Chapter 4 : Of Realizations and Vulgarity.
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No proper young ladies would speak in a voice above a demure whisper, and they would never swear or curse, especially not in front of others; proper young ladies know vulgarity is unacceptable.
“Well, Captain Nicky Scamander, when are tryouts?” James asks, leaning against the back of the compartment seat and resting his feet on the seat across from him. He crosses his arms over his chest, smiling contentedly. He loves this.
Ever since the whole “Bullshit!” thing from yesterday, which was followed shortly thereafter by me embarrassingly tossing my arms around Lorcan Scamander’s neck in front of all of my cousins, James has been torturing the will to live out of me. Now, he refuses to believe my insistence that I do not fancy Lorcan. My already crappy ability to lie is severely damaged. I’ve lost my chance to convince my family that I don’t fancy Lorcan Scamander. Soon, I won’t be able to convince Lorcan either.
“Gotta make sure my Chaser skills are up to snuff for our great Captain Nicky Scamander’s standards.”
“James, I am going to kill you if you don’t shut your bloody mouth.” I reach into the pocket on the inside of my robes, wrapping my fingers around my willow wand in preparation to shoot a Bat-Bogey Hex at my cousin. It’s nice to be able to use my wand again.
I know it doesn’t really seem like James and I are as close as I say we are. Hell, sometimes even I wonder if we’re as close as I say we are. We fight constantly, we bicker about everything, we continuously compete over the smallest things, and when we find something to torture the other about, we don’t let it go for days. I think both of us enjoy bothering the other. That’s how we always are, though. Despite how rude we are to each other and how much we sometimes want to strangle each other, there is no one else in the world that we care about more than we care about each other, except for maybe my father and his parents and little sister. I can’t think of anyone else who knows even half of the things about me that James knows, except for Fred, and whenever I need a crying shoulder, I always know James will be that for me. No matter how much we bitch and moan. We’re kind of like siblings, in a way. I mean, I don’t have this playful kind of relationship with Louis and never have. It’s almost as if James is making up for it. So we fight, we argue, we drive poor Freddie up a wall, and we’re best mates. In this twisted way.
Fred sighs, resting his forehead against the window. See? I told you: we drive the poor boy insane. We’ve been sitting on the Hogwarts Express for half an hour since leaving King’s Cross Station, and already, James has made fifteen Dominique-likes-Lorcan-Scamander jabs- that are completely inappropriate, since he should not have any idea that I do like Lorcan Scamander. He’s supposed to think I don’t and never will. Not that I’ll ever be able to convince James of that now. Fred believes me, of course. He always believes me, about everything. Maybe he’s just naïve, but I like to believe he is just more of a sweetheart. Despite how mischievous, immature, and unserious Fred continuously acts, he is by far the lesser arsehole when compared to James. Hence James being the one who is still torturing me.
“What, ’Nique? You know Grandmum is going to be talking about china patterns and what florist to use for the two of you by this Christmas, now that everyone knows about your true feelings.”
“I don’t like him.”
Lie. Yes, I do. I do like him. More than you could imagine.
“Yes, you do.”
You’re right, James. Believe it or not. I do like him.
“No, I don’t.”
Yes, I do. Stop lying, damnit.
“Yes, you do!”
Keep arguing, James. I’ll give in!
“No, I don’t!”
Oh, my Merlin. I wish I could make myself shut the fuck up.
“Nick, you like him.”
Fred bangs his forehead against the window in protest. We ignore him. We always ignore him when we argue, and he likes his facial configuration and his masculinity too much to interfere. He slams his forehead into the window again, and my unheard conscience in the back of my mind feels the urge to do the same.
“I do not like Lorcan Scamander!”
The compartment door slides open at that exact instant. Of course. Lorcan is standing in the open doorway, his black robes hiding his Quidditch-toned body- thank Merlin, I will have no reason to stare at his body as I find myself doing so much lately. His barely-there eyebrows are raised just faintly enough for me to notice, and in his silvery grey eyes there is a strange kind of expression. One I’ve never seen before in Lorcan’s eyes. One that almost seems a little hurt.
Please, Merlin, tell me you’re kidding. I wish he could hear what I’m thinking instead of what I’m saying.
“Hullo there, Lorcan!” James waves casually, as if he hasn’t been arguing with me about the bloke who stands in the compartment doorway, but I can see he is giving Lorcan a rather odd look- not his I-was-definitely-just-talking-about-you-before-you-interrupted look, either. So I’m not the only one who notices the strange expression in Lorcan’s eyes. Brilliant! At least I’m not nutty. Completely nutty, anyway. “Coming to help us plan our great prank?”
