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Chapter 1: The One with the Last Midnight Talk
[175 Lessons To Go]
"Smiiiiiiile!" I sang happily entering my room. My dormmates simply glared at me as I took the picture with my camera. "And this is the last first day! Just three hunded days to graduation, one hundred seventy-five lessons left before the NEWTs, plus two weeks - meaning ten days of exams - before we end it all!" What else could I do if not eternalize this so-very-important day by taking a picture of my four beloved rommates?
Erin rolled her green eyes at my countdown (I'd started it when we were first years) and opened the window. "Please, Meg, jump out of it," she invited me pointing at the dark sky with her hands. I took a picture of her annoyed face too.
Scarlett just dived onto her bed while raising her middle finger in my direction. What did I say? Lovely roommates.
"Stop it, Meggie. You make me anxious." Said Abigail, freeing her golden mass of wavy long hair from the Gryffindor-coloured elasic band.
"And you can't take my picture after a whole day on a train. I'm hideous." Stated Dom pointing her make-up remover potion at me with a reproachful look before walking theatrically into the bathroom.
"But we cannot not celebrate this day with a picture! It's the last first day of school, it's never going to happen again." I responded, thowing my camera on my bed and starting to unpack. "I'm borrowing your headband, Dom, can't find mine." I shouted at her through the bathroom door, taking the aforementioned object from her trunk.
After the five of us had done with teeth-brushing, hair-combing (not me), make-up-removing (only Dom and Abby), undressing and pyjama-wearing, we went downstairs and sat in a circle in front of the fireplace. It might seem impossible, but the whole getting-ready-to-go-to-bed had taken three hours, and thus the common room was empty.
Our midnight chatting in front of the fireplace the first night back at Hogwarts was a tradition since fourth year, when we had finally got to really know each other. Before the end of the third year, when we had accidentally met at The Three Broomsticks and started our friendship, we were just roommates and we used to hang out with other friends (Abigail and her childhood acquaintances), relatives (Dom and her cousin Rose, who is a Ravenclaw), random people from all houses (Erin and her neverending network of family friends), the Quidditch team (Scarlett, whose brother was the Quidditch Captain for Gryffindor until two years ago) or just spent time on our own, like I did.
Don't be sorry for me, I've never been one of those depressed kids that nobody likes (well, maybe a lot of people dislike me, but that's not the point) so they have to sit in a corner and cry. It's just I never felt the absolute need of human company. I have books. I'm obsessed with coffee, and I could very well live on dark chocolate for the rest of eternity, thank you. I never bothered to think that I needed something else in life.
The first friend I ever made was Fred Weasley. We got lost looking for the Arithmancy class in our third year (stupid moving stairs) and talked until late night - I think I never laughed like that in my whole life - when Mr Filch and his creepy cat found us. Fred's a dreadlocked gangly idiot with browinish hair, a ginger goatee and an everlasting red blush on his cheeks. We're very different (he dropped Arithmancy after four lessons during which he stared at his fingernails, I love the subject; he's the first student in the past five centuries who actually likes History of Magic, I passed my OWL studying from his notes the night before the exam; he's irrational and passionate, believes in love and all that crap, I'm overly thoughtful and cynical) but we also have a lot in common, like the fact that we tend to drift off to Bookland - that is, we both love reading - we like the same music - both Muggle and Wizard singers - we almost have the same opinion about the world and people - beside the love thing, of course. He's my best friend, and just a friend, even though everybody - and I mean everybody, even teachers - see me married to the idiot in four or five years.
Abigail Murray, Erin Shacklebolt, Dominique Weasley (who is also Fred's cousin), Scarlett Towler and I are friends since that last Hogsmeade trip almost four years ago, and they keep me from becoming a total tomboy when I spend too much time with Fred. We're all completely different types, but we're pretty good friends, even if my best friend is and will always be Freddie.
Abby is the model type, with her Barbie-like hair, big blue eyes and perfect body. She's probably the one I'm the closest to among all the girls, because we both were on our own before we all became friends, as she only knew three girls from Torfaen (she's from Torfaen) and they're all Slytherins and couldn't spend a lot of time with poor Abby. Like me, Abby is not very good at making friends. She wears purple, thick-rimmed glasses and a lot of black eye-liner, and has every male student at Hogwarts drooling after her, even though she only dates boys on Hogsmeade week-ends because she's 'waiting for the Right One'. Her dream, since when she was seven, is to become a Paedia-healer, so she studies like she has to sit an exam everyday.
