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Ahmazing banner by shudder @ tda (of course)
Disclaimer: I own everything you don't recognise. The rest belongs to JK and whoever else I may make a reference to.
Author's Note: I've had an idea for this story going on my head for a while now and I've finally put pen to paper (: .. :D So .. I've always wanted to write a story about someone who's in James and Freddie's year instead of Albus and Rose's, so this is my attempt. It's a bit different to my usual and a bit of a sad one :( - but I hope you enjoy.
This is the Start of My Story:
So, as I start this story that shall examine the peculiar, morose and unpleasant life of the very sarcastic, blunt and typical Amorette LeMaine, I wonder, at what part shall I start my story?
Dramas would usually start at the most peaceful stage of one's life. A time when everyone is rational and acting sane and then drama would blossom, people would change and others would search how to stop it.
A romance would start at the time of change. Movement to a new place, a meeting with a new person or the breaking up of an old one. A romance would start at a time where a romance could begin.
A comedy would start smack-bang in the middle of everything. Relationships would be half bloomed, arguments establishing and friendships strong.
But what if the story I'm telling is neither of these? What if my story is a mixture of heartbreak, pain and ultimately, death? What if my story is a tragedy?
Of these places, which do I start mine? Do I start with the day after my first Quidditch match? Do I start from the day I came to Hogwarts? Or do I start in the middle of sixth year, when escaping from drama was the only thing you could focus on or you'd be pulled right into the middle of it?
Even as I ask myself these questions, I know where I should start my story, because if anything, my story is not a comedy and only a little bit of a drama, so I'm left with a splash of vivid romance, that in turn is the only happiness that could be brought from a tale such as this.
Still, where do I start? The day I moved from Beuxbatons to Hogwarts? The day I broke up with my first and last boyfriend? The day we first kissed?
No. I'll start on a very ordinary Summer's day, as I stand in my Maman's shop, manning the counter.
Working in Quality Quidditch Supplies occupies most of my time during the Summer holidays. It's a morbid affair, filled with sweaty days and longing for ice cream from the parlour directly in the window's view. Most of the customers are either old, rotund males lost in the memories of their glory days when Quidditch was everything or young first-years, eager to get their first brooms to try out for their house team. On occasion you would get the sexy, toned, Professional Quidditch player who would knock your breath away, when they asked for the price of something, but those were often stolen quickly by Bianca, who favoured herself to be the supplier of all the wealthy and popular Quidditch players. It didn't help that our inherited Veela blood ran thicker through her veins than mine.
Of course, it was one of those days. The Quidditch World Cup Final was coming up and as it was being held in England coaches from each team had become regular customers. Bianca, of course, had almost become friends with each one and at night she would find a reason to come into my room and debate whose friendship with her was stronger and who would be less disappointed if she supported the other team. It was all a bit of a brag to her and I knew it. But being me, I put up with her continuous bragging, I knew she needed something that had a leverage above me. She tried to hide the fact she was jealous of the grades I managed without even trying, but I could see right through my younger sister.
In turn I gave her the famous Quidditch players and the captains and I got the sweaty old men and annoying first-years who remembered your name and face all throughout the Summer and into their year at Hogwarts. So, that day, while she chatted with the Bulgarian coach, Viktor Krum and flirted shamelessly with the somewhat older man, I stood at the counter, sweating under the blinding sun, mouth watering at the children eating ice creams under the shades set up by the parlour. My foot tapped at the ground impatiently and I paid no attention to the three wandering customers browsing through our many different varieties of Quidditch supplies. My mind was focused solely on the ticking of the simple, gold clock on the opposite wall.
I had seven minutes until my twenty minute break and I was determined to make the most of those twenty minutes, even if that included paying off my sister so that she wouldn't tell my parents that I had bunked working for a few minutes. Time is precious. Of course I didn't understand the full extent of that statement for a long time.
“Excuse me, Miss?”
Those were the words that pulled me out of my reverie. I looked up only to find bright sunlight obscuring my vision. A few glances around, though, and I managed to find the dark shadows that were clearly talking to me. I stepped around the counter and made my way towards them, being cautious of the abundance of items sticking out from their shelves.
I passed a dumbstruck, balding man who was staring open mouthed at Viktor Krum. One hand was halfway towards a box of broom plucker's and the other held the book, Quidditch Through the Ages. The corner of his mouth held a shameless drop of drool and I couldn't help but feel a little disgusted.
Nevertheless I scooted around his awestruck figure and smiled at the tall, round-faced woman. She smiled back awkwardly and instantly I was relieved. Tough buyers were always the easiest to spot in a room. They stood themselves staunchly and waited for you to come to them. They made themselves look uninterested and waited for you to sell it to them, then try and convince them with a lower price. But mostly, the difficult buyers never smiled.
Along with inheriting the traditional blonde Veela hair and charm, Bianca also inherited the Delacour social skills. She had a knack of charming her way into people's good books and becoming best friends with someone within a matter of hours. Bianca also inherited the business skills. Maybe it was the slightly too short skirts or the perfected French tinge of an accent that I had never attained. Whatever it was, somehow, Bianca was always the seller, I however, was nothing of the sort. And as the woman in front of me looked far too nervous and friendly to be any sort of haggler, my mood was slightly elated. Though not too much, as one look at the clock told me I still had seven minutes until my break.
How is it that only seconds pass and yet it still feels like minutes?
I forced a warm smile at the woman, noticing that a surly, awkward boy was standing behind her looking absolutely uninterested. I recognised him as a student at Hogwarts. A Hufflepuff no doubt, as I could vaguely remember seeing him wearing bright yellow robes during a Quidditch match. He couldn't be older than a fifth-year and as I saw him looking at Bianca anxiously and putting some distance between himself and his mother, it was confirmed. Definitely a fifth-year.
“Hello,” I said in my best business-y tone. “How can I help you?”
She seemed a little shocked about something in my voice. I passed it off without a second thought.
“Er, I was wondering which Broomstick Cleaning Kit you would recommend?” she replied, awkwardly.
She held out two very similar brands and words my maman had drilled into me at a young age came to my head. Never choose a product over another. It was always: state the qualities of each of the type and let them decide. I was never one to obey the rules set out by my maman, though and I wasn't going to start now, so instead of telling her the different properties of each product, I went out and told her the truth.
“Honestly, I'd choose this one,” I said, pointing to the one in her right hand. “I think it gives off a better shine and the other kit runs out a lot quicker.”
“So …” she said nervously, fiddling with the two boxes. I had honestly, chosen the more expensive item and I wouldn't have been surprised if she thought I was all for the profit. So much for not following the rules. I interrupted her before she could speak again.
“I mean, obviously this one is the more expensive product and while the other one is cheaper, the oil is thicker on the wood and I honestly think Halswell's Broomstick Cleaning Kit gives off a smoother and shinier finish. It does, however take longer to apply.” I gave her a not-so-reassuring smile and somehow she seemed reassured.
Behind me the doorbell jingled and a few sets of feet could be heard entering.
“Should I go with Halswell's then?” she asked, unsure.
I abhorred it when people asked me questions like that.
“It's completely up to you.” I paused, waiting to see if she had a word to put in. If she did, she didn't bother saying it. “Is there anything else you need? Or can I go back to the counter now?”
I was awfully blunt when it came to awkwardly leaving someone and I think she realized. She gave a quick nod as a, go ahead, and before I turned I took another look at the clock.
Six more minutes until my lunch break.
I spun on my heel only to find three more figures in the shop, each of them standing in front of the desk. One of them was tapping his foot while another one ran his fingers through his hair. The drooling man had moved himself closer to Viktor Krum and now seemed like he was desperately trying to eavesdrop on their conversation. Bianca had a perfectly manicured hand on Mr. Krum's toned arm, every few seconds he glanced at it anxiously, too rude to shake it off. At least he knew where to draw the line.
I turned back to the three dark figures in front of me. From behind all of their hair looked extremely similar. Each one had the same shaggy, just-got-out-of-bed look, especially the one with the raven hair that had auburn highlights in the sun. The one with red hair had slightly longer locks, while the blonde one was probably what would happen if you put the two styles together. I stopped in my tracks as I realized who he was.
“Louis?” I asked to the blonde-haired shadow in the middle of the other unfamiliar ones. He turned and the other two followed suit. I noticed the faces of fellow Gryffindor's, James Potter and Freddie Weasley, but I only had eyes for my favourite cousin and I barely noticed their presence. “Louis!”
“Hey Rette,” he said, using my strange and deeply thought-out nickname that everyone called me. He pulled me in for an awkward hug and I tried not to feel a little uncomfortable, it didn't really work. He pulled me out of the hug and looked me up and down. “Stop growing.” was his comment.
“I'm not the one who's six-feet tall,” I said, getting behind the counter to serve the woman who had asked about Broomstick Cleaning Kit's, she had gone with the less expensive one. So much for wanting my opinion. “That'll be fifteen Galleons and three Sickles.”
She handed the money over silently and the boy behind her burned red at the other three's silence. No one said a word and even though it was in the least bit uncomfortable for me, I could almost feel the awkwardness emitting off the three boys. Finally they were gone. I glanced up at the clock.
A minute had passed since my last glance.
I turned back to Louis. Even though I deeply favourited Louis from all my other cousins, I knew I wasn't his favourite, with all those amazing Weasley's to compete with, how would I ever have had a chance? Because Louis was a Weasley, someone who was accepted into society without a second thought and even though I was related to one, it was without a doubt that it was a by a good distance.
“So, what brings you here?” I asked, leaning my hip against the counter. The other two were discussing Quidditch. Not surprising, it really was all you heard about when your parents owned Quality Quidditch Supplies.
“I was coming to see Tante Gabrielle, actually,” he said, leaning against the counter too.
“Not me?” I pouted.
“No, not you,” he said, trying to sound disgusted, but failing. He finished with a smirk. “Is she up?”
“Well she's either up or out the back,” I explained, “unless she escaped out of the window or got out while I was dozing on the counter.”
“What are the odds of that?” he asked, sarcastically.
“Which one?” I asked, pretending I couldn't understand his sarcasm. “Escaping out the window or sleeping on the counter? Because I'd like to bet high on this counter. What with all this, comfortable wooden surface” I ran my fingers along the dark wood. “and this plush, soft sofa.” I pointed at the hard-backed, neglected chair that was never used. It did look rather lonely sitting in the corner, covered in a layer of dust that had been collecting since the start of the Summer. But honestly, you only sat on that chair if you liked the feeling of a numb arse, which, surprisingly no one did.
“The window, Rette,” he said, exasperated but playing along. Did he have a problem with my deep running sarcasm? It may have been the lowest form of wit, but I used it to the highest degree. I could've given lessons on sarcasm if I felt like it.
“Well, that depends on how likely it is that Harry Potter walked down Diagon Alley the same time Maman was looking out the window.” I said, confidently. “Because I'm sure that if she saw him she would want to take the quickest route to get by his side.” I swore I heard James' teeth grit at his fathers name.
Louis snorted, unattractively. “Considering Uncle Harry's in Peru at the moment, I have a feeling the odds would be quite low.”
“Oh, yes,” I said, with unwanted formality. “That would probably make her more likely to fly out the window, considering she's been so far away from him, for such a long time.”
It was no secret my, very married and in the least bit single, maman had a little crush on her sister's husband's sister's husband and the only person that was oblivious to it was luckily my father and Mr. Potter, himself. To the rest of the family, however, it was blatantly obvious and something Bianca and I despised, but found rather funny at the same time.
Louis laughed and looked over his shoulder at the pair of deeply intrigued teenage boys. They were obviously arguing, Freddie was holding one book in each of his hands, trying to convince James which was better, while James interrupted.
“Coming?” Louis shot over his shoulder. They both looked up and mumbled something at Louis. I certainly didn't understand what they said and by the look of it, neither did Louis. He shrugged, gave a quick smile and ducked around the counter. He was gone in seconds.
I looked back up at the clock.
Four minutes until my break started.
I gazed back over to Bianca and the coach of the Bulgarian Quidditch team, Viktor Krum. It seemed James looked over at the same time, because there was an excited exclaim of “Viktor!” and the coach turned around and beamed at him. Bianca blushed, but looked pleasantly excited about the famous company around her. She smiled, showing off her pearly, white teeth and unconsciously adjusting her top lower. I rolled my eyes and turned away, only to find a Weasley in front of my face.
“Yes?” I said as an automatic response.
Hey! I worked in a Quidditch shop, what else did you do when someone came up to the counter and looked you straight in the eye, demanding some unknown notion.
“You know your Quidditch, don't you?”
A bit of a pointless question, but …
“Of course,” I said, tapping my fingers on the desk. “I kind of have to.”
“Can you play?”
“Fairly well.” I answered. It felt like he was giving me a round of twenty questions. The next thing I knew, he would be asking me whether I fancied him and my knee-jerk reaction would be throwing my reputation as an emotionless bitch to the winds. Unfortunately I had no such reputation, as I was too much of a nobody to get one. Not that I was complaining.
“And yet you don't play for the Gryffindor team?” he raised one eyebrow.
“I don't play that well, Fred.”
It felt foreign calling him, Fred. He had always been Freddie and nothing else, but for the past year we had drifted apart, somewhat. It's what happens when your closest guy friend finds out you've been crushing on him for three years and doesn't feel the same way. It was for the best, really. James and him had been fighting on and off for three months and it all stopped when our friendship dwindled. It also gave me a reason to remember my two friends who I had forgotten about during our friendship. The three of us were never the same though, and halfway through the holidays I had had absolutely no contact from the other two and I wasn't bothered. I had changed a lot and I knew it, they just didn't particularly like it.
“Well,” he pondered something. “Considering you are distantly related to a Weasley, you are technically allowed to attend the traditional Weasley Quidditch Games.”
I raised my eyebrows, while he pondered some more, with a dent between his eyebrows. The traditional … what? Weasley Quidditch Games? Did I hear right? Was there such thing as the Weasley Quidditch Games? I didn't have time to ask.
“Yeah, so … you guys can come …” he mumbled a little.
I was pretty sure he expected an answer, but I didn't have one. I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. I stood there, staring at him, slightly dumbstruck. Did he think he was making sense?
“Um, what?” I asked, not exactly sure what to do.
“Oh, yeah, sorry,” he said, almost coming back to reality in a way. “We have this annual Weasley gathering thing each Summer and since you're practically related, you can come. Plus we need another two players for the Quidditch team, so you and – Bianca can play. What do you think?”
“Bianca can't play Quidditch.” I replied quickly, obviously not sure what my answer should've been.
“She can still go,” he added, hesitantly.
It pained me to realize how awkward things had become between us. Once upon a time I would've turned up to his house one Summer's morning just because I felt like it. Now, we could barely ask the other to come around to a family get-together without being hesitant and unsure. It was all my fault and I knew that. But you couldn't help what you felt, right?
“Yeah, I guess we could go,” I said, trying to smile the way I used to around him, I'm pretty sure it failed. “Will there be adults there, too?”
“Yeah, it's like the whole Weasley family, but you're parents will probably be allowed to come.”
“No.” I said, too quick and he looked rather surprised at my answer. “I mean – my parents will probably be too … busy to come.”
He gave me a small, awkward smile. “Right. So, I'll see you and Bianca there. It's at James' house. Have you been there?”
Blunt. I know.
He pulled a piece of scrap parchment and an old quill off the counter. “It's on Saturday,” he said, while he wrote. “Everyone's arriving around twelve,” he handed me the piece of parchment “but feel free to come later, the games start around two and we'll need you then. See you there.”
With that he took off up the stairs after Louis, and James quickly followed. The whole affair had been awkward and formal. Too formal. I looked down at the parchment. It was the address to James' house. It was a start, maybe Fred and I would be friends again soon.
He didn't know my feelings for him were most likely long gone and I didn't plan to tell him.
Suddenly Viktor Krum was in front of me, his hands filled with varieties of different Quidditch products. Bianca had been ushered away by another customer. The look of distaste and annoyance on her face and the angry glares she threw at me because Viktor Krum wasn't buying from her, were enough to make me smirk evilly at her.
“That'll be …” I looked down at the pile of products and pulled out a paper bag. He sure had a collection of items. I smiled warmly and counted them up. “Seventy five Galleons, twelve Sickles and four Knuts. I'll knock off the Knuts, though.”
He smiled and Bianca came over, giving me a huge, fake smile. She tapped her hip against my slightly higher one and fluttered her eyelashes.
“Break time, Rette.” was her way of telling me to piss off because it was her duty to talk to Mr. Krum.
I looked up at the clock. It wasn't really my lunch break, it was two minutes away, but I took her suggestion as a promise not to tell our mental maman. I skipped away from the desk and pulled off my horrible badge, putting it in my pocket.
It was a relief to get outside of the dark Quidditch Supplies shop. It had been a surprisingly slow day for our maman's shop, but I was still exhausted to the max. I collapsed into a chair beside the ice cream parlour. Jake, the guy who worked the parlour came over with my usual and took the seat beside me.
“You're out early.” he commented while I took a huge, painful bite into my chocolatey ice cream.
“AMORETTE ESTELLE LEMAINE, EET EEZ TEN MINUTES UNTIL YOUR BREAK STARTS!”
I froze in my seat.
Way to make a scene, Maman.
I looked around at the frozen on-goers around the street and the angry blonde woman half-hanging out the window, my face slowly getting more and more scarlet. My gaze switched to the giant, antique clock that stood high above Diagon Alley. Turns out the old clock in the shop was ten minutes early. I turned back to my fuming maman and the slightly amused cousin in the background and sighed.
Welcome to my life.
Author's Note: So ... what do you think. It may be obvious, but I'm not exactly fantastic at introductions ... (: but all stories have to have one - unfortunately. So this is a bit out of my comfort zone .. my character is kind of based on a person I've been thinking about for a while and I'm trying to make her ... deep ... in a way. So give me a shout out on what you thought about it. I tried my best .. :D
Up Next: Introduction to a whole heap of characters, not many of them overly important.
Chapter 2: Potters and Quidditch Don't Mix Well
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AMAZING chapter image by shudder @ tda :D
Disclaimer: Sadly, I own nothing you recognise :(
Author's Note: Please enjoy the chapter (:
Potters and Quidditch Don't Mix Well:
I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. I was sure the thumping was loud enough to wake the rest of my family. I scooted past Mum and Dad's room, trying to make my feet light so I didn't make much noise. The hallway seemed to close in on me as I made my way down it and I almost screamed in frustration, but I held my tongue and resisted the urge to let go of all the dignity I still held.
When I finally reached the door it seemed a million miles away and when I shoved it with all my might, it didn't budge. I fumbled through my pockets for my wand and came up empty handed. Luckily the key to the door was hanging on a hook to my left and I only just got it into the door properly without bashing it down by myself, not that I would've had enough strength to.
The burst of crisp, fresh, night air was like a roaring fire on a cold evening. Unconsciously I had been holding my breath throughout our warm, stuffy halls and the outside air made me fall to the ground in happiness that didn't last. As my knees collided with the ground a thump of pain ricocheted through my head and I whimpered.
Quietly I closed the heavy wooden doors behind me, but I kept myself on the ground. The frozen concrete stuck to my pyjamas and my feet roared in pain that was overshadowed by the burning in my head. I slid myself so my back was to the wall and wrapped my arms around my legs. My warm, sticky breath made white mist in the clear air and I looked through the balcony pillars and at the dark scenery around me.
Weak. It was how I was, it was what I lived with, it was why I only found comfort on this cold balcony at night. Weak. It was how I looked now, it was my deepest secret, it was me. I was weak. My bones were brittle, my skin was dry and my eyes were dead because I was weak.
Two nights ago I had come out to this balcony and looked over the edge and pondered whether or not to jump. On the third floor of the house it wasn't exactly far to fall. Back when I was healthy I fell further heights playing Quidditch and got off with minimal bruises. It was a different story, now. The landing, with no doubt, would've killed me. Considering I was fragile and breakable. Considering I was dying, it would've killed me before the disease and I was ready. Death had been looming towards me for a long time now and for once it wasn't scary. It had become nothing but a waiting expectation on the dark horizon.
That night, my brother took my shoulder and pulled me back inside. I had never loved someone so much before.
There was honestly something amazing about the way I woke up every morning. I must've had a talent for all the different ways I managed to twist my bedding around myself by the time I woke. That night I had gone to sleep in fresh, clean sheets in my actual bed. My sky blue sheet was tucked magically under the corners of my bed, unable to be moved (because of my psychotic maman) and ghastly tight (it may have been her way of telling me I needed to lose weight.) My thin, Summer duvet was hung (also psychotically tight) over top and I could barely move. In the morning, however, I woke up to my sheet wrapped (so tight I could barely feel my toes) around my legs and my duvet almost falling off the bed apart from the fact I was holding onto it, so it was just covering my hands. I already told you she charmed then to stay tucked under my bed, right? I must've been fighting with my blankets all night to break her charm and I almost felt sorry for Bianca because of the paper thin walls.
That only lasted until I saw the reason why I had been so abruptly woken up. Because that morning I not only woke up to sheets strangling my ankles and cold ears. I also woke up to my excited, evil and rather slutty looking sister. Who was in fact, bouncing up and down on my bed.
She was fifteen.
“Bloody hell, pull your top up, woman,” was my way of greeting her.
She laughed her giggly laugh and pulled her black singlet up a little. Not enough as it just fell back down again. I rolled my eyes. She noticed.
“And good morning to you, too.”
“Bianca, what's the time?” I asked, squinting at the bright sunlight that she had revealed to the room by swiping the curtains open.
“It's twelve forty-five, silly and you need to get ready,” she smiled at me and skipped over to my wardrobe mirror. That was probably the only reason she entered my room, to use the stupid mirror.
