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Déjà Vu by dream_BIG

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Format: Novel
Chapters: 26
Word Count: 108,867
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Scorpius, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Rose, OC
Pairings: James/OC, Rose/Scorpius, OC/OC

First Published: 10/13/2009
Last Chapter: 02/08/2012
Last Updated: 02/08/2012

Summary:
bannerafterglow.




When life hands you lemons, chuck them back and demand for a refund.
Yeah, if only.
Visions of the future? I can deal. Pregnant best friend? Bring it. Surrounded by utter loons? It's all good.

Potentially falling in love with James Sirius Potter?
...um, not so much.


Chapter 1: Visions, Full Names, and Silent Conversations
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chapter image by me :)
it's sort of pathetic, i know. i'm still figuring this out, okay?








My name is Artemis Jones.





And I have a twin brother named Apollo. I know, you’re probably thinking, whoa, that’s so clever, just like the Greek gods! Yes, yes, mother, we are quite aware that you pride yourself in being a genius. But seriously, our similarities to our namesakes end there.





While I do have an unnatural love for the moon – it’s all silvery and pretty! – I do not have the sudden urge to swear off of boys for the rest of eternity and then go around shooting arrows. Shooting arrows – not my thing. I’m more of a broomstick type of girl, if you get my drift. And by that I mean flying. Get your head out of the gutter, kid.





But, in Greek mythology and all that, it’s Apollo that can tell the future. Not Artemis. Artemis is just the Goddess of the Hunt, and the Moon, and all that jazz. Apollo – he’s supposed to be the seer. Once again, I must remind you that us and the Greek gods – we are very different. Because, guess what? It wasn’t my brother who was ‘gifted’ with the knowledge of the future. It isn’t my brother who, at random times, suddenly falls into a trance and gets glimpses of what’s to come.





Oh, no. Of course not. He gets to be a regular teenager. I get to be the lucky girl that can see into the future! Joy!





Yes. In case you are mentally incompetent and have not already guessed, I am a Seer. I can see the future. Not all of it, obviously, but glimpses. Little snippets. Luckily (or sometimes, not so luckily), those little snippets are enough. They’re the main reason that we’re so rich. Yeah, when your daughter has the uncanny ability to predict trends in the stock market and what the next winning lottery ticket is, it’s not much of a surprise that you will undeniably become wealthy.





Like, when I was four, I predicted that my Uncle Henry was going to get into a terrible car accident. My parents didn’t believe me when I told them that ‘Uncle Henry’s gonna get a big boo-boo tomorrow. Biiiiiig boo-boo. Ouchy. Uncle Henry shouldn’t drive tomorrow.’ I had looked at them very gravely with my silver eyes, but they just patted my head with an absentminded ‘That’s nice, sweetie,’ and sent me off to play.





The next day, Uncle Henry got into an accident with a drunk teenager. He’s currently paralyzed from the neck down.





After that, they started believing me. Smart of them.





When I was seven, I predicted a new trend in the stock market. My dad decided to listen to me, and bada-bing bada-boom! Instant money!





And then, when I was ten, I started Seeing better. Into the future, I mean. I still got glimpses, but they were more defined. They were longer, scenes rather than just snapshots. I remember that year, when I saw my brother’s whole life in eight minutes. I saw the girl he was going to fall desperately in love with during his seventh year; I saw the three kids he was going to have, the job he was going to get. I saw him dying.





Now, most girls would be ecstatic to see their twin brother die. But not me. Because unlike everyone else, me and Apollo are really close. He’s my best friend, my closest confident, my protector and my shelter. Basically, I love him more than my life. So when I saw him dying…I was a tad upset. I curled up in his lap and cried for hours while he explained to me that he was going to live a nice, long life, he was still alive, and everyone has to die one day or another.





Of course I know that. I’m not completely stupid. But seeing Pol all old and wrinkled…I try not to think about it.





Yes, you heard me. Pol. I call my brother Apollo Pol. I mean Apollo is a bit of a mouthful, and he’s alright with me calling him ‘Paul’, although I spell it Pol. In my defense he calls me Missy (Artemis is also a bit of a mouthful), so Pol isn’t so bad.





Okay, it is downright blasphemy to call someone named ‘Apollo’ ‘Paul’. I mean, Apollo’s all unique and mysterious and cool-sounding, while ‘Pol’ is all boring. So shoot me.





But you have to shoot Pol too. He calls a girl named Artemis ‘Missy’.





Missy. Missy. I feel like he’s admonishing me every time he says my name. Although, over the years, it has grown on me a bit. So I don’t mind if my friends call me Missy. At least not too much. Although hearing my real name, Artemis, which I rather like, would be nice, too. Artemis sounds so much more regal than ‘Missy’.





Artemis sounds like a beautiful girl with gleaming hair who takes walks in the moonlight and smells like roses. ‘Missy’ sounds like some nerd with huge glasses.





I tell my friends this all the time, but they all just laugh. LAUGH! I mean, I’m expressing my deepest and inner feelings with my friends, and they laugh at me. Gee, great friends, huh?





I guess I should take the time to explain my life a bit more. Along with being a Seer, I’m also a witch. A really powerful one. It’s slightly scary (to other people. I like it) when my magic works a hundred times better than anyone else’s.





 My shield charm can deflect Unforgiveables. No shield charm can deflect Unforgiveable Curses. The only person ever to have survived the worst one (Avada Kedavra) is Harry Potter. And that’s only because Voldemort (oh, stop gasping and cringing, you sissies. The bloke’s dead) was too stupid to realize that ‘love is the most powerful magic there is’.





Really? I mean, corny much?





Anyway, I’m going to be a Gryffindor seventh year at Hogwarts. I loooove Hogwarts. And before you go and reserve me a spot at the mental ward in St. Mungo’s, I should explain that I don’t love school. I just love Hogwarts. It’s hard not to fall in love with the castle, with its moving staircases, and walking suits of armor and giggling walls. Not to mention all my friends.





My friends. God, I love those wierdos. There’s Dominique Weasley (Dom for short), a gorgeous blonde with an awesome personality and a strong hate for anything pink, Alexandria Lewis (Alex for short), a tall, pretty brunette who’s disgustingly smart, and totally obsessed with Fred Weasley (II) and Elizabeth Longbottom (Ella for short. She will severely injure you if you call her ‘Elizabeth’), a short, bubbly brunette with a love for plants, fashion, and Quidditch.





And then there’s me. Artemis Jones (…Missy…for short), Seer (although only Dom knows about my gift), strong witch, tall, curly blonde hair, grey eyes, Chaser on the Quidditch team, and pretty darn smart (even if I do say so myself). Oh, and James Potter II is the bane of my existence. I swear his goal in life is to tick me off. His hobby is pissing me off. Every time I freak out at him, he gives me his trademark smirk, and then walks away, probably to add another check mark for the day on his ‘annoy Artemis’ calendar.





And the worst part? He’s best friends with my brother. Which means he’s over my house all summer as well. Oh, joy! I get to spend all my time with James ‘I’m a prat’ Potter. Seriously. See, I’m best friends with Dom, who is his cousin, so every time I go to the Burrow with her, he’s there. And then when I come to my house, he’s there! HE’S EVERYWHERE, I TELL YOU! It’s like he’s stalking me or something! Just so he can annoy me!





And he’s the only one who calls me Artemis. Like, I’ve been begging all the people I like to call me Artemis, and the one person I don’t like is the only one that calls me by it! I asked him why (during a short truce at one point in our lives), and he said it was because he liked it better than Missy. Buddy, so do I. So do I.





But other than that, he annoys the crap right out of me. Every day, it’s a different and new prank, something that will make me mad and explode in rage. And once, after he had succeeded in pushing me into the Black Lake, I was yelling at him, all up in his face. And do you know what he did? He kissed me. Right smack dab on my mouth. While I was still ranting at him! And then he pulled away, whispered, “You’re so hot when you’re mad,” and then ran off, with me staring after him in shock. I was fuming for a week. I cannot believe that I let James Sirius Potter kiss me. I hate the bloody idiot.





So you can only imagine the horror I am feeling right now. Actually, you can’t, because you don’t know why I am horrified.





Let me tell you a story. Picture this: The last day of summer. Artemis Jones and Dominique Weasley are sleeping in one of the many rooms in the Burrow. Artemis is sprawled all over her bed with her blankets every which way and her hair splayed across the pillow. Dominique is sleeping with grace, her hands folded gently underneath her cheek. On the floor of the same room are Apollo Jones and James Potter, both snoring quite loudly. Now, don’t ask me why Dom’s family let them sleep in our room. They trust us too much.





 I have painted the scene. Now, let’s take a little look at Artemis’ dream, shall we? Keep in note that whenever Artemis dreams something, it is actually a vision.





“MOOM!” A little girl with blonde hair and brown eyes screeched. “MAKE HIM STOP!”





“Jacob.” I warned, poking my head out into the yard and giving a stern look to a boy with black, messy hair and glittering grey mischievous eyes. “Leave your sister alone.”





“But mo-o-om. I was only showing her this cool slug I found!” He held it up for me to see.





“Yes, it’s awesome, now put it down, please.” I said patiently.





“Fine.” He huffed. He set the slug on the little girl’s shoulder, who shrieked in fear and then burst into tears.





“JACOB!” I said angrily, giving him the evil eye only mothers could give. He grinned sheepishly at me and brushed it off.





“It wasn’t going to do anything.” He muttered.





“Emma, sweetheart, stop crying, honey. It’s gone now.” I said. She looked at her shoulder and stopped crying when she noticed her slug-free shirt.





“Jacob’s a meanie.” She sniffled.





“Jake. Apologize. Now.” I said sternly.





“Sorry, Emma.” He mumbled, and hugged her just for good measure. I smiled at them, especially when Emma giggled and kissed his cheek, and Jacob pretended to be disgusted and wiped it off.





“Hey! Want to see a butterfly I found?” He asked her.





“Yeah!” Emma nodded vigorously, her curls bouncing. Jacob grabbed her hand and they ran off.





“GUYS!” I yelled after them. “NOT TOO FAR!”





“You worry too much.” I deep voice chuckled in my ear. Strong arms wound around my waist and a man’s chin came to rest on my shoulder. He gently kissed the side of my neck. I was suddenly filled with a strong feeling of love and tenderness, like if I was in those arms nothing in the world could happen to me. I sighed and leaned back into him.





“I just want them to be safe.” I gazed at the retreating figures of my children.





“Artemis.” He said. Something about the way he said it sounded familiar… “Don’t worry. They’ll be fine.”





“I know.” I smiled at their silhouettes.





“I love you, Artemis.” He whispered in my ear, kissing my neck again.





“Mmm. I love you, too.” I turned around, wrapped my arms around his neck, and kissed him gently. I pulled away, looking into the soft golden eyes of my husband. I brushed a strand of his unruly black hair away from his eyes, and kissed him again. “I love you too, James.”





James. James? JAMES?!





Oh, fuck.





I woke up screaming, curls flying all over the place as I shot up.





Dom sat up fast, eyes wide. “What, what, what’s wrong, who’s hurt?” She panted, looking around.





“Missy? What happened?” I looked to see Pol holding his wand and pointing it at various shadows.





“Bloody hell, Artemis. Why in the blazes are you screaming at this ungodly hour?” James’ sleepy voice came from the foot of my bed. Pol shone his wand light in my face, and at seeing the look of absolute terror on it, all three of them started getting all fussy over me.





“Missy, what happened –? ”





“-Nightmares? Are you -?”





“Artemis, why do you look so scared –?”





But it was James’ voice that did it. It was the same voice I heard in my vision, the same voice I had associated with love and affection. I whimpered and cringed away from him. They all stared at me.





“Missy?” Pol finally asked quietly. “What did you dream about?” Pol knew about my dream visions (obviously), as did Dom. James just looked worried. It was weird, seeing such a kind expression on his face.





I shook my head. “I don’t want to talk about it right now.” I said in a small voice. I avoided James’ eyes at all costs.





My future husband. He was going to be my hubby. That wanker was going to get married to me.





Oh, please, kill me now.





It’ll save me from the brain damage that will cause me to fall in love with that prick.





Artemis Potter. I shuddered at the thought.





“James, don’t you fancy a walk?” Dom asked him, gaze riveted on me.





“Um, no. It’s like, three a.m.; no bloke in their right mind would go for a walk right now.” He sounded confused.





“No, I think a walk would be lovely right about now, don’t you, Apollo?” She asked through gritted teeth.





“Yeah.” Apollo agreed, also watching me intently.





“But I don’t want – ”





 “James. Leave. Now.” Dom pointed at the door.





“What?! But I wanna know what’s wrong – ”





“James, man, please. Go. We need to talk to Artemis.” Apollo turned his ‘I am so dead serious right now’ expression on James, and he left the room, muttering under his breath about ‘just a bloody nightmare’ and ‘blowing out of proportion’, and something about overreacting and babies. Whatever.





“Tell us what happened.” Dom turned to me, and I burst into tears. “No, wait – sorry, I didn’t mean – ” Dom said hurriedly, hands fluttering towards me. But it was Apollo who knew what to do. He climbed up on my bed and pulled me onto his lap. I bawled into his chest as he rubbed soothing circles on my back. Dom stroked my hair.





Oh, I should add. Those two are made for each other. Seriously. They are going to get married and have three children, David, Marisa, and Stella. Remember my ten-year-old vision? The girl was Dom. I haven’t told either of them yet, and I don’t plan to until after they get married.





“Was it that bad?” Apollo asked me as I started crying harder at the thought of marriage. I nodded.





“Did someone die?” Dom asked gently, still stroking away. I shook my head.





“Get injured?”Apollo guessed. Another shake.





“Lose their memory?” Nope.





“Get tortured?” Try again.





“Did you get injured or die?” Dom asked. I nodded, and hiccupped.





“What?” Apollo sounded alarmed.





“I suffer severe brain damage.” I finally choked out.





“Oh, god. When? How?” Dom asked frantically.





“When? Seventh year.” I could tell that from my vision. It was in the back on my future mind.





“Is it an accident?” Dom asked, sounding like she was on the verge of tears. “How does it happen?”





“You won’t forget everyone and everything and become brain-dead, will you?” Apollo asked anxiously, also sounding absolutely miserable.





“No.” I managed a watery chuckle.





“Then what happens?” Dom cried. “I just find out my best friend is going to get severely injured in her seventh year, and you’re laughing?”





“I don’t get injured.” I replied.





“What?!” They both said at the same time.





“Then what happens?” Dom asked, frustrated.





“I-I-I-”





“…you what?…come on, Missy, let’s hear it.” Pol hedged.





“I fall in love with James Potter. And I get married to him.” I wailed. I started bawling even harder.





Dom gave a relieved sort of laugh. “That’s it?”





“That’s it?! It’s not ‘it’! It’s the single most terrible thing that is ever going to happen to me!” I cried.





“No, Missy, it’s not. Come on, he’s not that bad.” Apollo said. “And once you fall in love with him, you’ll learn to deal with his weird quirks.”





I made a strangled sort of yelp-shriek-groan noise. It came out sounding like I was some sort of a rabid beast.





“Aw, that is so cute! My best friend and my cousin fall for each other!” Dom squealed.





“You’re going to fall for James Potter.” Apollo laughed.





“Yeah, you were right about the brain damage comment.” Dom added, also giggling.





“Watch it,” I said warningly. “I know stuff about you two, and I was thinking about telling you, but now I don’t think I will.”





“Eh, who cares?” Pol shrugged. “We’ll find out anyway.”





“I hate you.” I pouted. I liked having an advantage over them.





“So, what are you going to do?” Dom asked me.





I gritted my teeth. “I’m going to change the future.”





“Um…Missy, you know you can’t change the future.” Apollo sounded unsure.





“No. I can.” I insisted. “The future is subjective; it changes based on our actions and decisions. It’s not written in stone.”





“I bet that vision was rock solid.” Apollo said. Sometimes, my visions were a little blurry because they could change.





“It was.” I admitted. “But I can change the future. I will. I’m not going to fall for that prat.”





“Artemis.” Dom said gently. I was sure she was going to say something wise and deep. When she said my full name it usually was important. “You can change the future, but you can’t do anything to change fate.”





Wow. That was deep. Whoever said blondes were dumb is a blithering idiot.





Well, some are. But there are definitely exceptions to that rule. Me, for example. I am definitely NOT dumb. Neither are Dom or Apollo. So there. All blondes aren’t dumb. You stereotypical assholes.





“Who said that was fate?” I asked stubbornly. Dom opened her mouth to say something, but Apollo held up a hand to her, and she closed her mouth, looking confused. “Drop it.” He advised her, and she nodded…wait was that a faint blush? Oh my god, Apollo’s cheeks are also kind of tinged with pink…they’re finally falling for each other!





YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!





“You can try, Artemis. But I doubt whatever you’re going to do will work, because Dom’s right, this is fate. And you don’t mess with fate.”





“Whatever.” I grumbled. I was NOT going to fall for a grade-A prick like James Potter. Now, if he was a little nicer, maybe…





“I’m going to go get James. Good night, you two.” Apollo left the room. As soon as he was gone, I turned to Dom. “Spill.”





“What are you talking about?”





“I saw the way you were looking at my brother. Spill.”





She looked nervous. “We-um… we might have…I mean, like at that party last month…with all the drinks and stuff…we kind of…um.”





Whoa, wait. I thought she was going to admit her feelings for him. What is she talking about?





“I kind of, sort of, accidentally slept with him.” She mumbled, looking down and turning bright red.





“Whaaaaat?” My eyes bugged out of my sockets. Definitely did not see that one coming. I usually do.





“Sorry.” She mumbled, looking absolutely mortified.





“Why didn’t you tell me?” I demanded. I was still sort of shocked.





“I thought you already knew.”





“I didn’t see that.” I shook my head. “Probably because it was a spur of the moment thing…but really?”





“Yeah, we um…decided not to tell anyone about it…”





“You told me.” Weird, but I wasn’t mad. Probably because this was her future husband.





“I thought you already knew, but just needed me to admit it.” She was still bright red.





“No, I thought you were going to…admit something else.”





“What?” She crinkled her brow.





“Never mind.” I said quickly.





“You’re not mad?” She sounded confused.





I turned around and grinned at her. “Nope.”





“Really?”





“Really.”





“Why not?”





“Because I know stuff.” I smiled widely at her, and turned around to fall asleep.





“TELL ME!”





“Night, Dom.”





“ARTEMIS SELENE JONES! TELL ME!”





“DOMINIQUE GABRIELLE WEASELY, NO!” I said right back, grinning





“APOLLO OLIVER JONES, WHAT HAPPENED TO ARTEMIS SELENE JONES?” James asked my brother, coming in and grinning at us.





“JAMES SIRIUS POTTER, NOTHING.”





“ARTEMIS SELENE JONES, TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED.”





“JAMES SIRIUS POTTER, NO.” I said coldly.





“ALBUS SEVERUS POTTER WANTS YOU LOT TO SHUT UP SO HE CAN SLEEP!” Albus, James’ little brother yelled from the next room. Albus is such a sweet boy. He deserves his future – a gorgeous wife (Noah Longbottom, Ella’s little sister), and three kids. He’s also going to be the seeker for the Chudley Cannons (they’re no longer the worst team out there).





“ROSE LUNA WEASLEY AGREES WITH HIM!” Rose added. I love that girl. She is so sweet…but her future keeps shifting. It drives me absolutely mad.





“SCORPIUS HYPERION MALFOY WANTS TO KNOW WHY EVERYONE IS USING FULL NAMES AND SPEAKING IN ALL CAPS.” Scorpius, Al’s (really hot. If only he was older) best friend chuckled. Scorpius also has a foggy future.





“ARTEMIS SELENE JONES HAS NO IDEA.” I said. We all burst out laughing, and I could hear laughter from the next room as well.





“Well, that was weird.” I finally said.





“You can’t expect anything less from us.” James remarked.





I shrugged. “True.” Then I promptly lay down and went back to sleep.





I’ve decided what I’m going to do. I’m going to avoid James Sirius Potter at all costs. I will change the future. I can.





So ha.





***





“MISSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!” Ella’s screech could be heard throughout the platform, and people laughed as she jumped on me, making me stagger.





“OW! GEROFF, YOU CRAZY CHILD!” I yelled while she hung onto my back and squealed happily in my ear.





“Hey, girls,” said Jason. He’s also best friends with Apollo, but not as close as James. He pulled Ella off of me. She wriggled to get out of his grasp, but he just laughed and slung her across his back like she was a little rag doll.





“HEY! PUT ME DOWN!” Elle yelled indignantly. Ella is petite and cute, while Jason is muscular, tall, and really, really handsome. They’re both lighthearted and fun-loving, which is why they are meant to be. Really. They are going to become the cutest couple ever and have eight children because they won’t be able to keep their hands off of each other. I saw all of it in a really long vision – twenty minutes. And I mean all of it. Ella’s a screamer, in case any of you wanted to know.





It’s actually kind of creepy. My group of friends each has a soul mate in someone from Apollo’s group of friends. See, Ella and Jacob are together, Alex and Fred II get married, Dom and Apollo fall desperately in love, and then it’s me….and Potter(insert shudder of disgust here). But that will change.





“Thank you.” I sighed gratefully. “She was about to blow my eardrums out.”





“LET ME DOWN!”





“And there goes my hearing.” Jason winced. Right now, Jason and Ella kind of have a love/hate relationship. Soon it’ll be love/love. They’re going to be disgusting. I can hardly wait.





“Jason, my man!” Potter came up and punched Jason’s shoulder. “Hey, Ella.” He added, looking at the shrieking girl. She smiled and waved, then continued screaming.





“WHAT?” Jason asked loudly. Ella was still screaming in his ear, attracting an awful lot of odd looks.





“I SAID HI!” Potter yelled loudly. “Oh, for heaven’s sake.” He added exasperatedly, pulling Ella off of Jason and setting her gently on the ground.





“Thank you, Jimmy.” Ella said with as much dignity as she could muster. Sadly, it wasn’t a lot, seeing as she had just been lifted off the back of a bloke whose ear she was screaming in. “Now, where was I? Oh, right! MISSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!” She squealed again, jumping on me. This time, she took a running start, and I started to fall. Suddenly, strong, warm hands caught the tops of my arms and steadied me. A jolt of electricity shot through my arms at his touch.





“You alright?” Potter asked me as I started untangling myself from Ella, who was back to screeching happily in my ear.





“Fine, thanks.” I said distantly.





“DOMIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!” Ella suddenly screeched. She let go of me (thank you, sweet Merlin), and ran at Dom, who gave a little squeal of fright and started sprinting in the opposite direction.





“She’s insane. But you gotta love her.” Jason smiled at Ella, who was still running after Dom.





“More like, you gotta love her.” I smirked at him, and he spluttered. James smirked at him as well.





“Hey,” Said a cool, quiet voice.





“ALEX!” I yelled, and launched myself at her. Alex was the most normal of our group, which isn’t really saying much, since our group consists of a seer, a part werewolf/part veela, and a girl who acts like a child. But still. She is quiet, sweet, and really smart. And drop-dead gorgeous of course, but she really doesn’t know it. Sad, really. I mean, she’s got the looks to get any bloke she wants, but she goes after the one bloke who has absolutely no romantic interest in her. She’s such a masochist.





Says the girl who is determined to change the future, even though she knows it’s not going to work.





Touché, brain. Touché.





“Hey, Missy.” She hugged me back. “And James.” She added, giving him a smile. He grinned back at her. “And Jason…what’ s up with you?” She had finally noticed that Jason was red-faced and still mumbling to himself.





“He likes Ella.” Me and Potter said together. Jason glared at us.





“Really? Cool, man.” Apollo arrived and punched him in the arm as greeting. Really, boys were something else. “Where’s Freddie?” He asked James. Alex immediately became very interested in a clump of cement at her feet. Her cheeks turned slightly pink.





“How should I know?” James shrugged.





“Well, apart from the fact that he’s related to you and you came here with him, you mean?” Jason asked.





“Speaking of people you’re related to, where’s Dom? And Ella.” Apollo added.





“Probably still running around here somewhere. Dom’s running away from Ella’s greeting hug and screech.” I replied for Potter. I hadn’t looked at him once today. YAY FOR ME!!





“Of course.” Pol nodded and rolled his eyes.





“OKAY, I bloody get it, you missed me, now will you please get the hell off of me?”





“Aah, looks like the ever-so-polite Dominique has arrived.” Fred’s voice came from behind us.





“Freddie!” Jason hugged Fred (in a manly way, of course), and Alex turned even brighter red.





“ALEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEX!!!” Ella flew at Alex, who screamed in genuine fear and tried her best to look as insignificant as possible. It didn’t work. She got the screech and hug treatment just like the rest of us. Whatever happened to hug-pat-sway, I have no idea. We basically just shot that little greeting to hell.





“Finally, she’s like a fucking howler monkey.” Dom arrived next to me, rubbing her ears.





“I know. I’m deaf too.” Jason pointed sadly at his own ear.





“I feel for you, buddy.” I patted his arm consolingly. “But if we don’t get on the train now, it’s going to leave for Hogwarts.”





“ELLA, ALEX, COME ON! HAUL YOUR BUTTS ON BOARD!” Dom yelled at them. Well, someone was in a snappy mood today.





“THE RIBS, ELLA, WATCH THE RIBS!” Alex wheezed. Fred pulled Ella off of Alex and set her upright on the ground. Ella looked around at us, beaming. “I missed you guys!”





“Really? We couldn’t tell before.” Alex said sarcastically, still slightly breathless. She massaged her ribs while glaring at Ella, who had the decency to look ashamed.





***





“Artemis?” Dom’s anxious, terrified, and troubled face swam into view.





“Yeah?” I looked at her properly, noting the expression. “Dom, what’s wrong?” I asked worriedly.





“I – I’m pregnant.”





I smiled, even though my eyes were miles away. I got to see the beginning of Dom’s family…the very early beginning. I’m so happy for her!





“Artemis. ARTEMIS!” Potter’s face suddenly appeared in front of mine. I jerked back, not expecting him there.





“What?”





“I asked you if you wanted something from the trolley. About eight times, actually. What were you looking at? And why are you smiling?”





“No reason. I guess I just zoned out.” I shrugged and left the compartment, leaving a very confused Potter in my wake. Usually, I stayed and we had fun arguing. But I’m keeping my distance. I’m going to change the future. I will. I know I can do it.





The rest of the train ride was pretty much same old, same old. Ella and Jason were flirting with each other, Dom and Pol were avoiding each other’s eyes and when they did glance at each other at the same time, they both turned bright red, Alex was staring at Fred sleeping, and Potter was staring at me while I read a muggle book. I did my best to ignore him.





Basically, it was the awkwardest train ride ever, and I wanted to scream. At least Ella and Jason were having fun in their own personal bubble.





Later on, at the feast, I was picking at my food (wasn’t really in the mood to eat) when it hit me. I realized that there is nothing more awkward or disgusting in the world than finding out that your best friend slept with your brother. I glanced from Dom to Apollo, and blushed bright red at the thought of them…doing stuff.





EW!





Potter caught my blush and grimaced at me. He nodded and gave me that ‘I-know-it’s-really-weird-isn’t-it?’ look. I nodded and grimaced, giving him the ‘did-he-tell-you-he-slept-with-your-cousin?’ look. He nodded and made a puking face, and I couldn’t help but grin. Then I gave him the ‘you-didn’t-beat-up-my-brother-did-you?’ look, and he shook his head and shrugged as if to say ‘what’s-done-is-done’.





I went back to my food and realized that I just had a completely silent conversation with James Potter and we both understood all of it.





Weird.





Oh, crap! I’m supposed to be ignoring him! IGNORE, ARTEMIS, IGNORE HIM!


Chapter 2: Quidditch Matches, Giving Up, and Mentally Unstable Quidditch Captains
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Hi, guys! 
I know it's been a while since I last updated chapters, but I have a reason for it!
I have school, and lots of activities. And a social life. I'm a busy girl. 
And, I'm also writing five stories at the same time. 
It's a lot of work. A lot.
AND, I'm also waiting for my banner. Which, I can assure you, will be absolutely fabulous, since my bestest friend is making it :)
I can hardly wait!
But, yeah. Here's the second chapter, keep your eyes out for the third one! Hopefully it'll be soon!







another one by moi :)






“Aand, there’s James Potter with the Quaffle he’s streaking towards the goal posts super-fast, oh, Zabini intercepted him, and…wait! James has passed the Quaffle to Artemis Jones, who grabs it, and…YES! SCORE FOR GRYFFINDOR! GO MISSY!” Fred yelled into the mike.




 




The crowd cheered and I pumped my fist in the air. My team members whooped and pointed at me with both hands, and I gave a little bow.




 




See, it’s a weird tradition for our team…whenever someone does something amazing, we whoop in triumph and point at them with both pointer fingers. The crowd loves it.




 




We’re insane, I know. But tradition is tradition.




 




“And Malfoy now in possession of the Quaffle, passes it to James Potter, and he shoots…aw, man, looks like Davis has finally saved something, guess the bloke isn’t totally useless” – he shot Dom the finger, and she grinned. “Slytherin now in possession of the Quaffle, and…YES! Well shot bludger by our very own Ella Longbottom! But…aw, Slytherin still in possession of the Quaffle, Goyle shoots…YES! HUGO WEASLEY HAS SAVED THE GOAL! YEAH, HUGO!” Dom added, shouting into the mike next to Fred’s. We have two commentators now, makes life more interesting. We screamed and pointed at him, while the crowds started a loud, rousing chorus of ‘Weasley is our King.’ Apparently, it was from Hugo’s dad’s time, and is still immensely popular. Professor Neville was singing it under his breath once, and we caught on and now we sing it all the time. It’s an awesome song, really. Whoever came up with it is a sheer genius.




 




“Gryffindor now has the Quaffle…Malfoy shoots, YES! ANOTHER GOAL FOR GRYFFINDOR! It’s now 20-0 to Gryffindor!” Fred cried.




 




We all clapped once and yelled ‘WHAT?!” at the Slytherins, giving them the gangsta ‘what’ gesture. They simultaneously gave us the finger, which we gladly returned. The crowd started going wild.




 




“Okay, the teams have stopped shooting each other the finger, Slytherin now in possession of the Quaffle again…Jason Black shoots a bludger at the Chaser…but no, the Slytherin beater shot it away…and…Nott shoots…YES! HUGO WEASLEY HAS DONE IT AGAIN! I KNEW THAT KID WAS MY FAVORITE COUSIN!” Dom screamed. A bunch of people yelled “HEY!” indignantly at her, including Fred. “Don’t worry, I love the rest of my family too.” She added hastily.




 




The team joined in on the chorus of ‘Weasley is our King’, pointing, screaming and clapping at Hugo, who gave a little bow.




 




“…he never lets the Quaffle in, Weasley is our King!”




 




“Okay, Gryffindor now in possession of the Quaffle…the Slytherin beater has shot a bludger at him…oh no…YES! Jason Black swooped in at the last minute and shot it away! AND JAMES POTTER SCORES! 30-0 to Gryffindor! And…look! Albus Potter is shooting towards the snitch, Rodriguez right behind him…YES! ALBUS POTTER CAUGHT THE SNITCH! GRYFFINDOR WINS!” FRED AND DOM SCREAMED THE LAST PART TOGETHER.




 




We all streamed towards Al, who was holding the snitch up in the air and whooping, and latched on to him, screaming and hugging in midair. The team was just a huge mass of gold and red. We slowly sunk to the ground, and the crowd streamed towards us.




 




“Well, Gryffindor has won, that concludes the rousing match between the wankers - I mean Slytherins, sorry professor – and the GRYFFINDORS! WOO-HOO!! GRYFFINDOR WINS, SUCK ON THAT, YOU HISSING LOSERS!” Dom yelled, ignoring Professor McGonagall, who was shouting at her.




 




“Oh, sorry professor, got a little excited.” She added apologetically. Professor McGonagall shook her pointer finger at her, but I could see a faint smile at her lips.




 




“TEAM! LOCKER ROOMS!” James yelled over the screaming fans, and we managed to fight our way to the locker rooms.




 




“Great job, everyone!” James beamed around at us. “I knew we could do it. Now, the next match is against Ravenclaw, against Roxy’s team, so we have practice tomorrow at six!” Roxy is Fred’s twin sister, and the captain of the Ravenclaw team.




 




“WHAT?!” We all exclaimed.




 




“Come on guys, it’s my last year. I want to win them all! I mean, we won this one with practices twice a week, but if we train harder, we’ll be able to beat all of them! We’ll have practice every night from now on. We’ll be unstoppable!” Potter smiled a slightly manic way.




 




“You’re insane!” Ella yelled at him. “We have lives, you know!”




 




“Come on, Ells. Please? Do this for me, the best captain you have ever had!” He grinned at us with what he thought was a winning way.




 




“Fine.” We grumbled. He really was a pretty good captain. Really understanding, but slightly maniacal about Quidditch. If we missed more than one practice, he totally flipped the shit. But other than that, he was the reason we had a five-year winning streak, so I guess he was the best. The one before him sucked.




 




“I LOVE YOU ALL!” He launched himself at us, and we all landed on the floor in a huge, Quidditch team heap, laughing and screaming at him to get off.




 




I love our team. I’m going to miss it desperately when school is over.




 




Later, when I was in the shower, I felt my eyesight go fuzzy and I knew I was going to see the future. I sat down and let the vision swim in front of my eyes.




 




“Hey, Rose.” Scorpius Malfoy sat down next to Rose Weasley at the library. She smiled and moved her stuff over for him.




 




“Hey, Scorpius.”




 




“Er…so…what’s up?” He sounded nervous.




 




“Nothing, really. Just homework.”




 




“Cool.” He gulped nervously. “Um…Rose?”




 




“Yeah?” She looked up and smiled at him. His eyes widened a little.




 




“Will you…wanna go to Hogsmeade with me next weekend?” He looked hopeful. Rose looked surprised.




 




“Sure.” She smiled at him.




 




“Great.” He looked more confident, and grinned back. He took out his homework and started working with her. They shot each other glances when they thought the other person wasn’t looking, and both of them were smiling quite widely.




 




I slowly came back, and grinned. So…Rose and Scorpius, huh?




 




Cute.




 




“Artemis?”




 




Fuck.




 




“What the hell are you doing in here, Potter?” I growled, and stuck my head out of the shower.




 




“Uh – um…I…uh…um – sorry. I’ll just go now.” He turned around and nearly ran out the door.




 




Damn right, Potter. You RUN.




 




***




 




“Rose…and Scorpius?” Dom asked me later on that night when I told her about it. I grinned. “Yep.”




 




“Aw…that’s cute! They’re both gorgeous, they’d look nice together.” Dom smiled.




 




“Yeah, and their futures are finally starting to get less foggy.” I dropped my head and rubbed my temples. “But not too much. My head is killing me.”




 




“What about you and James?” She asked after a short pause.




 




I shrugged. “Haven’t seen anything else yet. It’s only been two weeks…I don’t think I made much of a difference so far.”




 




“He really likes you.” She said quietly. I gritted my teeth.




 




“I’m not interested, Dom.” I muttered.




 




“No…I mean it. He really does like you a lot. And you’re going to fall for him, that’s not a bad thing. Maybe you should…just leave things as they are. You shouldn’t try to change the natural way of things, Artemis.”She said seriously.




 




“I’m not changing anything. The future changes all the time.” I shook my head.




 




“But…this is fate, Artemis. You can’t do anything to change that.”




 




“It’s not fate.” I insisted. Fate, my arse. It is NOT fate.




 




“Whatever you say.” Dom finally sighed.




 




My eyes started getting blurry again. AGAIN?! My poor, poor head. Visions always make it hurt so much. They take away a lot my energy.




 




My eyesight unfocused as I stared at something thousands of miles away. My normally stormy grey eyes turned to light silver, and I got another glimpse of the future.




 




Alex ran up the stairs, tears streaming down her face.




 




“Alex?” Ella stopped doing her nails and looked up at the crying girl. “What’s wrong?” Alex sat down on her bed and let the tears run down her cheeks.




 




“Alex, why are you crying?” I sat down next to her, Dom on the other side. Ella knelt in front of her, her cute face creased with worry.




 




“F-Fred…he’s going out with Mallory Finnegan.” She sobbed.




 




“How do you know?” I asked gently, rubbing her arm.




 




“I – I walked in on them s-snogging.” She wailed. “And then when Fred unlatched himself from her face, he asked me ‘Can I help you?’”




 




“That wanker!” Dom cried. “I’m going to go over there and –”




 




“No!” Alex cut across quickly. “D-don’t. I- I don’t even care anymore.”




 




We exchanged glances. “But…” Alex said. “But, Alex, you’ve been in love with him since forever.”




 




“I’m giving up.” Alex shook her head. “It’s not worth waiting any longer.”




 




“Alex…it’ll be okay. Promise.” I said gently.




 




“N-No. I don’t want to go through this pain every time he gets with another girl. I’m done.” She wiped her cheeks and climbed into bed.




 




“Alex…” Dom started.




 




“Don’t worry about me. I’m fine.” Alex gave us a weak smile. None of us bought it.




 




“No, Alex, you’re not.” Ella said.




 




“Seriously. I have to loosen up. Just because I find Fred attractive doesn’t mean I’m in love with the bloke. There are plenty of other guys out there. I’m going to start dating.” Alex said decisively.




 




“But –” Dom started.




 




“Drop it.” I advised her. “Alex, if that’s what you feel is right, go ahead. Just…are you sure you’re okay?”




 




“I’m fine. Good night.”




 




“Night.” We chorused. Alex pulled the curtains around her bed and we all exchanged glances again.




 




“Not going to end well.” Ella mouthed. I shrugged and grimaced, while Dom shook her head and muttered darkly under her breath about ‘bloody wanker…idiot…should show him a bloody lesson…can I help you…arsehole…’




 




I gasped as I got back to the present and blinked a couple of times to clear my eyes. My head was pounding from the effort of having so many visions in one day.




 




“Artemis?” Dom asked worriedly. “What did you see?”




 




“Alex…she gives up on Fred.”




 




“What?”




 




“Alex? What’s wrong?” Ella asked.




 




Dom pulled her curtain aside to reveal the exact scene I had seen just moments ago.




 




“Wow.” I whispered to her. “That was fast…this is what I saw two seconds ago.”




 




Alex sat down on her bed, tears streaming down her pretty face.




 




***




 




“Good morning, everyone!”




 




I looked up and my jaw dropped open, revealing the very attractive oatmeal I was chewing. I noticed that all around the table, jaws fell to the ground as well.




 




“A-Al-Alex?” I spluttered. I finally swallowed my oatmeal, it seems. Oh, wait. It’s splattered all over the table. Oops. My bad.




 




“Hey, Missy.” She smiled and sat down next to me.




 




“Whoa. What happened?” James asked her. Dom just gaped.




 




“What do you mean?” Alex piled some pancakes on her plate, and without looking, reached out a hand and snapped Jason’s gaping mouth shut.




 




“You-you-you…” He spluttered.




 




“You look gorgeous.” Ella breathed, gazing at Alex.




 




She smiled. “Thanks.”




 




“Change back into yourself. Now.” Jason demanded. Alex rolled her eyes.




 




Alex had finally come to terms with her beauty, it seemed. Instead of wearing her hair in the usual braid she always did, she had let it loose, and it tumbled down in a single sheet of mahogany to the middle of her back. She was wearing eyeliner, a little mascara, and just a touch of shimmery eyeshadow. Her naturally pale face looked like a creamy ivory instead of just ‘pale’, thanks to the contrast her dark hair and her skin created.




 




“Hey-whoa.” Apollo arrived at the table, and Dom quickly shut her mouth and turned faint pink. “Alex…is that you?”




 




“Hey, Pol.” She grinned and waved a little.




 




“You look great. Wait’ll Fred gets an eyeload of you.” He chuckled, and sat down next to James. To our immense surprise, Alex just shrugged and said, “I didn’t do this for him. I’m kind of giving up…it’s not worth it.”




 




Potter’s spoon clattered to his plate. “What?”




 




“Giving…up?” Jason asked incredulously.




 




“Yep.” She said airily. I have to hand it to her. The girl’s a bloody amazing actress.




 




“Wow.” Fred had finally decided to grace us with his presence. We all looked around at him, but he was staring at Alex, who gave him a vague smile and turned back to her pancakes.




 




“I – wow – I mean, you look…great. You look great, Alex.” He finished lamely.




 




She shot him another smile. “Thank you.” Then she went back to pretending she didn’t like him anymore.




 




I looked around and noticed a whole bunch of males gazing at Alex with hungry looks in their eyes. Poor girl. She’s going to get STALKED by those guys.




 




I have this feeling…it’s a bad feeling. Something is going to go wrong…




 




This will not end well.




 




“Hey Lewis,” A random boy I have never seen before in my life passed by our table and winked at Alex. “Looking good.”




 




Jason snarled at him, and he walked away, but not before giving her another wink. Alex turned and hit Jason on the arm.




 




“What the hell?” She hissed.




 




“Alexandria Savannah Lewis, I am not going to let one of those manwhores go out with you.” He said sternly. Jeez, he was like her mother or something. Actually, he was more like her over-protective best friend. He was nearly her brother.




 




“Jason Matthew Black, if you don’t butt out, I’m going to hex you.” She growled.




 




“Oh, are we doing full names again?” Dom asked brightly.




 




“Dom, not now.” James warned her. She pouted.




 




“Alex. You’re not dating a single bloke that I don’t approve of.” Jason said sternly, while Ella giggled.




 




Alex gritted her teeth. “Jason, stop getting all best friend/older brother overprotective on me.”




 




“But Alex –”




 




“Jay, please. I know I’m like a little sister to you, but I swear, if you get any more overprotective of me, I’ll put you in a full body binding curse until the end of the year, understand?”




 




He opened his mouth to argue but she shot him the ‘big eyes’ look. “Okay.” He muttered meekly.




 




“Good boy. Now, I’m off to Runes. Bye.” Alex swung her bag over her shoulder, waved at us, and left, completely oblivious to the males staring hungrily after her.




 




“Did you notice the way all the blokes were looking at her?” Jason demanded, turning back to us after he was done glowering at a couple of boys who had wolf-whistled at Alex. “Did you?”




 




“Yes, Jason, that’s what usually happens when a girl is hot and single. Guys go after her.” Ella said reasonably.




 




“Well, I don’t like it.” He stabbed angrily into his eggs. “No one looks at my best friend sister like that.”




 




“Yeah, not without you gouging their eyeballs out.” She muttered, rolling her eyes at us.




 




Did you notice something? No? Well, I did. Guess who didn’t say a word during this whole conversation. That’s right. Freddie-boy.




 




Gee, I wonder why.




 




 “Okay, today in class we are going to be practicing the duplicating charm! Now, repeat after me: Geminio!” Flitwick squeaked.




 




Geminio.” We repeated back in one, monotonous, dull voice.




 




“Perfect! Now, think it silently in your head!” He beamed around at our blank faces for a moment. I was 100% positive that not a single person in this room was thinking about the spell.




 




“Okay!” He smiled again. That creature is way too happy. It is a bit sickening, actually. “Now, each one of you has a stone on your desks; I want you to duplicate them! And don’t tell me this is useless, our very own Golden Trio used it many times during the hunt for horcruxes!” He beamed at James like he was the one who had done it and everyone turned around to look at James as well. He flushed and scrunched in his seat a little.




 




“It was Aunt Hermione.” He muttered. “Stop looking at me.”




 




Everyone turned back to the front again, and James sighed visibly. He wasn’t too much of a fan of people staring at him because of his father. Unfortunately for him, people literally worshipped Jimmy-boy because Jimmy-boy is famous. Really, really, famous. Like, paparazzi stalks his every move famous. Poor kid.




 




“Begin!” Flitwick piped. I flicked my wand at the stone and it immediately duplicated. Well, that was easy. As usual. Okay, this is boring. I watched Dom struggle for a little while. Haha. She looks kind of constipated because she’s concentrating so hard. Her face is even kind of green…




 




“I think I’m gonna hurl.” She finally gasped, and looked at me. She was turning greener by the minute.




 




“Well, not here!” I hissed frantically.




 




“Missy, I’m going to puke!” She moaned.




 




“Hold it for a couple of seconds…Professor!” I yelled. He made his way over to us. “Yes?”




 




“Um, Dominique isn’t feeling so well, can I take her to the hospital wing?” I asked.




 




“Did you duplicate your stone?”




 




FORGET ABOUT THE FRIGGIN’ ROCK! MY BEST FRIEND IS ABOUT TO UPCHUCK HER BREAKFAST!




 




“Yes.” I said.




 




“And Miss Weasley?” He asked, smiling. Okay, I am two seconds from strangling you, you disfigured, freakishly happy creature! If you value your life at all, you will let me GO!




 




“Yes.” Dom said faintly. I quickly duplicated hers too, and he turned around to check. He actually clapped his hands and squealed in delight when he saw two stones. Wow.




 




“Well, then. Off you go!” FINALLY!




 




I grabbed Dom’s hand and towed her to the closest bathroom. She threw up into the toilet while I held her hair back.




 




“Ugh.” She moaned, stepping out of the cubicle and washing her mouth in the sink.




 




“You okay?” I asked her.




 




“Yeah…I just probably caught a little stomach bug or something.” She said, shrugging. She did look a little pale.




 




“Yeah, that’s probably it. Wanna go back now?” I asked.




 




“Yeah.”




 




We made our way back, just in time to see Potter exploding his rock into a million pieces and Flitwick diving under the desk.




 




“Yes…” He panted, emerging and pulling shards out of his hat. “For homework: practice.”




 




***




 




“Okay, guys, let’s start with twenty laps around the Quidditch pitch!” Potter yelled, looking around at our stony faces happily.




 




“WHAT?!” Hugo yelled. “We play Quidditch in the air you dumbass! Why the hell are we running around the goddamned pitch?”




 




Well. Someone has a dirty mouth. Now that I think of it, so does Rose. Huh. Must be Mr. Weasley’s influence.




 




“Because you need to build stamina!” Potter retaliated. “And also because I’m the captain and I said so.”




 




“Oh yes, we totally need to build stamina so we can sit on brooms in the air.” Scorpius said sarcastically.




 




“Exactly.” Sarcasm is lost on people of lower intellect, it seems. “So start running.”




 




“No way! I’m not running around the pitch twenty times!” Al yelled.




 




“Yes you are! GO!” Potter blew his whistle, and grumbling, we followed his lead.




 




After twenty laps around the pitch, fifty push-ups and sit-ups each, and one hundred broomstick suicides, he finally decided to let us go.




 




“See you guys tomorrow!” He called after us brightly as we staggered back into the school.




 




“I hurt everywhere.” I moaned, dragging myself onto the couch. Albus sat down next to me, Scorpius on the other side. Ella was sprawled in an armchair, sitting on top of Jason, who looked thrilled and in pain at the same time.




 




“He’s a fucking Quidditch Hitler, your brother.” Scorpius said.




 




“I’m sad to say I actually share genes with the freak.” Albus responded desolately.




 




“Hey, what happened to you guys?” Rose sat down next to Scorpius, making the couch move. We all groaned in unison.




 




“Don’t wanna talk about it.” I whispered.




 




“Hey, guys!”  Potter bounded into the room, beaming. “How’s everyone doing?”




 




Scorpius made a strangled sound somewhere between a groan, moan, and whimper, which made Rose snort in an extremely unattractive way.




 




Way to go, Rose. Scorpius totally wants you now.




 




 But…hey … Scorpius just grinned at her. Okay, then. I guess some people like girls who snort like that. We all looked at Potter with dead expressions, and he sat down, still smiling maniacally.




 




“Hey, what’s going on?” Alex arrived, looking around at us. “Ella, why are you sitting on Jason?”




 




“I – what?” Ella looked over her shoulder and jumped in surprise. “Jason? Oh my god, I didn’t realize I was sitting on someone…sorry! I would get off, but I really don’t have the energy.” She said regretfully.




 




“I don’t mind.” He wrapped his arms around her stomach, and she pushed them off, somewhat reluctantly. He pouted, but then smiled again when she leaned back into him and closed her eyes.




 




“So tired.” Ella sighed, snuggling into his chest.




 




“Me too, babe.” Jason closed his eyes as well.




 




“Don’t call me babe.” She said this half-heartedly, though, and barely suppressed a smile when he wrapped his arms around her again.




 




“Has anyone seen – whoa, James what did you do to them?” Apollo also looked around at us with worried expressions.




 




“We just had the best practice ever!” Potter announced proudly. I whimpered and cringed away from him, into Albus.




 




“Uh – huh.” Apollo looked at me with amused eyes, and Al patted my arm consolingly, wincing.




 




“He’s mad.” Hugo said hoarsely. “Absolutely barking.”




 




“We are so going to win!” Potter said excitedly.




 




“If you don’t kill us first.” I muttered.




 




“I can’t wait for tomorrow’s practice! Wait’ll you see what I have in store for you guys!” He was still smiling in the manic way. It’s actually kind of terrifying, his expression.




 




I whimpered even louder and scooted closer to Albus, as far away from James as I could get. I pushed my head onto Al’s chest and he put his arm around me, wincing from my added weight.




 




“So…comfortable.” I sighed, snuggling in. “Sorry Al, you don’t mind, do you?”




 




“Not at all. But…stop moving, you’re jostling my ribs, they hurt like hell.” He replied. I moved a little again by accident and he whimpered.




 




“Sorry.”




 




“S’okay.” Al pulled me against him again. God, this kid is like the little brother I will never have.




 




“OI! What are you doing?” Potter’s voice came from right above my head.




 




“Sleeping.” I muttered.




 




“Get your hands off my girl, Albus. Now.” I opened a bleary eye and saw that he was scowling murderously at Albus.




 




“Just friends.” Al muttered. He tried moving, but then groaned loudly in pain and decided to stay the way he was.




 




“And I’m not your girl, Potter.” I growled.




 




“I know you want me, Jones.” I opened my other eye just in time to see him waggling his eyebrows at me in a very nauseating way. I whimpered and buried my face in Al’s chest so I would never have to see that disgusting image again.




 




“Make him leave.” I moaned, my voice muffled by Al’s shirt.




 




“Albus, I swear, get your hands off of her now, otherwise I’m going to hurt you.”




 




“Oh, shut up, Potter. Al’s like my little brother, we all know that.” I mumbled.




 




“Exactly. So bugger off.” Al slurred, half asleep.




 




“Feeling insecure?” Pol asked Potter, smirking. He merely scowled and pouted, crossing his arms over his chest like a little schoolgirl.




 




“Very manly.” I complimented him.




 




 I pulled myself off of Albus, wincing. “Urgh. I better get upstairs and take a shower. See you guys later.” I managed somewhat of a wave – my arm hurts too much to lift – and started staggering over to the staircase. Needless to say, my progress wasn’t going too well. The wincing in between every step didn’t help, either.




 




Ouch. My body hu-u-urts.




 




I want my mommy.




 




Am I at least halfway there? NO?!




 




Why is the distance between the fucking armchair and the fucking staircase so fucking LONG?!




 




God, this is bloody painful.




 




I can’t do this.




 




POTTER, I HATE YOU!




 




“Need help?” James was suddenly beside me, looking kind of worried.




 




“Die, Potter.” I muttered, and started shuffling away from him. I got to about three feet away from him when I sighed. “Fine. Yes.”




 




“Here.” He bent down and suddenly lifted me up.




 




“OW!” I shrieked. “Ow,Potter, put me down, that bloody hurts.” My eyes welled up with tears of pain.




 




I hope karma is a total bitch to you, Potter. YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS!




 




“Sorry, sorry.” He mumbled, hastily setting me down again. I gave him a look full of betrayal (well, come on, I thought he was supposed to be kind of my friend. Friends don’t try to kill each other), and managed to trip my way up the stairs and into the first bathroom I could find, which just happened to be the first years’ one. They looked downright terrified at seeing a half-dead, seventh year girl who closely resembled a zombie appear in their dormitory.




 




“I come in peace.” I droned. They just gawked at me.




 




“Um.” Well, this is awkward. “Mind if I use your bathroom? My Quidditch captain just tried to kill me, and I don’t have the energy to walk to my room.”




 




Blank stares.




 




I’ll take that as a yes.




 




“Great, thanks.” I summoned some clothes and let myself into the hot running water.




 




Aaaah. Pure bliss.




 




Wow. This feels so good.




 




I finished showering – I probably used up enough water to sustain a small country. Oops – and pulled on my pajamas. My muscles had loosened up, so I could finally walk without it feeling like my body was made out of lead. I felt much better, not so much in pain. Who knew a simple shower could be so magical.




 




“Thanks, girlies!” I announced, bouncing out of the bathroom. “I owe you big time! Now, I must be off! I’ve got places to go, things to do, people to kill!” Shocked, slightly terrified stares met me.




 




“Kidding.” I laughed.




 




Silence.




 




“…no? Okay, then. Guess I’ll just be…going. Bye.” I gave a little wave and skipped to my room.




 




I’m in a fabulous mood. Want to know why? I saw the vision, with the kids and all…you know, the one where I’m married to James? Yeah, well, guess what? It’s starting to get a little fuzzy.




 




SCORE!




 




I, Artemis Jones, am an unstoppable force of nature. Even fate crumbles before me.




 




Oh, yeah.




I'm not gonna beg. But aren't you, like, DYING to write me a review?
I know you are. Don't try to fight it.


Chapter 3: Lemonade, Tarturus, and Swine Flu: The Inner Ramblings of Artemis Selene Jones
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Don't hate me. You know you love me too much to hate me.
By the way, I am here in a nice, sunny place for vacation, where it is amazing. And I am updating this story for you. 
That, right there, is devotion, my friends. I deserve cookies. And reviews! Tons of reviews!
Please? It's my birthday!
No, seriously. It's my birthday.
I turn one more year older tomorow, my friends! WOO HOO!!
Tomorow is my bi-irthday, and I get to drive a ca-ar.
Clear the roads, people. I am coming out there!













Chapter image by me :D
Here's Dom, guys! You'll see Alex again, later on.













Sometimes, I really, really, really hate my ‘gift’ (and you can believe those quotes around ‘gift’). Like, for example, right now. I’m sitting in THE MOST boring class ever to have been introduced to wizardkind, History of Magic, taught by the ever-so-exuberant Professor Binns. Let’s give it up for the ghost, folks! He can successfully put a whole room of energy-filled teenagers to sleep within a record time of just three seconds!






Woo-freaking-hoo. The guy should receive a bloody award. Honestly, after Merlin knows how many years of teaching the same boring class, a man would get bored of it. But no. Even death didn’t stop him from coming back and making our lives miserable.






But that’s not the reason I hate being a Seer. No, I can thank my ‘gift’ (ha!) for this head splitting headache. And my bloodshot eyes that make me look like I’m severely hung over.






You know, at times like this, I start to wonder what kind of a person I must have been in my past reincarnation to deserve this. No doubt I was some sort of soul-sucking, baby-punching, puppy-kicking hag. That explains so much.






I mean, seriously, why can’t the bloody future just stay put for a little while? They’ve been driving me up the walls, the blurry visions. Nothing is distinct; it’s just vague, blurry figures that shift so often it’s like a boggart in the middle of a crowded room. It’s a relief to see something from JasElla or NoAl (I rather like this name).  Even ScoRose is indistinct right now, although not as blurry as AlFred (Alfred, geddit?!) or Dopollo, which worries me. I still catch snippets of ScoRose, which are a tad blurry, but at least I can tell what they are.






Yes. I have come up with names for the couples. You can stop laughing now.






Let’s move on, people…






But what’s really pissing me off: Me and Potter – we’re just a little blurry. Not that much. We’re even more distinct than ScoRose. It’s been two weeks already! We had a Quidditch game and everything! WHY ISN’T ANYTHING HAPPENING?!?






Unless you are severely mentally impaired, you have probably guessed that I’m not exactly feeling like a little ray of sunshine and rainbows right now.






Staying up all night tortured by indistinct visions didn’t help. My aching body, as well as my pounding head also doesn’t really do wonders for my mood either. Neither does the fact that we have another Quidditch practice tonight. Not to mention Potter trying – and failing – to hit on me again. Really, that boy is SO THICK. Honestly, what part of “No, Potter” doesn’t he understand? Does he need me to say it in freaking French or something? Because I could. Ready: “Non, Potter.” See? French. And yet, I bet he still wouldn’t understand. Idiot.






Oh, but it gets worse. Just to make myself clear, I told him that I would go out with him when pigs fly (basically, never), and he responded by grinning, winking, and going ‘Great. I’ll pick you up at six?’ I stared blankly at him, wondering if he had finally gone around the bend, when he grins again, and goes, ‘You know, the swine flew.’






‘Uhm. Which swine fle – OH! Swine Flu!’






After shaking my head in disgust and giving him a pitying look, I just walked away.






Swine flu. SWINE FLU. He tried using a muggle illness to pick me up. That’s just pathetic. Even for him.






Plus, Dom puked all over my shoes this morning.






I really wish she would get better, already. I, unfortunately, cannot see when her body will rid itself of the illness, and it’s killing me. I mean, I’m a freaking Seer, I have to see something. But no. My visions are all vague and shadowy. Great ‘gift’, huh?






Thank you, fates. Really. I appreciate this. A whole lot. You know what you should do? I think you should just kill me now. Seriously, just kill me now, and I honestly wouldn’t mind rotting in the dark, fiery depths of Tarturus for the rest of eternity just to escape these visions. Well, actually I would, since Tarturus is supposed to be a pretty nasty place, but Hades’ realm doesn’t seem so bad right now. It’s better than Tarturus, at least. And there is a possibility that Hades won’t punish me. I might actually end up in a nice place! I mean, I’m not THAT bad of a person. I’m not perfect, but I’m not exactly BAD either. I’ve done some good things. I’ve –






Okay. I’m getting off topic. Just…forget it, okay?






Life is a big ball of suck. That’s my point here.






“Life sucks, and then you die.” Is one of my favorite anonymous quotes. 






You know, you laugh at first because it’s so funny, but look at it. Just look at it. It’s true! Everything about that little statement is absolutely, 100% true. Life DOES suck, and then you DO die. It’s frank, and true, and this person is a genius.






NO! Don’t even try to argue. It’s been decided, and you can’t do anything to deny it.






I know your future.






So, obviously, I’ve got the upper hand here.






Forget about all that “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” bullshit. It’s all nonsense. My advice: When life hands you lemons, chuck them back and demand for a refund.






Yep, that’s me. Artemis Jones, the Wisest Seer of them All.






You know what? That has a nice ring to it. I like it.






Ahem. Henceforth, you shall all address me as: (cue impressive thunder clap) ARTEMIS JONES, THE WISEST SEER OF THEM ALL.






Yes. In all caps. That’s how you have to do it. Also, you have to say it in a deep, loud, echo-y voice. C’mon, try it.






“Missy? Did you see something?”






I glanced up to see a pale and tired-looking Dom.






NO! You must call me: (thunder clap) ARTEMIS JONES, THE WISEST SEER OF THEM ALL. (in all caps)






But Dom is my best friend, so I’ll make exceptions. All of you guys have to call me that, though. Yes, really.






“No.” I sighed. “I was just zoning out. Is class over?”






“Yeah. Let’s go eat.” She suggested.






“Sure.” I got up and followed her out, falling into step with her as we made our way to the Great Hall.






“Dom?”






“Hmm?”






“You feeling alright? You look really sick…maybe you should go to Madame Pompfrey.”






“No, no. I’m fine.” Dom gave an unconvincing smile.






I gazed at her. “Is there something you’re not telling me?” I asked.






“No, nothing. I’m just starting to worry that…” She took a deep breath. “Are you sure you didn’t see anything about me?”






“No. It’s all blurry and vague, it’s absolutely killing my head.” I said tiredly, propping my elbows up on the table and rubbing my temples.






“Missy, you okay?” Apollo looked at me worriedly from across the table.






“Not really.” I sighed. “I hurt everywhere, including my head.”






“Blurry visions?” He asked quietly. I nodded, and he grimaced at me in sympathy. Our group ate in silence, which was a first for us. Even Potter was unusually quiet, glancing at Dom every now and then with a worried expression. Dom just stared down at her plate, not eating anything.






It felt like a freaking funeral.






Hell, even a funeral is probably livelier than this.






Which, if you think about it, is absolutely, utterly PATHETIC. Actually, you don’t even need to think about it! IT’S PATHETIC. That’s what we are. Absolutely. Pathetic.






So, I was almost relieved when Potter rose and barked. “Team! PRACTICE!”






Almost.






I, fortunately, am not THAT insane quite yet. I’m getting there. Oh, yes, I’m getting there. But I’m not there yet. I still have some remnants of my sanity left.






Not that I was fully sane to begin with…






But no one needs to worry about that. Except the Healers over at St. Mungo’s.






Ahem. Moving on…






“Okay, we’re going to start with thirty laps today! GO!” Potter blew his whistle.






“You have got to be kidding me!” Ella yelled at him.






“There is NO WAY –”






“ – out of your mind –”






“ – can’t be bloody serious – ”






“ – INSANE?! I’M NOT GOING TO –”






Our voices overlapped each other as we yelled at him.






“SILENCE!” Potter shrieked out of nowhere. “I KEEL YOU!”






Everyone stopped dead and looked at him with wary expressions.






“…Achmed the dead terrorist?” He looked around at us. “No one gets it?”






Blank stares.






“Well, then. You guys have clearly been living under a rock.” He said conversationally. “Let’s just get back to practice, shall we?”






“James.” I wheedled, looking at him with pleading eyes. “Please. Thirty laps? Come on, we’ll all die.”






“Fine. Twenty – five.” He sighed.






“Come on…how about ten?” I smiled winningly, and everyone grinned appreciatively at me.






“No, twenty – five, and stop looking at me like that!” He looked away.






“Like what?” I asked innocently. Go puppy-dog eyes!






“RUN!” He blew his whistle. We just stood there.






“Okay, fine. How about this?” He pointed his wand at the ground, and suddenly it was burning hot. We gave shrieks of pain and started running. “GOOD! You stop and the ground burns your feet!” Potter yelled after us. He followed as well.






STUPID. PRAT. POTTER. DIE. A. HORRIBLE. DEATH.






“I…hate…him…” Scorpius panted.






“He better watch his back when we get home.” Albus muttered furiously.






“I’m with you, little bro.” I said.






“Hey.” James jogged up next to me, and Al and Scorpius immediately sped up. I gritted my teeth. Curse those wankers and their fast speed. Instead of deeming him with a response, I grunted at him.






“Some practice, huh?” He asked. I glared at him, mentally cursing him to Hades for the rest of eternity.






“Come on, Artemis, you guys will be thanking me when we win!”






 I glared some more. I hope you rot in hell, Potter.






“You know you all love me.” He grinned.






I snorted in disbelief and glowered at him some more, thinking murderous thoughts that all involved his gruesome and untimely death.






“You know you do.” Oh, stop grinning at me.






“Not at all.” I answered. I’m getting tired of glaring.






“Not even a little?”






“Nope.”






“Not even a teensy crush?” He asked. I glanced at him. He was looking at me very seriously.






“No.” I shook my head.






“Physical attraction?”






“Not in the slightest.”






“Do you find me attractive?” He sounded a bit desperate at this point.






“Hmm…nope.”






“Not even at least a teensy bit good-looking?” Really desperate.






No, Potter.”






He looked hurt, and I backpedaled a bit. See? This is how nice I am. This guy is out to kill me, and I feel bad for making him feel bad.






“Not that you aren’t attractive, you are, don’t worry, I just don’t find you attractive.” I said quickly.






A smile broke across his face. “Really?”






Oh, god. I’m supposed to be avoiding him, and I just told him that he looks good.






Way to go, Artemis.






But he is attractive, I have to admit. He’s got these sparkling gold-ish hazel eyes, a totally fit body, complete with muscles, and unruly black hair that’s all over the place and looks really sexy.






Oh, god. See? This is what happens when I listen to conversations between mindless bimbos! I start using their descriptions!






Don’t tell anyone I said that.






I mean it. I know your future.






So I have the upper hand.






Exactly. Don’t tell ANYONE.






“Yeah. Bye.” I sped up, and he let me go.






Thankfully, he left me alone all through the suicides, push-ups, sit ups, and pull-ups (I don’t know where he got pull up bars. But I’ll keep my eyes out for some Muggle schools whose pull-up bars have mysteriously disappeared). We went on to take fifty laps around the Quidditch pitch, diving when necessary, and then we had a short game.






At this point, I can’t even feel my arms anymore. I stumbled off my broom and collapsed on the ground, too weak to stand up.






“Missy? Are you alright?” Hugo asked, stumbling towards me.






“Just give me a few minutes.” I huffed, rolling over on my back.






“Are you sure you don’t need any help?” He looked concerned.






“Nah. Thanks, Hugh. I just need to get some energy.” I panted, closing my eyes. Hugo left.






“Missy? You alive?” Jason bent over me.






“Barely.” I informed him breathlessly. He nodded and caught Ella as she fell.






“Miss? You ‘kay?” She murmured.






“You look dead, Ells.” I tried getting up, but groaned and gave up.






“I’ll be alright.” She sighed, closing her eyes. “Thanks, Jay.” She murmered.






I grinned and winked at Jason, and he grinned back before lifting Ella into his arms. He smiled down adoringly at her. So cute.






“Artemis! Are you alright?”






No, please. Not right now. I don’t want to deal with this.






I groaned. “Go away, Potter.”






“No, here, let me help you up, you look dead tired.” He bent down and pulled me to my feet. I staggered for a moment, and collapsed again.






“Huh.” I said. “It seems someone has replaced my legs with rubber thingies.”






“Here, let me just…” He bent down again, trying to help me up. I stumbled, and his hands immediately fluttered to catch me, but I fell down again.






“You know what, Potter?” I panted. “Just…leave me here. I’ll get back up later.”






“No, no, I’ll help you.” He insisted.






“No, don’t, really, I’ll be fine.” STOP BIENG A STUPID MACHO-MAN.






“No, come on, what kind of a guy would I be if I just left you here?” A really, really nice one.






Please leave me here. I’ll be fine.”






“You won’t, let me just – ”






“ – no, leave me – ”






“ – here, I’m going to lift you up…”






“STOP TOUCHING ME!” I screeched. Potter froze, hands two inches away from me. “I keel you!” I added ferociously. He just stared at me with wide eyes, since everyone was now gawking at us.






“…Achmed the dead terrorist?” I cocked my head to the side, eyes full of amusement. “What, have you been living under a rock or something?”






I believe that was a score for Artemis. HELLS. YEAH.






***






“Albus.” I groaned. “I’m dying.”






“I can’t feel my legs.” He whispered back.






“If I don’t live through this,” Scorpius murmured to us. “Tell Rose I…”






“Tell Rose what?” Rose appeared, smirking down at Scorpius, who blushed. Me and Al exchanged a smirk.






“Uh – um – well…Tell you…that…uh – um.” He shot us a pleading look and I shrugged at him, still smirking in that annoying way of mine.                                                                                                                                                                                     






“Tell you that…you owe me…five galleons.” He nodded, pleased with his excuse. “Yep. That’s it.”






“No, I don’t.” Rose looked confused. I rolled my eyes.






“Oops. My mistake. Well, time to shower, bye!” He waddled up the boy’s staircase as fast as he could go, Rose gazing after him and looking slightly crestfallen. Wow, that girl is blind. Can’t she tell he’s head over heels for her?






“Dying.” I gasped. No one heard me. I’M DYING, PEOPLE! Okay, that’s it. Announcement time.  The world needs to know my last words before I leave the earth, thus making it a sad, desolate, unhappy place.






 I lurched to my feet. “Guys, I’m dying.” I announced to my team. They looked at me, eyebrows raised.






“I’m dying. I can feel the years leaving me, and I know that the end is soon.” I paused for dramatic effect. “Life was so beautiful, with so many wonderful moments that will be left behind with my death. But now that the end has come, I know that I will miss you all terribly.” I sniffled a bit, looking around at them with affection.






Hugo was laughing, as were Al and Fred. Ella, Jason, Alex, and Pol were fighting smiles, and Potter was chuckling quietly. Well. No one’s taking me seriously. They won’t be laughing when I do die!






“Alexandria Lewis.” I announced, turning to her. She hastily arranged her features into a somber look, though her mouth occasionally twitched at the corners. “I’m leaving all my clothes to you, in the hopes that they fit you.” She nodded, not trusting herself to open her mouth.






“Elizabeth Longbottom.” Ella glared at me for using her full name. “I leave to you…my broomstick.”






“Sweet!” Ella said. “Can you die now?” I glowered at her.






“Tell Dom that she gets all my make-up and nail stuff. I know she loves it.” I sniffled, and wiped away an imaginary tear. Fred rolled his eyes. “By the way, where is that girl?” He asked. I ignored him.






“Now, all that I ask is that you bury me with my wand.” I took it out and looked at it sadly.






“Okay.” Pol nodded, eyes bright with laughter. “We’ll be sure to do that.”






“Well, then. Got that out of the way. Artemis is out. PEACE!” I pounded my fist against my chest, kissed it, and raised it in the air. Then I tottered towards the staircase, leaving my laughing friends behind.






