Chapter 1 : Fancy a Flutter?
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“Be good this year,” Elizabeth Ironlove said sternly to her two teenage twin daughters, “that means you, Claudia. I don’t want any more owls telling me you’ve turned someone’s skin into scales or – or destroyed a statue.” The girl on the left, Claudia, sighed impatiently, rolling her eyes.
“Yes mother.” I’ve never destroyed a statue, Claudia thought, but good idea. Thanks mum.
“Cassandra, do not get anything else pierced or inked. You’ve ruined your body without my consent enough.” Cassandra, the twin on the right, nodded silently whilst biting on the ring in her lip. Honestly, you’d think I was pierced all over. It’s just my lip and nose, Cassandra thought, pausing, and a few in my ears…
“Vinnie, have a good year darling,” Elizabeth almost cooed to their younger sibling. Vincent grinned smugly as Elizabeth neatened his green-lined school robes.
“Yeah Vinnie, have a great year,” Claudia mocked, and Cassandra snorted at her sister.
“Cassandra, don’t snort, it’s not ladylike,” Elizabeth said impatiently, checking her watch, “and leave your brother alone. It’s time to get on the train.”
“Bye!” The two girls said in unison, turning together and boarding the train without looking back. As soon as the door had closed Claudia turned to her twin.
“I can’t believe mum is actually thinking about getting me engaged to that greasy-haired git,” she complained as they made their way to their usual compartment at the back of the train to see their friends.
“He’s not so bad, Claudie,” Cassandra said defensively, and Claudia glared. “Well okay, I know you hate him,” she amended, “but there’s more to him than –”
“Grease, Cassie?” Claudia interrupted, grinning.
“Shut up,” Cassandra said with a roll of her eyes.
“Why don’t you marry him and keep the whole pureblood line alive if you love him so much – oh hey, it’s Lily!” Cassandra turned to see where Claudia was staring and noticed immediately. Their friend Lily Evans from Gryffindor was sitting with the Marauders in the carriage directly left.
“Why is she holding hands with James?” Cassandra asked, confused, but her cheeks heated up when she saw who else was in the compartment.
“No idea,” Claudia said baldly, “We’ll corner her later about it. Let’s say hi.”
“But R –”
“Cassie, seriously. Chill.”
Claudia slid open the compartment door, cutting off her sister’s rambling, and stepped in with a grin.
“Hey Lily!” she called. Cassandra stood in the doorway, partially hidden by her sister and gave a weak smile, averting her eyes to the floor.
“Hey Claude, Cassie!” Lily grinned at both, “did you have a good summer?”
“The usual,” Claudia shrugged, “how was yours?”
“Quite good,” Lily said, and her eyes shifted to James for a second before focusing back on the girls. Claudia gave her a wink and Lily rolled her eyes with a smile. “Guys, these are Claudia and Cassandra,” Lily introduced to the Marauders. James and Sirius were concentrating hard on a card game whilst Peter watched them, and Remus was reading a book. They looked up at Lily’s voice and noticed the newcomers. “They’re some friends from Ravenclaw. Claude’s in our Care of Magical Creatures and Cassie’s in our Ancient Runes.”
“Hey,” James and Sirius said together, before going back to their card game.
“Hi,” Peter said shyly, turning back to watching James and Sirius play cards.
“Hello,” Remus said politely.
“Hey,” Claudia said with a smile. The group turned to Cassandra, expecting her hello.
“Um, H-h-hnrgh.” Cassandra’s cheeks flamed and she stared at her shoes. The group pretended not to hear her embarrassing outburst and went back to what they were doing. Claudia raised an eyebrow at her before turning to Sirius and James.
“What card game are you playing?” she asked interestedly.
“Poker,” Sirius answered, “do you play?”
“Only all the time,” Claudia grinned.
“Sweet! Do you want to play with us? We’ll deal another hand,” Sirius asked, looking at James for confirmation. James nodded enthusiastically.
“Moony and Wormtail can’t play to save their lives and we need another good player,” he explained, a sly grin creeping up his face as Remus rolled his eyes and Peter’s smile dropped a fraction.
Claudia looked at her sister for confirmation but could tell from her stiff shoulders that she’d rather be anywhere else but where they were.
“Sorry, I’d love to but we have to go find some friends. We’ll play another time though, yeah?” she said apologetically. Sirius shrugged and dealt another hand.
“See you guys later then,” Lily said brightly.
“See you later,” Claudia said as she exited the compartment, throwing them a wave. Cassandra did the same but accidentally whacked into the doorframe of the compartment and bounced off, tripping over her converse laces and falling face first flat on the floor. The compartment burst out with laughter. Claudia tutted and stepped over her, keeping on walking down the train. Cassandra stumbled to her feet, embarrassed.
“Are you alright?” Remus asked concernedly, rising a little from his seat closest to the door.
“U-Uh,” Cassandra stuttered, avoiding eye contact, “I’m f-fine.” She turned away from him and ran towards her twin, falling into pace with her.
