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Turning the Tables by explosion

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Format: Novel
Chapters: 29
Word Count: 183,296
Status: COMPLETED

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

Genres: Drama, Fluff, Romance
Characters: Fred, James (II), OC
Pairings: James/OC, OC/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 02/06/2011
Last Chapter: 01/03/2013
Last Updated: 01/03/2013

Summary:
jawdropping banner by fayeswonderland @ TDA



I was bullied the whole time I attended Hogwarts. So, I left and I grew and I changed. I made friends for the first time, and everything seemed to finally be falling into place. But now, my new and old life are meeting each other somewhere in the middle. 

It's time to turn the tables.

Completed.


Chapter 1: Didn't Steal Your Boyfriend
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Disclaimer: However much I wish that I was JK Rowling, I am not, and therefore anything you recognize, belongs to her. Oh and the chapter title comes from Ashlee Simpson's song boyfriend.

 

Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time and undo all the bad things that have ever happened. Like the time I was three and hit my neighbor with my shovel, while sitting in the sandbox. Or the time when I was six and my mum caught me stealing her wand out of her purse, even though I knew it was off limits. Or the time I first preformed magic; the time I got my Hogwarts letter; the toothbrush incident. You see, maybe, if I could take away all the bad things that happened, the world would be totally different. Everything would be perfect, filled with rainbows and butterflies.

But the thing is, you can’t take things back. You can’t close your eyes and open them and wish that maybe you’ll wake up at the start of the day, and all the events that you had gone through previously will evaporate into thin air. The only thing you can really do is try and fix it and make it better. Make an effort, bit by bit, to try and put all of the pieces of the puzzle back together.

Or, maybe, just maybe, you can do what I did. I ran.

*

Most peoples' fears are normal. Maybe they’re afraid of the monsters under the bed. Or losing someone close to them. Growing old. Dying. But me? I was afraid of something completely different. I was afraid of confrontations, which is why it was so easy for people to target me. I didn’t fight back. But it wasn't because I was too nice and didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

It was because I was scared.

Hogwarts was the place where people targeted me. I was the fat girl. The girl that walked around school the whole day not knowing ‘Caution, Heavy’ was stuck to her back. The one who had earned the nicknames that pointed out my biggest weaknesses. So, the people who thought they were better than everyone else would torment me to no end.

These people who thought they were better than me, were James Potter and Fred Weasley. They were popular throughout the school because of who their parents were. I guess since their parents had helped save the wizarding world, they felt they had saved it too. Either way, they were the worst of it. All of the torture had started with their remarks. James and Fred were the ones who got people to oink when I passed, the ones who hid food under my bed sheets, the ones who would put diet books in my backpacks.

I always hoped that maybe I could one day open my school bag without seeing a “How to lose ten pounds in ten days” book or something of that nature, but that day never came. They seemed to think it was hilarious every time I’d open my quill case and loads of chocolate bars they had placed in there came flying out. Everyone else in the class would laugh along with them, and a chorus of oinks would always follow.

I didn’t have friends. I didn’t try to make them. I kept my head down and pretended that I didn’t hear what the people at Hogwarts thought of me. The girl who ate her feelings. The girl who didn’t know when to stop.

Friends seemed pointless. Especially when I knew that they could never comfort me, because lets face it, the kids at school were right. I was fat. I was ugly. I was nothing.

Which is why I left Hogwarts at the end of second year. My father had moved back to France, as him and my mum were divorced (quite a messy one at that), and while my sister stayed at Hogwarts with my mom, I left and joined my dad. I already knew French because of my father, so it wasn’t a big issue or culture shock for me.

I attended Beauxbatons right when the summer ended, and I don’t think my mother ever really forgave me for it. I think she felt like I had left her in choosing to live with my dad. She never wrote to me or asked how my new school was. I haven’t even seen her or my sister since I left.

It was just as well, I figured. I mean my sister was a year younger than me, and when she had started Hogwarts, she hadn’t been tormented whatsoever. My sister had been adorable with her wide, brown eyes and dirty blonde hair. She hadn’t been overweight, and had made many friends instantly.

She also pretended that she didn’t know me. I still remember when I had come up to her in the hallway when she was surrounded by a bunch of her friends, and told her that mum had sent us a letter. She had just raised her eyebrows and looked at her friends, only to turn back to me looking annoyed, “Corinne, not to be harsh, but I’m just starting out here and I don’t need to make enemies. Do you think you could, like, not talk to me in public?”

I remember her friends laughing, one of them whispering something along the lines of elephant under her breath. It wasn’t particularly creative, but under the circumstances it had brought tears to my eyes. It’s not like my sister and I had ever been super close, it’s just, I hadn’t expected that from her. But, that was Bailey for you.

The summer between second and third year was the summer that really changed everything for me. Since my dad was never home as he was always working, he never really noticed how my eating habits had changed. I would suddenly question if I really needed that extra cookie, if breakfast was really necessary that day. And when I had started to lose weight, he hadn’t noticed much either.

That was the thing about my dad. He didn’t notice. Sometimes when I would talk to him, I wondered if he could repeat back one word I had said.

Besides the diet that I had somehow managed to start, I also became obsessed with beauty books. I read everything I could about how to make myself look better, and bought more makeup than one person could use in a lifetime. It became an obsession.

By the end of the summer, I had lost all of my extra weight and that’s when I noticed that maybe I wasn’t as ugly as everyone had told me. My thick honey blonde hair was bouncy and glossy thanks to various beauty shampoos, framing my heart shaped face in layers and highlighting my now prominent cheekbones. My cornflower blue eyes weren't as washed out as they'd once seemed, and my impossibly glossy, pouty pink lips complimented my creamy complexion. It was like.. It was like I wasn't even me anymore. 

And then, I entered Beauxbatons, and my life was never really the same.

*

“I cannot believe you, you stupid bitch!”

If there is one thing I hate the most in life, it's girls. I know, I know. I’m a traitor to my own race, but it’s true. Girls have to be one of the most annoying creatures on the earth. All they do is bicker and yell and cause drama. Not to mention how catty they can be. I swear, girls hide the sharpest claws behind the brightest smiles. Like honestly sometimes I think that girls can take over the world with the brains and cunningness they have, if only they didn’t focus it on taking down other girls.

Have you ever wondered that too?

Well, back to the point. Right now I was in the middle of a tussle with a girl who had very clearly made it known she hated my guts. Typical. I looked up at Faye, a well-known seventh year, who was standing over me her hands clenched, face red.

“Faye, what’s wrong?” I asked cocking my head to the side, and twirling a lock of my honey hair around my finger. Everyone in the Beauxbatons cafeteria around me seemed to grow silent, wondering what was going to happen next.

“What’s wrong? What’s wrong? What’s wrong is you’re a bloody skank and you don’t seem to give a fuck!” Faye screamed back at me. She brought one of her clenched fists down on the table as she spoke, the vibration causing the silverware to clatter against one another.

I looked to my right at my best friend, Dominique, who gave me an ‘I-told-you-so’ look. I sighed. I guess this time maybe I deserved to be yelled at. You see, I accidentally snogged her boyfriend. I know what you’re thinking: Accidentally?

Well yes, it was in fact an accident. You see, yesterday the seventh years hosted a party celebrating the end of exams and the last day of school. Dom and I had been the only sixth years invited, which was truly an honor, but not a surprise. Let’s just say fire whiskey was involved, and I was never really one to hold my liquor. And so, I had ended up snogging Faye’s boyfriend, not really knowing how it ended up happening.

Okay, so you’re probably still thinking it’s my fault. But honestly what kind of bloke makes out with a girl when he has a girlfriend anyway? Why is it always the girl that gets blamed for everything? Bloody double standards. It's ridiculous.

“Honestly, Faye,” Dominique said, cutting in and defending me as she usually does. Proof that she is in fact an amazing friend. “Tone it down a little. It’s obvious that Corinne didn’t know you guys were dating! In fact, he had been proclaiming the whole party that you two were done with each other anyway. If any fingers should be pointed, don’t you think it should be at Jean Paul?”

Dominique is honestly the best friend I could ever hope for. Right when I entered Beauxbatons, she and I had become instant friends, and whenever I thought about it, she was really my only girl friend. I didn’t even mind when I found out she was related to the devil’s spawn: Fred and James. She didn’t like them much either as she thought they were too cocky, and she hated what they had done to me. She’s also the only one at this school who I’ve ever told about my Hogwarts experience.

Dom's absolutely gorgeous too. She's part veela, so she has this silvery hair that hangs half way down her back and chocolate brown eyes that literally sparkle. She also has this super bubbly personality, so while I tend to push people away, she draws them to us, and with her help we were on good terms with almost everyone at school.

Because of this, Dom and I were very well known. As well as for being each other’s bestest friends. I honestly couldn’t imagine life without her. She’s like the sister I never had, the peanut butter to my jelly.  And we were both tied for first as most beautiful in the Beauxbatons yearbook this year, even though we were sixth years. It was flattering to be in her league, considering she was a bloody veela, but Dom told me I should’ve won considering I didn’t have her "advantage".

I then slapped her upside the head and said it was better as a tie, and that the only reason I was even voted for was because I was her friend.

“Weasley, I really don’t think this concerns you,” Faye responded, bringing me back to the present as she gave me another glare. “You’re really bloody lucky that school ends today, Beaumont.” And with another evil eye, she turned away from me, her lifeless brown hair flipping with her. She really needed a deep conditioner.

“That went well,” I said, watching Faye's retreating form as I took a bite of my apple. It made a satisfying crunching sound.

“You’re so lucky that she’s not going to be here next year. Honestly Corinne, I told you that they were dating, but you insisted they broke up!”

“It’s not my fault that he lied! I mean he just looked so bloody good,” I responded, recalling Jean Paul’s adorable dimples and tousled hair.

“Yeah, yeah but Faye can get really scary,” Dom warned.

I looked up as the doors to the cafeteria opened, and the man of the hour, Jean Paul, entered the room. He glanced at the table Faye was sitting at, noticed her scary face, before he turned, saw me and headed over to my table.

Dom and I had specifically sat at the only table with two seats in the cafeteria, because we don’t want anyone to join us. It was our ritual every last day of school to girly chat about everyone and made predictions about next year. However, Jean Paul didn't seem to get this and pulled a chair from another table, plopping down right next to me. I looked across the room at Faye, and she was seething.

Jean Paul was one of the most sought after guys in the school, but since him and Faye had been hot and heavy all year, no one had wanted to mess with breaking up the golden couple. I guess Jean Paul thought we were like, an almost item or something as he slid his arm around my shoulder. Which we totally were not. Especially after he had lied about having a girlfriend. It's not exactly the best foundation to start a relationship on. That is if I had even been looking for one in the first place. Dom raised her eyebrows.

“Hey, Jean,” I said, noticing how good he looked today. I gave him a small smile but knew I would have to settle things with him. “What’s up?”

“Well, you see, I’m trying to avoid Faye right now, as she seems to still not be taking the break up very well,” he replied.

“You mean, the break up you guys had when she found out you cheated on her, after telling me you guys were over?” I asked him, blue eyes wide. I noticed Dom smirk out of the corner of my eye, which only made me have to hold back my own.

“Uh-I-No!” Jean sputtered taking his arm out from around my shoulder and looking like a deer caught in the headlights. Such a typical guy move. Deny, deny, deny.

“I’m sorry to say this, Jean,” I continued, loud enough for people to hear. “But I’m really not looking for anything serious right now, and I most certainly don’t want to be associated with someone who lies about whether or not he has a girlfriend. Sorry.”

With those words still reeling in his head, I got up, Dom following, and we exited the cafeteria to the shock of the rest of the students.

“Have I ever told you how much I love you?” Dom asked amusement in her eyes.

“I feel like you have, but it’s always nice to hear,” I responded with a smirk.


*

“I can’t believe we’re going to be seventh years,” Dom announced, plopping down next to me on my bed while she should have been finishing her packing. It was finally sinking in that we were heading home for the summer. I was going to stay with my dad for a few weeks while Dom would be off in England visiting her dad's side of the family, and then I was going to join Dom at her house for two months, since my dad was going on a business trip to Hong Kong. While I practically lived at Dom's house during the summers, I had never actually stayed at Dom’s house for such a long period of time. But, I was extremely excited for us to spend the summer together.

“I know! It’s pretty unbelievable,” I said gazing around at our room. The beds were stripped of their powder blue comforters, and the lavender walls were bare. “I still feel like third year was yesterday, when you yelled at me for rolling my suitcase over your foot.”

“But I forgave you for it, because you had the newest Wanda Witch Doll, complete with her unicorn wand and everything!” Dom said, sighing at the memory.

“Please, you snatched Wanda out of my hands and proceeded to play with her the whole train ride!” I complained at her lack of memory.

“Details, details! All that matters is that you my friend are going to be spending an entire two months with me for the summer,” Dom said excitedly, swinging an arm around my shoulder.

“Couldn’t have said it better myself, my dear,” I said giving Dom a squeeze. Ahh having a best friend is bliss.

“Corinne?” Dom said to me her voice suddenly softer.

“Yup, Dommy Dearest?”

“Are you ever scared that in one year, we’re going to be graduating, and like going our separate ways? What am I going to do without you around all the time? What if we become those girls who never talk and then one day we see each other at a restaurant or something and it’s completely awkward and we don’t know what to say,” Dom sputtered out all in one breath. It seemed as though this had been on her mind for a while.

“Dom, Dom, Dom,” I said tapping her head as if chastising a child. “You could never get rid of me that easily. In fact, once school ends, we’ll hang out even more! I want to be editor-in-chief of Witch Weekly, and you want to be a model, so we’ll work at the same place, because I’ll insist that you are the most beautiful person on the face of the Earth, and everyone will, of course, agree because you’ll have your veela charms to impress them. And then we’ll both meet a pair of twin hotties and you’ll marry one and I’ll marry the other and we’ll be true sisters and then what will happen?”

“We’ll live happily ever after!” Dom said completing my story.

Yes, Dom and I have had a fantasy like this our whole friendship. Don’t make fun of us just because we like to look at the brighter side of life.

Suddenly, a pounding on the door interrupted our thoughts, and the door burst open to reveal my three favorite guys in the universe: Tyson, Wyatt, and Chaise.

“Are you girls almost ready?” Tyson asked running his hands through his thick blond hair in agitation. His blue eyes stood out even more because of his turquoise shirt, and his tall, lean build was leaning to the side as he crossed his arms. "The carriages are leaving soon."

“Hey you know we could’ve been naked!” I shouted as soon as they entered, unwelcomed.

“Which would’ve been all the better for us,” Chaise responded waggling his dark eyebrows jokingly.

“You guys are so immature,” Dom said getting up from her seat beside me and starting to close her very large trunk. The guys all ignored her, chalking it up to Dom being Dom, and instead exchanged a look with one another. Then, they turned to me.

“Corinne, is it true that Jean Paul snogged you after lying and telling you him and Faye broke up?” Wyatt asked me, taking the seat Dom had just vacated and putting his arm around my shoulder. “We could totally beat him up if that’s the case.”

I rolled my eyes at Wyatt and ruffled his black hair. “Don’t be stupid, I handled him perfectly fine during breakfast.”

“You mean you actually defended yourself?” Chaise said putting his hand on my forehead. “Are you feeling okay?”

"Yeah, are you sure you haven't been switched with a replacement Corinne?" Tyson joked, poking at me like I was a mutant.


“Shut up you losers, I can totally defend myself!” I said, elbowing Tyson and lightly kicking Chaise in the stomach. They both clutched at their stomachs, pretending to be mortally wounded, even though I had barely even hurt them.

Besides Dom, Chaise, Wyatt, and Tyson were my best friends. They of course, could never replace Dom as they are not women and therefore do not know the woes of PMS or are able to talk about boys with me, so they are all tied for second place on my best friend list.

Other than Dom, I only seem to get along with these three, as girls are as I mentioned previously, too damn catty. These guys are drama free, and can beat up anyone that messes with me. Which is always nice, not that I appreciate violence.

Tyson is the joker of the group. He says the most inappropriate things that make me laugh my arse off, even though I pretend not to think they're funny, and he always pulls pranks on the teachers. He also takes longer than me and Dom to get ready, and that’s saying a lot considering Dom and I can take hours. He likes to try and deny the fact that he cares about his appearance, and whenever his cluster of girls flock to him and ask how he gets his hair just so, he always shrugs his shoulders and says something like, “I guess I’m just blessed.” and then proceeds flexing his muscles until me or Dom smack him upside the head, which he never appreciates it.

Wyatt is more of the listener. He's always the one to go to if you have a problem, because he doesn't make it all about him and really gives top-knotch advice. I swear if he wasn't such a nerd obsessed with Arithmancy and Ancient Runes, I'd suggest he start his own therapy business. He also has a fan club of his own because of how fit he is. He has black glossy hair, deep blue eyes, and I swear I've seen girls swoon when he smiles. He however, unlike Tyson, does not like to take advantage of this, and tends to go towards girls with substance, which I appreciate.

And this brings me to Chaise, who is definitely the gossip. He tends to hear everything that goes on at school because he has so many friends, and, despite being a guy, will come back and tell me everything he’s heard concerning me or Dom, and will either a.) beat up whoever started the rumor or b.) tell Dom, which can be even worse. He has curly brown hair and brown eyes to match, and has his pick of girls as well. But we all know that him and Dom are totally meant to be, even though neither of them seems to realize it yet. But they so will if I have a say in it. 

“Of course you can defend yourself. You just can’t do it very well,” Wyatt said, arching an eyebrow at me.

“I can do it well, actually!” I responded indignantly.

“May I remind you of the Charlotte Burham incident when she found out it was you who made out with her boyfriend? Or Marie Etterswan when she heard Blasé broke up with her because of you? Or how about-“

“Alright, alright! I get it. Can we not make me feel like a rotten person right now?” I asked, interrupting Wyatt’s rant and leaning a head on his shoulder.

You probably think I’m a horrible person. But it just so happens that these incidents seem to happen to me without it being completely my fault. You see, guys who are not thinking with their heads are liars. So, they will say anything, even if they do have a girlfriend, as you have already witnessed this morning. It’s really unfair though. I get this awful reputation for being a complete slag, when I still have my virginity intact thank you very much, and these guys get away scott-free. I should start a revolt against men!

Oh wait, seeing as I hate girls, who very well would join me?

….

I’ve got it! Dom can join me and all the animals of the universe! It will be a whole army that no one can compete with. There will be rhinos, monkeys, stingrays, kangaroos! It will be an all out world war, and everyone will be nothing compared to me and my army of animals!

You think I’m crazy? Well, it’ll work. One day you’ll see an army of animals, and you’ll piss your pants.

“Corinne, why do you have that crazy smile on your face?” Tyson asked, interrupting my thoughts of an animal army. I realized that I had a creepy smile in place while my thoughts had been whirling and instantly frowned. Damn. I had hoped nobody had noticed that.

“I do not have a crazy smile! In fact, I have a very nice smile. My daddy says so himself!”

“Your daddy is a liar,” Tyson replied snarkily. I contemplated hitting him in the face, but before I could, Dom beat me to it.  It's her natural protective instinct, I swear. 

“Tyson, what did I tell you about being rude to mental patients,” Dom said in a knowing voice.

“That’s right-HEY! I am not mental!” I said, getting up to my full five foot six stature and staring Dom right in the eye. She was still three inches taller than me, but I liked to think I looked intimidating.

“Okay, crazy lady,” Dom responded, exchanging a look with the guys that seemed to say I was off my rocker. Ugh. Sometimes I don’t understand why I put up with her. I change my mind, she is now number two on my best friend list, and the guys come before her. Okay I’m lying, no one can replace my Dommy Dom. But still. 

“Guys as exciting as Corinne’s mental capacity is, we need to make those carriages so let’s go,” Wyatt said annoyed. Bah humbug. He was a stickler for being on time.

“This isn’t over,” I said wagging a finger at Dom my eyes widening in a threat. Okay so maybe this wasn’t the best thing to do to win over my case.

“Whatever you say, Psycho,” Dom responded.

*

“I’m just going to miss you all so much,” I shouted dramatically as I gave a huge hug to each guy before going to meet up with my dad, who was out in the parkin glot. I began to fake sob as I reached Dom. “And my Dommy Dearest! How shall I fare two whole weeks before I see your beautiful face again?!” I gave Dom a bear hug and continued my fake sobs.

I could feel the students staring at me in amusement as I continued to make a mockery of myself, but I ignored it. “Life is just so unfair,” I mourned as I threw myself at them all bringing them in one group hug.

Despite my sarcastic goodbye, I really was going to miss them. Going home, meant going to be with my dad who, let’s face it, really was never there. I hated the summers as I was almost always left alone, except for the the times I'd escape to Dom's and we'd spend time with the guys or she'd come visit me in my solitude.

“We’ll all miss you too,” Wyatt responded lifting me up and squeezing me tightly before tossing me to Tyson, who gave me a huge hug and then tossed me to Chaise.

“Ahh put me down you kidnappers! I am a fragile human being!”

Chaise put me down and when he did, Dom attacked me. “I’m going to miss you too Corinne! Stay just the way you are my little Coco!”

“Can’t breath,” I said between gasps for oxygen.

“Drama queen,” Dom said letting me out of her tight grasp.

“I really am going to miss you guys,” I said seriously now. It was actually sinking in that I wouldn’t see them for basically the whole summer, because all of the guys were going to be travelling with their families for the first couple of months until summer. And what would I do without them?

“Remember to come to my birthday party guys! No forgetting,” Dom reminded us all. Dom was excited, because this would be the first time she ever had an actual party on her birthday. Normally she went somewhere with her family, and I would just send her a bunch of gifts fthrough owl. But this year she was throwing a huge party with all of our friends from Beauxbatons. It was going to be amazing. 


“How could we forget a birthday such as yours,” Chaise said, giving Dom a hug. They both smiled, and Dom turned pink, while the other guys and I exchanged a look as the two lovebirds shared a moment. Ah young love, such a glorious thing.

After Dom and Chaise finished mooning over each other, Dom tore her eyes away from Chaise and looked at me, biting her lip. “But Corinne, just so you know, my mom did make me invite the family. I mean I couldn’t just not invite them,” Dominique told me an apology in her eyes.

Her family... I felt my stomach sink slightly as immediately two people popped into my mind who I've spend my whole life avoiding. I still haven't seen them since my last day second year, and I had planned on keeping it that way. Ididn’t know if I was strong enough to ever see them again.

“That’s fine.” I responded my smile tight. It seemed like everyone sensed my mood shift and while I felt bad for the goodbye having a sour tone, I was more focused on the fact that I might have to actually see in the flesh the two people who had made my life hell. “Well, I should be going. My dad’s probably getting annoyed at his precious time being wasted.” And with those parting words I turned on my heel and left, trunk in tow.

As my steps remained quick and forceful against the concrete floor, I resolved that if I ever had to see James and Fred again, it would be hell. Only not for me this time, for them. 
 












 

A/N: Hey anyone reading this! So this story may not be the most original idea in the world, but I couldn't get this idea out of my head and ended up with this. Hopefully you guys enjoy this! Tell me what ya think!

Reviews are much appreciated and they don't take much time at all and make me more likely to do speedy updates :) hint, hint.

-Rebecca


Chapter 2: I'll Be There For You
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Disclaimer: Alright I'll admit it, I'm not JK Rowling. I know it's a shocker! Please don't hate me. Oh and also the chapter title comes from the theme song in the TV show Friends.

 

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Home is pure agony. I can feel the time slowly passing, as I sit alone in my house with nothing to do. That’s the downside to living with my dad. It’s like living alone. Sometimes it’s great, you know, because I can have people over and won’t be bothered with a parent bustling around, but most of the time it’s like this. Just sitting.

I always wondered what life would be like if I had stayed with Mum and continued going to Hogwarts.  She was always around ready to spend time with me. We would always bake, or watch movies, or listen to music. She was my only friend through all the bad things in my life.

My parents had had a messy divorce. When I was seven, my dad walked out on her, and left her all alone with just Bailey and me. Dad had still sent us presents on our birthdays, and written the occasional letter, maybe even stopped by if he had time, as if it could make up for how he abandoned us, but it was never really the same. It wasn’t that my dad left Bailey and me, he had just left my mum, but in leaving my mum he had kind of left us too. Mum was heartbroken.

Life had been perfect when my parents loved each other. I steadily gained weight the year they divorced. I just remember running to the kitchen and smuggling jars of peanut butter up to my room to eat raw, while I would listen to my parents fighting downstairs. Food was kind of the only thing I had.

When I had asked dad if I could live with him, he had been surprised at first, but eventually agreed because I was old enough to fend for myself mostly, and maybe it was kind of out of guilt of how everything had changed. Mum had not been happy with my decision. She had seen it as me choosing him over her, and when I left, she told me not to come back. Sometimes I write her letters, but I never send them. It seems stupid, because I know how badly I hurt her.

That’s why it’s sometimes hard to live here. I miss her so much. I miss our dance nights, our cooking escapades, our firefly catching. She had been sensational as a mum. I had just been too stupid to realize it.

One day I hope I can express to her how much pain I had been going through at Hogwarts. I had never told her. I pretended things were fine-just-fine when I came back from holidays at Hogwarts, and told her stories about pretend friends I had never made. I wonder if she’d still be mad if she knew that the closest thing I had had to a friend was an oil painting. If she’d be mad if she knew that I would cry every night.

My thoughts were interrupted by the family owl, Barnabee, who swooped in and perched down next to me. I noticed a bundle of letters attached to his legs and untied them quickly.

Getting letters from my friends was kind of the only thing that kept me going when I was alone like this. I checked them and saw one was from Dom, one from Tyson, one from Wyatt and one from Chaise. I then had letters from some seventh year boys wishing me a happy summer and wondering if we could get together sometime. I threw those letters out.

I of course opened Dom’s immediately. I mean, she is my best friend, might as well read what she has to say first.


 Cocomademoiselle,

            MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY. And yes, I am in fact screaming this as I write it down. But back to the point, it’s been almost two weeks and I can barely remember your gorgeous face in my mind! I am literally COUNTING down the days until you come here, because let’s face it: I can’t function without my little Coco around to make me all happy and bubbly.
           Freddy and Roxanne came over today. Normally I wouldn’t mention it but he happened to see a picture of us hanging in my room. You know, the one of us from last summer at the beach in our hot pink bikinis? He said and I quote, “Who’s the chick with the nice arse?” Thought you’d get a laugh. I didn’t tell him that you were, you know the girl he had taunted mercilessly, because I didn’t know if you’d want me to so I just slapped him upside the head.
           And then, when we were at my dad’s parent’s house with all of my other crazy cousins, Fred told James about the picture of us he’d seen, and him and James continued to pester me about who you were so I just said Coco because I mean, that’s who you are. They then said they wanted me to introduce you to them at my party and I told them it wasn’t a good idea so now they’re determined to meet you themselves. But enough about those losers. I just thought it was funny because you can totally show them up and hopefully bring their egos down a size.
           In exactly twenty-six hours, thirty minutes, and two seconds you are going to be at my house and I am so excited, which is probs the reason I’m writing this letter. But I miss you so so so so much and I love you and you’re my best friend ever so, yeah.

Love xoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Dommy Dearest

P.S. Is it just me or is Chaise like kind of hot?
P.P.S. Pretend I never said that.



I finished reading the letter and smiled at the last bit. Thank God, Dom was finally seeing that Chaise was her soul mate. Okay, maybe she hasn’t seen it yet, but thinking someone’s hot turns into liking them, liking someone turns into loving them, loving someone turns into getting married and having twenty kids with them… Or something along those lines.

Hey a girl can dream, can’t she?

I wrinkled my nose thinking about Freddy and James however, and knew I did not want to see or even talk to them at Dom’s party. My thoughts instantly flashed back to the days when I would try and blend into the wall, only to have people around me oink or squeal. Apparently they considered me a pig, and oinks followed me wherever I went.

I read the other three letters, which were typical guy talk. You know, guys can’t really express their feelings very well so it was all just about how they couldn’t wait for Dom’s party, and of course some inappropriate jokes just to insure their testosterone levels were still balanced.

As I finished reading Chaise’s letter (in which he asked me what I’d think Dom would like as a gift) I heard a familiar crack of my father apparating into the house.

“Hey Dad!” I said to him. My dad looked at me, made a nod of acknowledgement, and then walked to his office, probably to do more work. I heaved a sigh, and decided to go to my room and make sure everything was packed.

As I padded across the plush carpet, I peeked in at my father’s office and saw him, head in the fireplace, already talking to a work associate, even though he had just gotten home.

“Yes, Alfred, I understand that the meeting did not go over as well as expected, so instead we’re going to make another pitch, only this time, to the Minister, and this way they can’t refuse!” My dad’s voice echoed down the hallway. I wonder if Alfred knew that he knew my dad better than me.

I opened the oak door of my room and was instantly soothed by the view that I saw. My room was probably the only thing in this house that I loved. It was completely white, and I mean the walls, the carpet, the bed, the sheets, the curtains, the dressers, everything. I always thought it made the room seem elegant and enchanting. The only touches of color were the lavender candles that I had sitting on the top of every surface in my room. I found the lavender scent soothing, and I had always been into candles.

And then, covering one wall was a huge mirror. The mirror itself looked to be ancient, probably from Elizabethan times, as it had ornate decorations all around the edges, and it was absolutely gorgeous. The only thing is that the mirror itself I detested.

I hated mirrors. You see, when you live most of your life hating your reflection, mirrors can really get to you. Which is probably the reason that whenever I looked in the mirror I was always shocked at my reflection.

I still felt like the fat girl, with the lifeless hair, and the constant butt of every joke. But the mirror showed me a slender body, with long legs, and tanned skin. It showed me glossy hair, and model lips. It showed me someone else.

Sometimes I wondered if this mirror was just one of those magical mirrors that transformed how you looked.

It’s still completely mind blowing to think about how my life had changed so drastically because of that one summer.

When I entered Beauxbatons, I had been immediately flocked by guys and girls in my grade, who wanted to welcome me to the school. Not because I was pretty but because they were genuinely nice people. However, I was overwhelmed by all the attention and tended to get really shy since I didn’t know anyone.

When Dom and I however had made it known that we were friends, everyone in the school would come up to me and welcome me. Guys seemed to hover around Dom and me like moths to a flame. It was so incredibly unbelievable that people actually thought of me as pretty.

Dom had thought it was normal. She had said something along the lines of, “Shouldn’t you be used to it by now, I mean you’re bloody gorgeous.” This had then caused, after a bunch of badgering by Dom, for me to tell her how Hogwarts had been.

She was shocked at first that people would make fun of me just because I was overweight, and then she had just been angry. According to her, who was anyone to say how ugly or beautiful a person was. It was all about who they were. She then proceeded to tell me I was beautiful inside and out.

That had been the first time anyone had ever called me beautiful.

And Dom and I were attached at the hip ever since. Everywhere she went, I went, vice versa. We had too many inside jokes to count, and even had our own sign language that nobody really understood. The sign language had developed whenever Dom and I had assigned seating in classes, and still had things to say to one another. Professors should have hated it, but they were amused at our second (actually third) language.

I of course had still managed to make not-so-nice with some girls. They were the same ones who didn’t like Dom either. Dom insisted they were jealous of me, but sometimes I thought it was because they knew I was a fake. I wasn’t actually this pretty girl my whole life. But mostly, girls didn’t like me because of the boys that I ended up snogging.

I was never good at figuring out which boys were the good ones and which were the rotten apples, so I had been taking advantage of for my open trust in the past. Like when they lied to me about whether or not they had girlfriends. It had earned me a reputation that I hated, but most people at the school still admired me anyways. It was just the girls who were always trying to pick Dom and me apart, that believed and enhanced the rumors.

I went over to the three very large trunks full of clothes, makeup, purses, shoes, books, school supplies, and anything else I could possible need at Dom’s. It seemed that everything I needed was there and I had that building up excitement in my stomach at spending a whole two months at Dom’s full of sleepovers and gossiping and laughs.

Because when I really thought about it, who else could I possibly want to spend the summer with than her?

*


“COCOCORINNE I MISSED YOU SO BLOODY MUCH!” I was greeted with Dom jumping on me and us both falling to the ground as she smothered me to death with her hug.

“I MISSED YOU TOO!” I screamed back laughing and returning the hug. We continued to squeal as we reunited after two long weeks apart, and her parents watched us in amusement.

“Girls, it’s been two weeks,” her father, Billy (yes I called him by his first name, he insists upon it), said to the both of us as we laughed.

“Two incredibly long weeks, in which I had to listen to Louis here, tell me all about the Quidditch teams he was rooting for,” Dom responded in mock horror.  Louis was Dom’s younger brother, who would be entering his fourth year at Hogwarts. Yes, Dom was the only one of her siblings who chose to go to Beauxbatons. Billy and Fleur each gave their kids the choice as to which school they wanted to attend. It had greatly pleased Fleur when Dom had made the decision to go to Beauxbatons.

“Hey! You told me you liked listening to me teach you about Quidditch,” Louis responded indignantly.

“Dom says a lot of things she doesn’t mean Louis,” I told him before giving him, Billy, and Fleur a hug.

“We are so happy to have you here,” Fleur said to me as I drew back from the hug.

“Of course you are Auntie F, I mean what would you do without me to tame your brute of a daughter?” I responded cheekily. Fleur let out a tinkling laugh while Dom huffed resentfully.

“Some friend you are,” Dom said crossing her arms. I stared at her sulky expression for about three seconds before we both cracked up laughing.

“Such a baby you are,” I said before looking around for Victoire, Dom’s older sister. “Where is old Vicky dear?”

Victoire and I did not have the best relationship. I just so happened to hate her, not only for my own selfish reasons of her being a snooty bitch, but because of how much pain she had caused my Domster over the years. Victoire loved to try and one up her sister, which is part of the reason Dom decided to attend Beauxbatons. Since no one at Beauxbatons knew her sister, they couldn’t compare the two of them.

For example, when Dom had gotten her first serious boyfriend last year, and decided to introduce him to the family, Victoire had announced her engagement to Teddy in the middle of the meal. This had sufficiently scared Dom’s boyfriend off (bloody men who can’t commit) and had also made her parents forget all about Dom the whole night, and fawn over Victoire and Teddy instead.

Another example was when Dom had gotten her O.W.L. scores back and had scored more O’s then Victoire had on them (which is ridiculously impressive because Victoire only got two E’s and the rest were O’s), only for Victoire to interrupt Dom’s victory dinner in order to inform them that she had won a coveted two-year internship at the Ministry. Dom was always getting the short end of the stick whenever Victoire was involved, and that’s where I come in.

You see, Dom couldn’t be a bitch to her sister, but I sure could, and I could do it secretively too so her parents still loved me.

It all started when I ‘accidentally’ spilled cranberry juice on the white dress Victoire had bought for herself, after Dom had expressed interest in it to wear to an event they were going to. Victoire had evilly stolen it for herself, so I had to take matter into my own hands. Victoire hated me ever since.

Not that I minded.

“I think she’s upstairs, why don’t I go get her,” Fleur said going to the bottom of the staircase and screaming up. “VICTOIRE, COME DOWNSTAIRS AND GREET CORINNE! SHE’S DYING TO SEE YOU!”

Did I mention Billy and Fleur think I look up to Victoire and really admire her?

I heard Victoire give an exasperated huff and then she came down the stairs flipping her blonde hair over her shoulder. It was hard to admit but Victoire was beautiful too. Her and Dom both had the same silvery hair, although Victoire’s was more wavy, and she also had blue eyes like her mums. I think Dom has prettier eyes still but I might be bias.

“VICKY!” I shouted giving Victoire air kisses and a hug. Victoire tried to step away from me but it went unnoticed by the rest as I greeted her.

“Hey Corinne,” Victoire responded flatly.

“Vic, don’t be rude! Coco here was excited to see you,” Billy said commandingly. I smirked.

Victoire gave me a glare and then plastered a fake smile on her face and gave me a hug back, “And I thought you were here to visit Dom! Well hello mon cherie how long its been!”

Billy and Fleur looked happy with her response.

“It’s been too long! Can’t wait for us to hang out!” I lied. Oh how fun it was to push Vicky’s ickle buttons.

“Me too! Although I do have so much work this summer. It’s incredibly hard to be an intern of the Ministry, and still manage to have a social life,” Victoire responded. Ah, always trying to get out of seeing me. I wonder why?

“Coco, come on! Let’s go upstairs now, I have loads to tell you,” Dom said interrupting the conversation and grabbing my hand. She then proceeded to skip up to her room, with me lumbering behind her, as I waved goodbye to her family downstairs.

She opened the door to her room, and revealed what looked like it belonged in Wanda Witch’s Dream Castle. The walls were cotton candy pink and white striped, and there were pink beanbag chairs right by a glass sliding door that opened up to a balcony, which had railings that were painted pink. Dom’s bed was huge. It had a really fancy pink bedspread, about a hundred lacy pink pillows on top of it, and white, sheer drapes all around it. She also had a huge makeup station that could rival my own, and her room led into her own bathroom that was also pink. In the corner she had stacks and stacks of Witch Weekly magazines all organized by date of issue, and she had pictures of models that she loved, hanging all around her full-length mirror.

But that wasn’t the part of the room that I loved. On one wall of Dom’s room, it was absolutely covered in pictures. There were pictures of me and Dom at the beach (and yes the hot pink bikini one was up there), pictures of us shopping, pictures of us with the boys, pictures of Dom that I had taken that we considered “artsy”, pictures of me and Dom surrounded by Beauxbatons friends, pictures of Dom and me with previous boyfriends. There were so many pictures that sometimes I didn’t know which ones to look at first, but I loved looking at each one of them because they were always memories. It was like a road map to our friendship on that wall for all to see.

I noticed a photo that seemed to be taken fairly recently of me and Dom both sticking our tongues out at the camera as we sat in the Beauxbatons common room studying for finals.

“Already started adding more pictures?” I asked Dom.

“Of course I did,” Dom said before flopping onto her bed and opening up the newest Witch Weekly magazine. I continued to look at the pictures on the wall and then stopped and inspected a new one of Dom and Chaise arms around each other’s shoulders.

“So…” I said smirking and turning to look at Dom. “You think Chaise is hot?”

Dom refused to look up from her magazine, and instead flipped through it even faster, almost ripping a page with the force of it. Her cheeks blushed pink, but she continued to glare at the magazine.

“Oh come on Dommy! You can’t just mention it to me in a letter and expect me to not ask about it,” I complained jumping on Dom’s bed and crossing my legs. “Spill.”

“There’s nothing to spill! I just happen to think he’s attractive it’s not a big deal,” Dom responded without looking up from her magazine.

“Dom, it’s okay to admit it. You liiiike him,” I sang before pulling the magazine out of her grasp so she was forced to look at me.

“Psh- No- Just-I-Maybe-No-” Dom sputtered as she reached for the magazine that I was now dangling over her.

“Dommy and Chaise sitting in a tree-”

“Stop!” Dom shouted as I continued to sing over her protests. I knew she would give in and spill if I annoyed her long enough about it, if only to get me to shut up.

“Not until you admit it Dommy,” I mocked standing up on her bed and bouncing around it as she crawled on the bed and chased me trying to grab my legs.

“NEVER!” Dom said as she made a snatch for my feet but I quickly jumped over her and started bouncing up and down again. As I did this, Dom started to flop in the air. She resembled a dying chicken at this point and I started to get a fit of the giggles.

“Stop” flop “it!” flop Dom said as her body continued to bounce around her bed. I jumped even more at these words.

“I told you Dommy Dearest, there’s only one way I will stop,” I said as I gave an extra powerful bounce. Dom bounced into the air, hit the side of the bed, and then continued to fly off the bed and make a face plant on the floor. I stopped jumping and there was dead silence.

Dom picked her face up off the floor and looked at me with a deranged expression, her silvery hair a mass of tangles. We took one look at each other, and burst out laughing. It was one of those laughs that go deep into your guts where you feel like if you laugh any harder your stomach will explode. I was clutching my side and Dom was near tears as we both continued to guffaw at the events that had unfolded.

“Your-gasp-face-gasp!” I wheezed pointing at Dom and then throwing my head back into another laugh. We continued to laugh like this for the next couple of minutes until we reached the point of just intermittent giggles.

“So maybe I do like him,” Dom said to me as she looked ponderingly out the balcony window.

I let the words sink in as I realized that Dom was actually admitting her feelings for Chaise, before jumping up onto the bed and squealing. However, it seemed that I had overestimated the room I had on the bed, and my foot slipped off the bed, with me tumbling on top of Dom.

I looked at Dom whose shoulders had started to shake, signaling that she was about to laugh again, and that set us off into another round of gut-wrenching giggles.

“What I mean to have happen is this,” I said after we had calmed down. I then proceeded to squeal at an alarmingly loud decibel and give Dom the biggest hug known to mankind. I mean Dommy here had just realized her love for Chaise! This was a monumental moment in the history of our friendship.

“Merlin, Coco. You can’t make a big deal about this. I don’t want you to make if awkward between Chaise and me next time we’re all together. I know how you love to play matchmaker,” Dom said giving me a pointed look as my arms were still wrapped around her.

Maybe Dom had a point. But I still didn’t like how she underestimated me so much. I could be the queen of subtlety when I wanted to be.

“Me make a big deal?” I said exasperated, pulling away from our hug. “I mean I’ve only been waiting two years for you to realize your love for him, and I have to act like it’s no biggie?!”

Dom clucked her tongue, “Corinne, you’ve been waiting three months ever since me and Chaise worked on that Potions project together.”

“Two years, three months, time is but a number!” I said dismissively. “So, when’d you realize you liked him?”

And with that, Dom let down the pretend wall she had been putting around herself in turning to mush whenever Chaise was mentioned, and continued to pour out her undying obsession with him ever since he told her she looked good in pink. Which you know, explains a lot, considering Dom had made me go shopping in Paris with her near the end of the school year and all she bought were pink shirts.

Apparently she had only liked him for a month, but it was still long enough for me to question how she could’ve kept it from me for so long. I mean we were basically the same person! How could she think of not telling me?

“And I mean, he’s always seemed you know, different whenever it’s just me and him. Like he doesn’t joke around as much and he never notices all the girls that hang around him either. And also, he always mentions, like, guys around me as if to see if I like them and when I say something about not liking them, he always gets this smirk on his face,” Dom rambled.

“Dom, it’s already so obvious he likes you, I’m insulted you think you need to prove it to me. It’s so obvious like he’s always staring after you when you leave, and asking me about you when it’s just me and him!” I said interrupting Dom. Dom’s ears perked up at me mentioning him asking about her.

“Really?! What does he say?! How often?! When did this happen?! Start from beginning to end!” Dom said excitedly. Ah, that’s the Dom I know and love.

And so, being the best friend I am, I recounted every occurrence I remembered to Dom, and explained every situation in which Chaise showed his interest in her.

Sometimes, I think I should get a medal for this kind of friendship.
 








 

A/N: Hey guys! Here's my next chappie of the story I hope you liked it. You might be wondering when there will be some James/Coco interaction but I hate to say you'll have to wait a couple more chapters for James to be introduced into the story :(

I just want to strongly introduce my character and her friendship with the Domster before jumping into the good stuff.

Tell me what you think of this chapter because I'll always reply to reviews and I really want to know what you all think! Also, I have the next chapter written, so the more reviews, the more likely I am to post it sooner XD

Oh AND I'm dedicating this chapter to my bestestest friend ever Olivia, who reads this story despite the fact that she knows very little about harry potter. That's when you know you got a good friendship going. The friendship dynamics between Dom and Coco I base off of our friendship in case you were wondering.

Okay well thats about all I gotta say! See ya next chapter.

-Rebecca

 

 

 


Chapter 3: I am a Fighter
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Disclaimer: Okay so maybe I dream about being JK Rowling, but just because you dream something, doesn't make it real. Oh and the chapter title comes from the song Fighter by Christina Auguliera.

 

Psst, Dom!” I was met with a grunt from Dom, but other than that no response.

“Dom!” I whisper-shouted again only this time a little louder.

Instead of the response I was hoping for, Dom rolled over onto me. I was gasping for breath at this point, as her hair was blocking my air supply, and I roughly struggled to push her off of me.

“DOM!” I shouted this time loud enough that the whole house probably heard me. Dom, shocked by the loud noise, jumped up and opened her eyes wide. She then looked at me and narrowed her eyes.

“What?” Dom asked sharply.

“Are you awake?” I asked. The question seemed a little stupid now that I had asked it, but no taking back what has already been done.

Dom was one of those people that could sleep all day if you let her. I normally slept just as much as Dom, but there’s just something about a sleepover, that causes me to wake up unnaturally early. I had been lying in bed for about an hour (making it ten o clock am) before deciding to see if Dom was awake.

“Am I awake?!” Dom roared. “Am I awake?! Gee Coco, I SURE AS BLOODY HELL AM NOW!”

“Merlin, Dom, no need to be rude,” I said defensively. “You’ve been snoring like a banshee for an hour, the least I could do was help society by waking you up.”

“I do not snore.”

“Oh, but you do.” She really does in case you were wondering. It sounds like a dying hypogriff.

“Do not!”

“Do too!”

“Do not!”

“Do too!”

“COCO AND DOM IF YOU TWO DO NOT SHUT UP I AM GOING TO MAKE DOM’S SNORES THE LEAST OF YOUR WORRIES!” a voice shouted. It sounded like Victoire, but I couldn’t be sure because, you know, the noise was coming from outside. Dom and I were both silent and then cracked up into a fit of laughter.

“Well since you’re up,” I started to say once our laughs died down, “we can now go to the beach! It’s prime tanning time you know.” As I said this, I hopped over to the balcony window, and ripped the curtains back to show her the blazing sun. Maybe I should have done it more slowly though, because when your eyes have adjusted to the darkness and a bunch of light suddenly fills your view, it hurts like hell.

“OW MERLIN ALMIGHTY SHUT THE DAMN CURTAINS!” Dom said clutching her eyes in pain.

I quickly shut them and gave Dom a hopeful smile, “So….. beach?”

Dom seemed to weigh the thought over in her mind for a nanosecond before grinning from ear to ear, “Beach it is!”

*


The sun is one of those things that are a blessing and a curse at the same time. The sun is, of course, a blessing because it’s you know filled with all of that Vitamin… A, B, or C? And you know it’s a curse because it can make you feel like your being boiled alive. But then it becomes a blessing again when you notice your skin turning a darker shade. Or it can be a curse if you’re pale to begin with and all you look like after spending hours in the sun is a roasted ham.

My previous experiences with the sun seemed to be the ham side of things, but that still didn’t stop me from going to the beach and tanning anyways.

“Coco,” Dom said turning her head to me as we both laid, stomach down on our beach towels.

“Hmmph?” I said keeping my eyes closed and just listening to the sound of the waves crashing over the shore. Ahh summer is bliss. I could sit here all day listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean.

“Those blokes over there, are totally checking us out,” Dom said gesturing subtly to a two guys about our age. Dom was right of course. Every couple of minutes one would make a gesture to us, and then the other would look our way and turn away if they saw us notice their stares.

Guys are utter baboons.

“I am not at the beach to be ogled at!” I exclaimed to Dom annoyed.

“Then, why are you wearing your neon pink bikini?” she asked slyly.

“It was at the top of my trunk! And Merlin knows I wasn’t about to go digging!” I responded huffily.

“I’m sure,” Dom responded sarcastically.

“Shove it.”

“Only if you beg.”

“Oh I’ll show you how to beg!”

In our blabber of insults, neither of us noticed when the blokes decided that they had the guts to approach us. So, there we were hurling insults at each other, when one of the guys cleared his throat. He was standing over my sun too, which was really a shame because I really think my skin was getting used to it and starting to tan.

Dom, taking the lead as she always does with these kinds of things, flipped her hair as if she belonged in a shampoo commercial and then said, “Yes?”

The guys were cute too. I mean, the one blocking my sun had a fit body, and a nice smile, but honestly I’m not a muggle-dater. It can get awkward since I know absolutely nothing about a regular muggle life. My parents were both magic in case you didn’t already know.

“I’m Chris,” the bloke said giving a lopsided grin, “my mate and I just wanted to invite you ladies to a beach party that’s happening here, later tonight.”

“Oooh a beach party!” I exclaimed giving Dom a wide-eyed look. I’ve always wanted to go to a real muggle beach party, with, er, muggles! Dom rolled her eyes at me already knowing what I was thinking.

“Sorry, but, we’re busy,” Dom responded totally ruining all the ideas flitting through my mind.

Chris seemed upset. Hell, I’m sure I seemed upset. This was disappointing! I mean how was I going to ever get to know any muggles if my Dommy never let me? I noticed the guy behind Chris looked upset too. There’s nothing worse than getting turned down by a veela let me tell you.

“Well that’s a shame,” Chris said retreating with his friends, still trying to retain his manhood. “I guess we’ll see you around or something.”

“Don’t count on it,” Dom said to their retreating figures. Harsh.

When they were out of earshot, I rounded on Dom, “DOOOOOOOM! Why must you ruin everything?!”

“Are you serious right now? If we had gone, you would have gone to the bonfire, gotten drunk, and made out with one of the guys, who both have girlfriends, if you haven’t noticed,” Dom said gesturing to a two girls that had just walked onto the beach. They caught sight of the guys that had been over here previously and each ran up to them giving their boyfriends a sloppy snog.

“I would not have made out with them!” I said, even though I probably would have if I hadn’t known they had girlfriends.

“You were almost ready to jump Chris’s bones here and now, if you were drunk I wouldn’t be able to pull you two apart,” Dom responded matter-of-factly, ending the conversation in that dismissive way of hers. “Anyways, we’re getting our measurements for our dresses today for my party.”

Dom’s party immediately took over my thoughts, and Freddy and James popped up in my head. I shuddered involuntarily. I really didn’t want to see them. And the party was in two weeks too. I needed months to prepare myself for this.

“Coco, there’ll be so many people there that the likelihood of you bumping into them is slim,” Dom said comforting me. She was lying though and we both knew it. I mean they had told her they wanted to meet me, so they obviously were going to try and find me.

“You’re an awful liar,” I said before kicking up a bunch of sand at her. Dom squealed and then kicked a bunch of sand back at me, causing a full-blown sand fight to commence. 

And Freddy and James became insignificant thoughts in the back of my head.

*

“Just hold still for one more minute!” the lady getting my measurements said, as she struggled to get my waist measurement. I fidgeted again feeling uncomfortable.

The lady let out another huff. I stood still this time, but I started feeling really self-conscious of the fact that my body was being so tightly looked at. I felt like I was under a microscope. Which is a muggle object that makes things become bigger; Dom told me about it once.

“Twenty two inches,” the lady wielding the measuring tape said. I don’t know who she was really saying it too, because she seemed to be the only one in the store, so I looked at Dom who was sitting in an armchair chewing bubble gum and reading a magazine. Fleur was hovering over the saleslady like a hawk, however, so that might have been why the measurement was said aloud.

Which is really unnecessary if you ask me.

“Muuuuum, are we almost done? I have so much work to do for tomorrow,” Victoire complained. She was sitting by Dom, and as she whined, Dom cringed.

Cherie, come on just stick it out for a little longer, everything has to be perfect for Dom’s big day,” Fleur said soothing Victoire. It really bothered me how her parents just let Victoire be her annoying self.

It’s kids like her that make corporal punishment seem understandable. Why is Victoire still living at home anyway? Why can’t she just move out? The Weasley-Delacour household would be a lot better if she did so.

I mean, she’s been engaged to Teddy for two years now, yet they still don’t find it necessary to get married until they both have a steady income and whatnot. But, can’t they at least get a flat together?

“Stop fidgeting,” the Lady of Measurements (has a nice ring to it doesn’t it?) said interrupting my thoughts. I stood still again and watched as Dom furiously glared at her magazine while Victoire gave some woe-is-me speech about her life.

“It’s just so hard sometimes, trying to maintain my job and fiancé, while still managing to please all of you as well. I just wish there could be three of me so I could be the daughter you want, the fiancé Teddy deserves, and the worker the Minister expects,” Victoire groaned on. Why was she even here anyways? She had already gotten her dress fitted weeks ago. It was so unnecessary to have this Debbie Downer here.

“Hey Vicky,” I said from my spot on the pedestal, “you know if you find it so hard to live at home, you could always move out! Be on your own and all that rot.”

Victoire seemed annoyed at my interruption to her rant, and gave me a stony glare. Her mum however, seemed to brighten at this idea and turned to Victoire, “Mon cherie, what a wonderful idea Coco has come up with, don’t you think? You could live on your own and really concentrate on your job and Teddy, and visit us when you can!”

Dom stopped reading her magazine, and sent a smirk my way. She seemed to love the idea just as much as I did.

“Of course it would be ideal,” Victoire reasoned, “but all the stress of picking out a new place, and moving everything there, could really strain my job as well.”

Why must Victoire always act so high and mighty with her job? So what if you answer the letters for the minister, I bet you wipe his ass as well Vicky, good for you. You’re an official ass wiper. How’s that for a job description?

“But that is the good thing about having me as a mother,” Fleur said excitedly, “I will of course, pick out the flat for you, as your father and I will be the ones buying it, and we can move you in ourselves!”

Victoire looked like she wanted to puke, Dom’s smile grew even bigger, and I was thanking the heavens above for this miracle that was happening in Gigi’s Gorgeous Gowns and Dresses.

“Well…I-uh- guess that would be okay,” Victoire said as if she thought it was anything but. “But I would have to see the place before you bought it and everything, and of course it would need to be completely decorated with my approval.”

“But of course,” Fleur said excitedly clapping her hands, “nothing but the best for my daughters.” And with that Fleur put her arms around both Victoire and Dominique.

“Hold still,” the Lady of Measurements (aka frigid bitch) commanded when I fidgeted again. But even she couldn’t ruin the good mood that had now washed over me.



*


“Come on, Corinne, we’ll hang out with them, make our peace with the whole lot of them, and then they’ll come to my party,” Dom said to me pulling me by my feet trying to get me off the bed. I, however, knew better and clung to Dom’s bed for dear life.

“Get up you lazy arse! I told them we’d see them. You do realize if we don’t go a whole chunk of the graduating class won’t show up, and how will we look?” Dom continued.

Dom wanted us to hang out with Jean Paul and his mates, in order to make peace so that they would still come to Dom’s party. Apparently he held a bunch of influence over the graduating class, and without him there, his mates wouldn’t go either, who had other mates that wouldn’t go, etc. What a right load of tossers.
 
Jean Paul’s mates, who were friends of Faye’s, were not at the top of the I-Love-Corinne list. And I was under no circumstances, going to throw myself into that live shark tank. No matter how hard Dom pulled me I was never getting out of this bed.

As the thought escaped my head however, a super human strength suddenly overcame Dom, and she pulled me right off the bed, and onto the floor. Lovely.

“You can’t make me!” I exclaimed loudly as Dom started to widen her sparkly brown eyes. She could make a grown man cry with that look.

“Get dressed, now!” Dom commanded grabbing a brightly colored floral skirt and cornflower blue strapless shirt, and shoving it at me. She gave me a look as if daring me to argue.

How she could pick out a perfect outfit for me in the span of a few seconds, while ordering me around, is beyond me.

“Fine, Dom, but you owe me,” I said before grabbing the clothes that she held out to me, and heading into her bathroom. I quickly changed into the outfit, and looked at my reflection in the mirror.

The blue shirt really brought out my blue eyes and tucked into the short, flowy skirt, gave my outfit a nice polished look. I took my hairbrush and brushed through my thick hair, which had loose waves throughout it because of all the saltwater air it had been getting at Dom’s house. I then quickly brushed my teeth, which looked whiter than usual because my skin had taken on this glowy look from all the sun.

I loved that Dom lived by the beach in France. It really doesn’t get better. For the past week, all Dom and me had been doing was going to the beach and tanning. I had developed a nice golden glow about me, which made my pink lips look even pinker, and my blue eyes even more crystal clear. Oh how I love being tan. Not to mention the sun had been turning my hair a lighter shade of blonde. I looked like a beach bum through and through.

I opened the door to Dom’s bathroom and quickly went over to her makeup station and put a thin line of eyeliner on my top eyelids, and mascara on my eyelashes. I finished my makeup off with a shiny lip gloss, and then slipped on a pair of flip flops.

“Well my little Coco, aren’t you a sight to see,” Dom said putting her hand over her heart. She looked gorgeous in her strapless baby pink sundress that really complimented her coloring. Chaise really knew what he was saying when he told Dom she looked good in pink.

“Let’s just get this over with,” I said rolling my eyes at Dom’s obvious uncaringness at the awful situation I was going to be placed into. “Where are we off to?”

“Diagon Alley,” Dom said as if it was no big deal.

“London?! Seriously! There is no way we’re going there.” If we went to Diagon Alley that would risk me bumping into anyone I used to go to Hogwarts with.

“Come on, Coco,” Dom started, “I told Jean Paul we’d meet him there right in front of Gringotts. He’s already there visiting some family, and his other mates are there too so we’ll meet up with them!”

“Nope, you’re gunna have to go without me,” I said crossing my arms in defiance.

“You know I can’t go without you! I’m not seventeen and therefore can’t apparate. Only you can get us there, Cori,” Dom said widening her eyes at me. Curse you stupid twinkling eyes.

“Then you’ll have to walk!”

“Don’t make me force you, we both don’t want that,” Dom said menacingly. Her body was crouched down in a leaping tiger type of position and I was instantly worried.

“Just try-” but my words were interrupted by Dom pouncing onto me and starting to tickle me. Which was, of course, my greatest weakness, and Dom knew it. It was so unfair how some people are ticklish and some aren’t, because Dom wasn’t so I could not retaliate in any way as she attacked me.

“Please-STOP-I’ll” gasp “go!” I shouted as Dom tickled me to the point where I couldn’t breathe anymore. Tears were streaming down my face, and I felt like I had just run a marathon.

“That’s what I thought,” Dom responded as she stopped tickling me and grabbed my hand, pulling me off the floor, which is where I had wound up after the tickle fight. I adjusted my skirt, and then linked arms with Dom, grabbing my wand off of her bedside table.

I concentrated really hard on Gringotts, even thought I did not want to go there whatsoever, and stepped forward. I heard the familiar cracking sound, and soon I felt like I was being squeezed between a very small tube, before finally appearing in front of Gringotts, Dom’s arm still linked with mine.

“I’ll never get used to that feeling,” Dom announced before plopping herself on one of the steps leading up to the bank. I sat down next to her and observed the hustle and bustle of a place I hadn’t been to in years.

You know that feeling you get when you really don’t want to run into someone so you look at all the faces passing to see if it’s them. I was doing that this very moment, as Dom chattered on to me about how happy she was that I decided to make amends with Jean Paul and his group for the sake of her party. I looked at every person convinced it was either James or Freddy, and every time it wasn’t my heart flooded with relief. Not that I had a good idea of what they looked like now, but it couldn’t be to hard to figure it out.

“So when did you say Jean Paul was going to be here?” I said just wanting to get this day over with and escape back to France, where I knew I was safe.

“Oh he should be here any second, he said he might get held up a few minutes because he is with family and you know how family can be,” as Dom said this she grew quiet realizing that it was me she was talking to.

Dom knew my relationship with my family. She was the only one who knew. She was the only one who knew most things about me, now that I thought about it. I, however, was saved from commenting on Dom’s words as Jean Paul appeared in front of us.

“Hey, Jean,” I said leaping up and giving him a hug. He really deserved it for saving me from this moment that life presented me with. “How’s it going?”

Jean seemed surprised at the fact that I was showing him any sort of affection (but I mean, come on, the only reason I was here was to get him to go to Dom’s party with his friends. So how could he be surprised?). He hugged me back however and responded, “It’s been great. I have a job set up and everything right here in London, which is most of the reason I’m here actually.”

Dom walked up to Jean Paul and gave him a hug too. He didn’t seem to notice her as much though and continued to stare at me questioningly. His tousled brown hair looked especially good and his blue eyes appeared just like I remembered them last.

“That’s great!” Dom said cheerily as she stood on my other side making me in the middle of her and Jean Paul. I ought to smack her sometimes, forcing me to do all the work. “I hope you’ll still have time to visit me and Coco though, don’t want you to forget about us.”

I mentally reminded myself to kill Dom.

“Of course not,” Jean Paul said as he began to walk forward, where to I had no idea. Dom and I continued to walk beside him, before Jean grabbed my arm to lead me along. I grabbed Dom’s arm with my hand and pulled her forward with me as a life preserver.

I hated when guys got so dominant with me. Like, I know how to walk.

“Where are we going?” I asked as we continued to walk forward. I grew uncomfortable as I noticed us nearing a very popular place for Hogwarts students.

“Oh we’re just going to this café up the road,” Jean responded. “That’s where the others already are.”

Greeeeat.

“Sounds great, Jean! You always know the best places,” Dom chimed in mindlessly. I really hated when she acted like this.

As Dom and I walked across the road, many people stopped and stared at us. And by people I mean guys. I suddenly felt like a piece of meat. I really should’ve worn a sweat suit. Or a sheet of some sort.

I noticed us nearing the bright orange store Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and wished I had brought sunglasses with me. I did not want to, under any circumstances walk by there, because the owner of the shop happened to be the parent of one of my tormenters.

Dom seemed to notice my body stiffen too as we neared her Uncle’s shop. If we passed, someone would surely recognize Dom at the least. Dom was about to suggest us go somewhere else but Jean Paul plowed right on to a café that was right across from the store I wanted to be nowhere near.

“Here it is,” he said stopping in front of the café, looking proud that he had found it. Did he want some sort of award or something?

“Well then let’s go in,” I said ready to open up the door to the café, but before I could someone started shouting Jean Paul’s name. Jean Paul looked and saw a group of his friends already at a table, and it was of course, outside.

Dom and I exchanged a look, but followed Jean as he walked over to the table.

“I hate you so much,” I whispered in Dom’s ear.

“Love you too, Cor,” Dom responded. We arrived at the table and I recognized the two boys and one girl already sitting down, instantly. Jean Paul sat down next to his friend, Philippe. He then gestured for me to sit down next to him, which faced Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, and I had to sit down because Dom shot me a look.

Dom sat across from me, next to the girl who I recognized as Nannette, one of Faye’s good friends. She was dating Jacque, who was the other guy present. When she noticed my arrival she gave me an icy stare. Typical.

“Hey guys, sorry we’re late,” Jean said to them apologetically.

“It’s understandable,” Nannette said giving me a look as if blaming me for our lateness. I wanted to slap the look off of her that little brunette head of hers, but I managed to refrain.

“You would not believe how packed it is today,” Dom explained being her usual bubbly self whenever she was around people. “I thought I was going to die!”

“But Jean here saved us,” I continued giving Jean a grateful smile. He looked smug and put his arm around my shoulder. Nannette looked beyond livid.

“Go Jean,” Jacque exclaimed giving him a fist pound. Boys are so juvenile.

“I couldn’t let these two damsels suffer,” Jean responded.

Philippe however, broke into the conversation by asking Jean how his work had been, and they all started to chatter and catch up on how their new jobs were going. Dom and I pretended to be interested in the conversation and nodded and smiled occasionally.

I however, was watching across the street, as a boy with caramel colored skin, and dark hair walked out of the Wizard Wheezes store. It was Freddy. I could tell immediately as he looked the exact same, only a bit older. He didn’t notice Dom or me however, and walked over to a group of girls that seemed to be waiting for him outside of the store.

I felt a pit in my stomach as I saw him, acting all cocky and talking to these girls, and noticed that he seemed to be exactly as I remembered him. Dom followed my gaze and saw Freddy too.

All I kept thinking about were the times at Hogwarts when he would sarcastically tell me how nice I looked and then proceed to ask if I had lost weight, for the entertainment of anyone around. I remembered the sound of him and James’s high fives as they made another cruel dig at my looks. I remembered the oinks that followed me wherever I went.

I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t be this close to someone who had hurt me so badly.

“I have to use the bathroom,” I said, and with that I got up from the table and walked inside the restaurant, putting the security of a wall between Freddy and I.

The door I had just walked through opened right behind me, and Dom walked in. She spotted me, with my back against the wall right by the bathroom door, and walked over to me grabbing my hands.

“Coco, listen to me,” Dom commanded, her eyes drilling a hole right into mine. “You do not have to worry about Freddy or James or anyone from Hogwarts ever saying a thing to you. You want to know why? Because your one of the strongest people I know. You managed to survive that shitty ass school with my sodding wankers of cousins for two years, and look at you now. You’re beautiful, you’re loved, and no one can take that away from you.”

“What a load of shit,” I started to say but Dom gave me anther fierce gaze, her grip around my hands tightening.

“Corinne, shut up! You need to stop thinking back to those awful years of your life. Everyone has a hard life, and everyone has to deal with it. And I know you can deal with this. You’re too strong to let just seeing one boy who used to torture you cause you to crumble. You’re my best friend Cor, if I don’t believe in you, who will?”

I listened to Dom’s words as they rushed over me, and realized, she was right. Am I really going to let one spotting of one boy who had treated me like a pile of shit ruin everything my life had become? No. Am I that pathetic, that I hide from my worst fears? No. I used to be like that. I used to be that girl that wished more than anything to just disappear. I used to be the one who would avoid the people that scared me most.

“Dom, did I ever tell you that you’re honestly the bestest friend in the entire world?” I said regaining my composer and giving Dom a small smile.

“I feel like you have, but it’s always nice to here,” Dom responded echoing the words I had once said to her. She then released her vice grip on my hands, and when she did this I gave her a huge hug.
 




 

A/N: So here you have it, chapter three! This came out later than I wanted, but it was my birthday on Monday and so the whole weekend before I was busy, and then this whole week turned out to be the worst week of my life.

I really wish school didn't exist, I literally had a huge project due everyday this week, and then thursday had a test/quiz in every class.

But anyways I hope you enjoyed the chapter and maybe even grew more love for Dom and how amazing a friend she is to Corinne. :) Tell me what you think! Do you like Coco? Do you like Dom? What do you think about Corinne seeing Freddy? Does Jean Paul annoy you, or is it just me?

Reviews make me happy and when I'm happy I get even more into writing my story!

R&R

-Rebecca

 


Chapter 4: New Perspective
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Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, as unbelieveable as it may seem. And the chapter title comes from the song New Perspective by Panic! At the Disco.






 

 

“FLEUUUUUUR!”

I quickly heard the scuffling of feet, as Fleur entered the kitchen, which only I was in. Dom had just left to get her final dress fitting, since mine had already been fitted, and I was in desperate need of having a talk with her.

“Yes, mon cherie?” Fleur said as soon as she entered the kitchen and sat down across from me. Her beautiful silver hair, which she had passed on to all her children, was twisted into a knot at the nape of her neck.

“I am an awful friend,” I exclaimed to her, lifting my hands up in the air to show the seriousness of the matter. “I have absolutely no idea what to get Dom for her birthday!”

It was true. I had no idea what to give Dom for her birthday whatsoever, and her party was only a week away. What could I possibly give her to show how amazing a friend she has been to me?

“Oh ma petite,” Fleur said her eyes wide. “I’m sure Dominique will appreciate anything you get for her.”

I sighed. Fleur was right, but I wanted to get Dom something perfect.

“I want to give Dom a gift she’ll always remember though,” I said pouting. Dom always knew the perfect gift to get me. For my last birthday, Dom threw me a surprise party at school, and bought me a pair of Christian Louboutin (a muggle designer) shoes, which I had been eyeing for months. I wanted to top her gift to me.

Fleur reached over and placed a hand on my shoulder, noticing how troubled I was. Sometimes I liked to pretend that she was my mum. She acted like she was most of the time, and it was always a nice feeling whenever she treated me like one of her kids.

“Sometimes,” Fleur said slowly, “the best gifts come from la coeur.” She placed a hand over her heart for effect.

“La coeur,” I repeated back to her faintly.

I turned the words Fleur had said over in my head. I needed to get her something worth more than a money value. Something that came from the heart. My head flitted to the wall in Dom’s room covered with pictures upon pictures upon pictures of memories throughout her life.

It was almost like a light bulb went off in my head.

“I think,” I said looking at Fleur as a gift idea formed in my mind, “that you are a genius.”

Fleur laughed, letting a beautiful smile light up her face, “Oh honey you give me too much credit.”

“Or maybe no one else gives you enough,” I said getting up from the table, ready to tackle the creating of this perfect gift I was going to give Dom. I gave Fleur a hug. “Now, you need to show me every single home video and picture of Dom you have!”

*

“The dresses are here!” Dom said excitedly, practically bouncing as she held two dresses covered in a sheath of plastic. Dom’s party was in a couple days now, and Dom had been waiting eagerly for the dresses to be delivered to the house, worried they’d get messed up or wouldn’t be finished on time.

“Good! So now you can stop going mental about whether or not they’ll arrive,” I said to Dom with a smirk. I looked back down at the copy of Witch Weekly that I was reading.

“You know, if you keep up this attitude, you’ll have to wear black and white along with the rest of the partygoers,” Dom responded giving me a look. Dom had written specifically on the invitations for everyone to wear white or black to her party, in order to make sure that no one had a similar dress to her.

Dom had then told me I was not going to blend in with any of the other attendees of her party either, and had proceeded to pick out a perfect dress for me to wear. A dress that was now clutched in her hands, as she was dangling it threateningly in front of me.

“If you did that, then you would have no party to go to, as you’d be dead. I did not go to a million dress fittings for nothing.” Dom knew how much I hated getting measured and fitted, and the only reason I went through that torture was because she had promised me a gorgeous dress in return.

“You’re right,” Dom said as she decided to hang the dresses up on the hooks of the door to her room. “But it was a good threat, no?”

“It was an empty threat,” I shot back.

It was an empty threat,” Dom mocked in a voice that sounded like it belonged to a goblin. Her face was screwed up in an unattractive matter and I started to laugh.

“Oh stuff it,” I said picking up a pillow from Dom’s bed and throwing it at her. The pillow missed her and instead hit the wall behind her. Well that’s embarrassing.

“Good one,” Dom said rolling her eyes at me before plopping herself next to me on her bed. She then grabbed the Witch Weekly magazine out of my hand and tossed it aside onto the floor.

“Hey! I was reading that!”

“Not anymore,” Dom replied sticking her tongue out. “Besides, we need girl chat.”

“We have girl chat every single day,” I responded as I crawled across the bed to try and get the magazine off the floor without standing up.

“Fine, then we need to have guy talk,” Dom said rolling her eyes as I struggled to keep the lower half of my body on her bed, as I reached my arms for the magazine that was just a little out of my grasp. I used my arms to propel myself forward just a bit, but I was now off balance and the lower half of my body flipped over my upper half and I landed on the ground in a heap.

I’m graceful, I know.

I looked up at Dom and she seemed to find the whole situation boring. She was checking her silver hair for split ends and making sure her nail polish wasn’t chipped. What a great friend.

“Oi! Some friend you are. Not even caring when I’m physically harmed,” I said to Dom making it look like I was peeved. I crossed my arms and sat cross-legged on the floor.

“Maybe if this didn’t happen all the time, I’d still care.”

“Fine,” I said snappily, getting up and sitting back on her bed, forgetting all about the magazine. “So what is this guy talk?”

“Well… It’s about Chaise. Maman wants me to have, like, an escort when I arrive at the party, and I want to ask him, you know? Just as friends though, I don’t want to come on too strong. But… like… do you think he’d say yes?” Dom asked me as she twirled her hair around her finger.

Was Dom seriously questioning if a guy would ever turn her down?

“Of course he’d say yes,” I responded. “He’d have to be a bloody wanker not to!”

Dom seemed to think this over in her head for a while. She then slowly let a smile make its way onto her lips.

“Oh Coco,” Dom said giving me a hug, “I knew you’d make me feel good about asking him. Which reminds me, you need an escort too for the whole entrance crap that maman’s making us do.”

“I’ll just ask Wyatt then,” I said knowing it’d be a laugh with him. We could at least gossip most of the night, whereas if Tyson escorted me, he’d flirt with every girl that looked his way.

“Good! Then it will look like it’s just a casual thing and not a me-being-in-love-with-him thing,” Dom said excitedly clapping her hands. Did my Dommy just mention the word love? I told you they’d fall in love. I swear I should be a seer.

“What are you giving me that look for,” Dom said noticing the huge smile on my face.

“You’re in love with him?” I asked waggling my eyebrows at her. Dom seemed to notice her mistake and turned a light shade of pink.

“No of course not! It was just a figure of speech. Merlin, Corinne, you’re always jumping to conclusions,” Dom rambled.

“But I am, more or less, always right with my conclusions,” I said getting off the bed and walking over to her wall of photos. I stood in front of the section of pictures of Dom and her previous boyfriends, and pointed to each photo. “For example, I was right about you liking Leo, and when you fancied Francois, and when you were smitten with Stephan.”

“Enough!” Dom said jumping up and walking over to the wall, throwing her body over the boyfriend section to stop me from making any more valid points. “So maybe you are creepily aware of my feelings towards guys, but that doesn’t mean I love Chaise. I just happen to think he’s really fit… and fanciable.”

I gave Dom a disbelieving look. Did she honestly think she could pass of for only having a small crush on him when she was basically obsessed with him?

Just as I was about to pick at the situation a little more, Fleur decided to interrupt our conversation shouting that dinner was ready. Dom was one lucky bint.

“Keep telling yourself that,” I said to her as I followed Dom downstairs to the dining room.

My thuds sounded so caveman-like compared to Dom’s soft padding as we climbed down the stairs, and I had half a mind to push her down. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same if you were in my position.

I managed to restrain myself though, because I mean she is my best friend and I feel like she wouldn’t appreciate it much if caused her to topple down the stairs, even if she was making me feel like an oaf. So instead I tried as gracefully as possible to walk over to the dining room table and sat across from Vicky, with Louis on my right and Dom next to Vicky, while Bill and Fleur sat at the ends of the table.

This became a regular thing for us to have a family dinner a couple times a week. It made me feel like Dom and me were actually sisters. Which I loved.

I looked at the table in front of me, which was filled with bouillabaisse, boudin blanc, Pot au feu, an assortment of breads, and then a huge bowl of salad. It all smelled delicious, and Fleur was an incredible French cook.

Everyone at the table started to dig in, Louis the most eagerly of them all. He was a growing boy being fourteen and all. I could tell he was quite the looker, even if he was younger than me.

“Coco, eat!” Fleur said noticing that I had not touched any of the food yet. I guess I had been in such a trance of thought I had forgotten to take some food. I picked up the bowl of salad, and put a bunch on my plate, and then took a little of the bouillabaisse as well.

“So Dom, excited for you party?” I asked her as I took a small bite of my salad. I chewed it slowly as I waited for an answer.

“She better be! We haven’t been bending over backwards planning it for nothing,” Fleur said giving Dom a playful smile. Dom rolled her eyes before responding.

“Of course I’m excited for it! Everyone’s going to be there thanks to Coco making peace with some seventh years.” Thanks, Dom. She made it sound like everyone hated me. I noticed Vicky’s ears perk up as Dom said this.

“People hated our dear Coco?” Victoire asked in a sickly sweet voice. Oh how she got on my last nerves.
 
“They did not hate me,” I responded annoyed. Victoire smirked as she realized that she had managed to get to me, and I crossed my arms.

“She just had to do a little recon when she flipped out on a guy who lied to her, only to realize he held a huge pull over the whole graduating class,” Dom explained realizing that Vicky would run with any idea she could of people hating me.

Now do you see why I hate Victoire so much?

“Coco and Dom, such coquettes,” Fleur said with a twinkle in her eye. Back in her school days, she had had most guys wrapped around her finger, and she loved that Dom and I seemed to have lots of guys taken with us. Every time Dom and I ever had a boyfriend, Fleur always got so excited and wanted to chat with us about it. I loved this about Fleur, but Dom detested it to no end.

Bill grunted at these words, obviously not too fond of the fact that boys noticed his daughter.  “Still think you girls are too young to be having any romantic interests,” he muttered as he shoveled some bouillabaisse into his mouth. It was funny considering Victoire was engaged to Teddy, and had been for a while as they wanted to “settle down and get good paying jobs” before getting married. Why did he let Victoire be engaged then?

“Oh honey,” Fleur said giving Bill a look, “these girls can’t help the fact that they are beautiful! Guys will flock to them even if they don’t show interest!”

Dom seemed to be growing uncomfortable with the situation, and I just laughed. Dom and Victoire were beautiful, of course they were. But I was another story. Sure I was pretty, I was not going to deny that. But looking it and feeling it are two completely different things.

I still felt ugly on the inside.

“Yeah Bill,” I said playfully agreeing with Fleur. “The secret to getting old Dommy and Vicky here not to date is to scare any prospects from them. Just show them your wolf side.”

Bill laughed at this. Back during the Wizarding War, Fenrir Greyback, an infamous werewolf, had attacked Bill. Not that all werewolves were bad, but Fenrir was as rotten as they come. Bill had permanent scars on his face from the attack, and had inherited some wolf-like tendencies whenever the full moon came around. 

Good thing Bill was a good sport and able to laugh about it, now.

 “Coco, please stop giving him ideas,” Dom said giving me a look. I stuck my tongue out at her. Payback’s a bitch.

“And you guys make fun of me for being younger,” Louis said commenting on our childish antics.

“Oh shuddup youngin’,” I said giving him a little slap on the back. “Adults are talking right now! ’Tis rude to interrupt.”

“Youngin’ my arse,” Louis said annoyed.

“Language, Louis,” Fleur said in an authoritative voice. I giggled and looked at Fleur, who gave me a wink. Love that woman.

“But mamaaaan! She was making fun of me.”

“That’s no excuse to be rude to our guest.” Louis let out a resentful huff, and crossed his arms. Whatta cutie.

“Oh come on Little Louie,” I said ruffling his silver hair. “I’m just joshing with you.”

“Don’t call me that! You know, I’m nearly fifteen! That’s like seventy three in dog years!” The sad thing was, Louis was right in his dog year’s conversion. It makes me wonder what he does in his spare time.

“Louis,” I said rolling my eyes, “I was kidding. Jeez you’re like a little bro to me so of course I’m going to pick on you.”

This, however, did not seem to be the right thing to say, and instead Louis let out a harrumph and shouted, “Nobody understands me!” before running up to his room. I stared at the empty space that he had once vacated.

Well… that was strange.

“What’s up with him?” I asked the rest of the table, who did not seem at all worried about the situation that unfolded.

“Oh Louie? He’s just upset because he fancies you and you only see him as a little brother,” Dom said shrugging her shoulders.

Hold your horses. Little baby Louie, likes me? Did I hear her right? The way everyone else at the table did not seemed bothered by this, showed that they had already known too.

“Seriously?” I asked as everyone, including Victoire, grunted yes or nodded their head.

That was just so… weird.

Well this would be awkward because I only see him as a baby brother. Now I’m going to have to have a little chat with him this summer to set everything straight with him. Sigh.

“He’ll get over it,” Fleur said noticing how uneasy I looked. “He’s had a crush on you forever though, I can’t believe you didn’t know that.”

“WHAT?” I shouted completely confused. This idea was still so completely baffling. I did hang out with Louie a lot whenever I visited Dom, but it wasn’t like I gave him any reason to like me.

“He’s liked you since he first met you,” Victoire said with a disbelieving sniff.

“And he’s hated it every time you’ve had a boyfriend. Didn’t you notice how annoyed he got whenever you would mention them?” Dom added.

I tried to think of every occasion I had ever mentioned a boyfriend, and realized that maybe Dom was right. Louis always seemed to get really irritated if I would ever start talking about guys I fancied, and would always find excused to leave the room.

“Now I feel awful. He definitely hates me,” I said, feeling really bad. Here I was, always coming over and hanging out with Dom, and basically rubbing in his face that I thought of him as nothing more than a brother. How had I not noticed this?

“He’s a Weasley. He’ll manage,” Bill said noticing my distraught face.

“A Delacour-Weasley, so he’s very strong,” Fleur cut in.

“Why do you always have to make it sound like you gave the better genes?” Bill huffed, looking like a little kid.

“Well, I am part veela, so I gave the looks. I was top of my class, so I gave the brains. I was chosen for the Triwizard Tournament, so I gave the strength,” Fleur said ticking off all her reasons on her fingers. Bill got more annoyed at Fleur’s statements, and everyone else laughed.

“I gave the loyalty and bravery though! I was a Gryffindor,” Bill responded indignantly.

“Of course mon amour,” Fleur said sarcastically, rolling her eyes. I let out another snigger.

“I did!” Bill said indignantly. “Our kids wouldn’t be the lions they are without me! Right, Victoire?”

As Bill said this he turned to Victoire, who beamed and nodded like the perfect daughter she pretended to be. She had been sorted into Gryffindor, and so had Louis, when she attended Hogwarts. Bill was infinitely proud of this.

I noticed Dom seemed to get annoyed, though. She always hated how her dad seemed to dote more on Louis and Victoire just because they went to Hogwarts. However, her mum did kind of favor her a little more for the fact that she had attended Beauxbatons, so I guess it all evened out in the end.

“Being a Gryffindor doesn’t always mean you’re brave. It might just mean you’re an arrogant git,” I announced. I had been a Gryffindor, and I wasn’t brave. James and Freddy were Gryffindors, and they were arseholes. So really, there were some flaws in the way the sorting hat made its decisions.

“That comes from your side of the family too, doesn’t it Bill?” Fleur said with a smirk. Bill and Fleur also knew about my troubles at Hogwarts, but they did not know the whole extent of it.  Fleur never really got along with Bill’s parents and siblings, so she did not like them much either. Apparently they always left her out of family gatherings and had rude nicknames for her behind her back. I think that’s why Fleur was okay with me hating James and Fred.

Bill muttered something incoherent under his breath about how not everyone has perfect genetics, and then shoved some more food in his mouth.

“Well, I’d say it’s time to go back upstairs, we still have a lot to talk about,” Dom said waggling her eyebrows at me.

I got up ready to follow her back upstairs, where I knew she’d go on and on about her party making sure every single detail was perfect. I thanked Fleur for the amazing meal, gave Bill a fist pound, and waved to Vicky who rose her nose in response.


*

“I can’t do it,” Dom said, staring at the envelope sitting on the coffee table in the living room. It sat there, seemingly inoffensive, but we both knew that this envelope was the key to Dom being happy her whole party.

You see, Dom had sent a letter to Chaise asking him to be her escort, and this was Chaise’s response letter. I had literally spent HOURS writing the letter with her, to make sure it was the perfect mix of casual and hey-guess-I’ll-ask-you-to-be-my-escort-and-I-totally-don’t-like-you-I-just-think-your-really-hot-and-who-am-I-kidding-I-love-you-but-pretend-I-don’t. And you know what the letter we sent him wound up saying?

                                                                   Chaise,

                                                    You=escort at my party. Kay?

                                                                   MEOW,
                                                                     Dom

                                                p.s. Cats have over 100 vocal cords.


Let’s just say, I had a little too much influence in over what wound up in the letter, and if Chaise turned down Dom, she was totally going to kill me. But he definitely wouldn’t. I am the master at casual-yet-cool letters. Right?

I had also sent Wyatt a letter saying that Dom was making me get an escort and that unless he wanted to suffer decapitation he was going to be it. Another master letter at work I tell ya.

He responded saying yes in case you were wondering. You see, there’s a method to my madness.

“Dom,” I said picking up the envelope addressed to her in Chaise’s illegible scrawl. “Just open it.”

“But what if he says no? How awkward will that be if he comes to my party, and he’s not my escort and he knows that I asked him, and then he realizes I kind of fancy him but is totally not interested!”

Dom doubts herself way too much. Which is pretty ironic considering she is probably the most gorgeous person I’ve ever seen. 

“Dom, if you don’t open it, I will,” I said getting ready to tear the letter open and read it myself.

“FINE!” Dom shouted, snatching the letter out of my hand. She tore it open and closed her eyes, afraid to read it.

“DOOOOOOM,” I trilled. I was getting really annoyed; the anticipation was killing me.

“Okay, okay I’ll read it,” Dom said as she opened one eye. She opened the other soon after and unfolded the parchment that Chaise had written the letter to her on. I walked behind her and peeked over her shoulder.

                                                                  Dominikki,

                                                            I will be honored.

                                                                    RAWR,
                                                                    Chaise

                                p.s. Cats have 290 bones in their bodies, and 517 muscles.


“Such an unoriginal letter, he outright copied the genius of ours,” I said exasperated. And what was with that dreadful nickname he always called her? But Dom did not seem to notice. Instead she had a silly smile slapped across her face and kept rereading the letter over and over. Oh no, this means she’s about to-

“OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! HE SAID YES!” Dom squealed jumping up and down and screaming excitedly. I put my hands over my ears as Dom continued her squeals. “I LOVE YOU COCO! YOU WROTE THE PERFECT LETTER!”

I backed away as Dom launched herself at me, tackling me in a huge hug. Oh the pain it was being Dom’s friend.

“Dom. Can’t. Breathe,” I gasped as she continued to squeeze the life out of me.

“Don’t care! You are going to get hugged until I feel you don’t deserve it anymore,” Dom responded with a silly grin on her face. I should’ve written an awful letter instead, and then maybe my best friend wouldn’t be basically attacking me.

Oh wait, the result would be ten times worse if Chaise had said no.

“Domgeroffamee,” I grunted. She finally listened and I gasped as air suddenly flooded my lungs.

“Drama queen,” Dom said as I continued inhale as much air as I could.

“You basically killed me, all because you were so happy Chaise said he was honored to be your escort. What happened to you not liking him that much?” I said raising an eyebrow.

“Oh shut it Coco,” Dom said crossing her arms and giving me a grumpy look. “I don’t like him that much.”

“Ohhhhhkay.”

“I DON’T!”

“I believe you.”

“No you don’t!”

“You’re right I don’t.”

Dom let out a huff. “I hate you sometimes.”

“Love you too,” I responded with a smirk.

Dom looked down at the letter and then looked back up at me. “I can’t believe my party’s like, tomorrow. I mean I’ve been looking forward to it basically all summer and now it’s here.”

“And it’s going to be the best darn party in the world,” I responded to raising my arms in the air for emphasis. I had finished making her gift yesterday, and I was so excited for her to see it.

We had also been putting finishing touches on the party all week to make sure it turned out absolutely perfect, and with this letter tying up the one loose end, I was sure it would be.

There was just a little knot at the bottom of my stomach about who would show up at the party, meaning there was a knot at my stomach about seeing James and Freddy.
 

 






A/N: Hellooooo all of my beautifully charming and amazing readers! I finally got around to editing my chapter and submitting it to the queue, which is amazingly short!

So now that you've read this chapter, you probably understand that the next one coming up is going to be all about Dom's party. And I know this chapter's pretty short, but the next one is about 11,000 words, so hopefully that will make up for it! :)

Do you love Fleur as much as I do? What do you think about baby Louie liking Coco? Did you like the letter Dom sent Chaise? Let me know what you think because I love reading reviews and I will answer any questions you have for me!

Rawr,
-Rebecca

 


Chapter 5: You made your bed, I'm in mine
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Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. If I was I'd be on a neverending cruise. Oh and the song Let it Rock is by Kevin Rudolph not me, which is where I get the chapter title and the song lyrics in this chapter from.






 


It was the day of Dom’s birthday party, and the whole morning had been a flurry of activities. Fleur had been owling all the catering and decoration companies to make sure everything was going as planned, and Dom had been freaking out all morning about every detail in which the party could go wrong. So, all in all I was feeling like I was stuck in a place similar to hell, and I just couldn’t wait for the party to start and everything to settle itself out.

“Mamaaaaan, where are my shoes?!” Dom shouted over the edge of the banister, her voice carrying its way down the stairs. I watched Dom from her room, which looked like a bomb had gone off inside it, as she had been turning stuff over looking for her shoes.

They had been encrusted with Swarovski crystals just for her party, and Dom was freaking out because she couldn’t seem to find them.

“What are you looking for?” I heard Fleur ask as she walked her way up the stairs. Her hair was pulled up in a messy bun, and she looked about as tired as I felt. She had been putting a lot of effort into this party, as much as Dom, and she had also had to deal with Dom’s constant hysteria all day.

“My shoes!” Dom cried raising her arms and clutching at her hair. “I can’t find them!”

“I’m not sure…Did you check your room?” Fleur said calmly, pulling Dom’s arms down softly. This simply asked question seemed to do more harm then good. Dom’s face grew redder and redder as she started to explode.

“OF COURSE I CHECKED MY ROOM! THAT’S THE FIRST PLACE I LOOKED, DO YOU THINK I’M STUPID?” Dom then collapsed onto the ground and started to cry. Her shoulders were shaking and I got up off the bed and walked out into the hallway where the scene was unfolding.

“Dom,” I said walking over to her and kneeling beside her. I wrapped a comforting arm around her shoulder and continued to speak. “They’re just shoes. Your party cannot be ruined over a pair of shoes.”

Dom’s shoulders stopped shaking and she lifted her head off of the ground. She still looked beautiful even though her hair was a right mess, and her face was red and puffy. I hate her sometimes.

“It’s just, I don’t know where they could be,” Dom said her voice no higher than a whisper.

“Oh honey,” Fleur said kneeling down next to us and brushing her fingers through Dom’s hair in a soothing motion. “We’ll find them. A simple accio charm should do the trick if we can’t.”

“An accio charm! Why didn’t I think of that?” I said slapping my hand against my forehead. Sometimes I wish I used my head more. This could have saved a lot of searching on Dom’s part.

Dom’s demeanor perked up when Fleur stated this simple solution, and she started to stand up. Fleur and I stood up as well, and I walked into her room and pulled out my wand. Since Dom had not turned seventeen just yet, I was doing the casting, and soon Dom’s peep-toed crystal pumps were soaring towards me.

I caught them in my hands and walked back out into the hallway where Fleur was giving Dom a comforting hug and muttering soothing words to her in French. I really wish she was my mother sometimes.

“Here they are,” I said presenting Dom the glittering shoes. Dom squealed excitedly and took the shoes, giving me a hug.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” And with that Dom pranced away and back into her room, returning to her normal bubbly self.

“That girl is going to give me a heart attack one day,” Fleur said shaking her head and heading back down the stairs.

“I CAN HEAR YOU MUM,” Dom shouted back from her room. I let out a chuckle and walked back into Dom’s bedroom.

Dom was prancing around the room, holding her shoes in her hands and humming a popular muggle song to herself. I think it’s safe to say she has finally cracked and become insane.

“Sometimes I question my taste in friends,” I said out loud as Dom continued to dance with her shoes.

“Of course you don’t. Now come on join me and Crystal here in this preparty dance,” Dom said grabbing my arms and pulling me around the room with her. I laughed at the absurd fact that Dom had named her shoes, but danced anyway, humming the muggle song Dom had been humming with her.

Because when I arrive I, I bring the fire,” she sang off key. We started to twirl around the room, and Crystal was tossed to the ground forgotten, as we really got into our preparty dance.

Make you come alive, I can take you higher,” I chimed in, my voice equally as bad. Hey, not everyone is blessed with an amazing singing voice. But that wasn’t going to stop Dom and me from partying anyway.

In case you don’t know, this song is just about Dom and mines favorite muggle song. We had never heard muggle music until a couple years ago when we stole this muggle contraption called a myPod (or was it iPod?) from Chaise who owned it because his mum was a muggle. We had listened to all of his songs, and had decided after that, that we loved muggle music, and this was the song that had stuck with us through the years.

It had almost become an ongoing joke with us and the guys, because we sang it almost all the time. Almost everyone at the school knew at least our version of the song because we always listened to it every chance we got.

Which is why for Dom’s grand entrance, this was going to be the song that played. It was almost too good an opportunity to pass up. But, since Dom thought of it as our song, she had made me join in on the grand entrance festivities. Joy.

Dom and I sang the end of the song, our voices growing louder and louder, and we finished with some awful break dancing moves that should never see the light of day again. We then collapsed on the floor in a heap of giggles.

“Best preparty ever,” I announced to Dom, elbowing her in the ribs.

“What can I say, I know how to throw the most swinging soirees around,” Dom responded, elbowing me back.

“When do you think the boys will get here?” I asked Dom as I turned my head and looked at her.

“Who knows?” Dom said shrugging her shoulders and looking at me. “I think maman said something about us seeing them right before we enter or something.”

“Grrr, I want to see them sooner than that! It’s been ages and I miss those losers.” It was true, I really did miss them.

“Yeah, I’m not too excited about facing Ty’s wrath though,” Dom said agreeing with me.

Tyson had owled us yesterday after finding out that he was the only one not involved in the grand entrance, and had been beyond pissed. Something about us not respecting him as a friend, and that we were purposely leaving him out of a big moment in Dom’s life.

So, Dom had told him he could be in the grand entrance as well, which he had agreed too, but only after sending us some howlers about being second best. I knew he wasn’t actually that mad, but I guess Dom was afraid he would be.

“Ty never takes things too personally,” I said giving Dom some comforting words.

“Yeah, yeah,” Dom said waving me off. “Now let’s go and start getting ourselves ready, we only have four hours before we leave for the party, and then a half an hour of putting finishing touches on ourselves at the venue before our entrance.”

“Dom, that’s four and a half hours…” I said, widening my eyes at Dom’s exaggeration of how long it would take to get ready.

“Rome was not built in a day,” Dom said giving me a commanding look, “And neither is beauty, so we gotta get moving!”

With that she clapped her hands together and jumped off the floor we were laying on, pulling me up with her.

“You’re crazy,” I said laughing. I walked to the bathroom where Dom had already started laying out beauty potions and watched as she got herself ready. I shrugged, picked up a beauty potion that would give me a glowy complexion, and took a gulp.

Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

*

“Hurry up, Dom! The party starts in a half an hour and we need to get your entrance all set up!” Fleur shouted from downstairs.

Maaaman, don’t get your knickers in a twist! I can be late if it’s necessary!” Dom called back as she sat in front of her vanity putting the finishing touches on her makeup. She made a kissy face in the mirror, and seemed satisfied with her reflection.

“So,” Dom said standing up and twirling around, “How do I look?”

Dom’s strapless dress was a shimmering silver that enhanced the fact that she was part veela. It was tight in the bodice with intricate weaving throughout and then flared out dramatically, stopping around mid-thigh, making her look like some sort of mystical ballerina. She had silver shimmer dusted all over her arms and legs, and then had on her three-inch crystal heels that matched her dress. Her hair was pulled back into a loose, wavy ponytail, with little wisps framing her face.

