Chapter 4 : Issue.
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“This is so boring.” James complained staring at my latest set of plans with a classic moody expression on his face. You would have thought after five days of trying to perfect the plans he would have gotten used to the boredom and stopped complaining. Unfortunately for me he still arrived at my house every morning assuring me he didn’t want to be there and making the house even more miserable.
“Deal with it.” I muttered under my breath as I flicked over the sheet and began counting the number of bedrooms. I felt a lot more comfortable with him now and I was able to say a comment in return without having to rehearse it before hand or blushing profusely.
“What’s wrong with these ones?” James asked. He was leaning against the sofa with his legs crossed and his eyes staring up at the ceiling. He was being very, very helpful.
“Too many bedrooms.” I said and James rolled his eyes and let out a stream of profanities. I was tempted to reprimand him but decided against it – it was hardly worth the effort and he wouldn’t listen to me anyway. In fact he’d probably start yelling them just to piss me off.
There were a few seconds of silence and I wondered just how long it would take James to start talking again. I think, having grown up in a blatantly loud household, he had an aversion to silence which I found quite funny. He could only stand a few seconds of the absolute quite that surrounded us when neither of were talking before he’d open his fat gob and start jabbering on about something else.
“Why does it matter if there are too many sodding bedrooms?!?” James exclaimed angrily still staring at the ceiling and being very, very helpful. How annoying did he have to be? Honestly?
At school he never seemed this moody although I suppose he was being forced to help me, Crazy Cassie, to redo up her mansion instead of having fun in the sun chatting up girls with big chests or whatever else he’d otherwise be doing.
“Because there are two of us living here and we’re never going to have... four friends staying over. We’ll probably only have like... one person around at once.”
“Why don’t you get some freaking friends then? Get a boyfriend? I don’t know.” James said in frustration. He folded his arms over his chest and began sighing deeply to try and get my attention or just to be plain annoying.
I rolled my eyes and pulled out another blank copy of the plan. I started labelling things that were obvious and had remained constant in the past five or six plans: Dad’s office, Dad’s bedroom, Kitchen, Living room ect...
I stopped and started chewing on the edge of my quill absent mindedly as I tried to work out what would work best as a dining room. In all honestly we didn’t really need a dining room given there were two of us and we’d probably eat in the kitchen. Still, we needed to fill some rooms up. It would be good to have the dining room near the kitchen to make sure that it wasn’t too far to carry the food...
“Oh for Merlin’s sake!” James said snatching the parchment out of my hand and creasing it. He pulled the quill of my hand and began scribbling the names of rooms onto the plan.
I rolled my eyes dramatically (because he couldn’t see) and leant back against the old sofa. I closed my eyes and tried to block out the sound of quill on parchment.
“Does your Dad have any hobbies?” He asked suddenly and I looked up at him. James, despite having me a go at me for ogling his parents, spontaneously asked questions about my father on a regular basis and started acting very... strange whenever he walked in (which he did occasionally to see how things were going) so I was fairly used to his weird behaviour. I wondered if this time he’d bothered to speak because of the silence or if the question had any significance to him in the slightest.
He probably wanted me to tell him that he was an all star chaser so that he could have something in common with him. Pfft. He’d never touched a broom stick in his life.
“He used to paint.” I said after a few seconds. It was easier to answer his questions, due to his persistence and general arrogance, than to ignore him but it felt strange thinking about it. For the past five years since WTC had hit the big time he hadn’t done anything but work and move our furniture from one side of the country to the other.“He’s too busy now.”
“Anything else?” He asked and I looked over at what he was doing curiously. I saw on the first floor of the plan he’d written ‘painting room’ and for a second I was slightly astounded at his brilliant idea. Considering James was actually quite bright if you looked at his grades it shouldn’t have surprised me quite so much but... He’d been so vastly unhelpful in this whole process that I hadn’t expected him to even try and been productive.
“Stop gaping and answer the question, Cassie.” He snapped impatiently (he was definitely in a particularly bad mood today. Maybe he’d lost his broom or something).
“He used to... read a lot. All the time.” I said trying to think back. My memories got a little fuzzy if I thought back too far but I did remember him having a great big room full of books when we lived with mum. He used to read to me...
‘Library’ and ‘Reading room’ were added to the first floor. I smiled. This was actually good.
“What about you? What do you do?” He asked. He looked up at me with his brown eyes full of a level of curiosity I was slightly surprised by, then it was gone. I blushed in embarrassment – for a second I’d thought he was actually interest. Not that I cared.
