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Chapter 1: Class Reunion
beautiful chapter image by libertas.@TDA!
I stared at my foggy reflection in the door-length mirror. There was a very prominent crack in the top right hand corner of the mirror. There was a thin layer of dust over the mirror as well. It made me wonder if my skin was really that pale or if it was just a trick the mirror was playing on me. Truth be told, I probably was just really that pale. My skin was pretty delicate in the sunlight so I didn’t familiarize myself with it all too often. I normally had to get the lightest color concealer there was.
Did I really look this horrid? Why didn’t that one piece of my hair want to stay down? Did everything have to go wrong today? This was a horrible idea. I was bloody thick if I thought that this was a good idea. I should just lock my doors and hide away in my flat for the rest of the day. Maybe no one would notice if I just didn’t show up to this event. For someone who won the most “Most Likely”s back in school, I couldn’t find a likely reason to go to my class reunion.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Hogwarts. I was a Gryffindor and even though the scarlet and gold robes clashed horribly with my hair, I made it work. I did amazingly in all my studies and even got the attention of countless guys. I wasn’t stuck up or “Ms. It”. I cheered for our Quidditch teams, sneered at Slytherins, and even got into my fair share of fights. I wasn’t embarrassed about seeing my classmates and remembering the good times. I was embarrassed about now.
I lived in a one bedroom (which it should be considered half a bedroom) in southern London. My neighbors across the hall always forgot their key. The people above me always threw parties late at night. The people below me thought I was the one throwing the raving parties and constantly pounding on their ceiling, which was my floor. The neighbors to my right always had very loud, very angry sex. Something I haven’t had in years. Not that I’m a sobbing bint. I’m fine without a shag. Really, I am.
Let’s just say my living arrangement was far from satisfactory.
I worked at my dream location: St. Mungos. Granted I was just in the reception area, I was still in. Student healers killed for that position just to get in with the other healers. I had gone to Healing School. I had passed with amazing marks. The biggest problem was to become an intern. You had to know people. I used to know people. That was until I had a falling out with my parents. I should be saying they knew people. The closest I was going to get to getting that internship was finding my own way in, which was through the receptionist position.
The falling out with my parents was a completely different story for a different time. Something I do not want to bring up while I’m standing half-naked in front of my mirror, trying to decide if I should wear green or if that is unacceptable because I was not a Slytherin.
Red would make me look like I was on fire or something. Yellow wouldn’t work either because of those bloody Hufflepuffs. Blue was out of the question as well. What did that leave me with? How can I make red hair and an outfit work? In all fairness, my hair was more like a brown with red tints in it. So maybe I could pull of any color.
Let’s not do anything too drastic, Vi. Go with something safe.
“Vi! Are you bloody ready or am I going without you?!” I heard a shout coming from down the hall (which was really just a few feet).
“Give me a minute!” I shouted back to my brother. I heard his groan and the squeak of my couch as he flopped down onto it. I turned towards my wardrobe and began to rip through it.
“To you a minute is an hour, love!” He called. I grunted a response, which I hadn’t expected him to even attempt to hear.
Adam was my younger brother by a year. Our class reunions had been combined (both Heads of our years had ended up getting married). Plus, the headmaster was allowing them to throw the bash in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, opposed to in Hogsmeade where most reunions occurred. They took this as a big win. I took this as a bigger opportunity to show my classmates how big of a loser I had become. Well, maybe not a loser, but definitely not “Most likely to succeed”.
“Do I have to go?” I asked as I came out of my room, finally dressed. Adam peeked at me over the edge of the couch and hopped up immediately.
“Course you do, love! I’ve got to look better than somebody there,” He joked, winking at me. He grinned at me, his perfect jaw line framing his straight white teeth. Adam had been the heartthrob Ravenclaw of his year. That still hadn’t changed. Now that he was a successful Auror, girls swooned over him more than they did at Hogwarts.
“Let’s just go, huh?” I suggested. Adam nodded before grabbing my arm and apparating us both away.
“Gross!” I groaned, lifting my heel out of the pile of mud I had apparated in to. It had splashed up my freshly shaven legs and was covering my shoes. I had horrible luck. This was a bad sign. Adam chuckled from next to me, pulling me out from where I was slowly sinking into the mud.
“Bloody hell, Vi. You always get caught in the worst messes,” Adam commented. I grunted, pulling my wand out from my magicked hand bag and cast away the splashes of mud.
When I looked up at the school, my breath caught in my throat. This couldn’t be real. The school was even more breath taking then I remembered 9 years ago at Adam’s graduation. Yet nothing had changed about it. Still the same gorgeous peaks, the large welcoming doors and the assorted students on the grounds, watching in awe as people that they didn’t recognize came into their home. I smiled in spite of myself. This place had once been my home away from home. It was my sanctuary. I was glad someone else got that from it now.
