Chapter 3 : Invitations and Reunions
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“Gold. I’ve been looking everywhere for you,” Vince Ellington says to me. “Where have you been?”
I gaze into his deep blue eyes and see concern etched in them. “Oh, I was just about to go to the library,” I tell him. “I have to get my work done.”
“Can I come with?” he perks, casually falling into step beside me. He flings his arm over my shoulder and I reach over to ruffle his black hair, only to find it stiff with the potion he used to get it to spike up. Great, now my hands are sticky.
“Umm…Scorpius might be there,” I reply, searching for a place to wipe my hands. From what I know, Scorpius has a four foot essay due for Defence Against the Dark Arts.
“Then how about we go up to my common room?” Vince suggests. “He never goes to the Ravenclaw tower.” Before I can object, he takes a hold of my hand to lead me up to his common room.
“Gold, why is your hand so sticky?”
Vince has been my boyfriend for three months now and he’s the only bloke I have ever dated. At first, when we had started going out, his blue eyes mesmerized me and I was able to keep my mind off of other things.
For the past few weeks however, all I could think about was his jet black hair and how he never ran his hand through it, like Albus so often did.
“Did you hear what I said?”
Vince glances at me, a slight frown on his face.
“Yeah. That really is perfect.” I say, hoping it has something to do with what Vince just said.
“You think the fact that we have to hide our relationship from everyone because of your brother is perfect?” he inquires. His eyebrows raise, but then a smile sneaks onto his face.
“You really are a sarcastic one, aren’t you?” By this time, we have reached the brass door knocker, that requires an answer to a riddle for entrance to the Ravenclaw common room rather than the usual password. The eagle on top of the door knocker opens its beak and sings out its question.
I am wax, yet I also wane: I melt slowly, succumbing to the flame. I light darkness, with fate unblest, I soon demise to a shapeless mess. What am I?
Vince glances at me, smiling. “Want to give it a try?” he offers.
No. I’m not in Ravenclaw for a reason.
“Umm, okay,” I say, to keep his spirit up, “Let me see. Falling into darkness. What could it be? Maybe Voldemort? He fell into darkness. And I guess he melted slowly away, since it took so long to get rid of him…”
Vince grins, throwing his arm over my shoulder.
“You’re thinking too hard. You always do, do you know that?” he laughs then turns back to the door knocker. “A candle.” The common room door obligingly swings open.
“That’s it?” I exclaim, a little put out, “A candle? I could have gotten that!”
“Then why didn’t you?” Vince laughs good naturedly. He leads me around the Ravenclaw common room, which is full of students studying around in comfy arm chairs. I really think that’s all they do here. Students play Exploding Snap in the Gryffindor common room, but they only study in the Ravenclaw common rom. I bet they find things in the Hufflepuff common room.
We pick a comfy spot behind a bookcase. Although this spot was by no means private, we were able to see if someone was coming our way before they spotted us. Still holding my sticky, now sweaty, hand, he leads me to a table with two chairs sitting across from each other.
“I have homework to do,” I sigh, pulling out my books, “Quite a lot, actually.”
“It’s okay, I’ll watch you.”
Because that’s perfectly normal.
Ehh, not like I’m any better.
We sit and I do my essay while Vince helps me out whenever I get stuck. That’s the good thing about having a Ravenclaw boyfriend. They’re bloody smart as Rowena herself.
“Listen, Gold,” Vince mumbles after a few minutes of studying.
“Err…well…we’ve been together for three months now, right?”
“Yes, we have,” I reply, wondering where this is going. “Right after term started.”
Vince nods. “So, I’ve been thinking….come to my house for New Years, this year. Or maybe…I can come to yours?”
I’m a little surprised by this line of conversation. We’ve never talked about meeting the parents before.
“You can’t come to mine, Scorpius would freak,” I say slowly.
Vince raises his eyebrows.
“I can’t come to your house because of your brother?”
“Would you like to meet my father? He tried killing Dumbledore.”
That shuts him up.
I look at Vince and I feel bad. I really don’t know why I’ve been treating him like this. I really do want to start liking him again, like I did when we first started dating. I sigh.
“But maybe I can come to your house,” I offer.
Vince instantly perks up. His face is like one of a puppy. Before, it was a sad puppy, and now, it’s a happy puppy. I’m really glad I’ve played a role in making his face look like a happy puppy.
