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Chapter 6: The Big Boom
Teddy Lupin’s office wasn’t half bad, really. I mean, compared to McGonagall or Shoehorn’s offices it was positively glamorous. There was a poster of Flame Flanders on the wall, which was pretty cool- and he had this super-awesome lava lamp on the windowsill as well, with purple goo floating around inside it. The alien-glow light from the lamp made the framed photograph of Dom’s sister, Victoire, look hideously ugly- which I knew Dom would be only too pleased about. The chairs were ridiculously comfy too- soft, with lots of squishy cushions- which was probably why Teddy himself was currently hunched over his desk, snoring.
This was the best tutoring session ever.
I sat in front of Teddy, vaguely twiddling my thumbs, and wondering whether I should just leave or sit it out here for the entire hour and a half. I could see the light slowly leaching out of the sky through the small window, and half-watched a large spider crawling across the ceiling- climbing over each uneven bump as if it were a mountain- and hoped that it didn’t fall on my head.
A particularly loud snort from Teddy made me jump slightly, and look over at him curiously. His long, blue hair was splayed across the desk and kept changing colour from dark to light, shimmering softly like water. I could definitely see why Victoire had fallen for him- they both had sparkly hair. I had to admit, Dom hadn’t been as lucky as her sister hair-wise. Whilst Victoire had shiny, Veela-silver hair, Dom’s was curly and brownish-red. But, obviously, Dom was much cooler than her uptight, prim and proper sis. I had to say that though, it’s just simple bro code.
Eve was probably the prettiest of us three- her large, dark eyes seemed to swallow you up every time you looked in them, and I swear, she never had a bad hair day. It was always so spotlessly styled! Not a strand out of place. Then her mocha-coloured skin was smooth and flawless and milky. She was so lucky- I had freckles and a light dusting of acne on my forehead that just never cleared up.
I pulled out a nail file and began working on my thumb nail. I wasn’t going to waste a whole hour and a half, was I?
I wondered what Teddy might be dreaming about right now. I sincerely hoped that it had nothing to do with Victoire.
Time passed, the clock moving at an agonisingly slow pace. I helped myself to a couple of biscuits that I’d found while rummaging around in the desk drawers. I also found a book of jokes (?), a bouncy ball, a toothpick, a single chess piece and a broken quill. I pocketed the bouncy ball, but left the rest alone. Who even used toothpicks these days anyway?
…This was boring.
I wanted something interesting to happen, like a volcanic eruption, or a lightning storm, or a band of criminals suddenly breaking into the room and kidnapping me, or-
The ground shook beneath my feet as the sound of a muffled explosion reached my ears. A thin trickle of dust fell from the ceiling into my hair as a second, louder blast shook the walls. I jumped up in a panic, regretting wishing for anything exciting to happen. A scared jumble of thoughts ran through my mind; Savannah had just murdered James, Fred had blown up a classroom, Voldemort had returned from the afterlife, a plague of locusts had descended upon us, an evil dude with a chainsaw had…had…
I heard screams from several floors above.
What the hell was going on?
Leaving Teddy to his beauty sleep, I rushed out of the room to try and find out. My bag was digging into my arm as I ran through the corridors, looking for familiar faces. But the castle was eerily empty; if it hadn’t been for the sounds of a kerfuffle upstairs I could’ve bet good money that I was the only one here. Just as I was about to give up, I spotted Roxy hurrying out of a nearby classroom with a Ravenclaw girl called Annie Summers. She spotted me and made a strange, pained noise.
“Hollie, have you got any idea what’s happening?”
“No, sorry,” I shook my head, feeling worried. “I was with Professor Lupin when I heard this massive explosion.” I decided to save the story of how he was asleep the entire time for Dom and Eve later on.
“Oh, God!” Roxy pulled her dark hair. “It sounds like a war’s broken out up there! We’d better go and help, Annie,” she looked at her fair-haired, petite friend, and then at me. “Hollie, come with us! We know which way to go.”
I hadn’t even realised that I was lost.
