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Chapter 2 : The Return
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Thanks to abendrot.@TDA for the outstanding image
My head was splitting. Anna’s sobs were not helping. Neither were the advil I had swallowed twenty minutes ago. We stood at Kings Cross, by the barrier that led to platform 9 3/4. Anna and Devon couldn’t follow us there, so this was where we said our goodbyes. Anna flung her arms around me and I stumbled under the weight, still weak from last night.
“Oh Bee! How will I be able to survive this year! Without either of you!” She wailed. Anna got so emotional when it came to goodbyes. I saw Devon roll his eyes behind her. I couldn’t blame him though. This was ridiculous, and my head hurt worse now. I hushed her.
“It’ll all be OK Anna! I’ll write you every day and I’ll be home as soon as I can be! I promise!” She sniffled and nodded. She gave me one last squeeze and turned to Gabe. I didn’t want to witness this goodbye. So I turned to Devon. He wrapped me up in his arms and I took a deep breath, trying to memorize his scent.
“I’ll miss you Bee.” He whispered into my ear.
“Miss you too Dev. I’ll write you twice a day. I swear.”
“You better.” He laughed. I would miss him. He was the best friend I’ve ever had if you didn’t include Lily. Devon was like my brother. I loved him. It was then however, that the alarm Gabe’s mother had set went off, reminding us that we had ten minutes until the train left the station.
“Oh dear!” Mrs.Hutchinson fretted. “Hurry along or you’ll miss the train!”
“Bye guys!” Gabe and I called waving over our shoulders before we ran at the solid looking brick barrier. I closed my eyes for a moment, but opened them as soon as I could hear the scarlet steam engine. I smiled.
I stumbled along the isle, looking for the compartment that held my friends. Gabe had ditched me five minutes ago, as soon as he had found his Ravenclaw friends. I didn’t mind though. I had spent my summer with him, and I wanted catch up time with Lily and everyone else.
Thats when I spotted a mass of fire red hair. Lily. I knew not far behind would be James. And that meant Sirius, Remus and Peter as well. I pushed through a throng of tiny second years, ignoring their annoyed cries.
“Oi! Evans!” I yelled. She spun around, her green eyes narrowing. She was probably expecting Potter. But her eyes lit up when she saw me, and she beamed.
“Braxtany!” She cried and enveloped me in a hug.
“Can I get some of that, Lily flower?” Came a voice from behind me. This time when her eyes narrowed, they stayed that way.
“No.” She snapped. Oh James. I turned to see him, he wore a bright smile like always and his eyes were alight with excitement. I could see the other three boys behind him. Did I not call it before?
“Hi ya Brax!” He said beaming, not letting Lily’s attitude bring him down.
“Hey James.” I said inclining my head to him. “Mind if we join your compartment?” I asked, ignoring Lily’s groan from beside me. James was in love with her. And she hated it. Which was weird because I knew that any other girl would kill for James Potter to look at them the way he looked at Lily. According to them, it was the way Sirius Black looked at me. Unfortunately. The good thing was that he always had a slag on his arm, and he never even bothered to pester me. So I passed it off as their crazy hyper-active imaginations.
“Of course Braxtany dear!” James practically yelled.
“Ow! James, please. Keep your voice down and don’t yell in my ear!”
“Long night last night Bee?” The voice was so smooth, so nice. That voice was like music. That voice was Sirius Black’s voice. Why did it sound so nice this year? Maybe it was because I was hung over, and he was being quiet, unlike Potter whom I wanted to throttle at the moment.
“Fun, not long.” I said as I looked up into his grey eyes. He was smirking.
“Right.” When he said that I thought I understood what the girls were always talking about. There seemed to be more feeling in his eyes than his face let on.
“Oh Bee. Were you really out partying last night?” Lily asked in a disapproving tone. I rolled my eyes.
“Oh Lily calm down. We only went out a few times this summer. We were good kids! I mean come on, we had Gabriel Hutchinson with us. You know, as in Ravenclaw Prefect.” Everyone’s jaw seemed to drop.
“Gabriel Hutchinson? Since when are you friends?” I cringed a little at the tone in Sirius’ voice. It was too sharp. Too angry. Then his eyes softened and he looked down a little. This confused me.