Oh, right. The back-to-Hogwarts prank. We completely abandoned and forgotten about our usual prank at Grandmum’s dinner last night, thanks to my psychopathic mother, and surely enough, James remembers this and aims to make up for the forgotten prank. We rarely, if ever, give up the chance to pull off some hilarious prank at my grandmother’s expense at one of her many family gatherings. This is apparently one of the few things on James’ mind today, along with torturing the hell out of me. Within minutes, I assume we will start planning for something truly brilliant to set off during the feast tonight at Hogwarts, after the sorting takes place. James and Fred take our pranks very seriously, and usually, I do too. Sometimes even Lorcan, who is a prefect and therefore technically forbidden to take part in our mischievous endeavors, helps us out with our scheming. He is a born prankster, just as the three of us are. Almost better at scheming than I am, I’ll admit- not even reluctantly.
Lorcan shakes his head, surprising all three of us. Usually when James offers to let him in on our very secretive plans, he accepts enthusiastically. “N-n-no,” he replies, almost nervously. Odd. Quite odd. Lorcan is usually such a fluid and eloquent speaker, and if there is ever a rare moment in which he is nervous or uncomfortable, he never lets it be known to the rest to us. Never. It’s one of the many things I admire and envy about him. “Thank you, James… but I’ll p-pass…” he continues to let his voice trail off after every fragment of a sentence he utters, “Erm… s-see you later, D-D-Dominique…” Then, he disappears, slamming the compartment door hard behind him.
“What was that all about?” I wonder aloud, reaching for the scarlet leather satchel Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry gave me for my birthday.
The bag is massive enough as it is, but Aunt Hermione charmed it for me so it expands to carry practically anything I can ever dream of sticking in it without feeling heavy at all. All of my aunts charm their bags like this. I guess the multitude of children, nieces, and nephews they all have calls for an exponential amount of supplies for every outing. Of course, I don’t stuff my bag with hundreds of books like Aunt Hermione, or my Quidditch gear like Aunt Angelina and Aunt Ginny did before they had their first children, but I do have quite a bit of stuff hanging around in there. Luckily for me, Aunt Hermione either researched or created an organizational charm, which she easily performs on my bags and trunks every year; everything in the satchel is neatly arranged, and I rarely ever have to Accio anything out of it like Aunt Hermione did before she used the charm. Naturally, however, the one thing I really need right then- a piece of Dom’s Long-Lasting Rainbow Bubblegum, which is my drug of choice and an item available at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes that I helped develop, test, and name- is nowhere to be found.
The boys are unnaturally quiet as I search through the neatly arranged piles of parchment rolls, quills, inkbottles, WWW boxes, and Honeydukes chocolate. I really need my bubblegum. It always manages to comfort me when I’m at my most annoyed, and I’m sure that James will be starting up again anytime now, now that Lorcan is gone. I hope that a few pieces of the gum, which doesn’t lose its fruity flavor for hours, even after producing hundreds of rainbow colored bubbles, shoved in my mouth will prevent me from Avada Kedavra-ing my cousin. Not that I don’t want to kill him or anything, because I definitely do. I just don’t want to go to Askaban for the use of an Unforgivable Curse, especially without my bubblegum.
Finally, I unearth a package, already half-gone. For James’ sake, I hope there are a few more packages hidden amongst the piles of other objects in my satchel. If not, I’ll be forced to wait until our next trip to Hogsmeade to pick a few up from my uncle’s store, and that puts James’ life dangerously at risk. I unwrap two pieces, popping them into my mouth as my life depends on them- which it doesn’t, but James’ life does. Once I’m content with my loud chomping, I look up at the boys. Oh, my fucking Merlin. The prats are having another bloody staring contest! They want to kill me.
“Seriously!?” I cry out in a rather loud voice for the close proximity between the three of us- I flipped through my mother’s ladylike rulebook this morning and it mentions very clearly the importance of a proper young lady’s quiet, demure voice. What dragon dung that is. I don’t care how quiet I’m supposed to be. My stupid cousins are having another bloody staring contest so they can both avoid telling me something that is apparently a huge deal. “Fred, tell me. It’s your turn.”
