Chapter 4 : Leaving
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Anyways, I hope you enjoy the fourth chapter, and please review!
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Sighing, I stared at the shiny, white paper of my calendar, its little black dates blurring together as my eyes unfocused. Picking up a red Sharpie from my desk, I uncapped it and pointed the marker at the last square of the month, my hand shaking slightly as it hovered over the paper. August 31st. Slowly, I drew a neat ‘X’ across the date, the marker squeaking as it skidded against the glossy surface.
I capped the Sharpie and tossed it across the room, where it landed on my dresser with a clatter. One more day. One more day of summer, then I’d be off to Hogwarts for yet another year of schoolwork and tests. Except this time, I was going to be a prefect. With Potter.
Strangely enough, I did not find this prospect the least bit exciting.
I rolled off my bed and walked over to my school trunk, which was lying open on the floor. Inside, all my clothes were folded neatly, organized by function and color, my books placed carefully on top.
Everything seemed packed and organized, yet I still had a tiny, nagging feeling that I was forgetting something. The only problem was that I didn’t know what.
Scowling, I tapped my foot against the hardwood floor of my bedroom, gazing up to the ceiling. What could it be? I had all my clothes, my toiletries, my shoes, my schoolbooks...
And then I remembered: My Quidditch Through the Ages book! I had lent it to Aidan over the summer, and he had never given it back! Well, duh.
I hastily left my room and bustled down the hallway, determined to find Aidan and my book. Knowing him, he was probably in his room watching TV or something, pushing off the chore of packing until last minute.
The door to his bedroom was shut, and I could hear some angry, heavy metal music blaring loudly from inside. I rolled my eyes and knocked.
No answer. I knocked again, and then a third time for good measure.
The heavy metal music came to an abrupt stop, and I heard Aidan curse. Loudly. There was a long pause, and then some odd scuffling noises and yet another curse word.
I arched an eyebrow. What was that kid doing in there?
After some more scuffling noises, the door finally swung open halfway, and there Aidan was, glaring at me, face flushed.
“What do you want?”
“Whatcha doing?” I stood up on my tiptoes, attempting to peek into Aidan’s room over his shoulder, but he shifted sideways, blocking my view.
“N-nothing,” Aidan said, his voice shaky. “W-why do you ask?”
“Well, I just heard some funny noises, and I was wondering — "
“Cleaning,” Aidan said, cutting me off hastily. He let out a suspicious, trembling laugh. “I was just, uh, cleaning.”
“Cleaning?” I repeated skeptically.
Aidan flushed, running a hand nervously through his hair. “Y-yeah. Cleaning.”
“You’re lying,” I said dryly. I always knew when Aidan wasn’t being exactly truthful with me. Maybe it was some weird, twin telepathic thing.
Or maybe Aidan was just a shitty liar.
“W-what are you talking about?” Aidan said, fidgeting with a piece of string from his shirt. “I love to clean.”
“Aidan, your room hasn’t been clean since the Dark Ages. In fact, your room is so filled with crap that Amelia Earhart could be hiding in there for all we know!”
Aidan glanced down to the floor, and then up at the ceiling, refusing to meet my eyes. “Whatever, Agatha. What do you want?”
“My Quidditch Through the Ages, please.”
“Hold on.” The door slammed shut, and I heard some more shuffling noises, which probably meant that Aidan was searching amidst the mountainous piles of junk in his room for my poor book. I drummed my fingers against the mahogany doorframe impatiently.
A few minutes later, the door opened again, and all of a sudden Aidan was there, shoving the book into my hands.
“Okay. Here you go. Uh. Bye.”
And then the door swung shut.
I frowned. Okay, I knew Aidan was weird, but he was never that weird. Something wasn’t right.
I sighed, running my fingers over the cover of my worn book, and ambled back to my room, all the time wondering what Aidan could possibly be up to.
I stared at the calendar, my forehead creased into a small frown. With my trusty red S I drew an ‘X’ across the date, shaking my head disbelievingly.
Today, I would be going to Hogwarts. Today (well, in a few minutes, actually), I would be saying goodbye to my parents, and to the house, and to summer.
This thought filled me with a strange mix of sadness and excitement. I sat on my bed, silent, and stared at the calendar, trying to absorb all my emotions. Fear. Excitement. Anxiety.