“Where are we going?” I said, perching myself up on my shoulders and shaking my sheet off my feet. I had suddenly found myself awake and ready for the day, what ever we were doing. It was a Saturday and that meant a day without any work whatsoever. I was immediately happy, until I realized Bianca was staring at me through the mirror looking awestruck with her mouth hanging open in an unpleasant manner.
I freaked out almost instantly and threw myself off my bed in front of my mirror. No odd growths on my face. No third eye. I turned back to my bed and looked around for a murderous goblin holding a silver dagger over my bed. There was no goblin. All this happening in less than a second I turned to Bianca.
“What? What's wrong?” I almost shouted.
“Are you kidding?” she asked, still looking awestruck and a little shocked at how I had ended up beside her in milliseconds.
“No … what? I'm so confused! What is happening?” Once again, I almost yelled.
“Do you seriously not know where we're going?”
I felt myself relax, there was nothing wrong. Bianca was just being Bianca. I should've known.
“No.” I said, smiling sheepishly at her.
“Honestly, how are we even related?” she mumbled, just loud enough for me to hear.
It was a good question.
She rolled her eyes and looked back in the mirror. She was waiting for me to ask what we were doing again, but I was determined not to and I knew she'd crack soon. She was a sucker when it came to patience. I was like that too.
I waited calmly, wondering if where we were going required any sort of dressing up.
Bianca's sigh directed my attention back to her.
“We're going to the Potter's, remember?” she said, trying to sound like she thought I was an idiot, but failing and sounding excited instead. “Fred invited us?”
“Oh, yeah, that's right,” I said, absent-mindedly.
I was nowhere near as excited as Bianca. She had, judging by the darkness under her eyes, got herself up early to get ready for this thing, whereas I had almost completely forgotten about it.
“Oh, and you've got a letter!” she said, brightening up and beaming at me. “It's from Fred.” she added, after handing me the letter. Trust her to remember Fred's owl. When was she going to realise I was over him?
Probably when I believed it myself.
I tightened my lips and proceeded to open the letter. I looked up to find my sister watching apprehensively and I almost rolled my eyes before I realized that all this eye-rolling probably wasn't good for their health.
Bring togs, there's a water hole round the back if you want to go swimming later and don't forget your broom. And Mum was wondering if you can bring a plate, there's heaps of extra people coming that Aunt Ginny didn't expect.
I almost turned over the paper to search for more, but I knew it was pointless. Bianca looked surprised that I had finished so quickly and I turned quickly to my wardrobe and pulled it open. I could feel her standing behind me, waiting for me to tell her that Fred had confessed his undying love towards me. I was over him.
“What did he say?” she finally burst.
“Not much,” I said, without turning. “He wants us to bring togs.”
Bianca gave an excited, little squeal and flew out of the room, supposedly to figure out which bikini to take. I flicked through my wardrobe before taking my usual almost-white denim shorts out, my Gryffindor-coloured singlet and a long black cardigan that belonged to Bianca, but first I desperately needed a shower.
I trudged through the hall and walked straight past the buzzing kitchen. I was three steps past the open kitchen when the smell of smoke reached my nose and I backed up slowly so I could see what was going on.
My maman never cooked. It was common knowledge in our house that if you ever found her in the kitchen, you assumed the world had ended and she was our last hope. So, of course, that's what I assumed. I stood there, my maman's long straight hair flicking around as she cooked food the Muggle way and a scroll of parchment burning on the stove without her noticing and I was frozen in shock.
Firstly, why the hell was my maman cooking?
Secondly, why the hell was I just standing there while a scroll of paper was seconds from burning?
Thirdly, what the hell was my maman don't in a soft pink cocktail dress?
And fourthly, why the hell was my maman cooking?
“Maman, what are you doing?” I asked over the sound of sizzling. I rushed forward and pulled the blackened parchment off the stove just before she realized she was burning something that was not food
“Aaargh,” Maman yelled, frustrated. “Zis eez a cauchemar.” I could see a tantrum coming on. “You're father left to finish 'is paperwork and 'as left me with ze cooking! 'E knows I can not cook! I'm not going to 'ave any time to get ready! Ze Potter's will see me as a disgrace! Zis eez a cauchemar!” she repeated.
“Maman, calme bas!” I yelled in fluid French, knowing that when she was in a frenzy like this she would not respond to English. I watched her take huge gulps of air and actually listen to me. Finally, she had calmed down and I needed her to, because even though my maman was French, I didn't know much of the language myself and I wouldn't have known how to say my next words.
“Maman, why are you cooking?” I asked, exasperated.
“For ze party at ze Potters, of course!” she exclaimed, even through her exhausted expression and sweaty forehead she still managed to sound excited.
Oh, Merlin, I thought, why had Bianca told her? This was exactly what I didn't want to happen. Now my maman knew the Potter's address. She had been successfully given the opportunity to become an A-class stalker and knowing her, she would take it.
Just bloody perfect.
This was all Bianca's fault.
It was probably one of the weirdest experiences I had ever been in. Half the Weasley's, the Potter's and a collection of distant relatives and friends were all standing in a huge circle around a plain white mug, staring at it with apprehension. They were all absolutely silent and beside me Bianca was giggling, possibly at Rose's mud-stained legs.
“Am I late?” I asked, to which several of them jumped.
“Shut up and get over here!” said Fred, opening up a space between him and another red-haired boy who I assumed was Hugo Weasley, though I wasn't sure as he towered inches over Fred, and Hugo was only in his third year.
“Harsh,” I muttered under my breath, but stepped into the newly-made space.
I heard a screech of, “Dom!” and the sound of my sister running to her favourite cousin. I proceeded to stare at the cup in the centre of the grass, everyone peered at it expectedly and my curiosity burned, wondering what we were waiting for. I itched to ask, but knew it was best to keep my mouth shut. And sure enough after thirty seconds of prolonged silence, the white mug glowed a violent pink and spat out two small, slightly burnt pieces of yellow parchment. Albus caught them both with his obvious Seeker skills and he held his breath. Everyone else pulled themselves up and stared expectantly at Albus.
“First captain is …” Albus began, with anticipation. So this was to decide who would captain the teams. The Weasley's were a competitive bunch and I found myself not overly excited about the upcoming day. “Me!” Albus exclaimed happily. I was the only one who didn't groan.
Lily snatched both of the papers out of Al's hands, read the one he had been reading, groaned and read the other one out loud. “Louis Weasley.” He gave a whoop.
Yes, someone who might actually pick me!
A whistle sounded and a tall, curvy, dark-skinned girl drew everyone's attention. She had chocolate skin, chocolate hair and the same dark eyes as Fred.
I looked at him, demanding an explanation.
“She's my sister, Roxanne,” he explained, under his breath
My mouth almost popped open in shock.
“You have a sister?” I whispered in the most awestruck voice I could manage while trying not to talk too loud.
“Yeah, she lives with my Mum in the States, she's the same year as me, but we're ten months apart.”
I went to reply, but Roxanne spoke instead. Her accent was odd, it had the same tinge at the end as Bianca's except American, not French.
“Right, Al and Louis are going to choose their teams now and there's no exceptions. Al, since you said your name first, you can start.” Roxanne gestured for Al to make his choice. He did an annoying, “hmm” and proceeded to ponder his choice. He was obviously trying to make it look like he was extremely picky about his players and it was an honour to be on his team, instead, he just ended up looking like a bit of a tosser.
All the while I focused on Freddie's sister. There was something different about her, something I didn't like. She held herself in a manner that suggested she was better than everyone else and pulled her head up high and stuck her chest out in a way that made even her relatives stare. She looked down on everyone and that was obvious, especially Freddie, she only had to take one glance at him and I knew.
Next thing I realised Freddie was leaving me and I guessed Albus had chosen him. Fred gave him a high-five and turned to flank his left. I turned to Louis and he winked at me. I got myself ready to walk to his side.
He had to choose me, right?
“James,” he said lazily and I pursed my lips. Some favourite cousin he was.
I turned back to Albus and willed myself not to look at Louis. Evil silent treatment was all I could come up with. It was my thing.
“Dare,” said Albus, smiling. I heard James' growl as his brother chose his best friend. A gorgeous, tanned, Californian girl skipped to Freddie's side. Her butter blonde hair swayed in a pony tail as she moved. Her long slender legs matched the tone of Freddie's and I was filled with contempt at the colour of her skin.
“Lily.” said Louis as though he was pulling names off the top of his head. From the corner of my eye I could see Louis grinning at me maliciously.
This time Albus took almost as long as he had the first time to choose his next player and I wasn't sure if the next name was the one he was planning to say.
“Rette.” I grinned almost instantly, then turned to Louis and beamed at his slightly unhappy face. Louis retorted by poking his tongue out at me.
A tall, lanky, fiery-haired boy joined Louis' team.
The toned, dark-skinned Gryffindor from my year took a spot on our team. As he left he gave Rose a quick kiss on the nose and I raised an eyebrow at her. She just gave me a small sheepish smile.
“Lysander,” said Louis, grinning at his best friend.
“Took you a while to choose me.” said the sexy, windswept Ravenclaw. He winked at me as he walked past and I couldn't help but blush. That was until he winked at Lily and I remembered everything everyone had told me about Lysander Scamander.
Louis mumbled something in response, but Al's voice overshadowed it.
Rose let out a sigh in relief and skipped to Elliot, wrapping her hands around his. I tried not to be disturbed at the fact he was a head taller than her, but I couldn't help it. When they weren't standing beside each other the prospect of the couple was cute. When they were side by side, it was far from cute, it just seemed … wrong.
I looked back at the last three people left.
Harper Johnson, Freddie's cousin and, I guess, Roxanne's too. Harper was a Gryffindor in my year and it was now I realised that she looked uncannily like Roxanne. Harper's skin was darker and her hair a lighter brown, but the eyes had the biggest contrast. While Roxanne's were dark brown, Harper's eyes were a spectacular light grey.
Another boy was there, who I recognised from Hogwarts, but not from Gryffindor. He had the same to-die-for eyes as Harper and I guessed he was her brother, but his skin was at the half-way stage like Fred's. His hair was jet black and shaggy, but nothing like James' or Al's.
The last person there was Molly Weasley. She was a slightly plain girl, who was also in my year. She had straight brown hair and pale skin, with freckles over her nose. She was a quiet girl, until you brought out the Firewhiskey, then Molly was the life of the party. There was something about her I never really understood and therefore we weren't exactly the best of friends.
“I choose …” began Louis with a prolonged silence. “Harper.”
We had really missed out there, Harper was an excellent player. I wasn't sure why she had been left out last, she was great at Quidditch. It was with nerves that I realized all of these people were exceptional at the game, with the exception of me. Why had Al chosen me again?
“Liam,” said Al, really quick as though he knew he was never going to choose Molly.
In turn she rolled her eyes and flipped him off. This just made him laugh.
Suddenly Albus pulled us all together in a group huddle sort of thing. A quick glance told me that the other team followed suit. There was a collection of people bossing people around and it took a while for Albus to calm everyone down.
“OK, so I've got positions in my head,” said Albus, like this was the most important game for centuries. “We'll put Dare, Freddie and myself as Chasers. Louis'll put James and Hugo as Chasers, not sure about the other one, but we'll need you in there, Freddie, for defence.”
Freddie nodded and Rose interrupted.
“Al, get on with it, we don't need a reason why. Just give us the positions.” Rose was the only person who could tell Albus to shut up in such a nice way and he would actually listen.
“Right – ah. Rose, you and Liam can go as Beaters.” I let out a sigh of relief. “And Rette, it's up to you whether you want to go as Keeper or Seeker.”
“Don't talk shit Al, you know I play Keeper like a headless chicken,” said Elliot, they all laughed. “You're Keeper, R.”
He thumped me on the back and I stumbled forward at the strength in his arm. He caught me before I fell over completely and pulled me back towards him. I smacked into his chest.
What, was I a rag doll to him?
I pushed his hard chest as payback for throwing me around. I felt a surge of power when he stumbled a little.
“R?” I asked, sceptically.
“What? Personally, I hate the name Rette.” Oh my, thank you so much. “And I think R is a great substitute.”
“Why don't you just go with my full name?”
“It's too much to say!” he complained.
I rolled my eyes. “It's a word, Elliot.” I said with prejudice.
“It's a long word.” he pointed out.
Before I could retort a whistle blew and our attention was diverted to Roxanne, who had one hand on her hip and was standing further west, right in front of what I hadn't noticed before. A Quidditch pitch. A whole, full-sized Quidditch pitch. Right in the Potter's backyard.
A full-blown fucking Quidditch pitch, in the Potter's fucking backyard. I guess that's what you got when your mother was a Professional Quidditch player, but boy, they must've been rich.
I stood, my jaw on the ground, collecting a lovely layer of crisp Summer dirt on my chin. Everyone else took off from the ground and flew to the pitch, the only person who watched me with amusement was Freddie and I turned to him, giving him a what-the-fuck expression.
“Extravagant, isn't it?” he said, gazing at it with affection.
“A bit too extravagant, don't you think?” I said, in a high, awestruck voice, that suited me like peanut butter suited apples. In no world would they ever work.
“Wait 'till you see their house.” he commented with an attractive smile, glancing to whatever rich monstrosity was behind me.
“I won't look, until I've gotten over the Quidditch pitch on the lawn,” I said, looking at the pitch that I was sure would disappear any second, now.
His reply was a laugh, followed quickly with a gasp. “Please don't tell me that's yours.”
I looked down to see him staring at the broom in my hand. I grinned instantly and looked at the dark brown broom in my hand with a loving expression. It was made of ebony wood, with a golden clasp around the end of the broom sticks. The twigs were smooth and shaped into a tear dropped tail. It was the newest broom out there and the first one in England was mine.
“A whole box of them arrived yesterday,” I beamed. “They're going on sale tomorrow and the first ones mine.” I sang it like I had found the end of the rainbow, which I pretty much had.
“A Firebolt 500!” Freddie yelled and his sister turned, eyebrows raised to look in our direction. “You're bloody kidding me!”
“I'm not bloody kidding you!” I exclaimed.
“I would high-five you if I wasn't so jealous,” he muttered, looking at the ground rather sadly.
“I feel sad that I missed out on your high-five.”
We high-fived anyway.
“I miss this,” I mumbled, before I could stop myself from blurting the words out. I felt a hot blush coming over my face.
“What?” he asked, halfway through mounting his broom.
“I miss this – us … being friends …”
Emphasis on the 'friends'.
“Me too,” he said, his ears going red in a Weasley-ish manner.
“Friends?” I asked holding my hand out.
“Friends.” he replied.
We shook on it, smiled, then took off from the ground. The old awkwardness and feelings were left behind and a new friendship came with us.
It felt great.
We were two minutes into the game and I was already nervous as hell. And don't forget the sweating, I was sweating like hell too. From the minute the game had started neither of us Keeper's had gotten near the ball. The ball had been situated entirely in the middle of the pitch since Roxanne had blown the whistle. Just like Albus had said, Louis had made James and Hugo Chasers and Harper was the third. It seemed each time one team got the ball as soon as they passed to another team member, someone like Hugo or Freddie would intercept it. It wasn't like it wasn't amazing to watch – it sure was, the whole Weasley family had proved that by standing on the side lines screaming at their siblings and children – it was just, I was bored.
Yes, I admit it, I was playing Quidditch with the most famous family in the Wizarding community and I was bored. But, hello? Keeper had to be the most least active position on the team and I had to be bored. I had a right.
I took the current situation as an example. The gorgeous, mouthwatering, sexy, ravishing … ah, Lysander Scamander was at the other end of the pitch a speeding Albus Potter flying straight for him. He was positioned in mid-air non-moving with a competitive – and I mean really competitive – Potter flying full speed towards him. I squinted at he lifted his arm and threw the Quaffle straight for the goal, just as Lysander started moving. He rocketed forward and braked the front of his broom, the tip stopped, but the rest of the broom kept moving and his tail swung 180 degrees and smacked right into the Quaffle. It shot off to the side to be caught by a grinning Weasley.
I stared open-mouthed. I had to try that.
I almost froze when I realized that Hugo had a free road straight to the posts. The only problem was that I floated right at the end of that road. I didn't have time to prepare myself much, he threw from a long distance, surprisingly to my right. My new broom, however, responded before me and took me straight in it's path, I blocked it with my hip and it smacked me with a tremendous force, almost pushing me off my broom. Unfortunately I wasn't smart enough to think about using my hands to defend myself, but my boredom was gone. I counted that as something.
The rest of the game went by quickly. The scores were annoyingly even and so were the teams. Unfortunately my saves weren't one hundred percent flawless throughout the game, but I still managed a few crowd-pleaser's. Ones that were obviously caused by my Firebolt 500, not that I would ever truly admit it to myself. The final scores were undoubtedly going to be decided by the two Seekers, who had both lost the Snitch twice already. Now, they were both plummeting towards the ground, equally close to the glittering, golden ball and Molly pulled herself up first, her hand clamped around something I could only guess was the Snitch.
“SHAME!” I heard a yell from Louis as he pointed at me from the other side of the pitch.
I laughed, I wasn't a sore loser, unlike Albus, who threw the Quaffle to the ground so hard it made a dent in the crusty earth. I chuckled more at the red-faced boy, but my face went solemn when he glanced at me. I landed on the ground in an exhausted manner, throwing my broom to the ground in such a casual way it made Freddie flinch.
“You don't want to leave it there,” said a heavily accented voice at my side. “I wouldn't want to tempt James too much, he doesn't have that much self control.”
I didn't want to even look at her. All I knew was that I'd see her perfect skin, perfect hair and perfect face and I'd be instantly jealous. I sighed, Dare was the only girl who could bring out so much insecurity in me.
I picked up my broom.
“Where should I put it?” I asked.
“Here,” Unfortunately, by sticking out her hand to take my broom, I was forced to look at her. She was sweating, at least I wasn't the only one. She pulled her wand out from the side of her shorts and banished the brooms away. They flew towards the house slowly, I didn't wait to see where they landed. “There. Should be able to get them later.” She gave me a warm smile and I forced one back.
“Where are we going?” I asked, walking alongside her.
“Swimming of course!”
“Swimming?” I whimpered, instantly worried.
Oh great. Bikini's. This was going to be interesting.
I stood in the middle of the bushy green forest. My red singlet and denim shorts were strewn across the mossy ground and I was attempting to tie up the back of my silver bikini. I felt sure my back had been scratched by my unnaturally long nails and I just couldn't seem to tie the string tight enough. To be honest, I was near tantrum stage. Unfortunately, I had been a little slow in my clothes changing process and everyone else had disappeared to the water hole.
“Having trouble there?” I very nearly jumped out of my skin, instead I clumsily spun myself around, my bikini top almost flying off completely.
“Bloody hell, Freddie!” I resisted the urge to shove him, remembering the fact that I still hadn't done up my top. “Now that your here will you at least do me up?” I didn't wait for an answer, I just turned and pulled my hair out of his way, trusting him not to fling my bikini off like any normal hormonal teenager would do. A few black strands of hair fell onto my face and I blew them away.
“Is this tight enough?” he asked.
“Perfect,” I let my hair fall down once I knew he had it tied. He pushed it over my left shoulder and I felt something brush against my neck. I froze when I realized what he had done.
I couldn't mention it. It must've just been the wind or his breath. Or maybe he was just wiping away sweat or something along those lines. Whatever had just happened I didn't need to comment about it.
My mouth betrayed me, of course.
“Freddie, did you just kiss my neck?”
Author's Note: So, what did you think? Am I terrible ending it there? Was it too soon? I know it's only the second chapter and I usually don't get into that sort of thing so quickly, but it's not what you think it is and I wanted to make it interesting so I changed it around a bit :D Feel free to give me a review, they're what keeps me going (:
Abruptly we both pulled ourselves away from each other and stumbled backwards.
“It's just wrong.”
Warning: Chapter full of fluff and a little swearing (:
Another awesome banner by shudder @ tda
“Freddie?” I repeated, turning to find him staring at the ground in a way that I couldn't see his expression. He looked like a young, innocent boy caught doing a not-so-innocent act. “Freddie?” I asked again, wondering how I had ever convinced myself to wear a bikini. I felt naked and exposed. It was not a good feeling.
“I –” he started, not looking up at me. “Do you have any idea what it's been like?” he looked up from the ground and I was torn at the vulnerable look in his eyes. “What we had … we were best friends!” he was struggling with his words and I cringed at the depth in them. “This Summer has been shit.” he finished sadly, looking to the ground again.
I didn't even attempt to pretend I didn't know what he meant.
“I know,” I whispered, finding and interesting leaf to look at while he figured out what to say next. He said nothing. “But why –” I looked up at him again, “would you kiss my neck?”
“I decided that I can do it,” he said, quickly.
I interrupted before he could continue. “Do what?”
“I can do it.” he repeated. “I can be your … boyfriend,” he struggled shamelessly with the word, “if that's what it takes to be your friend again.”
I sighed, that was why he kissed me on the neck?
“Freddie, why would I want to date someone who doesn't want to date me?”
You had to admit, it was a fair question. Honestly, when did anything like our situation ever work? A guy decides to go out with a girl so he won't break her heart – not exactly our situation, but close enough – and while she falls madly in love with him, – wasn't going to happen – he gets bored of her and ends up falling head-over-heels for another girl, therefore breaking her heart even more. It could never work out.
“I do!” he cried. “I want to date you! Like I said, this Summer has been shit! I couldn't bare it without you. We used to be so close and then you … well, you said some drunken words and everything just fell to pieces.”
He took three long strides towards me until I could feel his breath on my face. He looked down and wound his fingers through mine.
My heart started racing and I felt the back of my neck begin to sweat. He was so close, just inches away from me. I stared deep into his eyes, before flitting down to his lips. His perfect lips, his sun-kissed, soft, brown lips. I resisted the urge to pull myself on my toes and kiss him, instead I pulled one hand out of his and put a finger to his lips. I shook my head solemnly, he went to interrupt and I gave him a look.