All in all, Dom looked absolutely gorgeous.

“I think it’s safe to say, that Chaise is going to pass out when he sees you,” I said placing a hand over my heart as I looked at her.

“Same goes for you,” Dom said pulling me in front of her floor-length mirror, so that I could see my reflection.

I was wearing a gold dress, which Dom had told me was necessary because we’d go together. Apparently everyone knows silver and gold belong together, and I had to wear the gold because my hair had a gold tint whereas Dom’s had a silver tint. The dress was a halter dress with a low back, and floated away from me and stopped at a little above mid thigh. It almost looked like a waterfall of liquid gold, and I loved how it complimented my body. My hair was down in loose curls, and looked shimmering gold like the dress (thanks to about a million spells), and my makeup was a natural smokey eye with pale pink lips. I also had gold shimmer dusted down my arms and legs along with a glowy complexion, and had strappy five inch (hey I need all the height I can get!) heels that matched my dress.

I thought I looked pretty good, but standing next to Dom, there was really no comparison. Dom looked twenty times better, which was not a shock.

“I think we’ll be the hottest girls there,” Dom said linking her arms through mine. “Now let’s go downstairs before my maman passes out from the wait.”

We walked down the stairs, and when we did Fleur let out a squeal of delight. She was decked out in a simple calf-length black dress, which just enhanced her normal beauty.

I bet when guy’s talk about MILF’s, they imagine Fleur Weasley.

Bill was sitting at the couch behind her, wearing a white button down shirt and black dress pants. He hated dressing up, and that was about as dressy as it got with him. Ties “cut off his air supply”, so he had opted out of wearing one after a huge struggle on Fleur’s part. Louis was sitting next to Bill looking equally as bored wearing the same thing as Bill, only Fleur had forced him to wear a tie, to his dismay.

“You girls just look so breathtaking,” Fleur said clapping her hands together and grabbing Dom’s arm to pull her towards her.

I heard a disbelieving huff in the background, and saw Victoire standing behind the rest of her family, arms crossed. Victoire was wearing a knee length white dress that was very modestly cut and made her look innocent and angelic. Yeah, I know, looks can be way too deceiving sometimes.

Mamaaaaan, come on let’s just go,” Dom said annoyed. I knew she secretly enjoyed the compliments from Fleur though.

“Okay, okay, I’ll stop acting like such a mother,” Fleur said letting go of Dom and gesturing for us to all head to the fireplace with her. “Now come on everyone! We need to go!”

With that everyone ambled over, some with begrudging words about having to wear a “death contraption made to suffocate men” (coughLOUIScough), and some cheerfully bouncing with a big smile on their face (coughDOMcough).

“Now, I’ll go first,” Fleur said grabbing a handful of Floo Powder and throwing it into the fire. She shouted the location clearly, and twirled away in a whirl of dust and fire.

Louis went next, and then Victoire, and then Bill. Dom and I were the only ones left, and she gave me a grin. I still felt a sinking feeling at the pit of my stomach about the possibility of seeing Freddy and James. But, I quickly pushed the thought away and grinned back at Dom.

“You ready to rock this bitch?” Dom said wagging her eyebrows at me, not sensing my worry.

“But of course,” I said linking arms with Dom and we stepped into the fireplace together, throwing down powder and shouting the location, spinning away with dust and smoke.

We arrived in a room in the building that had specifically been put aside for Dom and I to wait in before the entrance. Her family was waiting in a different room, although Fleur probably was making sure everything was ready, and I spotted my three favorite guys, sitting and waiting expectantly for us to arrive.

“OHMYGOSH YOU GUYS!” I squealed. Dom noticed them too and joined in on the squealing.

Tyson, Wyatt, and Chaise all looked up us and broke into similar grins. “Well, well, well, if it isn’t the two most beautiful girls in all of Europe,” Tyson said with a smirk.

With those words being said, I ran over to the guys, who had all stood up at our entrance, (ever the gentlemen really) and gave them all hugs. Dom did the same, and we all became a mass of hugging bodies and girly squeals (okay maybe the squeals were just Dom and I).

“I missed you all so bloody much!” I shouted, as I gave Wyatt a hug. He twirled me around when I hugged him, and then placed me back on the ground.

Dom was standing near Chaise, and I noticed him staring at her trying to look like he wasn’t. I smiled inwardly at the fact that Chaise was checking her out, and made a note to tell Dom this when I got her alone.

“Don’t you all just clean up sooo well?” Dom said giving all the boys a once over approvingly.

They were all wearing black suits, which made them all look sexier, because who doesn’t look good in a suit? Chaise was wearing a silver tie however, that was made out of the same fabric as Dom’s dress, and Wyatt was wearing a gold one made out of the same fabric as my dress.

Tyson had on a gold one as well, even though he wasn’t escorting me, as he was going to be the announcer during the entrances. That had been what we finally decided on when wondering how to fit him into the entrance, and he had eagerly agreed at this proposal.

“We didn’t want to look like crap compared to you gorgeous girls,” Chaise said casually, putting an arm over Dom’s shoulder. Dom’s blush was barely noticeable, but I was jumping with glee at this moment that was unfolding.

“But it seems like we do anyways,” Wyatt responded as he held my arm and gave me a twirl. I laughed and smacked his arm playfully.

“Oh come on you guys look sexy,” I stated as I spun Wyatt around, similar to what he had given to me, causing him too look totally ridiculous. We all cracked up laughing and I had the feeling of happiness that I always did whenever the group was all together.

“Don’t we always though?” Ty said flexing his muscles underneath his suit and looking insanely arrogant. I gave him a smack on the back of his head, and he gave me a glare.

“Must you always hit me?” he asked exasperated.

“Must you always be an arrogant prat?” I fired back.

“I can’t help it, it’s not my fault I was born this beautiful.”

“Well then I will always need to hit you.”

“Can’t we just all get together and not fight?” Dom begged, joining in on me and Ty’s battle.

I crossed my arms trying to look angry, but then grinned at Ty after he made a stupid face. He put his arm around me and ruffled my hair. “Knew you couldn’t resist me,” he said.

“Oh shove it,” I said pushing his arm away.

“So what is this I heard about you hanging out with Jean Paul,” Wyatt asked. He had been looking like he had wanted to ask me this for quite sometime and I let out a sigh. Typical Wyatt, always wanting to gossip.

“Don’t look at me. This was all Dom’s fault,” I said pointing at Dom who looked to be in a staring contest with Chaise. And I don’t mean soulfully staring into each other’s eyes, I mean a full out seeing-who-could-blink-first type of staring. Dom blinked however when I gestured to her, and Chaise raised his hands in victory, sharing a fist pound with Tyson.

“It was not my fault. It was yours for snogging him,” Dom said flippantly. I let out a huff and crossed my arms.

“No it was not! It was his for lying to me.”

“I told you he was still dating Faye,” Dom argued back with me.

“Guys, come on! Tell me what happened over the summer,” Wyatt said getting annoyed at the fact that the conversation was diverting away from the question he had asked. I raised my eyebrows at Dom, signaling that she was going have to explain it to him.

“Well, we hung out with him over the summer at Diagon Alley because we needed to make sure him and all our seventh year friends were still coming to the party, even though Coco here had caused some drama with him that might’ve made him not come. She did an excellent job convincing him to come, if I say so myself,” Dom said waggling her eyebrows. I gritted my teeth at Dom. I had thought she would’ve kept this to herself, but trust her to hint at the fact that I had snogged him. Which I really hadn’t. It had been more like a peck of sorts, and he had initiated it not me!

“You snogged him?” Tyson asked, eyes wide.

“I did not snog him,” I responded giving Dom a look that said ‘thanks a lot’. “It was just a little kiss. I didn’t even start it. It was all him!”

“You are just too much sometimes,” Wyatt said laughing and giving my hair a ruffle. God, these guys needed to stop ruffling my hair or else it’d look awful by the time the part started.

The next half hour passed buy in a blur of us catching up on everything that had happened over the summer. Chaise and Dom had shared a couple of cutesy moments that had caused me and the other guys to give each other knowing looks, and Wyatt had gossiped about everything he heard about who over the summer.

Fleur entered the room five minutes later then expected, and told us that it was time to get ready for our entrance, and we all stood up, me smoothing out my dress. Fleur led us to the door that we would be coming through and we all stood in front of it.

For the grand entrance, we were going to be entering on floating platforms that would fly over the crowd of partygoers and onto a stage, where Dom would thank everyone for coming to the party.  Tyson would stand on the stage and introduce us all as we entered, and then when we all landed on the stage, Dom would thank everyone for coming.

It all sounded like an amazing idea, but I was nervous about falling off, even though the platforms were fairly wide.

“So first you and Wyatt will enter with a spotlight on you, and then Dom and Chaise will follow with a huge spotlight, okay?” Fleur said to us, making sure we understood what she said. She was all business as she told us what to do. “Tyson, you should probably head out there, remember to be funny!”

Tyson smirked at me, “Don’t worry, I’ll be very funny.” He then left and I was worried. I had an uneasy feeling that he hadn’t quite forgiven me for not choosing him as my escort.

Fleur conjured the platforms that were going to carry us into the room, and me and Wyatt climbed onto one, while Dom and Chaise got onto another. I looked back at Dom and gave her the thumbs up, and she grinned back.

“You guys look beautiful,” Fleur said to me and Dom, starting to get choked up. “Now kick arses with that entrance.” She then walked away from us and went into the room through a different door.

I heard the opening chords of “Let it Rock” start to play and knew it was only a matter of time before we were to going to enter the party. I leaned against Wyatt and he put his arms around my shoulder, giving me a grin.

“You ready for this?” he asked as our cue to enter started and the doors to the ballroom of Dom’s party started to open.

“Of course,” I said grinning back at him and sticking my tongue out. The platform started to move forward and I made sure Wyatt kept a tight grip on me. I was in no way going to fall off and into the crowd, because that would be the biggest embarrassment in the world.

Because when I arrive, I, I bring the fire,” the song came bursting out, as me and Wyatt entered the ballroom.

The room was absolutely breathtaking. It was surrounded in glass windows, overlooking the ocean outside that was shimmering in the moonlight, and cast a beautiful glow over the entire room. The room itself looked like the inside of a diamond, all the tables were shimmering and looked to be covered in glitter, and the floor also had the same look to it. There were bubbles that had glittering lights inside of them floating throughout the room, and I looked underneath me to see an immense crowd of people looking up at me and Wyatt as we entered. I recognized most of them but there were some scatterings of people I did not know.

All of the student’s from Beauxbatons were singing along to the song playing, as they recognized it from when Dom and I always sang it. Most of them were laughing and bumping around in time to the music. A heap of people I knew from Beauxbatons all saw me and waved at me or called my name, excited to see me.

“And this here is Dom’s other half who you all already know, Coco, looking just as beautiful as ever,” Tyson said as he stood on the stage. I caught his eye, and Tyson smirked again.  “She’s currently hitting on Wyatt, Dom’s other loser friend, but we all know he’s not having any of that, even if she happens to be wearing a leather thong, right Wy?”

The crowd laughed and I felt my face growing red. I was not in fact, wearing a leather thong! I didn’t even own one. But, trust Tyson to use this announcement position as a way to get back at me. Wyatt laughed loudly next to me, seemingly not caring about my embarrassment and when we landed on the stage by Tyson, I smacked him on the back of his head and took the wand he was speaking in away from him.

“I do not wear leather thongs!” I shouted into it, and the crowd started to laugh louder.

“I forgot to mention the temper this one has,” Tyson said yanking his wand back from me. “She’s quite feisty, but you know what they say. A freak in the head makes a freak in the b-”

Before he could finish I elbowed him in the gut again to the crowds amusement.

“I’m going to kill you,” I said to Tyson, growing completely mortified at what he was saying. Good thing the parents of the party were all off in a separate room that Fleur had organized. She didn’t want the elders to get annoyed at the loud noise and racy jokes, so she had made sure that they were all away from it for the whole party.

“No you’re not, you love me too much,” Ty said sticking his tongue out at me. The music started to swell to its most climactic part, and we stopped our bickering in time for Dom and Chaise to enter.

“And now, ladies and gentlemen, the entrance we’ve all been waiting for…. Put your hands together for the lovely hostess herself…. Dominique Weasley.”

I stood behind Tyson, next to Wyatt, and we all watched as Dom entered, a huge spotlight fixed on her.

She looked stunning with all the floating lights and shimmering glow that the room was casting on her, and her and Chaise were laughing about something while everyone else started clapping and whooping at Dom arriving. Glistening fairies started to fly around the room, surrounding Dom and Chaise in an insanely gorgeous glow.

“Escorting Dom is the soon to be love of her life Chaise Peddington, who we all know are meant to be,” Tyson said into the wand. I guess he was going to get back at Dom too by embarrassing her as well.

Dom laughed at this joke and so did Chaise, but they both turned pink at the statement.

The crowd shouted compliments and cheers as Dom floated across the room. Dom smiled and her and Chaise continued to laugh and wave at all of our friends from Beauxbatons. When she got to the stage she tilted her head back in another laugh and took the wand away from Tyson.

“Thank you all for coming to my seventeenth birthday party! I hope you all enjoy celebrating this day with me! Now let’s party!” she said excitedly. She handed the wand back to Tyson, and we all danced and mouthed the words to the rest of the song until it ended.

When the song ended, we all walked off of the stage and into the crowd as another popular muggle song began to play. We were greeted by a mass of people from Beauxbatons wishing Dom a happy birthday, and another mass of people all trying to talk to me.

“The entrance was just so great!” a girl that I didn’t know very well said to me, as Dom got attacked by more people. She had a dot of red lipstick on her teeth and I couldn't help but stare at the offending speck as she talked to me. I noticed a group of guys waiting behind the girl who wanted to talk to me, and my eyes shifted over to my friends. “And you both looked amazing in your dresses.”

I smiled politely at her saying thanks and edged myself closer to Tyson, who was surrounded by his fan club of girls. I pushed myself through, which wasn’t hard because they moved away when they noticed it was me, and pulled Tyson out of the clutches of all the lonely Beauxbatons girls.

“Hey! Why’d you take me away from my adoring public?” Tyson said, looking annoyed.

“Oh shut up!” I said, equally annoyed. “You need to save me from these people right now. They should all be going after Dom, not me!”

“But you are her best friend, and Dom is already being mauled by people right now, so of course they’re going to come to you,” Tyson reasoned, putting his arm around me all the same.

This seemed to get a bunch of guys to walk away from trying to advance on me, but there were still some that were not deterred.

“Please get me outta this madness, I think I’m going to pass out if any of them come closer,” I said to him giving him pleading eyes. Tyson sighed at this and I smiled.

“Alright I’ll help push through this crowd to where the tables are, but I can’t promise you that people won’t follow. Let me get Wyatt too,” he said tapping Wyatt, who was not far from us, on the shoulder and then dragging him with us. Wyatt seemed to understand I wanted to escape the madness, and they flanked me on either side as we walked out of the crowd.

“Thank Merlin, I can breathe,” I announced as we finally broke through the crowd.

“So dramatic,” Wyatt said rolling his eyes.

“I know! You’re lucky I love you, because girls were literally throwing themselves at me. I could’ve been snogging one of them right now if it wasn’t for you!” Tyson exclaimed.

I crossed my arms and shot them both a glare. “And to think I was really going to hug you guys and thank you for saving me.”

“Really? Well then give us our hugs! We did it all for you, you know?” Wyatt said opening his arms wide. I laughed and hugged him and them moved on to Ty, whose arms were opened just as Wyatt’s had been.

“You two are such gits, but thank you for getting me away from the madness,” I said ruffling Ty’s perfectly gelled hair.

“Hey watch the merchandise!” Ty shouted pulling a mirror out of his pocket and checking to make sure his hair wasn’t ruined.

Wyatt and I laughed at the fact that Tyson was carrying a mirror around, and Tyson started to get even huffier at us. He muttered something about us not caring about appearances before stuffing his mirror back in his pocket.

“It looks like you spoke too soon though,” Wyatt said watching as Jean Paul walked over with Jacque and Philippe flanking either side of him. He seemed to be making a beeline over to me, and I wished really badly that I could hide behind something.

“Oh god, why me?” I cried looking up at the ceiling as Wyatt and Tyson laughed at my amusement. 

“Maybe he just wants to finish what you guys started in Diagon Alley,” Wyatt said waggling his eyebrows.

“I hate you guys!”

“Well if you hate us so much than maybe we should go. Ladies are calling my name and all,” Tyson said starting to edge away. Wyatt tried to follow suit, but I grabbed at his arm.

“You are my escort, you leave and I choke you with that tie,” I said in a dangerous voice. Wyatt seemed scared, and watched helplessly as Tyson escaped into the crowd. What an arse.

Jean Paul finally made his way over to me with his two friends and gave me a smile. And now out came those gorgeous dimples. You know, he really was fit.

“Hey Corinne, you look stunning,” Jean said giving me a hug. I hugged him with one arm, and used my other to keep a hold on Wyatt’s arm, pulling away from Jean as politely as I could.

“Thanks Jean,” I said with a fake smile. “You look good too.” It was totally an understatement, but I was not trying to give Jean any false hope.

“COCO!” Dom shouted from across the room, finally breaking away from her group of admirers. Everyone nearby watched us. She was standing by Tyson and Chaise, and Tyson was giving me a smile that said he had told her to interrupt this little gathering. “Stop flirting with all the guests and get your arse over here!”

I gave Jean a look that made it look like I was disappointed I had to go. “Well, it looks like Dom needs us,” I said linking my arm through Wyatt’s and walking away from him. “I’ll see you Jean.”

Jean looked disappointed that I had to leave so soon, but he let me go calling after me suggestively, “I guess we’ll continue where we left off later.”

I cringed at his words but did not turn back, and Wyatt turned to me smirking and then whispering in my ear, “Seems like someone thinks you’re into him.”

“Oh be quiet, he’ll get the hint soon enough. I didn’t respond to his owls all summer, so I don’t get why he doesn’t understand that I’m not into him,” I replied back.

We reached Dom, and I gave her a huge hug to express my thank you for rescuing me from that sticky situation.

“You are my savior!” I said pulling away from Dom as she laughed.

“More like I’m your savior,” Tyson replied. “I’m the one who told Dommy you might need rescuing.”

“I refuse to thank you,” I said turning away from Tyson with a sniff, “You basically left me to rot!”

“Hey! You still had me,” Wyatt said looking insulted. “I protected you from Jean better than Ty would’ve.”

“Barely,” I muttered under by breath. Wyatt heard and elbowed me, and I elbowed him back.

“I saw Freddy and James!” Dom said chiming into the conversation, thinking I wanted to hear this. I stiffened, and Wyatt shot me a confused look. “They wanted to go over and talk to you, but then they saw Jean Paul and his mates walking over to you, and seemed to think better of trying to enter a circle of blokes all vying for your attention.”

“Shut up! Only Jean was trying to get my attention,” I said. I scanned the room looking for Freddy and James, but did not see either of them. I hoped that I would never bump into them this whole party. “I better not see either of them.”

“Why not?” Chaise asked arching an eyebrow. Wyatt and Tyson looked curious too. None of them really knew about my bullying at Hogwarts, and I sighed at the fact that I would now have to explain.

“It’s just… When I went to Hogwarts they weren’t particularly nice to me,” I explained. I was not going to tell them about my fat days, or the fact that they had gone out of their way to bully me. Dom seemed to notice this though and started to cut in anyway.

“They were arseholes to her. Bullied her the whole time she attended Hogwarts, that’s why she left,” Dom explained further.

I wanted to smack her. All of the guys looked shocked that I had ever been bullied, and Wyatt put a comforting arm over my shoulder.

“Shall we go find them and beat them up?” Tyson asked, pretending to start rolling up his sleeves.

“Or should we thank them for sending you to our school?” Wyatt asked.

“Or should we do both?” Chaise said looking just as pissed as the other two.

I laughed at their stupid antics. “Don’t do anything. They don’t even know I’m the girl they bullied and I sure as hell don’t want them to know.”

I had decided that I did not want either of them to ever figure out that I was the girl they had once picked on mercilessly. It would only cause them to bring up old insults they had once called me, or figure out new ones. I knew I couldn’t deal with that happening.

“How do they not know?” Chaise said confused.

Dom sensed that I didn’t want to say anything about my fat days, and spoke for me. “She used to look very different at her other school. Just as beautiful, but different.”

“Really?” Tyson said smirking. “Now did this different look involve dark hair, because I love a girl with dark hair.”

I shoved Tyson, and we all began to laugh, our previous conversation forgotten. I smiled at the fact that our fab five group was all together laughing and knew that I would be okay as long as we stuck together throughout the party.

“Let’s go dance,” I said grabbing Wyatt’s hand as a new song began to play, and everyone followed as we went to the dance floor.

*

“Hello, everyone!” I said from my place on stage as I spoke out to the audience. It was ten minutes to midnight, and Dom’s birthday was just six hundred seconds from officially starting. I had taken the stage to give Dom’s birthday speech, and then I was going to give her, her present, which she didn’t know about, right before the clock struck midnight. “I’m Coco, Dom’s sister from another mister, and I just wanted to have everyone gather around as it’s ten minutes to midnight!”

Everyone came closer to the stage, and the elders of Dom’s family had even made their way into the party room to watch Dom turn seventeen.

“Now where is the beautiful birthday girl? Oh, there you are! Well, come on Dom, come on stage!” I shouted waving her over. She gave me a look that said she was not amused, but made her way over to the stage anyway.

“As she makes her way to the stage, I think I should let you all know that Dom is probably the best friend I’ve ever had,” I started to say. Giving a speech I had practiced time and time again for this day. “We became friends back in third year, and she hasn’t been able to get rid of me since. She’s always been there for me through it all. So I wanted to give her a gift to show her how much she means to me.”

I then pulled out my wand and conjured a large projection screen, that was all set up to play the home movies and pictures I had piled together as a tribute to her. Dom had made her way up the stage by now, and once noticing that I was going to be showing videos, covered her face in embarrassment.

I walked over to the side of the stage she was on and raised her arm in the air.

“Everyone clap for the beautiful birthday girl!” I announced. This was met with a bunch of applause and wolf whistles from the audience.

“Now Dominique Jolie Weasley was born on July sixth, and the second to enter her beautiful family,” I said as I waved my wand and a video played of Dominique when she was first born, being held by her mother in a St Mungo’s room. She was gorgeous, even as a baby, and her small, head was covered in silver fuzz. The audience let out a collective awe. “She always knew how to express her feelings. And earned herself that famous Weasley temper.”

The audience laughed at the video, which had now switched to Dom as a toddler screaming at an earsplitting decibel, as her mum tried to get her to stop crying. I looked at Dom standing next to me, and her face was a deep, rosy blush color.

“She also knew how to fight for what was hers,” I said waving my wand again. The video now changed to one of Dom sitting in a sandbox with Victoire. Victoire was trying to take a toy shovel out of Dom’s hand, but Dom refused to give it to her, and instead hit Victoire over the head with it. Victoire started to cry in the video, and you could see Fleur in the background running at the girls and picking a bawling Victoire up off the ground.

The audience continued to laugh, and I saw Victoire standing at the edge of the room, looking livid. Fleur was standing besides her laughing, along with Billy and Louis. Ah, well you can’t please everyone.

“But most of all,” I said looking at Dom right in the eye, “Dom is the most loyal and amazing friend anyone could ever ask for, and I am so lucky to be a part of her life.”

The audience let out another awe, and I waved my wand again, a video montage starting to play of Dom and I as a muggle song about best friends played in the background.

The first video was of Dom and me in third year. It was snowing, almost Christmas time when it was filmed and the video focused on Dom as she held a finger up to her lips and mouthed ‘shhh’. Wyatt had been filming us as we snuck up behind Tyson and Chaise trying to throw a snowball at them. As the both of us got closer to them, the audience laughed more.

“On the count of three,” she whispered to me, giving the snowball in her hand an extra pat.

“One,” I whispered.

“Two,” she said.

“THREE!” We both shouted.

We chucked the snowballs at their heads and Tyson and Chaise looked up at the camera pure ire crossing their faces.

“Cor, I am going to kill you,” Tyson said getting up from the ground as I ran away from him. He chased me around the Beauxbatons grounds, until he finally caught me and threw me over his shoulders. My legs kicked back and forth, and I pounded on his back trying to get away from him.

Dom however, was being chased similarly by Chaise (ironic huh?), but instead they had started a full out snowball fight, not even noticing the fact that I was being carried around as hostage by Tyson. Dom threw another snowball at Chaise, hitting him square in the face, and she cheered, looking at the camera in victory.

The video then faded out, and another one started. We were in the Beauxbatons building sitting at the lunchroom in our fourth year.  Tyson was filming this time, and he swung the camera over the whole lunchroom, where most of the students were staring at our table or smiling waving into the camera, until finally focusing on Dom and me.

“Tyson, stop filming,” I said putting my hand up and covering my face.

Tyson didn’t listen, and instead turned the camera to Dom, and zoomed in on her face. Dom noticed that he was zooming in on her, and made a kissy face at the camera.

“Oh come on Coco, he can’t help but focus on the two most beautiful people in the room,” Dom said rolling her eyes jokingly. The camera then zoomed out and was back to her and me, and Dom swung an arm over my shoulder.

“Now pull your hand down and show your beautiful face to the camera. We’re going to be famous someday, so might as well start getting used to being filmed when you least expect it,” Dom said cheerfully. I pulled my hand away from my face and gave Dom an annoyed look.

“Ahhh, the camera’s breaking,” Tyson said jokingly, starting to shake the camera. I did not laugh and instead crossed my arms and looked away.

“Come on Cori, he was only joking,” Dom said twisting my head around. She stared straight at Tyson as if telling him to take back what he said.

“Of course I was. You’re the two rarest roses in all of Europe,” Ty said poetically from behind the camera. He cracked up into a fit of laughter after saying it.

“Of course we are! Here let me prove it,” Dom said giving the camera an indignant look. She then stood up from the seat she was sitting on and climbed on top of the table we were eating at. The camera moved up with her.

“STUDENTS OF BEAUXBATONS,” Dom shouted to the whole room. People in the background all looked at Dom standing on the table curiously. “I am here to announce that I think Coco and I are absolutely stunning! Any objections?!”

The camera swept over the lunchroom and to my blushing face. It then panned to clusters of guys sitting at tables, and one guy, Pierre Montron, stood up and shouted, “To Dom and Coco, the most beautiful girls of Beauxbatons!”

He lifted up the cup he had been drinking out of, and a chorus of “here, here’s” filled the room as everyone raised their drinks.

Dom looked back down at me from the table with a huge smirk, as I blushed a bright shade of red. “Told ya.”

The video then switched to another of Dom and I in fifth year. It was the summer time, and we were at the beach with the guys. Dom’s boyfriend of the time, Leonardo, was filming the video, and focusing it on Dom and me as we competed against each other to build the biggest sand castle. Tyson was acting as a judge, and Chaise was helping Dom, while Wyatt was helping me.

“Ladies and gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen,” Tyson echoed loudly across the beach. There were people in the background all staring at the sandcastle contest that was unfolding before them, and many guys were giving the ‘I want to maul you with my hands’ look at Dom and I in our white bikinis. “We are watching as Dominique Weasley and Corinne Beaumont compete against each other to build the biggest sand castle.”

I realized as the video played, that my full name had been said, and instantly regretted this clip being shown. I had no idea if James or Freddy were even in the room, because it was so jam-packed, but if they were, they definitely knew who I was.

“We are so going to beat you,” Dom said picking up a pile of sand and patting it on top of her castle.

“You wish,” I shouted back, sticking out my tongue and continuing to fiercely pack sand onto my own castle.

Dom then stopped her building, but I didn’t notice because I was too busy trying to build mine to be the tallest it could be. She whispered something to Chaise, and he gave her a devilish grin.

He then got up and walked over to Tyson, whispering something to him, and he smirked as well. Dom walked over to them and even Wyatt looked up from helping me build and they all exchanged a knowing glance. I still didn’t notice what was going on, until it was too late.

They all began to lift me up as I let out loud squeals, and carried me over to ocean, each of them grabbing one of my limbs.

“ADMIT IT,” Dom said shouting loudly as the camera zoomed in on her. “I AM THE ULTIMATE SANDCASTLE CHAMP!”

“NEVER!” I shouted back. Dom nodded her head at all the guys, and they all started to swing me back and forth, before finally tossing me into the ocean.

Dom laughed manically, and then looked back at the group of onlookers surrounding us, “Let it be known, that Dominique Weasley is the champion of sandcastles! Anyone who argues will end up like this sorry sucker!”

Dom gestured back to me, but I had already snuck up too close behind her, and pulled her by her legs, causing her to fall backwards into the ocean along with me.

The audience let out a roar of laughter, and Dom had started to laugh beside me as well. The film then went fuzzy and faded into the last of the videos I had put together.

Chaise was filming this time, and he was focusing the camera on one of Dom’s brown eyes. He then zoomed out and Dom’s whole body came into view. This was a video that was taken recently right near the end of the school year. They were sitting by a large oak tree outside the school, and Dom was leaning against the tree with a small smile spread across her face.

“Where is she?” A girl said, walking up to Dom causing her to look up and focus her eyes. The girl shouting at her was Ella, who was a part of my hate club. The camera focused on the two of them.

“Where is who?” Dom said, feigning confusion.

“Where is that pathetic piece of shit you call a best friend,” Ella asked her face full of anger.

“I don’t seem to understand who you’re talking about,” Dom replied calmly. “I have no friends that are pieces of shit.”

“Where is Corinne, Weasley,” Elle demanded her voice tense. “She really thinks she can get away with snogging any guy, doesn’t she? I don’t understand how you are friends with someone like that.”

After saying these words, Dom stiffened. “You don’t understand how I’m friends with someone like that?” She said, her voice scarily low, as she stood up. “I’m friends with one of the most beautiful, genuinely nice people in the entire world and you’re wondering how I’m friends with her?”

Ella scoffed and crossed her arms, “Nice people don’t snog other peoples boyfriends.”

Dom seemed to explode at this, “Actually Ella, Duke tried to snog her, but she pushed him off her, reminding him he had a girlfriend of his own already. So before you ever try to tear down one of my friends, get your stupid facts straight. You make her out to be something she’s not. She would never intentionally ruin a relationship like that. She is too good a person for that. It’s not her fault she’s beautiful and guys are always running at her, your boyfriend included.”

Ella looked like she had gotten slapped in the face. She let out a huff and walked away.

“Do you think you might’ve been a little harsh?” Chaise’s voice said from behind the camera. Dom looked at the camera with a look of defiance in her eyes.

“Not at all. Anybody messes with my best friend, they face the wrath of all the Weasleys before me,” she said.

The video faded out, and then I waved my wand causing a slide show of moving pictures of Dom to start. There were pictures of her when she was younger that Fleur had helped me find, and then there were ones of her right before she entered her first year at Beauxbatons. The pictures then switched to ones of her and me when we first became friends, and all the pictures that Dom had hanging on her walls also showed up and made their pass as well.

The slideshow finally stopped on a picture of Dom, Me, Tyson, Wyatt and Chaise as we sat on the stone wall in front of the Beauxbatons school. Dom and I had our arms wound tightly around each other’s shoulders, and Tyson was sitting by me putting bunny ears behind my head. Chaise was staring at Dom smiling slightly, and Wyatt was laying across all of our laps in a supermodel pose. 

“Thank you for being the best friend anyone could ever ask for,” I said looking at Dom. She started to choke up, and I did as well. We both gave each other a fierce hug to the pleasure of the audience.

“NOW TAKE YOUR DRESSES OFF!” Tyson shouted from the crowd. This earned a round of laughs, and me and Dom pulled away from each other, each giving him a glare.

There was less than a minute to Dom’s birthday now, and I started to talk into the microphone again.

“Now everyone, let’s raise our glasses, wands, or anything you have, to Dom: the most amazingly beautiful sister, daughter, and friend!” I said as I conjured a glass of water with my wand, raising it in the air. “TO DOM!”

“TO DOM!” the whole room echoed back, right as the clock struck midnight.

*
The thing I loved the most about parties was the dancing. I loved the feeling of being inexplicably free from any expectations, and just letting loose. So for most of the party, everyone had been dancing on the dance floor to every song that came on.

The songs were all upbeat and most of them were muggle, but no one at the party objected, most even knowing the words to the songs. Whenever me and Dom would go out on the dance floor, there would always be a circle of people watching us with our prospective partners, and many friends from Beauxbatons would surround us and form a huge clump of dancing bodies.

Dom and Chaise had been attached to each other as dancing partners the whole night, grinding on each other about every chance they got. I’m sure all the guys watching were pretty disappointed that Dom didn’t want to dance with anyone else.

I, on the other hand, had danced with a handful of guys, although mostly just stuck with Wyatt, as he was my escort. Tyson occasionally danced with me as well, between his snog sessions, and he always wanted to grind with me every time a good grind song came on. In his words, I really knew how to move my arse.

I found this hilarious, because there really wasn’t much to grinding, but took the compliment anyway.

Now, however, I was sitting at the table that was specifically set up for me, Dom, Chaise, Ty, and Wyatt. I had decided to take a break from all the dancing, because it was getting insanely hot from all the bodies packed so close to one another.

I was sipping my glass of firewhiskey, which Chaise had snuck in, in his typical fashion, even though it was legal for us all to drink it except for the youngins that had come to the party.

I was on my fourth glass (I think), and I started to feel the tipsy buzz that always overcame me when I drank. Wyatt was sitting at the table with me, while Dom and Chaise were still attached to each other on the dance floor and Ty was out snogging his seventh girl of the night.

“I think this is the best party ever,” I said leaning my head on Wyatt’s shoulder, as we scanned the dance floor, which was still full of packed bodies.

I had not bumped into Freddy and James at all, and I was hoping that my good luck would continue until the end of the night. Dom had told me that they had come up to her a couple of times asking where I was, but she would just point them off in the wrong direction when they did this. She also told me that they had realized who I was, and were trying to find me to apologize for the hell they had put me through.

Psh, as if an apology could ever make up for the years I spent hating myself because of them.

“I think you’re right,” Wyatt said tapping his finger to my nose. He was pretty tipsy as well, and we had been giggling at random passers-by for the past couple of minutes.

“Why is that girl staring at me?” I asked pointing to a girl I didn’t know, who had been looking at me for most of the time I was sitting down. She saw me point to her, and then looked away from me, whispering something into a younger redhead’s ear that was standing next to her.

She was pretty, and had mocha colored skin with long, raven-colored hair that tumbled past her shoulders in soft waves. Her dress was white, which really enhanced her skin color, and hit just above the knee. There was something so familiar about her.

“Probably because she’s jealous of your insanely good looks,” Tyson said taking a seat next to me. He looked like he’d just been snogged, and I knew it was probably because he had been.

“Hey, she’s hot,” Wyatt said, finally catching sight of who I was talking about. I rolled my eyes and picked my head up off of his shoulder. He gave me a confused look. “What? She is! Not as hot as you mahdear, but almost.”

“Since when do you judge girls on looks?! You’re turning into Tyson,” I said gesturing to Ty, who was also looking for the girl that was staring at me.

“So just because I appreciate the appearance of a woman, I’m suddenly Tyson,” Wyatt asked looking hurt. “I’m insulted.”

“Hey! Why is being me so bad?”

“Because you are a pig, and you do not appreciate women,” I said swaying a little as I talked. The firewhiskey seemed to really be hitting me now.

“Uh, oh. Coco, how much did you two drink?” Tyson asked me noticing my sway. He also watched as Wyatt tried leaning his head on his hand, and missed, slamming his forehead against the table.

“Ow! That table just came outta nowhere!” Wyatt exclaimed as a red mark appeared on his face. I started to laugh loudly at this, and Wyatt joined in on the laughing, even though it was him who had gotten hurt.

“Seriously, how much firewhiskey did you guys have?” Tyson asked trying to hide his smirk and look serious.

“We just had a little. Like three or four glasses… maybe five,” I responded shrugging my shoulders. It was legal, and Dom’s elders had left the party anyways since it was getting too late for them, so it didn’t matter if I made a fool of myself.

Her parents had left too, and entrusted me with seeing that the party continued smoothly. I had told them I’d see to it that the night ended perfectly, and they headed home, tuckered out and looking forward to sleep.

“Not to mention when we were taking those shots earlier with Dom and Chaise,” Wyatt said chiming in. He rubbed his chin with his hands, and looked back in the crowd of people, where Chaise and Dom were dancing as close to each other as they could get.

“They should just shag already,” I stated as I watched them. Tyson turned his head and looked to where Wyatt and me were staring, and nodded.

“He likes her you know,” Wyatt chimed in his drunken stupor. I guess he was too drunk to remember that Chaise probably didn’t want him telling me this.

“Wyatt, shut up! You can’t tell Coco, she’s going to go off and tell Dom now,” Tyson said.

“You shut up,” I said waving a finger at Tyson. “I’ve known for months that he’s liked her, it’s obvious to anyone who sees them together. She likes him too anyways, so it doesn’t matter.”

“She does?!” Wyatt asked excitedly. “This means that I can tell Chaise, and Chaise can finally ask her out!”

“I feel like you won’t need to,” Tyson said as we looked back at Dom and Chaise, who were now snogging in the middle of the dance floor. I guess the firewhiskey had finally hit them as well.

“I want a guy to snog,” I said sadly, looking around the room and spotting no one who seemed appealing enough. I stuck out my bottom lip in a pout. This feeling always overwhelmed me whenever I was really drunk.

Tyson looked at me and waggled his eyebrows, “Well I just so happen to be an expert snogger. Just ask all the girls here.”

“Ewwwww. I’m not snogging someone’s leftovers,” I responded, wrinkling my nose.

“I’d snog you if you weren’t my best mate and I wasn’t drunk,” Wyatt said honestly. Tyson put his hand to his forehead, as if he couldn’t believe Wyatt was saying this out loud. I laughed and gave Wyatt a peck on the cheek.

“Such a sweetie,” I responded with a chuckle.

“It’s true,” Wyatt said giving me a look. “Your really hot. Hell I’d even shag you.”

“Mate, I suggest you stop talking before you say anything else you’re going to regret,” Tyson said, clapping a hand on his shoulder. I continued to laugh.

“I’d totally snog you too if you weren’t my mate,” I responded to Wyatt as I ruffled his hair.

“Really? You mean that?” Wyatt asked me looking considerably happier. Tyson rolled his eyes again, looking as though he wished he were anywhere but here, listening to this conversation.

“Of course I do. You’re one fittie bloke,” I said with a slur.

“Hey, what about me?” Tyson said looking hurt. “Aren’t I fit?”

“Shut up, Ty, she’s boosting my ego right now, not yours,” Wyatt said giving Tyson an evil glare.

“I think you are both snoggable blokes,” I said swinging my arms around both of their shoulders. “But you’re my mates, and that would totally ruin our friendship.”

“Of course it would,” Wyatt said nodding his head. “I’d never actually snog you! Well, maybe I would, but I’m not going to let you know that.”

Tyson gave another eye roll at Wyatt’s slur of words. I cracked up into another fit of giggles and leaned against Wyatt, who wrapped his arms around me.

“I’m going to leave the two of you, before I lose any more brain cells,” Tyson said standing up and walking away from us. Such a spoil sport that one is.

“He wishes you’d snog him,” Wyatt said to me as Tyson walked away.

This didn’t come as a shock to me, Tyson wanted to snog everyone.

“I know, I know,” I said patting Wyatt’s head. “But I have to go pee, so if you don’t let go of me, you’re going to feel just like a fire hydrant does when a dog is near it.”

“Uck, gross,” Wyatt shouted pushing me off of him. “Come back when your tank is empty!”

I stumbled out of the ballroom, and started to walk across the long hallway, to the direction I knew the bathrooms were. Once I found the bathroom, I did my business, fixed up my hair, and left, returning back to the hallway.

I continued my swaying as I walked, and instantly wished that one of the guys had accompanied me, because I was starting to get really, really dizzy.

I really wanted everything to stop spinning.

No wait, I really want to snog someone. Someone really fit. Someone tall, dark and handsome. Someone that I wasn’t mates with.

“Are you lost?” someone said, who had been leaning against the wall in the dark hallway.

“Who’re you?” I asked the words all strung together into one.

I heard a laugh and a guy pushed himself off of the wall. He was absolutely gorgeous, with messy black hair, and a tall, well built frame. His eyes were a swirl of browns and blues and greens, and I wondered if someone up there had heard my snog prayers.

I wish for a million galleons as well, O Mighty One!

“I am a distant friend of Dom’s. I’ve known her since we were in diapers,” the hottie, who I’ve decided to name Lamar, said to me. What? He looks like a Lamar, okay?

“Hm.. Dom’s never seemed to mention a Lamar to me,” I said thinking in deep concentration to myself. I then shrugged my shoulders, and tossed my hair to the side, deciding that I didn’t really care.

“Lamar…?” he said looking confused at the name I had called him.

“Yes, your name is Lamar. Mine is Coco by the way,” I said putting out a hand for him to shake, which seemed an oddly formal thing for me to do. He took my hand, and I swayed into him but he caught me, wrapping his arms around my waist. He fell back a little, too.

“Well hello there, I think you’ve had too much to drink,” Lamar said to me with a laugh.

“I don’t think so…” I responded not moving away from him. “But you know what I do think? I think you’re fit!” This statement was met with another laugh from Lamar, and he stared back down at me.

“You’re fit too,” he responded, and I giggled. His arms were still wound around my waist, and I felt so comfortable.

I looked up at his face again and he looked even hotter up close. I reached my hand up and touched his messy black hair.

“It’s so soft,” I stated, my voice barely louder than a whisper. He let out a small smile and touched my hair as well.

“Your hair’s soft too,” he said as if he wasn’t quite sure what I was. I continued to stare into his hazel eyes, and felt myself really wanting to snog him.

What a good idea! The Snog Gods have sent me this snoggable bloke, so it’d be wrong if I didn’t snog him… Right?

“I think I’m going to snog you,” I stated out loud. He seemed taken aback by my honesty and I giggled again.

“I think I’d be okay with that,” he responded with a smirk. He craned his head towards me and slowly placed his lips against mine.

It seemed as if the firewhiskey that was flooding through my veins had transformed itself into this fiery rush of adrenaline as soon as I felt his lips against mine. Almost like a magnet pulling me to him and causing me to feel myself unceremoniously deepen the kiss to the farthest depths I could. I felt fireworks and electric shocks and lightening bolts run itself up my entire body. I felt so taken over that I wondered if Lamar, or whoever his name was, could feel the heat radiating from my entire being.

My heart was beating so fast I thought it might fall out of my chest and my stomach flipped over every time his tongue touched my own. My head was entirely clouded with the intensity of the kiss (or maybe the firewhiskey) that I didn’t even care if I knew his name or not. All I could focus on was his hands as they moved their way across my skin, leaving the heat of searing hot knives in its place. I felt his fingertips brush the tops of my legs, and I moved my own hands through his silky black hair pulling him as close to me as possible.

The back of my knees went weak as he pressed me against the wall, pressing himself against me in the process. My neck, my back, my arms, and my legs all seemed to be burning to get closer to him, even though we were already as close as humanly possible. This was one of the most amazing snogs I had ever encountered, and I wondered if Lamar felt the same heat rushing over him as well.

“James, stop snogging that poor girl this instant!” a voice shouted. The girl with the mocha colored skin was making her way towards us. “Freddy has been looking all over for you, because he’s still trying to find your blast from the past- Oh.”

Many things happened at once. Lamar pulled away from me, while I untangled myself from his body, and he glared at the girl interrupting us, as she stared at me in shock having recognized who I was. I finally understood how I knew this girl; she was Roxanne Weasley, Freddy’s twin sister.  A sudden realization of who the guy I had been snogging actually was hit me like a bucket of cold water.

“James Potter?” I asked turning to him in questioning, mortified that I had, of all people, ended up snogging him.

“Er… or Lamar, whichever way you really look at it,” James said running a hand through his gorgeous silky black (stop that!) hair and looking down at the ground, biting his perfectly shaped, kissable (I said STOP) lips. Since when had he gotten so bloody hot?

“I think I’m going to be going now,” I announced, and with that I scurried my way down the long hallway. I decided then, that I hated long hallways.

“Thanks a lot, Roxy,” I heard James say, as they stood there in the same spot staring after my retreating form.

I couldn’t focus on her responding words. In fact, I couldn’t focus on anything except for the one thought flitting through my head. I had just snogged James Potter, the one person I hated more than anyone else. But worst of all? I had actually enjoyed it.

My life has officially turned into the sickest excuse of a joke out there.







A/N: If you made it to the end of this chapter, then kudos to you because this was pretty freakin long. I hope you didn't get bored to death from it!

AND OMG COCO SNOGGED JAMES! Told you it'd be an interesting meeting ;) So, was this what you guys were expecting?!

I've really been so happy with the response I've been getting from this story so tell me what you think in the review box down below if you want (aka please do it or i'll avada kedavra you...jk;). But did you guys like it? Some parts of this chapter I really hate reading because I think I could've written it better but I really wanted to get this chapter out to all of you!

Well that's it for my ramble! Thank you my lovely readers for reading this!

-Rebecca

 

 


Chapter 6: I Will Fight Till Forever
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Disclaimer: Anything you recognize belongs to the amazingly talented JK Rowling. The chapter title come's from Never Say Never by Justin Bieber. I'm not a fan of him so don't hate me but I do find this song amazingly catchy!






 

“Corinne, get out of bed this instant,” Dom called barging into her room with a no-nonsense look on her face. I buried my face into the bed, and pretended I had not heard her.

It was noon, the day of Dom’s birthday, and I had not left her bed all day. I know, I’m an awful friend, but I couldn’t wake up. Waking up meant thinking about the previous night (or very early morning), and thinking about the previous night, meant thinking about James bloody Potter.

“I know you can hear me,” Dom said walking over to where I was sleeping and yanking the covers off of me. “Now, UP!”

“No. Don’t you see I am too mortified beyond belief to ever get up?” I said looking Dom in the eye.

“You hooked up with my arse of a cousin, so what? Shit happens.” Dom responded. “Stop being so dramatic.”

Right after making my quick escape from James and Roxy, I had pulled Dom away from Chaise (which she was not happy about) and told her everything that had happened. Dom had found it absolutely hilarious, and had then told Tyson, Wyatt, and Chaise, while holding back tears of laughter. The boys had all laughed as well, finding it just as hilarious, which had made me question my choice in friends.

However they had agreed to rotate off guarding me the rest of the party, making sure I didn’t accidentally snog anyone else I’d regret, and also making sure James and Freddy did not approach me whatsoever.

I had seen James and Freddy quite a lot the rest of the night. James had tried countless times to come up and talk to me, but whenever I noticed him making a beeline towards me, I would either have Wyatt or Tyson put an arm around my shoulder, or I’d run away. Either option had seemed to work swimmingly, and I was grateful that my guy friends were totally intimidating.

“I will be dramatic all I want! My life sucks,” I responded to Dom. “I snogged James, Dom. James freaking Potter!”

“I know, I know,” Dom said plopping herself next to me on the bed. “But I can’t say I’m not surprised. You always do manage to snog the one person you shouldn’t. Maybe this will finally teach you a lesson.”

I gave Dom a pointed look, “And what lesson would that be?”

“Learn a person’s name before you snog them.” Dom started to laugh, and I had the strong urge to kick her off the bed.

Okay so maybe I should have asked for his name. But how was I supposed to know he was related to Dom? He told me they were friends, not cousins! I would have definitely figured out who he was if he told me they were cousins, right? And I was drunk too! I didn’t quite care to hear his name; I just wanted a bloody snog.

“Oh come on, Coco. Don’t give me that,” Dom said, noticing that I had gone into full on pout mode.

“You are totally not taking this seriously,” I complained. I then crossed my arms over my chest, just to make my point.

“Fine, you want me to give you a pep talk?” Dom asked. She laid her head down next to mine, and then turned herself to face me. I nodded slowly, silently telling her a pep talk was just what I needed. “You hooked up with the person that made your life awful. And you know what? That sucks. But sometimes life sucks. The thing that you need to keep in mind is that he knew who you were, and still wanted to snog you. This means you have the upper hand! You can use your hot bod to your advantage and really make him wish he wasn’t such a prat.”

I let Dom’s words really sink in, and came to the conclusion that she was right, as always. James knew who I was, and he hadn’t made fun of me. In fact, he had tried to get me to snog him (okay and maybe he’d succeeded). But, this could teach him a valuable lesson: Never be an arse to someone, because you never know what they’ll become.

“I love you, Dom,” I said leaning my head against hers. She always knew the right things to say.

“I love you too Cor,” Dom responded automatically. “Now let’s get up! We are going to the beach, and then we’re hanging out with the guys because it’s my birthday and I said so.”

“We’re seeing the guys?” I asked as a smirk formed on my face. “So I’m assuming things aren’t awkward between you and Chaise?”

Dom’s face grew red and she started to adjust the pink tank top she had on. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why would things be awkward?”

“Because you, in your drunken state, were snogging him like there was no tomorrow in the middle of the dance floor,” I stated simply.

“Oh,” Dom said turning to me looking worried. “I was hoping none of you had seen that…”

“Dom, we all saw it! In fact, the whole room saw it. So what’s going on with the two of you?”

Dom bit her bottom lip, and the looked away from me, “I don’t know… It’s not like we’ve really had a chance to talk. I was hoping we’d figure it all out when we hung out today.”

“You like him still, right?” I asked eagerly.

“You know I do.”

“Good! Because Wyatt told me during the party that Chaise likes you,” I said excitedly.

“Oi! You held off telling me this why?!?!” Dom shouted in disbelieving. “Here I am not sure if he likes me, or if he was just drunk, and you know he likes me and don’t say anything! What a good friend.”

“Dommy I had other issues on my mind!” I fired back, raising my hands in the air. “I’m sorry I forgot to tell you such a small detail!”

“Small detail?! Small detail?!” Dom’s voice was reaching on the brink of hysteria. “I’d hardly call this a small detail!”

I rolled my eyes. “I thought you didn’t even like him?”

“Well now I do!” Dom responded fiercely. I just laughed and Dom picked up the pillow next to her, chucking it right at my face.

It was a direct hit and I let out an ‘oof’ as the pillow made surprising impact against my face.

“I hate you,” I said once I noticed Dom cracking up.

“No you don’t, you love me,” Dom said sticking her tongue out. “Now let’s go to the beach!”


*

“You’re blocking my sun,” I stated, looking up at Chaise, who was standing over me casting a shadow across my body.

Chaise, Tyson, and Wyatt had arrived at the beach about an hour ago, but had spent their whole time at the beach splashing around in the ocean with Dom. I had opted out of any fun, and decided to tan my miseries away.

“I come over to see how you are after you had a horrible time at Dom’s party, and you tell me I’m blocking your sun? I, for one, am extremely hurt.” Chaise moved out of my way and decided to lay himself down on the towel next to me.

I rolled myself so that we were side by side, and we looked at each other face to face. Chaise raised one eyebrow and wrinkled up his nose, and I let out a small laugh. Darn him for making funny faces when I’m trying to brood. Chaise looked pleased he had made me laugh so easily, and let out a grin of his own.

“So,” I said propping my head up on one arm and turning my whole body towards him, “Why are you over here, when Dom is over there?”

As soon as I said this, Chaise looked away and I noticed the back of his neck was turning a little red. Awe, he’s too cute trying to hide his feelings.

“What do you mean?” Chaise asked, looking at the ocean, where Dom was laughing as Tyson dunked her in the water.

“Come on Chaise, cut the crap. I’ve been friends with you for three years and you think I don’t notice when my Chaisykins takes a fancy for my Dommy Dom?”

Chaise finally looked at me and cocked his head to the side, “Sometimes you’re too nosy for your own good.”

“I wouldn’t be myself if I wasn’t,” I said cracking a smile. “So spill.”

Chaise seemed to be deciding in his head whether or not to let me in on his little ‘secret’. After about twenty seconds of waiting, he finally started to talk. “I guess I like her. I mean she’s hot.”

I rolled my eyes. Why is it that guys feel the need to make sharing their feeling seem masculine by tacking on “oh and she’s hot” to the end of everything. Why do guys even use the word hot? Isn’t it obvious that girls don’t ever appreciate that word?

“That’s all you have to say? You guess you like her, and she’s hot,” I repeated back to him dryly.

Chaise rolled his eyes back at me. Why was I getting the eye roll? His had been well deserved, but mine wasn’t at all. “Fine. I like her and I think she’s great. Alright? Happy?” As Chaise said this, he sounded like he was getting threatened with an unforgiveable curse. Geesh, was it that hard for a guy to admit his feelings?

“Wow, you’re really blowing me over with the sincerity of it,” I said to Chaise, arching one eyebrow.

Chaise sighed. I sighed in return. Chaise sighed again. I heaved and even greater sigh. I’m glad we’re able to communicate so maturely.

“Okay,” Chaise said looking me in the eyes. “I really like her. And I want to tell her that last night wasn’t just a fluke, but I dunno how she’ll take it. She’s Dom, you know? Not only could it really make things awkward if she totally denies me, but what if she doesn’t and things end badly between us? We won’t all be able to hang out like we do now.”

I let out another sigh. Why does it have to be so difficult to get two people who like each other to start going out?

“Chaise,” I said slowly, giving him my best teacher face. “I’m going to let you in on a secret. Dom here, would not deny you. In fact, it’d be the exact opposite if you told her your feelings. As for if it ends badly and gets awkward, I think it’d be just as bad if you didn’t act on your feelings now. I mean you’ll always wonder what could’ve been. Not to mention Dom would think there were a million things wrong with her that caused you to not ask her out. So I think you should take a shot at it.”

Chaise looked at me and cracked a grin, “So she likes me, does she? I always knew I had a way with veelas.”

I shoved Chaise and then ruffled his curly brown hair, “You’re such a git.”

“But you wouldn’t have it any other way,” he responded with a cheeky grin.

*

“I feel like I’m on fire,” I said raising my arms straight in front of me and inspecting them. While they hadn’t turned red, they were now a deeper tan then before and felt like they had been in the oven. I had been lying out in the sun for a couple hours, so I guess this was to be expected.

“That’s because you’re slowly killing yourself,” Wyatt said seriously. “You know it’s not healthy to tan so much.”

Tyson laughed and I frowned.

“Okay mum, I didn’t know you cared so much,” I responded rolling my eyes. “Why don’t you go find Chaise and Dom to spread your wisdom?”

Chaise had disappeared off with Dom about a half hour ago, and the three of us had yet to search for them. None of us wanted to walk in on whatever snog/emotion fest that was definitely going on with them.

“I would but I don’t want to see anything that’ll scar me for life,” Wyatt responded cheekily. He shrugged carelessly and then propped his head on his arm.

“Too late, you own a mirror don’t you,” Tyson replied with a smirk. Wyatt laughed and pretended to punch him in the arm, and I followed suit (except I shoved Tyson’s face into the sand instead).

“Leh-meh ofta da shuan nuahw,” Tyson said as I continued to push his face deeper into the pile of sand.

“Not until you apologize to Wyatt and tell him he’s beautiful,” I responded commandingly. “It’s not nice to make fun of someone’s appearance.”

While this was all in joking, I seriously did have a soft spot for whenever people commented on appearances. Dom knew why, and I guess the Tyson and Wyatt kind of knew why as well, after what they had found out at Dom’s party.

Wyatt gave me a look. “Come on just let the poor sod up.” I slowly stopped the pressure I had been putting on Ty’s head, and let him raise his head up, sputtering sand out as he went.

“Sorry, I’ll never say it again,” Tyson said putting his arm around me to show me that he didn’t mean to offend me with commenting on appearances. I leaned against his chest, my face still in a pout.

“You better not, I was very hurt,” Wyatt interjected placing a hand over his heart. Tyson gave him a glare.

“Oh come on, be a man,” Tyson responded annoyed.

I gave Tyson a slap on the shoulder. “Ty, come on be nice.”

“Yeah Ty, be nice,” Wyatt echoed as he stuck out his tongue.

“Why must you two always gang up on me?” Tyson asked.

“Because someone needs to deflate that overlarge ego of yours,” I responded flippantly. “Now I think you should apologize.”

“Yeah mate, apologize.”

“In your dreams.”

“Ty, just say you’re sorry,” I ordered.

“I do not say sorry.”

“Not even to one of your best mates?” Wyatt asked hopefully.

Especially not to one of my best mates.”

“Ty, do it or else,” I commanded.

“I’d rather be with Dom and Chaise than apologize.”

“Oi! What’s that suppose to mean?” a voice sounding eerily like Dom’s said from behind us. We all turned around slowly to see Dom and Chaise holding each other’s hands, beaming at one another. I felt a huge grin spread across my face.

“So are you together then, or what?” I asked eagerly. Tyson and Wyatt just nodded stupidly.

Dom blushed and Chaise just gave me this smug look. “Well Dom practically begged me to give her the time of day so who was I to turn her down?”

Dom pushed him away from her playfully, “I recall you doing the asking, definitely not me, and I felt complied to say yes with that big speech you gave me.”

“Mate, you gave her the speech?” Tyson asked raising his eyebrows. “Someone is whipped.”

Now it was Chaise’s turn to blush, but it was barely noticeable. Dom just grinned from ear to ear, proud that she already seemed to have Chaise right under her thumb.

“Which means that you owe me one galleon and three sickles,” Wyatt said smugly to Tyson.

I rolled my eyes as Dom narrowed her eyes at the two boys. “You bet on us?”

Tyson shrugged, “Hey it’s not just us, Coco bet too, and shockingly she didn’t win.”

Dom turned to glare at me and I huffed. “Way to out me, Ty. And I was expecting after my chat with Chaise for him to wait until tomorrow. I shouldn’t have bloody talked to him, now I’m out of money.”

Dom’s entire face seemed to turn red, signaling that she was about to have a blowup. I sighed and exchanged a look with Wyatt and Ty. At least now it was Chaise’s job to calm Dom down instead of me.

“I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU GUYS WOULD BET ON US!” Dom shouted causing many surrounding beach-goers to stare at us.

“Aw Cor you can keep yours, it’s just Ty’s money that I’m going to actually take,” Wyatt said to me comfortingly as we all pretended we didn’t notice the screaming blond.

“IT’S QUITE DESPICABLE HOW YOU GUYS WOULD ALL BET ON SOMETHING LIKE THAT. WE’RE PEOPLE YOU KNOW-”

“Dom maybe you should calm down a little,” Chaise said softly placing a hand on her shoulder trying to calm her down.

“Why is it I have to pay up and you’re not making Coco?!” Ty said exasperated, as we continued to ignore Dom’s ranting.

“I WILL NOT CALM DOWN! AND HOW CAN YOU BE SO CALM ABOUT THIS? THEY BET ON YOU TOO.”

“Because I’m amazing and I didn’t insult Wy’s beauty,” I responded sticking out my tongue.

“Dom, it’s really not that big a deal,” Chaise continued to say.

“NOT A BIG DEAL? THESE ARE OUR BEST FRIENDS, AND THEY THINK NOTHING MORE OF US THEN A FUNNY LITTLE GAME!”

“I didn’t know Wyatt was so insecure,” Tyson said.

“Dom, come on your causing a scene—”

“OH I’LL SHOW YOU HOW TO CAUSE A SCENE!”

“Whatever guys, I’m starving. Fancy a bite to eat?” I asked standing up and brushing the sand off of the back of my legs. Both guys nodded, so I grabbed my strapless lilac sundress and pulled it over my white bikini.

“I think you’re overreacting—”
 
“OH SO NOW JUST BECAUSE I’M A GIRL I MUST BE OVERREACTING!”

“That’s not what I said!”

“IT’S WHAT YOU IMPLIED!”

“At least I won the bet about how long it would take for them to have their first fight,” I said to Ty and Wyatt as I linked arms with the both of them and we started to skip off together like in this muggle movie the Wizard of Oz.

“I didn’t imply anything I simply said that—”

“SIMPLY SAID THAT I WAS A HORMONAL WRECK THAT’S WHAT— HEY WHERE ARE YOU GUYS GOING?!” Dom had finally noticed that we had been trying to escape, and we all stopped and turned around slowly, halfway to the exit of the beach. And we were so close too.

“Er… Just out for a bite. You coming?” I asked.

“Of course we’re coming, aren’t we Chaise?” Dom said giving him a look daring him to argue.

“Yeah ’course,” Chaise said, placating Dom. She gave him a megawatt smile and grabbed his hand again, skipping to catch up with us as we all watched in amusement.

Yes, this was going to be a very interesting relationship.

*

“But mamaaan, I don’t understand why we have to go!” Dom said giving Fleur a pleading look. She had her bottom lip jutted out in a pout, and Fleur sighed.

“Honey, you need to go because she is your sister and you want to help her pick out her first flat,” Fleur stated.

“It’s okay maman, they don’t have to come,” Victoire said cutting in. She gave her mother an understanding smile. “I wouldn’t want to make them feel obligated.”

“That is so thoughtful of you ma petite,” Fleur said resting a hand on Victoire’s shoulder.

I narrowed my eyes at Victoire while she smirked. Oh how I hated that girl. Now she was going to make me and Dom look bad if we didn’t go with her to look at flats. Dom seemed to understand this too and sighed.

“Of course we’re going to go,” I said cheerily linking my arm through Dom’s. “Aren’t we Dom? It’ll be soooo much fun helping pick Vicky’s flat!”

Fleur seemed to not be able to detect the fact that I was totally faking my exuberance, and clapped her hands together excitedly. “Good! It’ll be fun just us girls!”

How naïve Fleur could be. I had to love the effort she made though to try and act like we were all one big happy family. Not that I was technically family, but I sure felt like I was.

Fleur had been trying all week to get Victoire to start looking at flats, and Victoire had always avoided looking at them by saying she had too much work. It seemed she just couldn’t bear to move away from the house where she had everything done for her. However, Fleur had finally backed her into a corner and forced Victoire to go, and us as well to give moral support.

What a right load of crap. Like I would support Victoire’s morals at all. She doesn’t even have any.
   
“Yes, fun,” Dom repeated back tightly. She gave me a look as if blaming me for us having to go. But come on. Did she really want Victoire to look saintly if we had stayed? Nope I don’t think so.

“Well come on girls! We’re suppose to be at this place at three and if we’re late then they might give our spot away to someone else!” Fleur started to say. “It’s supposed to be one of the hottest flats on the market, so we need to stake our claim now.”

Victoire nodded her head eagerly in response, Dom grunted, and I just plastered a crazy smile on my face.

“Now the flat is on Avenue Marceau so just imagine that, okay?” Fleur said giving us all a look to make sure we knew where to apparate to. “And Dom, sidelong apparate with Coco.”

Dom huffed and crossed her arms. “Mamaaaa, I have my apparation license! Why can’t I apparate myself?”

“I don’t trust you yet to apparate alone, Dom,” Fleur said in a no-nonsense manor. “You don’t have as much experience and you won’t be able to imagine the place since you’ve never been there, whereas Coco has more experience with apparating to places she hasn’t been to.”

Dom, however, was not easily deterred. “I have a license, so I’m apparating myself or I’m not going, mum.”

Dom knew how much Fleur hated it when she called her mum, and I noticed Fleur inwardly cringed at being addressed in this way. Dom only called her mum when she was really annoyed.

“Dom, come on it’s not a big deal, you can apparate back by yourself,” I said nudging Dom trying to get her to stop being so difficult. As much as I felt for Dom and how annoying it must be to not be able to apparate alone despite having a license, I knew Fleur was just looking out for her. Dom exchanged a look with me, us silently arguing about her apparating.

She narrowed her eyes telling me that she wanted her independence at apparating alone. I arched an eyebrow telling her to stop being so difficult, she would get plenty more times to apparate alone. Dom pulled her eyebrows downward saying she would definitely not get any chances if her mum was always going to be this difficult. I gave a commanding glare saying she was going to sidelong apparate with me or so Merlin help me I’d make sure she was never happy again.

“Fine,” Dom said giving in. “But I’m apparating home.”

Fleur shot me a thankful look and Victoire just stuck her nose up in the air being her usual snooty self. Dom and me then watched as they both apparated separately out of the house leaving the two of us behind.

“I can’t believe we have to go look at this stupid flat,” Dom complained.

“Dom, just act like your having the time of your life or else Vicky will get all satisfied with herself, and we can sneak away to that ice cream place near the Arc de Triumph that we like so much when they’re distracted,” I explained reasonably.

“Whatever,” Dom said flipping her hair petulantly, and then linking her arm through mine as I prepared us to apparate. I stepped forward imagining the destination, and with a crack we were gone.

*

The flat was inexplicably gorgeous. It had high ceilings, large rooms, dark wood flooring, and floor to ceiling windows throughout the house. Not to mention it was huge compared to most of the flats that had been going around the market lately.

It kind of made me hate Victoire even more, because she didn’t deserve to have a flat so nice. Not that the flat was hers, but I had a feeling she’d definitely want it. And what Vicky wants, Vicky gets.

“Ugh and did you see that smug way she was looking at me as if proving that maman loved her more because she’s getting to look at this insanely nice flat?” Dom rambled on to me, interrupting my thoughts.

We had managed to sneak off to get ice cream, which really hadn’t been hard because we were kind of useless, and now Dom was babbling on about the rivalry that was her and Victoire.

As much as I didn’t like Vicky, I was still jealous at the fact that her and Dom had that typical love-hate relationship with each other. I knew no matter how much Dom droned on about how much Victoire annoyed her that they really loved each other deep down. And I wished that Bailey and me had at least that small bit of a relationship.

I guess I can only half blame my sister for our falling out though. I mean she may have ignored me the whole time I attended Hogwarts, but I had left which was kind of a fault on my part. Bailey might not have sent me any letters, but I hadn’t sent her any either. So really it took two to not make an effort, and I guess neither of us really did.

Although I think I would’ve made an effort if Bailey had at least made an effort to talk to me at Hogwarts.

“Dom,” I said interrupting her monologue (she had started to talk about the first time Victoire ever one-upped her, which meant she was about to go on a tangent if I didn’t interrupt her). “I know exactly how you feel about Vic always trying prove she’s better than you. But you should see this as flattery. She thinks of you as a threat, and her whole life revolves around you in some way, shape, or form.”

Dom stared out the window behind me, considering my words, and then took a bite out of her strawberry ice cream.

“Ugh you’re right,” Dom said the words choking as they came out. I smiled satisfied. I’m always right, aren’t I?

“I know. That’s the whole reason you keep me around,” I said cheekily.

“No, actually. I only keep you around because of that Wanda Witch doll,” Dom replied rolling her eyes.

“Sure, sure. You also keep me around for my insane matchmaker skills.”

“Coco, you barely did a thing. You had one talk with Chaise, after we snogged,” Dom stated.

“Yes but that was the talk of a lifetime. Without that talk, who knows what would’ve happened?” I sighed dramatically.

“You keep thinking that, Cor,” Dom said twirling her spoon back into her ice cream.

“I shall,” I said with a satisfied smirk.

It was then, however, that I noticed two owls flying towards the ice cream shop that we were sitting in front of. They were both the standard tawny owl, and they were headed straight for me and Dom.

Dom and I exchanged looks but as soon as we did this the two owls landed in front of us, each holding a letter out. My curiosity was shot however, when I noticed the loopy handwriting of our Headmistress, Madame Maxime, on the front of it.

“Just something from school then,” Dom said as we both took the letters off of the owls and watched them as they flew away (although not without taking some of my chocolate-peanut butter ice cream, those little devils).

“Well should we open it?” I asked her arching an eyebrow. It seemed too early for the school list supplies to already be sent to us, so maybe it was something different.

“If you really want to, it’s probably just some stupid notice about the new ice sculptures they’re going to be putting in the hallways, or maybe they finally broke and decided to let us have trips to the beach instead of always having to get stupid waivers signed by our parents,” Dom said indifferently.

We both opened the letter and my eyes scanned the contents:

To all Seventh Year Beauxbatons Students:

          Bonjour to all of you! I hope you are enjoying your summer and having a nice relaxation time right after the end of your most rigorous academic career! I know you are all probably curious as to what the matters of this letter are all about so let me get right into it.
          As you all know, at the end of the year we had tried to hold a mentorship program with Durmstrang. We felt it would be a good learning experience for all seventh years to understand the magical culture of another school, and learn the types of magical classes they are taught. You also all know that because of some unfortunate circumstances those ideas had to be cut to a close.
          However, we were given the opportunity to do another mentorship at a different school this year, and it is with my great pleasure that the whole seventh year class will be mentoring with the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry students!
          We will be starting off the first day of school from Beauxbatons, and then will be flying from there to Hogwarts so do not be alarmed at different types of transportation. All rooming will be accommodated for, and enclosed is a list of all necessary items for Hogwarts. I hope you all are excited for this learning experience!

                                                                                                 Madame Maxime
                                                              Headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic


I felt my hands shaking slightly as I finished reading the letter. Dom looked up from her letter too, as she had just read it, and gave me a sympathetic look.

So we would be attending Hogwarts. The school that I pretended I had never attended. The school that my sister was at. The school where Freddy and James went, one of whom I accidentally snogged while drunk. The school where all the students in my house that remembered me, just remembered me as the fat girl who was always the butt of every joke.

How could this be happening? I cannot, will not, attend the school that had made my life a living hell. Did Madame Maxime not understand that I had transferred to her school for a reason? As much as I loved the Headmistress, I really wanted to beat her over the head right about now. Why couldn’t we be at Durmstrang? All the guys were dishes there, and I didn’t attend that school and get mercilessly taunted.

I could feel bile rising up in the bag of my throat, and the back of my eyes started to prickle.

“Coco,” Dom said slowly. “Are you okay?”

“Hog-warts..” I choked out before promptly hunching over and throwing up.
 







 

A/N: Here it is, chapter six, right in the queue on friday just as I promised.

OH NO COCO HAS TO ATTEND HOGWARTS! And so now we have a plot bunny! Corinne just has awful luck so far in this story :(

I want to say thank you to all of my reviewers for the amazingly, wonderful response I got for the last chapter. I was grinning like an idiot for days so happy that you all liked it so much! I hope you enjoyed this chapter just as much, let me know in the review box below.

The trip I took was very productive, seeing as I wrote two more chapters for the story so the next chapter should come out soon after this one is approved, hopefully XD

Thanks for reading the story and if you have any questions/comments leave them in the review box because I will always respond!

-Rebecca

 


Chapter 7: Put Another Ex on the Calender
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Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns anything you recognize okay? Stop rubbing it in. Chapter title comes from the song The Calender by Panic! At the Disco. It's an amazing song and I strongly suggest you listen to it.






 

 

“I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS HEADMISTRESS! SHE HAS GOT TO BE BLOODY MENTAL! MAKING YOU GIRLS ATTEND THIS BRUTISH SCHOOL AS A PART OF ‘EDUCATING AND EXPANDING THE MINDS OF THE STUDENTS’. WHAT A RIGHT LOAD OF SHIT!”

“Fleur, honey, I think you should calm down,” Bill said putting a hand on her shoulder.

Fleur’s face was red with rage, and she did not seem to find Bill’s words helpful at all. In fact, I’m pretty sure this just made her angrier.

“WE SENT OUR DAUGHTER TO BEAUXBATONS FOR A REASON! WE WANT HER TO GET HER FULLEST EDUCATION IN FRANCE! NOT AT A SCHOOL FULL OF BARBARIANS!”

I was scarily reminded of Dom. I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, eh?

“You do realize that two of our children attend Hogwarts?” Bill said to her.

“NOT BY MY DECISION! YOU HAD TO GO ALL ‘GO HOGWARTS' WHEN IT CAME TIME FOR THEM TO PICK SCHOOLS, AND DOM WAS THE ONLY ONE NOT HOODWINKED BY ALL YOUR EXCITING STORIES! SHE UNDERSTOOD THAT BEAUXBATONS WAS OBVIOUSLY THE BETTER SCHOOL,” Fleur shouted exasperated. She then broke out into a huge rambling of French curse words, which only Dom and I understood.

I guess it’s safe to say she was taking this news just as badly as I was, if not worse. Although who’s really to say if I was taking the news better? After throwing up at the ice cream parlor, Dom had made me apparate with her home and I had been sitting on this couch for the past hour, staring straight ahead at the fireplace, trying to pretend this was all a dream. At least Fleur was letting her feelings out, even though they were angry ones full of curse words.

Hogwarts. Bloody stupid sodding Hogwarts.

That felt good. But oh my god I’m returning there. Back to the school I liked to pretend didn’t exist. Why did this have to happen to me? I was getting on just fine at Beauxbatons, more than fine. I LOVE Beauxbatons. I mean so what if some girls are really catty and mean to me, it’s practically nice compared to how I was treated at that shit hole.

Why did Madame Maxime think we needed to be enriched with other schools? I’m perfectly okay with staying right at Beauxbatons and risking not having enough knowledge.

Maybe I should write her a strongly worded letter telling her there was a reason I decided to attend her school in the first place. The only problem is that Madame Maxime really likes me, and I feel like complaining to her would make me look like a whiny bint.

“Coco….are you okay?” Dom asked me noticing that I seemed to have gone catatonic. She had been sitting on the couch next to me shooting me worried glances every once in a while as she watched her mother completely freak out.

“Hogwarts.” It was really the only thing I could repeat back to her. I was going to have to return to Hogwarts. My last bloody year of school was going to be at that god awful place.

I should have taken advantage of Beauxbatons the last time I had been there. I was going to miss the lavender walls in the girl’s dorm that Dom and I shared, as there were only two people per room at Beauxbatons. I was going to miss the ice sculptures lining the hallways, and fairies that tended to fly around the cafeteria at dinner times. I was going to miss the mermaid paintings and bubbling fountains that I saw everywhere I went. Most of all I was going to miss the powder blue color, which I had come to love so much.

“Maman, I think Coco has gone mute,” Dom said to Fleur, causing Fleur to stop her argument with Bill and rush over to me.

“Oh ma patite, I am so sorry. I can’t believe she’s doing this to you girls your last year. I’m going to have a chat with her, see if there’s anything I can do,” Fleur said to me kindly.

Have I mentioned that I love this woman?

“I really don’t understand what the problem is,” Victoire said in her usual snooty attitude. “It’s not a big deal.”

It was times like these where I wondered who the hell invited Victoire to these family discussions.

“It's a huge deal,” Dom said exasperated. “Corinne was bullied the whole time she was at the school! She had people constantly pull apart how she looked! People even had mean nicknames for her!”

Victoire knew all of this though, as she had attended Hogwarts when I had. However she was two years above me, so I had never really crossed paths with her until I became friends with Dom. But, she had to have known the tormenting I had undergone at the hands of her cousins.

“Yes well…” Victoire said trailing off and wrinkling her nose, “I’m sure since she’s so loved now at Beauxbatons that it really won’t be an issue.”

“Victoire! Are you really this thick? She is going to have to relive every bad thing that has ever happened to her! How is that not an issue?” Dom fired back.

Victoire then muttered something about karma under her breath and I wanted to throttle her. I guess some people will have no sympathy ever.

“Don’t worry Coco, me and my mates will make you feel welcome,” Louis said chivalrously. I felt myself smile a little at just how sweet this boy was. I still needed to have a talk with him about his little crush though. Maybe, someday, eventually. It could get really awkward when it came to talks like that so maybe I could just avoid it?

“Aw, my little Louie is my savior,” I said finally breaking out of my silence, and giving Louis’s hair a ruffle.

“How many times do I have to tell you not to call me little,” Louis asked annoyed. Although, he did seem pleased that I finally talked.

“I will call you whatever I want because I am older and I am the boss,” I stated matter-of-factly.

Louis harrumphed in response and then crossed his arms. Let’s hope his offer of hanging out with his mates is still open, I have a feeling I won’t be friends with any of the Gryffindor students that were in the same grade as me. Scratch that, I refuse to be friends with any Gryffindor students that were there when I went to school, period.

In all actuality they were the ones I spent all my time with, they were the ones who taunted me, they were the ones who laughed at me. So really, I was going to just steer clear of most of that house if I could.

“Corinne, don’t you worry just yet, I’m going to try and sort this out. Bill you’re helping me,” Fleur said again. I really hoped she could do something, but I highly doubted she had the power to change the headmistress’s decision. Fleur then left the room, ready to write a letter to Madame Maxime, and Bill followed.

With the parents having left, Victoire decided to make her way back upstairs to her room, and Louis decided to leave as well, still miffed at me picking on his age. It left just me and a worried looking Dom.

“I still can’t believe this is happening,” Dom said biting her lip. I felt a knot form at the bottom of my stomach just thinking about ever setting foot in Hogwarts again.

“You and me both, hun. You and me both,” I responded slowly.

*

“I’m sure no one there will even remember you,” Dom said to me with confidence.

“I still don’t understand why this is a big deal?”

“Chaise shut up! You sound just like Victoire.”

“Don’t insult me Dom, I will never sound like her.”

“Actually she said basically the exact same thing when she heard about it, so you sounded exactly like her,” I said interrupting the lovers spat.

Me, Tyson, Wyatt, and Dom were all Chaise’s house. He had invited us over (aka he had invited Dom over and the rest of us just tagged along). We were all in his back yard, as his house was situated on a lake, and were sitting in a row each dipping our feet into the water. Or in Tyson’s case we were throwing rocks at the water and seeing how far they could skip before sinking to the bottom.

“Sure, take Dom’s side. Original,” Chaise shot back at me flippantly.

“What’s so bad about taking my side? I’m always right!”

“Sure you are.”

“Shut up, Tyson. No one invited you into the conversation.”

“I don’t care if you invited me or not. I’m butting in.”

“I’m not surprised that you’re butting in. I didn’t even invite you to my house. That goes for you two as well,” Chaise said annoyed as he gave me and Wyatt a disapproving glance.

“I’m insulted! I thought we were all mates,” Wyatt responded with a hand over his heart.

“You thought wrong.”

“You guys, focus! We need a game plan for how this whole Hogshit thing is going to go down,” Dom said interrupting Wyatt and Chaise’s banter.

“What do you mean how it’s going to go down?” Tyson asked confused. “We’re going to go there, snog as many hot chicks as possible, and have a good time.”

“You’re mind set sickens me,” I stated blankly as Dom shot Chaise a look saying that he better not be in on Tyson’s plans. He just put his arm around her in response, and she gave him a smile. How cute.

“Jealousy is not a kind attribute to have,” Tyson replied. I rolled my eyes as a response.

“Don’t worry Coco, you and Dom will still be the most beautiful girls in the school,” Wyatt said nudging me in the shoulder.

“That’s not the issue,” Dom said snapping out of her Chaise-induced reverie and putting on her best authoritative voice. “The issue is what’s going to happen when the students finally realize that the Corinne that used to go there is no more.”

“You make it sound like I died and got replaced by a robot,” I joked.

“Be quiet Coco and be serious! We need a game plan for what’s going to happen once we set foot into the school,” Dom commanded.

“It’s simple really. I won’t attend that school, so nothing will happen,” I retorted. I had been thinking about Hogwarts on repeat in my head ever since we had gotten the letter, and I had decided that there was no way I was ever going to go there.

Dom stared at me with a confused face. “What will you do instead?”

“I’ll see if Durmstrang or Salem’s Academy have any open spots. Simple as that,” I said snapping my fingers to enhance my point.

“And leave me to fend off that place alone with nothing but these imbeciles?” Dom asked incredulously as she raised her hand and gestured to the guys. Tyson was throwing a rock into the lake, which when he started to pull his arm back to get a good amount of power behind it, fell out of his hands and onto the ground. Wyatt was watching Tyson in a zoned out expression with his mouth gaping open, as Tyson continued to look around stupidly, wondering where the rock had gone. “I don’t think so.”

“Why is it you always find a way to insult us, even when we’re not in the conversation?” Wyatt asked finally letting Dom’s words sink in and snapping his mouth closed.

“I’m sorry, but I refuse to attend that school ever,” I said over Wyatt’s question, crossing my arms in the process.

“I still don’t understand what the big deal is,” Chaise said confused. Of course he wouldn’t understand. Him and the guys had heard a very watered down version of what had happened at Hogwarts. They didn’t know the actuality of how awful it was. They didn’t know what I was picked apart for. They knew almost nothing, and I preferred that then have them know the truth.

It’s really embarrassing to tell your friends that you were thought of as a pig by a whole school.

“What do you mean you don’t understand the big deal? She’s going to have to see these demons again, and go to school with them for the next year,” Dom said exasperated.

“No I’m not! I’m not going,” I said but no one seemed to listen to me.

“Yeah, she was teased. But she’s got us now, so it’s all good,” Tyson said to Dom. Boys were way to naïve sometimes.

“I don’t think you understand just how awful they were. They made her life hell.”

“Well she didn’t mind snogging one of them.”

“She was drunk!”

“That’s what they all say.”

“So she just lied about being drunk?”

“You know, she is right here,” I said annoyed.

Dom and Tyson stopped their arguing and then looked at me. “Oh, right. So anyways, game plan. We need one,” Dom said clapping her hands together for emphasis.

“There is no ‘game plan’. I’m not going. I told you!” I said back to her defiantly.

“But…” Dom said her sparkly eyes growing big, “We’re best friends! You can’t just abandon me.”

I was quickly reminded of my mother and sister, who I had abandoned back in London. Was I really ready to just abandon my best friend because I feared facing the people at Hogwarts? It’s almost like I haven’t changed at all since the first time I left Hogwarts. My first instinct is to just run.

But I couldn’t run now could I? I had let those people at that school dictate what I do for far too long.

I also couldn’t be the same person that had been there before. The one who didn’t stand up for herself. I had to be the new me. The strong me. I had to make sure when I went to Hogwarts, everyone knew they couldn’t walk all over me.

Dom seemed to sense the internal battle that was going on inside me and she started to smile, knowing I was breaking. She was too good at manipulating me that Dom. “So, this game plan. It must involve none of us interacting with the sixth or seventh year Gryffindors,” I said after a long moment.

“Of course,” Dom responded as if it were obvious. She then looked at the guys, who nodded their heads and agreed. “This means no snogging any Gryffindor girls alright Tyson?”

Tyson looked a little put out, but he agreed begrudgingly. I was almost flattered that he had given up snogging any type of girl for me, because that was almost unheard of for Tyson to do.

“Do you think we’ll be sorted into the houses?” I asked nervously, biting my lip. If this was the case, then I’d have to be stuck with the Gryffindors the whole year.

“Who knows?” Dom said shrugging her shoulders. “We better be in the same house though. I’m not spending my last year with my friends in a separate house from them.”

“What is the point of these houses anyway? They seem really stupid,” Wyatt said butting in. 

“No idea to be honest. It’s based on your characteristics you’re put in one of the houses. Supposedly you get along better with the people in your house. I beg to differ though,” I responded bitterly.

“Maybe you’re just not in the right house then, my cousin loves his house,” Tyson said thoughtfully.

“Your cousin goes to Hogwarts?! Why didn’t we know this?” Dom asked incredulously.

Tyson just shrugged and picked up a smooth stone, swinging his arm and throwing it across the lake. It skipped about three times, and then plopped into the lake, leaving nothing but water ripples on the surface.

“Didn’t think it was a big deal..” Tyson said finally, after Dom had continued to stare at him expectantly.

“Not a big deal! We have an insider who can give us information on everything we need to expect from this school,” Dom said bordering hysterical.

“Um.. Dom you do realize you have about a hundred cousins who go there,” Chaise said, finally shedding light on this small detail.

“A hundred cousins who I detest. They like Vic and Louis better since they chose to go to Hogwarts anyways,” Dom said sourly.

This was another downfall that Dom had when she attended Beauxbatons. I think everyone just kind of expected her to follow in Victoire’s footsteps and attend Hogwarts. Bill’s side of the family had all taken it a little personally, thinking that Dom didn’t want to associate with them and be with all of her cousins. Instead she had chosen to go to Beauxbatons, which her mum’s side of the family attended.

It was like in choosing a school, she had chosen a side. I think Dom always wished that her dad’s side would accept her like they did Victoire and Louis, but I don’t think she’ll ever admit it.

“Yes but we like you better and that’s what matters,” I comforted, shooting Dom a toothy grin. Everyone else nodded along with me to show that Dom was in fact our favorite out of her family, except Tyson who made some remark about Fleur being incredibly shaggable, earning glares from Dom and I.

“I’m so honored,” Dom responded dryly.

“Oi! I’m insulted. Here we are comforting you and all you do is act like we’re all the plague,” Wyatt interjected.

“Shut up pansy boy. We’re trying to have a mature discussion!” Dom fired back.

“How are you going to call me a pansy? I’m not the whipped one,” Wyatt said giving a pointed look at Chaise, who crossed his arms in response.

“I am not whipped,” he glared.

“What’s so bad about being whipped?” Dom asked giving Chaise a steely gaze.

Chaise uncrossed his arms and wound one around Dom’s shoulder again, “Nothing of course.”

Tyson coughed something that sounded like whipped under his breath and Chaise retaliated by kicking a bunch of lake water at him. Tyson dodged it however, and instead it got me right in the face. I sputtered a little and wiped the water off of my face before narrowing my eyes at Chaise. The others just laughed at my predicament and did nothing to help. Tossers.

“You’re going to regret that,” I threatened.

“Oh come on, Coco! I didn’t mean to, honest,” Chaise said looking a little frightened.

I didn’t dignify this with a response and instead pulled out my wand and cast a spell that lifted the water up from the lake, and made it rush in a small tidal wave over him. Inadvertently it had also ended up soaking the others. They all resembled drowned rats, and I couldn’t help but laugh at all of them as they gasped for breath.

“You’re declaring war,” Tyson said shaking a dripping finger at me and pulling out his own wand.

The rest followed suit and soon we were all shooting spells at each other, and running around Chaise’s backyard like crazy people, water flying every which way while all of us were drenched to our toes. The lake seemed to be slightly less deep from all the water we were shooting at each other, but we were too busy laughing and having fun to care.

I think this is why they’re my best friends.

*

The owl stared at me, taunting me. Its leg was held out in front of me with a letter dangling from it, and I watched its eyes blink. Should I take the letter, or should I not take the letter?

I guess you could understand my trepidation with opening a letter from an unfamiliar owl, seeing as last time that had happened I had gotten some of the worst news of my life. The owl noticed I was not making a move to take the letter, so it hooted and shook its leg a bit more, flapping its wings in the process.

“Corinne just take the bloody letter,” Dom said to me through a mouthful of cereal. I gave her a dirty look, but listened to her and took the letter off of the owl. It seemed satisfied and flew off, without so much as taking my food.

I looked at the letter, and the handwriting on it I immediately recognized to be from my father. I was almost surprised he had even remembered to write me a letter at all, and the familiar sinking feeling appeared at the pit of my stomach.

“So, who’s it from?” Dom asked eagerly. She dropped the spoon in her hand back into her bowl of cereal and scooted her chair so that she was sitting closer to me.

“My dad,” I responded coolly.

Dom arched an eyebrow, seeming to come to the same conclusion I had, “Well what’s is say?”

“Dunno,” I said putting the letter into my pocket and returning to my own breakfast, consisting of two slices of toast and a glass of orange juice. Whatever my father had to say could wait until I was done eating.

“Open it then,” Dom commanded as I took a bite out of my toast. I continued chewing and pretended I hadn’t heard her comment. Dom did not seem to be easily deterred though because as soon as I finished chewing she spoke again. “Cocoooooo, open the letter.”

“Why do you want me to open the letter so badly?” I shot back at her. It was my letter, and I’d open it whenever I wanted to.

“Why don’t you want to open the letter so badly?” Dom retorted, cocking her head to the side.

I guess I didn’t want to open the letter because I knew it would in some way disappoint me. My father was not one to just contact me to see how I was doing, and he only ever sent me letters when he had bad news. 

“I just don’t, okay?” I snapped. Dom seemed taken aback and a thick veil of silence came over us. I instantly felt bad for being so stroppy with Dom, but it was always a touchy subject when it came to my family.

I think Dom understood this though, because after about a minute she returned back to her bubbly persona and started to chatter again. “So are we going to go to go to the beach today? We need to get as tan as we can since we won’t have impromptu beach trips this year.”

I forced a smile on my face and nodded my head, “ ’Course we’re going to the beach! Let me just go upstairs and get changed.”

I pushed away my plate of half-eaten toast and headed up to Dom’s room, the letter feeling like a rock in the pocket of my shorts. As soon as I entered her room, I closed the door and took the letter out of my pocket, tearing it open and reading it’s contents.

                                                                  Corinne,

                   Hello, it’s your father. I hope you are having a good summer with that friend of yours, and are practicing all your studies before returning to school, as it’s a month away. I’m writing to you to let you know that I will be unable to send you off this year, since work is a little to hectic here, and I won’t be able to get away in time for when your school starts. I’ve sent a letter to Mrs. Delacour-Weasley to let her know this change of plans. I’m sorry I won’t be able to see you before you go, but I’ll see you at Christmas time instead.

                                                                 Sincerely,
                                                                   Father


I felt myself exhale a breath I hadn’t known I’d been holding in as I finished reading the letter. I was right, another disappointment. I guess my dad didn’t even care about seeing me off for my last year. He had promised me he would come back in time, but he had lied. Shocker.

I thought back to my mother and how she never once missed a chance to see me when I went to Hogwarts. Her smiling face filled my vision along with the incessant chatter she would initiate as soon as she saw me.

It’s ironic really that the only thing that had made me regret leaving Hogwarts was having to leave my mother and sister, and now I had to return there and didn’t even have them to fall back on. I kind of felt like I’d been cheated out of a fair trade. I had given up my only semblance of family to get away from Hogwarts, and I still had to go there?

Life is really unfair sometimes.
 

 







 

A/N: Hello my amazingly wonderful readers! Here's another chapter, albeit it is a bit shorter than I normally write, but I couldn't fit anything else into this chapter without it seeming way too forced and what not.

I hope you enjoyed the chapter, nothing very monumental happened but it just gave you more of an insight on Corinne's family (or lack thereof) and her relationship with her friends.

Let me know what you think about it in the review box, I've been so amazed by the response I've been getting and it's made me all the more happy and motivated to continue with the story and keep on writing it!

Thank you all for your amazing support, it honestly means the world to me everytime I see a lovely review from you guys! No matter how short I will always respond and appreciate it :)

-Rebecca

 


Chapter 8: All My Life I've Been Good, But Now...
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Disclaimer: blah blah blah, I'm not JK Rowling. Chapter title comes from the song What the Hell by Avril Lavigne. For a month straight I listened to it on repeat, it was just THAT catchy. Alright enjoy the chapter guys!

 






 

 

“Now don’t think I’m a snoop or anything, but you left this in the bathroom and it just kind of opened and I somehow ended up reading it,” Dom explained nervously.

I was sitting on one of the squashy armchairs in her sitting room, trying to figure out a crossword puzzle in the Daily Prophet. I was stuck on a relatively tricky word. It was five letters and the hint was ‘name passed down through a family of greatness’. All I knew was that the third letter was an M and the last was an S.

I looked up at Dom and noticed she was holding the letter my father had sent me. I inwardly cringed because it was embarrassing enough with just me knowing that my father ignored me, let alone have someone else in on the humiliation.

“Mhmm,” I responded uninterested while I tried to figure out the crossword. Let’s see, Seamus ended with an S but I’m pretty sure that name hasn’t been passed down through the Finnegan family. And if it had they weren’t really a family of greatness now were they? Oh and it has six letters. Well now I feel stupid.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Dom asked sympathetically. I looked back down at the crossword puzzle and pretended I hadn’t heard her.

“Hello?” Dom said waving her hand in front of my face. “Earth to Coco! The crossword puzzle can’t be that interesting.”

“Hold on I’m almost done…” I responded trailing off as I continued to think.

“Why don’t you want to talk about the letter?” Dom said finally sensing the fact that I was trying to blow her off. “It’s better to let it out than have it all buried in there.”

I rolled my eyes at Dom’s words and read the hint over and over again in my mind. “It was a letter from my dad of him saying something to me that would disappoint me. It’s typical, so excuse me for not wanting to talk about it,” I responded in a monotone.

“I’m sorry he ignores you, Coco,” Dom said gingerly, not sure if I would bite her head of for mentioning it. “I wish your dad didn’t always disappoint you.”

I brushed her words off and pretended I didn’t care. I had stopped trying to get my dad to notice or appreciate me about a year after I moved in with him. He hardly noticed what I did, so trying to interact with him was just awkward and uncomfortable. It was almost like he pretended I just happened to be some random girl living in his house instead of his daughter.

“So Coco I was thinking,” Dom said, breaking into my thoughts and trying to get my attention again. I ignored her and continued to try and solve the puzzle. Let’s see…

Remus! It had to be Remus. That name was passed on as a middle name to Teddy. I wrote the name down and then realized it was wrong seeing as the second letter was an A according to the down column. Darn, and I was so close.

“Coco stop doing the crossword and look at me,” Dom said at her wits end. I looked back up at her and noticed she was extremely annoyed.

“What?!” I asked just as snappily. I really didn’t want to talk about the letter, or anything that had to do with my father, and I wished Dom sensed that.

“Well, I was just thinking…” Dom said slowly, seeming to get nervous at her suggestion.

“Just thinking…” I prodded.

“That maybe you should owl your mum or something. Let her know that you’re going to be attending Hogwarts,” Dom said looking at me hopefully. I kept my face as neutral as possible, and then turned back to the crossword puzzle.

There was honestly no way that I would ever try to contact my mother. She had made it perfectly clear that she was fine without me, and contacting her now after such a long time would be useless. It would also be incredibly embarrassing when she didn’t reply.

“Come on, Coco. Why don’t you want to just try?” Dom implored as she widened her eyes at me.

“Dom, I really don’t think that’d be a good idea,” I said after a long pause.

“Why not?” Dom demanded.

“It’s just… things were kind of left on bad terms when I decided to live with my father, and I don’t think my mum would want to hear from me,” I explained.

Dom seemed to not be able to comprehend having a parent who did not want their daughter to contact them. Not that I was surprised. Here she was, raised by this perfect family, who played a major part in the wizarding war, with siblings that were always around, and an overlarge family that loved her.

