Chapter 1 : Laney Becks: World Class Pessimist
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My great aunt Netta is an evil person.
Netta and I live in a small town in Scotland that apparently repels sun, kind of like the bloody abyss that is my soul. All right, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but maybe thatís why Iím so miserable. Whatever the reason ó no sun, having an ugly face, a diabolical great aunt that smells like musty yarn ó I really just am a mean person.
Everyoneís called me Laney since forever. And believe me, I like it that way. Netta tells me thatís because my real name, Elena, is too nice for a mean, sarcastic, angry teenager like me.
The sad part is, sheís got me spot on.
Netta, crazy old lady that she is, sits around all year long knitting me fluffy pink socks because sheís got this twisted idea that it will soften me up. I told her once that I use them to make small fires when my room is cold but she is decrepit and evil, so of course, she still knits me stupid frilly socks once a week and tries to make me wear them around the house on Fridays.
To be frank, most people probably think Iím rather dull ó minus the frilly socks bit of course. The only thing Iíve really got going for me is that Iím a witch. Thatís the one thing that keeps me going: the fact that every September, I can escape from evil-knitting-Netta, who is a Muggle, into the magical world where I belong.
My mum and dad are both wizards, both home-schooled and wanna-be world travelers. Thatís how they met. Or so Iíve been told, I donít really know my parents. They have always been more interested in traveling the world than raising a daughter, so they dropped me at my dadís auntís house and visit once every two years. For three days. Three days! And by the time I was nine, they stopped coming altogether.
Obviously, theyíre both stupid planks who I definitely do not need. At all.
When I finally got my letter, extending an invitation to the greatest wizarding school of all time, I quickly developed some very definite ideas about each of the houses and where I myself belonged. And in my diabolical, eleven-year-old mind, Hufflepuff was full of annoying little pricks who sucked bollocks at Quidditch (we refer to them as ĎThe fighting Hufflepuffles' now actually), everyone in Slytherin was pure evil and ready to kill me with a python, (this is still a little bit true, especially with Scorpius Malfoy and Lula Porter. I spent the whole first train ride to Hogwarts poking them with my wand, because they were so repulsive looking I wasnít sure if they were real), all Ravenclaws were snobby know-it-alls (they think theyíre oh so witty and sharp. I sometimes dead-leg Ďem in the entrance hall when theyíre least expecting it), and finally Gryffindor, which was the house for the brave, the proud (boarderline pig-headed), and the wise (they are also famous for kicking some serious arse at Quidditch).
Because of my demonic parentage (seriously, I managed to convinced myself that my parents are possessed by the devil when I was six), I fully expected to be sorted into Slytherin house at Hogwarts. The other houses were too good for the likes of me.
Of course, because nothing in my life can ever just go the damn way it's supposed to, this meant that I was sorted into Gryffindor, something I did not understand what-so-ever.
ďGRYFFINDOR!Ē the ruddy hat bellowed. I sat stock still for a moment, perplexed.
ďExcuse me, Gryffindor?Ē I asked, slamming the hat tighter onto my head. ďI donít think so! Iím ó supposed ó to ó be ó evil!Ē I had bellowed the words, wrestling to force the hat down. I did not want to believe that my parents were good people with good genes.
I ended up having to be removed from the premise by a furious professor so I wouldnít "damage the artefact".
That whole incident created a lovely impression on everyone, and it took me until second year to convince them that I wasnít a raving, murderous lunatic.
I'm not a loser at school though, I definitely have friends. But a lot of people avoid me; I suppose Iím sort of intimidating at times. There are four Gryffindor girls in my year: myself, Dara Valentin, Rose Weasley, and Chaz Jacobs.
Since Iíve been living with these girls for the past five years, I know them pretty well.