“I don’t... do anything.” I said looking away from him in embarrassment.
“Come on Cassie, you have to have some hobby.” James said impatiently. He tapped the quill on the parchment which made me want to reach out and hold his arm still. That’s probably what my quill-chewing had done to him to make him grab the plan out my hands. Oh well.
“I do up houses.”
“Very slowly,” James added. I didn’t say anything in return and for a few seconds James was completely silent before he started talking again. “You’re allowed to have more than one.”
“I used to play piano.” I said quietly. James looked up at me again before labelling a few more rooms on the top floor.
There was silence for another few seconds as I regretting telling James that important detail about my life. I found my face heating up and knew that I must be blushing very obviously but James was no longer looking and was instead bent over the plan. Maybe that was to save me further embarrassment? Or just because he hadn’t noticed so hadn’t thought to laugh at me yet?
“What about... a sauna?” James suggested and I laughed at the absurdity of the idea. There was a trace of a smile on his features now and I was taken aback by it. He’d been in my house for five (long) days straight and had yet to show any signs of enjoying himself whatsoever (other than laughing at my displeasure on various occasions).
“A Sauna?” I questioned.
“Why not?” He asked. “You’ve got all the money in the world.”
“Fine, let’s have a sauna.” I laughed. “Put it in that small room next to the bathroom.”
“Now we’re talking.” James said grinning (!) at me as he began labelling rooms with even more obscure titles.
“What the hell is a reflection room?” I asked bending over the plan and looking at the top floor. “It sounds like something you’d find in a church?”
“Stick some old sofas in there, add some girly lights or whatever and have it as a space to reflect.”
“You’re just stuck for rooms.” I accused him and he shrugged and wrote something else down.
“Now Cassie, tell me honestly. Can you swim?” James asked with a mock serious expression on his face. “Or are you too crazy for that?”
“Yes.” I answered flatly leaning back against the sofa and allowing him to do whatever he liked to me already-ruined plan. It wasn’t like we could use it anyway – a sauna of all things! And he called me crazy.
“How about themed bedrooms?” James suggested. “You could have the normal themes like black and white and them some really weird ones like... the jungle or something.”
“You could make it into a huge greenhouse with a bed suspended in the treetops.” I suggested completely sarcastically. He wrote something down anyway even though I was sure he couldn’t be dense enough to believe I was being serious. This was a house, not an overgrown fairground.
There was a whooshing sound from the fireplace and Dad stepped out dressed in his smart work clothes. James looked up startled. I watched as his face lit up in excitement as he saw my Dad.
“How’s it going?” Dad asked sounding cheerful for once. I was used to him being absolutely exhausted whenever he came home but then again, it was unusual for him to be home this early in the day. We hadn’t even had lunch yet.
“Good, Sir.” James said standing up and offering out his hand. “We’ve just been drafting out some more plans.” He said holding the stupid ones he’d just drawn up tightly in his other hand.
“I’ll get you a coffee.” I told Dad rolling my eyes behind their backs and walking off down the corridor.
I hardly got to see Dad as it was – not that we really had that much to talk about anyway – but it was frustrating to no end that James hogged all his attention. Surely he had his whole big family to give him attention and feed up his oversized ego?
I’ve never hated James or any of the others that insisted on calling me Crazy Cassie and poking fun at me whenever the opportunity raised its ugly head, but that didn’t stop me thinking he was and egotistical annoying prat with whom I definitely did not want to spend most of my summer. I wanted him to clear of and leave me to do it by myself. I was more than capable and would probably be half done by now if it wasn’t for his ever constant presence complaining, whining and generally sucking what little happiness there was in the room out of it.
Yeah, I understood perfectly that he wouldn’t be here if given the choice but he was and he should really get over himself and actually try being helpful.
My slippers slapped nosily against the tiled kitchen floor as I walked over to the built in coffee machine. I preferred making coffee the manual way – boiling a kettle, adding coffee ect... and it was hardly the most strenuous of tasks but of course there had to be a quicker way of doing it... a machine! All I had to do was press and button and BAM there’s you coffee.
It’s not so great when you’re trying to kill time though.
I gave myself a few seconds of closing my eyes and trying not to become more annoyed at either my Dad or James before picking up the steaming mug and walking back into the living room.