In my defense, getting almost killed by my twin brother’s best friend makes me really tipsy. Plus I haven’t had that much sleep, which also makes me act like a drunken person, so I have an excuse for my weirdness, okay?






I know, they’re lame-o excuses.






Sadly, they’re the best I’ve got.






At least I’m good entertainment.






This time, I used the fifth years’ bathroom for my shower. I didn’t think the first years would be able to survive another visit from me. They might get a restraining order.






“HELLO GIRLIES!” I flung open the door and it bounced off the wall with a bang. They all looked at me.






“Missy, what are you doing in here?” Lily sighed.






“Lilster!” I said excitedly. “Fancy meeting you here!”






“Well, yes. This is my dorm.” She looked amused.






“Of course!” I slapped a hand to my forehead, and immediately whimpered.






“Say, you look terrible. What happened to you?” Lily scrutinized me.






“Your idiot brother happened.” I growled, sitting on the bed and wincing. “Why didn’t your parents use a condom?”






“Can we please not talk about my parents and condoms in the same sentence?” Lily asked, nose wrinkled in disgust. “I’d rather not be scarred with that type of information.”






“I don’t think I can live through another one of his practices. Do you know what he did?” I demanded.






“No, but I’m pretty sure you’re going to tell me.”






I shot her a dirty look, and she grinned. “He freaking burned the ground so we wouldn’t stop running for even one second without burning our feet.”






“Oooh.” She winced. “He’ll loosen up after a bit, don’t worry. Well, he might. Hopefully he does.”






“Hopefully.” I muttered, closing my eyes. “He’s absolutely raving, that child.”






Lily giggled. “Is there a reason you burst in here?” She asked.






“Oh, yes!” My eyes popped open. “Can I use your bathroom?”






“Sure, I guess.”






“Thanks, darling!” I summoned clothes and stepped into the shower.






Aaaah. The shower. Magical.






“Hello, Dommie!” I called as I bounded into our room. I feel so much better, thanks to that AMAZING shower. I looked around for her, and realized that she was in the bathroom. Frowning a little, I got out my essay and worked on it.






“Artemis?”






“Yeah?” I looked up and grinned when I saw Dom, who was biting her lip. My smile faltered at her expression. “Dom, what’s wrong?” I asked.






“I – I’m pregnant.”




Is anyone else here like, absolutely enthralled by the irony in this situation?
You know, the girl that sees too much doesn't realize something that's been right in front of her face?
Well, I love it. Please tell me that I'm not the only Lit geek here.

Also, all credit for Achmed the Dead Terrorist goes to Jeff Dunham, who is funny and brilliant.
And a better ventriloquist than me.


 


Chapter 4: Scarring Information, Wise Words, and Essence of Dom Snot
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hi!
okay, sorry for the ridiculous wait. really, i'm sorry. please don't eat me.
i have like, twelve chapters already written out for this! i'm not slacking off, i swear!
i'm, like, juggling between updating this and Vanilla Twilight (heh. advertising), so...basically, as long as the queue takes will be as long as you get your chapters.
what can you do?
anyway, here's chapter four! read and review, my darlings :)
Scrooge belongs to Charles Dickens, by the way (my lit teacher last year affectionately called him 'Chucky D.' i love my old lit teacher)

DISCLAIMER: No.











chapter image by moi :)






Last time:
“Artemis?”


“Yeah?” I looked up and grinned when I saw Dom, who was biting her lip. My smile faltered at her expression. “Dom, what’s wrong?” I asked.


“I – I’m pregnant.”



-*-*-*-

My mind reeled in shock. Abruptly, a strong sense of déjà vu swept through me, almost knocking me off my feet. How could I have not noticed this?






I saw this vision. Why didn’t I make the connection? I was so focused on the fact that Dom was pregnant that I didn’t even notice that she looked the same age and she was standing in the dorm.






How could I have been so stupid?






“What?” I asked blankly.






“Pregnant, Artemis. I’m pregnant.” She started crying.






“Are – are you sure?” I asked uncertainly.






“Yes. I checked five times, even though I used the wizard way.” She hiccupped and sat down on the bed.






“Oh my god.” I murmured, sitting up and pulling her into a hug. “How – I saw this, Dom. I saw all of it! Why didn’t I – how could I have been – I could’ve…”






“Could’ve what?” Dom let out a frenzied laugh. “Warned me beforehand? I’m pregnant, Missy, and there’s nothing you could have done about it, Sight or no Sight.”






“Oh, my god. What are you going to do, Dom?” I asked.






She took a deep breath, and wiped more tears away. “I don’t know!” She suddenly wailed, flinging her arms around my neck, making me freeze and assume that oh-so-attractive ‘deer in the headlights’ expression I get when confronted with a distressed person. “I – I don’t know. I’m so scared, Missy, I don’t know what to do!”






“Shh, shhh.” I rubbed her back awkwardly (I’m not good with crying people. At all) and she sobbed into my shirt.






You know, I sort of liked this shirt a lot before she got Essence of Dom Snot all over it.






In the garbage it goes…






“I’m never leaving this room again!” She sobbed hysterically. “EVER! You can bring my food up here, and I can just eat here and then do my homework here, and live here for the rest of my life. I’ll just die here! I could be a ghost…Dominique Weasley, the Stupid Pregnant Teen Ghost of Gryffindo –o – o – or!” She wailed the last part, drawing out the ‘o’.






Well, someone’s overly melodramatic.






“Has a nice ring to it.” I said without thinking. I immediately winced at my severe lack of tact. Dom sobbed harder.






 “Sorry, Dom.” I patted her back again.






“I’m going to be murdered, Artemis! My parents are going to annihilate me! I should just kill myself now and get over with it!” She pulled at her hair.






“Dominique!” I said loudly, shaking her shoulders. “Dom, so you’re pregnant! Hun, it’s not the end of the world. You can’t just stay shut up in this room because you made a mistake! You have to face it head on. You’re not the first teenager to get pregnant, and as for your parents, they love you. They’re going to help you. They may be mad at first, but you’re their daughter, Dom.”






She hiccupped. “But what am I going to do?!” She wailed again. Well, she didn’t hear a word of my fabulous, enlightening speech, did she?






Hmph. Why do I even bother?






“Dom.” I said gently. “It’ll be okay. I promise. You have me, you have…the um…the father… of…the…” My voice trailed off. “Holy mother fucker.” I swore quietly, and Dom looked at me with watery eyes. “My brother is the father, isn’t he?”






She nodded, still leaking tears. I swore again. Well, crap. I didn’t see this coming! What’s the point of being a freaking Seer if I don’t SEE anything important?!






I hate my luck. I must be the only girl in all of history whose twin brother went and got her best friend pregnant at the age of seventeen.






That’s it. Karma officially wants my gruesome and untimely death. I know it.






KARMA, I’VE GOT MY EYES ON YOU. WATCH IT. I’M A SEER. I KNOW YOUR FUTURE.






That’s right, karma. Be afraid.






“Well, that still doesn’t change anything.” I have to be calm for Dom. “He’ll be there to help you, and so will your whole family…well, that is if they don’t kill Apollo first, and um…” I trailed off again, and Dom continued to sob.






See? This is why I didn’t make Quidditch captain! I can’t do motivational speeches! I’m no good at making people feel better.






“Don’t tell anyone!” Dom choked out, grabbing my shirt. “Artemis, please, don’t tell anyone!”






“I won’t.” I said soothingly, prying her hands away from my shirt. “I won’t tell anyone.”






“Not even Alex and Ella, okay?” She demanded.






“Of course.” I nodded. “But you’re going to have to tell them all sometime.” I added.






“I…I will. Just…not today. I still need to wrap my head around it.” She stared down at her shaking hands.






“That’s fine.” I hugged her again. “And I’ll keep my eyes open for you.” I touched my temple, and she gave me a half-grimace.






I put my essay away and got under the covers so I could fall asleep and start looking. But Dom just sat there.






Um. You need to, you know, leave in order for me to sleep.






“I – I’m scared.” Dom whispered, looking at me with wide eyes. “I’m so scared. I’m not ready to be a mom! This is terrifying!” She started crying again.






“Dom.” I put my arm around her. “Dominique, sweetie, I’m going to be there for you the whole time, and I know your family will, too. You’ll make a great mom.”






“Should I keep the baby?” She asked, so quietly that I wouldn’t even know that she said it if I hadn’t seen her lips move.






“Do you want it?” I asked gently.






She started nodding, slowly, but then faster. “Yes.” She said. “I want it. I want this baby, Artemis.” She wrapped her hands around her torso and looked at me again, with fierceness in her eyes.






Calm down, girl. I’m not going to take it away from you.






“Okay, then. Guess I’ll be known as Auntie Artemis.” I grinned at her, and this time I got a full grimace in return.






“Can…can I sleep here tonight?” She asked in a small voice. “I’m scared.”






“Of course.” I smiled at her, and she gave me a grateful hug before climbing under my covers.






This is going to be a long year.






That night, my visions slid in and out of focus. I caught a brief glimpse of Dom with a huge stomach, laughing at something James said, before the vision shifted to me and James kissing under the moonlight, which then moved to Ella dancing with Jason at her wedding, Scorpius kissing Rose’s neck as they’re sitting together by the lake, Al and Noah sitting under a tree, Lily holding a little baby, Alex sobbing uncontrollably, Fred nearly pulling his hair out, Me making a potion…






…it flickered and morphed some more, until I caught a glimpse of Apollo’s pale face as he asked “What?” blankly…






…and I saw me taking a test. Cool! I know all the answers now!






Oh, no. I’m getting a longer vision.






“Hey Artemis.”






I looked up and saw James standing there. My stomach fluttered. “Hey.” I smiled.






“Will you…come for a walk with me?” He asked me.






“Sure. I was done with this anyway.” I stuffed my parchment in my bag and stood up.






“So…” I started as we strolled by the lake.






“Okay, I’m just going to come straight with this…” He took a deep breath. “I really, really like you, Artemis.” He looked at me, and my heart beat faster.






“You do?” I smiled, and he looked a little less nervous.






“A lot.” He let out his breath.






“Well, me too.” I said shyly. A huge smile broke across his face and I stared. He was…radiant.






Before I knew it, my lips were on his and we were finally sharing our first kiss.






My eyes popped open, and I grinned. Guess what? This vision…was blurry. Not as indistinct as Alex’s or Fred’s futures, but pretty darn blurry. Not nearly as indistinct as Dom’s future right now, but a little blurrier than ScoRose. Although that might have to do with the fact that ScoRose was getting more and more distinct each day.






But, unfortunately, I could still see everything well enough, so I guess I just need to keep trying. I’m making progress though! YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!






Artemis Potter? Yeah, right. Not gonna happen, baby!






At least not while I have a say in this.






***






At precisely six thirty in the morning, Dom streaked out of my bed and into the bathroom. I followed her in and found her puking into the toilet.






“Urghhh…” She moaned. “I hate this.”






“Morning sickness.” I informed her, holding her hair and rubbing her back as she puked again. “It’s completely normal.”






“I still hate it.” She got up and rinsed her mouth out.






“I don’t think anyone would like it.” I giggled, joining her while she brushed her teeth.






“Artemis?” She spit out her toothpaste and looked at me. “Did you see anything?”






“Not really, no.” I sighed. “I caught a glimpse of Apollo asking ‘what?’ and looking all pale and stuff, but that’s it.”






“You look like shit.” She noted, looking at me.






“Gee, Dom, don’t flatter me too much. You might just over-inflate my ego.” I replied sarcastically.






She grinned. “You know what I mean. You didn’t get any sleep, did you?”






“Nope.” I sighed resignedly. “Every time I close my eyes, I get another vision. I probably slept all of three hours.”






“Is my future still blurry?” She asked, looking fearful.






“Very.” I admitted, not wanting to lie. “How are you feeling?”






“A little nauseous, but not too bad.” She shrugged.






“No.” I said. “I meant ‘how are you feeling about the whole pregnancy thing’?”






“I…I’ve come to terms with it.” She said carefully.






“That’s…good, I guess.” I replied.






“I’m still terrified, but not as frantic, you know? I feel calmer, more in control of myself. I know that I’m going to keep the baby, and so I’m starting to think clearer because of that decision.” She was confident.






In that moment, I was so proud of her I could have just burst in joy.






…although that would be really gruesome.






But anyway.






“Wow.” I said, impressed. “Apollo didn’t just hook you up with a baby; he also got some sense into you.”






“Shut up!” She giggled, slapping my arm.






“So, what are you going to do?” I asked after we were done giggling.






That wiped the smile off of her face. “I don’t know…I guess I have tell him, don’t I?”






“Yeah, you do.” I said.






“What if…?” She started.






“Dominique.” I stated firmly. “Thinking about ‘what if’s’ isn’t going to get you anywhere in life.”






“You’re right.” She sighed. “I’m scared, though.” She looked up at me with frightened blue eyes. She looked so innocent, with her wide sky-blue eyes staring up at me from the middle of her porcelain’s doll face. I couldn’t believe that she was pregnant.






“Scared of my brother?” I smiled. “You shouldn’t be. He’s really not that frightening.”






“I know.” She grinned. “He’s an awesome fu –”






“OKAY!” I cut across loudly, and she smirked. Yeah, scratch that innocent comment. “I don’t want to know!”






AUGH! IT BURNS!






I think I just lost nights of sleep.






I’m scarred for the rest of my existence.






“All I’m going to say is that your brother has the most amazing body.” She sighed, gazing out into space. “He’s got these really perfectly chiseled muscles, and his di–”






Oh dear mother of Merlin, she is trying to tell me about my twin brother’s…thing.






Someone, please knock me unconscious.






Or at least get me a new best friend. Preferably one that does not enjoy discussing certain unmentionable body parts of my immediate family members, namely my twin brother.






…damn, that really diminishes the possibilities.






Why, oh why, did my brother have to be so fucking attractive?! I could have gotten an ugly brother that no one wanted, but no-o-o-o. He just had to look like some sort of FUCKING GREEK GOD.






Once again, thank you gods. I owe you one!






“LALALALALALALALALALALA!!” I covered my ears and sang frantically at the top of my lungs. “I’M NOT LISTENING, LALALALALALALALALALALALAAAAA!!!”






“Okay, I’m done!” She pried my hands away from my ears, and I glared at her.






“Don’t ever scar me with that type of information again.” I shuddered a couple of times.






She laughed. “You can always make me laugh, even when I’m terrified out of my wits.”






I smiled. “I’m glad to be of service.”






She sighed.






“When are you going to tell him?” I asked again. She needs to stop avoiding the question.






“Not today.” She said, looking at me pleadingly. “Not today, please Missy. I’ll tell him tomorrow.”






“Fine, I’ll let you off the hook for today, but you have to tell him tomorrow, okay?” I said sternly.






She nodded. “I will. Promise.”






“What about the others?” I asked after a silence.






She took a deep breath. “I’ll tell Alex and Ella tonight. And Rose…and Lily, too. James will find out tomorrow, I guess, and so will Al…and my parents…I’ll tell them soon.” She looked out of the window and bit her lip.






“How soon?” I hedged.






“Soon.” She gulped.






“You’ll also have to go to Madame Pompfrey.” I reminded her.






“Yeah.” She nodded. “But I’m only, like…two months pregnant.”






“You still have to go to her.”






“Yes, yes, I will.” She rolled her eyes. “Now come on, let’s get ready for class.”






“Yes, ma’am.” I grinned at her and left the bathroom in search of clothes.






We went down to breakfast early, having woken up an hour earlier than usual. There were only a couple of people sitting at the table. I was surprised to see James and Apollo already eating, James reading a Daily Prophet while munching on some toast. Apollo was reading a letter.






“Letter from home?” I asked, sitting down next to him. Dom sat down on my other side. James’ face popped out from the top of the newspaper and he smiled at both of us. I ignored him, and Dom waved.






“Hey,” Apollo grinned at us, although there was something off in his smile. “Yeah, it’s a letter from dad. It’s for you…about the stock market.” He said the last part in a lower voice.






“Of course.” I snarled, snatching the letter away from him. I bit down furiously on his toast (after stealing it from him. He tried – and failed – to steal it back) while reading the letter. “Is there a single sentence about school in this letter? No. Does he even care to ask us how we are? No. For all he knows we could be dead! But does he give a rat’s fart about his children? NO.” I ranted, tearing the letter up into a hundred pieces and incarcerating them with a flick of my wand. I felt a weird sense of satisfaction, watching the pieces burn.






“Artemis…” Apollo started, laying a comforting hand on my arm. I stood up, shaking his arm off.






“I’m going to class.” I said mechanically. I turned around and marched out of the Great Hall. Since I really didn’t have anywhere else to go, I went to class. I was so early even the teacher wasn’t there yet. I sat down on the floor with my back to the wall and stared out the window.






Ever since that first vision that brought us millions of galleons, my father had become obsessed with money. He was a greedy, miserly person, and all he cared about was getting more money.






My father puts Scrooge to shame. All he has to do is start hating Christmas and say ridiculous things like, “Bah! Humbug!” at random intervals, and he’ll be officially Scrooge-i-fied.






He stopped caring about me and Apollo – the only time he spoke to me was to ask me about the stock market. He didn’t talk to Apollo at all. My mother didn’t have my father by her side anymore. They were still married, but it was mostly out of convenience more than anything. They had fallen out of love with each other. My mother still loved us, but she was still a busy woman, and sometimes she tended to put us next on the list of important things. So Apollo was technically the only family I really had.






Even now, I deeply regret telling my dad about that vision. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I didn’t tell him. For one, I would have a real family, not a father who doesn’t care about me and a mother who forgets about me sometimes. But I wouldn’t be as close to Apollo, and we definitely would not be living the comfortable life we are right now.






Fate is a funny thing. Just one tip to the right balance can change everything…sometimes for the better, but sometimes for the worse.






Am I making a mistake, trying to change it? I fingered my locket, which was a present from Apollo (with a picture of the two of us laughing with our arms around each other…it was during our eleventh birthday, and Apollo had just told a highly amusing joke that had us shrieking like hyenas), lost in thought.






“Artemis?”






I looked up and saw James standing there, with his hands in his pockets, looking kind of awkward.






Um…what the hell is he doing here?






“Are you alright?” He asked hesitantly.






“I’m fine.” I said shortly.






He sat down next to me and reached over to pull the locket out of my grasp. “What’s this?”






“Locket.” I muttered. I took it off and handed it to him. He opened it and smiled at the picture inside. I watched as the smile made his eyes sparkle and his dimples pop out.






There is no denying it. This kid is GORGEOUS. Remind me again why I don’t want to marry him?






Oh, right. He’s a psycho. And exceedingly arrogant. And I kind of don’t like him too much.






“That’s sweet.” He said, handing it back to me. I slipped it around my neck again and resumed my examination of the window.






“Pol’s the only one who really loves you in your family, isn’t he?” He finally asked quietly. His voice was…gentle and tender and soft. I felt like this was a whole different James I never knew.






“Yeah.” I sighed, after a short silence. “All my dad cares about is money and my mom tends to forget us.”






“I’m sorry.”                                                                                                                                                                                        






“Not your fault.” It’s mine.






“It’s not yours either.” He said, looking at the side of my face. I decided not to answer.






“Every family has their flaws…no one can have a perfect life.” He continued.






“You do.” I said, looking at him. “You have a perfect family, a perfect life…you have it made, James, there’s no denying that.”






“I don’t.” He laughed, shaking his head. “Not by a mile. It may look like that on the outside, but I really don’t.”






“Your dad is Harry Potter.” I rest my case.






“So? He’s not some sort of superhuman, you know. He’s just my dad – he’s kind of a dork, he wears these ridiculous glasses, and he sometimes has issues with his temper. He tends to get really sarcastic when he’s pissed. My mom – she’s got a temper to match a thousand suns, she screams like a banshee, and she’s also sort of a dork. They may look perfect, but they’re not.”






“At least they care about you.” I said bitterly.






“Yes…but…look, what I’m trying to say is that nobody gets exactly what they want. Sometimes life isn’t perfect, but in order to stay happy, you have to look at the parts that are perfect instead of the parts that aren’t. Life is going to suck, but if you focus on the things that don’t suck, life suddenly doesn’t seem so bad anymore.” He finished, still speaking in soft, gentle, velvety tones.






Wow. The kid is deep.






This makes my fantastic advice about life seem like some sort of joke.






But it’s NOT A JOKE, okay? It was wise. Don’t make fun of me. I know your future.






Who knew? He actually has something between his ears other than a black hole. I’m impressed. Really. I’m impressed.






“You’re right.” I finally said. “Parts of my life do suck, but I still have some things that are pretty amazing.”






“That you do.” He smiled.






“Thanks, James.” I smiled back. “That really helped. You’re actually pretty wise, did you know that?”






“Shh.” He said, looking around. “Don’t tell anyone.”






I laughed, looking at the window again.






He’s actually not too bad. He’s sort of sweet, you know?






Oh, no. No, Artemis. You canNOT fall for him. It’s not allowed.






Do you understand? FORBIDDEN. NOT. ALLOWED.






So don’t even consider it for a second. You. Don’t. Like. Him.






Get that through your skull. IMPRINT IT IN YOUR BRAIN.






Good.






***






OOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.






I can’t feel my legs. I can’t feel my arms. I can’t feel my brain.






That was the single most brutal practice we had ever had.






I’m going to KILL Potter.






Yeah, all those ‘sweet, gorgeous’ thoughts I had about him? ALL ERASED. How could I ever fall for a psycho? I’m not that stupid.






I fell off my broom at about three feet off the ground and landed face first in the grass. I didn’t have the energy to turn over, so I just rested there, breathing in the fresh smell of grass.






“Missy? You comin’?” Scorpius’ tired voice asked from above me.






“Not right now.” I tried saying. It came out like this: “Unghhh uhh uguhhhhh mm.”






Oh, yes. I am a master at all that involves the English language. You will all bow to my mad speaking skills.






I KNOW YOUR FUTURE. DO IT NOW.






“Okay.” He said uncertainly. “Do you need help getting up or something?”






“Npmh.”






“You sure?”






“Yfhh.”






“Alright. See you later.”






“Hmm.”






I heard his feet walking away and took another deep breath of grass, finally relaxing. I was still relaxing when the ground suddenly disappeared from beneath me. My eyes flew open in shock, and the first thing I saw was Potter’s face, grinning down at me. I realized that he had picked me up and was now walking towards the school with me in his arms.






Without asking my permission.






Oh, no you didn’t.






“Put me down.” I ordered in a weak voice, closing my eyes again.






“You look like shit.” He chose to say instead.






“Gee, thanks.” Heavy sarcasm. It was slightly marred by the weakness of my words.






“No, really, you look half-dead.”






“No shit.” I opened an eye to glare at him. “After that brutal practice, I am basically half – dead. Tell me, Potter, when did you decide to kill your teammates?”






“I don’t want to kill you guys!” He said defensively.






“Could’ve fooled me.” I said. “I’d say you are trying to kill us. You know, having an exhausted, half-dead team is not going to help you win.”






“You’re right.” He finally said, walking briskly down the hallway towards the Fat Lady. Am I really that light? He’s not even breathing hard.






“Does this mean practice is cancelled tomorrow?” I could hardly believe my luck.






“Yeah.” He shrugged, and I went up and down. “We’ll go back to three practices a week. I guess I did get a little psychotic about this practice thing…”






Wow. That was easy.






Someone out there, I think this is an ideal time to hit one of those ‘Easy Buttons’ you get from that one muggle store…Staples? Yes, Staples. The voice is really funny. “That was easy.” Haha. Always makes me giggle.






 “A little?” I raised an eyebrow.






“Okay, a lot.” He amended, grinning. “So, I’m surprised you haven’t yelled at me or hurt me or something yet.”






“For?”






“For carrying you without your permission.” He smirked.






“I’m too tired, too much in pain, and I wouldn’t have been able to walk by myself anyway.” I yawned. “This is a slightly better alternative than lying facedown in the grass for the rest of the night.”






“Only slightly?” He looked mock hurt.






Very slightly. And this doesn’t mean you can touch me without my permission.”






He chuckled, the vibrations spreading down his chest and into my body. I realized that he had a pretty cute laugh…it was sort of contagious. I had to do my best not to laugh along with him.






Must. Resist. Ridiculously. Infective. Laugh.






ARGH! RESIST, GOD DAMN IT! RESIST!!






Dying puppy, dying puppy, dying puppy, dying puppy, dying puppy, dying puppy, DYING PUPPY!






Ahh. I’m sad. Much better.






He carefully put me down on the couch, laying me down so that I was stretched across it. As he set me down, his face hovered just a couple of inches from mine. Even after I was safely on the couch, he didn’t move. His warm breath fanned across my face and his golden eyes gazed into my silver ones with such intensity that it made my heart beat faster. He leaned a bit closer, and I froze.






Oh, shit.






What do I do?






So I did what any girl would to do avoid getting kissed by a guy she definitely does NOT like. I rolled off the sofa, landing on my butt with a loud thud.






I scrambled to my feet, ignoring the pain shooting up my legs, looking anywhere but at his confused golden eyes.






“Well, must be off, see you tomorrow, bye!” I practically sprinted up the stairs, wincing with each step.






Whew. That was close. I must make sure I am NEVER in such a close proximity with that child again. I might just do something I’ll regret.






I’ve been slacking off in my avoidance thing. I’m talking to him too much, and that is NOT GOOD. I have to avoid him. If I want to change the future, I have to.






But that’s the thing…I don’t know if I want to change the future. I mean, I do, but I’m a bit confused at the moment.






Ugh, just AVOID him, Artemis. It’ll save you the confusion. Just avoid him.






My mind made up, I stepped out of the shower and changed into my ratty pajamas (too short shorts and a holey tank top). That’s when I realized that Dom was going to announce her pregnancy to Ella and Alex today.






God, I’m such a horrible best friend! I didn’t even give that a second thought.






That’s it. No more thoughts about James. I’m pushing him out of my head. I just have to focus on Dom right now. That’s it. Just Dom.





chapter five is called Awkward Silences, Broom Closets and...Doodie.
it's probably the funniest so far :)
also, since i adore it so much, i think i'm going to give you a little preview, just to get you guys thinking :)

“Apollo.” Dom said in a tiny voice. “I had sex with Apollo.”


“Yeah.” I cringed. “Him.”


“You—you slept with your best friend’s twin brother?” Alex asked, looking both horrified and impressed.


“Yes.” She said in that same small voice.



reviews, please? favorite quotes? i love favorite quotes :D


Chapter 5: Awkward Silences, Broom Closets and…Doodie
[View Online]  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]


hello, my dearies! (haha, wow, i feel incredibly old saying that. anyway)
so, how's THAT for a quick update, huh? i know, i know. i'm incredible.
so, this chapter is probably my favorite :) tell me how what you think in a review! you know i adore them ;)













chapter image by me :)








Well, this is a first.






The silence in this room is actually awkward.






I don’t think we’ve ever had an awkward silence before.






No, we definitely haven’t.






The history of our Best Friendship has had some sad silences, some angry silences, and some peaceful silences, but never an awkward one.






I hope this ends soon. It’s very…well, awkward.






Dom cleared her throat to speak. “So…um…what’s up?”






Wow. What an ice breaker. Great job, Dommie.






“I’m dating Jared Berlant.” Alex said.






I think I just choked on my own spit. “What?!” I got out in between coughs. Ella reached over and pounded my back, still talking to Alex.






“You’re dating Jared Berlant?” Ella asked in disbelief.






“Yeah.”






“Jared Berlant, the Slytherin.” She elaborated.






“Yes.”






“The manwhore.” She continued.






“I’d appreciate if you didn’t call my boyfriend a manwhore, Ella.”






“Well, he is!” Ella said heatedly. “He only dates girls to get in their pants! Alex, he’s not right for you!”






“Don’t worry.” She rolled her eyes. “I can take care of myself. He seemed really sweet to me.”






“Yeah, well, that’s what he wants you to think.” I said, my windpipe finally cleared.






“I like him.” Alex shrugged half-heartedly.






“Alex…” Dom spoke up, looking worried. “I don’t think he’s –”






“I can take care of myself, for heaven’s sake!” Alex said exasperatedly. “And he’s nice to me, so maybe you could act like real best friends and at least pretend to be happy for me.”






“Good for you, Alex.” I said in a monotone.






“Yeah, we’re real pleased. Yay.” Ella continued stonily.






“You know what?!” Alex stood up, looking angry. “I knew you would do this! You guys all suck!”






She stormed into the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind her. Dom’s eyes filled with tears.






“Do something.” She turned to me.






“What am I supposed to do?” I asked, still gazing at the closed door.






“Something. Anything. Please, Missy, I can’t lose Alex!” She started crying.






“Okay, I’m going.” The things I do for that girl, honestly.






“Alex?” I knocked softly on the door. “Alex, we’re sorry. We didn’t realize how important this is to you, and you’re right, we were being right bitches. Come out, please?”






The door opened, and Alex’s face appeared. To my immense surprise, she was giggling.






“Um.” I started, looking at her. Is she feeling okay? Like, in the brain area? She burst out laughing, and managed to trip her way back to the bed. We all stared blankly at her.






Okay. She’s officially gone over the brink of insanity. Sad, really. She was the only one that I had my hopes on to turn out at least partially sane.






Now we are all freaks. Yay for us.






We should form a club! The Freak Club. And we’ll have tons of members! Everyone can join! We’ll be the coolest club ever.






I need to talk to the girls about this one day. This idea is too epic to let go.






“Oh, guys!” She laughed. “This is too funny!”






“Um.” Ella said.






“I’m not dating Jared Berlant!” She giggled. “Don’t worry, I’m not that stupid.”






Good to know.






She swallowed her giggles, since we were all still staring at her in blank confusion.






“I’m dating Matt Connery.” She said.






“Seriously?” My eyebrows shot up and a delighted smile spread across my face.






“Yes, seriously.” She smiled happily.






“Oh, my god! That’s grrrrrrrrrrrreat!” Ella hugged her, tight. What are you, Ella, Tony the Tiger? Nice.






“Awesome!” Dom hugged her as well. “That’s terrific, he’s so hot.”






“Yeah,” Alex sighed. “And he’s unbelievably sweet. I’m going to Hogsmeade with him next week for our first date.”






“I’m so helping you get ready!” Ella squealed, hugging her again.






There was another short silence.






“I think I like Jason.” Ella suddenly said.






Silence as we let that sink in…






And…






“OH, MY GOD!” Alex shot up, looking delighted.






“YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!” I jumped up and did a mini victory dance.






“I KNEW IT!” Dom yelled, pointing at her in triumph. Ella ducked her head and blushed.






“He’s really sweet, you know?” She said, smiling. “And he’s funny, smart—”






“—not to mention hot—” I cut in, grinning.






“Yes, hot, sweet, kind…he’s sort of everything I look for in a guy.” She smiled some more.






“Yeah.” Dom said.






And…another silence. I guess it’s my turn to come out with a secret.






“I don’t have a secret.” I shrugged, grinning sheepishly when they all looked expectantly at me. “It’s sort of depressing.”






“Oh, well.” Ella shrugged. “But…wait. How about you tell us…how you feel about James.”






I shrugged. “Can’t stand him.”






“Why not?” Alex asked. “James is perfect for you.”






“Shut up.” I snapped at her. She shrunk back, looking hurt. “Sorry, Alex.” I sighed. “I just…he’s not perfect for me, okay? I’m not going to fall for him! Nothing can make me!” My voice rose with each word.






“Okay, honey, calm down.” Ella patted my shoulder and I took a couple deep breaths.






“Sorry.” I muttered. “I don’t like him.”






“Okay.” Alex nodded. “It’s okay. But he likes you, just so you know.”






My teeth gritted. “Yes, I was aware of that.”






“He’s really sweet, Missy. And really nice. And smart. And funny. And drop-dead gorgeous. And—”






“Yeah, I got it.” I cut across Ella. “I’m not interested.”






“Oh, just you wait and see.” Alex smiled slyly. “It’s bound to happen one day.”






“Oh, shut up.” I scowled and rested my chin on my pillow.






Another short silence, and then—






“Guys?” Dom asked timidly. “I have something to say.”






She paused, took a deep breath, and then looked to me. I nodded encouragingly. “Go on.”






“I – I’m…I’m…I’m pregnant.” She closed her eyes and bowed her head.






Shocked silence.






I reached over and rubbed soothing circles on Dom’s back, but she remained tense as she waited for their reaction.






“Come again?” Alex finally asked dazedly.






“Pregnant.” I repeated. “She’s…pregnant.”






“No way,” Ella said. “Dom can’t be pregnant! I mean, she hasn’t even…”






“Yes she has.” I cut across. Dom looked like she wasn’t ready to open her mouth for a while. “With…with…with…um…with…” I didn’t want to say it.






“Apollo.” Dom said in a tiny voice. “I had sex with Apollo.”






“Yeah.” I cringed. “Him.”






“You—you slept with your best friend’s twin brother?” Alex asked, looking both horrified and impressed.






“Yes.” She said in that same small voice.






“I’m okay with it, really. Well, not okay, I’m more grossed out than anything, but I don’t hate her or anything.” I said quickly.






“And now you’re…pregnant?” Ella asked.






“Yes.”






“Are you going to keep the baby?” Alex asked after a moment of stunned silence.






“Yes.”






“Good.” Ella said briskly. “Now, to important matters…how was it?” She asked, her face alight with excitement.






Dom lifted her head. “How was what?”






“How was sex with Apollo?” Ella asked eagerly. “I mean, he is one of the hottest guys in school, sorry Missy, it’s true. How was it?!”






“AND, I’M GONE!” I announced, practically tripping over my own feet as I sprinted headlong out the door. “I’m going to get Rose and Lily, you guys better be done discussing it by the time I get back!”






The door swung shut, but not before I caught a sentence. “It was fabulous.” Dom sighed.






Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I shuddered a couple of times. NASTY.






Ugh. Why am I friends with these people, again?






***






“You’re WHAT?!?”






Lily and Rose’s voices echoed around the room.






“Pregnant, and I would appreciate if you would keep your voices down.” Ella glared at them.






“But – but – what…how?...who – when…” Rose spluttered.






“What? A baby. How? Well, I think you know how. Who? Apollo. When…I have no idea. When, Dom?” Alex asked her.






“Over the summer.” I muttered, since Dom was now sitting with her eyes tightly closed and her knees curled up.






“Oh, god. You do realize that the males in our family are going to kill Apollo, right?” Lily asked, looking concerned.






“I’d rather not think about it.” Dom whispered.






“Oh, sweetie.” Rose rushed over and put an arm around Dom’s shoulders. “I’m sorry we freaked out.”






“Well, I’m not. We had a right to freak out! She’s bloody pregnant!” Lily cried.






“Lils. Not helping.” I warned her.






“Right…er…sorry, Dom.” She muttered, also sitting next to her. “Just…we’ll be there for you.”






Wow. I’ve never heard such mushy words come out of Lily’s mouth. Write this date down, someone! It’s a miracle!






“Thank you, guys!” Dom threw an arm around them both and hugged them, tight.






And then…she puked.






Smooth, Dominique. Real smooth.






“Oh, EW!” Lily shot up, looking sick. “Dom!”






“Sorry, sorry!” Dom cried, wiping her mouth off. “Ugh, I’ll be right back.”






She ran into the bathroom, leaving a two very disgruntled, puke-splattered girls in her wake.






Scourgify.” I waved my wand over them, and they immediately became squeaky clean.






“Sorry!” She returned, looking miserable. “Just this stupid morning sickness! Why do they call it that anyway?! I get it all day, not just in the morning!”






Alex opened her mouth, probably to spout some facts about pregnancy and morning sickness...and then probably also throw in a couple of statistics, both muggle and wizard…and also mention some ‘did you know…?’ facts about pregnancy that we could all go on living without, even though she believes otherwise.






“Never mind.” Dom said hastily, before Alex could start lecturing. “I don’t need to know.”






Alex closed her mouth, pouting.






“So…do Apollo and James know yet?” Rose asked.






Dom visibly paled.






“No.” I said for her. “But they’re finding out tomorrow, isn’t that right, Dominique?”






She made an undistinguishable squeaking sound. We took that as a ‘yes, of course, Artemis!’






“What about Aunt Fleur and Uncle Bill?” Lily asked.






“Not yet, no.” I answered. “But they’ll also find out soon, right Dominique?”






This time she made a couple of pitiful whimpering sounds.






We took that as a ‘gee, I can hardly wait to tell them, Artemis!’






We know her so well.






***






“Artemis. Artemis…ARTEMIS…” Someone’s hand shook my shoulder, and I frowned. What? Can’t you tell I’m sleeping?!






“Artemis, love, wake up.” The same hand brushed some curls out of my face and gently shook my shoulder again.






“Mmmf. Go away.” I flapped my hand at the person and turned over.






No such luck. Never had such luck. Why should such luck decide to appear now?






A soft chuckle. “We have potions. Come on love, get up.”






“No.” I mumbled, grabbing the closest piece of cloth and pulled it over my head. “I don’t wanna go.”






“But you have to.”






“Ugh.” I sighed and opened my eyes to see Potter’s smiling face staring down at me. Merlin, that child is everywhere! “What?” I asked irritably.






“Potions, Artemis.” He said, amused. My eyes widened.






“Oh, shit!” I jumped up and madly straightened out my hair. “How late am I?”






He checked his watch and shrugged. “Only about ten minutes. It would have been sooner, but you wouldn’t wake up.”






“You stayed here?” I haphazardly threw my stuff into my bag. Must I always do my homework all over the table? Jeez. Me and my bad habits. I knew this was going to come back and bite me in the butt one day.






“Yeah.”






“Why?”






“Because I wanted to. Here.” He smiled at me again and handed me the quill I was searching desperately for.






“Thanks.” I said distractedly, chucking that in the bag as well. “Let’s go.”






“Shoes, Artemis.” He grabbed my arm as I attempted to run past and handed me my shoe.






“Oh, thanks!” I took that and slipped it on my foot, holding onto his arm for support as I stumbled around on one foot. 






“Where would you be without me?” He asked as he steadied me.






“Probably still sleeping on that couch. Come on, let’s go!” I scrambled out of the portrait hole and started running.






“This way.” He grabbed my arm and steered me through a hallway pretending to be a wall. It giggled as we went through.






“So, why were you sleeping in the middle of the day? Not getting enough sleep at night?” He asked as we jogged along the quiet hallway.






“Nightmares.” I said elusively, not looking at his curious gaze.






“What kinds of nightmares? Are you okay? Do you want to see McGonagall?” He asked sharply, stopping me and looking into my face.






I laughed. “No, they’re not that bad.” Ha. I can only picture myself trying to explain my Visions to McGonagall. That would be funny.






“Are they like the one you got that one night? At the Burrow?” He asked, still peering closely at me.






“Sort of, yeah.” I said carefully. I started walking again.






“Do you want to talk about it?” He asked after a while.






“No, I’m fine. Really.” I smiled at him. It’s sort of cute, how worried he is about me.






AUGH!






NO!






What happened to ignoring him?!






Urghh. I’ll start, okay?






…tomorrow.






Promise.






“You have to tell someone, Artemis.” He said, still looking worried.






“I tell Dom and Pol.” I replied.






“Good.” He let out a breath. “Let me know if something is bothering you, okay?”






I laughed. “And what are you going to do about it, huh?”






“Anything I can.” He said seriously, turning his smoldering golden gaze on me.






I looked away, breathless. “Oh.” I replied lamely.






Anything you can? How about trying to act less adorable so I don’t fall for you? Or maybe just ignoring me?






“Over here.” He led me through a door pretending to be a wall, and I found myself in the dungeons.






“Nice.” I said appreciatively, looking around. “How many passageways like this do you know?”






“A lot.” He grinned.






“How do you know your way around the school so well?” I asked, grinning back. I couldn’t help it. His smile is infectious.






“That’s for me to know and for you to never find out.” He sent a half-smirk at my outraged expression.






I cocked an unimpressed eyebrow, smirking back. “I’ll find out. I always do.”






He laughed. “I’d like to see you try.”






“You’ll see.” I smiled cheekily.






He laughed again, and then suddenly broke into a sprint.






“OI!” I yelled after him, also starting to run. “James, where are you going?!”






“Just run!” He yelled back. “It’ll make it look more believable.”






What?” I screamed.






He stopped, let me catch up to him, and then grabbed my hand and started sprinting again. I struggled to keep up with him.






I focused on moving my feet fast enough to keep up with James, and before I knew it, there was a loud ‘BANG!’ and I found myself in the doorway of the potions room, doubling over and panting heavily as everyone swiveled around to look curiously at us.






“What is the meaning of this?” Slughorn cried, looking askance at our red faces.






“Sorry—professor—planning—Quidditch—plays—lost—track—of—time.” James panted out between breaths.






“Okay, okay. Don’t do it again. Take your seats.” He ushered us to a nearby table and I slumped over it, still breathing heavily. “You two will be partners today.”






“Okay.” He huffed. I just nodded into the desk, still breathing hard.






“Whew.” I said, sitting up after I had regained my breath. “That was fast.”






“Yeah, you know me. Speedy.” He ruffled his hair proudly and sent me an over-exaggerated cocky grin. I laughed, ignoring the eyebrow messages that Ella was sending me from across the room. I also ignored the large, knowing smirk she was wearing.






That girl REALLY needs to get her head out of the gutter.






“So, you want to get started?” He asked me, after I was done rolling my eyes at Ella and shaking my head furiously at her to get her to stop smirking at me.






“Get started on what?” I asked blankly, turning around to look at him.






“Um. The potion.” His tone implied that he was starting to seriously doubt my mental capabilities. Aren’t we all?






“OH! Oh. The potion. Yeah. Sure.”






“So…I’ll set up the cauldron, you get the supplies, yeah?” He asked, after another moment of awkward silence.






I nodded. “Sure.”






Biting my lip, I walked to the store cupboard, looking at the board for reference.






Powdered newts eyes…three dead beetles, crushed…frog intestines…






“OMG! You came in late with James! Where were you guys?! OMG, you were snogging in a broom closet, weren’t you?! I KNEW IT!” I jumped as Ella started squealing excitedly behind me. Alex was rolling her eyes, but still smirking slightly.






I glared at her. “Okay, one: No one actually says ‘oh-em-gee’ in a sentence, Ells. Two: I fell asleep in the common room and he just happened to be walking down from his dorm at the same time, so we came together, and three, EW!”






Why do people always expect us to be snogging in broom cupboards? I personally cannot find anything even remotely romantic about closets that are designed to hold cleaning implements, but, hey! If you want a steamy love scene in a broom closet, go right ahead. Live the dream, Broom Closet Girl. Live the dream. 






“You like Ja-ames, you like Ja-ames!” Ella sang, doing a little dance.






What are you, five? Real mature, Ella.






…though I really shouldn’t be talking. I still snicker at the word ‘duty’, for its striking resemblance to the word ‘doodie’ (giggle).






Oh, yes. I am the epitome of young adulthood. The sheer level of maturity and intellect in my grown-up brain leaves all the rest of your pathetic little brains in the dust. Bow to my brain, people. It is amazing.






DO IT. I KNOW YOUR FUTURE.






Doodie. Hee hee.






I rolled my eyes at her again, and resumed collecting my ingredients. Still ignoring her little song, I made my way back to the table, where James was waiting with the cauldron.






“What took you so long?” He huffed in mock irritation.






“Sorry.” I replied, tipping the ingredients onto the table. “Ella was bothering me.”






“What was she doing?”






“She thinks we were getting it on in a broom closet.” I rolled my eyes to show how little faith I put in Ella’s hypothesis.






He looked at me, strangely intense. “I wouldn’t mind.” He said in a husky voice, leaning towards me. His eyes burned like fire, and I suddenly found myself unable to breathe.






Gahh. How does he DO THAT?!






“Heh. Heh. Funny.” I said in a high pitched voice, leaning away awkwardly and starting to crush my beetles. Nothing like some beetle crushing to alleviate the tense, awkward moment. Yup.






I could feel his eyes on me, but I kept on looking carefully at the beetle I was currently pounding to a fine, thin powder. It’s actually sort of gross, this beetle. But I really can’t look at him right now, so I’m just going to keep staring at it and pretend that it didn’t used to be a living , moving creature.






Poor beetle. I’m naming it…George.






George, Jared, and…Lauren. Yep. Those are the names for these three beetles.






Rest in peace, buddies. You are now going to become mixed with other magical ingredients and then turned into a Calming Draught. Sorry.






“Artemis? The beetles are crushed now.” James’ voice was amused. I focused on what I was doing and realized, that, indeed, there was a large pile of black powder sitting in front of me.






“Oh.” I blinked. “Whoa. I didn’t realize.”






“Thinking about something else?” His tone was light, but I could tell he was talking about that…Moment.






“Yeah.” I looked up at him casually, brightly, like the Moment never happened. “I named the beetles. See? This little pile right here used to be George, and this is Jared, and this…this is Lauren!”






He looked at the three little black piles for a moment. “Nice. Well, I’m going to need George, Jared…and, er…Laura now.”






“Lauren.” I corrected.






“Yeah. Lauren.”






“Okay!” I stepped aside, and he scooped them into the cauldron. Then, peering carefully at the board, he began to stir the ingredients, counting under his breath. I watched as the Potion turned a dark, jade green.






“One, two, three…clockwise….one, two, three…counter…” He muttered, looking down at it, too.






“One, two, three…counter, crap, I mean, clock, crap, three…” He looked up at me. “Crap.”






I laughed and grabbed the tip of the handle, right above where his hand was. “Three…counter, one two three…clock…” Together, we stirred the potion, and it turned a light, calming blue.






“We make a good team.” He grinned as he poured some into a vial.






I just smiled vaguely and brought it up to Slughorn.






I really wish we didn’t make a good team. Then doing this would be easier.






***






“Hey Alex, pass the rolls, will you?” Ella asked, without looking up from the Quidditch Plays she was studying.






Nothing.






“Alex. Pass the rolls.” She tried again.






Nothing again.






I think this would be an ideal time to intervene and tell Ella that Alex is a bit…uh…preoccupied at the moment.






“ALEX, PASS THE – oh.” Her eyes grew wide at the scene around her, which she had just noticed since she was so engrossed in those notes.






Alex and Matt were sitting next to her, doing some sort of really disgusting activity where you latch onto someone’s face with your mouth and then make these gross sucking sounds. Apparently, it’s supposed to be romantic.






Oh, wait. They’re snogging. At the dinner table.






If you could call that snogging. I would actually call it ‘sucking-face’, or ‘tonsil tennis’, or ‘hey! Let’s drink Matt’s spit like it’s the only means of hydration on this whole bloody planet!’






I mean, hello Alex? Have you ever heard of dinner manners? Or did you forget them in Matt’s mouth, along with your tongue?






The rest of us were doing our best to ignore said nauseating sucking noises. Jason had actually stuffed his fingers in his ears, closed his eyes tight, and screwed up his face in an expression of disgust and extreme concentration as he sang under his breath.






“…Can’t you see that I’m the one who understands you, been here all along, so why can’t you see-ee-ee, you belong with mee-ee-ee, you belong with me.”






Did I mention he was singing ‘You Belong with Me’? Badly?






Yeah, just thought I should.






Ha. I bet he was thinking about Ella while singing that. What a cutie.






Apollo was gazing fixedly at the ceiling with a pained expression on his face, James was staring down at his plate and occasionally shuddering or wincing, Ella was reading her Quidditch plays with an expression similar to that of someone going through physical pain (her eyes, strangely enough, didn’t move after she realized what was going on), and Dom was clearing her throat loudly every three seconds and shooting them disapproving looks every now and then. I had decided to just watch my friends and do my best to pretend that Alex wasn’t…doing what she was doing.






Fred wasn’t even here. He had walked into the Great Hall, his arm around Mallory Finnegan, taken one look at Alex and Matt, and then abruptly turned around and strode right back out.






I’m starting to wish that I had done the same thing. This is absolutely repulsive.






“Ahem.” Dom cleared her throat loudly again, and gave them another pointed look, which they both ignored. “AHEM!” Still nothing. “I SAID, AHEM!” She yelled, taking out her wand and prying them apart with a spell.






“Oh, hey guys!” Alex looked around at our stony faces happily. “What’s going on?”






“I’ll tell you what’s going on, Alex! While you were busy exchanging saliva with Connery, the rest of us had to sit and suffer through it in silence!” Dom cried. “This is a DINNER TABLE. Learn some manners, will you? Or at least get a better snogging technique. What you’re doing is absolutely repulsive, and that’s saying a lot, since I once walked in on Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione snogging!”






“That must have been disgusting.” Alex put in mildly.






“Yes, it was! I think I’ve been scarred for the rest of my – hey! Stop changing the topic!” Dom looked affronted.






“Okay, we’ll stop the PDA.” Alex said quickly, before Dom started ranting again.






“Sorry about that.” Matt inserted, giving us a shifty grin. I glared at him. Screw good looks. I’m starting to not like this kid already.






“Thank you.” Dom said in a dignified way. “Please never do that again.”






“Hey, Alex.” Matt turned to her, completely ignoring the rest of us. “Let’s sit with my friends for a little while.”






Notice how that wasn’t a suggestion.






“Oh, I don’t know…” Alex said. “You go on. I always sit with my friends.”






“It’ll be a nice change.”






“No, thanks.” Alex said, a bit more frostily. “I don’t want a change when it comes to my friends, thank you very much.”






“Oh! No, no!” Matt backtracked, looking apologetic. “That’s not what I meant. I just wanted to introduce you. I’ve already met your friends –”






“Technically, you haven’t actually met us,” I inserted, looking up at him. “You just came over here, plopped down, and then started sucking her face off.”






He managed to look sheepish. “Yeah. Sorry. I should have introduced myself. I’m Matt Connery, Slytherin Seventh Year.”






“Artemis Jones.” I reached out to shake his hand.






“Pleasure.” He grinned at me. The rest of the table also introduced themselves, sans Jason, who was now singing ‘Party in the USA’.






Badly.






 “Now, how about we go over there?” He looked at Alex hopefully. “I’d really like you to meet my friends, Alex.”






“Yeah, let’s go.” She took his hand, and I watched as they walked over to the Slytherin table, sat down, and immediately started resuming their face-sucking. Matt’s friends wore the same repulsed expressions that we did.






“…nodding my head like yeah, moving my hips like yeah.” Jason sang, his voice cracking horribly.






“Do you think we should –” I started, looking at him.






“—tell him to stop?” Apollo finished for me.






We all looked at each other.






“Nah.” We decided in one voice.






***






“Hey, Dom, you ready?” I bounced in, all smiles.






“Ready?” She asked blankly. “Um. Ready for what, exactly?”






“Ready to tell Apollo about your child, obviously!” I said cheerfully, like this was something that we did on a daily basis and wasn’t really a big deal. Truthfully, I was scared out of my wits.






“What?” Dom squeaked. “Now?”






“Yes, now, silly!” Does my smile seem too forced? I think it does. “Come on, everything will be fine!”






“And do you know that for sure?” Dom asked, still in a high-pitched voice.






My face fell slightly. “Uhm. No.” I scratched sheepishly at the back of my head. “But you really have to tell him.”






“I’d rather not.” She said, chuckling nervously. “Really. I’d rather not. I’d rather no one knows about this.”






“Dom, let’s go.”






“Heh, heh. No, really. It’s fine. Let’s not.”






“Come on.”






“Meh. Maybe later.”






“We’re going now.”






“I don’t really want to go.”






“I don’t care. We’re going. Now.”






“But –”






“No.”






“But, I –”






“NO. Let’s go, Dominique.”






She whimpered a little, but finally gave in at my stern expression and shuffled towards the boys’ staircase at a rate so slow, I’m pretty sure a sleeping snail could have done better.






Sighing in exasperation, I Locomotor Mortis’d her and ignored her exclamations of protest as I levitated her up the stairs.






“APOLLO!” I yelled, banging on the door. “Hey, APOLLO! OPEN THE DOOR!”






The door didn’t open.






“Oh, look, they’re not there. Maybe we should come back later. Yeah, that sounds good. Let’s come back later. Or maybe never. Never sounds even better, don’t you think? We should just not come back at all.” Dom rambled in a nervous/relieved voice. “I don’t think he has to know, does he? I don’t want him to know. You know what they say: ignorance is bliss. Ignorance –”






“Dom.” I cut across.






“Yes?” She looked up at me.






“Shut up.” I suggested.






“Shutting.” She said in a meek voice.






“OI! APOLLOOOOO!! JAMES! FRED! JAS – oh! Hey, Freddie! Apollo there?” I smiled widely up at Fred, who was looking extremely disgruntled.






“I was trying to take a nap.” He said grouchily, glaring at me.






“Whoops . Heh heh. My bad. I just wanted to see Pol.” I looked hopefully at his scowling face. He heaved a heavy sigh.






“OI! POL! GET YOUR ARSE OUT HERE!” He bellowed over his shoulder.






“And James.” I added.






“JIMMY! YOU TOO! Happy?” He asked me.






“Very.” I grinned at him, but he just scowled back. “I’m going to sleep down in the common room, where it’s actually quiet.” He shot me another glare, then stomped down the stairs.






Well, s o m e b o d y needs his nappie. What a grouch.






“Hey, girls.” Pol appeared at the door, smiling down at us.






“Hey, little brother. We come in peace. We’ve got to talk.” I ruffled his hair, ignoring his protests of ‘Hey! Just by two minutes! And don’t do that!’, and walked in, closely followed by Dom, who was now clutching her stomach and looking quite sick.






“Jimmy. Up.” Pol added, closing the door behind him.






“You called?” James asked groggily. I looked over at what I assumed was his bed and saw his face emerging from a mass of blankets. “Hey, Artemis, Dom. What’s up?” He added, yawning.






I looked at her pale face, which wasn’t going to talk anytime soon, then did the first thing that came to mind: Word Diarrhea. It helps alleviate any tense situation, I’m telling you. Just try it.






“Dominique has something to, um, tell you guys. Well, see, she’s got something to tell everyone, but she’s taking it one at a time, you know? And it’s not bad, really, just a bit scary at first and actually I’m sort of excited for her! I think you should be, too. It’s a good thing, really…if you…look at it…a certain…way…I mean, I think it’s a good thing, I don’t know what you would think since she hasn’t really even told you yet, because I’m the only one that knows, and all the girls, too, actually, but –”






“I’m pregnant.” Dom announced bluntly, cutting me off.






Alright. That works, too.






“Come again?” Pol asked blankly, just as James’ mouth dropped open in shock.






“Pregnant.” Dom spoke clearly, looking brave for the first time since we walked up this staircase. “I’m pregnant, Apollo. And it’s yours.”






James swore and shoved both of his hands into his hair as he started pacing around.






“What?” Apollo croaked, absolutely shocked. His face was completely pale, and he looked totally blown away.






I gulped nervously, looking from Dom to Apollo… 








MWAH HA HA HAAAA!! CLIFFY!!
i feel so evil. tee hee :D
alright, you know the drill. favorite quotes, reviews, proclamations of my wierdness...i want to know it all, my lovelies. 
also, i'm going to ask this now (this is really random and wierd, but i think imma give you guys review questions from now on..i love to hear what you think)
if you could be one of the people in this story, who would you be?
who would you date?
what do you think is going to happen with dom and apollo?

i also need wierd baby names. dont ask. 

the next chapter is called: Tension, Confessions, and Intense Hair Stroking

peace out, homies!!


Chapter 6: Tension, Confessions and Intense Hair Stroking
[View Online]  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

dude. intense stuff, right here.
read and review, my loves!!





seriously, i was like, high when i put the quote on this chapter image. i mean, really? what must have been going through my mind?!
well, whatever. at least you know it's Jas - OH MY GOD, I COVERED UP TAYLOR LAUNTER'S AMAZING ABS WITH HIS NAME!
i am appalled at myself. i'm really sorry, people. 
i must have been going through some serious issues when i made this thing.






The silence in the room was thick with tension. Dom and Apollo gazed at each other, Apollo looking completely shocked and Dom looking calm and strong.



I felt like I was intruding on something personal, like I wasn’t supposed to be here to see this. James came to stand next to me, and he lightly touched my balled up hand. It loosened automatically at his touch, and he took it. For once, I didn’t pull away; I gripped it tightly, wanting something to anchor me to reality as I stared between the two most important people in my life.



“I – you can’t be.” Apollo said, his voice still hoarse. “You can’t really be…Are you sure you checked? Are you sure it’s mine?”



Ah. Denial.



Crap. Denial.



Of course he would try to deny it; what else did I expect? That he would run forward, scoop Dominique into his arms, and whilst proclaiming his everlasting, undying love for her, exclaim that he should like to marry her then and there so that their child would have married parents before it was born?



Yeah, not likely.



“I am 100% positive.” Dom spoke calmly, though a note of anxiety was creeping into her voice.



“Please tell me this is some sort of sick joke and we can all just laugh it off and then go back to normal.” He begged, his voice sounding desperate and scared.



Dom’s calm façade cracked. “It’s not a joke, Apollo. Do you want it to be? You don’t want the child?” Her voice rose with each word.



Whoa. Hold up, there. Where did she get that conclusion from?



“I just…I just still can’t believe you’re pregnant. We only did it once, Dom! Just once!”



“Well, maybe I’m just really fertile, or whatever, because I AM, and it’s YOURS.”



“It can’t be.” He shook his head.



“But it is.” She countered, her voice pleading.



“Are you positive it’s mine? Like, did you…I don’t know –”



“Sleep with someone else?” She all but snarled. “What do you think I am, Apollo, some sort of whore who just sleeps around?”



I squeezed James’ hand tighter.



“I – no, of course not, just –”



“YES, IT IS BLOODY YOURS!” She yelled. “I checked a million times, Apollo. It’s yours.”



“I – no, it can’t be!” He exclaimed.



“BUT IT IS!” Dom screamed. “I AM PREGNANT AND IT IS YOUR BABY!”



 “WELL, I DON’T WANT IT!” He yelled back.



Everything froze.



I was clutching James’ hand like it was my only lifeline.



What?



Oh, no. Please, no. He didn’t just say that. He didn’t mean it. Please. No.



“You don’t…want it?” Dom whispered brokenly, her blue eyes wide.



“No.” Apollo said coldly. “I don’t want the baby, Dom. I don’t want it.”



“But it’s yours.” She repeated dumbly.



“I never asked for the damned thing, did I?” He asked loudly. “No, I didn’t! I don’t want anything to do with the bleeding child!”



“Well, that changes things, doesn’t it?” Dom laughed harshly. “What the hell am I supposed to do now, huh? Now that I’m knocked up and the fucking dad is a fucking coward?!”



“Whatever.” He turned his back on us. “Get rid of it. I don’t care. I want nothing to do with it. It’s not mine.”



James snarled and I held tightly onto his hand so that he wouldn’t go flying at my brother.



…my brother…



What happened here? Apollo is a whole different person; what’s wrong with him? I feel like I’ve landed myself into some parallel universe where Dom goes and gets herself pregnant and Alex snogs people and Apollo is a cold, heartless coward.



So much for being a Gryffindor.



“I WILL NOT BLOODY GET RID OF OUR BABY, APOLLO JONES! IT IS A HUMAN FUCKING BEING!” Dom screeched.



“It’s yours.” He responded. “Not mine. I don’t want it.”



With that, he marched through the door, flung it open, and flew down the stairs. Dom collapsed into a mess of tears.



“Dom.” I rushed over and pulled her off of the ground, sitting on the nearest bed and cradling her. “Dom, shh, sweetie, stop it, shh.”



She sobbed into my shoulder, completely soaking it through. James sat down next to us, and looking worried, he placed a gentle hand on Dom’s hair, slowly stroking.



“Dom.” He said quietly. “Hey, Nikki. Listen to me.”



She gave a start at the special nickname that James used to call her when they were little, and her sobbing decreased a bit so she could hear what he had to say.



“No crying, okay, Nik? Please. I don’t like it when you cry.” He reached over and softly pulled her out of my grip, holding her like a little kid on his lap. I wiped away the tears I just realized I had been crying.



“Why?” She choked out. “Why does it even matter anymore?”



“Of course it matters, love. You’re going to be a mom.” There was a hint of happiness in his voice at that. He wasn’t mad at her. Thank you, James.



“A great one.” I added.



“Yeah.” She said sarcastically. I flinched at her harsh, empty tone. “I’ll be a fabulous mother. Simply fucking fabulous. Pregnant teenager, with no job and no money. All alone.”



“Who said you won’t have a job and money?” I asked loudly. “Who said that, Dom? You can, and you will. You’ll be the best mom out there. And you won’t be alone. Ever.”



“But I’ll be the only one for the baby, Artemis. Don’t you see? It doesn’t have a father. I couldn’t give it a father. I’m alone, all alone.” She cried harder at that.



“Are you kidding?” James exclaimed. “Your kid is going to be the luckiest kid out there, Nikki. It’s going to have two moms and a dad.”



“What?” Dom whispered, looking up through her tear-filled eyes.



“You didn’t think we were just going to leave you, did you, Dom?” I asked her, smiling gently. “What kind of friends would we be?”



“We’ll be there for you, Nikki. Every step of the way.” James added, also smiling.



“You will?” She looked like a lost puppy, alone and helpless.



“Of course we will, love.” He responded.



“For me?” She continued, eyes still innocent and scared.



“Yes; just for you.” I said.



“No.” She shook her head. “Not just for me. For the baby.” Her hands came around to cradle her stomach, and she smiled gently at it through her tears. “For my baby.”



***



“How’d it go?” Ella asked warily, blatantly ignoring my furious head shakes and throat-cutting signals. I sighed and got my wand ready to conjure up some more tissues for the water-works that were sure to ensue.



“Not well.” Dom said hollowly. “He said he didn’t want it. And then he left.”



“Oh, sweetheart—” Ella rushed forward to envelope her in a hug, but Dom simply turned around and climbed into my bed.



“I’m going to sleep.” She said monotonously. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”



I flinched at the dead tone her voice had taken.



“Okay.” I responded quietly. “Good night, Dom.”



“Don’t lie.” Was her reply. I flinched again, and Ella touched my arm, a million questions in her eyes.



I answered by shaking my head at her and barely suppressing a sob behind my hand. She nodded and pulled me into a hug, rubbing my back and letting me climb into her bed with her.



I didn’t sleep at all. I didn’t get a single vision.



Alex was nowhere to be found.



***



At around midnight, there was some shuffling. My eyes popped open, and I sat up in bed, wand out.



“Shh, it’s just me.” Alex whispered, lowering my wand for me.



“What – holy shit!” I whisper-exclaimed. “Alex, it’s three in the morning! Where were you?”



“I was with Matt.” She admitted, blushing a bit.



“At three a.m.? What for?”



“Missy! We didn’t do anything! I was just helping him with some homework, and then I guess I must have fallen asleep or something, because when I woke up again the Slytherin common room was empty, so I just came back here.”



“Hold on.” My brow furrowed. “He just left you there?”



Alex shrugged. “Sure. It’s not like I asked him to wake me up or something. So he just let me sleep. He’s so sweet, isn’t he?”



“Extremely.” My voice was thick with sarcasm, but Alex, unfortunately, missed it, since she was too busy beaming in thought of her ‘precious, sweet Matt’ (gag me). Suddenly, her smile melted off of her face and she assumed a confused look instead.



“Hold on…why are you sleeping in Ella’s bed?”



“Because Dom is sleeping in my bed and I don’t want to be alone right now.” My bottom lip quivered as the events from earlier on crashed down on me.



“What happened?” Alex asked. “Oh, god, I can’t believe I wasn’t there! Missy, I’m so sorry, I just lost track of time, and I completely forgot!”



“It’s okay.” I said. I explained everything to her, and she sunk down on her bed, her face an expression of horror.



“He did that?”



I nodded and wiped away another tear.



“No. No way. That’s not like Pol! That’s not like Pol at all! He wouldn’t do something as mean as that!”



“But he did.”



“Oh, Miss…” She whispered, looking upset. “I’m so sorry.”



I shook my head. “That’s his decision. I don’t care. I’m sticking with Dom and the baby. If Apollo doesn’t want it, then that’s his loss. I’m not leaving her.”



“Of course you wouldn’t. You’re a great friend, you know that?”



I smiled. “Thanks.”



“Everything will be okay, Artemis.” Alex said fervently, after a bit of silence. I looked up at her.



“Promise?” I asked, my voice more scared and vulnerable than I had ever thought it would be.



“Promise.” She kissed my forehead. “Now, go to sleep, okay?”



“Night, Alex.”



“Night, sweetie.”



Alex better keep her promise.



***



You know that your life has gone down the drain when the only constant thing in it is Quidditch Practice.



I think now would be an ideal time to say: FUCK MY LIFE.



“Alright, guys.” James looked around at all of our tired, stony faces. “I guess we could just…ah, what the hell? What’s the point, anyway? You can just go.” He ran his hands through his mussed-up hair and turned around.



I exchanged a glance with Ella, eyebrows raised.



“How about we start with laps, yeah?” I said, and the team, after varying degrees of worried looks at James, started running.



“James?” I asked timidly, coming up behind him. He didn’t turn around. “James, are you okay?”



“No.” His voice was hollow. “No, I’m not okay, actually.”



I stepped around him so that I was standing in front of him, and noticed that he had huge bags under his tired eyes. The normally bright color of his irises was now a dull, tarnished gold.



“James, it will be okay.” I whispered, looking earnestly at him. “Really. It will.”



“Do you know what I had to do, Artemis?” He asked, closing his eyes and breathing deeply through his nose.



“No. What did you have to do?” I asked.



“I had to choose. I had to choose between them.” James’ voice was bleak as he said this. “I had to choose between my best friend and my cousin.”



I just looked at him.



“I just lost my best friend, Artemis. My best friend. Because he’s too much of a coward to face the truth.” He said bitterly. My chest felt like someone was sitting on it.



I just lost my twin brother.



“He…he didn’t change his mind?” I whispered brokenly.



“No.” James hung his head. “He didn’t.”



A sob broke out between my lips, and tears started streaming down my face. “I can’t, James!” I cried. “I can’t choose between them. He’s my brother. My brother. And she’s my best friend…oh, god.” I clutched tightly at my hair. “What…how could he be doing this to us? I have to choose.”



“Artemis…” Suddenly, strong , comforting arms were wrapped around me. I had a fleeting moment of déjà vu when I thought about the vision, and realized that I did, indeed, feel extremely safe in his arms.



I hated it.



So I pushed away from him, hugging myself around the middle as I rocked back and forth.



“Artemis?” His voice was surprised, and there was an edge of hurt in it. I couldn’t stand that. I didn’t like that he was feeling hurt.



And I hated it.



So I did the only thing I could think of doing. I sidled closer to him and let him hug me as I cried into his shoulder.



“Everything’s wrong, James.” I sobbed. “Everything. Apollo was supposed to stay with Dom, and…and, I wouldn’t have to pick between them, and…and…everything’s wrong.”



“Shh.” He rubbed my back. “Artemis, shh. You said it yourself, love. You said everything would be okay, didn’t you?”



“I did.” I admitted. “I just…I just feel like there’s not a single reason to make me believe that.”



“Shh.” He stroked my hair, and for once, I didn’t try and stop him. “Shh.”



It felt so good, his hand rhythmically moving over my hair. His hand stroked through the curls again, fingers threading through the strands. One finger gently grazed against my scalp, and shimmers of electricity flowed from that spot. I shuddered lightly against him, and James, taking that as another sob, planted a light kiss to the top of my head. I squeezed my eyes tighter, not wanting this, but also not wanting him to stop.



For once, I was safe. He made me feel safe, like nothing could touch me. Like I wasn’t alone.



My eyesight blurred and flickered, and I gasped and stepped away from him.



“What’s wrong?” He asked, looking closely at my eyes. I looked away, knowing that he would be able to tell the difference in my eye color, since it was now a light, opaque silvery-grey.



“I’ll be right back.” I got out, fighting against the vision as I quickly ran into the girls’ locker rooms.



“Hey, love.”



I looked up from the homework I was doing, and felt my face stretch into a wide smile at the sight of James.



“Hey, you.” I responded playfully, accepting his kiss and moving my stuff over for him. He plopped down, sighing tiredly.



“Ella and Jason are driving me up the wall.” He complained.



“Me, too.” I said, grimacing. “I mean, there was absolutely no difference between those two colors, but Ella completely flipped out.”



“So you thought so, too?” He asked. “Good! Ella was griping about me being color-blind and Jason being a useless shit.”



“Poor kid is nervous.” I defended for him. “He’s getting married in a couple of months, right out of school. Who wouldn’t be nervous about that?”



“Well, Ella isn’t.” James responded, reaching over and trapping one of my curls between his fingers.



“Yeah, she is. She just takes it out by turning into some sort of planning machine.” I laughed, leaning into him.



“Ugh. Please tell me you won’t be the same way when we get married.” He begged, twirling the curl between his fingers.



“What makes you think I’m going to marry you?” I asked, pulling away and turning around so that I faced him. He looked confused and hurt.



“Well…I thought that…I mean, you are, aren’t you?” He stuttered out, looking anxious.



I raised an eyebrow. “You never asked.”



“Okay.” He relaxed a bit, grinning. “Marry me.”



My stomach fluttered, but I frowned angrily at him. “James Sirius Potter, if that’s how you’re going to ask me, then you can just forget it.”