“Really?” he croaks, as though he can’t believe it.
I smile, and feel myself actually getting a bit excited. “Yeah, sure. I’ll tell my parents that I’m going to…err….this can be a problem.”
I would tell my parents that I am going to Dom’s, however she’ll be at the Potter’s annual New Years party - which Scorpius will also be at. He would realize that I am not at Dom’s in an instant. I’d have the same problem at Rose’s place and I do think her father dislikes me quite a bit more than Harry Potter.
“What about one of the other Gryffindor fifth year’s?” Vince implores.
I think it over. I suppose I could ask Evelyn Thomas. She’s sweet, but I feel like she’s always following Hazelle around. Then there’s Jenn Kinnith, who’s that oddball that every House seems to have. I’d rather stay away from her. And of course, there’s Hazelle Goldmen but I can’t ask her because I don’t like her surname. Plus, she’ll be at the little Potter party too. I could puke just thinking about it.
“I suppose I can ask Evelyn,” I mumble. I look at Vince, whose smile is lighting up his face.
“Yes, I’ll ask Evelyn.”
Sighing in resignation, I realize I have no other option. I bid Vince goodbye and leave the common room, heading towards the Great Hall. Evelyn’s always eating, so I figure the Great Hall is a good place to check. Just as I expected, I see her at the Gryffindor table, piling her plate high with dinner. I start skipping towards her, but stop in my tracks. Hazelle is sitting right beside her.
I’m already standing a few feet away from them and they’re both staring quizzically at me. I decide I’ve come too far to back out now. I slip in the bench opposite them.
“Hello, Gold!” Hazelle chirps as soon as I sit. She doesn’t even give me time to catch my breath, the git.
“Hello,” I say, pretending that I actually like her.
“Come to have dinner?” she asks, loading her own plate with salad. Salad. From a table full of food, she decides to go for the salad. No wonder we’re not friends. I could never be friends with someone like that.
“Actually, I wanted to ask Evelyn something,” I mutter a little apprehensively. Evelyn puts down the goblet she’s about to drink out of and smiles at me encouragingly.
“What is it?” Evelyn implores. My eyes drift to Hazelle, and she’s staring at me curiously. I don’t think her parents have ever taught her about privacy. Her family probably all lives in a house with only one room, so she’s used to brownnosing.
I hesitate. Dom is the only person who knows about Vince and me. If I tell Evelyn and Hazelle, that’ll be two more girls; two girls that I don’t really trust. I could wait till Hazelle leaves, but I’d bet ten galleons that Evelyn will tell her anyway, so I really don’t have a choice.
“Listen, Evelyn, I need a favor,” I start. Evelyn nods and waits for me to continue.
“Err…well…” I can’t bring myself to say it. I’ve been hiding the relationship so well from everyone, and I don’t want Hazelle to find out. She’d go and blab her mouth to Albus. Not that he’d care, but I could bet that he’d have fun telling Scorpius.
“What’s up, Gold?” Evelyn urges. I skim through my other options and I realize that there aren’t any. And Vince really, really, wants this. I spill.
“I’ve kind of have been dating this one boy for the last three months and – ”
“Oh, who, who, who!” Evelyn squeals.
“Vince Ellington,” I concede. As soon as I say it, both she and Hazelle start flapping their arms around and squealing.
“Gold, his eyes are just dreamy,” Hazelle sighs. I want to punch her
“Gold, he’s so hot!” Evelyn screams, fanning herself with her hands..
“How’d you pull that one off, huh?” Hazelle asks. She’s staring at me, a sweet smile on her face.
I’m not sure what to make of that. Had Dom asked me that question, I would laugh and joke playfully. But Hazelle asking me that question? We don’t know each other well; we barely ever talk.
“What I mean is, how’d you pull it off with Scorpius right there?” Hazelle expands. She’s still smiling expectantly at me.
“Oh, that,” I say, a little relieved. I don’t like Hazelle, but I really don’t want to start a full on hen fight. “Well, that’s the thing. Scorpius doesn’t know about it. And Vince wants me to go to his house for New Years, but that’s a problem because I don’t know what to tell my parents – ”
“Say no more,” Evelyn perks up, holding up her hand. “You need an excuse to tell you parents, right?”
I nod at her.
“Go ahead and tell them that you’re at my house. I’ll cover for you.”
“Really?” I ask, surprised at how easy it was.
