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Chapter 5: The Discussions
It was eight o’clock the next morning, and as I carefully plucked my eyebrows, I went over everything I knew about James Potter so that I could begin my hunt for his perfect girlfriend.
It sounds creepy doesn’t it? The love-obsessed teenage girl, staring into a mirror (and probably drooling a bit) whilst yanking hair from her skin and analysing the characteristics of a 17-year-old boy who she has recently become friendly with.
But honestly, what did you expect? That I was just going to let the most popular single guy at Hogwarts walk around without a girlfriend? That I was going to wait until he asked out another Savannah Woods? Honestly, you people don’t know me at all. Although sometimes, I don’t even know me, so I suppose I can let you off.
But here’s what I had so far:
Firstly, he was a regulation hottie. The angular cheekbones, tanned, muscular body, soft-looking black hair and dreamy eyes all screamed this at me. Yep, James was very good-looking -you’d have to be blind to not realise that. I didn’t really know where he got it all from- his parents weren’t stunningly attractive, and neither were his grandparents. Albus and Lily were nice looking, but didn’t have that strange, alluring other quality that James did (one that I couldn’t quite put my finger on). James must just be a very yummy genetic anomaly then.
Ok, then I knew that he was romantic, but not the overly soppy, almost girly type of boyfriend though. Guys like that should just become gay and get over it. He seems to stress about things quite a lot; when we were in the rafters, when he thought his broom was broken. Oh, and he pushes people in lakes then helps them out again, which is utterly counterproductive and, frankly, a bit plain odd. He plays Quidditch- but I didn’t know what position, or how enthusiastic he actually is about the sport.
Right, I definitely needed to find out a bit more about him, but I wasn’t sure how (the thought of just chatting to him didn’t even cross my mind for some reason. I blame how early in the morning it was. Yes, eight o’clock is early!). I didn’t want James to think I was stalking him though, so I’d have to be subtle. Ambiguous. That sort of thing.
Or, I could hire a ninja!
…Maybe one of the gossipmongers is secretly a ninja?! That would be amazing. Wait…I’m now imagining little firsties army crawling all over the school with pink balaclavas on their heads.
And I wonder why I’m failing so many classes.
I’d been so busy thinking about all of this that I didn’t notice the way I’d done my eyebrows all wonkily; one of them was still really bushy, and the other was barely there at all. I groaned loudly, like a whale.
“What?” asked Dom, looking up from her nails with a disturbed expression on her face. I swear to Merlin, that girl spends half her blinking life looking at her nails. Her neck’s going to grow all deformed and wonky! Like my eyebrows…
“My eyebrows!” I covered them with my hands, but Dom immediately leapt up and forced me to show her. That girl is freakishly strong.
“Oh my god. What a fail,” Dom shook with funny little bursts of laughter. “You better get Eve to fix it for you, or you’ll look like a tramp all day. Oh you idiot!” I slapped her arm grumpily and looked around for Eve.
“Where is Eve?” I asked. “I swear she was here a minute ago.”
“She went down to the common room,” Dom giggled and grabbed my arm, pulling me down the worn steps after her. “Evey! Hollie has a little problem!” she sang at the top of her voice, and I sighed, wondering why I couldn’t have normal friends.
“I hate you,” I informed her.
“Aw! Love you too, Hol!” Dom pinched my cheek affectionately.
We scoured the room, but Eve was nowhere to be seen.
“She must’ve gone down to breakfast,” I sighed, rubbing my eyebrows. “I suppose I can just get her to fix it quickly as soon as we get there.” Dom didn’t reply- she was busy climbing onto my back.
“Piggyback! Whoop!” she shrieked, poking my head to make me grudgingly move forwards.
“What are you, three?”
“You should thank me! I can give you a back massage while you walk!”
“Right,” I shook my head as I stumbled down the corridor, trying not to fall over. The last time I’d given someone a piggyback, I’d been pushed from behind by a stupid fourth year who thought it’d be funny, and ended up breaking my arm. Dom beat up that fourth year for me, because I had a broken arm and stuff so I could hardly do it myself. Plus, I’m not the ‘beating up’ sort of person, and Dom definitely is, despite all her philosophical, ‘morals’ and ‘human rights’ shit. She is one scary person if she needs to be.
