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Chapter 3: Chapter the Third
“Lily! Get that bony ass up!” Glitter trills at me, waking me up.
“Unf…” I groan. “What time is it?” I rub my eyes.
“Eight o’clock,” he says happily.
“EIGHT O’CLOCK?!” I open my eyes and glare at the blurry figure in front of me. “Why have you woken me up at EIGHT O’CLOCK?” I shriek. Eight in the morning was far too early to be awake. Even at Hogwarts I used to get up at eight fifteen. I was late to all my classes though.
“We are going to find you a job! We’ve done number one and two on your list, so next is number three,” he says excitedly, bouncing up and down.
“Really? I thought it was fourteen that came after the number two,” I say sarcastically and jam my eyes shut. I’m going back to sleep.
“Lily, I will get you out of this bed,” he warns.
“I’ll use my wand,” I threaten, taking my arm out of the blanket and patting my dresser to grab it. I can only feel my glasses though.
“I’ve already nicked it,” he says, laughing at me.
I really should learn to keep that somewhere safe. I grunt and turn my back on him so I can try to get a few more minutes of sleep.
With a large war-cry, Glitter jumps on me and rolls my duvet so I slam onto the floor.
I should lower my expectations of people.
“I really don’t know why we need to be this early.” I yawn, looking around blearily. There’s hardly anyone out, and for a good reason.
“It is absolutely essential that you hand out one hundred resumes so then you have heaps of chances of getting a job!” he says, handing me a pile of resumes. I roll my eyes.
“One hundred?! I thought you said seventy-five,” I accuse him. The few people that are out in the streets stare at the both of us, probably for being so noisy at this godforsaken hour.
“I added plus twenty five under my breath,” he clarifies, smoothing his eyebrows down. He walks straight past the Leaky Cauldron, again. I’ve pointed it out to him multiple times and he can recognise it if he looks hard enough but he never did.
I roll my eyes and grab onto his arm to drag him into the old pub. “You made magic and Muggle ones, right?” I ask, smiling at Hannah. She winks back at me.
“Of course I did. I’m not stupid,” he says, rolling his eyes. I snort.
“I’m just double-checking,” I say before he can get mad. I pull him to the back and tap the bricks with my wand. They open up and he stares in awe. He’s always been fascinated by it, and he probably always will be.
“Look, I made the magic ones with a pretty pink border!” he says once he’s gotten over his amazement of the wall. He flicks through my pile to show him.
“Very nice,” I comment. It has all the right qualifications on it. I quickly glance down at the Muggle ones to make sure he printed off the right ones. I used his laptop to write both – which is the most confusing thing in my life; how do the letters get on the screen?! – but I never know if he fiddles around with it to suit his needs.
“You bet they are! Now let’s give these one hundred and fifty resumes out!” he says cheerfully. I look at him seriously.
“Stop changing your number! How many did you print off, and be honest!” I fold my arms and glare at him. I stop in the middle of the street and a disgruntled guy walks past grumbling. Oops.
“Okay, I printed a hundred of each,” he admits with a small grin. He looks proud of himself.
I sigh and shake my head. “I don’t think there are even one hundred Wizarding shops,” I say.
“Oh, we’ll find some,” he tells me confidently. I decide not to respond and take him to the first shop. As soon as we walk in, he looks around at the potions in wonder while I walk up to the manager.
“Hi, would you have any job applications available?” I ask him. He shakes his head but then Glitter pops up next to me and puts my resume down on the counter.
“Just in case you ever have a position, Lily will be the perfect candidate.” He gives the old man a grin and drags me out of the shop. I manage a smile and wave before going back outside.
“Let’s hope you don’t get that job because he was so creepy!” Glitter shudders. Outraged, I glare at him.
“Then why did you give him my resume?!” I ask incredulously.
He waves a nonchalant hand. “Because you need every opportunity. Next shop!” he says loudly, walking into Flourish and Blotts.
This is going to be a long day.