I jerked out of my reverie at my mother’s screeching voice. Well, there goes my hearing. Too bad, I kind of liked having five senses.
Curling my lips into a scowl, I heaved myself off the bed.
“AGATHA! AIDAN! LET’S GO! WE’RE GOING TO BE LATE!”
“COMING! Geez, don’t get your knickers into a twist.” I walked over to my trunk, latched it shut, and then grabbed a brass handle. Inhaling sharply, I summoned all the strength in my body (ie. very little) and dragged the trunk out my bedroom and (clumsily) down the stairs, my body straining against the weight.
Aidan and Mum were waiting by the front door, Aidan’s trunk by their feet. Aidan was holding a purple backpack, his arms wrapped around it protectively as if it were a small child.
"Where's Arnold?" I asked, referring to my daft and incredibly dull stepfather.
"He's at work," Mum said absentmindedly. She looked stressed and agitated, her forehead creased into a frown and her hair frizzy and wild. "But he wishes you good luck. Ready to go?”
“Sure.” Aidan and I grabbed our trunks as Mum opened the front door.
I went first, hauling my trunk down the front steps of our house and struggling with its weight. Mum hastened to help, grabbing the other handle of the heavy crate and lifting it with me. Together, we carried my trunk down the pathway of our house and to the car, which was parked conveniently in the driveway.
“I — don’t — see — why — we — can’t — just — use — magic!” I grunted as we stumbled towards the car.
“Oh, stop whining, Agatha.” Mum said, unlocking the car with her keychain. “You know why... What would one of the neighbors think if they saw a trunk hovering in mid-air?!”
I rolled my eyes and tossed the trunk in the car, glad to be finally rid of its weight. “Whatever,” I grumbled, slamming the car door shut.
“URGH!” I turned around to see Aidan, groaning as he struggled to carry both his trunk and his backpack. He was barely managing—not even out the front door yet.
“Oh, Aidan!” My mother chirped, scampering up the pathway to where Aidan was. “Let me help!”
I rolled my eyes at my mother’s eagerness. It was just so typical, the way she coddled Aidan like a baby.
“Here, sweetie. I’ll take your backpack,” Mum offered, reaching towards the purple bag.
“No!” Aidan said forcefully, his arms squeezing tighter around the backpack. “It’s okay! I’ve got it!”
“Don’t be silly, Aidan, honey. Just let me help you!”
“NO!” Aidan said, louder this time, adamant and stubborn like a little child trying to get his way. “Seriously Mum, I’m fine!”
“No you’re not! You can’t possibly manage all of that!”
“I told you, I’m fine!”
“No, you’re not!”
“Yes, I am!”
“No, you are not! Just let me help you!”
Oh for the love of — I can’t believe I’m related to these nitwits. “WILL YOU TWO JUST SHUT UP AND GET IN THE DAMN CAR ALREADY?!” I screamed suddenly. “SERIOUSLY, HOW HARD CAN IT BE? IT’S LIKE A TWENTY FOOT DISTANCE FROM THE HOUSE!”
Both Aidan and Mum turned to look at me, stunned at my outburst. Realizing what I had just said (or screamed, more like it), I clamped my mouth shut and flushed bright red.
“Hehehe.” My laughter was high-pitched and shrill. “Ahem. Sorry. What I meant to say is that it would be great — fantastic, really — if you guys would cease arguing so we could get a move on. Please.”
Aidan and Mum were silent for a moment. Then, my brother said, “Fine. But I get to hold the backpack.”
“Are you sure?” Mum asked, starting to fuss again. “That bag looks really heavy...”
“I’m fine,” Aidan proclaimed again, and I briefly wondered what was so precious in that backpack that was making Aidan act like this. “Really, I’m fine.”
“Here, just give me it, Aidan — "
I closed my eyes and clenched my jaw, willing myself to calm down and not go totally ballistic on my family. Just breathe, Agatha. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale... Find your center... Ohm....
“Mum. Aidan,” I said through gritted teeth, trying my best to phrase my words politely. “I would really, really appreciate it if you guys could please just GET IN THE DAMN CAR ALREADY!”
Mum looked appalled. “Goodness, Agatha. No need to yell! I’m beginning to think that I should sign you up for some anger management classes!”