“No.” I whispered, close to letting go of the little self control I had. “I don't want you to do this for me.”
“I want to.” he whispered through my finger. “For you.”
I felt my eyes water at his words and my arm moved on its own accord away from his mouth. I pulled myself onto my toes and moved my face closer to him. My hands found their way to his shoulders and his hands around my waist.
Abruptly we both pulled ourselves away from each other and stumbled backwards.
“It's just wrong.”
“Like kissing a brother wrong.”
“Exactly like that.”
“Ew, yuck, imagine if we –”
“Don't even say it …” he said with a small smirk shortly turning into a sudden grin. “You remember the perks of being my best friend?” There was something extremely evil about his smirk, but before I could comment he had swiped me into his arms and began sprinting through the trees towards the sound of running water.
“Freddie, put me down!” I yelled in his ear. I wasn't surprised when he didn't obey my request. He was running at full speed through the forest with me in his arms, bobbing around and holding onto him for dear life and I wasn't exactly the lightest girl out there and stopping now would be pointless and arguing would just tire him.
Suddenly the trees began to thin out and quickly gave way to a small clear area. I caught sight of Harper's light eyes against her dark complexion, Molly's pale skin and Dare's violently butter-y hair lying on brightly coloured towels, but they all flew from my mind as I saw what Freddie was heading for.
Because the ground ended straight ahead and fell into a harsh cliff face on the edge of a deep pool of water. He pushed off with a great force and flung us off the cliff. We didn't seperate instantly, but we did eventually and I ended up twisting myself through the air awkwardly. An unplanned scream echoed throughout the place, muffled when I landed and much to my dismay, I took a huge gulp of water upon my crash with the surface.
I swum out of the water and turned straight to my red-haired friend.
“I hate you, Fred Weasley!”
Three sweet laughs from my left acknowledged my angry comment.
“Love you too,” he said, gulping for air and turning to grin at me. I splashed water at his face in response.
Before he could get me back I ducked under the water and swam to where I had heard the four laughs previously. It wasn't until I was out of the water that I realized exactly what I had done.
I had decided to associate myself with the very Veela part of my family.
I gulped, Merlin kill me now.
I turned around slowly and prepared to dive back into the water. I curled my toes earnestly around the edge of the warm, round stone. A heavily accented, soft voice was the only thing that stopped me from flinging myself back into the clear surface before me.
“Bianca, est-ce votre soeur, Amorette?””
I spun on my heel at the sound of my name and looked at the four girls. Because she was speaking French with the thickest accent I had heard in a long time I could only assume that it was neither Bianca, Victoire or Dominique who spoke and that left me with only one option.
The girl on the ground infront of me wore a simple black bikini that almost had me drooling and I was completely straight. She was deeply more Veela than any of the three girls lying around her. Her long hair flowed over her towel, it was so blonde it was almost white and her eyes were the dark blue that I thought only I had inherited. Her lips were full and her skin was the complexion of silk. There was only one word to describe her. Beautiful, but in a way that was obvious it came only from the Veela blood in her veins and paled in comparison to Dare's natural exquisiteness.
“P-pardon me?” I managed to choke in awe.
“Elle ne parle pas français,” This time it was Bianca who spoke and I understood exactly what she was saying.
“Yeah – I never really bothered to learn it,” I muttered, before I realized I was pretty much talking to an empty box. There wasn't much likelihood that she could understand me, anyway.
I was wrong.
She stood up swiftly and brushed off any remaining dust from the back of her legs. “You must be Amorette. My name eez Désirée.” She looked like she was considering hugging me for a second, but pulled out of it and shook my hand instead.
I beamed spectacularly at the girl when I realized she wasn't the perfect Veela zombie that Bianca, Dom and Victoire so flawlessly displayed. She stuttered slightly over her words, almost tripped over on the flat rock and had no idea whether or not to hug me when we first met.
“It's nice to meet you, Désirée,” I said, while she caught my contagious grin. “Are you staying with the Delacours?”
“Yes,” she sat back down on the rock and I found myself regrettably following suit. “I believe I am what you would call a” she threw Victoire an anxious glance, “second cousin and Dominique persuaded me to come to 'Ogwarts for my last year of learning.”
“Oh, are you in your seventh-year?” I asked, even though the answer lay in her last statement. Bianca rolled her eyes at me and I pulled the finger at her without anyone noticing my gesture.
The thing I hated the most about the three part-Veela's infront of me was the fact that they were three very stereotypical Veela's. Each one had the typical long, white-blonde hair, which I so deeply missed out on. Not only were they all utterly stunning, each of them knew it too and used it shamelessly to their advantage in nearly everything they did. All three of the girls were extremely high maintenance, you could tell just by sitting, looking at the three of them. Each had their nails painted in perfected paterns and not one of them had dared to let their hair get wet, suggesting that by doing so it would ruin their styled locks.
Looking back at Désirée I could only hope that she wasn't like the other two. She had already proved that she was awkward and clumsy and judging by the fact she hadn't gone out of her way to blow the Weasley's away by wearing an expensive and scandalous bikini, she wasn't the type of girl to use her beauty as an advantage.
I found myself hoping she would get into Gryffindor so I could have another person to go to when I had one of my traditional and common fights with Tallia my so called 'best friend'.
I pulled myself back into reality and noticed that Désirée was looking at me expectantly. I quickly realized she must've asked me a question and gave her a sheepish smile.
“Pardon?” I found myself surprised at the formal word that came out of my mouth.
“You are in your seventh-year, are you not?”
“Yep,” I said casually, flicking my wet hair behind my shoulder. “Gryffindor and all.”
Both Dom and Bianca rolled their eyes. Victoire gave a soft, attractive laugh. Désirée shot me a confused look. I was liking her more and more and I had no idea why.
“Gryffindor,” I repeated so she could remember the name. “It's one of the houses at Hogwarts. There's Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin.”
“And eez zis, Gryffindor ze best?” she asked with a smile.
“You got it,” I said, then wondered if I should rephrase myself as I wasn't sure how well she understood English.
“Wow, eet eez rather 'ot in Britain zis time of year,” Désirée commented, gazing wistfully at the sky, her hand blocking the sun out of her eyes.
“That's what the water's for,” I said, running my hand through it.
I looked over to the other side of the water to see a group of my fellow seventh-years conversing in the shallows. I felt slightly ashamed that instead of being with them I was with the blonde part-Veela's. Without a second thought I slid myself into the cold water and turned back to Désirée. She was looking earnestly at the five seventh-years.
“Come on,” I gestured for her to join me in the water. “Do you want me to introduce you to some people in our year?”
“Sure,” she said enthusiastically and slid herself in the water beside me.
We waded over to them in silence, until we reached a place where both our feet could touch the ground. I noticed I was somewhat taller than her. Where the water came up to my chin, she could only just keep her mouth out of it. I smiled at this, Veela's were naturally tall, but Victoire and Bianca didn't acquire that trait and I was happy with Dominique being the only female cousin of mine that could look down on me.
“So, we're second cousins, right?” I asked, wondering how we had managed to be related by such terms.
“Yes, your maman and my père – father were cousins.”
I didn't respond because we were nearing the group and Lysander had frozen while staring awestruck at Désirée. I smiled a little at the look on his face. The water was up to our hips when we reached them. I tapped Freddie on the shoulder and he turned, his mouth popping open in surprise. James stumbled forward a little to get a better view of her. Dare's eyes widened slightly. Louis rolled his eyes at his friends reactions. A smile played on the corners of Lysander's lips.
“Guys, this is Désirée,” she smiled at them all and did something unexpected. A wink was thrown in Lysander's direction. “Désirée this is Freddie, James, Dare, Lysander and of course you already know Louis.” I gestured to each person as I said their name.
“Eet eez nice to meet you,” she said, giving a simple wave at them all. I noticed she didn't take her eyes off Lysander for her whole greeting. I wondered if she had even heard the names of the others.
“It's a pleasure to meet you, Désirée,” said Lysander, stepping into the middle of the circle, creating waves against my skin with his sudden movement, he bent down and picked up her hand delicately. We all watched as his lips brushed against her hand. It created a tingle across the back of my neck as I remembered the feeling of Fred's lips against my skin. It wasn't a good feeling.
I found myself realising I had thought that thought twice that day
Désirée laughed at Lysander's charming gesture. “Please, don't use your charm on me, Mr. Scamander. I know you type.”
His mouth fell open and he stood dumbfounded at her words. The rest of us laughed appreciatively.
“I have a feeling we'll be getting along well, Désirée,” said Freddie, shaking her hand and seemingly resisting the urge to kiss the top of it, too.
“It's nice to meet you, Désirée,” said Dare happily. Of all the non-Veela girls I knew Dare would have to be the only one who needn't've been jealous and it was obvious she was just happy to meet a new person. I wondered if she knew how much I aspired to be as free-willed as her. Dare was the ultimate role model and would have been the best big sister that anyone could hope for.
The one thing that set Dare Aitkins apart from every other girl in the school was her best friend. The star Quidditch player, every girls dream, James Potter. Nearly every single girl in the Hogwarts population had come up with their own personal reason why they hated Dare Aitkins, each and every one of them avoiding the obvious truth. They hated her because they were jealous. Jealous of her golden skin; jealous of her perfect hair; jealous of her free nature; but most importantly, jealous of her relationship with James Potter.
Amongst this all, it was expected that Dare wouldn't be able to cope with the hate that was so clearly thrown at her, instead she blossomed in it. The careless, angry glares thrown at her only made her stand taller. The abuse fuming girls often yelled at her only made James stand up for his closest friend and Dare Aitkins could not be caught downcast no matter what the latest hate-mail had uncovered. However, it didn't surprise me that Dare was lonely.
Despite having the deepest and most caring best friend Hogwarts could offer Dare had no one to talk to and a group of overprotective Gryffindor males weren't exactly what you would call secret-worthy. It could have been fate that decided it would be me to find the clearly distraught girl crying in an empty classroom …
The walk to the Charms corridor took longer than expected. Three of the four hallways towards the classroom seemed to have some sort of barrier that I hadn't any desire to cross. It involved my sister wrapped around a certain Malfoy, a greatly aggravated caretaker sending three first-years to the Headmaster for slipping over wet floor and a huge explosion of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes products which I had no desire to be associated with when Mudgar found them. So instead I found myself circulating around the three corridors and coming across my last resort. The hallway was empty and eerily quiet. Ahead I could see the turn that lead to the Charms corridor at the end of the third floor.
I took long, directed strides towards the end of the corridor. The only sounds were my loud echoing footsteps and roars of anger as Mudgar obviously found the WWW's explosion. I lightened my footsteps and sped up my steps. I was unquestionably heading towards the commotion, but it wasn't like me to skip a class because I didn't want to get caught by an angry caretaker.
It may not have seemed it, but I did have an ounce of Gryffindor pride.
I reached the Charms corridor slightly out of breath. It was my chance to decide whether or not to attend such a class. At the end of the hallway was the door to the classroom. It was intercepted only by a colourful corridor with a raging Mudgar attempting to clean up. Behind me was the other end of the hallway. Branching off from the left was a passageway that would lead me up to the astronomy tower. Further down, to the right was an opening that would take me to the stairs and up to the safe haven that was the Gryffindor common room. It was a tempting offer, but after all Charms was my favourite class and running away would seem like a great blow to the Gryffindor part the Sorting hat had found in me.
I took a deep breath and flitted past the corridor. I blew out a deep breath when I realized he hadn't noticed me, only for it to get caught in my throat when a strangled yell came from behind.
“Hey you! Get back 'ere!” shouted old Mudgar in the croak that was his voice.
“Crap.” I swore under my breath. Charms class was too far away to get to easily and Mudgar would undoubtedly take to questioning Professor Chang about anyone who had suspiscipiously arrived late and panting. I was left with three possible choices, two of which had no guarantee would open without a spell. One, which was open a crack.
I swept into the room with a grace I was not usually acquainted with. I almost stopped what I was doing when I saw the room wasn't infact empty and there was a tanned, blonde beauty sitting on a desk before me.
“Hide.” I whispered demandingly, hoping she would obey without a second thought, knowing it wouldn't be as easy as that.
“Just shut up and do it!” I shot back, slipping under a table and pulling the chairs around me closer so I could be more hidden. I could only hope that Mudgar's nonexistant wit would evade him as usual and he wouldn't think to check under the desks.
A quick, but thorough glance told me Dare had followed my example and was also situated under a table, surrounded by a cluster of chairs. I turned to look hesitantly at the door. I attempted to slow my breathing, but to no surprise it remained the same. When the door slammed open I found my head smacking into the top of the table and my heavy breathing halting while I held my breath. Luckily the resounding smack of wood on stone smothered the sound of skull on oak, still it only just covered the sound of my abrupt scream of pain.
I felt my face go red as I imagined what might happen if Mudgar found me in such a position. I undoubtedly would get sent to the Headmasters office and my case would be moot. Who ran from the Aurors when they were innocent? No one. Great supportive points I had there.
I was late to class, that's why I was rushing down the Charms corridor … I only hid because I didn't want to get blamed for something I didn't do … Dare didn't do anything, she was just – what were you doing, Dare? …
Just fucking spectacular.
Maman would kill me when Bianca told her.
I watched only the dirt-laden boots and the bottom of Mudgar's murky yellow khaki's move around the room. Despite the fact Mudgar was generally as noisy as a bludger and he had just slammed the door open so loud I wasn't sure if Gryffindor Tower would have been out of range, he still moved silently and held his breath.
I turned and looked over to Dare. Confusion, a flush of red and a single tear were on her face. Hand putting pressure on my head I turned and grimaced at the murky pants of Urick Mudgar. He swiftly and clumsily looked over the edge of the teachers desk, swore, then clambered out of the room. A ghastly croak emitted from the direction of the corridor and the sound of Mudgar hustling after an unsuspecting student reached our ears.
We remained under the desks, partly because we were unsure whether Mudgar would come back, partly because I had seen the tear stains etched on her face.
“Is this a regular occurrence for you, then?” she asked, pushing a chair out of the way with her feet so she was free to escape. I pulled myself out from under the tables, not answering straight away. I threw my bag onto the table and leant against it.
“Not at all,” I breathed, uncomfortable. “I don't have enough dare in me to pull such a stunt twice in a row.” I paused, what I had just done was so like me. Her name was Dare so I just had to use the word in a sentence.She chuckled slightly. “No pun intended.” I added, a bit too late.
There we go, I had made her smile, even laugh a little. This awkward moment could be over. I had done my job. I looked up expectantly and sure enough her face had fallen. Who was I kidding? This girl seriously needed condolance. But why did it have to be me who found her? Why couldn't it have been James? He was her rock. Why did it have to be a socially awkward girl such as myself? I didn't know what to do when I felt sad. What was I supposed to do when a girl I had spent six years living with, but never bothered to get to know had suddenly come into my life, red-faced and crying?
“Curse you, Merlin,” I muttered ever so quietly, not knowing if Dare heard me, but knowing if she did she wouldn't respond.
“What's wrong?” I asked, far too forcefully to be considered anything like sympathy.
She responded with the same force. “Don't act like you don't know,” she hissed in a voice that made me curdle in surprise. “You're probably one of them, too.”
“Excuse me?” I said, before I could help myself.
“I'm sick of them!” she spat, maliciously. “Those cows don't even know James and they think I'm only using him because of his money! I don't even like James that way!”
“I know,” I muttered, before I could shut my mouth and let her rant.
“What?” she said, with a harshness that made me flinch.
“I know you don't like James that way. It's obvious. Your friendship wouldn't work if you felt that way and he didn't.”
“Exactly!” she said, her voice exasperated, but no longer filled with the sharpness of a spear. We waited in silence for a moment and I left her with her thoughts. I wasn't exactly sure where she was going with this 'conversation'. Hell, I actually seemed to be doing more good than bad and that meant that this was most likely a dream. I went ahead and did the typical thing by pinching myself.
It wasn't a dream.
Somehow that just managed to make me more worried then before.
“I'm sorry,” Dare said in a voice that made me look around for someone else in the room. The accent stopped me halfway through my search.
“What for?” I asked, my voice strangely as vulnerable as hers.
She answered my question with a question of her own.
“You're not one of those girls are you?”
“You mean one of those girls who are obsessed with James?” A sad nod answered my question. “No, I'm not one of those girls. I mean, I don't exactly get why they're all so obsessed with him. It's not like he's not …” I felt my face turn crimson, wow, I was smooth “… hot, but he's not even cocky about it. He does his homework, he's far too obsessed with Quidditch and he's never had a proper relationship.” The last part sounded shamefully like me. “I don't see why he's so …” I searched for the right word “… desirable.”
“I know, right!” she said, strangely getting into the conversation. “There's three reason why those girls go after James. He's good-looking, he's bloody rich and he's Harry Potter's son! They don't even know him well enough to realize that he's the sweetest guy ever, he's not a total bore and he's just a genuinely great guy. No one gives him a chance.” she added wistfully. “Y'know sometimes I think I should go around the school and find James a girl he could pretend to go out with, so they would just fucking leave him alone.” I laughed softly. “You'd be the top of my list.” she finished, only just enough for me to hear.
I laughed louder.
“So what did they do today?” I asked, somewhat sourly. I didn't really know what had come over me. She was happy, she was joking, why did I have to pull her down again? Oh, that's right, I still don't know how to shut my mouth. I had a way of ruining the mood. To make people unhappy the moment I spoke. Tallia was living proof of that. But today, what was my reason? My reason was that I thought she needed to let it out. What was I a bleeding counsellor? Where the hell had my brain come up with such outrageous thoughts?
“Beverley Bakers.” I gave a collective sigh, no good could come from a sentence that started with her name. “She had just had a interesting conversation with James in which he rejected her offer as a date and as soon as he left the Great hall, she was by my side, telling me to back off and that I only had my claws in him because of his money.” she sighed with exasperation. “Then she blamed my parents for raising me to be a total whore.”
I gulped. Did Beverley Bakers not know that Dare's parents just died? No matter how much I couldn't understand what she was going through, I convinced myself I truly understood the pain. I had two very alive parents, but I had lost people. My Grandfather was the closest thing I had to a best friend when I was younger and he died days before I started Hogwarts.
“A low blow.” I muttered deeply.
“I know. Who knew she could be so … cruel?” she attempted to wipe her eyes without me noticing.
“I guess she's in Slytherin for a reason.”
“Yeah …” she added thoughtfully.
Deciding I could fill the silence with my momentary craving for sweet food, I unzipped my bag and pulled out a specially-made plastic container. Dare watched me curiously out of the corner of her eye. I tried not to feel too self-concious as I pulled out a bronze spoon and opened the storage box. I failed miserably.
“What is that?” she asked, her curiosity failing to ignore this simply strange behaviour.
“Honeycomb,” I replied, happier than I really felt.
“Like honey … with wax?” It was obvious she thought I had lost my mind. Eating wax, was not what people considered normal behaviour.
“Mhmm,” I replied, shyly.
“I love honeycomb!” she exclaimed joyfully, literally jumping out of her seat. “Duplicate that spoon.” she commanded.
I happily obliged.
A week after that day, school was over and the Summer holidays began. I didn't expect anything from Dare. I had a habit of having great, meaningful conversations with people before they went back to their normal lives and forgot I existed. Occasionally I would get the odd glance in the hallways as if they were wondering how they could have ever had a genuine conversation with me. Dare, however did something even my two 'best friends' hadn't done the whole Summer. She sent me letters, just small ones, asking me what I'd been up to and how I had been and I responded happily.
And as I watched Freddie and Désirée discuss the Hogwarts houses; James deep in thought about something; and Lysander and Louis dunking the flailing Dare into the water, I realized something I should have envisioned a long time ago, these people were my friends, not Cassie Loure and certainly not Tallia Thomas. Freddie Weasley, Louis Weasley, Dare Aitkins, James Potter and possibly Lysander Scamander and my second cousin, Désirée, they were my friends.
My true friends.
And suddenly my return to Hogwarts looked less gloomy and undesirable. It looked like I could have a chance of surviving. A good chance if I had Dare Aitkins and Freddie Weasley by my side.
So tell me what you think ... how do you like this little insight to Dare? How about this Désirée cousin? I'd love to hear any tips on my writing; any ideas for something you would like to see in my story? Even just encouragement. I love any reviews and I always reply !! :D
Translations: “Bianca, est-ce votre soeur, Amorette?” - "Bianca, is this your sister, Amorette?" and "Elle ne parle pas Français" - "She does not speak French,"
When I listen to music the whole world melts away. It sends me to an unimaginable place where everything starts with a note and finishes with the same note. It's a place of ecstasy and purity. You become weightless and a part of the music around you. Your senses weaken until they reach something so low the only thing they can do is heighten, then you come across a world so magical and unreal you can't be sure it exists
Each time I floated into this world I saw the same thing, or to be exact the same person. She had a beauty that was inconceivable. Something no Veela could ever reach. She was pure and undoubtedly free. Each time we met she wore the same silk silver dress and beaming smile that lit up everything around her. She would take my hand and we would dance a simple plain dance. She was my world, I naturally thought of her as my everything, there was no doubt in my mind. I was deeply in love with a girl in my dreams.
A girl in my imagination.
So it was with no question that on the night I would die I would visit her.
The music pumped around me as I closed my eyes softly. The meaningless lyrics were unheard and the sound swelled around me until I felt myself compress into whatever it was I turned into in this world. The instant I saw her I knew something was wrong. Her flawless eyes were filled with worry and her smile had gone. Her usual silver dress was a black so harsh it was painful to look at.