“I can’t believe it! You have seventeen resumes left and fifteen of those are the magic ones! Are there any other places you can work?” Glitter pleads, looking desperate. “What about that shop?”
“We already went there,” I say, “and we gave out one hundred and eighty three resumes, I think that’s enough for now,” I sigh. I walk towards my bedroom. “I’m going to put my pyjamas on,” I tell him.
“Lily! It’s four o’clock; you don’t need to put your pyjamas on now,” he says, rolling his eyes.
“Well, seeing as we were rudely parted this morning, I feel as if I should make it up to them.” I grin and pull out my purple ones with snitches on them. They’re adorable.
Glitter says through the door, “Well, we’ve started number three, shall we start number four?”
“What was number four again?” I ask, shoving the top over my head. I fix my glasses and walk back out.
“Number four is to buy you new clothes,” he says, looking distastefully at my pyjamas.
“What’s wrong with the clothes I have?” I ask, offended. I don’t even remember that being on the list! My clothes are just fine!
“Nothing, they’re just boring. You’re very unique looking; we may as well take advantage of that.” He walks to the kitchen. “I’m making coffee, did you want some?”
“Ew, no. Coffee’s disgusting. Is there any tea?” I sit down, looking at him hopefully.
“There’s chamomile and honey, do you want that?” I nod and he starts making it for me.
“Thanks. Okay, I don’t want to do number four, I like my clothes, thank you very much,” I say, looking at the list that had been left on the table since last night. I didn’t even notice it this morning.
He turns around and gives me puppy-dog eyes. “Come on, Lily! Please? It will be fun!” He puts his hands together and looks extremely hopeful.
“No! My wardrobe is fine thank you very much!” I say stubbornly, fiddling with the hem of my shirt.
“Fine.” He pouts. “We won’t do number four.” He set the tea in front of me and I take a sip, smiling at the taste. “Shall we do number five then?” he asks, sitting opposite me.
“No! We’ll wait until number three is finished and then we can focus on the second half of the list,” I say, keeping my hands around the mug. Even though it’s currently the middle of summer, it’s actually quite a cold day. It’s nice having tea to warm you up.
Glitter thinks about it and then finally agrees with me. “Okay, we have a deal.”
“LILY! YOU HAVE SOME ENVELOPES WAITING FOR YOU!” Glitter hollers.
I groan. When will he ever learn? Before ten o’clock it is just not acceptable to come near me. I grunt, “I’ll get up soon, just leave them.”
“No! Get that bony ass up right now! I think they’re replies from the job!” he screams. Well that wakes me up. I wrench my eyes open and roll off my bed onto the floor.
I groan and rub my arm. I get up and look for my glasses. When I finally find them, I put them on and walk into the kitchen where Glitter is sitting with quite a few envelopes surrounding him.
“Can you open them? I want to open them! Can I help you?” he asks as soon as he sees me. He bounces excitedly.
“You are far too happy in the morning.” I squint blearily at him. I yawn.
“Lily, your hair looks like a birds nest, please fix it,” he says, ignoring my statement.
“Nope.” I collapse into the chair opposite him and open one of the letters.
He rolls his eyes and opens a different letter. “Oh this is from that creepy old man; you didn’t get the job, thank goodness,” he says after a quick scan of the page. He wipes his forehead in relief.
“No that is not good! I need a job, no matter how many creepy men there are!” I whine. I don’t listen to his response and read the next letter.
“‘We thank you for your application but we are sorry to say that you did not get the job’,” I read out loud, frowning.
“Who was that from?” he asks curiously.
“Dervish and Banges, magic store – ugh, I don’t think I got any of the jobs.” I pout, looking at the pile of rejection letters surrounding me. Even though I’ve not read them yet, I just know that they’re rejections.
Glitter stands up and sighs. “Well I better get to work, unlike some people—”
“Hey! I’ve tried but none of them want me!” I protest pointing at the small pile of envelopes. “It’s not my fault!”
