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Chapter image by GalWithPen at TDA :)
‘WHERE’S MY GODDAMN TRUNK! JAMES, IF YOU’VE HIDDEN IT AGAIN
SO HELP ME I’LL...’ Jeez, can’t it even be quiet for a second in this madhouse! That’s Albus, my slightly insane older brother. There’s also James. He’s my VERY insane older brother. Dad says James takes after his Grandad, but we wouldn’t know, we’ve never met him. He died when my dad was a baby. I don’t really miss them, mostly because I’ve never seen anything more of them than a few old wizarding photos, and also partly because if they were around now they’d be all old people-ish, and I’d remember them like that. As it is, they died before their 22nd birthdays. My cousin Victoire thinks it’s terribly tragic and romantic, but I don’t think there’s anything remotely romantic about dying before you’ve had a chance to live.
Anyway, less of the depressing stuff. I’ll give you a basic outline of my family. There’s my dad, Harry. He’s cool, but we get stopped in the street a lot because he defeated some evil wizard in an epic battle. When I was younger, I thought that was what all Dads did. But then I realised they don’t. That’s just mine. My brother Albus also gets stopped a lot, because he’s the spitting image of my dad, right down to his eyes, which are this bright, dark green colour. I’ve got my mum’s eyes. They’re kind of blue-grey, and quite pretty, but I’d still die for green eyes. Apparently I look like my mum. We’ve both got this crazy flaming red hair, my whole family have, and the same eyes and pale skin. My mum’s name is Ginny, she works at St Mungo’s, as a Healer. She works crazy hours, but she says it’s worth it just for the satisfaction you get helping someone. Whatever. My dad has had loads of jobs. He says the only thing he wants to do is teach Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts, but we all agree that would be simply too embarrassing. He agreed to hold off until I’d left the school, but until then I guess he’s unemployed. Then there’s...
‘ALBUS FOUND HIS TRUNK! TURNS OUT THE IDIOT FORGOT HE PUT IT IN THE CAR ALREADY! LILY! YOU’VE BEEN STANDING THERE DAYDREAMING FOR NEARLY HALF AN HOUR! GET YOUR ARSE IN THE CAR SO WE CAN GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!’ That would be James. He thinks he’s a man just because he’s nearly fourteen now. Seriously, you should see him. He’s even got some kind of pathetic puberty beard thing going on. He rolls his eyes at me when I don’t move, waves his wand, causing my trunk to levitate, and fly out the window to land in what I can only assume is the boot of our dark green Mini Cooper. Seriously, a Mini Cooper with a family of five. James was all for magically enlarging it, adding a mini bar and DJ booth thing that Muggles use, but Dad said he’d probably blow up the car. Dad’s probably right. Speaking of whom, James is now waving his hand in front of my face, trying to snap me out of my trance. I stay still a few more seconds, just to irritate him, but am hugely surprised (not in a good way) when he does a stupid little shrug thing, swings me over his shoulder, and carries me in a fireman’s lift all the way to the car, kicking the door shut with his foot, and dropping me unceremoniously on my butt in the middle of the backseat, next to where Albus is already sitting, letting his albino rat, Odysseus, run over his hands. I shudder. I hate rats. Probably why I got a cat, in the hopes that it would eat Odysseus for breakfast one day. Unfortunately, Saffron (Saffy for short) is in the back seat, along with James’s owl, Mercury. He got the idea for calling it Mercury after Uncle Percy’s owl, Hermes, evn though he can't stand Percy himself. It squawks. Loudly. Poor Saffy can’t stand the damn thing, though I do think it’s quite pretty, all gold and brown.
Technically, Saffy’s only a kitten; I bought her last week in Diagon Alley, at the same time as I bought my wand. I check my pocket, to see if it’s still there, my breath caught in my throat. Yep. Still there. It’s eleven and a half inches, made from the wood of a cherry tree in our back garden, with a centre of unicorn tail hair. I stroke it lightly. James tried to teach me some spells, but they didn’t work. I think he just made them up. I asked Mum afterwards, and she taught me some basic stuff. As well as a couple of jinxes in case anyone annoys me. She told me not to tell anyone though. I’m so lost in my train of thought that I barely notice Dad has started driving, and have to practically snap my head around to catch the last glimpse of our house before it disappears. I can’t believe I won’t be back until Christmas! I look around wistfully as we turn the last corner, onto the main road, and I am faced with the hour’s drive stuck between my two brothers.
