Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, but I do own the plot of Real Ladies! :)
Heeeey, guys! How's it goin'!? (: Who's excited? I know I am. Real Ladies has begun! I hope you love it. I'm a little scared that it won't live up to its predescessor, but you guys shall let me know, I'm sure.
Warning for any of you: this is a sequel to a story called Ladylike. You won't be entirely lost if you don't read Ladylike first, but it could definitely help you out- plus, I don't think you'd regret reading Ladylike. (:
Another warning: in the future of this novel, teen pregnancy will be included in the plot. It will not be the main character, Dom, and it will not be the only thing I focus on in this story. I'm warning all of my readers now, however, as to not step on any toes when the topic does emerge in Real Ladies.
-your very excited author.
All real ladies will follow the rules they believe in and screw the ones they don’t.
“Miss Dominique, I’m sure you’re aware that the purpose of this meeting is to discuss your future and the classes you wish to take this year,” Professor Longbottom says, leaning forward on his elbows, which are propped up on top of the mass of Herbology papers that are strewn over his desk. “The last time we spoke, you mentioned an interest in pursuing Quidditch as a career when you finish your seventh year at Hogwarts. Have you changed your mind, or is this still your intention?”
I cross my legs awkwardly, one of my hands tugging at the uncomfortably tight tie that’s fastened around my neck. Whenever us Gryffindors have a meeting with Longbottom, we’re required to dress in uniform. That means I’m wearing a tie, along with a neatly pressed blouse and a dowdy black skirt. I’ve misplaced the itchy grey sweater vest they insist is part of the uniform, thank Merlin, but the lack of the vest is outweighed by the awkward black shoes on my feet. I hate dressing in uniform. It’s so agitating.
“No, sir,” I shake my head, my other hand flying up to tug on a strand of hair. “I’m still hoping to play professionally whenever I finish this year out.”
My strawberry blonde curls remain as bouncy as ever, although they’ve grown a little past my shoulders now, and they move even more than my head does whenever I make even the slightest gesture. They look much less scarecrow-esque when they’re longer like this, though. At least, that’s what Delaney Finnegan, my roommate, tells me.
“As you know, Miss Weasley, I’m rather fond of you and your family,” Professor Longbottom confesses.
Well, damn, Longbottom. I had no idea. You’re only present at every single Weasley family fete my grandmother throws at the Burrow. I thought you hated my family, like we’re sworn enemies or something. I love when people feel the need to tell me things I’ve known since I was spawned. Of course, I don’t say any of this to my Head of House. If I did, he might cry. He’s not exactly the most thick-skinned man in the world, you see. Instead of a sarcastic response, I simply smile and nod my head. It’s a much safer route to take.
“Because of that, I want to do everything in my power to secure a Quidditch-playing position for you,” Professor Longbottom informs me truthfully, smiling a little. He talks with his hands, gesturing wildly around his face as he talks, and I’m having a bit of trouble listening to him. It looks like he’s trying to take flight, right out of his desk chair. “I’ve talked to Master Keynes, who has used his personal ties with the professional Quidditch world to arrange for scouts from Puddlemere United and the Holyhead Harpies, among a few other teams, to attend Gryffindor’s first match, against Ravenclaw, in November.”
I’m a little shocked Longbottom remembers any of this and is using it to help me out. Whenever I began to talk about Quidditch in our last meeting at the end of last year, his eyes glazed over. I divulged into a discussion of my dreams to be one of the best Beaters in history, and he could barely keep the drool from falling out of his mouth. To say the least, the man could care less about Quidditch. The fact that he’s not trying to convince me to pursue a more ‘acceptable’ career path is enough to knock me over.
“Thank you so much, sir,” I breathe rather excitedly. Ever since my first year playing Quidditch at Hogwarts, which was five years ago, I knew I’d try to play Quidditch professionally when I got to this point. I didn’t have any idea I’d have support from my Head of House. “It’s my dream to play for the Holyhead Harpies. I don’t know if you’d heard, but their current Beater is retiring at the end of this year, and-”
Professor Longbottom waves his hand at me to stop me before I put him straight to sleep. “Yes, yes,” he nods his head. “Gwenog Jones will be at your first match of the year, and there is no doubt in my mind that you will impress her and every other scout on the field. I’m very proud of you and your skills as a Captain, Miss Weasley.”