Dara Valentin has been my best friend since second year when I threw a muffin at her head and she chucked an entire plate of bacon back at me. We were instant friends; I knew I had always liked that girl. She is a short, small and feisty brunette with a light, fluffy trim. Her whole appearance reminds me of a doll, but she hates when I bring that up and usually threatens me with another plate of bacon.
Chaz Jacobs is a different story. She is gorgeous, pretty much breath-taking (and thatís really saying something seeing as I prefer not to hand out compliments), blonde and brown-eyed with legs that go on for days. With looks like that, itís no surprise that sheís insanely popular. She even hangs out with the seventh year Gryffindors, which is highly impressive and slightly offensive. But honestly, she is too nice for my taste. I prefer mean people. Like me.
We tend to get along better.
Rose Weasley usually to keeps to herself. Her hair is a lovely auburn colour which really should be pretty but it is so bushy that it makes that impossible. She spends most of her time with her best friend and cousin, Albus Potter, being booky berks. Albus is the youngest son of the famous Harry Potter who destroyed Voldemort.
But between you and me, you being the little berk inside my head, I think the whole thing is a bit overdone, to be honest. Albus, his older brother James, and younger sister Lily aren't Harry Potter; they are just related. So why make such a fuss? Itís beyond me. I also think it's a bit strange that Rose is so very close with her cousin.
Then again, it could be just that I donít have cousins so I donít know what itís like. Dara suggested that. Thanks, Dar. Always knew I could count on you for support.
Rose has about a million cousins at Hogwarts, which sort of freaks me out a bit. All the same though, she is a nice girl (which obviously means I canít be seen within ten feet of her) who is incredibly smart and also a prefect, something I envy.
Me? Envy someone? I would never.
Compared to Roseís bushy mane, I should probably be thankful for my dark brown hair, even if it gets tangled at inopportune times, but mostly, I know it just makes me look kind of plain. Well, not plain. Iím average looking, which is probably the reason Iíve never had a boyfriend. That, and Iím a right pessimist. Personality quirks like mine tend to repel the fellows a bit.
Clearly, I lead a very exciting life.
I do play Chaser on the House Quidditch team, which is sort of stimulating. Sort of. But that is about as wild as my life gets. Really. A day in the life of Laney Becks is a bit like watching paint dry. If paint was forced to wear horrible hand-knit socks.
I wonít lie, the boys in my year, and the ones in Gryffindor in particular, Albus Potter, Fred Weasley, and Carter Hanes, are definitely attractive. But Iíve never really had the patience for a love life ó unlike Dara, who has a new boyfriend every few months. She used to say it was I who scared them off, but I donít see why, since Iím a lovely person.
That all being said, Hogwarts is pretty much my home (my second home being my actual house with Netta), and I'm in relatively positive spirits knowing that the next day, September first, I will be going back to that home.
But little did I know, something I would never have expected was going to be at Hogwarts this year.
Something I am terrified by.
Just about the only thing that I have no witty comment about. The only thing.
And that thing is love.
Author's Note: Welcome new and old readers ó or whatever you may be! ó to the fiery fic I call Just Ordinary! This is a story I started a long time ago, mostly in my mind. If you have any questions about me or my writing, go to my Author's Page and click the "Click Here to meet nextgenoration and ask about aspects of their writing!" I'm generally very friendly, so don't be afraid to PM me on the forums! My username is NGseries. :)
Now, I have quite a lot of thanks to be given. Firstly to Ellerina, who extensively helped me to edit this chapter and is just a hilarious, wonderful fool to begin with. Also to justonemorefic, who religiously gives me drool-worthy banners and chapter images and terrific Just Ordinary critique! To Emilie: do I even have to say how much you've helped me? To aiedail, ericajen, peppersweet, and tenthweasley for their fabuloso support in reading chapters I throw at them on a weekly basis. And finally, to the mafia of the raverpuffins in general for being the supportive, encouraging friends they are.
Laney Becks is insane, and definitely not your typical girl. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I have enjoyed putting pen to paper to write it.
Call me Ash.