“Okay, okay.” He laughed, pulling me closer against him again. “That’s not how I planned it, don’t worry.”



I looked up at him. “You’ve thought about it?” I whispered, my heart soaring.



“Of course I have. I love you, Artemis. I’m going to spend the rest of my forever with you.” He leaned down and gently kissed me, making me smile.



 “You know, that does sound good.” I smiled, biting my lip a little. “Forever.”



“Of course it does.” He rolled his eyes and reached up to tousle his hair. “Who wouldn’t want to spend forever with me?”



As I shoved him off of his chair, I marveled over how fast boys were able to switch from sweet and romantic to cocky and stupid.



I took a shaky breath and opened my eyes. Rock solid. That vision was rock solid.



I’m in too deep. I have to stop this. I have to.



After a long mental pep talk, I stepped out of the locker room, and was immediately assaulted by James’ questions.



“What’s wrong? Are you okay? What took you so long? Is everything alright?”



I realized, with a start, that he was the only one left in the locker rooms. Wow. Must have been a long pep talk.



“I’m fine.” I said distantly, starting to walk away from him. He fell into step beside me right away, still peering closely at my face. “I just wasn’t feeling too well.”



“Something’s wrong.” He said abruptly, his gaze searing. “Something is different; Artemis, what’s wrong?”



“Other than the usual stuff, you mean?” I asked bitterly.



“Artemis, look at me.”



I avoided his gaze.



Look at me.” His hand gripped the top of my arm while his other forced my chin up. I found myself lost in his golden depths, and gulped and quickly shifted my eyes away.



“Look at me, goddamnit!” He grabbed my face and sent his piercing gaze right into my eyes. Moments passed, and I realized that I was holding my breath.



“You’re…you’re hiding something from me. Something’s changed. What happened, Artemis?”



“Nothing happened!” I yelled exasperatedly. “Nothing happened, Potter! Now let go of me.”



He flinched at the use of his last name, and his grip loosened. I used that to my advantage, jerking my arm away and walking towards the school as fast as I could.



I was nearly to the door when James caught my arm again and spun me into him. I crashed against his chest and found myself face-to-face with him.



He was much too close. Much too close. This couldn’t do. I couldn’t let this happen.



I gazed at his face, at his eyes, which, after staring into my own, had shifted down to my lips; at his mouth, which was moving slowly towards mine…



I pulled away just as his lips were about to brush against mine. Without another glance at him, I abruptly spun around and sprinted back into the school, pounding along the hallways until I felt I was a safe distance away.



Panting heavily, I sunk to the floor as I tried catching my breath. Tears burned behind my closed eyelids, and a few dripped down my cheeks towards the floor. I didn’t bother brushing them away.



What just happened?



He tried to kiss me. James tried to kiss me.



And I wanted him to.



Oh, Merlin.



Kill me now.



 “Artemis? What – are you okay?” Apollo’s tired, hoarse voice broke the soft sound of my muffled sobs.



…And, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.



Once again, I’d like to take the time to send my deep, sincere thanks to the Fates for making my life living hell. Thanks, girls! I appreciate this!



I think now would be an ideal time for me to just die





if you want to kill apollo, raise your hand! if you want to kill artemis, raise your hand!!
i raised my hands on both accounts. 
okay, so, this chapter was sufficiently depressing. sorry about that, guys. i just thought that depressement (is that a word? no, it isn't. ah, well) would be appropriate since she, you know, just basically went through hell.
but no worries, guys! next chapter is happier :)

okay, questions!
(classic) what do you think is going to happen next??
if there was one character in this story that you would like to scream at, who would it be?
who do you hate more: matt (alex's boyfriend) or apollo?

next chapter is called Arguments, Blatant Snogging, and Atrocious Cases of Very Heavy Fog

review, guys! it's my food! seriously. i LIVE off of these reviews. 
ps - i'm sorry i'm a terrible review responder :( i read all of them, promise. i'm just too lazy to respond. i might respond to a couple that i just can't resist responding to, but i usually plow through like, ten before i get bored of it and just sit there, reading these things with a large, goofy grin on my face.
my brother's probably wondering what's so interesting about US History.
GEORGE WASHINGTON IS A BEAST, I TELL YOU. A BEAST!

okay, i'm done. i love you guys for sticking with me!!


Chapter 7: Arguments, Blatant Snogging and Atrocious Cases of Very Heavy Fog
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chapter image by me :)

so, here's chapter seven! read and review, my loves!






“Go away.” I said, my face muffled by my arms. “I don’t want to talk to you.”




Okay, so I was being childish. Shut up.




“Missy, why are you crying?”




I raised my head to look disbelievingly at him. “Why do you think I’m crying?”




A flash of pain crossed his eyes. “I’m sorry.”




“If you really are, you’ll fix this.”




“Artemis.” He sighed, running a hand through his hair. A vivid mental image of James doing the same thing flashed across my mind and I gritted my teeth. “Artemis, I’m scared.”




“What?”




“I’m scared, Artemis. I got scared. I’m fucking terrified about all of this, okay? I freaked out. I know I shouldn’t have said that, but honestly…what more can I do? I don’t want anything to do with this.” He shook his head, and I stood up slowly, seething in rage.




“Oh, okay.” I snapped angrily. “So, just because you’re scared, you run away from your problems, because running away always helps, doesn’t it? What about Dom? Huh? What about my best friend, Apollo? What is she going to do? She’s also scared. She’s terrified out of her wits. But she can’t run away from this. How is that fair, huh? How come the guy gets to run while the girl is left to clean up the mess? It takes two to tango, Pol, and you have to come back to reality: this is your child, and unless you want to lose your sister, you are going to face up to it.”




Apollo laughed hollowly. “I’m not the only one who runs away from my problems, Artemis.”




“What is that supposed to mean?” I bit out.




“You’ve been running from your problems since day one. ‘Oh, I don’t want to marry James! It’s a good thing I’m a fucking Seer, I can just run away from it and fuck up both of our lives!’”




Just for the record, he does a terrible Artemis impersonation.




Except it’s perfect.




“The kid’s desperately in love with me! Oh dear, let’s just break his heart some more, and make his life miserable by denying the truth.” He was glaring at me by the end of it.




“What truth?” I snarled. “Tell me what truth, Apollo. Enlighten me. Since you seem to know everything.”




“YOU LOVE HIM!” Apollo bellowed at me. I flinched. “You love him, Artemis! You are in love with him. And you’re too afraid to admit it! So what do you do? You run. You make his life horrible, and you run from it.”




“I do not love him.” I protested in a weak whisper. It sounded fake even to my own ears. “I don’t love him!” I said again, louder.




“Yes, you do. And I’m not the only coward here, Artemis. You’re just like me, in the end.”




“No, I’m not.” I shook my head. “Because, in the end, I’m the one sticking with the baby. I’m not running away from it. I’ll be there for her, Apollo. So, you know what? We don’t even want you. We don’t need you. You can just go to hell.”




Casting another disgusted look on his remorseful expression, I turned around and walked away.




When I glanced back, he was gone.




***




“Okay, my dears. I want you to delve into your minds. Probe the deepest corners, and cast out your thoughts. Cast them to the future, where you will see tomorrow…today. Now, take a long, deep look into your crystal balls and tell me what you see.” Trelawney’s mystical voice floated around the room, and I sighed resignedly as I opened my eyes and looked into the crystal ball.




I see smoke. Does that mean it’s going to be really foggy tonight?




Merlin, why did I take this class again? I’m already a freaking Seer; I don’t need some fraud teaching me the fake version of it.




I rue the day I chose to take Divination.




And I think ‘rue’ might just be the best word ever invented. Right after ostentatious and defenestrate.




Yes, I’m a word freak, okay? Don’t make fun of me. I know your future. DON’T MAKE FUN OF ME, DAMN IT.




I looked up at Ella, who was sleeping with her mouth hanging open, and flicked a piece of parchment at her.




“DUMBLEDORE!” She cried, sitting up, fast. I snickered into the back of my hand at her bewildered expression.




“What’s that, my dear?” Trelawney asked eagerly, coming towards us. “What do you see?”




“I…uh… I see Dumbledore.” Ella improvised wildly, quickly wiping the drool on her chin off with the back of her hand. “He’s, uh…saying something. In his frame.”




Trelawney gave her a disappointed look. “Well, I can hardly see how that’s important, but at least you tried.”




Ella pretended to look disappointed. “Dang.” She sighed. “And I tried so hard, too.”




I turned another giggle into a hasty cough.




“And what about you?” Trelawney turned to me, not bothering to hide her distasteful expression. She’s always hated me, ever since the first day when she’d predicted my death (which, just in case you needed to be reassured, never happened – surprise, surprise) and I’d laughed, upright, in her face. “What do you see?”




“Hmm…” I gazed thoughtfully into the ball, feeling the eyes of all the students on me. “Oh, dear!” I exclaimed dramatically, and Trelawney looked eagerly at me, eyes even wider than usual.




“What?” She asked in a misty whisper. “Tell me what you see.”




“It seems that…my god,” I paused, shaking my head and laying a hand over my heart. I looked up at her with wide, earnest eyes. “Professor, we are going to have an atrocious case of…”




“Yes? Yes?” She looked excited.




“An atrocious case of very heavy fog tonight, here at Hogwarts! Just look at this ball, Professor! It’s absolutely brimming with the stuff!”




As the class laughed, her lips flattened into a straight line.




Whoops.




***




“It was brilliant, it was. But, honestly, you don’t always have to push her buttons, Missy. I’d like to have one day where we don’t get a load of homework.” Ella rambled as we walked towards the Common Room.




“I hate that class.” I muttered resentfully. “It’s a load of rubbish, that’s what it is. She’s not even a real Seer! None of what she says comes true, and she’s just an old, batty fraud. I wonder why McGonagall even kept the old hag.”




“Something about the Great War, I think.” Ella shrugged. “She said Trelawney’s been through a lot with them, and they had to keep her just for old times’ sake.”




“Well that’s just bull.” I stated stubbornly. “I hate her and her stupid class.”




“Trust me, you’re not the only one. I really want to quit.”




“You could just pull an Aunt Hermione and walk out.” An amused voice offered from behind me. My face already stretched into a wide grin, I turned around to see Al.




“ALBUS!” I cried, throwing myself at him. “You’re my favorite Potter boy, you know that? Will you please become my little brother?”




“Of course I will.” Al grinned, though there was something off in his smile. “You just have to marry my brother, and it’ll be all set.”




My grin slid off my face as I cuffed him over the head. “Shut up, Al. I’m not going to marry him, okay? I won’t even date him.”




“You’re hurting him, Artemis.” Al said pleadingly, looking at me with disappointed eyes. “Look, James has never felt this way about any other girl before. I reckon the bloke’s in love with you, Missy. Just give him a chance.”




“No.” I said.




“Why not?” He asked, looking angry.




“You don’t understand, Al. I just can’t, okay?” I sighed.




“Then explain it to us, Missy. We’d really like to know.” Ella said, coming up next to Al with an eyebrow raised.




I closed my eyes against the tears. “I’m scared.” I finally whispered. “I can’t deal with something else, you guys. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now, and I just want to minimize the stuff to worry about, okay? Just drop it.”




Al sighed, still looking rather angry. “Just know that you’re hurting him, Artemis. A lot.”




I nodded numbly. “I’m sorry.” My voice wavered and a tear slipped down my cheek.




He looked at me, then took a step forward and engulfed me in a hug. “I’m sorry, Artemis.”




“This sucks.” I sobbed into his shirt as he held me.




He laughed, though the sound was still sad. “I know.”




“Will someone please comfort me, too? I’m also crying here!” Ella’s voice cut through the moment, and, laughing, we pulled her in for a group hug.




 “OI! Is this a group hug? Budge over, I want in!” Jason wrapped his arms around me and Ella, and we laughed and gasped for air as he nearly squeezed the air out of us.




“Don’t forget me!” Rose wriggled in as well, adding her arms to our hug. Pretty soon, we had Scorpius (who somehow always managed to be pressed up against Rose…coincidence? I think not), Alex and Fred – who stayed on opposite ends of the hug – in our little group as well, and even Lily had grudgingly joined in. Dom, who was grinning for the first time in many days, laughed as Al and James tickled her from both sides, and I found myself truly happy. The only small thorn was the absence of Apollo, but even that was okay, because I still had all my other brothers.




As I felt the strong, protective arms of my closest friends – no, my family – around me, I felt like I could take on the world. As long as I had them with me, I could face anything.




So bring it on. I’m ready.




***




I lied. I am so not ready. And I would greatly appreciate if you didn’t bring it on.




Really. At this point, I don’t know if I can handle much more.




Of course, that probably just gave whoever’s up there an even greater incentive to make my life miserable.




After the group hug extravaganza, we slowly drifted back to whatever we were doing, and I found myself sitting in front of the fire with Dom, who was resting her head on my shoulder as she stared into the flames. Alex plopped down next to me, laying down and putting her head in my lap, and Ella curled up near Dom’s feet, leaning her head against Dom’s legs.




We sat there in silence for a little bit. Just the four of us, surrounded by a bubble of serenity. Together. Constant. Just like we always promised to be.




Of course, good things never last. I mean, hello, this is my life we’re talking about here!




“Oh, no!” Alex shot up, looking anxiously at her watch. “I’ve got to go; Matt’s waiting for me to help him with some homework. I’ll see you later, guys!” With that, she sprinted out the door without even bothering to throw a cloak on for the chilly November air.




“I wonder if he ever does anything for her.” I muttered angrily, staring at the spot where Alex disappeared.




“Of course he doesn’t. Stupid tosspot.” Ella added. “I can’t wait until they break up. Alex has got to come to her senses one of these days. Then she’ll ditch the idiot.”




“And then, by some sort of miracle, Freddie will ditch that idiot,” Dom threw a disapproving look at Mallory Finnegan, who he was currently snogging against the wall, “and finally get the balls to ask Alex out.”




“Does he even like her?” Ella asked, also watching their progress with a morbid kind of interest.




“Who, Mallory? No.” I snorted.




“Well, I know that. I meant Alex.” Ella said, sighing and picking at her nails. “It doesn’t seem like he does, but he’s the only person I can imagine her with, you know?”




“He doesn’t realize that he does.” I stated matter-of-factly, tugging on one of my curls absently as I gazed at the flickering fire in from of me. “He will, though.”




Ella sighed, and turned around to look at me. “How do you know?”




“I just do.” I replied absentmindedly, still staring at the fire.




“No; you just seem to always know these things. Everything you say will happen, happens. How do you know?”




“Shrewd female intuition.” I turned to grin at her disbelieving expression. “I don’t know, Ells. I just get that feeling, you know?”




“I don’t know how you do it. I’m never that sure about anything.” She turned back around, and I breathed a silent sigh of relief.




“Can I tell you a secret? Neither am I.” I confessed. “I just act like I do. Truthfully, I have no idea what to do. Freaky, isn’t it?”




Ella laughed. “Of course not, Missy! That’s how it is for everyone. No one knows what’s going to happen in life. We just get on the ride and…go. We hope for the best, and have fun along the way.”




I smiled at her and stood up, gently laying the now-sleeping Dom across the sofa. “I wish I could be more like you, Ells.”




She smiled at me, and got to her feet, straightening out her skirt. “Missy, spending your whole life worrying about what’s going to happen isn’t helping you. Just live. Everything will work out in the end.”




I laughed. “And I wish I could believe that.”




“The glass is always half-full, Artemis. It just depends on how you look at it.” Ella said seriously, gazing at me with eyes that suddenly seemed much wiser than I gave them credit for.




“Oi!” I laughed, putting an arm around her shoulder and walking with her to one of the tables. “When did you go and get all smart? I want the old Ella back!”




She shoved me. “Shut up, Missy. Just because I don’t act like it all the time doesn’t mean I’m not smart.”




“I know you’re smart.” I replied, re-slinging the arm around her shoulders. “Sometimes I forget, though.”




“Oh, you are so getting it!” Ella said, turning around to tickle me. With a loud squeal, I pulled away and shot in the opposite direction, laughing when Ella’s hands managed to reach me.




“Stop – stop!” I gasped when she jumped on top of me and started tickling. “I forfeit! You win!”




“HA!” Ella jumped up and pointed her finger at me. “I WON! That’s what you get for messing with Ella Longbottom!”




I sat up, regaining my breath and pushing my crazy hair out of my face. “I wonder what you’ll do to me if I go over there and tell Jason you want to be his lover.” I mused, cocking my head to the side and smirking at her outraged expression.




“You – would – nev – Oh, hi, Jason!” Ella squeaked, eyes growing wide. “What’s up? What’s down? What’s all around?! Haha, well, Igottagobye.”




With that, she grabbed her bag, and after jumping over a couch and two first years playing a game of chess (who both squealed in fright and upended the chess board so that pieces flew everywhere), sprinted up the stairs to the girls’ dormitory.




“What’s up with her?” Jason asked, plopping down next to me on the floor.




“You’ll never know.” I said mysteriously, my face carefully stony.




He gave me an odd look, then gazed at the stairway again. Suddenly, a smirk graced his features. “So.” He said conversationally, still smirking. “Ella wants to be my lover, huh?”




“What?!” I squeaked. “Ha. No! Of course no – yes.” I sighed, admitting my defeat at his skeptical eyebrow, which was raised in a perfect arc.




He grinned, the smile lighting up his face. “Really?” He asked eagerly, eyes dancing with happiness. “You mean it? She likes me?”




I nodded. “A lot.”




He let out a breath. “That’s…wow. That’s good.” He stared at the window. “Yeah. Really good.”




I stared at him.




And waited.




Then stared some more.




“Really?” I finally asked. “That’s it? ‘That’s good’? That’s all you have to say?!”




He looked warily at me. “Well, what else am I supposed to –?”




“GO!” I cried, shoving him so that he fell over. I got to my feet so that I towered over him. “Go and ask her out, Jason!”




“Now?” He asked disbelievingly, looking up at me with wide eyes.




“Oh, no, next year. Yes, now!” I snapped, kicking his leg. “Come on, get up!”




“Okay, jeez, woman, stop shoving, I’m going.” He scrambled to his feet, and after an angry glance at me, walked to the staircase. I saw him take a deep breath as he glanced around and pressed a little button on the third railing. Then, with a backwards look at me – I urged him forward with my hands – he walked up the staircase, taking slow, steady steps. I glared up at him, hoping he could feel the two holes getting burned into the back of his head.




“Oh!” I said softly, grabbing my head as my vision swirled. Fighting against it, I staggered to the sofa and plopped down, leaning my head back and closing my eyes.




It was amazing, really, how my subconscious mind managed to show me the exact vision I had been hoping to view.




Maybe I’ll be able to control it one day…




Ella was sprawled across her bed, hair splayed out behind her as she played absentmindedly with a tiny bludger and bat, a Christmas gift that James had gotten her one year after she’d broken her nose eight times trying to play that way. She wacked the bludger and it flew around and room back towards her; she hit it again.




Her tie was on the floor, her first three buttons undone so she could ‘breathe without feeling like someone is choking’ her. She had also thrown off her robes, untucked her shirt, rolled up her sleeves, and pulled off her stockings so that she was wearing just a white shirt and a skirt. Basically, she looked like one of those skanky girls who walk around Hogwarts and make out with any random bloke, except she was just in our dormitory, where that sort of behavior wasn’t frowned upon. In fact, Dom used to walk around wearing nothing but her bra and knickers all of third and fourth year, until Apollo came to visit me one day (and also steal my essay) and caught her during her mostly nude state.




I think that was around the same time he started liking her…




Ella smiled as she thought about her three best friends – Alex, Artemis and Dom. She frowned though, worried about them. Worried that Alex was being taken advantage of, that Dom was going to have to face her pregnancy alone, that Artemis would go on denying her feelings forever.




I felt my face frown as I watched and listened.




Her thoughts turned to Jason; sweet, handsome, caring Jason, who really liked her. And she liked him, a lot. So much, that her mind was always on him. In fact, she wished nothing more than to see him right now –




“Ella?”




Holy crap! She thought as she sat up straight, causing the bludger to veer crazily out of the way.




“What are you doing here?” She asked blankly as he stared at her, mouth hanging open. “What?” She demanded, when he continued ogling at her.




“Ella…what are you wearing?” Jason asked, still staring at her very much exposed chest and legs.




She looked down and closed her eyes, wishing with all of her might that this was not happening.




“Shit.”




With that, she scrambled off of the bed and began a frantic search for her robes, which were under her bed.




“Shit, Jason, I’m sorry, I always dress like this in the dormitory. Hold on, let me find my robes, I could have sworn –”




“No.” Jason said, still looking at her.




She stopped. “Sorry?”




“Don’t. You’re fine. Well, more than fine, really, you’re bloody hot.” Jason walked slowly towards her, his gaze still riveted on her body. Her expression morphed into one of anger.




“You’re a perv.” She stated, turning around and casting a look over the room again.




“Sorry.” Jason said. He was right behind her now, and she could feel every one of his breaths on her neck. “I just can’t help it; especially when you’re here…looking like that, and…Merlin, Ella, what I’m trying to say is that…that…well…”




“What?” Ella asked softly, turning around to look at him.




“Um, could you please button up your shirt before I continue?” Jason asked, closing his eyes against the strong urge to look down her chest.




She smirked. “Nope.”




“What?!”




“I said no. It seems to me that you’re only interested in my body, and I have to know that you’re not.”




Merlin, when did she develop such a bright brain?!




“Okay.” He took a deep breath and looked at her face, keeping his gaze just there and nowhere else. “Ella, I really like you. Will you go out with me?”




“I’ll think about it.” She said airily, turning around again.




“What?” He asked blankly, looking at a loss for words. “You’ll think about it?”




“Yeah. I’ll think about it. That’s okay, right?” Ella asked, looking at him with innocent eyes.




He looked at her for a couple of seconds. “Yeah. You’re worth waiting for, Ella. I’ll see you later, okay?” Looking disappointed but still determined, he turned around and made his way towards the door. Ella’s mouth hung open.




“Oh, and Ella?” He turned around to look at her.




“Heh?”




“It’s under the bed.”




Looking confused, she checked, and sure enough, her robes were under there. “Thanks, Jason.” She said emerging from under the bed; but he had already disappeared.




I opened my eyes, seething at Ella for being such a bloody idiot.




IT WAS THE PERFECT MOMENT, YOU IMBECILE! WHAT WERE YOU BLOODY THINKING?!




I quickly morphed my expression to one of eager, impatient curiosity when Jason appeared in the common room about five minutes later.




“Well?” I asked excitedly. “What happened?”




He shook his head, looking deflated. “She said she’ll think about it.”




“WHAT?!” I cried, alerting the attention of everyone around me. “She said she’ll think about it?! What’s wrong with her?! My god, I’m going to go over there and talk to her. She’s such an idiot, Jay, don’t get discour –”




“Jason!”




I was interrupted by Ella’s desperate yell as she thundered down the stairs. “Jason, hold on –”




I stared, mouth hanging open, as she sprinted across the room, and, without a second’s warning or hesitation, jumped at Jason and kissed him full on the mouth. He staggered back a couple of steps, but still managed to catch her.




Ella and Jason. In front of everyone. In PUBLIC. Snogging. Ella still wearing her slutty outfit, though with her robes thrown hastily over it.




Even I wasn’t prepared for this. My mouth hung open as I stared blankly at the couple snogging in front of me, too shocked to even be disgusted by the blatant display of PDA occurring in my very immediate vicinity.




She pulled away a few seconds later. “Yes.” She said breathlessly. “Yes, I’ll go out with you; yes, I really like you too; and yes, I give you permission to call me babe. You can’t take my broomstick, though. Sorry.”




Jason laughed. “It’s okay. All I want is you, Ells.” With that, he planted another one on her mouth.




That was about when I snapped out of it and started whooping in joy.




“YES!” I yelled, jumping up and down. “YES! FINALLY!”




I need someone to celebrate with. Spotting Fred, who was, unfortunately, still snogging Mallory Finnegan against the wall – Merlin, do they ever come up for air? – I barreled over there and untangled him from her.




“Look!” I yelled excitedly, ignoring his disgruntled expression and pointing at Jason and Ella. “They’re together! They’re finally together!”




His face broke into a wide grin. “YEAH! JASON, YOU GO, MAN!” I laughed and high-fived him, shoving him away when he ruffled my hair. He slung that same arm around my shoulder instead. “Finally.” He said, grinning and shaking his head as he watched them snog.




“What’s going on?” James appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and Fred hastily withdrew his arm from my shoulder.




“Look. Ella and Jason.” He pointed his chin at the couple, and I watched as James’ face split into a smile. I struggled to regain my breath as I looked quickly away.




“FINALLY!” James yelled at them, cupping his hands around his mouth. “Hey, who got them together?” He added.




“That would be moi.” I grinned as he held out a hand and high-fived him, pulling away when he tried threading his fingers through mine.




From across the room, Al and Scorpius wolf-whistled at Jason and Ella, and simultaneously, without pulling away from each other, they each lifted a hand and showed them their middle fingers.




I busted out laughing at the affronted expressions on Al and Scorp’s faces. Typical Jason and Ella.




And that’s something that can never change.




Thank Merlin.




i have time now :)
okay, questions!

the typical: what do you think is going to happen next??
who's missing james? i know i am :) he'll be back next chapter...i think.
who's really frustrated with me right now? (i just got like, a ton of reviews basically cursing me to Hades for being such a sucky person and not making my characters' lives nice).
just a side note: guys, if their lives were nice, this story wouldnt be here, my friends. really. i thrive off of ways to make my character's lives more miserable. is that horrible of me? i think it is. sorry.
okay, sorry. hmm...what else?
oh! who do you think al's perfect girl would be?
fred and alex? we get some more fred/alex action next chapter :) get a little taste of those two characters.
hmm...how do you think dom's parents are going to react??
who wants to punch apollo? (ME, MEEEE!!!)

the next chapter is called: Computer-Fights, Bunny Slippers, and Dumbledore’s Sexy Portrait

anyone want a preview?
alright :D

“You’re late.”


I feel rather like an overprotective parent right now, sitting in the common room with Ella and Dom as we wait for Alex. And to make things worse, Dom is actually practicing her ‘clipped tone, annoyed parent’ voice.


Yes, that’s right. She’s repeating the words ‘You’re late’ over and over again, until she decides they sound menacing enough.


My best friend is a freak.


“Dom, I love you, but please shut up.” Ella said in a strained voice, checking her watch again. It was now four freaking bloody a.m., and our dear friend Alex had yet to arrive. And since we’re Gryffindors and so incredibly loyal (fuck you, Godric), we conducted the brilliantly conceived plan of ‘staying up and waiting for her’. Which, you know, started to lose its brilliantness a very longtime ago.


And, of course, little miss ‘tonsil tennis’ conveniently decides not to arrive. 


i dont know why, but her (fuck you, Godric) always makes me crack up. i'm wierd.

review, please! you know how i love 'em ;D
favorite quotes, reactions, proclamations of how i should go to hades for being a horrible person, advice on how to stop crushing on the same person i've been crushing on since i was freaking five...oh, wait. that's got nothing to do with the story. whoops.

just review, guys! thanks!!
i love you :D yes, really. 
...no, not more than the crush. sorry.



Chapter 8: Computer-Fights, Bunny Slippers, and Dumbledore’s Sexy Portrait
[View Online]  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

hey, guys! another chapter, woo-hoo!!
i wont ramble now, but there will be questions at the end :D
enjoy :)













Family Studies.




In the middle of all this chaos, McGonagall goes and comes up with a new class. Like, seriously. Family Studies?!




We’re freaking magical. You want to cook up some food? Buy the food, say a spell, and viola! You’ve charmed that food into a meal. It’s that simple.




But no. We have Family Studies – which, for some reason, McGonagall thinks is actually going to be beneficial – where we get our wands taken away from us as soon as we walk into the classroom.




That’s right. THEY TOOK AWAY MY WAND. My wand. MY. WAND.




I don’t think I’ve ever felt so vulnerable in my life.




MY WAND!!




“She’s officially gone wonky.” Fred muttered as he took in the scene around him. “Family Studies? What the hell is she thinking?”




“I bet she was talking to Dumbledore’s portrait again.” Alex murmured, looking interestedly at one of the computers on the desk.




“Why would she do that?” Fred cried, throwing his hands up.




“Because they’re both insane and she just needs some company?” Ella guessed.




Alex laughed. “Of course not! It’s because she’s passionately in love with him and his sexy portrait. Duh, Ella.”




Fred laughed, looking at Alex like he just noticed she was there.




“Oh, of course.” Ella rolled her eyes. “Why didn’t I think of that?”




“Because you were too busy thinking about your amazing boyfriend.” Jason’s tone implied the ‘of course’.




“Who?” Ella asked innocently, turning to him with a mischievous look in her eyes.




“Oh, that’s it.” He tickled her until she begged him to stop, then pulled her around and started enthusiastically kissing her. James caught my eye and I made a face at him, making him grin, which made me quickly look away. Crappers.




“OI!” Fred said indignantly. “Do you mind?”




Jason pulled away from her. “Nope.” He started kissing her again.




“Hey, hey!” Alex pushed them apart and stood between them with her hands on her hips. “Despite what you may think, watching you two snog is very traumatizing.”




“Oh, you shouldn’t be talking, love.” Jason said, smirking. “What about all that snogging with Connery, huh?”




Alex tossed her hair back. “That’s different.”




“Really? How?” I asked, cocking an eyebrow.




Alex thought for a second. “Okay, well, it’s not different, but watching you two do it is still disgusting, so stop, okay?”




“Fine.” Ella sighed, untangling herself from Jason, who pouted. “Later.” She whispered to him, and he immediately perked up.




“Uh, no.” James said, looking amused. “Later is Quidditch practice, and if you two aren’t there, I will personally hunt you down. Got it?”




Jason sulked while Ella muttered, “Yeah, yeah.”




“Alright, class!”




I turned around towards the front of the classroom to see our new teacher, who was an old-ish witch with dark brown hair and a friendly smile.




“Everyone, take a seat! I’m going to let you pick groups of no more than four –” Here I made a face at my friends, who all looked crestfallen, “ – and you guys need to sit close to each other.”




As she turned around, there was a mad scrambling and much yelling so that students would get to sit with friends.




“I’m with Artemis.” Dom immediately moved next to me, and I noticed that she stood slightly behind me, her shoulder just touching mine.




That’s when I realized: I was her protector. She counted on me to be there for her.




And of course I will. I’m her best friend. That’s what best friends are for! (along with being incessantly annoying, stealing your clothes, and sleeping with your twin brother)




Ella and Jason were holding hands, so I figured that they would want to be together, and one of Jason’s friends from detention (apparently they served it together for six months because they decided to prank Slughorn) was standing with them, talking animatedly with Jason while Ella listened.




“I’ll go with Artemis and Dom.” Fred said, and Alex immediately moved with Ella, Jason, and the friend, grimacing slightly at me.




“Guess that means I’m stuck with you freaks.” James joked as he came and slung an arm over Dom.




“Oh, look,” I said dryly. “Family reunion.”




“Hey, yeah!” Freddie said excitedly. “If only Roxters wasn’t a bloody Ravenclaw.”




“Oi, what about me?!” I asked indignantly.




“But,” Fred continued. “You make the perfect substitute.” He smiled brightly at my suspicious, narrowed eyes.




“Nice save, mate.” James rolled his eyes, and together, we sat at one of the tables.




“Alright!” The teacher clapped her hands. “Everyone, turn on their computers!”




I looked blankly at the device sitting in front of me. “Er…”




“It’s this button.” James leaned over and pressed a button on the screen-thingy, then leaned down and pressed another button on this large box-like device. The computer whirred to life, and I sat back, looking at it in surprise.




“Whoa.”




“Cool, huh?” James grinned at me. “It’s pretty awesome how muggles get along without magic.”




“Yeah,” I said absently, then immediately turned around and started talking to Dom, who was still looking pale and nervous.




I didn’t miss the flash of hurt across James’ face. Seeing it made a sharp pain jab into my heart, and I gritted my teeth against it.




I’m doing the right thing. I’m doing the right thing.




“Okay!” The teacher said, after assisting about half the class in turning the computers on. “First, we will be learning about how muggles communicate with these devices. I want you to click on the large ‘E’, and then use the mouse – it’s this thing right here – to move along the screen and click the bar along the top. Then type in this address –” she wrote down a long word with many periods on the board “ – and you’ll get to something muggles call a website. Follow the instructions and make yourself a screenname.”




Very carefully, I followed her instructions, using my fingers to push down on the keys.




“This is so weird.” Freddie whispered as he punched at the letters, looking up between every one to make sure it showed up on the bar-thing.




I looked over and saw that James was typing with ease, his fingers moving swiftly across the board. “How are you doing that?” I asked before I could stop myself.




He looked a bit surprised, but also pleased that I spoke to him first. “I asked Dad and Aunt Hermione. I really like muggle things. I’ve got one of these at home; my Uncle Dudley bought it for me. He’s not the brightest, but he pampers us beyond anything.” He grinned, and I couldn’t help but smile back a little. I quickly turned back to the screen, and typed the information in.




Why is he telling me these things? I don’t want to know, damn it. They make him seem more real, more sweet. And I find myself slipping farther and farther into this. I can’t let myself fall. I can’t.




***




Of course, the first thing we discuss when we get our screen names is Quidditch. What else?




Yay, Quidditch! You’ve officially taken over my life.




Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: No way! There’s no way that I’m coming to practice for three hours!


Prongs.Junior: You have to!


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?!


SilverSeeingEyes: Jason, did you just computer-whine?


Alex_MATT_4everz: I believe he did.


EllsBells_bludger.of.DOOM: Not cool, Jay.


Freddieboy_96: Oi, when’s the match anyway?


DomInikkiex3: Fred, you’re freaking commentating on it! Shouldn’t you know that?


Freddieboy_96: No.


SilverSeeingEyes: You’re pathetic.


Freddieboy_96: What is this?! ‘Pick on the attractive one’ day? Go make fun of Jason again!


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: Freddie, you just implied that I’m attractive.


EllsBells_bludger.of.DOOM: OI! You stay away from my man, Fred!


Freddieboy_96: Sorry to disappoint Jason, but I don’t roll that way.


Prongs.Junior: Fred, we have no doubts about your sexuality, trust me. We’ve seen you groping that Mallory girl against the wall – DISGUSTING, MAN.


DomInikkiex3: Yeah, do you even like her?


Freddieboy_96: Well, she’s hot…


SilverSeeingEyes: Of course he doesn’t like her. She’s just boobs, a butt, and no personality in between. Oh, and something to snog. By the way, your technique sucks, Fred.


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: What I say: practice makes perfect. That’s why me and Ella are so good at snogging, you know.


EllsBells_bludger.of.DOOM: …and, because of that BLATANT LIE, I am not snogging you for a whole week.


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: What?! NO! NO, I lied! WE DON’T SNOG THAT MUCH!


Prongs.Junior: Jason, I can hear you whimpering from over here.


SilverSeeingEyes: Pathetic, Jason. PATHETIC.


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: Stop making fun of me! Go pick on Fred again!


Freddieboy_96: OI!


DomInikkiex3: Before I forget, the match is in two weeks, Freddie.


Alex_MATT_4everz: It's good to know you take your job so seriously, Fred.


Freddieboy_96: I believe that was sarcasm. Because I honestly don't take my job seriously at all.


Alex_MATT_4everz: Wow, you’re quick! You should apply for the new Captain Obvious!


Freddieboy_96: Jeez, Alexandria, chill! What, are you on your period or something?


Alex_MATT_4everz: No, actually, but you might need to see if you’re on yours, since you seem to be permanently set on ‘horny’, Frederick.


Freddieboy_96: I wouldn’t be talking, Little Miss ‘Tonsil Tennis’. And the name is Fred. Not Frederick.


Alex_MATT_4everz: At least I actually like my boyfriend! The same can’t be said for you and Mallory What’s-her-face, your precious fuck-buddy.


Freddieboy_96: Who said I didn’t like her?! HUH?! WHO SAID THAT?!


Alex_MATT_4everz: It’s as plain as day, but you’re too much of an imbecile to see whatever’s right in front of your face.


Freddieboy_96: Yeah, well here’s an eye-opener for you: Your precious, precious Matt? Yeah, he doesn’t even like you. He’s just using you.


Alex_MATT_4everz: Why do you even fucking care, Fred? Huh? Enlighten me. Since you seem to be the master of all relationships.


Freddieboy_96: I’m trying to protect you. You’re going to get hurt.


Alex_MATT_4everz: I DON’T NEED SOMEONE TO PROTECT ME. LEAST OF ALL, YOU.


Freddieboy_96: FINE! See if I care anymore!


DomInikkiex3: Um, guys? We’re kinda still here.


Alex_MATT_4everz: I DON’T CARE IF YOU DON’T CARE!


Freddieboy_96: GOOD! I DON’T!


EllsBells_bludger.of.DOOM: …So, how about them Cannons?


Alex_MATT_4everz: GOOD! You never have; why start now?!


Prongs.Junior: Oh, yeah. Cannons? Definitely. I love the Cannons. WOOHOO! Go Cannons, yeah! Don’t you love them, too, Fred?


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: James, you hate the Cannons.


SilverSeeingEyes: THE HARPIES! They’re going to win for sure.


Freddieboy_96: MAYBE I HAVE CARED, ALEX!


Prongs.Junior: Hey, my mom played for the Harpies!!!


Alex_MATT_4everz: No you haven’t. Don’t lie, Fred. For years, I was hoping that you’d say one thing to me, one thing that would make me feel at least a little wanted, and what do you do? You ignore me. Like I’m ‘just another fangirl’ or something. Isn’t that what you told James?


Freddieboy_96: I never said that!


Alex_MATT_4everz: LIAR. You said that, and we both know it.



SilverSeeingEyes: Alex, Fred, please stop fighting. Please?


Alex_MATT_4everz: NO, I WON’T STOP. I’m not giving up again, Missy. I won’t do it.


Freddieboy_96: Wait…you gave up? You gave up on me?


Alex_MATT_4everz: Oh, no, Fred, I’m trying to woo you right now, whilst computer-screaming at you in apparent rage. Is it working?


Freddieboy_96: Alex…why’d you give up?


 


Alex_MATT_4everz: WHY DO YOU CARE?


Freddieboy_96: Just…wondering. That’s it. I just…wondering.


Alex_MATT_4everz: Because I realized that you’re not worth it.


Prongs.Junior: Ouch.


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: Shit, man. That sucks.


Freddieboy_96: What? I’m…not worth it?


Alex_MATT_4everz: YES. YOU ARE NOT. WORTH. IT. Because you never cared. I was just wasting my time. All those years…


Freddieboy_96: Alex…I’m sorry…It’s just…I never noticed before. And I guess…yeah. I’m sorry. I, um...


Alex_MATT_4everz: I hardly see how saying sorry is going to help now, but at least you tried.


Freddieboy_96: I’m a bloke, Alex! You can’t blame a bloke for not noticing


Alex_MATT_4everz: Me? Not noticing me? Because I’m just so plain and boring, right?


Freddieboy_96: NO! Well…not anymore…


Alex_MATT_4everz: Oh, okay. So I start wearing make-up, and suddenly I’m not boring anymore? You’re such a shallow arsehole.


Freddieboy_96: Well, the make-up helps, but I was actually talking about your sarcastic…you know…personality. You’re like, witty. Funny. Guys like that.


Alex_MATT_4everz: Wishing you noticed before?


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: Not like this conversation is absolutely riveting, but we sort of have to go in five minutes. Just a heads-up.


Prongs.Junior: Alright. Practice at six, guys!


Freddieboy_96: Sort of, yeah.


EllsBells_bludger.of.DOOM: James, the Quidditch Gods are going to send you to Quidditch hell for being a sucky captain.


Prongs.Junior: Actually, the Quidditch Gods love me. So there.


DomInikkiex3: Hey, look! It’s time to go!




The bell rang, and after sticking up her middle finger at Fred, who looked thoroughly amused, Alex stalked out of the classroom, leaving about half of her books behind. Sighing, I picked them up and stuffed them in my bag so I could give them to Alex later.




After helping Ella shove Jason out the door and slapping Fred across the face (what? He’s being an arse), I took Dom’s elbow and started pulling her away from Fred, who was standing next to James and looked remorseful.




“I didn’t mean it.” Fred said, his voice burning with regret.




I turned around. “Then why’d you say it, Fred?”




Fred shrugged and looked down. “I don’t know. I shouldn’t have, though.”




“Yeah, you shouldn’t have. Because now, Ella, Jason, and Alex are all pissed at you.” Dom said, glaring at him.




“I really didn’t mean it, though.” Fred’s eyes were beseeching, begging us to believe him.




So I did. “I know you didn’t, Freddie.” I smiled at him a little. “Sometimes, when a person is mad, they say the wrong thing.”




“I wish I didn’t say those things.” Fred whispered, looking down again. James put a hand on his shoulder.




“You should go and apologize to them. To her, specifically.” 




…and that would be about when my vision swirled crazily around, and I fell to the floor in a dead faint.




Of course, I didn’t actually faint, but it sure looked like it on the outside. Thank god I managed to close my eyes before I went…under, or, um…over…into the realm of…visions.




I need to work on that name.




“I’m never talking to him again. Ever.”




Alex’s angry, tear-stained face swam into view.




“Alex…he didn’t mean it, love. You know that, right?” Jason asked her, rubbing her arm gently as she cried next to him. She sniffed and wiped her nose off on the back of her hand.




Jason and Alex were tucked into their special best friend niche thingy, where they went and did…best friend like things.




Okay, before you get all ‘OMG HE’S CHEATING ON ELLA OTHERWISE WHY WOULD HE EVEN BE THERE’, I should stress on the fact that Jason and Alex are best friends, nearly siblings. Well, they’re cousins. Like…third cousins or something. But their families have always been best friends, so they’re really close.




That’s right. They’re RELATED.




Exactly. So you can stop freaking out about all of this.




“Still… it hurt.” She said in a small voice, tucking herself into his lap and leaning her head into the crook where his shoulder and neck met. Jason wrapped one hand around her, still rubbing her arm.




“You and Ella are so alike.” He smiled. “That’s right where she sits.”




“And Artemis, whenever she needs a bear hug.” Alex also smiled a little.




“And Dom, when James isn’t here…Merlin, what am I, like the teddy bear of the group or something?” Jason asked indignantly, and Alex grinned.




“Well, yeah. You’re so big and warm.” She cuddled into him and he chuckled and planted a light kiss to the top her head.




“You know he didn’t mean it, right?” Jason finally asked her after a short silence.




“If he didn’t mean it, why’d he say it?”




“He was upset. You know what happens when people are upset about things.”




Another short silence.




“Matt tells me I overreact about everything.” Alex finally said. “I guess that’s what I’m doing here.”




“Not really; Artemis is more of the dramatic one. She blows everything out of proportion.” Jason laughed a little, and I scowled.




“He also asked me if I liked Fred.” Alex said in a small voice.




“What did you tell him?”




“I said that I did, but I don’t anymore.” Her voice was still small.




“What did he say?” Jason asked cautiously.




“He got really mad.” Alex sighed. “He told me that if I liked someone else, I shouldn’t be dating him, and I told him that I don’t like Fred anymore, and he said that he didn’t believe me!” Her voice held shock. “I mean, I just ranted about how much I hate the arse, and he’s there thinking I’m in love with him!”




“Well…what did you say after he got mad?” Jason asked, his voice sounding a bit angrier.




“I told him not to be stupid, and he started yelling more.” Alex said glumly. “He says he loves me, but he gets mad at me a lot.”




“I hate him.” Jason said angrily. “He’s no good for you, Alex. He treats you like dirt.”




“No!” Alex said earnestly, looking up at him. “He really does love me. He tells me so, all the time. And I like him, too. A lot.”




“But you don’t love him.”




“I don’t think so.” Alex said unsurely. “He tells me that I do. He goes ‘I love you, just like you love me’, but I never even said that I loved him. I don’t know. Matt’s confusing. But he’s my first boyfriend, so I wouldn’t really know too much about dating and stuff.”




“Let me guess – he told you that.” Jason’s voice was burning with disgust. “He’s such a gitfaced arsehole.”




“Jason! Don’t say that about him! He’s my boyfriend.” Alex swatted his arm.




“Yeah yeah.” He hugged her closer to him. “I’ll be nice…only because he’s your boyfriend. But he hurts you and he’s dead.”




“Overprotective fool.” But Alex smiled and nestled into him anyway. “You’re the best, Jason. I love you, you know that?”




“I love you, too, Lexi.”




“YOU LYING, CHEATING WHORE!” The tapestry was ripped away to reveal a very angry Matthew Connery, and with a squeak of fear, Alex sat straight up.




“You’ve been cheating on me all along! I knew there was something up! You kept on going over to the Gryffindor dormitory –”




“That’s because she’s a Gryffindor, you moron!” Jason said, standing up so that Connery was no longer towering over them.




“You shut up.” Connery said, looking as though he wanted to punch Jason, but, seeing his size and build, deciding against it. Well, good to know he’s not a total imbecile.




“And you can just forget about ever talking to me again! You filthy little slut! Whore! You’re such a bitch, you’ve –”




“MATT!” Alex screamed, cutting him off before he got really worked up. “JASON IS MY COUSIN!”




“…lying – what?” Connery looked at a loss for words as he looked back and forth between Jason, who looked murderous, and Alex, who looked exasperated and a little scared.




“My cousin.” Alex explained. “Jason’s my cousin.”




“Oh.” Connery said stupidly. “But…you’re always with him…”




“Of course she’s always with me! We’re best friends, you idiot!” Jason threw his hands up in the air. “And I have a girlfriend, for Merlin’s sake!”




“Well...well, what about Fred Weasley, huh?” He demanded, going back on the offensive.




“I hate him.” Alex explained calmly. “I thought I made that pretty clear to you.”




“But you used to love him.” He said, pointing a triumphant finger at her. Matt Connery is an arse.




“USED to. In the past. She doesn’t anymore.” Jason rolled his eyes. “You’re really insecure, you know that? You’ve got to trust her.”




“Yeah. I didn’t mean it, love.” Matt said, smiling at Alex. It looked uncannily like a leer to me. Slimy little git. Jason noticed, too, because his gaze narrowed as he stared at Connery in blatant dislike.




“Alright, let’s go, Lexi.” Jason said, taking her arm.




“No, stay with me.” Matt said…well, ordered, really. There wasn’t a shred of doubt, an ounce of choice in his voice.




“Okay,” Alex agreed instantly. “I’ll see you later, Jason.”




“But…you have homework.” Jason said feebly, looking at their intertwined hands with a slightly horrified face, like there was no way he could stand and watch his best friend get taken away by someone as sleazy and disgusting as Matt.




Though my analysis of his expression may be a TAD biased, since that’s how I felt about this whole situation…




“I’ll do my homework with Matt.” Alex replied easily.




Matt brightened. “Excellent; I have this potions paper I really need help on…”




Still talking about the potions paper, he led Alex away from Jason, who stood there in the middle of the hallway, looking unsure and anxious.




“Artemis…Missy…” A hand lightly slapped me and I opened my eyes, taking a moment to focus on the scene around me. I was still on the ground, though my head and torso were propped up against James, who looked worried and anxious as he leaned over me, his arm wrapped protectively around me, holding me up. Fred was leaning over James, his expression mirroring the look on James’ face, and Dom was sitting in front of James, on my other side, looking slightly worried, but not as anxious.




“Hi,” I said airily, sitting up with an innocent smile.




“Are you okay?” James demanded.




“Me? I’m fine.” I smiled brightly, ignoring the turmoil rolling around inside me.




“You just fainted!” Fred said in an extremely shocked voice. “Just like that! You keeled over, and Merlin, if James hadn’t snapped out of it and caught you, you would have gotten a really bad concussion. And then you were like, smiling and scowling in your fainted state and it was –”




“Artemis.” James said in a worried voice, his arms tightening subconsciously when I tried to sneakily move away. “Are you sure you’re okay? Does this happen often? What triggered that? You shouldn’t just faint like that; it’s not normal! We should go and see Madame Pomphrey, this isn’t right –”




“No!” I said quickly. “I’m fine, really, it was nothing.”




“What was that, though? Do you know how that happened, Artemis?” James asked, still looking uncannily like an anxious mother demanding to know how her child got sick.




How was I supposed to explain this? ‘Oh yeah, James, I’m a Seer. I never mentioned that before? Whoops, my bad. Must have slipped my mind. I get visions at random times, and if I’m not prepared, I fall over. I’m not a freak or anything.’




Yeah, not bloody likely.




“She just got really worked up.” Dom explained patiently, standing up and pulling me to my feet. James reluctantly let me go. “It’s not a big deal James, it happens to her sometimes.”




“How did I not notice this?” He asked, running a hand through his hand. He looked frenzied, and his hair, which was sticking up in fifty different directions, made him look like a mad scientist.




Except, you know, more attractive…




“James, don’t beat yourself up, mate. It’s okay. So you didn’t notice one thing about Missy. It’s no big deal.” Fred said soothingly, patting him on the arm.




“You have to tell me these things!” James threw his hands up in the air. “I get worried! Do you know how scared I was, Artemis?”




…and I think that might be the cutest, most sweetest thing he has ever said to me.




Must. Not. Melt. Under. Adorable. Expression.




“Okay.” I said soothingly. “Take a deep breath. I’m okay. See? Perfectly intact. This isn’t new. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you; I just didn’t think it was important.”




“James.” Dom walked forward and fixed his hair – well, as close to ‘fixed’ as she could get it – while he breathed deeply. “James, she’s fine.”




“Yeah.” He muttered, now looking a bit embarrassed. “She’s fine. Sorry I freaked out.”




“It’s understandable.” Dom smiled at him and kissed his cheek. Then she took my wrist and started tugging me to the door. “Let’s go, Missy.”




I resisted her pull a little, looking back at James and biting my lip. Finally, the words tumbled out. “James…thanks.”




He looked at me, his eyes a mile deep, and let a small smile light his face. I couldn’t entirely hold back a small smile of my own as I looked down and followed Dom out.




I hate myself and my inability to stick by a decision. It’s just…this is hard. Really hard. I’m trying my best, okay? This is difficult.




Not to mention that small part of me that’s going ‘oh, screw it all, just let myself fall’. It’s holding me back, pulling me down as the other part pulls me slowly up that ledge.




What ledge, you may ask? Well, that figurative one that symbolizes me falling for James. You see, right now, I’m pulling myself over that ledge, struggling not to fall over. You’re probably rolling your eyes at my idiocy, going ‘wow, what an idiot, just let go!’, but…I’m scared of getting to the bottom. I don’t know what would be there. And I’m scared of knowing.




Wow, Apollo’s right. I am a coward.




I disgust myself.




***




“You’re late.”




I feel rather like an overprotective parent right now, sitting in the common room with Ella and Dom as we wait for Alex. And to make things worse, Dom is actually practicing her ‘clipped tone, annoyed parent’ voice.




Yes, that’s right. She’s repeating the words ‘You’re late’ over and over again, until she decides they sound menacing enough.




My best friend is a freak.




“Dom, I love you, but please shut up.” Ella said in a strained voice, checking her watch again. It was now four freaking bloody a.m., and our dear friend Alex had yet to arrive. And since we’re Gryffindors and so incredibly loyal (fuck you, Godric), we conducted the brilliantly conceived plan of ‘staying up and waiting for her’. Which, you know, started to lose its brilliantness a very longtime ago.




And, of course, little miss ‘tonsil tennis’ conveniently decides not to arrive.




I mean, I’m worried and all, but at FOUR A.M., there’s only so much worrying that a girl can do. At FOUR A.M., we start to get a little annoyed. So shoot us. We’re human, and we have a very limited patience quota, one that was used up about six hours ago, back at ten when we came up with this brilliant idea.




“Oh, she is so going to get it from me when she gets back!” I muttered angrily, slumping down lower in my armchair.




“You’re late.” Dom uttered in her clipped, angry tone.




“For Merlin’s sake, Dominique, the voice is bloody perfect! Give it up!” Ella cried, flopping back down onto the sofa and staring moodily into the dying fire. She blew a random strand of hair out of her face, looking incredibly annoyed.




“Where were you Alex?!” Dom continued, now standing up.




Okay, now she’s taking it a bit too fa – ALEX!




“OHMIGAWD, it’s about bloody time!” I threw my hands up in exasperation and propelled myself out of the armchair, standing beside Dom, who looked like the picture perfect version of ‘intimidating parental figure’, complete with a fluffy pink bathrobe and bunny slippers.




Ella also gave a cry of relief/anger, and dragged herself on Dom’s other side. We stood there, facing a sheepish and nervous-looking Alex, who was holding her shoes in an obvious attempt to sneak quietly upstairs.




“Hey, guys.” She said, smiling abashedly.




“Don’t you ‘hey guys’ us, young lady!” Dom cried. Wow, only two months pregnant and already all bossy and mother-like. I feel so bad for future baby Dom right now. “You will explain to us exactly where you were.”




“I was with –”




“ – Matt.” Me and Ella completed with her, our voices stony.




“Obviously.” Ella continued.




“Where else?!” I added, throwing up my hands again.




“We were just doing homework.” Alex shrugged, looking uncomfortable.




“Really.” Dom said in a skeptical voice. “And you took about…hmm, let’s see…nearly eight hours to do it because…?”




“Well, we weren’t doing homework the whole time.” Alex continued in her uncomfortable voice, tugging on a piece of hair. “We might have…you know…snogged a little in between…”




“A little?” I asked, eyebrow raised in my perfect, suave arc that took me all of two years to master. It was so worth it, though.




“Okay, a lot.” Alex said, grinning. Her grin immediately slid off her face when she noticed that the rest of us weren’t exactly sharing her sentiments.




Because, believe it or not, finding out that your best friend spent the greater part of eight hours snogging her repulsive boyfriend – who is annoying, mean, and very bully-like – is not exactly news that makes you want to jump in joy. Call me a prude, but to me that’s absolutely disgusting.




Though that might be because, in my biased opinion, Matt is a loser jerkface githead who needs to walk right out of Alex’s life. Like…now.




“Have I ever mentioned that I hate your boyfriend?” I asked in a bright voice.




“Oh, yes. Loads of times.” Alex responded happily. Her face then fell. “He’s my first boyfriend, guys…be nice.”




“I think it’s about time to end this with him.” Dom said gently. “Alex…you’re not the same when you’re with him. You’re supposed to the parental figure! We’re all a mess – I’m pregnant, Ella’s got the maturity level of a baby monkey, and Artemis has denial issues! You’re the only normal one here, and we need you.” Her blue eyes were wide and earnest.




“Yeah – HEY!” I said indignantly. “I do not have denial issues!”




“Oh, yeah? Hey, Artemis, do you like James?” Dom asked, raising her eyebrow at me.




“No.” I snapped.




“Denial!” Ella sang. We turned to look at her.




“What?” She said, shrugging. “I never said I didn’t have the maturity level of a baby monkey. Because, well, face it. I kind of do.”




I sighed and rubbed a hand into my forehead. Someone, please stab me in the face with a butter knife. Repeatedly.




Once again, I ask myself: WHY AM I FRIENDS WITH THESE PEOPLE?!




Because they’re all you’ve got.




Very true, brain. Very true. 






eh, eh? *waggles eyebrows* what'd you think? 
you know i love to know. write me a review, please!

alright, questions!
i love asking questions. and i love your responses. you know, it's almost scary how spot-on some of your predictions are. i get worried that you guys can read my mind or something. 
i wish i could read minds. 
ANYWAY. before questions, i just have to give a shout-out to civilized, who writes me ridiculously long and incredibly amazing reviews every single time! I LOVE YOU!

alright, question time:
what'd you think of the new banner? is the old one better? (yeah, not relevent, but i had to ask)
what do you think is going to happen next?
al's perfect girl's traits? what should she be like?
do you think alex and fred should ever get together?
where is apollo?? (well, i know, but i want to know your guesses!)
who's the cutest couple out of them all? (like, who has the best chemistry)??
what'd you think of the screen names? do you have any favorites? ones that would be more suitable than what i used?

i think those will sustain you, right?
alright...let's see...i had to say something else - oh, right! cheap advertising :P
i wrote a new one-shot called Dear Prongs. i put it up like a couple of days ago, and i'm really, really nervous about it, since it's the first sad one-shot that i wrote. it's maddy-approved, so i knew that i had to put it up, but i would love to hear your feedback on it! i'm still sort of iffy on it...

alright, that's about it! leave me a review, lovies!
dream_BIG is out!
PEACE, suckaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas :D


Chapter 9: Staring Contests, Quidditch Games, and Bipolar Disorder
[View Online]  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

the wait wasn't too bad, right? 
only a week...not bad. :D






sometimes i really wonder what must go through my head when i make these things.
whatever. here's fred :D






“Rose.” Scorpius nodded.




“Scorpius.” Rose nodded back.




“…Artemis?” I tried, since no one bothered to acknowledge my presence.




But no. Rose and Scorpius seem to be having some sort of staring contest, because they are completely locked in each other’s eyes.




And I mean that in the least romantic way possible. They aren’t ‘gazing into each other’s eyes’ or whatever. It is, quite literally, a staring contest. To see who backs down first.




I really don’t understand them. I mean, what kind of socially acceptable person does that?! Can you imagine walking up to your friend, uttering their name, and then proceeding to stare right at them in the most unnerving of ways? How creepy would that be?




“Ahem.” I coughed. No one blinked. Rose’s eyes started to water. Scorpius smirked.




I coughed again.




“Well…not that this staring contest is boring or anything, but I was sort of, kind of…um, guys?” I said uncertainly.




No reply.




This is staring to get somewhat annoying.




“SCORPIUS, WE HAVE A QUIDDITCH GAME TOMORROW!” I screamed, and they both jumped and blinked.




“Aw, Missy, I was winning.” Scorpius whined, rubbing his eyes.




“No, you weren’t!” Rose exclaimed, her eyes also closed. “I was so winning that!”




“LOOK, IT DOESN’T MATTER!” I yelled, before Scorpius could open his mouth and retort, thus starting an argument. “If you don’t come down and start playing Quidditch now, you won’t be winning anything else.” I narrowed my gaze at him.




Scorpius’s face brightened, and I could literally see the lightbulb going on above his head.




Well, actually…I don’t think this place supports electricity. Except for those computers. So…maybe a candle? That’s more Hogwarts–esque.




“That,” He beamed. “Just gave me the best idea. Missy, you go on ahead, I’ve got to talk to Rose about something.”




 I threw my hands up in the air, and with a short, frustrated scream, stalked away.




“Fine, but if you get killed by our crazy captain, then it’s not my fault!” I yelled at him over my shoulder as I went. Merlin. What a pair.




I shook my head in exasperation as I sprinted down to the Quidditch Pitch, arriving just as the clock chimed six.




“You’re cutting it a little close.” James narrowed his eyes slightly at me, but I could see a faint smile on his mouth, ruining the effect.




“I’m here, aren’t I?” I panted, glaring at him. This was also slightly ruined by the fact that I couldn’t stop a small smile forming on my own face. I quickly looked away, at Al, who was playing absentmindedly with the snitch, looking thoroughly bored.




He needs a girlfriend. Just saying.




“Where’s Scorpius?” Hugo asked, looking around.




“With Rose.” I said, rolling my eyes.




“What?” Al accidentally let go of his snitch as he turned to look at me.




“He just had a ‘really great idea’ of some sort, so he’s talking to Rose.” I shrugged. “I really don’t know what it’s about.”




“Hello, everyone!” Scorpius said brightly as he ambled towards us, looking profoundly pleased with himself.




“You’re late.” James said in a clipped voice, raising an eyebrow at Scorpius. I exchanged a look with Ella and mouthed, “Just like Dom”, to which she grinned and nodded.




“Sorry, mate.” Scorpius said happily, still grinning like a loon. “I just couldn’t pass up such a great opportunity.”




“Care to tell me exactly what kind of ‘opportunity’ you saw with my baby cousin?” James’ eyes narrowed, and I rolled mine. Typical protective Potter boy.




Scorpius’ grin widened. “You’ll see tomorrow.” He said elusively.




He continued to smile like an imbecile all practice long.




You know, I hate these spur of the moment decisions that people make. They completely fuck up the future, and for a little while, all I can see is shadowy blackness until it clears itself out again.




The future whirred and shifted in the back of my mind as I practiced, occasionally pushing itself to the front and blacking out my vision for a moment.




You’ll find that this is not the best state to play Quidditch in. Surprising, it’s it?




“Augh!” I yelped, quickly snatching the Quaffle that suddenly appeared in front of my face. I raced to the other end and feinted, quickly maneuvering around Hugo to chuck it in the goal before my vision momentarily turned black again.




“Why?” Rose whispered, looking up at Scorpius.




His face was half-hidden in the shadow. “Because mmmphmurglesmufra.”




I sighed. Stupid messed up vision. Didn’t tell me a thing.




“Good job, Artemis!” James called, grinning at me. I smiled tiredly back, and he seemed to pick something up from my eyes right away. His eyebrows scrunched up at the middle as he quickly sped towards me, and I suppressed my desire to curse profusely.




“Are you alright?” James asked concernedly.




“Who, me? I’m fine.” I tried smiling innocently.




“You’re not going to faint again, are you?”




“N –” I paused, knowing that I was bound to get a vision soon. “Possibly.”




He sighed. “I still can’t believe you didn’t tell me something as important as this.” He muttered. He then scrutinized me closely.




“Maybe you should just rest up today.” He said.




“No.”




“Artemis, you’ll faint again, and –”




“See, this is why I don’t tell you things!” I exploded angrily. “You think I’m…weak or something! I’m still the same Artemis Jones, Potter! I AM NOT WEAK.”




Substitute ‘weak’ with ‘freak’, and you’ll understand exactly what I really mean.




“I know you’re not.” He said calmly. “I’m just worried about you –”




“I don’t need you to be worried about me.” I hissed. “I can take care of myself.”




He flew closer. “What are you so afraid of?” He asked bitterly, his eyes probing. “Why are you so afraid of trusting people?”




“Because, sometimes, it’s better to just be alone. Then no one can betray you.” I said tiredly, pinching the bridge of my nose in defeat. “I’ll be fine, James. Please, just let me practice.”




“I would never do that to you.” He said, ignoring my request.




“Yeah, well, that’s what Apollo said, too. And he’s my twin brother, the one person I trust more than anything else in the world. Look where that got me.” I raised my hands helplessly.




“Everyone makes mistakes.”




“Yeah, well he majorly fucked up.”




“I know. But he’s only human, Artemis.”




“So am I!” I said. “What, am I the only one not allowed to make mistakes?! Why am I the one who’s left to clean everything up?”




“You’re not the only one.” He said, and as I looked at him, I realized that we were in the same, miserable boat together.




Yay for our figurative boat.




“He’s my best friend.” He said softly.




“He’s my brother.”




“She’s my cousin.”




“She’s my best friend.”




“We’re in this together, you know. You’re never alone.”




“Please go away.”




He stayed for a second, surveying me. “You know, it’s true that you never realize how important something is until you lose it, but you also don’t realize how important something else is until it arrives.”




“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” I snapped, completely not the mood for his weird, wise sayings.




He blinked, and his expression cleared. “So, let’s try out that new formation, okay? Spread the word, Artemis.”




“Huh?”




I stared, mouth agape, as he sped away to tell everyone else.




Jeez, bipolar much?




***




It’s true that you never realize how important something is until you lose it, but you also don’t realize how important something else is until it arrives.




I shook my head, hard, and focused on the game in front of me.




Forget it, Artemis. Focus. Concentrate. It doesn’t mean a thing. HEAD IN THE GAME.




“Artemis, catch!”




My hands reflexively snatched the Quaffle out of the air and I sped towards the opposite goal, weaving around various Hufflepuffs.




No more thinking. This is Quidditch. You play with your heart.




Crap. I stopped, spinning around slowly, surrounded by members of the opposite team. I sighed. Well, this is what I get for being distracted.




Praying that it would work, I yelled, “SCORPIUS!” I and threw the Quaffle up as hard as I could, quickly dropping down as the Hufflepuff chasers shot forward and up.




I glanced up, and saw that Scorpius, grinning widely, was holding the Quaffle as he darted out of the huddle. I distinctly heard something that sounded suspiciously like ‘SUCKERS!’ come out of his mouth as he raced to the Hufflepuff goal. The keeper narrowed his eyes at Scorpius, who grinned lazily and shot a goal in one of the side rings. The Keeper lunged to the side, smiling. Knowing what was coming, I quickly leaped forward and seized the Quaffle before the Keeper could, grinning at Scorpius, who nodded, a smirk still etched on his face.




We call this the ‘Catch’ maneuver for a reason. I laughed as me and Scorpius threw the Quaffle back and forth as fast as we could, constantly on the move. Then James appeared, intercepted the catch at the perfect point, and…




“SCORE FOR GRYFFINDOR!” Dom and Freddie yelled into their mikes.




I grinned and fist-bumped both James and Scorpius as we flew back.




After that, it was just a blur of colors and shapes and bodies and faces. Occasionally I would feel the Quaffle in my hands, but it was quickly out, either thrown to Scorpius, James, or the goal.




I grinned and shook my head as Scorpius made yet another goal. He seemed bent on becoming the hero of the game, it seemed, because he had made the most goals of the day.




My eyebrows raised in surprise when I saw him pointing at Rose in the crowds, winking and smirking like the arrogant little toe-rag I never knew he could be. Rose scowled at him and scrunched down in her seat, blushing profusely.




Oh, dear. I think I know what this ‘opportunity’ might be.




And I don’t think James will like it too much.




This is not going to be pretty.




He likes Scorpius, sure, but as a boyfriend for his baby cousin…yeah, somehow, I don’t think that’s going to blow over too well for James. He doesn’t think Rose or Lily, or any female in his family for that matter, should date before the age of twenty. That’s why I was more than just a little surprised that James was so supportive about Dom’s baby.




Whoa, my best friend is having a baby.




The realization hit me like a ton of bricks and for a moment I froze, blinking in surprise at the world around me. My best friend is going to be a mother. And I’m going to be an aunt.




“Oi, you okay?” James shouted over at me. I looked at him, bewildered.




“Dom’s pregnant.” I whispered, the words sounding foreign to me.




“WHAT?!” He yelled. “Artemis, speak up, I can’t hear you!”




“Dom…” I continued in that same bewildered voice. Then my world started to tinge with black.




“Fuck, ALBUS! CATCH THE SNITCH NOW! WE NEED TO END THE GAME!” James shouted at his brother, who nodded.




“Artemis!” James yelled at me. I smiled reassuringly at him, then the next thing I knew, Dom’s face was spinning in my mind as I spiraled towards the ground.




I hate being a Seer.




Blurry images. Vague figures. The world seemed to shift and spin around my eyes as I gazed blearily through the haze, trying to make some sense out of the shadows.




“Artemis…” Dom’s face peered out at me, her blue eyes shining with tears. I tried to focus on it, but it faded away.




“NO! NO!”




Where is that coming from?! I whipped around, eyes wide as I peered into the murk of the future, trying to see whose heartbroken voice was screaming that.




“NO, PLEASE! STOP! DON’T!”




My heart seemed to rip a little at the sound of the girl’s voice, which was terrified and desolate and so incredibly painful, like she was being crucio’d.




“What should we name…?”




“…would never leave you…”




“Iridescent…”




“Love…James…forever…”




“Marry me?”




I groaned in frustration and grabbed my head, trying to make sense of the images and words that swirled through my brain.




“Who the hell do you…”




“…sorry…”




“Please, don’t! No, listen to me, Fred, PLEASE!”




Alex. Alex’s voice. I squinted my eyes again, but saw nothing. Just black.




“Artemis…”




“ARTEMIS.”




“Artemis?”




I groaned and sat up in bed, grabbing at my aching head, refusing to open my eyes.




“You’re okay.” James’ relieved voice poked through the haze occupying my mind. “Oh, thank Merlin.” The second part of that sentence came out muffled.




“Of course she’s okay.” Dom’s voice said softly, and I sighed and opened my eyes, noticing right away that James was slumped over, his head in his hands. Dom was gently stroking his crazy hair, looking at me expectantly.




“James, I’m fine.” I said, touching his shoulder. “James.”




“Yeah.” He said, looking up at me. His eyes were tired and dull, and he sent me a weak smile. “Please never do that to me again.”




“Please never bring me to the hospital wing for something as stupid as that again.” I countered, narrowing my eyes at him. He grinned sheepishly, some of the light coming back into his eyes.




“I was worried.”




“You’re like the mother I never had. Or wanted.” I muttered, rubbing at my temples again.




“Whatever, Artemis.”




I sighed, groaned, and banged at my head, because, clearly, that must be the cure to this annoying headache.




“Oi, you okay?” He asked concernedly after a second of my head-banging. Curiously enough, it didn’t do anything except make the headache, if possible, even worse.




“I’ve got a bitch of a headache, but other than that, I’m great.” I sighed, banging on my head once more for luck.




Headache just got bitchier. Joy of joys.




“So, did we win?” I asked him, giving up on the head-banging and looking at him.




He grinned, some more light filtering through his gold irises. “Oh, yeah. Al’s a freaking genius; he caught the snitch, then dove down and caught you in about two seconds flat.”




I laughed. “I love that kid! Can I steal him as my brother?”