I blush a little bit. I’m a sucker for compliments, especially compliments about my Captaining abilities. It doesn’t matter if I’m getting them from the great Puddlemere United Keeper, Oliver Wood- which has happened, by the way- or my Herbology Professor and Head of House, who has no idea what he’s talking about. Compliments about my Quidditch skills are always the right way to go. I’m glad Longbottom has picked up on that.
“Now, about your class schedule…” Professor Longbottom sifts through the stacks of papers on his desk, pulling out a piece of parchment with my name visibly scrawled across the top. His eyes flit from the top to bottom of the parchment, and then back to me. “You desire to take seven N.E.W.T. level courses?”
“Well, I was actually aiming to take eight,” I shrug my shoulders. “But I have no room for Double Herbology with Ancient Runes and Arithmancy-”
Longbottom makes a clicking noise with his tongue. “Seven N.E.W.T. courses is quite a load for a seventeen-year-old, don’t you think? Especially one who’s career of choice is professional Quidditch.”
Ouch. Real subtle, Longbottom. What happened to supporting me, eh?
I lean forward, taking the piece of parchment out of my professor’s hands to scan it over before returning it to him. To be honest, seven courses is quite a bit of a load for me. It might be a little overwhelming at times, but I’m not stupid. Whenever my Quidditch career does end- I’m not stupid enough to think it’ll go on forever- I want to have a backup plan, and in order to have a backup plan, I need to take as many N.E.W.T. examinations as possible. And this is exactly what I tell Longbottom.
He clicks again. “You mean, this has nothing to do with the fact that Lorcan Scamander is also taking the same seven classes?”
Wow. I hate when people insinuate that I’m taking the same seven classes as Lorcan simply because he’s taking them. In case any of you have forgotten, Lorcan Scamander is my boyfriend, and he has been since the last day of 2020, almost two full years ago. After fifteen years of pining after each other, along with a few months of being on the outs while I dated one of the most attractive and beloved boys of our year, Lorcan and I got our acts together and finally realized that we aren’t meant to be with anyone but each other.
Lorcan is Head Boy this year, and his ambitious class schedule will hopefully land him in the Auror program, his dream since he was a young boy. I, on the other hand, am simply the Gryffindor Quidditch Captain, and my ambitious class schedule, besides being a backup plan, will prepare me for the end of my Quidditch career, when I hope to take up a teaching position at one of the many magical schools around the world. However, because we’ve been a couple for almost two full years, everyone thinks my decision to take the same seven classes as him is based simply on him, and not on my plan for the future. Obnoxious.
“My class schedule has little to nothing to do with Lorcan,” I say matter-of-factly, trying my hardest not to sound like a smart-arse. I don’t want to be rude to the man who’s arranging for Quidditch scouts to attend the Gryffindor match, all for my future. “I simply want to be prepared.”
The way I stare at Longbottom seems to inform the professor that this discussion is over. He sighs, his own form of a white flag, and looks down at my list of classes again. With a flourish of his large black feather quill, he signs his name at the bottom of the list, and my classes for my seventh and final year at Hogwarts are officially finalized. He shakes my hand, and I smile proudly.
I’m one step closer to my future.
“Longbottom laughed at me when I told him I wanted to take on my father’s shop after he retires,” the redheaded boy sitting next to me whines. Fred Weasley, my second-oldest cousin, stabs a piece of sausage with his fork. Despite being the biggest prankster at Hogwarts, Fred isn’t too fond of being laughed at, at least in the rare moments when he’s being serious. “He seemed to think I was kidding, but I was completely serious!”
The redheaded girl sitting next to him rolls her chocolate-brown eyes. “Of course he laughed at you,” Lily Potter, my youngest cousin, teases Freddie. Over the past few years, she’s gotten taller, more precocious, more intelligent, and more mature, and in order to prove to people that Lily is actually only fourteen years old, we have to whip out legal documents. “Have you seen yourself this morning, you big git? Your tie is knotted all wrong. You look ridiculous.”