I let out a silent gasp and tried to speak to her, but no sound came out of my mouth. That was the beauty of this world. The only sound was music. The second she took my hand I thought everything would be just fine. It would be our final dance, just as I had planned. Instead she yanked me forward and pulled me through the whiteness towards whatever lay after the ivory light. I let out a gasp of pain that broke the silent music this world ensured. I watched as the sound ripped at her and her pure, crimson blood began to stain the back of her black, silk dress.
I tried to stop her, I tried to yell, but it seemed only sounds of agony could escape into this realm. What she didn't understand was that my words were sounds of agony. I was in agony because before me was a woman dying. The woman I loved was dying and she wouldn't stop to let me help her.
It seemed her relentless tugging had stopped and I found we were on a small rocky ledge that had water cascading into a swirling pool of crystal clear water. Surrounding us were leafy trees, the kind that you only imagined in distant African countries. I couldn't remember where the white had formed into the trees that encompassed us, I couldn't even remember why I was worrying about the woman in front of me.
I looked deep into her colourless eyes and she told me a long meaningful message that I forgot as soon as I heard. I put both my hands on either side of her face and she smiled lovingly at me before shoving me off the cliff and cascading towards the waters below. As I fell I watched her collapse onto the hard rock, a pool of crimson blood surrounding her pale body. A single drop fell of the cliff after me and it hit the surface at the same time as my weightless body hit the water.
My vision was swallowed by red liquid and the music disappeared, transforming into muffled yells of agony. I opened my eyes to see a swirl of colours before a ghastly blackness engulfed me.
That was the last time I laid eyes on her.
It felt like only a matter of days and suddenly September the first was only a night away. I had spent the past two weeks defying my mother's orders and spending time with both Dare, Freddie and surprisingly, Désirée.
Freddie and I had somehow managed to pick up our friendship exactly where it was dropped. We found that there was no awkwardness over the memory of his attempt to become friends again or my previous affliction with him. We were as great as we had ever been. When my maman tried to force me into working at the shop, Fred came to my rescue in a ridiculous disguise and we escaped into Muggle London to watch their ridiculous films and ogle at their strange technology. We teased each other, joked around and made stupid bets on random things that came to mind. Freddie snuck into my house nearly every night and we shared midnight snacks, jokes and I tried to talk him out of the many pranks he had come up with while spending time with his crazy cousins. All together my maman tried to ground me seven times, to which I completely ignored and my father laughed at. For once everything between Freddie and I was perfect and our friendship only became stronger because of it.
Désirée was much to my surprise very much like me. She seemed to have a perfected layer that had to be peeled off carefully before you could find a funny, free girl inside her; she tripped over almost every uneven surface in Diagon Alley; she made a fool of herself when I introduced her to my dad; and she spilt food over her clothes like a small child excited to go to Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour. But while we had our similarities we also had our differences. It seemed Désirée had a way with demanding everyone's attention wherever she went and it was with no doubt, she liked it. Désirée was also unintentionally critical towards not only the people she met, but also the things she saw. She complained almost constantly about the dry heat and didn't have an ounce of patience towards Muggles.
Even so, we still had great times. I couldn't deny I rather liked the attention from all the gorgeous foreigners who were quite fond of Désirée and her … special qualities. I even got a few flirtatious smiles and once, a kiss on the hand, almost as cheesy as Lysander's embarrassing display a couple of weeks back. I was immensely surprised, wondering why I didn't just look like a black shadow beside a white beauty
At first Dare and I were slightly awkward. I couldn't look at her face without remembering her red-rimmed eyes and tear-stained cheeks. The first time she invited me to her house it was painfully uncomfortable. Her Aunt was beyond happy at the thought of Dare having a female friend and kept bringing in food, drink and suggesting activities we could do if we found ourselves without something to talk about. Instead of encouraging us to bond, she managed to interrupt at the worst possible times and our thick, enthusiastic conversation would dwindle once the raspberry tarts were placed on the table and words became troublesome and forced.
However once we got out of the house and into the wonder that was the Quidditch World Cup all signs of untimely conversations disappeared and suddenly we discovered our own personal jokes, the inability to look at pears the same as before and having more house pride than we ever thought possible.
Sadly, the Quidditch World Cup was nothing special. Our seats weren't fantastic and neither was the game. Italy snatched the Snitch in only a matter of minutes, a fact Viktor Krum was not exactly happy about. If you call not exactly happy snapping his prize Seeker's Firebolt 500 in half because of a built up burst of anger mixed recklessly with adrenalin.
I called his actions not exactly happy.
I packed my bags on the last day of August with my father's help. I threw him the items while he packed them neatly into my suitcase and folded my clothes. It was a traditional system. We left Bianca to do hers eagerly in the morning each year, that way she forgot less items and quietened down her complaining the day before, not that she was around. She was most likely off shagging Lorcan Scamander or some other poor soul Bianca had sunk her claws into, who knew who was next. Possibly a stranger or a 'Puffer. I wouldn't have put it past her.
I tossed my dad three different pairs of skinny jeans before I realized something was off.
“Dad?” I spun around to look at the figure sitting on my light duvet, folding my most worn-out pair of jeans with his wand. He looked up at me like an owl caught in the kitchen. His hazel eyes were wide and attempting, but failing to look innocent. His mouth was small and he almost looked like a young child caught doing something wrong. A young child with streaks of grey in his dark brown hair, wrinkles around his eyes and mouth and the tiniest amount of dark stubble on his chin. A very odd looking child, indeed.
“Yes, honey?” he asked, looking away from my suspicious glare and went back to fitting my large collection of school books into my suitcase. Because it wasn't suspicious to look away from someone when they were seconds away from interrogating you.
“What's wrong?” I said slowly and cautiously, considering taking the seat next to him.
“What do you mean?” he said, not looking up from his work.
“You're not talking, Dad.” I pointed out. “Usually that means that you and Maman have had a fight or you're deep in thought. I'm going to guess that you've had a fight.”
He sighed. “I'm fine, love. We didn't have a fight.”
I held back my own sigh and turned around to continue searching for my brass cauldron in my wardrobe.
In a way my dad and I were extremely alike. I had acquired his black hair, the same thick eyelashes and the strange creamy-ness in our skin tone. Like me, he also had an English parent along with a French one and discarded the French accent with disdain. He was also the type of person who didn't express feelings and frankly couldn't handle it when someone else did. So it was with these thoughts in my mind that I tried to think what could cause me to act so silent and awkward, that I wouldn't want to talk about it.
And I could only come up with one explanation: my dad was about to talk to me about something that not only I wouldn't want to hear, he wouldn't want to talk about. My first thought was that Maman and him were getting a divorce, but I quickly shook that off. Though my parents argued and fought on a daily basis, every second in between they acted like a pair of love-sick sixth-years and it was sickening – not that I was complaining that my parents weren't divorced, I had seen what that could do to a person. My second thought was that Maman was pregnant, but like the other one I ticked that off in a second, knowing that if so, Dad would not be the one telling me and I would not be hearing the information without Bianca by my side. So that left me with only one plausible option, my dad was about to venture in the bouncy, awkward rollercoaster ride that was the sex talk and this ride would not be fun.
I didn't press him any further. I knew if I did so I would most likely push him into talking earlier than needed to. My last hope was that he would worry about the conversation so much that he would chicken out and it would never happen. It was a likely possibility, considering the many times I had done such a thing and never regretted it. The sigh that came from the bed warned me that my pathetic hopes had been tarnished.
“So, Amorette …” My parents were the only people who called me by my full name and I hated it. “You're seventeen now.”
“I've been seventeen for a while now, Dad.” I said, my voice a tad more sour than I had planned it to be.
“Your mother was seventeen when she got pregnant with you,” he said softly, his voice surprisingly calm for such a touchy subject.
I swallowed and spun around to look at him. “Dad –” I started, but –
“Please let me finish, Amorette.” he interrupted, his voice spilling with authority that sounded unusual coming out of his mouth. I stayed silent and let him continue. “This was your mothers idea, OK?” he reached into his jean pocket and pulled out a box. “She doesn't want you getting pregnant like she did and she knows the contraceptive spell doesn't always work so –”
“Oh Merlin, Dad. No!” I cried, when I saw the label on the box. I could only hope it was all just an awkward dream. But my hopes are always tarnished.
“Look, I didn't want to have to talk about this with you,” he said, sighing. Great Dad, why didn't you just skip the conversation and spare me from this traumatic memory, them? “So I thought by giving you these you would understand where I'm coming from.” I attempted to interrupt him again, but he stopped me. “Look don't even say anything – I'm just going to put them in your suitcase and you'll always know that they're there if you need them or if you're going to … y'know –”
“Yeah Dad, I get it.” I said hurriedly while he fit the box of condoms into my suitcase. I turned back to the closet and spotted the brass cauldron under an old jacket of Maman's. I pulled it out and handed it to my dad. All signs that we had just been having an excruciatingly awkward conversation had disappeared from his face and I was grateful for it. It meant that he was over with his little talk and I didn't need to worry anymore.
I sighed when my eyes caught my beautiful broom. There wasn't really any point in taking it with me. Although I loved flying and played the occasional Quidditch when Fred managed to convince me, I didn't play for Gryffindor. In my fourth-year I had filled in for Alexia Wood and managed to score a few goals before a Bludger knocked me to the ground and ever since I never had enough willpower to put myself through it again. Each year my dad asked me whether or not I would try out for the team and each year I told him no. The only point in me bringing my Firebolt 500 was if I felt the need to fly for fun which – considering NEWTs were coming up – did not seem likely.
I didn't matter though, if I took the broom Freddie and Louis would pester me to let them use it in their games and it wasn't worth choosing one over the other for the hell they would put me through weeks after.
I found the broom unexpectedly in my hand and put it back against the wall where it would rest, collecting dust until the long awaited Winter holidays arrived and I would come back from a busy last year at Hogwarts. I could feel my dad's eyes on me, yet I jumped when he spoke to me.
“Not playing this year?” he asked innocently. Even though he had asked the same question two short weeks ago.
“Nope,” I sighed, knowing a week later I'd want to do nothing but try out for the team. It was always like that in my mind. One day I would have no desire to try out for the Gryffindor team and suddenly someone would convince me otherwise and I would be playing it over and over in my head, until the next day and I would have changed my mind already. It wasn't something I was proud of, in fact it was something that annoyed the hell out of me and no matter what I did I couldn't really seem to stop.
No one else knew, though. It was something that went on solely in my head. It was probably the main reason I had diagnosed myself as crazy.
“You're talented, Amorette,” he said, a smile in his voice. “I saw you play at the Potter's and I don't know where you got it from, but you're good. You're really good.”
“Thanks, Dad,” I said, a blush creeping up my cheeks at his compliment, “but I don't really know if I want to.”
“Honey, you don't need to know right now. Take the broom and see how you feel about it the day before try-outs. You'll regret it if you don't.”
I would regret it. I truly would.
“OK,” I replied simply, turning and yawning at him. He took my yawn as a sign to leave and pulled himself up. I picked up the pile of clothes I was leaving out to wear the next day and place then hastily on my desk. He silently kissed my forehead and exited the room with my silvery suitcase floating in front of him and my broom in his hand.
As the door clicked closed, the candles blew themselves out and I was plunged into darkness.
We were never a family expected to be early to the train station. While Bianca had miraculously packed all her school items in less than twenty minutes, I had spent the morning searching for items I had forgotten to pack; hastily having a five-minute shower; then attempting to dry my wet hair; searching for my crinkled school robes; and trying to ignore the frantic yelling emitting from my mother. Because of that we had arrived at platform 9 and ¾'s just as the whistle blew and after a hurried kiss on the cheek and a rushed hug, Bianca and I managed to fly onto the train just as it started to heave forward.
We stood by the door in silence, watching the station transform into greenery as the train sped along its tracks. The swarm of students behind us scrambled past, trying to find free compartments or the one that their friends were in. Neither Bianca or I turned around, for the amount of times we got smacked by suitcases was enough for us to be warned that if one hit our face we were screwed. As the shouting and bashing continued, we didn't talk. Instead, she watched the scenery fly by and I leaned my head against the window, exasperated.
Slowly the crowd of students disintegrated until there were only a small collection stragglers like ourselves flitting down the corridors. I picked up my suitcase and pulled it out the way of Bianca's brown one.
“Left or right?” I asked casually. Unfortunately, we had arrived too late to enter at the back of the train or at the front, so instead we had got on in the middle of the train. Meaning I had a fifty percent chance of finding Tallia, Cassie, Désirée, Dare, Louis or Freddie and a fifty percent of walking down to one end of the train before having to turn and retreat to the other end. I – being the unlucky person that I am – asked Bianca as she seemed to have intuition about these sort of situations.
“Rose said she'd get us a compartment in the back.” said Bianca, looking both ways as I had just done. I turned to the left. There sure did seem to be a larger abundance of students down that way. It probably had something to do with the fact that the Trolley Lady started at the back of the train.
“OK, then.” I said, picking up both my suitcase and my Firebolt. “So, where were you last night?”
“At Rose's,” she said, struggling with her bouncing suitcase as I did the same. They each bounced off our legs, creating a leaning-tower effect in our posture as we walked. I suddenly found myself wishing my suitcase could fly.
“What did you guys do?” I asked casually, looking into a compartment of fourth-years as we made our way past them.
“Nothing much, really,” she said, flicking back her hair as an awestruck third-year stared at her. “We were s'pposed to go to Liam Johnson's party, but Rose's dad freaked out because it was at a guys place and wouldn't let us go.”
I tried not to laugh as I realized how desperately my sister wanted to go to the party.
I almost cried when I saw the door to the next carriage in front of me. Then suddenly I remembered how old I was.
“Here, put down your suitcase,” I said, stopping and putting mine down. She obliged happily and without question, probably thinking I was going to offer to carry it for her. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of her pining adolescent fan-boys who tried with all their might to please her, so I went with a more simpler option. “Wingardium Leviosa.”
The suitcases floated gracefully upwards until they reached waist height. With my wand I maneuvered them to go ahead before us.
“Was it just you and Rose at her house?” I asked to keep the conversation going.
“Nope. Al, Harper, Lake and Scorpius were there too.” she said, smiling at some unknown memory. I opened my mouth to say something, but she interrupted me before I could start. “Harper in my year, not in yours.”
“Right,” I said, as she answered my unasked question. A wolf whistle came from ahead of us and I looked up to see Lorcan Scamander looking embarrassed as he stood by Liam Johnson who was grinning at Bianca.
“Hey!” trilled Bianca, maneuvering her way around the floating suitcases smoothly, I almost made them crash into her, but then thought better of it. Her arms flew around Liam's neck and I looked away pointedly, catching eyes with Lorcan.
“It's the 'Maine sisters.” said Liam pulling away from the girl, a new found confidence in his voice that hadn't been present at the Potter's. He winked at me and I looked away awkwardly. Bianca laughed softly. “Looking for Rose?”
“Yeah, have you seen her?” she said, fluttering her eyelashes at him seductively.
He was completely oblivious to her blunt flirting.
“Her compartment's two carriages away and 'Rette,” I was surprised he knew my name, “Freddie's is two carriages after that.”
“Thanks,” I said, blushing slightly when I made eye contact with the sixth-year. Bianca began walking again without a second thought or a second thank-you. I continued along after her, stumbling over Lorcan's foot awkwardly as I went.
“So you and Freddie, huh?” said Bianca, as soon as we were out of ear shot from the sixth-years. I could hear her breathtaking smile in her voice. Curse her inherited Veela blood. It was so prominent I could hear it in her voice.
“I don't like him like that anymore. We're just friends.” I replied, failing to sound believable to myself, even though it was true.
“That's what they all say.” said Bianca, quietly.
I brushed off her statement. At least I knew it was true. I did not like Freddie Weasley in that way, anymore. I wasn't even sure it was true anymore.
We continued the walk to Bianca's compartment in silence and arrived in silence. I tore of the levitating spell and the suitcases cluttered noisily to the ground. I looked carelessly around to see if we were blocking the aisle for anyone, while doing so I caught eyes with someone I did not expect to see.
Tallia Thomas sat directly in the compartment opposite the one Bianca was making her way into. Our eyes locked for perhaps a second too long and I looked away quickly, my insides shifting uncomfortably.
While Tallia Thomas and I had an almost too rocky relationship, I still liked the girl. Sure she made it blatantly obvious when she was angry at me and laughed especially hard when a harmless insult was thrown my way, but when she was in a good mood, we were fantastic together. We laughed like seventy-year-olds remembering the 'good old days'. We made memories that could always brighten my mood on rainy mornings and make a genuine smile on Tallia's face when she was particularly sad. It was moments only like those that fueled my hope that one day everything could just be peaceful and judgment-free between us. Pitiful hopes, really.
But I tried, every day I woke up and I tried, just so I could find those moments again. That was until Fred and I got close and I forgot to try. Slowly I spent time with Tallia less and less and spent time with Freddie more and more. That was until Cassie's party, where I drank a little too much Firewhiskey and spilled a little confession and then I was back to trying again. Ever since my fall out with Freddie the great moments between Tallia and I lessened until they were near nonexistent and Tallia found herself someone else to have great times with.
Looking up quickly while Bianca gave a rushed good bye I spotted that girl beside her. Cassie Loure, a short, pretty girl with wavy blonde hair. She was oddly quiet and therefore wasn't known well in Gryffindor. She was a rather strange girl and you never really knew what to expect from her, so as I watched Tallia whisper in Cassie's ear and her glance up at me I had not the slightest clue what emotion flitted across her face.
I pulled open the sliding door and smiled warmly at the four girls inside. On the left was Molly Weasley and Harper Johnson who I hadn't previously noticed. They both looked up as I entered, Cassie and Tallia didn't.
“Hey,” I said, more cheerfully than I felt or intended to.
“Hey,” said Harper and Molly together. Cassie looked up and gave me a quick smile. Tallia pretended not to hear me.
My teeth gritted as I regretted stopping outside and looking into this compartment, as I regretted stepping inside and attempting to act happy to see her, as I regretted the day I sat next to Tallia Thomas at the Gryffindor table. But I didn't let it be seen. Instead I threw my suitcase up on the rack and took the seat next to Molly. Tallia looked almost angry that I didn't take the seat next to her. It made me oddly satisfied.
“How's Freddie?” Tallia shot out in a rather cruel attempt to point out that Fred Weasley had rejected me. Something in her harsh voice told me that some part of her feelings towards me had changed over the Summer; and not in a good way.
I decided to ignore her unconcealed sarcasm and act as though I couldn't understand it. “He's fine actually saw him a lot in the Summer. How's Louis?” I asked back, just as sarcastically and knowing full well he hadn't been anywhere near her all Summer and she had been equally rejected.
“Why don't you ask him yourself?” she said, sticking her thumb at the door where Louis was standing outside grinning like a little child with his first toy broomstick. His smile was contagious and I found myself beaming back in response. James was beside him looking confident and windswept. His muscles could be seen through his black v-neck sweater. I shook myself as I registered the thoughts that had just shot through my mind. James Potter was not somebody I could be attracted to. Not even if it was just physical.
As the door slid open Molly and Harper both stood up and left, muttering something about the loo. In turn, James and Louis took their empty places without invitation.
“You should wear blue more often,” Tallia blurted out, looking at Louis. “It brings out the blue in your eyes.”
“You should wear less clothes more often, I'm sure we'd all enjoy that,” said Louis, grinning and winking at what he plainly thought was smooth flirting. James chuckled lightly. Tallia giggled and blushed, looking at the ground in a strange attempt to look flattering.
It was strange how little it took for her whole mood to change.
I mimed making myself sick. James cracked a smile and Cassie gave me an expressionless glance. The other two didn't notice.
As Louis and Tallia started a conversation with Cassie listening on intently, James turned to me.
“So, Amorette LeMaine, tell me, why are you not on the Gryffindor Quidditch team?” he said, turning to look at me straight in the eye.
“Ahh –” I began.
“And don't give me any 'I can't play', bullshit.”
I recoiled at his unmeaningful harsh tone. I knew his words weren't supposed to come out so brutal, but for some reason they pierced into my brain and left black burns trailing behind them.
“I don't know,” I said softly and his face smoothed with my words.
“Well you're trying out for the team.” he stated, his last word finishing with a snap like he had just stamped his foot in agreement.
“Excuse me?” I retorted as he looked back to Louis and his strange conversation with Tallia.
“What?” he retorted, turning back to me. He seemed genuinely surprised that someone would disregard what he said and demand a thorough explanation. Kick to the ego, Potter.
“What makes you think you can boss me around?” I challenged, looking him up and down, cheesily to lighten the mood a little.
“What makes you think I'm gonna let you say no?”
I pursed my lips and struggled for a comeback.
“What makes you think I was gonna say no?” It took me a second to realize my words had backfired on me. I smiled sheepishly at his crooked grin. “I might need a bribe, though.” I added thoughtfully, to aggravate him slightly. I looked out the window and pretended to ponder.
“I'll take you to Hogsmeade on the next trip.” he offered, quickly.
My stomach clenched as I registered his words. For the little I knew about James, one thing that was obvious was that he thought out everything he said. Those nine words were plainly not thought out. I didn't exactly understand what he meant so I tried not to think too much into it. He hadn't implied it like a date and it was merely a bribe to try and get me to try out for the Quidditch team.
So, why exactly did it feel like I had butterflies floating in my stomach?
“I was thinking more like a box of Honeydukes chocolate.” I offered, recovering quickly. Cassie's eyes were bulging out at me. She was one of those people who would do anything to go out with James Potter. Emphasis on the anything. She might have even talked.
“Honeydukes it is, see you at the try-outs, 'Rette.” he smiled at me and pulled himself and Louis up. Cassie and Tallia began a quiet discussion and I leant my head up against the window and just breathed.
My butterflies remained.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately everything you recognise belongs to J.K....