After what seems like a millennium in the backseat listening to Al and James singing almost every campfire song IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, we finally get to King’s Cross Station. I’m so eager to get out, I climb over James, and am standing by the boot, waiting impatiently for Dad to open it, by the time the car has slowed. Turns out I was so eager the car hadn’t stopped yet, and I have to chase it all around the car park.
Red-faced and slightly delirious, I finally catch up with the car, exactly where we started, and the boys get out, laughing.
‘Nice one Lil’ chuckles Albus, practically doubled up with the IMMENSE hilariousness of my situation.
I swiftly look at Mum, she gives an almost unnoticeable nod, and I fire a Jelly-Legs Jinx, right at Albus’s stomach. It works. Now James is laughing at both of us, and Albus is doing a kind of Irish jig in front of the whole car park. I let him dance around, looking at me pleadingly, for a few seconds, then mutter the counter jinx, and he stops, scowling. I shrug. Wow, I never knew I could do that one so well! Mum wouldn’t let me practice on anyone or anything, even though I suggested using Odysseus. She didn’t find that funny.
Once Albus has fully recovered, we load all our stuff onto trolleys, and set off for the station. Saffy is in her cat box, and she keeps whimpering, but I can’t hold her and push my trolley at the same time! We get to the platform barrier, ready to run full pelt at the solid brick wall. Right. I’ve been through it before, but always holding Mum’s hand, and WITHOUT A HUGE METAL TROLLEY! Ok, I’m officially nervous. Wish me luck...
We managed to get to King’s Cross with minimal drama. This is very, VERY unusual in our family. I mean, I’m pretty sensible and all, and Hugo isn’t crazy hyper like most eleven year olds (He prefers reading?), but it’s Dad you need to worry about on family outings. He’ll misplace things, forget the Highway Code, swear loudly at other drivers, and frequently crash the car into trees, lampposts, or dustbins. Yet he won’t let Mum take her driving test. I don’t understand this twisted logic either. But anyway, on the way today we only had to turn back once, because Dad thought he left the keys in the door. We also only had two major swearing incidents, and one small crash (lamppost).
But when we did get to King’s Cross, it was a whole new ball game. If Mum or Dad see ANYONE they recognise, and I mean ANYONE, they find themselves obliged to have a fifteen-minute conversation with them. So far we’ve already stopped to talk to the Katie Bell and her twins, Alexia and Sophia, and Oliver Wood’s family. I like the Woods, for reasons other than the fact that he gets us cut-price tickets to the World Cup (I’m not that shallow!) He has four kids, and he treats their summer holidays like a Quidditch training camp. Anya is going into sixth year, Connor is in fourth, the only boy, Elise is in third year, with me, my bestest friend (Oh God, what a throughly girly expression. Bleurgh. Forget I said it), and Jennifer will be coming to Hogwarts this year. They’re all on their house teams; I even heard Anya made Captain this year... She plays Chaser. They’re all blonde, taking after their mother, and they’re all absolutely gorgeous. Anya has all the guys in the year, hell, the SCHOOL after her (James in particular...), and Connor dated Dominique for a grand total of six days.
Aunt Fleur and Uncle Bill apparently had a big argument as to which school to send Dominique and her older sister, Victoire, but they eventually decided on Hogwarts. Dominique is in Ravenclaw, same as Connor, but Victoire and the other Wood kids are all in Gryffindor. I’m in Gryffindor, along with the rest of the Weasley/Potter clan. Except for Lucy, Uncle Percy's kid, who is in Hufflepuff. We pretty much disowned her. Not just because she's in Hufflepuff, because she takes after her dad far too much, and is insanely annoying. The more mature section of ‘the clan’ consists of Victoire, Molly (Uncle Percy’s daughter), and Uncle George and Angelina’s daughter, Roxanne. They’re pretty much the most popular sixth-year (seventh now) girls in the entire school, and they’re all redheads (Score! Chalk one up for ginger domination...) And the rest of us are James, Albus, Lily, Hugo, Dominique, Fred, and I. James and Fred are best friends, and constantly planning pranks. Usually directed at the Slytherins. Uncle Harry says they remind him of his father and his friends, who called themselves ‘The Marauders’ James has now adopted that name, and this year Dad gave him one of his most prized possessions ‘The Marauders’ Map’. James says he’ll use it to stalk Anya, and I’m not actually sure he was joking...
