New Year’s Eve was that particular day of the year which required our undivided attention. It was the day that men and women alike set a side for reflection of the year that had passed; for all the things they’ve done, hadn’t done and wanted ever so badly to do.
For the dark-haired, hazel-eyed girl sitting at her window on this cold winter evening, this was her time too. All the things Amelia Wilkes wanted out of the year, she had never gotten; after weeks and weeks of trying, she’d given up. Refusing to set herself up for disappointment yet again, she took a step back and watched as her dreams became consumed, however undeserved, by the world around her. It seemed to her that more than likely, 1971 would be the same.
With a frustrated sigh, she slid off the little bench and flopped down face first onto the bed. She read in a book somewhere that people always complained about how their lives never seemed to go as planned, something always went wrong but in the end things turned out fine. Maybe she should start thinking like that instead of sulking all the time. A loud knock on the door suddenly lifted her from her thoughts.
“Yes?” she said to the door which opened slightly at her reply.
“Hey sis,” came a voice from the door, dripping with mirth.
Amelia frowned at her brother, who stuck his head between the door and its frame, “Since when do you knock?” she asked him.
He laughed, pushing the door open a bit further, “I’m trying to show Rosier here that I can actually be polite but he still seems to have his doubts,”
“Hey kiddo,” Rosier stepped around his friend and winked at Amelia who immediately felt her neck grow hot and looked away.
“Hi, Evan,” she muttered weakly.
“Anyway, Mum sent me to tell you to get ready,” her brother continued.
“Get ready?” Amelia repeated in disbelief, staring wide-eyed at her brother, “but Nicky, the party starts at nine, it’s just after six now and besides, Evan is still here!”
“What does he have to do with it?” Nicky asked, looking confused.
“His parents are hosting the party,” she said, as if it were obvious.
“I - what do you mean ‘so’?” Amelia frowned.
“We are males, love,” said Evan, smirking, “we don’t take as long to get ready as you do.”
“Exactly,” said Nick, sharing the same smirk which faltered as his sister sent a pillow hurling at his head.
“Now that wasn’t nice,” Nick said admonishingly, picking up the pillow and throwing it back onto the bed, “Mum’s coming down here in a while to help you anyway and she won’t be too pleased to see you sitting on the bed with a sour look, like you are now.”
“Oh no,” Amelia groaned, placing the pillow over her face while her brother laughed.
“See you at the party, kid,” Evan gave a small smile before closing the door.
Sitting up slowly, she removed the pillow from her face and stared at the closed door in irritation. Kid? Was that all she was to him? They were friends for a long time, granted he was her brother’s best friend, but by now she’d expected him to call her something other than that.
Evan was the type that made her feel special even when she did not deserve it, that’s what she loved the best about him. However, there were some things about him that drove her mad; he was cocky, troublesome and too good-looking for his own good. When he was around her, all of that seemed to disappear. While Nicky played the aggravating older brother role perfectly, Evan was the sympathetic one but now that wasn’t enough, she wanted more.
Narcissa was one of the first to realise that for some reason, Amelia had developed strong feelings for Evan Rosier but she could never tell him about them. How could she? He’d probably smile and let her down easy while laughing at it later with his friends. He wouldn’t go for someone like her anyway, after seeing him with girls whose legs never seemed to end she decided to take a step back like she did with everything else.
From her bed, she gazed lazily at the items on her dresser until one in particular caught her attention; it was a picture. Pushing herself off the bed, she walked over to the dresser to look more closely at the moving photograph of her and Narcissa. They were laughing as Evan pulled them into a tight hug; Amelia smiled as she saw herself blush in the picture every time he hugged her while Narcissa shot her a knowing look.
A knock on the door interrupted her again but her eyes never left the picture.
“Trying to be polite again, Nicky?”
“Your brother is downstairs, dear,” her mother answered instead, startling her, “now, what are you on about?”
“Nothing, Mum,” she muttered quickly, tearing her eyes away from the picture at last, “Nothing at all.”
“Are you alright?”
They were standing at the gate leading into the Rosier Family property. Amelia stood behind her parents with her arm linked tightly with her brother’s and needless to say, she was nervous. As soon as they arrived in Ottery St. Catchpole, she felt her heart in her mouth and her hands began to shake.
“Hey,” her brother nudged her gently, “are you alright in there?”
“Yeah,” she muttered distractedly, tugging at her dress, “I’m fine.”
Her mother turned around, giving her a disapproving look, “Stop fussing, for Merlin’s sake and leave the dress alone, you know how long I spent on you!”