We walked into a gorgeously decorated Entrance Hall. There were the obscene balloons, the streamers, and the old pictures were still posted everywhere like they normally were, but the thing that made it so amazing were the portraits, trophies, and armory that made Hogwarts what it was. I squeezed Adam’s arm and got into line to check in and get my “HELLO! MY NAME IS” sticker.
“Nothing has changed,” Adam said in awe. I chuckled under my breath. So far, so good. No one had approached me and made some comment about how “I wouldn’t have recognized you!”. That’s code for “You’re hideous now, but I’m trying to be polite”.
“Adam Price,” Adam said. I looked down to see Abigail Bones sitting next to Ethan Gates, both head boy and head girl of my brother’s year. Abigail looked up at Adam and her eyes immediately lit up upon seeing him. I recalled her being one of his fan girls back in school.
“Why hello Adam! Long time! You look dashing, of course!” She said, her voice way too high and squeaky for my liking. Adam smiled politely at her, but I could see the smirk poking its way onto his lips.
“You as well, Abby,” Adam commented. I saw Abigail’s insides nearly melt. “Your husband here?”
Ah, of course. The killer. Abigail immediately became composed as her face turned beat red. “Well of course…he was head a year above us.” She said in a suddenly cold tone. Adam simply nodded.
“Right…well if I could have a sticker?” He asked. Ethan handed Adam a sticker with his name written on it. He also handed him two pins.
“Here you are, mate. The pins indicate you were the Quidditch Captain and voted most likely to become a successful auror. Looks like you accomplished that,” Ethan stated in a bitter tone. Adam flashed him a large smile. I cleared my throat, stepping around Adam.
“Violet Price,” I commented. Abigail frowned slightly, eyeing me up and down. I immediately felt self conscious. She clicked her tongue, turning to her list in front of her, writing my name on a tag.
“Welcome, Violet. Here are your pins,” Ethan said, looking down at the six pins in his hands. “Charms Master…” Not anymore. “Most likely to succeed…” That didn’t happen. “Most likely to become the Minister of Magic…” Definitely didn’t happen. “Best hair?” I dyed it back then. “Best legs…?” I felt like hiding them. They used to be pretty nice. “And cutest couple.”
I took the pins with pursed lips. They obviously saw how successful I was. I was not a charms master, did not succeed, was not the minister of magic, did not have the best hair, definitely let my legs go to waste, and was definitely single. Unless you counted my brother as my date. That was pretty pathetic. I had to bring my brother as my date to my class reunion.
“Thanks.” I mumbled, sticking my sticker to my chest and dragging a giggling Adam inside the Great Hall.
“Well you’ve done well with yourself, Vi,” Adam said with a snicker. He received a very hard swat to the chest.
“Oh Merlin! Is that Adam Price?!” Some girl shouted, quickly engulfing Adam in a hug. Adam’s eyes got large as he laughed, pulling back Rose Malfoy.
“Say it isn’t so, Rosey.” Adam said. I shifted my feet awkwardly. These two were the golden couple before Scorpius Malfoy stole her away their final year at Hogwarts.
“You look so fantastic!” Rose said, pinching Adam’s cheek. Immediately he flushed, rolling his eyes. That was when Rose caught sight of me and her eyes immediately bulged. “Vi, oh my lord is that you?”
That means I got hideous. Thank you, Rose.
“I’d hope. Otherwise someone stole my tag,” I commented. Rose laughed, quickly coming to me and giving me a hug. I hated hugs. They made me feel weird.
“Of course it is you. Who else would have that snippy attitude?” Rose said, pulling back. Just as suddenly as Rose had appeared, Scorpius was at her side. He made some sort of odd greeting to Adam who returned the same stiffness. “Honey, you remember Vi Price, right?”
“’Course. Hi Vi,” Scorpius mumbled. I nodded at him in turn. Rose beamed up at him.
“It has been way too long, you two! How have you been? Save any lives lately, Vi?” Rose asked. I shifted awkwardly. Adam cleared his throat, looking around for an escape.
“Hey mate!” Adam called across the room. He was gone in a flash.
”Uhm… you know… not really. I’m just a receptionist right now,” I mumbled, hoping she had mistaken what I had said for ‘I save lives on a daily basis, you know.’. She faltered slightly.
“Didn’t you finish healing school?” She asked.
“I did. Didn’t get an internship. Tainted name and all,” I said awkwardly. It was her turn to feel uncomfortable. Her face turned a bit red as she looked up at Scorpius.