Erin is the friendly type, she's got dark brown crazily curly hair, very long lashes (you couldn't believe how long they are) and she's an artist. She's always there painting, dancing or writing. Her dad is the Minister of Magic, so she knows a lot of people, and she's friend with all of them. And I mean seriously, she's actually friend with half the Wizard community in the United Kingdom. She's also one of those idealists who believe in love, recycling and respecting the nature, and sometimes her speeches about friendship and romance get so cheesy I fear for her sanity More than once boys have taken advantage of her naivety, like when Andy Ali cheater on her with one of her 'friends' and Erin knew it - everybody knew it - and she just pretended nothing happened for peace's sake. She's still dating him, Merlin's pants!
Dom is the girly girl. She's part Veela, with her ginger/blond hair and light blue eyes, and she's the one who makes us dress up and gives us advice on make-up, nail polish, hair styles, body lotions and all those things I don't care about. She's also the one who has been named 'The Shrieking Bitch' because she's always shouting rude things at random peoples (teachers too if it's that time of the month) and when it comes to fights, she never backs down. I think she's secretly praying or even plotting for some verbal fight/boxing match/magic duel to happen. In fact, on that first day, she had already earned a detention for making Andy Ali's grow an additional appendix somewhere on his pubis, claiming he needed a second reproductive organ, as he had multiple 'friends with benfits'. On the train.
Half the student body at Hogwarts is somehow related to Dom. Her sister Victoire graduated only four or five years ago, Fred is her cousin, and then there's James Potter in our same year, Gryffindor, who is her cousin too, his brother Al is a sixth year Slytherin, as well as Rose Weasley - but she's a Ravenclaw. Then there are the Hufflepuff fifth year Hugo (Rose's brother), Louis, who is Dom's Ravenclaw fourteen-year-old brother, Roxanne (Fred's little sister, she's a Hufflepuff in the same year as Hugo), Lily (James' and Al's sister, fifth year Gryffindor), Molly (third year Gryffindor, another cousin) and her sister Lucy (second year Slytherin).
Then there are all her family friends (even though they're not as many as Erin's friends, because Erin knows literally everyone in this castle): Kyle, Alice and Frankie Longbottom (respectively second year Ravenclaw, first year Hufflepuff and fifth year Gryttindor, they're Professor Longbottom's kids) the Scamander twins, both fourth year Ravenclaws, River (sixth year Hufflepuff) and Leo (seventh year Gryffindor) Jordan, and Teddy Lupin, who has already graduated and is about to marry Dom's sister, who is pregnant, so there are going to be even more Weasleys around.
Scarlett is the shy, polite, nice girl. She gets good grades at everything (but never the best), she's neat and tidy, never had a detention, always kind to everyone. Her brother Cameron, who is two years older than us (gorgeous bloke, if you ask me), played Chaser in our House team, and they're very close, so she used to spend a lot of time with him and with the Gryffindor Quidditch team. That's how she met James (the Keeper) and started dating him last summer. She's the quiet, plain girl next door, with her straight black hair, thick glasses and greenish-grayish eyes.
And then there's me. Megan Davies, also known as Meg or Meggie. I don't know why, but only my mother, Fred and Andy Ali (who is a childhood/family friend of mine, regrettably) call me Meg, the others call me Meggie. I don't quite like 'Meggie', personally. I'm not called Margaret, bloody hell, my name is Megan, it's not that difficult.
I have a brother, Anthony, who is a fourth year Hufflepuff and the playboy of the family.
However, I'm Meg, the freaky genius. No, I'm kidding, I'm not a genius, my friends think I'm one just because I'm top of every class without so much effort (I'd feel stupid not getting at least 'E' in every subject, since I chose what to study after OWLs) and I understand Arithmancy without even studying. But that's the point of Arithmancy: either you understand it because you like it, just like that, with no explanation, or you cannot understand a sodding thing and you hate it, because you can try again and again and never get it right. I guess it's a little bit like Muggle Maths. That's why every Mathematics teacher or Arithmancy professor is terrible at his/her job. They're subject you understand without knowing how, and without knowing what the others don't understand, so you can't teach it. Or you learn everything by heart and you teach everything by heart and your pupils hate you because they don't understand why a plus b is c and not d.