We ran up countless flights of crumbly, grey staircases until we emerged into the bright light of the Entrance Hall. I suppose it wasn’t really that bright, but after the gloom of the corridors down below, it seemed very bright indeed. I couldn’t immediately see what was wrong because there was such a throng of people surrounding something in the middle of the room. But then I stood on my toes to look over everyone’s heads, and felt my heart sink like a stone.
Rose and Scorpius. Duelling. Intensely.
And with such looks of hatred on their faces that I felt like cowering in fright.
I nearly did.
A particularly violent spell hit the wall behind me and caused the ground to rumble and little cracks to appear by my feet; God, what if they killed each other?!
“Holy shit!” breathed Roxy from beside me, pushing through the crowd to try and reach Professors McGonagall, Flitwick and Shoehorn who were attempting to reach the two angry teenagers, but failing because they were constantly being shoved back by the students clamouring to watch. A few first years screamed shrilly as bits of stone fell from the ceiling with a crash, and the air was alive with the hiss and hum of spells. Meanwhile, Scorpius and Rose were oblivious to their surroundings, completely caught up in the fight.
I was left with Annie- who grimaced at me. “Gosh, I wonder why they’re fighting?”
“It’s over something stupid, I bet,” I muttered in reply, trying to stop my toes from getting trodden on.
“What if someone got seriously injured?” Annie said, her pretty face scrunched with concern.
“Oh, God!” I sighed. “This is a disaster!”
“I know, the professors are going to be mad for weeks after this. And I can’t even bear to think about what they’ll do to Rose and Scorpius!”
“No, I meant this!” I pointed at my purple shoes, which were now covered in mud and the marks from the soles of people’s trainers. Annie laughed slightly, shaking her head.
Ok, so I’m a bit of a brat. But when things get too out of control I tend to focus my thoughts on smaller, more insignificant things to help myself deal with anything big. So right now it was just easier to think about my shoes than to worry about the marathon of a duel raging right in front of me and all the implications it would have on the rest of us.
And, you know, these shoes hadn’t been cheap either. Eve would understand.
Annie nudged me and pointed at Rose, “Listen! They’re yelling at each other now.” She seemed half intrigued, half horrified as she watched.
“Always. Insulting. Every. Single. Thing. ABOUT ME!” screamed Rose. “I’ve had enough! JUST GO TO FUCKING HELL!”
“You complete psycho!” Scorpius snarled, blocking a jet of purple light easily. “I’d gladly go to hell if it meant I didn’t have to see your fuck-ugly face.”
“THERE YOU GO AGAIN! God, I hate you! I wish you’d never been born, you complete arsehole!”
“Oh, well I’m sorry if I’m upsetting precious ickle Rosie! Does she need a cuddle from famous mummy and daddy to make her feel better? No? WELL MAYBE SHE SHOULD JUST MAN UP A BIT THEN!”
“Don’t bring my parents into this, Malfoy!” Rose warned, sending another jinx at him. Scorpius didn’t reply, too busy dodging and ducking and casting his own spells to bother. Then he looked up briefly as the spells stopped, and sneered.
“Oh, look! Hiding behind your cousins again are we, Weasley?”
“Stop it!” snapped James angrily, who was clutching one of Rose’s arms- Hugo had the other. As the dust settled over the scene, I saw Albus standing next to Scorpius- but he was glaring at him fiercely. Roxanne was with Rose, screaming at all the students to shut up.
“She’s a good head girl, isn’t she?” Annie whispered in my ear. I nodded automatically, too shocked and upset by everything I’d just witnessed to listen to her. I thought they’d been getting better! I thought they were almost tolerant of each other now! I wildly searched for Dom and Eve as the Professors stormed onto the scene, grabbing Rose (who was now sobbing) and Scorpius (who was stony faced and silent) by the wrists and marching them off. James went with Rose to comfort her. No-one went with Scorpius.
I had no idea how I felt about that.
Luckily, Dom and Eve found me only a little while later and launched themselves on top of me.
“Ohmygod, PHEW! Hollie! We had no idea where you were, WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU?”
