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Chapter 2 : Friendly Advice
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Victoire, Melody and I were walking back from the Beginning of the Year Feast, out stomach’s laden down with as much fried chicken and treacle pudding as we could eat and heading towards our dorms. A-typical of our little group of friends, we weaved in and out of young-ins who were meandering after the feast and headed straight for the common room. Gryffindor had had several famous wizards and witches in its day, and several of them still worked at Hogwarts, including Professor Longbottom who was now Head of Gryffindor House. I’d never really worked myself up about the nostalgia surrounding the Lion’s Red and Gold, but it was home nonetheless. The Fat Lady bid us welcome and the three of us headed straight for our rooms.
There were three dorms for seventh year girls and thankfully there wasn’t a single empty space in ours for Nikki. There was Victoire, Melody and me, as well as Starr Morgan who wouldn’t actually tell us her first name, and Gemma Grace who we all just called Gigi. We all had our special little talents as far as a group of friends went; it seemed to be a trend with the cliques of Hogwarts.
Starr was a dazzler as well as the most kick-ass Quidditch keeper out of the four house teams. She had short black hair that was cut so fashionably she swore she'd be on all the magazine covers some day. She was also rather tiny for being so athletic measuring just under 5’4”.
Victoire was the girly-girl who wore frills and laces and had a songbird voice. That goes with having a Veela for a mother. She took every chance she could get to dress us up, which meant every morning and every trip to Hogsmeade. Her silver-blonde hair hung around her shoulders and her blunt-cut bangs feathered her forehead above gorgeous violet-blue eyes. I had always envied her for her eyes.
Melody brought music to the mix because she had a thorough knowledge of every single musical instrument ever invented on the planet. She used to go to a juniors music conservatory before she’d come to Hogwarts and even then she went to a summer music school in California every year since coming to Hogwarts. She also took on the role of entertainer within our group, for along with her musical abilities she was a great actress and brought a little flavour to our days.
Gigi was a little 5’2” rebel with spiky strawberry-blonde hair that she mixed red and pink and blue and green and any colour she could get her hands on. She had a piercing through her nose, eyebrow, belly button and at least five on each ear. Her life’s ambitions were to bungee-jump in the Grand Canyon or climb Mount Everest or trek the entire length of the Great Wall of China. She had the weirdest taste in clothes which Vic always turned her nose up at, and felt that any challenge was worth the effort.
So I knew each of them would help me in some small way in my battle against the evil seductress Nicole Delarouso. I could feel it in my bones, and when we made it into our dorms and plopped down onto our four-poster beds saying hi to everyone, I spilled my guts about Jase and Nikki. Gigi and Starr had been sitting in a compartment just up from where I’d wound up during the afternoon and they were both bummed that I hadn't come one car further, but when I told them everything they had completely forgotten about my not saying hi to them earlier.
“Bitch!” was the first thing out of Gigi’s mouth.
I laughed and there were several noises of agreement that went up. I sat up on my bed and pulled my sneakers off, dropping them on the floor. “You guys all know how in love I have been with Jase, hoping he’d feel the same way about me.”
“Yep,” Starr agreed. “You’ve been pining for his love for two years. I’m glad you're finally getting ‘round to doing something about it.”
“Ditto,” Melody said. “But now I guess it seems almost like its two years too late.”
“Screw that!” Gigi said climbing out of her black robe and unlacing her knee-high hooker boots. “Allie has everything Nikki has tenfold. I really think Jason needs to get whacked upside the head with a brick. Or better yet, we’ll hit Nikki upside the head.”
Knowing how utterly unsentimental Gigi was I could’ve almost kissed her for saying that. Instead I said, “Aww, that’s probably the sweetest thing you could have said Gigi.”
She looked up from her laces and grinned, “Anytime.”
Vic came back out of the bathroom wearing a frilly top and bottom pair of pajamas that were pink with hearts all over them. Gigi wrinkled her nose at them and rolled her eyes before heading for the bathroom. “So what are you going to do about her, Allie?” Vic asked, settling herself into her bed.
“Knock her upside the head,” I mumbled, tugging off my t-shirt and pulling my XL football jersey that I slept in over my head.
Starr and Melody laughed as Vic gasped in shock, “You can’t.”
“Yo, sensible-starlit, give it up,” Gigi said coming back out of the bathroom. “She’s not actually, are ya Al?”
“Nope,” I said, tugging down my jeans and climbing back onto my bed. “She’s dirty though. She knows I’m a threat. How can I fight her off when Jase is so head-over-heels in love with her?”