“Really!” Evelyn chirps. She chirps too much. I bet her patronus is a bird. Surprisingly though, I already like her chirps more than I did five minutes ago.
“Thanks so much, I appreciate this,” I say. “And I have one more favor to ask. Please don’t –”
“Tell anyone?” Evelyn cuts off again.
I nod and glance at Hazelle. She nods frantically and pretends to seal her mouth and throw away the key.
I guess I can trust that, right?
I skip all the way back to the Gryffindor Tower, excited to find Dom and fill her in about what happened in the Great Hall. As soon as I see the Portrait Hole swing open though, I figure it can wait.
A full on Weasley-Potter family reunion is in session in front of the Gryffindor fireplace. I slowly wonder if I would be able to sneak my way up to the dormitories undetected, but Rose sees me first.
“Gold!” she cries. “Come here!” She pulls me to a couch next to her and sits me down. I see three black haired, six red haired, and two silver haired people. That’s six Gryffindors, three Ravenclaws, one Hufflepuff, and one Slytherin, all staring at me. It’s just, oh, so cute.
“How are you, Gold?” Roxy asks me. She’s the only girl with black hair, although her brother, Fred, has the usual red hair.
“I’m good, Roxy,” I reply, smiling at her. She’s in my year but since she’s in Ravenclaw, we don’t really have much contact, although I do like her.
“I wonder where Lorcan is,” Lucy mutters out loud. She’s the only Hufflepuff in the group and she has a faint red tinge to her face when she speaks. She’s holding a camera on her lap and I see that she is taking pictures every now and then.
James yawns and stretches. “We don’t know where your secret crush is, Lucy,” he says. “He’s probably out with his brother, poking at flubberworms with sticks.”
The sad thing is, James probably hit the mark. Lorcan and Lysander are twins, and they usually live in their own little world. Lucy frowns and blushes at her cousin, but doesn’t retort.
“It’s so hard, you know,” James declares suddenly, putting his feet up on Albus, who pushes them off. James reaches over and ruffles his brother’s hair. “Being the only Potter boy with girls hanging off my every word.”
“Oi, you,” Albus laughs. “Just because I don’t have girls hanging off my every word, doesn’t mean that I can’t. Those are two totally different things, mate.”
“Yup, that’s always the excuse, isn’t it?” James sighs mockingly. “But I guess, since you’ve proven it before. Remember when you –”
Albus lunges at James from across the couch and they fall on the floor, wrestling. Fred jumps up from his space by the fire and runs over to us.
“One galleon on James, one galleon on James,” he cheers, taking out a bag what I could only guess is money. “Make your bets right here!”
“James, any day,” Dom mumbles, looking bored as she watches the brawl on the floor.
“I bet on Al!”
“I’m going to have to bet on the older brother!”
“Why doesn’t anyone stop them from fighting?” I ask Rose. Rose looks at me, laughing.
“Oh, they’re not fighting, Gold. They do this all the time. Boys will be boys.”
I turn back to the fight, but I see that it’s ended. Instead, James and Albus are hugging each other. James pushes Albus off and ruffles his brother’s hair yet again, as if it already isn’t messy enough. Laughing, they sit back on the couch.
“You guys need help,” Lily says, although she is smiling. “James, you’d think that in your last year at Hogwarts, you would have at least matured somewhat!”
“What are you doing after this year is over?” I ask, before I can help myself. James glances at me, surprised that I’ve spoken to him. I see Albus has turned his head towards me too. In fact, that whole family is staring at me for the second time that night. It’s a very pleasant sensation.
“I…err…I’ve got options to choose from,” James trails off before looking away.
“He won’t tell any of use what he’s going to do right after Hogwarts,” Rose says quickly, when she realizes that James has no intention of elaborating. She looks at James again, expecting him to talk, but he’s busy checking out a seventh year girl who has just walked in through the portrait hole. Rose turns back to me. “Not even Al, Fred, Lily, or I know.”
“Oh, okay,” I mutter, only because I feel as if I have to answer. I regret asking him the question in the first place. He’s such a git all the time.
“What will you guys do without Fred and me next year, eh?” James asks suddenly, turning back towards the conversation.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Dom says, pretending to think. “Maybe get some peace and quiet. Be able to sleep without being afraid that something will explode. Have a git free good year. Those are just some of the options. The possibilities are endless.”
