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Short stories by EmiliaFrost
Format: Short story collection
Chapter 1: Something was off
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I pulled my cardigan tight around my body, curling up in the chair and getting comfortable for the journey to school. We hadn’t changed into our uniform’s yet, sparing ourselves the discomfort by wearing our home clothes. Knowing we’d have a long journey I’d opted for a pair of jeans, a deep red plaid shirt and my mum’s old cosy brown cardigan. Once again, Darcy, Nina and I had managed to get a compartment to ourselves, no one else wanting to share with us, much to our pleasure. We’d spread ourselves out over the chairs, our bags and possessions scattered around alongside our vast array of snacks and sweets. I couldn’t get enough of that treats trolley. We’d been chatting excitedly for most of the journey, discussing plans for the year and which subjects we’d chosen, I was especially excited for divination.
Our conversations had reached an end by this point though, the compartment falling into a comfortable silence as we were all feeling quite tired, opting to maybe have a nap before we got to school. Unfortunately, my mind wasn’t in agreement with this plan, as I sat in the corner, unable to drift off. Nina and Darcy were both fast asleep, unconsciousness claiming them quickly and easily. I watched the countryside roll by out of the window, the sky clear and blue despite it being September. Leaning my head against the window, I continued to stare out, losing myself in my daydreams. It wasn’t until I felt a bitter cold sensation on my forehead that I returned to the real world. I sat back, watching the window curiously as it began to freeze over, ice crackling up the glass until the countryside was barely visible. The day had grown dark all of a sudden, the weather outside matching the sombre mood that had swept throughout the carriage. Nina and Darcy didn’t wake from their slumbers as the air grew cold around us, my breath visible in a small cloud in front of me.
I rose from my seat, sliding the compartment doors open and taking a few cautious steps out into the hallway. Something was off… there was silence throughout the carriage, other students opting to stay safely in their own compartments, my curiosity preventing me from doing the same. I wandered down the hall for a few steps before darkness shrouded me, a bitter sinking feeling washing over me as though all the good in the world had been taken away. I pulled my cardigan tighter around me, taking a couple of steps back as I noticed the dark figure looming just a few metres from me. We remained frozen, seeming to stare each other down for a moment, my heart racing in my chest. Fortunately, the figure seemed to pay me no heed, slowly turning and floating away in the opposite direction, stopping momentarily in front of each compartment. It was looking for something, or someone. No longer frozen by the gaze of the floating intruder, I hurried back to my compartment, slamming the door quickly behind me, waking Nina and Darcy in the process. I ignored their sleepy complaints, moving as far away from the doors as possible, praying that thing wouldn’t come back.
The sounds of a commotion could be heard faintly somewhere along the train, too far from us to make out what was going on. As quickly as it had begun, it was all over. The ice thawed from the windows, revealing that the sky was once again blue and the light had returned to the day. The sinking feeling in my gut had disappeared, like a weight being lifted from my shoulders. Darcy and Nina had exited the compartment, along with a crowd of other students, keen to discover what was going on. I sunk into my seat, a shiver running down my spine, curling my legs up to my chest as I thought about the dark shadow of a creature I had shared a few moments with, curious to know what it was while at the same time, praying I would never encounter such a thing again.
Chapter 2: You, again.
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I made myself comfortable in my seat on the bench, my book in my hands as I settled in for the next hour of watching the Slytherin quidditch team train. It had become a routine to watch them train once or twice every week, as I never had much to do around this time. I’d arrived at the same time as Nina, but as she’d gone to get changed I had just made my way to the bench by myself. It was at that point I’d realized that Gryffindor had the pitch to train before Slytherin, meaning they were still finishing up. I tried my best to keep my eyes on my book, however my attention was continuously drawn away to watch the Gryffindor’s train. I’d noticed my attention on one Gryffindor in particular, quickly whipping my head back down to my book as we made eye contact, him shooting me one of his famously uplifting grins. I mentally reprimanded myself for my sudden peak in interest in him, shaking my head in confusion before returning to my book.
“Ughh, not you again,” I looked up from the page to be greeted by both Weasley twins, George frowning and rolling his eyes sarcastically following his comment. “We seem to be bumping into you far too often for my liking…” He continued, sending his brother a look before smirking in my direction.
“Uh… so, nice prank by the way,” Fred replied quickly, turning the conversation away from whatever his brother had been hinting at. “Pretty ingenious how you managed to get into the Gryffindor common room with no one noticing.”