All I could do was raise my eyebrows at the catastrophe to our right and mouth, “shit.” They nodded gravely; Eve was looking shell-shocked and Dom looked a little insane- bloodshot eyes and a fake grin plastered on her face (I had no idea why). Annie stood a little way behind us, frantically texting someone. Mobile phones became extremely popular among the students of Hogwarts as soon as the first muggle-borns introduced them. It seemed as though everyone had one these days, apart from the hardcore purebloods like Scorpius and the Notts, whose parents had strictly forbidden it.
Dom was shaking her head sadly now, looking at the retreating figures of Rose and Scorpius. “Arguments,” she growled. “If you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”
It was weird hearing her say that in such a menacing voice, because my mum would always lecture me with this line in a depressingly chirpy, cheerful one.
Eve shook her head, looking slightly irritated. “It’s not that simple, Dom! Sometimes people just have to say what’s on their mind or they’ll go mad. Like me, for instance. If I didn’t argue with you, I’d probably end up killing you instead!”
“Well, they almost did kill each other just then,” I stated dully.
Annie wandered back over to us, “Hi Dom, Eve. Anyone see where Roxy went? I want to go check she’s alright- she gets stressed out easily. Probably hyperventilating in a corner right now.”
Hmm, that was funny. James got stressed out easily as well. Must run in the family a bit.
“Yeah, she went into the Great Hall,” Dom replied.
“Thanks! See you, Hollie.” Annie walked off quickly, brushing a loose strand of hair behind her ear. She was extraordinarily nice.
And then it hit me.
“Oh my god!” I yelped, clutching Dom’s arm. “Annie! Annie…her…James…stressed…HOLY…ARGH!”
“What the hell, Parker?” Eve raised an eyebrow.
“Annie and James!” I spluttered excitedly. “They’re perfect for each other!” Eve and Dom frowned, watching Annie walk into the Great Hall.
“Are you sure? I mean… they’re a bit… I don’t know-“
“Ssh! They are perfect! We’re setting them up!”
Eve looked a bit disgruntled and doubtful, but Dom shrugged. “Okay, whatever.”
Why are they being so unenthusiastic about this? It’s so obvious! They will be the cutest couple ever. Annie was the sort of innocently sweet, inconspicuous person that would suit James down to the ground. Whenever I saw her around the school, she was always a) smiling or b) helping a lost first year. She was just nice. And James was sweet (even if he seemed a little arrogant to people who didn’t know him). So sweet + nice = perfect relationship.
Now I just had to think of a way for them both to realise that for themselves. But that should be a piece of cake; after all, that was what I did best.
We were huddled round a table in the library, discussing plans for The Awesome And Supreme Brain-Child of Eve. With the recent Scorpius/Rose explosion (quite literally) the situation was really quite dire. We had to think of where we could possibly get four more emotions.
Eve had made a list.
Emotions We Have Collected For The Awesome And Supreme Brain-Child of Eve So Far In Order Of Most Recently To Least Recently: Anger, boredom, jealousy, hatred, joy, sadness, frustration, irritation, disgust, anxiety, anticipation, shame, pity, pride, patience, hope.
“What else can we get easily?” Eve asked anxiously, chewing the end of her quill. I ran a hand through my hair, trying to think of an emotion that wasn’t already on our list.
“Happiness?” Dom suggested.
“That’s the same as joy,” I pointed out.
“Yes, but is it?” she replied mysteriously.
“Are you willing to risk it?” Eve snapped. Dom sulked. I rested my head on my hands, but then suddenly had a brainwave.
“Guys!” I said. “What about tiredness?” Eve scanned the list and smiled,
“Great! We can get that quite easily.”
“Um…” Dom thought for a while. “Epicness!”
“That’s not an emotion,” Eve rolled her eyes.
“It could be! How do you know? Maybe it’s just that no-one’s ever felt it yet.”
“Fear…Surprise…Panic...” Eve murmured, jotting them all down and ignoring Dom completely. But Dom grabbed the quill and wrote ‘EPICNESS’ in huge writing across the paper.