And then there was me, with my absent father, estranged mother, and sister who didn’t give a rat’s arse about me. My family wasn’t exactly the poster family of happiness like hers was.

“Corinne, I’m sure if you just tried to contact your mum she’d be more than happy to see you. She’s your mum for Merlin’s sake,” she said exasperated. Oh how naïve my Domster could be.

“Yeah she is my mum, but I hurt her really bad when I decided to leave and live with my dad,” I responded.

“But now you’re going to be back at Hogwarts! You could even move back in with her for your last year, its not like your dad would even notice. You could even see her at winter break because I think it’s safe to say your dad won’t be around much during that time.”

Dom was right with her reasoning on my dad. He was barely around during the holidays, and when he was it was just to shove money in my hands with a stiff ‘Happy Christmas’ before walking to his office and doing work. We never decorated or celebrated much.

“Dom, my mum doesn’t want anything to do with me. And there’s Bailey as well who I’m sure loves that I’m gone,” I said bitterly.

“You really don’t know until you try,” Dom tried.

“Dom, I really don’t want to talk about this anymore, okay? I’m not contacting my mum and that’s that,” I snapped, finally not being able to discuss this any longer.

I noticed Dom’s crestfallen face and immediately felt bad. Dom would never understand my family. Her life was too put-together and too perfect for her to ever comprehend the shambles mine was in.

Even if by some miracle I contacted my mum and she replied to me, I only had one more year left of school anyway. That would hardly be enough time for us to catch up on the last four years of our lives. The time had already disappeared from us, and there was no fixing everything that had happened. The gap was way to big, for either of us to dare venture.

“I just think you should try,” Dom said softly.

I didn’t respond and looked back at the crossword puzzle that I had yet to solve. Five letters, second letter A, third M, last letter S. What could this stupid sodding name be?

I soon figured out that the first letter of the word had to start with a J, since the word down was ‘jinx’ and it finally dawned on me what the name was. James. As in James Potter. The name passed down through a family of greatness.

I thought of the feel of James’s lips against my own at Dom’s party, and wished that I gagged at the thought. Sadly James was an excellent snogger and whenever I thought of how much I hated him, it was quickly followed by how insanely attractive he had become and what a good snog he was.

I decided that I didn’t feel like finishing the crossword puzzle anymore and tossed the Daily Prophet on the ground instead. Dom arched an eyebrow at my change of heart and gave me a questioning look.

“I finished it,” I said even though I still had a couple blank rows on the crossword. Dom noticed this, but didn’t say anything. She was probably thinking that I was still cross about her bringing up my family.

The truth is, the crossword had just reminded me of other problems. Other problems that involved me seeing James Potter again. And the sad thing was, that those were the least of my worries.

*

“Retail therapy,” Dom stated, after I had asked her to repeat what she said.

“What about it?” I asked curiously.

“We need some. You see, in three weeks time, we are going to enter a school full of people that we hate, and we need to look hot,” Dom explained to me matter-of-factly. She used ‘we’ in as loose a term as possible. Since I hated the Gryffindors in my year, she hated them as well, even though they hadn’t done anything to her per say. Although she did hold a grudge against some of her cousins all on her own.

“And how is looking hot therapy?” I asked cocking my head to the side.

“Looking hot builds confidence, confidence makes you happy, therapy is all about building confidence and making people happy. Therefore, buying clothes equals therapy,” Dom said all in one breath.

I sighed. Dom had been trying for the past week to come up with ideas to make me happier about the impending doom I was going to face on September 1st . In the past week we had eaten chocolate chunk ice cream every night (the fat free/low calorie type that tastes very much like water), had gone to the beach almost every morning (my hair had become significantly blonder, and my skin had turned a perfect shade of golden-brown), and I had received a kitten named Milo (he was all-white with shockingly blue eyes, and was also deaf but I loved him to bits anyway).

Fleur had gotten him for me as a pick-me-up gift, as I had always wanted a kitten. He was going to be put to sleep at the pound seeing as he was deaf and not many people wanted deaf cats, so Fleur had decided to get the kitty for me anyway, since I had never had a pet of my own.

Milo was currently sitting in my lap, purring contently as I absentmindedly stroked his soft fur. His white fur felt like cotton or a cloud, and his pink nose was scrunched while his eyes remained closed.

“I see,” I said finally looking up from Milo and back at Dom. “And this retail therapy
will be done with what money?”

“Well, your dad gave you his GTM card so you can get money from there, and maman gave me her card as well so our parents are treating us,” Dom explained with a sparkle in her eye.

In case you don’t know, a GTM card was developed about a decade ago and it’s a way to get money from your Gringott’s vault, without actually having to go all the way to Diagon Alley to get it. You just put the card in a GTM machine, enter the amount you want to withdraw, and can go on your merry way. Almost every wizarding shop now contains a GTM machine so that you can withdraw money at your pleasure.

“Yes but my dad also told me not to ‘use my card incessantly’,” I said, repeating my fathers words in a voice as close as I could to his.

Dom rolled her eyes at me, “And since you haven’t used it basically all summer, you can use it now! Your dad won’t mind anyway, it’s not like you don’t have any money.”

My father did get a lot of money from his job, seeing as it was basically his life, but I always hated using his money. It almost felt like I was condoning the fact that he ignored me and spent all of his time working, because I was spending the money he had made. I tended to use his money as little as possible, although I did break occasionally and buy clothes. 

And Dom did have a point. I was in major need of retail therapy, in my opinion, and I had barely bought anything all summer.

“Well... Since you forced me I guess we can shop,” I said after a long pause. Dom immediately grinned at me.

“Good because I already have a bunch of places mapped out for us to go to!  I told Tante Gabrielle that we’d probably head over to her shop first, so Francesca will probably join us too,” Dom rambled excitedly.

Tante Gabrielle (or Aunt Gabby as I liked to call her) was Fleur’s sister and had her own clothing boutique in France that had some of the most amazing clothes. Her daughter, Francesca, was one of the best people to shop with, seeing as she knew just about everything about clothes since she worked in her mum’s shop. She had attended Beauxbatons as well, and we all got along but seeing as she two years above us we hadn’t seen her much since she graduated. Her and Gabby were always traveling to well-known shopping capitals throughout Europe in order to get the most on trend clothes for their boutique, which is why they hadn’t come to Dom’s party, but they always gave great fashion advice.

Francesca also had a twin brother, Theo, who I had actually dated for a while. He was gorgeous seeing as he had a bit of veela in him, but when he had graduated Beauxbatons we had agreed to end it on amiable terms. We still wrote letters to each other occasionally, and I considered him a good friend. Dom had been heartbroken because she had really wanted us to stay together and get married and such so that we would be related, but she got over it eventually, having the idea in her head that one day “we’d rekindle our old flames”. He was in Romania with Bill’s brother Charlie training him for the summer to work with dragons, and he wouldn’t be home until the day before we went off to Hogwarts. This mean he’d be able to come to Fleur’s barbeque that she held every year right before school started, and so we’d be able to see each other.

 “You planned all these places before you knew I’d agree?” I asked feigning annoyance.

“I knew you’d agree,” Dom replied with a smirk.

“How?”

Dom plopped herself on the bed next to me and gave me an exasperated look as I continued to stroke Milo, unphased. “Because Coco, if you did not agree I would not be happy, and in turn you would not be happy. I mean, isn’t that what friendships all about?”

I rolled my eyes at Dom’s warped way of thinking, “Actually I’m happy when you’re not happy, I thought that’s why we were friends.”

Dom elbowed me in the side at this remark. “Oh be quiet Coco. Now get off your lazy arse and let’s shop!”

*

“Girls! You have gotten even more beautiful if possible,” Aunt Gabby said coming over to Dom and me and giving us each a hug. The silvery hair her and Fleur shared was cut short to just below her chin, and was held back in a cute clip. She was wearing a long flowy top belted at the waist, dark-wash skinny jeans, and rounded toe heels.

She looked barely old enough to have kids of her own, let alone a daughter and son near our age.

I looked around the boutique, which was absolutely gorgeous. The walls were painted a baby blue with criss-crossing pink stripes, and had gorgeous Parisian paintings hanging over the walls. My favorite painting was one of the Eiffel tower at sunrise, and the sky was a dusky pink with ribbons of purple and orange woven throughout. There were floor to ceiling windows in the boutique as well, that were covered with sheer white lace curtains and mannequins were standing at the front wearing silky shirts and satiny skirts.

The walls were lined with hundreds of clothing items in varying hues made out of gorgeous gauzy and silk materials. Accessories were scattered across shelves that were in the store and purses of all shapes were calling out to me, begging me to buy them.  Glittering necklaces and bracelets were dotted along the counters, and I caught sight of a beautiful gold necklace.

“FRANCESCA! Coco and Dominique are here!” Gabby called to the back of her store, interrupting my daydreaming about buying a particularly gorgeous red purse. There was a rustle and the sound of something toppling over, followed by a slew of French curse words, before Francesca finally emerged from the back of the store.

“Maman someone left all the boxes of scarves stacked up right in the middle of the hallway in the back, again,” Francesca complained. Her long silver hair was pulled into a side braid, and she had on a simple white eyelet dress with a stack of gold bangles on one arm, and layers of necklaces piled atop her neck.

“Maybe you should watch where the boxes are being placed,” Gabby stated with a jesting smile.

“Were you that someone?! I tell you time and time again that if you stack the boxes in the middle of the hallway someone’s not going to be able to get around them and will knock them over,” Francesca shot back.

“Frannie, I’ve been running this store for years without you and I will stack the boxes wherever I see fit. Now stop being rude and say hello to our guests.”

Francesca seemed to finally notice that Dom and I were there and turned to us before breaking out into a smile and flinging her arms around us. “Oh you guys it’s been too long!”

“And whose fault is that?” Dom said jokingly returning the hug. I hugged Francesca as well and inhaled the fresh daisy scent that she seemed to be wearing.

“I told you I was sorry I had to miss your party! I had to go to Milan and meet with the head of Dragon & Grindewald to make sure we got first pick of clothing for the store,” Francesca said apologetically. “I wish I had been there, believe me. The person I met with was such an arse and kept upping the prices he had originally promised to me.”

“I know, I know,” Dom replied understandingly.

“Besides,” Francesca said pulling away from us and walking behind the counter near the back of the store, which had a pink cash register placed on top of it, “If I hadn’t gone to Milan, I wouldn’t have been able to get you this.”

With that she pulled out a buttery leather handbag that was a light brown and had Dragon & Grindewald stamped onto the front buckle. It had to be worth a couple hundred galleons, seeing as it was a version that hadn’t been released in stores yet, and Dom immediately squealed and grabbed the bag out of Francesca’s hand.

“You are totally forgiven,” Dom screeched, swinging the bag over her shoulder and stroking it with her other hand. “It’s beautiful!”

“Thought you’d like it,” Francesca said letting out a laugh at Dom’s reaction. “And Coco don’t think I forgot about you!”

I looked away from Dom who was now singing ‘Cauldron Full of Hot Strong Love’ to her purse while she danced around the store, and turned back to look at Francesca. She searched behind the counter once more, wisps of her hair coming out of her braid and framing her face beautifully, and then brandished an oversized leather quilted clutch. It was black and had a gold-chain strap with the logo stamped across the front. I hadn’t expected to receive anything and I was shocked that Francesca had thought of me on her trip.

“Wow it’s totally gorgeous,” I said taking the clutch out of her hands and admiring the buttery feel of the leather beneath my fingers. I was totally turning into Dom. “Thank you so much!”

Dom stopped her singing cleared her throat and then spoke, realizing she had yet to thank her cousin, “Oh yeah, thanks I suppose.” She then came up to me and we traded bags so I could admire hers for a little and she could look at mine before trading back again.

“Neither of these purses are out on the market yet so brag about them when you attend Hogwarts,” Francesca said with a glint in her eye.

Dom and I nodded our heads eagerly, while Aunt Gabby pursed her lips at the mention of Hogwarts. I think it’s safe to say that everyone on Fleur’s side of the family did not agree with the mentorship program.

“I still cannot believe Beauxbatons is making you do a mentorship with them. Fleur told me about it and I was appalled that such an upstanding institution would join forces with such a barbaric school,” Gabby stated, confirming my thoughts. Everyone nodded their heads in agreement.

“I know right! Like we chose to go to Beauxbatons for a reason. It’s much more refined and if anything Hogwarts should visit us, as they have much more to learn,” Dom agreed eagerly.

“I think Madame Maxime did it because of that gamekeeper at Hogwarts, Hagrid,” Frannie said leaning in showing she was about to spill major gossip. “I heard that he broke it off with her because she wasn’t around enough or something and he wanted her to make a full commitment to be with him.”

I recalled in the back of my mind the Hogwarts Gamekeeper that Frannie was referring to. He was a large man to put it in the most understated of terms. He was also very unkempt and had a tangled beard that he never seemed to take care of. I wondered how our elegant and stately headmistress could have fallen for someone of that nature.

“Typical men. Making the women give up everything just to be with them,” I remarked, rolling my eyes at Madame Maxime’s weakness. She should demand him to come to Beauxbatons, not the other way around. He was a gamekeeper for Merlin’s sake. It wasn’t like he would’ve been leaving much behind.

“Does she have no dignity?” Dom asked rhetorically. “If the guy doesn’t make an effort, neither should she.”

“Girls it’s really not polite to gossip,” Gabby said giving us looks that said we should know better. “Whatever happened is Madame Maxime’s business and it’s rude to judge her if you don’t know the whole story.”

Frannie rolled her eyes but stopped talking so as not to get scolded by Gabby again. Dom just huffed, obviously wanting to hear more about the Madame Maxime/Hagrid love affair.

“Anyways,” Frannie said changing the subject, “I picked out a bunch of clothes for you both to try on that we aren’t selling yet in the store, so get your gorgeous selves into a changing room and start trying stuff on. Like anything and you can have it, on me.”

“Oh maman told me not to let you give us things for free,” Dom explained. “We don’t want you thinking that we only come here for the free clothes, even though we do.”

Frannie and Gabby laughed at Dom’s remark and then Gabby started to speak again. “Oh girls don’t be silly! Anything you see here is a gift from us. Now come on Dom let me show you the cutest sundress me and Frannie found for you.”

“Fine with me!” Dom said her internal battle officially over with. She then followed Gabby to the back of the store where the dressing rooms were, to one that had about a million clothes hanging inside of it.

Frannie turned away from watching Dom and Gabby as they disappeared and then turned to me, giving me a sympathetic look. “I heard from Fleur about how hard it was for you at Hogwarts.”

I felt that feeling that seemed to be ever-present at the pit of my stomach whenever Hogwarts was mentioned. It almost felt like someone was permanently squeezing it, which left me feeling uneasy. However, as much as I hated for people to know about my Hogwarts days, I was okay with Frannie knowing about it.

“Yeah,” I echoed back to her, not really wanting to talk much more about it.

She seemed to sense this and gave me another look, “I just want you to know that it won’t be the same. You have a support system now, you know?” Her silver eyes widened to enhance her point, and her eyebrows were drawn together to show that she was being serious. “Everyone goes through awful times in their life, but you’re over that now. I mean look at you.”

I rolled my eyes but gave Frannie a grateful smile nonetheless, which just made Frannie break out into a beatific smile of her own. She linked her arm through mine and started to pull me to the back of the store. “Now let’s get you some amazing clothes to make those people at Hogwarts hate themselves even more.”

I laughed and let her drag me to the back, thinking about her previous words. I guess my biggest worry was that I’d return to Hogwarts and everything would be the same. That people would still make fun of me for the person I once was; that I would still have no friends. But I wouldn’t let that happen. I had people I could depend on, like Frannie said, and I knew I would always have their support and love. That was really all I needed.

And as for everyone else at Hogwarts? Well it was time to turn the tables, now wasn’t it?
 

 

 






 

A/N: Hello to my beautiful readers! So don't hate me for submittting this chapter in the queue a day later than expected, this week was fairly busy and what not, but I managed to get the amount of chapters that I wanted done, done, and the plot is coming along nicely.

As for that, since I really know where the story's going, if you review and ask any questions about what might happen in the next chapter, I will most likely answer them. Maybe even give a sneak peak?

But anyways, back to the point. So, how do you like this chapter? Do you like Frannie? What do you think about the Theo thing? Gabby? Do you think it was a good idea to bring Fleur's side of the family into this story?

Oh and in case any of you are familiar with the story Coming Back a Swan, I've gotten some reviews mentioning it and yes I absolutely love that story and it was a big inspiration (obviously) when it came to writing my own story. I have been questioning if maybe it's a bit too similar and I've been trying to change the plot as much as I can I just really liked the idea of going to another school and returning completely different and very well-liked. It's been updated too! So if you haven't read it go read it now, it's absolutely amazing. Another story that was an inspiration is the story Ignorant by OrdinarilyExtraordinary but sadly it was abandoned. Still read it if you would like as it's good too!

 

Alright I think I've written too much in my Author's Note, but thank you all so much for your overwhelmingly positive response and keep on reviewing (seriously, your reviews make me want to write and inspire me) !

 

See ya next chapter! :)
-Rebecca


Chapter 9: This Place About to Blow
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Disclaimer: I do not equal JKR nor will I ever. The chapter title and summary comes from the song Blow by Ke$ha.






 

“Milo, Sir Humphrey Bogart the second is not a toy!” Louis exclaimed as Milo ran around the room chasing after Louis’s pet owl. For some reason, Milo had a strange fascination with Sir Humphrey Bogart II and tended to chase after him whenever he could. None of the other owls seemed to be as interesting to Milo as Louis’s and I think it was safe to say Louis did not like Milo.

Sir Humphrey Bogart was perched on the edge of the couch, trying to give a letter to Louis, and Milo was on the floor about to jump up and attack him.

“Milo, come on my little kitty don’t attack the birdy,” I said in a baby voice, waving my hand around to try and capture the interest of my cat. His ears perked up, and he looked at me, and then back at the owl, not sure which one to go for.

“Come on,” I urged again. After saying this, Milo turned away from me and jumped onto the couch instead. I felt very unloved.

“Corinne get your cat away from my owl now!” Louis shouted annoyed. I mentally thought that it sounded like a strangely funny sexual innuendo. I decided to keep it to myself though.

“I’m trying, I’m trying. I think he just really likes Humphrey,” I said as I made my way slowly over to the couch.

“How many times do I have to tell you to call him Sir Humphrey Bogart the second. Humphrey is just so juvenile,” Louis complained. Louis had this thing where you had to call Humphrey by his full name because anything else was too unrefined. I tended to ignore these rules, because the owl was not actual nobility and I felt no need to treat an owl that crapped wherever it felt as if it was at a higher esteem then myself.

“Whatever,” I responded rolling my eyes and continuing to walk towards Milo.

Milo was too fascinated with the owl to notice me edge my way closer to him and I bent my knees ready to pounce. At the same time, Milo also bent his legs, and was getting ready to jump on Humphrey, which made me, in turn, launch myself at the cat.

“ARGHHHH,” I shouted as I landed head first into the couch while Milo expertly dodged me by jumping at Humphrey, who flew unscathed off of the couch and over to Louis.

“Smooth, Coco, smooth,” Louis said as he stroked Humphrey’s feathers. He took the letter out from around Humphrey’s leg and stuffed it in his pocket.

“You know you could’ve helped me or something! It’s not my fault Milo’s a freak of nature,” I exclaimed.

“He’s your cat not mine. Not to mention he was attacking my owl, so I don’t think I should’ve helped you,” Louis responded crossing his arms and giving me a pointed look.

“Some friend you are,” I huffed back. I then walked over to Milo, who was standing on the place Humphrey had originally been perched on, and picked him up.

“Come on Milo, we’re obviously not wanted here,” I said sticking my head up in the air dramatically and starting to march out of the room.

“Oh come on, Coco. Stop being dramatic,” Louis said rolling his eyes.

“So now I’m being dramatic?! I’m insulted!”

“When aren’t you?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?!”   

“It means that someone’s incredibly touchy this morning.”

As we continued to prattle on, neither of us noticed when Milo jumped out of my hands and snuck up behind Louis, where Humphrey was still perched on his shoulder. So, at Louis’s previous words, Milo had sprung onto Louis’s shoulders, causing Humphrey to let out a loud hoot and fly out of the room.

“Milo, get off of Louis this instant!” I shouted over Louis’s swears as he writhed around trying to toss Milo off of himself.

“Get this crazy cat away,” Louis shouted as Milo held on to the collar of Louis’s shirt for dear life.

“Be fragile with him, Louis! Don’t hurt him,” I exclaimed as he continued to try and shove the cat off.

“He’s hurting me though,” Louis whined.

“Then just hold still and let me get him,” I said walking over to Louis. Louis stopped his writhing and I carefully plucked Milo off of his shoulder. I cradled Milo in my arms and started to scratch him behind the ears to calm him down.

“Don’t understand how you put up with him,” Louis vocalized.

“Oh shut up Louie. Humphrey was provoking him!” I defended.

“Sir Humphrey Bogart the Second would never do such a thing!” Louis fired back. There it is with that stupid full name. He sounded like such a ponce whenever he said it.

“Oh stuff it with the full name nonsense. He’s a bloody owl,” I snapped.

“Someone wishes they had given their cat a different name,” he mocked.

“Someone is obviously delusional and got beaten up by a baby kitten.”

“I was not beaten up!”

“Louis, Coco, what’s going on?!” Fleur shouted from the kitchen, hearing our voices continually rising until we were almost shouting at each other.

“Nothing maman,” Louis called back cheerily. “Just talking about how much we love Milo.”

I scoffed at this. “He’s lying, Fleur. He was making fun of my kitty!” With that I looked back down at the adorable kitten in my arms and gave its fur another stroke.

“Louie, apologize to Coco, now,” Fleur called in an authoritative voice, sticking her head through the doorway of the living room and giving Louis a look.

“Such a tattletale,” Louis said under his breath.

“Oi! I’m waiting on that apology,” I urged.

“Fine. Sorry for insulting your cat’s name.” He didn’t sound like he meant it, not that I cared much but I let out a satisfied smile anyways.

 “I accept, Louie,” I said ruffling his hair. He laughed and Milo let out a squeak. “Now I’m going to take this little rascal up to Dom’s room.”

“While you’re up there tell her that you two need to go to Diagon Alley sometime today to get your school supplies,” Fleur told me, not waiting for a response before ducking her head back into the kitchen.

I sighed inwardly as I thought about how quickly school was approaching. Wasn’t it just yesterday that summer had started and Dom and me had had what seemed like forever stretched out ahead of us? Was it really time to buy school supplies?

But yes, it was that time already. September first was only in a matter of one week, and it was now necessary for all of us to start buying our school supplies. I was dreading the end of the summer more than usual, and I wished for the billionth time that Hogwarts did not exist.

I climbed up the stairs, clutching Milo against my chest so he didn’t run away and try to chase Humphrey.

When I popped into Dom’s room, she was laying on her bed, feet kicked up behind her, and snapping bubblegum between her teeth as she read Witch Weekly’s latest magazine.

It finally dawned on me just how lived in her room had become over the summer, there were various clothing items strewn across the floor that neither of us were sure who it belonged to and my trunk remained empty (except for the summer work Hogwarts assigned for us which I had yet to do). All of my things were scattered along with hers, and all of our new clothes we had gotten on our shopping expedition with Frannie were still in their bags, leaning against the wall. It almost felt like this room was mine as well. Like I was her sister or something.

I loved having that sisterly feeling with Dom, it just made our friendship seem all the stronger.

“Dom, we’re going to Diagon Alley today,” I told her in a voice that stated I was not looking forward to it.

Dom ignored this monotone voice that I had taken on, and instead looked up to her magazine and grinned.

“Great! I’ve been wanting to go to Diagon Alley for ages! There’s this new boutique that opened up that’s supposed to have amazing shoes. I saw a girl wearing a really cute pair of dragon hyde shoes and she told me that they were from there and that they were on sale. They were gorgeous too! A buttery brown that I know you’d just—”

“Dom,” I said interrupting her monologue. Merlin only knew how long she could go on about shoes for. “We’re going to Diagon Alley to get school supplies, not clothes.”

Dom eyes seemed to grow confused, as if the idea of shopping for anything but clothes was a foreign concept. “Well we can stop at that boutique too, can’t we?” Dom inquired worriedly.

I sighed. “If we have time, but I’m not trying to stay in the big DA longer than necessary if you know what I mean. Last time we went there I was this close to bumping into Freddy,” I explained, holding my fingers up closely together to emphasize just how close we were to bumping into Fred.

“You do realize we’re going to be going to school with Fred, so bumping into him and James and everyone else will only be inevitable,” Dom said with a no-nonsense look on her face.

Damn her for reminding me about that small detail. I was trying to forget about having to see them. I was dreading it in fact.

“Well I’d rather see them later than sooner, so how about we might to the shoe place, okay?”

Dom seemed to be extremely annoyed with this decision. “No, we will go to the shoe place.“

Sometimes Dom could be so bloody difficult. It was like dealing with a five year old.  If she wanted to do something, she was damn well going to make sure she did it. It was a quality I both admired, and hated about her. A double-ended sword is how I’d describe it. Because she can really fight for something she believes in, but she can also be incredibly stubborn and act like a baby.

But then again, I was kind of acting immature too. I wanted to force her from going to a shop she really wants to go to just because I’m afraid I’ll bump into someone from my past. What happened to me not letting the two arseholes dictate what I do?

“Fine, we’ll go to the shoe place too. But we’ll get our supplies first, eh?” As soon as the words escaped my mouth, Dom let out a squeal of happiness and started bobbing her head around in excitement.

“YAY! Coco, you won’t regret it I swear, I’ll find you the most amazing pair of shoes in the world and you’ll thank me for making you go,” Dom chattered animatedly.

I, of course, was skeptical of her promise, and had this feeling in the back of my mind that told me she could be completely wrong. But instead of delving into my pessimistic mindset, I shook my head clear of the thoughts and smiled back at Dom with a stupid grin.

*

“Dom, I literally can’t walk anymore. Can we just scrap the shoe idea and apparate back?” I begged as I toted what had to be a million shopping bags on both my arms. Shopping with Dom was always a precarious situation, because she was the master of convincing you to buy something, and if you refused to buy something she thought you just had to have, she’d buy it for you.

Which is how we had both wound up with bags full of unnecessary objects such as pink glittery quills (along with glitter ink pots that’s colors changed as you wrote), colored parchment (in soft pinks, blues and lavenders), pink cauldrons (“To set ourselves apart” in Dom’s words), and a variety of other items that I knew we probably wouldn’t use but had bought anyway (such as quill that sings out whatever your writing, as Dom insisted it’d make homework fun). Dom was a very avid shopper when it came to anything, and I thanked Merlin that she could afford her expensive taste.

The only things Dom hadn’t been excited about us buying were the textbooks. They were fairly plain, exceedingly thick, and had small writing inside with barely any pictures. At Beauxbatons we hadn’t actually had textbooks, we just took notes during our lessons and then if we needed any information databases, we would go to the school library and use the wizarding computers they had there. With the internet at our fingertips, it seemed stupid to still use textbooks, but Hogwarts was always stupid like that.

We had also been told to buy Hogwarts robes, as well as Beauxbatons robes, which made me seethe inwardly. Dom and I had picked up our Hogwarts robes (which were the regular, boring gray and black) and I had finally remembered how much I had despised the itchy wool material. When I had tried the uniform on, it had looked better than my last images of me wearing them, which was the only upside, but I still felt frumpy and completely uncomfortable. I favored the Beauxbatons uniform much more, which included a gorgeous silky powder blue skirt, white button down oxford, and powder blue bowtie.

“We are not scrapping the shoe idea,” Dom said shocked I could even suggest such a thing. She stopped walking and gave me a glare as if daring me to argue with her.

“But Doooom, I’m tired, my arms hurt!” I whined.

“I do not care. You promised we could go to the shoe store, and we’re going,” Dom replied matter-of-factly.

I sighed and watched as she whirled back around and started barging through the bustling Diagon Alley streets, breaking through hoards of people in the process, and causing many to stare at the both of us. I then readjusted my bags so they’d lie as comfortably as possible on my shoulders, and followed her.

She stopped in front of a cutesy looking boutique that had a lavender awning and swirly letters on the front that said Lavender Brown’s Shoes and Accessories. When I caught up with Dom, she looked at me excitedly.

“See that wasn’t so hard, was it?” She said sticking her tongue out as I was still struggling to keep hold of the ten bags I was hoisting around.

“Let’s just go into the store and look at the shoes you are so desperate to see,” I said rolling my eyes and marching into the store, with Dom bouncing happily behind me.

I opened the door and the whole inside of the boutique was lavender, hence the name I guess. There were lavender shelves lining every wall with loads and loads of beautiful shoes everywhere I looked. There were ankle boots, calf-length boots, thigh high boots, boots with heels, boots with wedges, regular wedges, peep-toed pumps, rounded toe pumps, colorful sandals, and so much more that I was getting dizzy with all the staring.

“I think I’m in heaven,” I heard Dom say before she unceremoniously dropped her bags onto the floor of the boutique and started to roam around, picking up hoards of shoes as she went.

There was only one worker that seemed to be there, and she looked to be about a year younger than us, if not the same age. She had dark chocolate brown curls pulled into a loose ponytail, and seemed to be flipping through a magazine, occasionally looking at Dom in that intimidated ‘I know you’re prettier than me’ way, and glancing at me too with the same look. She was rather pretty, in a plain sort of way and she didn’t say anything to us as Dom continued to chatter incessantly.

“Coco, you must try these on. They’ll be great with our uniforms and they’re not that expensive either,” Dom exclaimed shoving a pair of gray-black oxford heels at me. They were a gorgeous distressed type of leather, and I knew they’d be amazing.

Dom seemed to notice for the first time that the brown-haired girl was staring at us like there was no tomorrow, so she turned to me and raised an eyebrow as if to say ‘what’s with the crazy girl’ and then turned back to the rows and rows of shoes.

She continued to talk to me in French instead, which caused the girl to notice that maybe we had caught on to her listening, so she turned back to her magazine. However, she still took to sneaking glances at us occasionally. When Dom noticed this, she pulled us behind a row of strappy heels so we could no longer be seen by the girl, although we could still see her from the vantage point we were at.

“What’s with that girl giving us like the third degree?” Dom asked annoyed. I shrugged my shoulders, because I wasn’t quite sure either.

“Maybe she’s just curious, I mean you are part veela so it’s probably your charm attracting the stares,” I responded.

“Yeah, okay,” Dom said rolling her eyes acting as if she didn’t believe that was the case at all.

I opened my mouth to respond but the sounding of a bell went off, as another person entered the boutique. I looked towards the entrance curiously, wondering who would enter and saw the back of a girl who had curly dirty-blonde hair, and was making a beeline towards the brown haired girl.

“MIAAAA! When is your mum coming back so that you can go shopping with me?” she whined stamping her foot in annoyance.

“I dunno Leigh, my mum should be back soon, but you know how she is,” Mia responded with a sigh.

The whiny girl, Leigh, sighed in annoyance. “School starts in one week, Mia! I have yet to get any cute clothes for school, and seeing as we’re having all those stupid Beauxbatons students coming, we need to look our best.”

Dom’s ears seemed to perk up at the mention of Beauxbatons, and she started to listen in with me as well. I tried to get a good look at Leigh’s face, but she remained with her back faced towards me.

“Did she just call Beauxbatons stupid?” Dom whispered to me, seeming to get extremely annoyed. I grabbed her arm to stop her from walking out of the row we were conveniently hiding behind, so that we could continue to eavesdrop.

Hey I know you’d do it too if you were in my position.

“Dom, be quiet! Let’s just listen to the conversation and not attack,” I ordered, my voice low.

Dom sighed but she slumped her shoulders and didn’t make another noise as we continued to watch the two girls. There was something eerily familiar though about the girl with the dirty blonde hair, Leigh, but I needed to see her face before my suspicions could be confirmed.

“I’m sure it won’t be that bad. The Beauxbatons students that are coming are in the grade above us anyways so we won’t see them much,” Mia reasoned. I didn’t know whether or not I liked this girl, but the fact that she wasn’t insulting Beauxbatons was always good.

“Yes but all the guys at Hogwarts are just raving about it. All I’ve been hearing is how hot all the Beauxbatons girls are, and how awesome it’ll be to have new faces around, and I just want to sock them all in the face,” Leigh responded huffily. “Not to mention my mum keeps asking me about it, as if I know anything more than she does.”

Mia remained calm and started to cluck her tongue in a soothing sound. “I’m sure your mum is just curious, I mean your sister goes there doesn’t she? And you both haven’t seen her in years so she’s probably just wondering if she’ll be there.”

I tensed as I heard Mia’s words, and watched as Bailey turned around, walking over to a pair of shoes that was on a table by the window. I finally saw her face, which was just as I remembered it. Sprinkling of freckles across her nose, wide chocolate brown eyes, pouty pink lips that we both shared. She was still the pretty girl I remembered. 

“Yeah but my sister’s a pain in the arse. Ever since she left my mum just kind of shut down and stopped really caring much. And this year my mum was just starting to get better ya know? She was finally spending time with me instead of locking herself up in her room and then I get this letter saying Beauxbatons is attending school with us, and my mum just returns to her former self. I swear Corinne ruins everything! Not to mention she’s as embarrassing as they come when it comes to sisters. People finally stopped being able to correlate that we were siblings since she left, and now she’s going to come back and everyone will poke fun at me again for being related to her,” Bailey rambled, raising her hands up in the air, one of the shoes she had been looking at in her grasp.

So after four years of not hearing or seeing my sister at all, here she was in the flesh, complaining about me. It seemed such a typical thing for Bailey to do. She didn’t sound like she missed me at all, she sounded annoyed that she was going to have to see me. I thought about the words she had stated about our mother and my stomach started to turn. My heart felt like it was being squeezed, and I felt tears prick the back of my eyes.

Dom comfortingly placed a hand on my arm, seeming to understand that this was my sister. Her eyes widened in sympathy when she saw the look on my face, and I wished I could disappear. Or escape. Or both.

“She might not be as embarrassing anymore,” Mia said sympathetically. “It’s been ages, she could be totally different. Maybe no one will know she’s related to you.”

Bailey scoffed and set the pair of shoes she was inspecting down. “Please, I’m sure as soon as she enters she’s going to try and be some fab family again, and pretend that the past four years never happened. As if. She’ll still be a pig that’s afraid of her own stupid shadow.”

I felt like I’d been slapped in the face. My sister was standing there, making fun of my biggest insecurities, and acting as if there was nothing wrong with that. Some things never change I guess. Dom’s grip on my arm tightened, and I noticed her face turning red, showing that she was raging.

Mia looked alarmed at Bailey’s words. “Bails! You can’t say that. She’s your sister!”

“Only she’s not,” Bailey responded defiantly, looking out the store window. “She’s not my sister.”

*

“Are you okay?” Louis asked, taking a seat next to me as we sat outside in the backyard. Dom was outside as well, lying down on the grass next to Chaise, who had come over along with Tyson and Wyatt for the end of summer barbeque. It was tradition. Francesca was also here, along with Aunt Gabby and her husband, and so was her brother Theo.

Even though I had continually told everyone who had been questioning me for the past week I was fine, they still gave me those sympathetic looks. Like ‘Oh poor Coco, her sister hates her and she’s going to have to return to a school where no one likes her’. I hated the looks that I was given. I was fine. Really I was.

So my sister made fun of me? So I destroyed my mum’s life? So I was returning to Hogwarts as soon as tomorrow rolled around? So what? I was still fine. Everything was fine. Damn peachy in fact.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I responded tightly. There it was again. That word. Fine. And I really was.

Louis gave me an incredulous look, “You sure?”

I gritted my teeth, suddenly extremely annoyed at everyone. I just wanted to not think about tomorrow, not think about last week, not think about anything that involved my stupid family.

Dom and I had had to wait until Bailey left to leave the shoe store. As we had stealthily left, Dom had forced us to stop at the register and buy those oxford heels for me, and she had also bought herself a cute pair of t-strapped brown leather pumps. Trust Dom to be able to buy anything in a state of escape.

And for the rest of the week I had been pretending I was fine as we went to the beach, fine as we hung out with the guys, fine when we would have get-togethers with Fleur’s side of the family (she had declined the Weasley’s invitation seeing as she would rather spend time with her own family). So now here I was, the week having flown by and tomorrow returning to Hogwarts would become a reality.

It was unfortunate, to say the least.

“I’m sure,” I said breaking away from my thoughts and responding to Louis. He seemed hesitant to believe me, but then shrugged his shoulders.

“Good then. It’ll be great you going to Hogwarts because we’ll all be able to hang out more and you and Dom can meet my friends and everything,” Louis said, trying to get me excited.

“Yeah ’course we’ll hang out,” I responded not really paying attention. I smiled absentmindedly and watched as Dom and Chaise laughed hysterically while they both tried to get up from the grass and catch fireflies with their hands. Tyson and Wyatt were both eating the various foods that Fleur had set out, and Theo was talking to Fleur and Aunt Gabby, catching them up on his life and such. I hadn’t really talked to Theo much, but he was busy catching up with his own family so that was to be expected. Victoire was sitting on an old wooden swing with Teddy, and Bill was talking with Gabby’s husband about business, or something like that.

“Good. I won’t let Hogwarts be a repeat for you. I swear,” Louis said giving me a solemn look. I really appreciated how much he cared about how I was treated and I gave a genuine smile.

“Coco!” A voice said and I turned to see Frannie, who was standing by where Dom and Chaise were, gesturing for me to come over.

“Thanks Louie,” I said ruffling his hair and getting up to head over to Frannie. Louis remained sitting on the bench that was propped up against the house, and leaned his head back against the side of the house. He mumbled something like ‘no problem’ and then closed his eyes as if tired.

I walked over to Frannie who looked gorgeous as usual, dressed in an impeccably stylish, red short-sleeved shirt with scooped out back, tucked into a floral skirt with her ever-present stack of necklaces and bangles. Her silver hair was tousled and shiny, and she had a pair of vintage flowered sunglasses perched atop her head. Her shoes were a pair of strappy red wedges that made her legs look impossibly long. It was unfair how beautiful she was.

“Hey Fran!” I said with a smile as I adjusted my outfit: silk button-down white shirt with the top buttons undone and a cornflower blue tank top underneath tucked into frayed denim shorts and a thin brown braided belt looped in the belt loops, with brown distressed leather boots. I felt like I had dressed so frumpy when compared to Fran’s perfectly accessorized look.

“Hey gorgeous,” Fran said in response as her glossy lips formed a smile. “Excited for tomorrow?”

“Oh yeah so excited. I can hardly contain myself,” I responded sarcastically with a roll of my eyes. Frannie laughed at my response and wrinkled up her nose.

“Come on. It won’t be that bad,” Frannie reasoned. “I mean you have an amazing wardrobe thanks to moi, and all the guys will just fall over you and Dom.”

“Just what I want. A bunch of people I hate to try to be friends with me,” I said back to her.

“Don’t be such a downer. All kids are little shits. They’ll probably be better since they grew up a bit,” Frannie said wisely.

“Such a classy way to say it,” I replied jokingly.

“I’m always classy,” Frannie said in a haughty tone.

I opened my mouth to respond but before I could I felt a pair of arms snake around my waist and then suddenly I was spinning around. My eyes widened in shock but I looked down and saw Theo was the one who was spinning me around, and I let out a loud laugh.

“Well hello there, Theo. And here I thought you forgot about me,” I said placing a hand over my heart as he set me down.

He grinned at me, running a hand through his silvery hair, and opening his green eyes wide in mock shock. “Ignore you? I’d never do anything of the sort,” he replied.

I grinned back at him and caught sight of Frannie, who was giving me a knowing look. I gave her a confused look as if I didn’t understand what she was insinuating and she just continued to arch her eyebrows, making me stick my tongue out at her.

“Glad to see some things never change,” Theo said as he saw me give a silly face to Frannie.

“Alright Mr. Dragon Tamer, because you’ve changed so much,” I fired back.

“I’ve changed plenty. Look at this scar,” he said showing me a long faded red mark on his arm. “Got this when I was working with a Hungarian Horntail.”

“Oh poor you,” I responded sardonically. “Maybe you shouldn’t have picked a job that’s so dangerous.”

“Or a place so far,” Frannie chimed in. “You could’ve gotten a job nice and close to us.”

“But then you couldn’t tell everyone about your super hot brother who’s a dragon tamer now could you,” Theo said jokingly.

“I can’t anyways. Our maman taught us not to lie, now didn’t she?” Frannie shot back.

Theo pretended he was hurt and then turned to me, “Coco, can you believe what Frannie’s saying? It’s preposterous!”

“Well,” I said looking at Frannie. “You guys are twins. So if Frannie doesn’t think you’re super hot, that would mean she’s not super hot. So I’m very confused at her statement.”

“Just because we’re twins doesn’t mean we look alike! I’m actually good looking.” Frannie said tossing her hair over her shoulder.

“Hey! I’m good-looking, aren’t I?” Theo said turning to me with an encouraging look.

He of course was beyond good-looking. I mean he was part veela, it was hard to be ugly if you had veela blood in you. You had to try to look ugly at that point. “I think you guys are both good-looking,” I stated putting my arms around both of their shoulders. Theo stuck his tongue out at Frannie and Frannie rolled her eyes.

“So immature,” I said at their antics.

“Ah but you love us don’t you?” Theo prodded. It was amazing how totally comfortable we always were whenever we hung out, despite our previous relationship.

“If you say so,” I said flippantly.

“I’m hurt,” Theo said. “And here I was about to tell you that I’m going to be stationed near Hogwarts during the school year.”

This was good news because for the past two years I had barely seen him. Since he was such a good friend, this would mean we would get to see each other more.

“Uck Hogwarts, don’t remind me,” I responded with a snide look not acknowledging his statement.

“Oh get over it,” Frannie said. “September first is tomorrow and you’re going to enjoy your last year in school or else we’ll come and kick your arse.”

“Your sympathy astounds me,” I responded.

“Just give ’em all hell,” Theo said wrapping an arm around my shoulder as I laughed.

I looked across the yard at Dom who was still laughing with Chaise, and she caught my eye and gave me a smirk. I saw Tyson and Wyatt joking around with Louis and Fleur. I saw Victoire and Teddy talking to Aunt Gabby and Bill, all smiles. I saw Milo prancing around the backyard while Humphrey remain perched on a branch at the top of a tree.

This was my family, as crazy as it seemed. Even though none of them were related to me by blood. They were the ones who took care of me and were there for me through it all. I didn’t need people like my sister who didn’t even want me. I had the greatest people in the world all there for me, who all loved me.

“Oh I will definitely give them hell,” I said back to Theo with a smile.

 


 






 

 

A/N: Okay so first off, I am SOO SOO SOO sorry about the wait. I know I was going to submit this chapter a week ago, but school got so incredibly hectic and today is the first day I've had time to do anything other than study or mountainloads of homework, and thats only because we have no classes tomorrow.

I hope you don't hate me too much and still enjoyed the chapter! I'm going away this weekend and me and my family will be driving there so I should get a couple more chapters written which will mean a speedier update than this one.

So what did you think of the chapter? Do you like Milo? Do you hate Bailey and want to punch her in the face for what she said? How did you like Theo?

Please review and let me know your thoughts, your reviews mean so much to me and I respond to them all! Thank you<3

-Rebecca


Chapter 10: Talk About Greatness, Whenever They Speak About Me
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Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. Jigs up, I know I had you fooled. Also, chapter title and summary come from the song Out Here Grindin' by Dj Kahled. Worrrrd.




 

 

“GIRLS IF YOU DO NOT GET UP THIS MINUTE SO HELP ME MERLIN I WILL NEVER LET YOU SLEEP AGAIN!” Fleur bellowed up to Dom and me as we both were lying down, still fast asleep.

I let out a groan from being woken up so unceremoniously; Dom also let out a noise of her own that made it sound like she was being drowned. It was nice to know that we were so lovely in the morning.

“One more minute,” Dom called out her voice muffled by the pillow.

“You said that a half an hour ago and we have twenty minutes before we need to leave!” Fleur shouted back.

“TWENTY MINUTES?!” Dom and I exclaimed at the same time, jumping up from the bed and looking at each other in alarm.

“WHY DID YOU LET US SLEEP IN?” Dom demanded, her eyes scarily wide.

“I tried waking you girls up but you insisted you’d be able to get ready with such little time,” Fleur said appearing through the door of Dom’s room and giving us both a look. “Now up! The carriage waits for no one.”

To get to Beauxbatons, the school all meets up on a private beach in France that is charmed so that muggles can’t find it. From there we get onto a very large carriage that has an enlargement charm on the inside with many different compartments to sit in, and the carriage flies through the sky with the help of winged unicorns. It’s always a beautiful ride since we get to sail over the crystal clear waters and beautiful French cities, and I was thankful we were arriving at Hogwarts our own way instead of taking a stupid scarlet train.

According to the letter, we were going to fly to Beauxbatons with the rest of the school and then the school will have a meeting with the headmistress as usual. Then, we’ll fly to Hogwarts after the assembly, and from there: who knows.

The only thing that made me happy was that we were to wear our Beauxbatons uniform when we arrived so that we showed school unity and all that rot. I relished the fact that I would get to wear a Beauxbatons uniform once more before having to go to the uncomfortable Hogwart’s wool.

Dom and I quickly scrambled into our uniforms, the swishy blue skirt feeling comfortingly familiar again my skin, reaching down to just above mid thigh. I buttoned up my crisp white oxford quickly, and started to put on the silky powder blue bow tie. I then pulled up my sheer white knee-highs with a ruffle detailing along the top that only Dom and I wore as it was our little trend, and I slipped on the two and a half inch oxford heels from the shoe shop in Diagon Alley, throwing the powder blue robes on as an afterthought.


“Well don’t we look beautiful,” Dom stated making a face at the mirror as she stood in front of it to brush her hair, making it fall in a thick curtain of silver. My beach blonde hair was in loose waves, the top layers of my hair French braided off, creating a half up/half down style, and framing my face quite nicely. I’d say we both looked quite good for having only twenty minutes to throw everything on.

“Good thing we packed yesterday night,” I stated as I looked around Dom’s room, which was now impeccably clean. Both of our trunks lay side by side, each stuffed to the brim with clothing that still had the tags on, glittery school supplies, and copious amounts of makeup. I felt a sense of emptiness as I stared at the room I had basically lived in all summer. It was sad to know that my last summer of no cares was going to be over with. This was going to be our last year at school, and then we’d have to get jobs. Our childhood was coming to a close, and I felt nothing but sadness.

“Yeah good thing,” Dom replied sensing my morose mood.

“It’s just so sad though,” I said sitting at the end of her bed and taking another look around the room. Dom sat next to me and put an arm around my shoulder.

“Come on, Co. Now is not the time to get all somber. When the year ends, we can be as depressed as we want, but until then we’re going to enjoy the best year of our life, yeah?” Dom urged. It seemed like a reverse of the last day of school, when I was convincing Dom that everything would be fine once we graduated. I smiled at Dom though, and then we both stood up.

“Now let’s get to the beach before we’re late,” she said with a smirk.

*

“I can’t believe you girls are leaving me already,” Fleur wailed as she gave Dom a tight hug and started to tear up. “It’s your last year! I just can’t believe how time flies. It seems like just yesterday my little Dominique was in diapers-”

Mamaaaan,” Dom complained as Fleur planted a kiss on her cheek, “Stop with the inner monologue. I know you can’t believe it but yes, we’re seventeen, and yes, I no longer where diapers as much as that disappoints you.”

Fleur seemed to laugh at Dom’s abruptness, and pulled her in for another hug. I watched, as Dom finally seemed to crumple into her mum’s arms, and put her own around her mum to hug her back.

I looked towards the entrance of the beach awkwardly as I looked away from this touching display. It was always hard to see Dom and her mum in these mother-daughter moments because it just made me miss mine even more then usual.

I still thought back to Bailey’s words way too often. It was hard to believe that my mum rarely even left her room after I moved in with my dad. I didn’t know I would have so much of an effect on her. She didn’t seem to care about me once I left, how could it be that she still did?

“And Coco,” Fleur said pulling away from her hug with Dom and giving me a tight hug as well. It was weird but she had that motherly smell that all mothers have. You know the one I’m talking about, the one that smells a little bit like baby powder mixed with a bunch of flowers. “It was lovely as ever to have you here for the summer. Come back whenever you want, you hear? And keep Dom out of trouble and help her with her studying as we both know how she can procrastinate-”

“Maman you’re going to kill her with your vice like grip,” Dom interrupted rolling her eyes as she noticed Fleur’s hands wrapping themselves around my arms tightly. It was comforting to have Fleur act so motherly towards me.

“Oh sorry Coco, guess I got a bit carried away,” Fleur said letting out a lilting laugh and loosening her grip. I laughed back and gave her a smile that seemed to say it was fine. Fleur’s smile faded slightly and her look became sterner. “Now girls, I don’t want you getting into any sorts of trouble this year. I know how you tend to bend the rules at Beauxbatons, but Hogwarts is quite different with its discipline system. It’s definitely not as lax.”

“Sadly I know,” I responded. “But don’t worry, I’ll teach Dom the art of having curfews.”

“Curfews?” Dom said exasperated. “Are you kidding me? What are we, twelve?”

“Well some of the students are,” I said back to her smirking at her outraged expression.

“So what?! Curfews are for dolts,” Dom complained even more, while me and Fleur laughed in response. “I can’t believe there’s a curfew.”

“Don’t worry you’ll be fine,” Fleur comforted. “You girls will be good, no?”

“Of course we will,” I said giving Fleur a huge smile.

“Well then I should be going, I’ve got to join Bill in seeing Louis off and such,” Fleur said sadly. Bill and Victoire had already said their goodbye’s to us (Victoire’s more insincere that Bill’s) because they were dropping Louis off at King’s Cross. Fleur had wanted to see us off, so she had joined us, but she was going to leave to see Louis off as well, so as to be an equal mother.

“Don’t worry maman, we’ll be fine I swear,” Dom said looking a bit sad at her mum leaving. “We love you.”

“We really do,” I chimed in as Fleur began to get misty eyed again.

Fleur gave us each another hug and a kiss on the forehead before finally apparating off. It was always sad to say goodbye, and a heavy silence had seemed to fall over Dom and me. However, after a couple minutes, Dom seemed to shake it off and was back to her bouncy self. She pulled her trunk behind her as did I, only I had to carry a cage as well that held my beloved kitty.

She stopped once we got near the entrance of the beach, and then started her usual primping. Dom had insisted beforehand that we needed to make an entrance, since this would be the only time we saw any of the other students that weren’t in our year at the school, so we had to wait to be one of the last to enter. I found this completely unnecessary but when did Dom ever listen to me?

“Coco, gloss me,” Dom said sticking her hand out in a commanding way.

“Uh Dom, you have the gloss,” I said to her hesitantly.

“Oh Coco,” Dom sighed dramatically putting a hand up to her forehead, “I am too frail to get gloss myself. Would you be a doll and get it for me?”

“No,” I responded flatly.

“Fine!” Dom huffed, rummaging around in the leather bag Frannie had given to her, and pulling out a tube of light pink lip-gloss. She applied a thick coat of it to her lips, making her lips look impossibly glossy, and then fluffed up her hair, handing the tube of gloss to me as well. I applied the gloss to my lips too, making them look even more pouty, and pulled out a mirror from my own purse (which Frannie had also given me) to make sure my hair still looked good.

“All good?” I asked Dom as I passed the mirror to her and she inspected herself in it.

“Of course,” Dom said linking her arm through mine after snapping the mirror shut and shoving it in her bag. We walked onto the beach (which was charmed so the sand was level and firm, making it easy for people to walk across as they lugged their trunks) and we looked around. The beach was dotted with students from all years huddled together and squealing at one another, happy to see each other after a long summer. Dom and I spotted Ty, Wyatt, and Chaise already at the beach, joking and laughing with one another, and me and Dom made a beeline towards them.

“Hello beautiful,” Chaise said once we arrived, giving Dom a smile and then wrapping an arm around her waist. Dom giggled and the rest of us gave each other looks of mock-disgust. Many onlookers watched us as we remained in our closed circle, and I noticed some girls give Dom the evil eye as they saw that Chaise and her seemed to be going out.

“Please save the sappy stuff for when we’re not here, mate,” Tyson said clapping a hand on Chaise’s shoulder. “It’s a big turn off.”

“I think it’s sweet,” I interjected, defending Chaise.

“Of course you do you’re a girl,” Tyson shot back.

“Mate, you shouldn’t have said that,” Wyatt responded as he noticed my hands clench.

“What is that supposed to mean?” I asked Tyson, giving him a glare.

“It just means,” Tyson said looking a little worried, “that girls find all the mushy stuff cute.”

“Mhmm…” I said my glare still intact.

“…And that guys can too?” Tyson continued more so as a question. I smiled when he finished his sentence and nodded my head at him.

“Of course they can. Because it’s not just girls who get mushy,” I responded happily.

“Guys we should probably get into the carriage,” Wyatt said when he noticed a bunch of Beauxbatons students started to climb onto it. “We don’t want to make a mad dash for it like we had to on the last day of school.”

“It’s not my fault that I left my favorite pair of shoes in the room!” Dom exclaimed somewhat annoyed. “I couldn’t just leave them.”

“It’s crazy how women get about their shoes,” Tyson muttered loudly for us to hear. Dom and I gave him a dirty look, which he just shrugged off.

We began to walk towards the carriage and a handful of people that we passed said hey to us or asked us how our summers were. We were polite enough, but I think it was easy to see that none of us felt like having much small talk.

It was not an unsurprising occurrence to be approached. All the guys in our grade and the guys in the grades below us really looked up to Tyson, Wyatt and Chase because they were all apparently really ‘cool’ in some weird boy way because they were good friends with us, and the girls were all obsessed with the boys because they thought they were super hot. So, I blamed them for us being addressed so much as we tried to get to the carriage. Although, some of the boys did stop just to talk to me and Dom. Chaise didn’t like this, so he would put his arm around Dom to stake his territory, which would be awful because then it’d be just me having to fend off whatever guy was trying to talk to us on my own.

But somehow, we managed to make our way onto the carriage and into our usual glass compartment, which was the only one that had more than four seats so we always made sure to claim it. It was almost sad that this would be one of the last times we would get to ride in these carriages.

I sat down on the powder blue cushioned seat next to Tyson, and Wyatt sat on my other side, with Dom and Chaise sitting across from us.

“So,” Wyatt said using his typical gossipy voice, “you guys excited?”

“Ecstatic,” I responded back flatly. This made Dom and Wyatt snort.

“Well I for one, am extremely excited to see new girls,” Tyson stated flippantly. “It’ll be good to add some British babes to my list.”

I shoved Tyson and Dom just rolled her eyes, while the other guys laughed.

“I am insulted! Are we not good enough for you to be seen with or something?” I inquired, my eyebrow arched in annoyance.

“Of course you are, right Tyson?” Wyatt interjected trying to placate the conversation.

“Sure,” Tyson said in a voice that seemed as if he didn’t mean it. I slapped him on the back of the head. “I mean yes of course,” he restated after shooting me an annoyed glare and rubbing the back of his head.

I gave a satisfied grin in response. It was then that I felt the familiar lurch under my stomach, as the carriage began to take off into the sky. I looked past Wyatt and out the carriage window, as the sandy beaches disappeared behind us and clouds started to surround the carriage. I began to get a startling sense of foreboding but chose to ignore it.

“Hey, Tyson,” Dom said seeming to break away from her own thoughts and coming to a realization, “didn’t you say you had a cousin that went to Hogwarts?”

“Yeah…” Tyson replied not seeming to understand where she was going with this.

“Who is he?” I interjected curiously. I tried to think of anyone at Hogwarts that slightly resembled him. I came up with a blank.

“I don’t think you knew him, he’s a Slytherin and is in the grade below us,” Tyson said shrugging his shoulders.

“You’re right then I probably don’t know him,” I said letting it drop.

“Wait, why wouldn’t you know him just because he’s a Slytherin?” Wyatt asked confused. He still didn’t quite understand how the houses at Hogwarts worked, I assumed.

“Gryffindors and Slytherins have this sort of rivalry going on,” I explained disinterested. “It’s kind of stupid considering the wizarding war has ended and all that, but neither house really gets along with each other. It’s not like the segregation is that bad, but they still get overly competitive when it comes to things.”

“Huh… why would a school enhance making people separate? Rivalry seems a bit imminent,” Wyatt responded still looking confused at how Hogwarts seemed to work.

“Who knows, Hogwarts is stupid,” Dom responded unabashed.

“You’ve said this about a million times yet you’ve never even gone there,” Chaise pointed out.

Dom gave him a glare, “I don’t have to go there! I know it’s stupid. It’s full of my stupid sodding cousins, ergo, it. Is. Stupid.”

“Sounds stupid,” Tyson said with a snicker.

“Ha ha so very funny,” Dom said clearly not amused.

“Aw, don’t be stupid,” Wyatt chimed.

“Yeah ’cause that’d be way stupid,” Chaise joined.

“The stupidest,” I said, deciding to follow suit.

“Traitor,” Dom said picking up her finger and pointing it at me. “You’re joining forces with the enemies!”

“So would you say she was being… stupid?” Tyson said smirking. Dom seemed to grow flustered at the fact that we were ganging up on her, and her face was turning a bright shade of red.

“I hate you all! You’re all so-so—”

Stupid?!” We all chorused at Dom as she let out a huff of frustration.

*

“Gather round, gather round students!” Madame Maxime exclaimed from the front of the castle as everyone from Beauxbatons stood outside, waiting to be escorted to the assembly hall. We were all a flurry of powder blue, as we headed forth through the ivory gates and into the glistening limestone castle. Powder blue flags hung from each window, with the school crest inscribed on each, and the heavy blue doors were wide open in welcoming.

“I’m going to miss this place so friggin much,” I heard a girl exclaim from far away. I looked and saw a group of four girls who were also in our year, all huddled together looking as though they were about to cry.

While I wasn’t particularly close with any of them (mostly because they were not too fond of me seeing as one of them was Faye’s younger sister), I could totally sympathize. This was going to be all the seventh years last time at Beauxbatons. Their last time walking through the gates, their last time at being able to look at the sandy beaches that surrounded the school. It was so unfair. We were supposed to have another year of this, but it was all mercilessly snatched away from us.

“Heard that!” I watched as another group of guys in our year all walked over to them with gloomy looks. “We were supposed to finally win at Quidditch this year.”

“Guess we’re not the only ones not excited about Hogwarts,” Dom said to me as we stood side by side.

“They’re being plonkers,” Tyson said. As we neared the group of guys and girls, he raised his hands in the air and raised his voice so they could hear him, “Hogwarts is going to be amazing, hot girls galore!”

This caused a “here, here” to go around the whole crowd as we all continued to try and get into the castle. However, the people speaking were guys, obviously, and the girls just seemed to get further annoyed at this comment.

“Tyson stop being so typical you,” I commanded, as he continued to smirk. Why did people have to agree with him and encourage his awful ways?

“I gotta give the people what they want now don’t I?” Tyson responded shrugging his shoulders. “Besides, if I wasn’t me who would I be?”

“A good person,” Dom said joining in.

“Don’t be stupid,” Tyson said causing Dom to instantly get annoyed of his use of the word. The whole carriage ride had been filled of using the word stupid, just to try and annoy Dom, and I knew she’d blow a gasket if it continued. “I am a good person.”

Wyatt laughed, but covered it up to make it look like a cough, and Chaise looked away, pretending he didn’t exist, while Dom and I gave him disbelieving looks.

“Why do you always give me these looks whenever I say things like that?” Tyson asked looking annoyed. “I am a good person!”

“Of course you are, Ty,” I said with a soothing voice. “You just don’t act like it.”

“Is that supposed to comfort me?” Tyson said looking insulted.

“It’s supposed to be true,” Dom stated.

Tyson was about to respond but Chaise, finally sensing he should say something to end this conversation let out an exclamation of his own, “If people don’t start moving into the castle at a normal pace instead of like a bleeding turtle I’m going ram my way through this crowd.”

The people that had been in front of us in the crowd heard his words, and exchanged worried looks before all moving to the side to let us pass. We all exchanged confused looks, shrugged our shoulders and moved forward before getting stopped by another crowd. 

“Well who woulda thought? Intimidation works wonders,” Dom said excitedly with a sparkle in her eye, noticing the effect Chaise’s words had. “Alright I got it from here.”

With that, Dom started barging ahead of us and through the crowd, shouting at anyone who was in her way. “MOVE IT! SEVENTH YEARS COMING THROUGH! OUTTA MY WAY! SEVENTH YEARS! MOVE! YES, YOU, OUTTA MY WAY!”

“Dom!” I exclaimed as we all watched her threatening a terrified looking student. He had to be a first year, seeing as he was midget-like in height and his knees were shaking. Always a dead giveaway. “Stop scaring the poor kid!”

“Oh,” Dom said seeming to realize that his lower lip was trembling, signaling his waterworks were near.

I sighed, realizing I would have to diffuse the situation, while the guys watched in amusement, barely containing their laughter. I bent down to the poor boys level and gave him a sympathetic look.

“Sorry about that little one! You see my friend there,” I said gesturing to Dom, “she happens to be a bit on the cranky side and it’s nothing against you really, she didn’t mean any harm!”

“I am not cranky! And I sure as hell meant harm if he wasn’t going to—” Dom started to say, but Chaise clamped a hand around her mouth once he noticed the first year’s face as one of total fright.

“She doesn’t know what she’s saying, honest,” I said to the first year. He seemed to finally calm down at my words.

“Thanks, you’re really nice,” He said finally breaking out into a small smile.

“No problem kiddo. Hey I gotta go head in there, you know deal with my psycho friend and all” these words were meant with a noise of protest from Dom, “but don’t be nervous, first year will be awesome I swear!”

At that I turned around and joined Dom and the others as we finally reached the entrance of the castle, and walked into the assembly hall.

“Why did you go and make me look like an utter loon like that,” Dom finally said once we had reached the seventh year row, which was right up at the front of the hall.

“Excuse me for trying to stop the poor kid from crying!” I responded back indignantly. “You were scaring him!”

“You’re exaggerating,” Dom stated as we slid into the rows, finally adjusting ourselves into our seats. Chaise sat by Dom, while Dom sat by me, then Wyatt, and then Tyson. A group of girls slid in right after us, probably excited at the prospect of sitting so close to Tyson, and Tyson turned away from us, striking up a conversation with them.

“Are you kidding?” Wyatt interrupted before I had a chance to. “That kid looked like he was about to get attacked by a hypogriff!”

Dom opened her mouth to respond, but as she did so the familiar sound of a harp being plucked filled the room, signaling that Madame Maxime was about to enter the room and speak.

The loud roars of conversations dulled, and Dom slumped her shoulders in defeat. Then, Madame Maxime made her way onto the stage of the assembly hall, her presence making everything go silent.

Madame Maxime was what one could call a stately woman. She wasn’t conventionally beautiful in any sense of the word, but she just had this air of elegance around her that made her seem beautiful. She had a soothing voice that always floated into your ear immediately calming you, and a calm smile could always be seen on her face. I don’t think anyone at the school disliked her, because she was kind and fair to all.

“Hello all Beauxbatons students!” She announced, raising her hands and gesturing to the whole Assembly Hall. “Welcome to another year of magical discovery, or to those of you who have not been here before, welcome to your first year of magical discovery! Beauxbatons as you are most likely aware, was founded by Madame Babette Beaxbaton hundreds of years ago, as a way for women to learn about magic. Then, about fifty years after it was founded, it opened itself up to both men and women who wanted a magical French education. We are all about educating and expanding the minds of young students, eager to learn, and this year shall be no different,” with that, Madame Maxime pulled out her wand and waved it, causing the lyrics to the Beauxbatons’ school song to appear. “Now let us sing the song dedicated to these hallowed halls!”

The music teacher, Madame Latoire, made her way to the harp and started to pluck the familiar chords as we all stood up to join Madame Maxime as she sang the beginning of our school song.

                                   "Comme ces salles sont s'approcher de moi
                                           Je pense à Beauxbâtons Babbette
                                   Et je la bénisse pour avoir fondé cette école
                                             Avec l'éducation pour les filles
                                            Et encore plus pour les garçons,
                                         Nous apprenons à être les meilleurs
"

I looked around and noticed first years staring at the elders and trying to figure out the right tune from them, but most of them kept quiet while the rest of us continued to sing.

When the song ended, we all sat down, except for Madame Maxime who continued to speak, “Now I’m sure most of you are aware of the exciting changes this year. The seventh year students are all going to be going to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in order to further their magical education. This is an opportunity too good for us to pass up, and I know it will really enhance the seventh years education.”

Dom and I exchanged an eyeroll. The other students however broke out into raucous conversation, most of them either extremely upset at the seventh years leaving, or extremely jealous that they didn’t get to go along with us.

“Quiet, quiet!” Madame Maxime said reigning in the chatter. “Yes, this is something quite different than what you’re all used to, I’m sure, but this is going to be an exciting year for us all! Since I will be accompanying the seventh years to Hogwarts for the first month, the deputy headmistress, Madame Yazette will be taking over for me. I hope you all will send your best wishes with the seventh years and I as we leave today to travel to Hogwarts. Now let us all walk out together to see us off!”

At Madame Maxime’s parting words, we all stood up and watched as she marched down the aisle and out towards where the carriages were yet again. Then in descending orders each year filed out of their rows and walked down the hallway side by side as usual.

“At least this crowd is much more civilized,” Dom stated still slightly annoyed as we all led the crowd of students to the carriage.

We stopped once we reached the beach again, and the students in the lower years lined up into two lines so that they could all wave us away. It was a tradition that we always upheld whenever we did a send off, and this one was, of course, no different. Sadly, I thought about the fact that we would not be returning. This was our final send off. Goodbye. Farewell. Adieu.

“You ready?” Dom said to me softly, as we both looked back fondly at the place I had come to think of as my home. Ready. Was I ready?

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” I responded and we linked arms with each other along with all the other seventh years as we began to walk past the younger students.

Goodbye. Farewell. Adieu indeed.

*

“Ugh come on, Corinne, don’t make us use force.”

“Coco, hello! Coco!” Dom said waving her hand in front of my face as I remained seated in the Beauxbatons carriage, trying to convince myself to get up.

“Someone’s going to have to pull her out.”

I liked to think of it as my body realizing I was heading towards danger, and using it’s flight response to try and protect myself. Not that it was a comforting thought, but it at least showed that my body was working.

“Coco, out. Now!” Dom said with a no-nonsense look across her face. I tore my eyes away from staring out the window at the oddly familiar gray stoned castle, and looked at my friends.

“Okay, okay,” I said getting up and following them all out of the carriage, as they continued to look behind themselves to make sure I was following. Gosh, they were acting like I was a nutter and about to go running off in the Forbidden Forest or something.

Actually, that wouldn’t be a half-bad idea, would it?

Never mind, that’d be preposterous! I hate the wilderness.

“You know, the school’s actually kind of pretty,” Dom stated as we looked up at the castle looming in front of us. I disagreed but that was probably because the horrid memories were outweighing the school’s aesthetic looks.

“It’s much more manly looking than Beauxbatons. I don’t feel like a poof here,” Wyatt stated. “Powder blue tends to give off that feminine vibe you know?”

“I think powder blue is pretty!” I defended.

“Exactly my point,” Wyatt said gesturing to all three boys uniforms, which composed of light gray slacks, white oxford, powder blue tie and powder blue robes. “We don’t want to look pretty. We want to look masculine.”

“I happen to be confident enough in my manliness that I don’t care what color I’m wearing,” Tyson said shooting down Wyatt’s remark.

“Ouch, that hurt,” Wyatt responded sarcastically placing a hand over his heart. We finally reached the doors of the school, and the guys opened them for us as we stepped in. I felt my stomach give a lurch as the all too memorable surroundings appeared, and I felt like I was living in some sort of nightmare. The rest of the Beauxbatons students were all standing outside of the Great Hall doors along with Madame Maxime, waiting to be announced by the rest of the school.

“Seventh years!” Madame Maxime said gaining all of our attention, “Listen up! Now we’ve arrived a bit early seeing as the first year Hogwarts students have yet to arrive. However, we’re going to wait out here and then the first years will be introduced and led in, and then we’ll be introduced and led in. You’ll all sit at whatever table you please, and then we’ll all watch the first years get sorted, and then you’ll be sorted.”

I groaned along with the rest of our group as we realized we’d be sorted. At least I’d get to be sorted again… right? This means I might not be in Gryffindor! Right?

“We better all be in the same house, or else I’m going to be pissed,” Dom stated annoyed. “My Uncle Harry told me that he told the hat what house to place him in, so worst comes to worst, you’re all telling the hat to be in the same house, okay?”

We all seemed to recoil at Dom’s scarily woven threat, and nodded our heads. She seemed satisfied with our lack of response, and we continued having idle chatter. That is, until Dom pulled the sleeve of my uniform signaling she had to talk to me.

“Hey, Coco?” Dom asked me so the others couldn’t hear.

“Yup?”

“I have to pee.”

“Good to know Dom. As much as I didn’t care to know, it’s nice to know you feel comfortable telling me these things.”

“Co, stop joking. You still remember where the bathrooms are, right? You can take me to them easy peasy and then we can be back here right in time for the entrance, no?”

Doooom, can’t you just hold it in or something?” I asked annoyed.

“Noooooo, I really do have to go. I haven’t gone since this morning!” Dom whined.

I sighed in defeat as I watched my friend helplessly jump from one foot to the other. “Fine.”

I then turned to the guys who had all started their own conversation on Quidditch and such, and spoke, “We’re going to the urination station but we’ll be back kay guys?”

“Why must you always be so crude with how you word things?” Wyatt asked me as Tyson and Chaise agreed.

“Oh shove it,” I responded before pulling Dom with me as we walked down the extremely long hallway, to where I remembered the bathrooms to be.

Dom bobbed happily behind me as I continued to walk up multiple staircases, going to the only toilet room I remembered, which was on the second floor of the school. After wandering through a couple hallways and finding the bathroom I was looking for, I let out a satisfied smile and gestured to the door.

“Lo and behold you’re porcelain throne awaits!” I stated proudly.

“Uck, Wyatt’s right, you’re way too crude with your bathroom jokes,” Dom remarked as she pushed her way past me and into the loo.

I decided to wait outside of the bathroom, seeing as I didn’t have to go and didn’t really fancy hearing Dom as she took her tinkle. Instead, I decided to freak myself out by thinking about every possible bad thing that could happen while at this school. Let’s see: I could see James, I could see Fred, I could see Bailey, I could see any other seventh year Gryffindors...

The list was actually getting to be alarmingly long by the time Dom came out of the bathroom, giving me a murderous glare.

“Why did you not warn me there’s a crazy ghost in there?” Dom seethed.

Oh yeah, Moaning Myrtle. Totally forgot about her.

“There is?” I asked widening my eyes in innocence. “I had no idea! She must be a new addition.”

“Stop lying,” Dom shot back. “She told me her life story. She’s been guarding the loos since forever.”

Guess the denying thing doesn’t work when Moaning Myrtle’s involved.

“Okay I admit it,” I said, raising my hands up in the air, “I forgot all about Moaning Myrtle! I normally would just use the toilet in my dormitory so I rarely have used any others in this school. I’m sorry!”

“It’s fine,” Dom stated perking up immediately at my apology and linking her arm back through mine. Can you say bipolar? “We actually got along quite well. She’s pretty nice once you get past the fact that she complains a lot and watches you pee.”

I rolled my eyes. Only Dom would manage to make friends with one of the most annoying ghosts at the school.

We began to walk back to the Great Hall, and as we did so I took in the surroundings of the paintings I had once come to love. They were probably the only things about the school I liked. They were always so lively and talkative, chattering to each other without a care, their brightly colored portraits casting a happy glow across the hallways. They didn’t mock or shout cruel things at me. They didn’t even give me disgusted looks as if to ask: What’s with the fat girl? They never really treated me differently, as stupid as that sounds.

Oh look there’s the painting of the little girl with her favorite teddy bear! And there’s the one of the three guys playing gobstones! And the one with all the fairies flying around! Oh and the one with the little girl with her favorite teddy bear!

Wait…

Didn’t we just pass that one?

I continued to walk down a couple more hallways, the way that I remembered us coming from, and again found myself in the same hallway, with the same portraits.

This cannot be good.

“Hey Dom?” I said as she obliviously continued to follow me.

“Yup, Coke?”

“I think we’re lost….”

“That’s nice…. WAIT! WHAT?” Dom said her happy expression disappearing and being replaced with one of complete anger.

“Well actually… I know we’re lost. We’ve been down this same hallway like three times,” I stated.

“ LOST?! Are you sure?! This hallway looks completely different than any of the others we’ve been in,” Dom shouted frantically grabbing at her silver hair. It was nice to know she was so perceptive.

“No… We’ve been in this hallway a couple of times. I’m surprised you didn’t notice,” I responded as Dom continued to freak out.

“We can’t be! How the hell are we going to get back to the Great Hall?! How the hell will we get back to civilization?! I’m too young to die! Please oh please somebody save us,” Dom shouted near tears.

And people say I’m dramatic.

Maybe I’m remembering the way we came wrong. I should just go the opposite way that I’ve been going and I’ll have to get somewhere, right?

“Dom,” I said pulling her arms down and giving her a serious look, “calm down! We are not going to die, we just are going to be a bit late!”

“A bit late?! Do you know how bad that’s going to look to everyone?! And Madame Maxime is going to freak! Does she even know where we are—”

“Dom, stop it!” I bellowed, figuring that we were already late enough that we missed the first year sorting. “We’re already going to be late. It’s just a matter of how late we’re going to be…”

“This is my worst nightmare!” Dom shouted again. “Late! We are late! Maman is going to flip a lid if she hears! Can’t we ask someone for help? Anyone?”

“Uh… Who are we going to ask? No one’s in this hallway,” I said looking around and only seeing the portraits. They all seemed to be watching us with amusement, and I wanted to rip them all up. I bet they would be like us too if they were lost.

“I can’t believe this! This is the worst day ever!” Dom exclaimed, throwing herself onto the ground and shouting French expletives. At least she can handle things well.

I heard a giggle and noticed that the portraits all seemed to be laughing at our predicament, which just caused me to focus all of my anger onto them. They were enjoying out misery!

Suddenly, a realization came over me. “Hey you!” I said pointing to a painting of a wizard riding a broom. He looked at me amused. “Do you know how to get to the Great Hall?”

The guy in the portrait laughed. “ ’Course I do. We all do. I’m surprised you thought to ask us. You’ve been taking the wrong turn, you need to go left instead of right once you reach the end of that one hallway, and then take another right and the stairs will appear.”

Dom seemed to calm down after hearing that we now knew where to go. And by calm down I mean her shoulders stopped shaking violently and her face seemed to go slack.

“Thanks so much!” I said to the painting, and I grabbed Dom’s wrist and started to drag her the way we were told. Our quick walking turned into full out sprints by the time we reached the staircase, as we both seemed to realize how pissed Madame Maxime would be when we arrived late.

Soon enough, we appeared huffing and puffing, in front of the closed Great Hall doors listening as a muffled “HUFFLEPUFF” was announced at the end of the first year sorting. None of the Beauxbatons students were in the hallway, which meant that they must’ve already entered.

“Okay Coco, open it,” Dom commanded.

“Why must I open it? You open it!” I said as we both realized that whoever opened it would face most of the wrath.

“I don’t want to though,” Dom whined.

“Okay,” I said. “How about we both open it then?” Dom nodded her head in agreement as we put our hands on each door. We both put our whole body into it, which may have been a bit too much effort, because the doors shockingly opened up with ease, causing a loud bang to echo when the doors hit the wall of the Great Hall.

I felt like someone had pressed a pause button on the entire room, as all of the students stopped whatever it was they had been doing and stared at us when we entered. It almost felt like a camera had zoomed in on us and spanned over our head to toe appearance: from our heeled shoes to our sheer knee-highs, over our blue robes and then stopping on our flushed faces. Headmistress McGonagall, who I remembered from when I was at Hogwarts, was standing up in the middle of the teacher’s table, her mouth in a small ‘o’.

Of course we ended up opening the door right when she was giving a speech. Just our luck.

I swept my eyes over the entire Great Hall and came across a bunch of familiar albeit aged faces. I doubt any of them recognized me though. I glanced around at the people that had oinked at me, people I had never gotten to know, and people I now attended school with. I noticed a bunch of the girls in our grade all sitting at the Gryffindor table, seeming to be trying to flirt with the two arseholes that had tormented me. However, Freddy and James, who were looking at us with a mix of shock and amusement, didn’t seem to notice. I glanced at the Hufflepuff table, and saw my sister, looking at me as though she had seen a ghost. My stomach gave an involuntary turn.

“Girls!” Madame Maxime shouted at us as she sat behind the teachers’ table, next to Hagrid, the gamekeeper. She stood up and walked around the table making a beeline towards us. She looked alarmed.

“What happened?!” She seemed to take in the fact that we were still a bit out of breath, and our shirts had come untucked in our flurry of running to the Great Hall. So much for our great entrance.

I checked Dom’s face to see if she looked as tired as I felt and she still looked stunningly beautiful. Well, that made one of us.

At least I could act like I felt beautiful.

“Well,” I responded back to her in French, so that only she and the Beauxbatons students would understand, and giving my hair a bouncy toss. “We just wanted to be fashionably late, you know how it is!”

Madame Maxime looked like she was in between yelling at us and laughing. I’ll take this as a good sign. Dom just nodded her head behind me in agreement a smirk on her lips, while most of the Beauxbatons students broke out into laughter at my response.

“I expect better of you girls. We have a reputation to uphold,” Madame Maxime responded in her native tongue, her anger seeming not as harsh as it had once been. She then straightened up and started to speak in English once more. “So my two beauties, I suggest this will not happen again?”

“Of course, Max,” I said as Dom continued to remain silent. What a help. Madame Maxime let out a smile as I used my own special nickname for her, and all of her anger seemed to disappear.

“Now take a seat and let Headmistress McGonagall make her speech,” Madame Maxime commanded before turning away from us and going back to her seat.

I scanned the room for Tyson, Wyatt and Chaise and found them sitting at the Slytherin table all looking thoroughly amused. There were two Hogwarts students sitting across from them who I couldn’t get a good look at, but I assumed one was Tyson’s cousin. There was also a bunch of other Beauxbatons guys sitting by them, probably trying to be friends with them, and a couple of girls on the outer edge looking at them wistfully. When the guys saw my gaze run over them, they started to gesture for us to come over.

“Come on let’s go,” I said grabbing Dom’s hand and starting to pull her with me to the table, as the Great Hall continued to watch us.

“Uh… Coco,” Dom said in a voice that meant she was going to tell me something I didn’t want to hear, “Maman told me I should sit with my cousins tonight. Since I didn’t see them all summer and stuff and she doesn’t want them to think I’m isolating them…”

“What?!” I said a little louder than I intended. “But we have to sit together!”

“Well... we could if you sat with me,” Dom suggested, already knowing it was a lost cause. I cast my gaze over the Gryffindor table, and saw James and Freddy both watching us with intrigue. Louis was sitting by them as was Roxy, Lily, and some of their other friends who weren’t family. It was so unfair that Dom had to be related to them.

“I just…. Can’t,” I said softly feeling suddenly very small in this huge hallway. Dom seemed to sense this and gave me a big hug and blew two kisses at me a sad smile on her face.

Rendez-vous plus tard, belle!” Dom said as we parted ways, her understanding abilities making me feel instantly a million times better. I blew her two kisses with my hands as well as we walked away from each other. Her to the Gryffindor table, me to the Slytherin.

McGonagall resumed her speech, but no one was really paying attention to her anymore. They were all staring at Dom and I inquisitively some random boys whispering something about French chicks being insanely hot.

When I arrived at the Slytherin table and realized that none of the guys had saved me a seat, I assumed my best hand on hip pose in response.

“Ty,” I said giving him a look. “Why have none of you saved me a seat?”

“Well we thought you guys had ditched so we didn’t know!” Wyatt said cutting in.

“No matter, I have room here,” Tyson said gesturing to his lap with a wink. I laughed and rolled my eyes at him, not sure whether or not he was serious, but sat in his lap anyways just to annoy him. This seemed to elicit a bunch of whispering from the students, as girls looked at me with distaste and a hint of jealousy, while guys looked at Tyson with annoyance. Maybe I should’ve thought over the action of sitting in his lap, but too little, too late, the gossip train had already started.

I hate people.

“I have a feeling you planned this,” I said giving them all annoyed looks. Chaise just held his hands up to say he was innocent and Wyatt smirked.

“So why didn’t Dom join? I don’t think I’ve ever not seen you two sitting together during mealtime… ever,” Chaise asked. I had a feeling he wanted to know the answer more for himself than for my own benefit.

“Her mum’s making her sit with family tonight or some stupid thing like that,” I responded as I looked across the room and noticed Dom sitting with her head propped on her hand, looking extremely bored.

It was then that I finally looked to the people sitting across from us, and noticed two familiar faces staring back at me.

“Oh Coco, This is my cousin, Scorpius Malfoy, and this is his friend Al Potter,” Tyson said gesturing around me and pointing to each of them. It was kind of funny how he thought that I didn’t know them.

Not that I really knew them. I hadn’t actually talked to either seeing as they were a year younger than me and in a completely different house, but they were really well-known throughout the school.

Scorpius I remember as being pretty quiet during his first year, mostly because people were still a bit frightened of him because of his father. Al, I remember as being quiet as well, since he was sorted into Slytherin and had caused the whole school to go into shock. I guess they had become kindred spirits since I left.

“Oh…er… hello!” I said giving them my most winning smile. Even though Al was brothers with James, I decided not to make a snap judgment. I mean I was best friends with Dom and they were cousins.

Not to mention both of them were really bloody hot. Al had that effortlessly tousled stack of jet-black hair that enhanced the shocking brilliance of his green eyes, and a cute dimple in one of his cheeks. Scorpius looked just like Tyson, only his face was a bit more pointed, giving him perfectly defined cheekbones. It wasn’t bad if they were only a year younger than me... right?

They both said their hello’s back to me, Scorpius’s with a smirk that scarily reminded me of Tyson, and then turned back to watch Headmistress McGonagall speak.

“So as you’ve all noticed, we have some new additions to the student body this year. As you’ve all been informed, the Beauxbatons students in their seventh year have decided to do a program with us to better educate themselves on magic. I hope you all are welcoming to them,” McGonagall said as she swept her gaze across the room. “And I also hope that you welcome back a previous Hogwarts student, who is a part of the Beauxbatons School of Magic.”

I tensed as soon as I heard this and about a million different whispers breaking out, most of them wondering who the previous student was. Why did McGonagall feel the need to do this?

“Corinne Beaumont who transferred to Beauxbatons for her third year, will be rejoining us this year, so I hope you all welcome her warmly,” McGonagall said with a tight smile. It felt like the whole world had just slid out from under my feet. Why did McGonagall have to say my name?

I noticed all the sixth and seventh years give each other knowing looks, probably all remembering who I used to be. However, none of them were gazing at me. There was one girl in our my year at Beauxbatons who was—dare I say it—a bit on the heavier side, and their gazes all immediately shot to her. I felt really awful for myself and for her. She seemed a bit oblivious to the staring though, as she was consumed in conversation with one of her friends.

“Now, since the first years have already been sorted, we are going to have the Beauxbatons students all come up and get sorted as well. For the students who do not know, the house you are sorted into will be your family for the next year. You will sleep in dormitories with them, you will have classes with them, and you will wear the houses color,” McGonagall explained.

I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding in, at the fact that Headmistress McGonagall had not made me reveal who I was just yet. She began to further explain the housing system in detail and what they represented, and then locked eyes with mine.

“Now Corinne seeing as you’ve already been sorted, you will not need to go through the sorting again and will be a part of Gryffindor again. Will you please stand up so we can welcome you?”

You know that expression where people say it felt as if their stomach sunk. Well mine sunk so far, I’m pretty sure it didn’t exist anymore. McGonagall either was completely oblivious to the fact that I wanted to remain incognito, or she was a spiteful bitch getting back at me for interrupting her speech. The gleam in her eye made me think it was the latter option.

The entire student body whipped their heads from staring at the overweight girl, and focused their eyes on me, all giving each other disbelieving looks. Well…. This was a bit awkward if I do say so myself. I slowly stood up from sitting in Ty’s lap, and tried to force whatever confidence I could out of me and gave a little smile and wave to the Great Hall. The Beauxbatons students all started to clap really loudly in welcome as I stood up, and the guys made really loud whooping noises and catcalls. Dom also screeched really loudly from where she was sitting, making her presence known from across the room, with Louis clapping loudly with her. Even the Hogwarts students in the younger years clapped for me as well. The Hogwarts students in sixth and seventh year however, remained silent in a state of disbelief. I feel like this is the story of my life. Beauxbatons students like me, Hogwarts students don’t. Or at least a lot of them.

“I see you have decided not to sit with the house you were sorted in?” McGonagall asked once the noise had died down. Why did she have to have this conversation in front of the entire school?

I heard a couple of giggles from below me and looked down to see Tyson, Wyatt and Chaise all in fits of laughter, obviously amused at my situation. They’re awful friends.

“Uh, I just though you know, I rode the crimson wave long enough, time to try out the emerald,” I responded with a shrug before plopping down in Tyson’s lap, causing him to let our a harrumph of pain. Good, he deserved it.

This was probably the worst moment of my life. McGonagall continued to stare at me with a disapproving look as I sat in Tyson’s lap, along with the rest of the school who were all whispering to each other about me as well. It was then that I realized that I was the only girl that seemed to be sitting in the midst of all of these guys, and I probably looked like a right slag. It didn’t get worse.

“Well I suggest during the sorting you go and sit with your house,” McGonagall said as her eyes seemed to bore straight into mine. She finally turned away and continued on with her speech about education and crap, but my face still felt like it was burning. That had to be the worst conversation I’ve had in my entire life. In front of the entire school no less.

“I’ve never seen McGonagall welcome someone back with such hatred,” Al said to me as he held an amused expression.

“Oh shove it,” I said placing my head in my arms as I refused to look up. “She looked at me like I was a slag or something! I’m so bleeding embarrassed.”

“Hey, it coulda been worse, you could’ve been sitting in some ugly guy’s lap, or Wyatt’s,” Tyson joked as he tried to comfort me.

“Hey, I’m very good-looking I’ll have you know,” Wyatt said indignantly.

“How can you not be embarrassed though?” I asked Tyson, as he seemed without a care. “She gave you the stare-down as well!”

“Yes but there’s nothing embarrassing about having the hottest girl in school sitting on your lap,” Tyson said shrugging.

“Aw,” I said ruffling Tyson’s hair and swinging my arm around his neck, “you’re a big sweetie pie, ya know that?”

“Keep it on the D.L. though,” Tyson said in a whisper, as he put his fingers up to his lips, “Can’t let all the ladies know that. It’ll ruin my reputation!”

We all laughed at Tyson’s never-ending amount of arrogance.

“So you’re Corinne Beaumont,” Scorpius said looking at me curiously. “You’re not like a different person under a new identity?”

“Yes, I’m Corinne,” I snapped at him annoyed.

The guys seemed to grow a bit protective of me as they all gave him a glare, which made him recoil.

“I didn’t mean it like that… It’s just you’re so… different. Personality wise as well I think,” Scorpius said trying to defend himself.

“Yeah well, life sucks, years pass, peoples change,” I responded back with nonchalance. “You’re different as well.”

“You knew him?” Tyson asked.

“No… I knew of him though,” I explained.

“Yes well, I guess we’ve established that we’ve all changed then, so cheers and be merry,” Al said as he tried to get us to shush so that we could listen to McGonagall continue to talk.

She really gave long speeches.

“So, since the first years have already been sorted,” McGonagall stated, “It is time for the Beauxbatons students to be sorted!”

When she finished her statement all of the Beauxbatons students stood up from various places around the room and made their way to the front of the Great Hall. I stood up and Tyson climbed out after me, while Chaise and Wyatt already had gotten up and were waiting on us.

“Okay guys,” I said to them. We all huddled together, as they seemed to understand I had something important to tell them. I could still feel about a million pairs of eyes drilling into me, but I pretended to ignore them. “Since I’m stuck in stupid sodding Gryffindor, you have to tell the hat to sort you into that house. I refuse to be alone stuck with all those wankers okay?”

“So bossy,” Wyatt joked rolling his eyes as Chaise and Tyson silently agreed. He then swung his arm around my shoulder as we all started to walk to the front, since I had to pass it in order to get to the Gryffindor table. “But we’ll do it, right guys?”

“ ’Course,” they chorused.

“Aw you guys are so sweet,” I said as I tried to figure out in my mind where exactly I was going to sit at the Gryffindor table. There were no longer any Beauxbatons students I could sit with, but my eyes landed on Louis and a couple of his friends (who were all being admired from afar by a couple of first years) and I realized I’d have to sit with him, which meant sitting by James and Fred. Or I could sit alone… There was still a bit of empty space at the end of the table, and that didn’t seem to be such an awful idea now did it?

“Coco go sit by Louis,” Dom stated to me when we arrived at the front. Well I guess that answers my question. I continued to walk past them and to the Gryffindor table, making a beeline to Louis. Which of course meant that James and Freddy were sitting across from him. Joy.

Let’s hope James did not bring up our drunken snog to anyone. Ever.

“Hey, Baby Louie,” I said brightly as I ruffled his hair and sat down next to him. He gave his usual annoyed look at me for addressing him in such a manor, but I shrugged it off as I sat down next to him, on the side furthest away from Freddy and James as I could.

The sorting of the Beauxbatons students began which caused most of the Great Hall to quiet down.

“Coco honestly maman is going to freak when she hears about everything that’s happened today,” Louis stated as if this had been the only thing running through his mind.

“And how shall she hear that, Lou?” I asked him cocking my head to the side, trying to ignore the stares we were still receiving from the Gryffindor students.

“HUFFLEPUFF!” the hat screamed causing me to look and see one of the girls I wasn’t very good friends with, be sorted into that house and get a welcoming round of applause.

“She’s bound to hear it. Maman is always worried about you and Dom getting into loads of trouble here because you guys aren’t used to having any sort of limits at Beauxbatons,” Louis explained.

It wasn’t as if Beauxbatons had no limits, it was more like the school was very lax with their discipline. You would only get detentions if you did something absolutely horrendous, and it was almost impossible to get expelled unless you killed someone or something of that sort.

“Oh crud. I promised her this morning I’d keep us out of trouble. I blame this all on Dommy Dom,” I announced as I came to the realization that Fleur would have a similar reaction to Dom when she found out about our late entrance.

“RAVENCLAW!” the hat shouted as a boy that was okay friends with the guys was sorted.

“Bergeron, Wyatt,” McGonagall called causing mine and Louis’s conversation to come to a halt while we watched him walk up to the rickety old stool, and get the hat placed on his head.

“Gryffindor, gryffindor, gryffindor,” I muttered to myself as I crossed my fingers, hoping against hope he was telling the hat the same thing.

“GRYFFINDOR!” The hat yelled after a couple seconds too long of waiting. I let out a squeal of excitement and stood up with the rest of our house, clapping excitedly as I waved him over to sit with Louis and me.

“Wyatt! I’m not alone!” I stated excitedly as I gave him an overenthusiastic hug, which he returned with a laugh.

“The hat told me I didn’t even have to ask because I was already a Gryffindor,” Wyatt responded to me. “Haven’t decided whether or not that’s good.”

“Oi! What’s that supposed to mean?” I heard an oddly familiar voice say, causing Wyatt and I to whip around and see Freddy giving us incredulous looks. “Gryffindors are the best!”

I felt my hands becoming clammy at the fact that Freddy was addressing us, and even more so that he was acting as if we were all friends or something. He couldn’t be serious… Could he?

“Exactly my point,” Wyatt said in French, so that only Louis and I could understand, causing the both of us to crack up into a fit of laughter. Freddy and James exchanged confused looks, which just made us laugh even more as the sorting continued on.

“Peddington, Chaise,” McGonagall’s voice said, breaking into our conversation and causing me and Wyatt to look back up at the stage curiously.

“He better be thinking sodding Gryffindor or else I’m gunna kill him,” I said crossing my fingers and beginning to chant Gryffindor over and over as I had done with Wyatt.

“Why must you always be so violent?” Wyatt asked as the hat was placed onto Chaise’s head.

“GRYFFINDOR!” The hat shouted almost immediately, which caused me to start clapping and cheering extremely loudly along with Wyatt and the rest of the table.

“Yay! You listened to me! I wasn’t sure if you would,” I exclaimed once Chaise had reached us, giving him a hug just as I had to Wyatt. Chaise rolled his eyes and took a seat across from me, leaving a gap between him and James at the table.

“I listen to no woman. The hat said I was a Gryff,” Chaise responded, causing Wyatt and me to break out into hysterics.

“So what is Dom then, a hypogriff?” Wyatt said, causing us to continue our laughter as Chaise crossed his arms annoyed.

“I do not listen to Dom. I am my own man. Macho and… Man,” Chaise said as he noticed a group of girls giving him and Wyatt admiring looks, and sending them a wink. This caused me to kick him in the leg, making him give out a yelp.

“You are turning into Tyson,” I stated, which sent my message across.

“Oi! Always have to make me feel bad. Fine, I listen to no woman except Dom… And sometimes Coco,” Chaise stated, correcting his previous error. This made me smile and nod my head enthusiastically.

“Weasley, Dom,” McGonagall called. Speak of the devil and she shall appear, no?

Dom sauntered beautifully to the middle of the Great Hall, her silver hair hanging around her like a sheet of silk, earning herself quite a few stares from the Hogwarts students. Her sorting was the one I was the most worried about. If she was not in Gryffindor, what was I going to do? She was my best freaking friend, we had to be in the same house!

I did my chant again, crossing my fingers and repeating the house name she had to get sorted into repeatedly.

“Has Coco gone senile?” Chaise asked as he gave me a worried look, which earned him a glare from me.

“Shut up and chant with me, loser,” I demanded causing Chaise and Wyatt to cross their hands and give their best deranged looking faces. It was glad to know they took things seriously.

