Chapter 7: Traumatizing Christmas Tradition
I’m sick of oatmeal for breakfast. I’m tired of Malfoy looking at me like he know my entire life story. I’m also tired of the pitying looks my friends are giving me because they know I’ve been pissed off for over a week. Lastly, I hate how owl post is so slow. One day they are going to invent an instant way of delivering letters and I’m going to sign up for it right away.
These were my thoughts as I wandered down to breakfast that morning. I almost didn’t hear McGonagall calling my name as I walked further and further away from her. I was too busy being as pessimistic as possible.
“Miss Springer will you stop walking for a moment please and step into my office for a quick talk.”
I looked at her confused, I hadn’t done anything wrong had I? Besides a bit of hexing in the corridors before the Quidditch match but I was sure no teachers saw me. She couldn’t get me in trouble, lots of other people were doing it too. I thought about pretending that I still couldn’t hear her but she caught my eye. Darn that evil glare of hers. I cautiously went towards her office.
Quick talk my ass.
“Where’ve you been?” Amy asked as I sat down, everyone else was already here and were looking a less scared that I was going to blow up for once. I looked down at my bowl and saw why. A letter was sitting beside it. My reply had finally come. I may have gotten a bit short with people while waiting for it. That is to say I may have yelled a lot and undeservedly insulted people.
I picked it up slowly, ignoring the conspicuous glances at me. Even though I had been anticipating this letter for so long I knew now wasn’t that time to read it. To everyone’s surprise I grudgingly put it into my bag. Then I turned to my best friend to answer her question.
“McGonagall wanted to talk to me about my recent behaviour changes.”
“Behaviour changes? You don’t seem much different” Peter commented.
I rolled my eyes “She thinks that, and I quote that new external influences are around me these days and I’m starting to act irrationally”
“So in other words, hanging around with us is slowly corrupting you and causing you to attack pretty girls” Sirius translated. Pretty? Kimberly? I looked over at her. I guess if you go for the whole super model perfect thing. I quickly looked back at Sirius to continue our conversation.
“Pretty much” I sighed “I was such a shy innocent girl who was eager to please and now look at me, you guys totally spun me out of control”
“More like McGonagall hasn’t noticed the crazy in you before” Amy bravely stated. I considered continuing being bitchy to people who didn’t deserve it but instead I gave her an encouraging chuckle. I could feel the built up tension dissolve around me and all of a sudden everything seemed back to normal.
“We’ll she’ll forget all about how terrible you’ve become when she’s distracted this month.” James announced causing us to look at the guys curiously.
“Ah yes, I forgot tomorrow marked the start of the second week of December” Remus said.
“What’s so special that will have her distracted this month?” I inquired.
Sirius looked at me eyes wide.
“Don’t tell me you two are so out of the loop you don’t know about our tradition of Christmas pranking until the last week before break?” He asked while he and the others mocked shock.
He tilted his head towards Lily as she joined us “Even Lils here knows about our annual pranks, she spends enough time telling us off for it.”
She scowled at him “You need to grow up if you are still considering performing cruel jokes on innocent people again this year.”
“I think it sounds fun, we should join in Lily, with our brains we could get people good.” Amy said encouragingly and I snorted. They looked at me with raised eyebrows.
“Well I’m not saying you guys are stupid, I just think you two aren’t really joke pulling kinda people and would probably lack the ability to pull off a really funny prank with out backing out at the last second” I said defending my snort.
Bad idea, I awakened the competitiveness streak in both of them. Unfortunately I was oblivious to the fact I had inadvertently declared war.
Lily looked at me “It is so on” she declared.
Beside me, James looked relieved that now he would be able to participate in his little prank fest without Lily getting angry at him.
I gave them a teasing grin and excused myself and went early to my first class so I could read my letter.
Paige, hun I understand you are still confused and upset over your mother’s return but she seems to be sincere about re-establishing a bond with you. I know it is difficult and it will take some getting used to but this Christmas we will have lots of time to reconnect and be together. I truly believe your mother was in a hard place and made a regretful decision because of pressure from her family and our difficult lie. I assure you that what that boy was telling you was just to cause trouble, your mother has no ulterior motive for returning. She is trying to make things right again and I only ask you give her the chance to do so. Keep up your studies and I hope not to hear about anymore trouble from your teachers.
Love your father
My poor naďve Dad, he can always believe the best of people. Maybe he’s right, I don’t know. But how can I learn to trust in someone I barely even know.
