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Chapter 61 : We'll Never Been Worlds Apart
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You had my heart
And we'll never be worlds apart
. . .
But you'll still be my star
Baby cause in the dark
The next few months were . . . interesting, to say the least.
My second day in class with Twitchy was just as interesting as the first.
I’d traipsed into class, a menace at my own expense. (I donned that bloody skirt again, far too short than was allowed.) And the heels I wore (aside from, admittedly, making my legs look quite nice) were a few centimetres too high.
As one could imagine, Twitchy was not pleased.
I smiled sweetly, from where I’d taken my seat in the back on the class. “Yes?”
“I believe that I’ve warned you about inappropriate attire before. Have I not?” She left made her way towards me, her wand lying defenceless on her desk. (A very, very foolish move on her part.)
I stroked my chin, faux-pondering. “Actually, I think I might remember something along those lines . . . But, is it really fair to punish me for this? I mean, your statement makes it seem as if you wouldn’t penalize me if you hadn’t already given me fair warning . . . And may I remind you, that when you first gave me detention for my ‘inappropriate attire,’ you didn’t give me any sort of warning first.”
I sat smugly in my seat, with my knees crossed over each other.
Twitchy’s weathered face seemed to grow redder with each passing second. I nodded conspicuously at Darren, but our new professor was too busy brewing rage to notice.
“Another week!” she screeched, before stomping angrily back to her desk.
The fact that I had over two months of detention still hadn’t sunken in yet, and the accumulating pile hadn’t ceased to entertain me.
The bell sounded throughout the castle, and Twitchy promptly shut and locked the classroom door, leaving two students pounding at the door and begging to be let in.
Twitchy grinned evilly at them, before heading back to her desk.
Three. Two. One-
“Where is my wand?!”
I watched Darren discreetly vanish the wand. To where? We will never know . . .
Consequently, Twitchy spent the remainder of the class interrogating me and my peers. Try as she might, she couldn’t come up with the evidence to pin the crime (that everyone and their mother) knew I’d committed. It was great. Well, technically Darren committed it, anyway.
And it was later that night (the second night that I stayed with my new dorm-mates) that the first real row broke out.
It was nearly midnight, and for once in my life, I had all of my work done. I was bloody tired, and all I wanted to do was sleep.
Alice and Elena had long ago retired, needing their beauty sleep. Connie was reading a book by the candlelight, and not bothering me in the slightest.
But Bria just couldn’t keep her mouth shut. She was blabbering on and on to Connie, who was barely listening, and only grunting once in a while to show that she was at least acknowledging Bria.
Now, I couldn’t rightly complain without first asking her nicely to stop. (Mostly because I’m usually the arsehole that won’t shut up.) But, I did ask her - more nicely that I’d ask most people - to please be quiet so that I could sleep.
Not only did she blatantly ignore me, but she purposefully talked louder.
Now, if Anna the Arsehole was the one talking, she would have shut up as soon as someone asked her nicely to stop.
But no, not Bria. Because for whatever, Godforsaken reason, Bria hated my guts.
“Bria, please be quiet,” I requested a second time. Granted, I was much more angry, and much less asking than I was demanding, the second time around.
I knew she heard me, because she turned to face me for a few moments before going back to telling Connie all about why she’d decided to switch the brand of potion she used to de-frizz her hair.
“Shut the hell up!” I yelled, finally. I angrily threw the covers off me and sprung up to a sitting position.
Finally, that priss acknowledged me.
“But I have to tell Connie about this,” she claimed, pulling a face, and looking me up and down in contempt.
I shook my head. “No, silly. You have to shut the hell up - she obviously doesn’t give a crap anyway.”
And my reaction was instantaneous. It was foreign, yet slightly more familiar . . . I felt guilt. I immediately realized that I’d put the innocent little blond in a troubling position.
Admit the truth, or keep the peace with her best mate.
But, Connie was more clever than I gave her credit for. She looked around confusedly and questioned what was going on. It was believable enough that she would be confused (she was reading the book, not paying attention) but to a nearly-professional scam artist like myself, her scheme was easily detected.