“GRYFFINDOR!” The hat announced and I’m pretty sure I screamed like I was psychotic once I heard the word. I started to whoop and screech and clap my hands alarmingly loud as Dom gave me a huge grin and walked over to me excitedly.

“Ahh my love, it has been so long since we have last been together!” I stated giving Dom probably one of the hugest hugs in the entire world. Dom returned it back and squealed giddily along with me causing a lot of people to give us stares, but neither of us really cared.

“I’m so happy! The hat was considering putting me in Hufflepuff, but I sure couldn’t have that. What would I do without my little Coco?” Dom stated as she went to the other side of the table and sat in the empty space between James and Chaise.

Gr… Now it would kind of be like they were in our conversation.

“You sure you don’t want to be in the Puff house? Bailey’s there and I know how much you love her,” I shot back to Dom, causing her to give a disgusted look to me.

“Bailey Beaumont?” James interjected, causing our lot to all turn to him and give him a dubious stare. Did him and Fred really forget about all the shit they had put me through?

I still wanted to throttle him whenever I thought about his stupid (gorgeous) face… Okay and maybe I wanted to snog him a bit, but the throttle part overweighed the snogging part by a lot. He was still an arsehole, no matter how good he looked.

“Yes,” Dom replied protectively.

James looked confused for a bit about how we knew her, but then something in his head seemed to click. Arse. “Wait. She’s your sister, isn’t she?”

I barely liked to talk about my sister to just Dom, which made me seriously question the sanity of James for trying to talk to me about Bailey.

“In as loose of terms as possible… yes,” I responded icily, while everyone watched for my reaction. My hand balled itself up into a tight fist and my knuckles were growing white.

“Wittry, Tyson,” McGonagall called, interrupting what could have become an extremely violent conversation.

“Okay now everyone chant along with me,” I said as I began to do my freaky chant again, although I felt more confident this time that Tyson would be sorted into Gryffindor. I mean everyone else in our group was, so he would definitely be one as well.

Dom quickly caught on and joined in with the chanting, as well as Louis and the rest of the guys. As the hat was being placed on his head, I was just waiting for Gryffindor to be called out.

However, the hat seemed to be indecisive. We all watched... and watched… and watched as Tyson and the hat had what seemed to be a very heated discussion.

“What the hell is taking so long?” Dom said expressing my own thoughts as we all watched Tyson continue to chat with the hat.

Why was the hat not shouting out Gryffindor? This was a bleeding outrage; Ty’s the most courageous guy I know. He’d put Godric Gryffindor himself to shame. Come on hat just say it! Gryffindor! Gryffindor! Gryffin-

“SLYTHERIN!” The hat shouted causing the others and I to all look at each other in pure ire.

“Are you fucking kidding me?!” I exclaimed to Dom and the guys as we all watched Tyson march his way off the stage and over to the Slytherin table. He sent me a nervous wave as if to say ‘what can ya really do?’ when he caught my eye, which caused me to cross my arms and turn away from him angrily.

All he had to do was tell the stupid sodding hat to put him in Gryffindor! What the hell were we going to do without one of our members?

“This is an outrage!” I said again slamming my fist on the table as Chaise and Wyatt exchanged worried looks, while Dom’s face mirrored my own.

“Someone upset their little boyfriend isn’t going to be with them this year?” James said his voice containing a sour undertone.

Is this kid serious right now? I’m already pissed beyond belief and now he’s mocking me?

“Shut. The. Hell. Up!” I shouted at him causing several people to look over at us. “You’re annoying the shit out of me, you’re a nosy tosser, and I’m sick of you acting like we’re buddies when I can’t even stand you!”

“That’s not what you thought at Dom’s party now is it?” James asked with a smirk, causing a couple of onlookers to gasp at the suggestiveness of his tone. The Great Hall seemed to go silent, as I seethed inwardly at his remark.

“I hope you know that I hate you,” I said coldly, pulling my angry face into a mask of indifference. “Now please stop talking before you regret it.”

“Or what? You’ll hit me?”

This guy had a death wish, I hope he knows that. “Maybe I will!”

“Looks like Little Miss Piggy has some anger management issues,” Freddy interjected causing everyone at the table to gasp.

I was past gasping, however. I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me, his words opening up wounds that had never really healed. I was vulnerable and I felt my entire skin grow hot. My eyes began to prickle familiarly and suddenly I was seeing red. The only thing I could think of was that I wanted blood. More specifically: Fred Weasley’s. How could he dare use the nickname I had tried so hard to escape from? He really had not changed in the slightest, not that I was surprised.

So I guess you couldn’t blame me as I lunged across the table of the Great Hall and punched Fred Weasley right smack dab in the middle of his pratty face. There was nothing more satisfying than the loud cracking noise that rang throughout the hall as my fist made contact with his nose.

Well, that felt good.

“CORINNE, MY OFFICE NOW!” McGonagall shouted as blood started to gush down Fred’s face causing many of the girls near him to squeal in alarm. Madame Maxime stood behind Professor McGonagall looking alarmed and angered at the same time.

Shit.
 




A/N: School's out, summer's in. Hell yes I have never been more happy for summer to arrive than I am right now! Okay anyways, here is the chapter you've all been waiting for, and I really hope it didn't disappoint!!

Tell me what ya think: Did you know Scorpius was gunna be Tyson's cousin? Did Beauxbatons seem beautiful to you? Was the entrance all you wanted it to be? Oh & how do you like the ending, did you think Freddy deserved it, or was Coco overreacting as per usual?

I feel like I've reached such a huge milestone in my story by writing this chapter because it's the one chapter I've been imagining and planning in my head since I started writing this story. I hope it wasn't too long, right? And not to mention my story is now in the double digits chapterwise, and triple digits review-wise. I've never been more estatic and happy then now.

As sappy as it is, I am just so incredibly overjoyed that you all have stuck with this story for as long as you have, and have continued to leave amazing reviews that make my day. I hope you continue to journey with me through the rest of Coco's story, and I really appreciate all the responses you guys have given me (which I probably already showed you with my overzealous review responses)!

BTW, When Dom spoke in french to Coco, she said something along the lines of "See you later, beautiful." I can't quite remember, but I used a translator so who knows if that's what it really says.

Oh and in case you're wondering about the school song that Coco and Dom sang in french, I just made it up by using a translater and typing in literally the most boring lyrics ever but in case you're curious as to what it means:

As these halls are approaching me
I think of Babbette Beauxbatons
And I bless her for founding this school

With education for girls
And even more for boys
We learn to be the best


I know it's awful but I'm not a songwriter now am I? And I felt like I couldn't have them sing a song, and have absolutely no school lyrics whatsoever. Although fun fact about me in case you're wondering: I used to think I was the most amazing singer in the entire world (I was tone deaf) and wrote like millions of songs that I was going to sing when I got my recording contract (never happened).

Okay well I've blabbed way too long in this Author's Note, but yeah thank you guys so much for the support. I love you all, even those of you who don't review you still mean the world to me for following this story ;)

R&R loves<3

-Rebecca

 

 

 

 


Chapter 11: Be Careful What You Wish For
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Disclaimer: Anything you recognize belongs to JKR. Chapter title and summary come from When I Grow Up by the Pussycat Dolls. It's a good song to sing to alone in your room when you know nobody is home. Just a suggestion.





 

 

“So what happened?” Dom asked wide-eyed as I exited Headmistress McGonagall’s office.

“Well, McGonagall decided she wouldn’t give me detention, because as I told her I was provoked, but let’s just say she hates me and is going to be keeping a close eye on me the entire year. Oh and she took away twenty points from Gryffindor,” I responded answering Dom’s question all in one breath.

It was so unfair. Freddy had struck a chord with his insult, and I got in trouble? Maybe I shouldn’t have reacted in violence, but all I could think about was everything I had thought I escaped from. I kept remembering first and second year; it was like the taunting had been pressed on repeat in my head, a carousal of emotions all whirring and blurring together making me completely dizzy. Around and around it goes.

Only I had deviated from the script. If I were the same girl from four years ago, I wouldn’t have said anything. I would have just listened and let it tear me apart from the inside out.  The words festering inside me like a wound that would never heal.

I still didn’t know which reaction was better.

Little. Miss. Piggy. I kept delving on the words, revisiting them and rearranging them hoping there could be some new or different meaning. But no matter how much I tried, the meaning stayed the same. I had lost all of this weight, and I was still a pig. I was skinny, yet I was still remembered as the fat girl. I guess it was stupid of me to expect anything different.

“Well it could’ve been way worse,” Dom said clucking her tongue in sympathy her brown eyes wide and innocent. “You could’ve gotten detention.”

“Yeah I’m just thanking my lucky stars I don’t have it. I’ve never gotten detention in my life, I wouldn’t even know what to do,” I said back to Dom absentmindedly, not really paying attention to her words anymore. Instead, I was remembering McGonagall and how insanely angry she had been in her office.

With her nostrils flared and eyes dancing in ire, Headmistress McGonagall had looked as though she was about to breathe fire. It was an expression I never quite understood until today. She had just seemed so…Mad. And maybe a bit disappointed. Like she couldn’t believe just how much I had changed since I had last attended school here.

“I just cannot believe how you handled yourself,” McGonagall had said, her voice stern and her eyes narrowing themselves to slits.

I remembered sitting in the worn leather chair in her office, adjusting myself to put as much space between the two of us, the chair squeaking obnoxiously. There was nothing I hated more than getting yelled at by authority figures.

“I just…” I had started to say, but then I didn’t know where to go from there. My voice trailed off blowing away with the breeze coming in from the opened window. The fireplace in her office crackled in the background.

McGonagall continued looking at me though, expecting an explanation, her foot tapping impatiently at my reluctance.

“He just kind of provoked me,” I said, feeling my voice get really small and all the former confidence I had once had evaporate out of me and into the air.

“Provoked you? So that’s how you decide to handle yourself?” McGonagall asked obviously not thinking my answer was quite acceptable enough. “What happened to the Corinne who used to go here? The one that wouldn’t hurt a fly?”

I wanted to tell her that Corinne didn’t exist anymore and that I hadn’t seen her in a long time. That I didn’t even really know who that girl was. But that’d be a lie. I still knew who she was, and I knew how easily I could find her.

“I don’t know,” I responded, bowing my head ashamed. While there were so many things I could’ve said to her, the words just stayed on my tongue, not wanting to come out. I could’ve told her everything. About the bullying, how hard Hogwarts had been for me, but really that wouldn’t matter to her now would it?

“If it makes you feel any better all the guys totally freaked out on Freddy when you left, me included,” Dom explained interrupting my thoughts and continuing her bouncy walk. “Louis was also pretty pissed but he was able to keep himself more in check, whereas Wyatt and Chaise looked like they were going to finish him off. Then Madame Maxime made them back off.”

While this made me smile a bit at the thought of the guys all attacking Freddy, I still wasn’t feeling much better about my whole freak out. I shouldn’t have let Fred and James get to me like they did. I was supposed to not care and make them wish I did. I was supposed to be strong.

“Oh that reminds me!” Dom said seeming to finally remember something interesting and perking up. “James also seemed pretty annoyed at Freddy too! It was kind of weird since they’re best friends and everything, I was sure he’d defend Fred but he just kind of watched all the guys approaching Freddy and didn’t try to stop them.”

I didn’t know what to think of Dom’s words. She must’ve been mistaken. James was the one who had started the whole verbal war… Wasn’t he? I tried to think back to the conversation that had happened before then but all I could think of was my fist colliding with Freddy’s face. Everything else seemed insignificant in comparison.

“Hm. Maybe he’s pissed he didn’t get to say it first,” I suggested, tossing my hair over my shoulder as we walked down the hallways. I decided we needed a change of subject and asked, “Where are we going by the way?”

“Gryffindor Common Room! The feast ended so I was told to wait for you and bring you to the common room so you didn’t get lost, although I don’t know who thought that was a good idea seeing as we got lost this morning,” Dom rambled, shrugging her shoulders and smiling at the memory of us frantically running to the Great Hall.

“I remember where the common room is!” I responded indignantly, marching ahead of Dom. “I probably know better than you how to get there!”

“I’m not trying to say I’m better than you,” Dom said holding her hands up as a white flag, “I’m just saying what I was told!”

“Well then,” I said putting my arm around Dom’s neck, “you’re forgiven then.”

“I know I am,” Dom replied rolling her eyes. “You can never be mad at me.”

“You’re right,” I said as we neared another staircase.

We continued to walk on in idle chatter while we neared the common room, and I was able to forget about the whole Freddy fiasco for a bit, instead clinging to the mindless gossip Dom filled me in on. It was only when we arrived in front of the Gryffindor common room, that the feeling in the bottom of my stomach resurfaced, making me remember how crazy I had acted in the Great Hall.

“Hey,” Dom said knocking her elbow against mine, “no one judges you for it. I mean not anyone that matters. I actually heard a bunch of guys talking about how ‘hot’ it was that you punched him.”

“I’m fine,” I responded the word tasting like chalk on my lips. “Now what’s the password?”

“Pixie Droppings,” Dom stated the words floating easily off of her tongue. I wrinkled my nose in disgust at the password, but the portrait of the Fat Lady opened easily, revealing the Gryffindor common room. It was just as I remembered it, except for a couple of armchairs that were sitting in different positions. But still, it was enough to bring me back to those first few years, and make me feel like I could’ve been the old Corinne all over again.

Except the old Corinne wouldn’t have entered the common room and have everyone stop and stare at her open mouthed, causing a complete lull over the common room. Which was what was happening now as the Gryffindor students all stared at us. Or more so me because of the spectacle I had put on in the Great Hall. Lovely.

“Oh there’s Chaise and Wy,” Dom said happily, grabbing my hand and pulling me through the throng of people, acting completely oblivious. I decided to join her in her happy-go-lucky attitude, and bobbed along with her over to the couch where the two guys were sitting, pretending like I didn’t notice a thing. The noise still had yet to start back up, which I found quite unnerving.

“Ah my beauty you’re back,” Wyatt announced placing a hand over his heart and holding his other one out to me dramatically. I stuck my tongue out at him and plopped down next to him, refusing his hand and giving him a little shove as I went.

“What about me?” Dom asked with a pout, sticking a hand on her hip.

“You are only my beauty, no one else’s,” Chaise said grabbing both her hands and pulling her down on top of him. She let out a giggle and leaned her head on his neck, cuddling into him. It was cute yet sickening at the same time.

“I think I’m going to barf up my dinner,” Wyatt said as I snickered.

“You and me both,” I responded.

“Why do you guys have to be such spoil sports? We’re just sitting near each other!” Dom argued.

“You guys are practically the same person,” I stated. “I don’t know where one of you begins and the other ends.”

“I’m insulted!” Chaise said. “I’m much more manly and muscular that this willowy blonde.” Chaise flexed his muscles as if to prove his point, and I’m pretty sure I heard a couple girls sitting a bit a ways from us give a swoon.

“Stop being so arrogant,” Dom said pushing his arm down and giving him an unamused look, “Coco’s just joking.”

“I don’t recall saying I was joking,” I cut in but Dom shot me a look that could kill and I immediately silenced.

“Alright how about we leave these two lovebirds alone before we cause an argument,” Wyatt said diffusing the situation and grabbing my hand to pull me up. “I’m pretty sure no one’s in my dorm room so we can go there if you want, seeing as everyone seems to be eavesdropping in our conversations.”

I looked back to sweep my eyes around the common room and realized he was right. While people pretended they were back in their own conversations, they kept sneaking glances at us and then whispering to each other. It was beyond annoying.

“Lead the way,” I commanded as I put my arms on Wyatt’s shoulders pushing him ahead to the staircase to the boys’ dorm. We climbed a couple of floors until we reached a door with the label Seventh Year Boys written on it, and he opened the door to lead us in.

The room still had that air about it that made it clear it had yet to be lived in. All of the beds were made perfectly, with the hospital cut corners and crimson hangings pulled back neatly. Each boy’s trunk sat at the foot of one of the beds, and the dresser tops were bare. It could’ve been anyone’s room at that moment.

“Finally I’m away from those creepers,” I stated spotting Wyatt’s trunk and throwing myself on the bed it was in front of, landing on it backwards. “I was about to sock them all in the face.”

“We wouldn’t want a repeat of that now would we?” Wyatt joked sitting on the end of his bed between both my feet. His black hair fell into his blue eyes and he flicked his head to the side in order to clear his vision once more.

“Oh shove it,” I said using my feet to give him a playful shove.

Wyatt laughed but then his face seemed to grow serious. “Coco?”

“Hmmm?” I said not paying attention as I closed my eyes and zoned out into my own way of thinking.

“Are you okay?” Wyatt asked. “I mean, I know I don’t actually know everything that happened when you used to go here, but I’ve never seen you react that way to anyone before.” I opened my eyes and looked at him once again noticing the worried tones laced throughout his words and the sincerity in his eyes.

“Yeah I’m fine,” I replied nonchalantly, even though I wasn’t sure how I felt. “It’s just… It was hard, you know?”

“We’re all here for you though if you need it,” Wyatt said. “Me, Dom, Chaise and Ty will kick anyone’s arse if they try to pull any more stunts against you. Not to mention your adoring fans.”

“Fans? You’re crazy. I’m the psychotic bitch that punched Fred Weasley, the most popular guy at Hogwarts, in the face,” I contradicted.

“Ah but you’ve forgotten,” Wyatt said tapping the tip of my nose, which I wrinkled automatically. “You and Dom are the most admired at Beauxbatons, so I think it balances out.”

“Most admired? You’re being stupid,” I said rolling my eyes and giving Wyatt a playful shove. My mood had managed to shift to just a slightly jokier note though, so I was thankful for Wyatt giving me the pep talk, however untrue it was.

“Don’t be stupid, I’m not stupid,” Wyatt said making a crack at the stupid joke. The corners of my mouth tilted up into a slight smile, and Wyatt looked down at me grinning. “Knew I could make you smile!”

He then laid down next to me so that we were shoulder to shoulder and I knocked mine into his, causing him to knock mine back. This started a full out shoulder-knocking war.

“Surrender!” I commanded giving Wyatt’s shoulder another knock, and glaring at him through half-slit eyes.

“Never!” Wyatt shot back, knocking my shoulder again in response.

It was in the midst of this shoulder knocking war, that we heard the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs, and then slowing in front of the door to the room. I felt my shoulders immediately tense, as I was remembering who exactly shared a room with Wyatt. One of the people in front of the door said something, and two others laughed, as the door swung open. It was, of course, James Potter and two friends of his: Oliver Wood II and Aidan Finnegan. They stopped whatever they were saying midsentence when they caught sight of me.

“Alright Wy, I surrender and you win,” I said to him sitting up from the bed, deciding now was the time to depart. “I’m gunna go find Dom.”

“Oh come on don’t leave,” Wyatt whined as I stood up and smoothed out my Beauxbatons uniform.

“I really should go,” I said giving him a look as I gave him a quick hug and then turned to leave. I heard him sigh and instantly felt bad. Here I was leaving him all alone with these guys he didn’t even know just because I didn’t want to confront any of them.

I knew that this probably wasn’t the best way to start dealing with everyone, but honestly this was the only way I knew how. I started to walk past the trio that was standing in the doorway, squaring my shoulders for the inevitable.

“Corinne! Nice to see you again,” Aidan Finnegan said as I brushed by him. I didn’t respond however, and instead kept my eyes forward at the door in front of me.

I had no reason to talk to him. He was part of the people that egged James and Fred on. All of the seventh years were. No one had defended me. They just all oinked along with James and Fred.

“Glad you feel the same!” he shouted jokily once I exited the room and started to walk down the stairs. I rolled my eyes but he couldn’t see it, and continued on my trek to the common room.

It seemed completely baffling to me why these guys could even try and talk to me, after everything they had put me through. I wondered if maybe they had all been obliviated since I last went here.

“COCO!” I whirled around to see Faye’s younger sister, Elise, heading towards me, a fake smile playing at her lips. Great, just what I needed. It seemed fitting that the one girl in my year that I didn’t get along with the most was sorted into Gryffindor.

Elise and I had always had what you could see as a rocky relationship. She had always disliked me ever since I entered Beauxbatons, mostly because of the fact that I had dated Theo, who she had apparently been pining over her whole life. Not that I knew that until afterwards. She had never outright told me she hated me, but I could just tell from the fakeness in her tone whenever she talked to me. She probably hated me even more now though because of the whole Jean Paul thing with her sister.

“Hey Elli,” I said as she walked towards me, forcing a fake smile of my own onto my lips. She flipped her brown hair over her shoulder once she neared me and narrowed her dark eyes at my use of the nickname she detested.

“I just wanted to see if you were okay, you know? After the remark that Fred Weasley made about you,” Elise said widening her eyes in fake-sincerity. It was startling how different the way she said it sounded than the way Wyatt had.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I responded easily. “It was just a bit of a misunderstanding.”

“Of course!” she responded brightly. “I mean why would he call you a pig, right? You’re so totally gorgeous. Unless there’s some other reason…?”

I felt my palms begin to sweat a little at her suggestive question. Elise could not ever find out about my old self. But, how the hell was that going to be prevented if we all attended this stupid school? Everyone from Beauxbatons would definitely hate me if they found out. It’d be a repeat of my first two years; I just knew it.

“No idea,” I said feigning stupidity. “Last time we saw each other was so long ago he must be confused.”

“Mhmm,” she responded while I tried to inch away from her. I really didn’t want to talk to her anymore than I had to. “He’s cute though, no?”

I shuddered inwardly at her statement. Fred and Elise would literally be the worst couple in the entire world. It’d be like if Satan and Hitler decided to have babies. Just plain freaky.

“Sure, if you think so. Look I gotta go find Dom but I’ll see ya!” I said cheerily finally breaking away from her and walking up the girl’s staircase just needing an escape.

When walking into the room, I was overcome with a sense of time warp. Everything was just as I remembered it, besides the fact that there were now more beds. There was still that crack on the one windowsill in the room that I used to stare at as I fell asleep. The bathroom door still had that tarnished gold doorknob that you always have to give an extra jiggle when entering the bathroom. However there were also new things in the room that had probably happened after I left. There was a big splotch on the floor, most likely a nail polish stain, and there was also a huge indentation in the wall that I definitely didn’t remember. I felt like all these differences were a road map, filling me in one what had happened since I was gone.

I hadn’t known when the second year of Hogwarts ended, that I would not be returning. It had only been the summer when I had finally started to put the wheels in motion about changing schools, finally having the nerve to owl my dad and ask him about it. I had just never returned, an abrupt ending to a school that I never really missed. Maybe this whole mentorship program was a way of bringing me back to say a proper goodbye to the school I had left so unceremoniously.

“Hey, Milo,” I said walking over to the cage that my beautiful kitten was in. I opened the latch and he immediately jumped out and onto my bed, curling himself up into a ball.

It seemed like no one was here, so I decided instead of trying to look for Dom, I would just lie down and relax. There was something nice about having alone time, you know? I mean don’t get me wrong: this summer with Dom was awesome, always having her around and everything. I guess I’m just more used to being alone since my dad’s normally never there, so while I hated the amount of time I spent alone, I still kind of cherished moments where I could be alone with my own thoughts. I think everyone’s like that when you really get down to it.

I lay down on my four-poster bed, picking Milo up and resting him on my stomach, stroking him absentmindedly as I continued to think. I still didn’t know what to make of everything. My life seemed to be this huge mass of confusion. I didn’t know what to expect anymore.

I heard the sound of footsteps coming up the girls’ staircase, and immediately straightened up, pulling Milo tighter in my arms as I tried to listen to who was coming. The person stopped outside the door, calling down to someone as if saying she’d only be a minute, and then the door flung open.

“Oh… Hey Corinne,” Roxanne Weasley said her smile seeming frozen on her face.

I didn’t know how to respond. I mean this was the twin sister of the boy who I had just recently punched in the face… what was there to say?

“Hey,” I responded back coolly, returning my attention back to my kitty.

I didn’t really know much about Roxanne except the fact that she was Fred’s sister and she had been in my year. She never initiated conversations with me, and if she did it was the type of conversation where she was only talking to you because she either needed something or had nothing better to do. She had never really tried to get to know me and stuck more with the other girls in our year becoming popular, ignoring me most of the time. The only thing I knew was that she had never, ever told Fred or James to stop teasing me. I think that was reason enough not to like her.

“I just came to change,” Roxanne said, offering up an unnecessary explanation. The atmosphere in the room seemed to have shifted to a thick, palpable bout of silence.

I muttered something incoherent along the lines of “okay” and continued to pretend that she didn’t exist. She kneeled down in front of her trunk and started rummaging around for a change of clothes, her forehead creased as though she was thinking really hard. I wished for just a moment that Dom and Chaise weren’t going out, because then Dom would be here with me, ready to protect me, as selfish as that sounds.

“Look,” Roxy started, breaking the silence and turning around with a change of clothes in hand, while her other hand rested on her hip, “What my brother said was out of line.”

It seemed like the elephant in the room had finally been revealed, and I look at her not sure how to respond. I had not expected her to address the issue, and I wished once again that Dom were here if only because she always knew what to say.

“Okay,” I stated after my mind drew an incredible blank.

“I know it’s not like we’re BFF’s or anything,” Roxanne continued, her eyes looking a bit blank and devoid of feeling, “but I just thought you should know.”

“Thanks,” I said slowly, not knowing if I meant it. There was a little voice in the back of my head telling me that she wouldn’t be saying this if I were still my old self. If I were fat, would she have cared?

“No prob,” Roxanne responded heading into the bathroom and changing quickly. As she began to walk out of the bathroom in her change of shorts and a plain t-shirt, the door to our dorm opened once again.

“Roxy what is taking you so long?!” Madison Vane asked her voice booming over the room.

Madison then caught sight of me, wrinkling her button nose in distaste. She was probably the one girl that I hated the most at Hogwarts. She was best friends with Roxy, and she loved to join Freddy and James in their little jokes. I had no doubt that she had been the one to let them into the dorm rooms to put candy under my bed sheets and peanut butter in my schoolbags while I was sleeping.

“I’m ready,” Roxy said bounding over to her and pretending as if she hadn’t talked to me at all. “Now let’s get out of here.”

Madison seemed to be a bit annoyed that she didn’t get a chance to pick at me while I was on my own, but she listened to Roxy anyway and followed her back down the stairs, tossing her mahogany hair as she went.

“Meow,” Milo stated looking at the place where the two girls I remembered from my old years had once stood.

“Meow, indeed,” I stated even though no one could hear me.

*

“UP UP UP! It’s our fist day of school and we need to be beautiful,” Dom sung happily, shaking me back and forth as I lay down on my bed.

“Mmmf,” I responded as I pushed my head further into the fluffy pillow I was currently sleeping on. The one thing I hated about school besides the fact that it was school, was waking up early. There’s nothing worse then being broken out of your slumber to do something as awful as learn.

“Come on, girl,” Dom said pulling off the crimson goose-down blankets, causing a rush of cool air to meet my skin. “Everyone else has gone down to breakfast, so it’s just you and me.”

Yesterday Dom had finally found me curled up in my bed. She had sensed my less-than-exuberant mood and sat next to me instantly wondering what was wrong. I had explained to her everything she had missed: the dirty attitude of Madison, the chat with Roxy, the chat with Wyatt, the chat with Elise. It was always nice to just have intense conversations where we could dissect everything together and decide where to go from there. Dom had decided that she didn’t like any of the other Gryffindor girls, especially because they immediately befriended Elise. Roxy and Dom weren’t really that close as cousins, so it didn’t surprise Dom much when she also became friends with Elise. It was just an unwritten rule never to be in the same social circle as her.

“I. Hate. School,” I grunted as I sat up and glared at Dom for ripping the comforting pillows off of me. “I do not want to go down into that stupid Great Hall and sit with those stupid Gryffindors and have to wear their stupid house colors.”

“Stupid huh?” Dom said smirking at my over-usage of the word.

“Shut up you can’t judge me, you’re the starter of stupid,” I shot back annoyed.

“Okay fine,” Dom said holding up her hands in surrender. “But you have to get ready. I mean we can’t be late to anything on our first day.”

“Sadly I know,” I said as I got up and stumbled over to my trunk, trying to blink the tiredness out of my eyes. I started to rummage through it for the Hogwarts robes, which I had shoved into the bottom of the trunk hoping maybe I would never have to wear them.

“Oh stop looking at it like it’ll give you rabies, it’s just a bit of wool,” Dom said rolling her eyes at the disgusted look I had on my face as I held the uniform up in front of me. Easy for her to say, she looked stunning as usual with the gray Hogwarts skirt hiked a bit above her thigh and the grey sweater looked like it was made just for her (probably thanks to a few spells). She had the Gryffindor tie in her hand as she had yet to have a chance to put it on, and her hair was hanging down in her normal sheet of silver.

“I’d be fine with it if we didn’t have to wear Gryffindor colors,” I grumbled as I quickly took a shower and changed into the uniform, rolling my skirt up so that it was similar in shortness to Dom’s and adjusting the sweater so that it fit me well. I pulled on a pair of sheer knee-highs that contrasted with my tanned skin, and then put on a pair of black Mary Jane strapped heels that gave me an extra three inches.

Next, I started on my makeup, putting my normal layer of foundation, eyeliner, mascara, and peach lip-gloss, going over everything with extra care. I had to look perfect. I couldn’t give anyone a reason to tear me down. I started fluffing up my blonde hair and using my wand to make it hang in loose curls around my face while Dom stared out the window as if in deep thought.

“You know,” Dom said, turning away from the window and looking back at me, “We don’t actually have to wear the Gryffindor colors, there’s really nothing in the school rules that says so…”

I looked at the red and gold tie, which was just taunting me, reminding me of everything I hated.

“So,” Dom continued after my lack of response, “we could just not wear them.”

My eyes lit up at her suggestion and I immediately tossed the tie to the side. “Don’t have to tell me twice,” I said immediately perking up at the suggestion. Dom laughed and also tossed her tie to the side, not really caring where it wound up.


“Alright I’d say we’re ready then,” Dom said as we both picked up our purses (which we had recently cast an enlargement charm on so it could hold all our school supplies) and exited the dorm room.

“Are the boys here or in the Great Hall?” I asked Dom once we entered the common room and I didn’t spot any of them. There didn’t seem to be anyone except two first year girls in the common room.

“Great Hall, they know how long it takes us,” Dom stated as we exited the portrait hole and began our trek to get breakfast.

We didn’t get lost this time, and the doors to the Great Hall were propped open so that we could easily walk through them instead of having to push them open and cause a scene. This didn’t stop quite a bunch of the Hogwarts students to sneak stares at us as we entered the room, acting as if they weren’t. Wonderful.

“Look there’s Tyson and Wyatt,” I said spotting them sitting at the Slytherin table along with Scorpius, Albus nowhere in sight. I knew that I was under no circumstances going to sit at the Gryffindor table, because that was like asking for a death wish.

“Uh… Coco?” Dom said twirling her hair around her finger nervously and biting her bottom lip.

“Mhmm?” I said knowing I probably didn’t want to know what she was about to say.

“Well… Chaise kind of wanted us to sit together during breakfast,” Dom said.

“Okay? He can obviously join us,” I said back to Dom, not seeming to understand where she was going with this.

“But we kind of wanted to sit alone,” Dom said again, looking at me worriedly.

It was weird. Dom and I had never eaten separately from each other before, and it felt foreign to be facing that possibility. Even with previous boyfriends we always set aside meal times for just us to hang out.

“I mean we don’t have to sit alone…” Dom rushed noticing the state of confusion on my face. “It’s just we kind of-”

“No it’s fine,” I stated back to Dom, even though I wasn’t sure if it was. “I’ll just sit with Ty and Wy, and we’ll see each other during lessons.”

“No honestly we really don’t have to,” Dom started to say but I cut her off.

“Don’t be stupid,” I rolled my eyes as we beat the joke to death for the umpteenth time. “I’ll be fine.”

Dom seemed to visibly relax at this and then shot me a small smile, “Alright thanks, Co. We’ll sit together during lunch for sure though! You look beautiful by the way so all you gotta do is act like you own the place and everyone will be kicking themselves for being mean to you.”

“Oh shut up,” I said rolling my eyes as Dom and I walked away from each other. Chaise was sitting at the Gryffindor table not sitting particularly close to anyone and he seemed to be saving Dom a seat. I continued to walk over to Tyson and Wyatt, plopping myself in between them once I reached the table.

“You’re sitting with us unworthy souls for breakfast?” Wyatt asked jestingly while I rolled my eyes.

“Oh shut up, I sit with you guys all the time,” I responded.

“No it would normally be you and Dom together at most meal times except for dinner,” Tyson interjected, calling me out.

This was true. Dom and I, when we attended Beauxbatons, would always eat mealtimes alone except for dinner, which we would eat with the boys. Normally it was because we thought of it as our time to catch up on gossip and such, but it seemed liked everything was changing this year, even our mealtimes.

“Oh shut up Ty,” I said giving him my best pissed off look. “I’m still cross with you.”

“Cross with me?” Tyson exclaimed loudly, causing a bunch of people to try and listen in to our conversation. “Why ever so?”

“Oh stop being an oblivious prat,” I shot back giving him a shove. “You were supposed to be in Gryffindor! It was supposed to be all five of us together and you totally backed out on the plans!”

“It wasn’t my fault!” Tyson defended. “I told the hat Gryffindor but it told me that it knew I was only saying it because you forced me too and then it started to say I was whipped and well, I am not whipped. So then I told the hat that I didn’t give a sod and it could put me wherever it wanted because I listen to no woman and then it put me in Slytherin.”

“You should’ve stood firm you stupid bum,” I replied.

“Oi shuddup! All my family members that went here were in Slytherin, so maybe I just wanted to be part of my house,” Tyson stated now getting annoyed at me.

“Fine,” I recoiled, accepting Tyson’s response and instead leaning my head on his shoulder in defeat. “I guess I’m just jealous because I’m stuck in the Gryffindor house.”

“Come on it’s not that bad,” Wyatt tried to reason.

“May I remind you that Gryffindor’s are stupid, arrogant ponces that don’t care about anyone but themselves?”

“And why are you not in the Slytherin house?” Scorpius said joining into the conversation and looking at me inquisitively. “You seem like the perfect candidate.”

“Ugh who knows?” I responded. “My stupid first year self wasn’t cunning enough I guess.”

“Yes well you’re not even wearing the Gryffindor colors, and your sitting at a table full of Slytherins. I’ve never seen a more unwilling Gryffindor,” Scorpius said gesturing to my lack of tie. A bunch of other onlookers seemed confused by it as well.

“It’s because I’m in this house. She’s in love with me,” Tyson joked, causing me to pull my head off of his shoulder and give him an annoyed look.

“I still haven’t fully forgiven you for abandoning us. I mean what’s poor Wyatt going to do without his best friend?!”

It was a well-known fact that while Tyson, Chaise and Wyatt were all like brothers when it came to their friendship, Tyson and Wyatt had a stronger bond. This was mostly because Chaise was always more distant when it came to people, and he seemed to always be better friends with Dom then them. The only way Chaise had actually become good friends with them was when him and Tyson had been on the same Quidditch team at Beauxbatons. They found their love of the sport enough to start a friendship, and since Tyson was already really good friends with Wyatt, they had all become a little three musketeers type of group.

“Corinne I’m fine,” Wyatt said acting like I was a nagging mother. “I’m hanging out with him right now, you see? So are you for that matter. He has not been abandoned, and we have not been abandoned either.”

“Easy for you to say,” I said sourly looking across the dining room and seeing Dom and Chaise sitting together in animated conversation, looking all lovey-dovey.

“Aw,” Tyson said seeming to sense my annoyance. “Is someone sad that they’re being left out?”

“I’m not being left out,” I shot back immediately giving Tyson an annoyed look. “I told her it was fine.”

“Mhmm,” Wyatt responded looking as though he didn’t believe a word of it.

“Stop looking at me so condescendingly,” I snapped as Wyatt and Tyson continued to give each other looks as if they didn’t believe me. “I’m fine that Dom is dating Chaise. I was the one who got them together, just call me Cupid.”

“You did not get them together,” Tyson stated.

“I totally did!”

“No, you didn’t. They got together on their own and once they did you seemed to think it was all your doing,” Wyatt explained.

“Why must you two gang up on me?” I whined. “Can’t you see I’m already having a difficult enough time as it is?”

“Because Dom has a boyfriend and you don’t?” Tyson asked.

“So wait,” Scorpius said, making his way back into our rapid-fire conversation and giving me a smirk that scarily resembled Tyson’s. “You’re single then?”

“No she is not,” Tyson said protectively giving Scorpius a glare. “She is engaged to be married!”

“Oi! And who exactly am I engaged to?” I asked Tyson giving him an annoyed look.

“Theo,” Tyson and Wyatt both said at the same time. This caused me to laugh and elbow them both in the sides.

The guys were all really good friends with Theo, and really looked up to him when we went to school because he was two years older than us. They always loved hanging out with him, and were just as shattered as Dom was when our relationship ended.

“You guys are never going to give that up are you?” I responded amused.

“Wait, who’s Theo?” Scorpius asked inquisitively.

“I thought we already established, he’s her future husband,” Tyson answered.

“He is not,” I said giving them each annoyed looks.

“Well then you’re not getting married ever. The only person we approve of is him,” Tyson replied.

I rolled my eyes at their annoying antics and Scorpius still seemed to be watching us all, confused. Ah well, he’d get used to it soon enough.

“Where’s Al?” I asked him, now noticing the lack of his presence.

“Uh…” Scorpius said looking really uncomfortable all of a sudden, “He told me he was sitting with his family or something.”

“Ahh, family, is there nothing better?” I said sarcastically.

“Coco be nice,” Tyson warned as Scorpius began to look even more uncomfortable by my response.

“Fine,” I said putting a hand up to my head as if surrendering, “I’m sorry Scor, for being so incredibly rude with my response.”

“Such a smartass,” Wyatt said as Scorpius laughed at my words.

“Hey! He thinks it’s funny, see!” I defended, pointing at Scorpius who was trying to stifle his laughs.

“Scorpius, mate, you can’t condone her behavior, it only gets worse from here,” Tyson commanded.

“Oh come on, she’s a laugh,” Scorpius responded.

“Of course I am. I’m the funniest person I’ve ever met,” I announced pompously.

“And oh so modest,” Wyatt interjected. This just caused all of us at the table to crack up into fits of laughter, not quite sure what exactly was the funniest point of the conversation but knowing that it was funny nonetheless.

However, in the middle of our laughs the door to the Great Hall opened and I saw as Bailey Beaumont entered the room, looking like the poster child for pep. Her hair was pulled into a super-high, super-tight ponytail at the top of her head that bobbed up and down along with her, and her Hogwarts uniform looked as if it had just been pressed, falling gracefully above her knees. I immediately felt my mood shift.

As she walked to the Hufflepuff table, her friend from the shop (Mia I think) following behind her, she looked up at me and our eyes connected. It almost felt like time was stopping, or rewinding, or maybe even disappearing altogether. It was just her eyes and mine dancing together, reading each other’s emotions.

“Ew,” she mouthed to me, although no one could see, and if they could I don’t think they could tell it was directed towards me. Then, Bailey wrinkled her nose at me, turned on her heel and marched as quickly as she could to the Hufflepuff table.

I felt like my whole body was about to collapse, drained of its energy after that oh-so-powerful face-off. I hated how Bailey could still affect me. She didn’t give shit about me, so why the hell did I even bother caring about her?

“You okay, Co?” I heard Tyson ask, looking at me curiously because of the fact that my mood had significantly changed.

“Yeah,” I said, my voice hollow and empty. “I’m fine.”

*

When my Mum and Dad divorced, it wasn’t one of those clean breaks. The ones where everything was ripped right down the middle, kids included. It was messy and ugly and all types of horrifying.

But it wasn’t messy for the usual reasons. It wasn’t some bitter custody battle, or fight over money. It was just a break. Quick and sharp and leaving that bad type of taste in your mouth.

My dad just left one day. No family sit-down, no explanation. Just gone one day. Bam. He didn’t even care enough to try and see us. Of course he sent us the occasional letter, but as per usual they were nothing special. Maybe a ‘How are you?’ if we were lucky, but most of the time it was just a stupid check for twenty galleons telling us to ‘go buy ourselves something nice’. As if that made up for everything. And it hurt like hell when he left. Even though the fights between my parents were frequent and never-ending, at least he was there.

I think Bailey was the one that was the most hurt by the divorce. While I had my peanut butter jars and my mum had her screaming, Bailey did not make a peep. She pretended as if nothing was happening. As if our family wasn’t crumbling down around her. I think it was easier that way. To pretend.

She and my dad were really close. Not to say that he loved her better or anything, but they were the ones that had the most in common. My dad had once been an avid Quidditch fan; his favorite team was the Chudley Cannons. He knew all the players stats, knew every score by heart, he even knew all the history behind the team. It was one of his things.

When the divorce wasn’t this imminent force looming above us, and my dad didn’t have work as his number one priority, he would come home and listen to the radio for hours. Just trying to hear how the Chudley Cannons were doing, and cheering along with the spectators if they scored.

While I didn’t quite have the patience for sports (I found it boring), Bailey took after my father and became one of the biggest sports nuts alive. Her and my dad would spend hours listening to the radio together, talking back and forth to each other, rapid-fire about the entire game, almost as if they were right there watching it.

She knew more about Quidditch than most boys her age and could play it just as well. You could always see her outside flying around in the backyard, wearing a Chudley Cannons t-shirt and throwing a quaffle around with my dad. Also, Bailey’s entire room was decorated with Chudley Cannon’s posters. All of the players flying around her wall in this blur of tangerine, waving occasionally at the passers-by.

The day after my Dad left, I went in her room to see that all of the posters were taken down, the walls white and shiny and contrastingly plain. A week later, he room had been painted a shocking shade of hot pink, and while this was better than the plainness that had over taken her room when it was white, it still didn’t seem to sit quite right.

But the change with Bailey didn’t stop there. Soon, all of her Chudley Cannons t-shirts were thrown out and replaced with new clothes, all girly and frilly and totally un-Bailey-like. It was like a rug had been pulled out from beneath me, that’s how shocking it was to see Bailey in this completely different light.

She had been such a tomboy her whole life, and then one day, she wasn’t. She was just a girly girl. Braiding her hair, wearing frou-frou skirts, and shoving aside any past knowledge she had about Quidditch. To her, it didn’t exist anymore.

I never quite understood any of it. My mum didn’t notice seeing as she was so consumed in her own little divorce-ridden world, so I was probably the only person who could’ve said anything. But, I never questioned it. I just kept on going, pretending, just like Bailey had all those years before the divorce, that everything was fine.

But I wasn’t supposed to ignore it. I was supposed to reach out. I was supposed to protect her, and shield her from all the hurt that was happening in the world. In her world.

As soon as she entered Hogwarts, she was her new girly self and everyone loved her. She was the girl that just pulled you in with her bubbly personality and happy-go-lucky attitude. She was popular and she deserved it, no she needed it, so that everything could be okay again.

And everything was okay, as okay as it could get, except for when people realized she was related to me. They would put their taunting from me, onto her and while I was supposed to be the one protecting her, I couldn’t. I couldn’t even protect myself.

Bailey grew strong from it. She learned how to avoid the taunting, and that was by avoiding me.

As long as she acted like she couldn’t stand me, everyone at the school knew that whatever I had that made me such a loser wasn’t contagious. It was just me with this big, ugly problem, that I obviously couldn’t correct.

And while I should’ve hated Bailey for dismissing me, for making me into this leper that she obviously couldn’t stand, I didn’t. She was protecting herself the way that I should’ve been protecting her. Sometimes I think that if I had been in her position, I would’ve done the same thing.

It’s those thoughts that scare me the most.
 

 





A/N: So there you have it, some insight on the inner workings of Bailey. What do you think of her? Does this make her less of an awful person in your eyes or more of an awful person?

And let me know what else you think about this chapter! Do you think Corinne should've gotten punished more? Do you like Scorpius? What do you think about Roxanne?

Sorry for giving you the like third degree with questions but I always want to know what you guys think, and I will (always) respond to your reviews with my probably annoyingly loquacious (oo big word) answers!

Announcement for you all: I'm going to be leaving on vacation for two weeks with my family, and so I won't have much time to do updates while I'm there. However, I will have a LOT of writing time, so when I come back I should have a couple new chapters banged out for you all to enjoy :)

Alright and now for another mini-announcement for you all, I actually have a new story out, and it's called Beauty Queen, and  I would love it if you guys would go check it out and give it some love because I really do like where it's going and I feel like it could end up being a good story if I just give it some fine tuning. You don't have to check it out though, I just thought I'd let you guys know because I don't think I've ever seen a story about a magical pageant queen before. I know I'm shameless.

Well kudos to anyone who got to the bottom of this A/N, they seem to be getting longer and longer these days but ah well!

R&R please seeing as they mean the world to me<3

-Rebecca


Chapter 12: It's Been a Really Really Messed Up Week
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Disclaimer: I'm not JKR and chapter title&summary come from the song Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae. Absolutely love the song and the music video... so so catchy :)





When life hands you lemons make lemonade. Right? Wrong. That expression is complete and utter bullocks. Life didn't hand me lemons it handed me pure and utter shit, so how the hell am I going to make lemonade out of that?

I had always thought of myself as a bit on the unlucky side, considering the way my life had played out. You know: my parents divorced, my sister hates me, I went to a school where I was treated like crap, when I finally escaped said school I was forced back. But you know, I thought that was the end of it. I thought maybe, finally, life would hand me a floatie or at least a break. However, I got neither. I got a punch in the face if anything. And do you want to know why that is? It’s because of my stupid sodding class schedule.

I mean, the schedule is easy enough. I’ll be taking all of the basic classes, seeing as becoming head of Witch Weekly Magazine didn’t require me to take anything special. I was fine with that. In fact, when I had skimmed my schedule over after I had received it, I was relieved I wouldn’t be taking classes that made me want to claw my own eyes out (coughARITHMANCYcough). So, since I liked to look on the bright side of things, I figured that I probably wouldn’t have that many classes with the people at school that I hate. Surely they would all have very high aims and take healing classes or classes to become an Auror.

Only as luck would have it, the people I hated didn’t have high expectations for themselves. And now, because of that, I have to suffer every. Single. Class. With who you ask? Yup you guessed it! James. Sodding. Potter. Which also means, I have a huge chunk of classes with Freddy, and a fair amount of classes with Elise and Madison. Of course the silver lining was that I had every class with Dom, and a lot of classes with Wyatt and Chaise, but it still didn’t make up for the other awful company I had.

It makes me really question what I ever did to deserve this. Honestly, I never thought I was that bad as a person when I was younger. I mean I did happen to hate bugs and step on them in more than one occasion. But what little kid doesn’t?

So now, with only one more class left, I was hoping that maybe my luck could take a turn for the better. Potions could hardly be a bad class. I even had class with Tyson because Gryffindors and Slytherins always had potions together. This had to be an omen! I mean, it’s just one more class. One more class and then the first day of school is officially over with. I could already feel myself in the common room, changed out of my uncomfortable uniform, and lying on my bed, Milo safely tucked under my arm. All I had to do was get through this day without—

“Hey, Corinne! Wait up!”

I recognized the voice almost instantly, and instead of slowing down like he asked, I speed-walked ahead, in search of the Potions classroom. I wished I had told the boys during lunch to wait up for me, instead of insisting I remembered where the rooms were. My pride always got in the way of everything.

“Corinne!”

I wondered if I pretended long enough that I couldn’t hear him, if he’d finally get the hint. Maybe he'd understand that I didn't ever want to talk to him. However, he seemed as dense as usual and I heard the footsteps behind me quicken. I quickened my own footsteps in the hopes of out-walking the person behind me, but before I knew it I was suddenly whirling around to face none other than James Bloody Potter.

Curse you slow moving feet.

“You didn’t wait,” James accused, looking at me as though he was personally insulted. I took this moment in time to question, yet again, if he suffered serious cases of amnesia.

“Huh, imagine that,” I responded before turning around again and heading towards where I believed the Potions room to be.

“You know, you’re going the wrong way if you’re trying to get to Potions,” James stated, looking quite amused. My hurried steps slowed down as he said these words and I stopped to let out a huff. Then, with my pride as intact as it could possibly be, I headed in the direction he was pointing. As I passed him, he fell into step with me, causing me to internally shudder.

“So,” James started off, stuffing his hands into his pockets as he kept walking alongside me, the noise of our uneven footsteps filling the silence. His unruly hair was falling into his eyes, and I had a flashback to Dom’s birthday party,  with our faces so near each other. I quickly shook the thought out of my head.

“So…” I repeated not feeling that I had any reason to help him along with whatever conversation he was trying to start. He was the one to approach me, so he should be the one putting in all the effort.

“I just wanted to say sorry, you know?” James said quickly, as if the apology took him a great amount of force to say. “For you know, provoking you at the feast, and causing Freddy to jump in and such.”

This was probably the last thing I expected to hear from him. An apology, coming from the James Potter himself. I never thought I’d see the day.

“You’re apologizing,” I stated flatly, not giving away any sort of emotion.

“Uh,” James said, nervously ruffling his hair and then looking at me, “I guess I am.”

There was once a point in my life where I would have given anything to hear an apology. To just have someone own up to what they did, and realize that what they had done to me was wrong. But now, I couldn't help but feel that the apology wasn't what I wanted anymore. They were just words that, in the end, floated away into the sky, with no substance held behind them. How was I supposed to take them seriously? More so, how was I supposed to believe that he was not saying this to me just because my looks had changed?

“You guess, or you know?” I responded icily, refusing to give him the satisfaction of forgiveness. I began to calculate in my head every possibly reason James could be apologizing, and a million different reasons swirled around in my head. None of the reasons, however, were ones of comfort. Oink.

“Well-uh-I-”

“Coco!” I heard a voice call and I turned around to see Tyson, just turning a corner that I had recently passed, Wyatt nowhere to be seen. I felt myself sigh in relief at someone being about to rescue me, and without another word to James I hurried over to Tyson, not caring for an answer.

“Thank. Fucking. God,” I huffed as soon as I got over to him, feeling instantly more relaxed than whatever tense conversation I was just having.

“No, no,” Tyson said, smirking at me and tapping the tip of my nose, “Thank Tyson. Tyson is your savior.”

“Blasphemy,” I shot back, elbowing him in the side lightly. We made our way to the Potions classroom, passing James in the process (in which I avoided all eye contact). Shockingly Tyson knew how to get to the room, despite never having gone here, which was most likely Scorpius’s doing.

When we entered, we headed to a table in the back, which was right in front of Dom and Chaise. Wyatt hated Potions with a passion, so he had opted out of the class, and was now in Arithmancy (yuck). I silently was thankful that Slytherins and Gryffindors always had Potions together, or else who knows if I would've been rescued.

“But what was that all about, fo serious?” Tyson said gesturing to James, who looked slightly put out. He sat down next to Oliver Wood II who was sitting at the table in front of us, and I felt myself tense at the fact that he was so close.

“I honestly have no idea,” I said in French back to Tyson, so that James couldn’t hear. “He just came over and apologized for the feast, which was really freaking weird. And then you came over and saved me. I feel like everyone at this school is crazy.”

Tyson laughed at my response and then said, “Or maybe just the Gryffindors.”

I stifled a giggle as the Professor entered. I didn’t remember him from the previous years so I assumed he had arrived after I left. He was a very skinny man, with rounded glasses and strawberry blonde hair, much different from Professor Slughorn, whom I remembered as the previous teacher.

“Hello!” the teacher said excitedly, clapping his hands together, “I see some new faces in the audience, and let me just say it’s lovely to see you and I hope you enjoy your year as a Hogwarts students in my potions class!”

There was a collective eye rolling throughout the class of all the Beauxbatons students, who had heard the same thing all day from every teacher. There was really no need for teachers to act like they were happy about this, honestly.

“So!” The professor said, waving his wand with a flourish and causing words to appear on the board behind him. “I’m Professor Cosgrove!”

It seemed everything he said was one big exclamation point. And, I noticed, down from the top of his head to the tips of his shoes, he almost kind of looked like one. He was just so eager and peppy, excited to have a class full of people wanting to listen to him teach. I wondered if in the back of his mind he secretly hated us all.

“I am so happy that my fifth year of teaching is with such a diverse crowd of students! I really hope to inspire you, and, in turn, be inspired as well! Potions is a class of many uses, and I really hope you all enjoy the class as much as I enjoy teaching it,” Professor Cosgrove exclaimed, his cheeks unnaturally red and cheery, with his arms raised in the air excitedly.

“Ten sickles says he’s faking it,” Tyson whispered to me as Professor Cosgrove began another ramble on how he first started potions. I looked at Tyson, and rolled my eyes at his antics. Betting on a teacher in the first five minutes of class, seriously?

Although I had to deep down, agree with Tyson. I had never seen anyone so excited about something in my life. This teacher couldn’t possibly be this happy teaching a bunch of students how to brew a potion… could he?

However, another thought flitted through my mind that scared me even more. What if Professor Cosgrove actually was this happy to teach, and truly loved his job as much as he seemed? What if he wasn’t putting on an act, and loved what he did?

I watched the teacher as he excitedly began to write notes on the board about the potion he expected us to make. He dotted the eyes with extra vigor and kept a huge smile on his face as he talked.

I realized maybe I should put faith in him. Maybe he, just like most of the world, had good intentions and wasn’t just out to get me.

I looked over at James, whose eyes were half closed, his head nodding back a little as he fell asleep in the middle of class. Was it possible he actually meant his apology? Unlikely. But there was still a possibility, like so much else out there, that he had. Just like the possibility Professor Cosgrove was being genuine.

“Deal,” I said to Tyson, leaning back in my seat as Professor Cosgrove, beaming from ear to ear, turned around to face the class once again.

*

“You’ve become the Unwilling Gryffindor you know,” Scorpius said to me as I sat across from him in my usual spot during dinner.

I had somehow managed to get through the first week of school and with that I had come up with a new sort of regular schedule. During mealtimes instead of sitting with Dom as I had become accustomed to at Beauxbatons, I would instead sit at the Slytherin table with Tyson, Wyatt, Scorpius and occasionally Al. Dom chose to sit at the Gryffindor table with Chaise during mealtimes, so I hadn’t really seen as much of her as I’m used to. I still sat by her in almost all of my classes (except for Potions) and we still hung out in the common room and dorm room all the time, but it felt weird to not be spending my usual amount of time with her.

And as for Fred Weasley and James Potter? I had luckily had no more encounters with either of them. James had kept his distance ever since our little chat, and Fred hadn’t talked or even acknowledged me since I punched him in the face. Which was fine by me. Really.

I still wasn’t sure what to think of James’s apology. I obviously wasn’t going to forgive him, no matter how fleeting a moment I thought he might’ve been sincere. He did too much, made me hate myself for too long, for one simple ‘I’m sorry’ to ever span across the years of teasing I had to endure.

“You make it sound like I care,” I said, responding to Scorpius with a shrug and starting to put food onto my plate. Along with my new habits, Scorpius and I had somehow forged a friendship. He always sat with Tyson at meals, so I always sat with him, and by association we started to talk, and we got along well (mostly because he was very similar to Tyson). Thus, it was comforting to know that not everyone at Hogwarts hated me, and I was still able to make friends.

“Hey, I was just letting you know,” Scorpius responded to me, holding his hands up. “No need to be snappy.”

“I’m not being snappy,” I responded with a sigh.

“Mhm…” Scorpius said looking skeptical. “Then what exactly are you being?”

I thought about it for a second before grinning and responding. “An unwilling Gryffindor, obviously.”

“Oi you guys stop flirting!” Tyson said sitting down next to me as he arrived at the dinner table, putting one of his arms around my shoulder and then ruffling my hair. This made me glare at him, and in turn ruffle his hair back, which of course made him angry because as Tyson says, “Hair this good takes work.”

“Hands off the merchandise,” Tyson said, when he noticed I was about to go ruffle his hair again.

“Someone’s in a bad mood,” I said picking up my fork and scooping up some food, before putting a bit in my mouth.

It was then that I noticed Elise, walking into the Great Hall with Madison, and I felt myself become a bit uneasy.


Elise and Madison had become, over the course of this week, the best of friends. Elise had altogether ditched her Beauxbatons friends, since none of them were in the same house as her, and now her life was centered around Madison. They were always together laughing and giggling, like long lost friends reuniting after years of being apart. I had also seen them on more than one occasion, sneaking glances at me whenever they were in deep discussions, making it obvious they were talking about me. It was never a comforting feeling, and I always would feel my face grow hot at the intense scrutiny, but I had yet to say anything about it.

“So,” Scorpius said looking at Tyson expectantly, “You’re trying out for the Quidditch team right?”

I gave the same annoyed sigh I always did whenever the two of them started to talk about sports. I found sports insanely boring and whenever people discussed them I always found my eyes glazing over in disinterest. It was all quaffles and strategy and points, which was way too much for me to concentrate on and even more too much for me to find interesting. But honestly, can you blame me?

“Course I am,” Tyson said cheerily, “When are tryouts again?”

“Saturday, seven in the morning. You better be there because I know we could really use you on the team,” Al said in a very commanding voice, making his presence known, and sitting down in the spot next to Scorpius. He was the captain of the Slytherin team, so I knew as long as Tyson didn’t completely fuck up his tryouts (which would be impossible since he was the best beater in the world) he’d make the team for sure.

“I’ll be there, no doubt,” Tyson said taking a bite out of the bread that was sitting on his plate and chewing thoughtfully. “I’m pretty sure Chaise is trying out for the Gryffindor team, so it’ll be fun to compete against him for once.”

“Well let’s hope he’s not. I’m trying to beat my brother this year,” Al said looking very take charge. I was used to his personality after a week, but it still sometimes struck me how different he seemed from his brother. I mean Al was very serious, studious, and he always thought through things before acting on them. James however was a completely different story. He was rash, stupid, mean, and couldn’t give a crap about his grades, although he did manage to become head of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. I often wondered how they were related.

“He is trying out for the Gryffindor team. Dom’s been complaining about it to me because he’s been blowing her off to practice and such,” I chimed in with a roll of my eyes.

“Oh poor Dom only getting to spend twenty three hours a day with him. Such a shame,” Tyson said sarcastically. Al and Scorpius laughed at this, while I remained loyal to Dom and didn’t show any emotion on my face, even though I totally agreed.

“Come on, they’re just testing out their relationship and shit,” I reasoned, albeit not very convincingly.

“Yeah but I’ve barely seen either of them. They’re like trapped in their own little happy bubble of relationshippyness and it’s completely annoying,” Tyson said, expressing my exact thoughts.

While I was insanely happy that Dom and Chaise had gotten together, I hadn’t expected the friendship dynamics to change as much as it had. Dom and Chaise rarely ever spent time apart from each other, which I did find a bit annoying. And if I did hang out with Dom without Chaise, all she talked about was him, which made me feel as if I was in the relationship which them.

“Ty, it won’t be like this forever, it’s just the new love part of the relationship where they spend every moment together. Soon it’ll be like usual,” I said confidently.

“Let’s hope,” Tyson said looking across the room as Chaise and Dom were sitting next to each other, smiling and holding hands, looking sickeningly sweet. “I don’t know if I can put up with this for much longer.”

“Oh let them be happy,” I said waving my hand in a 'let it be' type of gesture. I then decided the subject needed changing so I pointed at Scorpius and then said to Tyson, “He tells me they’re calling me the Unwilling Gryffindor. Lovely right?”

“Are you trying to say it’s a surprise?” Tyson said to me with a disbelieving look.

“He’s right,” Al stated seriously, “Everyone seems to notice your vendetta with the Gryffindors. It’s a bit funny actually.”

This was true. Since I refused on principle to associate myself with any of the Gryffindors except Louis, Chaise, Wyatt, and Dom, and since I sat at the Slytherin table for every mealtime, the whole school had seemed to realize that I hated all the Gryffindors. I didn’t think it would be as quite a shock as it had turned into, but I assumed everyone at this school must be drinking stupid water.

How could I ever befriend people who had hurt me so badly?

Along with the fact that the school realized I hated the Gryffindors, they also gossiped a lot about the fact that the only people I seemed to hang out with were guys. I recalled a couple of girls talking about how I must’ve slipped them potions to make them hang out with me, and I had also heard some others say I was probably a complete slag and sleeping with all of them. It was good to know the rumor mill had not changed at all since I left.

“Well I’m glad my horrendous life amuses you,” I said to Al a hint of annoyance in my voice.

“Come on Corinne, don’t be snappy,” Tyson said to chastise me.

“I told you, you were being snappy!” Scorpius said indignantly, acting as though Tyson’s remark had just proved his rightness in the world.

“Why must you guys be so annoying?” I asked

“Because we’re awesome,” Tyson said, and Scorpius nodded his head eagerly in agreement. Al seemed to not really be paying attention anymore, as he was inspecting all of the food on his plate instead, but it didn’t matter.

“Sure you are,” I said to Tyson, my voice showing a great amount of doubt. “Sure you are.”

*

“So wait, that’s it?” I heard a familiarly girly voice ask, as I walked up the steps to the Seventh Year Girl’s dorm.

“Yeah,” another voice I recognized said. “Hard to believe right?”

“Hilarious more like,” Elise said in response, “This is one valuable piece of paper.”

“Yes, but the more valuable thing is what we’re going to do with it,” Madison responded.

I took this as my cue to open the door of our dorm room, and saw Madison and Elise sitting on Madison’s bed, huddled over a piece of paper I couldn't quite see. Upon seeing me, however, Madison’s face turned from a sly smile to an annoyed look, while Elise quickly took the paper and sat on it.

“Hey Corinne!” Elise said her mouth spreading into her famously fake smile. “You’re looking gorgeous as always.”

I suddenly felt like I was under intense scrutiny, and my skin began to heat up as I wondered if there was something wrong with how I looked. Was my skirt tucked into my underwear? Was there something in my teeth? Did my hair look like a nest?

I subtly glanced into the mirror that was hanging on the door of the bathroom, and saw that none of the above seemed to be going on, and felt myself sigh a bit in relief.

“Thanks…” I said slowly to Elise, still not sure what exactly she was playing at. Her mouth stayed stretched into her smile, and I edged over to my trunk so that I could change out of my uniform.

“No problem,” Elise said in response, still sitting on whatever it was she and Madison had been looking at.

I was curious, of course, as to what exactly they were looking at. But, I figured that knowing the two of them, I most likely didn’t want to know. I did note though that Roxy seemed to not be in sight, and I wondered if she was slowly being pushed out of the picture. Roxy and Madison were way better friends from what I remembered in my earlier years. I barely saw them together as much ever since Elise came into the picture. I felt myself somehow feeling sorry for Roxy, because it had to be hard to have to share a best friend.

I quickly went into the bathroom and changed into a pair of my comfiest cut off denim shorts and a hot pink v-neck shirt, not in the mood to dress up any more than that. However, in the back of my mind I heard Frannie’s voice saying my outfit was way too plain, so I put a stack of bracelets on my arm, and layered a couple necklaces as well. I felt as though she would approve.

I opened the door back to the dorm room and saw that Madison and Elise were yet again gossiping very heavily, and immediately stopped when I entered the room. I was starting to become super paranoid by this, so instead of staying in the room and hanging out with Milo, I decided to go down to the common room to see if I could find Dom or Chaise or Wyatt. Anything had to be better than being here.

I walked back down the girl’s staircase and when I entered the common room I saw Wyatt sitting on the couch writing what looked to be a very long, and very hard essay.

“That looks fun,” I said plopping down on the couch next to him and looking over what he was writing. From what I read it looked like an Arithmancy paper. I thanked Merlin that I didn’t have to take that class. It was probably the hardest and worst class in the world.

“Oh yeah, heaps,” Wyatt said sarcastically. “I’m really starting to regret wanting to become an archaeologist.”

Wyatt wanted to work in the magical archaeologist branch of things once he graduated. He found history “exciting and neverending” which I never understood. But, to each his own.

“I’m regretting you wanting to be one too,” I said putting a frown on my face. “You know you’ll have to live in Egypt or something for a job like that. You realize how far away that’ll be from me?”

“Coco, don’t worry, I’d never move that far away without making frequent visits,” Wyatt said comfortingly. “I mean that is what apparation is for, isn’t it?”

I sighed. “I guess, but it’s really the principle of you living so far away. It makes everything seem so much more grown up and annoying and shit.”

“So eloquently put,” Wyatt said rolling his eyes, “But I know what you mean.”

He then turned back to his essay, and I stared off into space thinking about all the scariness of the world that I’ll have to face once I graduate from school. I mean sure I already had it pretty scary here, but I’d actually have to live on my own, and support myself. I could barely take care of myself as is, and my father did not expect me to live with him any longer than necessary. In fact, I didn’t want to live with my father any longer than necessary. And it’s not like I could drop in on my mum or anything. I was going to only be able to rely on myself once I graduated.  Graduating just seemed like this big looming force, that I really didn’t want to think about but it would come, and I’d have to deal with it one way or another.

“Corinne,” a voice said, their hand waving in front of my face and interrupting my thoughts, I looked up to see Roxy standing over me a confused look on her face. I blinked out of my reverie, although I suddenly was just as confused as her at the fact that she had approached me.

“Hmm?” I asked, as Wyatt looked on curiously.

“I was wondering if you knew where Madison was?” Roxy asked me, twirling the ring she was wearing on her index finger around nervously. “We were supposed to meet in the library to work on Charms homework but I can’t seem to find her anywhere…”

“Um…. I think she’s up in our room with Elise,” I responded, feeling a bit bad for having to break the news to her that Madison was obviously ditching her. Roxy seemed to wrinkle her nose at the mention of Elise, but she didn’t say anything else.

“Oh… well maybe I got the times confused,” Roxy stated, biting her bottom lip and looking uncomfortable once again.

“Yeah,” I said, agreeing with Roxy if only to maybe lessen the embarrassment she seemed to be feeling. She nodded her head at me absentmindedly before walking away and up the girls’ staircase. I was, once again, very grateful that I had escaped the girls dormitory, because I didn’t want to see whatever confrontation was about to occur.

“She seems nice,” Wyatt stated noncommittally, as I looked away from where she disappeared and back to his essay.

“I guess,” I said not really showing any emotion. “I mean she’s not really my friend or anything though.”

“Well then it’s got to be hard for her,” Wyatt said, looking away from his essay and then up at me.

“What do you mean?” I asked confused. How could anything possibly be hard for Roxy? She was beautiful, and popular, and part of the most famous wizarding family in the world.

“Well, she obviously doesn’t have very many friends,” he said to me. “I mean why else would she be friends with someone who doesn’t appreciate her at all?”

I considered what Wyatt said and suddenly all my thoughts about her seemed to shift. I mean besides me, Madison had been the only other Gryffindor girl that Roxy could’ve possibly become friends with when I attended the school. And I had been so closed off and not willing to be friends with anyone for fear of it drawing attention to myself, that Madison had really been the only option.

So maybe Roxy had really had no choice, it was either Madison or no one. So even though Madison was mean and bitchy and really knew how to tear you apart from the inside out, she was all Roxy really had.

I looked at Wyatt, who had gone back to his essay writing, and was suddenly so overcome with the feeling that he was so much smarter than anyone I had ever met. “You know too much for your own damn good,” I said as he continued to write his words down carefully, as if his whole life depended on this essay.

Wyatt laughed but did not say anything, and continued to work on his paper, silently agreeing with what I had said.
 





 

A/N: Alright my amazingly lovely readers, here is chapter twelve! I'm sorry for the long wait, I've been really second guessing this chapter, and I'm still not sure if I like it even though I'm posting it. I really hope you guys don't hate it though, so let me know by reviewing or something if I totally messed up the whole story!

So now that that's out of the way, onto my little ramble of questions: What do you think of Roxy? What do you think of the Dom/Chaise relationship? What is up with James apologizing? What were Madison and Elise talking about?

I really hope you guys like the chapter, next chapter is almost done and I like it much better than this one so please stick around!

Thank you all again for being your usual amazing selves. You guys inspire and keep me going with my writing, honestly <3

-Rebecca

 

 


Chapter 13: Haters in the Building
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Disclaimer: I am not JKR as much as I wish I was. Chapter title and summary come from the song The Show Goes On by Lupe Fiasco... I could listen to it for hours.

 








 

“Please come with me.”

“No.”

“Pleeeease.”

“No.”

“Corinne, you’re being so unreasonable!” Dom said, taking the magazine I was reading out of my hand, rolling it into a tight cylinder, and snapping it on the table with a resounding whack.

“You’re expecting me,” I said, giving her a look of disbelief, “To wake up at six in the morning, so that I can watch you, watch your boyfriend try out for the Quidditch team, and I’m being unreasonable?”

“Why must you twist every favor I ask of you into something that makes me seem like a right cow?” Dom asked, putting a hand on her hip and looking annoyed.

“All I’m saying,” I said, raising my hands up showing that I didn’t want to argue, “is that I’m not getting up early Sunday morning to watch tryouts. End. Of. Story.”

“Oh Coco, come on! You can’t expect me to sit all alone in the bleachers,” Dom whined, widening her eyes at me and trying to get me to change my mind.

But she could widen her eyes all she wanted, there was no way that I was going to go and watch the Gryffindor tryouts with her. Not only was James Potter captain of said team, but Freddy was also on the team, along with all of their little friends and egger-onners. It did not seem like a welcoming atmosphere for me to be a part of. Not that Dom seemed to care.

“Dom,” I stated, giving her a serious look, “There is no way I’m going to watch a bunch of people I hate, fly around on their broomsticks. Especially if that involves getting up early.”

“But you don’t hate Chaise!” Dom exclaimed.

“You know he’s not who I mean,” I said rolling my eyes.

“Freddy? He’s not going to say anything to you, Corinne. I think you scared him from doing that ever again,” Dom reasoned.

“Shut it, Dom. That’s not changing a thing,” I said.

“Well than what am I going to do? I can’t go alone!” Dom trilled, her eyes seeming worried at the prospect.

“Ask Wyatt to go with you,” I suggested.

“He said that he was going to go watch the Slytherin try outs to see if Tyson makes the team so he’s going to be too tired to go to the Gryffindor one the day after!”

“So then I’m your last option?” I asked, pointing out the fact that she had already asked people to go with her, making me a last resort.

“For this you are! I knew you’d say no,” Dom shot back.

“Well then, you’d be right,” I said cheekily, grabbing the rolled up magazine out of her hand and opening it back up to the Beauty Spells page I was on.

I heard Dom sigh extra loudly and then plop on the couch next to me in defeat, her shoulders slumped. I knew this was mostly just her way to bring the guilt trip on me, but I still managed to feel bad.

“It’s just not fair,” Dom said softly, looking at me with her sparkly brown eyes. “I mean, we’re supposed to be enjoying our last year together, and because of this stupid mentorship thing I don’t even get to see you anymore. You’re always with Tyson, Wyatt and the Slytherins now…”

Dom was right. I had yet to make any sort of effort when it came to befriending any of the Gryffindors. I still remained my distance away from them, and spent all of my time at the Slytherin table, which Dom had yet to join me at. She still spent most of her time with Chaise, whom I also hadn’t seen much of either. I missed hanging out with them.

“And you’re always with Chaise,” I pointed out gently. “Who else am I going to sit with?”

Dom seemed to consider her words carefully, before speaking again, “My point is that you, Wyatt, and Tyson could hang out with Chaise and I, but since we sit at the Gryffindor table, you don’t spend time with us, therefore you don’t spend time with me.”

It was almost funny, because both Dom and I were having the same sort of feelings. We both felt like we were being alienated. Although while I blamed it on the fact that her and Chaise were now going out, she thought of it as the fact that I stayed as far away from the Gryffindor House as possible.

Maybe I was looking at things the wrong way. Maybe Dom was right. Maybe I was avoiding her just because of the fact that I hated the Gryffindor house. Maybe I was alienating her, so that she felt the only person she really could hang out with was Chaise.

But maybe she was just misunderstanding everything. I mean, she could make the effort to sit with us at the Slytherin table; she could make the effort to spend more time with me. Couldn’t she?

“Look, never mind,” Dom said, after I didn’t say anything for a long moment. “Forget I said anything. I just thought that maybe you were letting your first two years at this place dictate your happiness.”

I thought about her words and felt the pit of my stomach twist in guilt. I had been avoiding the Gryffindor table like the plague because of Freddy, I barely walked to classes without one of the guys because of James, and I avoided our common room as much as possible because of the rest of the Gryffindors. Dom was spot on; I was letting other people dictate my life.

Wasn’t this the one thing I had promised myself I wouldn’t let happen at this school? That I wouldn’t let my fear of Freddy or James or any of the Gryffindors, stop me from being happy? It was obvious I didn’t listen to myself.

“No, Dom,” I started to say, causing her to look at me again. “You’re right. I’ll go with you to the tryouts.”

After saying this, Dom’s face broke into a huge smile and she let out a squeal. This caused me to laugh in response, as she wrapped her arms around me in a huge hug.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Dom exclaimed, her arms pulling themselves tighter and tighter around my shoulders. “You’re the bestest friend ever!”

With those words said, I found my face breaking out into a huge smile and I managed to let myself forget the past week. I didn’t care that she had been ditching me for Chaise, I didn’t care that I had barely seen her, and I didn’t care about whose fault it was. All I cared about was that she was my best friend and, in the end, she stuck with me too long for me to let such a small span of time without her dictate our friendship.

*

“I’m so freaking tired.”

“Oh hush, hush now. You knew what you were signing up for when you agreed.”

“Yeah but that doesn’t mean I’m not tired.”

“And that doesn’t mean you have to vocalize your thoughts,” Dom said eyeing me up with a steely glance. “You’re ruining my happy bubble.”

“Well then pop goes the fucking weasel because I’m tired,” I replied back, annoyance laced throughout my tone.

The Quidditch tryouts had just officially started, and we were sitting in our own little area, in the corner of the Gryffindor bleachers. There were scatterings of girls of all years, sitting towards the front, ogling all of the Quidditch players, and Dom and I were either a.) cheering Chaise on whenever he was out on the pitch or b.) making fun of all of the younger girls that were squealing over the seventh years with their shirts off.

Ah yes, apparently, the boys of seventh year thought that just because there was a bit of sun in the sky, it meant they could take their shirts off and fly around like they were the gods of the wizarding world. The sad thing was, they probably were to those younger girls. But let’s face it: those girls were bloody idiots.

Besides the fact that I was watching the tryouts for what had to be the dullest sport in the world, Madison and Elise were here, to my complete dismay. Since Roxy was Keeper on the team they had both shown up, donning matching crimson shirts that had Roxy’s face emblazoned on them, which I found a bit disturbing. Apparently, Roxy and Madison were no longer on rocky waters, and Elise and Madison were cheering Roxy on excitedly as she re-tried out for the team, which I found a bit surprising. I mean, Roxy and Madison had barely talked since the incident where Madison ditched her. I mean sure, they still sat next to each other in classes, but they didn’t actually talk. Roxy would stare at the board taking notes as if her life depended on it, while Madison would crack her gum and zone out. But it wasn’t my place to pry, so I wasn’t about to go over to Roxy and tell her she was a dumbarse for staying friends with Madison and Elise.

“Well maybe if you would smile and pretend to be excited, you wouldn’t be so tired,” Dom shot back.

“Dom…” I said looking at her seriously. “I highly doubt a smile is going to not make me tired.”

“You never know,” Dom responded flipping her silver blond hair over her shoulder and giving me a pointed look, just begging me to disagree with her.

I found myself laughing at the sheer stupidity of Dom’s suggestion. More than that, she had looked as if she thought her statement was truly correct. “You make absolutely no sense.”

“Oh come on, you love me,” Dom said, smiling at me and giving a cheesy wink, her lips puckering up into a seductive look.

“You’re delusional,” I responded rolling my eyes.

“You’re jealous.”

“You wish.”

“Actually, I know.”

“Oh you know, do you—” I started to say, but my words stopped as I watched a face I recognized walk onto the Quidditch pitch, a familiar bounce in her step.

“What?” Dom asked, sensing my immediate mood shift and following my gaze. When she saw who I was looking at, her lips pursed and she inhaled a sharp breath.

“Are Hufflepuffs allowed to watch Gryffindor tryouts?” I asked, as Bailey walked up the stands as peppy as usual, blatantly ignoring me and sitting by a blond with unfortunately bushy hair.

Dom looked at me and shrugged her shoulders. “You act like I actually know the rules here.”

I, however, wasn’t paying attention to Dom’s words and was instead studying the bottle blond she was sitting by, something oddly familiar about her. “Hey Dom,” I started, keeping my eyes trained on the girl, “Isn’t that one of your cousins?”

Dom seemed to study the girl as well, who was chatting away with Bailey as if they were the best of friends, and then opened her mouth in shock, “Oh my god! That’s Rose!”

I vaguely remembered Rose Weasley from my previous years. She had been a bit bookish, and you could always see her doing homework or studying in the common room. But most of all, she had had a shocking shade of auburn hair… definitely not blond.

“Didn’t she have red hair…?” I said, asking the inevitable question.

“She did last time I saw her…” Dom said keeping her wide eyes transfixed as we both studied the newly blond Rose. The hair color was nice enough I suppose, but it totally clashed with her skin tone. She definitely had looked better as a red head.  “I guess I’m not surprised though.”

“Why not?” I asked, just as Bailey leaned in and said something to Rose, causing both of them to laugh.

“Well I mean, Rose is kind of a bitch,” Dom stated.

“Really?” I asked, looking surprised. “I always thought she was quiet.”

“She was,” Dom started to say, still watching Rose, “but something happened to her last year I think. Like I came back for winter break and she was totally different, and started being really mean.”

I sensed Dom was starting to feel a bit sensitive about the subject, so I asked softly, “How was she mean?”

“Oh you know,” Dom said waving her hand in a leave-it gesture, “the usual. Making it known I don’t belong in the family and everything.”

I felt myself growing quiet, not knowing what to say to comfort Dom. I knew how insecure Dom was about her father’s side of the family, even if she didn’t mention it much. She always tried to put on a strong face as if it didn’t matter, but I knew deep down it really hurt.

“Oh,” was the lame response I came up with. Yeah I know, I’m not the best when it comes to these situations. But did you really expect anything better? I’m just as bad, if not worse when it comes to my own family.

“Well anyways,” Dom said, immediately brightening up and pretending our previous conversation hadn’t happened, “It looks like the chasers are coming back out!”

Finally remembering that I was there to watch Chaise tryout, I looked at the Quidditch pitch where there was a mass of people (who I recognized to be the prospective chasers), all dressed in their Qudditch robes, walking towards the middle of the pitch where James Potter stood. The wind was blowing his hair into his face, and he brought his hand up to push the hair away. I definitely saw a couple of the girl chasers that were trying out, swoon. I on the other hand, felt like I was about to vomit.

“Do you ever think it’s funny that Chaise is a chaser?” I asked, trying to lighten the atmosphere.

“Corinne, nice try, but you’ve made that joke about a million times,” Dom said rolling her eyes.

“Yes well it’s still funny every time—”

“Shush! Look! Chaise is going!” Dom said excitedly, getting up from her sitting position on the bleachers and starting to clap excitedly.

I watched James say something to the group of Chasers, then he clapped his hands and suddenly they had all kicked off the ground and were flying around the pitch. Chaise was, of course, among them, and his curly hair started to whip behind him as he sped ahead of the rest of the players. Show off.

“Go, Chaise!” Dom shouted, bouncing up and down in excitement and causing a couple people to stare at us like we were senile. I found myself slouching down in my seat next to her, trying to pretend I didn’t exist.

“Have I mentioned I hate sports?” I asked Dom, as I watched the blur of Quidditch players fly past us, causing a gust of wind to rush across my face.

“Yes, yes,” Dom responded waving her hand telling me to be quiet and keeping her eyes focused on the pitch. I let out a sigh and leaned back in my seat, while she continued rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet and clapping excitedly.

“You’re so embarrassing,” I stated as people kept staring at Dom being her overly excited self.

“Embarrassing?” Dom said arching an eyebrow at me. “That’s preposterous! Now join me in my cheering.”

“Nah Dom, cheering is specifically for the girlfriend. It’s common knowledge,” I responded.

Dom narrowed her eyes at my response, and I immediately knew why. At Beauxbatons, I would’ve immediately joined her, not questioning it. I wouldn’t have cared what people thought, and I would’ve made a fool of myself willingly. Dom definitely knew Hogwarts was affecting me.

“Cheering is also for the best friend,” Dom said commandingly.

“Well…I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said nervously. “People will think I’m psychotic or something.”

“I see,” Dom said although you could tell she didn’t really understand. “So you care what these people,” with this Dom gestured to all the people sitting in the stands, “think of you.”

“Um…” I started to say, not sure how to answer this. “Not necessarily.”

“Corinne.” I recognized the tone of Dom’s voice. It was the one she always used before she was about to give one of her insane pep talks. “It doesn’t matter what these people think. If they think I’m crazy for cheering my boyfriend on, so be it. They don’t matter, and you shouldn’t let them matter either.”

I let Dom’s words sink in, as I always did. She was right, of course she was. She always is. Nobody sitting here mattered. They were just bystanders that weren’t any part of my life, and never would be. So, why is it that I was so scared of being myself and have them judge me? I wasn’t the old Corinne, and I knew that. So why the hell was I starting to act like her?

“Why the hell are you always so right?” I asked, standing up from my seat and knocking my hip into Dom.

“Because I’m awesome,” Dom answered, sticking her tongue out at me and scrunching up her nose.

And standing there in the harsh glare of the sun I decided to just let go and stop giving a shit about anyone else there. None of them mattered and they never would. So, when Chaise finished his laps first, I found myself jumping on top of the bleachers along with Dom, cheering him on, our voices louder than anyone else’s. And the best part about it was finding that I didn’t care what the hell anyone else thought.

*

“YOU MADE THE TEAM!” Dom and I shouted at the same time, as we ran off the bleachers and onto the Quidditch pitch right after tryouts ended. We both flung ourselves at Chaise, creating a group hug that was all too familiar from years of friendship.

“I know I’m hot and all, being the best chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team and everything, but you guys are strangling me,” Chaise responded cheekily, acting as if he was in immense pain at our attack.

Dom slapped Chaise on the back of the head in response, and I pulled away from the two laughing hysterically.

“So we take the time to wake up insanely early and watch you tryout, while cheering you on, and that’s the thanks we get,” I shot back to Chaise, arching my eyebrows. Dom nodded her head along with me, crossing her arms in fake-annoyance.

“Oh yes, thanks for those cheers by the way, everyone could hear them and was insanely jealous they didn’t have two beautiful girls wishing them luck,” Chaise responded grinning.

“Really?” Dom asked interestedly. “What did they say?”

“Oh you know,” Chaise said waving his hand nonchalantly, “the usual talk about how lucky I was to have the hottest girlfriend ever.”

Dom broke out into a smile after hearing this, and Chaise wound his arm around her shoulders, pulling her to him so that her head was leaning against his shoulder. “They’re right by the way,” Dom stated, her voice muffled by Chaise’s Quidditch robes. “You’re one lucky sod.”

“Of course I am,” Chaise responded, rolling his eyes. He then turned to me with a smirk on his face. “A bunch of them were asking me if you were single, you know.”

“Mhmm,” I responded. “And why was that?”

“Apparently,” Chaise started, looking as though the weight of the world depended on what he said, “Half of them thought you and Tyson had a thing, and the other half thought you and Wyatt did.”

“Really,” I said, while Dom started to crack up in laughter at the thought. A romantic relationship with either of them was laughable; they were my best mates.

“Yup, really,” Chaise said hiding his own laugh, “I set the record straight though, which they were all very happy about. And then James told us to stop gossiping like girls and play.”

“Oh yay,” I said dryly, “Now the Gryffindor boys, who I all hate, think they have a chance and will try and talk to me.”

 “Oh come on, they’re not that bad,” Chaise said. “They seemed pretty cool.”

“Oh yeah super c—“

“Chaise, my man,” Aidan Finnegan said, interrupting what I was going to say and clapping Chaise on the shoulder. “Congrats on making the team! You were awesome.”

“Thanks, dude,” Chaise said as they did some sort of man hand shake that involved him letting go of Dom, while Aidan and Chaise clapped each other on the back. Dom looked annoyed and I felt myself tense. Why was Chaise acting so friendly towards James and Freddy’s friends?

“And Corinne,” Aidan said, turning away from Chaise and looking at me with a cocky grin, “nice cheering.” He then winked at me and walked away, while I felt my fists clench.

“I hate guys,” I stated crossing my arms while Dom glared after Aidan’s retreating form, being the loyal friend she is.

“Oh come on, he’s a laugh,” Chaise defended. This caused Dom to snap her head towards him and narrow her eyes, while I crossed my arms, glaring at him.

“He is also best friends with my sods of cousins,” Dom stated through gritted teeth.

“And he’s an arsehole,” I helped.

“Oh come off it,” Chaise said waving his hand to tell us to leave it. “He and a bunch of the guys just think you’re really hot.”

“Well then they’d be right,” Dom chimed in, swinging one of her arms around my shoulder, and the other around Chaise’s. “But they’re still arses.”

Chaise seemed like he was about to open his mouth to say something, but Dom cut him off and started to talk again, “So, I think it’s time for us to celebrate don’t you? I mean you and Ty have both made your prospective Quidditch teams, so we need to honor that by all getting together for a chill sesh.”

“Always have to share the glory with someone,” Chaise pouted, faking annoyance. Yesterday, Tyson had tried out for the Slytherin team, and made it instantly. According to him, his beater skills made all the other people running against him for the spot drop out. Although he could’ve been exaggerating. Scratch that, he was exaggerating.

“Oh don’t be a spoil sport,” I said giving him a look, “you should be happy we even want to celebrate, seeing as you’ll now have to spend all of your time with Satan, Hitler, and their followers.”

I was referring to Freddy, James, and the rest of the boys on their team. Dom cracked a smile at my reference, but Chaise just furrowed his brow a bit and didn’t say anything. This caused Dom and me to exchange a look.

I found my eyes wandering back to the bleachers, just out of curiosity and saw that Bailey and Rose were now gone. They had only been there to watch one of their friends try out (and let’s face it: she was bloody awful), so I assumed they had left with their miserable friend. However, Madison and Elise were still there, and instead of talking to Roxy and congratulating her like I expected, they were chatting with James and Freddy.

Not that I was really surprised. I mean I knew Madison and them had been friends from my previous years, but I thought maybe that they had drifted apart or something. Wishful thinking on my part.

James was saying something to Madison, and she laughed, laying her hand on his arm and then tossed her dark hair in a flirtatious way. James was grinning at her while Elise was smiling just as big to Freddy.

“How cute,” I stated out loud as Dom and Chaise followed my gaze to the four of them.

“Am I detecting a hint of jealousy?” Chaise asked, smirking as he took in the scene.

“Not at all,” I responded coolly. I mean jealousy is absolutely laughable, let’s be honest. “It’s just nice to know some things never change. Arseholes will be arseholes, and the world keeps on spinning.”

“You should write a book,” Dom joked, which caused Chaise to laugh looking away from them, and me to crack a smile, with my eyes still transfixed.

James now looked away from whatever riveting conversation him and Madison were having, and he locked eyes with mine, causing me to look away instantly. Then I started to feel insanely awkward that he had caught me looking, honestly there’s nothing more embarrassing, but instead of keeping my eyes away as you should do when the situation arises, I looked out of my peripheral vision to see James say something else to Madison with a grin. He then started walking away from the bleachers, Freddy in tow, and looked as if he was heading right towards us. Shit.

“Well, guys, let’s get going!” I exclaimed, immediately barging forward and pulling Dom by her arm, who grabbed Chaise’s arm in response, causing what probably resembled a chain of paper dolls.

“Um, Coco why are you walking so fast?” Dom asked, looking slightly confused.

“Hmm? No reason! Just want to get back to those dorms—”

“Hey, Peddington, wait up!” The familiar voice I was trying to avoid said as I still continued to try and move us forward. Dom seemed to finally understand why I was walking so fast, and she continued to walk with me, while Chaise slowed down. This caused Dom to send him an exasperated look, and slow down as well, which in turned caused me to. Bullocks.

James was grinning as he caught up with Chaise, and seemed to take no notice of me or Dom. Freddy, however, was standing behind him looking at me a bit awkwardly, as if worried I would attack him.

Yes, because that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Jump on him in the middle of the Quidditch pitch and tear his hair out like a bloody hyenna. Actually, now that I thought of it it’s not really a half bad idea…

“You did bloody amazing out there! We’re totally going to win the cup this year because of you,” James stated, while Chaise grinned back. Freddy was nodding along with James now, having looked away from me, while Dom and I crossed our arms.

“Thanks, but we’ll see,” Chaise said, running his hands through his hair and looking insanely flattered, “I mean we have stiff competition now that Slytherin has Tyson.”

“He won’t be any trouble, trust me,” James said, looking as if it was laughable that Tyson could be a threat.

This caused my face to morph from annoyed to angry, and I found myself glaring at James. How did he know how good or bad Tyson was? He was downright insulting Ty without even knowing him! I was so tempted to say something— anything— but my head was telling me not to.

Must not say anything stupid. Must not say anything stupid. Must not say anything stupid.

“Too true, that new kid is way too dense to figure out how to swing his beater’s bat,” Fred stated, interrupting my inner monologue and causing me to snap. Dom immediately tensed as she noticed my posture change, and seemed to be bracing herself for the inevitable.

“Oh that’s rich coming from a Gryffindor who doesn’t even know the right end of his broomstick,” I retorted, my voice scathing. Fred and James snapped their head towards me, James looking amused and Fred looking worried/pissed (couldn’t be sure which one).

“Shut up you snake, why don’t you go hang out with your own kind,” Fred responded, really thinking that what he said insulted me.

“I’d rather be thought of as a Slytherin than a Gryffindor any day,” I shot back icily.

“Well, Dominique you have wonderful choice in mates,” Freddy said turning away from me and smirking at Dom, “but I guess that can be expected I mean your choice in family was great too.”

Dom’s face immediately morphed into one of pure anger, joining in with mine, and we both looked as though we were out for blood. I mean seriously Freddy? Bringing up the fact that Dom chose Beauxbatons over Hogwarts. It’s like he knew just what buttons to push to piss people off.

“Woah, woah,” Chaise said, putting his hands up and trying to diffuse the situation, “Let’s not say anything rash—”

“Yes, let’s,” Dom hissed, her eyes narrowing and her face growing red. “Wouldn’t want to get beaten up by a girl again, would you, Fred?”

Freddy’s face changed to one of complete ire, while Chaise looked as if he wanted to be anywhere else but in this situation.

“Well at least I’m not a pi—”

“Fred, mate,” James said clapping his hand on Fred’s shoulder, “I think you should calm down a bit.”

“Me?! Calm down?! Did you hear what those—”

“Yes, I did,” James interrupted, giving Fred a steady gaze. “And I think you don’t want to finish your sentence.”

Freddy sputtered in anger, looking back from Dom and I to James.Then, he huffed away, muttering something that sounded along the lines of "crazy bints", while Dom and I glared after him, before switching our glances to James and looking confused. Why wasn’t he supporting Freddy? They were best mates.

“Well anyways,” James said calmly, looking back at Chaise and acting as if nothing happened, “Our first practice is on Tuesday at five, so be on the Quidditch pitch no later than that.”

“Yeah, sure,” Chaise responded.

“Alright, see you then,” James said backing away and looking all business. “See you Dom, Corinne.” As he said my name he seemed to give me a quick smirk that I didn't quite understand. Then, he turned away and walked back to where Freddy was now standing, surrounded by Aidan Finnegan, Oliver Wood II, and a couple of sixth year Gryffindor boys.

“Well… that went well,” Chaise said after a long silence. Dom and I both glared at him, before grabbing him by the shoulders and marching off the field.

Bloody idiot.
 








A/N: Woaahhhh Freddy really can't keep his mouth shut now can he? When is he going to learn that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all?

Well, anyways, I hope you loved this chapter! I had fun writing it, because you know how much I love conflict, and this one was chalk full of conflict! :)

So then, what did you think? Are you still a bit miffed at Dom? What do you think about James defending Dom and Coco? What do you think about Chaise not defending Dom and Coco? Anything else you want to let me know?

I just have to say that you guys have been the most AMAZING reviewers/readers in the world. Honestly I can't believe how wonderful you've all been with the response to this story, and it really means the WORLD to me. Just a bit of a reminder though, if you review please keep the reviews 12+(aka no cursing), I've sadly lost some of my reviews because of it. But again thank you for even taking the time to read it's totally awesome of you!

Alright well enough of me, I'm sure your bored now with this boring Author's Note!

-Rebecca

 


Chapter 14: You Can Take Everything I Have
[View Online]  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: I am not JKR, so stop making me say it! Chapter title and summary belong to the song Skyscraper by Demi Lovato. That song has made me actually respect her as a singer, it is so so beautiful. I listened to it on repeat while I wrote this whole chapter and the next one, so without it I probably wouldn't have been as inspired.






 

 

“Oh, man,” Tyson said, putting his hand over his mouth to show his shock as he held back laughter, “I wish I was there.”

“It’s not funny! He made a crack about Dom not being a part of the family too!” I argued, giving Tyson an annoyed glare.

“He did?” Tyson asked, his face immediately changing from his lopsided grin to a serious expression. “Was he asking for a death wish?”

“That’s what I thought!” I exclaimed. “Dom was about to throttle him I’m pretty sure. And then he started to say more stuff to insult us, but then James like… stopped him.”

“Really?” Tyson asked curiously. “That’s odd.”

“I know,” I echoed back, my thoughts instantly shifting over to James.

As much as I’d hate to admit it, he’d been consuming my thoughts more and more ever since the Quidditch tryouts. I’d been trying to come up with a reason he had for defending Dom and I, and every time I tried I came up with a blank. Why did he defend Dom and I against Freddy? Could it be that he genuinely has changed?

No. He couldn’t have changed. That’s impossible.

But then, what was it?

“Maybe he likes you,” Tyson suggested, waggling his eyebrows at me and smirking. “I mean you two did get it on at Dom’s birthday.”

Ah yes, I had almost forgot about that teeny tiny detail. I tended to shove my thoughts of snogging James into a little invisible box inside my head, and guarded it with five headed dragons so I didn’t have to think about it ever again.