Remus sat down next to me as I went over that letter.
“I think you have awaken the rebel in Lily, her and Amy spent the rest of breakfast discussing how they could get you” he told me.
“I notice you haven’t mentioned me awakening anything in Amy” I noted without a hint of subtlety.
“Well she always had that rebel part out there, she doesn’t really try to hide it.” he stated.
“And you like that”
He coughed, embarrassed at my forward remark. I leaned my head on my hand and hid a grin. I was enjoying this.
After a bit of silence I saw his eyes move to my letter, which I covered. Then he got that concerned look on his face.
“You better now?” he asked.
I gave him my best everything-is-cool face and said “I’m just dandy, now lets crack these runes”
I should have anticipated this. I woke up the next morning and my two female friends were already up with big smiles on their faces. I shrugged it off and got ready but when I came out of the bathroom they were still there with their big smiles.
“Are you guys coming down or are you going to continue practicing for your toothpaste commercial audition?” I asked them exasperatedly.
“You go on, we just have to discuss something” Lily said sweetly, a little too sweetly now that I recall. Of course I was still acting as dumb as a bag of hammers and turned to leave without any suspicion on my mind. On my way out I thought I heard a low whisper but I ignored it and didn’t realize that they were following me at a distance.
The first thing that happened to me when I was walking down the stair was a bunch of boys who looked to be in their 4th or 5th year started whispering and looking over in my direction. I stopped momentarily confused and finally one was nudged forward towards me.
He smiled kind of sheepishly and got up on his toes and pecked me on the cheek before going back to his friends.
What the hell!?
I started walking backwards and ran into some guy I recognized who was on the Gryffindor team. He looked at me and smiled then to my surprise said:
“I have a girlfriend, but I can’t get in the way of a Christmas custom, so just a peck” and leaned down and kissed me quickly on the forehead before strolling off.
I was extremely confused and frightened and quickly made sure there wasn’t a “kick me” sign on my back that everyone was reading wrong.
I made it down the stairs determined to react before the next idiot tried to smooch these lips when I heard a voice
“Well you are sorta cute for a half blood so I’ll go with the flow” and before I could do anything I was being spun around as someone planted a kiss on my LIPS!
I struggled and smacked whoever did it. That’s how frazzled I was, I slapped instead of punched.
I was looking at a now ticked off Slytherin 7th year and I thanked the gods it wasn’t Malfoy. It didn’t make it any less traumatizing though.
And then to make matters so much better, my old pal Kimberly and the gals of our dorm started coming my way.
“A little desperate aren’t you?” she sneered as she passed me. Whew, I was worried she would try to kiss me too. The Slytherin gave my nasty look mumbled something and stormed away.
I was almost to the great hall when I saw another courageous young student coming toward me with a familiar look in his eye. I stopped in my place and this time I took action.
“NEXT PERSON WHO DARES TO PUT THEIR MOUTH ON ME GETS IT CUT OFF” I bellowed. I was hoping my voice would travel through the school.
As soon as I said it I sensed someone behind me. I turned around and was facing Black, who had been standing behind me for some reason and he suddenly went a light shade of pink. Oh god he hadn’t been planning to try something, had he?
He recovered and looked like his normal self and I figured if he was just embarrassed about my outburst.
Then I heard the laughter and it suddenly became clear.
“YOU LITTLE……..” and a bunch of nice fluffy adjectives flew out of my mouth as I stomped towards Lily and Amy, who were trying not to fall down from laughing so hard.
“Oh….my…..you…should have seen yourself when that Slytherin kissed you” Amy managed to say as tears went down her eyes.
“What did you do?” I practically screamed at them and was answered by two fingers pointing above me. I looked up and there, floating about a foot from the top of my head was a giant mistletoe. I grumbled and took out my wand.
“Incendio “ I said lazily setting it on fire but to my horror and my friend’s delight, it just became a flaming mistletoe that didn’t burn away. This was all I needed.
“What did you do?” I asked again. I figured it had only been a simple hover charm but I had forgotten Lily was a master in charms she probably figured I would try something like that.
“Relax, I just did that in case you discovered it before anything funny happened” Lily told me. She pointed her wand at it and simply said “Evanesco” and it vanished.
“I’ve learned my lesson in underestimating you” I told them, “but it is so on.”
