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Chapter 9: Dates and Not Dates
Disclaimer: The OC's and parts of the plot are all that belong to me. The rest is J.K Rowling's.
Using her arm to clear away the fogginess of her bathroom mirror, Miranda smiled slightly at her reflection in the mirror before turning on the spot to check out her outfit. For the first time it what seemed like months, she and Remus were going on a date that afternoon. Needless to say, she was looking forward to it despite feeling even a little bit nervous too.
With a deep breath she straightened out her skirt and ran her brush through her hair one more time before she would have to leave in order to make it to the Leaky Cauldron on time. Once she was happy, or at least happy enough, with her appearance she headed out of the bathroom and grabbed her bag off the arm of her chair and swung it over her shoulders.
She fished around inside her bag for her house keys, her mother was adamant that the house had to be locked in both the muggle and wizard fashions, pulling them out by the charm she hung them on and making her way down the hallway and towards the front door.
She pulled the door closed behind her and went to lock it when a sharp pain went up her arm causing her to drop the keys onto the floor. She let out a low groan as the pain hit her again and caused tears to form in her eyes. She managed to lower herself onto the step while cradling her left arm carefully against her body.
Miranda stretched her fingers out on her right arm to grab her keys before she stood up quickly and pushed herself back inside. She managed to keep herself steady enough before she reached her bathroom mirror and carefully pulled up the long sleeve top she was wearing.
There on her arm, the one that had been damaged in the werewolf attack of the previous year, had started bleeding furiously. She gasped at the sight of it, another pain shot up her arm in that moment that caused her to let out a strangled sob. Miranda stared at it for a few minutes, watching carefully as the blood dripped down her arm and into the basin, she cleaned it up quickly before tightly wrapping it with a bandage.
She moved to her desk, pulled out some parchment and some ink to quickly jot down a letter of apology to Remus- she couldn’t go out with her arm like this nor could she really tell Remus the truth. She folded it up and handed it to her owl.
“Take it to Remus Lupin, be quick.” Miranda sighed, collapsing back into her bed and keeping her arm close to her chest. She could only hope that the letter reached Remus in time.
Coralie carefully placed the two cups of tea on the coffee table, one in front of Nathaniel and the other in front of Jacob, both of whom sent her thank-you smiles as she took her seat beside Nathaniel on the couch. Violet appeared only moments later with her own cup of tea and one for Coralie which she set down.
“It’s about time that we can all finally sit down together!” Violet exclaimed, a bright smile passing over her face. Violet had returned to England for the first week of October with one of art student friends to see the opening of a new gallery in central London. The opening wasn’t until the next night so Violet had planned to spend the day at home with Jacob, Coralie and Nathaniel. Coralie was pleased to note that her sister seemed in high spirits and was healthier than ever before.
“Honestly, I’m a bit frightened that you’ve poisoned the tea or something- you seem oddly happy.” Jacob replied, inspecting his tea with a slightly worried expression. Violet sent him a glare and whacked him over the back of the head before she turned to Nathaniel.
“How have you been? I miss have you and Coralie in my apartment to be honest, it’s so quiet and dirty now that don’t feel obliged to keep it neat.” Nathaniel chuckled heartily at her, wrapping his arms around Coralie and absent-mindedly playing with a piece of her hair.
“Maybe we’ll have to come back and stay for a bit. Personally, I think I could manage a few days or weeks in Paris again.” Coralie laughed at this, leaning her head back against Nathaniel’s chest to look up at him.
“Right, you’re working now- unlike my lazy sister,” Coralie stuck her tongue out at Violet in response, “Where are you working again?”
“It’s not like you’re exactly working either Vi.” Coralie responded, Violet made a face at her.
“The Department of Magical Games and Sports in the Ministry.” Nathaniel cut in, before he continued, “I had wanted to play Quidditch professionally but the threat of injury is too big nowadays for me, anyway.”
“Just not manly enough.” Jacob teased, Nathaniel shrugged his shoulders in response.
“More the fact that Cora probably would have killed me if I disappeared halfway through a match and didn’t return for years.” Violet replied with an ‘aw’ that caused Jacob to throw his head back in laughter before he stared at Coralie for a moment and then looked back at Nathaniel.
“You’re probably right.”
“Oh, Cora! I painted something for you, I wanted to see how it looked in your room- come on, we’ll check it now!” Violet said excitedly, practically jumping out of her chair before pulling Coralie out of hers and up the stairs.
“I think that was Violet’s way of telling us we needed to have a one on one chat with one another.” Jacob commented dryly, turning his attention back to Nathaniel who chuckled loudly in response.
“That’d be Vi.” He responded, this time it was Jacob who laughed.
“You’re already a member of the family Nate.”
Perhaps the worst sound in the entire world, at least according to Shelena as she made her way through the park near her house. It was probably about midday, on a Sunday in mid-October and so there were children crawling everywhere. The younger ones seemed to cause all the trouble but as Shelena thought about it, the older ones were just as bad or possibly even worse depending how you looked at it.