“Prank?” I feigned naivety, placing my reading in my lap and glancing up at the Weasleys with my most innocent look. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” My act didn’t work for long though as I couldn’t help but crack a smile, thinking back to the prank Nina and I had pulled off a few days ago. Sneaking into the Gryffindor common room and changing all the décor to green and silver, pure genius. Although we had gotten in a whole heap of trouble for it, it was worth it purely for the amount of confusion it caused amongst both students and teachers. I was so lost in my thoughts that I hadn’t noticed Nina come to stand beside me.
“Can we help you two…?” she asked, looking the brothers up and down, leaning against her broom. “Pretty sure your training time is over now.” George held up his hands in surrender, taking a few steps back and announcing he was going to get changed before disappearing off towards the locker rooms.
“Uh, yeah, I should probably go too,” Fred mirrored his brothers’ words, picking up his broom and turning to leave. “See you around Barnes.” He grinned with a wink before following his brother’s path out of sight.
“What was that all about…?” Nina asked, watching him leave.
“No idea…” I replied quietly as she left my side to begin training. I re-opened my book, knowing full well I wasn’t going to get any reading done, allowing my thoughts to linger on the image of that parting smile.
Chapter 3: No, you don't.
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“I’m not going to pretend to know why the hell you’re doing this but… if you feel like it’s the right decision, then do it.” Nina reassured as I lounged on the sofa across from her, continuing to contemplate my decision. I knew that I’d been thinking about this for a while but had been putting it off just to save myself. But it just wasn’t right any more, I couldn’t carry on lying to him like this. I hummed in response to Nina’s advice, glad that she wasn’t trying to stop me
“I can’t keep lying to him, I just don’t care about him anymore.” I stated matter-of-factly.
“And that’s the only reason…?” Nina responded, raising an eyebrow as I paused to consider my response.
“It’s not the only reason… but I’m still making a decision about the other reason.” My response was cryptic as I attempted to sate her question without giving anything away. I wasn’t ready for that yet.
“Say no more,” She replied, holding her hands up in defense, going back to reading her book as I stood to leave. I paused before I left the common room, turning my head slightly to hear Nina call after me.
“I know you better than you know yourself Mia, and I know your reasons… all of them” She called knowingly over the back of the sofa, “You’re making the right decision.” I replied with a small nod, the common room door closing gently behind me.
I attached my letter to the fluffy tawny owl, taking time to pet her and give her a few treats before sending her on her way to deliver school updates to my parents, taking my time in order to avoid the impending conversation for as long as possible. There was a thick tension in the air, silence shrouding the owlery. As much as I hated this situation I knew I was doing the right thing. I didn’t care for him anymore, those feelings were directed elsewhere and it wasn’t fair to keep him hanging onto a lie.
“That’s it? That’s all you’re going to say?” a pained voice responded from behind me. I took a deep breath in as I turned around to face the boy, admittedly feeling a slight twinge of guilt at the sad look on his face, like a lost puppy. I sighed, shrugging my shoulders as I took a seat.
“There’s nothing else I can say Zach,” I shot him a sympathetic look, doing my best to let him down gently without hurting him too much. “I just don’t feel the same any more, I’m sorry.” He shook his head in response, bowing it to look at the floor. Feeling as though there was nothing more to be said, I stood to leave, taking a few steps towards the door before his words stopped me in my tracks.
“I love you Mia.” His voice sounded hoarse, I glanced back noticing tears threatening to escape his eyes. I didn’t know if he really meant it or not, but either way it didn’t matter anymore. I would never feel the same, I could never be the person that he wanted me to be. I shook my head, forcing myself to look at him, a sad smile on my lips.
“No, you don’t.” My words were left lingering in the air as I turned and walked away
Chapter 4: Detention
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I rolled my eyes as I placed the last few books back into their place on the shelf, finishing up the work we had to do for our detention. Sadly, for my sanity, I’d been stuck in this room with both Weasley twins for the last hour, an unfortunate result of helping the idiots with their most recent prank. Snape hadn’t been best pleased when he’d drunk his morning pumpkin juice only to begin laughing uncontrollably in front of the whole school, confusion and a steadily growing rage clear on his expression as he fought to control his outburst. Of course, he’d instantly jumped to the correct conclusion that it was yet another Weasley prank, but had also put two and two together after he’d bumped into me leaving his potions class a few days earlier. Due to my normally great skills of stealth, I’d been the one sent to retrieve the giggle water from the stockroom, hence my affiliation. Once he’d managed to get his giggling under control, he was more than happy to throw the three of us straight in detention, leading to my current state of displeasure. I allowed myself a glance over at the brothers, who were doing anything other than the tidying we’d been asked to do, leaving me to do it all myself. Unfortunately, my observation of them had managed to catch their attention, causing them to abandon whatever the hell they were doing to come and talk to me. Fabulous.
