Chapter 4 : Drama in Paradise
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Chapter Four: Drama in Paradise
Jacob had been acting grumpy around Joe for weeks but he hadn’t said anything yet, and Joe was reluctant to stir up problems now when everything was going so well for once (she deserved that after such a rocky summer, right?). He had been acting so friendly when she first met him and Sicily in the Great Hall so Joe was a bit puzzled by his manner. Then when Joe and the guys came home from that first Hogsmeade weekend, everything just flipped. Mr. Teenywobbles had been in the bookcase, Peter asleep in the dorm, and Remus, James, Sirius and Joe had been copying each other’s homework in the common room (or rather, Sirius, James and Joe had been copying Remus’). Suddenly the portrait opened with a bang and Jacob stormed in. The whole common room looked up in surprise; Jacob lost his temper rarely, if ever.
“Where is that bloody bastard?!” He shouted angrily at no one in particular. Only Jacob’s harsh breathing could be heard.
“Who…?” Someone dared asking.
“ANDERSSON OF COURSE!” Jacob yelled loudly making everybody jump and swivel around to stare at Joe.
“Me?!” A wide eyed Joe squeaked in a very embarrassing high pitched tone. No one seemed to care about that at the moment though.
“Yes YOU!” Jacob yelled and stalked up to the table the Marauders and Joe had occupied. Joe stood up to feel a bit more at level with the angry boy. “YOU. SNOGGED. SICILY. YOU. BASTARD!!”
“I did no—wait what does snogged mean?” It might not have been the smartest thing to say because while it sure amused the rest of the common room it only made Jacob even angrier than he already was. That absolutely hadn’t been Joe’s intention; she truly did not know what “snogged” meant. Jacob’s face flushed in anger. Joe looked at Remus for help, as he was the most level headed of her friends, but even he was holding back sniggers. She glanced over at James and mouthed “snogged?!” to which he started making kissy-faces, with tongue and all. Joe frowned. Remus started guffawing. Joe glanced back at Jacob again only to see a fist speeding towards her chin. She had no time to dodge or even think before she felt the fist connect and she stumbled into the table. Shocked gasps came from all over the room. Stars were dancing in front of Joe’s eyes as she fought to refrain from letting tears spill from her eyes. You’re a big tough man; you’re a big tough man… Joe drew a shaky breath and let out a string of Swedish swearwords. Ahh, Swedish, such a colourful language. Too bad Jacob didn’t understand it. Joe rounded on an unsuspecting Jacob. The common room held its breath.
“What the HELL was that good for!” She shouted. “You can’t just go around punching people—“ she started scandalised, before cutting off and collecting herself. “I have never snogged your girlfriend, whatever that means, because I haven’t even touched her and barely talk to her ever!” Jacob’s eyes flashed.
“Don’t you lie to me, you squash faced bastard! I SAW you flirting with her at the Three Broomsticks!” Joe scoffed.
“Anyone who saw everything that happened knows that she came onto me!” Jacob, fuming, drew back his fist to punch Joe once again. Joe’s friends sprang up from the table, but they would never be quick enough to prevent Jacob. Joe was prepared to dodge this time, and maybe even punch back, but she was immensely thankful all the same when Mr. Teenywobbles decided to take action. Suddenly he dropped out of nowhere and landed on top of Jacob’s head in an angry outburst of screeches and sharp teeth and claws. Jacob had bumped his elbow into the bookcase when he drew back his fist and had apparently awakened a certain grumpy cat from his nap.
“Ehh…” Joe muttered with wide eyes before shaking her head incredulously. She didn’t try to pull her cat off of Jacob, though. After a minute or two Jacob managed to wrench the cat off of him and sprinted quickly towards his dorm. Joe shook her head once again and touched her sore chin gently.
“Is this much drama common at Hogwarts?” She asked no one in particular. Sirius walked over to her and slung an arm around her shoulders.
“Only the seventh years,” he explained as he steered the still mildly shocked Joe back to the table. “Something happens during the summer between sixth and seventh year,” he said darkly “and when the new seventh years come back to school again they’re all hormone driven drama-magnets.” Joe looked at him disbelievingly with raised eyebrows. Sirius just sent her a crooked grin that would’ve made any girl swoon.