“No, no, no... NO! That won’t be necessary,” I said firmly. Geez, first the anorexia pamphlets and now therapy? Why is my mother so determined on getting me professional help? I mean, I don’t need any of it. I’m perfectly normal!
“Are you sure? I think you could really benefit... Or better yet, we can all go as a family! Like group therapy!” Mum said, now excited at this new prospect. “What do you think, Aidan?”
Aidan, who had been too busy fiddling with his backpack to pay any attention, looked up at Mum, startled. “Er, what did you say? There’s a bee?" He began flapping his arms around, twisting from side to side like a confused dog. "Where? Where’s the bee?”
Go to your happy place, Agatha, go to your happy place...
“You know what, Mum?” I said, deciding to change tactics. “Therapy sounds great. But how about we discuss the details in the car?”
“Good idea, Agatha,” Mum said, nodding decisively, and I blew a sigh of relief. “But first off we need to get Aidan’s stuff sorted out." She turned to my brother while I inwardly screamed in frustration and agony. "Here, honey, let me help you with that backpack...”
I sighed, opened the car door, and slid inside the vehicle as my mother and my brother started to argue again.
Maybe you're adopted, Agatha. I thought to myself. Maybe “Mum” just found you on her doorstep one day and pretended that you were her child. Maybe you have no biological relation to these people at all.
...One could only hope.
When we finally got there, King’s Cross was a disaster. Mum said her goodbyes to us outside the brick barrier that led to Platform 9 and 3⁄4. But before she left, she had insisted on taking some pictures of us standing in front of it. Needless to say, we attracted quite a few curious glances from Muggles passing by.
Anyway, Platform 9 and 3⁄4 was packed. Children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins... There were so many people. Crying, laughing, shouting people. Ugh. I could barely stand it all.
If there is one thing you should know about me, it’s that I hate crowds. They’re just so annoying. You’re shoved up against all these sweaty, shouting people and you can barely move... It’s horrible! And of course you always end up squished next to some overweight guy with body odor that could stun a yak. I mean, seriously, people! Deodorant was invented for a reason.
Anyways, because of the huge crowd, Aidan and I ended up getting separated. Which kind of sucked, but whatever. I would find him later. Eventually.
It was difficult, trying to maneuver around everyone. Especially with my huge trolley. There were just so many people! Families saying goodbye, friends saying hello... It was rather overwhelming, to say the least.
“Excuse me! Sorry! Really, excuse me! Um, hi, could you move?” I called out as I pushed my way through the throng of people, stumbling over feet and trunks and owl (ew — owls) cages. I stood on my tiptoes, trying to spot Aidan in the sea of people, but to no avail.
I felt like I was suffocating in this crowd. Oh god, what if I didn’t make it out? What if I just disappeared amidst all these people, never to be seen again? What would happen? Who would take my spot as prefect? Who would feed Aidan and make sure he takes a shower at least once every week? Who would be there to comfort Dom after she watches The Notebook for the thirtieth time?
I whipped around to see a little boy behind me, bent over and clutching his left foot. He looked to be about seven. There were only two things I noticed about him: a) he had a bowl haircut, and b) his face was scrunched in pain.
“OWW! OWW!” He moaned, squeezing his eyes shut.
I abandoned my trolley, leaving it where it was, and ran towards the kid. He looked like he was seriously hurt.
“Are you okay?” I asked. “Where are your parents?’
“You bitch!” He squeaked at me, his face turning red as he hoped around on one foot. I jerked back in surprise. “You ran over my frickin’ toe with your frickin’ trolley! You frickin' bitch!”
My eyebrows shot up. What did he just call me? Are boys his age supposed to use that kind of language? I mean, I most definitely did not know words like that when I was seven! Then again, all I really did back then was sit around and eat glue...
“I’m sorry!” I stuttered. “I - I didn’t mean to — ”
“Dennis! Dennis! Are you alright?” All of a sudden, an old lady with a wooden cane was running towards us, pushing her way through the crowds and confusion. She threw her arms around the small boy protectively. “What happened?”
Dennis raised a shaking hand, his face pulled into classic Kicked Puppy Look, and pointed his finger at me. “She did it, Gran. That mean lady rolled over my toe with her trolley! On purpose!”