“Fight her off with a book,” Melody suggested as she braided her long hair at the foot of her bed.
“You mean this one?” I said, grabbing one off my nightstand and chucking it across the room at her. Melody ducked behind her bed just in time. The book went whizzing past and I pulled my wand from my stand and the book whizzed back making Melody have to duck again. The laughter around me was a comfort that not everything had changed and as the book landed back in my hands and I felt its wonderful knowledge and weight I knew that some things were certain. “Fight fire with fire,” I said, setting the book back down and taking off my glass to lie back on my pillow.
“That’s the idea,” Starr said from beside me on her own bed. “Give her a taste of her own medicine.”
“But how much medicine is enough to get rid of her and how much is too much that it gets rid of Jase too?” I asked.
“Just show him how fantastic you are and how you two belong with each other. Find little things about her that should piss him off or things about him that should piss her off and play ‘em off one against the other,” Gigi suggested.
“Yeah, but don’t you think when Jase finds out when I’m doing he’ll…I dunno…snap or something?”
“Not if he has a head on his shoulders and eyes in his head to know and see how great you are,” Vic said, cuddling down under her covers and yawning.
Though I still had my doubts, I knew they were right. There was no reason why I couldn’t win him back. He was never really mine but then again he was. I knew everything about him and every part of him I loved. I could make him mine. I had changed my appearance for him. I wanted him to think I was sexy and I knew to do that I couldn’t give up now.
“He’s changed over the summer, don’t ya think?” Melody said. “I mean, he’s totally a hunk, not that he wasn’t before, but now, yum!”
I let out a hoot of laughter and had to agree, “Oh yeah. His abs are to die for.”
“Oh, you suck!” Gigi muttered from her four-poster. “Of course the bookworm gets the hottie. Where is my hot-fudge sundae?”
“Honeydukes,” Starr said and I could hear the smile on her face.
I saw the blur of a pillow go by and Starr’s oomph. The pillow flew back where it came from and the tried giggles of the dorm finally died down.
The next morning there was very little movement when the sun finally peeked through the un-drawn curtains at the window. Girls aren't usually early risers…except for Victoire Weasley who flitted around the room at 6am in her school uniform and making a lot of noise on purpose to wake the rest of us up. I lay in bed with my eyes open but not seeing anything on the ceiling while Gigi grumbled, Melody yawned, Starr hummed to a song she was listening to on her tiny muggle musical device and Vic twittered to us all about the first day of classes meant being punctual and prepared.
“Punctual my foot!” Gigi said as she stumbled her way to the bathroom.
I finally sat up straight and my head spun for a moment before I felt around for my glasses and put them on. My world instantly came into focus and I slid my feet over the side of my bed. Wiggling my toes on the plush carpet beside my bed I yawned and blinked several times trying to wake myself up fully.
Vic came over to the end of the bed and coughed to get my attention. I looked and saw what she held up. “I’ve already picked out what you should wear today to get Jason to love you.” Pink and frills and lace.
“I want him to see how fantastic I am, not go prancing around as his Barbie-doll duplicate,” I said sleepily. “I’ll pass.”
Vic humph-ed and walked away muttering something about no sense of fashion and I walked to the bathroom that was now vacant. I looked in the mirror at my gawky glasses and took them off to wash my face. I didn’t shower but I put on some citrus-smelling perfume that I’d bought a few years ago and gotten addicted to. I brushed through my hair and pinned back the bangs before replacing my glasses and exiting the bathroom. I rummaged through my trunk and pulled out a pair of snuggy blue jeans and a crimson-coloured top that hugged what little frame I had. Unlike everyone else in the room who had curves and boobs and an ass that made men melt, I had a tiny waist, a considerable B-cup rack and a flat ass that I felt only looked good in jeans. Dressing was a menial task and when I finally tugged my ugly devil-sweater over my head, Starr was the only person left in the room.
I heard her walk over to the door and open it. They would all go down to the common room and wait for me. “Oh,” I heard her say. “Well hello handsome. Hey Allie, you have a guest. Go on in Jason. See you downstairs.”
Shit! I was stuck again and Jase was there. I heard him walk in, set something down and come to stand in front of me. “Stuck?”
I sighed, “Just help me please. You can laugh after; just don’t make me stand here with my sweater over my head.”
“Deal,” he chuckled before he helped me through my sweater. “Why not get a zip-up sweater instead?” he asked.