Fred glances down quickly at the lumpy tie, scarlet and gold stripes, that he’s awkwardly knotted around his neck. He hates dressing in uniform even more than I do, only because he doesn’t know how to properly tie a tie, and no one else will show him how to do it. With a dismissive wave in Lily’s direction, Fred yanks the tie over his head and shoves it in a pocket inside his robes.
“Don’t be a bitch, Lils,” James Potter scolds, his mouth full of treacle and porridge. James is Lily’s older brother, and despite refusing to admit it, they have identical personalities- although, I must admit, Lily is much more mature and intelligent. “Last time I checked, you don’t know how to tie a fucking tie, either.”
The raven-haired girl sitting tranquilly next to James places a hand on his shoulder. “James,” she warns, her mossy greenish-grey eyes resting calmly on the bloke sitting beside her. While James is constantly moving and talking, the girl is often still and calm, always a soothing influence on her quick-paced boyfriend. “Please, chew with your mouth closed, love. That’s disgusting.”
“How did your meeting go, Jamesie?” I ask, hoping to catch James with his mouth full of food again just so Penelope fusses at him in front of us. He gets so irritated when she scolds him as if he’s a little child, and I love to exploit that. Aren’t I the best cousin ever?
“Better than Freddie’s,” James laughs loudly. “Longbottom’s pleased that I actually have a plan-”
Fred guffaws. “More like he dropped over dead when you informed him that you actually have a plan.”
“Shut the fuck up, Fred,” the raven-haired boy retorts, sticking out his already-half-chewed-food-covered tongue. Ew, ew, ew. “Anyway, he’s talking about getting Cannons scouts to attend our first match to watch me, and-”
“Cannons, as in Chudley Cannons?” I ask skeptically. It’s not a huge secret that I hate the Chudley Cannons, rather passionately. Of course, that’s not something I can tell my uncle, Ron, or a good portion of the rest of my family, especially if I like breathing. So maybe it is a huge secret. Whatever. “Oh, dear Merlin. I’m being scouted out by the Holyhead Harpies and Puddlemere United, and the only team Longbottom can find that wants you is the Chudley Cannons? I’d take that as an insult, to be honest.”
“What the fuck is with you girls today?” Fred sighs. “That was a bitch move, Dom.”
James sticks his chest out proudly, and I can see that my comment- as rude and bitchy as it very definitely was- isn’t even making a dent in his bloated ego. “I actually like the Cannons, thank you very much.”
“You do not!”
“I do too!”
“Oh, shut up, Dom. I know, I hate the Cannons,” he finally acquiesces. “I’m dying to get a spot on Puddlemere, but the only one they’re interested in is you. They don’t even want Wood, or that ruddy awful Ravenclaw Seeker. All of the teams that are coming to the Ravenclaw match in November are coming for you.”
I ponder that for a minute. “You mean Avery Craven? He’s actually a decent player, for a Ravenclaw.”
“That’s beside the point, Dom!” James’ proud, egotistical front has fallen through. He’s very stressed out about this, and I feel bad. James doesn’t get stressed out too often. He and Penelope are similar there; he doesn’t care enough to stress out, and she’s too peaceful to stress. However, right now, he is definitely stressing. Poor bloke. He really wants to be on Puddlemere. I’ve known that since we were born, practically. It’s his bloody dream, just like the Harpies are mine. “Anyway, Puddlemere has no interest in another Chaser. They’ve got no interest in me.”
“James, love,” Penelope rests her hand over his, frowning in concern. “You don’t know they have no interest in you. No one has told you that. I’m sure they’ll be ecstatic to find someone with your talent and such a loyalty to Puddle-”
“Anyway,” I interrupt Penelope, before she can further stress James without even noticing she’s doing it, and wrinkle my nose. “Penelope, what did Malfoy say to you?”
I have to try to get the subject off of Quidditch for Penelope’s sake. She understands James better than anyone else, even his own mother, but when it comes to Quidditch things, only fellow players really understand things like that. Penelope has no idea what kind of stress James is going through. In her world, full of Healer programs and Ministry positions, if you have good grades, you’ll find a job. In mine and James’ world, we can be the most talented players in the world, but it means nothing unless someone is willing to take us on. She’ll never understand that, though, and none of us expect her to. Hence the saving her before she makes him completely spaz out.