By the time we get to the barrier to Platform 9 and ¾, we’ve already seen the Potters, James mid-run towards the solid brick wall. Lily looks nervous; I’ll go help her out. She’s got an adorable new kitten she wrote to me about (We’ve been in Australia visiting Grandma and Grandad Granger; apparently they went there when Mum moved out and never wanted to move back...).
Anyway, sorry about that, I tend to go off on mind-tangents when I’m supposed to be concentrating on other things. Gets me in big trouble with the teachers. Anyway, back to Lily. She looks like she’s about to be sick all over her poor cat. I smile encouragingly as she notices me, and waves. Dad’s run over and is in conversation with Uncle Harry, doing their lame handshake thing. I roll my eyes. Lily and Hugo do the same, James and Albus having already gone through onto the platform. Lily and I take deep breaths, look at each other and start running towards the barrier. I close my eyes, prepared for the impact that’s not going to come...
I open my eyes. The swirling steam from the huge red train clouds my vision for a second, and then my eyes become accustomed to it. I sigh loudly and smile at Lily. I’m coming home.
‘I’ll miss you’ Teddy says for the fifth time, wrapping his arms around my waist and turning me away from him, so his head rests on my shoulder.
‘I’ll miss you too, but I have to go or I’ll miss the train! It leaves in five minutes!’ I reply hurriedly, taking his hands and placing them firmly by his sides as I start to walk away. ‘Anyhow, you’ll see me at Christmas! That’s less than four months away!’ I laugh as he makes his stroppy face, his eyes changing colour from green to my favourite chocolate brown, and his lower lip jutting out as he crosses his arms.
‘Four months! That’s like forever! What will I do?’ He acts dramatic, his hand on his forehead as he pretends to faint, falling towards me and catching me, his arms around my shoulders, pinning my arms to my sides. ‘I’m not letting you go now’ he says, tightening his grip around my shoulders, and I can hear the smile in his voice. I slip downwards out of his arms and grab my trunk,
‘I have to go! I can’t just miss my last year of school! Molly and Roxanne will be looking for me, I’ve got to go!’ He takes my trunk, and, instead of running off with it like I would have expected, he offers me his arm like a Victorian gentleman and we walk through the smoke arm in arm.
Teddy and I have been together just over a year now, and we’re totally serious. He just had his twentieth birthday, and I’m coming up seventeen, so the age gap isn’t that much, right? Three years is practically nothing! Mum and Dad are a bigger age gap than that, there’s almost five years between them, but no-one bats an eyelid! True, they did get married when Mum turned nineteen, but that doesn’t mean we have to, right? I’m pretty sure we will get married, just really not that soon...
I look at him walking beside me, and a smile creeps its way onto my face. He can change his appearance at will, and used to use it to annoy us no end, but he pretty much has a default face now. He’s got dark, curly brown hair, not short, but well above his shoulders. His skin is tanned and he’s about three inches taller than me, around six foot. His eyes are the only thing that changes all the time, from blue one day to amber the next. I watch his face light up as he sees his godfather, my Uncle Harry, and I smile too, then stop myself when I realise that smiling makes my nose look huge.
I don’t mind my appearance; I’d just much rather look like my sister Dominique. Her hair is white blonde, down past her waist, and her eyes are a piercing bright blue. She’s the image of our mother, who is part Veela. I, however, look like my Dad’s side of the family, with grey-blue eyes, the palest skin in the world, billions of freckles and a huge mess of curly red hair. I try to tame it if we’re going somewhere nice, but most of the time I just let it run wild.
Teddy pretty much drags me towards the Potters, greeting his godfather with a nod and a smile. He picks up Lily, Harry’s daughter, and she screams slightly at the shock, then, realising who it is, loops one arm around his neck and laughs. I would be jealous, but Lily is eleven. She starts telling Teddy in detail about her worries about which house she will be in, Gryffindor obviously being the best, and Slytherin the worst.
‘Now, now, Lily, you can’t discriminate against the slimy buggers in Slytherin,’ he says, his tone completely serious. She laughs, a cute, tinkling sound that echoes around the whole station, above the noise of old friends greeting each other. ‘They’re really just humans, only more annoying and evil’, he continues, his poker face still intact ‘But you’ve been taught some jinxes, right?’ he asks, the serious facade now gone. Lily nods. I wonder if she’s inherited her mother’s aptitude with a Bat-Bogey Hex... I look sideways at Ginny. She seems to understand what I’m asking her with my eyes, and gives me a nod, before starting a conversation with my mother about our holiday in France, to see Grandma and Grandpa Delacour. Mum begins to tell the ‘hilarious’ story about my French faux pas, not skating over the details... It takes me a second to realise that by the punch line of my embarrassing experience, everyone in the entire group is listening, including Teddy! Oh Christ on a bike...