Author's Note: So ... tell me what you think. I LOVE reviews, they're like chocolate ;) Even if you're not going to read any more, they'd still be great. Next chapter will hopefully be better, but of course that will require more time .. (:
Chapter 5: Hogwarts' Excuse for a Welcoming Feast
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Chapter Five: Hogwarts' Excuse for a Welcoming Feast:
“Désirée!” I almost screamed when she appeared outside our compartment. While appearing near dead on the outside, I was very much alive and awake. And the chance to escape the drawling bore that was Cassie's gossiping voice was a chance too good to pass. So I had scrambled myself off my seat and to the door as Désirée walked pass, scaring a sleepy Tallia and disturbing a mumbling Cassandra. Désirée stopped just as her hand reached the carriage door, her face confused she turned towards to me with hesitation. Across the aisle the inhabitants of the compartment Bianca had disappeared into were staring at me, obviously in hearing distance of my unpleasant shriek. Harper Jordan grinned at me. Rose Weasley was laughing. Albus Potter and Lake Orion looked a little confused and slightly amused. Bianca looked disapproving, but a hint of a smile was on her lips. The sullen face of Scorpius Malfoy showed no emotion. I beamed sheepishly at them, before turning to the girl beside me. I managed to look just as she hugged me. I hurriedly completed the hug.
“'Ello, love,” said Désirée in a soft voice. “Eez zat zee Tallia you were telling me about?”
“Shh, she'll hear you,” I hissed, pulling away from her and turning to look back at the pair. Luckily, the door had some how closed itself behind me. Tallia's eyes were bulging out of their sockets and Cassie's mouth was hanging unattractively open. I fought hard not to laugh. I failed, but I manage to turn before they realised it was directed at them.
Without reluctance I had told Désirée about Tallia and Cassie and it had felt strangely relieving to tell someone and have another person on my side about the whole situation. In a way I almost felt bad about saying things that convinced Désirée to hate two girls she barely knew. I also thought I was being a good friend by warning her about Tallia.
“The one with the tanned skin and straight black hair, yes, that's Tallia,” I said out the side of my mouth, without looking into the compartment. “I would introduce you but …”
“She eez a self serving cow and Cassie eez too shy for an introduction to a Veela?” Désirée implied.
I laughed. Those were words I had told her four days ago. Merlin, knew what we were talking about.
“Do not worry.” she said, soothingly. “Now, which suitcase eez yours?”
“Uhh, the one on the left,” I replied questioningly, raising an eyebrow at her.
“Perfect.” she smiled pleasantly as she rolled her r's. She stepped forward and swiped the door open, too viciously to be a polite entrance. “I am very sorry,” she said, not even glancing at the frozen pair in the seat to her right. “But Louis requires Rette instantly! 'E 'as business with 'er – or something like zat.” She smiled mockingly as she pulled my suitcase and broom off the metal rack. My trunk smacked against the ground with an echoing crack. I jumped in my skin, someone down the carriage laughed. “Goodbye!” Désirée heaved the suitcase into the carriage corridor and slid the door closed behind her. I laughed appreciatively. “Zat was easy.”
“It was?” I asked, raising an eyebrow and silently making my suitcase levitate in the air. A first-year ran head first into it and tumbled to the ground shamelessly, he was up and gone before I could ask if he was OK.
“Zey did not protest,” she explained, scooting around the suitcase and pulling open the carriage door.
“I didn't expect them to.” I said, working my way into the next carriage, while controlling my floating suitcase with it.
Désirée sighed. “One day you will 'ave 'ad enough of zem and you will blow a bomb in zeir faces. Get me front row tickets, will you?”
I laughed, despite the fact she had just told me I couldn't stand up for myself. “Next to Lysander?”
That shut her up.
I smiled at her silence. “So, does Louis actually need me or were you just making that up?”
“Eet was all made up, of course,” she said, taking my wand and directing the suitcase herself. “Do you think eet worked?”
“Yeah, I think they were too shocked to actually hear what you were saying, anyway.”
She nodded. “Ooh, you will not believe it! Tante Fleur invited over Professor Kurtson yesterday and 'e sorted me into a 'ouse!”
“Really! What did you get into?”
“Slytherin,” she said sadly and a little bit nervously.
“Oh.” I said, not exactly sure how she wanted me to react. “That's a shame, I really wanted to have you in the same dorm as me.”
She smiled, and I felt warmth spread through me. I was really getting the hang of this consolation thing.
“'Ere we are,” said Désirée making my suitcase crash unceremoniously into the compartment door so someone would have the courtesy to open it from the inside. Lysander's grinning face appeared at the window and the door slid open. Désirée walked in without a word and conducted the suitcase onto the metal rack above Louis' head. I followed her in nervously, tucking my wand away as she passed it to me.
“Even when you're smacking a suitcase into a window you do it so gracefully.” said Lysander, barely paying attention to my existence and almost closing the door on me. Désirée rolled her eyes and sat in the seat between Louis and my cousin on my Dad's side Elizabeth Levi.
“Rette,” she greeted, kicking my arse casually. “You're boobs have grown.”
I grimaced and took the only free seat next to Lysander, who was staring obliviously at my chest. “Thank you for bringing attention to that fact, Liz.”
“No problem,” she nodded, obviously thinking she had done me a great favour. Louis was giving Lysander his perfected death glare. He picked up Liz's discarded shoe and threw it at his head.
“OW! What was that for?” he shrieked in a high-pitched voice that made Désirée giggle.
“Stop staring at my cousin you git!”
Lysander rolled his eyes and took to staring at Louis' other cousin. I suddenly realised three of the four people in here with me were related to me somehow. I blamed it on Wizards and their rabbit breeding. If someone disagreed you could always take Louis' family and use them as proof. Half the Hogwarts population was related to a Weasley somehow. Take me for example, cousin of Louis, Victoire and Dominique. Then there's Harper who was Freddie's and Roxanne's cousin. And finally Lake Orion, my sister's friend who was Molly's and her younger sister's cousin. The list goes on and on.
“So Rette, I hear you've been spending a lot of time with Dare Aitkins lately?” Liz suggested, watching Louis and Lysander's argument with admiration.
“Yeah, she's pretty cool actually.”
Liz took her eyes of Louis and gave me an apprehensive look. “So, do you … y'know?”
“What?” I asked, looking at her cautiously. “Do I – what?”
“I guess you don't know …” she said, looking disappointed that I had no idea what she was on about.
“Know what!?” I asked exasperatedly, my mind reeling with aggravation that she had brought on.
“I guess she'll tell you in your own time.”
“Liz, don't be a bitch. You can't just say that then not tell me!” I almost yelled, but she had already turned away and started a conversation with Désirée. To my surprise no one even acknowledged my little outburst and suddenly I found myself feeling invisible and unnoticed. I didn't belong here, with these people. Louis and Désirée only associated with me because I was related to them. Liz was – and I'll admit it – a bit of a cow and Lysander was simply a person I didn't know well enough to judge. I shouldn't have been sitting in a compartment with them, but I didn't know which compartment I should have been sitting in. There wasn't any compartment I seemed to belong in.
I tried to push away the thoughts Liz had placed in my mind about Dare. A couple of years ago Liz and Dare had fallen out over some unknown reason and ever since they had never been seen conversing together. I could only assume that Liz was just trying to stir up some long forgotten shit and take it out on our friendship, but I couldn't help but feel there was some hidden meaning behind her words. Like there was something I should know about Dare, but she hadn't told me because it really was something that could ruin our friendship. It might have even been the thing that ruined their friendship.
All I knew was that I didn't want to know about it, but I couldn't help but yearn for the information.
I had one side of my head pressed up against the window and was watching the barren landscape flit by. The beginning of a light drizzle was creating tiny droplets of water against the window and the smothering of white cloud was slowly advancing into a solemn, grey mass. Much to my appreciation Liz and Lysander had left to find the Trolley Girl, who upon spotting Louis had deliberately avoided coming to this compartment, which resulted in shoe throwing from Lysander's side. Désirée was now draped across the seat from mine with her sock-clad feet on Louis' legs. I had my arms wrapped around my legs and my school robes draped over my shoulders. Tallia and Cassie had flitted past once or twice, staring into the carpet like it was telling an interesting story.
Louis and I had barely said any words to each other, but I didn't really mind and I could tell he didn't either. He was staring with a vacant expression at the wall behind my head and he looked like he would be out for a long time.
Even in her sleep Désirée was still beautiful. Her face didn't mush into her hand, there was no collection of drool developing in the corner of her mouth and her hair was splayed over her shoulder smoothly and without any mess or frizz. In her sleep she had a grace and innocence she could never acquire while conscious.
Louis shook himself out of his reverie, looked up at me and grinned cheekily. Despite the surprise of his sudden happiness I couldn't help but beam back at him.
“What?” I asked in a high-pitched child-like voice. In my head I pictured a twinkle-eyed four-year-old version of myself smiling cheekily at my dad.
“So you and James, huh?” said Louis, his voice cocky. I felt an annoying twinge in my stomach at his name, but laughed nonetheless.
“You're delusional, Lou.” I pointed out, stretching my legs out so my feet could join Désirée's on Louis' thighs.
“Don't be stupid, Rette. The sexual tension between you two was so strong it was creating atmospheric waves.” His words sounded oddly rehearsed.
“I'm pretty sure you were feeling the sexual tension between yourself and Tallia.” I tried not to sound disgusted at the words. They would be so wrong together.
“Speaking of, did you like my genius comeback about Tallia wearing less clothes?” he asked amused. The question was so ridiculous that I knew he was actually expecting a real boy answer from me. I mean, it wasn't like I was a girl and found it awkward when he suggested another girl naked.
“Hilarious.” I spat.
“I know, right.” Louis obviously wasn't as fluent in sarcasm as I was. “Back to James, though. He doesn't invite just anyone to Hogsmeade, you know.”
“Of course not,” I agreed. “He just wants me to try out for the team, that's all.”
“He wanted you to go to Hogsmeade with him, drill that fact into your brain, Rette.”
“Don't be silly Louis, you just want me to get my hopes up.” I said, realising too late my slip up.
“So you do fancy James?” said Louis, his eyebrows raised and his eyes slightly bulging.
“I never said that,” I said, looking out the window and at the sky smothered in grey cloud. The rain could be heard on the roof and the droplets were cascading more frequently now.
“You implied it.”
“That doesn't mean I –” I look up to see that it's no use arguing. “I don't know him well enough to fancy him. I just get nervous around him, that's all. He's not too hard on the eyes, now that I think about it.”
“So you just like him 'cause” he cringed, “he's fit?” he raised one eyebrow. “So it's like Tallia around me?”
I roll my eyes. Trust Louis to find some way of converting awkward words into a way of complimenting himself.
“I get nervous around him 'cause I'm physically attracted to him.” I tried to make it sound like I wasn't just letting loose the first explanation I could find. “Not because I fancy him because he's fit.”
Louis opened his mouth to reply, but at that moment the door slid open and Liz and Lysander entered. Désirée pulled herself up, unperturbed by the sudden entrance of the pair. A box of liquorice wands was flung my way and Liz announced the train would be arriving soon and Lysander and Louis were shooed out so we could change. Louis watching me cautiously until the curtains were pulled.
It wasn't long until the train reached Hogsmeade and the sky had darkened considerably. In the crowd of students I had no choice but to lug my suitcase around, as any levitating it would be sure to get lost. It wasn't long until Désirée and I had lost ourselves from the others and emerged somehow on the other end of the platform than we had planned. Sighing I spun around and crashed unceremoniously into a hard chest. I stumbled backwards into Désirée who yelped unhappily. Firm, familiar hands gripped my shoulders and pulled me upright before I fell over my suitcase.
“Reid.” I breathed, looking up at his gorgeous face. He looked as amazing as ever, his soft skin spotless and his grey eyes as breathtaking as they had always been. His light brown hair was messier. My breath caught in my throat just looking at him. It had been a long time since I had been this close to him and it felt strangely exhilarating being in his presence again.
“Err – hi Rette,” he choked, dropping his hands from my shoulders and backing away awkwardly. I was probably the only person in Hogwarts who could get such a reaction from Reid Parkinson. A few years ago Reid and I dated and ever since we could barely have a conversation with the other without feeling overpowering sexual tension, or something like that. Frankly, it was mortifying and nowadays no one remembered the old feelings between us except Reid and I and that was how we liked it. To be honest, I didn't think I could deal with the jealous glares I would get if everyone knew I had been out with Reid Parkinson on numerous occasions.
You see, Reid was every girls definition of sex-on-legs, or at least, what they wanted him to be. Reid was Hogwarts' Untouchable. Ever since fifth-year, the year he was noticed, every girl wanted Reid Parkinson and no one ever got him. He was, in a way, the Slytherin version of James Potter, fan clubs and all, perhaps more stunning and collected then James could ever be. I had dated Reid before he was ever someone and I could only imagine that was why he didn't glare at me the way he did with his 'fan girls'.
“Reid! Are you coming or not?” a shrill voice from behind him shouted dramatically before appearing at his side and spotting me. A sly grin appeared on her face. “Annette! I didn't know you knew Reid! Do you need a ride to the castle? We have a spare seat if you want!”
“It's Amorette,” said Reid quietly, taking Beverley's hand off his shoulder.
Something in his voice made Beverley look at Reid suspiciously. “Right,” she said distastefully. “Well there's a seat if you need it.” She battered her eyelashes pleasantly and dared me to deny her offer. I tried not to recoil at her sickly sweet voice. It was far too innocent to be any good.
“Actually I –” I turned to my side to look at Désirée only to find she had disappeared into the bustling crowd. The rest of my words mumbled away.
“Great!” she trilled and her hand was tugging on one end of my broom before I could stop her. And there was no way in hell I was letting go of my Firebolt willingly. I let her tug me along to the carriage and pull me into it without another word. Reid followed silently.
“Guys, this is Annette. Annette this is Kairen,” Beverley gestured to a tall, muscular boy with a cute smile and soft looking hair, “Anna” the shy, brunette Ravenclaw gave me a small smile before looking away awkwardly, “and of course Reid.” She acted as though I didn't know their names, but undoubtedly knew hers.
“Actually it's Am–”
I tried to correct her, but she had already launched into a discussion that had obviously been going on before I got here, I tried to catch on, but gave up quickly as my insides boiled every time I looked at her face.
Beverley was one of those girls that would give up a limb to go out with James Potter and wasn't afraid to show it. Every second day she would be asking him to help her with homework or take her to Hogsmeade. She was also the one that hurt Dare more than anyone else and this thought echoed through my head the whole ride to Hogwarts. I even managed to forget Reid Parkinson was sitting at arms length from me and trust me, that's an extremely hard feat to do.
When we finally arrived at the magnificent castle the lurch of the carriage was the only thing that suggested our arrival and as I swiftly tore myself out of the cart the beauty of Hogwarts once again smacked me in the face. The two metre high windows of the castle towering over me shined with golden light and the huge double doors were opened wide to display the great entrance hall. A comfortable warmth settled inside me as I gazed at the place. A weight that seemed to be pressing on my shoulders lifted and I couldn't help but smile. I was back, back at my favourite place in the world. Hogwarts.
I grinned to myself and began taking the steps up to the entrance hall. We were one of the first carriages here and looking back I saw rows and rows of horseless carts coming up the track. I didn't know exactly what to do, but I went with getting into the warmth of the entrance hall and sticking my head into the great hall. It was almost completely empty apart from the three Slytherin's I had taken the carriage with, Anna and a group of giggling Ravenclaw third-years, a few small collections of round-faced Hufflepuff's and a pair of snogging Gryffindor's. Even the Professors were only just arriving. There was no way in hell I was going to sit alone at the Gryffindor table, waiting for the seventh-years.
Looking back I noticed a thicker wave of students approaching so I took to ducking into the closest bathroom so I could wait it out until someone I could sit with had most likely arrived. It was a foolproof plan, unless I waited too long and there were no seats left. I walked up to the mirror and stared at myself. My skin looked rather pale and my dark hair was far too straight and neat for my liking. I ruffled it up a little and glanced at myself once again, noticing an extremely strange item in the background.
I spun around so quickly I twisted my ankle. Stumbling a little before gripping onto a sink to pull myself up again, I looked at the thing. It had to be a urinal, right? Standing there against the wall, looking extremely exposed. I had never seen one before, so I could only assume. I limped forward a little, examining it closer. It did look like there was a drain going down from the bottom.
Somehow, I managed to miss the most important information until that second.
I yelped, I was in the boys bathroom.
“What was that?” came a voice from outside the door.
I almost yelped once again, but controlled my voice instead and threw myself into one of the cubicles shutting the door quietly behind me.
“Sounded like a girl.” said another, rougher voice as the door creaked open and three sets of feet along with male voices entered the bathroom.
“Don't be stupid,” said a voice I recognised as Albus Potter's. “There are spells to stop that from happening, girls can't get into the guys bathrooms, guys can't get into the girls bathrooms.” Liar, Albus Potter.
“Explain Moaning Myrtle then, Al. She stalks you every time you go to the toilet.” said the rougher voice.
“Shut up, she might hear you!” hissed Albus, before speaking quieter. “She's a ghost so it doesn't count.”
It seemed that amongst their discussion they had completely forgotten my earlier yelp. The sound of someone using the urinal met my ears.
“Scorp mate, did you see the way Bianca was looking at you? I'd be fucking scared if I were you!” said the rough voice, who I now realised must be Lake Orion. I closed my eyes. They were talking about my sister. This couldn't be good.
“Bloody hell! I thought she was going to eat me!” said Scorpius in a high-pitched voice. A collection of heavy, appreciative laughter replied to this comment. “But seriously guys. Do you think she knows?”
“That the whole time you were dating, you were really with Emily?” asked Lake, a grin in his voice. My insides clenched, along with my teeth. Sure, there were times when I thought my sister deserved such treatment, but now wasn't one of those times. And I only just resisted the urge to burst out of the cubicle and have a go at whoever was closest to me. “Nah, McGregor's good at keeping secrets.”
“I don't know, the way she was looking at you …” said Albus nervously. “Bianca, always seems to know everything.”
“It's probably just 'cause you dumped her.” Lake slurred as their footsteps retreated. “No one ever dumps her.” The door closed behind them before I could hear Scorpius' reply.
I took a huge breath and limped out of the cubicle and towards the door. I tried to keep the pressure off my left ankle and stopped with my hand on the door handle so I could shift my weight properly, focusing completely on the pain and shoving my angry thoughts to the back of my mind. Suddenly the handle was shoved out of my hand as the door was pushed open and I stumbled forward and into the hard chest in one night. Which, instead of steadying me, stumbled with me, before gripping onto a candle holder and swinging myself and him around. I ended up chest to chest with James Potter, who was pressed up against a wall. Him looking down and me looking up, our faces so close I could smell his minty breath and see specks of green in his brown eyes.
“Detention!” said a voice which was accompanied shortly by a bang which forced me to the other side of the hall. “LeMaine and Potter, snogging in the hallway. 20 points from Gryffindor – oh wait! There are none to take away, that's a shame. We'll make it four detentions then shall we?”
I looked up as whatever spell upon me was released. Only to see Professor Swede, the head of Slytherin glaring at us with malice.
“Professor –” James began, trying to explain.
“Silence Potter!” he almost yelled. “I see you are late to the Feast.” The doors to the great hall closed at his words. “No doubt, you wanted to make an entrance, inflate that big head of yours, Potter.”
“Professor!” I tried, but he seemed to have forgotten about my presence.
“I have no problem with that, follow me.”
I gritted my teeth, but followed him nonetheless. I took a glance at James and he mouthed: sorry!
No, it was my fault, I mouthed back, stopping as Professor Swede did the same in front of the doors.
“Potter, LeMaine, if you must.” I wasn't exactly sure what he meant, but he gestured for us to enter so we did so. A few heads turned as we walked past. We must've been a lot later than we thought because we had missed the sorting and Professor Kurtson was watching Professor Chang rush the Sorting hat to the side room. We had just past the Hufflepuff table when Professor Swede entered.
If our entrance had been noisy it was nothing compared to his. The sound of both doors smacking open reached our ears and the entire school seemed to turn at once, noticing James and I, frozen in our silence. After a second of standing still we began more hastily, trying to ignore the curious eyes directed at us. I noticed Louis staring with both eyebrows raised and felt my face grow hot.
“Please excuse my lateness Robert.” said Professor Swede calmly. “I found Mr Potter and Miss LeMaine sharing spit in the corridor and thought I best remind them of our three second contact rule in this school.”
I literally froze in mid step, along with James. I felt my eyes itch and water a little along with my face get impossibly redder.
Firstly, sharing spit! That was probably the most disgusting way you could describe kissing, which, we weren't even doing!
Secondly, three second contact rule? I was sure there was no such thing as a three second contact rule. It was definitely the most ridiculous thing I had heard all Summer. Plus, we hadn't even been touching for more than three seconds!
And thirdly, this was probably what Professor Swede meant when he suggested making an entrance. Our quiet sneaking was plainly not extravagant enough, so he had to do something as cruel as this.
Swede had just made a new enemy.
A part-Veela enemy.
I'd be watching my back if I was him and probably his front too.
I spun on my right foot, not exactly sure what I was going to say to him, but sure he was not going to get away with this. James' hand was on my arm pulling me to the Gryffindor table before I could take a step.
“No problem, Foresst.” said Professor Kurtson awkwardly. “No matter – well, there will be time for talking later, for now – eat!”
The roar of voices began almost instantly and I threw myself angrily at the end of the Gryffindor table, where the entirety of the seventh-years sat. James took the seat opposite me.
“What the fuck was Swede on about?” hissed Freddie, fuming. The rest of the seventh-years seemed to all be leaning in to listen intently, all ignoring the delicious food on the table before them.
“He was just making up shit, we didn't kiss.” I said through gritted teeth, picking up a raw carrot and destroying it, while lavishing in it's pleasant taste.