“You look nice, by the way,” Nicky whispered to her when their mother looked away, “so stop sulking, you’re making yourself look very unattractive.”
“What sort of compliment is that?” she scoffed then looked down at herself. She wore a red strapless, form-fitting gown which draped down to her ankles, complete with a stole of the same colour, draped carefully over her shoulders and her dark hair was pinned up into an elegant bun.
Her brother shook his head at her while gently tugging her forward, following their parents through the gate of the Rosier Manor. Amelia gazed around the grounds as they walked the short distance up to the front door. Though she’d been here several times before, it looked different to her tonight. The snow had fallen during Christmas, covering the ground with a thick white blanket. Even the trees were leafless and frozen over as their frames cast sharp shadows behind them. The wind blew up suddenly around them, causing her to gasp and pull her stole tighter around her shoulders; inwardly blasting her mother for putting her in this dress in the first place.
“Ah, good evening Mr and Mrs Wilkes,” chimed a bright voice from the door when they had stopped again.
Amelia’s head snapped in front of her to see Mrs Rosier, herself, answer the door. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her brother’s jaw twitch and she smiled.
Mrs Wilkes, however, could not hide her surprise from her face, “Lucretia, I-
“Wonder what I’m doing answering the door?” Mrs Rosier finished, swinging the said oak structure open wider so that the voices from the party now filtered out to them, “Come in, come in!”
“Thank you.” Mr Wilkes murmured.
“Hello Nicholas, Amelia,” Mrs Rosier continued on as if she hadn’t heard him; her red cheeks showing the tell-tale sign of her current state of inebriation.
“Good evening, Mrs Rosier.” they replied, exchanging amused looks.
Amelia stared at Lucretia Rosier as she led them down a brightly lit corridor towards the ballroom. She was one of the most beautiful women she’d ever seen; not the type cut out for marrying such a man as Horatio Rosier and mothering a son but she pulled it off. Her long blonde tresses flowed down to the middle of her bare back, almost touching the black satin that covered her lithe form. Finally, they stopped at the entrance of the room which was decorated with silver and blue streamers and holly wreaths integrated between to give the feel of Christmas. Enchanted mistletoe floated around the room which many people were trying to avoid, except a select few. Amelia rolled her eyes as she spotted Bellatrix Black and Rodolphus Lestrange in a far corner.
“Evan, Lucius and Narcissa are somewhere near the bar,” Mrs Rosier told Amelia and her brother before leaving with their parents to another part of the room where all the other parents were.
Taking his sister by the hand, Nick made a bee-line for where their friends were chatting amongst themselves.
“Oi!” said Nick as he greeted his two best mates, while nodding to Narcissa with a smirk, “Miss Black.”
“Come off it, Nick, you still can’t play polite,” Narcissa laughed and hugged Amelia, “You look beautiful!”
Amelia looked down at herself and shrugged, “No I don’t,”
“Now, now, don’t be modest,” Lucius shook his head, “You look lovely, tonight.”
“That’s what I told her!” Nick added.
“You really do look beautiful, Amelia,” Evan added quietly, giving her quite an intense look as he sipped his drink.
Amelia gaped at him before Narcissa nudged her, “Thank you!” She tore her eyes away from his to look at everyone else as they continued their conversation but all she could see was Evan. He wore a classic tuxedo but unlike Lucius and her brother, his black tie was untied as it sat under his collar. She found herself staring at him again while he was talking animatedly to Lucius and Nick, at times, glancing in her direction.
“Are you alright?” he asked her with a smirk playing at his lips as he caught her staring again.
“Oh, no I’m fine,” she sputtered, closing her eyes tightly.
“Ah,” he shook his head, “Such a gracious host I’m being tonight, would you like something to drink? What about you, Narcissa?”
“Butterbeer, if you have it,” she answered.
“Make that two.” chimed in Narcissa.
“Right, two butterbeers, then,” Evan nodded and turned away to signal the barman.
“What about us, then?” Lucius asked, in mock offense.
“What about you?” Evan asked as he returned the drinks, winking at Amelia as he did.
“Why didn’t you ask us what we wanted?” Nick answered while Lucius smirked.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Evan shrugged, “fix your own damn drinks, you’ve been doing it for years.”
“Too right,” said Lucius as Nick nodded and raised his glass.
“Here’s to us,” he began, “to friendship that lasts until our dying breaths and even then, we’d still have each other’s backs.”