“Are you two dating?” Lily asked excitedly.
“Oh God no Lils!” I said as I entered the compartment and took a seat next to Remus. I could feel Sirius sit down next to me, his body tense.
“He’s dating Anna. I told you that in a letter this summer.”
“Ohhh, right!” I laughed at her comprehensive expression.
“Anna Matthews?” Peter asked dumbly.
“No. My muggle friend, Anna Richards. Gabe lives in Bristol too, so I dragged him out clubbing one night and they hit it off. So I basically lived with him, Anna and Devon this summer. He's doing well by the way, he says hi.” I added the last part for Lily’s benefit. She had met Devon and Anna four summers ago when she came to my house. And we all hung out whenever Lily visited. The past two summers Lily and Devon had hooked up. I was slightly disturbed by that though. She was like my sister, and he was like my brother. Your family shouldn’t make out, whether they were actually related or not. Lily blushed at the mention of Devon’s name, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by James, who had sat next to me facing her.
“Who’s Devon.” He demanded.
“A mutual friend of ours.” I said offhandedly. Devon didn’t need to fight with James. And if James found out what exactly Devon and Lily’s relationship was, there was no doubt in my mind that he would hunt Devon down and make him pay.
The rest of the ride was nice, but boring. I sometimes caught Sirius kept glancing at me, but I ignored it. Instead I told James about my adventures with Devon, Gabe and Anna and he told me about his wizarding parties, and the mischief he and Sirius got up to. Lily and Remus talked books and classes and Sirius and Peter played exploding snap. All together it was pretty pleasant.
The feast was amazing. The sorting went by slow as ever, and Gryffindor gained a fair few new first years. Dumbledore welcomed us with the usual rules, and the boys ate just like I remembered them; like they had been starving for weeks. As head girl and boy, Lily and James had to stay after for a quick meting with the headmaster, and Remus had to help usher the first years to the tower. So I was left with Sirius and Peter. I was not so happy about that.
Peter and Sirius spoke in hushed tones, as if they didn’t want me to hear them. Like I was going to eves drop on them, of all people. I trailed a little behind and I caught Peter shooting me quick glances, and I saw Sirius hit him over the head and then look back at me himself. I rolled my eyes. Remus was my favorite marauder, and I liked James almost as much. However, I did not enjoy the company of the arrogant Black and the dimwitted Pettigrew. I was so happy to be stuck with them now. Not. It suddenly hit me how much I missed Avery, Taylor and Jacob. Then I heard it, and I smiled as the familiar voice called my name.
“Bee, Bee, Bumble Bee!” I snorted at the ridiculous greeting and slowly turned on my heal. And there he was, pushing towards me, a broad grin plastered on his face. Cole Johnson. Cole was a 7th year Ravenclaw who I had met two years ago in a detention.
“Hullo there Cole.” I said as he reached me. He swooped me up in a big hug, swung me around and planted a kiss on my cheek. There were gasps. Then whispers. I could hear the rumors already. Cole was not my boyfriend. Cole was nothing but my friend. He was just a little on the touchy side. But definitely not my boyfriend. I don’t have boyfriends, and I don’t get involved in relationships. Ever.
“Hi.” He breathed as he set me down. “I missed you, love.” I cringed inwardly. Love. I was no one’s love.
“Missed you too.” I smiled. Cole snaked his arm around my waist and continued to walk with me even though I knew his common room was the other way. This summer Cole and I had written each other a lot, and he even visited me. It was a good time. But judging by the looks we were receiving I figured people might be getting the wrong idea about us. We stopped by the Gryffindor portrait hole, and I noticed Sirius and Peter eying me warily. Cole swept me into another hug that lifted me from the ground. I felt a little uncomfortable. Sirius and Peter were not the only ones looking at us now.
“Cole, let me down. People are going to get the wrong ideas.” I hissed in his ear. He laughed.
“Since when are you the kind of person who cares what people say?”
“I don’t care.” I said as he let me down. He arched an eye brow.