“So that was what he meant by sharing spit …” commented Elliot from beside me, looking at the lumpy stew in front of him like he'd been deeply put off. Everyone ignored him.
“Then how did he get it in his head that you did?” asked Tallia sceptically. I had never wanted to punch someone so badly in my life!
“Rette stumbled onto me and I pulled her up and it must've looked like we kissed.” said James simply. Even in my ears it sounded like complete bullshit.
Freddie, Elliot and Dare laughed and the others rolled their eyes and looked away, obviously thinking he was making up a lame excuse.
“No one's going to believe that.” said Blake Lane critically, Elliot's thoughtful best friend with the entrancing eyes. He didn't look up at either me or James.
“But it's the truth, they have to believe it!” My voice came out slightly whinier than I expected.
“Just because it's the truth, doesn't mean they have to believe you.” said Blake, looking up at me pitifully. “I suggest you just go with it, the more you deny it the worse it's going to get.”
I huffed at his intelligent words and began to pile my plate with an assortment of tuna salad, chips smothered in tomato sauce and Cornish pasties. James watched me while everyone else began a new conversation, glancing towards us every now and then.
“What?” I asked, when I caught him looking at me for the fourth time.
“What are we going to say?” he asked nervously and I felt myself soften at his words. I was making a big deal out of this when really it was nothing. It would blow over in a couple of weeks and every one would have forgotten about it.
“I don't know,” I said, chewing on a chip softly. “Maybe we just tell them what you said.”
“That'll just make it seem like we're covering it up.”
“Is that such a bad thing?” I said, watching his forehead slowly crease. “I mean, it'll just blow over in a couple of weeks, right?”
“For me it's never blown over in a couple of weeks,” said James sadly, shoving around his food with his fork.
That's right, he's James Potter. Crap.
“I have an idea.” I said suddenly, feeling redness creep up my neck as I thought of it. I smiled mischievously. “We'd need help though …” I looked around the group and my eyes stopped on Fred, “… from Fred.”
Freddie looked up at his name and James looked at him curiously. I smiled, but I could feel it didn't reach my eyes. I was beginning to doubt myself and my plan.
“Firstly, I just want to know this, you do believe us, right? That we didn't kiss?” I asked solemnly.
“Course!” grinned Freddie. “She's way outta your league, mate.” He smacked James joyfully on his back. I smiled and James gave a very forced one. It was probably the best compliment that could come out of a lie.
“OK, so this is how it's going to go …”
“Ready?” asked Fred, his leg shaking under the table, making the bowl of raspberry jelly wiggle deliciously. I suddenly regretted making this plan happen during dessert.
“OK.” I squeaked nervously, this whole plan was undoubtedly going to bring far more attention than necessary to us three. James nodded.
“Right then – Sonorus!” he said, pointing his wand at his throat. “Professor Swede!” His confident voice filled the entire room, reaching right into the corners and everyone's ears. The sound of the whole student body turning in one fluid motion to look at Fred could be heard from behind me, but I couldn't look. James' eyes bulged slightly. “I would like to take full responsibility on Amorette's part played in the corridor out there and will happily take part in her detentions instead of her.”
My mouth gaped open. That was not part of the plan. I made to get up and stop him, but James gave me a keep-your-arse-in-your-seat-or-you'll-ruin-the-plan look. I sighed, but obeyed.
“And why would you do that, Mr Weasley?” asked Professor Kurtson politely, as Professor Swede sat speechless.
“Well you see, Professor, during the holidays James and I decided we would both make a set of love potions and feed it to our victim to see who's would be more powerful. And this is our result.” said Freddie happily, gesturing to me.
I detested the way he called me a victim; and then a result.
The whole of the seventh-year Gryffindors looked at me disbelievingly and Harper mouthed: this was your plan?
I nodded solemnly and she muttered something to Molly.
“That's ridiculous!” exclaimed Professor Swede suddenly, getting out of his seat. “Potter could never make a more powerful love potion than you!”
There was a bout of appreciative laughter from the Slytherin and Ravenclaw tables. I watched Fred hesitate slightly at his unexpected reaction.
“Yes well, James just owned up. He cheated, bought a love potion from my fathers shop, didn't he?” said Freddie happily.
“Well Mr Weasley, if this is true it is not going to make any difference to Miss LeMaine's detention.” said Professor Kurtson. “It is still a violation of this – three second contact rule …” he gave Professor Swede an uneasy glance.
“Nevertheless, Mr Weasley, I'm sure we'd be happy to have you accompany Miss LeMaine and Mr Potter in their detentions!” said Professor Swede joyfully, to which I groaned.
This was all my fault.
There was silence and I took a quick glance at the staff table and saw Professor Longbottom's mouth moving. I looked back down at my plate when he glanced over.
“Mr Weasley,” began Professor Kurtson in a disappointed tone. “I assure you you've disturbed this feast enough for one night. Will you please sit down and let us continue with our desserts?”
“'Course!” said Fred happily, nodding, taking his seat and pulling out his wand. “Quietus!”
“Well that went well.” I commented sarcastically as conversations around us picked up speed once again. “Now you've got four detentions too!”
“That doesn't matter, now everyone doesn't care that you kissed! They just think it's because of the potion!” trilled Fred, beaming and eating the jelly straight out of its bowl.
“Are you telling me that you'd happily take four detentions on the first week of school just so that people don't think we're secretly dating?” I asked incredulously, my mouth hanging open while my dessert went on untouched. It seemed far to respectful for something Freddie would do.
“What kind of best friend would I be if I didn't?” he replied, with his mouth almost overflowing with raspberry jelly.
“Fred – I don't know your middle name – Weasley, I would hug you if the entire school didn't think I was in love with James.” I stated simply but truthfully, taking the last jam doughnut off its plate.
I looked up to see him grinning spectacularly. “You should've seen it from up there! Louis' face – you could tell he didn't believe a word of it!” he laughed. “And that Parkinson prick was trying to kill me with his eyes. Roxy – she totally wanted to disown me as a brother. It was absolutely hilarious!”
I caught James' eye and we smiled. Freddie was almost buzzing with euphoria.
“So did Roxanne get sorted?” asked James, catching Fred's happy mood. “I'm guessing she didn't get into Gryffindor.”
“No, Slytherin! Can you believe it?”
Sadly, I could. The moment I saw her I knew she was no Gryffindor or Hufflepuff and that only left Ravenclaw or Slytherin which weren't much different in the first place. I guessed that to James and Fred it was sort of like Désirée to me. I saw all the non-Slytherin parts in her, while others could easily see the Slytherin parts in her I couldn't. I knew it sounded judgemental, but personal qualities were a big part of how the sorting hat chose your house. And sure, Gryffindor's were generally stereotyped as cocky arsehole's, Ravenclaw's were ignorant know-it-alls and Hufflepuff's were the ideal person, while being intellectually and physically weak, but there was something about the cunning I'll-do-anything-to-get-what-I-want Slytherin's that had me immediately hesitant to be in their presence or associate myself with them.
It was sad considering Bianca was a Slytherin; and Désirée.
Along with the first, last and only guy I could've considered a boyfriend.
It was thoughts like these that reminded me I needed to get out more.
“Really!?” exclaimed James, in a way that told me he was merely humouring Freddie and wasn't very surprised either.
“I don't really mind though, I've barely known the girl my whole life, so it's not like I'm extremely depressed …” said Freddie, sticking his spoon once more into the jelly, only to have it disappear. He sighed and let the spoon clatter in the glass bowl.
A hush smothered the entire hall as Professor Kurtson once again took to his feet. “So, now that your stomach's have been filled and your thirst quenched, I must ask for your attention, once again.” His eyes flitted to our end of the Gryffindor table and Freddie grinned.
“I would like to remind you that the Forbidden Forest is out-of-bounds to all students, as is the village of Hogsmeade to everyone below third year. Mr Mudgar” a couple of first-years giggled at his name, “would like me to remind you that all Weasley Wizard Wheezes products a banned inside the castle. The full list of seven hundred and fifty two items can be viewed in Mr Mudgar's office if anyone feels the need to check it.
“Today I also have the pleasure of introducing you to our new Transfiguration teacher Professor Kirke.” There was a round of applause as a tall, boisterous man stood up and grinned at the crowd. I liked him already. “And our youngest addition to our staff Professor Lupin!” As the tall, dark-haired man sat down a new man stood up and a louder bout of applause followed.
At first glance I could only assume this was some sort of practical joke. The young man at the staff table had the brightest artificial blue hair I had ever seen and he was unimaginably handsome. With precisely angular features and perfectly toned skin. He was one of those guys you imagined, but could never find someone to compare with. He was an older, happier version of Reid Parkinson and James Potter, but far more dreamy.
Both Freddie and James wolf-whistled and I could only assume they knew this peculiar new teacher.
As the clapping and screaming (I know, he was that gorgeous!) died off I caught James' eye and raised an eyebrow. He smiled.
“That's Victoire's boyfriend.” he whispered.
My mouth popped open and I yawned without a thought, but smiled afterwards.
The next time I saw Victoire I was going to congratulate her, then worship her for the rest of my life and after.
She'd love that.
Kurtson continued. “As for now, it's getting late, and I'm sure your desperate to get to sleep so you can make the most of your Sunday, catching up with everyone.” I perked up at this piece of information. “Mr Potter, Mr Weasley, Miss LeMaine, please remain behind.” I felt my heart sink a little. Tallia smirked and muttered something to Cassie. I resisted the urge to flip her off. “Now off to bed for the rest of you!”
There were scrapes and creaks and burst of chatter as everyone began the walk to their common rooms. It seemed Fred, James and I were the only ones who didn't move and I felt numerous eyes on my back as the entire Gryffindor house shuffled past.
Freddie leaned in closer from the other side of the table.
“What's the bet we're getting owls home?” he asked, eyes gleaming like he was going to beat his previous record of rule breaking on the first day.
“We weren't the ones who interrupted the feast,” said James, reclining. “They won't send our parents owls, just yours.”
“Yes, but one mention of the ingenious plan deviser and that could all change.” Freddie smirked.
“You wouldn't!” I breathed as James snapped forward in his seat.
“Charms and Transfiguration homework until the end of September!” suggested Fred sharply, an evil glint replacing the gleam in his eye.
“Blackmail!” I accused him loudly, as the crowd in the hall thinned.
“Don't think it's below me, Love.”
“But I'm your best friend!” I cried.
“That's exactly why you should do this for me.”
“Fine,” I said defeated, I could do some evil with this to get him back anyway.
“What was that?” he said cheekily.
“I said fine, now shut up!” I growled, not looking him in the eye.
“Shake on it …” said Freddie solemnly and I grudgingly took his hand, to which he grinned.
“I hate you Fred Weasley!”
“Love you too!”
“What's this?” asked an unexpected voice and looking up I had my breath taken away from me by the proximity between Professor Lupin and myself. Even though he was at least a metre and a half away from me. “Better not be making any raw deals Freddie, Professor Kurtson would not be impressed.” I quickly slipped my hand out of his and Professor Lupin gave me an astonishingly beautiful smile because of my action.
“Raw deals, Professor Lupin? You must not know me at all.” commented Fred to his accusation.
“And of course I don't, since this is the first time I've met you.” I was pleased to see Professor Lupin also spoke fluent sarcasm. “That was quite a speech you had there earlier. Who came up with that one?”
Freddie gestured to me and I looked up once again and smiled at him.
“Wow. A non-Weasley, I felt sure it sounded like a Weasley idea.” commented Professor Lupin.
“Well, she pretty much is,” said James, matter-of-factly. “She's Victoire's cousin, you see.”
“Well, nice to meet you –”
“– Amorette, but everyone calls me Rette.”
“Rette it is then, I best be going,” he said, glancing at Kurtson's, Swede's and Professor Longbottom's advancing figures. “See you around.” He left with a cheerful wave and it was almost painful to look away.
“Mr Weasley!” breathed Kurtson menacingly. “Never in all of the Welcoming feasts I have attended, has a student acted in such manner!” Despite saying it desperately quietly it sounded far more threatening than it would have if it was louder.
“We will be sending an owl home to your parents and you will be expected to sit out two weeks of detentions starting tomorrow.” Swede finished for Kurtson. “As for you, I assume the effects of this love potion has worn off and you wouldn't object to a test, to see whether this potion really entered your system?”
This sure had been thoroughly thought out.
“Yes, I do object.” I squeaked, my voice coming out a lot more high-pitched than I expected or wanted.
“Just like I thought.” said Swede his voice sweet yet dripping with sourness. “That'll be a weeks worth of detentions to add to that four then, and Mr Potter since you seem highly amused with this situation you may have the same.”
“That is completely unnecessary, Foresst!” defended Longbottom at his last suggestion.
“I don't see why not, Neville.” I felt my stomach swivel with anger at the distaste in his voice when he said 'Neville'. “I believe these students have behaved disrespectfully and I think this is a perfectly adequate punishment. Please, do consult me on your thoughts at a less ungodly hour and I may rethink my decision.” It was plain by his voice his decision would not budge no matter what was suggested. “As for now, I am going to bed. Seven o'clock Potions classroom you three. Goodnight.”
Swede was gone before Longbottom could recover.
“As am I. Neville, please escort these three to the Gryffindor common rooms, I don't want to wake in the morning to find the castle in ruins because we left three delinquents loose in the castle.” I gawked at his retreating figure.
I gave Freddie and James a look that said: what the fuck, the Headmaster just called us delinquents!
“Follow me, you three!” said Longbottom, recovering himself and strolling out after the long disappeared Headmaster.
We followed along quickly, taking probably the longest route possible. Every now and then a well known short cut would pass by and James and Freddie would sigh. Sometimes they just sighed for the sake of sighing. Or perhaps a secret passage I had never heard of was spotted. Longbottom didn't talk and we felt no need to change that, so the entirety of the walk was silent apart from footsteps and sighing. The candles began to dim as we reached the portrait of the Fat Lady and Longbottom turned to us.
“Now I don't know what inspired you to create such a commotion in the middle of the Welcoming feast, but if I hear that any of you have another detention in September then you will be required to attend a fortnightly meeting will me until the end of the year. Freddie you've had these for the last six years, shall I be seeing you again, this year?”
“Friday night, eight thirty PM, I'll see you there,” grinned Fred.
“Great.” said Longbottom, a little half-heartedly. “Off to bed now, you three – Alastor.” he nodded to the Fat Lady who swung open her portrait.
We clambered in slowly as not to make too much noise. The entire common room was empty and seemed extremely gloomy.
I spoke before we took the stairs. “So, what are we saying to everyone?” I asked James nervously.
“The seventh-years won't believe the love potion story, so I guess we tell them the truth. Everyone else can believe you kissed me because I fed you a love potion.”
We all stopped at the landing that looked over the common room.
“Are they all trustworthy?” I asked sceptically. Thinking of a girl who would probably love to ruin it all, by spreading the truth.
“Of course,” he said, looking towards Fred for agreement, but getting none because he seemed to be lost in his own little world.
“Well, night.” I said, yawning.
“Good night Rette!”
“Yeah, see you!”
I watched them disappear into the boys dormitories, before crossing the landing and taking the stairs up to the highest point, until I reached a door labelled 'Seventh-years.' The door creaked as I opened it and beams of light from the stairs lit up the room. I pulled out my wand and lit it before closing the door. Glad the girls were asleep.
I immediately spotted the only bed with open curtains and threw myself onto it. Only bothering to remove my robes I let myself fall asleep with the curtains open, no covers keeping me warm and shoes still completely intact.
I didn't care.
Disclaimer: I own 0% of this story
Author's Note: So, for this author's note I just wanted to know who of my characters you wanted to see more of. I'm sure you have a preference and I'm open to suggestions. I know I have a whole lot of characters going on in this story and my more important characters will be revealed soon enough hopefully. Please, tell me if I'm under developing things as it really helps my writing and any questions feel free to ask and I'll answer as best as I can :D
It wasn't what you would call a beautiful day. In fact it was what most people would call a terrible day. But I was loving it. The thick silence that hung in the air. The seething grey clouds churning in the heavens. The threat of rain and thunder and lightening that made all animals and sound disappear, until it was truly calm. The calm before the storm, as it was.
Everything was still. The house, the trees, the grass in the long stretch of emptiness between me and our Quidditch Pitch. It was like a glass dome had been placed around our house and was blocking out all sound apart from the thrashing of the harsh wind against the glass. Looking around I could feel the tense anticipation of the upcoming storm pulsating through the earth below me.
Memories of the last week swarmed through me. Pain. Worry. Sorrow. Confusion. And then calm. Followed by more worry and double amounts of tests. Spells. Potions. Dad even made them test me the Muggle way. And then I was fine. I was healed. I wasn't sick any more.
It was wrong. It wasn't meant to be that way. It made bile rise to the back of my throat just thinking about it. That night I had gone to sleep and I hadn't expected to wake up. I went to sleep to die. I went to sleep so I would never wake up again. I had listened to that music. That magical music I had been given so long ago, that song that took you to an imaginary world just as it had guaranteed.
But somewhere in that song the world had turned into my death. And she had killed herself to rid me of my cancer; sacrificed herself so that I wouldn't have to die like I so plainly wanted to. And now I was here lying in the middle of our perfectly manicured grass, surrounded by forest. Alive and healthy, just as she wanted.
My music world created by Aunt Luna herself locked and unattainable, no longer letting me in.
Now I was deserted. In a body I had planned to leave. Forced to live a life filled with tests and uncertainty. With people not wanting to get to close in case I left and took half of them with me. With an overprotective mother treating me like a breakable object, refusing to let me go back to Hogwarts for fear of me getting hurt and making my cancer come back. With a brother who hated himself for not being able to protect me and a sister who hated that our parents had forgotten about her in her prime teenage years and took it out on everyone around her.
I was still alive and breathing, despite the fact I didn't want to be. I was alive and expected to be grateful for that, but I wasn't. I didn't care. I was still the same. I had endured the same experiences, plus a new one. I was still cautious about doing anything that could affect me. I still felt the pit of emptiness that had come with my illness, because it hadn't left with it. I thought exactly how I always had, but now everyone expected me to see the light, because I had lived when I was supposed to die. That's what my cancer had done to me. It had made me convince myself that there was something wrong with me because I was alive and that meant I had to be grateful; but I wasn't grateful because I was the same as always.
There was a resounding crack as the air above me split open. Miles away a bolt of golden lightening struck the forest ahead of me, illuminating the silhouettes of the trees and in seconds there was huge droplets of rain plummeting to the ground around me. Wind whipped through the forests and the storm raged around my spot in the grass.
That was what I called a beautiful day.
“Amorette LeMaine if you don't get your lazy arse out of bed this instant I will charm your freckles to spell imbecile on your forehead!”
Those were the viciously sweet, American-accented words that woke me up on that particularly bright and boisterous Sunday morning.
I threw the sheets that had somehow appeared on me off and sat up abruptly, forcing my sleep-ridden eyes open despite their strong protest at my action. The sun streamed through the window and onto my exposed covers, reflecting off the deep red fabric and into my eyes. “Sorry love, but I don't have any freckles,” I said to Dare's smirking face. “And I am not an imbecile.” I flung myself back onto my pillow after my statement and attempted to block out the light by covering my face with my palms.
“I know you're not an imbecile, Rette – look, that was a bad way of putting it,” she started, taking both my wrists with an iron-tight grasp and pulling my hands off my eyes. “It's just Longbottom's getting really impatient waiting around so he can give you your timetable, and he's bugging me and Fred about it.”
“What?!” I almost screamed, pulling myself up once again and tearing my wrists out of her hands. “Why didn't you just tell me that in the first place?”
“I had to wake you up first didn't I?” she said moodily, pulling herself up properly and watching me rummage through my suitcase in search of some clothes. “You act like we had a fantastic conversation about wiggenbush bark before I mentioned it to you!”
“Look – can't talk right now, need to be getting ready!” I retorted quickly, flinging off my robes and pulling a t-shirt on over my singlet.
“Rette, you're completely overreacting. This is Longbottom we're talking about.” she replied, hands on hips, disapproval on her delicate features.
“Well if you had the night I had yesterday you'd be acting exactly the same.” I said, looking in the large mirror beside the door. Man, I need a shower, I found myself thinking to the reflection. My hair was almost oily and I had spent half the night breaking out in sweats.
“That bad, huh?”
“Eleven detentions bad.” I looked over to her bed where she was tying up a pair of laced flats.
“That's not good,” she commented, moving to tie up her next shoe. “Can you grab James while you're going that way? Longbottom's looking for him, too.”
I stopped, hand on the handle. “Why can't you get him?” I said, trying to sound calm, but secretly hoping she'd cave in and I wouldn't have to risk a trip into the seventh-year boys dormitories.
You see, once upon a time I was an innocent girl. I had girl friends, we had girly parties and we gossiped about girly stuff. That was before I became friends with Fred Weasley and he did the most ultimate betrayal. He took me into the boys dormitories.
Let's not go into graphic details, I'll just say that it involved some very high-pitched, girly screaming from Elliot's part, a hidden family of gerbils getting exposed under a pile of dirty underwear and an extreme amount of skin being displayed by James Potter. All in all I haven't been in there since.
“I'm … meeting someone.” she said shyly, an innocent blush forming on her cheeks.
This immediately perked my interest.
I raised a carefully practised eyebrow. “Are you meeting a boy?” I asked slyly only to find the colour on her cheeks get darker.
“No, I am not meeting a boy.” she said, looking pointedly out the window as though examining a particularly fascinating bit of blue.
“Then I can only assume it must be a man.” I said, teasing. “Ooh, is it Professor Lupin? Wait! No – don't answer that. Feel no need to lie to me, Dare! Your secret is safe with me!” I opened the door and quickly left the room, vaguely hearing her yell something back at me.