I tugged on my hair, “It would still give me issues in the morning. Ever gotten hair stuck in a zipper?” Then I noticed what he looked like this morning and nearly cried out in shock. “What have you done to your hair?” The hair that had been longer the day before was no all different lengths with chops made here and there.
“Magic haircut?” he said sheepishly while shrugging. “Guess it’s not my chosen profession. I was hoping you could help me out.”
Shaking my head I went over to my night stand and opened the drawer to pull out a pair of scissors. “Sit down, silly,” I told him. “How do you get yourself into these things and why am I always the one to get you out of them?”
I went to stand in front of him and grabbed a towel from the end of the bed. Wrapping it around his neck I went to work on his bangs, working my way around his head to even things up.
“Because I’m special and you’re just lucky I guess,” he replied.
I laughed, “Yeah, you’re special alright.” I flicked his cranium. “In the head!”
“Ow.” He shrugged then. “I keep hoping I’ll grow out of it, but it hasn’t happened yet.”
“I doubt there’s a chance that you will ever grow out of this ability you have to inexplicably mess things up. You’re brilliant and I love you but you are probably one of the most thickheaded guys I know.” There I’d said it. I’d said I loved him…except it hadn't been in the way I really meant.
“What are you talking about?” Jase asked. “I’m the only guy you know.”
I shoved him gently before warning him, “I have scissors buddy, and I’m not afraid to have you go walking out of here even worse than you did when you walked in.”
“Truce,” he conceded.
A few more careful snips and his haircut didn’t look half bad. It looked like it used to, before he’d grown it out into a shaggy surfers mullet. “There, all done.”
“Excellent.” He stood up and took the towel and the hair clippings to the bathroom. He shook out the towel in the shower and then peered both ways at himself in the mirror. “Excellent,” he repeated. “You have a gift, Alls.” He walked back towards me.
“Yeah, for fixing all your mistakes.” I set the scissors back in the drawer and picked up my book bag.
“Ouch,” Jase remarked, picking up his own bag and putting his arm around me as he’d always done in friendship. “You know what Graham, you are really mean.” His smile made me want to melt right then and there.
“Part of my charm,” I grinned at him.
“I thought so. Hey, thanks for the hair cut.”
“No problem,” I replied, “Just don’t try to cut your own hair again. For me, please?”
He laughed, “Deal. Come on. Food!”
I was still chuckling when we walked into the common room and like a magnet Nikki was there, lip to lip with my best friend who until a few seconds ago had had his arm around me. “Shit.”
“Hey Allie, did you say something?” Nikki said, having plastered herself against Jase’s side now.
I looked up and smiled, “Nope. Nothing at all.”
“Oh, okay!” She was all perky and annoyingly hyper and I glared daggers at her back as I rejoined with my friends and we walked through the portrait hole.
Gigi came up beside me and linked arms with me. “Tell ya something,” she said, “This is going to be a hard nut to crack. But I enjoy me a good challenge. And I love it when you get angry. It’s so hilarious. I think Brad was going to piss himself.”
I looked back to see Brad walking beside Teddy and Victoire who were once again joined at the hip. Brad looked sheet-white and when I looked at him he simply looked away. He had issues. I giggled and let myself forget about it for the moment. “You’re right.”
“Course I’m right,” Gigi said before twittering off to someone ahead of us. Starr and Melody came to fill the space Gigi had just left.
“I wanna see you slap her,” Starr said.
“No!” Starr rolled her eyes. “Nikki, she’s such a phony.”
“Agreed,” Melody chirped from beside Starr. “Fake with a capital F. She is totally not a natural blonde and I know an act when I see one. When you talked to her, before you looked up she was giving you this calculating look. As if you were something to be…like…executed or something.”
“Whoa,” I said. I looked ahead to where I saw Jase and Nikki walking down the last flight of steps. “Good thing I’ve got you on my side.”
“No worries,” Starr put her arm around my shoulder and smiled. “We’re here to take that bitch out with ya! Every step of the way.”
“Ditto,” Melody said.
“You guys are great,” I laughed as we finished going down to the Great Hall for breakfast.
I wouldn’t let Nikki get to me. I needed to talk to Jase though. I needed to spend some quality time with him to figure out what he saw in her. Jase had never gone for the stereotypical blonde model before. She must have some other attractive quality that I wasn’t seeing. Well, of course I wasn’t seeing it; I didn’t think with a dick. And before now I didn’t think Jase did either, but Nikki changed that thought faster than a speeding bullet. Was it because she was sex on a stick? Did I have to lower myself to that to get Jase, because if that was the case then he might not be worth it…?
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