I've got to be, what?, five minutes into my reading when freakishly high-pitched, excited screams sound outside and the compartment door is practically pulled off its hinges when it's thrust open; that's how excited they were.
"We have a new girl!"
Well, you don't say.
Because seriously? Isn't that a tad obvious? But then again I guess I shouldn't exactly be glaring into three different, wide-eyed, huge grinning faces as the new girl. They all fall silent, their expressions returning to neutral, and cast wary glances at each other. So I relax my face into a hesitant smile, trying to recall what Rebecca told me to do when meeting new people.
"I'm Dominique," an unfairly pretty ginger girl with plenty of freckles announces boldly as I try not to scowl at her prettiness. Which is harder than it sounds, let me tell you.
And also, I'd never, under any circumstances, call her ginger.
Red-heads get extremely offended when they are called ginger. God knows why.
"I prefer Dom, though," she continues and flops down next to me as if she's known me her whole life and I'm not just some random stranger. Out of the corner of my eye, I see her give a meaningful look to the other girls who stand there awkwardly and they rush to introduce themselves.
"Hally," the shortest girl, at around five foot, says while flipping her uncommonly straight, brown hair out of her eyes, which are freakily the exact same colour as her hair.
"I'm Katie," the remaining girl adds; a pretty Chinese girl with amazingly silky hair that I want to just reach out and touch to feel how sleek it is.
And, well, this is just fabulous; three totally pretty girls are the first to greet me when Cam, the geeky, quiet, slightly awkward girl who was my best friend but hasn't owled me in about two months, was just about the only chance at socialising I had.
"I'm Mollie," I reply coolly, and also slightly happily since my voice is actually obeying my reasonably cool head not my freak of a heart, which is thumping 60 miles an hour. "I'm in fifth year."
"We know and we are too," Katie replies, flipping her hair out of her eyes and taking the seat opposite me as the others nod boredly.
Am I the only one here who finds that weird? Maybe even on the brink of stalkerish?
"Er…" I state dumbly and that's about all I can manage.
"Geez, don't look so scared; Katie here's a prefect," Dominique says with a smirk, while sitting on her folded legs. "We're not stalkers, blondie."
"The thought didn't even cross my mind, ginger," I retort and mentally smack myself. I was pissed so I called her ginger. Yeah, not the brightest idea. However, Dom grins crookedly and Hally lets out a rather gross snort which I would have been totally embarrassed by if it was me.
"So ladylike," mutters Katie, resting her back tiredly against the seat wall.
"Your mum," grumbles Hally, folding her arms with a mock-scowl on her face.
"So why did you move to England? You went to Beauxbatons right?" Dominique questions. My mum went there," she says, leaning forward, obviously expecting a sordid story.
"Hey, does that mean you speak French?! You don't sound French," interrupts Hally, delighted, causing Katie to roll her eyes. I nod, answering both their questions.
"My mum got transferred here by her work."
Dominique sits back, disappointed. I mean, I don't blame her. That is such a boring explanation. I should have spiced it up a bit by telling them I got expelled for running around naked, holding a puppy or something.
"But don't you miss all your friends? I would if I were you," she persists.
"Well, yeah," I shrug half-heartedly. "But I didn't really have a choice, did I?"
"Aw," Hally coos as she reaches across to pat my knee comfortingly.
"Screw them," Dom declares, trying to look important by sitting up higher. "You have us now."
"Was that really the smartest thing to say, Dom?" Katie chuckles and Dom looks fairly uncomfortable for a moment before returning to that aloof attitude which I so wish I had.
"Merlin, your hair is so gorgeous. Is it naturally curly?" Dominique winds a strand of my hair round her finger, rapidly changing the subject. Probably to break that tension or maybe just to make her seem a little smarter after Katie's comment. Either way, I don't really care.
"Yeah. It takes forever to get rid of the frizz though."
Katie grins evilly. "You should see Hally's hair in the morning. Looks like a sheep died there." Hally's eyes narrow dangerously and I stare in amusement at their playful friend fights.
"Yeah, smells like one, t-,"
Dom's comment is silenced with a sharp kick in the leg which, if you ask me, was totally deserved.
"Ow, you cow, that better not leave a bruise," she whimpers rubbing her leg repeatedly and I giggle at their childish manner as Katie tuts.
"Shut up, Katie. At least we weren't the one who kissed Chris because we 'fell'." Hally raises her eyebrows, finger quoting the 'fell.'
Katie's eyes widen and we all sit in silence for a moment, contemplating this information. Then we all roar with laughter and Katie buries her head in her hands, and groans. "You said you weren't going to tell anyone."
"I totally lied."
"Well... you're a midget!" Katie splutters, her cheeks red in embarrassment.
"Oooh, bad move, Kate."
Hally's mouth drops open. "I am not a midget! You take that back, you nerd!"
"Oh, just because I beat you by one point in the potions exam I'm a nerd?" Katie scoffs. "And, for your information, I fell."
"Fell, my arse. You jumped on him."
"No, I didn't! It was an honest mistake-"
"Are they always like this?" I whisper to Dom who smirks.
"Yeah, but they love each other really."
"-A mistake is when you didn't mean for it to happen. You totally meant it."
"Um... guys?" I say hesitantly and both whirl round to face me. "Uh, what's with the whole Hogwarts house system?"
Oh, yes, nice one, Mollie.
Katie looks at me happily and begins to, in rapid detail, explain the four houses of Hogwarts; Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Gryffindor.
"You better be in Gryffindor," Dom sighs, absentmindedly. "I feel like the Gryffindor loser, hanging out in the nerdy Ravenclaw's common room."