In all honesty I couldn't have cared less who Dare was supposedly meeting. It was her business and I had no right to pry. I guess leaving her with those words was sort of a test for her. It was a way of seeing how much she knew or trusted me. Later on I would discover whether she had gotten herself worried that I had told everyone she was secretly seeing Professor Lupin or if she simply shrugged it off, knowing I didn't actually believe what I was saying.
Continuing down the stairs I came across Harper making her way back up. I gave her a cheerful smile, only to get a harsh glare in return. I almost froze once she had passed and wondered what I had done to deserve that.
Out in the landing I spotted Molly who was undoubtedly following her best friend.
“Hey.” I said, grabbing her arm as she tried to escape past. She yanked it out of my grasp, but stopped nonetheless. “Is there something wrong with Harper, she looked really angry?”
“Look, don't worry about it, Amorette, it's got nothing to do with you.” she hissed, turning away from me.
I recoiled from her harsh tone, but spoke up just before she left. “It does if she's going to glare at me like I've purposely done something to her.”
She stopped in the door and turned back to look at me scathingly. “What are you trying to do? Break her and step on the shards? Don't act like you don't know what's wrong with her 'Maine.”
I stood gaping at her as she shut the door in my face. It was possibly the most confusing conversation I had ever had in such a short amount of time. I felt my mouth dry a little; she had called me 'Maine. It was only Slytherin's and Ravenclaw's who called me that. Not LeMaine, never LeMaine, because the 'le' made it sound to nice and French. And really, how harsh could you sound if you called someone LeMaine?
But a Gryffindor, a Gryffindor I shared my own dorm with had called me by my last name and that meant something was terribly wrong.
Turning around and pinching the bridge of my nose, I closed my eyes and exhaled slowly, before opening them again, removing my hand and looking up to the door to the boys dormitory. I gulped. One year, three hundred and two days and approximately twenty-one and a half hours – now I was back to face the horror. I'm sure I was overreacting, but this time it felt rather calming to do so.
I took two steps forward and pushed open the door, hastily taking the stairs and trying not to draw attention to myself. A couple of sixth-years were taking the stairs down and examined me with smirks as I blushed at their gazes, I suddenly wished I was showing less leg in my denim shorts. As I passed the third-year dormitories Hugo Weasley came out with his cousin Lily, muttering something about spiders. It wasn't until I reached the very top of the stairs and got to the door labelled 'Seventh-years' that it seemed to get quieter. Taking a deep breath I pushed open the door.
What met my eyes was unimaginable. Unfathomable. Absolutely impossible: the room was clean. The trunks were closed and neat at the end of their beds. There was no scattering of random items across the floor and no stench coming from a pile of dirty underwear as there wasn't one. The only thing remotely messy was the fact that all the beds were empty and unmade and that was certainly cleaner than what ours were like.
“Can I help you?” asked a strange and unfamiliar voice. I looked to my left to see Blake Lane holding a white t-shirt out in front of him obviously seconds away from pulling it over his bare chest. I silently willed him to put it off for a few seconds.
“Uhh – yeah, I was just looking for James,” I said, looking around and noticing he was nowhere to be found. “Dare said he was in here.”
“Yeah, he's just in the shower,” he said, throwing down his t-shirt and taking a few steps forward. He looked so casual and relaxed wearing no top. His hands in the pockets of his dark jeans, leaning against one of the beds examining me with ruffled black hair and those eyes. Those gorgeous, grey eyes.
Blake Lane was different. He was strange. He was Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome, not to mention mysterious. Gorgeous in that way that mesmerised you and sexy in that way that you longed for him to kiss you in the middle of a crowded room. He was like that shadow of a man in the corner of the room. The one that's heavily cloaked and talking to nobody and somehow he draws everyone's attention without even moving. And then everyone looks at the same time and someone flicks by holding a lit candle and you catch a glimpse of his carved-by-an-angel jaw or his bright, stone-coloured eyes and you know there's something about that man in the corner of the room that makes you long for his presence and long for him to pay attention to you like you pay attention to him. But after looking away for a second and then looking back you notice his head tilted in your direction and in your imagination he grows taller and taller and he becomes far too intimidating to approach and so you leave him as he is. The man in the corner of the room that everyone wants, but no one tries to get; that man is Blake Lane.
It wasn't until I realised we'd been standing there for about a minute looking at each other – me drooling all over the thought of him and him being his casual self – that I spoke again.
“How long do you think he'll be?”
He just shrugged. “James has long showers.
“Great.” I said under my breath, so quietly he could only see my lips moving, but couldn't hear what I said.
There was another minute of silence. Where I examined my bare feet and he watched me do so.
“You look tired,” he commented. “When did you get back last night?”
“I'm not sure,” I said gingerly, looking up catching his eye then looking at a point above his left shoulder. “All the girls were asleep, though.”
He nodded understandingly. “How many detentions did you get?”
“Eleven with Swede.”
He opened his mouth to say something, but the door to the bathroom opened and interrupted him.
“Blake, you're still here,” said James in his fluffy red towel – he obviously hadn't seen me. I cringed, this already felt like a replay of last time. “I thought you would've left ages ago.”
I took this time to look away in case the the towel dropped.
“Oh – hey Rette,” said James awkwardly, directing my attention back to him. He gave a small forced smile, obviously remembering our last encounter in the dormitories.
“Hey. Um. Dare wanted me to come get you so you would go down to breakfast 'cause –” I paused, rethinking my words. “Look, Longbottom's really annoyed he's had to wait for us to come down and get our timetables.”
Blake turned around to put his t-shirt on. James' face paled a little.
“I can wait outside for you if you want,” I suggested, not exactly sure why I did.
“Sure, won't be a minute.”
And he wasn't. I barely stood outside for thirty seconds before James appeared. Clothed in jeans and a Gryffindor t-shirt I'd seen him use at Quidditch practise. His hair in a casual mess and Blake yelling something I couldn't understand at his retreating back. He laughed and started walking beside me.
“So, Quidditch try-outs in six days,” said James happily.
“Great,” I said, my voice a little sarcastic but not enough for him to notice. In truth I was dreading the upcoming try-outs. It wasn't that I didn't want to play the game, it was more the fact that I would have to complete for the place and possibly make a complete fool out of myself in front of everyone.
And in front of James. For some reason that was a new worry added to my list – not only would it be dreadful to do something idiotically horrendous in front of the entire Gryffindor house, but if James was there too it would be doubly hideous.
“So, I was thinking we'd try you out as Keeper first,” James began. Me only half listening because I liked the guy. Anyone less than James, Freddie, Dare, Louis or Désirée talking non-stop and they'd be blocked out. “And then – depending on your skills – we might give you a shot at Chaser, but that's not a guarantee though, because I'm pretty sure we've got the Chaser's sorted out …” It wasn't until I pushed the portrait open that someone interrupted him.
“Hey Ray, I just came to –” I looked up to see Reid Parkinson who had frozen in his tracks. Looking at James with narrowed slits for eyes. “Potter.” he nearly spat, drawing himself taller and replacing what ever look he had on his face previously with a calm, unresponsive one.
I swivelled my head to look at James and saw an emotionless mask. A wave of tension washed over me as the atmosphere in the room became stiff, awkward and judging. The portrait of the Fat Lady clicked shut behind us and appeared to knock James into speech.
“Parkinson,” said James flatly, allowing a smirk to develop across his handsome features. “Up at the Gryffindor tower, I see. Feel strange to be at my eye level instead of under my feet?”
“It's funny you should say that, Potter,” he sneered, advancing forward a little and throwing back a handsome smirk of his own. “You know I heard the reason the Gryffindor's are so bad at Quidditch is because they spend all their time walking up the stairs and have no energy for the pitch.”
“It's funny, because I heard that's why the Slytherin's have no muscle.”
I had to hold my laugh back. I was a bystander. Absolutely no part of whatever was happening in front of me and I was not going to take sides.
“I have muscles, Potter. Sadly I don't feel the need to advertise them like the Gryffindor's so arrogantly do.”
“You know what, I think your father paid the Sorting Hat to put you in Slytherin. I hear no cunning and I see no ambition. As far as I can see you're going to be a figure in the shadow for the rest of your life. Just. Like. Him.”
“Shut up about my father, Potter.” Reid snarled his smirk long since disappeared and in a second his wand was at James' chest, singing a hole in his Gryffindor t-shirt, but James was a second ahead of him and had snatched his wand out at the same time, burning a hole in Reid's button-up shirt in return.
“Did I hit a nerve?” asked James, tilting his head a little, sporting a malicious smirk. “Has a Gryffindor finally got through that thick, Slytherin snake-skin of yours? Best not to tell your little cronies. Wouldn't do any good for that reputation you've got.”
“That's enough, James.” I warned him, stepping forward and putting a hand on his arm.
It didn't so much as stir James until Reid's attention was focused on my gesture as his eyes fell on my skin on his and he stepped back, lowering his wand. James followed until I was holding his arm at his side. Reid didn't take his gaze off my hand, some sort of battle of emotions coming across his face, which I wasn't surprised at considering James had mentioned his non-existent father.
“Sorry, Ray,” said Reid, not taking his eyes off my hand even though I had removed it from James' arm. “I'll see you around.”
“Wait –” I said, wanting to know why he had come up here in the first place, but he had already disappeared around the corner.
There was a moment of tense silence as we looked at the place he had previously stood, before there was a huff from James and he began to walk off. I hurried to his side before walking with him.
“Why did you stick up for him?” he shot, when my stride met his.
“What do you mean?” I asked, my voice betraying my emotion, by letting an ounce of hurt slip into my words.
“You were fine with our little battle of wits until I mentioned his father.” James stopped and turned to me. He seemed far taller than usual and his face was devoid of emotion. “Why?”
I suddenly felt anger at his words. He was stepping into untouched territory and I wasn't going to let him do that. He acted like he knew exactly what his words had done to Reid, but he didn't. He could never understand.
“Do you know who Reid's father is?” I spat, my voice creating a splash of surprise across his face.
“No, I –”
“Exactly.” I interrupted, watching his illusion of height falter. “You don't know anything about his father and guess what: neither does he. Because the famous Reid Parkinson with that successful mother of his doesn't have a hidden disgrace of a dad sheltered from the world in the back of his mansion. In fact he doesn't have a dad at all, because for as much as he knows, his father is probably dead.”
The fiery determination in his eyes seemed to have gone out only to replaced by something else. I started walking again, scooting around him, but he turned and we were walking side by side in a fuming silence.
I didn't know what to think. I had just lost control of my mouth in front of James Potter and I didn't know what that meant. Did it mean I had gotten used to being around him? That he no longer had control over me with the superior air that came with his last name?
I had always been slightly attracted to him. He was gorgeous. With muscles rippling through his arms, legs and chest. He had the sexy mess of hair that tinted gold and red in the sun. He had the deepest darkest eyes that betrayed him every time he attempted his emotionless façade. And perfect white teeth. There was no doubt that if he showed any signs of attraction towards me I would have used it to every advantage. Who didn't want James Potter?
But that was it. That was all it could ever be. Physical attraction. I mean, sure, he was a nice guy and all, but that didn't cut it. He wasn't funny like Fred or mysterious like Blake or arrogant like Louis. (I know he's my cousin, it was just an example.) He didn't seem to have any of those exceptionally noticeable qualities that attracted you to someone more than physically.
James wasn't someone you could easily fall for. He was calm and polite, except when he let himself slip and then he could easily be cocky and rude. He was snarky and witty when it came to arguments. And if you pushed him too far you could easily get your head blown off. He did his homework, he didn't complain. He was level-headed and always seemed to be right. He had an opinion on everything and seemed to boss everyone around. He was protective over Dare, but not his own blood. And when it came to Quidditch he was an absolute dick. To be honest, James Potter was a mix of things. Attractive being only true when you looked at him.
So that was why I could only conclude that I had seen too much of his personality to still be attracted to him. That I no longer cared what opinion he had of me, because he obviously didn't care enough to make me have a good opinion of him.
But somehow I knew things just didn't work like that. I had come to that conclusion logically, but things like attraction were felt, not thought. And whatever these fleeting feelings were, they went against all my logic and left me doubting everything I had ever maintained. Logically the little spit I had against him could never have happened when I was sure I felt something for the guy. But emotionally … well I didn't know. I had never acted on my emotions. I had never searched for a reason to why they felt what they felt, because my emotions and logic had always walked together hand-in-hand and now that had changed.
And that was how I found myself questioning my mental capabilities because of James Potter.
We had walked down five flights of stairs before he spoke again.
“Why did he call you Ray?” he shot all of a sudden, his voice icy and teeth gritted.
I took a deep breath, hoping it would steady my voice in case it decided to come out shaky.
“My name's actually pronounced am-or-ray,” I said shyly, after a few seconds of silence where I let a blush creep up my cheeks at the mere thought about my little speech on Reid's non-existent father. “He just shortened it.”
“Why does everyone call you am-or-ret, then?” he said sourly.
“Well, Tallia saw how it was spelt and thought it was funny so she said it like am-or-ret.” I said softly. Working my legs so I could keep up with him as we travelled down the stairs. “I guess it sort of stuck. It's only my parents and aunts and uncles who pronounce it properly. Even my sister doesn't.”
“And Parkinson calls you Ray?”
Despite my little speech he still couldn't bring himself to forget about their encounter.
“Are you good friends, then?” he asked, his voice generally softer than what it had been before.
“You know what, I think it's time I asked you a question.” I snapped, then feeling a little ashamed I lowered my voice. “Why –?”
“Come to Hogsmeade with me.” said James quickly, not bothering to change his voice or the speed he was walking at. It wasn't a question, it was more like a demand.
“What?!” I said, stopping in my tracks without a second thought.
James kept walking for a couple of steps until he realised I was no longer beside him. “I mean,” he said, turning to look at me with a strange gleam in his eye. “Will you come to Hogsmeade with me? The next time it's on, of course.”
“Dare said she's already going with someone and Freddie's planning to ask Désirée. Elliot will be going with Rose and I think Blake's got his eye on Rose's Gryffindor friend, so I've pretty much been left to fend for myself.” he said, taking a second to breathe.
I attempted to talk, but he spoke before I could.
“Look, don't answer right now.” he said, holding a hand up in an attempt to stop me from speaking. “I know it's a couple of weeks away and plans could change, so don't worry about it. Just keep your options open, OK? Désirée will probably say no to Fred so you don't have to worry because –”
“James, shut up.”
His mouth went from hanging open to snapping shut.
I wanted to say yes. I wanted to jump up and down and scream yes, but I didn't know if I could do it. What was I getting myself into? A simple, friendly trip into Hogsmeade with a mate? Or an awkward, judging trip into Hogsmeade where he made extremely forced conversation and I tried not to swoon all over him, therefore making him deeply disturbed and reluctant to come close to me ever again?
“Sure,” I said without a thought, letting myself smile at him in what I hoped was a way that didn't make me look scary. “I guess.”
“Sweet,” he said, breaking into a smile. “Oh hey, Elliot!”
I watched him run past me and undoubtedly up the stairs to see Elliot. I didn't turn to watch him, thinking that was taking it too far. Instead I continued down the stairs, giving everyone I passed a sweet smile, to which half of them seemed too surprised to return.
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognise. Zilch.
Authors Note: I apologise for the wait. (Not that I can remember how long it's been.) And I hope you like this one (even though I don't particularly like it) and the additional internalising in her head. So, in my last authors note I asked who you'd like to see more of and I only got James (as you can see in this chapter), but I do have a problem you see.
So this story of mine has been getting barely any reviews compared to my other major one and it's been worrying me because I really want to continue with this one because I like where it's going. And the less response I get the less I want to write more :(. So if you could maybe take the time to give me a little review. Even just a simple one like: "I like your story, please update soon." or "I really enjoyed this chapter, but I find it a little confusing with all the different characters." Even just something like: "Cool chapter(:" That'd be great ;DD
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed it :D.
Sarcasm is Good for the Soul:
“And zen 'e said: 'Don't worry you won't 'ave to feel zis way forever!'” she exclaimed, her nearly-screaming causing a great disturbance amongst the rest of the students who had taken to sunbathing before the last of the Summer sun disappeared. “Not listening to any word I said, of course. Can you believe 'im? 'E eez such a prick!”
I was listening to Désirée rant about Lysander Scamander and his pitiful attempt at winning her heart during breakfast. It was undoubtedly boring, but a great thing to listen to whilst sunbathing. The thing I had learned about Désirée was that once she started talking, there was almost no chance of getting a word in, as the sound of her own voice seemed to be like music to her ears. Also, the fact that we were lying on the grass, wearing designer sunglasses and skimpy shorts, meant that we weren't facing each other and there was no demand to look as though I was actually paying attention to her words.
“… and zen 'e just walk off! Leaving me sitting zere without anybody beside me!” she exclaimed, pausing for a second to sit up, covering my face with shadow. “Zat Lysander! 'E is a boy you should be avoiding, I tell you… Fred though… 'e eez a different story.”
“What?!” I screeched, flinging myself up and looking at the two figures walking by the lake. I flung off my sunglasses to look at them closer. Freddie seemed to hear my yell as he looked over, grinned, then said something to the guy beside him, who turned and revealed himself as the very James I had seen earlier that day. “You are kidding me, right?”
“No, 'ave you seen him?” she said, lowering her voice to a natural inside voice. “Who wouldn't be attracted to zat?”
I gulped, trying not to think about how I had been attracted to 'zat', before I had moved straight onto his cousin.
“I just didn't think Freddie was your type,” I commented, watching the pair change their course and start towards our spot under near the tree.
“Of course 'e eez!” she exclaimed, I could hear the smile in her voice as she watched them approach. “Funny guy like him. Who wouldn't be falling at 'is feet?”
It was exactly that. Who?
“Quick, pretend we've been talking about something else!” I said, realising how suspicious we must have looked.
Désirée just laughed, throwing her hair over her shoulder, causing it to flick my arm.
“You need to be less paranoid, love,” she commented, with a delicate smile enhancing her perfect Veela features. “'Ello, boys.”
The way she said it; the casual flick of the eyelashes and even more accentuated French accent than before, along with the simple lean in her stance and the position of her toned legs, made it seem like she was trying to get all of their attention. And if I was being honest here, I didn't like it.
It almost seemed like a trigger in the back of my head and my suddenly my eyes were turning in to slits aimed at the girl beside me. My fingernails dug into the dry, cracked ground and my teeth seemed to clench all by themselves. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck sticking up, along with the ones on my arm. It felt like a strange sort of defence mechanism towards her. Or some sort of protective nature over Fred. I didn't know Désirée as well as I liked to think. She was a new girl I had let straight into my life, a Slytherin and I would never know if she was just gripping onto Fred for a bit of fun or if she wanted a real relationship.
The second it took for me to snap, I snapped back. Feeling ashamed at the protective thoughts that had raced through my head. Désirée was my friend, she would never do that to someone who was like a brother to me.
“Hello ladies,” said Freddie formally, but with an attractive smirk on his tanned face.
I smiled at him, before looking at James. He had changed his top and was now clad in a perfectly fitted, white t-shirt with the words 'It Could be Worse. I Could be a Slytherin.' flashing red and gold.
“'Ow are you?” asked Désirée politely. She was so formal and nice, I never asked things like that, I was generally a rude person without meaning to be.
“I'm swell, actually,” said Freddie, oblivious to James and I rolling our eyes at his stupidity. Honestly, what sane person says words like, 'swell'? “But I was wondering if I could talk to you?”
Subtly Désirée glanced at me, her eyes glowing with happiness, before taking his outstretched hand and allowing him to pull her up effortlessly.
They took off rather quickly, both of them positively quirky. I watched them for a second, (they walked rather awkwardly, almost a foot away from each other) before looking up at James to find his eyes on me. His hands were casually in his pockets, his eyes questioning some unknown notion. There was a jolt in my stomach as he smiled to himself.
“Is Freddie asking her to Hogsmeade?” I asked, looking back to the pair as they strolled towards the lake.
“I have no idea,” he said, taking a seat in the place where Désirée sat previously. “It's a bit early to ask, isn't it?”
“You asked me today,” I said, watching his reaction to my words.
He looked straight into my eyes and smiled. “So I did.”
Holding his gaze for a second, I attempted to read his expression. I couldn't, so I turned to watch the pair. Near the castle I spotted an angry blonde figure watching Freddie and Désirée talk. He kicked at the ground angrily, before turning and walking away.
“Poor Lysander.” I commented.
“Yeah,” James mumbled, after turning to look at his retreating figure. “He kind of deserves it though.”
“I thought you guys were close?” I asked, a little offended he could think someone deserved to watch someone else with the girl they like/love (depending on how delusional the boy was).
“Yeah, we were,” he sighed, speaking as though he had explained this to me a million times. “Lysander, Fred, Louis and I, but we just sort of grew apart.”
I could remember when they were like that, some said they were the next generation of Marauders, but during the interval between fourth-year and fifth-year they seemed to split up. The Ravenclaw's and the Gryffindor's, it was rumoured that it was because of house rivalry.
“What happened?” I said, crossing my legs as my palms were getting sore supporting half my body weight.
“Lysander wasn't always like he is now.”
“In other words, a man-whore?”
The words were out of my mouth before I could stop myself, but James didn't seem offended, in fact he laughed, pushing his hair off his forehead as he did so.
“Yeah. It was in the Summer holidays before fifth-year and he started a relationship with Molly.” My mouth popped open at this information. There seemed to be so many things I didn't know about the people around me. Molly and Harper being the biggest blank spots of them all. “It was after his relationship with Anna where she broke his heart after he told her he loved her and got herself shunned out of society and we were all kind of glad he was over her… until we found out he was with Rose at the same time…”
“Wow…” I said, letting my mouth hang open a little, but not so much my gold tooth at the back of my mouth was visible. Yes, I have a gold tooth, you can blame Freddie later.