“Bria, just shut up. It’s nearly midnight, and I have hardly ever asked you to shut your trap before two in the morning.” I tried reasoning with her. And it was true, I was almost never ready to sleep before two, and she was rarely awake and chattering at that hour, anyway. (Not that I had much to go by that year, as I'd only been there for a day. I was more referring to when I resided in that dorm before Fifth year.)
“I don’t want to,” she quipped.
Ugh, that voice grates on my nerves.
“Bria. Shut up. And go to sleep. Please.” I tried being nice one more time.
“No,” she spat.
So I decked her in the face. Lightly, in my defense.
Okay, sue me. Sometimes I resort to violence. I find that things are often done quicker that way.
Then, Bria, a typical, catty girl, pulled my hair. And I simply raised me eyebrows at her, because after rooming with the Marauders for six years, there were many hair-pullings, and my scalp had gone into a permanently numb state.
And then she scratched at my face. So I punched her in the stomach.
Admittedly, it was not my best hour. I suppose that psychological warfare is always the better, more lasting choice, but my sleep-deprived brain had only one desire, and went about the fastest way to getting it.
To make a long story short - Bria pulled a few hairs out of my head, and I gave her a black eye and cut lip, before Connie (who I was surprised to learn was a talented witch) blasted us apart, into our respective beds.
I can’t speak for Bria, but I myself was so shocked that I lay there and shut up for the rest of the night out of pure surprise.
Over the next month, Bria and I had quite a few similar skirmishes (which I always won,) and before I knew it, it was full moon, and the Marauders came to visit once again. I was lazing on the couch in the common room, awaiting the arrival of the Marauders, when said arrival happened.
There was an excited yell and hurried footsteps. I saw a flushed and smiling James, jumping up and down, and the rest of the Marauders following him in, laughing.
It was a great reunion, before it got close to dusk and the boys led Remus out.
A few weeks later, our head girl - model student, perfect grades, involved in so many different clubs - had a fit in the middle of Potions.
The frazzled Head Girl had been working extra hard in her N.E.W.T. year. The pressure to keep every single class in the ‘O’ range, even though the classes got harder, seemed to have caught up with her.
Bedraggled and drowsy, the once-peppy blond girl began screaming and wailing when she added the wrong ingredient to her potion, and had to be removed by Madam Pomfrey.
I used the 'too-much-stress hypothesis', and that incident, to justify not doing my work. However, my professors didn’t exactly see things the way I did.
And they didn’t exactly see things the way the old Head Girl did, either. I say the old Head Girl because she was forced to resign, under the pressure of the Professors. So, for a good day or so, we were without a Head Girl.
I may, or may not, have taken advantage of that lapse in authority to cause as much trouble as possible.
This may, or may not have included me flashing Twitchy’s entire class. Luckily for me, it was a chilly December afternoon, so I was feeling very . . . perky that day. It was a pretty impressive scene, if I do say so myself.
So, I wasn’t exactly shocked when I was called up to Dumbledore’s office later on that day.
“Miss Xanthis, come in, please.” I tentatively stepped into Dumbledore’s office. He was smiling pleasantly, as always. Minnie didn’t look quite as pleasant.
“Miss Xanthis!” Minnie burst before I had even taken a seat. “Out of the ten stupidest things you’ve done at your time at Hogwarts, the stunt you pulled in Professor Tsacria’s class was definitely in the top three!”
She gestured violently at a seat in front of the headmaster’s desk, while said headmaster offered me a lemon drop from a shiny, silver tray.
“However.” Minnie’s sharp tone had softened. “It was also one of the most brilliant ideas you’ve ever had. Simple, and yet devilishly brilliant enough to cause Professor Tsacria quite a bit of trauma.”
At that moment, there were no thoughts going through my head. Only that blank, buzzing noise you get on that machine when someone’s heart fails.
Minnie just semi-praised me for flashing a teacher.
‘Scuse me a moment, while I pass out.