“Oh I’m sorry, Vi. I didn’t mean to-“ she started, but I shook my head.
“It’s fine. I’m getting in and slowly making my way up.” I told her. She nodded, at a loss for words.
“Well, it was great seeing you again. Stay in touch, yeah?” She said before darting off. I sighed to myself, knowing that that would not be the worst of it. I made my way through some people that I didn’t quite recognize to the bar set up where the Slytherin table would normally be.
“Fire whiskey, please,” I told the bartender. He nodded, grabbing me one. Had to start off with a bang if I was going to live through those kinds of questions.
I turned with my drink and felt myself crash into something very solid. My drink spilt down the whole length of my dress and onto the girl in front of me. We both gasped, saying apologies and trying to get napkins to assist the other with cleaning off. I dabbed myself as she dabbed her front before she pulled out her wand and magicked us both clean. I laughed, having not thought of that.
“Thanks,” I told her. She smiled, showing off her straight white teeth. Her blonde hair flowed down her shoulders and her skin was so delicate that I was afraid to even look at it. She was beautiful, but I knew she hadn’t went to Hogwarts. Oddly, she looked familiar.
“You’re Violet Price, aren’t you?” She asked me. I gestured to my tag. She wasn’t wearing one.
“Yeah, I am. I’m sorry, I don’t really recognize you,” I told her. She sat down on a bar stool and I followed her action. She smiled at me, gesturing for the bartender to get us a few drinks. This time he brought me a classier wine. I grimaced. I was a fire whiskey girl.
“You wouldn’t really. I saw you in my husband’s yearbook,” She told me. I nodded, taking a drink of my wine, trying not to grimace.
“Study the thing or something for tonight?” I joked. She chuckled slightly, sipping her wine elegantly. She didn’t even stain her red lipstick at all.
“No, you were just in a lot of pictures with my husband is all,” She told me. I nodded, thinking of who I was in a lot of pictures with.
“Who’s your husband?” I asked her, taking another sip.
I began to choke on my wine. I violently spit it out, watching it spray all over an angry bartender. I coughed, trying to find the capacity to breathe. It was like my lungs were on fire and I didn’t have the water to douse them out. The woman began to pat me on the back awkwardly, trying to calm down my coughing fit. People were staring at us now. I doubled over as the bartender slammed a glass of water down in front of me. Mrs. Potter put it up to my lips, managing to subside the coughing.
“I don’t like pictures!” I groaned, trying to look away from the flashing bulb of Penelope Longbottom’s camera. She continued to click, contrary to my wishes.
“Come on, Vi! You have to look amazing in this picture. I want a lot of options!” She told me. I grunted in response, shuffling around angrily.
“Love,” I felt him whisper into my ear. His breath tickled my neck. I had been so angry, but I felt my body becoming less tense.
“James,” I mumbled back, but I knew my wall was beginning to crumble. He wrapped his arms around my middle and pulled me back into his lap.
“Don’t you want our kids to see how in love we are when they look into our yearbooks in the future?” James asked me, his dazzling smile making me melt on the spot. He cradled me in his lap as Penny continued to snap pictures, but it didn’t particularly matter.
“You make it sound like we are going to have kids in the future,” I said jokingly. James cupped my chin, making me look directly into his deep brown eyes.
“We will, Vi. You and me. We will have everything together,” he whispered to me. I smiled slightly, kissing him deeply.
“You’re lucky you’re so damn charming otherwise Penny wouldn’t be getting a good picture of the two of us,” I told him. James smirked at me, brushing a piece of my hair away from my face. His eyes wandered over every portion of my face. Every inch.
“I love you, Vi. I always will,” James said. I smiled at him, feeling my heart swell at his words.
”I love you too, James Sirius Potter.”
“I-I’m sorry. Did I startle you?” The woman asked me. I shook my head. Startle wouldn’t be an appropriate word. I had forgotten James had married. I guess in my head he had been just as miserable as me for the past 8 years.
“No. I’m fine!” I chirped. I searched for an escape. Anywhere that I could run off to.
“Everything all right over here?” I heard his voice. The deep vibrato that I used to be so accustomed to. I turned around and my jaw nearly dropped. James Sirius Potter. His melt-worthy brown eyes. His sweeping, messy dark brown hair. His straight jaw line. His high cheekbones. His fit physique. His broad shoulders. His everything. Nothing had changed. Except when he snaked his arm around another woman’s waist.
“Yeah, everything is fine, darling. Just acquainting myself with Violet,” The woman said, smiling and pecking James on the cheek. I felt my stomach flip.