I laugh at Dom, but out of the corner of my eye, I see Albus staring at me. My heart stops, and I’m not sure whether I should turn and meet his gaze, or just keep looking at Dom. However, it seems like my eyes have a mind of their own, because before I can decide, I find that I’m already staring at him. And my heart drops.
Albus isn’t looking at me. He’s looking over my shoulder at someone. I find out who it is when Hazelle comes around the couch. She sits down next to Albus, who immediately wraps his arm around her shoulder and kisses her on the cheek.
I want to puke.
Right here. Right in the middle of this cute little family reunion.
I jerk back at the sound of my name and the voice who said it. Albus is gazing at me, with an expression I can’t make out.
“What?” I ask, wondering why Albus is acknowledging me, that too with his girlfriend in his arms.
“I asked if you’re okay, Gold. You look like you’re about to be sick.”
“No, I’m – I’m fine,” I say. “Thinking about it, I better go to bed. I do feel a bit ill.”
My heart stops. I turn back around and face Albus. His green eyes pierce through me.
“What?” I croak. My heart is beating a million times per second. It’s going bubump-bubump-bubump. That can’t possibly be healthy, can it?
“Do you know where your brother is?”
And just like that, my heart slows down. Well, a bit more than before. His voice still has it beating a million times a second.
“He’s still in detention, I think,” I answer He just nods, and turns away from me. He goes back to Hazelle, and doesn’t even tell me to feel better.
Not that I expected it.
For the second time, those words are called out to me, although this time they’re much higher pitched. Hazelle is smiling at me when I turn around.
A little surprised, I nod my head in thanks, but then I see she’s not done yet. She puts her forefinger to her lips, like parents do when they’re child is misbehaving and their trying to get them to quiet down. Then, she grins.
I smile, realizing that she was just confirming the fact that she was going to keep my secret. I really don’t want to smile at her, though, and I don’t want any inside jokes with her. Especially not now, with Albus’ arm wrapped around her .
I try my best not to slam the door shut when I reach the dormitories. Why do Albus and Hazelle just have to look so perfect together? It’s not fair. I throw myself on my bed let it swallow me and all of my misery, but alas, the dormitory door opens, and in walks Dom.
“Why’d you leave?” she demands, as soon as she spots me.
“Well, I was just feeling a bit tire – ”
“Was it because of Albus?”
Dom knows me much to well.
“Gold, I thought Vince was helping you with that,” she whispers, sounding a bit worried.
“He was…he is,” I reply. It’s not even a lie. When I’m with Vince, I don’t obsess over Albus’ fingers and toes nearly as much as I would otherwise. I hope that doesn’t sound too creepy. I really don’t obsess over his perfect cuticles.
“It’s nice that you have family nights like that,” I say, trying to change the subject.
“Oh. Yea. It’s not really our decision though. Nana Molly wants us to take pictures and show her whenever we come home. From what Dad tells me, she has always wanted it, but before the War and all, her family couldn’t afford a camera to use all the time.”
“How come this is the first time I’ve seen a family night?” I ask. I’ve been going to this school for five years, you’d think I’d notice when there are a batch of red heads in my common room.
Dom shrugs, sitting down at the edge of her bed. “We’ve been slacking. It’s really hard to get the entire family free for one night. I mean James and Fred usually spend their nights either in detention, out hitting on hens, or making mischief; Albus spends his with your brother or Hazelle; Molly spends hers in the library; I Lucy spends hers’ out by the lake with Lorcan. Those Scamander twins are always invited though. Uncle Harry, Aunt Ginny, Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione love their parents.
“I wish I had a huge family,” I muse. “My dad’s an only child, and my mum’s older sister has a daughter, but she’s a good few years older than Scorpius and I.”
Dom shrugs. “It actually gets really hectic. Well, I better get back down. I just came up to see how you were feeling. Do you want me to stay?”
I shake my head and usher Dom out of the room. I love that girl, I really do. To most, she probably just seems like another conceited pretty face, but I’ve seen how far she will go for a friend. I collapse back onto my four poster and shut my eyes closed tightly.
Albus really shouldn’t affect me this much, right? So what if Albus was my first crush? So what if he had been my first kiss? The fact is, we never talked, and we never will. So why wouldn’t my silly little school girl crush go away?