I stood, wide-eyed, and blank-stared at the two elderly (well, McGonagall wasn’t exactly elderly) professors before me. “So . . . Please tell me that we didn’t call me up here to praise my incredible rack.”
Minnie seemed to be about to comment, but held herself back. “No, Miss Xanthis. As I’m sure you know, that is not why we’ve called you here today. Now, brace yourself, because this may come as a bit of a shock.”
Oh no! Did Dad die?! Mum?! Jason!?!?
“Miss Xanthis,” Dumbledore began, “Professor McGonagall and I would like to extend to you the honour of being Head Girl.”
Boy, let me tell you, that gave me quite a good laugh. I’d say I had a minute or two straight. Every time I calmed down, I heard Dumbledore’s rational, reasonable voice offer me - Anastasia Xanthis, notorious trouble-maker, and un-like James, not a great student - the vacant position of Head Girl.
“Miss Xanthis, I assure you, this is not a joke.”
And then my mouth dropped open and I stared at Dumbledore like the nutter he truly, truly is. “Are you shitting me?”
“No, Miss Xanthis, I am not ‘shitting you.’”
Minnie was glaring at me, most likely for my use of language. Yet, apparently, I’m Head girl material.
The world as I knew it no longer exists, man, I thought. Okay, let’s think about this . . .
What’s there to think about ? You could get away with all kinds of crazy shit!
Hello! Head Girl means more effort and more time.
Well, you have plenty of time . . .
And absolutely no effort! Not at all to spare!
“Awesome! When do I start?”
Damn you, traitorous voice box.
“Miss Xanthis,” Minnie interrupted. “This does not give you the authority to invalidate any detentions you may get throughout the year . . . However, in order to help free up some of your time (which I expect you to devote at least some of to your duties, in return,) I will exercise my powers as Deputy Headmistress and relinquish you from any detentions you have already acquired this year.”
Angels sung in the background, harmoniously chorusing, ‘Hallelujah! Hallelujah!' Widows wept happy tears, flowers re-bloomed, and the dead rose again.
“Miss Xanthis. I must ask you if you know why I have insisted on giving you this position,” Dumbledore said, his wise, old voice cutting through the singing angels.
I shook my head.
“I could easily have asked one of your fellow students - perhaps a bit more behaved, or a bit more learned - but those qualities are not always the ones that distinguish a person, especially not in hard times. A Head Girl is chosen each year, not only to keep order, but to set an example for the younger girls, and older girls throughout the school.
“And, Miss Xanthis, in these dark times, with a dark Wizard coming to power, the best example anyone can set is that of optimism and friendship, two qualities that you are not in any shortage of. Not in the least.”
Well, at least there was a method behind his madness.
“Do you understand now, Miss Xanthis, why I have chosen you?”
“Very good. Now, being the Head Girl, you will have to . . .”
I think I may have tuned the two professors out for my entire briefing. Actually . . . I know for sure.
As I was getting ready to leave, Minnie held me back for a minute. “For your information, the Head Boy’s name is Seamus O’Hoolihan. I’m sure you didn’t listen to a stitch of what we said, so I’d go see him.”
I smirked, and said nothing as I closed to door behind me.
Head Girl. Bloody hell.
“Alright, you sissies! Move your arses! Go! Go! Go! Go!"
I flipped Darren off as I hopped onto my broom and soared into the air. Darren, our new Quidditch captain, wasn’t quite as tyrannical as James was. However, he was just as stupid.
But, as much as I called him stupid, I couldn’t admit that learning how to fly loops on a broom like a fighter plane wasn’t fun. However, I would have much preferred it sometime that wasn’t the beginning of December.
I was actually having quite a good time flipping in and out of the goal posts until I accidentally knocked into Darren (who was guarding said hoops) and he screeched at me to get back to Beating.
I grumbled and flew away.
“Anastasia!” In a whirlwind of excitement, I turned back around. Sirius, the one and only one who called me Anastasia, was jumping and waving wildly in the stands. I sped over to him.