“No way.” Dom said. “You can’t take away my favorite cousin! Then I’ll be left with these freaks."




Oh, as if you’re not a freak yourself, Dominique.




“Hey!” James said indignantly. “I thought I was your favorite cousin!”




“I don’t have a favorite cousin.” Dom said calmly.




“But you just said –”




“No, I didn’t.”




“You just said –”




“Shut up.”




“You –”




“Shut up, James.”




“I’m too tired for this.” James muttered, rubbing his own temples. Dom grinned.




“There’s a party in the common room right now. Wanna go?” She asked eagerly.




“Not really.” I blew a random chunk of hair out of my face.




“Great, come on!” She took my hand and dragged me off the bed.




“Dom, I said I didn’t want to go.” I reminded her in a patient voice. She stared at me.




“Uh-huh. And?”




“I don’t want to go.”




“Yes, you do.”




“No, I don’t.”




She looked at me. “Yes. You do.” She said.




“No. I don’t.” I replied slowly.




“Well, too bad.” She towed me behind her as she walked briskly out of the hospital wing. “You’re going anyway.




“No, Dom.” I moaned. “I don’t wanna go.” I dug my heels back into the ground and tried to pull myself out of her grip, but she merely pulled me harder.




“Artemis, stop being difficult.” She said through gritted teeth, tugging on my arm again.




“I’m not going.” I said stubbornly, plopping down on the ground with some difficulty. “I’ve got a headache. I refuse to go.”




Dom’s jaw locked as she glared menacingly at me. “You will come with me now, otherwise I will rip off each and every one of your shiny golden locks with my bare hands.”




I just stuck my tongue out at her. “You wouldn’t do that to me.”




Merlin, I really hope she wouldn’t.




Her eyes narrowed some more, and then she took out her wand and flicked it at me; I immediately flipped over on my back (and let out an unattractive shriek in the process) and got dragged on the floor as the bond pulled me backwards.




“HELP ME.” I mouthed desperately at James, scrabbling wildly at the floor in an attempt to hold myself back somehow.




He laughed. Git.






first off, i have to apologize for the length of this chapter. it's rather short, and i'm terribly sorry. i'll try to get the next chapter up soon :)
at least there's more james! you like more james? i know you like more james! i like more james. more james is niiiice. 
tee hee.
aaah. anyway. 
hold on, let me bask in the glow of sheer happiness that accompanies spring break....aahhh...WAIT: REALITY CHECK TIME: term paper. fifteen pages. underground railroad. five sat class essays. five vocab quizzes. flash cards. two chem labs. math homework. health project. health packet. english book.
damn.
sigh. life sucks, man. 

ANYWAY. enough about my homework. let's talk chapter, shall we??
lately, i've been getting lotsa complaints about artemis being an annoying shit and WHY THE HELL ISNT SHE JUST FALLING, ALREADY?!
artemis is an idiot, and she's scared of love. 
what? we can't all be perfect. 
don't judge m - her. 

question time? question time. 
1) Jason or Fred: Who's cuter? (TAYLOR LAUTNER IS A SEXY BEAST, so jacob wins)
2) What do you think the bet between Rose and Scorpius is?? (waggles eyebrows)
3) What couple do you want to scream at most: Artemis and James, Rose and Scorpius, or Fred and Alex?
4) Whaddaya think is going to happen next?? (should have been the first question, haha)
5) What's the best way to teach sleazy Matt a lesson? (one of my lovely reviewers - i'm so sorry i forgot your name, sweetie, i'm rather shit at names - mentioned buses, rope, ankles, and much screaming. you do the math.)

methinks that's enough to sustain you for a bit :D

i'm a little hyper. spring break+candy+realizing that the kid you like has the same favorite song as you (and then sings along with you in the car while you're belting in tune with the radio)= very happy me. 

you know what would make even happier me. reviews. so feed me, please!!

i love you guys :D

love,
dream_BIG


Chapter 10: Pessimistic Poopyheads, Twin Radars, and Dom’s Sandwich of Death
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hark! a chapter! and not just a chapter -  a long chapter!








“What. The. Fuck.”


I couldn’t have said it better myself, Dom. Could not have said it better myself.


My jaw dropped open in blatant disbelief as I watched the girl run her hands through his crazy mop of black hair. His hands were around her back.


“When did this happen?” I demanded, turning to Scorp and Rose, who were both looking on, disgusted.


“Right after the match. She sort of just…” Rose waved her hands around helplessly, trying to find words to describe it.


“Jumped him.” Scorpius inserted for her. “She turned him around, grabbed his head and started snogging his face off.”


“That is revolting.” I said distastefully, not even bothering to glance back and identify the sucking sounds coming from behind me. Trust me, I know what they are. And I don’t prefer seeing.


“Didn’t know Al had it in him, actually.” Scorp said thoughtfully, glancing at them, wincing, and quickly looking away again.


“But – but – it’s…it’s…her.” I cried desolately.


“Yeah, I know. I hate Nicole Winfield too, but…face it, Al’s a bloke and Nicole’s got boobs, a butt and enjoys snogging him; who is he to complain?” Rose shrugged.


“But she’s horrible.” I exclaimed, as if they didn’t already know that themselves.


“Oh, we know. She tormented Rose for most of her life, remember Rosie?”


“I’d rather not think about it.” Rose scowled at Scorpius.


“But that was the best prank ever.” He said, grinning.


“Oh, yeah. The pranking was pretty awesome.” Rose admitted, a smirk unfurling over her features. “That part, I don’t mind remembering; everything else…I’d rather not think about it.”


“Wasn’t she the one who made you cry all the time?” Dom asked, shuddering slightly as the snogging intensified.


“Yep.” Rose said brightly. “But we got her in the end.”


“I vaguely recall something about a new hairdo.” I raised my eyebrow at her, and she high-fived Scorpius.


“That was my masterpiece. All those spikes and colors…”Rose trailed off, gazing happily out into space.


“It’s a shame she got rid of it.” Scorpius sighed. “It was such an improvement.”


“Oh, I have pictures. Tons of them.” Rose smiled. “That’s what you get for manipulating me, bitch.” She added, scowling at Al and Nicole’s general direction.


“And making you cry.” Scorpius added.


“And telling you your hair was bushy.” I said.


“And making all your friends hate you.” Dom scowled.


“And hexing me…repeatedly.” Rose said thoughtfully. “Oh, and she punched me once. In the nose. And she told me I was ugly. All the time. She still does.”


“You’re not ugly.” All three of us said at the same time.


Half of her mouth pulled up in a part smile. “Sure.” She muttered.


“She thinks she’s ugly.” I said in a bemused tone. “Rose, you’re gorgeous.”


“You’re just saying that to make me feel better. Because you have to.” Rose muttered, looking down at the floor and unconsciously tugging on her hair.


“Oi, Rose, I won.” Scorpius said suddenly, looking at her. I stared at him.


“Is now really the time?” I asked. What a tactless monkey.


Yes, I just called Scorpius Malfoy a tactless monkey. What are you going to do about it?


That’s right. Nothing. You know why?


Because I’m a Seer. And I know your future.


So HA.


“Yay for you?” Rose said, looking confused.


“I won.” He repeated, raising an eyebrow significantly at her.


Her eyes widened. “Oh, come on, Scorp.” She whined.


“You have to do it.” He sang, beaming.


She pouted. “You suck. I was sure James was going to make the most goals.”


“But I wanted to win. So I did.” Scorp said proudly.


“Fine.” She sighed. “What do I have to do?”


“Go over there, pry Nicole off of Al, and bitch slap her. And then yell at her.”


Her eyes widened. “In front of everyone?”


“Yep.” He said smugly.


“But Scorpius.” She protested. “I can’t do that to someone! No matter how horrible that someone might be. Yeah, sure, I can anonymously give her a haircut, but no one saw that. That would be awful of me.”


“That’s just it, Rose. You’re too nice.” Scorp said.


“What’s wrong with being nice?” She asked indignantly.


“People like that,” He gestured to Nicole, who was still clinging on to Al. “Take advantage of you.”


“What am I supposed to say?” She finally asked in a cold voice, looking determinedly angry.


“Just let it all out, Rosie.” He patted her on the shoulder. “Yell and scream at her. Let all that frustration out.”


“Right.” Rose said. She cracked her knuckles – if I was Nicole, I would run – rotated her head, squared her shoulders, and marched over to Al and Nicole.


“She’s so hot.” Scorpius sighed, looking after her.


Dom smacked him upside the head. “Stop ogling her arse.”


“I was not – okay, yes I was.” He shrugged at our simultaneously raised eyebrows.


“Hey, what’s going – WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT KID DOING?!”


“Nice of you to join us, James.” Scorpius clapped him on the back while James spluttered at Al and Nicole. Rose was nearby, collecting herself, it seemed.


“Why in the name of Merlin is my little brother snogging that…that…”


“Monster?” I offered.


“Yes. Monster.” James asked in an appalled voice. “I thought the bloke was sensible!”


“Clearly, he isn’t.” Dom said.


“Want me to –” James started, looking livid.


“Nope, Rosie’s got it covered.” I beamed at the thought of our innocent sweet Rose going loco on Winfield.


“Really? Rose?” James said. “You’re sending Rose over there?”


“Yes, we are.” Dom grinned.


“The same Rose who tutored first years in the library even though they stink bombed her the day before?”


“The very same.”


“The same Rose who used to get bullied by that girl on a daily basis?”


“Yes.”


“Our Rose?”


Yes, James.”


“My sweet baby cousin Rose.”


“YES, JAMES. ROSE. WEASLEY.”


“Right. Well, Scorp will stun Winfield first, and then Nikki and Artemis can take Rose to the hospital wing while I beat up Al.” James decided, nodding.


“Stop being such a pessimistic poopyhead, James.” Dom scowled at him.


“A pessimistic poopyhead?” Scorpius echoed incredulously. “Really, Dom?”


“Yes. Shut up.”


“She’s going!” I said excitedly. Her eyes hard and her jaw locked, Rose marched forward so that she stood in front of Al and Nicole, hands on her hips.


“Oh, this is going to be good.” Scorpius whispered elatedly.


Rose raised her wand, and with a resounding BANG, Al and Nicole flew apart. Al staggered back, eyes wide, while Nicole fell to the ground and glared up at Rose.


“You’re going to die later.” Rose told Al brightly, and he gulped.


“And you.” Rose turned to Nicole, her mouth curled into a disgusted sneer. “Get up. Now.”


Nicole stood up and tossed her blonde hair back, hands on her hips. “Yeah? What are you going to do, huh, Weasley?”


“This.” Rose said. And, putting her wand back in her pocket, she stepped forward, cocked her elbow, and punched Nicole straight in the face.


“Her expression is priceless.” I beamed happily. “Someone, take a picture!”


“You bitch!” Nicole screamed, clutching her bleeding nose.


“Oh, wow! You’re so original, Winfield!” Rose hissed, her blue eyes flashing in anger.


“Fuck off, Weasley. Get your ugly face out of my sight.” Nicole sneered, attempting to fix up her nose. Meanwhile, Al started backing away, eyes wide.


“You know what, Winfield?” Rose said in a menacing voice. “I don’t think I will. You don’t control me.”


“I hate you, Weasley.” Nicole snarled. “You better watch it.”


“Yeah, well I loathe you. You need to jump off the astronomy tower and just kill yourself. Seriously, the world will become a better place without you wasting our precious oxygen. The day you finally die, about half the school will throw a party in celebration of the fact that you are no longer befouling the planet with your existence! I don’t think there’s a single other person on this planet that I hate more than you!” Rose yelled.


“You think you’re so hot, with your little skirts and tight tops, but you know what? The whole school sees you as nothing more than a prostitute of some sort! You’re easy, and you’ve got no self-respect for yourself. So, before you start making fun of someone who is clearly above you, maybe you should do something about your pitiful reputation. You’re a disgrace to humanity, Winfield. I hope you’re happy with yourself, bitch.”


Rose stopped yelling, her chest heaving and her blue eyes electrifying. Her hair was whipping around her head like fire, and her cheeks were flushed pink. In that instant, she looked more beautiful and terrifying than ever.


“I think I’m in love.” Scorpius got out in a strangled whisper.


Suddenly, there was a bang! and Nicole’s hair turned bright pink. She immediately burst into tears and started backing up into the girls’ dormitory.


“That’s what you get for attacking me, bitch.” Al said furiously, his wand raised. Rose’s eyes grew.


“She attacked you?!”


“She hexed me so that I wouldn’t know what I was doing.” Al said. “You think I’d voluntarily snog her?”


“Yes, but you proved me wrong!” Rose beamed at him, and he chuckled and engulfed her in a hug.


“You were fabulous, Rosie.”


“Thanks.” She said shyly. “I’m sorry I said I’ll kill you.”


“It’s okay.”


“Please tell me someone recorded that or something.” I breathed. “I don’t ever want to forget that memory.”


Rose turned to Scorpius, eyebrow raised expectantly. “Well?”


“Can I snog you now?” Scorpius asked in a dazed voice.


He received two rather hard slaps from Al and James.


“Just kidding.” He muttered, rubbing the back of his head and glaring at Al. Rose grinned.


They want each other. Bad.


***


“It’ll be four months soon.” Was the first thing that Dom told me when I woke up the next morning. She was beaming, her eyes sparkling.


“Are you showing yet?” I asked eagerly, sitting up in bed and completely forgetting my usual morning ritual of moaning and groaning for a good three hours before I finally got out of bed.


She nodded. “Yeah. See?” She lifted up her shirt and pointed to the bump on her stomach. I reached forward and tentatively touched the bump.


“Wow.” I whispered, biting my lip and smiling at Dom.


“I know.” She whispered back, beaming. “I can’t believe I have a little baby in there.”


“Me neither. How are you feeling?”


“Incredibly alive.” Dom said, breathing out. Her face was glowing with excitement.


“IS THAT A BUMP?!” Ella shrieked, jumping on my bed, eyes wide.


“Yes it is. Baby Dom is in there.” I grinned, allowing Ella to pat the bump. Dom sat there, beaming with happiness.


“Wow!” Ella squealed, jumping up and down on her knees. The bed wobbled. “This is so exciting!”


“Let’s go show James!” Dom grabbed my hand and towed me out of the room.


“Hold up there, Princess.” I dragged us to a halt. “Have you told your parents yet?”


“FUCKERMUFFINS!” Dom screamed, sprinting down the stairs. I cursed loudly as I stumbled over the stone steps, trying to shake her off of me.


She started pulling me to the owlery, but I tugged her towards McGonagall’s office. “You’ve got to actually talk to them, Dom.”


“What?” She squeaked, stopping abruptly. “They’ll kill me!”


“Sucks to be you!” I sang, dragging on her hand again. She reluctantly followed. “You still have to tell them!”


“GARRR-NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!” Dom wailed, stomping along like a child. “Artemiiiis, I don’t waaaannaaaa.”


“Tough.” I said, stopping in front of the statue. “Dumbledore.” I added, and it sprung aside. I shoved Dom up the staircase, muttering angrily about childish idiots, and knocked on Professor McGonagall’s door.


“Come in.” She said, and I opened the door, towing Dom after me.


“Wow.” I gasped, forgetting, for a second, my purpose for being there as I took in the large, circular room.


“Beautiful, isn’t it?” McGonagall asked me, and I turned to look at her, surprised that she was smiling.


Wow. McGonagall used to be pretty once upon a time. Just get a load of that smile.


“Very.” I breathed, and even Dom let out a whimper that sounded vaguely like agreement.


“So, how can I help you girls?” McGonagall folded her hands as she sat behind the desk. Dumbledore’s portrait – DON’T LAUGH, ARTEMIS – twinkled down happily at us.


“Dom’s pregnant.” I announced bluntly, and Dom viciously elbowed me in the side.


McGonagall stared at us a moment. “Miss Weasley? You’re pregnant?”


“Erm – yes?” Dom confirmed in a small voice, looking down in shame. “I’m sorry, Professor, I didn’t mean to –”


“Nonsense, Miss Weasley. Everyone’s bound to get pregnant one time or another. You were just a bit early. Now, how many months has it been?” Professor asked briskly.


Dom looked partially relieved. “Four months.”


“Alright. We’ll need to get you checked with Madame Pomphery, make sure that everything is normal.” McGonagall nodded. “I don’t mean to pry, Miss Weasley, but would you be able to tell me who the father of the child is?”


Dom gulped, and her eyes filled with tears as she looked at the floor. “I – he –”


“My brother.” I inserted calmly, looking up at her. “Apollo Jones.”


McGonagall blinked, and for a second, she looked shocked. Then her face was carefully smooth again. “Ah. Your best friend’s twin brother. Smart of you, Dominique.”


Dom grinned sheepishly. “Heh.”


“Have you told him yet?” She asked.


“Yeah. He – he didn’t take it so well.” Dom mumbled, and I looked away.


McGonagall blinked. “Your family?” She plowed on.


Dom nodded.


“Parents?”


“Erm, well – that was what we came here for…I sort of wanted to talk to them about it in person, you see.” Dom bit her lip, and McGonagall nodded.


“Of course. Step right here, we’ll floo you over. Would you like to go as well, Miss Jones?”


“Yes.” Dom said before I could open my mouth and decline. I glared at her. I don’t want to go to her house! What if I get killed by her parents? I am, after all, the twin sister of the idiot who went and impregnated their precious daughter. What if they decide that by hurting me, pain will inevitably befall Apollo as well? What if Mr. Weasley sprouts into a full grown werewolf just so that he can attack me?! OF COURSE THAT WOULD HAPPEN TO ME.


“No way,” I whispered furiously. “They’ll destroy me.”


“Why would they do that?” Dom asked, surprised.


“Well, Apollo’s my twin brother.” I explained. “They probably wouldn’t want to see me right now.”


“Artemis, you fucking imbecile.” Dom snapped. “You really think that in a family as large as mine, my parents would believe in blaming siblings for the actions of their sibling?”


“Um, well…I guess not.” I said reluctantly.


“Exactly.” She nodded. “And you have to come with me; I need you.” Her blue eyes grew large and beseeching.


I groaned. “I hate it when you do that!”


“So, is that a yes?” She asked.


“Fine.” I sighed.


“I love you!”


I grumbled unhappily and clambered into the fireplace beside her.


“Shell Cottage!” She said, dropping the floo powder. With a burst of emerald, we were off, spinning through the flames. I squeezed my eyes shut, thoroughly not enjoying the feeling of travel via fireplace. Then with another burst of emerald, we were standing in Dom’s fireplace, her sister and Teddy gaping at us.


“Dom?” Victoire asked blankly, quickly pulling her hand out of Teddy’s. “What are you doing here?”


“Is everything okay, Dom?” Teddy demanded.


“Oh, hey, guys!” I said loudly. “Nice of you to notice me here.”


“Missy! Didn’t see you there!” Teddy said joyfully, and I scowled.


Gee, I sure do love being invisible.


“Hey, Missy.” Victoire smiled at me, and I grinned back.


“Tori.” I said, raising my eyebrow meaningfully at Teddy. Victoire blushed and bit her lip to hide her bright smile.


“You’re finally together, aren’t you?” Dom asked, catching our exchange.


Teddy grinned. “Yeah.”


“About time. I was getting tired of all the fighting.” Dom rolled her eyes. “Um, well, are Maman and Papa home? I sort of need to talk to them, and…all of you, actually, about…something.”


She suddenly looked extremely nervous, and Victoire shot her an odd look before getting up and gracefully leaving the room in order to fetch Dom’s parents.


“What’s going on, Dom?” Teddy asked her.


“You’ll find out soon.” Dom whispered, wringing her hands.


“Is everything okay?” Teddy turned to me.


“You’ll find out soon, Ted.” I said, glancing at Dom’s face as Mr. and Mrs. Weasley stepped in the room. They were both beaming as they came forward to embrace me and Dom.


“So, what brings you here, sweetheart?” Mr. Weasley asked after he was done hugging me.


Dom gulped and shot me a pleading look; I shrugged helplessly. “Um – well, I –” She took a deep breath, looking stricken.


Mr. and Mrs. Weasley exchanged a nervous glance. “You can tell me anything, ma cherie.” Mrs. Weasley said soothingly, and Dom burst into tears.


“What, what did I say?” Mrs. Weasley asked frantically, coming forward to scoop Dom into a hug. But Dom pushed her gently away.


“I have to tell you guys. Please, just…just give me a minute.” She took a breath. “Okay. Okay. Mom, dad…”


She took another deep breath and looked at me. I nodded encouragingly.


“Mom, Dad…I’m pregnant.” Her eyes were tightly closed by the end of this.


Dead. Silence.


I gulped and looked around for a table to hide under. Maybe if I try hard enough, I’ll just blend into the wall. Or disappear altogether.


What?” Mr. Weasley asked blankly. “You’re pregnant?”


Dom nodded, tears streaming down her face. “I’m sorry, Daddy, I wasn’t thinking, and…”


“Oh, Dominique!” Mrs. Weasley swept forward and hugged Dom tightly, cutting off what she had to say. “My poor baby! Pregnant! It’s a little early, I’ll give you that, but, darling, there’s no need to be afraid of us! We’re your parents. Nous t’adorons, ma petit chou.”


“Oh, thank God.” Dom sobbed. “I thought you were going to kill me.”


“We would never!” Mr. Weasley kissed her forehead. “The boy, on the other hand…we may not spare. Though I’m sure your cousins already took care of him.”


“Who’s the father, Dom?” Victoire asked gently.


Dom looked at me.


Her?” Teddy asked in disbelief. My mouth dropped open.


“Not her, you prat!” Victoire slapped his arm. “What are you thinking?!”


“Right, sorry.” He muttered, looking embarrassed.


“It’s, er…my brother.” I muttered, tugging uncomfortably on one of my curls. “Apollo.”


The kitchen was silent.


“You’re pregnant with your best friend’s twin brother’s child?” Victoire asked Dom incredulously. “Could you get any stupider than that?”


Teddy nudged Victoire and shook his head while Dom’s eyes filled with tears. “I’m sorry!” She wailed, and I winced at the volume of her voice. “It was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done! And now they all hate each other, and I just alienated Artemis from her only family! I’m the worst best friend ever!”


I swallowed. “Dom, it’s really –”


“IT’S ALL MY FAULT!” Dom screeched, and with a loud wail, she promptly launched herself into my arms and then proceeded to bawl into my hair.


“Dom…er, stop crying…” I said awkwardly, patting her cautiously on the head as she continued to sob loudly. I winced as a particularly loud howl sounded right in my ear.


“Someone, help me.” I squeaked, looking at her family; but they were all frozen, staring at us in shock.


Lovely. Just leave poor defenseless me to fend for myself, why don’t you? I mean, it’s not as if I’m getting bloody attacked by my blubbering best friend or anything. By all means, please continue to stand there and gaze blankly at us while she cries on me. My eardrums are perfectly fine, thank you very – OH DEAR MERLIN, DON’T JUST STAND THERE AND WATCH, YOU IMBECILES.


Dom drew a couple of deep, shuddering breaths and noisily wiped her nose off on her sleeve. “Sorry.” She muttered thickly at me.


“It’s alright.” I replied weakly, still trying to recover the use of my right ear.


“Dominique, Princess, what happened?” Mr. Weasley asked cautiously, blatantly ignoring my furious signals to not bring that up.


I yelped and quickly ducked behind Victoire as Dom let out another wail and attempted to fling herself at me again. Victoire caught her instead, looking startled and slightly mortified as she tried to soothe Dom.


Damn you, pregnancy hormones.


“Er…so, I’m taking it didn’t go that well.” Teddy muttered.


“No shit.” Dom’s muffled voice snapped back.


“Language, Dominique.” Mrs. Weasley said absently, turning to me. “Artemis, dear, what happened?”


“My brother is a fucktard.” I said brightly. “And I am going to kill him.”


“Oh, dear.” Mrs. Weasley replied faintly, taking in my forced smile. “That bad?”


“Mmm-hmmm. He declared that he wants nothing to do with the baby or Dominique. I am so proud to call him my brother!” I cried happily, fighting back the urge to pull a Dom and launch myself into Teddy’s arms, wailing and sniveling like a little baby.


I have to be the strong one here. I’m Dom’s protector. She made that clear with the way she stands when she’s with me – slightly behind, her shoulder just touching mine. It’s like she needs that touch as proof, proof that I’m there for her and that she isn’t just living a nightmare where she’s all alone.


I would never leave her alone. Ever.


“I’ll kill him.” Mr. Weasley snarled, picking up a fork and holding it threateningly.


Oh dear God, I think I just pissed myself.


I gulped. “That won’t be necessary Mr. Weasley. He’s pretty beat up about it.”


I winced as his grip tightened. “How do you know that?” He demanded.


He’s starting to look wolfy. I AM GOING TO DIE.


“Er…I don’t?” I offered. “It’s just that…well, he’s still my brother, and I think I would prefer it if –”


“He’s the only family she has, Dad.” Dom said, finally having managed to get a grip on herself. “I already took that away from her once…you can’t take it away from her again. This is my fault.”


I swallowed thickly and looked down. “Don’t be stupid, Dominique.” I muttered. “He’s the idiot who left.”


“Because of my mistake.”


“It’s not a mistake.” I snapped, looking up at her with fierce eyes. “A baby is not a mistake, okay, Dom?”


She looked taken aback. “I didn’t mean it like –”


“Yeah, well…I just thought I should make that clear. Having a baby isn’t a mistake. Don’t ever say that again.” I fought against the lump in my throat, but a tear managed to fall down my face. “If the kid ever hears you one day, she’ll never be able to look at you the same way again. She’ll start to think that maybe she is a mistake. She’ll think that she’s a freak, that no one wants her.”


Dom gaped at me.


Another tear rolled down my face. “And then she’ll feel like she has no one left. Because there’s no one out there who cares for her. And when the world has given up on her, who is she to fight that?”


I closed my eyes, letting another tear drop. “That’s not fair.” I whispered. “No one should have to feel that way.”


“I am so sorry, Artemis.” Dom whispered, folding me in her hug. I leaned my head on her shoulder, letting all of my feelings out.


Sometimes it feels good to cry. Then you don’t have everything bottled up inside you, just waiting to explode.


“I love you, you know that?” Dom said, stroking my hair. I nodded into her shoulder. “I would never give up on you. You’re never alone, Artemis. Ever.”


I let out a choked, humorless laugh. “I’m always alone, Dom.”


Because no one really understands me.


And no one ever will.


***


“What happened? Are you okay? Is everything alright?”


James’ loud, frantic voice was the first thing I heard after I helped Dom into the common room. His eyes were wide and his hair was a mess, disheveled from him constantly running his hands through it.


“Everything is fine, James.” Dom said tiredly. “Maman and Papa are okay; they’re a little disappointed in me but still supportive; Ted and Tori finally got together, and Madame Pomphery gave me a potion for the morning sickness and all I really want to do right now is sleep.”


James nodded, then bent down and quickly lifted her up. “Alright. Let’s get you to bed, Nikki.”


Dom grinned sleepily. “I love having macho cousins.” She sighed, and James smirked.


“So am I your favorite cousin?”


“Yes. Don’t tell anyone.” Dom mumbled, her eyes drooping. She snuggled into him and let out a yawn.


Grinning, James started to put a foot on the first step of the girls’ staircase, but then stopped. “Crap.”


“You can’t go up.” I reminded him unnecessarily. “And I can’t carry her up.”


James threw his head back in frustration. “Why can’t anything ever be easy for me?” He demanded of the ceiling. “Why, Merlin?! WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO MUCH?”


“You’re not the only one, trust me.” I muttered, sending a quick beseeching look of my own to the sky.


“I guess she can just camp out in my room.” James said, looking down at Dom, who was curled up against him. She smiled in her sleep, and James smiled back at her, supporting her with one hand so that he could quickly brush away a strand of her hair.


It was probably the sweetest thing I had ever seen.


I wish I had something like that.


Ignoring the hollow ache in my chest, I nodded. “That’s probably best. Just…make sure she doesn’t see Apollo or anything.”


“He hasn’t been sleeping there.” James shook his head, and a quick burst of worry shot through his eyes before he covered it up with cold anger. “I haven’t seen him for days.”


“Probably for the best.” I mumbled, rotating my fingers against the side of my head. It was more of a tired gesture than anything, but James’ face creased with worry.


“Does your head hurt?”


“No.” I said, quickly dropping my hand. “Not at all…I’m just tired.” I shrugged half-heartedly.


“You want to sleep up there, too?” James asked me. I shook my head.


“No, I’m okay. I have to talk to the girls.”


“Hey, is that a bump?” James asked suddenly, his eyes wide as he looked at Dom’s stomach.


I felt my face smile. “Yeah. It’s been four months already, can you believe it?”


“Look at that.” He murmured wonderingly. “She really has something growing inside of her.”


I grinned. “I know. It’s incredible.”


“I should probably get her to bed.” James said reluctantly, looking away from me.


“You know what?” I said abruptly. “I’ll come with you. She’ll probably wonder where I am in the morning anyway.”


He beamed. “Come on, then.”


Ignoring the logical part of my brain, which was screaming at me to get my arse to my own room now, young lady, I followed him up the stairs, holding open the door of their room so that he could swing Dom into the room and lay her gently on one of the beds.


“Oi, what’s going on?” Fred asked, his disheveled head popping out from his hangings.


“Nikki’s sleeping.” James said.


“So? Why is she here? Doesn’t she have her own room?” Fred asked.


“She fell asleep downstairs and Artemis couldn’t carry her up, so I just brought her here. Hey, where are the extra sheets?” James added, rummaging around a closet.


Fred shrugged. “Beats me. Missy, what are you doing here?”


“Dom needs me.” I responded simply. “James, forget it, I’ll just sleep on Apollo’s bed. You can sleep on your bed with Dom. She’ll probably feel safer with you there, anyway.”


“What’s with you people?” Fred demanded, getting out of his bed. “Why does Dom need everyone all of a sudden? Where’s Pol? WHAT IS GOING ON?!”


We looked at him for a minute.


“You mean you don’t know?” I finally asked him. Fred shook his head, frustrated.


“What is there to know?”


“Nikki’s pregnant, Freddie.” James said as he walked into the bathroom. “Artemis, do you need some clothes?”


“She’s WHAT?!”


“Nah, I’ll just steal something from Apollo.” I walked to his closet and threw it open in search of something comfortable.


“Dom’s pregnant?” Fred repeated, sounding shocked.


“Yeah, Freddie, get with the program, mate. It’s been four months.” James walked back in the room, wearing pajama pants with snitches all over them. I quickly looked away from his bare chest to Apollo’s closet.


Not looking, not looking, not looking…damn, why is he so beautiful? Merlin hates me.


“FOUR MONTHS?!” Fred exploded. Dom stirred, but then let out a huge snore and rolled over onto her side. “Where have I been this whole time?!”


“Shnogging that Mawowee chick.” Jason supplied, a toothbrush sticking out of his mouth as he walked out of the bathroom and looked for his clothes.


“Why doesn’t anyone tell me these things?!” Fred moaned, throwing his hands up in the air.


“We thought you knew.” I said, pulling out a pair of sweatpants and a random tee-shirt. My eyes filled with tears as I looked at it; it was Apollo’s Cannons shirt, something that we always fought over because we both loved it so much.


“Who’s the father?” Fred finally asked.


We all turned around to look disbelievingly at him.


“You mean you haven’t figured it out already?” I asked him.


“Merlin, you’re thicker than I thought.” James muttered, running a hand through his hair and looking down at his bed, which Dom was sprawled across. “Great.” He added resignedly. “Just freaking fantastic.”


Fred’s eyes grew. “No way – Apollo?


“Someone, give the kid a cookie.” I deadpanned, walking to the bathroom and glaring at Jason, who was brushing his teeth. He put his hands up in surrender.


“I’m going.” He said. “Dun get yer knickersh in a twisht.”


I closed the door behind him and quickly got changed, rolling my eyes at Fred’s continued ignorance. Merlin, the kid didn’t even know that his own cousin was four months pregnant. Though with a family that large and crazy, it’s only inevitable that some things slip through the cracks. It’s really not Fred’s fault that no one told him anything.


“OI! MISHY I NEED TO SHPIT!” Jason banged on the door, and I yanked it open. He barreled in and spat into the sink, rinsing his mouth out while I wandered into the other room and watched James heave Dom to the other side of his bed so that he could also climb in.


“James, if you want she could sleep in my bed.” Fred said quietly, looking at his two cousins. “My bed is bigger than yours.”


James shook his head. “Not by much. I’m fine, Fred.”


“I’m the biggest fuckup in the world, aren’t I?” Fred asked, running a hand through his hair and looking at Dom.


“Just a little.” I smiled at him as I came up to the bed. “It’s okay, Freddie. We’re the ones who didn’t tell you.”


“But I should have noticed. Dom’s my cousin sister; I’m supposed to be there for her and protect her.” He shoved his hand into his hair again, fisting the locks in his grip.


“I got it covered, Freddie.” James grinned at him. “You just need to watch Lils and Rosie for me; Rose is getting a little too friendly with that Scorpius bloke.”


“‘That Scorpius bloke?” I echoed incredulously. “James, Scorpius is your brother’s best friend! He’s been on your Quidditch team for years. The kid grew up with you!”


“Details.” James waved it off. “As soon as he starts showing an interest in one of my baby cousins, he’s an immediate enemy.”


Fred nodded wisely. “None of them are allowed to date until they’re thirty. At least.”


“Oh, yes.” I nodded. “I’m sure that’s going to blow over real well for Lily and Rose. In fact, I should go and tell Lily of your plans now; let’s see how she would take that.”


I made to turn around, but Fred grabbed my arm. “There’s no need to do that.” He said. “Seriously. Don’t.”


I smirked. “That’s what I thought.”


“’Sides, you guys did a pretty shitty job protecting them.” Jason added.


“Oi! We’re good protectors! They’re all in one piece, aren’t they?” James cried indignantly.


“Oh, yeah? Then why is your ‘baby cousin’ pregnant?” Jason shot back.


James scowled. “I trusted my wanker of a best friend too much.”


“Thanks, James.” I said dryly. “Go ahead and insult my only family while I’m standing right here.”


He cleared his throat awkwardly, looking sheepish. “Right. Sorry.”


I sighed. “It’s okay. I hate him right now, too. I miss him a lot, but hate is also a dominant emotion at the moment.”


“He’ll come around, Missy.” Fred said, his eyes worried. “I know he will.”


“Sure he will.” I muttered, climbing into his bed. “First he needs to re-appear onto the face of the earth.”


“Yeah, where did he go?” Jason asked. They all turned to look expectantly at me, and I suppressed an eye-roll.


“Oh, hold on, let me just check my twin radar.” I said sarcastically. “Then I’ll know where he is.”


They continued to look at me. “Well?” Fred prodded. “Where is he?”


With a groan of frustration, I flopped back onto the pillows. “I don’t have a twin radar, you nitwits! I was being sarcastic!”


“Oh.” Jason sounded disappointed. “Damn. That would have been so cool.”


I snorted. Sure. Let’s make me even more of a freak than I already am.


***


“Missy. Artemis. Artemis.” Dom hissed, prodding me in the side. I flapped my hand at her and rolled over, burying my head into the comforting scent of Apollo’s pillow.


“Go away.” I mumbled. “We don’t have classes today.”


“Missy, I’m hungry.” Dom whined, poking me again. “Get up.”


“Go bother someone else.” I said, pulling his covers over my head. “I’m trying to sleep.”


“James won’t wake up.” Dom complained. “I want food, Missy. I’m hungry.”


With a frustrated sigh, I sat up. “Will you leave me alone if I come down to the kitchens with you?”


She nodded eagerly.


“Alright, then. Let me just wake up James and then we’ll –”


“Oh, don’t.” Dom pleaded. “He looks so peaceful sleeping there, Missy. Let him sleep.”


“And I didn’t look peaceful?” I asked her. “No way. He’s going to suffer right along with me.”


“You’re mean.” She said.


“You’re one to talk.” I shot back. “Waking up your best friend in the middle of the freaking night; what kind of ‘nice’ person would do that?”


“Me.” She announced proudly. “Might as well just wake up Fred as well.”


She promptly turned around and jumped on his bed. He woke up with a loud yell, and James shot up, his wand out. Jason groped around for the light, muttering profanities under his breath.


“WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU JUMPING ON MY BED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING NIGHT?!” Fred yelled at Dom.


“Why the fuck are you yelling in the middle of the fucking night?” James asked him angrily, shooting a spell at the light so that it would turn on. Jason groaned and flopped back down on the bed.


“Why the fuck is everyone awake in the middle of the fucking night?” He grumbled sleepily.


“I’m hungry!” Dom announced, still bouncing on Fred’s mattress. “Take me to the kitchens.”


“No way.” Fred pulled his blanket over his head. “You can go yourself.”


“I’m going back to sleep.” James agreed, turning off the light and lying down again.


“Get your own goddamned food.” Jason muttered, punching his pillow.


“But I’m pregnant!”


“Let’s go!” Fred shot out of bed, throwing his blankets to the side.


“I’ve got the map, the coast is clear.” James was already up and pointing his wand at his grandfather’s map.


“Now that I think of it, I would really love to accompany you to the kitchens, Dominique.” Jason said earnestly, picking her up and holding her carefully in his arms. “In fact, let me carry you there. Don’t want to get your pregnant self all tired out.”


Dom grinned, and I rolled my eyes.


***


“Whatis that?” I asked Dom, looking fearfully at her monstrosity of a sandwich. She took a huge bite and chewed it, closing her eyes in satisfaction.


“It’s…” She opened it up and peered inside. “Uh…Nutella, Mayo, pickles, onions, crisps, chocolate chips, ketchup, lettuce, mustard, peanut butter, tomatoes, mashed potatoes, and some pudding!” She slapped the top back on. “It’s delicious. Want some?”


I shook my head, feeling nauseas. “I’ll pass.” I said faintly, clutching at my stomach. “Dom, are you sure that’s even edible?”


“Sure it is.” She got out through another mouthful. “I’m eating it, aren’t I?”


“Unfortunately.” I said, my stomach rolling as she took another large bite. “Dom, that’s –”


“ – missing something.” Dom finished, thoughtfully chewing her sandwich. “I know.”


“I was actually going to say ‘repulsive’.”


“Frosting!” She snapped her fingers. “Oi, Fred, get me some frosting!”


“On it!” He called back from the kitchen.


James sauntered out and handed Dom a tub of frosting. She opened it and started slathering it on her sandwich.


“Er…what are you eating, Nikki?” James asked her unsurely, eyeing her sandwich with disgust.


“A sandwich.” She said smartly, taking another bite. “Mmmm. Perfect.” She sighed happily, settling back.


“What kind of sandwich, love?” James continued, peering warily at it.


“It’s a nutella-mayo-pickle-onion-crisp-chocolate chip-ketchup-lettuce-mustard-peanut butter-tomato-mashed potato-pudding-frosting sandwich.” She rattled off proudly. “And it’s delicious. Wanna try?”


“I’m good.” James swallowed thickly. “Really. I think I’ll make do without.”


“That can’t be edible.” Fred said, sounding repulsed.


“Of course it is!” Dom grinned. “Try some.”


“No, thanks.” Fred smiled unsurely at her, then took a seat.


“Oh, is that a sandwich? Man, I’m starving, gimme some.” Jason said, reaching over and plucked it out of Dom’s hands. Dom grinned up at him as he took a bite, handing it back to her and wiping the back of his mouth.


“It’s good, isn’t it?” Dom asked, looking at him. Jason stopped chewing, and his eyes bugged out of their sockets. He immediately turned around and sprinted out of the room. Two seconds later, the sound of him retching echoed back to us.


Dom smiled serenely, taking another bite of her sandwich.


Me and James exchanged a wary glance. Does pregnancy affect the brain? I’m starting to seriously wonder if it does.


“Oi, want some frosting?” Fred held out a finger of it to me, and I shook my head, sitting back against the wall and closing my eyes. Suddenly, something cold and slimy hit the side of my face.


“ACK! FRED!” I shrieked, sitting up and rubbing the side of my cheek. Fred grinned wickedly at me, waggling his frosting-tipped fingers.


“Oh, this means war.” I snarled, grabbing a tub of it and scooping out a chunk. I lobbed it at him, then laughed as it lodged itself in his hair.


“You ruined my perfect hair!” Fred said, shocked. “You’re going down, Jones!”


“Bring it!” I laughed, dodging as another frosting chunk flew at me. “I’ve got mad Quidditch skills on my side, Freddie! You’ll never win!”


“Yeah, well…I have the spirit of Fred the First on my side!” He shot back. “Oi, Uncle Fred! HELP OUT!” He added to the sky, yelping as another one of my accurate shots hit him in the face.


“You’re going to die, woman!” He roared, scooping out a huge chunk and chucking it at me.


“You missed!” I laughed.


Fred’s eyes grew. “Whoops.”


I turned around. James stood behind me, his face covered in frosting. He looked livid, snarling angrily as he seized a nearby tub of frosting and throwing a huge chunk of it at Fred. It hit him full in the face.


“I guess I sort of deserved that.”


“The hell you did!” I laughed, throwing some more at him. I then crept up behind James and smeared frosting all over his face, laughing as he spluttered.


He turned around and attacked me with the frosting. I screamed and ran away, giggling as he started to tickle me. By this point, Dom had managed to finish her Sandwich of Death, and was battling both Fred and Jason as they came at her with frosting.


“Stop – stop!” I laughed as James’ hands tickled my sides. I was on my back, and James was over me, pinning me to the ground. He stopped, and I continued to laugh weakly, trying to regain my breath.


“Hey, Artemis.” James’ voice was soft, and I looked up to realize that his face was only inches from my own.


Fuckermuffins.


“Heh?” I squeaked nervously.


He grinned at me, his golden eyes sparkling. “You’ve got a little something right…here.” He leaned down and kissed the corner of my mouth, his tongue darting out to scoop up the frosting.


Butterflies erupted in the pit of my stomach as I continued to gape up at him.


“And right here.” He kissed my cheek.


“And…right here.” His mouth was inches away from mine.


I gulped.


Oh god, no. Please. No. My hand groped around for something – anything – that could prevent him from kissing me. It landed on a chunk of frosting.


“Hey, James.” I said, leaning my head slightly away from him.


“Hmm?” He seemed focused on my mouth.


“You’ve got a little something right…HERE!” I plopped the icing on the side of his face, and with a squeal, shot up and ran away.


“Oi! GET BACK HERE, WOMAN!” James yelled, chasing after me while attempting to get the frosting off.


I squealed again as all three of the boys jumped at me and Dom, slathering icing all over our faces and hair.


I bet the house elves really hate us.


***


“Oi, Missy, you’ve got some frosting right there.” Al pointed right under my chin, and with a resigned sigh, I rubbed at it.


“Is it gone?”


He nodded. “Why is there frosting all over you anyway?”


“Frosting war.” I grimaced and tried combing through my hair. Even after washing it for two hours, I still had some remnants of icing in it. It was rather annoying. “It seemed like a fun idea at the time. Now…not so much.”


“Scourgify.” Rose murmured, flicking her wand at me. All traces of icing disappeared.


I slapped a hand to my forehead. “Duh. I’m such an idiot.”


“It happens.” She said sweetly, turning another page of her book. “Where’s Dom?”


“Still sleeping. James is up there, too.” I added, just as Al opened his mouth to ask the inevitable.


I sighed. “Freddie didn’t even know that Dom was pregnant until yesterday.”


“Dom’s what?!”


I slapped a hand to my forehead. “How do you not know this, Scorpius?” I asked exasperatedly as I turned around to look at his gaping face.


“It’s been four months, you idiot.” Al added, rolling his eyes.


“No one tells me anything!” Scorpius said, throwing his hands up, just like Freddie had done yesterday. “I’ll be Roxy doesn’t know, either. Or Lucy, or Molly. Or even Louis.”


“Fuck!” I shot up, eyes wide. “Louis doesn’t know! And it’s his own sister! Fuck, why’d the little brat have to be in Ravenclaw? I gotta go get James and Dom!”


“We’ll come with.” Rose said calmly, putting her book away. “It’s been ages since I’ve seen Louis anyway.”


“Okay.” I shrugged. “Let me just go and wake up James and Dom, and we’ll all head over.”


Four screaming fits, one large sob-fest, a couple of slaps, and a lot of tripping later, we finally managed to break the news to Louis.


“WHAT?!” Louis yelled, getting up. “WHY DOESN’T ANYONE TELL ME THINGS?!”


“That’s what I said!” Fred agreed, throwing his hands up in the air again.  


“It’s been four months?! FOUR BLOODY MONTHS?! And you don’t even bother to tell your own freaking brother?” Louis demanded, turning to Dom.


She looked sheepish as she awkwardly tugged on a strand of hair. “I’m sorry, Louis.”


“Yeah, you bloody should be.” He said, still looking upset. “God, Dom, it’s like you don’t even want me in your life anymore. I’m sorry I’m not a Gryffindor, but at least…at least inform me when you’ve got something going on!”


“Of course I want you in my life, Lu!” Dom said earnestly, coming forward to hug him. “You’re my brother. I love you. It’s just…I had a lot going on.”


I gulped a couple of times to swallow the tears that were threatening to fall down my face. Al reached over and wrapped an arm around me, giving me a reassuring squeeze, and I leaned into him.


“I miss him.” I whispered.


“I know.” He whispered back, stroking my hair. “I know, love.”


“Just…let me know next time, okay? Just so I can be there for you.” Louis said sternly, looking at Dom.


Dom nodded. “Promise.”


“Who’s the dad?” Louis asked finally, still hugging Dom. I watched her stiffen in his arms, and he looked down at her, his eyebrows scrunching up slightly. “Dom?”


“My brother.” I said flatly, not wanting to go through another guessing game with him.


Louis’ eyebrows shot up. “Oh?”


“He left.” Dom’s muffled voice said. “He doesn’t want it.”


A flash of anger shot through his eyes, and I sighed.


“I’ll help kill him.” Louis volunteered, looking at James, Al and Fred. I winced.


“No one knows where he is.” I muttered, taking a couple of deep breaths to prevent myself from breaking down completely and bawling like a small child.


“Plus, he doesn’t need killing. He’s still my best friend, Lu.” James said, running a hand through his hair.


He’s still my brother. Even though he hasn’t been acting like it.


***


“Do you, James Sirius Potter, take Artemis Selene Jones to be your lawfully wedded wife?”


James’ eyes were shining with love and victory as he looked at me, and I felt my heart jump a beat. He was perfect. So perfect. And he was all mine.


“I do.” He declared.


“And do you, Artemis Selene Jones, take James Sirius Potter to be your lawfully wedded husband?”


I looked at James, at the man I loved more than anything else in the world.


“I do.” I said, beaming. I felt like I was flying, like I was at the top of the world. In this moment, nothing could bring me down, because it was my day and my James.


“Then I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”


James leaned forward to kiss me, and everyone erupted into cheers.


I opened my eyes. There was not a shred of doubt in that vision.


This ends. Now. 




dun dun DUNNNNNNN.
suspense :D

okay, before we start with our question extravaganza, i need to make two announcements:
1) I MADE AN AUTHOR'S PAGE!!!! i'm so excited, because i FINALLY figured it out! please check it out! don't leave me all by my lonesome over there!! 

2) I would like to formally apologize for not being able to respond to all of your reviews. i know that, when you share your opinions and time with me, you expect me to share mine with you. in fact, you should expect that. it is expected of me. i realize if some of you are a little upset that i havent been able to respond to them all lately. my good friend pheonixy_friend (along with coming up the genius idea of the buses and ankles and screaming) pointed out that, um, who do i even ask for reviews if i never answer them?
it's a good point. i can assure you, however, that i, honest to god, read, appreciate, and cherish every single review you guys write to me. i may not have time to respond to them, but i definitely go through and read everything you write to me. and it absolutely makes my day, too. your reviews mean the absolute world to me.
and i'm just....SORRYSORRYSORRYYYYYY!!! D':
i just have so much going on right now. it's...overwhelming. so much to do, so many people to keep happy, so much work and school and just...life. and i'm so, so sorry that it's you guys that fall through the cracks a bit. i really am. i'm sorry that i can't keep you all happy.
i wish i could. i really do. it's just... i have no time.so please forgive me. i'll respond to each and every review as soon as summer break rolls around. marauder's honor. 

on a happier note, QUESTION TIMMMMMEEEE!!
1) What do you think is going to happen next??
2) Who wants to go and visit my author's page? I sure do ;D (sorry, couldn't resist)
3) Who was a little dissapointed with the whole Rose/Scorpius thing?
4) What do you think Artemis' favorite color is?
5) What should Dom's baby be named? And what gender?
6) Favorite quotes??
7) Who's proud of me for writing such an awesomely long chapter?? MEEEEE!!

thanks so much and keep reviewing!!
love you guys!! thanks so much for sticking with me :)

ps check out my new one-shot, Fall for Me. it's lily/james from james' pov. 
pps should i post Speaking in Rainbow?
ppps shout out to Bookworm045, who wrote on her author's page that i'm her favorite person even if she doesnt know me personally!!! that is not bad at all. I LOVE YOU :D
i absolutely died of happiness. i'm still grinning about it. 
i'm happy.


Chapter 11: Ice, Hurt and Electric Shocks
[View Online]  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

BAMCHAPTERTEN :D




once upon a time, i sucked at making graphics.
this is one of those times.




“Hey, Artemis.” James plopped down across from me at the table I was currently occupying in the library. I ignored him and continued writing my potions essay.


The beozar, a stone taken from the stomach of a goat –


“So, what’s up?”


– has many magical qualities to it, mainly the power to –


“What are you working on?”


– serve as a powerful antidote to any poison. However –


“Why are you ignoring me?”


 – it is very rare, so that is why people must learn to –


“Artemis! What’s wrong?”


 – brew antidotes for potions.


Snatch.


“Potter! Give me my essay back!” I grabbed for it, but Ja – Potter held it high above his head. Ugh. Curse his super tallness.


“Fine. What do you want?” I finally snapped at him, giving up my fruitless attempts to grab the piece of parchment that held the efforts of basically my whole afternoon.


“I want to know what’s wrong.” He said, looking closely into my face, his other hand still extended high above his head.


I rolled my eyes. “Nothing’s wrong. I want my essay back.”


“No. Something is wrong.” He insisted, still peering at me. “I can see it in your eyes.”


I immediately averted my gaze. Gah. How does he do that? “Everything’s fine. Now give it back. I spent three hours of my life on that, you know.”


“Artemis, don’t lie to me. What’s wrong?”


“NOTHING. IS. WRONG.” I said slowly, clearly. I looked right at him, widening my eyes in innocence. He looked at me for a little while longer, his gaze searching.


I felt like in that moment, he could see right inside me. Like he could read every single one of my secrets, like he knew what I was doing.


And that, my friends, is extremely uncomfortable.


“Potter!” I snapped, after a couple minutes of intense staring. “Give me my essay back, god damn it!”


“Artemis –”


“NO! I don’t want to hear it! I just want my fucking essay! Give it.” I held my hand out.


“No, look, we…we need to talk. About that other night, when we were having an icing fight –”


“What, when you tickled me with icing? It’s nothing, Potter.” I said coldly.


“No. After that.” He said quietly, still gazing at me. “When I almost kissed you.”


My heart jumped a beat at that.


Stupid heart. Shut up and keep beating! No one asked you, anyway!


“It was nothing.” I repeated, still in my cold, detached voice.


“It was definitely something and we both know it, Artemis.” He shot back.


“No, it wasn’t. It was nothing, Potter. Just you trying to be your annoying self and me managing to escape before you did something stupid.” My tone was scathing, cold, and for a moment I marveled at how well I was able to act.


He winced at that. I glared at him, and finally, he sighed.


“I don’t understand.” He said in frustration.


“Don’t understand what, Potter? There isn’t anything to understand.” I crossed my arms over my chest, still glowering at him.


“I don’t understand you, Artemis. You’re hiding something, I can tell. You just refuse to say it. And I can tell that you actually do like me, and you’re doing this…all of this, for some reason. And I don’t understand why.”


He’s got me completely figured out. Damn.


 “Potter, it’s just a figment of your deranged imagination.” I rolled my eyes. “And if I do have a secret, you’ll be the last person I tell.”


He looked confused. “What—”


“And also, don’t flatter yourself, Potter.” I scoffed. “I don’t like you. At all. The only reason I put up with you is because you’re my brother’s best friend and my best friend’s cousin.”


Hurt flashed through his eyes, and seeing it made me hurt, too.


Gahhh.


Get a grip on yourself, Artemis.


You’ve decided what you’re going to do. Stand by it.


My brain is going to end up killing me one day. Just saying.


It’ll be like this:


Artemis: I don’t know. It seems sort of stupid, you know, jumping off this cliff.


Brain: No, of course it’s not stupid! Go on, do it!


Artemis: But I’ll die! There’s no way I’ll be able to survive a fall like that.


Brain: Yes you will! You’ll be fine! Just do it. Seriously.


Artemis: I don’t know…


Brain: Do you trust me?


Artemis: Well, duh.


Brain: Good. Then, do it.


Artemis: Alright, here goes nothing…


And then I die.


Yup.


Anyway.


“I don’t understand.” Potter repeated uncomprehendingly.


“What don’t you understand, Potter?” I said in an irritated way. “I don’t like you. I never will. So just leave me alone, okay?”


“But—”


“NO! Just give me back my essay, and we can both go on blissfully ignoring each other. That’s the way it should be, okay? You stay out of my way, and I’ll stay out of yours. Capiche?”


He stared at me for a little while longer, and then let out a hollow, humorless laugh, shaking his head. “I can’t ignore you, Artemis. There’s no way I’d be able to do that.”


“Try.” I shot at him.


“No.” He responded stubbornly. I threw my head back in annoyance.


“Potter! Just…leave me alone! Trust me, it’s for the best. I really don’t want to deal with you. Not now, not ever. So, from now on, we keep minimal contact. That’s it. I’m dealing with a lot right now, and dealing with you just adds to the stress. I have NEWTS, and you’re just going to mess me up by bothering me all day long, and I don’t have time for that! Yeah, we had fun harassing each other when we were younger, but it’s done, okay? Just leave. Me. Alone.”


I’m so heartless. I hate this.


“You can tell me what’s bothering you, you know.” He said softly, setting my essay back on the table and taking step closer to me.


Tears pricked in my eyes and I looked away from him. “You wouldn’t understand. No one does.”


“I’m going through the same thing, Artemis. I love both of them, too.” The truth was clear in his eyes – he was suffering. Just like me.


“You still wouldn’t understand.”


“Try me.”


A tear rolled down my cheek and I wiped it away angrily. “I don’t have time for this! Why can’t you just stop bothering me for once in your life?”


“I’m not bothering you. I just want to talk to you.” He said calmly.


“I. Don’t. Want. To. Talk.” I hissed.


His eyes hardened. “Fine.” He said. I gave an inaudible sigh of relief, glad that he was finally going to leave.


And then he took a step closer to me, grabbed my face, and pressed his lips firmly to mine, ignoring my startled squeak when he did so.  


I was shocked. Frozen. He did not just…oh, god. He did. And I’m just standing here, letting him kiss me like this.


My brain yelled at me to break away, but my body, as if on its own accord, stayed frozen to the spot, not sure what to do.


James’ lips were gentle and soft against mine, and I…almost…didn’t…I didn’t want him to stop.


There. I said it. This feels nice. No, this feels more than nice, it feels right. I’ve never been kissed like this before, and it’s amazing. I’m flying. Soaring. And it’s so perfect and…right.


So my body, flooded with the feeling of rightness, responded to the kiss.


Without bothering to ask me if it was okay.


Mutiny, I tell you! MUTINY!


My lips molded themselves around his, kissing him just as gently as he was kissing me. My hands reached up around his neck and my fingers threaded through his hair, the surprisingly soft strands feeling like satin against my skin.


He smiled into the kiss and pulled me closer to him, sliding his hands around my back and tilting his head to the side. My eyes fluttered shut.


We kissed for…it felt like ages, honestly, when my brain caught up with my actions and I realized that I was standing in the library, a public place, kissing James Freaking Potter. Voluntarily.


Why does this always happen to me?! WHY ME?!?


I pulled away, eyes wide, and stumbled a couple of steps backwards, the shock showing clearly on my face.


“Artemis—” He started, reaching towards me, but I shook my head and staggered back some more.


“No,” I choked out, tears streaming down my face again. “I didn’t just—no. No.”


What have I done? How could I be so stupid?!


I decided to stay away from him. I DECIDED IT!


So why am I doing the exact opposite of that?! Huh?! What’s wrong with me?!?


“Artemis—” He took another step forward, looking pained.


“No! Just….just stay away from me!” I sobbed, backing away. “Just leave me alone!”


“Artemis, just listen –”


“NO!” I childishly covered up my ears. “Go away, Potter. Leave. Stay away from me.”


He looked at me for a second longer, sadness etched upon his face, and then turned around, picked up his bag, and headed for the exit. I hugged myself around the middle and watched as he stopped at the door, glanced back at me, and then walked quickly out of the library.


Clutching at my hair, I collapsed into the chair, sobbing.


What do I do?


What’s happening to me?


I just – this is too much for me! I can’t do this. I can’t.


I’m just so tired of this…all of this. I can’t do it anymore.


Merlin, what I would give just to be a normal girl.


If only.


***


After that lovely sob-fest in the library, I did my best to avoid James as much as possible. Everywhere I went, I could feel his eyes on me, but I never made eye-contact with him, scared of what I would see if I looked. I was scared because, well…I was scared because I knew he loved me. And if he looked at me like that, I just wouldn’t be able to do this anymore.


Because no one has ever looked at me with pure, complete love before. And I’m scared of what I’ll feel if it’s him doing it for the first time.


I can’t fall in love with him. I just can’t. It’ll screw everything up. Everything. All of my efforts, all of my energy…wasted. And I decided I’m not going to fall for him, so I stay by it. End of. I’m NOT going to end up marrying him. I won’t.


I’m not so sure that I don’t want to anymore. I just…won’t.


Don’t ask me why I won’t. I don’t know why. I thought I did, but now I don’t. I’m just…so confused and tired and sick of everything right now.


I want it all to end.


I want something, something that will numb the pain, even if it’s just for a little while. Something that will help me forget everything that’s going on right now. Something. Someone to talk to, something. Ella’s always busy with Jason (doing…actually, I don’t even want to know what they’re up to), or Dom, or school, or Quidditch; Alex is busy being the perfect little girlfriend for her precious Matt, which, if you ask me, is completely fucked up; and Dom is just…completely overwhelmed with everything.


I miss Apollo.


I miss him. I miss my brother, my best friend, my shelter, my protector. I miss my twin brother. We’re – we were – really close. It’s hard not to be close after sharing a uterus with a guy for nine months. And now he’s gone. Everything we had, that bond that we shared…gone. I feel like part of me is missing, like my right arm has been chopped off. Like a chunk of my heart has just…disappeared, gone with Apollo when he left. 


I never realized how much he meant to me until I lost him. I mean, I did, but it just…hurts.


I want my brother back. I miss him.


How did everything turn out like this? When did this all go wrong? One minute, we’re have nice, normal lives, and the next thing I know, my world is crashing down around me.


Everything is wrong. Just…everything. Everything is completely, totally, absolutely screwed up. And the scary part…I don’t know how to fix it.


I don’t know how to fix it. Do you know how terrifying that feeling is? I feel completely helpless, like all I’m able to do right now is stand there and watch everything get ruined, but not be able to do anything about it. I’m stuck.


The future is a complete mess, and everything is just wrong.


And I’m scared, because I think it’s my fault. It’s my fault, because I’m trying to change the future. But I don’t want the other alternative. I don’t. Is that selfish of me? I don’t know.


Or maybe everything is meant to happen this way. Maybe this is supposed to happen, little puzzle pieces that fit into a big picture. I just don’t know what the big picture is yet. And, truth be told, I’m scared to know. What if the big picture is the destruction of all of our lives? What if we all end up completely screwed over?


I don’t know. The world is confusing. All I know right now is that my life is a mess, and I have no idea how to fix it.


And I’m absolutely, positively, utterly scared.


Of course, that’s no excuse for hiding in this little niche. I should know that it’s not possible to hide from your problems. And yet…here I am, tucked into this little corner, staring at the wall and wondering what the hell is wrong with me.


I feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore.


“Artemis.”


Yeah, I know that’s my name, Sherlock. That’s not what I meant. I meant, like, my – wait. That didn’t come from inside my head.


“Artemis…what are you doing here?”


Oh, lovely. Potter. I bet he used the Map to find me. Cheater.


“Go find your own hiding place,” I said morosely, blowing a piece of hair out of my face and crossing my arms.


“Why are you hiding from me?” He said it flatly, with no inflections. Monotone. Cold. Dead.


“I’m not hiding from you.”


“Don’t lie to me.”


“I’m not.”


“Then what are you hiding from?”


“I’m not hiding. I’m thinking.”


“Mmm-hmm.” He said skeptically, still sounding hollow, like his life had been sucked out of him. “Budge over. I want to talk to you.”


“No.” I said obstinately. “I don’t want to talk.”


He sighed in exasperation and I saw him shove a hand through his stubbornly messy hair, which I now know is actually really soft. Like satin. Or velvet. Or silk.


Not that I care, or anything. I’m just saying.


“Artemis…just hear me out. I’ve been absolutely miserable these past few days. I just want to talk to you.” He definitely sounded miserable.


You’re not the only one who’s been absolutely miserable, James. I’ve been miserable, too. We’ve all been miserable. There’s just a whole lot of misery travelling around right now. It’s like a misery-fest. It’s a misery extravaganza, a misery –


Okay. I think you get the point. People are generally extremely miserable right now.


But his misery…well, that’s partly my fault.


And…the guilt floods in. Nice to see you again, guilt. How have you been? Busy? I thought so.


“Fine. Let’s talk.” I sighed, squeezing myself into the niche so he could also slide in. For a second we just stood there, staring at each other. James’ eyes were neutral right now, covered in a mask of indifference. But I could see something brewing underneath the mask, something that was just about ready to burst out. I was glad for that mask. It meant that I couldn’t read his eyes, couldn’t read the emotions that I was so scared of knowing.


“I—” He started, then paused, looked down at me, and sighed. “I don’t know what to say.”


“Well. That’s unhelpful. I’ll just go then…bye – whoa!” I gasped as he suddenly pushed me against the wall, trapping me there with his body.


“You’re not going anywhere.” He growled. “Don’t you dare walk away from me.”


“Or what?” I challenged, squirming around, trying to get some distance between our bodies. Having him this close, completely pressed up against me, did really weird fluttery things to my stomach.


Damn rancid oatmeal. I’m never eating the stuff again.


He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. “Stop doing that.” He said in a strained voice.


“Stop doing what?” I was completely bewildered.


“Stop…moving…around.” He ordered, teeth clenched together.


“Why? Is it bothering you?” I smirked, squirming again.


He groaned. “Stop it, Artemis.”


“Why?”


“Because. Stop it.”


“No—mppf!” His lips suddenly crashed down on mine, kissing me with a fierce, needy hunger. His mouth was bruising as it moved forcefully over my lips, intense and strong.


Why am I such an oblivious idiot?


I stood there once again, frozen as he kissed me, my lips reacting instinctively to his without thinking. He suddenly stopped and pulled back, leaving barely any distance between our mouths.


“Sorry.” He whispered, his warm breath washing over my face. The feeling of it left my skin tingling. Slowly, he moved his lips back onto mine, kissing me with a slow, deliberate gentleness. Despite my efforts, my eyes drifted shut and my lips, on their own accord, kissed slowly back.


Sparks seemed to flow from his mouth to mine, sending zaps all down my body. I felt like I was electrified, like my every nerve was alive, the warmth spreading all the way down to my toes. Oh, I felt it. Right to the core. He pulled back suddenly, as if he felt it, too.


“Did you feel that?” He asked in a wondering voice.


And I sealed my heart, closing it with a cold, hard shell. Like ice.


“Feel what?” I asked flatly.


“That.”


“I didn’t feel anything, Potter, except you forcibly kissing me.”


He pressed his lips to mine once again, without warning. The spark zinged through me again, and I gasped, pulling back.


“You felt it, too.” He whispered, looking triumphant. “You felt it, too, Artemis.”


I just looked at him. I couldn’t open my mouth to say no. I just couldn’t.


“Tell me you felt it too, Artemis. Tell me you felt something.” He took my face in his hands, his voice pleading.


I want to, so bad.


But I can’t. I can’t.


I’m scared.


“Artemis…tell me you didn’t feel anything and I’ll leave you alone. Just…I have to know.” He begged.


This changes everything. My heart ached, but I kept the ice there, letting the cold shell numb the pain. It’s for the best.


I don’t want this. I just want everything to go back to normal. I can’t fall in love. Love is for normal people, people with happy lives and loving families.


I’m not normal. I’ll never be normal. I don’t deserve to fall in love.


James doesn’t need to deal with me. No one should have to.


 “No.” I said in a cold, detached voice, closing my eyes so I wouldn’t have to read his expression. “I didn’t feel anything.”


He released my face and stepped back, as if I had slapped him instead of saying those five words.


“You…didn’t?” He whispered, his voice breaking in agony.


“No.” But my voice wavered. A crack formed through the ice, cutting deep into the tender part of my heart. I didn’t have any ice left to cover it, so I left it there, letting it throb.


Sometimes it’s better to hurt than to feel nothing at all. Then at least you know you’re alive.


He looked at me for a long moment, the mask carefully covering his eyes again. Then, without another word, he abruptly turned around, stepped out of the niche, and walked away.


He didn’t look back.


Silent sobs wracked through my body as I slid down the wall, tears streaming down my face in torrents. My heart felt like it had been shattered in a million pieces, and I didn’t know if I would be able to find all the parts and mend them. I didn’t know how I could mend them. I didn’t know if I wanted to.


This was what I wanted all along, wasn’t it? I’d achieved my goal. I’d gotten what I wanted. I should be thrilled. Elated.


Then why does this hurt so badly?




wow, what an angst-fest!
who wants to hate me right now? (PUT YOUR HAND DOWN, KID.)
let me rephrase: who wants to hate artemis right now? 
jesus. look at all those hands.

i'm sorry.
it had to happen. it's called a plot-mover-on-er.
wow, i think i need a new word for that. 

anyway. i know you're all probably beyond pissed at me - AHEM, ARTEMIS - right now, but do you want to make me extremely happy and leave reviews? that would be awesome!

QuEsTiOn TiMe :
1) Classic: what do you think is going to happen next? (i know we can't all be artemis, but i do love predictions. some of you come very close)
2) would you like to yell at Artemis? rant right here. i'll pass it on.
3) hmm...wow. i'm trying to think of questions... FAVORITE QUOTES?! i love favorite quotes! please leave favorite quotes!
4) check out my author's page?

aaaaand, that's about it for now. i'm wracking my brains, but am coming up with a fat, large blank because i just dont know what else to ask you.
you could just rant at me. that's okay, too. really, anything goes.

thank you so much for those super-long-reviewers! i love you guys!
i love ALL OF YOU for reviewing :D
you make my day whenever you leave a happy little review for me to read. 
reviews are candy. i like candy.
HIT ME WITH SOME SKITTLES, YO. XD

peace out, homiesss !!

ps - guess who makes her first entrance next chapter?? NOAH! be excited! i adore her :D


Chapter 12: Time, Stars and ‘Panda-who’s?’ Box
[View Online]  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

BAMCHAPTERTWELVE :D




how about we just ignore the stupid quote on this chapter image?





Time moves on. Even when you feel as though all the life has been sucked out of you, move on it does.


It moves in fragments, little bits and pieces of emptiness contrasted with a shred of important news. It might have been hours, days, weeks, maybe be even months since that last moment with James.


I don’t know how long it’s been. It all feels the same to me. It feels like nothing.


I don’t feel a thing. I don’t feel the time moving around me. All I can think of is the numb thumping of my heart, not really alive, but beating nonetheless.


I had my last Artemis and James vision that night. It flickered and died in about three seconds.


I felt like I was dying right along with it.


He’s given up on me. Given me up as a bad job. But who am I to blame him? How can I keep expecting him to fight for me when even I’ve given up on myself? It is, after all, what I’ve been working towards this whole time.


My biggest mistake. There is nothing more in this world that I regret more than that. How could I have been so stupid?


I was afraid of love, afraid of something new, something alien to me. Afraid of walking into uncharted territories. Afraid of something that was completely out of my control.


But this…this is a hundred times worse than that. I feel like my breath has been ripped right out of my body. I can’t breathe without him.


Why couldn’t I have seen that? Why couldn’t I have realized that I needed James, I needed him like air and water and life? Why did I do what I did?


Why?


Nothing matters anymore to me. I’m done with all of this.


Except I’m not allowed to be. I’ve got Dom to worry about. I’ve got everyone, people who are counting on me.


I can’t live for myself. But I have to stay alive for the people I love.


Love…there’s that word again. What is love? Is love hurting yourself so that you can make other people happy? Why does love hurt so much? Is it supposed to hurt this much?


Do I love James?


***


It’s only been a week. It felt like centuries. I don’t know how long I can go on.


I think I love James.


Funny, isn’t it, that you don’t realize what could have been until you’ve lost it?