Fred groans. The only times he ever has to explain anything worthy of a staring contest are on the occasions in which I’m too annoyed and impatient to wait for them to finish the game. I always choose Fred on those occasions. It’s too time-consuming to pick James. With Fred’s version of the explanation, there will be no need to translate whatever he says from Cocky Quidditch Player to English. I just have to decipher what is sarcasm and what isn’t. So much easier, as I’m fluent in sarcasm- not so much in Cocky Quidditch Player.
My cousin groans a second time, but soon enough, I know he’ll begin to tell me. Both of the boys, whether they win the contest or are handpicked by me to explain, always eventually tell me whatever they have to say, no matter the situation. It’s something I can, luckily, count on. They are very reliable about that.
“Our dear mate, Mr. Lorcan Scamander, has gotten his feelings a wee bit hurt,” Fred announces, kicking his feet up on the compartment seat in front of him like James is doing. Oh, aren’t they a pair. “I mean, it’s common knowledge that the bloke has had his eyes set on you since we were what, five years old? Maybe before then, when we were just little toddlers. Anyway, it’s quite well known to everyone. Isn’t it?”
“No!” I claim indignantly, my strawberry blonde ringlets bouncing energetically around my face to help me prove my point. Why has no one ever told me that? That could have saved me ten years of wasted oxygen trying to convince my family that I don’t fancy Lorcan. Of course, none of them ever tell me something that important. Bloody cousins. “It is not ‘common knowledge’, Frederick Remus Weasley!”
Freddie waves his hand at me, as if he thinks I’m joking. Oh, forget killing James. I’m gonna kill Fred- and I even like him better than James, generally.
“Anyway, Lorc has been falling over himself, going crazy over you, for what? Ten years, if not more than that? He would never admit it to any of us, but Merlin’s beard- it was bloody obvious, eh, James?” Fred looks over at James, and he continues once he receives a boyish grunt. “Yesterday, I believe the poor bloke finally thought his affections were to be returned, what with that greeting you gave him. Bloody hell, you were excited to see him. Got his hopes up, you did,” Fred shrugs his shoulders and rubs the short red scruff that covers most of his chin with his hand. He’s attempting to look mature, as if he’s pondering something serious. The façade doesn’t get past me, and I glare at him so he will continue explaining. “Then you went and destroyed that, when he walked in on your argument with Jamesie-poo over here. The bloke is probably a bit put out.”
I chomp noisily on the two pieces of bubblegum in my mouth. That’s dragon dung, isn’t it? If Lorcan has been crazy for me for the past ten years, someone would’ve said something to me. I mean, it’s not as if the Weasley family is known for our secretiveness. Exact opposite, actually. We’re known for shouting each other’s secrets to the rest of the world- of course, the shouting part isn’t always on purpose, since us Weasleys are naturally loud. Of course, that’s beside the point. The point is, if Lorcan has fancied me since we were little children, someone would have informed me of this. However, now that someone has told me, I’m able to stop hiding everything from him. I’m finally able to tell him I fancy him in return- I’ll no longer be one of the blokes. Except for the fact that Fred and James can very well be lying, or I ruined my chances terribly by the argument Lorcan had overheard.
There is no way in hell that he fancies me, anyway. Even if someone had overlooked the whole let’s-tell-Dom-someone-actually-likes-her idea, Lorcan Scamander has never shown any sign of having any bit of affection for me. Never. He’s never said one thing. He’s never asked me to Hogsmeade, or flirted with me, or anything. Obviously, he doesn’t like me one bit. There is no way… and then, the memory of my sudden launch into his arms from yesterday fills my mind.
His arms slide around my waist without hesitation, his hands fall so easily onto my hips, his face bends towards my neck, and his lips close in as if to kiss the side of my face.
For a normal boy, this is expected. Nothing out of the ordinary. But for Lorcan Scamander, this reveals everything. As that starts to make sense in my head, everything else falls into place as well.
Never once have I seen Lorcan in the company of a female, unless it’s me or one of my cousins. He’s never dated, and I don’t think he’s even fancied a girl- except for me, apparently. The memories are flooding into my brain now. Compliments on how pretty I have looked, even when I looked an awful mess; always walking to and from Quidditch practice and classes with me, with his hand close to resting on my back but not quite; the birthdays he never forgets; the time I broke my arm and cracked a few ribs from the attack of a rogue Bludger and he spent all night sitting next to me in the Hospital Wing, even after our Head of House and my father, Professor Weasley, insisted he returned to the dormitories. Of course. It all makes sense now. And it all makes me sick. I’ve ruined it.
“Fuck. Oh, fuck,” I slump down against the compartment seat. “Bloody hell.”
James and Fred exchange worried glances. “Tell me about it.”
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