“Nice eyebrows, Parker,” smirked Scorpius as he and Al strolled past. I scowled, reaching up self consciously to touch my wonky brows- completely forgetting that my hands were the things keeping Dom on my back. I went crashing forwards, knocking over Scorpius who pushed Al, who grabbed a random fifth year by her waist, who then shrieked, “SEXUAL ABUSE!” really loudly, and made a first year burst into tears and trip over her satchel.
Well, yippykayay for human dominos.
…Dominos pizza. Yum.
I found myself on top of Scorpius Malfoy for the second time in three days. How awkward. I rolled off him, onto some random person who I was pretty sure had just dove into the pile-up for the sheer hell of it. Someone’s foot was on my stomach, and I had hair in my mouth and eyes. I spat out all the hair, and was just about to get up when Professor McGonagall, Professor Shoehorn and Roxanne Weasley, the head girl, came striding down the corridor towards us (a.k.a, the huge pile of tangled limbs on the floor)- all looking pissed.
I am never, ever giving someone a piggyback again. Never. I should take an unbreakable vow, just to make sure.
“What on earth do you think you are doing?” demanded the angry voice of McGonagall, who did not sound amused. I thought about replying with some witty, Fred-worthy comment like ‘lying on the floor’, but decided against it. I wouldn’t be able to pull it off anyway- I just wasn’t that cool. Sigh. “If you are not up off the floor and walking to breakfast in precisely five seconds, you will all be getting detention!” McGonagall raved. “One! Two! Thre-“ You’d have thought that she would’ve mellowed up after the war and everything, right? Apparently wrong. I hadn’t even registered what she’d said, never mind attempted to get up off the floor, when I heard Fred (who had mysteriously appeared at the scene) interrupt McGonagall.
“Roxy! Sis! How are ya? Too cool for school? Or is it too school for cool?” Fred started laughing rather loudly, distracting the teachers long enough for us to pick our sorry arses up and dust ourselves down.
I sighed, grabbed Dom before McGonagall had a chance to regain her composure, and slipped into the crush of students heading over to the Great Hall. Fred and Roxanne caught up with us soon after, and Roxanne grinned at me,
“That was the funniest thing I’ve seen in ages!” she laughed. “Why don’t I know you again?” I blinked, confused – she’d looked annoyed with us about a minute ago.
“Wait, you’re not apeshit?” Dom phrased my thoughts so very elegantly.
“Course not,” Roxy shook her head. “But I have to act like I take my head girl duties seriously, don’t I?”
“Wow, that must be hard,” I said. Fred popped his head into the conversation with some very unnecessary introductions-
“Hollie and Dom meet Roxanne Weasley, my sensible other half but in the sisterly meaning entirely! Roxy meet Hollie Parker and Dominique Weasley, the love of my life and my cousin. Oh, wait…you know Dom of course…being her cousin too…” Fred scratched his head for a moment, looking adorably confused. I resisted the urge to pat his shoulder and pinch his cheek.
“Honestly Fred, I haven’t been living under a rock for my whole life. I know the names of the people in my year! Especially my own cousin!” exclaimed Roxy, flicking her twin on the temple before turning to me. “You’re the love of Fred’s life? Didn’t know he had a girlfriend. Congratulations…I think…”
I shook my head, “I’m not his girlfriend. He’s joking.”
“I am not joking!” Fred gasped, clutching his chest. “You have just ripped out my heart and stomped on it, woman! The pain! It consumes me!” Roxy rolled her eyes.
As we approached the Gryffindor table, Roxanne peeled away from us to sit with her fellow Ravenclaws. Eve glanced up briefly as we sat down next to her, stared at my face for a moment, and then lazily flicked her wand at me- immediately sorting my eyebrows out. Wow, how simple. Maybe I should think about learning some useful magic like that.