“Bringing up the one thing I regret most in my life while I’m already distraught?" I asked, my voice dripping with disdain, “Your sympathy astounds me.” I then, looked away from him and instead directed my attention to the front of the Potions classroom, where Professor Cosgrove was giving us a lecture. Boriiing.

I learned from the past week that Professor Cosgrove was more of the lecturer type of Potions teacher. He tended to give long rambling explanations about what he wanted us to do, and by the time he’d finished his explanation the bell would ring ending the class. He hadn’t even let us pull out our own cauldrons yet, which Dom and I were none-too-pleased about, seeing as we had bought glittery pink ones for the occasion.

“Coco,” Tyson said, elbowing me in the shoulder as I wrote some notes (aka doodled my name in bubble letters) with my sparkly pink quill, “let’s not be bitter now.”

“Bitter?” I responded sourly, arching my eyebrow at Tyson, to which he seemed to regret his choice of words.

“Oh come off it,” Ty said jokily, pulling my quill out of my hand so that I couldn’t finish coloring in the letters of my name. “Stop acting like you’re upset with me.”

“Who says I’m acting?” I asked, even though I wasn’t actually serious. “I could very well hate you.”

“You love me.”

“I don’t love your attitude.”

“But you love me.”

“I hate your cockiness.”

“Yes, but you looove—”

“Mr. Wittry!” Professor Cosgrove exclaimed with his usual pep while trying to look as intimidating as possible. Instead he came off more like an overzealous chipmunk, “I think we understand Miss Beaumont here loves you, so do you think you could stop interrupting the class?”

I felt my face grow red as the whole class (including a certain someone I refuse to name) all snapped their heads around to look at Tyson and me. Tyson, however, seemed unfazed and just smirked back to the Professor, “Sorry, mate. I’ll try to get her to contain herself next time.”

Professor Cosgrove nodded his head seriously, as if he actually understood, before looking back to the rest of his class and starting to continue his lecture.  As soon as he looked away, I shoved my elbow into Tyson to which he gave a small yelp. I heard Chaise laugh and Dom snort at this, and Tyson turned around giving them a glare, to which Dom just stuck her tongue at him. Tyson then turned around in his seat and crossed his arms, looking like a seven-year-old boy who was just told he couldn’t get a new toy.

“Oi!” Tyson whispered to me, so that he wouldn’t get called out in class again, “you need to stop being so violent!”

“You need to stop embarrassing me,” I whispered back heatedly. “People actually think I’m in love with you.”

Tyson grinned at this. “All the better.”

“You sicken me,” I said, before turning away from him and decided maybe I should pay attention to the lecture. I sure as hell didn’t want another embarrassing situation to happen in this class.

However, I found my thoughts traveling (if only lectures weren’t so boring) and instead of paying attention to the teacher, I started to zone out and gaze across the room. Sitting near the back, I caught sight of Roxy as always paying strict attention to the teacher, while Madison sat next to her, inspecting her nails.

Madison and Elise had managed to worry me throughout the past week. They hadn’t been like they were before, with their constant gossiping while giving me the stink eye, but I still felt like there was something odd about them. The smirks Madison gave me made me feel uneasy, and sometimes when I’d walk into our dormitory they’d give each other these knowing looks that I didn’t quite understand.

Not to mention, it had also spread around the school the fact that I tended to snog guys who had girlfriends. It was totally stilted, and spun out to make me look like a total slag, and I knew that Elise had been the one to start it. They had also started other rumors as well. Like that I cheated on my assignments (which I would never do), or that I was helping the Slytherins win the Quidditch cup by telling them our tactics (despite the fact I didn’t understand Quidditch talk). They were all stupid little rumors that were starting to build up. I’d been trying to ignore it, because as Dom says ‘what do they matter?’ But, I still couldn’t help but be a bit worried about what exactly they were playing at.

And then, there was the fact that Madison was good friends with James. I had seen them hanging out together on more than one occasion, and she always sat with James and his lot during meals along with Elise and sometimes Roxy. It made me question why James had even bothered helping Dom and me out at Quidditch, when all of his friends seemed to hate me. But, James was one big enigma. One that I wasn’t sure I wanted to figure out.

“Hey, Coco,” Tyson prodded, causing me to snap my head away from Roxy and Madison and look back at him.

“Huh?” I asked, as my eyes started to focus instead of remain in the glazed over state they were in.

“Get your cauldron out, we’re supposed to be making the Dreamless Sleep Potion,” Tyson said, gesturing to the board which now had the directions written on it. Professor Cosgrove was no longer giving a lecture and was instead sitting down at his desk, grading previous assignments.

“Oh,” I said surprised, scrambling around in my purse and reaching my hand down into it as far as it would go. Since I had an enlargement charm on my purse, I tended to over pack it, and my cauldron was right at the bottom. I finally felt the familiar curve of the brim, and pulled it out of my purse.

“It’s… pink,” Tyson stated, looking at me as in disbelief.

“So is Dom’s!” I exclaimed excitedly, pointing over my shoulder to where Dom was in fact using her own pink sparkly cauldron to make her potion.

I did notice however, that everyone else in the room was using a standard black cauldron. How boring. I remembered back when I was a first year at Hogwarts, wishing to be a seventh year, because that was the year you were allowed to use colored cauldrons. And now, here everyone was with the chance to have whatever cauldron they wanted, and they chose boring old black? What tossers. 

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised,” Tyson said, rolling his eyes at me and Dom’s super girly-ness.

“No you shouldn’t,” I said, as I began to squint my eyes and read the directions on the board. “I mean you’ve been my best friend for what, five years?”

“Who said we were friends?” Tyson shot back, pretending to look shocked at the fact that I considered him one. “It’s five years that you’ve been in love with me.”

I shoved Tyson. “I hate you.”

“Nope,” Tyson said, beginning to chop up one of the ingredients that was needed in the potion while keeping a smirk on his face, “I think we’ve established to the whole class that you love me.”

Git.

*

“Lovely weather we’re having,” I stated as I looked up at the ceiling in the Great Hall. The ceiling was composed of gray clouds all interlacing over and under one another, threatening to rain.

“What a surprise,” Scorpius responded back with pure sarcasm.

“It is for me!” I exclaimed. “At Beauxbatons we’re surrounded by beaches, and it barely rains. Ever. ”

“Yeah, but it’s been raining for the past three days,” Scorpius stated, giving me a look.

“But I can always hope, can’t I?” I asked.

The weather was another thing at this school on my never-ending list of what I didn’t miss from Hogwarts. It had been nothing but gray skies and humidity for the past week, and I felt myself growing depressed with the weather. Oh how I longed to feel the sun warm my face and hear the ocean crashing against the shores--

“Hope what?” Dom asked, shoving Scorpius to the side and plopping herself down across from me.

Tyson, Wyatt, Scorpius, and I all looked at her in complete shock as she started to pile eggs onto her plate. Was Dom actually sitting with us?

“Did you get lost?” Wyatt asked, voicing my thoughts.

“Yeah, because I know you did not mean to sit with us when you have a boyfriend you need to devote your whole life too,” Tyson stated bitterly.

“Guys, come on, it’s not like that,” I said, defending Dom as she started to look extremely uncomfortable. While she hadn’t sat with any of us since our Beauxbatons days, she was still my best friend, and making her feel like shit was not at the top of my to-do list.

“It sure seemed like that these past couple of weeks,” Wyatt muttered, to which I elbowed him and gave him a look.

“Contrary to popular belief,” Dom stated, flipping her hair over her shoulder, “I actually want to spend time with you guys.”

“Where’s Chaise?” Tyson asked Dom.

“He’s at Quidditch practice,” Dom responded with a wrinkle of her nose, making it evident she wasn't happy about it.

“Oh well that explains it,” Tyson muttered.

“Explains what?” Dom asked.

“Why you’re here,” Wyatt answered.

“You guys,” I said in a stern voice, my tone indicating that they needed to tone it down. “Stop.”

Dom shot me a thankful look, to which I gave a small smile back. She was still my top friend, above everyone, and I didn’t want her to feel like anything less.

“I’m sorry that I haven’t talked to you guys in so long,” Dom said, inhaling a breath and looking at Tyson and Wyatt sincerely. “I guess I’ve been a bit caught up with Chaise.”

“Obviously.”

I elbowed Tyson after he said this, which caused him to straighten up and force a pained smile on his face. “I mean,” he started to say as I jabbed him in the side yet again, “I forgive you.”

“Me too,” Wyatt said, shooting Dom a smile. He was always the more forgiving one. “Us best mates gotta stick together.”

“Of course we do!” I said putting my arms around Wyatt and Tyson’s shoulders and grinning hugely across the table at Dom. It was then that I noticed Scorpius seeming to look a bit awkward at our exchange, and I realized that he probably hadn’t been introduced to Dom.

“Scorp,” I said, “This is my other half, Dom. Dom, this is Scorpius Malfoy.”

“Yeah,” Dom said nodding her head at him as an introduction, “You’re Al’s best mate, right?”

“Yup,” Scorpius responded, popping the ‘p’. “You’re the cousin that’s never at the family events, right?”

“Er… yeah,” Dom responded, looking a bit uncomfortable. “I’m not really on the best of terms with them.”

“No need to explain,” Scorpius said. “I’m not on the best of terms with them either. I’m a Malfoy, you know how it is.”

“Yes, I’ve heard Uncle Ron mention you a couple times…” Dom trailed off, as if realizing she shouldn’t have said anything.

“So anyways,” I said, deciding that this conversation was getting painfully awkward, “we were talking about the awful weather.”

“Don’t remind me,” Dom said, seeming eager at the topic change although putting a disgusted look on her face, “there’s absolutely no sun in sight! My tan is fading.”

“Same!” I responded, as we both held out our arms to compare whose tan was in fact fading the most. Dom’s arm was a bit paler than mine, to which Dom jutted out her bottom lip.

“I can feel my brain cells dying,” Tyson stated, rolling his eyes. “Out of everything, you’re worried about it’s your tans?”

“Oi!” I responded, glaring at him. “I worked hard to get to this color, and I don’t want some spotty weather to ruin it for me!”

Tyson opened his mouth to respond, but as he did the morning mail started, and the sound of hundreds of owls entering the school drowned out whatever response he had.

A tawny owl flew towards me, delivering the newest copy of Witch Weekly, while an owl I recognized to belong to Victoire, landed in front of Dom, dropping off a letter. Dom looked at it gingerly, as if worried it would bite her, before she ripped the letter open and read it. After scanning the first two lines, she scoffed and threw the letter down on the table, looking nothing short of pissed.

“What’d it say?” I asked Dom worriedly. The guys, seeming to sense that this was not a conversation they wanted to be a part of, all turned away from us and started their own conversation.

“Read it yourself,” Dom said sourly. “I don’t feel like repeating it.”

I looked at the letter sitting on the table and quickly scooped it up, my curiosity getting the better of me, and I started to read:

Dominique,
                  I have glorious news! Do you remember that flat that we looked at over the summer, the one with the huge windows and the open space and the hardwood floors? Well, I’m writing this letter to let you know that Maman has graciously bought it for me to live in along with Teddy! I’m so ecstatic about it, and I hope you’re not too upset that I will be moving out.
                 Also, maman received an owl from a couple of our aunt's and uncles saying that you haven’t been spending any time with their kids, and that they would appreciate if you visited with them more. Maman thinks it rude for you to be isolating yourself from the family. I know I never went a day without at least talking to one of my cousins when I went to Hogwarts.
                Well, that aside, I just wanted to let you know about how excited I am about the flat! I hope you’re enjoying your first month at school and getting the best grades you can!
                                                                                                                           Love,
                                                                                                                        Victoire


“Well... It’s really not that bad,” I stated, after I finished reading the letter.

“Not that bad?” Dom exclaimed. “My passive-aggressive bitch of a sister is getting everything she wants, as usual, and is rubbing it in my face.”

“At least now she’s not living with you,” I reasoned. “You won’t have to see her nearly as much as usual.”

“So?” Dom said. “I still will have to hear about how much better maman loves her for giving her such a ‘glorious flat’, and how much better she is because she went to Hogwarts all seven years, and how much more loved she is because my cousins don’t hate her.”

“Dom,” I said softly, “she is not better than you.”

“But she is,” Dom said slowly, looking down at the perfectly written calligraphy of Victoire Weasley. “She’s engaged to the favorite non-relative of the famiy, she’s beautiful, she’s liked—”

“You’re just as beautiful, and just as liked.”

Dom let out a sigh, “I don’t know. It’s just… Sometimes I think maybe I was the screw up of the family. Like… if they asked random people on the street which one doesn’t belong, it would be me.”

I looked at Dom and was surprised to not see the usual confidence from her. How could she, of all people, with her stunning beauty and bubbly personality, ever feel less than perfect? It almost made me feel uneasy, because I was normally the one to have her pick me back up, and now here she was, crumbling in front of me, and I had no idea what to do. If only I had a glue gun.

“I’m sure nobody thinks that,” I responded to Dom, as she continued to fold the letter from Victoire into the smallest square she could.

Dom scrunched her forehead up as if she was in deep thought, and then smoothed her face out again. “You’re right.”

All the confidence she had lost returned almost instantly after she said these words, causing me to blink. I shook my head wondering if I was imagining this huge personality morph, but nothing changed. Dom was now perfectly composed. “Well, we should get going, Charms calls!”

I nodded my head, confused at Dom’s sudden mood shift, but I didn’t have the heart in it for me to call her out. I wouldn’t know what to say anyway, and Dom was strong enough to put herself back together. However, there was also a small part of me that was scared for her to shift back to her doubt-filled self. I was not ready to play a role where I needed to do the fixing. I needed Dom to be the strong one, and as selfish as that might sound, I felt a relief to have her back.

*

Homework.

It was another thing to add onto my list of why I was unhappy to be back at Hogwarts. You see, at Beauxbatons, the sixth year was the most rigorous year in which all the sixth years spent more time studying than anything else. We took NEWTS last year, and seventh year was supposed to be home free. However, at Hogwarts NEWT year was seventh year. And, while we didn’t have to re-take our NEWTS, we had to do copious amounts of homework for our classes as if we did, which I found to be a load of shit. Why couldn’t us Beauxbatons students get an exception?

I was currently scouring through my Transfiguration textbook, trying to write an essay on the steps to become a registered Animagus, but instead I was cursing every person I read about for making this textbook exist.

Curse you, Emeric Switch, for making not one, not two, but seven editions of a bleeding Transfiguration book. I hope he’s satisfied that he has managed to ruin every students’ life, by writing this book. Right when I was about to start cursing the whole Switch family, I heard the chair across from me pull itself out, and looked up to see who it was.

I’ll give you three guesses as to who.

“Hey.” James ran his hands through his hair nervously as I raised an eyebrow at him.

“Hi,” I responded, looking back down at my book, pretending to be fascinated. Oh if Emeric could see me now. Using his book as a safety net between me and one of the people I hated the most.

“What’re you doing?” he asked.

I held my textbook up to him so that he could read the cover, and continued to pretend that this book was nothing short of riveting. You know what Emeric? I take it back. Thank you for writing this book.

“Cool,” James said, nodding his head as if I had just told him. We stayed silent like that for a while, before he opened his mouth again. “Look, I’m sorry for what happened at the Quidditch tryouts.”

I closed my book with a loud thud as soon as the words were out of his mouth and looked at him for a long moment. Two apologies in one month from James Potter. It seemed he was starting a new trend.

“That’s what you’re apologizing for?” I asked, my voice laced with iciness. His eyes widened at my tone of voice and he ruffled his hair again. It seemed to be a nervous habit of his. One that annoyed me to no end.

“Um… yes?” James responded.

“So what you’re saying then,” I stated slowly back to him, making sure he understood what I was saying. “Is that out of everything in the world you could apologize to me for, it’s for something Freddy did at a stupid Quidditch tryout?”

“Quidditch is not st—”

“Just answer the question,” I said, holding a hand up to stop whatever spiel he was about to go into while he crossed his arms and looked miffed, “Is this what you’re apologizing to me for?”

There was a long pause as James seemed to think over what I had said before he opened his mouth. “I guess… I mean—yeah.”

I let out a long breath, blowing the hair that had fallen in front of my eyes out of my face. “You’re unbelievable. Un-freaking-believable.”

“I’m not quite following,” James replied.

“Of course you’re not,” I declared. “You’re James Freaking Potter. Nothing you do ever has consequences. You think the things you do don’t hurt people, and if they do, it’s never your fault. There’s always someone else to blame.”

James’s eyes morphed from confusion to a hint of anger, as if what I was saying was really hitting home. “What happened to you? You’re such a bitch, now.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said sarcastically. “You and your mates pick on me until I can’t even bear to attend this school one more year, and I’m the bitch.”

“Yeah you—Wait…That’s why you left?” James asked, his anger turning into surprise.

“Why sound so surprised?” I asked, as all of my anger at him and Freddy and every other person that ever oinked at me, hit me at once. “It’s what you wanted in the end, isn’t it? You picked and picked at me until I couldn’t take it anymore and couldn’t even bear to return. So you finally got what you wanted. Congratulations to you.”

“But…” James said looking at me with mixed emotions, “we were just kids. I mean, you can’t still be angry about that?”

I felt myself look at him in disbelief. He thought that I had just forgotten about all the shit him and Fred did. He thought I didn’t care about it, anymore. That just because he had been young, he could do whatever the hell he wanted.

“You seriously underestimate my grudge-holding skills,” I responded coldly.

“But that was ages ago!” James exclaimed. “I was a fucked up kid, I was going through a lot of family shit, but I never thought you were actually hurt by it. You never even reacted!”

I thought of every time the kids would oink at me, and I would hold back tears until I was alone, in the safety of my dorm room, with the bed hangings shut. Until I could cry and cry without anybody able to hear me. Until there was nothing left except for dry sobs that would rack through my entire body and the self-loathing would finally set in. Not actually hurt by it? I’d beg to differ.

“Your ‘family shit’ is no excuse,” I stated, letting out a sniff of exasperation. “If every asshole in the world was excused because they had a fucked up family, Voldemort would be a bloody saint.”

James face switched to an emotion I couldn’t quite read. “Yeah well,” James began, “I guess I didn’t handle it the best.”

“Clearly,” I said dryly.

A long silence came between us as James scrunched his eyebrows together, deep in thought. “Look,” he said finally, leaning forward a bit in his seat. “I’m sorry about what I did.”

“Mhmm.”

“And,” he said, looking a bit annoyed at my snooty response, “I want us to be friends. I think it would make everything a lot easier. You know?”

He said it like it was that easy. Like I could just forgive and forget, as if nothing had ever happened. But everything that had happened to me ran too deep, ran into my very core, for me to ever forget what I went through. My suffering was a part of me, something that would never disappear.

But I noticed the guilt on his face and that he really looked like he was sorry. I found myself wondering for the millionth time why he even wanted us to be friends. Why was he trying to push past all the shit he had done to me, in order to form a friendship?

“I… don’t think that would be a good idea,” I responded after a long moment. “I’m sorry for freaking out on you and bringing all this up, as if by you knowing I would be able to forgive you… but I can’t. Maybe one day I will, but I don’t know when that will be, if ever.”

And with those words having been said, I picked up my Transfiguration textbook and walked out of the library, not looking back. On my way out, I noticed Madison staring at me with a pissed off expression, as if she had heard the entire conversation, but I ignored her and kept on walking.

I had thought that maybe I would feel better. That by finally letting James know how much he hurt me, everything would be okay. But it wasn’t. And maybe that was the point. Maybe, it never would be.

*

“Dom, did you just fart?”

“Tyson, I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this but girls don’t fart.”

“Sorry guys that was me.”

“Ew, Chaise, get away from me.”

“Oh come on Corinne you know you like it.”

“I’m choking. I’m literally suffocating.”

“Corinne, quit the dramatics.”

“Save me! Save me!” I exclaimed, clutching at my throat. “I’m dying!”

“Dom, open the door,” Wyatt stated, to which Dom promptly shook her head.

“There… is… no… air!”

“If Corinne dies, can we at least throw her out in the hallway so that we have more room in here?” Tyson asked.

“Yeah, Dom. Why must our first get-together with the five of us take place in a broom cupboard?”

“Hello? I’m suffocating here!”

Because,” Dom stated looking at the four of us, her eyes commanding us to be quiet. I crossed my arms at the fact that nobody seemed to care that I was dying from Chaise’s pass of gas, and were instead all looking at Dom. “One of these broom cupboards is going to be the Room of Requirement.”

“The what?” Wyatt asked.

“Room. Of. Requirement.” Dom stated in a huff. “My cousins told me about it once back when we all tolerated each other. Apparently it’s a room that takes the shape of whatever you want it to be, you just need to pass by it three times, with your thought and then—”

“But, Dom,” I said, interrupting her explanation. “You do realize that this broom cupboard was already here, before you walked past it three times. And that sitting in it, will not suddenly make it transform.”

“Yes, well,” Dom said with a sniff, “I just thought sitting in the broom cupboard would bring us closer together. Sue me for caring.”

“Seriously, Dom?!” Tyson exclaimed, sounding annoyed. “We’re sitting in here for no bloody reason? I was promised a room that would transform into whatever the fuck I want! I’m out of here.”

With that, Tyson pushed himself up off the ground and opened the door to the broom cupboard, illuminating everything with light. Wyatt followed soon after him, along with Chaise and I, while Dom pouted.

“But you guys!” Dom exclaimed, running after us as we all walked down the hallway. “I swear we’re getting close, we’re totally going to find it. And then we can finally celebrate you guys making the Quidditch team!”

Tyson stopped in his tracks and turned around, the rest of us following suit. We all inspected Dom, who had a optimistic look on her face, hoping we would all travel with her to find the Room of Requirement.

We had been searching for it for about an hour now, and we had had no sort of luck. Seeing as I wasn’t the most popular girl at school when I attended Hogwarts, I knew nothing about the location of this room, so we were relying on Dom, which was never the safest bet. The only thing she knew was that it was on the third floor.

“Okay,” Tyson said, crossing his arms. “We’ll look for it for a bit longer. But if dinner starts and we still haven’t found it, I’m leaving.”

Wyatt, Chaise, and I all nodded our heads in agreement, showing that we were serious.

“Don’t worry, we’ll find it, I swear,” Dom said, bobbing her head excitedly and starting to walk the opposite way we did down the hallway, to which we all followed, some of us muttering expletives (cough TYSON cough), and some of us complaining about being hungry (cough WYATT cough).

It was Friday, and this entire week Dom and I had been trying to plan a get-together with the whole lot of us so that we could finally catch up and celebrate Tyson and Chaise making the Quidditch team. Everyday we had planned so far had been nixed, because one of them was always doing Quidditch practice, so Dom had jumped at the chance of us all being available.

For the last few days, I had thought of nothing other than the conversation I had had with James. I had yet to tell anyone about it, because in all honesty I didn’t know if I really wanted anyone to know about it, and it had been eating me up inside and leaving me preoccupied. I kept rethinking how I should’ve said things, how James’s face had looked at my parting words. Had I done the right thing?

“Alright, let’s try this door,” Dom said, walking in front of another door we had come across on the third floor, three times. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the Room of Requirement didn’t have a door from what I knew, and you had to walk in front of a blank wall three times and then the door would appear, but I didn’t want Dom to feel defeated.

Dom stopped her walking and flung open the door, to be greeted with the sound of a girl squealing. Dom’s face turned red, she muttered her apologies, and then closed the door with a slam.

“Maybe you’re right Tyson,” Dom said, her face still beet red. “Maybe we should just go to dinner.”

“You walked in on a couple snogging, didn’t you?” Tyson asked, while the rest of us held back our laughter.

“Maybe,” Dom muttered.

“You’re so cute when you’re embarrassed,” Chaise said slinging his arm around her shoulder and turning her around so that we could all walk to the Great Hall.

“Who was the couple though?” Wyatt asked interestedly, being his usual gossipy self.

“Er… Rohzanadean,” Dom muttered, looking down at her shoes.

“I’m sorry,” I asked, taking pleasure in Dom’s discomfort, “Who?”

“Rose and Aidan,” Dom stated, shooting me an annoyed look. “It’s a thought I cannot un-see, no matter how hard I try.”

“Rose and Aidan?” Tyson exclaimed, looking totally confused.

“Yup,” Dom stated, “Why?”

Tyson suddenly looked really uncomfortable and he muttered something that sounded like “No reason.”

“Because that’s not sketchy,” I stated, which caused Wyatt to laugh.

“Oh let him keep his secrets,” Dom said waving her hands as if telling us to shoo, “I don’t want to know anything more about my cousin than I have to, so I’d prefer not to know.”

We continued walking down the hallway, our banter flying back and forth, and I felt the fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach appear at the fact that we were all together again. It was like old times, only better. We were all just joking and laughing, being the best of friends like we’re used to. There was nothing better than that.

As we walked down the staircases to the main floors, people started milling about, all of them heading into the dining room like the rest of us, ready for dinner. I noticed a couple of them sneak glances at us while we laughed and joked as if we didn’t have a care in the world. But you know what? They could stare all they wanted. I was happy, finally. We were all happy, and nothing could change that.

We neared the doors to the Great Hall, and I noticed that more and more people started to stare at us, although it seemed like they were staring for some completely different reason. Suddenly, I realized they weren’t staring at all five of us, they were just staring at me, and I felt the fuzzy feeling in my stomach twist to one that made me feel sick.

I tried to ignore it, I mean they were obviously staring because of all the gossip that had been running around thanks to Madison and Elise, or they were staring because I mean when weren’t they? This was Hogwarts after all. Everyone was nosy as could be.

However, it was after a group of people passed by, a couple of them smirking and catching eye contact with me, that I realized maybe something was actually wrong. Then, the panic set in.

I mean, why were they staring? And I was pretty sure a couple of them were giggling. Why the hell were they giggling? Am I fucking paranoid? Please, tell me I am.

“Finally, food, sustenance!” Wyatt exclaimed, as we rounded the corner and entered the Great Hall, “I’ve never been hap—”

I wasn’t sure if Wyatt had actually stopped talking, or if it just felt like he had. Either way I didn’t really care. Because finally, finally, I understood. The entire Great Hall seemed to pause, holding it’s breath as I looked around the room, and all of the students stared at me, wondering what I was going to do.

Pictures. They were everywhere. No matter how much I tried to look away they were there, staring me in the face. I felt my face burn as studied each picture. Each stupid sodding picture with the face of myself that I had grown to hate.

It was one from my second year of Hogwarts. I was asleep in my bed, wearing my red flannel pajama set, and around me was what had to be hundreds of candy bars. All of their wrappers were glistening and twinkling, trying to trick me into thinking they were pretty. But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst was the peanut butter smeared around my face, my hands, in my hair, and the pig snout that had been charmed onto my nose. I remembered this day well.

Freddy and James had done it, with Madison’s help, just for laughs. I remember walking into class the next day and them asking me how my morning went, their laughs and oinks resounding like gunshots. But this, this was much worse. Because now everyone could see it. One of my biggest embarrassments was hanging around the Great Hall, for everyone to judge.

Yes, but the more valuable thing is what we’re going to do with it.


I looked around the Great Hall, to the people who I knew were responsible for this. Madison and Elise were sitting across from Freddy, flipping their hair and hiding laughs, looking amused and pleased with themselves. I noticed teachers trying to remove the pictures from the Great Hall, but they seemed to have been charmed on with an extra-strong spell. My eyes locked with Madison’s brown ones, and she raised her eyebrows at me, as if saying ‘You really thought people would forget?’ I broke away from her gaze immediately.

 My eyes then frantically searched the room. Each eye I met either looked away from me, or stayed connected with mine as they laughed. I heard squeals and oinks echo throughout the hallway from the younger kids, ones who I hadn’t even gone to school with. When I looked at the Hufflepuff table, I saw Bailey laughing along with everyone else.

I thought I had already lived through my nightmares, but I was sorely mistaken.

Dom’s hand closed around my arm tightly, as I felt my throat close up, a sign that I was about to start crying. I looked at her, and her eyes held more sympathy than I had ever seen. All the guys were looking at me too, but I didn’t know what they were feeling. I don’t think I wanted to. They were probably disgusted with me now. They probably thought the same thing as everyone else at this school. I was a pig, and nobody would ever let me forget it.

I started to turn around but Dom’s arm jerked me back. “You’re not leaving,” Dom said through gritted teeth, her eyes blazing with the fury of a thousand suns. “You can’t let these assholes win and scare you out of this place. Show you don’t give a shit.”

But I knew I wasn’t strong enough for this. I was a game of exploding snap, one wrong card away from caving up. I felt tears sting my eyes, and the sound of laughter ringing through my ears. I just wanted to escape. I wanted to be alone, where the only person that could judge me was myself. Where nothing else mattered except my own shallow breathing, and I could pretend I was somewhere, anywhere but here.

So with this in mind, I turned on my heel, and ran out of the Great Hall, not looking back.
 

 

 






A/N: I think I might be a sadist, because I actually had a lot of fun writing this chapter... Is that wrong of me? Corinne's hitting rock bottom, and I'm cheerfully typing away... Yup, I'm definitely a sadist.

Apart from that, I've really gotten the biggest stroke of inspiration for this story so I've been writing it like... nonstop. Which is good, right?

So anyways, back to the chapter. You finally know what Madison and Elise were planning! What do you think?! Is it what you thought? Was it too dramatic? Was it just right? Review and let me know ;)

Ahah did you see what I did there? If you didn't, then let me ask more questions that you can answer for me in a review (I'm shameless): Do you like Dom being vulnerable? Do you feel bad for her because of her awful sister? What did you think about the talk with James? Is he an idiot? Was Corinne's reaction too much? What about Aidan and Rose in the broom cupboard? Why did Tyson seem confused about it?

Okay, I need to quit it with the questions, but I like to think of them as prompting your thinking after reading such a action-filled chapter. I really hope you guys liked it because you're just so amazing as readers/reviewers that I really want this story to be the best it can be for all of you!

Alright, I'm done ranting about how amazing you are, I'm sorry for my babbly responses, I just can't help it and I feel like when I write author's notes I really get to talk to you all.... Okay I hate myself.

Review please if you'd like <3

-Rebecca


Chapter 15: Don't Let Them Say You Ain't Beautiful
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Disclaimer: I am not JKR. Chapter title and summary come from the song Beautiful by Eminem.






 

 

I was thirteen. It was little less than two months before I would start my first year at Beauxbatons, and I was living with my dad. My mum hadn’t sent me a letter since I left, my dad hadn’t been around for much longer, and the emptiness was starting to get to me. I was used to always having my mum around, doting on me, cooking me my favorite meals, and now I was trapped in a house, with nothing as company except my own thoughts. It was suffocating.

I had started eating better a couple of weeks ago, and I was finally starting to see results, but it didn’t make me feel better. I felt like I was still ugly, like no matter what, I could lose as much weight as I wanted and nothing would change. I wasn’t happy, and I probably never would be.

I hadn’t eaten all day since I’d slept through most of it, and I started to look around the kitchen for something to eat. My dad hadn’t gone grocery shopping in weeks, and when I opened the cupboard to see what we had, I saw two unopened peanut butter jars, sitting there side by side, as if they had appeared out of nowhere, just for me. I’d been having a hard day, harder than usual. I was missing my mum, missing my old sister, missing my old family, and staring at my old comfort. So before I knew it, I found myself grabbing the jars, and heading to my room. Once I entered I closed the door, separating myself from any sense of sanity.

And as soon as the door closed, I began to eat. It was like all the days I had denied myself a treat I was making up for with those jars. I couldn’t stop eating. The peanut butter reminded me of all the times I had needed someone, and I knew that now I needed someone the most.  So I ate. I finished both jars, I’d even scraped around the sides making sure I got everything, it was almost as if they were clean.

It was after I was finished, that the self-loathing set in, as always. I had let myself break. I was reverting back to my old ways. My stomach felt heavy and suddenly, everything I had ever hated about myself flashed past me: my inability to stand up for myself, the way I let people effect me, the fact that no matter what everything seemed to wind up wrong. My stomach was exploding in pain and all I could think of was the weeks of self-discipline that were now disintegrating right in front of my eyes.

Then, I had a thought so simple and fleeting that it almost flitted by. Almost. And suddenly, I was overcome with this feeling of pure desperation.

I needed to get it out of me.

So I walked to the bathroom, my stomach groaning in fullness, and I looked around for something—anything—to help me. That’s when I spotted it. My flowery purple toothbrush, sitting in its holder, staring me in the face.

Before I knew what I was doing, I was grabbing it, and suddenly I was hunched over the toilet bowl, tears streaming down my face, and everything was finally out of me. But then the self-loathing returned, my tears turned into full out sobs, and I didn’t stop until my father came home, hours later.

This day became the toothbrush incident: the day in my life I had never been more ashamed of myself, of everything I had ever done. It’s the day I still revisit whenever I’m feeling low, to remind myself just how far I could fall.

But sitting here, in the astronomy tower, I wasn’t sure which day was worse. Because right now, I was feeling the exact same. The self-loathing, the shame, it was all returning to me in one huge blast, and I couldn’t let it go.

I wasn’t sure how long I’d been here. It had to be a couple hours at the least. The sun had set long ago, and there was nothing but moonlight illuminating the room as I continued to fold into myself and let myself cry for the first time since before the summer started. I cried about my family, I cried about what had happened, I cried about myself, and the fact that I would never be able to find happiness without something awful happening to me in return.

My face was bent into my knees and I wished I could disappear. That the room could swallow me whole and suddenly I wouldn’t exist anymore. Just one pop, and I’d be gone.

However, as the muffled sound of my sobs continued to echo throughout the room, I heard another noise. One that sounded an awful lot like footsteps and I felt myself look up and there, coming through the door, was James Potter, some large and mangled piece of parchment in hand that he was now tucking into his pocket. He really knew how to get me at my worst.

He looked at me, sitting there with tears streaming down my face, my hair in a state of disarray, and his expression seemed to change into something inscrutable. We both stayed in the same spot for what felt like forever, the silence stretching out before us so taught and thin, that I knew it could break any second.

“Are you…” he started to ask, but then seemed to think better of it and rephrased his question. “How are you?”

How are you?


Moments started flickering through my head. All of them crashing against each other as I tried to focus on all of the thoughts at once. It was like a dusty old film, playing in one long and continuous loop: Madison and James always together, James constantly coming up and apologizing to me despite his friends hating me, the angered face of Madison as she watched me leave the library, the picture used in the Great Hall.

And then everything suddenly clicked. It was like somewhere inside my brain, a light bulb had flickered on, casting light on everything that had happened.

As soon as I made this realization, I suddenly felt icy hot anger rush through me, one that went deep into my core, and all of a sudden I was pissed. James had been the one to take the picture; he was the one who had given it to Madison. And most of all, he had been the one to hang the pictures up. Madison and Elise weren’t smart enough to use a charm that made it hard to take the pictures down, they had needed outside help, and James was probably one of the smartest people when it came to charms. Not to mention James and Madison were always together. Who else would’ve helped them?

I finally understood why he’d been trying to get on my good side. He’d been lulling me into a false sense of security, so that I wouldn’t see it coming. So I’d be hurt more than I could ever have expected. He hadn’t changed, no matter how fleeting a moment I thought he might’ve.

I wiped the tears off my face and stood up as tall as I could, my face conveying nothing but pure, unadulterated hate. “What the sodding hell, are you doing here?”

“Um,” James looked at me worriedly, “I was just trying to check up—”

“Check up?” I asked, laughing hysterically at this. “Just drop the act James. Stop pretending like this wasn’t all part of your goddamn plan.”

“Plan?” James asked, suddenly looking confused. Oh he was a good actor, someone ought to nominate him.

“Yes, James,” I stated darkly. “I’m not stupid! I know you helped Madison and Elise do this, they’re hardly smart enough to do this on their own.”

“But I—”

“SHUT UP!” I bellowed, not wanting to hear James say anymore. “Just shut up, James!”

James closed his mouth and looked at me, as if he was frightened I was about to go off the deep end and murder him. And I suddenly just felt so tired. All of the energy I had just had was sinking out of me fast, and all I wanted was to be alone.

“Leave me alone, please,” I said softly. “That’s all I’ve ever wanted from you and Freddy. All I ever wanted was to wake up one day and not hate myself. All I ever wanted was to not cry myself to sleep. All I ever wanted was for people to accept me and I finally had that. Why did you take it away from me?”

“I didn’t—”

“But you did,” I stated, tears forming in my eyes again and my voice growing thick, “you did.”

“Corinne, I’m sor—”

“Stop saying you’re sorry!” I interrupted my voice brinking on the edge of hysteria. “Sorry isn’t good enough and it never will be. Now leave me the fuck alone.”

And as he stood there, staring at me open-mouthed, I pushed past him and left the astronomy tower, not knowing where the hell to go.

*

In an unfortunate turn of events, Emeric Switch has managed to become a good friend of mine. It only seemed fitting, for me to totally jump to conclusions and hate him for creating a Transfiguration textbook, only to have that book be my escape from reality. Maybe this was karma for judging him so quickly.

“Corinne, don’t you just want to talk about it?” Wyatt asked, not being able to stand the silence any longer, and looking up from the essay he was writing.

“No.”

Talking about it would mean accepting it had happened, and I was fine with pretending none of it had. Maybe I could even trick myself enough to actually believe that it hadn’t happened.

Hey it was worth at shot, wasn’t it?

“Why not?”

“Because, I don’t.”

“Yes, but why?”

“Because I don’t.”

Why?”

“Wyatt,” I said seriously, looking up from my book and giving him an unwavering stare, “Stop.”

“It’s not just me that’s worried you know!” Wyatt exclaimed. “Dom, Chaise and Ty are all freaking out because they haven’t seen you since it happened!”

“It’s been one day.”

“Yes and now it’s halfway through lunch time and I’m hungry and we’re all worried about you and you need to talk about it,” Wyatt stated. He gave me a level stare as he said this, as if daring me to argue. 

I exhaled sharply as I thought over my response. After my argument with James, I had gone to the second floor bathroom, since I knew nobody ever went there because of Moaning Myrtle. I had locked myself into a stall and stayed there until the sky had changed from it’s inky black to streaky purples and withering pinks. Once I was sure breakfast was underway, I had walked through the deserted halls to the library, and sat at a table nobody ever went to because it was surrounded by bookcases.

However, Wyatt had managed to find me, I still wasn’t sure how, and he had yet to say anything to me up until this point. He had been sitting with me for the past hour while I refused to say anything, reading through page after page, his company being more than enough.

“Go to lunch then. Have fun and tell them all I’m fine and that they can quit worrying,” I responded, rolling my eyes.

“I’m not going if you’re not,” Wyatt stated simply, leaving no room for argument.

“Well then we’re not going. I refuse to ever set foot into the Great Hall again,” I declared, looking back down at my book, letting him know the situation was closed.

I heard Wyatt let out a sigh, as he looked back down at his essay. There were smudges of ink all over it, and his uneven scrawl was hardly legible, which meant he would have to re-write it once he finished. Oh the unfairness of it all.

“I’m sorry that they did that to you, Corinne,” Wyatt said softly. “I had no idea it was that bad.”

I looked up at Wyatt, the sincerity in his eyes overpowering every other emotion on the rest of his face. He didn’t think any less of me because of the picture; maybe it was stupid of me to assume he would.  I felt a lump in my throat, at the fact that he was being so incredibly sweet to me and tears prickled the back of my eyes. I didn’t deserve his kindness, I really, truly didn’t, but I got it anyway.

And that’s when the realization hit me. Maybe that was the point of having best friends. They were there to give you what you didn’t deserve. They weren’t supposed to put you up on a pedestal; they were supposed to be there, waiting to help you back up when you fell.

“Thank you,” I responded as my voice started to waver, trying to convey to Wyatt just how much his friendship meant. And as always, he just nodded his head, already knowing what I was trying to say.

*

“What’s this?” I asked, looking up at Roxanne Weasley, who was standing in front of me, fiddling with the ends of her hair, and biting her bottom lip.

“Well… um… I figured you were probably… hungry,” Roxy said, her voice tentative with a hint of worry, “You didn’t come during breakfast… or lunch.”

Wyatt, who was still sitting next to me in the library, grabbed the lunch bag of food out of her hand and started to rifle through it immediately. He pulled out a biscuit and bit a huge chunk out of it, chewing on it appreciatively.

“Thanks, Roxanne,” Wyatt said, shooting Roxy a smile that she returned timidly.

“It’s Roxy, I hate Roxanne,” she responded. She was still fiddling with her hair and looking at me with worry, as if wanting my approval.

I remained silent as I studied her, not quite sure what to think. Her raven colored hair was pulled into a loose side-braid, and her chocolate colored eyes were staring at me with concern. Why was she— the best friends of the two girls that hated me the most— helping me?

Wyatt, noticing that I had yet to say anything, shot me a look. “Yeah… Thanks, I suppose,” I said to Roxy.

I then looked back down at my Charms book, which I had pulled out after finishing my Transfiguration one. I began to scan the page, as I felt Roxy still standing there, her shadow casting itself over me and causing the words on the page to swim in front of me.

“Madison and Elise are cows,” Roxy said, after the silence had stretched out for far too long. “I didn’t know what they were doing, or I would’ve stopped them. I swear.”

I looked up at Roxy who had finally stopped fiddling with her hair and was staring at me with an unyielding gaze. There was something about the way her eyes looked at that moment that caused me to believe her. Call me crazy, but I just felt somewhere deep in my gut that she was telling the truth.

“I know,” I responded, because I guess I did know, deep down, that she wouldn’t have done this.

I expected Roxy to leave after this, to figure she had a deed well done, but she continued to stand there, as if waiting for something.

“Would you like to sit down?” Wyatt suggested, while I shot him a confused look. Since when had he become Mr. Friendship? I mean… I know I believed her, but we were hardly friends.

Roxy nodded her head eagerly as if this was what she had been waiting to hear all along, and sat down across from us. She reached into the bag of food she had brought for me and pulled out a cauldron cake, which made it clear that she hadn’t just taken food from the Great Hall. She had actually gone out of her way to put other food in it. But why? She began to unwrap the cauldron cake, the crackling of the wrapper causing me to cringe.

“They got two weeks worth of detention for it, you know,” Roxy explained, even though I hadn’t asked. I figured she was the type to volunteer more information than necessary when it came to awkward situations.

“How’d McGonagall know it was them?” Wyatt asked.

“Not sure,” Roxy replied, shrugging her shoulders, “Someone must’ve ratted them out.”

“I guess karma’s a bitch,” Wyatt stated simply.

“No, that’s Madison and Elise,” Roxy shot back, the corners of her mouth turning up slightly.

“Touché,” Wyatt responded a smile tugging at his lips. Then, he looked at me seeming to realize something, and passed the bag of food Roxy had brought over to me. “Take some.”

I sighed and reached my hand into the bag, pulling out a roll of pumpkin bread, which I began to eat slowly. Wyatt, seeming satisfied with this, turned back to Roxy who was still looking at me.

“I told them off for what they did,” Roxy said again, trying to make an effort to include me in the conversation. But the thing was, I didn’t want to be included. I didn’t feel like putting in the effort to act like I was fine, and everything would be okay. “And I—I told Madison I didn’t know if I could be friends with someone like that.”

After she said this, I found myself looking directly at Roxy. I took in the indignant look in her eyes, and the way her gaze seemed to be fixated on my reaction. And let’s just say my reaction was shock. Shock that Roxy had stood up for herself, and even more shock that she had stood up for me. “But she’s your best friend.”

Roxy’s face changed from one of indignation to one of sadness as I said this. Like there was something so delicate inside of her that was about to break.

“I know,” Roxy said, looking down at her hands, “But I don’t think I was ever really hers.”

*

When I woke up the next morning, I immediately knew there was something wrong. It just didn’t… feel right. You know what I mean? When you’re so used to waking up to something constant, and then all of a sudden it’s shifted.

I opened my eyes, and immediately knew what was wrong. There was sun, blazing hot and glaringly bright, coming in through the windows. I hadn’t seen the sun in what felt like weeks, with the whole overcast humidity and drizzles of rain becoming the norm that I had almost forgot it existed. Another out of the ordinary thing I noticed was that Dominique Weasley was standing above me in a ruffly blue polka dotted bikini, one hand on her hip while her other was holding a fluffy pillow.

“It’s time to get up Sleeping Beauty,” Dom announced, throwing the pillow on top of me with an amazing amount of force, causing me to let out a grunt and Milo, who was curled up next to me to meow, despite the fact he wasn’t actually hit. “It’s beautiful outside and you’re not wasting another second indoors.”

“Yes, I am,” I stated, my voice a bit muffled by the pillow.

“No,” Dom said powerfully, “You’re not.”

I looked at Dom, who had a glint of determination in her eye, her face seeming set in her decision. She then opened her mouth again. “I let you wallow all of yesterday with Wyatt, and I didn’t say anything when you snuck back into the dorm past curfew when you knew the trolls were fast asleep, so it’s time for you to get up and face your fears.”

“And how am I going to do that?” I asked curiously.

“By putting this on,” Dom said, shoving a red polka dotted bikini that matched hers, onto my bed, “and coming outside with me to tan. The weather hasn’t been this beautiful in forever, and we need to take advantage of it.”

“There’s no way I’m putting that on,” I said, looking at Dom in disbelief. I was publicly humiliated in front of the whole school for being fat, and her solution was to wear a bikini? Dom never ceased to surprise me with her gall.

“Oh but you are,” Dom stated, telling me I was not to argue. “Everyone else is outside waiting for us. The guys want to see you, they’re worried.”

“Dom,” I said slowly, “I really don’t feel like seeing anyone.”

“And I don’t care,” Dom said, sitting on my bed and locking her eyes with mine. “As your best friend, I refuse to let you become a hermit. It’s what they wanted to happen you know.”

I knew by ‘they’ she meant Madison and Elise. They had obviously humiliated me because they wanted to hurt me, to knock me down a peg and remind me of what I was. And by not doing anything, I was letting them win.

“I don’t know…” I said unsurely, as I broke my gaze with Dom and looked at my hands. “I’m not sure if I’m ready to face anyone.”

“Well you’re going to be ready in the next ten minutes,” Dom stated, standing up looking all business. “Because then I’m dragging you downstairs and we’re going to tan and have a swim in the Black Lake, while you show to the school you’re hot bod. No ifs, ands, or buts.”

I was never, at this moment, more thankful to have Dominique Weasley as my best friend.

“Okay,” I said after a long moment. Then, I picked up the red bikini and walked into the bathroom, letting the door close softly behind me. 

*

After the last wizarding war, when Hogwarts got completely trashed by Death Eaters, there were a lot of renovations that went on in order to fix up the school. Memorials were placed all around the grounds, the classrooms that had gotten demolished were rebuilt and re-decorated, the Forbidden Forrest had gotten fenced off. Everything had become more controlled, in order to make Hogwarts a safer environment.

During one of these renovations, the school board decided that the Black Lake was a hazard, with first years constantly falling into the lake and the Giant Squid threatening to eat them up, and so they put a lot of time and effort into fixing it up. The Ministry cleaned the lake, took all the sea creatures out of it and instead put them into a controlled habitat, and actually made the lake… swimmable. It was no longer black, and instead was a light blue color, but the name of it didn’t change. I guess it was used for too long to have people suddenly call it the Blue Lake.

So now, there Dom and I stood, each wearing a sheer white cover-up over our matching bikinis, and watching as the students of Hogwarts surrounded the lake, some swimming in it, some sunbathing, and some sitting under the large tree and watching everything unfold.

“I can’t believe the weather’s so nice today,” Dom stated, as we stood on the steps of the Hogwarts castle, taking in the scene. “I mean I know it’s called Sunday but who knew that it was called that because of the weather.”

I rolled my eyes at Dom’s lame excuse at a joke, which caused her to glare at me, pretending to be offended.

“Well the guys told me that they’d be on the left side of the lake,” Dom said grabbing my arm and starting to pull me across the schoolyard. “Let’s not make them wait any longer.”

As we walked towards the left side of the lake, I noticed the students of Hogwarts eyeing me. Their faces were curious, most of them probably wondering what I was doing out in public, after the huge spectacle on Friday. I didn’t meet any of their gazes however, and stared straight ahead, acting like I didn’t see the stares I was getting. I noticed a couple girls whisper to each other as I passed, and there were several points where I just wanted to turn around and go back inside, but Dom was gripping my arm tightly—probably because she suspected I would try to escape— and I had no choice but to follow her.

We arrived at the place the guys said they were going to be at and realized none of them were there. I scanned the groups of people and saw Tyson surrounded by a group of seventh year Hufflepuff girls, doing his typical flirt routine.

“There’s my girl,” Chaise said, making his appearance known as he walked up to Dom, slinging his arm around her shoulder. The two of them smiled at each other like grinning idiots, and I had that whole third-wheel feeling all of a sudden.

“And there’s my guy,” Dom said back to him, a flirty smile coming across her face. She threaded her hand through his, and they started to give each other loving stares.

“And what am I, chopped liver?” I asked, pretending to look offended.

“Definitely not,” a voice I recognized—Tyson’s— said, grabbing me around the waist and picking me up. I let out a small laugh as he set me down, and looked back to the group of Hufflepuffs he had been talking to, who were now shooting me the stink eye.

“Well at least someone appreciates me,” I stated jokingly, crossing my arms and giving Dom and Chaise an offended look.

“We all appreciate you!” Tyson said, looking at Dom and Chaise who nodded their heads profusely.

“Course we do,” Chaise started.

“You are the wind in my sails, the light during the dark, the magic in my wand,” Dom rambled dramatically.

Tyson and Chaise laughed while I just offered a weak smile. Tyson noticed this and decided now was the time to pull me aside, while Dom and Chaise continued being their couple selves.

“Co, are you okay?” Tyson asked looking at me worriedly. It was weird to see Tyson, the king of jokes, having a moment of sensitivity.

“Yes, I’m fine,” I snapped, even thought I wasn’t sure what I was. “Why does everyone keep asking me that?”

“Because we care about you,” Tyson said, looking taken aback at my tone. I found myself instantly feel bad for how I had acted and my voice softened.

“I know, Ty,” I said. “Sorry… I just… Want to forget it. You know?”

Tyson nodded his head as he said this, as if he understood perfectly and then he slung an arm around my shoulder. “And forget we will.”

“So you don’t hate me because of what happened?” I asked, voicing the worries I had felt ever since the pictures of my old self had been revealed.

“Those pictures mean nothing,” Tyson stated. “As hard as it might be to believe, you’re my best mate because of your personality, not your looks.”

“Aw, Ty. You aren’t as shallow as you seem,” I stated, ruffling Tyson’s hair and smiling at him. “Can’t say I’m not a little surprised.”

“Always have to ruin a beautiful moment with your insults, don’t you?”

“I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t,” I replied as we walked back and joined Dom and Chaise, who were now arguing over the merits of feta vs. gouda cheese. Yeah, I’m not sure how that topic came to be either.

“So, where’s Wyatt?” Dom asked, breaking away from her argument with Chaise.

“He’s talking to that cousin of yours… the one with the nice rack,” Tyson responded. I gave him a shove as he said this, to which he pretended to be pissed off at me.

“You need to not objectify women,” I said sternly.

“But they’re here for me to objectify,” Tyson said gesturing to all the random Hogwarts girls who were loitering around the lake in their bathing suits.

“Women are people you know. They don’t just want to be ogled—”

“Wait so which cousin of mine is he with?” Dom said, interrupting what would have been a long ramble of me telling Tyson that girls actually have feelings.

“I told you,” Tyson said looking annoyed. “Nice rack, dark hair, tan skin.”

“Roxy?” I suggested.

“Yes!” Tyson said snapping his fingers. “That was her name!”

Dom rolled her eyes at Tyson’s forgetfulness, while I scanned Hogwarts grounds and finally found them. They were sitting by the lake, Roxy dangling her feet into the water as she chattered a mile a minute, while Wyatt nodded his head seriously next to her.

“Oi now, take those froufee things off and let’s go into the lake,” Chaise said to Dom and me, gesturing to our cover-ups.

Dom and I rolled our eyes and flung off our cover-ups while the guys wolf whistled at us, causing a bunch of the Hogwarts students to look our way in curiosity.

Then, Tyson and Chaise ran back into the lake, gesturing for us to follow. Dom and I ran as fast as we could to catch up with them, and just as Tyson was about to hit the lake I jumped onto his back, causing us both to topple over into the water.

The water was a cool relief. Surrounding me and pulling me into my own sense of calm. I stayed underwater a bit longer than necessary as I let it seep into my skin, and then I pushed myself back up to the surface.

 “You’re—so—dead,” Tyson sputtered, once the both of us resurfaced, our hair slicked back from our faces.

“Oh really now?” I said starting to swim away from him. “I’d like to see you prove that.”

“You better swim fast,” Tyson shouted as I continued my escape from him, “because I am going to kill you.”

As he said this, I felt something bubble up inside of me, and I let the laugh I’d been holding out. It was like nothing had changed. Like the Great Hall debacle hadn’t happened at all. Tyson was still Tyson, Chaise was still Chaise, and Wyatt was still Wyatt.

They were still my mates. My best mates. And I guess I knew somewhere, deep down, that nothing could’ve really changed that.

So after our hands and feet had gotten particularly pruny and we had played Marco Polo enough times to be able to guess each other’s moves, we finally finished swimming. Over the past couple of hours Wyatt, Roxy, and some other people from Beauxbatons had joined us in our swimming, and I suddenly made another realization.

Friends weren’t something optional. They weren’t something you could just choose not to have. They were something much, much deeper. They were family. They were a shoulder to cry on. They were the confidence I found that I had lost. They were the ones to see you at your worst, the ones who knew your deepest darkest secrets, and even then they still stuck it out. But most of all, friends were the people who chose not to judge you, despite your flaws, and didn’t care what anyone else thought.


 






A/N: Alrighty my amazing readers, there you go, the followup chapter. I hope it didn't disappoint?

And I'll just say this here in case you have questions but Coco does NOT have an eating disorder. It just happened once when she was feeling very low. I've known since the first chapter that I would include it in the story (if you read the first paragraph of the first chapter you'll see the foreshadowing) and I thought now was the time to reveal the little secret of hers. I hope you guys don't hate the secret, but I felt it was a part of Coco's character that you all needed to know.

I'm sorry it took so long for me to get out this chapter. There's been a lot of stuff going on, with having to evacuate my house from Hurricaine Irene and one of my family members dying, so things have been a bit difficult... But I'm managing.

Anyways, onto my ramble of questions: What do you think about Coco's talk with James? Do you think James helped M&E? What about Coco and Wyatt's talk? What about ROXY? Do you love her, or do you love her? And the guys reactions, where they what you thought?

Alright that's all I have to ask, please review if you'd like and let me know what you think. Hopefully you guys liked the chapter? And speaking of review, may I just say I was overwhelmed by the lovely response I got from the last chapter? You're all amazing, I gotta say.

Thank you all for being such wonderful readers, honestly I don't know if I'd be this far without you guys.

-Rebecca

 

 


Chapter 16: Been a Long Time Since I Came Around
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Disclaimer: JKR= not me. Chapter title and summary come from the song You and I by Lady Gaga.









“Would you still be my friend if I died my hair black?” Dom asked, twirling a lock of her silver hair around her finger, and looking at me questioningly.

“I think it would be a loss of beautiful hair, but yeah I’d still be friends with you,” I responded, looking down at my freshly painted lilac nails. I noticed a chip on the nail of my pointer finger, and felt myself frown. There was nothing more annoying than having your nails ruined mere hours after you painted them. “Would you still talk to me if I had no hair?” I asked Dom.

Dom and I always seemed to fall back onto this game. Whenever we were presented with a boring situation, we always would ask each other ‘would you still be friends with me if…’ questions. It gave us something to do and was also amusing, depending on what we came up with.

“Of course,” Dom answered easily, “hair is not a necessity, merely a decoration... How about if I was blind?”

I put my hand on my chin, pretending to be deep in thought over Dom’s question.

“I could look like shit around you,” I stated after a long pause, “so yeah... But I’m not sure if I’d be able to deal with your Seeing Eye dog. I hate dogs.”

“I could get a seeing eye niffler,” Dom suggested. “They’re so cute!”

“Eh, I guess,” I said shrugging my shoulders, “But I couldn’t wear anything shiny because they’d attack me.”

“So then does that mean you wouldn’t be my friend?” Dom asked, narrowing her eyes.

“Maybe,” I responded, knowing I’d get a rise out of her. Dom let out a huff as expected and crossed her arms.

Instead of telling Dom I didn’t mean it (which I knew she knew) I stared at the door of the classroom, waiting for the professor to enter. We were in the Charms classroom on our last class Monday morning before lunch, and Professor Flitwick had yet to arrive. He was notoriously late to his classes, because he had to teach another class on the opposite side of the castle, so it always took him forever to hurry his way to our room. Not that anyone in the class actually minded.

“Alright, I have another one!” Dom said excitedly, her previous huff evaporated. “Would you still be friends with me if I was obliviated and couldn’t remember anything?”

I thought about it for a nanosecond before replying. “Nope.”

“Harsh,” Dom said, pretending to act offended.

“Well…” I started, trying to put my reasoning into words, “you wouldn’t be you anymore, you know? And it’d just be depressing to hang out with you and know you didn’t remember anything about our friendship. Hell, maybe you would hate me in your obliviated state.”

“I would never hate you,” Dom stated matter-of-factly.

“You can’t guarantee that.”

A giggle erupted in the back of the classroom and I felt the back of my palms itch. So, as Dom continued to try and prove that she wouldn’t in fact hate me, I found my gaze trailing over to the table that I had been avoiding all class. There, Madison and Elise were sitting side-by-side, laughing and whispering to each other without a care in the world. As if they hadn’t single-handedly crushed me just a few days ago. It seemed so odd to me that they could be so unaffected by what they had done.

“Corinne,” Dom said, snapping me back to reality and causing me to look at her. She seemed to have figured out who I was looking at, and I noticed a crease pinch at her forehead.

She had been coddling me more than usual since the Great Hall incident. I hadn’t been able to go anywhere without her constantly tagging along, making sure I was fine, and if anything about the Great Hall was mentioned, I would notice her tense and glare at whoever brought it up. It was almost as if she was more angered by it than I was. Not that I wasn’t angered. I was far from okay with it. I had just learned to accept… somehow… that things would never change. People would never change.

I found my thoughts starting to drift to James, and what I had thought might’ve been the slightest bit of change (not that it mattered if he had) and I instantly shook my head, clearing it. I refused to think about him, because when I did all I felt was rage at him and his friends and everything they had done that affected me even to this day. They were arseholes and they always would be.

“Corinne,” Dom snapped.

“Yeah?” I asked Dom, blinking a couple of times and finally registering that she was waiting for a response.

“I asked,” Dom said looking at me a bit annoyed that she had to repeat herself, “if you think we should like…. Ask her to sit with us.”

I looked to whom Dom was referring to and my gaze came upon Roxy, who was walking into the room late, her cheeks flushed from what I assumed was her running to make it here before Professor Flitwick. She was looking around the room, obviously searching for a seat, and I saw her gaze flicker over Madison for the briefest of moments, with hurt reflected in her eyes.

This whole school day had been full of new adjustments, but not just for me. I had noticed this whole day, that Roxy was being intentionally shunned by Madison and Elise. While they still made snide comments under their breath about me, I noticed they were also doing the same to Roxy. And since Roxy had been associated with Madison for so long, nobody else was reaching a hand out because they thought her to be just like Madison. I had seen enough people shove past Roxy in the hallway to understand that her association with Madison had made people hate her.

“I don’t know…” I said, as Roxy’s gaze trailed across Madison and Elise again, who sent her matching smirks. “I mean it was nice what she did and all… But wouldn’t it be weird? We’re not even friends.”

“It was just a suggestion,” Dom responded, shrugging her shoulders as if it was no big deal. “I just thought I’d ask.”

I kept my eyes trained on Roxy, as she finally made her way over to a table at the front of the room that nobody else was sitting at. A couple of people snickered at her, and some people even glared at her. There was something inside of me that felt incredibly guilty as I watched the scene, but I decided to shake it away. Roxy was fine. Who knew if she would’ve even wanted to sit with me. I mean, I was the reason she no longer had friends. Wasn’t I?

“Alright class!” Professor Flitwick announced, strolling through the room and climbing onto the stack of books that was a permanent fixture in the front of the room. “I’m sorry I’m late. Let’s not dilly dally any longer so I can teach you all about memory charms!”

Everyone in class seemed to sigh at the fact that we were, in fact, going to learn, but I didn’t have the energy to join in and instead was zoning out as I scanned the room again. Someone was missing….

“Hey, Dom,” I whispered, causing her ears to perk up as she looked at me. “Where’s—”

The door to the Charms room burst open, causing a lot of people in the classroom to look away from Professor Flitwick and instead at the student who had managed to be even later than the professor.

“Sorry I’m late, Professor,” Wyatt stated, looking a bit flustered as he entered the room. “I was held up in Arithmancy I have a note here from the professor…”

“Oh that is quite alright Mr. Bergeron,” Professor Flitwick said, beaming at him. Wyatt had managed to become one of his favorites, by reasons unbeknownst to me. “Just take a seat.”

Wyatt scanned his eyes around the room for a split second and then he began to walk towards the front row right towards the empty table Roxy was sitting at. He stood in front of the vacant seat next to her, while Roxy looked up at him in shock.

He said something to her, to which she nodded her head slowly, and then he took the seat next to her, causing a bunch of onlookers to break out into whispers. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the smirks on Madison and Elise’s faces were wiped off.

“Hm…” Dom said to me, seeming just as confused as I was. “That’s weird.”

“Yeah,” I echoed, as I watched Wyatt start to pull out his notes, acting as if sitting by Roxy was nothing out of the ordinary. “Weird.”

*

“You know,” Tyson started, sitting across from me as I now sat in my usual seat at the library, “you’re going to have to go back into the Great Hall eventually.”

“I know that,” I said as I scanned over my Potions textbook, reading over what Professor Cosgrove had taught us the previous class. “I just have a lot of homework to catch up on. Besides. It’s a lot quieter in here.”

“Mhmm…” Tyson said, giving me a disbelieving look. I chose to ignore it, and instead grabbed the apple Tyson had brought for me, taking a bite out of it.

It was now dinnertime, and I still had yet to set foot into the Great Hall. It wasn’t that I was scared of going in there, because I wasn’t. I mean I wasn’t afraid of entering and seeing a million embarrassing pictures of my old self taunting me, because that had already happened. It was just…. The thought of the whole school shoved into one room, all of them looking and staring at me, wondering what I was going to do next, waiting for me to break down… It made my skin crawl.

“So,” I started, keeping my eyes fixed on Tyson, “Did I tell you that Wyatt sat next to Roxy in class today?”

I searched his face for some reaction, because I knew if Wyatt had said anything about Roxy, it would be to Tyson. Tyson’s face, however, remained impassive and he shrugged his shoulders.

“I think he sat by her, because they’re friends,” Tyson responded, not giving anything away.

“Since when?” I asked.

“I dunno. They have a lot of classes together. He mentioned to me that they worked with each other on an Ancient Runes project.”

“Hm,” I said, acting as if I wasn’t interested. “So do you think he like… likes her?”

Tyson opened his mouth looking as if he was about to go into a very long explanation when—

“I hate him!” Dom exclaimed in anger, pulling a chair out from the table Tyson and I were sitting at and plopping down onto it loudly.

Tyson and I exchanged a look, before I turned back to Dom and decided to bite the bullet. “Hate who, Dom?” I asked tentatively.

“Chaise!” Dom responded. “He’s such a prick!”

I found myself furrow my eyebrows in confusion as I opened my mouth up again. “What do you mean?”

 “I mean that he’s acting like Quidditch is more important than I am!” Dom exclaimed, raising her hands up in the air to solidify her point.

“I’m sure he’s not Dom,” I reasoned, looking at Tyson for some support. He just shrugged his shoulders, as if saying he wanted nothing to do with the conversation and looked back down at his Potions book.

Tosser.

“But he is!” Dom shot back. “He practices every day. Like nonstop. And when practice ends, he practices on the pitch alone! I barely see him anymore because they have that stupid game with Slytherin next month, and he keeps saying he needs to ‘prove his worth’ on the team. What about proving his worth to me?”

“Well,” Tyson said, finally joining the conversation. “I did hear that Slytherin has a new team member. He’s supposed to be the best beater in the world. And he’s insanely hot too.”

“Shut up, Tyson,” I said, shooting him my best ‘you’re not helping’ look. I then looked back at Dom, who was glaring at Tyson. “Dom, he’s just trying to do his best to win the Quidditch game. Maybe cut him a bit of slack, yeah?”

Dom seemed to think over what I had said. “Maybe…” she said, as if deep in thought. “Although I don’t understand why you’re so okay with this. He keeps going on and on about how amazing his team is, and how ‘amazing’ at leading the captain is.”

I felt myself tense at Dom mentioning this. Chaise was actually becoming friends with the people who had hurt me so badly? He was actually praising James’s captaining skills? Did he not realize what they had done to me?

What?” I asked Dom, my voice immediately taking a bitter tone.

“I know!” Dom said, eager to have me on her side. “He’s fraternizing with my idiots of cousins, and not only that but he’s acting like they’re his…. Friends.”

“Hey, hey,” Tyson said, seeming to want to diffuse the situation. “Let’s not throw around words when we don’t actually know anything for certain. I don’t think he’s friends with any of them. Just Quidditch mates. There’s a difference.”

“There most certainly is not,” I responded. “If he’s socializing with people that made my life hell, then that’s all that counts.”

“He’s not socializing with them,” Tyson said firmly. “I swear I’d tell you if he was. He’s just trying to get along with his team so that they win the next match.”

Dom and I looked at each other, wondering if we should believe what Tyson was saying. Tyson seemed to be sincere, so I let out a sigh.

“Fine,” I stated. “I’ll let it go.”

“Me too,” Dom said, albeit a bit reluctantly.

“Good,” Tyson said, clapping his hands together as if a problem was solved.

Dom looked as if she was about to say something, but before the words came out a clearing of the throat stopped her. We all whipped our heads around to where the noise was coming from, and I noticed what looked to be a first year, staring at us with a very timid expression on her face.

“Um… C-Corinne Beaumont?” The first year stuttered, looking up at me with wide green eyes.

“Yeah?” I asked.

“H-Headmistress McGonagall wants to see you in her office. She told me to give you this, it’s the password to her office.” With that, the first year girl handed me a slip of parchment, and then scurried off.

There was a short silence and then—

“Why does Headmistress McGonagall want to see you?” Dom asked, staring at the spot the first year had once been standing in, curiously.

“Not sure,” I responded, getting up from my seat at the table and slinging my purse over my shoulder. “Guess I’ve got to go figure it out. I’ll see you guys later, yeah?”

“Course,” Tyson said easily. “Have fun.”

Fun? Visiting the office of the Headmistress, who had already made it very clear she did not like me, was not my idea of fun. Tyson really needed to get his head checked.

“Oh yeah, it’ll be a blast,” I responded sarcastically before turning on my heel and leaving the library.

*

Headmistress McGonagall sat in her office chair, looking at me with a flat expression. Her bun was pulled especially tight to the back of her head, and her black robes looked as if they had just been ironed, while her eyes did not move. Instead of returning her gaze, however, I found myself concentrating on counting all the wrinkles that had formed around her eyes. Her eyes that were continuing to stare at me as if I was a very confusing puzzle.

I wasn’t sure why, but something told me that this couldn’t be good.

“So,” Headmistress McGonagall began, keeping her gaze trained on mine, while I fidgeted in my seat, “I have asked you here so that we can talk.”

“Talk?” I asked, suddenly very confused.

“Yes, talk,” McGonagall repeated, before opening one of the drawers in her desk and pulling out a round tin. She opened the lid of it and then got up and walked over to where I was sitting. “Would you like a biscuit?”

“A… biscuit?” I asked, looking down in the tin at the rows of biscuits all lined up next to each other, the white doilies holding each one separately.

“Take one,” McGonagall said, sensing my trepidation. “They’re rather good if I do say so myself.”

I found myself completely gob smacked at the curious way in which the Headmistress was acting, so I took the biscuit, not really realizing what I was doing. I noticed she was still staring at the biscuit in my hand, so I took a bite of it, which satisfied her.

“So,” McGonagall said after a long moment that was filled by my chewing. “How are your classes so far? Do you like them?”

“Uh… Yeah. They’re pretty good,” I answered, not knowing what else to say. I couldn’t very well complain about them, now could I? I mean she was the Headmistress.

“That’s good,” McGonagall said, nodding her head. She then looked at me, seeming to take in my very confused expression and sighed. “Okay, I guess I should tell you why you’re here.”

“Um, yeah.”

“Well,” McGonagall started. “I’m sure you’re…uh… aware of the spectacle that was put on in the Great Hall on Friday.”

I found myself not knowing how to respond to this, so instead I remained silent.

“And,” McGonagall continued, sensing my discomfort. “I wanted to formally apologize to you for it happening at all. We have punished the people responsible for it, and are sure that they will never do anything of the sort again.”

“Okay,” I said.

“And, it is my duty to ask you if…” McGonagall inhaled a sharp breath. “If anything of the sort has happened to you before.”

There it was. The question that I suddenly knew she had been intent on asking me ever since I entered her office. I noticed her study me closely for a reaction, as I thought over my answer.

I knew the answer. I knew that everything of the sort had happened to me before. Picking on me had been a sport for the Gryffindors in my year. But did I want to tell McGonagall? Would telling her even make a difference?

“Um…” I said, if only to buy more time. It was odd to me that now I was presented with the chance to tell someone, who wanted to know, everything that I had gone through, I suddenly didn’t want to. “I don’t…”

“You don’t what?” McGonagall asked, peering at me very interestedly. I found myself wondering if she actually wanted to know because she cared, or because it was her duty to.

 “I mean,” I started, my eyes meeting the headmistress’s. “No.”

“No?” Headmistress McGonagall asked, shock evident in her tone.

“No,” I repeated firmly. Telling McGonagall would hardly make a difference, it had happened so long ago, for any of it to really matter now. I was the only one that still clung to the past, and I didn’t need everyone else to as well.

“Well,” McGonagall said, straightening up, “if you think of anything, you know you can tell me. My office is always open.”

I found myself inwardly rolling my eyes. Headmistress McGonagall hated me. She was only saying these things out of obligation. I hardly doubt me telling her anything would make a difference.

“Okay,” I said. “Can I leave now?”

“Uh-Yes. Of course,” Headmistress McGonagall said looking a bit taken aback, and then gesturing to the door. “Just remember what I said, okay?”

“Alright,” I responded, getting up from my seat and walking out of the McGonagall’s office. Once I closed the door behind me, I found myself let out a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding and leant my head against one of the walls.

I had thought for a long time that if only the teachers had taken charge and asked me about the bullying, that maybe everything would’ve gotten better. I wouldn’t have been picked on, if only for fear of getting in trouble with the school. People would’ve eventually learned to accept me, and one day I could’ve been happy at Hogwarts. But that wasn’t the case.

It wasn’t the teachers that were at fault. It was me. I had countless opportunities to let them know what was happening, to give them the chance to put a stop to it. But I didn’t. I was too afraid of shedding light on it all and letting them know what had happened, if only because it would make it all true.

*

“Do my eyes deceive me?” I heard a voice ask, as I walked down one of the hallways, on my way back to the library. “Or am I actually seeing the elusive Corinne for the first time in forever?”

I turned around at the mention of this, and came across the grinning face of Scorpius with an ever disgruntled looking Al in tow. A smile tugged at the corner of my lips as I saw them.

“It’s her, mate,” Al said, looking a bit put off by Scorpius’s dramatics.

“I think it is her,” Scorpius continued as if Al had not said anything, a joking tone in his voice, “But I can’t be sure. It might be an optical illusion.”

Al rolled his eyes at Scorpius as he walked over and pretended to examine me as if I might not be real.

“Oi! It is me,” I exclaimed, pushing Scorpius away from me as he continued to wave his hand in front of my face while his other poked my arm.

“Ow!” Scorpius exclaimed, pretending to be physically hurt by my shove. “I haven’t seen you in Merlin knows how long, and this is my hello?”

“Scorpius, you haven’t seen her for three days,” Al stated. I began walking away from the Headmistress’s office to the library, and Al and Scorp fell into step with me. The halls were empty, since most people were either at dinner or back in their common rooms, so our conversation echoed around us.

“Forever I’d say!” Scorpius exclaimed putting his arm around me as we walked. He then switched his tone to a more serious note. “So. Explain to me where you’ve been.”

“Um… ” I looked at Al uncomfortably and wondered if he, in any way, knew about the conversations I had had with James. I couldn’t quite tell, because the expression on his face remained inscrutable. Damn him for always being so hard to read. “Well I mean… After Friday I kind of… stopped going to the Great Hall.”

“Stopped?” Scorpius asked, looking confused.

“Yeah,” I responded, my voice a bit more strong. “Can you blame me though?”

“Yes,” Al responded looking at me with a bit of… disappointment. Scorpius nodded his head eagerly as if to agree.

“What? Why?” I asked, suddenly very confused.

“You’re ignoring us! We’re in different houses, and we’re in different years. Meal times are the only times we get to see each other!” Scorpius exclaimed.

My walking slowed as Scorpius said this, and I suddenly felt insanely guilty. He thought I was ignoring him? That I didn’t want to see them anymore? How did everything get so skewed? If anything, I expected it to be the opposite way around.

“I think,” Al started, ever the serious expression on his face, “that avoiding the Great Hall is not a way to avoid your problems. They still exist, whether or not you’re there.”

We all came to a complete stop as Al said this, which just so happened to be in front of the entrance hall. I studied Al, who still had an unreadable expression on his face.

“In more understandable and non-cryptic terms,” Scorpius said, “we both miss your company.”

I found myself feeling a bit surprised. I hadn’t expected them to really care whether or not I sat at the table. Especially Al, considering his family and everything. I looked at Al with an arched eyebrow, and he just shrugged, which I had learned previously was his mysterious way of agreeing with Scorp.

“Aw you guys,” I exclaimed, suddenly so overcome with flattery. I flung my arms around the both of them. “You’re the best.”

“We know we are,” Scorpius shot back, causing me to laugh.

I heard the noise of the doors of the Entrance Hall opening, just as I was beginning to pull out of our group hug and once I trained my eyes on who was entering the fuzzy feeling in my stomach evaporated. Instead, it was replaced with the feeling of being slapped in the face.

James, Oliver, Aidan, and Chaise were in mid-laugh, joking around as if they were the best of friends. They were all still in their Quidditch robes, so I assumed they had just finished practice, but I didn’t really take that in and was instead starting at Chaise and James who were looking particularly chummy.

Dom was right. Chaise was befriending them. I mean, I understand if he was polite to them because they are on the same Quidditch team, but actually, seriously befriending them? Was he fucking kidding? After everything they had done to me? I felt my hands clench and my teeth were definitely gritted, as I kept my gaze trained on Chaise.

Chaise’s eyes suddenly locked with mine, and his expression of laughter seemed to freeze, before switching to a deer-in-the-headlights expression. The guys around him noticed and turned to look at me. I was pretty sure it was evident how royally pissed I was.

I felt someone take hold of my arm and I looked at Scorpius, who seemed to be trying to silently convey something to me, but I shook him off and felt my eyes switch to Janes for the briefest of moments. He was lazily flicking his eyes over Scorpius, and them seemed a bit surprised as his gaze landed on Al. Al suddenly looked very, very uncomfortable.

“Hey, Coco,” Chaise said slowly, lifting his hand up into a small wave, while the others looked on in interest. I noticed James now seemed to be looking directly at me, wondering how exactly this exchange was going to go, the corners of his mouth turned up just the tiniest bit. As if everything was playing out just the way he wanted. I felt my anger flare.

Coco.

Chaise was using my nickname, acting like it was all okay. As if everything was fine. As if he wasn’t stabbing me in the back. He knew how badly they had all hurt me. He knew how they’d affected me. He just… He just knew goddamnit.  I mean he was acting like he was friends with James! James who had been at the center of every bad thing in my life, and who had most certainly had a hand in the Great Hall debacle.

And I just couldn’t. I couldn’t respond to Chaise and pretend it was all fine, and that he could be friends with them. Maybe people would see this as me being too controlling, but you know what? Call me a Gryffindor, because I saw it is a loyalty thing. Chaise’s loyalty most definitely didn’t lie with me, and that was that.

So instead of responding, I sent him a look of pure disgust and stomped off, the sound of my heels the only noise as I turned a corner and disappeared.

I was wrong. I had thought all of my friends accepted me after the whole Great Hall issue. I thought none of them saw me differently, but I had seemed to overlook Chaise. He obviously didn’t want to be mates with me anymore and I felt something tug at my heart at this realization. He was one of my best mates. Why didn’t he care?

I let out a huff of indignation and then kicked one of the walls in the vacant hallway I was now in.  One of the portraits started to complain about the fact that I had almost hit him, but I didn’t care. I was losing one of my best friends, and I didn’t have time to care about this stupid painting. There were more important things. More important people.

And for Chaise, I was not one of them.
 









A/N: Here you are my lovely readers! Chapter 16!

So I'm rewriting this author's note for the second time, because the first time I went to post this chapter I accidentally clicked 'switch to the simple editor' and lost all of the things I edited, which really annoyed me. But now I'm calmer and I'm going to retype this and try and remember what I had said before as best I could.

So anyways, I really don't like this chapter, and I've been dwelling on it the past couple of days, trying to decide what I can do to save it. But, I decided to just post it and get it over with, and hope that the next chapter I write turns out better.

Regardless, I still hope you guys likes this chapter :)

So onto my ramble of questions: What do you think about Wyatt sitting by Roxy? What about Coco refusing to sit in the Great Hall? How about her chat with McGonagall? OR what about Chaise?! Did Corinne overreact?

Also a reminder, please keep your reviews 12+ (which means no cursing) or else the review you left me will get deleted! I've been losing several of my reviews because of it, and I just wanted to remind you again, because it makes me sad when I lose a review.


Anyways, please review and let me know what you think. Your lovely support really means SO much to me, and I don't think I'd be as far into this story as I am without you. So THANK YOU for being amazing readers.

-Rebecca


Chapter 17: Now This Looks Like a Job for Me
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Disclaimer: It's all JKR's. Chapter title and summary come from the song Without me by Eminem. It's old but oh so good. 





 





 

“See!” Dom exclaimed, as if a point was proven, which –in her case- it was. “I told you that this Quidditch thing was bad for Chaise! I told you he was becoming friends with them all. But no. You go and believe Ty. Over me.”

“It wasn’t like that and you know it, Dom,” I responded, shifting the weight of the books I was holding from one hip to another. My tone softened as I continued. “I just… I can’t believe that he’s actually friends with them.”

“I can,” Dom said, her annoyance evident. “He’s been totally different ever since he made the Quidditch team; it’s ridiculous! Some Ravenclaw chick told me yesterday that him and James were sitting with each other during lunch.”

“What?” I asked, a bit shocked. “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure,” Dom huffed. “And I’m going to need to have a talk with him when I see him.”

“But, Dom… the next time you’ll see him is in Potions,” I pointed out, which was where we were headed to now.

“I know,” Dom said, not seeming to understand what I was trying to convey.

“Well… don’t you think that conversation should happen somewhere that’s not… like in a classroom full of people?” I asked.

“Why?” Dom asked. “You think the conversation’ll go badly?”

“No…” I responded, trailing off. “I just think…”

“Relax, Corinne,” Dom said, stopping our trek to the Potions room and putting both of her hands on either of my shoulders. I fought back the strong urge to tell her I wasn’t the one that needed to relax. “I’m just going to talk to him about it calmly, like the mature adult I am. Okay?”

“Okay, Dom…” I said a bit unsurely.

“Just trust me, alright?” Dom said, sensing my trepidation.

“Alright, I will,” I said with more conviction.

“Good.”

*

“Why does Dom look like she’s a woman on a mission?” Tyson asked me interestedly as I took my seat next to him in Potions. I looked at Dom, who had a set expression on her face as she marched to her seat by Chaise, and shrugged.

“She’s getting ready to have a confrontation with Chaise,” I responded, rolling my eyes.

“I see,” Tyson said, although I could tell he was confused. “And why is she getting ready to have a confrontation with Chaise?”

“Oh… you know,” I responded shrugging my shoulders as if it was no big deal, “we just found out he was a total Peter Pettigrew and betrayed us, so she wants to fix it.”

I began to set up my cauldron, acting as if the previous words I said didn’t matter and instead focused on correctly brewing a Sleeping Draught. I turned the flame beneath the cauldron to the exact level it was supposed to be, before going back to the potions cupboard to get the ingredients I’d need. Tyson stared at me in shock, while I pretended not to notice.

“Can you maybe explain?” Tyson asked as soon as I returned to the table.

“Peter Pettigrew… You know, the guy who betrayed his best friend in order to help Voldemort,” I responded in a ‘duh’ tone of voice.

“I know who Peter Pettigrew is!” Tyson responded, seeming a bit annoyed. “What I want to know is how Chaise betrayed you.”

I let out a sigh before stopping my organization of the ingredients we’d be using, and instead looked at Tyson. “Okay, fine. I’ll tell you.”

“Good.”

“So,” I started, “I was walking back from my meeting with Professor McGonagall yesterday—”

“Oh yeah! How’d that go by the way? You never told me what it was about—”

“It went fine,” I said giving Tyson a pointed look for interrupting me. “She just had a question for me. It was no biggie. But anyways, when I was walking back from her room with Scorp and Al—”

“You were with Scorpius and Al?”

I gave Tyson another annoyed look and let out a huff. “Do you want to hear, or not?”

“Fine, I want to hear.”

“Okay then let me speak.” Tyson closed his mouth as I said this,  waiting for me to continue. “So anyways, when I was walking back, get this: we bumped into Chaise and the rest of the Gryffindor Qudditch team being all chummy-chummy with each other even though Chaise knows how much I hate them. And worse, he was laughing with James, acting like he was his best friend!”

I waited a long moment for Tyson to respond with ‘I can’t believe him!’ or a ‘How could he?’ but I was met with silence. Not exactly the reaction I was hoping for.

“So… You’re mad at him for hanging out with his Quidditch mates?” Tyson asked.

“You know that’s not it, Ty,” I responded, letting out a sigh at the fact that he was missing the point. “If it was anyone else, I wouldn’t mind. But it’s not. It’s James.”

“But…” Tyson said as he looked to be trying to put the correct words together while he thought. “James did those things to you when he was twelve. Don’t you think that time has you know… humbled him somewhat?”

“Not at all,” I responded sharply, immediately on the defensive. Why was Tyson even trying to help James out? “I know he was the one behind the…you know... Great Hall thing.”

“Really?” Tyson asked, seeming very confused all of a sudden. “How do you know?”

I told him my theories. How James had been talking to me more than usual the week it happened, how he was friends with the two girls who had already been caught for being a part of it, how he had been the one responsible for the picture existing in the first place. When I was done talking I felt like I had been talking for hours, and I let out a deep breath.

“You do realize,” Tyson said delicately, “that your reasoning for James being behind the Great Hall thing is circumstantial at best. Right?”

“No it’s not!” I responded, immediately on the defensive. “I know he did it! How else would Madison and Elise have gotten everything done?”

“They could’ve just done it themselves,” Tyson reasoned. “It seems to me that you’re trying too hard to come up with a reason to still hate James.”

“He’s an arsehole that is out to get me by hurting me the best way he knows how! How is that not a reason to hate him?” I asked, an edge entering my voice.

“I think,” Tyson began, looking as if he wasn’t sure how I’d react. “And don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to justify what he did when he was younger. But, I think that your reasoning for hating him now is a bit… selfish.”

Selfish?” I asked Tyson, my voice immediately taking an acid tone at his words. Tyson thought that I had no right to hate James? That my reasoning for hating him was selfish? Did he not understand what I had had to deal with, all the self-hate that I had undergone?

Tyson immediately looked affronted at my tone of voice, and he continued to press his case, “I mean, you’re jumping to conclusions about whether or not James was even involved in the Great Hall incident. And from what you’ve told me, all he’d been doing was trying to apologize to you. Why can’t you just forgive him?”

“Forgive him?” I asked, my voice laced with bitterness. “You think that after everything he put me through, I can pretend it’s okay? How can you even say that?”

“Corinne, don’t be dramatic. I’m just trying to be honest here! You’re totally overreacting,” Tyson responded, his voice changing its tone.

“Wow,” I responded coldly, completely shocked and angered at his words. “Tell me how you really feel.”

“This is exactly what I’m talking about! Why can’t you just take my advice instead of making it some personal attack?” Tyson responded, his anger flaring. “I’m just trying to help you! I mean, do you realize how crazy you sound? You and Dom are mad at Chaise, for becoming friends with someone who picked on you when you were twelve. News flash: Everyone get’s picked on.”

At Tyson’s words, I felt like I was being belittled. Like everything that had been done to me was something that didn’t matter, because of the amount of time spread between it. But things weren’t that black and white. There were so many smudges and marred up shadows in between that made forgiveness not an option.

“Don’t you dare, act like Chaise being friends with them is okay,” I hissed, anger pumping through my veins. “I may have been twelve when it happened, but that doesn’t make it any less serious.”

Tyson rolled his eyes. “Chaise has the right to be friends with whoever the hell he wants. Stop trying to control him and stop trying to control me. I can think whatever I want. And I think that you are being selfish and are holding way too many grudges at undeserving people.”

I pressed my lips together, feeling involuntary tears prickle the back of my eyes at the severity of Tyson’s words, and instead scanned my eyes over to where Chaise and Dom were sitting. Dom’s eyes were narrowed at Chaise, and her face was flushed in anger. I guess that conversation wasn’t going well. Neither was this one for that matter.

“Well,” I said after a long pause, my voice shaking a bit as I spoke, “if you think I’m so selfish, why are we even friends?”

“Come on, Corinne,” Tyson responded, his face even more annoyed. “Why do you have to make this into a big deal?”

“Because you don’t understand,” I responded. “You don’t know how hurt I was by everything! You don’t know how many years I hated myself! You’re supposed to be my friend.”

“I’ve been trying to be!” Tyson argued. “But ever since we got here all you’ve been doing is complaining about how awful your life is. You’re not you anymore. You used to make the best out of every situation, and now all you do is bitch and moan and give up at the first sign of trouble! How long has it been since you’ve been in the Great Hall?”

“That’s not the point,” I said, my voice gaining a bit of strength at Tyson’s response. “It’s about the people who did it, and the fact that Chaise is friends with—

“You don’t know James did it!” Tyson responded, cutting me off. “You’re so self-absorbed in thinking that everyone’s out to get you, that your blaming people for no reason!”

I felt like I was under an attack. This was one of my best mates, who was picking apart all of my flaws, in order to defend one of the people that had hurt me in the first place. It was like he was choosing James, over me, and he didn’t even know James. And suddenly, I was furious.

“Shut up,” I responded, my voice deadly. “You may be able to act like everything’s all fine now, because you didn’t have to go through it, but that gives you no right to pick me apart for my reactions. And as for being selfish? You’re one to talk. You’re the most selfish bastard I’ve ever met.”

Tyson looked shocked at my outburst. As if I had just punched him in the gut (which I was seriously contemplating doing). But at the same time, there was some very small part of me that felt awful. I had never said anything like that to Tyson before.

“Whatever, Corinne,” Tyson responded, his gaze turning steely and determined. “You can think whatever you want. I’m sick of having to baby you and act like everything that happened to you so long ago is this big deal when it’s not. Everyone besides you is ready to get over it, so maybe you should give it a goddamn try.”

There was a long silence after that where neither of us spoke. I couldn’t even look at him I was so enraged by his words. Angry thoughts flooded through my head and all I wanted to do was—

“YOU’RE THE BIGGEST GIT ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH! I CAN’T BELIEVE I WASTED MY TIME ON YOU! WE’RE OVER,” Dom shouted, causing the attention of the entire class to stop brewing their potions, and instead snap their attention over to her and Chaise. Professor Cosgrove looked up from grading his papers, a deer in the headlights expression now plastered across his face as he watched Dominique.

FINE, you controlling bint! Good luck finding someone who’ll put up with you,” Chaise shot back, his tone acrid.

Dom let out a noise of anger as she picked up the cauldron that she’d been brewing her potion in, and promptly dumped it onto Chaise’s head. The bell ending the class rang immediately afterwards.

There was a long moment of silence throughout the room in which Professor Cosgrove stared in shock at the scene, while Chaise began to turn an alarming shade of bright green (from the potion I suspected), before Dom marched over to me and grabbed my arm.

“Let’s go,” She said through gritted teeth.

I quickly agreed and without saying one more thing to Tyson I grabbed my stuff and got up from my seat. As we left the room, I found someone else’s gaze trained on me, and I looked up to see James’s level stare from across the room. I suddenly grew even more furious. He was the reason all of this was happening. He was the reason my life seemed to always be falling apart. So, I gave him the dirtiest glare I could muster, as Dom pulled me out of the room.

Once we were outside the classroom (luckily Dom had made such a quick exit, Professor Cosgrove had no time to react and give her the detentions she most definitely deserved) I filled Dom in on the conversation I had with Tyson, and she got even more furious.

“Guys are arseholes,” She stated loudly. “I swear if we didn’t need them to reproduce, I’d kill all of them.”

I couldn’t help but think she’d never been more right.

*

“So I told him that he needs to be more sensitive to us, because he knew when he started being friendly with James that neither of us would like it. But you know what he said? He said he had the right ‘to be friends with whoever he wants’. As if me asking him not to be friends with the one person that would piss us off the most was too hard a task! Can you believe it?” Dom stopped her rambling and looked over at me as she asked this, keeping a ‘you better agree with me or I’ll flip a shit’ look on her face. I nodded my head to her in agreement still furious about the argument with Tyson, and clenched my mouth shut.

The news of Chaise and Dom’s public break-up had spread rapid-fire throughout the school. There had been more than enough speculation as to why Dom and Chaise had had such a heated argument. Enough speculation that caused more than a few questioning eyes to linger on us in class or as we walked down the hallway, as if hoping we would decide to tell everyone everything that had happened to cause the argument. So far, the leading ideas that led onto the fight were that a.) Chaise had cheated on Dom, or b.) Dom was pregnant.

Oh the joys of gossip.

It was now lunchtime, and neither of us had talked to Chaise or Tyson since our Potions class (as if we wanted to). Chaise had managed to change back to his god-given color from what I’d heard in the gossip mill, but Dom and I had dutifully ignored him and Tyson thus far.

“And you know what else he said?” Dom asked, still not on the end of her rant. She had taken to repeating to me the entire argument with Chaise whenever she got the chance. She tended to do this when she was angry. “He said that I was being a controlling girlfriend!”

Her words sounded eerily familiar to the words Tyson had said to me, minus the girlfriend part, and I suddenly knew exactly how Dom was feeling: angered, betrayed, unsure. But you want to know the kicker? While I was furious at Tyson for everything he had said, I was mostly just upset.

I mean this was Tyson, the one guy who I could always depend on for comic relief and positive reinforcement. The first guy I had trusted enough to become friends with when I entered Beauxbatons. Not to mention I lost Chaise, probably the most easy-going and understanding friend I’d had. These were two of my best friends, gone within the span of a day. If things kept going this way, by tomorrow I’d have no one.

“Hey, Dom?” I asked, once I noticed that we were nearing the Great Hall. “Where are we going?”

“Lunch,” Dom responded, shrugging her shoulders, continuing to walk up to the Great Hall doors, her anger subsiding slightly.

“But where?” I asked, slowing my steps.

“The Great Hall,” Dom responded nonchalantly.

“But… we eat lunch in the library,” I said slowly.

You do,” Dom stated matter-of-factly. “I, however, have decided that I hate the library. It smells like old people and the library lady is always looking at us as if by existing we’re disturbing her.”

“Madam Pince isn’t that bad,” I started as Dom snapped her gaze to me, daring me to argue with her further. I closed my mouth.

“Coco,” Dom started, looking as if she was about to go on a long rant. “I know that you’re all scared of the Great Hall and everything, but you’ll have to go into it eventually, and I’ve decided that that time is now. So don’t be difficult and just come in with me, okay?”

I found my memory suddenly flash back to my conversation with Al and Scorpius, when both of them were convincing me that I needed to go back into the Great Hall. Soon after, my memory shifted to Tyson when we had been arguing in the potions room.

How long has it been since you’ve been in the Great Hall?

And while this didn’t seem like the best time to finally go in, what with the fact that I had recently had a huge fight with two of my best friends, I realized that I couldn’t let Tyson win. I needed to prove that I was fine, and that he was wrong. I was still the same girl from Beauxbatons.

I needed to go to the Great Hall. And that time was now. 

“Okay,” I responded, albeit reluctantly, as I noticed Dom’s gaze still fixed upon me. Once I responded, she squealed and linked her arm through mine, dragging me with her towards the Great Hall, making sure that I could in no way change my mind.

As she pushed the doors open, I unknowingly held my breath, as a million different thoughts and fears started racing their way through my head. However, when the doors opened there was…

Nothing. Nothing out of the ordinary that is. The Great Hall was full of students, all of them chatting and eating lunch at one of the four long wooden tables, while the teachers were sitting at the head’s table, looking out over the students with politely uninterested gazes. Everything was the way it should be.

It was weird, because even though I didn’t want to admit it to myself, I had been expecting something different. Like maybe another incident, only this time, worse. This time, something I wouldn’t be able to bounce back from.

But no, I was fine. I felt myself smile just the tiniest bit at this relief. And suddenly, I wanted to go up to Tyson, stick my tongue out at him, and tell him that he was wrong; I could go into the Great Hall if I wanted to.

“So…” I said to Dom, realizing that Chaise was sitting at the Slytherin table with Wyatt, Tyson, Scorpius, and Al, which meant that that was not a welcoming territory. “Where are we going to sit?”

“We are going to sit with…” Dom began, enthusiasm building up in her voice, “my amazingly adorable baby brother of course!”

Louis’s smiling face and bright blue eyes popped into my line of vision as she said this, and I found myself suddenly feel overwhelmingly guilty. I hadn’t seen or talked to him in what felt like forever, and I had become so consumed in everything else that I hadn’t even really… thought about him.

Did that make me an awful person?