Absently, I notice that the girl’s green and silver tie is perfectly tied around her neck. She always look flawless when she wears her school uniform, while the rest of us look like awkward nerds. I’ve never understood how that works, but it succeeds in making me jealous almost every single day, and it’s been that way since we were only fifteen-years-old.
Penelope Laurent is my perky, soft-spoken best friend, and despite how jealous I often am of her, it never seems to affect our friendship. She has better grades than anyone else in our year, and she’s, of course, Head Girl, which thoroughly shocked everyone yesterday at the feast. It didn’t shock me, though. I know her too well; she’s well-behaved in school and quite kind, and all of the teachers absolutely adore her. She might be a Slytherin and the daughter of a captured Death Eater- don’t bring that up around her, you understand me?- but she’s more deserving of being Head Girl than anyone else. She’s more deserving of everything she has in her life than anyone else, including her odd yet attractive looks and the boyfriend everyone envies.
I met her in Arithmancy in fifth year, while trying to avoid a fellow Gryffindor boy who was stalking me at the time, and we’ve been almost inseparable since then. Soon after meeting, she and my cousin fell for each other, and despite James’ stubborn resistance towards dating a Slytherin at the beginning, they’ve been together even longer than Lorcan and I. She’s become part of the Weasley-Potter family by now, and I won’t be the least bit surprised to see James and Penelope get married shortly after we finish this year.
Penelope shrugs her shoulders. (She’s even wearing that obnoxious grey vest thing that I couldn’t find this morning when I was getting dressed- and she looks good in it. That, in and of itself, shocks the pants off of me. Or the skirt, seeing as this fucking uniform includes a skirt.) “She didn’t say much, really,” she tells me, easily distracted from her boyfriend and his disgusting eating habits. “She gave me the application for the Healer program at St. Mungo’s, although I don’t think she has too high hopes for me.”
“If you hadn’t broken the record for most exploded cauldrons in a single year, I’m sure she wouldn’t see things that way,” I point out.
My best friend sticks her tongue out. “I’m sorry, but I thought you were the one who always explodes the cauldrons.”
Well, yes. She’s correct. She excels at Potions, like all of the other classes she takes, and Professor Malfoy would worship her if she knew that it’s not Penelope who continuously burns off her own eyebrows every day during class. She’s never actually exploded a cauldron once in her life. Nope. That’s me. I hate Potions. That class, I’ll admit, I’m only taking this year because of Lorcan. Shh. Don’t tell Longbottom. Or Malfoy, now that I’m thinking about it. She might hold it against me, since she’s been under the impression that it’s Penelope doing it these past two years.
“So, I’m taking it that old Malfoy will be pretty damn shocked when you pull off an Outstanding on our N.E.W.T. exam at the end of the year?” Lorcan asks, sliding into the empty seat next to me. Thanks to his Head Boy duties, I can now expect my boyfriend to be late to breakfast every single morning. Oh, I can’t wait.
Penelope sighs, casting an annoyed glance in my direction. “Thanks to Dom, yes,” she says, feigning irritation, even though she’s the one who came up with the idea to cover for me every time my cauldron bubbled over in Potions so I wouldn’t be sent to detention. I guess she didn’t think I’d do it twenty-eight times in our fifth year and twenty-seven in our sixth year. It doesn’t surprise me any. You should’ve seen me in first year.
“How’d your meeting go, Lorc?” James asks, spewing food in front of him as he speaks and making Penelope pretend to vomit over the side of the bench. Disgusting git.
Lorcan shrugs as he puts an arm around my waist. I lean against him habitually, and he begins to reach across the table, filling his plate up. “Not bad,” he says casually, reaching for the bowl of treacle. Lorcan tends to eat treacle without anything underneath it; nothing we say can convince him that it’s completely unhealthy to eat pure treacle for breakfast. Sometimes, his stubbornness puts mine and my cousins’ to shame. “I mean, there’s not much he can say to me, you know? I’ve had my future planned out since I met your dad. No changing that.”
Fred rolls his eyes playfully. “Oh, the golden boy, you are,” he laughs. “Our perfect Head Boy with his perfect grades, being shipped off to three years of Auror training the minute he gets out of Hogwarts. You’ve sold some of the best years of your life to the Ministry, you know that?”