We entered the Great hall and were met with roaring laughter. I looked up again paranoid but nothing was there and then I realized the laughs weren’t directed at us, but at the Slytherin table. Malfoy, Snape and a bunch of others were sporting goldi-lockish curls complete with rosy cheeks and long dark eyelashes. I grinned at Sirius and he smiled back.
“Must be using a new kind of shampoo” He said calmly and gave James a high five as we sat down.
Amy fingered her hair “I’d kill for those gorgeous locks” she said seriously.
The next day Lily and Amy spent the entire day with red noses. And trust me, when I say red noses I don’t mean it looked like they had a bit of a cold. I mean they had bright red Rudolph glowing noses that they couldn’t undo. Unfortunately I didn’t know how to reverse the spell either, but it slowly wore off over the course of the next week.
They were well compensated though when I started spontaneously singing Christmas carols everywhere. Including during class. McGonagall’s class. In the middle of her lecture. It was Little Drummer Boy if anyone cares. I was beyond mortified and received my second ever detention for my “cheek”. I couldn’t tell her that it was a spell because Sirius kindly put a silencing spell on me to put my out of my misery after my millionth pa rum pum pum pum. Or it may have been to put everyone else’s ears out of their misery.
“Are you sure its over?” I whined at breakfast the next morning. They told me it was only for 48 hours but I was mistrustful.
Lily sighed “yes I told you the book said….“
We were interrupted as a bunch of girls started screaming when the holly that decorated the tables started turning into mice. I watched one scamper by my oatmeal and hit James, who was the closest male, in the arm.
“Thanks a lot now I’ve lost my appetite” I snarled at the guys and James rubbed his sore arm.
My mood lifted as Kimberly began shrieking because a mouse had run into her lap. As I watched her dancing around mad and terrified I got a dopey smile on my face and hugged James who flinched because he thought I was going to attack him again.
“I love you guys” I gushed.
Sirius sighed “And that was the last of our Christmas pranks, it always depresses me when the last week arrives, but we have to let everyone have some time to enjoy school before the holidays”
“How considerate” Lily said sarcastically. “Glad you have a conscience after raising hell for the school this year, it was worse then all the other years.”
James chuckled “We wanted to impress Amy and Paige this year since we failed to get them to notice all those other years.”
“Well you did” Amy confirmed “I’m never going to get the image of Dumbledore with antlers out of my head”
“So what is everyone’s plans for the break?” Lily asked, obviously trying to change the subject.
Amy slumped in her seat, put her head on the table and loudly groaned before answering “Going on brilliantly exciting holiday dinners with my family as we enjoy the company of snobby rich wizards.”
Being forced to bond with an absentee mother I thought but answered “Watching cheesy Christmas specials on TV while getting fat by eating lots of turkey and yams.”
“What’s TV?” James asked.
“Spending it at James place because an empty pad during Christmas is very depressing” Sirius answered briskly.
Remus dug into his oatmeal without answering.
“What’s a cheesy Christmas special?” James asked.
“I’m spending it at my grandmothers” Peter said while making a face.
“Answer me what’s TV???!!!!” James asked loudly.
“It bad and turns young minds into mush if they watch it all the time like she does” Lily answered.
“Oh” said James
“Hey” said me.
“Hey!” said Amy while raising her head quickly. but she said it like she had come up with an idea, not like she’d just been insulted. We looked at her expectantly.
“What?” I finally asked.
“Sirius has an empty flat” she told us triumphantly.
Our faces probably all said “Yes, and……”
“Honestly you guys are so thick, Black is the most popular guy in school, he is totally throwing the most awesome raging new years party”
“Since when do you and I go to raging parties?” (me)
“Since when has it ever seemed like I would enjoy a raging party” (Lily)
“Since when has it ever seemed like I
would enjoy a raging party” (Remus)
“Since when do you decide when I throw raging parties?” (Sirius)
“Since I said so and I wanted to have some fun and it will probably be the only time I can see you guys over break and I will make sure this happens whether you all like it or not and if you don’t do it than you are a bunch of big bores.” (Amy)
Author time: okay, okay I did the whole new year party thing. I promise it won’t be lame. Its more of a useful setting for a whole story related thing. On the bright side aren’t you guys proud I got this chapter out so fast?
More happy news (I hope) I’ve begun a new story, a story involving the Weasley twins because DAMMIT I love those boys. I wish my new character could be a version of me but “sigh” I’m not that kind of writer. Unfortunately every time I say my new person’s name I have to type _______. so if any nice people want to suggest a name, that would be cool. I like Gretchen or Morgan so far.