Dom made a beeline for the Gryffindor table, which I realized would make it the first time I sat there after punching Freddy, and I followed behind her tentatively. She immediately plopped herself across from Louis, while I sat down next to her.

“Louie!” Dom exclaimed excitedly, causing Louis to look up from the homework he seemed to be finishing up (tsk, tsk he really shouldn’t save things till last minute).

“Don’t call me that,” Louis responded a hint of annoyance in his voice.

“Aw, come on, Loulou,” I teased, keeping a light smile on my face. “You can’t expect us not to call you our nicknames!”

The annoyance on Louis’s face slid (very) slowly to a look of amusement, but he still kept up his charade of being annoyed. “At home, you guys can call me whatever nickname you want,” Louis started, “But at Hogwarts, I’m Louis Weasley: hottest fifth year alive, and you two,” He looked from Dom and me as he said this, “are totally cramping my style.”

Dom and I both stared at him a bit gob-smacked at what he said, still trying to register if he was being serious.

“You think you’re the hottest fifth year alive?” Dom asked with wide eyes.

“You think we’re cramping your style?” I asked at the same time.

“Watch how you respond,” Dom said, as soon as Louis opened his mouth. “Just because you’re my brother, doesn’t mean I won’t hurt you if need be.”

“Lay off, Dom,” Louis said, trying to shrug her off.

“Yeah, Dom, lay off,” I responded jokingly, “Louis is a man now. He should be treated like one!”

“I hate you both,” Louis responded, giving us both a glare.

“No you don’t,” Dom said, completely unfazed at Louis’s words. “You can’t hate family.”

“Corinne’s not family.”

“I’m insulted Louie!” I said, putting a hand over my heart. “You don’t think of me as family?”

Just as Louis was about to respond, a presence came from behind him and I looked up to see Roxy, fidgeting with her necklace and biting her lip.

“Hey, guys,” She said, looking at the three of us with a cross between a hopeful yet worried expression.

“Hey, cuz,” Louis said easily, gesturing for her to sit down, which Roxy eagerly did. “What’s up?”

“Oh you know…” Roxy responded, shrugging her shoulders even though none of us knew. Dom and I exchanged a look, while Louis looked as if this was all perfectly normal.

I, however, was deeply confused. I was the reason Roxy no longer had her best friend. I was the reason that everyone had been sneering at her in the hallway. So why was it that she was purposefully going out of her way to talk to Dom and me? Shouldn’t she be trying to keep her distance? Shouldn’t she hate me?

More importantly, could it be possible that she actually wanted to be friends with me?

“So, Corinne,” Roxy said, smiling at me happily, which I took as an answer to my question, “What brings you to the Gryffindor table? You’re normally always at the Slytherin one.”

My mouth immediately twisted itself into a straight line, as I remembered the two traitors that were Tyson and Chaise.

“Yes, well,” I said, as I absentmindedly drew circles onto the dark wood of the table, “Tyson and I sort of had a… er… falling out.”

“Really?” Roxy asked, looking surprised. Louis’s expression matched hers, and they both stared up at me questioningly.

“Um, yeah,” I said shifting uncomfortably in my seat.

“Why?” Louis asked interestedly.

“Because guys are bloody arseholes!” Dom exclaimed, smacking her fist on the table to enforce her point. Roxy and Louis looked at her worriedly.

“Oh yeah, Dom,” Roxy said, her voice softening as she looked at Dom sympathetically. “I heard about your… uh…”

“That Chaise called you a controlling bint and then dumped your arse,” Louis responded, bluntly.

Dom seemed enraged at this mentioning and I could have sworn she growled as she narrowed her eyes at Louis. “For your information,” Dom spat, “I dumped him."

“But he still called you a controlling bint, did he not?” Louis asked, taking pleasure in the fact that he now had something to annoy Dom with. He really was the quintessential brother in that aspect.

However, Dom’s furious expression faded and she instead blinked a couple times, before looking away from Louis and down at her hands. I knew, that while she was putting on this front of just being angry at Chaise, she had really liked him, maybe even loved him, and that this had to be hard for her.

“Louis,” I warned, using his full name, which I only did when I was serious. Louis sensed this, and then I gestured to Dom, who was picking at her nails.

“I’m sorry, Dom,” Louis said, changing his teasing expression to one of sincerity.  “I was just—”

“It’s fine,” Dom said, quickly cutting him off, not wanting the conversation to continue any further.

“So,” Roxy said, obviously sensing Dom’s mood and deciding to change the subject. I shot her a thankful look. “How do you think you did on the Charms quiz?”

Roxy was referring to the previous period, in which Professor Flitwick had given one of his infamous pop-quizzes. He was an avid pop-quizzer, because he thought it made students more likely to pay attention in class, when in all actuality it just made a lot of students hate him.

“I think I did alright,” I responded a bit uncertainly, keeping my eyes trained on Dom, who was furiously picking away at a hangnail. “What about you Dom?”

“I think I did fan-freaking-tastic,” Dom responded, an edge to her voice.

Roxy seemed a bit alarmed at Dom’s tone, but decided to continue on with the conversation despite that. “Yeah, when I was talking to Wyatt, he thought he did pretty bad. But since Professor Flitwick loves him, he’ll probably get a good grade anyway.”

“Mhmm,” I said, a smile pulling at my lips at the mention of Wyatt. “And how are things with you and Wyatt?”

Roxy took this moment to bite her bottom lip again as a faint blush tinged her cheeks. Dom’s head popped up in interest. “I’m not really sure what you mean…” Roxy said trailing off.

“What she means,” Dom said, taking charge of the conversation. “Is that you and Wyatt fancy each other, and that we all want to know when you’re going to make it like… official.”

“She’s right,” I said, nodding solemnly. “There’s nothing I hate more then an almost-relationship.”

“It’s true,” Louis joined. “And when Corinne get’s too antsy about how long things take, she likes to take the reigns herself.”

Roxy shook her head so that some of her dark hair covered her face, obviously trying to figure out a way out of the conversation. “Me and Wyatt don’t… you know… like each other. We’re just friends.”

Dom rolled her eyes before staring off across the room, where Chaise was sitting and laughing with Tyson and Wyatt, completely unaffected by the break-up. “That’s what they all say.”

*

“Can’t you guys just all sit down and talk?”

“Nope.”

“Doooom, why not?” Wyatt whined.

“Because I have nothing to say to him.”

“But,” Roxy began, looking from me to Dom with a sad expression, “Don’t you all want to be friends again.”

“Of course we do,” I said immediately, adjusting myself on the couch of the common room. “But this is something that just can’t be fixed, you know?”

I was, of course, referring to the rift that had now formed in the group between Dom and me against Tyson and Chaise. None of us had made to have any sort of conversation with the other since Potions class a couple days ago (we had even taken to changing our seats in the class) and I wasn’t sure if we ever really would. It was starting to worry me, because I had never been in a fight with either guy for this long, and I knew it was worrying Dom as well.

“I don’t understand,” Roxy said, her face completely puzzled.

Somehow, over the past couple of days, Roxy had become a permanent fixture in our group. This was mostly because she offered an unbiased opinion into the whole argument, and also the fact that her and Wyatt were always together now-a-days, and were most definitely on their way to going out. This could be shown by the fact that her and Wyatt were now sitting extremely close to one another, while his hand was casually strewn around her shoulders.

Friends my arse.

“They’ve said a lot of shit to us,” Dom said, cutting her way in with a matter-of-fact voice. “Shit that can’t be taken back, no matter how much either of us wishes.”

Roxy and I grew quiet as Dom said this. Neither of us really knew how to act around Dom ever since her and Chaise’s break up.

“Can’t you at least try for me then?” Wyatt asked, looking between us. “I feel like the child of divorced parents.”

I sighed at this. But it was mostly out of guilt. The past couple of days Wyatt had been passed back and forth between us all like a hackey-sack, as he tried to keep the peace and get us all to be mates again. It had been hard on him having to deal with it, which is a lot of the reason he’d been hanging out with Roxy instead of us, if only to get out of the drama.

“Wyatt,” I started, but then I wasn’t sure what to say to comfort him. Instead I just let his name float in the air, before disappearing. I sighed.

“But, You guys have to make up before the Hogsmeade weekend,” Wyatt whined a bit desperately. “I mean, it’s your birthday then.”

My birthday. In some strange change of fate, it had managed to fall on the first Hogsmeade weekend at Hogwarts. Something that I was excited about, because it meant that I could actually do something on my birthday. However, the whole fight with Tyson and Chaise was really putting a dampener on the impending day.

“Corinne can have a good birthday without the traitors,” Dom snapped back, trying to prove a point.

“This is just so annoying,” Wyatt complained. “We’re all best mates. And the reason you guys are fighting is stupid.”

“Why are you guys even fighting?” Roxy asked, a bit timidly, causing us all to look at her.

“We are fighting, because of loyalty,” Dom stated dramatically. Wyatt rolled his eyes, obviously annoyed, while I nodded my head to agree with Dom.

“What do you mean?” Roxy asked, arching an eyebrow.

It was after this, that Dom launched into a log and dramatic account of all the events that had unfolded that snowballed into the predicament we were now in: James’s obvious participation in the Great Hall prank, Chaise’s friendship with James, Tyson’s harsh words. When Dom was done talking, I found myself becoming furious all over again at everything that had happened.

“Um…Corinne?” Roxy asked, biting her bottom lip (she seemed to always do that) and looking at me as though she had something she should say.

“Yeah?” I asked absentmindedly.

“James didn’t help Madison and Elise with the Great Hall thing…” Roxy said, fiddling with the ends of her hair as she talked. “It was…erm… Freddy.”

There was a long silence after she said this, as each one of us took the news differently. Dom looked extremely confused, whereas Wyatt looked hopeful. I, however, was in denial. 

“How do you know?” I asked, suddenly not wanting to believe her. I mean, everything pointed to James having a hand in it. Not to mention I had totally freaked out on James after it happened. He had to have been involved in some way. Right?

“Because him and Freddy kind of got into an argument about it,” Roxy said slowly. “That’s why James and Chaise have been hanging out more. Him and Freddy aren’t on speaking terms.”

I was about to respond when- 

“That makes so much sense!” Wyatt exclaimed, seeming excited at the fact that he finally understood something. What that something was, I wasn’t quite sure. ”I didn’t want to mention this because I knew it’d piss you off, but James was the one who told me where to find you when you were holed up in the library. He had some sort of map or something I think…”

After Wyatt said this, there was a strange sort of realization that washed over me. I suddenly thought back to the moment in the tower, where James had come to check up on me. He had only been trying to ask me how I was, and I had yelled at him and told him he was an awful human being.

He had actually (for once) not deserved it. 

As soon as I made this realization, I made another one. One that was even worse than the first.

I would have to… maybe… eventually… apologize. To James Potter.

Bullocks.





A/N: Here it is: Chapter 17. The chapter that has been the hardest for me to write thus far. I'm not sure why but this chapter really was a battle to get done. I'm not even sure how I feel about it, but I'll leave the opinions up to you. I'm just deciding to post it so that I can get it over with, and move on to the next chapter. 

I know it took me a while to get this out, and I would like to apologize (again) for how my updates have been lately. I don't think my updates have been particularly slow, I just think they've been slower than they normally are, which is why I'm apologizing. However, I do have to tell you all that updates probably will continue to come out slower until December rolls around, because I'm very busy working on college apps and such, so it takes longer for me to pump out so many chapters.

It's not that I'm going to be abandoning the story for months, but I will only be able to update once every two weeks instead of my usual once a week type of schedule. I hope you all can bear with me through it :)

So anyways, onto my chapter questions: What do you think about Tyson siding with Chaise? What about Dom and Chaise's breakup? Who's really being the selfish one in the argument? What about Roxy? What about JAMES? Most of you areadyl knew he had nothing to do with it, but are you at least a tiny bit surprised?

Let me know what you think of the chapter in a review below! Which brings me to another topic: Thank you all so much for the positive feedback on my last chapter! I still am so totally overwhelmed by the support you guys give me, and I'm insanely flattered. You're reviews continue to make my day.

So THANK YOU for reading/glancing at this story<3 I honestly have the best readers out there, I swear. The tips and encouragement you guys give me is amazing.

-Rebecca

p.s. The spacing is not my doing. I hate how large the gaps are between the paragraphs as well, but I figure instead of wasting time trying to figure out how to fix it, I'll just post the chapter, eh?


 


Chapter 18: Let's Get It On
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Disclaimer: It's JKRs. Kay? Chapter title&summary come from the song I like it like that by hot chelle rae. loooove it.

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“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” someone shouted in my ear, waking me up from my insanely deep sleep. I grunted and rolled over onto my other side, away from the voice, pulling the scarlet duvet even tighter around me.

“Corinne!” Dom exclaimed again, this time louder. “I said HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”

Something finally registered in my brain that I should probably wake up, and I slowly opened my eyes to see Dom, leaning over me, with a wide smile on her face. Roxy was standing behind her, looking amused.

“Blurgh,” I said, blinking the tiredness out of my eyes, as I fought off my usual morning grumpiness.

“Ugh, Corinne, be a little more ladylike, yeah?” Dom said, grabbing my arm and beginning to pull me out of the bed. “You need to get up! It’s your birthday and that means we’re going to Hogsmeade!”

I turned my head to the side to read the time, and noticed that it was eight am, on a Saturday no less. Who the hell wakes up at eight on a Saturday?

“Dom, why the hell did you wake me up so early?!” I complained, wrestling my arm out of hers and snuggling myself back under the covers. “The best thing about having a birthday on the weekend is getting to sleep in.”

“I tried to tell her to let you sleep a little,” Roxy interjected. “But Dom insisted you liked being woken up early.”

“She does!” Dom exclaimed.

“I don’t,” I stated at the same time.

Dom and I both glared at the other for a long moment, and then I sighed. Dom clapped as if she knew she won.

“Now get ready! We’ve already wasted enough time letting you sleep in,” Dom said excitedly jumping up and down a little as she spoke. “And wear something cute okay?”

“You make it sound like I never do,” I responded, pretending to be hurt. I lifted myself up to a sitting position and rubbed the side of my head to wake myself up more. I stifled a yawn.

“You do,” Roxy reassured. Something I’d picked up about her from all the time we’d been spending together was that she always tried to make sure nobody ever felt insulted. “Corinne dresses cute, right Dom?”

“Whatever,” Dom stated, not really answering Roxy’s question, which did nothing to make me feel better. “Wear the pink dress. It makes your legs look fab.”

I got out of the bed, finally having mustered the strength to do so, and noticed that Madison and Elise’s beds were empty.

“Where’re they?” I asked Roxy, nodding my head towards the empty beds.

“They have detention every Saturday and Sunday mornings, remember?” Roxy said a bit tentatively.

“Oh… yeah,” I responded. Ever since they had pulled that stunt in the Great Hall, they had been assigned weekend detentions every week. I still wasn’t sure whether it made a difference to them. They still acted the same as always.

“Come on,” Dom said snappily tapping her foot and breaking me out of my thoughts. “Get ready.”

I heaved another sigh and made my way into the bathroom. I blindly flailed my arms around as I grabbed at various beauty potions. I knocked a few things onto the ground and shrugged, deciding I’d leave them be.

Hey, I never claimed to be a neat freak.

I continued to do my regular prep routine: shower, wash my face, brush my teeth, fix my hair, etc, when a large thumping came on the bathroom door.

“Coco, hurry up!” Dom exclaimed. “We need to eat!”

I rolled my eyes at Dom’s eagerness. She seemed to be in a very big hurry this morning and I couldn’t quite figure out why. I mean, I know it was my birthday, but that was hardly any reason for a rush… right?

“Dom,” I called, sticking my head out of the bathroom, “why are you in such a hurry?”

Dom immediately tensed up and widened her eyes into a fake-innocent expression. “Hurry? I’m in no hurry.”

“And I’m Celestina Warbeck,” I responded sarcastically.

There was a long pause and then—

“Okay,” Dom said with a sigh, “I just really want to get there and leave before Chaise and the guys come down.”

I suddenly felt terrible after Dom’s words. It had been about a week since Dom and Chaise’s break up, and me and Tyson’s falling out, and nothing had seemed to get better. If anything we had grown even farther apart with the guys as the time continued to pass. Whenever I saw either of them now they were always hanging out with James.

It was starting to worry me. I mean, it was my birthday and we still hadn’t made up. It almost angered me that they weren’t even willing to at least talk to me and get everything sorted out so that we could spend my birthday with all of us together.

However, as soon as I started to get angry, I thought about what Roxy had told me with James not having anything to do with the argument, and I felt the familiar wave of guilt wash through me. I had been in the wrong about James, that I knew. But that still didn’t give the guys the right to be friends with him, it still didn’t erase all of the things he’d done.

Right?

“Okay, Dom,” I said, my head still peeking out through the bathroom door. “I’ll hurry as fast as I can. Can you pass me something to wear?”

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, Dom immediately threw something that looked very poofy and very pink at me, before pushing me back behind the door and shutting it on me. This left me trapped in the bathroom with nothing but the dress she had given me as clothes to wear.

Great.

“Dom!” I shouted through the door. “I refuse to wear a glittery pink dress to Hogsmeade.”

“You don’t have a choice,” Dom shouted back.

Through the door, I heard Roxy ask softly, “Dom, maybe we should let her wear something simpler?”

“Why would we do that?” Dom snapped back.

“Listen to Roxy!” I shouted through the door. “I’m going to look like I’m trying way too hard if I wear this.”

“Too bad,” Dom sing-songed.

I tried to open the door to the bathroom, but Dom had locked it from the outside. So, I decided to pound on the door as a better option. After a couple minutes of Dom refusing to unlock the door, I finally gave up.

I picked up the dress Dom had handed me and inspected it. It was hot pink, with glitter and crystals all along the sweetheart neckline bodice, and a froofy bottom that reached about mid-thigh.

I was going to look ridiculous.

I begrudgingly put the dress on, took one last glance in the mirror to make sure my hair and makeup looked presentable, and then I pounded on the door again.

“Dom, let me out! I’m wearing the dress okay?”

This was met with a click of the doorknob, as Dom slowly opened the bathroom door. She inspected to make sure that I was, in fact, wearing the dress, and once she did she let out a satisfied smile.

“You look gorgeous, birthday girl!” Dom shouted excitedly, wrapping her arms around me in a bear hug. I pretended to still be annoyed at her for a little, before hugging her back.

“I look ridiculous,” I responded once she had pulled away from the hug. I turned to Roxy, “Don’t I?”

Roxy bit her bottom lip, hating to find herself in a decision where either answer she gave would make one of us mad. “I think the dress is cute. It might be a bit much, but it’s your birthday. You have a right.”

I looked at Dom and Roxy’s outfits. They were both wearing jeans and trendy tops. Nothing close to how overly-dressed I was.

“You need to dress up with me then,” I stated. “I refuse to be alone in this.”

“But it’s not our birthday—” Dom began to argue but I cut her off.

“Don’t care.”

“But—” Roxy started.

“Still don’t care.”

“Ugh… when did you get to be so stubborn?” Dom asked, arching an eyebrow.

“When I got you as a best friend,” I responded, sticking out my tongue. I pulled out a sparkly purple dress out of my trunk and chucked it at Dom, and threw a poofy blue one at Roxy. “Now get dressed.”

*

“Nice dresses,” Louis stated sarcastically as we arrived at the Gryffindor table. I ignored his statement, and Dom ruffled his hair to mess it up as a response.

“What’s all of this?” I asked loudly, finally looking around at the table and widening my eyes, completely overwhelmed.

Sitting before me was a huge pile of gifts and letters, filling up a very large part of the table. The entire Great Hall seemed to be curious as to why there was so many glittery presents, and I noticed many students look at the pile of gifts in either confusion/admiration.

“It’s from all the Beauxbatons students that miss you of course,” Dom replied easily, picking up a letter from the table, while Louis stared at her murderously as he tried to fix up his hair. “Oh lookie here, Jean Paul has even sent you one.”

I hesitantly picked up one of the wrapped boxes from the table and read the tag: To Coco, From Leigh. I vaguely remembered her as a third year. Weird.

“Why are they sending me stuff?” I asked.

“Because you’re awesome,” Dom stated, rummaging through the huge pile of gifts. Another Owl swooped into the Great Hall at this moment, and plopped another gift onto the table.

Beauxbatons felt like a whole other life now that I was at Hogwarts, that I was surprised people even remembered me, let alone remembered my birthday. I had almost forgot who I used to be. Who I still was to the people at Beauxbatons.

I found myself look across the Great Hall to the Slytherin table. Tyson and Chaise were sitting at the table, refusing to look over in my direction. I guess since it was a Hogsmeade Day, our efforts to wake up early and avoid them ended up being useless. Apparently everyone wakes up early on Hogsmeade days. Go figure.

I blinked and looked away.

“You know, you could just go and talk to them,” Wyatt offered, noticing where I looked. Roxy, who was sitting next to him, nodded in agreement.

“Why would either of us do that?” Dom snapped.

“Because you guys are best friends?” Scorpius suggested. Scorpius and Al had chosen to sit with us in the morning, because it was my birthday, something I was very flattered by. I had hoped Tyson and Chaise would’ve done the same, but sadly they hadn’t.

Were best friends,” Dom stated, gesturing to the Slytherin table. “I mean look at them, they’re not even trying to apologize and it’s Corinne’s birthday. How selfish can they be?”

Wyatt opened his mouth to respond but I cut him off. “Guys, can we just not talk about it right now?”

“Sure,” Albus said. “Instead we’ll talk about the Quidditch match next week that Slytherin’s going to win.”

“Ugh not that,” I responded. “I hate Quidditch.”

“So what?” Scorpius responded. “You can’t hate a Quidditch game that involves Slytherin and Gryffindor. It’s unheard of.”

“Quidditch is boring though,” I whined. “It’s all flying and hitting and—”

“Awesome?” Louis suggested.

“Terrible,” I said at the same time.

“Well you just think it's terrible because you haven't seen a real game," Scorpius insisted. "When you watch Slytherin play, you'll be mind-blown.

"Doubt it," I responded. Scorpius was about to argue but Dom cut him off.

“Does anyone know what time it is?” Dom asked ignoring our conversation.

“Uh.. time for you to get a watch?” Louis stated. This response was met with blank faces. “You know... a watch. The muggle way of telling time.”

“Oh the circle with the numbers?” Scorpius asked, perking up. “I’ve always wanted one of those.”

“They’re actually pretty neat inventions,” Louis responded. “I have a couple of them…”

“It’s a quarter to nine, Dom,” Albus stated, as Louis and Scorpius continued their conversation. Dom nodded her head in thanks.

“Why do you need to know the time?” I asked Dom.

“No reason,” Dom said quickly, which was something she always did when she was hiding something.

“Mhm… So you just magically have an interest in the time?” I asked Dom.

“Well we are at Hogwarts. Magic happens everyday,” Dom stated. I rolled my eyes.

“You’re hiding something.”

“So what?”

“So, I want to know what you’re hiding.”

“Ugh, why must you be so nosy?”

“It’s my birthday! The birthday girl deserves to know!”

“Says who?”

“The birthday girl!”

“Well I think the birthday girl is a tyrant.”

I began to open my mouth to respond when I heard the doors to the Great Hall open. I snapped my head to it out of curiosity, and I suddenly knew what Dom had been hiding.

“Joyeux anniversaire, Coco!” Frannie shouted with the attention of the Great Hall still on her. She was wearing an off the shoulder chunky sweater over a floral a-line skirt, with a large necklace and a side-braid. So, in other words, she looked like a model. Theo was standing behind her, looking as good as usual and earning the attention of almost every girl in the Great Hall.

I immediately stood up from my seat and hurried towards Frannie, giving her a big hug. As soon as I pulled away from her, I felt Theo pick me up and spin me around in his typical greeting. I laughed.

“Happy Birthday, Co,” Theo said as he put me down.

“I can’t believe you guys are here!” I exclaimed, a grin split across my face. “I missed you two so much!”

“Well it’s your birthday, and we were both in the neighborhood so… here we are,” Frannie said.

“Aren’t you glad I didn’t tell you the surprise?” Dom said, appearing next to me with a toothy grin. “This reaction was so much more worth it.”

“But how are you allowed here?” I asked as we began to walk back to our spot at the Gryffindor table. About a million eyes of the Great Hall followed us as we went.

“We asked that headmistress of yours… Professor McGonagall,” Theo stated. “She said you could probably use some familiar faces anyway and that it’d be okay if we came and spent time with you in Hogsmeade.”

“You’re filling us in on what that means by the way,” Frannie said in a no-nonsense tone.

My eyes immediately scanned the professors’ table and they landed on Professor McGonagall, who was staring at me with a gaze that seemed to read ‘you’re welcome’.

“We’ll fill you in on it later,” Dom said as we reached our table again. Her and Frannie exchanged a look while Theo remained ever the oblivious person he always was.

Scorpius, Al and Roxy all seemed a bit confused/awed at the visitors, as they sat down across from them at the able.

“Scorpius, Al, Roxy,” I started, gesturing to each of them, “This is Frannie and Theo.”

“They’re twins,” Dom added. “And they’re my cousins.”

“So then we’re cousins-in-law,” Albus said. “I’m Dom’s cousin too, and so is Roxy.”

“Yes, we know,” Frannie said, seeming to be a bit confused at the fact that he was sitting with us. She also knew about how the other side of the family treated Dom, and she was probably surprised that Dom was sitting with two of her cousins.

Something seemed to dawn on Scorpius’s face and he said, “So this is Theo.”

“You’ve heard of me?” Theo asked.

“Just in passing at the beginning of the year,” Scorpius responded, shrugging. “I specifically remember Tyson and Wyatt going on about you.”

“We we’re not going on about him,” Wyatt said, looking embarrassed.

“Tyson was going on about how he’s the only person Corinne could marry,” Scorpius corrected. It was now my turn to be embarrassed.

“Really, now?” Theo said, turning to me amused. “And where is Tyson? And what about Chaise?”

There was a pause in the conversation after Theo’s question.

“It’s a long story,” I said, before anyone else could respond. Frannie raised an eyebrow at me, while Theo still looked confused. He let it drop, however.

“So… why didn’t you tell me you were visiting?” Louis asked trying to change the tone the conversation had taken.

“Because you’re a blabbermouth,” Frannie responded simply, flipping an escaping strand of silver hair out of her face.

“And Dom isn’t?” Wyatt joked.

“I’m not, actually,” Dom responded tersely.

“Suuuuure you’re not.”

“I was able to not spoil it, wasn’t I?” Dom asked. “So yes, I’m not.”

“Why must you always argue?” Frannie asked, pretending to be dramatic. “We’re all supposed to get along and love each other.”

“Says who?” Dom asked.

“The world,” Frannie answered. “Besides, the longer you two spend arguing, the less time in Hogsmeade we have to shop.”

Dom paused for a nanosecond before getting up from her seat and beginning to bounce on the balls of her feet, “Point taken. Let’s go shop!”

*

“I swear it’ll only be a couple more minutes,” Dom stated, her voice echoing as she screamed over the dressing room door.

“You said that an hour ago.”

“Well, we mean it this time,” Frannie said, putting a hand on her hip. “Man up, Theo.”

“I am. Which is why I can’t stand being in here for one more minute,” Theo complained as he gestured to the racks of pink ruffly clothes throughout the Hogsmeade store. “I knew I should’ve gone with the rest of the guys and Roxy to Zonkos.”

“But you didn’t because you didn’t want to miss out on spending time with the birthday girl,” I exclaimed, grinning. “And you’re such a sweetie because of it.”

“I’m not sweet!” Theo exclaimed. “I’m a freaking dragon tamer for merlin’s sakes. You’d think that would make me a bad ass or something.”

“You’re occupation does not change the way I see you,” I stated, sticking out my tongue. “And I see you as a sweetie.”

Theo was about to respond, when Dom flung open the door to her dressing room wearing a bright red dress that was a bit too short to be considered suitable. She gave me the arch eyebrowed look that said ‘how do I look?’ and I pursed my lips.

“It’s too short, isn’t it?” Dom asked flinging her arms in the air and sighing in defeat.

“Umm… maybe?”

“Definitely too short,” Theo nodded. “Why are you even trying on dresses anyway?”

Dom crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes at Theo. “A girl can never have too many dresses.”

“It’s true,” I agreed, nodding my head eagerly.

“If it’s true, than why aren’t you trying more clothes on?” Frannie asked, appearing from behind a rack of clothing she’d been scanning through.

“I finished shopping here,” I defended, holding up my shopping bag full of clothes I had just bought (aka Frannie had insisted she paid while I argued I could pay myself and then Theo finally stepped in and paid, ending the argument with a grumpy me and satisfied Frannie).

“You didn’t get nearly enough things though,” Dom jumped in. “I mean now’s your chance to buy cute winter gear since it actually gets cold here, and you’re not even into it!”

“I’m not in a shopping mood,” I responded. “I’m in a Three Broomsticks mood, which we’re late for.”

“We’re always late,” Dom said, shrugging. “Trust me, they won’t be surprised.”

“But I’m never late,” Theo complained. “My reputation will be ruined!”

“I thought you were a bad ass,” Dom countered. “Bad asses aren’t on time.”

“This bad ass is,” Frannie said rolling her eyes. “He’s pretty anal about being on time.”

“He really is,” I nodded in agreement. “I remember our first date, he showed up ten minutes early, and when I showed up a minute late he asked what took me so long.”

“Well when I say a time for someone to show up, I mean that time, not whenever they please,” Theo interjected.

“It was one minute.”

“You’re lucky he didn’t flat out leave after that minute,” Frannie stated. “He normally does.”

“So then can you hurry up, Dom?” Theo pleaded hopefully, diverting the conversation back to his point. Dom looked behind her at the dressing room, which still held a mountain of clothes she had yet to try on. She sighed.

“I guess we can…” Dom said after a long moment. “But I’m buying the red dress.”

*

“I love this time of year,” Frannie exclaimed as she threw her hands out and twirled around in the middle of the Hogsmeade road. She somehow managed to not bump into any of the people that were bustling around the town, and not only that but she managed to elicit a bunch of stares with the way the light caught her hair. I had noticed on more than one occasion throughout the day the people of Hogsmeade as well as fellow Hogwarts students stare at Frannie and Theo in admiration/lust. Ah, the unfairness of veela blood.

“I don’t,” I responded, frowning. “It means summers basically over.”

Dom sighed forlornly. “I miss summer.”

“Can you guys reminisce about this some other time,” Theo responded tapping his foot. He then pointed to the Three Broomsticks that we were still a bit aways from. “We’re already late enough as it is.”

“Yeah, you’re totally not a bad ass,” Dom stated pulling a face at Theo. She adjusted the three shopping bags full of clothes she was carrying so that they settled comfortably on her shoulders.

“And you’re not my favorite cousin,” Theo responded. “So we’re even.”

Frannie and I both exchanged a look, knowing Dom would not respond well.

“Take it back,” Dom commanded, squinting one of her eyes in what she assumed to be a threatening manner.

“Not until you do,” Theo shot back. Dom’s face obviously hadn’t done the trick.

“I’m not taking what I said back. I meant it.”

“Well then, I’m not taking back what I said.”

“Why must you both be so immature?” Frannie asked, putting her hands on her hips. “We should be enjoying this lovely weather on our stroll over to the Three Broomsticks, and that’s that.”

“We should also,” I began looking from Theo to Dom, “not be picking fights with each other. It’s not becoming of either of you.”

“Oh shush it miss high and mighty,” Dom responded.

“I’m the birthday girl,” I fired back, “I can feel as high and mighty as I want.”

“She’s right you know,” Frannie agreed. “It’s like the first rule in the birthday hand book. ‘The birthday girl is always right, no matter what’.”

“But, none of you agreed with me when I wanted to break into Viktor Krum’s dressing room a few birthdays back, and I was the birthday girl then!” Dom complained.

“That’s because that would be illegal,” I said flatly. “You can’t make us do something that’ll get us thrown into Azkaban.”

“But Viktor Krum’s worth getting thrown into Azkaban for,” Dom sighed dreamily.

“He’s definitely not,” Frannie stated. “He’s like, a hundred.”

“And didn’t he also have that thing with your aunt?” I pointed out.

“I like to pretend it didn’t happen,” Dom stated shaking her head as if to clear her thoughts. “It was only for like a day anyway, they probably never even snogged.”

“Whatever let’s you sleep at night,” I responded in a disbelieving tone.

“If we keep talking instead of walking, Wyatt and them will finish their drinks and leave without us. Do we want that?” Theo asked, looking at us threateningly.

“Fine, fine,” I sighed and began to walk, Dom and Frannie following suit. “We’ll start walking at an acceptable pace, happy?”

“Very,” Theo said casually swinging an arm over my shoulder as we continued our walk to the Three Broomsticks. I caught eye contact with Dom, who wiggled her eyebrows at me, and I rolled my eyes back at her. Honestly, Theo and I were ancient history. I saw him as one of my best friends nowadays, and so did he. It was nothing else.

“And look at that,” Theo stated, breaking me away from my thoughts, “if we put our minds to it, we can actually arrive at the Three Broomsticks.”

Dom rolled her eyes and stuck her tongue out at him when he wasn’t looking, and Frannie just sighed.

“Sometimes I feel like you’ll never change; you’re still the same person you were in seventh year,” Frannie stated, pushing past us and opening the door to the Three Broomsticks.

“And you’re still the uglier twin,” Theo shot back, causing Dom and me to laugh.

We stepped through the door of the Three Broomsticks, and were immediately met with an immense crowd of people swarming all around the place. There was hardly any room to walk, let alone any room to find Wyatt, Louis, and Roxy, who we had promised to meet here about an hour ago. And that’s assuming they hadn’t left.

“Why must it be so crowded?” Dom whined. “I hate crowds.”

“And you think we love them?” I asked her, arching an eyebrow. “I think everyone hates crowds.”

“Don’t worry,” Theo stated seriously, keeping his arm slung around me so that we wouldn’t get jostled around and separated. “I can totally get us through the crowd.”

“Same,” Frannie stated. “We are crowd experts. We didn’t grow up in the city for nothing.”

As soon as Frannie finished speaking, they both walked forward into the crowd; I went along with Theo because I was afraid if I separated from him we’d get lost, and Dom trailed very closely behind Frannie. As Theo and Frannie walked forward, they gave random smiles and eye contact to every stranger in their way, and then, all of a sudden, the stranger would just move. Soon enough, a huge path cleared out for us that led to the table area. It was probably one of the weirdest and most amazing things I had ever seen.

“Okay,” Dom stated looking at Frannie and Theo seriously, “How the hell did you do that?”

“Veela magic,” Frannie responded with a wink. “You’ll learn it someday.”

“Wait, is that Tyson and Chaise?” Theo said suddenly, jerking me to the right and pulling me over to one of the clumps of people standing near the bar. I looked to where he gestured and saw Tyson, Chaise, and James drinking butterbeer and standing by the bar table, trying to watch the Quidditch game playing on the Magi-Telly.

“Um… I don’t think we should…” I trailed off but Theo wasn’t listening to me and suddenly we were in front of the group of them. I looked behind me to try and find Dom or Frannie, but they both had disappeared.

“Theo! Man it’s good to see you,” Chaise said as soon as he caught sight of Theo. I noticed his smile falter a bit when he noticed I was with him. I was beginning to feel extremely awkward and started to pull myself away from Theo, who remained oblivious. I suddenly wished Dom and I had told Theo and Frannie the whole story with Tyson and Chaise, but none of us had really had the chance or wanted to. I mean, it wasn’t really the most cheerful of conversations, was it?

“Tyson! Chaise!” Theo greeted happily, unwinding his arm from around me so he could give them man hugs. “Long time no see, eh?”

I did the mature thing, by crossing my arms and avoiding eye contact with the group. Instead, I admired the lights hanging from the ceiling and remained a couple of steps behind Theo. Yup, what can I say? Glowing things fascinate me.

“I know! We totally should’ve hung out sooner than this since we barely saw you this summer, but you had to go and be a bleeding dragon tamer, just to get yourself more girls,” Tyson stated jokingly, causing Theo to laugh. I noticed James looking between us all awkwardly, not sure who Theo was or what they were talking about. I felt the tiniest bit satisfied that I was more in the loop than he was.

“Well I had to come down for my girl’s birthday, now didn’t I?” Theo stated gesturing behind him to me. There was a thick veil of awkwardness as I continued to avoid all eye contact with them, and instead turned my staring to the floor. Damn Theo for being such good friends with Tyson and Chaise.

“Yeah…” Chaise said, trailing off. “Well we—”

“Ugh, Coco, there you are!” Dom stated loudly as she grabbed my arm and spun me around to face her. I instantly felt myself flooded with relief and shot her a thankful look. “Me and Frannie were worried you and Theo had run off to rekindle old flames or something. We found the others.”

I decided not to punch Dom for her statement about Theo since she saved me, but I still glared at her. I then turned back to Theo. “I’ll let you catch up, and then meet us at the table, yeah?”

“Course,” Theo nodded. I noticed out of the corner of my eye, James intently watching the two of us.

“We’re at the booth in the back,” Dom stated, and I noticed her purposely avoiding any eye contact or acknowledgement of Chaise.

I turned back towards her, and grabbed onto her arms. Then, I began to pull us through the crowd, not nearly as easily as Frannie and Theo had managed to do it, but still quickly enough that we were soon out of sight and earshot. I let out a sigh.

“My life freaking sucks,” I stated as we arrived at the booth in the back where the others were.

“That’s because you’re late,” Louis commented seriously. “Tardiness is a sin you know.”

“Oh stuff it,” I shot back as I scooted in next to Frannie, who was sipping on a pink drink that I was highly certain had alcohol in it.

“Want some?” Frannie asked, offering me her drink. “You look like you need it.”

“I’m fine,” I said, shrugging it off. “It’s just the after effects of having the most awkward conversation of your life.”

“It was kind of fun to watch though,” Dom chimed. “You looked like you wanted to die.”

“I did,” I told her.

“Wait, what happened?” Wyatt asked, wanting to know what we were discussing. Dom turned to face him and speak.

“Theo doesn’t know about the whole Tyson and Chaise fall out, so he happily strutted himself over to them, Coco in tow, to say hello,” Dom explained, biting back a laugh.

“I don’t know about the fall out either!” Frannie interjected, pouting her bottom lip. “And I’m hurt you are not telling me. I gotta know what happened.”

“It’s nothing,” I said quickly.

“Bull shit,” Frannie quipped. “It’s obviously something if you guys aren’t talking. You’re all best friends.”

Were best friends,” Dom insisted.

Are best friends,” Wyatt said, giving Dom a glare. “You’ll all be friends again as soon as you all stop being so stubborn.”

“Can you please just tell me what happened?” Frannie begged. It was obvious she was annoyed at not being in the know about what had happened.

There was a long pause and then I opened my mouth. “Fine. But it’s kind of a long, built up story so you’ll think it’s stupid.”

“Try me,” Frannie stated.

I then began to explain everything to her ever since Chaise had joined the Quidditch team. I mentioned James’ previous tormenting, Chaises betrayal, as well as Tyson’s verbal attack in Potions. After I stopped talking there was a long silence where Frannie soaked it all in.

“You’re right,” Frannie finally said.

“Right about what?” I asked, confused. I mean, I wasn’t really expecting this reaction.

“I do think it’s stupid,” Frannie explained. She then began to talk again. “I think you’re all stupid actually. You’re best friends, and your letting something so completely irrelevant and immature ruin your relationship. Are you all freaking kidding me?”

I had almost forgotten how blunt Frannie could be, but then again, it had always been something I liked about her. Now, however, I wasn’t so certain.

“But—”

“Don’t want to hear it,” Frannie interrupted. “I mean, I understand how guys can be shits, but that’s just a way of life. You’ve gotta learn to accept it and move on. Stop taking things so personally, because they sure as hell don’t.”

“That’s what I’ve been saying,” Wyatt said, seeming happy to have Frannie on his side.

“Shut up, Wyatt,” Frannie said, turning to glare at him. “I’m mad at you too! You let them have a falling out, even though they were all being stupid. It’s your job to balance it all out and make sure these things don’t happen.”

“I tried—”

“Not hard enough,” Frannie snapped.

“Well, it’s kind of hard when I’m not in the same class as they were when they all had their big fight. I tried to fix it but they’re all so goddamn stubborn.”

“Am not,” Dom argued, crossing her arms.

“And you!” Frannie said, turning to Dom. “You broke up with Chaise, and then dumped a potion that could’ve potentially killed him. Are you kidding me?”

“He was an arse! He called me a crazy bint!” Dom defended.

“I’m pretty sure he called you a controlling bint, actually,” I offered.

“As if that’s not worse?” Dom asked.

“Coco. Dom,” Frannie interrupted, composing her previous angry expression into a placid look. “Don’t think I’m only mad at you guys. In fact, I think the guys were right arseholes for what they said. But, don’t you think there was a bit of truth to their words.”

“No,” Dom said immediately. I remained silent.

“Only a little,” I said finally. Dom glared at me as if I had just admitted to being a Death Eater, and I shrugged back.

“So,” Frannie said, clapping her hands as if she’d proven her case, “then we’re all agreed. You were all wrong, and should kiss and makeup, yeah?”

“Maybe,” Dom said, keeping her arms crossed. “But I think they should be the ones to apologize.”

“Guys will never apologize,” Frannie stated. “They have too much pride for that.”

“Hey!” Louis interrupted. “That’s not true! Not all guys are bad. I mean, I know when to apologize.”

“Oh you say that now,” Frannie said, turning to Louis. “But a year from now, when you’ve finished your growth spurt and have all the fifth year girls flocking to you, things will be different.”

“Frannie when did you become so cynical?” I asked her. I mean, I knew she was always blunt and thought of most people as in her terms ‘little shits’ but she normally wasn’t this pessimistic.

“Oh now wouldn’t you like to know,” Frannie said, giving a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes and taking a big gulp of her drink.

“Like to know what?” Theo asked, suddenly appearing at the table.

“Nothing that you get to know since you were to busy ignoring us all,” Frannie responded.

“I was not,” Theo argued as he pulled a chair from a random table and brought it to the end of the booth so he could sit down. “I was just saying hey to mates. Which brings me to the question of why I was the only one to acknowledge them.”

“You already missed the story, mate,” Wyatt said. “And please don’t make it be retold. I’ve heard it way too many times.”

“Yeah, Theo,” Frannie began, “you should’ve been here to hear it. Now you’re the only one that doesn’t know.”

“Ugh come on you guys, that’s not fair that you all know,” Theo complained. He then turned to me. “Coco, come on, you can tell me.”

“I am sick of telling the story,” I sighed. “But the gist of it, is that we are in a fight.”

“Well I could already figure that,” Theo said. “I want to know why?”

“Well then someone else will tell you,” I said as I began to scoot out of the booth. “Because I have to use the loo.”

“You always have to use the loo,” Dom joked.

“Nope,” I responded standing up. “If I recall it was you that had to use it when we were late for the Hogwarts feast.”

Dom stuck her tongue out at me, and I crinkled my nose back before turning around and heading to the back of the Three Broomsticks, where they kept their loo. I didn’t actually have to use it (I moreso wanted to avoid the topic of having to repeat the story of a fight that was slowly becoming more embarrassing to admit to) so when I entered, I just looked in the mirror as I reapplied my lip gloss and primped my hair to make sure it hadn’t turned flat or lost it’s curls. I find that bathroom primps always make me feel at least a little bit better and more confident.

I opened the door to leave the bathroom, and as I did so I felt myself bumping into someone else.

“Sor—” I began, looking up and stopping my sentence after recognizing the familiar head of black hair I had bumped into, and finishing my sentence with, “Oh.”

Well, this just got a whole lot awkward.

“I was just… you know… trying to get to the bathroom,” James said as he rubbed the back of his neck and gestured to the part of the Three Broomsticks that I now blocked.

“Yeah, course,” I said shifting to one side the same time that James did, as we both began to try and walk around each other. This left us to do one of those little dances where the both of us continued to go back and forth to the same side, before we both stopped.

“I’m going to go this way,” James said pointing to the left, “and you go to the right, okay?”

“Yup,” I responded walking to the right.

“Happy Birthday by the way,” James said, turning around right as I started to walk.

I stopped mid stride and turned around, watching his back beginning to retreat. I had been avoiding James all week, and now here we were, both in this dingy hallway in the Three Broomsticks, with nobody around. This was as good of a time as ever to say what I’d been wanting to ever since I’d talked to Roxy. I took in a large breath.

“I’m sorry,” I called after him quickly, feeling myself cringe a bit on the inside for saying it. Yeah, I know, apologies aren’t my forte.

James stopped his walking too, and turned back around, looking very confused. “Sorry for…?”

“You know,” I said, even though I knew he didn’t, “for freaking out on you in the Astronomy tower. I know you didn’t help them.”

“Oh… that,” James said, stuffing his hands into his pockets. “It’s fine.”

“Okay,” I said, nodding my head slowly. “I just wanted to make sure you knew. I feel bad about it.”

“Yeah… well… there’s a lot of things we all feel bad about,” James said shrugging his shoulders and rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet. “At least yours is easy to fix.”

My thoughts instantly flashed to Tyson and Chaise, who I hadn’t spoken to in weeks. “Not everything is,” I responded.

“They are if you try,” James said, somehow seeming to sense what I was thinking. “They miss you, you know.”

I had my doubts about James’ words. They hadn’t acknowledged Dom and me for what felt like forever. It was like we didn’t even exist to them. Instead we’d been replaced, shoved to the side for— of all people— James.

“Maybe,” I responded, swallowing a lump that was forming in my throat and looking away. It then hit me that I was here: standing alone with James Potter, the cause of all of my problems, having what some could consider a heart-to-heart.

I cleared my throat and straightened my posture. “Well, I better go.”

James nodded and straightened up also. “Yeah, I’m sure your friends and boyfriend want to spend time with you on your birthday.”

It took a while to register the words James had just said but as soon as I did—

“Theo’s not my boyfriend,” I said quickly. “He’s just an ex turned best mate.”

Once I spoke, I was overcome with confusion as to why I even bothered to correct James. What did I care if he thought I was dating Theo or not?

“Oh, okay,” James responded, nodding his head in an uncaring manor. “Good to know, I guess.”

I nodded my head back to him and—finally!— turned back around and headed out of the hallway, my mind turning into a jumbled mess of thoughts over what had just happened.

Had I actually initiated a normal conversation with James?

*

“I’m so sad,” I frowned, jutting out my bottom lip and looking down at the watch I was carrying (a birthday gift from Louis!) that read the time 11:59. “My birthday’s officially over with in one minute.”

“There’s always next year,” Roxy offered hopefully. She linked her arm through mind and pulled me forward to quicken my slow pace.

“But next year I’ll be working and paying bills and all that other grown up shit,” I stated. “This is like… my last carefree birthday.”

“Don’t forget you’ll also be another year older,” Dom added. “Which means your one year closer to wrinkles, gray hair, old age, back aches, the works.”

“Thanks, Dom,” I responded sarcastically. “I had almost forgotten about all of that fun stuff.”

“No problem,” Dom said, nodding her head. She then turned to Roxy, “How far away did you say the kitchens are? I feel like we’ve been walking around for hours.”

“Oh not much farther,” Roxy said cheerfully. “Just down this corridor right here, and we can enjoy some last minute birthday cake.”

“Good,” I said excitedly. “I really want some chocolate-peanut butter mousse cake since we already had cheesecake at dinner.”

“Don’t worry,” Roxy said. “The House Elves make the best cakes, I swear.”

As she spoke she turned down another corner, gesturing for us to follow. Dom and I did so eagerly, my thoughts drifting to yummy desserts as she spoke.

“Ugh I’m so hungry,” Dom complained rubbing her stomach. “I want to—”

But she never got to finish her sentence. Neither did I for that matter. Because as soon as we had rounded the corner I felt two hands come from behind me and cover my eyes and mouth, while someone else grabbed my hands. I heard Dom’s muffled grunts, indicating the same thing had just happened to her. As I was roughly shoved from one place to the other, I began to internally panic.

What the fuck was going on here?

Right when I asked myself this question, the blindfold was torn off and I was shoved into a room, falling face first onto the floor. Dom quickly followed, muttering some of the most fowl language I had ever heard from her.

I pushed myself off the ground and looked up, blinking a couple of times as I looked around the room. It was dark and dingy, with no seats and no windows, reminding me of a prison cell in Azkaban. However, I heard movement and whipped my head around to see Tyson and Chaise sitting in the room, side by side, arms crossed in a pissed off manor.

I looked at Dom, and we both seemed to come to the same conclusion. A conclusion that neither of us were happy about.

A note was slid under the door to the room, and Dom pounced on it just as Tyson and Chaise were starting to move towards it, and eagerly tore it open.

“You’re not getting out until you sort out your shit. Happy Birthday again Coco and here’s your gift. Love Frannie,” Dom read.


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A/N: Okay, so here's the thing: I know it's been forever since I update. It's been the longest wait to date for me to update this, which I'm very embarrassed about but it's not because I didn't want to update this, believe me I did, I just had no time :( I know it's a terribly excuse but college apps suck and since I'm applying to 13 (lucky number!) it's so much work.

But anyways I hope you enjoyed the chapter and it's pretty long too so hopefully you guys don't hate me? Because you guys are awesome. I just can't believe the amazing support and readership I have from you all, seriously.

In other exciting news I found out last week that I won a merit scholarship for this creative writing contest I entered! And I want to just thank all of you for reading my story and helping me develop my writing. I'm not sure if I would've entered the contest without the amazing reviews you leave me!

So I've rambled long enough, review down below and tell me what you think of the chapter: Do you like Theo? Do you like Frannie? What about Coco and James' awkward apology? What do you think's going to happen with Tyson and Chaise?

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR BEING SO AWESOME!

-Rebecca

Chapter 19: Take Me Down Like I'm a Domino
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Disclaimer: It's all Jo's. Chapter title&summary come from the song Domino by Jessie J.

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One thousand, three hundred, and ninety nine seconds. It’s been one thousand, three hundred, and ninety-nine seconds (or twenty three minutes as says my shiny new watch) since I was brutally thrown in here. It’s also been one thousand, three hundred, and ninety-nine seconds of silence.

Yeah, I didn’t think it was possible for any of us to be quiet this long either. Apparently it is.

I looked back across the room at Tyson and Chaise. Tyson was looking at the floor as though it was the most fascinating thing in the world, and Chaise was looking at his hands. Dom was sitting next to me, resolutely crossing her arms and refusing to look at either of them.

I looked back down at the piece of paper in my hand, written in Frannie’s neat calligraphy. I had read it about a million times, trying to look for some loophole, but I couldn’t find one.

You’re not getting out until you sort out your shit.

I had a small (make it large) inkling that we were never getting out of here.

I looked back down at my watch and continued counting. One thousand, four hundred. One thousand, four hundred, and one. One thousand, four hundred, and—

Merlin, why the hell was it so silent? I mean, I know that we were all mad at each other, but we are stuck in a room with Dom. How the hell has she managed to stay silent for so long? I was almost kind of proud of her. She actually is able to—

“Just so you know, you guys suck,” Dom stated, immediately popping the bubble of pride welling up inside of me. I guess twenty-three minutes was her limit.

Still impressive.

“Good to know,” Chaise responded uncaringly, shrugging his shoulders.

This just angered Dom further. There was nothing she hated more than getting an impassive response, and he knew it. It was like poking a sleeping dragon.

And,” Dom continued, narrowing her eyes at Chaise, “You guys are losers. And arseholes. And traitors—”

“Dom,” I interrupted, putting my hand on her shoulder to calm her, but she just shrugged it off. “I don’t think this is the best way to—”

“No let her finish,” Chaise said, interrupting me and glaring at Dom. “I love hearing her thoughts. They always make so much sense and aren’t at all crazy.”

“Are you trying to call me crazy?!” Dom asked, her tone sharpening as she brought herself to her feet. “Because what I find crazy is when someone who we’re best friends with decides to go and be friends with the one person we tell them not to, all for the sake of a bloody Quidditch match! What about loyalty?”

“What do you mean the one person?” Chaise fired back, also bringing himself to his feet. “Every week there’s always someone new to add to the list. And you’re reasoning makes no sense! Just a few weeks ago you were saying not to talk to any of your cousins, and now your friends with Roxy and Al. It’s ridiculous! I can be friends with whoever I want, if you can too!”

Tyson and I remained quiet during the exchange; Dom and Chaise seemed to have taken the reigns in this argument and there was nothing for us to do but watch. I was pretty sure we even shared a look with each other as Chaise and Dom glowered at one another. Weird, considering we were both supposed to be in a fight.

“But you know how terrible James was to Corinne! And you know how terrible him and Freddy are to me! It’s not fair! You totally chose him over us, and how long have you known us?! Longer than him, that’s for sure,” Dom pointed out, flipping her hair over her shoulder in an agitated manor. She then bit her bottom lip, which was a sure sign she was upset.

“Why do you have to make it sound like I’m choosing?!” Chaise demanded, taking no notice of her further upset state. “I never chose him over you! I’m on the same Quidditch team as him, which means that of course I’m going to talk to him! He’s the captain!”

“I don’t give a damn if he’s the bloody captain!” Dom roared back, her anger quickly replacing her sadness as she spoke. “It’s no excuse! I don’t see you all buddy buddy with Roxy and she’s on the team!”

“That’s because she’s a girl and she’s too busy being friends with you, although I can’t imagine why!”

“It’s because she, unlike you, actually cared about our feelings and isn’t a traitor,” Dom shouted, her face becoming redder and redder. “She’s a better friend than you ever were!”

Instead of responding, Chaise inhaled a sharp breath and pinched the bridge of his nose. Tyson and I held our own breaths, knowing this wasn’t a good sign. Chaise normally only did this when he was about to explode.

“And you know what else?” Dom said, not caring that about the fact that Chaise was on the verse of an explosion. “You are a mean,” she then poked his chest, “uncaring,” she poked his chest again, “terrible,” another poke, “excuse for a human being!”

“I don’t care!” Chaise burst out, resentment laced throughout every syllable. “We’re done. Over. I don’t give a shit what you think, so you can shut the fuck up. Alright?!”

Chaise then walked over to the door, and pounded on it a couple of times. Dom was staring after him, gob smacked, and I noticed a flicker of hurt flash across her eyes.

“Let me the fuck out of here right now!” Chaise shouted, jiggling the door knob for good measure.

There was the sound of muffled voices on the other side that seemed like they were debating over whether or not to open the door. I was able to determine that the feminine voice was Roxy’s, and the deeper one was Wyatt’s. After a couple more exchanged words, slowly and surely the door began to creak open. However, instead of letting Chaise out of the room, Wyatt entered, and shut the door behind him so nobody could get out.

“Okay,” Wyatt said, holding his hands up right as Chaise was about to have another explosion. He looked at Dom whose hurt look had morphed back into one of rage, and sighed. “I see that this isn’t going in the direction that me and Frannie had hoped.”

“Really? What would give you that idea?” I asked sarcastically, still sitting on the floor, contemplating ways to escape this room. Tyson stifled a laugh, and I again was caught with the feeling of how extremely odd it was that me and him weren’t even fighting with each other.

I guess I was just so... tired of being mad.

“Now’s not the time for being smart Corinne,” Wyatt said stonily. “You all are going to sit down, and you’re going to listen to me. Am I clear?”

“Crystal,” Tyson responded. Dom and Chaise both scowled at each other, and then sat down on opposite sides of the fairly small room.

Wyatt, satisfied, took in a breath, preparing to speak, “You are all best friends. We are all best friends. And I’m not okay with some silly fight that doesn’t even matter tear it apart.”

Tyson and I exchanged a look, but quickly looked away from each other. Chaise and Dom continued to glare at the other.

“It does matter,” Dom exclaimed. “They made a mockery of our entire friendship! They—”

“Shut the fuck up!” Chaise exclaimed. “You’re literally crazy! You make it sound like we killed your entire family! I talked to someone you didn’t like and had a laugh with them—”

“Of course it first starts off as a laugh,” Dom exclaimed, her eyes widening crazily. “But then it becomes seeing each other once in a while! Then it becomes hanging out! And soon enough we’re ditched for him! OH WAIT THAT ALREADY HAPPENED—”

“SHUT UP!” Wyatt interrupted, shouting over Dom and Chaise and making them both look up at him, speechless. Wyatt never yelled. “Merlin, you’re being so stupid! I can’t believe how stupid this entire stupid fight is! It’s pathetic how stupid it is! You’re all just so… so… ”

“Stupid?” Tyson suggested, the ghost of a smirk on his face.

As Tyson said this I felt this strange feeling overcome me. My shoulders began to shake as I tried to hold it back but suddenly I was… laughing. It was one of those laughs where you knew you shouldn’t laugh, but that made everything all the more funny. And I just couldn’t stop. My stomach began to feel like I had done a thousand crunches my jaw started to ache, but I couldn’t help it. It was all just so, so... funny.

And suddenly Tyson was laughing with me, and then Dom was joining in and even Chaise began to break into a smile and laugh as well. The only one who wasn’t laughing was Wyatt, who was looking between the four of us as though we all had gone mad. Which maybe we had.

I guess there’s something about inside jokes that can somehow mend a friendship. Or at least make us remember why we were friends to begin with.

*

“Does this mean what I think it means?” Scorpius asked, looking back and forth between Dom and I as we sat down at the Slytherin table. I gave Tyson, who I was taking a seat next to, a shove as I went and he ruffled my hair back.

“Does what mean what you think it means?” I asked back, placing my arm on the table and then resting my chin in my hand.

“Are you all… friends again?” Scorpius said dramatically, looking from me to Tyson to Dom and then to Wyatt.

We were. Friends again that is. After our hysterically laughing fit in the middle of what Wyatt had told us was a “lengthy and well-written speech on the merits of friendship” that he never got to finish, we had all apologized to each other. Dom and I both apologized to Tyson and Chaise for being ‘over-dramatic’ (Dom a bit more grudgingly than I); and Tyson and Chaise apologized for being ‘insensitive arseholes’ (Which Dom was very satisfied with). We had all even apologized to Wyatt for making him a middleman in our fight, and Wyatt apologized to us for listening to Frannie and locking us in the Room of Requirement, which Roxy had told them about. Roxy had even come in and apologized to Dom and me for giving us false pretenses to come out at night.

“Are you?” Scorpius prodded, still waiting for a response.

Dom and I exchanged a look, internally conversing with the other about how we should respond: do we tell Scorpius that easily or do we make him beg for an explanation?

“Scoot over,” Chaise ordered, appearing behind Dom. Dom scooted over so that he could sit by her, answering Scorpius’ question for us.

“Tell me it isn’t so! The rift has been mended!” Scorpius exclaimed, putting a hand over his heart.

“You make it sound so much more dramatic than it was,” Dom stated, flicking a piece of imaginary lint off of her sweater.

There was a long beat of silence, where everyone looked at Dom as though she was crazy. I mean, she had been the most dramatic one of us all in the fight.

“Oh believe me,” Wyatt interjected, “If you were the one watching it, you’d feel the same.”

“But we’re all mates again, yeah?” I said stretching my arms out to hook one around Dom’s neck and the other around Tyson’s, since they were the only one’s I could reach, and squishing all our faces together in a row. “Best day after birthday ever.”

“Corinne you’re squishing us,” Tyson complained, his voice coming out garbled as I squeezed the both of them tighter.

“Leeeh—goohh,” Dom commanded.

“Fine!” I stated pushing them both away and frowning. “I guess I’m the only one that’s happy!”

“Hey! I’m happy,” Tyson argued. “I just don’t like being squished to death.”

“Whatever,” I responded, crossing my arms and rolling my eyes. “I guess you don’t appreciate our friendship.”

“Oh shut up,” Tyson said, ruffling my hair. “Course I do.”

I stuck my tongue out at him and then elbowed him in the side for ruffling my hair again. He slumped over, exaggerating about how hard I had elbowed him, and began to complain.

In the midst of his monologue (“Oh the pain! The undeserved pain!”), I noticed James enter the Great Hall and look around the room before his gaze finally landed on the Slytherin table. There was a pause as his eyes locked with mine.

Ah yes, the James issue. While we were all apologizing to each other, we had also had to discuss James. Apparently, he had become good friends with Tyson and Chaise while we were fighting, and they insisted that he was still one of their friends now. And, seeing as James was in a fight with his other very good friend (Freddy aka slimy git), they had warned us that he would probably be around more. I had been on the verge with arguing with them about it, but then I remembered how terrible our last fight was and I decided to let it go… For now.

But as soon as I saw James slowly and unsurely walk over to our table, I was beginning to regret agreeing with them. I mean sure, we had had that weird conversation at the Three Broomsticks where we could’ve been almost friends, but that was just one conversation. We were better kept separate, in my opinion.

When he reached our table he sat next to Al and across from Chaise, distinctly avoiding all the eyes that had suddenly snapped to him upon his arrival. I noticed Dom tense the slightest bit, but she remained silent.

“So…” Scorpius began, ever the one to try and disperse awkward situations. “Is the Gryffindor captain prepared to lose the Quidditch match tomorrow?”

I sighed. For some reason, whenever guys try to make a situation less awkward, they feel like talking about sports is the answer. It’s as though sports is this all-encompassing, unifying bond, making enemies become friends and problems seem solved.

As if.

“We’re not going to lose,” James said confidently, grabbing a piece of bread off the table. “My team’s not going to get beaten by my little brother’s.”

“Let’s not be overconfident now,” Albus warned, ever the serious captain. “It’s bad luck you know.”

“But you just told me yesterday that Slytherin was going to win,” I said to Al.

“He did, did he?” Chaise said, looking at Al challengingly. “What makes you so sure?”

“It’s obviously because I’m on the team,” Tyson joked, as he stretched his arms in what he figure was a manly way. This caused me to elbow him in the stomach. Again.

“Co, you really need to stop doing that,” Tyson said, once he recovered from his hunched over state, looking at me seriously. “One day I’m going to just have an indent of your elbow on my stomach.”

“Well you need to stop being so—”

“Here they go again,” Dom said, rolling her eyes as Tyson and I began to argue about his overcockiness.

“—arrogant,” I continued, poking him to improve my point. “It’s really not becoming of you, you know. Girls don’t like cocky guys, so you should really—”

“Girls love me,” Tyson responded, cutting me off. “And I managed to still get you as a best friend despite my ‘conceitedness’ so I think I’ll stay the way I am thank you very much.”

As a response I used both of my hands to mess up his hair as much as I could, causing him to complain as usual about how much time it takes him to get his hair to ‘look this good’. He then decided to do the same to me and used his hands to mess my hair up as much as he could, except he kept on messing my hair up and didn’t stop.

“Stop—it—“ I complained, blowing pieces of hair out of my mouth as he continued to dishevel my hair. I couldn’t even open my eyes without the risk of my hair being pushed into them.

“Not until you do,” Tyson responded, as I continued to ruffle his hair as forcefully as I could. Sadly, this had little to know effect on his seeing or speaking abilities.

Damn him for having short hair.

“Never—going to—happen,” I answered giving his hair and extra powerful ruffle as I coughed up even more hair chunks.

“It’s nice to see how mature you two are now that you’re friends again,” Dom stated flatly.

This caused Tyson and I to stop messing up each other’s hair, as we instead stuck our tongue out at her. Then Tyson and I exchanged a look, before pouncing on Dom, causing her to flail and fall of the bench of the Slytherin table.

“Take it back!” I commanded, tickling her sides so she couldn’t fight back, as Tyson started to ruffle her hair.

“Nuh—uh,” Dom coughed out between laughs.

Tyson and I continued to tickle her more, causing tears to appear in the corner of her eyes, as she tried to claw at us.

“I really missed this group,” Wyatt said, as Dom started to roll away from us on the floor of the Great Hall. When she managed to roll out of our grasp, she got up, and started to run. Tyson and I both ran after her.

“Oddly enough, I did too,” Chaise responded although I could barely hear him now, as I had just jumped onto Dom’s back trying to bring her down.

Tyson then picked the both of us up and purposely dropped us down, causing Dom and I to tumble over.

“TIMBERRRR,” Dom shouted loudly, drawing attention towards us as we flopped onto the ground. When we made contact with the floor, we both let out very large and unladylike grunts.

When I glared up at Tyson, he was hunched over he was laughing so hard, and Dom and I took this opportunity to each grab one of his legs, and pull. His eyes widened at the sudden jerk of weightlessness, and then he toppled over as well, making us all laugh more.

Merlin I loved my friends.

“Uhm, excuuuse me,” a voice I instantly recognized said, her tone dripping with disdain. I slowly turned my head towards the voice, and my gaze rested upon Bailey. She seemed to have just walked through the Great Hall doors, and was now trying to get around us. “You’re in my way.”

Reality suddenly came crashing down around me, and I was reminded that while one part of my life had been fixed, I still had a million other problems that needed to be solved. The number one problem, was standing right in front of me.

“Whoops,” Dom said, rolling herself sideways to clear a path and bringing me along with her. She gave me a look as if asking me what I was thinking, and I blinked and looked away.

“Thanks,” Bailey said insincerely, stepping around us as we began to sit up. “It’s nice to know you’re good for something, right Corinne?”

I didn’t say anything and instead remained silent as the sound of Bailey’s footsteps continued on towards her table. A lump began to form in my throat, and I swallowed hard.

It was almost funny, how quickly a good mood evaporated.

*

“Bailey!” I called, as I watched her petite form turn a corner, her banana curls flying away from her face in an effortlessly easy way. She was alone, which was why I even had the nerve to try to talk to her, and I saw her shoulders tense before she continued down the hall way.

I wasn’t exactly sure what had brought on this sudden surge of trying to fix things or at least talk to Bailey, but I knew that it had to happen. Our brief encounter in the Great Hall earlier this morning had made me fully aware of that. And after making it through these past couple of really tough weeks, it didn’t seem like it’d be as hard as I once thought.

The entire day I had been replaying our encounter on repeat, trying to figure out when things had gotten as bad as they had or even why. And soon after I couldn’t figure out an answer, I knew I had to speak to her. She was my sister, my flesh and blood, and we needed to talk. Or at least… I needed to talk to her. But she seemed to have other plans.

“Bailey!” I repeated, trying to get her to turn around. She didn’t.

It’s not like I expected her to open her arms in welcome and shout about rainbows and butterflies and how happy she was to see me. Bailey was never like that. But it still hurt to get the cold shoulder from her, however much I tried to pretend it didn’t.

But I wasn’t going to just let her ignore me. She was my sister, and I had a right to talk to her, even if she didn’t want to talk to me. My mind was suddenly racing with thoughts about everything she had said about me in Diagon Alley and every instance I’d seen her since. An image of her laughing in the Great Hall on that fateful day appeared in front of me.

Yes, I needed to talk to her, and this was the only way I knew how.

So, I forced my legs to speed walk/run towards her, until suddenly I was whirling her around and forcing her to stare at me.

“Hello to you too,” I said. Bailey, realizing she was trapped, struck her best annoyed pose.

“What do you want, Corinne?” Bailey asked, her voice a monotone and her eyes flat. I winced inwardly at the tone of her voice, and felt myself start to think that maybe this was a bad idea.

“I just wanted to talk to you,” I said feeling my voice quiver a bit and instantly hating myself. “I mean it’s been forever.”

“It’s been three years,” Bailey snapped, her brown eyes narrowing and her stance remaining solid.

My lips seemed to dry out quickly, and I felt the palms of my hands begin to grow itchy.

“Yeah well, I just wanted—”

“Wanted to what?” Bailey asked, throwing her hands out in question. “Wanted to talk? Wanted to be all buddy-buddy or something after leaving?”

Suddenly, it felt like we were five again. We use to love to play Wizards chess, and Bailey would always get to go first, whether or not I liked it. According to her youngest always went first, and no matter what I did she would always take charge. Bailey always made herself the leader, and I always followed. No arguments. That was just how our sibling dynamic worked.

“No I just—” I tried to say but Bailey was obviously not done speaking.

“Because news flash: I don’t need you and I never did. Why don’t we go on and pretend the other doesn’t exist, okay Cor? It’s obviously been easy for you the past couple of years, so what’s one more?” Bailey said her voice brinking on the edge of hysteria. I felt myself instantly shrink back, unsure what exactly had happened to cause this.

Is this really what Bailey thought? That I left her and ignored her and pretended she didn’t exist? She had ignored me since her first day at Hogwarts! How could she try and act like she hadn’t done anything wrong? I instantly felt all my confusion turn into anger, searing hot and pumping through my veins, making me speak.

“Oh that’s rich,” I said feeling myself let out a hollow laugh. I clenched my hands, and my fingernails dug into my skin. “Just blame me for everything! As if you didn’t do that same sodding thing to me!”

“I was eleven Corinne! I was young and everyone at school was making fun of me for having you as a sister! I did what anyone my age would’ve done,” Bailey defended, her anger flaring up even more at the fact that I didn’t give my usual submissive response. I was deviating from our usual script and she didn’t like it. Not one bit.

“And I was twelve!” I shot back, knowing that I couldn’t back down. There was something so deep inside me that had waited all these years to come out. To talk to Bailey and tell her everything I ever felt for her. “What was I supposed to do when my only sister suddenly ignored me and treated me just as bad as everyone else at this school? Stay?”

“Of course you were supposed to stay! I needed you! Mum needed you!” Bailey shouted as her voice began to shake. Her mouth pulled itself into a straight line and her eyes grew tight. The light from the hallway glinted off of the corners of her eyes, signaling that she was tearing up.

I felt my entire face soften at the fact that my sister, probably the strongest girl I knew, was starting to crumble right in front of me. Her walls were down, and that was something I had never seen before. Not since before the divorce that is.

“Bailey I—” I started to say, my voice laced with sadness and my eyes looking at her sympathetically.

“Just don’t,” Bailey interrupted, her voice suddenly stronger, cold like it had been before. “Just stop it, okay? I don’t need you anymore, and I never did.”

And with that, she turned on her heel and headed down the hallway, leaving me staring after her feeling even worse about myself than usual. How was it she could make me feel like the biggest scum of the Earth, even after all the crap she had said about me?
______________________________________________________________________________________

A/N: Hello my lovely lovely readers :) I hope you're proud of me for my fairly speedy update! I figured I'd update this story first instead of my other one to make up for how long I made you guys wait for the last chapter.

So anyways, let me know what you think of this one! Lot's and lot's of problems got resolved, and lot's of new problems arose. What do you think about the apology? What do you think about James still being Tyson and Chaise's friend? What do you think about Bailey, Bailey, Bailey?

Let me know what you think in a review below! You guys have been some of the awesomest reviewers ever I gotta say :D

So anyways, next chapter will be the Slytherin/Gryffindor Quidditch game and I've never written a Quidditch game before so I'm kind of excited and nervous at the same time to do that. But there will be a lot that happens next chapter (at least in my mind there is).

Alright I've rambled long enough! Thank you so much for reading and reviews are not necessary, but they are very very much appreciated and I will always respond :)

-Rebecca


Chapter 20: This Won't Stop, Till I Say So
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Disclaimer: I'm not JKR. Chapter title and summary come from the song Blackout by Breathe Caroline. Listen to it while you read this and you won't be disappointed.






“So how does my hair look? Is it too flat? And is my dress too short? Or is it a non-slaggy length? And what about—”

“Dom,” I said, getting ready to repeat the words I had said about a million times, “You look great.”

“You’re not even looking!” Dom exclaimed, snatching the magazine I was reading at out of my hand and narrowing her eyes at me. Milo, who was resting in the crook of my arm, meowed. “How can you say that when you haven’t even looked?”

“Because you always look great,” I responded, rolling my eyes. “And besides, I don’t know what you’re so worked up about. It’s just a Quidditch game.”

The Qudditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin was one of the last things on my mind. Ever since my conversation with Bailey a couple of days ago, I had been in a bit of a funk. My thoughts constantly analyzed and revisited everything she had said and I couldn't help but wonder if Bailey was right. Was I really that terrible of a sister? Should I have tried harder? 


Bailey's words had hit too close to home. I couldn't even get advice, because I refused to tell anyone about it. I was so ashamed of everything Bailey thought about me that I didn’t even feel comfortable telling Dom. And as much as I wanted to be angry at Bailey... I couldn't. Because as soon as I did, I thought of her pained face and how hurt she had looked in that hallway as she blinked back tears. Her and my mum had needed me, and I wasn't there.

“I know,” Dom said, smoothing down her hair and examining herself again in the mirror. I blinked away my thoughts and focused my gaze on Dom. “I just… Don’t want to look ridiculous, you know?”

I looked at Dom head to toe. From the too short red dress she had bought last week at Hogsmeade, to her gold heels and jacket, along with a Gryffindor scarf. If she was aiming to not look ridiculous, she had missed. By a lot.

However, while some people might look at her overdressy-ness and full out Gryffindor support as crazy, I knew that the real reason behind it was of course: Chaise. While we were all on good terms now and had become friends again, Dom and Chaise had yet to get back together, something that had confused Tyson, Wyatt, and I to no end. They still flirted and blushed whenever their hands brushed and always stared at one when the other wasn’t looking, but whenever any of us would ask either of them about getting back together, they’d just shrug and say ‘It’s better this way’.

Psh, whatever that meant. I liked to fantasize that the reason they weren’t back together was that the two of them were both too stubborn to admit that they missed the other. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

“This doesn’t have to do with trying to look good for a certain someone, does it?” I asked, giving Dom a look.

Dom stopped fluffing her hair and looked away from the mirror, focusing her eyes on me. “Corinne,” Dom started seriously, “I told you that Chaise and I are over. We tried dating, and it just ended badly. We’re better as friends.”

“But you guys still like each other!” I complained, throwing my arm up in exasperation.

“No, we don’t,” Dom said, turning back to the mirror and fluffing her hair again. “We’re just friends.”

“Yeah, okay,” I scoffed sarcastically. “I’m sure you are. Let me know how that works out once he starts hitting on other girls. I’m sure you’ll be fine then.”

Dom snapped her head towards me immediately, her eyes drilling holes into my skin. “Chaise was hitting on girls?”

“No,” I said slowly, “But he will, eventually.”

There was a long pause.

“Well then good for him,” Dom replied, shrugging her shoulders. “We both should move on.”

I rolled my eyes, not buying Dom’s words in the slightest, and just when I was about to point out the state of denial she was in, Roxy opened the door, interrupting our conversation.

“You guys,” Roxy said eagerly, “you should head down to the Quidditch stands. The game’s going to start soon!”

“Fine,” I said, giving Dom a ‘this isn’t over’ look and getting up from my laying position on the bed, dropping Milo down softly as I did so. When I got up, I noticed Roxy’s eyes narrow at me.

“Corinne,” Roxy said slowly, “What are you wearing?”

I looked down at my outfit quickly: a white t-shirt that had a silver snake on it with emerald eyes, a green and silver scarf, dark wash skinny jeans, and emerald green ballet flats.

I looked up at Roxy and gave her a nervous smile.

“Um… I just happened to throw it on?” I offered lamely.

Roxy crossed her arms, her Quidditch robes flowing in a big puddle of crimson cloth as she did so, and her stare stayed trained on me.

“You’re supporting Slytherin?” She asked me in an accusatory tone.

It wasn't so much as I was supporting Slytherin as Slytherin was supporting me. For my birthday, Tyson, Al, and Scorpius had all given me Slytherin gear encouraging me to wear it for the upcoming match. Tyson had given me the shirt (which he had gotten for me before our fight) right after we made up, Al had given me the scarf, and Scorpius had given me a Slytherin hoodie. And since emerald green is such a beautiful colorand I did love the guys, I had agreed to support them.

“Well…” I began, trying to find the right words, “It’s just… Tyson…Al…Scorpius… they…”

“I am disappointed in your lack of house pride,” Roxy stated solemnly. Then she cracked a smile. “But I’ll let it slide, only because you and Tyson have just made up this week. But if we lose, I blame you.”

“I can live with that,” I responded, nodding my head.

“You say that now,” Roxy began, “But if you’re filled with a room of upset Gryffindors, it’ll be another story.”

“We’ll see,” I sing-songed, grabbing my Slytherin hoodie off the chair and pulling on some silver gloves. “We’ll see.”

*

“Wow, Corinne, you have so much house spirit,” Chaise said sarcastically, crossing his arms as we walked up to him, “I’m shocked.”

“Told you,” Roxy stated, giving me her ‘I know I’m right’ look. “You’re treading on thin ice with the Gryffindors.”

“I’m just gunna hope it doesn’t crack,” I teased back, rolling my eyes.

“Yeah, okay, good luck with that one,” Chaise said.

I stuck my tongue out at him, to which he crossed his eyes.

Chaise then caught sight of Dom and grinned, slinging an arm around her shoulder. “You see, Corinne? You should take a leaf out of Dom’s book. She knows how to support a fellow friend.”

I watched as Dom beamed up at Chaise her cheeks flushing just the slightest shade of pink. I mentally wanted to smack them both and force them to get back together.

Why must they be so sodding stubborn?

“Oi! Peddington!” a voice called. I turned to see James, walking towards us in a sergeant-like manor, his hands clutched at his sides. His jet black hair was even more tousled than usual and his eyebrows were drawn together, framing his hazel eyes. He also happened to look particularly good in his Quidditch robes, but I immediately chased the thought away. “You need to come back into the changing rooms to listen to the pre-game speech.”

Chaise dropped his arm from around Dom’s shoulders, and looked towards James, who did not seem the least bit pleased that one of his teammates wasn’t prepping with the team.

“Oh, sorry James,” Chaise said to James easily. “I just figured the speech was over with. I mean, you’d been rambling on about plays for like an hour.”

James’ mouth tensed the slightest bit as Chaise said this and he ran his hands through his hair agitatedly.

“Peddington, now’s not the time for jokes. We really need to focus right now and this company,” as he said this his eyes flicked over my head to toe silver and green appearance, “is distracting you... And you’ll call me captain on the pitch.”

“Okay, captain,” Chaise said, rolling his eyes at us when James wasn’t looking. James did not leave however and continued to stand behind Chaise, crossing his arms and tapping his foot.

Dom and I exchanged a look at James’ very angry demeanor. While we hadn’t exactly been hanging out with him—at all—since we’d made up with Chaise and Tyson, James had been around more than usual lately. Normally, we’d see him talking to Chaise or Tyson, and once we'd arrive, he’d make his excuses and leave with no bitter words. It was as though neither of us quite existed to the other, and he was never snippy or mean. It was a great little system we had going. So what was with Mr. Angry making an appearance?

“Well I guess we’ll be going then,” I said slowly, beginning to back away from Chaise and James. “I promised Tyson, Scorp, and Al I’d see them before the game….”

“Hey! Aren’t you going to wish me luck?” Chaise asked. His eyes were now bright with excitement. At least he didn’t take James’ words too seriously. I guess it was a guy thing.

“Isn’t wishing someone luck bad luck?” I asked him arching an eyebrow. “Shouldn’t we tell you to break a leg or something?”

“Coco, that’s for acting,” Chaise responded rolling his eyes.

“No it’s for performing,” Dom chimed in, backing me up. “And today you are performing for a Quidditch team, so luck is bad!”

“Yeah,” I said absently, not really understanding where she went with the conversation. “What she said!”

“You didn’t understand a word I said did you Coco?” Dom asked me, looking annoyed. Chaise started laughing at me from behind her. I stuck my tongue out at him, and he pulled a funny face.

“Of course I did,” I lied back easily.

“No you didn’t.”

“Yes. I did.”

“No—”

“Well this is my cue to leave,” Chaise said, rolling his eyes.

“But we didn’t even get to wish you luck!” I shouted after him, as he backed away.

“I thought you said that was bad luck?” he called back.

“Well then kick some arse, eh?” Dom interjected, bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet excitedly. Chaise grinned, hugged the both of us, and then turned around, falling into step with James and beginning to walk towards the Gryffindor changing rooms. They began chatting easily and broke into laughs about something, James’ angry demeanor beginning to fade.

“Huh,” I said, looking at Dom, who was also staring after the two of them. “I wonder what’s up with James.”

“And you care because…?” Dom asked, arching an eyebrow at me.

Dom had got me there. I didn’t know why I cared. Actually, scratch that, I didn’t care. Not one bit. It was just weird. Confusing, you know? He normally just wasn’t that mean. But I guess this was James. This attitude should be expected of him.

Right?

*

“There you guys are! I’ve been having to tell random people these spots were taken for ages, and a couple people were beginning to think I was making it up,” Wyatt said, pulling his cloak off of the Quidditch benches he was saving for us and fastening it back around his neck. “What took so long?”

“Whaddya mean?” Dom asked confused, as she took the seat next to me, after I had sat down next to Wyatt. “We’re like… right on time.”

“Oh yeah,” Wyatt said, rolling his eyes, “I forgot I was talking to the most notoriously late people ever.”

“We’re not late,” I argued, smacking Wyatt on the arm. “You’re just early.”

“Oh NOW it all makes sense,” Wyatt intoned sarcastically. “I always assumed when you guys made plans for us to meet at certain times, you meant that time. I didn’t know you meant twenty minutes afterwards.”

“Oh stop being a tightarse,” Dom complained stretching out her arms and cracking her head to both sides. “Just relaaaax.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, giving Wyatt a serious look. “I mean, I know you’re worried about Roxy getting hurt while she flies because you fancy her—”

“Who says I fancy her?” Wyatt asked, abruptly cutting me off.

Dom and I both snapped our heads to look at him, our mouths hanging in a large ‘o’.

“Are you saying you don’t fancy her?” Dom asked, cocking her head to the side.

“Maybe…I dunno…” Wyatt said, looking flustered. “It’s just… it’s complicated.”

“Mhmm,” I asked, immediately looking interested. “How so?”

“I mean…” Wyatt said, his gaze flickering around to look anywhere but at us. “I think we’d be better staying friends. She just got ditched by like her closest friend and it’d be rude of me to take advantage of her in her vulnerable state, wouldn’t it?”

I inwardly rolled my eyes. What is it with everyone wanting to be ‘just friends’? It’s like a fucking epidemic.

Oh hey, I like you. Let’s ‘just be friends’ because things would be oh so complicated otherwise. Oh great! You agree! Let’s keep this sexual tension going then because that’s SO MUCH BETTER.

“Wyatt, Wyatt, Wyatt,” I began, slinging an arm around his shoulder. “Has Roxy told you she doesn’t want a relationship?”

“No but—”

“But what?” Dom interrupted.

“But I’ve assumed—”

“You know what they say when you assume things right?” I asked, cutting him off.

“Ha ha,” Wyatt said, looking annoyed. “Look, I know what I’m doing. She needs more time.”

Sometimes, I hate how adorably chivalrous Wyatt is.

“Time is of the now,” I responded, ruffling Wyatt’s hair. “As of, ask her out now.”

“LADIES AND GENTLEMAN,” a loud voice exclaimed, saving Wyatt from a response. The loud chatter of the Quidditch stands quieted down as Louis Weasley began to speak in an amplified voice, using his wand.

I gave Wyatt a look to tell him this conversation wasn’t over, and he blatantly ignored me.

“WE’RE HERE FOR THE ONE, THE ONLY GRYFFINDOR VERSUS SLYTHERIN QUIDDITCH MATCH!” Louis exclaimed. Once he finished his sentence the stands erupted into insanely loud cheers. Dom and Wyatt were cheering along too, Dom jumping up and down while Wyatt whistled. I opted for the route that wouldn’t kill my vocal chords, and just clapped loudly.

“Alright, alright! Quiet!” Louis joked, causing the cheers to slightly subside. “I haven’t even introduced the teams yet!”

It took a little bit longer for the cheers to die down, but once they did he took another breath. “Now, let me introduce to you, the best team to ever grace Hogwarts, the undisputed champions of last year, the one, the only: THE GRYFFINDORS!”

If I had thought the cheers before had been loud, I was proven wrong. After Louis finished his sentence, there was the loudest uproar of cheers I’d ever heard. My head grew cloudy with the noise and my thoughts began to jumble over themselves as earsplitting shrieks entered my ears. Even at Beauxbatons, nobody ever got this excited for Quidditch matches.

The cheers grew even louder as the Gryffindor team walked out. James was seeker and captain, Aidan, Oliver, and Chaise were chasers, Freddy and a third year Jason Whittaker were beaters, and Roxy was the keeper. The cheers continued as they all walked in one after the other, a mass of scarlet robes against the grassy pitch.

“And introducing the opposing teams, who are of course no match for the mighty Gryffindors… the Slytherins!” Louis said, obviously showing his bias towards the Gryffindor house.

The Gryffindor stands Dom and I were in grew significantly quieter as the noise from the Slytherin stands grew to be just as loud as the Gryffindors had previously been. I clapped the same decibel that I had for the Gryffindors, and noticed a couple people shoot me the stink eye at my Slytherin gear, before I just decided to stop clapping all together.

It was obvious the team I was supporting anyways.

I watched as the Slytherin team marched onto the Quidditch pitch, Al heading the team with a serious expression on his face. Tyson and Scorpius were walking behind him, laughing and joking with one another, and the rest of the Slytherin Quidditch team also seemed pretty rowdy and excited.

Madame Hooch then had both teams line up in the middle of the pitch, ordering the captains to shake hands. James and Al shook hands quickly, both of them looking more serious than I’d ever seen them. I couldn't help but keep my eyes fixe James, whose expression was very tense as his eyes locked with Al. I found his expression odd, since he almost looked, dare I say it, angry at Al.

“Why does James look so snippy?” I wondered aloud, finding it odd how moody James had been this whole morning.

“Him and Al are always like this,” Dom said, waving it off like it was no big deal. “They’re really, really competitive with each other.”

Ah, sibling rivalry. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it

“AND THEY’RE OFF!” Louis announced, breaking into our conversation. Dom and I both looked back at the pitch, to watch as the Quidditch players all rose up from the ground, red and green blurs as they flew across the pitch.

It was kind of pretty to watch. They almost looked like Christmas.

“The game starts off simple. Wood has the quaffle and he passes it to Peddington, the newest chaser, who passes it to Finnegan, our seasoned pro, who—
OH hit from a bludger by Wittry, the new Slytherin beater.”

I looked at Tyson, who smirked and then saluted to crowd, obviously proud that he had hit Aidan right in the chest. A bunch of Slytherins burst into loud claps and cheers. I found myself smiling a little involuntarily at the fact that he managed to cause Aidan pain.

“And Finnegan’s okay! He’s flying around again, but the quaffles now in Malfoy’s hand who passes it to Flint who passes it to- oh stolen by Finnegan, guess he didn’t let that bludger effect him— OH! But he might let that one. Another bludger by Wittry. Man this guy knows how to aim.”

The audience gasped as Aidan was, yet again, hit by a bludger. He wobbled around on his broom, dropping the quaffle, and then steadied himself, shooting a really pissed of look at Tyson. Tyson smirked.

“And Finnegan’s still okay! But now Flint has the quaffle again, who passes it to Malfoy who—dodges a bludger sent by Weasley! And shoots…. YES BLOCKED BY THE AMAZING GRYFFINDOR SEEKER!”

I watched as Roxy caught the ball easily, blocking Scorpius from scoring and then threw it to Oliver. I switched my gaze from watching them to watching Al and James, the two seekers, as their eyes tore across the field, trying to find the snitch.  James' hair was whipping against his forehead with his eyes were narrowed in concentration, as he ignored Al and searched the grounds for that familiar glint of gold.

“-And a block from Slytherin’s keeper as well! Although just barely,” Louis announced, causing me to look back at the action.

“How long do Quidditch games last?” I asked Wyatt, who was transfixed on the game.

“Until the snitch has been caught. It normally takes about an hour, although there have been games that have gone on for days.” Wyatt explained, keeping his eyes on the game.

I sighed as there was another block by Roxy on the pitch after another Slytherin chaser aimed at her. Sports weren’t really my favorite thing in the world to watch. They tended to get really boring, really fast. At least for me. 

“Looks like this game's going to be a long one folks,” Louis announced, as the Slytherin Keeper blocked a shot from Chaise. “Slytherin and Gryffindor are on their game.”

*

“Quidditch is boring,” I exclaimed, resting my head on Dom’s shoulder and fluttering my eyelids closed.

“Come on, Chaise! Just throw it! THROW IT!” Dom exclaimed, brushing me off as she stared intently at Chaise who now had the quaffle. The rest of the school was also watching the game eagerly, looking anything other than bored.

I guess that made one of me, then.

“And another ten points for Gryffindor!” Louis announced, which elicited cheers from the Gryffindor stands.

The Quidditch game had been going on for an hour now, and nobody was any closer to winning then they had when they started. Gryffindor was in the lead, but only by fifty points, and Slytherin was holding their own.

It was really down to the two seekers: James and Al to end the game. And while there had been numerous spottings of the snitch throughout the game, neither of them had managed to catch it. Not that they were bad seekers, in fact it was the opposite. They were both too good. And since they were both really good seekers, neither would let the other catch the snitch.

“Why can’t you have ties in Quidditch?” I asked Wyatt, who was watching Roxy, looking worried every time a quaffle was thrown at her. How sweet.

“A tie would defeat the whole purpose of a Quidditch game,” Wyatt explained, looking away from Roxy reluctantly as he turned to me. “What’s the point of having no winner and no loser?”

“The point is,” I began, crossing my arms, “that the game ends with everyone feeling good about themselves. Then everyone’s happy.”

“That’s a stupid idea,” Dom cut in. “There always has to be a loser. How else would the winners feel better about themselves?”

“By being good people?” I suggested.

“Psh, yeah, okay,” Dom said, rolling her eyes. “Like that ever makes someone feel better.”

“Oh don’t listen to Dom,” Wyatt said. “She’s a bit too pessimistic about things. I mean this is the girl that goes by the motto: Life sucks then you die.”

“It’s a good motto!” Dom argued. “It’s the truest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“It’s not true,” Wyatt responded.

“But it is,” Dom said. “Did you know it’s actually proven that people remember the bad things in their lives over the happy things? It’s like the human mind is set up to have a terrible life.”

“Yeah I have to agree with Dom on this one,” I said. “Life does kind of suck.”

“No it—"

“AND THE POTTERS HAVE SPOTTED THE SNITCH!” Louis shouted, instantly breaking into our conversation and causing the three of us to whip our heads back to the action.

James and Al were both barreling down fast, their hair plastered against their faces by the wind as they plummeted closer and closer to the ground. I looked to where they were heading and caught sight of the snitch, glinting against the grass, looking almost as though it was winking.

The entire audience held their breath, watching as James and Al zoomed closer and closer to the ground. They both refused to look at the other, and had their mouths set into thin lines, their eyes oh so focused on the bit of gold that was right above the ground.

“They’re going to crash,” Wyatt stated. “There’s no way either of them will be able to get the snitch and pull up before hitting the ground.”

After he said this, it seemed that the two seekers realized this as well. Al, who was barreling to the ground at an incredibly fast speed, pulled up at the realization that he would crash. James, noticing this, followed his lead.

“And it looks like they’ve pulled out now! Safe bet I’d say. That’s a pretty dangerous dive,” Louis’s voice echoed around the stadium.

However, just as James decided to pull up, realizing that it would be stupidly reckless to go after the snitch, Al began to barrel down again, gaining speed and surpassing the slight lead James had had. I noticed James mutter something that looked like “Fuck” under his breath, before he began to follow Al again.

Al continued to fly towards the ground now, throwing caution to the wind at the fact that if he tried to get the snitch, he would surely crash. James was trailing just slightly behind him, looking very pissed off at the trick his brother had played on him, but still managing to catch up slightly.

They were now right in front of the snitch, and both of them began to reach their arms out to try and catch the ball. They were both so close—

Suddenly, James and Al both fell off of their brooms, colliding with each other as they tried to get the snitch. They both toppled over and landed in a heap on the ground, however what caught the audience’s attention was the fact that the snitch was nowhere to be seen.

“And one of the Potter’s has caught the snitch!” Louis announced. Everyone in the audience held their breath, unsure which Potter had caught it.

I then watched as Al, slowly but surely, pumped his hand up into the air, his face covered in dirt and his nose bleeding slightly. There was a glimmer of gold in his hand that could be seen by everyone and the entire stadium seemed to exhale in one large woosh. The Slytherin stands erupted into earsplitting cheers.

“Slytherin…. Well Slytherin… has won.”

*

“Ty, I’m so proud of you!” I said happily, giving Tyson a hug to which he spun me around enthusiastically.

The game had ended, the score resulting in 350- 140, Slytherin. The catch at the end of the game had been the determining factor of who would win, and Al had caught it just barely. Dom, Wyatt, and I were now on the Quidditch pitch, where the Slytherin and Gryffindor Quidditch teams were loitering around, the Slytherins celebrating and shouting loudly and the Gyrffindors looking very upset.

“I think you’re the only Gryffindor to think that,” Tyson said, laughing as he put me down.

“That’s not true!” I exclaimed. “What about Wyatt? And Dom?”

“You do realize they both wanted Gryffindor to win… right?” Tyson asked pointing something out.

I looked around to where he was pointing to see Wyatt standing next to Roxy as she looked a bit depressed, obviously trying to console her, and Dom standing with Chaise, both of them looking upset about how the game had turned out.

Had I really been the only one supporting Slytherin?

“Maybe they wanted both teams to win,” I offered.

“Yeah, okay, load of shit,” Tyson responded. “I’m just proud that we won. It was all because of me, you know.”

“I’m sure it was,” I said, rolling my eyes.

“Hey it was!” Tyson argued.

“I believe you.”

“No you don’t!”

“Course I do.”

“Don’t believe him, Corinne, I’m the reason we won,” Al said, having heard our conversation and walked over to the two of us. The blood on his nose was now cleaned up, and the dirt on his face was starting to fade. Scorpius was with him, and they both looked insanely happy.

I guess Quidditch can do that to people.

“Congrats to the two of you!” I said, giving each of them a hug. “You made me proud to be wearing Slytherin colors.”

“So it’s worth it despite the nasty glares you keep getting?” Scorpius asked, gesturing to a couple of Gryffindors who looked miffed that I was congratulating the winning team.

Whatever, they’re tossers anyways.

“Course it is!” I said cheerfully, slinging my arms around Scorpius and Tyson’s shoulders since they were the closest to me.

“Good, answer,” Tyson said. “Because Slytherin’s having a party to celebrate, and you’re coming.”