"Oi missus, you should worship the ground we walk on, not whinge about how dumb you are," retorts Hally.
"Hey, I am not dumb!" Dominique protests.
"Of course not," Hally says, wiggling her eyebrows.
Katie rolls her eyes, must be her signature habit, and continues to fill me in on what she think I've got to know about Hogwarts- how to soften a teacher up, various shortcuts, teachers to steer clear of, other pupils and, at one point, she even draws a very detailed map of the school grounds on my hand. And I must say, I am incredibly impressed by her (mostly useless) knowledge.
"Professor Longbottom is quite the hottie," Hally purrs, giving us a saucy wink.
"Sure, if you like him comparing you to plants," scoffs Dom. "I, for one, did not appreciate the comment that he thinks my new haircut looked like that of a mandrake."
"Not appreciate? You looked ready to tear his eyes out. Melissa had to restrain you."
"Stupid goody-two shoes Ravenclaw's," grumbles Dom.
The door slides open and a face emerges, obviously looking pleased he has found the compartment. Dazzling brown eyes, messy black hair, and a cocky grin revealing perfectly straight teeth...
Bullocks. Yeah, I am officially screwed. If I thought I was screwed earlier I was so wrong. This is way worse.
Behind him is a blonde guy who pokes his head in, who I would have noticed was also totally hot if I hadn't been smiling dreamily at black hair, and winks at Hally. She glowers back at him. "I just heard the word hottie and assumed it was me," Blondie drawls.
"How was France, Dommy?" Brown eyes asks while I keep my head bent, praying he won't notice me.
"Great, actually," Dom replies to him. "And don't call me that."
"Alright, Potter, Rands? You're both looking quite fit," Katie eyes them appreciatively. My head snaps up. That's why his hair looks so familiar- he's inherited them from his world famous father.
The girl's at Beauxbatons constantly swooned over the eldest Potter, believing that one day he'd fall madly in love with them. Yeah, right.
"Potter? As in Harry Potter?" The words slip from my mouth and all faces turn to me.
"I mean, uh… alright?"
Oh god, what a poor, pathetic attempt at a recovery.
"As in James Potter. Glad to see your face has lost its tomato tinge," James chuckles, his laugh so infectious the whole compartment joins in, except me. I'm scowling at him. People calling you out on blushing? Just makes you blush harder.
"You know, I still don't know your name." James turns the full power of his gaze onto me.
Everyone's looking at me again. Not good.
I clear my throat and try again. "Mollie."
James looks intrigued. "Really? My gran's called Molly.”
"Mollie? Is that some sort of nickname, or what?" Rands demands.
I open my mouth to speak but Hally beats me to it. "What the hell could that possible be short for, dumb arse?" Rands falls silent while James smirks.
Phwoar, smirking looks good on James Potter.
My eyes widen and I stare at him in horror. He's made me sound like some crazy, old man that keeps pigeons for a living.
Quick, think of a snappy comeback.
"Oh yeah, well, what kind of name is Jameson?"
My next door neighbours last name actually.
Nice work, Mollie. Really.
We all wait for him to answer but he's distracted by other things. His eyes are probably successfully looking down my shirt and I growl, narrowing my eyes as I fold my arms over my chest.
"Oi! Do you mind not looking down my shirt?!" I snap.
Okay, maybe I get a little shirty when people stare at my girly parts. He smiles sheepishly, embarrassed to have been caught, and mumbles an apology though I bet he's not sorry in the slightest.
"I'm Geoff," a voice in my ear purrs. And it's way too masculine to be Dominique. I turn my face to him and he puts his arm around me. "How about I give you a very thorough tour of Hogwarts' broom closets."
"Move your arm, or I'll move it for you," I growl, shrugging his arm off and shifting away from him- pressing my body closer to the window.
"Ooh, I like 'em feisty."
Seriously? Who actually says stuff like this? The Loser.
"Stop trying to get her to sleep with you, arsewipe. She's only been here ten minutes," Hally growls at him and whacks him on the back of his head. I grin in relief at her as Geoff throws Hally a dirty look, stands and flounces out the compartment.
What a girl.
"You so love him, Hally," Katie says brightly, once the compartment door is properly shut. "He likes you, too, you know."
Hally doesn't bother replying, just crosses her arms, looking angry. "So... How have your summers been, girls?" Potter asks, his eyes lingering on me.
"Just go, James. No need to make awkward small-talk," Katie sighs.
"I wasn-," he protests feebly.
"Oh, and could you not tell anyone that I'm new here? I really don't want to be the centre of attention," I beg. He winks at me and leaves. And somehow that wink left me feeling a little uneasy.
"Hey everybody! Hot new girl! Compartment F!" Potter bellows from outside. I groan, frustrated. That's why.
Dominique smiles at me, comfortingly. "You're getting off lightly. I'm related to that."
Whoa. I totally didn't see that coming.
"You don't look anything alike," I say as Dom grins, pleased. "So, are you-?"
"Cousins? Yup." Dom answers my unfinished question.
"Stay away from Rands. He totally hits on anything with legs and boobs along with Freddie who's also totally hot," Hally warns then, looking thoughtful, adds; "James isn't so bad."
"Ew. Don't talk about my cousins like that."
"They all rock, Hally, and you know it. I used to date Freddie," Katie tells me smiling, a bit dreamily I've got to admit, ignoring Dominique.
"You went on a date twice before he cheated on you with that blonde slapper," Hally argues.
"And when you found out, so-called slapper was in the hospital wing for a week," Dom backs her up and Katie chuckles.
"Geez, what did you do?"