Dennis began to cry, his chubby face turning a bright beet red as he wailed. It was all fake though... I could tell because the little demon was smirking evilly at me through the tears.
'Gran' marched up to me, waving her cane madly in the air. “How dare you?” She exclaimed in a shaky, wobbly voice, her wrinkled face livid. “You stupid girl! How dare you do such a thing to a young, helpless little child!”
And then she proceeded to beat me with her cane. Like, seriously beat me. And it really hurt, too! I don't know what I was expecting from an eighty-year-old woman, but it wasn't this.
“Ouch! No! It wasn’t on purp — ! Ow! Get off of me!" It was definitely going to be Bruise City tomorrow morning, but all I could was just let it happen. I mean, it wasn’t like I could do anything to defend myself. I mean, I can’t just hit an old lady like that! That’s just low, even for me. "Wait! What are you doing? AHHHHHHHHH!” I screamed as Gran took two steps back, and then charged at me like a mad bull, tackling me to the floor in a body slam so painful, any self-respecting pro-wrestler would have been proud. Several passersby shouted in surprise. I think one of them cheered.
I hate my life. I truly, truly do.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: it’s totally unrealistic for me to get beaten up by an eighty-year-old, die-hard wrestling fan, but let me tell you: that’s just my luck.
Seriously. I have terribly bad luck. The Gods of Fate just seem to hate me. I have no idea what karmic misdeed I performed to piss them off — I’m not a serial killer, or a vandal, or even a 'buy-it-wear-it-then-return-it' person.
In fact, I’m a pretty moral, decent human being. I’m a hard worker, I recycle when the bin's on my side of the room... I really have no idea why Fate hates me so much, to be honest. It just does.
To give you an idea of how bad my luck is, here’s an example: you know how there are those statistics, like one in every five people has herpes, or something? Yeah, well with my luck, I guarantee you that I will be that one.
Not to say that I have herpes or anything... I mean, that was just an example. The statistic could be for anything, like gonorrhea or cancer or mad cow disease... I don’t have any of those things, per-say, it’s just to demonstrate, you know? Though don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that people who do have that stuff are bad, necessarily, they could just be nice people stuck in an unfortunate situation. I think I had an aunt who had gonorrhea once... Or maybe it was pneumonia? —
OKAY, YOU KNOW WHAT? That was a really bad example. Forget it.
Basically, what I’m trying to say here is that if there is a single person out there likely to get bludgeoned to death by a cane-wielding grandmother, then it’s me, okay? Okay.
So anyway, back to what was happening: I just stayed there for a moment, in my crumpled position on the ground as Gran and her Cane o' Pain waddled off, Dennis in tow.
No one around me bothered to help me up, to ask if I was alright, or if I was hurt anywhere. I sighed (typical) and heaved myself to a stand, wincing in pain as I returned to my trolley and started to push through the crowd again.
It was useless trying to find Aidan. He was probably off somewhere surrounded by a posse of giggling girls, anyway. I just focused on my goal: getting out of this crowd alive.
After about ten minutes of navigating through screaming, sweaty people, the Hogwarts Express finally came into view. I stopped for a moment, admiring the train in all its shiny, cherry-red glory. It was a breathtaking sight, really.
I pushed my trolley through the sea of people until I finally reached an entrance to the train. Abandoning my trolley, I took my trunk and carried it as I climbed the metal steps of the train, my heart beating with excitement. Finally. Finally, after a whole summer of my crazy, scatterbrained mother, after enduring the crowds and psycho grandmothers of King's Cross. Finally, I was on my way to Hogwarts.
The inside of the train was cool compared to the heat of the platform, and much quieter. I felt like I was about to collapse with relief. All I wanted to do now was just find a nice, empty compartment, sit down, and maybe check for any signs of internal bleeding. But noooo.... I had a stupid prefects’ meeting. With Potter. Ick.
I heaved my trunk onto one of the luggage racks and looked at my watch. It was 10:53 AM. The train would depart at 11:00, which was also the time the prefects’ meeting would start. Sighing, I made my way to the prefects’ compartment, which was near the front of the train.
The Hogwarts Express was crowded, but not as bad as the Platform. People were running up and down the corridors, frantic friends laughing and chatting, reunited couples wrapped in each other’s arms. Everyone was filled with jittery excitement over the fact that soon we would be leaving. Soon, we would see Hogwarts again.