“Tyson, I said if we win we might be able to have a party,” Al said seriously. “I don’t want the team to get too—”

“PARTY IN THE SLYTHERIN COMMON ROOMS!” Scorpius shouted, drowning out Al's words.

There was a loud chorus of cheers as he said this, even Dom and Chaise looked a bit excited, despite the fact that Chaise had just lost. The only person who didn’t look happy, was James, who was standing a ways away, looking as closed off as ever and kicking the dirt.

Someone needed to tell him that it’s just a game. Seriously.

“So I’ll see you there then?” Tyson asked me, raising his eyebrows expectantly.

I watched as James kicked the dirt again and threw his broom on the ground, walking off of the pitch.

“You don’t even have to ask,” I responded, looking away and giving Tyson a grin.

*

“So I don’t look like a slag?” Dom asked me for what was now the millionth and one time that day.

“Of course you do, Dom,” I said to her, scanning up and down her outfit before rolling my eyes. She was wearing a super tight black dress that was scandalously short, sky-high black heels, and her silver hair was in a loose sidebraid. “Your dress is shorter than mine.”

While Dom had initially been upset about the Slytherin win, she had realized quickly that she didn’t actually care much about sports, and as soon as I mentioned the Slytherin party she was completely cured from whatever depression she had once had about Gryffindor losing. Roxy had also been a decent sport about it, and was already at the Slytherin party as well as Chaise.

“Okay… how about this then: do I look too slaggy?” Dom asked, quirking an eyebrow at me.

“Never,” I said linking my arm through hers and pulling her out the door of the common room. “Because then so would I.”

I was wearing a short-sleeved, cornflower blue dress that fit pretty snug and had a u neckline. It was a fairly slaggy length, hitting just above midthigh and had an open back that made it even slaggier, but I decided not to dwell. The only reason I had worn it was because Dom had thrown it at me along with some nude heels, saying it matched my eyes, and I knew arguing with Dom was a lost cause. I hoped that my hair, which was in very soft waves framing my heart shaped face, would unslaggify my look to some extent, but who knows.

It had taken us quite a while to get ready, what with the fact that we were notoriously slow, and the Slytherin party had started a couple of hours ago. So, we weren’t surprised to see the Gryffindor Common room was pretty empty when we entered it, despite a few depressed looking first through fifth years, seeing as most of the 6th and 7th years had gone to the Slytherin party despite losing.

I guess there’s nothing like free alcohol that can drown your sorrows away.

“So,” I began as we headed out of the portrait hole, our heels clacking as we walked. “Are you going to be hanging out with Chaise?”

“Well yeah,” Dom said. “We always hang out with Chaise.”

“But I mean like… hang out,” I said suggestively waggling my eyebrows. “I mean it’s a party, with alcohol and slaggy dresses.”

“Corinne,” Dom said, stopping her pace and putting her hands on her hips, “we’re mates, okay?”

“No you’re not,” I argued back. “You’re soul mates.”

Dom sighed, inspecting her hot pink nails, while she looked as though she was counting in her head. “We’re not soul mates.”

“Oh yeah?” I asked, not believing anything she was saying. “Prove it.”

“Prove that I’m over Chaise?” Dom asked me, and then she shrugged. “Fine.”

She then adjusted her bra lifting her boobs up in the process, cracked her neck from left to right, and stretched her arms over her head.

“We’re hot and we’re single. So we’re going to party,” Dom stated happily, putting a hand on her hip. I rolled my eyes.

"Mhmmm," I said back, still not buying it. 

We had reached the Slytherin Common Room by now, and I could hear the faint sound of thumping muggle music from behind the dungeon doors. I stated the password which Tyson had told me was ‘Parseltongue’ and as soon as I did the door opened to reveal a what could only be considered a full out rager.

The muggle music that had once been a loud thump was now an overpoweringly loud beat as Dom and I looked around the room.

The emerald green couches in the common room had been pushed up against the walls as seating areas, and in the middle of the room was a newly constructed dance floor complete with a DJ Booth that some fourth year Slytherin who called himself DJ Too-fine (his real name was Thomas Fiengold) was sitting behind, pumping his fist along with the music as about a hundred dancing bodies crammed themselves on the floor. There were emerald green strobe lights that flickered the Slytherin crest, and above the Slytherin staircases was a huge banner that read ‘Slytherins FTW; Oh wait we did!” Not to mention that there was several tons of emerald green and silver confetti floating around the room as well as streamers.

These Slytherins really knew how to party.

“Wow,” Dom said, echoing my thoughts.

“Dom, Coco! Take a drink!” Tyson said, spotting us by the entrance and waving to us over the crowd of people that were surrounding him. He was sitting by the open bar that was set up near the staircases, at which a huge line of Slytherins were waiting.

“Let them through, let them through,” Tyson commanded, getting the crowd around him to separate. “These gorgeous ladies need drinks, pronto.”

“Since when did you become the ruler of the bar?” I asked Tyson as Dom and I made our way through the crowd and over to him.

“Since I became the hottest beater this school has ever seen,” Tyson responded cockily, putting an arm around my shoulder once I reached him. With his other hand he smacked the countertop of the bar with his fist, and the seventh year Slytherin behind the counter immediately handed him three drinks. He gave one to me, one to Dom, and kept one for himself.

“Now drink up,” Tyson told me. “It’s been too long since the last time, and we’re only young once.”

“You say that every time you have alcohol,” I responded, rolling my eyes. I looked at Dom however, who was totally set on ‘proving’ to me that she was over Chaise, and she had already chugged the drink down.

“So what?” Tyson said, gulping down his drink and ordering another round, despite the fact that I still hadn’t even took a sip of mine. “It’s still true and it’s time for us to enjoy ourselves. Life’s good. Great even. So let’s enjoy it.”

I looked down at the drink that was in my hand and decided to listen to Tyson. While life wasn’t anywhere near good for me, what with my sister still hating me and my parents pretending I don’t exist, I figured that I owed it to myself to have fun, enjoy myself, and be the girl I used to be at Beauxbatons. So...

Screw it.

Shrugging my shoulders. I tilted my head back and gulped down the drink, ignoring the burn it caused in my throat. This was my last year at school and once it was over, I’d have to start being an adult and making my own decisions. And right now I wanted to just fuck it all and be happy. With my best mates.

“Atta girl,” Dom said when I put my empty cup down, as she linked her arms through mine. “Now let’s go dance, yeah?”

I nodded my head, smiling slightly at her, as she yanked me to the over-packed dance floor. I grabbed Tyson’s hand bringing him along with us and when we reached the dance floor, we bumped into Roxy and Wyatt, who already looked very drunk and very close seeing as her arms were wound around his neck while they swayed drunkenly back and forth.

“So I see you two are fine that Gryffindor lost?” Tyson said jokingly.

Roxy gave him a glare and then buried her face in Wyatt’s shoulder for comfort, as Wyatt gave Tyson a look.

“Don’t give me that look,” Tyson said, as Roxy remained curled into Wyatt's shoulder. “You should be happy the girl you’re crazy for is all over you now, wanting to be consoled. This wouldn’t be happening without our win!”

Wyatt shot Tyson another dirty look, and Roxy picked her head up from his shoulder, looking at Tyson.

“Wyatt’s crazy for me?” Roxy asked, looking from Tyson to Wyatt.

Tyson widened is eyes, as though wishing he hadn’t said anything, and Wyatt’s facial expression was frozen. Dom and I exchanged a look.

“Psh, no,” Tyson said. “He’s just…He just…”

“He just really, really likes you. So you two should go out,” I said butting in and deciding to take matters into my own hands.

I then linked my arm through Dom’s and grabbed Tyson’s hand to drag us away despite their protests, figuring that my work was done. Once we were far enough away on the dance floor where they couldn’t see us, we all turned around and watched Roxy and Wyatt who were now standing in front of each other, deep in conversation.

Roxy said something to Wyatt, and he said something back, rubbing the back of his neck as he did so looking nervous. She then appeared to be asking him a question, which caused him to look down at the ground, before finally looking up and nodding his head slowly. Then, suddenly, she put both hands on the side of his face and kissed him, while Wyatt remained frozen in shock. Soon enough, he started kissing her back and then they were full-out snogging, right in the middle of the dance floor.

"Atta boy!" Tyson yelled from where we stood, raising a fist in the air at Wyatt. Wyatt pulled away from Roxy and gave him the finger, before returning back to his snog.

Yup, this was going to be a good party. I could feel it.

*

Dom had disappeared.

Not that I was surprised—this was Dom we were talking about—but I was beginning to get worried. She’d been gone for a bit too long for my liking, and now I looked like a right loser, standing by some random Slytherin bloke who would not stop trying to look down my dress and nursing my fifth (sixth?) glass of firewhiskey as I scanned the room for anyone I knew.

“You’re really hot, did you know that?” The Slytherin (I’m pretty sure his name was Marcus) said as he leaned in towards me, his breath smelling of pure alcohol.

“Nope,” I responded, shaking my head, which was getting a bit woozy, and backing away. I stumbled. “I’m actually a bit chilly. It’s pretty cold in this room.”

Marcus laughed loudly at my joke, causing a couple random passersby to look over at us.

“You’re funny,” Marcus said sliding closer to me. “I like funny girls.”

“And I like my personal space,” I said as he started to move even closer to me. He was seriously starting to give me the heebie jeebies.

Marcus just laughed again as I said this, thinking I was joking, and brushed his hand against my leg. I shoved it off. “Oh Corinne, if only you knew how hot you were right now,” he stated, leaning his face closer to me as I tried to move away from him, but being that I’d already reached the corner of the room, I couldn’t really move any farther.

“How about we continue this conversation elsewhere?” Marcus asked me, wrapping a hand around my wrist. I tried to yank it away but I was too drunk for him to notice I was trying to escape. “I know a place we could go where—”

“Marcus, mate!” a voice called, causing Marcus to let go of my hand and turn around. I looked to where the voice was coming from to see James Potter, who had a petite auburn-haired girl trailing behind him as he walked towards us. I found myself surprised he had come to the party, but then I remembered he was Al’s brother and was also friends with Tyson. “There you are! Your girlfriend and I were looking all over for you!”

Marcus immediately stepped away from me, his glassy gaze refocusing, looking a bit like a deer caught in the headlights. The auburn-haired girl narrowed her eyes at the two of us.

Shit. Why did these guys always have angry girlfriends?

“What are you doing, Marcus?” the girl asked, not tearing her gaze away from me. I felt myself grow increasingly hot and uncomfortable as she glared.

“Nothing, nothing at all,” Marcus said faking nonchalance. “Corinne and I were just… talking.”

“Talking?” The girl asked, her eyes beginning to flash as she looked at Marcus. “At a party? While you’re drunk?”

“Sounds about right,” Marcus said, nodding his head stupidly.

“We just bumped into each other—” I started to explain, but the girl snapped her gaze back to me, and I’m pretty sure she snarled.

“Don’t even,” she said, her voice holding nothing but disdain. “I know the reputation you have at your old school. You love stealing other girl’s boyfriends. And I’m going to let you know right now that Marcus is mine. ”

“Bianca, I’m sure they were just talking,” James said, defending me, which caught me off guard. Since when did we start defending each other? Not that I was complaining. I was never good in these situations. But still.

“Bullshit,” Bianca said angrily. “She’s the biggest slag—”

“Hey, hey!” James said, interrupting her, as I felt myself growing increasingly angry at what Bianca was saying. “Let’s not start a fight now. How about I take Corinne and you take Marcus, and we promise not to bump into you again, okay?”

Bianca glared at me, and I found myself glaring back at her, despite the fact that I didn’t even like or want Marcus… at all.

“Fine,” Bianca snapped through gritted teeth. She then grabbed Marcus by the hand and marched off.

“Um… thanks,” I said to James once they had disappeared.

“No problem,” James said, shrugging. “You looked really freaked out.”

“Yeah, well…” I said trailing off, “You didn’t have to do that.”

“It’s fine,” James said again. There was another beat of silence. “Tyson’s been looking for you by the way. He’s over by the bar.”

“Oh,” I said simply. I then looked around the room towards the bar, where I could just make out a tuft of blonde hair that looked just like Tyson’s. I guess I should’ve expected he’d be there.

I waited a moment and then I started to walk over to the bar, James falling into step with me, as we remained in an awkward silence. I didn’t feel like making an effort to converse with him, because I still didn’t care much for him, and he seemed to sense this, which just made the silence even tenser.

“Coco, there you are!” Tyson said when we reached him. Chaise was also there. “I’ve been looking for you everywhere.”

“Same here!” I stated, happy to have found my friends and be able to escape the awkwardness of James and I. “I just had the worst encounter ever.”

“Aw,” Tyson said, putting an arm around my shoulder as I pouted, “What happened?”

“She was talking to Marcus Flint and Bianca saw,” James explained while I continued to pout.

“Oh man,” Tyson said, looking down at me and widening his eyes. “Bianca’s crazy.”

“That she is,” James agreed. “That’s why I had to buffer the situation.”

“Corinne,” Chaise said, looking at me seriously, “how many times have we told you not to snog other people’s boyfriends?”

“I wasn’t going to snog him!” I exclaimed. “It’s not my fault.”

“Sure, it’s not,” Tyson said, smirking at me. “You just happen to fall into situations with other girls’ boyfriends by chance.”

“I do actually,” I sniffed. It really wasn’t fair. I never intentionally snogged guys with girlfriends. It just sort of… happened.

“So then Jean Paul was an accident?” Chaise asked. “Him and Faye had been going out for two years.”

“He told me they’d broken up!” I argued back, my head getting woozier as I started to get annoyed. I mean, why did they always have to try and make me feel awful? Nothing I ever did was intentional. “Why are you two yelling at me anyways? I’m drunk; I don’t want to hear it.”

“Aw, I’m sorry Coco,” Tyson said, ruffling my hair, which made me glare at him. “I’ll pick on you when you’re sober instead.”

“Yes, please do,” I said, my voice taking a drowsy turn as I rested my head on his shoulder. “I can’t find Dom by the way.”

“Really?” Chaise asked, faking nonchalance. “Where do you think she is?”

“No idea,” I responded back as I tried to think of where she could be. “There was something where she told me that we were hot and single and that she was going to ‘prove it’… and then she disappeared.”

“Huh,” Chaise said, not looking at all comforted by this. “Maybe I should go look for her…?”

“Whatever floats your boat,” I responded, as he quickly walked away from us, leaving just Tyson, James, and I.

“He wants to snog her,” Tyson said as soon as Chaise disappeared. “Dunno why they won’t just get back together!”

“My thoughts exactly!” I agreed. “If they want to snog, they should snog. It’d make things so much easier.”

“Speaking of snogging,” Tyson said, his tone of voice shifting to a jokier note, “These Hogwarts girls really aren’t cutting it.”

“Ha, ha,” I said back, not caring at all about Tyson’s snogging predicament. I realized Tyson still had a little firewhiskey left in his glass and I yanked it out of his hand and chugged it down. Tyson, however, was too drunk to notice.

“They’re not that bad,” James said, trying to comfort Tyson. “They’re just a bit… obvious.”

I’m not sure if it was the fact that I was drunk, but it suddenly occurred to me that James, the person I detested/didn’t understand, was the last person that I had snogged. How had I not snogged anyone since him? I’d never gone this long without snogging someone before. Did that… mean something?

I shook my head. No, it didn't mean anything. I just needed to snog someone else... Now.

“Tyson, we should snog,” I said, choosing him because he was the first guy I could think of, and was also right in front of me.

Tyson burst out laughing as I said this, while James just stood there watching the two of us with an unreadable expression. “Oh no, you’ve reached your snogging stage of drunkenness. You’re not allowed another drink.”

“You don’t wanna snog me?” I asked him, feeling insulted. I was a snoggable girl, and he had just laughed at me! The audacity.

“Of course I do,” Tyson said soothingly. “And if the both of us weren’t drunk, I totally would. But you’re only saying this because you’re drunk. Why don’t you go find a guy with a girlfriend or something?”

“I hate you,” I said, crossing my arms. “You’re the worst friend ever.”

“But you love me,” Tyson said, smirking and then kissing me on the cheek. I wiped my hand on my cheek after he kissed it, pretending to be disgusted. He sighed. “Remember what you said last time I offered you a snog? ‘Tyson, we’re only mates.’ So, I’m going to honor that.”

“Whatever,” I said, still feeling insulted. If Tyson, the guy that snogs everyone, didn’t even want to snog me, then what did that mean?

“And now, you’re at your angry stage of drunkenness,” Tyson said. Someone then called Tyson’s name and we looked across the room to see Al, who seemed a bit angry. Tyson turned to James. “Hey, mate, do you mind watching over her? I gotta go talk to Al and make sure he’s not pissed at me and Scorp for having this party without his wishes, and I don’t know where Chaise has gone...”

“Uh… sure,” James said, sounding anything but.

“I donneed a babysitter!” I argued, my voice starting to slur. Tyson ignored me, as he unwrapped his arms from around me and propped me up.

“Just sit her over on the couches or something,” Tyson said distractedly, before remembering something and turning back around. “Oh, and make sure she doesn’t snog anyone.”

“Will do,” James said. Tyson then nodded his head and walked away from the two of us, leaving a very awkward pause.

“Let’s go to the couches then, shall we?” James said, obviously wanting to follow Tyson’s orders.

“Fine,” I said annoyed. I grabbed a bottle of firewhiskey off of the countertop of the bar ignoring the exclamations of 'Hey! You can't take that' from the bar tender. “But I’m still drinking, no matter what Tyson says about me being too drunk.”

“Guess that’s fair,” James said, not looking like he wanted to argue much with me. We then walked over to some couches in the corner of the room, the music from the dance floor still thumping loudly. I stumbled as we walked, causing James to catch me and then help me walk the rest of the way to the couch. I cringed. I could walk by myself, thank you very much.

When we reached the couch, I plopped down on it immediately, and James sat down a little aways from me, leaving couple of feet between the two of us. There was a silence-

“So, why are you here?” I asked James bluntly, my speech still a bit slurred. “Didn’t your team just, like, lose?”

James’ hands began to clench after I said this, but he replied calmly. “Yeah, we did. But I still want to enjoy the party and support my brother.”

“Oh,” I responded lamely.

We remained silent for a long while after that. I avoided any and all eye contact while James drummed his fingers against his knee.

“So,” James said, the silence becoming too much for him to bear, “What do you wanna do?”

I said the first thing that came to mind.

“Drink,” I answered, taking a swig out of the bottle of firewhiskey and then passing it over to him. “You should have some to if you want to be able to tolerate me. I get annoying when I’m pissed.”

“So do I,” James said, but he listened to me anyways and took a drink. “But I guess I’m annoying to you regardless.”

“Well look at that,” I responded, grabbing the bottle back from him and taking another swig, “You’re actually right for once.”

*

“My family hates me,” I stated, loudly passing the almost empty bottle of firewhiskey to James.

Over the past hour of us sitting at the couch we had developed some sort of game, where each of us would take a drink and say something about ourselves. As the bottle had begun to dwindle our proclamations had gotten more and more sad and soppy, and now I knew I was way too drunk to even have a filter through my thoughts and emotions.

“I’m sure that’s not true,” James said, looking as though he was trying to comfort me.

“You’re wrong,” I responded back to him. “They actually do. My sister especially.”

I still didn’t understand why I was sharing this with him. I mean, I knew I was extremely drunk, but there was something in the back of my head that was shouting at me that I should keep my mouth shut. I mean this was James I was talking to. But for some reason, I was ignoring it.

And speaking of my sister, she was here. She was leaning against the wall, socializing with one of her friends, acting as though she didn't have a care in the world. She hadn't made eye contact with me the entire time she'd been at the party, and I was sure she was avoiding me. Typical.

“I think my family hates me too,” James said, staring across the room at Freddy, who had also shown up and was talking with Madison and Elise. My three favorite people. James wasn’t even close to as drunk as I was, because he had taken Tyson’s duties over watching me seriously, but for some reason he was still sharing way too personal things with me.

I snapped my head towards him, shocked at what he’d said. I then waited.

“What?” James asked, noticing that I kept staring at him.

“Explain,” I ordered, as if it was obvious.

James didn’t look like he particularly wanted to, but I continued to stare at him, urging him to talk. He sighed, blowing some of his hair off his face and turned to me. I guess he figured he could open up to the super drunk girl (me).

“It’s just…” James said, looking as though he was trying to formulate the right words, “I’m like… the fuck up of the family... if that makes sense.”

As James said this he drummed his fingers against his legs more rapidly, trying to release his nerves.

“How so?” I asked James, growing very, very curious. I don’t think he’d ever been this open before, and I was going to try and get as much information from him as I could.

“Well… nobody knows this,” James said, looking straight ahead and not really looking at me, “But I wasn’t really... planned. My mum and dad wanted to wait to have kids, until their careers died down and everything would be all dandy and shit. But then... I came along and there was nothing they could do about it.”

I said nothing as I continued watching James clench his hands tighter and my face remained impassive, urging James to continue.

“My mum had to quit playing Quidditch to take care of me, and I think she kind of resents me for it. Like I was the one to take away the one thing that made her happy. Not to mention my dad had to take a job that he didn’t really want if only for the money. It’s like... I ruined their plans.”

“But that’s not your fault,” I told him.

“Everything else is though,” James said, still not really looking at me. It seemed as though he had wanted to get this off his chest for a long time. “I was the worst kid, ever. And it was like, once they had Lily and Al, my parents knew what not to do. Al is better than me at Quidditch and both of them get way better grades than I do. It’s like… I’m just this screw up of the family. And they all act like me being the screw up is just a joke, but I know better."

He swallowed hard and then turned to me, his mouth twisted into some weird smile. "Did you know… did you know that my first year of Hogwarts, they didn’t write to me? Not even once?”

I looked down at my hands, not sure how to respond to James. I always assumed he had had a perfect life. He had famous parents, bucket loads of money, and everyone at school loved him. It was odd how, once everything was stripped down to the basics, we were a lot alike. He was overshadowed by his siblings and an outcast to his parents, and so was I. Was this why he had wanted to win the Quidditch game so badly? To beat Al and have his parents love him more?

“I haven’t talked or heard from my mum since I left Hogwarts,” I said my voice sounding small to my own ears. I didn't know why I was saying this, but it suddenly felt like the right thing to say. “She thinks I chose my dad over her by wanting to live with him and go to Beauxbatons, but that’s not true. I just wanted everyone to stop being mean to me. I figured having to live with my nonexistent dad was worth it, but sometimes... I’m not so sure.”

James’s mouth became a flat line as he heard what I said, but I knew I had needed to say it. Maybe he just had to understand, for once, how he had unknowingly reshaped my life.

“I shouldn’t have done what I did to you,” James said, turning and facing me. “I was an angry kid. It was just so… different when I attended school and suddenly all these people liked me. I just wanted to prove that they were right to like me, so I needed someone to make fun of… It was stupid of me to do.”

I nodded my head not sure if I believed him. It just seemed too… easy, to be able to accept his apologies, despite all of his reasoning. But I could still feel a small part of me wanting to forgive him and let everything go. However, there was also a larger part of me, buried deep within myself, that was still screaming that I was hurting and scarred, and it was all because of him.

“I stopped being as shitty after you left,” James said quietly, so that I could barely hear him over the music. “I realized my jokes hadn’t ever been funny, and things with my parents got… better… after I crashed a car they had borrowed from the ministry a couple years ago. We have to see a family counselor every time I’m home now, but it’s better than the alternative.”

“What’s the alternative?” I asked him.

“Letting everything fester inside me, letting it continue to build and build, until suddenly it all comes out in one, huge rush,” James answered. “It’s much better this way.”

I grew silent as my thoughts picked over what he had just said. Was that what I had been doing? Letting everything just kind of hide beneath the surface, waiting for an excuse where I could let everything out? I mean, I had been so intent on hating all the Gryffindors when I came here, I had punched Freddy in the face on the first day, I had exploded at James after the Great Hall incident even though he had nothing to do with it, and I had even gotten in a fight with two of my best friends over James. Had I been going about everything all wrong?

"Why are you telling me this?" I asked James, my head throbbing with a million thoughts. James had no reason to tell me all of his personal details. It all made no sense.

However, before he could open his mouth to respond, there was a angry shout that permeated through the room, and I looked to see Chaise, entering the Slytherin Common Room, looking extremely pissed. I immediately got up from my seat next to James and hurried over to Chaise, widening my eyes at his miffed expression. Tyson was trailing after him, looking worried.

“What… what happened?” I asked Chaise.

“Dom.” Chaise answered me through gritted teeth, refusing to say more.

“What do you mean?” I asked, turning to Tyson for an answer, noticing Chaise couldn’t seem to form coherent words.

“Well… he found her,” Tyson said, looking wearily at Chaise, “And she was snogging someone else.”

 






A/N: DUN DUN DUN! And now things have gotten very very interesting.

This is actually one of my most crucial chapters thus far in the story, so I'm very happy to finally have it written and out. All of the next chapters are going to be very crucial to the story as well, and once chapter 30ish rolls around, the story is going to be over. :'(

Which brings me to another point... 20 CHAPTERS! I never imagined, in a million years, that I'd ever get this far with a story. And I seriously have all of you to thank for inspiring me with your reviews, and keeping me going.

So onto my ramble of questions: What do you think about Slytherin winning? Roxy and Wyatt getting together? Corinne and James? JAMES? I know his backstory might be difficult for those of you who love Harry and Ginny, and I'm not trying to make them monsters, I'm just trying to show that no family is perfect. They've had their ups and downs and all.

OH AND MY LAST QUESTION: Who was Dom snogging?

I'd like to dedicate this chapter to my bestestestest Olivia, who read this entire story in one night (except for the first five chapters which she had already read when I first posted them) and then read this chapter over and convinced me to post it now now now. Thank her for the quick update, because I've been toying with the idea of this chapter for a while.

Anyways, I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH FOR BEING AMAZING READERS&REVIEWERS! Please review and let me know what you think, and I'll get more inspiration ergo a speedier update.

-Rebecca


Chapter 21: Who Are You Now?
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Disclaimer: I'm not JKR. Chapter title and summary come from We Change, We Wait by The Maine. It's one of my all time favorite songs and I think it represents the whole James/Corinne aspect of this story pretty perfectly, so I highly recommend listening to it!






“True or false,” Dom stated, poking her head out from under the covers of her bed and looking up at me with worried eyes, “you think I’m a slutty bitch.”

“True,” I responded as I stood over Dom, trying to pull the covers off of her, which was proving to be difficult. Everyone else in our room had either gone down to breakfast (Roxy), or hadn’t returned home from last night (coughMadisonAndEliseAreSlagscough), leaving me alone to battle Dom out of bed. “But I also love you, so it evens out.”

I tugged at Dom’s covers again after I said this, trying to force her out of bed, but she wouldn’t budge. It was almost funny how the roles had reversed since Dom’s birthday party, when I had snogged James. Here I was, being the levelheaded one, while Dom buried herself under the sheets.

Did this make me a terrible friend if I kind of liked this turn of events?

“Dom,” I said, pulling at the covers again, to which she pulled back almost yanking my arm out of its socket. I guess since she was normally the one to tug me out of bed, she had developed insane arm-tugging muscles. So unfair. “Get out of bed!”

“NO!” Dom shouted. “I’d rather just lay right here, and pretend I didn’t drunkenly snog anybody yesterday.”

“Technically, you snogged him today,” I teased. “So you don’t need to pretend.”

“I hate you,” Dom complained, sitting up in her bed and glaring at me. “You’re supposed to be a good friend and comfort me in this trying time!”

“You do realize I’m terrible at comforting people,” I told Dom, perching myself on the side of her bed. “You’re the comforting one out of the two of us.”

“Well, fat lot of good it’s doing me now,” Dom complained. “I feel terrible.”

“That’s because you’re hung over,” I said cheerily, readjusting myself on Dom’s bed so that I was facing her. “Being hung over automatically equals a bad mood.”

“Yet somehow, you’re not in a bad mood,” Dom said flatly, giving me an annoyed look. “Why is that?”

“Dunno,” I answered, shrugging my shoulders. I really didn’t know either. I guess it was just because, for once, I wasn’t the one buried in a sea of drama.

Things were… okay. At least they kind of were. I mean, I still had all my family issues, and I was nowhere near being able to understand James. Not to mention Madison and Elise were still as snarky as usual. But, for some reason, I didn’t care about any of it. Or I couldn’t care. I wasn’t sure which one.


Dom and I continued to think to ourselves for a moment.

“Does Chaise hate me?” Dom asked softly. Her brown eyes held an enormous amount of worry and guilt within them that made my heart tug.

“Um…” I bit my lip as I tried to figure out an answer. The entire rest of the party Chaise had knocked back drinks, making exclamations about how he didn’t care about Dom and she could do what she wanted. But, it was obvious to everyone he was angry. Really, really angry. And hurt. “No?”

Dom sighed. “You’re a terrible liar, Coco.”

“I know,” I said, sighing as well. “But isn’t that a good thing? You don’t want a friend who’s a good liar. You want a friend that’ll tell you the truth.”

“So then tell meeee,” Dom whined. “How mad is Chaise?”

I thought over my response, not wanting it to sound harsh.

“Considering it took you only like… a week to get over him, I’d say he’s pretty mad,” I answered honestly. I looked away from Dom and out across the rest of the dormitory, not wanting to meet her eyes. “But he’ll get over it… I think.”

“Well that makes me feel better,” Dom said sarcastically.

“What else do you want me to say?!” I exclaimed, throwing out my hands in indignation. “You’re lucky I’m even talking to you considering you snogged Aidan. I hate that guy.”

Ah yes, Dom had snogged the one and only Aidan Finnegan. Something that, after Tyson had told me at the party, I had laughed about for a good ten minutes. Chaise had glared at me throughout my entire laughing spree which had just made me laugh even harder because honestly… Aidan Finnegan? He was the worst.

“Corinne, I was so drunk I would have snogged the Bloody Baron,” Dom stated, looking at me imploringly. “Trust me, I would’ve never snogged him if I hadn’t been that pissed.”

“Girl, I know,” I said, hugging her. “I was just trying to push your buttons. We all snog people we regret.”

“You more than me though,” Dom joked, to which I glared at her. She then raised her hands as if surrendering. “Okay, okay, I’m sorry. Not funny.”

“Well, I don’t forgive you,” I said standing up and putting my hands on my hips. “And the only way I will is if you come down to breakfast with me.”

“Since when did you become a blackmailer?” Dom said, quirking an eyebrow at me as I remained standing tall.

“Since you became the drunken slag that snogged random blokes,” I announced. “I need a new thing now that you took mine.”

“You suck,” Dom said, grabbing her pillow and throwing it at me, although she was laughing as she did so.

“I know,” I responded cheekily as I dodged the pillow, “that’s why I’m your best friend.”

*

“Well, isn’t it just a lovely morning?” Scorpius suggested happily as we arrived at the Slytherin table. Dom shot him a miserable look before sitting down, not in agreement whatsoever.

“Shut up,” Dom grumbled, beginning to pile food on her plate. Wyatt and Roxy, who were looking particularly smitten with each other might I add, exchanged looks, while Tyson and Al shrugged Dom’s grumpy mood off.

“Long night?” Scorpius asked Dom, smirking slightly.

“Scorpius,” I warned.

“Oh don’t mind Scorp,” Tyson said, waving his arm as if shooing Scopius away. “He’s just happy because Dom was snogging Aidan.”

This statement caused Dom and I to look at Tyson in extreme confusion. Why would Scorpius be happy about that?

“Mate,” Scorpius said through gritted teeth, as he gave Tyson a look. “What are you doing?”

“Nothing,” Tyson said mockingly. “I’m just saying you’re happy. What’s so wrong about that?”

Scorpius glared at Tyson to which Tyson kept a level stare back. After about a minute of this, Scorpius turned away. The rest of us, excluding Al, exchanged confused looks. I guess Al was in on it too.

“Why are you happy?” I asked Scorpius, arching an eyebrow.

“I’m not,” Scorpius responded back defensively. “Why do you care?”

I raised my eyebrows at his response. Whatever it was that Tyson had been alluding to, was something Scorpius did not want us to know.

“Okay, never mind then,” I said, deciding to let it drop. Instead, I turned my gaze until it was trained on Wyatt and Roxy’s intertwined hands. As soon as my eyes rested on them, Wyatt groaned.

“Please don’t,” Wyatt begged.

“Don’t what?” I asked innocently.

“Just don’t,” Wyatt said, not wanting to explain what he meant. Roxy looked like she was biting back a smile as Wyatt fidgeted uncomfortably under my glare.

There was a long silence as I continued to stare down the two of them and then—

“Yes, we are together,” Roxy said, answering my unasked question whilst looking amused.

Shortly after Roxy said this, Dom and I squealed excitedly. The guys at the table all groaned, muttering something about girls being annoyingly gushy (to which I elbowed the perpetrators) and Roxy laughed at the two of us.

“This is all my doing, you know,” I stated happily.

Everyone at the table rolled their eyes.

“Corinne, as much as you like to believe it, you’re not cupid,” Tyson stated, giving me a look.

“I am though,” I responded, crossing my arms. “Roxy and Wyatt wouldn’t be together if it weren’t for me.”

“Says who?” Wyatt asked.

“Says me,” I answered, indignation laced throughout my tone. “I don’t understand why any of you ever doubt me. My matchmaking skills are pretty amazing.”

Everyone at the table groaned again at my response, obviously not pleased that I fancied myself a matchmaker. But deep down, they knew I was right. Or at least, I liked to imagine they did. Although judging from the way Dom had put her head in her hands I was seriously thinking they all needed to dig a little deeper. I mean, since when had I ever made a bad match?

That question was soon answered as the doors to the Great Hall opened.

The mood at the table quickly shifted as we all spotted James and Chaise. Both of their eyes seemed to flit around the room (in which James ran his gaze a bit too quickly over Freddy’s table) before landing on all of us at the Slytherin table. Chaise’s gaze rested on Dom and I noticed he hesitated only slightly, causing James to say something to him. Chaise laughed at whatever it was James said, and then they started walking towards the Slytherin table.

I noticed that, during this exchange, Dom seemed to grow particularly fascinated with the wood on the table. I decided to follow her suit, albeit for different reasons.

After yesterday/early this morning’s over-sharing session with James, I was very unsure how to act around him. I had told him things that I hadn’t even told my best mates, and since I assumed Freddy hadn’t really been the type for James to confide in, the same probably went for James. And now, I had no idea what he expected of me, or what I should expect from him. Because even though we had had that conversation I still didn’t think of him as anywhere near a friend.

So then what did that make us?

Before I could come up with an answer, James and Chaise arrived at our table and took the only two available spaces, which happened to be across from us, while Dom sunk further and further in her seat. Scorpius and Al exchanged a look, and Tyson mouthed the words ‘awkward’ to me when no one was looking causing me to make a face.

I found myself glancing longingly at Wyatt and Roxy, who were the farthest away from the Dom and Chaise awk-fest. Just as I was about to make up an excuse to move and sit by them, Dom turned her gaze on me and gave me a ‘don’t even think about it’ look.

I looked forlornly at Wyatt and Roxy, who were now whispering to each other about something (probably the awkwardness that had taken over) and instead turned back to joining Dom in gazing at the table.

The silence ballooned over our heads as everyone tried to grapple at something to say.

“So…” Scorpius said, deciding to be the one to try and make the situation less awkward. “How awesome are we for winning at Quidditch, eh?”

I think I was the only one to notice James jaw clench a little tighter, probably still thinking about the fact that if Albus hadn’t tricked him he would’ve won. But as soon as this happened his face smoothed itself out and his jaw was back to it’s normal relaxed and chiseled state. His hazel eyes remained trained on his hands, while all the Slytherin’s at the table fist-bumped and made loud choruses of “hell yeah, we rock!”.

Boys will be boys.

“You guys were lucky,” Roxy said boisterously, ever the eager conversationalist when it came to Quidditch. I decided to lump Roxy into the boys will be boys category. “We’ll still win the cup.”

“Sure you will,” Al said sarcastically.

“Actually, I know we will,” Chaise said playfully, his tone of voice holding nothing but ease. Everyone seemed surprised at his happy-go-lucky response, and there was a pause before he spoke again. “Gryffindor does have the best Quidditch team, you know.”

“Then why’d you guys lose?” Tyson asked, the first to regain his composure.

Chaise shrugged with a small smile on his face. “You were lucky,”

The banter between all of the guys and Roxy continued to flow from there, all of them making declarations about who was better at Qudditch, leaving Dom and I out of the loop. I guess this was the merits of being girls who preferred conversations revolving around things like Witch Weekly’s top 100 fit males, perfecting tans, and lip-gloss.

Not that that’s all we conversed about, obviously. But still…Girls will be girls.

As the conversation continued, I notcied Dom seeming to stare almost questionably at Chaise as he continued to act as if nothing was wrong. I guess she had expected him to be a bit more sulky and angry, refusing to talk to anyone. But instead, he was acting…like nothing had happened. Which I was going to assume was an act because at the party he had seemed pretty angry about the whole Aidan Finnegan snog sesh that had gone on.

Although, there was the possibility that he could actually be… over it. Right?

Before I could analyze the situation any further, the sounds of hundreds of beating wings broke into my thoughts as the owls swooped in with the morning mail. One plopped itself in front of me, delivering my usual Witch Weekly magazine, and another landed in front of Dom, handing her a letter written in perfect calligraphy. This only meant one person had sent it.

Dom immediately glanced at the letter and her entire composure seemed to stiffen, almost imperceptibly, but still enough where I noticed. Chaise also seemed to notice too, but he quickly looked away from her, joining himself back into the raucous conversation about Quidditch brooms. Lovely blokes we’re friends with. Really.

Dom carelessly ripped through the envelope, not caring much about ruining the very pretty pattern it had on it, and she pulled out the parchment that was inside. After scanning the lines of the letter for a few seconds, she rolled her eyes and then stuff the letter in her purse, as if ridding herself of it.

“What’d it say?” I asked, arching an eyebrow as Dom returned to her staring match with the wooden table. After I spoke, she turned her gaze back to me and sighed.

“Victoire just wanted to let me know that during the holidays she’s going to host all the family gatherings at her new flat in order to celebrate her housewarming,” Dom said sourly. “She also told me that I need to learn to be likeable to my dad’s side of the family because it’s really obvious they all hate me, but you know she said it in a way that made it seem like she was being helpful.”

I clucked my tongue in sympathy at Dom’s words. Whenever the holidays began to near Victoire always tended to send snarkier letters than usual. And with winter break a couple weeks away, the letters from Victoire had been coming in more than usual. “Well… at least she didn’t go on about how Fleur and Bill love her more.”

“Oh she did that too,” Dom said offhandedly. “Mentioned how lucky she was to have a mum that cared so much about her and a dad so proud of her for choosing to go to Hogwarts.”

Chaise, who was still half involved in the other conversation, flickered his gaze over to Dom as she said this, looking as though he wanted to say something.

“Don’t listen to Victoire. She just wants to get a rise out of you,” I told Dom. After I said this, Chaise seemed satisfied and he went back to the conversation going on at the table. Weird.

“Well, it’s working,” Dom said oblivious to the fact that Chaise had been listening in. She flicked the table with her nails as some sort of nervous release. “Because I’m suddenly not looking forward to the holidays… at all.”

“Preaching to the choir,” I said in solidarity. “Holidays at the Beaumont household are always the worst.”

I wasn’t exaggerating either. When it came to the holiday season, I always ended up going home to an empty house, while my dad constantly worked. He’d leave the house extremely early and coming back even later, leaving me off to my own devices. Holidays were the times I felt the most alone because, while everyone else around the world spent the stretch of days they had off with their family, I sat alone at home with nothing to do.

The only part of break I really did look forward to was Christmas day. My dad would actually take off work and spend the day with me, and we’d watch reruns of classic Christmas movies on the wiztelly, while I tried to convince my dad to let me watch the channel where all they did was burn a yule log while playing Celestina Warbeck’s Christmas albums on repeat. There was something about watching the log burn for hours yet still have it look the same as it started off, that fascinated me.

On Christmas it actually felt like we were… a family. Not a normal one, mind you; but still, it was the closest that I had to one these days.

“At least your dad’s finally coming back from China,” Dom said, trying to make me feel better. It’s funny how quickly the roles could reverse in our conversation. Now here she was, comforting me. “He hasn’t seen you since the beginning of summer, and it’s your last year with him.”

“He’s just been busy,” I said, trying to keep my voice indifferent as I spoke. I then looked down to inspect my nails. “It’s not like I care about seeing him, anyway.”

“He’s your dad,” Dom said flatly, still not seeming to understand the dynamics of my family. “Of course you care about him.”

“Maybe,” I responded noncommittally, trying to shift the conversation to something else. “That doesn’t necessarily mean much though.”

“Of course it does,” Dom responded, as if my idea was preposterous. “You’re his daughter.”

The problem with having Dom as a best friend was that she didn’t necessarily get my family issues. I mean, sure, she had problems with Victoire and that big issue with her dad’s half of the family, but I knew that deep down, she loved everyone in her family, despite the problems she had with some of them. Maybe she cared for some over others, but there were still so many people in her life, ready and willing to love her and be there to support her. I didn’t have that.

“I guess so,” I said, shrugging Dom’s words off and turning back to my food. I noticed James’ head swivel back around as I broke away from my conversation with Dom and I wondered how much he had been listening to. He already knew too much about me as is, to know this as well. I turned back to Dom, lowering my voice. “But sometimes that isn’t enough.”

*

“Oh my gosh! He didn’t,” a Hufflepuff girl exclaimed, letting out a giggle for the millionth time.

I gripped my fingers tightly against the Potions book I was reading, and gritted my teeth.

There was nothing, and I mean nothing, I hated more than when I tried to study and my thoughts kept being infiltrated by the sound of incessant giggling. It was equivalent to someone sticking a feather duster into my head, and literally brushing out all of the information I was trying to retain.

Just as I thought this, another round of giggles made it’s way to my ears, and I cringed.

Somehow, people had managed to discover the seating areas in the back of the library that were normally empty, and now, every time I tried to memorize a step of a potion, their giggling would break into my thoughts, causing me to forget every word. I tried to ignore the exuberant attitudes of Bailey, who was sitting only a couple of tables away from us, talking to her friends as they flipped through magazines and gossiped with each other. But it was hard when they had to talk so bleeding loud.

“I hate school,” I announced, deciding to give up on studying.

I closed my textbook and looked up at Roxy and Dom. Dom was using her wand to zap away any split ends if she found them, and Roxy was writing her Charms essay. Which, you know, Dom and I should’ve also been doing.

“Don’t we all?” Dom stated, not looking up from her split-end-zapping-spree. “Who actually likes studying and doing homework?”

Roxy looked up from her essay. “Homework isn’t that bad… It can be fun if you like what you’re studying.”

“Oh right,” Dom said rolling her eyes. “I forgot that you were a loser.”

“Dom,” I chastised. “Roxy’s not a loser.”

“Oh but she is,” Dom shot back.

“No, she’s not,” I responded. “She’s just a little nerdy. There’s a difference.”

“Not in my eyes,” Dom responded callously, looking back down at her split ends grumpily.

“She doesn’t mean it, Rox,” I explained, turning to face Roxy. “Dom’s just in a bit of a mood.”

“Oh I know,” Roxy said not at all phased by Dom’s words. Luckily she was used to Dom’s crazy mood swings. She looked at Dom. “Does this have anything to do with a certain someone?”

She was referring to Chaise, who had continued treating Dom with indifference the past week. Not that he ignored her, no not at all, in fact he was polite to her and even had conversations with her but… things were different between them. They never had their usual banter with underlying senses of sexual tension strewn throughout. Instead their conversations were bordering along boring, going as far out of the box as talking about the weather or homework. He treated her like he would treat a great grandmother, or a cousin. Something that I knew was getting to Dom.

“I don’t know who you’re talking about,” Dom grumbled, putting down her wand and crossing her arms.

“Really?” Roxy teased. “So then it doesn’t bother you at all that Chaise has been treating you like a complete stranger?”

“Or that he’s been treating you like his professors?” I added.

“He hasn’t been treating me like anything,” Dom snapped.

“That’s just as bad,” I commented.

Dom huffed. “And what do you know, anyway?”

“I know,” I began calmly, not deterred by Dom’s snarky attitude, “that you still like Chaise, and that it bothers you that he doesn’t seemed bothered that you and Aidan snogged.”

Dom muttered something about me looking into things way too much and I sighed. While she wouldn’t admit her reason for annoyance, it was there, plain as day, whenever Chaise would make a polite comment to her.

“Wyatt and I think he’s probably just hiding how hurt he is,” Roxy volunteered. “During Quidditch practices Chaise refuses to even look in Aidan’s direction.”

“I don’t care,” Dom said, although she straightened up a bit. “Everything between us is fine.”

Ah good old denial. Dom’s oldest and best coping mechanism.

“Alright then,” Roxy said, deciding to back off. “But I should warn you that there is someone who is livid with you.”

“Who?” Dom asked, looking mildly confused. I looked at Roxy confused as well.

“Well,” Roxy started, gesturing to the table of girls Bailey was sitting at. “Rose is pretty angry with you. Apparently her and Aidan were sort of a thing when you snogged him.”

Rose and Aidan? Why did that sound so familiar… Oh.

A wash of realization came over me, as I thought back to the night of the Great Hall incident. Dom had caught Aidan and Rose snogging… in a broom cupboard no less. How had neither of us remembered that?

“Oh no,” Dom said, bringing a hand up to cover her face, seeming to make the same connection. “As if she didn’t already hate me enough.”

“It’s not that she hates you,” Roxy began, trying to come up with something to make Dom feel better. “It’s just… last year she started caring way too much about her looks and then she became… jealous of you. Because, you know, you never have to try.”

“That’s not an excuse to be mean to someone,” I said.

“Yeah, but she has one now,” Dom moaned. She then sighed. “This is a nightmare.”

“Ain’t it always?” I suggested.

There was another round of giggles after I said this, causing me to snap my gaze back to Bailey, who was now wagging a finger at the friend I’d seen her with during the summer. Mia, I think. Mia said something, causing Bailey to smile hugely, and she leaned over and hugged her.

“Ah I love you, Mia! You’re, like, the sister I never had,” Bailey exclaimed, just loud enough for me to hear. I felt my stomach sink when she said this, as if she didn’t even have a sister to begin with. I mean, I know she had already expressed that she hated me, but it didn’t make what she said hurt any less. Because to Bailey, I wasn’t her sister. Not anymore.

I blinked a couple of times to calm myself, and then looked back to Dom and Roxy, who were staring at me with pitying looks.

“You know,” Dom said, her voice lowering as if she was unsure whether or not she should even say anything. “You could always try and talk to Bailey or something. See if her and your mum will have you round for the hols.”

“I don’t think that’ll work,” I said slowly, trying not to let on that I had already talked to Bailey. “It’s been way too long.”

“You never know until you try,” Dom suggested tentatively.

But what she didn’t know was that I had tried. Because I had wanted Bailey back in my life. She was my sister, and no span of years could change that in my eyes. But to Bailey, it had. And now I couldn’t tell Dom about our encounter. About how terribly it had turned out. No one could know. Well, no one except for James, which is something I still felt really weird about. How had he managed to know more about my family life than Dom?

“I have a question for you guys,” I stated, trying to divert the attention away from my family life and onto something else that had been eating away at me. Dom, seeming to sense I wanted to change the topic, nodded her head, giving me the go ahead. “Do you know anything about James crashing some Ministry car?”

Dom and Roxy looked as though it were the last question they had been expecting.

“Oh, man,” Roxy said, looking at Dom as if remembering something. “I’d almost forgotten about that! Dom, do you remember how angry Aunt Ginny was?”

“Of course,” Dom replied, seeming to laugh at the memory. “She flipped a lid! James was grounded for months after that, and even now she never lets him drive.”

“It was such a nice car too,” Roxy said, looking off into the distance and sighing. “Uncle Harry pulled a lot of strings to borrow it.”

Dom nodded her head along with Roxy, remembering the car as well. It was as though they were sharing a moment of silence for the fallen car.

“I still don’t understand how he was able to get the car keys in the first place,” Dom commented. She then turned to me as if to explain. “Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny never let James use it, because they knew he’d be irresponsible.”

“And they were right,” Roxy chimed in. “Which nobody was really surprised about. I mean, this is James we’re talking about. Fucking up is kind of his thing.”

As soon as Roxy spoke, I was reminded of James’ words at the party. And something inside me kind of… felt bad for him… But only kind of. It’s just… it had to suck, to have everyone think of you as the person they can rely on for screwing everything up. We’re all only human. Screwing up is kind of part of the deal. But to have everyone waiting, holding their breath for you to mess up? Well… that had to be hard.

“He totally did it on purpose though,” Dom said to me lightly, not noticing that I didn’t really find the situation funny. “It was right after Al had become seeker on the Slytherin team, and Uncle Harry bought him some fancy broom and threw him a huge party to celebrate. I think James was annoyed because they hadn’t done that with him or something, which is stupid because when James made the team, it was the same week he and Fred set off those fireworks at the Burrow so they had been too mad at him to praise him.”

“Really?” Roxy asked, looking confused. “I thought he did it because he got a bunch of O’s on his O.W.L’s but Al still got a better broom than he did, since Uncle Harry was only able to get one of the Thunderstruck’s since they hadn’t been released yet. James was stuck with getting the Firebolt.”

“Huh,” Dom said, looking pensive. “Maybe that was it.”

“But anyways,” Roxy said, looking back to me. “James, like, stole the car the night of Al’s party and then drove it into the lake by their house. The car was completely unsalvageable because the water messed with the spells it had on it, making it unable to be magically fixed.”

“Oh,” I said, letting her information sink in. So James hadn’t been lying. He had actually crashed the Ministry car in a fit of anger at his parents. I wondered if Roxy and Dom knew that he now had to go to therapy sessions with his family. But with the way they spoke about is as though it was just another one of James’ pranks, I assumed they didn’t.

“How do you know about that, anyway?” Dom asked, furrowing her brow in confusion. “That was ages ago.”

I shrugged and looked down at my hands, trying to come up with an excuse. “Scorpius mentioned it to me when he was super drunk, and I was wondering if he was just making it up,” I lied, hoping Scorpius and Al had been friends at the time of Al’s party. “Guess he wasn’t.”

Dom stared at me a couple of seconds after I explained this and then shrugged, as though accepting my explanation.

“Well it really happened,” Roxy said. “Still can’t believe he did it. It’s at the top of his list of most selfish things he’s done.”

I nodded my head at this, as though agreeing with Roxy, but there was a small part of me that didn’t. Agree with her that is. Maybe James hadn’t been trying to be selfish. Maybe he’d just… wanted his parents to show they cared. Which I’m sure they did. But maybe he hadn’t realized this. Maybe his parents just took for granted that he understood they loved him. Because from what Dom and Roxy were saying, it sounded a lot like Al had gotten the better end of the deal.

However, as soon as I thought this, I shook it away. This was James. The same James who had ruthlessly taunted me. And for some reason, I was trying to come up with excuses for him when no excuse could make me think differently. It’d be going against everything I promised myself when I entered this school.

So instead of dwelling on who James was or had been, I pushed all of my thoughts away and opened my Potions book back up. I focused on the words that were written in front of me, taking comfort in the fact that no matter how many times I read them, they would always remain the same.

If only everything could be like that.

 





A/N: Annnnd here it is my amazingly lovely readers: chapter 21!

I'm going to be honest, this chapter I fought tooth and nail with to write, so it probably shows when you read it, and for that I apologize. I was originally going to have some more things happen in this chapter, but it didn't quite work out the way I expected so what was supposed to happen in this chapter is going to happen in the next, and... yeah.

Anyways, please review and let me know what you think! I just hope you guys forgive me and don't think I've written this story into a hole it can't get out of. What do you think of who Dom ended up snogging? Scorpius' happiness? Chaises indifferent attitude? James car story? Anything else?

I already mentioned this in the authors note of my other story but I thought I'd also mention it here because I GOT INTO MY FIRST CHOICE COLLEGE! And I just want to thank all of you for the amazing support, because my college essays were almost all written about my fanfiction and how it helped me grow as a writer and person, so THANK YOU!

Also, on a side note: my parents are letting my best friend and I go to Harry Potter World which is something I'm like SO EXCITED about! Which means I'll have more inspiration for writing ANND you know, I'll get to go to Honeydukes, which I'm like freaking out about!

Reviews mean the world to me and they honestly are what keep me going with this story, SO PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! :)
-Rebecca


Chapter 22: Glad You Came
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Disclaimer: It's JKR's. Chapter title & summary come from the song Glad You Came by the wanted. The other christmas carol in this chapter is from the song Christmas is Coming which I'm pretty sure is older than dirt so I can't quite tell you the composer but the point is I didn't write it.
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Holiday spirit was slowly and surely creeping its way throughout the halls of Hogwarts. And while winter break was still a week away, you could feel the excitement laced throughout every student in the school as they chattered on about buying gifts, wore festive clothing, and sang Christmas carols.

“Christmaaaas is coooming, the goose is getting fat. Pleaaase put a penny in the oooold man’s haaaat—”

“Honestly, Tyson,” I complained, giving him the evil eye as we sat in Potions class while I half-assed the potion we should’ve been working on. With the approach of winter break, also came the loss of desire to try in school for the both of us. “Out of all the songs you could pick to sing and spread your stupid holiday cheer, it’s that one?”

“What are you talking about?” Tyson asked, looking offended. “It’s a classic Christmas song.”

“No actually, it’s not,” I responded. “In fact, I’m pretty sure half of the world has never even heard it before.”

“Well then, they’re seriously deprived,” Tyson shot back. “ Because it just so happens to be my favorite.”

“Or maybe they’re just lucky,” I countered. “It’s a terrible song.”

“Alright, Scrooge,” Tyson said, rolling his eyes at me as we turned back to our potion. “It’s easy to see that somebody’s not in the holiday spirit.”

“I am in the holiday spirit,” I argued as I added some pine needles to the potion a bit forcefully. We were making a Peppermint Pepper-up Potion since Professor Cosgrove was a huge supporter of holiday cheer. “I just don’t get why people have to act like it’s the best part of the year.”

“Someone sounds biiitter,” Tyson sing-songed.

“And someone’s getting on my nerrrves,” I sing-songed back through a tight smile.

Tyson was wrong anyway. I wasn’t bitter about the holidays. Not at all. I was actually kind of excited about it for once, in all seriousness. My dad had owled me this week for the first time since school started letting me know about when he’d be returning, and he actually sounded pleased to be spending winter break with me. He even promised to take off the entire week I was going to be down there, which he had never done before. It was like he was actually starting to be… my dad.

“I could never get on your nerves,” Tyson said, shooting me a smirk. “You love me too much.”

“Oi! We’re not on that again,” I complained, throwing some more ingredients into the cauldron.

“Of course we are,” Tyson said. Then he put an arm around me and spoke louder. “I mean, you already made it pretty clear that you wanted to snog me.”

I found my face get hot as the other students at the surrounding tables looked over at us after Tyson spoke. That is, everyone except for James, who continued to stare straight ahead as he made his potion. I pushed Tyson’s arm off from around my shoulder and smacked him.

Dom and Chaise, who were sitting behind us, snickered, causing the awkward silence that had been between them up until then to shatter. If only it hadn’t had to be at my expense. I turned around to glare at them, and they just pulled faces back at me.

Prats.

“You’re never going to let me live that one down are you?” I asked Tyson. This wasn’t the first time he had brought up the whole me asking him to snog me debacle. He had taken to mentioning it at the randomest moments, just to embarrass me and also prove that I was irrefutably in love with him. As if.

“’Course not,” Tyson said with a smirk. “It was the best moment of my life. ‘Oh Tyson, we should snog.Oh Tyson, I love you. Oh Tyson, you’re so dreamy.’”

“I never said that!” I argued.

“But you did say the first part, which is all that counts,” Tyson said, tapping the tip of my nose as I swatted his hand away.

“Shove it,” I responded. “I was drunk. Woulda said that to anyone.”

“Ahh, but you chose me,” Tyson said. “And unlucky for you, I will never forget it.”

“You’re so annoying,” I said, before turning back to my cauldron. The color of it was slightly darker than it should’ve been, but Professor Cosgrove was an easy grader so I didn’t worry.

“I may be annoying, but you’re the one who wanted to snog me.”

*

“Shit, Corinne! Not again!”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” I responded, as Dom glowered at me, holding a glass reindeer in her hand that no longer had its antlers. I felt the sudden rush of shame course through me as I looked at the cracked corpse. “I don’t know why it keeps happening!”

I didn’t know why I kept knocking things over, either. Normally, Wyatt or Tyson were the sloppy ones when it came to decorating the fireplace mantle, which is why they had been assigned glue gun duty and snow duty prospectively. But somehow, I was being clumsier than the both of them.

You see, every year once Christmas started to creep closer, Dom always had us decorate the fireplace mantle at Beauxbatons. She had garland, fake snow, glass people as well as porcelain animals and miniature houses. The figurines were also charmed, so once we set them where we wanted them, they came to life. Dom even specially ordered some people figurines from this shop in Diagon Alley that were made to look like each of us.

For Dom, the decorating of the fireplace mantle was sacred. Since Christmastime was her favorite time of the year, Dom always forced us to help decorate and arrange the town with her and called it our “tradition”. And to Dom, this year was no different. The Gryffindor Common room had a perfectly good fireplace mantle, and so help her Merlin we were going to decorate it.

Unfortunately for me, I kept breaking things.

“It’s the elbows.” Tyson explained with a smirk. “You have terrible elbows.”

“They are unnaturally pointy,” Wyatt mused.

“How can someone have terrible elbows?” Roxy asked, looking bewildered.

“I don’t have terrible elbows,” I responded, glaring at Tyson and Wyatt. And I wasn’t lying. My elbows were perfectly normal thank you very much. “The guys just love to make jokes about them.”

Back in my fifth year at Beauxbatons, Wyatt, Tyson, and Chaise had spent a solid two months making fun of my elbows after I sat next to them in class and took up all the elbow room at the desk. They had succeeded in making me self-conscious about my elbows for a few weeks, before I realized they had been joking, which just made me elbow them in return, causing them to eventually stop their teasing. Until now.

“You keep telling yourself that,” Chaise said with a skeptical tone, eyeing my elbows like they were a freak of nature. “But you keep knocking stuff over, so there’s gotta be something wrong with them.”

After Chaise said this, Dom seemed to be reminded of the glass reindeer I had just knocked over and narrowed her eyes at me.

“This is the fifth time you’ve broken something,” Dom started, as she cradled the broken figurine in her hand, “so if it happens one more time, you’re on snow duty with Tyson.”

“But snow duty is boring,” I complained. “I want to help organize the town!”

“Hey! Snow duty is not boring!” Tyson exclaimed, giving me a dirty look. Then, to prove his point, he reached into the bag of fake snow and started to throw it above his head, twirling around in a circle with his arms spread wide.

We all watched, stunned.

“Mate, don’t do that again,” Chaise finally said, clapping a hand on Tyson’s shoulder. “It was mildly embarrassing to watch.”

“And just so you know, you’re cleaning that up,” Dom said, raising an eyebrow at the scattered bits of fake snow that were now resting on the carpeted floors.

“You guys just don’t know how to have fun,” Tyson muttered petulantly, crossing his arms and glaring at the ground.

“Aw come on, Ty,” I said, nudging him with my elbow. “I take it back. Snow duty isn’t boring.”

“Damn right it isn’t,” Tyson said. “At least I’m not on glue gun duty.”

“Oi! I’ll have you know I have the most important duty of the lot,” Wyatt argued, holding his glue gun threateningly. “I fix things and make them come to life again! That’s more than I can say for any of you!”

“Oh yeah?” Chaise asked, looking at Wyatt’s glue gun like it was insignificant. “Well I get to put the garland on and decorate the mini Christmas trees! That’s the most important part!”

“Actually,” Dom said, interrupting the tussle between the boys. “Me and Corinne and have the most important parts. We actually set up the towns and the people, and rearrange the snow and the Christmas trees to our liking since you guys suck at decorating. So, you can all stop fighting.”

The guys looked at Dom as though she had just told them Santa didn’t exist, and then they looked at the ground.

“Told you my glue gun part was the most important duty,” Wyatt muttered after a short pause.

“Oh be quiet, Wyatt,” Dom said, rolling her eyes. “You know you only have that assignment because you break things, right? And also, Roxy’s been doing all the fixing.”

Roxy, who was sitting next to Wyatt on one of the couches, smiled sheepishly as she lowered her wand from fixing the reindeer Wyatt had shoddily glued back together. Wyatt looked at the glue gun in his hand as though it were useless. Which it was. I mean, wands do exist for a reason.

“So then why are we even here?” Tyson asked, his face indignant as a couple of chunks of fake snow glinted in his hair.

“Because,” Dom said, putting her hands on her hips, “it’s tradition.”

See, I told you. Dom really does consider this a tradition. Which I guess it kind of is. And I’m not trying to sound all soppy, but I actually really did like decorating the mantle with the whole group of us. Because even though Dom and Chaise still were on awkward terms, and even though so many things had happened this year to change us and make us grow, there was something about all of us being here, doing something so familiar, that made me feel like I was a part of something. Like we were a family. Which, now that I think about it, we kind of were.

“You and your goddamn traditions,” Tyson whined, walking over to the couch Roxy and Wyatt were sitting on, and squishing himself between them. “I don’t want to be on snow duty. It’s boring.”

“But you just said a couple of minutes ago that it wasn’t!” Dom said, looking worried at his sudden retreat.

“Yeah well, I lied,” Tyson shot back. “You two can do the snow yourself.”

“And you two can glue the figurines back together yourself,” Wyatt added, crossing his arms. “I’m done cleaning up Corinne’s messes because of her crazy elbows.”

“My elbows are not crazy!” I exclaimed, glaring at Wyatt. “They are perfectly normal.”

“Well of course you would say that,” Wyatt responded. “They’re your elbows.”

“Stop picking on my elbows!” I ordered crossing my arms so that my hands covered them. “You don’t see me picking on your hands! They’re shaped like squares!”

Wyatt arched his eyebrow in confusion, and then picked his hands up to see that they indeed did look like squares. There was something about the way his fingers tapered off and the palm of his hand ended that left his hands resembling a block. Not that it was abnormally noticeable but…

“Oh my god! I can’t unsee it!” Wyatt announced, looking at his hands as though they belonged to aliens.

“Lookie there! Wyatt has wonky hands!” Tyson announced, standing up from the couch and pointing at Wyatt’s hands and starting to laugh. Dom and Chaise started cracking up as well, causing me to start giggling and even Roxy joined in. The only one who didn’t find it funny, was Wyatt.

“Aw come on Wyatt,” I started, after he started to look particularly annoyed. “There’s nothing wrong with having block hands.”

“She’s right,” Roxy said, grabbing one of Wyatt’s hands and then lacing her fingers through is. “I don’t mind your wonky hands.”

“How sweet,” Tyson said, rolling his eyes and beginning to make retching sounds. Roxy shot him an acidic look, but continued to hold Wyatt’s hands, stroking circular patterns on the back of them.

“I guess my square hands aren’t that bad,” Wyatt said after a long moment. “I mean, it could be worse. I could have wonky elbows.”

*

“Do you think I should get Chaise a gift?” Dom asked. She was laying on her back her feet kicked in the air, as her head hung upside down over the foot of her bed. We were supposed to be packing for winter break, which was now only a few days away, but Dom—who detested packing— seemed to have other ideas.

I set down the red skirt I was currently debating over whether or not to pack and turned to face Dom. “Why wouldn’t you get him a gift?” I asked, cocking my head to one side.

“Well… I dunno,” Dom started, biting her bottom lip and lifting herself into a sitting position. “Things have been kind of weird between us lately, haven’t they?”

“So what?” I said, picking up the red skirt from off the bed and deciding to pack it in my trunk. A red skirt would be festive. “You guys are still friends. We all are.”

“I guess,” Dom said. “But… do you even think he’ll get me one? Wouldn’t that be awkward if I got him one, and he didn’t?”

“Of course he’ll get you a gift,” I said, nodding my head to enforce my point. “It’d be rude to just leave you out.”

“But, we barely even talk anymore,” Dom said. Some silver strands of hair were escaping from her loose braid, and she brushed them away quickly.

“What do you mean? We all hung out yesterday when we decorated the mantle.”

“Yeah,” Dom said, rolling her eyes at me. “But he didn’t talk to me, like, once. And during Potions, he only ever asks me to pass him whatever ingredient we need. It’s like… it’s like we’re not even friends anymore.”

“Dom,” I said, my voice softening. “Of course you’re still friends. I think… well I think Chaise is just a little hurt about you know… you snogging Aidan. Just give him some time.”

“I know and I feel bad, really I do. But he’s the one who suggested we’d be better as friends,” Dom said, glaring at her toes which were painted a bright red. “Why does he get to be the hurt one?”

I tried to mask my surprise at Dom’s words. I had thought that if anyone had made the suggestion to be just friends, it would’ve been Dom. She always seemed the more in control one of the relationship, and I mean, she was part veela. It was like programmed into her genetics to be able to attract guys and have them wrapped around her finger. Wasn’t it?

I looked at Dom who was still glaring at her feet, and I felt my heart go out to her. It had to be hard to have someone you really liked tell you they’d rather just be friends. Especially Chaise.

“Oh, Dom, I’m sorry,” I said, getting up from where I was sitting in front of my trunk and walking over to sit next to Dom on her bed. I put an arm around her shoulder. “You never told me.”

“I was embarrassed,” Dom said, picking at the scarlet comforters. “So when he suggested it, I just went along with it. I wasn’t about to look all mopey and desperate. But I guess now I am.”

“You’re not mopey or desperate,” I said to Dom comfortingly, feeling a bit out of my element. I can’t say that I’m the best person when it comes to trying to make someone feel better. It’s normally the other way around for me.

“Yeah, yeah,” Dom said noncommittally, not really believing my words. “I just wish things could be normal between us again. I guess this is why it’s always a bad idea to date a best friend.”

“It was not a bad idea for you two to go out,” I said. “You both just need to get your shit together and go back out. How about I talk to Chaise and figure out what he’s thinking?”

“NO!” Dom said immediately, covering her face with her hand. I looked at her with an arched eyebrow, to which she inhaled a breath to compose herself. “I mean, no Corinne. I don’ think that would be a good idea.”

I stared at her for a couple seconds, only one question swimming through my mind. “Why not?”

“Because, it wouldn’t,” Dom said simply, avoiding my question.

“But why?” I asked again.

“Corinne, stop,” Dom said. “You know why.”

“I don’t actually,” I responded, “so please enlighten me.”

Dom and I looked at each other for a long moment before Dom sighed, giving up. “Fine,” Dom said. “It’s because you’re way too obvious and will more than likely say something you shouldn’t.”

“That’s not fair!” I complained looking at Dom. “I can be subtle when I want to be.”

“I’m sure you can,” Dom said, “but you never want to be.”

“Well fine then,” I replied, crossing my arms. “I won’t help you and Chaise get back together then. It’s obvious I’d just muck it up.”

“Fine by me,” Dom said, unaffected by my threat. “I don’t know if I even want to get back together with Chaise.”

“Of course you do,” I argued. “You’re meant for each other.”

“No,” Dom stated. “We’re clearly not.”

“Ugh I can’t talk to you like this!” I exclaimed. “You’re being too cynical right now and I need you to be optimistic.”

“And you’re being too optimistic and I need you to be cynical,” Dom shot back. “I guess we don’t always get what we want.”

A silence hung between us as she said this. Dom glared out across the room, her forehead pinched in concentration, while I delved over Dom’s words. Did Dom really think it made more sense to just leave everything with Chaise so… unfinished? To just chalk everything up to fate, and give up at the first sign of trouble?

“No,” I said, looking at Dom commandingly. “We don’t always get what we want. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe we have to go after what we want instead. Getting it would be too easy.”

Dom remained silent after I said this, staring idly at something across the room. I watched as her brow furrowed just the tiniest bit and her lips pursed, seeming to be debating something. Then, her face smoothed out.

“You should write a book or something,” Dom said to me giving me an easy smile. “That was like… really deep.”

“I know,” I said with a grin. “It’s just too bad I hate writing. I don’t understand how people can sit at a computer for hours making shit up. They must have no lives.”

“Too true, Coco. Too true.”

*

“Corinne, come on. You need to finish your essay,” Roxy commanded, giving me a stern look.

I looked down at the paper in front of me, which had barely anything written on it, and shrugged. “But do I really?” I inquired. “I mean, winter hols start in two days. Does it actually matter if I don’t do this one essay?”

“You haven’t done the past three Charms essays,” Wyatt pointed out. “Do you really think you should risk it?”

“And since when did you start stalking my life?” I asked Wyatt, giving him an annoyed look. Not that I was actually mad at him, I was more mad at the fact that he was right. The past couple of weeks I’d been slacking more than usual, and I knew it was only a matter of time before it caught up with me. But really, could you blame a girl for not wanting to write a stupid essay about the Fidelus Charm?

“Yeah, Wyatt,” Dom agreed, butting in. She was currently ignoring her Charm’s essay, and instead painting her fingernails silver. “You only live once. Might as well have fun.”

“YOLOOO,” Tyson shouted in agreement with Dom. Madam Pince, who was putting a few books away at a bookshelf a bit away from us, glared at him.

Ah yes, the yolo motto. Tyson had been pushing it on us the past couple of weeks, claiming that our grades didn’t really matter anymore just as long as we passed. And while it was probably the Slackers Motto of the World, I had found myself… listening to it. Go figure.

“Oh you’re not on with that motto again,” I complained, placing my head into my hands. “You need to stop enforcing it because every time I go to do homework now I think about it and stop. I’m going to fail because of you.”

“But you get to live because of me,” Tyson shot back. “Living is more important than failing any day.”

“To some,” Wyatt said disapprovingly. “But if you fail, I’m pretty sure your mum will kill you.”

“Not as much as your mum will kill you for your Four Minute Rule,” Dom said to Wyatt. “I mean, seriously? Making a pact with Chaise to show up four minutes late to every class? Is that real?”

“Hey,” Wyatt said, looking at Dom seriously. “The Four Minute Rule is legend. Even Corinne did it with us for potions class yesterday!”

“To which you freaked out the whole time as to whether or not Professor Cosgrove would try to dock points from us. Which he didn’t,” I commented.

“He’s a scary teacher!” Wyatt argued.

“Are you serious?” Tyson asked incredulously. “Professor Cosgrove is easily the nicest teacher in the school.”

“Maybe,” Wyatt said. “But he seems like the type to owl parents. I didn’t want my mum to send me a howler. I don’t know how you and Chaise were so calm.”

“Yeah well, I’m pretty sure my dad wouldn’t care much if we had gotten yelled at,” I responded easily, leaning back in my chair. “So I’ve got nothing to worry about on that front.”

“Oh come on, Co,” Dom said. “Your dad’s been owling you all week about Christmas break and how excited he is to see you. He would very much care.”

As hard as it was to believe, Dom was telling the truth. My dad had been contacting me more and more this past week, making plans for how we were to spend our last winter break together. It was kind of exciting, because for once my dad wasn’t going to be surrounded and swamped with work. It was going to be just us. And every time I got a letter from him explaining how excited he was to see me, I felt my heart squeeze. It was a feeling that was nice and unfamiliar. Having my dad care.

“Ahh that reminds me,” I said, pushing myself up from my seat at the library table and stuffing my barely written essay back into my rucksack. “I’ve gotta go to the Owlry. My dad forgot to tell me where we were supposed to meet on the platform so I need to figure that out.”

“Oh, okay,” Dom said, nodding her head in understanding. “Want one of us to go with you?”

“Nahh,” I said, shrugging her off. “It shouldn’t take long.”

I waved goodbye to Wyatt, Roxy, and Tyson (to which Tyson shouted “YOLO!” at me again as everyone else rolled their eyes) before turning and heading out of the library. As I walked, I rummaged around in my purse, searching for the letter I had already written to my father. Right as my hand started to grab what felt like the thick stationary I had written my letter on, I heard a familiar sound of giggles that made me tense.

My walking began to slow as I heard the giggles growing louder, but before I could do anything about it, Madison and Elise were rounding the corner that I was heading towards.

Their giggling stopped abruptly as they caught sight of me. Panic slowly rested itself at the pit of my stomach as I stared at the two of them. Elise’s light brown eyes were icy cold, and Madison was tossing her dark hair over her shoulder and giving me a simpering look. They looked like terra cotta soldiers, carved out of clay and ready for war.

I should’ve had Dom come with me.

“Oh hey, Corinne,” Madison said, her voice dripping with sickly sweet fakeness as her and Elise walked towards me. “It’s so nice to see you alone for once. Isn’t it Elise?”

Elise also tossed her light brown hair over her shoulder after Madison said this and nodded eagerly. “Why yes, it is nice! I feel like we haven’t talked to Corinne in ages.”

“Yes, ages,” Madison stressed. “I wonder why that is.”

I felt the panic in my chest slowly spreading from a slow, simmering feeling in my stomach to a full throbbing in my chest. It was like I was being cornered. Like I had no way out. I couldn’t very well walk through them, because that would require me actually getting close to them, and if I turned around, it would make it look like I was scared of them. Which maybe I was, but I couldn’t let them know that now could I?

“Hey guys,” I said, hoping that my voice didn’t sound as worried as I felt. It seemed like going along with them on the passive-aggressive route would be the easiest way out of this conversation. “I’m kind of in the middle of something right now, but…”

“Too busy for us now that your friends aren’t here?” Madison asked, her eyes narrowing at me as though I was beneath her. She turned to face Elise. “I must say Elise, isn’t it funny how Corinne always seems to be hiding behind one friend or another? Why do you think that is?”

Elise smirked back at Madison and shrugged, as they both continued to talk about me as though I wasn’t there. “Dunno. Maybe we intimidate her. Or she feels guilty about what she did to us.”

“What did I do to you?” I felt myself asking, before I could second-guess myself. I mean, the two of them really had some nerve accusing me of doing something to them after all the shit they had put me through.

“Aw, that’s cute,” Madison said, exchanging an eye roll with Elise. “She doesn’t know.”

“Doesn’t know what?” I asked again, my body growing hot. I felt like I was a child being reprimanded, and I didn’t know how to deal with them. I just wanted them to be done and leave me be.

“Cut the crap, Coco,” Elise said, my nickname sounding patronizing on her tongue. “We know you told McGonagall it was us who hung up the pictures in the Great Hall. You’re the reason we’ve been having detention, like, everyday.”

“But I didn’t—”

“And what’s worse,” Madison said, cutting me off. “Is that you don’t even know if it was us, now do you? You just assumed. Which is pretty rude, don’t you think?”

“I never—”

“It’s just so disrespectful, how people can act, isn’t it Elise?” Madison said, ignoring me once again.

“Yes, so disrespectful.”

“But I—“

“I guess some people just forget their place in the world, don’t they?” Madison said loudly.

Elise nodded her head along with Madison and they both gave one more toss of their hair before starting to walk again. I let out a breath as I realized that they were done talking to me, feeling a small relief at escaping the situation. However, as they brushed past me—

“Oink, oink,” Elise said as they passed, a smirk stretching itself onto her features.

My body tensed up and all the heat began to rush to my face, shame and embarrassment coursing through my skin. I felt large knot form at the back of my throat, and I quickly swallowed it down.

“See you later, Corinne,” Madison called over her shoulder, as her and Elise walked down the hallway. I stood there, staring stupidly after them, still frozen and unable to move. It wasn’t until they had rounded another corner, their footsteps disappearing with them, that I began to register that I had something I was supposed to be doing.

Well…. That. Had. Sucked.

As I began walking again, I felt anger start to seep into my veins, but not at Madison and Elise, at myself.

How had I just let them walk all over me? How had I stood there and just let them talk and belittle me like they did? The only thing I had left to do was physically lie on the ground and let them treat me as a personal carpet. But I had basically already done that.

It was like there was something in me that just instantly reverted back to my old ways as soon as something about the past came up. It was like… it was like they controlled me. And they didn’t. They couldn’t. I couldn’t keep giving them all this power.

When I arrived at the Owlry and looked around for an owl, I was surprised to see my father’s owl already sitting there, holding a letter as though it had been waiting for me. I quickly walked over to it and pulled the letter off of its leg, unrolling it eagerly. I needed some good news. Now.

Corinne,

Good news! I got a promotion. I’ve now been instated as head of Magical Law Enforcement for the ministry system in China. I’ve been working my whole career for a job like this, so I hope you are happy to see that I’ve achieved it. I’m going to be relocated to Beijing by the end of the year, everything paid for by the Ministry of course, and I’ll be moving into a new flat!
Furthermore, I think it’s easily understandable that I won’t be able to spend Christmas break with you. I’ll be so busy packing up, and moving into my new flat, that that really leaves no room for you. All of your things at the house will be put into a Gringotts vault for you to claim whenever you wish.
I’ve owled your friend Dominique’s mother a letter explaining to her about the move and promotion, and she says you’re more than welcome to stay with them during break. So don’t worry you won’t be on your own! I’ll try and see what I can do for you once graduation comes, but I hope by then you’ll already have a job set up and will be able to get a flat for yourself.
Thank you for being so mature and understanding about this. I’m just so pleased to have been honored with such an amazing opportunity. I will try to make it to your graduation, but with this huge success it might be a bit up in the air as to whether or not I can make it.
Sincerely,
Father


As my eyes scanned down the letter, I felt my stomach sink itself lower and lower. By the end of the letter, I was pretty sure my stomach was in a pool at the bottom of my feet. It was this primal feeling, deep in my gut. Like no matter what, I’d never be worth it. My eyes began to prickle as the words swam in front of me, and soon after I felt tears start to come.

I felt totally and completely stupid. Like an utter fool. I had actually for once, counted on my dad. I had actually expected him to go through with his promises, and spend time with me like I was his daughter. I had even been looking forward to seeing him.

How pathetic could I get?

I should have expected this. I knew what my dad was like. He always disappointed me. In fact, counting on him was probably the stupidest thing I could have done. I mean he was moving. Out of a house I’d lived in for the past four years. Without so much as an “are you okay with this?”. It was like my opinion didn’t even matter.

I felt myself lean against the wall of the Owlry, and then I slid down so that I was sitting on the floor. I curled my knees into my chest, tucking my face into my knees as I felt a sob come.

It just was just so unfair. Everything was. All I wanted was for my dad to want to spend time with me. I wanted him to be like Dom’s dad, who was always excited to see her, who would never disappoint her, and who was… well a dad. I wanted to get letters from him besides him canceling plans. I wanted him to miss me when I was gone. I wanted him to actually try to come to my graduation. I wanted a family, even if it was only two people.

I was so busy crying that I didn’t even hear the sound of someone entering the Owlry. In fact, I didn’t even notice someone else was in there, until I felt him sit down next to me.

“Corinne,” James said softly. I noticed he had a letter of his own in his hand, and assumed he had come here trying to deliver a letter. And instead walked in on a mess. Great. “Are you okay?”

I looked at him through my tears in what I was hoping was an annoyed expression, or at least some sort of stare that made him feel like an idiot. “I’m clearly fine,” I said, the sarcasm getting caught in my throat as instead my voice broke. “Couldn’t be better.”

James seemed to catch sight of the letter from my dad lying crumpled next to me, and he looked at me knowingly. Which I hated. Why had I told him about my family? “Family troubles?”

I tried to compose myself, but there were still silent tears trickling down my face. “Aren’t there always?”

James looked at me with a mixture of sympathy and understanding. It was a look I didn’t quite like, especially from him. I just wanted to be able to cry and pity myself in peace, without being judged. Was that really too much to ask for?

“I’m sorry,” James said. And I couldn’t help but realize that this was the first apology from him that I really, truly believed. Not because of the sincerity in his eyes, but because of the fact that he was apologizing for something that was out of his control. It was an apology people gave to those they cared about.

I felt more tears drip down my face. I didn’t know why he was being so nice to me. We weren’t supposed to be friends. We were supposed to keep our distance. I was supposed to continue to hate him for what he had done to me, and he was supposed to give me reasons. He wasn’t supposed to have family problems or friend troubles, or anything else that made him human. He was supposed to be there for me to hate.

As I continued to cry, James stared at me unsurely, before finally picking up a hand and starting to pat me on the back awkwardly. It was almost funny how out of his element he seemed when there was a crying girl next to him, but I couldn’t laugh because then I remembered everything that brought me here, which just caused me to cry more.

“Shhh, Corinne, it’s okay,” James said, slowly wrapping an arm around my shoulder as though scared I would rip it out if he moved to fast. For some reason I didn’t shrug it off. “It’s okay. It’ll be okay.”

But would it be okay? I looked at James, and through my blurry vision I could see that his jaw was set and his eyes were serious. It was as though he truly believed what he was saying. It was like he personally would make sure everything would be okay for me.

And somehow, I found myself letting go. I didn’t think about who he was in the past, and—for once— I actually thought about who he was now. And right now, he was the only one around trying to help me; he was the only one acting like he cared. So I found myself leaning into him. Because sometimes it’s good to know that no matter what, there’s always someone there.

“Shhh.”

__________________________________________________________________________________________

A/N: Alrighty you guys, so this chapter is one of the chapters I've been working towards ever since the beginning of the story, so I really hope you liked it and it didn't disappoint! Please please please review this chapter because this is what I want to hear the most feedback on since I would love to know your thoughts on how the story's progression.

I'm sorry (yet again) for how long it took to update, but there's been so much going on what with hearing back from colleges and seeing as I got into seven of them I've been freaking out because now I actually have to choose which one to go to. Somehow I managed to get into both of my top schools, so it turns out I have to make a decision and I am probably the most indecisive person in the world so I'm kind of dying. I've also been on spring break at HP World (which was amazing amazing amazing!) so I didn't really have time to update until now. Although I did get a lot of writing done, which should mean a speedier update ;)

But anyway, here are my chapter questions: What do you think about Dom and Chaise? What do you think about Madison and Elise? What do you think about JAMES?!

Thank you all so much for being the amazing readers and reviewers you have been so far, and I really hope you will continue with me through the story. I'm really begging for a feedback on this chapter because it's one of my most crucial ones so far so I reallly REALLY want to know your thoughts.

:)
-Rebecca

p.s. Since I still have no clue which college I'm going to go to as of now, I'm going to ask you guys some questions to help make my decision: North or South? Prestige or Manageable Work Loads? Economics or Advertising?




Chapter 23: Cause You Make My Heart Race
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Disclaimer: Anything you recognize belongs to the talented JKR. Chapter Title and Summary come from the song One Thing by One Direction.





I think we all have those moments in our lives, where we can't help but wonder how the hell we wound up here. Where all we can do is look at our surroundings and feel a strange sense of unfamiliarity strung throughout the air. And now, as I opened my eyes and looked around the room, I knew it was one of those moments. Because this room was most definitely not mine. In fact, the room I was in had the unmistakably distinct smell of… boy.

Oh no. Please don’t tell me I—

“Good morning, sleeping beauty!” a voice I recognized called, causing me to blink my eyes a couple of times in confusion. I looked to my right to see a grinning Tyson standing over me, his curly blonde hair falling into his twinkling blue eyes.

It was then that I noticed the emerald green hangings on the bed I was currently laying in, and the silver accents dotted throughout the room. I sighed in relief.

So… I was in the 7th year Slytherin Boy’s Dormitory. It didn’t actually look much different from the Gryffindor dormitories now that I looked at it, except for the colors and the view from the window. I guess I was half expecting there to be a statue of a snake or a muggle being tortured, so I was a bit let down at the normalcy.

“What am I doing here?” I asked, shooting up from the bed I was sleeping in which I assumed to be Tyson’s. My sudden movement caused Tyson to jerk back in surprise, and it was then that I noticed nobody else was in the dormitory. The room was also oddly bare for the fact that there were supposedly five boys that inhabited the place.

“Well,” Tyson said, deciding that this question was invitation for him to lie down next to me and sling an arm around my shoulder. “I was actually going to ask you about that.”

“Ask me about what?” I asked, quirking an eyebrow.

“About why, yesterday night, James Potter hand delivered a sleeping you to my dorm room, while you looked as though you’d cried yourself to sleep,” Tyson said, giving me a look.

It was then that my just-waking-up state of oblivion shattered, and the events from last night crashed over me like a tidal wave. Me; crying. James; seeing. James; comforting me as I continued to cry like a madwoman until I eventually drifted off. And then, James; carrying me to Tyson’s as I remained in a half-asleep state of existence…

Had yesterday night actually happened?

“Corinne?” Tyson prodded, his blue eyes still trained on mine as I bit my bottom lip.

“Hmm?” I asked, staring at the neatly made bed on the other side of the room as I avoided Tyson’s gaze.

“What happened?”

“Nothing,” I said all-too-quickly. I noticed Tyson pull a face at my response. “It was just… a bad case of food poisoning and I was feeling a bit off. I’m fine now.”

Tyson didn’t look like he believed me one bit, and he instead pulled me closer into the crook of his arm.

“Come on, Co,” Tyson said, his voice softer. “You can tell me, you know.”

I nuzzled my face into Tyson’s chest, not wanting to answer him. I was already embarrassed enough with James having witnessed my breakdown, so telling Tyson wasn’t really at the top of my to-do list. Especially considering that Tyson, as well as the rest of the guys, didn’t even know about just how dysfunctional my family really was. They just… they wouldn’t be able to understand.

“Corinne, don’t think just because you’re being all snuggly doesn’t mean I don’t want to know,” Tyson said, pulling away from me and looking at me seriously. “Now, what happened?”

Damn. I knew my snuggling-distraction tactics wouldn’t work with Tyson.

“Well… what did James say?” I asked, trying to buy some time.

Tyson seemed to weigh over whether or not he should tell me what he knew, but he eventually sighed, his shoulders sinking, and began to speak.

“He said he found you crying in the Owlry, and after a while you fell asleep from crying so much. He didn’t want to leave you there and couldn’t bring you to your dormitory since the steps are all funky from some ancient charm, and he figured you wouldn’t want to be in the Gryffindor boy’s dormitory since Freddy stays there, so… he decided to bring you here,” Tyson explained.

“Well then,” I said, after soaking in Tyson’s words. “Looks like you already know what happened.”

Tyson sighed, blowing some of his blonde hair out of his face. “Don’t be difficult, Co. I want to know why you were upset, and you’re going to tell me.”

I looked down at the emerald duvet on Tyson’s bed and fiddled with the ends, not wanting to look at him. I knew Tyson meant well. I knew he just wanted to be a good friend and know why I was upset. But… I didn’t want to tell him. That would make everything all the more real. And I didn’t want it to be. I didn’t want anything to be.

“Co—” Tyson began again, but he was interrupted when the door to the dormitory opened with a resounding thwack.

“Corinne Abigail Beaumont,” Dom shouted sternly, putting her hands on her hips and glaring at me. I exchanged a worried look with Tyson as Dom stomped into the room and over to where we were. “Are you out of your bleeding mind?”

“Dom, I told you not to freak out on her,” a voice I recognized—Wyatt’s—moaned as he walked into the dormitory, followed closely by Chaise and Roxy.

“And I told you my emotions can’t be controlled when I’m under severe bouts of distress,” Dom said, giving Wyatt an icy look. She then turned back to me her eyebrows drawing closer together as she stared. “So, Corinne, would you like to explain where you were all night? And why of all people, James was the one to let me know you’d wound up here?”

I bit my lip as everyone in the room stared at me, waiting for an answer. “Um… it’s no big deal really. I just lost track of time I guess and it was late so I figured I’d stay with the Slytherin’s since it was closer…”

Tyson, who knew I was lying, gave me a look. I ignored it. Everyone else stared at me with varying shades of disbelief.

“That’s it? You ‘lost track of time’,” Dom asked, putting a hand on her hip and narrowing her eyes at me. I nodded weakly. “Do you know how worried I was when you didn’t turn up last night? I couldn’t even sleep; I was too busy looking for you!”

“Dom,” Tyson began, giving Dom a warning look. “Calm down.”

“I’ve already tried that mate,” Chaise said, running a hand through his hair agitatedly. “She’s been freaking out all night.”

“And how would you know that?” Wyatt asked, smirking at Dom and Chaise interestedly.

“Because there was no one else for me to freak out to!” Dom exclaimed, glaring at Wyatt for his suggestive tone. “Corinne was, as we’ve established, gone; you and Roxy were at the kitchens doing god knows what; and Tyson was clearly here. Who else was I to go to?”

“Well it’s good to know I was your first choice,” Chaise said sarcastically.

“Oh please, I’d be your last choice too if the situation was reversed,” Dom shot back.

“What makes you think that?”

“Hm… I dunno. Maybe it’s the fact that you’ve been ignoring me for the past week as though I’m some sort of pariah or—”

“GUYS! Come on. Forget I asked,” Wyatt said, placing a hand on Dom’s shoulder to try and placate her. Dom shrugged it off and continued to narrow her eyes at Chaise, who was glaring back at her. Well, it was good to know they were at least speaking to each other again. “We don’t have time to argue anyway. The carriages are leaving in… like… a half hour so you all need to get your shit packed and out of here.”

It suddenly made sense to me why the 7th year Slytherin Dorm’s were oddly bare. Everyone was packed up to go home for the winter holidays. And while Dom, Roxy and I had tried to get ahead on packing the other day, we had decided we’d leave a bunch of stuff for last minute and…

“SHIT!” Dom, Roxy and I exclaimed at the same time, remembering the mountain of clothing/accessories/toiletries we still needed to pack. I immediately hopped off of Tyson’s bed, and ran over to Dom, who looked as though she was nearing a mental breakdown, while Roxy stood behind her looking worried.

“Okay, well we’ve got to pack,” I said, looking at the boys and then grabbing Dom and Roxy’s hands respectively. “We’ll meet you at the carriages.”

The boys all muttered their goodbye’s except for Tyson, who was still looking at me with an expression that said ‘this isn’t over’. Clearly, Tyson wanted to know the whole story about what had happened yesterday and while everyone else was easily fooled with my story (or moreso easily distracted with other conversations), Tyson had seen to much to believe my excuses.

I sighed inwardly as Dom, Roxy, and I ran down the stairs and out of the Common room. Looks like I have two people I’ll be avoiding today.


*

Turns out, it’s harder to avoid people then it looks. Not to say that I didn’t try, but let’s put it this way: when you’re trapped on a train for hours and you’re friends with one of the people your avoiding, and some of your friends are friends with the other person you’re avoiding, things can get pretty tricky.

The first hour of the train ride had been filled with Tyson trying again and again to figure out what had happened yesterday night to cause me to break down into such a mess. I had ignored his prying questions for most of the ride, but he had been getting more and more adamant as the train ride progressed. Not that any of the others noticed. Dom and Chaise were too busy rehashing arguments about god-knows-what, and Roxy was too busy calming Wyatt down, as he freaked out about the prospect of meeting her parents. Not that he had to meet them today. Roxy hadn’t told her parents about him yet, seeing as their relationship was pretty new, but she was going to tell them about it over the hols, which meant that when Victoire had her Christmas gathering, he’d have to meet them then.

Oh the joys of winter hols.

So, instead of being in the compartment with the lot of them, I was now hiding in the train loo, trying to keep at least one of my resolutions of avoiding James in tact. Why did I need to hide in the loo to avoid James, you ask? Well, Tyson had had the fabulous (read: terrible) idea of inviting James to sit in the compartment with us. I had tried protesting, which just caused Tyson to smirk and say “Well isn’t he you’re new best friend anyway?” which had caused a lot of confused looks and ended in me excusing myself before anyone could find James and bring him back into the compartment. I didn’t want to face him, especially after sobbing to him like a lunatic the previous night, and I knew that if I returned to the compartment I would (most likely) have to see him.

I inspected myself into the bathroom mirror and then pulled out my wand, deciding that I could pass more time by re-curling some of the loose strands of my hair that had fallen around my face. My hair was now back to it’s usual honey tone, since there was no more sun to give me my light blonde highlights and I pursed my lips in remorse at it’s change in color.

After re-curling my hair I applied some more of my light pink lip-gloss and then checked my red cable knit for any loose hairs. I didn’t find any, so I quickly re-adjusted my suede over-the-knee boots that were worn over my favorite pair of dark wash skinnies, and decided to head out of the bathroom. I didn’t know where I was going to go, but it didn’t much matter to me at the moment. All I had to do was make sure I didn’t bump into J—

“Corinne?”

Well, looks like that plan went along swimmingly.

I felt myself sigh inwardly, before I whirled around to see James, who appeared to have just left the lads restroom and was now looking at me with a large amount of trepidation. Right. Well. I guess he thought I might burst into tears and try and use him as my own personal tissue… again.

Oh Merlin, this is so embarrassing.

“Oh, James, hey! Fancy seeing you here, right?” I said lightly, rocking back and forth on the balls of my feet. I looked down the hallway of the train, and stared in envy at a fourth year boy, who was disappearing down the hall without a care in the world. What I would give to not be in this situation right now…

James looked at me in confusion, his dark eyebrows drawn together as his top and bottom lip pressed against each other tightly. I quirked an eyebrow at him, trying to hide the awkwardness I felt. Let’s just say, it would take a lot more than a quirked eyebrow to hide how awkward this situation was.

“Are you feeling better?” James asked, his voice low. Ugh, damn. He wasn't going to pretend yesterday night hadn't happened like I'd hoped. However, before I could respond, James opened his mouth and spoke again. “Sorry to have left you with Tyson, but I figured you wouldn’t want to wake up in a room with Freddy, and I only found Dom after I had dropped you off.”

My stomach began to flip uneasily as he said this and I began to feel myself growing increasingly sick. Why was it that James was acting so… concerned? Like he actually… cared. It wasn’t normal. Our entire relationship wasn’t normal and I couldn’t help but wonder why. Why couldn’t he just leave me alone and let me hate him in peace? Why did he always have to make me second guess it all?

“I’m fine,” I said quickly, beginning to back away as the uneasiness in my stomach began to grow larger. I felt my chest begin to grow tight as panic began to seep in. “I was just under a lot of stress yesterday—It wasn’t—I’m not… I’m just probably PMSing it really wasn’t a big deal—I think—Yeah—I’m going to go now bye!”