I’m awfully late for someone who can see everything coming. Why didn’t I see this one coming?


Truth is, I haven’t seen anything coming for a while now.


It scares me.


I’m not me without my visions. I’m not me anymore.


***


“Missy Jones?” My head snapped up and I looked in confusion at the girl who was standing in front of me.


“What are you doing here?” She asked me.


“How do you know me?” I shot back, my brow still furrowed in confusion.


“Wow, Missy. Nice. Good to know you think so highly of your best friend’s sister.” She said dryly.


“Noah?”


“Genius.” She smirked, sticking out a hand. “Come on. The floor’s filthy. You don’t want to be sitting on that.”


I took it, letting her pull me up. “Where am I?” I asked, looking around.


“By the Hufflepuff common room.” Noah said, looking closely at me. “Are you okay?”


“No, not really.” I said absently, looking around.


“You look like a piece of shit.” Noah remarked observantly.


“Feel like it.” I mumbled, running a tired hand through my limp curls.


She looked at me, worry evident in her clear brown eyes. “Do you want to talk about it?”


I looked back at her. Her eyes were clear and truthful, and I saw nothing but concern in them. Concern for me.


That did it. “Yeah.”


“Come on, then. I know a good place.” She took my hand and pulled me after her.


“Is this the astronomy tower?” I asked her, looking around.


She smiled. “Yeah. I like to come here to think. It’s very peaceful.”


I walked up to the balcony. “It is.”


“You talk and I listen, okay?” Noah said, coming up next to me.


“Okay.” I agreed, looking down over the grounds. “I don’t know where to start.”


“How about at the beginning?” She suggested gently.


So I did. I told her everything, starting with my first vision when I was little, to the vision about me and James, to me wanting to change everything. I told her about everyone, about Dom and Alex and Ella, about Rose and Scorpius and Albus, about Apollo and Fred…about James.


And she listened. Like she really cared.


“You can’t tell anyone.” I begged her, after I was done. “Please. No one should know about the visions.”


“I won’t tell.” Noah promised, putting her hand over mine. “I swear I won’t. That’s your secret. It’s not my place to say anything.”


I took a shaky breath, looking down helplessly at my hands. “And lately, I haven’t been getting a single vision. It’s been a week since that thing with James, and I haven’t had a single vision since. I just don’t know what to do anymore.”


“Look.” She said softly, and I followed her gaze to the night sky. I realized, with a jolt, that during the time I had been telling my story, the sun has set and the black flatness was now sprinkled with a myriad stars.


“Stars.” She murmured. “I love stars. They’re little lights in the middle of all the black. They show that even in the darkest of times, there’s always hope. It’s never completely black.”


“Have you ever heard of Pandora’s box?” Noah asked me, and I shook my head no.


She smiled. “I thought you would have, being named after a Greek Goddess and all.”


I rolled my eyes. “My mom’s just a freak who likes to think she’s clever.”


Noah chuckled softly. “Technically, it wasn’t a box, it was a jar. But, for the sake of making it sound cool, people starting calling it Pandora’s box.”


I nodded. “Pandora’s box does have a better ring to it. What’s the story about?”


“Well, I don’t know all of the details, but I know it’s about a woman named Pandora. She was the first woman, and the Greek Gods made her as punishment for Prometheus, who stole fire from them and brought it to man. They gave her tons of gifts to make her appealing to men, among them curiosity. They also gave her a jar, a pithos, and told her never to open it. But since she was so curious, she opened it anyway.”


“What was in it?” I asked softly.


“Evil. Sickness. Disease.” Noah turned her clear eyes to me. “Every single bad thing that’s ever happened to man was in that jar. But you know what else was in there?”


“What?”


“Hope.” She said, smiling softly. “To show that even when everything’s shitty, you’ve still got hope.”


I sighed, and looked at the sky again. “Where do I find hope?”


“Right here.” Noah reached forward and tapped my heart. “Hope and courage go hand in hand, Artemis. I know you’ve got plenty of courage; you’re in Gryffindor. You just need enough courage to make your own hope.”


“I don’t think I have anything left.” I whispered, looking at her.


“That’s what you think.” She said. “You have so much in you. You just need to find it.”


I looked down, at the ground. “How?”


“Look at the stars.” She pointed up at the sky, and I looked up, staring at the million little dots. “Imagine; what if every single one of those was another sun for a bunch of planets?”


“That’s a lot of suns.” I remarked, taking a shaky breath.


“Exactly.” She agreed. “Now, what if each of those suns had one, maybe even two or three earths to them? Imagine how many people that would be.”


I couldn’t wrap my head around it. “A lot.”


She grinned. “And with all those people, what do your problems compare?”


I laughed, feeling like a large burden was being lifted off my chest. “They’re nothing.”


“Exactly. You don’t have it that bad, Artemis. It could be a lot worse.” She stated matter-of-factly.


“Oh yeah?” I raised my eyebrow at her.


“Yeah.” She said solemnly. “You could be a starving child.”


I scowled. “No need to bring up the starving children, Noah. You’re making me feel guilty.”


She laughed. “Feeling better, though?”


“Very.” I took a deep breath, looking up at the stars again. If you looked carefully enough, there were actually more stars than black spaces in between.


“Missy?”


Me and Noah both whirled around, and Al stepped out onto the tower.


“Hey Al.” I grinned at him, and he smiled back, his eyes flicking to Noah.


“What are you doing here?” He asked.


“I was talking to Noah. Do you know her?”


“Yeah.” He looked at her again and did a head-jerk-upwards-nod-thing that guys do when they’re attempting to look cool. “Hey.”


“Hi.” She replied.


Al’s eyes travelled from her face all the way down to her feet, and Noah smirked slightly.


“Hey, you’re the Hufflepuff Seeker.” Al said suddenly, and I nearly slapped my forehead at his extreme awkwardness.


But Noah just grinned. “And you’re the Gryffindor Seeker.”


“Albus, what are you doing here?” I asked, before an awkward silence could develop.


He shrugged. “I just wanted to make sure you were okay. You’ve been pretty down lately.”


“Is that the only reason?” I raised an eyebrow at him.


He shifted uncomfortably. “Well…there was one more thing. You…well, you’d better see for yourself.”


My eyebrows creased at the middle. “Is everything okay?”


“Yeah, everything’s fine.” He said quickly.


“Dom?” I could feel the panic rising up inside me. I hadn’t been myself for a whole week. I wasn’t looking closely enough. What if something happened to her?


“She’s fine, Artemis. I just wanted to walk you back to the common room. Er, just in case you…needed someone.” He scratched at the back of his head and slid his other hand into his pocket.


“What’s going on?” I demanded, narrowing my eyes.


Al sighed and shifted his eyes to the ceiling, both hands in his pockets now. “Nothing.” He said unconvincingly, rocking onto the balls of his feet for a moment.


Just how stupid do you think I am, huh, Albus? Clearly, there’s something going on.


“That was believable.” Noah inserted dryly, and Al glared briefly at her.


“No one asked you.” He snapped.


She just shrugged, a small smile dancing at her mouth.


“What are you doing here, anyway?” Al asked her. “Aren’t you in Hufflepuff?”


“So?” She raised her chin. “Is there something against talking to a friend who’s in another house?”


“But it’s after curfew.” Al said. “And you’re in Hufflepuff.”


“What’s that supposed to mean?” She asked, her eyes suddenly blazing.


“Hufflepuffs don’t break rules.” He said wisely.


She snorted. “And who exactly are you to decide that?”


He shrugged. “I’m just saying. The whole lot of you are pretty timid and all goody-goody.”


Noah’s mouth dropped open in outrage.


“I’ll show you timid.” Noah muttered angrily, pulling out her wand. Al took a hasty step back, eyebrows raised as he fingered his own wand. I touched her arm, eyes wide, and she reluctantly put her wand away.


“Just because I’m in Hufflepuff doesn’t mean you can make rash generalizations about me.” She told Al coldly, her eyes still narrowed.


He just shrugged. “I was right, though, wasn’t I?”


“I am not timid. Or ‘all goody-goody’.” She argued, her voice mocking as she imitated the words ‘goody-goody’.


“Prove it.” Al challenged her.


“Fine.” She held her head higher. “Just tell me what to do.”


Oh, dear.


“Er – guys?” I inserted. “Is now really the time for this?”


I was ignored. Typical, really.  


“You have to do a dare.” He said.


“Name it.” She challenged.


“Kiss the first guy you see.” He raised an eyebrow at her, and she imitated it, raising her own in response.


“Fine.” She walked across the astronomy tower – throwing my head back in annoyance, I followed her – and she glared briefly at Al before pushing roughly past him and walking down the stone steps.


Al followed behind her, a smirk playing at his mouth, and I followed behind the two of them, dearly hoping that Al could feel the two holes getting burned onto the back of his head from the force of my glare.


We came out of the tower and Noah looked around, her hands on her hips. “It’s after curfew.” She said.


“So?” Al responded.


So, no one’s here.”


He raised an eyebrow at her. “I’m standing right here.”


I smothered a grin behind my hand.


Her eyes flashed with amusement. “You said to kiss the first guy I saw.” She smirked at his outraged look and walked down the hallway towards what I’m assuming was the Hufflepuff common room.


“Low blow, Longbottom.” Al called after her, his voice huskier than usual.


There is nothing more repulsive than watching a person that you consider a younger brother try to be seductive to the opposite gender. Nothing.


I’ll never be the same again. Good-bye, youthful innocence.


“If you wanted me to kiss you, you could have just asked, Potter.” She shot back over her shoulder.


Al chuckled and ran a hand through his hair as he stared after her, his gaze lingering on her swaying hips for a moment too long. I came forward and smacked the back of his head.


“Ow!” He exclaimed, rubbing it. “What was that for?”


“For being a prat.” I said. “You know, we were having a decent conversation before you came along and mucked it up.”


“Eh, you’ll live.” Al threw his arm around my shoulders. “It’s good to have you back, Missy.”


I smiled. “It’s good to be back.”


“So, who do I owe to bringing you back anyway?” He asked.


“Noah.” I smiled serenely. “She’s really very wise. And rather clever; it’s a surprise she didn’t make it into Ravenclaw.”


“What did she say?” Al asked curiously.


“She told me about Pandora’s box – er…Jar. And we talked about the stars.”


He looked at me for a moment. “Panda-who?”


Pandora.” I corrected, sticking my tongue out at him.


He laughed. “Right. I’m sure it helped a lot.”


“Clearly it did, since I’m back.” I said cheekily. “Now, what were you going to tell me?”


Al swallowed and shoved his hand through his hair again. “I don’t want to ruin your good mood.” He mumbled.


“Al.” I said, leaning into him to get his attention. “Al, I’m fine. Noah really helped me. I won’t go back into my weird…depression thing.”


“Promise?” He asked, his green eyes large.


“Promise.” I said.


He sighed again. “You’re going to hate this.” He hedged.


“Just tell me.”


“Argh. I don’t want to.” He muttered, running his hand through his hair again.


“Just tell me, Albus.”


Al sighed and looked down at me. “James has a new girlfriend.”


Oh.




chapter twelve? yay?
well, at least be glad that she's not in depression anymore! i can't write a character in depression. my funny side just desperately wants to burst out. it doesnt work.
i know artemis is an idiot. 
i know she makes stupid decisions.
i know she's being a total dumbarse by suddenly realizing that 'oh, whoa, i guess i do love james!'
it's just her style. she won't realize what she's lost until after she actually loses it. don't judge her. 

hmmm....what else? 
pointless ramblings? check. questions - QUESTIONS!
question time!!

1) What do you think is going to happen next??
2) Who loves noah? i sure do ;)
3) Who do you think James' girlfriend is? maybe i'll even bring out a new character ;D
4) What do you think his girlfriend should be like??

that's about it for now. thanks so much to anyone who reviews - the response to last chapter was like WHOA. i literally squealed. and i may have jumped up and down a bit. shh. 
just remember, guys - please keep the reviews 12+. i totally understand that some of you are extremely pissed, and being extremely pissed entails much foul language. you could..i dont know. use 'prat' or 'git' or something?
i mean, i love your frustration (which is sort of sadistic, but, oh well). i love it when you guys leave passionate reviews, because then it makes me feel like i'm totally connecting to you :) so don't stop leaving those multiple exclamation points and capital letters ;) just keep it 12+.
in short, if my little cousin were to read these reviews (unlikely), she should not be able to say, 'hey, what does 'fuck' mean?'
i'm pretty sure her mother would not be pleased with me. 

i'm also going to apologize right now for the horrendously short chapter. i promise next chapter shall be longer!
want a preview? here's a preview:

“She doesn’t feel that way about me, guys!” Scorpius said exasperatedly, running another distracted hand through his hair as he glanced at Rose and Jeremy again. Jeremy was now staring very intently at her mouth, inching a bit closer.


We looked at Scorpius.


“You’re an idiot.” I told him promptly.


“Hey!” He said indignantly. “Why am I an –”


“Because the girl’s been in love with you since first bloody year, you fucking imbecile!” Dom said, shoving his arm.


“Okay, jeez, no need to get pushy, woman!” Scorpius rubbed his arm, scowling at her. “And how do you know?”


Dom groaned. “I just do! Go over there!”


“I don’t know…” Scorpius said, shooting them another furtive glance. Jeremy was now really close to Rose, and she trailed off what she was saying.


“It’s now or never, mate.” Fred advised, clapping him on the back. “She’s his or yours. You pick.”


We watched Scorpius as he continued to stare at Rose and Jeremy. She had backed away nervously, trying to get back to the conversation, but he leaned forward and cupped her cheek. She trailed off unsurely again.


Scorpius’ jaw locked. “Yeah, not a chance. She’s mine.” He growled, cracking his knuckles as he strode quickly towards Rose and Jeremy.


ooh, suspense! what do you think is going to happen next??
you shall find out...next time! mwah ha ha!

thanks so much for reading and as always, reviews make my day :D

peace <3


Chapter 13: Kisses, Ranting and Our Freak Circus
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chapter thirteen? yay?






“I’m fine.” I assured Dom as we made our way to breakfast.


 

She opened her mouth, looking concerned, but I gave her an exasperated look and she quickly closed it.


 

“Artemis…” Ella said, laying her hand on my other arm.


 

I sighed and turned around to look at her. “I’m fine.” I repeated.


 

“Missy, I really –” Fred started.


 

“I’m FINE!” I insisted, glaring at the lot of them. “Seriously, people!”


 

“Guys, give it a rest. She says she’s fine. Let it go.” Scorpius said tiredly, running a hand through his hair as he sneaked another look at Rose. She was currently talking to Jeremy Thomas about Arithmancy, though judging by the look on his face, he wasn’t paying attention to a single word that was coming out of her mouth. Paying attention to her, sure. Just not anything she was saying, which, if it was about bloody numbers, wasn’t the slightest bit interesting.


 

“Just go over there, Scor.” Jason said, following his line of sight.


 

“What?” Scorpius asked distractedly.


 

“Just go over there and show him not to mess with your girl.” Fred nudged Scorp’s shoulder with his fist.


 

“What – no, no! It’s not like that. I just…uh…” He trailed off at our incredulous faces.


 

“Alright, fine, it is.” He grumbled, looking disgruntled as he shot them another look. “But –”


 

“Go, Scorpius. You have my permission.” Al patted his arm solemnly.


 

“Oh, good!” Scorpius shot back sarcastically, rolling his eyes. “That was the only thing holding me back. I’m so relived.”


 

“What’re you so afraid of, anyway? Just go over there.” Ella suggested.


 

“She doesn’t feel that way about me, guys!” Scorpius said exasperatedly, running another distracted hand through his hair as he glanced at Rose and Jeremy again. Jeremy was now staring very intently at her mouth, inching a bit closer.


 

We looked at Scorpius.


 

“You’re an idiot.” I told him promptly.


 

“Hey!” He said indignantly. “Why am I an –”


 

“Because the girl’s been in love with you since first bloody year, you fucking imbecile!” Dom said, shoving his arm.


 

“Okay, jeez, no need to get pushy, woman!” Scorpius rubbed his arm, scowling at her. “And how do you know?”


 

Dom groaned. “I just do! Go over there!”


 

“I don’t know…” Scorpius said, shooting them another furtive glance. Jeremy was now really close to Rose, and she trailed off what she was saying.


 

“It’s now or never, mate.” Fred advised, clapping him on the back. “She’s his or yours. You pick.”


 

We watched Scorpius as he continued to stare at Rose and Jeremy. She had backed away nervously, trying to get back to the conversation, but he leaned forward and cupped her cheek. She trailed off unsurely again.


 

Scorpius’ jaw locked. “Yeah, not a chance. She’s mine.” He growled, cracking his knuckles as he strode quickly towards Rose and Jeremy.


 

I grinned. “Our little Scorpy’s growing up!” I said fondly. “And now he’s going to get himself a little girlfrie – oh, dear.”


 

Fred sucked in a sharp breath of pity as Rose quickly hid behind Scorpius, thanking him profusely as he sent Jeremy packing. One sentence stuck out to us, a sentence that made Scorpius wince.


 

“Oh, thank god I’ve got so many brothers! You guys are always there to protect me. Thanks for that, Scorp.”


 

Brother.


 

“Fuck, that blows.” Al shook his head, shrugging helplessly as Scorpius shot him a look.


 

“Way to be sensitive, Al.” Ella deadpanned.


 

“It’s my specialty.” Al sent her a winning smile, and she affectionately rolled her eyes.


 

“Oi! Potter!” We all turned around at the sound of the voice, and Noah marched up to Al.


 

“Hey there, Longbo – mmph!”


 

I felt my jaw drop open as Noah grabbed his tie, jerked him forward, and crashed her lips onto his. Ella was gaping at the two of them like a fish out of water, and Al’s eyes were wide and surprised. Slowly, he let them close, but before he could even fully begin to enjoy the kiss, Noah pulled away, breathing heavily, her face flushed.


 

“I win.” She declared, smirking at his flabbergasted expression. “How’s that for timid, huh Potter?”


 

“Um.” He responded brilliantly, his eyes still wide.


 

She smirked wider. “Thought so. I’ll see you around.” With that, she waved and walked away, Al staring after her, looking both bemused and surprised as he ran a hand distractedly through his hair.


 

He seems to do that a lot around her…


 

oh. OH. OH. WHOA!


 

“What. The. Fuck. Was. That?” Jason asked, eyes wide.


 

“Dare.” I sighed, since Al seemed to be rendered incapable of speech.


 

“Was that my sister?!” Ella finally screeched, snapping out of her surprise-induced haze.


 

“Clearly.” Dom shot her a stony look.


 

“Why was my little sister kissing you?” Ella demanded, turning to Al.


 

“Erm – I sort of dared her to.” He said.


 

“When?”


 

“Last night.” He muttered.


 

“Why were you with her last night?” Merlin, Ella sounds like a mother.


 

“She was with Artemis!” Al put his hands up and backed away. “I just came across them, I swear.”


 

“I’ll vouch for him.” I said, when Ella looked at me for confirmation. “Your sister’s the reason I’m feeling better.”


 

“Hmmph.” Ella said. Then, turning to Al, “Why did you dare her to kiss you?”


 

“Well, not me, specifically, I just dared her to prove that she wasn’t –”


 

“Do you like her?”


 

“I – what? No!”


 

“You’re not going to kiss her again, are you?”


 

“Merlin, Ella, she kissed me!”


 

“You’d better not play around with her, Al.” Ella warned. She had him backed up against the wall at this point, and he looked as though he was fearing for his life.


 

What? Since when have I ‘played around’ with girls, Ella?!” Al asked indignantly. “Plus, she doesn’t seem like the type that would be easily played.”


 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ella’s eyes narrowed.


 

Al shrugged. “I dunno – she’s different.”


 

Ella glared at him once more. “Are you sure you don’t like her?”


 

“No! I mean, she’s hot – but I respect her as a female and everything!” He backtracked quickly when Ella’s eyes narrowed further. “And I might find her a little attractive –”


 

“Are you attracted to her?” Ella demanded.


 

“Yes – wait, I meant no! Not at all! Not in the slightest!” Al’s eyes were wide.


 

“You are not to kiss her again. Unless you’re dating her first.” She said sternly.


 

SHE kissed ME!” Al yelled, waving his arms about. “I didn’t kiss her, Ella! SHE KISSED ME!”


 

“Who kissed him?” Rose asked, finally arriving on the scene. Scorpius was standing next to her, looking thoroughly upset.


 

“Noah.” Dom said.


 

Longbottom?”


 

“The very same.”


 

“As in, Ella’s little sister?” Scorpius’ eyebrows shot up.


 

“Yep.” Fred said. “Which brings us to…here.” He gestured at Al and Ella. Al was gaping at her incredulously while she went into a furious rant, involving much hand-waving and accused pointing.


 

“Um, what’s going on?” Noah appeared next to me.


 

“You came back!” I said, relieved.


 

“I didn’t ever leave. I just went in to get some breakfast – why is Ella yelling at him?” Noah asked.


 

“You kissed him?” Scorpius her blankly.


 

She shrugged. “Yeah.”


 

“And she left him speechless.” I smirked proudly. “Twice.”


 

“So?” She shrugged again. “Not a big deal.”


 

“Are you kidding?” Fred was looking almost reverently at her. “No one’s been able to do that. Ever. Al is the most unaffected guy ever. He’s never been left speechless by a girl before.”


 

“You’re my new hero.” Rose breathed, and Noah grinned.


 

“Welcome to the Freak Circus, little Noah.” Jason patted her on the shoulder. “There’s no turning back now.”


 

She laughed. “Should I be afraid?”


 

I nodded gravely. “Extremely.”


 

“I’m gonna need introductions.” Noah said, looking around at everyone. “There’s a lot of you guys.”


 

“Aren’t you going to save Al first?” I asked, and we turned around to look at him. He was propped up against the wall, arms crossed, expression bemused as he watched Ella rant furiously at him. It seemed as though he wasn’t listening to a word she was saying.


 

“He seems to be doing okay on his own.” Noah shrugged.


 

“Okay.” I grinned. “I’m Artemis –”


 

“No shit.”


 

I glared at Noah before continuing. “As I was saying, I’m Artemis, this is Rose, Scorpius, Freddie, Jason and Dom. Plus there’s Alex, James and Apollo, but as of now, they’re M.I.A. Let’s see…Rose and Scorpius are in love but too afraid to admit it –”


 

Rose and Scorpius both sputtered indignantly at me, but I ignored them.


 

“ – Freddie just broke up with his slag of a girlfriend, Mallory Something-or-Other –”


 

“Finnegan.” Fred inserted.


 

“Does it look like I care? And Alex, you’ll see her soon, used to be in love with Freddie-boy, but then she gave up on him because he didn’t love her back and now she’s going out with Matt Connery.”


 

Noah’s nose crinkled slightly.


 

“Yeah, we don’t like him either.” Jason said. “I hate the fact that the little sleazebag is running his hands all over my cousin.” He scowled angrily.


 

“They’re best friends.” Rose affirmed for Noah.


 

“Yes. Uh, I have a twin brother…” Here I faltered slightly. “Erm, Apollo Jones.”


 

“I’m pregnant with his baby.” Dom inserted brightly.


 

“Then he ran out on her –” Scorpius added oh-so-caringly.


 

“– and we have no clue where he might be.” Fred finished.


 

“We really hate him right now.” I said. “But he was sort of my everything, so I’m understandably distraught.”


 

“I know.” Noah said, smiling slightly at me.


 

“Moving on…” I said. “Erm, there’s James, but he’s got a new girlfriend, who I haven’t quite had the pleasure to meet yet.”


 

Something in Noah’s eyes tightened, and she looked at me in concern.


 

“Jesus Christ!” I said exasperatedly. “For the last time, I’m fine!”


 

“Right.” Fred said hurriedly, before I got into a furious tirade. “So…yeah, basically that’s pretty much it. Oh, and Jason’s dating your older sister.”


 

“Hurt her and you’re dead.” Noah said right away, smiling angelically at Jason. He took an involuntary step back.


 

“Got it.” He said, nodding furiously. “I would never hurt her anyway –”


 

“ – he’s sort of hopelessly in love with her.” Rose finished, smirking slightly at him.


 

“Don’t say that so loud!” Jason hissed, casting a furtive look towards Ella, who was, thankfully, still berating Al.


 

“Oh, I almost forgot!” Dom slapped her forehead. “Artemis is in love with James but too stubborn and stupid to admit it.”


 

My jaw dropped open. “I AM NOT –” I began hotly.


 

“She also has denial issues.” Scorpius said.


 

“Oi, I do not have denial issues!”


 

“We rest our case.” Jason said, after a minute of them staring at me. I huffed angrily.


 

“Whatever.”


 

“Ella, are you done yet?” Al asked exasperatedly, finally getting tired of Ella’s screaming.


 

“NO, I AM NOT DONE YET!” She screamed. “If you so much as touch her –”


 

“Hey, sis.” Noah cut across, looking at Ella with an eyebrow raised.


 

“Noah!” Ella turned around and launched herself at Noah, who caught her and mouthed ‘you’re welcome’ to Al. He rolled his eyes, straightening himself off the wall and stretching languorously.


 

“So, I hear you’re freaking out at Potter?” Noah asked her, eyebrow raised.


 

Ella rolled her eyes. “Well, yeah –”


 

“Ella, I can take care of myself.” Noah reminded her. “I know you get worried or whatever, but seriously–”


 

“Plus, she’s got all of us to protect her now!” Al said cheerfully, slinging his arm around Noah. “She’s officially part of our Freak Circus.”


 

“That’s nice.” Ella said tiredly. “Al, please don’t make me yell at you again, I’m already tired from the last time.”


 

“What’d I do wrong this time?” Al asked, his brow furrowing.


 

Ella raised her eyebrow at his arm, which was still slung carelessly around Noah’s shoulders. Al raised his own eyebrow back at her, keeping his arm there. With an irritated huff, Noah shook him off.


 

“Honestly, what are you playing at? You’re just trying to piss her off.” She said, narrowing her eyes at him.


 

He smirked. “Is it working?”


 

“Yes.” Ella inserted tightly.


 

He shrugged. “Alright, then. Come on, I’ll walk you to class.”


 

“No, I can walk myself to class, thank you very – oi, put my books down, you tosser!”


 

Al slung her back over his shoulder and started walking away, ignoring her as she continued her fruitless attempts to get her bag back.


 

“Later, guys!” Al called over his shoulder. “Oh, and Ella?” He added. She glared at him, and he smirked lazily back. “I lied.”


 

“About what?” Ella yelled back furiously. But he just waved a hand without looking back and adjusted the bag on his shoulder.


 

“About liking her.” I said, rolling my eyes. “I should have known that he would turn into James Potter Senior when he fell in love. What a prat.”


 

“Why would he lie to me about that?” Ella moaned. “I just yelled at him for nothing!”


 

“I think he enjoys pissing you off, love.” Jason told her, shrugging in a ‘what-can-you-do’ sort of way.


 

***


 

“It’s official.” Al announced as he clambered into the Gryffindor Common room after lunch. “I am in love.”


 

Scorpius rolled his eyes and muttered something that sounded vaguely like ‘romantic fool’, while Rose just sat there, looking at him as though he had gone utterly wacko.


 

The rest of us seemed to share her sentiments, as we were currently gaping in disbelief at Al.


 

“In love…with my sister?” Ella confirmed, and Al nodded, beaming.


 

“Albus, you barely know her.” Dom said patiently, and Al shot her a look.


 

“So?”


 

So, you don’t know enough about her to ‘love’ her.” Dom stressed.


 

“I know enough.” Al sat down on the couch.


 

“Like what?”


 

“Like how she smells like flowers and cinnamon. Like how when she smiles, everything seems a bit brighter. How she makes me all nervous and sweaty. How I love her laugh. Like how I just can’t seem to get her out of my head –”


 

“Dude,” Scorpius inserted, looking at his best friend with genuine concern. “Are you gay?”


 

Al smacked him upside the head. “Did I not just make it clear that I’m in love with a girl, you moronic prick?!”


 

“Al, you still barely know her.” Ella said blankly. “You can’t possibly be in love with –”


 

“Do you believe in love at first sight?” Al asked her abruptly.


 

“Or should I walk by you again?” I added enthusiastically, grinning at my genius pick-up line.


 

I was ignored. Thanks, guys. Love you, too.


 

“No.” Ella scoffed.


 

“Well, I do. So did my grandpa.” Al said. “And him and grandma produced the savior of the wizarding world, so I wouldn’t be scoffing if I were you, Ells.”


 

“Yes, but that stuff only happens in –”


 

“So, you’re insinuating that my grandparents were in some sort of twisted fairy tale?” Al raised an eyebrow at her, and she huffed exasperatedly.


 

“Alright, it may happen once in a while, but honestly Al –”


 

“Look, I really do feel something for her. So I would appreciate it if you didn’t try and bite my head off for just thinking about her.”


 

Will you stop cutting me off?”


 

Al just looked at her, and she sighed again.


 

“Fine.” She said in a tight voice. “You can date her – if you get her to say yes. But don’t bring up any of this ‘love’ nonsense. Otherwise I swear I’m going to set my crazy grandmother on you.”


 

A vivid mental movie of an old lady (wearing a ratty old nightgown, fluffy faded bunny slippers and a hairnet) beating Al up with a bag of cat food flashed through my mind, and I hastily suppressed the resulting giggle with the back of my hand.


 

Of course, now they choose to pay attention to me.


 

“What?” I shrugged innocently. “It’s a funny mental image.”


 

Dom looked to the sky. “I am surrounded by a bunch of loons. How could you do this to me, Merlin?” She moaned dramatically.


 

“So, where is Noah, anyway?” Jason asked, turning to Al.


 

“Class.” He said immediately. “She’s got Ancient Runes. Hey, do you think McGonagall would let me take the class if I asked nicely enough?” He asked, brightening.


 

“No.” I said hastily, before Al started officially stalking the poor girl.


 

“Damn.” He muttered, sitting back. “Would it look really creepy if I went back to pick her up?” He asked again, his green eyes anxious.


 

“Honestly, Al?” Fred sighed. “Yes.”


 

“Damnit.” Al said.


 

“I still can’t believe this is happening.” Ella muttered, pressing her fingers to her temples. “You’ve had one conversation with her, Al! Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”


 

“Hey, when’s her birthday?” Al asked instead, ignoring Ella’s question.


 

Ella sighed deeply, burying her face in her hands. “It’s next week.” Her muffled voice said. “I think I’m going to go for a walk. This is so weird.”


 

“I’ll come with you.” Jason stood up immediately, his expression eager.


 

How much do you want to bet that they’ll soon be in an abandoned broom cupboard, snogging each other’s brains out?


 

Yeah, I wouldn’t bet, either. It’s inevitable, really.


 

“No, Ella, I need to know her favorite color! Come back!” Al called after her desperately.


 

“I’m leaving!” Ella called over her shoulder.


 

“Is it pink? Blue? Green? ELLA, I NEED YOU!”


 

“Go to hell!”


 

Al scowled, resting his chin on the palm of his hand.


 

“How am I supposed to woo her if I don’t even know what her favorite color is?” He pouted.


 

“Albus, please tell me you didn’t just say the word ‘woo’ in normal conversation.” I said disbelievingly.


 

“That’s it.” Rose stood up. “I’m getting him a bed at Mungo’s.”


 

“Make sure there’s a nice view.” Al said absently as she walked out of the portrait hole. She turned around and shot him one last wary look before shaking her head and continuing on her way.


 

“It’s official.” Scorpius said with a resigned sigh. “My best friend has gone loony.”


 

“Sorry, Scorp.” I said, patting his arm consolingly. “You can always find another one.”


 

“Maybe I should make signs.” Scorpius brightened. “ ‘WANTED: New best friend. Sixth year. Male. Preferably not insane. Owl Scorpius Malfoy if interested.’ Good, right?”


 

“Erm – sure.” I said. “You’re not actually going to go and make those signs, though, are –”


 

“I better get going!” He said enthusiastically, getting up. “I’ve got about fifty signs to make!”


 

“Okay, that makes you just as loony.” Fred reached out and snagged Scorp’s arm as he made to get past, shoving him back onto the sofa. “How about acting like a real best friend and helping him through it?”


 

We stared at Fred.


 

“Gosh, Fred, whose brain did you steal?” Dom asked admiringly. “That was actually sort of smart.”


 

Fred flipped her off. She smirked. I grinned.


 

I love my friends.


 

“Hey, guys!” Alex breezed through the portrait hole, a large smile on her face. She stopped at the sight of us – me, Dom and Fred looking slightly lost, Scorpius sulking with his arms crossed while muttering indignantly about us ruining a perfectly good idea, and Al gazing off into space with a dreamy expression on his face.


 

“What did I miss?” She asked warily, and I sat back with a laugh.


 

“You explain, Freddie.”


 

Fred looked up at her, and swallowed quickly before addressing the wall right next to her ear. “Er – Al fell in love with Ella’s sister Noah after Noah kissed him this morning and left him speechless, Scorp tried to win Rosie over but failed miserably since she sees him as a brother and James has a new girlfriend.”


 

Alex looked annoyed as she turned to the rest of us. “Why do you always do interesting stuff when I’m gone?” She demanded. “Can’t you just…make it wait till I’m also there to see?”


 

“We can’t control these things.” Dom shrugged tiredly. “Scorpius, give it up, the signs were stupid anyway.”


 

He sighed resignedly. “Guess I’ll be stuck listening to Al rant about the color of her eyes or something.”


 

“They’re a deep, bright brown.” Al rattled off immediately. “Sort of like melted cho –” His mouth continued to move, but no sound came out. He glared indignantly at us.


 

“He was already starting to annoy me.” Alex shrugged, putting her wand away as we all gaped at her.


 

Al shot her a couple of very obscene hand gestures and pointed furiously at his mouth. She raised an eyebrow.


 

“Sorry, Al, I can’t seem to understand what you’re trying to tell me.” She said casually, kicking off her shoes and swinging onto the couch. Al sulked, arms crossed as he glared petulantly at Alex. She cheerfully ignored him.


 

“So, what’s this about James’ new girlfriend?” She asked.


 

I stood up. “I’m going to get some air.” I said automatically. I turned around to walk out of portrait hole before anyone could stop me, nearly running to get away from the conversation. A hand grabbed my shoulder as soon as I got outside and I turned around, ready to tell the person off.


 

But I was met with Al, his green eyes worried as he pulled me into a brotherly hug. It seemed to say ‘I’m sorry. I know this sucks.’ I sighed, putting my head against his shoulder and letting him pat my head a bit.


 

My body was pulled back to a couple of weeks ago, when James had done the same thing, and I found myself fighting against a lump in my throat.


 

“I’m the biggest fuckup in the entire world, Al.” I said, tears welling up in my eyes. He tapped my shoulder, then pointed at his mouth beseechingly when I looked up at him.


 

I let out a watery chuckle. “Promise not to talk about her eyes?”


 

He drew an ‘X’ above his heart with his finger, looking solemnly at me. With a sigh, I pointed my wand at his throat.


 

“Thank Merlin.” He muttered, putting one arm around my shoulders so that we could walk. “Let’s go. You talk and I listen, okay?”


 

“Noah.” I said, shaking my head as I looked at him through water-filled eyes. “I need to talk to Noah.”


 

“Okay, we can wait until her class is over. How about you cry and I hug while then?” He said immediately.


 

“Okay.” I whispered, letting him pull me down the hallway.


 

I cried and he hugged for a long time.


 

***


 

“Hey.”


 

I looked up and saw that Noah was standing there, looking down at me and Al.


 

“How’d you find us?” He asked, standing up and running a hand through his hair.


 

She grinned. “A little birdie told me.”


 

“Let me guess: the little birdie was Lily and she stole the Marauder’s Map.” Al predicted.


 

“Funnily enough, yes.”


 

“Little wench.” He muttered. “Now I’ll have to find it and steal it back from her.”


 

“Hey, you alright?” Noah asked caringly, sitting down in front of me. I laughed disbelievingly and sniffed oh-so-attractively.


 

“Does it look like I’m alright?”


 

“Okay, okay. No need to get snarky with me, woman.” Noah put her hands up and I couldn’t help but grin a little.


 

“I screwed up.” I sighed, looking down at my hands.


 

“Everyone screws up.” Noah said immediately.


 

“But I screwed up big time.” I countered.


 

“Should I, er…leave or something?” Al asked unsurely, looking thoroughly awkward standing there.


 

“No, stay.” I sighed, pulling him down. “I cried all over your shirt anyway; I don’t want to ruin another one.”


 

“Oh, jeez.” Al said disgustedly, noticing the mess for the first time. “No wonder this feels so sticky. Merlin, Missy, you sure do cry a lot.”


 

“Thanks.” I said dryly. “Can I just have the shirt for now, then? I’ll wash it and give it back later.”


 

“It’s all yours.” He said fervently, unbuttoning it hastily and throwing it at me. I caught it and sneezed into it, groaning.


 

“I always get all sick-like after I cry.” I croaked.


 

“You know what?” Al looked like he was going to be sick right along with me. “On second thought, just keep the shirt.”


 

“You look ridiculous.” I informed him, blowing my nose into the shirt.


 

“Hey! I look fine. Sure, maybe my muscles aren’t as amazing as Jamesie’s, but that’s only because all I have to do is catch the bloody sni –”


 

“You’re still wearing your tie.” Noah told him, looking very carefully at everything but his defined abs. I smirked into the shirt.


 

“I don’t have anywhere else to put it, anyway.” He shrugged. With a sigh, I reached over and pulled it off myself, wadding it up and sticking it in my pocket.


 

“There we go.” I said. “Al no longer looks ridiculous, I get to snot on this shirt as much as I desire, and Noah can stare at Al’s abs all she wants. Can we talk about how I’m a major screwup now?”


 

Noah rolled her eyes at my outburst, but still blushed a bit. Al was positively beaming. “Alright, talk.” She said.


 

I sighed. “James probably hates me right now.”


 

Al opened his mouth, most likely to agree, but Noah glared at him once and he shut up.


 

“You did sort of break his heart, Artemis. He’s not going to love you for it.” Noah said carefully.


 

I sat back against the wall, letting tears leak down my face. “I should have just agreed when he asked me if I felt something. I shouldn’t have lied about it.”


 

“What’s done is done, Artemis. You just have to keep looking ahead.” Noah said gently, and I nearly smiled at the double meaning behind her words.


 

“A couple of weeks ago, James told me something. He said, ‘It’s true that you never realize how important something is until you lose it, but you also don’t realize how important something else is until it arrives’.” I said, two more tears crawling down my face.


 

“How do you remember stuff like that?” Al asked admiringly after a short silence.


 

“I just do.” I sighed. “That’s not important. What is important is that I just realized what he was talking about.”


 

“So did I.” Noah said quietly.


 

I took a shuddering breath. “I lost it before it even arrived.” Four tears dripped their way to the floor. “How could I be so stupid?”


 

I was sobbing now, hating myself for not seeing this sooner. Hating myself for being so stubborn and refusing to see the truth when it was glaring right at me.


 

Al pulled me into a hug, looking concerned. “Shh.” He said, rubbing my back. “Artemis, what do you mean?”


 

“I love him, Al.” I wailed, groping around for the shirt so I could bury my face into it. Al’s hand froze on it’s path down my hair.


 

“What?” He whispered.


 

“I’m in love with James.” I sobbed. “And I was too stupid. I let it go. I lost him.”


 

“Well, fuck.” Al muttered, shocked. I let out a very watery chuckle.


 

“Well, fuck is right.” I hiccupped and took a steadying breath. “What should I do?”


 

“I don’t know.” Noah shrugged when I turned to her.


 

“How could you not know?! You know everything!” I moaned, throwing my head into my hands. Great. I’m done for. I’ll become an aging cat-lady instead of ever getting married, worshiping some creeper shrine featuring James while he’s off, growing gracefully old and playing with his fifty beautiful grandchildren alongside his beautiful wife.


 

It’s just waiting to happen. I’ll probably see it in a vision soon.


 

“Merlin, Artemis, I’m only bloody sixteen!” She cried indignantly, and I sighed.


 

“Dom.” Al said suddenly. “You need to talk to Dom, Artemis.”


 

Dom always knows what to do when it comes to situations like these.


 

If not, we could always sneak down to the kitchens and eat about a ton of chocolate ice cream.


 

***


 

“Okay, I am officially stumped.”


 

I groaned and threw my head back. “Dom!”


 

“Artemis, I’m sorry, I just…okay, can I be blunt here?” Dom asked me. I nodded resignedly.


 

“It’s your fault.” She stated, and I winced. “You’re the one who broke his heart over and over again; it’s perfectly normal for him to move on. In fact, if I was him, I’d probably hate you more than anything else right now. You can’t just hate someone one day and then…decide to love him the next. It just doesn’t work that way, Missy.”


 

I sighed, fighting against the large lump in my throat. “I guess I sort of needed that.”


 

“Sorry I had to say it.” Dom pulled on a lock of her hair. “You’re not mad at me, are you?”


 

“No, Dom, I’m not.” I said. “I really did need to hear that. The thing is, I didn’t just ‘suddenly decide’ to fall in love with him. I’ve been falling in love with him all along. I just sort of realized my mistake.”


 

“Don’t you think it’s a little too late for that?” A voice asked tentatively from behind me.


 

“Come on in, Ella.” I sighed, reaching behind me to pull open the curtain of my bed. She climbed in, immediately snuggling up to me.


 

“Oi, you are not having another interesting meeting without me; budge over!” Alex also barreled in, closing the curtain behind her. “Now, what’re we talking about?”


 

“We’re discussing ways to break up you and Matt!” Dom said enthusiastically. “I said we should turn him into a frog, but Artemis thinks we should cut him up into little pieces and feed him to the Giant Squid.”


 

I nodded fervently. “One at a time, so it’s more satisfying for us.”


 

“Castration.” Ella put in, nodding wisely. “It’s the best way to go.”


 

We burst out laughing, but then I sighed again. “I just realized that I’m in love with James.”


 

Alex looked concerned. “Um, isn’t it a bit too late for that?”


 

“That’s what I said.” Ella said, looking at me and biting her lip. “Missy, he probably doesn’t want to hear that right now. He sort of just gave up on you.”


 

“Yeah, after you ripped out his heart and stomped on it.” Alex added.


 

I scowled. “Thanks, guys. I feel loads better.”


 

“Look, what I’m trying to say is…” Dom started.


 

“…you’ve got to let him go.” Alex finished. “Because, trust me, no one’s big enough to give you another chance after what you did. Artemis, the bloke didn’t just like you a little; he was madly in love with you. And you just…”


 

“Threw it back in his face.” I completed, tears dropping down my face. “I’m such a fucking imbecile. I felt it, Alex. I felt it all along. I was just so scared of it. I didn’t know what to do. So I just did what I do best – I pushed it all away and…and…”


 

“Artemis.” Ella said gently. “You can’t do this to him.”


 

“I know.” I wailed. “I know I can’t. It’s not fair to him. I just…Merlin, why did I do that?”


 

“Everyone makes mistakes.” Dom put in helpfully. Alex shot her a look that plainly said ‘really?!’


 

“Not as big as this.” I choked. “I can’t do this to him. I have to just let him be happy…without me.”


 

“It’s for the best, Missy.” Ella said, putting her hand on my knee and biting her lip. “I wish I could tell you that it’s going to be okay, that James still loves you, but…”


 

“I was a bitch.” I let out a cold, callous laugh. “I got what I deserved. I…you can’t believe just exactly how much I despise myself right now.”


 

“I’m sorry, Artemis.” Dom said, her own eyes filling up with tears. “I’m really sorry.”


 

I shook my head. “You don’t have to be. This is all my fault; I have to deal with the consequences. I can’t do that to him. I’ve got to just let him go.”


 

There was a short silence as everyone let that sink in.


 

“So, this blows.” Alex said morosely.


 

I sighed deeply again. “This time I know I’m doing the right thing.” But my voice was still uncertain. “I am, right?”


 

“I hate to say this, but…you are.” Dom said. “You can’t do that to James, Artemis.”


 

“I won’t.” I promised. “After all, loving someone is about putting their needs in front of your own. I guess as long as he’s happy…I will be, too. It’s the most I can do for him.” I shrugged, then let out a sob, tears started to drip down my cheeks. “If I really love him, I’ll just leave him alone. He’s too…too good for me anyway.”


 

“Oh, Artemis…” Ella whispered, tears dropping down her face as well. “I wish it didn’t have to be this way, love.”


 

I nodded, still sobbing, not able to speak, and leaned forward to put my head against Ella’s shoulder. Dom gently stroked my hair and Alex hugged me from behind, their arms forming a cage of protection, of support for me.


 

I was safe in their arms.


 

But their three sets of arms had nothing on that one set. Without his arms around me, I would never be completely safe again.


 

I still can’t even begin to describe how much of an idiot I am.


 

“Alright, girls.” Dom sighed, untangling herself from us. “It’s chocolate ice-cream time.”


 

“To the kitchens?” Alex asked.


 

“TO THE KITCHENS!” Ella cried, pointing dramatically towards the staircase.


 

“To my chocolate ice-cream!” I choke-cry-laughed, letting Ella take my hand and pull me through the door.


 

I might just be able to pull through this. I have my girls. That’s all I need. 




presenting....QUESTION TIMEEEEE :D
1) WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN NEXT?! i do love those predictions!
2) Favorite quotes? TELL ME!
3) Who thinks Al is adorable? Who thinks he's creepy?
4) Who really hates me for that whole Rose/Scorpius thing? Mwah ha ha.
5) Favorite character in the story as of now?
6) Least favorite character in the story as of now?
7) What do you think about the summary (like, the main one...the one with the banner?) ?Do you like the old one better? Any suggestions for a new one?
8) Anyone getting sick of these obscenely long author's notes? because i, i mean...i'll stop if they're annoying or something...

send me your reviews, my loviess :D you know that i adore them. they totally make my life. 
that's it for now :D 
PEACE OUT, HOMIEZZ
(dude, i could totally be a gangsta)


Chapter 14: Morpius Salfoy, Date Sabotaging and Barbie
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BAMCHAPTER14!








“Checkmate.” I said in a bored tone, moving my piece whilst simultaneously yawning and checking my watch. Ten minutes. Only ten bloody minutes have passed.






Fuck you, Kronos.






“How did you do that?!” Scorpius cried, looking upset. His hair was sticking up in eight different directions from his constantly running his hands through it in frustration, and he had two pink blotches on his cheeks.






Basically, Scorpius Malfoy looked like a right mess and it was all my fault.






Well, partly my fault. Another portion of his edginess might have been the fact that Rose was currently on a date with Richard Dean. You know, it might be a small contributing factor. Very small. As in, minutely minor. I bet he wasn’t thinking about Rose at all. In fact, he was probably thinking about anything but Rose.






Yeah, and I was actually Apollo in disguise. I am willing to bet my left foot that Scorpius is so anxious purely because of Rose’s aforementioned date with a bloke whose name didn’t rhyme with Morpius Salfoy.






I’m not even going to lie, though – Richard Dean is fit. Like, really attractive. He’s got this mop of brown hair and these gorgeous honey eyes. Not to mention that he’s Ravenclaw’s Quidditch captain and has a perfect body.






But, for Scorpius’ sake, let’s just pretend that I despise Richard Dean. I am on Scorpius’ side, after all.






“Do you want to stop?” I sighed, bored.






“Yeah, sure.” He muttered, running his hand through his hair again. I sighed, blowing a random piece of hair out of my face and looking up at the ceiling, just hoping that some form of entertainment would miraculously drop from the skies and into my lap.






Nothing happened. Shocker.






“This sucks.” Scorpius said morosely, flicking a chess piece across the board.






I sighed. “Agreed. We’re the biggest losers on the face of the planet.”






“Hear, hear.” He muttered. “Well, apart from Al. He officially wins that title for bloody stalking Noah.”






“He’s not stalking her.” I said dissaprovingly. “Stop exaggerating.”






“Um, yes, he is. He’s got his invisibility cloak and is literally following her around while she shops with her friends.” Scorpius informed me.






I made a face. “Jesus, what a creeper.”






“That’s what I told him.”






“How’d he take it?”






“He punched me.”






“Understandable.”






He sighed and sat back. “I can’t believe everyone has a date for Hogsmeade except for me and you.”






“Well, Dom and Freddie went together, so I don’t think it would really qualify as a date, per se.” I pointed out reasonably.






“Same difference.” Scorpius waved his hand, and we sat in silence for a bit. I stared at the flames, watching the flickering fire as it made shadows along the wall. It was sort of mesmerizing, and I found my eyes growing heavier and heavier until –






“That’s it.” Scorpius stood up, offering me his hand. “Come on.”






“Where are we going?” I asked drowsily, looking at his hand in confusion.






“We’re going to Hogsmeade.” He declared, pulling me up.






“Together?”






“That’s right.”






“But…” I looked down at my clothes. I was currently wearing an old Gryffindor Pride sweatshirt that belonged to Apollo and reached past my knees, a pair of beat-up skinny jeans, mismatched socks, and my dinghy old converse. Eh. Decent enough. I’m not trying to impress anyone, anyway. “Alright, let’s go.”






“Wait, one thing before we go.” Scorpius said, reaching over and patting down my hair a bit. “It was sticking up all funny.” He informed me, smoothing it so that it hung properly.






I grinned and fixed his hair as well. “It was pointing in eight different directions.”






“I bet I looked like Al’s long-lost cousin.” Scorpius grinned.






I laughed. “Yeah, with blonde hair.”






“After you, mademoiselle.” Scorpius opened the door for me.






“Who said chivalry was dead?” I scoffed as I walked through.






Scorpius closed it behind me and offered his arm. “A blithering idiot, that’s who.”






I took it, grinning. “Rose has no idea what she’s missing out on.”






“Damn right.” Scorpius muttered, scowling. “I hope their date is going horribly.”






“What a nice friend you are, Scorpius.” I said dryly, causing him to roll his eyes.






He suddenly turned to me, his expression excited. “You’ve got to help me, Missy!”






“With what?” I asked warily, not liking his calculating expression one bit.






“We are going to sabotage Rose and that Richard Dean bloke’s date.” Scorpius announced proudly, tacking on a self-loving smirk at the end.






I stared at him.






“If you actually think that I’m going to help you, you’re clearly delusional.”






“Oh, come on, Missy!” He whined, pulling a puppy-dog pout as he widened his large silver eyes at me. I scowled, using all of my (rather pitiful) self-restraint not to cave.






“No.” I said firmly, and he continued to pout at me, widening his eyes and letting his bottom lip quiver just a bit.






Merlin, he looks like freaking Bambi.






RESIST! RESIST THE EYES!






“Please?” He sniveled. “I really need your help, Artemis.”






Hold God, this is bloody painful.






“Fine. I’ll sit there with you while you do it.” I sighed. “Just, please…stop looking at me like that!”






“HA!” He cried ecstatically, punching the air.






“If she gets mad, I had nothing to do with this, understood?” I called after him as he whooped down the hallway. “SCORPIUS!






“Yeah, whatever!” He said, beaming as he grabbed my hand and towed me down the hallway. “Let’s go!”






What did I get myself into?






***






Scorpius’ scowl deepened as Rose laughed at something else Richard said, and I rolled my eyes.






“Scor, that wasn’t even funny.” I murmured to him, nudging him in the side so that he would relax a bit. “She was really just laughing to be polite.”






“Or because she likes him.” He muttered, glowering at their table as Rose laughed again, smiling charmingly and moving closer to Richard. Her knee gently touched his under the table and his grin grew wider. Scorpius growled.






As in, literally growled.






“Freak.” I told him, smirking when he shot me the bird.






He sighed deeply. “What should we do?”






“Okay, first of all, what’s with this whole ‘we’ nonsense? I said I didn’t want anything to do with this operation!” I protested. “And second of all, you’re throwing this little evil-fest, you come up with the bloody ideas.”






“You suck.” He informed me.






“You’re pathetic.” I shot back, raising my eyebrows at him.






He scowled. “You shouldn’t be talking.”






I glared at him. “I’m leaving.”






“I was kidding, Artemis.” Scorpius said hastily, grabbing my arm and pulling me down again. “I didn’t mean it. Sorry.”






“Yeah, you better be.” I said in mock-resentment, grinning at him to show that I wasn’t in the least bit offended.






He sighed deeply, rubbing his temples and shooting Rose and Richard another look. She laughed at something else that he said and gently laid her hand on his arm. “I just really like her.” Scorpius mumbled, looking thoroughly depressed as Richard angled his body towards her and grinned down at her.






I put my hand on his shoulder. “I know, love.” I gave Rose and Richard another look; they were leaning towards each other. “And that’s why I’m going to help you.”






“Wait, you are?” Scorpius asked, perking up and looking at me excitedly. “What are you going to – oi, where are you going? Don’t just leave me here, I look like a loser! Artemis!”






But I was already making my way towards Rose and Richard’s table. They were now inches away from each other, and Rose’s eyes were fluttering shut. Richard took that moment to take a swift glance down her shirt, and I heard Scorpius shoot up from his chair behind me.






“ROSE!” I said loudly, making my breath fast so that it seemed like I had sprinted the whole way here. Rose jumped and opened her eyes, looking around in alarm as Richard glowered darkly at me. I shot him a sickly-sweet smile before turning to Rose again. “Rose, you’ve got to come with me.” I said urgently.






She stood up, looking concerned. “What’s wrong?”






I was stumped. Brain, come up with something!






“School – Dom – bathroom – purple!” I got out between pants, and Rose looked incredulously at me.






What?”






I knew I could count on you, brain. Great job.






“Look, just please come with me.” I huffed. “It’s urgent!”






“Missy, I don’t understand –”






“No time to talk. Just come with me.” I grabbed her arm and dragged her out of the pub, pulling on her as she twisted around to look at her date again.






“Bye, Richard! It was nice getting to know you!” Rose called, and I tugged impatiently on her arm.






“Maybe we can do this another time?” Dean shouted after her, looking crestfallen.






“No can do, buddy-boy!” I yelled. “Rosie’s busy!”






“Missy!” Rose protested, but I shoved her out of the pub. Scorpius came out behind us, pulling his jacket tighter around him in the wind.






“What’s going on?” He asked, feigning confusion. “I saw Missy pulling you out of the pub; is everything okay?”






Without preamble, I grabbed his arm and towed him after me as well. Scorpius yelped in surprise and cursed loudly as he tripped to keep up with my pace.  






“She said something about Dom, bathrooms, school and purple.” Rose said in a confused voice. “I’ve no idea what’s going on.”






“Hurry up, will you?” I asked impatiently. They continued to hold me back, so with an annoyed growl and a flick of my wand, I lifted them both up in the air (ignoring their cries of alarm and protest) and sprinted towards the school.






“ARTEMIS JONES, PUT ME DOWN THIS INSTANT!” Rose shrilled. I grinned and continued running, panting as I shot through the school gates (they had made it so that only students and teachers of the school could get in), ran across the grounds, and sprinted up the stone steps.






“Where in Merlin’s name are you taking us?” Scorpius asked as I thundered down a corridor.






“You know, this qualifies as kidnap.” Rose said in a deeply annoyed voice. “I could write you up for this.”






“Well, it’s a minor abducting another minor; I doubt it really counts as kidnap.” Scorpius reasoned.






“She’s almost an adult.” Rose shot back.






“Yeah, but she was still a minor when the crime was committed, so – HEY!” Scorpius yelled in indignation as I shoved them both unceremoniously in a broom cupboard and locked it from the outside.






“Let us out!” Rose screamed, banging on the door. I took a deep breath and flicked my wand at the door again, imaging some food from the kitchen disappearing and then reappearing inside the closet. A popping sound told me that my spell had worked.






“I swear I’m going to kill you when we get out of this place! What the fuck is wrong with you?!” Rose continued to shriek. “ARTEMIS SELENE JONES! LET US OUT THIS FUCKING INS –”






“Silencio.” I said happily, and her voice fell dead. I beamed proudly as I walked away from the closet.






All in all, not bad for a day’s work.






…why are you looking at me like that? It wasn’t weird at all. What are you talking about? That was perfectly acceptable behavior, thank you very much. What are you, my mother? OF COURSE I HAVE A CONSCIENCE. Okay, you know what? No one asked you anyway. Shut up and read the story.






Yeesh, you could be related to McGonagall.






***






“Hey, where are Rose and Scorpius?” Dom asked later that afternoon as we all sat in front of the fire.






“No idea.” Al shrugged, putting his blanket around Dom’s shoulders as she shivered. She smiled gratefully at him and pulled it tightly around herself, teeth chattering. Al put his arm around her, rubbing the top of her arm to keep her warm. “Someone add a couple logs to the fire, will you?” He added. Fred flicked his wand at some logs and levitated them into the fire, then wrapped his blanket around Dom as well, sitting on her other side.






“Dom sandwich!” Dom giggled, kissing them both on the cheek. “I love you guys.”






I smiled contentedly.






“But really.” Ella said after a moment. “Where are Rose and Scorpius?”






“I locked them in a broom closet.” I said nonchalantly, taking a sip of my hot chocolate as I gazed at the fire. I looked at my friends and saw that all of them were gaping incredulously at me.






“What?” I asked innocently.






“You locked them in a broom closet?” Jason echoed blankly.






“Yeah.” I shrugged. “It seemed like a pretty good idea at the time.”






They continued to stare at me like I had suddenly sprouted sixteen heads.






“Artemis, are you feeling alright? Like, in the general brain area?” Alex asked in concern, leaning over to feel my forehead for a temperature. I rolled my eyes at her.






“I’m fine, Alex. Seriously.”






“How long have they been in there, love?” Fred asked cautiously. I shrugged and looked at my watch.






“About an hour. Why?”






Another round of wary looks were exchanged. I caught a brief glimpse of Jason twirling his finger around his temple as he mouthed ‘loony’ at Fred, and I threw my pillow at him.






“Erm, when are you planning to let them out?” Ella asked me, and I shrugged.






“Whenever, I guess. I left some food for them, so they should be good for a couple of hours.”






“…you’re so weird.” Jason said, shaking his head and sitting back. “Honestly Artemis, what kind of sane person does something like that?”






“Shut up.” I countered. “They were starting to annoy me, especially Scorpius, so I thought if I locked them in a broom closet together, everything would just…fall in place. I mean, broom closets are supposedly romantic.”






“They’re going to kill you.” Alex said. “You know that, right?”






I shrugged. “Whatever happens, happens. At least I know I didn’t just sit there and listen to Scorpius whine.”






“It was getting rather annoying.” Al admitted, pulling Dom closer against him as she shivered again.






“If this works out, I’ll announce you as a genius in front of the whole school.” Jason muttered, leaning back and pulling Ella onto his lap.






“I’m holding you to that.” I smirked at him, and he lazily stuck his tongue out at me, smiling contentedly as Ella snuggled into the crook of his neck.






There was a short, peaceful silence, which was suddenly shattered as the door opened, and the sound of high-pitched giggling wafted our way.






“Oh, Jamsie, you’re so funny!”






Why do you hate me, Zeus? WHY?






We all swiveled around to look at the source of the noise, and were met by a slightly uncomfortable-looking James and a tall, leggy blonde who seemed to be literally fawning over his every sentence.






Someone, pick up a fork and stab my eyeballs out with it. And then chuck them in the fire. Please.






“Hello.” Jason said awkwardly, looking up at James and what’s-her-face.






“Oh, um, hey guys.” James responded, looking at everyone but me. I stared at the fire, letting Jason slide a comforting arm around my shoulder.






“This is Sarah. Sarah Barlow.” James continued, gesturing at the blonde. She leaped forward with a brilliant smile.






“Hi!” She exclaimed enthusiastically. “I’m James’ new girlfriend, Sarah! I’m sure we’ll be the best of friends! I love James so much!”






This girl is a freaking Barbie! It must hurt to smile all the time like that! I can practically hear her exclamations! I think I am going to be sick!






Merlin, that’s even annoying in my head.






“I’m the President of the James Sirius Potter fan club!” She continued as we all gazed blankly at her. “We have meetings every day of the week, from four to five. You can all come, if you want!”






We stared at her. This cannot be happening to me.






“Sarah, love, why would my friends and family want to go to one of your, er…lovely meetings?” James asked.






She giggled. “Whoops! Sorry. I get really excited about it. I’m his number one fan, you know! I can’t believe we’re dating!”






KILL. ME. NOW.






“Yeah, neither can we.” Ella muttered, and I stifled a grin.






“Er, I’m Al –” Al stood up awkwardly, extending a hand towards her, and she gripped it enthusiastically.






“James’ younger brother!” She finished, smiling brightly. “I know. And you’re Dom, Fred, Artemis, Jason, Ella, and Alexandria.” She rattled off, pointing at each one of us.






“I’m just a little scared right now.” Alex said in a deeply traumatized voice.






“Er – Sarah, do you, um…stalk James’ friends or something?” Fred asked carefully, and she laughed.






“No, sorry. James told me all about you, so I just matched the faces to the names.”






Would you look at that? It seems as though she actually has something resembling half a brain cell. I’m shocked.






“Well.” Dom stood up. “It’s, er…really nice to meet you, Sarah, but Artemis and I have to go free our good friends Rose and Scorpius from the broom cupboard that Artemis unceremoniously locked them in, so we’ll see you soon.” She smiled nervously and started inching towards the door.






I smiled abashedly as James’ and Sarah’s eyes both swiveled to me, shock etched across their features.






“It seemed like a good idea.” I muttered, feeling overly conscious about my messy hair and ratty clothes under James’ gaze. Especially when he’s got Barbie, who looks like she walked right out of a bloody magazine, standing right next to him. Compared to her, I’m the grimy stuff you find on the undersides of your shoes.






Gee, what a confidence booster.






“Well, have fun! I have to go anyway; we’ve got a meeting in ten minutes. Are you sure you don’t want to come, Jamie?” She cooed at him.






I quite literally just gagged.






“I think I’ll pass.” He laughed.






“Okay, bye!” She kissed him enthusiastically on the mouth, and something in my stomach rolled. I think it may have been a mixture of jealousy and disgust. “I’ll see you soon, everyone!” With an energy-filled wave to the rest of us, she bounced out the door.






There was a loud, awkward silence as the door slammed shut, during which we all gazed uncomfortably at each other.






“So, she’s a keeper!” I announced sarcastically, immediately regretting my decision to open my fat mouth and talk.






James shot me a scathing glare and swept up to his room. There was a distinct slamming noise and I winced as I sat slowly down.






“He’s never glared at me before.” I whispered, looking down at my shaking hands. Jason put a tentative hand on my shoulder, and I looked up at him. “I’ve never seen him look so…so hateful.” I took a shuddering breath and closed my eyes against the tears, which went ahead and dripped down my face anyway.






“I’m sorry, love.” Jason whispered, pulling me onto his lap so that I could cry into his shoulder. Ella’s hand reached out to stroke my curls, and I sobbed, wishing that the tears could wash away the image of James’ glare out of my mind.






But it was burned there forever, a token of my mistake.






What have I done?






***






There’s no point in crying over spilt milk.






But sometimes crying is nice. It washes everything away for a little while. And if you’ve got your friends there to hug you through it – well, you’ll be better in no time. It’s a common fact: friends + hugging + crying = instant relief.






“Okay, so I’ll open up the door and quickly put a shield charm around us –” I rambled as I walked down the hallway with Dom and Al. We were going on our merry way to fetch Rose and Scorpius from the broom closet, a deed that is fraught with peril and danger from all angles.






No, really. Not even Voldemort can compare to the wrath of Rose scorned.






“Artemis.” Dom interrupted, looking up at me with probing eyes. “Are you alright?”






“I’m fine.” I said calmly. “I don’t want to talk about it.”






“Are you –” Al started, looking concerned.






I don’t want to talk about it.” I repeated. “Please.” I added.






“Okay.” Dom said, patting me on the arm a bit. I turned around and smiled at her.






“I’m doing the right thing. I’m really fine, promise.” I assured her, and she smiled slowly back.






I took a deep breath and cracked my knuckles as I faced the closet door. Who knew what I was going to be faced with on the other side. This might be my last breath.






Good-bye, life.






“Alright, let’s do this thing.” I announced, and I reached forward, firmly grasped the handle (Al muttered a quick prayer to Merlin, God, and every other deity he had ever heard of), and pulled the door open.






Dom sucked in a sharp breath, my mouth fell open, and Al’s eyes literally popped out of their sockets.






What were Rose and Scorpius doing, you may ask? Why, they were snogging as though their lives depended on it.






Rose was pressed back against the wall, her arms wound tightly around Scorpius’ neck, one hand massaging through his hair and the other holding the back of his head securely to her face. Her legs were wrapped around his waist, and he seemed to be holding her up from the sheer force of his body pressed against hers. One of his hands was clutching her thigh, and the other was at the skin of her back under her shirt, slowly moving upwards. By the looks of them (I swear I saw about four visible hickeys on Rose’s neck), they had been going at it for quite a while.






I just lost nights of sleep.






“Well, well, well.” I managed to say in a mocking voice, raising my eyebrow and smirking as they jumped in surprise, then hastily pushed away from each other, faces red and eyes wide. “What do we have here?”






Rose blushed deeply, fixing her clothes and avoiding Al’s gaze. “Erm – nothing.”






“Sure.” I said, then grinned at them. They both looked immensely relieved upon noticing that Al and Dom, though shocked, were also smiling. “So, does this mean you’re together now?” I asked eagerly.






“Yeah.” Scorpius sent Rose a small smile, and she blushed again.






“Hurt her and you’re dead.” Al stated flatly, then with a short, fleeting grin, he turned around to march away.






“That’s his way of saying he approves.” Dom assured them, upon seeing their nervous expressions.






“And that he’s been deeply disturbed by your blatant display of raging teenager hormones and is now going to wash his eyes out with soap.” I added.






“We know him so well.” Dom smiled affectionately, and we high-fived.






I love my best friend.






“So, Artemis, I was totally set on ripping out your hair, one strand at a time, for locking us in here…” Rose started, smiling in a sickly sweet sort of way. I gulped and took a hasty step back. “But, I think I’ll let you slide just this once.” She finished, and I literally slumped in relief.






“I get to live another day!” I cried jubilantly, doing a quick happy dance.






“Please, Artemis.” Dom put her hand on my shoulder to stop me. “I’m already traumatized by watching my baby cousin get groped against a wall; please don’t make it worse for me.”






Rose’s face was bright red. “Shut up, Dom.” She muttered.






“Yeah?” I shot back, hands on my hips. Quick, brain, snappy retort! “Well, whatever!”






My brain is as sharp as a knife. I really don’t know how I can manage to come up with such brilliancy.






“Good one, Artemis.” Scorpius deadpanned.






“I wouldn’t be talking, Mr. ‘oh, please, Artemis, help me’ –mmph!” I cried indignantly as he quickly covered up my mouth with his hand. Rose and Dom stood there, hands on their hips and eyebrows raised. Scorpius shot them an innocent smile, which, judging by their skeptical expressions, neither of them bought.






I poked him on the shoulder, eyes angry, and pointed to my mouth. He quickly let it go, and I wiped my lips off with as much dignity as I could muster.






“I would prefer if you didn’t slap your hands – which were Merlin-knows-where on Rose’s body – on my mouth, thank you very much.” I said waspishly. Scorpius grinned, and Rose blushed again.






“So, what did we miss?” Rose asked Dom.






“Oh, nothing much!” I enthused. “We just met James’ new girlfriend. She’s a keeper!”






James’ glare swam to the front of my mind, and with an angry internal snarl, I shoved it away.






“Judging by the amount of sarcasm in your tone, she is not a keeper.” Rose guessed.






“She’s a freaking Barbie doll.” Dom moaned, and I grinned. I knew that girl was my best friend for a reason! Great minds think alike, I tell you.






“She can’t be that bad.” Scorpius consoled.






“No, she talks like this!” I exclaimed, hitching a large, bright, fake smile onto my face. “Hi! My name is Sarah Barlow! I’m sure we will be the best of friends! I’m the president of the James Sirius Potter fan club! Want to come, Jamie?”






“She doesn’t. Tell me this isn’t true!” Rose cried dramatically, turning to Dom.






“It must hurt to smile that much.” Dom mused, and Rose slapped her forehead as her fears were confirmed.






“That’s what I thought, too!” I exclaimed.






“Oh my, god, right?!” Dom enthused, turning to me with wide eyes. “Like, does she practice in front of a mirror, or what?”






“I bet she’s put a permanent sticking charm on her face!” I realized, eyes wide as well. “That makes so much sense!”






“You’re right!”






“I mean, how else could she smile so bloody much?”






We stood there for a minute, eyes wide as we gazed at each other.






“We are geniuses.” Dom declared, looking immensely proud.






“Hells yeah!” I said. “Sherlock Holmes, move over, there are two new sheriffs in town and we are the incarnations of perception!”






We burst out laughing, ignoring the way that Rose and Scorpius looked as they inched slowly away from us.