“—and, I’m going out after so I’ll probably be late. See you soon!” he says as if he hasn’t been interrupted. He stands up and leaves, but not before grabbing a pair of heels.
I know those heels; they’re his ‘lucky heels’. They’re quite nice. Although that meant he’s on the prowl for some man-whore.
“Please don’t bring a guy home, I don’t fancy hiding out in my room,” I groan just as he’s about to close the door.
“Can’t promise that Lillian.” He gives me a wink and walks out the door, slamming it behind him. He never did it on purpose, that’s just the way he closes doors.
I sigh. Glitter is such a lucky goose. He has a steady job, he has boyfriends and he also has a great sense of fashion.
Me? I’m jobless, relying on my parents, sitting in my pyjamas and eating Nutella with a spoon.
Yeah, be jealous of my life.
“Jaaaaaaaamessss,” I sing, waltzing in the door of his apothecary.
Only to be greeted by the other store manager, Tyson.
“‘Lo Lily!” he says cheerfully. He has a pile of leaves in one hand and some jars in the other.
“Hey, Tyson,” I say, trying to hide my blush by swinging my hair forward to cover my cheeks.
He laughs and says, “So I’m guessing you were looking for your brother?” I nod and he winks. “He’s out the back; just walk in, no one’s there.”
I grin. “Thanks, Ty. You coming to Fred’s party?”
He scoffs, “Course I am. I’m not his best friend for nothing, you know.”
I raise my hands in self-defence. “Not saying you weren’t. I was just wondering.” He’s about to retort but then a customer walks in.
“I’ll talk to you later,” he says to me. “Hi, how may I help you?” he asks the girl sweetly. As she’s responding I walk to the back, where James’ ‘office’ is.
I use that term very loosely as it’s filled with all weird plants and is kind of outside, like a greenhouse.
Blergh. It always smells strange in here. I can never guess the right plant scent though. I sniff cautiously and ask tentatively, “James?”
“Yeah?” I turn around, trying to locate where his voice was coming from. I can’t see anyone. I hear a sigh and then, “Up here, Lil.” I look up and he’s sitting in a tree.
“Why are you sitting up there?” I ask curiously. He shrugs and I start climbing the tree to sit next to him. When I finally reach the top, I plant (yay for puns!) my bum on the branch and say, “This is uncomfortable.”
He laughs and ruffles my hair up. “Nah, you just get used to it. Why’d you come?” he asks, grinning at me.
“Can’t a sister give her brother a surprise visit?” I smile sweetly at him but he doesn’t buy it for one second.
“Lil, why are you here?” I stare at him for a while, but then shake my head. James sometimes gets like this, he would go all mellow and it would be weird but then he’d return back to normal the next day or the next hour. I tried working it out at Hogwarts, but I think it’s just his personality.
“I was just wondering if there were any jobs or anything. I need to get some money, because Mum and Dad will stop paying for me soon,” I say, giving him a pleading look.
James snorts. “Lil, Dad isn’t going to stop paying for you. You’re his little girl.”
I make a face. “But I think they’re serious this time.” I scratch at the bark in the tree.
He waves a careless hand. “Nah, they paid for me for ages. I think it may have been years. I mean, I paid them back for the apothecary and all that, but for my living arrangements, they didn’t really care. I think they were just glad to have me out of the house,” he says, laughing.
“Of course we were, you were horrible to live with,” I say, grinning cheekily at him.
He smiles and rests his head on the trunk. “I wasn’t that bad, was I?” he asks, tapping his fingers on his leg.
I stare at him and he gives me an innocent look. “James, you tried to set fire to the cat. Then you brought the hose in, wetting all our possessions and you also brought a hippogriff in the house, saying that he preferred the indoors,” I say slowly.
“He did!” James protests. “Roger went crazy when he was outside.” He looks at me smugly.
“That’s because you threw a dead fish at him!” I argue. He shakes his head stubbornly and tries to defend his actions. I cut him off, “Okay, okay! Maybe Roger preferred the indoors, but still! I love you, but you were bloody hard to live with!”