“Nice one,” Claudia said conversationally, trying to conceal her grin.
“It’s so obvious you like him,” she continued.
“I know,” Cassandra moaned, burying her head in her hands.
“And your clumsiness around him is rather unfortunate.”
“I wish he didn’t affect me like Sirius doesn’t affect you,” Cassandra mumbled through her fingers.
“Shh!” Claudia said urgently, looking round to see if anyone had heard. “Not so loud,” she continued in a slightly annoyed tone.
“Sorry,” Cassandra said apologetically, “but how do you do it?”
“I treat him like I treat everyone,” Claudia answered.
“Even though you want him to jump on you and tell you that he fancies you?”
Claudia let out a small laugh. “Yeah, even though I want him to do that.”
“I’m hopeless,” Cassandra sighed, removing her hands from her face and straightening her blue-lined robes.
“No you’re not. You’ll be fine, you just need to give it a while. It’d help if you talked to him a little, you know, string a few coherent words together...”
“No problem, Cassie. Oi, Parker!” Elliot Parker, a timid girl from Ravenclaw, turned as she heard her last name. She grinned at her two best friends, tucking a stand of unruly brown hair behind her ears.
“Cass, Claude!” She stopped and hugged the two girls as they got closer. “How are you two? I was just getting to the compartment; I think Mikey and Jordan are there already.”
“We’re good. Let’s go!” Claudia said, and the three walked to their usual compartment. When they stepped in, they were bombarded by hugs from two boys.
“Finally!” one of them, a ridiculously tall boy with spiky black hair and tan skin yelled, gathering the three up in his long arms. “The train started moving about two minutes ago, you’re late!”
“Yeah, we were wondering where you were!” the other, a medium sized boy with bright blonde hair that sat at his jaw level said with a slight smile as he hugged the three. “You didn’t forget about us two all on our lonesome, did you?”
“Course not, Mikey,” Cassandra grinned, ruffling his hair as they all sat down.
“Jordan, have you grown again?” Claudia asked, staring up at him as they took their seats.
“Six foot five now,” Jordan said smugly.
“How’s the weather up there?” Elliot asked teasingly, and Jordan hit her shoulder lightly.
“How was everyone’s summer?” Mikey asked excitedly.
“Boring,” Jordan said glumly.
“Annoying,” Elliot sighed.
“The usual,” Cassandra and Claudia said together.
“Mine was good,” Mikey grinned, “Mum took me on a cruise.”
“I broke my wrist so I couldn’t do anything,” Jordan explained, holding out his right arm, “I got the cast off yesterday. Dad didn’t want to take me to Mungo’s; he wanted it to heal like normal.” He scoffed and rolled his eyes. “I didn’t practise any Quidditch at all.”
“I had to babysit all summer for my little brother,” Elliot groaned, “it was horrible.”
“How old is he now?” Jordan asked interestedly.
“Two.” Everyone winced.
“Ouch, terrible twos. Bad luck,” Cassandra said sympathetically.
“He bit me every day!” Elliot moaned, “And his teeth are getting really sharp…”
“Wait, did you say your mum took you on a cruise?” Claudia asked Mikey. Mikey nodded.
“Yeah, we went all around the Mediterranean,” he said enthusiastically.
“You enjoyed a cruise?” she clarified.
“Yes, what’s the problem?” Mikey asked, getting a little annoyed.
“Nothing,” Claudia said immediately, “just seems a little…feminine.” Everyone was silent. “I’m joking! But…seriously.”
“Shut up, Claudie,” Cassandra said, nudging her twin as Mikey’s eyes lowered to the floor. “Ignore her Mikey, our mum and dad go on cruises together all the time and my dad thinks they’re alright.” She linked Mikey’s arm and he smiled slightly at her, before turning to stare out of the window.
Cassandra turned to frown at Claudia.
What? She mouthed. Cassandra rolled her eyes.
“So, who wants to play some Wizard Chess with me?” Cassandra said, and Claudia jumped excitedly.
“I will! And I’ll beat you this time!”
“Dream on,” Cassandra grinned, getting their chess set out of her bag.
Two failed attempts at beating Cassandra at chess later, Claudia groaned and leaned back on her seat.
“Okay, I might not beat you today. But I will.” Cassandra smirked.
“You keep telling yourself that. Anyone else want to play?”
“Can we play poker?” Claudia interrupted, “we can all play then, and Elliot can get her head out of that book and Mikey can stop staring out the window and Jordan can stop molesting his broom.”
“That sounded wrong,” Jordan said with a smirk from his space, reaching up and putting his broom away. “And I need to keep it in good condition.”
“Please, you probably polished it every day when you couldn’t play it,” Cassandra scoffed as she put the chess set away. Claudia got out her cards and shuffled them, dealing everyone in.
“Mikey, come on,” Cassandra said quietly, nudging him in the side. He jumped and turned back to the group.
“What’s going on, sorry?”
“Are you alright?” Cassandra asked, frowning a little at him. He avoided eye contact and nodded.