He puts Lily down, sitting her on top of her trolley, and walks over to me, shouting over his shoulder ‘Train leaves in three minutes!’ They rush to get seats, saying hurried goodbyes to parents. I walk towards the train, and to my surprise Teddy doesn’t attempt to stop me, but just walks along, jumping onto the train as if he’s coming to Hogwarts too. When we get into a compartment though, he puts my trunk down on a seat, and leads me back out into the hall. We stand by the entrance, as people run past. I see Roxanne, and she mouths ‘I’ll save a compartment’ at me, before giving me a thumbs up and an overexaggerated wink. Molly follows not far behind her, and she rolls her eyes, before flashing me one of her winning smiles. I look back at Teddy, as the whistle goes, a signal that the train is about to start moving. I open my mouth to tell him this, but before I can say anything, he kisses me. He doesn’t stop until the train starts to pull away, and he rests my forehead against mine. I’m too lost for words to tell him to get the hell off the train unless he wants to come back to Hogwarts, so I just keep completely still and silent. He tilts my chin up so he’s looking me in the eyes, then whispers so quietly only I can hear ‘I want to marry you one day, Victoire’. I’m stunned. All I can think to do is kiss him back and say,
‘I'd like that, Teddy Lupin’ His face breaks into a smile as he hops off the train, just in time before it pulls out of the station. He runs along with the train until it reaches the end, then waves, his entire arm moving back and forward as he strives to be seen.
I turn to find Molly and Roxanne sitting in the compartment where Teddy left my trunk, with huge smiles on their faces.
‘So?’ Roxanne asks. ‘How did it go?’
‘Well,’ I take a deep breath. ‘He told me he wanted to marry me.’
They look at each other in shock for a moment, and then back at me, identical, huge grins on their faces. I know what’s coming next. ‘Oh no...’ I say loudly, motioning for them not to do exactly what I know they will. They nod at me, and do it anyway, standing up and doing our ‘Happy dance’. This involves a lot of air-punching and bouncing, accompanied by the occasional cry of ‘Oh yeah, Uh huh!’, and finishing with a dramatic ‘fall to the floor and GIRLISH SQUEAL!!!’
When the girlish squealing is done, they look at me in expectation.
‘And what did you say?’ asks Molly tentatively, fully aware that, knowing me, I would have said something completely dumb and not at all romantic,’ I like your socks’ or something equally stupid.
‘I said I'd like that.’ I say, not sure how I feel about that. They both let put huge sighs of relief, Roxanne even wiping imaginary nervous sweat from her brow.
‘Then why were you not joining in the happy dance?’ Molly asks.
I don’t know how to answer her. Maybe it’s because I’m still in shock. Maybe it’s because I feel too mature, being in love for the first time. This annoying little voice in my head asks snidely ‘Maybe it’s because you don’t love him after all.’ No. I answer firmly. It’s just because I’m only young and I'm naturally a bit of a dreamer. This is kinda like having a real future, instead of a made up one in my head. I'm only a kid.And I'm scared. But that’s not what I tell the girls.
‘Because I’m altogether too grown up for such childish things.’ I counter smartly.
‘Reeeeeeeeeeeally?’ asks Roxanne, a playful look coming across her face. ‘Because I disagree.’ She says, mimicking my mature tone perfectly.
‘Yep. Me too’ says Molly, pulling me to my feet, as she and Roxanne begin the happy dance again from the beginning, finishing in girlish squeals so loud the people from the next compartment (Prefects) poke their heads in, causing us to erupt into giggles, as we settle down for the ride to school...
I sat next to the window, in a compartment with Rose, Dominique, Lucy and Sophia Bell, and Elise Wood, watching my parents wave goodbye... it’s so hard to believe that I won’t see them again until Christmas! I’m going to miss everyone so much! I’ve let Saffy out of her cage, and she’s sleeping in my lap, purring softly. She’s a tortoiseshell kitten, kind of splodgey, with black and white stripes on her legs and brown, black and ginger all over her back, with one black ear and one sort of strawberry blonde. I think she’s absolutely adorable. She agrees. So do all the girls in my compartment.