Joe couldn’t sleep. She didn’t really know why, but she just couldn’t. She flipped onto her other side. In the darkness she stared at the curtains of her four-poster. She positioned herself on her stomach and flipped onto her back. Finally she gave up and sat on the edge of her bed not really knowing what to do. Maybe she should become inspired by James and Sirius and pull off a prank now when no one was around… Her eyes studied her dorm while lots of suggestions whirled through her head. She didn’t feel quite like herself. All thoughts suddenly disappeared when she happened to lay her eyes on her trunk. She felt a strange urge to move over to her trunk. She did so and opened it. She hadn’t known why she did so, but suddenly her reasons were clear to herself. The ring. She quickly riffled through the trunk and found it where she knew she had hidden it. She held it in front of her face and studied it. Her trophy, Voldemort’s ring. She felt that strange urge again, telling her to put it on. She frowned. No, she would never want to wear something of Voldemort’s. She didn’t even know why she had kept it. The two urges battled in her mind for awhile before the stronger won and she quickly put it back into her trunk without trying it on. She slammed the trunk shut forcefully. Peter snorted slightly in his sleep, but no one awakened. Joe let out a shaky breath and stared unseeing at the trunk in front of her. What the hell had happened? Her thoughts only whirled incomprehensibly in her head so she shook her head and decided to try to sleep again. Ten minutes after she had climbed into bed she was sound asleep.
“Professor, I swear it wasn’t my fault! None of the times!” Joe was almost whining by now. She’d been in McGonagall’s office for the last half hour getting scolded for ending up in yet another fight. And quidditch tryouts started in less than fifteen minutes. McGonagall had let Jacob go twenty minutes ago, but not without scolding him thoroughly, giving him detention and taking points. Now she was telling Joe how disappointed she was in her for ending up in no less than two fights since coming to Hogwarts. McGonagall gave a defeated sigh and shook her head.
“What can I expect when she befriends those boys..?” She muttered to herself. Joe blinked in surprise. Well, maybe she shouldn’t have been so surprised, with all the pranks James and Sirius had pulled. The one with the flying chocolate frogs had been an especially funny one… Back on track, McGonagall focused on Joe once again.
“I suppose you are dismissed, Miss Värnström.” Joe blinked once in surprise, and then once again. She’d called her by her real name. Joe shook herself after a couple of seconds and nodded and turned to leave. “And I don’t want to see you in anymore fights, do you understand me Johanna? Don’t let those boys pull you into one either.” Joe nodded shortly.
“Yes, Professor.” She said and then left. When she finally came down to the quidditch pitch James shouted happily and waved her over.
“Almost didn’t think you’d make it.” Joe shrugged.
“Ran into McGonagall and she shouted at me for half an hour.” She explained with a small scowl. James grimaced in sympathy.
“Tough luck, mate. But now that you’re here, go grab a broom and line up with the others.” Joe made a mock salute and walked off. One and a half hours later she found that while she was a quick flyer, she hadn’t the type of coordination needed of a Seeker to pull off all those feints and tricks. And while she had only been a reserve Beater last time she played James was confident that she had good potential. It didn’t hurt either that now when she had been chosen her fellow Beater would be Sirius, someone she knew well and could easily cooperate with. (And besides, she was much stronger as a boy than when she’d last played reserve beater as a girl). Joe was sure there was going to be some angry mutters about James choosing his friend for the beater position, but frankly, Joe didn’t care that much.
Sure enough, only minutes after the tryout people were already sending her disapproving glances, and not an hour later someone actually came up to her and accused James of being partial in his choice. That someone being Jacob. A Jacob with scratches all over his face. As amusing as that sight was, Joe had had enough of him to last her a life time already and responded with a short temper.
“What’s your problem Jacob?” She groaned irritably “Don’t you have someone else to bother? Say, Sicily for example?” Jacob narrowed his eyes but didn’t explode as he had done the previous night. That was more like the Jacob with the calm manner that Joe had seen before this whole Sicily affair.
“Leave her out of this,” Jacob said through clenched teeth. “This is about you and Potter!” He spat. “You think you’re so high and mighty! You think that you can get into the “popular” crowd, get any girl you want, weasel your way into the quidditch team… Well guess what, Andersson, we all know you’re nothing but someone Potter and his gang has taken pity on.” For once Joe’s temper didn’t rise. Right at that moment she felt more irritated and fed up with Jacob, his speech had sounded so pathetically over-dramatic. Like a bloody girl. She rubbed her cheek and glanced from side to side to see how many were listening in.
“Look, James has taken pity on no one. We made friends, so what? We live in the same dorm. And he chose me as a Beater because he felt I was the best; though luck if you wanted the spot. Can I go now?” She said the last part slightly mockingly with a hint of a sneer. Eh, what the hell, she couldn’t help but being a bit provoking.
“It is pretty obvious that Potter chose you because you’re his friend,” Jacob scowled.
“Whatever Jacob,” Joe said grumpily. As if annoying ovulation pains wasn’t enough to bug her today, a nice little row had to come and brighten her day. She stomped off moodily.
When Joe reached the first landing of the stairway leading to the dorms she found a small crowd that had been listening in on her little quarrel, consisting of James and Sirius. Remus and Peter were studying in the library, Joe remembered. She stopped for a moment
“God, I’m such a drama-queen.” She mumbled with a grimace. She always became so touchy around ovulation day – the pain in her back made her more irritable than usual. She could practically hear the grins that lit up twins-trouble’s faces, and she did hear their following snickers.