“Sirius!” I cried, leaping off of my still-moving broom and into his arms. The broom tried to escape and kept flying past us. Luckily, Remus grabbed its handle before it could get too far.
“How’s my favorite little Beater?” Sirius asked, still hugging me tightly.
“I’m wonderful!” I cried.
“Aren’t you always?” He laughed and set me down.
“She’s a bloody traitor!” Everyone’s heads shot towards Darren, who had just zoomed by on the field, going to correct our new Beater. (Who was not nearly as good as Sirius.)
“What’s he talking about?” James asked curiously.
I have no idea.
“I have no idea,” I confessed.
“Yes, you do!” Darren flew by once again, back towards the goal posts.
James, Sirius, Peter and Remus turned towards me once again.
“No, I really don’t,” I admitted.
“You’re bloody Head Girl!” At that point, I’m sure Darren was just flying past us to get his word in.
“What?!” The explosion came from all four Marauders.
I shrugged, ashamed.
“I mean, it’s understandable with James - he was absolutely brilliant. But, Anastasia, you’re really not that smart.” Even though I was being insulted, I just had to laugh. Leave it to Sirius to not give a crap about someone’s feelings. I preferred it that way, of course; it made me feel less guilty when I teased him as well.
So, I went and explained in full detail just why I was Head Girl. I was just finishing the tale when Darren flew over to us. “Sorry, guys, I need my Beater back.”
I angrily flew away with Darren, upset that my reunion had been cut-short. I grumbled at him and he just said, “Deal with it. If it really makes you feel better, you can hit a Bludger at me.”
So, I did. Although, I don’t think he expected me to actually do it. But I did, and it knocked him right in the stomach. But, being the good friend I was, I assisted him to the ground . . . Mostly because I felt bad that it had completely knocked the wind out of him. Once he regained his breath, he puked all over the ground.
Well, at least I know I hit good.
You hit well, dumbarse. You hit well.
Oh, shut up.
Last year, I used to have to be careful walking through doors because of the following reasons: James and Lily, Remus and Dora, and Peter and whoever it happened to be that month . . . Or day, for that matter.
This year, I had to be careful walking though doors because of Darren and Stephen. Not that I ever found them snogging (or worse) but they were usually doing some equally creepy activity.
One day, I barged into their dormitory, to find the pair sitting around a Monopoly board with the rest of their dorm-mates. However, they were not playing. Money was flying, Real Estate cards were flying, and the boys were pelting the little silver pieces at each other . . . And they said I was immature.
Another day, I walked in (and nearly screamed) to find Stephen’s arms around Darren. A moment later, I saw that they were playing mini-golf, and Stephen was correcting Darren’s form.
Another day I couldn’t sleep, and made my way down to the common room to sit by the fire. Darren and Stephen were doing some sort of tribal dance. I swear on Godric Gryffindor’s grave - I kid you not.
So, as you can see, it would be just as scary to walk in on that blossoming friendship as it would be to walk in on what I had to deal with last year..
Yeah, and that’s scary.
That Christmas was possibly one of the most depressing Christmases I’d ever had. I remained at school, and the Marauders did not remain at school with me. Freshly joined to the Order of the Phoenix (actually, it wasn’t all that recent; the bloody bastards had delayed telling me as long as they could because they knew I’d ‘be in a tiff’ about it,) the boys were off on a mission . . .
Remus was to take refuge with a violent, pro-Voldemort werewolf clan for a few months. Peter was off in Albania, with a research crew meant to predict where Voldemort was most likely to go to next. Sirius, with his last name to back him up, was trying to get in with some of the lower ranking Death Eaters, that didn’t necessarily know about his blood-traitor ways, but might know just enough about Voldemort’s plans (not that that bastard shared much of anything with anyone besides his inner circle,) to give the Order a heads up. And James, the poor fellow, was disguised and attempting to follow some of Voldemort’s inner circle; the idea was to verify the validity of what Sirius learned.
And all that on Christmas holidays!