I was in my fourth year. It was half past one in the morning and I had just finished my detention from cleaning bedpans. The matron had fallen asleep in her office, and I had only just plucked up my Gryffindor courage to wake her up and ask her if I could leave. Now, all I could think about was heading up to the Fourth Year Dormitory and throwing myself into my warm bed and how cranky the sweet matron became when woken up from her beauty sleep.
It was dark in the Entrance Hall and I thought I was alone – that was until I saw a figure sitting on the stone steps. The shape was heaving up and down, breathing heavily. Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I drifted over to the moving shape and sat down. Despite the darkness, I was able to lose myself in those green eyes when they gazed up at me. My heart started beating faster. Those eyes always had that effect on me.
“Marygold,” Albus stated. I knew he wasn’t questioning whether or not that was my name.
“No,” I stated. “Just Gold.”
Albus let out a huffing sound. It was as if he tried to let out a small laugh, but gave up halfway. “You’re Scorps’ sister.”
Once again, I knew it wasn’t a question. He knew very well who I was; he had been my brother’s best friend for the past five years, after all.
“I’ve never talked to you before,” he declared.
I nodded, although he was wrong. He had talked to me before. He had made me cry before. But, if he didn’t remember, then I was sure as hell not going to bring it up.
“No, I have!” he exclaimed suddenly and giggled. Giggled? “I told you to pass me the bread once before, when you were sitting with Scorpius at dinner during first year.”
I remembered, but I wasn’t really sure what to make out of it. Albus giggled again and made to get up the steps but fell back. I heard a clank when he fell, and I saw that he was holding an empty fire whisky bottle in his hand. He’d been drinking.
No wonder he was finally talking to me.
“Why are you out this late, Marygold?” he asked, giving up his futile attempts to get up from the stone steps.
“It’s Gold,” I repeated.
Albus ignored me. “I think it’s past your bedtime, missy.”
“I’ve just come back from detention,” I answered. I wondered how long it was going to take for him to realize he was talking to someone not even worthy of his presence.
“Detention! Looks like someone has been very, very, very naughty! Tsk Tsk, what would mummy say?”
“What mummy doesn’t know won’t hurt her,” I proposed, winking at him. It was half past one, and I was winking at people I’d barely ever talked to. I needed to get to bed.
“I like that,” he slurred. “I like that. Then, I guess the same philosophy should apply to Ha- Hazelle, right?”
It was like all the pieces found their place in the puzzle as soon as he said that. He was depressed over Hazelle. He was out of bed at one in the morning because of a girl who had hurt him. He was finally having a conversation with me because another girl wouldn’t talk to him.
I tried to ignore the fact that I was only a temporary distraction for him until his got his pretty, petite, brunette , girlfriend back. “What do you mean?” I asked.
“I mean,” Albus dragged himself up from the stone steps and took a hold of my hand, helping me up, too. The touch his warm skin against mine made my breath stagger. “I mean,” he took his hand and pushed my curly hair away from my face. All practical sense and reason swooped out of me. “I mean, what she doesn’t know, won’t hurt her,” he brought his lips down to mine.
And I had my first kiss. I knew it was wrong. I knew he didn’t like me, and he would probably regret this in the morning. I know he wasn’t in his right state of mind and I felt as if I was taking advantage of the poor bloke.
But I honestly didn’t care.
I had just finished cleaning bedpans, and then I had kissed the only boy I had ever dreamed of. It was an unexpected turn of events and I didn’t mind them in the least. And even though it was my first kiss, I knew it couldn’t ever get better than this.
As soon as it started, he pulled away. “Thanks,” he whispered, taking a step back from me. “Thank you, Gold.” And with that, he turned and made his way back to the dungeons.
I groan, and turn around in my bed. Nothing had changed. The morning after, he was back together with Hazelle. He barely acknowledged me, like always.
Well, one thing had changed.
He had finally started calling me Gold.
Lovely chapter image by the extremely talented White at TDA!
Hey everyone! I’d first like to thank you guys for the incredible support I’ve gotten for this story. Every favorite and review means so much to me! :D Thank you!! I’d also like to once again thank the wonderful innocent for betaing this chapter. This chapter wouldn’t look nearly this neat and clean if it weren’t for her!
I hope you guys liked this chapter and please let me know what your thoughts are! By the way, did you all appreciate the little AVPM bit I slipped in there? Hehe, Hufflepuffs really are great finders. ;)
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