When I finally arrived at the prefects’ compartment, the door was closed, the curtains drawn. I hesitated nervously outside in the hallway, my fingertips tingling as my hand hovered over the silver handle of the door.
I paused for a moment, and then remembered something. Digging through my jeans’ pocket, I pulled out a square, silver badge and pinned it to me chest. There. I was ready.
I swung open the door and was greeted with a refreshing blast of cool, crisp air. A perky blonde girl who I instantly recognized as Elsie Van Cooper, seventh year, bounded towards me, a giant smile on her pretty face. Judging by the golden badge shining proudly on her chest, she had been made Head Girl this year.
“Oh good, Agatha,” Elsie said in her usual chirpy, over-enthusiastic voice, and I was a bit surprised she knew my name. “You’re here!”
Elsie Van Cooper was known to be the type of person who is always perpetually happy. You could tell that girl that her mother's just died and she would still reply with her trademark catchphrase, “Well, isn’t that just dandy?!”
The Head Boy was Jacob Fareweld. No surprise there. Jacob was possibly one of the smartest students to ever grace Hogwarts. He was a snob though, and looked down on anybody who wasn’t as intellectual as him (which would be... Wait for it... Everyone other than Jacob).
The prefects’ carriage was pretty pimped out, I must say. The benches were far more comfy than those of the regular compartments, and there was a table in the middle of the room that held plates of those little sandwiches people eat for tea. The sandwiches were untouched, and I desperately wanted to take one (I’m a sucker for food in miniature form), but I didn’t want to come across as rude.
I sat down next to a Hufflepuff girl.... Her name was Helen Something-Or-Other, I couldn’t remember. She smiled at me and whispered hello.
I smiled back at Helen Whatsherface and then glanced around the compartment. I realized that Potter was nowhere to be seen, and I couldn't help but grin to myself. So far, so good.
The atmosphere in the compartment was... tense. Everyone was fidgeting awkwardly in their seats, waiting anxiously for the meeting to officially start.
The sixth and seventh-year prefects were sitting by the windows. They looked cool and disinterested, the thought ‘I wish I was anywhere but here’ written plainly across all their faces. They glared at us, the fifth-years — the newbies — as we sat squirming in our seats.
There were about five other fifth-year prefects: A scrawny boy from Hufflepuff. A blonde girl and a gangly, brown-haired boy from Ravenclaw. A beautiful, brunette girl from Gryffindor who I recognized as Margaret Corner, one of the more popular girls in our year. And lastly, my Slytherin counterpart... Ryan Fisher.
My stomach dropped. My heart skipped. My cliché clichéd. Ryan Fisher was possibly the most handsome boy in our year, in my opinion. His ashy blonde hair and swirling grey eyes made girls literally swoon. We'd only ever talked once or twice, seeing as we did run into each a lot, being from the same house and all. But nothing ever happened. It was a Hogwarts known fact that Ryan Fisher never dated, which just made him all the more desirable.
Ryan caught my eye and smiled, showing off a set of perfect, white teeth fit for a toothpaste commercial. I nearly melted into a puddle of goo right then and there.
My heartbeat ringing in my ears, I turned away just in time to see the compartment door swing open and Potter amble in.
“Sorry,” he said, offering Elsie a “charming” smile that made me want to gag. “Am I late?”
“No, you’re okay.” Elsie grinned warmly, and then glanced over her clipboard again. She made an over-exaggerated check mark with her pencil. “So, I guess everyone’s here now. Isn’t that just dandy?!”
No one answered. On the way towards his seat, Potter grabbed a tiny sandwich from the silver platter and bit into it.
I clenched my jaw.
“Now that we’re all here,” Elsie began, “I’d like to start off by intro—"
We were suddenly interrupted as the air was pierced with a high-pitched whistle, signaling that the Hogwarts Express was about to depart.
My stomach turned over as I felt the train lurch and then start to roll out of the station. It was finally registering that we were actually leaving. I smiled a little and stared out the window, watching as the tearful faces of the families and friends outside on the platform became nothing but indistinct blurs.