The whole children/park debacle bothered Shelena that day more than most. The fact of the matter was that she had gone out for a walk with the sole purpose of having some time to think alone, somewhere quiet- that and, escaping Leo for a while. Well, at least one of those purposes would be fulfilled by this walk.
With a sigh, Shelena continued along the stone path, dodging the small children when they ran around her despite how much she really wanted to avoid them. She’d almost made it the whole way through the park and was almost completely ready to head home and face Leo once again when a little girl stepped out in front of her.
By default, Shelena moved to the side and made to continue walking when the girl grabbed onto her hand and stared up at her with her big brown eyes.
“Can you push me on the swing?” The girl asked, twisting one of her plaits around her finger.
“Can’t your mother do that?” Shelena replied, scrunching her nose up slightly at the girl.
“She’s over there,” The girl pointed to a woman of about thirty who was busy chasing a little boy around- he looked to be older than the girl but he was still quite young.
“Is that your brother?” The girl nodded and frowned slightly. “Alright then, I’ll push you on the swing.”
“Thank you! My name is Flora, what’s yours?” Flora giggled, taking Shelena’s hand a leading her over to the swing set where Flora jumped on one of the swings and then looked back at Shelena with a smile.
“Shelena.” She responded with a weak smile, as she began to push Flora lightly.
“How old are you?” Flora asked, giggling again.
“I’m eighteen, how old are you?” Flora stared open mouthed at Shelena for a moment before she proudly declared her on age.
“I’m seven!” Shelena surprised herself by letting out a chuckle. It was absolutely mind-blowing to her how good it actually felt to watch this little girl smile. It made her think back to her own childhood and how she never would have giggled, or talked or even played like little Flora did. It caused a pang in her heart as she noticed Flora’s mother still playing with her brother, it reminded Shelena so much of her own mother and brother. Would Flora turn out anything like her? She hoped for the girl’s sake that she didn’t, she seemed so whole and pure and innocent- nothing like Shelena, even at that age.
Shelena wasn’t sure how long she stood there and pushed Flora back and forth. Sometimes the little girl pressed her for conversation, like where she went to school - the girl was surprised to learn that she had finished, or where she lived or if she had brothers or sisters- Shelena was slightly regretting having to mention Leo or even Anastasia, then Flora had asked why she wasn’t with her now. That question had taken a little bit longer to answer. Though, before she even really had the chance to make sense of her thoughts, Leo had appeared on the other side of the swing.
“Shelena.” He stated, staring at her with a raised eyebrow.
“Leo.” She responded. Still swinging back and forth slowly, Flora watched the two of them closely with a look on her face that said she knew exactly what was going on.
“Get back in the house, now.” He added, turning on his heel and heading back down their street. He needn’t turn around again- he knew Shelena would follow him, because she knew what the consequences would be if she didn’t.
“Bye,” She whispered to Flora who watched with frightened eyes, before the little girl headed back to her own brother.
“Angus!” Coralie all but squealed, throwing her arms tightly around her little brother before pulling away and giving him the once over, “Have you actually grown?” Angus frowned slightly.
“What’s that supposed to mean Cora?” He chuckled, wrapping his arms around Coralie again and spinning her around bit- he even managed to lift her off the ground before setting her back.
“You’re never that excited to see me whenever I hug you,” Cassie pouted slightly.
“That’s because I see you everyday, I promise once we go home for Christmas I will give you the biggest hug once we get back to school.” Cassie let out a laugh and sent a warm smile to Angus, before she stepped forward to hug Coralie.
“Who knew? My little sister is practically controlling your little brother.” Sarah winked as the two of them followed their younger siblings into the Three Broomsticks.
“I think it’s probably more out of fear than anything else.” Coralie responded.
“You’re probably right, I suppose if my sister came running at me for a hug I’d probably listen to her too.” Sarah added with a shrug of her shoulders, taking the seat beside Cassie as the four of them sat down- a moment later Tyler joined them.
“You thought you could escape me?” Tyler exclaimed send a pointed look at Sarah who stared blankly at her friend for a moment.
“I’m going to go get our drinks,” Sarah said, standing up and heading towards the counter when Tyler latched onto her arms and pulled her backwards.
“What if there’s a zombie apocalypse?” Tyler asked, his eyes widening at her.
“You’d be fine” She responded calmly, trying to get away once again only to be pulled back.
“How do you know?”
“They’re zombies, they eat brains.” Tyler seemed to be happy with this response and finally let go of Sarah.
“Oh Good, I thought we were all going to die for a moment there.” Angus muttered, causing Coralie and Cassie- the only two who had heard his comment, to chuckle. Eventually, Sarah managed to escape Tyler and bring everyone back their butterbeers.
“No Irish boy?” Tyler teased, taking a big gulp of his butterbeer- only half of which he managed to swallow before Sarah punched him in the arm and he ended up spilling it all over himself.“You can’t punch me, I’m a wizard!” Tyler exclaimed, sending Sarah the most fierce glare he would manage- as usual this wasn’t overly threatening to Sarah who just rolled her eyes.