Fred leant across and stole some bacon from Eve’s plate, stuffing it all in his mouth before mumbling, “GottagoQuidditchbye,” and skipping out of the Great Hall. Skipping. I think he’s secretly a little girl. With ribbons in his hair and everything. Maybe he has a big set of ‘Barbies’ in his dorm that he plays with every evening. I make a mental note to ask James about this later.
The post arrived in a flurry of wings (and a few owl droppings splashing into cups). A letter from my parents dropped neatly into my lap, and I opened it quickly, popping a bite of toast into my mouth at the same time.
My Darling, my mum began in her neat, almost child-like handwriting.
It was so lovely to hear about all the things you girls have been getting up to in your letter last week. The thing with whatshisname and the classical music sounds particularly hilarious! Ah yes, Dom’s little brother, Louis, had developed a passion for creepy music recently. He may or may not have performed a synchronised dance with some of his friends in the middle of the great hall last week, after we told him that it would get him loads of girls. That was fun.
I have to say, Hogwarts just sounds more and more fantastic each time I hear a crazy new story from you.
It’s been quiet at home recently- Dad got that new job at thingymebob, and he’s working a lot. It’s good though, because I’ve been able to buy a nice new kitchen table! You’ll be able to see it when you come home for Christmas. Oh, Bill and Flower (My mum called Fleur ‘Flower’- much to the amusement of Dom) have invited your dad and I round for Christmas dinner, and we accepted because we thought you’d enjoy spending the day with your friends. Your other friend, Eve? Yes, she’s been invited too of course. It should be great fun! I’m practising my new cookie recipe so the Parker family will arrive prepared!
Now I have to say some motherly things now, or I shall feel like a neglectful parent. So have you been eating healthily? No drugs, sex or rock ‘n roll? Remember darling, your studies are very important this year. I don’t know much about how it’s done in the wizarding world, but just try your best, and I’m sure it’ll be good enough. (I felt a pang of guilt after reading those words.)
Lots and lots of love,
Mum (and Dad says hi) xx
P.S. We had to take Deefur to the vets yesterday. He has a stomach ulcer, but he’ll be fine- don’t worry! We’ll keep you updated, sweetie.
Deefur was the family dog- an adorable chocolate Labrador who I loved very much. He’d been named by me, when I was about five years old- ‘Deefur dog’. D for dog was what I’d been trying to say, but it just sounded like Deefur. I’d been gutted when I realised that I wouldn’t be able to take him to Hogwarts with me, so now I prayed that he was alright.
“My whole family are spending Christmas Day at yours this year, Dom,” I say to her with a strained smile.
“Blimey, adults plan ahead, don’t they? It’s not even November yet!”
“Well, it will be in three days,” Eve grinned.
“Can Deefur come too? I love that dog.” Dom asked me cheerily.
“Hopefully,” I looked away. Dom, being the amazing bestie that she is, immediately knew that something was up. She stared at me, one eyebrow raised,
“Better out than in, Hol! What’s wrong?”
“Deefur,” I admitted reluctantly. “He’s sick. Mum had to take him to the vets.”
“What are vets?” Dom asked, confused.
“What are doct-“
“Healers,” I cut across her. “Mum says he has a stomach ulcer.” Dom looked more upset than I did, her face paling. It really didn’t help to quell my own fears.
“He’ll be alright though, right? I mean, of course, those muggle medicines are absolute crap, but surely old Deefur will be tough enough to pull through. Yeah?”
“Yeah,” I mumbled, suddenly imagining what it’d be like if Deefur died. He was like the brother I’d never had, always there, looking up to me, following me around the garden. He had this one spot, just behind the ear, that he loved being tickled in- and if I stopped he would give me this heart-melting look that made me immediately wrap my arms around his neck and kiss his head, breathing in that warm, dog smell. Some people don’t think that your pet can mean that much to you, but actually, they’re a part of your family; in all the photographs, all the best memories, all the worst memories. Although, our family hasn’t had many bad memories to be honest.
