouth and licked my fingers and turned my grape and yogurt filled smile to Fred.
I pouted as I chewed.
“It’s not that bad. Camry made me try it once. It wasn’t good but I didn’t have an immediate urge to spit it out.” Vanessa was one to talk. She was eating waffles topped with maple syrup, butter, jam, and grape yogurt! Talk about gross!
Now, because I don’t like my nutritional choices being questioned, I said just that. “You’re one to talk! Maple syrup, butter, jam, and grape yogurt on waffles?”
Fred looked at Vanessa’s breakfast for, what I assumed was, the first time. He audibly gagged at the site. “What is wrong with you people? Not leaving your room cause your eye brows don’t match and eating food that my Uncle Ron wouldn’t eat! Seriously, guys aren’t looking at your eye brows and Ron will eat pretty much anything!”
We laughed at him. “We’re girls. We’re supposed to make you confused and uncomfortable. It’s part of our job!”
I love Vanessa. Every time she speaks, she says something else I find completely true and/or hilarious. After what Vanessa said, Fred began to chuckle with us. “That it is.”
It was then that James came up to us. “Hey, where’s Jen?”
“She and Emily skip breakfast three days a week. It’s a part of their dietary regime!” To the casual observer Annily looked truly offended that someone would suggest Jen cheat on her diet. To Fred, Vanessa, and myself Annily looked like she was having a true blast making fun of James.
“Oh, I didn’t realize...”
Annily laughed at the apologetic stance James took. “No, actually, she and Emily are doing last minute revisions to their Transfiguration assignment.”
“Oh.” James looked confused. “Oh.” Then slightly insulted. “Oh!” And finally, amused! He chuckled a bit. He was just too adorable. Why didn’t Jen want to date him again?
He shook his head. “Hey, Fred, you ready to go?”
“Yeah.” Fred looked at me. “Talk to Al please?”
I rolled my eyes and sighed. “Yeah, sure.”
Fred left the Great Hall with James and I turned back to my plate. What? I wasn’t going to leave a perfectly good breakfast to talk to a boy that would be there all day! After I finished eating I got up and made my way over to Al.
I sat down next to him. His friend, Donald Roe, pointed at me as Al was talking about the Chudley Cannons. Al paused and looked at me. I smiled brightly, my brilliant mood having not faltered in the slightest. Al just turned back to his conversation with Donald and Ashton. I frowned for a minute before deciding that, duh! Of course he’s going to finish his conversation. It’d be just plain rude not to.
But then he kept talking to them. They became increasingly uncomfortable and kept shooting me regretful looks. Then he looked at his watch and stood up from the table.
“Come on guys, we’ll be late if we don’t leave now.”
I felt my jaw drop. Seriously drop, like the floor scraped my chin drop.
I closed my mouth and took a deep breath. No need to let one boy’s petty attitude ruin my wonderful day. Just a couple deep breaths and move on. I reached into my backpack, my purple backpack with pink fuzzy straps, and pulled out my mirror. I saw my matching eye brows, zitless nose, perfect hair, and I even saw my finished potions assignment that I was going to hand in three days early when I put my mirror away.
Just like that, my damn good mood was back!
I looked back to see that Vanessa and Annily had already left. I shrugged and made my way to potions, sure that I would see Vanessa on the way. I was all the way to the dungeons before I conceded that Vanessa was already in class waiting for me.
It was at that moment Margo appeared out of nowhere. Seriously, if it weren’t for the fact that you can’t apparate on school grounds I would have honestly believed she apparated. I didn’t like her, but I had to admit, the girl had stealth.
She smiled at me like she had won some battle. Al was ignoring me so I suppose she had, in a way. “Can I help you?” I really didn’t want to deal with her. She was scary. I’d seen her in practical lessons in Defence Against the Dark Arts and, let’s just say, I did not want to be on the wrong end of her wand.
“You already did. Don’t worry little Camry. You did the right thing. You should always put personal security first.” She giggled. Margo actually giggled at me. She giggled at me while threatening me!
So much for my damn good mood. No, now it was replaced with a damn angry one.
I do not like being threatened and so I said the first thing that came into my mind. “Would you mind moving your abnormally fat ass out of the way so I can get to class?”
