Chapter 2 : A Name that Flows
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Ricky Montgomery was walking down to the Great Hall alone. It was a Saturday, and none of the other girls in the third year dorm were willing to leave the warm common room. As she pulls her sweatshirt tighter, the third year completely understands why, but she wasn’t going to go without lunch just because of drafty corridors.
“And there be Ricky, the BANE of my existence!” A voice says from behind her.
“Kinda catchy. Best he’s come up with all week.” She says under her breath, and keeps walking.
“Hey, Ricky! Did you know that you were the bane of my existence?” Sirius says, running to get in front of her.
“Hm. Just learn it did you?” She says, walking around him. Get food; go back to warm common room!
“Maybe. But it doesn’t matter. It’s a smart word because Remus said it. Isn’t that right Remus!?”
Before he could say anything else, Ricky smiled politely and walked into the Great Hall.
I will admit, here and nowhere else, that I, Renee ‘Ricky’ Mirickale Bane, have a slight crush on one Remus Lupin. And I only admit this for your understanding. You see, that summer, the summer after third year, was the summer that I became Ricky Bane.
That was the summer that I started to make concert dates, and put melodies and music to the lyrics I wrote when I wasn’t paying attention in class. I was 14, and I was going to be famous, I knew it.
I worked at a restaurant. A muggle restaurant, to be exact. I washed dishes, bussed tables, blah, blah, blah. My mother had died in a car accident the year before, she was a muggle, and had co-owned a restaurant. I needed extra cash to use on Hogsmeade visits, so I worked as much as I could at that little restaurant.
It had been a particularly busy two hours at the restaurant, so I didn’t think anything of it when the frazzled waitress stuck her head in and yelled, “Renee? Could you set a table for me? Only I have an order to take at another table, and none of the other tables are clear.”
“Of course!” I smiled, there was nothing else for me to do anyway, like she had said, none of the other tables were clear.
I walked over to the table, asked how many settings, they needed, and rushed over to the waitress station, grabbing out all that I needed. I did all of this with either my head down, or not quite looking at them, a nervous reaction I never fully understood. It was only as I walked back over toward the table that I realized I recognized the occupants, but I couldn’t place where, they weren’t looking at me.
There were five people at the table, the parents sat on one side, the one with their backs to me, and three kids sat on the other side, facing me. Not that any of them were looking at me, at that moment, they were talking to the adults at the table. I walked up, head down slightly so that I didn’t actually have to talk to any of them.
“Renee?” Amanda, the waitress, calls from the other side of the room, “when your done could you possibly help clear?”
I looked up at my name, and all three boys recognized me instantly, a fact I didn’t notice until after I’d answered, “Of course, just one second!”
“Busy day?” One of the adults, the woman, asked me conversationally.
I turned on a smile, still unaware that the boys knew who I was, “yeah, but it gives me something to do.”
“So Ricky, you didn’t tell us you had a job!” One of the boys says. A slightly triumphant voice, one that I recognized almost immediately.
I stood up straight at that, and actually looked at them, all three of them were there, James, Sirius and…Remus. Of course, that was what I’d recognized, Remus’ parents from meeting them at the train station.
“Well, you never did ask.” I say, still smiling. “Hope you have a great breakfast,” I say to Mr. and Mrs. Lupin. Having finished setting their table, I walked off to start clearing some, and try to get my face to stop smiling.
I ended up having to walk past the table again, and I heard Sirius mention what he called me, the bane of his existence. All three boys laughed, at that, making me a little uncomfortable, but the words stuck in my head. They were lodged there, and there was no way I could get them to leave without some form of ingenuity. I needed a way to make it not hurt, because for some reason it hurt that they had laughed, it wasn’t like it was a horrible name to be called.
Two weeks later I wasn’t working at the little restaurant anymore. It was only two weeks later and I had been found, considered an amazing talent, too good to waste, and only a scant week after that I found a way to stop that name from hurting.
“Ricky Bane.” I said, clear, calm, and concise. It was short, sweet, and to the point, I didn’t want some out of control, off the wall name to be known by. I wanted something that I would definitely answer to. The fact that it turned something that had made me upset into something that would make me famous…Well, that was a plus.
“That is the name you want to be known by?” My manager asked. I merely nodded.
Cregen was an older wizard. He had been in the business for years upon years upon years. He was the one who found Celestina Warbeck, who found all sorts of wizarding bands and solo acts. He was the one who could make my singing ability into an over-night, never-ending success. He was no longer managing any of the people he started, after they became big enough to sell on their own he usually found them another agent, and went on his way. I was sincerely hoping he wouldn’t do that to me until I was at least a few years out of school, if I made it that long.
Cregen believed that my stage name was a power name, “It flows,” he said one day, to a reporter for Witch Weekly, “her name has wonderful rhythm. It isn’t too long, and it isn’t a tongue twister. I predict that it will be on everyone’s lips for years to come.”
He was right. When I got back to school for my fourth year, everyone wanted to be Ricky Bane. And she had only released two songs.
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