“Looks like we’re nearly done here then.” George clapped his hands together, admiring the now tidily organised bookcase.
“Yes… thank you so much for all your help.” I responded sarcastically, trying, and failing, to escape them as Fred threw an arm around my shoulder.
“We would apologise for dragging you down with us, but I’d say it’s your lack of stealth to blame for you being here.” I shrugged his arm from my shoulder, shooting my most irritated look his way.
“What’s that look for?” He stared back at me quizzically, smiling as he clearly enjoyed my annoyance.
“I’m sorry. It’s just every time you open your mouth, you seem to get even more annoying. Does it take effort to do that?” I snapped back, turning away from him and beginning to gather up my things to leave.
“That stings Mia. It really does.” He feigned hurt as he clutched his hand to his chest dramatically, eliciting yet another eye roll from myself. I grabbed my bag, as Snape entered the room, quietly excusing us and sending a sharp glare in my direction, a silent warning that I should avoid messing with him in the future. I responded with a small nod of understanding before exiting the classroom, followed closely behind by the twins. The three of us walked together for a few minutes, animated chatter shared between them as I remained silent. I decided to head towards the courtyard, opting to read for a while as the weather was nice. Acknowledging that the twins were still close behind me, I stopped and turned to face them, placing a hand on each of their chests to halt them.
“Don’t you have to be stupid somewhere else…?”
“Not until four.” Fred grinned, throwing an arm around my shoulder once again.
“Remove your hand or I will rip your arm off and beat you to death with it.” I growled, frowning as he tightened his arm, preventing my escape.
“Aw c’mon Mia, we pranked together, we’re basically family now.” He laughed, ruffling my hair as I fought to remove myself from his grip. Finally, he released me, laughing as I attempted to compose myself and tidy my messed-up hair. Taking a step back towards him, I looked up, the height difference seriously limiting my attempt at intimidation.
“Do that again… and I will kill you in your sleep.” I snarled, maintaining eye contact in an attempt to appear more threatening.
“Sneaking into my room at night Mia…? You only need to ask.” He replied with a wink, causing me to groan before turning quickly and marching away from them, keen to place as much distance between us as possible.
“Love you too Mia!” He called out after me as I rounded the corner with a sigh, a smile creeping onto my face for a brief moment before I pushed it back down. I’d honestly never met anyone so intolerable in my life.
Chapter 5: It Evaded Me
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Sounds like you’re having a great summer, I love hearing about your adventures with Duchess. It sounds really nice where you are. It’s been boring here. Mum’s already started knitting new jumpers for Christmas. Although, George and I have come up with some great new prank ideas to try out next year. Perhaps you could help me out with a few, I know you’re just as good as me when it comes to pranking so I always value your opinions. As much as I’ve loved being home, I can’t wait to get back to school. Tormenting teachers is what keeps me sane. And then I get to see you, which is always a pleasure. Anyway, hope to hear from you soon, if Errol doesn’t crash on his way here again, bloody bird.
Love Fred x
Our letters had been going back and forth all summer, unknown to my parents due to the fact I had told them it was Nina who was writing to me. Even Nina hadn’t yet been informed of my communications with the Weasley twin, part of me dreading the imminent lecture she was bound to give me once she knew. I felt a familiar anxiety rise in me at the thought of replying, uncertain of what I should write, not wanting to make things awkward or say something embarrassing. Yeah I was definitely overthinking this. I dropped the letter onto the desk before sliding backwards on my chair and turning to assess the damage that littered my bedroom floor. A small chuckle accompanied a grin as I noticed Errol perched on the corner of my bed, glancing around innocently in an attempt to avoid punishment for the mess he’d made. An overturned vase spilled a small puddle of water onto the plush carpet, the pale pink peonies petals crushed against the floor underneath. I ran my hands through my hair in exasperation, deciding to get the response writing out of the way and ignore the mess that covered the floor for the moment. Why was I even getting so worked up about this, it was just Fred. I flicked through the letter once more, taking in the words with closer attention. This letter was different to the ones before. I had to double check, but he had definitely written “Love Fred”, and he had said it was a pleasure to see me. It was absolutely possible that I was overthinking this and that he was just being polite. Or maybe he had written it by accident and didn’t think it would matter because he just sees me as a friend. No, that didn’t seem like something he would do, he would have changed it to avoid confusion. Maybe he did like me… How had it evaded me for so long? I barely suppressed a grin at the realization that it was certainly possible that Fred Weasley shared the same feelings for me as I did for him. Hiding the letter away with the rest, I pulled out a parchment and quill and excitedly began to compose my response.