The rest of the meeting was pretty much one, giant snooze-a-thon. Elsie rambled on about prefect duties, occasionally throwing in an “Isn’t that just dandy?!” here and there while everyone else just nodded blankly. Jacob sat in the back, looking disinterested and smart.
I spent most of the meeting alternatively sneaking glances at Ryan and the sandwiches,. Ugh, how is it possible to even even be that good-looking? (Ryan, I mean, not the sandwiches.) It should be made illegal. Plus, the boy had matured well over the summer — his shoulders were broader, his skin tanner. He was looking at Elsie as she spoke, his brow furrowed with an intent concentration that I found adorable.
“After the start of year feast, it is expected of the fifth-year prefects to lead the first-years to their dorms. Think of it as your... initiation, kind of.” Elsie’s blue-green eyes swept across the room, and she flashed a smile that was supposed to be encouraging. “Even though the task might seem intimidating, I’m sure you’ll do fine.”
“This is your patrol schedule,” Elsie said, as Jacob started to pass out sheets of paper to everyone in the room. “Each of you will have at least three mandatory days when you are required to patrol a certain part of the castle at a certain time. Oh, and also, the passwords to your respective common rooms are written on top.”
I accepted my schedule with a quiet thanks and started to examine it. The password to the Slytherin common room was ‘Juggernaut’. I rolled my eyes. Was that even a word?
I scanned the schedule. On Mondays, I had patrol with Ryan. Yes! I resisted the urge to jump onto my seat and start doing the Macarena.
But when I saw the rest of the schedule, however, my stomach twisted unpleasantly.
Because on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM, I would be patrolling the halls with none other than James Potter.
Just my bloody luck.
I glanced up from my schedule to see Potter looking at me, a wry grin on his face.
“Well,” he said. “Isn’t that just dandy?”
When Elsie and Jacob finally dismissed us, I was in a very bad mood.
I exited the prefects’ carriage as fast as I could, and was just about to start looking for a free compartment when a voice stopped me.
“Oh,” I said. “H-hi, Ryan.”
He grinned a grin that made my heart leap. “So I guess we’re patrol partners on Mondays, eh?”
“Um. Yeah.” Um. Yeah? Is that all I can come up with? Come on, brain! Work! Be witty and enchanting — or at least not monosyllabic!
I began to walk down the corridor of the train, and he fell in step with me.
“So, how were your summer hols?” he asked, his grey eyes sparkling.
Come on Agatha, he's speaking to you now. You have to respond. Say something... SAY SOMETHING!
“Alright.” Yes! You said something, Agatha! And it was even English, too! Well done! I grinned. “Yours?”
“Pretty nice. It’s weird to be back at school, eh?” he said, glancing up at the ceiling.
We walked the rest of the way in awkward silence. I tried to think of something, anything, to say, but I couldn’t. My mouth was dry. My brain was on vacation.
After a long moment of excruciating silence, Ryan finally stopped walking. “Well, this is my compartment,” he said, gesturing to a compartment to his left. Its curtains were closed, so I couldn’t see who was inside.
Not... that... I wanted to. Heh. I’m not a stalker. Not at all.
“Okay,” I smiled. “Um. See you around, I guess?”
“Yeah,” he grinned, opening the door to the compartment. “See you around.”
The compartment door slammed close, and I was about to start walking again when I realized that... I had nowhere to go. Where was Dom? Where was Aidan? And bollocks, were there even any empty compartments left?
I jumped as the door to a compartment a few feet away flew open, and (speak of the devil) out marched Dom, her eyes wide as saucers.
“Was that Ryan Fisher you were just talking to?”
“Nice to see you too, Dominique.”
She grabbed me by the arm and hauled me inside her empty compartment, slamming the door shut.
“It was! You were just talking to Ryan Fisher, weren’t you?!”
“Er, maybe?” I said, kind of frightened.
“Yes you were! I saw the whole thing through my compartment window!”
“That’s not creepy at all, Dom.”
“Oh my God, I can’t believe you were talking to Ryan Fisher! He is so fit!”
“You know, you don’t always have to refer to him by his full name — "
“Ryan Fisher!” She shrieked, making me jump. “Is he a prefect too?”
“Yes, I have patrol with him on Mondays.” I said, trying to sound casual as I took a seat.
“You do? Oh man, I wish I was a prefect!”