“Yeah I’m fine. Are we playing poker?”
“Yeah, you’re in,” Elliot said to him as she put her book down, picking up her cards. The rest did the same and the compartment door opened, revealing a red head.
“Lils, come to visit us have you?” Claudia said, checking out her cards.
“Sure have, ginger buddy,” Lily grinned, ruffling Claudia’s long red hair and sliding into a seat next to her.
“Lily, you in?” Cassandra asked.
“Oh Merlin no, I can’t play poker,” Lily laughed.
“I can’t either,” Elliot added helpfully, “I do anyway. Hey Lils.”
“Hey Elliot,” Lily replied, “but no I’m alright, I’ll just watch.”
“Well, since you’re not doing anything Lily, would you like a sweet?” Claudia asked as she swapped a few of her cards, motioning to her pocket with difficulty.
“I’m not taking anything from you,” Lily answered immediately, “not since the last time I took a ‘sweet’ of yours.”
“What happened?” Jordan asked interestedly.
“Her face went bright red and swelled up like a balloon,” Claudia snickered, and everyone giggled.
“I was in the Hospital Wing for a whole day, Claude,” Lily reminded her, a scowl on her face.
“It was funny, though,” Cassandra said, and Lily sighed.
“I guess it was a little funny.”
“Lily!” The group turned to look at the door, which was flung open once more and the Marauders stepped in. Cassandra immediately went bright red and slid off her seat, landing with a loud thump on the floor. Mikey grabbed her arms and hoisted her back up, holding her firmly in place.
“Oh James, what’s wrong?” Lily sighed, standing up and facing him.
“We’re nearly there and our Head letters said we have to get the younger students ready to get to the boats,” James reminded her as he took her hand, and everyone in the compartment raised their eyebrows in shock at the action. Lily checked her watch, not noticing.
“Oh yeah,” she said, a little confused, “well, I’ll see you guys later okay?”
“See you,” everyone shouted at her. Cassandra remained silent but nodded.
The Marauders waved to them and when the door had closed, Elliot, Jordan and Mikey rounded on Cassandra.
“What was that?” Elliot demanded.
“W-What was what?” Cassandra stuttered, picking up the cards she had dropped and focusing on them intently.
“The thing where you went bright red as soon as the Marauders stepped in the compartment and completely lost all sense of balance?” Mikey reminded her.
“Do you fancy one of them?” Jordan asked in shock.
“Yeah, she likes Remus,” Claudia said off-handedly, still examining her hand. “Oops. Did I say that out loud?”
“Yes!” Cassandra whispered furiously.
“You like Remus?!” Elliot, Jordan and Mikey yelled together.
“She likes Sirius!” Cassandra said shrilly, pointing at Claudia, who dropped her cards at the accusation.
“Cass!” Claudia yelled angrily.
“Claude! Cassie!” Elliot gasped scandalously, “You didn’t tell us!”
“We didn’t tell anyone,” Claudia said, recovering first, “It’s just…I dunno, we just didn’t. Sorry.”
“Yeah, sorry guys,” Cassandra said quietly.
“Well of course it’s okay,” Mikey said, “but when did this happen? For how long?”
“Well, halfway through last year I sort of started noticing Sirius…” Claudia started, “not that I hadn’t before, of course, just started to notice nice things about him. And stuff. And when I started noticing him, Cassie started to notice Remus, and I guess it just went from there…”
“You and Remus are perfect for each other, Cassie,” Elliot said encouragingly, patting the girls shoulder.
“Yeah, apart from the bad habit she has where she can’t say anything to him without stuttering and where she can’t stand up properly when she sees him,” Claudia said sarcastically.
“Non-issues,” Elliot said, “we’ll get you two together.”
“Please don’t tell him!” Cassandra whispered, terrified, “Don’t tell anyone, don’t mention it, don’t do anything suspicious, don’t do anything about it!”
“Has she always been this nervous around him?” Jordan asked. Claudia nodded with a roll of her eyes.
“She won’t do anything about it.”
“I don’t see you asking out Sirius,” Mikey accused.
“Now, now, Mikey. The chase is just as good, if not better, than the end result,” Claudia replied, winking at him. He rolled his eyes.
The train was slowing down and after a moment it halted to a stop.
“Well…shall we go?” Jordan asked, and they made their way out of their compartments and the train to the carriages in Hogsmeade.
They got to Hogwarts and marvelled in wonder at the sight as they always did on the first of September, before going through the large doors with their classmates and finding their way to the Ravenclaw table. They took their usual seats, listened to Dumbledore’s speech and started to eat.
Halfway through the meal, Claudia whispered into Cassandra’s ear.
“Oi, Cass…wanna make a bet?”
Hey kids! Glad to know I'm writing again? And this time I'm bringing a friend along for the ride! ;D
loz_potter and I are the creators of this hopefully delightful fic. We're writing together on this one and we just loved the chapter and the banner, so we had to put it up. The second should be on its way relatively soon...
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-becky and lauren.