“No, really. I wouldn’t even care if you kissed me right in front of them all.” Wait. That came out wrong. Oh no. Apparently that was all the invitation he needed because in two seconds, Cole’s lips were on mine. It was quick, and nothing intense. Just a peck on the lips. Unfortunately his lips remained that way long enough to attract attention. Fuck. He pulled away a smirk on his face.
“Lets see what they say now.” He breathed in my ear. Then he had the nerve to wink. “See you later Honey Bee.” He said over his shoulder as he turned to leave. I just stood there. Shocked, as the whispers swirled around me. I turned, slowly, to face the portrait. Peter stood there, looking uncomfortable. Then my eyes locked with Sirius’. His usually laughing grey eyes reminded me off steel now. Cold, and hard, before he muttered the password and disappeared into the common room.
“Whoa there Bee. Thats a lot of food for a girl.” It had been a week. A week, and Potter was already commenting on my eating habbits. He’s going to be lucky if he lives through his seventh year.
“You’re such an insensitive prat James. What if I was self conscious huh? What if I just stopped eating all together because of that one comment? You could be the start of several very serious eating disorders for me. You’re lucky I’m hungry and I don’t care what a dolt like you says.” I countered as I loaded my breakfast plate the first saturday of the term. School had dragged by so slowly thus far. Classes were easy, but long and pure hell as per usual. The rumors that Cole and I were dating had circulated through the entire school by now. And poor Cole had been subjected to several marauder pranks already, even though I had told them we were only friends and he was only being a wanker when he kissed me.
Sirius still will barley look at he. I’m not really sure what’s up his ass, its not like he’s a prude and was offended by a public display of affection. I mean, he practically has sex with girls in the corridors. I have talked to Cole about it though. He insists he had been joking, and he hadn’t meant anything by it and he was sorry for causing me any discomfort. But he laughed and he told me he won.
“Won what?” I had asked, confused.
“You said you didn’t care what people said. You said, you didn’t care if I kissed you. But you obviously cared, so I win.” He laughed. All I could do was roll my eyes and smile.
“Someone’s in a bad mood this lovely morning.” Lily commented as she took a seat next to Sirius, who was directly across from me.
“Shut it Lily. If your stupid boyfriend wasn't such a prick I wouldn’t be this bad.” Ha. Thats what you get Lily.
“He is not my boyfriend!” Lily squealed. Her cheeks turning bright red. I rolled my eyes. She was so easily embarrassed. James just smirked. Figures. Was he ever going to give up on her? Doubtful.
“Black, pass the eggs.” I said. when he didn’t respond I kicked him under the table. Hard. I smirked when he yelled out.
“Bloody hell Bee!”
“Give me the damn eggs Sirius.” He shoved them at me roughly.
“What’s your problem?” I asked him. James was now engaged in whatever Lily was saying and no one else was around us. So they didn’t hear the exchange.
“Nothing.” He said quickly. He looked as if he was unsure for a moment, then looked into my eyes.
“Say, are you and Johnson really not an item?”
“No. We are not.” I rolled my eyes.
“Well then who are you dating?”
“No one Sirius. Why? You know I don't date.”
“Just wondering.” I gave him a bemused look.
“Right. And who’s the flavor of the week for you?”
“I decided to be different this year.” He said. His eyes were still locked on my face and I felt a bit uncomfortable.
“Oh? Did you finally loose count of your shags? Decide it was better to cut out before you got a serious STD?” I joked, smirking. He didn’t look amused.
“James, tryouts start soon. Lets go.” Sirius said. He stood up fast and began to walk away quickly without another word. I gaped, dumbly after him.
“Right-o! To the pitch!” James cried standing up. "Come on Bee, I want you opinion on the fresh meat."
“Yeah, the pitch.” I mumbled looking after Sirius as he walked away, “Right.” James dragged me to my feet and out the Great Hall after Sirius. Wait, what was that about? Remus and I used to tease him about his future STD’s and unknown children all the time last year. What had changed? When we reached the double doors where Sirius waited for us, I thought I might have found the answer in his eyes. But he blinked before I could place it, and when I could see them again, his eyes were the cold steel grey they had been after Cole had kissed me.
Good? Bad? Abandon?
Thoughts? Ideas? Criticism?
Review please =]
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