“I know. Molly didn't mind much, I mean I think she was just having a little fun, a sort of Summer fling if you know what I mean…” The way he said it made me think there was a 'but' coming on, and sure enough, “… but Rose didn't handle it well – blew up in his face, actually – and she dragged me and Freddie into it and it was over.” James sighed, throwing his head back to look up at the bright sky. “Now he just treats girls like pieces of meat and I can't put up with that.”
“You're a good guy,” I said, stretching my legs out to absorb more UV rays. “You stand up for the people in your family.”
There was a sour laugh from my left and I tried not to be surprised. “What about you and Tallia?” he asked, his tone light.
Immediately my heart sunk a little and bile rose to the back of my throat. We hadn't spoken since she made a snide comment at the feast and I was determined to maintain that silence. I wouldn't talk to her until she spoke to me and she wouldn't speak to me until I spoke to her. All in all it was a good truce.
“Are you talking about our deep, meaningful friendship, or the fact we're lesbians together?” I said, sarcastically.
He didn't laugh, but it was OK because I wouldn't have either. “No, I'm serious.”
“So am I,” I pressed on.
He sighed. “OK, I get it. You don't want to talk about it.”
“What makes you say that? I'm talking about it now. Do you have something against lesbians?” I asked, raising a brow.
“What's with the sarcasm, Rette?” he sighed, looking out past me and possibly towards Freddie and Désirée.
“It helps keep you from telling people what you really think of them.” I said looking straight at him, a touch of vulnerability in my voice at the words. It was like I shared a little part of me with him. Like I let the thoughts I had never acknowledged come out in his presence. It annoyed the hell out of me.
“And what do you think of me?” he asked softly, turning and locking my blue eyes in his gaze. I froze, feeling a strong desire to tell him the truth, so I did.
“You're calm, you're a nice guy, but you're a complete arse when you want to be. You're smart and witty in arguments. You're a know-it-all, but you never complain about a thing. You're extremely close to your family and you love them, even when you act like you don't. You've been through a lot, but you question everything and you don't accept things easily. If someone were to fall in love with you you'd never believe it until you were married, or it was too late.”
Silence. Long, uninterrupted silence where our eyes remained locked. Blue water mixing with brown fire and exploding with tension or passion or maybe just pure awkwardness. It was thick and raw and made you want to bite your lip with the pleasure that came with it. It was sexual tension like no other. I had just admitted things I never wanted to admit, and I loved it.
His eyes ripped away and the moment was over.
“That wasn't sarcasm was it?”
There was something in his voice. Rich emotion of some sort. I couldn't place it.
“No, it wasn't.”
“It wasn't a compliment either, was it?” he said. The strange tone still there.
“No, James.” I said quietly. “It was the truth.”
“Oh.” he said simply, continuing to stare out at the lake.
There was a long silence after that. Not an uncomfortable one, but not a soothing one either. It was almost like we were both waiting for the other to speak. There was distant laughter from our left and Désirée and Fred had stopped walking at the other side of the lake. It took all the strength in me to not become fidgety and stay in my position, but eventually I gave in and I lay back down on the grass, brushing my hand on his arm accidentally and creating invisible sparks of electricity in the air. I knew it had something to do with my little spit of word-vomit, because earlier in the day I had held his arm and nothing of the sort had happened.
“What were you doing in the guy's bathroom that night?” James suddenly asked, moving his body so he was leaning on one side and could watch me.
“Huh?” I said, unable to think of what he was talking about.
“On the night of the the Feast.” he continued, looking out past me and towards the Forbidden Forest. “You fell out of the guy's bathroom and we somehow ended up looking like we were snogging.”
“Oh, yeah,” I said, catching on. “I walked in there accidentally and then I had to hide because you're brother came in.”
“Right…” he said, his tone suggesting he didn't believe me.
I was about to accuse him of doing so when a shout behind us stole my concentration. It was Elliot, calling James for some reason, looking excited and giddy. Grinning from ear to ear.
“James you have to come see this!” he shouted, after recognising that we had acknowledged him.
“Well, I guess I should go,” he said, turning back to me before pulling himself up. “It was a nice chat.”
I nodded, not at all agreeing. “Bye James.”
The next few days passed by quickly. James and I didn't talk much, but every now and then I would catch his eye and look away awkwardly. He didn't complain and apart from the casual class together we generally avoided each other. After my little word vomit episode I was knocked back to my senses and I realised how stupid I had been to tell James my perception of him. Basically I had said: “This is what I think of you and yes, I'm such a stalker I know the inner workings of your mind.” That's how much of a typical genius I was. I had scared him off for life.
Freddie and Désirée couldn't seem to shut up about the other. Every time I was alone with one of them it was the only topic on their lips. I had gone so far as to throw Freddie's Standard Book of Spells: Grade Seven into the lake.
He didn't notice.
On the negative, Professor Longbottom did and now I owed Fred a new book.
Classes had started strictly on Monday, our teachers as lenient as ever, making sure anyone who was more than five minutes late received a detention so we would all know there would be no pushing boundaries now that we were seventh-years. To add to that each and every teacher seemed to be lecturing us on the importance of our NEWTs, then going through the basics of everything we learnt the year before and giving us long essays to write in no amount of time at all.
Potions had officially switched from my favourite subject to my least as Professor Swede seemed to think Freddie, James and I had spoken out in the Welcoming feast just to personally offend him. In fact when Freddie muttered a quick question to me while Swede was talking, he took twenty points off Gryffindor and made the entire class stand up so he could create new seats for us all. What made the class even worse was that Swede was a relatively new teacher from Durmstrang and had only been at Hogwarts for a couple of years and I had never had him before (most likely due to the fact the population in Hogwarts was increasing so rapidly we need two teachers for most of our subjects), meaning he would most likely never get to see my talent at the subject, because he was already scaring me out of taking notes, let alone making a potion.
Charms was coming along much better than anticipated. My exams had come out with extremely high scores which were surprising and I had been informed I was now considered top of the class. For this, our Charms teacher Professor Chang would often be found smiling at me for no apparent reason and the rivalry between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw could almost be considered transparent.
As for Defence Against the Dark Arts it was becoming a nightmare. Along with the fact we had a new teacher and everyone was generally curious at how he took the subject, we all walked in on Monday third period, expecting a balding old man with no interest in the subject and found instead Professor Lupin, who until that second I had completely forgotten existed. Never before have I seen such a rush to get to the front seats in the class. It was merely ridiculous. Not to say I didn't take part, I was just rather disappointed when Louis pulled me into the fourth row and I didn't get the fantastic view.
Needless to say the lessons were complete shambles. The girls in the front two rows giggled at everything Professor Lupin said even when it came to subjects such as Dementor's and Inferi. Lupin was becoming so incredibly frustrated with the class that by the end of each lesson his hair seemed to have a grey tinge that should certainly not be occurring in a man still filled with such youth.
Transfiguration was becoming a delightful subject. Professor Kirke, while a tall and almost intimidating looking man he had a smile that seemed to warm you from the inside out. He clearly enjoyed his subject far more than any teacher I had ever come across and he would be smiling with his eyes twinkling while describing the theory of Transfiguration. He had yet to teach us any spells as he had no idea of our abilities and was sticking with the basics for now, but there was no doubt his happy mood made the class so much more enjoyable.
Astronomy was the same as ever. Professor Sinistra still droned on in her mystical voice about the beauty in the sky, explaining it all in every way possible except the way I saw it. They were stars in the sky and they were beautiful. James and I were the only Gryffindor's in the class and therefore I forced myself on him as I didn't particularly like the idea of sticking myself in with the giggly Slytherin girls or the Ravenclaw's, especially when Lysander was amongst them.
Muggle Studies was extremely interesting as the mixture of Freddie, Liz, Elliot and I clashed constantly as Elizabeth was particularly aggravated that she had placed herself with Freddie and Elliot, two Gryffindor's who were on the Quidditch team and (upon discovering I was trying out) would be in a huff the whole period. Despite that series of unfortunate events, Professor Cauldwell was delightfully happy as he had come back from a long Summer holiday in the Caribbean and had acquired for himself a tan to rival Freddie's.
History of Magic was of course as boring as ever, but I (somewhat stubbornly) put up with it as I seemed to have a great longing for History and I liked knowing things from the past. The longing was strongest, however, when the topic of Harry Potter and the Second Wizarding War was discussed, though you had to admit, Professor Binns certainly knew how to make even that topic sound boring.
It was the Thursday of the first week of term after lunch and I was walking with Louis from the kitchens where he had forced me to eat with him, because he didn't want enter the Great hall strangely enough. We were halfway across the Entrance hall, heading towards our long classes of double Potions which was undoubtedly theory-only, when there was a shout behind me.
“Rette!” came a voice with a Californian accent. It was Dare, half-skipping half-running down the stairs towards us, beaming pleasantly. Louis immediately tensed. I stopped and waited for her to reach us, noticing as I did so the absence of her book bag.
“Rette, you're skipping Potions.” she commented when she reached us, taking my wrist and making to drag me along.
“Why?” I asked, letting her pull me a couple of steps before standing my ground.
“Because we're having a –” Dare's eyes flicked to Louis and she lowered her voice so I had to lip-read her next words. “– girl afternoon.”
“I'm sorry,” I said, backing up a little. “I don't do those.”
“You do now.”
“Oh come on, Dare,” I pleaded, knowing my strong-will (I know I have none, but one can dream) would crumble with the force of her stubbornness. “Do I have to miss class to do this? Why couldn't you have just done it at night? Or on the weekend?”
“Because it's happening today and it's happening now.” she said forcefully. “Plus you have detention at seven, so it couldn't happen any later.”
“Exactly why you should've done it at that time.” I protested, backing up a little more as her grip on my arm loosened while she rolled her eyes.
“Amorette Estelle LeMaine, if I have to force you up to Rawr, I will!”
I took Louis' quiet question as an opportunity and leaped behind the boy, cowering behind his torso. Something about his posture told me he didn't appreciate being used as a human shield.
“Quick! Save me, Louis!” I almost yelled.
The students walking past stared at me like I was a lunatic and Louis did something extremely unexpected. He picked me up by my shoulders and placed me in front of him as a peace offering. I'm pretty sure my jaw was collecting dirt of the ground. Dare gave him a goofy smile, before giving me the evils.
“Here. You can have her, she's all yours. Please when you return her make sure she's unharmed and happy enough to laugh at the memory of Freddie shaving her hair off.”
That was not funny.
“What?!” I breathed shell-shocked, as Dare took my arm in her hand once again.
“Of course, she'll be in perfect condition.” she nodded, like she was borrowing a broom not a person with feelings and blood that usually circulates through her right arm. “You don't need to worry.”
“If I don't come back alive, I'll haunt you for the rest of eternity!” I spat at Louis. He had just done the ultimate betrayal.
“Great then, I'll see you when you're ready to give her back.”
They both nodded to each other then promptly turned on their heels and began to walk in opposite directions. Dare unceremoniously pulling my arm (if it hadn't fallen off already, I wouldn't have felt the difference) with her. I stumbled up the stairs for a bit before righting myself and attempting to walk like a normal person.
“You do know most arms require blood circulation to work, right?” I pulled out a slice from my sarcasm cake. It tasted rather good and left you with a satisfactory feeling in the pit of your stomach.
“Oh – right – sorry.” Dare let go of my arm and I breathed out a sigh of relief.
“So, um. I just have one question.” I said as she gave me a try-to-escape-and-I'll-kick-your-arse look. “What's Rawr?”
“The Room of Requirement of course!” Dare trilled, continuing on with a newly acquired skip in her step. “R-O-R – RoR – Rawr!”
“Oh riiight,” I said, trying to pretend it wasn't one of the craziest things I'd heard in a month.
Which, to be honest, it wasn't. Hello? I associated myself with Fred Weasley, the boy who blackmailed me into doing his Transfiguration and Charms homework when he doesn't even take the classes (and he still hasn't realised).
“So what does this 'girly afternoon' consist of exactly?” I said, even going as far as quotation marks in the air. Dare rolled her eyes.
“Chatting, gossiping, the usual stuff.” she shrugged. “It's just going to be you, me and Désirée and I have no idea what she's got in mind. It was her idea after all and I think she mentioned something about hair.”
“Hair?” said a random sixth-year with a silly smirk, who obviously thought he was being extremely funny.
I smiled at him, while Dare snapped at him to shut up.
“Anyway, you'll have to ask her, I haven't done anything like this in a long time.” said Dare.
“Finally!” said Désirée as we rounded a corner. She was standing next to a fancy- looking oak door and the scowl on her face told us she was not happy. “I've been waiting for like aages.” Her tone quickly softened. “Come in quickly, you have to see what I've done to the place!”
She bounded forward enthusiastically, paying barely any attention to her feet therefore tripping over a raised brick in the floor. She fell face-first into the door, saving her face with her hands, but squishing her body up against the wood.
It was such a ridiculous sight that Dare and I couldn't help but laugh at her misfortune. She pulled herself up and scowled at us, before examining her robes, seeing she was OK and letting herself smile at our laughter.
She let herself in and we followed, letting our laughter die down, but our smiles remain.
Dare may have mentioned something which therefore made Désirée start up a conversation with her, but I didn't exactly hear and all I knew was that Désirée was going into a huge discussion about something. I was too busy taking in my surroundings to notice.
The first thing you saw when you entered was a huge wall to your left almost entirely made of mirror. Built off the wall was a stylish, modern bench laden with countless potions and sprays and containers filled with bright eye shadows. Situated in front of it were three of those Muggle chairs with the wheels at the bottom and a stalk thing that makes it spin.
On the wall across from the door there was a window, which I found odd because the Room of Requirement was in the middle of the castle. It showed a view I had never seen before, one that made you think you were watching from a mountain. There were trees beyond trees which fell down, disappearing from view and transforming into a beach and then the gorgeous blue sea. It was breathtaking.
The rest of the room was a cosy little place with three large, brown couches surrounding a white fireplace filled with those silver flames that are cold not warm. There was a basket of numerous nail polishes in an abundance of different colours and a small pile of magazines on a cream rug in the middle of it all.
I smiled and threw myself on the couch, perhaps a little apprehensive at the mirrors and the piles of potions and such.
“So, how do you guys actually know each other?” I interrupted, feeling a little left out considering they were chatting like best friends and I didn't even know they had met.
“It must 'ave been through Lysander, I guess…” said Désirée, rolling her deep blue eyes and throwing herself on the couch opposite mine.
“He was harassing her and I saved her,” nodded Dare, taking the other couch as we had stretched over ours.
“Yes, and zen we got talking and I realised zis was ze American girl I met at ze Potter's…”
“And I realised Désirée was your second cousin that I met at James' house…” Dare continued.
“And zen Dare suggested we ambush you…” said Désirée nonchalantly, as I widened my eyes at the girl accusingly.
“But Des came up with this instead.”
“So we went with my idea…”
“… as we decided mine was a bit rash.”
“And 'ere we are!” finished Désirée with a flourish.
I laughed at the pair of them and they smiled at me with bright eyes. It suddenly dawned on me that here I was in the Room of Requirement sitting with two of the most gorgeous girls in the school laughing with them. We were the outcast's. Dare was the pretty girl with the overprotective best friend who wouldn't let any guy near her, Désirée was the beauty in a house with no one she liked and I was the girl next door who's closest girl friend hated her and made the mistake of coming onto her best guy friend.
Désirée turned out to have a whole day planned and not enough time to do it all. The view from the window was in fact what you saw when you looked the front door of Beuxbatons and the potions by the mirror were for a makeover she was planning to do on us both. Désirée and I were sitting on the couch against the wall choosing a nail polish that would suit my pale skin when Dare who was flicking through an old issue of Witch Weekly broke the unnoticed silence.
“Ooh, I've got a quiz for you guys to do!” she said happily, crossing her legs and looking up at us expectantly.
“That one.” I said, pointing at a pale yellow, before looking down at Dare who was grinning mischievously. “What is it?”
“Who is your ideal guy?”
“No thank you.” I said, turning away, in no mood to do anything like that.
“Re-ette don't spoil it for me!” she whined, sounding like an American version of my sister. “Des is doing it aren't you?”
“Sure,” she said, pulling my hand so she could begin to paint it.
“See, now you have to!”
“Fine.” I gave up, sighing. “Go ahead.”
“OK,” said Dare happily, turning back to her magazine. “The first thing you notice in a guy is: a) his smile; b) his body; c) the way he talks; or d) his eyes?”
“Definitely 'is body,” said Désirée without looking away from my hand.
“The way he talks?” asked Dare, a quizzical expression on her face. “Are you serious?”
“Yeah, you can tell a heap about a person by the way they talk!” I said defensively. “Like if they say their words really long then they're usually a bit shallow or on the dimmer side, if you know what I mean. And the rather annoying people speak really loud.”
“I talk really loud,” said Dare sadly.
“And I speak slow when I'm using English,” said Désirée, a dent in her forehead, looking a little confused as to if that meant she was shallow in England, but not in France.
“Oh, that's not what I mean!” I conjure up as a quick attempt at pulling back what I had just said. “That's just my answer, look can we – next question.”
It seemed like Dare wasn't that affected about my words as she quickly brightened up at the thought of the next question. “OK. Your ideal date would be: a) a home-made meal; b) something you would never expect; c) walk on the beach or picnic; or d) dinner and a Muggle movie?”
“A 'ome-made meal,” Désirée nodded, “lets you know zey put the effort in, even if zey can't cook.” She smiled at some long lost memory.
“Looks like you have experience with that sort of thing,” said Dare, smiling at the look of happiness on Désirée's face.
“Yeah,” she said, beaming sheepishly with her eyes glazed over, staring off into the distance. “I 'ave.” Suddenly, she shook herself out of it. “What about you, Rette?”
I thought for a second. “Something you'd never expect,” I concluded. “Something spontaneous.”
Dare nodded understandingly and circled my answer with her quill. “What is the first thing you look for in a guy? a) a good personality/compatibility; b) a sense of fun; c) a sense of humour; or what they look like?”
“A sense of fun,” I said, taking the safe option.
“Sense of 'umour,” said Désirée without a blink. I smiled, thinking of Freddie and how she was probably thinking of him too. They really would be great together.
“OK. Four; what does your man look like? a) it doesn't matter as long as we're compatible; b) drop dead gorgeous. A pretty boy; c) really fit. One of the hottest guys in the school; or d) rugged, sexy and tall?”
“Fit.” said Désirée simply, starting on the second hand.
I paused, not exactly sure. I wasn't particularly picky, but looks did matter. I had to think he was attractive, even if no one else did, I could never like a guy who was repulsive in my eyes. Rugged, sexy and tall did sound appealing, but I thought of my only real relationship. Reid. Definitely a pretty boy.
“Um,” I say, biting my lip. “Rugged, sexy and tall!”
“Right. If your –” Dare started.
“Dare, you 'aven't even told us what you would choose.” Désirée finally looked up at the girl questioningly.
“Oh, right – um… pretty boy I guess,” she said nervously. Like one of us would suddenly burst out that it was the wrong answer. “Anyway! Number five; if your boy excelled in one type of skill what would it be? a) athletic skill; b) musical skill; c) intuition; or d) interacting skills? I guess that's like talking to people and stuff … then … I guess I’d choose d.”
“Same,” said Désirée, pausing to dip the brush into the nail polish.
“Er, musical skills.” I said, thinking up a random answer as I was quickly getting sick of this quiz.
“An ideal present for Valentine's day would be… a) a home cooked meal filled with candles, slow music and mush; b) a romantic gesture in front of everyone; c) chocolates and a handmade card; or d) an exhilarating date?” A dazed look came on Dare's face as she looked up at us. “What would you guys choose?”
“The exhilarating date one,” I said, imagining a faceless guy sweeping me off my feet and taking me mountain climbing or something as absolutely terrifying as that would be.
“A romantic gesture in front of everyone.” said Désirée like it'd be the most romantic thing to have everyone swoon over a lucky girl with a brave boyfriend. Which is not something that appeals to me. “Or ze 'ome cooked meal, I guess.” She did that strange gazing off into space thing like last time.
I coughed, nodding to my half-painted nail.
“Oh, right… the romantic gesture.”
“Yeah…” said Dare thoughtfully. “Anyway, last question!” She probably noticed my impatience with this whole thing. “If your ideal guy was your boyfriend, you would like him to… a) act like he's a friend who hugs you and kisses you; b) shower you with affection 24/7; c) walk you to classes and sit with you in them and only be apart when he has Quidditch practise; or d) gives you time with friends apart from when he's taking you on a date or catching up for a snog?”
Both Désirée and I wrinkled our noses at the last one.
“C.” we all say at the same time, then laugh.
“OK, Rette you got … Tall, Dark and Handsome.” says Dare as Désirée stops painting my nails and turns to pay proper attention. “Your ideal guy is tall, dark and handsome. He's mysterious and a typical bad boy. When in love he will do everything to keep his girl around him and will stand up for you in any situation. He'll easily put you in front of him. Tall, dark and handsome enjoys the chase and will do all he can to get a girl, but has no problem with letting go once they're caught. If he falls, he falls hard and fast, but while he's easy to fall in love with, it's not easy for him to fall in love too.”
“Great,” I say, once she's finished. “My ideal guy's a jerk.”
Dare rolls her eyes. “You are so dramatic. Désirée your ideal guy is… the joker…”
Désirée rolls her eyes too before beaming at her answer (we can all tell she's thinking about Fred) and I tune out of their conversation, not caring or interested and no longer in the mood.
Disclaimer: Anything you recognise does not belong to me, but to JK.
Author's Note: It's been a long time, yes, but I've found myself working on my other WIP'S more than this one. I don't have much to say except that I hope you enjoy my story and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE REVIEW!?!! It would mean so much to me if you did :D