It’s Sophia, Alexia and my first years, so we changed into our robes as soon as we got on the train, though according to Rose, no one gets changed until they’re at least half way. I said I didn’t care when everyone got changed, I was getting changed straight away. I kind of regret it now; the robes hang all funny and are actually slightly uncomfortable, they keep slipping off my shoulder. They’re a little too big, and I keep tripping up. Mum said I’d grow into them when we were in Diagon Alley at Madam Malkin’s, but, as I told Mum, I doubt I’ll grow four inches during the month, growth spurt or no.
I look around the compartment. The doors are glass, and the seats are velvety and deep red in colour. The ceiling is high, and a kind of beige colour metal. Rose is sitting across about four people’s seats, twirling her wand in her hand to make red sparks fly out of it, with her feet in Elise’s lap. Elise is explaining the school rules the Alexia and Sophia, who are absolutely enraptured. I’ve already heard them a billion times from James and Albus; don’t go into the Forbidden Forest, Don’t walk around the school after curfew, etc... Basic stuff, which I wouldn’t want to do anyway. And if I wouldn’t do it, Sophia and Alexia definitely wouldn’t. They’re two of the biggest goody-goodys I’ve ever met. I can’t imagine them going for a stroll in the Forbidden Forest. They’re all blonde and wide eyed and innocent. Elise is anything but. She’s one of the many girls on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Her blonde hair isn’t softly curly like the twins, it’s a complete mess, all crazy and backcombed, except for when she plays Quidditch, when she has it in a sleek ponytail. Her brown eyes glitter when she thinks up plans, and she’s really tanned. She isn’t conventional by any means, a bit mad, a bit badass, and very cool.
Next to me is Dominique. She’s doing what she does best; looking at herself. She’s trying to pile as much makeup as she can onto her already perfect features, while practising her pouting in the mirror. Everyone knows that she’s a bit of a tart. She doesn't like the idea of commitment, however many nice guys try to teach her. They just end up with broken hearts. I’m not quite sure if I like Dominique. She acts as if, just because she’s beautiful, everything’s owed to her.
Not that I care particularly, she just ditches the lot of us once we get to Hogwarts. Rose and Elise go off together, and I’m left with the twins. Great.
Hell, I’m out of here before they get dumped on me.
‘Guys, I’m just going to have a look around the compartments. I’ll be back in a sec’, I say, practically running out the door in my haste, and bumping into...Well would you look at that, my luck has changed. He has everything a guy should have. Grey eyes, blonde hair, tall, handsome. Head, arms, legs, hands, feet, all that stuff too! He looks about third year, same as Rose and Elise.
‘Hey, I’m Scorpius,’ He says. ‘Sorry for walking into you.’ He smiles the CUTEST crooked smile I have EVER seen.
‘No, it’s my fault, I...um...wasn’t looking. Sorry.’ I mumble, pushing a stray strand of hair behind my ear, so quietly I’m not even sure he heard me.
‘What’s your name?’ he asks, head on one side.
‘I’m Lily,’ I reply, ‘Lily Potter.’ His face falls.
‘Oh, well. Um...See you around, Lily Potter.’ He walks away past me, and I curse myself for being so stupid. Ok, I have to tell Rose and Elise about this, I don’t care if the twins and Dominique have to hear it too. But as I walk back towards our compartment, I see what is arguably the cutest behind in the world sticking out of our door. I realise who it is, and listen in on the conversation, hiding inside the next compartment along.
‘...But I wouldn’t expect a blood traitor like yourself to understand the difference.’ Wait, that’s Scorpius! Jeez, and I thought he seemed nice...
‘That’s alright, Malfoy, I wouldn’t expect a prejudiced prick like yourself to get his head out of his arse for long enough to realise that the world doesn’t revolve around your ancestry. I don’t quite forgive you for being the idiot that you are, but would anyhow appreciate it if you would leave. Now.’ Good for Elise!
I thought now might be my moment to come out of my hiding place, having heard Scorpius’s footsteps already coming past, and walked into the compartment. I was met with an awkward environment. Attempting to break the silence, I ventured;
‘Blonde boy coming out of the compartment looked pretty pissed.’
‘You have no idea.’ answered Rose blackly.
So... whaddaya think?? Favourite POVs, quotes, characters...? Anything, the little grey box is hungry :) Olli x