Of course James was showing his stupid plans to Dad who was finding them immensely funny and was positively beaming at the idea of having his own painting room. Stupid James Potter who thought it was okay to walk into my house and suck up to my father when I barely saw him myself. Stupid Dad who had to be famous and rich instead of just normal and fatherly.
I took a deep breath to calm myself down. I didn’t usually get angry because I normally allowed things to wash over me without much thought but for some reason I just couldn’t let this whole thing go. Maybe it was because this was James Potter who had yet to do one nice thing for me and constantly tried to get a reaction out of me by eternally pissing me off, and Dad, my only relative in the whole world who were in my living room talking and chatting away like best buddies.
“Then I was thinking we could have themed bedrooms to make the more interesting, and so it wouldn’t feel like an empty guest room. So... have a jungle room and have real plants and a bed suspended in the air amongst the tree tops. Or one where it looks like you’re sleeping under the stars – like the Great Hall!”
“Your coffee.” I said flatly to Dad who didn’t pick up on any of the angry-Cassie vibes I was sending him. He looked at me for a second, took the coffee out of my hands, before returning to the conversation with James.
“Then I thought that you could have two painting rooms. One where you can paint on the actual walls and this room here which looks out onto the back garden where you could set up an easel.”
“And what’s this?” Dad asked sounding amused as he pointed to something.
“A swimming pool.” James answered as if that was the most normal thing in the world.
Dad laughed. I gritted my teeth and sat down on the sofa in annoyance. Since when did Dad laugh anyway?
“Then the whole of the top floor is just going to be for Cassie.” James said and I felt pleasantly surprised that he’d remembered I also lived in this house. “There’s the balcony, her bedroom, her bathroom, a study, a library for all her books, a piano room, a reflection room...” The list went on and I shut my eyes and blocked them out.
Instead I concentrated on sensing the magic in the room like Harry had told me to practice. I sensed Dad, a pretty small ball of magic considering, and James but I pushed past them and tried to identify what each piece of furniture I could feel was. I’d nearly worked out what everything was to about the front door when I snapped out of it completely as I heard my Dad’s response to James stupid plans.
“They’re great!” He declared and my eyes snapped open as I looked over at him. “Really fantastic! A little... odd but I think that’s a good thing for a house this size. You can start going to buy furniture for it tomorrow.”
“What?” I asked without really meaning to. The tone of my voice scared me slightly. It had lost its usual level quality and sounded more annoyed than I thought I felt. They both turned to look at me in surprise. Of course neither of them were remotely scared or challenged by my voice because I was just stupid Crazy Cassie with her crazy powers and crazy sensible plans which actually made sense.
I blushed furiously at the looks I was receiving but I could stop talking now or I would actually look crazy. “You’re telling me that we’re having a bedroom in a greenhouse?”
“But that was your idea?!” James said with the perfect mixture of surprise, hurt, and confusion in his voice for it to sound genuine. I could see quite clearly that he was smirking behind my Dad’s back. Smarmy bastard. “It’ll be fun.”
“Come on Cassie, lighten up a bit!” Dad exclaimed. “Act more like a teenager! Loads of kids would kill to be in your position.”
“You’re so lucky Cassie.” James said with the same stupid expression on his face.
“The plans might still need a little bit tweaking, but you can do that as you go along. No need to waste your whole summer on this, is there?”
I looked at my Dad’s genuine expression and found myself beginning to strongly dislike James Potter who was grinning like a cat the just broke into the cream factory. Why was he so pleased?
Oh yeah, because he likes to get a reaction out of me and he just got his biggest one yet. I almost yelled. I blushed too (when do I not blush?).
“Fine.” I said knowing I was going to regret agreeing to this when I had to live in a house which had a greenhouse – indoors.
“Right!” Dad said cheerfully. “That’s sorted then. Now, for the rest of the day do you think you could try something out for me? It’s brand new.”
I sat down on the sofa wearily – of course he had another agenda for coming here which was sure to be nothing to do with coming home to see his precious daughter. James nodded excitedly (looking like a complete tool) and watched in awe as Dad pulled a television out of his (magically enlarged) brief case.
“I think this could be the start of a new industry!” Dad declared hastily conjuring up a table and placing the television on top of. “It has slots for DVD’s, videos and has the capacity to receive all the muggle channels because, let’s face it; there aren’t many wizarding television channels right now.”
“So it’s a muggle TV.” I supplied glancing at his latest invention feeling altogether unimpressed.
“No! As always it runs by wand power, although it can come with a plug if you have muggle neighbours who’d get suspicious, and you can also play these; WD’s!”