She looked as shocked as I was at my words. I felt kind of bad about it. No girl likes being called fat. I didn’t apologize though, I just pushed my way past her and into Potions. I sat down next to Emily and slammed my books down at my feet.
“What’s with you?” Emily asked, leaning away from me.
That made me feel bad. She thought I was going to attack her! That was more than enough to calm me down, though I was still angry.
I rolled my eyes. “Margo Baker has been harassing me about being friends with Al since we got back from summer! Just now she cornered me and said that I did the right thing cause if I hadn’t then she would’ve hurt me!”
“Are you serious?” Vanessa leaned over Emily. “You know, I could give her a detention? Or take points from Ravenclaw?”
“Don’t worry about it.” I smiled, feeling a little better that Vanessa was willing to abuse her prefect powers in my defence. “I called her fat, so I think we’re even for the moment.”
“Really?” Emily was noticeably trying to not laugh. Margo was one of the few non-Slytherins that called her Emmet to her face. “Called her fat how?”
“I asked her to move her abnormally fat ass.”
Emily lost her battle and burst out laughing.
“Am I missing something amusing Miss Rhodes?” We all snapped our attention to the front of the room where Professor Slughorn was already teaching. Crap.
“No, sir!” was what Emily tried to say. What she actually said was “Kngh ahh Nahaha, Sirkngh!”
He raised his eye brows and turned his attention to the seats on either side of Emily which were occupied by Vanessa and myself. We both lowered our heads, and though I wasn’t looking at Vanessa I know she was blushing just as badly as I was.
“Do you ladies mind terribly if I continue?”
“Please do, sir.”
“Bahahahaha! Oh jeez! I’m in pain! Ahahaah”
Guess which one Emily said. Guess which one of us punched her in the side for it? Actually, that last one was a trick question. We both punched her in the side for it, and then she really was in pain.
Later, after Defence Against the Dark Arts, that particular class would also become known as the glare-off between Margo Baker and Camry Finch-Fletchley, was over I decided to swing by the greenhouses and pick up that book Professor Longbottom promised to lend me for an assignment. It didn’t take long to get down there, but it took almost a half-hour for the man to find the book ‘he just had a moment ago.’ Once I got my hands on it I said goodbye and ran out of there as quickly as I could without being rude.
Jen was waiting for me on the front steps. Huh. It’s not weird that Jen was waiting for me, it was just weird that she was waiting for me alone. Jen had a phobia of commitment, but that phobia has nothing on her phobia of being alone.
Because I knew that if she had been waiting there for me even half as long as I’d been in the green house then she would be getting nervous fairly quickly, I ran to catch up with her.
“Hey!” I wheezed a bit. I was really out of shape.
“Hey!” Jen smiled at me. She looked relieved. Yep. She had been getting nervous about being on the steps alone. Good, that made the slightly painful stitch in my side worth it.
“What’s up?” I asked, walking towards the doors. “I have to drop my books off in the room. That okay?”
“Yeah, totally okay. The girls are all up there. They came up with the idea of playing Exploding Snap until supper.”
“Yeah? Why aren’t you up there kicking all their arses? You’re the best Exploding Snap player I’ve ever seen. I’d think you had the sight, you know, if that stuff wasn’t all rubbish.”
Jen laughed. “It’s not all rubbish!”
“Sure it’s not.” I rolled my eyes and Jen shoved me. I laughed. “So why aren’t you showing off your amazing ‘seeing’ abilities by beating the girls at Exploding Snap?”
“I wanted to talk to you without them adding their two cents worth every three seconds.”
I frowned. “Oh?”
“Yeah, I just-“ Jen started chewing on her thumb nail. “I just wanted to say that I’m thankful.”
“Thankful?” This girl wasn’t making any kind of sense.
“That Al isn’t talking to you.” I must have looked really offended because she quickly added “Not that he isn’t talking to you, that came out wrong!”
I raised my eye brows. I can’t raise just one, people who can are just freaks of nature. “Do go on.”
“I’m thankful that I won’t have to go out with James! I mean, if Al isn’t talking to you he can’t very well talk to you without blushing, now can he?”