And, of course, this whole Voldemort situation had grown so large and dangerous, that I couldn’t even blame the boys for getting involved. All they wanted to do was help the innocent people, and I certainly couldn’t look down on them for that.
I, however, had no intentions of getting involved. That helping people stuff . . . It just wasn’t my thing.
Bloody Voldemort, I thought angrily, storming down to the Great Hall one evening. First he takes my fun, now he takes my friends.
I continued scowling as I made my way down, planning to meet Darren and Stephen.
When I got to the Great Hall, I found a great surprise. A pink envelope. Normally, I wouldn’t get so overly excited at such a simple thing. But it was what the envelope contained that excited me; Sirius always sent his letters in a pink envelope, and it was about the time that I received one from him.
Hello, love. How are you? Me and the guys miss you . . . Not that I’ve seen any of them in the past few weeks, but I’ve talked to James in the mirror a few times, and word of the werewolf clan always travels down to where I am at the moment. No one’s heard from Pete in days . . . We’re all hoping he’s alright.
Anastasia, I know you hate this sort of thing, and I know that helping people isn’t exactly your thing either, but this just feels so right. Like I’m fighting for something real, you know? It’s a chance to put all that useless shit from school into practice, and I’ve just got this real humanitarian sense.
I think you should consider joining the Order once you’re out of school. I know, I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes at me right now. But, I think you should at least try it. Anastasia, you’re a Gryffindor - brave, selfless, and always looking out for the little guy. Who knows . . . Maybe you’ll actually like it.
But enough about that. I know you don’t like talking about any of it. What have you been up to? Have Darren and Stephen gone off together and left you all alone, yet?
The other day, I did something so stupid - you would have been so proud. Before we went off on our little adventures, we were staying at Headquarters. It’s actually quite a nice place, and it has these incredibly clean, glass sliding doors. Now, what should I do, but run excitedly into the house, ready to tell James this funny joke that I remembered . . . Except that I couldn’t run into the house, because the door was closed, only I didn’t know that. So I ended up running smack into the door.
It reminded me of that time you did that at your house . . . I just thought I’d share that with you; it made me smile.
Anyway, love, I’ve got to go. Places to go, people to do.
Padfoot AKA the coolest kid ever
Damn that Sirius, he was always trying to convince me to be a good person . . . Actually, that’s a lie. He’d always accepted me for the nutty, sometimes rude, and slightly selfish person that I was, which was more than I could say about everyone.
But there he was, requesting me to give being nice a shot. He rarely asked anything of me (though, it’s not as if I ask things of him all the time, either.) Perhaps . . . If Sirius thought I should give it a shot, I would. I was lucky enough to be born strong-willed and powerful; maybe I should help someone who wasn’t quite so much.
And that was the day that I saw the light. My slightly too-small heart grew three sizes that day, and shattered a couple of ribs, as well.
Well . . . Not really. However, the few, simple paragraphs written from Sirius did teach me a few things:
1- You can still be a good person while looking out for yourself.
2- If you never ask anyone for anything, and then finally do, they feel compelled to oblige.
3- When you open up one part of your heart, the rest tend to open up a bit, as well . . .
A/N: First off I want to thank Tara.Seanan super much! Not only for help with editing the chapters, but also for helping me work out some of the kinks and details that we haven't quite come across in this point of the story yet.
A/N2: So, the other day, I had another USB scary story. My friend was over, and he wanted to get some music off my computer, so I went to take my little USB plug-in out . . . Low-and-behold, the cover comes off, and all the hardware was stick stuck in the computer. After freaking out for a second, I pulled it out and managed to put it back together. Then, I threw it on my bed and spent a frantic five minutes looking for it later on. Yeah, that wasn't such a good day.
A/N3: Well, there you have it, folks! Anna has a heart! Who knew? . . . Maybe this will start a new leaf. But, on a completely different note, there's only a few chapters left in this year. After Hogwarts, they go to Damon's and after Damon's, the plot really gets rolling. Seriously, I think I'm going to cry when this is all over . . .
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