No worries, guys. Craziness isn’t contagious, promise. 






heyooo XD
so, i'm super-uper-UPER proud of myself for getting this thing out to you guys ♥
you totally deserve it, though - thank you sosososososo much for the reviews!
it's like...whoa! like, seriously? over 500 reviews?! I AM BLOWN AWAY.
♥♥♥♥ youuuss :D

so, completely off topic, but you know that little dialogue box that pops up after you click a mature-rated story and asks you if you're mature enough to read this story?
yeah, well, i laugh at the one that pops up and asks me if i'm old enough to read my own story.
i literally sit there and mwah-ha-ha at it, because, HONESTLY?! yeah, i think i'm old enough to read the story, you stupid box - i freaking wrote the damned thing!
it amuses me.
...don't tell me i'm the only one who does that? i'm not, am i?
I'M NOT A FREAK, OKAY?! I'M JUST EASILY AMUSED. GOSH.

okayy, now that the question of my sanity is out of the way...
i'm no longer allowed to ask you guys questions, sadly. 
feedback would still be lovely, though!
favorite quotes? predictions? proclamations of anger?
i want it all!

that's it for noww ♥

i love you guysies :D

(ps i am almost a gansta. i even have a rap!
fo-shizzle, do-drizzle, s-DAWG is in the house!
...er...i'm still working on it. 
but it's going to be the shizzle. 
WORD.)



Chapter 15: Friends, Love and Secrets
[View Online]  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

chapter fifteen :D




“So, Artemis,” Sarah said eagerly, leaning forward as she surveyed me. “Tell me more about yourself.”


Dear Merlin, why do you put me into these situations?


“Erm, well –” I started nervously, looking around for a polite way to escape like the rest of my friends had. Ella and Jason went off to explore broom closets together, Rose and Scorpius went on a walk around the lake, Freddie and Dom were Chocolate Hunting, and Al decided to stalk Noah a bit.


They’d all left, leaving me here with Little-Miss-Barbie. Useless buggers. And to think that I actually call them my friends.


“…Um.” I said, glancing back at her again. She was looking at me expectantly, her blue eyes wide as she nodded a bit to indicate that I could go on. “My name is, er…Artemis Jones.” I started.


Insert: Mental Slap. She already knew that, you imbecile!


“Yeah.” I said quickly, before she could interrupt with a comment about how she was aware of my name. “I, er…I play Chaser on the Quidditch Team –”


“With James!” Sarah inserted excitedly. “He’s also a Chaser! He’s the Captain!”


I fought back the strong urge to shoot back a mocking ‘No way’, instead settling with the more polite, “Yes, I know. Along with Scorpius, me and James are the best Chasers in the whole school.”


I looked expectantly at her, just hoping that she would go on a tirade about Hufflepuff’s greatness and I could have a reason to hate her.


“You guys really are fantastic.” She said instead, smiling at me. “Especially that last game, with that one move where you three threw the Quaffle back and forth to confuse our Keeper – that was very clever.”


I blinked at her, surprised. “You follow Quidditch?”


She nodded. “Yeah! I love Quidditch. It’s a shame that I can’t fly to save my life.”


God hates me. WHY IS SHE ACTUALLY LIKEABLE?! DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO HATE HER RIGHT NOW?!


WHY. ME?!?


“Wow.” I said. “You really didn’t seem the type at first glance.”


She laughed. “I sort of act like a bit of an airhead, I know.”


A bit? “Er, just a little.” I smiled nervously.


She laughed, shrugging. “I just can’t help it; it’s how I’ve always been. I’m really not as stupid as I make out to be, though.”


Could’ve fooled me. “You don’t seem stupid.” I lied.


She raised her eyebrows at me. “Yes, I do.”


“Not anymore, you don’t.” I grinned at her, and she smiled back.


“Look –” She began hesitantly. She took a breath and looked at me. “James told me about – about how he used to love you.”


My stomach plunged through the floor. It is now sitting in Tarturus; I can forget about ever eating again.


“And, well, I reckon he’s still sort of in love with you.” She continued, biting her lip as she stared at the table. Hope flared in my heart, and I beat it back as viciously as I could.


“He doesn’t.” I said heavily. “Trust me. I broke his heart over and over again; there’s no way he could forgive me for something like that.”


“He’s a forgiving person.” She insisted.


“No one’s that forgiving.” I shook my head. “There’s nothing to worry about, Sarah. He doesn’t love me.”


She looked relieved. “Okay. I just – I’m sorry if I – I really like him.” She finished, blushing slightly.


I smiled, hoping it would be enough.


Merlin, why is she so nice?


***


“WHY DOES THE WORLD HATE ME, NOAH?!” I moaned melodramatically later on that day, sitting in the niche as she rubbed my back.


“Because you’re a bitch to fate.” She responded, smirking.


“Thanks for the advice.” I shot back sarcastically. “You’ve helped so much.”


“It’s a talent.” She said sweetly. “Look, how about we talk about something else? It’ll help take your mind off of your problems for a bit.”


“Okay.” I agreed, sitting up. A thought shot into my head, and I smirked. “So, what do you think about Al?”


“Al who?” She asked innocently, playing absentmindedly with her tie.


My eyes narrowed. “Al Potter.” Who else? Are there any other Al’s in this school that I don’t know about?


“Oh.” She said knowingly. “Al Potter. What about him?”


She’s stalling for time. This is the oldest trick in the ‘stalling for time’ book, Noah. Don’t think I’m fooled by this pathetic attempt to divert my attention. I am as quick as a fox and as agile as a…a…panther! Yeah! A panther. Because panthers are all agile…and stuff…


…wait, panthers are agile, right?


You know what? Forget that.


“What do you think about him?” I pressed, narrowing my eyes further.


“He’s nice.” Noah said vaguely.


“Nice.” I repeated skeptically.


“Yes. Nice.” She finished, smiling serenely at me.


I raised an eyebrow at her. “You know, just because I temporarily lost my visions doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s going on.”


With that impressive parting sentence, I stood up to walk away, Noah calling after me to explain what the ruddy hell I meant.


“Bye, love!” I called cheerfully over my shoulder.


“ARTEMIS! GET BACK HERE NOW!”


“No time, darling!” I yelled back happily. “I’ve got class now!”


***


SilverSeeingEyes: So…


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: …so.


Alex_MATT_4everz: Okay, this is getting ridiculous. What’s up, everyone?


Freddieboy_96: So, Alex, how’s the boyfriend?


Alex_MATT_4everz: None of your sodding business.


Freddieboy_96: Look, can’t we just


Alex_MATT_4everz: No.


Freddieboy_96: Hear me out, Alex!


Alex_MATT_4everz: Why should I?


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: Really? We’re going to go into this again?


SilverSeeingEyes: No way. There is no way in hell that I’m sitting through another one of their computer-fights.


Prongs.Junior: How incredibly selfish of you, Jones. Though I wouldn’t really expect anything less from you.


EllsBells_bludger.of.DOOM: James, shut the fuck up. Right now.


Alex_MATT_4everz: Yeah James, shut up about things you don’t know about.


Alex_MATT_4everz: You know, Weasley, curiosity killed the cat, but I’m still curious. What did you want to say to me?


DomInikkiex3: …I didn’t want to say anything to you, Lewis. Jeez, way to fall back on last names.


Freddieboy_96: She meant me, you dumbshit.


DomInikkiex3: …right. Sorry. Carry on.


Freddieboy_96: I wanted to apologize, actually.


Alex_MATT_4everz: I’m not stopping you.


Freddieboy_96: Alex…I’m sorry.


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: Alex…?


EllsBells_bludger.of.DOOM: Lex, darling, this is your cue to be all ‘Omg, Fred, you’re forgiven! Let’s ride off into the sunset and make gorgeous babies together!’


DomInikkiex3: That was a tad too far, Ella.


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: Damn hilarious, though.


Freddieboy_96: Alex?


Alex_MATT_4everz: Why are you doing this to me?


Freddieboy_96: What do you mean?


Alex_MATT_4everz: I don’t understand! Why are you trying to be nice to me all of a sudden? Is this guilt? What, do you feel pity for me or something?! I don’t want your fucking pity, Weasley.


Freddieboy_96: Ever thought that maybe I just really wanted to be your friend? That might be a possibility, don’t you think?


Alex_MATT_4everz: But why?


Freddieboy_96: Because I was too stupid to realize who you really are before this, and I’m going to learn from other people’s mistakes before I go and make a really big one of my own.


SilverSeeingEyes: Yay for being the perfect example. Listen up, everyone! If you want to become an aging cat-lady for the rest of your life instead of ever finding love, do what I did! It’s foolproof, I tell you!


Prongs.Junior has logged off.


SilverSeeingEyes: Fuck my life.


DomInikkiex3: Artemis…


SilverSeeingEyes: I’m fine, Dom. Really. Carry on, guys.


Alex_MATT_4everz: No, I don’t feel like talking anymore. Fred…you’re forgiven. We’ll see about the whole ‘friends’ thing.


Freddieboy_96: Good enough for me! Eat dinner with us, Alex.


Alex_MATT_4everz: I don’t know…


SilverSeeingEyes: I’m going to go, guys. I’ll see you all later, okay?


EllsBells_bludger.of.DOOM: Where are you going?


SilverSeeingEyes: I don’t know. Somewhere. Anywhere. Away from fucking here.


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: I’ll come with you.


SilverSeeingEyes: You don’t have to, Jay.


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: I want to.


EllsBells_bludger.of.DOOM: Alright, we’ll see you guys soon. Bye.


SilverSeeingEyes has logged off.


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE: Bye, Ella, love you!


Jay_boy_BEATyourARSE has logged off.


“What?” Ella breathed, staring at her computer screen with wide eyes as me and Jason got up to leave. I looked down at her, brows furrowed in confusion, then looked up at Jason, who was wearing an expression similar to mine.


“Is something wrong, love?” He asked her.


“You…you…” She gestured at the screen, and he crossed over to peer at it over her head.


“What?”


“You said you loved me.” She managed to get out. His eyes widened.


“Shit! I wasn’t supposed to tell you that yet! It was supposed to be freaking romantic, with candles and all that shit! Fuck, what is wrong with me?” He moaned, clapping a hand to his head.


“Jason –” Ella said.


“Look, I understand if you don’t feel that way about me or anything yet; it’s a bit fast for that, honestly – ” He rambled, continuing to look like he seriously wanted to punch himself for being such an imbecile.


“No, Jason –” She protested.


“ – supposed to wait a couple of weeks until you were ready for that, really, sometimes I don’t even bloody think, I – mmmmmm.”


“They’re so sweet, it’s almost disgusting.” Alex said distastefully as we watched Ella get up and kiss Jason.


Dom sighed and rubbed her stomach, looking down at it and biting her lip. Fred reached over to stroke her hair a bit. James should be doing that.


Bloody wanker.


“I love you, too, Jason.” Ella said breathlessly as they pulled apart from each other. I smiled affectionately as Jason’s smile grew even wider and he leaned down to capture her mouth again.


“Excuse me! This sort of behavior is not acceptable in – EXCUSE ME, WE ARE IN A LEARNING INSTITUTION! Behave yourselves!” The teacher cried angrily as Jason and Ella continued to kiss.


I sighed. “Sorry, professor. I got it.”


Acting like this was something I did on a daily basis, I walked forward, grabbed Jason by the ear, and dragged him away with a thoroughly disinterested expression etched onto my face as he yelled out in pain.


***


“It’s peaceful here.” Jason said simply as he gazed out over the lake. I smiled.


“Yes, it is. It helps you forget your problems for a bit.” I agreed, letting a serene look pervade my features as I looked over at the view.


“It’s like…how do I explain it?” Jason sighed and looked at the water as he sorted his thoughts. “It’s like…nature moves on. Even though humans have huge problems that seem like the end of the world to them, everything just keeps moving. The sun doesn’t stop rising and setting. The birds don’t stop singing. The moon doesn’t stop shining. Life goes on.” He said, shrugging. “The world doesn’t stop for your problems.”


I let out a breath. “Wow.” I whispered, impressed. “That was…wow. That was wise, Jason.”


He shrugged again, looking slightly abashed. “Don’t tell anyone.” He said, letting his eyes dart around dramatically for a moment. I laughed.


“Your secret’s safe with me.”


He laughed for a bit, and then sighed again. “I’m no Noah, Artemis.” He began haltingly. “But I really wish I could help. I’m sorry about all of this. I mean, I don’t really understand the whole story; no one really does, but I can still tell that everything’s wrong for you right now.”


I looked down.


“There’s just something different about you.” He went on thoughtfully. “Before, you had like…an aura. You were so sure of yourself. And now…well, it’s gone. You’re nervous and anxious and stumbling through life just like the rest of us.”


“Perceptive.” I grinned jokingly, making sure that the inner turmoil rolling around inside of me wasn’t noticeable. I didn’t realize just how well my friends knew me. I put too much trust in hoping that they didn’t notice the little things about me. I put too much trust in the theory that they didn’t care.


But they did. My friends...they honestly love me.


“You don’t have to tell me anything.” He said hastily, putting his hands up. “Just…you know. I’m there for you and shit. When you need a teddy bear or something.” He mumbled the last part and looked at his foot.


I laughed. “How did you know that I call you the teddy bear of the group?”


He laughed back, relieved that I didn’t make fun of him and his sappy speech. “I’m not in idiot, Missy.”


“I know you’re not, Jay.” I grinned and hugged him. “And you’re the best teddy bear ever.”


“Yay.” He said dryly. But he wrapped his arms around me anyway.


Because that’s what friends are for. They’re always there for you, through anything and everything.


I can’t believe it took this much for me to realize that I don’t just have friends; I have bloody good friends. I’ll never be able to replace them.


Just like I’ll never be able to replace James.


I learn everything the hard way, and it’s all my fault.


Yay for me.


***


“I just lost my appetite.” I mumbled, looking down at the food that I was, up until two seconds ago, devouring like a rabid animal.


Fred pushed away his portion, also looking sick. “You’d think that, at this point, people would understand that snogging at the dinner table isn’t exactly acceptable behavior.”


“And yet they do it anyway.” Al added, shuddering slightly and pushing his treacle tart around on the plate.


“Well, I’m always hungry.” Dom declared through a mouthful of various foods. “But I’m still disgusted and stuff.” She added, nodding. “This food is just too good to waste. Pass the mustard, will you, Al?”


He looked uncertainly at her. “But Dom, you’re eating cake.”


“And it needs mustard.” She said, eyes wide and persuasive. “Could you give it to me, please?”


“Don’t argue.” Fred whispered when Al turned to us, looking unsure. “Just give it to her.”


Al handed her the mustard, still looking slightly fearful of her sanity, and watched with wide, disgusted eyes as she plopped some on her cake and took a large bite, closing her eyes as she chewed happily.


I have yet to decide which is more disturbing: the fact that Dom is enjoying her mustard and cake, or the four couples currently engaged in a snog-fest around me.


“Look at him.” Fred’s fist closed convulsively on the table as he glared at Matt, who was snogging Alex with one eye closed and the other looking down her shirt.


“Classy.” I snorted.


“He’s disgusting.” Fred snarled. “I just – urgh, I just hate him.”


“He’s sitting right in front of you, Freddie.” Al said absently as he watched Noah laugh with her friends at the Hufflepuff table. He smiled slightly at her laugh, his green eyes softening.


Al Potter is the cutest boy I have ever had the fortune to meet.


“Good.” Fred said angrily. “Then he can hear me declare my utmost detestation of him. And he can hear me say that I hope he goes to hell.”


Matt didn’t seem to hear a word Fred was saying as he continued to snog Alex as though his life depended on it.


Fail, Freddie. Epic fail.


“I’m still recovering from James and Sarah.” I said miserably, wincing again as I accidentally glanced at them.


I’m still trying to ignore the fact that my best friend is sucking my cousin’s face off.” Al put in, tearing his gaze away from Noah to make a face at Rose and Scorpius.


“And I’m really wishing for some chocolate right now.” Dom sighed, looking sadly at her empty plate. We stared at her.


“I’m still disgusted.” She added hastily. “Very disgusted. So disgusted, in fact, that I’m going to go down to the kitchens and have some chocolate. Because I’m disgusted.”


“Just go get your chocolate, Dom.” I sighed, waving her off. With a happy squeal, she got up, careful not to jostle her stomach too much, and bounded out of the Great Hall.


I sighed, and beside me, the sighs of Fred and Albus echoed back.


“I’m going to go sit somewhere else.” I decided, getting up and casting my gaze around the Great Hall.


“Where?” Fred asked, also getting up. “I’ll come with you.”


“Oi, you’re not leaving me here by myself!” Al scrambled to his feet, looking affronted.


I looked around at the Great Hall again, unsure of where to go. Then my gaze landed on one of the windows, and I watched the rain lash against the glass for a moment, wondering what that would feel like on my skin.


Rain feels amazing. I want to go outside.


“Let’s go…to the Quidditch pitch.” I said, turning around and walking out of the Great Hall.


“Anywhere’s better than here.” Fred mumbled, following me.


“I’ll go and get our brooms, shall I?” Al asked excitedly. I turned around and grinned at him.


“And I’ll ask Noah if she wants to come.”


I think Al just died of happiness.


***


“Everyone knows!”


After coming back from the refreshing fly in the rain with Al, Noah and Fred, I really wasn’t in the mood to receive some bad news.


But, seeing as life hates me, of course the second I step into our dorm, Dom would come running up to me to deliver some piece of information that was sure to completely ruin my day.


“What?” I asked blankly, trying to make sense of the situation as Dom continued to bawl like there was no tomorrow.


“Everyone knows.” She choked, flying at me so that she could cry into my shirt. Her tears didn’t make much of a difference to my already soaking shirt, so I let her continue, instead sending my confused gaze over to Ella and Alex, both of whom looked miserable.


Great. This is going to fantastic, I can just tell.


“The whole school knows that Dom is pregnant.” Ella announced dully.


This day just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?


I sighed heavily. “That’s just lovely.”


“And guess who screamed it loud enough for the whole school to hear?” Alex continued in a dry voice, her tight lips and blazing eyes showing me that she was actually more upset than she let on.


“Who?” I asked tiredly, rubbing Dom’s back gently as she continued to sob.


“Our lovely friend Sarah.” Alex said, sending a furious, tight-lipped smile my way.


“And then James dumped her, right?” I asked hopefully.


“Of course not.” Ella chimed in sardonically. “Why would he do such a thing? I mean, she didn’t mean it. Not at all.”


“Who fed you that bull?” I asked furiously.


“Oh, she did. And then she actually expected us to believe it.” Alex put in, her lip curling in disgust. “The sad thing is, James did.”


“He’s a blithering idiot, though, so it’s not that much of a surprise.” Ella muttered. “I mean, you’d have to be pretty dumb to date the President of your fan club. That’s just creepy.”


I sighed and continued to stroke Dom’s hair. “I wish I had a fan club.” I muttered morosely, not wanting to think about anything else right now.


“We’re your fan club.” Ella said right away, a fierce edge to her voice.


I smiled at her. “Thanks, Ells.”


I sighed again. “Tell me exactly what happened.”


“Well,” Alex began, drying me with her wand and making room on her bed so that we could all climb in. “We were at dinner, and we noticed that you three had run off someplace. Dom was back, and she was eating this disgusting monstrosity of a sandwich. It smelled horrible, I don’t know how she managed to choke it all down without puking her guts back up.”


Dom let out a hysterical, watery chuckle and flapped her hand at Alex in protest. Alex smiled slightly, glad that she was making Dom feel at least a little bit better.


“And Jason asked where you three had gone, and Dom managed to get out a barely intelligible sentence – ” Here Dom let out another chuckle and a hand-flap of indignation. “ – telling us that you four had gone out to the pitch to fly. So, that was about when Scorp noticed her sandwich, and he naturally asked her what the hell she was eating. Dom rattled off this immense list of items that would probably kill a human being if eaten together, and everyone but James and Jason looked totally disgusted.”


“Yeah, we went down to the kitchens one night and she ate a similar sandwich.” I put in, and Ella nodded as though that explained everything.


“So, then Sarah went ahead and asked her if there was a particular reason she wanted to kill herself –”


“Except her question was more like,” Ella adopted a breathy, dumb-sounding voice. “‘Um, why are you like, eating that?’”


Dom giggled again, this time not as watery.


“Yeah.” Alex nodded. “And then James, being the absolute imbecile that he is, told her that Dom was pregnant. And then Sarah screeched it loud enough for the whole school to hear.”


“Which they did.” Ella inserted. “And it got really quiet, and everyone was staring at Dom.”


“And then I sprinted out of the Great Hall as fast as I could.” Dom sighed. “And the whole gang followed me, and Sarah looked really upset and she kept going on about how she didn’t mean it and all that nonsense –”


“She started crying.” Alex rolled her eyes. “Like, literally bawling.”


“She seemed so nice, though.” I noted absently. “Like, I was actually starting to like her. She talked about Quidditch and she was really nice about the whole ‘me breaking James’ heart’ thing.”


“Are you saying that you think she didn’t mean it?” Ella asked doubtfully.


I shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean…”


We were interrupted by a knock on the door. Confused, I crossed over to open it, and was confronted by a distressed-looking Sarah. Her hair was a mess, and her eyes were puffy and red.


“I’m so sorry.” She blurted out without preamble as soon as the door was removed from the front of her face. “I’m so very sorry. I feel horrible –”


“Calm down.” I said, looking warily at her as she nodded and attempted to control her hysterical breathing.


“Can I come in?” She asked, her eyes welling with tears again.


Wordlessly, I opened the door wider, and she stepped in and closed the door behind her, twisting her hands nervously as she looked at the four of us perched on Alex’s bed. Dom looked like a right mess as she lifted her face from Alex’s blankets and sniffled at Sarah.


Sarah looked behind her at the door, then at the four of us again. Suddenly, her distressed expression was replaced by a sneer.


“You’re a whore.” She informed Dom brightly.


My jaw dropped open, and I blinked in shock.


“You’re only dating that Connery bloke so that Fred Weasley will become jealous –” She said to Alex, who raised her eyebrows and managed to look thoroughly unimpressed. “You…I have nothing to say to you.” Sarah spat at Ella, who rolled her eyes. “And I know your secret.” She said menacingly to me.


I raised my right eyebrow at her, hoping that my facial expression was smooth and calm, a mirror image of Alex’s bored expression. “What’s that?” I asked coolly.


“I know you’re a Seer.”


Cue: World imploding. 




whoa, chapter fifteen :D
i can't believe we've actually gotten this far - this is the longest thing i've ever written! ever! how exciting! i mean, i'm currently writing chapter 23 and i'm still not done with this yet, so that says a lot. i can't believe it. 
once again, thanks soo much for everything, guys :) i'm nothing without you. you're my inspiration and my support and thank you so SO MUCH!

mushy things aside, IT IS NOW SUMMER XD
i'm free! free, i tell you! it's currently one a.m and i'm sitting in my room with the fan on, putting this chapter up because, hey, i dont have to wake up tomorow! how fantastic is that?! REALLY FANTASTIC, THAT'S WHAT.

okay, so, sarah, right? i feel like her change is totally cliche, but i sort of had to do it. make her the evil girlfriend villain, i mean. she's a little important to this whole shebang, so i had to make her like this. please no angry 'GAH YOU'RE SO CLICHE! YOU OFFICIALLY SUCK!' reviews? i really had to do it. really. 
but what do you think about her?
also, what about this whole new knowing-she's-a-seer developement? are you shocked? i was shocked. i was like, dude, what?! 
even though i wrote it like this. ahem. 
alex and fred? sensing some things happening for them...*waggles eyebrows*
who thought jason was the cutest thing ever in this chapter? i did. what an adorable loveybear. 
yes, i just called him a loveybear. don't judge me. 
let me know what you think in a review - i swear i'm getting around to responding. it's just taking a bit longer than planned. i go to the 'unread reviews' section, look at the appalling number, and then chicken out after plowing through thirty of those babies. so much for being a gryffindor. 

OH AND I LOVE FAVORITE QUOTES! HINT HINT!
(subtlety was never a strong point of mine...)

so - review! and my author's page is getting lonely. feed my ego by asking me questions about  me? i like ego-feeding. it makes me feel good about myself :D

thanks a million times for reading and i love you guys forever <3


Chapter 16: Self-Inflicted Comas, Flying Boogers and ‘The Attic Guy’
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My eyes widened. My jaw dropped. My breath left me in a whoosh of air.




Basically, I was shocked.




That was nothing on Ella and Alex, though. They both gasped loudly and dramatically, and Ella went as far as to fall off the bed.




“How did you know?” I whispered, immediately regretting it as Sarah smirked wider.




Why am I such an idiot? Clearly, Merlin has conveniently forgotten to give me a brain when he gave me the ability to look into the future. Now that I can’t See anymore, I am left with no brain and no Seer powers.




Ergo, I have become a pathetic excuse of a human being. Joyous.




“I heard you talking to that Noah bint.” Sarah said, scrutinizing her nails with a pleased smirk etched onto her face as Ella snarled at her.




My jaw locked. “What, so you’ve been stalking me or something?”




She rolled her eyes. “Don’t flatter yourself, Jones. I just happened to be in the general vicinity while you were sniveling all your little problems to her. You know, you’re not exactly very discreet.”




I. Am. An. Imbecile.




My jaw locked again. “Get out of here.”




“Gladly.” She sneered. “Oh, and Jones?” She turned to me and shot me a sickly sweet smile. “You do everything in your power to keep me and James together, otherwise I’m going to tell the whole school about your lovely powers…not to mention all of your other secrets.”




“Get out.” I snarled, standing up and pointing to the door. “Now.”




Shooting us another look, she stepped out and slammed the door behind her. I turned to my friends with a wary expression, cringing slightly as I thought of the bombardment of questions that I was about to receive.




“Was what she said true?” Ella finally asked in a low voice. Closing my eyes and biting my lip slightly, I nodded.




“Why didn’t you tell us?” Alex asked after a short silence.




I took a deep breath and looked down at the floor. “I thought you guys might think I’m a freak.” I mumbled.




“We already think you’re a freak, love.” Alex said in an amused voice, and my head snapped up, my eyes surprised. “Having Seer powers isn’t going to make that any different.” She continued.




“So…you don’t care that I can see the future?” I asked, hardly daring to believe it. From the corner of my eye, I saw that Dom was beaming.  




“Of course we care.” Ella rolled her eyes. “I mean, hello, my best friend is a Seer! I’m not going to not care. But…no, in that sense, we don’t care at all.”




I breathed out, dazed. “I can’t believe it.” I said in a shocked voice. “After all of those years of hiding it…you guys don’t care.”




“We’ll love you no matter what.” Ella smiled at me.




The group hug that ensued could possibly be known as the greatest group hug in history. Why? Because they don’t care. Who bloody gives a flying fuck about what the rest of the school thinks? The only people whose opinions matter are the three girls sitting in this room right here…oh, and the four boys that occupy the same room on the other side of the tower.




But they don’t care.




Maybe James wouldn’t have cared, either. Maybe…




Stop it. Stop it, Artemis. You made your mistake. That’s it now. You can’t do anything else.




Plus, the prospect of being known as ‘Artemis Jones: Local Seer’ isn’t really that appealing to me. Immediately, my brain went into overdrive, constructing a scene in which a long, snaking line wound around the whole school, standing in front of a little tent that was labeled: ‘Come and See Your Future with Missy Jones!’. And then I would be sitting inside, my face alight with a creepy green glow as I gazed into a crystal ball. Naturally, my outfit would rival that of Professor Trelawney.




I need to stop thinking. Like, now.




“How often do you see visions?” Ella asked eagerly after we were done with the group hug extravaganza, her eyes alight.




I smiled. “It depends. I don’t see them anymore. I must have lost them for a bit.” I added, shrugging at their surprised looks.




I acted like I didn’t care. But I do. So much. I need my visions; otherwise I’m not Artemis Selene Jones. I’m just…no one. I’m not me without my visions. They’re what make me, me.




“I don’t know why.” I said. “It feels weird, though. Not like myself.”




There was a short silence.




“What was the last vision you saw?” Dom asked tentatively.




My smile faltered. “Me and James.”




They gaped at me.




“You were supposed to end up together, weren’t you?” Alex finally asked.




I nodded heavily. “Yeah, we were.”




“Why’d you change that?” Ella asked, her expression despairing.




I shrugged. “I don’t know.” I said, my breath hitching. “I thought I didn’t want to be with him. But, seriously…after a little while, it was fear more than anything else. I started to fall in love with him, and that really scared me.” I looked down at my hands, which were twisting uneasily in my lap. “No one’s ever told me they loved me. I’ve never been in love before. Hell, I don’t even know what love is. Ever since I was a little girl, my whole life’s been just…money. That’s all anyone ever cared about. I grew up without love. It was something new to me, and it scared me so much.”




“You haven’t lived without love, though. Love doesn’t always happen between a guy and a girl.” Alex said, shaking her head. “I mean…you know what I mean.” She added hastily at our expressions. “I meant, like, family. We love each other. Not like that, obviously.”




“That’s the thing. I didn’t realize that until like, yesterday.” I laughed. “I didn’t get that you guys – all of you guys – actually loved me.”




“What made you finally realize?” Dom asked.




“Jason.” I said, an underlying tone of surprise in my voice.




“Jason?” Ella echoed, her brow furrowing.




“Yeah.” I nodded. “He noticed the change in me. He noticed that my ‘aura’ – that’s what he called it – was gone, that I wasn’t so sure about myself anymore. I didn’t think anyone cared enough to notice.”




“Of course we do.” Alex whispered. “We love you, Artemis. All of us.”




“Now I know.” I smiled against the tears in my eyes. “He told me that he was there for me.”




I started crying for real this time, except they were tears of happiness. “He cares. Someone’s there for me.”




“We’re all here for you.” Dom promised, hugging me.




“Thank you.” I whispered. “Thank you so much.”




They don’t even understand exactly how much that means to me. I’m not alone. I’m not alone.




I have someone here for me.




Everything will be okay. I just know it.




***




“She WHAT?!”




“Shut up.” I hissed, pulling Fred down next to me before he started a huge scene. I shot an innocent smile at the first year who was gazing warily at us, and with a frightened squeak, he scurried away like I was the plague.




I need to work on my innocent smiles. Clearly, they are not the slightest bit innocent.




“You’re kidding.” Jason went on. I shrugged.




“That’s what she told us.”




“She called Dom a whore, told Alex that her boyfriend was just using her, sneered at the two of you, and you’re just going to let her get away with it?” Al asked incredulously.




I had decided not to tell the guys about my little ‘Seer’ dilemma just yet. I figured with everything else going on, this added problem would just cause drama overload and they would implode from the extremely high levels of issues that we have.




It’s a known fact. Drama = unhealthy. We’re all going to die early.




I sighed. “There’s nothing else we can do.”




Much disbelieving gaping ensued.




“What do you mean, ‘there’s nothing else we can do’?” Scorpius asked. “Tell James! You’re not just going to sit there and let her be a bitch! I mean, what’s she going to do about it, tell the whole school that Ella’s immature or something?”




I sighed again. “She knows something else. Something big.”




I locked eyes with Noah for a second, and hers widened when I gave her a tight grimace. Al’s brows furrowed at our exchange.




“You’re not telling us something.” He said abruptly, looking suspiciously between the girls. “There’s something going on that you’re hiding from us.”




I exchanged glances with them, then looked at Al again. “Yes, there is.” I told him truthfully.




“Well then, why can’t you tell us?” Jason asked, glaring slightly.




“Honestly, Jay…” Ella sighed, biting her lip. “It’s not our secret to tell.”




“Then whose is it?” Rose asked, looking frustrated that she was the only girl who didn’t know about this huge ‘secret’.




“It’s mine.” I spoke up, and all of their eyes swiveled around to me. “And I’m not ready to tell you just yet.”




“Please don’t tell me you’re also pregnant, because I don’t think that I can handle another hormone-ridden teenage girl.” Fred begged. Dom scowled and shot him the finger, and he smirked at her.




“Now, now, Dominique, not in front of baby.” He wagged his finger at her, and her scowl deepened.




“Fuck you, Fred.” She growled.




“I know you want to, love, but I don’t think it’s really that good for you in such a state." He shrugged, and Dom’s eye twitched.




Oh, dear.




“Fred, you’re the largest screwup to ever walk this planet.” Rose informed him as we all backed away slowly from Dom, who was advancing on a very scared-looking Fred.




“Just kidding?” He squeaked, his eyes large.




“PETRIFICUS TOTALUS!”




***




“Everyone’s staring at me.” Dom whimpered, glancing edgily around the Great Hall.




“No one’s staring at you.” James soothed, patting her hair a bit. She glared at him briefly.




“Everyone. Is. Staring. At. Me.” She growled in an angry voice.




“Nikki, no one –”




“Drop it, James.” Rose advised him. “You should see what she did to Freddie when he patronized her.”




Fred winced and grimaced as Dom shot him an innocent smile. “I’m really sorry about those flying boogers, Freddie.” She said sweetly.




“It’s okay.” He smiled weakly at her. “They didn’t attack me too much. Really, they were actually rather tame.”




I decided not to comment on the numerous bruises and scratches that were currently decorating him from head to foot.




James chanced a glance at Fred, winced, then quickly looked away, clearing his throat a little. “Erm, Dom, I’m really sorry about Sarah and all –”




“Oh, don’t be!” Dom cut off in a loud, fake cheerful voice. “I absolutely love her! I don’t mind the little problem she caused! It’s really okay! Heylooktreacletart.” She took a large chunk, stuffed it in her mouth, and then shot James a treacle-filled smile.




Maybe if I bang my head on this table enough, I’ll just die.




“Artemis, what are you doing?” Jason asked in a tone similar to what one would use on a small child.




“Self-inflicted coma.” I muttered against the wood of the table. “Just wake me up when this is all over.”




“Is that actually possible?” Scorpius mused out loud, and Rose shot him a look that clearly read: ‘Really? REALLY?!’




“No, it’s not.” I smiled tightly at him.




“Hey, guys!” Alex said breezily as she slid into the seat next to me. A thoroughly disgruntled Matt Connery (great to see you, too) slid in next to her, shooting us a brief, fake smile before glaring moodily at the side of Alex’s face.




“Hey, Lex.” I smiled tiredly at her, and she gave me a quick, one-armed squeeze.




“Hey!” Fred grinned at her. “You came!”




“Yes, I came.” Alex bestowed a small smile upon Fred (the resulting beam could not have been any brighter), and Matt’s lips tightened.




“I thought you hated him.” Matt snapped at Alex, completely ignoring the rest of us.




Die, Connery. Go dig a hole and die in it.




Seriously. Now.




“We’re trying to be friends.” Alex said through a smile, not looking at Matt.




“Sure. Let me know how that works out.” Matt got up and threw his bag over his shoulder. “I’ll be in my Common Room if you ever decide that you don’t want to cheat on me.”




“Honestly, Matt.” Alex put a hand on his arm and pulled him down next to her again. A round of muttered ‘damnits’ echoed around the table. “I’m not going to cheat on you with every guy friend that I have. Keep a little faith, will you?”




“Or you could just break up with each other.” Al said eagerly, looking at them. “Breaking up sounds like a dandy idea, don’t you think, Artemis?”




I glared at him for putting me on the spot. “It sounds absolutely dandy, Albus.”




“See, even Artemis agrees.” Al said in triumph.




“Shut up, Albus.” Alex said calmly, reaching over to grab a roll of bread. He scowled.




A loud, awkward silence ensued, during which Matt continued to heave exasperated sighs, Alex went on eating her roll like nothing out of the ordinary was happening, Dom started stuffing her face full of food, Fred kept darting glances at Alex, Al stared at Noah like the little stalker he is, and…




Okay, wow. You probably don’t care what we’re all doing. Even I don’t care what we’re doing right now.




Basically, this is awkward and I hate it.




I cleared my throat uncomfortably. “So…” I started. All eyes swiveled around to stare at me, and I fidgeted nervously, not enjoying the undivided attention.




Think of something to say, Artemis! Quick, come up with something.




“Er…Atticus Finch is a beast and I might possibly be in love with him.” I got out in a rush, desperately wishing that I hadn’t even opened my mouth in the first place.




…wait, what did I just say?




“Who the fuck is Atticus Finch?” Fred asked, staring at me as though I had gone insane.




“He’s old. And dead.” I blurted, and around the table, jaws dropped. I banged my head on the table with a groan. “I wasn’t supposed to say that.” I said in a muffled voice.




“You’re in love with an old, dead person?” Dom asked in a high voice.




“No!” I groaned into the table. “Well, yes, but he’s not even real.”




“You’re in love with an old, dead, fake person?” Jason sounded appalled beyond belief.




I banged my head on the table some more. “He’s a character in a book, you guys.” I said between thumps. “I didn’t mean that literally. He’s just a really awesome character in a book – oh my god, someone say something before I make an even bigger fool of myself!”




Too late.




“Er…moving on from Missy’s old person book crush…” Ella said in an uncomfortable voice. I shot her the finger, still slumped against the table. “James, when’s Quidditch practice?”




“LET’S GO BACK TO TALKING ABOUT THE ATTIC GUY!” Scorpius yelled out hurriedly, just as James opened his mouth.




“It’s Atticus Finch, you turd.” I said.




Whatever.” Scorpius said. “I’m not the one who’s in love with a fictional character.”




“Yeah, but he’s a beastly fictional character, so it’s all good.” I shot back, sticking my tongue out.




“I worry about you, Artemis.” Alex said promptly.




“I would, too.” I responded, shooting her a bright smile.




“SIX O’CLOCK, SHARP!” James yelled, before we could divert the conversation any longer. “Be there.”




“Yay.” I muttered in a monotonous voice. “Thanks heaps, Ells.”




“With pleasure, attic-lover.” She stuck her tongue out at me.




“His name is Atticus Finch!”




“WHATEVER, FREAK.”




***




“Twenty laps, you guys!” James said in a loud voice, and with a shrill whistle and lots of groans, we were off.




“Kill me, kill me, kill me, kill me, kill me.” Ella muttered in between puffs of breath. “Kill me, Artemis.”




“No way.” I huffed back. “My Karma record’s screwed already; I don’t want to make it any worse.”




“I hate you.” She groaned. “I hope you go to hell.”




“If I recall,” I said waspishly. “It was you who reminded him about Quidditch practice in the first place.”




“Yeah, well, I wouldn’t have even had to if you hadn’t embarrassed yourself!” Ella argued.




I pouted. “If you guys were normal people, we probably could have had a lovely book discussion.”




Ella shot me a disbelieving expression. “Okay, one: only nerds have ‘lovely book discussions’. Two: none of us actually read muggle books anyway, and three: I would not be talking about normal if I were you, Artemis.”




“Yeah?” I retaliated. “Well, your mom.”




I should be named the new master of comebacks.




“Good one.” Ella said monotonously.




“I do try.”




“LADIES, SPEED IT UP! THIS IS NOT TIME TO CHAT, YOU NEED TO RUN, RUN, RUN!” James screamed at us.




“FUCK YOU, JAMES POTTER!” Ella screeched, speeding up nonetheless.




“I’m sure Jason would be thrilled if you did.” James grinned, jogging backwards for a brief moment to catch Ella’s scowl before smirking and sprinting on ahead of us.




“Show off.” I muttered, watching as his powerful legs pushed him forward like a cheetah.




I bet I look like a cow. A running cow.




Cows don’t even run. That’s how pathetic I am.




“You’re the one who’s in love with the freak.” Ella muttered.




“Brain damage, Ella.” I said in a resigned voice. “It’s all because of the brain damage.”




“COME ON! YOU’VE STILL GOT TWELVE LAPS TO GO!”




“DIE NOW, JAMES!” Jason yelled hoarsely.




After our grueling run, we collapsed in a heap in the middle of the Quidditch pitch, all panting heavily to catch our breaths. James stood over us, tapping his foot impatiently, a manic gleam in his eye.




I don’t like that manic gleam. It usually means…




“Let’s hurry it up folks, we’ve got a long practice ahead of us!” He announced cheerfully.




Do me a favor, will you? Take a knife and drive it straight through my heart. Yes, please.




“This is all my fault.” I groaned, turning over onto my stomach so that I could push myself off the ground. Hugo was literally wheezing beside me, his face slowly turning from blue to red to green…




Wow. He’s such a colorful person.




“Go on without me, Artemis.” He rasped, clutching his heart and throwing his other hand up towards the sky. “Just leave me here to rot.”




“No, Hugo!” I protested, dropping to my knees without him. “We can’t go on without you!”




“I can’t – take it anymore.” He gasped. “You’ll have to – go without me, Artemis…”




“Hugo!” I yelled desperately, taking his hand and clutching it with my own. “No, please! Fight, Hugo! Fight for me!”




“It’s the end. Just know that I love you.” He puffed, then taking a long, wheezing breath, he dropped his head back onto the ground and his hand went limp in mine.




“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” I cried melodramatically, throwing my face to the sky. “Why him? Why?!” I then proceeded to fling my body over Hugo and sob uncontrollably into his chest.




“Are you done yet?” James asked in a dry voice as he stood over us with an unimpressed eyebrow cocked over his eye. Everyone else around us was in hysterics, Scorpius holding his stomach as he groaned in between every laugh.




“Lighten up, Jimbo.” Hugo grinned, leaping up and pulling me to my feet as well. “We were just having a bit of fun.”




“This is practice, Hugo.” James said in a stern voice. “It’s torture. There is no fun involved.”




“Yes, sir, Hitler, sir!” Hugo snapped to attention, smirking as James shot him a dark glower.




“That is not amusing, Hugo.” He gritted out.




“Actually, it was pretty damn funny.” I blurted out without thinking. I clapped my hand over my mouth, eyes wide, as James’ glare turned to me.




“Sorry.” I whimpered weakly, cringing away from the ice in his gaze. I quickly looked towards the grass so he wouldn’t see the tears that had formed in my eyes.




His glare literally hurts. Really, it’s like physical pain.




A strong arm came around my shoulder, and I noticed that Al had gotten up and was now gazing steadily at James, a warning in his eyes. James’ jaw locked once, then he looked away.




“Alright, in the air!” He barked, grabbing our broomsticks and throwing them to us one by one. I watched as Jason, Ella, Hugo, Scorpius, and Al all shot up into the sky, and I stepped forward so that James could throw me my broom.




But he walked toward me, my broomstick clutched tightly in his hand and a dark, smoldering look in his eyes as he gazed at me, finally stopping about a foot away. I couldn’t breathe as his eyes burned into mine, intense and strong. They were a deep, dark ocher now, melting and fiery as they flamed right through my body, like they could see right to my very core.




He just stood there and looked at me. That’s it. But it left me completely breathless.




Time stopped. Everything stopped. All I saw was James. James’ eyes, his soul gazing into mine.




I wondered if he could read my mind with that look.




James, can you hear me? I’m sorry. I love you.




“Here.” He said, his voice rough, and he held the broom out to me. Eyes wide, voice mute, I took it silently, then watched, bewildered as he sprung up into the air without a backwards glance.




What. Was. That.




***




“Artemis!”




I whirled around, wincing slightly at the pain associated with the motion, and looked on in surprise as Rose, Alex and Fred came running up to me, eyes wide and faces scared. Immediately, dread spread through me, abrupt and icy cold.




“What?” I asked, looking between them. “What’s wrong?”




“Dom –” Rose panted, clutching her side. I heard the rest of the team turn around at the name.




Ice trickled through my veins. Dom. Of course.




“What happened to Nikki, Rose?” James asked urgently, stepping forward. I just stared, mouth open.




“I don’t know,” Rose shook her head helplessly. “She’s in the hospital wing – I don’t –”




I never got to hear the rest of her sentence. At the words ‘hospital wing’, I looked at James, he looked at me, and we both took off sprinting through the hallways.




“Oh my gods, oh my gods, oh my gods.” I huffed in a hysterical voice as I sprinted, fighting against tears. “What happened to her? What if –”




“Take a deep breath.” James instructed, and I swallowed thickly and nodded, forcing myself to take a shaky breath. “Calm down. She’s fine.”




I shot him a look. “Clearly, she’s not, since she’s in the hospital –”




A tick in James’ jaw jumped. “She’s fine.” He insisted, glaring ahead of him as he ran.




He’s trying to reassure himself. But she’s fine. I’m just blowing this out of proportion.




“This way.” He plucked at my sleeve and pulled me sideways through a hallway pretending to be a tapestry, and for a moment the only sound in my ears was the thumping of my heart, the pounding of our feet, and our labored breathing as we ran down the hallway.




She has to be okay. She needs to be okay.




We skidded to an almost stop in front of the hospital doors, and James pushed them open and barreled right through, me behind him, panting heavily.




“Where is she?” He demanded of Madame Pomphery, who managed to look unsurprised at our state. She pointed to one of the beds, and with a short nod of thanks, he speedwalked over there (Rule Number 436: No Running in the Hospital Wing), me trailing after him.




Usually he would have taken my hand and let me walk next to him, just so that he could comfort me.




But it’s not like that anymore. Why do I keep expecting it to be? He doesn’t love me anymore. I need to bloody accept that already!




I pulled the curtains aside and hurried to Dom’s bed. She was sitting up, her face pale.




“Dom, are you okay?” I asked urgently, touching her forehead and running my hand through her hair quickly. “What happened? Where does it hurt?”




But Dom just looked at me, her eyes conveying a million words. Suddenly, I felt James’ touch on my shoulder, and I quick burst of electricity shot through me. I ignored it, turning to him with curiosity.




“What?” I asked him. But he wasn’t looking at me, his directed at something right in front of him. I followed his gaze, and saw –




Oh my god. My jaw dropped as I took him in, his blue eyes remorseful, huge bags of worry etched underneath them.




This can’t be real.




“Artemis,” He said, looking at me. I stared, unable to believe it. But it’s true. He’s here.




Apollo is back. 







DUN. DUN. DUNNNNNNNNNNNN.
yeah, so...apparently, i have a new thing for cliffhangers. i guess i just can't get enough of them! heh. heh heh.
*shields face behind hands* please don't eat me!

who's shocked right now?! a lot happened in this chapter. phew. i'm like, tired just thinking about how much you guys will have to digest. maybe i shouldn't make them so drama-packed...
nah.
so, what do you think will happen next? any thoughts on how easily her friends accepted artemis (did anyone see that coming)? who's also in love with atticus finch?! (MEEEE :D)
favorite quotes, anything!
LET ME KNOW IN A REVIEWWW XD
thank you guys sososo much for those reviews. totally MAKE MY LIFEE.

so, here's a couple words of wisdom from yours truly:
never trust the people at haircutting salons.
seriously. you'll tell them that you dont want bangs, and they'll be like, sure hun, and then tell you that they're going to cut off your 'bangs' right under your chin. and then, before you know it - SNIP - they've gone psycho with the scissors and cut it off right under your nose.
my face looked a lot like this: O_O
and now i have to constantly keep flicking my head to the side to get the stupid hair out of my face and i look like i've developed a twitch of some sort.
lovely.

urgh. i'm still annoyed. *head twitch* GAH HAIR GET OUT OF MY EYESSS!
this is torture. i hope that lady gets a super karma-kicking.
grr.

anywhoo, lemme know what you think and please don't eat my face off for this cliffy (puppy dog look)

love you tonnns <3


Chapter 17: Thor, PMS-ey Teachers and Forgiveness
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I exploded. Outright exploded.


Without a second thought, I lunged across Dom’s bed with a mad shriek, flying onto Apollo by using the strength of my whole body. He managed to catch me, staggering back a couple of steps, his eyes wide.


“What – are – you – doing – here?!” I yelled, punctuating each word with a punch. Apollo winced, but let me continue to punch him.


“You come back here after weeks, and you just expect us to – oh, where’s my wand?” I turned away from Apollo to glare at James and Dom as I realized that my wand was no longer in my pocket.


I am going to hex Apollo until he is no longer recognizable.


James quickly hid the wand behind his back.


“Give that here.” I said in a low voice, stepping towards him. He took a step in the opposite direction, shaking his head.


Give it to me, James.” I ordered, holding my hand out. He shook his head again, looking defiant.


“Artemis –” Apollo tried, putting a hand on my shoulder. I shook it off with another screech of rage.


“DON’T TOUCH ME!” I screamed, slapping his hand.


“Artemis, just listen to me!” He pleaded. I let out a shriek of hysterical laughter.


 “Just listen to you?” I echoed incredulously. “Just bloody listen to you?! You think, that after abandoning me and Dom, I’m going to sit here and just listen to you?! Do you know what’s been going on these past few weeks?! NO! You just left. You didn’t even bother to think about all the people that you were leaving behind – do you know what’s happened to me in that past month? Dom’s five months along, Apollo! FIVE! I went to her house! I nearly got killed because I happen to be the fucking sister of the idiot that impregnated her!”


“Don’t exaggerate.” Dom said in a disapproving voice. I ignored her.


“I’ve been absolutely helpless without you! I’m lost, Apollo. I can’t bloody See anymore!” I yelled, tears streaming down my face.


That’s when I realized that James was standing right there, looking confused beyond belief. 


You know what? I don’t care. He can just be confused.


“YOU JUST LEFT ME! YOU JUST LEFT HER! And if you think I’m going to just take you back with open arms, oh god, you are so very wrong!” I yelled. “You can forget about ever talking to me again, you – you – you – ARGH!” I spluttered, unable to speak in my current level of extreme indignation.


“Can I talk now?” Apollo asked, thoroughly unimpressed by my display. I snarled at him. He took that as a yes.


“As soon as I left that room, I felt horrible.” He said, not looking at me, but at Dom. She froze on the bed, her eyes wide. “I didn’t mean to say that, Dom. I never meant it. I got scared. I’m still scared. But that’s nothing compared to what you must be going through, and I’m sorry I left. I never should have done it. When I thought about it that night, I realized that I’m not going to leave you. Ever. I want this baby, too, Dom. I want you. I love you. I have loved you, ever since fourth year when you screamed at me for walking into the room while you were still walking around in your knickers.” He smiled at this, and I scoffed, rolling my eyes. Dom’s eyes were filled with tears, but other than that, she showed inclination that she had heard a single word that he said. He took her hand gently, but she pulled out, her gaze firmly set on the ceiling. James just stood there, unable to believe it.


“I never left, I promise. I was just gone for a bit.” He paused, waiting for someone to ask him where he’d went. When none of us talked, he continued on anyway.


“I went to my dad’s house.” He said softly, and this time all three of us swiveled around to look at him.


“Your – dad’s – house?” Dom asked, her voice struggling to stay cold and uninterested. “I thought he hates you.”


Apollo flinched slightly, but shrugged nonetheless. “He does.”


That must have taken a lot of courage to do. Dad hates us. Me…I’m alright. I’m ‘useful’. I’ve got my visions. But Apollo…well, Apollo doesn’t have Seer powers. To dad, he’s just a useless bystander, another person to spend his hard-earned money.


Have I mentioned that I despise my father? Well, I do. Immensely.


“But I had to go.” He said, looking at her, his voice earnest. “I had to talk to him about giving me my inheritance. He didn’t listen to me for a couple of days. I had to sleep in a tent in the backyard. It wasn’t too bad.” He assured her hastily, when her face accidentally betrayed a flicker of worry. “I told him about everything. About you. About how much I loved you, and how I made this huge mistake, and…finally, he listened to me. He gave me control of my own bank account. I bought a house for us, Dom. You’ll like it; it’s a lot like Shell Cottage. I also –”


“Stop it.” Dom said, her voice angry. “Just stop it, Apollo. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t want it.”


“I’m not giving up on you again, Dominique.” He said, his voice mirroring hers. “You need to understand that.”


“You left me!” She accused loudly, turning her disbelieving gaze on him. “You told me you didn’t want it, and you just left me!”


“I do want it.” He said, looking at her with his big grey-blue eyes. “And I didn’t leave you. I just temporarily left to make arrangements.”


“And what makes you think that I’m going to marry you, huh? What makes you believe that I want you?” Dom asked, her voice cold and rough.


He grinned all of a sudden. “Artemis.” He said, like this was the most obvious response. Both James and Dom turned to look at me, and I shrugged, eyes wide.


“What do you mean, ‘Artemis’?” Dom asked, her brow furrowed. He looked at her like the answer was really obvious.


Artemis, Dom.” He said.


Is he on drugs?


Artemis didn’t say anything, you tosser –” Dom began angrily, but Apollo cut her off by leaning down and kissing her, full on the mouth. To my immense surprise, Dom responded right away, putting her hand behind his head to hold his face securely to hers.


I cleared my throat loudly, my gaze riveted on the ceiling. On the other side of the bed, I saw James do the same, looking more than disgusted about the fact that his best friend and cousin sister were snogging very blatantly in front of him.


Finally – finally – they dislodged their faces from each other, and Apollo rested his forehead against Dom’s.


“Oh.” She whispered, her face alight. “Artemis.”


What the bloody hell?


“Will you guys stop saying my name? I don’t have anything to do with this!” I said, throwing my hands up.


Apollo turned around to grin at me, his face already looking so much better. “Au contraire, dear sister. You’re all over this.” He raised his eyebrow at me.


It hit me suddenly. Oh. Oh. My visions. They figured it out.


A slow smile spread over my face. “Well,” I said. “Took you long enough, didn’t it?”


“Will someone please explain to me what is going on?” James finally demanded, looking confused and just a little angry.


“They’re together. They were meant to be together. That’s all there is to know.” I said placidly. James’ eyebrows furrowed, if possible, even more.


“So, what do you have to do with it?” He asked me, eyes narrowed.


I continued to smile serenely. “Just about everything.”


“Care to explain how?”


“No, not really.”


He threw his hands up in the air with a frustrated growl. “Fine. Fine. Just…whatever.” He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, taking a deep breath. “I didn’t follow that one bit, but that’s okay. I’m glad you’re back, Pol.”


“Me too, Jimmy.” Apollo punched James’ shoulder lightly, and James’ face relaxed into the first smile I’d seen in a long time.


“Don’t call me Jimmy.”


“Don’t call me Pol.” Apollo countered.


“Touché.” James laughed.


Simultaneously, Apollo and James walked towards each other and hugged, clapping each other on the back rather fiercely.


I’ll never understand that concept of man-hugs. It looks so bloody painful.


And then, something amazing happened. My eyesight went black, and the world spiraled around me, taking me to a different time and place.


My visions are back. My visions are back.


Oh, thank you, Zeus! THANK YOU TIMES A MILLION!


“Hey, babe.”


“Hey, sweetie.” Dom said absently, tilting her head slightly so that Apollo could kiss her cheek.


“What’re you doing?” He asked her, peering interestedly over her shoulder. She grinned and proudly held up a mass of tangled yarn.


“I’m making socks.” She declared happily.


Apollo stared at the yarn for a moment. “Er…they’re lovely.”


“It’s only one sock.” Dom blinked up at him, and he hastily hitched a winning smile on his face.


“Of course it is. Great job, love.” He kissed her nose, and she smiled as he sat down next to her and pulled her against him. She sighed and leaned her head against his neck, absently rubbing her large stomach.


“How’s number three doing?” Apollo asked her, laying his hand on top of hers.


She frowned disapprovingly. “I really wish you would call our children by their real names, Apollo.”


“I do call them by their real names!” He protested.


“Rarely.” Dom muttered.


“Besides, this one doesn’t even have a name.” He declared, proud of his impeccable logic.


“I was thinking Elvendork.” Dom said vaguely, looking out of the window as she continued to rub her stomach. “Auntie Luna said it was unisex.”


Apollo stared at her, his mouth hanging open. “You want to name our child Elvendork?”


“Or maybe…Thor.” Dom splayed her hands out in the air as she gazed impressively into thin air.


“Thor.” Apollo said flatly.


“Yes, Thor!” Dom nodded excitedly. “It’s so fancy, you’ve got to flourish your hands when you say it! And you have to make your voice all deep to make it sound more impressive. THOR.” She said in a deep voice, flourishing her hands around like a crazy person and swatting Apollo in the face.


“Er…”


“It’s such a nice name, isn’t it?” She asked, smiling happily.


“Actually, dear, I was thinking something along the lines of Logan for a boy and maybe –”


“Don’t argue with me, I’m pregnant.” Dom cut him off. “I like Thor.”


Apollo rubbed his hand into his forehead. “We’ll talk about it later.”


This wasn’t just a vision. It was a happy vision.


Zeus gets major brownie points for this one. YOU ROCK, DUDE!


“Artemis?” Dom’s voice, anxious and unsure, rang out from above me, and I immediately opened my eyes, letting a large smile spread across my face.


“You’re not naming your child Thor.” I said happily as I sat up. Apollo looked relieved, James looked confused, and Dom looked disgusted.


“The hell I’m not!” She said. “I would never inflict that kind of name on a poor baby.”


“My parents did, with Albus.” James cut in.


“Albus Severus Potter.” Dom laughed. “Poor kid. Uncle Harry and Auntie Ginny must have been high.”


“I’m thinking pot.” James nodded wisely, and I laughed.


Suddenly, the curtain was ripped open to reveal the red faces of our friends, who, judging by the way they were panting, had basically sprinted here from various parts of the school. Louis was the worst; he must have run straight from the Ravenclaw Tower.


Bloody hell – that’s on the other side of the castle.


“Hey, what’d we miss?” Al huffed, his hair askew and his glasses lopsided.


That’s when they caught sight of Apollo.


“Oh, dear.” I muttered.


“WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS HE DOING HERE?”


***


“So…that’s it?” Alex asked, after our lovely story-time.


“That’s it.” Apollo shrugged.


“You really didn’t leave her?” Rose asked.


“I really didn’t leave her.”


“And now you’re back?” Scorpius clarified.


“And now I’m back.” Apollo confirmed.


“Do you want to stop talking like that?” I cut in.


“No, dearest sister, I do not want to stop talking like this.”


I stuck my tongue out at him, and he grinned.


“For good?” Jason asked, eyebrows raised.


“For good.” Apollo nodded.


There was a short silence.


“Well.” Ella said. “That’s good.”


Another short silence.


“So.”


I groaned and threw my head back. Seriously? Seriously?


“Oh, Apollo, you gotta meet Noah!” Al suddenly burst out. I pounded my head into my fist.


“Who’s Noah?” Apollo asked with interest, glad for something to distract the awkward silence.


“His stalkee.” Alex put in helpfully.


“What?”


“The girl he’s totally obsessed with.” I said into my arm.


“I am not obsessed. I’m just in love!” Al said in a floaty voice, gazing happily out into space. Apollo stared at him, eyes wide.


“Is he feeling alright?” He stage-whispered to the rest of us. “Like, in the brain area?”


“Of course he is! He’s in love, Apollo. Love.” Jason nodded wisely. “Apparently, love makes you act like a total idiot.”


“Ah.” Apollo nodded back. “I get it now. When did this happen?”


“You’ve missed so much.” Dom shook her head.


“Three whole months.” He said regretfully, laying his hand on top of Dom’s for a moment. She smiled down at it, flipping hers over to give his hand a squeeze. “I’m so sorry, love.”


I cleared my throat loudly, giving him a pointed look and a raised eyebrow.


“Yes, I’m sorry to you, too, Artemis.” He said loudly, turning around to give me a cheeky grin. I stuck my tongue out at him.


“Oh! I completely forgot to tell you.” I grinned. “Rose and Scorpius are together now. So are Ella and Jason.”


“Seriously?” Apollo asked eagerly. Both couples nodded, Rose biting her lip slightly and Jason positively beaming. “About time!” Apollo laughed. “Took you guys long enough to figure it out, didn’t it?”


That’s when it suddenly hit me. Took me long enough to figure it out, didn’t it?


“Dominique, why were you in the hospital wing again?” I asked, turning to her with my eyebrows furrowed. She smiled sheepishly.


“Erm – I thought you might have forgotten about it.” She muttered, pulling on a lock of her hair.


“I didn’t. And I would like to know.”


You know you have some serious rebelling to do when you start resembling your mother.


That’s it. I am going for an illegal walk around the school tonight.


“Apollo surprised me.” She sighed loudly. “I sort of fainted.”


“It wasn’t just my fault.” Apollo reminded her gently. “Remember what you were doing that caused you do faint?”


Dom blushed. “Er…I might have sprinted around the school a couple of times.”


“A couple?” I echoed flatly.


“Like, seven. Or eight. Or eighteen.” She mumbled, her face turning redder.


“May I ask why?” I continued in my flat tone.


“Do you have to?” She asked weakly. I narrowed my eyes slightly at her, and she sighed loudly.


“I was trying to forget.” She said. The stern expression melted off my face right away.


“Forget what?” I asked her softly. She looked up at me, her eyes suddenly brighter, covered by a light film of water.


“Everything.” She whispered.


I closed my eyes. “I wish I could do that.”


“Too bad you can’t!” I jumped slightly as Jason’s arm draped itself over my shoulder. I’d completely forgotten that they were all sitting there in my moment with Dom.


“Life sucks.” I sighed, leaning my head against his shoulder. “And then you die.” I tacked on as an afterthought.


Everyone around me laughed, Jason’s whole body rumbling. I smiled as his laugh spread through me, infectious in more than one sense.


I guess as long as you have friends who really love you, you’ll keep laughing. Just because they’re always there to make you do it.


And when you most want to cry, they’ll be there for you like no one else can, trying their best to make you smile instead.


You know what? It always works.


***


“Hey, where’d the computers go?”


This is not a fun sentence to hear when you’re fully ready to walk into your favorite class and start banging away at a conversation with your buddies. At all.


“No!” I cried, looking around at the computer-less classroom. “Where did they go? I need computers! They were my favorite! BRING THEM BACK.”


“We will be starting a new unit today!” The teacher called out as the rest of the class filed in, each person looking profoundly displeased about the blatant lack of computers.


“Can’t we just keep the computers?” Dom pouted.


“Wait, what are computers?” Apollo asked, his brow furrowing.


“You know that thing I have at home?” James said. “It’s that.”


“Oh,” Realization dawned on Apollo’s face. “Right.”


“You missed the best unit ever.” I informed him.


“Sucks to be me.” He grinned, then raised his intertwined hand with Dom and kissed the back of it. She blushed slightly and looked down to hide her smile.


Excuse me while I attempt to keep down my lunch.


“Could you not?” James asked in a disgusted voice.


“What, kiss the back of her hand?” Apollo shot back. “I can hardly see that as offensive. We’re not even snogging, Jim. Get over it.”


“It’s still gross.” I told them, my nose slightly wrinkled.


“Compared to shagging, which we have also done, I don’t think this even compares.” Dom said. I let out a shriek of disgust and covered my ears while she and Apollo both grinned deviously. James seemed to be retching in the background.


“Don’t ever talk about that again!” I commanded. “Ever.”


“But it’s true!” Apollo said earnestly. “I mean, she’s pregnant, isn’t she?”


“I know, dumbshit. Just…don’t talk about shagging around me. It’s traumatizing.” I shuddered a couple of times to dispel the images. Disgusting.


Apollo rolled his eyes, while Dom muttered, “Just think about what they would do if we started actually snogging.”


He smirked down at her. “Let’s test it.”


She smirked back, but before they could even lean towards each other, James was in between them, both of his arms slung over their shoulders.


“Hey, there, buddies.” He said in a fake-innocent voice. I covered my mouth to hide my grin while James continued to smile serenely as both Dom and Apollo shot him thoroughly disgruntled looks.


Merlin, I love him. I love him so much it hurts.


I’m such an idiot. Someone, slap me. I deserve it.


“Okay, class, settle down! Settle down!” The teacher cried over the noise. Her attempts, however, were fruitless, as the students continued to blatantly ignore her.


She and I are in the same boat, it seems.


Sighing exasperatedly, she ran a hand through her brown hair, and I was slightly surprised to see that it was a scraggly mess. Even her usually stylish clothes were a bit rumpled, and her face, normally quite pretty, was tired and drawn out.


Merlin, what happened to her?


“SHUT UP!” She suddenly screeched, and everyone got really quiet, looking at her with wide eyes.


“Thank you.” She said stiffly. “Now, as you must have already noticed, the computers are gone – DON’T, Mr. Weasley, make a snide remark, I don’t want to hear it.”


She must be on her period.


Fred gaped at her indignantly, his arms spread. “What the fuck?” He whispered. Alex bit her lip to keep from bursting out laughing.


The teacher’s lips pursed slightly before she continued. “We are starting a new unit today. It is called Family and Home, and you will each be assigned a partner. We will first start off with learning how to cook.”


Oh, dear. Cook. Probably muggle. Which means…


“Please pass up your wands.”


Fantastic.


With a resigned sigh, I looked sadly at my wand, then placed it in the bucket that the teacher was passing around. Apollo looked like was being physically tortured, and Dom had to gently pry the wand from his fingers.


Looks like he’s also got issues with leaving his wand.


I knew that kid was my brother for a reason.


“Thank you,” Professor said, putting the bucket of wands on her desk. “Now, I’ll be assigning you partners. Please listen up for your names.”


You know that feeling you get? You know that something big is going to happen; you can feel it running through your veins. It’s like a tangible aura in the air around you, whispering warnings to you, telling you that everything’s about to change.


That’s what I’m feeling right now.


“Dominique Weasley and Apollo Jones, Artemis Jones and James Potter, Alexandra Lewis and Fred Weasley, Elizabeth Longbottom and Jason Black, Leanne Elliot and Drew Morris…”


Artemis Jones and James Potter.


Bingo.


Of course. Of course this would happen to me.


I mean, why should life be simple for me? When has life ever been simple for me?


Let me answer that one myself: that would be – oh yeah! – never.


My expression already wary, I turned to James, who looked as though he had been punched in the gut. He also looked as though he couldn’t believe his terrible luck. I swallowed thickly.


Everyone makes mistakes. I made a mistake. Why do my mistakes have to be so large? Why do my mistakes have to affect my world so much?


“Hey, partner.” I said weakly, wincing at my poor attempt to sound casual and friendly. James’ eyes turned to me, flat and emotionless. A cold fury had taken itself onto his face, and it blazed across his features, telling me everything I needed to know: He hates me for breaking him.


But he’s doing the same thing to me.


Now he’s slowly breaking me, from the inside out, starting with my heart. And just with his expression, too.


I can’t breathe without you. I’m sorry.


I wish I could say that. I wish I could scream it for him, for the world, to hear. I was willing to fling everything away and beg him to love me again.


He opened his mouth, and another fault line cracked through my chest.


“Hey, partner.”


And when he smiled, my whole body was healed, like I was never broken in the first place.


I don’t deserve to be forgiven, but it seems like he’s done it anyway.


He’s too good for me. He’s always been too good for me. 




hi there! so, this is probably the last updaet i'll be able to make before the staff has their vacation. and then i'm gone all of august to go to india, which means...no updates until school starts. 
sad, i know.
but you shall endure, right? right! because you are a bunch of resilient people and i love you for it, because it means that you've put up with artemis for this long, even though she is one extremely annoying girl. 
see, i was having a dilemna. i didnt know whether i should update this or Welcome To the Chase, but since i left you at an awful cliffy, i thought i should give you this one, even though i just updated this and left my ariadne-lovers hanging. 
assorted chocolates and various degrees of author fawning are appreciated ;)
JUST KIDDING!
i do like reviews, though! i like em verrry much. 
so, any thoughs, feelings or concerns, LEAVE THEM TO MEEE XD favorite quotes never fail to give me tummy-flutters of delight, and i rather enjoy tummy-flutters of delight ;)

i'll see you guys soon, and thanks so much for reading <3

ps - my hair has finally started to cooperate! it now curls nicely to the middle of my back, and my bangs don't need to be twitched out of my face. 
YESSSS XD i love my straightener. 

review, my lovelies :D


Chapter 18: Tablespoons, Soup and Damsels in Distress
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“Did she say three tablespoons of salt of three teaspoons of salt?” I asked, holding the spoon of salt over the bubbling stew unsurely. I was met with silence, so I turned to look at James, who was gazing hopelessly at the measuring spoons in his hand.



 

 

“What’s the difference?” He asked, finally looking up at me with a confused expression. I couldn’t help but smile at how utterly adorable he was.



 

 

“Tablespoon’s the bigger one.” I told him.



 

 

“…did you listen to what she said, then? Because I honestly have no clue.” He shrugged, sending another confused look towards the measuring spoons.



 

 

Q: How many magical teenagers does it take to figure out how to cook?



 

 

A: Apparently, a whole classroom full.



 

 

Geniuses, we are.



 

 

I sighed. “You said you were listening.” I told him. “That’s why I started cooking this stuff.”



 

 

He smiled sheepishly. “I get bored of her rambling after a little while.”



 

 

James!



 

 

“What? She doesn’t shut up!”



 

 

I groaned. “Now this is going to taste like shit.”



 

 

“To tell you the truth, it sort of looks like it’s already getting there. Honestly, do you really think that salt is going to help?” He made a face at my beautiful soup.



 

 

“Oi! I worked hard on this, thank you very much!” I protested, miffed.



 

 

“But…I mean, are you sure it’s even edible?”



 

 

I whacked him with the wooden spoon. “Of course it’s edible, you tosspot!”



 

 

“Doesn’t look it.”



 

 

“Try it.” I said. I added three teaspoons of salt, stirred it up, and dipped in the spoon, holding it out for him to taste. He looked wary as he gazed at it, gulping nervously before sending a beseeching gaze towards me.



 

 

I sighed. “James, seriously. Just try it. Maybe you’ll even like it.”



 

 

He made a face, then closed his eyes and quickly slurped the soup up. I rolled my eyes. Melodramatic freak.



 

 

Suddenly, his eyes popped open. “Holy Merlin, this is amazing!” He breathed, seizing the spoon out of my hand and rushing towards the pot to get him some more.