I stood up, and decided to go back to the dorm for a bit. Dom and Eve watched me anxiously as I walked out of the Great hall, but I was honestly fine. Just a bit shaken up.
On the way to the common room however, I changed my mind and decided to get a bit of fresh air. I wasn’t really an outdoors-y kind of person, but now and then I enjoyed walking next to the lake and watching the seemingly endless expanse of water shifting and rippling in the wind. I stood there for a long moment, slightly lost in thought. Except I wasn’t really thinking about anything in particular- just whatever happened to swim through my mind, I would fish out and mull over for a few seconds, before letting it go again. It was kind of weird. I had never been the contemplative type, preferring to always be busy doing something instead of sitting, thinking, wondering about life, the universe, and blah blah blah.
Suddenly, I became aware of someone next to me. James, wandering back up from the Quidditch pitch, had obviously spotted me and come over to say hi. I was sort of pleased that he was here, and he smiled at me, rubbing the back of his neck. I smiled back, and looked at the lake again. Neither of us spoke but I was shivering, so James immediately pulled off his jacket and wrapped it round my shoulders, his hands lingering there for a moment. I was pleased he’d done it- even though it was a bit old and clichéd, it meant I could add ‘chivalrous’ to my mental list of James Potter’s attributes. The jacket smelt really nice, like…peppermint and strawberry creams. I breathed in the scent happily, looking up and meeting James’s eyes. He was gazing at me intently; his expression the same as Dom’s had been earlier.
“Are you alright?” he asked finally.
“Yeah…sort of,” I wrapped his jacket more tightly around myself to keep out the chilly breeze.
“Ok,” he says, clearing the autumn leaves off a nearby tree stump so we could sit down. “Do you want to talk about it?”
I think that I might melt any second now from the adorable cuteness.
“It’s not really a big deal,” I reply, sitting down anyway.
“Yeah, but it doesn’t always have to be,” James cocked his head to one side, looking at me sideways. The breeze ruffled up his already windswept black hair.
“My dog, Deefur, is really sick,” I confess. “I just got a letter from my mum saying she’s taken him to the vets- animal doctors.” I look at my hands with a sigh, and James puts his arm around me in a comforting, brotherly gesture.
I’m honestly so unbelievably glad that I partnered with him that time in potions. I may have only known him properly for a week, but Eve’s right, it feels like I’ve known him and Fred forever. It’s really strange. And I don’t even know what his favourite colour is or anything! I mean, Dom’s is pale blue and Eve’s is a dark, grungy green.
Mine’s pink. In case anyone was wondering.
“I’m sure Deefur’ll be ok,” James says in such a convincing tone. I have to remind myself that he’s never even seen Deefur, that’s how much I believe what he’s saying. “What’s wrong with him?”
“He’s got a stomach ulcer.”
“Oh,” James says simply. He squeezes my hand and I immediately feel better.
“What’s your favourite colour?” I ask suddenly. He looks at me quizzically, so I elaborate. “It’s just…I feel like I know you really well, but then I still don’t know you at all…if that makes sense,” I smile faintly, “And, I mean, that’s sort of the first thing you ask, right?” James laughs at this, a really nice, rich laugh. He doesn’t sound like a donkey in the way that I always do when I’m laughing.
Chivalrous. Check. Nice laugh. Check.
“That’s true,” he grins, scratching his nose. “Well, I like white. I like how it’s a mixture of all the other colours, and how flawless it is, and how it can be so intimidating and so beautiful at the same time.”
“I know what you mean about it being intimidating,” I nod. “Like when you’re in an exam and there’s this horrible, white piece of paper on the desk in front of you, and you get all panicky and your brain goes blank and fuzzy.”
“Yeah, that’s exactly it,” James says, and then continues. “What’s your favourite colour then?”
“Pink. Really pale pink, like rose petals, because it’s so pretty and dainty and makes me think of romantic movies and candyfloss.”