I nodded. This was true. “Sounds about right.”
Jen smiled, relieved.
“Why don’t you want to go out with James?” I really wanted to know. She liked him. I knew she liked him.
Her smile fell off her face fairly quickly. “Look, it’s like this. James is cute, really cute, and he’s smart, and he’s funny, and he’s got a great family and a great group of friends. He has table manners! He plays Quidditch, he loves cheese sticks as much as we do! He’s wonderful, he is. He’s just not–“
“Not what? Not perfect? No, he’s not, but from the way you talk about him he sounds pretty perfect for you.” I didn’t get it.
Jen rolled her eyes and gave me a look. What did that look say? It said ‘No one is perfect, I know that, I’m not waiting for a perfect guy!’ “He’s not a guarantee.”
I choked. Literally choked. And on nothing at all! “Well, duh! No guy is!”
Jen frowned at me. “My father is divorced three times, my mother is divorced six times. Dating is what you do when you are trying to find someone to marry. I’m not going to repeat my parents’ mistakes. I’ll date when I find a guy that will last a lifetime and no less.”
“Jenessa!” I grabbed her arm and stopped her from walking. “If you do that then you’ll never find a guy! You’ll never get married, you’ll never have a family–“ I froze as I realized something else she’d never have. “you’ll die a virgin!”
“I’d rather that than go through life with a broken heart!” Jen snapped. Oh. When Jen snaps it means back off.
I sighed and let go of her arm. “Okay. I’m sorry. I just don’t want you to be lonely is all!”
Jen sighed too, and then took a deep breath. “I know. You don’t have to worry about me though! I’m a big girl. I can tie my own shoes and everything.”
We started walking again. We turned a corner and saw Albus hanging out with his little sister, Lily. Lily, the fourth year Hufflepuff that was easily the prettiest girl at Hogwarts. Well, second prettiest, as Jen was still a bit prettier than her. They were laughing and pushing each other. It made me wish I had siblings.
I blame my mother for my being an only child. Dad probably woke up one day and realized all that hair loss came from having to take care and me and Mum, and drew the line.
We continued on our way past them and I sighed. “You know, the Potters are really close to each other.”
“They are. Makes you wonder what it’d be like with brothers and sisters.” Jen nodded.
I looked at her for a moment. “Um, don’t you have, like, seven brothers and sisters?”
“I have four step-brothers and five step-sisters. And it’s not the same thing. You can’t just be put into a house with someone and suddenly call them family.” Jen shrugged and put an arm around my shoulders. “Nah, doesn’t matter anyway. You girls are all the family I need.”
That warmed my heart. Yeah, I loved Jen and the rest of the girls like family, but I’d never heard one of them admit the same thing to me. Albeit, I never actually told any of them that I considered them family, so I guess it’s all the same.
Nevertheless, though! Jen just called me family. “I love you.”
“I love you too!” Jen grinned at me. She turned to the Fat Lady. Wow, I hadn’t even noticed we’d arrived. “Dumbledore.”
The portrait swung open and we made our way in. It was slightly awkward as Jen still had her arm around me, but we managed. I was becoming very good at navigating with someone hanging on me, thanks to Fred.
James was laughing it up with Axel Sharkes, his fellow seventh year and the only boy in the world that could make Vanessa speechless. Jen’s grip tightened considerably when she saw him. We just walked by and made our way up to our dorm room.
Jen went straight to the game of Exploding Snap the other three were playing. “You playing, Cam?” Emily smiled at me.
I smiled back and shook my head. As good as Jen was, I was just as bad. I liked my eye brows where they were, thank you very much!
I sat back and watched them play. My gaze fell on Jen’s laughing face. She had a huge heart, but she refused to share it for fear of someone treating it badly. If she didn’t get over that fear then she was going to end up miserable for a very long time.
I made a decision right then. Jen, I thought, you’re going to hate me for this, but I’m going to make things right with Al and get him over his shyness with me. You are going on a date with James Potter before Christmas. Because I love you and it’s in your best interest.
"Ahhh!" Emily let out a horrified shreak. See? She just had to press her luck, and now she doesn't have any eye brows!