 

 

I smirked proudly. “I am a beast.”



 

 

Falling back into friendship with James was more than just comfortable – it was natural. It was right. It made sense. It was like a puzzle piece. It just fit.



 

 

We didn’t even have any hesitant, awkward moments. It was…simple. Like breathing. Or falling. We clicked.



 

 

And I loved it.  



 

 

“I’m so glad you’re my partner.” He said happily as he sat down with his bowl of soup. I beamed at him for a moment before he quickly looked down at his soup, breaking eye contact with me.



 

 

Oh. Of course. He has a girlfriend. It’s not like that anymore.



 

 

I’m not allowed to make it like that anymore – otherwise my secret’s out.



 

 

Stop. Stop wanting it, Artemis. Love hurts. Suck it up.



 

 

This is all your fault. You deal with it.



 

 

Taking a deep breath, I hitched my comfortable smile back onto my face.



 

 

“I’m gonna go and see how everyone else is doing.” I said to James as I passed him.



 

 

“Okay.” He mumbled around a spoonful of my soup. “I think I’ll sit here and drink all the soup.”



 

 

I laughed. “You do that.”



 

 

“Oh, I plan on it.”



 

 

I grinned at him, shaking my head, and walked over to Alex and Fred, who seemed to be having the most trouble.



 

 

“Why is the soup turning blue? Is the soup supposed to turn blue? That doesn’t look normal. Shit, Fred! Fix it!” Alex was saying frantically, poking her wooden spoon into the glob again. A large tendril of it stuck to the spoon, stretching out, and Alex made a disgusted gagging sound and stuck it back in.



 

 

Fred looked over her shoulder, his eyes widening. “Holy crap, Alex, what did you do?”



 

 

“I have no idea.” She moaned, wringing her hands. “Of course I would find a way to screw something up in a task as simple as this.”



 

 

She was biting her lip and tugging on her hair, her signature gesture of embarrassment. I hated how Alex sometimes had such a low self-esteem about these things. She had always been like that.



 

 

I’m sure Matt made it even worse. Arse.



 

 

“Hey.” Fred put his hand on her shoulder, and she looked up at him, cringing slightly. But he smiled at her. “It’s okay. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. We’ll fix it.”



 

 

Alex’s lip slipped out from between her teeth as she let a slow, timid smile spread over her face. “Thanks, Fred.” She said in a surprised voice.



 

 

He shrugged. “What’s there to thank me about?”



 

 

Her smile widened. “Thanks for not making me feel like I’m a useless piece of shit.”



 

 

“Who makes you feel like that?” He demanded, his eyes suddenly blazing. “I’ll kill them.”



 

 

Alex just laughed, whacking him lightly with the wooden spoon. “Calm down, Freddie. I can handle it myself.”



 

 

“Actually, Lex, it’s my duty to protect a damsel in distress.” He told her, letting a tight grin struggle against his dominant emotion of anger.



 

 

Tee hee. Duty. Doodie!



 

 

I love that word.



 

 

“I am not a damsel in distress.” She rolled her eyes.



 

 

“Au contraire, mademoiselle.” He made a show of dramatically taking her hand and kissing the back of it. Alex’s face turned slightly pink, and I smirked. “You ahr in deeztrez, and Frederique is here to sef you.”



 

 

Alex laughed again. “I thought you said your name wasn’t Frederick.”



 

 

He winked at her. “It’s not.” He whispered conspiringly. “Just go with it.”



 

 

“Oh, Frederick!” She cried, laying the back of her hand on her forehead. “Whatever would I do without you?”



 

 

“End up marrying that sleazebag of a boyfriend or something. Good thing I’m here to make sure that never happens.” He scowled, his demeanor abruptly serious. Alex’s joking expression fell off her face, and she stepped away from him.



 

 

“You’re trying to break up me and Matt?” She asked him, her voice unexpectedly wavering.



 

 

Fred took a step closer. “He’s not right for you.”



 

 

She took another step back, but he ignored her, stepping forward again. “Stop it, Fred.” She mumbled in a small voice.



 

 

“No.” He stood right in front of her and forced her to look at him. “He’s no good for you, Alex.” He repeated in a low voice. “He treats you like dirt. He sucks all of the personality out of you. He doesn’t see you for who you are. He doesn’t appreciate it. You shouldn’t waste yourself on someone like him.”



 

 

Alex looked away, her eyes filled with tears. “He loves me.” She protested, her voice sounding weak.



 

 

“He loves your ability to snog.” Fred’s lip curled in disgust. “And your physical appearance. He doesn’t love what makes you Alex.”



 

 

She looked at him. “Stop it.” She said again. “Just – just stop it, Fred.”



 

 

His jaw locked. “No, Alex, you stop it. You need to end it with the douchebag before he completely turns you into someone else.”



 

 

“I’m still me.” She protested, looking up at him earnestly.



 

 

“I know.” He said gently. “I don’t want to lose that, Alex. You’ve really got an amazing personality, you know.”



 

 

She blushed and looked down. “Matt tells me that sarcasm isn’t very flattering.”



 

 

Fred’s jaw locked again. “Yeah, well, Matt’s an idiot. I think your sarcasm is pretty hot, to tell you the truth.”



 

 

Alex’s head snapped up, and she took another step away from Fred. “I have a boyfriend.” She said in a warning tone as Fred advanced towards her, his expression determined and intense. My mouth was slightly open as I gazed at the scene in front of me, and I realized, with a jolt, that all of my friends were discreetly watching them as well.



 

 

We’re so nosy. I love it.



 

 

“Break up with him.” Fred whispered, trapping her against the counter and taking her face in his hands.



 

 

She pushed him away, turning her head the other way. “No.”



 

 

“Listen,” He said urgently, taking her face in his hands again. She tried struggling against him, but he just moved closer, trapping her completely.



 

 

“Don’t touch me.” Alex said, her eyes filling with tears.



 

 

“Shh,” Fred shushed, and, without warning, reached forward and planted a gentle kiss on her lips. My mouth dropped completely open.



 

 

Okay – when did this happen?



 

 

As soon as he pulled away, Alex’s hand flew towards his face. He caught it before it could make contact, and Alex started crying for real, the tears dripping off of her long lashes and tracing down her cheeks.



 

 

“What are you doing?” She half-yelled, half-sobbed. “I told you not to touch me – I don’t love you! I have a boyfriend!”



 

 

“Well, tough!” Fred yelled right back. “Because I love you, and you’re going to have to break up with him!”



 

 

My mouth, if possible, dropped even more.



 

 

As I am currently rendered incapable of coherent thought, I am going to settle for a choice set of expletives to get across my current level of extreme shock:



 

 

HOLY FUCKING SHIT, WHEN IN THE NAME OF HELL DID THIS DAMN DEVELOPMENT FUCKING OCCUR.



 

 

The whole class was now alerted to the scene going on, and everyone was staring at Alex and Fred, their mouths wide open. I quickly shut mine when I realized how stupid they looked. Someone pushed past me a little, and I saw that the Professor was walking towards them, a determined expression on her face. I caught her arm, and when she looked back with angry eyes, shook my head beseechingly. She stopped, bit her lip, nodded slightly, and went back to her desk.



 

 

“I’m not breaking up with my boyfriend because of you!” Alex screamed. “Did you ever do that for me?”



 

 

“I’m sorry.” He said earnestly, taking her hand. She pulled out of his grip and tried to push him away, but he didn’t budge. “I should have realized earlier, Alex, I –”



 

 

“SHUT UP!” She shrieked, letting out a wild sob. Her eyes were bright with tears and anger, her cheeks flushed bright red. “Stop it. Just stop it.”



 

 

“I love you.” He stated again, his voice gentle and calm.



 

 

“Then stop!” She bellowed. “Because I don’t love you!”



 

 

“You love me.” He said confidently. “You couldn’t have stopped so quickly.”



 

 

“Don’t be so sure about that, Weasley.” Alex snarled, shoving against his chest again. He still didn’t move an inch.



 

 

“Break up with Connery, Alex.” Fred said strongly. “I’m so much better for you than he is.”



 

 

“No – you’re – not!” Alex screamed, punctuating each word with a punch to his chest. “I – love – him! He – loves – me!” With that, she completely broke down, laying her head against Fred’s chest and sobbing uncontrollably.



 

 

“He loves me.” She choked out. “I know he does.”



 

 

Fred wrapped his arms around her, stroking her hair softly. “He doesn’t love you like I do.”



 

 

“I hate you.” Alex whispered brokenly, raising her tear-stained face to look at him. He grinned and kissed her on the mouth again.



 

 

“I love you, too.”



 

 





 

 

*hides under purple blankie and shields head with extremely fat AP Bio textbook*



 

 

hi?



 

 

oh my god, i know i took forever! it was just...india...and then...school...and then...the other story...and...yeah...*pathetic whimper*. and i know this chapter is totally short and suckish, but the next chapter is like, crazy intense and i thought if i put all of it in one you guys would like, implode or something. plus i'm a little iffy about next chapter. it might be a little too unbelievable. well, maybe not. i don't know. it's four a.m and i'm tired. and doing my lab. boo.



 

 

so. it's been a while. in case any of you cared, india was fantastic. i just...loved it. yeah, i sort of really missed little things like toilet paper and good milk and friends and people-who-were-not-indian, but at the same time, i guess i sort of fell in love with the place. it's just so different from where i live. in india, everythings just a whole lot... more. more lively, more loud, more raw. and it feels like a whirlwind of colors and noises and smells and people and it's absolutely vibrant. and i loved it. to be honest, i'm really homesick for it at this point. which is odd because i don't even live in india, and i always used to hate going there because i got sick. but not this time!



 

 

god, i miss it. i really do.



 

 

i know i havent updated in a while but i'm back on track, so please don't stop reviewing! i lost thirty reviews last chapter :/ not that i'm really complaining since it's still a pretty substantial amount thanks to you guys being amazing, but...



 

 

okay, i'm bad at this. just review, yeah? thanks <3



 

 

(BRING ME TO A THOUSAND, GUYS! that's the day i'll scream and jump around in loony-happiness)



 

 

THANK YOU AND LOVE YOU ALL PEACE.



 

 

ps. favorite quotes and general thoughts? cool beans.


Chapter 19: Danger, Fear and Dancing Green Lights
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“Are you sure she’s not on the map? Check again.”





 

 

Fred’s hair was sticking up in eight different directions, his expression tight with worry as he paced around the room, occasionally barking orders at James to check the Map once more.





 

 

“Fred, I checked it fifteen times. What makes you think she’ll appear now?” James asked patiently. He, however, ran a hand quickly through his hair and peered at the map again, his leg bobbing anxiously up and down. Sarah, sitting next to him in her full, unruffled Barbie glory, put her hand gently on his thigh to get him to stop, and I felt my jaw lock. I quickly looked away.





 

 

Jason was hunched over himself on the sofa, his head bowed over his hands. Ella’s lip was bright red with the force of her biting it, and Dom’s hair was nearly as bad as Fred’s. Apollo looked gaunt and worried, checking over his shoulder at the portrait hole so frequently that it seemed as though he had developed a nervous twitch. Al was literally breathing down James’ neck as he read the map over his shoulder, and Scorpius was staring intently at the door, looking scared and worried.





 

 

I was sitting, cross-legged on the ground, letting Rose play with my hair as I tried to force myself to get another vision.





 

 

Please let me see Alex. I need to find Alex.





 

 

Darkness clouded my sight, and with a relieved sigh, I let myself drift into the shadows, hoping that I was seeing the right thing.





 

 

I was running, breathing hard, my legs aching from the effort of sprinting. The sound of my frantic breathing seemed to echo around me, creating a sense of urgency, of danger. The shadows seemed to flit around me in the dark, looming closer. A frightened sob escaped through my teeth as I realized that I had been, unwittingly, chased into a room. I could feel a scream building up inside of me, threatening to throw me into a rage of hysteria and fright, but I sent my gaze outwards, hoping that she could see what I saw and find me…





 

 

…a portrait of a fat man. A suit of armor with rust on the visor. The Slytherin crest, hanging on a wall. The green glow dancing along the corridor.





 

 

And then his face, leering as he came closer. I closed my eyes, hoping that she saw, praying that she would come for me.





 

 

I jerked upright as Alex’s scream echoed through my brain, my breathing labored, short, frightened screams issuing from my own mouth.





 

 

“Artemis, what’s wrong?” Apollo’s face was right in front of mine, his arms warm and comforting around me. I sent my gaze towards him, my eyes wide and frightened. “What’s wrong, love? What did you see?”





 

 

I could see that everyone else was crowded around me, looking confused and anxious.





 

 

I couldn’t breathe past the choking feeling that was rising up in my throat, and short, gasping breaths shot out of my mouth as I struggled to find words.





 

 

Alex was in trouble, and here I was, bloody hyperventilating.





 

 

“Alex.” I squeaked through my frenzied breaths.





 

 

“Where is she?” Apollo demanded, his hands gripping my arms tighter. “Artemis, where is she?”





 

 

I shook my head, continuing my struggles to talk. I couldn’t breathe. I needed to breathe. Scorpius, his brow furrowed, conjured a paper bag and handed it to me, and I tried to get my breathing to normal as quickly as I could. Still puffing into the bag, I unsteadily got to my feet and gestured for James to give me the map. He looked confused, but handed it over, and I scanned across it as quickly as I could, paying special attention to the Slytherin section.





 

 

She’s there. She has to be there. That’s where I saw her.





 

 

Why can’t I see her name?





 

 

I crumpled up the bag as soon as I regained my breath and threw it to the side. “Come on,” I said in a voice much stronger than I felt. “We’ve got to go and get her.”





 

 

“Artemis, what is going on?” James asked. I looked back over my shoulder at my friends, and saw that they were all grouped in a loose circle, looking anxious and unsure. Barbie was fixing her nail.





 

 

Remind me to punch her across the face when this is all over.





 

 

“Look, I don’t have time to explain,” I said urgently. “I just know where she is, and it’s not good.”





 

 

“How do you know?” Rose asked me.





 

 

I threw my head back in frustration, fighting against angry tears. “I just do. Please, before it’s too late, we’ve got to find her.”





 

 

“Is she in trouble?” Jason asked.





 

 

OH MY GOD.





 

 

“YES!” I yelled. “She’s somewhere in the Slytherin section, she’s in trouble – Connery’s going to hurt her! We have to go!”





 

 

And, without a single question, their expressions carved out of ice, they each made their way over to the portrait hole, climbing out efficiently and quickly. Heaving a relieved sigh, I followed.





 

 

“Lead the way, Artemis.” Apollo helped me to the front, and I took a deep breath, looking down at the map again.





 

 

She’s not on there. Crap. Where could she be? A whimper escaped through my lips, but I quickly took another breath and, without a second’s warning, started sprinting down to the dungeons.





 

 

She’s somewhere over there. I just know it. Please, let her be there. Let her be okay. Please, God, let Alex be okay.





 

 

The only sound around us was the slapping of our feet down the stone corridor, our labored breaths, Ella’s quiet sniffles, and Dom’s occasional sob or staggering gasp.





 

 

She’s pregnant; she shouldn’t be running right now.





 

 

“Apollo,” I barked over my shoulder, my breath not even labored – here I took the time to silently thank James and the Quidditch Gods who had inspired him to be such a psycho – “Levitate Dom!”





 

 

Dom let out a strangled gasp of protest, but soon after Apollo’s whispered spell, the noise of her feet was no longer in harmony with ours. She gave a sigh of relief, and I knew, without even looking over my shoulder, that she was gently rubbing her stomach.





 

 

Okay, one of my girls is safe.





 

 

Please, let her be safe. Let her be okay. Please don’t let me be too late. I’ll never be able to live with myself if I’m too late. Please.





 

 

I gasped in surprise as the sudden cold blast of the Slytherin dungeons hit me full in the face. The hallways danced with glowing green light, mysterious whispers of night and shadows pressing in from every side. I could feel the darkness swallowing everything up; if it weren’t for the green glow, we would have been completely submerged in the black.





 

 

“Where is she?” James asked urgently. I shook my head, sending a quick look down at the map – Oh, thank God!





 

 

Shit.





 

 

My eyes grew wider as I looked at Alex’s dot, which seemed to be scrambling away from the dot labeled ‘Matthew Connery’.





 

 

I’ll kill him.





 

 

The door was close to here, just a couple of corridors down. We could make it before he did anything bad, as long as we ran.





 

 

“Run. Follow me, I found her.” I said in a low voice, starting forward.





 

 

Suddenly, a terrified scream ripped through the darkness, and I gasped and stumbled back, tears springing to my eyes.





 

 

“Alex,” Ella whimpered. “Oh my god, where is she?”





 

 

My breath grew fast again, and I fought against the tears blurring my vision. “Find her!” I choked out. “She’s somewhere in these rooms, find her!”





 

 

Each of the boys started to sprint down the corridor, pulling on doors. Another scream shattered the silence, and I started sobbing. Ella was screaming through her tears, and Dom was yelling for Apollo to let her down, damn it, she’ll kill the bloody wanker. Rose’s face was white, her expression one of death as she looked over my shoulder at the map.





 

 

“Fred, you’re at the right door!” She yelled, and he threw his body against it, sending the door crashing down. Both he and Al sprinted through it, and I heard yelling and the sound of a scuffle. Alex’s voice was quiet, and, dread overwhelming me, I ran down the hallway and into the door as fast as I could, towing Rose and Ella behind me.





 

 

I stumbled back at the scene. Fred and Al were both livid, their faces lined with fury as they took turns punching Connery. He himself was doing a rather poor job of protecting himself, but he still managed to get in a punch or two. I felt someone push past me and saw that James, Apollo, Scorpius and Jason were running into the scene, adding their own fists to the fight.





 

 

And then there was Alex, struggling to her feet and wiping blood from the corner of her mouth. I quickly ran forward and slammed into her with a hug, both Dom and Ella joining in.





 

 

“You’re okay,” I sobbed, holding on to her. “Oh my god, I was so scared.”





 

 

Alex was shaking, whimpers of fright issuing from her mouth.





 

 

I stepped back and realized that she looked absolutely terrified. “Alex – love?” I asked softly, reaching out towards her. “Are you alright?”





 

 

She just closed her eyes. “Make them stop fighting.” She whispered. “Please.”





 

 

I took a shaky breath and nodded, not knowing how well I was going to be able to use my magic at the moment. But Ella was already there, her wand pointed at the boys. There was a loud bang! and they each flew back. Connery was in the middle, his arms above his head for protection.





 

 

“Stop – stop fighting.” Alex demanded, her voice shaking. “Please.”





 

 

Jason ran over to her, with James, Apollo, Al and Scorpius trailing after him, and they each took turns hugging Alex and making sure she was okay.





 

 

My eyes welled with tears when I saw her manage a timid smile. She’s my brave lion. She’ll pull through anything.





 

 

I watched Fred carefully. Emotions were flitting across his face as he stared at Alex. First concern, then tenderness, then, at last, pure fury when he saw the small scratches covering her face and arms.





 

 

“Fred – !” I began, but it was too late. Without even a moment of hesitation, he jumped at Connery once again, pounding his fists onto his body, over and over again. Connery let out a yelp of surprise and pain. The boys parted around Alex, looking at the fighting boys with surprised expressions etched onto their faces. James started forward, but Rose grabbed his arm, shaking her head at him. He took a shaky breath and nodded, patting her softly on the head.





 

 

“Fred, stop!” I yelled, taking a step forward. Alex was whimpering again, her small whimpers slowly turning into screams. “Stop it, Fred!”





 

 

“Stop fighting!” Alex suddenly shouted. She took a couple of stumbling steps forward, ignoring the hands of everyone who tried to hold her back. “Fred, stop it!”





 

 

Fred ignored her, driving his fist into Connery’s face. A spurt of blood erupted and Alex let out a scream. Fred’s face was carved with ice as he punched Connery again. Another stream of blood joined the first one.





 

 

“Stop!Please, don’t! No, listen to me, Fred, PLEASE!” Alex screamed, tears streaming down her face. “Fred! Stop it! Stop!”





 

 

Jason and Apollo ran forward, literally lifting Fred off of Connery’s limp body. He struggled wildly against them.





 

 

“He hurt her!” Fred was yelling through a mixture of blood and tears. “He hurt her – I’ll kill him! I’ll bloody kill him!”





 

 

“Stop it.” Dom said commandingly, her voice shaking slightly. She took his face between her hands and forced him to look at her. “Fred, calm down. You need to calm down. Alex is fine. We got here on time; she’s fine.”





 

 

“I am, promise.” Alex moved into his line of sight. Her voice was weak and she was pale and shaking, but she managed to create an expression of strength. “Look at me, Fred. Look. I’m fine.”





 

 

Fred stopped struggling, and Jason and Apollo cautiously let him go. As soon as their restraining hands were gone, he reached over and hugged Alex as carefully as he could, stroking her hair. Her face was pressed into the side of his neck.





 

 

“I promise I’ll never let anything hurt you again.” He told her, his voice muffled against her hair. “I swear I’ll die before I let anything happen to you.”





 

 

Alex just nodded into his neck, and his arms tightened around her. “Let’s get you to the common room, love.” He whispered.





 

 

She finally extricated herself, taking a shaky breath. She managed to create a wavering smile, “The common room would be nice.”





 

 

Connery could get up and find his way to the hospital wing later. Or someone could find him. Either way, I don’t care.





 

 

He can just go to hell.





 

 

***





 

 

The roaring warmth of the Gryffindor Common Room was a complete contrast to the cold, dank eeriness of the corridors under the lake. Alex shivered as soon as she stepped in, the glow of the fire washing over her immediately.





 

 

“Home sweet home,” She sighed, walking over to the fire and sinking down in front of it. We followed her, and I couldn’t help but marvel at how unaffected she was, how bravely she was taking it. I watched as she absently rubbed at a bruise on her arm and wiped some blood off of the side of her face.





 

 

“Alex,” Jason began haltingly, his body tense. “What – what happened? Did he…”





 

 

Alex was stiff, but she managed to take a careful breath and look over at us, her eyes betraying her real emotions. Fred wrapped his arms around her in a gesture of comfort, and she leaned into him.





 

 

“No, he didn’t do anything.” She said finally. “He was going to, I could tell. You guys got there before he could do too much. I’m actually honestly fine.”





 

 

I stared at her. She had a gash on her forehead, a cut lip, various small bruises and scratches on her body, and she’s calling herself fine?





 

 

“I did it.” She finally said, her voice sounding victorious and relieved at the same time. “I broke up with him.”





 

 

There was a stunned silence. “Is that why he –” I began.





 

 

“Yeah,” Alex let out a shaky sigh. “He didn’t take it too well. Yelled a whole lot. Threw things. I managed to dodge most of it, but some things got me. This,” She pointed to the deep cut on her forehead, “happened because of a vase.”





 

 

Both Fred and Jason’s hands convulsed angrily. James was struggling against the fury that was threatening to break out onto his features, and Apollo’s jaw was locked. Al and Scorpius looked downright livid. I couldn’t even tell you exactly how angry I was right now – the red, blazing hot fire was burning through my veins, and I was just about ready to go back to the dungeons and throw a couple punches of my own at the arsehole.





 

 

“And then he sort of…grabbed me and started shaking me really hard, so I started running. He chased me all around, saying that he was going to kill me and stuff. It’s just…he’s not – right.” She said, taking in our furious expressions.





 

 

“If you mean ‘absolutely deranged’ when you say ‘not right’, then yes, I fully agree with you.” Dom snarled in an angry voice.





 

 

“No, not like that.” She shook her head, then winced. “Well – actually, yes, he is like that, but I mean…like, in a mentally not right sort of way.”





 

 

“What do you mean?” James asked her in a tight voice.





 

 

“He’s got a slight case of depression, and a major case of separation anxiety. He – he doesn’t mean what he says. He just got really attached to me, and he was so scared of letting go that he –”





 

 

“We understand,” I said gently, seeing that she was getting worked up. “We really do, Alex. Just…”





 

 

“You’re still never going near him again.” Apollo finished for me. I smiled – he seemed to take the words straight from my brain.





 

 

“I feel bad.” Alex whispered, looking down.





 

 

“You’re too bloody noble for your own good, love.” Al said in an amused voice. “If he hurt you, then he’s the one who should be feeling bad, not you. It’s okay. Let it go.”





 

 

“No – I’m just scared that he’ll do something to himself because of me.” She shuddered. “That’s just as bad as murder, you guys. Maybe I should –”





 

 

“No,” Fred nearly roared. “If he does something to himself, that’ll be his fault, not yours. You’re never going near him again.”





 

 

She took a deep breath. “Okay.”





 

 

She has us to protect her now; nothing can hurt her. Not even her own decisions.





 

 

***





 

 

“So.”





 

 

Alex looked up from the book she was reading, looking slightly surprised at the three of us surrounding her bed.





 

 

She raised an eyebrow. “So.”





 

 

So.” I echoed, sitting down on her bed. She laughed a little.





 

 

“Is something wrong?” She looked amused, her eyebrows scrunching together as Dom and Ella joined me on her bed.





 

 

“We were wondering…” Ella started, a mysteriously devious look on her face.





 

 

“If you would let us in on something.” I finished, my own expression just as mysterious.





 

 

We should be secret agents.





 

 

“Are you dating Freddie?” Dom blurted.





 

 

Maybe not.





 

 

Alex’s amused grin suddenly turned mischievous. “I don’t know. He never asked me.”





 

 

“…why are you smiling like that?” Ella asked warily.





 

 

Alex’s devious smile became larger. “I guess I’m not. I guess if he really wants me, he’s going to have to try and get it.”





 

 

We exchanged glances. “Er…Alex,” I began hesitantly. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but he sort of fought a hell of a lot for you already. Not just in the dungeons.”





 

 

“I fought for him for over six years,” A fierce light passed through her eyes. “He’s only been doing it for a little while. I always thought he was perfect, but he ruined that for me. Now he’s going to have to prove it.”





 

 

Dom looked upset. “Alex – that’s sick.” She said flatly.





 

 

Alex shrugged, the blazing look in her eyes more evident. “He’s not getting off easy. He made it hard for me; I’ll make it harder for him, damnit.”





 

 

Holy Merlin, she’s gone insane.





 

 

“That’s completely fucked up, Lex,” I informed her.





 

 

“Did you see what he’s done for you? Why are you doing this?” Ella demanded.





 

 

Alex smirked suddenly. “I guess I’ll say yes, then.”





 

 

We stared at her.





 

 

“Um.” I said.





 

 

Alex grinned again, unexpectedly. “You gave just the reaction that told me what to do – you guys think he’s perfect for me. So if he asks me out, then sure, I’ll say yes.”





 

 

There was another beat of silence.





 

 

“Don’t do that!” Ella suddenly yelled, chucking a pillow at Alex. Alex laughed and caught it, sticking her tongue out briefly before slamming it right at Ella again.





 

 

God, she should have been a Slytherin.





 

 

“I heard that!”





 

 

Was that out loud? Whoops.





 

 







okay, okay! i know that was totally, unnecessarily dramatic, and i seriously should cut back on all the drama because it is not in the least bit realistic and yes, i pretty much do suck.

don't make fun of meeee!

i mean - i don't even know what prompted me to write a scene as utterly dark and completely different as this. thing is, i wrote this such a long time ago and honestly, i can't remember. perhaps i was in a particularly shitty mood that day. maybe my life just got too bland i felt like writing something really bizzarre. who knows? half the time, even i don't know. i've come to be resigned to and embrace the fact that i'm a total loon.

i like to tell myself that i'm an adorable, charming loon. but that just may be my delusion talking.

so please please pleaseee review?! i really want to know how much i do/maybe even do not suck. thank you muchly <3


Chapter 20: Yoga, Sarcasm and More Broom Closets
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“Welcome to the mother’s morning yoga session. Please take a moment to breathe deeply. I want you to connect with the baby. You have a life growing inside of you; become one with the life.”


 

What the bloody hell?


 

“Dmm.” I moaned, dislodging my face from my pillow. I squinted blearily though the light, and realized, with utmost shock, that Dom was currently sitting in the middle of the floor wearing yoga pants, a lose t-shirt and a sweat band around her head, her pregnant stomach sticking out in front of her. Apollo was massaging her shoulders and wearing a similar getup, acting as though it was perfectly normal for him to be sitting in my dorm room at this hour.


 

Um.


 

“Take a deep breath and repeat after me, please: Oooooooooooooooooohm.”


 

“Ooooooooooooooooooohm.” Dom and Apollo droned together, their eyes closed.


 

Okay, this is either a bizarrely realistic dream, or my best friend and twin brother have gone completely bonkers.


 

I looked around for the source of the dreamy voice, and noticed, with another jolt of complete shock, that Trelawney was up here as well.


 

Wearing yoga pants. Leading this mother’s yoga session. In my dorm room. At six a.m.


 

Holy crap.


 

“What are you doing?” I croaked, still hanging halfway off of my bed as I attempted to get a better view of the utterly wacky scene in front of me.


 

“Mother’s yoga.” Dom breathed in a serene voice. “It’s very stimulating for the baby. Would you care to join us? The more positive energy we have, the better.”


 

I’m sure it’s very stimulating for the baby. However, it is Saturday and I am awake before noon. There is something entirely wrong with that situation, and I intend to fix it as soon as possible.


 

“I’ll pass.” I said weakly, untangling myself from the covers and attempting to fall back asleep again. As long as I ignored the yoga and continued to focus on my deep breaths and the comfort of my amazing bed, I would fall right back –


 

“We should sing for the baby!”


 

Oh, hell no.


 

***


 

“Fred!” I yelled, banging on the door. “Fred, open up!”


 

I was currently standing in boys dormitory hallway, wearing nothing but an overlarge tee-shirt and shorts, banging on the door for someone to let me the fuck in, god damn it.


 

After my vicious protests of the idea to sing for the baby (for god’s sake, the poor thing can’t even hear you!), I had been promptly kicked out of my own dormitory by an extremely gleeful Professor Trelawney.


 

I hate it when karma gets back at me.


 

“Fre – what are you doing here?!” I yelled in surprise as soon as I caught an eyeful of Ella. Her hair was in complete disarray, her nightgown barely reaching past her butt. She scratched her head, yawned and stretched.


 

“I left after Trelawney appeared.” Ella said groggily. “Come on in.”


 

“When did she come?” I asked, letting myself into the war-zone. I yelped as I stepped on somebody’s boxers, springing away from them as though they were contagious. Ella giggled sleepily.


 

“About five a.m.” She said. “Wouldn’t shut up about the stupid alignment between Saturn and Uranus meaning that she had to help a pregnant person. Finally got sick of her and left.”


 

“How’d I manage to sleep through that?” I marveled.


 

“You were muttering in your sleep. Something about rabid pillows.” She jumped onto Jason’s bed, burrowing herself into the circle of his arms. “Night.”


 

I love how she doesn’t even get worried about the fact that I was dreaming about rabid pillows. Apparently, I’m insane enough to get away with something like that.


 

This should worry me. Too bad it doesn’t.


 

I jumped and squeaked as a particularly loud grunt sounded from the bed next to me, and looked in to see that Fred and Alex were also asleep in the same bed. Alex was smiling in her sleep, despite the fact that Freddie was snoring very loudly right in her ear and his arms were wrapped so tightly around her that I found it nothing short of a miracle that she could even breathe.


 

I peeked on James (shut up, that’s not creepy), and saw that he was all twisted up in his sheets, the only visible parts of him being his mop of crazy black hair and a random foot. I couldn’t help but giggle. He’s so adorable.


 

I turned around to jump on Apollo’s bed, but –


 

“ARGH!” I screamed, staggering back a couple of feet. I had come face-to-face with Albus, who was wearing a businesslike and extremely determined expression on his face. “Albus! What are you doing here?!”


 

“I need your help.” With that, he grabbed my arm and then proceeded to tow me out the door.


 

“Can’t it wait six more hours?” I asked desperately, craning around to send my longing glance at the bed. “I wanted to get some sleep.”


 

“No, I’m afraid it can’t,” Al said in a voice that was meant to be apologetic, but wasn’t. He tugged on my arm again, finally leading me out of the dormitory and into his.


 

Damnit. I knew this day was going to suck.


 

I looked around at the strangely tidy room as Al closed the door behind us. Scorpius was asleep in his bed, his blonde hair tousled and glinting with a thousand lights from the sun.


 

“Well?” I asked, turning around to glare at Al. He fidgeted slightly, then blurted out,


 

“I want you to lock me in a broom cupboard with Noah.”


 

There was a long silence.


 

What?”


 

“I. Want. You. To –”


 

“I got that, Al, there’s no need to talk to me as though I am a small child.” I snapped at him. “I meant ‘are you absolutely insane?’”


 

Al shrugged, pondering this. “I don’t know. I am a bit desperate, though.”


 

I ground the palm of my hand into my forehead. Merlin, it’s too early for this. “Elaborate.”


 

“I heard Noah Finkle was planning to ask her out –”


 

“Oh, gosh, why? They have the same name!” I said, disgusted.


 

“ – and she might say yes, I don’t know, but I’m worried that she will–”


 

“ – ew, if they get married, they’ll be Mr. And Mrs. Noah Finkle –”


 

“This cannot happen.” We finished in one voice.


 

Al nodded at me. “Glad to know that we’re on the same page.”


 

I sighed. “I have a better suggestion, Al. How about you just ask her out?”


 

He looked at me as though I had gone temporarily crazy. “Are you kidding?! I can’t do that!”


 

“And why ever not?” I asked in a dry voice.


 

“Because…because…because she’d say no!” He was sounding a bit frantic now.


 

“Oh,” I raised an eyebrow. “So, you’re saying that she’d say no…but she’d be completely okay with hooking up with you in a broom cupboard?”


 

“Well…um…but – I still want you to do it.” Al finally said.


 

“No.” I said promptly.


 

“No?” He repeated, crestfallen.


 

“No.”


 

“Yes.”


 

“No.”


 

“Please?”


 

“No.”


 

“No?”


 

“No.”


 

“Damnit.”


 

I smiled at him. “Well, now that that’s out of the way, I’ll be getting some sleep! Night!”


 

Al’s brow was furrowed in concentration, his green eyes shining with determination. “Yeah.” He said vaguely. I gave him one last worried look before leaving the dorm.


 

I mean – I did the right thing. Locking Al and Noah in a broom closet will not work. Er…right?


 

***


 

“Oh, god. You have GOT to be shitting me!” Noah said desperately, banging on the door one more time. “A broom closet? REALLY?!”


 

“Give it up, love, nothing you do will open that door.” Al’s voice said from the darkness. Noah jumped and let out a little shriek of fright.


 

“Potter?” She asked warily, peering into the shadows.


 

“Sup.”


 

Wow Al, you’re cool.


 

“What are you doing in here?” She demanded.


 

“Oh, you know, this is a favorite pastime of mine, hanging out in abandoned broom cupboards. I call it closet sniffing!” He exclaimed sarcastically.


 

“Okay, okay, stupid question. No need to get all snarky with me.” Noah rolled her eyes. “Did you see who shoved us in here? I couldn’t even tell – the person was wearing an invisibility cloak or something.”


 

Al raised his eyebrow. “How many people do you know have an invisibility cloak?”


 

“Well, you have one –”


 

“Yes, and I’m definitely the one who shoved you in here and then quickly jumped in myself.” Al cut across.


 

She glared at him. “I was just thinking out loud, Potter!”


 

“Right, sorry.” He said quickly. “Sometimes I just can’t help the sarcastic remarks.”


 

She sighed, but didn’t say anything else on the topic. “Maybe it was James or Lily.”


 

“It could be,” Al shrugged. “Lily’s weird that way.” He scowled as he remembered his sister. “Bitch,” he added under his breath.


 

“Or any of your other friends could have locked me in here.” Noah realized. “Ha – it was Artemis.”


 

His eyebrows shot up despite himself. “How do you know for sure?”


 

“Because this is just her style. She wants us to get together!” Noah said, in another stroke of brilliance.


 

“Seriously, why aren’t you in Ravenclaw?” Al asked her in wonderment.


 

“I’m too nice.” Noah responded vaguely. “This is just like Artemis – she probably saw that Noah Finkle was going to ask me out and wanted you to do it instead…”


 

“What would you have said to Noah Finkle?” Al asked, suddenly serious.


 

Her bright eyes turned to him, probing, calculating. “I would have said yes.”


 

“You like him?” Al’s voice was burning with jealousy, his green eyes bright.


 

“Not really. I wouldn’t want to be rude.” Noah shrugged. “This is actually really convenient – now I won’t have to run into him.”


 

“You’ll have to do it eventually.” Al pointed out.


 

Noah sighed resignedly. “I wish I had a boyfriend or an overprotective brother to stop him from asking me. I really don’t want to have to endure a date with him.”


 

Al shifted hopefully, knowing that this was his cue to jump in and ask her, “Alright, how opposed are you to an overprotective boyfriend, then?”


 

Noah looked at him. “I don’t know, that depends on how overprotective he might be.”


 

Al stepped closer to her. “He’d be pretty damn overprotective. He wants you all for himself.”


 

Noah grinned slightly as he took another step closer. “Is this a ‘sweet’ kind of overprotective?”


 

“That depends on what you think about it.” He cupped his hand around her face. “How about it, Noah – give us a chance?


 

She smiled. “Took you long enough to ask me, you prat.”


 

Al looked surprised for a moment, and then Noah grabbed his tie, jerked him forward, and kissed him. He pulled back after a couple of moments to rub the back of his neck.


 

“Must you?” He asked deploringly.


 

Noah just laughed, pulling on his tie again. Al pushed her back against the wall.


 

“You know, most people find that really kinky,” He growled in her ear.


 

“Do you?” She giggled.


 

He grinned devilishly at her. “Very much.”


 

They were still snogging when the door burst open, streaming in light…


 

…and then the scene dissolved.


 

I opened my eyes and immediately let out a tired groan.


 

Fuck, I was wrong.


 

Me and my stupid moral compass, always getting in the way – now guess what I have to do?


 

That’s right. Get off of my lazy fat arse and somehow fix this.


 

Fantastic.


 

***


 

“Hey, what’s this?”


 

I let out a squawk of protest and grabbed wildly at the air, but the intruder managed to snap my sheet of parchment away from me despite these actions.


 

Damnit.


 

“Operation No Al?” Lily’s brown eyes grew incredulously wide as she read it. She looked at me as though I was completely insane. “You’re trying to get rid of Al?!”


 

“Don’t be stupid –”


 

“Sweet! Can I help?!”


 

I gave her the stink eye, but she merely grinned and dropped down next to me, handing me the parchment. I grabbed it out of her hand with a flourish, giving her a haughty look before folding it up and putting it in my pocket.


 

“So how goes it, baby Potter?” I asked, stretching my arms above my head and attempting to look nonchalant.


 

This time it was Lily’s turn to give me the stink-eye. I smirked.


 

“You’re trying to get Noah and Al together.” She stated flatly. I sighed heavily and dropped my arms down.


 

“Yeah.” I admitted. Damnit – why do these people always have to find me at my creepiest? I mean, of course I, of all people, would take the time to sit down and write a game plan on how to do something as simple as locking two people in a broom cupboard.


 

It’s not as if this is something new for me or anything. I’ve already done it once without even a second’s hesitation or doubt, but for some reason, this time it just has to be perfect – I owe that to Al.


 

Hence the ridiculous list.


 

“By locking them in a broom cupboard.” Lily continued, still in her flatly incredulous voice.


 

“Well – yeah.”


 

“I’m disappointed in you.” Lily said promptly, and I scowled, my jaw dropped in outrage.


 

Excuse me! What’s that supposed to mean?!”


 

“Could you get any more uncreative and cliché?!” Lily cried. “I mean, there are a million ways to go about doing this – gimme that list –”


 

“No!” I yelled loudly, putting my hand over the parchment.


 

Lily stopped blabbing, looking appalled at my outburst. “No?”


 

“No.” I said firmly. “It has to be this way. Don’t ask me why – it just has to.”


 

Lily eyed me suspiciously. “You’re really weird.”


 

I sighed. “I’m aware.”


 

Lily looked around discreetly, then beckoned me forward. I looked around as well in bemusement – um. No one’s here – and leaned towards her so that she could whisper in my ear, “Don’t tell anyone, but I’ll help you.”


 

I leaned back and raised my eyebrows at her, and she grinned and shrugged, acting all impressed with herself.


 

Because god forbid Lily Potter ever actually – GASP – help one of her brothers with something! That’s just uncalled for! Completely and totally unethical! Imagine actually helping someone in your family! Oh, the horror! SHAME.


 

The level of sarcasm in that little mental tirade is worrying.


 

“Wow, Lillers, the selflessness in your actions leave me in awe.” I said sarcastically, and she shrugged again, looking conceitedly abashed.


 

I swear Mrs. Potter must have done something wrong with her children – they’re mental, all of them.


 

…actually, now that I think of it, the whole Weasley-Potter-Delacour-Granger-Johnson-(whatever Lucy and Molly’s mom’s last name was) family is completely insane.


 

I wonder what they must put in their food.


 

***


 

“Hey, Al, could you help me out with something?”


 

Lily’s face was angelic, her brown eyes wide and sparkling with innocence as she smiled widely at her brother.


 

I snickered quietly from my place behind the wall as I watched Al sigh in exasperation at his sister. “What, Lily?”


 

“See,” Lily gulped, looking properly ashamed of herself. “I may have, sort of, left the Marauder’s Map in a broom closet when I was running away from Filch the other day, and –”


 

“Are. You. STUPID?!” Al yelled at Lily, his face immediately turning bright red in anger.


 

Lily put her hands on her hips, looking affronted. “Excuse me, but that is not relevant to the topic at hand here –”


 

“God, Lily, do you ever think?!” Al continued, his green eyes sparking with anger. “Argh! We should never give you any responsibility! You can’t do anything right, for Merlin’s sake –”


 

“Albus, calm the fuck down!” Lily yelled back. I sighed as I slumped against the wall. Remind me what was going through my head when I decided to involve Lily in these plans?


 

Oh, that’s right: absolutely nothing.


 

As per usual.


 

“You just lost the Marauder’s Map and you’re telling me to calm down?!” Al yelled at her, his voice an octave higher than usual. “Are you kidding me?!”


 

Lily’s jaw locked. “It’s somewhere in that closet, I think. March.” She used her hands to take his shoulders and turn him around, shoving him towards the closet. He was muttering angrily under his breath, his hands balled up into fists as he walked into the closet. Lily slammed the door shut behind him.


 

“SUCKER!” She cackled into the crack. “I have the map with me!”


 

“WHAT THE FUCKING HELL, LILY LUNA POTTER –”


 

Smiling proudly, she flourished her wand at the door and sang, “Silencio!” Al’s yelling abruptly fell silent to our ears, though I was willing to bet a substantial amount of money that he was continuing to rant at the closed door despite this fact.


 

I walked out from behind the wall, my head in my hands. “Remind me to never involve you in something like this again.” I said tiredly.


 

Lily twirled her wand expertly. “Oh, like you could have done any better.”


 

I raised my eyebrow. “Actually, I’m pretty sure I would have found a better way – one that doesn’t involve Al bugging out and me getting my eardrums injured.”


 

Lily shrugged. “My way makes life more interesting.”


 

“Yeah, god forbid that life actually be not-interesting for once.” I muttered.


 

“Alright,” Lily pulled the invisibility cloak out from her pocket and handed it to me. “Noah’s coming this way, so you better put that on.”


 

“Right.” I said, taking it from her. “Go hide!”


 

“No, I think I’ll just stand here looking like an idiot.” Lily snapped, rolling her eyes and cuffing me over the head as she sauntered over to the wall. I stuck my tongue out at her retreating back and swung the cloak over me. As the folds settled around my body, sunlight shimmered through the spot where I was previously standing.


 

I know I’ve done this jillions of times, but – MAN, THIS IS SO COOL!


 

Right on cue, Noah turned the corner and continued down the hallway, her brow furrowed and her eyes deep in thought.


 

It was really too easy. With a simple flick of my wand, Noah went up in the air (letting out a very ungainly shriek in the process), and through the now-open closet door. It slammed shut behind her, and I pulled off the cloak, grinning happily.


 

Finally, something goes according to plan.


 

Lily walked out from behind the wall and took the invisibility cloak. “Sweet magic.” She told me, grinning.


 

“Are you going to stick around?” I asked her.


 

She shook her head. “No way. I think I’d rather not be eternally scarred, thanks. I’m going to peace out, but lemme know how it goes, kay?”


 

I nodded. “Will do.”


 

With a small wave, Lily walked off, and I pressed my ear against the door so that I’d know when to pull it open.


 

Yeah, I know that this is eavesdropping and extremely stalker-like.


 

You’ll get over it.


 

“…kinky, right?”


 

The words were barely audible, but I put my hand on the handle, counting slowly to twenty so that I could swing it open.


 

God, this is going to be really traumatizing for me. Maybe I’ll keep my eyes closed when I open it so that I don’t see anything.


 

But then I’ll look like a freak.


 

Okay, fine, I always do anyway. But still.


 

three, two, ONE!


 

I swung the door open, letting it crash against the stone with a loud, resounding ‘BANG!’ Al and Noah jumped away from each other, their faces flushed.


 

“Hello, there!” I said brightly, smirking in a self-satisfied manner.


 

There was a short moment of silence, during which they both continued to gape stupidly at me.


 

“YOU!” Noah suddenly shrieked. My eyes grew wide, and in the next instant, I was sprinting down the hallway as fast as I could, Noah chasing after me and screaming what seemed like a mix between curse words and various hexes.


 

Lesson: Never mess with a Longbottom. The more pissed-off, the worse.


 

“–FUCKING BROOM CLOSET?! SERIOUSLY?! LEVICORPUS, YOU FREAKING BINT!”


 

Holy Merlin, this child is a psychopath.


 




hi. i'm hiding behind my textbook right now, in case you were wondering. i already got hit with the volleyball (twice!) in gym today, and then my friend thought it would be fun to hit me repeatedly on the arm to "test my patience". i failed. so i'm already bruised up. please don't throw things at me?

i just...wow, i can't even begin to say how sorry i am for this horribly late update. forgive me, please? and i promise that after i post chapter 21, which is obscenely short but had to be that way since it serves as a "turning point" (yeah, i feel pretty cool), i'll post chapter 22 right away. deal? deal!

soo...review!! please! and thank you! and now i shall go and write my riveting booklet, called "DNA for Dummies". it'll be in bookstores soon. in fact, i'm going to get a 1000008% on the project and consequently become the Beasliest Honors Genetics Student Ever. i'm such a win.

...i'm also slightly insane. today me and my friend laughed for hours at the prospect of being in a hogwart's house called "Gryffindork." also, we reenacted exactly what my life is going to be like when i'm older (house full of dogs named after various characters) and she comes to visit me with her children, who will be extremely afraid of me because i'll be a total creeper.

i have such a bright future.

:D

review, please!!! they make me smile at my computer like a Gryffindork ;)
 


Chapter 21: Flabbergasted, Ninjas and Sarah-The-Evil-Barbie-Cow-of-Evilness
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 “Is it a boy?”

“Maybe.”

“Is it a girl?”

“Maybe.”

“Oh my god, are they twins?”

“Maybe.”

“Artemis!”

“Dom!”

“Tell me!”

“No!”

She pouted and sat back, crossing her arms resentfully over her chest. “What’s the point of having a Seer as a best friend if she won’t even tell you what she’s seen?” She muttered.

I grinned. “You should be glad that I’m not ruining this for you.”

“But I want to know!” She whined, tugging on my arm.

I grinned wider and gently rubbed her tummy, letting out a little giggle as I felt the baby kick against my hand. “I think you’ll like it better if it’s a surprise.”

I had a vision this morning. It was about Dom’s baby, and I now know what gender it is. I haven’t found out the name just yet, because, despite our fabulous list of the best names in the world, Dom had not managed to choose one that she liked. She did, however, somehow find the energy to chase me around the Common Room and make me do a crazy, intricate dodge-running maneuver to avoid her various hexes.

I honestly don’t know how someone can run so fast when they’re lugging around a stomach that big. Then again, Dom always manages to surprise the world with her Dom-ness. She can do anything. She is…Dominique Weasley!

I need to get some sleep.

“Hey, hey, hey!” Fred said cheerfully, plopping down on the sofa next to me. I quickly snatched up my Potions essay before he squished it and sent him a reproachful look, which he happily ignored. Alex sat down next to him, absolutely glowing.

“Why do you look so happy?” I asked grumpily.

“Well, isn’t someone a Miss-Grouchy-Wouchy-Pants!”

“Don’t ever say that again, Fred. It was debilitating to my mental health.”

“Take your sarcasm elsewhere, young maiden, for it is not welcome here,” Fred said loftily.

I smacked him upside the head.

“Just-kidding-I-love-you,” He corrected hastily as I raised my hand to smack him again. I smirk in a self-satisfied manner. That’s more like it.

“Hey, guys!” Apollo beamed, plopping down next to Dom on the sofa. “Hi, baby,” He added softly, placing a kiss on Dom’s stomach. Dom’s smile was threatening to split her face.

I giggled happily, and she turned to me again, her smile replaced with a glare. I raised my eyebrow at her, and she stuck her tongue out, turning to Apollo.

“Apollo,” Dom whined. “Artemis knows what gender the baby is and she won’t tell me! Make her tell me!”

He chuckled. “She’s not going to tell you if she doesn’t want to, love. Nothing I say is going to change that, trust me.”

“Damn right,” I said proudly.

“Once again, what’s the point of having a Seer as a best friend if she won’t even tell you the future?” Dom asked resentfully. “You’re completely useless, Artemis. I hate you.”

“Well, if that’s how you feel, I guess I’ll just hang out with Alex and Fred from now on – oh, shit, Fred!” I said loudly, taking in Fred’s flabbergasted expression.

Now, instead of freaking out, I’m going to comment on the word ‘flabbergasted’ in order to alleviate my mental tension.

It’s such a funny word! It’s so much fun to say – flabbergasted. It kind of sounds like someone who has a lot of flabber (which sort of sounds like blubber, which is basically fat) who gassed (meaning farted) a whole lot. Flabber-gasted! Bahaha! Let’s say it really fast for about a hundred times and see how it sounds! Ready? Flabbergastedflabbergastedflabbergastedflabbergastedflabbergastedflabbergasted – HOLY SHIT FRED KNOWS MY SECRET AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!

“Fred?” I asked tentatively when he continued to gape at me. Everyone else was still, watching Fred warily.

“I – you – Seer!” He spluttered, pointing a dramatic finger at me. I winced slightly. Crap – I shocked Fred so much that he can no longer form a coherent sentence in the English language.

This is very bad.

“You – me – Seer?” I repeated weakly.

“You – you can – holy Merlin!” Fred yelped, his eyes wide and threatening to pop out of his face. “You can see the future! You! You can see it!”

“Yes, Fred, that’s the general idea of what a Seer does,” Alex said drily, rolling her eyes at me.

“You, though! Artemis! You can – fuck, man. That is so cool!” Fred suddenly jumped up, and, ignoring my face (which looked a lot like this: O_O due to his weird change in behavior), scooped me in a huge hug. “You’re so cool! THIS IS AWESOME!”

Well. This is rather gratifying.

“Erm – thanks, Fred,” I said awkwardly, struggling against his hold so that I could be let down onto the ground again. Thankfully, he set me down on my feet two seconds later and turned to everyone else.

“Why aren’t you guys excited?” Fred asked.

“We already knew,” Alex shrugged. Fred turned to me, looking outraged, and I backed up a little.

“Now, Freddie, I was going to tell you, honest, but there was just so much going on, what with the whole Sarah debacle and Apollo not being here and the whole school finding out that Dom was preg –” I started rambling as I continued to back away from the freaky child

Suddenly, he stopped. “Wait,” He said slowly. “Is that the secret that The Evil Cow knows?”

I blinked in shock. “Um. Yeah.”

Dude, how did he figure that out so fast? I assumed that the various head injuries he had received over the years had rendered him capable of only very mediocre brain processing abilities, but he’s always managed to surprise me with a shocking display of smartness.

Maybe Freddie isn’t so dumb after all.

“And she’s…god, she’s using it so that you don’t try and talk to James or anything, isn’t she?”

“You should become a detective ninja,” I said in an awed voice. “How are you figuring these things out?”

Fred looked at me with an eyebrow raised. “Why a detective ninja?”

I shrugged. “Ninjas are cool.”

“Ah. That explains everything.”

“Clearly.”

“How do you two manage to go from a perfectly rational discussion to talking about ninjas?” Dom asked in a disbelieving voice.

“Because we’re awesome,” Fred said, as if this was obvious.

“Yeah. Duh, Dominique,” I added.

She rolled her eyes. “Okay, can we please get back to the topic at hand, here?”

“And that would be…?”

“Sarah Barlow, you bints!” Dom exclaimed.

“Right, of course,” Apollo intervened quickly before Dom’s five-months-pregnant hormones made her explode.

“Look, guys, I’m not sure what I can do about her,” I said, running a hand through my bedraggled hair. When was the last time I washed it?

Crap, I don’t remember.

Note to self: wash hair today.

“Well…she’s holding the fact that you’re a Seer over your head,” Alex said thoughtfully. “She said that she’s going to tell the rest of the school – but I doubt you care what everyone else thinks about it.”

“Um, actually, if it involves a huge tent with the words ‘Artemis Jones, Seer’ written on it, and if people come up to me and start asking me about their futures, which, by the way, I probably won’t be able to see because my visions only show me about the people that I’m close to – either way, if the school finds out, then yeah, I think I’ll care,” I finished.

“I’m pretty sure I would care, too,” Apollo added. “But…people will just think that it’s a rumor. There’s rumors around all the time, and most people don’t believe them.”

“That makes sense,” Fred told him.

“Okay,” Dom’s face was bright, a large smirk crawling up the corners of her mouth. “I have an idea. This is what we’re going to do…”

After she was done explaining, I sat back with a beam.

“Dominique,” I told her fervently. “You’re a genius. Have I recently mentioned that you’re the most amazing best friend to ever walk this planet?”

She sniffed. “No. You need to get on that.”

***

Time is like a ninja. It creeps on you, slowly and stealthily, and, before you know it – BAM! – it has struck you over the head and you’re left standing there, staring cluelessly at the wall and wondering how December started without you noticing.

“Are you sure it’s Christmas already?” I asked Ella for the umpteenth time as she pulled a red sweater over my head, adjusted my curls, and, deciding that they were not going to stay down no matter what she did, placed a red headband in my hair.

Yes, my friends dress me.

Shut up. They don’t dress me all the time. Only sometimes, when I take too long getting adjusted to life.

“Yes, Artemis, we’re leaving for the Burrow on Monday,” Ella explained, yet again, as she handed me a pair of boots.

I pulled them on over my skinny jeans and accepted the earrings that she passed to me.

“When did December even get here?” I asked. “Last time I checked, it was September!”

“Then perhaps you should check more often,” Ella told me, rolling her eyes.

“Stupid pregnant belly!” Dom’s voice carried over to us from behind her bed, and, exchanging glances, we quickly ran over to make sure everything was okay.

Dom was sitting on the floor, her pregnant stomach sticking out in front of her as she threw clothes left and right. She looked like she was going to kill something, which worried me slightly about what was going to happen when she got really pregnant. I mean, as of now, she wasn’t even that large.

“I’m sure we’ll find you something to wear,” Alex’s muffled voice soothed from inside Dom’s wardrobe.

“No we won’t!” Dom snapped back. “I’m too fucking fat!”

“You’re not fat, you’re pregnant,” I corrected, sitting down next to her and helping her look through her clothes.

“Same thing!”

I decided not to argue.

Dom looked at me, then moaned helplessly. “You look adorable. This is hopeless.”

“Oi, what does me looking adorable have to do with this being hopeless?” I asked indignantly.

“It means I shouldn’t even try!”

“Says the part-veela,” I told her drily. There was a moment while Dom stared at me.

“Touché,” She finally said grudgingly.

“Trust me, sweetie, you could be wearing a paper bag and still look gorgeous,” Ella assured. “In fact, if Apollo saw you wearing nothing but a paper bag, he might just –”

“AHEM.”

“– tell you…that he’ll buy you more clothes?” Ella finished uncertainly after catching my glare.

Nice save, Ella. Very suave.

“Perfect!” Alex emerged from the closet, clutching a long piece of fabric.

“What’s that?” Dom asked as Alex pulled a bra out of her hair and tossed it back into the wardrobe.

“A sweater dress!” Alex said proudly, holding it out.

“It’s perfect!” Ella beamed. I, personally, quite thought so too. It was a deep emerald green and just a little too big for not-preggers-Dom, which meant that it would be pretty much perfect for preggers-Dom.

“I don’t know, guys…” Dom said uncertainly, staring at it. “Maybe I just shouldn’t go…”

I’m sorry, but does Dom actually think that she’s going to get her way against the three of us?

Ha. Not bloody likely.

***

“You guys suck,” Dom pouted as she trudged along with the rest of us. After much screaming, kicking, and, finally, a body-binding curse, we had managed to force Dom into the sweater dress and a pair of white leggings. Along with her peacoat, scarf, and pregnant belly, Dom looked adorable.

“You love us anyway,” Alex dismissed as she linked arms with her.

“You keep telling yourself that,” Dom muttered, but she linked arms with me anyway. Ella latched onto the other one, and I couldn’t help but let out a very un-Artemis-like giggle at the four of us, skipping along like little firsties with linked arms and whatnot.

Well, we’re not exactly skipping, but I think you get the point.

“Holy Merlin, who is that vision over there?” Apollo’s voice rang out from behind us, and I turned around with a large smile on my face.

“It’s your sister!” I told him cheerfully, and then jumped on him, planting a big kiss on his cheek and laughing when he swung me around.

“Nah, just kidding, it’s Dom,” I said when he put me down. I leaned in closer to whisper in his ear. “It’s the girl that’s pregnant with your first child.”

I gave him a significant look and he nodded solemnly. “Okay,” He whispered back. “Thanks for letting me know.”

“I got you, little bro.” I patted him on the back.

“I’m your twin! It was only by two minutes, okay?”

“Yeah, but I’m still older!”

“By two minutes!”

“Exactly! I’ve been on this planet two whole minutes longer than you!”

“It’s only two bloody minutes!”

“That’s a long time!”

“No, it’s not!”

“Are you two honestly at it again?” Jason asked as he and Fred joined us. “For Merlin’s sake, you’re twins, now get over it.”

I pouted while Apollo laughed in triumph.

“You know, for someone who’s going to be a father in just four months, you’re awfully immature,” I sniffed.

That shut him up.

“Merlin,” He said in a dazed voice. “I really am! What if I’m a bad father? I bet I am a bad father. Our child is going to turn out abnormal because I’m a terrible dad! It’s going to be my fault! It’s all going to be my –”

“Apollo, shut up,” I said. “You’re going to be an awesome dad.”

“Yeah?” He turned his frenzied eyes to me. “How so? People are supposed to get this kind of impression from their own fathers, and my dad is a right tosser –”

“BECAUSE,” I cut across. “You’re a good brother.”

“What does that have to do –”

“Everything,” I said calmly.

“But –”

“I’m a Seer, don’t argue with me.”

He crossed his arms, looking resentful. “I’m not allowed to argue with the Seer or the pregnant person – who the hell am I allowed to argue with, then?”

“You can argue with Fred!” I said brightly. “Yo Fred, do me a favor and argue with Apollo, will you? He’s in the mood to verbally joust with someone.”

Fred opened his mouth, but Dom quickly cut across him, walking over to grab Apollo’s arm. “Hi there. We need to go shopping, I don’t have any clothes to wear.”

Apollo looked down at her. “But you look fine.”

“No,” She said in a dangerous voice. “I look fat. I need new clothes, since I don’t fit into my old ones. Because I am fat.”

Apollo sent me a frightened look over Dom’s head, and I, along with Ella and Alex, gestured frantically at him. His eyes widened in alarm, and I stopped my throat-cutting gestures and mouthed ‘It’s all you’ at him.

He sighed and looked down again, kissing Dom on the forehead. “You’re not fat, you’re pregnant.”

I knew this kid was my twin brother for a reason. Maybe we do have some sort of really cool twin telepathy that makes us say the same things in certain situations.

That is so cool!

“Same difference,” Dom said, crossing her arms.

“Well,” He told her, his eyes brightening. “I think that you’ve never looked more beautiful before in your life than you do right now.”

Dom’s eyes narrowed.

“You have to think that,” She snapped. “I’m carrying your child.”

“And I love you for it,” He said, smiling his brightest, most winning smile. Dom’s cold façade crumbled, and she let out a begrudging smile, letting it grow as Apollo kissed her on the mouth.

“Excuse me, if you’re quite done, I think I’d like to – meep!” I squeaked, my eyes widening as they focused on something behind Apollo.

Everyone turned around (Dom and Apollo even stopped snogging, which is pretty much awesome in my books) to see James and Sarah-The-Barbie-Cow-of-Evilness walking towards us, hand in hand, looking like they had just won the ‘Best Couple of the Year’ award.

Bloody tosser-face-gits. They are not a good couple. They look atrocious together. She’s too…blonde and curvy and…has a fat smile…and…

Poo. She looks like the better version of me and they look great together.

I look cute-ish (or as cute as Artemis can get, which isn’t very cute at all) with my brown peacoat, jeans, brown boots and bright red scarf, along with the bow in my hair and my crazy curls, but she looks downright fabulous (as in ‘just-walked-out-of-a-bloody-fashion-magazine’ fabulous) in her little pink coat and white stockings.

Damn her for making me feel like a hobo.

“Hey guys!” James said, grinning around at us as he approached. “Heading down to Hogsmeade?”

“Yeah,” Jason said, smiling nervously. “We were just on our way.”

Silence.

I wonder if my life will ever be not-awkward.

“Hey, where did Al and them go?” James asked. There were a round of shrugs, and I made a face. Damn it, I’m the only one who knows?!

I sighed. “He and Noah are doubling with Rose and Scorp today.”

James brightened. “Hey, we should do that! All of us – it’ll be like a quadruple-date!”

I scowled. “Oi, and what am I supposed to do, run a bloody marathon while you guys are at it?”

James suddenly looked uncomfortable, like he was wishing that he hadn’t opened his mouth to say that, but Barbie let out a peal of laughter. “Sounds like a good idea to me.”

I opened my mouth to tell her off (probably something along the lines of ‘sod-off-bitch’) but Apollo quickly grabbed my arm and started dragging me back. “Actually, James, we were all just going to get some shopping done today. We’ll see you once you get rid – er…when you get back.”

“Rid of the bloody wart plaster?” Alex finished for Apollo in a sly voice once we’d hurriedly shuffled away.

He grinned at her. “You stole the words right out of my mouth.”

“I wish you’d said it,” Dom muttered, shoving her hands in her pockets and kicking a random pebble as we all walked along.

“Honestly? Me too,” Fred laughed. “That would have wiped the smug look right off of her face. What was the bloke thinking, anyway?”

“Correction: he wasn’t,” Ella shook her head. “That thing has no personality, and I’m pretty sure James can tell that we hate her, but he’s not bothering to do a thing about it.”

“Bloody tosspot,” I added.

“I still don’t see why we don’t just get rid of her,” Jason complained.

“Well, it’s because she knows that Artemis is a Seer and she’s going to tell everyone if we – ow, Alex, what was that for?!” Fred whined as he rubbed the back of his head. I hit him as well, just for good measure, and his eyes widened. “Oh, shit.”

“You idiot,” I told him, narrowing my eyes.

“Calm down guys, I already knew,” Jason said, shrugging. We stared at him.

“How?” I asked.

Jason grinned. “Figured it out.”

How?” I asked again, this time in ringing disbelief.

“Oi,” He nudged me with his shoulder, scowling playfully. “I’m not stupid, you know. I guess I just know you really well.”

“Jason’s always been the most perceptive of all of us,” Apollo added thoughtfully.

“Jason’s pretty smart,” Jason added, throwing out his chest. Ella smacked him, and he inflated meekly. “I meant to say – er – sometimes I can figure things out.”

“You’re whipped, mate,” Fred informed him.

Jason hit him as well.

“Wait!” I interrupted, throwing up my hands before they started beating each other up. “I have an idea!”

Everyone quieted down as they saw my ‘contemplating evil’ face, which, I will admit, looks pretty devious and rather frightening.

“I’m afraid,” Alex stage-whispered.

I continued to smile evilly. “You should be.”

“Oh, dear.”

“Methinks,” I said, pausing dramatically to look around at my cronies, “It is time to pay a visit to The Shop.”

“What shop?” Dom asked blankly.

I narrowed my eyes. “The Shop.”

What shop?” Fred repeated.

“Your dad’s shop, you idiot!” I yelled, throwing my hands up. “Honestly, why do I even bother with you people?”

Oh,” Realization dawned on Freddie, and a huge smile spread across his face. “This is going to be one interesting Christmas.”

“Correction: it’s going to be one bloody awesome Christmas!” Ella grinned, her eyes glittering with life as she beamed. “Oh, this is going to be so much fun!”

Yes it is, dearest Ella. Yes it is.

Watch out, Sarah-Bitch. This is now war.

And you’re going to lose.




hi! so, after much (about a half a minute) of deliberating, i realized that chapter 21 was really nothing more than artemis being unhappy and whiny inbetween writing a list of baby names for Dom. like, honestly...BO-RING. even though some of the names were pretty damn funny, i'll admit. thanks again for all the names you guys gave me! unfortunately, i decided to leave out the section i was planning them for, but i appreciate it anyway<3

it's been a while, and i'm sorry for that. please review? i need some sort of motivation to keep writing this story, and your reviews always do that for me <3 i'm having a little issue with writer's block in chapter 27 right now :| so not fun.


Chapter 22: Agent Names, Target Barbie and War
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 “Agent Red, come in. Gold Fox is calling – Agent Red! Hello? Fred, I’m talking to you!”

“What? Why do I have to be Agent Red? I told you I wanted to be Agent Cool!”

“That’s right, Agent Red, be jealous. I’m Agent Thunder.”

“No you’re not, Jason, you’re Agent Beater!”

“How uncreative. Who comes up with these stupid names anyway?”

“I did!”

“Well, you suck.”

“Which one am I again?”

“You’re Agent Scorpion, you tosser.”

“What, just because my name –”

“Don’t worry about it, love, she called me Agent Flower. I mean – honestly! Agent Flower?! That’s so girly! I wanted to be Agent Thorn. That’s it. I’m changing my name to Agent Thorn.”

“Yeah, and I’m going to be Agent Thunder!”

“Look, I gave you your names for a reason –”

“I am not going to be Agent Preggers, okay?”

“But it makes sense!”

“No. That is just demeaning.”

“And I don’t want to be Agent Poet either! I’m not a fucking poet!”

“Apollo, the god you’re named after was the god of poetry, it makes sense!”

“Why am I Agent Severus? I hate my middle name! Come up with something else!”

“Yeah, and I refuse to be Agent Queen. I know you’re thinking about how I share my name with one of the Queens of England, and I do not –”

“I kind of like my name, actually. I’m Agent Pharaoh.”

“Where did she get that from?”

“Well, Agent Red –”

“ – Agent Cool –”

“It’s because her name is Alexandria, and Alexandria is in Egypt, and Egypt reminds me of Pharaohs.”

“Well. That’s dumb.”

“No one asked you anyway, Agent Puff!”

Excuse me? You’re calling me Agent Puff just because I’m a Hufflepuff?! You have got to be bloody kidding me! Change my name! Right now!”

“Don’t worry, she’s calling me Agent Baby Potter.”

“Artemis, you’re going to die.”

“Ahem, you’re supposed to call me Gold Fox.”

“Fine, Gold Fox, you’re going to die.”

“You still have to change my name.”

I groaned and threw my head into my pillow. “Everyone, report to Headquarters immediately,” I barked into the walkie-talkie.

“Headquarters? No one told me about any –”

“MY ROOM, YOU IDIOT.”

“Oh. Right. Coming.”

I sat up and crossed my arms as people started filing in and placing themselves on the available surfaces not covered with food, clothes, or lists of baby names. Apollo used his foot to nudge over a pair of Dom’s knickers and plopped himself onto the floor, pulling Dom onto his lap. She was rolling her eyes.

“It’s not like you haven’t seen those knickers,” She muttered to him. He turned bright red.

Yes, my brother is a terribly awkward person, and yes, I love him anyway.

“Okay, you are so changing my name!” Lily announced as she walked in and planted herself in front of me. There was a loud babble of agreement around the room.

“Fine. Fine!” I yelled. “Everyone, pick their own name. We’ll write it on the board so that we can remember. Alex, if you would do the honors.”

Alex picked herself off of the floor, and, taking her wand, tapped the wall. The place where her wand touched the surface exploded into a large diagram, and she touched her finger to the list of names and pulled it up.

“Alright, let’s sort this out,” I said loudly, standing up. “After we figure this out, we can finally get started. Just so you know, this is the only opportunity we have for today – James and Target Barbie are out on their Christmas-shopping date, so we must get as much done as possible. Are we clear?”

“Yes, ma’am!” Fred barked back at me.

I grinned. “Thank you, Freddie.”

He shrugged. “Figured it would make you happy.”

“It did.”

***

“Agent Cool, come in,” I hissed into the walkie-talkie as I crept around the corner.