They followed his lead, raising their glasses and murmuring in agreement. Who knew what the New Year would bring or even if any of them would be there to see it. Those days, whispers of the Dark Lord seemed to be growing more fervent and loud in parts of Europe, it was only a matter of time before he made his presence known in England.
“So, where’s the exotic Miss Sutherland, tonight Rosier?” asked Lucius with a sly smirk.
They were huddled close together near to the door which led out into the back garden, watching some of the guests in the middle of the room doing the waltz.
“Yeah, I’ve been wondering about that as well,” said Nicky, raising an eyebrow.
Evan licked his lips and forced a smile, “I’m afraid she won’t be joining us tonight, you see we broke up last week,”
Lucius laughed, slapping his friend on the shoulder, “She wasn’t hot enough for you, mate?”
“Lucius, really!” Narcissa roughly pinched his arm.
“Oh come on, Cissy, don’t be such a prude,” he grumbled, rubbing his arm.
Narcissa folded her arms across her chest and made a low tutting sound.
“Oh, she was hot all right,” Evan grinned, pulling at his collar for emphasis, “too hot, actually.”
Lucius and Nick howled with laughter while Amelia and Narcissa just rolled their eyes and sighed.
“So, I guess you won’t be getting kissed at midnight then, since you have no date,” Narcissa observed.
“That’s not a problem,” Nicky said happily, hugging his sister, “he could get Amelia, she doesn’t have a date.”
Evan looked at Amelia pulling his lips into an amused smile while a squeak emitted from hers, “You’re pimping out your sister, Nick?”
“Well, no but-
“Excuse us,” Narcissa hissed while dragging her friend past them, through the door and out into the garden.
“I- why’d you do that?” Amelia asked in a daze, “It’s cold out here!”
Narcissa pulled her further into the garden, more specifically, out of earshot of the door where three males now stood, looking confusedly after them. She came to a stop by a stone bench in the midst of a rose bush.
“Why did I do that?” Narcissa repeated through her teeth as she sat down next to her friend in a huff, “Because you were staring at him as if you were someone about to get the Circe hexed out of them, that’s why. Good Lord, your brother is an idiot, do you know that?”
Amelia nodded, “Yes, yes I do.”
“I mean,” Narcissa rambled on as if she hadn’t heard her friend, her blond curls tumbling into her face, “Merlin only knows what you might have done if I hadn’t pulled you out of there.”
“You mean before I just stood there, staring at him with a flaming red face and my mouth open wide leaving him to wonder what the hell is wrong with me, thus making a fool out of myself in the process?” Amelia suggested flatly.
Narcissa frowned, “Not in those words but yes.”
Amelia sighed and leaned her head on Narcissa’s shoulder, “Oh what am I going to do?”
“You could tell him how you feel, for one,” Narcissa suggested, placing an arm around her friend, “you can’t hide it anymore.”
“Because you don’t know if he feels the same way and I think you better tell him before he figures it out or worse, before Lucius tells him.”
“What?” Amelia hastily lifted her head from Narcissa’s shoulder to look her in the eye, “Lucius knows?”
Grimacing, Narcissa nodded.
“But how?” Amelia now stood in front of Narcissa with her eyes wide, “you didn’t tell him did you?”
“No, of course not!”
“Then how does he know?” she hissed.
“He figured it out before we left Hogwarts for Christmas holiday,” Narcissa explained, “he said he noticed how angry you got every time Evan sat down with that girlfriend of his, former girlfriend, I should say, then how you looked after him when he left.”
“What about my brother, you think he knows as well?” she with her back to Narcissa, staring at the house.
“If he did, he wouldn’t have said what he said just now,”
Amelia nodded, “That’s true, and so you think I should tell Evan, then?”
“What if I can’t?” she picked off a leaf from the bush and ripped it into smaller pieces.
“This coming from the girl who told off Argus Filch in front of McGonagall?” Narcissa shook her head.
“That was different,” Amelia laughed, “he deserved it!”
“Don’t you think Evan deserves to know how you feel?” asked Narcissa.
When she was given no answer, she rose from the bench, “While you stay out here and think about that, I’ll be inside having a drink. Shall I bring something out for you?”
“Sure,” Amelia mumbled.
When she believed Narcissa had actually gone, she sat down upon the stone bench, hugging her knees. As an afterthought, she kicked off her uncomfortable heels and left her stockings; she’d think about her mother’s wrath later. She did not enjoy her solitude for long because she soon heard the light crunching of snow underneath someone’s feet.
“That didn’t take long; I thought you’d give me more time,” Amelia said to the person standing behind her, “what did you bring me?”