James didn’t say anything as I continued to sputter out my exceedingly lame excuse, and I turned around, ready to shuffle down the hallway. Just as it was beginning to sink in that I had basically just told James I was on my period, I felt him wrap an arm around my wrist and turn me back around.

I looked up at him in confusion, my blue eyes puzzled, his hazel ones filled with determination.

“Corinne, it’s okay, I understand,” James said evenly, his eyes not leaving mine. I couldn’t help but think the last time I had been this close to him was at Dom’s party, right before we’d snogged. “Just know that—well if you need to talk— I fancy myself a good listener. Okay?”

“Oh that’s fine,” I said, shaking my head as I gently pulled my wrist out of his grasp and stepped away. “I don’t need to talk about it. It really wasn’t a big deal.”

“Corinne—”

“No, really, I’m serious,” I said, putting more power behind my voice. “I just get overly emotional sometimes. I’m just sorry you had to be the one to witness it.”

James opened his mouth to protest, but I cut him off. “Look, I’ve got to go. I promised Scorp and Al I’d pop into their compartment and see them. Tell Dom and them that if I don’t come back before the end of the train ride, I’ll meet them on the platform, okay?”

“Yeah… okay,” James said after a moment, running his hands through his hair. “I’ll tell them.”

“Thanks,” I said, and I don’t know what it was, but there was something about the way I said it that made it clear I wasn’t just talking about right now.

James nodded his head, understanding what I meant and before he could open his mouth and say “ I’m here if you need someone” or something equally corny and uncomfortable, I whirled around and began walking down the hallway of the train.

Well, I’m so glad to see my avoidance plans worked out.

*

Oh ma petites! I missed you girls so much!” Fleur said, opening her arms wide and wrapping Dom and me up in a tight hug. Fleur began to speak in rapid French about how happy she was to see us and kissed both of our cheeks.

Mamaaan, you’re being embarrassing,” Dom said, trying to escape from Fleur’s vice-like grip. Fleur sighed and pulled away from the two of us, her excitement waning.

“Can’t a mother miss her daughter without being embarrassing?” Fleur asked, looking saddened at Dom’s statement. “Coco isn’t embarrassed of me, is she?”

“I’d never be embarrassed of you,” I said, causing Fleur to smile at me and then stroke my hair in a motherly way.

“See?” Fleur said, looking much happier at my statement, as she gave Dom a look. Dom shrugged, coughing “suck up” under her breath, to which Fleur gave her a sharp glare. “At least someone appreciates me.”

“Fleur, you know we all appreciate you,” Bill said, deciding now was the time to cut in. He was always the one to placate these types of situations, because Dom and Fleur had a flair for drama. “Don’t we, Dom?”

“Yes,” Dom responded tonelessly, rolling her eyes. “Of course we appreciate you maman.”

“Well it’d be nice to see it once in a while,” Fleur responded. However, she seemed to shrug off her hurt after Dom’s words, and instead looked at the two of us, eyes widening in excitement. “So girls, how is school going? Are you keeping up with your studies? Please tell me you aren’t slacking off just because it’s your last year.”

“Fleur, honey,” Bill began, resting a hand on her shoulder. “How about you save the questions for when we get home?”

“Oh, fine,” Fleur said, putting her hand over Bill’s as her eyes stayed trained on Dom and me. “But I do want to know everything about you girls’ experience at Hogwarts. D’Accord?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Dom responded, shrugging off Fleur’s questions as she received a one-armed hug from Bill. When Dom pulled away, Bill ruffled her hair, saying something along the lines of ‘Good to see you, kiddo’. Such are the awkward acts of Bill Weasley to express his affection for his children. Speaking of children…

“Where’re Victoire and Louis?” I asked, looking around the platform for any sign of silver hair.

“Victoire couldn’t make it,” Fleur said, as Bill let out a harrumph. “She’s trying to make sure her apartment is ready for Christmas Hols.”

“Dunno why she’s still working on it,” Bill muttered. “It’s already got furniture, running water, and electricity. What more does it need?”

Oh, Bill. So sweet and niave. If only it were that easy.

“Honey, you know Victoire,” Fleur said, waving her hand, “She’s got to have everything just right. Whether it be a unicorn-haired rug or sheets threaded with fairy dust.”

“I just wish she had more affordable taste,” Bill responded. “She’s been running us out of money with the way she’s been spending.”

“Oh don’t be such a sickle-pincher,” Fleur said, laughing lightly. “Our eldest daughter only moves into her first apartment once.”

Bill didn’t look too convinced at Fleur’s statement and made some more mutterings about how it “didn’t give her license to by a 200 galleon coffee table that you couldn’t even rest your feet on”.

“And to answer the second half of your question,” Fleur said, ignoring Bill’s mutterings and turning back to me, “Louis’s saying hello to Bill’s side of the family. Nana Molly keeps going on about how she doesn’t see us enough, so she snatched Louis up as soon as he stepped off the train.”

“She wants to see you too, Dom,” Bill said, looking at Dom pointedly. “She told us to bring you over once you got off.”

“Oh. Right,” Dom said, looking uncomfortable at the prospect of facing her dad’s side of the family. “Let’s go then.”

“They’re all over there,” Fleur said, gesturing to a cluster of people in the middle of the platform, almost all of the members sporting the unmistakable Weasley hair. Dom nodded her head, looking uneasy, and she grabbed my hand to pull me with her to the group. Looked like if she was going down, she was dragging me with her.

What are best friends for, eh?

Fleur and Bill followed behind us, and I noticed Fleur readjust her hair and smooth down the front of her blue pea coat. It looked like she was nervous about facing Bill’s side of the family too. Like mother, like daughter.

“Dominique?” As soon as we arrived at the cluster of people, an old woman with graying red hair and laugh lines that spanned across centuries walked up to Dom. Dom bit her lip nervously and nodded her head, which caused the woman to break into a huge smile and hug her fiercely. “Oh look at you! Our newest Gryffindor!”

“Molly, let Dom breathe,” a man, who I assumed was Dom’s granddad, Arthur, said after noticing the shocked look on Dom’s face.

“Sorry, sorry,” Nana Molly said, beaming at Dom. “I’m just so proud of you Dominique! I knew you’d get into Gryffindor. Us Weasley’s always get into Gryffindor, you know.”

“Oi! I didn’t,” Albus called out, while Dom flushed at her grandmum’s gushing. He was standing next to a younger girl with red hair who I assumed to be his sister Lily, and his parents were standing behind him. Louis was also with them, and he waved at me, while I gave a weak smile back. I couldn’t help but notice that James was unmistakably absent, and I found myself scanning his parents up and down trying to find a sign of the way James had explained them.

“You’re a Potter; you don’t count,” Roxy said, pulling away from her parents and sticking her tongue out at Al. Al gave her a dirty look back, causing all the parents to laugh.

“Now, now Al, you should be proud to be a Potter.” This was the first time I had ever heard Harry Potter talk, and I couldn’t help but feel like his joking manor was rather odd. I mean, this was the Savior of the Wizarding World. Shouldn’t he be brandishing a sword or something? “It’s what got me your mum, you know.”

“Ugh, Dad, I don’t want to hear your stupid stories about how you got mum. I get it. She got possessed by some psycho guy, and you were the hero and saved her. Congrats.”

“Ah youth these days,” the guy who I recognized as Roxy’s dad, George, mused while Dom’s Nana Molly began to smack Al and tell him to respect his elders. George was dressed rather oddly, wearing jeans, a white polo, and a neon yellow bowtie with multi-colored polka dots. However, the odd apparel kind of… worked for him as weird as it seemed. “They always manage to find a way to devalue your entire life before having them.”

“That’s because children give you the greatest gift of all,” I responded jokily. “You get to be a parent.”

“Ah yes, the joys of parenthood,” George said, rolling his eyes back at me as he smiled. “Who are you by the way? There may be a lot of Weasleys, but I don’t remember you being part of the family.”

Dom, overhearing her Uncle George, quickly cleared her throat causing all the attention to fall on her. “Oh right, I forgot to do introductions. You guys, this is my best friend, Corinne. Corinne, this is—”

“Oh it’s fine, I already know who you all are,” I said, trying to hide the nervousness I felt as Bill’s entire side of the family scrutinized me. Well, okay, not the entire side. Dom’s Uncle Percy and his family weren’t there, and neither was her Uncle Ron. Or James (not that I cared). But still, there were a lot of people now intently watching me, so of course I’d be a little unnerved.

“Oh, Corinne, I’ve heard so much about you!” Dom’s Nana said, pulling me in for a hug. “You’re absolutely stunning, isn’t she Arthur? I bet you and Dom get all the lads at school.”

I gave Dom a helpless look, and she shrugged back, not knowing what to say. “Er… not really.”

“Preposterous!” Nana Molly said, waving a hand at me. “Fleur, this is the one that made that slideshow for Dom at her birthday, isn’t it? That was such a lovely and thoughtful gift. You’re such a good friend to my granddaughter.”

“Yup, she’s the best,” Dom said, nodding her head vigorously.

“Oh! I remember you! You’re the one that punched my son in the face,” George said, looking at me with a glimmer of recognition. I noticed out of the corner of my eye Freddy cross his arms as a surly expression came across his face.

George continued to look at me waiting for a response, and I scanned around the platform wishing for an escape route. Where was Tyson, Chaise, or Wyatt when you needed them? Oh that’s right, they were smart and had said their goodbye’s to us on the train, disappearing as soon as we pulled into the station to go off with their families.

Stupidly. Smart. Tossers.

“Um…” I began, trying to search for the right words. Sadly, it seemed like there weren’t many when it came to explaining to the dad of the person you punched why you did so. “I—”

“No need to explain,” a woman with dark skin, who I recognized as Dom’s Aunt Angelina (or Roxy and Freddy’s mum) said, giving me a joking smile. “I’m sure he deserved it. Freddy here isn’t exactly the nicest of son’s.”

This caused Freddy to scowl at his mum, while she ruffled his hair affectionately.

“Angelina,” George whined, pouting at his wife and looking like a four-year-old child. “You ruined my intimidation tactic! I had her all scared!”

“Psh, yeah, like a man who wears a bowtie could be intimidating,” Angelina said, gesturing to the bowtie George was wearing and rolling her eyes. “Anyways, we wouldn’t want to scare the new friend of our lovely daughter, now would we?”

I noticed Roxy flush in embarrassment as Angelina said this.

“Muuuum,” Roxy whined.

“I’ve heard so much about you, Corinne,” Angelina said, ignoring her daughter and smiling hugely at me. “Roxy’s been going on about how good a friend you’ve been to her and I just want to thank you. I always hated that Madison girl she hung around with, so I’m glad you showed her the light.”

I didn’t know what to say to Angelina, so I just nodded my head, as Roxy shot me an apologetic look.

“I’m so sorry about them,” Roxy said, before turning to her parents and giving them a look. “You know, if adopting parents existed, I’d trade the both of you in an instant. Then I could have a mum that didn’t creep out my friends and a dad that didn’t wear stupid bowties.”

“Yes, but you can’t,” George said, smiling smugly at his daughter, not at all offended by her words. “So looks like your stuck with us. Bowties and all.”

“I like bowties,” I offered. “I think they have a certain charm about them.”

“I like your friend, Roxy,” George said as soon as the words were out of my mouth. “She understands true style.”

Angelina put her face in her hands at George’s statement, “George, how many times do I have to tell you it’s not style?” Angelina then turned to me to explain further. “I’ve been trying to get him to stop wearing bowties since before I married him. He even wore one to the wedding, for Merlin’s sake.”

“Well wouldn’t it have been odd if the bowtie loving person you fell in love with didn’t wear one to the wedding?” I reasoned.

“That’s exactly what my sister said!” George said excitedly. I noticed Freddy was still standing a bit behind his parents, looking annoyed at the fact that we were getting on.

“Come to think of it, she is a bit like Ginny, isn’t she?” Angelina mused, looking at George in wonderment.

“Hmm… I think you’re right. She’s got that quality….” George then turned to Roxy. “Roxy, I think you should invite Corinne over during the hols!”

“She’s staying with Dom’s family,” Freddy cut in immediately, looking very displeased at the suggestion. I guess having me at his house wasn’t on his to-do list. It wasn’t on mine either though, so he needn’t worry. “She wouldn’t want to come over to ours.”

“I don’t believe I was talking to you, Fred,” George said, ignoring his son. “I know you’re scared she might break your nose again, but I think Corinne can contain herself, can’t she?”

I shrugged. “I make no promises.”

George and Angelina laughed. “Yes, you’re definitely coming round to ours,” George said, nodding his head. He then turned his head, seeming to catch sight of someone, and cupped his hand around his mouth. “Oi! Ginny! Come over here and meet Corinne! You’ll love her!”

I felt myself get nervous as James’s mum looked up from the conversation she was having with one of her brother’s— Charlie I think his name was— and over to us. She excused herself, and then headed over to where were standing with Harry in tow, leaving Al, Louis, and Lily to converse with Charlie alone.

“What is it you wanted George? I know you think it’s acceptable to shout at me like I’m a dog, but my hearing really isn’t what it used to be,” Ginny stated, giving George a grumpy look. Something about the way she said it told me they had had this conversation before.

George chose to ignore Ginny though, and gestured to me excitedly.

“Ginny, this one’s got some humor on her! Roxy’s never had a funny friend before,” George said.

Ginny turned away from George and looked at me, her expression instantly softening. I noticed that even in her older age she was rather pretty with dark red hair cut to her chin, warm brown eyes, and high cheekbones.

“Funny, eh?” Ginny said, grinning at me and looking exactly like James did when he smiled. “Go on then, make a joke.”

“I’m not funny,” I said, feeling nervous under Ginny’s stare. “I just said that I liked your brother’s bowties.”

Ginny broke out into a fit of laughter as I said this. “Oh she is funny!”

“Hey! I take offense,” George said, crossing his arms petulantly at Ginny’s laughter.

“Oh get over it,” Ginny said, waving her hands. “You’re forty eight, not four.”

George gasped, “You did not just say my age!”

“What are you, a menopausal woman?”

“No that would be you.”

“Hey, you two, stop your bickering,” Nana Molly said, breaking away from the conversation she was having with Bill and Fleur and glaring at George and Ginny.

“Yes, mum,” George and Ginny responded at the same time. Harry, who had been standing behind Ginny watching the exchange, looked at me apologetically.

“Sorry about them, they’re a handful sometimes,” he said.

I shrugged it off, hiding my nervousness at being addressed by him. “It’s fine. I’m sure they have their redeeming qualities.”

“Yeah, I thought that too, but I was wrong,” Harry said, earning a whack from Ginny as he said this.

I laughed while Harry rubbed his head, glaring at Ginny. “At the least, she’s got a mean arm,” I suggested, causing Ginny to smile at me conspiratorially.

“And so do you!” George said, turning to Ginny. “She’s the one that punched Freddy in the face.”

“She is?” Ginny said, looking at me. She then stepped forward and wrapped her arms around me. Luckily, Freddy was now conversing with another of his family members, so he didn’t hear. “Thank goodness! Someone needed to knock some sense into him.”

I opened my mouth to respond, but before I could Fleur called my name. “Corinne, I think we’re going to head back now. You ready?”

“Oh shoot, we should be going too,” Ginny said, checking her watch and frowning. She then looked at Harry. “Have you seen James yet?”

“No, I haven’t,” Harry responded, shaking his head. Ginny sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose.

“That kid will be the death of me, I swear,” Ginny said. She then turned back to me and gave me a tight smile. “Well it was nice meeting you Corinne. Sadly, I’ve got to find my git of a son, who loves to make us look for him. I’ll see you though, yeah?”

“Um… sure,” I responded, nodding my head as Ginny grabbed Harry and began to march away, looking for James as she did so. I waved goodbye to George and Angelina (who again exclaimed that I had to visit them), gave Roxy a hug, and then headed over to Fleur.

“Looks like you fit in,” Fleur said once I had arrived next to her, giving me a small smile.

The weird thing about Fleur’s statement, was that it almost seemed true. I was just able to have an easy conversation with Fred and James’ parents. Something I never thought would happen. How had I managed that?

“I guess so,” I said, shrugging my shoulders and looking away from Fleur and around the platform. My eyes immediately stopped when they saw James, who was sitting on a bench and leaning his head back, with his eyes closed. It seemed like he’d been there a while, and I wondered why he hadn’t just met up with Harry and Ginny when he got off the train.

Just as I was turning away, James looked up and his eyes caught with mine. I felt the same uneasiness I had on the train re-enter my stomach. I fought the blush that was creeping up at getting caught staring, and managed to keep an impassive expression on my face, as I turned away from James and looked at Fleur.

Fleur, who had been watching my line of sight, raised an eyebrow at me curiously. “You ready to go, Corinne?” Fleur asked, studying me carefully.

“Yeah,” I said, shrugging my shoulders and grabbing my trunk, shaking off all thoughts of James. “Of course.”





A/N: There ya have it my lovely lovely readers, chapter 23! I know it's kind of a filler, but then again, there was a lot of Corinne/James action, what with them actually talking and such so at least they're making progress, right? And Corinne met James' parents, and Freddy's parents, and they liked her, which is pretty awesome, right?

Anyways, I'm so sorry for how shoddy I've been with updates lately. Senior year has kind of been freaking me out but for anyone who's wondering I did decide on a college! I went for South, Manageable Workloads, and Advertising if you remember my questions from the last author's note. :)

So, what do my amazing readers think of this chapter? Do you like the new developments between James and Corinne? Do I portray the Weasley/Potter clan to your liking? Did you hate this chapter and want me to stop writing? And omg is it just me or do you want Corinne and Tyson to wind up together? It's probably just me, but let me know in a review regardless!

Speaking of reviews, I seriously can't believe I have over 500 on this story. It's kind of freaking me out because I don't know why you guys like me/my story at all because Corinne is an annoying fart and James is so freaking difficult. But yeah anyways, you guys are seriously the best reviewers/readers ever and I can't even begin to describe my love for you! So please make me happy and leave me more amazing reviews?

Please?

Alright this author's note is way too long (as usual). Love ya, thanks for being amazing!
-Rebecca

French Translations (YAY FRENCH WORDS ARE BACK!!):
Oh ma petite- oh my little
D'Accord?- Okay?
Maman- mother


Chapter 24: That One Night was More Than Just Right
[View Online]  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: It's Jo's, obviously. Chapter title&summary come from the song Drive By by Train.





 


“Dom,” I began, as I picked up a shirt off the rack and inspected it, before making a face and putting it back. “You know we’re supposed to be getting stuff for other people, right?”

“I know that,” Dom called from the dressing room, while I continued to mindlessly flip through clothing racks as I waited for her. “But I need a dress for Victoire’s Christmas gathering, so might as well kill two birds with one stone.”

With that, Dom pulled the curtain to her dressing room aside and stepped out wearing the black velvet dress that had caught her attention in the first place. It was fairly simple, with capped sleeves, a v-neckline, and it hit just a couple inches above the knee, but on Dom it looked amazing. Yet another perk of being veela.

“You should get that,” I said, as Dom inspected herself in the store mirror. “It’s fab.”

“You think?” Dom asked, pursing her lips as she looked down at the dress, her silver hair falling in front of her face.

“I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Now come on, you need to help me find gifts for people! I suck at this.”

“Okay, okay,” Dom said, seeming satisfied with my response. She walked back into the dressing room to change out of the dress and back into her clothes. Then, she stuck her head out of the dressing room. “Who have you gotten gifts for so far?”

“Umm…” I began, mentally going over in my head who I had gotten gifts for. Dom’s head disappeared back behind the curtain to finish changing as I thought. “Chaise.”

“Seriously?” Dom said, pulling the curtain of the dressing room back incredulously, now back in her normal clothes. “You’ve only gotten one gift so far? Are you mad?”

“Probably,” I responded, biting my lip. “I was hoping that today I’d be able to get everyone else’s.”

“Well you better hope you get everyone else’s today. Christmas is in two days!” Dom exclaimed, her eyes wide at she stared at me.

“I know,” I responded, shooting Dom an annoyed look. Her reaction was just freaking me out more than I already was, which didn’t help. “But I haven’t really had much time, you know, considering.”

It was true. I hadn’t had much time. Ever since I got to Dom’s house we had done nothing but run on errands for Victoire’s new flat. Before my dad cancelled, we had arranged to go Christmas shopping together which is why I hadn't done any preshopping like Dom had. But with the change in plans, I hadn’t had time to get gifts for anyone. Until now that is. Which is why Dom and I were here. In one of the only magical shopping centres in France, trying to claw our way through mobs of other last minute shoppers as we searched for gifts (or in Dom's case, clothes, because you can never have too many of those, right? Right.).

Dom sighed, linking her arm with mine as she held the velvet dress in one hand and guided us to the register. “You’re right; I’m sorry. I’m being insensitive.”

I sighed, suddenly feeling bad at dampening the jesting mood. “No, Dom it’s fine. I’m fine. Sorry for bringing it up.”

“But it should be brought up,” Dom said, putting a hand on her hip. We had reached the pay counter now and Dom handed the velvet dress to the lady behind the register. As the woman rang it up, Dom kept her eyes trained on me. “When my mum sent me the letter saying you were staying with us because your father cancelled, I was patient and I didn’t bring it up to you because I figured you’d fill me in on your own time. But you haven’t and as your best friend I want to know how you’re doing.”

“That’ll be fifteen galleons, miss,” The shopkeeper said timidly, after Dom had finished her rant. Which was a smart choice in all actuality, because Dom hated being interrupted.

“Oh. Right,” Dom said, fishing in her purse and pulling out her money sack, before sliding fifteen galleons to the shopkeeper. Dom kept her eyes focused on me as the lady put her dress in a bag, and once the shopkeeper exchanged the normal ‘have a nice day’ Dom had grabbed my arm once again and started marching me out of the store.

“So, Corinne. You’re going to tell me how you’re doing, with none of this ‘I’m fine’ bullshit.”

“But I am fine,” I insisted, to which Dom rolled her eyes.

“You mean to tell me,” Dom started, as we weaved our way around random passersby, “that after your dad cancelled on your Christmas plans together and then dropped the bomb that he was staying in China for good, you’re fine?”

“Yup,” I lied.

“Oh, Corinne,” Dom said, nudging me with her elbow. “You’re an awful liar, do you know that?”

“I’m not lying.” Another lie. Dom arched an eyebrow at me, not seeming at all convinced. Damn her for being such a good friend.

“Okay,” Dom said slowly. “I’m going to drop this subject, because as your best friend I already know and understand exactly how you must be feeling right about now. But I’m also going to let you know that as soon as you’re open to discussing this, I’ll be there with a carton of ice cream and a feel good movie. Okay?”

“Okay,” I agreed, and my love for Dom only strengthened as she linked her arm through mine and started swinging her shopping bag back and forth, ready to change the conversation.

I really didn’t deserve her as a best friend.

“Fancy going in there to look for a gift?” Dom said, gesturing to a store that looked like it sold a variety of things ranging from books to vegetables. The name of the store was faded, so I could only make out certain letters, which didn’t make it look like the most promising of places.

“Yeah sure, why not?” I said, because I really was desperate to find gifts, so soon enough we were inside the store, and my gear had shifted into present-hunting mode.

“Right so you still need to get everyone but Chaise a gift?” Dom asked, as she looked around the store with me. The place was full of random odds and ends, with no specific focus on what the store was supposed to sell. I spotted a snapdragon being sold in the back of the store, yet in the front there were loads of pygmy puffs on display. From my own experiences, these types of places could either be really good, or really bad.

“Yeah,” I answered Dom, nodding my head as I inspected a relatively old looking watch. The face of the watch didn’t seem to work, so I put it back down. “How many gifts have you gotten?”

“I’ve gotten everyone except Chaise a gift,” Dom said, seeming to bite her lip at the thought. “I still don’t know what to get him. What did you buy him?”

“I got him an iPod that’s been charmed so that it’ll work at Hogwarts,” I responded, shrugging my shoulders. “He’d been going on about how his current one has become all wonky because of the barrier charms.”

“Ugh that’s such a good one,” Dom said, slapping her hand to her head. “At this point I’m about to just get him a gift card and call it a day.”

“You can’t do that,” I said immediately. Gift cards were just so… impersonable. Especially for Dom to give to Chaise.

“I know that,” Dom said, letting out a sigh. She then picked up a pair of gloves that were on display and inspected them thoroughly. “Hey! You should get these for Theo. They’re fireproof.”

I rolled my eyes. “And when would I give them to him? His station at Hogsmeade ends once the new year rolls around so I can’t very well give them to him at the next Hogsmeade trip.”

Dom looked at me like I was either very stupid or very slow. Maybe even both.

“You do realize that my mum’s side of the family was invited to Victoire’s Christmas party as well,” Dom began slowly. “That was her selling point to mum and dad for hosting the party. She told them it would help strengthen the family bond, even though it’s clear she just wants to host the party so she can brag about her new place.”

I didn’t say anything, as I began to absorb the information Dom had just given me. So, Victoire had invited Fleur’s side of the family. Which mean Frannie and Theo would be there. And while I was suddenly really excited at the prospect of being able to see them, I knew this meant I now had two more people to add to the list of presents I had to get. Great.

“I’m going to go broke after this,” I moaned, as I picked up the gloves Dom had suggested to me and inspected the price. Damn the wizarding world for being so expensive.

“Nope,” Dom said, smiling at me cheekily. “Your father is. You still have his GTM card from the summer, don’t you?”

I knew there was a reason I loved Dominique Weasley.

*

“Well, well, well. Looks like you two have done some serious shopping,” Tyson said, eyeing the shopping bags that Dom and I were laden with as we walked into the courtyard outside of the wizarding shopping center.

We’d been shopping for the past few hours, and I had—somehow—managed to find gifts for everyone on my list. Dom had even managed to find a gift for Chaise (as well as many new additions to her wardrobe) so we had told Tyson and the rest of the guys to meet us at the front of the shopping center so that we could go to the food court to eat and hang out. I looked around and noticed that neither Wyatt nor Chaise had arrived, which meant they were later than Dom and I for a change.

“Yup we have,” Dom answered, giving Tyson her shopping bags (which he wrinkled his nose at before reluctantly taking) and beginning to march forward. “And now we’re starving, so we want to eat. Where are Chaise and Wyatt?”

“Well, I’m right here,” a voice began behind us, and upon turning around we saw Wyatt, flipping his black hair out of his blue eyes, “and Chaise should be here any minute as well. But I should warn you that he was with James when you invited him, so James is probably coming too.”

Dom shrugged, clearly not as irked as she would’ve been a couple months ago about this predicament, but I felt myself tense slightly. I was hoping I could somehow avoid James all Christmas break, but it looked like he had managed to snake his way into my circle of friends for good. I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about this.

“Oh I’m sure Corinne doesn’t mind,” Tyson said, slinging his free arm around my shoulder and ruffling my hair. “Her and James are quite the pair these days. Aren’t you, Co?”

“We’re not.” I said, glaring at Tyson. “I dunno why you keep saying that.”

It had been getting annoying lately. As payback for me refusing to tell Tyson what had happened when James had dropped me off at his common room the day before winter break, Tyson had decided to convince all of the guys something was going on between James and I. I can’t tell you how many letters they had all sent me, pretending to be him and professing their love to me. It was like they were unaware I knew all of their handwriting by heart or something.

“Keep saying what?”

We all looked to the two people who had just arrived, Chaise and James, the former had asked the question and the latter was standing with his hands in his pockets. Which just led me to become annoyed because was it just me or did James always seem to have his hands in his pockets? What was that about?

“Oh nothing,” Tyson said, ruffling my hair yet again before taking the bags I was carrying out of my hands, “you’ll find out soon enough. So, eating time, yeah?”

“Here, here!” Dom announced, a bounce to her step as she jumped onto Tyson’s back (which he was not expecting and therefore let out a huge grunt) and thrust her hand forward. “Lead the way!”

Tyson then decided to get back at Dom, by running forward as fast as he could in a zig zag motion. This lead to Dom wobbling around on his back while hitting his shoulder repeatedly, demanding for him to cart her around like a decent human being, which only made Tyson run faster.

Everyone else followed the direction Tyson and Dom were headed in until we were all walking inside of the shopping center, Tyson was now walking at a reasonable pace as Dom still remained on his back, while Chaise and Wyatt rolled their eyes at their antics. I tried to walk with the lot of them in the front, but Tyson had pushed me back exclaiming that somebody needed to walk with James, after giving me a knowing wink.

So, Tyson and Dom were leading the crowd, with Wyatt and Chaise close behind them. Which then led me and James to bring up the rear, walking side by side in silence.

Well, that is, until James broke it.

“So… how has break been for you so far?” James asked, clearly trying to make things less awkward.

“Fine,” I responded, not knowing what else to say.

“Fine?” James asked, raising his eyebrows.

“Yeah. Fine,” I said, emphasizing my point. What was with everyone doubting me being fine these days?

“Have you talked to your dad at all?” James tried again, which only annoyed me further. Just because he had happened to walk in on me at a moment when I wasn’t at my strongest, didn’t mean he had the right to ask me these types of personal questions.

“Nope.”

“Do you plan to owl him at all during break?”

“No.”

“Do you want to?”

“Can we please not talk about this?” I said, turning to face James and putting a hand on my hip. “I don’t want to discuss this with anyone, least of all you.”

“Okay, okay,” James said, holding his hands up in surrender. “I just figured it’d be easier talking to me about it since you hate me. I always find it easier to talk to people when I don’t care what they think of me.”

“I don’t hate you,” I said with a sigh. Which was true. I didn’t hate him. I couldn’t after he had helped me that night in the Owlry. But still, I hated to admit it.

“You don’t?” James asked, a look of surprise watching over his well-defined features.

“No, I don’t.”

“Well,” James said, running his hands through his hair, “that’s good to know, I guess.”

“This doesn’t mean we’re friends,” I said, not wanting him to get the wrong idea. “Because just so I’m clear, we are not friends.”

“Of course not,” James said. “That would be only too easy.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked, slowing my walking pace turning to look at James.

“Nothing,” James said, shrugging his shoulders. I continued to stare at him so he inhaled a breath. “I just mean that you like to make things a lot more difficult than they need to be.”

“But do I?” I said, my tone caustic. “Because I think I have my reasons for making things difficult.”

“Okay,” James said, seeming to want to back out of the conversation. “I get it. Whatever.”

We walked in silence after that. I watched the others as they joked ahead of us, and I wished for the millionth time that Tyson didn’t have this idea in his head that James and I ought to be together. Then I could be laughing and joking with them, instead of participating in this awkward bout of silence.

As the food court came into view, I began to inwardly sigh in relief at the fact that my conversation with James would be able to officially end. Just as I was about to make an excuse and head to one of the various clumps of people waiting in line for fast food, James spoke again.

“You’ll have to forgive me sometime, you know,” James said, his voice even as he stared straight ahead. His mouth was pulled into a taut line and his eyes were set in determination. He looked as though he was going to make it his mission for me to forgive him.

Which begged the question I’d been asking myself for quite some time now whenever it came to James: why?

I considered my response for a couple of seconds, before flipping my hair over my shoulder and starting to walk to where Dom was now waiting in a fast food line (Wizdy's: Charm it your way!). Once I was a couple steps away from James, I looked over my shoulder to respond.


“We’ll see.”

*

“Corinne! I’m so glad you decided to come!” Angelina exclaimed excitedly, enveloping me in a hug as I stood on the porch outside the house. “I understand it took a lot of convincing from Roxy to get you to come over here, am I right?”

I nodded my head slowly, as Angelina began to guide me into the house. Compared to Dom’s, it looked like a whole other world. Instead of the pristine pastels with classic furniture and hardwood floors, this house reminded me of the inside of a circus tent. The walls were colored in varying shades of bright red, with knick knacks from various countries dotted along every open surface. The furniture was mismatched and the pictures scattered across the wall didn’t hang at perfect right angles but…. I loved it.

If anyone had told me even a year ago that one day I would be in Freddy’s house, meeting Freddy’s parents and actually feeling kind of at home, I would’ve laughed my head off. But here I was, following Angelina through the house, as she acted like I was a guest of honor or something.

It had taken quite a lot of convincing for me to agree to come over here. Roxy of course, had been the main person behind getting me to come over because, in her words, it was only fair that since I got to stay with Dom over break, I had to at least visit her once at her house. I had been tentative to agree, seeing as I didn’t really want to see Freddy more than I had to, but Roxy assured me that Freddy would be out of the way and Dom was visiting her mum’s parents today which made it only too convenient for me to agree.

“Well,” Angelina began, turning around and gesturing to the house, “I hope you don’t think the place is too out there, but when you’re married to George it’s kind of hard to have a normal house.”

As she said this there was a loud boom that eminated from behind one of the doors, and Angelina rolled her eyes. “George! Can you stop working for one minute to greet our guest? Was it not you that insisted she come over?”

There was a loud grunt and then footsteps, before George appeared in the archway of the foyer we were standing in. He had some streaks of ash on his face which he quickly wiped away, and he was donning a pink bowtie.

“Hello Corinne,” George greeted, smiling at me amiably. “Nice to have you over.”

“Thanks for inviting me,” I said, smiling back.

“No problem. Roxy’s waiting for you upstairs in her room. But before you go up there, I want to ask you what you know about the boy Roxy’s seeing. Ryan, I think his name was,” George leaned in closer as he said this, as though preparing for me to tell him a secret. Angelina brought her hand up to her face as George did this, feigning embarrassment.

“You mean Wyatt?” I asked.

“Oh, yeah….Wyatt,” George said, staring off into the distance as he said the name with a large amount of distaste. He shook his head and composed himself before turning back to me, “Roxy wants to introduce him to us tomorrow at the Christmas dinner but I figure I’d ask you about him first. Is he going to take advantage of my little girl?”

“George! Please don’t give her the third degree. She’ll never want to come over again if you do this,” Angelina said with a sigh.

“Oh come on! Don’t tell me you’re not curious about this boy Roxy’s been going on about. What if he’s a right sleaze?” George said, turning to Angelina.

“I trust our daughter’s judgement. We did raise her you know.”

“I don’t trust anything when it comes to boys,” George responded seriously. “I was a young lad once, and I know what they’re thinking. Who knows what this Ryan guy is playing at.”

“You really don’t have to worry about Wyatt,” I added, deciding now was the time to interrupt George before he went into a rant, while also trying to remind George of Wyatt’s name. “He’s one of my best friends and probably one of the sweetest people in the world. Roxy’s a very lucky girl.”

George studied me for a bit, as though trying to suss out whether or not I was telling the truth. Then he sighed. “Let’s hope you’re right. I’m going to give him the third degree tomorrow just to make sure.”

“You will do no such thing,” Angelina said, whacking George on the shoulder. “I don’t want my only daughter hating me because you can’t be a civilized human being.”

“Stop hitting me, woman!” George said, rubbing the spot on his shoulder where he’d been hit. “As much as this might surprise you, I’m not the iron man.”

“Don’t worry, I’m not surprised,” Angelina said, rolling her eyes. She then turned to me. “Corinne, you can head upstairs to Roxy’s room. She’s the first door on the left so just give it a knock.”

“Okay,” I responded, making my way towards the staircase. “It was nice talking with you.”

“Right back at ya!” George called as I began to walk up the stairs. Him and Angelina then continued to bicker about something or other, their voices fading into the background as I reached the second floor. Just as I stepped onto the landing, a door opened and out walked…

Freddy.

His eyes seemed to widen as he caught sight of me, and I’m pretty sure my expression mirrored his.

“What are you doing here?” Freddy asked, crossing his arms and giving me an annoyed look.

“Um,” I began, looking down at my hands and feeling myself grow very uncomfortable. “Roxy invited me.”

There was a pause as Freddy let the words I spoke sink in.

“Well isn’t that great,” Freddy intoned sarcastically. “Not only have you gotten my best mate to not talk to me, but I can’t even get away from you during break. Fan-bloody-tastic.”

“Excuse me?” I said, shocked at Freddy’s words. Was he trying to… blame me for the fact that James and him no longer spoke?

“I think you heard me,” Freddy responded, looking down at me. There was something about his expression that was so condescending, I felt myself shrink. I hated getting involved in confrontations. I was terrible at articulating my thoughts, and things always came out into a big jumbled mess. It would just be easier to ignore Freddy, and let him say whatever he wanted.

But there was another thought, a more powerful one, that felt angry. Here was Freddy, a person who continually tried to hurt me, who was now trying to blame me for all the problems in his life. Did he not realize all the ones he had caused in mine?

“Yeah, I did,” I responded, feeling power beginning to gain behind my words. “But what I don’t understand is how you seem to feel like you have the right to be angry at me. I mean, do you not remember helping Madison and Elise hang up all those pictures in the Great Hall?”

“And do you not remember punching me in the face before then?”

“That was totally deserved,” I announced, glaring at Freddy. “You taunted me for years up until then. Were you really surprised I decided not to take your shit?”

“I didn’t see you punching James in the face. You know he was as much as fault for making fun of you as I was,” Freddy argued back. He seemed to be growing angrier as he spoke. “But no. You deem it acceptable to go around and snog James whenever you please.”

“I snogged him once and I didn’t even know it was him!” I shot back.

“So what? You still wormed your way into his head. You know he refuses to even speak to me anymore? I haven’t had a conversation with him in months. We share the same dorm for Merlin’s sake!”

“I don’t understand how that’s my fault. I have no control over who James chooses to speak to.”

“Are you sure about that?” Freddy asked, a challenging look in his gaze. He then gave a hollow laugh. “I still can’t believe of all people, Corinne Beaumont has managed to get James wrapped around her finger. Who would’ve thought you could do that, eh piggy?”

I felt myself freeze as Freddy said this. It was like he was purposely trying to pour salt on my wounds. It was like he honestly didn’t… care about what he’d done. I clenched my jaw and gave Freddy an icy stare.

“You know, at least James has been trying to make things better. You’ve just done nothing but continue to be the arsehole you used to be.”

Freddy and I locked glares after I said this, until finally Freddy looked away. “Whatever. You can do whatever you want. Weasel your way into my family, steal my best friend, turn everyone against me. Fine. Just leave me alone.”

And with that, Fred pushed past me and walked down the stairs. I heard his footsteps reach the bottom of the living room, and then the unmistakeable crack of someone apparating met my ears.

I stared at where he had been standing previously in shock. But I wasn’t sure what I was more surprised about. The fact that Freddy had been so quick to pin the blame on me for everything bad that had happened to him, or the fact that I had stood up for myself and fought back. Whatever it was, I couldn’t help but deep down feel a little bubble of pride well up in my stomach.

I had actually said what I felt for once. And while it may not seem like a lot, to me it was. I had tried. I had made an effort to convey my thoughts, and not let people walk all over me. But… as stupid as it may seem, I began to feel the tiniest bit bad for Freddy. He had lost his best friend, and from previous experiences, I knew how hard it was to have people you once counted on suddenly ripped away. It had to suck for him, even if he had deserved it.

“Corinne?” A voice called, breaking me out of my thoughts and causing me to turn towards the door that was now open to the right. Roxy was staring at me with a confused expression. “Did you just get here? I heard voices in the hallway… Is everything okay?”

I unclenched my hands and shook my head, forcing a smile on my face as I turned to Roxy. “Yeah. Everything’s fine.”

 






A/N: YAY A NEW CHAPTER! WITH ACTUAL IMPORTANT THINGS AND PLOT HAPPENING! I'M SO PROUD OF MYSELF! So I hope you lovely lovely readers liked it, because I'm not going to lie it was pretty difficult to write this. But I'm super excited to write the next chapter, because it's like... super important to the story and I've been wanting to write it for like... ever.

Anyways, things have been pretty depressing lately. Like... me and all of my besties are going to completely different schools at the end of summer and I don't ever want to be apart from them because they're legit my oxygen and I get so so sad whenever I think about it. Especially my bff Olivia because she's my other half. We didn't win best friends in the yearbook for nothing!

Which actually brings me to another point, during this dinner my school holds we get assigned unofficial superlatives, and I won Most Likely to Be a Bestselling Novelist! I just thought I'd share that with you because I can.

So, what did you think about the chapter? Did you like Corinne and James' talk? What about Coco and Freddy's feud? How awesome is Dom as a friend? Do you love George and Angelina, or is that just me?

Alright well please review because they are honestly what keep me going with this story. I would definitely not be as far as I am without your lovely amazing support. You guys are the best reviewers ever, I swear!

-Rebecca


Chapter 25: Ho Ho Hopefully
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Disclaimer: It's JKR's. Chapter title & summary come from the song Ho Ho Hopefully by The Maine. That song is literally beautiful, so go listen to it NOW!






“I don’t believe you,” Dom stated, her pink lips pursed. She looked down at me with a disbelieving expression, brushing away a few strands of her silver hair as she did so.

“But it’s true!”

“But I still don’t believe it,” Dom responded, shrugging a shoulder. “The Corinne I know does not stand up for herself, least of all to Freddy.”

I had—of course— decided to tell Dom about the Freddy incident as soon as she’d woken up. I hadn’t been able to tell her yesterday because I didn’t get back from Roxy’s until it was fairly late, and she’d already been asleep. I’d actually had to wait a couple of hours for her to wake up, because—despite it being Christmas— Dominique Weasley always got her twelve hours of beauty sleep, so help her Merlin.

And being the shit friend I am, as soon as she’d blinked a tired eye open I had pounced, telling her the entire Freddy story instead of wishing her a Happy Christmas. But seeing as she had grinned from ear to ear as I told her the story, maybe I wasn’t as shit a friend as I thought.

And you know, I wasn’t sure whether or not it was the fact that it was now Christmas, the day practically trademarked for being the happiest time of the year, but I was in one of the best moods I’d been in since… ever. Or at least, before the whole Beauxbatons transfer program was announced. But either way, this good mood was something I was going to hold close and try to never let go. I hated being so mopey all the time.

“Well you better believe it babe,” I said, knocking my hip against Dom and doing a weird wiggle. “Because I did. It’s like I’m a new woman.”

Dom broke out into a smile as I said this and then cupped her hand around her eyes pretending to look confused. “Who are you and what have you done with the real Corinne?”

I pretended to think it over before shrugging.

“I locked her in the Hogwarts bathroom,” I responded. “She’d been getting on my nerves a lot lately.”

“Aw, I liked her though,” Dom said, putting on a fake pout. “I mean, she was my best friend.”

“So then does that mean I’m not your best friend now?” I asked, pretending to look hurt.

“Oh don’t be silly,” Dom said, rolling her eyes and shoving me playfully. “You’re always my best friend.”

Dom then jumped off her bed and over to her closet, where she rifled around the bottom of it. After tossing a few things around in search for whatever she was looking for, she made an “A-ha!” noise, before pulling out a large present with a pretty pink bow. She then skipped back to where I was sitting on her bed and handed it to me with a smile.

“And now it’s gift time!” Dom announced, as I took the present from her. I clapped my hands excitedly.

“Yay! Let me get yours!” I responded, before walking over to my trunk and pulling out Dom’s gift. Seeing as I sucked at wrapping things (and yes even with spells I sucked) it wasn’t the most sightly of presents, but I had stuck the shoddily wrapped gift into a gift bag with lots of tissue paper to try and make it look more presentable.

So you know, it wasn’t that badly wrapped… although compared to the neatness of Dom’s it did look kind of shitty. Damn her and her amazing wrapping ability. I swear she could be Martha Stewart in her next life.

“Okay, now… open!” Dom announced, and as soon as she did we began to peel apart our gifts (although Dom was much slower about it. She was the type of unwrapper that acted as though she was about to reuse the gift-wrap).

“Wow, Dom! This is gorgeous,” I announced first. Dom was still in the midst of unwrapping her gift, but looked up to gauge my reaction as I held up what she had given me.

It was a red dress with long sleeves and an open neckline that looked like it’d hit just above the knees (my favorite length) in a fitted silhouette. I also couldn’t help but notice the unmistakable Dragon & Grindewald stamp on the tag. The dress was gorgeous, and it must’ve cost a fortune.

“I was thinking you could wear it to Victoire’s Christmas party tonight,” Dom said, as I ran my fingers over the soft material of the dress.

“Of course,” I responded. Seeing as I hadn’t had an outfit planned for the Christmas party, this dress was going to save me a lot of effort. “Thank you so much Dom. It’s perfect.”

I then leaned over and gave Dom a hug. After I pulled away, I gestured to the gift I had given her, which she still hadn’t finished unwrapping. “Now finish opening your gift!”

Dom eagerly turned back to her gift and began to unwrap it again (her turtle like pace becoming a bit faster) until she finally gave up on keeping the wrapping paper in tact and tore it all away. When she saw my gift, she squealed.

“Ohmigod! I’ve been wanting this for ages,” Dom exclaimed, clapping her hands together excitedly as she pulled the large book I had given her into her lap.

Mind you, I did not just give my best friend in the world some stupid book. I had given her a collector’s edition modeling book full of bios and portfolio pictures of all the previous Witch Weekly Models. The book had cost more than I’m willing to admit (but an arm and a leg may have been lost in the process) and I had had to get it specially ordered since it was so insanely hard to find. But seeing as Dom stalked models and wanted to be one herself, I had put the effort in to get it for her.

“I just can’t believe you got it for me! It’s amazing,” Dom continued. She then reached over and hugged me hugely, while I grinned back.

“I figured you’d like it,” I responded with a shrug.

“I love it,” Dom said grinning at me. She began to look down at the book, a smile still on her face as she scanned the pages. She then pointed out a couple of her favorite models to me, while I nodded along in interest, before putting the book up on her bookshelf. “Tomorrow I probably won’t say one word to you because I’ll be too busy memorizing that book.”

“Don’t make me regret getting it for you,” I said playfully. “I can’t have a book stealing my best friend away!”

Dom laughed as I said this, her smile causing her eyes to sparkle. After a moment, her expression faded to one of deep concentration. It seemed she had other thoughts tugging at her mind. “Co?”

“Hmm?”

“Does it make me a dampener if I mention that this is like… our last Christmas as kids? Next year, we’re going to be all grown up and will have jobs and new lives and—”

“I told you that we are not thinking about those things until the end of the school year,” I interrupted, holding a hand up. I hated being reminded of how much things were going to undoubtedly change in a year’s time. It scared me too much. We would no longer have school to keep us together.

“I know,” Dom said, biting her lip. “It’s just really freaking me out. I don’t want to grow up.”

“I don’t either,” I said with a sigh. “But everyone has to grow up at some point.”

There was another pause as we both let the words I had spoken sink in.

“Ugh, I’m sorry I’m such a downer,” Dom said, interrupting the silence and shaking her head as if clearing her thoughts. She straightened up. “I shouldn’t have brought it up. We need to think about happier things. Like the fact that it’s Christmas, my favorite day of the year.”

“Yup,” I agreed, nodding my head. “And that we’ll get to watch Wyatt get the third degree tonight from George!”

“Ooo, you’re right,” Dom said, her eyes lighting up as I spoke. “That’s going to be the highlight of my day.”

“Mine too,” I responded. “Wyatt’s going to faint.”

“Or cry,” Dom added.

“Or both,” I amended.

“Right well,” Dom said, “seeing as we need to be at Victoire’s in,” Dom looked at the clock hanging in her room, “four hours. I suggest we go downstairs, eat some brekkie, exchange gifts with the family, then come upstairs and get ready for the party. Sound good?”

I nodded. “Sounds great.”

*

“A few words of advice,” Dom began, her hand resting lightly on the doorknob to Victoire’s new flat as she looked at me. The black velvet dress she was wearing was cinched at the waist with a skinny red belt, and she tapped her red-heeled foot as we stood outside the door. “Use a coaster, don’t sit on the furniture, and don’t touch anything that’s not food. Victoire’s kind of insane about keeping her flat in tip top condition.”

“Got it,” I said, nodding my head.

Dom then, seeming satisfied, squared her shoulders and opened the door to Victoire’s flat, looking as though she was prepared for battle.

“Dominique!” Victoire exclaimed as soon as we entered her flat. She was donning a knee-length silvery blue dress that matched her eyes, and her hair was pulled back into a French braid. She looked like a mother or something, which was weird considering she was only two years older than us. “How lovely it is to see you!”

“I just saw you yesterday,” Dom muttered, as Victoire swooped in to give Dom a tight hug.

“Well it was simply too long,” Victoire exclaimed, before turning to me. “Oh Corinne! It’s good to see you also. How do you like the flat?”

With that, Victoire gestured behind her to the most ornately decorated flat I think I’d ever been in. It looked like a place the queen would holiday at, with the overly dressy couches, luxurious lamps, fancy knick knacks and lavish statues cluttered around the house.

In other words, it was a bit… much.

“It’s lovely Victoire,” I lied, not wanting to be rude to her at her own Christmas party. “You really… outdid yourself.”

“Aw you’re too kind,” Victoire said. She then gestured over to an area she had set up that composed of a long table laden down with fancy looking foods. There were various people loitering around, all of them I recognized as Dom’s aunt’s and uncle’s. “You two look a bit peaky. Go eat something.”

“Yes, let’s,” Dom said, giving Victoire a tight smile before grabbing my hand and pulling me over to the food area. Once we got there, Dom started piling hors d'oeuvres onto her plate furiously.

“This flat looks absolutely ghastly,” Dom announced, picking a piece of cheese off her plate and biting into it. “I can’t believe she took such a lovely flat and ruined it like this.”

“It’s not that bad,” I reasoned.

“You’re right. It’s worse,” Dom stated. “She has a fucking marble statue of a cherub in here. Who the fuck does that?”

I looked to the statue in question that Dom was speaking of and observed the way it’s eyes bugged out, so that no matter where you stood it looked like it was staring deep into your soul. It was a bit creepy.

“Um… I—”

“Okay, is it just me or does that statue really freak you out,” a voice I recognized as Frannie stated, cutting off whatever lame answer I was about to come up with. Dom and I turned around from our conversation to see Frannie and Theo standing behind us, dressed as though they’d just walked off of a runway. Dom, Frannie and I all squealed upon seeing one another, before joining into a group hug.

“Girls,” Theo replied, rolling his eyes at us as we pulled away. “You all act like seeing each other is some big event or something. Where’s my hello?”

“Aw you’re such a baby,” I announced, before pulling Theo into a hug and ruffling his hair. “It’s good to see the both of you.”

“Although I feel we should still be mad at Frannie,” Dom commented, giving Frannie a glare. “Didn’t you arrange the entire plan of locking us in the Room of Requirement with Tyson and Chaise?”

“Are you friends with them again?” Frannie asked.

“Yes… but that’s not the p—”

“Then I should be getting a thank you,” Frannie stated. “You lot were being so damn stupid and stubborn that I had to put my foot down and intervene.”

“You always love sticking your nose into people’s business’s, don’t you?” Theo stated.

“Oh shoo! I do it with the best of intentions,” Frannie responded. She then turned to me and Dom. “Now, where are those friends of yours that we helped you get back?”

“Dunno,” Dom said, shrugging her shoulders. “Tyson’s coming with his cousin, and I don’t see either of them here yet. Wyatt’s probably going to try and not come since he has to meet Roxy’s dad. And Chaise is… probably not here also.”

“Ah Chaise,” Frannie said, slinging an arm around Dom’s shoulders. “You two back together yet?”

“Nope,” Dom replied popping the ‘p’.

“Why not?!” Frannie demanded, looking surprised.

“Because she snogged someone else,” I chimed in. Dom shot me an annoyed look and I just grinned.

“You snogged someone else?” Frannie asked, her mouth wide in incredulity. “Who?”

“Nobody,” Dom said quickly.

“Oh Dom, don’t be coy,” I said, elbowing her in the side. “She accidentally snogged her cousin’s snog buddy: Aidan Finnegan.”

“You snogged your cousin’s snog buddy?” Frannie asked, looking at Dom in shock. “That sounds like something Corinne would do.”

“Oi! I would not—”

“I didn’t know they were snog buddies,” Dom continued, talking over me. “I had only seen them snogging once and it had been so long ago that I forgot.”

“Which cousin was it?” Frannie asked, scanning around the room at the sea of people. “There’s so many of them here. Your dad’s side of the family is massive.”

Dom began to look around the room, searching for Rose to point out. “She’s over there. The one with the fake blonde hair standing by….”

Dom trailed off as she squinted her eyes at her cousin and then she looked at me. “Isn’t that your sister?”

I snapped my eyes over to where Dom and Frannie had been looking to see that Rose was indeed standing with Bailey. What was she doing here?

“You have a sister?” Frannie asked, looking at me with wide eyes. Theo looked just as surprised.

Right. I guess I had never really mentioned my sister to either of them before.

“Erm… yes?” I said.

“She does look a lot like you,” Theo said, seeming to inspect Bailey.

“Oh shit, I just made eye contact with her,” Frannie said, quickly jerking her head towards me. “Woops.”

“Ugh Frannie! Now she’s going to think I’m talking about her,” I said.

“It’s not my fault!” Frannie argued. “You should’ve mentioned you had a sister!”

“We don’t really talk…” I said, feeling uncomfortable.

“Weird,” Theo said, after a moment. “I couldn’t imagine not talking to Frannie.”

“Yeah well,” I began, “it’s not by choice.”

I decided to take this time to inspect my nails, which were painted a shimmery gold color, and I noticed a chip. And I have to say, this was probably the thing that I was the most annoyed about. Chipped nails suck.

“Right well this has gotten sufficiently awkward,” Frannie said. “So to change it up, my maman has Theo and I’s present for you, so if you two want to go find her you can open it and be happy again.”

“Ooo presents!” Dom exclaimed excitedly. “Maman has our gifts for you guys too. So I say we split up, get the gifts, then regroup, kay?”

“Divide and conquer,” Theo said, nodding his head seriously.

“Alright three…two…one…break!”

*

“Oh I’m sor—”

“No worries, Corinne,” George said, interrupting my apology and smiling at me amiably. “I understand how easy it is to get distracted when pillow pets are involved. They kind of consume your soul.”

George then gestured to the pillow pet of a dragon I was holding in my hand that I had been focused on when I had bumped into him. Theo had given it to me as a Christmas gift along with some of my favorite holiday candy, which I had already almost completely eaten.

After Dom and I had found Tante Gabby and gotten our gifts, we had met back up with Frannie and Theo and opened the gifts in front of each other. Frannie had laughed at the mixed drinks starter kit I had bought her, seeing as she was becoming quite the alcoholic, and Theo had loved the fireproof gloves I had gotten him. I had, of course, died over the new shoes Frannie had given me, which were a simple pair of designer patent leather ballet flats that were charmed so they changed colors depending on the outfit. And I think considering the fact I'd been carrying the pillow pet Theo had given me around ever since I'd opened his gift, it was obvious I loved it. 

So, all in all, it had been a pretty successful gift exchange.

After we had opened all of our gifts, I had decided I needed more food. So I was now making my way back to the food area, and as we already know, I managed to bump into George, who was currently wearing a red and green bowtie to keep with the Christmas spirit.

“Isn’t it cute though?” I said to George, holding up my dragon pillow pet so it was eye level with him.

“Of course it is,” George said, nodding his head. “But sadly, I have to go and grill the guy who’s trying to take my baby girl away from me, so we’ll have to continue this conversation later.”

“Wyatt’s here?” I asked, my tone showing my surprise. I hadn't seen him or Chaise or Tyson yet. I assumed it was because they were still spending time with their own family before heading over here.

“Yeah, he’s right over there,” George said, gesturing over his shoulder. “He’s the one with his arms around my daughter.”

“I know what he looks like,” I stated with a roll of my eyes. “He’s my best friend, remember?”

“Right,” George said, still not taking his gaze off of Wyatt. I decided to follow his gaze, and I noticed that Wyatt was looking over at George, seeming extremely nervous at the glare George was sending him. He then noticed me standing with George and mouthed a ‘help me!’ when nobody else was looking. I also noted that Freddy was inexplicably absent from the group, which meant he was probably meandering around some other part of the flat.

“He’s nervous you know,” I said, hoping that George would use this knowledge and go easy on Wyatt. “And he really is a great person.”

“Yes well, he still has to pass my tests first,” George stated.

“Tests?”

“Yeah, you know, I’ve got to throw him into ten different hypothetical situations involving my daughter, and-depending on his response- he’ll be deemed worthy.”

“Hypothetical situations?” I arched an eyebrow.

“Yep,” George responded, nodding his head like it was the most normal thing in the world. “Like what he would do if a building they were in began to burn down, or worse, if he was with Roxy when she passed a pet store. She’s always trying to buy pets wherever she goes, and it’s getting to be a bit of an issue since we don’t really have room for all the animals she wants. She needs someone who will put their foot down and say no.”

“Isn’t that your job?” I asked slowly.

George seemed to think about this for a second before laughing lightly and clapping me on the shoulder. “Oh you’re funny. Anyways, I really should be getting over there. The grilling must commence and all.”

“Okay…Good luck,” I said, as George began to walk away. I then found myself suddenly standing alone in the middle of Victoire’s house, holding a stuffed dragon pillow pet.

Man, I really needed to find friends. Fast.

“Corinne!” a high-strung voice I recognized exclaimed, causing me to cringe as I forced a smile on my face and turned to Victoire. She had been scurrying about the apartment all night, freaking out at random guests for forgetting to use coasters and hovering over family members as they ate because of her newly imported Polynesian carpet. And as she hurried over to me, her kitten heels click clacking against the hardwood floors, resembling nothing short of a drill sergeant, I suddenly wished for an escape route.

“Yeah?” I asked Victoire, looking back and forth around the room for anyone to rescue me. Because if I knew Victoire, the only reason she was talking to me was so she could ask me for a f—

“Do you think you could do me a favor?” Victoire asked, confirming my thoughts as she looked at me sweetly. But I think we both knew better. We were nothing more than acquaintances, and even that was a stretch.

“Um… sure?” I said, because despite the fact that Victoire and I had a confirmed dislike for each other, I was a guest in her overly decorated house and it’d be rude of me to answer with anything but.

“Do you think you could go to the kitchen and check on the house elves,” Victoire asked. And yes, she had indeed gotten house elves specifically for the event because who else but Victoire would see it fit? “They’ve been taking ages on refills of the pork rillettes and some of the elders are getting antsy.”

“Yeah, course,” I said, and even though I was annoyed that I was listening to her, I was happy to have something to do. A girl could only stand around with a stuffed animal for so long without looking like a right weirdo.

“Thanks, you’re a doll,” Victoire said, blowing me a kiss before walking away. Probably to go find Teddy, who had become her personal lapdog for the evening.

With a new mission in mind, I made my way over to the swinging doors of Victoire’s kitchen. When I entered, the clattering of various dishes met my ears, as I observed what had to be about twenty house elves bustling around making food. However, the thing I noticed most were the two people standing in the corner of the kitchen, who didn’t seem to notice me enter.

“I don’t know what you’re expecting of me, Scorpius,” the girl, who I recognized as Rose, said tersely, her voice carrying over the clatter.

Scorpius was looking at Rose with furrowed eyebrows and then ran his hair through his hair with a sigh. I found myself idly wondering when Scorpius had arrived, because that meant Tyson was here, but decided against breaking into the conversation and asking.

Because something was definitely going on. And seeing as I was nosy and carrying a pillow pet around, it seemed like my job to listen.

“I’m not expecting anything,” Scorpius responded agitatedly. “It’s just you’re so… so… different now. What happened to you?”

I noticed Rose’s mouth flatten. “Nothing happened to me. I’m fine. What do you care anyway?”

“I care because I can,” Scorpius responded. “I mean really, Aidan Finnegan?”

Rose sniffed and looked away. “It didn’t mean anything.”

“Exactly my point. That’s not you,” Scorpius said, pointing at her to enforce his statement. “I don’t like what you’ve become.”

Rose straightened up at Scorpius’ words and smoothed down the front of her skirt self consciously. “Well… I don’t think you’re in any position to have a say in what I do. You broke up with me, remember?”

And then Rose turned around, probably ready to make some really dramatic exit but it was cut off when she spotted me standing at the kitchen door, still clutching my stuffed animal and staring at the two of them in shock.

I mean… I never saw this coming, Rose and Scorpius had… dated? When had this happened?

“How much did you hear?” Rose asked me, her eyes narrowing. Well, I guess she wasn’t one to beat around the bush. Scorpius was standing behind her staring at the two of us, a stricken expression on his face.

“Uh… You know… just bits and pieces really. I was just trying to ask the house elves about the pork ril—”

“I don’t care,” Rose said, cutting off what was sure to be some rambling explanation as to what I was doing eavesdropping on what I now presumed was a very intense conversation. “I’m just going to cut to the chase. You’re going to tell nobody what you’ve heard. Alright?”

So, I guess their relationship was a secret then.

“Erm… right…” I said, beginning to back away. And you know, I should’ve at least done what Victoire asked and checked up on the house elves for Victoire, but there was only so much a girl with a stuffed animal could handle at one moment, so I figured Victoire would understand.

Okay, Victoire probably wouldn’t understand, but I figured she probably wouldn’t find out that I never checked up on the house elves because really- how do you find those things out?

And with that in mind I scurried out of the kitchen and down the halls, trying to wrap my brain about everything I had just witnessed. And once I thought about the idea of Rose and Scorpius having a relationship, it suddenly didn’t seem so far-fetched. I mean, Tyson had seemed a bit surprised when we had caught Aidan and Rose snogging in the broom cupboard. Maybe Tyson had known about it all along. Not to mention Scorpius had been in a good mood the day Dom and Aidan had snogged, effectively ending whatever was going on between Aidan and Rose… And Dom had mentioned something happening to Rose that made her get all bitchy and cold.

Had that been the break up that had caused that?

Just as I was beginning to come to a conclusion about the Rose/Scorpius love affair, someone decided to interrupt my thoughts by placing a hand on my shoulder.

“Hey have you seen—Oh it’s you.”

I looked up from where my eyes had been transfixed on the ground to notice a familiar pair of brown eyes and sandy hair staring at me. Her signature high ponytail was hanging in a bouncy coil, and her pink lips had now turned into a pout.

Bailey.

It looked as though she was seriously regretting tapping me on the shoulder. Which, you know, she probably was considering how much she’d been avoiding me at school. I guess she had just thought I was some random passer-by.

“Yup. It’s me,” I said. And because I suddenly had grown balls I continued speaking. “And if it’s Rose your looking for, she’s currently having a heated discussion with Scorpius so I’d leave it be.”

“Ugh not again,” Bailey sighed, seeming to be talking more to herself then me. “I swear if he breaks her heart again, I’ll kill him.”

“Again?” I asked, and I immediately regretted it when Bailey’s head snapped towards me, and her eyes narrowed.

“Yes. Again,” Bailey said, but she didn’t explain it further. Instead, we both stood there, me coming to the realization that I was still holding my stuffed dragon, as Bailey studied me.

Looks like this stuffed dragon was seeing more drama in the short time it had been with me then the months it probably took for it to get mass produced and sold in stores. Who woulda thought.

I didn’t know why neither of us left after Bailey had made it clear she wasn’t going to explain anything further. I didn’t know a lot of things to be honest. Like why we had come to a point where we couldn’t even have a conversation with the other, without the omnipresent coating of hostility between us.

And- for some reason- it seemed to only make sense for us to continue standing there in silence, letting all the unsaid words float around like we were standing in the middle of a snow globe.

Because there were so many things I wanted to ask her. Like how she was, how mum was. If she knew about dad moving away. I wanted to ask her if she remembered that time when she used to be afraid of Voldemort being in her closet, and only I could take her fears away. I wanted to know if she remembered a time that she didn’t hate me.

I decided I needed to break the silence.

“Right, well I should go… Happy Christmas, Bails,” I said, and even though I know she hated the nickname I said it anyway as a reminder of what we used to be to each other.

Bailey’s face softened for a nanosecond—her mouth smoothed out and the pinch between her eyebrows that seemed to be permanently etched into her face whenever I was around, relaxed.

But then, Bailey sighed, and she suddenly seemed just so… tired. Like she was no longer the little sister she used to be. And maybe she wasn’t. “Happy Christmas to you too, Corinne.”

And that was that.

*

“You know, I’d say this party isn’t half bad,” Dom announced, grabbing the bottle of firewhiskey that Tyson had nicked from the house elves and taking a rather large gulp. “I mean we’re all together, there’s good food, and we have booze. That’s more than I could hope for at a party thrown by Victoire.”

Everyone else let out a hum of contentment, and then Dom began to pass the bottle of firewhiskey around again. The lot of us (Me, Dom, Wyatt, Roxy, Tyson, Chaise, Frannie, Theo, and yes a certain raven-haired James) were sitting on the floor of Victoire’s basement (question: Did a place count as a flat if it had a basement?), while everyone else at the party was still upstairs. We had all snuck away after someone (aka Tyson) had accidentally knocked over one of Victoire’s vases, before she found the broken shards and freaked.

“Oh don’t be harsh. Victoire knows how to throw a party,” Tyson said, taking the bottle of firewhiskey from Dom. “Don’t you remember her 17th birthday? That was pretty legend.”

“It was only legend because of us though,” Dom stated flippantly. “I mean, Chaise was the one who decided it’d be fun to get all the oldies completely trashed, and Corinne was the one who ended up snogging Belissa’s boyfriend which is what led to the incendio charm that burned the place down.”

“Belissa and Jacque weren’t dating,” I interjected, trying to make myself not look like a slag. “He broke up with her!”

“Yeah, ten minutes earlier,” Wyatt said, rolling his eyes. “And he broke up with her because of you.”

“Well that’s not really my fault,” I said. “I never told him to do it.”

“Corinne, don’t you get it?” Theo said, a smirk taking over his features. “If a guy even thinks he might have a chance with you, he’s going to break up with his girlfriend. It’d just be stupid to pass it up.”

“Aw you’re so sweet,” I said, pinching Theo’s cheeks and then ruffling his hair. “But you’re only saying that because you dated me. You’ve got to make all your exes look good so that you look better.”

“Maybe,” Theo said, shrugging his shoulders and laughing. “But if it makes you feel better, you’re the best of the exes.”

“Of course I am,” I responded, slinging an arm around his shoulder. “We were a good couple.”

“The best couple,” Dom chimed in, nodding her head. “I hated being seen with the two of you. Made me feel like a lonely old troll.”

“Boo hoo,” I said, sticking my tongue out at Dom. I then spotted the firewhiskey, which had made the rounds to James, and I gestured for him to give it to me. He handed it over slowly, and our eyes locked for the briefest of moments, before I snatched the bottle and took a gulp.

“You know, we only have like an hour left of Christmas,” Dom stated, looking forlorn. I think she liked Christmas more than any other day in the world. In fact, in third year when we make our own perfect world for a Charm’s project, her’s had been dubbed Snowglobia and was a city in which every day was Christmas. So, I guess it was expected that she’d be sad with only an hour left of her favorite day.

“Thank, Merlin,” Wyatt chimed, earning a glare from Dom. “I can’t wait to get away from this party. Mr. Weasley’s been grilling me with these weird hypothetical situations every chance he gets.”

“He likes you though,” Roxy told him, placing a hand on his shoulder. “I overheard him and my mum talking about you.”

“Really?” Wyatt said, looking pleased. Roxy nodded and a grin broke out on Wyatt’s features. “Well what can I say, I just have a way with the parents.”

“That you do,” Dom said, nodding her head. “My parents are like in love with you.”

“But your parents like me more, right?” I asked, suddenly feeling defensive.

“My parents like you more than they like me sometimes,” Dom said, not seeming at all affected by this. “They have this idea that you’re the mature one out of the two of us.”

“I wonder where they get that idea,” Chaise stated, rolling his eyes in a teasing way.

“Hey! I am mature,” Dom argued, wagging a finger at Chaise.

“Of course you are,” Chaise deadpanned.

“I don’t appreciate your sarcasm.”

“Who said I was being sarcastic? You must’ve come up with that conclusion all on your own.”

I rolled my eyes as Dom and Chaise continued to banter, and turned to Theo, who was sitting next to me. “Their sexual tension is through the roof right about now.”

“Isn’t it always?” Theo responded. Back when Theo and I had dated, we used to always discuss how meant to be Chaise and Dom were. And two years later it was seeming we were right. They were just both too stubborn to admit it, once again.

As Theo and I laughed, I couldn’t help but notice a familiar pair of eyes remaining trained on us as we interacted. But I ignored James’ gaze as Theo and I continued to banter back and forth when—

“We’re out of firewhiskey!” Frannie exclaimed, breaking everyone out of the separate conversations they had started to have. She had a large pout on her face as she turned the bottle over, proving to us that it was indeed empty.

“Frannie, did you drink it all while we weren’t looking?” I joked, making a jab at her love for alcohol.

“Ha, ha,” Frannie responded with a flat expression. “We need more. So you and Theo need to stop flirting with each other and one of you needs to get me more.”

“Oi! We were not flirting,” I responded, rolling my eyes. I couldn’t help but notice James excuse himself after Frannie began to speak, and the corner of my gaze followed him as he exited up the stairs and left the basement.

Huh. Wonder why he left. Not that I cared. You know, I was just curious.

“What’s so bad about flirting with me?” Theo asked, pretending to be offended and pulling me back to the conversation. “I think I’m quite the catch.”

“You keep telling yourself that,” I said, patting Theo’s head as though he were a child.

“Firewhiskey. I need some. Now,” Frannie commanded.

“Okay, okay. I’ll go,” I said, pushing myself off the floor and walking to the stairs that led up to the rest of Victoire’s place. “But you guys better miss me while I’m gone.”

“We always dooooo,” Dom sing-songed, putting a hand over her heart. I think it’s safe to say she had had a bit more alcohol then the rest of us.

I laughed at this, before turning around and heading up the stairs. Once I reached the landing of Victoire’s apartment, I walked to the kitchen as stealthily as I could. Luckily, as a girl, it wasn’t weird that I had my purse with me, so I would easily be able to smuggle another bottle of firewhiskey down to the basement. Because despite the fact that we were all legal, it didn’t look good for us if we openly drank in front of the elders. Not to mention there were some youngin’s here and we didn’t want to set a bad example.

So, as I quickly snatched another bottle of firewhiskey (oddly enough, Victoire’s place was stocked with alcohol) from the cupboards while the house elves weren’t looking, I put the bottle in my enlarged purse, and then made my way back out of the kitchen. Just as I was walking down a hallway to get to the basement, I halted.

Sitting against the wall, hands resting on his knees and looking down at his hands, was James. I found myself wonder why he was here instead of downstairs with everyone else, and before I could even register what I was doing I had walked over to James and sat down next to him.

I blame it on my holiday spirit and the alcohol I had running through my system.

James looked up at me as he felt my presence, and he raised an eyebrow. I ignored his questioning look.

“Not enjoying the Christmas holiday?” I asked, gesturing to the fact that he had been sitting in the hallway, alone, until I came along.

“It’s fine,” James said noncommittally. “You?”

“It’s alright,” I responded, sinking myself deeper into the floor. Might as well get comfortable. “Would probably be better if my parents would speak to me and my sister didn’t hate me, but that would obviously be too much to ask.”

“That’s family for you,” James said sarcastically. I continued to stare at the wall in front of us and didn’t say anything. James then turned to the side and studied me. “Do you know why your sister doesn’t like you?”

I sighed. And you know, considering there was alcohol in my system and also the fact that there wasn’t really much James didn’t know about me, I answered him. “She thinks I abandoned her when I moved in with my dad.”

“Oh.” James was silent. I wasn’t sure if he was putting it together in his head that it was inadvertently him and Freddy’s fault, but I didn’t much care if he did.

“It’s the same reason my mum doesn’t speak to me either,” I continued. I didn’t know why I kept talking, but for some reason I thought it made sense.

James was silent again, his eyebrow furrowed at my words. I assumed he probably didn’t know how to respond. Because really, how could you respond to something like that? It was kind of awkward for me to bring up.

“Do you ever think about contacting your mum?” James asked, breaking the silence and causing me to focus. “Like you know… owling her or something?”

“I’ve thought about it,” I responded. “But there’s nothing really to say.”

“But maybe there is,” James said. “You’d be surprised how many words there can be.”

I sighed. He clearly didn’t understand the severity of the three year speaking drought between my mother and I. “Words aren’t enough sometimes,” I said quietly. “She probably wouldn’t even respond to me anyway.”

“You could at least try.”

“Can we not talk about this?” I asked, feeling myself growing steadily more uncomfortable. I didn’t want to think about my mum anymore, and I didn’t want James to keep pressing the issue. I mean, granted, I did kind of pull myself into this conversation, but now I was pulling myself out.

“Sorry,” James said, holding his hands up as through surrendering. “Just thought I was helping.”

“I don’t really need help,” I said softly. “I don’t like talking about it.”

“Understandable,” James responded.

Another heavy silence hung after James spoke, our breathing the only thing to fill the quiet. I don’t think either of us really knew what to say. And while I kept telling myself in my head that I should get up and go back down to where the others were, for some reason I remained sitting next to James.

I guess that’s why people say alcohol makes you do stupid things. You know, if that hadn’t already been proved by the fact that last time I had gotten drunk, I had spilled my family secrets out to him, and the time before that I had snogged him.

“So,” I began, not liking the stillness that the quiet brought. “Get any good gifts from the family?”

“I guess,” James said with a shrug. He didn’t expand on it.

“Well…. What’d you get?” I tried again.

James ran a hand through his hair. “The usual Weasley stuff from my aunts and uncles. You know, a jumper, books, quidditch stuff.”

“What’d you parents get you?” I asked.

“A check,” James said. And for some reason, this seemed sadder than all the other things I had discussed with him. Checks just seemed so… cold coming from a parent. Even gift cards were better. “My parents didn’t have much time to get gifts this year. And you know... I'm too old for that stuff anyway.”

“Right,” I said, feeling the awkwardness seep in. James ruffled his hair, seeming embarrassed.

I looked at the clock hanging on the wall. There were only ten minutes left of Christmas.

And even though James and I weren’t friends and I didn’t like him and there were a million reasons I could’ve just laughed at him, I didn’t. Instead, I felt this feeling of solidarity with him. And it was because of this feeling that I reached into my bag and pulled out the bottle of firewhiskey I was supposed to be bringing to Frannie.

“Well,” I said, holding out the bottle of firewhiskey. “I think that you need this more than Frannie does.”

I then handed the firewhiskey over to James, as he watched me with confusion. I then gestured for him to take it. He studied me for a couple seconds before finally reaching out and taking the bottle.

“Happy Christmas,” I said, after he had taken it, offering up the most meager of smiles. James noticed this too, and made a small smile of his own.

“Happy Christmas to you too, Corinne.”

And feeling like I had done enough good deeds for the day, I got up from my spot next to James and walked away. Just as I was about to head down to the basement I glanced over my shoulder to get one last look.

James was staring after me. His eyebrows knitted together and his hazel eyes sparkling with curiosity. I gave him a small wave and turned around before heading down the stairs.

I only hoped that Frannie wasn’t going to kill me when she realized I’d walked down empty handed.








A/N: Kay, so I'm going to start of this author's note with saying that I'm sorry. I'm sorry this update took longer than I'd hoped. I'm sorry it's been taking me longer than usual to answer reviews (but don't worry, I'm all caught up now!) and I'm sorry if you didn't like this chapter. I didn't like it much either, so we're even in that aspect.

I don't know why, but recently writing this story has gotten harder for me. I blame it on the fact that I'm getting very close to the end (and I still kind of am a bit foggy on where exactly I'm going to end the story), and I also only have like 5 or 6 chapters left to wrap everything up. And for some reason, I thought it'd be a good idea to come up with a million subplots.

And speaking of subplots! I've addressed like, a million of them in this chapter. So now, I'm going to ask you about them: Did you like George's ideas on grilling Wyatt? Did you like Theo making his appearance? How about Bailey and Corinne's conversation? Rose and Scorpius'? And finally: How did you feel about the James/Corinne interaction?

In other (boring) news, I did this summer thing with the college I'm going to and I absolutely love it. All the classes I'm taking are supposed to be super fun, and everyone is so so nice and I made lots of new friends!

So, if you've made it this far down my authors note I just want to say thank you, I love you, please review (because those will keep me motivated to finish this story) and also....you're amazing. Because I think everyone deserves to know that their amazing, and my readers are truly the most amazing people in the world. Love you guys.

-Rebecca


Chapter 26: It's Never Silent
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Disclaimer: It's JKR's. La la la la la. Chapter title& summary come from the song Nearly Witches by Panic! At the Disco.

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“Dom, come on, it’s okay. Christmas will come back around next year,” I said, shaking Dom’s shoulders a couple of times as she laid face down on her bed. Dom made an unintelligible groan in response.

I think it was safe to say that Dom was not fully over the fact that her favorite day of the year was done. And I guess I could understand. Dom based her entire life around the day of Christmas and to have it be over with… well that’s gotta be hard for a girl. But still. It was no exception to lock yourself in your room all day and refuse to do anything.

“Doooom, you can’t mope all day.”

“I think I can,” Dom said, finally pulling her head off of her pillow and looking at me. “Don’t you understand? This is like… the end of our childhood Christmas’. Next year, we’ll have jobs and we might not even live near each other, so who knows if we’ll all get to spend Christmas together? Yesterday was like… it.”

“Dom, I told you yesterday that we are not talking about this,” I said. “We agreed we would not be mushy and sentimental until the end of the school year.”

“I know that…” Dom said, trailing off. “But I can’t help thinking about it like… all the time. It’s freaking me the fuck out.”

“It’s freaking me out too, Dom,” I said, looking at her seriously. “And if I think about it anymore I will probably burst into tears and never stop. So, we need to change the topic… now.”

“To what?” Dom asked.

“I don’t know,” I said after a moment. Then, I thought of something. “Actually I do. May we talk about what Chaise got you for Christmas?”

“No, we may not,” Dom said, turning away from me and laying her head back onto her pillow. “I’d rather sleep, thank you very much.”

“But, Doooom,” I protested, plopping myself down on the bed next to her and rolling into her, “he got you an infinite necklace. The really expensive one from that store in Paris that you’d been talking about for, like, ever. That merits at least a little chit chat.”

“Does it?” Dom asked, arching an eyebrow.

“It does,” I confirmed with a small nod.

Dom let out a sigh, blowing a couple of silver strands out of her face as she did so. She then looked at me and we sat there in a stare down, until Dom finally cracked a smile.

“Fine, you win,” Dom said after a long moment. “I basically wanted to crawl into a hole and die after I opened his gift. I mean, I got him a bleeding Quidditch jersey.”

“Yes, but it was a jersey with the last name of his favorite player on the back. It was personalized. It showed you cared,” I responded.

“Yeah, but his did all that and way more.”

“So then make it up to him,” I said, adding a suggestive wink for good measure. “Merlin knows you two need to get back together.”

“Maybe,” Dom said. She noticed my puzzled expression and sighed. “I don’t know. I just think… maybe it’s better this way.”

“Better?”

“Yeah, you know with us graduating and everything,” Dom said. “Maybe it’s easier to leave things unfinished until we’re older and stuff.”

“That’s stupid,” I reasoned.

“I don’t think it is,” Dom said, her voice soft. It was as though she had already thought over the Chaise situation a million times and this was the conclusion she had finally come to.

And as the silence stretched out between Dom and me, I realized that I didn’t like this conclusion. I didn’t like it one bit.

“Just because we’re growing up doesn’t you two can’t love each other,” I said finally.

“I know,” Dom said. “I just… I think I want to wait on us getting serious again. Until we know more about what’s going to happen once we graduate.”

“That is a terrible idea,” I stated.

“Too bad,” Dom said, shrugging as though it didn’t bother her. “Now I think we should change the topic, and since you’ve taken the liberty to grill me about Chaise, I am going to ask you about James.”

I found myself tense up at the mention of James. However, seeing as I didn’t want Dom to get some wrong impression, I began to act casual and turned to her with an arched eyebrow. “What about him?”

“Well, I’ve been ignoring it up until now and—correct me if I’m wrong here— but I can’t help but get the feeling that there’s something going on with you two,” Dom explained.

“There’s nothing going on,” I said immediately, using force to back up my words. And I was telling the truth. There was nothing going on between us. How could there be? “I mean, have you forgotten the part how he was the reason I left Hogwarts.”

“I know that,” Dom said. “But… I dunno. You two seem to act different around each other. He’s always staring after you, and as much as I hate to admit it I’ve caught you doing the same.”

“Well, you’re wrong,” I said, a note of finality to my voice. “I would never… I could never. It’s just, it’s not that easy to forgive you know?”

“You’re right,” Dom said, giving me a small nod. “But he has been trying. Maybe that counts for something too, doesn’t it?”

As Dom spoke, I suddenly felt like there was something shifting between us. Because if there was one thing I could always count on, it was that Dom understood how I felt about the entire James situation. But now, it was like Dom was suddenly letting all that go. And while it may be easy for her, it wasn’t for me. She hadn’t had to endure what I had to.

“No,” I responded. “I don’t think it does.”

I wasn’t one to forgive and forget.

*

“This was a bad idea,” I stated simply, watching as Dom face-planted onto the ice for the thousandth time, bringing Wyatt and Chaise down with her. Roxy was standing in front of them, biting her lip and looking worried, but still remaining perfectly balanced on her ice skates.

“Well, it was Dom’s idea. How many times have they turned out good?” Tyson said to me with a laugh. I couldn’t help but crack a smile back at him, but the smile quickly faded when I watched Dom trying to get up from her fall, before falling back down on top of Chaise and Wyatt.

For some reason, Dom had decided that today was the day for us to do something new. And seeing as none of us knew how to ice skate (except for Roxy, apparently) she had figured that we would go to the local ice rink and learn how. So far, it had just been a day full of people falling on their arses, mine included. Which is why Tyson and I had decided to take a break from the falling and watch everyone else embarrass themselves.

“Should we help them?” I asked, as Roxy began to try and help the three of them back up, before being pulled down with them.

“Nah,” Tyson said, waving it off, “They’ll be fine. Look, James is already helping them up.”

At this Tyson pointed to James (and yes, he was here because for some reason Chaise didn’t understand that I didn’t particularly like him being invited places) who was now trying to pull everyone else up off the ice.

“Right,” I said, my eyes trained on James. The veins in his arms stood out as he used his strength to pull Roxy up, and his hair started falling into his eyes. I shook my head and looked back at Tyson. “Then I guess this means we have time to discuss Rose and Scorpius.”

I noticed Tyson’s eyes widen in surprise, as he immediately flicked his head towards me. “I don’t—what?—I mean— I have no idea what you’re talking about. There’s nothing about Rose and Scorpius to discuss,” Tyson sputtered.

Tyson was always a bad liar.

“Hm,” I said, tapping my chin. “That’s funny because I happened to walk in on them having a very heated discussion at Victoire’s party about their previous relationship and was then sworn to secrecy on once they had caught me eavesdropping. I figured you already knew, but I guess since you don’t I can’t talk about it with you….”

“Thank Merlin, you know,” Tyson said, once I had finished. “I found out about it at the beginning of the school year, and it’s been terrible having to keep it to myself.”

“You sound like a girl,” I said.

“Ouch, Corinne, you really know how to hurt a guy,” Tyson said, placing a hand over his heart dramatically. “I thought we were friends.”

“We are,” I said, rolling my eyes. “But just because we’re friends doesn’t mean I can’t insult you.”

“Oh, is that how this friendship works?” Tyson asked.

“Yup,” I said, nodding my head.

“Well I’m sorry then, I guess I was mistaken. I thought friendship was all about making the other feel good and happy with themselves,” Tyson continued.

“Hmm, I guess I could see why you’d make that assumption, but no, our friendship is all about me making you look like an idiot.” I ruffled his hair. “But as great as this realization is, you need to spill on you details about Rose and Scorp.”

“So, you insult me, yet you want information out of me?” Tyson asked incredulously. He then shook his head. “Nope, no way. I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”

“Aw come on, I’m sorry Ty,” I said, using my hand to grab both his cheeks. “I didn’t mean it.”

“Damn right you didn’t,” Tyson said, swatting my hands away.

“So… are you going to tell me?” I asked, pouting my bottom lip.

Tyson sighed. “There isn’t really much to tell. Basically, they dated in secret last year and things got messy so they broke up.”

“How messy?” I asked, not satisfied with Tyson’s explanation. That’s the thing about boys. When it comes to gossiping, they always forget to include the details.

“Scorpius didn’t really say,” Tyson said with a shrug. “Just something about her family and how he didn’t want to ruin things for her. I dunno, it’s really stupid. He was pretty cut up about the break up with the way he talked about it I think.”

“From what I overheard, it sounds like he still cares about her,” I said, recalling the conversation between Scorpius and Rose.

Tyson shrugged. “Welp, that’s life. Sometimes you care about people and they don’t care about you.”

“Well aren’t you Mr. Positivity,” I teased.

“I’m a realist,” Tyson said, before laughing. “I don’t understand relationships anyway. Why tie yourself down so young?”

“Alright, Ty, I’m not in the mood to hear another one of your rants against monogamy,” I said, rolling my eyes.

“Not many people are,” Tyson said with a smirk. “And since you’re not in the mood to listen, I guess I’ll go back out there and ice skate some more. You coming?”

“In a bit,” I said, waving Tyson off. “I’m going to get a drink though first, I’m kind of thirsty.”

“Alright, see ya!” Tyson said, giving me a two-fingered salute before wobbling in his skates back out onto the ice rink. I watched for a moment as he struggled to remain upright as he slid across the ice, before crashing into Roxy and Wyatt. I laughed to myself before turning around and heading through the doors that led into the entry area of the ice rink, where the loos and vending machines were situated.

The place was empty. Which wasn’t a surprise, considering the ice skating rink Dom had picked out for us to go to was fairly unpopular. She chose it specifically for that reason seeing as we’re wizards and really, who’s to know what we could accidentally let slip to some muggles?

I walked over to the vending machine, rifling around my purse for some muggle money as I did so. Just as I found enough money and got a water bottle dispensed for me, the door to the men’s loo opened, revealing James.

And okay, I’m going to be honest here, the first thought that ran through my head was why the hell did James and I always seem to bump into each other by the loos? I mean, this was getting a bit out of hand.

“Hey,” James said, nodding at me in acknowledgement. Apparently, we’ve reached that stage. “Having fun?”

“I guess so,” I responded.

“Good,” James nodded again. Then he let out a sigh and ran his hands through his hair. I waited for what he looked like he wanted to say. “Look I, uh, wanted to say thanks.”

Well. That had not been what I was expecting.

“For what?” I asked, confused. He had nothing to thank me for in all honesty.

“I dunno,” James shrugged. “For listening. For being a, you know, friend.”

I felt myself tense up as he said this and a warning signal went off in my head. We were not friends. We would never be friends. The fact that he was even considering us to be friends was freaking me out.

I had promised myself a long time ago I would never be friends with him, and I wasn’t about to go back on that promise.

“We’re not friends,” I said finally. I couldn’t help but notice James expression tighten just the tightest bit at my words.

“Oh, right,” James said after a short pause. He began to walk away after that but then seemed to think better of it and turned back around.

“You know what?” James asked, walking back towards me. There was something about his expression that displayed complete frustration. I looked up at him in response to his question, so he continued. “You need to stop closing people off and giving up on them.”

I felt myself caught completely off guard by James’ words. Out of everything I’d expected him to say, it wasn’t that.

“What do you mean?” I asked, not understanding where he was going.

“I mean,” James began, “that you’re just so set in your ways, and so held on to your grudges, that your not willing to give people a chance.”

Oh. He was referring to himself. Referring to how he’d been trying to no avail to get me to give him a chance. Which in all honesty, required some nerve. How could he ever expect me to give him a chance? I didn’t give out second chances, so he needed to stop trying to make me change my mind. I had already labeled him and put him into a box, and he just had to understand that.

And suddenly I was brought back the question I was always brought back to when it included James.

“Why does it matter?” I asked, an edge entering my voice. “I don’t understand why you keep acting like it’s a big deal. What’s the point?”

“The point is,” James said, looking agitated yet again, “I’m not just referring to me with you not giving people chances. Think about your family too. You won’t even try writing a letter to your mum. What about giving her a chance?”

There was something about the way he said this that caused me to hesitate. He was making it seem as though it was my fault that my family and I no longer spoke. But the thing is, he didn’t know anything about my family. And he sure as hell didn’t know anything about me.

“I don’t want to talk about this,” I said, feeling cornered at his words. I then shook my head as though clearing it, and began to walk away. However, it occurred to me that I still had a question unanswered, so I turned back around.

“Why do you even care, James?” I asked, looking at him through squinted eyes. And I honestly and truly wanted an answer. I wanted to know why he was so adamant in trying to get things to change between us. I wanted to know why it mattered.

There was a long moment of silence after this question. So long, that I almost didn’t expect James to answer.

“Because I’m sorry,” James said, breaking the silence. “And I know you said that it wasn’t good enough so I’m trying to make it that way, alright? So, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything I did to make you hate me back when we were younger. I’m sorry for being ass and driving you out of the school, and have I mentioned that I’m sorry?”

James was staring me straight in the eyes as he said this. His hazel eyes were taking on a golden hue and I couldn’t help but get the feeling that James really was… sorry. And out of everything he had said to me so far, this was the scariest thing of all.

“I really can’t deal with this right now,” I said, suddenly feeling overwhelmed. “Just.. tell the rest of them I wasn’t feeling well. I’m going back to Dom’s.”

And before he could protest, I apparated away. Away from the ice rink, away from James, and away from the fact that there had been a small part of me that had wanted to forgive him.

*

As usual when it came to James, I’d been avoiding him since our last conversation. But unlike usual, I was making sure there was no way I could possibly bump into him. Which is why, for the past couple of days, I’d been hiding out in Dom’s house, refusing to do anything. Dom had found it a bit weird at first, but had then shrugged it off, chalking it up to me “still not feeling good”, the excuse I had told everyone when I had left the ice rink early.

And sure, maybe that made me a coward, but I didn’t quite have it in me to care.

“Corinne, there’s someone at the door for you.”

I looked up, my eyebrows knitted together in confusion at Louis’s words. The only people that would ever visit me at Dom’s house would be Wyatt, Tyson, Chaise or Roxy. And seeing as how close they were with Dom, they would’ve just strolled in, not wait at the door for me to meet them.

“Um… okay,” I said, getting up from my position on the couch in the Weasley’s sitting room and placing the Witch Weekly magazine I’d been reading on the coffee table. “Do you know who it is?”

Louis shrugged. How helpful.

I sighed at his lack of response and walked past him, ruffling his hair to get back at him. Then, I made my way to the front of the house, where said mystery person was waiting for me.

When I reached the door and saw who was waiting for me I blinked. Once. Twice. Three times.

“Bailey?” I asked, still unsure if I was seeing things right.

I blinked again. Nope, I was definitely seeing things right. Bailey’s dirty blonde curls and cinnamon brown eyes stared right back at me, the background of the snow dotted ground framing the scene.

“I think we should talk,” Bailey said simply, and then walked past me and into the house, without waiting for an answer.

I stood there stupidly for a moment before turning to follow her. I started to feel kind of weird that she was in Dom’s house. I mean, yeah, Dom was out with Victoire and Fleur doing something else for Victoire’s flat (which may or may not involve a fountain), and Bill was working, but it felt kind of wrong to have guests over when I was staying at someone’s house.

“We can go to the sitting room,” I said, gesturing to the room I had just been in. Bailey nodded at my suggestion and followed to where I pointed. I noted absently that Louis was no longer downstairs.

Once we walked into the sitting room Bailey didn’t sit down. Which kind of goes against the name of the room in my opinion, but I wasn’t going to point it out to her. Instead, she walked around the room, trailing over all of the pictures of the Weasley family, before stopping at a picture of Dom and I.

“Cute,” she stated, only I had a feeling she didn’t really mean it.

“Right well,” I began awkwardly, “is there, um, a reason you came here?”

“Yeah,” Bailey said, turning around from inspecting the pictures to face me. “There is.”

There was a moment of silence. I coughed. Bailey shifted in her spot, causing her thick clothing to rustle.

“Okay,” Bailey said, although it sounded more like she was talking to herself than to me. She opened her purse and pulled out what I recognized as a letter, handing it to me. “This is for you.”

“What is it?” I asked, flipping the letter over in my hand. There was nothing scrawled on the envelope, so I couldn’t really tell what it was.

“It’s from mum,” Bailey said. I looked up at her as she said this. “She wanted me to give it to you at the beginning of the school year when she found out about the transfer thing but… well I just didn’t think it would be a good idea. You know, you coming back into our lives and stuff. But then I realized that wasn’t really my decision to make.”

“You kept mum’s letter from me?” I asked, accusation laced throughout my tone.

“Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t have,” Bailey bit her bottom lip. “But I’m giving it to you now.”

“After four months,” I said flatly. I narrowed my eyes at Bailey. “Why would you do that? I understand you hate me for whatever stupid reason, but to interfere with me and mum’s relationship? Why—”

“I’m sorry, okay?” Bailey said, cutting me off. “It’s just—you don’t know what it’s been like. Mum was a big old mess when you left and I had to clean it all up. I didn’t want you to come back just to leave another mess.”

“I left because I had to,” I said to Bailey. “I—”

“I know,” Bailey interrupted yet again. “I know why you left. It’s just still hard for me to understand. We were your family, and you chose having friends over us.”

“It wasn’t like that,” I said softly, biting my bottom lip.

“For you it wasn’t,” Bailey responded. “But for me it was. And I was angry and it felt too easy to just give you this second chance, when I didn’t get one.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, looking at Bailey in confusion. When had she needed a second chance?

“Look, I know I was a shit sister,” Bailey said. “I ignored you in school because people didn’t like you, and I only really cared about myself. But you just… left. You didn’t even let me try and correct myself.”

“I didn’t know you wanted to correct yourself,” I said, looking down at my hands.

“I know,” Bailey said softly.

Neither of us spoke a while after that. I think it was sinking into the both of us that we were actually having a conversation where we were being completely honest with each other.

“I don’t want you to hate me,” I said, looking up at her.

“I never hated you,” Bailey said, stepping towards me. “I was just very angry. And hurt. But I understand it all now, and I’m sorry.”

I wanted to ask her what had made her able to understand everything, but just as I was about to I realized I didn’t much care. Whatever it was, it had brought her here, right in front of me, and I felt like—at that moment—everything could be okay.

“Thank you,” I said, to Bailey, and then before she could object I gave her a hug. She tensed at first, probably shocked at the sudden contact,