“Agent Cool here,” Fred’s voice erupted from the machine.

“Tell me your position, pronto.”

“Er…right behind you?”

I nodded. “Just making sure.”

“Gold Fox, Agent Thorn speaking. Permission to transmit data?”

I grinned. I love Rose. “Permission granted.”

“We – that is, me, Agent Dragon and Agent Rebel – have managed to infiltrate the enemy lines.”

“Yes! Well done, Rose, Lillers and Noah!”

“It’s Agent Thorn, Agent Dragon and Agent Rebel, you pissface!”

“Right, I apologize. I’m sending Agent Pharaoh and Agent Bludger as reinforcements.”

“On it.” Ella said.

“Alright. Who has The Stuff?” Rose asked mysteriously.

I grinned deviously. “I do. I’ll be there in oh-five. Over and out.”

“May the force be with you.”

“…Rose, that’s from Star Wars.”

“Yeah, and?”

“Never mind.”

“My name, by the way, is Agent Thorn. Don’t make me remind you again. Get here soon.”

“Will do. Agent Thunder, Agent Cool and Agent Olympian, come in,” I hissed into the walkie-talkie.

“We’re still standing right behind you.”

“I did not ask your position, Agent Thunder.” I said icily.

“Whatever.”

“Do you have The Other Stuff?”

“You just gave it to me, Artemis, so yes, I’m still holding on to it.”

I decided to ignore that.

“Good. You know what to do.”

“Obviously, since I came up with it.”

I let that go as well.

“Alright, go!” I whispered, shooing them away with my hands. They sprinted away.

“Gold Fox, come in,” Dom’s voice said from the walkie-talkie, sounding disgruntled.

“Yeah, what’s up?” I asked. “Is the fort still safe?”

“Yes it is bloody safe, since no one’s even here. I don’t see why I can’t run around with you people. Just because I’m pregnant –”

“Means you should be careful, Agent Preggers,” I finished for her.

“I told you my name was Agent Flame!”

“Yeah, but that ain’t working for me.”

“You suck.”

“It’s all for the baby, Agent Preggers. All for the baby.”

“Tell Apollo I hate him, will you?”

“Love you too, Agent Preggers!”

“IT’S AGENT FLAME!”

There was the distinct sound of Apollo laughing on the other end before his voice fizzled out.

“Preggers, I’m going in. Over and out.”

“But I’m bored!”

I stuffed the walkie-talkie into my pocket and crept stealthily towards the room at the end of the hall, laughing evilly to myself as I slid through the open door. Alex, Ella, Rose, Noah and Lily were crawling all over the place like overgrown ants, wreaking general havoc and chaos – but, the best part was that they were doing things that the human eye couldn’t immediately pick up on.

Like partially unscrewing the nails that hold the bed together.

That, by the way, was Rose’s genius.

Didn’t know the girl had it in her, to be honest. But I am quite impressed.

I flashed the girls a grin as I slithered towards the bathroom, winking at Ella, who was covering her mouth with her hand and laughing silently as she held up two boob-enhancing cups. She grinned wickedly and pulled out a bottle of Weasley’s Ever-Stick Glue.

Oh, how I love these children.

And, dude – Barbie has fake boobs? That is just priceless.

Looking around at the various bottles that Barbie had laid out on her side of the counter (she was sharing the room with Lucy, Molly and Roxanne, much to their displeasure), I picked up one of the various tanning lotions and read the label.

A slow, wicked grin spread over my face.

***

“Psst! Roxy!” I whispered.

Roxy paused in the middle of the hallway, her head tilted slightly to the side. Suddenly, she whipped around and looked me right in the face.

It was unnerving, to say the least.

“Hi there,” She breathed, crouching down next to me. “What’s up?”

“I need your help,” I said, glancing around before beckoning her closer. I whispered quickly in her ear, and watched as she smiled deviously, nodding at me once.

“I’m on it.” She quickly darted away, and I sat back with a satisfied smile. Roxy hadn’t even bothered to ask why we were waging war on James’ girlfriend. She just seemed excited that this Christmas break wasn’t going to be completely boring.

I love Weasleys for loving mischief.

I swiftly got to my feet and pulled out my walkie-talkie. “Agent Preggers,” I hissed into it.

“What?” Dom asked petulantly.

“Is the fort still safe?”

“Yeah, it’s fine, for God’s sa – shit!” Dom suddenly said. “James and Target Barbie are on their way in!”

“ABORT!” I yelled into the walkie-talkie. “ABORT! ABORT! CODE NINE! THEY’RE COMING!”

There was a loud, distinct noise of people thundering around from the floors above me, but I didn’t stand there and contemplate how cool it was that everyone seemed to spring to life at the same time, partly because I would look stupid, and partly because I was already sprinting up the stairs, taking them two at a time. I burst into the room just in time to see Alex attempting to pull off her black pants and wipe the board clean at the same time.

“Is everyone okay?” I barked into the talkie.

“All clear with us,” Apollo said.

“We’re good,” Rose breathed.

“Everything cool here,” Al’s voice said.

“Awesome. Over and out, guys.” I quickly switched it off and chucked it to Ella, who stuffed it in her trunk along with everyone else’s. For the next five minutes or so, general chaos reigned as we pulled off various articles of clothing, pulled on other articles of clothing, and attempted to hide all of our spy stuff.

Suddenly, there was a loud knock on the door, and we froze. I was halfway through pulling my pants on, and must have looked a sight.

“Who is it?” I asked breathlessly.

“It’s Ginny,” Mrs. Potter said through the door. “Can I come in?”

“We’re – we’re not decent!” Dom squeaked, trying harder to pull her shirt on.

Two seconds later, the door swung open. The four of us stood there, half-naked and completely surprised at Ginny Potter.

“I’m impatient.” She shrugged, closing the door behind her.

“Auntie Ginny!” Dom said in an appalled voice, still tugging the shirt over her head. “I thought I said we weren’t decent! God, do you have no manner –”

“I grew up with your uncles, love, what do you think?”

Dom stood there, having finally pulled on her clothes, and looked at her aunt. “Touché.”

“Anyway, I saw what you guys did,” She said, crossing her arms and raising her eyebrows at us. My eyes widened, and I could literally hear Ella gulp audibly.

“You did?” Alex asked fearfully.

Mrs. Potter’s expression was the epitome of ‘stern’. “Yes, I did. And what you girls did was utterly wrong.”

“Look, Mrs. Potter –” I began desperately.

She held up a hand, and I stopped dead, squinting at what appeared to be –

“You can’t leave evidence at the scene of the crime, you idiots,” She said, throwing the screwdriver onto Ella’s bed. We gaped at her, completely clueless. “You need some serious help with this stuff.”

“Wh – wha – you – what?” Dom finally managed. The only sound I was able to make was a weak squeaking sound through my gaping mouth.

“Well, what did you think, that I actually approve of that spineless hag?” Mrs. Potter scoffed, removing a pair of pants and plopping herself onto my bed.

“Um…yeah?” Alex tried.

“Of course not. She’s horrible,” Mrs. Potter stated. “Now Al’s girlfriend, I definitely approve of. She’s incredible, that girl is.”

“She’s my sister!” Ella beamed.

“I know, love,” Mrs. Potter shot her an amused look. “She looks like you. Anywho, James will be here soon. I’m just letting you know not to be so careless anymore, alright? I can only hide so much from everyone else, you know. Oh, and, by the way, Harry says that he’s got a bottle of swelling solution for anyone who needs it.”

A surprised and delighted smile spread over my face as Mrs. Weasley winked at us and slipped out of the door.

I. Am. In. Love. With. These. People.

“Your family,” I said, turning to Dom, “Is the bloody best thing on the face of this earth.”

She sighed. “I know. Even though they’re annoying as piss sometimes.”

“No, they’re pretty much just awesome,” Ella said.

“Um, have you guys had the courtesy to meet my Uncle Percy? Because I’m sure he would be thrilled to tell you all about the most recent law about cauldron-bottoms that he passed,” Dom informed us.

There was a short silence during which we all simultaneously let out shudders.

“That was possibly the worst conversation I’ve ever had to listen to,” Alex said. “And that’s saying a lot, because once Binns managed to corner me after class to talk about the Goblin Wars.”

“You could just walk through him,” I pointed out.

Alex shuddered again. “No way. I hate the feeling, and besides, that’s rude.”

I rolled my eyes. World, meet Alex, the Queen of Manners.

(Sometimes.)

“Oi, Artemis, you still have to get those pants on, you know,” Ella said, snapping me out of my reverie. I quickly finished dressing myself, and making sure that everything in the room was in order, grinned deviously at my friends and slipped through the door.

“Ready?” Al asked from behind me as I started trudging downstairs.

“Oh, yeah,” I said. “Remember – you have to act surprised, alright?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Al said.

“What did you and Scorpius do, anyhow?” I asked him, stopping to turn around and send him a puzzled look. Scorpius popped out from behind him and smiled sneakily at me.

“You’ll see,” He said slyly. “All I can say is that it puts The Marauders to shame.”

I scoffed. “Not likely, The Marauders were bloody geniuses.”

Al’s grin, if possible, widened. “Well, what we did will have my grandpa doing a happy dance up there in heaven.”

I looked between the two of them. “Er…should I be nervous, apprehensive, or scared for my general safety?”

“All three,” Al said promptly, taking me by the shoulders and steering me down the rest of the steps.

Oh, dear.

“Hey guys,” James said as we appeared downstairs.

“Hi,” I responded, not trusting myself to say anything else. Sarah appeared beside James and sent me a bitchy look, upon which Al and Scorpius decided that they were going to embody the concept of chivalry and appeared on either side of me. I turned to Scorpius to send him an amused look, but he was glaring steadily at Sarah, so I just decided to leave him at it.

Scorpius has a chilling glare. It makes you all nervous and spine-tingly cold. Hence, it is very chilling.

I’m a clever one, I am.

“What have you been up to all day?” James ventured, trying to break the awkward atmosphere.

I smiled secretly. “Nothing really. We sort of just hung out.”

“Hey, Artemis! You left your –” Jason tumbled to a halt behind us, his voice dying out as he took in the scene before him.

There was a short silence.

“Er…you left your…uhh…earring in my room,” Jason finished lamely, his eyes darting between Sarah, me, and James.

“Right. Thanks.”

“You should probably head up there later to get it.”

“I will.”

“Cool.”

“Yeah.”

“Awesome.”

“Yep.”

“Okay, you’re done!” Al said loudly, holding up a hand to silence Jason before he could get another word out. There was another short silence, and I started studying the carpet, purely because I had nothing else to do.

“Well. This is awkward,” Jason announced.

Insert: Facepalm.

“Okay, I’m going to leave before I kill myself,” I muttered, turning around and grabbing Jason’s arm. “You’re coming with me.”

“Oh, but I was actually planning to –”

“Shut up.”

Mumbling angrily to himself about how the females in his life were all dominating him, Jason followed me out of the room and into the kitchen, whereupon we came across a long, tedious lecture from Audrey about personal hygiene.

“– absolutely filthy! What have you three been doing out there, anyway?” She demanded, putting her hands on her hips and glaring at Roxy, Lucy and Molly, all of whom looked extremely dirty and only slightly abashed.

“We were just playing around,” Roxy muttered.

“Well, your ‘playing around’ is no longer going to happen, do you understand me?” Audrey said. “Now, go upstairs and get washed up – I do not want to see a speck of dirt on you, otherwise so god help me –”

“Gosh mom, calm down, okay?” Lucy sassed, rolling her eyes. “We’re going.”

Audrey swelled with rage. “Young lady, you do not speak to your mother that way!”

“Um, yeah, I actually do.”

Audrey seemed rendered incapable of speech at her current level of anger, which, frankly, was a relief. Her voice is bloody annoying.

They marched upstairs, and Audrey turned her frenzied expression to me and Jason. Eyes wide, we scrambled towards the door as fast as we could, tripping over each other in our haste.

“That was close,” Jason muttered as we sprinted outside. I let out an incredulous laugh and nodded in agreement.

“It’s making me wonder what exactly those girls did,” I admitted. “I mean, I didn’t tell them to get all dirty and –”

“Hold on – you put them up to this?” Jason asked incredulously.

“Well they do room with the evil – oh hi, Sarah!” I exclaimed in a loud, fake voice as she stomped her way towards us. The hooker heels she was wearing sunk into the ground as she planted herself in front of me.

“Listen, freak,” she spat. “I’m getting tired of those cozy moments that you’re sharing with my boyfriend, so back off, otherwise I’ll be telling everyone that you’re a Seer.” She pretended to realize that Jason was there. “Oh, whoops!” She said sarcastically. “Didn’t mean for that to slip out. Sorry, Black, guess you know the truth now.”

She looked expectantly at him as if she was waiting for him to run away screaming. He just looked at her blankly, until I nudged him viciously in the ribs and he sprung into action.

“Seriously?!” He exclaimed, turning to me. “That is so cool! How many babies do me and Ella have together?”

I grinned at him. “Eight.”

“Eight?! Awesome! You’re so cool Artemis,” He added eagerly.

Sarah’s expression was sour as she stabbed her way back into the house.

“Dude – you were kidding about the whole ‘eight kids’ thing, right?” Jason asked in a low voice after we were done staring at her retreating back incredulously.

I sent him a sly look. “Possibly.”

He laughed nervously. “Good job being a ninja – but seriously.”

“Bye, Jason.”

“Artemis! I’m serious! I don’t want eight kids! I don’t even like kids!”

Says the guy who’s going to have eight kids.

Oh, how I love the ironies of life.

***

Sometimes I like to sit back and just think about life for a little while. My head’s always occupied, either with the burden of the future or the turmoil of the past, and it feels good to take a moment in the present and have a couple of deep breaths. People have a horrible tendency to rush through life and forget to take a moment to smell the roses.

I like roses. They have a very appealing scent, you know.

(Yes, I understand that ‘smelling the roses of life’ is a figure of speech, but the fact remains.)

See, I’ve come across a horrible little dilemma, something that is commonly referred to as ‘A Conscience’. My lovely little Conscience has decided to make a visit today – of all days – and is eating away at my brain for being juvenile and immature in my approach to dealing with the she-devil.

I’m actually feeling – this is shocking, so hold onto your socks – bad for what we’re about to do to Sarah-the-Evil-One.

I mean, I know she’s absolutely vile in all aspects and we all pretty much despise her to the fiery depths of Tarturus. But – James likes her. He seems to like her enough to have her constantly sticking around him, so…maybe she isn’t so bad. James usually has an excellent judge in character.

Then again, she’s probably not acting like her real self around him. Or maybe she’s not acting like her real self around us. I don’t think it’s physically possible for a person to be that horrible and fake all of the time…she must let her guard down occasionally, and maybe those moments are when she’s with James.

She likes him. And he likes her – I can at least tell that much. He likes her enough so that he’s starting to move on from me.

And as much as that hurts, I think it’s the right thing…letting him move on. Because, well, face it: I’m unpredictable and stupid and sometimes have horrible issues with my mood. I’m hot and cold. Temperamental, whereas Sarah is constant.

That’s what James needs. He needs constant.

But – constant is also boring. While Sarah might be constant in her perfect-Barbie-glory, I’m something that she so lacks in. I’m human. I’m real, with flaws and issues and problems. I’m not plastic like she is.

So maybe that’s what James really needs. Someone real, someone exciting, someone unpredictable.

Someone like me.

But I’m all wrong for him – this doesn’t make sense.

This does not make the least bit of sense to me. Why do I even bother trying to keep up an intellectual inner monologue?

I sighed loudly and dropped my face into my hands. All I want is for James to be happy. But with who? Me or Sarah?

God, this is so confusing. 






this queue speed makes me very happy. it's like BAMNEWCHAPTER! so exciting! soo, this chapter was fun to write. it was just them being crazy, and after all of artemis' melodramatics, it's fun and light to have something as immature as this. you know, minus the inner monolgue. that was...kind of deep?

yeah.

i knoww, this chapter took absolutely forever -- but i write a lot of stories! so i must be forgiven! YOU MUST FORGIVE ME OR SUFFER MY WRATHHH.

i have a really scary...er...wrath. yep. terrifying stuff. you should probably be really afraid. grr.

alright, i'm really acting crazy right now. i have a ton of homework and i just got back from stuffing my face with strawberries and nutella. if you've never eaten strawberries with nutella before, i don't know what you're doing with your life. stuff is pure heaven. 

it's raining. pouring, actually - it's windy and pouring and the sky is an inky grey with blots of bulbous clouds and the whole effect is so magical i just can't stop writing and writing and writing <3 

i think i'm done now.

please review!

over and out.


Chapter 23: Parchment Textures, More Visions and Decisions (Hey, That Rhymed!)
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  “Al, what are you and Scorpius up to?” I hissed as I sat down next to him. Dom plopped down on my other side, across from Apollo, who had swiftly taken the seat next to James, with Jason claiming the other side. Everyone else had also taken a mad scramble for the remaining decent seats, which left a sour-faced Sarah wedged next to Uncle Percy and an extremely desolate-looking Ron Weasley.



I tried to cover up my snicker as a hacking cough – boy were they going to be in for a horrible dinner.

“Don’t worry about it,” Al muttered back.

“No, I’m actually worried about my general well-being, along with the well-being of those around –”

“It’s not happening today. Happy?” Al said.

I perked up. “Extremely.”

“I – Oi!” Al said furiously, turning to Rose and Scorpius. “Are you two honestly playing footsie under the table?”

Rose blushed, averting her gaze while Scorpius snickered like the ever-so-mature young gentleman that he seems to constantly embody (heavy sarcasm). “Of course not,” She mumbled.

“Well, something just grazed my leg,” Al continued, his lip curling when he mentioned the disgraceful graze.

“Perhaps it was your imagination,” Rose suggested innocently.

“The hell it was,” He spat.

“Oh get over it mate, it’s not like you and Noah don’t play footsie under the table,” Scorpius rolled his eyes.

“Yeah Al, it’s not like you totally didn’t attack Noah with your foot the other day,” Noah said slyly from across the table.

Al pouted petulantly. “You were tickling the bottom of my foot, and you know that makes me spaz like crazy.”

We burst out laughing. “Al,” I gasped. “You should not have told that to us.”

His gaze suddenly turned wary. “Well, it’s not like you guys are going to – GAHH!”

There was another round of raucous laughter as Al twitched wildly and slammed his foot firmly onto the floor. He was breathing heavily, his face flushed. “Whoever did that is going to die,” He promised in a low voice.

And, thankfully, Al’s various death threats, along with Percy Weasley’s loud lecture on parchment textures (“Well, some parchments are just too rough! It starts to chafe against the hand, and before you know it, you’ve developed a rather nasty rash on your hand that is sure to be potentially damaging.” “Oh yeah, Perce,” Ron Weasley had said loudly. “Those parchment rashes are going to completely change people’s lives, they are.” He had received a very scathing glare in return to his observations.) were the most interesting things that dinner had to offer.

And I, quite frankly, was relieved.

Because there was going to be a hell of a lot of craziness tonight.

Prepare to meet your doom, Sarah-The-Evil-Git-Cow. Prepare to meet your doom.

Mweh heh heh heh.

Yes, I just chuckled evilly. And it was fun. So there.

“That was great, Nana,” Fred said warmly, sitting back and patting his stomach with a satisfied expression on his face after he was finished inhaling his food.

“I’m glad you liked it, dear,” Nana Weasley smiled, flicking her wand at the dishes so that they rose gracefully in the air and flew in a collective bunch towards the kitchen. “What are you planning to do now?”

“Oh, we’ll probably just hang out,” Fred said innocently. Around the table, there was a collective sound of muffled snickers, and I rolled my eyes.

My friends have never been too great on subtly.

“I was thinking we could play a game of Quid –” My voice cut off with a sharp gasp as blackness stabbed through my eyesight. Apollo was at my side in two seconds, pulling me out of my seat as I sagged slightly, fighting against the vision for a little while until I got to a place where no one else could see my opaque eyes.

I’m sure that would freak them out.

“What’s wrong, is she okay?” Mr. Potter asked quickly, standing up as well.

“No, she’s fine, don’t worry,” Apollo said, swinging me up into his arms as I squeezed my eyes shut. “She just has a bit of a fainting prob –”

The night was dark, with only the halo of moonlight to illuminate the black. The streets of London, however, were still bustling with life, lights reflecting on the black roads, which were slick with wet rain. A lone figure, wrapped in a dark coat, was hurrying down the sidewalk, keeping his eyes away from the people around him. No one bothered to give him a second glance, even when he sighed loudly and looked at the ring on his left hand as though it was slowly killing him.

Suddenly, he raised his face and my heart lurched – it was James. The same James from my first vision, except he was…different. The face looked the same, with the same unruly black hair and golden eyes, except it was gaunt, and his eyes were a dull, tarnished gold, as if he would never see happiness again. The deep shadows under his eyes told me that he was tired…and miserable.

I’m seeing James, but why is he so sad? Is this is his future? This bleak, desolate –

Suddenly, there was a shrill noise, and a muggle cell phone rang in James’ pocket. He picked it up, looking weary.

“Hi Sarah,” He said, his voice sounding hollow.

Ice spread through me. He marries Sarah.

There was a faint sound of a woman’s whiny voice on the other end, and James sighed again.

“No – I’m coming home right now. Okay. I’ll see you soon. Yeah. Bye.” He closed his eyes briefly as he pushed the phone into his pocket, and raised his face to the rain.

“Artemis.” The name was so faint that I barely heard it.

My heart stabbed painfully in my chest.

Shaking his head and sighing deeply, he pressed his fingers to the bridge of his nose, and glanced briefly at the road before crossing it.

That’s when I saw it – the blaring truck barreling towards him at Merlin-knows-how-many-kilometers-per-hour, honking desperately. I wanted to scream, to yell, to shout some sort of warning to him, but I was frozen, merely a spectator.

And I watched as the truck slammed right into him and he flew into the air, landing in a tangled mass of limbs, a steady stream of blood trickling down his lifeless face.

I shot up with a scream, the shuddering sobs already wracking through my whole body.

I kill James. I’m a murderer.

“Oh my god,” I sobbed, taking a deep, shuddering breath and pressing my hands to my face. “Oh my god. No – no, no, no, no, no.”

No.

“Artemis?” Soft hands were at my hair and touching my shoulder and I let out a shriek, cringing away from them.

Please don’t let it be real. Please. James’ blood-spattered face flashed through my mind again, and I let out another wild sob.

“Tell me what happened, Artemis.” I blinked through the haze and saw Apollo’s concerned face in front of me, holding my cheeks between his hands. “Artemis, shh. Tell me what you saw.”

I shook my head, fighting against his grip on my face and dropping my head to my knees. Another flash of thought, and I saw James’ body, mangled and broken. My stomach lurched, and I flew out of the room and into the bathroom, vomiting into the toilet.

All my fault. All my fault.

What do I do? What should I do?

“Shh, shh,” Apollo soothed, his fingers pulling my hair away from my face and rubbing circles into my back. I pulled myself to the sink and rinsed out my mouth, raising my face to look at my truly frightening reflection. My eyes were flashing silver, wild with grief and fear, tinged red. My face was pale and gaunt, except for two patches of bright red, which covered my cheeks, and my hair – oh my god, my hair was sticking up in at least fifty different directions.

Something about my crazy state seemed to clear my mind, and I looked past my shoulder at the reflections of Apollo, Dom and Al, all three looking worried, and, in Al’s case, shocked.

“Artemis? Please tell me what happened,” Apollo said gently, and my knees buckled again as I thought about it. Al caught me before I crashed into the countertop.

“I need to sit,” I said weakly, and, nodding, he helped me back into my room.

“What did you see?” Al asked in a low voice, and I closed my eyes at the sight of his face, which looked so much like –

“James.” The name slipped past my teeth in a low whimper. I took a deep, shuddering breath and tried again. “James… I – I saw James.”

He took a sharp breath at the sight of my desolate face, his green eyes flooding with raw fear. “What about James?” He asked, his voice wavering slightly.

My breath hitched. “I kill him,” I bawled, half-wild with self-disgust. Al’s face drained in color and he dropped his hand from my shoulder as though I was contagious with some sort of rampant disease.

“It’s all my fault,” I moaned, curling into myself. “I kill him, and if I – I –”

“Artemis,” Apollo said firmly. “How do you kill James?”

“It was a truck,” I whispered. “It crashed into him while he was going home to Sarah, and –”

“You didn’t kill him,” Dom sounded a little more relieved than before. “A truck killed him, Artemis –”

“BUT IT’S STILL MY FAULT!” I screamed, tears streaming down my burning face. “If I hadn’t done all of this stupid stuff and messed with everything then James would be happy and he wouldn’t have died!”

There was a short silence while I continued to cry. Al’s hand returned to my hair again, but I just wanted to be left alone – I’m a murderer, why are these people even –

“Artemis,” Dom’s voice was low and harsh, and I sniffled and looked up at her face. It looked carved out of ice. “What are you doing?” The words whipped through the air and my brow furrowed in confusion.

“What do you –?”

“What are you going to do about it, Artemis? You better as hell not sit there and cry about it – you better get up off that arse of yours and do something,” Dom snarled.

“What can I do?” I asked.

Dom’s eyes flared. “You have two options. You can let it happen, or you can fix it. You choose.”

I took a deep breath and looked at everyone’s faces. Dom looked stern and harsh, Apollo looked worried, but Al was the worst…he looked pale and scared and completely vulnerable, his green eyes gazing up at me with the sort of fear a small child has in front of their parents, or maybe an older sibling.

That did it.

I’m a Seer for a reason, aren’t I? I changed the future once – who’s to say that I can’t do it again?

No one decides that except for me.

My jaw locked. “I’m going to fix it.”

My Conscience can just do me a favor and stuff it, because I am going through with all of this, and I will make sure it happens just the way we planned.

Dom’s mouth curled into a victorious smile, and both Apollo and Al looked distinctly relieved.

Nothing can stop me now.

***

“Are you okay?”

Those were the first words that rang around the table as I made my way back downstairs, my brain feeling clearer than it had in a long time. I smiled and nodded, dropping back down to my seat. I could feel a pair of burning hazel eyes on me, and I tentatively raised my head, unadulterated relief spreading through me at the sight of James’ very alive face, creased with concern.

“I’m fine,” I said softly, looking right at him. He nodded once and looked down, his jaw locking slightly. I took a deep, shuddering breath and continued to watch him, letting the feeling of love spread through me – this time, I wasn’t afraid of it, because this time, I knew what it meant. Love meant life. James’ life and mine – because I knew that if James died, I would, too.

I could tell that each one of my friends were watching me carefully, but I kept my eyes on James, just glad that he was alive and okay.

I’m going to keep him that way. Whatever it takes – I’ll make sure things get right again. I don’t care about anything else at this point. Sarah can go and tell the whole world that I’m a Seer. She can get it up on the front page of the Daily freaking Prophet if she so pleases, but I no longer give a damn. I’m getting James back.

I looked away from James to meet her eyes, narrowing mine slightly. She was glaring daggers at me, but I kept my gaze level, letting it burn into hers with a single warning: You’d better watch it, bitch.

I think she understood, too, because she looked scared.

Damn right.

***

“Are you going to tell us what happened, or what?” Ella said later on that night, as we were having another Secret Spy Meeting in my room. The slight murmur of noise fell silent, all eyes on me.

I sighed. Well, I guess it’s now or never.

“I’m a Seer,” I said heavily.

Dead silence.

Well, this isn’t too bad.

WHAT?!” Rose suddenly shrieked, making me sigh again.

“Look, can we please just not make such a big deal out of it?” I asked tiredly. “I’m getting pretty tired of all these hysterical reactions, so let’s pick up and move on, yeah?”

Rose was glaring slightly at me, but shut up nevertheless. “You could have told me,” She muttered mutinously.

“But it makes sense,” Scorpius pointed out thoughtfully. “I mean – how else could she have known where Alex was that night? I’ve been wondering about it since then, and now… it makes sense. It’s pretty cool.” He grinned at me.

“You still could have told me.”

“What matters,” I cut over the noise, “Is that I saw a vision last summer, that told me something I didn’t like, at all. At the time, anyway. Me and James were supposed to end up together, and I pretty much freaked out and tried changing the future. It worked, but the alternate solution is that James ends up with the hoebag, which definitely does not float my boat since I’m now in love with him. And, well…if James ends up with the hoebag, he dies. And that definitely –”

“Can’t happen,” Alex finished faintly. “James can’t die – he just can’t.”

I put a hand on her shoulder. “And we’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen. We are making sure it doesn’t happen. Thanks guys – all of you – for helping me out.”

Lily marched up to me, her face hard. “You better make sure my brother doesn’t die.”

I smiled at her glaring face. “Trust me, Baby Potter, I’m going to do all I can.”

“Don’t call me that!” Lily cried, swatting me on the shoulder.

And that was when I completely broke down and launched myself into her frozen arms, bawling like the pathetic loser that I am.

I have issues.

***

It was approximately midnight when we heard the first scream.

Ironically enough, it was like music to my ears. I looked over to Dom, who was smirking happily, then Ella, who nodded and climbed out of bed. We crept to the door and quickly made our way to the floor below us, opening the door and looking into…complete chaos.

Sarah was currently having a fit of some sort on the remains of her bed, screaming and flailing around as various bugs crawled all over her. Molly, Lucy and Roxanne were huddled on the other side of the room, shaking with hysterical laughter.

“What happened?” I asked incredulously, watching with unhidden glee as she continued to shriek. There was an almighty groaning sound, and the bed collapsed under her again. She went sprawling on the ground.

“What’s going on?” Jason asked from behind me, and I turned around, my lips tight against my laughter, to see that all of the boys, along with Rose and the girls, had joined us as well.

“No idea,” I said, not able to fully contain a snicker. “I think Roxy had her revenge on Sarah, though.”

“What?” James pushed through to the front of the little crowd grouped into the doorway and looked at the extremely pitiful state of Sarah, who was still screaming.

“Bugs!” She shrieked. “GET THEM OFF!”

Oh, this is absolutely priceless. Fred snapped a picture from next to me, and I couldn’t help it – a laugh burst out from my mouth, and I quickly clamped my teeth over my bottom lip to prevent another one.

“Oh my god,” James said faintly, staring at Sarah on the ground as she screamed again, her hair flinging all over the place as she waved her limbs around frantically. Alex had pulled out a muggle video camera from Merlin-knows-where and was recording this with a look of pure delight on her face.

“Who did this?” James demanded.

“We did!” Roxy said gleefully, coming up behind him. “And it was so worth it.”

“Your girlfriend is a spineless hag,” Lucy added.

“And a really bad roommate,” Molly finished.

Dom let out a loud and extremely unattractive snort. James turned to the rest of us and saw that we were all currently between varying degrees of ill-disguised amusement (Me, Alex, Apollo, Fred and Noah) and outright hysterics (Ella, Dom, Jason, Al, Scorpius, Rose and Lily).

“Did you guys help?” He asked, his eyes narrowed.

“No, but I sure as hell wish that I did,” Al choked out, doubling over in laughter. I bit my lip harder but couldn’t entirely hold back another giggle.

“You know, you could have just told me that you didn’t like my girlfriend instead of doing all this,” James said in a weary voice, gesturing to the pandemonium that was currently going on behind him (Sarah was now screaming a mixture of household spells and very foul words as she tried to get rid of the bugs).

“We tried, but she gave us a really scary look,” Molly said, pouting slightly. James sighed and picked her up, ruffling her red curls in an affectionate manner.

“Your dad is going to go ballistic if he finds out that both of his daughters have taken after his brothers rather than him,” James said, grinning slightly when Molly beamed in pride and threw her hands around his neck.

“You’re not going to yell at us?” Lucy asked incredulously.

James glanced back at Sarah, who was spitting bugs out of her mouth, looking murderous. “Why would I yell at you guys for something I never saw?” He asked innocently, putting Molly down and then proceeding to hightail it out of there.

Seeing that he was gone, I finally burst out into hysterical laughter, exchanging high-fives with my three new favorite mini-Weasleys.

Merlin, this is awesome.

“Oh my god! Oh – AAAAAAAAACK!”




i cringe reading this chapter. hopefully you didn't ;)

review and lemme know?! SHMANKS<3


Chapter 24: More Pranks, Christmas Dinners and The Almost-Full Truth
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“Did you sleep well, dear?”

I smiled widely at Mrs. Potter. “I slept wonderfully, thanks for asking.”

“Am I going to find out why there was a girl screaming bloody murder last night?” She asked conversationally as she slid a pancake onto my plate.

“You might, yeah,” I said, rolling my eyes at Albus, Scorpius and Freddie, who were currently involved in a rousing game of ‘Who Can Stuff More Food Into His Mouth Without Gagging on It’.

Dom was winning.

I found this incredibly pathetic on the boys’ part.

“Morning, everyone!” Roxy said brightly as she ambled in and sat down next to Fred. “Did you all sleep well last night?”

“Yes, you?” Ella asked her innocently. Rose and Noah collapsed into fits of irrepressible laughter.

“Oh, it was fantastic,” Roxy said happily, piling waffles onto her plate and nonchalantly reaching over to thump a choking Fred on the back. He swallowed the massive clump of food with some difficulty, his eyes watering.

“Thanks, sis,” he gasped.

Suddenly, the sound of breakfast was shattered by a blood-curdling scream.

“Oh, dear,” Hermione said mildly as she stopped in her tracks on the way to her seat and turned around to look at the stairs. Sarah was stomping down, looking livid and ready to kill.

“Someone,” she said shrilly, breathing heavily and spitting clumps of blonde hair out of her mouth, “has replaced my shampoo with glue. And whoever did it is going to pay.”

The table fell silent.

“Hello love,” Harry Potter said brightly as he came into the room behind Sarah. He patted her shoulder affably. “You’ve got a little something in your hair.”

Sarah let out another shriek and sprinted up the stairs. Mr. Potter turned to the rest of the table, looking lost.

“Was it something I said?”

***

It was past noon when Sarah made another appearance, this time looking as though she had fought and lost a battle against her various enhancers. James’ mouth fell open when she stabbed her way over and sat down next to him, the expression on her face promising death to anyone who so much as looked at her.

“Er,” he said oh-so-eloquently. Sarah pretended not to hear him, her dead glare set on the wall in front of her. She had tried and failed miserably to comb the glue out of her hair, but the result was a series of spikes sticking out at odd angles all around her head. Her skin looked blotchy, a pimple the size of a small country poking resiliently out of her forehead.

“You look – lovely,” he said in a small voice, clearing his throat awkwardly.

She turned around to glare at him. “Shut up, James.”

He bit his lip. “Right. I’m just – going to go…over there…” his voice trailed off pathetically as he scrambled over to Apollo, who was currently arguing with Dom about the name of the child as Albus, Rose and I watched on in mild amusement.

“I told you I like Wulfric,” Dom said stubbornly. “It was one of Albus Dumbledore’s middle names – the bloke had loads of them – and it sounds regal.”

“It sounds stupid,” Apollo said flatly. “I am not inflicting our child with a name like Wulfric. That’s almost as bad as naming your kid Albus or Scorpius. No offense,” he added hastily, upon seeing the looks of outrage on their faces.

“Offense taken,” Al said huffily. “Just because your parents aren’t nutters doesn’t mean you can make fun of the less fortunate!”

“Hear, hear!” Scorpius said enthusiastically, plopping down next to Rose. “Us wonky-named blokes must stick together and fight the injustice of the world.”

“Damn right,” Al said, fist-bumping Scorp. “We are so bloody underappreciated. You know, for someone named Albus Severus, I turned out pretty okay. I should get some sort of award for this major accomplishment.”

“Me too,” Scorpius chimed in. “I’m Scorpius Hyperion…my name’s weirder than yours –”

“No way!” Al said right away. “Mine’s way wonkier –”

“Yeah right –”

“Okay, you’re not helping!” Apollo said loudly, looking weary.

“Wulfric. I’m writing it down,” Dom said decisively, pulling the list of finalized names towards her.

“The hell you are!” Apollo said, snatching it away and holding it above his head. Dom let out an angry noise and reached towards it.

“I – like – Wulfric – goddamnit!” She shrieked, jumping up with each word to try and get to the list.

“For the record, I hate it,” I put in mildly.

Dom turned around to glare viciously at me. “I don’t remember asking you!”

“Actually, you were the one who made me write a list, so –”

“What about something like Sirius, for a boy?” James said quietly. Dom stopped glaring at me to turn around and look at him. James shrunk back slightly, expecting an explosion, but –

“Sirius is a nice name.” Dom sat down, looking thoughtful. James let out a relieved sigh, and I mouthed ‘good one’ at him, grinning when he winked back.

“I also like Minerva,” Dom added.

There was a short, horrified silence.

“You want to name your child after McGonagall?” I asked incredulously.

Dom flushed. “Well – not necessarily. The name Minerva is the Roman name for the Greek goddess –”

“Athena, we know,” James said. “But honestly, you like the name Minerva? You do know that your child will be mocked for the rest of her life, right?”

“Well –”

“She won’t have any friends,” Al added, his eyes wide. “She’ll be a loner, constantly ridiculed for her wonky name –”

“And when she’s sixteen and going through that uncomfortable phase of teenage angst,” Scorpius paused for dramatic effect, “she’ll probably commit suicide because she can’t stand her pathetic life.”

There was another brief silence.

“Are you two explaining the story of your lives to us?” Rose asked innocently.

***

“I still don’t understand why our Christmas tree has to be so huge,” Lily complained under her breath as she pulled twigs out of her hair.

“It’s your fault you’re a klutz and tripped into it,” Al quipped helpfully.

Lily’s eyes narrowed into a glare. “I didn’t trip, I was shoved by the baboon I call a brother.”

“You should have gotten out of my way,” Al said. “I was carrying an extremely large box of ornaments –”

“Oh, you are so –”

“Ah, Christmas,” James said loudly, intervening between his siblings and putting an arm around each of their shoulders, “That wonderful time of year when families get together and show their love for one another.”

I ducked behind a particularly large ornament featuring their family as I giggled into my hand.

“Artemis, what are you doing?” Lily snapped at me as she shrugged her brother’s shoulder off of her. I emerged from behind the ornament, hopefully projecting an image of innocence.

“Hmm? Who, me?”

“Well, how many other Artemis’ are there in this house, huh?”

“I – well, I was just…er…um…”

Spying on James like a creeper. Because I am one.

“Helping me,” Fred appeared behind me and slung his arm over my shoulder.

“Yeah. That.” I smiled weakly for added emphasis.

“With what?” Al asked suspiciously.

“Nargle hunting!” Fred said brightly, starting to steer me away. “They love infesting Christmas trees, you know.”

“I thought it was mistletoe,” James said, clearly amused at my horrified expression at being caught in the act of ‘nargle hunting’.

“Whoops! Our mistake!” Fred smacked a hand to his forehead dramatically. “We’re gonna go check out that mistletoe, then – er, not together, obviously, because Artemis is like my sister and it would be pretty horrible to kiss her – not that kissing you is horrible,” Fred’s eyes were wide, sounding as though he dearly wished he hadn’t even opened his mouth in the first place, “I mean, you’re quite attractive, and I’m sure tons of people want to kiss you…I’m just not one of them, obviously, because I’m in love with –”

“Fred, stop talking,” I said in a flat voice, covering his mouth with my hand mid-sentence as we walked away. He mumbled pathetically against my palm.

“And that,” he muttered as I finally released his mouth, “is the last time I save a damsel in distress. You couldn’t have been more discreet about your stalking?!”

“I wasn’t stalking,” I protested.

“Yes, you were.”

“Fine, maybe a little,” I admitted grudgingly. “Whatever, Fred.”

“Anyway, listen, I had to tell you something –” he started, speaking to me in a low, urgent voice.

“Artemis, come on, Dom’s going ballistic because Nana Weasley forgot to knit her a larger sweater!” Ella exclaimed, grabbing my arm to tug me away.

“Wait, hold on –” I looked desperately at Fred, who was staring after us, looking frustrated.

“JUST BE CAREFUL AROUND THE –”

“HURRY UP, FOR GOD’S SAKE!” Ella’s impatient yell drowned out his sentence as she towed me up the stairs.

Crap. I’m sure this is going to come back and bite me on the butt. Extremely hard.

***

“Psst,” Al whispered to me as we sat down to dinner. I raised my eyebrow at him, and he leaned over as nonchalantly as he could, darting his eyes around the table for added theatric effect.

“Tonight is our night of glory,” he breathed mysteriously into my ear. I looked at him in confusion, but he merely winked and sat down next to Noah, glancing once at Sarah (who, unfortunately, managed to use magic to make herself look slightly better), then looking at me with a smirk.

Oh dear.

I sat down nervously, fidgeting with the corner of my dress as I stared at Al and Scorpius, who were talking to each other in low, hushed voices with looks of glee spread on their faces. Reaching out behind me, I snagged Dom and Ella, pulling them down and shoving them into the chairs next to me. Alex sat down across from us, amused by the two loud shrieks that they let out upon being unceremoniously pulled into wooden chairs.

“What?” Dom asked angrily, looking absolutely angelic in her white dress and headband.

“They’re up to something,” I said, nodding my head towards Al and Scorp.

“They’re always up to something,” Ella said impatiently, rubbing her butt morosely.

“No, but this time –”

“Ella, budge over,” James’ voice said from behind me. I froze mid-sentence, my mouth still slightly open. Which I’m sure is wildly attractive.

“Ugh, fine,” Ella muttered angrily, though she sent me a discreet wink and moved over one seat, letting James plop down next to me.

“Hi,” I said, forcing my frozen face into something resembling a smile.

“Hello,” he said pleasantly, shooting me a brief grin (that pretty much just melted my insides) and looking around the table. He quickly looked past Sarah, who was glaring at us as though she wished daggers to physically shoot out of her eyes and impale me to death.

“Your girlfriend doesn’t look too pleased,” I noted, trying not to sound too happy about that fact.

“She’s not doing such a fabulous job of blending in with my family,” James responded, looking at her and smiling when she turned her glare on him. She rolled her eyes and bestowed a begrudging smile on him in return. I tried not to scowl. Or gag. Or upchuck my lunch.

“I wonder why that is,” he added, turning a suspicious gaze on me.

I tried to look all innocent, like ‘who, moi? No!’

He gave me a look that clearly told me not to insult his intelligence.

I grinned impishly at that one.

“In my defense, I never told anyone to do anything,” I said.

“So, what did you tell them to do, then?” He asked.

“Nothing! I’m innocent,” I protested, my eyes wide. I think the blonde curls, silver headband and festively cute dress definitely add to my argument.

Really,” he seemed skeptical. How rude.

“Honestly James, how juvenile do you think I am? Maybe your cousins are trying to tell you something,” I said wisely, ignoring when both Dom and Ella snorted into their soup.

We-hate-your-girlfriend,” Roxy got out between coughs from across the table. I let out a short bark of laughter and clapped my hand over my mouth. Dom elbowed me viciously in the ribs.

“Do you need some water, Rox?” James asked through a tight-lipped smile. Roxy shook her head, smiling angelically.

“Something’s up,” James said in a low voice, turning to me, “and I’m going to find out what.”

“What makes you even think that something’s up?” I managed to get out.

“All you guys seem to be up to something. It feels like everyone knows something I don’t –”

WE-REALLY-HATE-YOUR-GIRLFRIEND-!”

“Are you sure you don’t want to get your throat checked, Roxanne?!”

“No, I’m okay.” Upon seeing James’ glare, she also threw in a, “I love you, Jamie!” for good measure.

He turned his accusing expression to me.

“Oh, look, is that soup? God, I sure do love me some steamy hot soup,” I announced, leaning across the table to avoid his eyes.

I am the master of subtlety. I should get a badge or something.

“It just feels like all of you have this super large secret that I don’t know about,” James continued to muse, his gaze on Al, Apollo and Scorpius, all three of whom were whispering to each other, pretty much the embodiment of ‘secrecy’.

“Of course not, don’t be ridiculous,” I said.

“Yeah? Then what’s that lot discussing?” James jerked his head towards the aforementioned trio. I tried not to curse loudly.

“Merlin only knows,” I said instead, as casually as I could.

“Are you sure you don’t?”

“Positive.” This time I wasn’t lying.

“Can someone pass me the fucking soup?!”

The table fell silent, the adults all looking quite affronted at the sentence that had just burst past Sarah’s lips in a very loud, rude voice. She, too, looked horrified at what she had just said.

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry!” she squeaked. “I honestly did not mean to say that, I don’t know – okay, for god’s sake, just give me the damn soup. Someone. Anyone. I don’t have the patience for this apology.”

Sarah’s eyes widened and she clapped her hands over her mouth. We continued to gaze at her in obvious shock.

“Er…here,” Noah finally said, passing her a large bowl. Sarah sent her a grateful look, then opened her mouth again –

“You sure you didn’t take it all for yourself, you stupid little bitch? Honestly, I don’t know how you managed to land yourself a boyfriend, you’re quite ugly.”

Noah’s mouth dropped open. “How rude.”

Sarah shook her head, “No – I –”

“Take that back,” Al said in a low, angry voice.

“Oh, and don’t even get me started on you, Albus Potter. Honestly, if I had a name like yours, I’d just save myself the humiliation and kill myself.”

Al’s eyebrows shot upwards. “Want to say that again and try staying alive afterwards?”

Mr. Potter’s eyes were shooting bolts of green anger. “Are you sure you’re feeling okay? Perhaps you should –”

“Invest in a comb? Yeah, perhaps you should. Honestly, what have you been doing all day, sticking your finger in an electric socket? Newsflash: it’s not very attractive,” she sang the last part in a vastly superior voice, and Mr. Potter looked disgusted.

“Sarah, honestly, maybe you should go upstairs and lie down –” Dom started cautiously.

“I wasn’t talking to you, you little whore,” Sarah snapped. Apollo shot out of his chair, his expression livid and his hand hovering near his pocket. Scorpius pulled him down with some difficulty, his eyes wide.

“She’s not worth it, mate,” he muttered, though his voice was loud enough to carry around the table.

“Went and got yourself knocked up, did you? Must be because you’re too stupid enough to use protection. Honestly, who forgets that?” Sarah sneered.

What an idiot.

Dom’s dad is a werewolf. Like, hello? He can totally eat your face off.

Well, I’m sure no sane animal would like to eat Sarah’s face – it’s quite vile – so maybe he’ll just scratch it off or something.

Either way, Sarah should say good-bye to her face.

Soon.

You probably drugged her or something, you little shit,” Sarah added to Apollo.

I jumped out of my chair without realizing it, and the whole table turned to me.

“Sarah, go upstairs,” I said quietly.

“And you! You think you’re oh-so-high-and-mighty, don’t you? You think you’ll be able to waltz in and steal my boyfriend from me?! Well, think again bitch. He’s mine. I don’t give a shit if you’re in lo –”

I lowered my wand, and Sarah’s mouth continued to move even though no sound came out.

Silencio,” I said, as an afterthought. “Maybe you should go upstairs until you’ve calmed down.”

Her face completely red, she practically ran out of the room. The sound of her heels clicking rapidly on the steps echoed back to the table, which was silent in shock.

“Real charmer you got there, James,” Teddy said sarcastically.

James refused to meet anyone’s eyes. “Excuse me,” he said abruptly, standing up and walking speedily out of the room. The front door slammed a couple of seconds later.

“So I take it that Christmas dinner has officially been ruined?” Fred asked.

Al and Scorpius exchanged a discreet high-five under the table, and, upon noticing my raised eyebrow, sent me simultaneous winks.

I rolled my eyes.

I’ll never admit this to them, but that was genius. Pure genius. 

***

“Hey,” I said cautiously, walking carefully up to James after our hasty Christmas dinner had ended. James turned slightly to look at me, his breath curling like ribbons of smoke towards the starry sky. He didn’t say anything, just gave me a half-grimace of greeting and turned back to look at the moon.

I bit my lip. “I – uh, brought you some dinner. Thought you might be hungry.” I held out the hot plate, looking at the side of his face.

He sighed. “Thanks, but I’m not hungry.”

I winced slightly at his harsh tone. “It’s really good,” I tried, using my hand to waft the smell towards him. “Christmas dinner by your Nana Weasley. I know this stuff is your favorite.”

“I don’t want it, Artemis.”

“Maybe you should just –”

“I said I don’t want it!” His voice was loud and sharp, cutting through the night like a bullet.

I sighed quietly. “Okay,” I said softly. “I’ll leave you alone. I – sorry.” Giving him one last wistful glance – he was facing resolutely towards the moon, his jaw locked tight – I trudged back towards the house, my boots crunching into the snow.

I stopped suddenly, deciding that it wasn’t in my nature to give up that easily. “I’m leaving it on the kitchen table,” I told him. He didn’t say anything. “In case you come back in later, and you’re hungry.”

Silence.

Well, I tried.

I turned around again to leave –

“What are you guys playing at, anyhow?” James voice carried back to me, and I stiffened at how angry he sounded.

“What do you mean?” I asked, facing him. He marched up to me, his face hard.

“You know what I mean. The bugs on her bed. The glue in her shampoo, the spells put on her stuff, tonight at dinner – what the hell is wrong with you guys?”

My mouth fell open, ready to spew forth a plethora of lies and excuses, “I –”

“Why are you trying to make me miserable?” he shouted at me, his voice sounding a thousand times louder in the stillness.

“I’m not –”

“Well, whatever you’re trying, it’s working, Artemis. I’m fucking miserable, okay? Are you happy now?”

“No,” I said. “No, I’m not. I’m not fucking happy, for god’s sake. Why the hell would I want to make you miserable, James?”

“What –”

“Why are you dating her?” I demanded. “I know you don’t like her. Why are you wasting your time?”

“How do you know I don’t like her, huh?” He asked. “What makes you think you know me that well?”

“Because you were in love with me! And it’s not that easy to move on!”

“Well, maybe I have!”

“I know you haven’t, James –”

“Well you know what? I’m trying to. And it’s working. Because you’re not even worth it, Artemis, you’re really not.”

Tears pricked at my eyes. “I’m probably not, but I know you still love me. I know there’s a part of you that hates Sarah for what she is – why can’t you see that?”

“I don’t love you,” he hissed, his eyes flashing a thousand colors of anger. “You know why? Because you, Artemis Jones, are selfish. I finally saw that about you. Everything has to be the way that’s most convenient for you – and when it’s not, you go and ruin other people’s lives to make sure that it gets that way.”

My mouth had fallen open slightly. “I –”

“And yeah, maybe a small part of me does still love you – but I can’t do it anymore. Okay? I just can’t put myself through that anymore, because it hurts, it really does. You’re the type of person who ruins things to get your way, and I can’t live with someone like that,” he finished.

I couldn’t help the tears that fell down my cheeks. “You’re right,” I breathed, my hands shaking slightly around the plate. “You’re completely right – I am selfish. And I’m sorry for that. You have no idea how sorry I am. I was just – I was scared. Fucking terrified. And I just put my defenses up right away, and the result wasn’t just you being miserable, James, I was too. I realized my mistake after I made it, which is something that can seriously be unhealthy for a person – but it’s just how I am. And I know that it’s really selfish for me to want you back, but I can’t – I don’t,” I took a ragged breath, “I just don’t know what to do anymore,” I said in a small voice. “It still scares me. A lot. But I know that I can’t – I can’t force myself to try and sit around while you date someone else. So yeah, maybe I am being stupid and childish and juvenile and selfish. I’m sorry if it’s making you upset. But I…I’m in love with you. I’ve been in love with you, and I just –”

“If really love me, you’ll stop,” James cut across in a low, angry voice. I looked up at him through the water streaming down my face. “Wh –”

“If you really, truly love me like you keep saying, then you’ll stop what you’re doing, and leave Sarah alone. And let me be happy with her. She makes me happy. Which, okay, you guys probably wouldn’t understand, but it’s because you don’t know her,” James said.

I couldn’t help it – I laughed harshly through the tears. “Don’t know her? If there’s anyone here with that predicament, it’s you, James. Can’t you see that she’s putting up an act around you? She’s just acting like someone she’s not, for the sake of –”

“I don’t,” James cut across loudly, “want to hear it, god damn it! I just want you to – stop! Just stop, Artemis, okay? I’m sick of it. I’m sick of you being selfish and me forgiving you for it – this is honestly just too much. I’m tired. Just let me be, please,” he sounded weary and sad.

I shook my head and let out another ruthless laugh, still crying. “You really think it’s that easy for me, James? You think I haven’t tried? I want to see you happy, if you can believe that. I love you – I don’t want to hurt you, even if that means you stay with Sarah. At first, it was just revenge against her –” James opened his mouth, but I cut him off, “ – don’t ask me what it was for, but I can promise you that it’s a legitimate reason. Then…everything changed. I just – just want what’s best for you.”

“You don’t know what’s best for me,” he said in a quiet voice.

I let out a bitter smile. “I know more than you think I do.”

“And how, exactly, do you figure that one out?” he asked angrily.

“I –” I closed my eyes. “I can’t tell you.”

“Oh gee, that clears everything up –”

“Not yet,” I finished. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you right now. You’d let your anger judge for you, and that’s seriously not something –”

“Try me,” he hissed.

“No,” I said, using the most calm and patient voice I possessed. “I can’t. Just – I’m…I’m not giving up. I just want you to know that I’m not giving up on you. I might have done that before, but not…not this time.”

He scoffed angrily, looking away. “Whatever.”

“I’m sorry James,” I whispered. “I really am. I’m sorry I’m hurting you.”

He closed his eyes. “Please leave me alone.”

I bit my lip and turned around, walking inside and shutting the door behind me with a quiet click. As I set the dinner plate in the middle of the table and put a charm on it to keep it warm, I looked back outside.

James was watching the moon.




OH DAMN THAT WAS INTENSE.

you should probably review now, just for my happiness :) <3


Chapter 25: Unicorns, Seething and Mistletoe
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The first thing I registered when I woke up in the morning was that my life majorly sucks.

After that, my mood shifted from miserable to shitty and miserable. Which makes everything so much better, really. I mean, this is what Christmas is all about. I’m all about sharing in the love and festivities, you know. So bring on the presents, and cheer, I say!

Because this is just fucking fantastic.

I might just run away to Nigeria if my day gets any worse.

Then again, I might be speaking too soon.

“Morning, Sleeping Beauties!” Jason warbled as he danced into our room. The door banged against the wall behind him. I groaned and buried myself into my bed. Go away, please.

“Artemis, my darling love! Dommie, my darling pregnant love! –”

“Fuck off.”

“ – Alex, my darling cousin love! And lastly, ELLA MY ONE AND ONLY DARLING LOVE! MERRY CHRISTMAS! I LOVE YOU ALL! ALL OF YOU!”

“Brilliant,” I snapped, raising my head from my pillow to shoot Jason a sharp glare. “Now kindly take your Christmas love and chuck it out the fucking window. And then let me sleep.”

“Don’t be hating on my Christmas love, you ungrateful little Scrooge,” Jason said haughtily.

“Bah, humbug,” I said, sighing in a resigned sort of way and getting out of bed. “I’ll be a Scrooge if I want to be. So there.”

Jason pouted.

“That’s not very manly,” I sang maliciously.

“You’re awfully mean for someone who’s supposed to have just woken up on a lovely Christmas morning.” He noted.

“I’ve been awake for a while. I don’t think I slept at all, to be honest.” I grimaced.

Jason’s eyebrow popped up slowly, his stupidly cheerful expression slipping off of his face. “What’s wrong?”

“What makes you think something’s wrong?” I shot back irritably.

“Love, I’ve known you for years. I can figure out when something’s wrong by taking just one look at your face.”

I sighed again. Damn this child and his ability to know me so well. “I got in a fight with James last night.”

“Aw, girl, why don’t we get you some hot chocolate and talk all about it?” Jason said cheerfully, slinging an arm around my shoulders and steering me towards the door.

“Should I be the one to tell Ella you’re gay, or do you want to do the honors?”

“Jason’s what?” Ella asked sleepily, extracting herself from her blankets and staring at her through her bleary eyes and severe bed-head. She sort of looked like a troll. One of those crazy dolls with that wild pink hair that sticks straight up.

Except not pink. And more human-like.

But pretty much the same thing.

“He’s –”

“Nothing, go to sleep. I love you,” Jason added hastily. Ella grunted oh-so-attractively and fell backwards onto her pillow. A couple of seconds later, she let out a loud snore, which we took to mean that she had fallen asleep once again, with probably no recollection as to what just happened.

“Nice catch,” I told Jason drily, after we were done staring at her lump.  He stuck his tongue out at me, and I let out a reluctant grin.

Somehow, something tells me that my original Christmas plan of ‘moping about’ will not be happening if these people have anything to do with it.

***

“Dude, that blows,” Fred said later, picking up the can of whipped cream from next to him and spraying it into his mouth. He looked at me with his foamy face and offered a smile. I grimaced back.

“Yeah, I totally blew it,” I sighed. Apollo put his arm around me.

“But you’re not going to give up, right?” he asked cheerfully.

“Ugh –”

“Because we’re Joneses and Joneses never ever back down from what they think is right! It’s like, our personal philosophy. Of life,” he declared proudly, throwing in a couple of salutes just for good measure.

“Er, okay.”

“Dude, I wish I had a personal philosophy!” Jason said excitedly, putting his mug of hot chocolate down. “I’m gonna come up with it now, and it’s going to be, like, epic.” He thought for a second. “Something like, ‘I’m so cool. Be jealous. But don’t hate. Appreciate!’ It’s perfect, right?”

We stared at him for a second.

Apollo picked up a marshmallow, licked the side of it, and stuck it on Jason’s forehead. We all contemplated it for a second.

“You’re an idiot,” Apollo promptly decided.

Jason crossed his eyes desperately to look at it. “That is so not cool, Apollo! You’re such a meanie.”

“But you look so lovely,” I said sweetly. “Just like a unicorn.”

“I don’t want to look like a lovely unicorn. It’s not manly.”

Fred then picked up his wand and shot a spell at the marshmallow. “It’s not coming off ‘till midnight!” he told Jason gleefully.

Jason’s eyes narrowed, and he picked up the whipped cream can and sprayed it at Fred’s face, finishing it off with the spell. “Now we’re even,” he said smugly.

“You bitch!” Fred said angrily. “I have whipped cream all over my face! You just have a marshmallow on your forehead!”

“But you look so much more lovely that way,” Jason said innocently. “Just like a cloud.”

“Throw in a couple rainbows, and you two could be a walking fairy tale!” I exclaimed. Apollo cracked up loudly next to me, and both of them turned around to glare at him.

“You’re being the rainbow,” Jason snarled, reaching towards his wand. Apollo’s eyes widened, and, quick as a flash, he snatched up their wands.

“RUN, ARTEMIS!” he yelled, sprinting out the door. I let out a shriek (just for the fun of it) and followed him out into the hallway.

“OI!” Fred and Jason yelled, and they came thundering after us.

It is six a.m., and four fully grown teenagers are sprinting around the house, causing mayhem and general chaos in very loud voices.

Yep, these people are not going to be pleased.

***

“GIVE – ME – THE – WAND –!”

“NO!” I screamed, holding the wands higher above my head as both Jason and Fred jumped and down, trying to get to them. Apollo cackled happily from under me, his hands at my knees to keep me from falling.

“Artemis, get down!” Fred finally exclaimed, what was visible of his face bright red. Jason was so mad his marshmallow was melting slightly.

“You want it?” I taunted, wiggling the wand close to him. His hand shot towards it, and I swung it above my head. “Come and get it, sucker!”

Letting out an infuriated (and humiliated) roar, Fred lunged at Apollo, putting his own hand on my thigh so that he could jump higher to get to the wand. Meanwhile, Jason attacked from behind, grabbing my waist and trying to pull me down on top of him.

“THIS COUNTS AS SEXUAL HARRASSMENT, YOU FIENDS –”

“OI, GET YOUR RUDDY HANDS OFF OF MY SISTER –”

“GIVE ME THE DAMNED WANDS –”

“What the fucking hell is going on?”

We all froze, still in our comical position, and swiveled our heads to look at James, who was standing at the doorway, looking sleepy, confused and irritated.

Also really adorable.

But he always looks adorable, so that just goes without being said.

Apollo was the first one to snap out of our weird stupor, and he pulled me down slightly. “Catch, James!” he yelled, throwing me towards him before I could even get out a measly little squeak of protest.

I let out a frightened shriek, but James’ arms shot out and caught me before I could go tumbling to the ground. For a second, he pulled me protectively towards his chest, but before I could sag in relief against him, I was already safely on the ground, a good three feet of distance between us.

Poopie.

There was a second of shocked silence.

“Mate,” Jason said, “You just threw your sister at James.”

Apollo’s eyes were wide with horror, his hands over his mouth. “I seriously did not mean to do that,” he said weakly.

“Apollo, this may come as a surprise to you, but you do not throw people at other people,” James voice was laced with amusement, but under the surface, it was tight with something else.

“I’m sorry!”

“Well, I’m okay, as long as you don’t do that to your child,” I said nonchalantly, shrugging in a ‘whatever’ sort of way.

“You could have gotten hurt.” James sounded shocked and a little angry, and I turned to look at him, surprised that his eyes were glimmering with anger.

My mouth fell slightly open, and I blinked a couple of times.

Which obviously makes me look so intelligent.

“But I didn’t.”

“But you could have.”

“…but I didn’t.”

“But you could have. You have a problem – you should know that!” James shot towards Apollo, sounding slightly hysterical.

“James,” I sounded extremely surprised. “James, I’m okay –”

“Don’t do anything stupid, okay? Just stop doing stupid things, Artemis!” he yelled.

“We were just –”

“You’re driving me mad!”

“James –”

“Why can’t you just stop,” his face was slowly turning bright red, “just stop – being – you!”

“Um,” I said, shooting a wary look towards Apollo, Jason and Fred, all of whom looked kind of shocked, “I – er – apologize for being me. I’ll try harder to make it less obvious from now on.”

“Good!” James shot towards me, his hands at fists by his sides.

“Okay,” I said unsurely, my eyes wide.

“And stop telling me that you love me!” he added.

“But I do,” I blurted. Apollo let out a strangled squeak, and my face reddened. Whoops.

“I – you –” James spluttered angrily for a couple of seconds. He looked a bit constipated, and his face was slowly turning a shade of dark purple that got me worrying about his blood pressure. There were a couple minutes of shocked silence, during which James continued to seethe at me. I glanced edgily back towards Apollo, Fred and Jason. They were staring alternately between me and James, who was still seething and spluttering in extreme anger due to the fact that I loved him.

I think I need to have a deep re-evaluation of my life. Clearly, someone up there really hates me.

Deciding that spluttering incoherently was not going to do anything for him, James marched up to me, his face hard. “You,” he said angrily, poking me once on my shoulder, “are making it really hard for me to hate you, you know that?”

Yeah, I’m just so lovable. I should be a care-bear.

I rubbed at my shoulder, a pout set on my face. “That hurt, James.”

He poked me again. “I don’t care if it hurt!”

I poked him back. “Stop being a prat and poking me!”

You stop being a prat!”

“I’m not a prat! You’re a prat!”

His mouth dropped open, and he shoved me so that I stumbled back a little. “Take it back, you…prat!”

“Stop shoving me! And I won’t take it back!”

“Take – ” shove “ – it –” shove “ – back!”

I stumbled into the wall. “Ow! Stop bloody shoving me! And I won’t take it back – it’s the truth.”

James’ eyes were dark, glimmering with anger and something else that I couldn’t identify. As he stepped up in front of me and grabbed my chin in his hand, I knew that neither of us had been arguing about who was a prat. He glared down into my eyes, and I stared boldly back up at him, my mouth puckering outward slightly because his thumb and fingers were digging into either side of my face.

(I look like a fishie. Glub.)

There was a long moment during which we glared at each other, both defiant, both refusing to back down, then –

“Erm,” Jason cleared his throat awkwardly, “we’re still here, you know.”

Neither of us bothered to respond.

“O…kay, then,” Fred said, “I guess we’ll just…er, leave.”

Silence again, so they shuffled out of the door, leaving me and James behind. My eyes were watering slightly since I refused to blink, but James was fine, his eyes not even wavering from the dark glare. I gulped, sure that my eyes were slowly turning red.

I couldn’t take it anymore – I blinked, my eyelashes brushing against his cheek.

That did it. By the time I had opened my eyes again, James had pulled my face up closer to his, and his mouth hovered dangerously over mine. I let out a quiet gasp, my chocolate-ly warm breath fanning over his lips.

In a heartbeat, he had released my face and was stumbling backwards, dragging both of his hands through his hair. “Fuck,” he said quietly. Then, louder – “FUCK!” He kicked a wall, then cursed loudly again, grabbing his foot as he hopped around.

Smart, James.

“You – you complicate everything!” James yelled, pointing an accusing finger at me. I flinched back against the wall, my eyes wide.

“Sorry?”

“Damn right, you should be sorry!”

“Er…sorry again, then.”

“Ugh,” he breathed in sharply through his nose. “You’re unbelievable, Artemis. Just – unbelievable.”

“Look, I said I was sorry,” I said, feeling slightly indignant.

“I can’t hate you,” he decided, stopping in the middle of the room, simply standing there and facing me. He looked weary. “I just can’t.”

“Then,” I hesitated, biting my lip, “then…maybe you should just let yourself love me.”

There was a silence, and I cringed, waiting for the explosion –

“I can’t do that, either,” his voice was exhausted.

“Why not?” I asked plainly, looking at him steadily, not a trace of embarrassment in my voice.

“Because I can’t trust you.”

My mouth fell open at that one. “Excuse me?”

“I can’t trust that you won’t do the same thing to me – just like you did last time,” he said bitterly. “I just – can’t.”

I swallowed against the rough feeling in my throat. “I promise I won’t. I couldn’t let myself hurt you again, James.”

He looked at me for a long time. “I believe you,” he finally said quietly. Then he turned around and walked out of the room.

I stared after him incredulously, my mouth slightly open in shock.

Well, that solved nothing.

***

“You’re kidding. You’re fucking kidding me right now.”

I pushed both of my hands through my curls in exasperation and tried moving my feet, but they refused to budge from the ground. Letting out a frustrated scream, I cursed again, loudly.

“Language!” Nana Weasley called from the other room.

“Sorry!” I yelled back. But I cursed again under my breath, just for good measure.

So, I think this is about the time I’ll find it sufficient to say that my life sucks.

“Shouldn’t there be some sort of rule against this?” I asked desperately to my group of friends, who were all crowded around us and trying to save us.

Fred winced. “Sorry – no.”

I would be the pathetic loser stuck under mistletoe with her brother. Of-bloody-course.

“But he’s my twin brother!” I unnecessarily reminded everyone, my face slowly turning a bright red. Apollo seemed to be in some sort of weird, meditative state next to me. He was muttering something about ‘clear your mind, it’ll all be okay’ under his breath. It’s obvious Trelawney taught him that crap.

“Look, it’s not going to let you go until you two –”

“NO WAY!” I screamed, drowning out the rest of Al’s sentence. “THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL THAT I’M SNOGGING MY BROTHER – FORGET IT!”

Apollo whimpered and started chanting faster.

“Why’d you even put these damned things up?” I moaned, looking at Fred deploringly. “You’re all related here!”

He muttered something unintelligible under his breath.

“What?!”

“Wanted to snog Alex,” he mumbled louder.

“You could have done that any old time, you tosser!” Ella shot at him, smacking him upside the head.

“Okay, I get that what I did was a little stupid –”

“A little stupid? A little stupid?! What kind of brain-dead thickhead would do something as utterly and completely idiotic as this?!

“Well…Freddie,” James said helpfully.

I turned around to glare at him. “You’re not helping.”

He put his hands up in surrender and backed up a couple of steps. Honestly, and to think that I actually love the bloke.

“This is ridiculous,” Dom noted.

Thank you, Dominique, for clearing that up. We were all dying to know.

There was a moment of silence. I was still fuming, and Apollo was now taking deep, calming breaths. He seemed to be on the verge of hyperventilation.

Typical. I yell and scream at everything in my vicinity while Apollo tries not to have a mental breakdown. Always our best ways of dealing with strenuous situations. No wonder we’re considered Wonder Twins. We’re so rational we put Dumbledore to shame.

Suddenly, I was hit with an epiphany. It was an enlightening epiphany, the kind that hits you over the head and leaves you dazed for a couple of minutes in happiness.

Okay, so perhaps it wasn’t that great. But it was an idea.

“We can trick the mistletoe!” I blurted out suddenly. Everyone turned to me.

“How?” Apollo asked fearfully.

“Dom, get over here and snog Apollo. If the stupid weed can’t tell that it’s trapping twins underneath it, then it shouldn’t be able to tell who’s actually doing the snogging, right?” I didn’t wait for an answer, instead grabbing Dom to drag her over to us and practically throwing her at Apollo.

I then screwed up my eyes and plugged my ears so I wouldn’t see anything traumatizing.

Gotta keep it classy, mature, and poised. Which, obviously, I absolutely define.

An agonizing three minutes later, I was tapped on the shoulder. I opened my eyes to see that everyone was grinning, save for Apollo and Dom, who both looked slightly dazed and very pleased.

“Yes!” I said, doing a quick happy dance. “It – didn’t work.”

I was still bloody stuck.

“It didn’t work!”