“Other than those examples, what else is there?” he persists.
I hold up both hands and with each point I make, I put one finger down. “You left the toilet seat up; you never washed your plates; you rode the lawnmower into my room; you always left food out and then MY owl would get sick because of it; then you would lock my owl in my room and give it alcohol; and then you wouldn’t clean up the owl vomit; you always left toothpaste all over the basin; you put a whole bunch of mice in the house and locked us all in there and you recorded it—”
“I remember that,” he says, cutting off my rant. I glare at him and he gestures with his hand. “I’m sorry. Do continue.” He laughs.
“You made the kitchen appliances chase me and Al around the house; you stole everyone’s clothes and shrunk them; and then you also tried to make the cat and owl breed,” I finish. I take a deep breath.
He laughs and then jumps off the tree. “JAMES!” I shriek. “I KNOW I SAID YOU WERE HARD TO LIVE WITH BUT DON’T TRY AND COMMIT SUICIDE! I STILL LOVE YOU, OH MY GOD.” I start panicking because he is lying down on the floor.
Tyson runs in and yelps, “WHAT?!”
James laughs and picks himself off of the floor. He explains, “Nah I didn’t try to off myself. I just jumped off the branch. Little Lily here was nervous for me.”
“Of course I was bloody nervous for you! You’re my dimwitted brother!” I snap. Tyson just laughs and I glare at him. “No you aren’t meant to be laughing. You’re meant to be backing me up!” I say.
He keeps laughing and then James says to me, “Jump, I’ll catch you.” Hah, yeah right.
“No you won’t!” I say. And there is no way I’m jumping off this tree. It’s extremely tall and I could potentially hurt myself.
“Yes I will,” he says, smiling up at me as if he is trying to reassure me. Fat chance.
“No you won’t!” I insist.
“I will!” he says. He holds out his arms and stands under the tree. “Just jump, I’m not going to let anything bad happen to you,” he promises. I bite my lip and he teases, “Are you not actually a Gryffindor?”
That got me. The Hat nearly sorted me into Hufflepuff, and James and Al always tease me for it. Not that I have anything against Hufflepuffs, I just don’t know whether I’d cope being in that house, away from all my family.
I take a deep breath and jump off the branch, shrieking. Tyson is just laughing in the corner. James catches me with a thump but from the surprise it all, he drops me.
“Oops, sorry Lily,” he says cheerfully.
I scowl at him and pull myself up. “Anyway, can I actually ask what I came for?” I brush the leaves off my shirt. Tyson leaves to get me a glass of water.
“Course you can!” James says cheerfully. It seems that his earlier melancholy mood has disappeared.
I give him a smile and ask sweetly, “Can you please give me that job? It’ll only be for a little bit! I promise!”
He shakes his head. “Sorry, I can’t, Lil. This place isn’t suitable for you to work.” I let out a frustrated noise.
“What’s not suitable enough for me? Customers come in, I point the thing they need out and then they give me money and I count it. If it’s enough I put it in the till, if it isn’t I ask for more and if it’s too much I give them change. It isn’t that hard, James,” I say defensively. Why doesn’t he want me to work here?
He rolls his eyes. “Well, when you put it like that it sounds easy. But it’s actually quite hard and you didn’t do Herbology or Potions. So nyah!” I want to hit him. He’s so childish.
“Please, James! Just for a little bit! I really need money!” I plead. “I’m starting to get desperate.”
“Jem’s right, Lily, as much as I hate to admit. This place isn’t suitable for you to work in,” Tyson says as he walks back in, passing me the glass of water.
“Thanks, but I need to convince him! Not dissuade him! Come on, Ty! As if I won’t be fun to work with,” I say, looking at him pleadingly.
He smiles and ruffles my hair so violently that my glasses nearly fall off. Luckily I don’t spill any of the water. “Sorry Little Potter, just not your environment. Maybe when you’re older.”
“I’m eighteen, don’t you think that’s old enough?” I ask incredulously. I take a sip of the water.
