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Chapter 3 : Welcome to Hogwarts
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I walked down to the Great Hall. Every year, without fail, I was always surprised by the splendor of Hogwarts. The Opening Day feast was one of the best times of the year. Halloween too, but the Sorting Ceremony was so much fun.
I settled down in an empty spot between groups of friends talking animatedly. After the sorting, Dumbledore stood.
"As always, welcome to and back to Hogwarts. Let me remind you, once again, that the list of outlawed paraphernalia is posted outside our caretaker, Mr. Filch,'s office. There are several additions that I urge you to take note of. And, for those of you whom do not know, the Forbidden Forest still maintains its name for obvious reasons. Your supper, however, is not off limits. Tuck in!"
I rolled my eyes. Dumbledore always made some lame joke before letting the students eat. But my mild annoyance was forgotten when the feast was laid out before me and I nearly salivated.
"House elves blow my mind," I said to myself, not really intending on saying it aloud.
"Only house elves? Aw, I could blow your mind," came a suggestive voice behind me.
I jumped nearly a foot in the air. I turned to watch Sirius Black slide in the seat next to me gracefully. I was so surprised I couldn't speak. The most notoriously girl-crazy Marauder was sitting next to me. He was handsomest too: shaggy dark hair brushing twin pristinely grey eyes. Only problem was, everyone knew how good looking he was- especially him. I had heard a rumor that he once dated four girls at once.
He draped an arm around my shoulders, like it was the most natural thing in the world for him to be a) sitting near me and b) touching me. He hadn't even noticed me when he was dating my sister. My face burned hotter. Why was he sitting next to me? Why, for the love of God, was he touching me? His arm felt like it was burning through my shoulder, like acid.
"You're familiar looking, have I dated you?"
I was certain my face was incapable of becoming any redder. "N-no," I stammered.
Sirius smiled cheekily. "My mistake then." He leaned close and I didn't move. My eyes were glued to his approaching face. "Want to change that?" he whispered, close to my ear.
Tingles shot up my spine at the same time that shivers shot down it. I was incapable of speech. Years ago, I had had a crush on Sirius, but during that little crush, Farrah had started dating him. It took me four months to get over him, but I guess I never did because even now there were butterflies in my stomach when I saw him. I never dreamed that he would actually talk to me, none the less flirt with me.
James saved me. "Oi, Padfoot! Leave Lore alone and come eat something."
I closed my eyes and offered a prayer for James. May he live long and well. Because, as much as I really wanted to be around Sirius, he made me more nervous than anyone else. I really, really didn't want to make a fool of myself in front of him.
"Bye," Sirius smiled lazily and suddenly the weight was lifted from my shoulders (actually, not like in the saying). I shot a furtive glance at James, who winked at me.
All this attention was making me more nervous and jumpy than usual, so I cut out of dinner early. The year was already getting better though. Sirius Black had flirted, and both Lily Evans and James Potter had been kind to me.
Maybe it was finally my turn to be just Lorelei. Not, "Farrah's sister Lorelei" or even just, "Farrah's little sister... what was your name?"
A thought hit me. Maybe the reason people had suddenly noticed me wasn't because I was shining, it was because they missed Farrah. I was the last connection people at Hogwarts, younger friends she had made, had to Farrah. I was a tie between them and her.
So I trudged back to my room in a dampened mood. My stomach grumbled at me and I regretted my sudden bolt from the Great Hall. I turned back around. Maybe they were still serving.
When I reached the bottom of the stairs, I heard voices. Lots of voices. So I figured Dinner was over, and I turned to go back to my room. No use in going all the way to the Great Hall if there wasn't any food.
"Lore!" It was a female voice. I pretended I didn't hear it and kept walking upstairs.
"Lorelei White!" the voice persisted.
Slowly, I turned and saw none other than Lily Evans. "Sorry," I blushed. "I didn't hear you," I lied.
"What did she say, Lils?" asked another girl loudly from the couch. It was Lily's best friend, Gretchen.
Lily giggled and turned back to Gretchen. "She didn't hear me, can you imagine? I was practically shouting!" Lily giggled.
Lily obviously found my lie hard to believe, but thought me incapable of lying. The thought made me want to confess. I had lied! I shifted uncomfortably.
"Sorry," I apologized softly again.
"Don't worry about it. I just wanted to ask you if you were all right," Lily said, looking concerned.
I smiled a bit and nodded. Lily was concerned for my welfare? She wouldn't be concerned about me now if she had only been nice to me on the train because of Farrah. Maybe Lily actually did like me. All I knew was that the more I was around Lily, the more I liked her.
"Why?" I asked softly.
"I saw you bolt after that moron Black sat next to you. He didn't bother you, did he?" Lily asked.
My eyes widened. Lily really was concerned! I shook my head fervently, looking down. "He was just being Sirius."
"Are you sure? Because I would be more than happy to give him detention for sexual harassment," Lily continued happily, eliciting an unexpected laugh from me.
I covered my mouth with my hand. How long had it been since I had laughed with someone other than my family?
"Sexual harassment? Who, what, where, when, why?" Sirius drawled from the couch.
I jumped. When had he arrived? How did he and the rest of the Marauders move so silently? Because, sure enough, the rest of them were finding comfortable positions on the couches, and chairs in the Common Room.
"As a matter of fact, it concerns you," Lily sniffed at him. "I was just making sure you hadn't emotionally scarred poor Lorelei here."
Was it just me, or did Lily like Sirius even less than she liked James?
"Of course I didn't scar her," Sirius stood and walked over to us. I backed up a little- the proximity to Sirius was making me nervous.
"She didn't even eat!" Lily persisted
"Of course she ate! Why would I have scared her off? She's a big girl, Evans. Maybe you should let her fend for herself," Sirius turned to me and winked.
I froze, but my heart started beating wildly. I swallowed, and watched Lily and Sirius yell at each other. I didn't even think the rift was even about my anymore. More of an excuse for Lily to yell at Sirius. Well, I couldn't blame Lily. Sirius was an infuriating boy. Handsome, but infuriating.
"Maybe she needs me to because she's too polite to tell you to sod off!"
"Maybe you should let Lorelei talk for herself," Peter Pettigrew intervened, bored.
Lily looked at him, outraged. I saw that she was about to say something to him, but thought better of it. After all, they had been arguing about something that, truly, only I knew the answer to.
"Well?" she asked kindly.
I felt all eyes turn to me and I felt myself blush and heard myself stammer, "Um... ah..." I felt like I was on a stage with all of London watching me, waiting for me to make a complete git out of myself. "I have to go." I said quickly and shot up the stairs. All I had wanted was some food!
I threw myself on my bed, thrilled that I was finally out of the spotlight. Though my stomach was still grumbling, there had been other times that I had slept on an empty stomach. Loads of times.
I looked up from my pillow. "Yes?" I asked.
Lily sat down at the foot of my bed. "I'm sorry about before. I didn't realize I was putting you on the spot. I just get so mad at them!"
"The Marauders?" I asked softly, sitting upright to face her.
Lily nodded grimly. "Remus is nice, but he's the only one. Peter's not bad, but only because he doesn't say much. But Sirius and James! They're bullies and arrogant pricks!" she looked away angrily.
I bit my lip. I agreed with Lily mostly, but it wasn't in my nature to say anything like that aloud. "They're just teenage boys," I said, looking down at my covers.
Lily sighed. "I know. I just wish they wouldn't bother me. Or you," she added.
I shrugged. As long as I could run away to avoid stuff like that, it wasn't too terribly bothersome. Boys will be boys.
"All right, well… I just wanted you to know I was sorry. Good night, Lorelei."
I smiled. "Good night."
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