We sit in comfortable silence for a while longer, and then decide to walk back up to the castle for the first lesson. It’s a really beautiful morning, even if it’s a bit cold. The sky’s a serene sort of blue colour, dotted with fluffy clouds, and the whole of Hogwarts looks like something out of a fairytale. I suddenly feel so thankful that I’m a witch, and don’t go to some modern, muggle high school in an ugly concrete building, like the ones in our neighbourhood back home. I remember the day I got my Hogwarts letter- I had thought it was some sort of stupid trick. I mean, I’d always thought that witches were green and warty, and ate little girls for dinner- that’s what they were like in all the stories my dad had read to me- so it’d taken a fair amount of getting used to. But I couldn’t imagine my life without Hogwarts; I loved every single spider, portrait and trick step in this place. I loved the parties, and the food, and the common rooms, and the lake, and Hagrid’s hut, and all the people-
“Well, isn’t this a sickeningly cute little encounter?” sneered a voice from the left. “I have to say Potter, I’m surprised you’ve sunk so low.” Okay. Not all of the people. James stiffened and frowned as Savannah Woods and Rachael Adams strolled over to stand in front of us, smirking at each other.
“We’re not together,” I blurt out, knowing that we should just walk off and ignore them, but apparently not having the willpower to keep my mouth shut. “Not that it’s any of your business.”
Seriously? James and I? A couple? That’s ridiculous.
“Oh, don’t worry, Parker. You will never be together. Trust me,” Savannah hisses her empty threat, sounding totally pathetic and a little freaky.
Ok, I’ve changed my mind. Now I wish that James would ask me out just so I could rub it in that little bitch’s face. Actually, I want him to ask me out right now, on the spot, in front of them. And I’d say yes as well, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m really not good girlfriend material.
It’s sad, isn’t it? The one girl who wants a proper relationship more than any other person in Hogwarts is, frankly, a rubbish girlfriend. I get too distracted in other people’s love lives to focus on my own, and when I do focus, I’m constantly searching for flaws in it. And I always find some. Which, you know, depresses me and keeps me awake at night, wondering if there really is a perfect someone out there for me -or whether it’s all just some big sell-out ideal.
No, I’m better off single for now.
Anyway. Mini self-doubting session over.
“Yeah,” Rachael says, smirking. “Why would James want to date a midget with bad hair and morning breath?” I flush furiously, feeling James tense up even more beside me. He glares at the two girls,
“Leave her alone, Adams. You’re both being pathetic.”
“Oh, we’re pathetic?” Savannah snorted unattractively. “She,” she points at me, “Has a ‘precious soap’ collection with her two freaks for friends. How’s that for pathetic?” Savannah sneers at me, as if she’s just revealed some deep, dark secret. James just laughs,
“I used to collect the interesting twigs in my garden,” he says calmly. “And soap is a much cooler thing to collect than twigs anyway.”
“Well, you’re pathetic too then!” Savannah narrowed her eyes at him. “I always knew you were a poof, Potter.” I glared at her so fiercely that I was surprised the flesh didn’t melt off her face. James seemed unfazed though, merely shrugging. Skirting around Rachael and Savannah, James and I continued walking back up to the castle.
I breathed a sigh of relief once we were clear of them. Who knew what else they could drag up to embarrass me?
“I don’t actually have a precious soap collection, you know,” I tell James. “It’s Eve’s.”
“I did actually have a twig collection,” he smirked. “And I named every twig, too. There was Albert, and Nora, and Brogan, and Bill, and Archie-”
I burst out laughing. “Aw, you’re such a freak.”
“Aren’t we all freaks, in some unique way?”
The five of us were sitting on the sofas in the Gryffindor common room, attracting more than a few curious stares. I had some potions notes spread out on the table, James was reading, Eve and Dom were poking each other, and Fred was scribbling something furiously. I could hardly believe it; we were actually being normal people for a change.
It was only a matter of time before someone got bored now.
James put his book down and yawned, half watching Eve and Dom in their poke war.
“They’re freaks, aren’t they?” I say to him with a grin, leaning against the sofa. He chuckles, putting his feet up on the coffee table.