“Ah, eighteen. I remember the days when I was eighteen,” James says vaguely, “back when I got drunk every night. ‘Twas a good time then.”
“Mate, you still get drunk every night.” Tyson laughs. I roll my eyes. And I’m not ‘old enough’.
James thinks about it. “True, true,” he concedes, “but when I was eighteen I woke up with a hangover every day. Those were the good old days. Back when I was a lightweight. Now I can stomach anything.” Which is true, he has a very strong stomach now.
I put the empty glass of water down on James’ desk. “Okay, back to the present.” I click my fingers in front of his face. “Please just give me a job, James. I need one, desperately.”
He shrugs and says, “Sorry, I can’t. Do you want to go to lunch though?” I shrug moodily and he leads me back into the shop. “Come on, I’ll go on my break and we can eat together.”
“That wasn’t your break?” I raise my eyebrows and he laughs.
“No, that was me looking for ingredients,” he replies, looking mischievous.
I look at him confusedly. “Ingredients for what?” I ask.
He taps his nose and winks. Bah. He’s so vague. “Want a burger?” I nod and he pushes me through the Leaky Cauldron.
“Hey, Hannah.” James gives her a charming smile and she waves back.
“Hello, you two! I haven’t seen you in ages! Are you hiding from me?” She comes over to give us a hug.
“Of course we were,” James says sarcastically, “haven’t you heard? We all hate you.” I snort and Hannah gives me a hug.
She nods seriously and says, “Okay then. I’ll just get the cooks to spit in your food. That okay with you two?”
“Yum, spit-burger, my favourite!” James says, his eyes twinkling mischievously. I flick his arm.
She rolls her eyes at him and turns to me. “Lily, what do you want?”
“A job,” I say without thinking. “Oh sorry! I didn’t mean to say that! I’ll just have a burger,” I say hurriedly.
She looks at me curiously. “You know I have an opening for a cook? I’ve been advertising for ages.”
My jaw drops. “What?!” I ask, after I recover. Could this be when I finally get a job?
Hannah nods and grins. “Maybe you need to get thicker glasses?” she teases.
“I think she does too,” James says unhelpfully.
I laugh and ask, “Do I need to go through an interview?”
“Course not! You’re my favourite customers and I’ve known you since you thought it was acceptable to throw up on people,” she says, laughing. I laugh with her. “I also know that you can cook pretty decently. And that’s all I need!”
James asks, “It isn’t acceptable to throw up on people?” He then dodges the tea-towel Hannah throws at him.
“Pick it up,” she orders. She loves all of us, really. She turns back to me. “Want to start on Monday?” I nod eagerly. “I’ll just go put your orders in. Do you want the burgers like you usually have them?”
“Of course! That would mean I have to change!” James says dramatically. “I don’t want to change, Hannah! I like being me!” he wails. I shake my head at him but don’t fret over it too much because I got a job!
Hannah rolls her eyes. “Stop being stupid, James.”
“It’s what I’m good at.” He grins when she laughs. He loves Hannah, he always has. And he is so her favourite.
“Go sit, go sit. It’ll be out in a few moments.” James salutes her and she shoos us off to a table.
As we sit down, James says smugly, “So you got a job. Told you that you didn’t need to apply at my place.”
I stare at him. “No you didn’t. You told me it was ‘unsuitable.’” I move the salt and pepper out of the way.
He shrugs again. “I’m starving, are you?!” I shake my head and he started moaning about how hungry he is.
“Stop your moaning, James. Your food’s here,” Hannah reprimands. He grins and presses a kiss to her cheek. She ruffles his hair up.
“Thanks Hannah!” he says brightly, before tucking in. I thank her as well and she gives me a wink before leaving. I start eating, only to notice James has already demolished his burger.
I stare at him for a while and then shake my head. James is like a freaky monster that just inhales everything. He stands up and tells me he’s going to get more food, and for me to wait there and not to run away.
As if I would run away – the Leaky’s burgers are the best out.