“Ugh, you are so annoying!” Eve glared. Dom stuck her tongue out. I laughed.
“Right, which one do we do first?” I asked, but Eve hushed me hastily and hid the list under the table as James trudged over to our table, running a hand through his hair.
“Hi,” he said wearily. “Just finished comforting Rose. God, she and Malfoy really need to sort out their differences. Someone could’ve been properly injured in all that.” James collapsed into the spare seat next to me.
“That’s exactly what Annie said,” I remarked absent-mindedly.
“Who’s Annie?” James asked, confused.
“Annie Summers. She’s Roxy’s friend.” I try to subtly gauge his reaction, noticing Eve and Dom doing the same.
“Oh! Summers, yeah. She was at Fred’s house once.”
“Yeah, anyway,” Dom interrupted, shooting me a glance, though I wasn’t sure what for. “What’s their punishment?”
“Rose and Scorpius’s?”
“Well they’re lucky they weren’t expelled, but they got four months of detention each and Rose had her prefect’s badge taken away. Plus, they wrote home,” James shudders. “So I’d expect a howler from Aunt Hermione, Dom.”
Eve sighed, “I guess any chance of those two getting together is pretty much non-existent now then.”
James made a noncommittal noise, frowning. “Oh yeah, I need to ask you something Dom.”
“Ryan Davies is looking for a reserve keeper, and because he thought I could persuade you being your cousin and all, he sent me to ask if you’d be up for it?”
“The Slytherin captain asked the Gryffindor captain to persuade Dom into being Slytherin’s reserve keeper? I don’t know much about Quidditch, but that seems a bit odd,” Eve frowned.
“Well, I’m not bothered by it- don’t agree with all the stupid ‘rivals’ hype off of the pitch. Don’t even like Quidditch all that much.”
“If you don’t like Quidditch, then why for the love of Merlin are you the captain?” I asked incredulously. James shuffled awkwardly on his seat,
“My Dad was pleased I got asked,” he muttered obscurely, avoiding all eye contact with us. “But anyway- Dom?”
“Why do they even need a reserve keeper?” Dom asked, “And why me? I mean, I can sort of play but not that well.”
“Didn’t you hear how Slytherin’s keeper is really sick? Some weird creature-thing bit him last weekend and he hasn’t recovered yet.”
“Ok…but still, why me?”
James just shrugged, rocking back and forth on his chair. “What should I tell Davies? Preferably something short. Don’t want to talk to him for longer than necessary, he creeps me out a bit.”
I smirked and shot James a look. He raised an eyebrow. I kicked his leg.
“I suppose I can give it a shot,” Dom took up a very stern expression. “But if I break a single nail, then I’m outta there!”
James started laughing quietly, and soon we were all laughing- even Dom. The librarian shushed us, but we all carried on anyway. It felt too nice to stop, and the librarian just shrugged, going back to her book. Madam Douglas was a sweetie, really. She didn’t really care about what people did in the library, as long as her precious books didn’t get damaged. She was absolutely nothing like the horrible old bat before her, Madam Pince. Although, it did mean that nerds like Ed Sampson tended to throw hissy fits when the incessant giggling and chatting became too loud, and the Restricted Section had become a bit of a free-for-all, too.
Ah, well. It wasn’t like I spent much time up here anyway.
Author’s note: Eep, so mission ScoRose isn’t looking too groovy is it? I hope I wrote that duel scene alright, couldn’t tell whether I should make it longer or not- and this is a bit of a shorter chapter anyway. Also, what did you all think of Annie Summers? Anyone else find her adorable (even if you do probably hate me for introducing her to Hollie, who’s now determined to get her together with James)? Thoughts on Teddy, and why he might’ve been asleep?
I can officially say that this is the first time I have ever used the word ‘kerfuffle’ in a story. I am also officially in love with said word. But anyway, chapter 6 has been fun to write. I hope everyone’s having a lovely summer, by the way! (If it’s summer for you, wherever you are. If not then I hope you’re having a lovely winter /autumn /spring /life). Chapter 7 should be up by at leeast the end of August. Reviews would be awesome, guys. ;D