“Wizarding Discs?” I asked and Dad nodded excitedly.
“These ones just have Quidditch matches on but you’ll get the idea.” He put the disk in the slot told the TV to start and sat back on one of the sofas with a mug in his hand. The picture started off in the television and looked like a normal muggle television program (except that everyone was flying around on broomsticks). “I got this idea of the muggles too. Surround sound!” He instructed and suddenly it felt as if you were sitting in the stadium. “Surround picture!” He yelled and suddenly the picture came completely out of the television. Now there were fourteen ghostly players flying around our living room and behind me were all the people in the stadium cheering and yelling.
“Wow.” James breathed glancing around behind him. “Hey, I was sitting over there!” He exclaimed pointing to some seat high up in the stadium. “I can see myself! That’s so weird!” I craned my neck and tried to see if I could see James myself but I couldn’t and eventually turned back around and followed the Quidditch player’s movements. “The snitch!” James said and I saw it was hovering in front of his nose. He stupidly tried to reach out and grab it but his fingers just went through it. Then one of the players dressed in green grabbed it out of the air. James shrank backwards but the Quidditch player flew threw him as the stadium erupted into cheers.
“Off!” Dad yelled and the whole picture disappeared and we were left in the centre of our plain living room. “What do you think?” He asked excited.
“It’s amazing!” James exclaimed and for once I had to agree he had a point. “Wow!”
“It’s good.” I conceded.
“But?” Dad prompted me.
“Is the picture a standard size or does it change to fit with the room? ”
“I didn’t think of that.”
“Well, otherwise half the picture might be playing upstairs or in the next room. Also I think having it completely surrounding you might be a little... distracting. Plus, if this was a movie it would be a right pain in the arse to have the action completely surrounding you. They’d have to film every single different angle.”
“So are you thinking just have a 180 degree shot?”
“I’d say 270.”
“Great, thanks. I really think this could be big! I’ve had company’s asking to make programs all ready. Ones about the first and second Wizarding wars, some history of Hogwarts, the Life of Albus Dumbledore, some romance film...”
“How would the whole channel thing work?” I asked before Dad continued listing things that could be made movies of.
“I haven’t worked that out yet.”
“How much data can you fit on the WD? Maybe if instead of having... channels, you brought like a sports disk, a history disk, a comedy disk ect... and then they come with programs already on. Then you could also update them with all the new programs whenever they’re made.”
“That’s brilliant!” Dad said putting his coffee cup down and standing up again.
“Also, Dad?” I said as he began packing his stuff away (leaving us with various WD’s). “Make them compatible with muggle machines.” He nodded before grabbing some floo powder from the side.
“Sorry, I’ve got to stay late at the office to night, Cass. Then I have to go meet some investors. I might not get back until the early hours of the morning.”
“Okay.” I said as he stepped into the fire and disappeared into the flames.
“On!” James declared at the Quidditch match started up again. “Cannons game.” James instructed and a list of available Cannon games dropped down. “Against the Tornadoes.” Then another game started and James lent back on the sofa and began watching the game.
I grabbed James plans from where he’d discarded them on the floor and began making a list of all the furniture we’d need to buy. There was a lot. Then he’d need to hire someone to install a swimming pool, a sauna, a... a lake? I gritted my teeth in annoyance but carried on writing out the list. If this is what Dad wanted then this is what he was going to get.
I was writing the list so furiously that I’d written four or five lines before I realised that my ink had run out. I sighed and stood up to go get some more from Dad’s temporary office when James stopped me.
“Couldn’t get me a drink could you?” He called over the deafening noise of the Quidditch match. I sighed and decided that for once I was not going to let him walk over me.
“Muggle!” I yelled and the surround sound and picture disappeared back into TV screen. James turned to glare at me. “What drink would you like?” I asked sweetly.
“That coke stuff I had yesterday.” James said still glaring at me. I nodded and turned to the door. “Oh and Cassie? Sorry about the plans, I know it’s your house and everything but I really couldn’t care less what it ended up like. I just want to make sure that I don’t have to waste anymore of my life stuck in your crazy company.” I felt my face flushing and James smirked in satisfaction. “I’ll have ice with that coke too please.”
“Okay.” I said walking out of the living room shaking slightly.
God damn him.
A/N - How are you enjoying Cassie? I'm quite liking her,
she's very different to writing Mary who I've been writing for absolutely agessssss... So it's a nice change. Please review and tell me what you think guys :)
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