“Violet?” James questioned and that was when his eyes met mine for the first time in 8 years. They bulged immediately out of socket and I felt my body freeze up. He visably tensed beside his wife. The whole room seemed to go quiet as they waited for either one of us to say something. Anything. I was too transfixed to utter a single word.
“You remember her, right?” his wife said. I felt anger bubble up inside of me. Of course he remembered me, you bint. I was there before you were. I explored that gorgeous body long before you were ever around.
“Yeah of course! Hello Violet!” James said, though it sounded like he was out of breath. Violet. I felt that sting.
“H-hey James.” I managed to spit out. I didn’t move as his wife hugged him into her side. James didn’t seem to notice it. He was holding my gaze as if it made up for the 8 years we hadn’t spoke.
“Vi!” Someone shouted I broke my daze as Freddie Weasley stumbled into me, crashing my hip into the bar. “Oops, sorry!”
“Hi to you too, Freddie,” I mumbled, rubbing a sore hip. He grinned at me, his eyes glazed over. Immediately he swung his arm around my shoulders, nearly knocking me out in the process.
“I’ve missed you, doll face!” He slurred.
“Are you drunk, Fred?” James asked him. Freddie tried to point an accusing finger at James, but was pointing it at the bartender.
“Are you drunk, James? I think the better question is why aren’t you drunk?” Freddie stumbled. We all laughed at him. Good ol’ Freddie Weasley. He may not notice that the tension was so thick that you could cut through it with a knife, but he could sure ease it a bit.
“I better get to that benefit, love. Take care of Fred, all right?” His bloody wife stated, kissing James on the cheek. James responded with a stiff nod.
“I don’t need taking care of!” Fred proclaimed loudly. He leaned against me, almost making us both stumble to the ground. “Love, I could see your legs from across the room. I knew it was you.”
“Good to know one thing hasn’t changed about me,” I retorted. Freddie smiled widely at me. His eyes wandered all the way down my body and stared at my legs. I could swear he was drooling.
“Try to be a little discreet about the fact that you’re checking her out, Fred,” James muttered, ordering himself a fire whiskey.
“She put them on display, mate. Only admiring the goods,” Freddie mumbled.
“Its fine, James.” I told him. In the past I would’ve let James stand up for me when Fred was making passes at me, but it was different now. Everything was different. James’s gaze lingered on me for an extra second before he looked back down at his drink.
“Aaaawkward!” Freddie said in a higher voice. “Let’s ease the tension with some shots! Bartender!”
“Yes, let’s,” James said, taking the shot from the bartender and downing it quickly. I followed suit.
My head was pounding. I felt something digging painfully into my back. I didn’t dare move. The darkness of my eyelids was spinning. I felt like vomiting. The worst kind of hang over is one where you have your eyes closed and everything still spins on you. I try to open my eyes and squint through them, but am greeted with the burning sunlight coming in from my bedroom window.
At least I made it home. The last thing I remember was downing shot after shot, trying to keep up with Fred and James. Just like old times. I felt a pang at my chest. James was married. Her name was Veronica. They were happily married for about a year now. Apparently everything was going along swimmingly. I may or may not have made a few biting remarks about the two of them at some point in the night. I blame the alcohol. It wasn’t like I was going to see either of them again any time soon.
I was so thankful that Adam had gotten me safely back into my bed. At least I hoped it was him who got me here. I didn’t remember that far.
I made to roll over when I hit something. Not something, but someone. I kept my eyes shut, my body immediately tensing. Who the bloody hell had I taken home last night? Please don’t tell me it was Freddie. I had had one too many awkward conversations with that boy to last a lifetime. I didn’t want to have to have the we-just-slept-together talk too. Talking to him about the birds and bees at 17 was enough to scar you.
They rolled slightly next to me, freezing up just as I had. I felt the rock hard abs against my hands. I was not ready to open my eyes and I doubt they were either. “Please tell me I didn’t sleep with a Slytherin alumni,” I mumbled.
“Bloody hell,” the person grumbled. That’s when I knew what had happened. My eyes immediately snapped open, disregarding the fact that I was going to vomit. Laying next to me was the man I never thought I’d see there again. Fully naked, tucked underneath my blue sheets was James Potter, giving me the same shocked expression I was giving him.
I had slept with James Potter, married man. This couldn’t get much worse.
Author's Note: Welcome everyone to Being the Other Woman! I know I shouldn't be starting a new story and all, but I simply can't resist! Ideas pop in my head and then I'm on a roll! Anyways, let me know what you think of the story. Is it a good idea or should I throw it away? Will you read it if I continue it? It can get a bit sassy here and there, but I think you'll really like it...
Enough of my babbling. Review if you find it worthy enough to do so! Thank you!