“Yeah, that was sure something.” Sirius agreed. “It was quite refreshing to hear someone chew ‘dem haterzz out for once.” he laughed. Joe grinned lopsidedly, something she’d picked up from Sirius.
“Well, Jacob way more of a drama queen than I was, I’d like to think!” She said in defence. “He was basically going on like a girl; like you’re so false Andersson! Well guess what, Andersson, we can all see through your false façade! You’re nothing but a fake!” She mimicked in a girly voice and that set all three off. Suddenly Remus appeared below them on the staircase, Peter following him.
“I heard something about—what’s going on? Wasn’t there a fight?” Remus stopped bewildered when he saw his three friends laughing their heads off. Sirius nodded and tried to compose himself.
“Ye—es, but it was so, hi—ilarious!” He hiccoughed, and then started laughing again to Remus’ frustration. When the three had finally calmed down a bit and managed to explain everything to Remus and Peter, Remus frowned.
“That wasn’t funny.” He said with knitted eyebrows.
“Oh but you should’ve heard it!” Sirius exclaimed and gestured wildly. “So touching!” Joe and James exchanged glances and snorted with laughter.
“But seriously, you Brits are far too dramatic.” Joe said with a smile and shook her head. “I mean, they’ve picked fights with me three times already! Three! It’s ridiculous! And not only shouting either, twice they’ve been physical!”
“You’re fresh meat,” James grinned, wiggling his eyebrows as he often did. “They see you as competition, but soon enough they’ll accept that you’re higher up in the chain of nourishment. The chicks certainly already know, don’t they, eh, Joe?” He reached over and punched Joe’s arm playfully. Joe only gave him a weirded out expression.
“…Chain of nourishment…” She muttered to herself and leaned away slightly from James… making Sirius burst out laughing. Again. She shook her head with a grin and pulled her sweater over her head.
“Whatever, guys, I still need to shower after the tryouts.” She announced.
James was whining at Sirius for making fun of his expressions as she undressed. Peter lost interest in the conversation and dug through his trunk. Remus was… staring at her intently and licking his lips? Joe started and glanced at her chest. No, definitely still a bloke. As she pulled off her trousers Remus eyes seemed to scan her legs before lingering on her chest again. Joe frowned. Suddenly Remus seemed to shake himself out of his stupor and quickly turned away. Joe pretended to not have noticed (both his predatory stare and his subsequent blush) as she picked up her towel and shampoo and headed towards the showers.
A horrible screeching sound awakened the whole of Gryffindor tower at three in the morning. Joe blinked a few times bewildered before peeking out through the drapes of her four-poster. All four boys, even Peter, were already stumbling out of bed looking uncharacteristically awake.
“Quoi—“ Joe started tiredly before stopping herself and blinking a few times. English. Right.
“Wuzz goin’ on?” She slurred and yawned hugely. Sirius looked very grim when he strode over to Joe’s bed and forcefully dragged her out of it.
“Emergency alarm.” He said shortly. Joe suddenly felt slightly more awake and followed the boys, without Sirius dragging her, when they hurried down to the common room. When they reached the end of the stairs James took up his job as Head Boy and pushed his way through the crowd of anxious boys and over to McGonagall. Evans was also there, surprisingly, and outside the open portrait hole Joe could see a crowd of girls in night gowns. For once James paid Evans no attention and instead focused completely on McGonagall. Joe let her eyes roam over the room. It was jam packed but oddly enough it wasn’t that loud. Everyone spoke in hushed whispers. Joe shivered slightly in the chill air of the castle and rubbed her arm. She cursed herself for not wearing a shirt, but it wasn’t as if she’d known this was going to happen. And not wearing a shirt when asleep was so cosy. She wanted to take advantage of that for as long as she could. Too bad that group of girls with unnaturally fast blinking reflexes were eyeing her hungrily through the portrait hole. Ew. Joe yawned and elbowed Sirius.
“Has this happened before?” Sirius nodded once still with that dark expression.
“Once in fourth year, and once last year.” He said. “Both times Death Eaters attacked, but they never breached the wards.” He added under his breath as to not let the nearby group of younger students hear. Joe felt a chill run down her spine. Had they found her?! Alright, not the right time to panic. Deep breaths. It might even be another sort of emergency. As if, her inner voice said. Damn. She thought it had gone away. Still, she knew it was right. Voldemort had been a real threat for seven years now.
“Attention everyone!” McGonagall’s voice silenced the whole room. “You will shortly be escorted to the Great Hall by your Head Girl. The Head Boy, Madam Pince and Mr Hagrid will escort the other Houses. Please keep your wand ready at all times.” With that she left the room in a hurry. James was already gone. Crappity crap. Now Joe was sure there really were Death Eaters around. As if I didn’t know that already. Shut. Up.
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