I snorted playfully. “Yeah, like you could ever be a prefect!” I said, flipping my hair and pursing my lips in a mock-snobby fashion.
“What are you on about?” Dom grinned from where she sat across from me. “I would make a great prefect!”
“Dom, you use little first-years as your own personal slaves.”
“I do not!”
“Yes you do, you make them carry your books and fetch you food!”
"But it builds character! I'm doing them a favour!"
But before Dom could fully articulate her well-formed argument, the door to our compartment flew open with yet another, BANG!
“Why hello there, how are you lovely ladies faring this fine morning?”
Aidan (still carrying his backpack — seriously, he wouldn't let that thing out of his sight) swaggered inside, closely followed by Potter and Fred. I rolled my eyes.
“Well if it isn’t the Tweedle Trio,” I said, crossing my arms.
“The Tweedle Trio?” Fred asked, dumbfounded.
“Yeah,” I said. “You know, like Tweedledee, Tweedledum and...Tweedledumber.” I said pointing to Potter, Aidan, and Fred (respectively).
“I believe that was a burn,” Dominique said matter-of-factly as she high-fived me.
“Sticks and stones,” Aidan sing-songed, plonking himself down next to me. “So how’s it going, sis?”
“Fine? Fine? Your beloved twin — your own flesh and blood — asks how you are and all you can give him is one measly, pathetic 'fine'?” Aidan gasped, slapping a hand over his heart dramatically. “Shameful! Just absolutely shameful!”
“It’s disgusting, that’s what it is,” Fred agreed solemnly. Potter stifled a snort.
I rolled my eyes (funny, I’ve been doing that a lot, lately) and sighed in exasperation. “What do you lot want?”
“Why, we only desire your marvelous and delightful company, my dear Agatha. Can’t a brother drop by and visit his favorite sister once in a while without being suspected of wicked intentions?” Aidan asked (all-too-innocently).
“You want money for the sweets trolley, don’t you?”
I sighed and dug through my pockets, before tossing Aidan a couple coins. “Enjoy,” I said, hoping they would then leave me and Dom in peace.
But, of course, they didn’t.
Fred and Potter sat down — Fred next to Dom, Potter next to Fred, and immediately began talking about their stupid First Day Prank (or Moronfest, as I like to call it).
I sighed and stared out the window, watching as we sped past endless miles of trees and fields. This was going to be a loooong train ride.
This was SO BORING.
Seriously, it had been about thirty minutes, and Potter, Aidan, and Fred still hadn't left (or shut up, for the matter). They wouldn't stop talking about their stupid prank, believe it or not, and Dom and I couldn't seem to get a word in edgewise.
I swear, they were so immersed in their immature, little Moronfest that they probably wouldn’t have noticed if I suddenly just ripped off all my clothes and streaked through the entire train.
“I’m telling you! Giving them pink hair will be hilarious!” Fred argued.
“We did that last year!”
“Maybe we could go with the Jell-O Idea?”
The Jell-O Idea? What’s the Jell-O Idea? Actually, never mind. I don’t even want to know.
I sighed loudly, exchanging a significant look with Dom.
She responded by tilting her head to the side, and I quirked an eyebrow at her. She glanced up to the ceiling and stifled a laugh.
Yes, this is how we communicate, okay? Don’t judge us.
Finally, The Tweedle Trio stopped their obnoxious bickering when the Sweets Trolley Lady (aka. my favorite person ever) arrived at our compartment.
Standing up and shaking our legs out, we swarmed the trolley and bought a lot of sweets. How many, you ask? You don’t even want to know. Let’s just say that by the time we were finished with her, the Sweet Lady’s trolley was significantly lighter. And Britain's diabetes rate probably a lot higher.
The room was filled with silence, except for the occasional wrapper rustle, as we gorged ourselves on Pumpkin Pasties and Chocolate Frogs. It wasn’t an awkward silence though, like it had been with Ryan. It was more of a comfortable, relaxed silence.
Cheep, cheep, cheep.
I stopped chewing on my cauldron cake and looked around the compartment. “Did anyone else hear that?”
“Hrrrrear Fwat?” Aidan said, his mouth full of chocolate.
Cheep, cheep, cheep.
“That weird chirping noise?”