“Firewhiskey,” came a voice that was too deep to belong to Narcissa, “I figured it would warm you up,”
Amelia froze, turning around to see Evan Rosier standing in front of her wearing a frown, “I’m not cold,” she answered.
He raised his dark eyebrows in surprise, “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” she managed through chattering teeth, “I’m fine,”
Evan gently took her hand and placed the glass in it, “Drink it,” he ordered.
He sat down heavily next to her, staring down at his feet in the snow, “What are you doing out here?”
“I needed to get away,”
“From what?” he asked.
“The people,” she drained the glass and peered over his shoulder, “Where’s Narcissa?”
“Inside,” he answered, “she was going to come out to you but I told her I’d come instead,”
“Oh,” she bowed her head and stared into the empty glass, running her finger around its rim.
“Why did you really come out here, Amelia?” he asked her again.
“To get away,” she repeated anxiously.
She looked up at him and frowned, “From you,”
“Oh,” Evan muttered softly, looking taken aback, “Well I guess it was a mistake to come out here then.”
As he rose to leave, Amelia held onto his arm, “Evan wait, please let me explain.”
She released his arm and waited; it was no use forcing him. Slowly, he turned around and sat back down on the bench next to her with a cold expression on his face.
“Well?” he asked after a long pause.
“It’s about what Nicky said,” she began, “I couldn’t face you after that.”
“You mean about you being my midnight’s kiss?” he chuckled.
“Why are you laughing?” she asked irritably.
“Because something like that bothers you,” he grinned at her, “we all know your brother could be a git sometimes so we don’t take him seriously.”
Amelia stood up and flicked the snow from the rose bush, “It bothers me because it’s true,”
Her voice sounded so muffled that he almost did not hear her.
“What did you say?” he asked slowly.
She turned around to face him, biting her lip, “What he said is true, I wouldn’t mind being your midnight’s kiss, Evan Rosier, quite frankly, I won’t mind snogging your freaking socks off on a regular basis.”
“No,” she raised a finger to stop him, “please let me finish.”
He nodded dumbly as she continued.
“I really can’t believe I’m saying this to you but I’ve loved you for ages but I didn’t want to tell you because you’re you and I’m me and I just don’t do those things, you probably would’ve laughed at me anyway.” She began to pace in front of him, eventually wearing away the snow to reveal the dark blades of grass underneath.
“I mean, I’ve seen the sort of girls you’ve been out with, legs up to here,” she raised her hand above her head for emphasis, “and look at me, I’m not exactly tall and willowy am I? I know it sounds on the shallow side but I’m being realistic.”
She stopped suddenly after her short monologue to gauge his expression but he just sat there, giving her the same surprised expression that he had since she’d begun. It was then that she’d realised her mistake, shaking her head at him she began to babble again, “Oh gosh,” she breathed, “I, I’m sorry, please forget I ever said anything at all.”
She turned and walked as quickly as she could away from him inwardly cursing Narcissa for making her reveal her feelings to him. An iron-like grip clamped down on her arm, stopping her in mid step and spinning her around into a firm body. Amelia raised her head slowly to meet Evan’s dark gaze and immediately felt the grip around her arm loosen, his hand ran down her arm to hold her own hand instead. His eyes looked so tormented and betrayed any emotion that could be shown on his face.
“What makes you think I don’t feel the same way?” he asked her, almost angrily, “do you know how hard it was for me to hide my feelings from you, Amelia?”
Surprised, she shook her head.
“Your brother doesn’t even know,” he continued, “I think he’d kill me if he did.”
“Then die a martyr,”
He lowered his forehead to hers and closed his eyes while she unwound his grip from her wrist and brought her hands up to cup his face. He left a trail of soft kisses from her forehead down to her jaw before reaching her lips. She sighed with relief before tilting her head as the kiss deepened and his fingers wove themselves into her hair.
They caught themselves after hearing the very loud sound of someone clearing his throat. Amelia broke away from Evan to see Lucius, Narcissa and Nicholas staring at them, each wearing a different expression.
“Rosier, what the hell are you doing?” Nick sputtered with a red face.
Evan grinned, “I’m doing what you suggested,”
Amelia laughed at her brother who was now at a loss for words and lay her head on Evan’s chest, “Happy New Year, big brother and thank you!”
Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed this. You may recognise the names of the main characters here in my novel-length, The Time Has Come, as the parents of my OC. I just wanted to give them some background because I felt they deserved it :) Also, a huge thanks goes out to SpringTime on eHPFfor helping me with the romance stuff and to Len for editing :)
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