I frown automatically, hating the reminder of Auror training. Three years. That’s three years of Lorcan constantly training to become an Auror, disappearing at random without any warning or information about his whereabouts, and learning how to perform spells I’d be scared to even read about. Three years of seeing my own boyfriend only sporadically, unable to start our future together until he’s finished his training completely.
I hate the fucking Ministry and their protocol.
“Not the very minute,” Lorcan shakes his head and spoons a bit of treacle into his mouth. He waits until he’s swallowed before talking again, and I subtly shoot Penelope a look just so she notices that my boyfriend’s table manners are much better than her boyfriend’s. Mature, I know. “We graduate on the first of June, actually, and my training begins in late September.”
Hearing that, my heart starts to race a little faster. He’s never told me this much. I was under the same impression Fred was, that Lorcan would be leaving as soon as we graduated from Hogwarts and I would barely ever see him. However, if he’s not forced to begin training until September, that’s surely enough time to… have a wedding.
Shh. Don’t tell him I’m thinking about weddings, okay? He knows I can’t wait for Penelope and James’, whenever that ends up being, but Lorcan has no idea I want to get married to him. He has no idea that, despite my mother and how much she’d love being able to plan my wedding in her very annoying French style, I can’t stop thinking about it, and I’ve been thinking about it nonstop for a good three months. I love my boyfriend. I love him enough to spend the rest of my life bound to him, and I love him enough to spend an hour talking about Triggles and Crankypoofs with his mother, even though she makes my head hurt. I’ve felt this way for my entire life- seventeen years, now- and I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I want to get married, no matter how unlike me it may seem. We spent four months apart, four months of refusing to acknowledge how much we cared about each other, and I want to make sure that never happens again. That’s what I want. I’m not too well-adjusted to getting what I want, but it’s happened enough times that I’m going to be seriously pissed if I don’t this time around.
That’s what my seventh year is really going to be dedicated to, although I couldn’t disclose this fact to Longbottom during our meeting this morning and I can’t tell my friends about it now: I’ll be spending the entire year trying to find a way to inform Lorcan Scamander that I want us to get married during the short reprieve between our graduation from Hogwarts and his Auror training slash my first Quidditch season with the Harpies. On top of trying to convince Gwenog Jones that, despite her daughter absolutely hating me, I’m a completely invaluable addition to the Holyhead Harpies.
This year is going to suck serious arse, especially if I don’t make some progress quickly on the Quidditch front.
Wish me luck, yeah?
Penelope smiles wickedly. “Excellent. That gives you a good bit of time to take care of things, then.”
Oh, yeah. Lorcan has no idea about my dream for an engagement and an immediately-following wedding. However, Penelope does. I’m going to regret letting her know anything about it. I always regret telling her things she shouldn’t know. She’s the most trustworthy person in the world and never tells my secrets, but she’s also the worst Slytherin in the world and fails miserably at cunningly and subtly hinting towards things in a conversation. She either completely unveils things that only need to be partially revealed, or she confuses the fuck out of whoever is unaware of what she’s talking about.
“Things?” Lorcan raises his eyebrows suspiciously.
“Oh, yes,” Lily chirps perkily, leaning over the table towards Lorcan and I. “You’ll have lots of things to take care of once you graduate.”
Oh, I told Lily about that, too. I don’t regret telling her, of course. If anyone in my family deserves to be a Slytherin, it’s Lily. She’s the most cunning human being I’ve ever met. If only Penelope could take lessons from my fourteen-year-old cousin. It would make our lives so much easier.
“Should I even try to understand either one of you?”
I slam my hand down on the table. “Definitely not,” I snap quickly, shooting a glare at both Penelope and Lily. Those two are the bane of my existence, I swear to Merlin.
They’re going to make this engagement thing so much more difficult.
My updating will be a little more random and inconsistent with this, I'm not going to lie. I apologize ahead of time for any prolonged waiting I make you all do, but AP classes and marching band will eat my time up occasionally.
Please leave a review, and let me know what you think of the possible engagement, the Honor Jones vs. Dominique's Quidditch future, and anything else in this chapter. (: But, I'll remind you, any questions about the teen pregnancy WILL be ignored and go unanswered. You'll find out who it is soon enough.
Review review review! Please.