Aidan froze, mid-chew, and paled visibly. “What?”
“Yeah,” Dom said, nodding. “I heard it too. It almost sounded like some sort of... Bird or mouse, or something.”
Aidan exchanged panicked looks with Potter and Fred, and I raised an eyebrow in suspicion.
“W-what are you talking about?” Aidan said, swallowing down his chocolate. “I didn’t, uh, hear anything.”
“Yeah,” Potter said, shaking his head. “You guys must be hearing stuff.”
Cheep, cheep, cheep.
I glanced at Aidan. Hmm...That was strange. It almost seemed like the sound was coming... from him.
“Aidan,” I said slowly. “What’s inside your backpack?” My voice was too high and tense to sound legitimately curious.
“N-nothing,” Aidan said.
I stood up. “Give me your backpack, Aidan.”
Aidan clutched the bag to his chest. “Never,” he said, scathingly.
“Give it, Aidan.”
“No!” Aidan stood up, hugging the backpack to him.
“Bennett, there’s nothing in that backp — “ Potter began to stand up too, but was cut off by me.
“Aidan, don’t be difficult. Give me your backpack!” It was eerie how much I sounded like my mother at that moment.
“No! Nev —“
“EUAGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” With a scary war-cry I launched myself at Aidan. We landed on the wooden floors of the compartment with a thud, me on top of him. I quickly wrenched the backpack free from Aidan’s arms and scrambled to a standing position.
I was just about to unzip the bag when I felt a heavy force collide with the back of my legs, and I toppled backwards onto the floor, the breath knocked out of me.
Staring at the ceiling, I realized that Aidan had kicked my legs out from behind.
That little, dirty-fighting, horrid piece of — “OW,” I moaned, wincing a bit as I clutched the back of my head.
My brother stood up and grabbed the bag from my hands.
“No — don’t — Aidan!” But it was too late, he already had the backpack. Scrambling away from me, he wrenched open the door to the compartment.
“Sayonara, suckers!” He laughed.
“Oh no you don’t!” Dom said, and muttering a rather colorful stream of profanities, she shoved him out of the way and tried to snatch the bag from him.
But Aidan wouldn’t let go, and instead the two ended up playing what looked like a game of Tug of War gone wrong, until finally Fred, screaming, “BATTLE ROYALE!” jumped off his seat and launched himself at the both of them, attempting (and failing) to grab the bag.
Immediately, the compartment was filled with screams and shouts (and a lot of swearing) as everyone fought each other for the backpack. Eventually, it was knocked out of Dom’s hands and went flying across the room, where Potter and his stupid Quidditch reflexes caught it with ease.
“Got it!" Potter shouted jubilantly. But before he could do anything with it, I jumped on his back.
He yelped, teetering backwards and forwards as I latched on to him, piggy-back style. Potter tried to throw me off by spinning around. But I wouldn’t — I refused — to fall.
“Give — me — the — bag — Potter!” I screamed wildly as he whirled around in a circle. The compartment room spun around and around, like I was on some sort of demented rollercoaster ride. I felt sick to my stomach.
“NO!” Potter shouted, holding the bag in the air above my head. I tried to grab for it with one hand, but it was out of my reach.
“I WILL NEVER SURRENDER!”
“EUAGHHHH!" Suddenly, Dominique threw herself at the both of us, knocking us off balance. I fell off Potter’s back and landed on the floor with a yelp, and Potter, taken by surprise, dropped the bag.
It was as if I was in slow motion, that’s how clearly I saw everything. I watched the bag drop to the floor — watched it fall, fall, and fall — and almost as if it was a reflex, threw my hands out in front of me.
And, to my astonishment, caught the bag.
There was a period of hushed silence.
And then I unzipped the backpack, and, my heart racing, saw what was inside.
"Oh my god."
A/N: Ooh, cliffhanger! I know, I'm evil!
So what do you think is in the backpack? No, it isn't hard drugs, and no, it isn't 10,000 dollars in Outback Steakhouse gift certificates...
If YOU think you have an idea of what's inside the bag, leave a guess in the review box! I'm really interested to see what you think! Bonus points if you can tell me the definition of 'Juggernaut' (and no cheating, i.e. looking in a dictionary)!
Alright, that's it for now. Thanks for reading folks, and please review!
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