Anyway, I'm rambling too much. Like always. I'm Megan Davies. Yeah. Seventh year Gryffindor. I'm bookish, Arithmancy-ish (if you hadn't got it from all the rambling), I drink too much coffee (but I'd sleep even if I drank three cups of concentrated caffeine after dinner) and I take a lot of pictures. I also like countdowns. I've never had a boyfriend. Really. Seventeen, never even been kissed. Ridiculous? A little bit. But I never found someone that was worth all the I'll-risk-everything-who-cares-if-he-doesn't-like-me-back-at-least-I-tried thing, and clearly no one has ever been that into me to ask me out. Not that I care. Whatever Dom says, I never wear make up, never take care of my hair (and it's worse than Rose Weasley's red bush), simply leaving it in its light brown-ish mess, I don't mind what colours fit me (?) or if the clothes I wear are matching (?).
Oh, and I don't believe in love. After all, the ultimate reason of all this 'Gary Stu' dating 'Mary Sue' is because human beings want to find their missing half (or whatever it is). I don't believe someone can actually stand being with me romantically, I'm not romantic, I'm crabbed, sarcastic, and I'm not going to change. Scarlett always says I'm going to find someone who's going to 'bring out of that coldness armour the real you, loving, caring, romantic, cute and so sweet honey would taste bitter in comparison' (?). If believing I have this real sweet alter-ego inside me makes her happy, let her be all dreamy and soon disappointed.
A loud noise of voices and steps informed us that the boys were about to join us.
"Good evening, ladies!" Annouced Fred, sitting next to me and trying to tickle my side. I punched him. "How's the gossip going? Did you hear about these two?" He pointed at James. "They broke up!"
"Thanks for the advertisement, mate." James replied half snorting, sitting on my other side.
"Aw, he's huuuuuuuurt!" Leo mocked, earning a glare from both Scarlett and James. It's a myracle the three boys ended up in the same house and the same year. It's almost as if their parents agreed they would be friends just like their fathers, and also silly pranksters like their fathers or, like James, like his grandfather and father's godfather. Everybody knows James' father's story, because it's in out textbooks. As in we actually study about him. He's the famous savior of the world, as well as Rose's and Hugo's parents, Professor Longbottom and all those kids who fought during the war twenty-four years ago. There's going to be a celebration next year in May for the twenty-fifth anniversary, that's how I know it was exactly twenty-four years ago, ha.
"Yeah." Brandon Mills and Ben Macdonald, the other Gryffindor seventh year boys said in unison, grinning. They high-fived and James rolled his eyes.
I saw Scarlett looking very angrily at James. What the hell...? The boy was obsessed with Quidditch, swimming and food, but other than that I didn't know of any trait of his personality that could provoke Scarlett's angry face. That's something really rare, seriously, she's too sweet all the time to be angry at anyone. On the train, strangely enough, there hadn't been enough time for the 'boys' topic to be covered during Dom's infamous Summer Gossip Train Ride Session, between the crazy woman hexing Erin's boyfriend, Fred stealing me to tell me about his summer (and question me about mine) and Abigail telling us about her holidays in Egypt.
I guessed there would be many nights during the following week to ask Scarlett about her angry looks.
After some more Fred-teasing-James scenes (which is not something you see everyday, as usually it's James the one who teases Fred about his idealistic idea of romantic relationships), many pictures were taken (it was the last time we had the first night talk after all!) and many complaints about my camera were made.
When we went to bed, I only had the time to think again that it was the oh-my-Nargle last year and then fell asleep instantly.
For some inapprehensible reason, I woke up in the middle of the night - it was still dark outside - and James-sodding-Potter was on top of me with an apologetic look on his face. For the second time that night (and this does not happen a lot) I thought: What the hell...?
So, readers, a bit of a boring chapter, I know, and there might be some spell/grammar mistakes (English is not my first language) but I had to introduce Meg & Co. and start this somehow - I was itching to write it - and oh, well, review! I love feedback!