“I think I still have the freak crown.”
“We’ll see,” I wiggled my (nicely shaped) eyebrows menacingly. Sort of.
Dom stopped poking Eve and glanced at Fred,“What are you writing? I didn’t know you could write!!” Fred huffed, and put his quill down. It rolled off the table and clattered to the floor.
“I'm writing my last will and testament!” he announces proudly.
I raise a (perfectly plucked) eyebrow.
“Err…why?” James asks.
“Because Professor Trelawney predicted my death today!” Fred whined. “And I wanted to make sure that all my cool stuff didn’t go to waste on Molly or someone.”
“Hey!” yelled Molly Weasley from across the room. “I heard that, you prat!”
“You’re my favourite cousin really, Molly!” Fred shouts back, then adds to us in an undertone. “She’s probably my least favourite, tied with Hugo.”
“What’s wrong with Hugo?” I wonder. He always seemed cheerful when I saw him around the school.
“He killed my pet woodlouse! Killed it! Squashed it dead!”
“Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss,” I deadpan.
Dom rolls her eyes, and grabs Fred’s will from the table. Clearing her throat, she begins to read,
“The last will and testament of Frederick Remus Weasley. Fred is the coolest, and his word is gospel. YOLO. I realise the true significance of this motto now. Dear mummy, please don’t ever look in that box under my bed if you value your life. Which you should. Just saying.” Dom snorted, quickly reading the rest, as the rest of us fell about laughing. Fred looked offended,
“Hey! If any of you could do better, then by all means, be my guest!”
“Dom,” I say in heartfelt voice. “I leave you my moisturiser, in the hope that it will save the utter disaster that is your face.”
“I leave Hollie my toenail clippings!” Dom screeches.
“I leave my nail varnishes to Fred!”
“James can have my cat suit!”
“Gee, I’m honoured.”
“You should be!”
“Dom, why do you even own a cat suit?” Eve asks, horrified.
“Eve, I generously give you my ancient runes textbook.”
“I don’t even take runes!”
“Well, here’s your chance then!”
“My broom goes to James,” Fred says, scribbling it down.
Silence falls as we all hastily write down a list of our possessions, and who we’ll give them to after we die. Such a cheerful way to spend your evening.
“I can’t decide who to leave my underwear to,” Dom sighs. “Flame Flanders or Leonard McGuire? What do you think, girls?”
“Flame Flanders,” Eve says, “Definitely! He’s a better singer, and he has this really dreamy voice…” she sighs.
“I agree with Eve,” I add.
“But Leonard has such gorgeous hair!” Dom moans.
“Well, leave your knickers to Flame and your bras to Leonard then!” I chirp.
“Good idea!” exclaims Dom, writing this down.
“Don’t we need witnesses, to make this official?” I ask.
“Yeah, and a lawyer too.”
“I’ll be a lawyer!” James bounces up and down on the sofa.
“We can all sign each others’ papers then.”
I sign everyone’s last will and testament (if they can be called that), shaking my head at how weird we all are. Ah well. All I could do now was pray that no-one died before the end of Hogwarts. And really, what were the chances of that happening?
Although, with people like Savannah Woods roaming free, I wouldn’t venture out alone at night.
Author's note-- Hi! So this was a bit of a filler, but with some fluffy Hollie/James moments for you all! I’m getting my tenses a bit muddled up at times, but i’ll go back and edit it all later. Ok, I know some of you probably think this story is looking a bit like a Fred/Hollie at times- but, frankly, it’s not! Nor is it Hollie/Scorpius, even though I know it’s weird how she keeps finding herself on top of him and stuff. Wow, i must be really confusing you all with this. :P Thanks for all the support so far, i’ve enjoyed reading every review so, so much- but please remember to keep things 12+ (I had one review deleted). The next chapter might take a while, as I’m on holiday in France with limited internet access (holidays! Yay!). But I’ll do my best! <3 Love you all! -Annon
Disclaimer- I don’t own Dominos Pizza. Or Barbies. Or anything else.