“Well, I’m a wizard too, you know.” She replied, raising her eyebrows at him in a way of telling him to try and beat her at this little game.
“But…but wizards don’t punch.” He said, his voice raising several pitches that caused a group of Hogwarts students, who probably weren’t aware of Tyler’s craziness, to turn around.
“Says who?” Sarah questioned though her voice didn’t raise a single notch, which Coralie noted was quite unusual for Sarah as she usually was even louder than Tyler, though much less psychotic.
“It’s against the rules.” Tyler replied as casually as he could manage it that moment, Sarah only raised her eyebrows slightly in response which seemed to annoy Tyler more than anything else.
“Rules? Since when did we have rules?” It seemed that Sarah had become quite spectacular at getting to Tyler over the years because he seemed to become more desperate and ridiculous with every word.
“Everyone knows wizards don’t punch each other. Are you sure you are even a wizard?” Sarah chuckled out loud at this, quite loudly too which caused another group of students to send glares their way.
While Sarah, Tyler and even Cassie seemed to enjoying the attention or even just oblivious of it, Coralie and Angus were practically slipping under the table to hide away every time things got louder.
“Why can’t we punch each other?” Tyler stared blankly at Sarah for a moment before a wicked grin passed off his face.
“Because, we’re wizards.” He answered simply, and with that the conversation moved on.
"Sarah, John is looking right at you," Coralie whispered, nudging Sarah slightly in the side and pointing towards John who was standing at the bar and was indeed staring right at Sarah, a bright smile on his face. A grin quickly passed over Sarah's features and she made to stand up, sending a look at Coralie and then at Tyler. "It's alright, I'll distract him." Sarah sighed in relief, slipping passed Tyler and towards John. "So Tyler, why can't you hit wizards again?"
"Well..." Tyler began causing Sarah to chuckle slightly and send a 'thank you' look at Coralie who was trying her best to pretend to be interested in what her friend was saying. By the time Sarah reached John and sat down on one of the bar stools in front of him, Coralie had stood up and was subtlety pushing Tyler towards the door with a small wave towards Sarah and John, then one at Angus and Cassie who were in the midst of their own conversation.
She turned to face the bar smiling, John smiled back, "Interesting friend you have there," his accent still made her shiver, "should I be worried?"
Sarah chuckled, "Only if the mail you send me is very private."
He put down the glass he was cleaning, "He's living with you?"
Sarah shrugged, "He has no where else to go."
John winked, "I may have to come over more often, you know, to stop you going mad."
"Oh yeah," Sarah said, "Sure." She winked back, putting on an accent replied, "To be sure, to be sure."
John shook his head, "That, my dear, dear girlfriend, is Irish."
A cheeky grin crossed Sarah's face as she grabbed a couple of Butterbeers and began walking to the table that had ordered them, "I know," she replied, "My Scottish accent is way better."
John raised his eyebrow; Sarah was definitely something.
Angus watched Cassie, slightly worried, the intense gaze that she held with her sister would made anyone worried, but it seemed that Sarah was too preoccupied to notice. With a sigh he gazed around the rest of the bar, Coralie was watching, laughing as Tyler seemed busy terrorizing Hogwarts age students. The door to the tavern tinkled happily, Angus turned to look.
Making some excuse to Cassie, who hugged him happily without pulling her gaze away from Sarah, he walked up to her.
"Hey," he smiled, "I haven't seen you in awhile."
"I've been crazy busy with all my school work and all, besides you look like you're on a bit of a date here," Anastasia commented, sending a look over at Cassie who was sitting calmly and had turned her attention to watching both of them with a stony expression on her face- Angus turned back to Anastasia.
"That's just Cassie," Angus explained, looking back at Cassie again. He half expected her to yell out something about not 'just being Cassie' like she usually would but instead she stared blankly at him. Something was wrong.
"She looks a bit jealous, are you sure it's not a date?" Anastasia replied, pausing for a moment before she continued, "You're pretty clueless about those sorts of things."
"I know it's not a date, we came hear with our older sisters- Coralie and Sarah, and their crazy friend- Tyler. Trust me, those three make it entirely not a date." Angus replied, Anastasia only chuckled at him in response.
"I think she probably likes you anyway. Eh, she's cute though." Angus didn't respond to her, instead he just watched her for a moment as she looked around for someone, "Well, I've got to head off." Anastasia eventually added.
"Oh, see you!" Angus replied, watching her as she dodged her way through the crowd of people. He finally turned back to Cassie and sat back down next to her. He smiled at her but she didn't even seem to notice that he was there.
"Cass." He whispered, placing his hand over hers- she finally snapped back into reality and turned to him.
"I didn't know you were friends with Anastasia Millen," Cassie said casually though her eyes were filled with a mixture of a disappointment and worry.
"Wait, what?" Angus whispered. His heart dropped to the floor.
Authors Note: Eh, yeah- I realise this chapter took a really long time but I'm not going to both making excuses instead I will promise you a brand new chapter next Monday night (after that, updates should revert to Fridays). Thank you for reading and sticking by me! Also, extra special thanks to Keziah for being my saviour.